Nationalism, the First World War, and Sites of International Memory

TitleNationalism, the First World War, and Sites of International Memory
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSluga, Glenda
JournalHistory of Education Review
Date Published10/2016

The purpose of this paper is to restore the history of internationalism to our understanding of the legacy of the First World War, and the role of universities in that past. It begins by emphasizing the war’s twin legacy, namely, the twin principles of the peace: national self-determination and the League of Nations. It focuses on the intersecting significance and meaning attributed to the related terms patriotism and humanity, nationalism and internationalism, during the war and after. A key focus is the memorialization of Edith Cavell, and the role of men and women in supporting a League of Nations. The author finds that contrary to conventional historical opinion, internationalism was as significant as nationalism during the war and after, thanks to the influence and ideas of men and women connected through university networks. The author’s argument is based on an examination of British imperial sources in particular. The implications of this argument are that historians need to recover the international past in histories of nationalism.

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