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Review: Volume 5 - First World War

Review: Volume 5 - First World War

The fascinating story of the British women who volunteered for service in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry during the First World War; Accessible and enjoyable to read history of an interesting, quirky, audacious and pioneering sisterhood of women; Analyses the relationship between gender and war in the early twentieth century; The first full length book on the subject; The author's passion and enthusiasm for her subject are palpable; Includes personal testimonies e.g. diaries, letters and memoirs from the women themselves.

This is the history of the Sportsmen's Battalion, Royal Fusiliers 23rd service battalion, which consisted almost entirely of men from the world of sport or entertainment. The battalion was privately raised and took men up to the age of 45. The battalion included a champion boxer, cricketers, footballers, MPs and the author John Chessire. They were men who did not need to serve in the First World War but had an unquestioning sense of duty. The history is enhanced by the letters and drawings by John Chessire, giving a first-hand account of their experiences. A man from the upper classes, a writer, poet and artist, he chose to serve as a private so he could do his duty, even when it conflicted with his religious beliefs and love for his family. The book covers the battalion's beginnings in London and progression to Hornchurch, France and then Germany. It includes their time at Vimy Ridge, at the Somme and at the Battle for Deville Wood.

Before the mid-1916 National Defense Act the US Army had a few tens of thousands of men, but by November 1918 there were nearly a million and a half American combat troops in France. General Pershing's American Expeditionary Force arrived in 1917 short of weapons, equipment, and experience of modern warfare; but it proved itself in the fighting on the Argonne, and played a major part in stopping Germany's last offensive in spring 1918, and in the final advance through the Hindenburg Line. This book details the organisation, uniforms, equipment and campaigns of the US Army in World War I.

Review: Volume 5 - First World War - History

1: Perspective And Summary
3:Alternative Concepts of Peace
5:The Social Contract Model
6:The Global Convention of Minds
7: The Just Peace Principles
8:The Just Peace
9:Implementation of a Just Peace:Incrementalism
10: Principles of Conflict Resolution
11: The Positive Peace Principle
12:The Grand Master Principle
13:Conclusion Other Volumes

Vol. 1: The Dynamic Psychological Field
Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix
Vol. 3: Conflict In Perspective
Vol. 4: War, Power, Peace Other Related Work


Chapter 2

What Is Peace? *

By R.J. Rummel


Yet, we agree little on what is peace. Perhaps the most popular (Western) view is as an absence of dissension, violence, or war, a meaning found in the New Testament and possibly an original meaning of the Greek word for peace, Irene . Pacifists have adopted this interpretation, for to them all violence is bad. This meaning is widely accepted among irenologists 6 and students of international relations. It is the primary dictionary definition.

Peace, however, is also seen as concord, or harmony and tranquility. It is viewed as peace of mind or serenity, especially in the East. It is defined as a state of law or civil government, a state of justice or goodness, a balance or equilibrium of Powers.

Such meanings of peace function at different levels. Peace may be opposed to or an opposite of antagonistic conflict, violence, or war. It may refer to an internal state (of mind or of nations) or to external relations. Or it may be narrow in conception, referring to specific relations in a particular situation (like a peace treaty), or overarching, covering a whole society (as in a world peace). Peace may be a dichotomy (it exists or it does not) or continuous, passive or active, empirical or abstract, descriptive or normative, or positive or negative.

The problem is, of course, that peace derives its meaning and qualities within a theory or framework. Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist will see peace differently, as will pacifist or internationalist. Socialist, fascist, and libertarian have different perspectives, as do power or idealistic theorists of international relations. In this diversity of meanings, peace is no different from such concepts as justice, freedom, equality, power, conflict, class, and, indeed, any other concept .

All concepts are defined within a theory or cognitive framework--what I have called elsewhere a perspective . 7 Through a perspective peace is endowed with meaning by being linked to other concepts within a particular perception of reality and by its relationship to ideas or assumptions about violence, history, divine grace, justice. Peace is thereby locked into a descriptive or explanatory view of our reality and each other.

My perspective, which sees peace as a phase in a conflict helix , an equilibrium within a social field, has been presented in the previous four volumes. 7a In this Chapter I will review this perspective, make clear the imbedded meaning of peace, describe its related qualities and dimensions, and prepare for considering alternative conceptualizations in the next Chapter. This and Chapter 3 are thus the prologue to my subsequent theory of a just peace.


2.2.1 The Conflict Principle

Conflict is a balancing of powers among interests, capabilities, and wills. 9 It is a mutual adjusting of what people want, can get, and are willing to pursue. Conflict behavior, whether hostile actions, violence, or war, is then a means and manifestation of this process.

2.2.2 The Cooperation Principle

Cooperation depends on expectations aligned with power. Through conflict in a specific situation, a balance of powers and associated agreement are achieved. This balance is a definite equilibrium among the parties' interests, capabilities, and wills the agreement is a simultaneous solution to the different equations of power, and thereby the achievement of a certain harmony--structure--of expectations. At the core of this structure is a status quo, or particular expectations over rights and obligations. Conflict thus interfaces and interlocks a specific balance of powers and an associated structure of expectations.

Cooperation--contractual or familistic interactions 10 --depends on a harmony of expectations, a mutual ability of the parties to predict the outcome of their behavior. Such is, for example, the major value of a written contract or treaty. And this structure of expectations depends on a particular balance of powers. 11 Thus, cooperation depends on expectations aligned with power.

2.2.3 The Gap Principle

A gap between expectations and power causes conflict. A structure of expectations, once established, has considerable social inertia, while the supporting balance of powers can change rapidly. Interests can shift, new capabilities can develop, wills can strengthen or weaken. As the underlying balance of powers changes, a gap between power and the structure of expectations can form, causing the associated agreement to lose support. The larger this gap, the greater the tension toward revising expectations in line with the change in power, and thus the more likely some random event will trigger conflict over the associated interests. Such conflict then serves to create a new congruence between expectations and power.

Conflict and cooperation therefore are interdependent. They are alternative phases in a continuous social process 12 underlying human interaction: now conflict, then cooperation, and then again conflict. 13 Cooperation involves a harmony of expectations congruent with a balance of powers achieved by conflict.

2.2.4 The Helix Principle

2.2.5 The Second and Fourth Master Principles

It is this social contract that is peace within social field theory. Peace, then is determined by a process of adjustment between what people, groups, or states want, can, and will do. Peace is based on a consequent balance of powers and involves a corresponding structure of expectations and patterns of cooperation. Moreover, peace may become unstable when an increasing gap develops between expectations and power, as here defined, 17 and may collapse into conflict, violence, or war.


Throughout the following discussion three points should be kept in mind. First, as mentioned, a social contract is the outcome of parties balancing their mutual interests, capabilities, and wills, and is based on a particular balance thus achieved--a balance of powers.

Second, the powers constituting the balance are not necessarily coercive or authoritative threat or legitimacy are not the only bases for social contracts. Altruistic, intellectual, or exchange powers (based on love, persuasion, or promises, respectively) may dominate. Thus, a social contract may be a marriage agreement, an understanding developed among scientists over a disputed theory, or a sale in a market. 19

Third, a social contract--this peace--is only a phase in a conflict helix and is thus a temporary equilibrium in the long-term movement of interpersonal, social, or international relations.

2.3.1 Expectations

As used here, an expectation is a prediction about the outcome of one's behavior. 20 A social contract harmonizes certain expectations between the parties that is, it enables each to reliably predict the other's responses. Such expectations are varied our vocabulary for discriminating among them is well developed. Remembering my fundamental concern with social peace and conflict (and thus I am uninterested in, for example, a legal classification of contracts), these can be divided into status quo and non-status quo expectations. Within these two divisions I can define five types, as shown in Table 2.1.

A. Status quo. The concept of status quo is basic to these volumes. In previous volumes 21 I argued that a breakdown of status quo expectations is a necessary cause of violence and war, and I tried to verify this against empirical results. 22 The reason for this necessity is that status quo expectations define the basic rights and obligations of the parties involved, and therefore affect vital values. These rights and obligations form the two types of status quo expectations. As Table 2.1 shows, they involve claims, privileges, responsibilities, duties, and so on. Note especially that expectations about property--who owns what--are part of the status quo.

Obviously, the division between status quo and non-status quo expectations is not clear-cut. The criterion of discrimination is salience to fundamental values, and thus intensity of feeling and commitment. For example, agreements over property (such as territory) will usually involve strong emotion and commitment, while agreed upon rules or practices, advantages or benefits are less vital and violations more tolerable. However, we are dealing here with a great complexity of social contracts and the subjectivity of underlying interests, meanings, and values. In some situations a rule, payment, or service may be a life-or-death matter or a question of fundamental principle to the parties involved and thus, for this case, a matter of the status quo. Therefore, the classification of expectations under status quo or non-status quo divisions in Table 2.1 simply attempts to make intelligible the diversity of expectations, rather than to construct conceptually tight demarcations covering all possibilities.

B. Non-Status Quo. One type of non-status quo expectations is distributional , establishing which party can anticipate what from whom, such as benefits, advantages, and services. The two remaining types guide or prescribe behavior between the parties. The social contract often includes rules, customs, or practices that provide standards or define customary or repeated actions. Such may be commands, authoritative standards, or principles of right actions. They may be binding, acting to control or regulate behavior. Such prescriptive expectations in social contracts are mores (long-term, morally binding customs), norms, the law-norms of groups, 23 or the customary or positive law of societies or states. Even the "rules of morality constitute a tacit social contract" (Hazlitt, 1964: xii).

C. Overall. Regardless of whether the focus is the rights or obligations, the distributions, or the guides or prescriptions between parties structured by their social contract, these expectations share one characteristic: they circumscribe a region of predictability, or social certainty, between the parties. With a social contract, each party can reliably foresee and plan on the outcome of its behavior regarding the other, as over, for example, claims, privileges, duties, or services. What responses to anticipate, the prospect of reciprocity, the likelihood of particular sanctions, are clear. Social contracts are thus our social organs of peace, extending into the future mutual paths of social certainty and thus confidence.

2.3.2 Theoretical Dimensions

A. Actuality. In Table 2.2 I list 11 theoretical dimensions along which social contracts vary, and have organized them into four general types. 24 To begin with, social contracts may be informal , as are unwritten understandings between friends or allies or they may be formal , as with treaties. They may be implicit , tacit agreements that the parties choose not to mention, as a wife's acceptance of her husband's affairs or they may be explicit , such as a verbal contract. They may be subconscious , as when co-workers unconsciously avoid sensitive topics over which they might fight. Or, of course, the social contract may be conscious .

These three dimensions--in formal versus formal, implicit versus explicit, and subconscious versus conscious--concern the actuality of social contracts, whether they are a latent agreement underlying social behavior or a manifest compact of some kind. 25 A fourth, quite important dimension defines how a social contract is manifested.

A direct social contract is a specific agreement between particular parties. It gives or implies names, dates, places, and definite expectations. Contracts are usually thought of as this kind, such as a construction contract between two firms or a trade treaty among three states. However, direct contracts may overlap or be interconnected through the different parties, and thus form a system of contracts. And these systems themselves may overlap and be interdependent. Out of these diverse, interconnected, and related direct contracts and systems of contracts will develop more general expectations, such as abstract rules, norms, or privileges at the level of the social system itself. No one will have agreed to these expectations per se, nor are they connected to any particular interest, but they nonetheless comprise a social contract (albeit an indirect one) covering the social system. The prices of goods in a free market comprise such an indirect social contract evolving from the diverse direct contracts between buyers and sellers. 26 In Section 2.3.3 I will present some of the major forms direct contracts may take in subsequent sections I will describe several orders of direct and indirect contracts.

B. Generality. A second type of theoretical dimension delineates a social contract's generality . One such dimension concerns whether a contract is unique or common . A unique social contract is a one-time-only agreement within a unique situation and concerning nonrepetitive events or interaction between the parties. Such is the implicit agreement wrought in an alley by a thug, whose knife coerces you to hand over your money another example is a two-hour ceasefire agreement to enable combatants to clear the battlefield of wounded, or a neutral state granting American relief planes a once-only flyover to rush food and medicine to earthquake victims in a neighboring state. By contrast, a common social contract involves repeated events or patterns of interaction. Treaties, legal contracts, constitutions, and charters are usually of this type. Clearly, the unique-common dimension is a continuum, since between the unique two-minute holdup and the common, overriding political constitution of a state are a variety of social contracts combining in different ways unique and common expectations.

Turning to the second generality dimension shown in Table 2.2, social contracts may be bilateral , involving only two parties, multilateral in covering more than two parties, or collective . The latter covers a society, community, or a group. Constitutions or charters are of this type, as are an organization's bylaws. While this may seem clear enough, there is an intellectual trap to avoid here--that of always viewing collective social contracts as necessarily constructed, designed, or the explicit and conscious outcome of a rational process of negotiation. 27 Collective contracts also may emerge from the interwoven, multilayered, bilateral and multilateral social contracts crisscrossing a society. The integrated system of abstract rules, norms, mores, and customs spanning a society form an indirect, collective social contract. It is implicit and informal its expectations are partly conscious, partly unconscious. The system of informal rules of the road is such a collective agreement governing, along with coextensive formal traffic laws, a community of drivers.

While no group of people may have formally or consciously agreed to a collective social contract--while such may emerge from various, lower-level social contracts, many of which are conscious agreements--it is still based on a particular balance of powers, now involving all members of the collective. Consider, for example, the historically rapid dissolution and restructuring of collective expectations involving rules, customs, and laws that have occurred as a result of conquest (such as Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia conquered and absorbed by the Soviet Union in 1939), of military defeat and occupation (as of Hitler's national socialist, totalitarian Germany), or revolution (witness the French and Russian Revolutions, or the 1974-1978 Cambodian social revolution of the Khmer Rouge). Of course, not all norms, customs, or customary laws are changed, no more than a new bilateral or multilateral contract will discard all previous expectations. New social contracts build on the old. However, a new social contract, collective or otherwise, will be meaningfully different associated interaction between the parties will change significantly.

Finally, the third dimension defining a contract's generality may be narrow, middle range , or overarching . A narrow contract concerns only a few interests, events, or behaviors, such as a contract to paint a car, a trade treaty increasing the quota on imported sugar, or the price of a Sony television set. 28 An overarching contract develops from, refers to, or spans a whole system of relationships, such as those of a family, the larger society, or an organization. A marriage contract stipulating duties and rights of spouses, an organization's constitution, or the system of norms covering a society are some examples. Between the narrow and overarching are a variety of middlerange social contracts covering or involving a large amount of behavior, but not the whole society. One's work contract, an alliance between states, and a peace treaty are examples in this middle range.

C. Polarity. The third type of dimension shown in Table 2.2 concerns a social contract's polarity . In the dimension of coerciveness, the parties to social contract may voluntarily accept it, or one or more parties may be coerced into it, either by other parties to the contract or by a third party, such as in a shotgun wedding or governmentally imposed, union-management contract. Between freely determined and coerced contracts are those which one or more parties agree to out of necessity . That is, circumstances, the environment, or events leave virtually no realistic or practical choice. In a one-company mining town where a person has his roots, he may have little, socially meaningful choice but to contract for work with the company. To defeat Hitler in the Second World War, Churchill felt he had little choice but to form an alliance with Stalin.

A second polarity-type dimension concerns whether a social contract is solidary, neutral, or antagonistic . 29 Solidary expectations derive from helpful, altruistic, or compassionate behavior. Such expectations are common among close friends or relations, lovers, or close-knit communal or religious groups. Antagonistic expectations, however, derive from mutually competitive, divergent, or opposing behavior. They involve a perception of incompatible purposes, temporarily bound in a social contract, and a belief that satisfying one's interests entails frustrating those of the other parties. A labor-management contract achieved after a long, violent strike is such an antagonistic contract or a truce between traditional enemies, such as Pakistan and India, North and South Korea, or Israel and Syria. Between solidary and antagonistic contracts lie neutral contracts, 30 those which are strictly a matter of business, a question of the parties coolly and objectively satisfying rather specific interests. Examples are agreements for a bank loan, renting an apartment, importing cotton, or increasing the postage on international mail.

D. Evaluative. Finally, there is the evaluative dimension. One of these concerns whether a social contract is good or bad. Fundamental philosophical controversy centers on the idea of good. For the moment, I mean "good" simply in the sense that one might say a treaty is a good one because it has characteristics that one desires or believes rationally commendable or divinely inspired. 31

A contract may be positive or negative in the same sense as "good" or "bad." There is a potential confusion in the use of these terms, however, since here a social contract equals peace. "Positive peace" has come to mean, especially among Scandinavian irenologists 32 an existing or ideal social state, such as the achievement of individual potential, as reflected in social equality, for example. "Negative peace" is then simply the absence of violence. This, however, is a confusion of categories, and leads to such strange but consistent (by definition) expressions as "a positive, negative peace." 33 Simply, I will mean positive as good and negative as bad in qualifying social contracts or peace.

A second evaluative dimension defines one kind of good social contract: whether it is just or unjust. It is this dimension of social contracts that is the major focus of this book. Understanding that a social contract defines a particular peace, my question is: What is a just peace? My answer, developed in Part II is that justice is the freedom of people to form their own communities or to leave undesirable ones . For large-scale societies, just peace is promoted through a minimum government.

2.3.3 Forms

Table 2.3 presents major forms of direct social contracts. There is no need to describe each in detail here. Suffice to say that each is a structure of expectations based on a definite balance of interests, capabilities, and wills. Each is a social island of peace.

2.3.4 Social Orders

A. Groups. A group is structured by a direct, overarching social contract that defines members' rights, obligations, and authoritative roles. Behavior is guided and prescribed by sanction-based law-norms. All this may be codified in organizing documents, such as a charter, constitution, or bylaws or these may be informal, implicit, or even subconscious understandings and norms evolving from the spontaneous interaction and conflicts of group members, as in a family or clan. 35

In any case, this social contract may be solidary, neutral, or antagonistic (as in family, work group, and prison, respectively) it may tightly organize members or leave them unorganized and it may recruit members voluntarily, through coercion, or out of necessity. Group goals may be diffused or superordinate the basis of authoritative roles may be legitimacy or threats. These diverse characteristics shape the five groups shown in Table 2.4. 36

For my purposes here, the most important distinction is between spontaneous groups and voluntary associations on the one hand, and voluntary, quasi-coercive, and coercive organizations on the other. An organization is structured by an explicit, formal social contract aimed at achieving some superordinate goal (profit for a business, military victory for an army, segregating criminals for a prison, education for a university). Expectations are wrapped around this goal: it determines roles, rights, and obligations, as well as law-norms prescribing behavior. An organization is then an antifield . 37 Spontaneous interaction is circumscribed, consigned to regions of social space (the interstices of the organizational chart) irrelevant to an organization's goals. By contrast, voluntary groups and associations are less organized, not as strongly directed toward some superordinate goal. Goals may even be absent, diffuse, or unarticulated. Coercion or authority play minor roles. Within these groups and associations field forces and processes have considerable freedom and scope, as in a family, friendship group, or neighborhood association.

These different groups define different structures of peace, different patterns of our interests and capabilities, of our powers.

B. Societies. The second kind of social order shown in Table 2.4 is the society. The three pure types listed have been discussed at length in Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix 38 and their empirical validity was assessed there. 39 Here, I need only note the more important relevancies.

A society is defined by a division of labor 40 and, accordingly, certain shared meanings, values, and norms social interaction and a communication system. It is shaped by an indirect, overarching, collective structure of expectations--a mainly informal and implicit social contract. The form of social power primarily underlying this contract determines the type of society. An exchange society is dominated by exchange power an authoritative society by authoritative power a coercive society by coercion. By virtue of the dominating form of power and associated social dynamics, each society manifests a particular dimension of conflict, with exchange societies least violent coercive, the most. 41 Each type of society is thus a different kind of peaceful order.

International relations among societies are of special importance here. Nation-states form an exchange society 42 with a libertarian government, pluralistic conflict, 43 and associated pluralistic structure of peace. In later discussing international peace I will make use of this social fact.

C. Summary. I have shown the diversity of social contracts, and thus peace, through detailing their various expectations, dimensions, forms, and orders. I need only underline now the nested, overlapping, and hierarchical complex of such contracts filling out the structure of a group or society. Consider, for example, a voluntary organization such as a university. It has an overarching contract defining its purposes, organizational structure, positions, and attendant rights and obligations, and associated rules and law-norms. Under the cover of these expectations are defined related social contracts and systems of contracts governing separate administrative functions (such as admission and financial aid), colleges, divisions, and departments. Within the constraints of the university's overarching expectations, each contract or system has a certain life, depending on the administrators, deans, and faculty involved. Each teaching department within a college of division achieves its own informal or formal social contracts establishing rights, obligations, and privileges attendant upon faculty and student rank and defining the role of students and rules for judging issues before the department. As should be clear, each department, college, and administrative division will be an arena of conflict establishing or revising such expectations, although the overarching social contract that constitutes the university remains stable--a region of social peace at its level .

The university itself is within an overarching social contract that is the larger society. Families, Businesses, universities, governments, churches, are all are collective social contracts within society, which also includes the numberless bilateral and multilateral social contracts among groups, subgroups, and individuals and the collective contracts ordering subsocieties. Each social contract is a specific peace within a particular conflict helix each may have within it lower-level conflict (for example, a state within a region of international peace may suffer internal guerrilla war and terrorism) each peace may exist within an ongoing, antagonistic conflict (as internally peaceful states engage in war).

Peace is therefore complex, multilayered. To say the least, discussing peace requires being specific about the social contract involved. To present a theory about a just peace demands clarity about the associated expectations, dimensions, and social orders.


The dimensions, forms, and orders of social contracts described above are also, by definition, those of peace. What must be added here and in the next Section are additional distinctions not usually applied to social contracts but which help locate peace as a social contract among our diverse conceptualizations of peace. This and Section 2.5 also represent part of my effort at vocabulary building--developing in a systematic manner, and locating in one place, those terms applicable to peace that will be used in subsequent chapters.

Table 2.5 presents the conceptual level and dimensions of peace to be discussed here.

2.4.1 Conceptual Levels

Peace, however, especially among pacifists, is also opposed to violence . This includes war, of course, but additionally covers violent acts not ordinarily thought of or legally defined as war. Indeed, in the contemporary world legal war (that is, war as a legal state of relations invoking special international laws) is rare, while warlike violence is as intense and prevalent as wars were during past centuries. Nonetheless, this is more than a matter of defining war empirically. Many do feel that peace, conceptually, applies only to those human relations which exclude personal, organized, or collective violence.

Those opposing the idea of peace to violence or war usually see peace as an absence of such behavior. But a different view, especially in the East, sees peace as harmony, tranquility, concord. Peace is then conceptually opposed to nonviolent, antagonistic conflict, such as that manifesting threats and accusations, hostile quarrels, angry boycotts, and riotous demonstrations.

Another concept goes even further, seeing peace as absolute harmony, serenity, or quietude that is, as opposed to any kind of conflict, antagonistic or otherwise. Conflict is a general concept meaning, in essence, a balancing of power, 44 which may involve not only hostile or antagonistic balancing but also that of intellectual conflict (as in friendly disagreement over facts), bargaining conflict (as in haggling over a sale price), or a lover's conflict (as when each tries to give the other the choice of a movie to see). Each of these conflicts ends in a social contract, and therefore in a kind of peace. I mention this conceptual level for completeness, however. My conceptual focus here, as for all irenologists, will be on peace at the level of antagonistic conflict, whether violent or not.

B. A Threshold. Especially significant for a theory of just peace is the distinction between nonviolent, antagonistic conflict on one side and violence on the other. There is an empirical threshold here. As I will argue later in Section 7.4.2 and Section 8.2, the conditions for a just peace at the level of violence will increase the amount of nonviolent conflict. A just peace free from long-term violence is, at the level of societies at least, only possible at the price of peace from nonviolent conflict.

2.4.2 Social Levels

A third level involves group relations within states, such as among religious and ethnic groups, nationalities, classes, castes, unions, and families. A state, at the level of its central government, may be peaceful, manifesting a stable social contract, while some of its regions may experience continuing group violence. The final level involves the interpersonal relationships among individuals .

B. Crosscutting Levels. Social levels of peace are crosscutting: each of the conceptual levels may refer to any one of the social ones. Even war is applicable to individual relations, as when conflict goes beyond a violent incident to involve a campaign of violence to defeat or destroy another person.

It should, be clear, then, that there may be peace from war, but not from antagonistic, nonviolent conflict. Moreover, there may be peace from international war, while internal war rends a state. Conversely, a state may be at peace while engaged in international war. Peace among states may be widespread, central state governments may be stable and secure, while some groups in one province, region, or other political subdivision are locked in total war. From the perspective of a particular citizen, his state and social groups all may be at peace, while personal peace eludes him--he simply may not get along with his neighbors or co-workers.

Peace is thus multilayered and complex. This must be kept in mind in defining a just peace.

2.4.3 Conceptual Dimensions

B. Empirical Concept. The first such dimension defines whether the concept is empirical, abstract, or theoretical--a construct. 46 An empirical concept 47 of peace refers to readily observable phenomena. It is measurable (operational). Peace as absence-of-killing violence is such a concept as is peace as an absence of legally declared war or a peace treaty (or any written social contract, for that matter).

C. Abstract Concept. While also referring to empirical phenomena, an abstract concept of peace is not directly observable. Rather, it usually denotes a bundle of empirical attributes or qualities, or is reflected in patterns of behavior. Examples are concepts such as status, power, or ideology, which are detached from particular instances or events or specific empirical characteristics. Abstract concepts provide general, theoretical understanding of social reality, while empirical concepts are usually common-sense descriptions of immediate perception. 48 For general use peace as a social contract would be an abstract concept, although some social contracts may be quite concrete and hence empirical. The abstraction involved is clearest when we consider implicit, or even subconscious, agreements involving tacit expectations. The abstract, nonformal rules of the road are part of such an abstract social contract. And consider the overarching social contract whose expectations define rules and norms spanning society but which no one signed or directly agreed upon, which few are aware of, but which most obey. Most families are integrated by such expectations that wife and husband, parents and children have of each other but which an observer would have difficulty defining empirically (although certainly indicators could be developed, as for status or power).

Peace as a social contract is an abstraction within the idea of a conflict helix, which is part of social field theory. This theory provides an explanation of conflict, violence, war, and peace. So much, I trust, was made clear in Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix and Vol. 4: War, Power, Peace .

There are other abstract definitions of peace: For example, peace as law or justice or peace as concord, harmony, or tranquility. Often the theoretical context for an abstract definition of peace is not explicit, but nonetheless is clear from the context within which the concept is developed or used.

D. Construct. Finally, peace as a construct 49 means that "peace" serves a stepping-stone role in theory. It is a theoretical concept analytic, not synthetic. The content given to a construct is not defined independent of a theory but wholly within the operations and deductions of a theory. By contrast, while measurements or indicators of an abstract concept certainly would be directed by a theory, the actual data (or content) are collected (or observed) independently.

This is a difficult but important idea, and I would like to take a moment to make it clear. Consider a simple explanatory theory that y = h + tx, where y is the level of armaments of state i, x is the level of armaments of an opposing state j, and t and h are theoretical coefficients conceptualized as "x's perception of threat from y," and "the hostility that j feels toward i," respectively. 50 This simple explanatory theory says that one state's armaments are a function of those of the opposing state's, depending on its perception of the threat from the other and its hostility toward it. Now y and x are abstract concepts, since "armaments" is a concept covering a tremendous empirical diversity of weapons and indicators. Nonetheless, by adding auxiliary statements to the theory one might measure armaments through such indicators as defense expenditures or number of armed military personnel. Data on these indicators could then be collected from sources readily available and independent of the theory.

However, within this theory, threat and hostility are constructs. No measurement of them or indicators need by given no data collected specifically on them. Rather, the coefficients are totally defined by fitting y = h + tx to the data on x and y. Such a fit could be made by bivariate regression analysis where h is the intercept and t the regression coefficient y the dependent and x the independent variables. This gives numerical values to h and t without any specific data collected on them. As constructs, they would have been given empirical content totally dependent on the theory y = h + tx and data on x and y.

Keeping this simple arms theory in mind, I must now discriminate between the loose and tight versions of social field theory. In the loose version (specifically, that presented in most of these volumes, especially concerning the conflict helix), the mathematical structure of field theory is usually background 51 content, conceptual understanding, and explanation are usually foreground. A structure of expectations--social contract--is treated as an abstraction. It is given ostensive content, such as in discussing a union-management contract, an implicit agreement ending a family quarrel, an international settlement of a dispute, or the law-norms integrating a group.

In the tight theory, 52 mathematical structure, substantive interpretation of primitive terms or constructs, 53 operationalization, and empirical tests are of concern. The tight theory is meant to be as explicit, formal, and general as possible. Expectations are constructs weighting behavioral dispositions in a social field and technically function as canonical coefficients in application. 54 And to enhance the theory's generality, I have considered a structure of expectations as implicitly an indirect, overarching social contract of a social field (such as a spontaneous or self-organizing 55 society). This structure is a cooperative component--another construct 56 --underlying the variation in manifest interaction. It is reflected in common patterns of social interaction, and thus is empirically measured indirectly only by a mathematically defined axis lying through an empirical pattern of social interaction spanning society. 57

For the tight theory, then, applicable to an indirect, overarching social contract for social fields, peace is a construct. Its whole meaning is given by the theory it serves to aid empirical explanation and theoretical understanding its empirical content is traced by the cooperative patterns of social interaction.

In this Vol. 5: The Just Peace I will not deal with the tight theory, whose role is precise and testable scientific explanation, not intuitive understanding. The loose theory will provide sufficient framework for our purposes here. And, as in previous volumes, I will treat peace as an abstraction, even when referring to indirect, overarching social contracts.

Incidentally, peace as a construct is not unique to field theory, although as far as I know no other such tight theory so treats it. Peace as divine grace in Christian theology or as shalom in Judaism, of which one meaning is a covenant with Jehovah, are constructs. Their empirical meaning is not given directly or abstractly rather, they are primitive terms whose content comes from the empirical nature of other, linked theological concepts. Moreover, the concept of "positive peace" developed by Johan Galtung is a construct within a neo-Marxist theory of exploitation "positive peace" has no direct empirical or indirect abstract empirical content, but is defined as the ability of individuals to realize their potential, which in turn is equated in theory with equality, itself an abstraction measured by various indicators of equality. 58

E. Descriptive-Normative. The empirical-abstract-construct dimension of peace concepts is the first conceptual dimension. The second defines whether the concept of peace is descriptive or normative. A descriptive concept is one simply denoting some aspect of reality, such as trade, state, or president.

A normative concept is evaluative, denoting or implying goodness, desirability, what ought to be, or the negation of these denotations. Compassion, equality, and exploitation are such normative concepts. Clearly, the same concept may be used descriptively or normatively depending on context and intent. However, some concepts have a built-in evaluation that even a careful descriptive analysis may not avoid, such as with the concepts murder, torture, exploitation, charity, and love. As with love, peace undefined is an implicit good, a hope, desire, a human ideal. "Give peace in our time, 0 Lord." 59 In its common usage, peace is normative.

However, regardless of the affective connotation of peace, the concept can be used descriptively. For example, if peace is conceived as an absence of war or a peace treaty, it is possible to write about the peace in Europe since 1945, the peace of the Versailles Treaty, or the average periods of peace in history, without necessarily connoting that these are good historical periods (although for pacifists, peace as an absence of war is, ipso facto, good in all contexts).

My use of peace as a social contract is meant descriptively. Not all social contracts are good. Some are quite bad, 60 as was the horrible peace (as absence of international war) of the Khmer Rouge over Cambodia in 1974-1978 (before the Vietnamese invasion). Since peace is meant here to be (normatively) as neutral a concept as possible, it is sensible to ask when peace is good, or (as a subcategory of the good) when it is just--or when bad or unjust. For the very reason I have treated peace descriptively in previous volumes, even though it is my fundamental normative goal, I now must conclude by pointing out in this Vol. 5: The Just Peace when peace, so described, is just or unjust and, given my analyses and results, what will foster a just peace.


2.5.1 An Existent

Table 2.6 presents four qualities of peace entailed by my conceptualization. Clearly, from Section 2.2, peace is a sociopsychological existent . It has dispositional and manifest 61 being. In this it is on a par with conflict. 62 Conflict is manifested in particular patterns of behavior so is peace. 63 Conflict and peace may be absent, as when two individuals or groups lack contact or awareness of each other. And conflict and peace are coupled existents, closely related within a social process I call the conflict helix.

Other conceptualizations also treat peace as an existing something, such as peace as harmony, integration, or virtue. However, the currently conventional definition of peace as the absence of violence or war treats peace as a void, a nonexistent. This creates several analytical problems, which will be mentioned below. 64

2.5.2 Dichotomous

It is necessary here, then, to remember the distinction between a peace existing or not and the attributes, form, or order of the peace that exists. Thus, I might say that peace in the world is increasing and mean that more states are subscribing to a particular overarching, international peace. Or by saying that peace is more intense I might imply that a specific peace is involving more and more cooperative interaction.

2.5.3 Internal and External

2.5.4 Active

By contrast, peace as the absence of violence or war is passive. True, it may be generated by negotiation and resolution. But the resulting peace is inactive, inert. It is a social void-something to build a wall around to protect and maintain. Any condition or structure or lack thereof constitutes such a peace as long as there is no social violence-even a desert without human life. 69


Second, peace stands in clear theoretical and substantive relationship to such important concepts as perception, situation, expectations, interests, capabilities, will, power, status, class, and behavior. 70 This gives the nature of peace considerable substantive and theoretical clarity. That is, peace is locked into an overarching social theory.

Third, as a social contract peace is operational, and empirical patterns of peace, so defined, have been well delineated. 71

Fourth, because of the theoretical and substantive meaning of peace, peacemaking and peacekeeping policies are given concrete direction and crucial variables are spotlighted. For example, keeping the peace then depends, most generally, on maintaining congruence between the balance of powers and the structure of expectations (social contract). This might be done by altering expectations unilaterally to adjust to changing capabilities, or strengthening will to lessen a developing gap with expectations. 72

Fifth, peace as conceptualized embodies a number of psychological principles, such as subjectivity, intentionality, free will, and individualism. 73 This, plus the social principles mentioned in the previous Section, enable a clear and straightforward application of the social contract theory of justice. As will be shown in the next part, a just peace is a hypothetical social contract of a particular kind, one to which individuals would fairly and impartially agree. * * *

This Chapter has described peace as a social contract. And it has made the necessary definitions and distinctions in order to compare this idea of peace to alternative conceptualizations.. This will be done in Chapter 3.

Review: Volume 5 - First World War - History

An old and much-loved Indonesian folk song about the Solo River in central Java related Southeast Asia's green lands to its blue waters, the past to the present, and the local people to the wider world: "Solo River, ancient your histories span. Linking present to past, linking the life of the soil and man. In the summer's heat your streams are sluggish and slow. In the rainy season's height far afield your banks overflow. Now you flow on through fertile rice fields, down to the sea at last. Here are ships of trade, and when your journey's over, sailors brave the ocean wide, seeking some far distant shore." Today, in an increasingly globalized world, institutions, ideas, ways of life, and traditions are colliding, blending, and even sometimes disappearing. But the process of mixing old and new, local and imported, began for Southeast Asians many centuries ago as the region and its peoples were connected, directly or indirectly, to other Asian peoples and to societies all over the Eastern hemisphere and, after 1500, to the Western hemisphere. The song about the Solo River reflects these encounters.

In various writings over the past 25 years I have noted how world history texts and many academic studies on world history, not to mention History departments in North American colleges and universities, have tended to ignore Southeast Asia, especially for the centuries prior to 1800. In the Anglo-American view of world history, "Asia" has meant essentially China and India, with perhaps a brief nod to Japan. When Southeast Asia finally appeared in a few brief paragraphs in world history texts it was usually in the context of Western exploration, colonialism, nationalism, decolonization, Cold War global rivalries, and the U.S. war in Vietnam. The prevailing attitude toward Southeast Asia and its peoples seemed to be similar to that once expressed about African history by renowned British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper: "The unrewarding gyrations of barbarous tribes in picturesque but irrelevant corners of the globe." 2 Even with the trend toward a more comprehensive world history in the past decade or so, only a few college-level texts offer anything like reasonable coverage of this important region. 3

How did Southeast Asia fit into world history and world history into Southeast Asian history? In this paper I identify several key themes that closely connected Southeast Asia to what Marshall Hodgson called the wider Afro-Eurasian Historical Complex 4 and hence can serve as a basis on which to integrate Southeast Asia into world history as more than a sideshow of marginal importance. In contrast to strictly national or regional history, world history emphasizes all societies, the connections between them, and the larger patterns of trans-regional or global significance. To be sure, Southeast Asian historians must seek to explain the diverse and distinctive societies and cultural traditions that arose in the region, societies very different from those of other regions. Yet, many historians of Southeast Asia have also paid attention to connections, since the encounters over 2500 years with India and China, and later with the Middle East, Europe, and North America, greatly influenced Southeast Asian states, religions, arts, and economies. 5 Like the Japanese, Southeast Asians borrowed ideas from others. Like Chinese, Indians, and West Africans, they supplied commodities to the world. Like Arabs, Indians, and Chinese, they transported trade goods around vast ocean basins. It may be possible to write the history of Japan or of southern Africa or perhaps, some might argue, even of China before 1500 without paying very much attention to the links with other world regions, but it is not possible for Southeast Asia. Among the major concepts relevant to connecting Southeast Asia to world history are: borrowing and adaptation, migration and mixing, the diffusion of religions, maritime trade, the expansion of Dar al-Islam, Western expansion and colonialism, and the rise of the global system.

Borrowing and Adaptation I

Like northwestern Europeans, Southeast Asian peoples developed on the fringes of expansive and densely populated societies, in this case China and India. For many centuries Southeast Asians, like Europeans and Japanese, have been receptive to influences emanating from outside. Traditionally China and India provided political, religious, and cultural ideas, although the impact of these varied greatly from society to society. Later, the Middle East, Europe, and finally North America and Japan provided some models, imposed in part by force.

To be sure, Southeast Asians were also creative. The early inhabitants developed agriculture and metalworking. Rice was first domesticated in the general region about 5000-6000 years ago Southeast Asians may also have been the pioneers in cultivating bananas, yams, and taro, and likely first domesticated chickens and pigs, perhaps even cattle. Southeast Asians mastered bronze making by 1500 BCE and iron by 500 BCE. These early Southeast Asians also built sophisticated boats capable of sailing the oceans, beginning the maritime trade that soon linked Southeast Asia to China, India, and points beyond over networks of exchange. 6

Yet despite centuries of borrowing and sometimes foreign conquest, Southeast Asians rarely became carbon copies of their mentors they took ideas they wanted from outsiders and, like the Japanese and Europeans, adapted them to their own indigenous values and institutions, creating in the process a synthesis. Historians are impressed with the resilience and strength of the many indigenous beliefs and traditions that have survived the centuries of borrowing and change. In many Southeast Asian societies women long held a higher status and played a more active public role—including dominating small-scale commerce—than was true in China, India, the Middle East, and even Europe. 7

The distant ancestors of many Southeast Asians migrated from China and Tibet. Over the course of some 5,000 years, peoples speaking Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) languages took part in an extensive population movement, migrating into Southeast Asia from Taiwan, spreading out around the archipelago and Malay peninsula, and pushing across the Pacific as far as Hawaii, Tahiti and New Zealand as well as westward to the island of Madagascar (much of whose population derives from Indonesian migrants who arrived 1300-2000 years ago). Trade networks linked the central Pacific islands such as Fiji with Indonesia. Indonesians were apparently the major seafaring traders of Asia several centuries before the beginning of the Common Era they pioneered the commerce between China and India and also carried Southeast Asian foods (especially bananas) and musical instruments to East Africa, which were adopted by the peoples there.

The chronic migration and mixing of peoples over the centuries was as important a theme in Southeast Asia as in Europe, Japan, or southern and eastern Africa. This process closely resembled the migrations and assimilation of various "barbarian" peoples in Western Europe as well as the spread of Bantu peoples in Africa through the first millennium of the Common Era. By 500 BCE or earlier a few small states had emerged in the lowlands, especially in Cambodia and Vietnam, based on irrigated rice agriculture, just as sedentary farming peoples like the Greeks were establishing vigorous states around the northern Mediterranean basin. By 2000 years ago varied Southeast Asian societies carried on maritime trade with each other.

Borrowing and Adaptation II

Between 250 BCE-200 CE China and India began exercising a stronger influence China even colonized Vietnam in the 2nd century BCE, ruling for the next thousand years. Some scholars see these contacts as a generator of state building, others as a response to it. Indian traders and priests began regularly traveling the oceanic trade routes, some of them settling in mainland and island states. They brought with them Indian concepts of religion, government, and the arts. At the same time, Southeast Asian sailors were visiting India and returning with new ideas. Mahayana Buddhism and Hinduism became a strong influence in a process often termed "Indianization" (or, more recently, "southernization"), which continued over many centuries and synthesized Indian with indigenous ideas. 8 This occurred about the same time as classical Greco-Roman "civilization" was spreading around the Mediterranean in a similar process. For a millennium many Southeast Asians were closely connected to the more populous and developed societies of southern Asia, partaking in the general historical trends of the Afro-Eurasian Historical Complex to a greater degree than most of the peoples on the western and northern fringes of post-Roman Europe between 500 and 1400.

Due partly to the stimulus from outside, the great classical states developed near the end of the first millennium CE, with their main centers in what is today Cambodia, Burma, the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra, and Vietnam, which managed to throw off the 1000 year Chinese colonial yoke in the 10th century CE. In this period many Southeast Asian states made brilliant and selective use of Indian models in shaping their political and cultural patterns.

Historians differentiate coastal and inland states in this era. Coastal states, especially those in the Malay peninsula and the western Indonesian archipelago, which were adjacent to major international trade networks, mainly thrived from maritime commerce. 9 The Straits of Melaka between Sumatra and Malaya had long served as a crossroads through which peoples, cultures, and trade passed or took root in the area, with peoples of many societies following the maritime trade to this region. The prevailing climatic patterns in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean of alternating monsoon winds allowed ships sailing southwest from China, Vietnam and Cambodia and southeast from India and Burma to meet in the vicinity of the Straits, where their goods could be exchanged. This process had already commenced by 200 BCE. Sumatra and Malaya had long enjoyed international reputations as sources of gold, tin and exotic forest products the Romans referred to Malaya as the "golden khersonese." Between the 4th and 6th centuries CE the overland trading routes between China and the West (the "Silk Road") were closed off by developments in central Asia, increasing the importance of the oceanic connection. Srivijaya, for example, in southeast Sumatra, was the hub of a major trade network linking South and East Asia as well as a center for Mahayana Buddhism.

Gradually a more complex and increasingly integrated maritime trading system emerged that linked the eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, East African coast, Persia, and India with the societies of East and Southeast Asia. 10 Over this network the precious spices of Indonesia (especially cloves, nutmeg and pepper), the gold and tin of Malaya, and the silks and tea of China traveled to Europe, sparking interest there in reaching the sources of these eastern riches. Inevitably, then, a vigorously mercantile variation of Indianized classical culture emerged to capitalize on this growing exchange.

The largest inland state, Angkor in Cambodia, built an empire over a large section of mainland Southeast Asia. This empire flourished for half a millennium, and compared favorably to the fragmented states of medieval Europe, bearing some resemblance to the expansive Carolingian realm. By the 12th century its bustling capital city, Angkor Thom, and its immediate environs had a population of perhaps one million, much larger than any medieval European city but comparable to all but the largest Chinese and Arab cities of that era. And even interior states were linked to international trade. Angkor enjoyed an active and multifaceted trade with China and housed many resident Chinese merchants. 11

The great Indianized kingdoms gradually came to an end between the 13th and 16th centuries, for reasons both internal and external. The Mongols helped destroy the Burman kingdom of Pagan, but were unable to extend their domination into Southeast Asia generally, failing in attempts to conquer Vietnam, Champa, and Java. Hence, Southeast Asians were among the few peoples to successfully resist persistent efforts at integrating them into the vast and powerful Mongol empire, a tribute to their skill and might as well as their distance from the Eurasian heartland. However, Angkor was eventually unable to resist invasions by the Thai-Lao peoples migrating down from China. The empire disintegrated and the capital was abandoned.

Religion and Maritime Trade

Two other forces, the arrival of new religions and the expansion of maritime trade, were also at work. By the 1300s two of the great universal religions were filtering peacefully into the region: Theravada Buddhism and Islam. Theravada Buddhism from Sri Lanka became the dominant religion of the major mainland societies (except Vietnam) by incorporating the rich animism of the peasant villages and the Hinduism of the courts. Sunni Islam arrived from the Middle East and India, spreading widely in the Malay peninsula and Indonesian archipelago while gradually displacing or incorporating the local animism and Hinduism it was closely tied to international trade. Through this process of trade and religious networks, Southeast Asia became even more firmly linked to the peoples of Southern and Western Asia. These trends inaugurated a new era that persisted until the acceleration of European conquest in the 19th century. 12

Beginning in the 14th century a new pattern of world trade was developing that more closely linked Asia, Europe and parts of Africa. There was no particular center but Southeast Asia, especially the archipelago region, became an essential intermediary as long voyages were replaced by shorter hops and more frequent trans-shipment. This enhanced the value of regional ports and a half dozen distinct commercial zones arose in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asian peoples like the Malays and Javanese played active roles in the interregional trade, which also spurred the growth of cities. Changes in the international maritime economy beginning around 1400 fostered an unprecedented commercial prosperity and an increasing cultural cosmopolitanism, most especially in the archipelago. A new type of maritime trading state arose to handle the increased amounts of local products dispatched to distant markets.

Expansion of Dar al-Islam and Trans-regional Trade Networks

By the 14th century Muslim merchants (mostly Arabs and Indians) were spreading Islam along the great Indian Ocean maritime trading routes. The arrival of Islam coincided with the rise of the great port of Melaka, on the southwest coast of Malaya, which became the region's political and economic power as well as the crossroads of Asian commerce. During the 1400s Melaka was a flourishing trading port attracting merchants from many lands including Chinese, Arabs, Persians, Vietnamese, Burmese, Jews, Indians, and even a few Swahilis from East Africa. Observers reported that Melaka boasted 15,000 merchants and more ships in the harbor than any port in the known world, induced by stable government and a free trade policy. Melaka's rulers sent tributary missions to China and their port became an important way station for the series of grand Chinese voyages to the Western Indian Ocean in the early 15th century led by Admiral Zheng He, the greatest seafaring expeditions in history to that point.

Soon Melaka became the southeastern terminus for the great Indian Ocean maritime trading network and one of the major commercial centers in the world, very much a rival to Calicut, Cambay, Canton, Hormuz, Kilwa, Aleppo, Alexandria, Genoa and Venice. An early 16th century Portuguese visitor noted the importance of Melaka to peoples and trade patterns as far away as Western Europe: "Melaka is a city that was made for merchandise, fitter than any other in the world. Commerce between different nations for a thousand leagues on every hand must come to Melaka. Whoever is lord of Melaka has his hands on the throat of Venice." 13

The spread of Islam and the expansion of commerce developed simultaneously in many places, ultimately creating a Dar al-Islam ("Abode of Islam"), an interlinked Islamic world stretching from Morocco, Spain and the West African Sudan to the Balkans, Turkestan, Mozambique, Indonesia, and China, joined by a common faith and trade connections. Muslim merchants and sailors became central to the great Afro-Eurasian maritime trading network. By the mid-15th century Melaka had become the main center for the propagation of Islam in the Malay peninsula and Indonesian archipelago.

Southeast Asia, Western Expansion, and the Emerging Global System

Southeast Asia had long been a cosmopolitan and wealthy region where peoples, ideas and products met. The intrepid Italian traveler Marco Polo had passed through in 1292 on his way home from a long China sojourn his writings praised the wealth and sophistication of Indochina, Java, and Sumatra, fostering European interest in these seemingly fabulous lands. The Moroccan Ibn Battuta stopped by on his way to China in his lifelong tour of the Dar al-Islam in the 14th century. 14 Vietnam and the Siamese kingdom of Ayuthia were two of the powerful and prosperous states that stretched across Asia from Ottoman Turkey to Tokugawa Japan in the 1600s.

By the end of the 15th century a few Portuguese explorers and adventurers, who came from a country with superior military technology, unparalleled missionary zeal, and a compelling appetite for wealth but a standard of living little if any higher than that of Siam, Vietnam, Melaka or Java, would enter Southeast Asia in search of, as the explorer Vasco da Gama put it, "Christians and spices." 15 They were the forerunners of what would ultimately be a powerful and destabilizing European presence to gradually alter the history of the region between 1500 and 1914. The Europeans would prove the bloodiest of the new forces reaching the region in these centuries.

The Portuguese conquest of Melaka in 1511 and the Spice Islands of Eastern Indonesia a few years later marked the beginning of a turning point for the region. They would be followed in the next several centuries by the Spanish (who colonized the Philippines), the Dutch (Indonesia), the English (Burma and Malaya), the French (Indochina), and finally the Americans (who replaced the Spanish in the Philippines), products of a Western world rapidly transformed by expansionism, capitalism, and later industrialization. First the Portuguese and then the Dutch gained some control over the Indian Ocean maritime trade by force, altering its character and diminishing its vibrancy. Eventually the Western powers would impact nearly all the societies of Southeast Asia in various ways and, by the beginning of the 20th century, had colonized the entire region except for adaptable Siam, whose wise leaders convinced the British and French to make the country a buffer between British Burma and French Indochina. Still, Southeast Asian states like Siam, Vietnam, Burma, Johor, and Acheh were strong enough that it took 400 years of persistent effort for Westerners to gain complete political, social and economic domination. Once an equal of Europe, the region gradually became a dependency dominated by the West.

Just as Europe was in transition from feudalism to capitalism during this period, with profound consequences in all phases of life, the 15 th through 17 th centuries was a time of transformation for Southeast Asia toward somewhat more economically dynamic systems. Southeast Asia became an even more crucial part of the developing world economy, with the Portuguese, Dutch and Spanish exporting luxury items like Indonesian spices but also bulk products like tin, sugar, and rice from their newly-colonized possessions. 16 Some historians attribute the beginning of a true global economy to the trans-Pacific trade between the Philippines and Mexico that commenced with the rise of Manila as a major hub in the 1570s. 17

The Manila Galleons which annually carried Southeast Asian agricultural products as well as Chinese silk and porcelain across the Pacific for distribution in Spanish America and Europe symbolized the new reality vast amounts of American silver to pay for these items was shipped westward across the Pacific, draining Spanish imperial coffers. But until the 19th century the West was neither dominant in political nor economic spheres except in a few widely-scattered outposts. Furthermore, the still peripheral European interlopers had to compete with Chinese, Arab, and Southeast Asian merchants as well as local mercantile states. Hence, the West did not come into a decaying and impoverished region but rather a wealthy, open, and dynamic one. By the 19th century, however, little was left of this once vibrant local society as Western powers began to expand or intensify their colonial enterprise.

Western Colonialism, Southeast Asian Resurgence, and the Global System

By 1914 the various Southeast Asian societies had become part of a global system dominated economically and politically by various Western European nations and the United States, more firmly connecting these peoples to global patterns and networks. The much greater degree of integration of Southeast Asia into the rapidly expanding world economy and imperialism-driven sociopolitical system had profound consequences on the region's political, economic, social and cultural life, greatly reducing their autonomy and challenging traditional patterns. For example, between the mid-19th century and World War II the region became a major producer of raw materials needed by the industrializing West and its markets, including rubber, tin, coffee, rice, sugar, timber, gold, and oil. Some of the major agricultural exports, such as rubber and coffee, had originated in other parts of the world, part of the overall shuffling of the world's biota that accompanied the great era of Western exploration and colonization. Commercialization of land and proletarianization of labor shifted the balance to commodity exports rather than subsistence food growing and handicrafts, and reshaped life for millions of Southeast Asians now enmeshed in a world economy subject to rapid fluctuations in prices and demands. 18

Colonialism served to transfer much wealth from Southeast Asia to the West. For example, the Dutch based much of their industrialization on profits derived from their control of the enormously lucrative coffee and sugar exports from Indonesia while British, French, and American capitalists derived extraordinary capital accumulation for investment from colonial enterprises in Malaya, Indochina, and the Philippines. It is hardly inaccurate to argue that the exploitation of their colonies in Southeast Asia and elsewhere was critical to the rise of Western wealth, power, and modernization.

Millions of workers from other regions of Asia, especially China and India, migrated into the region temporarily or permanently to undertake plantation labor, mining, or trade, helping reshape ethnic patterns and reshuffle genetic pieces. In some colonies immigrant Chinese and their descendants came to account for a substantial portion of the population they also became generally dominant in the commercial sphere throughout the region. 19 And Christianity from the West became a major regional religion, especially in the Philippines and, to a lesser extent, Vietnam, Malaya, and several regions of Indonesia.

But the traffic in ideas was not entirely one way. Anticolonial nationalism, a major phenomenon of the 20th century world, originated in Southeast Asia in the Philippines, in the struggle against the Spanish and then the Americans beginning in the second half of the 1800s, an inspiration to many colonized peoples. Indeed, the Philippine Revolution is sometimes called the first true war of national liberation, with astonishing parallels to the later ill-fated American experience in Vietnam. 20 Later, the Vietnamese communists under Ho Chi Minh in their ultimately successful 50 year fight against French colonialism, Japanese occupation, and then American intervention would stimulate both a wave of revolutionary efforts to overthrow Western domination as well as a surge of student militancy in the West.

The Vietnamese communist defeat of the United States in 1975 certainly constitutes a major development in 20th century world history, marking the temporary decline of the "American Century" of unrivaled economic, political and military power in the world. In the 1980s and 1990s several Southeast Asian nations (Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and, to some extent, Indonesia) have generated some of the fastest growing economies in the world by borrowing development models from Meiji Japan. Vietnam, borrowing models from post-Mao China, now joins them in its rapid pace of economic growth. These rapidly industrializing Little Tigers, with their distinctive mix of free market and state-stimulated economics with semi-authoritarian politics, may offer the best available model for development in the global south. As they have for centuries, Southeast Asians mixed local traditions and foreign influences to create eclectic new cultures oriented to the wider world. 21

With nearly 500 million people, the region already accounts for a nearly a tenth of the world's population. Southeast Asia, then, with its long, rich connections to the wider world and persistent ability over the millennia to integrate ideas and institutions from abroad with varied but still powerful indigenous traditions, has made its mark on world history and will likely continue to do so in the near future. The Solo River still flows to the sea and ships, joined today by airplanes, laden with goods and travelers still link Southeast Asians to other parts of the world.

Biographical Note: Craig Lockard is the Ben and Joyce Rosenberg Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he teaches courses on Asian, African, and world history. A founder of the World History Association, he has published widely on Southeast Asian and world history, including Societies, Networks, and Transitions: A Global History (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) Dance of Life: Popular Music and Politics in Southeast Asia (Univ. of Hawaii, 1997) From Kampong to City: A Social History of Kuching, Malaysia, 1820-1970 (Ohio University, 1987) and Lands of Green, Waters of Blue: Southeast Asia in World History (Oxford University, forthcoming).

1. This paper was read at the annual meetings of the American Historical Association in Atlanta, January 5, 2007. I would like to thank Anand Yang for arranging and chairing the session. An earlier, and longer version, was published in The History Teacher, 29/1 (November, 1995). For a much more detailed study of this subject, see Craig A. Lockard, Lands of Green, Waters of Blue: Southeast Asia in World History (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

2 Quoted in Philip Curtin, "African History," in Michael Kammen, ed., The Past before Us: Contemporary Historical Writing in the United States (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1980), p. 113.

3. For a recent text with extensive coverage of Southeast Asia and its role in world history, see Craig A. Lockard, Societies, Networks, and Transitions: A Global History (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007).

4. For Hodgson's conception see his Rethinking World History: Essays on Europe, Islam, and World History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 3-28.

5. Some of the general historical studies of Southeast Asia that also address in some form the wider context include John Bastin and Harry J. Benda, A History of Modern Southeast Asia (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1968) Mary Somers Heidhues, Southeast Asia: A Concise History (London: Thames and Hudson, 2000) Victor Lieberman, Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800-1830 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) Milton Osborne, Southeast Asia: An Introductory History, 7 th ed. (St. Leonards, NSW: Allen and Unwin, 1997) Norman Owen, et al., The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia: A New History (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2005 David Joel Steinberg, et. al., In Search of Southeast Asia: A Modern History, revised ed. (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1985) Nicholas Tarling, Southeast Asia: A Modern History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001) and Tarling, ed., The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992). See also Lockard, Lands of Green, Waters of Blue (forthcoming).

6. On ancient Southeast Asia see, in addition to the general studies, Peter Bellwood, Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago, revised ed. (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1997) Charles Higham, The Archaeology of Mainland Southeast Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989) Higham, The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996) and Dougald JW O'Reilly, Early Civilizations of Southeast Asia (Lanham, MD: Altamira, 2007).

7. Scholars debate the status and experiences of women and gender issues in Southeast Asian history and modern society. See, eg., Barbara Watson Andaya, ed., Other Pasts: Women, Gender and History in Early Modern Southeast Asia (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 2000) Jane Monnig Atkinson and Shelly Errington, Power and Difference: Gender in Island Southeast Asia (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990) Aihwa Ong and Michael G. Peletz, eds., Bewitching Women, Pious Men: Gender and Body Politics in Southeast Asia (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995) and Penny Van Esterik, ed., Women of Southeast Asia (DeKalb: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illinois University, 1996).

8. On Indianization the classic work is George Coedes, The Indianized States of Southeast Asia (Honolulu: East-West Center Press, 1968). For more recent approaches see Osborne, Southeast Asia and Tarling, Cambridge History, vol. 1. On southernization see Lynda Shaffer, "Southernization," Journal of World History, 5/1 (Spring, 1994), 1-22.

9. Among the key studies on early maritime trade in Southeast Asia are Kenneth Hall, Maritime Trade and State Development in Early Southeast Asia (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1985) and Lynda Norene Shaffer, Maritime Southeast Asia to 1500 (Armonk, N.T.: M.E. Sharpe, 1996).

10. On the Indian Ocean maritime trade routes, see, eg., K.N. Chaudhuri, Asia Before Europe: Economy and Civilization of the Indian Ocean from the Rise of Islam to 1750 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990) Chaudhuri, Trade and Civilisation in the Indian Ocean (Cambridge: Cambride University Press, 1985) Philip D. Curtin, Cross-Cultural Trade in World History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984) Milo Kearney, The Indian Ocean in World History (New York: Routledge, 2004) Michael Pearson, The Indian Ocean (New York: Routledge, 2003) and Patricia Risso, Merchants and Faith: Muslim Commerce and Culture in the Indian Ocean (Boulder: Westview, 1995).

11. On Angkor see, eg., David P. Chandler, A History of Cambodia, 4 th ed. Updated (Boulder: Westview, 2007) Ian Mabbett and David Chandler, The Khmers (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995) and Charles Higham, The Civilization of Angkor (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001).

12. On the international connections and transformation of archipelago Southeast Asia, see Anthony Reid, Charting the Shape of Early Modern Southeast Asia (Bangkok: Silkworm, 1999) Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450-1680, 2 vols. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988 and 1993) and Reid, ed., Southeast Asia in the Early Modern Era: Trade, Power, and Belief (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993). For the somewhat different situation for the mainland societies, see Lieberman, Strange Parallels.

13. Tome' Pires, quoted in Janet L. Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 291. On Melaka and its role in trade see, eg., Barbara Watson Andaya and Leonard Y. Andaya, A History of Malaysia, 2 nd ed. (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2001) Sarnia Hayes Hoyt, Old Malacca (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1993).

14. See Ross E. Dunn, The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: A Muslim Traveler of the 14 th Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), pp. 248-258.

15. On Southeast Asian wealth and a standard of living that may have been comparable to, or even higher than, that of Europe in the 16 th and 17 th centuries, see Reid, Charting the Shape, pp. 216-226.

16. On the Southeast Asian export economy in these centuries, see, eg., David Bulbeck, et al., compilers, Southeast Asian Exports Since the 14 th Century: Cloves, Pepper, Coffee, and Sugar (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1998).

17. See Dennis O. Flynn and Arturo Giraldez, "Born with a 'Silver Spoon': The Origin of World Trade in 1571," Journal of World History, 6/2 (Fall, 1995), 201-222.

18. For the colonial impact on Southeast Asia, see, eg., Andaya and Andaya, History of Malaysia Ian Brown, Economic Change in South-East Asia, c.1830-1980 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997) John A. Larkin, Sugar and the Origins of Modern Philippine Society (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993) Ngo Vinh Long, Before the Revolution: The Vietnamese Peasants Under the French (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991) Owen, Emergence Tarling, Southeast Asia D.R. Sar Desai, Southeast Asia: Past and Present, 5 th ed. (Boulder: Westview, 2003) Steinberg, In Search and Adrian Vickers, A History of Modern Indonesia (Cambridge Cambridge University Press, 2005).

19. For a brief overview of the Chinese in Southeast Asia as part of the broader Asian migrations, see Craig A. Lockard, "Asian Migrations," in William H. McNeill, ed., Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History, vol. 1 (Great Barrington, MA.: Berkshire, 2005), 191-197.

20. See David Joel Steinberg, The Philippines: A Singular and Plural Place, 3 rd ed. (Boulder: Westview, 1994), p. 66 Gary R. Hess, Vietnam and the United States (Boston: Twayne, 1990) Craig A. Lockard, "Gunboat Diplomacy, Counterrevolution and Manifest Destiny: A Century of Asian Preludes to the American War in Vietnam," Asian Profiles, 23/1 (Feb., 1995), 35-57.

21. For a study of how popular musics and cultures have reflected a mix of indigenous and imported influences, see Craig A. Lockard, Dance of Life: Popular Music and Politics in Southeast Asia (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1997).

Band of Brothers (appx. $10) tells of an ordinary group of men who became some of the war's most extraordinary heroes. It follows the 101st Airborne Division from training in Georgia to their eventual disbanding, covering everything from D-Day to taking Hitler's Bavarian outpost.

  • Capably juggles many characters
  • Comments from one of the veterans
  • Contains a few factual errors

A Brief History Of WWII

The Allied forces found little traction in the next few months, as Japan invaded numerous Asian countries and the Germans halted a Soviet advance.

World War II was the defining event of the 20th century, reshaping the world in ways that would echo through the following decades.

The seeds for the conflict were sown years prior. Germany was rocked by its defeat in WWI, and its wounded national pride would fester, allowing for the rise of Nazism. Meanwhile, the Italians were upset over promises that were made to them following that war that were not honored, leading to feelings of mistrust towards what would become the Allied powers.

Smaller conflicts, such as Italy's attempt to control Ethiopia, set the stage for the great war to come. German Chancellor Adolf Hitler began to acquire territory in Europe, beginning with Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia. England and France allowed Germany to make these moves, fearful that any action to stop them would only inflame the situation.

However, this didn't stop Hitler, and the war would begin once Germany invaded Poland in 1939. The Germans then mounted an offensive against France, which soon fell. In 1940, Germany, Italy, and Japan signed the Tripartite Pact, which formed the Axis Powers.

The war spread to the Mediterranean and Africa soon after, but Hitler's focus was on the United States and Soviet Union. Fearful that they would unite with Britain to oppose him, he decided to strike first, invading Russia in 1941. While successful at first, the German armies were not able to crush the Soviets before the harsh winter set in.

Meanwhile, Japan had invaded China, and was actively negotiating with the United States in an attempt to preclude American entry into the war. When they became convinced that the negotiations would ultimately prove futile, they decided to ambush American forces at Pearl Harbor, finally dragging the United States into WWII.

The Allied forces found little traction in the next few months, as Japan invaded numerous Asian countries and the Germans halted a Soviet advance. The tide soon began to turn, however, as Russian forces were able to push back against the German siege, and China began to win a war of attrition against Japanese troops.

In 1944, the Allies launched a major operation on D-Day. With the surprise invasion, they were able to liberate France and threaten the German mainland for the first time. Aided by a healthy guerrilla resistance, the Allies were eventually able to penetrate the German border and encircle their army, ultimately forcing their surrender.

On the other side of the globe, American forces had fought a bloody and constant battle against Japan in the Pacific, but it became clear that beating the Japanese conventionally would come at a prohibitive cost. Instead of risking more troops, President Harry Truman dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the exhausted Japanese were compelled to surrender.

The war — the deadliest in human history — was finally over, but its impact on the world was only beginning to take shape. As the smoke cleared, the only thing all sides could agree upon was the need to do anything possible to prevent something like it from ever happening again.

Finding The Right WWII Book

WWII is too vast and rich of a subject for any one book to comprehensively cover all aspects of the conflict, so when searching for a book on the topic, you'll need to define your area of interest. Whether your focus mainly lies on the buildup and early days of the war or the Pacific theater, there are plenty of tomes out there than can whet your appetite for knowledge.

Perhaps the most important thing to look for in a book is a fair and balanced perspective.

Perhaps the most important thing to look for in a book is a fair and balanced perspective. It's easy in retrospect, with the atrocities of the Nazi regime in full view, to see this as a good-vs.-evil conflict. However, to do so would be to ignore the sins committed by the Allies, and would give you only a glimpse of the truth of the war. As such, finding a book that's clinical in its appraisal of all sides is key.

Also, think about the viewpoint you want to get from the book. While there are a great many titles that take a broad overview of the subject, there are an equal number that give you first-person viewpoints from the soldiers who lived it. Your WWII education will be incomplete if you don't read both.

The plain fact is that, even if you get the perfect book right out of the gate, one publication is unlikely to be enough to make you an expert on the topic. If you want to learn about WWII, you'll need to be in it for the long haul.

The good news, however, is that there's no shortage of absolutely fantastic reads on the matter.

The Importance Of Learning About WWII

As mentioned above, while the war itself had a definite beginning and end, its impact continues to be felt long after the last peace treaty was signed.

The war set the stage for the United States's rise to global prominence, as the country's infrastructure was largely unaffected by battle.

The war set the stage for the United States's rise to global prominence, as the country's infrastructure was largely unaffected by battle. This allowed America to quickly become the dominant economy on the planet, and the resulting boom powered decades of stratospheric growth. The introduction of women to the workplace, a necessity when most men were fighting abroad, also set the stage for a sea change in the business community.

Political leaders, not wanting to get caught unprepared in case of another major conflict, ramped up military spending, and the American armed forces soon became the most powerful military in human history.

Meanwhile, the Cold War stoked fears of nuclear Armageddon, and the lasting conflict created a strife and mistrust that lingers to this day.

Virtually every aspect of our day-to-day lives has felt some impact from this historic conflict, and ignorance of its effects can lead to ignorance of modern affairs. The sacrifices made by the men and women in this war still reverberate in our time, and deserve to be honored.

Review: Volume 5 - First World War - History

After just over 75 years of penicillin’s clinical use, the world can see that its impact was immediate and profound. In 1928, a chance event in Alexander Fleming’s London laboratory changed the course of medicine. However, the purification and first clinical use of penicillin would take more than a decade. Unprecedented United States/Great Britain cooperation to produce penicillin was incredibly successful by 1943. This success overshadowed efforts to produce penicillin during World War II in Europe, particularly in the Netherlands. Information about these efforts, available only in the last 10–15 years, provides new insights into the story of the first antibiotic. Researchers in the Netherlands produced penicillin using their own production methods and marketed it in 1946, which eventually increased the penicillin supply and decreased the price. The unusual serendipity involved in the discovery of penicillin demonstrates the difficulties in finding new antibiotics and should remind health professionals to expertly manage these extraordinary medicines.

According to British hematologist and biographer Gwyn Macfarlane, the discovery of penicillin was “a series of chance events of almost unbelievable improbability” (1). After just over 75 years of clinical use, it is clear that penicillin’s initial impact was immediate and profound. Its detection completely changed the process of drug discovery, its large-scale production transformed the pharmaceutical industry, and its clinical use changed forever the therapy for infectious diseases. The success of penicillin production in Great Britain and the United States overshadowed the serendipity of its production and the efforts of other nations to produce it. Information on penicillin production in Europe during World War II, available only in the last 10–15 years, provides new insights into penicillin’s story.

Dawn of Chemotherapy and the “Magic Bullet”

At the beginning of the 20th century, Paul Ehrlich pioneered the search for a chemical that would kill a microorganism and leave the host unaltered—the “magic bullet.” Ehrlich also coined the term chemotherapy: “There must be planned chemical synthesis: proceeding from a chemical substance with recognizable activity, making derivatives from it, and then trying each to discover the degree of its activity and effectiveness. This we call chemotherapy” (2). After extensive testing, he found a drug with activity against the bacterium Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis. The introduction of this drug, arsphenamine (Salvarsan), and its chemical derivative neoarsphenamine (Neosalvarsan) in 1910 ushered in a complete transformation of syphilis therapy and the concept of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, despite exhaustive searches, the promise of more magic bullets for microbial therapy remained elusive. For 20 years, Salvarsan and Neosalvarsan were the only chemotherapy for bacterial infections.

Alexander Fleming’s Discovery

A chance event in a London laboratory in 1928 changed the course of medicine. Alexander Fleming, a bacteriologist at St. Mary’s Hospital, had returned from a vacation when, while talking to a colleague, he noticed a zone around an invading fungus on an agar plate in which the bacteria did not grow. After isolating the mold and identifying it as belonging to the Penicillium genus, Fleming obtained an extract from the mold, naming its active agent penicillin. He determined that penicillin had an antibacterial effect on staphylococci and other gram-positive pathogens.

Fleming published his findings in 1929 (3). However, his efforts to purify the unstable compound from the extract proved beyond his capabilities. For a decade, no progress was made in isolating penicillin as a therapeutic compound. During that time, Fleming sent his Penicillium mold to anyone who requested it in hopes that they might isolate penicillin for clinical use. But by the early 1930s, interest had waned in bringing to life Paul Ehrlich’s vision of finding the magic bullet.

Discovery of Prontosil and Sulfa Drugs

This dismal outlook on chemotherapy began to change when Gerhard Domagk, a German pathologist and bacteriologist, found bacteriologic activity in a chemical derivative from oil dyes called sulfamidochrysoïdine (also known as Prontosil). This compound had bacteriologic activity in animals, but strangely, none in vitro. Prontosil had limited but definite success when used to treat patients with bacterial infections, including Domagk’s own child. A German company patented the drug, and ultimately, Domagk won a Nobel Prize in 1939. The paradox of Prontosil’s in vivo success but lack of success in vitro was explained in 1935, when French scientists determined that only part of Prontosil was active: sulfanilamide. In animals, Prontosil was metabolized into sulfanilamide. Within 2 years, sulfanilamide and several derivative sulfa drugs were on the market. The success of sulfanilamide changed the cynicism about chemotherapy of bacteria (1).

Isolation of Penicillin at Oxford University

The success of sulfa drugs sparked interest in finding other agents. At Oxford University, Ernst Chain found Fleming’s 1929 article on penicillin and proposed to his supervisor, Howard Florey, that he try to isolate the compound. Florey’s predecessor, George Dreyer, had written Fleming earlier in the 1930s for a sample of his strain of Penicillium to test it for bacteriophages as a possible reason for antibacterial activity (it had none). However, the strain had been saved at Oxford. In 1939, Howard Florey assembled a team, including a fungal expert, Norman Heatley, who worked on growing Penicillium spp. in large amounts, and Chain, who successfully purified penicillin from an extract from the mold. Florey oversaw the animal experiments. On May 25, 1939, the group injected 8 mice with a virulent strain of Streptococcus and then injected 4 of them with penicillin the other 4 mice were kept as untreated controls. Early the next morning, all control mice were dead all treated mice were still alive. Chain called the results “a miracle.” The researchers published their findings in The Lancet in August 1940, describing the production, purification, and experimental use of penicillin that had sufficient potency to protect animals infected with Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Clostridium septique (4).

After the Oxford team had purified enough penicillin, they began to test its clinical effectiveness. In February 1941, the first person to receive penicillin was an Oxford policeman who was exhibiting a serious infection with abscesses throughout his body. The administration of penicillin resulted in a startling improvement in his condition after 24 hours. The meager supply ran out before the policeman could be fully treated, however, and he died a few weeks later. Other patients received the drug with great success. The Oxford team then published their clinical findings (5). At the time, however, pharmaceutical companies in Great Britain were unable to mass produce penicillin because of World War II commitments. Florey then turned to the United States for assistance.

Penicillin and US Involvement

In June 1941, Florey and Heatley traveled to the United States. Concerned about the security of taking a culture of the precious Penicillium mold in a vial that could be stolen, Heatley suggested that they smear their coats with the Penicillium strain for safety on their journey. They eventually arrived in Peoria, Illinois, to meet with Charles Thom, the principal mycologist of the US Department of Agriculture, and Andrew Jackson Moyer, director of the department’s Northern Research Laboratory. Thom corrected the identification of Fleming’s mold to P. notatum it was initially identified as P. rubrum (1).

Thom also recognized the rarity of this P. notatum strain because only 1 other strain in his collection of 1,000 Penicillium strains produced penicillin. The strain that was eventually used in mass production was a third strain, P. chrysogenum, found in a moldy cantaloupe in a market, which produced 6 times more penicillin than Fleming’s strain. When a component of the media that Heatley used to grow the mold in England was unavailable, A.J. Moyer suggested using corn steep liquor, a waste product from the manufacture of cornstarch that was available in large quantities in the midwestern United States. With corn steep liquor, the investigators produced exponentially greater amounts of penicillin in the filtrate of the mold than the Oxford team had ever produced. Heatley remained in Peoria for 6 months to work on methods of growing Penicillium strains in large quantities. Florey headed east to interest the US government and multiple drug companies in penicillin production. The US government took over all penicillin production when the United States entered World War II. Researchers at drug companies developed a new technique for producing enormous quantities of penicillin-producing Penicillium spp.: deep-tank fermentation. This process adapted a fermentation process performed in swallow dishes to deep tanks by bubbling air through the tank while agitating it with an electric stirrer to aerate and stimulate the growth of tremendous quantities of the mold. Unprecedented United States/Great Britain cooperation for penicillin production was incredibly successful. In 1941 the United States did not have sufficient stock of penicillin to treat a single patient. At the end of 1942, enough penicillin was available to treat fewer than 100 patients. By September 1943, however, the stock was sufficient to satisfy the demands of the Allied Armed Forces (6).

Public Awareness: The Fleming Myth

Early in 1942, Florey and Heatley went back to England. Because of the shortage of penicillin supplies coming from the United States, the Oxford group still had to produce most of the penicillin they tested and used. In August 1942, Fleming obtained some of the Oxford group’s supply and successfully treated a patient who was dying of streptococcal meningitis. When the patient recovered, the cure was the subject of a major article in The Times newspaper in Great Britain, which named Oxford as the source of the penicillin. However, neither Florey nor Fleming was acknowledged in the article, an oversight quickly corrected by Fleming’s boss, Sir Almroth Wright. He wrote a letter to The Times expounding on Fleming’s work and suggested that Fleming deserved a “laurel wreath.” Fleming happily talked to the press. Florey not only did not speak with the press but prohibited any member of the Oxford team from giving interviews, leading many to erroneously believe that Fleming alone was responsible for penicillin.

Secrecy in Wartime England

The British government went to great lengths to prevent the means for producing penicillin from falling into enemy hands. However, news about penicillin leaked out. A Swiss company (CIBA, Basal, Switzerland) wrote to Florey requesting P. notatum. Concerned about responding, Florey contacted the British government. Agents attempted to track down where Fleming’s Penicillium cultures had been distributed. Fleming wrote, “During the past 10 years I have sent out a very large number of cultures of Penicillium to all sorts of places, but as far as I can remember NONE have gone to Germany” (7). Florey believed that, without the mold, no one in Germany could produce penicillin even though his publication had provided a “blueprint” for its small scale manufacture. Florey was wrong, and so was Fleming.

Fleming had sent a culture of Penicillium strains to “Dr. H. Schmidt” in Germany in the 1930s. Schmidt was unable to get strain to grow, but even though the Germans did not have a viable strain, other Europeans did.

Production during World War II


Someone at Institut Pasteur in France, had Fleming’s strain. In 1942, efforts began at Institut Pasteur and Rhone-Poulenc to produce penicillin. Eventually, German officials found out and, in early 1944, the Germans asked the French for their P. notatum. They were given a false strain that did not produce penicillin. With limited supplies, the French produced only enough penicillin to treat ≈30 patients before the war’s end.

The Netherlands

The situation in the Netherlands was different. The Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures (CBS) near Utrecht had the largest fungal collection in the world. A published list of their strains in 1937 included P. notatum. A letter found at CBS shows that in February 1942 the Nazis asked CBS to send their strain of P. notatum to Dr. Schmidt in Germany, mentioning penicillin in the letter. CBS told the Germans they did not have Fleming’s strain of P. notatum. In fact, they did. In the 1930s, Fleming had sent his strain to Johanna Westerdijk, the CBS director. Westerdijk could not refuse the German request for their strain of P. notatum but sent them the one that did not produce penicillin.

Efforts to produce penicillin in the Netherlands went underground at a company in Delft, the Nederladsche Gist-en Spiritusfabriek (the Netherlands Yeast and Spirit Factory, NG&SF). After the German occupation in 1940, NG&SF was still allowed to function. Because Delft was not bombed in the war, NG&SF’s efforts were unaffected. In early 1943, NG&SF’s executive officer, F.G. Waller, secretly wrote to Westerdijk at CBS, asking for any Penicillium strains that produced penicillin. In January 1944, Westerdijk sent all of CBS’ Penicillium strains to NG&SF.

Figure. Bacinol 2, building named in honor of the site of efforts in the Netherlands to produce penicillin during World War II and the drug produced by the Netherlands Yeast and Spirit.

Four reports in NG&SF records detailed their efforts (8). In the first report, NG&SF scientists tested 18 Penicillium strains from CBS they found 1 strain with the greatest antibacterial activity, which was coded P-6 and was identified as P. baculatum. The second report discussed how NG&SF scientists then isolated an extract from P-6. They gave the substance in the extract the code name Bacinol after the species from which it was derived and to keep the Germans unaware of what they were doing (Figure). As Waller wrote, “When we first started looking, in 1943, only one publication was available, that of Fleming in 1929. It was on that basis we started our research” (6). NG&SF researchers then had help from an unanticipated source. In 1939, Andries Querido was employed by NG&SF as a part-time advisor. By January 1943, however, his Jewish background limited his visits. On his last visit in the summer of 1944, Querido met someone in Amsterdam‘s Central Train Station who gave him a copy of the latest Schweizerische Medizinische Wochenschrift (Swiss Medical Journal), which he passed on to the NG&SF scientists. The June 1944 issue contained an article entirely devoted to penicillin, showing the results that the Allies had achieved, including details of penicillin growth in corn steep extract, the scaling up of penicillin production, the measurement of strength by the Oxford unit, results of animal and human studies, and identification of the bacteria known to be susceptible to penicillin. The third report described how NG&SF scientists isolated Bacinol from the extract using the information supplied secretly by Querido.

Large-scale production would be difficult to do and to keep secret from the Germans, especially with a German guard on site. However, NG&SF scientists used an obvious ploy to keep the German guard, who knew nothing about microbiology, at bay: they kept him drunk. “We did have a German guard whose job it was to keep us under surveillance, but he liked gin, so we made sure he got a lot. He slept most afternoons” (6). NG&SF scientists used milk bottles for growing large quantities of Penicillium mold. From July 1944 until March 1945, production of Bacinol continued, as detailed in the fourth report. At the end of the war, the NG&SF team still did not know if Bacinol was actually penicillin until they tested it against some penicillin from England, proving it to be the same compound. NG&SF began marketing the penicillin they produced in January 1946. Although the original building where Bacinol was produced was demolished, NG&SF named a new building in honor of their WWII efforts (Figure).

The Nazis eventually succeeded in making penicillin by October 1944. However, Allied air raids crippled mass production of the drug (9).


The issue of a patent for penicillin was a controversial problem from the beginning. Chain believed that obtaining a patent was essential. Florey and others viewed patents as unethical for such a life-saving drug. Indeed, penicillin challenged the basic notion of a patent, considering it was a natural product produced by another living microorganism. The prevailing view Great Britain at the time was that a process could be patented, but the chemical could not. Merck (New York, NY, USA) and Andrew Jackson Moyer each filed patents on the process of penicillin production with no opposition. Eventually, at war’s end, British scientists were faced with paying royalties for a discovery made in England. The penicillin production at NG&SF turned out to be more than of historical interest. Because NG&SF had researched and developed their own penicillin using their own mold culture, P. baculatum, and used their own production methods, they were not embroiled in any patent clash the marketing of their penicillin eventually increased penicillin supply and decreased prices.

Nobel Prize in 1945

Penicillin’s colossal effects led to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1945 to Fleming, Chain, and Florey. Penicillin was isolated from other microorganisms, which led to a new term, antibiotics. Using similar discovery and production techniques, researchers discovered many other antibiotics in the 1940s and 1950s: streptomycin, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, vancomycin, and others.


Lessons can be learned from the circumstances surrounding the discovery of penicillin. The US government’s successful takeover of penicillin’s production and the unprecedented cooperation among drug companies (and nations) should strongly encourage public/private partnerships as we search for additional effective antimicrobial drugs. In addition, despite their essential value in modern medicine, antibiotics are also the only class of drugs that lose their efficacy with large-scale use as bacteria develop antibiotic resistance. We now are struggling with resistant bacteria that cause infections that are virtually untreatable. Infections such as those occurring after transplantation and surgical procedures, caused by these highly antibiotic-resistant pathogens, are threatening all progress in medicine. Yet, drug companies, some of the same companies that helped develop penicillin, have nearly abandoned efforts to discover new antibiotics, finding them no longer economically worthwhile. The dry pipeline for new antibiotics has led the Infectious Diseases Society of America and others to call for a global commitment to the development of new agents (10). We also must expertly manage the drugs that are currently available. The noteworthy serendipity involved in the discovery of penicillin should remind us that new antibiotics are difficult to find and, more important, should make us mindful when using these limited medical treasures.

Dr. Gaynes is professor of medicine/infectious diseases at Emory University School of Medicine and the Rollins School of Public Health. He worked for >20 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is an award-winning author of Germ Theory: Medical Pioneers in Infectious Diseases.

Review: Volume 5 - First World War - History

Medical, Surgical and Pathological
This section includes articles, contemporary books and extracts from contemporary sources on:

  • Diabetes in the pre-insulin era,
  • Influenza,
  • Lice,
  • Military Surgery,
  • Psychiatry, including chronic alcoholism.
  • Sanitation and Hygiene,
  • Typhoid Fever,
  • Venereology

The following links are in alphabetical order:

  • Ambulance Services Letters and photographs from ambulance drivers and stretcher bearers
  • American Red Cross Organisation in WW1 Accomplishments, July 1, 1917 To February 28, 1919.
  • Bibliography of Great War Medicine prepared by Dr. Andrew Bamji. This was last updated on 19th January 2009.
  • Blood Transfusion in the early years of the 20th Century - Extracts from the book "Blood Transfusion" by Dr Geoffrey Keynes, 1922.
  • Contemporary photographs and pictures These include a series of sketches by Britain's first official War Artist, Muirhead Bone illustrating the transport of the wounded from the battle of the Somme.

Cowardice and Shellshock: An extract from the report of the War Office Committee of Enquiry into Shellshock HMSO, 1922. This Committee, in an attempt to understand Shellshock, interviewed a number of witnesses including medical doctors and members of the military. Each witness gave their opinions on the difference between cowardice and shellshock. Some declined to define Cowardice and others did so with reservation.

  • Death of Manfred von Richthofen A critical analysis of the postmortem examination and a reconstruction of the probable events of Manfred von Richthofen's last flight from contemporary sources.
  • Dental Dental services in the Australian Army at the outbreak of World War I were non-existent this article describes how attempts were made to remedy this situation.
  • Evacuation of the Sick and Wounded, taken from a Manual entitled 'Military Organization and Administration' by Major G R N Collins, Instructor Canadian Military School, Hugh Rees Ltd, London 1918.
  • Experiences with the Australian Army Medical Corps at Gallipoli by Dr John Corbin, Major with the 1st Australian Clearing Hospital. The author recounted his experiences in Gallipoli from the landing at Anzac Cove to the attack at Suvla Bay these were published in the Medical Journal of Australia in February 1916.
  • Gas warfare in the Great War This includes the complete Manual of Gas Warfare published by HMSO, 1941, based on data from 1918 with the 3rd Edition of the Atlas of Gas Poisoning, published in 1938. There are also a series of photographs illustrating how horses, mules, dogs and pigeons were protected from gas poisoning.

The Geneva Convention of 1906 Chapter 1 is concerned with the treatment of sick and wounded the 1906 Convention applied during WW1.

  • German Treatment of Injured Prisoners of War . Extracts from an Australian Official Publication, "How the Germans Treated Australian Prisoners of War", taken from the statements of repatriated Australian WW1 servicemen. Issued by the Defence Department, 1919, Melbourne, Australia.
  • German Red Crossin WW1 A chapter from the American War Manual, No. 5. "How Germany Cares for her War Disabled." Published in 1918.
  • Hospitals and Casualty Clearing Stations Including an index of Hospitals and Casualty Clearing Stations on the Western Front, classified according to location and date, and extracts from the Gazette of the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth, London.
  • Hospital Ships List of British Hospital Ships sunk by enemy action.
  • Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 The pathology of influenza in France, by Dr. S. W. Patterson, published in the Medical Journal of Australia on March 6th. 1920
  • Landry Papers Selection: Dr. Landry served as a medical officer at Camp Beauregard, Lousiana, during WW1 and was Chief of the Medical Service in 1918. His papers have been preserved by his family and articles are reproduced on the cardiac requirements of recruits papers on epidemic cerebro-spinal meningitis and the history of the medical service at Camp Beauregard, including the influenza epidemic of 1918.
  • Medical Classification of British recruits 1915-1918
  • Medical Diaries and Biographies includes the complete book:"From a Surgeon's Journal, 1915-1918" by Harvey Cushing and diaries or accounts of Flanders, the Battles of the Somme and Passchendaele, German South West Africa, the American Red Cross in Siberia, the Imperial Russian Army Medical Corps and on board the HMS Carnarvon, during WW1.
  • Medical Service of the 14th Imperial Regiment, a unit of the Austro-Hungarian Army written by Dr Strauss, its last medical officer.
  • Nursing Nursing Documents, including letters from France published in book form during The Great War
  • Pharmacological Pharmacy During The First World War
  • Radiology Unit of The Harvard University Surgical Unit, serving with The British Red Cross during WWI
  • Report of the Surgeon of HMAS Sydney, Dr Leonard Darby, to his commanding officer following the engagement between HMAS Sydney and SMS Emden off the Cocos Islands on November 9th 1914.
  • The Medical Service of HMAS Sydney During the Engagement with SMS Emden on November 9th, 1914. A modern Paper, based on contemporary sources, published in Sabretache, the Journal and Proceedings of the Military Historical Society of Australia, Vol LV No. 2, June 2014.
  • Route of Evacuation of the wounded from the battlefield from articles in the British Medical Journal of April-October 1917. These include evacuation from the trenches to the Advanced Dressing Station, descriptions of the role of the battalion medical officers, Field Ambulances, Casualty Clearing Stations, Stationary Hospitals, Ambulance Trains and Barges and Hospital Ships.
  • Trench Foot Extracts from the 'History of the Great War, Medical Services, Surgery of the War' Volume 1, Edited by Major General Sir W. G. MacPherson, 1922. Also a short extract from a 1916 book on Military Surgery by Dr Penhallow.
  • Veterinary Services US Army Veterinary Corps and British Imperial Armies Veterinary Service in the field.
  • Voyage of HMS Carnarvon, 1914-1915. A Memoir by George H. J. Hanks, Sick Bay Attendant on board HMS Carnarvon in 1914 to 1915. SBA Hanks was on board HMS Carnarvon during the Battle of the Falklands in Decenber 1914. The Memoir has been edited by his grandson, Dr Robert K Hanks Ph.D. (History).
  • With the Serbian Mission to Serbia in 1914-1915 An extract from the book "Surgeon's Journey" by James Johnston Abraham, CBE., DSO, FRCS, Published by Heinemann, London. This describes his service in charge of a Serbian under-equipped, overworked hospital that was exposed to the great Typhus Epidemic of 1915 where a million people were affected and tens of thousands died.
  • WWI Medical Statistics Records of the American Forces in the World War
  • WWI Medical Links to other sites with World War One medical historical content

The preparation of such a large undertaking must always be incomplete but the following material is actively sought:

  1. Contemporary letters and diaries, with medical content.
  2. Contemporary articles from the medical journals of the time.
  3. Selections from contemporary books with medical content
  4. Complete contemporary medical books.
  5. Contemporary photographs or pictures with a medical content, either clinical photographs or pertaining to nonclinical aspects of medicine. These will include photographs or pictures of hospitals or aid posts, groups or individual doctors, nurses or photographs or pictures of other members of army medical corps such as stretcher bearers.
  6. Modern articles written specifically for the Medical Front, concerning medical aspects of WWI, or short biographical sketches of doctors or nurses.

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The Medical Front WWI was originally part of Carrie: The First Full Text On-Line Electronic Library. Related: WWW-VL: World War One History: 1914-1918

Review: Volume 5 - First World War - History

Test your knowledge about Federal Reserve history through this quiz. Additional quizzes are also available.

1775-1791: U.S. Currency

To finance the American Revolution, the Continental Congress printed the new nation's first paper money. Known as "continentals," the fiat money notes were issued in such quantity they led to inflation, which, though mild at first, rapidly accelerated as the war progressed. Eventually, people lost faith in the notes, and the phrase "Not worth a continental" came to mean "utterly worthless."

1791-1811: First Attempt at Central Banking

At the urging of then Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, Congress established the First Bank of the United States, headquartered in Philadelphia, in 1791. It was the largest corporation in the country and was dominated by big banking and money interests. Many agrarian minded Americans uncomfortable with the idea of a large and powerful bank opposed it. When the bank&rsquos 20-year charter expired in 1811 Congress refused to renew it by one vote.

1816-1836: A Second Try Fails

By 1816, the political climate was once again inclined toward the idea of a central bank by a narrow margin, Congress agreed to charter the Second Bank of the United States. But when Andrew Jackson, a central bank foe, was elected president in 1828, he vowed to kill it. His attack on its banker-controlled power touched a popular nerve with Americans, and when the Second Bank&rsquos charter expired in 1836, it was not renewed.

1836-1865: The Free Banking Era

State-chartered banks and unchartered &ldquofree banks&rdquo took hold during this period, issuing their own notes, redeemable in gold or specie. Banks also began offering demand deposits to enhance commerce. In response to a rising volume of check transactions, the New York Clearinghouse Association was established in 1853 to provide a way for the city&rsquos banks to exchange checks and settle accounts.

1863: National Banking Act

During the Civil War, the National Banking Act of 1863 was passed, providing for nationally chartered banks, whose circulating notes had to be backed by U.S. government securities. An amendment to the act required taxation on state bank notes but not national bank notes, effectively creating a uniform currency for the nation. Despite taxation on their notes, state banks continued to flourish due to the growing popularity of demand deposits, which had taken hold during the Free Banking Era.

1873-1907: Financial Panics Prevail

Although the National Banking Act of 1863 established some measure of currency stability for the growing nation, bank runs and financial panics continued to plague the economy. In 1893, a banking panic triggered the worst depression the United States had ever seen, and the economy stabilized only after the intervention of financial mogul J.P. Morgan. It was clear that the nation&rsquos banking and financial system needed serious attention.

1907: A Very Bad Year

In 1907, a bout of speculation on Wall Street ended in failure, triggering a particularly severe banking panic. J.P. Morgan was again called upon to avert disaster. By this time, most Americans were calling for reform of the banking system, but the structure of that reform was cause for deep division among the country&rsquos citizens. Conservatives and powerful &ldquomoney trusts&rdquo in the big eastern cities were vehemently opposed by &ldquoprogressives.&rdquo But there was a growing consensus among all Americans that a central banking authority was needed to ensure a healthy banking system and provide for an elastic currency.

1908-1912: The Stage is Set for Decentralized Central Bank

The Aldrich-Vreeland Act of 1908, passed as an immediate response to the panic of 1907, provided for emergency currency issue during crises. It also established the national Monetary Commission to search for a long-term solution to the nation&rsquos banking and financial problems. Under the leadership of Senator Nelson Aldrich, the commission developed a banker-controlled plan. William Jennings Bryan and other progressives fiercely attacked the plan they wanted a central bank under public, not banker, control. The 1912 election of Democrat Woodrow Wilson killed the Republican Aldrich plan, but the stage was set for the emergence of a decentralized central bank.

1912: Woodrow Wilson as Financial Reformer

Though not personally knowledgeable about banking and financial issues, Woodrow Wilson solicited expert advice from Virginia Representative Carter Glass, soon to become the chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Finance, and from the Committee&rsquos expert advisor, H. Parker Willis, formerly a professor of economics at Washington and Lee University. Throughout most of 1912, Glass and Willis labored over a central bank proposal, and by December 1912, they presented Wilson with what would become, with some modifications, the Federal Reserve Act.

1913: The Federal Reserve System is Born

From December 1912 to December 1913, the Glass-Willis proposal was hotly debated, molded and reshaped. By December 23, 1913, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law, it stood as a classic example of compromise&mdasha decentralized central bank that balanced the competing interests of private banks and populist sentiment.

1914: Open for Business

Before the new central bank could begin operations, the Reserve Bank Operating Committee, comprised of Treasury Secretary William McAdoo, Secretary of Agriculture David Houston, and Comptroller of the Currency John Skelton Williams, had the arduous task of building a working institution around the bare bones of the new law. But, by November 16, 1914, the 12 cities chosen as sites for regional Reserve Banks were open for business, just as hostilities in Europe erupted into World War I.

1914-1919: Fed Policy During the War

When World War I broke out in mid-1914, U.S. banks continued to operate normally, thanks to the emergency currency issued under the Aldrich-Vreeland Act of 1908. But the greater impact in the United States came from the Reserve Banks&rsquo ability to discount bankers acceptances. Through this mechanism, the United States aided the flow of trade goods to Europe, indirectly helping to finance the war until 1917, when the United States officially declared war on Germany and financing our own war effort became paramount.

1920s: The Beginning of Open Market Operations

Following World War I, Benjamin Strong, head of the New York Fed from 1914 to his death in 1928, recognized that gold no longer served as the central factor in controlling credit. Strong&rsquos aggressive action to stem a recession in 1923 through a large purchase of government securities gave clear evidence of the power of open market operations to influence the availability of credit in the banking system. During the 1920s, the Fed began using open market operations as a monetary policy tool. During his tenure, Strong also elevated the stature of the Fed by promoting relations with other central banks, especially the Bank of England.

1929-1933: The Market Crash and the Great Depression

During the 1920s, Virginia Representative Carter Glass warned that stock market speculation would lead to dire consequences. In October 1929, his predictions seemed to be realized when the stock market crashed, and the nation fell into the worst depression in its history. From 1930 to 1933, nearly 10,000 banks failed, and by March 1933, newly inaugurated President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared a bank holiday, while government officials grappled with ways to remedy the nation&rsquos economic woes. Many people blamed the Fed for failing to stem speculative lending that led to the crash, and some also argued that inadequate understanding of monetary economics kept the Fed from pursuing policies that could have lessened the depth of the Depression.

1933: The Depression Aftermath

In reaction to the Great Depression, Congress passed the Banking Act of 1933, better known as the Glass-Steagall Act, calling for the separation of commercial and investment banking and requiring use of government securities as collateral for Federal Reserve notes. The Act also established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), placed open market operations under the Fed and required bank holding companies to be examined by the Fed, a practice that was to have profound future implications, as holding companies became a prevalent structure for banks over time. Also, as part of the massive reforms taking place, Roosevelt recalled all gold and silver certificates, effectively ending the gold and any other metallic standard.

1935: More Changes to Come

The Banking Act of 1935 called for further changes in the Fed&rsquos structure, including the creation of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) as a separate legal entity, removal of the Treasury Secretary and the Comptroller of the Currency from the Fed&rsquos governing board and establishment of the members&rsquo terms at 14 years. Following World War II, the Employment Act added the goal of promising maximum employment to the list of the Fed&rsquos responsibilities. In 1956 the Bank Holding Company Act named the Fed as the regulator of bank holding companies owning more than one bank, and in 1978 the Humphrey-Hawkins Act required the Fed chairman to report to Congress twice annually on monetary policy goals and objectives.

1951: The Treasury Accord

The Federal Reserve System formally committed to maintaining a low interest rate peg on government bonds in 1942 after the United States entered World War II. It did so at the request of the Treasury to allow the federal government to engage in cheaper debt financing of the war. To maintain the pegged rate, the Fed was forced to give up control of the size of its portfolio as well as the money stock. Conflict between the Treasury and the Fed came to the fore when the Treasury directed the central bank to maintain the peg after the start of the Korean War in 1950.

President Harry Truman and Secretary of the Treasury John Snyder were both strong supporters of the low interest rate peg. The President felt that it was his duty to protect patriotic citizens by not lowering the value of the bonds that they had purchased during the war. Unlike Truman and Snyder, the Federal Reserve was focused on the need to contain inflationary pressures in the economy caused by the intensification of the Korean War. Many on the Board of Governors, including Marriner Eccles, understood that the forced obligation to maintain the low peg on interest rates produced an excessive monetary expansion that caused inflation. After a fierce debate between the Fed and the Treasury for control over interest rates and U.S. monetary policy, their dispute was settled resulting in an agreement known as the Treasury-Fed Accord. This eliminated the obligation of the Fed to monetize the debt of the Treasury at a fixed rate and became essential to the independence of central banking and how monetary policy is pursued by the Federal Reserve today.

1970s-1980s: Inflation and Deflation

The 1970s saw inflation skyrocket as producer and consumer prices rose, oil prices soared and the federal deficit more than doubled. By August 1979, when Paul Volcker was sworn in as Fed chairman, drastic action was needed to break inflation&rsquos stranglehold on the U.S. economy. Volcker&rsquos leadership as Fed chairman during the 1980s, though painful in the short term, was successful overall in bringing double-digit inflation under control.

1980 Setting the Stage for Financial Modernization

The Monetary Control Act of 1980 required the Fed to price its financial services competitively against private sector providers and to establish reserve requirements for all eligible financial institutions. The act marks the beginning of a period of modern banking industry reforms. Following its passage, interstate banking proliferated, and banks began offering interest-paying accounts and instruments to attract customers from brokerage firms. Barriers to insurance activities, however, proved more difficult to circumvent. Nonetheless, momentum for change was steady, and by 1999 the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was passed, in essence, overturning the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and allowing banks to offer a menu of financial services, including investment banking and insurance.

1990s: The Longest Economic Expansion

Two months after Alan Greenspan took office as the Fed chairman, the stock market crashed on October 19, 1987. In response, he ordered the Fed to issue a one-sentence statement before the start of trading on October 20: &ldquoThe Federal Reserve, consistent with its responsibilities as the nation&rsquos central bank, affirmed today its readiness to serve as a source of liquidity to support the economic and financial system.&rdquo The 10-year economic expansion of the 1990s came to a close in March 2001 and was followed by a short, shallow recession ending in November 2001. In response to the bursting of the 1990s stock market bubble in the early years of the decade, the Fed lowered interest rates rapidly. Throughout the 1990s, the Fed used monetary policy on a number of occasions including the credit crunch of the early 1990s and the Russian default on government securities to keep potential financial problems from adversely affecting the real economy. The decade was marked by generally declining inflation and the longest peacetime economic expansion in our country&rsquos history.

September 11, 2001

The effectiveness of the Federal Reserve as a central bank was put to the test on September 11, 2001 as the terrorist attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania disrupted U.S. financial markets. The Fed issued a short statement reminiscent of its announcement in 1987: &ldquoThe Federal Reserve System is open and operating. The discount window is available to meet liquidity needs.&rdquo In the days that followed, the Fed lowered interest rates and loaned more than $45 billion to financial institutions in order to provide stability to the U.S. economy. By the end of September, Fed lending had returned to pre-September 11 levels and a potential liquidity crunch had been averted. The Fed played the pivotal role in dampening the effects of the September 11 attacks on U.S. financial markets.

January 2003: Discount Window Operation Changes

In 2003, the Federal Reserve changed its discount window operations so as to have rates at the window set above the prevailing Fed Funds rate and provide rationing of loans to banks through interest rates.

2006 and Beyond: Financial Crisis and Response

During the early 2000s, low mortgage rates and expanded access to credit made homeownership possible for more people, increasing the demand for housing and driving up house prices. The housing boom got a boost from increased securitization of mortgages&mdasha process in which mortgages were bundled together into securities that were traded in financial markets. Securitization of riskier mortgages expanded rapidly, including subprime mortgages made to borrowers with poor credit records.

The Best Civil War Books of All Time

For our latest newsstand-only special issue, The Civil War Almanac, we asked a panel of Civil War historians&mdashJ. Matthew Gallman, Matthew C. Hulbert, James Marten, and Amy Murrell Taylor&mdashfor their opinions on a variety of popular topics, including the war's most overrated and underratred commanders, top turning points, most influential women, and best depictions on film. Space constraints prevented us from including their answers to one of the questions we posed: What are the 10 best Civil War books ever published (nonfiction or fiction)? Below are their responses.

1. Memoir. Ulysses S. Grant, The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant (1885). Often described as the best book by a U.S. President and the best memoir of the Civil War. (Confederate artillerist Porter Alexander&rsquos memoir would be a close second.)

2. Lincoln. I am a huge fan of Eric Foner's The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (2010). For more traditional Lincoln biographies, I think the best from a very long shelf of titles are the one-volume biographies by David Donald and by Richard Carwardine.

3. Lincoln and Civil Liberties . Mark E. Neely Jr., The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties (Oxford University Press). This is not really a Lincoln book so much as it is a complex analysis of civil liberties in wartime. Neely is yet another author who could have multiple titles on my list.

4. Wartime novel . Louisa May Alcott, Hospital Sketches (1863). Alcott&rsquos wonderful autobiographical novel about her experiences as a wartime nurse. Alcott&rsquos Little Women (1868) is a close second.

5. Soldier study. James McPherson, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (1997). McPherson could have many volumes on this list, including Battle Cry of Freedom. His study of soldiers&rsquo motivations is deeply researched and theoretically sophisticated.

6. Women and War . Drew Gilpin Faust's Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War (1996) is my choice from another wonderfully deep subfield.

7. African-American soldiers. Joseph T. Glatthaar, Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers (1990). This is now a huge subfield, but Glaatthaar&rsquos book is still foundational as a study of both the men of the U.S.C.T. and their white officers.

8. Escape Narrative . William and Ellen Craft, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom (1860). This is my favorite in a genre full of powerful stories. William and Ellen Craft escaped from slavery when Ellen posed as a free black man, and William pretended to be her slave.

9. Wartime Politics. I am working on a study of wartime Democrats. With that in mind, I give a nod to Jean H. Baker, Affairs of Party: The Political Culture of the Northern Democrats in the Mid-Nineteenth Century (1983). (Although Joel Sibey&rsquos 1977 study of the wartime Democrats merits consideration as well.)

10. Modern novel. I am a big fan of E.L. Doctorow&rsquos The March: A Novel (2006), a fictional account of events during Sherman&rsquos March to the Sea. Geraldine Brooks&rsquo similarly titled, and wildly different, March (2005) is also wonderful.

J. Matthew Gallman is a professor of history at the University of Florida. His most recent book, Defining Duty in the Civil War: Personal Choice, Popular Culture, and the Union Home Front (2105), won the Bobbie and John Nau Book Prize in American Civil War Era History.

I have defined &ldquobest&rdquo here as the books that have had the greatest combined influence on how historians write about the Civil War and how the American public has learned about, understood, and remembered the conflict. This in mind, as far and away the best-known overview of the Civil War for nearly 30 years, McPherson&rsquos Pulitzer-winning book has been used in untold classrooms to introduce Americans to their national bloodletting. For the general public, Battle Cry and its author have become synonymous with Civil War history.

Yes, I&rsquom cheating with a double-pick&mdashbut these two books are more or less inseparable. Wiley practically invented social history in the context of Civil War soldiers. Johnny Reb will celebrate its diamond anniversary in 2018 and is still often the go-to source for information on the daily lives and routines of Confederate soldiers.

Many historians argue that Grant was the most important military figure of the entire Civil War. His memoir, finished just days before he succumbed to throat cancer, provides a revealing look at the victorious general and his outlook on the war. For my money, it is the most important memoir penned by any Civil War participant and provides invaluable insight into not just the war, but how the man who won it wanted both himself and the conflict to be remembered.

Pollard, a Virginia newspaper editor and ardent Confederate sympathizer, coined the term &ldquoLost Cause&rdquo and began the commemorative process of disentangling rank-and-file southern soldiers from the stigma of defeat and the socio-economic ramifications of emancipation. His work is essentially the original foundation of the Lost Cause Movement and produced many of the states&rsquo rights/slavery/secession talking points still prevalent today (and which were refined in Pollard&rsquos 1868 follow-up The Lost Cause Regained).

Though much more recent than some of the other titles listed, Race and Reunion is the foundational text of Civil War memory studies, a subfield that has exploded in popularity in the last two decades. Whether they agree with his thesis in whole, in part, or not at all, every subsequent scholar of social memory and the war has necessarily responded to Blight&rsquos thesis.

Though not considered the definitive title on Reconstruction, Du Bois&rsquo Black Reconstruction is ranked here ahead of Foner&rsquos Reconstruction (which is considered by many to be the cornerstone work on the subject) because it was written and published at a time when the political and historiographical stakes were much higher. Du Bois brought black characters to the front of the Reconstruction story and struck back forcefully at the accounts of Dunning School historians, which were based in large part on contemporary, white supremacist views. In many ways, he built a launching pad for future historians of Reconstruction, Foner included.

As mentioned above, Foner&rsquos Reconstruction has been considered by almost everyone to be the essential book on Reconstruction for nearly three decades. Like Blight&rsquos Race and Reunion, it is the work to which all scholars of the subject must in some way respond, whether they agree or disagree with Foner&rsquos conclusions.

Until Ken Burns&rsquo The Civil War transformed Shelby Foote into the best-known popular historian of the Civil War, Catton had held that undisputed title for decades. Stillness is probably Catton&rsquos best-known title (it took home a Pulitzer Prize), but it&rsquos worth noting that his collective corpus of work has inspired untold Americans from multiple generations&mdashincluding many professional historians&mdashto study the Civil War.

For historians and general readers alike, Faust captured the Civil War&mdashand more importantly, all that it destroyed&mdashin relatable, humanistic terms. The first fact everyone learns about the Civil War is who won the second is how many men were killed. This is the seminal work on death and how it was understood, coped with, and reimagined by the generation that actually fought the war.

Despite his association with Lost Cause commemoration, Freeman was a pioneer in the military history of the Civil War. Unlike Wiley, who focused on the common soldier, Freeman analyzed the Army of Northern Virginia and its chain of command from the top down&mdashcasting a fascinating light on how the army worked, moved, and fought as a hierarchical unit.

Matthew C. Hulbert teaches American history at Texas A&M University&ndashKingsville. He is the author of The Ghosts of Guerrila Memory: How Civil War Bushwhackers Became Gunslingers in the American West (2016), which won the 2017 Wiley&ndashSilver Prize.

Riveting novel of the gradual unravelling of a Civil War veteran turned town marshal&mdashclearly suffering from PTSD&mdashas a forest fire and a deadly epidemic threatens his small town in 1870s Wisconsin. War memory, horror, and a vivid portrayal of postwar life are all crowded into this brisk, 200-page book.

2. Geraldine Brooks, March (2005)

I&rsquom kind of a sucker for novels that tell the hidden stories behind famous ones, and this account of the wrenching experiences of the father who leaves his &ldquoLittle Women&rdquo behind when he goes off to be an army chaplain is a wonderful example of the genre. His experiences in battle, in a contraband camp, in the hospital, and&mdashwell, I won&rsquot spoil the most surprising thing he does&mdashfunctions not only as a Civil War narrative in its own right, but as a way of providing texture for the original text.

3. Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels (1974)

The Pulitzer Prize-winning classic novel still resonates, despite the many lesser sequels and prequels by Shaara&rsquos son that tarnished its legacy. Shaara&rsquos strengths are his accessible dialogue and John Keegan-esque ability to imagine men&rsquos responses to war.

A still&mdashperhaps increasingly&mdashrelevant examination of Civil War memory in the late 20th century South. Horwitz&rsquos pivot at the midway point to cover a murder trial in Kentucky leads to a serious discussion of race relations that turns this into a book that is not only an entertaining read, but also an important one.

5. Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain (1997)

See my thoughts on the movie version of this novel.

6. Robert Hicks, Widow of the South (2005)

A war novel and an aftermath novel&mdashthe opening chapters feature the senseless and bloody battle of Franklin&mdashthis sensitive portrayal of the ways in which death was the central experience of the war, both for soldiers and civilians, even long after the fighting ended. Although infused with the dying and the dead, the novel is less sad or tragic than elegiac.

There are many groupings of Bierce war stories, but this edition brings them all together. The most piercing portrayal by a participant of the worst human qualities inspired by the war: incoherent loyalty, senseless courage, and inevitable cruelty&mdashwith a touch of the whimsical and a little magical realism.

Not really a Civil War book, but crucial to understanding all other Civil War books. I still assign this to graduate students as an example of historical writing at its best and for its deployment of the concept of irony to the sectional conflict.

9. Bruce Catton, Army of the Potomac Trilogy (Mr. Lincoln's Army [1951], Glory Road [1952], and A Stillness at Appomattox [1953])

Wonderful narratives with what modern readers might find deeper-than expected analyses of both military and political events I&rsquom quite sure these are the books that convinced me that studying history was the bomb.

10. Harold Keith, Rifles for Watie (1957)

Somewhat implausible tale of a teenager helping smuggle guns to the Confederate Cherokee general Stand Watie&mdashbut one of the first Civil War books I read and with a take on a relatively unexplored (in fiction, at least) theaters of the war. It also contains one of the first, admittedly G-rated, make-out scenes I ever read, which I still remember fondly.

James Marten is a professor of history at Marquettte University. His most recent books are Sing Not War: The Lives of Union and Confederate Veterans in Gilded Age America (2011) and America's Corporal: James Tanner in War and Peace (2014).

Every time I think I have discovered something new about Emancipation and Reconstruction, I open up this book and find out that DuBois already got there&mdashback in 1935. A vast survey of the transition from slavery to freedom, the book anticipated what is now the conventional scholarly wisdom about the agency of African Americans in the immediate post-slavery period.

2. Geraldine Brooks, March (2005)

This re-imagining of Little Women&rsquos March family takes as its focus the wartime experience of Mr. March as a Union chaplain. The result is a powerful look at what happens when the idealism of a northerner like March meets the realities of warfare in the South. Brooks does an especially good job of exploring the tangled process of Emancipation experienced and witnessed by March.

The first of two companion books to the monumental digital archive, The Valley of the Shadow (disclosure: I worked on that project long ago), gives us a &ldquoground-level&rdquo view of the war that feels just short of going back in time and experiencing it for ourselves. Ayers beautifully weaves together all the threads of everyday life&mdashpolitical, economic, social&mdashin two communities, never losing sight of the war&rsquos big picture (even when his protagonists could not always see it for themselves).

It&rsquos short for a Civil War book but packs an enormous punch. Dew&rsquos review of the work of the secession commissioners&mdashand in particular, his exposure of their words and arguments&mdashforever dispenses with the question of why the South seceded. No one can deny it was about slavery after reading this book.

My students are often surprised to see that a Civil War American had a sense of humor. But what makes Sam Watkins&rsquo account of his time as a private in Co. H, 1st Tennessee Infantry, through Shiloh and Chickamauga, most poignant is his determination to cut through the romanticization of his fellow 1880s memoirists and get the &ldquoreal war&rdquo&mdashthe drilling, killing, and shooting&mdashinto the books.

6. Eric Foner, The Fiery Trial (2010)

Arguably the best of many books on Abraham Lincoln and emancipation. Foner carefully walks readers through the president&rsquos personal and political evolution on slavery, emancipation, and race, and in the process makes sense of what can seem, at first glance, to be puzzling inconsistencies in the president&rsquos positions.

7. Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)

It&rsquos not ordinarily classified as a &ldquoCivil War&rdquo book, but maybe that&rsquos because we have not paid close enough attention to the ordeal of those who became free in that era. Morrison&rsquos novel offers an enormously powerful meditation on the haunting memories of slavery that lingered long after its destruction.

8. Catherine Clinton and Nina Silber, eds., Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War (1992)

A collection of path-breaking essays exploring how gender shaped the beliefs and the actions of Civil War Americans. Few other books influenced my early development as a historian, and changed the way I look at the past, as much as this one.

This volume from the magisterial series, Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, presents the words and writings of enslaved and newly freed people that for a long time sat inside dusty boxes at the National Archives. Now readers can explore for themselves, through the eyes of those who became free, what it was like to experience emancipation during the Civil War.

We are fortunate to have many vivid diarists of the Civil War, especially women, but I keep coming back to this one. Underwood&rsquos lively, intimate account of living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, reveals what it was like to be part of a prominent slaveholding family that sided with the Union despite its opposition to Lincoln. It&rsquos an account of tangled loyalties and strained relationships in a divided border state, and there&rsquos something about Josie&rsquos voice that keeps me coming back to it. (A second part of the diary was published in the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society in 2014.)

Amy Murrell Taylor is an associate professor of history at the University of Kentucky. Her latest work, Embattled Freedom: Journeys Through the Civil War's Slave Refugee Camps, is due out in 2018.

Watch the video: History of World War 1 in One Take. History Bombs (January 2022).