Tag Archives: Britain

British civilians in the First World War

This GCSE revision podcast presents an overview of the impact of World War 1 on British civilians.

The episode is split into two key sections – recruitment and government powers.  When you have listened to the podcast, you may like to check out the British Civilians in WW1 PowerPoint.

Beginning with the popular excitement at the outbreak of war, the podcast explains how the British army recruited soldiers to join the army from the early days of voluntary recruitment through to the introduction of conscription in 1916.  There is then an explanation of the effect of conscription on British society, which referenced conscientious objectors.  For information on the role of women in the First World War, check out the podcast about women and the right the vote.

The second part of the podcast presents an overview of the different powers granted to the government under the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA).  The effect of DORA on the civilian population of Britain is also assessed, with a particular focus on the causes and consequences of rationing.  The podcasts ends with an explanation of how propaganda and censorship were used in Britain during the First World War.

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The Brown Family’s Four War Christmases cartoon

This cartoon by G M Payne, originally published in Sunday Pictorial on 23 December 1917, shows the changes experienced by a British family as the First World War progressed. It’s a great resource to use for the basis of a lesson about the effects of the war on the British Home Front, and to show how attitudes to the war changed over time. The annual Christmas tableau begins with the optimistic attitude of 1914 and ends in 1917 as rationing takes hold.

I’ve put together a very simple PowerPoint looking at each frame in turn that you can download here. This works well as a lesson to recap the Home Front. Students identify the changes and, based on their knowledge, explain why those changes happened. A written task could be to describe and explain the changes between the first and last frame in the context of the British Home Front.

Ed Podesta has an excellent lesson using the same cartoon to explore the significance of the war on different aspects of life in Britain. You can find the resources for that lesson here.

Download a copy of The Brown Family’s Four War Christmases cartoon here

Download a PowerPoint that could form the basis of a lesson exploring the changes in the British Home Front here

Suffragettes

Women and the right to vote

This revision podcast aims to explain the different factors that contributed to women gaining the right to vote in Britain.

The podcast is split into two main sections – the effect of the Suffragists and the Suffragettes on the movement for votes for women, and the role of women in the First World War.

The first part begins by outlining the origins and methods of the Suffragists, which are then contrasted with the methods of the more forthright Suffragette movement.  The effects of their actions are assessed, with particular consideration given to the impact on government officials and wider public opinion as the Suffragette campaign resorted to hunger-strikes in prison.

The second part of the presents an overview of the role of women in World War One.  A short description is given of the role of women on boosting the number of recruits for the army, followed by an assessment of the the effect of women who entered the workplace to take up jobs that had been vacated by men going off to fight.  To revise how the First World War affected the rest of the population, check out the podcast about British civilians in the First World War.

The podcast ends with a description of the Representation of the People Act, which marked a shift in British politics to begin giving women a voice.

You may wish to also download the Women and the Right to Vote PowerPoint, and can test yourself using the Votes for Women practice questions.

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Overview of Emily Davison being hit by a racehorse at Epson Derby

On the 4th June 1913, suffragette Emily Wilding Davison was hit by King George V’s racehorse at the Epsom Derby after she stepped onto the track. She died four days later from a fractured skull and other internal injuries.

Davison joined the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1906, and soon began to take part in their militant and confrontational activities that were designed to win the right to vote for women. She quickly developed a reputation as a particularly violent campaigner, and was imprisoned nine times for various illegal activities. During her prison sentences she went on hunger strike, and so was subjected to force-feeding by the prison authorities.

The Epson Derby is a highlight of the British horseracing calendar, and historians agree that Davison wanted to use the event to draw attention to the women’s suffrage movement. Newsreel footage of the event showed Davison ducking under the barrier and running onto the track as the horses began to race past her. She tried to grab the bridle of one of the last horses – which happened to be the King’s horse, Anmer – but was thrown to the ground by the force of the horse and trampled by its hooves.

Most people hold the view that Davison did not intend to martyr herself, but rather to attach a Votes For Women scarf to the horse. Various pieces of evidence support this view, including the return portion of a train ticket found in her purse. However, she did not share her plan with anyone so her true intentions will never be known.

The Alliance System in Europe 1871-1890

This revision podcast focuses on Bismarck and the International System (sometimes known as the Alliance System) he created from 1871 until his resignation in 1890.  Approaching the topic through a consideration of Bismarck’s foreign policy aims following the unification of Germany, the podcast explains how he attempted to isolate France, befriend Britain, and create a series of alliances with Russia and Austria-Hungary.

          

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Causes of the First World War – the ‘Alliance System’

An overview of the Alliance System before the outbreak of the First World War including archive footage from the time.

Entente Cordiale

Explanation of the Entente Cordiale

A brief explanation of the terms and effects of the signing of the Entente Cordiale on 8th April 1904.

Causes of the First World War – Militarism and the ‘Arms Race’

The July Crisis and the outbreak of World War One

This revision podcast provides an overview of the July Crisis of 1914 that acted as the spark to World War One.  The episode begins with the events of 28th June when Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by the Black Hand Gang.  It then goes on to explore the impact of the assassination on the diplomatic actions of Germany and Austria-Hungary, including the ‘blank cheque’.  Finally, the podcast describes the actions of Russia, France and Britain as the major nation states of Europe fell in to war.

          

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Causes of the First World War – The July Crisis

Beginning with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, this video explores the 6-week period known as the July Crisis.  It explains the concept of Germany’s ‘Blank Cheque’ and how the alliance system caused the nations of Europe to become embroiled in what was now a ‘world’ war.  Reference is made to the Schlieffen Plan and how this led to Britain’s declaration of war.