Why did a campaign for women's suffrage develop in the years after 1870?

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Question 1. Why did a campaign for women’s suffrage develop in the years after 1870?

There were many reasons why campaign for Women’s Suffrage developed in the years after 1870. Following the set up of the Society for the Promotion of Women’s Suffrage in 1867 women started to believe that they could succeed and gain equal rights. During the nineteenth century, men from the working classes had successfully campaigned for the right to vote, and women were now beginning to seek the same rights.         Women made up half the population, and although many worked and paid taxes, and some owned property, just as the men did, they did not have equal rights. Women were discriminated against and had little power in all sorts of ways, from marriage to industry. In the nineteenth century women were expected to marry and have children, and once married they had to stay dependant on a man and if a women work after marriage, her earnings would belong to her husband. Also, women had little choice and respect in careers and professions. It was virtually impossible for women to become doctors, engineers, architects, accountants or bankers. One profession open to women was teaching, a low status and low paid job in the 19th century. Another problem area for women was schooling. There were many educational restrictions for girls as there were few schools that provided good academic educational opportunities for girls. Women were also barred from universities, which led to them gaining low paid jobs.

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The year 1870 was an important date at the start of the campaign for women when the Women’s Property Act and Forster’s Education Act were passed. The Women’s Property Act gave women rights to keep their own property and wages, which had gone to their husbands before. The Education Act let women vote or stand in school board elections if they had paid the school rates. Also some colleges were letting women students in for the first time. These were all victories for women, who thought that they would then be able to gain equal rights in other areas, including ...

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