Holger Afflerbach, David Stevenson. An Improbable War?: The Outbreak of World War I and European Political Culture before 1914.
This chapter of the book was to inform people about how men, who were not soldiers, were treated.
I chose this because it gave a very accurate answer to the question: how were men who were not fighting treated?
*Herwig, H. The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary 1914-1918, Bloomsbury Academic, 1996.
This source was created to provide information about life on the home front for everyone – men, women AND children.
I chose this source because it showed both positive and negative information.
Everett, British home front poster, 1917
This poster was made to raise awareness on the shortage and limitation of food during the war for families at home.
I chose this source because it shows a negative fact about life on the home-front.
October 17, 2013, Erik Sass
This article was created to show the inventions brought the war.
It sheds some light on the good results of the war, which is why I chose this source.
Cartoon from ‘The Worker’ 10 February 1916. The cartoon depicts a situation in which a returned soldier is being rejected for employment because the business is able to pay lower wages for females.
This cartoon was made to show that businesses preferred to employ women as they could pay them less (exploit them).
I chose this because it showed how the war affected men who weren’t fighting.
What life was like for people who stayed at home during the war:
With all the men at war, women were left to do all the jobs usually occupied by men. They ran fire stations, delivered mail, ran farms and saw to finances. These were all jobs men would have had. They also helped more directly by nursing wounded soldiers and sending food packages to soldiers.
In the war, most of Britain’s male population were soldiers, so the women took over. The government was amazed at how well they worked, so they gave the women the opportunity to vote.
Children also benefitted from the war as they learned to rely on no one but themselves. It is shown in Source B where it says “Youths started to experience a new sort of independence, no longer relying on their families”
Men who did not fight in the war were shamed and treated with a lack of respect. They were seen as cowards and neglectful towards their duties. This is proved in source A where it states “those men who tried to stay out of the war were treated with disdain and contempt.”, “men not wearing a uniform were considered as cowardly shying away from their foremost duty”.
People struggled to survive and had very little options when it came to food. In source B it says “The people left on the home front largely relied on a diet of potatoes on bread, but these also became difficult to purchase towards the end of the war.” Their lives were affected majorly by the effects of the war. “Families had to adapt to significant changes during the First World War.”
The “U-Boat” in Source C means “underwater boat” and it refers to military submarines operated by Germany. They were used in commerce raiding which is a form of war at sea, to destroy the logistics of their enemies. They targeted the convoys bringing supplies from canada. This meant there was a shortage of food which is why it says in Source C “Save two slices of bread and defeat the U-Boats”.
However, there were some effects of the war that weren’t entirely bad. The war resulted in many new technological inventions – tanks, flamethrowers, hydrophones, mobile x-ray machines, etc. – as shown in Source D.
Fewer women than men had jobs outside of their homes, and those who did, were paid much less. More women were hired because they were paid less, and fewer men could receive job opportunities, as shown in Source E.
Therefore life on the home front was good in certain aspects, and also bad in others.