- How have the World Wars moulded the society we live in today? Could they have been avoided? Further, what would be the effect on our society if another world war was to take place in the future?
- What were the origins of World War I and World War II?
World War I:
World War I began after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. This 4-year spans of war and destruction divided Nations drastically while uniting others to fight for their common cause. During the conflict, Bulgaria, Austria-Hungary, Germany and the Ottoman Empire also know as the “Central Powers” fought against Great Britain, Russia, Italy, France, Romania, Japan and the United States, otherwise referred to as the “Allied Powers”.
Who was Archduke Franz Ferdinand?
Strain had been accumulating throughout the Nations of Europe several years before World War I actually took place. Several alliances, including European powers, the Ottoman Empire and other unions have been present for years. However, tensions in the Balkans, specifically, Serbia Bosnia and Herzegovina were threatening these treaties with their political instability.
The event that triggered the First World War happened on June 28, 1914, in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was shot to his death on this day, along with his wife Sophie. They were shot by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist, who grappled to cease Austro-Hungarian rule over Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The First World War
This sparked a chain reaction of the defence mechanism where allied countries were put on the offensive against Serbia as it had wanted to leave the Empire. And this led to the involvement of the remaining majority of the European continent. With several different factors that contributed to the overall conflict, such as arms raise, which is a concept that provokes competition in the development of military arms and weapons. As well as Imperialism, which is an ideology of gaining power over foreign Nations, specifically for military usage. All these factors and more contributed to the tragic and destructive course of the World War.
World War II:
The instability and the fear that derived from World War I set the stage for World War II. This global conflict would prove to be even more devastating than the first World War and set the foundation for several of our misconceptions and close-mindedness in humanity.
What was the spark that ignited World War II?
In the year 1933, Germany found itself facing economic and political instability along with the majority of Europe and North America as this was the time during the Great Depression. Germany realized they could not have won the war leading to the Armistice, which forced Germany to take the blame for the first World War, also, making them pay the reparations. Germany’s Nationalists and veterans saw this as a humiliation of its Nations and wrongfully believed that war could have been won if the army hadn’t been betrayed by protesters and politicians.
Who was Adolf Hitler?
These views became an obsession for Adolf Hitler. His bigotry and paranoid illusions then led him to lay the blame on the Jewish community and its people. His word found meaning in Germany’s society who was also controlled by fear. After joining a small Nationalist party known today as the Nazis, he drew together a large number of followers. His manipulative speaking and idealistic views, however, found precedent in German society. Hitler was seen as a beacon of hope for Germany’s economy during this time. After taking land to stabilize its economy and finances a treaty was signed to prevent further loss of land for other Nations. A treaty that was then broken by Germany itself leading to a series of events and conflicts that then ignited the start of the Second World War.
History.com Editors. “World War I.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 29 Oct. 2009, www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/world-war-i-history.
History.com Editors. “World War II.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 29 Oct. 2009, www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/world-war-ii-history.
“How Did Hitler Rise to Power? – Alex Gendler and Anthony Hazard.” YouTube, YouTube, 18 July 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFICRFKtAc4.