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

Without the 1st World War, British women would not have gained the right to vote in 1918. Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation?

Extracts from this document...


Without the 1st World War, British women would not have gained the right to vote in 1918. Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation? Women had been demanding the vote for many years with little success. The achieved the right to vote in 1918 immediately after WWI. Several factors have been suggested as to why this occurred. In the years before 1914 when the war began, the Suffragettes had been campaigning for the vote. They used peaceful methods, such as public speeches and distributing pamphlets, post cards etc. Source A is a speech made by Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst in March 1908. In this speech, she stated very clearly that just because women would get the vote doesn't mean that their way of life would have to change. They would have a say in the way the country was being run, but need not "give up a single duty she has in the home". You can tell Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst felt strongly about women getting the vote as she exaggerates her facts. ...read more.


Many men, including Lord Curzon, were afraid that "if omen did gain the right to vote, it would mean that most voters would then be women. This was not a good thought because it would mean that women would be running Britain, which was out of the question at that time. Lord Curzon also talked about women's roles during the war, and how men and women could never be equal because women did not fight on the front line. Another factor was that women had been coming more equal over the years. This was because of the First World War. Because all healthy men went to war, women had to take up doing their jobs. Women were allowed to work for a living but only for the war effort. They worked as road sweepers, post-women, shopkeepers etc. Braver women worked in munitions factories and women who worked with TNT found that their skin turned yellow. They were nicknamed the "canary girls". It was later found out that this was a form of toxic jaundice, and was very bad for the health. ...read more.


Some men went as far as causing accidents in factories, and blamed women. They told the government that women were too clumsy and careless to work under such dangerous conditions and their jobs should be given back to men. Near the end of the war, the government realised that they could not forbid women to work, because women chose to work voluntarily. The main problem that caused these thoughts was the fact that the government knew that the war heroes would want to come home to their normal lives and jobs. So the government decided to give women the right to vote as a "token of appreciation" for working so hard during the war. This, in turn, allowed men to come home and carry on as normal as things can be after a war. In conclusion, I think that the methods of the Suffragettes did not help gain the right to vote because the campaigns did not show people what women were capable of. I think that without the war, women would have never been able to prove their independence and would never have gained the vote. Manaan Iftikhar 11F - 1 - ...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. Marked by a teacher

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

    5 star(s)

    reasons to want change, and the confidence, money and independence to campaign for it. Source H is useful for showing how the war changed people's opinions toward women. It shows a man and woman working together to protect Britain, and how women were starting to be seen as equals.

  2. Attitudes towards women and their right to vote had changed by 1918. How important ...

    for the Government when they had other important issues they needed to concentrate on. One catastrophic campaigning event for the Suffragettes was when Emily Davison died at the Derby horse race whilst carrying a banner. This along with some of the other methods showed how passionate women were for the vote and that they were prepared to die for it.

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

    The reduced support for the Liberal party as the war progressed, however, did begin to provide evidence for this opinion. As the war began to last longer than ever imagined, the people in England felt dashed rising expectations because they had been told it would end quickly.

  2. "The Impact of World War 1 on women's role in British society was only ...

    This sparked a feud between women, because single women and those widowed by the war, felt it was their right to have first refusal of these jobs. This was because married women had an income from their husbands but the other women needed jobs to care for themselves and their families.

  1. How far did World War 1 change the role and status of women?

    The reason women had not been allowed to vote before was because men felt that women were irrational and would vote on the basis of how they felt not on what was "right". In 1903 Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Christabel, Sylvia and Adela set up a movement called The Social and Political union (WSPU)

  2. Role of women during the First World War

    The most important reason why the Liberals were reluctant to give the vote to women was because it was not politically important. Few people in Britain regarded women's suffrage as a major issue. Before World War 1 there were a number of problems that the Liberals had to deal with,

  1. Source Work- Women in World War 1

    police officers, railway workers, munitions factory workers as well as working in organisations such as WAACS, Women's Land Army, VAD and so on. By this time, Lloyd George was Prime Minister. Source 3 is focused on advising the minister of war how to control the women's military (WAAC, WRAF, WRNS).

  2. World war 1

    One of the events that led to the stalemate was the failure of the Schlieffen Plan, which aimed at stopping a war on two fronts. However, the plan failed to achieve its quick and crucial victory over France, which the Germans had hoped for.

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