• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12

A Detail on the British Empire Between the Great Wars, from 1918 to 1939.

Extracts from this document...


30-March-2003 History Assignment Roham Gharegozlou, 1oIB History Assignment A Detail on the British Empire Between the Great Wars, from 1918 to 1939 Language: English Subject: History Teacher: Mme Therrode Institution: EABJM Britain between the Wars (1918-1939) Introduction The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28th 1919 and put an official end to one of the most terrible and brutal wars the planet had ever seen. The signing of the treaty was taken to mean as the first step to an era of peace and prosperity for the entire globe, and most definitely for the victor Powers of the war. Britain, along with France, despite being among the victorious in the war, nevertheless suffered great damages directly due to it and because of events following its end. Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister at the time, realized upon coming home from Versailles that "it would be as difficult to win the peace as it had been to win the war"1 The Irish Revolution and Independence Even before the war, tension was high in Ireland between the nationalists, who wanted to become independent, and the unionists, who wanted to remain part of the British Empire. The possibility of civil war was imminent, when World War I broke out and crisis was temporarily averted by representatives of both sides supporting, for the most part, the British war effort. One splinter nationalist group however, refused to support the war and in 1916 set up an 'Easter Uprising' where Dublin was taken and Ireland declared independent. The uprising failed, however, largely due to lack of popular support, and the revolutionaries were dealt with extremely severely by the British. This enraged Irish masses and set the stage for the Revolution. In 1918, Irish Members of Parliament (led by Sinn Fein, the largest Irish group at the time) refused to take their seats in Parliament and instead declared a free Irish state with Eamon de Valera as its leader. ...read more.


Mine owners could therefore see only one way of drawing profit out of their ventures: the cutting of wages. Miners, however, were obstinately and bitterly opposed to this, and called a strike. The miners had beforehand arranged a sort of Union alliance with the Railway and Transport workers called the Triple Alliance, calculated to increase the power of all three. When these wage cuts were announced and the strike called by the miners, however, their two allies refused to go on strike themselves, and the miners were forced to go back to work at their lower wages. In 1925, coal prices dropped again, and owners now proposed an increase the hours of worked per day from seven to eight, in addition to another wage cut. Here the triple alliance kept together, and the government, led by Baldwin, granted a subsidy to keep things as they were for nine months. Baldwin, however, did not intend to subsidize miners forever and so began making preparations for a second strike, including the creation of a volunteer force called the OMS (Organization for the Maintenance of Supplies) that would keep the country going in case of a large strike like the one anticipated. The miners also made preparations: they arranged for the support of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the body representing all trade unions. On May 1st 1926, when the subsidy ended, even though the TUC did not really want to go on strike, a General Strike was called and put into effect. The General Strike In this strike, in addition to the miners, workers from myriad different industries such as chemical workers, printers, engineers, and shipbuilders came out, grinding all industry and transport to a complete halt. The OMS set to work as planned however, and kept the country going at a more or less steady rate. Nevertheless it could not keep things going forever, and so the morale of the strikers was extremely high. ...read more.


On the social front, progress was made, but low funds and financial woes restricted any extra spending: in fact at one point in the early thirties, 'Public Aid' was cut down, with the dole especially being the main target. This was replaced for the most part in 1934, however. Also, the vote was given to women and all adult men, causing a giant increase in electorate. All in all, this was a period where all of Britain's weaknesses, especially in the fields of economy and trade, were all shown clearly and made worse. It was truly during this time that Britain's decline from world prominence was made clear, even though at the time of world war II it was still considered a Great Power, the British Empire's power and prestige had been worn away to a mere shadow of its former glory. Bibliography "Britain", Other Relevant Articles Microsoft(r) Encarta(r) Encyclopedia Deluxe 2002 (c) 1997-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved. "Years of Change, European History 1890-1990" by Robert Wolfson, John Laver. (c)2001 John Laver, Robert Wolfson. All Rights Reserved. "Making History- World History from 1914 to the Present" by Christopher Culpin, (c)1996 Christopher Culpin, All Rights Reserved. "A History of the 20th Century World - Britain and Western Europe" by R.D.H. Seaman, (c)1983 R.D.H. Seaman, All Rights Reserved. "Britain", Spartacus Educational, http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Britain.html The History Channel "Britain between the Wars: Poverty or Affluence?", based on an article by Professor Michael Rose in History Review, no. 4 BBC History "The economy between the wars: the Depression 1918 - 1939", http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/timelines/britain/cen_econ_wars.shtml (c)2002-2003 British Broadcasting Corporation 1 Microsoft(r) Encarta(r) Reference Library 2003. (c) 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. 2 Christopher Culpin, Making History (1996) 3 a regular sum of money paid by the government to people who are unemployed. At this time in Britain an unemployed worker received fifteen weeks of unemployment pay, and then went on the dole, a paltry sum of money. After the 1931 cuts, this was barely enough to live on. 4 R.D.H. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. Assess the Impact of the First World War on British Politics by 1918.

    war issues which emerged during the conflict as it was the Conservatives who pre war had been anti-German, and pro conscription, greater armaments and a tougher foreign policy. The coalition governments were genuine partnerships, and especially in the Lloyd George coalition Tory leaders held most positions of key authority.

  2. The Creation of the Welfare State

    Therefore, in an attempt to tackle poverty was a failure. 'Squalor', or housing in some ways was an improvement, such as when the government introduced the Town and Country Planning Acts and the New Towns Acts, which provided shelter for the poor.

  1. Do you agree that labour was "betrayed" by Ramsay MacDonald in 1931?

    He insisted on making cuts because he had to regain Britain's finances and so by doing this he was not merely betraying unemployed people but in fact he was doing this for the welfare of the whole nation. These cuts proved to be crucial as many people would look at

  2. Did Ramsay MacDonald betray his party in 1931?

    This shows a great deal of courage. It has to be remembered that was impossible for him to consider one group of people, as his responsibilities were to the whole nation.

  1. How far do Sources A-G support the view that Ramsay MacDonald deserves to be ...

    a breakthrough he did want one, this would suggest any slight leanings from MacDonald to the right would be to right wing for him. To further the idea that he may be a Communist he states, "The people are in just the mood to accept a new and bold attempt to deal with radical evils."

  2. The Rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire.

    The Ottoman Empire lasted well into the current Century. While not as strong as it once was, the Ottoman Empire was a force to be reckoned with right up until the beginning of the 20th century. In fact some historians argue the Empire only died in Turkey after WW2, when the government changed to a more European model.

  1. Was the most important reason for the collapse of the coalition government in 1922 ...

    but this is a political achievement as this requires negotiation skills and also contained the problem to a certain degree. The situation was difficult to appease both parties so he did the best he could to compromise between them, so this is the best possible decision he could make.

  2. British History Coursework: The Irish Famine 1845-1849

    protested that: "Even the good landlords are going to bad, and the bad are going to the worst extremities of cruelty and tyranny, while both are suffered by a truckling [submissive] and heartless government to make a wilderness of the country and a waste of human life" The attitude of

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