Politics articles

Link: Some facts and figures about Universal Suffrage in the UK

William Collins


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The popular belief is that the suffragettes won the vote for women and before that men already had the vote. Both these beliefs are false. The property-based right to vote goes back at least to King Henry VI in 1432, when it was established that only people owning property worth 40 shillings or more could vote. Since this sum remained unchanged over centuries, the natural effect of inflation was to increase the size of the electorate. But even by the eighteenth century, the electorate was still only about 1% or 2% of the population