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World War One Sources Questions

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Introduction

Lindsey Plant 11ah September 2001 History Coursework 1). From my knowledge of the first world war I know that sources A and B were published before 1916 whereas source C was published after 1916. The most prominent difference between the posters which ensures that source C was published after 1916 is that sources A and B were published by the British government and source C is an American poster published by the American government, encouraging American soldiers to join the American army. This means that source C was published after 1916 as America did not join the Allies and enter the war until 1917 so therefore the poster was obviously published after this date. Also it is clear that sources A and B were published before 1916 as we know that after 1916 the numbers of men volunteering for the British army dropped so conscription was introduced. Therefore when conscription was introduced in 1916 posters like A and B which tried to persuade men to volunteer to join the British army were no longer needed as it was compulsory for men fit and healthy enough to sign up. 2). Sources A, B and C all share a number of similarities when compared as well as a number of differences. All three are recruitment posters published during WW1 encouraging people to sign up for their countries army and fight during the war. All three posters were also issued by the same side - the allies, however sources A and B were published by the British government whereas C was published by the American government. The posters were also issued at different times during the war, A and B were published before 1916 and also before conscription was introduced in Britain and source C after America had joined the war and therefore after 1916. Another similarity shared by all of these posters is that they are all government propaganda posters. ...read more.

Middle

I feel that this source is bias as it is trying to promote bravery and courageousness which is what people wanted to see. Source G is not particularly reliable but is more reliable than source F. Again source G is propaganda which is aimed to keep moral high and again it would've been censored as it was published in the newspaper and therefore it would have been bias and may have been and changed if it was not written specifically for the newspaper. Again the fighting is glorified with descriptions of the ball and words such as 'the fear of death before them is but an empty name' which make the soldiers seem brave and is what the public wanted to hear although after seeing such a slaughter I doubt this was true. However source G does give some idea of the death in the war. It mentions a 'hail of slaughter' and the scale of death by saying 'where blood is poured like water' which does give some information and idea of what the conditions were like. Sources F and G were also written directly from a British point of view as they were published in British newspapers and therefore would have had the intention to promote the British army and war efforts which proves that they were bias. 7b). These two sources are obviously not 100% reliable as they were written after the war had finished. This also means that they were written from memory and therefore may not be totally correct as things may have been forgotten or their memories may have been influenced by other things that they had seen before they wrote their accounts. These accounts may also be bias or exaggerated. Source J is written by someone who is totally against all war so therefore the account might be bias against war as the writer would want it to deter people from war. ...read more.

Conclusion

However the historian in 1918 would have more first hand knowledge of the war and use different sources such as more first hand accounts which would be fresher in peoples memories whereas a first hand account from someone who experienced the war 50 years ago would not be as accurate as important details may have been forgotten. Yet accounts given very soon after the war may be bias as the bitterness of the war and particular horrific memories would still be very fresh in peoples minds. Also an account from straight after the war would almost certainly be bias and from a British point of view against Germany whereas a historian writing later could research about the German side of the war much better and also take accounts from Germans and compare the similarities and differences between the two sides. I feel that this especially would make a huge difference to an account of the war. An historian writing later would have the added benefit of hindsight and would be able to look back and reflect on things that happened during the war as well as having much more power to criticise than a historian in 1918. Also a later historian could compare WWI with more modern day wars and access ways in which the war could've been fought better. I feel that a historian from 1918 would've had a more detailed and specific account of the war as he would've been able to get more specific details which may have been forgotten in time. However a later historian would probably have been able to bring the war together much better as a whole as he would have wider information and more freedom. I feel that both accounts written in 1918 and at a much later date would be very useful when trying to find out about WW1 but I think that they would be useful in quite different ways to each other. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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