WW1 - The War Economy

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What was DORA?
The Defence of the Realm Act, passed 1914 to' secure public safety amd the defence of the realm'
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How did DORA keep state information secret?
Using censorship and the Official Secret Act to impose penalties on those giving away information
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What else did DORA introduce?
British Summertime to extend the working day, the conversion of public parks into vegetable gardens, bans feeding bread to pigeons
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In May 1915, the Munitions of War Act was passed. What did this enforce?
Strikes & lockouts prohibited, workplace differences to be solved by compulsory arbitration, dilution, wage rates guarenteed, pay rises need govt. permission, overtime compulsory, had to take new jobs, counldn't leave job without permission
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What did the Munitions of War Act make official?
The agreement between the Trade Union Congress and the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Lloyd Geoge) in March 1915
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Why was there a problem with the workforce?
Many men from key industries had gone off to war, eg.24.7% miners, 28.2% agricultural workers, 22.4% transport workers
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Why did the South Wales' Miners' Federation want to strike?
Wanted a permanent pay increase rather than a war bonus that could be taken away after the war
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How the Government react to the threat of a strike in July 1915?
They invoked the Munitions of War Act, labelling the mines of South Wales a 'controlled establishment'
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How many miners went on strike on the 15th July?
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How did the government react?
They gave in to the demands, and work began again on the 20th of July
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What level were profits of the coal mine kept at?
1913 levels
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Why was taking government control of the mine stalled?
Because the Liberal party was dependent on contributions from the mine owners for party funds
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What Act stated that in times of war railways were to be brought under government control?
The Regulation of the Forces Act 1871
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Under whose control did the railways pass under in August 1914?
Railway Executive Committee, but actually administrated for the government by the main railway companies
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How well did this work?
Well, profits kept at 1913 levels, and in return for free transport of troops the Treasury made up any deficits
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By December 1916 how many passenger and merchant ships were under government control?
Fewer than half of the merchant ships and no passenger liners
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How did this change?
Sir John Maclay (a Scottish shipowner) was made shipping controller in conjunction with a committee of all major ship owners
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By what point had nearly all merchant shipping been requisitioned by the Ministery of Shipping?
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What did Lloyd George argue 22nd February 1915?
The whole economy needed to be geared for war, so factories and engineering needed to be reorganised to focus production on munitions
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What happened in May 1915?
The Munitions Crisis, followed by a reorganisation of the government that led to a coalition government between the Liberals and the Conservatives
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What was Lloyd George made the head of in May 1915?
The Ministery of Munitions
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Who was it run by?
Big businessmen - co ordinate the needs of business with those of the state to get a good balance between price and profit
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By 1918 how large was the staff of the Ministery of Munitions?
65,000, employing around 3 million workers in 20,000 factories
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Why was there a problem with food supply?
The German U boat suplly was disrupting British imports of food, animal feed, pesticides. Plus many farm workers and young men had signed up
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How bad did the food crisis get?
By April 1916 Britain only had 6 weeks of corn left, the calorific content of food produced on British farms went down from 21.4 billion calories 1914, to 19.3 billion in 1918
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In May 1917 what happened to change the situation?
Lord Rhondda replaced Lord Devonport as Minister of Food
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What was rationed?
Bacon, butter, margarine, sugar and tea
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How much had the price of bread increased between 1914 and 1917 and what did Lord Rhondda do about it?
It doubled in price, he subsidised it's price at 9d for a 4lb loaf, as well as subsiding potatoes
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How many acres of pasture were ploughed up for food crops in 1917?
2.1 million acres
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How many War Agricultural Committees were set up to oversee farmers?
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When was the Women's Land Army set up and what did it mainly consist of?
January 1917, mainly upper and middle class women, many reduced the amount of pay they were receiving as it was only 8s/week, 7s less than an unskilled male labourer
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How many women brought in the 1918 harvest?
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How much did the duty on tea and alcohol increase by?
Duty on tea doubled, on beer increased by 700% - so the price incresed from 3d to 10d
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How many convictions a week were there for drunkeness in England and Wales in 1914?
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How many more people paid income tax in 1918 than in 1914?
6 million
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What was dilution?
Unskilled or semi skilled men and women taking the place of skilled men who were serving, sometimes up to 5 unskilled/semi skilled workers taking the place of one skilled worker
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In 1917, how many people went on strike and why?
200,000 across 50 locations. Due to pay, food prices, profiteering and exemption from military service
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What was the average working week by 1918?
48 hours
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What did the Intoxicating Liquor Act August 1914 do?
Gave licensing authorities the ability to restrict public house opening times
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DORA set up the Central Board of Control 1915. What did it do?
It could restrict the sale of alcohol in those areas considered inmprtant to the war effort, eg in Plymouth, women couldn't buy a drink after 6pm, and men couldn't after 9pm
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By 1917, what percentage of the populaion did the Central Board of Control regulate the drinking habits of?
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How else did DORA affect alcohol consumption?
Was used to ban the sale of bottles of spirits of less than a quart, to restrict the purchase of beer and of buying alcohol for another person, it reduced the alcohol content in beer
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How did much did the price of spirits increase by?
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What was the alcohol content of spirits pegged at?
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Was the government successful in limiting alcohol consumption?
1908: convictions for drunkeness and assault 62,882, 1918 - 1,670; weekly conviction rate for drunkeness in England and Wales: 1914 - 3,388, 1918 - 449 (in Scotland 1,485 to 355)
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What was the increase in the cost of living?
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What was substitution?
Where an unskilled or semi skilled worker directly took the place of a skilled one
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How many strikes were there?
1914 - 972, 1915 - 672, 1916 - 532, 1917 - 730, 1918 - 1,116
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How much money per day did it cost the government to keep the war going?
£3.85 million
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How much did the national debt increase by?
1914 - £625 million, 1918 - £7.98 billion, an increase of over 10x
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Card 2


How did DORA keep state information secret?


Using censorship and the Official Secret Act to impose penalties on those giving away information

Card 3


What else did DORA introduce?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


In May 1915, the Munitions of War Act was passed. What did this enforce?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What did the Munitions of War Act make official?


Preview of the front of card 5
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