Before the war started it was already difficult for this family of three, a father, mother and their 10 year old son. The father worked in the coal mines, the mother stayed home to look after the house and the children. The son went to elementary school and normally left around around noon to go and work. This family was making just enough to get by, purchase clothes and their necessities. As world war one came upon them, the father had gone to fight in the war, the mother had begged him to stay but he went off anyways. This left his wife and son to figure out their source of income as he was bringing in most of the money to the family.
A majority of the men just like this father had gone to fight in the war, so women were being recruited to work in the positions that were dominated by men. That being said he mother had been recruited to work in a textile factory for long hours for such little pay that would barley help to support her and her son. The son being as young as he is followed in his fathers position and took on the job of coal mining. This made things difficult as the mother was barley making any money not merely the same amount as her husband was making. As her and her son weren’t making much money they couldn’t afford food as food was devoted to the soldiers on the home front.
One day the boy asked him mom for food after his long hard day at work, she had no choice but to tell him that there was no food for him to eat as she just wasn’t making enough money to afford it. This led to starvation and terrible living conditions for this mother and her son throughout this 4 year long battle. It was hard enough on this family for these four years, but as the war started to wrap up and soldiers started coming home, they never saw him. He wasn’t coming back, he wasn’t one of the men who were fortunate to make it back alive. Not many men came back from the war and this only made it more difficult for families and the society. Women and children did take over the jobs of the men but, those jobs were dominated by men for a reason some of those tasks were not easy.
(This story talks about what happened to the people on the home front and how they were affected by the war even though they weren’t there. This story hits all the points that I would like to discuss in this paper, jobs, living conditions, money and food on the home front.) The part in parentheses i’m not sure if I should include, I asked you but you said you’d have to see it first. During World War I many people don’t think about how much the war affected the people on the home front, they only think about the men who were fighting in the war.
While men were affected greatly as to when they came back from the war they weren’t the same as to illness, lost limbs, trauma things like that but it wasn’t just them who the war had a big impact on. There was a big impact on the home front and the society as well, maybe even a bigger impact as many of the men did suffer greatly but they passed away in the war and the people on the home front had to deal with this for the four years the war was going on and years that came after. Just like how the men were gone fighting in the war it felt the same way after the war had ended because there were no men or very few who had returned.
During World War One it wasn’t just the soldiers who experienced physical and emotional pain from the war but also the people back on the home front who were not even there. As the men left the woman and children were struggling to gain money and produce food and healthy living conditions. This struggle came from working for very long hours and being paid much less than what the men were paid. Because woman and children had to work for such little pay that led to less money, making it hard for them to buy food and afford stable living conditions. The war had a huge impact on the woman and the children especially during the war and after as well.
The beginning of World War One was approaching and the men were heading off to war leaving behind their families and friends on the home front. As the men kept leaving women and children on the home front came together to be able to support the soldiers many being their loved ones. Women especially were being hired to take over their empty job positions in many different fields that helped the war effort greatly. At first, there was a decline in hiring women to work as businesses and business owners did not want to hire women in what was known as a man’s job, this was true until 1916.
In 1916 the idea of conscription was introduced which made it necessary for women to be working in all those positions. Women were working in positions that were primarily for men, such as postal workers, police officers, bank tellers and firefighters. While women were being hired in greater numbers to occupy these positions they didn’t receive the same amount of payment that the men did, they received a much lower amount for doing the same work the men did. The work of the women along with the children was important to help the success of their armies that were fighting on the battlefront. Which would only make sense that the women were paid equally as the men especially because it was helping towards the war effort.
In 1914 when France entered the war, farmers had left to join the war forcing their wives to bring in the crops. A couple years after that 400,000 women in Great Britain had organized into a uniformed Women’s Land Army to make it easier and more efficient to plow fields and complete other farm work as well. At the same time, many men in the war were dying causing civilian men to join the army, which lead to women again having to take on more work as more men kept leaving. Women took on work in factories, construction, and many other essential work fields. The number of women workers as I said increased greatly as the war was taking place, a good example of this was in Germany.
“In Germany women working in the machine industry numbered 75,000 before the war and almost 500,000 by 1916.” Since so many women were being employed and their employers were paying them significantly less than the men people worried that even when the men had returned from war they would have the women continue working in their positions. But this wasn’t a worry anymore as the women had begun to refuse to accept lower pay than what the men had been receiving. So in 1918 women workers on the London buses and trams went on strike to fight for an equal pay.
It seemed very hard for these women to continue working their hardest every day because they were making close to no money at all, but they had no choice since they desperately needed some source of income. Women were forced to live four miserable and stressful years along with their children because the business owners didn’t care enough to pay them as much as they were paying the men but at least they could have paid them enough to help them survive as it was much harder for them when their husbands had left for the war.
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