WORLD WAR-1: A Brief Overview


World War I

World War I

Often called as crises of modernity in the twentieth century, World War -1 was a major factor that changed the world forever. There had been continuous clash amongst colonial countries to expand their power and capture cheap resources as well as labors since nineteenth century onwards. There were six contenders in the beginning of the twentieth century for domination of the whole world- USA, UK, France, Germany, Russia and Japan.

IMMEDIATE RUN UP

Immediate cause of the the First World War was the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne at Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital on 28th June , 1914. A secret society called the ‘Black Hand’ was responsible for the killing. Even without Serbian Government’s direct involvement, Austria was determined to punish Serbia for the murder. On 28th August 1914, it broke off diplomatic relations with Serbia and declared war on it.

MAJOR REASONS BEHIND THE OUTBREAK

  • Economic Rivalries: countries like Belgium, France, United States, Prussia Japan and Russia began to industrialize tremendously. With their economic strength , they were stalking claims beyond their ‘National territories’.
  • Formations of Camps: In 1879, Germany and Austria-Hungary agreed to go to war if either country was attacked by Russia.Italy joined the agreement in 1882 and it came to be known as the Triple Alliance. Similarly France, Russia and Britain formed ‘Triple Entente‘.

VARIOUS DEVELOPMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE WAR

The First World War witnessed development of heavy guns. The first successful machine -gun was invented by Hiram Stevens Maxim. After 1915, lighter machine guns like British Lewis guns, French Chauchat, US Browning automatic rifles were used. Tanks, aircrafts,submarines, aircraft carriers were discovered during this war. ‘Little Willie’ , ‘Big Willie’ (tanks) were designed in Britain in 1915.

POST WAR SCENARIO

  • Over 8 million people were killed , 4-5 million rendered homeless.
  • League of Nations‘ came into being on recommendation of ‘Fourteen Points’ by Woodrow Wilson (American President).
  • Germany was punished and humiliated.
  • Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland became independent.
  • Ottoman Empire was abolished with the Treaty of Sevres, 1920.

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About Gangotri

Mostly old-school. Feminist. Fiesty. Passionate about things I believe in. Love to learn about something new every day.

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