Review: Volume 57 - First World War

Review: Volume 57 - First World War

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Civil Rights

In this superb volume, James C. Cobb provides the first truly comprehensive history of the South since World War II, brilliantly capturing an era of dramatic change, both in the South and in its relationship with the rest of the nation. Here is a panoramic narrative that flows seamlessly from the Dixiecrats to the "southern strategy," to the South's domination of today's GOP, and from the national ascendance of southern culture and music, to a globalized Dixie's allure for foreign factories and a flood of immigrants, to the roles of women and an increasingly visible gay population in contemporary southern life. The heart of the book illuminates the struggle for Civil Rights. Jim Crow still towered over the South in 1945, but Cobb shows that Pearl Harbor unloosed forces that would bring its ultimate demise. Growing black political clout outside the South and the contradiction of fighting racist totalitarianism abroad while tolerating it at home set the stage for returning black veterans to spearhead the NAACP's postwar assault on the South's racial system. This assault sparked not only vocal white resistance but mounting violence that culminated in the murder of young Emmett Till in 1955. Energized rather than intimidated, however, blacks in Montgomery staged the famous bus boycott, bringing the Rev. Martin Luther King to the fore and paving the way for the dramatic protests and confrontations that finally brought profound racial changes as well as two-party politics to the South. As he did in the prize-winning The Most Southern Place on Earth and Away Down South, Cobb writes with wit and grace, showing a thorough grasp of his native region. Exhaustively researched and brimming with original insights, The South and America Since World War II is indeed the definitive history of the postwar South and its changing role in national life.


International relations

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International relations, the study of the relations of states with each other and with international organizations and certain subnational entities (e.g., bureaucracies, political parties, and interest groups). It is related to a number of other academic disciplines, including political science, geography, history, economics, law, sociology, psychology, and philosophy.

The provisions of the act prohibited certain types of speech as it related to the war or the military. Under the act, it was illegal to incite disloyalty within the military use in speech or written form any language that was disloyal to the government, the Constitution, the military, or the flag advocate strikes on labor production promote principles that were in violation of the act or support countries at war with the United States.

The targets of prosecution under the Sedition Act were typically individuals who opposed the war effort, including pacifists, anarchists, and socialists. Violations of the Sedition Act could lead to as much as twenty years in prison and a fine of $10,000. More than two thousand cases were filed by the government under the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918, and of these more than one thousand ended in convictions.

Taxing Income and Profits

Wartime costs were not the only factors influencing the government’s financial policies. As the war continued, political pressure grew on Ottawa to ensure that businesses and the wealthy paid their fair share of the financial burden. Labour organizations, farmers, churches, and other groups called for the “conscription of wealth.” Periodic charges of war profiteering by corrupt officials or unscrupulous entrepreneurs made for sensational headlines and undermined the government’s propaganda message that all Canadians should “do their bit.”

New federal taxes on business profits in 1916 and personal incomes in 1917 – the latter a ‘temporary’ wartime measure – set important precedents, but the war ended before either had produced substantial results. In 1919, personal and corporate taxes combined accounted for only 3.4 percent of total federal revenues. Most Canadians paid no tax at all, and those who did pay, paid very little.

'It Was Part Of Me': Director Sam Mendes On The Family History In '1917'

George MacKay (center) plays the British soldier Schofield in 1917, the war drama co-written and directed by Sam Mendes.

François Duhamel /Universal Pictures and Dreamworks Pictures

Two young British soldiers, Blake and Schofield, are given an uncommon mission in World War I: deliver a message that could save 1,600 lives — including Blake's brother.

That's the conceit of 1917, starring Colin Firth as the general who gives the order, and Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay as the two soldiers. They're assigned to move across a hellscape of gouged-out trenches, burnt ruins, fat rats, and war's wreckage.

Sam Mendes directs, from a script he co-wrote with Krysty Wilson-Cairns. It's shot by cinematographer Roger Deakins — 1917 was made to appear like one continuous take.

Movie Interviews

From The Theater To MI6: Sam Mendes On 'Skyfall'

"Once I'd had the idea that it was two hours of real time, it seemed like a natural thing to lock the audience together with the central characters in a way that they gradually began to realize, consciously or unconsciously, they couldn't get out of," Mendes says. "It operates more like a ticking-clock thriller, in a way, and so to experience every second passing with the men seemed like a great idea.

The movie is inspired by the war stories of Mendes' grandfather Alfred Mendes, who enlisted as a 17-year-old and fought in World War I. Alfred Mendes became a novelist and writer — though he didn't tell his own children about his war experiences until late in life.

"It wasn't until his mid-70s that he decided he was going to tell the stories of what happened to him when he was in his teenage years," Sam Mendes says. "And there was one particular story he told us of being tasked to carry a single message through no man's land in dusk in the winter of 1916. He was a small man, and they used to send him with messages because he ran 5 1/2 feet, and the mist used to hang at about 6 feet in no man's land, so he wasn't visible above the mist. And that stayed with me. And that was the story I found I wanted to tell."

Interview Highlights

On the wreckage of war depicted

Sam Mendes speaks onstage at a special screening of 1917 earlier in December. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Universal Pictures hide caption

Sam Mendes speaks onstage at a special screening of 1917 earlier in December.

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Universal Pictures

This is a war that finished that ended over 100 years ago, and we are still so aware of it, and that the generation of men that went missing. If you go to the Somme, you go to these places which are very, very moving — these beautifully kept memorials to the fallen — the number of unmarked graves is what strikes you, just white crosses everywhere. And it struck me as very appropriate, therefore, that the two men we should follow are unknown, in a sense. You know, it's the first time that I've been on a set and found myself moved by the event that we were depicting rather than anything in the movie. I mean, honestly, a movie set's the least-moving place in the world. You know, it's just full of technicians and equipment. But I found myself lost on several occasions.

On the rats

I just would say this now: No rats were harmed in the making of his film. . The rats, are in a way, the residents of the land. It's the humans who are passing through. And rats aside, I mean, the fact that this retreat happens in the spring of 1917 meant that we could make another personality in the movie, another character in the movie, which was nature — that despite the destruction of the humans, nature will win out. Nature will push back through those leaves on the trees again and blossom in the orchards. And nature will come back and laugh at the ants that are making such destruction, wreaking such havoc across the landscape.

On the soldier and baby scene

Well, I started writing the script October 2017, exactly 100 years after the movie takes place, and my daughter was born a month earlier. So my youngest child was very much in the house, and I suppose it has something to do with that. And I found it very difficult to shoot because, you know, this poor little creature — Ivy, her name was — you know, she's not aware she's in a movie. And the way she behaved in the scene was so moving.

But, yes, about the collateral damage of war. And I think that when you see what's happening to the civilian life the sense of the French towns that were destroyed that kind of lost world, really, of northern France, that was all utterly razed to the ground in that war. And those scenes were really disturbing and upsetting to shoot. But they seemed important.

On if it is disturbing to receive award recognition for this particular movie

Depends on your perspective on awards. If the awards are why you do it, then yes. If you remember that awards are designed to make audiences go to see movies in the cinema, then no. I want people to go and see this movie in cinema. I've very much embraced the fact that it's up for awards because it means it's part of the year-end dialogue, and to have an opinion about it, you've got to go and see it. And these movies are difficult to make now. You know, you are up against superhero movies and franchises and animated films, and if you make a movie of scale that you want people to see in the cinema with no big stars in the leads, you know, you have to take everything you can get. And if being part of the awards discussion is part of that, then good. You know, it is — and we have to keep reminding ourselves — a way of promoting films.

On why he makes films

Masochism, on a large scale, I think. You get a feeling inside you, a kind of Christmas Eve feeling. And it's more and more difficult to find things that drag you away from your family and the things that matter most. But I felt this one, it was part of me. It was part of my childhood. It was part of my family history. And I felt compelled to tell it in a way that I've rarely felt before. Without that, the months and months of, you know, frustration and crazy goals that you set yourself — one of which being to make a movie like this in one shot — would seem to be, you know, really pointless. But somehow it was a rewarding experience and worth all the sacrifices.

Sophia Alvarez Boyd and Steve Tripoli produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Patrick Jarenwattananon adapted it for the Web.

Charles Bean

Charles Bean outside his tent in the AIF camp at Mena, Egypt, 1915.

In the early 1890s an English schoolteacher took his ten-year-old son to the museum room in the Hotel du Musée, near the battlefield of Waterloo. The boy was fascinated by the relics of the famous battle and dreamt of creating his own museum as he picked up what he imagined were relics of the fighting in the fields outside. The boy was Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean. His experience at Waterloo was a foretaste of the labours that would occupy most of his adult life: the establishment of the Australian War Memorial and the writing of the official history of Australia during the First World War.

Bean was born in Bathurst, New South Wales, on 18 November 1879, but his family moved to England ten years later. On the completion of his secondary education he won a scholarship to Hertford College, Oxford, where he studied classics and graduated with 2nd class honours. Bean returned to Australia in 1904, was admitted to the New South Wales Bar and for the next two years traveled on the legal circuit around the state. This experience led to The impressions of a new chum, a description of Australia through the eyes of someone returning after a long absence the manuscript was not published, but material from it was printed as eight articles in the Sydney Morning Herald. They foreshadowed some of the themes that would recur in Bean's later work, particularly the idea that Australians represented the best of the British race and that the finest of them lived in the bush. With publication behind him, Bean decided to become a journalist, and he joined the Herald as a junior reporter in June 1908.

One of Bean's first assignments was as special correspondent on HMS Powerful, flagship of the of the Royal Navy squadron on the Australian station. Bean assembled his reports into The flagship of the south, a book which he published himself. Shortly afterwards he was sent to western New South Wales to do a series of articles on the wool industry. At first uninterested in the subject, Bean soon hit on the idea that the most important product of the wool industry was men on whose labour it depended, and he described their lives in sympathetic detail. Once again he put the articles into a book, On the wool track, published in 1910.

In mid-1914 Bean was given the task of writing a daily commentary on the gathering crisis in Europe. Although he could not have known it, he had begun writing about the conflict that would come to dominate his life. In September he won a ballot held by the Australian Journalists Association to become Australia's official war correspondent, narrowly defeating Keith Murdoch. Bean remained a civilian but held the honorary rank of captain. He travelled to Egypt with the first contingent of the AIF and landed at Gallipoli at 10 am on 25 April, a few hours after the dawn attack. Having annoyed some Australian troops in Egypt for reports in which he revealed that some men were being discharged and sent home for indiscipline, Bean won their admiration on Gallipoli. Two weeks after the landing he was recommended for a decoration for his bravery during the Australian charge at Krithia as a civilian was ineligible for the award, so he was mentioned in dispatches instead. In August, Bean was shot in the leg but refused to leave the peninsula remaining in his dug out he had his wound dressed daily until it was healed. He stayed on Gallipoli throughout the campaign, continually sending stories back to Australia and filling the first of the 226 notebooks he would amass by the end of the war.

Bean had noticed that Australian soldiers were devoted collectors of battlefield souvenirs and imagined that a museum featuring these objects might be created after the war. But it was not until he had witnessed the carnage on the Western Front in the second half of 1916 that he began to conceive a memorial that would not only house battle relics, but also commemorate those who had been killed. He had also become aware that the British and Canadians were planning to create their own war museums. In November 1916 Bean suggested to the Australian Minister for Defence, Senator Pearce, that photographs and relics of the fighting around Pozières should be put on display in a national museum. Pearce, whose motives were more narrowly political, was beginning to agree that a national institution could be useful, if only to mollify the state governments: they were demanding relics to commemorate the service of their own troops.


[1] U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Thirteenth Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1910 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1913), 194.

[2] Kathleen Neils Conzen, &ldquoGermans,&rdquo in The Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, ed. Stephan Thernstrom et al. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980), 405-25, here: 417.

[3] By 1913, America&rsquos share of international trade had reached 11 percent, putting the country in third place behind Great Britain (15%) and Germany (13%). David Kennedy, Over Here. The First World War and American Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), 298.

[4] Clara Eve Schieber, The Transformation of American Sentiment toward Germany, 1870-1914 (Boston and New York: Cornhill, 1923), 241-44.

[5] Thomas A. Bailey, &ldquoThe Sinking of the Lusitania,&rdquo American Historical Review 41.1 (1935): 54-73.

[6] Katja Wüstenbecker, Deutsch-Amerikaner im Ersten Weltkrieg: US-Politik und nationale Identitäten im Mittleren Westen (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2007), 81-83, 92-95.

[7] John Carver Edwards, Patriots in Pinstripe: Men of the National Security League (Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1982).

[8] Jörg Nagler, Nationale Minoritäten im Krieg: &ldquoFeindliche Ausländer&rdquo und die amerikanische Heimatfront während des Ersten Weltkriegs (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2000), 536-649.

[9] William J. Breen, Uncle Sam at Home: Civilian Mobilization, Wartime Federation, and the Council of National Defense, 1917-1919 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984).

[10] Stephen Vaughn, Holding Fast the Inner Lines: Democracy, Nationalism, and the Committee on Public Information (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1980).

[11] Cited in Edward Robb Ellis, Echoes of Distant Thunder. Life in the United States, 1914-1918 (New York: Kodansha International, 1996), 436.

[12] Robert Justin Goldstein, Political Repression in Modern America. From 1870 to the Present (Cambridge, MA, and New York: Schenkman Publishing Co. and Two Continents Publishing Group, 1978), 73-75, 101-04.

[13] Donald Hickey, &ldquoThe Prager Affair: A Study in Wartime Hysteria,&rdquo Journal of the Illinois Historical Society 62 (1969): 117-34.

[14] Arthur Guy Empey in McClure's (July 1917): 21.

[15] At the end of 1914, Zimmermann told U.S. Ambassador James Gerard that there were approximately 500,000 German reservists in the United States who could easily be called upon to fight. James W. Gerard, My Four Years in Germany (New York: George H. Doran Company, 1917), 237.

[16] Wallace H. Moore, The Conflict Concerning the German Language and German Propaganda in the Public Secondary Schools of the United States. Ph.D diss. (Stanford University, 1937), 33-34.

[17] I.N. Edwards, &ldquoThe Legal Status of Foreign Languages in the Schools,&rdquo in Elementary School Journal 24 (December 6, 1923): 270-78 Cora Lee Nollendorfs, &ldquoDeutschunterricht in Amerika im Schatten des Ersten Weltkrieges: &#214ffentlich-offizielle Verfahrensweisen und gesellschaftliches Gebaren,&rdquo in Zeitschrift für Kulturaustausch 35.2 (1985): 190-99.

[18] Gerlof D. Homan, &ldquoMennonites and Military Justice in World WarI,&rdquo Mennonite Quarterly Review 66.3 (1992): 365-75.

[19] The Nation, no. 107 (July 6, 1918): 3. See also J.E. Vacha, &ldquoWhen Wagner was Verboten: The Campaign against German Music in World WarI,&rdquo New York History 64 (1983): 171-88.

[20] Wüstenbecker, Deutsch-Amerikaner im Ersten Weltkrieg, 323-27.

[21] Annual Report of the Attorney General, here: the report for 1918 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1916-22): 32.

[22] See The New York Times, March 23, 1918, 6.

[23] Nagler, Nationale Minoritäten, 455-60. All current values (in 2011 USD) are based on Samuel H. Williamson, &ldquoSeven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1774 to present,&rdquo MeasuringWorth, using the Consumer Price Index.

[24] Thomas R. Kabisch, Deutsches Kapital in den USA. Von der Reichsgründung bis zur Sequestrierung (Stuttgart: In Kommission bei Klett-Cotta, 1982), 293-94.

[26] Gerd Korman, Industrialization, Immigrants, and Americanizers: The View from Milwaukee, 1866-1921 (Madison, WI: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1967), 174-75.

[27] Wisconsin State Journal (January 12, 1918). The bank changed its name to the American Exchange Bank.

[28] &ldquoSauerkraut Disguised So Patriotic Folks Can Eat It,&rdquo Chicago Sunday Tribune, April 7, 1918.

[29] Wüstenbecker,Deutsch-Amerikaner im Ersten Weltkrieg, 286-89.

World 3500 BCE

Stone Age hunter-gatherers and farmers live in much of the world. In one small area, however, cities are appearing, literacy is developing, and civilization is emerging.

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World history in 3500 BCE - ancient civilizations emerge

In the Middle East, the first civilizations in world history are emerging.

Cities, writing, organized states – all these are appearing in the land of Mesopotamia . A thousand or so miles away, the foundations for another great civilization are being laid, that of Ancient Egypt, in the Nile Valley.

These two developments are the opening phases of that stage in global history which we call the Ancient World.

The spread of farming

In 3500 BCE, much of the world is inhabited by small groups of hunter-gatherers. Since about 9000 BCE, however, farming has been spreading in and around the Middle East, southern and eastern Asia, Europe and northern Africa. The spread of agriculture has enabled populations to expand, and villages of farmers now dot the landscapes of these regions. This is a trend which will last throughout global history, right up to the present day, as farmers push hunter-gatherers into ever smaller corners of the planet.

The horse

Another notable development at around this time is the domesticating of the horse, on the steppes north of the Black Sea. Modern scholars think that this occured amongst people who spoke a tongue ancestral to the modern Indo-European family of languages. Their domestication of the horse, initially for their milk, meat and hides, is a first step along the road to an expansion over a huge area of Eurasia.

The Western Hemisphere

Agriculture is also practiced in a few places in the Western Hemisphere, in parts of Mexico and Peru. The rest of the populations of North and South America are hunter-gatherers.

DSM&ndashIII&ndashR and DSM&ndashIV

Experience with DSM, Third Edition (DSM&ndashIII) revealed inconsistencies in the system and instances in which the diagnostic criteria were not clear. Therefore, APA appointed a work group to revise DSM&ndashIII, which developed the revisions and corrections that led to the publication of DSM&ndashIII&ndashR in 1987.

DSM&ndashIV was published in 1994. It was the culmination of a six&ndashyear effort that involved more than 1,000 individuals and numerous professional organizations. Much of the effort involved conducting a comprehensive review of the literature to establish a firm empirical basis for making modifications. Numerous changes were made to the classification (e.g., disorders were added, deleted, and reorganized), to the diagnostic criteria sets, and to the descriptive text. Developers of DSM&ndashIV and the 10th edition of the ICD worked closely to coordinate their efforts, resulting in increased congruence between the two systems and fewer meaningless differences in wording. ICD&ndash10 was published in 1992.


The unprecedented success of the subsistence riot that brought down the tsar is partly the result of an unusual historical conjuncture. Historians usually portray community-based subsistence riots as occurring in pre- or protoindustrial settings where informal community politics prevail, upholding a moral economy that places human survival above market values. By ushering in more formal modes of protest, industrialization supposedly renders the food riot obsolete or at least ineffective, because in the large towns and cities of the emergent industrial order rioters no longer have a supportive social milieu to enforce demands for a “just price” on shopkeepers and tradespeople. Under these circumstances, Bohstedt tells us, although women might continue to lead bread riots, “they were left marooned in a traditional form of protest, while their brothers and fathers formed more modern political and labor associations to take up their cudgels on the front of the capitalist labor market.”66

Developments were not always so straightforward, however. By providing women with new social roles, modern warfare gave new meanings to the subsistence riot. In Germany, for example, wartime propaganda conferred social power on women in their capacity as consumers. Because the urban public had come to perceive consumer sacrifices as emblematic of the civilian contribution to the war effort, the public actively sympathized with female bread rioters, making their actions singularly effective. Widespread public sympathy forced the German government to take control of the market in order to ensure the women’s equal access to scarce goods. Belinda Davis suggests that it was the authorities’ continued, if inadequate, attentiveness to consumer needs that helped stave off revolution in Germany.67

In Russia, the war also transformed women’s social roles. Hundreds of thousands of women became industrial workers, and millions became soldatki. Between 1914 and 1917, hundreds of thousands of newcomers took the places of workers sent off to the front. The majority of these new workers were female, and an unknown number of them were also soldiers’ wives. Those who came from the village brought traditional expectations concerning the right to subsistence and the affordability of essential goods, as well as a more modern sense of entitlement derived from their connection to men at the front. They joined a female workforce whose capacity for militancy and self-assertion had become manifest by the eve of the war. The combination was a particularly volatile one. The participation of female and male workers added a new dimension to the subsistence riot, which acquired the potential to spill over into and combine with more “modern” forms of protest, as occurred in Bogorodsk in 1915 and again in February 1917 with such dramatic consequences.

Yet even as subsistence riots provide evidence of resistance to market forces on the part of Russia’s lower classes and at least a sector of its industrial workforce, riots also demonstrate the degree to which these very rioters had learned to take market products for granted. In the Europe of earlier times, subsistence riots had occurred in response to the scarcity or high prices of bread and grains-the very staff of life. During World War I, the goods Russians sought at just prices were often the very goods that the market had made available to them in the first place. In the majority of the incidents discussed in this essay, sugar or other products were far more likely than bread or flour to be the bone of contention.68 Although the massive protests that emerged everywhere in the empire in the spring of 1916 were usually termed “hunger riots,” in fact the population was reacting “not only to the high price of such grocery items as sugar, flour, etc., but also to the growing expense of items necessary for daily life, such as shoes, manufactured goods and soap,” reads a report to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.69 The fact that the scarcity or high price of items such as meat, soap, calico, and leather, or even sugar, prompted the lower classes to rebel suggests the extent to which popular expectations had risen by the outbreak of the war. Sugar was a relative latecomer to the diet of the peasantry, but by the early twentieth century many peasants had adopted the practice of consuming it regularly with tea. The diet of the factory worker was more varied than that of the peasant. Although bread and grains continued to dominate workers’ diets, most consumed tea with sugar daily and ate meat much more regularly than villagers, who consumed it primarily on feast days.70 Workers also preferred leather boots or shoes to the felt boots or woven bark shoes worn by peasants, mass-produced fabrics to homespun, and soap to the lye and ashes that peasants used for cleaning. It may well have been the case that lower-class people in large cities such as Moscow and Saint Petersburg had little choice, having become entirely dependent on what they could buy in the marketplace, by contrast with the peasants, who in a pinch could subsist on what they produced at home. Thus, for example, in March 1916 we find twenty-five women workers “rioting” over the price of calico in the Moscow suburb of Podol’sk. Having just been paid, they were walking home from work past the trading rows when one of the workers went into a shop to inquire about the cost of a length of calico. When she heard the price (thirty kopeks), she seized the goods from the counter and tossed them outside to the other women a few of them entered the shop to assist her. The incident lasted less than five minutes and was limited to the theft of these goods.71 It may also be the case that anger over the difficulty of obtaining sugar reflected the extent to which workers were substituting tea with sugar for more substantial fare in their diet, thus providing indirect evidence of a real decline in their standard of living.72

But, in fact, rioters over goods such as boots, fabric, and soap included people who continued to have access to homemade products, people who lived in or near their native villages. Residents of industrial towns such as Kineshma and Podol’sk or of market villages such as Bol’shoi Maresev, Nizhnii Novgorod province, had grown accustomed to consuming manufactured goods and goods of urban provenance, and in these and similar places the growing cost of such items contributed to popular outrage over the declining standard of living. Or, to put it a little differently, the popular definition of “justice” had come to include access to goods that still remained luxuries for much of the peasant population. This was true even of workers and their families who were newly arrived from-or, in the case of rural factories, still resident in-the peasant village. Riots thus suggest the degree to which, not only in cities but also in small towns and industrial villages, the tastes of lower-class Russians had become more demanding and more dependent on a market economy. They also confirm the observation of Thierry Bonzon and Belinda Davis that in the case of subsistence riots there is no simple and unequivocal relation between the material difficulties encountered by the population and the level of discontent aroused.73 At least until the bread crisis became real and pressing, loss of a respectable standard of living-that is, loss of newly acquired status-seems to have motivated popular resistance as much as deprivation itself.

So did the unequal character of that deprivation in Russia. One of the salient features of wartime Germany is the extent to which social differences became muted. All urban residents came to identify themselves as consumers, this new image superseding “the fractionated and weak pre-war class-based image.”74 Precisely the opposite took place in Russia. There, the privileged access of consumers with money to goods unavailable to those without it exacerbated the already substantial antagonisms between the privileged and unprivileged sectors of Russian society, and the government’s manifest failure to deal effectively with the situation or to mediate fairly between social groups contributed greatly to its downfall.

In terms of the number of people involved, subsistence rioting pales in significance before the strike movement that gained momentum as the war continued. And it is hardly news to conclude, as I have done, that by the end of 1916 social polarization had deepened and lower-class women and men had grown severely alienated from the tsarist regime. Nevertheless, a closer look at subsistence riots is valuable for what it tells us about lower-class views on the eve of revolution and about the social bases of discontent. The riots indicate that, in many cases, people in the marketplace and on the factory floor belonged to the same informal community, with a shared notion of justice that included the right to consume market products. The riots also reveal a shared hostility toward people whose money gave them privileged access to scarce goods and toward the policemen, officials, and, eventually, the ruler who failed to ensure equality in deprivation. In addition, the riots demonstrate that the war increased the sense of entitlement of the many lower-class women who were soldiers’ wives, and that other people recognized this change in the women’s status and acknowledged their claims. Indeed, it is worth revisiting the case of the Don Cossacks who in August 1916 restrained their ataman, insisting that he had no right to raise his sword against women whose husbands were fighting in the army. Could it be that Cossack restraint in February 1917 was also due, at least in part, to their awareness that the women massed on the streets of Petrograd were the wives and mothers of men at the front?

Finally, examining the motivations of the food rioters to whom historians so often refer in passing suggests that popular desires and expectations were more complex than they usually acknowledge. After February 1917, the material needs of Russia’s lower classes were summed up in the word “bread,” as in the Bolshevik slogan “Peace, Land, and Bread,” and in fact, by 1917 the bread crisis had become truly desperate. However, at least until the end of 1916, many members of the urban lower classes expected to live by more than bread alone-they wanted sugar with their tea, meat on their table, boots on their feet, and a length of Chinese calico for a skirt or dress. These aspirations for a better or more comfortable material life have left little trace in histories of the Russian working class around the time of the revolution. Nevertheless, along with hostility toward tradespeople, toward the “bourgeoisie” as a group, and toward the autocracy, such aspirations remain part of the story of the revolution.

For their helpful commentary on an earlier draft of this article, I thank Camille Guerin-Gonzales, Ronald Grigor Suny, and participants in the University of Colorado History Department work-in-progress seminar. I am particularly indebted to Belinda Davis, who has generously shared her work and offered invaluable comparative observations.

The Journal of Modern History 69 (December 1997): 696-721] © 1997 by The University of Chicago.

Watch the video: Adolf Hitler in World War 1 I WHO DID WHAT IN WW1? (August 2022).