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Why did the Campaign for Women's Rights Begin in the 1860's?

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Introduction

Why did the Campaign for Women's Rights Begin in the 1860's? It is ridiculous to suggest that the campaign for women's rights simply began in the 1860's without any real reason. The aim of this essay is to explain the factors that led to why the campaign started in the 1860's. The factors will be separated into those that had long-term and short-term effects. The first factor that will be examined is education. The reduced influence of the church, which had controlled education, led to an increase in the amount of women becoming educated. In the 1850's, the augmentation of educational opportunities to middle class women allowed them to form groups that became frustrated at the obstructions of the advancement of the educated women into political issues. Education was a key factor in the influence of women's right's campaigns as it is a long term factor that led to women forming groups of people that shared their views. ...read more.

Middle

Women were best suited to the private, domestic sphere, which meant they could give moral support to their husbands and raise their children. However, due to the increase in wealth that urbanisation had created, many women had more leisure time and time to become educated members of society. This led to many women no longer feeling the need to stick to their 'separate sphere,' rather they were to take on a more important role in the workings of the country. The social changes were a significant long-term factor, which influenced the women's right's campaign beginning in the 1860's. Within society they were some sympathetic members of parliament that supported women's suffrage. For example john Stuart Mill put forward the idea that women should be given the same right's as men. The amendment on the Parliament Reform Bill would have given women the vote. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although his bill failed, it gave a chance for women to put forward their demands for the right to vote, as Parliament had once again considered an extension to the franchise. The women thought that if the male householders could vote, then why not female householders. The extension of the voting franchise to working class males played a major role in the campaign of women's suffrage. After examining the factors that led to the women's rights movement, it seems that the campaign was begun in the 1860's for various reasons including: social change, urbanisation, education, improvements to communication, and the extension of the voting franchise to working middle class males. It seems that the most important factor was augmentation of educational opportunities to middle class women as it played key role in allowing women to form groups and learning how to campaign. If the women of the pre-1860's had not been educated they would not have had such an impact. ...read more.

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