As the country marks one hundred years since the Representation of the People Act 1918, the National Civil War Centre has announced the first of its new temporary exhibitions.
Shaking The Foundations: The Quest For Democracy will open on Thursday 29th March.
The issue of suffrage has occupied the minds of politicians and scholars for nearly 400 years. Charting back to the Putney Debates of the 1640s, Shaking the Foundations will travel through the Levellers, the Chartists and the Suffragettes to bring visitors right up to the modern day, looking at how the debate has raged through the past four centuries and considering the evolution of what democracy has meant to all of those fighting for its cause.
One hundred years on from the Representation of the People Act of 1918, Shaking the Foundations will consider how the franchising of women was actually a fairly modern phenomenon, both in the UK and further afield.
Visitors will have the chance to see items of clothing and jewellery worn by Suffragettes and a ‘Votes for Women’ badge crafted by an inmate in Holloway prison to raise money for the cause, as well as being able to cast their own vote on whether we really have achieved a democratic society for the modern day United Kingdom.
Assistant Business Manager for Heritage, Culture and Visitors, Carol King, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to announce our plans for Shaking The Foundations.
“Though it only granted some women the vote, the 1918 bill that we are celebrating the centenary of was a significant step on the road to universal suffrage.”
Shaking the Foundations replaces the National Civil War Centre’s acclaimed exhibition, Shifting Sands: Lawrence of Arabia and the Great Arab Revolt.
Carol added: “Our exhibition on Lawrence of Arabia has been hugely popular but the team here is excited to launch Shaking the Foundations and a second temporary exhibition which will be announced imminently.
“The new exhibitions open in time for Easter weekend and we’re looking forward to welcoming both new and returning visitors to the Centre.”
Visitors can see Shifting Sands prior to its closure on 11th March. The National Civil War Centre is also hosting a Valentine Calamity from 10th-15th February, with performances and craft activities to entertain families this half term. A full schedule of events can be found on the Centre’s website.