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Describe the Ways In Which the Methods of the Suffragettes and the Suffragists Were Different ?

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Introduction

DESCRIBE THE WAYS IN WHICH THE METHODS OF THE SUFFRAGETTES AND THE SUFFRAGISTS WERE DIFFERENT ? The early campaigners of the vote were known as the suffragists. They were mainly but not always middle classed women. When the MP john Stuart mill had suggested giving the votes to women in 1867, 73 MP's had supported the motion . after so many MPs voted in favour of women suffrage in 1867 large numbers of local women's suffrage societies were formed. By the time they came together in 1897 to form the national union of women suffrage societies (NUWSS), there were over 500 local branches. By 1902 the campaign had gained support of Woking class women as well. In 1901-1902, Eva gore-booth gathered signatures of 67,000 textile workers in northern England for a petition to parliament. The leader of the movement was Millicent Fawcett. She believed in constitutional campaigning and argued her case with MPs, issued leaflets, presented petitions and organised meetings. She thought it was vital to keep the issue in the public eye and at every election, suffragists questioned the candidates on their attitudes to women's suffrage. She talked of the suffragist movement as a glacier, slow but unstoppable but by 1900 some success, gaining support of many liberal Mps and some leading Conservative Mps, as well as the modern but rather trivial Labour party. ...read more.

Middle

There is little doubt that the suffragettes increasing violence alienated support for the women's cause and by 1913, many suffragettes were in prison and the Pankhursts were co-ordinating the campaign from exile in Paris. The suffragettes had certainly raised the profile of the issue, but they had also damaged their own cause and reputations because they gave their opponents a reason to reject women's rights. From then on each time the issue was raised in Parliament there was a bigger majority against Women's suffrage. The NUWSS was a much stronger organisation by 1910 than it had been in 1900, and this improvement began around 1902, before the WSPU was founded. The transformation of the NUWSS was one of the most significant developments in the suffrage movement 1897-1910 and at the beginning of the 20th century the societies which belonged to the NUWSS were independent bodies. the NUWSS initiated a more aggressive stage in the suffrage campaign by convening a National Convention in Defence of the Civic Rights of Women in 1903. It began to exercise a greater control over its member societies and all of the candidates in the 1906 general election were questioned about their position on women's suffrage, and 415 pledged support for it. ...read more.

Conclusion

In November 1908 it officially dissociated itself from the Suffragettes. Fawcett viewed the Suffragettes use of force as undermining the movement's moral foundation, by resorting to force and behaving like men, the Suffragettes undermined the ideology of sexual difference and the concept of female moral superiority, therefore, in Fawcett's view, weakening women's claim for the franchise. By 1908 the Suffragists officially committed its members to using only 'constitutional' methods in working for reform. Constitutionalists and Suffragettes supporters struggled for control of the London Society for Women's Suffrage in 1908 and the Suffragists also began to start publishing their own journal. Suffragists accepted male members and considered it to be working for the 'common cause of humanity'. There was some ideological similarity between the Suffragettes and the Suffragists, as both drew upon a heightened gender consciousness which encouraged an unusual degree of gender unity between women of different classes. The suffrage campaign made substantial progress during the first decade of the 20th century. The Suffragists began its transformation from an organisation dominated by middle-class London women to a national movement with a much broader social base among women from a variety of ethnic, religious and class backgrounds and prior to 1900 suffragists were still seeking to persuade MPs of the merits of the issue. But By 1910 a majority had been converted to the cause. ...read more.

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