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The Suffragettes and the Struggle for Womens Right to Vote (Q. 3)

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Introduction

3. Study sources D and E and use your own knowledge. Why despite the suffragette activity, had women not gained the vote by the outbreak of the First World War? Sources D and E contradict one another in terms of opinion, but support each other when it comes to stating that no matter how much support the Suffragettes got from the public, women would still not be given the vote. Source D, which is an extract from a book written in 1912 by leading Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, argues that the Suffragettes' violent campaigning and methods got the Suffragettes a lot of publicity in the media and newspapers. She also states that even if the Suffragettes had the public's support, the government still refused to give women the vote, prompting the Suffragettes to fight further for their 'cause' and continue their violent methods of campaigning. ...read more.

Middle

The statement that the Member of Parliament makes about reasons for voting against votes for women gives only one reason for why the government was against the principle of giving women the vote. As well as the increased violence and women's suffrage not being a major issue, the government felt that the WSPU especially did not have a clear policy of what they wanted to achieve in terms of law. The members of government who did want to support votes for women did not want to vote against their own parties. The Liberals had also lost several seats and were more concerned with other, not to mention their own party's political issues. By the time that war broke out, people's attention was now completely diverted from women's votes. Following the WSPU's split, all of the suffragettes took different paths. Emmeline Pankhurst showed her support for the country being at war by calling off a major campaign to break into Buckingham Palace. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, suffragette activity seemed to create more opposition and make more people reluctant to support the Suffragettes and votes for women than before suffragette campaigning. The suffragettes gained many more enemies through their violent campaigning methods, and although that they claimed it brought them all the more publicity, this publicity seemed to be more negative than positive. When women were given the vote in 1918, it seemed that it had more to do with the realization of the importance of women in the war effort than the campaigning of the Suffragettes, and if the government's decision to give women the vote in 1918 was influenced by the Suffragettes, it seemed that it was not because the government finally completely agreed with the points that the Suffragettes had made, but it was more out of fear of the violent campaigning resurfacing once more. ...read more.

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