Women's vote in Canada Free essay! Download now
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Women's vote in Canada
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| Words: 1676 | Submitted: 22-Mar-2012
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DescriptionWhen and how. All the circumstance surrounding women finally getting the vote in Canada.
The Road That Paved the Way to Equal
Rights for Canadian Women
Nelli McClung’s involvement with Women’s Christian Temperance Union, a group that was campaigning for alcohol prohibition, was what got it all started. “Excessive drinking by men was seen to be the cause of a lot of family trouble and abuse. The temperance movement became closely associated with women’s suffrage because without the vote women realized they could do little to influence political policies about alcohol.”1It was in 1914 that she rented the Walker Theater in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and staged a mock parliament assembly. She played the role of the Prime Minister of Canada while the men played in the position of begging for her vote. The performance engaged the audience with its wit and humor. In 1916, a women’s suffrage bill was passed by Premier Sifton in Alberta.
McClung moved to Edmonton and was elected to the Alberta legislature in 1921. She worked on the famous ‘Persons case’. “Until 1929, Senate seats were open only to ‘eligible ‘persons’ according to the constitution and the Supreme Court ruled that women were not ‘persons’ and therefore not eligible for appointment to the Senate. McClung and several other women led the fight against this archaic notion.”2 During the First World War, some women in Canada were finally allowed to vote. And in 1919, all women over 21 had the right to vote in a federal election.
“Women got the federal vote in 3 stages: the Military Voters Act of 1917 where nurses and women in the armed services were allowed to vote; the Wartime Election Act which extended the vote to women who had husbands, son or fathers serving overseas; and all women over 21 on January 1, 1919.”3
“On June 19th 1917, the House of Commons voted by 385 to 55 to accept the Representation of the People Bill’s women’s suffrage clause. Suffragists were encouraged to contact their MP’s to support the bill. On the day that the vote was taken in the House of
Commons, members of the NUWSS made sure that known supporters of the bill had voted before leaving the House.”4 It is generally assumed that the House of Commons was in favor of supporting the bill, as they were appreciative of the work done by women in the First World War. Historians such as Martin Pugh believe that the vote in favor of female suffrage was simply a continuation of the way the issue had been moving before the war had started in 1914.
“In 1911, there had been a similar vote to the one in 1917. Of the 194 MP’s who voted ...
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