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Britain: British Society 1890-1918 - The Issue Of Votes For Women
Women doctors are common today, but there were none before Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.

Britain: British Society 1890-1918 - The Issue Of Votes For Women

In GCSE History students will learn about British society at different times. One era they will look at is from 1890-1918, and one topic covered will be the issue of votes for women.

British society changed radically in the early 20th Century. The issue of votes for women was a major political concern in the years leading up to the Great War. Women activists were divided over how to influence an apparently indifferent Parliament. Change, when it came, took many people by surprise.

Find out more about British society and the issue of votes for women by playing this quiz.

What was the importance of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson in the campaign to secure women's rights ?
She was the first woman to qualify as a barrister
She was the first woman to qualify as a medical doctor
She was the first woman to become a chartered accountant
She was the first woman to qualify as an architect
The first women to enter the profession boosted the suffragette cause. If women can aspire to these high-powered jobs, it was argued, why should they not have the vote?
In 1918 a section of the female population won the right to vote at last. So in the "Khaki Election" of December 1918 which women were allowed to vote?
All those who had contributed to victory in various categories of war work
All those who had suffered a family bereavement as a result of the war
All women who possessed a university degree or equivalent professional qualification
All women over 30 years of age
At the end of hostilities many women had to give up jobs to returning men, but nothing was likely to be quite the same again
In 1914 a quarrel erupted between Christabel Pankhurst and her sister Sylvia. What was the issue at stake?
Sylvia favoured a much more militant approach than her sister in the struggle for the vote
Christabel favoured Britain's declaration of war on Germany in 1914, while Sylvia did not
Christabel urged co-operation with male supporters of women's suffrage, while Sylvia preferred to keep men at arm's length
Christabel preferred to work with educated, middle class women, whereas Sylvia - from her presence in the East End of London - favoured the mobilisation of working-class women
This argument within one family could have damaged the cause of women's votes. The outbreak of war in August 1914 put many current issues on ice - like the vote, Irish Home Rule, etc
Queen Victoria, who died in 1901, made plain her attitude to female suffrage. What was it?
Approval, but only for middle class professional women
Constitutionally Victoria should not comment on live political issues, but we know her views as she didn't hesitate to tell courtiers and visitors what she thought
At which race meeting was Emily Davison killed in 1913, when she ran onto the course and was fatally injured by the King's horse "Anmer"?
The Grand National
The Cheltenham Cup
The Oaks
The Derby
This event aroused mixed emotions: everything from sympathy for Emily Davison to sympathy for the horse
Which Act of Parliament of 1913 allowed for women prisoners who embarked on hunger strikes to be freed until they had recovered?
The Force-Feeding (Discouragement of) Act
The Cat and Mouse Act
The Humane Treatment of Prisoners Act
The Women's Beneficial Act
Hunger-strikers were traditionally dealt with by force-feeding, a gruesome process that required several prison staff and medics to insert a tube into the woman's stomach, until complete digestion had occurred. Releasing female prisoners temporarily into the community avoided this distasteful treatment
Which one factor best explains the grant of the vote to some women in 1918?
Fear that a violent campaign for female suffrage was likely to ensue after the peace treaties had been signed
Respect for the rational arguments relentlessly pressed home by women over the years
Gratitude for the hard work that women had contributed to victory in the Great War
An awareness that women were being granted the right to vote in other similar countries
A new, more democratic atmosphere pervaded many parts of the Western World
Emmeline Pankhurst founded the WSPU as a rival to the NUWSS. What do the letters WSPU stand for?
Women's Suffrage Political Union
Women's Society for Political Union
Women's Social and Political Union
Women's Suffrage Popular Union
The existence of two rival groups no doubt weakened the movement for women's votes
Suffragists were members of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies. Who founded this organisation?
Millicent Fawcett
Sylvia Pankhurst
Christabel Pankhurst
Constance Gore-Booth
This group attracted a large membership and had the field to itself until the founding of Emmeline Pankhurst's body in 1903
What was the essential difference between suffragists and suffragettes?
Suffragists favoured the use of force, while suffragettes preferred to stay within the law
Suffragists opposed the use of force, while suffragettes favoured arson, breaking windows, etc
Suffragists recruited women from all backgrounds, while suffragettes concentrated on recruiting middle-class women
Suffragists looked to the Conservative Party for support, while suffragettes looked for Liberal backing
There is no doubt that the existence of two separate groups weakened the campaign for women's franchise
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - Britain since c.1900 and the people's health

Author:  Edward Towne

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