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Freemasonry And Suffrage: The Manifestation Of Social Conscience

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Chapter Summary

The impact of Darwinism on traditional Christianity had left a vacuum and the Theosophical fusion of elements of Buddhist and Hindu thought with an ecumenical Christian morality filled it for many. Co-Masonry, which admitted (and still does admit) both men and women in contrast to the all-male United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), started in the 1880?s in France when the social activist Maria Deraismes was initiated into a Lodge called ?The Free Thinkers?. The ?Church League for Women?s Suffrage? was founded in 1909, one of the many organisations, drawn from the whole spectrum of society, in favour of the vote for women. The relationship between Freemasonry and suffrage has not been previously considered in detail, but evidently there were rich and important connections.

Keywords: Christian; Co-Masonry; France; Freemasonry; Maria Deraismes; suffrage; United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE)

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