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Votes For Women, c1900-28.

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Introduction

Coursework Assignment Votes For Women, c1900-28 1. What can you learn from Source A about the reasons given by the Suffragettes for demanding votes for women? Source A, produced in 1912, shows us that women can do all these jobs such as mayor and doctor clearly requiring high levels of intelligence and understanding, and can be leaders and have jobs of important social standing. Evidently they could have chosen a leader just as easily as a man. Hence propaganda like Source A suggesting woman can be more responsible than men, and yet not have the vote. It questions what abilities are required for a voter? When compared to immoral activities like the slave trade and irresponsible actions like drunkenness it becomes obvious female suffrage should have been accepted as the poster suggests. Also, the inclusion of 'mother' in the poster points out that women bring up the future of society and yet are excluded from the right to vote. The poster definitely achieves its job of explicating the unfairness in the voting system. One other point of significance is it being written in 1912, and being peaceful. This may lead to the fact that Suffragette violence increased as 1914 neared, evidently this kind of campaigning didn't work. 2. Does Source B support the evidence of Source C about the Suffragette campaign? ...read more.

Middle

This agrees with the statement in source E from an MP that control of the country was not desirable in female hands. This leads to the third reason women did not have the vote, PM Asquith. The best example of this would be Asquith blocking a popular conciliatory bill in 1911. Firstly he knew the women who first received the vote would be older, and often married. Therefore they would probably vote Conservative, against his party. Also, the continuing violent demonstration of Suffragettes had backed him into a corner so that he had to be seen as criticizing of this, partly due to the Irish situation. 4. How useful are these two sources as evidence for the contribution of women to the war effort in the years 1914-1918? These sources offer varying evidence as to the contribution of women. Source F is clearly a primary piece of evidence from the war. However it is propaganda, therefore biased from the government. This means though it cannot be used well as proof of involvement it can definitely be used as proof that the government wanted more women working during the war. It raises interesting ideas of women working in factories, and is significant as it was produced in 1916 (when conscription was introduced). This then is evidence of women taking male jobs as well as the changing attitudes to the contribution of women. ...read more.

Conclusion

Paula Bartley argued it was mostly women over 30 who received the vote, yet the female munitions workers would have been much younger. Source H tells us men did not appreciate women taking over their jobs, especially in agriculture and industry women were greatly 'frozen out' by the male workers. This shows not all public opinion agreed on enfranchising women. But, it is important to remember there was a need for voting reform in general. Large numbers of soldiers upon returning wouldn't be allowed to vote. This would be unacceptable but meant women should surely get some kind of reward for their hard work and losses. Female suffrage ideas had been around for many years before the war and many things had changed before 1914. However the major barriers between gaining the vote soon disappeared during the war effort. In summary as Source I says, the interpretation is a 'very rough generalization', the work women did during the war contributed to earning them the vote but was not the only reason. Bibleography: * GCSE Modern World History - Ben Walsh * Suffragettes and Votes for Women - L. E. Snellgrove * The British Women's Suffrage Campaign: 1866-1928 - Harold L. Smith * Women in England 1870-1950 - Jane Lewis * Women's Suffrage and Party Politics in Britain 1866-1914 - Constance Rover * Votes for Women 1860-1928 - Paula Bartley * Feminism and Democracy - Sandra Stanley Holton * War and Social Change in the 20th Century - Arthur Marwick James Crowe ...read more.

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