• 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 important were the Women's Suffrage Campaigns in the decision ot grant women the ...

    women, clearly shown in the 1911 Conciliation Bill, where 255 MPs were for votes for women, and many abstained, whilst 40 Private Members Bills were also taken to Parliament between 1867 and 1907 requesting the enfranchisement of women, showing the growing backing for them.

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

    - by 1867 membership stood at 65,000 in 600 branches; Reform Union. * Garibaldi's visit in 1864, Civil War in USA, riots in Hyde Park (1866) * Meetings of the Reform League in the north attracted over 100,000 people. * Agrarian distress, Sheffield trade union outrages (1866), rise of organised Trade Unions.

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

    Balfour, Bonar Law and Arthur Henderson who were all pro- votes for women were appointed in government posts. Also Lloyd George who was mainly pro- female suffrage replaced Asquith as Prime Minister when he stepped down in December 1916. Therefore this meant that there were more supporters of votes for

  2. 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.

  1. Womans Vote

    Moreover those those that had put themselves at risk in the munition factories and on the fields, had been single and young, most in their early 20s, whereas those that received the vote were 30 years old and over, and, more often than not, married to rich property or landowners, therefore deemed as "respectable" and worthy of the vote.

  2. Free essay

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

    got that, and that different social class held different view, like the fact that working classes men and women did not have many rights, many men did not even have the right to vote, though also in the working class women held traditional view of women so feel strongly against

  1. The changing position of women and the suffrage question

    1902 Education Act 1,000 new grammar schools built by 1913 By 1914 ½ the places in grammar schools were filled with working class kids, half girls. The Liberal Government of 1906-14 Introduced a range of reforms which indirectly impacted on girl’s education.

  2. 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.

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