Page:Women's suffrage.djvu/20

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16
WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE

the most important in the series of events which culminated in the passing of the Reform Act of 1832."[1] The works of his son, John Stuart Mill, had a similar influence on the series of events which led up to the passing of the Reform Act of 1867. But whereas James Mill had specifically excluded women from his argument, John Mill as specifically and with great force and vigour included them.

In his Political Economy, and in his collected essays, and, of course, in his Liberty, it was easy to perceive that he strongly condemned the condition of subordination to which the mass of women had been from time immemorial condemned. But in his Representative Government, published in 1861, he put forward in a few eloquent pages of powerful argument the case for the extension of the suffrage to women, showing that all the arguments by which the principles of representative government were supported were equally applicable to woman.[2]

The volumes of his correspondence, published in 1908, show how constantly his mind dwelt on the grave injustice to women involved by their exclusion from political rights, and also how deeply he was convinced that the whole of society loses by treating them as if they had no responsibility for the right conduct of national affairs. It was an enormous advantage to the whole women's movement, not only in England, but all over the world, that it had for its leader and champion a man in the front rank of political philosophers and thinkers. He formed a school at the universities, and in all centres of intellectual activity, and from that school a large number of the chief leaders and supporters of the women's movement have been derived.

As early as 1851 an essay on the "Enfranchisement of Women" had appeared in the Westminster Review. It had been written by Mrs. J. S. Mill, and took the form of a review of the proceedings of a Convention of Women