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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Without the First World War British women would not have gained the right to vote in 1918". Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation? To a certain extent I do agree with this interpretation. However, as to WW1 being the sole reason for women getting the vote in 1918 is still a highly debateable question and a very controversial issue. A simplistic answer to the question, "What gave British women the vote in 1918?" would be to say the First World War, but World War One was merely one of a few contributory factors to women getting the vote. The campaign for women's suffrage had been running long before the beginning of the war. The first attempt for female suffrage was made by the Suffragists who, for over 50 years, used peaceful methods; such as petitions and protests to gently persuade MPs into enfranchising them. They had laid the foundation for change and their non-violent, legal tactics publicised women's suffrage without alienating the public and angering the government. Nevertheless, they failed to achieve government backing and their campaign was so slow and frustrating that many women began to get disillusioned, amounting in several supporters losing faith and turning to other, more violent, methods for the answer. ...read more.

Middle

It is still a much argued debate as to whether, if it wasn't for the Suffragette's militant tactics antagonising the public and politicians so much, Suffragists would have received the vote, well before the beginning of World War One. The 'Great War' began in August 1914 and because of it both the Suffragettes and the Suffragists suspended their campaigns- seeing it as their patriotic duty to make themselves vital to the War Effort. In Source H, we are shown the front-cove of the War Worker magazine, published in June 1917, which shows a man and a woman working, united, for a common cause. This type of source was used as propaganda during the war to get more people involved in the War Effort, so therefore it is not as reliable as other sources, however it does show us how women began to be treated differently. Despite the prejudice described in Source I, attitudes towards women did change during the war, for a number of reasons; women were supporting the government on recruitment- sending white feathers (a sign of cowardice) ...read more.

Conclusion

Another reason for giving women the vote was because the government felt pressured- other countries had given women the vote and so the English government believed they'd lag behind if they didn't. The First World War, and hence women's contribution to it, has often been given as the main reason for British women gaining the right to vote in 1918, however there were always three stages towards the emancipation of women; the first was the long campaign of propaganda and organisation by the Suffragists, who laid the foundations for change, the second was the militant campaign by the Suffragettes, and third, was the War. We know that it was not the War alone that secured women the vote, as the French women had participated just as much in the war effort in France but were not given the vote afterwards. In France there had been no suffrage movement and therefore no pressure on the government for change, so in conclusion the women's suffrage movement in Britain before the war must have made a difference. Had there been no war, the emancipation of women would inevitably have come, although just much slower. Aoife Flynn Suffragettes Coursework-part C - 1 - ...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. Marked by a teacher

    ''Without the First World War British women would not have gained the right to ...

    5 star(s)

    1914 disagrees, "They looked for escape from the harsh conditions of paid employment". This source is useful because it suggests that, before the war, women were not interested in politics or working for others. It is also useful because it is written by a historian, and should therefore be reliable and accurate.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    What Were the Consequences of the First World War for the British People 1914 ...

    4 star(s)

    So the Liberal supporters were split into two: those who supported George and those who supported Asquith. The tensions increased in May 1918 when there was a dispute concerning British troupes in the spring offensive, again this involved Asquith and George.

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

    They would have to be strong women so they could carry out the work in the factories and mines, the work at home and also to be able to give birth to many children as their survival rate was so appallingly low.

  2. Evaluate the impact of the First World War on the social, economic and political ...

    This required all men between the ages of 18 and 41 to go to war. The war was losing large numbers of men and they were not enough volunteers to go to war because the men back in England had not seen many people come back home.

  1. "The Impact of World War 1 on women's role in British society was only ...

    formed in 1918 employed women to work as fitters and drivers, as did the 'First Aid Nursing Yeomanry'.

  2. World war 1

    Both sources mention that the strategy used by Haig was inappropriate; the only reason he won was because he got lucky. The two sources are very similar, which shows that source F is not wrong. Sources G and H do not prove that Source F is wrong because all three

  1. 'Lions Led by Donkeys' How Valid is this Interpretation of the Conduct of the ...

    continued to send these men to the same tragic deaths, he knew the casualties would be high as he said in his own words in source B3...he was prepared to send these men to the deaths like thousands of other previous men.

  2. To what extent did the campaigns for women's suffrage lead to the women gaining ...

    The violent tactics got progressively worse up to the First World War, in 1904 they used tactics like heckling at public meeting but by 1913 this had evolved into arson attacks and sabotage campaigns, Emily Davidson died throwing herself under the Kings horse at the derby.

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