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

In what ways did World War I affect the lives of civilians in Britain and Germany? Refer to the war effort in Britain and Germany, the concept of Total War and the impact of censorship and propaganda?

Extracts from this document...


In what ways did World War I affect the lives of civilians in Britain and Germany? Refer to the war effort in Britain and Germany, the concept of Total War and the impact of censorship and propaganda? As both Britain and Germany were forced to direct all efforts of the nation's people and resources into the war, the war was no longer fought only on the battlefield - a new front was created. The home front. The lives of civilians were greatly affected as their countries economies and supplies suffered and the government extended their powers to control almost every aspect of their lives. As they experienced food shortages, a failing economy and deteriorating living and working conditions, the government also enforced harsh restrictions on their lives as well as introducing censorship and propaganda. Britain's war time slogan 'Business as usual' rested on the belief that the war would be a decisive victory that would be over by the end of 1914. Leaders, however, did not anticipate the turn of the war - and were ultimately fairly unprepared. Compared with that of Germany, the British industrial system in 1914 was out of date and inefficient; therefore, an enormous effort was required to prepare for effective war production. ...read more.


Although in comparison to Britain they had a large, well-trained army from conscription, and an efficient industrial complex, they were badly exposed over imports. A Royal Navy blockade on German trade routes took away almost 80 percent of Germany's export market - drastically affecting the economy, but more importantly, ceases imports of war products and food - of which one third was imported from other countries. Six months into the war, and already the Germans had on their hands a severe food shortage crisis. It was in Germany that the shortages were greatest, where civilian deaths from starvation greatly exceeded pre- war estimates. The OHL (General headquarters) came to dominate decision making over both the military and civilian spectrum, which became most apparent when Hindenburg and Ludendorff took control from 1916 onwards. The KRA (Raw Materials Board) was established after Walter Rathenau persuaded the War Ministry in August 1914 to set up the department as needed to make up for the lack of economic planning that had gone into the war, and in order to co- ordinate programs to ensure supply of vital food and raw materials. This included regulation of supplies - of which aimed at rationing and controlling production of resources. ...read more.


The authorities also tried to ban peace moves in the press - and the government never told the German people about the 1915 peace demonstrations in Berlin. International peace efforts were also censored and civilians were also denied information about low troop morale, casualties and desertions. The impact of World War I on both the British and German home- fronts as each nation entered into a state of Total War - was immense. In Britain, as the Defence of Realm Act extended government control over wages, hours, the nature and volume of production, and almost every aspect of civilian lives, the citizens suffered greatly amid a failing economy and deteriorating living and working conditions as prices rose and food shortages worsened. In Germany, the effects of Total War and the impact of the war were much worse. With major blockades on both war supplies and food, the civilians suffered greatly with both living conditions and their civil liberties and freedom. As the war demanded increased effort, the strain on the civilians continued to grow - and from the effects of Total war to the impact of censorship and propaganda, both the Britain and German home- fronts found themselves involved in the First World War more than they ever could have possibly imagined. ...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 tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    Officially the last person to be unemployed in the Soviet Union had found a job in 1932. * There was immense 'black market' in western goods and currency. Tourists would be offered roubles at three or five times the official exchange rate.

  2. The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

    in person to Stalin: There can be no Anglo-American "second front" in Europe in 1942, as FDR had unwisely promised. He cites military unreadiness to launch an invasion by September, the last month of favorable weather. He proposes landings in North Africa and continued saturation bombing of Germany as a

  1. Assessing the impact of the first world war on international relations in the decade ...

    the treaty of Sevres, which guaranteed the Greeks to stay in Turkey for fie years until it was democratized.10 Although the Sultan was ready to accept the treaty term, Turkish nationalities werenot.This is what led to nationalism led by veteran General Mustafa Kemal backed allied assistance to demand the retention

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

    The Spitfire The British government estimated that one million would die in the Blitz but the actual number was sixty thousand and this was because we were so well organised. The government realised that if too many people died we would have severe trouble in the future with a shortage in the workforce and it would face the blame.

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

    By defending your country against the nazi dictatorship you were seen as truly Christian, fighting for liberty, democracy and your king. This is reflected in the increase of church congregations during the war. Also people turned to God in this time of crisis in order to find solace from their

  2. What is "Total War"? Discuss with reference to World War One and World War ...

    The government introduced a huge recruitment campaign. It was also the first time so much propaganda was used. Half a million joined the army in one month! The government tried as hard as possible to encourage men to sign up. There were posters, leaflets, exciting speeches from the politicians etc.

  1. How Did World War II Affect the Lives and Status of Women?

    status of women, and mentions that women eventually achieved some equality in the way they were paid. Source D3 agrees with source D1 by saying how women fought for equality, and how they wanted to work. Source D3 tells us that women were excluded from certain social and occupational spheres,

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

    Women were seen as threat to men's jobs that needed to be controlled not givern rights. By late 1917, early 1918 the war was ending and women were starting to loss their jobs as demand for munitions slowed and men began to return from the war.

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