How was post-war British society different from
the society that had entered the First World War in August 1914?
It was indubitably more democratic. Previously under-represented
groups such as women and, in particular, the working class became
better organised and more powerful during the war. This, in turn,
encouraged the growth of less deferential attitudes, as did the
cross-class experiences of the trenches. There had been a disproportionately
high percentage of casualties among the landed classes, and the
strict class hierarchy of Edwardian Britain disappeared for good
in the immediate post-war years.
Yet, though the working class became a more powerful political
force, it shrank numerically. Growing numbers of the working population
in inter-war Britain were employed in 'white collar' jobs. The First
World War thus marked an important staging post on the road to 'modern'