World War One

This war entailed the Allied powers of Britain, France and America (triple entente) against the central powers, Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire (triple alliance) from August 1924- November 11, 1918. This war led to the eventual collapse of four major empires and a new power structure in Europe that would eventually be tested with the Second World War. Causes: Why so many countries involved As most wars began, the First World War was the nascent war after an assassination.

This assassination took place on June 28, 1914 (unofficially the beginning of the war). Gavrilo Princip, who was part of the Black Hand Gang assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. The reason for the Archduke’s visit was to take imperial rule over a province (Solar Navigator). It must also be stated that this was not the sole contributor to the war, but it was one factor of many. Other causes of the war were included in the treaty of Versailles and the Treaty of Trianon.

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Austria, along with Berlin essentially acted first in its invasion of Serbia on July 29 that is one cause of the war. Also, Germany who on August 3, attacked Belgium, ‘in accordance to the Schlieffen Plan’ (Solar Navigator). It was in these acts that the war began and it was in the above mentioned treaties that the Second World War may be found, as Solar Navigator states, “Though drastically simplified, such an overview clearly portrays Germany and Austria-Hungary as the aggressors, and therefore, those bearing responsibility.

Not surprisingly, this resulted in the humiliation of Germany, which included the demand that Germany pay all the war costs (including pensions) of the Allies. This directly affected the global economy and indirectly contributed to the Great Depression”. The World Wars in Europe were a defeating accomplishment because of the overall death toll. The Treaty of Versailles ended World War I in 1919. The treaty, authored primarily by United States President Wilson, was backed by the other three members of the allied forces – France, Great Britain and Italy.

However, once the treaty was finalized, it met great resistance in the American Congress. There were many factors that divided the American Congress of the treaty. One of these factors was the seemingly light punishment that Wilson detailed against Germany. Partly because the United States had only been on the war for a short time, and partly because Wilson wanted to end the US involvement in European politics, he drafted the “Fourteen Points” against Germany. The next problem came from the congressmen who still opposed any US involvement in Europe.

Since before the United States entered World War I, many Americans felt that US involvement was a waste of time and life. The Europe that emerged after the war was seen as much the same as it had been before the war began. Between these two main groups of opposition, there was not enough support, therefore, Wilson’s treaty failed to be ratified by the United States congress. Wilson felt this was a great failure; it plagued him throughout the remainder of his presidency. World War Two World War Two was instigated by not only short term but also long term problems.

One such long term effect that took place in order for World War Two to occur was the unfair treatment German citizens felt they received during the signing of the 1919 Versailles Peace Treaty. Another very interesting long term cause of the war was the way in which the League of Nations, set up after the signing of the peace treaty at the end of World War One, lacked military prowess in preventing dictators to overrule a country. The League did not have an army by which to enforce their rule and so would-be dictators soon discovered that they could indeed take control of countries.


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