World War 1(1914-1918) was probably one of the most brutal and devastating wars in history, when it came to the damage of the countries that were involved, and the number of casualties. Like a lot of wars, this one was portrayed to be for a good cause, but like most wars, the number of people who died, and the damage that was done, proved otherwise. In this week’s history essay I will discuss this great war, which had many countries involved. What I will be including is: the cause of the war, the US entering, some of the new technologies that were used in the warI will be briefly mentioning the important figures during the war, and will be discussing the overall impact on the world.
The Cause of the War
Like most wars World War 1 had more than one cause. These causes or issues build up over time until the country decides to declare war. One of the main causes of this war was when the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated by Serbia assassins on June 28th, 1914. This started the July Crisis, where Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany sided with Austro-Hungary, and demanded that France remained neutral in the conflict, but France refused, so Germany declared war on France. Germany and Austro-Hungary also declared war on Russia, who had sided with Serbia. England declared war on Germany, in defense of Belgium’s want to be neutral, on August 4th. The surprising thing was that Japan was also involved in this war, by declaring war on Germany on August 23rd, 1914, then Austro-Hungary on the 25th. The alliance of Germany, Austro-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria, was called the Central powers. The alliance of The British Empire, France, and Russian, was called the Allied side, and more countries joined in the fight, one of the first of which was Japan.
The US Entering in the War
The United States was also involved in World War 1, but unlike most of the countries involved in the fight the US joined the war almost three years later in 1917. Before the US joined the war it remained neutral. But thanks to Germany’s sinking of US ships, the US was getting forced bit by bit to join in the fight. The US president at the time Woodrow Wilson, who had been trying to get the US into the war for over a year, finally got the chance thanks to Germany’s sinking of US ships, and other things that they were doing, that were against the US. The US declared war, on Germany, on April 6th, 1917. At first the US did not declare war on the entire Central Power Alliance, but eventually it declared war on Austro-Hungary.
The New Technologies That Were Used in the War
World War 1 was a war that introduced and used many new technological inventions. Some of these inventions included, tanks, flamethrowers, tracer bullets, poison gas, and the airplane or aircraft. The most dangerous of all of these probably was the poison gas. Poison gas was created by the Germans, and was used to suffocate the enemy(which worked). But throughout the war this poison gas was made stronger by the side of the Germans, and the other side would simply make gas masks, and give them out. This poison gas was not effective in giving each side an advantage, but it was effective in causing more deaths, and injury.
The End of the War and How it Affected the Countries Involved
World War 1 was officially over when the Treaty of Versailles was signed. Both sides were affected in many ways, the US less so though. Countries on each side experienced some sort of food shortage or famine, which influenced Germany’s surrender, and call for peace in 1918. Four empires collapsed or were destroyed, including the Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empire. Twenty million people were killed during the war, and more died from other reasons, such as the Spanish Flu, so this war affected many negatively.
Though many countries that were involved in World War 1 suffered greatly, the United States rather prospered, this time for the United States, after World War 1 was known as the Roaring Twenties. World War 1 was nicknamed the war to end all wars, which proved untrue in twenty years, when the second world war occurred.