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Britian during the First World War and The Social and Welfare Reforms

By atlantathompson Sep 24, 2014 707 Words
British Depth Study: Britain during the First World War
How did women contribute to the war effort?
Suffragist and suffragette member took men’s places in jobs when the men went overseas to fight. Hundreds and thousands of women were employed in munitions factories, in the transport system (conductors on buses and trams), employed as labourers on farms, as nurses and in offices a secretaries and receptionists. This was a crucial part of the war effort as it kept the country going. How were civilians affected by the war?

During the war the government:
Rationed food
Civilian land was taken over by the government for food production •Beer was diluted so people wouldn’t get drunk
British summertime was also introduced
This was all under the jurisdiction of the Defence of Realms Act (DORA) which was introduced by the government in 1914. British summertime was introduced so there were longer hours meaning that people could work for longer. Under DORA people could not discuss military affairs. How effective was Government propaganda during the war?

A form of censorship was adopted in war time Britain, the government only allowed certain things in newspapers to be printed. Soldier’s letters from the front were also censored. Posters were published to encourage the civilian morale. What was the attitude of the British people at the end of the war towards Germany and the Paris peace conference? During the war there were millions of deaths of soldiers on the front, and many permanently maimed by the war. The civilians were angry and wanted Germany to pay: a headline from a newspaper was ‘make Germany pay’.

British Depth Study: Social and Welfare reform
What were working and living conditions like for the poor in the 1890s? Pollution: there was a large amount of pollution in cities due to the amount of coal burnt Overcrowding: large amounts of people were moving into cities to find jobs, low wages and high rents meant families found the smallest places to live Disease: there were major epidemics all around London due to overcrowding, low standard housing and poor quality water supplies Waste disposal: litter filled the streets along with horse manure. Human waste flowed into sewers and then into the rivers. Bad housing: houses were built very close to each other with little light and fresh air. There was no running water with the only toilet being a hole in the ground Bad water: most water was polluted by human waste

How were social reformers reacting to the social problems of the 1890s? The liberal government along with Catherine and William Booth, Charles Booth, Seebohm Rowntree and David Lloyd-George helped shape the welfare state of Britain. The reforms were:

This meant that children, the unemployed/workers and the elderly were helped.

Why did the Liberal Government introduce reforms to help the young, the old and the unemployed? •During the Boer War, in 1899, the army found that two thirds of the men that volunteered to join were too unfit and unhealthy to join •German were passing Britain as the great industrial power due to a good welfare system for workers •There were strikes all around the country due to a growth in trade unionism meaning that politicians feared workers would turn to communism or rebellion if the standards of living and the working conditions were not improved •The labour party was growing stronger as it was attracting the working class votes because of its demands for a welfare reform How effective were these reforms?

The free school meals were not compulsory but by the end of 1914 a large amount of the population were getting one good meal a day The pensions act meant that many of the elderly were kept out of the work house but it was refused to people who had never worked before Many of the jobs that were in the exchange act were temporary or part time and the amount of jobs available didn’t increased The national insurance act was a good safety net for people who had fallen ill or were unemployed however they had to pay money out of their wages and wasn’t enough for the whole family to live on Free medical treatment was only available to the wage earner

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