First World War : Its Causes and Consequences

Causes and Consequences of First World War (1914-19) 

Hello everyone, in this article "World_Polity" decides to provide you the most important Causes and Consequences of First World War (1914-19). The First World War (WWI) its causes and significance were the major part of International Politics. Therefore this article will give you the detail information of the causes and consequences of first World War which was started in 1914 and the war ended in the year 1919.

First World War : Its Causes and Consequences

First World War : Its Causes and Consequences 

The first world war (1914-19) was a significant in the history of international politics that changes the courses of international politics to a great extend. There were several factors responsible for the outbreak of the first world war in 1914.

Causes of First World War 

The causes of First World War (WWI) are discussed below :

A) Mutual Distrust and Rivalries : Struggle for power among the European countries was in mutual distressed and selfishness. They got divided into hostile groups all alliances in time. The two main groups were :

i) the alliance of Germany, Austria, Hungary and Italy. 

ii) the triple entente of England, France and Russia. 

Initially these were described as security or defensive alliances but gradually they developed into two competing enemy groups. 

B) Aggressive and Narrow Nationalism : The presence of aggressive nationalism resulted into the emergence of entities and conflicts of interest in pre war International system. The foreign policy of each major power remained acting for securing narrowly conceived National interest and objective. To begin with France it wanted Alsace and Lorraine,  Germany wanted more colonies, Russia wanted bosphorus etc. Ultimately these conflicting interest emerged as the cause of first world war. 

C) Diplomacy and Mutual Distrust : Secret diplomacy practiced by the major European States gave rise to an environment characterized by mutual distrust, suspicion, fear, rivalries and jealousness. Secret alliances Virtually divided the Europe as the two hostile camps which  adapted  militarism as the means for fighting the enemies. 

D) Militarism : Distrust, rivalries,  jealousness created an environment in which many nations compalled to increase their respective military capabilities. These gave rise to an unhealthy and dangerous arms race in the pre war International system. After the franco-prussian war (1870-71) all the major European powers got engaged in rising bigger and bigger Army's, arms stockpiles. These set the stage for the outbreak of first world war. 

E) Imperialism and Unhealthy Competition : Major European powers always dependent upon their imperialized foreign policies for securing more and more colonies. In the process they got engaged in imperialistic struggle for power which was  governed by objective of becoming stronger and powerful then the others. These emergence of rivalries among the European states which ultimately resulted in the outbreak of first world war. 

F) The War Mind Set : The balance of power system which was at work in European always accepted war as a means to achieve their end. The adoption of militarism by Germany, France, Italy, Russia and Japan as a way of National life led to the emergence of a psychological state of War and naturally war came to be there in 1949.

Consequences of First World War : 

The World War I (WWI) involved human slaughter on a previously unprecedented scale - and its consequences were enormous. The human and structural devastation left Europe and the world greatly changed in almost all facets of life, setting the stage for political convulsions throughout the remainder of the century.

Well the consequences of World War I (WWI) are discussed below :

A) Economic Consequences : World War I cost the participating countries a lot of money. Germany and Great Britain spent about 60% of the money their economy produced. Countries had to raise taxes and borrow money from their citizens. They also printed money in order to buy weapons and other things they needed for war. This led to inflation after the war.

B) Political Consequences : World War I brought an end to four monarchies: Czar Nicholas II of Russia, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, Emperor Charles of Austria and the sultan of the Ottoman Empire had to step down. As well as the new countries were created out of old empires. Austria- Hungary was carved up into a number of independent states. Russia and Germany gave land to Poland. Countries in the Middle East were put under the control of Great Britain and France.

C) Social Consequences : World war changed society completely. Birth rates declined because millions of young men died (eight million died, millions wounded, maimed, widows and orphans). Civilians lost their land and fled to other countries. The role of women also changed. They played a major part in replacing men in factories and offices. Many countries gave women more rights after the war had ended, including the right to vote.

The upper classes lost their leading role in society. Young middle and lower class men and women demanded a say in forming their country after the war.

D) Treaty of Versailles : On June 28, 1919, World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles was an attempt to prevent the world from going into another war.

E) Creation of the League of Nations : The League of Nations was an international diplomatic group developed after World War I as a way to solve disputes between countries before they erupted into open warfare. A precursor to the United Nations, the League achieved some victories but had a mixed record of success.

Well World War I saw a change in warfare, from the hand-to-hand style of older wars to the inclusion of weapons that used technology and removed the individual from close combat. The war had extremely high casualties over 15 million dead and 20 million injured. The face of warfare would never be the same again. 

* Must Read : 10 Major Causes of Second World War

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