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

How did world war 1 affect Britain economically and socially?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How did world war 1 affect Britain economically and socially? The outbreak of the war in August 1914 produced immediate changes. It is often said that war is the 'locomotive of history' - that is what drives it along. Certainly the First World War helped to produce major changes in British government, society, the economy and industrial relations. The war produced political turmoil. In 1915 Prime Minister Asquith formed a coalition government, and the following year he was replaced as premier by Lloyd George, who gave a new impetus to the direction of the war. He believed in greater state intervention built upon the abandonment of laissez faire. The powers of the state had grown enormously. A form of 'war socialism' had been introduced. New ministries were set up, and at the end of the war, several of these (pensions, health and labour) became permanent institutions of the state. There had been an important extension of social policy during the war, the government was formulating extensive plans for the provision of new housing, better education and an extension of unemployment insurance. ...read more.

Middle

A productive section of the workforce had been lost. In addition Britain still had to pay the financial costs of the war. Massive amounts of money had been borrowed and still had to be repaid. Valuable overseas markets had been lost. During the war massive investment in the staple industries had taken place. But once the war was over the demand of these products fell. The decline of the staple industries was also the main reason for the bitter industrial relations which developed in post-war Britain. During the war actually industrial relations had improved. Trade unions reacted patriotically to the outbreak of was and a spirit of collaboration developed between them and the government. The 'Treasury Agreement' was signed in 1915 which specified that unions involved in vital war work would not strike. In return they were promised that the old arrangements would be resumed after the war. It was only a voluntary agreement, but in July 1915 the Munitions of War Act legally binded unions and the government and it outlawed strikes. ...read more.

Conclusion

They did no fighting but did other jobs at the front. The number of paid women workers grew by 1.5 million during the war and they pursued a much grater range of occupations than ever before: this constituted a highly significant change in employment patterns and in the position of women in British Society. On the other hand, old habits of mind persisted. Women received, on average, only two-thirds of men's wages. In conclusion, the war brought drastic changes to Britain both economical, social and also political. It can be argued that these changes would have taken place even without the war. However if this was the case, they would have happened at a slower pace, therefore the war did speed up some positive changes. However it also caused industrial and political turmoil, immense casualities and major problems for the economy. However compared to other states who took part in the war, Britain was able to survive without too many great difficulties and especially without a revolution which is what happened in many other places in the world at the time. ...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. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    Their heavy weapons could not be used effectively and they were subject to constant and sudden attacks. * Soviet troops became demoralised. Afghanistan did not seem worth fighting and dying for. Their opponents, on the other hand, fought with fanatical zeal.

  2. Women and social change - To what extent did World War One effect womens ...

    The other side of using police power on public opinion was the "organizing of enthusiasm," which could be thought of as: Propaganda tries to force a doctrine on the whole people; the organization embraces within its scope only those who do not threaten on psychological grounds to become a brake on the further dissemination of the idea.

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

    Deaths from the fighting averaged about fifty a day. National Movement fighters and youths from the camps looted and destroyed the stores in the heart of Beirut. Dead and mutilated bodies lay everywhere in public places: corpses of sexually violated women and children, and of men with their genitals cut off and stuffed into their mouths.

  2. Why And How Did Britain Survive The War From 1940-1943

    and would have preferred to make peace with her and to leave the British Empire untouched. But there was no way that Churchill would agree to any peace deal with Germany as if that happened Germany would have a free rein in Europe and ruin Britain's economy.

  1. Total War, Britain during the Second World War

    In July an appeal went out for people to hand in old pots and pans and anything else made from aluminium. They were told that this scrap metal would be used to make fighter aircraft. This was not true. It was impossible to make high performance aircraft out of scrap

  2. Khrushchev's attempts at modernisation.

    The Soviet Union had always had a shortage of wheat and consequently had suffered from sever famines. Khrushchev wanted to end the shortages once and for all and make the Soviet Union self-sufficient in food. Khrushchev saw himself as something of an agricultural expert and imposed his ideas despite many objections.

  1. After the collapse of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the world ...

    and by examining the theory of Fukuyama; we will see that the terrorists were not acting to attain liberal democracy. On the contrary, according to Steve Smith, it is "precisely the project that they oppose"3, which must mean that Fukuyama made the wrong conclusions.

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

    country folk have an endless supply of home grown fruit and vegetables at their disposal, which would not have had to have been transported, unlike the cities sparse fruit and vegetables. Source 5(c) is one of the only sources that is written in dialect. It is, I believe in cockney.

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