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Explain why women failed to gain the right to vote between 1900 and 1914.

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Introduction

Full Name: Candidate Number:ssssssss Centre: Centre Number:sssds Syllabus: AQA Specification B (Model B) Examination session: 2004 Title: Changing attitudes to women & and their right to vote 1. Explain why women failed to gain the right to vote between 1900 and 1914. (10 marks) During the 19th century, several major breakthroughs regarding women's rights within society were made, such as the introduction of the Married Women's Property Act, the Guardianship of Infants Act as well as the law that declared equal state education for both boys and girls. Although this meant that women had more position within society than ever before, there was still an unresolved issue that kept the imbalance between the two genders more apparent than ever; the right to vote in Parliamentary elections. One of the main reasons for women's failure to gain this right was society's expectation of them, as well as the roles they were expected to enact. Throughout the 19th century, and indeed before, all women were expected to fit into a certain mould and live their life in a certain way; if they didn't, they were regarded as a failure. This role entailed getting married to a respectable man as quickly as possible, producing healthy children to look after and raise, as well as look after the home; a typified statement of that time to summarise this view was, 'A woman's place is in the home'. ...read more.

Middle

Male attitudes were possibly the largest contributor to women's failure to gain the suffrage, as had they supported women's rights, there would have been no debate to begin with. Full Name: Candidate Number:ssssssss Centre: Centre Number:dddddsssds Syllabus: AQA Specification B (Model B) Examination session: 2004 Title: Changing attitudes to women & and their right to vote 2. "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? Explain your answer using the sources and knowledge from your studies. (15 marks) Before the beginning of the First World War, the fight for women's right to vote had been spiralling out of control; the Suffragettes, one of the main women's activist groups had been causing controversy with their use of violence in order to achieve their aim. The government had been responding by beginning the initiative that was later known as 'The Cat and Mouse Act,' and retaliations gradually began to escalate. However, this enmity was forgotten immediately when the World War 1 broke out; Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the Suffragettes, decided that the cause of patriotism was more important than continuing the fight for equality, and promptly stopped campaigning and began helping the war effort, which was a wise decision as had they continued at that time, it would have turned the public against the Suffragettes. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is an incredibly poignant piece of propaganda, and although it is clearly biased, the message comes across very clearly; women who are either socially, trustworthily or academically above men are still regarded as beneath them. On balance, I agree with the interpretation. Women's actions in the First World War changed a majority of men's opinions about them, including the ex - Chancellor of the Exchequer Asquith who has once remarked that women were 'hopelessly ignorant of politics and credulous to the last degree', who during the war declared, 'We see them doing work which three years ago we would have regarded as being exclusively men's work... I would find it impossible to withhold from women (the right to vote)'. This shows the amount of change in one mans beliefs, and I do not believe this would have happened by 1918 without the war Yes, women would have eventually won the right to the suffrage had they continued campaigning in the way Sources A and B show, but not within the time span of four years when you consider the length of time the campaign had already been running; attitudes such as that in Source C would never have been changed had it not been for the First World War. ...read more.

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