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In what ways were the lives of people at home affected by the First World War?

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Introduction Assignment 1: In what ways were the lives of people at home affected by the First World War? Historical Content: The initial impact of War; the losses of men and material; conscription; conscientious objectors; propaganda; employment; the role of women; politicians and generals; the role of Lloyd George; War poets and authors; the armistice. Recruitment and Conscription during World War One When the First World War started in August 1914, Britain had 247,432 regular troops. Of these, 12,000 were British Expeditionary Troops and the rest were abroad. However, it was clear that more troops were going to be needed to defeat the German Army. On the 7th August, Lord Kitchener, Secretary of War started a recruitment campaign asking for men between the age of 19 to 30 to join the British Army. This was very successful with an average of 33,000 men signing up every day. After three weeks of men joining, he raised the age limit to 35 and by the middle of September, the number of men signed up was 500,000. Obviously recruitment was very popular for me to fight the "noble war" for King and Country but they didn't know the nightmare of the War. The recruits of the British Army expected the War to be over by Christmas, but what they didn't know was that the War was going to last four years. At the beginning of the War, the Army had very specific guidelines for people signing up. Men joining had to be 5ft 6in tall and have a chest at least 35 inches. However, these guidelines were stopping a lot of men from joining the Army. In March 1915, Kitchener restricted the specifications to 5ft 3in and the age limit was raised to 40. There were still men who were too short who were eager to join, so the Army formed the "Bantam" Battalions for men 5ft to 5ft 3in in height. ...read more.


Emancipation is very difficult to define when discussing the role of women during the war, I will narrow it down to women getting the vote in 1918 and the state of women being employees in the post-war period. Firstly, we have to understand the role of women before WW1, before they were called upon to replace men in doing jobs. Arthur Marwick, writer of "The Deluge-British Society and the First World War (5th Edition)" written in 1979 argues that before the War, women were perceived as "industrial drudges of society". I do not believe that such a comment could be made to any relevance of the role of women at the time because, even though Marwick was a historian, he could not be completely accurate with this. Even though, through own knowledge, they were earning a third of the wage of men. However, when War broke out this struck a devastating blow to the women's campaign. It brought an abrupt end to the suffragette campaign but also took their campaign off the Political Agenda. The Government called upon the suffragette movement to support the War effort and "show their patriotism". The women's movement did exactly that. They promoted anti-German behaviour within their community and handed white feathers to men who would not don an uniform. Not only did they help on their fronts of home, but women started to undertake men's jobs in an effort to keep the War effort going. Neville Chamberlain quoted, "among the changes in our social fabric which have been brought about by the war...none is more remarkable than the development of women's activities". I can support this source because it was quoted by Neville Chamberlain, who was a significant figure in Parliament at the time and so was able to get a good perspective of the new role of women. This shocked the British male society because previously women were self-restricted to feminine activities. ...read more.


could save money for food and fuel. Conclusion My conclusion is that War affected the Home Front in many different ways, some of them which I have mentioned in this essay. I will sum up the areas mentioned with a brief description: Recruitment and Conscription When the War first started, men were very eager to join the 'noble war' for King and country. In September, over 500,000 men had signed up. However, this was not enough. Army regulations were being lessened and lessened until the final solution was put in place - conscription. However, some people refused to fight because of their religion or refusal to fight. They were imprisoned or sent to the Front Line unarmed. Politics and the War Effort It is possible to say that the Labour Party avoided the blame for the pre-war peace talks and so allowed the Liberal Party to lose popularity. They took initiative from this and took their rise to power. In a way, that was the start for the Government party. The War Effort became stronger, and now with renewed hopes, the population started to support the war more. The Role of Women Women were generally looked down upon before the War, trying to gain equality with men but never quite being able to. People who ran the Suffragette Movement tried to do this but when the War broke out, their plans were put on hold. Now able to vote, the women took over men's jobs. However, when the men came back the women would not give up their jobs. Thus started the woman's professional jobs. Changing Standards, Beliefs and Attitudes There were five main parts in this section: Newspapers and Media; the Balance of Power in Government; Economic Outlook and the Rich part of Society; Beliefs and the Chapel; How people survived after the War. Each one covers the section title "Changing Standards, Beliefs and Attitudes" but not all of them good. However, this has most changes because it covers more of a broad look on people's lives during and after the War. ...read more.

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