The Campaign for Women’s Suffrage

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The Campaign for Women’s Suffrage The campaign developed at that time, as it was then the rights of women began to improve. Though women were still thought of as second-class citizens, during the 1870’s the women’s suffrage became a mass movement. Prior to 1870, there were laws that meant that women were unable to keep any of their earnings once they married. That also meant that all her possessions belonged to her husband as well. In 1870, the Married Women’s Property Act meant that women were allowed to keep £200 of their earnings. Women such as Caroline Norton are what helped the campaign develop. After a court found that she was innocent of adultery, Caroline Norton’s husband left her and took their children, taking with him her inheritance. Because of the laws at that time, she had no real control over whether she was permitted to see her children, even when one of her sons died. She fought this, even though British law was against her as she was technically the property of her husband. She battled this until in 1873 the law was changed so that all women could see their children if they were divorced from their husband. It was because laws such as this were changed that others began to believe that it was possible to gain the women’s suffrage. Legal steps were then being taken to better the position of women, legal inequalities that faced women were beginning to then balance out. Another cause to why the women’s suffrage developed was because of economical reasons. In the late 1800’s, women were paid half, and sometimes less than half, what men were in the same jobs. For example, in the 1880s in domestic service,... ... middle of paper ... ... people’s views on them, it was not the only factor that gave them the franchise. During the war, there was the Coalition Government and members of this were pro-women’s suffrage. In 1917, the Prime Minister Sir Asquith – who was anti-women’s suffrage – resigned. The new PM was Lloyd George, who was actually sympathetic to women receiving the vote. The fact that women had done so much during the war meant that passing the bill was easier that it was before the war. It would have been even unfair if women had done so much during the war, yet they had still not gotten the vote. But there were men that were less qualified and had the vote. This double standard was also a reason. So though the war effort played a part in them receiving the vote, it was not the only reason why women were able to vote once the war had ended.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that women made 120s, or 60 pence, a day for the same reasons.
  • Explains the claim of women to the parliamentary vote on the same terms as it is.
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