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

Using the information in the sources and your own knowledge, in what ways were the lives of the people at home affected by the First World War?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Carly Harwood Coursework - Assignment One - The British Homefront Using the information in the sources and your own knowledge, in what ways were the lives of the people at home affected by the First World War? War was declared on Germany on 2nd August 1914. A world war like this had never been experienced before and many people did not know what to expect. Many of these people thought that it would be over by Christmas of the same year. But it wasn't. It affected the British people in many different ways. This is what I am aiming to investigate. The most obvious and immediate affect of the war was recruitment. Traditionally Britain had relied on voluntary recruitment, and the government decided this should continue, backed by an official recruitment campaign, e.g. posters, leaflets, stirring speeches by government ministers and regular stories of German atrocities etc. These things proved very effective to begin with; many people were encouraged by the recruitment campaign and thought it was their duty to remain loyal to their country. They were proud of their country which the Germans were seen to be threatening. Half a million young men signed up in the first month. An example of the posters used to encourage the men to sign up is the one in Source B. It was issued in 1914 and features Lord Kitchener, a successful former soldier who later became the Secretary of State for War, pointing at the reader. ...read more.

Middle

There is evidence of this in Source A, written by Clive Emsley (a modern historian), in 'New Perspectives' magazine in 1990. In this secondary data he explains that 'many of the poor found themselves in permanent employment... and wages generally kept up with wartime inflation', leading to more money being saved and spent on food. Also the food that was being bought was healthier; fruit and vegetables were not rationed where as sugar, butter, beer and meat (all high-calorie foods) were. Emsley also mentions there was a decline in death rate, particularly in infant deaths, suggesting people were healthier because of their better diet. DORA was also responsible for giving the government the right to control the newspapers and other mass media that might influence people's opinions towards the war. Despite the problems of the first few months on the Western Front, the British people were only told about great British victories or heroic resistance. They were not told about the sinking of the British battleship HMS Audacious in October 1914 for example. It was not until November 1916 that the government allowed approved journalists to be at the Front. Reports focused on good news. This was censorship. If anybody resisted, forced censorship was used. If independent papers didn't publish balanced news or even anti-war articles, they were closed down (as The Tribunal was), or monitored closely (like The Daily Herald). ...read more.

Conclusion

It shows how women's working wasn't always welcomed. After studying the different aspects of the British Homefront during WWI, I think the lives of people at home changed greatly. Recruitment and conscription meant that millions of men joined the armed forces to fight for their country, and millions of these men were killed, wounded or went missing, leaving Britain without a generation of men. Both home and away there were positive and negative effects. Away from home there was heroic resistance but much death and horror. At home, diets and therefore health improved with rationing, and women became more independent and had more money as the government encouraged them to fill job vacancies created as men left their jobs to fight. But they did face discrimination in the workplace. And at home, due to censorship, the British public saw little of the terrible war conditions. With the help of DORA, the government could control what the public saw and how they saw it. This appears to have helped the war effort, but it annoyed many people who felt it was their right to know what was happening but were still kept in the dark. In my opinion, I think the government used their power to change people's lives for the better in the circumstances, and despite the huge numbers of casualties, the prejudice women experienced and the shocking horror of the war that was kept from the public, people at home did benefit, and as their lives changed, the war effort became as success. ...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. Causes of WWI.

    After the failure of the German offensive, both sides made various local attempts at achieving breakthroughs. Most of these attempts failed due to the effects of modern weapons. The First World War was the first war to use poison gas as a military weapon.

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

    or any other woman, would want to settle back to the trivial ways of being a housewife. She talks of stacks of dirty dishes that, 'now got done when I had the time' This is yet again a little dig at the way of which her life used to be lived.

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

    into despair and admitted defeat to surrender, particularly in the battle of Britain where the war was brought to the home front. British soldiers are often stereotyped as courageous and determined this was partially due to the sparkling speeches and propaganda produced during the war in order to boost a

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

    However, despite the government's many efforts, production continued to drop and shortages increased. For example, from 1913 to 1917, agricultural production had dropped by 50 to 70 percent and Industrial production by 30 to 40 percent. The nitrate began to be used for munitions, and therefore became unavailable for fertilizer.

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

    Posters were also stuck in newspapers to produce propaganda to influence people's views. Newspapers were truly the national source of information available. In the news were articles talking about the latest war event or conquest, however the facts which regarded events which had not particularly gone Britains way were not at all mentioned.

  2. Using the information in the sources and your own knowledge, were contemporaries correct in ...

    want to return to their homes, this coward ness the opposite of lion characteristics, but would a lion stay in such conditions. During the battle of the Somme, the only battle that casualties were extremely high. During the first day of the war, after the seven-day bombardment of British artillery over German lines.

  1. Why did so many Britons volunteer to fight in the First World War?

    Conscription to the army at the time was politically unacceptable, Kitchener decided to raise a new army of volunteers, and on 6th August Parliament sanctioned an increase in the army strength of 500,000 men. Kitchener then issued his first call to arms of 100,000 men.

  2. WW1 Sources Question: War Recruitment Propaganda.

    It clearly states that if any information is written on the card it will be destroyed. The fact that soldiers can only enter two dates and sign the card means that the government did not want any information to leave the trenches.

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