• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


Q1. Why did a campaign for women's suffrage develop in the years after 1870? A campaign for women's suffrage developed in the years after 1870 because many women felt that their position in society needed to be improved and to achieve this the franchise was required. The position of women before 1870 was politically and socially weak. They were regarded as inferiors to men and were believed to be weaker mentally and physically. They had fewer civil rights than men, for example, once married all their property belonged to their husband. They also had fewer opportunities in education and careers and lower pay than men. Women knew that the only way to better their position in society was to better their position in politics. The first step was to get the vote; by doing this women would have the means of achieving change and would have influence in politics and society. This is one of the reasons why from the 1860s societies for women's suffrage were established in cities like Manchester and London. In 1866 a window of opportunity was opened for the campaigners, a Reform Bill changed the law to include a wider variety of people in the electorate. ...read more.


with women's rights such as the Girls Public Day School Trust in 1872 because they felt that this method would provide more benefits for women that just campaigning for the vote. In contrast the WSPU had a more focused approach; Mrs Pankhurst said that 'no member of the WSPU divides her attention between suffrage and other social reforms'. There were some similarities between the two groups. They both had a newspaper. The WSPU's was called 'Votes for Women'; the NUWSS's was called 'The Common Cause'. Both groups used fundraising, speeches and posters to put across their message. Also, they both had colours that represented them. Another similarity is that both societies had women from a variety of different social backgrounds involved in their campaigning. Within the suffragist movement their were radical suffragists such as the working-class Ada Nield Chew who worked with more upper class women like Eva Gore-Booth. Within the suffragette movement there was also women of a working class background, most famously Annie Kenney, and women of higher social status for example, the Pankhursts involved in the movement. Q3. Women over 30 gained the vote in 1918 mainly because of women's contribution to the war effort. ...read more.


Examples of militancy that gained the movement much needed press-coverage were the frequent hunger strikes and violent demonstrations of the WSPU. The militancy put a lot of pressure on the government because it showed that they could not control the women. This may have led to the government giving the vote to women over 30 because they felt that it was the only way to end the militancy. Another point is that without the campaign, including the NUWSS's contribution to it, the movement would not have been sufficiently organised to coordinate efficient wartime contributions. My final point is that it may not have been the women's contribution to the war that gained women the vote but simply the occurrence of the war in itself. After the war, the government wanted the country to have a new start and to be 'a place fit for heroes'. The government felt that it must show the people that the war, with its many fatalities, had been for a reason and that the reason was that it had created a fairer, more equal society without a class system. Due to the fact that at this time many people were thinking about the structure of society in a different way they also began to think about the inequality between men and women. This lead the government to feel that they must sanction votes for women in the ROPA (1918). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. How important were Haig's tactics in bringing an end to WW1?

    In addition, Haig's tactics and the Eastern Front wore down the Germans resources because they were being divided between the Eastern front because of its early establishment by the Russians and the Western Front because of Haig's tactics that wore down the Germans.

  2. The Matchgirls' Strike, 1888

    Every time the girls were late or if they had "dirty feet" they would have fines "deducted from this splendid wage". This was a deliberate decision made because the factory owners would know that the girls that worked there were too poor to buy shoes so inevitably they will have "dirty feet".

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

    They demanded the 'Right to Serve' in July 1915, 30000 Suffragette supporters took part in a march to demand this right. They wanted the 'Right to Serve' so that women could play a full part in the war effort. The feelings of Caroline Rennles in the following source, shows how much they wanted to work and serve their country.

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

    Although the militant campaign of the Suffragettes was often frowned upon (they would often use violence and aggression publicly), it did not, as some anti-women's suffrage believers would have hoped, slow or hinder the campaign in an obvious or short-term way.

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

    Women now wanted to be seen as equals to men, the main dividing line for this was the right to vote. The assumption that women wanted the vote just to be seen as equals to men is backed up by the fact that the protestors did not support the universal

  2. Source based Questions on 'Womens suffrage: the debate - 'What similarities and differences are ...

    The men in political power are anxious that if they give women equality (regardless of whether it is the morally right or wrong thing to do), this will also challenge other aspects of society. Giving women the right would undoubtedly provoke different races to also want the vote - not just white men.

  1. Why did a campaign for Women's suffrage develop in the years after 1870?

    The first is employment for the middle and upper classes in other words say a job in the medical profession. Again there were old fashioned ideas against this happening, the most common being women are inferior to men and women were meant to work at home and have children.

  2. Why did a campaign for Women's Suffrage develop in the years after 1870?

    This was known as the 'Cat and Mouse Act'. The Suffragettes were very violent, planting bombs, and even burning down houses and churches. They believed that the only way to receive the vote was to be more militant and get more attention.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work