World War I


May 28, 2022

World War I (before World War II, called the "Great War") - a world war, lasting from July 28, 1914 to November 11, 1918, between the Entente (Triple Agreement), i.e. Great Britain, France, Russia, Serbia, Japan, Italy (from 1915 ) and the United States (from 1917) and the central states (the Triple Alliance), i.e. Austria-Hungary and Germany, supported by the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. It was the largest armed conflict in Europe since the Napoleonic Wars. The war ended with the defeat of the central states, the liquidation of the powers of the Holy Alliance, and the emergence of numerous nation states in Central and Southern Europe. She was also one of the main causes of the February Revolution and the October Revolution in Russia. As a result, over 14 million people died. Despite the enormous losses and the shock caused by them, the war did not resolve most of the conflicts, which 21 years later led to the outbreak of World War II. World War I was a clash of 20th-century technology with 19th-century strategy and tactics. The outbreak of World War I marked the symbolic end of the 19th century and the end of European hegemony in the world. From its end, the United States and the USSR established in 1922 began to play an increasingly important role in international relations.

Reasons for the war

Nationalism, Imperialism

The Congress of Vienna (1814–1815), which shaped the territorial order of Europe, completely ignored the aspirations of nations for freedom and self-determination, dealing only with the issue of securing the stabilization on the continent controlled by the victorious powers for as long as possible. For a long time, the provisions of the Congress functioned thanks to the existence of the so-called The "Holy Alliance", based on the alliance of three European powers - Austria, Prussia and Russia. The common interest of these countries was to isolate France and stop nationalist and revolutionary currents flowing therefrom, which could have a destructive effect on conservative, multinational empires. However, there were more and more misunderstandings between the various European powers. The fact that the perpetual peace between the four powers was a fiction was discovered during the Crimean War (1853–1856). The reunification of Italy in 1861 and the reunification of Germany in 1871, as a result of nationalist efforts, seriously upset the previous balance of power. As a result of the Franco-Prussian war (1870–1871), France lost Alsace and Lorraine to Germany, which prompted the French nation to retaliate against its neighbors and wipe out the disgrace of defeat (this movement was called revanchism). In 1873, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck managed to bring about an alliance of three emperors (Austria, Prussia and Russia), which sustained the joint effort to counteract revolutionary movements. There were also numerous ethnic tensions in Austria-Hungary and the Balkans. These unrests were fueled especially in the southern part of the empire, where numerous Slavic nations lived and were susceptible to the Pan-Slavic doctrine spread by Serbia and Russia. As a result of the weakening of the Ottoman Empire, a political vacuum was created in the Balkans that Austria-Hungary and Russia tried to fill. A phenomenon analogous to Pan-Slavism was Pan-Germanism, the supporters of which functioned in the government elites of Germany and Austria-Hungary, which inevitably led to an exacerbation of the conflict. One of the factors that increased competition between European states was imperialism. Britain, Germany and France needed overseas outlets for their goods, which were increasingly produced as the industrial revolution advanced. These countries made economic expansion in Africa, Asia and Oceania. France and Great Britain managed to def