2Source ASuffragettes determined to 'Keep the Liberal Out' at the Cleveland by-election, 1909.The window of the temporary premises they rented for the by-election is decorated with posters of the three leading women of the WSPU, from left to right: Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Emmeline Pankhurst and Christabel Pankhurst. 'Hit squads' of suffragettes would arrive in a constituency, hire the best public rooms and go to work immediately to try and keep the Liberals out of the House of Commons. In October 1906, the NUWSS announced they would put up their own independent male candidates to run against Liberal politicians who were opposed to votes for women. In 1907 the WSPU began opposing all Liberal MPs at by-elections. Suffragettes made life as difficult as possible for leading members of the party wherever and whenever possible.
3Source B ~ example of a primary written source On Friday (1st March) evening, shortly before six o’clock a band of women carried out such a window breaking campaign in the principle streets of the West End as London has never known. For a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes nothing was heard in the Strand, Cockspur Street, Downing Street, Whitehall, Piccadilly, Bond Street, Oxford Street, but the fall of shattered glass and the angry exclamations of shopkeepers.From The Daily Telegraph 8th march 1912
4Source C ~ example of a primary written source One of the women, Mrs Pankhurst, spat in the face of two police officers and also hit one of them. There was no intention at that time to arrest them. In the street they were told both by the police and their own friends that they ought to go away quietly. They did not, and a policeman was again assaulted. Had they gone, the matter would have been closed so far as the police were concerned. But the women were not satisfied. They began to yell and shriek, with the result that a large crowd gathered. It was then that the police arrested both of them.If the evidence was to be believed, their behaviour was such as one would expect of women from the slums.From a description of the trial of Mrs Pankhurst published in The Manchester Guardian 6th October 1906
5Source DEmmeline and Christabel Pankhurst photographed in October 1908 for the WSPU wearing their prison uniforms. This photograph was taken at the Pankhursts’ home after they had been released from prison.
6Source E ~ example of a written secondary source. In the decade after the WSPU was founded, the suffragettes dreamed up countless violent and exhibitionist stunts. Burning rags were stuffed into letterboxes, chairs flung into the Serpentine, and envelopes containing red pepper and snuff sent to every Cabinet minister.The Liberal Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, was an implacable foe. As the Government repeatedly stalled all attempts to push female suffrage through Parliament, the violence intensified.Windows and street lamps were smashed, golf greens burned with acid, and bombs placed near the Bank of England.A package containing sulphuric acid was sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and burst into flames when opened. An axe was thrown at the Prime Minister; he was attacked in his car by a suffragette with a dog whip; other militants tried to tear off his clothes on a golf links in Scotland but were beaten off by his daughter.Though they were careful to avoid actually killing anyone, Mrs Pankhurst and Christabel were using violence to browbeat the Government, provoking a disproportionate reaction and thus manipulate public feeling into support for their cause.Part of their devastating impact was that they were ultra-feminine, fashionable. Society women. Mrs Pankhurst used her beauty, charm and graciousness to move audiences with her eloquence; Christabel was a dazzling pinup and powerful platform speaker.From The Ascent of Woman: A History of the Suffragette Movement and The Ideas Behind It by Melanie Phillips (published by Little Brown 2003)
7A checklist for handling Q1 sources Knowledge:Type:Author:Audience:Timing:Motive:Bias:Place:
8Preparation questions for assessing Sources for Q1 What are the origins of this source?What do the origins of the source tell you about how useful it might be for your enquiry?What does the content of the source tell you about the activities of the Suffragettes before 1914?How useful is the content of the source for your understanding of the Suffragette Movement before 1914?