The Impact Of The First World War On Britain And Germany

2201 words - 9 pages

Examine the effects of war and the fear of war on the civilian population of two countries during World War one.The First World War was 'Total' in nature and was the first traumatic war Great Britain experienced. One of the features of the war leading up to Britain's involvement was the use of propaganda posters to divert all attention to the War from the home front. The home front was defined as the active support of a nation for its military at war from the homes of the civilian population. One element of the home front was food rationing. Due to the scarcity of food, gas, sugar, chocolate, rubber and other goods a new rationing system was initiated which ensured a regular and sufficient food supply. Even though there was degree of scarcity this was established in order to help out the home front economically so that they wouldn't run out of resources. Another element of the Home Front during World War I occurred in the British Shell Crisis during 1915 when Lloyd George was appointed, recognition that the whole economy would have to be geared into war if the Allies were to prevail on the Western Front. Another essential part of the Home Front was the use of posters to influence peoples' decisions on what to eat, what occupations to take (Women were used as nurses and in munitions factories), and to change the attitude of support towards the war effort. This began on August 1914 where the sudden involvement of Britain was called upon to defend Belgium and counter German aggression. Even though there were many people who wanted war there were also those who opposed it. They realised that the government had control over all aspects of their daily lives and it lead many people to distrust politicians and officials. This continued on till May 1915 and the 'Shell Scandal' made people realise that the progress of war was deteriorating. Overall the war had an impact on all aspects of British life including economic, social and political aspects making it a total war. This made people realize that the war was not going to be over by the Christmas of 1914.As Britain prepared for total war it realised that in order to stand against a defiant German Army it had to mobilise its own military very quickly. One of the key points of Great Britain's war effort was that in order to have enough resources they needed three civilian workers for every soldier on the battlefield.Attacks in 1915 on Britain by German Zeppelins and Gotha bombers made it clear that the whole economy would have to be geared for war if Britain and her allies were to win the war. Then in the following year of May 1916 the government instituted universal conscription of all males from 18 till 41. Those in essential services and conscientious objectors where exempted as unfit as well as females who had to cover the jobs of all the males that had left to fight in the war. Under the new government farms, factories, mines, transport, distribution and the media were under their control. At home...

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