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Womens Suffrage in Britain

            In 1867 it was suggested to Parliament by John Stuart Mill that women should get the vote. This was refused but women began to take action and this issue grew in importance, until women were given the vote in 1918, just after World War One. But why was there a lack of success of the movements for women's suffrage in achieving their aims by 1914 and why were they successful in getting the vote after World War One? There were two groups of women who each used different means to try and win women the right to vote. The first group of women were the Suffragists.
             The Suffragists used peaceful activities to make their cause known. They held meetings, produced pamphlets, drew up petitions and tried to win MP's support. Until 1914 the Suffragists thought that because not all men had the vote neither should all women. The Suffragists peaceful activities did not attract much publicity or interest for their struggle as pamphlets and petitions do not make exciting news. This is probably a reason why they were unsuccessful. Perhaps if the Suffragists had joined together with all the disenfranchised men also fighting for the vote they may have been more successful. This is because there would have been more people campaigning for the same thing and there is strength in numbers, showing the Government that for many the fight for the vote was very important. However their would have been a problem with this as many of the disenfranchised men believed that women were not as important as them and so thought that women should not be entitled to the vote.
             The other group of women were known as the Suffragettes who were more militant and aggressive than the Suffragists. They interrupted political meetings with banner waving and heckling and organised rallies, marches and petitions. When they were still unsuccessful in winning votes for women they began taking part in illegal activities such as smashing windows, setting properties on fire, pouring acid through letterboxes and destroying golf courses and this resulted in imprisonment when caught.

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