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The police on Black Friday Essay

How far do sources 11 and 12 challenge the view presented in source 10 about the conduct of the police on Black Friday?

Emily Davison was a woman who fought for woman’s suffrage in the late 1800s and early 1900s. She died on the 8th of June, 1913 after she ran in front of King George V’s horse Anmer at the Epsom Derby on 4 June 1913. Some people believe that this event caused a major breakthrough in later women’s suffrage.

Firstly, source 10, (The Times Newspaper) shows a rather negative view on Emily Davison’s actions. For example, the newspaper instantly assumes that the “desperate act” of Davison was achieved only to “spoil the race”. The Times wrote this because they were a very right winged paper and did not completely support women’s suffrage and gender equality. On the other hand, if the Davison was a man, the newspaper would not be so quick to assume that his actions were for a good cause and would probably be more sympathetic for his injuries. Within the same article Davison is described as an “offender”. This was most likely due to the fact that when this article was written, Davison had not yet died from her injuries. Therefore, The Times and the majority of its readers would not have much sympathy to her, but instead would see her as merely a nuisance.

When compared, source 10 and 12 share a rather contrasting idea on the doings of Emily Davison considering both the articles are written by The Times. In source 10 Davison is described as “desperate” and as an “offender”. However, 10 days later (after the death of Davison), the tone of the newspaper completely changes, (source 12). Instead of being insulted and described negatively, Davison’s actions are described as “heroic”. This change in view was purposely done due to the fact that Davison had recently died and many people saw her death as an important issue; The Times had to keep their readers happy and show sympathy for such a “sacrifice”.

Source 11 pretty much displays a complete opposite view of Emily Davison’s death compared to source 10. This is because Christabel Pankhurst was a fellow campaigner for woman’s suffrage in the Women’s Social and Political Union, (source 11 is an extract from Pankhurst’s autobiography, Unshackled). Pankhurst gives a much more positive and most likely biased view on the actions of Davison. For example, Pankhurst makes it seem as if Davison was the whole reason why women were seen as “earnest for the vote”. She also states that Davison’s death “brought the concentrated attention of millions to bear upon the cause”.

These two points were likely to be exaggerated as there was a good chance that Davison and Pankhurst were close because they both fought for the same cause. In contrast to source 11, source 10 states that Davison’s deed is not likely to “increase the popularity of any cause within the general public”. This is pretty much the exact opposite of what Pankhurst was implying in her autobiography which makes it clear that source 11 and 10 both challenge one another highly with two slightly biased and altered stories of Emily Davison’s protest.

Overall, Emily Davison’s death obviously had quite a large impact on women’s suffrage within the UK as the vote was given to women in 1918 – 5 years after her death.

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