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Suffragettes: Women's Failure in Receiving the Vote

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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? At the beginning of the twentieth century British women were seen as second-class citizens. This started to change in 1900, as women desired the right to vote and they were prepared to do anything it required to obtain it. Their goal was prolonged because of the many hurdles along the way and they didn't get the vote for many years. Many of the hurdles they faced were cultural. It was believed that women couldn't have their own views; they would only do as their husbands told them. Most people thought that women couldn't make political decisions as they weren't intelligent enough and they shouldn't because politics was 'a man's game'. ...read more.


The Suffragists were a peaceful group who believed that protests should be carried out without violence. They thought that the vote would come in due time, after all New Zealand had already given the vote to women who had used their techniques. The second group, the Women's Freedom League accepted breaking the law as long as protests didn't become violent. A protest they organised was refusing to participate in a census. The final group, the Suffragettes, believed in law breaking and violent protests. An infamous protest they organised was when all members produced bricks and hammers from their handbags and broke windows in Oxford Street. It is often said that the Suffragettes were a main obstacle in getting the vote as the government refused to be perceived as succumbing to violence. ...read more.


The House of Lords could block any laws that it did not want, this needed to be changed before women's vote bill was put through as the conservative majority would veto it. In the 1911 Parliament Act the House of Lord's blocking power was stopped and they were permitted to delay laws by a maximum of two years. The House of Lords still managed to use the new law to their advantage and managed to delay the votes for women bill from 1912 to 1914. In conclusion, there were many factors preventing women from getting the vote whether political or cultural. The most influential factors were the political as they prolonged the struggle for the vote for many years. But even though the political reasons were the most important, no individual factor could have caused women to abstain from receiving the vote without the others. ...read more.

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