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Describe the effects of the blitz on everyday life in Britain

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Introduction

Claire Wightman Mrs Lobley History Coursework Describe the effects of the blitz on everyday life in Britain Between September 1940 and 1941 the lifestyle of an average Briton changed forever. As the Germans relentlessly bombed Britain, the government was forced to take tough new measures in order to prevent a successful German invasion, these affected everybody. Due to air raids, Britain effectively had to shut down so there were no large amounts of people together at once to target. The black out was needed so German fighters could not see buildings to bomb and suddenly it was necessary for those in heavily targeted areas to shelter just to survive the night. Without food arriving across the sea the government put rationing in place leading to a less complex diet. However those living in cities experienced most hardship, as they were the main targets, this led to constant anxiety. Unexpectedly Britain now needed the public to pull together and do whatever they could for the war effort, this included air raid wardens, firemen, men to join the army, and for the first time women to help with war production. ...read more.

Middle

Alternatively it also meant that people had to go without luxuries and food became very bland. Some of the main things rationed were, sweets, meat, butter, jam, cheese, fat and eggs. Rationing changed people's lives as instead of money they used coupons from ration books to buy food and had to register with the local grocer so he stocked enough food. Some people turned to growing their own food so they could have more choice in what to eat, others turned to the black market. Rationing also affected furniture, clothing, and petrol so the slogan 'make do and mend' was used and salvage operations took place in order to make the most of what was available. New measures had to be taken to keep people safer during air raids. For example, people were ordered off the streets at night and all cinemas and theatres were closed. These strict precautions meant that most people spent every evening at home. All houses had to have black out on their windows so the German bombers had no targets at night; car headlights had to be turned off and traffic lights were covered to reduce the glare. ...read more.

Conclusion

80,000 joined the land army in an attempt to produce enough food to prevent Britain from starving. They also played a large part in industry helping build planes, bombs, and learning skills i.e. mechanics, engineering, riveting and performing tasks competently and efficiently. Women no longer stayed at home but instead managed to hold down careers and care for the family leading to a feeling of self-worth among them. Women also assumed a large amount of responsibilities for example, largely it was women who organised, the blackout, evacuation, and during rationing it was women who made the family budget in order to ensure there was enough to go round. In conclusion the impact of the evacuation, rationing and fear of the war on the British public's daily lives led to a desire to produce a new society where people were protected from poverty and ill health. Consequently the Beveridge report was published recommending a 'welfare state' where the government maintained more responsibility for its people. It also illustrates the beginnings of women's liberation as it is demonstrated how they performed tasks equally as effective as men and played a vital part in keeping the country running. Consequently we can conclude that the way in which the blitz affected peoples daily lives played a part in how society is today. ...read more.

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