The Suffragettes

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  • The Suffragettes
    • In prison the suffragettes decided to continue their protests by going on hunger strikes.
      • This would result in a negative impact on the government because if they carried on with their hunger strikes, it would lead to death and continue to bring attention to their cause.
        • Many of the suffragettes were from respectable and influential families and their deaths would created serious embarrassment for the government.
          • In response the government ordered the prisons to force feed them. This included pushing a tube filled with liquidised food down the nostril and into the stomach.
            • The barbaric methods not surprisingly caused uproar.
              • To limit negative opinion from the public the government replaced this method with the Cat and Mouse Act in 1913.
                • This said that hunger strikers could be released when they became weak. As soon as their regained their strength they were rearrested to finish their sentence.
                  • This treatment of the suffragettes reminded people of the way a cat would tease its prey.
    • When war broke out, the suffragettes called of their campaign to enable women to support Britain on the home front in the absence of men who were fighting in the war. The government released suffragette prisoners.
      • Women adopted the roles normally taken by men: worked in factories, agriculture, transport, nurses. These included dangerous jobs such as making munitions for the war effort and hard labour.
        • In 1918 the Representation of the People's Act granted women over 30 the vote. It was only until 1928 when women over 21 could vote.


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