Aftermath of World War I  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

The economic and political aftermath of World War I (1914-18) and the subsequent Great Depression (1930) led to the rise of fascism and nazism in Europe, leading to World War II (1939–1945).

Artists such as Otto Dix, George Grosz, and Käthe Kollwitz represented the horrors of war in blunt paintings. Similarly, authors such as Erich Maria Remarque wrote grim novels detailing their experiences. These works had a strong impact on society, causing a great deal of controversy and highlighting conflicting interpretations of the war. In Germany, nationalists including the Nazis believed that much of this work was degenerate and undermined the cohesion of society as well as dishonouring the dead.

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The fighting in World War I ended when an armistice took effect at 11:00 hours on November 11, 1918. In the aftermath of World War I the political, cultural, and social order of the world was drastically changed in many places, even outside the areas directly involved in the war. New countries were formed, old ones were abolished, international organizations were established, and many new and old ideas took a firm hold in people's minds.

Social trauma

The experiences of the war led to a sort of collective national trauma afterwards for all the participating countries. The optimism of 1900 was entirely gone and those who fought in the war became what is known as "the Lost Generation" because they never fully recovered from their experiences. One gruesome reminder of the sacrifices of the generation was the fact that this was one of the first times in warfare whereby more men had died in battles than to disease, which had been the main cause of deaths in most previous wars. The Russo-Japanese War was the first. For the next few years, much of Europe mourned privately and publicly; mourning and memorials were erected in thousands of villages and towns.

This social trauma manifested itself in many different ways. Some people were revolted by nationalism and what it had caused; so, they began to work toward a more internationalist world through organizations such as the League of Nations. Pacifism became increasingly popular. Others had the opposite reaction, feeling that only military strength could be relied on for protection in a chaotic and inhumane world that did not respect hypothetical notions of civilization. Certainly a sense of disillusionment and cynicism became pronounced. Nihilism grew in popularity. Many people believed that the war heralded the end of the world as they had known it, including the collapse of capitalism and imperialism. Communist and socialist movements around the world drew strength from this theory, enjoying a level of popularity they had never known before. These feelings were most pronounced in areas directly or particularly harshly affected by the war, such as central Europe, Russia and France.

Artists such as Otto Dix, George Grosz, Ernst Barlach, and Käthe Kollwitz represented their experiences, or those of their society, in blunt paintings and sculpture. Similarly, authors such as Erich Maria Remarque wrote grim novels detailing their experiences. These works had a strong impact on society, causing a great deal of controversy and highlighting conflicting interpretations of the war. In Germany, nationalists including the Nazis believed that much of this work was degenerate and undermined the cohesion of society as well as dishonouring the dead.

See also

See also interbellum



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Aftermath of World War I" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools