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Describe the ways in which the methods of the suffragists and the Suffragettes were different

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Describe the ways in which the methods of the suffragists and the Suffragettes were different During the 1860s many separate groups formed campaigning for women's suffrage. These groups were called suffragist societies and were mainly based in large cities. In 1897 Millicent Fawcett brought all the societies into the single NUWSS (National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies). In just a few years membership increased to about 50000 and even included some male members. In 1903 after campaigning for 40 years and achieving very little a separate group split off and formed the WSPU (Women's Social and Political Union) led by Emmeline Pankhurst. These two separate groups were called Suffragists and Suffragettes respectively and they had very different methods. The Suffragists acted constitutionally to try and gain votes for women. They carried on with the same methods for nearly 50 years. They were peaceful and included activities such as writing letters and creating petitions. They tried to prove to men that they were sensible and should be allowed to vote because they were just as intelligent and able to make informed decisions as men. ...read more.


Another main tactic they used was to organise rallies. On 21st June 1908 they held a rally in Hyde Park with a crowd that some spectators estimated to contain as many as five hundred thousand people. Despite all this the activities that gained the most publicity and that they are best remembered for were militant. This began on 10th October 1905 when Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney interrupted Sir Edward Gray's meeting in Manchester. They were charged with obstruction and Christabel was also charged with assaulting the police. This single incident gained more publicity than a year of campaigning and because of this militancy was then adopted as the official policy of the Suffragettes. In the beginning militancy came about because of constitutional activities but later, particularly after the conciliation bill of 1911 law breaking was deliberate and planned. Even before that, militant activities had begun in earnest. They would throw stones through windows. Many would be wrapped in paper to avoid injuring people accidentally and some were even tied to string so they could pull the stones back. ...read more.


This may seem absurd to us now but many women agreed with that point of view at the time. The Suffragists were campaigning against those reasons and changing people's minds about the issue. The Suffragettes merely gave a valid argument against granting the right to vote. WK Haselden presents this in a cartoon. It shows a suffragette listing the trouble she has caused and then wondering why she has not got the vote. Another cartoon called "the shrieking sister" by Bernard Partridge shows the relation between Suffragettes and Suffragists well. It has a suffragette fighting to get past a sensible woman and the sensible woman says, "You, help our cause? Why you're its worst enemy!" This illustrates what the effect of militancy was. The Suffragettes and Suffragists used different tactics. Suffragists acted constitutionally whereas Suffragettes were more militant as well as using constitutional means. They both campaigned for Women's suffrage, however they used opposite arguments to do so. Suffragists tried to prove they were sensible and deserved the vote but Suffragettes fought for it. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sammy Alkhalaf 06.11.05 ...read more.

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