A 'People's War'? Britain in the Second World War

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 20-04-17 20:46
What is the traditional model/ belief about Britain and World war two?
IT was a people's war- everyone was unified,
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How did Churchill describe Britain in the war?
"This was a time [1940} when all Britain worked and strove to the utmost limit and was united as never before. Men and women toiled at lathes and machines in the factories until they fell exhausted on the floor and had to be dragged away and ordered
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Therefore, what is the belief and people and work?
People worked together in unity to win the war
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How was Britain united?
They were united against a common enemy-
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How does wartime with this model bring out the best in people?
People come together to do their bit, which is a suprise for such a reserved country,
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Give an example of a popular TV show that shows a similar message?
-Dad's army, -Shows Britain backed up to the wall an roused by a desperate situation and everyone pulls together
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This model has remained generally what in terms of other models?
It has remained mainly unchallenged
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What did Donnelly argue are the most powerful and enduring images of Britain in the second world war?
They are associated with the home front: blitzed cities, communal air raid shelters, th munitions factories of Britain's industrial heartlands and crowds of evacuees waiting for trains
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What does Donnelly also argue about the burden of war and the resolve of the population?
To an unprecedented degree, the burden of war fell on the nation as a whole from September 1939, testing the resolve of the civilian population
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What does he argue about social reformers in fields sich as politics and the church argued what about the war?
IT encouraged Britons to identify with communal rather than individualistic values,
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Therefore, the Second World war was constantly held up as a period of what?
A period fo unity and shared values
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It even describes the period as Britain at its what and why?
Britain at its best for standing up for what's right rather than whats easy, with sacrifices,
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IS this the dominant view of the conflict?
Yes- It is the memory of this war that has stuck,
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What kind of boundaries does this model cross?
Crosses political boundaries,
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What key labour strategist confirms the People's war narrative and how?
Titmuss, -Argues the country was united,
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How does Donnelly support the model based on how much they mobolises in comparison to other nations?
he argues it was a people's war in as much as Britain mobilises its population for war to a greater degree than any other nation- taking account of the intensity and duration of mobilisation,
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What does Donnelly argue about the support of the effort, even allowing for the impact of what?
-Overwhelming support of the national effort- Even allowed for the impact of propoganda, the absence of a strong peace movement or large-scale anti-war demonstrations is striking,
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In the source of things such of conscription, rationing etc. what does Donnelly argue about how Britons took this?
He argues millions of Britons displayed alturism, courage and a willingness to make sacrifices
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has this model remained unchallenged?
No-very rapidly this image has begun to be challenged and changed,
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For challenges, who wrote the book 'The People's war' and what political theorist is he and how does he challenge this model?
-Calder, -Marxist -There was a people's war, but wants to put forward the idea it was the people who made the differences, but says they fought a war that didn't do anythingm
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What does he argued about how people emerged after the war?
he argues peope still emerged oppressed by the class system which the war should have changed,
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What is another book he wrote about the history of memory?
The Myth of the Blitz
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What does he argue about history and memory?
he argues how history is used by generations to fulfill political purposes and create a national story
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While Calder admits he fell for the People's war idea, how does he challenge this based on it being a construct?
he argues this idea was a construct created by those in authority ,
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Why does he argue the authorities created this construct?
As they beleive the ordinary people of Britain won' come together ad fight due to Britain being divided and so won't fighy,
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However, what does he say about myths and the real aim of the authorities?
he says they aren't equal to lies but is instead creating a model people can buy into
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Although what does he argue about the role people took to buy into this?
There is a people's war as people make it happen. The authorities create the parameters, and th people change their behaviour accordingly
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Therefore, Caldar argues there wasa people's war, but it was for what?
A system which oppressed them
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Give an example of how Calder's model shakes up the discussion?
Tom Harrison- Confirms idea of peoples war but also questions the idea in which it wa created
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What historian also shakes this model, saying state agencies task ws to do what in war?
To convince civilians and soldiers alike that war effort was worth the sacrifices demanded, so questions idea of peoples war
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For emphasis on continuities, for Britain's policies, what were the two main ones against war?
Pacifism, -Pre appeasement
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What is pacifism and how did the people get involved?
-Not willing to fight, -Millions of people signed a petition saying they wouldn't fight in a future war
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What are the other two problems in 1930s Britain based on class?
Class conflict and mass unemployment
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Therefore, what does this make British society?
Deeply divided,
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Did wartime conditions transform overnight?
It is unlikely
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How did class conflict change in the war?
It remained largely untouched- Class conflct doesn't go away,
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Who wrote Which People's War and what was her view on the people's war?
-Sonya Rose, -Not undermining idea that people's war takes places
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What does Sonya argue about gender divisions in war time?
Women's position in society improved during the second world war
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What does marwick argue about women and war based on social and economic improvements?
Several writers have claimed that the war produced fundamental social and economic improvements for women, particularly in their position within the labour markets,
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What evidence does he use to support this claim?
In 1931 only 16% of working women were married, by 1943, the figure had climbed to 43% to suggest prejudic against employment of married women was overcome during war years,
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What other historians also argue war pointed a way forward for women and how?
-Klein and Mydral, -Women performed a dual role in wartime- Shows how it is possible to engage in paid work without causing any detrimental effects to home and family life,
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Who provides a feminist perspective?
Penny Summerfield
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What does Summerfield emphasise about gender roles?
She emphasises continuities - Not alot changes. The war didn't transform women's roles
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If anything, what does Summerfield argue it reconfirmed?
She argues it reconfirmed gendered expectations,
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How does she argue against women who are pushing boundaries, becoming pilots and making batteries?
They are exceptions rather than the norm-Most women were involved in more 'feminine' roles such as Nurse or secretary
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Although what does Summerfield argue about generalising?
She argues it would be wrong to generalise about women's subjective responses to wartime employment- particularly in ways which failed to recognise important variables
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Although, what does she argue evidence suggests about some women and their wartime experience?
Many women viewed their wartime experience as an important phase of their personal development, enabling them to enjoy new opportunities and learn new skills,
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Although, in support of Summerfield, what did Chamberlain's government make no attempt to do despite pressure from who?
-Attempt to mobolise female labour, -Despite pressure from women's groups such as the British Federation of Business and Professional Women
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Who did the British Federation of Business and Professional Women campaign for?
Women to be given greater opportunities to contribute to the wartime labour force
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However, what actually happened to women in war with empoyment?
Instead unemployment among women actually increased in the first few months of the war,
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What does SMith argue happened after the war and what the successive governments did about pay?
Successgive governments ensured that sex differentiation in pay remained in place during and after the war
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Furthermore, who has challenged that many of the changes affected women during the war were superficial and argues what about sex in the post-war period?
It has been challenged by social historians such as Mtchell, -They also point out that sex based inequalities persisted in the post war period,
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What differences was there also emphasis on?
Class differences
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What do the wealthy continue to have access to and why?
They can have access to luxury goods and have a nice meal in a restaurant e.g. champagne and cavier, -They can move around the rationing system,
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Would these things be available to poorer people without rationing?
No, most people would never dream of most of the luxury goods even in war time,
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How have many of these luxuries been brought into the Kingdom and the 'price' paid?
With U boats where sacrifices and attacks occur all the time for the rich to have these luxuries,
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What policies are working class people informed by? What desire do they have?
Informed by New Labour policies, -Desire to challenge idea of consensus policies
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For evacuation, what does Marwick and Titmuss insist it made what class aware of about the other?
It made the middle class people aware of the plight of the poor.
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What do they argue after seeing the poor's situation they will do?
They will push for change
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What does Titmuss argue about what evacuation stirred in social policy?
National conscience and product important changes,
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Give three examples of important changes evacuation brought around?
-Increased provision of milk and meals in schools, -More liberal attitude towards the means testing of beenfits, -Implementation of the 1944 Education Act,
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Hows does Welsham support Titmuss with evidence that what was reassessed in th wake of the evacuation as part of what?
-Achievements of the School Medical Service, -As part of a more gender change in attitudes to state welfare,
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What historian argues evacuation plays a major role in th promotion of social solidarity and why?
-Donnelly, -As towns met country and working class met middle class- The interaction was held to have increased national awareness of the problem of urban poverty
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Who and when was this model challened by emphasising the negative experiences?
-Crosby, -1980s
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What does Crosby argued occured in many evacuation households and why?
Neglect continues and abuse occured as many middle class people didn't want these children and complained massively- They resented the process
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Therefore, Croby is showing what about the idea of a peoples war?
He is showing that its a peoples war as long as they dont have to make sacrifices,
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What does Thompson and Fielding argue to criticise this model too?
They argue that far from promoting cross-class operation and understanding, evacuation confirmed and often deepened class antagonism, in particular by reinforcing long standing prejudices about urban poor
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What oes Smith argue about a report in Coverty which also criticises the class awareness model?
A report in Coventry referred to 'great depression, a widespread felling of importence, and many open sign of hysteria'
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What does Hylton argue Crime shows during the peoples war in what book?
It shows Britain wasn't united, -Theri Darkest Hour
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Who wrote Looting in Wartime Britain?
Gray
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The model which Gray created shows what about wartime crime and therefore about the people's war?
It shows there was a wartime crime wave- Rise of crime shows people coming together and being united doesn't work
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Who used a report from Portsmouth which said what about looting and police control?
-Smith, -Stated 'that looting and wanton destruction had reached alarming proportions. The police seem unable to exercise control'
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What does SMith alo argue about crime with looting?
The aftermath of raids and stretching of police resources provided opportunities for looting and property crime to become widespread,
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What two things does he argue increased which are crimes/ criminal?
-Black market flourished, -marked increased in sexual crimes
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What does Donnelly argue much of the increase in crime was a result of and an example of looting?
Opportunist crime- Air-raid wardens and other officials were responsible for a good deal of the looting
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However, what are problems with statistics for crime?
Were the same criminals commiting multiple crimes?- Statistics show a rise of crime,
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For exampe, describe the problem with SMiths book?
It looks at newspaper reports about stories on crime and if your book discusses only this there is the impression that Britain had a crime problem
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For attempts to reaffirm the traditional model, what does Marwick argue about disruption to everyday?
Trans formative moment due to vast disruption of the norms of everyday life
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What is another attempt to reaffirm this about women?
Women's role is transformed due to wartime services
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How is the relationship with the state transformed?
As a result of artime controls, rationing, direction of labour
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What is another attempt to reaffirm the model based on moral change?
It was looser, with more loberal attitudes to issues like sex,
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In the long term, what was the state in post-war period?
Welfare state, -Nationalised industry,
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Why was it a different country from 1935?
Due to sense of national unity,
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Who wrote London at War?
Zieger
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What did he argue to reaffirm the model based on what he believes happened with the people in the war?
"the quantity fo dirt was relatively inconsiderable; that few Londoners behaved badly, many more conspicuously well; and that the population of London as a whole endured the Blitz with dignity, resoltuion and astonishng good humour."
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What does McKay look at, and argues if Britain has this, then this people's war model could apply?
He looks at morale
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What are some examples against morale?
Absenteeism, reactions to bombing, rationing etc.
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What kind of process is this?
A subtle analysis, a thoughtful process
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What does MacKay believe about morale in Britain?
He believes it was high, therefore the country was united behind a common enemy and therefore the model exists,
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For the question why does this matte,r what kind of debate is it?
Highly politicised debate
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In addition, what is the meaning of war central to?
Post-war Britain: finest hour and post-war declinist model etc.
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In addition, what is another reason why it matters based on the impliactions of the war?
the creation of the welfare state and the economic and social implications of the war are still with us
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What is another reason based on the political landscape?
It has evolved, so often the debate crosses political boundaries over time,
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What does it also create reflections of based on approaches?
Creation of difference approaches to the discipline of hisotry e.g social history, memory, gender,
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Card 2

Front

How did Churchill describe Britain in the war?

Back

"This was a time [1940} when all Britain worked and strove to the utmost limit and was united as never before. Men and women toiled at lathes and machines in the factories until they fell exhausted on the floor and had to be dragged away and ordered

Card 3

Front

Therefore, what is the belief and people and work?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

How was Britain united?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How does wartime with this model bring out the best in people?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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