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Why did a campaign for women's suffrage develop in the years after 1870?

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004 Word count: 452 Sources: Source B from the Stimulus Material Source A from the Stimulus Material Why did a campaign for women's suffrage develop in the years after 1870? (15) Women wanted the right to vote because they believed it was the only thing that would enable them to affect the policy making of issues that concerned their welfare. They wanted to change several aspects of their lives. First was their social status. For centuries the woman's place was at home as a homemaker and to nurture her children. A source from a book written in 1907 called 'Woman or Suffragette' by Marie Corelli; " 'Votes for Women' is the shrill cry of a number of discontented ladies. But the truth is that Women are and are destined to make voters rather than to be voters themselves. It cannot be denied that women suffer great injustices at the hands of men. But this is the result of the way in which mothers reader and still continue to rear them." The feminists felt that education was the key to changing their lives. Women received very basic education, which mainly taught them how to be future homemakers and mothers. ...read more.


Led by Emmeline Pankhurst, they were a group of women who were frustrated with the slowness of the campaign. Their slogan was "Deeds not Words"; they engaged in direct action, the purpose was to gain people's attention. Their outrageous behavior probably caused women to be denied the vote before 1918. Their behavior was considered to be outrageous at the time because a woman was supposed to be charming and polite- the perfect lady. In 1905 Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney shouted out "Votes for Women" during a speech by a government minister in the Manchester Free Trade Hall, they were arrested and imprisoned. In 1908 two women chained themselves to the railings outside the Prime Ministers house at 10 Downing Street. In 1910 when the MP's rejected the bill to give women votes, the protests turned violent. A stone was thrown through the Prime Ministers window. Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters believed that the campaign should be militant. Emily Davidson's attempt to pin a banner on the Kings horse at the Derby showed she was prepared to die for the cause. During the war they stopped campaigning and began being patriotic and also began urging other women to participate in the war effort. ...read more.


His party was a little more sympathetic towards women's suffrage than the Liberals. Elections were due in 1918. The existing law required men who were qualified householders to have lived in it for at least a year before the elections. Most of the householders were Army men, and had not resided in the country for a year. Hence we see that in order for the elections to go on, the law needed reform. This is another reason why women got the right to vote in 1918. Britain was heading to 'Full Democracy' like New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Denmark, and Norway, along with four American states and Canada excluding Quebec; who had granted women the franchise. Britain also had to save her image as 'The Mother of Democracy'. It was also the 48 years of campaigning, that didn't go un-noticed that gave women the vote. The pre-war campaigning prepared the ground for votes for women. Millicent Fawcett once said, "Women got the vote as a result of 50 years of campaigning. War was just the last piece of the jigsaw to fit into place." A very important thing that must be remembered is that it was women over 30 who gained the right. These women may not have contributed as much as the younger women in the war effort. They were also more likely to vote the same way as their husbands. ...read more.

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