The Great War of 1914-1917 influenced the world in the twentieth century significantly while providing the patterns for the modern development of international relations. Thus, the Great War demonstrated the role of the alliance system, the use of poison gas, and the effect of the genocide on the nations’ development.
World War I Discussion
The Great War of 1914-1917 changed the world significantly, making the politicians and authorities revise their opinions about the distribution of the powers over the globe. To understand the role of World War I, it is necessary to focus on its aspects in detail.
Focusing on the causes of World War I, it is possible to note that the war developed according to the principle of the specific ‘chain reaction’ which was influenced by the active development of alliances. The necessity to support the allies was also associated with the nations’ desire to expand the influence in Europe and globally. That is why such a trigger as the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by the Serbian nationalist only gave the start to the ‘chain reaction’ which led to the Great War.
Austria-Hungary chose to use the opportunity to stabilize its influence in the Balkans while proposing the ultimatum to the Serbians, but Russia supported Serbia because of the treaty and called for the mobilization of its forces. Germany reacted to the Russian support and mobilization with supporting Austria-Hungary. France and Britain also joined Russia because of the treaty. Italy focused on the alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary. As a result, many European countries became involved in the military conflict because of the drawbacks of the alliance system, and they began to pursue their own goals in the conflict (The Great War, 2004).
The developed Great War was discussed as a controversial event by different categories of the population. For instance, Philip Gibbs, a British journalist, focused on describing the public’s reaction to call to arms in Paris. He noted that the French people were oriented to oppose Germany strictly because of their shock associated with the war’s beginning (The Great War, 2004). In his turn, Armin Wegner, a German medic, was shocked by the horrors of the first genocide against the Armenian people in Turkey. This genocide was one of the most dramatic events associated with the Great War (The Great War, 2004). These voices are males’ ones because the men are usually discussed as the protectors of the fatherlands. However, the Great War was such an unusual event in the histories of nations that even women organized battalions to oppose the war’s horrors. From this point, it is interesting to refer to the voice of Maria Botchkareva, the leader of the “Battalion of Death” organized to oppose the Germans’ forces. Botchkareva was inclined to condemn the ineffective men’s actions and practices to oppose the enemy while calling these men ‘cowards’ (The Great War, 2004). Thus, different persons, in spite of their status and nationality, felt obliged to react to the war.
To look at the aspects of the war more attentively, it is possible to refer to the historian’s visions’ of the events. In his commentaries, Robert K. Massie pays much attention to the important personalities who influenced the progress of the war in the twentieth century. Thus, the fatalistic visions of Nicholas and Alexandra in Russia made them follow the wrong ways while leading the country and while building relations with such two-faced individuals as Rasputin. If the actions of Nicholas and Alexandra were in most cases explained with their faith and reliance on ‘God’s will,’ the actions of Kaiser Wilhelm II were oriented to the victory to receive more powers (The Great War, 2004).
Jay Winter’s discussion of Kaiser Wilhelm is also interesting because the historian states that Kaiser’s temperament is one of the keys to his prestige. Winter also states that the character of Tsar Nicholas was quite the opposite because he did not want to lead the country. Discussing the Armenian genocide, the historian states that this event supports the idea that the war depends on the hatred (The Great War, 2004). Moreover, the sufferings of the persons in the Great War were doubled with the use of poison gas as one of the means. According to Sir Michael Howard, the post-war new world order based on the principle of self-determination was a controversial idea because the nations’ visions differed significantly. Following David Kennedy, it is possible to note that Woodrow Wilson’s position was rather risky because of the focus on profits instead of on ways to resolve the conflict (The Great War, 2004).
It is necessary to note that World War I still impacts the international events because the Great War gave the start to such provocative phenomena as the genocide, terrorism, the use of the chemical weapons, bombardment, and the reliance on alliances. The genocides of the twentieth century are the reflections of the first Armenian genocide. Terrorism is the reflection of the first killings made by nationalists. The leading position of the United States is the result of Woodrow Wilson’s policy. Moreover, the creation of the European Union is the modern response to the alliance system.
The Great War. (2004). Web.