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What were the main differences between the suffragettes and the suffragists?

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Introduction

What were the main differences between the suffragettes and the suffragists? Women's suffrage societies campaigned for the right to vote since the 1850's. When the Kensington Society was deprived of the Reform Act in 1866 that enabled men and women to have equal political rights, they created the London Society of Women's Suffrage. Millicent Fawcett joined them in 1867. Lydia Becker ran one of the main suffrage groups in Manchester. In 1887 women's suffrage groups agreed that they would be better off if they joined together to create one large women's suffrage society. Thus creating the NUWSS (National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies). Known as the Suffragists. Lydia Becker ran the society and Millicent Fawcett took over as leader when Lydia Becker died in 1890. The NSPU (The Women's Social and Political Union), was created in October 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst. The union was set up after several of the NUWSS members became bored of the same routine of protesting using leaflets and petitions. ...read more.

Middle

They tried using different but legal methods of getting parliaments attention by writing letters to newspapers and MP's and circulating petitions and leaflets. They managed to get quite a few MP's on their side, but the women still didn't get the vote. But on the other hand the Suffragettes favoured a women only policy. They moved to London in 1906, where the main newspapers, law courts and the Prime Minister were. This was because their main cause was to gain as much publicity for their cause as possible. Moving to London meant that they could get more media and legal attention. They used very extreme methods of doing this. In 1908, Edith New chained herself to the railings on Downing Street. By doing this, they could have more time to protest before the police took them away. A further difference between the Suffragettes and the Suffragists was over the actions they took when the bill in parliament to allow votes for women was suddenly dropped in 1911. ...read more.

Conclusion

New suffragette propaganda showed thin, weak women being held down and force fed with a tube down their throat by men. These helped create the Cat and Mouse Act in 1913, which meant that women could be arrested, let out of prison when their health deteriorated and then re-arrested when they got better. In 1917, the Suffragettes formed the Women's Party that campaigned for equal pay, maternity rights for women and infant care. This benefited more than just the cause of suffrage. In conclusion the main difference between the Suffragettes and the Suffragists were that they used very different methods of getting what they want. The suffragists believed that the only way they that would be taken seriously is if the stuck to legal methods to campaign for their cause and the Suffragettes believed that the only way they would be taken seriously was if they broke away from being traditional women and playing feminine roles. The thought that by using more violence and showing people what they were really capable of they could make a difference whereas the Suffragists thought that they were setting a responsible image for their society and finding legal ways to get around the system. ...read more.

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