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Votes for women

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Introduction

History Votes for Women. 1) Source A depicts pictorially a list of positive roles a woman could have at the time and a list of negative things a man could have been. It shows that while a woman could be a respected member of society she was still not allowed to vote, whereas a man could be a criminal or unfit in the eyes of society yet still have the vote. The poster is a peaceful means of protest, yet quite crude in the way it is presented, for example it contains bold drawings of a "drunkard" and "proprietor of white slaves". Other pictures, such as those of a "lunatic" and one "unfit for service" were compared directly above to possible female positions of a "nurse" and "doctor or teacher" respectively. These are the closest opposites in roles that existed at the time so are effective in comparison. The main implication of the picture is that a man could vote whatever his stature, be it worthless or not, but a woman could not either way. The poster is a useful source as it shows the law of the time, 1912, that all men could vote no matter what they had been but women could not. This was unjust from the women's point of view and added to their frustration at not being allowed the vote. The designers of the poster used it to illustrate the double standards employed by the Government. The main motive for not having votes for women was that women were seen as unskilled and unintelligent. They were not given the vote due to the fact that they were seen as not politically minded or interested and so they would not be able to use their vote to its full potential. The point of source A is that it shows you that a Lunatic or a drunkard wouldn't be able to vote appropriately and yet still could vote where intelligent responsible women couldn't. ...read more.

Middle

These are quite broad definitions, making the data quite crude because it does not actually say what the women did at all, just that they worked in those areas. There is no indication apart from the dates that the women were actively contributing to the war effort; this is only inferred because of the years mentioned. However it can be deduced that they were helping the war effort as these areas of employment were essential to it. For example, the metal industries would make munitions, the chemical industries would make ammunition, the government offices kept records and helped the situation politically and the food, drink and tobacco industry would provide for soldiers and also people at home. The source may not be entirely correct as all the numbers appear to be rounded up or down to multiples of a thousand, but this does not make much difference when looking to it as evidence of general female employment. Its origins of a school textbook in the 1980's imply that the statistics are correct, because there is no reason for that type of publication to distort the facts or use them to an advantage. Many social and political changes happened during the First World War, as described in Source I. This source urges for the changes in women's social position not to be separated from other changes happening at the time, but the progress made by women over the four war years should not be overlooked as unrelated to the war because there were little other reasons for their parliamentary success in 1918. It was the work that women did during the war that earned them the vote. Many women were recruited to work in men's jobs during the war, because by the end of 1915 over 2.5 million men were in the armed forces. They left factory jobs which needed filling, and then more were created on top of these as the demand for supplies grew. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was important because it meant that men would still maintain power and would still control society. The second reason women were awarded the right to vote was because of political, social and economical changes. The third reason women were awarded the franchise as source J indicates due to the exceptional contribution that they made during the war and. Herbert Asquith changed his and others views of women not being responsible enough to vote, they were considered sensible enough to vote. This applied only to women aged 30 and above. There are similarities between sources H and I as both sources state that, a minor reason why women were awarded the vote was due to the war. In contrast to this view point source J states that the only reason why women awarded the vote was due to their contribution during the war. From my own knowledge I can see that source H is the most useful source as it indicates that by granting women over the age of 30 the vote was a way to divide the women. It was not all the women that were 30 and over, it was all the women that were married and had a house. So this meant that it was only the first class and some second-class women that got the vote. I believe that Herbert Asquith granted women the vote as a way of keeping them happy for sometime. I also believe that this may also have been an attempt to get his party more votes in the general elections so that he could be Prime Minister for another 5 years. Finally I have concluded that all this meant that although women did all the work, men still had all the power and authority in Britain. Lastly, it was not the work that women did during the war that led to limited female suffrage. It was instead a manipulative and cynical plot to divide the women's movement, thereby weakening it whilst maintaining male domination of society. ?? ?? ?? ?? Bharat Patel 10N Votes For Women 1900-1928 ...read more.

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