In Depth Study of Britain in 1905

In Depth Study of Britain in 1905

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History
BRITISH DEPTH STUDY
What were the arguments for the female suffrage?
TO GET RID OF OTHER INEQUALITIES.
Why this would happen: once women had the vote, this would put pressure on parliament
to change other laws.
If women had the vote, there would have to be female MP's which would pressure on the
males.
Examples of inequality: women had lower pay for same jobs,
women couldn't be lawyers or work at banks or stock exchange
women couldn't divorce their husbands for adultery
women would lose all rights over children if there was a divorce
women could not vote in a national election
men could beat their wives and marital rape was still legal.
TO IMPROVE MENS SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR.
Why this would happen: men's morals would improve to that of women- politically equal
women could get a divorce for cruelty
women could leave husbands house without his permission.
Examples of improvement: premarital sex, prostitution and venereal disease disappear.
WOMEN CAPABLE OF BEING INVOLVED IN POLOTICS.
What was the traditional belief in men and women having "separate spheres"?
God made men and women different for different roles.
2 different spheres: men--work and politics- public sphere
women ­ have babies and breast feed- private sphere.
Women had begun to question this idea by the start of the 20th century.
a) Local elections: some women allowed voting in local elections; in 1907 this was extended
to all female rate payers.
b) Poor law guardians: some women like Christabel Pankhurst were responsible for running
poor law in their district--hiring and firing staff; raising taxes for the poor etc.
c) Campaigns: women campaigned to reform workhouses; improve hospitals and change
divorce laws to eradicate inequalities.
CHANGES IN WOMENS ROLES:
Allowed to do new jobs, for example: typing and teaching
women allowed to go to university and get jobs, e.g. doctors
tried to destroy idea of separate spheres
women believed that if they could get public jobs, this could lead to them getting the vote.
THE BASIS UPON WHICH MEN HAD THE VOTE AT THE START OF THE 20TH CENTURY MADE IT
APPEAR SOME WOMEN DESERVED THE VOTE:

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Some women paid a higher tax and rate, also some women had more property than some
men(who were allowed to vote) but these women were still not allowed to vote.
Illiterate, uneducated male labourers were allowed to vote BUT highly educated female
employers were not allowed the vote.
BRITAIN WAS NOT A TRUE DEMOCRACY IF WOMEN DID NOT HAVE THE VOTE:
Over ½ the population was female, so this was not a real democracy if a large proportion of
the population cannot vote.…read more

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Working in the local council may also be counted
towards the women's domestic household role because it is looking after their family.
WOMEN DID NOT NEED THE VOTE SINCE THEY WERE REPRESENTED BY THEIR HUSBANDS.
This would implicate that women were obliged to have the same view as their husband. This
also means that when the marriage between the man and women is over and the father of
the wife is dead, there is no one to express the views of the woman in question.…read more

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What happened in 1867and what did it lead to?
Lydia Baker formed the Manchester Society for women's suffrage.
Similar societies were set up in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh.
What was the importance of Millicent Fawcett and 1897?
In 1897 Millicent Fawcett linked these different organisations into National Union of
Women's Suffrage Societies (or the NUWSS). She was the president of this organisation for
20 years.…read more

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What happened in 1906 and what happened to the class of the WSPU's membership
subsequently?
The headquarters of the WSPU had moved from Manchester to London. This meant that
there was a decrease in the involvement of the working class while the upper/middle class
member increased.
THE COURSE OF EVENTS 1906-1914
What encouraging event for women who wanted the vote occurred in 1906?
Liberal landslide victory--the Prime Minister (Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman) supported
votes for women but the ministers were divided.…read more

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In 1912,
WSPU headquarters raided and leaders arrested, this forces C. Pankhurst to flee to Paris.
WSPU prisoners demand to be called political prisoners, they protest by going on hunger
strikes. The government respond by force feeding the prisoners, violating their basic rights.
Why did the WSPU return to their campaign of violence?
The government drops the conciliation bill and introduces the reform bill which gives more
votes to men.…read more

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Meetings and demonstrations, these were held by the WSPU and NUWSS. The larger
demonstrations were held in venues such as the royal Albert hall, Trafalgar square and also
on village greens all over the country. These large demonstrations had up to 20,000 people
who attended and protested. The most successful of these was the women's pilgrimage in
1913 which was held by the NUWSS--it was publicised greatly because of the peaceful
nature of the demonstration.…read more

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The reaction of the press.
What was the opinion of The Times?
The Times was the most influential newspaper of the period and they were against votes for
women. It supported the peaceful methods used but condemned the WSPU and there
extreme behaviour, labelling them as lunatics.
Attitude of most newspapers:
a) To votes for women: against it, called them lunatics.
b) To the WSPU's use of violence: condemned the behaviour.…read more

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The work done by women in war time showed they deserved the vote: women had
showed their maturity and portrayed that they are capable of doing any job. Without them
Britain may have had to surrender, the women also impressed many soldiers and some of the
male population.
4. The danger for the government of not giving women the vote: would look bad if they
eventually had to imprison war heroes and they would face the pre-war violence one again.…read more

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