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World War One History Coursework Q1

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Introduction

World War One History Coursework Question One The British Army at the beginning of the war was small in comparison to other countries involved. In 1914, Britain had 975,000 soldiers including reservists. France had over four million and Germany four and a half. To solve this shortage in numbers, Lord Kitchener, the war minister, began a recruitment campaign to boost numbers in the army. The first and most obvious reason for British men enlisting was the use of propaganda by the British government. The series of adverts that were published played on the emotions of men and this may have caused them to enlist. The advert to the left is a typical example of the adverts published by the British government during the war period. This advert suggests that brave British men who are "friends" should join the army and fight. ...read more.

Middle

I was so astonished I did not know what to do about it, so I went round to the recruiting offices with renewed zeal." The British public were excited about the prospect of war. This is due to the common perception that the war was going to be over by Christmas. "We were quite clear that Germany would be defeated by the 7th of October." Private Godfrey Buxton. At the time, many men had badly paid and boring jobs and wanted to do something different e.g. miners in Wales. The conception of "Pals Battalions" also persuaded men to enlist. This was a way for men from a certain area to enlist and fight together. Men thought that the prospect of going to war with their friends was a good idea so in places the whole male population of a town signed up. ...read more.

Conclusion

This made men feel pressured to fight even though they could be making contributions to the war effort in a less obvious manner. Revenge is another factor that could have convinced men to enlist. The root cause, however, of why men wanted revenge is because of propaganda released by the government and by articles published in British newspapers about alleged German atrocities. These included raping women and gouging out the eyes of civilians. As one British general put it: "to make armies go on killing one another it is necessary to invent lies about the enemy." Of all these factors, I believe that propaganda is the single most important reason that persuaded British men to enlist. Not only is it a reason in itself, it is also a contributing factor to other reasons such as revenge and pride. An example of its success in 1914 is that it was used in World War Two and is still used today to put forward points of view. ?? ?? ?? ?? Michael Leedham 5N ...read more.

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