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

Why Were Women Given the Vote in 1918?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why Were Women Given the Vote in 1918? Women were not treated as equals with men before the second half of the eighteenth century. They had to marry, obey their husbands and have children, only receiving little education. In the eyes of the law they had little power and men were their superiors. For example, once they were married, everything they owned belonged to their husband, this meant that if they separated the women would be left with nothing, not even her children, as they too, belonged solely to the husband. Around 1850, the rights of women started to change, as laws were made to improve women's education and rights in marriage. However women were still not allowed to vote in the general elections. Many women considered this as a huge prejudice, and that they would have to carry on being second-class citizens until they received the right to vote because a lot of women thought that having a say in general elections would give them more opportunities and rights. Before 1918, only men had the vote, even though they had to qualify by meeting the property qualification (which was someone who earned 40 shillings a year and was a freeholder). Therefore, not all men did qualify, but many women did qualify, and as a result could vote in local elections. Women did have very strong arguments to give them the vote. ...read more.

Middle

For example, Mary Wollstonecraft really got the campaign under way by targeting the ordinary workingwomen. And MP, John Stuart Mill campaigned for suffrage for women. He introduced the motion for female suffrage into Parliament but was defeated in 1867. Short-term causes include the female suffrage societies. In 1897, all the women's suffrage groups merged to form the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). They were named the Suffragists. They used a peaceful method of campaigning for the vote, made up of mainly middle-class women and lead by Millicent Fawcett. They wanted, "to show the world how to gain reforms without violence, without killing people and blowing up buildings and doing other silly things that men have done when they wanted the laws altered." Their campaign mainly consisted of handing out leaflets, collecting signatures for petitions and they often held meetings, including meetings with MP's to argue their case. They backed the MP's that supported women's suffrage. However by the 1900, women still had not got the vote, regardless of over half of the MP's being in favour of women's suffrage. The subject had been in parliament fifteen times but rejected all of those times. The leader of the NUWSS, Millicent Fawcett said that her movement was 'like a glacier', meaning that it was slow but once started it could not be stopped, and it was awfully powerful. Some women thought that the Suffragists' campaign was far too slow and they grew impatient. ...read more.

Conclusion

In other countries such as France women too worked in the war but did not receive the vote, historians believe that this may be due to the lack of campaigning that the French women did before the war. It was also thought that (before the war) when Prime Minister Asquith was in power he was not in favour of women's suffrage and he did not want to give them the vote because of the violent campaigns of the suffragettes. He felt that if he gave into the violent women then he would have to give in to the other violent parties as well. Therefore he didn't want to be seen as a weak Prime Minister who gives in at times of trouble. Many countries around the world such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the USA had given the vote to women or were introducing it. Britain could not be seen as the one that is left behind. Having evaluated all of the evidence I believe that all the mentioned factors all contributed to women receiving the vote and that they are all interlinked with each other and each factor made getting women the suffrage happen a bit faster. I agree with this statement: "There were three stages in the emancipation of women... the long campaign of propaganda and organisation (the Suffragists)...the campaign of the militants (the Suffragettes)...war. Had there been no militancy and no war, the emancipation of women would have come, although more slowly. But without (the work of the Suffragists), neither militancy nor the War could have produced the crop." ...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?

    If Asquith had been more competent in war, the public may have given the government more support because the war may have been more successful. Having considered this however, Asquith did manage to reverse his lack of public support by forming a coalition with the Conservatives and Labour.

  2. To what extent did the campaigns for women's suffrage lead to the women gaining ...

    Perhaps one of the most crucial factors in women gaining the right to vote came in 1914 when Britain declared war on Germany. The Suffragists and the Suffragettes both halted the campaigns for women's suffrage; Milicent Fawcett commented, "Now is the time for effort and self sacrifice by everyone of use to help our country.

  1. The struggle for the emancipation of women.

    As women became more and more independent and educated they wanted equal legal rights. They wanted all their wealth and possessions and earnings to belong to them and not their husbands. They gained legal status in 1882 but still did not have the right to vote.

  2. History Revision for year 11. The Liberal Reforms, the Beveridge Reforms and the ...

    Their work was co-ordinated for the first time and all non-emergency patients, and many people who were seriously ill, were sent home. The government also wanted people to be as healthy as possible. Healthy people would not need to take days off work.

  1. Suffragettes and the Vote.

    She is described as a "sensible woman" she is lady like and respectable. Source C is respectful to the suffragists. It could even be a piece of suffragist propaganda. In judgement I would say that in some-ways-source B supports that evidence of-source C but in other ways it doesn't.

  2. The struggle for the emancipation of women. - WHY did women get the vote ...

    In 1918 women got their own royal navy (WRENS) and then a women's royal air force was created the W.R.A.F. (women's royal air force) But except from military services women still did other jobs like sewing, coal mining, factory work etc all the less glamorous jobs. Through the whole war I think women showed their patriotism and courage by

  1. The Struggle For The Emancipation Of Women

    they had a child they would have to quit their job so many employers didn't want that. In 1850 the royal commission looked into girls education and they discovered that girls were just as capable as boys but they were afraid to admit it in fear of what it might lead to.

  2. Why were some women given the vote in 1918?

    One suffragette, Emily Davison, ran out in front of the king's horse during the Derby of 1913 and was killed. At the time, the Suffragettes caused a lot of anger and it has been argued that they lost support for the cause more than they gained.

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