Conservative Women: A History of Women and the Conservative by G. Maguire

By G. Maguire

The first aim of Maguire's research is to think about the evolution of women's function within the Conservative celebration because the time of Disraeli and check out to evaluate even if it has continuously been one in all growth. to do that she examines not just the perspective of girls to the social gathering and the legit perspective of the occasion in the direction of ladies but additionally the measure of recognition that Conservative males have proven in the direction of girls participants. It considers girls in any respect degrees, from that of the voter to the grassroots association to nationwide politics.

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Extra info for Conservative Women: A History of Women and the Conservative Party, 1874–1997

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16 This was in effect what happened, for membership did not remain limited to aristocratic ladies. There were two levels of membership in the Primrose League. The upper level was that of knight or dame, for which the person paid one guinea, but there also existed a lower and much cheaper level of membership, that of associate member. At the first general meeting (officially known as the Grand Habitation) in July 1884, membership was announced as being 3500 knights and 370 damesY Over the 34 Conservative Women following years the ratio between knights and dames decreased steeply: in September 1885 it was at three to one; in November 1885 at two to one; in January 1886 at three to two; and in March 1887 at five to four.

Aristocratic women started from a more privileged position and so could afford to be more ladylike while still achieving their aims. The feminists had to bang down the doors; the Primrose dames could afford to politely knock before entering. It follows logically from this fact that the women of the Primrose League were usually not strongly involved in the suffragist movement. The League itself was officially neutral on this question, but by the very fact of being a body that involved women in politics, it was almost certain to be drawn into the controversy, at least to some extent.

The Primrose League and similar organizations in other parties had brought women out of the background and into the visible business of politics. Already in Theresa Londonderry's generation we can see the result as she became actively, although unofficially, involved in politics. These early pioneers and the desperate need for labour during the First World War allowed Edith to go much further. There is, however, something rather pathetic about each of these women. Even Edith Londonderry, the most uninhibited and liberated of them, found herself ultimately dependent on a man for her political power, whether it be her husband or Ramsay MacDonald.

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