Britain History 1903-1928

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Attitudes towards womens vote. FOR.

  • Women have special skills and experience
  • Women pay tax's just like men
  • There are many single women and widows who bear the same responsiblities as men
  • Many uneucated working men can vote whilst educated 'respectable' women can't.
  • Women are having increasing chances in education and work. The vote should come next.
  • They could help the parliment make better laws on issues such as education and laws.
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Attitudes for womens vote. AGAINST.

  • It is mainly middle class women campaigning for the vote. They have little interest in helping ordinary working class people
  • Giving respectable women the vote will encourage them to develop their careers and neglect their family duties
  • Giving the vote to women will mean giving the vote to all men- lazy and uneducated
  • Women do not fight in wars for their country so they should not be able to have a say in whether the country goes to war
  • Women are too emotional to be trusted with the vote
  • Women are too pure and should be protected from the grubby world of politics 
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Who ran the suffragists/NUWSS?

Millicent Fawcett

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When was the Suffragists set up,what did they do?

  • Set up in 1897
  • Ran peaceful protests
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Who ran the suffragettes/WSPU?

Emily Pankhurst

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When was the Suffragettes set up,what did they do?

  • 1903
  • Pankhurst was fustrated with the lack of progress from NUWSS and wanted to get votes faster
  • Campaigns were more militant and they disturbed political meetings and harrassed ministers
  • They aimed to always be the centre of media attention, always in the public eye so that MP's would take notice
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Sufferagettes reactions to dropping of suffrage bi

They did not react well to the liberal party dropping the suffrage bill. They set fire to post box's, bombed churches and damaged cricket pitches and golf corses. Bombs were placed in warehouses and telephone wires were cut, Suffragettes slashed valuable paintings. This meant that more and more suffragettes were being sent to prison. They continued to protest in prison by going on hunger strikes. This only led to more public sympathy for the suffragettes.

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What was the government reactions to Sufferagettes

  • Cat and mouse act
  • The govenment knew that if they continued force feeding the protestors the women would die and they would be held responsible
  • In 1913 the cat and mouse act was passed which allowed the strikers to leave prison, recover a little and then return to finish their sentence. The govenment would try and find another excuse to get the suffragettes to return to prison.
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Emily Davidsons importance to the suffragette move

  • She had been in prison 9 times as part of the suffragette campaign
  • She ran out from the crowd at the Epsom race course and tried to grab hold of the kings horse
  • The charging racehorse hit her head on and she died of internail injuries four days later
  • People think she was trying to pin a banner on the kings horse so that it would publicise female suffrage
  • She was made a martyr by her fellow campaingers as they attempted to make her death an influencing factor in gaining the vote. Her funeral was a remarkable procession, which was attended by thousands of suffragettes
  • At the time of her death the suffragettes were facing lots of negative criticism but this helped people to sympathise with them as Emily had died for what she believed in.
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How did women contribute to the war effort?

  • Nursing ( in the war )
  • Recruitment ( recruiting soldiers )
  • Making ammunition ( working in munitions factories )
  • Welding
  • Driving trams and trains
  • Post offices
  • Police women
  • Public transport
  • Farming
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How did this change pre-war views on women?

  • It persuaded more people to have positive attituedes towards women, because they had proved that they were more than capable of doing men's jobs
  • Before the war people argued that women were mentally incapable to bear the responsibility of having the vote but they proved them wrong during the war as they capably took on a wide variety of challenging jobs
  • Pre-war arguements said that because women didn't fight in the wars they should have the vote to be able to say whether the country goes to war or not, but now many women had worked in munitions factories or nursing and had contributed substantially to the war effort
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Why did women get the vote in 1918?

  • There was a need to reform the electoral system in 1915 because until then, citizens living outside of britian were unable to vote in elections. This way was clearly unfair to soldiers who were serving abroad. The suffagists took this opportunity to appeal for the vote becayse they too were serving improtant duties in the war
  • Asquith, one of the main opponents of female suffrage, was no longer prime minister. New PM David Lloyd George was more reasponablewith giving women the vote.
  • The country was being run my a coalition government which consisted of liberal, conservative and labour ministers. This meant that they could take joint responsibility and no one party would be seen as being responsible for giving women the vote
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Why Suffragettes violence helped get the vote?

  • They made female sufferage front page news, bringing it to the attention of the public and the govenment
  • As time passed the idea of women having the vote was no longer strange, people were begining to accept it
  • Asquith was already firmly agianst women getting the vote, so the violence did not make things any worse
  • Once the issue of votes for women had been raised it was not going to go away and sooner or later women would be granted the vote
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Why suffragettes violence hindered getting the vot

  • The violence played into the hamds of the govenment. It gave them an excuse not to give in to the suffragettes
  • There were times when the govenment were close to agreeing to female suffrage, but couldn't be seen giving into violence
  • The violence supported the views that women were not responsible to have the vote
  • The violence turned MP's agianst votes for women. This is why bills in the house of commons were always refused
  • In 1913 and 1914 the suffragists were growing in popularity at the expense of the suffragettets and some women were turning away from violence
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What was the representation of the people act?1918

  • All males over the age of 21 were given the right to vote
  • Women who were over 30, who were householders or married to housholders gained the right to vote (around 9 million women)
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