Review of Why ERA Failed: Politics, Women’s Rights, and the Amending Process of the Constitution By Mary Frances Berry The struggle for women’s rights has been a long, hard fought battle in American history. The fight for even the most basic of rights, such as the right to vote or control property, often takes decades for a victory to be had. One such initiative that sought a widening of women’s rights was the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) of the 1970s. The ERA sought to put women on equal legal footing as men, and to no ones surprise the movement failed.
Her leadership and ERA draft would become a key part of the battle for women’s rights as her work would be revised and modified many times during the women’s rights and suffrage movement of the 1960s to better address the social norms and gain more support. On the opposing end of the battle, Phyllis Schlafly was a conservative activist who founded the STOP ERA organization to fight against the ratification of the ERA. “Under Schlafly’s guidance, conservative era opponents seized a moral high ground by claiming that while ERA backers wanted to topple traditional values, they—the amendment opponents—were the true supporters of the American family” (Dewolf, pg. 228, 2021). Schlafly believed the ratification of the ERA would remove traditional gender roles which would harm the American family structure and the entire movement was “opposing Mother Nature herself”(Schlafy, 1981). This opinion was led by the belief that under the ERA, women would pursue careers of their own which would increase divorce rates, leave children home alone, and disrupt traditional family life.
Roe vs. Wade is the highly publicized Supreme Court ruling that overturned a Texas interpretation of abortion law and made abortion legal in the United States. The Roe v. Wade decision held that a woman, with her doctor, has the right to choose abortion in earlier months of pregnancy without legal restriction, and with restrictions in later months, based on the right to privacy. As a result, all state laws that limited women 's access to abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy were invalidated by this particular case. State laws limiting such access during the second trimester were upheld only when the restrictions were for the purpose of protecting the health of the pregnant woman. Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the greater United States, which was not legal at all in many states and was limited by law in others.
As the rate of industrialization in America grew during the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries, child labor became more and more common. The rapid growth of the economy and the vast amounts of poor immigrants during the Industrial Age in America justified the work of children as young as the age of three. By 1900, over two million children were employed. However, the risks of involving child labor greatly outweighed the positives; child labor was inhumane, cruel, and caused physical deformities among children. Children typically worked in coal mines, mills, and factories which contained many life-threatening hazards.
In 1923, the ERA written by Alice, was introduced into Congress. The Amendment declared “equal rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the US or by any State on account of sex” (“Woman Suffrage”, 2014, para 1). The Amendment was introduced into every Congress through 1972, where it finally passed but failed ratification in 1982. Only 35 states ratified the Amendment by the 1982 deadline. After the failure, the Amendment was again presented to Congress every year, but still fails to get passed.
The early women’s rights organization was developed based upon the standards and experiences of different endeavors to promote social justice and to enhance the human condition. These efforts are known as change. Among these were the Abolition and Temperance movements. The personal and historical connections that united, and on occasion divided the movement for women’s rights existed before 1843, have advanced over the subsequent century and a half. The 1877 Woman’s Suffrage amendment had been initially brought into U.S. Congress.
Throughout human history, children were thought of as servants, apprentices, or a means to ease workload. Children would work on the family farm or a family business. They could be easily taken advantage of compared to adults. The exploitation of children for labor without concern for their education or welfare was common and even the norm. No special concern about children existed.
Phyllis Schlafly started the campaign of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923 and I am beyond certain that the ERA activists today will not stop until it is ratified and accepted into the constitution. At the end of ERA battle, Sonia Johnson made an incredible and uplifting statement for all women. She said, “I am sure I am not the only feminist who is occasionally clear-sighted enough to be grateful to Phyllis Schlafly for making us have to fight so hard for the Equal Rights Amendment. Whether in the end this amendment is the way women will achieve legal equality or not, it is still true that the struggle over its ratification has provided the greatest political training ground for women in the history of the world”
When Cornelius Vanderbilt died he left his $100 million fortune to his son William Vanderbilt and they both had the same attitude. During the Gilded Age these big business and their owners were thought of as being Robber Barons or Captains of Industry. The poor working conditions that were provided, the corruption they led in government, and their use of child labor shows that they were Robber Barons. Children were used in labor to work a lot and most days of the week. Kids as young as 5 often worked as much as 12 to 14 hours a day for barely any pay.
Based on Document A, the Equal Rights Amendment is necessary for our country because sexism is so widespread that it has become normalised and a part of the social norm. The writer of Document A, Shirley Anita St. Hillsholm, was a woman herself, and she presented her speech about how she is for the Equal Rights Amendment and how it would affect our country if it were to pass. The significance of this information is that Shirley Anita was being political and social throughout this document by addressing the necessity for women to have the same human rights as a man and enforcing this philosophy into Congress in order to ratify the
During the Eighteenth and the early Nineteenth centuries, Child labor was a major part of the industrial revolution, especially in Great Britain where child labor was a large part of the working class and soon became a social and political problem/issue. In late Eighteenth century child labor became a necessary thing for the working class and society of Britain and other countries such as modern day Germany and America. Children were hired because they could do jobs the adults simply couldn 't do because of their sheer size and incapability to do certain things like clean chimneys and fix the machines in the
Child labor was a great concern in the Industrial revolution but very few people did something to stop it. Women and Children were forced to work more than 10 hours a day with only forty minutes to have lunch. Elizabeth Bentley once said that they didn’t have any time to have breakfast or drink anything during the day. They worked standing up and if they didn’t do their work on time they were strapped (whipped). Children were treating like they were not important, like they didn’t deserve a better life.
Fortunately, due to the tireless work of decades of activist’s, laws have changed, amendments added to the constitution, and rights granted to those who were previously unjustly denied. One of these victories for women’s rights occurred when women were granted the right