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How did World War 1 help Canadian women get the vote - Essay Example

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Order 519623 Topic: How did World War I help Canadian women get the vote? It started with Nelli McClung’s involvement with Women’s Christian Temperance Union, a group that was campaigning for alcohol prohibition. ‘Excessive drinking by men was seen to be the cause of a lot of family trouble and abuse…
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Download file to see previous pages It won the audience with its wit and humor. In 1916, a women’s suffrage bill was passed. McClung moved to Edmonton and was elected to the Alberta legislature in 1921. She worked on the famous “Persons case”. ‘Until 1929, Senate seats were open only to “eligible persons” according to the constitution and the Supreme Court ruled that women were not “persons” and therefore not eligible for appointment to the Senate. McClung and several other women led the fight against this archaic notion. During World War I, some women in Canada were finally allowed to vote. And in 1919, all women over 21 had the right to vote in a federal election. ‘Women got the federal vote in 3 stages: the Military Voters Act of 1917 where nurses and women in the armed services were allowed to vote; the Wartime Election Act which extended the vote to women who had husbands, son or fathers serving overseas; and all women over 21 on January 1, 1919. ______________________________________________________________________________ 1. “A Country by Consent”, World War 1, 1914 – 1918. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. ‘On June 19th 1917, the House of Commons voted by 385 to 55 to accept the Representation of the People Bill’s women’s suffrage clause. Suffragists were encouraged to contact their MP’s to support the bill. ...
Historians such as Martin Pugh believe that the vote in favor of female suffrage was simply a continuation of the way the issue had been moving before the war had started in 1914. ‘In 1911, there had been a similar vote to the one in 1917. Of the 194 MP’s who voted for the bills in both 1911 and 1917, only 22 had changed their stance. Fourteen had changed to being in favor of female suffrage and 4 changed from being for female suffrage in 1911 to being against it in 1917. This leaves a difference of only 14 – a long way of the 330 majority of 1917. This only proves that the direction the Parliament was moving in before August 1914 was a significant factor in the 1918 Representation of the People Act. The activities of the Suffragists and Suffragettes (the female members of the Women’s Social & Political Union who wanted to take part in the electoral process) pre-1914 have been more important at a political level than the work done by women in the war. Also, the Parliament was very conscious on how the public would react if they would arrest women who had done important work for the nation during the war just because they wanted political rights after it. A continuation of the way things were going pre-1914 was an important factor as was the fear of social and political unrest in the aftermath of what had happened in Russia. ______________________________________________________________________________ 4. “The Role of Women 1900 -1945”, 2010. 5. Ibid. 6. Ibid. ‘From 1910 to 1913, two issues dominated British politics: the clash between the Lords and the House of Commons and the continuing rise of militancy by the Suffragettes. The death of Emily Wilding Davison at the Derby in 1913 seemed to many to show that the very fabric of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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