The War Come Home: Domestic Economies and Household Management in the Midst of Total War

AHA Session 268
Monday, January 5, 2015: 8:30 AM-10:30 AM
Gramercy Suite B (New York Hilton, Second Floor)
Helen Veit, Michigan State University
Helen Veit, Michigan State University

Session Abstract

This panel offers a comparative examination of how states in Europe and the Americas mobilized private households during the Great War, with particular attention to how governments deployed ideas in science, technology or health to encourage economy on the homefront of scarce materials and resources crucial to the war effort.  As each paper argues, wartime states were able to harness individual feelings of patriotism and duty towards the nation and direct them towards specific actions in their local surroundings.  Thus we demonstrate that during the war, governments in England, Germany, the United States, Brazil and Cuba re-defined the way that individuals understood their relationships with the natural world around them.  More importantly, they were able to modify private behavior and household use of the limited resources in the natural environment.  What they did not realize, however, is that along with this shift in private behaviors, governments were also engendering new ideas of—and desires for—citizenship within these very same spheres.

See more of: AHA Sessions