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Why had women not gained the right to vote before 1914?

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Introduction

Gavin Ackroyd - Draft 1 Why had women not gained the right to vote before 1914? In 1914 women living In the UK did not have the right to vote. There were many reasons for this including, the way men thought of women, the fact some women weren't concerned, the violent way the suffragettes had been acting in an effort to get the vote. It was popular opinion amongst men that women were less intelligent and unable to hold the same position in society as them. It was accepted that women belonged to a Victorian social sphere, in which a women's place was in the home and she should look after her man. Women generally weren't highly educated and people very much disagreed with them breaking out of these social spheres. Arguments made against women's suffrage were made, in effect saying, - They could not defend their country if it was at war - It was a medical fact that women had smaller brains and could not keep to a decision - If women ...read more.

Middle

They wouldn't be given much say into anything regarding the family or home, decisions would be made by the man of the house. It was a very dull existence for a middle class woman. The working class woman would work and scrape the day away earning money to keep the family. The day would be spent cleaning, caring for the family and earning what money they could. A working class woman's life didn't involve the husband to such an extent as the other two. Again a women of the working class' life was somewhat mundane. Some women of course didn't concern themselves with the vote, typically those of minority class', the upper and lower. The fact that no politicians were female and the voting population also male made it very hard for such a movement to succeed. There was however support for the movement at this time. Some men felt women deserved the vote as did the majority of women. ...read more.

Conclusion

Had the suffragettes have resorted to other, non-violent means hindsight has me know the government would have done more sooner. Although this is just a statement made and could be false. The very fact that the government acted toward woman's suffrage after the war and partly in an effort to prevent further suffragette violence tells me it had some positive effect. I conclude that all three of the aforementioned factors contributed to the fact women hadn't the right to vote in 1914. I do also think that aswell as having negative effects, displays of suffragette violence were beneficial. Using hindsight I can say that it definitely was beneficial later on. I doubt that success would have come sooner to the suffragettes even if their means were more peaceful. I think the effect of a more peaceful campaign would then be the government taking them less seriously and not feeling as pressured to make changes. On the other hand the government had apparently been planning to make changes but were put off by the militant suffragette approach, I personally am sceptical of this. ...read more.

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