This question is inspired by a discussion I had with my friend recently, about ordinary people's perception and support of the many wars in the 19 and 20th century. Nowadays, the overwhelming majority is against any kind of war, and almost nobody would support killing other people for the sole purpose of adding more territory to your country.

I thought that previously it was considered "honourable" to fight for your country, and most people supported the wars without really questioning the motives for it, just thinking of other nations as the enemy, and truly believed that they were neccesary, and that this sentiment began to change after the horrors of World War 1 were discovered, such as gas attacks or shell shock, but the pacifist movement only began to be widespread in the 1970-s.

However, my friend thinks, that most wars were always considered to be bad by the general population, and that most people were generally against any war, while most vocal supporters of the war did it because of money or other benefits. So, could you give a history of how public opinion on wars in European countries changed?

Apologies if there already exist similar questions, I couldn't easily find answers to this on the internet.

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    In western countries, the attitude has changed. Not so in many other countries. There is widespread support by the Russian population for Putin's 'special military operation', for example.
    – Jos
    Aug 16, 2022 at 7:59
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  • This question seems to be asking for data that would only be available via scientific opinion polling, which wasn't really invented/developed until 1936.
    – T.E.D.
    Aug 16, 2022 at 13:01
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    @Jos Then, no, nothing has changed, as most Western countries show & have shown widespread popular support for the Ukraine's side in that war… Was Iraq90 widely supported, yes. What did it take? Just a little dog-wagging with a fake nurse lying about mistreated babies… IraqTheNextGeneration? Just a little dog-wagging with some fake WMDs (that Putin would have found… ) Public support in the West for any war is easily wept into form. Just look how easy it was to mop up support for a war that replaced the Taliban with the Taliban in Kabul. Aug 16, 2022 at 18:57
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    @LаngLаngС - "Public opinion" as we know it? Yes we would. All we have today about Ceasar is what people who wanted to write about Ceasar wanted recorded.
    – T.E.D.
    Aug 16, 2022 at 19:33


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