History GCSE WW1 Sources Question Essay, Research Paper
History GCSE Coursework
Study sources A, B and c. Use your knowledge of the First World War to explain which two posters were published before
1916,and which one was published after 1916.You must give reasons for your answer. The sources A and B were produced before 1916 and C was produced afterwards. Source C is an American poster and these wouldn´t have been needed before 1916, as America did not join the war until 1917.
Joining the army before 1917 when conscription had not yet been introduced was voluntary so posters like A and B which encourage men to join off their own backs by playing on emotions and make them think why they should join the army would have been needed.
Posters A and B are very similar, they both use the family in encouraging recruits and patriotism-making the men feel that the war is something they should be part of.
Whereas source C is portraying the enemy as a beast using propaganda to give the men enthusiasm to fight the Germans.
Study sources A B and C. In what ways are these posters similar, and in what ways do they differ? Posters A and B are very similar in using family values yo encourage young men to join the army .Source C is also similar to A and B in the sense that they all have something to do with patriotism of the war.
Although A and B are similar in the way that they are both concerned with family and patriotism as does source C. Source C uses a different tactic of trying to recruit men; it portrays the enemy as a mad raging beast who must be stopped. It is also an American poster whereas sources A and B are both British.
The posters A and B would not have been needed after conscription was introduced. America only joined the war in 1917 so poster C before this time would not have been used.
The differences between source s A and B against source C is that A and B both play on the emotion of guilt; guilt that if they played no part in the war when thousands of men did and also the emotion of pride -the loss of pride for the family because they did not fight for their country. Source C plays on the emotions of anger and hatred-it persuades the men to believe that the enemy is a brutal beast and must be stopped by them. Question 3
Study source D. Use your knowledge of the First World War to explain whether or not you think source D proves that Sources A and B were successful in persuading men to join the army. The photograph-Source D cannot prove to us that posters A and B were successful. Yes there is a line of men queuing for something but this does´nt mean we should assume that they are joining because Posters A and B have persuaded them. The Photograph may even have been staged to give the impression that lots of men were joining the army as a propaganda aid, so men would join.
We cannot prove a fact until we are 100% certain and in the case of source D proving that A and B were successful in persuading men we cannot be.
Even if the photograph was not staged there are many other reasons why it does not prove anything to us.
The men on the photograph may have been queuing for their money. The photo seems to make us believe that there are many men present at the time but we cannot be sure of how many-the line may have needed soon after the photo shows us.
Also this may have been the only place near to the men where they could join and if it was London then there was obviously going to be more men than anywhere else because it is such a vast city and there would not have been that amount of men over the rest of the country.
Also there may be only one place to get paid in London. There is no date on this photograph so we cannot presume that it was taken before conscription was introduced and if it was taken after then it proves nothing at all to us.
The men have joined the army but not purely based on the fact that they have seen the posters; maybe because they already wanted to do their duty to help the country.
They may have felt a sense of patriotism and wanted to do their family proud before seeing the posters.
All of the young men´s friends may have been joining and they didn´t want to be the one left out. The young men may have wanted to take up a role in the war so they felt they had done their part and been a real man in doing so. The men who didn´t go to war could have been called cowards so many men ended up going just to prove to the world that they were of use to the countries army.
At first the idea of war seemed like a great adventure to some men, it was something exciting to do rather than their usual eventless lives that bored them. Question 4
Study Source E use your knowledge of the First World war to explain why the government issued postcards like this one to the soldiers in the trenches. Postcards such as the one in Source E were issued to restrict the information abouthe war that was sent home. The government did not want the reality of fighting to be let out in the open to the people at home, because this might have put off some of the men about to recruit to the army and they would have lost recruits before conscription was introduced. The people in general in Britain were very confident about winning the war and the government wanted the British public to stay in high spirits-they saw no point in informing them about the bloody battles where 1000´s of Allies were being slaughtered would have put down the morale of the people.
Very brief postcards like the on in source D only stating whether the soldier was ill or wounded as well as concealing the details of war also prevented the soldiers´ family from stopping their part to help in the war through over-worrying for example; the women had been fulfilling some of the usual ‘male jobs´ while the majority were at war.
After 1916 when conscription was introduced there were many conscientious objectors looking for a way to stop them from fighting for Britain . Question 5
Study sources F, G and H. If you did not know the dates of sources G and H how else would you be able to work out that source G and not source H, appeared with source F in British newspapers in July 1916? Not knowing the dates of the war you would still be able to tell that source H appeared with source F in British newspapers in 1916 because the two sources both describe how gallant and brave the British soldiers were. They were sure to come out of battle triumphantly because they went in proud-or so these sources lead us to believe.
These were both used as propaganda to promote the morale of Britain and not reveal the real war image.
Sources F and G are both based upon the football game while going into battle not the fear that the soldiers would have really had whereas source H is based upon the reality of war through a soldiers eyes.(an eyewitness account)
Source H would´nt have been allowed to be printed as it was more realistic and would have put men off joining the army. Source H is a more realistic account and not a creatively written piece of writing like source G portraying the British soldiers as brave warriors.
The writer of source H BA Steward talks about saving himself and not the working as a team to defeat the Germans-the governments image to encourage men to be a part in the army was one of gallant soldiers not of cowardice and selfishness.
Sources F and G were both produced for the same reasons to keep the British public proud of the soldiers and in high sprits that they would win the war. In these two sources the soldiers appear to be so relaxed that the people would think that they had a lot of confidence in winning without much effort. Source H is produced for a completely different purpose-to reveal what the battle was actually like behind the propaganda front that the public was bombarded with during the war. Question 6
Study sources I and J. Suggest possible reasons why these two sources give different impressions of conditions in the trenches. Explain your answer. Source I and J differ because they have been made for different reasons and by different people-one who has experienced trench warfare and the other people – have produced an advertisement to sell cigarettes.
Source I has been produced for the purpose of selling cigarettes to the public therefore they are going to use the ‘nice´ relaxed image of soldiers have time to smoke one. The makers of this poster probably never actually saw the war in reality and even if they did go to war this could have been produced early on when conditions weren´t so bad.
Source J is written by Siegfried Sasoon who had experienced war trench conditions and he creatively and cleverly uses his language to portray the trenches and the feelings of the other men. Sasoon describes some fingers of a dead man sticking out of the air as ‘an appeal to God in defiance of those who made the war´. This very much emphasises one particular incident and he twists it-so it has a meaning
In source I we are told about all the gruesome details such as the ‘mangled bodies of the dead´ everywhere in the trenches but Source J gives a nice clean and un-battle like impression of the trenches.
Source I is a bias opinion but he has eyewitness evidence Source J is an advertisement without any evidence, the two sources are very different in this aspect. Question 7
Study Sources E, F and G. These 3 sources come from the time of the war. How reliable are they as evidence of what it was like in the trenches? Use sources and your knowledge of the First World War to explain your answer.
Sources E,F and G do come from the time of the war but they are not good evidence of what life was actually like in the trenches. From source E we can not conclude anything about what the trenches were like, the postcards were made by the government for this reason, to stop the public finding out how bad the conditions were . It simply has the bare minimum of information to simply let the families know whether the soldier is dead or alive.
Sources F and G both appeared in British Newspapers in July 1916 when at this timer the government were still trying to recruit men because conscription had not yet been introduced. They wanted to portray to the public back home that the soldiers fighting for Britain were enthusiastic and brave and this is what these two sources achieve.
It is unlikely that the surrey regiment would have had time to play football while entering a battle head on. It is purely propaganda.
Source G is not based on facts just an idea so it cannot be used as good evidence of what the trench fighting was like. This source doesn´t actually talk about the bad conditions of the trenches mainly about how the soldiers were very brave.
‘Where the blood is poured like water they drive the trickling ball ‘
It gives no information about the actual trenches. The writer of this probably never even saw the surreys entering battle.
The government would have censored what was to be published in newspapers-so that the public would be made to believe that Britain were fighting confident that we would win. Question 8
Study Sources H and J These two sources were written long after the war. How reliable are they as evidence of what it was like in the trenches? Use sources and your own knowledge of the First World War to explain your answer. Sources H and I were written a long time after the war and would not have been allowed to be published during the war as they both describe how bad the war really was for the soldiers and not what the Public had been told by the government .
The writers of sources H and J actually experienced the war so they have more evidence than that of the other sources.
We cannot believe everything they tell us though, as they have some bias opinions of their particular event that stands out in their minds.
After the war free expression was permitted so people could exhadurate the truth to any extent they wished on what the events originally were.
These two sources do not describe the conditions overall just one particular event that stands out in their memories.
In source H BA Steward describes when the surreys were meant to be ‘playing the game´ – he was trying to save himself.
Source J does describe the appalling trench conditions but also emphasises the fact that a soldiers hand was sticking out of the soil that had fallen in an accusing shape and interprets this as an ‘appeal to God in defiance of those who made the war´
BA steward was a poet and he uses language creatively here.
Both the writers of these sources go to extreme lengths to knock what had been previously published and by doing this I think they believe that they can change people´s opinions on what the war was like by doing this-this is the purpose they wrote these.
The fact that these sources were written a long time after the war means that we have to think about how peoples´ information changes their perception of what happened over time and the images stored in their memory will have changed.
There was so much propaganda produced during the war that these two men who were probably bitter about this decided to write their own versions which they thought people should listen to more because they were there.
We can not take these as concrete evidence though. Question 9
“ The British government did everything it could to ‘mislead´ the British people about what it was really like in the trenches” How far do the sources and your knowledge of the period support this information? The Government did everything they could to mislead the British public by using aids such as things that were either propaganda or vetting the real information.
Source D makes the people think that there were thousands of young men joing the army to give the impression across to other men which would encourage them to join.
When Infact there are many reasons why this is not correct.
Source E a postcard that only let´s soldiers send home the minimal to their families and no real information this is an example of the government censoring and by doing this ‘misleading´ the public at home.
Sources f and G were both published in British newspapers about the Surreys playing football while entering battle, this was knocked by BA steward who actually experienced the war and calls it a ‘fanciful story´. The government published this though to portray that the soldiers were brave and confident to make Britain feel proud and also to make it seem easy-going to encouraging more men to join as conscription had not yet started.
The government were always looking for ways to impress the public and encourage the young men but they must have known how bad the conditions got during the war and how some of the soldiers lived and they never told thr public any of this.
The reality of the trenches was far from a laid back clean environment. We now know that they were infested with mice and dead bodies heaped upon one another and the stench of blood baking in the sun. The terrible conditions Siegfried Sassoon backed up with his witting. After the war people were allowed to uncover their versions.
Which was nothing like the government led the public to believe during the war. Question 10
Would a historian writing about the trenches in 1918 have been likely to produce a different account of what conditions were like from a historian writing much later? Use the Sources and your knowledge from this period to help you explain your answer. The Historian writing in 1918 about the trench conditions would have most definitely had a different account than one writing later.
This is because the real information at the time was concealed from the public. Only writings that didn´t describe the trenches as bad were allowed to be published. Although there was conscription in 1918 there still would have been a lot of propaganda around to make the public feel proud of their soldiers.
The Historian writing later would have been able to look at a variety of sources and information not just that what the government let people see. By using a range of information the Historian would later would have a better idea of what trench life was really like from different view points.
The sources E,F G and I are all examples of the kind of things produced in the war.
E –a postcard censoring the soldiers writing back home so they wouldn´t let anything slip about conditions.
F and G which appeared together in British newspapers shows the men confident and brave while entering the battle this was later critised by BA steward who was present then. A historian later can look at both sides of the perception of the trenches but the historian writing at the time wouldn´t have much of an insight.
The historian writing earlier would probably have given a much nicer impression of the trenches than the historian writing later as the bad details were kept quiet from the public.
Source I is another example of the nice clean laid back impression the public were fed during the war.
The historian writing later would also have a different account because they are ‘reflecting´ history rather than writing an account at the present time.