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Why did women's suffrage develop in the years following 1870?

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Why did women's suffrage develop in the years following 1870? A campaign for women's suffrage developed in the years following 1870 due to many social, economical and political factors but things had already started changing for women pre 1870 that gave them the incentive to fight for more. During the 19th century, women were seen as possessions of their husbands and they had nearly no rights at all. A man was allowed to desert his wife on grounds of adultery however the deserted wife still had to give all her earnings to her husband. But in 1853 that all changed when an act came into place that meant a deserted wife was allowed to keep her earnings, and things seemed to be looking up for women. ...read more.


After years of being inferior to men, British women saw the progression in other British colonies and questioned why they could not have that could not be the same in the mother country. The government acknowledged this in 1888; The Local Government Act gave women householders the right to vote in local elections, and the right to sit as councillors was given in 1907. Socially women were significantly lower than men. But in 1871 that all changed when the first women were admitted to Cambridge University, bringing a new found freedom to women; however they were not allowed the same degrees as men, once again showing that even thought women were gaining status, they were still not equal to men. ...read more.


But in 1853 women were given the right to keep the money they earned and in 1886 a deserted wife could force her husband to maintain her. For the first time women could live without their husbands support if they wished. Furthermore, in 1870 the Married Women's Property Act allowed married women to keep �200 of their earnings, meaning that married couples were no longer being treated as one, and the wife could have the same property rights as an unmarried woman. These factors show that women were gaining independence, but they still did not receive the one thing they really wanted which was suffrage. Overall women believed they deserved the vote to improve their lives, politically, socially and economically and to have parity with men. ?? ?? ?? ?? Laura Pidgley 11DK ...read more.

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