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

By Catriona Pennell

During this, the 1st totally documented research of British and Irish renowned 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 country United explores what humans felt, and the way they acted, in keeping with an unanticipated and extraordinary main issue. it's a heritage of either usual humans and elite figures in notable occasions. Dr Pennell demonstrates that describing the reactions of over forty million British and Irish humans to the outbreak of conflict as both enthusiastic within the British case, or disengaged within the Irish, is over-simplified and insufficient. Emotional reactions to the warfare have been ambiguous and complicated, and adjusted through the years.

By the top of 1914 the populations of britain, Scotland, Wales, and eire had principally embraced the struggle, however the struggle 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 stick to. A state United describes and explains that twenty-week formative process.

Pennell attracts from an enormous array of diaries, letters, journals, and newspaper money owed through the very those that skilled the conflict in its first dramatic 5 months. She outlines the diversity of responses felt among either the normal humans and elite figures from around the country.

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32, 36–7. The ‘Scouts’ movement was phenomenally successful in the pre-war period, attracting 128,397 boys to its ranks in 1912. Although the reasons for its popularity are debatable – many working-class boys were attracted to the movement because of the opportunity to undertake outdoor pursuits rather than because of its promotion of empire—the ‘Scouts’ undeniably encouraged militaristic ideals and routine. See Bernard Porter, The Absent-Minded Imperialists: Empire, Society, and Culture in Britain (Oxford, 2004), 188, 208.

The British, having gone from one major European war to another via a small war—or wars—on the way, had not had any breathing space to reflect, in contrast to their continental rivals. 53 The British interpretation of the ‘offensive à outrance’ was mixed. It certainly made some headway amongst higher levels of the army, but at a lower level was treated more circumspectly. On a doctrinal level, the South African conflict created few new ideas, and instead tended to reinforce existing concepts. The British retained their somewhat cautious and pragmatic approach to tactics, although at higher levels it was fashionable to ape continental thought.

Positive images of war and the army were prevalent in pre-1914 British society. The literate pre-war male generation had been brought up on the adventure stories of G. A. Henty, H. Rider Haggard, Boy’s Own magazine, and best-selling accounts of the South African War which promoted an image of war as both honourable and glorious. Amongst the middle and upper classes a military spirit was promoted in public schools. 40 Schoolboys idolized military heroes produced by contemporary imperial and colonial wars.

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