The Story of Suffrage Focus: Britain and France 10. 1 Directions: You will be going around in stations today to learn part of the history

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The Story of Suffrage - Focus: Britain and France 10.1


  • You will be going around in stations today to learn part of the history of suffrage.

  • Each station has a number that coincides with a section of your packet so be sure to follow carefully.

  • With your group you will have 5 minutes at each station to use the information provided at your station to fill in the guided notes sheet and answer the questions.

  • You MUST read the notes aloud with your group during the last 1-2 minutes at each station. You will be given a 2-minute and 1-minute warning to help keep pace.

  • Finally in the last 5-10 minutes of class we will read the story together.

Key Terms to Know:

  1. Suffrage: right to vote

  2. Parliament: legislative body in British government

  3. Anti-Semitism: hostility to or prejudice against Jews

Setting the Stage

  • Early 1800s – only about ___5%_______________ of British could vote

    • Limited to men who owned a substantial amount of land

    • No women at all

1. The Reform Bill of 1832

  • 1830 – the Wealthy Middle Class (many of whom gained their wealth thru the industrial revolution) began to protest

    • Sought to extend suffrage: the right to vote.

  • British Parliament became worried about the revolutions spreading across Europe

    • ∴ quickly passed the Reform Bill of 1832 before things got too out of hand

      • Extended voting rights to wealthy middle class by easing the property requirements

2. The Chartist Movement

  • Lower middle + working class men still could not vote

  • They started a mvmt’  The Chartist Mvm’t:

  • B/c they presented their demands to Parliament thru a petition called: The People’s Charter of 1838

  • The People’s Charter of 1838:

    • Called for universal male suffrage

    • Annual Parliamentary elections

    • Secret ballot to protect those working on the wealthy man’s farm

    • End to property requirements for serving in Parliament

    • Pay for members of Parliament

  • Parliament rejects the Chartists’ demands

  • BUT  Their protests convinced many others of their valid complaints

    • Continued to fight for these rights and reforms throughout the 19th century

  • By 1884 most adult males could vote

  • By early 1900s all Chartist reforms besides annual elections were passed.

3. The Victorian Age

  • Queen Victoria oversaw most all of these changes

  • Victorian Age

    • G.B. reached its height of power and wealth

    • But, she had less power than previous monarchs as Parliament assumed most political power

4. Women Get the Vote

  • Thru/out the 1800s many women’s groups emerged in G.B. + the U.S. to fight for their right to vote

    • Others rose up in opposition to women’s suffrage

  • Militant Protests:

    • Initially, protests were peaceful but...

    • 1903 Emmeline Pankhurst formed the WSPU

      • Women’s Social and Political Union became militant

  • Emmeline Pankhurst’s daughters Christabel and Sylvia were active in the WSPU

    • They were arrested many times

    • Used hungry strikes in prison to gain international attention (similar story in the U.S.)

    • Were force fed in prison, very painful

    • In both the U.S. (1920) and G.B. (1918) women gained the right to vote after WWI

5. France and Democracy

  • Paris Commune (radical socialist gov’t) lasted for 3 months in France (March 1871 – May 1871) after the fall of Napoleon III

- The Third Republic in France (1870 – 1940)

  • Replaced w/ the Constitutional Laws of 1875 that formed the foundation for the Third Republic

    • two-house legislature

    • a Council of Ministers

    • President w/ powers resembling those of a constitutional monarch

    • Lasted 60years

6. The Dreyfus Affair

  • Dreyfus Affair – An exception to 19th century forward thinking and reform

    • Illustration of the growing anti-Semitism of the era

  • 1894: Captain Alfred Dreyfus (a Jewish officer in the French Army) was accused of selling military secrets to Germany

    • Sentenced to life in prison after the court found him guilty based on FALSE evidence.

  • 1896: New evidence proved his innocence and showed he was framed by other army officers

  • Public opinion divided over the scandal:

  • The Anti - Dreyfusards: Nationalists, anti-Semitic groups, clergy + army leaders refused to let the case be reopened

      • Worried it would bring dishonor to the French army

  • The DreyFusards: Dreyfus’ supporters argued for the importance of justic

    • Emile Zola: French writer published an open letter to the French ppl title “J’accuse!” (I accuse!)

  • 1906 – Dreyfus named innocent

  • 1995 - French army publically declared his innocence

7. The Dreyfus Affair and Zionism

  • Significance of the Dreyfus Affair:

    • Illustrated the anti-Semitic strength in France/Western Europe

  • In Eastern Europe: persecution of Jews very severe

    • Many fled to the U.S.

  • Zionism:

    • Mvm’t founded by Theodor Herzl in the 1890s to promote Jewish autonomy and an independent Jewish state (Israel)

      • Not achieved until 1948

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