• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Did women win the vote as a reward for their work in WWI?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Did women win the vote as a reward for their war work in ww1? "It is one of the virtues of war that it puts the light which in peacetime is hid under a bushel in such prominence that all can see it" - Women's War Work, Jennie Randolph Churchill 1916. Throughout the Nineteenth and Twentieth century Britain had made great leaps toward becoming a democracy. As was the case in many industrialised countries at this time, Britain had started to increase male suffrage and had began to introduce policies to start looking after the poorer classes, the impoverished and the elderly. There was a general move away from laissez faire attitudes and more emphasis was being placed on Government intervention mainly fuelled by a more educated and politically aware populations. By the beginning of the Twentieth century there had also been many reforms that dealt with reforming parliament and men's suffrage with the majority of the male population being enfranchised in 1884. However, the issue of woman's suffrage has attracted much debate among historians and specifically the issue of why it took women so long to obtain the right to vote. At first glance of the facts it may appear to be obvious that women's suffrage was a reward for the work carried out in World War I; however, on closer analysis there was clearly a great deal of issues surrounding why it took until 1928 to obtain equal voting rights to men. ...read more.

Middle

or can know, the nature of the two sexes, as long as they have only been seen in their present relation to one another. Until conditions of equality exist, no one can possibly assess the natural differences between women and men, distorted as they have been. What is natural to the two sexes can only be found out by allowing both to develop and use their faculties freely." While Mill may not have been successful in his petitions to parliament it certainly raised the profile of the campaign. Many more petitions followed in time with no success and it is easy to see why the women's suffrage movement became disillusioned and frustrated with the progress. One of the first organised suffragist groups formed in 1897 was 'The National Union of Women's Suffrage', led by Millicent Fawcett their view was a liberal approach and followed on from previous attempts at gaining MP's support, which they believed was the only way to get their political voice heard. In some respects they did make some limited progress and were able to take on small Governmental roles such as Guardian of Poor Laws. The suffragists were keen to build on their experience of their limited governmental roles and progress, however progress was painstakingly slow. Out of the growing frustration at the lack of any radical changes a new organisation going by the name of 'The Woman's Social and Political Union' and more commonly known as 'The Suffragettes' was formed in 1903. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although the 1918 act went through both the House of Commons and House of Lords with surprising ease, its history was not an easy one. Female suffrage was a slow gradual process and took a long time to gain momentum and support. The radical campaign may have raised the profile but it clearly had a detrimental effect on the cause and only encouraged opposition from both men and women. However there is no doubt MP's such as Mills and the middle class suffragists made a more positive impact on the campaign and it could be argued that if the issue of female suffrage had been taken serious in political terms, the more radical sides would not have formed. Even without women's suffrage there had been a gradual progression in women's career opportunities and education and it could be argued that this progression would have continued. On the other hand radical groups argued that the liberal approach was not enough. It could also be argued that to create universal male suffrage to the returning soldiers of the war was and the abolition of property requirements was the real reason women obtained the vote when they did and therefore the main reason why they had not did so previously. Although most historians would agree that these factors indeed played a part it was a combination of not only political factors but also social views of women's roles in society and the negative suffragette campaign that took women so long to obtain the vote. ?? ?? ?? ?? Essay 4 Higher History Kelly-Marie Parry ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. How Significant Was WW1 In Bringing About Votes For Some Women In 1918?

    More violent tactics which were often carried out by the WSPU included vandalism such as breaking windows and arson. One arson attack included setting fire to part of Lloyd George's country house in Surrey in 1913. Other illegal tactics included destroying letter boxes, telegraph wires and also destroying pieces of

  2. Discuss the view that women made no progress in society untill granted the vote ...

    So an inspired Louisa Martindale set up one of the first decent academic charity school for girls in Lewes but she experienced so much opposition from the people in the town she decided to abandon the school completely. This example shows a key lack in progress in education for women in the early stages of campaigning.

  1. Why was The Great Reform Act passed in 1832 ?

    This incident had some effect on the passing of the reform act because linked together with the governments' fear that the French Revolution would encourage the riotous working class to revolt, it created an uncertain atmosphere, increasing pressure on the government to change the political system whilst at growing fear of a revolution.

  2. UNIT 5 PAPER 5A: REPRESENTATION AND DEMOCRACY IN BRITAIN, 1830-1931

    Significant number of Whigs were from the middle classes. Sponsored reforms in 1792, 1793 and 1797. Removal of forces against change * Liverpool's stroke meant Tories were in disarray, death of George III (1830) 1867 Public Pressure (external to Parliament) * Alliance between middle and working classes, various political pressure groups; Chartism (1830's and 40's); Northern Reform Union; Manhood Suffrage and Vote by Ballot Association (1862); National Reform League(1864)

  1. Womans Vote

    For the most part this type of woman did very little to aid the war effort, therefore logically it is unlikely that the enfranchisement of these women had much to do with their war work. Nevertheless, it is possible that the war-work of the younger and less well-off generations improved

  2. Free essay

    Why, between 1903 and 1914, did the women's suffrage movement fail to achieve its ...

    This was also not helped by the idea of separate spheres, a widely held view within men and women, which by nature men and women were fitted to perform different roles. What also wouldn't of helped the women get the support was the use of anti- suffragist propaganda like the

  1. The changing position of women and the suffrage question. Revision notes

    * The second act gave married women control over all the property and money they brought with them into the marriage and also allowed them to carry on with whatever trade or business they were working in before they were married, using their own property and money.

  2. The changing position of women and the suffrage question

    Women from all social backgrounds joined the Land Army, (WAACS), WRENS or WRAFS. These women were considered as part of the British Army and many others worked as nurses. Women worked hard, long hours, many were killed in accidents and their experience in war work went a long way to dispel pre-conceived notions of the female sex.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work