• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Was the period 1880 - 1903 one of failure for the suffragists?

Extracts from this document...


Was the period 1880 - 1903 one of failure for the suffragists? During the period 1880 - 1903, not a great deal was achieved by the suffragists in the quest for the vote for women. This led to Emmeline Pankhurst saying in 1903, that the time from 1880 onwards had been one of failure. She then continued to set up the Women's Social and Political Union. I, however, disagree with this statement as I feel that the knowledge and courage that was gained during this time led to better campaigns later on. In 1880, the Liberal government was elected into power and with them a majority in favour of female suffrage. When debating the third Reform Act, an amendment was included proposing that women had the vote on equal basis with the men. However, a major barrier against this came from the Prime Minister, William Gladstone, who made it clear that he didn't support it. Although not openly hostile he later admitted that he was against women's suffrage, and that he felt women would vote conservative. As a result of this defeat, so close to their goal, many women stopped supporting a 'hopeless case' and there was a dissention within the movement over tactics and leadership. ...read more.


It was an immediate success with women but what is most striking is that it was a body which incorporated men and women rather than segregating them. Full women members regularly convened political meetings, brought voters to the polls on election days, and distributed campaign literature to small and remote villages. The League did not campaign in favour of women's suffrage, but made it clear that it's members were free to support women's suffrage if they wished. Also set up at the same time were Women's Liberal Associations. These were set up to combat many Liberals' indifference to women's suffrage. Their growth accelerated after the success of the Primrose League but differed in that all the members were women. In 1887 they came under the control of the Women's Liberal Federation. The experience women gained from WLAs was similar to the Primrose League, however once part of the Women's Federal Association they attempted to broaden their membership base, often enlisting professional women of the temperance (anti-alcohol) and moral reform movement. As a result, WLA members learned not only to face the general public in door-to-door canvassing, but to confront male politicians in local meetings. Inevitably, they were introduced to the techniques of practical electioneering, and many learned their lessons well. ...read more.


This Act was a significant advance for married women and removed a source of division between the Suffrage Societies. This led to a conference of all Suffrage Societies in 1896. Speakers at the Conference stressed that the 'political difficulty' within the movement need not divide it since Women's Suffrage was a non-party issue. Suffragists from all groups worked together to organise a petition in support of the franchise. In 1897 this petition was presented to Parliament and used to back the Women's Suffrage Bill, which although did not become law, did get past its second reading and was a catalyst for the formation of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) with Mrs Millicent Garrett Fawcett as it's president. Between 1897 and 1903 the NUWSS coordinated the campaign for women's suffrage and it remained the focus of the constitutionalist approach after 1903. Although, in terms of political gains for the suffragists these 23 years may have seemed to have gained very little, in fact they were invaluable in equipping the movement with knowledge and experience of political campaigning as well as raising the profile of women in the political arena. Without the work put in by women during this time gains made in later years would have been harder to achieve. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. To what extent was ‘Inept Leadership’ responsible for the failure of Chartism?

    Ultimately there must not be too much blame attached to Chartism's leaders to explain its failure, as there was organisation and popular support (300,000 people at peaceful 1838 protests12), coupled with the belief and superb platform speaking skills of O'Connor13 to instil the belief in audiences.

  2. How and why did Federation occur?

    Consequently, the government introduced a scheme where migrants were taught English, looked after migrants welfare, developed ethnic tolerance and set up a Good Neighbour policy which encouraged a mixing of the 'old' and 'new. * Integration replaced Assimilation when large ethnic areas developed and it was obvious that ethnic cultures were being maintained.

  1. Describe the ways in which the methods of the Suffragettes and the Suffragists were ...

    could organise themselves well enough to put forward their case to be given the vote. It showed a high level of responsibility and an ability to get what needed to be done, completed. That in itself is something that the men of the time may not have thought women capable of doing.

  2. Do you agree with the view that in the years 1880-1903 reliance upon peaceful ...

    In this way, they moved decisively beyond the conventional female sphere and, by the end of the century, politicians on both sides had accepted the necessity of women's participation. The conservatives adopted women's suffrage resolutions in 1887, 1889, 1891 and 1894.

  1. WWI, The Twenty-One Demands and The May Fourth Movement

    Article 3 The Chinese Government agree to Japan's building a railway connecting Chefoo or Lungkow with the Kiaochou Tsinanfu Railway. Article 4 The Chinese Government engage to open of their own accord, as soon as possible, certain important cities and towns in the Province of Shantung for the residence and commerce of foreigners.

  2. Analyse the causes of Mexico's instability in the period 1821-1855

    Financial rewards maintained the loyalty of the caudillos followers and as a result the more limited the supply of ready wealth, the more rapidly the caudillos changed. Economic constraints were facilitated by the enormous amount of government expenses. A great part of it was spent on defence and Victoria kept a costly, large, standing army of 50,000 men intact.

  1. Was the Provisional Government doomed to failure?

    in Russian society that did not like to surrender to Germany and defeat would have meant loss of land and national humiliation. Thirdly, the Kadets and other conservative forces thought that a successful offensive might put the generals and officers back in control of the army, who were not operating under the Petrograd Soviet.

  2. The woman's suffrage movement grew out of the changing relationship between men and women ...

    Perhaps it was the speech making which showed how women had changed since 1867, certainly courage was needed, as stated by Snellgrove (1964) "Suffragette speakers were pelted with stones, tomatoes, flour, dead and sometimes live mice."(p.25) Members of the NUWSS felt the militant actions of the WSPU would alienate potential supporters of women suffrage.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work