• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why, despite the suffragette activity, had women not gained the vote by the outbreak of the First World War?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why, despite the suffragette activity, had women not gained the vote by the outbreak of the First World War? There were many reasons why women had not gained the vote by the outbreak of the First World War. To understand these reasons fully we must first study sources D and E. Source D is a written source and was written by Emiline Pankhurst, the leader of the suffragettes. It is an extract from her book entitled "My own Story". The source is a justification for the suffragette's militant methods. In 1906 the suffragettes were following Millicent Fawcett, founder of the suffragists. They used peaceful, non-violent methods to express their views but were unheard by parliament. Frustrated, the suffragettes took a different approach to campaigning for suffrage. The suffragettes realised the importance of publicity for their cause; they needed to keep the issue in the news. The problem was, they were not at the top of the government's priorities. There were issues to be dealt with in Ireland, a potential war threat and Britain was concerned primarily with defending its empire. ...read more.

Middle

This meant that the government would discharge a woman as soon as she was becoming too ill, then re-arrest her when she was better. The suffragette's campaign was certainly successful in keeping the issue in the news. To help their campaign, they made banners and sashes illustrating their rights. They decorated their banners and sashes and dressed themselves in white, green and purple. Source E is also a written source. It is part of a speech given by a 'conservative' Member of Parliament. We know this because the source shows a strong, traditional view against women getting the vote. In this view women were the feeble sex, they were not clever enough or firm enough to have the vote. They believed women to have a number of disabilities that would be a problem if they had the vote: physical, biological and emotional. They believed women were emotional and this could overshadow their better judgement when it came to voting. Conservative men also feared for society; they thought that if women had the vote then they would drop all responsibilities in the home and would not stay home to look after the children or keep the house, as it should traditionally be. ...read more.

Conclusion

Their violent and spontaneous campaigns meant the government could not trust them. Looking at all these factors, we can conclude that women did not have the vote by the outbreak of the First World War for various reasons. The government had the pressing issues of conflict in Europe, Trade Union activity and the home rule in Ireland, so although the suffragettes had made women's suffrage an issue, it was not one of the most importance. There were also disagreements on how to give women the vote, how could they give women the vote if not all men had it? Parliament was not the only people with conflicting opinions; the suffragettes themselves were not united. There were many disagreements on the scale of violence to be used. Some felt it needed to be stronger and some felt that they needed to be calmer. When Herbert Asquith became the new Prime Minister it became even harder for women to see themselves ever having the vote. Asquith was very conservative and held the views of a traditional male. These reasons taken into consideration, including the evidence of sources D and E show us why women did not have the vote by the outbreak of the First World War. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. Why did women fail to gain the vote between 1900-1914?

    the reason for the decline of the Liberals because once out of power, Asquith was susceptible to great criticism and he was unable to defend himself. How important was the war in helping women gain the vote? In the years before 1914 there were many problems for women with their oppression, lack of respect and general miss- treatment by males.

  2. What was more important, the suffragette campaigns or world war one in gaining women ...

    They called themselves suffragettes they took more militant action to try and obtain the vote. Many people who were part of the more peaceful protests of the suffragists then joined the militant suffragettes while others were disgusted by their forceful methods.

  1. To what extent did the work done by women during World War 1 gain ...

    12 When men achieved emancipation, many women were outraged that they were excluded13. The reason given by parliament was that there had already been a dramatic increase in the electorate, and that a bigger increase would cause difficulties.14 According to accounts by Suffragettes the reason was that politicians felt that

  2. Did The First World War Liberate British Women?

    women as it shows they had to work to provide for themselves, but once married could not work and had to live off their husbands so that they could perform their marital duties. The jobs they were allowed to do were similar to the "Job they would have as a wife."

  1. Why, despite the suffragette activity, had women not gained the vote by the outbreak ...

    Although his real policy was to 'wait and see', he said that he was not prepared to introduce changes unless he felt that the majority of women actually wanted it. This was a massive set back for the franchise as the previous Prime minister, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman had been in favour of votes for women.

  2. Why did the Liberals decline between 1908-1918?

    They wanted to increase the school leaving age to fourteen. All of these ideas were popular with the people and so they voted Labour as they were seen as the Party of the people. Asquith, the Prime Minister, was Britain's war leader and he took Britain into the war in 1914.

  1. Did the First World War liberate British women?

    who had first hand experience of life before the war and she would have no reason to make her story up. I would also say that this source is useful because it is a primary source from someone who experienced the life that we can only comment on.

  2. "Without the First World War British women would not have gained the right to ...

    She explains this by saying, "we cannot make and orderly protest because we do not have the means to do such a thing". I believe she is trying to make an excuse for the violence. Although this source was said in 1911, I feel that it links In with the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work