the suffragette movement

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– The Suffragette Movement Extended Essay: Critically describe and analyse the Women’s Suffrage Movement between 1905 and 1918, identifying the salient events, aims and tactics of the different Suffrage societies, the attitudes of the different political parties; comparing and contrasting different historical viewpoints. In his book “The British Women’s Suffrage Campaign 1866 – 1928”, Harold L. Smith writes that “The women’s suffrage movement was a watershed in British women’s history. It brought women together in a mass movement unparalleled in British history.” (Smith, 1998). Although this may be generally true, any in depth study of the women’s suffrage movement, particularly during the ten years between 1904 and 1914, will show that far from being united, the various suffrage societies were divided, both in their aims and in the tactics employed to achieve these aims. There were divisions between the groups’ aims regarding issues of class, party allegiance, social culture, morality and national identity. A major rift appeared concerning the methods used to attract support for these aims, the main point of contention being militant activity. The campaign for women’s suffrage has its roots in the latter part of the 19th century. British society had altered dramatically during the 19th century, with the Industrial Revolution bringing changes in living and working conditions, with the growth of class consciousness, with improvements in transportation and communications, and with the education of the masses. For the first time in history ordinary men and women knew how to read and write, and the development of a free press meant that ordinary people had more social awareness than at any previous time. Male householders and tenants in urban areas had had the vote since 1868, and in 1884 Gladstone’s new Reform Act had extended the franchise to rural working
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