European mass political movements in WWI

European mass political movements in WWI

A number of the European mass political movements arouse in the decade of the

WWI. Describe and analyze at least 3 of them.

Why did they arise?

What were their goals?

Were they successful? Why or why not

What these movements tell us about the societies that brought them?

European Mass Political Movements in WWI

Numerous mass political movements arose in the early 20 th century in Europe. Groups

that had been marginalized by the political system started strong political movements to bring

about changes. The suffrage movement was formed to fight for the rights of women to vote

(Slomp, 57). The women wanted to gain the right to vote so as to be able to push for new laws

that would address social inequalities. The Women’s Social Political Union was formed to

pressure the British government to give voting rights to women. Women chained themselves

outside the residence of the prime minister and smashed windows to get attention. They also held

demonstrations and conducted arson attacks and consequently, some of them were arrested.

When WWI was declared in Europe in 1914, the suffrage movement stopped its activities and

supported Britain during the war (Ishay, 164). After the war ended, the government enacted an

act in 1918 allowing women to vote. The women had to be above 30 years of age in order to

vote. They also had to own property or be wives of people who did. This movement was

successful because the actions of the members as well as their contributions during WWI led to

the passage of an act that allowed women to vote (Ishay, 177). Judging from this movement, the

British society during WWI did not support gender equality. Women were denied many rights,

including the right to vote. However, their determination led to changes in the system.


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