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Why Had Women Not Achieved the Vote by 1914

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Why had women not achieved the vote by 1914?

Women worked hard to achieve the right to vote before 1914, using many different methods in order to persuade the parliament and general public that they deserved it. However, many different factors stopped women having the vote before 1914.
The NUWSS was founded in 1987 by Millicent Fawcett and its goal was to organise the various women’s groups scattered across the country. They used a decentralised structure, which meant that they allowed the groups to govern themselves to a large degree. Each group became a representative of the NUWSS and unity was achieved where it would have otherwise been impossible; many women’s groups had conflicting opinions and would otherwise not have worked together. Despite this fair degree of cooperation, the NUWSS had no real authority over the separate women’s groups and no funds to promote women’s suffrage. They also had no way of dictating who would benefit from these funds. The fact that the NUWSS had no real authority over the individual societies meant that even though a sense of unity was provided, there was no real organisation over the separate groups. This meant the NUWSS would have had little effect over them apart from their seemingly united front.
The scale of parliamentary support may also have been a factor which contributed to the fact women did not have the vote by 1914. Women’s societies had lobbied, petitioned and supported MP’s in order to raise the question of women’s suffrage in parliament. Before the NUWSS became disillusioned with the liberal party they sought to persuade individual MP’s to submit a private members bill. After 1906 they tried to force liberal MP’s into conceding votes for women. Their petitions for women’s suffrage gained public and parliamentary attention to the women’s suffrage movement. Both the suffragists and the suffragettes had visited…...

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