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To what extent had there been a change in the political landscape by 1916? L.O: To look at the significance of the Speakers Conference in ….., and to go back to answer our key question: “To what extent was it the work that women did in world war one that got them the vote?”
What reasons have we come up with already that it was the war? Write down your ideas on your mini white board. Be prepared to share!
What other factors were there? • There were significant changes to parliament in the period 1914-1918. • 1915 the Liberal government evolved into a COALITION.( party divisions about the vote no longer seem important) • Supporters of Vfw were no longer fragmented over 3 political parties- the parties were all working together • There was no longer any political advantage to any party if women over 30 got the vote. Labour and Liberals thought the new electorate was too large and mixed to give and advantage to the Conservatives Conservatives had realized that all ale suffrage was inevitable so they could not stop it and they may get the votes of the women.
It was therefore a comprimise in 1918… • No party got exactly what they wanted! • It would be an extension to women on a LIMITED basis. • There was no logical argument for excluding younger women… but it may have been a step too far!
Changes in Leadership • There were a number of key changes in government positions that altered the balance in favour of votes for women. • Lloyd George replaced Asquith as Prime Minister in December 1916. • Why was this a good thing for the women? • He persuades the Times to carry glowing articles on women and their war work. This adds influence to wavering MP’s! • All of this mutual back scratching would help when the issue of VFW emerged again at the end of the war.
Changes in attitude • The war gave those who had been hostile to VFW to climb down and do a U turn without too much embarrassment, when they had realized it was inevitable. Women’s war efforts have convinced me that they now deserve the vote 1917 Check out source M (1) page 114
He could not resist a little dig though…. There are about 15,000 women on the register- a dim and impenetrable lot, for the most part hopelessly ignorant of politics, credulous to the last degree, and flickering with sentiment like candles in the wind. Private remark 1920 about women voters in Paisley
Edited by Pethwick- Lawrences chivalry Political freedom for women Asquith Votes for heroes Votes for men Votes for soldiers and sailors To the women Nurses that died Chivalry: “men and women protect one another in the hour of death. With the addition of the Women’s vote, they would be able to protect one another in life as well”
Changes internationally. • Britain was merely following an international trend towards full democracy… • New Zealand • Australia • Finland • Canada • 4 US states • by 1917 • How embarrassing if Britain “the mother of democracy” lagged behind!
Now have a go at your essay. • Lets finish off the other factors side of out table first… what do we need to add?