• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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

    The discussion of the entire corpus of the proposals was practically at an end at the twenty-fourth conference; that is on the 17th of the last month. The Imperial Government, taking a broad view of the negotiation and in consideration of the points raised by the Chinese Government, modified the

  2. How and why did Federation occur?

    was British born. 96% of the population described themselves as "Christian". * In 1901, 30% of the population lived in capital cities, 20% on rural land and the balance lived in coastal towns, regional towns or the developing suburbs of the major cities.

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

    They wanted the church to share in state power and believed that the foreign, liberal Bourbon monarchs had disrupted colonial peace. They opposed the Bourbon attempts at weakening the church and other privileges, to decentralise the bureaucracy and instituting free trade policies, which would only serve to weaken their control of wealth and power.

  2. Was the Provisional Government doomed to failure?

    By autumn 1917, an estimated 2 million men had unofficially left the army Had Russia negotiated a treaty with Germany sooner, they could have avoided further loss of lives and support. They would have lost territory and would have possibly been considered an enemy of Britain and France as a

  1. 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.

  2. The Suffragettes & The Suffragists.

    There were also many prevailing attitudes in society. The government, the media and even some women felt that universal suffrage should not be awarded. There were feelings that women were intellectually inferior to men and that their capabilities were far more limited.

  1. Civil Service Reform.

    A few minor changes can be implemented as the 'first steps' towards the full reform package. Gradually the whole process grinds into the sand of bureaucratic inertia and little, if anything, is achieved' (p28, The Civil Service under the Conservatives 1979-1997).

  2. Did Gladstone Unite or Divide the Liberals?

    In practical terms Gladstone was a firm supporter of free trade for the whole of his life political life. Alongside this was his dislike of government interference in the lives of its citizens. As a result, Gladstone supported retrenchment thereby lowering taxation.

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