World War 1
Causes of the War
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary in 1914 was the last thing that triggered the World War 1. The assassination provided Austria-Hungary with an excuse to take action against Serbia. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia which led to Russia mobilizing their troops due to its alliance with Serbia. Germany, having alliance with Austria-Hungry, declared war on Russia. This led to the expansion of the war which included all the European powers such as Britain and France. Due to this, the French government ordered the mobilization of her troops. In the meantime, Germany declared war on France. The Germany military entered Belgium. The British government warned the Germans to pull out but they did not pay any attention. Therefore, Britain declared war on Germany.
At the beginning of the 20th century, an arms race had began between the great powers of Europe. By 1914, Germany had the greatest increase in military buildup. Britain had the biggest Navy and wanted to dominate the entire Europe. Germany also wanted to do the same. This caused a race between the two powers. Each country was trying to build the greatest and the biggest weapons. As such, Britain and Germany both greatly increased their navies. These countries also started to use militarism to have affect on public policies, especially Germany and Russia. This increase in militarism helped push the countries involved to war.
World War 1 led to arms race in order to build more destructive weapons along with improving communication technology, machine guns, poison gas, submarines, battleships, airplanes, tanks, flamethrowers, aircraft carriers, depth charges, interrupter gear, and hydrophones. All these weapons were being made to destroy and gain control of the territory and show power. All this development was being done at the suffering of mankind. The bigger and better weapons were developed on daily bases. There were also some good inventions that came out during this time frame such as the sanitary napkins. It also led to industrialism and towards the concept of mass production.
World War 1 used new weaponry technology which led to great numbers of casualties. The men and women who served in the First World War endured some of the most horrific forms of warfare ever known. Millions were sent to fight away from home for months, even years, and underwent a series of terrible physical and emotional experiences. Soldiers and labourers were required to dig trenches under harsh conditions. The soldiers fought during terrible weather conditions. As new weapons were being developed, they brought a greater increase in casualties. This made the World War very horrific and deadly.
The soldiers had to live outside for days and weeks. Men were living outside for days or weeks on end, with limited shelter from cold, wind, rain and snow in the winter or from the heat and sun in summer. The new destructive weapons were destroying the landscape, reducing trees and buildings to desolate rubble and producing a tremendous amount of mud on the battlefield. The noise of the artillery and machine gun fire, both enemy and friendly, was unbearable. Sometimes, soldiers spent a great deal of time waiting around. It was grim and repetitive producing boredom and depression which led to demoralization.
World war affected civilians of the entire world. Not only did it affect them monetarily, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, but it also made he food shortages very common. Civilians were being persecuted because of race, gender, creed, and religion. Since the civilians were involved at Homefront, it made the First World War a total war. Men on both sides were recruited into services and had to work in factories and other manufacturing industries in order to aid the army. Furthermore civilians were directly impacted by warfare and the bombings of their land. Civilians often found themselves directly in an area that was being bombed and often had to leave their homes and their livestock in order to avoid these.
Before World War 1 began, men were mostly the 'breadwinners'. They worked in the factories and wherever the strength was required. As the World War started and more and more men were deployed to the battlefields, women had to take their places in the factories and home.Life for women changed dramatically during the war because so many men were away fighting. Many women took paid jobs outside the home for the first time. Women's pay was lower than men's, even when they were doing the same work. The women took jobs in munitions factories and many joined the army as nurses.
It is estimated that about ten million men died in the World War 1 and about twenty million were wounded. The political map changed. There was no longer an Ottoman empire. Most of the European countries were facing economic crises. The sanctions imposed after the World War 1 along with the inflation in Europe caused another great war known as World War 2. The economic chaos added to the social unrest and caused destabilization in Europe. Especially Germany was getting targeted which led to its remilitarization and expansion. America's economy took a turn for the worse in October 1929 when the stock market crashed. This caused The Great Depression.