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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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. Extended essay - women

    15 to 6, but rejected equal suffrage by a vote of 12 to 10. They decided that an age limit should be introduced as to how old women had to be before they could vote, but left it to Parliament to decide whether that age should be 30 or 35.

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

    The suffragists didn't agree in the way that the suffragettes were acting and they believed that the suffragettes were close to destroying the campaigns. Some of the women from the suffragettes were so dedicated to their campaign they were willing to die for the campaign.

  1. Source Work- Women in World War 1

    The woman's hair is short, and the clothes she wears are quite boyish symbolising for the way woman had to become like men to get enfranchisement. All of this implies triumph. However this is an interpretation because it is a cartoon, and it is only the illustrators view.

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

    However the Suffragists did feel sympathy for the Suffragettes, Milicent Fawcett said, "The violence suffered by the suffragettes has been formidable...what those who endured who underwent the hunger strike and the anguish of force feeding can hardly be overestimated. Their courage made a deep impression on the public."

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

    themselves equal to men, so they should have equal voting rights and cannot be excluded anymore. Women's role in the war was a short-term factor and the main reason that attitudes changed and women gained the vote in 1918. However, there were other long-term factors, which paved the way before 1914.

  2. "Women over 30 gained the right to vote in 1918 mainly because of women's ...

    The early suffrage campaigns put the issue in the newspapers and many campaigners were convinced that their campaigns would become successful. When the war came they had to postpone their campaigns but this meant that they could now show their responsibility and they hoped that if they behaved then the Government would give them the vote as a reward.

  1. How important were Haig's tactics in bringing an end to WW1?

    In Britain, the Somme was seen as a failure but is now seen as a turning point in WW1. Haig's objectives were at least achieved. He gained the high ground, inflicted heavy losses on the Germans and relieved the French at Verdun.

  2. The Different Roles of Women in WW1

    In April 1917 German U-Boats sank over 370 ships belonging to Britain and other countries. One in every four merchant ships leaving a British port was being sunk. Losses on this scale would indeed bring Britain to the point of starvation.

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