Was The First World War A Total

Was The First World War A ?Total War? For Britain? Essay, Research Paper

????????? To decide whether or not the First World War was a ?Total

War? we have to look at the meaning of the expression. Total War is the total

engagement of a nation?s economic, social, cultural, and political capital in

the war.? Britain did engage all sides

of its capital in the war effort and was successful in its allocation of

it.? They had to fill posts left by

men who had gone to war with women and every side of life had to relate to

the campaign.? In my opinion the First

World War was a ?Total War? for Britain.?

It cost them millions of pounds, a great amount of lives were lost and

wasted, and gold reserves were shattered in wartime trading.? The war also changed the way in which many

people lived and entitled people to many new rights, these were mainly for

the women of the time. ????????? Women played a major part in winning the First World War

and many men who had previously opposed women having a vote quickly changed

their opinions.? Women had been trying

for years before to get the rights to vote and many women had taken extreme

measures to try to gain it.? The

Suffragette movement was a major campaign during the period 1906 and 1914,

which involved much violence and involved many women getting arrested.?? The campaign did not do them many favours

and many men were convinced that women were too unstable and hysterical to

have the vote, but, with all credit to them, when the war came along many

women stopped their campaigns and helped in the effort gaining them support

from many men who had previously opposed them having rights to vote. ????????? Throughout the war the government, as a way to get men to

conscript, used women.? Women were

encouraged to having nothing to do with men who didn?t do their ?duty?, but

instead encourage those who did.? When

supplies of men did run low women were never conscripted and instead were

used in campaigns to help persuade men to enlist.? One of the most major campaigns used to make men enrol was the

poster in 1915 with a little girl asking her Father ?Daddy, what did you do in the Great War??? Trying to make men feel guilty worked and

many signed up, as they believed that women would not respect them if they

did not fight.? ????????? Women helped in many other aspects of war.? They took over roles of men who had gone

to war in the factories and in the fields.?

They also filled posts that women were expected to fill, like

voluntary nursing, military nursing, canteen staff, Salvation Army, and

Christian organisations.? Although

women were not allowed to go to the front until 1918, the ?Women?s Army

Auxiliary Corps? was set up in February 1917, aimed to send women out to

replace men in army bases, home and away. ????????? Many women who had a job did not work in factories as

they were seen as dangerous and women were expected to stay at home, they

were believed to have a special ability in making the home feel homely.? Those who did work were in the middle

classes and worked as nurses, primary teachers, and social work.? The war saw a break down of these barriers

that women worked behind and they started working in all aspects of

employment.? The lower classes who

were told the best work for them was domestic service, which protected them

from the dangers of factory work like sex and drink, took up roles in factories,

mainly munitions.? These munitions

factories were not good for their health as poorly made bombs were leaking

toxic gases, these gases were turning their skins orange and hair ginger but

against all odds women felt they had to continue to help their country. ????????? The number of women working in these factories rose by

145% between 1914 and 1916.? Four

years later, by 1918, this had risen to 333% compared with the beginning of

the war. ????????? As women started working many things changed for

them.? Women started doing all the

things that men might have done, go to pubs, restaurants, dances and

theatre.? Hair and skirts got shorter

as a result of factory work these things were seen to make working harder.? As women took over the running of the

country many other things changed.?

Women were allowed into the police force and they had their very own

police service.? This service would

supervise goings on at music halls, cinemas, railway stations and parks. ????????? There were still class barriers even when women were

involved.? Some towns would not allow

women ?of a certain class? to go out between 7pm and 8am. ????????? The women?s role in the war was very significant but they

had a lot of trouble trying to help.?

Male trade unions were worried that if women took the jobs of men the

men would not be able to get them back when they returned from the war.? As a result of this many employers, and

the government agreed with the trade unions that all jobs should be returned.? This clearly proves that women were in the

war effort to help, as they had no chance of keeping their job after the war. ????????? All these changes for women had a knock on effect on many

aspects of life.? There were many

social changes, due to the governments plan to get women to get encourage men

to sign up and to encourage them all the way, many women were helping in

other methods too.? When men were home

on leave many women would ?Give them a god time? as the men might not live to

see them again.? By the end of the war

the illegitimacy rate was about 6%.?

Many women had given up prostitution because they had proper

jobs.? The idea of a good time in that

period was sex and alcohol, ?nice? girls seemed to be more willing and the

country had changed a lot socially. ????????? The war was definitely a total war, it affected social,

economic and cultural traditions and the country changed rapidly.? It was not all good and many people were

not happy with women drinking in pubs.?

Many working class women would frequently visit pubs, it fitted in

with factory work and many workers would go for a pint after work, on

Saturday nights Police constables, Bishops and Magistrates stood outside and

counted the number of women going in.?

I think that people in these positions felt their jobs were threatened

and they seemed prepared to do whatever they could to stop women having a

chance at getting their jobs.? They

claimed that women were irresponsible and their place was in the home. ????????? In 1918, for once, men had more sexual rights than there

are today.? Men were accusing many

women of trying to have sex with them who had venereal disease.? There was a ruling by the government that

if a woman with VD had or tried to have sex with a man in the army or navy

she could be prosecutes and imprisoned, whereas men with VD would face no

punishment.? This is clear sexism but

there has been a role reversal since then.?

This has changed very much since then and men who have tried to accuse

women of sexually harassing them have lost their cases.? It shows that the government at the time

were doing their best to keep the women under control.? They already were doing many of the men?s

jobs and were taking up many of the men?s pastimes.? They could not have women stopping men fighting by giving them

VD. ????????? With all the demands of working in factories fashion

changed to co-inside with the type of work they would be doing.? Long skirts would have got in the way so

they were shortened and as the war finished this was restored.? The petticoat was lost and hats were made

smaller, all these changes were made ?? ????????? People were prepared to limit their freedom of speech

they were entitled to.? At this time

newspapers and periodicals were a major source of information about the war

effort.? A periodical like ?The

Illustrated London News? carried stories and particularly photographs

from the front line.? To keep spirits

high at home, paper editors sometimes withheld information that might lower

the moral of the country.? On August

15 a correspondent for ?The Times? newspaper watched British troops

who had just crossed to France, marching to their camps above Boulogne

reports ?Watch them as they pass, every man in the prime of life, not a youth

or stripling among them.? Their shirts

are open at the front, and as they shout you can see the working of the muscles

of their throats, their wide-open mouths and rows of dazzling teeth.? Every movement spells fitness for the

field, for long marches by day and longer nights in the trenches.? ????????? He continued ?I can see them again, with their brown,

jolly faces, full of laughter, and hear them still shouting and singing,

?It?s a long way to Tipperary, it?s a long way to go,? while the officers,

with the quiet, confident smiles ride between, raising hands in salute to

their French comrades in arms on the pavements.? ????????? Donald Hankey fought on the Somme, he was the brother of

the British Cabinet Secretary, and he sent an account of what he had seen to

the editor of the Spectator magazine, for which he had written a

number of articles while in France.?

The editor, however, in what he regarded as the interest of patriotism,

refused to publish it.? Hankey wrote,

?Here we are where we started.? Day

and night we have done nothing but bring in the wounded and the dead.? When one sees the dead, their limbs

crushed and mangled, one can only have revulsion for war.? It was easy to talk of glory and heroism

when one sees the dead, their limbs crushed and mutilated and tortured dead,

one can only feel the horror and wickedness of war.? Indeed it is an evil harvest, sown of pride and arrogance and

lust of power.? ????????? I felt these articles were very strong in showing that

there were many other ways in which people were helping out in the war

effort.? The editor went against his

obligation to give the truth to keep the moral of the country flying high. ????????? The First World War was very expensive for Britain, our

debts were huge and this was not helped by the fact we had to write off 757

million pounds of debts owed to us by the Russian Tsar.? We were also owed almost as much from

France and Italy.? We owed over 800

million pounds to the United States.?

We were still paying off out debt in 1965. ????????? We did not only loose money we also lost a huge amount of

our gold debt.? Twelve countries

increased their gold debts as a result of the First World War.? The greatest gainer was the United States,

whose gold reverses increased by £278 million.? Japan was the second most successful and they gained £183

million.? By contrast, the principal

victors, as well as the vanquished, were saddled with a considerable

depletion of their gold reserves.?

Germany headed the list of the vanquished by losing £123 million.? Britain headed the list of the victors

with a loss of 342 million. ????????? With all this

evidence and facts I feel that the First World War was definitely an

engagement of Britain?s economic, cultural, social and political capital, a

total war.? Many things changed

because of the war either for better or for worse, many things had to change

for a chance of success.? Britain

engaged its resources sensibly but was still stretched to find enough of

everything to win.? Women played a

major role in the war effort and their help back home was just as important

as those on the front line.? There is

not one thing that during that period did not relate to the war effort and

everything that was possible, was done.`


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