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Question 3 History

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"Without the First World War British Women would have not gained the right to vote in 1918" Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation? Explain your answer using the sources and the knowledge from your studies. There are many reasons why women eventually gained the vote such as the subject of natural change, the violent and persistent demonstrating of the Suffragettes and also the quieter yet consistent campaigning from the Suffragists. The First World War, I think, played a key role in the winning of the vote. It gave women the opportunity to prove themselves worthy of the responsibility. Women wanted the vote because the believed that life was unfair and it needed change and the only way the alterations could be made was for Parliament to pass laws. Therefore they would need the vote. In the war women worked as nurses near the front line and also back in Britain making ammunitions. They also courteously took over jobs that the men left behind. A lot of women worked in munitions factories which was incredibly dangerous labour. Most often than not they got cancer from the chemicals they had to work with everyday. These, additionally, turned their skin a yellow colour and prevented many from having children later on. On many occasions fires broke out and immense explosions followed these; killing many workers. The Silvertown explosion is one example of those flammable accidents. To be honest they had already proved themselves responsible, hardworking and extremely patriotic. Perhaps this is why they stopped all the confrontations to aid the war effort. Source H is a cover of "The War Worker" magazine; this particular issue published in June 1917. It supports the idea that women worked extremely hard for their country however the source is evidently one-sided. The cover shows a women and a man united in one cause, the war. For women involved in the Suffrage movement this was the bigger problem at the time and this needed to be corrected first, maybe even worked to their advantage. ...read more.


The article starts with the words "True to their word", this may be reliable because the Suffragettes were known to cause violence and ad underlined before the difference between Suffragettes and Suffragists was not clear. Perhaps they threatened they would do this and then proved the statement after. This could suggest that the readers and writers of this newspaper all agree to the same thing; that all women campaigner for the vote are all the same. Violent and bad. Nether-the-less the writer also says "...even more violent scenes than before" which is quite reliable because the whole summed up group of Suffragists and Suffragettes have been known to have rallied before and normally would, each time, take violence onto a new level. The journalist continues with describing the whole affair as "...shameful recklessness" which creates an image to the agreeing readers of out of control women. Furthermore he says "...never before have otherwise sensible women gone so far". Apparently they went even more extreme than ever; it may be they did this to make even more of an impact. A limitation of the source is that it talks about "...decent men" which obviously means the men that read the paper. These are probably all one type of upper-class or political men. The Daily Sketch is likely to be a right wing conservative paper meaning the writer of this article has written it for this particular audience. The conservatives did not like change so this source is likely to be one-sided. This makes the source unreliable. Next the paper says "...a few of the more of the desperate women pushed at the police in rugby style", this makes the women sound masculine and suggests they are acting like men. Possibly the writer is trying to conceive that the women are performing out of place and are trying to gain a role higher than they really are allowed to. ...read more.


She goes on about how, at that moment, they were discussing "what kind of homes people are to love in". This is a women's expertise as this is what they have practically been chained to for many years. But for some reason the Government think the men should decide this. Her audience, the Suffragettes and women who could possibly unite and join the act, needed to be persuaded to use violence to get what they wanted. Women did want the vote but some did not want the way they achieved it to be aggressive. When reading this source we have to remember that before 1908 the Suffrage movement was not aggressive at all. It was a very sudden change of tactics for all involved with the association. Somehow she manages to aim her speech at men too; when saying "for a woman will learn to give a larger meaning to her traditional duties" she really means that the men have no need to worry. The women will still have their tea on the table for their return but also that after gaining the vote women will still be women. That can never be changed. These two sources don't really help me decide whether the Suffragettes had any influence on the gaining the vote. The Suffragettes did indeed push it forward because they got a reaction from the Government meaning they had the case noticed. Every single thing they did edged it further and further on to the priority list. The idea of women being able to vote originated with the Suffragists. The Suffragettes formed when no results were being achieved for the hard-working women. They relentlessly petitioned the Government and were impossible to ignore. Their violent tactics drew attention to the inequality between male and females. I agree with the interpretation that the First World War tipped the balance and was the final weight in the argument to give women the vote. All the above are factors that resulted in women gaining the right to vote in 1918. It was not, separately, the war alone. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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