Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist. She is best remembered for organizing the UK suffragette movement and helping women win the right to vote. She was widely criticised for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness. In 1999, Time named her as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.
About Emmeline Pankhurst in brief
Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist. She is best remembered for organizing the UK suffragette movement and helping women win the right to vote. She was widely criticised for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness. In 1999, Time named her as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century. She died on 14 June 1928, only weeks before the Conservative government’s Representation of the People Act 1928 extended the vote to all women over 21 years of age on 2 July 1928. Her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom. She transformed the WSPU machinery into the Women’s Party, which was dedicated to promoting women’s equality in public life. In her later years, she became concerned with what she perceived as the menace posed by Bolshevism and joined the Conservative Party. Although her birth certificate says otherwise, she believed and later claimed her birthday was a day earlier, on Bastille Day. Most biographies, including those written by her daughters, repeat this claim. Emmeline Goulden was born on Sloan Street in the Moss Side district of Manchester on 15 July 1858. Her father, Robert Goulden, came from a modest Manchester merchant family with its own background of political activity. Her mother, Sophia, was a Manx woman from the Isle of Man who descended from men who were charged with slander and slander with social unrest. The Gouldens’ first son died at the age of two, but they had five other children; they had 10 other daughters.
Soon after her birth, she came to the attention of the Anti-Corn Law League, and her father was present at the Peterloo massacre when the cavalry charged and broke up a crowd demanding parliamentary reform. In 1881, the first grant of the vote in national elections was granted to women. She became involved with the Women’s Franchise League, which advocated suffrage for both married and unmarried women. When that organisation broke apart, she tried to join the left-leaning Independent Labour Party through her friendship with socialist Keir Hardie but was initially refused membership by the local branch on account of her sex. In 1903, she founded the all-women suffrage advocacy organisation dedicated to ‘deeds, not words’ The group became known for physical confrontations: its members smashed windows and assaulted police officers, and were often force-fed. In 1913 several prominent individuals left the W SPU, among them Pankhurst’s younger daughters, Adela and Sylvia. She urged women to aid industrial production and encouraged young men to fight, becoming prominent figures in the white feather movement. With the advent of the First World War, she called an immediate halt to the militant terrorism in support of the British government’s stand against the ‘German Peril’ In 1918, the Representation. of the. People Act granted votes to all men over the. age of 21 and women over the Age of 30. This discrepancy was intended to ensure that men did not become minority voters.