Gandhi was an influential character in Indian at the beginning of the 20th Century. Gandhi developed the practise of achieving an united India with peaceful means. Gandhi developed this practice through his shared experienced with other Indian’s in both India and South Africa. His upbringing and the religious importance Hinduism had on his family. Gandhi carried out these beliefs and experiences with the creation of Ashrams in 1917 his involvement in the Kalifat issue, the non-cooperation satyagraha in 1920-22 and the Salt March in 1930.
Gandhi was a very religious man. He was born into an upper caste of a Bania caste, In Hindu religion the mother is the transmitter of the Hindu faith, Gandhi’s mother belonged to a Hindu sect which opposed idoltary, wanted Hindu-Muslim unity and condemned the discrimination of people based on caste. Gandhi followed Hindu very closly but throughout his life used Muslim-Hindu unity and discrimination as main parts of his campaigns. When in his twenty’s Gandhi discovered the Bhagarad Gita, a Hindu classic which he came to regard as the soarce of extreme knowledge and truth.
In 1917 Gandhi opened his first Ashram. Ashrams had been an important part of Hindu religion for over 1000 years. Many people came to live in Gandhi’s ashram on long and short term bases. The ashram had simple but strict rules, while in the ashram guests must observe truth and non-violence at all times, open and close everyday with prayer; to any God but pray itself was essential, members had to do chores and jobs usually left for the untouchables class, Gandhi wanted Indians to learn that discrimination against untouchables was wrong. Gandhi described his ashrams as a group living in religions spirit, a philosophy he wanted all Indians to adopt.
After World War One Gandhi was alerted to the Khalifat issue. Turkey was on the losing side of the war and was punished accordingly – stripped of its empire. The Sultan of Turkey was protector of the Muslim holy places according to Muslim law and when Turkey lost its empire, this included the three holy places. Indian Muslims were outraged they demanded the Sultan be put back in charge. Gandhi noticed the Muslims needed help and decided to get involved in the issue. Hindu Indians were confused, why should Gandhi a strong Hindu care about Muslim problems, but Gandhi’s philosophy was that if the whole of India was united the British couldn’t rule over them, and thought the Kalifat issue would be a step towards unity within India.
Gandhi experienced racism, oppression and hence that gave him the drive to develop non-violent independence. Whilst in South Africa Gandhi experienced “Black Ordinance” a law that stated every Indian had to carry round a certificate and produce it on demand. Gandhi found this embarrassing and wrong. After returning to India twenty years later Gandhi found the British raj was subjecting British customs and history on to India and Indians were not proud of their culture. The British were preaching Christianity, teaching english and english history at schools and using British law in the courts. Gandhi thought India needed to gain independence and a nationalistic feeling.
In 1920 Gandhi started his non-cooperation Satyagraha campaign. He believed if the whole of India didn’t co-operate with the British the British couldn’t rule them, he also thought Indian should go back to their roots and have a boycott on all foreign goods. During this time Gandhi developed a way of life that he would carry on for the rest of his life. He started wearing the traditional clothing and using primitive items, such as a stick to brush his teeth, he gave back medals awarded to him by the British and took on a day once a week of fasting and silence. In 1922 the campaign ended when it turned violent and Gandhi realised India wasn’t ready.
In 1930 Gandhi put in place Satyagra that if worked would almost certainly cause independence. The British government wasn’t going to take any action lightly as if they did so independence would come quickly after. The British had a monopoly on salt production with a law stating it was illegal for anyone to produce salt. Gandhi was going to break this law. He selected a few members of his ashram to complete a month long walk ending in Dandi. Gandhi set out in early March 1930 and on 13th April reached the sea where he bent down reached into the sea and got some salt an illegal act. Gandhi decided that a salt march would work well as it was non violent, would get mass appeal as salt was regarded as a main part of Indians diets and would gather world-wide attention.
Gandhi helped develop a sense of non-violent nationalism in India. He was able to develop the movement through his Hindu upbringing and influence from his mother and his experiences of racism in both South Africa and India. Gandhi carried out his philosophies during the creation of his ashrams, the Kalifat issue, his non cooperation Satyagraha which lead onto the salt marches.
During the years of 1890 to 1930 Victorian England was taken over by the force of women’s suffrage. Women wanted to improve their demeaning status in society and bring equality, independence, respect and change. During the fight for women’s suffrage key radical leaders emerged who taught Britain that they were determined to receive the vote, no matter what the cost to themselves. One woman, who had a significant impact on women’s suffrage was Annie Kenney. Annie’s spirit and down-right determination erupted onto the suffrage scene in the early 1900’s, after years of feeling inferior to men, where it was to contribute an energy and a sense of bravery that would boost it into success.
Annie grew up in Oldham, Lancashire along with ten brothers and sisters. So from an early age she was taught of the inequalities between the genders. An example of this is the tradition that the sons of the family were to attend school and receive a proper education whilst the daughters of the family were expected to stay home and look after the household. As both her mother and father worked in the Oldham textile industry Annie found herself bound to the poor working class of society. S a consequence, neither sufficient income nor status were found in Annie’s family life. The strains of society were therefore no surprise to Annie and the years of observing man’s domineering control in society along with the frustration of being associated as a weak and insignificant lower-class female, meant that the idea to change women’s role in society and improve their rights was quick to grow in her.
Annie became further exposed to the lack of rights women at the time had when she began working at the local cotton mill at the age of ten. Here she was committed to horrific conditions for very little pay. The employees of the factories were often subjected to long hours, cramped working space, no ventilation, using dangerous machinery with no protective guards as well as having heavy punishments if they made any mistakes. Many of the factories like the one Annie worked in even failed to provide toilets as the executives believed a toilet break could be turned into an opportunity for the workers to discuss and consolidate about the terrible conditions they were working in. The extent of these harsh conditions effected Annie as far as to be the reason her finger was torn off by a bobbin shortly after she began working. After being exposed to these dreadful conditions and working in them for several years, a deep determination was embedded in Annie to fight for women’s suffrage as the vote would be a means of changing these conditions for women across Britain.
Being in large family that struggled with money, Annie was unable to obtain a great deal of education. However, she did develop a strong passion for English literature which became another aspect that led Annie on the path towards fighting for women’s suffrage. Annie was particularly interested in authors such as Edward Carpenter and Robert Blatchford which dwelt on writing about women’s role in society. It was after reading an inspiring article in Robert Blatchford’s radical journal, The Clarion, the Annie attended a meeting at the local Independent Labour Party. It was here that Annie heard speeches from leaders in the women’s suffrage organisation and became so impressed by their objectives and perspectives that she was encouraged to join the organisation herself. The literature that Annie had found interest in reading over the years had the ability of putting the image in Annie’s mind of how women in British society would be benefited if they were able to bring about change. This influence set Annie on the path of fighting for women’s suffrage and equipped her with the necessary tools of motivation and knowledge to help her along the way.
Years of being treated unfairly by society had created a sense of awareness in Annie. She was now convinced of the change she wished to see in British society and the methods she would like to go about effecting this change. She beliefed that the working class of British society should band together to receive more rights. She felt that in order to achieve her aims militant action using strong, effortive means needed to be introduced and that gaining the vote would be the only successful means to achieve her aims and bring about change. All she needed to do now was to put her thinking and determination into action.
Annie’s first move towards expressing her belief in rights for women was to join the Women’s Social and Political Unionship founded by the Pankhurst family 1903. As the WSPU was dominated mainly by upper and middle classes, Annie saw her admittance as an opportunity to support and represent the working class women of society who didn’t have the means or resources to do so themselves. Shortly after Annie joined the WSPU she was asked to quit her job at the local cotton mill and work full-time persuading other working-class women to join the organisation as well. Through joining the WSPU, Annie was able to teach other working-class women that deserve rights just as much as any other class. She also showed female all over Britain that the WSPU was a productive way for them to vent their frustrations in society and help working towards improving women’s rights.
During her years in the WSPU Annie had many opportunities to exert her identity and get her cause known. However, many of these opportunities involved violence and abuse. Annie found that action in a distructive, disturbing, manner when fighting for women’s rights had a more productive effect in getting her cause known across Britian. An example of this is the 1935 meeting in London, Annie attended with Christobel Pankhurst (another member in the WSPU) listening to a speech by Sir Edward Grey. Whenever the man began to speak the women would shout “Will the Liberal government give votes to women?” When the women refused to stop the police were called in to evict the two women. This eventually ended in a struggle during which a policeman claimed the women had kicked and spat on him. This incident was the initiation of violence used in an attempt to win the vote into Britain. Annie had successfully made women’s suffrage into an open subject and increased people’s awareness immensely. The government and others living in ignorance were no longer able to push the issue of women’s suffrage aside and ignore the desperation and determination around them.
Annie further developed her identity when she and many other suffragettes, endured hunger and thirst strikes whilst in prison after refusing to pay fines of assault. This was a radical action used to increase support for the suffragette cause. Effectively the WSPU obtained a dramatic increase in it’s membership immediately after the strikes were publicised by the media. These strikes were also effective through their control over the movement “the hunger strikes were the greatest weapon we possessed against the government…before long all suffragette prisoners were on hunger strikes and the threat to pass long sentences on us has failed, sentences given shorter.” Through these strikes Annie’s enthusiasm and attitude that she would do anything if it forwarded the cause had contributed a significant amount to women’s suffrage. With women increasingly following her lead, support for the suffragette cause grew to a momentous and productive high. Once again she had forced people to take notice of the injustices around them.
Annie’s main accomplishment when it came to women’s suffrage was not just that she taught the working-class of British society that they too can make a difference, but that by fighting the whole of Britain that one woman, no matter what the background can stand up for what she believes in and make people listen whether society believes she takes the right approach or not.
Annie was a strong women who refused to be silenced when it came to fighting for women’s rights. Because of her struggle people were no longer able to bury their heads in the sand and live in ignorance when it came to the inequalities between women and men, suffered by women.
ACHIEVEMENT STANDARD 2.6 - 90470
TOPIC: THE PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN THE
EMERGING DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM
IDENTITY: ANNIE BESANT
Women’s rights movements and situation of all women progressed dramatically as a result of the contribution made by Annie Basant. Annie Besant fought tirelessly for the rights of women especially in the later half of the 19th Century when women were excluded from the democratic process. Annie was a motivated, intelligent and diverse women who used her situation and that of others to express and assert herself in doing so she created a huge sense of identity amoungst all women as well as for herself. She successful advanced women’s situation, women’s rights and helped in gaining the vote.
Perhaps it was Annie Besant’s strong sense of purpose that led her to such significant success. Annie Besant strongly believed that the learning working and economic situation for women needed vast improvement. Working conditions for women were appalling and this became one of Besants main challenges in 1888. Annie related well to and was popular amongst the working class women. She was a activist and writer and used the media to express many of her ideas and beliefs. She had the means and the skill to bring about the necessary change and was successful in her endeavours to do so. Her personality and skill equipped her well for the role she was about to play in the changing of the political democratic system and in women’s lives.
Annie Bresant was a motivated diverse and intelligent women who used these factors to express and assert herself and her opinion. Bresant often shared her opinion on the streets by wearing workmans heavy boots and sometimes short skirts and berets. She constantly lectured on social and economic issues and debated openly in public. G.B Shaw who supported women rights said he “considered her the greatest Orator in all England and possibly Europe.” It was with her simple personal protest that Annie Besant began to express and assert herself and advance the women’s right’s movement.
Annie’s middle class childhood was marked with economic struggle and this provided her with the empathy to want to help change the working lives and learning conditions for women. When she was only 5 her father died and without his income the family found it hard to make ends meet. As a result Annie was educated only slightly and was married of at a young age. She married Rev. Frank Besant and by 23 she had 2 children. Her marriage however was short lived as her independent spirit clashed with the views of her husband. He used violence against her and so Besant was force to flee with her daughter to London. A legal separation was made but she lost custidy of her son as was the law at the time. Women had little rights to their children. Shortly after arriving in London she joined the Secular Society in 1874. Besant had to face the many injustices against women of the time however this added to her strong sense of identity and the expression and assertion of herself. She used her situation by applying her experiences to assist the women’s rights.
Although Annie Besant has some horrific experiences to talk about her suffering and situation was not all that different to others. Women of the time had minimal or no education. This made getting a well paid job near impossible. Working conditions for women were nothing short of apalling. As a result of the depression many women had to take work wherever possible. For many this meant becoming factory women. Situations like this made Besant more determined. She realised the injustice in this inequality. Afterall the 1884 male reform bill had 90% of males voting and still the government had failed to even consider female infrancisement. They viewed women as over emotional irrational creatures incapable of making sound decisions. This view disturbed Besant and led to become more focussed on her challenges. In doing so she expressed and asserted herself and developed a sense of identity within women but in particular working class women.
“Deeper and deeper into my inner most nature are the burning desire to succour to suffer for and to save.” It was these above factors that caused Annie Besant to have such a strong sense of identity and cause and develop such an identity amongst women. It may have been her personality and childhood that led her to express her desire to change the way society was working through political action.
Using her motivation, intelligence and diversity, Besant was on a pursuit for publicity for her identity and her cause. Shortly after fleeing London she got a job working for Mr. Charles Bradlaugh the editor of a radical newspaper the National Reform. In this she wrote many articles about contriversial issues of the time. By doing this she received wide publicity. Caroline Norton was one of the only women before Besant to write on issues such as custody of infants and marriage rights. The majority of England found Besant’s writings on those issues to be indecent as society believed women shouldn’t discuss such topics.
However writing articles wasn’t enough and Besant needed to widen her publicity even more. Finally she was given the chance to do so. Together with Mr. Bradlaugh, Besant had started a publishing company and Mr Charles Knowlton asked them to publish a book advocating birth control. They agreed to do so. Both Besant and Bradlaugh were charged with publishing material like to deprave or corrupt minds open to immoral influences.” The sentenced was later quashed. Following this ordeal Besant wrote her own book “The laws of population.” As birth control was yet another topic that Besant felt strongly about. She believed in “more moral to prevent the birth of a child than after it be born, murder it by lack of food, air and water.” Society disagreed with Besant’s views and publishing the book led to wide publicity and ensuing shock. Publitally denouncing this book, Frank Besant sought and gain custody of there daughter also. Besant fought in the court of appeal but was unsuccessful in gaining them back.
Besants actions, attitude and beliefs influenced other groups significantly. She was beginning to provoke a huge sense of identity within most women. Women were beginning to realise the injustices towards them, and many felt a need to express themselves as Annie Besant was doing.
Small defeats such as the loss of her children provided Besant with only more determination. In 1888 she centralised her activism. Annie Besant began to publically oppose the harsh and poor working conditions. The depression of the 1880’s meant many women were forced in to factory jobs. This included working 11 hour days, 5 hour weekends and also working with dangerous chemicals such as Phossphorous. Such chemicals had been held responsible for causing fatal diseases such as ‘Phassy’ jaw. Annie Besants previously published articles left her with contacts throughout England. They whipped up support writing articles on “White Slavery in London” as a result of the contribution made by the Bryant and May factory women. Annie’s article, 3 women were fired. Consequently Annie Besant organised the first women strike. The match box union girls strike took place in 1888 and went for 3 weeks before finally the employers had to make significant concession including the rehirement of the 3 victimized women.
The strike truly shows and proves the sense of identity Besant has embedded in these women as a result of her views, beliefs, upbringing and personal sense of identity.
The Matchbox strike was indeed the greatest action that Besant took. It meant the idea of unionism for women grew considerably and some of womens rights were being acknowledge. The newly found sense of identity amongst women provided Besant with encouragement and support. In 1889 she was elected to the London school board. Her aims here was a large scale reform of all local schools, food to the undernourished, a sound education to all children and free medical care to all elementry students. Besant’s continuing actions and personal sense of identity continued to inspire others.
Although nothing as dramatic as the Matchbox Strike on bloody Sunday occurred Besant continued her activism. She spoke at Women’s suffrage events and argued Christobel Pankhurst’s views that “social justice will never be published until the point of view of man is corrected by that of a womens.” She moved to India in 1890 but continued to write in British magazines/newspapers. In 1911 she was the main speaker at a vital National Union of Women Suffrage rally. (NUWSS) Although she moved out of England she never removed herself from the Women’s rights movement in England.
A courageous woman who gave little thought to what women thought of her. She risked a lot for her compassionate views and commitments. She was a activist, writer, theosipist, social reformer and truly amazing woman. Her strong sense of identity and commitment meant she made significant changes to the lives of women. The factors that combined to make Annie Besant who she was then lead her to causing and developing a sense of iodentity within all women. She truly stood up for her values and beliefs and achieved her aim of improving all womens working, learning and economic situations.
ACHIEVEMENT STANDARD 2.6 - 90470
TOPIC: ORIGINS WWI
IDENTITY: SERBIAN IDENTITY
Strong nationalistic Serbian identity in the years immediately preceeding the First World War, was taken to extremes by the Leader Dragatin Dimitrievc. Serbian nationalist identity had always been strong but the emergence of Dimitrijevic as leader of the Black Hand in 1911 took this general nationalism and nurtured it into something quite different. Serbian identity can be traced from the year 2000 bc through until the time when Dimitrijevic came out as a leader, and the assertion of this identity became more extreme up until the outbreak of the First World War.
It is not known where the Slavic peoples originated from but they settled in the North West of central Europe around 2,000 bc. For centuries the Slavs stayed in a relatively small area, sharing the same culture, language and customs. In fact, there was no really significant differences between the various Slavic languages until around the tenth century ad. In the fourth century, the Slavic people began to spread out East, South and West, forming sub-groups of Slavic peoples. Some of these Slavic tribes crossed the Capathian mountains and formed many of the Balkan states, including Serbia. These Slavic tribes became known as the ‘South Slavs’.
These South Slavs felt a sense of unity, as they shared common history, language and culture, but many were overtaken by the Ottoman and Austrian empires who were very powerful in the area at the time.
Individual Serbian nationalism was fully developed by 1844, when Gurasanin, Austrian Minister of internal affairs, wrote the Nacertanzie, a plan for the expansion of Serbia to form a great Serbian state including all Serbian and South Slavic peoples, many of which were under the control of the weakening Ottoman empire and the growing Austrian empire which Gurasanin called the eternal enemy of a Serbian state.
Serbian nationalist identity was strongly encouraged by the state, particularly from the 1880s, when public education became more available, and spread throughout Serbia.
The Serbian people proved their nationalism identity by supporting Austrian nationalist groups such as the Revolutionary party, who promoted agressive patriotism. The people also strongly disliked the Obrenovics, a ruling family of Serbia with close ties to Austria, who the people saw as an enemy as stated by Gurasanin in 1844. The people even forced the abdication of one of their rulers for co-operating too much with Austria.
In 1903 Dragatin Dimitrijevic emerged as a leader of some extremist nationalists. Unhappy with the Obrenovics cooperation with the Austrian empire, and embarrassed by the disreputable antics of the ruling family, Dimitrijevics led a band of army personnell in a revolt, in which they butchered the king and queen and threw them out of a window. Though condemned by the rest of the world for the brutality of the killing, the regicide was very popular with the nationalistic people.
After this event Dragatin Dimitrejevic, who was an important army official, became a leader for extreme Serbian nationalists. In 1911 he formed the ‘Black Hand’ terrorist organisation who aimed ‘to realize the national ideal, the unification of all Serbs.’ They maintained that ‘this organisation prefers terrorist action to cultural activity, it will therefore remain secret.’
School students were taught Serbian nationalism in practically every subject from state controlled text books. This effectively raised up a generation of Serbians who felt close ties with their nationalistic identity.
The strong nationalistic identity of the Serbian people was again shown in their willingness to follow the leadership of Dimitrijevic and the Black Hand organisation. The Black Hand was the most aggressive of Serbian nationalist groups, and through it Dimitrijevic took the nationalist feelings of the Serbian people, and fuelled them to the extreme of terrorism. Though most Serbians were enthusiastic about the idea of a Greater Serbia, Dimitrijevic and his followers developed a more extreme sense of nationalism, and attempted the assassination of numerous Serbian government officials, including the man in charge of the Slavic provinces of Bosnia.
Many Austrians followed Dimitrijevic and accepted this new extreme form of Serbian nationalism. Support is shown by the vast increase of numbers of the organisation from only a few in 1911 to two and a half thousand by 1914. This kind of growing is particularly aggressive when it is considered that the Black Hand was a strictly secret organisation. The movement was probably also fuelled by heightened Serbian nationalism during the Balkan wars, and anger at Austria over the formation of Albania in order to deny them water access.
Probably the most extreme and well known assertion of extreme Serbian nationalism was the Sarajevo assassinations of 1914. This action was carried out by young Bosnian terrorists who supported the ideas of a Greater Serbia. These terrorists were encouraged, supported and supplied by the Black Hand, many of whose weapons were smuggled out of the Serbian army through Dimitrijevic’s influence. As well as extreme hatred of Austria as Serbia’s main energy Dragutin Dimitrijevic and the members of the Black Hand particularly feared the Austrian Achduke Franz Ferdinand. As heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Ferdinand had made plans to compromise with the South Slavs, which Dimitrijavic felt would make an independent and unified Greater Serbia less likely. Because of these beliefs the Black Hand supported the assassination.
In this way Dimitrijevic developed Serbian nationalist identity to the extremes of terrorism through the Black Hand organisation. This development of identity quickly led to the outbreak of World War One.
Serbians had always had a strong nationalistic identity throughout the ages, dating back to before the Nacertanije of 1844. This identity was taken to the extremes of terrorism by Dragutin Dimitrijevic, leader of the Black Hand terrorist organisation.