Women's suffrage in the United Kingdom was a national movement that began in 1872. Women were not prohibited from voting in the United Kingdom until the 1832 Reform Act and the 1835 Municipal Corporations Act. Both before and after 1832, establishing women's suffrage on some level was a political topic, although it would not be until 1872 that it would become a national movement with the formation of the National Society for Women's Suffrage and later the more influential National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). Little victory was achieved in this constitutional campaign in its earlier years up to around 1905. It was at this point that the militant campaign began with the formation of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). However, although effective in publicising the issue, the WSPU's advocacy of violence was not popular and the overwhelming majority of active supporters of female suffrage continued to support the NUWSS.
The outbreak of the First World War led to a halting of much of the campaigning, with lobbying taking place discreetly, and in 1918 the Representation of the People Act 1918 was passed, enfranchising women over the age of 30 who met minimum property qualifications. The Representation of the People Act 1928 extended the voting franchise to all women over the age of 21.
Women had the franchise in local government, school boards (see London School Board), and health authorities from the late nineteenth century.
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