lec_2_Great_War

lec_2_Great_War - 1 Lecture 2: World War I and the...

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Unformatted text preview: 1 Lecture 2: World War I and the Mobilization of Science 1 Globalization and collapse 2 Strategies and outcomes in the Great War 3 Chemical warfare and the “Chemists’ War” 4 “The sciences were never at war” (but, alas, they were) 5 Einstein’s Celebrity (and Haber’s Demise) 2 1 Science and Globalization Ca. 1870-1914 was the first great era of globalization. It was a good period for reason and liberalism (in the generic sense). Advancing liberalism took such forms as elected governments (in continental Europe), vastly expanded public schooling, the beginnings of social insurance, formal tolerance of dissenting religions. It brought also an unprecedented flourishing of science. One reason for scientific internationalism was economic, to establish standards for telegraphs and electricity, or weather measurements, and even of position and time, to facilitate international exchange and communication. 3 Telegraph lines and networks of instruments made it possible to construct weather maps for real-time prediction (but only with international collaboration, and only if instruments were reasonably standardized). Weather map published by Francis Galton in the Times (London) in 1875. 4 The creation of time zones was linked to star surveys, and more specifically to astronomical measurements to fix terrestrial distances. Why was standard time defined by an observatory? International Meridian Conference, Washington (1884) G R E E N W I C H 5 Standardized time was of much interest to Einstein, who formulated his theory of special relativity (1905) in terms of basic technologies like moving trains and clocks. 6 The internationalism of science was manifested in meetings and congresses, such as this one, the First Solvay Congress [Solvay was a Belgian industrialist] in Brussels in 1911, devoted to radiation and the [first] quantum theory. 7 Internationalism and Liberalism Threatened European liberalism had also, as Marx would say, its contradictions. Capitalist prosperity was punctuated by crises. Inequality remained at home, and was still more fundamental within the international order. While science and technology were identified with progress in much of the world, liberalism was threatened by sot (and reactionary) politics, virulent nationalism and anti-Semitism, struggles for territories, for markets, and for power. 8 Imperialism and the Rush for Africa. Did this signify a triumph of global capitalism or the atavistic power of aristocrats and military elites? It created great tensions among the states of Europe. 9 ensuses and human biology helped to define the terms of liberal nationalism. But it ran up against contradictions, cartographic as well as social. There was no way to ran up against contradictions, cartographic as well as social....
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This note was uploaded on 02/19/2011 for the course HIST 3C taught by Professor Porter during the Fall '07 term at UCLA.

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lec_2_Great_War - 1 Lecture 2: World War I and the...

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