The Differences Between the Methods of the Suffragists and the Suffragettes

The Differences Between the Methods of the Suffragists and the Suffragettes

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The Differences Between the Methods of the Suffragists and the Suffragettes

For women to campaign for being able to vote they were two main
organisations involved in trying to make this successful for women.
Their names were first the NUWSS were the suffragists group. The NUWSS
were formed in 1897. Mrs Millicent Garret Fawcett was its president.
Suffragists meant that they preferred to take action by moral force.

The name of the other group was the WSPU they were known as the
suffragettes. They were members of the Women's Social and Political
Union (WSPU). Founded in Manchester in 1903 by the Pankhurst family,
the approach was very different from the NUWSS. The suffragettes liked
to take action with physical force as well as moral force.

Both groups WSPU and NUWSS tried to get succeed in able to vote in
different ways. These groups had some legal and illegal methods to get
their own way. The legal methods were meetings, demonstrations and
pilgrimages in which both parties took part. Some illegal activities
that they tried to do were Tax evasion and census methods, propaganda
techniques and persuading the parliament. In both these legal and
illegal activities both parties took part. The NUWSS organised its
first London procession for 9th February 1907. It was to show
politicians and the general public the demand for women's suffrage.
Due to bad weather the demonstration became known as the "Mud March".
Over 3000 women marched from Hyde Park to Exeter Hall, in the Strand,
accompanied by bands playing music. The banners they carried
represented over 40 different women's organisations. The founder of
the Labour party, Keir Hardie, and well-known writers like H.G. Wells
made speeches in support of votes for women. At the time there was a
sense of shock at the sight if women marching in this kind of public
demonstration.

Most of the illegal activities were participated by the WSPU. They
committed such illegal activities such as Arson attacks. The main
reason for doing arson attacks was a response to the window smashing

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attacks but more severe. These arson attacks mainly started in the
year 1914. When at least four major acts of arson were committed.
These arson attacks caused the arrest of Emmeline Pankhurst. All of
the women to act in a physical manner. This helped women because if
the government did not listen to there demands these women may have
carried on more and could have caused more and more damage.

Another illegal activity done by the WSPU was that they had done a lot
of window smashing to try to expand the right to vote. They first of
all started the window smashing because the women received very bad
treatment outside the House of Commons. Emmeline Pankhurst encouraged
a lot of women to this by when she gave the speech at The Albert Hall
in October 1912. That was when she said things like "Those who can
break windows break them. Those of you who can still further attack
the secret idol of property so as to make the government realise that
property is a greatly endangered by women suffrage". So this had
triggered of the women to react in such a violent manner. Another
purpose for women smashing windows was because they were refused to
receive a deputation of suffragettes. When Emmeline Pankhurst and a
group of elderly suffragists were turned out from the House of Commons
and arrested this was costly. As they were arrested this prompted
women to break windows at the privacy council, the Treasury and the
Home Office. This act soon became an official policy of the party.
Women went around destroying windows of many very important places in
Britain trying to get their view across. As they did this most of the
important people in their party had been arrested so they would get
revenge by smashing more windows. Most of the attacks were done in the
year 1913. Asquith introduced the franchisee and registration bill in
June 12th. He promised to bring in amendments that would make women be
able to vote when the House of Commons discussed the Bill. They were
four amendments; all of the four amendments offered women suffrage in
diverse forms. A speaker announced that giving women the vote would
change the bill so much that it would be withdrawn. It had come to an
end in January 1913. The Prime Minister Asquith was left in disbelief
and was in shock to solve the problem he provided time for a private
member Bill in favour of votes for women.

One more illegal activity that the suffragettes did was that they went
out on hunger strikes to give them the right to vote. Marion
Wallace-Dunlop was imprisoned when for stencilling a quotation from
the bill of rights on a wall of the House of Commons. As a result of
her being arrested she went on a hunger strike. Then this sort of act
became a policy in the WSPU. The WSPU used the hunger strikes to get
the sympathy vote from around the world. Many women were informed
about when working class women were forcibly fed and they were not
given and medical aid or were not examined to see if they were healthy
or not. Upper class women were shown much more greater contemplation
then the working class women. A woman called Lady Constance Lytton in
1911 disguised herself as a working class woman called Jane Wharton to
commit a criminal act to end up facing imprisonment. She received no
confection she was fed brutally seven times. This attracted much more
media hype, as the WSPU were able to class division that existed
equally in prison and the society. So this really helped women to get
more support from around the world. So they became much stronger and
were prepared to face any test. So the party became more popular and
they were much closer to gaining the right to vote. Suffragette
prisoners continued to go on hunger strikes and demand political
status. There was public outcry at the government's force- feeding. In
April 1913 authorities rushed through the prisoners temporary
discharge for ill health act. The way this act was operated the WSPU
called it the " Cat and Mouse Act". Under the terms of the act hunger
strikes or mice were released on special licence by authorities or cat
for a precise period of time. However they could then be re-arrested
and returned to prison to complete sentences whenever the authorities
or cat wished.

Harassing authority was another important illegal activity that women
used to be able to be given the right to vote. The WSPU also took part
in this illegal activity aswell. This activity was mainly aimed at the
Church and the state. They had singled out the Church because it was
seen strangely enough both as the "Lackey" of government and as a
symbol of resistance against power. The Church was blamed for its
"Shameful" and disrespectfully complaint attitude. The Church was
speaking out against the make suffer of imprisoned suffragette
martyrs. It was also targeted because the Church policy of equality by
not giving their complete support to votes for women. They were trying
to imply this because Jesus Christ was regarded as a great person who
spoke out against unfairness; the Church was thought to need reminding
of its past very important role. So there was a widespread protest to
pray in support of votes for women. In 1913 at St Mary's Baptist
Chapel in Norwich a woman rose during the service to say "Oh lord
Jesus who dost, at all times show tender compassion to women hear now
our petitions for our sisters who are being tortured in prison by men
calling themselves Christians". Annie Kenney who gave this speech was
soon arrested after. It was in the hands of the parliament who could
give the vote to the women. Annie Kenney asked Churchill "If you are
elected will you do your best to make women suffrage a Governments
measure? No reply was given then Christabel Pankhurst held up a banner
sayin "Votes for women". Both Annie and Christabel were arrested
outside the hall when they tried to protest again.

After a lot of women interrupted a lot of government leaders and then
received what was in essence free publicity and as a consequence
increased membership. The WSPU even interrupted political speeches
given by the liberal party who supported women suffrage. They done
this because they believed that the politicians were dishonest. Then
the government responded by banning women from political meeting this
made the WSPU very furious. The WSPU were given competition by the
Liberal Government. They would have embarrassed them easily.

The Conservative party favoured some of the view which women had about
voting. Women suffrage resolutions were passed at Conservative party
annual conferences. Most members of the Conservative party were
willing to do all they can towards vote for women. Prime minister
Disraeli, Salisbury and Balfour spoke in support of votes for women.
There was not much great evidence of any great commitment by the
Conservative leaders to execute women suffrage. John Stuart Mill
proposed a woman's suffrage improvement but Disraeli disagreed because
he wanted to extend his permit to working class men only. Lord
Salisbury did little to further the cause of women's suffrage and
voted a second reading of a women's suffrage bill in 1891. Lord Curzon
was against the votes for women all together and most members of the
Conservative party shared the same view as him.

The Liberal party were much different to the Conservative party. In
the early twentieth century Campbell Bannerman privately spoke about
the approval of votes for women but publicly blocked its progress in
the House of Commons. In 1892 Asquith gave a speech on suffrage in
which he talked about four main reasons why he was against women
suffrage. First he said vast majority of women did not want the vote,
women were not fit for the partnership. Third he said women operated
by personal influence, if the had the vote would disturb the natural
order of things. A lot of individual men gave kindly of their time and
money and energies to encourage votes for women.

Labour party was founded in the year 1906. 60 per cent of working
class men were barred from the contract as the right to vote was still
based upon the ownership or occupation of property. The key members of
the Labour party were MPs, Keir Hardie, George Lansbury and Phillip
Snowden. These men argued that it was decisive to fight one step at a
time and favoured to campaign for votes for women. In 1912 George
Lansbury MP for Bromley and Bow, also dedicated much of his political
life to women suffrage. One time he rushed across the House of Commons
floor shook his fist at Asquith and shouted, " You'll go down to
history as the man who tortured innocent women". He demanded that all
Labour MPs vote against all Liberal Government proposals until the
women were given the vote. In 1912 he resigned his place and
re-election as an independent MP as a protest against the Labour party
not being fully committed to women suffrage.

1860 was when the story begins only the peaceful methods were used but
gradually changed from the year 1914 suffragette violence was at its
peak. Both groups did not give up at all they still carried on
fighting to try to get women to be able to vote. Up until 1914 the
WSPU ceased it's campaigning many ministers were in danger.
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