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Women's Suffrage Movement in England
Transcript of Women's Suffrage Movement in England
Major Female Leaders in this Movement
of Women's Suffrage Societies: established in 1897 by Mrs Millicent Gareett Fawcett.
WSPU--Women's Social and Political Union: founded by the Pankhursts in 1903.
The Significance of Women's Suffrage Movement
Origin of Women's Suffrage Movement
Three Reform Acts in 1832, 1867, and 1884 (Atkinson xiv)
Partial Success of Women's Suffrage Movement
In February 1918, women over the age of thirty gained the right to vote. (Liddington 299)
Final Success of Women's Suffrage Movement
On 2 July 1928, all women over twenty-one were enfranchised—the so-called ‘flapper voters’.
Women at long last shared equal suffrage rights with men; and adult suffragist Margaret Bondfield MP became the first woman cabinet minister in 1929. (Liddington 299)
Other Supportive Organizations
The Friends’ League for Women’s Suffrage
The Conservative and Unionist Women’s Franchise Association
The Artists’ Suffrage League
The Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage
The Women’s Freedom League
The Gymnastic Teachers’ Suffrage Society
The Women Writers’ Suffrage League
The Actresses’ Franchise League
The Scottish University Women’s Suffrage Union
The Church League for Women’s Suffrage
The Peoples’ Suffrage Federation
The Men’s Political Union for Women’s Enfranchisement
The Women’s Tax Resistance League
The Catholic Women’s Suffrage Society
The Women Teachers’ Franchise Union
The Forward Cymric Suffrage Union
The Jewish League for Woman Suffrage.
John Stuart Mill
Member of the Parliament, made
the first plea for women's
suffrage in 1866. (Atkinson xiv)
Politicians were the major obstacle to votes for women.
The National League for Opposing Woman Suffrage(NLOWS), which was found in 1908 in response to the high-profile suffragette campaign” (Atkinson xv)
The first Reform Act of 1832:
Gave the vote to half a million more men, adding middle-class men to the already enfranchised landowners.
The Second Reform Act of 1867:
Gave the vote to about 2 and 1/2 million male householders out of a total population of 22 million.
The Thrid Reform Act of 1884
Enfranchised 5 million men, approximately 2/3 of the adult male population.
For the first time large numbers of working men could vote. Those excluded were the poorest; servants who lived in the homes of their employers; criminals; lunatics.
Women were not included under the terms of the Act and thus joined the ranks of criminals and lunatics.
Before Women's Suffrage Movement
Millicent Garrett Fawcett
They believed women would be corrupted by politics and chivalry would die; that if women became involved in politics they would stop marrying and the British race would die out; that women's brains were smaller than men's, making them less intelligent; that women were emotional creatures and thus incapable of making a sound and reasoned political decision. (Atkinson xv-xvi)
Pat Thane states, "After partial enfranchisement in 1918, there was a surge of legislation that opened certain professions to women, improved women’s guardianship rights over their children, provided state pensions for widowed mothers and orphans, increased the financial support that a father could be required to pay for an illegitimate child, and improved health and welfare facilities for women and children, among other reforms" (qtd. in Smith 110-111)
The women's suffrage movement was a watershed in British women's history.
It brought women together in a mass movement unparalleled in British history.
It succeeded in gaining equal voting rights for women, the right of women to be elected to the House of Commons, and women’s admission to the political parties.
(Harold L. Smith 109)
Atkinson, Diane. The Suffragettes in Pictures. London: Museum
of London, 1996. Print.
Liddington, Jill. Rebel Girls: their fight for the vote. London:
Virago, 2006. Print.
Morgan, David. Suffragists and Liberals: the politics of women
suffrage in England. New Jersey: Rowman and Littlefield, 1975. Print.
Smith, Harold L. The British Women’s Suffrage Campaign,
1866-1928. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, 2007. Print.