Peanut Butter and Jelly. Pancakes and syrup. Swimming and water. All of these things go together perfectly. One with out the other just isnt right. The same thing goes for slavery and a womens rights movement in the eighteenth century. It doesnt seem right that a womens right movement would not come out of the anti-slavery movement in the early part of this century. The United States was under a lot of stress as a country. They were still forming governments and unity amongst themselves. States were divided by slavery.
As abolitionist groups started to form and slavery was being fought, women started to realize that they had no rights and began their battle. In the eighteenth century, citizens consisted of white, land owning males. Below them were white, non-landing owning males. Following were white females and then slaves. During the anti-slavery movement, male slaves were looking for their right to vote mainly. The fifteenth amendment to the United States constitution stated prohibited states from denying rights to citizens “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude” (Sklar 73).
Perhaps the reason white women were opposed to this amendment is due to the fact that they realized their rights had been decreased. They had very little rights above male slaves before this amendment, and after its passing, they had no rights even mentioned in the constitution. This could have been looked upon as a very good incentive to gain their own freedom. Many leaders of the womens anti-slavery movement were immediatists. One of the founders of this kind of thinking was William Lloyd Garrison.
Garrisons main basis for the immediate abolition of slavery was that slaves were children of God, therefore making them equal to all others in His eyes. Abolishing slavery was the only way to making this country truly pure with God given liberty (Sklar 13). This argument provides great basis for a womens rights movement to break off. If slaves are created equal to everyone, then women must be equal to slaves. Based upon this, if slaves go their freedom and right to vote, women as well should get these rights. It seemed to be clear that abolition of slavery must come before the womens rights movement.
Evidence showed that success rates would be higher in gaining womens rights if slavery was first abolished. Along with all of this evidence, it is easier to achieve one task at a time. If women helped gain rights for slaves, they could then have the help and support of the slaves when trying to gain rights for themselves. The battle that women were taking on was not going to be short or easy by any means. They would face many problems and much resistance on the way. As time would tell their actions would all pay off, as now, women have everything that they worked so hard for.