The Fight For Universal Women 's Suffrage Essay

The Fight For Universal Women 's Suffrage Essay

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The fight for universal women’s suffrage became most prominent in the late 1900s and 1910s, with people such as Millicent Fawcett and Emmeline Pankhurst leading separate parts of the same movement. A multitude of different leagues, unions and societies existed in support of women’s suffrage, some more radical than others were. While women were not given the franchise until the Representation of the People bill in 1918, men and women of all classes increasingly supported the woman’s right to vote leading to the bill. Women were becoming more active in intellectual and public life, rather than staying in the domestic sphere as homemakers raising children. I will argue that because more women showed that they were increasingly educated and independent through the 1900s and 1910s, more of the population began to support the enfranchisement of women. However, radical societies such as the Women’s Social and Political Union, in addition to the divide between suffragists and suffragettes, was a major factor in the House of Commons’ hesitation in giving the vote to women until 1918.
In July of 1910, in a reading of the Parliamentary Franchise Bill that proposed giving the vote to women, David Shackleton argued that because women participate in many of the same actions men do, they should be able to participate in voting as well. This includes being taxed and having to obey the law, but also Shackleton also referred to women who have been receiving higher education, sometimes on par with the education men receive. He says, “You cannot look at a bookstall, or go into a free library, without finding on the shelves thousands and thousands of books on all varieties of subjects, written by eminent women.” By this time, women had been present ...


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... the House of Commons did. While both groups were fearful of that suffragist tactics would influence other women, the NUWSS needed to convince those without an opinion that women should have the right to vote.
The majority of the women’s suffrage movements were also far less radical than suffragist movements, showing that suffragettes did not want as much change as quickly as some suffragists wanted. **** “It won’t give them the right to do that [sit in Parliament]. They want it in order that they may be able to help choose the men to make the laws.” Like male supporters of the suffrage movement, the NUWSS focused on how enfranchising women could assist in the domestic sphere, explaining the importance of women’s opinion on laws about “children, houses, wages, taxes, insurance, old-age pensions and lots of other things which matter to women just as much as to men”.

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