My study blog

womens suffrage essay

Posted by lednum on October 18, 2006

In order to analyse the topic in discussion the following themes will have to be addressed. The changing attitudes towards the enfranchisement of the vote and political issues will have to be appreciated, in addition the diversity yet importance of both campaigning groups will be confirmed. Furthermore, the reactions of women to the militant and civilised campaigning methods will be discussed to a certain degree along with the simplistic argument of the war effort.

However, before moving on to develop the points above the topic must first be placed in it’s rightful historical context. Documented by Thomas Pain in his work “Right of Man” he implies that Britain was significantly lacking in democracy. Put forward by Pain it was apparent that America could be seen as 60 years ahead of Britain in democratic terms. In addition it was also shown that even a country such as New Zealand could maintain democratic tendencies to a higher degree of that of Britain. For example New Zealand first granted the vote to women 1893 whereas it was not until 1928 when women were finally allowed to vote. Contended by idealist Thomas Pain the main reason for this was due to the political attitudes of the day. Herbert Asquith was adamant that women should not attain the vote under any circumstances, this statement was clearly elaborated on when three massive reforms were passed yet women still had no political voice. For instance the First Reform Act (1832) mearly gave the vote to the new bourgeoisie excluding women once again from the right to vote. The Duke of Northumberland, Lord Percy has been regarded as sharing many of Asquith’s views on the take of women

“The real fact is that man in the begining was ordained to rule of the women, and this is an eternal degree which we have no right and no power to alter”

Contended by Susan Kingly an intellectual scholar, it is apparent that changing attitudes within politics played a vital role in gaining women the right to vote. Documented in her work, she shows that society was well aware that the vote had been given to men, yet women did not have representation. However, with the dawning of a new liberalism era historians argue that times had to change, but this was often hard due to the lack of priorities on the women’s behalf. Argued by William Gladstone he displays that the War and the Eastern Rise in Ireland were more significant and in some ways more important than the women’s suffrage campaign. These points contended above by Susan Kingly and William Gladstone display the little significance of the changing political attitudes in gaining women a political stance.

Furthermore, prominent historian Angela Holdsworth describes the little significance women of early Britain actully had

” Women were not allowed to vote, nor to stand for Parliament, nor to hold any kind of public office”


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