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1. Why did the campaign for women's suffrage develop in the years after 1870? (15 marks)

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Introduction

1. Why did the campaign for women's suffrage develop in the years after 1870? (15 marks) The campaign developed at that time, as it was then the rights of women began to improve. Though women were still thought of as second-class citizens, during the 1870's the women's suffrage became a mass movement. Prior to 1870, there were laws that meant that women were unable to keep any of their earnings once they married. That also meant that all her possessions belonged to her husband as well. In 1870, the Married Women's Property Act meant that women were allowed to keep �200 of their earnings. Women such as Caroline Norton are what helped the campaign develop. After a court found that she was innocent of adultery, Caroline Norton's husband left her and took their children, taking with him her inheritance. Because of the laws at that time, she had no real control over whether she was permitted to see her children, even when one of her sons died. She fought this, even though British law was against her as she was technically the property of her husband. She battled this until in 1873 the law was changed so that all women could see their children if they were divorced from their husband. ...read more.

Middle

This meant that all members must only be focused on the work of the WSPU, that they cannot help any other suffrage. On 13th October 1905, at a Free Trade Hall, the WSPU made a conscious decision to separate themselves from the other women's rights campaigners. Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenny were arrested during their protests in the Liberal meeting. It was then that they realized that to be listened to by the public; they needed to get attention by bad behaviour. They were sentenced to prison, and the public were shocked at this so-called 'unwomanly behaviour.' So, whereas the suffragists thought that by being pacifist, they would make a difference, the suffragettes had the opposite opinion. To the suffragettes, they believed that the worse their behaviour, the more publicized they would be, and so the could make more of a difference. This soon meant that they were staging hunger strikes when in prison. This is the reason why the 'Cat and Mouse act' was rushed through in Parliament. This is when the prisoner would be released when starving, and once better would be imprisoned again. But this only lasted a couple of months as later the women were force-fed. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that during the war, the suffragettes stopped the violence, and instead helped the war effort meant that people would listen to their views. Whereas before they were automatically condemned for the violence used in campaigns, but as there was no militant activity there was no real reason to criticise them anymore. Though the fact that women were helping out so much in the war effort changes people's views on them, it was not the only factor that gave them the franchise. During the war, there was the Coalition Government and members of this were pro-women's suffrage. In 1917, the Prime Minister Sir Asquith - who was anti-women's suffrage - resigned. The new PM was Lloyd George, who was actually sympathetic to women receiving the vote. The fact that women had done so much during the war meant that passing the bill was easier that it was before the war. It would have been even unfair if women had done so much during the war, yet they had still not gotten the vote. But there were men that were less qualified and had the vote. This double standard was also a reason. So though the war effort played a part in them receiving the vote, it was not the only reason why women were able to vote once the war had ended. ...read more.

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