Chapter 19: Abstract

War Societies, Citizenship and Gender on the American and Canadian Homefronts during the First and Second World War

Kimberly Jensen (Western Oregon University, Department of History)

Abstract

This chapter analyzes the impact and consequences of the First and Second World War for the homefronts of Canada and the United States with a particular focus on the definitions of and challenges to gendered systems of citizenship. Many Americans and Canadians actively claimed an expanded citizenship as reward for their wartime service. At the same time their wartime service brought imperatives for loyalty and national security that resulted in severe restrictions on civil liberties and citizenship in the name of national security during and after these conflicts. In the First World War both nations designed programs and propaganda to define citizenship in the narrow confines of “100% Americanism” and “Canadian nationalism” at the expense of diversity and dissent, and these reflected notions of traditional gender roles and suspicion of those who did not follow such prescriptions. Gendered wartime citizenship in Canada and the United States during both World Wars related directly to the homefront conceptions of “armed conflict” and “war.”

Keywords

Citizenship; Loyalty; Pacifism; Patriotic Motherhood; Sexuality; War Work; Gender; Men; Women; World War I and II; Canada; United States.

In Part III: "The Age of the World Wars" of the Oxford Handbook of Gender and War since 1600.

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