"Their contribution during world war one was the main reason why the majority of women gained the right to vote in 1918" How valid is this view?

1719 Words Nov 20th, 2013 7 Pages
Before 1918, women were considered to be very much within their own sphere of influence separate from men. Throughout the 19th century women had slowly been gaining voting privileges, but only in areas considered to be within their spheres such as the vote for school boards, the vote for poor law boards and the vote for county councils. Traditionally many historians have argued that the main reason for the enfranchisement of women in 1918 was their work during world war one. This view is being disputed on multiple levels; some argue that the war itself called for a rearrangement of the whole electoral system. Alternatively other historians argue that the work of the women's suffrage workers such as the suffragist's and the suffragettes, …show more content…
She believes this because she believes it caused public opinion of women to change and caused a crossing over between the spheres of men and women. Rover agrees with Bartley's argument that working class women had always worked as public transport operators, in factories and as night wardens therefore this was not the cause for change. Marwick, however, agrees with the traditional view that women's work as public transport operators and so forth gained women the vote. He argues that the war was in fact a catalyst in the enfranchisement of women and not only gained them the vote but allowed the social liberation of women, allowing them to wear shorter skirts, to smoke and to go to pubs. Pugh disputes this by arguing that the war delayed the enfranchisement of women as he argues that in 1914 Asquith was already being swayed by the suffrage workers campaigning and the meeting with the working class women on 14th August arranged my Sylvia Pankhurst. Bartley argues that the enfranchisement of women in truth had little to do with women's contributions to the workforce or the war effort during world war one. Instead she argues that it was the necessary rearrangement of the whole electoral system that was the cause. The electoral system was determined to be unfair due to the six month permanent residency clause

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