Describe the ways in which the methods of the suffragists and the Suffragettes were different

Describe the ways in which the methods of the suffragists and the Suffragettes were different
Describe the ways in which the methods of the suffragists and the Suffragettes were different During the 1860s many separate groups formed campaigning for women?s suffrage. These groups were called suffragist societies and were mainly based in large cities. In 1897 Millicent Fawcett brought all the societies into the single nuwss (National Union of Women?s Suffrage Societies). In just a few years membership increased to about 50000 and even included some male members. In 1903 after campaigning for 40 years and achieving very little a separate group split off and formed the wspu (Women?s Social and Political Union) led by Emmeline Pankhurst. These two separate groups were called Suffragists and Suffragettes respectively and they had very different methods. The Suffragists acted constitutionally to try and gain votes for women. They carried on with the same methods for nearly 50 years. They were peaceful and included activities such as writing letters and creating petitions.
They tried to prove to men that they were sensible and should be allowed to vote because they were just as intelligent and able to make informed decisions as men. They tried to get MPs to join their cause by polite persuasion and asking questions. This was the main group and they were not as radical as the Suffragettes. Many felt let down by the activities of the Suffragettes as what they did had the opposite effect to what the Suffragists wanted. The Suffragettes had a more militant approach. When they originally broke off from the Suffragists they still acted mainly within the law. They attacked the government at by-elections, where they could make a larger impact than at a general election since they could concentrate their activities on a single constituency. They opposed liberal candidates who supported votes for women as well as those who did not. This was because, as they saw it, the existing government would not grant women?s suffrage and the best way to bring it down was to oppose all of its supporters. The purpose of their activities was not to show that they deserved to get the vote but to express their displeasure at the government?s current refusal to grant suffrage. It is important to remember that the Suffragettes did not only use militant means but also kept constitutional activities running for the entirety of their campaign. They would heckle MPs and they were one of the first movements to successfully use propaganda and gimmicks. They even invented games such as ?suffragettes in and out of prison?, which resembled snakes and ladders and was played with a dice. They would print political cartoons on postcards and on one occasion ballooned over London showering leaflets into the air. Another main tactic they used was to organise rallies. On 21st June 1908 they held a rally in Hyde Park with a crowd that some spectators estimated to contain as many as five hundred thousand people. Despite all this the activities that gained the most publicity and that they are best remembered for were militant. This began on 10th October 1905 when Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney interrupted Sir Edward Gray?s meeting in Manchester. They were charged with obstruction and Christabel was also charged with assaulting the police. This single incident gained more publicity than a year of campaigning and because of this militancy was then adopted as the official policy of the Suffragettes. In the beginning militancy came about because of constitutional activities but later, particularly after the conciliation bill of 1911 law breaking was deliberate and planned. Even before that, militant activities had begun in earnest. They would throw stones through windows. Many would be wrapped in paper to avoid injuring people accidentally and some were even tied to string so they could pull the stones back. This activity started as a symbolic protest by smashing the windows of government offices but later it was used for the deliberate destruction of property. The first suffragette to hunger strike was Wallace Dunlop on 2nd July 1908 and it was in protest at the government not treating them as political prisoners. After this it was used as a way of obtaining a quick release from prison. The government did not want to create any martyrs and so released them when they refused to eat. To counter this the government force-fed them. This was then used as propaganda against the government. The force-feeding led to more extreme militant actions being used by the Suffragettes. From 1912 onwards they began to elude the police and try to avoid arrest instead of allowing themselves to be arrested. They smashed shop windows on a large scale and began to use arson as a regular weapon. They would cause any destruction they could except for deliberate injury to people. Many buildings were set on fire, including a church, a voluntary hospital and a railway station. They set fire to the contents of pillar-boxes and damaged golf courses. These activities meant that opposition to them became stronger and alienated the general public from their cause. Both groups contributed to achieving women?s suffrage. However in my opinion the Suffragists were more effective. I think this because although the Suffragettes gained a lot of publicity by their actions, they also gave legitimate reasons not to give women the vote. The reasons before their campaign were based almost solely on prejudice. They said things like ?Women should not get involved in politics as it would lead to them not marrying and having children and eventually the human race would die out.? This may seem absurd to us now but many women agreed with that point of view at the time. The Suffragists were campaigning against those reasons and changing people?s minds about the issue. The Suffragettes merely gave a valid argument against granting the right to vote. WK Haselden presents this in a cartoon. It shows a suffragette listing the trouble she has caused and then wondering why she has not got the vote. Another cartoon called ?the shrieking sister? by Bernard Partridge shows the relation between Suffragettes and Suffragists well. It has a suffragette fighting to get past a sensible woman and the sensible woman says, ?You, help our cause? Why you?re its worst enemy!? This illustrates what the effect of militancy was. The Suffragettes and Suffragists used different tactics. Suffragists acted constitutionally whereas Suffragettes were more militant as well as using constitutional means. They both campaigned for Women?s suffrage, however they used opposite arguments to do so. Suffragists tried to prove they were sensible and deserved the vote but Suffragettes fought for it.

Describe the ways in which the methods of the suffragists and the Suffragettes were different 9.2 of 10 on the basis of 2601 Review.