The Great War and the Disintegration of Western Society Essay by Research Group

The Great War and the Disintegration of Western Society
Examining the ways in which the aftermath of the First World War impacted European society.
# 26313 | 1,231 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Apr 29, 2003 in History (European - World Wars)

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This paper explains how the First World War signaled a dramatic shift in the fundamental ways in which the nations of the Western World perceived themselves in the decades to come. It discusses how scholars explain that the wake of World War I initiated a lack of faith in Western society for its own institutions, leaders, and philosophies; and how the disintegration of traditional ideas in the aftermath of the Great War spread far and wide among the populations of the Western nations.

From the Paper:

"Suddenly, the end of optimism necessitated a need to question, even dismiss, many of the basic values of culture that had once been accepted. As is articulated in John Steele Gordon's retrospective "What We Lost in The Great War", survivors of the war were impelled to reassess their loyalties; "Because of the war," he writes, "it seemed to many a matter of inescapable logic that Western culture must be deeply, inherently flawed" (pp. 83). An explanation of this phenomenon is easy to ascertain; because Western culture had mired itself in the war, the ideologies and institutions of Western culture must therefore be faulty. The faith of the Western world in the soundness of its civilization was thus primed for disintegration, newly replaced with feelings of disillusionment and shame(Gordon, pps. 84-86)."

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