Explain why the British government introduced the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) in 1914 (12 marks)
The British government introduce the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) in 1914, due to a realisation by the government that the war was going to be serious and long lasting and therefore
they had to be more interventionist in its approach. The government had to take powers for interventionist policies in all aspects of British life, and needed much stronger powers than in peacetime. DORA, which was reenacted a number of times during the course of the war, conferred on the State and its agencies’ unprecedented authority to control the lives of ordinary people. A whole range of restrictions followed; men were conscripted into the armed services, in order to ensure that British citizens were focused on the war and strengthen their military objectives. British travellers overseas had to apply for passports and ID cards had to be carried by ordinary citizens. This meant that the government was able to maintain and control social order, as it is easy for extreme views to thrive at time of war.
Furthermore, another reason for the introduction of DORA was the restrictions on civil liberties for purposes of morale and security. The law was designed to help prevent invasion and to keep morale at home high. There had to be restrictions on traditional liberties for the duration for reasons of national security and prosecution of the War. Censorship, especially of the press, newspapers and restriction of freedom information, was necessary for purposes of security and also morale. It imposed censorship of journalism and of letters coming home from the front line. The press was subject to controls on reporting troop movements, numbers or any other operational information that could be exploited by the enemy, and the government dictated what war news could be made public. This meant that the government ...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document