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AftershocksGreat Powers and Domestic Reforms in the Twentieth Century$
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Seva Gunitsky

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691172330

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691172330.001.0001

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The Alchemy of War

The Alchemy of War

Chapter:
(p.60) 3 The Alchemy of War
Source:
Aftershocks
Author(s):

Seva Gunitsky

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691172330.003.0003

This chapter examines how the outcome of the Great War demonstrated democracy's effectiveness on both the battlefield and the factory floor, leading to a short-lived but intense period of democratization on the European continent and beyond. Between 1918 and 1922, over a dozen new states adopted democratic institutions including independent parliaments, civil liberties, and universal suffrage. At the same time, semi-democracies like Britain and Belgium expanded voting rights to previously excluded groups like women and working-class men. The chapter then looks at how the overstretch of the postwar wave contributed to the collapse of democracy and set the stage for a series of confrontations between rival institutional arrangements.

Keywords:   Great War, democratization, democracy, Europe, postwar wave

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