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Women over 30 gained the vote in 1918 mainly because of women's contribution to the war effort. Do you agree?

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Introduction

Women over 30 gained the vote in 1918 mainly because of women's contribution to the war effort. Do you agree? When women gained the vote in 1918, it was thought that this mainly came due to women's contribution towards the war effort. However there were also other factors like political expediency and the actions of the suffragettes and suffragist. This essay will explain all the different factors and then give you to what extent it agrees with the statement. For women, the First World War came at the right time as it gave them the opportunity to prove their worthiness. As a result of most men going to the front line to fight, many jobs were left for the women to occupy. This was when the views on women changed in the eyes of all. Before the war women were the fulcrums of domesticity but by 1917 women had become the axles upon which the war industries turned. ...read more.

Middle

This was because according to the franchise voting law, all males who wished to vote must have lived in their dwellings for at least a year before any election. Therefore the armed forces and soldiers who had been fighting abroad were ineligible to vote. Consequently this led to the all-party committee having to change the law in 1916 so that the armed forces and the soldiers could all vote. During this change the party also had to recommend to extend the vote to women over 30 after immense pressure from women. There was also external pressure from other countries in the Commonwealth as the likes of New Zealand, Australia and Canada had already given the vote to women before the First World War. Therefore this was a very embarrassing time as Britain was considered the mother of democracy but had still not given women the vote. Even though women in New Zealand had been given the vote, people living there were split as some were for and some against. ...read more.

Conclusion

As they were helping the country during the war, the views of people about suffragettes and suffragist changed. The attitudes towards women generally improved as they were now much more respected. They had proved there worthiness and people had acknowledged this. Along with the respect, they also had a fear that the militancy of the suffragettes could return if their demands were not met and therefore the politicians were pressured to give the vote. After analysing all the evidence and points of view, I have come to a conclusion that I agree with the statement but to a certain extent. It is right in saying that women over 30 gained the vote in 1918 because of women's contribution to the war effort but this was not the main reason. The war effort was actually a short term trigger where as other reasons such as political expediency and the action of the suffragettes and suffragists were the long term reasons. It all gradually built up and the war effort just gave the final push over the finish line. Jasmeet Singh 11x1 History - 1 Ms Carrington ...read more.

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