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Women over 30 gained the vote in 1918 mainly because of women's contributions to the war effort? Discuss.

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Introduction

Women over 30 gained the vote in 1918 mainly because of women's contributions to the war effort? Discuss. The Peoples Representation Act gave women over 30, that own there own home or are married to a homeowner the right to vote in general elections. It was the first time any woman has been given the right to vote in general elections, and it was most significant step towards complete women's suffrage. Women have been campaigning for women's right to vote for over 60 years until 1918. Before the war there was time of great militancy by the group of women's campaigners, suffragettes, led by Emmeline Pankhurst. When the war started, however, various women's suffrage groups decided that there country was more important and stopped all of their campaigns in order to help the war effort. Women became central to the war effort and home front in Britain, providing the essential work force desperately needed to sustain the army and the Kingdom. In the WW1 women challenged all the misconceptions of the time about the women's place in the society and their abilities. They did the work previously done only by men, and they did it efficiently. They showed their patriotism by helping their country in need and bringing huge contributions to the war. It is obvious that the Britain would have lost the war if it wasn't for the women's efforts and their assistance. ...read more.

Middle

While women's wage was much higher than it was before the war, it was always smaller than that of there male counterparts. Women however, continued doing their jobs in spite of everything, showing true dedication and patriotism toward their country. It is undisputable that the war efforts of the women did a great to change the opinions of various politicians about the worthiness and capability of women voters. Women were proven responsible and hardworking, doing all the jobs men have previously done, while still managing to do their domestic jobs as well. However, it is debatable if women would have gotten the vote if the government didn't need to change the voting electorate already. The absence of the men from the country caused the previous household franchise to be ineffective. The men who have been at war for years now haven't been living in there homes for over 12 months, so they were disqualified as voters. If the government kept the current system, there wouldn't be enough voters for the general election. It was obvious that the times were changing, and U.K also had to change. The Peoples Representation Act changed the electorate by making all men over 21 able to vote. This was the first time universal suffrage was given to the men as well. The government considered it unfair to ask a man to fight for his country and then not have anything to say in how the country is run. ...read more.

Conclusion

If WSPU started there campaigning of violence again, who knows where that violence would end. They didn't need disruption now, while the country was recovering. Women have proven themselves patriotic, and government couldn't treat them the same as before. Imagine throwing a war hero nurse that risked her life to save the soldiers, into jail because she wants to have the right to vote. The campaigning done before the war had major effect into convincing the government into agreeing to give women the vote. They didn't want the same thing happening again, especially not now what even more women had confidence in themselves after the work they did in the war. That the war effort alone wasn't responsible is apparent in the fact that while the French women did the same jobs as there English counterparts, they didn't gain the vote after the war. This is because they didn't campaigned before the war on the same scale British women did. The fear of the campaigning resuming probably prompted the government into giving women the vote. Women gained the vote in 1918 for combination of reasons; their contributions in war, their previous campaigning, political convenience and not the least the changing society in general and the new values that were forming. I believe the war speeded thing up, since it is obvious that women were going to get the vote sooner or later. The truth is that the times were changing, and the world had to change with them. History Task 3 Maja Jovanovski ...read more.

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