Defence of the Realm Act - aug 1914

DORA gave the governement the power to:

censor what people read

take over resources for the war effort

imprison people without trial

place numerous restrictions on a citizens life

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controlling or altering the information people red

Governement wanted to make people think that the war was going well this was essential to keep up moralehwever this would be impossible if people knew about the horendous losses on the western front so the government:

  • censored all letters home from the front and made it illegal to talk about military matters in a public place.
  • Newspapers were also censored and told only to report stories of British heroism and German brutality----official pictures were also made available for use.

-it wasn't until 1916 journalists were allowed to the front and then only approved 1s

-many newspaper owners editors were supporters of the war effort eg Lord BeaverBrock owner of the Daily Express was a cabinet minister from 1916

-some independent newspapers published more balanced newspapers---the Tribunal was closed down as it was a pacifist newspaper and sociaist papers like the Daily Herald were monitred closely.

  • It was also made illegal to make any public comment that might: damage morale/harm the govs attempt to recruit soldiers/spread discontent among workers. 1915 John Maclean a scottish communist was arrested and charged with utterig statements calculated to prejudicing recruiting and was fined £5 and imprisoned for 5 days when he refused to pay. 
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MUNITIONS CRISIs 1915- private companies unable to produce enough munitions as they struggled to obtain rubber coal and metal therfore there was a chronic shortage or munitions on the western front.

When the coalition gov was formmed lloyd George made Minister of Munitions

Under DORA the gov: took controls of co-ordinating supply of materials/set up own munitions factories/took control of coal mines---this helped the country to escape th munitions crisis.

They also were given the power to make people stay in jobs vital to the war effort-workers were not allowed to transfer to other jobs for better pay if their existing jobs were in key industries.

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Gov had the right to introduce food rationing and control alcohol consumption

  • Pub opening hours restricted to midday-2:30pm and 6:30pm-9:30pm and beer watered down
  • this was to control drunkeness and improve productivity
  • British summer time also introduced to give more daylight hours to work in

Also citizens were not allowed to:

  • melt down gold r silver
  • give bread to horses or chickens
  • light bonfires
  • ring church bells
  • buy a round of drinks
  • keep homiing pigeons without a license.
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BOOKS- Leaing authors signed declaration by authors in support of the was effort

made patriotic publications fro no fee

history department at oxford university produced five volume explanation of why Britain was justified in going to war.


toys were produced that encouraged support of the war effort and patritic books and comics were published that were often reprinted.

FILMS British filmakers produced 240 war films in the years 1915-1918

Battle of the Somme was seen as a propaganda triumph combined real scenes with fake people regarded it as their first chance to get closer to the truth.

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