Home Front Ww1 Essay Introduction

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The Impact Of World War One On The Homefront Social, Political And Economic Impacts

The First World War impacted significantly on the homefronts of the participating nations in many different social, political and economic areas. There was a widespread restructuring of primary industry with a large orientation towards militarism. There was massive political change where new systems of power were introduced that gave governments a range of new powers including the control over industry. The civilian population had severe restrictions placed upon their rights and liberties due to the necessities that total war required.

The scale of the war forced all sectors of society to change and adapt to the growing scale of the war. In 1914 the British government believed that the war would be a brief one and as a result there was little done to prepare for the eventuality of the war stretching out over as long a period of time as it did. As the war progressed and no major gains were made by either side it became clear that there would need to be a much greater war effort. In order to cope with the massive logistical effort required to keep the war going the governments introduced new laws and legislation to improve output, efficiency and control.

The Defence of the Realm Act that the British government introduced gave the government almost unlimited ability to control and regulate life for the citizens of Britain. It allowed for the censorship of anything deemed potentially damaging or could undermine the loyalty to the King, the process of recruitment, or economic confidence. Along with this the Munitions Of War Act was brought in making labour striking illegal in order to keep a smooth output of produce. There were masses of new taxes introduced to pay for the huge war costs. Income taxes were raised by over 20 percent by the end of the war, bank loans went up to help increase revenue and the majority of wages were lowered. As the war went on the agricultural resources of the allies began to get into short supply and as a result these food shortages were managed with limitations on the import, production and distribution of foods with sugar being banned in sweets in 1916 as it was needed elsewhere. Voluntary rationing on milk, sugar, tea and meat began in 1916 and became compulsory after April 1918

As a result prices for produce grown by farmers skyrocketed. Many farmers would sell their produce to the highest bidder meaning that the working class was the worst off. By 1917 the population was tiring of the war and its seeming lack of progress. The American resources that were provided at cost to the allies were a significant advantage for the allies as they could receive supplies from an outside source while they had blockades set up all around Germany, its allies and their ports.

In Germany a similar system to the one employed in...

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The impact of world war one on the homefront - social, political and economic impacts.

1566 WordsAug 9th, 20047 Pages

The First World War impacted significantly on the homefronts of the participating nations in many different social, political and economic areas. There was a widespread restructuring of primary industry with a large orientation towards militarism. There was massive political change where new systems of power were introduced that gave governments a range of new powers including the control over industry. The civilian population had severe restrictions placed upon their rights and liberties due to the necessities that total war required.

The scale of the war forced all sectors of society to change and adapt to the growing scale of the war. In 1914 the British government believed that the war would be a brief one and as a result there was…show more content…

This was not helped by the lack of attention paid to agriculture by the German government and the destroyed crops of 1915-1916. Mortality rates for children rose along with those of adults and elderly citizens. This starvation and poor living conditions led to the general disdain for the war but due to the terrible losses and casualties already suffered it was thought that only victory would suffice to somewhat offset these hardships.

Despite the massive arms stockpile that had been amassed by both sides of the conflict both sides ran short and had to drastically increase their workforce and number of hours that they worked. In Britain this was achieved by the formation of a three party coalition that has elements working to find solutions to this problem. The shortage of workers was largely due to the lack of men in the workforce as they were almost all enlisted in the army as soldiers. The deficit grew as the war went on when more and more men were conscripted and enlisted. A new workforce was needed to work in the jobs that they filled. Female workers largely filled a massive amount of these positions with a smaller number of prisoners of war doing farming work. For the first time women worked in large numbers in industrial factories, producing weapons and munitions for the men on the front lines. They often worked in difficult and dangerous conditions

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