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How far do the sources show that militant tactics hindered rather than helped the cause of votes for women?

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Introduction

Siobhan Hughes How far do the sources show that militant tactics hindered rather than helped the cause of votes for women? There is no doubt that the militant tactics used by the WSPU played a big part in the cause of votes for women, however whether it was a help rather than a hindrance is a topic of much debate The sources show that militant tactics used by the suffragettes hindered rather than helped the cause of votes for women to quite a large extent. However, we can be critical of the sources as to whether they are reliable sources by looking at who they were written by and the time that they were written. We can also look at the way the source is written and how it could be interpreted in different ways. Militant tactics hindered the cause of votes for women because some politicians believed that women should not be rewarded for such violence as it set a bad example. I think that even the suffragettes themselves believed that militant tactics were hindering the cause because, as shown in source A, Emmeline Pankhurst tries to justify her militant actions and denies that they hindered the cause. ...read more.

Middle

We can rely on this source because he has access to a lot of different evidence and he backs up his points. He is also not emotionally involved to the issue and so he can look at both sides of the story. Newspapers are very effective at expressing public opinion. As shown in sources D and E show that militant tactics hindered the cause. Source D shows how the WSPU are playing into the hands of the antis and the cartoon in source E displays a similar view. It shows how militant tactics are destroying the likelihood of women being given the vote by portraying votes for women as an owl and the militant tactics as the hammer that has killed the owl. As we know, there were numerous groups of people opposed to the cause of votes for women. The National League for opposing Women's Suffrage published posters in 1912, when opposition for votes for women was at its peak. One of the posters, shown in source F, illustrates that by giving women the vote would cause them to neglect their duties as women. ...read more.

Conclusion

We can also be critical of source B because it is clear that the writer of this source does not like the Pankhurst's and so this could make him biased towards the argument. 'The Pankhursts possessed a talent for self-publicity which they exercised for years after the campaign had ended.' He saw the Pankhursts as attention seekers. This means that we cannot take everything in this source to be politically correct. Clearly, militant tactics raised awareness; we can see this by looking at sources D, E and F. the issue is being discussed in the newspapers, which means that it is a major topic of discussion. We can also, to an extent, be critical of source C because although someone in favour of votes for women wrote it, Millicent Fawcett was the leader of another (non-militant) organisation and so she would not be in favour of the militant tactics. So, in conclusion, the sources show that militant tactics hindered the cause of votes for women at first glance, but by taking as closer look at the background of the sources and who they were written by, we can be critical of both the reliability of the sources and the different ways that they can be interpreted. ...read more.

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