Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
The Plummed Goose

What is in it for us ?

Recommended Posts

The Plummed Goose

Dear Pals,

Each and every war or reginal conflict brings changes ... political, economical, social ... Technology gets a boost each time there is a conflict. Politicians all of a sudden have large budgets at their disposal for research and push (all sorts of) scienists to the limit to be creative and develop "more" and "better" all to be used in the "war effort" ... very often these "terrible" inventions found a more "peaceful" application in daily life after the war.

WW I has brought along many changes. It brought down two "caesars", a Sultan and ??? The perception and "respect" for "blue blood" and the establishment by the masses would never be the same again.

Workers, women and minorities started demanding what they felt they deserved which led in some countries -take Russia and the Sovjet Union) to a total regime change or even new independant countries.

Would the civil aviation system have developed so quickly if WW I had not occured ??? Take tiny Belgium ... they had a "serious" Africa service as from the late 1920ies. What about medicine ??? etc. etc. ....

For quiet a while I have been thinking about this and would like to create a "list" of all these changes ... all changes ... good, bad and worse ... so feel free to add ... I (and I hope some of you as well) am really looking forward reading about this.

I would like to ask two things :

1. Stick to the subject : changes that occured during and after World War I BECAUSE of WW I

2. Do not kill the thread with political statements.

I am certainly not a glorifier of war and I am not at all looking to "justify" the millions of people who were killed but something good must have come out of it ...Looking forward reading your contributions ....

eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
healdav

Belgium and France both had airmail services after WW1 - and passenger services, as did Britain, USA and probably many others.

However, no country in the world had all weather services until after WW2. That is, the mail or passenger service would be held up if there were storms on the route or high winds, etc. I believe that it was the experience of building big and strong bombers in WW2 that advanced the all weather services.

In Britain's case, as well, the appalling medical condition of many candidates for the army - and their unsuitability as a result - led to the setting up of better and cheaper medical services, and I have a suspicion eventually had a hand in setting up the NHS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jonathan Saunders

Eric - war itself causes dynamic change on a unprecedented level. During the Great War British production was geared to the war effort but what happened after the Armistice is that military contracts were cancelled so there was a need to find new products to manufacture.

There was also a change in the role of middle and upper working class women - many women having been "mobilised" in someway during the war did not want to return to their pre-war status of subservience in a parochial society. They wanted more active control in their home. What was born out of this was more domestic appliances (and a fall in the number of domestic employees). This would create such household items as hoovers, fridges etc becoming more widespread in the home and perhaps this area of electrical appliances (wireless radios etc) and domesticity is one area to focus on.

Jon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jonathan Saunders

Just another quick point. I recall Cecil Lewis went to China immediately post-war to teach the Chinese how to fly (or was it Japan?). Obviously there had been international trade for centuries but possibly this was the start of a globalisation of economy and sharing technology.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Interesting topic Eric

It reminds me of Harry Lime in The Third Man,

"..in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

I look forward to reading more

regards

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gporta

Michael, I bet the Swiss aren't unhappy about Cuckoo clocks!

Back to topic: the hideous nature of some wounds led to great developments in the field of plastic surgery. There's a very interesting link on the subject here

Gloria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John_Hartley

Eric

Certainly for the UK, I think Jon already correctly identifies the change in the role of women as having the greatest impact.

I would also add the changes in perception about the importance of class in society were strengthened by the further development of an organised working class. These all combined to effect changes to the franchise.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AndyHollinger

WWI gave the world, the US. By 1915 the US was the largest economy in the world with the largest Merchant Marine. During our involvement, we provided such a massive logicial build in France that our Transport and Manufacturing sectors literally hit another new high. From 1919 there was no looking back. All of Europe was in our economic shadow.

WWI gave American's Bras ... that's right. Until the boys came home from "gay" Paris ... most women wore some level of bodice ... the bra became popular with younger American women hoping to emmulate the Paris girls who enamered so many American boys ...

WWI gave us French _____ you fill in the blank. After the war just about anything that was naughty or thought to be naughty was assumed to be French.

WWI was the first real economic displacement for American Blacks ... both those in the service and those responding to Military jobs ... this surge (only a little one compared to the next war) pushed barriers ... which gave rise to the "New" KKK ... which gave rise to the last ditch of the Agrarian Populism and the inevitable association of both ... and the rejection of same by the New South ...

and in other news ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest gumbirsingpun

i think the greatest effect of world war 1 was on the colonial equation,the imperial powers of europe became significantly poorer than they had been before 1914.

another effect of the first world war was that prices fell and markets dried up, so commodity producers suffered and people migrated, especially to port cities, for jobs and opportunities; in the cities, they were separated from kin and the social and economic supports that kin provided. their economic situation was more vulnerable to unemployment or illnesses; they were subject to the variations and vicissitudes o world markets and conditions. people wir changed frae subsistence farmers to urban workers and often had few supports to replace the ones they had lost

regards

tuna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eceabat

"WWI gave the world the US"

So, something else to blame Kaiser Bill for!

Seriously, the war also gave the world a new map, one that in many places in the world is still a matter of contention.

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ian turner

Bill,

In fact my own very existance is thanks to the Kaiser and Adolf, as WW1 saw both my grandfather's lives changed by army service, and likewise my father's in WW2! I would not be 'me' if there had not been the two world wars!

But before any amusing replies come in about who my mother and grandmothers consorted with (LOL) just think of the impact on individual mobility wrought as a result of millions of servicemen having travelled the country and having been sent to foreign lands. I am sure their experiences meant that no longer were people confined to their home villages and towns for life.

As to Healdav's comments about the quality of health of the British serviceman, I think school milk was introduced as a means of improving the health of the nation's children as a result.

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Take on me

I hope that I am not killing the thread with politics but the war irrevocably changed the British political system with the rise of the Labour Party and the decline of the Liberal Party as well as political changes in Germany, Austro-Hungary and the great experiment with Communism in Russia.

And the war gave us Hot Dogs, I think that this took place because the White House scrapped Frankfurters from their menus because they were 'German' and replaced them with 'Hot Dogs.' They renamed other items as well but the names did not stick.

And nations found methods in which to kill more people more quickly then ever before through Poison Gas, Tanks, Strategic Bombers, Fighter Aircraft and far more effective grenades, artillery shells and all the other parafinalia of modern war. Joy :huh:

JGM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Plummed Goose

if you don't hear me that doesn't mean I am not reading. Think I am going to make a sort of "classification" system on this to report later on ...

eric

PS : French ______ ... French fries, right ??? Although they were Belgian !!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Plummed Goose

Oh yes Michael,

The cuckoo clock ... But their trains run on time, right ??

eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ian turner

And their chocolate tastes good, and their banks make loads of dosh,

and their watches tick well....

As to cuckoo clocks, I think they actually originated in Southern Germany?

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul Hederer

WWI gave us....?

(ding ding)

WWII.

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveBrigg

The wristwatch was, I believe, rarely seen before WW1, but was found to be a lot more practical than a pocketwatch and chain when leading troops over the top.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest mruk

An increase in the incidence of venereal disease; a reconstituted monarchy, with easy to assemble name; and a 'Land fit for Heroes.' Guess the odd one out!

Regards,

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Take on me

World War One also gave the world large Jewish settlements in an area that would later become Israel (was that the Balfour decleration?).

JGM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Borderman

European masons become very good at carving names into stone.

Which was useful because they could pass this skill onto their sons to use 27 years later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jamiemcginlay

Sorry to bring them up but this reminds me of revisionist historians again. I did some university courses on the impact of WWI a few years ago and I remember the big new idea was the 'Accelerator Thesis'. This was the idea of Professor Arthur Marwick although I think he took the title from Lenin who said that war was the 'Great Accelerator'. Basically I think Marwick argued against the traditional idea that the war brought a revolutionary break with the past and instead accelerated changes that were already there. Its all in his book 'The Deluge' which is heavy going but very interesting if your into this kind of thing.

I think the Accelerator idea is a good way of looking at it. For instance if your talking about aviation then to say that all the changes and improvements came from WWI is to ignore the major advances in aviation and the combustion engine from say 1900 to 1914 and the highly competitive spirit that motivated these advances. It also ignores the slump that inevitably follows a war, think of the budget cut backs that were made in the inter war years. So if WWI accelerated the advances in aviation that were already being made up until the war then this was probably evened out afterwards. In other words if WWI had continued the RFC would have been flying Spitfires by 1929...instead of 1939.

Personally I think this idea of our owing modern technology to modern warfare is plain wrong and is a very dangerous idea. Anyway does anyone really believe that if it wasn't for the wars we'd be flying around in bi-planes? I think there might be more of an argument that great social changes resulted from the war although even that's debatable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jonathan Saunders
Personally I think this idea of our owing modern technology to modern warfare is plain wrong and is a very dangerous idea. Anyway does anyone really believe that if it wasn't for the wars we'd be flying around in bi-planes?

I think the point is the sudden dynamic rate of change caused by warfare. The technological thinking or "invention" may have existed but war provided the need and more importantly the economy for rapid progress.

To what degree the war speeded up the development of flight is probably a mute point. Immediately prior to WW1 the pursuit of avaition was the rich man's new play thing, and no doubt would not have been restricted by lack of investment, but what about, say, the interruptor gear. That was conceived before WW1 if I recall correctly but completely dismissed and then forgotten. The role of aeroplanes in warfare evolved as a result of WW1 and the need and finance for the forgotten interruptor gear became evident as that role evolved.

Probably the way to look at this is through trends. What existed prior to WW1 and what existed post WW1. For me it then becomes clear that there were sociological changes with an associated knock-on effect for consumer (manufacturing) changes - the need to convert production from wartime to peacetime requirements v the greater feeling of independence and self determination. If it hadnt been for WW1 then change would have been on a much slower and controlled footing.

Looking at change from the opposite direction to you and using the bad example of the aircraft, then if it hadnt been for the sudden dynamic need for change caused by war, or the threat of war in the late 1930s, then we might well not have got to the production of the Spitfire until the late 1950s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
duckman

Daylight Savings?

Okay, how about a complete overhaul of the world financial system. Many of the instruments used to spin the wheels of globalisation were invented to finance war production.

WWI took many emerging trends and fast tracked them - labour reform, a wide variety of technology, a change in the relationship between government and constituants (Social Security actually became important...), and created a few new ones.

Plus (especially for us colonials), for the first time millions of people lived for a time in foreign countries and saw how foreign people lived. A life changing experience for many who had never been out of their parish.

I'll add one more: (okay if things were different they'd be different, but...) It seems likely that, but for the Great War, medical history would record a small isolated outbreak of a violent respiratory disease in Kansas in the winter of 1917-18. Thanks to troop movements, this isolated outbreak became widely spread, and is now recorded as "Spanish Flu", a disease that killed at least three times as many people as the war itself.

Been thinking a bit about this (the war, not flu) lately. I struggled to come up with an event since the Black Death that triggered more profound changes to Western civilisation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...