Armenia & Poland & Russia & The Middle East

In Peter Gatrell’s article, Displacing and Re-Placing Population in the Two World Wars: Armenia and Russia, he argues that the two ethnic groups sought protection both Post-World War I and II in order to establish the legitimacy of their state; however, the Armenians supported Russian “protection” while the Poles chose to abandon their homeland because of ideological differences. Gatrell is a Professor of Economic History at the University of Manchester in the U.K. His specialty is analyzing the economic influence of refugees and their movement after both World Wars.… Read the rest here

The issue of millions of refugees

Peter Gatrell is a professor of economic history at the University of Manchester. In his work Introduction: World Wars and Population Displacement In Europe in the Twentieth Century, he speaks about the World Wars as well as the Russian Revolution. He spends much of the work talking about how there millions of refugees after the Russian Revolution, World War I, and World War II. While the number of people who were displaced after the wars is not agreed upon, all of the potential numbers were in the millions.… Read the rest here

Comparing Armenian and Polish Refugees

Peter Gatrell is a Professor of Economic History at the University of Manchester. He has demonstrated a great interest European cultural history. His publications focus on population displacement and state-building following World War I and World War II. When considering his extensive experience studying European history, it is evident that his projects correlate with his interests.

While reading Gatrell’s work, “Displacing and Re-placing Populations in the Two World Wars: Armenia and Poland Compared,” I was captivated by his comparison between these two ethnic groups’ histories.… Read the rest here

Instinctual Scapegoat

The turn of the twentieth century saw the end of the Victorian Era in Europe, and the disciplines of literature, natural science, philosophy, and psychology spearheaded a backlash against formerly dominant middle class ideals. The psychologists Ivan Pavlov and Sigmund Freud studied conditioned reflexes and human instinct, bringing into question mans’ own agency, and thus his ability to marshal infinite progress. Freud’s “Civilization and Die Weltanschauung” was written in the waning days of World War I in 1918.… Read the rest here

Keynes and The Treaty of Versaille

John Maynard Keynes was an economist in Great Britain during World War I. Keynes also served as a representative of the Treasury of Great Britain and was an outspoken member at Versailles. Since Keynes was an economist he saw the consequences that the sanctions on Germany would do not only to their economy but what it would do to the rest of the world economy. He saw that since Germany would have to pay large sums of money they would not be able to provide for their people and Germany was already facing food shortages because of the Allied blockade.… Read the rest here

Spengler’s “Decline of the West”, 1922

Spengler was born in 1880, the first born child of a German mining family. When he was ten, he was trained in the Greco-Roman tradition, learning Greek, Latin, mathematics and art. However, he was also heavily influenced by Nietzche and Goethe’s writings. When he later entered college for a teaching degree, he continued his pursuits of the classics. Spengler was notorious for not including sources in his papers and essays and was heavily criticized for it during his time.… Read the rest here

The Economic Consequences of Peace

The Economic Consequences of Peace addresses the effects of the Versailles treaty on the already fragile German system. It described provisions of the Versailles treaty and then illustrates the tragic effects. Keynes explained how before the war the population was living “without much margin of surplus” (Keynes), and in the aftermath people had to restore this system before starvation became a huge issue. Keynes also issued the warning that “men will not always die quietly”, directing this at politicians and men in power and saying that the negative temperaments brought on by starvation/desperation could be fuel for future issues.… Read the rest here

Freud: Civilization & Die Weltanschauung

Sigmund Freud was a controversial Austrian neurologist who is largely considered the founder of the psychoanalysis field of psychology. For this piece, Civilization & Die Weltanschauung, Freud diverts from the field of abnormal psych and the study of sexuality to write about the relationship between economics, civilization, philosophy, religion and science. Freud writes in 1918, around the end of the first World War.

It is clear that Freud is addressing an audience for this lecture, as he uses phrases such as “In an earlier lecture we have emphasized…”, beyond that Freud utilizes rhetoric skillfully to make his point, starting with the first sentence of the lecture in which he defines Weltanschauung,

 I mean an intellectual construction which gives a unified solution of all the problems of our existence in virtue of a comprehensive hypothesis, a construction, therefore, in which no question is left open and in which everything in which we are interested finds a place.

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Freud’s Weltanschauung

Sigmund Freud, known to college students everywhere for his ability to trace all human activity back to sex, published “Civilization and Die Weltanschauung” in 1918, near the end of World War I. While Freud never explicitly mentioned WWI in the excerpt discussed here, he did state that man’s natural inclination to aggression is one of the greatest impediments to civilization. The struggle between a number of contrasting factors, including the struggle between the instinct for life and the instinct for destruction (aggression) forms the evolution of human civilization, according to Freud.… Read the rest here

Abdication of Nikolai II

By 1917, Russia’s populace faced a combination of very severe acute food shortages caused by the unorganized and uncontrolled war effort, and social disorder subsequent of several Liberal and revolutionary groups split in their ideas and desires but all dissatisfied with the minimal (or even lack of) reform afforded to them by the Dumas. Nikolai was therefore advised to abdicate, whereupon he drew up a manifesto abdicating his position and naming his brother, Grand Duke Michael, as the next Emperor.… Read the rest here