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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

What good came from the great war


Malcolm Linham

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 I have been challenged by my brother to write a page for the programme of Oh What a Lovely War that he is directing this November.

However wants he wants is the positives that came from the conflict so excluding the ever efficient ways of killing more people so far I have come up with 

Advances in Medicine ( Including Sanitary Towels and Tissues ) 

Advances if Flight greater distances etc 

Improvements in photography / greater use of the wristwatch.

Greater acceptance of women / votes for women.

Greater respect of workers /  rent acts 

League of Nations / Woodrow Wilsons 14 points - the right of nations self determination.

 

I know of a few others but is there anything  major that I have missed,.

 

Best wishes 

Malcolm 

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More generally, the growth of democracy across most of Europe, and the beginnings of self-determination for the former colonies of the various empires.

 

Ron

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Not sure the League of Nations was that good a thing. Certainly seemed pretty ineffective.

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Hi Malcolm,

 

How about the vision/promise of "Habitations fit for the heroes who have won the war" (Lloyd George, 12th November 1918)? New build social (municipal) housing provision, and slum clearance programmes. Arguable though what was actually achieved in the immediate post war years. 

 

Regards

Chris

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Facial reconstruction / plastic surgery - look up Harold Gillies and Henry Tonks.

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It was a great disaster on every level.

 

Losing so many men. Hell, there was even an outbreak of lesbianism due to the large shortfall in eligible males after WW1. This destabilised the UK and probably most other WW1 belligerents.Just going checking my source due to the expected incoming shrieks from 'pc folk'. (Source below).

 

seaJane is correct though, in terms of medical advances, but what a cost. Particularly for the individuals concerned and their families.

 

Also, the debt owed to the bankers has still not been paid. There was a major news story a couple of years ago stating that most of that debt had been re-paid.

 

Pre WW1 we were a major world power, after not as much at all. The USA/Wall St, was 'calling the shots'.

 

Many argue that, if it hadn't been for the Versailles Treaty, WW2 may not have taken place.

 

Personally, a grandfather who was deemed unfit to carry on his pre-war occupation of a coal face worker. And with a family of 5 children during the 'Great Depression', it must have been hell on it's own.

 

Source A.N. Wilson : After the Victorians.

Edited by tom bowler
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How about the liberation of Belgium?

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But twenty years later, Belgium was no longer free. It took a longer and bloodier war to free her again.

 

Ron

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29 minutes ago, Stoppage Drill said:

 The overthrow and abolition of several monarchies.

Not so sure about that - look what followed in several of the ex-monarchies: Stalin and Hitler are but two examples.

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2 hours ago, Stoppage Drill said:

 The overthrow and abolition of several monarchies.

 

    A chap called Winston S.Churchill seems to be in disagreement with you. This from a telegram sent by him in April 1945:

"Personally, having lived through all these European disturbances and studied carefully their causes, I am of the opinion that if the Allies at the peace table at Versailles had not imagined that the sweeping away of long-established dynasties was a form of progress, and if they had allowed a Hohenzollern, a Wittelsbach or a Habsburg to return to their thrones, there would have been no Hitler"

 

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2 hours ago, Stoppage Drill said:

 The overthrow and abolition of several monarchies.

 

A few years ago I read an article which said that there were only fourteen countries in the world which still had the same constitution and method of government as they had in 1905. Eleven of those countries are monarchies. The three republics are the USA, Switzerland and Uruguay.

 

Monarchies are a Good Thing.

 

Ron

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1 hour ago, voltaire60 said:

 

    A chap called Winston S.Churchill seems to be in disagreement with you. This from a telegram sent by him in April 1945:

"Personally, having lived through all these European disturbances and studied carefully their causes, I am of the opinion that if the Allies at the peace table at Versailles had not imagined that the sweeping away of long-established dynasties was a form of progress, and if they had allowed a Hohenzollern, a Wittelsbach or a Habsburg to return to their thrones, there would have been no Hitler"

 

Just as well WSC didn't live in the age of soundbites.

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1 good thing; the beginning of the end of Imperialism. Two changes; the rise of road haulage due to the cheep availability of ex service lorries and widespread use of tinned food.  

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47 minutes ago, Gardenerbill said:

the rise of road haulage

Was that a good thing?

It is nowadays generally agreed that the internal combustion engine has been a big contributor to global warming, with its ever increasing output of particulates and NOx into the atmosphere a major cause of ill health worldwide. Add to that, the vast area of the globe that has been ashphalted over, traffic congestion and noise pollution, and it looks like an industry that can't claim much in the line of environment-friendliness.

I wonder how much the Great War contributed to global warming? Apart from the combustion of explosives, fuels etc, the indirect energy costs in producing steel for arms, and concrete for buildings, must have been enormous.

 

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38 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

the internal combustion engine has been a big contributor to global warming,

 

Entirely agree, and yet we have all benefited as road construction has led to wider use of the motor car an given us all greater freedom. 

 

Before SD jumps in, the freedom to sit on the M25 for hours on end.   

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3 hours ago, Ron Clifton said:

A few years ago I read an article which said that there were only fourteen countries in the world which still had the same constitution and method of government as they had in 1905. Eleven of those countries are monarchies. The three republics are the USA, Switzerland and Uruguay.

 

Monarchies are a Good Thing.

 

Ron

 

The statement in the first paragraph (accepting that it is correct) is not evidence for the second.

 

Michael

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1 hour ago, voltaire60 said:

 

     Intriguing-   But was there not a large carbon footprint saving from the destruction of so many human beings and the consequent lack of the need to feed them? Should be possible to calculate the volume of bovine methane saved by all the slaughter of the war :wub:

But you have to factor in that at the beginning of the war, the state of nutrition of new recruits was pretty poor, what was the effect on world beef and grain production of eating vast amounts of bully beef and dog biscuits?

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Has anyone mentioned literautre/music/art? Quite apart from the immediate products of the war, the revolution in style and the greater freedom of expression and experiment surely warrant mention.

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