What were the domestic issues in Great Britain during World War I?  

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When World War I started in 1914, there was a lot of positive energy and support for the war. Most men that were of fighting age signed up for service. Those that did not were looked down upon and even persecuted by the public. The war quickly became a nuisance on the domestic front, though. With the British doing the fighting on the Western Front, it became a defensive struggle in which casualties mounted. The deaths and horrible injuries sustained by soldiers in the war quickly dampened the mood of England.

Despite a strong propaganda campaign by the government, Brits were disillusioned by the whole affair. Food and fuel shortages were a major problem on the homefront. The shortages caused inflation, which made it difficult for most citizens to afford basic necessities. As the strength of Germany's submarine campaign took its toll, citizens were forced to deal with rationing of food and fuel. This was at a time when women in Britain were working long and hard hours in the munitions factories. Then the government asked these same women to grow their own gardens in their free time to help with the food shortages. Women played an important role in the war, but it was very hard work for them.

It should also be mentioned that World War I introduced Britain to air raids. The Germans used zeppelins to attack the urban areas and the British responded with blackouts. During these blackouts, residents could not use their lights in an effort to make it more difficult for the Germans to bomb their homes. This would have certainly been another hassle for those left on the home front in England. Also, thousands of people died from the attacks on civilians.

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