The Changing role of women in Britain since 1900

Target 1: How useful is source A as evidence about attitudes towards suffragettes in 1908? Explain your answer using source and knowledge from your studies.

The attitudes towards suffragettes in 1908 were mixed; everyone had their own opinions of them. Some people were very supportive on what they were doing and some of them had a very negative response.

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In source A there is a picture of a ‘suffragette demonstrations in London 1908’. Underneath the source the source it states “Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst leading a demonstration which 200,00 people are said to have attended.”

This source does not give enough evidence to prove this statement. I explain why.

In this picture it shows me the suffragettes having a peaceful demonstration they are smiling and at the same time getting what they want to say across, from my knowledge and understanding suffragettes were seen as violent and they were seen as a very confrontational group. In the source booklet under The WSPU- the suffragettes it tells me that In 1903 Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters formed a breakaway group called the Women’s social and political union (WSPU), that was to campaign for the parliamentary vote for women on the same terms as it was granted to men, or would be in the future, their motto was “deeds not words” yet the photo paints a different picture.

In source booklet source 6 under Suffragette tactics it tells me that in 1908 the suffragettes would start occasional attacks on properties such as breaking windows, etc. But yet again from source A I cannot see this.

The source also states, “200,000 people are said to have attended” From source A it seems to me that at least only 1,000 people attended. In this source I can see only one policeman and he looks quite peaceful and undisturbed. If this were a demonstration where 200,000 people are said to have attended there would be hundreds of policemen on sight. This photo is very unreliable to its statement. The source says that Ms Pankhurst lead the campaign yet there is no proof to prove this.

This is supposed to be a demonstration but from my understanding a demonstration is 1) an outward showing or feeling. 2) A public meeting or a march for political or moral response. 3) A show of military force.

If this was a demonstration you would have seen exactly what they were demonstration from the use of banners and posters or even photos but I cannot see any of this.

This photo (source A) is very unreliable and does not give enough evidence to represent that it was a suffragette demonstration in London 1908.

This source is not useful evidence about suffragettes in 1908.

Target 2:Source D and E are both from 1910, yet they give different views about the campaign to gain women the vote.

Which is the most reliable source for investigating people’s attitudes in 1910 towards the campaign?

Source D is an article from the daily sketch (newspaper) in 1910. It is about a demonstration made by women in 1910.

This article is anti-suffragette; it’s against women for what they are doing. This article is about a suffragist attack on the House of Commons. The title “DISCRACEFUL SCENES”, and “120 arrests” gives you a dreadful view of the suffragettes. This source is also very negative against women because it puts them down. In the first passage it states “they caused even more violent scenes then before”. This gives you the impression that they were always violent and aggressive and that’s all they were good for. Also in the first passage it states “It was a picture of shameless recklessness”. This makes the women look disgraceful and outrageous.

In Passage two the first four lines say, ” One campaigner sprawled in the mud to the obvious disgust of decent men and the obvious delight of others”. This gives me the idea that some people found it a revolting and thought they were shameful, but yet some people saw it a something very positive.

This source is very negative towards the suffragettes and makes them appear violent and shameful. This really affected the way people viewed the suffragettes.

Source E is in favour of the suffragettes and are for the vote for women.

This source is a postcard issued by the suffragettes in 1910.

This postcard shows what a women may be, such as a mayor, a mother a doctor or even a teacher and still not have vote, then goes on to show what a man may be, such as a convict a lunatic, unfit for service or even a drunkard but yet still get the vote. Women were put in a lower category then these types of men; Suffragettes saw this as an insult.

However I feel that both Source D and Source E are very reliable for investigating people’s attitudes towards the campaign, but I think the most common attitude towards the suffragettes at that time was Source D.

Source D gives the most relevant information and is the most reliable source because these were the negative attitudes shown towards the suffragettes at this period of time. The community didn’t like to see women behaving as men or behaving inappropriately it made them look bad. This source investigates the minority of people’s attitudes towards suffragettes in 1910 but at the same time remains relevant for the investigation of people’s attitudes towards suffragettes in 1910.

Target 3: Without the First World War women would have not gained the right to vote in 1918″ Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation?

I agree with this interpretation.

I believe that women would have never gained the vote without the First World War. So many men had gone of to war that the women were needed to fill their places this increased the number of women in the industry. The war made it adequate for women to work such jobs. People believed that women shouldn’t be prohibited from doing work they are fit for. While the men were sent of to war, women showed how equally they worked to men, the leaders saw this as an opportunity to show what women were capable of, they showed how capable they were of doing what was seen as a man’s jobs. The suffragettes broke the stereotype of how people viewed women, women were seen as housewives, they stayed home and cook and look after the kids. Men also thought that they didn’t have the intelligence or intellect to do a “mans job”.

In Source 27 on the source sheet written by E.S. Montague, Minister of munitions, in 1916 he states that:

“Women of every station…. have proved themselves able to undertake work that before the war was regarded as solely the province of men…. Where is the man now who would deny women the civil rights which she has earned by her hard work?”

Women were showing themselves how equally skilled they were to men, and that both sexes were equally alike. People started to see the women as people that played a likewise part in society as men and that they deserved the vote. People believed that the women earned their rights through their hard work.

In Source 29 on page 68 it also state that:

“… Many women had witnessed the suffering and anguish of men of men as they had not seen in the previous wars and had also worked side by side with comrades and friends. It was inevitable that this would start to change mutual perceptions of and the granting of the votes at last (to women over thirty) seemed totally appropriate.”

This gives me the impression that people did see the women working really due to the war and did all they could to gain the vote and the only resort and the most appropriate was to give them the vote.

In Source 19; Page 66 we are shown a female tram driver it does not give us a date but it shows it shows us that women were enthusiastically involved in a man’s role. This acts helped change the way people viewed suffragettes.

Before most people attitudes were biased towards giving women the vote, but after the war people attitudes change and

However in 1918 the barrier against women’s suffrage was broken and a partial victory won, under the Representation of the People Act, women over 30 years of age were given the parliamentary vote if they were householders, the wives of householders, occupiers of property with an annual rent of �5 or more. About 8.5 million women were put under this new law. It was not until ten years later, however, that all women could vote on equal terms with men, at the age of 21 and over, the new bill becoming law on July 2, 1928.

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