The Home Front - GCSE history ocr

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The Home Front ­ WWI
Britain Declare War
Britain declare war on Germany ­ August 1914
Britain, France and Russia (Triple Entente) against Germany, Austria -Hungary and Italy (Triple Alliance)
Britain had a small army and needed one very quickly
Britain needed more men as many died in the Battle of Ypres (November 1914)
Kitchener, Secretary of War, wanted conscription ­ Asquith refused
The Government started a massive recruitment campaign ­ used propaganda and posters like `Your Country
Needs You'
o 500,000 joined by September 1914 and 500,000 more by February 1915
o By March 1916 ­ 2.5 million men had been scripted ­ whole groups of friends joined up called the
Pals Battalions
DORA (Defence of the Realm Act) August 1914
Two basic aims:
o 1. Ensure that the country had enough resources to fight the war
o 2. Ensure that the British people were in a fit state to fight and support the war
Rights of Government:
o Gave right to seize land and buildings
o Take control of industries (like mining)
o Introducing daylight saving in Summer (BST) ­ to allow longer working hours
o Control of drinking hours and the strength of alcohol
o Allowed them to censor newspaper
o Stopped people talking and spreading rumours about the war
o Allowed them to introduce rationing
o It allowed Govt. to introduce conscription
DORA allowed govt. to control media and press
3 aims of the propaganda:
o 1. Keep up morale
o 2. Encourage civilians to support the war
o 3. Create hatred and suspicion of the enemy ­ they published lies about the Germans etc.
September 1914 War Propaganda Bureau asked 25 leading writers to produce propaganda pamphlets
o Leading authors like Kipling and Hardy produced patriotic propaganda and articles for free
The most effective propaganda were the toys and books aimed at children
Films were created about the war that were very popular ­ created by the Ministry of Information
Some propaganda was abroad to encourage US involvement
In June 1917 the govt. created the National war aims committee to sponsor speeches and propaganda to
improve morale
Govt. deliberately kept people ignorant to what was going on
o Letters were censored and reporters weren't allowed to battle
o Newspapers were censored and casualty figures weren't available
o Photos weren't allowed to show dead soldiers

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Taking over industries and Munitions Crisis (1915)
Government took over coal mines and miners weren't conscripted because energy was very vital to the war
In 1915 in the munitions crisis the Govt.…read more

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Stopped hording of food by wealthy
There was a shortage but no one starved
Severe penalties for ration cheats
o 3.…read more

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Politicians said in the General election that they would squeeze everything out of Germany and make them
Many British people felt if they weren't made to pay it would encourage them to start another war
Britain's feeling of the war
Now people knew the real facts ­ they felt that politicians and authority figures could no longer be trusted
They came to believe that Generals were incompetent and didn't care how many lives were lost
Further degrade in trust in authority
Public school soldiers…read more


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