WORLD WAR I (1914-1918)
The dispute between Austria and Hungary and Serbia was initiated by the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne, by a Serbian nationalist. Germany was the first country to declare war as it urged Austria Hungary to fight with Serbia. Soon, this regional issue turned into an international conflict known in history as ‘The First World War”. The war started in 1914 and involved many countries in Europe, Russia, United States of America, and even the Middle East. There were two groups in war.
Central Powers: Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire
Allies: Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Japan and from 1917 onwards, the United States of America.
Causes of World War I
The industrial Revolution caused rivalry between European countries like France, Britain, and Germany to gain control on foreign markets for their goods. The acronym main describes the four main causes World War I.
European countries felt threatened due to growing tension between each other. As a result, they began to increase. Special factories were established all over Europe to manufacture high quality combat equipment in preparation for a war that was likely to occur in future.
countries all over the world made alliances with one another so that in case of an attack on one, that allied countries would come to its defence. Before World War I, the following alliances had already existed.
- Russia and Serbia
- Germany and Austria – Hungary
- France and Russia
- Britain, France and Belgium
- Japan, and Britain
When Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia, Russia got involved to defend Serbia as its ally. In return, Germany declared war on Russia. France was then drawn in against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Germany attacked France by marching through Belgium and thus also pulling Britain into war.
Before world war I, many European countries had colonized foreign territories to amass power and wealth. European countries were making imperialistic claims in Africa and many parts of Asia, and this competition over colonies become the primary reason of conflict among them. They competed with each other over the exploitation of raw materials and desired to expand their expires. The increase confrontation eventually pushed the world into World War I.
The French Revolution and the conquest of Napoleon had spread ideas of nationalism and democracy in Europe. During 19th and early 20th Centuries, many people in Europe believed that those who shared the same race, language, and political ideas had a right to from an independent political state.
Effects of World War I
- New methods, machinery and technology were introduced in the War.
- Modern guns made warfare more dangerous, compared to the older wars, in which soldiers rode on horses, carrying swards.
- Trench warfare was developed in which men stayed in trenches to avoid enemy bullets, but when bombs hit the trenches, the whole platoon perished.
- It marked the beginning of chemical warfare. In 1975, the Germans released a cloud of poisonous chlorine gas in France on the Allied troops. It terrorized and killed many people.
- A new deadly weapon, the tank, was invented by the Britain.
- The use of radio and telephones made warfare more complex.
- Aircraft and submarines were also used to make war more destructive.
On 11 November 1918, World War I ended. The central powers were defeated by the Allied forces and effects of the war were felt all over the world. During these four years of war, around eight million soldiers, and millions of civilians were killed. It also resulted in an economic crises in western Europe. Great imperial dynasties like Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Empire also came to an end.