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).
Students could produce a spider diagram of what Britain was like in 1914. They could then consider how prepared Britain was for the First World War. They could produce a table with points that show Britain as ‘well prepared’ on one side and those that show Britain as ‘badly 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.