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

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Introduction

Question One Amina Begum 10S Explain why women failed to gain the vote between 1900 and 1914? In this essay I will explain why women failed to gain the vote between 1900 and 1914? There are several reasons why women failed to gain the vote during this period, a key one being attitudes towards women. By 1900 the Victorian belief still prevailed that women were the weaker sex and needed protection from the harsh political world. Women were seen as intellectually incapable to vote, too emotional and impulsive to make rational decisions. Men dealt with subjects such as war and peace and managing the Empire, factors that were outside women's knowledge and the domestic sphere. Francis Latham argued that "women are psychologically disqualified from the political arena"; here Latham is arguing that there are natural differences between men and women, and that women are innately the weaker sex. Indeed, many felt that as women did not do military service they should not vote. Also traditionally women were seen as mothers and home-makers; they were seen as guardians which protected the morality of the house also known as the "angel in the house". ...read more.

Middle

It could be argued that one of the major reasons why women failed to get the vote between 1900 and 1914 was because of the liberal government's reaction to the militant tactics of the suffragettes. The Suffragette's increasingly used violent and militant activities through 'direct action' including chaining themselves to railings and intentionally getting themselves arrested. The Suffragettes threw stones through the windows of 10 Downing Street, disrupted political meetings, put letter bombs through letterboxes and harassed ministers. This disgusted and appalled many people including liberal MPs who might have supported the cause before the violence. The suffragettes made the news headlines on the 18th of June 1913 when they burnt down Rowley Regis church. They caused the government at that time to believe women were not responsible or intelligent enough to be able to make political decisions, especially when they were breaking the law: "Haven't the suffragettes the sense to see that the very worst kind of campaigning for the vote is to try to intimate or blackmail a man into giving them what he would otherwise gladly give?" ...read more.

Conclusion

failed to gain the vote was because the liberals were afraid that women would vote for the opposing party, and women would out number the amount of men. The government thought that giving women the vote would only result in everyone voting for the Conservatives, as they appealed to the wealthy people and most of the female voters would be middle class. For this reason the Conservative leaders wanted to give women the vote, however giving women the vote was against the Conservative MP's principles about the roles of women. These reasons were all factors for women not gaining the vote. Most people and the politicians were preoccupied with the war as this was the most important issue therefore they did not have time to consider giving women the vote. Overall, although the suffragettes direct action was a key factor for women failing to gain the vote I feel the most important reason was the poor attitudes and inequality men put towards women during this period; the conservative party were adamant not to give women the vote even though it benefited them. They would not leave their principles because they thought women belong in the domestic sphere. ...read more.

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