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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Title: Changing attitudes to women and their right to vote Explain why women failed to gain the right to vote between 1900 and 1914 In 1897 Millicent Fawcett formed the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies. Its aims were to promote the enfranchisement of women by using peaceful, moderate, persuasive techniques. It did get the subject of women's suffrage into the public eye but the NUWSS' slow approach meant that the right to vote would have probably come at a much later date than hoped for by many. Instead, a small group of suffragists there were unsatisfied with the slow progress broke away to form a new kind of suffragist known as the suffragettes. They formed the Women's Social and Political Union. They were led by Emmeline Pankhurst with the help of her daughters Christabel and Sylvia. Instead of using the peaceful methods practiced by the suffragists, the suffragettes were violent and unruly. Often they were arrested for committing minor offences such as chaining themselves to Buckingham palace and generally disrupting the peace. However when Parliament refused to agree to their terms they turned to more violent, illegal methods of getting their message across. These included arson, smashing windows and assaulting MPs. Women were refused the right to vote because the Prime Minister at the time was Herbert Asquith who although was a liberal, was utterly against the enfranchise of women. ...read more.

Middle

Women played an enormous role during WWI. When the conscription came into place, large numbers of the nations work force went out to war so it was up to women to fill the roles. Source A is an extract from a speech made by Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst in March 1908. It discusses how important it is that women have the right to vote and states that women who join the campaign do not have to give up their duties at home. Its intention was to inform people about the suffragette movement and to show women who were considering joining the campaign that they would not need to neglect their traditional duties. It is useful because it is a primary source and shows exactly what the suffragettes (particularly Emmeline Pankhurst) thought. Its limitations are that it is one sided, biased and only shows the points of view of the Suffragettes and not the general public. This source disagrees with the statement because it shows that people were campaigning for a change in the voting system before the war. Source B is a postcard issued by the Suffragettes in 1910. It shows all the things that women can be without being able to vote (e.g. doctors, teachers, and mayors) and all the things that men can be and be able to vote (convicts, drunkards, owners of white slaves etc). ...read more.

Conclusion

This source disagrees with the statement because it suggests that the male attitude towards women was negative even when they were proving themselves by working and contributing to the upkeep of the country. In my opinion, WWI had a large impact on the campaign for the enfranchisement of women and helped a great deal with their cause because it showed men (and women) who opposed votes for women that women were sensible, responsible and just as capable of making decisions as men. However the women who were eventually enfranchised were middle aged upper class women and not the young working class women who had actually contributed most to the war effort. Thus disclaiming the statement that women got the right to vote because of their work during WWI. One could argue that women had been voting in local elections for some time so it was natural that national elections would be next. One could also argue that the whole voting system was changing (e.g. they were allowing overseas British citizens to vote) so it was obvious that the next natural step would be for women to get the right to vote. If it wasn't for people like Millicent Fawcett and Emmeline Pankhurst who initiated the whole campaign and people like Emily Davies who died for the cause, the war would have made no difference at all and women would have possibly never have gotten the right to vote. ...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?

    The politicians and the Prime Minister himself mirrored the attitudes of the public. Political problems also played a part. It is therefore not surprising that women did not gain the vote before 1914. Women were refused the right to vote because the Prime Minister at the time was Herbert Asquith

  2. The changing role and status of women in Britain since 1900

    It was only the fact that women were carrying out such bizarre acts that they gained notoriety. In 1914 when the First World War started, the Suffragettes put their protest on hold so that they, along with the other women in Britain, could help in the war effort.

  1. The Changing roles of women

    They put immense pressure on the government, and published much propaganda in order to win public support. After WW1, the women's rights movements all strongly argued that women, through their contributions to the war, deserved the vote, and public opinion generally favoured this view.

  2. Women and the Vote

    Source D is a Part of a book called 'My Own Story' by Emmeline Pankhurst, one of the leading Suffragettes. It is her autobiography and was written in 1912.

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

    Another reason for the women's failure to get the vote was that the Liberal Government had more pressing concerns. They had to deal with the insurrection in Ireland, the rebellion by the House of Lords and the widespread strike action by trade unions.

  2. Free essay

    age and voting

    This is support by the fact that BES as it shows an increase in voting for the liberal democrats in all class and both gender. Billinghurst (2001) also notice this change. He talks about the rise in votes for the SDP and the liberal democrats parties as a third force

  1. EXPLAIN WHY WOMEN FAILED TO GAIN THE RIGHT TO VOTE BETWEEN 1900 AND 1914.

    Also women were split about which group to support. Many women would have supported the WSPU as they were campaigning for all women, but they did not like their violence. Working class women may have preferred the NUWSS methods but didn't identify with them and they were not fighting for votes for them.

  2. Explain why women failed to gain the vote before 1914?

    large manors and estates employed gardeners, workmen and labourers who could vote, but women could not regardless of their wealth. Most men in parliament believed that women simply would not understand how parliament worked therefore should not take part in the electoral process.

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