an ideal husband

At the Height of the Women’s Movement Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband takes place in Great Britain in 1895. The women of the play perform a large role in the society. They have major contributions to the political and home life. The time period is at the height of the women’s suffrage movement. It began in Britain in 1820 in response to James Mill’s claim that there was no need to extend suffrage to women because their fathers and husbands would protect their interests. There were three phases to the women’s movement. The first, Pioneering, lasted from 1866 to 1870. It focused on the Reform Act of 1867. In 1869 the Municipal Corporations Act was passed during this period as well. This granted women the right to vote in local elections as men. This set a precedent for many reforms to follow. The first was the 1870 Education Act, which gave women the right to vote in the local school board elections. The second phase lasted from 1870 to 1905. It was called the period of “doldrums” because the movement quieted down. This is the time period in which the play takes place. In 1870, at the very beginning of the era, the first women’s suffrage bill proposed in Congress was passed in the second reading. However the Prime Minister defeated it because he needed to consent with his party line. Still, by 1892 the movement had made considerable progressions. Approximately 503,000 women were eligible to vote in the local elections. Had they been able to vote on the national level, women would have made up over ten percent of the parliamentary college. In 1883 the Corrupt Practices Law incorporated women into the mainstream political world. This law prohibited political parties from paying workers to help in their campaigning. They had to begin recruiting unpaid volunteers. Women became their main supporters. From this, formed many female auxiliary organizations and allowed women to become increasingly active in politic…

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