The Effect of the First World War on the Well Being of British Civilians

1847 Words8 Pages
The Effect of the First World War on the Well Being of British Civilians

When constructing an essay based upon the impact that the First World War had upon the wellbeing of British civilians, we primarily have to distinguish how, and with what criteria we will use to judge a Nations health standard and wellbeing.

Throughout this essay, it is my aim to evaluate all of the different primary and secondary material available on the topic. Hopefully, this will provide me with enough data to make a subjective opinion of my own.

Many historians over the years have bestowed upon us many conflicting thesis and ideologies regarding the impact that the ‘Great War’ had on the well being of British
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As my essay progresses, I hope to be able to decipher the authentic data and use it constructively to provide a comprehensive answer to the above questions.

I think it is without doubt that as the hardships of war set in, the diet of the British civilian population was greatly effected. Shortages in some food types meant that prices increased dramatically, and luxury goods were no longer seen in the grocery store.

It has to be noted that the inelastic demand for the staple foods such as potatoes and bread actually increased during the war years.

The total output of wheat, barley, oats, rye and potatoes exceeded 18 million tonnes by 1918. This is an overall increase of 4 million tonnes since the onset of war.

It has been stated by many historians that the food shortage that were visible during World War 1 had positive effects on civilian health.

The reduction in the amount of alcohol and sugar consumed in the diet would most definitely have beneficial effects on a nations wellbeing.

Maybe, theoretically speaking, the stabilising of the working class diet would have an advantageous effect on nutritional levels, thus ultimately mortality rates.

Winter

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