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The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law ensures that the laws and legal authorities of the UK have universal application, which means that everyone is treated equally.

In this lesson, students will learn how laws introduced during the First World War were passed to ensure the safety of all members of British society and provide equal access to food and materials.

Why was it necessary to introduce rules during the war that affected daily life and actions?

1. Using the information about the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA)

Ask the students to create a grid with three columns with the headings:

DORA Restriction Reason Who it affected
e.g. Pub opening hours To stop people from drinking all day rather than helping with the war effort     Everyone that was old enough to drink alcohol

Are there any examples in the case studies of how DORA affected people’s lives?

2. Using the Food and rationing information

Ask the students to provide answers to the following questions:

– Were any groups particularly targeted in by the restrictions?
– Could anyone enforce the rules?
– Did anyone benefit from the restrictions?

Using the case studies try and answer the questions:

– How important was it that food reached those doing the fighting?
– How did food rationing affect people’s health?

3. From what you have learnt:

From the information that you have gathered, ask the students to sum up the purpose of DORA and the purpose of Food Rationing.

Ask other students if they think that there were alternatives to DORA and Food Rationing?

Ask the students to vote by a show of hands on whether DORA was needed during the war?

Ask the students to vote by a show of hands on whether ‘Food Rationing’ was fair during the war?


That is why equality and fairness before the law is important for everyone.

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London Jews in the First World War - We Were There Too

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