Sacrifices were made, however, in the name of defeating the enemy. Fearing food shortagesand labour shortfalls, the government passed legislation, such as the Defence of the Realm Act, to give it new powers to safeguard civilians. The war saw a move away from the idea of "business as usual" (the preservation of the status quo) under prime minister Herbert Henry Asquith, and towards a state of total war (complete state intervention in public affairs) under David Lloyd George, thefirst time this had been seen in Britain. The war also witnessed the first aerial bombardments of cities in Britain.
Morale remained relatively high due in part to the media; newspapers flourished during the period. Large quantities of propaganda were produced by the government under the guidance of such journalists as Charles Masterman and newspaper owners such as Lord Beaverbrook. Byadapting to the changing demographics of the workforce (or the "dilution of labour", as it was termed), war-related industries grew rapidly, and production increased, as disparate groups of people pulled together. In that regard, the war is also credited by some with drawing women into mainstream employment for the first time, and forcing politicians to grant a large number of women the vote in1918.
During the war, the British Royal Family, under George V, dissolved ties with its German relatives and changed its name from the German-sounding House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the decidedly British House of Windsor. Meanwhile, the country faced other challenges; plans to rescue the King's cousins in Russia, including Tsar Nicholas II, were largely unsuccessful and the civilian death-raterose due to food shortages and Spanish Flu, which hit the country in 1918. Military deaths are estimated to have exceeded 850,000. Furthermore, it has been suggested that increased national sentiment from the war helped to fuel the break up of the British Empire, with countries such as Australia and Canada, then parts of the empire, fighting battles under their own direction. Nevertheless,from a geographical perspective, the empire reached its zenith at the conclusion of peace negotiations.
3 Defence of the Realm Act
4 His Majesty's forces
4.2 Royal Navy
4.3 British air services
5 Recruitment and conscription
5.1 Conscription Crisis of 1918
5.2 Conscientious objectors
6 Naval and air raids
6.1 Raid on Yarmouth6.2 Raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby
6.3 Bombardment of Yarmouth and Lowestoft
6.4 Air raids
7.3 News magazines
7.5 War poets
10 Social change
15 Further reading
16 External links
 GovernmentFurther information: Causes of World War IHerbert Henry Asquith (c. 1915), prime minister at the start of the warThe United Kingdom entered World War I with Herbert Henry Asquith of the Liberal Party as prime minister. Asquith declared war on the German Empire on 4 August 1914, in response to the demands for military passage that were forced upon Belgium by Germany, and the expiration of Britain's own ultimatum at 11 p.m. that...