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Adam Hosegood

on 20 September 2012

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The Great War, or better known as World War I, is one of the most important wars of history. It was the world’s biggest war yet, with over 16 million deaths and 20 million wounded , making it one of the deadliest human conflicts to ever occur. It helped shaped Europe and The World into what it is today. Causes of WWI
World War I was a ticking time bomb waiting to go off at any moment and there were many factors that led to its boom. Tensions between countries were extremely high and everyone was looking for personal gain. France was looking to get back at Germany for taking Alsace-Lorraine, Austria-Hungary was contending with Serbia, and the rest of the Balkans, over land while Russia was egging them on. Meanwhile England was trying to remain the ultimate power of The World. Alliances were happening everywhere at the same time, Germany allied with Austria-Hungary, Russia with Serbia so they could reach the Mediterranean, and England with France and Belgium. Before anyone could say M.A.N.I.A. the whole of Europe was tied down with alliances and promises. It was going to go down at any second. The Start of WWI

The war began in one swift domino effect. On 28 June 1914 , a Serbian-Bosnian nationalist, assassinated the archduke of Austria-Hungary in Sarajevo, Bosnia. This was the push Europe needed to start a war. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia soon after the assassination and Russia, wishing to keep its Balkan influence, declared war on Austria-Hungary. Germany rushed to the defence of Austria-Hungary, and France still bitter about Alsace-Lorraine went to take it back. Germany declared war on Russia, then initiated the Schlieffen Plan. The Schlieffen Plan was made in 1905 and was created to knock France out of the war as soon as possible, to avoid a two-front war. They attacked through Belgium who was allied with England, and after Germany refused England’s request that Belgium be left neutral, England declared war on Germany. During WWI
Once England joined the war, the two different sides were formed. The Triple Entente, which consisted of England, France, and Russia, and the Triple Alliance, which was Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. England’s involvement in the war immediately involved Canada too, being a commonwealth colony. Troops in Canada were told they would be home by Christmas and were shipped overseas to fight the Triple Alliance. Propaganda was everywhere, glorifying going to war and fighting for your country. Many people had never experienced war before and were excited to go and fight for their families.
Technology began rapidly advancing once wartime began, countries were continuously competing for the top technology of the time and millions were spent. Germany and England had an extremely expensive competition over who had the most powerful navy, England trying to remain in power and Germany trying to get ahead of them. Huge battles were fought at sea between these too, costing each side thousands of lives and dollars. Although Germany was a worthy opponent to England, they were soon forced back into submission at sea as the war neared its end.
The majority of battles were fought in stalemate trench warfare, where the two sides would dig trenches to protect against gun fire and push back and forth. This was an extremely slow and gruelling way of war and thousands died from malnutrition and disease in the trenches.
In early 1917 America joined the war and declared war on Germany due to German attack in the Atlantic Ocean. This began the conclusion of the Great War. The End of WWI
After the entry of America the war began going downhill for the Triple Alliance. Both sides were extremely exhausted and were going in all or nothing. Germany began slowly falling back after losing battle after battle, while both Austria-Hungary and Germany were losing control of their influence and land. They were losing. In 1918 the war finally concluded, Triple Entente winning, and the Triple Alliance was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles. This treaty broke up Austria-Hungary into smaller countries and held Germany responsible for almost everything in the war. Germany was made to pay back countries for damages, and land lost, plus there was a cap on how much military they could develop. This seemed a little too much, and Germany was extremely poor and humiliated because of it, and this is a huge part of the reason WWII happened.
WWI changed the world. It created new countries, new laws, new technological advancements, and lay waste to millions of people. It wasn’t called the Great War for no reason; it was a great and devastating war, with only the Second World War to compare. “War. War never changes.” FIN.
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