The Lasting Impact of World War I
July 27, 2014 10:40 PM   Subscribe

"The Wall Street Journal has selected 100 legacies from World War I that continue to shape our lives today." You can sort according to your interest via the tabs at the top of the page. [Previously]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (12 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
"Classical Music" wtf?
posted by Segundus at 11:18 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I read the entry for stainless steel, which actually argues that stainless steel would have been developed sooner if not for the war. Not the impact I was looking for...
posted by Harald74 at 11:21 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I suppose I was thrown by the fact that a lot of these are like 'WW I gave us...', which is OK for trench foot or zeppelins, etc, but reads weirdly for classical music and gold, where they just mean WWI left a legacy of some kind.

The Classical Music one does look a bit thin, though: they aren't saying WWI sent it off in a new direction, or even that it killed it by wiping out a generation of composers, they're really just naming a handful of pieces with an explicit war reference. You could easily go further than that: you could, for example, make a case for saying that WWI helped demolish the aristocratic society which older classical music arose from and helped pave the way for a move towards more demotic music.

Most of this is really interesting, though.
posted by Segundus at 12:55 AM on July 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

WWI led to Pinterest.
posted by telstar at 1:30 AM on July 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

What, nothing on the iPhone?
posted by Devonian at 2:47 AM on July 28, 2014

WWI led inexorably toward my waking up with a headache this morning. Fortunately, it also led to the cup of coffee I'm going to make.

And Dada.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:40 AM on July 28, 2014

WWI had at least 16 million legacies.
posted by at 7:05 AM on July 28, 2014 [4 favorites]

The Spanish Flu can be called a "legacy of WW1" but it's way more interesting than that. Research coming out of the 1918-19 pandemic, thought at the time to be caused by bacteria, led to the isolation in 1933 of the influenza A virus, which causes almost every type of endemic and pandemic influenza. That's a legacy.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:06 AM on July 28, 2014

I found the wristwatches page pretty interesting; apparently the whole "synchronize your watches" thing came from WWI. Also: wristwatches were previously worn by women and this too changed with WWI:
"Crouching in a trench or exchanging gunfire with the enemy, soldiers hardly had the time to grab a watch from their pocket, open the case and check the time. They were also encumbered with gear, so that the wristwatch overcame its effeminate image to become a practical necessity."
(Cake in Japan section is pretty interesting too.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:17 AM on July 28, 2014

Maiden Aunts is maybe an over-flippant title but the population chart that it opens with is chilling.

I had never heard of Two-Up.

Cuban Sugar.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:30 AM on July 28, 2014

Their bit about Canada's sense of nationhood being forged in the crucible of WW I is pretty standard. I was hoping (naively?) for some acknowledgement of Newfoundland. In WW I, Newfoundland was a separate dominion, just as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand were. Although its population as small and not very wealthy, it sent its own regiment to World War I. This caused the government to incur massive debt, and was one of the primary factors in Newfoundland's economic collapse in 1933. This started the chain of events which lead to Newfoundland becoming part of Canada in 1949.

So, in a sense, Canada gaining a 10th province, a big chunk of territory on its eastern flank and a people with a distinct culture, was also a legacy of World War I. (I saw where readers could make suggestions, so I put this one in). Or, in other words, if WW I jumpstarted a sense of nationalism in other British Dominions, it may also be the reason why one of them never quite became a nation.
posted by erlking at 7:44 AM on July 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

I think it could be argued that the development of nitrogen fertilizer was at least vaguely related to WWI.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:18 AM on July 28, 2014

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