On Women’s Right to Vote

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Susan Anthony’s speech On Women’s Right to Vote focused on women’s right to vote in the United States. Ideally, the laws of the land denied women of their civic responsibilities, making it illegal for women to participate in any political forums. The focus of the speech was to encourage and garner support for women to participate in the building of the nation. According to Susan, “All men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Therefore, the speech claimed that the American Constitution advocated for the equality of all people and should be extended to all forums without any form of discrimination.

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Susan used ethos to convince the audience to support her claim of equality and the right for women to vote. She states, “The preamble of the Constitution of the State of New York declares the same purpose.” She vested her argument on the provisions of the country’s grand documents including the Constitution. The government had no authority to deny any American their rights whatsoever. Essentially, all guiding legal documents implied that all people were equal and thus had the right to ensure that in the event of bad governance, they abolished the system and put in place another one. Ethically, the actions of the government were discriminatory against the women and therefore in violation of the Constitutional provisions. Hence, Susan worked on the emotions of the society to advocate for equality.

The method of argumentation used in the speech is primarily Rogerian. The opposition was the patriarchal system that existed in the United States form of government. The consideration of women taking part in political and other civic matters was among the factors that were not foreseeable in the system of governance. Hence, through persuasion, the Rogerian argumentation method made it possible for Susan to highlight significant factors touching on the right for women to vote.

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  1. “On Women’s Right to Vote – Susan B. Anthony 1873.” World History for the Relaxed Historian.
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