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  • Date Submitted: 02/05/2011 08:53 AM
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Votes for Women

Background information:

Britain = representative democracy:

    - General election at least every 5 years

    - People believed this was the best way: the right to choose who would represent them

    - Some believed democracy was 1) a long cherished ideal, 2) caused by struggle with authority and 3) only very slowly achieved

    - 1918 ( Britain had become a full democracy

Women and the vote:

    - Women were the last group of people to achieve the vote

    - 1918 ( women had to be over 30 and be: householders, pay rent over £5 a year, or have graduated from a British university to obtain the vote

    - 10 years passed, and only then were women on equal terms with men (voting age of 21)

    - So eventually after 1928, regardless of women’s financial/marital status, if over 21, they could vote (they were “enfranchised”)

    - Still, this was after a long, and at terms controversial, campaign


Feminists believed education was the key to unlock closed doors in politics. When the suffrage movement started, the majority of women from all social classes generally lacked a formal education.

Working class girls:

    - Until 1870, young factory workers went to factory schools and pauper children went to workhouse schools

    - The remainder of the female population (if educated formally at all) were taught in a fee-paying school run by older women/charity schools for poor children

    - When the educations act 1870 was introduced (which allowed local authorities to build schools for children aged 5-13 years), state schools replaced this informal system

    - End of 19th century ( schooling was free and compulsory to all children up to 13 years old

This gave some chances to working class girls to be numerate and literate

    - By the end of 19th century 97% of all children could read and write


  But: the curriculum was too wide, the teaching too rigid, and the classes too...


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