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Why did women fail to gain the right to vote between 1900 and 1914?

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Introduction

Sadie O'Connor-Sage Coursework Question 1 Why did women fail to gain the right to vote between 1900 and 1914? In the 19th century, the voting system was classed as un-equal. In some parts of the world men could vote for who they wanted to govern them, whereas in other parts, only small groups of men could depending on their wealth and eminence. The status of women in England at this time was simple; they stayed at home, cleaned, cooked, cared for their children and took care of their husbands. Women were not allowed to vote or have any say in the way their country was run, or whom it was run by. Many women resented this way of life. They too paid taxes, owned properties and land just as the men did, but they didn't get the same treatment or the same amount of privileges as the men recieved. They believed that women who paid such taxes should have some say in how it was spent. Women who owned property wanted the same rights as a man who had property, e.g the right to vote. They also believed that they were just as capable at running parliment, or fighting for their country as males were. ...read more.

Middle

The second group were not as subtle as the Suffragists with their campaigning. The Suffragettes caused quite a stir in England at this time, many believe it was the Suffragettes that lost their right to vote between 1900 and 1914.The reasons for this are suggested here. The Suffragettes were known for their more "violent" yet distinctive methods of persuasion. Their actions were regarded as Extreme and were said to make them look "insane" and "immature". The Suffragettes didn't believe that being passive and compromising with the Government would get them anywhere, they thought they had to prove themselves to people, they chose to cross the boundaries of how women were thought to behave and to take direct action in proving their point. They chose many ways of doing this; the most famous of these was the suicide of Emily Davidson who threw herself under one of the King's horses at the Derby. Although seen as an extreme plight of heroism by many of the other women it was portrayed to officials as a totally irrational stunt and yet another case of "extreme insantiy", many newspapers condemned this behaviour and described the suffragettes as "deranged lunatics" as a result of this. ...read more.

Conclusion

The majority of men also, were either extremely hostile towards women's suffrage or were simply uninterested in the cause. The most important reason for the loss in the fight to gain the vote for women was the two groups' lack of unity in women's suffrage. The fact that the two groups did not work together to achieve their goals, played and enormous part in their downfall. The suffragists focused on peaceful protest, petitions and pamphlets etc. While the Suffragettes took outrageous, militant action setting fire to railway carriages and bombarding people with their violent protests. I think that if both groups had come together and helped eachother, if they had combined both types of protest and campaign they might have been taken a little more seriously and might have been listened to. What they wanted was to be payed some attention and be allowed to express their views and opinions without being told they were stupid or unworthy of being able to change something they strongly believed in. I think their will power and determination to do this tells us a lot about how much they wanted things to change, they didn't want to be "house wives" any longer, all that they wanted was to gain more respect women were not worthless and they wanted to prove it. I think they did this. Sadie O'Connor-Sage ...read more.

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