• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Do you agree with the view that the Married Women's Property Acts were key milestones in women's emancipation?

Extracts from this document...


3 Source Essay: MWPAThe changing personal status of women by 19005/10/13 Essay q.: Do you agree with the view that the Married Women?s Property Acts were key milestones in women?s emancipation The Married Women?s Property Acts (MWPAs) of 1870 and 1882 were small but significant key milestones in women?s emancipation. Source 13 and 14 to an extent support this claim. Source 13, an extract from Paula Bartley?s ?The Changing Role of Women? highlights the benefits of the MWPAs and how they were the beginning of female independence from their husbands. ?..allowed women to spend their own money...encouraged them to develop their own interests?, Women in 1882 were given full rights to their property and belongings earned via inheritance or by their own work. This in itself was significant in that it showed women were recognised in the law as individuals, separate legal beings, not just the property of their husbands. Although the MWPAs were seen by many as small, this first minor success gave 19th century women confidence and hope to continue their campaign. This determination and hope eventually led to the passing of the vote, so in this perspective, the MWPAs were significant. ...read more.


Any property owned by a woman before marriage would automatically become her husband?s property after marriage. Marriage for a woman in the 19th century signified the loss of her legal ownership over original possessions as well as the deprivation of her legal existence. The typically common attitude to women in the early part of the century was that women were not equals to men; they domineered over a ?separate sphere? in society, the home. It was believed, household harmony could only be achieved by the total subordination of women to their husbands. Women gaining rights to property enabled them to leave this ?idealistic? sphere created for them by the men of society, which angered many. The extract however implies that women did not gain that much. Source 14, unlike source 13, suggests that men benefited more from the MWPA than women, ?Middle-class husbands could, by this time, see considerable advantage in their wives holding separate property?. Many were critical of the Act due to married couples using it as a way of transferring debts. Men especially took advantage of this so some believed that the Act became a focus on couples rather than women?s rights. ...read more.


It could be said that the MWPA was significant in acknowledging that a married woman had the right to own property, therefore acknowledging that she was still a separate person in her own right, more important than the vote. However my overall conclusion is that the MWPA was not significant in itself however encouraged women to campaign for more rights and equality in the 19th-20th century, eventually gaining the vote. Source 13 supports this strongly as it notes that the key change wasn?t the act itself but the beginning of the change in attitude towards women as the ?angel in the house? theory ?ceased to be an ideal image?. Although The 14 and 15 agree that the MWPAs were not very significant in the road to woman?s emancipation, it was a stepping stone that boosted the confidence of women, the very first success in parliament. This then led to more significant changes to laws in education for women, marriage and social issues such as CDAs. As well as this, the MWPAs were significant in changing attitudes towards women in the mid-19th century. These other successes were more obviously significant however could arguably be said to have been sparked by small minor initial successes such as the MWPAs, giving women a new confidence. Women were starting to become equals with men in the eyes of the law. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Charlemagne Essay.

    This shows good leadership, as most kings would not have had that much perseverance. The biggest defeat in Charles's reign was in 778 Roncesvalles. Charles was defeated by Bosque, this lead to a major Saxon revolt in 778. Charles leads an army there in 779 in Bocholt, response to the revolt, determined not to give up.

  2. Do you agree with the view that, by 1882 the concept of angel in ...

    After a long legal battle, it was decided that Mr Jackson had no right to lock up his wife and force her to live with him. These laws were changing women's attitudes toward how they thought they should be treated by men, they no longer were happy to stay at

  1. Nell Gwyn (Playhouse Cretaures) essay

    June 1668 found her in Dryden's An Evening's Love, or The Mock Astrologer, and in July she played in Lacy's The Old Troop. This was a farce about a company of Cavalier soldiers during the English Civil War, based on Lacy's own experiences.

  2. Using sources 13, 14, 15 and your own knowledge, do you agree with the ...

    that the acts in the 70s and beyond gave women the right to their earnings.

  1. The changing position of women and the suffrage question. Revision notes

    * Women?s groups (and their male supporters) were learning various different strategies that enabled them to exert effective pressure on Parliament. * Many liberal MPs supported the Married Women?s Property Acts, as they believed that women only wanted the vote in order to gain control over their own money and property.

  2. Victorian Women. Do you agree with the view that by 1882, the concept of ...

    ? silly women? that do not go by the angel of the house concept. They could be encouraging the concept by taking a shot at woman who were not living up to the standard. Source H I think contradicts both of the other sources.

  1. Do you agree with the view that the Married Womens Property Act were key ...

    However, doing this, only did the opposite as it left women thirsty for more change on a much larger scale, for example the passing of the ?Education Act? also meant that women could take part in local elections. The ?Education Act? was also putting a stop to the ?Separate Spheres?

  2. The changing position of women and the suffrage question

    And to what extent did education overturn the ideology of domesticity and ?separate spheres? philosophy. Key Legislation? 1870 Elementary Education Act More school places were provided ? state schools were built. The Mundella?s Act 1890 made school attendance compulsory between 5-10 and in 1891 education in elemantry school was made free.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work