World War I

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Often times the Second World War over shadows the First World War when it comes to discussing a total war because the First World War may be considered a limited war. A limited war has specific goals while a total war involves the entire nation and its destruction. An examination of pre-1914 events and events that occurred from 1914 to1918 reveal the ways in which the First World War was a total war.
Prior to the start of the war the dominant nations of Europe were preoccupied with their own dramatic, internal circumstances. France was attending to a major murder trial. Britain had issues with Ireland. Russia was trying to rebuild itself from the destruction of previous wars. German society was worried about the socialists. In Austria it was the Czechs versus Germans and in Hungary it was the Magyars versus Romanians. Serbia’s civilian government was not getting along with its military. Each of these internal conflicts caused the countries they took place in to become weaker because citizens were divided among themselves and taking sides. This allowed for a less unified nation. Time, resources, and money were being spent on internal conflicts. Most of all everyone’s attention was diverted to national issues rather than international issues. World War I was somewhat unexpected since everyone was focused on the affairs of their own country and assumed the conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia would remain localized. Had the surrounding countries been more interested in the dealings of Austria-Hungary, Serbia, and Germany they would have been able to stage an intervention, serving as mediators and dissuaded a hostile, Serbia from attacking the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy; and kept the monarchy from retaliating and the war fro...

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Germany and its citizens continued to be punished when the peace negotiations took place. The peace negotiations forced Germany to accept full responsibility for the war and required it to pay a large amount of money in reparations. These negotiations are important because the allied powers knew the requirements would be difficult for Germany to adhere to. It shows how even off the battle field the allied powers were determined to destroy Germany.
Analyzing the events prior to 1914 and the events that occurred from 1914 to 1918 is important because it explains the ways in which World War I was a total war. Beginning as a regional war and transforming into a world war, effecting nations who were both directly and indirectly involved in combat, and resulting in the devastation of Germany are all ways in which the First World War was a total war.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the second world war overshadows the first because it may be considered a limited war.
  • Explains that the dominant nations of europe were preoccupied with their own dramatic, internal circumstances, such as france attending to a murder trial, britain having issues with ireland, russia trying to rebuild itself from the destruction of previous wars.
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