Unformatted text preview: 2- to 3-paragraph analysis where you demonstrate how the social and political structure of your
chosen country impacted the events leading up to World War I. Support your assertions by
making multiple references to your course readings.
For this week’s discussion, I have chosen to analyze Great Britain’s social and political
structure that impacted the events leading up to World War I. Leading up to World War I, Great
Britain was an imperial force to be reckoned with. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria had created
a dynastic future with the arranged marriages of her children to royal thrones across Europe.
Outside of Great Britain’s own coasts laid the rest of the empire, an immense extension of lands
and territories. The imperial empire spanned a quarter of the globe and its main “jewels” were
the colonies of Canada, Kenya, Egypt, Rhodesia, Sudan, South Africa, India and Australia. These
colonies primarily gave Great Britain a means of accessing raw materials and crops. Tea, gold,
diamonds, timber, and other precious metals and gemstones were now Britain’s property and
source of wealth. With this new expansion of resources, the empire’s control of foreign trade was
unmatched along with its Royal Naval forces.
Before World War I, “political life in Great Britain, a constitutional monarchy, was
characterized by growing tendencies toward social reform and liberalism”. (Goff et. al, 2007).
Reform bills passed by Parliament during this time targeted government budgets and allowed for
a two-party system. This two-party system, like those in other European countries, created a firm
political system through party coalitions who gained governing by majority. Women’s suffrage
also became sociopolitical conflict during this time. Women fought through writing campaigns,
protests, rallies, and hunger strikes for the right to vote.
“Although the general economy was prosperous, the industrialization of Great Britain
during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had brought with it oppressive working
conditions” (Goff et. al, 2007). Industrialization and urbanization procreated ill living conditions,
child labor, poverty, prostitution, crime, poor sanitation due to lack of sewage and disease were
widespread in cities. While the rich of the middle and upper classes got wealthy, the working
lower classes suffered long hours in grim conditions, with no protections or rights. During this
time labor unions like the Labour Party rose to power and gained influence to overthrow the
Liberals, the traditional gentry party. During this time before the Great War, Britain was also able
to avoid civil wars which would later ruin other countries like France and Germany.
Goff, R., Moss, W., Terry, J., Upshur, J., & Schroeder, M. (2008). The Twentieth Century and
Beyond: A Global History (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill ...
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