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War in the West

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Martin Horn

Lecture Twelve 241011Politics War Aimsthe Home Front y Britain France Germany and AH fought the war to the bitter endy These four states their populations and the domestic political elites must have been convinced that doing so was worth whiley Amongst those four we need to draw certain qualificationso AHthe performance of their army the growth of nationalist tensions The commitment of the populations was fraying badlyy Given the resources and losses of live no state could have fought without the home front being behind the war efforty In each of these states questions are not raised that question the legitimacy of the political system until very later on in the wary Russias legitimacy was destroyed by incompetent prosecution of the waro It was domestic as well as external turmoil that forces them out of the war BritainLiberal Party y Was the governing partyy This government was headed byHH Asquithy In 1914 they managed to bring Britain into war without too much loss of political capitaly When they entered the war a couple ministers resigned but the liberal party did not splity Asquith realized that his government needed military legitimacyy He needed a symbol to provide to the British war effortLord Kitchener y Noted soldier was brought into the government as secretary of wary Done as a way for bolstering the governments military credentialsy Bringing him into the cabinet and making him directly the minister most directly responsible for the war effort had consequences o On the one hand unlike most believed that the war was going to be long He wants to vastly expand the British armyy In august 1914 Britain does not use a drafto Men volunteer rather than being conscriptedy Liberals historically have been committed to the idea of free and open tradey Kitchener from the beginning is generating internal tensionsy Another source of internal tension is the fact that he does not get along on a personal level with important cabinet ministers David Lloyd Georgechancellor of the exchequer y In august 1914 he is the finance ministery He is a very politically influential figure within the Liberal partyy He and Kitchener do not get along and are constantly clashing
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