How were Civilians affected by the war?- OCR GCSE History, Britain 1890-1918

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How were civilians affected by the war?



Ø  At the start of the world war, volunteers rushed to join the armed forces

Reasons why people wanted to go to war:

·         There was a surge of patriotism

·         There was a widespread misunderstanding of war- people thought it an exciting adventure, that would be over by Christmas

Ø  Over half a million men joined up in the first six weeks of war, worried that they might miss the ‘fun’

Ø  By the end of November 1914, Parliament had authorised the recruitment of 2 million men

Ø  This early enthusiasm faded, and the awareness of the reality of war began to sink in. By 1915, casualties mounted fast and a massive propaganda effort encouraged people to enlist.

The Defence of the Realm Act - (DORA)

Ø  These acts gave the government more power than ever before to intervene in people’s lives.

·         British Summertime was introduced to allow more daylight hours to work in

·         The right to water down beer in pubs in order to reduce drunkenness and improve productivity.

·         The government controlled the newspapers, and other communications such as radio, in order not to reveal the truth about casualties on the Western front.

·         They could also force workers to stay in vital jobs and take control over mines and railways


Ø  Many of the soldiers that had joined up initially were killed or


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