How Did the First World War Affect British Society Essay example

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When we think about war, we think about words like death, disabled people, conquer and destroy. Without exception, the Great War during 1914-1918 was a catastrophe to the people and the countries involved. For Britain, the casualty numbered approximately 722000. It counts for 6.3 percent of the male aged 15-49 of the whole country (Beckett, 2001: 312). 1600000 wives lost their husbands. 300000 children lost their father. Millions were wounded or disfigured permanently (Bourne, 1989:178). Though miseries bought by the war were hard to release, on the other hand, a dissolving effect on the structure of the society as a consequence of the war generated positive influences on the British community (Marwick, 2006: 27). For instance, relative…show more content…
The contradictory phenomenon brought challenge and reverse on many aspects of the society. for instance, the impact on gender ideology and social class structure are two aspects which will be further inspected in this essay.

The ideology on gender in the early time of twentieth century was quite different from the contemporary believes. Generally, there is no consideration of gender equality at that time. The Great War provided men a clear role by enlisted to fight at the battlefield while the role for women was not so specific as no stereotype to follow with (Robb, 2002: 32). The initial role women played in the wartime was traditional. For instance, supporting recruiting and nursing. In fact, women were not suppose to work as euqal as men. Before the war started, the majority of women devoted in domestic service or some light industrial work like dressmaking and weaving. Furthermore, 90 percent of which would cease their employment upon marriage(Beckett, 2001: 327).The public was reluctant in hiring women. 'My good lady, go home and sit still', this is the response from the War office to Dr Elsie Inglis's intention of forming the first Scottish Woman's Hospital(Beckett, 2001: 324).

As the war proceed, perspective from the public changed, especially during the period of labor shortage of 1916 to 1917. The wartime situation offered women new opportunities and possibilities in society to meet the need for female labor during the war time. Their performance during
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