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Why Were Women Given the Vote in 1918 and Not Earlier?

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Introduction

Why Were Women Given the Vote in 1918 and Not Earlier? In 1900 women were treated very differently to men. Few women went to school or university and the schools they could go to were very expensive, this only left the option of doing this open to women from rich families. Instead women were expected to stay at home and spend their lives looking after and raising children and running the house. Women didn't have the vote either but most people thought that this was perfectly sensible, their reasons for not giving women the vote were that people thought that the world was a man's business and women were meant to look after the home. Also women were seen as irrational and unable to make big decisions. Campaigning for the right for women's votes were two groups or movements. The first of these movements were the suffragists. They were known as the National Union of Women's Suffrage Society (NUWSS). The suffragists were led by Millicent Fawcett and was set up in 1897 after all the local suffrage groups came together to form a national movement. ...read more.

Middle

The jobs they did such as bus conductors, postal workers, farm labourers and coal deliverers were all vital in keeping the country going. They could also work in jobs that were directly linked to the war effort, these included working in munitions factories and in engineering workshops or they could also join women's branches of the armed forces or work as nurses in military hospitals. By doing these jobs during the war women showed and proved that they were important and useful to public life as well as home life. There was also a sense of appreciation and gratitude towards women after the war for doing these jobs. Also, after the war people's attitudes had changed towards women, this was not just because of the war and the jobs women took on during it. It was also because people remembered back to the suffragette's violence and they thought that it was unfair that women did not get the vote and have full political rights. The violence of the suffragettes had been overshadowed by the war and people felt that the suffragettes hadn't been that bad. ...read more.

Conclusion

not because of women's efforts during the war, the suffragettes were remembered as being not that bad anymore and this was due to their violence being overshadowed by the war. After the war had ended there was the threat of suffragette violence starting again. Neither the government nor the people wanted to see this as this would have caused a lot more trouble and difficulty in a country recovering from war. The suffragists would have taken a very long time to win the vote for women because they were a very slow moving campaign which didn't have that much support. The suffragettes would probably not have won the vote because the government would not give in to their violence and extreme protesting. The war acted as a catalyst for the campaign for women's votes, it sped up the campaign and brought it forward a long way as women were appreciated and seen as more responsible due to the war and their efforts during it. After the war the shake-up of the voting system helped the campaign greatly as well. Women would have eventually got the vote but it would have taken a lot longer had it not been for world war one. 1 Jon Morgan ...read more.

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