History 104: Western Civilization since 1648
Lecture: The Great War and Russian Revolution

War fever and nationalism click here for audio

War fever gripped many young men in 1914, and many enlisted not only in Europe but throughout the colonies. Nationalism fueled the fires, and made it easier to see other nationalities as enemies instead of fellow human beings.

But after the war began, and the horrors were realized to a certain extent, enlistments declined. National governments issued propaganda posters to encourage volunteers, and throughout the war to encourage the purchase of bonds to finance the war. Poster art helped "sell" the war.

British poster
British poster showing a mother sending her son dutifully off to war
Remember Belgium
A reminder of what happened when the Germans invaded neutral Belgium, to sell war bonds
Save the Wheat
Conserving food, metal and power were a goal
On Her Their Lives Depend
Women were encouraged to enter factory work
German poster
This poster from Germany shows a female Viking-esque nationalist figure, like a Valkyrie
Russian war bonds
Russian poster selling war bonds

I don't want to leave the impression that all war art was pro-war. Here's a drawing from George Grosz showing the grotesque enthusiasm engendered by war fever:

War Fever

4. Women and the War ->