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Source based questions and answers - The suffragettes.

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Introduction

Question 1 - What can you learn about the reasons given by the suffragettes for demanding votes for women? Source A is a persuasive poster produced by suffragettes in 1912 to gain support and spread awareness of their plight to gain the vote for women. The poster attempts to do this by using images and text to give reasons of their suffrage. Firstly there is text saying, "What a woman may be and yet not have the vote" underneath this text are 5 images of women occupating different careers such as nursing, teaching or being mayor. All the careers have a distinctive similarity, all are jobs that ca only be done by responsible and educated individuals this is contrasted below where there are a different set of images all of men. Under the caption "what men have been and yet not lose the vote" are men being such things as "drunkards", "lunatics" and "convicts", unlike the women these images of men are all incompetent and irresponsible. This contrast is intended to empathise that as responsible and as much as a asset to society a women could be any drunk, crazy man will always one ultimate human right that she will not - the right to vote. The reason the suffragettes had began their campaign and produced this poster was mainly due to growing frustrations in the women of 1912. ...read more.

Middle

However these sources also disagree, Source B's Marie completely denounces the right for women to have vote. She doesn't seem to believe that any women should have the vote saying "Women were and are destined to make voters rather than to be voters themselves". This is not the case in source C, Bernard seems to not argue those "sensible" women or suffragists should have the vote, only that suffragettes shouldn't. Question 3- Study sources D and E and use your own knowledge. Why despite the suffragette activity, had women not gained the vote by the outbreak of the First World War? There were many reasons why the suffragettes had not won the fight for the vote by the outbreak of the war. One of the biggest problems for the suffragettes was entrenched tradition and beliefs. It was, to some a preposterous proposal for women to have any say in the "mans" world of politics as in source E where a member of parliament comments "in giving women the right to vote we will ultimately put the control of into female hands". This is a good example of how men could not comprehend that a female could handle the responsibility of voting. Another argument for people against the women's rights movement was that women would only vote for whom ever their husbands voted for as Britain was at this time plagued with domestic violence. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even though it was slightly hypocritical for a government that wouldn't give the women the vote and would have previously scorned them for not being at home in "the woman's place" to call for help. Maybe these women were hoping to be rewarded. However even though I can see some evidence that women did in fact contribute hugely to the war effort source G doesn't give me the bigger picture. It doesn't show me how many women were working in total so I don't know the percentage of women that contributed. It doesn't show me what happened before and after 1918 so I cant see how long it lasted, and it doesn't show me these amounts compared to the amount of men. So, after analysing both sources to see how useful they are to showing how much women contributed to the war effort in the years 1914-1918, I have decided that Source G is more useful than source F however neither give a complete picture to how much women did contribute. Question 5- 'it was the work that women did during the war that earned them the vote'. Use the sources and your own knowledge, to explain whether you agree with this interpretation. I agree with this interpretation to a certain extent, although I believe there are many other reasons that came together and resulted in women gaining the vote. It is true that women did seem to prove themselves to men in the war as being overly capable of doing all the jobs a man can do which ...read more.

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