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'It was the work that women did during the war that earned them the vote'

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Introduction

'It was the work that women did during the war that earned them the vote' I agree with this statement because, although I believe that women would have eventually gained the vote, the war was a catalyst and got women the vote, as well as respect, quickly. However, source H, from a history book written in 1980, thinks that seeing the war as the reason women gained the vote is 'a very simplified view', and that in fact it did very little for women. This is because during the war women who worked in farms, hospitals and factories were resented rather and rewarded for their work. Also, it says that politician's views were already changing and many believed women had the right to vote for bringing up children, so the war was only a small part of it. Source I, also from a history book written in 1977 also says that the war, although one reason why women gained the vote, is a 'rough generalisation'. It says that social and political changes that occurred due to the war created a mood that was 'favourable to change'. ...read more.

Middle

This gave them credit and changed some people's minds about votes for women. They were seen to be patriotic and prepared to calm down so their country could fight the war, and so, many people believed, should be rewarded by gaining the vote. This is certainly how Prime Minister Herbert Asquith felt, as shown in source J. However, the Government, although they would not have admitted so at the time, may also have been worried that the Suffragettes would start up their campaigning after the war and disrupt the country, and so thought that they should just give women the vote. Another thing which got the Suffragettes respect and favour was the fact that they used their publicity machine to encourage men to join up. The war, however, did play a big part in the reason why women gained the vote. Many women were allowed to work for the first time and they even campaigned to work; Christabel Pankhurst organised a 'Right to Work' march in July 1915. 30,000 women took part and marched in London. Many women left their jobs as domestic servants for better wages in places such as munitions factories, where the pay was �3 a week, which was a high. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was not until 1928 that women could vote on the same level as men. In conclusion, the work women did during the war was the main reason women gained the vote. Although the change in the law after the war to give soldiers the vote for fighting for their country lead to some women gaining the vote, and the change in attitudes despite the war were very important, the work women did was a bigger factor. Other factors such as the long running attention the Suffragists and Suffragettes brought to the cause also helped it gain momentum. But the fact that women worked during the war meant had more in common with men and men could no longer say they did nothing to contribute to the country. They also could understand more the role of men in society before the war, and could talk to men on a more equal level about work and the issues that come with it. The Suffragettes gave up campaigning and women put the country first, they worked without complaining. Women were being seen as equal because everybody agreed that the work they did was as important as fighting. Women were independent, essential and respected for their work. This led to them gaining the vote. Hannah Brinkley ...read more.

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