Women's Suffrage

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  • recreated national body for women's suffrage (after Lydia Becker's earlier attempts)
  • Suffragists
  • meetings, petitions, appeals
  • mostly middle class, educated women
  • proving women were responsible, capable of politics
  • peaceful protest - non-violent, working within the system (legal)
  • "law-abiding"
  • 'Votes For Women' newspaper (closed in 1914)

Millicent Fawcett

  • sister of female doctor Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
  • married to Henry Fawcett, Liberal MP (connections with Lloyd George)
  • organiser, 'string-puller', using her connections


  • 1907 - became an official organisation with a new constitution and elections of its own
  • Private Bills introduced in Parliament for Women's Suffrage (1897, 1908)
  • Majority of MPs in favour
  • Support for rallies, speeches, marches (50,000 came to Hyde Park Rally; between 1866-1903, held 1400 public meetings)
  • Advances in education (equal qualifications for girls in secondary school, 2 colleges for women est. at Cambridge & Oxford)
  • Unified, national movement - although some inner divides/conflicts
  • Political influence & lobbying committee (to pressurise MPs)
  • Local council elections - put forward their own candidates
    • Loopholes meant some women could vote/be elected in local government


  • Social conflict/class divisions, despite attempts to recruit working class women
  • Local groups still independent parts of NUWSS - with their own policies/opinions
  • Slow progress
  • Politicians' support, but no legislation.
  • Headlines being dominated (by 1907) by foreign affairs - not enough attention on women!


  • "Deeds not words!"
  • Suffragettes
  • Frustrated with slow progress & suffragists' polite campaigns
  • Strong membership - based in the North, working class
  • Also important, welathy figures (Constance Lytton, friend of the royal family)
  • Militancy - eventually smashing windows, burning buildings, attacking MPs' homes, burning 'Votes for Women' into golf courses with


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