Chapter 10: Abstract

War Mobilization, Gender, and Military Culture in Nineteenth-Century Western Societies

Robert A. Nye (Oregon State University, Department of History)

In Oxford Handbook of Gender, War, and the Western World since 1600, ed. by Karen Hagemann et al. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 268-88.


Gender served as an important structural and organizing principle for the mobilization of peoples for war and nation in Europe and the United States during the nineteenth century. This chapter explores from a gender perspective how military and civilian cultures became more intimately conjoined and societies were militarized. Men experienced induction in mass conscription armies as a rite of passage to manhood and citizenship and prolonged their military identities in veteran’s organizations. Women participated in voluntary and nursing organizations that supported military and combat activities throughout the century and figured as national symbols and in the commemoration of civilian and military suffering. Popular culture, art, music, and military display made use of deeply gendered images linking military culture to nationalist themes.


Nineteenth-century warfare; Europe; United States; militarization; nationalism; military culture; popular culture; race; war memories; 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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