Articles on World War I

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These days neither the public nor governments consider passports as a serious obstacle to freedom of movement. Yohmi/Flickr

When world leaders thought you shouldn’t need passports or visas

In the 20th century, governments considered the “total abolition” of passports as an important goal and discussed the issue in several international conferences.
A hundred years later, the magnitude of the Battle of Somme can still be felt. Newzulu

Friday essay: the Battle of the Somme and the death of martial glory

A hundred years ago today, the Battle of the Somme began. This conflict, in which a million men died in order to move the front lines about six miles, spelled the end of courage as a cornerstone of masculine identity.
A new exhibition gives us an insight into the daily life – and language – of Australian soldiers in World War One. Courtesy of University of Melbourne Archives, University of Melbourne.

Dinky-di Aussies: how slanguage helped form a new national identity

When Australians went to the Western Front, language failed them. So they invented slanguage: a mix of slang, French words and creative swearing that, among other things, gave us the word "Aussie".
The century since the first world war is littered with the broken promises of Muslim rulers to bring about a transition to more representative forms of government. AAP/Asmaa Abdelatif

How the political crises of the modern Muslim world created the climate for Islamic State

The rise of Islamic State and its declaration of the caliphate can be read as part of a wider story that has unfolded since the formation of modern nation states in the Muslim world.
A flag-waving Islamic State fighter takes part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province. Reuters/Stringer

Understanding Islamic State: where does it come from and what does it want?

How far back in history does one have to go to find the roots of the so-called Islamic State? The first article in our series on the genesis of the terrorist outfit considers some fundamentals.

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