Women's Failure to Gain the Right to Vote between 1900 and 1914

Satisfactory Essays
Women's Failure to Gain the Right to Vote between 1900 and 1914

The campaign for women's suffrage had been going on since the

mid-nineteenth century. The suffragists had been making peaceful

demonstrations since 1860, but the right to vote had still not been

given to them. The suffragettes took militant action and many were put

in jail or injured. They even protested in prison by refusing to eat

and were forcibly fed by the prison wardens. Some even sacrificed

their lives for the cause. They put bills before parliament for

women's suffrage, but they had no success. The reason for this was

because it required the male government to agree to it and most of

them were against it. The male attitudes towards women were chauvinist

and they wouldn't agree to any of the bills.

The campaign for emancipation had progressed since 1860 and women now

had a little more equality with men. They had greater equality of

opportunity than they had had before, with medical and legal careers

available to them, which had not been before, but very few women

actually became doctors. Women also had greater equality of

educational opportunity. They were now allowed to attend schools and

colleges, but many parents were still reluctant to educate their

daughters. The married women's property act was put into action. This

meant that women were able to own property independently of their

husbands which was not authorised before, their property used to

automatically become their husband's when they got married. They were

also allowed to vote in local elections and for school boards. However

there was still great inequality.

There were many arguments though, against women having the vote. In a

source written by Ben Walsh, a historian, it shows some of the

opinions against women's suffrage. For example 'Women are pure and

should be protected from the grubby world of politics'. Many men had

the same view that women were weak, fragile creatures and they

wouldn't survive in the world of politics. It also says 'Why worry

about the vote?
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