WorldWar 1 emerged as one of the first great wars that involved differentcountries in the globe. This war occurred from 1914 to 1918. The warbecame officially stopped by the signing of the Versailles Treaty.Different causes can be associated with the war that broughtdifferent changes in the economic, political and social spheres. Thisassignment will discuss the causes of the war, major battles,Versailles Treaty, and results of the war.
Causesof World War 1
WorldWar 1 (WW1) occurred from July 1914 to November 1918. There aredifferent causes that have been associated with the war. One of thecauses of WW1 was mutual defense alliances. Throughout Europe,countries made mutual defense agreements, which later pulled theminto battle. In case one country became attacked, allied countriesdefended them.1The need to defend other countries led to countries engaging eachother in war. For example, Austria-Hungary announced war on Serbia,while Russia became involved in order to defend Serbia. Later,Germany came to declare war on Russia, while France got involvedagainst Germany. United States and Italy entered to support theallies. Another cause of WW1 was imperialism. Imperialism describes asituation where a nation increases her wealth and power throughbringing extra territories under her control. 2Priorto WW1, Africa and some portions of Asia were sections of controversyamid the European countries. These areas were usually a target due tothe raw materials that they could provide. The increasing desire andcompetition for greater empires resulted in an increasedconfrontation, which aided in pushing the world into WW1.
Militarismwas another cause of WW1. When the world was entering the 20thcentury, arms race had commenced. Prior to starting of the WW1,Germany had the most increase in military buildup. Besides, bothGermany and Great Britain immensely enhanced their navies during thistime. Furthermore, in Russia and Germany, military establishmentstarted to have a vast influence on the public policy. The increasein militarism assisted in pushing countries into WW1. Besides,nationalism was another cause of the war.3The Slavic people in Herzegovina and Bosnia desired to be part ofSerbia instead of being part of Austria Hungary. Through this way,nationalism contributed directly to the war. Nationalism of thedifferent countries throughout Europe led to the extension of the warin Europe. Every country attempted to prove their power and dominanceleading to the continuance of the war. In addition, the immediateassassination of Archduke F. Ferdinand contributed to the start ofthe war. The assassination resulted in Austria-Hungary pronouncingwar on Serbia. The war became expanded by the alliances, whichentered in the war in an attempt to show defense.
TheBattle of Verdun
Oneof the major battles was the battle of Verdun. This battle was a 10month long ordeal amid the German and French armies. The fightentailed part of an unsuccessful campaign of Germans of taking theoffensive on the western front. In this battle, both the German andFrench armies suffered there were an estimate of 430,000 Germancasualties and 540,000 French casualties. In either side, nostrategic advantages became gained.4This battle can be considered as one of the most known brutal eventsof WW1, and the site where the battle occurred can be described asthe battlefield having the highest density of casualties per squareyard. The battle of Verdun occurred in 1916.
TheBattle of the Somme
Anothermajor battle during the WW1 was the battle of the Somme. The battleof Somme occurred in 1916, where the French army was hard-pressed inthe south at Verdun. In this battle, the British had the intention ofbreaking through the German defenses. The failure of the artillerybombardment in dislodging a good part of the German wire or indestroying the machine-gun posts resulted in one of the vast killingin the military history.5When this battle began, Germans drew themselves from their dugouts,guarded their posts and demolished the incoming waves of the Britishinfantry. In the battle of Somme, the British had 57,470 casualtiesafter the first day however, Haig pushed on with the attack.
TheBattle of Tannenberg
Thisbattle involved the Germans and Russians. After the Russians failedto invade East Prussia, they managed to impose a defeat on theGermans at Gumbinnen and wanted to make a push towards the West.However, the Germans swiftly moved in to combine the German EightArmy in halting the Russian advance. Although the Russiansoutnumbered the Germans, they were defeated by the Germans. Thedefeat of Russians in this battle was attributed to theineffectiveness of the Russian soldiers. Germans suffered 12,000casualties while Russians suffered 170,000 casualties.
Thebattle of Cambrai
Thiswas another major battle fought during the WW1. This battle occurredin 1917. The battle of Cambrai had a mixture of tanks being utilized,air power and heavy artillery. Cambrai was a significant town sinceit comprised of a strategic railhead. The front of the railhead lay avery sturdy Hindenburg Line. During the battle, the plan includedattacking on the Hindenburg Line and using three cavalry units thatwere to encircle Cambrai cutting it off. When the attack started,Germans became surprised by the severe artillery attack on theHindenburg Line. Later, the Germans were ready to defend Cambrai.Most British units became isolated and the command structure alsobroke. The counter-attack of the German was so effective, making theBritish units near Cambrai withdraw.
TheBattle of the Spring Offensive
Thisbattle became launched during the spring of 1918. The back of theGermans was against the wall German suffered from a Britishbarricade of its ports and lost many men, which made German armyrecruit young boys and old men to fight at the front lines. Germanknew the only way of winning this battle was to defeat the Allieswith a main defensive prior to the full deployment of the Americans.The operation of the Germans lacked clear goals and were not capableof transporting enough supplies that could maintain the advance. Inthis battle, the Allies lost above 850,000 persons, while Germanslost above 680,000 casualties.6
Thiswas the agreement that officially ended the WW1. Details of thetreaty was debated and settled at the Paris Peace Conference.Although most diplomats from the allied authorities were engaged,Germany was not involved and it had not been invited to the peaceconference. In the debates, President Wilson of America, PrimeMinister Georges of France, and Prime Minister David George of theUnited Kingdom were the most influential.7The Versailles Treaty became handed over to the Germany on 7thMay, 1919. The Treaty had express instructions indicating thatGermany had only three weeks of accepting the Treaty. However, sincethe Versailles Treaty contained details to punish Germany, Germanyfound may faults with the treaty. Although Germany presented variousobjections over this Treaty, most of them became ignored by theallied authorities. The Versailles Treaty had 440 Articles thatincluded 15 parts. The League of Nations was established by theopening part of the Treaty. Other sections included prisoners of war,military limitations, waterways, finances, reparations, and access toports. The most contentious elements of the Treaty were that Germanywas supposed to take full liability for the harm that resulted duringWW1, the limitation of Germany army to 100,000 individuals, extremevast sums in reparations Germany had to make to the alliedauthorities, and the main land concessions forced upon Germany. Theterms contained in the treaty were perceived as hostile to Germany, areason that led to Chancellor Scheidemann resigning instead ofsigning the treaty. However, Germany later signed the Treaty afterrealizing that they had no military power left to continue resistingthe agreement. The Treaty became signed on 28thJune, 1919 by Johannes Bell and Hermann Muller.
Resultsof the World War 1
TheWW1 resulted in the birth of nations and death of empires, andnational boundaries being drawn again in the world. It welcomedprosperity in some countries and resulted in economic depression inother countries. The results of the WW1 included political,economical and social aspects. The following paragraphs discusse thepolitical, economical and social results of the WW1
Theeconomical results were that the war favored the economic growth ofsome countries while it hurt other economies. In the United States,the factories were not hurt and performed even better than ever.American industrial production became sped up by the WW1, which ledto an economic boom in the ‘Roaring Twenties’.8Although the war had a devastating experience on the economy of theUnited Kingdom and France, the economies later recovered withoutdifficulty. However, Germany’s economy suffered immensely followingthe war. This emanated from the requirements of the VersaillesTreaty, where Germany was required to make reparations to theAllies.9The heavy reparations and devastated economic infrastructure inGermany resulted to economic depression. The Germany currency becamedevalued, which further affected the economy of Germany. The economyof Germany stabilized in the mid 1920s, but worsened after the stockmarket crash of America in 1929, leading to a spread of the greatDepression to Germany.
Underthe provisions of the Versailles Treaty, it was required that Germanywas to important territorial concessions these were chiefly alongthe Western and eastern borders. As a result of the war, Germanyceded Alsace-Lorraine to France. This section had been the subject ofdisagreement amid Germany and France for quite long time. Earlier,this portion had been ceded to Germany after its triumph, in 1871, inthe Franco-Prussian War10.After some decades, France wanted the portion back. After WW1, Franceemerged as one of the victorious powers, which made Germany to cedethe portion to France. Other sections of Germany were given toDenmark and Poland. The WW1 resulted to the development of asocialist revolution in Germany. The German Revolution led to thecreation of Weimar Republic that lasted until 1930, when Nazi partyseized power.
Besides,the Austro-Hungarian Empire broke into different independent states.The most well-known states were Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria,Yugoslavia, and Poland. Portions of Ottoman Empire became placedunder the control of Great Britain and France. The WW1 also helped inthe development of the Russian Revolution of 1917. The Russian Empirebecame toppled by this revolution and became replaced by a socialistgovernment. In the northeastern Europe, there was an emergence of newstates that were formerly a section of the Russian Empire. Thesestates included Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. On the otherhand, United States became a superpower after the WW1 due to theintervention of the country under the diplomatic leadership ofPresident.
TheWW1 had the result of disrupting different social norms. In mostparts of the globe, opportunities for the middle and lower classindividuals became enhanced and members of the aristocracy at timesfound their power diminishing. Most people had gone to the warthrough believing in nobility and heroism, but these were changed toanger and disbelief. Most of the families changed their structureinstead families comprising of children, father and mother, theyended up being comprised of mothers and children. The war led to thekilling of many fathers making societies to have an increase insingle families.11Religion was also affected during and after the war since churchattendance declined. Besides, the generation conflict becamebroadened by the war.
WW1was caused by the immediate assassination of Archduke F. Ferdinand,imperialism, militarism, nationalism, and mutual defense alliances.The Versailles Treaty officially ended the WW1. The Versailles treatycomprised of 440 Articles that had15 parts. The League of Nations wasestablished by the opening part of the Treaty. Other sectionsincluded prisoners of war, military limitations, waterways, finances,reparations, and access to ports. The WW1 led to different social,political, and economical consequences. For instance, the economy ofGermany became destructed, while that of the United States grewpositively.
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2 Ross, Stewart. Causes and Consequences of the First World War. London: Evans, 2003. Pp 96.
3 Dudley, William. World War I: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego, Calif: Greenhaven Press, 1998. Pp 96.
4 Livesey, Anthony. Great Battles of World War I. New York: Smithmark, 1997. Pp 64.
5 Livesey, Anthony. Great Battles of World War I. New York: Smithmark, 1997. Pp 66.
6 Livesey, Anthony. Great Battles of World War I. New York: Smithmark, 1997. Pp 72.
7 Slavicek, Louise Chipley. The Treaty of Versailles. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 2010. Pp 48.
8 Brose, Eric Dorn. A History of the Great War: and the International Crisis of the Early Twentieth Century. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp 67.
9 Collins, Ross F. World War I: Primary Documents on Events from 1914 to 1919. Westport (Conn.): Greenwood Press, 2008. Pp 88.
10 Dowling, Timothy C. Personal Perspectives. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Pp 22
11 Brose, Eric Dorn. A History of the Great War: and the International Crisis of the Early Twentieth Century. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp 28