Opposition and Reaction: The Union of Democratic Control, The Press, and the British Government's Suppression of Dissent During The First World War
1 online resource (114 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The Union of Democratic Control (UDC) formed after Britain entered the First World War against the Central Powers on August 4, 1914. The British government argued that it joined the war to uphold international laws and prevent Germany from taking over Belgium and France. The founders of the UDC believed, however, that Britain entered the war because of secret agreements between Britain, Russia, and France that Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey arranged, without any form of oversight or Parliamentary control. The UDC quickly published its four cardinal points within months of the first shots of the war. Its founders, however, faced backlash from the British public and press who viewed the group as pro-German and traitorous. The UDC fought throughout the war to convince the public and press that it was a loyal group dedicated to preserving peace once the war ended. Though the press stopped attacking the group as severely in 1916, the British government stepped in to prevent the group from eroding Britain's morale. As the war progressed, the British government became more obsessed with silencing the UDC and its members, working to imprison the leaders of the group. Though the group never gained acceptance from the press, government, or public, it did succeed in exposing the problems with secret diplomacy and successfully petitioned the government to change the personal wealth requirements for British diplomats. Overall, the group gained limited reforms but remains known for its rhetoric during the war.
Sabol, SteveWilson, Mark
Thesis (M.A.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2015.
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