The First World War was not fought for freedom

The Radical Antipodes or the WW1

was not fought for freedom

Here is a pub trivia question.

Which countries that were involved in the First World War had what we consider to be universal suffrage?

Universal suffrage being defined as all people over the age of majority (21 years in 1914) having the right to vote.

The answer may surprise you. It was only Australia (qualified) and New Zealand. To our Australian shame I should point out that Aborigines were considered simple and thus were wards of the State and we had failed to grant woman the right to vote at Federation.

Allies WW1 Women suffrage in 1914 Year granted Notes
Australia Yes

1902

  
Belgium No

1919

  
Canada No

1918

Quebec women had wait until 1940 before they could vote in provincial elections
France No

1944

Only exercised at national level in 1945
Egypt No

1956

 
Great Britain No

1918

in 1918 for 30 years and over, full extension in 1930
India No

1947

Dominion of the British Empire in 1914
Italy No

1946

  
Japan No

1945

Some county level voting before 1945
New Zealand Yes

1893

  
Pakistan No

1947

Dominion of the British Empire in 1914
Portugal No

1931

  
Russia No

1918

  
Saudi Arabia No Not yet Considered part of the Ottoman empire in 1914
South Africa No

1930

1930 for white women and 1996 for all citizens
USA No

1920

  

 

Central powers WW1 Women suffrage in 1914 Year granted Notes
Austria No

1918

Part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1914
Germany No

1918

  
Hungary No

1918

Part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1914
Iraq No

1980

Part of the Ottoman empire in 1914
Syria No

1949

Part of the Ottoman empire in 1914
Turkey No

1930

Part of the Ottoman empire in 1914

 

Some of the values are based on Wikipedia and quick google search give qualified answers for the vote actually given. Examples are French women being given the vote in 1944 but only able use it in 1945 and if you were a muslim woman living in Algeria (then considered part of France) you could only vote in 1958 or in Australia real true franchise being granted after the 1967 referendum which recognized Aborigines.

It should be pointed out that full legal rights for women followed or is following years after the right to vote was granted. As a male it is embarrassing to think that in 1914 in many respects even in Australia a woman’s rights were marginally more than a child’s.

The paradox of the First World War was that it was not fought for freedom but that many of the freedoms that we take for granted came out of the changes that that terrible event created.

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26th (Non) Wedding anniversary

It has been more than a quarter of a century since I was married.

The year I was joined in the state of matrimony, the following current events occured.

  • Canaan Banana was (titular) president of Zimbabwe.
  • P W Botha was prime minister of South Africa.
  • Nelson Mandela was still in jail.
  • It was still illegal to have sex or get married across the colour line in South Africa.
  • Popular struggle meant that 16 June now was an unofficial public holiday in South Africa.
  • The television series “Dynasty” was stopping South Africa.
  • Bob Hawke was prime minister of Australia.
  • Australia was watching “Sons and Daughters.”
  • The Soviet Union was fighting an expensive guerilla war in Afghanistan against the Taliban and its allies who included the CIA trained Osama Bin Laden.
  • Naas Botha still had a magic boot and winning games for Northern Transvaal.
  • Alan Bond won the Americas cup.

Margaret Bourke-White and Muizenberg Beach 1950

More pictures from the Life archive.

It is truly amazing what Margaret would see.

Margaret Bourke-White - Muizenberg beach

Margaret Bourke-White - Muizenberg beach.

Union Of South Africa
Sun worshippers enjoying the cabanas at the Jewish beach at Muizenberg
Location: Cape Town, South Africa, Republic Of
Date taken: April 1950
Photographer: Margaret Bourke-White
Size: 1280 x 1099 pixels (17.8 x 15.3 inches)

Labels:
Jews, Baths, Sun, South Africa, Republic Of, People And Customs, Vintage Print, 1950s

I do have to point out that at the time there was no such thing as a formal Jewish beach but a whites only beach.

Margaret Bourke-White - Man collecting sea water for medicinal purposes.

Margaret Bourke-White - Man collecting sea water for medicinal purposes.

Union Of South Africa
Bantu bottler busy filling bottles w. sea water in a section at Muizenberg beach which is for blacks only, which he will sell because it is supposed to have medicinal properties.
Location: Cape Town, South Africa, Republic Of
Date taken: April 1950
Photographer: Margaret Bourke-White
Size: 996 x 1280 pixels (13.8 x 17.8 inches)

Labels:
Water, Race Prejudice, Bottles, South Africa, Republic Of, People And Customs, Vintage Print, 1950s

Interestingly this was also at Muizenberg beach, the same beach that is/was very popular with the Jewish community and there is a good chance that it was taken on the same day especially considering the Cape’s changeable weather. Please note the white folks in the background. (This is case of the politics being added by the caption.) Curiously Life magazine did not see fit to relate this image to the above even though it is at the same location.

Please enjoy the art of Margaret Bourke-White and remember what you see recorded is now just quaint history of the 20th century.