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Attitudes towards women and their right to vote had changed by 1918. How important was the First World War in bringing about this change? Explain your answer. Free essay! Download now

Home > A Level > History > Attitudes towards women and their right to vote had changed by 1918. How important was the First World War in bringing about this change? Explain your answer.

Attitudes towards women and their right to vote had changed by 1918. How important was the First World War in bringing about this change? Explain your answer.

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Attitudes towards women and their right to vote had changed by 1918. How important was the First World War in bringing about this change? Explain your answer. essay previewAttitudes towards women and their right to vote had changed by 1918. How important was the First World War in bringing about this change? Explain your answer. essay preview

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Attitudes towards women and their right to vote had changed by 1918. How important was the First World War in bringing about this change? Explain your answer.

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Attitudes towards women and their right to vote had changed by 1918. How important was the First World War in bringing about this change? Explain your answer.

There are many reasons why attitudes towards women and their right to vote had changed by 1918. The war contributed to this change in a number of ways. Women taking the place of men at work whilst they were at war, and the suffragettes and suffragists calling off their actions could be considered factors.

When war broke out in August 1914 both the Suffragettes and Suffragists suspended their campaigns. The leaders saw this as a patriotic duty and also an opportunity to assert women’s rights by making themselves indispensable to ‘the war effort’. Many men had gone away to fight so women were needed to do their jobs. This meant that the number of women working in factories had increased. Women were doing dangerous work with explosives; this meant that many of them developed coughing, burns and swellings. Over the first two years of the war there were over 100 deaths from TNT poisoning. Women had proved that they were capable because of the quantity and quality of work produced. For example, the quality of sheet metal was better than men’s and the quantity of women’s production was equal to 99% of men’s output. This proved that women were equal to or just as good as men at most factory jobs, and willing to expose themselves to the same dangers.

Women’s attitudes changed when war broke out. The activities that were going on with the Suffragettes and Suffragists had been called off. From the start of the war in 1914 and onwards the campaign of violence by the Suffragettes had not been restarted, and they had helped to contribute to every service except fighting. In 1917 Asquith ex –PM said:
‘My opposition to women’s right to vote is well known. However, for three years now the Suffragettes have not restarted that horrible campaign of violence. Not only that, they have contributed to every service during this war except that of fighting. I therefore believe that some measure of women’s suffrage should be given.’
Women had been so helpful during the war that this showed people how much they were able to contribute well and show that they could still prove their points without violence. Although, without the suffragettes tactic at the beginning of 1900, Asquith would not have been able to see that they were able to call off their violence and help.

In 1915 the government saw that there was a problem with the old voting system. The system demanded that voters live in the same place for the 12 months before an election. This meant ...

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