The Long Campaign Timeline

Campaigning for the Suffrage (the right to vote) for women began in Britain in 1860s.

1866 John Stuart Mill presented a petition to parliament which had been organised by The Kensington Society

1867 London National Society for Women’s Suffrage was formed

1869 – 1894 Single women and rate payers were gaining the vote in local elections

1897 National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS, Suffragists) was formed under the leadership of Millicent Fawcett. (They organised a peaceful and constitutional campaign including Petitions, marches, lobbied MPs)

1903 Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU, Suffragettes) was established  by Emmeline Pankhurst, by a perceived lack of progress by the peaceful Suffragists. Militant tactics followed which included chaining to railings, window smashing, arson and bombing. ‘Now is the time for deeds not words’ Emmeline Pankhurst

June 1908 Hyde Park rally was the largest political rally ever seen in London

1918 Representation of the People Act introduced giving some women the suffrage

1919 NUWSS reformed to create the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship which continued the campaign for all men and women to have the vote, regardless of stature.

1928 The Equal Franchise Act was passed, giving men and women equal voting rights, allowing all women over the age of 21 the right to vote in elections.