Women were often considered simple, too emotional for politics.
Many were reluctant to see them break free of their traditional
The early compaigners for the vote were called the Suffragists.
They spread their compaign through peaceful methods-marches,
petitions, rallys, posters and leaflets.
• The Liberal party remained reluctant to support them, fearing
women’s suffrage would lead to more votes for their rivals-
the Conservatives. But the Conservatives refused to support
• The only party who supported women’s suffrage was the
Labor. A party too small at the time to be of real significance.
• This lack of progress frustrated many women and led to the
formation of the Suffragettes, a radical protest group aimed to
attract attention through violence and vandalism.
• In 1908, another bill concerning women’s suffrage was
refused by parliament, the Suffragettes had to intensify their
campaign. Stones were thrown at 10 Downing street, many
women were arrested.
In 1911, another Bill went through Parliament about
women’s suffrage. This Bill was popular with many
MPs, and it seemed the women would finally get the
right to vote.
But before it could be adopted the Prime Minister
Asquith intervened and the Bill was dropped.
Both Suffragists and Suffragettes were furious.
The Suffragists organised a march in
London to protest.
The Suffragettes escalated their campaign of violence, they
placed bombs in churches and warehouses, cut phone lines,
burnt men’s clubs. Some of them were imprisoned.
Protests continued even in prison, women would go on hunger
strikes. The government responded by allowing force feeding.
The campaigners made the most of this, winning
a lot of support due to the brutal treatment of
In 1913 the government passed an act which
allowed hunger-strikers to leave prison to
recover, before returning to serve their
In 1914, World War One broke out, and the
Suggragists and Suffragettes suspended their
campaigns to support the war effort.
• But the Suffragette and Suffragist campaigns
brought about the foundation for gaining
suffrage- they raised awareness and gathered
• The suffrage campaign would have likely led
to the vote eventually, but the war quickened
• At first only women-householders over the age
of 30 were allowed to vote.
• In 1928, all women were granted the right to