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Explain why the government was concerned about the morale (spirit and attitude) of the British people in the autumn of 1940.

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Introduction

Q 4 - Explain why the government was concerned about the morale (spirit and attitude) of the British people in the autumn of 1940 Source E is an extract from a secret report to the government by the Ministry of Information on the 10th of November 1940. The extract describes how during air raids 'people run madly' for shelter from the bombs. It gives a sense of complete bedlam and clearly conveys people are desperate to leave London, the East End, 'mothers and young children hysterical'. It is important to note this report was not published as it was only meant for Governments eyes and use. We could therefore infer perhaps that the source is more reliable in that it was not something which had to be made to suit to get past censorship, it was the truth. Source F is an extract from the diary of Harold Nicholson who new several members of government on the 17th September 1940. The source speaks about the feelings of bitterness in the East End of London, especially towards the Royal Family and how 'everyone is worried'. ...read more.

Middle

The final source (G) gives a different opinion to those of the other 2 although it is saying morale is high as is community spirit it does state there was 'widespread fear'. Obviously this is not what the government want - they need people to feel safe in the governments hands and to be reassured war is the best option and Britain has competent leaders who are working the best for peoples safety so they deliver the best quality when they are at work as possible. So why is it the government are concerned about morale? The government relied on the media to lift the moral of the country, otherwise all support for the war would be lost and all the industries that were needed for the war effort would not be able to produce anything without the workers. The government were aware of this which is why they were so concerned about morale. The confidence of the country was important for the vital production of war materials. If the public were depressed and scared of a town or city since it was being bombed they would move. ...read more.

Conclusion

The government reported Dunkirk as a heroic rescue and only reported the positive things about the Blitz, such as brave rescues and how many enemy planes had been shot down. There had also recently occurred the Battle of Britain and German successes in France which had all taken there toll. In conclusion we can now see why public morale on the home front was so important to the government and how the problem was tackled. Events going on affected not only people's spirit but their ability to function too as the sources showed. The government relied on the home front to not only keep themselves going but the ammunitions for the troops coming as well. Basically if it were not for those people there would not be a war at all. Therefore it was vital for the government to keep them on their side. They did this by use of media. The media reinforced community spirit; it made people continue in their everyday struggles. Each person in Britain was convinced they were fighting Hitler in his or her own way. The media was responsible for keeping the public fighting on. ...read more.

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