World War I, Europe & the World
The impact of World War I is still with us today. Modern Europe is a direct result of what happened during World War I. For a quick example: because France and England severely punished Germany with reparations, Germans were humiliated, and their economy was in shambles. This led to the rise of Adolph Hitler, WWII, The Cold War, and much of the European history that has followed through cause and effect.
Causes of the war were growing nationalism, imperialism, militarism and a system of alliances in Europe. Nationalism is the love of one’s country, but it allows individuals to believe they are better than others, so it makes it easier ...view middle of the document...
World War I otherwise known as “The Great War” started with the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, soon to be at the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife while traveling through Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Archduke was targeted because Serbians feared that once he was on the throne, he would continue with the persecution of Serbs living within the borders of the Austria-Hungary Empire. The “Black Hand,” a Serbian terrorist organization was the one that carried out the assassination.
Austria-Hungary’s empire blamed Serbia and attacked. Russia, allied with Serbia, mobilized its’ armed forces. Germany, allied with Austria-Hungary, mobilized its military and declared war on Russia. Within a week all of the important European countries honored their alliances and were at war. The Central Powers were Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the allies were Russia, France, Great Britain, and Serbia. As the war continued the Turkish (Ottoman Empire), and Bulgaria would join the Central Powers. Italy and the United States would join the allies.
President Wilson wanted to remain neutral. Americans were divided because many traced their roots to either Germany or Great Britain. However, the Central Powers lost the propaganda war. Most of the news about the war came from Great Britain because the British cut the Trans- Atlantic cable from Germany. Probably the most significant factor leading to the war was unrestricted German submarine warfare. After Germany sank the city of Memphis, Illinois, and Vigilancia President Wilson asked congress to declare war. The American involvement in the war not only made it possible for the allies to win the war, but American involvement in the peace process offered the best hope for a lasting and just peace. To achieve this peace President Wilson came up with his famous list of fourteen points. Some of the examples of what he wanted were to remove trade barriers between the nations, give the various groups in the Austrian-Hungary Empire the right of self-determination, or the right to determine their own form of government, to reduce the size of military forces, and he wanted to end secret treaties. He also wanted to establish an organization that would be similar to today’s United Nations where countries could resolve conflicts without going to war. The problem is leaders of the other allied nations were more interested in making the losers pay for the war, and they wanted to divide up the losers colonies. They were interested in greed, but President Wilson was driven by a sense of justice. One would expect President Wilson to have tremendous influence at the peace conference because the United States saved the allies. Unfortunately the American congress refused to support President Wilson’s plan for a League of Nations. The Congress looked at the league as another form of alliance, and they were afraid it could drag the United States into another European war. Without the backing of his...