Victorian Countryside: How British Agriculture saved the Nation in World War I

Ref: C2345479

As the exodus from the land continued into the Edwardian period, and the country imported still larger quantities of its food supplies, was British agriculture 'hastening towards decay', or as more optimistic commentators argued, leaner and fitter than ever? The First World War would provide the answer in the most challenging of circumstances, requiring the utilisation of land and labour on a scale hitherto unimaginable. This lecture will consider some of the specific challenges posed by the outbreak of war, and how landowners, farmers, local authorities and national government attempted to meet them. It will look at changes in the use of existing agricultural land and how large areas of new land were brought into cultivation, along with the role of women in maintaining supplies through service in the Women's Land Army and its predecessors before 1917. It will conclude with a brief assessment of the immediate and longer-term effects of the war on rural communities.

Course aim

To provide an overview of British agriculture during World War I, and its contribution to 'saving the nation'.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Give an overview of the condition of British agriculture at the beginning of World War I.
  • Give examples of how British agriculture was able to adapt to the challenge of maintaining and increasing the national food supply.
  • Identify some of the longer-term effects of the war on rural communities.
  • Develop your skills of critical historical analysis.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

There is nothing that you need to bring.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Victorian Countryside: How British Agriculture saved the Nation in World War I

Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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