The process of redefining the British political nation was a slow one. It began in the 1820s, and by the 1880s roughly 60 per cent of the male population had the right to vote - but no women. The campaign for women's suffrage had begun shortly after the Great Reform Act of 1832, but the battle only really got going at the start of the twentieth century, when the suffragette movement was born and with it a new level of female assertiveness, indeed violence. Here are the words of Dame Ethel Smyth, who composed the song 'March of the Women', which was a battle hymn of the suffragettes.
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