264 Works

Conscription (Australia)

Joan Beaumont
Conscription was the most divisive issue in Australian politics during the First World War. The expeditionary force which the Australian government offered to Britain in August 1914 was composed only of volunteers, since earlier legislation forbade the deployment of conscripts overseas. As the casualties on the Western Front mounted, voluntary enlistment proved unable to fully replace the losses in battle. In two referenda, in October 1916 and December 1917, the Australian electorate narrowly rejected the...


Frederik Schulze
Brazil was the only South American country that participated actively in the First World War. Before the war, the country was economically dependent on European and North American markets and modelled itself on Western culture and science. After the war, Brazil developed a self-confident foreign policy and nationalistic forms of culture and continued to industrialize its national economy.

Francis Joseph I, Emperor of Austria

Lothar Höbelt
Under the terms of the 1867 constitution, Francis Joseph retained his prerogatives in foreign policy. His decision to opt for war in 1914 was largely a result of the frustrations of Austria’s policy during the Balkan Wars of 1912-13. Francis Joseph supported the high-handed policy of the military against his better judgment, but moved to curtail Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf’s position when he opted for the creation of a unified command in the east. He...


Enrique Mallen
Expressionism is a movement that originated in Germany before World War I and extended to the period between the two major European wars. It promoted subjective representation and “expressive” distortions in art.

Morel, Edmund Dene

Christy Jo Snider
E. D. Morel was one of the earliest critics of the secret diplomacy and alliance system that led to the start of the Great War. Imprisoned during the war by the British government for his writings, he later became a foreign policy leader in the Labour Party and a critic of the Treaty of Versailles.

Historiography 1918-Today (Union of South Africa)

David Brock Katz
The First World War in Africa has been considered a sideshow compared to the catastrophe that took place in European theatre of war. As a result, the historiography of South Africa’s participation in the First World War has reflected this relative lack of interest. South Africa’s contribution to the First World War is dominated by Jan Smuts who played a leading role during the campaign in Africa and later in the British War Cabinet and...

Bereavement and Mourning (USA)

Richard Allen Hulver
This article explains the ways that the United States mourned and remembered its sacrifices in Europe following the Great War, roughly from 1918-1937. Although American war dead made up only a small percentage of total Allied losses, the presence of these dead was central to American presence abroad. This entry analyses US motives for leaving remains abroad, the system it created to commemorate them and the diplomatic importance of pilgrimages to these sites of memory.

MacArthur, Douglas

Edward Salo
General Douglas MacArthur was a career Army officer and an American military leader during World War I. During the war, he rose to division commander and was cited for battlefield bravery. MacArthur participated in the Champagne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne offensives, and the “Race to Sedan”. He later served as the Supreme Allied commander in World War II (pacific) and the Korean War.


Antoine Rivière
Although rape was not usually systematic, it occurred frequently on all fronts during the First World War, during both invasion and occupation periods. It was often used in propaganda to discredit the other side for its barbarity and lawlessness, and this violence against women left a strong mark in people’s minds at the time.

Fascism and the Radical Right

Gustavo Corni
The First World War was not only the precondition of the rise of fascist movements in a general way: more definitely, the fascists presented themselves as the heirs of the trench combatants. German ''Sturmtruppen'' and Italian ''arditi ''were chosen by the right-wing movements of National Socialism and Fascism as models for a new “political soldier”; they also became part of the mythology created by the regimes to strengthen popular consent. The militias of both movements...

Apollinaire, Guillaume

Annette Becker
Although he actually died of Spanish influenza, the trepanned avant-garde poet was the embodiment of France’s “head wound”. Apollinaire’s letters to the woman he loved during the war, Lou, have become a prime example of war literature.

Martyrs/Separatists, Syrian and Lebanese

M. Talha Çiçek
The terms "martyrs" and "separatists" refer to the decentralist Arabists of Syria who were executed by Cemal Pasha during World War I as a result of their alleged plot to separate the Syrian land from the Ottoman Empire.

Post-war Societies (France)

Victor Demiaux
French post-war society had to face the consequences of a mass death experienced on an unprecedented scale. Reintegrating the demobilized soldiers into civil society also constituted a major challenge in the immediate context of the post-war economic reconversion, which resulted in the birth of an original mass movement, the veterans’ movement. Beyond the return of the men, dismantling the wartime representations which had pervaded the whole society proved a long process which would not end...

Commemoration, Cult of the Fallen (Africa)

Ruth Ginio & Suryakanthie Chetty
Commemoration in the form of ceremonies and monuments was for the most part alien to African cultures and was largely a part of the European colonial project. As such, its main aim was to glorify colonialism. This article focuses on the commemoration of World War I in both French West Africa and major portions of British Africa. The war laid bare the tensions and contradictions of colonialism and racial subjugation in some parts of Africa,...

Labour Movements, Trade Unions and Strikes (Australia)

Nathan Wise
The First World War caused great upheavals within the Australian labour movement. The period 1914-1918 saw the highest national union membership being recorded alongside the greatest number of working days ever lost on an annual basis to industrial action. And yet, this is an aspect of Australia’s history that is scarcely documented in detail. As such, and as this survey article will demonstrate, scholars seeking to understand the history of labour movements, trade unions and...

Fisher, John Arbuthnot, Baron Fisher

Matthew S. Seligmann
John Fisher led the Royal Navy in the run-up to and in the early years of the First World War. A controversial figure in his lifetime and afterwards, his intentions and legacy are hotly disputed by historians.

Tanga, Battle of

Mahon Murphy
The Battle of Tanga was the first major military engagement in East Africa and a significant British set back. It also contributed to the creation of Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck’s legend.

War Widows

Peggy Bette
One third of the 9.7 million soldiers killed or declared missing during the Great War left behind a widow. The mourning of these women was conditioned as much by the social conventions practiced during the time of peace as by the new constraints brought by war. Although many nation states tried to help them materially, they were often looking for political and social control in return.

Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)

Walter Mühlhausen
At the outbreak of the First World War, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) voted, as the largest party in the German Empire, for the granting of war loans. However, the thus-introduced "truce" policy was rejected by more and more members of parliament and led, in 1917, to the split of the party. The opponents of the policy of “truce” within the party formed the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD).

Garcez, Arnaldo

Carlos Silveira
Arnaldo Garcez was the only official photographer of the Portuguese army on the Western Front, a fact that hints at the importance of his mission. Arriving in France in 1917, he thoroughly reported on a specific sector amidst the British lines, from the daily life in the trenches to the hospitals in the rear-guard. Naturally, his work was used extensively by the Portuguese information and propaganda services. This entry discusses the relevance and usage of...

Sousa Lopes, Adriano de

Carlos Silveira
The painter Adriano de Sousa Lopes was the only official Portuguese war artist in the Great War, stationed on the Western Front. Like most of his international colleagues, he produced remarkable field drawings and etchings. This article explores his particular incorporation in the Portuguese army and his most relevant works up to the 1930s.

Angell, Ralph Norman

Martin Ceadel
Norman Angell (birth name Ralph Norman Lane), built a long career as an internationalist pundit on his best-selling book of 1910, ''The Great Illusion'', which argued that financial interdependence stopped major states benefiting economically from aggression. He subsequently became a Labour MP and won the 1933 Nobel Peace Prize.

Clemenceau, Georges

Vincent Laniol
During the war, Georges Clemenceau fought for a more efficient war effort and for parliamentary control of military affairs and, as a journalist, rejected unlimited censorship. As French premier, he embodied the “integral war” and the struggle for victory. Once the armistice had been signed, the “Père la Victoire” signed a compromised peace that placed France at the center of European politics.

Pre-war Military Planning (Australia)

Craig Wilcox
A self-governing dominion of white settlers within the British Empire, Australia planned to aid Britain against Germany and to defend its own shores against Japan before the First World War. Australia reformed its militia, founded a navy, effectively agreed to transfer its ships to Admiralty command if war came, and joined New Zealand in discussions for raising a joint wartime expeditionary force for service within the British army. Historians have disputed whether pre-war planning committed...

Schweizerischer Vaterländischer Verband

Dorothe Zimmermann
The Swiss Patriotic Federation (''Schweizerischer Vaterländischer Verband'', or SVV) was a private, right-wing association which was set up between 1919 and 1948 in response to the nationwide general strike of 1918. Originally conceived as a civil defence organisation, the SVV was later predominantly active in political intelligence services and was one of the most important anti-communist organisations in Switzerland between the wars.

Registration Year

  • 2015

Resource Types

  • Text