World War One
WORLD WAR ONE 7
WorldWar One (1914-1918)
DifferentHistorian scholars have pointed out various factors which contributedto the rise of world war one. However, the primary causes which allhave agreed on are imperialism, nationalism, and militarism. Beforethe onset of world war one European nation had developed a sense ofsuspicion among them and, therefore, each of the major Europeancountries initiated the process of forming alliances. By then, GreatBritain which was a superpower had developed the desire to extend itsinfluence beyond the continent of Europe. However, United States ofAmerica had approached the war with a neutral opinion until April1917, when the USA finally joined the fight. The purpose of thispaper, therefore, is to examine leading causes of world war one, theevents which dragged America into the war as well as the role of USAplayed to end the war. America entry to world war one was inevitable.
HowNationalism, Imperialism, and Militarism Led to
Thespirit of nationalism was unyielding in Europe. There were loyaltyand strong desire that individual citizens of European power had. Onthe one hand, the Germans hated Britain because of the latterdominance around the world. Initially, Britons had superior attitudestowards other European nations because of the advanced naval baseswhich it had (Wolff, 2015). Likewise, the inner feelings of Germanspeaking people which spread in various parts of Europe to unite asone made several countries to develop unnecessary tension towardsindividuals of German origin. There was great national rivalrybetween Russia and Austria, France and Germany, Italy and France. Forexample, each country wanted to associate with its culture which,according to historian would give the nation dominance.
Similarly,the political ideology which characterized imperialism was severelyinfluencing European powers to engage in war. Early on, Great Britainhad extended its empire beyond Europe. As one way of obtaining rawmaterials for the industries, European nations wanted to spread theirpolitical ideology in various countries (Wolff, 2015). Britain andFrance had bigger empire than any other European country. It,therefore, means that ready market for their industrial products wasavailable. However, German was also rising as a significant powerhence it also wanted to conquer more colonies.
Inthe process of expanding empires, conflicts emerged because ofinterest in some regions. For instance, France clashed with Italyover Tunis area. Again, German and France fought over Morocco, whichto some extent almost trigger the war (Strachan, 2014).. In everyempire, the imperial government established its puppet governmentwhich controlled the subjects. There was also evidence of militarysupervision to strengthen the activities of the colonial government.However, empires in the Eastern Europe believed that the imperialmasters were subjecting them to slavery, therefore had to launch arevolution to break away from the oppression. Consequently, warerupted as the colonies in Eastern Europe demanded sovereignindependence.
Evidenceof military race was also one of the leading causes of the FirstWorld War. German was rapidly developing its superior weapons becauseit perceived threats from the main rivalry from Britain, France, andRussia. Great Britain had managed to enjoy strong military influencefor close to two centuries. Britain as the foremost superpower had anefficient navy which was far much ahead of other European countries(Wolff, 2015). However, German scientists, with the resourcesavailable, embarked on modifying and investing weapons which put themin a better position to attack and counterattack military invasionwithin as well as outside Germany. Consequently, different personswith German Ethnic background, who eventually unite to form oneGerman block, provided stronger military force regarding numbers.
Itis also significant to highlight the fact arm race and imperialismplayed a vital role in ensuring that countries form alliances. Theformation of the blocks was as a result of some countries feelingthat they could not face the enemy countries independently withoutthe support of the other partners (Strachan, 2014). The two maingroupings triple alliances which comprise of Austria-Hungary,Germany, and Italy. The second category was Triple Entente whosemember countries were Great Britain, Russia (the Soviet Union), andFrance. The implication of the alliances was that when the opponentattacked any member of the group, then individual partners from thegroup had to come to support the association member. Therefore, theassassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand compelled the alliances tojoin the war which would otherwise leave between only two countriesAustria-Hungary and Serbia.
Entryof America in
Fromthe beginning, America had remained neutral during the war and neverwanted to involve at whatever cost. Though, secretly the USA suppliedBritain with military equipment which, some scholars argue that madeAmerican seen as a passive participant in the war. Several reasonskept American out of world war one at the beginning. For instance,several people of German origin worked and lived in America(Strachan, 2014). The German population in America was contributing alot regarding research in science and other significant militarylocations. Again American leaders understood the devastating effectsof war, particularly to the economy. The American president by thennever wanted the war to occur within American land because it wouldhave disrupted the entire economy.
Nevertheless,German’s sinking of American merchant ship in the Atlantic Oceandragged the USA into the war. The death of so many American people onboard compelled President Woodrow Wilson to seek approval from theHouse of Congress retaliate on excessive German aggression (Wolff,2015). However, Woodrow played a significant role in bringing the twoconflicting alliances together to sign the Treaty of Versailles. Thetreaty eventually created the league of the nations in the year 1921.
Eventsthat Led To the Defeat of the Treaty of Versailles
TheTreaty of Versailles led to the end of the world war one despite thefact that it was somehow not well considerate. Germany was forced tosign the document so as to end the conflict. However, German got muchof the blames as far as the causes and effects of the violence wereconcerned ( Keylor, 2014). It is, therefore, evident that Germanleaders would not recognize the treaty because of its biases.Similarly, various punishments which the deal enacted on German sidewould consequently contribute to dissatisfactions from the Germanside (Wolff, 2015). Despite the fact that the treaty led to theestablishment of League of Nations, it was very evident that theformation of a league of the nations was done on wrong premise hencethe organization could not survive.
Worldwar one significantly made America emerged strongest among othernations. American hugely funded the collapsed economies of mostnations in the Europe which had exhausted resources in the war.Likewise, regarding military, USA improved on its military fundingand strengthening of naval operation. Nonetheless, the handling ofgrievances of world war one was not fair. German, in particular,received most of the blames, which to an extent createddissatisfactions. Therefore, it was very clear that some Europeanpowers would retaliate to settle the disputes caused by the world warone.
Keylor,W. R. (2014). Realism, Idealism, and the Treaty of Versailles.DiplomaticHistory,
Strachan,H. (2014). TheOxford Illustrated History of the First World War: New Edition.Oxford
Wolff,N. (2015). Exploiting nationalism in order to repudiate democracy:the case of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Journalof Political Ideologies, 20(1),86-108. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13569317.2015.991509
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