The rise and growing strength of nation-states would result to conflict of their various interests. While previously they were just involved in petty wars with one ot two nations, the time came when conflict would arise involving many countries. In 1914 came when World war, a war between several European powers on one side and Britain, tbe United States, and their allies on the other. This war would cost of millions of lives and would severely damage the economies of many countries. This would be followed by another World War, which would have worse consequences.
Causes. The first world war happened due to several factors. Among these are the following:
The Rises of Nationalism. Many european countries developed and grew their own brand of nationalism in the early part of 20th century. Because of the competition for colonies and imperial territories, and because of the need for new markets, tensions arose between countries. These resulted to trade barriers, embargos, and economic competition flavored by nationalistics sentiments.
German Ambitions. In the decade before World War 1, Germany grew in terms of military and commercial power. Top military men became involved in german politics and business, resulting to policies with a militaristic slant. Because of their growing economy, most germans believed in the need for new markets for their surplus products, as well as in the need for a powerful navy to defend their ports.
Outbreak of the War. On June 28, 1914, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir of the Austro-Hungarian emperor, was assassinated by Gavrilo Prinzip, a Bosnian student, backed by Serbian nationalists. This worse the growing tension between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, with the latter being blamed for nationalistic movements and unrest in the former. Austria-Hungary pledged to have Serbia punished for this crime, and germany gave its support to this move. As talks to prevent a war failed, Austro-Hungary forces began mobilizing near the serbian border.
By the next day, Russia forces were ready to attack Austria-Hungary and Austrian forces began bombarding Belgrade, the Serbian capital. By July 31, 1914, upon hearing the news of Russian mobilization, Germany demanded for its cessation. Belgium, on the other hand, was quite wary that its neutrality would not be respected. As german troops entered Luxemborg in Belgium, the conflict between France and Germany began. With the formal invasion of Belgium, Germany went into war with France and Brittain.
The War Continues. On August 4, 1914, Britain entered the war in support of France and belgium. A stalemebt developed between German advances and French defenses, and the allies defeated the Germans in the first battle of the Marne in September 1914.
On February 1915, Germany made a blockade against the United Kingdom, followed by the sinking of the liner Luisitana by a german submarine. From May to June 1916, the british fleet fought with the German navy at the battle of jutland. This was countered by the allies when they launched the Battle of the Somme in July.
As the germans launched full blast submarine warfare in 1917, the world became wary of the german threat. By April 1917 the United States entered the war to "make the world safe for democracy", as saud by its president Woodrow Wilson. American forces began landing in France in June to augment the allied forces. By December 1917, Russia went to ab agreement with Germany, ending their fight on their front.
By 1918, the German forces were already weakening, and by March, it launched its final offensives on the western front. The allies countered with their final offensive by September. By November 1918, the Germans were severely defeated, and accepted the conditions demanded by the allies.
Result of World War 1. The first world war resulted in the following: 1) death about 10 million soldiers and wounding of 21 million men; 2) an estimated 337 billion dollars of damage to property, facilities, businesses and people; 3) the shaking of foundations of societies and governments, such as the toppling of czar nicholas II of Russia in 1917, kaiser wilhelm II of Germany, Emperor Charles of Austria-Hungary in 1918, and the Ottoman sultan, Muhammad VI in 1922.
The World Between the Wars
The world was shocked with the effects of World War I, and during the period from 1919 to 1939, it was involved in trying to achieve the world peace. Various notable events developed during this period.