Was Britain Changed Forever By The Impact Of World War One? Free essay! Download now
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Was Britain Changed Forever By The Impact Of World War One?
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| Words: 1900 | Submitted: 06-Jun-2010
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DescriptionWas Britain Changed Forever By The Impact Of World War One?
Before the war women’s lives were taken up by working at home and looking after children. Women weren’t expected to take leadership positions, and voting wasn’t an option for women either. While women were at home, the men were away at work. However some women did work, they focused more on the jobs which involved dressmaking, cleaning, working as a maid or domestic servant in wealthier households. There was however some women were fighting for equal rights between genders; these people were called the suffragettes.
As most of the men had gone to war and left their jobs behind them, somebody had to fill in the gaps in industry and transport. This was the woman’s role now. In the source it shows many women working in a crammed factory. This factory was used for manufacturing munitions in 1917. The munitions factories often included toxic fumes, and very little pay. Now that the women were working, the classes of the women would vary in the factories. Many lower class women were already working, but now the middle and upper class women had joined them. The upper and middle class women wouldn’t normally be found in the munitions factories, they would normally take the farming and nursing job opportunities. Recruitment posters were used in massive amounts, and a journey to the local shop would include passing many of these posters. The posters were used to encourage women to get involved with work, and ‘help’ their country while the men are serving at war. Women’s lives had improved in the sense that they were becoming more involved with everyday life, and in most cases earning a living for the first time. Some people were trying to allow women access the right to vote. An example of one of these people is Herbert Asquith, before the war he was the Prime Minister. He made a speech in 1917 about allowing women the right to vote. In his speech he mentioned the work they were doing ‘wherever we turn, we see them doing work which three years ago we would have regarded as exclusively ‘men’s work’’ this quote is showing appreciation for the women and he seems to be telling the men, and people in charge of the country, to cut the women some slack; because they’ve worked for the right to vote, and helped the men out immensely, along with the whole country.
After the war, women’s lives would have been better than it was before the First World War began, but not quite as good as they were during the war itself. As the few men returned home after the war they went back to their original jobs, and normally pushed the women that had taken his place, aside. The roles of women however didn’t go completely back to the way they were. More women did work, more than before the war, but less than it was during the war. Women’s pay was much lower than the average male salary. The suffragettes were still campaigning for total equality throughout both genders.
The role of the government in Britain before the war had very limited involvement; this was otherwise known as Laissez Faire. This would mean that the Government would do extremely little to help the poorer community. Although towards the war, the government became more involved all the time. The Prime Minister at the time, Herbert Asquith started to look after the ‘ordinary’ people in the country by introducing new social policies.
In 1914, the war broke out. The Government decided that more control over Britain’s lives and the economy in order to ensure that Britain won the war. The alterations that the Government had made from 1903 onwards, kept the people of Britain happy, by introducing Pensions for the elderly population. This kept the elderly people believing which helped with the war effort. The workman’s compensation act ensured that workers would be guaranteed compensation if injured or caught a disease. This helped stop workers going on strike and therefore not needing as much financial support from the Government, as most of the money not used on the poorer households and communities would go to support the war. A national Insurance act was also introduced not long before the war, this helped the sick and injured get cheaper or even free healthcare. This helped improve the nursing facilities, which gave support to the wounded soldiers, and citizens with very low income. The Government had to make sure that the army were satisfied with the numbers of soldiers they had were enough. After all the army were they’re only real chance of winning a war. On 8th August 1914 the Realm act was introduced, also known as DORA. This was a set of law-like regulations which affected the lives of people living in Britain an awful lot. One of the measures was, not being allowed to ‘Spread rumours about military affairs’ this stops a nationwide game of Chinese whispers. The last thing the Government and the Military need is rumours giving away certain truths, and more so, certain lies about their actions.
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