Historically, World War I is one of the largest wars that occurred between 28th July 1914 and 11th November 1918 (Sacks, 58). This war was waged between two great alliances which are; the Allies against the Central Powers. This war was initially referred to as the Great War. World War I actually originated in Europe. The war consisted of a series of events that significantly affected the outcome of the war. During this war, about 70 million soldiers took part in it, 9 million soldiers died and 7 million civilians perished (Sacks, 73). Therefore, this is paper discusses the causes and effects of the World War I.
The major cause of World War I was the scheme of hidden alliances organized by different European powers. As it later was discovered that Great Britain Russia, France, and Serbia had a secret deal among them that was binding them to assist one another in the event of war that might arise (Goldsworthy, 167). Similar to this, Austria Hungary and Germany, on the other hand, had established a secret alliance like this. This built up tension amongst countries which then resulted in the war. At the time when the war commenced, a number of other countries joined the war. Essentially, Italy, the United States, and Japan joined forces with the former alliance while Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire joined the later alliance (Goldsworthy, 168). Sometime later, these two alliances were referred to as the Allies and Central Powers respectively.
The second cause for World War I was due to the several alliances that were occasionally in conflict among them (Goldsworthy, 169). Each country pledged to offer protection to others, establishing a binding mutual protection and defensive scheme. Alliances were created secretly and as a result brought about lots of mistrust and suspicion between the European powers. Apparently, their overall suspicion barred their diplomats form devising an appropriate solution to the several crises that followed the war.
The third cause of World War I was imperialism. Colonialism had heated and superior countries were fighting over countries to colonize. The increase in colonization which led to a reduced number of countries to colonize created a shortage and high competition between the colonizing countries (“Lecture 1: Europe at 1914.World War I”). Conflict emerged as colonizing countries sought to expand their territories with the neighboring countries. Nationalism was the third cause for the war. Everybody loved their country. The people were loyal and dedicated themselves to serve and protect their country. They believed that citizenship in a country ought to be restricted to an ethnic group. The love for one’s country gradually developed to be hatred against other countries.
When the war ended on 11th November 1918, numerous effects were noted up to today. The cultural, social and political order significantly changes in several places including places that were indirectly affected by the war (“Lecture 1: Europe at 1914.World War I”). Brand knew countries were established, international institutions were created, and several new and old concepts remained in people’s minds. Europe fell into bad debt due to the high cost of the war making inflation hit the continent (“Lecture 1: Europe at 1914.World War I”). Moreover, the optimism of the prior decades was neglected and took on a pessimistic perspective of life was embraced after the people had encountered the cruelty of warfare.
To sum up, World War I was a big battle that affected the entire world. This war resulted in massive destruction of property and loss of many lives. The war was due to the social and political conflicts. However, due to the effects of the war, it has proven to be a turning point of some negative cultural, political and social views and cultures. Therefore, World War I remains to be the greatest war of all times in history.