Label the pictureYou have 60 seconds… Convict Padlock Sum up this picture in one sentence:
At the start of the twentieth century, women were not equal with men. • Women were seen as in charge of the home, while the man went out to work. • Most importantly, they were not allowed to vote in national General Elections. • Some people began to support the campaign to give women the vote (women’s suffrage).
The Victorians thought that the ideal wife was: • Angelic • Obedient • Pale and delicate • Silent • A possession(when a woman married her husband, her possessions and even the woman herself legally became her husband’s property)
Women had made progress in some areas. • They were allowed to vote in local elections. • In 1865, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became the first qualified female doctor. • In 1879, Somerville College opened at Oxford University – the first female college.
From 1850 women gained educational, civil and political equality. Politically • 1867 – John Stuart Mills proposed bill to give women the vote – laughed out of parliament. 71 votes for 123 against – but most abstained. • These bills were proposed more and more yet never passed. From then on these bills were proposed nearly every year. • 1869 – Municipal Franchise Act gave single women the right to vote in local elections. • 1870-1894 – women are allowed to be elected to school boards, poor law guardianship, parish and district councils. • 1870 Married Women’s Property Acts meant husbands no longer owned their property. Women were able to sue for desertion without going to the workhouse. • 1870 Education Act ( 1872 Scotland) assured girls the same basic education as boys. Miss Stockdill CDHS 2004
Suffrage • Suffrage means the right to vote. • When the Industrial Revolution began, the right to vote was limited to a small group of Anglican, upper class, land-owning men. • The economic and social changes of the Industrial Revolution will slowly force the British government to give the right to vote to middle class men, then working class men, then married women, and then all women.
“Suffragettes who have never been kissed.” Women seeking the vote were an easy target for low-grade humour.
Did women deserve the vote? Women can be teachers, lawyers and doctors. Women are not able to fight in the army so cannot defend the country. The number of women in work was increasing. Women do not want to vote. Women are increasingly involved in political activities, like trade unions. If women could vote they might abandon their families for politics. Not giving women the vote means that they are treated the same as criminals. If women could vote, Britain would seem weaker to the other world powers. Women were allowed to vote in Australia, New Zealand and some parts of the USA. Past experience shows that men are perfectly capable of governing without women. If more people could vote, the government would be able to say that it was more democratic and represented more people. Women can already vote in local elections which deal with ‘female’ issues. Women would be more likely to want social reforms which would better the conditions of the country. Women would be told how to vote by their husbands. Women could vote in local elections and had proven that they didn’t vote for radical or ‘wacky’ people. Step 3: Try to answer the question Step 2: Think about different people having different opinions Step 1: Look at both sides of the argument
Which step does each statement match up to? On the whole, women had proved that they deserved the vote because they had shown that they were capable of playing an intelligent role in society. Most women would have supported the arguments in favour of women’s suffrage, because they wanted to gain more power and influence. Most women would have supported the arguments in favour of women’s suffrage, because they wanted to gain more power and influence. Step 1: Look at both sides of the argument Step 2: Think about different people having different opinions Step 3: Try to answer the question There were arguments in favour of women getting the vote, but there were also some arguments against it – mainly a fear of the unknown and that it was tradition that women did not vote. There were arguments in favour of women getting the vote, but there were also some arguments against it – mainly a fear of the unknown and that it was tradition that women did not vote. On the whole, women had proved that they deserved the vote because they had shown that they were capable of playing an intelligent role in society.
1 Reforming Parliament In 1815, Britain was a constitutional monarchy. Yet, it was far from democratic: • Less than five percent of the people had the right to vote. • Wealthy nobles and squires dominated politics. • The House of Lords could veto any bill passed by the House of Commons. • Catholics and non-Anglican Protestants could not vote or serve in Parliament. • Populous new cities had no seats in Parliament, while rural towns with few or no voters still sent members to Parliament. • In 1832, Parliament finally passed the Great Reform Act. • It redistributed seats in the House of Commons. • It enlarged the electorate by granting suffrage to more men.
1 A New Era in British Politics • In the 1860s, the old political parties regrouped under new leadership: • The Tories became the Conservative party, led by Benjamin Disraeli. • The Whigs evolved into the Liberal party, led by William Gladstone. • In the late 1800s, these two parties pushed little by little for suffrage to be extended. • By century’s end, almost-universal male suffrage had been achieved. • In 1911, a Liberal government passed measures to limit the power of the House of Lords. • In time, the House of Lords would become a largely ceremonial body, while the elected House of Commons would reign supreme.
Industrial Revolution Reform Act of 1832 • Growing prosperity of working, middle classes led to greater demands for political reform • 1800, landowning aristocrats made up most of Parliament • Some industrial cities had no representatives at all • Only wealthy male property owners could vote; public office restricted to men of wealth • 1830s, demands for reform too strong to ignore • Liberals challenged old aristocratic, conservative order • Reform Act of 1832 gave industrial cities representation • Also gave voting rights to middle-class men who owned certain amount of property • Women excluded from voting Social and Political Reforms During the 1830s industrialization led to rapid changes in British society, and some began to call for social and political reform.
Other Reforms • New Laws • 1833, Parliament abolished slavery in Great Britain, all British Empire • Government compensated slave owners depending on how many they freed • Parliament also passed new public health and crime laws • Chartism • 1839, group called Chartists worked for voting rights for all men • Name from People’s Charter, petition sent to Parliament demanding voting rights, secret ballot, annual elections, pay for representatives in Parliament • Parliamentary Reaction • People’s Charter rejected; Chartists gained wide popular support, staged uprisings; large revolt, 1848 • Chartists did not see immediate results but many reforms passed eventually
Compare How did the demands of Chartism compare to the voting reforms passed in 1832? Answer(s):1832 voting reforms redrew borough lines, extended vote to many middle-class property owners, gave parliamentary representation to many industrial towns, but not to industrial workers; Chartists called for additional reforms, extending the vote to all men, vote by secret ballot, annual elections, payment of representatives in Parliament
Disraeli and Gladstone Liberal vs. Conservative Male Suffrage • 1868–1885, two influential prime ministers, William Gladstone, Benjamin Disraeli, elected several times • Gladstone, Liberal party, took more progressive approach to solving society’s problems • Disraeli, Conservative party, wanted to preserve traditions of past • Disraeli put forth new reform bill to extend voting rights to more working men; passed 1867 • Another law created the secret ballot; discouraged bribery, intimidation Victorian Era Voting Reforms In 1837 Queen Victoria became the ruler of Great Britain. The Victorian Era lasted until 1901. It was a time of great change, including voting reforms that made the country more democratic.
1867 Reform Bill Question of Rights • Disraeli argued that if a woman could be queen, she should be able to vote • Tried to add women’s suffrage to 1867 reform bill but did not succeed • Suffragists tried but made little progress for nearly 40 years; lobbied, signed petitions, educated public • 1800s, women not seen as equals to men; could not own property, not legal guardians of their children • Many women thought right to vote would increase power in society • Queen Victoria against women’s suffrage, called it “mad, wicked folly” Women’s Suffrage
Women’s right to vote was an issue raised from the 1830’s through 1918 / 1928. • Concerns: • women's social and legal inequalities • education, employment, the marriage laws, and • the plight of intelligent middle-class single women. • They were not primarily concerned with the problems • of working-class women, nor did they necessarily see • themselves as feminists in the modern sense • (the term was not coined until 1895). • First Wave Feminists largely responded to specific injustices • they had themselves experienced. • Improvements: • opening of higher education for women; • reform of the girls' secondary-school system, • including participation in formal national examinations • the widening of access to the professions, especially medicine; • married women's property rights, • recognized in the Married Women's Property Act of 1870 • some improvement in divorced and separated women's child custody rights. First wave feminism 1800’s - 1920’s Mary Wollstonecraft’s book “Vindication of the rights of women” 1792 In the book she attacked the educational restrictions that kept women in a state of "ignorance and slavish dependence." She was especially critical of a society that encouraged women to be "docile and attentive to their looks to the exclusion of all else." Wollstonecraft described marriage as "legal prostitution" and added that women "may be convenient slaves, but slavery will have its constant effect, degrading the master and the abject dependent."
Mary Wollstonecraft, Frances Wright, and Margaret Fuller believed that giving women an equal education to that of men would do more to improve women’s position in society than voting rights.
The Origins of the Suffragist Movements • Female suffrage - emerged as a political issue in Britain in the 1860s following Parliament’s refusal to replace ‘man’ with person in what would become the 1867 Reform Act bill. • 19th century: loose groupings of suffragists drawing on ideas and members from other campaigns, such as the Chartists and the Abolitionists – no dominant individuals or groups until the turn of the century. • Trans-national movement, sought to redress the social injustice of male repression. • British society – support for the idea that suffragism was a mental disorder ‘akin to epidemic hysteria, with its attendant symptoms of a loss of the normal sense of decency and of the normal use of reasoning powers’. • Edward VII’s surgeon: ‘sexually embittered women’ who were clearly ‘life-long strangers to joy’.
A bit of background…… • In 1850 women were thought of as second class citizens. • People believed women were inferior to men – physically and mentally. • Women were paid less than men, and tended to do less skilled work. • They were excluded from many professions and it was thought that ‘a woman’s place is in the home’. • Women were not allowed to vote in general elections. • Women would lose their femininity in politics. • Women weren’t well educated enough to vote. • If women became involved in politics the home would suffer. • Women were too emotional to handle the responsibility of the vote.
Caption: What a Woman may be, and yet not have the vote: Mayor, Nurse, Mother, Doctor or Teacher, Factory Hand • What a man may have been, and yet not lose the vote: Convict, Lunatic, Proprietor of white slaves, Unfit for Service, Drunkard
Anti-Suffrage Caption: “WHAT! DINNER NOT READY YET! WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING?
A bit of background… Conservatives– against women voting, worried they would vote for liberal or labour. Liberals worried if property owning women were given the vote then they would vote conservative. Labour, started in 1900, were in favour of female suffrage but wanted all working class women to get the vote first. Miss Stockdill CDHS 2004
The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) was founded by Millicent Fawcett. • It was an organisation set up to win the vote for women. • By the beginning of the twentieth century it had over 500 branches. • Members of the NUWSS were nicknamed suffragists.
The NUWSS • 1897, National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies by by Millicent Fawcett - grew to have over 50,000 members. • Adherents of peaceful protest - pragmatic rather than ideological as she thought that violent behaviour would only fuel traditional notions that women were too irrational to be worthy of suffrage. • Strategy - the patient use of logical arguments to gain the vote. Argued that if women were bound by laws, surely they should have a say in their making. • \And women even employed men who could vote when they could not! • Very slow progress – converted some but the predominant feeling was still that women would not be able to understand the workings of Parliament.
National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. • Established 1897 by Millicent Fawcett. • Methods • Peaceful protest. • Petitions to parliament • E.g. 1910 presented petition with 250,000 signatures in favour of female suffrage. • Propaganda • Newspaper ‘The Suffragist’. Leaflets etc. In 1913 spend £45,000 on publicity. Miss Stockdill CDHS 2004
NUWSS Large membership • 1909 13,000 members • 1913 100,000 members and 500 branches nationwide. • Maintained support for peaceful respectful methods. • Processions gained publicity. • Peaceful methods easy to ignore. • By 1905 the press had were virtually ignoring them. • Large membership and propaganda meant they had a wide influence across Britain. Benefits of male membership. • Concentrated on a wide range of issues – not just female suffrage. • Lost essential political support from Liberals from 1910. • S. Holten argues pre war campaigning before the war was important for bringing women’s issues to the fore.
The suffragists followed traditional political methods in their fight to get the vote. • They held meetings anddemonstrations, signed petitions and wrote letters to MPs. • The suffragists made people aware of the campaign for women’s rights, but not everybody was impressed.
The WSPU • 1903, Women’s Social and Political Union founded by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters, Christabel and Sylvia. • The Union’s members became known as the Suffragettes - not prepared to be patient, willing to use violence. • Peaceful until 1905, Christabel and Annie Kenney arrested for interrupting a political meeting. They refused to pay a fine, preferring a prison sentence to highlight the injustice that was being done to them. Emmeline Pankhurst’s autobiography: ‘..this was the beginning of a campaign the like of which was never known in England, or for that matter in any other country…we interrupted a great many meetings…and we were violently thrown out and insulted. Often we were painfully bruised and hurt.’ • Violence committed by the WSPU members – burned down churches (CofE opposed to their appeals), planted a bomb in Westminster Abbey, vandalised Oxford Street shops and golf courses, firebombed the homes of politicians and sailed down the Thames hurling abuse at Parliament. • Also used some non-violent measures however, such as refusing to pay taxes, chaining themselves to Buckingham Palace and welcoming arrests.
Emmeline Pankhurst started the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1903. • Its members were called the suffragettes. • They set up a headquarters in London and hoped to draw more attention to women’s suffrage.
Central leaders in the suffrage movement in Britain included Emmeline Pankhurst, a leader of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. Various women’s organizations in the West had circulated petitions, led marches, and held demonstrations to support their demands for the right to vote. After the refusal of government officials to offer full suffrage, Pankhurst advocated extreme militancy in pursuit of woman’s rights. She helped to organize assaults on private property and hunger strikes to promote her cause. Her militancy and the less radical activities of others helped women achieve suffrage. Emmeline Pankhurst
Women’s Social and Political Union - 1903 • Founded by Emmeline Pankhurst • Motto ‘deeds not words’. • Methods • Believed in using militancy to gain the vote. • Gained publicity through propaganda, leaflets, newspapers, marches and demonstrations. • Series of 6 meetings in 1908 attracted more than 25,000 women to attend. • 1908 Demonstration Hyde Park – £1,000 spent on publicity. Miss Stockdill CDHS 2004
When the suffragettes moved to London, it provided opportunities for staging spectacular demonstrations. • Women’s Sunday on 21st June 1908 was a large meeting held by the WSPU. • It brought suffragettes from all over the UK to march in seven different processions through central London to Hyde Park.
It was a highly organised demonstration attracting a crowd of 200,000 – one of the largest single demonstrations ever up to that time. • Many dressed in the suffragette colours of purple, white and green and over 700 banners were carried. • Emmeline Pankhurst spoke to the crowds and demanded that the government supported a bill for women’s suffrage.
The organisers persuaded the authorities to remove a quarter of a mile of park railings to accommodate the processions that gathered in Hyde Park. • Amongst the brass bands, singers and parades were 20 temporary platforms erected in a circle around the park for 80 different speakers to address the crowds.
Which of these sources is the most useful to somebody trying to find out about Women’s Sunday? “I am sure a great many people never realised until yesterday how young and dainty and elegant and charming most of the leaders of the movement are. And how well they spoke – with what free and graceful gesture; never at a loss for a word or an apt reply to an interruption; calm and collected; forcible, yet so far as I heard, not violent; earnest but happily humorous as well.” Daily Mail, June 1908 A photograph of Women’s Sunday taken by a suffragette photographer in 1908 Step 2: How reliable is each source? (Think about about who made it, when and why) Step 3: How useful is each source? (Think about what it shows and what is missing) Step 1: What does each source say/show?
Which step does each statement match up to? This source thinks that the campaigners were “elegant and charming” and seems surprised by the success of the demonstration. Since the source appeared in a newspaper and was written by a journalist, it should accurately reflect the events of the day and shouldn’t twist things to make them out to be better or worse. Since the source appeared in a newspaper and was written by a journalist, it should accurately reflect the events of the day and shouldn’t twist things to make them out to be better or worse. Step 1: What does each source say/show? Step 2: How reliable is each source? (Think about about who made it, when and why) Step 3: How useful is each source? (Think about what it shows and what is missing) The photograph only shows one street leading up to Hyde Park. It doesn’t show the park itself or what is going on behind the camera – it is only a single snapshot of a single view. The photograph only shows one street leading up to Hyde Park. It doesn’t show the park itself or what is going on behind the camera – it is only a single snapshot of a single view. This source thinks that the campaigners were “elegant and charming” and seems surprised by the success of the demonstration.
Prime Minister Herbert Asquith sent a letter to Emmeline Pankhurst saying that he had nothing further to add to his previous statement: the government intended, at some point in the future, to bring in a general reform bill which might be amended to include female suffrage. • Emmeline Pankhurst was disappointed and wrote: “our wonderful demonstration, it appeared, had made no impression on him”.
18 November 1910---Black Friday • The British suffragettes were ladies with a fighting spirit. • The women of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) were used to throwing stones and smashing the windows of government buildings. • In 1910 their anger increased when a limited suffrage bill stalled in parliament. • On 18 November a procession of women on their way to parliament came to blows with the police. • On this 'Black Friday' 120 ladies were arrested and many others were assaulted.
They had a weekly newspaper called Votes for Women which had a circulation of 40,000 by 1914. • They sold WSPU merchandise and chalked messages on pavements and buildings. • However, “Deeds not Words” became their motto and they were prepared to act violently too.
Emmeline Pankhurst, Why We Are Militant, 1913 • In the following document Pankhurst explains the reasons for the rise in militant behavior. • “Know that in your minds there are questions like these; you are saying, "Women Suffrage is sure to come and how is it that some women are using violence to attain their end? Let me try to explain to you the situation. During the '80's [1880s], women, like men, were asking for the franchise more meetings were held, and larger, for Woman Suffrage than were held for votes for men, and yet women did not get it. Men got it because they were and would be violent want to say here and now that the only justification for violence for damage to property for risk to the comfort of other human beings is the fact that you have tried all other available means and have failed to secure justice from the moment we began our militant agitation to this day I have felt absolutely guiltless I tell you that in Great Britain there is no other way.”
Christabel Pankhurst “inviting members of the public to ‘rush’ the House of Commons on October 13th”
Deeds, not Words!---Violent Acts • Chaining themselves to park railings • Breaking shop windows • Setting mailboxes on fire • Sending a note on a cow to the prime minister • Digging up golf courses • Burning down railway stations and churches • Knocking off policemen helmets