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The Campaign for Women’s Suffrage Essay

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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.


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