World War I
Professor Kevin Muir
June 22nd, 2014
World War I
1914-1918 will be dates forever ingrained into the history of the world. These dates bring about and highlight the human thirst for expansion, oppression, and war. These four years of time depict a flaw in human nature that goes against all common sense in the belief in peace. This is proven in the fact that humans have given identity to the event that took place as “The Great War”, a global conflict that saw the death of millions of combatants and still one of the deadliest conflicts in history. Nationalism, Imperialism, and Militarism are the forces that drove nations ...view middle of the document...
Princip assassinated Ferdinand and his wife in protest of the Austria-Hungary occupation of Sarajevo, Bosina, which he believed belonged to Serbia. This protest led Russia to uphold its alliance with Serbia and mobilize in Serbia’s defense, thus causing Germany to declare war on Russia in keeping true to its alliance with Austria-Hungary (Mitrovic, 2007). This is the tipping point where imperialism reared its head and saw nations battle over the controlling interests of other nations. Austria-Hungary moves on Serbia, Germany moves on Russia expanding the bounds of the war (Mitrovic, 2007). Imperialism of World War I saw countries like Austria-Hungary seek to increase their power by the invasion of Serbia and attempting to bring Serbian territories under their control. This saw reigniting of Pan-Slavism in Eastern Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina) seek unity in their people and secede from Austria-Hungary and other German speaking states to join their Slavic people and unite with Serbia. At the same time Germany mobilized to assist their ally Austria-Hungary, this event was seen as an opportunity for them to expand their presence on the world stage as a world super power (Mitrovic, 2007) . Germany had in recent years under Wilhelm and Bismarck united Germany into the country that it is and Wilhelm was the third and last emperor of Germany. In his haste to secure a victory for Austria-Hungary he sought to grow his kingdom and what better way than under the guise of defense for aligned countries. The spark of the war saw the underlying need of countries to expand and abuse those countries helpless to defend against them and saw a massive exploitation of resources. The alliance system was the fuel to a fire that raged out of control and cost millions their lives at the expense of growing the empires or attempting to set them free, this spilled over into countries that were not involved or chose not to be, but even the strongest isolationism could not be maintained (Guisepi, 2001).
1917 was a pivotal moment in the war and was the year that saw the United States joins the Allies to eventually defeat the Central Powers and ease tension in Europe. Woodrow Wilson was president at the time of the Great War and at his core he was an isolationist with no intention of getting America involved with the war across the sea in Europe. Wilson focused on the economic prowess of the United States and continued to increase global trade passage and signing of the Underwood Tariff reducing rates from 41 to 27 percent (Guisepi, 2001) . However despite his efforts to avoid war his attempts to increase global trade saw constant attacks on U.S. ships by the Germans. Finally, with the attack and subsequent sinking of the Lusitania, a non-military ship unannounced killing 128 Americans the public outcry from the American people was deafening; Wilson demanded an end to attacks on passenger ships, to which Germany complied. It was too late, this along with the constant...