World War 1 : History, Essay, Speech, Article, Composition
The First World War or World War 1 was a global war that was fought from 28th July 1914 to 11th November 1918. The war saw widespread destruction and loss of lives of over 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in the world which changed the face of history entirely.
Causes of World War 1
In the year 1914, on June 28th Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary and his wife Sophie were assassinated by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip. This led to Austria-Hungary to send an ultimatum to the kingdom of Serbia which formed entangled international alliances all over the world.
What lead to the assassination was the annexation of several provinces in Bosnia-Herzegovina a few years earlier against the wishes of neighbouring Serbia who were also interested in those provinces. This angered the Serbians and one group called the Black Hand (a Serbian Nationalist terrorist group) sent a group to assassinate the Archduke. After a few failed attempts by several members of the group, Gavrilo Princip succeeded in assassinating him and his wife while they were on a visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Who all were involved in the war?
The World War 1 saw over one hundred nations participating in one way or the other. However there were several main players in the war.
In the year 1873 the German chancellor Otto Von Bismarck teamed up with Russia and Austria amidst fears of the French and British aggression, but Russia and Austria couldn’t agree on who should gain control of the Balkans Peninsula and thus this league dissolved. With Russia out of the picture Austria and Germany formed the dual alliance which became the triple alliance when Italy joined. On the allied side, France, Russia and the Great Britain were made up of three separate alliances among the three countries.
Now when archduke was killed, Austria Declared war upon Serbia on 28th July 1914. Russia supported its ally Serbia even with Germany warning them to not do so. Russia did not back off and this led Germany to declare a war on Russia.
Germany asked France for help but France had already signed an agreement to send more than a million troops to Russia if Germany or Austria declared a war on them. This led Germany to declare a war on France.
Italy too joined Germany France Britain and Russia in the war against Austria. Germany invaded Belgium in order to get to France and this lead Great Britain to declare a war or Germany due to a pact between Great Britain and Belgium. Then Austria on Russia, France on Austria, Serbia on Germany and so on.
Japan too entered the war on the request of The Great Britain and they declared war on Germany on 23rd August 1914. The US entered the war in the year 1917 when the British passenger liner the “Lusitania” was sunk by a German submarine, which killed about 128 Americans. Many other countries like India, Australia and most African colonies too fought on the behalf of their Imperial Rulers.
End of World War 1
In the year 1918 November 11th, Germany formally surrendered and all the nations involved agreed to stop fighting and term of peace were negotiated.
On June 28th 1919 the treaty of Versailles was signed between Germany and the allied Nations which formally ended the war and also awarded victory to the Allied Nations (Britain, France, Italy and Russia).
Effects of World War 1
The period from November 1918 until the signing of the treaty in 1919, The Allies maintained a Naval Blockade of Germany which hampered their foreign trade as Germany was a country largely dependent on Imports. Over 523,000 civilians lost their lives due to this and another quarter of a million died due to diseases and starvation.
When the treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, it contained terms that demanded Germany to accept responsibility for starting the war and to pay economic repartition of 132 billion gold marks for it. Their troops were reduced and they were not allowed to possess major military armaments such as the tanks, warships and submarines. To pay off the repartition Germany printed huge amounts of currency which brought about Hyperinflation in the year 1923.The county also saw small parts of its territory being transferred to other countries such as Denmark, Belgium etc.
The whole of Europe suffered a general inflationary period during the 1920’s as a result of funding the Great War. The value of the pound sterling fell by 61.2.%. The UK also suffered huge material losses with over 40/5 of their merchant ships being sunk by the German U-Boats. These were however replace by the end of the war. Several colonies such as India and Nigeria became more assertive in their fight for freedom as they realised their own power and Britain’s weak condition due to the war.The world war too brought about women’s empowerments as they got the right to vote and also got opportunities to work which was not previously allowed to them.The United States helped fund the rebuilding of Europe, Germany and also of Austria right upto the Great Economic Depression.The aftermath of world war 1 was faced by the whole world in one way or the other.
The war took the lives of over 9 million people with many more injured and yet another group of people who were never found.