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CLIP 3492

The class system in 1914 Britain

The class system in 1914 Britain

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Key Info
  • The class system in 1914 Britain
  • Duration: 04:26
  • The class system comes to life with the introduction of the Ellis family. Britain in 1914 was an immensely powerful country, not only did it control the seas and have an empire containing one quarter of the world's population but it also had coal which was exported around the world. Upper and middle class people were brought up to believe the lower classes dirty and inferior, although they were prepared to employ them as servants. There were over two million servants in Britain at this time. In fact 80% of the population at this time were working class.
  • Credits: British Pathé, British Movietone, Huntley Film Archives, Imperial War Museum, BFI National Archive, Wales Film & TV Archives.
  • Subject:



    Origins of the Welfare State in the 20th Century

  • Keywords: Social history, class system, Welsh coal, Ellis family, George Orwell
Ideas for use in class
  • Students could produce a spider diagram of what Britain was like in 1914. They could then go on to consider how well prepared Britain was for war. They could produce a table with points that show Britain to be well prepared on one side and those that show her to be ill prepared on the other. For example, coal production, plenty of manual workers and a strong navy would all suggest that Britain was well prepared, whereas class division and the unequal distribution of wealth may suggest otherwise.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 4x3

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