(202 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

[Preliminary entry]

The term ‘suffragette' was first used in the Daily Mail newspaper to refer to the militant women's suffrage movement centred around Emmeline, Christabel and Sylvia Pankhurst and their Women's Social and Political Union. Unlike previous suffragists, who had been campaigning for women's right to vote using peaceful methods since 1866, the suffragettes were prepared to cause a stir and to use what we now call ‘direct action'. They began in 1905 by lobbying politicians and staging demonstrations, and soon moved on to more violent actions: vandalism, breaking windows and setting fire to buildings. Suffragettes who were imprisoned went on hunger strikes, and this willingness to sacrifice themselves for the …

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Editors. "Suffragettes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 January 2009
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Feminism & Women's Studies