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War and the transformation of British society c1903–28

Key Topic 1: The Liberals, votes for women and social reform

The activities of the women’s societies and the reaction of the authorities.
Children’s welfare measures, old age pensions.
Labour Exchanges 1909, the National Insurance Act 1911.

Key Topic 2: The part played by the British on the Western Front

The BEF and 1914.
Britain’s contribution to the Western Front 1915–17.
The end of the war.

Key Topic 3: The home front and social change

DORA, censorship and propaganda.
Recruitment and rationing.
The part played by women.

Key Topic 4: Economic and social change 1918–28

The changing role of women 1918–28.
Industrial unrest 1918–27.
The General Strike of 1926.

The End of the First World War

The Long Term impact of the War

Much of life today is still influenced by decisions made during the war of 1914-1918. The old pub closing hours, which survived into the 1990s, were designed to discourage the munitions workers of 1915 from idling away their afternoons over beer. British Summer Time was first used during the Great War. Here are some of the more unusual legacies:

• Cigarette smoking
• The use of wristwatches
• Garden allotments (inspired by the Ministry of Food)
• The use of paper banknotes became more widespread, entirely replacing gold coins
• The playing of the National Anthem in theatres and cinemas only stopped in the 1970s
• Every day the Daily Telegraph and the Times print “in memoriam” notices with the military one separated from the civilian
• Egg and chips became popular: bacon and steak were scarce and expensive
• Britain spent much of the 1920s and 1930s paying for the war: we owed the USA billions after the war
• Many historians say that the decline and fall of the British Empire can be traced to pressures brought on by the Great war
• The Poppy appeal was set up by Earl Haig and is still used to collect funds today for those affected by war





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