who were the suffragettes?
The Suffragettes

Who were the Suffragettes?

By 1903, some women became so frustrated that men wouldn’t give them the vote that they decided to form a new organisation. This was called the Womens Social and Political Union but they were known as the SUFFRAGETTES and they were prepared to use violent and aggressive methods to get what they wanted. However, the Suffragettes hoped that whatever tactics they used, no one would be physically hurt except perhaps themselves. The leader of the Suffragettes was a woman called EMMELINE PANKHURST.

1) What were some women angry about?
2) What was the name of the group that some women organised?
3) What were these women prepared to use to get what they wanted?
4) Who was the leader of this group?

What did the Suffragettes do?

For over ten years the Suffragettes tried to get Parliament to change the law and allow women to get the vote. At the start of their campaign they held large meetings, shouted at politicians and wrote petitions to Parliament, but this did not make much difference. So the methods changed and became more militant (more aggressive). They smashed windows, burned post boxes and bombed and burned buildings. Some women were arrested and went to prison. When they were in prison Suffragettes went on HUNGER STRIKE and refused to eat. Eventually the women were FORCE-FED. A tube was forced down their throat and liquid was poured down. It was very painful.

5) The _______________ tried to get Parliament to change the ________ to allow women to get the ________.

6) Try this activity in which you have to match up the correct statements about the suffragettes.


Look at these photo sources and complete the questions below:

Source A Source B


Source C Source D

7) Look at the Photographs above which show examples of the militant actions of the Suffragettes and match the captions below to the correct photo. Write out the source letter and the captions into your book.

a) A painting of Thomas Carlyle, from the National Portrait Gallery which was damaged by a Suffragette who slashed it three times with a knife.

b) Five Suffragettes holding a broken window in its frame, the woman on the left is Adela Pankhurst, daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst.

c) A racecourse stand set on fire and destroyed by the Suffragettes in 1913.

d) A Suffragette struggling with a policeman at a demonstration in London in 1910.

8) Write a paragraph to explain the militant tactics of the Suffragettes.

If you want to find out more about the Suffragettes then look at these websites:

History learning site

The Learning Curve


Votes for women