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Why did the First World War affect the people of Britain in so many different ways?

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Introduction

Why did the First World War affect the people of Britain in so many different ways? At the beginning of the war society was different. For a lot of people, poverty, social and economic disruption was normal. Literacy was fairly general and the society was mainly Christian and was very religious, therefore there were frequent Bible readings. The upper classes were better classed with leisure and comfortable living conditions. They had servants, which were mainly women, who worked in the 'domestic service'. There was little mixing between domestic and industrial working classes. When war broke out in 1914, the impact was disruptive. There was a rapid increase in unemployment, especially of women who had also worked before because of poverty. The stock market crashed which resulted in food prices increasing and panic buying. The First World War affected the people of Britain in so many different ways but the question is why? The war affected both the people directly involved in the war and the civilian population. The men were affected because the war demanded hem to fight, so they played a vital role. When war was declared thousands of men volunteered to join, the 247,000 regular soldiers in the British army. The volunteers were affected because if they didn't recruit then women handed out white feathers to them because they were in civilian clothes. They were known as cowards. They had to leave their jobs causing major disruption in industry. Many of them believed that the war would end by Christmas and they were anxious not to miss it. But they did not know the horrors they were to face. ...read more.

Middle

The working class women still didn't have to work if they wished but they didn't have any maids help or home help anymore. Women who worked in the farms or as porters had to wear trousers. This is the reason why the elderly and old fashioned were affected. The elderly didn't like women to work and wear trousers instead of skirts, like some men they thought that a woman's place was at home with their children. Old-fashioned women were not used to the idea of trousers instead of skirts. The elderly were also affected because of pension problems and because they felt they had to bear the responsibility of the family. Women now had greater access to independence and freedom. Wives were affected differently from other women because their men were opposed to them working. The men felt threatened. The wives had the responsibility to look after the families. They were in constant worry over the lives of their men. The war brought about a big change, a lot of women became more confident, before they had less equal rights in marriage and employment. Women with wages started to go to restaurants and clubs, because in 1917 working class wages had risen. But not all women and men accepted the change. Even when they lost their jobs after the war, their confidence was not lost. Women in the 1920's demanded and received more freedom than they had before the war. But some women like the 'Women's International League' were also affected as they were opposed to the war. ...read more.

Conclusion

German attacks on Britain helped to unite the Nation. The Armistice that ended the war was signed at 5 o'clock in the morning of 11 November 1918. The news travelled rapidly to politicians and people in cities and the troops. Most people wanted the war to end. Their reactions to the war were however very different. Some people cheered and rang out in victory but people like the conscientious objectors were not satisfied, still thinking the war was worthless, and some people mourned for the dead. So in conclusion the war affected the people of Britain in so many different ways that in my opinion we can't judge precisely how the different people were affected because they were affected in so many different ways whether it be in long term or short term, permanently or temporarily. So judgement is difficult but we can get a rough idea on how and why they would have been affected by the different aspects of the war. There are more groups than the ones discussed that were also affected such as the Con men but they were illegal anyway, but the major ones hopefully have been dealt with. We can now tell that the Major reason the war affected so many people was because the war lasted so long and economy had been so disrupted at the start of the war and because of inflation. There were many gains achieved from the war but at the same time losses. The gains were that the people were now some what prepared for the future and people like the women got the vote. The losses were that nearly 750, 000 British servicemen were killed, and many people lost their loved ones. ...read more.

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3 star(s)

*** 3 STARS
This is a very difficult essay to write as there is so much information to research, analyse, summarise and include. The writer has made an excellent effort to include a wide number of ways the people of Britain were affected by WW1. Some more quotes and statistics needed in places. Although the writer has included topic sentences at the beginning of paragraphs the word 'affected' is overused.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 30/07/2013

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