Financing the Wars (1790-1918)

  • Created by: lwilson23
  • Created on: 16-03-19 21:27

French Wars/Pen Wars

- French Wars cost around £1600 mil due to the coalitions needed to defeat the French. 

- to finance this - Pitt and his successors borrowed massively from bankers and brokers, with financiers (aristocracy) such as Nathan Rothschild loaning to the government. 

- taxes were raised - and income tax on certain commodities such as tobacco, tea and sugar was introduced for the first time ever. 

- raising taxes, coupled with rising food prices due to the continental system and wage stagnation meant that war hit the poor of Britain the hardest. Pressure placed on agriculture to grow more crops - known as the Agrarian Revolution (spearheaded by King George III). 

- war was funded successfully at the price of social contentment. 

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Crimea/Boer War

- the Industrial Revolution meant that the economy of Britain began to boom - something which was contributed to by the increased demand caused by wars throughout this period. 

- businesses such as the textile and iron industry boomed - as demand for clothing and weapons skyrocketed.

- the wars were funded in very much the same way as the French Wars - by tax, trade and borrowing from rich people.

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- DORA/the munitions of war act made Britain a nation fully absorbed by the war. The 'total war' scale of WWI increased public contribution massively - as British citizens were directly affected for the first time. 

- propaganda aimed to make the country self-sufficient - the call for women to work the land when the men were at war exemplified this. By 1918 - rationing had become a necessity

- the war cost £7175 mil in total - massively increased national debt - loaning from America massively helped. The people were also asked to contribute directly for the first time by purchasing war bonds

- the idea of 'tank banks' (raising the most money as a city and having a tank be there in your city centre) - dominated the nation - a clever propaganda tool which used competitiveness to fund the war effort. Tanks became a focal point for the raising of funds across Britain. 

- government control of certain industries (munitions etc.) made them more cost-effective. Trade unions also agreed to not strike and not refuse overtime etc. during the war's duration in exchange for protection of wages, fixed profits and potential pay rises. Kept industry stable.

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