• 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

    In 1958 it was expanded to include China, North Korea, North Vietnam and Mongolia and in 1964 an International Bank of Economic Collaboration was established. c. In 1977 Cuba had joined. Cuba depended almost totally on the Soviet Union for aid.

  2. Khrushchev's attempts at modernisation.

    Those who set up their own house churches were often arrested. In terms of working and living conditions Khrushchev did improve the lives of Soviet citizens. He relaxed Stalin's persecution of Soviet minorities allowing them to speak their own languages so long as they learned fluent Russian at school.

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

    The government then had devised a plan that all children, and all those women that were not on any form of service should be sent to safer areas of Britain away from any area that could be classed as dangerous.

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

    A group of French political leaders ! decided to carry out the war at the cost of less internal liberty. The government cracked down on anyone suspected of supporting a compromise peace. Many of the crackdowns and treason charges were just a result of war hysteria or calculated politcal opportunism.

  1. Total War, Britain during the Second World War

    There is no humour or laughter. There was thus every excuse for people to be distressed. There was no understanding in the huge government buildings of central London for the tiny crumbled streets of massed populations. Some stories were suppressed by the government altogether. In October 1940, Balham underground station was hit by a bomb, which burst a water main.

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

    Defeat was a distinct possibility but luckily Germany decided to concentrate on France and Britain had time to arm itself and get the war machine into momentum, The Battle Of Britain had begun! Dunkirk One French General suggested that Britain was waiting 'to have its neck rung like a chicken'.

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

    5 In defense of his theory, Fukuyama points out that: We remain at the end of history because there is only one system that will continue to dominate world politics, that of the Liberal-Democratic West. This does not imply a world free from conflict, nor the disappearance of culture.

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

    The autonomy it enjoyed in Lebanon could not be found in any other Arab country. In the years following the loss of its Jordan base, the PLO came to view its Lebanon base in strategic terms. As a result, Lebanon was no longer a place where the PLO would be content with limited political and military presence.

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