World War 1

Introduction

World War 1 is among the largest wars that occurred in history. It took place between the month of July 1914 and November 1918. The war led to killing of more than 17 million people, with more than 100,000 troops from America. Great powers of the world assembled in two alliances that were opposed to each other. Allies were British, Russians and France. They were against the central powers who were Germany and Austria-Hungary.

Key Events That Facilitated the World War 1

Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was a major facilitator of the war. In June 1914, Ferdinand and his wife were shot dead by a Serbian known as Gavrilo Princip. The assassination was viewed as a means of challenging the policy of the Austrians (Strachan, 2014). This was a means of protesting against Austria-Hungary who had control over Bosnia. Serbia always wanted to have control over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Following the assassination, July crisis was triggered, turning the conflict which started out as local to a world war.

Following the assassination, a foreign minister known as Berchtold and the Austrian emperor came to an agreement on the end of the policy of patience with Serbia. There was need to deal with Serbia before it overpowered the military. Taking on Serbia meant a risk for war with Russia. Germans were ready to offer support to Austrians on the war against Serbia (Herwig, 2014). This support was known as the blank cheque. Upon receiving support from Germans, Austrians gave the Serbians an ultimatum of 48 hours to respond to ten of their demands, with hop that the ultimatum would be rejected. Russia was not expected to support Serbia since it was considered to not be through with their French-funded program on rearmament.

On the 24th of July, the council of ministers of Russia held a meeting as a means of responding to the crisis. Despite the fact that they had no alliance with Serbia, they agreed to partial mobilization in secret. The partial mobilization was to involve more than a million Russian army men and fleets of the black sea. The Russian ministers came to an agreement for the support of the move since they believed the Germany were using the crisis as a pre text to have an increase of their power. By accepting the ultimatum, Austria would have Serbia as their protectorate. Also, considering that Russia had backed down in earlier cases such as the Bosnian crisis, they felt that Germans had been encouraged by this. The Russians also felt that they had experienced recovery following the disasters that affected them between 1904 and 1906. The Russian minister also laid his belief of the fact on the inevitability of war.

At the beginning, Serbia had put consideration in accepting the terms of the ultimatum placed on them by Austria. However, when they received news that Russians had come up with pre mobilization measures, they rejected the ultimatum. Upon rejection of the ultimatum, Austria broke off relations of diplomacy between them and Serbia and declared war on the 28th of July.

On 29th July, Russians realized that their incompetence would not permit partial mobilization. Full mobilization was the only means to prevent botching of the whole operation.

Information on Russian mobilization of their army reached Germany. The Germans made an assumption that Russia made a decision resulting to war and considering the mobilization Russians had, Germans were in danger. To respond to mobilization of the Russians, Germans came up with an order on imminent danger of war. The government of Russia refused to rescind its order on mobilization, mobilization of Germany took place, and they declared war o Russia on August 1st. since there existed a Franco-Russian alliance, France was expected to come up with countermeasures. In consideration of this, Germany also declared war on France on third august 1914.

Germany attacked France through Belgium. Britain issued an ultimatum to Germany following their invasion of neutral Belgium. Britain ordered Germany to withdraw or they would face a period of war. Germany refused to comply and as a result, war against Germany was declared by Britain. Britain felt the moral obligation to France following a series of naval agreements they had conducted earlier on. Britain also felt that on abandoning their Entente friends or in case Germans won, they would be left with no friends. This would in turn leave Britain vulnerable to attacks. It was also considered that if Britain failed to declare war, the government might fall. The prime minister known as Asquith, Edward Grey and Winston would resign. This meant loss of jobs for the cabinet members. This would be because the conservatives who were for the war would be the ones elected to authority.

The British and French also supported the uprising of the Arabs against the rise of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East.   They encouraged resistance against the Ottoman Empire and promised Arabs independence. The British did not keep this promise and they managed to divide the Middle East between themselves. This led to conflict and facilitated the world war.

Imperialism

Imperialism is a situation where a country takes over the lands of a country and subjects them to their rule. The British had its empire extend to more than five continents by 1900. Most of the African regions were also controlled by France. A rise in industrialism made countries have the need for new markets. Germany entered into rivalry with France and Britain over the lands they owned. This is because Germany joined the scramble to get colonies much later and therefore had only acquired little areas (Chase, 2015). An increase in competition facilitated World War 1.

Militarism

With the world approaching the 20th century, the race for arms started.  Germany had the largest increase on buildup for military by year 1914. At the same time, Britain and Germany had greatly increased their navy. The establishment of military in Germany and Russia possessed great influence on the policy of the public. Increase of militarism facilitated pushing of the countries which were involved into war.

Historians

Fischer Thesis

In the year 1961, a German historian known as Fischer made a publish on the controversial Griff nach der watchman where he argued that the government of German had a foreign policy which was formulated after democratic gains experienced in 1912 election and began the an aggressive war in the year 1914. He was the first among other historians to access the rest of the German First World War archives. He was therefore the first to bring to attention to a war council which was held by Kaiser Wilhem 2 and the leadership on military naval which was conducted by Reich on the 8th of December in 1912. It was under this that a declaration on the fact that Germany was to start an aggressive war in 1914 during summer. Kaiser and the leadership of the army wanted to start the war earlier on in 1912. The Grand admiral however objected this idea, not because he did not support the war but because he felt that the navy of Germany would require more preparation time.

In his conclusion Fischer laid the blame of the World War 1 on Germany. This is because they went ahead and facilitated the blank cheque, and the execution of the scheliffen plan. The German also declared war on Russia before Russia could fully expand. He also claimed that Germany was very aggressive towards the France and the declaration of war on France was not necessary. The Germans also had great desire to acquire empires yet they were late in the participation of scramble for colonies.

Marxists

The Marxists believe that the world war came about as a result of competition among the capitalists who were business persons. It emphasizes on the major role that imperialism had to play on the war. They argue that Britain should not have come in to fight Germany. They would instead have given space for Germany to win. If this had been the case, Hitler of Germany would not have risen.

Max Hastings

Max hasting argued that World War 1 was a necessary war. According to max, on intervening, British made the right choice. The British facilitated a good social and developmental stage of the human nature. Germans were considered to be aggressive in how they carried out their activities.

In conclusion, the world war led to an end of the eastern and central powers of Europe. The Germans, Russians, the people of Austro Hungary that fought in the First World War were swept through great defeat. Turkey fell in 1922 following a revolution and stemmed out of the war directly. Austria-Hungary also went out of war after a revolution. This however did not come as a surprise since both countries were considered weak in Europe. However the fall of the very powerfully growing empire of German once people held a revolution which saw Kaiser being forced to abdicate came about as a shock (Jukes, 2014). There followed a rapid change in the series of governments whose range was from republics which were democratic to dictatorships which were social

The world war also led to a rise of socialism .The collapsing of Russia once it was under warfare pressure gave chance to revolutionaries which were social to take over power and make communism a major force that would be exercised under the ideologies of Europe. Once the social revolution which was being looked forward to did not happen, the existence of a potential powerful communist nation in Europe and Asia changed the balance that existed in the political world. The politics of Germany were initially geared towards joining Russia but at last they pulled back after experiencing the change brought about by Lenin. They instead came up with a new socially based democracy. This would follow with great force and failure following the challenge on the right of Germans, while the authoritarian regime of Russia that came after the tsarist took place for decades.

 

References

 

Strachan, H. ed., 2014. The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War: New Edition. Oxford University Press.

Jukes, G., 2014. The First World War (1): The Eastern Front 1914–1918. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chase, R.T., 2015. Socialist Germany, its allies, and occupied ter-ritories that resulted in the deaths of approxi-mately 600,000 civilians, seriously injured 1 million physically and mentally, and left much of continental Europe’s cities and countryside. The Journal of American History.

Herwig, H.H., 2014. The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary 1914-1918. A&C Black.

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