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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. Overview

Children’s welfare measures, old age pensions. Overview

Labour Exchanges 1909, the National Insurance Act 1911. Overview

The political position of women in 1903




Reactions of the authorities to militancy and protest

Forced feeding

The ‘Cat and Mouse Act’

Children’s Charter (1906)

The School Meals Act (1906)

Medical Inspection, 1907.

The reasons for and importance of Old Age Pensions Act (1908).

Labour Exchanges (1909)

National Insurance Act 1911.

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

The BEF and 1914. Overview

Britain’s contribution to the Western Front 1915–17. Overview

The end of the war. Overview

The despatch of the BEF

The part played in the events of 1914

The failure of the Schlieffen Plan

The race for the sea

Setting up of the trench system.

The nature of trench warfare

Haig and the Battle of the Somme

The development and importance of new weapons



The creeping barrage.

Britain’s part in the events of 1918

Ludendorff’s offensives

The drive to victory.

Key Topic 3: The home front and social change

DORA, censorship and propaganda. Overview

Recruitment and rationing. Overview

The part played by women. Overview

The importance of censorship

Examples of propaganda

The various methods of recruitment: 1914–16

The reasons for, and impact of, conscription: 1916–18

Conscientious objectors.


The effects of submarine warfare on Britain

Measures brought in by the Government to alleviate the threat of U-Boats.

Key Topic 4: Economic and social change 1918–28

The changing role of women 1918–28. Overview

Industrial unrest 1918–27. Overview

The General Strike of 1926. Overview

Extension of the franchise

The changes in women’s work and social changes.

Trade union membership

Industrial militancy in the years 1918–20

The long-term and immediate problems of the coal industry

Black Friday (1921)

Red Friday (1925)

The Samuel Commission (March 1926).

Government preparations and measures to deal with the General Strike

The reasons why the TUC called off the General strike

Trades Disputes Act of 1927.

Propaganda of the First World War

Propaganda is a means of using the media to get across a political message. In war time this message has several key aims and objectives:

  • to engender support for the cause
  • to reassure people that the war is going well
  • to encourage people to join the armed forces
  • to promote initiatives that will help win the war
  • to make the enemy look bad
  • to justify the need to be fighting

Propaganda takes many forms during the First World War. Below is a list of some of the things that the Government used as Propaganda during World War One:

  • Posters were a cheap and effective way of visualising a message
  • Leaflets and pamphlets promoted key initiatives
  • Poetry was commissioned to glorify the cause
  • Writers were paid to write stories, plays and essays that were positive about the war
  • Official war artists were employed to paint pictures that were heroic and positive
  • War reporters were used who wrote in a 'certain way'
  • Two army war photographers were employed: nobody else was allowed to take a photograph of british troops on the Western Front, a crime punishable by the Death penalty
  • Speeches were written by esteemed authors to make sure they conveyed messages effectively
  • In London, large replicas of Trench systems were constructed to show the public how well looked after the soldiers were


FirstWorldWar.com - Propaganda Posters of World War One.

Spartacus - Detailed narrative outlining the role of the War Propaganda Bureau.

Wikipedia - article about British Propaganda during the First World War.






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