Events after 1900. Perhaps a more convincing argument is the development of international democracy in the 21st century. Democracy was developing overseas before WW1 and Britain had to be seen in keeping up with international trends. As the Mother country in the British Empire there was almost a necessity to be seen as evolving with democracy and being a leader in modern democracy. Before the outbreak of war in 1914 Australia and New Zealand had already granted the vote to women. By 1914 some American states had also granted the vote to women. Many politicians, particularly by 1918 didn’t want to portray the idea the country was living in the dark ages. Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Norway and Denmark had also granted the vote before WW1. Although Britain certainly didn’t follow the French model of democracy – French women worked just as hard during WW1 – yet there was no political thank you – French women did not gain the vote until 1944!
The American Civil War 1861-64 – the British government supported the North and United States – who wanted to promote democracy – would they be seen as hypocrites for not addressing issues over reform in their own country?
Britain was the ‘Mother country’ in the British Empire . Australia and New Zealand had already extended the Franchise to women by World War One.