A Changed Political Landscape 1914-1928

Becca Daisy
Mind Map by Becca Daisy, updated more than 1 year ago
Becca Daisy
Created by Becca Daisy almost 5 years ago
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Revision Mindmap of Women's Rights and the changing of the political landscape in the years 1914-1928

Resource summary

A Changed Political Landscape 1914-1928
1 Breakout of WW1 in 1914 meant that some logics were becoming increasingly challenged
1.1 Women could be in professions such as teaching, nursing and may even have been mayor yet were not eligible to vote
1.2 Men, however could vote despite being deemed a lunatic, drunk or even if they were a convict.
2 How different suffrage societies reacted to the outbreak of the war
2.1 WSPU
2.1.1 Patriotic campaigns and placed its organisation and funds at the disposal of the government
2.1.2 Joined with the government to fight against a common cause. With Lloyd George (now Minister of Munitions) they held a series of huge demonstrations to encourage women to join the workforce
2.1.3 Members handed out white feathers (a sign of cowardice) to men of military age that they spotted wearing civilian clothes
2.1.4 Renamed their paper Britannia in 1915
2.1.5 Men should be conscripted into the army, women should be conscripted into the 'industrial' services, trade unions should be abolished, launched a campaign directed at Russian women urging them to keep their men fighting
2.2 NUWSS
2.2.1 A split occurred within the NUWSS as to whether to support the war or not
2.2.1.1 Millicent Fawcett and her followers argued that supporting the war effort was imperative as a German victory would undoubtedly set back the suffrage cause
2.2.1.1.1 Remaining members of the NUWSS established an employment register for women, placing them in jobs vacated by men who had left to fight
2.2.1.2 In February 1915, at the NUWSS's annual council meeting, those supporting a peace policy left to form the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
2.2.1.2.1 This new organisation supported a peaceful approach to war and encouraged Britain to adopt a neutral role in WW1
2.2.2 Unsure initially as to whether or not to support the war effort
2.2.2.1 Took part in a women's peace rally in August 1914 until Lord Robert Cecil wrote to Millicent Fawcett
2.3 ELFS
2.3.1 Sylvia Pankhurst condemned the war
2.3.2 Social work among the poor in the East-End of London
2.3.3 Campaigned for increases in the allowances paid to women whose husbands were away fighting
2.3.4 Sent petitions to the government regarding pay and working conditions of female workers
2.3.5 Opened an unemployment beareu
2.4 Variety of ways
3 The Representation of the People Act 1918
3.1 Only allowed women over the age of 30 to be enfranchised
3.1.1 This meant that young women who worked in munitions factories and many suffragettes weren't enfranchised
3.1.2 Even in women over 30, many (around 22%) were still restricted from voting as they weren't on the local government register - meaning they were not a householder or married to a householder
3.1.3 Women over the age of 30 were believed to be stable and therefore less likely to support radical reform
3.1.4 Around 83% of the women enfranchised in 1918 were wives and mothers
3.1.5 Many considered this unfair
3.2 8,400,000 women were enfranchised
3.3 Could be considered a relatively Conservative measure
3.3.1 Limited victory to set back a more radical reform such as votes for all women
3.3.1.1 This meant that it's passage through parliament was relatively untroubled
3.3.1.2 Meant that even MP's against woman's suffrage were supportive of the bill
3.3.2 A reform was necessary to enfranchise the soldiers who had fought in WW1, therefore women had to be included in some way
3.4 Women now made up 39.4% of the electorate
4 Women's War Work
4.1 It could be said that the work of women during the war was the main reason as to why they achieved a limited franchise in 1918
4.1.1 Women's work was recognised and appreciated by all
4.1.2 Newspapers praised women for their work
4.2 Involved women from all social classes
4.2.1 Working-class women took jobs in munitions factories
4.2.2 Some women took over their husband's jobs for the duration of the war
4.2.3 Middle-class women took jobs as clerks or advised the government on health and employment
4.2.4 Many women also joined the Women's Land Army or ran voluntary organisations
4.3 The impact this had on parliament
4.3.1 Fear that women would vote for a singular political party if enfranchised had largely vanished
4.3.1.1 Women's work needed to be appreciated
4.3.2 Liberal government replaced by a coalition one in 1915 which meant that cross-party agreement to grant women the vote was more likely
4.3.2.1 Lloyd George Prime Minister in 1916 - he was a supporter of the suffrage movement
4.3.3 Fear of a return to militancy by the WSPU post war, if women were not enfranchised in some way. The cease of militancy during the war also allowed many MP's to change their minds about women's suffrage
4.4 Disproved old stereotypes
4.4.1 Women could do men's jobs, didn't have to stay in the domestic sphere
5 Representation of the People Act 1928
5.1 First equal franchise bill passed, which meant that men and women could vote on equal terms
5.1.1 Final victory for the women's suffrage movement - their ultimate goal had been achieved
5.2 Granted by Conservative government in the end as all governments prior to this, despite supporting equal franchise, hadn't attempted to put through a bill to enforce it
5.3 The Act was passed with 387 votes for and only 10 against
5.4 Also known as the Equal Franchise Act
5.5 Both men and women could now vote at the age of 21
5.6 Bill was supported by Labour and Liberal parties after being introduced by the Conservatives
5.6.1 Only opposition appeared to come from Conservative backbenchers
5.7 The government, aware of the levels of opposition, refused to allow a free vote and applied parliamentary whips instead
5.7.1 Many Conservative MP's (such as Winston Churchill) therefore absented themselves on the day of the vote as they were aware of the consequences of ignoring the whips.
5.7.1.1 This meant that although the bill passed by a huge majority, it must also reflect the view of those MP's who, realising that the passing of the Act was inevitable, didn't want to be seen as opposing the female vote by the new women electors.
6 The 1920's
6.1 Women MP's
6.1.1 Constance Gore-Booth was the fist woman to earn a seat in the House of Commons, however she didn't take it as didn't recognise the legitimacy of Westminster to legislate for Ireland
6.1.2 Nancy Astor was the first woman to accept her seat in the House of Commons
6.2 1919 Sex Disqualification Removal Act
6.2.1 Women could graduate Oxford and Cambridge
6.2.2 Women could become jurors, magistrates, barristers, and enter higher ranks of Civil Service
6.3 1923 Matrimonial Causes Act
6.3.1 Women could file for divorce on the same grounds as men
6.4 First female vet, pilot, barrister and juror
6.5 1922 Married Women's Maintenance Act
6.6 1922 Infanticide Act
6.7 1923 Bastardy Act
6.8 1925 Guardianship of Infants Act
6.8.1 Mothers had the same custody rights as fathers
6.9 1925 Widows, Orphans and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act
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