World War I - Wikipedia
What's the difference between World War I and World War II? The First World War (WWI) was fought from to and the Second World War (or WWII) was. Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3. This audio file was created from a revision of the article " World War I" dated , and does not. World War II began 21 years after the end of World War I, but many historians believe that the two wars were part of one vast global conflict.
Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes sponsored the Washington Naval Conference of in determining how many capital ships each major country was allowed. The new allocations were actually followed and there were no naval races in the s. Britain played a leading role in the Geneva Naval Conference and the London Conference that led to the London Naval Treatywhich added cruisers and submarines to the list of ship allocations.
Naval disarmament had collapsed and the issue became rearming for a war against Germany and Japan. These trends, made possible by sustained economic prosperity, were most visible in major cities like New York, Chicago, Paris, Berlin, and London.
The Jazz Age began and Art Deco peaked. The young women who pioneered these trends were called " flappers ". There were a few major countries that held out until after the Second World War such as France, Switzerland and Portugal. The women's contribution to the war effort combined with failures of the previous systems' of Government made it more difficult than hitherto to maintain that women were, both by constitution and temperament, unfit to vote. If women could work in munitions factories, it seemed both ungrateful and illogical to deny them a place in the polling booth.
But the vote was much more than simply a reward for war work; the point was that women's participation in the war helped to dispel the fears that surrounded women's entry into the public arena. There was unprecedented industrial growth, accelerated consumer demand and aspirations, and significant changes in lifestyle and culture. The media began to focus on celebrities, especially sports heroes and movie stars.
Major cities built large sports stadiums for the fans, in addition to palatial cinemas. The mechanization of agriculture continued apace, producing on expansion of output that lowered prices, and made many farm workers redundant.
Often they moved to nearby industrial towns and cities. Great Depression[ edit ] The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place after The timing varied across nations; in most countries it started in and lasted until the late s. Unemployment in the U. Business profits fell sharply as well, with a sharp reduction in new business starts.
World War I
Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. The second convulsion, brought on by the worldwide depression and Germany's disastrous monetary policies, resulted in the further rise of Nazism. Economic disaster led to a distrust in the effectiveness of democracy and its collapse in much of Europe, including the Baltic and Balkan countries, Poland, Spain, and Portugal.
Powerful expansionary dictatorships emerged in Italy, Japan, and Germany. Fascists believed in power, violence, male superiority, and a "natural" hierarchy, often led by dictators such as Benito Mussolini or Adolf Hitler. Fascism in power meant that liberalism and human rights were discarded, and individual pursuits and values were subordinated to what the party decided was best. Spanish Civil War To one degree or another, Spain had been unstable politically for centuries, and in was wracked by one of the bloodiest civil wars of the 20th century.
The real importance comes from outside countries. Another famous historian, Neil Ferguson, has argued in The Pity of War that Britain should not have become involved as the stakes were too low and the ultimate costs too high.
What is perhaps more interesting is how the major powers involved have presented different narratives about their involvement in the Great War. In Germany the shame of the Nazi period including the Holocaust has meant that there has been little appetite to reflect about the conflict.
For Russia, it is has always been the heroism and sacrifice of the Great Patriotic War of that remain uppermost in the national psyche rather than the disasters of the First World War, including defeat and revolution.
The war also means different things to the constituent parts of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Austria looks back with regret tinged with nostalgia for its glory days. Hungary still finds it difficult to accept the injustice of the Treaty of Trianon.
Czechoslovakia gained its independence only to be swallowed up by Germany twenty years later. France views the war as a tragic but massive endeavour to save the motherland from Les Boches. The First World War certainly plays better in the French national memory than the defeat in followed by occupation and collaboration. Each year millions of Britons wear red poppies to commemorate Armistice Day and hold memorial services around war memorials on which the names of the dead in the First World War vastly outnumber those of the Second.
The controversies about the causes, strategies and consequences of the Great War remain matters of contemporary concern. He complained that for too long the conflict had been portrayed as a series of catastrophic mistakes by an aristocratic elite. The impact of the two world wars has been such that in other parts of the world politicians have been competing to draw analogies.
More recently Putin has spoken of the need to protect ethnic Russian minorities in the former Soviet republics including Ukraine.
But Hitler had a geopolitical vision — the domination of Europe — and the reunification of German-speaking peoples was merely the means by which he could acquire the critical mass needed to attain that geopolitical end-state.
Putin appears to want to restore Russia to a central global position in international politics, something the former Soviet Union enjoyed for much of the post-World War II era. It does not mean, however, that Putin seeks to restore the former Soviet empire. Although politicians often use historical analogies to describe an unfolding situation it does not mean that analogical reasoning is not fraught with potential dangers.
It is important to note that each situation is unique although some unscrupulous political leaders often exploit these opportunities for their own ends. More than 16 million people, both military and civilian, died in the war.
An entire generation of young men was wiped away. Inthe year after the war was over in France, there were 15 women for every man between the ages of 18 and The First World War changed the nature of warfare.
Technology became an essential element in the art of war with airplanes, submarines, tanks all playing important new roles. Mass production techniques developed during the war for the building of armaments revolutionised other industries in the post-war years. The first chemical weapons were also used when the Germans used poisonous gas at Ypres in A century later the international community was seeking to prohibit President Assad of Syria from using chemical weapons against his own people.
The Great War also led to mass armies based on conscription, a novel concept for Britain, although not on the continent. It is ironic that the principle of universal military service was introduced in Britain without the adoption of universal adult male suffrage. The war also saw the first propaganda films, some designed to help enlist US support for the Allies. The Charlie Chaplin film Shoulder Arms offers a vivid illustration of the horrors of life at the front.
Propaganda films would later be perfected under the Nazis. Modern surgery was born in the First World War, where civil and military hospitals acted as theatres of experimental medical intervention. Millions of veterans survived the war but were left maimed, mutilated and disfigured. Blood banks were developed after the discovery in that blood could be prevented from clotting. The First World War also led doctors to start to study the emotional as opposed to the physical stress of war.
Shell shock and traumatic shock were identified as common symptoms.
But despite these insights and countless more sufferers in the Second World War, it was not until the aftermath of the Vietnam War that this condition was formally recognised as post-traumatic stress disorder. It was also found in troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and was often cited as a cause for many gun killings in the US. The war also had major implications for the class structures in Europe. The upper classes suffered proportionately greater losses in the fighting than any other class, a fact that ensured that a resumption of the pre-war status quo was impossible.
The decline of the upper classes was further hastened by the introduction of broad universal suffrage in Europe. The extension of the franchise, coupled with an explosion in trade unionism, afforded the working classes greater political and social representation. The various armies had also to promote new officers from humble backgrounds who were not willing to continue the culture of deference to the upper classes.
It also forced women into jobs that had previously been a male preserve. Many of the women whom the war effort had forced out of domestic service and into factories found themselves unwilling to relinquish their new independence. The War also sparked a peace movement that had disarmament as its main aim. It flourished briefly in the inter-war years, was reborn during the Vietnam War and found many adherents in Europe e.
Although less formally organised than during the s, the anti-war movement in Europe showed its strength in the mass demonstrations against the US led invasion of Iraq in The war also had major consequences for the European socialist and labour movement.
Although well organised in many countries, including Britain, France and Germany, the socialist movement failed to stop the war in Initially skilled workers in the armaments industry were not only exempted from military service but also enjoyed higher wages and better food in return for the banning of strike action. But as the war continued living and working conditions for factory workers gradually declined. Socialist groups began to agitate for peace, a process that received a boost as a result of the Russian revolution.
At the end of the war in the socialist and trade union movement was much stronger than in The Great War also saw the introduction of the planned economy and a much bigger role for the state.
Soon after the outbreak of war the German government took control over banks, foreign trade and the production and sale of food as well as armaments. It also set maximum prices for various goods.
When the Bolsheviks took power in Russia in they embarked on a vast nationalisation programme and later a comprehensive planned economy. The planned economy also had its adherents in other countries, especially after the twin shocks of hyperinflation in the s and the Great Crisis of Foreign policy implications The conflict had a global impact.
In the Middle East, for example, the British and French promised different things to the Arabs and the Jews in return for their support against the Ottoman Empire.
Under the infamous Sykes-Picot agreement, London and Paris carved out respective spheres of influence in what was to become Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. But at the same time the British promised the Jews a homeland in Palestine under the equally infamous Balfour Declaration laying the foundations for the emergence of Israel and the world's most intractable contemporary conflict. When the British deceit was exposed it led to a permanent feeling of mistrust between many Arabs and European colonial powers.
Many analysts point to the European carve up of the Middle East in with the many artificial borders as the root cause of the continuing turmoil in the region today. Ethnic, sectarian and tribal differences were of little concern to the colonial-era map-makers.
Iraq was formed by merging three Ottoman provinces - dominated respectively by Shias, Sunnis and Kurds. It was also cut off from Kuwait — the genesis of trouble later. The biggest losers of the post-war lottery in the Middle East were the Kurds.
Nowadays this still stateless people enjoy a high degree of regional autonomy — as well as relative peace — in federal Iraq while their compatriots in Syria and Turkey face challenges from Damascus and Ankara.
As regards the map of Europe, the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires were broken up and drastically shrunk, while Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were all born or reborn as nation states. Russia underwent the Bolshevik Revolution that would have a major impact on European and world history.
Germany was reduced in size and forced to pay substantial reparations. The Kaiser went into exile, and Germany plunged into economic and political chaos that paved the way for the rise of Hitler. The new countries were poor and often in conflict with each other. US President Wilson had talked about transparent international agreements, unfettered access to the seas and the lifting of trade barriers. These would prove utopian as was his concept of borders based on ethnicity, a concept that would be the precursor to many conflicts.
The biggest of the new countries was Poland, which had disap-peared from the map for over a century after being partitioned in In when its bor-ders were finally settled, Poland had relatively good relations with only two neighbours — tiny Latvia to the north and a distant Romania to the south.
If the Treaty of Versailles was deemed harsh then the Treaty of Trianon was arguably much harsher, leaving Hungary as a much reduced state with millions of Hungarians outside its borders. These minority issues were suppressed during the communist era but resurfaced post causing major problems between Romania and Hungary and Slovakia and Hungary. Inevitably the EU was also drawn into attempts to resolve these minority issues. It was late in entering the war, only inbut emerged far stronger than most other nations as it had not suffered either the bloodletting or the wasted industrial effort of the major European nations.
Their experience and loss of life helped push demands for independence. India alone sent sometroops to fight for Britain. More than 10, never returned home. The First World War also heralded the birth of the League of Nations, a body of nation states to promote international peace and security. In the US would adopt a different approach.
Interwar period - Wikipedia
The financial crash of brought misery across Europe. Few in Western Europe believed that Hitler was deadly serious about creating a Greater Reich across the European continent. There were also concerns that the reparations that had been demanded by France at Versailles had been too harsh, a view expressed eloquently in The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes. When London and Paris finally awoke to the threat it was too late. By Hitler controlled half of Europe after a stunning series of Blitzkrieg victories.
Injust thirteen years after the proclamation of the one thousand year Reich it was all over. Germany was divided and lay in ruins. It was the greatest and deadliest war in human history, with over 57 million lives lost. In combat, approximately eight million Russians, four million Germans, two million Chinese and one million Japanese soldiers lost their lives.