To what extent was WW1 the reason for the extension of democracy in Britain?


-1897 milicent fawcent founded NUWSS (suffragists)

-Used merchandise and propaganda to further their goals.

-1905 the suffragettes were formed 

-Suffragettes were militant


Although the suffragettes were clearly a key factor in the expansion of democracy in britain however were hindered by the suffragette use of force and hunger strikes which scared the British public. Weighing in all these factors I think that despite Suffragettes being a critical factor in the expansion of democracy in Britain WW1 was still vital in accelerating the processes that led to Womens Votes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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English Civil War/French Revolution

-Levellers were a series of small groups that introduced the concept of democray to British society during the chaos of the english civil war. Unfortunately when the civil war ended they were all rounded up and killed

-French Revolution inspired other working classes to start pushing for social reform

-French Revolution threatened the Goverment or Monarchy and encouraged them to be more lenient with their social policies to avoid plunging into civil war


Both the Levellers and the French revolution failed in their goals and neither of them wanted votes for women ayway. However in the longterm they suceeded in spreading the idea of democracy in britain which led to groups like the chartists and the suffragettes who made real change to the system, weighing all these factors it is hard to ignore that theses events were a key starting point for theextension of democracy and is clearly more important than WW1 in the expansion of Democracy in the first place.


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-1830 chartists formed under feargus o'connor 

-1831 Riots break out

-1832 Great reform act signed- still heavy restrictions

-1859 Samuel Smiles wrote a book on selfhelp 

Impressed by the attitude of working men the Goverment gives them the vote.

In conclusion I think that although the Chartists suceede in organising a nationwide bout of protests and also got the goverment to sign the Great Reform act, they ultimately failed so WW1 was more significant for the expansion of democracy. The Self help strategy that was adopted however was a huge sucess and led to working men getting the vote. This is clearly key to the expansion of democracy and therefore makes it more important than WW1

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-800,000 Women worked in engineering in WW1

-Despite french women helping the war effort they didnt get the vote till 1944

-WW1 gave many women an oppurtunity to prove themselves.

WW1 certainly accelerated the processes that led to the expansion of democray in Britain but did not start the movement and therefore whilst still a significant factor it is not the most important one.

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