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

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Kirsty O'Hara 11DPN Suffragettes Coursework History 2002-2003 Why did women fail to gain the vote between 1900-1914? In the early 19th century very few men had never considered the fact that women were not equal at all. They had limited restrictions to what they could do; women seemed to have the same rights of children, criminals and lunatics. If a woman was to marry, her husband owned her property as well as his own. If they were to have children, by law the husband had more rights over his children than the mother she had no legal rights over them. If the wife or husband were to want a divorce it would be very difficult to do so as the husband would own all of the women's processions not only would she lose her processions she would lose her children as well. Middle class women were looked at very differently to working class women. They were thought as to delicate or empty headed to work. The husband would insist that the wife should not have to clean the house as they were too wealthy, they would hire servants. The men believed the women should be the angels of the house. Although there had been improvements they still had a long way to go before they had the right to vote. ...read more.


Very strong arguments came up about the fact that women DID NOT have the right to vote and nor should they ever. A handbill that was published by the NUWSS, this handbill held a very strong argument! "Let the women help, two heads are better than one!" The men thought that because the women did not go to war or did not fight for their country then they did not have the authority to ask for the vote, they believed that "The voter in giving a vote, pledges him-self to uphold the consequences of his vote at all costs and that women are physically incapable of making this pledge." Queen Victoria also had a very strong opinion of the matter she said, "With the vote women would become the most bate-full, heartless and disgusting of human beings. Where would be the protection which man was intended to give the weaker sex?" So it wasn't all the women that thought they should have the right to vote because there were many women out there against it. Another famous person who was against women getting the vote was Florence Nightingale she believed that there were more important issues to worry about. When John Stuart Mill suggested that there was suffrage he was faced with a range of hard beat arguments against the measure. ...read more.


The Pankhursts and Flora Drummond were sent to prison for inciting a crowd to rush the House of Commons. When they were sent to prison they decided to go on a hunger strike of part of their protest, this was a good way to get the sympathy vote due to the fact that the prison wardens came up with the idea to force feed the prisoners. They would put a tube down their throats and fill it with liquid. This was very degrading but they gained the sympathy vote. However, in 1913 the government out smarted them by enforcing a new act called the cat and mouse. If the prisoner went on a hunger strike they would simply let them out of prison to recover from he hunger strike and when they were well again they would bring them back to finish there sentence. There is little disbelieving that the suffragettes' increasing violence disturbed support for the women's cause. By 1913 many suffragettes were in prison, and the Pankhursts were working on there campaign from Paris. The suffragettes had certainly raised the profile of the issues but they had also damaged their own cause. They had set out to gain the vote but all they did was lose the trust and goodwill of many of the supporters' Mps and liberals. The people that mattered turned their backs the suffragettes were denied the right to vote yet again in 1914. ...read more.

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