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Why Had the Social, Economic and Political Position of Women in Britain Changed between 1900 and 1929 and what were the consequences of These Changes on Women's Lives.

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Introduction

Why Had the Social, Economic and Political Position of Women in Britain Changed between 1900 and 1929 and what were the consequences of These Changes on Women's Lives Between 1900 and 1929 there were many changes to the rights and laws regarding women. For a long time women were treated as the property of their fathers and husbands because men were seen as the superior race, but women didn't like this and some started to demand change. There were many social and economical changes for women during this time. There were changes at the factories where women worked because the conditions were atrocious. Also women became able to get jobs that were usually only available to men. They gained the right to vote as well as some new marriage laws giving them more rights when they got married, instead of being completely the property of their husbands. All these things changed in this short period, but why was this? And what were the consequences of these changes? It was believed, in the early nineteen hundreds, that the role of a woman was to just comfort her husband and look after the family. She had no other responsibilities. When a woman got married all of her possessions, and she herself, became the property of her husband. ...read more.

Middle

Women had very few rights during this time. They had to hand over any of their possessions to their husbands as soon as they got them, even through inheritance. Any children would be rightfully his and she could not do anything with them without his permission. If she left she could not take anything with her, and her husband could still compel her to return, either by law or by force. Any money she earned was instantly his and he had the right to beat her for it. He could hit her for no reason at all if he wanted to. That's how little rights women had during this time. There were some improvements during the nineteenth century of women's legal status. In 1857 divorce through a court of law was made possible. In 1858 deserted wives were allowed to keep the money they earned. In 1870 married women were given the right to own property. Later on mothers gained the rights of guardianship over their children, and the husband lost the right to force his wife to live with him. For some women in the nineteenth century new jobs and opportunities began to appear. There were more jobs in teaching because education became compulsory in 1870. However the job of the inspectors, who visited a school to check up on what it was doing, remained only a man's job. ...read more.

Conclusion

Rather than just asking for equality, like the NUWSS, National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies were, they were demanding it. They did things like hunger strikes, vandalism and even arson. They chained themselves up, but not just anywhere, they cleverly chained themselves to big important buildings where they couldn't be ignored. One example of a Suffragette act is Source D a section from a newspaper. It says "Suffragists marched on the House of Commons yesterday and they caused even more violent scenes than before." The women were not afraid of being arrested; in fact, they were disappointed if they didn't get arrested. They knew that if they just carried on, it would get to a point where they could no longer be ignored. The Suffragettes were very important in getting equal rights for women because, with their outrageous acts of terrorism they raised people's awareness of the situation. People were now hearing what they had to say, because they had no choice. They could now see the women's side of things, how unfair the system was, and how badly the women wanted it changed. It was clear that many women were willing to die for this cause. When they were in prison they refused to eat so they were painfully force fed, gaining them more sympathy. All of this attention, and the constant newspaper articles put the whole situation of equality on everybody's minds, making them think about it. ...read more.

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