The Home Front in World War One Essay
The Home Front in World War One
Why do the sources show different attitudes to recruitment?
Source A is a recruitment poster from 1914 which tries to encourage men to sign up for the war effort. It shows what I assume to be a wife, daughter and son gazing out the window as the man of the house walks out to join the war. This is obviously issued b the government and therefore is used as propaganda. It would no doubt have been effective as many people soon joined up.
Source B is yet another poster, meant to encourage people to join up. However this time it is not meant to be out of heroism, it is meant to be out of revenge. It describes a battle which took place in Scarborough. The poster shows that many people were killed and in a brutal way. This is meant to strike deep in the hearts of the British soldiers, making them want to “pay back” the Germans for what they did to their family and friends. It also makes out the Germans as heartless barbarians. It is again, obviously a propaganda poster issued by the government.
Source C is a picture of queues of people waiting outside a “Army Recruiting Office” waiting to enlist. However I do not think this picture is very accurate as all the people in it are looking at the camera. Personally I believe this picture was set up to show other men how many people were signing up for the war and hopefully make them feel bad about not doing it. I also think this is proven by the obvious sign on the top that says “Army Recruiting Office.” If this picture was not set up, the sign might not be so obvious but it is made to stand out to show the viewer what it is and to make sure u know. Therefore I think this source is very unreliable.
Source D is an extract from the text book “Modern World History” by the historian, B. Walsh, published in 1996. It states that the recruitment campaign was very successful and by 1916 two million people had signed up. This was written for textbook for people to learn from so it was probably correct and if it is not, it was unintentional. Obviously the historian is working from other sources that have been found and written but there is nothing that would mean it is incorrect. He would have no motive to lie. It is also quite reliable as it is statistics and therefore can’t lie as easily as for example a soldiers diary extract.
Source E is an extract from the tribunal testimony of Clifford Allen in 1916. He firmly states that he does not belief in war and clearly shows that he will not be a part of it. This source is different from sources A, B and C as it is against conscription whereas the others have all been for it and encouraging to sign up willingly. However I think this source is very reliable as he would have reason to lie, because as he was against conscription he would have been imprisoned. But in fact he said the very thing that got him imprisoned, therefore I think it is the honest truth.
I think the sources show a different attitude to recruitment because as the war went on, people saw how bad the war was and knew that the really didn’t want to sign up for it. Therefore the government had to try a lot harder to encourage people to join through propaganda.
Explain the effects of World war One on the way people lived in Britain between 1914 and 1918
People were affected by World War One in many ways at home. Most of these changes were made by the government. The immediate task was to get the people at home behind the war. They did this by trying to make them hate the Germans. This was successfully achieved by posters, some true, some not. Dora (Defence of the Realm Act) also changed many things at home. Dora was basically a set of rules that told people what they could not do. These rules included things like: Do not fly a kite, light bonfires or fireworks, use invisible ink when writing abroad. As the war continued the government brought in many other measures such as not letting people but rounds of drinks in a pub and that beer should be watered down. Another big change brought on by the war in Britain was food shortages. Food supply was alright until 1916, but towards the end of that year and beginning of 1917, German Submarines were stopping supply ships from getting through.
Because of this, food prices shot up dramatically. Dora was used to try and prevent food shortages, but it became obvious that these measures were not enough to reduce the amount of food being eaten or change the amount of food being produced. A voluntary ration scheme was introduced. People were asked to try and limit themselves to four pounds of meat and three quarters of a pound of sugar each week. The King and Queen themselves followed this ration. However the campaign failed and shortages continued. Poorer people could not afford to buy meat and sugar and their diet usually consisted of just bread before the rationing, while the rich were able to buy food as they wanted off the black market. Due to the shortages, people tried to grow their own food.
Parks and tennis courts were turned into allotments where they could grow food. Eventually compulsory rationing was introduced. This once again, limited the amount of food people had, making it even harder to stay out of hunger. Soon factories suffered from lack of workers as the men went off to fight in the war. The government in the end had to accept that women had to do the job. This was the first time it was acknowledged that women would play a vital role in winning the war. Women were soon employed in munitions factories, textile factories and dress making factories. When conscription was introduced this forced the factories to be solely run by women. This I think shows a great difference in life before, during and after the war. The war changed many things that could not be changed back. Women gaining their independence is just one of many changes stemming from the war.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 7 September 2017
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