Since the women of Britain saw from other countries that they could have right to be able to vote they strove to do so. At this time a women were not seen in the eyes of the law they did not have any rights but what there husband or father gave them, There wealth was limited by there husband, As soon as you were married what little rights and wealth they did have belonged to there husband. The strong view of women was to find a husband and once they were married they would have to care and bring up the children and help maid(s) clean up they were nothing more than tools used by the men.
There were a few main reasons the men argued why women could not have the vote a strong one was that, It was way to complicated for women to understand, There was a strong famous women who proved this point of view wrong was Caroline Norton she was a well brought up in a middle class family. When she was eight when her farther died. In 1824 a man named George Norton fell deeply in love with her, he proposed marriage she was only sixteen and still at school, she refused Caroline was put under pressure from by her mother and forced to marry, her mother was mainly interested in helping her own financial problems.
Between 1829 and 1833 the Norton’s had 3 baby boys unfortunately the marriage was a complete disaster. Caroline had no respect for her husband George stopped her disrespectful mouth by beating her. In the 1830 election George lost his seat in Guildford. Caroline though her contacts got George a job as a magistrate from a man called lord Melbourne (later to become the prime minister in 1835).
The beating continued after Caroline’s kindness so she started making regular visits to escape her problems, to lord Melbourne when the lord became Prime Minister George claimed that the Prime Minister had and is having an affair George then sued lord Melbourne for adultery. In the end the prime minister won the court case. George grew increasingly cross and cut contact from Caroline and her sons and cut her allowance. Caroline grew desperate even lord Melbourne had now abandoned her so she began to teach herself law. She later found out all the rights she gave up when she married.
She began to gain peoples support within parliament and strived for these rights back and get her boys back. In the times she strove for women’s rights she passed, the divorce act of 1857 and the custody of children act in 1839. Caroline Norton proved that women’s brains could handle politics. There were many other women who proved such wrong the reasons it got desperate near the end of the century when such reasons as women were too emotional for politics and politics is mans business, women are incapable of rational thought were brought up among others.
In 1851 there was a meeting in Sheffield to discuss and start the female political union they believed that women should no longer be in suffrage (with out vote). They set out to gain the vote for women over 21 they would do this in a formal way like over dinner with important people, pamphlets ect. The NUWSS was mainly women at first but later on they gained support in high places most being pollutions. They also seeked equal rights for ALL women. By most of people there ideas seemed too far-fetched and thought that women’s equal rights would breakdown family life and the rest of society would follow.
But 52 years later the NUWSS was still fighting for women’s rights and new group of suffrage protesters were born by Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst In 1903 she set up the women’s social and political union (WSPU) who later became known as the suffragettes (women campaigning for the vote). They had got bored of the polite way of getting what they wanted and they turned to violence and striking and causing a nuisance of themselves. The whole reasons of their campaign were to put the government and crown under pressure and be noticed but the rest of the public and media.
They did it all right! There were protesting on the streets, assaulting police officers, vandalism and other disturbances the government were forced to put the women in to prison many people were shocked that the police would put women in such a horrible place, already the campaign was working they were getting publicity and getting in to the discussion’s at the dinner table but the women in the prison were going on hunger strikes so the prison guards had to force feed them. Many doctors and members of the public complained.
The force feedings stopped and the women prisoners were released until they got better and were arrested again at later date. This was later nick named the cat and mouse act as it mimicked a cat and mouse chase. But 1913 one of the suffragettes really caught the media’s government and especially the crown in the June derby a women Emily Davison ran out in to the racecourse in front of the kings horse she nearly killed the jockey and her but most of all brought down a valuable horse.
Papers like the Times said, “The woman rushed from the rails into the course as the horses swept round the corner. She did not interfere with the racing, but she nearly killed the jockey as well as herself and she brought down a valuable horse. A deed of this kind is unlikely to increase the popularity of the women’s cause.