The Impact of World War I on the Family in Transylvania Cover Image
  • Price 5.00 €

The Impact of World War I on the Family in Transylvania
The Impact of World War I on the Family in Transylvania

Author(s): Ioan Bolovan, Sorina Bolovan
Subject(s): History
Published by: Centrul de Studiere a Populaţiei
Keywords: World War I; Romania-Transylvania; family; gender relations

Summary/Abstract: In Romania there is no systematic research on this topic, there are few exceptions, but insufficient to if we are to assess the most important effects of war on the societal ensemble. In the present paper we will focus on Transylvania, which is part of today’s Romania, but was part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy until 1918. The war, instead of uniting families affected by the tragedy of a son/husband leaving for the front, only emphasized and exacerbated certain relations between the daughter-in-law and her in-laws. The husband’s parents wished they got more and more involved in the household of the son who had left for the front. And this was somehow normal up to a point. However, their insistence and rigidity often led to worse relations. This was an aspect very well represented in the letters that came from the front and left for the front, but also in the folklore of that time. Marriage and the couple’s morality were visibly influenced by war as people reacted in complex ways to the challenges of the new circumstances of everyday life on the front and also at home. The population’s increased mobility, especially the increased mobility of those who were on the front during those years, was such that it contributed to the “contamination” of a large segment of population with habits, beliefs, and feelings which would hardly have been seen during normal circumstances, during peace and in a traditional frame of mentality. The war emphasized a tendency towards dissolution in the first years of the period between the wars. Later on, family relations became stronger. The oscillation of the divorce rate in the first decade after the war is relevant in this respect. After the torment created by the war had gradually been “annihilated”, Transylvanian society went back to normal, more or less. Patriarchy and the usual values of masculinity got back their traditional importance, especially in the rural areas.

  • Issue Year: 3/2009
  • Issue No: Supplement
  • Page Range: 611-628
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: English