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The sufragette movement
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| Words: 1100 | Submitted: 12-Feb-2009
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During the 19th century, many people believed all classes of men should have the right to vote before women got the vote. So the Great Reform act of 1832 entitled 500,000 more men to vote. Middle class men and landowners could now vote, this made up one fifth of the population. The second reform act 1867 gave the vote to 2.5million men, who were householders and not tenants. Finally in 1864 the third reform act allowed an estimated 5 million men to vote this made up two thirds of the male population, the ‘working class’ man could now vote. Now very few men could not vote, criminals, servants who lived with their masters and the mentally disturbed. Women were still not given the vote after all of these reform acts; this made the females immensely angry.
Developments of organizations for women suffrage began to creep up everywhere; places such as London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Bristol all had suffrage societies and in 1872 merged into the National Society for Women’s Suffrage or N.S.W.S. They organized speakers at rallies, and between 1870 and 1884 nine bills were sent to parliament, though none of them made any difference. At this period in time, there were many educated women around who were interested in their rights. There had been many protests throughout the century from people such as; non-conformists, Quakers, and Unitarians. So many campaigners for women’s rights came from rebellious backgrounds; also many came from radical political backgrounds especially liberals.
J.S Mill wrote a book called ‘The subjection of women’ (1869) which raised many political questions. men really look after the interests of women and if there are no women in parliament they will have no affective defense of their interests. By the early nineteenth century women had achieved a number of things such as right to vote in local politics, the right to an education and ability to work in professions such as medicine (Elizabeth Garnet Anderson first female doctor) . Women had a positive affect in all these areas therefore what was there to say they couldn’t do the same if they got the vote nationally.
Women had made some progress on some singular campaigns such as the 1850 divorce law reform and protests against violence against women in marriages. When campaigning, the suffragettes had gained many other things for women by the following, 1847 factory act (not to work more than 10hrs a day), the married women’s property act(allowed to keep £200 of their earnings). Newman and Cambridge colleges were founded and admitted women, many other acts were past to improve the lives of women but it was still not enough. They wanted their own say.
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