Literature Study GuidesFreedom Or Death Speech

Freedom or Death Speech | Study Guide

Emmeline Pankhurst

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Course Hero. "Freedom or Death Speech Study Guide." August 23, 2019. Accessed October 3, 2022.


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Emmeline Pankhurst

Year Delivered



Primary Source


History, Women's Studies, Speech

At a Glance

  • British suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst (1858–1928) gave this speech in support of the women's suffrage movement in Great Britain and the United States.
  • British women did not have the right to vote, and no American women had the right to vote at the national level. Some U.S. states allowed women to vote.
  • Pankhurst spoke in Hartford, Connecticut, on November 13, 1913, explaining why many British women had abandoned peaceful advocacy to become militant activists in the suffrage movement.
  • As founder of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), Pankhurst was a fiery activist in the fight for women's rights.
  • Pankhurst was imprisoned by the British government a dozen times in 1913 alone and responded each time by staging hunger strikes.
  • Between prison terms, Pankhurst toured North America and Russia, giving speeches to mobilize women.
  • In 1918 the British government granted the right to vote to women over age 30.
  • With the passage of the "Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act" in 1928—several weeks after Pankhurst's death—all adult British women finally gained the right to vote.
  • All women throughout the United States gained the right to vote when the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920.


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