Suffragettes & The Home Front.

Note by , created about 6 years ago

GCSE History 2 Note on Suffragettes & The Home Front., created by 003427 on 06/09/2013.

Created by 003427 about 6 years ago
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Page 1

The Effectiveness of the Suffragettes and the Suffragists.

The Suffragists- In 1897, Millicent Fawcett founded the NUWSS. This aimed to fight for the right for women's votes in a peaceful manner. They were very well supported. This peaceful approach probably would have succeeded after a while, but women didn't want to have to wait. They wrote letters and held peaceful marches. They also helped to raise the profile of some female candidates. 

The Suffragettes- In 1903, a group of Suffragists, who were frustrated by the lack of progress, broke a way from the NUWSS and formed the WSPU. This group was lead by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter, Christabel. They were also lead by Sylvia Pankhurst. The Suffragettes were prepared to use any means necessary, including violence to achieve their aims. They chained themselves to railings outside of Buckingham Palace, disrupted political meetings and even smashed windows, set fires and assaulted political figures.

White feather- During the war, conscription was introduced. For men who didn't sign up to the army to go and fight, women would place a white feather upon their clothing, this would single the men out and make them feel guilty for not playing there part in  the war.

Workers- Due to the huge number of men who had to go off and fight, many women had to take over the jobs that men had once filled. One of the most common jobs a woman was given in the war was in the munitions factories. Women would make ammunition and bombs for the army. They also became land girls, that was vitally important due to the blockade of Britain set up by Germany, police, bus drivers and ship builders. Although after the war womens jobs were then taken, there was a new sense of respect and equality felt towards women which eventually led to them getting the vote.

How did women contribute to the war effort?

How were civilians affected by the war?

Recruitment- At the start of WW1, people rushed to sign up for the army. Lord Kitchener, the Minister for war, was in charge of recruitment. People had a huge misunderstanding of what war would be like. They saw war as an adventure and they always said, "It will be over for Christmas". Over half a million men joined up in the first six week due to the worry of missing the 'fun'. By November 1914, the government had signed up two million men.

The Defence of the Realm Acts (DORA)- WW1 had had a greater impact than any other previous war. This was shown clearly by the passing of DORA in 1914. DORA gave the government the power to intervene with peoples lives to a degree that had never been known before. This introduced 'British Summer Time' which made people work longer hours and the right to water down alcohol in pubs to prohibit drunkenness and improving productivity. News papers were censored so people didn't hear about the horrors and casualties on the Western Front. They could also force people to work in jobs that were vital and could take over mines and railways.

Conscription- The people who originally signed up for the army were being injured or dying fast. More recruits were needed. In 1915 it became clear that volunteers would not be enough. The government then considered conscription. 

The Military Service Acts- In 1916, two acts brought in conscription. One was for unmarried men and then second for all men between the ages of 18-65 (military age). Men weren't forced to sign up but could do vital work such as mining. Others didn't sign up due to there anti-war beliefs. These were known as conscientious objectors. Some were willing to take on war work such as ambulance drivers. However, those who completely refused to do anything were imprisoned. Conscription meant that not one family in Britain was unaffected by war. Around 750,000 were killed and 2 million were injured. 

Rationing- DORA allowed the government take over land to grow crops for food. In 1914, Germany had set up a blockade of Britain so food imports were unable to get to the country. The country nearly starved. The Land Army helped to grow food in the country that helped to feed the country. In 1917, the government set up voluntary rationing but it didn't work. In 1918, rationing was compulsory. You were allowed a maximum of 5oz of butter a week as well as many other rationed products. 

How effective was government propaganda during the war?

The government used propaganda to ensure the attitude of the public remained positive during the war. The government needed the support of the people in order to help them to win the war. The British people needed to think that they were fighting in a 'just war'. 

Early in the war the government established a secret War Propaganda Bureau. 

At the end of the war, the British public was angry. They wanted revenge on Germany and in the terms of the treaty of Versailles, wanted to 'Squeeze Germany like a lemon until the pips squeaked'. 

Key Events.

Free Trade Hall- In 1905 the Pankhursts attended the Free Trade Hall. There was a government meeting there that day. During the meeting The two of them stood up holding banners and started shouting. They were then forced out by policemen. One of them assaulted an officer and was arrested for assault.

King- A Suffragette threw an axe into the kings carriage whilst he was in it. On another occasion a woman fell to his feet asking what he was going to do about women's rights. 

Suffragists and Suffragettes

Women in the war effort

Affect of the war


Attitude at the end of the war