Violence In The Suffrage Movement

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Violence was a crucial key in The Suffrage Movement which gained women the right to vote in England, 1918. During the 19th century, Britain was going through a period of great political and social change. Throughout this time, there was a prominent aspect for the fight for women 's suffrage. As women 's involvement in society became more common, politicians found it hard to find a rational reason for woman not gaining vote. At the time none of the political parties were campaigning for women 's vote, thus the association of women 's suffrage was established. The suffrage campaign was a great influence in the liberal government giving woman the right to vote. The Suffragettes, a women 's social and political union (WSPU) established by Emmeline …show more content…
In realisation that the campaign was not moving fast enough the WSPU decided to take more violent acts for their cause. In October 1905, a meeting in ‘Manchester 's Free Trade Hall’ was held. During Sir Edward Grey’s speech Christabel Pankhurst and Anne Kenney repeatedly shouted “will the Liberal Government give votes to women?”. When they refused to refrain from calling out, the police were asked to escort them away from the premises, the two Suffragettes resisted and were then arrested and charged for assault against police officers. This gained the Suffragettes attention and astonishment from the British public, which they took notice in the use of violence to win the vote for woman. This was the first official act of violence by the Suffragettes. As the association grew, the illegal militant acts then became more violent. The Suffragettes committed arson, property damage and domestic terrorism. Targeting upper class/important men, political figures and those they felt did not support their campaign. They poured acid on or set alight letter boxes containing letters and postcards, the windows of shops or offices …show more content…
As the fight for women 's suffrage continued, the fight was also brought into the prisons. Woman who were sent to prison protested through hunger strikes as they were being denied of ‘political prisoner status’. The government 's responded by tempting the prisoners with decadent and delicious food. With the reason of, if the prisoners died due to the hunger strikes the government had the fear of the women becoming martyrs, making the Suffragette’s campaign stronger. Of Course this did not work and the government responded with the barbaric and brutal solution of force feeding. The act of which the women were forcibly fed by the doctors and nurses in the prisons against their will, putting a wooden gag or metal gag, if the prisoner was not co-operating, inside the mouth of the prisoner and feeding them through a large tube which was vigorously forced down the prisoner 's throat or nostrils. Force-feeding was traditionally associated with those held in asylums and who could not feed themselves. Members of the British public disapproved of and frowned upon this method. As a result the government had to end the force-feeding. As the hunger strikes continued the government introduced ‘The ‘Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill Health) Act’ in 1913 or as it is more known for ‘The Cat and Mouse Act’. The purpose was to commence the re-arrest of the Suffragettes after they had

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