World War I

A kingdom united: popular responses to the outbreak of the by Catriona Pennell

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By Catriona Pennell

During this, the 1st absolutely documented learn of British and Irish well known reactions to the outbreak of the 1st global warfare, Catriona Pennell explores united kingdom public opinion of the time and effectively demanding situations the parable of British 'war enthusiasm'.

A nation United explores what humans felt, and the way they acted, in keeping with an unanticipated and exceptional quandary. it's a historical past of either traditional humans and elite figures in outstanding occasions. Dr Pennell demonstrates that describing the reactions of over forty million British and Irish humans to the outbreak of struggle as both enthusiastic within the British case, or disengaged within the Irish, is over-simplified and insufficient. Emotional reactions to the conflict have been ambiguous and intricate, and altered over the years.

By the top of 1914 the populations of britain, Scotland, Wales, and eire had principally embraced the struggle, however the warfare had additionally embraced them and confirmed no indicators of relinquishing its grip. The 5 months from August to December 1914 set the form of a lot that was once to keep on with. A nation United describes and explains that twenty-week formative process.

Pennell attracts from an unlimited array of diaries, letters, journals, and newspaper debts by way of the very those that skilled the warfare in its first dramatic 5 months. She outlines the range of responses felt among either the normal humans and elite figures from around the country.

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Additional info for A kingdom united: popular responses to the outbreak of the First World War in Britain and Ireland

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Since 22 July there had been a sharp rise in the perceived probability of a Great Power war on the continent but Britain’s involvement was not inevitable. Amongst the population, fear of war was a more apt description of feeling at this moment than certainty that Britain would be involved. On 27 July, Brien Cokayne, the 41 Ferguson, ‘Political Risk and the International Bond Market between the 1848 Revolution and the Outbreak of the First World War’, 99. H. Asquith: Letters to Venetia Stanley (Oxford, 1982), 132, 138.

18 At this point, and right up until the declaration of war on Germany on 4 August, many people believed that Britain should remain neutral. 19 Most arguments against British intervention were economic. At the root of Liberal anti-war ethos was the notion of free trade, which the war was anticipated to destroy. The grandfather of the historian A. J. P. Taylor, a prominent Lancashire tradesman, ‘opposed the War, as he had opposed the Boer War that went before it. 20 Anti-war MPs John Morley and John Simon used financial arguments to support their stance, arguing: that the Government should make an immediate declaration that in no circumstances would Great Britain be involved in war.

42 People had encountered violence, loss, and war before 1914. In the early hours of 15 April 1912, 1,522 passengers and crew drowned when RMS Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg on its voyage to New York. Communities in Southampton, whence it had departed, and Belfast, where it had been built, were deeply affected by this loss. On 14 October 1913 an explosion at Senghennydd colliery in Caerphilly killed 439 local men and boys. 43 These moments of localized ‘rupture’ were imprinted as tragic markers on the psyche of many ordinary people who used them as points of reference during the opening phases of the war in 1914.

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