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To what extent did the activities of the women’s suffrage movements influence the decision to grant the vote to women in 1918?

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Introduction

Craig Bryson Ink Exercise - Women's Rights To what extent did the activities of the women's suffrage movements influence the decision to grant the vote to women in 1918? It was written in a book that " women are three fifths of a man", this quote comes from the bible, the book a whole religion is based upon. But are women equal to men? In the mid 18th century equality of men and women was unheard of, the position of women was extremely different of that today. Women of the time were second-class citizens. However the struggle for women's rights has an extensive history. Mary Wollstonecraft wrote the first published work on the topic in 1792. In her book entitled, 'Vindication of the rights of women', she noticeably challenged a society dominated by men, she argued that if a woman were capable of 'the gift of reason', they ought to be treated in the same way as men. Such extreme thoughts did little to progress the status of women at the time. However this book set the way for 'The Feminist Movements' who crusaded for an expansion in their rights in society and the law. ...read more.

Middle

They reply was to launch a campaign of leaflets, petitions and meetings besieging Liberal politicians to attempting to convince them to alter their point of view on the matter of women's suffrage. Afterward in the same year, the NUWSS assumed a new and more hostile attitude by threatening to create independent candidates to compete against Liberal politicians who were in opposition to giving women the vote The idea of women's suffrage had become increasingly popular among women, as in 1909 its membership was 13,000 and had a proficient association on a national scale. The suffragist did influence the award of the vote for women as they used non-militant methods, which did not create any moral outrage. Having said that they did not receive as much publicity as the Suffragists and the press ridiculed them. Also not every woman believed giving the vote to women. Queen Victoria wrote that, "The Queen is most anxious to enlist everyone who can speak or write, to join in checking this mad wicked folly for 'Women's Rights' with all its attendant horrors on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feeling and propriety. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many political meetings were often disrupted, properties set on fire, acid was poured in letterboxes, golf courses and flower beds wrecked. Despite these militant ways the WSPU had factions all across the country by 1909. Their newspaper 'Votes for women' sold around 20,000 copies per week. However, the suffragettes weren't quite so popular with national paper. In 1908, the leader writer in the Daily Express advised that, "The time for dealing gently with idle mischievous women who call themselves militant suffragists has gone by", he ordered that, " these women who unite to disorder and riot, shall be punished with the utmost severity". The view reflected that of the public. However their opinions about the suffragettes changed and they did begin to sympathies. The illegal actions of the suffragettes led to them being incarcerated. Some went on hunger strike and were forcibly fed. This force feeding attracted such bad publicity that the Liberal Government passed the "Cat and Mouse Act' which permitted provisional release and arbitrary rearrest. Nevertheless, the militant ways of the suffragettes took the next step. In 1913 during the Derby horse race, Emily Wilding Davidson darted onto the course as she tried to grab the bridle of the king's horse, Anmer. The frightened animal fell, injuring her fatally. ...read more.

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