The Effect of World War One on People at Home

The Effect of World War One on People at Home
The people at home lives were affected in a wide variety of ways during the First World War. Some people?s lives were altered for the good, where as some were altered for the bad. During the First World War, a lot of people were needed in the army. This meant that volunteers were required by their many hundreds. To influence this, propaganda was used in the forms of pamphlets, posters, newspapers and by word of mouth. The source A1 (i) was a poster used for propaganda to make men volunteer for the army. About 54 million similar posters were created, but this was one of the most famous. It shows Lord Kitchener, who was an upper class member of the government and was renowned for being a brave war hero. They used this picture of him because he was respected by so many across the country and so it shows deference because at least 2 million signed up to the army by 1916. Source A1 (ii) also shows a picture from a newspaper and was used as a form of recruitment.
This source shows how many men were signing up for the army. Although it looks phoney, it isn?t. The picture was manipulated so that all the men were smiling, even though they knew how terrible war really was, as the war had started over 16 months previously. The picture also shows different classes of men, some from the working class and others from the middle class. The different classes are shown to us by the different hats being worn by the men. This shows that the classes were coming together to help with the war effort and showing true patriotism. This type of ?spun? image was okay in a censored newspaper, because it lifted the spirits of others. Although many men were volunteering for the army, this was not enough. The volunteering system was not only very inefficient; it was also not a very fair system because you were not forced to join up. So in 1916 the government decided to introduce conscription. A typical government conscription poster is shown in source A4. It states that unmarried men must sign up to the army. Any man who wished not to join up was labelled a conchie, or a conscientious objector. Many of these people had religious beliefs which stated that ?thou shall not kill? and so they did not believe in war and killing people. These people helped out other ways. Others thought that the war was only being fought for the Capitalists. These people usually the communists, or the ?comrades?, or the socialists. Source A5 was written by a conscientious objector who managed to escape from prison in 1916. He says that people should support the troops, if not in person, then in spirits. This man was an absolutist who did not agree to war neither did he want anything to do with it. The government frowned upon these people and threw them into prison because they were scared of the working class uprising. While the government were dealing with recruiting men, they were also being embarrassed by the shortages of munitions. The newspapers soon let the people know about this scandal, which is a rare example of anti-government stories. In source B2 we are shown Lloyd George ?delivering the goods? to the front line. This picture was in a ?pro-government? magazine which showed that he was backing the government and was encouraging optimism that they would improve. The two horses he is riding bear the names ?Labour?, meaning the work force, and ?capital?, meaning those who owned the factories, the managers. It shows these two ?statuses? together because the Liberal government had recently changed into a coalition. With this change, Lloyd George was made the Minister of Munitions, and the workforce agreed not to strike, even when the government nationalised the munitions factories. The government changed three times during the First World War. The first government was purely Liberals and Asquith was the Prime Minister. The second was a coalition with Asquith as Prime Minister. The third was a coalition but with Lloyd George as the Prime Minister. As well as the Government being replaced twice, the liberal party was destroyed by the war. More people were supporting the Labour Party when Lloyd George formed the Cabinet of War in 1916. Source B4 tells us of how the Liberal Party was broken down because of the War. Also during the war, the lives and roles of women changed considerably. Women started to do war work, like the work men would do in the factories. Propaganda was used to encourage people to join up for work in munitions factories. This propaganda worked because 900,000 women were recruited into the factories to replace the men who had joined up to the army. The men did not really agree to this because they believed that women belonged at home, looking after the children and doing the cooking. Source C3 shows a women working at a munitions factory. It was used as a form of recruitment, but is a very false poster for many reasons. The factory she is in is very clean, which is unlikely for a munitions factory. Also the woman is wearing a skirt and heels which are not at all appropriate for a factory. As well as that, the woman?s hand and the army soldier?s hand (in the background) connect. This is used for symbolic reasons showing that they are both proud to be doing something to help their country during the war. It also symbolises that this man does not have a problem with her working, unlike some men. Moreover, during the war, women won the right to vote. Although the Suffragettes wanted this and believed they had won the vote for women, they hadn?t really. Every woman that helped with the war effort had earned the right for women to vote. In fact, the Suffragettes were not even active during the war because they were busy helping with the war effort as well. The votes for women are shown in source b5. Although women had the vote, it was only for women who were over 30 years of age. Also in source C1, an overview of middle class women is shown. These types of women did not work before the war, yet during the war they took on roles such as plumbers and carpenters. Also source C4 shows the amount of women who joined the workforce during the war. The women were doing jobs such as; blacksmiths, farm work, fire-fighters, nurses, police and bureaucratic administration. The only thing on this list that is controversial is the fact that domestic services were not included in the list. This is because they didn?t want it to seem that women did more domestic work than and other profession. The war did help the women who worked during the war. The women received fair pay because the Male Trade Union did not want the men?s wages to be dragged down. This is shown in source C2, where Lloyd George writes about how he agrees that he gave women equal pay. He then goes on to lie about how the working conditions had changed permanently for women. This is untrue because after the war, all the women were kicked out of their jobs sop that the men could have their jobs back. Additionally, Lloyd George fails to mention Asquith during this account. He does not mention how they fell out because he wants to have a good reputation in the future. Women were also able to enjoy themselves outside of work, simply because they had their own money that, for once, was not controlled by their men. Source c5 shows how women had changed. Due to the fact that women had more freedom, because of the absence of men, they had a big change in their lives, socially. They would go out for dinner with their friends in restaurants in the cities and then cigarettes would follow, then the talk of fashion and theatres. Women seemed to like this freedom, but their men did not. That?s why many women went back to normal when the men came home, but those who kept to their new found freedom became known as ?flappers?. Although people on the home front believed things were going great for Britain during the war, it wasn?t always. An example of how the soldiers were feeling is shown in source D2. They believed that the deaths and cause of WW1 was down to the higher classes. This poet, Siegfried Sassoon, talks about how the squires did not go to war like the rest of the brave men that did. This source contrasts with source a1 and source a1 which shows everyone happily enrolling in the army and it tells us that the squires class wants you to join up. The poet basically says that the Upper class started the war. On the other hand, it is not usual for a soldier to say these things. Most men would have been proud that they fought for their country, but Sassoon was not. This could be part of the reason that he spent time in a mental facility and was named ?Mad Jack?. Controversially, source D5 says that war was not all bad and that it brought positive changes to the country and the people. This historian is allowed to say things like this for two reasons; it was written over 50 years after the war, so the man would have done accurate research. Also, because it was written so many years after the war, the relatives of people who died in the war are not alive any more to argue that it was a bad thing because their families died etc. In a way, the First World War did have positive changes because, as shown in source D3, women were allowed to vote and ergo lead a more respected life. There were a lot less people in domestic services because they knew that better wages could be earned in other jobs. The person who wrote this was probably a working-class person as they speak about the working-class in a nice manner. Although these changes happened and people were proud of their men that had fought this war, the celebration and change did not last forever. The Second World War had a deeper and longer term effect on the people.

The Effect of World War One on People at Home 8.6 of 10 on the basis of 3609 Review.