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Beyond God, Country, and Empire: The United Kingdom and the Transnational Turn in the First World War

Beyond God, Country, and Empire: The United Kingdom and the Transnational Turn in the First World... Even after the war’s centenary from 2014–2018, many English-speaking popular readers and students retain a static and narrow conception of the First World War, much of it focused around the British experience in a section of trenches on the Western Front. This narrative of the war with its focus on the Battles of the Marne, Ypres, the Somme, and Passchendaele, is certainly significant, but it has played an outsized role in shaping the war's history for generations of people. This brief article provides an overview of resources and approaches that relate a different story about Britain's global war and offers concrete suggestions for reframing the story for students and public audiences alike. By broadening the British war story, beyond country and empire, to a global, transnational story, we can narrate a history that aligns more productively with the reality of the conflict as it was experienced. Rather than focusing only on a small slice of the rich wartime tapestry, such a global history re-centers the experiences of non-combatants, imperial citizens, non-citizens, and expatriates – telling a more holistic story of “Britain” at war. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Britain and the World Edinburgh University Press

Beyond God, Country, and Empire: The United Kingdom and the Transnational Turn in the First World War

Britain and the World , Volume 16 (2): 16 – Sep 1, 2023

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2043-8567
eISSN
2043-8575
DOI
10.3366/brw.2023.0405
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Even after the war’s centenary from 2014–2018, many English-speaking popular readers and students retain a static and narrow conception of the First World War, much of it focused around the British experience in a section of trenches on the Western Front. This narrative of the war with its focus on the Battles of the Marne, Ypres, the Somme, and Passchendaele, is certainly significant, but it has played an outsized role in shaping the war's history for generations of people. This brief article provides an overview of resources and approaches that relate a different story about Britain's global war and offers concrete suggestions for reframing the story for students and public audiences alike. By broadening the British war story, beyond country and empire, to a global, transnational story, we can narrate a history that aligns more productively with the reality of the conflict as it was experienced. Rather than focusing only on a small slice of the rich wartime tapestry, such a global history re-centers the experiences of non-combatants, imperial citizens, non-citizens, and expatriates – telling a more holistic story of “Britain” at war.

Journal

Britain and the WorldEdinburgh University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2023

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