The suffragette campaign was the inevitable conclusion of a fight that women - rich and poor - had been pursuing for hundreds of years against a system that gave men complete legal, political and physical control over the other half of the population. In this first episode Professor Amanda Vickery explains that a wife was considered the property of her husband. If he chose to, he could beat, rape or even sell her to another man. However, the revolutionary politics of the late 18th century cracked open the door to change. From a wife sale at Hailsham cattle market, to the bloodstained streets of Paris on the trail of the grandmother of British feminism; from the heroic Manchester women attacked at Peterloo, to opportunity presented by the Great Reform Act, Vickery describes how at every step men furiously resisted giving women power.
Episode #101 / Length: 59 minutes