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История Changing population
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Battling the Blitz

The regulation of society

Ration books were issued when food rationing came into force in January 1940. Imported items including meats, sugar, tea and coffee were divided equally between all adults and children. These goods arrived by merchant ship and were vulnerable to submarine attacks and blockades. Imported non-food items such as textiles, soap and petrol were also rationed.

The invasion scare of June-September 1940 caused all road and rail signposts and maps to be removed. A call for scrap metal to recycle into Spitfires resulted in the removal of decorative iron railings surrounding many civic spaces, and aluminium saucepans were collected by the million.

Public awareness was heightened by the protective sandbagging of public buildings and monuments, and the growth of allotments (3.5 million by 1943) in every spare area of playing field or village green. The pace of life was controlled by air raid alerts and all clears, as well as the enforcement of a war-long blackout.

Everywhere, Home Front posters exhorted citizens to 'Dig for Victory', remember that 'Careless Talk Costs Lives', whilst others repeated Churchill's phrase 'Let us Go Forward Together'.

But it was the Blitz that really tested the public's mettle. After the RAF had beaten off the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940, the German air force began their attempt to bomb British civilians into surrender. This continued until May 1941 when Hitler turned the force of his military on the Russians. The Germans came back at Britain during 1943 and 1944, however, firing their terrifying V1 bombs and launching V2 rockets from the continent.

A united nation?

The Home Front meant that daily life was disrupted and inconvenienced to an extraordinary degree, but life did go on. However, whilst the majority of the nation pulled together in its hour of need, some decided to make the most of the conflict. Crime rates rose substantially during the blackout, and the black market thrived.

The end of the war was celebrated jubilantly on 8 May 1945. Many partied and danced in the streets, but for others, it was marked by a sense of anti-climax and a loss of purpose.

(http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/histories/home_front)

Britain and the British have changed profoundly since 1945. A principal driver of change has been a major growth in population, matched by rapidly rising expectations about lifestyle.

Demands for mobility (cars) and space (houses) have ensured the transfer of land from agriculture and natural landscape to roads and housing, with multiple consequences for the environment and for the human experience.

Large-scale immigration has made the population ethnically far more diverse, with important cultural consequences.

The composition of the population has undergone a marked transformation, due primarily to advances in medicine. In line with a general trend around the developed world, life expectancy has risen greatly for both men and women.

This has meant that the average age has risen, a process accentuated by the extent to which the birth rate has remained static.

Furthermore, large-scale immigration, particularly from the West Indies and South Asia, but also from other areas such as Eastern Europe, has made the population ethnically far more diverse, with important cultural consequences.

In 1970 there were about 375,000 Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs in Britain. By 1993 the figure was about 1,620,000, with the rise in the number of Muslims being particularly pronounced.


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  • - Changing population

    Battling the Blitz The regulation of society Ration books were issued when food rationing came into force in January 1940. Imported items including meats, sugar, tea and coffee were divided equally between all adults and children. These goods arrived by merchant ship and were vulnerable to submarine attacks and blockades. Imported non-food items such as textiles, soap and petrol were also rationed. The invasion scare of June-September 1940 caused all road and rail signposts and... [читать подробенее]