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Female Suffrage

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  • Essay length: 595 words
  • Submitted: 11/07/2008
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GCSE Britain 1905-1951

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The suffragettes believed that the way to achieve female suffrage was by direct action. They were frustrated by the lack of progress made by the campaign. They believed that through direct action, they would cause female suffrages to become a major issue and raise so much publicity that the government would have to give women the right to vote.

In 1908, they began to chain themselves to railings and smash windows in Downing Street. In 1910 they called off violent protests, but when, in 1912, the Conciliation Bill failed, they began a campaign of arson and vandalism. They also attacked MPs and went on hunger strikes when they were arrested to which the government reacted with force feeding and the Cat & Mouse Act, they would arrest the women, let them out when they fell ill due to not eating and arrest them again when they got better.

The suffragettes or Women's Social and Political union (WSPU) divided the women's suffrage movement. From 1909 onwards, the suffragists or National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) tried to distance themselves from the WSPU as they felt that their actions were damaging the cause. They believed that you couldn't

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