Without the First World War British women would not have gained the right to vote in 1918

Women’s position in 1914 was that they were accepted as second-class citizen. Women were dependent on their fathers and husbands. I agree with this statement as without the First World War breaking out women would not have been able to show the government and the public on how capable they were, and how equal they were when doing men jobs and helping out during the war. Men had an opportunity o see a different side to women, a side that women did not get to show. Like working in factories, businesses and other facilities working side by side with men this showed they were as tough and as capable as men.

Source A is a speech made by Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst about the Importance of the vote for women. It is not stated where the speech was made but we have been told it was made in March 1908. Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst was the leader of an organization called the suffragettes. The Suffragettes used violence to get what they wanted. All they got was attention but they did not get the vote. Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst stated that it is important for women to vote, so they can put their views forward. This source is very useful to a Historian because this source shows us the view of a woman in the 1910s.

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This source also proves that without the WW1 British women couldn’t have gained the vote. Source B was a propaganda poster used by the Suffragettes. The source does not tell us where it was made. It must have been at the height of the Suffragettes. I think this because it is a very strong and also Very biased source. It is about what women could be and yet not have the vote e. g. Mayor, Nurse, mother etc and what may a man have been & yet not lose the vote e. g. convict, lunatic and drunkard. This source is very biased because all men weren’t drunkards and lunatics some men were very noble men.

This source is very useful to historians because it shows what the Suffragettes (W. S. P. U) thought about men. Source C, This source was made by Lord Cruzon, a conservative leader. This source was written in 1912. It is about an argument against votes for women. It says that women do not have the experience to be able to Vote I think that Lord Curzon is very sexist and ignorant of the fact that women are capable of making sensible decision outside the domestic sphere. I think that women are experienced and are very sensible in choosing the right person to be their leader.

Women can also put their views forward without hesitation. This source is very useful because it shows us the view of a lord, who is a member in parliament. Source D is a cover of the War Worker magazine. This cover was published in June 1917. It does not say where it was made. This source Shows a historian that men and women were shown equal, both under one Name, both holding their country’s flag and both united against enemy in war. In the contents it is written women in industry by a woman Worker, this shows us that women took over men’s work such as nurses, Bus drivers, making armaments (weapons) and conductresses.

When women started to do these jobs they proved Lord Curzon wrong who stated in source C that women lacked strength. As we know that this magazine was the Property of the government, the government used patriotic propaganda. They made men and women unite by making them patriotic. They made them Love their country so much that they would do anything for it. The government portray men and women to be equal during the war, and they actually put aside their views of men being inferior to women Source E is by Rex Pope who was a historian, he published the source in 1991.

It is told that this source is from War and Society in Britain 1899-1948, which was the Victorian era. This source is about Male attitudes towards women workers during the First World War. In the source it is written, the ability of women to take over what had been men’s work meant that increasing numbers of males were vulnerable to Conscription. Some women doing skilled work had full co-operation of Male employees. This source proves that without the war women could not have gained the vote this is because they were given the opportunity to temporarily take over men’s jobs and show that they are equal to the opposing sex.

Men also started to be notice their strengths. Their strengths could not and had not been noticed when they were using violence. This Source is useful to me because it proves that without the war women couldn’t get the vote, they may have got it eventually but it would have been many decades later, the war only brought this forward and gave women the opportunity to really express Themselves. This source could have only been biased if it was the historian’s opinion. This is why I agree with this Interpretation.

From looking at all the above sources I feel that women would have gained the vote without the war but it would have been several decades later, however the first world war only brought this forward and gave women the opportunity to engage with the world of work. Men saw that women also had the capability to work and convey their perceptions, this put women in a different light and persuaded the MPs to give women the vote, in conclusion I disagree with this statement and feel that women would have eventually gained the vote even without the help of the war.

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