Discuss the two approaches: Suffragette and Suffragists. Which do you consider the most effective?
Women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom was a national movement that began in 1872. Since the 1860s, women had been campaigning for the right to vote. Although women had made gains in areas such as education, real change could only come through by having a say in parliament. In the course of this movement, two parties were formed to fight for the rights of women: the Suffragettes and the Suffragists. Both parties were formed with the objective to campaign to let women have the right to vote, and the same political rights as men, however they had very different ways of approaching this cause. The Suffragists relied on non-violent direct action in their quest to vote, whereas the Suffragettes used direct and at times violent and militant action to aid their cause. This essays aims to compare the effectiveness of the approaches of both the parties, and in turn show which party’s approach was the most effective. In 1897, the various suffragist societies united into one National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), the main Suffragist movement. It was set up under the leadership of Millicent Fawcett, and members of the NUWSS were known as the Suffragists. The NUWSS hoped to persuade politicians to give them the right to vote and undertook a peaceful and democratic campaign. They aimed to achieve women's suffrage through peaceful and legal means, in particular by introducing Parliamentary Bills, petitions, and publishing newspapers, distributing leaflets and free literature and holding organized meetings to explain and promote their aims. Nevertheless, the group continued to grow, and by 1914 there were in excess of 500 branches throughout the country, with over 100,000 members. Many, but by no means all, of the members were middle class. Moreover, unlike the WSPU, their group also had some male members. Due to a lack of progress seen within the NUWSS’s tactics...
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