John Stuart Mill Amendment

John Stuart Mill Amendment
  • Title: John Stuart Mill Amendment

  • Date : 1867

  • Catalogue number : Parliamentary Archives, HC Hansard Vol. 187 cc. 1343 - 1346

  • Description :

    John Stuart Mill MP was a philosopher and political economist who argued for women’s equality. The Great Reform Act of 1832 expanded the electorate but to ‘male persons’ only. In 1866 John Stuart Mill presented a petition to the House of Commons of over 1500 signatures which had been collected by the Women’s Suffrage Committee in favour for women’s suffrage. Mill used the Second Reform Bill as an opportunity to introduce equal voting rights. He tabled an amendment asking for the enfranchisement of all households, regardless of sex. The Amendment was defeated by 194 votes to 73. Despite this initial defeat, John Stuart Mill’s amendment sparked a continuous political campaign for female enfranchisement. Bills in favour of women and the vote were presented on an almost annual basis to Parliament from 1870 onwards and by 1928 all women were given the legal power to vote.

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