Was the First World War a 'Total war' for Britain?

Essay by chrisdravers2 January 2005

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Total War is the total engagement of a nation's economic, social, cultural, and political capital in the war. Britain did engage all sides of its capital in the war effort and was successful in its allocation of it. They had to fill posts left by men who had gone to war with women and every side of life had to relate to the campaign. In my opinion the First World War was a 'Total War' for Britain. It cost them millions of pounds, a great amount of lives were lost and wasted, and gold reserves were shattered in wartime trading. The war also changed the way in which many people lived and entitled people to many new rights, these were mainly for the women of the time.

Women played a major part in winning the First World War and many men who had previously opposed women having a vote quickly changed their opinions.

Women had been trying for years before to get the rights to vote and many women had taken extreme measures to try to gain it. The Suffragette movement was a major campaign during the period 1906 and 1914, which involved much and involved many women getting arrested. The campaign did not do them many favours and many men were convinced that women were too unstable and hysterical to have the vote, but, with all credit to them, when the war came along many women stopped their campaigns and helped in the effort gaining them support from many men who had previously opposed them having rights to vote.

Throughout the war the government, as a way to get men to conscript, used women. Women were encouraged to having nothing to do with men who didn't do their 'duty', but instead encourage those who did. When supplies of men...