The suffrage Movement

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  • Suffrage Movement
    • Suffragists
      • National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS)
        • Led by Millicent Fawcett
        • Wanted to achieve the right to vote through peaceful tactics
          • Non violent Demonstrations
          • Petitions
          • Lobbying
            • In 1897, regional societies with no political party allegiances established to lobby peacefully for the Parliamentary vote came together to form the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).
              • They were led by Millicent Garrett Fawcett (1847-1929). Garrett published widely on women's issues and was a frequent public speaker on women's rights. She was married to an MP, Henry Fawcett, and regularly sat in the Ladies' Gallery of the House of Commons to watch the debates. Her tactical and determined leadership of the NUWSS made it a substantial and influence force in the campaign for women's votes.
              • Between 1870 and 1884 debates on women's suffrage took place almost every year in Parliament
          • By 1900 there was already evidence that many Members of Parliament had been won over. Several Bills in favour of women's suffrage gained considerable support in Parliament, though not enough to pass. Some believed it was only a matter of time until women would gain the vote.
          • Suffragist groups existed all over the country and under many different names but their aim was the same: to achieve the right to vote for women through constitutional, peaceful means.
          • There were regional groups, especially in urban centres like Manchester, which held public meetings and petitioned at local level. At national level, key individuals included Millicent Fawcett and Lydia Becker.
    • Suffragettes (1903)
      • in 1905 that the organisation created a stir when Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney interrupted a political meeting in Manchester to ask two Liberal politicians (Winston Churchill and Sir Edward Grey) if they believed women should have the right to vote. Neither man replied. As a result, the two women got out a banner which had on it “Votes for Women” and shouted at the two politicians to answer their questions. Such actions were all but unheard of then when public speakers were usually heard in silence and listened to courteously even if you did not agree with them. Pankhurst and Kenney were thrown out of the meeting and arrested for causing an obstruction and a technical assault on a police officer.
      • Tactics
        • Burnt Down Churches
        • vandalised Oxford Street,  breaking all the windows in this famous street
        • chained themselves to Buckingham Palace as the Royal Family were seen to be against women having the right to vote
          • In June 1913 Emily Wilding Davison threw herself under the King’s horse at the Derby racecourse and was killed. She was the only suffragette to die for the cause and was made into a martyr.
        • Hunger strike when thrown in prison
          • Led to 1913 Cat and mouse act
            • published a newspaper called Votes for Women which sold 20,000 copies each week
        • dyed the Bradford reservoirs' waters violet
      • 1912 onwards they became more militant and violent in their methods of campaign
        • In 1907 the Women's Social and Political Union itself split into two groups after Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel came into conflict with other members of the WSPU's executive body. Those who left formed the Women's Freedom League
    • What the government    /law enforcement  did
      • British government refused to support women’s suffrage. As it became more militant
      • In 1916, Lloyd George supported women's suffrage (next PM after Asquith)
        • Suffragetytes blew up George's house
      • Asquith(PM) had opposed votes for women as early as 1982
        • (PM)Was attacked  by Suffragettes with dog whips
      • treatment by the police became more violent
      • 18 November 1910 a protest in Parliament Square turned violent and police beat many suffragettes
      • In February 1918, the Government passed an act giving women the vote if they were over the age of 30 and either owned property or rented for at least £5/year, or were the wife of someone who did. As a result, 8.5 million women became entitled to vote in the General Election of 1918.
      • On 2 July 1928, a law was passed allowing all women over the age of 21 to vote.
    • What the public view was
      • View in newspapers
        • Many of the newspapers viewed the suffragettes negatively
      • Public support


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