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

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Explain why women failed to gain the right to vote between 1900 and 1914 Between 1900 and 1914, women had a tough time in trying to gain the right to vote in general elections. They tried many times to get the vote but they always failed due to many various reasons. One very important factor was that the women were divided on how they should protest. In the end, two groups were formed. One group who campaigned peacefully were called the Suffragists. The other, more violent group were the Suffragettes. The status of women in this era was not good so they had to boost it somehow. Women status in society was not very good at this time. But it had been on the increase since the nineteenth century. More job opportunity had emerged such as teachers, shop workers, clerks and secretaries in offices. They also gained more opportunities in education. Some middle-class women won the chance to go to university to gain degrees to become doctors or teachers. ...read more.


The first thing they did was heckle Sir Edward Grey's meeting. This was done on 13th of October 1905. They asked when votes for women would be allowed but the police tried to throw them out. But in the struggle that ensued, the women kicked and spat at the policemen and were therefore arrested. They were found guilty and fined five shillings for assault but they refused to pay the fine so they were sent to prison. This case shocked the British public but it caught their attention. Now they needed to keep this up so they wouldn't grow tired of the campaign again. In the summer of 1913, they attempted to burn down two MP's houses who objected to the vote and they also tried to burn down cricket pavilions, racecourse stands, pillar boxes and golf club houses. Doing this had damaged their reputation which was making it harder to fight their cause to get the vote. This was part of their arson campaign. ...read more.


The Unionists who supported a parliamentary union of Northern Ireland and Great Britain opposed the law and campaigned against it with the support of the Conservative Unionist Party. This was a bigger issue for the Conservatives and the Liberals as they were trying to get votes as two years earlier, there had been a hung parliament between them which meant the two parties had drawn for seats. The Liberals allied with the then newly formed IPP to gain more votes. Because of this situation, votes for women were ignored but the Liberals had begun to consider it to help them get into government. In conclusion, the women failed to gain the right to vote for many reasons. One was because of the divide between the women. Another was the other political problems going on in the government at the time and the suffragettes were much too violent. The most important was, in my opinion, the divide between the women because the suffragettes were even portrayed to ambush meetings which were helping their own cause. If the women had stayed as one group (the Suffragists), they may have gained the right to vote a lot earlier. Word Count: 1072 (not including title) ...read more.

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