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State statutes and common law prohibited women from inheriting property, signing contracts, serving on juries and voting in elections.

Women's prospects in employment were dim: they could expect only to gain a very few service-related jobs and were paid about half of what men were paid for the same work.

Mott and Stanton became friends in London and on the return voyage, and together planned to organize their own convention to further the cause of women's rights, separate from abolition concerns.Ernestine Rose began lecturing in 1836 to groups of women on the subject of the "Science of Government" which included the enfranchisement of women.In 1840, at the urging of Garrison and Wendell Phillips, Lucretia Coffin Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton traveled with their husbands and a dozen other American male and female abolitionists to London for the first World's Anti-Slavery Convention, with the expectation that a motion put forward by Phillips to include women's participation in the convention would be controversial.The Second Great Awakening was challenging women's traditional roles in religion.Recalling the era in 1870, Paulina Wright Davis set Finney's decision as the beginning of the American women's reform movement.

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