The Home Front

  • Created by: LAB99
  • Created on: 18-04-15 14:32

Women's contribution to the war effort

  • 1914- Suffragettes and Suffragists suspended their camapign
  • Suffragists persuaded men to sign up/ Suffragettes demonstrated that women should work in munitions factories, all suffragettes released from prison
  • White feathers were given to men who did not sign up, Mother's union- encouraged sons to sign up, Women's Land Army/Women's Army Auxiliary Corps
  • Industry suffered shortage of labour- 2 million fewer than necessery
  • Women employed instead of men- not accepted by everyone, thought they would not have the necessery skills
  • 1916- desperate shortae of engerneering workers as more men needed to fight
  • Government employed women exclusively in munitions factories- 800,000 women employed in emgerneering industries by the end o tf the war
  • Dangerous work- longer shifts, disarstorous accidents (Silvertown- east end London- 1917)
  • TNT explosives caused breating amd digestion problems/rashes/yellowing skin/blood poisoning/brain damage 
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How civilians were effected by the war

  • August 1914- Defence Of the Realm Act- to make sure Britain had enough resources and to make sure the British people were in a fit state to fightand support the war
  • Government could take control of vital industries, 2.5 million acres of land/buildings, british summer time for more working hours,alcohol
  • Conscription, stopped talk of the war, censorship, rationing
  • Many men voluteered in 1914, believed it would be over 'by christmas'. By 1915, more casulties and less volunteers so not enough replacements
  • Conscription (1916)- all singlemen between 18 and 40 had to fight- then married too
  • Conscientious objectors didn't fight for religious/moral reasons- treated as criminals and imprisoned, some carried out non violent work such as ambulence driving
  • Women did men's work
  • German U-boats attacked food ships from the US to Britain. Britain took three main steps to solve it: 
    1) Navy convoys- got 25% of merchant ships down to less than 1% being sunk
    2) Compulsory Rationing- 1918, voluntry in 1917- used for beer, butter, sugar and meat. some hoarded food as prices were rising then selling it on the 'black market
    3) Britain grew more food- Women's land Army (1917), big new labouro force which worked on farms
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Effectiveness of government propaganda

  • 1914- entusiatic, adventurous, right to fight, would be 'over by christmas
  • Censored letters from soldiers and newspapers
  • Reporters were kept away from battles, no photographs with dead soldiers
  • Casulty figures were not available 
  • People away from the  front line could not imagine the actual conditions of war
  • Attitudes changed as the war went on
  • 1500 civillians were killed during bombing raids, no obvious succes on the western front until 1918, government couldn't hide injured veterans or deaths from families, difficult rationing and increased taxes
  • Propaganda posters encouraged men to sign up, enocuraged US involvement, War Propaganda Bureau (sep 1914), Ministry of Infomation produced films- The Battle of the Somme (1916), National War Aims Commitee (June 1917) issued propaganda literature and speeches 
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Germany and Paris Peace Conference

Attitudes towards Germany

  • Resposible for the war
  • Should be punished
  • Should pay for the damage
  • In 1918 election, politicians knew they were able to gain support if they treated Germany harshly

The Paris Peace Conference

  • France: (Georges Clemenceau) damage to landscape, industry, people/ wanted to cripple Germany so it could not attack again
  • USA: (Woodrow Wilson) 14 points for the PPC, League of Nations/ wanted Germany to be punished but not to harshly, would one day recover and want revenge
  • Great Britain: (David Lloyd George) wanted Germany to be justly punished but not harshly, loss of nav and colonies, keen for G and GB to trade again- second largest trading partner so more British jobs, public pressure was strong
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