What expectation did British soldiers and civilians have of their government following World War 1?

Essay by ElbatemitHigh School, 12th grade May 2006

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Post-war Soldier and Civilian expectations of the British government

British soldiers and civilians had high expectations of their government following World War 1, most of which did not eventuate. The soldiers needed understanding of their suffering and emotional pains of the war, while the British civilians felt that Germany's reparations were highly important in the short-term. Employment was a significant issue to both groups, with the soldiers arriving home to no jobs whilst the civilians wanted the security of their wartime trade, particularly women. The expectation that men and their families, who had fought in the war, would be looked after by the government through pensions was overwhelming and political support was crucial to this issue.

Understanding of the emotional pain of World War I was important to the British soldiers and expectations of their government at the time of demobilization to do this were unfulfilled. The process of demobilization did nothing to boost the morale of many soldiers, as it was based on how valuable individuals were for their civilian jobs, and ignored how long they had participated in military service.

The result of this was a slow and drawn out release throughout 1919 and was not a glorious homecoming expected by both the British soldiers and civilians. There was a desire of the troops to get back to normal life, but dissatisfaction and violent unrest resulted after the selective demobilization and disappointment at home conditions sparked resentment amongst service men. Men who had suffered expected some recognition and gratitude from those back home but found that others were not interested in war and its tragedies. Author Ernest Hemingway recognised this sacrifice and wrote "I had seen nothing sacred and the things that were glorious had no glory", referring to the Veterans feelings that they were not understood or...