Source 14 - Daily Graphic

Key members of the WSPU objected to the way in which the organisation was run and attempted to establish a democracy. This proposal was blocked by Emmeline Pankhurst who insisted that the movement required military discipline rather than democracy. Teresa Billington Greig, Charlotte Despard and Edith How-Martyn responded by forming the Women's Freedom league (WFL) in November 1907. Many WSPU members also left to join the WFL.

Many policies similar to those of the WSPU were retained - members of the WFL were often willing to break the law to raise the profile of the cause. Some of its members refused to pay their taxes, for example. Unlike both the NUWSS and the WSPU, the WFL did not cease campaigning during WWI as many of its members, including Charlotte Despard, were pacifists.

Look at sources 13 and 14.

  • What do they show you about how the suffragette campaign was organised?
  • What is the importance of communication (particularly keeping everyone well informed) in a campaign?
  • If the campaign was running today, what other methods would be used to communicate the message? Is it easier to run campaigns in the present day? Describe modern-day factors that could both help and hinder the operation of a campaign.

Taken from: The Daily Graphic
Date: 1908
Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
Shelfmark: c.121.g.1, Vol 5