What were the consequences of the First World War for the British people 1914-24?

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Part B

What were the consequences of the First World War for the British people 1914-24?

The British people had to face many consequences due to the fact of the First World War was during 1914-24. For the British people there were many changes in society, economically, foreign policy, and the state, women’s role in British society, the change in the political system and the trauma of the war and how this affected the British people. I will also be considering viewpoints of famous historians such as Arthur Marwick, Gerard De’Groot and many more and what they felt the consequences of the First World War bought upon the British people.

For the British people there were many changes in society from 1914-24. The First World War affected everyone in Britain for example there were important effects on the labour party as they started to gain ground on the liberal party. The state intervention was greater then ever before they were a huge amount of conscription and food was being rationed. There were important steps forward in the emancipation of women, as the employment of women rose when the men went to war. There were major steps forward in the move towards full democracy as working class men were given the right to vote. Education was being improved as the working class people also got better living conditions, there was also a stimulus to aviation and broadcasting as there was a major growth of mass media and technology.

There were also many downfalls in British society due to the world war as there was an appalling loss of life and limb as many people were killed or had major disabilities. There was a serious economic effect on Britain’s world position as Britain had enormous debts to pay to the USA. These economic effects also affected many different social classes as taxation was implemented. There was also less respect for authority as people in Britain became more ready to challenge there ideologies. These were many changes to British society due to world war one as we can see if effected everyone in Britain during this time but there were many more drastic changes to come in society for the people of Britain as women started to play a bigger role in society as the female balance rose from 595 per thousand in 1911 to 638 per thousand in 1921. Many women were also widows these figures rose from 38 per thousand to 43 per thousands. Unemployment figures rose from 300, 00 to over 1million by 1920 and by 1921 it almost doubled to 2million but 1.6 million people were wounded an unable to work. But war also prompted democratic progress as the Representation of People Act 1918 gave the vote to all men over 21 and women over 30. They were 21 million electors in 1918 compared to 7.5million male electors in 1910. The First World War also arguably helped break down traditional social assumptions. For example class divisions and attitudes to women were less entrenched in interwar periods. Many state benefits were extended during the wartime for example the provision of school meals. The British people also saw income tax rise dramatically to a standard rate of 6 shillings by 1919 and it applied to a much lower threshold of incomes over £130 per annum. But 3.5 million orphans and widows got war pensions or allowance and many husbands died during the war. There was also a serious decline in housing due to fewer being built yet demand increasing. This promote the rise to the “Homes fit for heroes” campaign, but the government had improved maternity care and it introduced British summer time and afternoon closing of public housing and cigarette smoking became more popular and beer rose in price.

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Gerard De’Groot mentions “ since working class housing was already in a poor state before the war, the situation grew even more appalling during the 4years of neglect” De’Groot feels more should have been done by the government to help the British people and Arthur Marwick says that the housing act and education act, mother an child welfare act were all due to come eventually and that the government introduced it for a better post war world and the back log of problems caused by the disruptions of war to society had its many ups and downs for the ...

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