History Assessment: How Has WW1 Been Remembered?
WW1 has, and always will be seen as one, if not the most significant war in all of history. One of the reasons for it being such a tragic event was that it was deemed at the time to have been ‘the war to end all wars,’ however that tragically was not the case. World War One was caused by several contributing factors, which resulted on Britain declaring war on Germany. They are: The alliance system, Imperialism, The Naval Race, The Schlieffen Plan and finally, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. 1. The alliance system: At the end of the 19th century, alliances were made between countries. The alliances were formed so that if any of the countries in an alliance went to war, the other countries would have to help the country that had gone to war. At this point, there were two major alliances. The first consisted of Germany, Austro-Hungary and Italy, named the Triple Alliance. The other, made up of Britain, France and Russia, was named the Triple Entente. As these alliances were formed, there became immediate friction between the two alliances, as each one tried to overpower the other. 2. Imperialism: At that time, Kaiser, as well as the rest of Germany wanted a vast empire, like the British. Although they had the money as well as the resources, they had nothing to show for it. Kaiser wanted Germany to have access to raw materials and new markets. He also wanted to give Germany more respect. This angered Britain as Germany were trying to take some of Britain’s land. 3. The Naval Race: Britain at the beginning of the 20th century had the best Navy in the world. Germany wanted to have the best navy instead, and in 1906, when Britain launched the HMS Dreadnought, Germany ‘wanted in.’ Great Britain by 1914 had 38 dreadnoughts and dreadnought battle cruisers in comparison with Germany’s 24. This resulted with even more tension between the countries. 4. The Schlieffen Plan: At this point, Germany believed that a war with Russia was imminent, in which case France, being part of the Triple Entente, would have to go to war also. Because of this, Germany believed that they would be attacked from both the French and Russian borders, therefore they devised the Schlieffen Plan. The Schlieffen Plan consisted of mobilising German troops, then invading France (Paris) through Belgium. Once France had been taken, the German troops would then head East and defend the German-Russia border. 5. The Assassination: The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the final event leading up to the First World War. For a while, the Austrians had tried make a “Greater Serbia,” therefore a group of freedom fighters decided to put an end to it. After Ferdinand was assassinated, serious disputes were occurring between Austro-Hungary and Serbia, and as Germany was part of the Triple Alliance, they had promised to back Austro-Hungary. Using Austria invading Serbia as an excuse, Russia mobilised its troops, followed by Germany. Eventually, Germany declared war on Russia, before declaring war on France also. When Germany invaded Belgium, Britain declared war on Germany.
Why is WW1 Seen as Such a Tragic War?
Men were needed to sign up to fight for their country as the war progressed. Large amounts of propaganda were being used to attract people to sign up for the army, and people who didn’t sign up were considered cowardly. However, one of the reasons people signing up was a mistake was because the majority of people, including the government, assumed that the war would have been over by that Christmas. This meant that many people signed up rather naively as they thought they would get good experience, they would be able to travel and that it generally would be good fun. The war carried on for around four years, during which time one of the few morale boosters would be that the war was deemed as “The War To End All Wars.” As this was not the case, you could say rather extremely those who died in the war,...
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