It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history and precipitated major political changes, including the Revolutions of —in many of the nations involved. Unresolved rivalries at the end of the conflict contributed to the start of World War II about twenty years later.
The war can be represented as totalitarian regimes verses democratic regimes, but that is a somewhat simplistic analysis because rivalry and jealousy between the two sides was a fundamental issue.
Germany felt that it was entitled to an empire; Britain, France, and even Belgium possessed extensive overseas territory while Germany had just a few colonies.
The democratization process, though, was more advanced among the Allies than in Germany and her main ally, the Ottoman Empire. Humanity should learn from the legacy of this war that war cannot end war—it can only lead to more violence.
The higher principle of peaceful resolution of differences attracted much interest after when the League of Nations was formed, but the nations of the world were unwilling to establish this as an effective body, being reluctant to give it any real power.
President Woodrow Wilson had been one of its chief architects but the U. This assassination set in motion a series of fast-moving events that escalated into a full-scale war. The cause of the conflict, however, is complex. Historians and political scientists have grappled with this question for nearly a century without reaching a consensus.
The treaty that ended the war required Germany to admit to being the aggressor Article but this was achieved in the context of Germany's defeat, economic sanctions, and the threat of renewed hostilities.
The damage this caused to national pride would help Adolf Hitler 's rise to power. Alliances Political scientists regard the building of alliances as a cause, specifically the formation of the Triple Entente and Triple Alliance.
Alliances emboldened participating nations, leading each to believe that they had powerful backing. Both camps functioned in unique ways that contributed to the spread of war.
For the Triple Alliance, the strong relationship between Germany and Austria expanded the conflict to a level where it would include at least four participants.
Russia, France, and Britain had a relationship that was much less certain incontributing to the fact that each made the decision to go to war without collaborative consultation and with their own interests in mind. Arms races The German-British naval arms race drastically intensified after the launch of the HMS Dreadnought, a revolutionary battleship that made all previous battleships obsolete.
A major naval arms race in shipbuilding developed, related to the concept of new imperialism, furthering the interest in alliances. Kennedy argues that both nations adopted U. Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan's conclusion that control of the oceans was vital to a great nation.
Kennedy, Additionally, this concentration kept related industries active and unemployment down while minimizing internal strife through the focus on a common, patriotic goal. Different scholars have different opinions about the degree to which the arms race was itself a cause of the war.
Ferguson points out that Britain easily maintained her advantage. On the other hand, both sides were prepared for war. Ferguson, Plans, distrust, and mobilization: The First out of the Gate theory Many political scientists argue that the German, French, and Russian war plans automatically escalated the conflict.
Fritz Fischer and his followers emphasized the inherently aggressive nature of Germany's Schlieffen Plan, which outlined German strategy if at war with both France and Russia.
Conflict on two fronts meant that Germany had to eliminate one opponent quickly before attacking the other, relying on a strict timetable. France's well defended border with Germany meant that an attack through Belgian and possibly Dutch territory was necessary, creating a number of unexpected problems.
All three created an atmosphere where generals and planning staffs were anxious to take the initiative and seize decisive victories using these elaborate mobilization plans with precise timetables.
Once the mobilization orders were issued, it was understood by both generals and statesmen alike that there was little or no possibility of turning back or a key advantage would be sacrificed.
The problem of communications in should also not be underestimated; all nations still used telegraphy and ambassadors as the main form of communication, which resulted in delays from hours to even days.
Militarism and autocracy U. President Woodrow Wilson and other observers blamed the war on militarism. The idea was that aristocrats and military elites had too much control over Germany, Russia, and Austria, and the war was a consequence of their thirst for military power and disdain for democracy.
This was a theme that figured prominently in anti-German propaganda, which cast Kaiser Wilhelm II and Prussian military tradition in a negative light. Consequently, supporters of this theory called for the abdication of such rulers, the end of the aristocratic system, and the end of militarism—all of which justified American entry into the war once Czarist Russia dropped out of the Allied camp.
Wilson hoped the League of Nations and universal disarmament would secure a lasting peace, although he failed to secure U.This conscription had a very bad impact on Canada, going against the freedom of citizens which Canada supported, having negative effects on the families and the soldiers and lastly, dividing the nation into two, the English and the French.
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If you are a teacher searching for educational material, please visit PBS LearningMedia for a wide range of free digital resources spanning preschool through 12th grade. Comments. Brother Nathanael April 18, @ pm.
Hitler’s most trenchant speech, Freedom Or Slavery, as author John Toland observes, is Hitler’s “reasonable explanation” of Jewry’s power both in Germany, Europe, and in America. Conscription was introduced in January , targeting single men aged Within a few months World War 1 conscription was rolled out for married men.
Men who got called up for service could appeal to a local Military Service Tribunal. A broadly popular but divisive measure, conscription polarized provinces, ethnic and linguistic groups, communities, and families, and had lasting political effects on the country as a whole.
For many Canadians, it was an important and necessary contribution to a faltering war effort; for others, it was an oppressive act passed dishonestly by a.