Women's suffrage

women's suffrage

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Why did women gain the right to vote?

War Work

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  • showed how important they were to the economy and security of the nation
  • showed their capability of doing men's work
  • gained political respect as they had been responsible citizens during WW1
  • Britain claimed they were fightig for democracy, this must include women
  • majority of Suffragettes were behind war effort
  • 8.5 million women over 30 got vote in 1918
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Suffragists

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  • NUWSS peaceful tactics
  • 13000 members by 1909
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Suffragettes

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  • WSPU - set up in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst
  • "Deeds Not Words"
  • Aggressive against PM in 1906
  • Demonstrations in House of Commons - front page publicity
  • by 1909 very violent methods
  • very popular - 20000 copies of newspaper
  • after 1909 hunger strikes & force feeding
  • 'wild period' after 1912, postboxes set alight, golf courses attacked, Derby horse race
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Male Support

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  • Chartists in 1830s and 40s
  • John Stuart Mill 1860s
  • 73 male MPs vote support in 1867
  • 1884 some male MPs tried again
  • Labour Party support in 1880s + 90s
  • 1910 Counciliation Bill - designed to give vote to property owning women
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Why did it take so long for women to get the vote?

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1) History of women being oppressed

2) Ideology about the biological make-up of women

3) Lack of support from political parties

4) Fear about the social consequences

5) Influence of Queen Victoria

6) WW1 meant the cause temporarily abandoned

7) Damaging influece of the suffragettes' Wild Period

8) Political opposition

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