World War I (The Last One Wasnt Finished, This One Is The One That Is Finished)

4088 words - 16 pages

World War IIt was "The War To End All Wars,"- a senseless slaughter that set the stage for the bloodiest century in human history.Yet, it was more than just a war between nations. It was a war between what was and what was to be. The "old world" was dying, and the new world had yet to be born. People of all classes and nations saw it as some great cleansing fire that would accelerate this battle and lead to a better world. But, when it was over, more than men had died in the mud of the battlefields. The I dreams of progress, along with the innocence of the pre-war world, faith in God, and hope in the future all died in the trenches of Europe.World War I was so terrible and so titanic a struggle that its memory haunts us still, even in the 21st century. No previous conflict had ever been as brutal or as vast in scale, and its scars were so deep that it came to be known simply as "The Great War."World War I is commonly seen as a watershed between two distinct periods of history, in many ways marking the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. It was certainly the fist war of the 20th century in terms of its scale and the lethal power of the weaponry involved. At the time, however, it had very real links with the 19th century, none more obvious than the ideas and beliefs that shaped national and social attitudes and contributed to a climate of mutual hostility between the Great Powers of Europe. The 19th century witnessed the cultivation of that hostility, the 20th century the reaping.CausesWorld War I was immediately precipitated by the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary by a Serbian nationalist in 1914. There were, however, many factors that had led toward war. Prominent causes were the imperialistic, territorial, and economic rivalries that had been intensifying from the late 19th cent., particularly among Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia, and Austria-Hungary.Of equal importance was the rampant spirit of nationalism, especially unsettling in the empire of Austria-Hungary and perhaps also in France. Nationalism had brought the unification of Germany by "blood and iron," and France, deprived of Alsace and Lorraine by the Franco-Prussian War of 1870--71, had been left with its own nationalistic cult seeking revenge against Germany. While French nationalists were hostile to Germany, which sought to maintain its gains by militarism and alliances, nationalism was creating violent tensions in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy; there the large Slavic national groups had grown increasingly restive, and Serbia as well as Russia fanned Slavic hopes for freedom and Pan-Slavism.Imperialist rivalry had grown more intense with the "new imperialism" of the late 19th and early 20th cent. The great powers had come into conflict over spheres of influence in China and over territories in Africa, and the Eastern Question, created by the decline of the Ottoman Empire, had produced several disturbing controversies....

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