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Votes For Women Q3

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Introduction

The campaign to obtain the right to vote began in 1850 for women. Many small groups around the country who had been campaigning for women's right to vote held meetings together and in 1890 formed a national organisation called the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) led by Millicent Fawcett. This group were nicknamed 'The Suffragists' Women went through many different phases whilst trying to gain the vote. The suffragists had always believed in peaceful methods of protest such as issuing leaflets, collecting petitions and holding meetings. They also helped politicians during election time if the politicians were willing to support them once they were in power. The suffragists managed to make some progress since women were now granted access to vote in County and Borough elections in 1888. However some women lost patience with the suffragists and said that the suffragists' campaign was getting nowhere. The newspapers seemed to take no notice of them so did the public. Politicians always seemed to forget the help they had been given after they got into power. So in 1903 Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters formed a breakaway group from the suffragists called the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). They were nicknamed the 'suffragettes'. At first the suffragettes also used peaceful methods of protest. They started to help the Liberal Party as they believed the Liberal Party would support them once they were in power. In 1906 the Liberal Party came into power, many MP's agreed with the suffragettes but the cabinet refused to make a decision on women's suffrage. 450 out of 650 members were in favour of giving women the right to vote. This act infuriated the suffragettes and they moved to a Militant phase of protesting because they believed the suffragists had failed "The argument of politicians and the suffragists has always been that once public opinion swings our way then without any force...women will be given the vote...in 1906 there was a very large section of the public who were in favour...what good did that do the cause". ...read more.

Middle

Their motto became 'Deeds not Words'. Women started heckling at meetings to get their point across (In 1905 Annie Kenney heckled at a meeting of the Prime minister and his cabinet, she cried 'will the liberal government give votes for women?'), they chained themselves to railings outside Downing Street and cried 'votes for women!', Herbert Asquith (the current prime minister) was shouted at wherever he went and David Lloyd George was even trapped in his car by a large woman. The suffragettes were now breaking the law so that they could go to court and have their say. Women went on hunger strikes in prison and had to be force fed. People were shocked by their tactics but suddenly the newspapers and people started to notice them. Their aim was to get publicity and they succeeded as it show it source D "Our campaign made women's suffrage a matter of news - it had never been that before". Nevertheless time went on and women seemed to be getting nowhere and were finding it increasingly difficult to get themselves noticed. This was because the news was being dominated by the Irish Catholics who were trying to get independence and the many industrial strikes going on. In 1911 Parliament debated a Conciliation Bill which would finally give them the right to vote. It seemed that all the parties supported it and the Liberal Government decided it would be introduced in 1912. But the government unexpectedly changed their mind and decided that more men would be given the right to vote instead of women. All the supporters of women's suffrage were outraged, they felt cheated and lied to as is shown in source D "We called upon the Government to give us the vote but they didn't. So, now we will fight for our cause". Two hundred women were arrested shortly afterwards after trying to storm Downing Street and fighting with police. This incident triggered a new phase of campaign by the suffragettes. A campaign of violence. ...read more.

Conclusion

This incident triggered a new phase of campaign by the suffragettes. A campaign of violence. The suffragettes now turned to violence in 1912 to try to gain the vote because they were so angry at being treated like they were. They were being force fed, treated violently by police, indecently assaulted by police and were now determined to do anything to get the vote. Another reason why women turned to violence was to be noticed, this is shown in Source D "The newspapers are full of us" and because they believed violence was the only thing that would get them anywhere. Windows were smashed all across London (including Oxford Street), a famous painting of a nude woman (Velasquez's Venus With a Looking Glass) was slashed in the National Gallery by Sylvia Pankhurst, politicians' telephone wires were cut, post offices were burnt down, golf courses torn up with acid poured on them and David Lloyd George's house was even burnt down. This showed the need women felt to get noticed and how determined and desperate women were to have the vote. Source E shows Emily Davison who, In June 1913, at the most important race of the year, the Derby, ran out on the course and attempted to grab a horse owned by King George V so that she could get the issue of women's suffrage noticed. The horse hit Emily and the impact fractured her skull and she died without regaining consciousness. Emily Davison was the only suffragette who deliberately risked death to get her point across. Source E shows how determined and desperate Emily Davison was for the vote however her actions did not have the desired impact on the general public since they believed she was mentally ill. Throughout this time the suffragists still continued to campaign peacefully. However, they were ignored because of the actions of the suffragettes. As a consequence people now believed that the suffragists were just the same as the suffragettes and couldn't be trusted. ?? ?? ?? ?? Shershah Assadullah 10T Question 3 ...read more.

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