Editor Danielle Scrimshaw Subeditors Michael Anderson Christine Latham Rebecca McGrath Maya Pilbrow Contributors Georgia Comte, Meghan Grech, Elizabeth Haigh, Tim Lilley, Maggy Liu, Maya Pilbrow, Alexandra Runge, Jade Smith, Brendan Tam, Tori Waqanaceva-Simpson, Noah Wellington Cover Zoe Stephens
Chariot is the undergraduate history journal of the University of Melbourne. The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the university, the printers or the editors. Chariot is printed by Printgraphics, care of Nigel Quirk. All writing and artwork remains the property of the creators. Art by Alexandra Runge
CONTENTS 2 Editorial 4 A Brief and Incomplete History Jade Smith of the History Society 6 Courtly Love for the Battlefield Noah Wellington 8 The Harrowingly True Life of a Elizabeth Haigh Venetian Courtesan 11 Circumcision in Italian Renaissance Tori Waqanaceva-Simpson Art: An Hellenistic Influence 16 Prix de Rome, 1787 Georgia Comte 19 The Falls Tim Lilley 24 Across the Ditch: New Zealand’s Maggy Liu Treaty 28 Lenin’s Leadership in the October Brendan Tam Revolution 34 “While You Are Away”: The Impact of the Meghan Grech Second World War on Women’s Household Roles 40 Religious Nationalism in a Multifaith Maya Pilbrow Society: A Quick Study of Hindu Nationalism 42 Conformity and Dissent: Youth in the United Jade Smith States and the Soviet Union, 1960s-1970s 48 More Than This Noah Wellington
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was this magazine. It’s been a year in the making and would have remained a flurry of ideas being tossed around within the noisy walls of Lot 6 if it weren’t for the efforts of countless people. Chariot is the undergrad history journal of the University of Melbourne, produced by the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies and including work by both history and non-history students alike. Welcome! Thanks for picking up this darling copy. I was admittedly nervous when submissions first opened – what if everyone sent essays on the same topic or era? What if we only received work from straight white men and Chariot would only contribute to history’s reputation of being a typically male-dominated field of study? What if nobody sent anything?? Thankfully all these worries came to nothing, and I was delightfully surprised by some of the areas of interest our contributors chose to write about. Chariot is formatted as a timeline, with the intention that if you read each piece in order you will be taken through the middle ages, to the Renaissance, to the Cold War era. There’s Noah Wellington’s poetry that challenges medieval heteronormativity, Meghan Grech’s essay While You Are Away that will make you reconsider whether World War Two was wholly liberating for women, Tori Waqanaceva-Simpson’s analysis of circumcision in Renaissance art, and so much more. I’m beyond proud of each piece’s diversity and intelligence, and hope you enjoy reading them.
Endless thanks to Jenny Spinks, Una McIlvenna and Katherine Ellinghaus for their continuous support and encouragement, and of course for letting me edit Chariot in the first place. Thanks also to all the history staff that promoted the magazine in their lectures and tutorials, and to the UniMelb History Society for having my back! Thank you to all the contributors who put in their time, effort and passion so that Chariot could become what it is today. To everybody who submitted their work and helped subedit – you’re the best and I cherish you all. Huge shout out also to Amie Green for patiently answering thousands of questions and being the calming presence to my waves of panic. And of course, thank you for picking up this magazine and making it this far. Now go and read the rest – I promise you won’t regret it.
Much love always, Danielle Scrimshaw
Photography by Maggy Liu
A BRIEF AND INCOMPLETE HISTORY OF THE HISTORY SOCIETY When I started at the University of Melbourne, it didn’t make sense to me that there wasn’t a club or society for history. I saw the Art History Society, to whom I associated NGV trips and heated discussions about why medieval babies look like that. I saw the Classics and Archaeology Society, to whom I attached The Secret History-esque cultic pretention, and/or the requirement to own at least one Indiana Jones hat. And yet, there was no group for what is (arguably) the parent discipline of both Art History and Archaeology. While my initial images of these two societies did prove to be erroneous at best (although I’m still voting for the introduction of an Indiana Jones hat rule), they still didn’t quite fill that history-shaped hole. And so, when Jenny Spinks – Hansen Senior Lecturer in History – sent out an email to garner interest in starting a UniMelb History Society, I was elated. A bright-eyed first year, excited to leave the mechanistic trappings of VCE History behind and interact with the discipline in a dynamic, genuine way, I jumped at the chance to hold a position on the Founding General Committee as a social media coordinator. Here began an odd purgatory for the club, while we piggy-backed off other clubs’ events (massive thanks to the Film Soc for the movie night) and yet didn’t officially exist, as far as UMSU standards go. Eventually, thanks to the diligent work of the interim presidents, the UMSU Clubs and Societies Committee affiliated the University of Melbourne History Society on the 17th of November 2017. We officially existed, and at the annual general meeting (AGM) I was voted president. My speech at that election focused on inclusivity, grass-roots history, and making a conscious effort to not exclusively tell the traditional, orthodox histories of wealthy straight white men. It’s from this ethos that I hope to shape the first year of the History Society’s affiliation. I want this to be a space where everyone – from first year students, to post-graduates, to biomed students – can make friends and get academic support, and just generally have a good time. I want us to have a constant presence, both digital and physical, and for this presence to harken back to that value of inclusivity. I want the History Society to endure, and to always be for, by, and about the diverse group of people that constitute it. It’s here that I want to make a brief aside. Once, an equivalent group existed at the University of Melbourne. A friend told me the other day about how she met a man from her home
town who, back in the 1980s, had been president of the History Society at Melbourne Uni. This made me curious. From what I can gather from my surface-level research, the University of Melbourne Historical Society was founded in 1893, and then disappeared. It was reformed in 1914 and from there the trajectory is unclear, but documents consistently exist from this point until 1987. What happened in 1987? To answer this question, a foray into the physical archives, and some interviews with people who were (a) alive, and (b) at the University during that time would be required. Maybe, by this time next year, I’ll have answered that question. Did the University of Melbourne Historical Society, in either its 1893 or 1914 incarnation, care about diversity? Did they care whether women, and people of colour, and LGBTQ+ people, and people from any and every walk of life had a place in their collective? Maybe, but it seems unlikely, given that in 1914 no residential colleges for women existed, and notorious anti-Indigenous eugenicist Richard Berry was Head of the Anatomy department. As history students, we often have a tendency to look at the past like it holds all the answers. However, let us here, in this instance, look at the past as a curiosity, rather than as something that should have a tangible bearing on our present. The University of Melbourne History Society is a modern collective with a keen interest in the past. But we are not and do not aim to embody that past. Will we make mistakes? Inevitably. But let’s try and learn from these, and move towards finally and permanently filling that history-shaped hole in the Clubs & Societies roster. Really, this is the start of history. This is the start of the history of the University of Melbourne History Society – every person reading this is a part of that and has the power to shape what this club becomes. We’re here, and we hopefully won’t be going anywhere soon. Thanks for making history, Jade Smith UniMelb History Society President
COURTLY LOVE FOR Noah Wellington
ATTRACTION TO THE LADY, USUALLY VIA GLANCE eyes Petrarch-weak from battle, what were you to do when you saw him shining? like being struck, is this not what the poets poured their blood out in ink over? as with a spear, you are run through to the core what an excellent knight, to kill with a glance WORSHIP OF THE LADY FROM AFAR you are careful not to stray too close, you let yourself toe the line of death to see his whirling strength and bend your eye away when his head turns and his eyes hold yours. he is no less deadly, from a distance. DECLARATION OF PASSIONATE DEVOTION fires burn where your fingers graze the inside of a captivating wrist sparks flood between glances when they meet, and meet again his banner is lodged between your ribs and you are sure he senses it there. VIRTUOUS REJECTION BY THE LADY you kiss him, and it feels like the fireside songs you kiss him, and hear the poets sing you kiss him, and he bolts without a glance you kiss him, and you are left alone.
RENEWED WOOING WITH OATHS OF VIRTUE AND ETERNAL FEALTY you hesitate, just as you are not supposed to in battle slowly, you circle closer you catch his eye, and hold it you do not have the luxury of indifference MOANS OF APPROACHING DEATH FROM UNSATISFIED DESIRE (AND OTHER PHYSICAL MANIFESTATIONS OF LOVESICKNESS) if what they have told you of love is true, you always expected to ache, but when each part of you floods with fire and waves crash through your stomach, you call him killer once more and groan for one touch. HEROIC DEEDS OF VALOUR WHICH WIN THE LADY’S HEART with the taste of copper between your teeth you flee Hell with your world heavy in your arms, bearing him from the battlefield as Lot from Sodom, brimstone at your back and fire in your heart. CONSUMMATION OF THE SECRET LOVE you are both formed and born of battles you are ringing swords and dripping blood and clashing shields reared in war and born to bleed when you collide and feel peace, the feeling is foreign. ENDLESS ADVENTURES AND SUBTERFUGES AVOIDING DETECTION you chase each other over battlefields until they paint you side by side and adhere to Capellanus as to God; love rarely lasts when revealed. the home of love is every shadow-dripping corridor and fear of footsteps you will go to ruin for this and think Troy fell for less.
Content Warning: â&#x20AC;&#x2020;sex, abortion (mention)
THE HARROWINGLY TRUE LIFE OF A VENETIAN COURTESAN Words and graphics by Elizabeth Haigh During the Renaissance the sex trade could be found throughout Europe, but the Venetian sex industry was particularly infamous. Although sex workers were abundant, the elite men of Venice were highly concerned with their status and could not be seen to be involved with lower-class women. The answer to this problem came in the form of courtesans. For aristocratic men it was highly unusual for them to be married until they became of political age, which was usually around the age of 27. Given that Venice is a Catholic city, it was important for the elite to uphold the values of the Church and show the lower classes how to behave, including by remaining a virgin until they were married. However, many aristocratic men decided that 27 was just too long of a wait and were usually sexually active prior to marriage. Their title, however, was still a major concern, and many wealthy men struggled to find an appropriate sexual partner without dishonouring themselves or their family. This conundrum was solved through hiring courtesans, or in other words, up-market sex workers. Courtesans were well-dressed, intelligent, talented in music and writing, and provided company as well as sexual gratification. They proved a convenient way for aristocratic men to experience sex without dishonouring a noblewoman or being involved with a woman of a lower class. Hence, courtesans were, in a way, a class of their own, although never accepted as a part of the aristocracy. A courtesan usually begun her career by working as a regular sex worker, although there are some cases where women were trained to be a courtesan (usually by a family member). An example is the famous Veronica Franco, whose mother inducted her into the profession.
Once they gained their courtesan status they were able to charge high prices for their services, which, along with their whereabouts, were advertised in the Catalogue of the Principal and Most Honourable Courtesans of Venice (Catalogo di tutte le Principal et più Honorate Cortigiane di Venetia). In this booklet the names, whereabouts and prices of the city’s courtesans were recorded so that travellers knew where to go if they wanted to hire a more elite prostitute. Since they could charge high prices, many courtesans could afford to live in great splendour, often owning or renting a large Palazzo where they could entertain clients. Their wealth also meant that they could afford expensive clothing, food and other luxuries. Wealth also allowed them more freedom than most Venetian women, as they did not have to obey a husband, a father, or the rules of a convent; they were free to be their own master. Unfortunately, though, the free and rich life of a courtesan was a short lived one. Being sex workers, courtesans were at high risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. During the Renaissance, syphilis swept through Europe and is believed to have been the cause of over five million deaths. At the time, syphilis was incurable. It appeared as large pustules all over the body, with the victim dying within a few months of contracting the disease. For courtesans this disease was a double burden as not only was it grotesque, but they could no longer practise their trade due to the physical effects that syphilis caused (such as loss of skin). Becoming pregnant was another threat to a courtesan’s career. Given their work, it was almost always inevitable that a courtesan would become pregnant at least once – with many having multiple pregnancies. While a courtesan was pregnant she could not work, leaving her without income for months at a time. After several pregnancies it became increasingly hard to continue their work, and there was also the emotional and economic burden of providing for their children. Some courtesans kept their children, many babies were sent to orphanages, and it is also highly likely that many women aborted their babies. After multiple pregnancies, and having avoided death during childbirth or from syphilis, if the lady had not already died from giving birth, her career would shortly be over, for a body that has been through several pregnancies was not considered to be worth paying for. Another often overlooked danger to courtesans was being accused of practising witchcraft. Being a Catholic city, the knowledge of a woman’s reputation as seductresses was well known. The Catholic concept comes from Genesis 3:6 where Eve is portrayed as seducing Adam into eating the
forbidden fruit. From this the idea of the evil seductress was born, and many believed that sex workers and courtesans possessed the power to seduce innocent men, just as Eve had seduced Adam. Veronica Franco herself was accused of being a witch in 1580 after a man named Ridolfo Vannitelli accused her of practising heretical magical incantations in her house. Her trial was conducted in the inquisitorial style – meaning that there were no witnesses, just a series of interrogations by the Inquisitor. Franco acknowledged that she had chanted incantations but claimed to have been doing so because it was a fashionable superstition to practice; not because she was a witch. Due to there being neither evidence nor witnesses, the accusations against Franco were dismissed, but the fact that one man’s suspicion resulted in an interrogation shows how quick the government was to react to complaints about courtesans. Although it is unlikely that Franco would have been found guilty – considering that most women charged with using sorcery lived in remote areas of the Venetian Republic – she was still extremely lucky to have not been found guilty, as the punishment for sorcery was to be burned alive. Although being a courtesan during the Renaissance allowed a woman relative independence – offering the opportunity to be financially autonomous and to have control of her own life – the long-term consequences of being a sex worker overshadowed these short-term benefits. If, despite the threats of syphilis, death during childbirth, or execution for practising witchcraft, a courtesan managed to live to an old age, her career would nonetheless have been short lived because their clients were only interested in youthful women. Hence, the wealthy lifestyle that courtesans are often associated with occupied only a short period of their lives, with the reality being that many courtesans died in impoverished circumstances, leaving them in an equally vulnerable state as other Venetian women.
References Fortini-Brown, Patricia. “A Paradise of Venice.” In Private Lives in Renaissance Venice: Art, Architecture, and the Family. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2004. Margaret Rosenthal, Dana and David Dornsife. “Inquisition Trials”. College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, last modified 2013, http://dornsife.usc.edu/veronica-franco/inquisition-trials/ Moen, Juliann. Basic Health Care Series: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD). India: Vij Books India Pvt Ltd, 2017. Rocke, Michael. “Gender and Sexual Culture in Renaissance Italy.” In Gender and Society in Renaissance Italy, ed. J. Brown and R.C Davis. London & New York: Longman, 1998. Rosenthal, Margaret. The Honest Courtesan: Veronica Franco Citizen and Writer in SixteenthCentury Venice. Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press, 1992. “The Renaissance and the Italian Witch-Trials.” Washington and Lee University, last modified 2017, http://witchhunts.academic.wlu.edu/the-renaissance-an-explanation-for-the-cautious-italian-witchtrials/
CIRCUMCISION IN ITALIAN RENAISSANCE ART: A HELLENISTIC INFLUENCE Tori Waqanaceva-Simpson
Perhaps one of the understated influences of Hellenism in the Italian Renaissance is the intact foreskin. Although it appears quite obviously in Michelangelo’s David, and other depictions of nudity in Renaissance artwork, its meaning and reasons for inclusion are seldom considered. Circumcision’s history is elaborate and encompassing, with origins among the ancient Egyptians and Indigenous Australians. During the Renaissance, it was routinely practiced by the religions of Judaism and Islam, having being denounced by Christianity. Large opposition also came from the ancient Greeks, who were opposed to circumcision and likened it to barbarism and primitiveness. The ancient Greeks, which Hellenism refers, embodied the aesthetic influences of a changing Roman elite. The Hellenistic ideology of bodily aesthetics can be viewed on many red-figure paintings and literature asserting the benefits of the prepuce (foreskin). This view of circumcision would have flowed into the evaluation and translation of ancient Greek works throughout the Renaissance and perhaps had been the reason why so many nude figures were created with foreskins. The following essay will delve into the history of circumcision and its influence on Hellenistic views in Renaissance artwork, particularly Michelangelo’s David and Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. Circumcision’s origins can be traced back to approximately 2,400 BC in ancient Egypt, where bas-relief carvings depict the surgery. Gollaher’s History of Circumcision (2001) provides great detail into the ritual practiced by the Egyptians, describing it as a rite of passage and “an opportunity for a youth, on the threshold of manhood, to demonstrate his mastery over bodily pain.” Further evidence suggests that circumcision was practiced religiously and socially, with the elite of Egyptian society requesting priests to circumcise their sons. Beyond its symbolic meaning, the Egyptians may have also practiced it as a means of cleansing the body to prevent smegma (malodorous secretions that can build up between the foreskin and the glans), which gives circumcision a medicinal purpose. It is particularly interesting to note that Pythagoras (570-501 BC) had himself circumcised, perhaps in alignment with the ancient Egyptians whom he rigorously studied. This opposes the predominating Greek view of body modification, which Herodotus (484-425 BC) remarks in regards to the Egyptians: “Their concern for cleanliness also explains why they practise circumcision, since they value cleanliness more than comeliness.” It is widely understood that circumcision was adopted by the Patriarch of Judaism, Abraham, from ancient Egypt. This transition can also be linked to the event of Moses crossing the
Red Sea, leading the Israelites to freedom and re-establishing their religion of Abraham. In Genesis, it is stated that Abraham was instructed by God to circumcise himself and all males among him as a sign of the covenant between them. The act of circumcision symbolised submission and a somewhat permanent promise to God, although there are later accounts of Jewish men attempting to undo the effects of circumcision. This was most common during revolts with the Greeks and Romans where circumcised Jewish men were easily identifiable. Possible reasons for the opposition to circumcision by the Greeks was its view as a mutilation to the human form and the lack of modesty the removal of the foreskin gave to the penis, which was particularly important during athletic tournaments and could be quite embarrassing for Jewish participants. Hodges (2001) writes in The Ideal Prepuce in Ancient Greece and Rome that the Greeks and Romans viewed circumcision as a “barbaric” and “mindless” mutilation, which gives grounds for its criminalisation as the Roman Imperial administrations were “charged with the self-imposed task of civilising the known world.” The Greeks’ admiration for the foreskin could be seen through artistic interpretations and medical literature. In Greek vase painting, where phalluses were present the prepuce was depicted with great length and always shown to cover the glans of the penis (even when erect). In medical literature, the uncircumcised penis is further praised by Galen, a Greek physician and surgeon in the Roman Empire who remarks that the prepuce is among the most useful and brilliant parts of the body. Greek philosophers Aristotle and Hippocrates both reference the understood medical view at the time of it being impossible to grow or reunite a circumcised man, although in later centuries it was proved that there was some form of repair. As these conflicting views between the Greco-Romans and the Jewish community clashed, Rabbis faced a growing number of Jewish men attempting to undo their circumcisions. This prompted the stricter Rabbis to cut more from the foreskin and prevent possible repair. The ancient Roman laws forbidding circumcision (which issued a penalty of death) were eventually amended to allow Jewish men to continue the practice, however anyone outside the religion who practiced circumcision would suffer the punishment of castration. Throughout these conflicts, Jesus Christ was born and circumcised although conversely, it would not factor into Christianity. The event of Christ’s circumcision inspired many artworks and poems, some likening it to a precursor to his death on the cross and others praising the foreskin of Christ, which was believed to be one of the most sacred Christian relics in medieval Christendom. Despite the popularity of Christ’s circumcision, the ritual was never implemented into Christianity. Gollaher cites the apostle Paul, and his possible motives for denouncing the practice of circumcision in Christianity. The main reasons involve Paul’s understanding that “requiring circumcision would vastly inhibit the appeal of his gospel”, and therefore reinterpreted physical circumcision to something that is performed spiritually, and offered that Jesus Christ “fulfilled the law, and this fulfillment rendered circumcision irrelevant in the eye of God.” This of course would greatly increase Christianity’s appeal to the Romans, Greeks and eventually most of Western Europe. The resulting expansion and dominance of Christendom invoked a yearning for classical texts, which was realised in the burgeoning Renaissance. As early as 1354, Italian Humanist Francesco Petrarch was writing to Byzantium, requesting the works of Homer. The presence of Greek literature in Italy was centred in Florence and flourished along with Humanism. This was despite many scholars not knowing Greek and requiring Byzantine translators to assist in the Latin conversion. One of the most prominent humanist authors and intellectuals to be taught Greek in Florence was Leonardo Bruni (1370-1444), who became an apostolic secretary to the papal court and eventually chancellor
of Florence. Fortunately for the Greek scholars, Pope Eugenius IV (1431-47) and his successor Pope Nicholas V (1447-55) encouraged the assimilation of “Greek heritage into the Latin West.” This was nothing new however, as there had always been a relationship between the Romans and Greeks, going as far back as Rome’s second king, Numa Pompilius (753-673 BC), who was a pupil of Pythagoras. However, Whitmarsh (2010) reported that “Roman responses to Hellenism consisted of a complex and partly incoherent mixture of adoption, adaptation, imitation, rejection and prohibition.” Horace (65-27 BC) also makes the following point, providing further insight into the relationship between the Greeks and Romans: Greece, conquered Greece, her conqueror subdued, And Rome grew polished, who till then was rude. This could perhaps be interpreted as Greece conquering Rome with its ideologies and lifestyles of “softness, pleasure and luxury”, which conflicted with Rome’s moral code of grauitas and the mos maiorum. The theme here is not the conflict between Rome and Greece, but its long and interwoven history, both influencing (and sometimes dominating) the other. The resurgence of Hellenism in the Italian Renaissance has been explained in three events by Whitmarsh: “First, libraries underwent a process of expansion and consolidation, so that it came to seem a sign of prestige for a library not only to be large in terms of the number of texts, but also monumental and permanent… the second development, the invention of printing with moveable type … finally the fall of Constantinople in 1453 served as powerful symbolic evidence of a cultural transfer that had been going on for sometime.” The Renaissance was also heavily influenced by the sprouting ideology of Humanism which was based on the works of Aristotle, Cicero and other non-Christian texts. Bartlett (2000) explains that the Humanist movement altered the view of “saintly poverty” into wealth being “intrinsically good because it supported the civic life.” These dominating influences and ideologies of Humanism with the approval of wealth, would have closely aligned to the luxuries and pleasures that encompassed Hellenism and helped shape the Italian Renaissance and the artwork it crafted. Michelangelo’s David (1504) is a particularly interesting statue for its obvious lack of circumcision for a Jewish man. Paoletti (2015) notes that Michelangelo (1475-1564) incorporated many variances between his David and other biblical representations. Despite the statue’s sheer size (which may be ironic considering David’s battle against the giant Goliath), Paoletti remarks on the “worried look”
which contrasts with the biblical narrative of David’s self-confidence. Further interpretations of the anomalies of the statue, involving the “age, nudity, [and] suppression of attributes” lead Paoletti to remark that it would be difficult to identify this figure as the biblical hero David, if a person was viewing it for the first time. Paoletti does not comment on the lack of circumcision but attempts to explain these variations: By changing David from self-assured boy to fearful young man, by splitting the pre- sentation of the figure between body and head, and by removing the conventional attributes of the biblical David, Michelangelo removed the possibility of our reading the statue in a simplistic manner as an illustration of the story, thereby forcing a wider metaphorical reading that must have operated on both personal and public levels. David was a part of a sculptural program of Old Testament prophets commencing around 1408 and commissioned for the Cathedral of Florence. As it was to be located in a communal public space, Paoletti argues that its creation would have been bound by “propagandistic requirements”. In 1442, circumcision was cited in the Papal Bull of Union with the Copts which reiterated the Church’s stance against the practice: “Therefore, it strictly orders all who glory in the name of Christian, not to practise circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation.” It is perhaps paradoxical that the Catholic Church would denounce circumcision, yet the circumcision of Christ was still a popular topic for artists to paint. This may be interpreted as Christianity being content with observing circumcision from afar and aligning with Hellenistic and Humanist ideologies of the natural form of the body. The study of the human form can be observed in Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man portraying the ideology of “man as a symbolic microcosm”. The drawing also provides a scale using foot and palm measurements and displays Leonardo’s commitment to detailed and accurate representation. Leonardo took inspiration from Roman architect Vitruvius who “used the human figure as an expression of harmony in the Creation.” The naked form of the man in the drawing appears to have an uncircumcised penis, although it is not as obvious as David. This decision, if it was made consciously, may have been created to represent the prevailing views of antiquity, and Hellenism in particular, throughout the Renaissance. Conversely, this decision might have been equally influenced by the Church and its views on circumcision. It is difficult to decisively comment as there has been minimal literature surrounding the topic of circumcision in the Renaissance. With so much of the Renaissance linked to the study of antiquity and that of Hellenism and
the Bible, it would have been quite astonishing if Michelangelo had circumcised David. Circumcision’s origins in the Patriarchy with Abraham, and the covenant it holds within Judaism appeared as a barbaric ritual to the ancient Greek and Roman outsiders. These dividing views are perhaps one of the main reasons why circumcision was deemed unnecessary in Christianity, as the apostle Paul interpreted the covenant as spiritual rather than physical, which greatly increased its appeal to the Greeks and Romans. The idea of the natural human form and modesty contributed to the principals of Hellenism and when combined with the Catholic church’s view on circumcision, it was no coincidence that the naked images of Michelangelo’s David and Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man appear to be uncircumcised.
Bibliography Bartlett, Kenneth. A Short History of the Italian Renaissance. University of Toronto Press, 2000. Celenza, Christopher S. Hellenism in the Renaissance. The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies, 2009. Dover, K. J. Greek Homosexuality. London: Duckworth, 1978. Eugenius IV, Pope. Bull of union with the Copts. Ecumenical Council of Florence (1438-1445): Ses sion 11-4 February 1442. Gollaher, David. Circumcision: A History Of The World’s Most Controversial Surgery. New York: Basic Books, 2001. Hodges, Frederick. “The Ideal Prepuce in Ancient Greece and Rome.” Bulletin of the History of Medi cine 75 (2001): 375-405. Lee, Mireille M. Body, Dress and Identity in Ancient Greece. Cambridge University Press, 2015. Murtinho, Vitor. “Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man Drawing: A New Interpretation Looking at Leonardo’s Geomateric Constructions.” Nexus Network Journal 17 (2015): 507-524. Paoletti, John T. Michelangelo’s David. Cambridge University Press, 2015. Thom, Johan C. “The Journey Up and Down: Pythagoras in Two Greek Apologists.” Church History 58 (1989): 302-303. Whitmarsh, Tim. Hellenism. The Oxford Handbook of Roman Studies, 2010. Zanda, Emanuela. Fighting hydra-like luxury. Bristol Classical Press, 2011.
PRIX DE ROME, 1787 Georgia Comte The opulent salon carre, housed in the Louvre, was fit to burst with chatter. Words ebbed on tidal currents that flowed from one end of the room to the other, so that at any one time, many conversations could be carried intermittently between two or three distinct groups. Among the crowd – the intellectual beaux mondes – there were several prestigious painters and architects. Academicians only, as was traditional. Merit’s arm could only extend so far when one desired to live in Rome on the King’s coin. The throng swelled when the double doors opened, parting before a group of fresh-faced, haughty students. Though they were mostly between the ages of nineteen and twenty-two, these boys already took on the appearance of full grown men, guided at their tail by a gentleman who had not yet deigned to wipe the charcoal from his fingers. The dark smears had touched the cuffs of his sleeves, dusting them in fine black grime, though he seemed not to notice, or else didn’t care. This was far from his dimly lit studio, which was always packed with easels and students, strewn with canvas and broken pencils. He had been in the room for no more than a moment, yet his expression was already contorted by a perpetual grimace. Those present to witness his entrance were familiar with that unfortunate leer. It was not distaste for the institution – though he possessed that in spades – rather, his mouth was set by an obtrusive growth in his cheek that interfered with the movement of his lips. His dark eyes beadily appraised the crowd before they swept briefly, disdainfully, over the walls. This insouciant man was Jacques-Louis David. He had passed through the hands of old Boucher, who had taught him warmth and feeling, to Vien before becoming an incessant blight on the Royal Academy from there onward. He had entered the Prix de Rome thrice in his own indenture to the academy without success. By the time he had won in 1774 the prestige had long worn off. Distaste flowered swiftly in David. His students had inherited both his expert style and cool indifference. The year before had yielded no clear winner simply because all the best entrants were drawn from his crop of nouveau classicists. For this reason, his name was a sigh on the lips of the few faculty assembled at the foot of Girodet’s sensuous rendition. This year, entrants were to bring to life the execution of Zedekiah’s children ordered by Nebuchadnezzar. It was obvious at a glance that Girodet was a student of David’s – his painting reeked of him. Girodet and the hollow cane he used to smuggle his proofs from David’s studio to his own had been disqualified already. Though he was clearly not yet aware of it. They avoided greeting David, taking their exit before he could approach, though he made no attempt to. This didn’t faze the painter, instead he began leading his students around the salon to
observe the other works collected there. A boy with mousy overgrown hair extended both hands to take his master’s hat. He was the youngest of the assembled students and, to avoid his older peers, fell into the footprints David left behind. Gros was fresh from the Collège Mazarin, and his indecisiveness was a source of constant frustration both for his teacher and himself. He had entered the artist’s atelier at fourteen, and despite this early intervention, was still lacking the necessary confidence two years on. Aside from his depiction of horses, which remained his favourite subject, Gros had yet to grasp the precepts of classical painting. Among the others dotted across the cramped salon, David recognised Fragonard and aggressively adjusted his course to avoid him. Though this brought him into contact with his rival, François-André Vincent, standing by his round-faced protégé, Meynier. They had met under the tutelage of Vien and been in competition ever since. David and Vincent only exchanged brief, courteous nods. Neither Gros nor any of David’s other students spared a glance for Meynier, who watched them pass in a flurry of dark coats, flushed to the tips of his ears. “You should have seen Drouais and his Marius. Now there is a painting fit for the Prix de Rome,” David said, his gaze turned toward Gros with the same dispassion. Drouais, David’s very own budding Raphael, was abroad in Italy with two pistols at his waist to ward off brawlers, but he had completed Marius at Minturnae the year before. Since its relocation to Paris for a brief time in January, it was all David would talk about. Gros indulged the habit, perhaps too timid to sneer when his master’s back was turned. The other students, however, exchanged knowing looks. Girodet, whose bird-boned hands extended to highlight his piece in self-adulation, turned a knowing smirk toward the man at his side. Fabre, the recipient of that feline smile, was a fellow student. He was significantly shorter, with a sharp cleft in his chin that made his serious lips appear almost crooked. He glared at Girodet unabashedly. Both had been near winners the year before, and when no award had been bestowed, their mutual resentment festered. They had worked for two months on their pieces, isolated in their own respective studios, and now all that remained was the final judgement. David, in the interest of seeming impartial, gave no indication of which he preferred, much to the frustration of both. It was not, after all, up to him. A thinly veiled excuse. “It received a favourable position, unsurprisingly,” Girodet remarked, earning another steely look from Fabre, who, short of grinding his teeth, had clenched his jaw vice-tight. “It’s no Marius, though, is it?” Fabre retorted, smug at Girodet’s faltering expression. Drouais was a sore spot for all of them, but no one was more infuriated by the mention of him than Girodet. The competition among David’s students had always been ferocious, exacerbated by their sense of superiority and their master’s faint neglect, leaving only each other to turn on. These two were particularly merciless, and Girodet, more paranoid than any other, was sure Fabre had already won David’s favour. This, then, would solve it once and for all. “I do not see your work anywhere, Fabre. It must simply be lost among the others,” Girodet sniffed, taking a few steps in the opposite direction to escape any possible reply. Fabre only smiled. David ignored the exchange in favour of examining one of the paintings, high strung, in an exquisitely gilded frame. It bordered offensively on Rococo in the fullness of the figures positioned in the foreground, and it disturbed his classical sensibilities enough that he planted a hand on Gros’ shoulder to urge him on. The Leroux sisters – both recommended to him by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – were quick to follow, their movement curtailing the remainder of
David’s pupils, forcing them into the lesser space at the rear. It was only David’s testimony on the quality of their character that allowed them to stay on at the Academy. They were among the mere handful of women in the room that hadn’t come to accompany their husbands. After a single circuit, David felt he had seen enough. He halted, leaning back against the wall, arms loosely crossed in a faintly impatient gesture. It was a formality. The paintings had already been examined by the faculty, now they were left to await the announcement of winners. The best painters would place, receive the promised bursary, and a position at the French Academy in Rome. It would be one of his students; he had decided as much after looking at the other entries. Across the salon, Cochin spotted David and his disciples. He hesitated only a moment before coming to stand beside the master wordlessly. Cochin was a painter himself, though better known for his writing and engravings. His countenance was mild, though his wide eyes and long nose gave him the profile of a startled Kentish plover. Silence fell as the doors opened once again. Finally, the judges emerged from their deliberation, filing out in solemn rows to stand in the very centre of the room. They were headed by Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre, acting director, who spoke on the judge’s behalf. Pierre admitted that it had been a very near thing. Two paintings, similar in their execution but vastly different in their composition, had captured the essence of the historical moment exceptionally. However, it was Fabre, not Girodet, who ensnared the imagination of the head academicians. Fabre visibly crackled, ecstatic. He stepped forward to accept when he was caught by the arm. Girodet, burning beneath his skin, his face ruddy. “Congratulations,” he said, the word clipped, wrenched from him. Fabre simply nodded, patting his hand in mock sympathy before he passed him by. Fabre’s insincerity only served to stoke the fire. Girodet whirled around to face his teacher, but David gave nothing away. He simply raised both dark brows. “Perhaps next time.” He was already reaching to take his hat from Gros, as if it were nothing. His nonchalance triggered a Vesuvian eruption in Girodet. “You knew!” he burst, chest heaving, hands trembling at his sides. David had chosen Fabre. He must have. He had helped in some way, how else? Fabre’s skill was no more honed than his own. His piece had been inharmonious, and with half of the preparation Girodet himself had had. It was not possible. “If it were Drouais –” “That is more than enough, Girodet,” Cochin interjected before master and student could squabble, sensing the thunder cloud darkening above David’s head. It was Girodet who stormed out of the salon, upending a silver platter piled with diluted wine as he flung the door open. The shattering of crystal made Gros flinch, but David remained marble still. “Well done, Fabre.”
THE FALLS Tim Lilley
It was a sultry Saturday afternoon on January 11th, 1845, when a little boy of eight or nine and his elder sister went to play at the Yarra Falls. The Falls stood about 8 km upstream from the mouth of the Yarra River, at the end of today’s Market Street. Here, a row of basalt boulders jutted out 60-70 cm above the water, remnants of Victoria’s spectacular period of volcanic activity that had concluded some 7,500 years prior. Since then, the Indigenous people of the Kulin Nation – the Woiwurrung, Boon Wurrung, Wathaurong, Taungurung, and Dja Dja Wurrung – had crossed the Yarra here, and met on its banks to conduct ceremonies, trade, marriages and business. But the Falls were unforgiving. So strong were the rapids created by the rush of water over them that a natural basin, deep and wide, had formed downstream, which Europeans named ‘the Pond.’ But the little boy was having too much fun to recognise the danger; to heed his sister’s command to come home right now, lest she tell Mamma what a disobedient boy he was. As his sister looked back in the hope he was following her home, she let out a shriek of horror. In his haste to chase after her, her brother had fallen into the river. Alerted by her screams, several Kooris ran to the river bank and struggled in vain to rescue him from the rapids, but so strong was the current that within moments, he was swept away. Five days later, his body washed up on the river’s south bank, 12 yards below the Falls. Today, few Melbournians know that the Yarra Falls ever existed, let alone that a young boy drowned there in 1845. Like the Dreamtime world of the Kooris – Melbourne’s Indigenous peoples – they have fallen under the shroud of the past. Yet the Falls, and the boy, are both inextricably linked to the story of the development of the urban jungle that we today call Melbourne. They are symbols of two very different societies with diametrically opposed understandings of the relationship between humans and nature. The Falls and the boy remind us, too, of nature’s supremacy, and humans’ inability, as part of it, to ever overcome it. When Europeans arrived in 1835 at the site of Melbourne, they found a place unrecognisable to today’s residents. The landscape reflected the culmination of 400 million years of tectonic activity, which had transformed the Melbourne Trough, once deep underwater, into a bountiful paradise. Contemporary author Edmund Finn described the Yarra as “a stream shrouded in romance, and wrapped in a grand grotesque wilderness.” On its northern banks, the landscape was divided into two low hills sloping to a central valley, later christened Elizabeth Street. The hills were covered in a forest of native grasses and red and yellow box trees.
On the southern bank, the land stretched away in swampy and scrubby flats, interrupted only by the occasional hill or tea-tree belt. Wildlife abounded; there were emus, kangaroos, wallabies, possums, echidnas, parrots, and platypuses, a plethora of species great and small. The Falls proved crucial to the choice of this site for the foundation of Melbourne. They divided the salt water downstream from the fresh water upstream, offering the residents of the new city a reliable source of drinking water. Conveniently, the natural basin just below the Falls – the Pool – was also ideal for mooring and turning ships around. This was clearly, as the man often dubbed Melbourne’s founder, John Batman, so famously described it on June 8, 1835, “the place for a village”. The only problem was that Melbourne was already populated. Historians believe humans first laid eyes on the site of Melbourne some 47,000 years ago. Across 1,600 generations, the Koori people watched as the landscape of Melbourne took shape, surviving through a hunter-gatherer lifestyle well-adapted to the native environment. Like most hunter-gatherers, the Kooris understood nature and human societies as indistinguishable from one another, entirely interdependent. To them, the land was “the face of the divine,” according to historian Meyer Eidelson. Every part of it and everything that lived upon it was the work of the ancestral creation beings, like Bunjil the wedge-tailed eagle. Accordingly, the Kooris saw themselves as the custodians – not owners – of their land ever since the Dreamtime. This is not to say that they passively submitted to nature’s whims. As historian Bill Gammage has shown, Kooris actively burnt their landscape to promote the growth of certain plants, encourage animals to move to convenient locations for hunting, and regenerate areas of land on a seasonal basis. However, their law was clear: it was the responsibility of all Kooris to care for the land and ensure it was left how they found it. Unfortunately, the newly-arrived Europeans had other ideas. The founding of Melbourne in the nineteenth-century was part of a trans-Pacific push for urbanisation. Within only a few decades, the Pacific was ringed with bustling British colonial cities from Sydney to Vancouver. These grew at stratospheric rates and offered unprecedented access to economic opportunities in their extensive hinterlands. For Melbourne, that opportunity was at first wool, but from 1851, gold and its discovery led to such remarkable development, wealth, and population growth, that George Sala dubbed the city in 1888 “Marvellous Melbourne.” But the push for urbanisation did not arise spontaneously. For millennia, European thought about the relationship between humans and the natural world had placed humans at the apex of a ‘Great Chain of Being.’ This idea was drawn from the Christian belief that God had created a divinely-planned world over which humans were given dominion. The growth in human knowledge during the Enlightenment only strengthened the conviction that humans should advance God’s plan of improving the earth – ‘civilising’ it and making it productive through interventions and modifications. The impetus for urbanisation came when such views were combined with the emerging nineteenth-century idea of ‘progress.’ For millennia, European philosophers had argued that the history of humankind was without direction, or was regressing from a golden age of the past. Now, with advances in human knowledge leading to industrialisation, population growth, new inventions, and rising standards of living, it began to seem as if humanity was progressing. Entrepreneurial, liberal-minded young men, seeking to escape the Old World’s intellectual and economic shackles, were attracted to the opportunities for progress (and personal advancement) offered in places like Marvellous Melbourne. Capitalism was at the heart of these opportunities. Owning and controlling land, labour, and capital – ideas completely
foreign to hunter-gatherer societies – were to be the drivers of progress. Unfortunately, this came at a cost. This cost was to be paid by the Kooris and their land. It has been said that the land can tell you a story. Indeed, the story of the Yarra Falls in many ways mirrors what happened to the Kooris. Both experienced containment, destruction, and replacement, as their natural world was usurped by urban Melbourne. Both were forgotten, but buried beneath the new society constructed on top of them, their presence lingered. In 1838, surveyor Robert Hoddle and police magistrate William Lonsdale wrote to Governor Gipps to suggest a dam be constructed across the Yarra Falls. This was to be the first major intervention with what for thousands of years had been the centre of Melbourne’s vibrant ecosystem. The dam was justified, in Hoddle’s view, by the “inconvenience” that “the inhabitants at Melbourne suffer[ed]… from the salt water mixing at high tides with the fresh.” Although the government in New South Wales at first feared the dam would cause floodwaters from upstream to inundate Melbourne, Lonsdale assured them that this had happened but once in Koori memory. Lonsdale’s promise proved fatally inaccurate. Not only did the Yarra have a history of flooding – part of the reason why the Wurundjeri people of Melbourne moved to the higher ground of Mount Dandenong in wetter months – but the dam exacerbated the problem. Melbourne experienced its worst flood on record in 1863, followed by more in 1864, 1866, and 1876. In 1879, John Coode of the Harbour Trust recommended removing the dam and the Falls, and enlarging and embanking the river from the Botanic Gardens to the sea, to prevent future floodwaters from inundating the city. On May 23rd, 1883, work began dynamiting the rocks and reef below to a uniform depth of 15 feet, six inches. Within weeks, the Yarra Falls were no more. But this was not the end of their story. The Falls-Bridge, built in the early days of the colony, had long connected Melbourne and South Melbourne, relying on the solid, rocky reef under the Falls for its foundation. However, by the 1880s, the bridge had become inadequate for moving Melbourne’s ever-expanding population. By then, as Edmund Finn lamented, the Yarra had become “a fetid, festering sewer, befouled amidst the horrors of wool-washing, fellmongering, bone-crushing and other unmentionable abominations” as industry lined its banks. The Falls-Bridge’s replacement, Queen’s-Bridge, opened to great fanfare on April 18, 1890. The opening party, including Governor Hopetoun and Public Works Minister Davies, congratulated themselves for the “progress” they had made in realising the “wealth… afforded” by “the vast wilderness” Europeans had witnessed at Melbourne “within the memory of men now living.” What they did not spare a thought for were the detrimental effects such ‘progress’ had had on that vast wilderness, and those who had once lived upon it. The forests across the low hills of Melbourne were gone, the trees cut down to build houses or make fire and the grasses consumed by sheep. Much of the native wildlife had fled the destruction or been consumed by it. The Yarra had become brackish as the natural boundary between salt and fresh water was blown away, and the river was filled with the waste waters of the city’s people and industries. The once-proud people of the Kulin nations had dwindled to a handful of survivors through dispossession, disease, and frontier conflict. They were compelled to move between missions and protectorates, the first at the Botanic Gardens in 1837, and each progressive settlement further from the city. As academic Emily Potter has argued, removing the Kooris from urban space, and manipulating and destroying their former lands, was crucial to the colonial project. It enabled the rise of a discourse that characterised Indigenous people as
belonging only to the outback. It allowed them to be marginalised to the status of outsiders in urban spaces, reinforcing the doctrine of European superiority. In short, it allowed Melbournians to forget. If you peer over the ledge of the southern upstream corner of Queen’s-Bridge today, you will be confronted with a curious sight. There, just below the surface of the water, lies a huge boulder, the waves rippling gently over its jagged surface. This boulder is the remnant of the Falls, spared from the dynamite for reasons unknown. The growth of interest in Indigenous history in recent decades has spawned many a memorial, but there is no marker here to recognise this rock. Like the Kooris, dismissed as a dying race in the nineteenth-century, it seems out of place in the urban environment of Melbourne. Many urbanists have questioned whether Indigeneity and the memory of the pre-colonial landscape can ever truly be integrated into the modern metropolis. I think they can be. Urbanists are increasingly highlighting the importance of more than just a city’s architecture in constructing its identity. As Deyan Sudjic has argued, “to make sense of a city, you need to know something about the people who live in it, and the people who built it.” Perhaps that can be taken one step further. You also need to know about the people and spaces that came before it. As has often been said, a city is a palimpsest. Its identity is never grounded in one time or one people, but rather, is built in layers as successive generations of inhabitants remake and interact in new ways with its physical form. But what often gets forgotten is the original manuscript underneath. For Melbourne, to peel back the palimpsest, to uncover this manuscript, is to uncover the story of the land, and of its first peoples. The original manuscript of Melbourne’s urban palimpsest lives on today in myriad ways, many of which we have likely not yet recognised. Like the 7,000 or so people of Koori descent who live in Melbourne today, while its presence may have been buried beneath the layers of the city, it is not gone. The last rock of the Yarra Falls is a stark reminder of this. Cities grow, change, and fall. But as the Kooris knew, nature, no matter how hard humans try to tame it, endures, and its landscape will tell you the story of its people. One last thing. Perhaps you are wondering why I began with the story of the little boy who drowned at the Falls on that sultry Saturday afternoon in 1845. Perhaps you question how a young boy could be so symbolic of the European colonisation of Melbourne, and of nature’s ultimate power in the face of all human endeavours. Or perhaps you just wonder what this unfortunate boy’s name was. He was named after his father, John. John Batman.
Bibliography Primary sources: “Domestic Intelligence.” The Melbourne Weekly Courier, January 17, 1845. http://nla.gov. au/nla.news-article228064094. “The New Queen’s Bridge.” The Argus, April 17, 1890. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8601119. “Opening of the Queen’s-Bridge.” The Argus, April 19, 1890. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8601677. “Removal of the Yarra Falls.” The Argus, May 24, 1883. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8522995. Secondary sources: Batten, Bronwyn, and Paul Batten. “Memorialising the Past: Is there an ‘Aboriginal’ Way?” Public History Review 15 (2008): 92-116. Cannon, Michael, and Ian MacFarlane. The Early Development of Melbourne. Melbourne: Victorian Government Printing Office, 1984. Eidelson, Meyer. Melbourne Dreaming: A Guide to Important Places of the Past and Present. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press, 2014. Eidelson, Meyer. The Melbourne Dreaming: A Guide to the Aboriginal Places of Melbourne. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press, 1997. Ewen, Shane. What is Urban History? Cambridge: Polity, 2016. Flannery, Tim. The Birth of Melbourne. Melbourne: Text Publishing, 2002. Gammage, Bill. The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, 2012. Kroessler, Jeffrey A. “The City as Palimpsest.” CUNY Academic Works. New York: City University of New York, 2015. Lewis, Miles, Philip Goad, and Alan Mayne. Melbourne: The City’s History and Development. Melbourne: City of Melbourne, 1994. Ponting, Clive. A New Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilisations. New York: Penguin, 2007. Potter, Emily. “Introduction: Making Indigenous Place in the Australian City.” Postcolonial Studies 15, no. 2 (2012): 131-142. Presland, Gary. Aboriginal Melbourne: The Lost Land of the Kulin People. Forest Hill: Harriland Press, 2001. Sudjic, Deyan. The Language of Cities. Milton Keynes: Allen Lane, 2016.
Content warning: rape (mention)
ACROSS THE DITCH:
Ever since I moved to Australia for university, I’ve really had to embrace my Kiwi identity. Despite spending most of my life in New Zealand, I never really had to consider what that actually means, or how I’d measure up to other people’s expectations. Unfortunately, I could never say ‘fush n chups’, nor have I ever felt any attraction to sheep, but one thing that did manage to impress my friends was how I could sing my national anthem in English and in Maori. Actually, what’s more impressive is that so can almost everyone back home in New Zealand no matter their age, race or creed. For those who aren’t aware, the Maori are the tangata whenua (indigenous people) of New Zealand, much like how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the original inhabitants of Australia. Within the last two years in Melbourne, I’ve had the opportunity to learn a little more about Australia’s history, from the Stolen Generations to Australia/Invasion Day, as well as contemporary systems and structures in place that reinforce inequality. I’m not suggesting that we’ve got it all figured out on the other side of the Tasman Sea, but there are certain things I’ve taken for granted that Australian friends have informed me are not really ‘how things are done’ here. For example, in New Zealand the Maori language and culture is everywhere. In primary school, our teachers would tell us the story of Tāne Mahuta and say ka pai when we could count tahi, rua, toru, pha. From humble community events to the prime minister welcoming guests to our country, you will hear the phrase tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. With all that being said, there are many entrenched issues in New Zealand society surrounding equality that need to be addressed, and reconciliation is far from over. Thankfully, at my high school and many others across the country, it is compulsory to give students a basic overview of New Zealand history focusing on the Treaty of Waitangi, a central document that still influences government decision-making to this day. The signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on February 6, 1840 was a pivotal moment in New Zealand history. The founding document of our country was created as a result of increasing European influence in New Zealand, with notable causes being trade, lawlessness and most importantly, Christianity. Tensions resulted from the differences between the English and Maori interpretations of the Treaty, with the most significant consequences being the marginalisation of Maori, followed by the Kingitanga movement and the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal.
NEW ZEALAND’S TREATY
The opportunities for trade that accompanied European arrival is an important socio-economic cause of the Treaty of Waitangi’s signing, due to the economic interdependence created between Maori and Pakeha (New Zealanders of European descent). Maori women and goods such as flax, ropes and vegetables were exchanged for European commodities such as tobacco, blankets and axes. This gave British capitalists strong economic reasoning to pressure the government for a treaty which would give them easier access to New Zealand’s copious resources. The Maori chiefs were additionally eager to increase trade for foreign items that improved living standards, equally believing a closer partnership would be achieved through signing the Treaty. However, mutual economic benefit was not the entire reason why trade was such a significant cause of the Treaty. Humanitarian ideology was emerging in Britain, resulting in increased concern for the welfare of indigenous people in British colonies, including the Maori. A widely held concept at the time was of fatal impact, where Maori contact with the ‘superior’ European race would inevitably lead to “gradual extinction.” Harrison Wright supports the idea of fatal impact and sees trade as one way the Maori were being overwhelmed by European culture, as eight large pigs and 150 baskets of potatoes were considered reasonable exchange for merely one musket. The introduction of European weaponry escalated conflicts by creating power imbalances between tribes and increasing the fatality of war. A series of violent disputes ensued, resulting in torture, rape, cannibalism and approximately 20,000 deaths now collectively known as the Musket Wars. This is another significant cause to the signing, as war-weariness made many tribes open to the prospect of peace and protection associated with the Treaty. The horrors of war additionally compelled British humanitarians to urge the government to take responsibility for the devastation that they helped cause. The increasing number of settlers and resulting lawlessness in New Zealand during the early nineteenth-century was an additional socio-political cause behind the signing of the Treaty. After New Zealand earned the reputation of ‘Hell-hole of the Pacific’ due to uncontrollable drunkenness, prostitution, and violence of some Pakeha, the missionaries within New Zealand urged the British government to help regulate the situation. Consequently, James Busby was appointed as British Resident in 1832 to impose British law. Unfortunately, he had no powers of arrest as the police from New South Wales only visited occasionally, so he lacked the military backing to command any sort of authority. His ineffectiveness became a large reason why further action was necessary. Arguably, however, Christianity is the most significant cause of the signing of the Treaty
of Waitangi. Introduced by missionaries that visited New Zealand shores, Christian beliefs slowly became accepted and integrated into Maori society due to the practical benefits such as medicine provided by the missionaries as well as their messages of hope and love. Judith Binney believes that Maori war-weariness and disease were important factors in persuading their conversion. By earning the trust and respect from Maori, the missionaries were able to clarify points about the Treaty and alleviate Maori worries, bridging the gap between British authorities and the Maori chiefs in a manner no other group could. As the Maori’s limited understanding of English was formed on Biblical terminology, the missionaries explained the Treaty as a document that would bring union between the two races. William Hobson – later to become New Zealand’s first Governor – reinforced this belief when he told the Maori “he iwi tahi tatoou”, that they were now one people at the Treaty’s signing. These instances, along with missionary Henry Williams’ decision to alter key words in his translation of the Treaty to be more acceptable to the Maori, meant the Treaty earnt Maori support. Williams knew the Maori would not cede their sovereignty to Queen Victoria, so in the Maori translation the understanding was that they were giving governorship of the land, kawanatanga, to the British, so the two races could co-exist while the British governed their own people. Every element of Maori tradition and behaviour indicates that they would never have signed the Treaty if they knew they were giving up their sovereignty. No matter how beneficial the Treaty would have been, the majority of Maori chiefs have spiritual ties to their land and giving that up would be against their entire culture and tradition. The main long-term political consequence of the Treaty of Waitangi is the marginalisation of Maori people in society which began immediately after the signing and increased over time. A clause in the Treaty stated that Maori were only allowed to sell their land to the British government and the governors immediately capitalised on this right, buying land at a cheap price and reselling to European settlers to make a profit. However, the British soon wanted more and went against the Treaty to enact the Land Claims Ordinance in 1841. The ordinance stated that land not used or occupied by Maori belonged to the crown. These actions deprived Maori, especially the nomadic tribes in the South, of the ability to carry out important cultural practises tied into the ancestral land and essentially forced them to assimilate into British culture against their will. The focus on colonisation above “native welfare” caused what Claudia Orange describes as a shift in the political climate from humanitarian concerns to prioritising “settler development.” The Protectorate Department, established to address Maori interests, was also abolished. This resulted in sales occurring that were technically legal but not fair to Maori in order to accommodate more British settlers. As a result, the Pakeha population of 2,050 in 1840 rose exponentially to 22,108 in 1850 and has continued to increase, rendering the Maori into a minority in their own country. The accumulation of years of Maori land loss and the build-up of grievances has caused the breakdown of European-Maori relations which has significantly impacted New Zealand. Recent statistics show that Maori make up 56.3% of New Zealand’s prison population despite only being 15% of the country’s total population. This is linked to how they experience disproportionately high ‘drivers of crime’ such as poor health, family breakdown and low rates of economic and social participation, inevitably tied to the consequences of British colonisation which have reduced the prosperity of Maori culture in an irreversible way. The Kingitanga movement is another significant socio-political consequence of the Treaty of Waitangi as a Maori response to land disputes and the sovereignty that the Pakeha felt entitled to. The Maori chiefs from Waikato and Central North Island gave Potatau Te Wherowhero
their mana, in order to create Maori unity. The aim was never to oppose the crown, instead, the appointment of a ‘Maori King’ in June 1858 was to create a support system to regulate the amount of Maori land being surrendered to Europeans. Unfortunately, the British Government did not see it that way. To them, the Kingitanga movement was a challenge to British authority and consequently, they attempted to destroy the movement in the 1860s. Governor Grey invaded the Waikato in 1863 with 10,000 British troops and battle ensued for the next two years. The strong British response as well as the existence of the movement to this day illustrates the significance of the Kingitanga movement, as a Maori response creating solidarity between tribes that traditional Maori culture prior to the Treaty would not have allowed. The establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal is another long-term political and social consequence of the Treaty of Waitangi. Established in 1975, its purpose is to investigate Maori claims of breaches to the Treaty. This is a secondary reaction to the unfair confiscation of land and execution without trial that occurred after the signing of the Treaty. The tribunal was an opportunity for reconciliation as formal apologies and reparations were given out and justice was finally served. For some, there is no monetary value that can right past wrongs, however, for those who had faith in a more unified future, it did allow the first steps to be taken in creating better race relations. The first Treaty settlement in 1989 saw the return of land at the Waitomo caves. As a tourist attraction, it was decided that the management of operations were to be shared between the hapu and Department of Conservation. This is a more significant consequence of the Treaty of Waitangi compared to the Kingitanga movement because it is an admittance of wrongdoing from the Pakeha, and requires both parties to come together to overcome their history of grievances. This demonstrates active effort from those that currently hold power to create a more inclusive future for all New Zealanders by speaking with, not on behalf, of the Maori. The Treaty of Waitangi has indisputably changed the landscape of New Zealand. Ever since the arrival of Europeans, the trade between the races, lawlessness, and influence of Christianity had been leading to the signing of the Treaty. With the different versions of the Treaty in Maori and English, tension resulted especially due to Maori loss of land. The Kingitanga movement and Waitangi Tribunal demonstrate significant Maori and Pakeha attempts to mitigate the effects of the numerous occasions where Maori have been unfairly treated and have helped pave the path to reconciliation and self-determination. Unfortunately, the grievances of the past still hold the most significance as it negatively impacts Maori to this day, however I strongly believe that the preconditions for creating a better, more equal future for all lies in teaching young people about the past, how it influences the present, and that anything’s possible in an unwritten future.
References Binney, Judith. “Christianity and the Maoris to 1840: A Comment.” New Zealand Journal of History 3.2 (1969): 143-165. Orange, Claudia. The Treaty of Waitangi. Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 1987. Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. https://teara.govt.nz/en (last accessed 11/07/18). Wright, Harrison. New Zealand 1769-1840: Early Years of Western Contact. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959.
LENIN’S LEADERSHIP IN THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION Brendan Tam
It is difficult to assess revolutions without discussing the significance of their leaders, as often it is these leaders who determine the revolution’s fate. The 1917 October Revolution occasioned a dramatic transformation of the Russian state, removing the Provisional Government that had succeeded the Tsarist regime in February. It exerted global ramifications too, as it installed the first socialist regime in the world to power. The lifting of Soviet censorship in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union has resulted in a clearer narrative being available, one that allows for a more complete picture when considering what occurred during the decisive years of the revolution. The Revolution’s leadership – especially Vladimir Lenin – played an integral role in these successes. Despite continued debate within the wider historiography of whether the revolution was inevitable or not, it is clear Lenin imposed himself upon events as they occurred and adeptly shaped them. While the collapse of Tsarism in February was unexpected and due to a loss of confidence from the military and aristocracy, the events of October constituted a concerted seizure of power. Four defining attributes of Lenin can be identified that aid in explaining his unprecedented success. These are: (i) Lenin’s foresight as a revolutionary theorist; (ii) Lenin’s innate drive and ambition; (iii) His decisiveness and adaptability; (iv) His ability to harness the support of the proletariat. Thus Lenin successfully laid the groundwork in 1917 for the ultimate and continued Bolshevik control of Russia. The Provisional Government established in the aftermath of the fall of the tsarist state was weak and fraught with crises. This was a product of its origins. Popular unrest and dissatisfaction resulted in mass demonstrations and military mutinies and culminated in the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in February 1917. The vacuum created was filled by two political entities: The Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet. The liberal Cadet Party initially held a majority in the Provisional Government as the government consisted of many former Duma members, which had dissolved itself in the aftermath of Nicholas II’s abdication. In comparison, the Petrograd Soviet consisted of workers’ and soldiers’ deputies with an executive committee where Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs) held a majority presence, with a minority presence of Bolsheviks who enjoyed minimal support at this stage. These two institutions had an interim agreement to jointly govern Russia as ‘dual powers’ until a Constituent Assembly was summoned to draft a new democratic constitution. The dynamic between the two was precarious at best, as the Provisional Government held no popular mandate while the Soviet viewed its primary role as holding the government to
account. As the Provisional Government began to lose popular support with its existence threatened by events including the July Days (public demonstrations against the government that were forcibly dispersed), and the aborted military coup of the Kornilov affair in August, the socialist parties that then controlled the Soviets (the Mensheviks and SRs) took up an increasingly active role in the ailing Provisional Government. As a result, these parties ceded their autonomy and impartiality, tying their fate to that of the Provisional Government. Lenin’s socialist faction, the Bolshevik Party, who from the outset had refused to collaborate with the government, were strategically placed to exploit the eventual collapse of the Dual Power arrangement. LENIN’S FORESIGHT AS A REVOLUTIONARY THEORIST Lenin first and foremost was a rule breaker. He eschewed classical Marxist theories of revolution, refusing to believe that Russia should undergo a period of democratic government before a proletariat-ruled one could be instituted. Lenin showed remarkable foresight in understanding the requirements that needed to be met to achieve a successful revolution when compared to his contemporaries. Unlike them, Lenin believed that the lessons of Marx and Engels had been distorted. He primarily blamed figures such as Karl Kautsky, who was considered a leader of the Second International, for the “doctoring of Marxism” and the removal of its “revolutionary soul.” Thus, he disagreed with what he termed the “petty-bourgeois theory” of the Mensheviks, SRs and even fellow Bolsheviks who believed that bourgeois stage of the revolution had to occur before the proletariat could seize control of the state. Without his ideological leadership, the Bolsheviks, like their rival socialists, would have been split and indecisive. They would have supported the Provisional Government, waiting for the natural progression of the Marxist defined periods of class dominance to eventually provide the working class with their moment to finally launch a revolution of the Proletariat after the revolution of the bourgeois had played out. Prior to the return of Lenin in April, leading Bolsheviks such as Joseph Stalin and Lev Kamenev believed the orthodox Russian Marxist interpretation, arguing that it was their role to offer conditional support to the Provisional Government as long as policies conducive to the interests of the proletariat were pursued. Instead, Lenin fully believed that conditions in Russia did not fully adhere to the traditional theory and that due to the brutal authoritarianism of the Tsarist regime over the country side, conditions were ripe for a proletariat revolution. Indeed, it is clear that he believed that such conditions on a whole applied globally. Lenin thought that Russia would act as a revolutionary vanguard, inspiring similar revolutions across the globe. Such a view is illustrated in his belief that Bolshevik Russia had little need to focus on foreign policy in the aftermath of seizing power. LENIN’S DRIVE AND AMBITION Lenin’s return to Russia on 3 April 1917 signalled what proved a vital turning point in the fate of the Provisional Government. It was Lenin’s ambition which ensured that the Bolsheviks remained the only political organisation untainted by the failings of the Provisional Government. This is supported by the fact that in the early days of the government leading Bolsheviks such as Joseph Stalin and Lev Kamenev (both central committee members) favoured supporting the Dual Power arrangement. Lenin’s return was vital in reorienting the Bolsheviks’ stance and ensuring that they maintained a unified viewpoint fuelled by the
belief that seizing power and ruling in their own right was possible. As late as October 1917, leading Bolsheviks such as Grigory Zinoviev (another central committee member) and Kamenev were publically lambasting Lenin’s position of supporting an imminent Bolshevik seizure of power, arguing that it was not the time for insurrection. Despite such opposition from the upper echelons of his own party, Lenin remained the dominant figure, key decision maker and driver of the party. This is due to the majority of the Bolshevik rank and file membership having idolising Lenin since their early days as an underground revolutionary organisation. This ability to retain support reveals the attractiveness of Lenin’s unwavering drive to achieve a proletariat support. He understood that the Bolshevik’s vision highlighted by their refusal to serve the Provisional Government could be harnessed to galvanise support for the Bolsheviks. Over the course of 1917, the Bolsheviks were transformed from a fringe political party that only had a hundred delegates out of the thousand at the First Congress of Soviets in June 1917, to one which held a majority in October during the Second Congress. The reality that it was Lenin who was the key driver in such a groundswell of support was revealed when Lenin was forced into hiding due to the Government persecution of the Bolsheviks after the July Days. Moderation began to prevail within the Bolsheviks, with calls from the Bolshevik Central Committee that they should finally join the other socialist groupings in the Provisional Government. Similarly, Bukharin stated that the Central Committee were “aghast” after receiving a letter from Lenin in September urging that it was time to seize power (Rabinowitch, 2004). Thus it was Lenin’s continued ambition and ultimate goal of a proletariat revolution that kept the Bolsheviks in a position to exploit the crumbling authority of the Provisional Government as the World War continued to go against Russia. LENIN’S DECISIVENESS AND ADAPTABILITY Lenin’s decisiveness and ability to adapt to changing circumstances was vital in shaping the events of the October Revolution. This decisiveness set the Bolsheviks clearly apart from their rivals. Lenin’s decisive leadership was notable as none of these rival socialist organisations had a clear leader. In the words of Alexander Potresov, who had been acquainted with Lenin since 1894, “only Lenin was followed unquestioningly as the indisputable leader” (Valentinov, 1968). The absence of comparable leaders resulted in destabilising factionalism and a lack of cohesion amongst the Mensheviks and SRs. The drive and ambition of Lenin was vital, as it gave the Bolsheviks the audacity to believe that they could govern alone. Such a belief was met with derision when Lenin answered that there was ‘such a party’ in response to the Menshevik Irakli Tsereteli stating that there existed no party ready to govern on their own. It is possible to use the July Days as a counterpoint to the notion of Lenin’s decisiveness. As historians such as James White note, Lenin was caught unprepared by the spontaneous risings of workers and soldiers during the July Days, as he was outside of Petrograd when the outbreak first commenced. While it appears that Lenin sat idle and allowed an opportunity for revolution to pass, he was ultimately a strategic planner. He and the Bolsheviks were not ready to seize power as Lenin did not support spontaneous revolution. They had yet to gain a majority in the Petrograd and Moscow Soviets, which they would achieve in the coming months, and the SRs and Mensheviks still held popular support as their influence grew within the Provisional Government. Lenin would only advocate for the seizure of power when the outcome would be favourable.
Such a stance is revealed in the letter he penned to the Central Committee of Bolsheviks on October 24 that stated, “History will not forgive revolutionaries for procrastinating when they could be victorious.” As the Provisional Government continued to struggle and the war continued unabated, soldiers and workers joined the Bolsheviks in great numbers. This trend was hastened by General Kornilov’s attempted coup d’etat (August 27-30, 1917) that severely undermined the leadership of Kerensky, the chairman of the Provisional Government. Kerensky himself stated that the attempted coup was exploited by the Bolsheviks to destroy the confidence the rank and file soldiers had in the government. Such tactics for increasing Bolshevik support validate Lenin’s foresight of refusing to call for the seizure of power in July. For when the Bolsheviks decisively struck in October, they had enough widespread popular support to maintain power and ensure the long-term survivability of the revolution. The careful planning and clear decision to execute the seizure of power lends credence to the arguments of historians such as Richard Pipes and Orlando Figes, who view the Russian Revolution as a revolution from above, with Lenin and the Bolsheviks playing a key deciding role in the eventual outcome. LENIN’S HARNESSING OF THE SUPPORT OF THE PROLETARIAT The April Theses, which was comprised of the ambition pledges made by Lenin (such as no compromise with the Provisional Government), and an ambitious land redistribution plan proved a vital element in the Bolshevik’s appeals to gaining mainstream support from the working class. Unlike the leaders of the Mensheviks and the SRs, the slogan ‘peace, land, bread’, which was at the heart of the theses, appealed to many Russians as it provided answers to the prevalent issues facing Russia at the time. The success of such a stance is illustrated by the marked increase in membership of the Bolsheviks. The organisation grew from 24,000 members in February to 350,000 members in October. This rallying cry contrasted with the SRs and Mensheviks, as their decision of offering continued support to the Provisional Government – to the extent of entering it as Ministers when it was on the brink of collapse – inextricably linked the leadership of the Mensheviks and the SRs to the government in the eyes of the masses. This fits into Sheila Fitzpatrick’s view that it was primarily a movement of the masses that elicited the downfall of the Tsarist regime and was fated to repeat the result with the Provisional Government. The Bolsheviks inherited a Russia on the brink of collapse, waging a costly war against the German Empire together with extreme levels of civil unrest. Unlike other Russian socialists, Lenin was never supportive of Russia’s involvement in the war, labelling it a war being waged by “the capitalists of all countries”. He saw the necessity of Russia disengaging from the conflict at any cost to consolidate the gains made during the October Revolution. In his April Theses, he outlined that it was an unnecessary imperialist war and that the only way to end it was by ‘overthrowing capital’, via handing power to the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies. In comparison, the Provisional Government continued to support Russian expansion whilst the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet believed in a defensist position. Lenin’s policy expounded in his April Theses resonated with the war-weary Russian population who cared little about potential loss of territory and the war goals of the elite. This reveals the ability Lenin and the Bolsheviks had in reading and acting upon popular sentiment. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, signed on March 3, 1918, served to conclude the war between Russia and Germany, providing the Bolsheviks with the necessary opportunity to consolidate their control over the Russian state and thus ensured the continued success of the revolution.
Whilst even amongst the Bolshevik leadership there existed opposition to Brest-Litovsk as there was still a desire to fight a defensist war, the overwhelming majority of the Russian military were no more inclined to fight for Lenin than they were for the Provisional Government. Thus Leninâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to read the desires of the people and his willingness to accept peace at almost any cost was vital in ensuring the survival of the new regime. To have persisted in the conflict against the Germans would have signalled the end of the fledgling Bolshevik state, as the support it held would have quickly evaporated. CONCLUSION Without the leadership of Lenin, the Bolsheviks firstly would not have been in the position to seize control in October 1917. Secondly, even if they had managed to do so, it is unlikely that they would have been successful in maintaining control of the Russian state during the aftermath of such a seizure. Lenin was a remarkable leader who shirked the condemnation of even his peers and forged his own destiny. He understood both that it was possible for the Bolsheviks to seize power in 1917, together with the need for having a strong organisational base backed by popular support. He ignored the consensus view regarding Marxist theory, instead crafting his own interpretation that proved much more effective and versatile than his rivalsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. He rightly believed that launching a successful revolution relied upon selecting the right timing and conditions. Perhaps a socialist revolution against the crumbling Provisional Government was inherently inevitable, with or without Lenin. However, its nature would have been profoundly different. The Bolsheviks would have not played such a central role in its success and subsequent outcomes which proved to shape the course of Russia and the wider world for the remainder of the twentieth-century. It was the leadership of Lenin, who exhibited unwavering determination, decisiveness, and a willingness to sacrifice traditional notions of a socialist revolution for the practical realities, that resulted in the success of the October Revolution.
Bibliography Primary Sources: “The Third International and its place in history, April 15 1919.” In V.I. Lenin, Marx, Engels, Marxism 3rd Edition, 392-400, Moscow: Foreign Language Publishing Gouse, 1947. Lenin, Vladimir, “Letter to Central Committee Members.” In Lenin’s Collected Works, edited by George Hanna, 234-235. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1972. Lenin, Vladimir, “War and Revolution: A Lecture Delivered May 14, 1917.” In Lenin’s Collected Works, 398-421. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1964. Lenin, Vladimir, “The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Present Revolution (The April Theses).” In Lenin’s Collected Works, 19-26. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1964. Lenin, Vladimir. The State and Revolution: The Marxist Teaching on the State and the Tasks of the Proletariat in the Revolution. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1917. Kerensky, Alexander. The Catastrophe: Kerensky’s Own Story of the Russian Revolution. New York: Kraus Reprint Co., 1971. Mstislavskii, Sergei. Five Days Which Transformed Russia. London: Hutchinson Education, 1988. Sukhanov, N. “Self- Determination in Soviet and Government.” In A Personal Record by N.N. Sukhanov, edited by Joel Carmichael. Princeton University Press, 1984. Valentinov, Nikolay. Encounters with Lenin. London: Oxford University Press, 1968. Secondary Sources: Chamberlin, W. “Brest Litovsk: The Struggle for Peace.” In The Russian Revolution Volume 1, 19171918: From the Overthrow of the Tsar to the Assumption of Power. Princeton University Press, 1935. Figes, Orlando. A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924. New York: Penguin Books, 1998. Figes, Orlando and Boris Kolonitskii. Interpreting the Russian Revolution: The Language and Symbols of 1917. London: Yale University Press. 1999. Fitzpatrick, Sheila. The Russian Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Frankel, Jonathan. “Lenin’s Doctrinal Revolution of April 1917.” Journal of Contemporary History 4 (1969): 117-142. Gregor, Richard. “Lenin, Revolution and Foreign Policy.” International Journal 22 (1967): 563-575. Medvedev, Roy. The October Revolution. New York: Columbia University Press, 1979. Pipes, Richard. “Did the Russian Revolution Have to Happen.” The American Scholar 63 (1994): 215-238. Rabinowitch, Alexander. The Bolsheviks Come to Power: The Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2004. Service, Robert. The Russian Revolution 1900-1927. London: Macmillan Press 1991. Volobuev, P.V. “Perestroika and the October Revolution in Soviet Historiography.” The Russian Review 51 (1992): 566-576. White, James. Lenin: The Practice and Theory of Revolution. New York: Palgrave, 2001.
Content Warning: sexual assault, wartime violence
“WHILE YOU ARE AWAY”: THE IMPACT OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR ON WOMEN’S HOUSEHOLD ROLES Meghan Grech The Second World War has been seen as both a ‘watershed’ expansion of women’s roles and limited in providing real change. Much research has focused on growing opportunities for women in masculine workplaces, but positions away from working environments reacted to wartime conditions too. Women who lived through World War II on the home front witnessed complex changes to perceptions of their gender, with propaganda and policy giving them new agency while reinforcing their positions as victims, housewives and mothers. Policies aimed at improving the war effort in unoccupied regions considered women sexual agents while also reinforcing sexual ‘morality’. In occupied regions, enemy soldiers reinforced their positioning of women as subordinate through rape. Furthermore, the traditional roles of homemaker and mother were reinforced by their increased promotion and subverted through new importance via mobilisation. Therefore, even away from the typical narrative of ‘women mobilised for war work’, the Second World War simultaneously emphasised and questioned traditional roles for women. PROMISCUITY AND FIDELITY: WOMEN’S SEXUAL AGENCY Though new avenues opened for seeing women as sexual actors, this was accompanied by attempts to assert women’s ‘rightfully’ chaste role. To demoralise enemy soldiers, both the Allies and the Axis Powers dropped propaganda over enemy camps. A theme common to both sides was to suggest soldiers’ partners were being unfaithful; for example, German propaganda would suggest that British wives were sleeping with the visiting Americans “while you are away”. Dagmar Herzog suggests that this indicates “a wholly transformed idea of female sexuality”, because women were portrayed as actively expressing sexual interest (16). Though the notion of a woman deviously expressing sexuality was not entirely new during the war – women’s sexuality had for centuries been persecuted along a binary of virgin and whore – its conditions forefronted the issue as relevant to the everywoman left behind by her soldier. However, these leaflets were ineffective on soldiers; many even used them as pinups. This indicates that the men did not see partner promiscuity as a serious threat, possibly because the idea of women as sexual agents was not believable to them. This propaganda is
therefore an example of conflicting perceptions of women; while governments attempted to foster an image of women as actively engaged in sexuality, the women’s partners continued to assume that they were loyal and passive. However, communities did have to reckon with women’s sexuality. Mobilising soldiers took them away from female partners and exposed women to foreign soldiers; nearly one million American soldiers were stationed in Australia between 1942-5. This raised concerns for women’s sexual morality, primarily that women would have casual relationships with these men – such concerns were exacerbated by the increased number of women entering the workforce and therefore more actively engaging with public spaces. Women’s sexual agency was recognised. However, reactions against this change reinforced how women were ‘supposed’ to behave. For instance, women’s police forces in several Australian states sought women suspected of carrying venereal disease to test them. They targeted women believed promiscuous, thus reinforcing the ‘superiority’ of monogamous women. Similarly, the Nazi government regulated brothels in Vienna to protect against the sexual immorality they believed threatened racial and military superiority. War was the motivation for enforcing this control; regulations were at least partially to prevent a recurrence of the large number of soldiers removed from action by venereal disease in World War One. The Second World War thus intensified the expectation that women would remain loyal to their male partners and the belief that women were sexually passive. PASSIVITY AND MANIPULATION: SEX AS A TOOL OF POWER Sex between soldiers and the women of invaded territories, especially through rape, was common during the Second World War. Official Japanese policy during the 1937 invasion of China legitimised civilian attacks, including taking ‘comfort women’ to satisfy soldiers sexually. Up to 200,000 women were kidnapped from China and Southeast Asia by 1945. It is estimated that Nazi soldiers had sex (both consensually and through rape) with one in ten Danish women and one in five Norwegian women. Similarly, many German women were raped as Soviet soldiers approached Berlin. Rape in warfare and imperial conquest was not unique to the Second World War. Scholars including Anne Summers have explored how rape of women can be an “ideological weapon” by physically intruding her body and denying her control over it (245). It acts as an invasion of women’s bodies to parallel the invasion of territory. This use of rape, legitimised by some army leaders, puts women in the place of an enemy one is attempting to subjugate. Rapes in wartime thus emphasised the notion that women were subservient, especially sexually. In addition, wartime rape reinforced the idea that women and the home were ‘naturally’ connected. Rape was often framed – even by
victims – as an extension of the destruction of homes. Atina Grossmann suggests that rape had “become routine” for women during the Battle of Berlin, rarely more noteworthy than building destruction (169). Rape was similarly ‘just part’ of looting and terrorising in China; an anonymous observer described the rape of women in Shanzitou Village in March 1942 as a culmination of the violence that “turned the quiet, peaceful village into a nightmare” (qtd. in Lary, 145). In contrast, many young Chinese women were hidden by families in their homes when Japanese soldiers arrived, maintaining the idea that homes were places of protection. This reinforced the idea that women should remain within a domestic and private sphere, rather than public spaces. Diana Lary suggests that in China, “the war stopped that process [of emancipating women in the 1920s-30s] in its tracks” by reinforcing victimhood (171), though this statement could be applied to women in all occupied zones. However, such situations were sometimes an opportunity for women to exercise a form of agency. Some women would deliberately use the soldiers’ desire for their own advantage. Herzog and Grossmann discuss how women in Nazi-occupied regions and Soviet-occupied Germany would exchange sex for food and protection. Some German women even bragged about ‘victories’ with friends, thus celebrating their use of sexuality. War therefore allowed some women to openly use sexual agency in a way that was respected rather than shamed, subverting expectations of passivity. SAVE YOUR CANS: MANAGING THE HOUSEHOLD Though her roles expanded and greater emphasis was placed on her importance, the ‘Homemaker’ was emphasised during World War Two. The tradition of the homely housewife was somewhat subverted by the role’s new connection to the war effort. American First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt suggested that running households contributed “more to the war effort than [the women] themselves realize”, suggesting the role received greater attention for contributing to war (qtd. in Harrington, 41). In Britain, the ‘People’s War’ theme of propaganda encouraged women to see food production as maintaining morale and controlling waste as producing munitions. Similar posters in America showed household waste morphing into ammunition, often with women’s hands doing the passing. The connection of the woman’s household to war gave it greater importance. However, this expansion was compromised by emphasis on keeping the homemaker at home. Sam Harrington emphasises how the same American posters maintained distance between women and the front by keeping her face away from battlefields. Posters “affirm[ed] that housewives should, and must, act on behalf of the war effort, but that they should never themselves witness the carnage” (43). Furthermore, the emphasis on balancing service to the household with expanded duties reiterated women’s obligation towards domestic tasks. The radio broadcast ‘Ways Women Can Help’ acknowledged American women’s war work, but reminded them that they had to “plan [their] household duties carefully” to allow it time (Bentley, 34). Similarly, a newsletter issued to Nazi women’s leaders emphasised the “double burden” of working women, stating jobs were taken “alongside their household duties and their children” (E.H., “The Test”). Women’s roles could grow, but their priority was always maintaining the household. Significantly, this narrative was not universal. In contrast to the American posters which distanced women from the battlefield, Soviet posters put women in front of violence. The destroyed house in the background of Fascism—the Most Evil Enemy of Women acknowledges that women were witnesses to destruction. Similarly, race and class influenced women’s
experience as a homemaker. Women of colour and poorer women were more likely to work in factories, with many leaving work as domestic servants for these better paying positions. Middle- and upper-class women usually had more time in domestic roles or in food-based volunteering, especially in America. They were all, however, exposed to the general propaganda that glorified the extended importance of the homemaker. Though the subversion and reinforcement of the homemaker role were simultaneously involved in affecting women’s lives, different women experienced them to different degrees. CORNERSTONE: THE RESTRICTIONS OF MOTHERHOOD Motherhood’s importance was heightened during the war. The media emphasised the youth of workers; newspapers often called them “girls”, and recruitment posters featured young women. Immature, and not yet motherly, such portrayals set them apart from women of child-raising age. Britain conscripted women for factory work, but this was limited to the young and “mobile”, excluding mothers of children under fourteen who were “anchored by their maternal responsibilities” (Summerfield, 80). Though mothers did work, backlash against this reinforced women’s motherly responsibilities. American and Australian newspapers feared the disruption of the nuclear family, as newspapers like the Sydney Morning Herald expressed concern for children “return[ing] home [to] no parent there to show him any affection”, being “sabotage[d] … for the sake of a few extra pounds”. Even the Soviet Union, the only nation that allowed women to volunteer for combat, informally required soldiers to be “single and childless” (Reese, 284). Though many women took on the ‘double burden’ of working and raising children, as with homemaking, media insisted that children were a woman’s top priority, and that even the ‘girls’ would quit jobs to raise them eventually. Such insistent cultural criticisms suggest that despite more women moving into the workforce, they failed to subvert the role of the still ‘immobile’ mother. A common theme of psychological mobilisation insisted that mothers remained the foundation of the home. Women’s ‘patriotic sacrifice’ was linked to motherhood, as American women were given official awards for having several children fighting in the war or a son killed on the front. The publication of these details in Australian newspapers shows the global influence of this image. Indeed, the acknowledgement of daughters “engaged in civilian defence work” highlights the distinction between young women celebrated for less traditional work, and older mothers celebrated for raising children (“No. 1 War Mother”, 8). Similarly, mothering was a “symbol of social stability” that reminded everyone what they fought to come home to (Bentley, 31). In The Gentle Sex (1943), mothers anxiously wait for their daughters to return home while the father is allowed to be excited for his child’s service. Britain “promise[d]” to leave mothers as the “cornerstone” upon which the mobilised family could be restored post-war, reinforcing mothers as symbols of the home and family
(Summerfield, 47). However, the mother role was sometimes subverted. Though much media separated working women from mothers, the roles were occasionally intertwined. The Sun honoured a mother of nine working in the war industry, with an image emphasising immersion rather than distance. Similarly, demands for women to remain home to look after children were countered by calls for increased childcare, which the American government supplied. Like the propaganda concerning unfaithful wives, the state subverted the ‘immobile mother’ to benefit the war effort, while the public refused to recognise change. Additionally, different perceptions of family in China gave change a different meaning. Men’s mobilisation and the destruction of towns changed family structures; the traditional ‘four generations under one roof’ was reduced, often to nuclear families. Having fewer relatives present to help, mothers had greater responsibility raising their children. Though this appears to reinforce traditional roles from a Western perspective – women having to look after children – differing cultural contexts mean this is a subversion of the degree to which mothers were responsible for their own children. CONCLUSION Women’s experience during the Second World War was far more complex than Rosie the Riveter marching into the factories and proving – to the men and to herself – that ‘she could do it’. Rosie had to go home, where she was still expected to run her household and represent it to husbands and invaders alike. Rosie was a sexual being, through her own agency, in the ways it was forced upon her, and the way others judged her for it. And not everyone got to be Rosie, because they were old enough to be raising children or had money that let them avoid work. The achievement of some social equality does not mean a marginalised demographic can access total freedom, especially when that group is far from homogenous. But the Second World War did enrich public perception of Rosie, where her work both inside and outside the home took on greater value and people were more likely to acknowledge her personal life. The conditions of war simultaneously subverted and reinforced women’s traditional household roles, a multiplicity which must be recognised to truly understand the non-linear progression of social change.
Bibliography List of Figures: Figure 1. “While You Are Away.” In Gessler, Nicholas. “Propaganda: Germany to Allies.” 2010. https:// people.duke.edu/~ng46/collections/propaganda/germany-to-allies/ Figure 2. Barburina, Nina. “Fascism—the Most Evil Enemy of Women/Everyone to the Struggle against Fascism!” In Lives and Voices: Source in European Women’s History, Lisa DiCaprio and Merry E. Wiesner, 538. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001. Primary Sources: “America’s ‘No. 1’ War Mother.” Southern Cross (Adelaide), 8 September 1944. Bay, Rose. “Juvenile Delinquency.” The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 August 1945. E.B. “Praise for Girls’ War Work.” Chronicle (Adelaide), 6 May 1943. E.H. “The Test.” Nachrichtendienst der Reichsfrauenführung Sonderdienst, 10, no. 8 (2011). Translated by Randall L. Bytwerk. “The Gentle Sex,” YouTube video, 1:28:26. Posted by “Ahithophel Ebejer,” 6 October 2013. “Girls prefer war work.” The Independent, 6 February 1941. “How The Story Begins.” Evening Telegraph (Dundee), 2 February 1945. British Library Newspapers. “Mother’s War Job.” The Sun, 12 August 1942. “No. 1 War Mother.” Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 30 July 1942. Ridge, M. “Working Mothers.” The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 August 1944. “State Care for Children of Working Mothers.” Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 27 November 1943. Thomason, P.E. “Working Mothers.” The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 July 1945. Secondary Sources: Bentley, Amy. Eating for Victory. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1998. Bethke Elshatain, Jean. “Women and War.” In The Oxford History of Modern War, edited by Charles Townshend, 303-16. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Campbell, D’Ann. Women at War with America. Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 1984. Czech, Herwig. “Venereal Disease, Prostitution, and the Control of Sexuality in World War II Vienna.” East Central Europe, 38, no. 1 (2011): 64-78. Darin-Smith, Kate. “World War 2 and post-war reconstruction, 1939-49.” In The Cambridge History of Australia, edited by Alison Bashford and Stuart Macintyre, 88-111. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Grossmann, Atina. “A Question of Silence: The Rape of German Women by Soviet Occupation Soldiers.” In Women at War in the Twentieth Century: Enlisted With or Without Consent, edited by Nicole Ann Dombrowski, 162-183. New York, London: Routledge, 1999. Harrington, Sam. “Women’s Work: Domestic Labor in American World War II Posters.” Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America, 22, no. 2 (2003): 41-4. Herzog, Dagmar. “European Sexualities in the Age of Total War.” In The Oxford Handbook of European History, 1914-1945, edited by Nicholas Doumanis, 407-421. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Lary, Diana. The Chinese People at War: Human Suffering and Social Transformation, 1937-1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Lemar, Susan. “‘Sexually cursed, mentally weak and socially untouchable’: Women and Veneral Diseases in World War Two Adelaide.” Journal of Australian Studies, 79 (2003): 153-164. Pickles, Katie. “Review: Deborah Montgomerie’s ‘The Women’s War: New Zealand Women 1939-45’ and Dianne Bardsley’s ‘The Land of Girls: In a Man’s World, 1939-1946’.” History Now, 8, no. 3 (2002): 1820. Reese, Roger R. Why Stalin’s Soldiers Fought: The Red Army’s Military Effectiveness in World War II. Lawrence: Kansas University Press, 2011. Summerfield, Penny. Reconstructing women’s wartime lives: Discourse and subjectivity in oral histories of the Second World War. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1998. Summers, Anne. Damned Whores and God’s Police. Camberwell: Penguin Books Australia, 2003.
RELIGIOUS NATIONALISM IN A MULTIFAITH SOCIETY: A QUICK STUDY OF HINDU NATIONALISM Maya Pilbrow
In India, January 26th is a day synonymous with national pride and Indian autonomy. It commemorates the adoption of the Indian Constitution as the country’s governing document, marking the birth of modern India’s political system following several centuries of British colonisation. This year, however, Republic Day was less a celebration of independence as it was a reminder of the deep religious and social conflicts that exist within the subcontinent. January 26th of this year also marked the opening day of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial film adaptation of the sixteenth-century epic poem Padmaavat; a classic tale of beauty, love and honour with just the right amount of cartoonish villainy and over-the-top violence. The poem, based partially in historical fact, tells the story of the beautiful Hindu queen Padmini of Chittor, her righteous Rajput husband Ratansen, and the villainous Muslim Sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khalji, who goes to war against the Rajputs over his ravenous desire for the queen. A commercial (if not entirely critical) success, Bhansali’s film became the catalyst for a countrywide fight over Hindu nationalism. Prior to the film’s release, Hindu groups expressed anger over supposed factual inaccuracies and negative portrayals of Rajputs in the film; particularly over a rumoured love scene between Khalji and Padmini that supposedly ‘distorted history’. There was no such love scene in the film, and the historical inaccuracies and distasteful portrayals of Rajput culture turned out to be just hearsay. Despite this, Hindu nationalists and their elected representatives touted an extremist response. In November of last year, it was reported that Suraj Pal Amu, former Chief Media Coordinator for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the northern state of Haryana, had offered a ₹10 crore (or one hundred million rupees, about $1.9 million AUD) bounty for the heads of Bhansali and lead actor Deepika Padukone. He resigned shortly after making these comments. In the lead-up to the film’s release, rioting and vandalism were reported in several cities, necessitating extra security at cinema complexes. In order to understand the context of these seemingly outrageous responses to what was, frankly, an entertaining if mildly underwhelming film, it is necessary to take a closer look at Hindu nationalism. The modern Hindu nationalist movement has its roots in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was during this period that a new type of nationalism began to grow across the subcontinent. A hugely diverse population began to coalesce into a nation, united by shared opposition to colonial rule and held together by the “unifying force [of] Indian
civilization”, a term which was used more or less interchangeably with Hinduism (Malik and Singh, 1994). The work of Indian writers and intellectuals such as Swami Vivekananda and V. D. Savarkar in advocating India’s rich cultural traditions, along with a healthy dose of Orientalism and a love for all things ‘exotic’ among those in Europe, contributed to the conceptualisation of India as some sort of mystical wonderland; a place with “spiritual superiority” over the West. Noting how religion “provided a key stimulus to the emergence of national identity”, Zavos notes the false dichotomy that exists in this context between ‘Hindu’ and ‘Indian’ nationalism. Indian nationalism, heavily intertwined with Hinduism, was the means through which national identity was asserted as a response to brutal oppression. Thus Hinduism, already the majority religion in India, was elevated to an even higher cultural position as a marker of not just religion but nationhood. Given this context, it is easy to see how non-Hindu communities, already minorities in India, could be further marginalised in the name of national unity. In his seminal book Hindutva/ Who is a Hindu?, first published in 1923, Savarkar defines Indian/Hindu nationhood as the ability to relate to India as both a fatherland and as a holy land. This ultimately excludes Muslims, Christians and anyone else who is a worshipper of a religion founded outside of the Indian subcontinent (Zavos, 2005). This othering of different religious groups, particularly Muslims, was carried out by British writers and officials as well. Hasan observes how Muslims were scapegoated by the British to justify their own invasion and colonisation of India, through portrayals of India as being in need of rescue by the British from the barbarity of the Muslim Mughal Empire. By stoking the fires of religious antagonism between various Indian communities, the British Empire was able to enact a divide-and-conquer approach to their erstwhile relatively pluralist colony. This method was later echoed during the painful process of partition in 1947, when the British utilised existing Hindu-Muslim enmity to destabilise Pakistan and India in their formative years and create lasting tension between the two countries. While the overblown response to Padmaavat by some on the far-right of the Hindu nationalist movement is still a violent overreaction, borne out of anti-Muslim sentiment and Hindu supremacist views, it is contextualised somewhat by the history of colonialism, Indian nationalism and the marginalisation of those who threaten the perception of India as a Hindu nation. Inspecting the broader cultural framework in which Hindu nationalist ideology developed allows us to better understand how a country, whose secularity is enshrined in its Constitution, can fall victim to displays of violent religious tribalism over a film.
References Malik, Yogendra K., and Vijay B. Singh. Hindu nationalists in India: the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Westview Press, 1995. Zavos, John. “The shapes of Hindu nationalism.” In Coalition Politics and Hindu Nationalism, edited by Katherine Adeney and Lawrence Sáez, 36-54. Routledge, 2005. Hasan, Mushirul. “The myth of unity: colonial and national narratives.” In Making India Hindu: Religion, community and the politics of democracy in India, edited by David Ludden, 185-208. Oxford University Press, 2005.
CONFORMITY AND DISSENT: YOUTH IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE SOVIET UNION, 1960s-1970s Jade Smith
The 1960s and 1970s saw a global trend of young people increasing their demands for agency. Governments and mainstream communities sought to negotiate challenges to the status quo either by suppressing dissident attitudes and encouraging conformity, or by integrating elements of the challenging youth culture into the mainstream. This essay will examine the responses of the Soviet Union and the United States, respectively, to the challenges posed by the baby boomer demographic. THE SOVIET UNION The Soviet Union viewed young people as vital in the functioning and continuation of the socialist state. Central to policy regarding youth was the attempt to ensure that the next generation transitioned into adults as “good communists” and “loyal Soviet citizens” (Hornsby, 2017). The main institution through which this was performed was the Komsomol. A syllabic abbreviation of the Russian Kommunisticheskiy soyuz molodyozhi (Communist Youth League), in 1962 the Komsomol boasted a membership of approximately 19 million people between the ages of 14 and 26. By 1968, CIA estimates had this at 27 million, a figure which encompassed “most urban youths”, “all those enrolled in school” who were part of the Komsomol age bracket, and “80% of army conscripts.” The role of the Komsomol was to foster a generation of ideologically robust, culturally refined, patriotic and well-behaved Soviet citizens. The scope and form of Komsomol youth-oriented activities expanded greatly during the ‘thaw’ of the 1950s and 1960s. The early 1960s saw a divergence from the older forms of highly structured and heavily political Komsomol ‘club’ events, lectures, and seminars. Under the Khrushchev government, there was a relaxing of censorship surrounding culture as well as reforms to industry. This led to two related consequences for how the Komsomol leadership dealt with youth. Firstly, the shorter workday (seven hours as of 1960) and shorter workweek (five days instead of six as of 1964) led to concern from the Party about how
youth were occupying their free time, causing greater funding to “orthodox and didactic cultural forms” such as universities of culture and traditional Komsomol activities. As a speech at the 1960 Komsomol conference noted, just because “the workday is growing shorter and there is more leisure time … the time span of ‘communist influence’ should not decrease” (Tsipursky, 2011). Focus was placed on creating leisure time that encompassed ideological education. This was done mainly through the use of volunteer Komsomol youth for labour and cultivation of aesthetic tastes within traditional club spaces. The second main consequence of the Khrushchev reforms was that jazz music and Western dances were no longer the subject of stringent opposition from the Party. Importantly, this meant that orthodox institutions were no longer appropriate as the only leisure output for an increasingly Westernised, and politically disengaged demographic. The Party’s need to keep the youth engaged in Komsomol life, lest they fall privy to the ideological and moral trappings of the “bourgeois” West can, in large part, explain the top-level support of the jazz club and youth café, respectively, as institutions of leisure during the early 1960s. The Komsomolskaya Pravda (Komsomol Truth) was a newspaper aimed at the young members of the Komsomol. Serving a propaganda function, this periodical included, among other things, stories of “ideal” young Soviets. Surveys in the mid-1960s showed that articles about the “private life of Soviet citizens” interested youth far more than overtly propagandistic articles and transcripts of Party speeches, and thus these stories represent an attempt by the authorities to engage young people with Soviet values in creative ways (Tsipursky, 2013). These stories closely reflect the values espoused in the Moralniy kodeks stroitelya kommunizma (Moral Code of the Builder of Communism), adopted in 1961 at the 22nd Party Congress. For example, an emblematic narrative is that of Tanya, a Soviet girl who leaves high school to support her family with factory work. She flourishes in her role as a quality controller: increasing the productivity of the plant by disciplining poor workers, mentoring other girls at the factory, and eventually gaining admission to college. Several of the commandments contained in the Moralniy kodeks are reflected here, including “labour for the benefit of society”, “collectivism”, “consciousness of public obligation” and “respect” for the family. Through the portrayal of model young people like Tanya, the Party was attempting to instil its Program in less overt ways to shape a generation of “ideal communists.” Beginning in 1965 and continuing until the late 1980s, the Komsomol introduced an initiative of “All-Union Tours around sites of military glory”, with the Komsomol Central Committee reporting the involvement of over three million young people in the first year alone. The comparative inactivity and corruption of the Brezhnev government during the mid1960s brought with it youth disillusionment. As with the wider ‘war cult’ of the Brezhnev era, the All-Union Tours can be seen as a mechanism with which to sustain the ‘myth’ of the Soviet regime in the face of pervasive frustration with the communist system, while simultaneously strengthening Russian nationalism and pan-Soviet identities. The young people of the 1960s and 1970s had not lived through a war, and had witnessed the rewriting of the official Soviet narrative in the wake of the incrimination of Stalin by Nikita Khrushchev’s 1956 ‘Secret Speech.’ Forming a cult around the militaristic achievements of the Soviet Union by encouraging pilgrimage to war-sites was a replacement of the “cult of the individual” surrounding Stalin, allowing the development of ideological confidence and love for the official history of the motherland. Komsomol data suggests that by 1971, in some areas, participation in the All-Union Tours was as high as 90% of people aged 14 to 28. Statistics such as this suggest that Komsomol were largely successful in fostering ideological orthodoxy and trust for the Party. Similarly, a 1961 voluntary and anonymous survey of
Komsomolskaya Pravda readership found that 83.4% of respondents “approved of the achievements of the current generation”, with 58.5% of these saying that their approval stemmed from their generation’s success in labour (see Tsipursky, 2013). However, these statistics fail to capture the dissident youths, who did not read Komsomolskaya Pravda, did not attend Komsomol events and did not subscribe to Party ideology. For example, in 1970s L’viv, Ukraine, organisations of ‘hippies’ flourished. These young people mirrored the hippie movement in the West, adopting their fashions and sharing their rejection of modern industrialisation. Furthermore, influxes of young tourists from capitalist countries (with approximately 10,000 American students in the USSR in 1967) and the related ease of access to Western media saw a rise in interest in banned content. The contact between tourists and the general population was minimised by the employment of KGB-trained and ideologically robust tour guides, who would allow visitors interaction with only some parts of Soviet life, representing the Party’s deep desire to ‘protect’ Soviet youth from capitalist ‘propaganda.’ Suppression of counterculture, such as with the arrest of prominent hippie Viacheslav Iresko in November 1970, and through the strict filtering of Western media content, represent an attempt by authorities to control youth challenges to the status quo. The Soviet Union, largely on the behest of its authoritarian politics and focus on ideologically-approved collectivism, met challenges to authority with official censures. However, the absorption of grassroots cultural movements started by orthodox Komsomol members into official Party policy also represents a flexibility inherent in 1960s and 1970s cultural politics. The acceptance of jazz music as part of Soviet youth culture, made official by jazz clubs and tours by international music acts, represents elements which began as “countercultural” being absorbed into mainstream culture when suppressive measures failed. THE UNITED STATES Similar to the USSR, the 1960s and 1970s were a time of great generational upheaval in the United States. These decades saw a rise in social activism and campus protests, with the Civil Rights Movement, second-wave feminism, sexual liberation and the Vietnam War being among the central issues. Furthermore, great cultural shifts occurred with the rise of the hippies and concurrent new media, such as rock music. A gradual shift occurred in the “New Left” movement from liberalism to radicalism across the span of the 1960s and 1970s. This is evidenced best, perhaps, by the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). In their “Port Huron Statement” of 1962, the SDS considered themselves pro-American liberals, with core beliefs in the necessity of racial equality and participatory democracy in America. By the mid-1960s, the SDS had undergone a shift toward radicalism, and while their initial beliefs still held merit, they now appeared alongside “increasingly militant” anti-imperialist sentiment, protest against the Vietnam War, and generalised criticism of university administrations and American domestic and foreign policy. In 1968, the SDS were one of the primary groups involved in protests at Columbia University, which eventually resulted in violent intervention by the NYPD. By 1969, the group had fractured into a number of warring factions with differing ideologies. Among these were the Weathermen, a highly militant group who, in Chicago in October, instigated the Days of Rage, resulting in violent clashes between police and young radicals. As the violence of groups like the Weathermen increased, under the belief that ‘defiance’ was the only appropriate response to an imperialistic, conservative and oppressive government, so increased the efforts of law enforcement to suppress the movements. Even greater levels of
militancy in police responses were seen regarding non-white youth movements, such as the Black Panthers, as evidenced by an FBI raid in December 1969 which resulted in the death of Fred Hampton, a 21-year-old Panther leader. A connection can be drawn between the increased militancy of government suppression and concern regarding the spread of radical, anti-establishmentarian attitudes. An article in LIFE magazine from May 1969 expressed concern that “student dissent and radical tension have now enveloped … the public-school system”, with a poll showing that 58% of high school students wanted more participation in policy making, and 52% wanted black students’ rights to be discussed in class. On these same issues, only 20% and 27% of parents, respectively, expressed approval. This demonstrable divide between the beliefs and desires of generations resulted in apprehension from parents and governments alike. In his inaugural speech in January 1969, President Nixon expressed concern regarding the “inflated” and “angry” rhetoric which had a grip on America. Simultaneous to the rise in student activism was the emergence of the hippie movement. While by no means apolitical, those young people who sought the life of a commune over that of a campus did not seek reform in the same way as their student counterparts, instead opting to “leave society” completely. While there was no “monolithic hippie movement”, the “mini societies” formed around youthful rejection of industrialised American society left what a 1967 TIME magazine article called an “irresistible” and “alarming” impression on their elders. The countercultural movements of the hippies and student activists were connected in important ways to popular culture. There is perhaps no better example of this than the 1969 Woodstock music festival, which drew a crowd of approximately 400,000 young people. However, many hallmarks of the counterculture were quickly absorbed into the cultural mainstream. Barry McGuire’s recording of “Eve of Destruction”, a stringently anti-Vietnam War song, reached No.1 on the Billboard Top 100 in September 1965. A poll by Gallup in October of the same year showed that only 36% of the American population disapproved of the military involvement in Vietnam. An issue of LIFE magazine from 25 April 1969 whose feature article was a critical-in-tone piece about “unruly”, “emotive” and “violent” student turmoil at Harvard University contained an advertisement on page sixteen which encouraged one to “express themselves” and their “politics” with a Scripto “Graffiti Pen”, and one on page twenty-six for Pall Mall cigarettes drew heavily on the imagery of a forest-dwelling hippie culture. The fashions of the hippie youth, such as natural tones and loose, wrapped dresses increasingly appeared in various forms in Vogue during the 1970s. This shows that, on top of the public fascination with youth counterculture that was made evident by the regular reporting of such magazines as LIFE and TIME, things which were once symbols of anti-establishmentarianism were gradually incorporated into the very fabric of the establishment, appearing regularly on the radio, in advertisements and in the clothes one wore. CONCLUSION Engagement with the notion of ‘youth’ during the 1960s and 1970s took on the form of either attempted suppression in the face of dissent, or absorption of elements of the counterculture into the mainstream. In the Soviet Union, where government structure allowed for wide-spread annihilation of resistance and instillation of Party-approved checks against counterculture, suppression through ideological indoctrination and legal censures were the primary form of response to youth dissent. Per contra, in the United States, where the
political and social conscience did not allow for such direct or widespread suppression, elements of counterculture were rapidly and en masse absorbed into the cultural mainstream. However, while it initially appears that the USSR was defined singularly by a system of suppression, whilst in the United States elements of youth culture which challenged the established mainstream were incorporated into that same mainstream, this does not hold up to further scrutiny. Both polities enacted a mixture of suppression and absorption as a response to the rise of youthful demands for agency, as evidenced in the USSRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s official jazz clubs, and the United Statesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; militant law enforcement responses to radical leftist movements. These examples, rather than being exceptions to otherwise universal rules of response to youth culture, in fact demonstrate that a dual approach of suppression and absorption was employed by authorities in both the USSR and the United States.
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MORE THAN THIS Noah Wellington
like any good student, I want to see Rome burn. I want to see dynasties fall, for hot ashes to swallow up my feet while towers wilt around me. I want whiplash claws to rake my spine and Jocasta’s pins in my eyes with all of history’s charred pages stuffed down my throat. I want to scream and see the flood come thundering, to turn to stone so that legacies might be carved into my flesh there should be runes on my ribs and bruises up my neck, because you shouldn’t kiss too many emperors, not like that. the earth should be heaving up around me with an army’s fevered approach, I should be ripping cobblestones out from under a throne and taking my place in the palace. like any good student, I want to drink poison and taste the ages, and I want more than this.
Chariot was made in the city of Melbourne, on stolen land belonging to the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations. We pay our respects to their elders past and present, and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.