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

“Was the work women did in the War the most important reason why they were given the vote in 1918?”

Extracts from this document...


"Was the Work Women did in the War the Most Important Reason Why they were given the Vote in 1918?" There were many reasons why women got the vote in 1918. The work of the suffragists and suffragettes was very important. The NUWSS was founded by Millicent Fawcett and it relied upon patience, peaceful protests and logical arguments to win the vote. She argued that if Parliament made laws and if women had to obey those laws, then women should be part of the process of making those laws. Although the suffragists did manage to convert certain members of the Labour Representation Committee (soon to be the Labour Party), most men in Parliament still believed that women wouldn't understand how Parliament worked and therefore shouldn't take part in the electoral process. The Suffragists' progress was very slow, and many women were tired of waiting. These women became known as the Suffragettes. Emmeline Pankhurst, a famous founder of the Suffragettes, wrote this in her autobiography: "This was the beginning of a campaign the like of which was never kwon in England, or for that matter in any other country...we interrupted a great many meetings...and we were violently thrown out and insulted. Often we were painfully bruised and hurt." The Suffragettes used many methods to win their support. They had special badges and a colour scheme to indicate their loyalties. ...read more.


they have done more during the last twelve months to bring it within the region of practical politics than we have been able to accomplish in the same number of years." The work done by women during the war was also an important factor. When World War I broke out in 1914, women's role in society undertook a dramatic change. As more and more men joined the army (especially in 1916 when conscription was introduced), women participated in the war effort on the Home Front. Some had jobs concerning transport, for example on buses, trams and trains. This would mean either being the driver or the conductor. Others became police constables or worked in shipyards or mines. The Women's Land Army was established, as there were no men left to work on the land. Women earned the same wages as men previously had and their job consisted of such tasks as weeding and haymaking. Britain became increasingly self sufficient, as the Germans kept sinking merchant ships with food on board. The WLA became even more effective after the Battle of the Somme in 1916 when many men who normally worked on the land died. Women also became nurses during this time. The VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) gave comfort to injured soldiers; their main task was to keep wounds clean. ...read more.


How would Parliament look by locking them up after the atrocities in World War I? Other Historians do not entirely agree with this, for many women who worked in dangerous munitions factories, for instance, were not given the vote because they were below the age of 30. There was still no total equality between men and women because only women over the age of 30 were allowed to vote, whereas men over 21 could vote. This meant that out of an electorate of 21 million, 8 million were women. In conclusion, I think the most important reason for women getting the vote in 1918 was because of the work they achieved in the war. The previous argument that women couldn't serve their country was now shattered. Parliament realised that without women's support on the Home Front, victory might not have been possible. The Government felt that they owed a lot to women after supporting the war effort. The Daily Express printed this on 19 July, 1915: "It was impossible for the spectators not to feel touched and stirred and proud of these women of England as they trooped through the rain with one fixed aim- the serving of their country in the hour of its need...Here and there groups of soldiers cheered the women, as well they might. The heart of every man went out to them, they were the true women of England, the women of whom to be proud." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 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 GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. Why did women fail to gain the vote between 1900-1914?

    Some women did stay on unchallenged. These were the secretaries, telephonists and clerks. The war was to see the last of the male clerks. The women only kept these jobs, as many men didn't want them. There was a steady decline in the domestic service, but some women did go

  2. How important were Haig's tactics in bringing an end to WW1?

    With the arrival of the Grand Fleet, a contest of high naval strategy began between Jellicoe and Scheer. Jellicoe manoeuvred the German fleet into a V formed by British ships. Elements of the two fleets engaged each other intermittently throughout the late evening and early morning.

  1. Source Work- Women in World War 1

    the war effort and sustaining of the economy made women much more respected that previously. In conclusion, Source 10 is more reliable in terms of public attitudes towards the female suffrage by the end of the Great War. This is because source 10 is a public magazine, whereas source 9 is a private official document.

  2. How important was World War One in gaining women the vote?

    The NUWSS (National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies) formed in the 1880s was dedicated to attaining votes for women. It was a federal organisation and was known as one of the more peaceful groups. They organised the first of the big suffrage demonstrations in February 1907. it became known as the 'mud march' because of the torrential rain that had poured down on the demonstrators.

  1. How was British society changed 1906 - 1918

    Helping the Sick Poor Law hospitals offering treatment were set up all over Britain for those too sick to work. 2. Helping the Unemployed Local Authorities were allowed to provide work and increase wages for the unemployed 3. Helping the Old The poor were granted Outdoor Relief but many were taken to Workhouses to be looked after.

  2. Britain in the Age of Total War, 1939-45.

    Source D also doesn't show people being killed or dead as source B does but source C doesn't also show dead people. So sources C and D agree on one thing but B doesn't. Source D shows people angry and fighting over wreckages, this shows me that the British 'grit'

  1. Britain in the age of total war 1939-1945.

    Source F is a diary entry written by Harold Nicolson dated 17 September 1940. It talks about the atmosphere of East London; he also mentions that when the King and Queen visited damages areas they were booed constantly by the people who previously lived in the destroyed areas.

  2. Why were some women given the vote in 1918?

    Women?s contribution to the war effort was definitely a major factor in granting women the vote in 1918. To start with, women?s role was to stay at home and encourage men to fight. However, many realised this was total war, involving civilians as well as the soldiers.

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