Monday, 28 February 2011
Sunday, 5 September 2010
How far do these sources support the view that Labour’s landslide election victory of 1945 “could have been predicted long in advance”?
The massive landslide victory of the Labour Government may have been seen as a great shock to many people in Britain because the hugely popular Prime Minister, Churchill, had just successfully led Britain through the War. However when we consider the public mood at the time of the election, just after the war had ended we can understand why they might favour a Labour Government.
Source 2 states that “the voters wanted an end to wartime austerity” as they had endured WW2 for 6 years, a war that had a much greater affect on civilian life than the previous world war. They no longer felt the need to have a Prime Minister whose main objective was to win battles. Churchill wanted to continue fighting until Japan was defeated, as mentioned in source 2, however the Labour government could see that the British public were weary with the war. Therefore I believe that source 2 suggests that the victory could have been predicted sooner because Labour knew what the public wanted whereas Churchill was still trying to convince the British to fight the Japanese.
Furthermore the public were not just tired with the war, but they felt as if they needed some form of reward. This meant that when the Beveridge Report was announced in 1942, introducing a welfare system, votes for labour increased and they secured a 10 percent lead in 1943 as described in source 1. This supports the statistics shown in source 3 which states that 100,000 copies of the reports were sold. People wanted to benefit from a National Health Service, housing, employment and a nationalisation of industry and, according to source 2 they didn’t trust Churchill “to deliver the brave new world of Beveridge”. The fact that Churchill did not grasp the opportunity to use the Beveridge Reports was a big mistake and I believe that it was an early indicator that the Conservatives were going to fall out of favour.
Not only did Churchill not use the Beveridge Reports, but he considered them as a distraction. In the Conservative manifesto of 1945 Churchill insists that people should not be dependent on a “state machine” and that they should “preserve that spirit of independence”. The fact that 100,000 copies of the Beveridge Reports were sold ought to have alerted Churchill in advance to the fact that, after so much strife, the British public wanted to be able to have more dependancy on the government and may shift their support to secure the welfare state they deserved.
Another reason for why people voted Labour, which could have been anticipated earlier, was that naturally after so many years of war people wanted some control over their lives. They wanted to even out the relationship between the people and the government. The Beveridge reports introduced this new relationship. Source 3 says that the new social reform would be achieved by “co-operation between the State and the individual”, therefore I believe that source 3 strongly supports the view that the landslide could have been foreseen earlier.
On the other hand I can understand why the landslide was so unexpected; Churchill is one of the most popular British leaders and people believed that nobody else could have been a “national leader with greater success than Churchill”, therefore he seemed a more obvious choice for the role of getting the country back on its feet, having saved the country from invasion. This is suggested by source 5 which says that Churchill’s policies “have been tested anew in the fires of war”. This showed confidence in their policies which according to the conservatives were tried and tested; a strong contrast from the the Labour manifesto which was all about change, “modernisation and re-equipment” as mentioned in source 4.
Moreover the election of Atlee came as a surprise because in a poll in 1945, Churchill’s approval rate was 83% what’s more source 1 suggests that Churchill was“unbeatable-as David Lloyd George” who had been the Prime Minister during the first world war. Therefore source 1 disagrees with the idea that the landslide could have been predicted. However source 4 challenges the idea that people would want to keep the same leader because Labour believed that the nation needed “a tremendous overhaul”.
Overall I believe that the sources do strongly suggest that the landslide could have been predicted a long time in advance because as soon as the war was over in 1939 people were desperate for the sort of change described in the Labour manifesto (source 4). Although Churchill led the British through the war and is considered as one of the “greatest englishman of all time”, he would not offer the public opportunities like the ones offered in the Beveridge Reports in 1942 which would transform the country.
Friday, 22 January 2010
Monday, 21 September 2009
Describe the ways in which the methods of the Suffragists and Suffragettes were different
Although by 1905 women had a lot more rights, they were still being denied the right to vote. Women had been campaigning within the NUWSS for many years and were getting frustrated by their peaceful methods. Therefore, they broke away and formed the WSPU which used more militant action to get attention. The names Suffragists (for the peaceful protesters) and Suffragettes (for the more violent) were coined for them.
Suffragists used more organized methods, than the Suffragettes, to get support and their message heard, such as letter writing. The NUWSS brought together 500 local organizations with more than 50,000 members, arranged over 1300 meeting in 1877-78 alone and in 1894 they produced a petition with 250,000 signatures on it. In 1908 the Suffragists followed the Suffragettes idea of planning a huge demonstration of 13, 000 women through Central London, dressed up as powerful women figures such as Boadicca and Queen Elizabeth.
Their slogan was ‘Voiceless London’ which meant that half of London didn’t have the vote. This made people (a lot of them men) sympathetic. Their posters were well planned. One of them shows that convicts, lunatics and drunkards were able to keep their right to vote, whilst women could be mothers and nurses and still not be able to vote. This shows they were trying to prove that they deserved the vote, which is where the main difference was between themselves and the Suffragists. They got angry by the Suffragists who were working against the Liberals who were trying to help them, as shown in the illustration by Bernard Partridge.
The Suffragettes first formed because they could see that working along side the law peacefully wasn’t getting them very far. They believed that they would only be taken seriously if they got attention, so they caused disturbances outside Parliament which led to them being arrested and taken to Holloway Prison, where they were treated like criminals. They could use this to their advantage as propaganda. They could see it annoyed the government because they were showing how women were treated like criminals for trying to get their voices heard.
They did processions such as the major one in 190, with half a million people involved through Hyde Park, in order to raise awareness. They also planned demonstrations outside the Houses of Parliament which could often turn into fights between them and the police, such as the first major one in 1907. They did this demonstration because they were angry that the Liberals had withdrawn their support for the cause meaning the bill didn’t pass because Suffragettes were against more men getting the vote, which was the Liberals main policy.
The Suffragettes would do anything to get their voices heard by politicians and even the King. They would attack and heckle members of Parliament who were against women’s suffrage, tie themselves to the railings outside 10 Downing street, lock themselves in people cars, run into 10 Downing Street, stamp slogans over parliament walls. They even tried to present a petition to King Edward V11 as he passed through London in a carriage at the same time as dropping thousands of leaflets over London by a hot air balloon. Often they would get arrested for these actions but would not promise good behaviour while inside.
By 1908 their actions became more violent. They adopted stone throwing through government building windows. They also threw slate through the glass roof of the building where the new priminister, Herbert Asquith, was speaking. They did this because the former priminister had been in favour of votes for women but Asquith was not interested in it.
Hundreds of women were imprisoned over the years and in 1909 they began a new tactic which was to go on a hunger strike to shorten their stays. This led to force feeding through there mouth or even nose, which caused more propaganda posters. These were very effective and the government stopped and made the temporary discharge bill meaning the women could be re captured if they didn’t comply with the rules. All of this had put the government in a hard position and so the Suffragettes hoped that they would give in soon. It also proved that unless women were connected to important men they were treated badly, like criminals.
Around 1911, the Suffragettes began to get even more aggressive; setting fire to letterboxes, buildings, smashing shop windows and exploding buildings. These tactics were probably not very effective as the government would be seen to giving into terrorism if they gave them the vote. They also lost supporters. People began to ask how they could hand over a lot of control to people who were breaking all the laws of the country.
It is hard to know whether the suffragettes or suffragists actions progressed votes for women the most. The suffragists didn’t care how long it took to get the vote so long as they worked with the law. The Suffragettes were everything the the suffragettes weren’t, irresponsible, aggressive, adventurous, law breaking and impetuous. However I think that they way the Suffragettes used propaganda was the main reason that votes for women happened because without it, people wouldn’t have been interested. However, it would’ve happened if they had not progressed into terrorism or set themselves against the Liberal Party.
Saturday, 19 September 2009
Describe the ways in which the methods of the Suffragists and Suffragettes were different
Although by 1905 women had a lot more rights they were still being denied the right to vote. Women had been campaigning within the National Union of Women’ Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) for many years and were getting frustrated by their peaceful methods. Therefore, they broke away and formed the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) which used more militant action to get attention. The names Suffragists (for the peaceful protesters) and Suffragettes (for the more violent) were coined for them.
Suffragists used more organised methods, than the suffragettes, to get support and their message heard. The NUWSS brought together 500 local organisations with more than 50,000 members, arranged over 1300 meeting in 1877-78 alone and in 1894 they produced a petition with 250,000 signatures on it. They also wrote well thought out letters to Parliament. In 1908 the suffragists became more active as they organised a huge demonstration of women through Central London, some dressed up as powerful women figures such as Boadicca and Queen Elizabeth 1. 13 000 women attended. They did this because they could see how effectively it had worked for the suffragettes to begin with.
Their slogan was ‘Voiceless London’ which meant that half of London didn’t have a say in how their county was run. This slogan made more people disposed to feel sympathetic towards their cause which meant they had more male members than the suffragettes.
There posters were well planned. One of them shows that convicts, lunatics and drunkards were able to keep their right to vote, whilst women could be mothers, nurses and doctors and still not be able to vote. They were trying to prove that they deserved the vote, which is where the main difference was between themselves and the suffragists. They also differed because they didn’t mind how long it took to get the result, so long as they continued to work alongside the law and they didn’t rely on propaganda in the way that the suffragettes did. They wished to work along side the law and the Liberal Party (who were supportive of them) in order to show that they deserved the vote.
There is an illustration by Bernard Partridge, showing plainly the differences of the suffragettes and suffragists called ‘The Shrieking Sister’. In the picture there is clear evidence of suffragists trying to restrain suffragettes who were trying to work against that Liberals, who were in fact trying to help the movement. It shows how the suffragist deals with the situation calmly and the Suffragette is being violent and unreasonable.
Why did a campaign for women’s suffrage develop in the years after 1970?
By the 1950s women had no legal existence and were not able to vote. All of their property or salary belonged to their father or husband, even their children were not rightfully theirs. Women were classed along side children and slaves as natural dependents on men. The main role of a woman was to marry a suitable husband, produce a large family and to concentrate on domestic life, unless they had to find work. A minority of women were not content with sitting at home all day embroidering and flower arranging, they became known as the Suffragists (peaceful protesters) or Suffragettes (more forceful) and they asked for women’s suffrage and rights. There were a number of reasons why the campaign for women’s suffrage developed in the years after 1970, the main one’s being political, economic and social.
The 1st economic reason that helped to develop women’s suffrage was that before 1870 all her possessions, injury compensation, salary and will was her husbands. However in 1870 and 1882 the Married Women’s Property Acts were passed meaning that while a women was still living with her husband she could keep her earnings and property. Laws that benefited women continued to gather momentum because in 1886 the Married Women (Maintenance in case of desertion) Act was passed meaning that a women would not be left with nothing if her husband left her and he would have to pay her money. These new rights and equalities encouraged them to believe that they would be able to vote in the future.
The second key point that was economic was that women began to get jobs, even though it was being made increasingly harder to get into university. Previous to this they only had careers on the stage or as governess’. However in 1865 Elizabeth Garret Anderson became the first qualified women doctor in England and established a women’s school for medicine. Emily Faithful was a publisher and printer of books. These women were good examples to other women who wanted more from life. More women were getting involved and it gave them an opportunity to show that they were smart and capable and deserved the vote.
I think that the main social reason that developed women’s suffrage was the Education Act in 1870. It meant that it was compulsory for all children between the ages of five and twelve to be educated. It was also a political reason because more people had just become able to vote and so they needed to be taught how to vote wisely. It meant that women were beginning to be treated more like equals and they could show that they were just as clever as men.
In 1900 there was a war going on, and so in the general elections, while husbands were away, there are two examples of women voting for their husbands. Only 7 million out of a population of 42 million were able to vote and all but these two were men. This proved that women had the mental capacity to address people in public and make well argued points.
One person who was completely against women’s suffrage was Queen Victoria, she believed they were poor and feeble, this encouraged men to believe it. However she died before women were given suffrage and her attitude made women more determined.
It was common for women to produce up to seven children during their lifetimes at great personal risk. However she could not own one of them up until the 1886 Guardianship of Infants Act came into place, meaning that a mother became a legal parent of her children if their father died. This showed again that women were getting more rights and so it was more probable that they could have the right to vote.
Men such as the novelist Henry Fielding and the Artist J.W Waterhouse believed that it was morally correct for women to vote. Fielding vilified bad husbands and Waterhouse’s painting of the Lady of Shallot has many symbols regarding the campaign. This shows that women were getting more of a say in how a relationship was dictated, men were supportive, they were being treated more like equals and it encouraged them to believe they would be given the vote.
The main political reason was that women in New Zealand were able to vote in 1893. Women in Britain would want to emulate them especially as New Zealand was part of the British empire. It gave the idea to women to get involved and that it was possible to happen. Another key reason was that around 1870s - 90s women were able to vote in Local councils and school boards, however they were not able to be elected. Women were getting a say in decisions and they were showing they had the capacity to make well informed decisions.
In 1894 there was a petition for votes for women with 250,000 signatures on it. In 1897 the House of Commons voted in favour for votes for women however the bill got no further, in fact by 1914 they had put forward over 50 bills for women rights. Even though the laws were not being passed it gave women more hope and determination because they were being taken seriously by the men who mattered.
I believe that the most important reasons that contributed to women getting the vote were the increasing amounts of laws passed that made women more equal with men, such as being able to own their own property and earn a living. I also believe that giving young girls education was important in equalizing the sexes as men could realize that women were really able to decide how the country was run and they were just as clever and deserved the right to vote.