Women s suffrage movements
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Women’s Suffrage Movements. Aim of Lesson. To analyse the contribution made by the Suffragists and Suffragettes in gaining women the right to vote. Suffragists. Was the first and biggest as well as the most successful of the women’s suffrage movements. Peaceful methods of protest.

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Women’s Suffrage Movements

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Women s suffrage movements

Women’s Suffrage Movements


Aim of lesson

Aim of Lesson

  • To analyse the contribution made by the Suffragists and Suffragettes in gaining women the right to vote.


Suffragists

Suffragists

  • Was the first and biggest as well as the most successful of the women’s suffrage movements.

  • Peaceful methods of protest.

  • NUWSS numbers grew considerably and was far bigger than the WSPU.

  • NUWSS – 1907: 6,000 members

    1913: 50,000 members


Analysis success or failure

Analysis - Success or failure?

  • Failed to gain the vote.

  • But many impressed by the dignified and well-organised way the Suffragists conducted themselves.

  • Attracted many loyal followers, campaigned vigorously and won the support of many MPs.

  • Historian Martin Pugh argues that because of the Suffragists quiet persuasion many prominent MPs supported them such as Lloyd George, but he also states that most MPs gave them only ‘lukewarm’ support.


Analysis continued

Analysis continued

  • Did not win the vote despite no less than 4 attempts to introduce women’s suffrage bills to parliament.

  • Still a lot of anti-suffrage feeling – eg. Queen Victoria. Also, a lot of working class men who disliked these pushy, mainly middle class, women.


Suffragettes

Suffragettes

  • Motto = “Deeds not Words”

  • 1905-1908 – Campaign of disruption of political meetings, heckling politicians, large parades, chalking slogans on streets etc.

  • 1909-1914 – Increasingly violent – smashing windows, pepper bombs, setting fire to pillar boxes etc.


Women s suffrage movements

  • Death of Emily Davison. Click on picture to view clip.

  • Hunger campaign that resulted in force feeding and ultimately The Prisoners Temporary Discharge Act 1912.


Analysis success or failure1

Analysis - Success or failure?

  • Achieved publicity for the cause of women’s suffrage – not always good publicity.

  • Did boost numbers – at some WSPU rallies as many as 30,000 attended.

  • Did put pressure on politicians to try to appease women – eg. A lot of sympathy for hunger strikers.


Analysis continued1

Analysis Continued

  • But was a distinct male backlash against suffragettes – MPs like Labour MP George Lansbury defeated at by-elections

  • National League for Opposing Women’s Suffrage was founded 1911.

  • Even peaceful NUWSS was blamed for violence.


Analysis historiography

Analysis/Historiography

  • Historian Pugh argues that the Suffragettes actually harmed the cause of women’s suffrage by turning MPs against the suffrage movement following attacks on them – eg. Conciliation Bills


Conciliation bills

Conciliation Bills

  • 1911 votes for women getting the vote = 225

    Against = 88 – Therefore, passes first reading.

  • 1911-1912 Suffragettes wage a violent campaign against MPs.

  • 1912 votes for women getting the vote = 208

    Against = 222 – Therefore, fails second reading.


Analysis overview

Analysis Overview

  • Women did not achieve the vote by 1914.

  • However, the Suffragists and Suffragettes did put the issue of votes for women on the political map.


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