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The effects of the First World War on British people between 1914 and 1918

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Introduction

The effects of the First World War on British people between 1914 and 1918 The First World War affected British people wherever they were. There was no real fighting in Britain, but the war was brought home to them through food rationing, death of their loved ones etc. Soldiers who survived will always remember horrors of trench warfare, but First World War also gave a boost ot technology so that planes and tanks were developed much faster than they would have been in the peace time. Trench warfare is probably an experience which every soldier is going to remember the most of all experience he had in the Great War. Soldiers lived in these "dugouts" waiting for the right opportunity to get "over the top" and "no man's land" to break the enemy lines. Trench warfare was very difficult for the soldiers; the conditions they had to put up with in the trenches were appalling. Hygiene in the trenches was terrible-soldiers wore same clothes for weeks and same pair of socks for as much as a week (water and food supply were limited so soldier's clothes couldn't be washed). As a result they started suffering from trench foot and lice. ...read more.

Middle

Over 1,500 men refused all compulsory service. These men were called absolutists and were drafted into military units and if they refused to obey the order of an officer, they were court-martialled under the charge of being traitors of their own country. In wars that took place before the First World War there were no battles on the land of Great Britain, but in the winter 1914/1915 coastal towns of Scarborough and Hartlepool were bombarded by German ships; zeppelins and bombers attacked the south-east England especially London from December 1914. In total there were 84 attacks on Britain from the air resulting in 1,399 deaths and 3,360 injuries. These attacks brought war closer to home and were a cause for alarm and concern in Britain; it is very likely that there was a lot of panic among the civilians because they were in danger for the first time. Before the conscription was introduced there were already 2.46 (29% enrolled in August/September 1914) million people by January 1916 who had enlisted voluntarily into the army. This is mostly owed to a huge out pour of patriotism during the war. Men wanted to support their country and felt that they owed something to it because they got a right to vote not long before the war started. ...read more.

Conclusion

As a result Asquith resigned in favour of Lloyd George who formed a new smaller coalition which was able to run the war more effectively. The government gave itself more control over lives of British people. It has done so by introducing the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA). DORA gave the government special powers and it stated things which people were not allowed to do (e.g. they were not allowed to melt gold or silver, buy round in pubs, fly kites etc.) in the war time. Government could prosecute everyone who offended DORA. It could also "confiscate" any land and factories it needed to help the war effort. The government could now increase the production of food ammunition but in turn it took away some civil rights and private property such as factories and its equipment. The war was an inspiration for many song/poem writes and painters. Songs and poems were used to used during the war to make the soldiers feel better and to make the fighting a bit easier for them. They were also used to calm the terrified soldiers down, boost the morale of the soldiers, to make them laugh etc. Paintings in the First World War usually eyewitness accounts of the front which would bring the horrors of war home to people who don't know what it looks like to be on the front line. ...read more.

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