The World Wars

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The World Wars World War One began in 1914 and lasted for four years. The reasons for the war beginning aren't very clear cut and neither are the reasons for the United States involvement in this war. Some say it's a case of one thing led to another and created a domino effect, while others think it was looming on the horizon for many years whatever the reasons are the facts are the world went to war in 1914 (1). A few events leading up to the Great War are significant, such as the assassination of the Arch-duke Franz Ferdinand in June of 1914. The heir to the Austria-Hungarian throne was killed by a Serbian nationalist and so a list of demands was sent to Serbia from Austria-Hungary. The demands were agreed upon by the Serbs, nevertheless war was declared by the Austria-Hungary shortly thereafter (1). This War was fought mostly based on alliances. Russia was Allies with Serbia ans therefore joined the War. Germany had a treaty with Austria-Hungary, and France had a treaty with Russia so they joined the fighting. Great Britain then joined in part to defend France against Germany, but mostly to defend the neutral Belgium against Germany who had invaded the on their way to France. Japan joined because of a military commitment to Britain and Italy avoided the fighting based on a technicality in their treaty with Germany and Austria-Hungary. All these countries were engaged in the Great War for three years while the U.S. continued to proclaim their neutrality (1). After failed attempts by President Wilson to negotiate peace talks among the warring parties and the Germans refusal to stop their submarine warfare; the U.S. entered the Great War in 1917. This would have been put off longer, but the Germans were interfering with the U.S. commercial shipping. The U.S. had joined Britain, France, Canada, Russia, and Belgium in the fight against Germany, Turkey, Bulgaria and Austria-Hungary. The Germans finally conceded to cease fighting and begin peace talks in November of 1918. The Treaty of Versailles was conceived (2). This treaty demanded Germany to pay large reparations to the victors of this war as well as give up their territory and become a republic. These demands became an irritation to Germans that they would eventually scratch in the next world war thanks to the leadership of a very disgruntled Adolf Hitler. Many casualties were suffered during World War One; more than 262,000 Americans were dead, missing or wounded.

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