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Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst was born in Manchester, England, on July 14, 1858. In 1879, she married a lawyer who had created in England the first women's suffrage bill and the Married Women's Property Acts, Richard Marsden Pankhurst. In 1889, Emmeline created the Women's Franchise League which, in 1894, gave married women the right to vote not in the House of Commons, but in local office elections. Then, in 1903, she established WSPU, the Women's Social and Politcal Union. On October 13, 1905, her daughter, Christabel, and Annie Kenney, were arrested for technical police assault as well as the refusal to pay fines after demanding women's suffrage at a Liberal party meeting.

In 1906, Emmeline moved to London, but she still controlled WSPU's actions from there, campaigning against the Liberal government's party candidates. She was jailed three times between 1908 and 1909, and in 1910, she made a truce with the government which the government broke when they blocked a women's suffrage bill. Also, in July 1912, WSPU turned to arson to get their point across and try to be granted suffrage. Emmeline and others were put in prison, but they refused to eat and had to be let out of prison because of the "Cat and Mouse Act," the Prisoners Act of 1913.

During World War I (beginning in 1914), Emmeline and the others stopped the suffrage campaign because of the war. During that time, she wrote her autobiography, My Own Story, and visited Russia, Canada, and the United States, lecturing on women's suffrage. After the war, she lived in Canada, the United States, and Bermuda at different times, but went back to England in 1926. There in England, she was chosen as the Conservative party's candidate for a constituency. However, her health began to fail and she didn't make it.

A couple weeks before Emmeline's death, an act was passed establishing voting equality for both men and women called the Representation of the People Act of 1928. Emmeline died in London, England, on June 14, 1928.

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