The campaign for women to receive the right to vote rested with two main organisations: the suffragists and suffragettes. The aim of both groups was to get "respectable" (ie property owning) women the vote. However, their leaders, members and tactics differed in a number of ways.
The National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS)
This society was established in 1897 by Millicent Fawcett and its members were known as Suffragists. The NUWSS hoped to persuade politicians to give them the right to vote and undertook a peaceful campaign. Some of their tactics included petitions, distributing leaflets and organised meetings. They believed that the political party most likely to be sympathetic to the cause would be the Liberal Party.
Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU)
By 1903, many women had lost patience with the Liberal party, so the WSPU was founded and its followers were known as Suffragettes. Its founder, Emmeline Pankhurst, began to believe that drastic action was needed. The WSPU's motto was "deeds not words", and in comparison to the Suffragists, their tactics were radical and militant. Some of the strategies included public marches, window smashing, chaining to railings, hunger strikes, arson attacks and interrupting political meetings.
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