How Did the First World War Change British Society? Essay

1686 Words Apr 8th, 2009 7 Pages
How did the First World War change British society?

The Great War involved most of the adult population either 'head on' or discretely. On average, 6 million men served in Britain's armed forces during the course of the war. Many millions of innocent civilians had their lives affects to the overall changes, both economic and social that the war caused or added to. The impact of the war varied greatly between the different regions of the sommunity. There were many differences and considerations ; these being gender and social class, so it is had to dinstinguish and measure the war's exact impact on people's attitudes, beliefs and values.

Firstly, there was a significant impact on social classes. For the working class, the war gave the
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They often worked longer hours and hadn to accept shift work which put their lives at home and relationships under strain.

The efforts of women, at work and in the home, were vitally important to the success of the war, and the contribution challeneged the dominant old fashioned view that women were passive and weak and their role laid soley at home. Many women becamse the main breadwinner, and with full employment, women workers earned more money than ever before. Some women for once, felt the feeling of financial stability and independance from husbands and fathers. The Sex Disqualification Act introduced in 1919 only added to the success of women in the workplace.
Women's fashion too changed. Skirts became shorter, as did hair, and women no longer conformer to old fashioned views ; they had a voice now. There was still a strong emphasis on women's traditional roles though, both during and after the war. By 1921, the percentage of women in the workforce was little different from what it was in 1911.

A key aspect of social change to women, was the connection between women's role is the war effort and the achievement of women's suffrage in 1918.
In 1897, the NUWSS or 'Suffragists' was founded by a Mrs Millicent Fawcett.

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