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WWI Notes 6: Total War and the Homefront

WWI Notes 6: Total War and the Homefront

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WWI Notes 6: Total War and the Homefront

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  1. WWI Notes 6: Total War and the Homefront World Wars Ms. Hamer February 24, 2011

  2. Definitions • Total War: When the entire population is working for the war, whether as a soldier or on the homefront • Homefront: NOT A BATTLEFIELD; home country where civilians and the government are working to help the war effort

  3. Total War

  4. Growth of the War State • Neither side had planned for the economic impact of the war • Shell shortages occurred very quickly after the start of the war • New model of state power to allow total war and victory • Different from the idea of a limited state that had come before • Large state that had more control would come out of WWI

  5. Managing People • The War State was brought on by the need to provision HUGE armies • Homefront would become important • Needed workers to make war goods • Had to provide for those who lost providers in the war • Separation Allowance: stipend or subsidy for those who had lost the bread winner in the family to maintain economic livelihood

  6. Unions • In Europe, unions were brought into the war effort • Unions would pledge not to strike and in exchange would be given a voice in planning • In America unions would pledge not to strike for the duration of the war

  7. Daylight Savings Time • Germany - 1916 • England – 1917 • United States – 1918 • Would make sunset later in the summer to allow for more work and energy efficiency

  8. Different Models of Total War

  9. Germany - Economic Control • Economically unprepared for the war • Coordinated by the War Raw Materials Board • All the way down to the Imperial Potato Office! • Smaller businesses were pushed aside in favor of “more efficient” larger businesses • Hindenburg Plan (1916): all men 17-60 were drafted for jobs important to the war • Also used forced labor from Belgium and Poland

  10. Germany – State Control • Military commanders given control over regions • Led to “Silent Dictatorship” of Hindenburg and Ludendorff after 1916 • Tried for centralized control, but was not always effective or efficient and civilian needs were often cast aside

  11. Great Britain – Economic and State Control • Theory was that business as usual would continue, but it really needed to be reorganized • July 1915 Ministry of Munitions established under David Lloyd George (the Welsh Wizard) and would reorganize the British war effort • Staff of 65,000 • Pub closing times were instated to make sure workers weren’t out too late David Lloyd George would become Prime Minister of England in 1916

  12. Great Britain – Economic and State Control II • Defense of the Realm Act (DORA) August 8, 1914: British government could suppress public criticism, imprison without trial, and commandeer economic resources • Rationing of sugar and meat began in January 1918 to ensure supply and prevent panic • No reduced consumption levels occurred in England in WWI • Women were encouraged to become agricultural workers to keep up the supply of food

  13. Great Britain – Military Control • Shaped by liberal traditions – no draft initially • Lord Horatio Kitchener was made Secretary of State for War • Kitchener made the New Army to replace the BEF (which had been crushed in the first battles) • Created the Pal’s Battalions to encourage friends to join together • Conscription began January 1916

  14. France – Economic Issues • Less successful in industrial expansion than other war countries, but France was spared the food shortages • Because the Germans had occupied France’s industrial area • After occupation France lost 75% of coal production and 80% of steel making • Agriculture stayed strong and fed the population and military

  15. France – Military and Political Control • In the first 16 months of the war, France experienced half of its wartime casualties with more than 600,000 killed • Civil and military officials struggled over who would control the war effort • French army mutinies in 1917 caused extensive reorganization under civilian leadership under the new premier Georges Clemenceau (similar to David Lloyd George in England)

  16. America – Military and Political Control • George Creel -Committee on Public Information • Managed propaganda – posters, newsreels, 4-minute men • Opposition to the war was suppressed by government agencies and private vigilante groups like the American Protective League

  17. America – Economic and Social Changes • Some women moved into factory work • Requested conservation instead of rationing: • WheatlessMondays, Meatless Tuesdays, and Gasless Sundays • Great Migration: • 1.3 million African Americans moved out of the South into the North, Midwest, and West from 1910-1930 • Inspired by the opening of service jobs during WWI • Halt to most immigration during this time

  18. Less Successful Cases of War Reorganization Often because they were more authoritative and conservative governments and less industrialized countries

  19. Russia • Could only arm about ¼ of their troops • Other soldiers would have to wait until the armed die and then pick up guns • Tsar Nicholas II took over military command in 1915 • Mistake because he was personally responsible • 1917 – 76% of Russia's industrial base was devoted to war production, but this still wasn't enough • Russia also faced the burden of the refugees from Western Russia

  20. Austria-Hungary • Emperor Franz Joseph died in November 1916 – succeeded by his grandson, Emperor Karl I • Hard for Austria Hungary to bear the loss of this leader • Emperor Karl I reconvened the previously closed parliament • This didn’t work because parliament immediately fell to renewed ethnic conflicts • Austria Hungary could not hold itself together or work to support its war effort

  21. Effects of Total War

  22. Liabilities of War Economy • Massive Inflation • War Loan Drives were a way to soak up extra currency • The combination of inflation and the changing valuation of jobs created social anxiety • Illegal black market developed for food • Weakened people’s trust in the government

  23. Outcomes of Total War • Used to be that countries like England and France had a liberal, non-interfering government • Now government was supposed to be involved in the running of the state • Increased prestige for ideas of collectivism and of states providing for society at large • Democratic states were more efficient in this practice

  24. Propaganda

  25. Use of Propaganda in Total War • One of the most effective ways that countries encouraged their citizens to support the war was through propaganda. • Kitchener (England) and Creel (USA) were some of the most effective masters of propaganda, but all countries used forms of it to help the war effort • Propaganda is a type of message aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of people • Propaganda is not always factual, but uses people’s emotions to convince them to do things

  26. Types of Wartime Propaganda • Our country is the best – be patriotic • The enemy is evil – let’s get them! • Enlist to fight • Work in war production • Buy liberty bonds • Support the war in some other way

  27. Our country is the best – be patriotic • Allied recruitment poster about the “plucky four” • Faith in Canada – for victory bonds

  28. The enemy is evil – let’s get them! • French propaganda poster from 1915: • Kaiser Wilhelm eating the world

  29. Enlist to fight • England’s famous 1914 Kitchener enlistment poster

  30. Work in war production • Russian war bond poster about women factory workers • British poster about needing soldiers and workers

  31. Buy liberty bonds • American war bond poster

  32. Support the war in some other way • USA grow your own food propaganda • British sugar rations

  33. Squirrels Rule!