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Explain why women failed to gain the right to vote between 1900 and 1914.

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Introduction

The Changing Role and Status of Women in Britain Since 1900 Explain why women failed to gain the right to vote between 1900 and 1914. Women failed to gain the right to vote during the early 20th century for many reasons, despite their efforts in protest and campaign. Demanding the women's right to vote would be defying the centuries of tradition as they were established in society only as housekeepers, carers and bearers of children. Their rights were severely limited- only after 1892/3 Married Women Property Act could a married woman keep her properties and earnings and not pass them over to their husbands. Therefore for allowing women to have suffrage would have been a revolutionary and controversial ideal. ...read more.

Middle

To achieve suffrage was a huge challenge, especially against a completely male government and parliament. No political party could afford to support the women's campaign for vote. Conservatives were against the idea and the Liberals were afraid that they would lose their own support if they did back women's suffrage. They were also concerned about how the women would vote if they were given the right to, as they would likely vote for labour. The Labour party even though they did support women, however lacked enough power and were still unhappy that a third of the men, mostly lower and working class did not have the vote. This was another problem for the suffragists and the suffragettes because many thought that the third of the men should have the right to vote before considering women's suffrage. ...read more.

Conclusion

These types of behaviour from women were unheard of before, and shocked the nation, as their means of protest became more and more drastic. This period between 1911 and 1914 was known as the Reign of Terror, led by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Cristabel and Sylvia, in which women carried out acts such as arson, arrested and put to prison to stand before trial. They continued their strike in prison too. Such drastic events shocked the nation even further. However this was to no avail- the government could not give in to them as it would encourage other extremist organisations to emulate their actions. Some matters were trivial such as Lloyd Geroge bing attacked by women then stripped on golf courses, which was a statement against the male-dominated political system as golf was a strict masculine sport. ...read more.

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