Canadian machine gun squad

It has been 100 years since 1914, a year that changed the world and shaped the present future. Many of us living today in one way or more have been affected by the events that happened in that year. World War I (also called the Great War) is echoed as a war of unprecedented carnage and destruction. The death toll was frightening and extensive.

Most of us read in books, internet articles and watch documentaries of this massive event that we did not experience, yet some of us feel great sorrow over what transpired. And so for the purpose of remembrance, Introduction, knowledge and all other good reasons I am writing this article.

So what caused World War 1?

On June 28, 1914, ethnic pride moved Serbian Nationalist Gavrilo Princip to assassinate the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Francis Ferdinand. Princip was a member of an organization called the Black Hand, which, according to its constitution, preferred “revolutionary struggle rather than . . . cultural striving” in pursuing its goals. This assassination sparked war between so-called Christian nations, leading to World War I and the death of millions.

archduke franz fredinand

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

Gavrillo princip

Gavrillo Princip

In those times nationalism was taken very seriously. And many of the nations then were looking to build their empire. At the beginning of the twenty first century these empires decided to get allies that would help them further their interest and to gain strength. This resulted in a complicated web of allies that would spark catastrophe if one enemy nation would attack the other. Great Britain, France and Russia became allies. Germany, Austria Hungary and the Ottoman Empire were the first in these alliances.

ww1 map

After the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand the great catastrophe came to reality when Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia. Russia, a Serbian ally then declared war on Austria Hungary. Germany was ready and willing to stand behind Austria Hungary and so it went on. The US, later became an ally in the war in 1917. A total of 100 nations got involved until the war’s end in 1918. (Ended Officially in 1919 when the Treaty of Versailles was signed)

link to BBC animated western front animated map

Some effects of the war

When World War 1 ended the Treaty of Versailles was signed. This was done to prevent another war, but to the contrary it provoked one. All the diplomats from various countries who met to agree upon the treaty wanted different things. It is noteworthy that Germany was not invited. At this peace conference the British and French wanted revenge and compensation for the cost they endured during the war. This meant reparation from Germany which put serious economic constrains on the country which also lost land territory. Because Germany was said to have started the war they were forced to sign the treaty. Some Germans at the time saw the treaty as demanding too much of them. In anger, those in power in Germany decided to do what they could to undermine the treaty. Years later that anger was channeled into German Nationalism through the politician Adolf Hitler and led to the start of World War 2.

 

Although they might seem primitive now, the weapons in the First World War revolutionized warfare. A noteworthy innovation of that war was Poison Gas. Some gasses used include Tear Gas, Chlorine Mustard among others. The Emergence of tanks also started in the First World War. These and other innovations lead to the advance technology we use today, one such being the internet.

ww1 tanks

First Tanks

men in mask ww1

men in mask

Regardless of the Technical Knowledge gained though those events, mankind has lost much more, one being the lives of millions of irreplaceable human beings and also the sheer break down of human morality and the prospect of international brotherhood.

riot

Quotes about the war

“The whole world really blew up about World War I and we still don’t know why. Before then, men thought that utopia was in sight. There was peace and prosperity. Then everything blew up. We’ve been in a state of suspended animation ever since . . . More people have been killed in this century than in all of history.”—Dr. Walker Percy, American Medical News, November 21, 1977.

More than 50 years after 1914, German statesman Konrad Adenauer wrote: “Security and quiet have disappeared from the lives of men since 1914.”—The West Parker, Cleveland, Ohio, January 20, 1966.

 

 

 

Thanks to these sources : History.com, wol.jw.org, about.com, wikipedia.com

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My name is Robert Brown also known as “bobbysony” or just “bobby”. There are many words I could use to define myself but I prefer the short description of an average guy with an above average out-look on life. Read More at: http://bobbysony.com/about/
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