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

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Introduction

Why did the campaign for women's suffrage Develop in the years after 1870's? In the Victorian era it was generally accepted that a woman's place was in the home, women were supposed to be protected by men from the real world. A woman was constantly being 'protected' by a man from the moment that they were born, up until the age of marriage the young women would be looked after by their father and once they were married they had their husbands to protect them. Women, when married, had no rights to what they earned. However, what they did earn was almost insignificant due to its unfairness. On average, women earned half to two-thirds less than men for doing exactly the same jobs. This was the same throughout all areas of employment. As well as this, women were not allowed to become doctors, lawyers, have apprenticeships or gain technical knowledge of any job. Many disagreed with this inferiority that they had compared to men, the majority of women who found it hard to accept this state of forced subordination were often respectable middle class women. ...read more.

Middle

This would give the women a lot more power than before; they would be able to argue for certain rights and their member of parliament would have to campaign for them. Throughout the 19th Century there were many attempts for women's suffrage, however, the women's suffrage campaign developed distinctively in the years after 1870. The development of the suffrage campaign in the 1870's was because of these factors. By this time the first women who had been allowed to go to university in 1848 had been educated and had a fuller understanding of politics. This meant that they were able to apply that knowledge to the cause and begin to lead others in a way that would make a difference. These were all middle class women who were only after the right to vote and be seen as equal to men not to look out for the workingwomen who needed to be helped in order to have a decent life. These working women could not help themselves because between working and looking after the family they had no time or energy, whereas middle class women had a lot of time to do as they pleased and they had their husband's support. ...read more.

Conclusion

This gave women a better political understanding and this newfound freedom spurred them on to campaign for the right to vote. They wanted the right to vote because they wish to be seen as equals to men but the right to vote was the most distinctable division. Many women wanted the vote so that they could get things done with it. With the power of the vote they could force their representatives to listen to them and to acknowledge their wishes. The reason that the campaign for women's suffrage increased in the years after 1870 was because of the attitudes held by women to how much they had achieved by that time. The right to vote in local elections and the Married Woman's Act were two major accomplishments for women in their attempt to be equal to men. They realised how much they had achieved and saw what they could get done, this spurred them on to push harder. Other women believed that they had not accomplished enough by 1870, they were infuriated by the fact that in the 1867 Reform Act 1 million more men were given the vote but the women's franchise was overlooked. This also spurred them on as they felt that they had to in order to be noticed and for their views to be accounted for. ...read more.

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