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Women over 30 gained the vote in 1918 mainly because of women's contributions 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 contributions to the war effort. Do you agree? Explain your answer... 1918 was a groundbreaking year for Britain and the campaign for women's suffrage, not only did it see the end of the First World War; it also saw the introduction of 'The Representation of the People Act'. Along with amendments on male suffrage, this act allowed for a certain number of women, who met the imposed criteria, to vote in general elections. This change in attitude on the government's part was influenced by several factors, including that of women's contribution to the war effort, to say that the women's efforts in the war solely brought about the franchise for women is to make ...read more.

Middle

Lloyd George was known to have been very critical of Asquith's methods and was more open to the idea of women's suffrage, if not in support of it. Another factor that contributed towards the final decision was the public opinion at the time, which up until the beginning of the war had been very sceptical towards the extension of suffrage to women, partially because of sexist attitudes and the tactics used by the suffragettes. But as the war ended public opinion began to conclude that women should receive the vote. This was aided by the decision of the suffragettes to abandon violent tactics and support the country during the war something which was not expected from the group. ...read more.

Conclusion

One of the major concerns that all parties shared over giving women the vote was uncertainty for who this new batch of voters would vote for. Each party was initially scared that the women would end up voting for the opposition, but with a coalition government this issue ceased to matter. The contribution of women to the war altered the public opinion and laid the way for change, in my opinion this was the biggest hurdle overcome and the main reason why the vote was extended to women, however all the events mentioned above led to the vote being given to women and with the absence of any of these events the outcome may have been different. ...read more.

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