BOOK TITLE: Forging the Franchise: The Political Origins of the Women’s Vote
AUTHOR: Dawn Langan Teele
In the 1880s, women were barred from voting in all national-level elections, but by 1920 they were going to the polls in nearly thirty countries.
What caused this massive change? Why did male politicians agree to extend voting rights to women?
Contrary to conventional wisdom, it was not because of progressive ideas about women or suffragists’ pluck.
In most countries, elected politicians fiercely resisted enfranchising women, preferring to extend such rights only when it seemed electorally prudent and in fact necessary to do so.
Through a careful examination of the tumultuous path to women’s political inclusion in the US, France, and the UK, Forging the Franchise demonstrates that the formation of a broad movement across social divides, and strategic alliances with political parties in competitive electoral conditions, provided the leverage that ultimately transformed women into voters, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.