The struggle for the vote for women

  • Created by: LAB99
  • Created on: 17-04-15 18:11

The social, political and legal position of women

  • 'angel of the house'- cooked, cleaned etc
  • no vote, 'no legal identity'
  • lost most rights and all property once married
  • lower wages in jobs
  • newer jobs meant more work for women (post office)
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The arguments against female suffrage

  • encourage women to work
  • would mean giving all men the vote
  • women do not fight so should not decide on wars
  • too emotional and delicate
  • too pure for the 'grubby' world of politics
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The arguments for female suffrage

  • paliament decisions affect women too
  • women pay taxes
  • are allowed to vote in some local elections
  • single mothers have the same responsabilities as men
  • uneducated men can vote
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Effectiveness of the Suffragettes

  • National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS)
  • Founded in 1897 by Millicent Fawcett
  • More diplomatic
  • Used persuation, meetings and petitions in parliament
  • Involved some politicians (men)
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Effectiveness of the Suffragists

  • Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU)
  • Founded in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst, who previously founded the WFL (women's vote in local elections)
  • Wanteds results quickley- used violence and got arrested, especially after 1912. Chained themselves to railings, physically abused polliticians, smashed windows/paintings
  • PM Asquith was against women having the vote
  • Emily Davison was killed on Derby Day (Epsom) June 1913- killed by the king's horse whilst trying to put the Suffragette flag on the horse
  • Violence put of support but raised awareness
  • many suffragettes went on hunger strike in prison- force fed
  • 'Cat and Mouse Act'- governement let out Suffragettes to recover from hunger strike then rearrested them
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Why some women were given the vote in 1918

  • During WW1, women did men's jobs when they were fighting (bus conductors, factory workers,farmers, nurses etc which helped the war effort)
  • The voting system had to change anyway. Currently only men who had lived at the same address for a year could vote. Had to change for soldiers
  • Attitudes to women had changed, they were grateful for their contribution to the war effort
  • Suffragettes had stopped campaiging over the war- no one wanted them to start again
  • Representation of the people's act became law in 1918- women over 30 could vote if they were a householder or married to one and all men over 21
  • Women could become MPs (Nancy Astor, 1919)
  • All women over 21 could vote in 1928- equal voting rights
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