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

To What Extent did the First World War help Women gain the Vote in 1918?

Extracts from this document...


To What Extent did the First World War help Women gain the Vote in 1918? Europe, and indeed the World in 1914, was still living in an extended 19th Century. No-one expected this war to be any different from the other continental wars that had sporadically erupted on the continent in the mid to late 19th Century, with Britain staying aloof, as she had done in the 1860s, and 1870. But this war was to change everything. The gruesome slaughter at Ypres, the Somme, Thiepval, Gallipoli, and many an other 'foreign field' indelibly changed the outlook of many in the combatant countries. In 1918, when the war ended, the world was different. The great cataclysm that had convulsed the globe for the last four years had ended, and the pieces tossed up that summer in 1914, had landed again that winter in 1918, in an entirely different way. ...read more.


The NUWSS, on the other hand, was bitterly divided over whether or not to support the war. While some of its members were nearly as nationalistic and xenophobic as the Pankhusrts in their support for the British war effort, there were others who were committed pacifists. There were also other, smaller Women's suffrage groups, such as the ELFS, founded and lead by Sylvia Pankhurst, who, in defiance of her mother, completely disagreed with the war, and became a socialist anti-war agitator. Women in the War worked extensively on the Home Front, working as Land Girls, tending the fields while the men were fighting and dying in the fields and trenches of Flanders; making the shells and bullets that they used to try and kill the Germans, and actively supporting the Armed Forces by joining Auxiliary Arms of the Army, Navy, and later, upon its formation, the RAF. ...read more.


The WSPU could be relied upon to resume their campaign of militancy after the war was over, and the Government did not relish the idea of having to take on the Suffragettes again. While it was entirely possible to continue to deny the women the vote and ride out the militant storm, it was not what the country needed after an expensive war. One must also remember that by this point, Britain, 'Mother of Democracy' was rather falling behind the rest of the democratic world when it came to the question of votes for women. Many countries, most notably the Dominions had already, or where in the process of, introducing women's suffrage, and how could Britain lag behind these upstart countries? The war, and the attendant upheaval also gave many prominent politicians such as Asquith the chance to climb down from a position that was now clearly untenable. The war thus provided a catalyst for the change that was already needed, and speeded the process considerably. ...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 ...

    a threat, as in 1905 they held a mock debate, where MPs discussed a measure that would force horse and cart owners to have lamps, just to avoid even debating women's suffrage. This angered many members of the Women's Movement, the group of upper middle class women who wanted to

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

    However, not all members of the suffragette movement were as patriotic as the WSPU and NUWSS. The ELFS (East London Federation of Suffragettes) were both anti- war and anti- government. There were also splits within the NUWSS against pro and anti- war members.

  1. In what ways did the role of women change during the First World War?

    If they wanted enough men fighting the trenches, then women workers were to be needed. This paved the way for an increase in employment for women, for example, women employed in munitions grew from 83,000 in 1914 to 340,000 in 1916 and by the end of the war 947,000 women were employed.

  2. The Bike Ride

    With the wind blowing in his face, his eyes became a little bit dry. As the closed his eyes for just a small second he heard the sound of a cars' horn. The horn was loud and he heard it very clearly in his left ear.

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

    imprisoned after a trial in which she had to prove she was virtuous. * The 1866 Contagious Diseases Act augmented the 1864 act, as prostitutes in naval ports and garrison towns were subject to compulsory three-monthly internal examinations. In addition, regular examinations of suspected prostitutes within ten miles of the named ports and garrison towns were introduced.

  2. The changing position of women and the suffrage question

    Legislation that included free school meals for the poor, medical provision in schools and protected person?s status for children. ? All offered girls a better chance at gaining an education. Being educated was vital for girls to break into the male dominated ?public? world Education for Middle Class Girls A

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