The First World War is sometimes referred to as the Great War. This term was often used in the 1920s (Boyer et al. 627). The war earned this name as it involved the countries from all continents and it led to the death of millions of people. Europe was simply devastated as this was the first war to bring the significant destruction of cities and millions of casualties among civilians (Meyer 141). It was also called that way as it changed the way wars were held.
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The Great War was associated with the use of the most advanced weapons of that period, which was one of the major factors that made the war so deadly. The industrialization enabled people to create deadly weapons and machinery. Tanks, aircraft, ships and submarines were widely used and caused considerable destruction and thousands of deaths within a short period of time. Apart from that, new types of weapons were tried. For example, poison gas was also used, and thousands of soldiers died and suffered from various injuries associated with poisoning (Meyer 141).
The Great War also had a great impact on people’s minds. In different countries, it affected people in different ways. Just like for many other nations, the war became a great shock for Americans who were not ready to lose so many American soldiers (Boyer et al. 627). For example, the war changed many people’s ideas about God. Soldiers who returned home often felt disillusioned and helpless. They lost their faith as they saw so many deaths and horrors of the war. Besides, Americans changed their ideas about other people. There was a kind of a witch hunt after the end of the war. American Germans were often regarded as enemies and spies (Boyer et al. 636). Similar attitudes were also present after the Second World War and the so-called Cold War. The only difference was the target of suspicion as different nations were regarded as enemies at different points of the development of the USA in the 20th century.
Boyer, Paul S., et al. The Enduring Vision, Volume II: Since 1865. Cengage Learning, 2016.
Meyer, G. J. The World Remade: America in World War I. Random House Publishing Group, 2017.