• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11

Q. What impact did the First World War have on the well being ofBritish civilians

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Q. What impact did the First World War have on the well being of British civilians? When constructing an essay based upon the impact that the First World War had upon the wellbeing of British civilians, we primarily have to distinguish how, and with what criteria we will use to judge a Nations health standard and wellbeing. Throughout this essay, it is my aim to evaluate all of the different primary and secondary material available on the topic. Hopefully, this will provide me with enough data to make a subjective opinion of my own. Many historians over the years have bestowed upon us many conflicting thesis and ideologies regarding the impact that the 'Great War' had on the well being of British civilians. In my opinion the most influential publication of the recent times is the study collaborated by Jay Winter. Winter has opted to move away from the orthodox historians view, that the effects of the 'Great War' had detrimental consequences on the health of the nation. Instead Winter states that, " Working-class standard of health actually improved markedly during the war." (1) This sweeping statement has been met with mixed reactions. ...read more.

Middle

In balance, the actual answer probably lies somewhere in between both viewpoints. It is viable that a reduction in childbirths will aid such figures; also for those women who did fall pregnant, improved nutritional levels will play a factor in a trouble free pregnancy. As I continue to investigate mortality rates as a method to distinguish the development of the wellbeing of British civilians. George Newan comments that, "Infant mortality rate is the most sensitive and subtle index of all measures of social welfare." (6) This comment indicates that fluctuations in the frequency of infant deaths will echo the physical state of society. If we are to look closely at the data, it becomes apparent that infant mortality rates decline significantly during the war years. Specific figures show that the mortality rates of infants between 2-3 months fell by 19% between 1913 and 1918. Winter is of the opinion that this evidence, " Presents the most clear-cut indication of the surprisingly favourable effects of war conditions on the survival chances of the civilian population of the country." (7) Numerous historians have attempted to discredit this theory. Thomas McKeown has argued that, " The improved quality of the milk supply was the main reason for the reduction of deaths." ...read more.

Conclusion

If such data were available it would give historians the opportunity to finally reach a conclusion, on whether Winter's theory of 'The Parodox of the Great War' is indeed viable. Until such a time Winter's ideology will undoubtedly stimulate further discussion among social historians. Referencing: (1) J. Winter, The Great War and the British People (1985), p. 106. (2) J. Harris, 'Bureaucrats and Businessmen in British food control,' War and the State: The Transformation of British Government (1982), p. 344 (3) B. Harris, 'The Demographic impact of the First World War: An Anthropomorphic perspective', Journal of the Society for the Social History of Medicine (1993), p. 350. (4) P. Dewey, 'Food Production and Policy in the United Kingdom, 1914-18', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society (1980), p. 73. (5) J. Winter, The Great War and the British People (1985), p. 117. (6) G, de Groot, Blighty: British Society in the Era of the Great War (1996), p. 211. (7) J. Winter, The Great War and the British People (1985), p. 142. (8) J. Winter, The Great War and the British People (1985), p. 142. (9) L, Bryder, 'First World War: Healthy or Hungry?', History Workshop Journal, 24 (1987), p. 150. (10) G, de Groot, Blighty: British Society in the Era of the Great War (1996), p. 215. ...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. Assessing the impact of the first world war on international relations in the decade ...

    In heady mood, the major European State, U.S and Japan (with other countries totaling 65), included with the Kellogg-Briand Pact on August 27th, 1928.The signatories promised to 'renounce war as an instrument of national policy', ( )although no means of enforcing this promise were included in the pact.It is also

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

    This is then backed up as the source progresses to say that 'newspaper versions of life going on normally are grotesque' and that there was, 'No bread, no electricity, no milk, on telephones.' The happy scene created in the previous source is fast becoming to seem less likely, as people

  1. Japan: Post-Occupation Era 1952-80

    in her foreign policy. Improvement of the Soviet-Japanese relations had to seek American approval. Second, there were unsolved border disputes????. At the end of the Second World War the Soviet Union had seized?? four islands north of Hokkaido??????. The Soviet leaders considered the islands to be war spoils???

  2. American History.

    slaves, and couldn't shift to manufacturing or commerce [business decisions made in North]. - Overall, specialization benefited many, but also made it more difficult for farmers to start up [high land prices] and therefore increased the # of tenant farmers.

  1. Assess the impact of the First World War on British society.

    But the long-term impact was that ideas about state run industry such as railways were on the agenda for discussion since it had proved to be successful during the war. With the shortages in food supply coming into the country, the state intervened and controlled the consumption of food by society.

  2. British Civilian Life in World War II.

    These were in different colours according to category - general adult, children, travellers, seamen and pregnant women.6 Even after rationing there was still not enough food so the Government made a campaign called Dig for Victory. This was where everyone planted fruits and vegetables at every place possible so the

  1. 'Propaganda Was an Essential Weapon In the War Against Germany’ - To ...

    In actual fact the tank was not such a successful weapon it was slow and sluggish and often got caught in mud as battles ensued making the tank an ineffective weapon in these situations. However the tank did have its positives it was a very strong vehicle which could withstand heavy fire and arsenal.

  2. History of the United States

    His successor, Lyndon B. JOHNSON, later shouldering the onus of an unpopular war, was unable to build a reservoir of trust among the young. As the large demographic group that had constituted the "baby boom" of the post-World War II years reached college age, it became the "wild generation" of

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