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Source Work- Women in World War 1

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Introduction

Source Work- Women in World War 1 Source 1 is a source from a London newspaper printed in 1915 intended to inform the readers as well as entertain them because of competition between newspapers. Because it is a London newspaper article, this means that the articles would be particularly focused on the regional news in a neutral view. This particular article is about all classes of women uniting to protest for the right to serve. It says 'some of whom may have "come to scoff", but remained to sympathise, encourage and admire', this supports the fact that men didn't really like women doing what they thought was "men's" work. The article described it as a patriotic demonstration that will be honoured when the war had finished. The pictures with this source are proof of the huge crowds described in the article. Another picture also shows the patriotism described in the article by a woman holding all the flags of the countries against Germany. Patriotism was beginning to wear out in the Britain home front because of zeppelin attacks in London and south east England as well as shell attacks from ships in east England. This was the first time people at home war directly affected by war. So women would feel helpless sitting at home doing nothing. In 1915, the government relied on volunteers, before conscription, so the government had lots of propaganda posters which very possible could have been moving the women, and encouraging them to do something. The suffragettes temporarily brought the demonstrating for the right to vote to a standstill for the war. However suffragettes were very headstrong and believed they could do anything men could do, therefore they would have wanted to help in the war. Also wages would be higher than women's traditional jobs and with little income from some men fighting in the trenches, higher wages were needed. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that the value of women was much more respected than previously. It says 'more aeroplanes are NEEDED', the government was relying on women to provide the much-needed aeroplanes that helped the conditions at the home front. Aeroplanes made during and after 1916, together with new weapon technology, made the sky much more dangerous for zeppelins. This trust was put into the fates of women, which gave them a huge level of responsibility, where previously they had none. However, perhaps they were only relying on women because most men where actually fighting because of conscription. By May 16th, all men between 18-41 could be called for. This meant that there wouldn't be any more young men left to make aeroplanes. So possibly there wasn't a level of value for women, but just a matter of elimination. This all is very similar to 6c. 6c is also a propaganda poster probably made during 1916 or after for the same reasons as 6b, designed to encourage women to assist men in the army, by helping to make aeroplanes. Similarly, the government trusts the women to make aeroplanes that consequently help the women's own circumstances. This is because it would improve conditions at the home front as it made it hard for zeppelins. Although there is a list of quite basic jobs, it is an improvement on the previous nothing. In conclusion, 6b and 6c are more useful than 6a to show us that women were valued by the government. 6a shows us that the women were trusted to make munitions, however this isn't actually inferred by the photograph. All the sources do have an input about telling us that some sense of value was given to women during the war. If the government hadn't valued them, then they wouldn't have been allowed to contribute to the war effort at all. * * * Source 7 contains news footage from the Great War about jobs woman tackled. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was this kind of reminding and appeals which helped women to gain the vote. Source 10 is a cartoon printed after the enfranchisement, and shows that the general attitude from the public was that women had suffered from unjust. If the prime minister wasn't reminded of his priorities and responsibilities towards women, the enfranchisement would have probably been further delayed similar to how it had been prior to the war. I believe that the huge media coverage and propaganda printed at the time concerning women and the awareness of the subject defiantly made it a thought that became a priority. If so many women hadn't discovered this movement, and so many men weren't affected then it wouldn't have been such a big problem. I believe it was all the fuss made out of it which made the government aware. Also the suffragette's violent campaigns contributed to the growing of awareness. Because women then went onto begin doing work during the war and for the war, men felt that they really did deserve the vote, much to do that this was their largest argument against enfranchisement. However the representation of the peoples act 1918 only allowed women over 30 to vote, however It was the young women that had helped the most during the war. This may have been because this had been the case for men for so long, so it only seemed fair to start off women in the same condition. In conclusion, I disagree with the statement 'Women working in the fields and factories was the only important factor in women gaining the vote in 1918'. This is because the only environments that women worked in weren't fields and factories, but it was also the awareness raised and reminding and constant pressurising by women and their campaigns. I believe that this interpretation has come about because sufficient sources to study suffragette campaigns weren't given, and most of the sources included women working in either factories or fields. History History Mrs Jones ...read more.

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