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With the introduction of conscription in 1916, many jobs formally male dominated were open to women because the men had left to fight in the war

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January 2001 Question Paper 3(a) In October 1915 the Derby Scheme was introduced; all men had to register and they were put into categories of age, marital status and occupation, under this scheme the young, unmarried and unskilled men were enlisted. In 1916 conscription was properly introduced in Britain to increase the size of the army. (b) During the course of the First World War, Britain was geared towards the aim of winning the war. Women of all social classes were involved in the war effort. This was the first time that many women in the upper-class and middle-class had experienced paid work; contemporaries would have considered this unsuitable in peacetime. There was still a clear distinction between classes, for example in munitions factories the women who put the explosives in the shells would be from the working-class, while the middle-class women would be a supervisor. Therefore women from the lower class got fewer opportunities than women in a higher class. With the introduction of conscription in 1916, many jobs formally male dominated were open to women because the men had left to fight in the war; women took over jobs such as working in agriculture in the woman's land army or in munitions factories, which were essential for running the country and fighting in the war. ...read more.


Prior to the outbreak of the war there were 130 railway companies, but when the government took control the individual companies were unified by the Railway Executive Committee. It was imperative for the government to take over the rail service because before the war the trains were unreliable and The government set up a ministry of Shipping; which ordered more merchant ships to be built, a convey system was adopted where battle ships would travel with the merchant ships, and coordinating the activities of the docks. Another important area of state intervention was food production. At first the government simply left the distribution of food to the free market, but by mid-1916 the shortage of food in the country had become a serious problem, and farmers were taking advantage of this by raising their prices; Lloyd George set up a Ministry of Food under Lord Davenport, to combat this problem. In 1917, the British government decided to ration food, but Davenport insisted the prices of food and rationing should be left to the shopkeepers. It was not until Davenport was replaced by Lord Rhondda, that the rationing of food and prices was properly controlled. Prices of bread and potatoes were kept down so that everyone could afford some food. By 1918, sugar, meat, butter, jam and margarine were rationed. ...read more.


The state also controlled existing establishments; for example by November 1918 there were 20,000 munitions factories under the government's control. In addition, in these controlled establishments profits were limited to pre-war levels plus one-fifth. The government had to control these industries because with the requirement for their goods, employers could raise the prices high, which would not have been beneficial to the war effort. At the start of the war many men volunteered to join the army, in September 1914 450,000; however by December 1915 this figure had dropped to just 55,000. To increase the amount of men in the army, conscription was introduced in January 1916. This was the first time the state forced thousands of men to join the army and it was a highly controversial issue, which caused Asquith and many other Liberal MP's to split from the co-illation government. State intervention was necessary during the war, as inflation had risen so high that the economy could not function without the government's help. The amount of state control was remarkable; it encompassed all Britain's basic industries, agriculture and transport. State control also extended to social issues such as labour placements in key jobs and forcing some men to go to war. Without state intervention Britain would not have been able to continue fighting in the war as the country would have been in serious debt and there would not have been enough military supplies to run it efficiently. ?? ?? ?? ?? Gemma O'Donoghue 12.5 ...read more.

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