• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why women were not successful in gaining the right to vote between 1900 and 1914

Extracts from this document...


In the following essay I intend to explain why women were not successful in gaining the right to vote between 1900 and 1914, the campaigning that took place by the women, and also why these campaigns were unsuccessful in achieving the women's right to vote. In the 1800's women did not have equal rights as men. In particular they did not have the right to vote. Many men (and women) felt that it was not ladylike for women to vote, work, or receive an education. Politicians argued that women were not capable of putting forward rational ideas on political matters. Women were considered to have separate spheres to men, and that a woman's role was in local affairs, women were also believed to be represented by their husbands, and many women also agreed with this. However, the demand for women's right to vote began seriously in the United States in the 1840's, a number of women, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), and Sojourner Truth (1797-1883), campaigned for the same voting rights against men. ...read more.


Such activities attracted a lot of publicity for the women's suffrage movement. Just when it looked like the Suffragettes were gaining the sympathy of people by going on hunger strike in prison, the government passed the 'Cat and Mouse' Act which released them until they recovered, but were later brought back to prison to complete their sentence. A classic tactic for the suffragettes was the non-violent protest that involved chaining themselves to railings and forcing the police to arrest them and the courts to punish them (see image below). This resulted in publicity for the cause and it made out that the state was oppressing women in a very direct way. This was a bit of a pantomime. The police did not want to oppress them, or arrest them, but were forced into the confrontation. In 1912, the Suffragettes applied new militant tactics as hundreds of women took to the streets of London. They attacked shops on Oxford Street and The Strand smashing windows and even threw stones at 10 Downing Street. ...read more.


However, when the bill was passed, it only extended male voting rights. In spite of the tireless campaigning by the Suffragists, progress was slow. As a result, some British Suffragists turned to direct action. Although, many supported the idea of women gaining the vote, there were some people who strongly believed that the cause of women's suffrage was wrong. In 1908, a novelist and social worker, Mrs. Humphrey Ward started the Women's Anti-Suffrage League. She as many others believed that a woman's righteous place was in the home, and any spare energy and time should be spent helping those less fortunate than herself and not fighting for her right's. In conclusion, I think that in 1914 the women of Britain hadn't had the chance to really prove themselves as they did in the First World War when they greatly helped the war effort. I believe that the suffragette movement had a great effect on bringing about changes in voting laws, and also raised the profile of the issue of women's votes to that of national consideration. However, I also believe that women's efforts during the war also revealed their capabilities, which were previously unknown. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

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

    The lack of confidence in Asquith because of certain faults that revealed themselves during the war times perhaps helped to kill the Liberal Party and therefore, there is evidence that supports the statement that the First World War killed the Liberals.

  2. To what extent did the campaigns for women's suffrage lead to the women gaining ...

    and in the first two years of the war TNT poisoning had produced over 100 deaths. There was however some opposition to women's work, employers feared that women wouldn't do the work properly, the trade unions also feared that the untrained and unskilled women would work for lower wages than men, this would force men out of work.

  1. Year 10 Essay: How successful was the League of Nations between 1919 and 1929?

    had some major failures such as the Vilna incident in 1920 between Poland and Lithuania.

  2. How important were Haig's tactics in bringing an end to WW1?

    The effects of mustard gas did not show until a few hours after the gas attack. Then the victim's body began to rot, their skin blistered and their eyes bulged out. The lining of the lungs was stripped raw. The pain was so great that many victims were strapped to their bed.

  1. The struggle for the emancipation of women.

    In 1918 women got their own royal navy (WRENS) and then a women's royal air force was created the W.R.A.F. (women's royal air force) But except from military services women still did other jobs like sewing, coal mining, factory work etc all the less glamorous jobs. Through the whole war I think women showed their patriotism and courage by

  2. The changing role and status of women in Britain since 1900

    Maybe it was the death of Emily Davison, along with the work of the Suffragettes which made the government decide to give women the vote.

  1. Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote. The women's suffrage movement was ...

    During the war women had been doing men's jobs and had proven themselves. They had helped their country in a time of need and deserved the vote. Another thing which helped the case for women was the new Prime Minister, Lloyd George.

  2. Who were more effective in gaining women rights, suffragists? Or suffragettes?

    They peacefully protested in the streets for the notion that they were to get the rights. However, the way suffragists campaigned meant the government found it easier and easier to ignore them and just stick with their previous assumption that women are second class citizens and are not capable of self-governing themselves.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work