Urban Life in Wartime London, Paris, and Berlin

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Urban Life in Wartime London Paris, and Berlin Introduction The Great War occurred during an extremely destructive period in Western History. The society and culture of all Western nations were undergoing rapid industrialization, urbanization, and secularization. Despite the massive gains in productivity enabled by science and technology, the material quality of life diminished greatly throughout much of this period. When Sir Edward Grey observed that "The lamps are going out all over Europe," he was necessarily referring to the lamps dotting the streets of its great cities. (Hobsbawm, 22). The face of war had changed by the time of the Great War. The environments in which the war was lost and won were distinctly urban. Thesis: Although the quality of life in each city had been dimmed by the War, it was dimmed to a greater extent in Berlin, which did not have the financial resources and international support which saved London and Paris from destitution. Income Although social inequality did not rise dramatically, the effects of social inequality became even more severe during the war period. Disadvantaged groups, such as widows, orphans, and the disabled, were exposed to the cruel reality of a market economy and the crueler reality of the wartime command economy. This they faced without the traditional pre-war municipal and philanthropic means of support, which had been diverted by the war. (540). In Britain and France, real income had risen as a result of the
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