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History - question 1 -suffragettes

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Introduction

Why did a campaign for women's suffrage develop in the years after 1870? Through out history women have suffered under a mainly male dominated regime. Women, although often wealthy & intelligent, lay much at the bottom of society with little rights, yet it was the late 19th & early 20th century movements that saw the shift in power & the slow crawl to equal rights for women. Women suffered with little rights in the way of property, few employment opportunities & hardly any political rights. However between 1869 and 1928 new laws allowed women to have more personal & political freedom. Women gained property rights in August 1870, this meant that women now finally were entitled to a part in their property if they had a divorce. ...read more.

Middle

Many anti suffrage Politicians argued that women should not be given the freedom to vote or for other new laws to be passed as they did not have the same intelligence as men, however in 1874 the London school of medicine for women was founded & by 1880 women could study to the same level as men, this was a giant step forward for women. They now had degrees to prove there equal intelligence to men. On the domestic side of freedom women achieved much greater freedom after 1870 the married women's property act allowed women to hold their own income & property, as a result of this it was now much easier for women to work & to divorce as the 1882 act made it illegal for a husband to force a women to stay in his home against her will. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Act of 1878 made it legal for a woman who was separated from her husband to claim child maintenance. In 1882 it was made illegal for a husband to force his wife to stay in his home against her will, both indirectly gave women more power after 1870. Each law lessened men's power over their wives, and therefore therefore increased married women's independence. Introducing a law which states that a man cannot hold his wife in his house means that he does not have such ultimate power: she could come and go and she pleased (e.g. to meetings, suffrage marches, etc). As women were having to rely on their husbands less and less they had more rights according to the law, and according to their right for franchise. ...read more.

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