• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain the Changing Attitudes of Civilians and British Soldiers Towards the War

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain the Changing Attitudes of Civilians and British Soldiers Towards the War In 1914 many British people were very enthusiastic about the war. When Kitchener, the minister of war called for "a million men and more" there was an overwhelming response. Some people, however, did not share this enthusiasm and many people's attitudes changed during the course of the war. When Britain declared war on Germany in 1914, the vast majority of British people supported the war. Lots of propaganda posters were published around the country by the government. The purpose of this propaganda was to make sure people supported the war effort. The First World War can be said to be Britain's first total war. Because it thoroughly affected people back home. Previous wars like the Crimean war did not involve/affect everyday life of ordinary people. Because they were fought far away by small professional armies. But this war affected the vast majority of people at home in one way or another. This time, civilians were even being killed by enemy action. Early in the war, German warships shelled the east-coast towns. Later in the war air raids from German Zeppelins caused further death and damage. ...read more.

Middle

Any German aged between 17-45 living in Britain were put in prison. The vast majority of the nation actually hated Germany. Casualties in the First World War were appallingly high. Twenty millions soldiers were wounded, and over eight million were killed. In the British army, one in five of the soldiers never came home. The casualties meant immense sadness not only for those who witnessed the horror of war, but also for those at home who lived in hope of the safe return of their loved ones. Another major change the government introduced from DORA was conscription. This was only introduced much later into the war when less and less people were signing up voluntarily. The reason for this is likely to be figures of battle casualties getting through, war weariness, the news of trench warfare. Or the fact that letters sent from the government telling certain civilians that their loved ones had been killed got through to many people and many people were able to identify their grief with other people in the same situation. Another reason why conscription was introduced is that the wrong kind of people were signing up: coal miners and munitions workers were needed at home. ...read more.

Conclusion

Total war was also a major factor, with the bombing of eastern and southern towns, to DORA. Due to heavy censorship civilian attitude to war took longer to change than the men fighting on the front. Civilian life changed dramatically during the war. Strikes in factories were banned so that there could be no threat to the productions of arms or other wartime necessities. Many civil liberties that were taken for granted were temporarily suspended. The horror of the trenches was played down but after 1916 the ever-increasing list of casualties, which the government could not hide, increased awareness in people that many hundreds of thousands were dieing and slowly morale began to falter. Many people just wanted life to return to normal and began to long for the war to be over and for their loved ones to come home. However civilians did celebrate the end of the war with parties and victory celebrations. Many had no idea what the soldiers had been through and could not understand the weary acceptance of the soldiers. The relief that it was all finally over and life could begin to return to normal was overwhelming and they all believed that it would never happen again. They though that the "war to end all wars" would be a lesson no one could forget. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did British soldiers go to war in 1914?

    For others it was out of patriotism - as a wave of patriotic enthusiasm swept across the country most soldiers felt they would be fighting for their home and country. The belief around Britain at the time was that it would all be over by Christmas.

  2. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    The Presidential Palace and Gemayel's home town of Bikfayya were shelled, and a series of car bombs were detonated in East Beirut. But the Christians closed ranks around their beleaguered president, and the Tripartite Accord was never implemented. Geagea, emboldened by his restored power, then challenged Gemayel and the Phalange Party directly.

  1. In what ways did World War I affect the lives of civilians in Britain ...

    working- class discontent and industrial unrest reached a peak.' The Defence of Realm Act (DORA) gave the government almost unlimited powers to introduce any regulations it considered necessary for the war effort. The new laws imposed forced British citizens to live under strict controls - suspending civil rights for the duration of the war.

  2. How did World War II affect the lives of civilians in Wales and Britain?

    Tells us of how industrialised the cities in which they live are. For example, London. A 1940's London would not only have had the infamous smog, which would have made it impossible for any sunlight to get through, but also a highly industrialised skyline.

  1. Alternatives to fossil fuels

    Most people are keenly aware of the urgent energy challenges and are prepared to make sacrifices to ensure that the world has an adequate, secure, sustainable, and affordable energy supply. Secondly, every country should be dedicated to produce a new energy system to develop the new technology and reduce the cost of nuclear power.

  2. Many peoples have contributed to the development of the United States of America, a ...

    Anti-Catholicism was already draining away Whigs to a new organization, the American party, soon known as the KNOW-NOTHING PARTY. When in 1856 it proved unable to hold together its members, north and south, because of disagreements over slavery, the anti-Catholics joined the Republicans.

  1. Describe the ways that propaganda was used to mobilise theminds of the nation towards ...

    The government did not want morale to drop on the front line or back at home. Moreover, there is much evidence to show that soldier's censored their own messages to their family and friends, by not revealing the truth about life in the trenches or their own distressing feelings about fighting the war and being stuck out in the war.

  2. Describe the ways that propaganda was used to mobilise the minds of the nation ...

    the government decided to increase the amount of propaganda which they were using. There were three different audiences that propaganda was aimed at, one of them being the enemy. This prop was organised by the War Office. The idea was to manipulate what the enemy thought about the war.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work