the transformation of British society c1903–28
Key Topic 1: The Liberals, votes for women and social reform
The activities of the women’s societies
and the reaction of the authorities. Overview
Children’s welfare measures, old
age pensions. Overview
Labour Exchanges 1909, the National
Insurance Act 1911. Overview
The political position of women in 1903
, The NUWSS
Reactions of the authorities
to militancy and protest
The ‘Cat and Mouse Act’
Children’s Charter (1906)
The School Meals Act (1906)
Medical Inspection, 1907.
The reasons for and importance of Old
Age Pensions Act (1908).
Labour Exchanges (1909)
National Insurance Act 1911.
Key Topic 2: The part played by the British on the Western
The BEF and 1914. Overview
to the Western Front 1915–17. Overview
The end of the war. Overview
The despatch of the BEF
The part played in the events of
The failure of the Schlieffen
The race for the sea
Setting up of the trench system.
The nature of trench warfare
Haig and the Battle of the
The development and importance
of new weapons
The creeping barrage.
Britain’s part in the events
The drive to victory.
Key Topic 3: The home front and social change
DORA, censorship and propaganda. Overview
Recruitment and rationing. Overview
The part played by women. Overview
The importance of censorship
Examples of propaganda
The various methods of recruitment:
The reasons for, and impact of, conscription:
The effects of submarine warfare on
Measures brought in by the
Government to alleviate the threat of U-Boats.
Key Topic 4: Economic and social change 1918–28
The changing role of women 1918–28.
Industrial unrest 1918–27.
The General Strike of 1926. Overview
Extension of the franchise
The changes in women’s
work and social changes.
Trade union membership
Industrial militancy in the years
The long-term and immediate problems of
the coal industry
Black Friday (1921)
Red Friday (1925)
The Samuel Commission (March 1926).
and measures to deal with the General Strike
The reasons why the TUC called off
the General strike
Trades Disputes Act of 1927.
The Political and Social
Status of Women in 1903.
Victorian women had few civil or political rights. A wife had to do
as she was told by her husband, who was her protector and adviser. Until
1884 a wife was officially listed as one of her husband’s possessions.
In addition, Victorian women were expected to live up to an image of
‘the perfect being’– beautiful, demure and loving.
Many women agreed with this attitude. As the 19th century progressed,
women were given the right to vote in local elections. But by 1900 they
still did not have a Parliamentary vote.
Womens Freedom League
In 1866 a group of women took a petition, signed by 1,500 women asking
for the vote to Parliament. They were ignored. In 1897, the different
female campaign groups joined together and became the Suffragists. These
‘Suffragists’ campaigned peacefully for the vote. Although
the number of MPs who wanted women to have the vote grew, the Suffragists
In 1903 Emmeline Pankhurst formed the ‘Suffragettes’. The
Suffragettes, were much more violent. They held mass-meetings, sent
campaigners to 10 Downing Street, and shouted from the Ladies Gallery
during debates in Parliament. The Suffragists knew that changes were
taking place in Great Britain and that it would affect the lifestyles
that they had and the homes that they lived in, yet nobody wanted their
input or opinion. In fact, some unsuitable men had more of an input
into the way Britain was governed than women did.
A woman should make a man’s home delightful. Their sex should
ever teach them to be subordinate. Women are like children; the more
they show they need looking after, the more attractive they are.
Mrs John Sandford, Woman in her Social and Domestic Character (1837).
Women’s Rights in the 19th century
1857: Matrimonial Causes Act – a woman can divorce her husband
if he beats her or commits adultery.
1882: Married Woman’s Property Act – married women allowed
to own property and to keep their own earnings.
- The Suffrage Campaign to 1903.
Archives - looks at Human Rights for several groups at this time.