• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the effects between 1914 and 1921 of the First World War on the civilian population of one European country

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the effects between 1914 and 1921 of the First World War on the civilian population of one European country The First World War was a military conflict which transformed from a local European war to a 'Great War' connecting thirty-two nations. It was the first "total war" in which triumph was determined by a country's economic and social resources as upon the military skills of her armies at the battlefields. Throughout the essay I will assess how the lives of Germany's civilian population had been affected by the incapacitating effects of British blockade, the results of food shortage, a new gender emerging in the industries and war aftermath. During the war, British blockades were built around Germany to stop any imports into the country. It was undoubtedly a success for Britain as it brought an economy of chronic shortages for Germany and led to problems with her supplies of food and raw materials. The food problem was severe since Germany did not have enough agricultural production to feed her population. She had to import these primarily by sea but the blockades prevented this from happening. After the outbreak of war, German trade with USA, Canada, Australia and Latin American virtually stopped. ...read more.

Middle

The weekly wage of workers doubled however prices increased by four times. German civilians entered the war with pride and expected victory but this unpredicted situation lowered public morale vastly and lost their respect for the government. Apart from the regular class citizens, the upper-class were also feeling very discontent because luxury goods like champagne, coca-cola and caviar were short in supply. In October 1914, there was a serious shortage of grain; therefore the government authorized the baking of "war bread" which consisted of 80% grain and 20% potato starch. To rest this severe problem of food shortage, bread-rationing was introduced by the government in 1915, and then followed by all other foodstuffs. The government provided limited amount of food to the civilians each day at low prices. Tragically the failure of potato harvest in 1916 caused greater suffering as it was their main source of food. The winter of 1916 to 1917 was known as the 'Turnip Winter' because turnips were used the only abundant alternatives of potatoes. Turnips were used as animal foodstuff and the thought of eating them repelled many as they were the food of cows and pigs. This shortage of food as a result brought on malnutrition-related diseases, such as tuberculosis, rickets, dysentery and typhoid fever. ...read more.

Conclusion

The war had become a financial burden for the country; it was believed that it cost 36 million to conduct the war per day at the beginning but 146 million towards the end. The Government no longer had reserves to finance this conflict. Finally in 1917, the Reichstag voted for immediate peace with Allies. Germany was made to sign the Treaty of Versailles, a peace settlement. The settlement was unfair for Germany as she was blamed for the cause of the war, lost all her colonies, paid reparation of 6600 billion pounds and to be disarmed. I agree with Taylor that the settlement was "indelible disgrace" for the German civilians and they were so shocked by the war that they almost had near total disrespect for the government. The war led to economic disaster and a serious loss of man power. It was estimated that over 2,000,000 German lives were lost in the First World War. Apart from its negative impacts, the government gave women the right to vote in 1918 to show gratitude for their war effort. To conclude, the effects of the First World War on the German civilian population were almost wholly negative. I believe that the British blockades were the main cause for German suffering and the Treaty of Versailles had tremendous harmful effects on the civilians for the next twenty years. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Treaty Versailles Essay

    BBC History. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/origins_01.shtml>. 10 "World War I." Wikipedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I#Causes>. 11 "The Causes of World War One." First World War. <http://www.firstworldwar.com/origins/causes.htm>. 12 "World War I." Wikipedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I#Causes>. 13 "The Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles." U.S. Department of State. <http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/wwi/89875.htm>. 14 "IB History PowerPoint Notes."

  2. The Grand Bazaar is the public place of the Istanbul and even all the ...

    The location of Bedestens also determined according to what was sold in them. For example the gate of the Sandal Bedesten looked to the Bursa side from which the silk came. The Bazaar also located in the neighborhood of the Golden Horn, the popular Harbor of those.

  1. The cold war - the conferences and the start of the cCold War

    Also, armed guards were posted at regular intervals along the concrete wall. Families were divided, some people couldn't go to work, and there was chaos and confusion. Many people tried simply to cross the wall from East to West and hundreds were killed in the next three decades 2)

  2. The Effects of the Great Depression on Canada.

    Politics: To cope with the Depression, new political parties soon emerged, the first of which was the Conservative Party, elected from 1930 to 1935 under prime minster R.B. Bennet. He was originally from New Brunswick, and grew up to be a self-made millionaire as a corporate lawyer and businessman in Calgary.

  1. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    In Palestinian eyes, this law authorised the theft of a million Arabs' property. Palestinians were encouraged to attempt to reclaim their possessions in Israel; 5000 unarmed Palestinians were killed by Israel between 1949 and 1956 for doing so * In July 1950, the Knesset passed the Law of Return which

  2. To what extent were economic conditions the predominant factor in the proliferation and manifestation ...

    on the electorate that played an increasingly substantial role in a state that to an extent depended upon elected representative institutions to govern. After the implementation of the Syllabus of Errors (1864) and Declaration of Papal Infallibility (1871), explicit expressions of Rome?s determination to expand its sphere of influence, Bismarck

  1. Extended Essay - The Role of a UN-Secretary General to Achieve World Peace: The ...

    He then sent a cable to inform Premier Castro of Cuba and in turn, received an invitation to Havana.[26] The crisis was swiftly expected to come to an end. 1. Third Phase: Mission to Cuba All optimism was shattered when Khrushchev sent an agreement on 27th October to fulfill U

  2. What caused World War 1?

    to ally with them, for example, although Italy was not allied to Britain it chose not to become involved in a war against the nation out of gratitude for the role Britain played in the unification of Italy. In 1979 the Dual Alliance was formed between Austria-Hungary and Germany, originally as a secret treaty.

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