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Without the First World War British women would not have gained the right to vote in 1918. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

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Introduction

Tim hole Without the First World War British women would not have gained the right to vote in 1918. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? The war was responsible for sending many men away from home, leaving their jobs, families etc. As men were conscripted to fight, the opportunity for women to fill men's work placements opened. When the war started Suffragettes stopped campaigning so that concentration could be paid to the war effort. Source A written before the war by Emmeline Pankhurst who had huge following is saying that if women get the right to vote, it would allow women's point of view to be put forward. ...read more.

Middle

Cartoons were a favourable way for suffragists to campaign. Source C is argument against votes for women. It was made in a speech by Lord Curzon, a conservative leader. He argues that because few men currently voted, a law to allow women's suffrage would mean most voters would be women. Another argument put across in the speech is that if there was a war, men have to fight but women don't, which is not equal. As this was written before the war I think Curzon's attitude to women helping with the war would have changed as women did make notable contributions to the war effort. Source D is the cover of war worker magazine printed in 1917. ...read more.

Conclusion

Source F is an extract from a tape by the imperial war museum. The tape is made up of direct interviews with the women factory workers. So is a primary, reliable source. The tape describes the conditions in the factories and how hard the work was. I think this source really backs up the idea that women played a big part in the war. I think that the war changed many people's attitude to women. Some people felt that they wouldn't have won the war with out them and some thought they were to blame for sending men off to war as mentioned in source E. Although I don't think that women would have gained the right to vote without the First World War because women's contribution to the war effort favourably swayed public opinion. ...read more.

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