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Women’s Social and Political Union

60 second histories

This video covers:  The WSPU; the Women’s Social and Political Union

By nineteen o three I was tired of the years of moderate speeches and promises about women’s suffrage from members of Parliament that yielded no progress. Oh, there had been suffrage bills in eighteen seventy, eighteen eighty-six and again in eighteen ninety-seven, which had all shown promise, but had all been defeated. I doubted any of the political parties would ever make women’s suffrage a priority; I had even broken with the Labour Party when they refused to focus on women’s rights. I believed the time had come to abandon the patient tactics of existing advocacy groups and adopt more militant actions. So, on the tenth of October nineteen o three, I, together with several colleagues, founded the Women’s Social and Political Union or the WSPU for short. The organisation was open to women only and it focused on direct action to win the vote. “Deeds not words” was to be our motto. At first we took non-violent action; we made speeches, held rallies, gathered petition signatures and published newsletters. We even held our own Women’s Parliaments to coincide with official government sessions.
20th Century
Suffragette Movement
Key people
Suffragette Movement
Emmeline Pankhurst
Key words: 
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