Category Archives: Women’s Suffrage to 1898

Why did women want the vote?

This is an extract from my forthcoming book: Sex, Work and Politics: Women in Britain, 1830-1918 The prolonged demise of Chartism during the 1850s sapped working-class calls for the franchise and the fragmented nature of party politics in the 1850s … Continue reading

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Posted in Class, Nineteenth century society, Nineteenth century women, Women's Suffrage 1898-1914, Women's Suffrage to 1898 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fabian Women: some sources

  Source 1 Beatrice Webb Fabian Tract No. 67: Women and the Factory Acts [February 1896], printed in Sally Alexander (ed.) Women’s Fabian Tracts, Routledge, 1989, pp.17-32 The ladies who resist further legal regulation of women’s labour usually declare that … Continue reading

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The Fabians and the Women’s Question

  Beatrice Webb made little mention of the women’s movement in her diaries before 1900. This is surprising because women formed between a third and a half of the total membership, sat on the Executive and played a full part … Continue reading

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Women’s Suffrage: A Fabian perspective

  The 1870s and 1880s saw the founding of several socialist groups. They sought a ‘new life’ based on the regeneration of self and the repudiation of the waste and excess of capitalism. The Fabian Society, which sought a political … Continue reading

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The Women’s Suffrage Movement 1865-1903: The 1890s decline or not? Some sources

  Source 1 Brian Harrison ‘Women’s Suffrage at Westminster 1866-1928’, in M. Bentley and John Stevenson (eds.) High and Low Politics in Modern Britain, Oxford, 1983, pages 87, 92-93 The growth-pattern of feminist organisations shows that, after initial success between … Continue reading

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The Women’s Suffrage Movement 1865-1903: 4 1885-1903 failure?

  Between the creation of the first women’s suffrage committee in 1866 and the formation of the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903, the suffragists followed a ‘constitutional’ path to reform (i.e., they acted within the commonly accepted boundaries … Continue reading

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The Women’s Suffrage Movement 1865-1903: 3 From 1885 to 1903

  The Liberal Party was split in 1885-6. This took place after Gladstone’s ‘conversion’ to Irish Home Rule[1]. A group of Liberals – the so-called ‘Liberal Unionists’ – left the party and sat as an independent group in the House … Continue reading

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The Women’s Suffrage Movement 1865-1903: 2 The 1870s and the Third Reform Act

  It was in the 1870s that the women’s suffrage movement developed into a national movement. Following the defeat of the 1870 bill, the Manchester and London committees attempted to build wider support while, at the same time, lobbying MPs. … Continue reading

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The Women’s Suffrage Movement 1865-1903: 1

  The broad chronology of women’s suffrage groups is as follows up to 1903:   Date Event 1865 ‘Kensington’ Committee London to gather signatures for petition 1866 Women’s Suffrage Provisional Committee, London 1867 Manchester, London, and Edinburgh committees for Women’s … Continue reading

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Why did women want to vote?

  The 1867 Reform Act sparked off a number of claims — some successful — from women for registration as voters. Lily Maxwell[1], whose name had been placed accidentally on the register, voted in Manchester in November 1867. A year … Continue reading

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