We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

The World War One History Coursework Essay Sample

  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 813
  • Rewriting Possibility: 99% (excellent)
  • Category: war

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Introduction of TOPIC

The British Army at the beginning of the war was small in comparison to other countries involved. In 1914, Britain had 975,000 soldiers including reservists. France had over four million and Germany four and a half. To solve this shortage in numbers, Lord Kitchener, the war minister, began a recruitment campaign to boost numbers in the army.

The first and most obvious reason for British men enlisting was the use of propaganda by the British government. The series of adverts that were published played on the emotions of men and this may have caused them to enlist. The advert to the left is a typical example of the adverts published by the British government during the war period. This advert suggests that brave British men who are “friends” should join the army and fight. Many of the men who enlisted at the time were not educated to a great extent so playing on their emotions was a definite way to manipulate and get men to enlist e.g. the case of William Dove: “They showed the Fleet sailing the high seas and played ‘Britons Never Shall Be Slaves’ and ‘Hearts Of Oak’. And you know one feels that little shiver run up the back and you know you have got to do something.”

Pressure from women also persuaded men to enlist. Suffragists and ordinary women convinced men to go to the front against their better judgement. It was women who presented the “Order of the White Feather” to men who were capable of fighting but who chose not to. This became a symbol of cowardice and this coaxed men into signing up as Rifleman Norman Demuth shows, “I was given a white feather when I was sixteen, j

ust after I had left school. I was so astonished I did not know what to do about it, so I went round

Sorry, but full essay samples are available only for registered users

Choose a Membership Plan
to the recruiting offices with renewed zeal.”

The British public were excited about the prospect of war. This is due to the common perception that the war was going to be over by Christmas. “We were quite clear that Germany would be defeated by the 7th of October.” Private Godfrey Buxton. At the time, many men had badly paid and boring jobs and wanted to do something different e.g. miners in Wales.

The conception of “Pals Battalions” also persuaded men to enlist. This was a way for men from a certain area to enlist and fight together. Men thought that the prospect of going to war with their friends was a good idea so in places the whole male population of a town signed up. The peer pressure that resulted from this effectively forced thousands of men to sign up who wouldn’t have done so otherwise. This method was successful as a recruiting tool but its result where whole towns lost their male population was not so and resulted in reduced morale among ordinary people back in Britain later on in the war.

Patriotism was a big factor in the decisions that men made on whether to enlist or not as Private George Morgan shows: “We had been brought up to believe that Britain was the best country in the world and we wanted to defend her.” Propaganda posters released by the government also played on patriotism and in fact created jingoism, false patriotism. This was where men believed that being a British patriot meant joining up to the army and fighting, and if they didn’t, then they weren’t a patriot. All forms of encouragement to enlist contributed to jingoism e.g. women coercing men into enlist by saying things such as, “What are you doing for the war effort?” This made men feel pressured to fight even though they could be making contributions to the war effort in a less obvious manner.

Revenge is another factor that could have convinced men to enlist. The root cause, however, of why men wanted revenge is because of propaganda released by the government and by articles published in British newspapers about alleged German atrocities. These included raping women and gouging out the eyes of civilians. As one British general put it: “to make armies go on killing one another it is necessary to invent lies about the enemy.”

Of all these factors, I believe that propaganda is the single most important reason that persuaded British men to enlist. Not only is it a reason in itself, it is also a contributing factor to other reasons such as revenge and pride. An example of its success in 1914 is that it was used in World War Two and is still used today to put forward points of view.

We can write a custom essay on

The World War One History Coursework Essay Sample ...
According to Your Specific Requirements.

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

The Civil Rights Act and Reconstruction Act

The American Civil War and Reconstruction Era have caused a general and social change, most particularly for the African Americans in the South. The passing of the Civil Rights Act, Reconstruction Act, and the unwritten Compromise of 1877 to end Reconstruction was all a fight for the African Americans to gain their equality and freedom. The Civil War had entirely changed how Americans viewed their morals. During the American Civil War and Reconstruction period, continuity and change were constantly occurring through the legislations that the President and government were passing, along with the impact it had on the African Americans, and the southerners reaction to these new measures. One of the legislations that were passed by Congress that had impacted the African Americans and white southerners were the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 purpose was to protect the Freedmen from the Black Codes and...

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood overview

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is based on the anxieties of the 1980’s impending nuclear war and the issues of gender and reproduction. Atwood portrays a dystopian society based in a republic called Gilead, which is run by a theocratic and misogynist dictatorship. The society distorts the hierarchy of its citizens from the modern world, to one that characterizes males as the ruling class, who oversee women in servant roles. Most of the women population of Gilead is infertile, while the women that still have the ability of child- bearing, live under sexual degradation as handmaids in the households of the Commanders that act as the ruling class. By using a feminist and Marxist viewpoint to analyze the novel, it magnifies the power that women have over themselves and others regardless of their suppression and to further the agenda of men. Due to economic factors, the Gileadean society is...

The hybrid threat of the Second Indochina...

The hybrid threat of the Second Indochina War significantly contributed to the unification of Vietnam and the only known loss to the United States of America. The combination of assistance from Communist allies to the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong, along with the tactics utilized, played a monumental role in defeating the Republic of South Vietnam and the U. S. These regular and irregular forces’ working together in conjunction of the aid rendered by China and the Soviet Union is an excellent example of a hybrid threat. The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the Viet Cong (VC) both shared mutual desires to Re-Unify Vietnam into one country and remove the western influence within their region. The NVA utilized conventional or regular military tactics when fighting a campaign. The VC were opposite of their counterparts in their approach to fighting. The VC utilized “guerilla warfare” or irregular tactics to fight. The...

Popular Essays


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?