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.
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Not everyone welcomed conscription though. Fifty MP's voted against the introduction of conscription in parliament. Also those who opposed the war due to religious of political reasons were also against conscription. It would be against their will to fight so they were named conscientious objectors and nicknamed 'conchies'. Conchies had to prove they had a genuine reason for not wanting to fight and weren't just scared.

Also, in 1914 the government passed the Defence Of the Realm Act (DORA). It gave the government massive powers to control many aspects of people's daily lives, this included being able to seize any land or buildings, to control newspapers and the media and to take over any industries which were important to the war effort. Immediately after introducing DORA the government took over the coal mining industry so that the money was going towards the war rather than private owners.

In 1915, the government faced its first major problem of the war - there was a shortage of munitions. The 'munitions crisis'' as it was known as became a national scandal exposed by the Daily Mail. Due to this crisis a coalition government was formed to work together to support the war effort. This coalition included MP's from different parties. Under DORA,

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