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

    'Some children from poor areas have become unrecognisable.' This was due to the un-relenting supply of food in the country; a resultant problem of this was that the child needed 'A larger gas Mask'. This was one of the many problems that faced the hosts and evacuees during the war.

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

    The first Munitions Act to be passed was the unpopular Leaving Certificate. Men or women in munitions factories were unable to leave their jobs unless first they obtained a Leaving Certificate. Without this they could not get work for six weeks.

  2. In what ways did the Second World War affect the lives of ordinary people ...

    The government decided to establish rationing on a national level, which enabled people to acquire a certain quantity of basic foods like meat, sugar, dairy products and tea each week, in return for coupons that they were given by local officials.

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

    I came back, told him I was nineteen and I was in." At the outbreak of the WWI many enlisted because it was thought to be a great adventure, something that would change boys to men, rescue men from a humdrum life and be a test of courage.

  2. Alternatives to fossil fuels

    A fully implementation of this system would stop the use of fossil fuels and launch an entirely new energy infrastructure. An economist, Joseph Schumpeter makes convincing arguments that new products and innovation are the driving force of an expanding economy (Robert, 1992).

  1. How Were Civilians Affected By World War I?

    But in the end many welcomed the governments taking the control of the situation and introducing conscription as they thought the volunteer system was unfair. They thought that not all parts of society were taking an equal share of the burden.

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

    He and other newspaper barons were important in Britain's war effort, which was shown when twelve leading newspaper industry members were knighted in recognition of their wartime services. Letters and postcards sent to and from soldiers in the front were heavily censored.

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