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This Sceptred Isle

Ireland and Emily Davison
Ireland was still a problem for the King and for Asquith. The first suggestion that the Ulster Protestant Counties could be divided from the rest of the country was muted.

The suffragettes were becoming more and more violent but Asquith had no intention of giving them the vote.

Meanwhile Austria-Hungary was threatening war in the Balkans.

Emmeline Pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst

  • Born Emmeline Goulden in Manchester
  • Married Richard Pankhurst, a barrister who supported women's suffrage, in 1879 and had two daughters, Christabel and Sylvia
  • In 1889 Mrs Pankhurst started the Women's Franchise League
  • In 1893 she joined the Independent Labour Party but later in life she became a Conservative
  • Her husband died in 1898
  • In 1903 Mrs Pankhurst set up the Women's Social and Political Union with her daughter Christabel
  • She never intended for the campaigning to become violent and much of the violence was organized by Christabel

did you know?
The first maternity benefits were paid in 1913.

George V's Views On Ireland In A Letter To Asquith
"11 August 1913

"Although I have not spoken to you before on the subject I have been for some time very anxious about the Irish Home Rule Bill, and especially with regard to Ulster. The speeches of not only of people like Sir Edward Carson, but of the Unionist leaders, and of the ex-Cabinet Ministers; the stated intention of setting up a provisional Government in Ulster directly The Home Rule Bill is passed; the reports of Military preparations, Army drilling etc.; of assistance from England, Scotland and the Colonies; of the intended resignation of their Commissions of Army officers; all point towards rebellion, if not Civil War, and, if so, to certain bloodshed.

"Meanwhile there are rumours of probable agitation in the country; of monster petitions; Addresses from the House of Lords; from Privy Councillors; urging me to use my influence to avert the catastrophe which threatens Ireland.

"Such vigorous action taken, or likely to be taken, will place me in a very embarrassing position in the centre of the conflicting parties backed by their respective Press.

"Whatever I do I shall offend half of the population.

"One alternative would certainly result in alienating the Ulster Protestants from me, and whatever happens the result must be detrimental to me personally and the Crown in general.

"No Sovereign has ever been in such a position, and this pressure is sure to increase during the next few months.

"In this period I have the right to expect the greatest confidence and support from my Ministers, and above all, from my Prime Minister.

"I cannot help feeling that the Government is drifting and taking me with it. Before the gravity of the situation increases I should like to know how you view the present state of affairs, and what you imagine will be the outcome of it . . ."

Select historical period

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1909 Old Age Pensions are introduced
1910 Edward VII dies
George V becomes king
1911 National Insurance Acts are passed
1912 Scott reaches the South Pole
Balkan Wars break out
1913Trade Union Act and Cat and Mouse Act are passed
1914Irish Home Rule Act is passed
World War I breaks out
1915Coalition government
Churchill resigns
Lusitania sinks
1916 Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister
Easter rising in Ireland
1917America joins the war
Russian Revolution
1918 RAF is formed
World War I ends
Coupon Election is held
Rationing is introduced
1919Lady Astor becomes the first lady MP

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