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Nat 4/5: WSPU
Transcript of Nat 4/5: WSPU
The feelings afterwards are of faintness and great pain. I was sick on the first occasion.”
To begin with, ‘militancy’ meant heckling MP’s, holding demonstrations and causing damage to property.
However, the WSPU became increasingly militant. The years 1912-1914 are often referred to as their ‘wild period’ where they began attacking people as well as property.
Temporary Discharge Act (1913)
"Cat & Mouse Act"
How did the WSPU campaign for the vote
Was militancy more effective than peaceful protest?
Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU)
10th October 1903
Emmeline & Christabel Pankhurst
More working class in orientation
'Deeds not words'
Votes for women on equal terms to men
Mary Leigh 1912.
Mary Clarke, Jean Hewart, Katherine Fry were among several Suffragettes who died as a result of force-feeding.
1. How do you think the public would have reacted to these deaths?
2. What problems could these deaths have caused for the government?
Success of the WSPU?
Emily Wilding Davison
Why did women receive the vote?
The 'Wild Period'
Whilst Parliament was discussing the Conciliation Bill the WSPU agreed to suspend all militant activities & joined forces with the NUWSS to hold a grand rally in London on July 23rd 1910.
When it was announced that Parliament had rejected the Bill on Friday 18th November. The WSPU clashed with police in Parliament Square on what became known as 'Black Friday'.
There were 119 arrests in total and the police were particularly heavy handed.
Black Friday was a pre-cursor to the Suffragette wild period which lasted from 1912-14. During the wild period the WSPU increasingly became viewed as a 'terrorist' organisation and the suffragettes viewed as 'demented creatures'.
'...speaking with Christabel Pankhurst is like going to a lunatic asylum and talking to a man who thinks he is God.'
David Lloyd George, Chancellor
Wild Period Tactics
Pouring Acid in letterboxes
Many people felt that their tactics were too extreme and harmed the votes for women cause.
However, some have argued that the government was fearful of the WSPU, particularly when war broke out.
The Government gave the WSPU £2000 to stop campaigning when the war broke out.
Many historians have argued that the reason women got the vote in 1918 was because the Government were fearful of the WSPU restarting their campaign.
1. What evidence is there to indicate that the Government were fearful of the WSPU?
2. Who do you think played a more important role in women gaining the vote the WSPU or NUWSS?
Slashing paintings in the National Gallery
1. How would these tactics have helped the WSPU gain support?
2. How would these tactics have damaged the votes for women campaign?
Emily Davison & the 'Derby Incident'