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Elizabethen Source Investigation

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Introduction

Year 8 Source Investigation 'Between 1800 and 1900 the lives of women in Britain and attitudes towards women changed dramatically.' Source 'A,' shows women's situation concerning law and political rights. As this is the beginning of the 1800s, it is accurate to say, that the laws would be correct, regarding of the time. Out of the six laws, included was, 'women could not vote.' This shows men believed that women were not capable of making their own decisions. Because of this, it is safe to say, that usually the leader voted in would be opposed to women's rights. Unless action was taking into place immediately, it is likely that there would be any change in the situation. Another of the laws was that, 'women could not work in politics.' This meant that men thought that women were not suited to leading the country. Their view many differ from the habitual view of a man; usually making sure that women would have a certain amount of rights. An additional law was that, 'women could not take a degree.' This suggests that men believed that women were not as intelligent as they were. This also means that it is unlikely for the woman to have a good job, for they could not get anywhere in work, as they had no educational degree. This shows how superior the men were to women. 'Wives could not own property,' is also a rule concerning women's law and political rights. This law means that, if divorced, they would not have a house to live in. ...read more.

Middle

When women had to look after their children, it was impossible for women to go out to work. They took up small jobs, for example: 'sewing clothes,' or, 'making matchboxes.' They were paid little money, producing the idea of children being born meant a dreary and unfortunate time. The cartoon shows a contrast between rich and poor. In the first picture, you see women working tirelessly and under pressure in order to make dolls for the so-called, doll breakers. The doll breakers show children playing with many expensive toys, giving the impression of too important for the dolls made by the doll makers. This source was written in 1878, and shows that the late 1800's was still quite bad. Women were paid little, when off looking after a baby whereas still being paid less then men. Conversely, however, women were being given their own earnings, and working less than 10 hours a day. This suggests a sudden change between the early 1800s to the late 1800s. Source B is Agricultural work within the 1800's, the work was manly gathering harvest and bending low over the fields. 'The work was often hard, but farm workers generally enjoyed more freedom than factory workers.' This suggests a good time working in the agricultural area, as allows freedom and enjoyment. We cannot tell whether this source is trust worthy or not, for we have no information on who wrote it or at what time. Source, 'C, shows women and domestic service during 1800s and 1890s. ...read more.

Conclusion

From what I have gathered, in the early 1800s the laws put in place were very anti-women rules: 'women could not vote,' and, 'women were not legal guardians of their children,' were just two rules, trying to fight against women. This proves to me, that in the early 1800s there was no dramatic change. From around 1840, things started to change; laws became fairer whilst women's ambitions were becoming increasingly higher. In fact, in 1877, 'Sophie Jex Blake became the first woman doctor,' while in 1871, women were first admitted to Cambridge University. From the source, it is accurate to say that, a dramatic change did occur. In the section, women in the work place, there were no dates corresponding with us not knowing whether events occurred in late/early 1800s. In source C, we find out two different cases in the late 1800s. One says they were treated correctly by their master whilst the other said they were not. From this, I do feel that the master of the servant was rebelling against the new laws and that depending on whom you were and what you were like was a big factor on if you were treated correctly. This is seen again, in attitudes to women. You do have three cases in which men treated women as their inferior. The other three cases, however, shows how women should always be equal, proving both men and women believed that the situation is inadequate for women. In conclusion, I think there was a dramatic change in attitude and lives towards women. Of course, there would always be men, trying to fight against the system, but luckily for women, now had great influences and many golden opportunities. ...read more.

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