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With an empire that ruled over a quarter of the world's population, Britain in 1914 was an immensely powerful country. At home, British life was strictly stratified into a class system. The upper and middle class people were brought up to believe the lower classes were dirty and inferior, although they were prepared to employ them as servants. There were over two million servants in Britain at the turn of the century (80% of the population).
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
15 April 2008

Classroom Ideas

Organise students into groups and have them adopt various personas that reflect the class structure shown in the clip, such as ship owners, shopkeepers, miners, and servants. Explore their feelings about the class structure of 1914 Britain. Do they think that it is fair? Are they happy with their lot? What are their hopes and ambitions? Have the students consider how these feeling and emotions may change after the outbreak of war. What impact will war have on the different classes?