Suffragettes: How British Women Won Their Right to Vote

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The steady pressure by the moderate suffragists was the most important reason for the achievement of votes for women by 1918.How accurate is this view?

The 19th and 20th century were times of progressive change for the British society. With the beginning of industrialisation and the increasing literation of the common folk it was clear that demands for more democracy would be made. For men changed would happen faster since naturally men were the superior gender and were regarded as a reliable working and fighting force. The women who were supporting them and who despite their knowledge and desire to contribute to society had been ignored. They had no political power in the 1850s but that was about to change. More and more women were getting agitated by their stuck up social lives and abusive husbands. And with the modenisation it was no longer men who controlled the whole working force of Britain. Females formed Women’s movements, which represented the views of the progressive Victorian woman to the public and government. Status of women was changing and was also a huge factor for their enfranchising. Exactly that changing status made them so precious in the Great War, where many were employed in medical care and shell-making, aiding the war effort, which strengthened the views that women were capable and hard-working. This view was also supported by foreign suffrage campaigners, coming from countries such as New Zealand which had already given women’s movement and destroyed many of the prejudices towards women. All of these factors helped women get the vote in 1918 but some historians debate which one of these is most important. For some, the women’s movement, especially the suffragists, greatly influenced politicians and tipped the scale in favour of enfranchisement. Others believe the changing status of women, war or foreign support were a greater factor. Suffragists were indeed a memorable force in Women’s society. Their numbers were great and their...
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