The onset of world war one is dated back in 1917 to 1923, which witnessed the death of more than seven million civilians and nine million combatants. It is classified as one of the deadliest combats in the world. The war had significant drawbacks on different sectors of the involved economies such as a fall in the economic development milestones, loss of life, misappropriation of resources, and destruction of private and public property during the heist (Leed). However, one of the unrecognized recipients of the war effects were the children. In a typical life, teenagers are dependent and rely on their parents, government, and other auxiliary services providers for their survival. Therefore, the onset of the world war one meant that the supportive framework for the children's growth and development was broken. For instance, a large number of children were rendered to be orphans resulting from a large number of deaths that were witnessed during this period (Kennedy 315). Moreover, the children lost family love since they had limited time to spend with their parents as they were involved in war and industrial work. Therefore, the drafting of children in world war 1 was one of humanity's biggest atrocities.
The children were directly involved in combats during the world war one. Teenagers are by no chance qualified or prepared for war duties regardless the situation facing a nation. However, the onset of war led to the emergence of hostility in the society, which resulted in a greater demand for soldiers. For instance, the Boys Scout is one of the youth groups that were engaged in direct combat during the world war one. In Britain, the members of this group were used to guard social places such as the railway tracks, bridges, and stations, the telephone lines, water reservoirs, and other significant grounds in the society. In some instances, these individuals were directly involved in an air strike by sounding the assurance and all-clear signals after an air attack. These instances indicate how such young individuals were denied their right to enjoy protection and provision as other teenagers across the world but instead act like adults to guard the society against attacks from the adversaries. This, therefore, acted as a detrimental factor hindering their development as healthy children in the community.
Moreover, children were denied access to normal home life and affection from their parents. Parents provide guidance, protection, affection, and sense of love to their siblings. However, the onset of the world war one had claimed more than 21 million lives (Dadrian 221). Most of these individuals were men and few women who were caught on the wrong side of the combatants. This meant that most of the families were deprived of their father figures, thus forcing the women in such homes to begin working in the industrial centers as a means of affording a source of living in the family. Additionally, as men were ejected in the industrial center to support the army during the warfare, the industries started recruiting women as their replacement. Therefore, the women used to spend most of their time working leaving them with limited time with their children at home (Dadrian 221). Such teenagers then grew without the love, affection, protection and even the further figure in their life. This has significantly affected their growth and development, with some developing inappropriate characters due to lack of guidance and directions from their parents. Therefore, the fact that the world war one denied the children access to their guardians, it negatively affected their growth and development.
The world war one adversely affected the education system and activities. The onset of the combat resulted to the elimination of qualified male teachers, who were replaced by retired or other unqualified personnel. As the war became intense, there was a call for men to voluntarily join and assist the military in the war zone, and after a while, they were called in a rather involuntary manner to join the military (Kesternich et al. 107). This brought a shortage in the staffing of the public schools, leaving only women and old men as teachers in the schools. Additionally, the students were forced to abandon their curriculum activities to engage in activities such as knitting balaclava helmets, socks, and scarves which were sent to the combat troops. In other cases, students from institutions nearing the military camps used to mend uniforms utilized by the militants. Such activities shifted the purpose of the education system in these countries thus reducing its relevance and impact it had on the students. Additionally, the quality of the education offered reduced after the ejection of qualified teachers and lack of enough study time. This resulted in a reduction of the final performance of such children thus negatively affecting their progress in the society.
Additionally, the warfare led to the termination of children's lives and injuries through homicides. Normally, the warzone ensures that the children are not killed or affected as the militants undertake their operations. However, during the world war one, a large number of children were killed (Dadrian 221). This intensified after the introduction of the chemical war. In France, anxieties rose after the militants started utilizing chemical weapons to wipe out their enemies. Such weapons were not selective and hence led to the massacre of children during the war (Kennedy 103). For instance, during a military encounter in London in June 1917, a bomb was mistakenly launched and fell in Upper North Primary School, where it terminated the lives of eighteen students. Most of these students were aged between four and six years. This is one of the raids that was recorded among others that caused deaths and severe injury to the children. Additionally, domestic attacks also resulted in the death of a large number of teenagers who were at home with their parents. Therefore, the first world war can be said to be detrimental to the lives of the children as they directly resulted in the termination of their lives.
World war one resulted in food shortage and access to low quality food for the children. The onset of the world war one altered trade and agriculture leading to the reduction of the food available to the children. In other cases, the combat destroyed the agriculture fields thus resulting to food rationing as a method of saving on food for future use. In the publication "Win-The-War Cookery" stated that children who increased their efforts of saving food are considered as soldiers (Eighmey 125). This indicated that the society urged the children to eat less due to the then shortage of food supply. This meant that the health of the children started to deteriorate due to malnutrition or even complete lack of food. Moreover, in severe instances, the school-going children were encouraged to grow their vegetables in the school compound and use them for their feeding program. This represents an indication of the scenario that the children were subjected to during the war. Therefore, the world war one can be said to severely affect the children lives since it subjected them to unprecedented low-quality feeding programs resulting to poor health conditions for the children in this era.
Notably, the world war one resulted in the rise of children labor in the participating nations. The warfare activities especially Germany's campaign on unregulated marine warfare led to the collapse of the shipping routes that distributed food imports in regions such as Britain. This resulted in food shortage. Therefore, the administrators started to urge the children to cultivate their vegetables and fruits. For instance, the girl guides were actively involved in cultivation activities in their allotted gardens after the food rationing period which started in 1918. Moreover, the children were forced to salvage scrap metals that could be recycled and used for warfare purposes. Other institutions such as British Aircraft Factory started to recruit children in their labor force to help in the production process due to the shortage created by the involvement of men in the combat (Cuff). It is recorded that children below twelve years were allowed to work in factories and firms. Their parents also saw it as an opportunity to increase the family's income. According to the then Britain's education minister, more than 600,000 children were prematurely introduced to work (Cuff). Therefore, this led to the reduction of the quality of life experienced by such teenagers since they were denied opportunities such as pursuing their educational goals and right to provision from the government and their parents.
However, some proponents suggest that the world war one had a significant impact on empowering the children's life. After the war, most of the nationalists committed extensive efforts to preach international peace and the empowerment of the then disintegrated children welfare framework. For instance, there was an influx of national workshops, and anti-war seminars held to educate the community and the teenagers on the effects of war. Additionally, there was the massive empowerment of the youth organizations such as the Boys Scouts and Camp Fire Girls (Macleod). These initiatives were focused on ensuring that the children had a strong foundation and educational assistance as they grow. For instance, Woodrow Wilson strengthened his focus and elevation of the Boys Scouts of America club terming it as essential to the establishment of peace and the promotion of the children's welfare across the country (Macleod). They were involved in distributing anti-war pamphlets and encouraging the school dropout to rejoin school to enhance their skills. However, this argument cannot hold ground on justifying the wrongdoings conducted against the children during the combat. Its aspects majorly consider the aftermath of the war and cannot be used as an indicator of the positive effects that the world war one had on the children. Therefore, it is invalid to suggest that the world war one had a significant positive impact on the lives of the children.
In conclusion, the drafting of children in world war 1 was one of humanity's biggest atrocities. The onset of world war one is dated back in 1917 to 1923, which witnessed the death of more than seven million civilians and nine million combatants thus breaking the supportive framework for the children's growth and development. For instance, children were directly involved in combats during the world war one due to the rising demand for the soldiers. Additionally, the children were denied access to normal home life and affection from their parents due to their death or involvement in combat as their mothers ventured into the industrial employment. The world war one also adversely affected the education system and activities through the elimination of qualified male teachers, and involvement in acts such as knitting balaclava helmets, socks, and scarves for the troops. This reduced the quality of education in these economies. Moreover, the warfare led to the termination of children's lives and injuries through homicides and school attacks as well as leading to food shortage and access to low quality food for the children. Notably, the world war one also resulted in the rise of children labor in the participating nations. Therefore, regardless of the actions undertaken after the world war one to promote peace and children's welfare, it is clear that the combat adversely affected their quality of life.
Cuff, Robert D. The war industries board: Business-government relations during World War I. Johns Hopkins Univ Pr, 1973.
Dadrian, Vahakn N. "Genocide as a problem of national and international law: The World War I Armenian case an...
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