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Explain the reasons why the women's movements failed to win the vote before 1914.

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Explain the reasons why the women's movements failed to win the vote before 1914. [ 20 ] During the early twentieth centaury, the social position of women was very different. The role of a woman was very domestic. They were expected simply to marry, bear children and look after the home. Women were seen as unintelligent, indecisive, emotional creatures that could not cope with politics. William Randall Cramer commented that if women got the vote, they would become masculine and domineering and consequently neglect their household and marital duties. There were also those that thought that if women had the vote, they would stop having children, and eventually the human race would die out. When the NUWSS was formed to campaign for women's suffrage, it was met by horror and disapproval. This made the situation difficult for the suffragists, but on the other hand perhaps it would be irrational to expect a more positive response as the traditional social position of women had been upheld for a long time. ...read more.


Concerning the passing of laws, public opinion is very important as these are the views reflected by the MP's in Government. Perhaps if the public had supported the women's movements, the Government may have taken them more seriously. However, this would be expected as at the time, Government had other more important political and social issues to resolve. Britain was engaged in a race to build dreadnoughts with Germany. Tensions in Europe were rising and by 1905 there were already indications of an imminent war. The welfare reforms that began 1905 needed to be resolved; for example, the Old Age Pensions 1905, the School Meals Act 1906 and the National Insurance Act 1911. These reforms aimed to help the poorer people in England. The Liberals probably thought that they had made such an effort with their welfare reforms, yet the bothersome suffragettes were demanding the vote. There were also constitutional problems concerning the Lords, the Irish Home Rule Bill and the People's Budget 1909. ...read more.


On the other hand, the suffragettes frustrated and despondent after having their hopes raised continued their violent tactics in order to gain the vote. The start of World War II finally ended the stalemate. On of the views at this time was that women did not fight for their country so they did not deserve the vote. The war would give them the chance to prove that they were indeed worthy of the vote, through the actions of organizations such as the Women's Royal Air Force and the munitions workers. Perhaps the most important factor why women did no get the vote before 1914 was the attitude of the public. The main cause was the violence and criminal acts carried out by the WSPU. On the other hand, they would not have been driven to turn to violence if they had been taken notice of while they used the tactic of peaceful persuasion. The attitudes of the public were mirrored by the politicians and the Prime Minister himself. Political problems also played a part. It is therefore not surprising that women did not gain the vote before 1914. 1063 Emily Akena ...read more.

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