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

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Introduction

"Without the First World War British women would not have gained the right to vote in 1918" Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation? Explain your answer using the sources and knowledge from your studies In 1914 a war broke out between the major countries of Europe, on one side was Britain, France and Italy on the other was Austria-Hungary and Germany, later on in the war other powerful countries were involved such as the USA and Japan. This war was a total war which meant involving everyone not just the soldiers. The women's movement delayed their protests to help in winning the war. As the men went off to fight in the war women had to take over their jobs to keep the country moving. ...read more.

Middle

Although the posters and magazines said men and women united in a common cause the men still working were not very co-operative to the women doing less-skilled work and even tried to get them sacked by sabotage of their work. This wasn't true all the time as women doing skilled work had the full co-operation of the men and even a little respect. Women having vital jobs in the war effort showed men how responsible women could be and as women could be an important part of society they thought they should be able to decide who runs the country, that's why some women organisations such as the Women's Freedom League refused to suspend protests and continued with their campaign's to win women the vote. This may of given women a little bit of bad publicity but the bigger organisations like The NUWSS and WSPU had called off the protests in return for all suffragettes to be released from prison. ...read more.

Conclusion

Underneath it says "What a man may have been and yet not lose the vote" and lists convict, lunatic, owner of white slaves, unfit for service and drunkard. This argument is very persuasive and helped the women's movement greatly by persuading women to join and convincing men too. This style of argument is very effective and it is still used today to try and get votes at 16. The First World War was a tremendous boost to the women's movement as it showed the men that the women were capable of the responsibility needed to have the vote. Although the war was a great help I think that the suffragettes and suffragists would still of got the vote eventually but not in 1918. Even though it was only women over 30 who were house owners or married to a house owner who got the vote it was still a massive leap towards women gaining the vote on equal terms as men in 1928. ...read more.

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