The Effect of World War I on Civilians Essay

The Effect of World War I on Civilians Essay

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The Effect of World War I on Civilians

World War one was a military conflict which took place between 1914
and 1918. It involved many European countries as well as America and
other countries around the world. This war was one of the most violent
and destructive in European history.

World War I was the first total war. Once the war began, the countries
involved mobilized their entire populations and economic resources to
achieve victory on the battlefield. The term home front, which was
widely employed for the first time during World War I, perfectly
symbolized this new concept of a war in which the civilian population
behind the lines was directly and critically involved in the war
effort.

When war broke out in during 1914, Britain only had a small
professional army - it needed a large one quickly. The government
launched a huge recruitment campaign with posters, leaflets,
recruitment offices in every town and motivating speeches by
politicians and ministers.

Despite the country already having a strong anti-German feeling, the
press strengthened it with regular stories of German atrocities. This
recruitment campaign was highly successful and by 1915 over two
million men had been enlisted in the army.

However, in 1916, numbers started to fall and the demand started to
increase. The government were forced to introduce conscription. This
meant that all men aged 18 to 40 had to register for active service.
These men could be called up at any time to fight for Britain. But in
the end many welcomed the governments taking the control of the
situation and introducing conscription as they thought the volunteer
system was u...


... middle of paper ...


...ot until 1916 that the
government allowed approved journalists to go to the front to report
on the war. These reports focused only on good news.

The government also censored letters from soldiers at the front. The
soldiers sometimes chose to censor themselves as they did not want to
report bad news back to their families and cause worry.

Children were also aimed at by the government. Toys, games, comics and
books were all aimed at making children support the war effort. These
books and magazines sold well since many of them continued to sell
after the war in the 1920's and 1930's.

The end of the war in November 1918 came as a relief with a sense of
triumph. People were all too aware by then of the human and financial
cost of the war in Britain and in other countries, and were desperate
to rebuild their lives.

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