The campaign to win the vote
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The Campaign to win the vote. The issue of the vote became the focus of women’s struggle for equality Women had to fight for themselves getting little help from men Chartists campaign earlier was rejected, debate re-emerged after 1867 Reform bill by John Stuart Mill amendment rejected

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The Campaign to win the vote

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The campaign to win the vote

The Campaign to win the vote

  • The issue of the vote became the focus of women’s struggle for equality

  • Women had to fight for themselves getting little help from men

  • Chartists campaign earlier was rejected, debate re-emerged after 1867 Reform bill by John Stuart Mill amendment rejected

  • Women householders gained the right to vote but a further amendment of the third reform bill was also rejected by Gladstone


Why opposition

Most Politicians were against reform fearing women would vote for the opposition

Labour Party wanted women suffrage especially for working class women rather than just property owners

Involvement in politics would threaten the family and society

Corrupt women making them less feminine

Too emotional and not educated

Attitude came From all social classes

Why opposition?


Movement to gain votes 2 wings

Movement to gain votes: 2 wings

  • Suffragists traced roots back to 19th century

  • Millicent Fawcett was the leader from 1887 of the NUWSS

  • Peaceful persuasion and education always within the law

  • Suffragists wrote pamphlets and held meetings


The suffragists

The Suffragists

  • Exclusively middle class although acknowledged that support of working class women was needed

  • Gore-Booth sisters worked in the mills of Lancashire to gain their support

  • Many of the working class women however found themselves to be ‘voices in the wilderness’

  • Although many women were drawn together as never before, giving them an identity


The suffragettes

The Suffragettes

  • Born out of the suffragist movement in 1903

  • Emmeline Pankhurst broke away from the NUWSS

  • Named the WSPU its motto was ‘deeds not words’


The suffragettes1

The Suffragettes

  • The suffragettes were prepared to break the law

  • In 1906 politicians, suffragists and suffragettes met Campbell Bannermann

  • He informed them that although he was in favour of women’s suffrage his cabinet were divided

  • The suffragist response was to launch a campaign of leaflets the suffragettes on the other hand was to heckle MP’s, marches, demonstrations which led to arrests

  • In 1907 women broke away from the WSPU to form WFL, the Pankhursts established an even firmer grip


Militant tactics

Militant tactics

  • By 1909 tactics had become more militant

  • Attacks on MPs, broken windows, chaining themselves to railings outside HOC

  • Opposition from press and the public increased, women were described as unfeminine, masculine and frustrated spinsters

  • Despite this by 1909 there was branches all over, the NUWSS had 13,000 members also

  • The movements were growing apart as the NUWSS believed that militancy was losing them supporters


Conciliation bill and its failure

1910- conciliation bill was drafted under Asquith

Bill was suspended which resulted in further campaigns

Failed in 1912 to get majority

WSPU committed to programme of violence

‘wild period’ paintings slashed, premises firebombed, death of Emily Davison

Hunger strikes

Did this do more harm than good?

Men’s role

Conciliation Bill and its failure


Did the coming of war delay the franchise

Did the coming of war delay the franchise?

  • Asquith recognised that these women had genuine social grievances which could be tackled if women had the vote

  • In time it was argued that he would have brought in a bill to provide for universal suffrage

  • War however scaled down the activities

  • Women instead had to fill the jobs left by the men ‘business as usual’


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