In June 1917, the first 14,000 American Expeditionary Force soldiers landed in Saint-Nazaire, France. Their arrival marked a tectonic shift in global politics, as the United States turned the principled idealism of its progressive era outward in an effort to restructure a broken international system. Over the remaining months of the centennial anniversary of World War I, Carnegie Council will support and publish original research and analyses on the war, its long-term impacts on societies around the world, and its lasting imprint on the present.
World War I ended an era in some ways resembling the current one—remembered for its relative stability, globalizing trends, and economic transformations. Yet, it was also an era marked by dramatic economic and political inequalities, with much of the world's population living under direct imperial administration. The war nourished the seeds of change. It beckoned the last gasps of imperial competition among the European great powers, and triggered the collapse of several longstanding multinational empires. It challenged the validity of monarchical rule and provided a platform for the proponents of global self-governance. The war irrevocably transformed ideas about nationalism, imperialism, collective security, global governance, transnationalism, and great power politics.
Funded with a grant from the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, this project will create up to 10 new non-resident fellowships to conduct original historical research on various aspects of the First World War, breathing new life into this rich history and gleaning lessons, trends, and perspectives obscured to earlier observers. Fellows will also employ their historical studies to shed light on the contours of the modern world—exploring the war's enduring presence in contemporary ethical debate, political discourse, governing institutions, demography, law, international relations, and other relevant areas. They will publish and publicly present their findings in articles and podcasts in the months leading up to Armistice Day, 2018.
With the passing of the last veterans of the Great War, active public remembrance is essential. The "Living Legacy" project will join other centennial initiatives that help rising generations to understand the weight and gravity of this moment in global history; to grapple with the dynamics and dilemmas citizens and their leaders faced; and to discover for themselves the meaning of the war in the past, present, and future.
This project has been made possible with the generous support of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.
ABOUT THE RICHARD LOUNSBERY FOUNDATION
The Richard Lounsbery Foundation aims to enhance national strengths in science and technology through support of a variety of programs in research, education, and public policy. Among its international initiatives, the Foundation has a long-standing priority in Franco-American relations, as Richard Lounsbery was a U.S. Army officer who served in France during World War I. For more, go to www.rlounsbery.org.