Reforming the veteran: propaganda and agency in the First World War Reconstruction hospitals

Aaron Jackson

Abstract


The United States’ entry into the First World War prompted progressives to reform veterans’ entitlements in the hopes of creating a system insulated from corruption and capable of rehabilitating disabled veterans into productive members of society. The replacement of pensions with medical care for wounded and disabled soldiers through the Reconstruction Hospital System was originally intended as a temporary measure but resulted in establishing the foundations of the modern veterans’ health care system. Yet, these reforms would not have been possible without the support from the community of war veterans to which these reforms applied. By examining the communal values expressed in publications produced by and for soldiers, this paper explores the ways in which the Great War’s veteran community expressed agency in the process of reforming the US veteran entitlements.

Keywords


Veterans; Hospital; WWI; First World War; Progressives; Reform; Disability; Disabled; Great War; Newspaper; Trench Journal; Propaganda; Patient Agency

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2019.743

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