Chapter 9: Abstract

War and Gender: Nineteenth-Century Wars of Nations and Empires—an Overview

Stefan Dudink (Radboud University Nijmegen, Institute for Gender Studies), Karen Hagemann (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History) and Mischa Honeck (Humboldt University of Berlin, Department of History)


This chapter offers an introduction to the intertwined histories of gender and war from the end of the period of transatlantic revolutions and warfare in the early nineteenth century to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. In the opening section, we offer a reconsideration of the notion of Europe’s post–Napoleonic century as an era of peace without or mostly without war, and of key concepts that historians have used to make sense of pursuits of war and military force during this time period, such as "militarism," "militarization," and "industrialized people’s war." We then offer a panoramic view of the major wars waged from the 1820s to the early 1910s, paying special attention to the often porous and fluid boundaries between national, colonial, and imperial armed conflicts, and survey the peacetime militarization of the "western world" before the era of the two world wars, analyzing it as part of the movement of politics, society, culture, and economics in what is by mid-nineteenth century a global age. The chapter concludes with a wide-ranging exploration of the intersections of war, militarization, and gender orders and a reflection on the state of scholarship.


Nineteenth century wars;  global empires; colonies; militarism; imperialism; nationalism; peace, people’s war; citizenship; gender.

In Part II “Wars of Nations and Empires” of the Oxford Handbook of Gender, War and the Western World since 1600.

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