Which is the more reliable source for investigating people’s attitudes in 1910 towards the campaign?

Source D is a newspaper report about a demonstration by women in London in 1910; we can infer these women were Suffragettes as it was around the time of the peak in Suffrage activity and the obscenities mentioned are more closely related to those of the Suffragettes than any other group. However the author of the article, mistakenly, refers to them throughout the report as Suffragists. This shows the writer’s lack of knowledge on the matter, and their ignorance to the issue leads us to believe they don’t even know the full story. We can also infer from this that the author was anti all women suffrage, and all groups of women who wanted the vote; Suffragettes and Suffragists.

It is very likely that the author of the newspaper article in Source D was a man. We can deduce this, as around the time it was written, we know men were considered more important and therefore it is unlikely there would have been many female reporters. We can also deduce this because, although there were some women who were anti-suffrage, the majority were indeed men. Knowing this about the author would lead us to believe the article is biased against women and would therefore present them in the most negative light.

The article has a rather gossipy tone to it, and although some strong facts are put across (the Suffragettes did storm the House of Commons, arrests were made, the women were led by Mrs Pankhurst and they did come from the Council of War at Caxton Hall), most of it is opinion, for instance, “It was a picture of shameful recklessness…”, is a point of view, not a fact. However this is helpful in giving us an insight into the opinions of the public too, around this time. The article was written for the Daily Sketch, a tabloid; the author would have been writing to sell papers, he would therefore be writing things that would appeal to the public and please them. We can therefore infer from the source that the public views were also anti-suffrage.

Source E is a postcard issued by the Suffragettes in 1910. It is obviously a piece of propaganda as it was made by the Suffragettes and is an argument in favour of votes for women. The point it is arguing and is also proving is that, you can be a decent woman (a doctor, a nurse or a mother) and not receive the vote, but an indecent man (a lunatic, a drunkard) can receive it.

Both Sources are very reliable and they are both useful in showing the reader vastly different attitudes about the campaign to gain women the vote. Source E is very good at showing us the positive side to the argument. It is very reliable in showing what Suffragettes attitudes were, however, it is purely opinionated, and being a piece of propaganda it gives us no insight into the public’s view of the matter. That is why Source D is more reliable, more people supported Source D’s point of view.

It is extremely useful in showing attitudes towards women’s suffrage and, taking into consideration that the newspaper’s main aim is to report on current affairs, the story must be more dependable and factual. Being a popular tabloid also gives us a deeper insight to the views of the public, as the writer’s opinions would mirror those of the public-therefore, as the writer’s views were negative, it means the public’s were too. In conclusion, Source D is more reliable for investigating people’s attitudes in 1910 towards the Suffrage campaign.

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