signing of the Paris peace agreement at Versailles. The opening chords are written and played ff ( fortissimo ) and ‘nobilmente’, but they are unmistakably elegiac, visceral harbingers, that give way to a lonely melancholy descent. In fact, the Adagio – Moderato (first movement) of the concerto alone has embedded within it many of the sentiments associated with the historical ‘moment’, and the sortiesdeguerre , that this book sets out to examine. It is a piece of music imbued with trauma, anger, uncertainty, contemplation, pain, fear, hope, romance, and perhaps
This book explores a particular 1918–20 ‘moment’ in the British Empire’s history, between the First World War’s armistices of 1918, and the peace treaties of 1919 and 1920. That moment, we argue, was a challenging and transformative time for the Empire. While British authorities successfully answered some of the post-war tests they faced, such as demobilisation, repatriation and fighting the widespread effects of the Spanish flu, the racial, social, political and economic hallmarks of their imperialism set the scene for a wide range of expressions of loyalties and disloyalties, and anticolonial movements. The book documents and conceptualises this 1918–20 ‘moment’ and its characteristics as a crucial three-year period of transformation for and within the Empire, examining these years for the significant shifts in the imperial relationship that occurred, and as laying the foundation for later change in the imperial system.
Appropriation, dehumanisation and the rule of colonial difference
that in the context of Africa, British and French colonial subjects ‘did not emerge from their experiences to roil the political landscape with discontent and violence’, I urge for a pluralistic view of the sortiedeguerre phenomenon, where different colonies experienced demobilisation differently, some with more violence than before, and some with not as much.
Such a pluralistic approach first of all acknowledges the unique post-war experiences in the colonies, paving the way for an understanding of political
Understanding Britain’s 1918–20 moment in the Middle East
sometimes tends to be overlooked both by approaches which are exclusively based on war-related matters and by studies on the creation of the Middle Eastern states.
The sortiedeguerre theoretical framework popularised by French scholars in First World War studies helps us to understand this transitional period as being part of both post-war and pre-mandate narratives.
The notion underpins an extension of the time frame of the war, as an event which does not end with
emergence of separatist ideologies in Quebec in the immediate aftermath of the Great War has attracted too little attention, as the main studies in the existing historiography do not elaborate on this issue, or the ‘1918–20 moment’, the focus of this book.
As such, the concept of sortiedeguerre has rarely been applied to Quebec.
To address this lacuna, this chapter focuses on that specific 1918–20 period and argues that the immediate aftermath of the war was a
prevailing realities of the Empire's sortiesdeguerre , how they were anticipated, shaped and experienced, the chapters reveal five key features that define the 1918–20 moment for the British Empire: movement of people, nationalism, race, expansion and control.
The immediate post-war period was a time of large movement of population for the British Empire and mobility in general: movement of troops, material, borders, capital, resources and supplies. The displacement of people had been a hallmark of British imperialism long before the First World War
image of its own making. Although the impact of the First World War on Australia's national selfhood is well-trodden ground, this chapter considers these elements through a novel lens – assessing how what one might call the sortie de pandémie was a key facet of the 1918–20 moment in Australia, as much as the sortiedeguerre . It examines how the ‘coming out of the pandemic’ fundamentally contributed to Australia's ability to differentiate itself from its former metropole and fellow colonies from within the Empire, and incorporated its successes in that experience
Details of numbers of New Zealand servicemen who returned during and after the war can be consulted at https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/public-service-at-war/repatriation-of-returned-servicemen (accessed 3 March 2021).
On Australia's ‘exit’ from the war, for example, see Romain Fathi and Bart Ziino, ‘Coming home: Australians’ sortiesdeguerre after the First World War’, History Australia , 16:1 (2019), 5–19. The process of
enemy in our midst’ from the early days of the war. In this instance, the sortiedeguerre of the British Empire – the 1918–20 moment scrutinised in this book – witnessed a continuation and acceleration of an existing modus operandi: internment and deportation. In Britain and the white dominions, the press had a major role to play in the persecution of Germans,
compared with the situation in, for example, India
or many of the African territories, whether
faire panser en premier lieu’. Voyaye de Noces.
See Vidal-Naquet, Couples dans la Grande Guerre , pp. 479–483. See also B. Cabanes , La victoire endeuill ée. La sortiedeguerre des soldats fran çais 1918–1920 ( Paris : Seuil , 2014 ) and S . Audoin-Rouzeau and C . Prochasson , Sortir de la Grande Guerre. Le monde et l’apr ès-1918 ( Paris : Tallandier , 2015 ).
In France, this tradition started with Jean Norton Cru’s T émoins ( Paris : Les Étincelles , 1929 ) and the shortened version Du Témoignage (Paris