essay on world war i

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World War I

By: Editors

Updated: August 11, 2023 | Original: October 29, 2009

"I Have a Rendevous with Death."FRANCE - CIRCA 1916: German troops advancing from their trenches. (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

World War I, also known as the Great War, started in 1914 after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. His murder catapulted into a war across Europe that lasted until 1918. During the four-year conflict, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire (the Central Powers) fought against Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Canada, Japan and the United States (the Allied Powers). Thanks to new military technologies and the horrors of trench warfare, World War I saw unprecedented levels of carnage and destruction. By the time the war was over and the Allied Powers had won, more than 16 million people—soldiers and civilians alike—were dead.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Tensions had been brewing throughout Europe—especially in the troubled Balkan region of southeast Europe—for years before World War I actually broke out.

A number of alliances involving European powers, the Ottoman Empire , Russia and other parties had existed for years, but political instability in the Balkans (particularly Bosnia, Serbia and Herzegovina) threatened to destroy these agreements.

The spark that ignited World War I was struck in Sarajevo, Bosnia, where Archduke Franz Ferdinand —heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire—was shot to death along with his wife, Sophie, by the Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip on June 28, 1914. Princip and other nationalists were struggling to end Austro-Hungarian rule over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The assassination of Franz Ferdinand set off a rapidly escalating chain of events: Austria-Hungary , like many countries around the world, blamed the Serbian government for the attack and hoped to use the incident as justification for settling the question of Serbian nationalism once and for all.

Kaiser Wilhelm II

Because mighty Russia supported Serbia, Austria-Hungary waited to declare war until its leaders received assurance from German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II that Germany would support their cause. Austro-Hungarian leaders feared that a Russian intervention would involve Russia’s ally, France, and possibly Great Britain as well.

On July 5, Kaiser Wilhelm secretly pledged his support, giving Austria-Hungary a so-called carte blanche, or “blank check” assurance of Germany’s backing in the case of war. The Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary then sent an ultimatum to Serbia, with such harsh terms as to make it almost impossible to accept.

World War I Begins

Convinced that Austria-Hungary was readying for war, the Serbian government ordered the Serbian army to mobilize and appealed to Russia for assistance. On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers quickly collapsed.

Within a week, Russia, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Serbia had lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany, and World War I had begun.

The Western Front

According to an aggressive military strategy known as the Schlieffen Plan (named for its mastermind, German Field Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen ), Germany began fighting World War I on two fronts, invading France through neutral Belgium in the west and confronting Russia in the east.

On August 4, 1914, German troops crossed the border into Belgium. In the first battle of World War I, the Germans assaulted the heavily fortified city of Liege , using the most powerful weapons in their arsenal—enormous siege cannons—to capture the city by August 15. The Germans left death and destruction in their wake as they advanced through Belgium toward France, shooting civilians and executing a Belgian priest they had accused of inciting civilian resistance. 

First Battle of the Marne

In the First Battle of the Marne , fought from September 6-9, 1914, French and British forces confronted the invading German army, which had by then penetrated deep into northeastern France, within 30 miles of Paris. The Allied troops checked the German advance and mounted a successful counterattack, driving the Germans back to the north of the Aisne River.

The defeat meant the end of German plans for a quick victory in France. Both sides dug into trenches , and the Western Front was the setting for a hellish war of attrition that would last more than three years.

Particularly long and costly battles in this campaign were fought at Verdun (February-December 1916) and the Battle of the Somme (July-November 1916). German and French troops suffered close to a million casualties in the Battle of Verdun alone.

essay on world war i

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World War I Books and Art

The bloodshed on the battlefields of the Western Front, and the difficulties its soldiers had for years after the fighting had ended, inspired such works of art as “ All Quiet on the Western Front ” by Erich Maria Remarque and “ In Flanders Fields ” by Canadian doctor Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae . In the latter poem, McCrae writes from the perspective of the fallen soldiers:

Published in 1915, the poem inspired the use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.

Visual artists like Otto Dix of Germany and British painters Wyndham Lewis, Paul Nash and David Bomberg used their firsthand experience as soldiers in World War I to create their art, capturing the anguish of trench warfare and exploring the themes of technology, violence and landscapes decimated by war.

The Eastern Front

On the Eastern Front of World War I, Russian forces invaded the German-held regions of East Prussia and Poland but were stopped short by German and Austrian forces at the Battle of Tannenberg in late August 1914.

Despite that victory, Russia’s assault forced Germany to move two corps from the Western Front to the Eastern, contributing to the German loss in the Battle of the Marne.

Combined with the fierce Allied resistance in France, the ability of Russia’s huge war machine to mobilize relatively quickly in the east ensured a longer, more grueling conflict instead of the quick victory Germany had hoped to win under the Schlieffen Plan .

Russian Revolution

From 1914 to 1916, Russia’s army mounted several offensives on World War I’s Eastern Front but was unable to break through German lines.

Defeat on the battlefield, combined with economic instability and the scarcity of food and other essentials, led to mounting discontent among the bulk of Russia’s population, especially the poverty-stricken workers and peasants. This increased hostility was directed toward the imperial regime of Czar Nicholas II and his unpopular German-born wife, Alexandra.

Russia’s simmering instability exploded in the Russian Revolution of 1917, spearheaded by Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks , which ended czarist rule and brought a halt to Russian participation in World War I.

Russia reached an armistice with the Central Powers in early December 1917, freeing German troops to face the remaining Allies on the Western Front.

America Enters World War I

At the outbreak of fighting in 1914, the United States remained on the sidelines of World War I, adopting the policy of neutrality favored by President Woodrow Wilson while continuing to engage in commerce and shipping with European countries on both sides of the conflict.

Neutrality, however, it was increasingly difficult to maintain in the face of Germany’s unchecked submarine aggression against neutral ships, including those carrying passengers. In 1915, Germany declared the waters surrounding the British Isles to be a war zone, and German U-boats sunk several commercial and passenger vessels, including some U.S. ships.

Widespread protest over the sinking by U-boat of the British ocean liner Lusitania —traveling from New York to Liverpool, England with hundreds of American passengers onboard—in May 1915 helped turn the tide of American public opinion against Germany. In February 1917, Congress passed a $250 million arms appropriations bill intended to make the United States ready for war.

Germany sunk four more U.S. merchant ships the following month, and on April 2 Woodrow Wilson appeared before Congress and called for a declaration of war against Germany.

Gallipoli Campaign

With World War I having effectively settled into a stalemate in Europe, the Allies attempted to score a victory against the Ottoman Empire, which entered the conflict on the side of the Central Powers in late 1914.

After a failed attack on the Dardanelles (the strait linking the Sea of Marmara with the Aegean Sea), Allied forces led by Britain launched a large-scale land invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula in April 1915. The invasion also proved a dismal failure, and in January 1916 Allied forces staged a full retreat from the shores of the peninsula after suffering 250,000 casualties.

Did you know? The young Winston Churchill, then first lord of the British Admiralty, resigned his command after the failed Gallipoli campaign in 1916, accepting a commission with an infantry battalion in France.

British-led forces also combated the Ottoman Turks in Egypt and Mesopotamia , while in northern Italy, Austrian and Italian troops faced off in a series of 12 battles along the Isonzo River, located at the border between the two nations.

Battle of the Isonzo

The First Battle of the Isonzo took place in the late spring of 1915, soon after Italy’s entrance into the war on the Allied side. In the Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo, also known as the Battle of Caporetto (October 1917), German reinforcements helped Austria-Hungary win a decisive victory.

After Caporetto, Italy’s allies jumped in to offer increased assistance. British and French—and later, American—troops arrived in the region, and the Allies began to take back the Italian Front.

World War I at Sea

In the years before World War I, the superiority of Britain’s Royal Navy was unchallenged by any other nation’s fleet, but the Imperial German Navy had made substantial strides in closing the gap between the two naval powers. Germany’s strength on the high seas was also aided by its lethal fleet of U-boat submarines.

After the Battle of Dogger Bank in January 1915, in which the British mounted a surprise attack on German ships in the North Sea, the German navy chose not to confront Britain’s mighty Royal Navy in a major battle for more than a year, preferring to rest the bulk of its naval strategy on its U-boats.

The biggest naval engagement of World War I, the Battle of Jutland (May 1916) left British naval superiority on the North Sea intact, and Germany would make no further attempts to break an Allied naval blockade for the remainder of the war.

World War I Planes

World War I was the first major conflict to harness the power of planes. Though not as impactful as the British Royal Navy or Germany’s U-boats, the use of planes in World War I presaged their later, pivotal role in military conflicts around the globe.

At the dawn of World War I, aviation was a relatively new field; the Wright brothers took their first sustained flight just eleven years before, in 1903. Aircraft were initially used primarily for reconnaissance missions. During the First Battle of the Marne, information passed from pilots allowed the allies to exploit weak spots in the German lines, helping the Allies to push Germany out of France.

The first machine guns were successfully mounted on planes in June of 1912 in the United States, but were imperfect; if timed incorrectly, a bullet could easily destroy the propeller of the plane it came from. The Morane-Saulnier L, a French plane, provided a solution: The propeller was armored with deflector wedges that prevented bullets from hitting it. The Morane-Saulnier Type L was used by the French, the British Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army), the British Royal Navy Air Service and the Imperial Russian Air Service. The British Bristol Type 22 was another popular model used for both reconnaissance work and as a fighter plane.

Dutch inventor Anthony Fokker improved upon the French deflector system in 1915. His “interrupter” synchronized the firing of the guns with the plane’s propeller to avoid collisions. Though his most popular plane during WWI was the single-seat Fokker Eindecker, Fokker created over 40 kinds of airplanes for the Germans.

The Allies debuted the Handley-Page HP O/400, the first two-engine bomber, in 1915. As aerial technology progressed, long-range heavy bombers like Germany’s Gotha G.V. (first introduced in 1917) were used to strike cities like London. Their speed and maneuverability proved to be far deadlier than Germany’s earlier Zeppelin raids.

By the war’s end, the Allies were producing five times more aircraft than the Germans. On April 1, 1918, the British created the Royal Air Force, or RAF, the first air force to be a separate military branch independent from the navy or army. 

Second Battle of the Marne

With Germany able to build up its strength on the Western Front after the armistice with Russia, Allied troops struggled to hold off another German offensive until promised reinforcements from the United States were able to arrive.

On July 15, 1918, German troops launched what would become the last German offensive of the war, attacking French forces (joined by 85,000 American troops as well as some of the British Expeditionary Force) in the Second Battle of the Marne . The Allies successfully pushed back the German offensive and launched their own counteroffensive just three days later.

After suffering massive casualties, Germany was forced to call off a planned offensive further north, in the Flanders region stretching between France and Belgium, which was envisioned as Germany’s best hope of victory.

The Second Battle of the Marne turned the tide of war decisively towards the Allies, who were able to regain much of France and Belgium in the months that followed.

The Harlem Hellfighters and Other All-Black Regiments

By the time World War I began, there were four all-Black regiments in the U.S. military: the 24th and 25th Infantry and the 9th and 10th Cavalry. All four regiments comprised of celebrated soldiers who fought in the Spanish-American War and American-Indian Wars , and served in the American territories. But they were not deployed for overseas combat in World War I. 

Blacks serving alongside white soldiers on the front lines in Europe was inconceivable to the U.S. military. Instead, the first African American troops sent overseas served in segregated labor battalions, restricted to menial roles in the Army and Navy, and shutout of the Marines, entirely. Their duties mostly included unloading ships, transporting materials from train depots, bases and ports, digging trenches, cooking and maintenance, removing barbed wire and inoperable equipment, and burying soldiers.

Facing criticism from the Black community and civil rights organizations for its quotas and treatment of African American soldiers in the war effort, the military formed two Black combat units in 1917, the 92nd and 93rd Divisions . Trained separately and inadequately in the United States, the divisions fared differently in the war. The 92nd faced criticism for their performance in the Meuse-Argonne campaign in September 1918. The 93rd Division, however, had more success. 

With dwindling armies, France asked America for reinforcements, and General John Pershing , commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, sent regiments in the 93 Division to over, since France had experience fighting alongside Black soldiers from their Senegalese French Colonial army. The 93 Division’s 369 regiment, nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters , fought so gallantly, with a total of 191 days on the front lines, longer than any AEF regiment, that France awarded them the Croix de Guerre for their heroism. More than 350,000 African American soldiers would serve in World War I in various capacities.

Toward Armistice

By the fall of 1918, the Central Powers were unraveling on all fronts.

Despite the Turkish victory at Gallipoli, later defeats by invading forces and an Arab revolt that destroyed the Ottoman economy and devastated its land, and the Turks signed a treaty with the Allies in late October 1918.

Austria-Hungary, dissolving from within due to growing nationalist movements among its diverse population, reached an armistice on November 4. Facing dwindling resources on the battlefield, discontent on the homefront and the surrender of its allies, Germany was finally forced to seek an armistice on November 11, 1918, ending World War I.

Treaty of Versailles

At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, Allied leaders stated their desire to build a post-war world that would safeguard itself against future conflicts of such a devastating scale.

Some hopeful participants had even begun calling World War I “the War to End All Wars.” But the Treaty of Versailles , signed on June 28, 1919, would not achieve that lofty goal.

Saddled with war guilt, heavy reparations and denied entrance into the League of Nations , Germany felt tricked into signing the treaty, having believed any peace would be a “peace without victory,” as put forward by President Wilson in his famous Fourteen Points speech of January 1918.

As the years passed, hatred of the Versailles treaty and its authors settled into a smoldering resentment in Germany that would, two decades later, be counted among the causes of World War II .

World War I Casualties

World War I took the lives of more than 9 million soldiers; 21 million more were wounded. Civilian casualties numbered close to 10 million. The two nations most affected were Germany and France, each of which sent some 80 percent of their male populations between the ages of 15 and 49 into battle.

The political disruption surrounding World War I also contributed to the fall of four venerable imperial dynasties: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia and Turkey.

Legacy of World War I

World War I brought about massive social upheaval, as millions of women entered the workforce to replace men who went to war and those who never came back. The first global war also helped to spread one of the world’s deadliest global pandemics, the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, which killed an estimated 20 to 50 million people.

World War I has also been referred to as “the first modern war.” Many of the technologies now associated with military conflict—machine guns, tanks , aerial combat and radio communications—were introduced on a massive scale during World War I.

The severe effects that chemical weapons such as mustard gas and phosgene had on soldiers and civilians during World War I galvanized public and military attitudes against their continued use. The Geneva Convention agreements, signed in 1925, restricted the use of chemical and biological agents in warfare and remain in effect today.

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essay on world war i


Essay on World War 1

Students are often asked to write an essay on World War 1 in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on World War 1


World War 1, also known as the Great War, was a global conflict that started in 1914 and ended in 1918. It involved many world powers and caused significant changes globally.

Causes of the War

The war began due to various reasons including nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and a complex system of alliances. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary triggered the war.

Major Battles

Key battles included the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Verdun. These battles caused heavy casualties and marked turning points in the war.

End of the War

The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. This treaty held Germany responsible for the war and imposed heavy penalties.

Impact of the War

World War 1 had significant impacts. It led to the fall of empires, redrew the world map, and set the stage for World War 2.

Also Explore 10-lines on World War 1

250 Words Essay on World War 1

Origins of world war 1.

World War 1, also known as the Great War, began in 1914, triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. An intricate web of alliances across Europe, coupled with nationalistic fervor, propelled the continent into war.

The Central and Allied Powers

The war was fought between the Central Powers, led by Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire, and the Allied Powers, comprising France, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The United States initially maintained neutrality but joined the Allies in 1917.

The Nature of Warfare

World War 1 marked a shift from conventional to trench warfare, characterized by its static nature and high casualty rates. The war also saw the introduction of new technology, including tanks, aircraft, and chemical weapons, which further escalated its devastating impact.

Impact and Aftermath

The war resulted in significant geopolitical changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved. The Treaty of Versailles, signed in 1919, ended the war but sowed the seeds for future conflicts, including World War 2. The war also marked the beginning of significant shifts in global power.

Legacy of World War 1

World War 1 had profound effects on the course of the 20th century. It led to the fall of empires, redrew the world map, and set the stage for the rise of the United States and the Soviet Union as global superpowers. Its legacy continues to shape contemporary global politics.

500 Words Essay on World War 1

World War I, often referred to as the Great War, was a global conflict that commenced on July 28, 1914, and lasted until November 11, 1918. This war, unprecedented in the annals of history, brought significant changes to the political, social, and economic spheres of the world.

The inception of World War I can be attributed to a complex interplay of factors. Nationalism, militarism, and imperialism were the undercurrents that fueled the war. However, the immediate catalyst was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, by a Serbian nationalist in June 1914. This event led to a diplomatic crisis, and the entangled web of alliances among European powers escalated the situation into a full-scale war.

The War Fronts and Strategies

World War I was characterized by trench warfare, where soldiers fought from deep trenches, making the conflict a war of attrition. The Western and Eastern Fronts were the primary battlefields. The Western Front, a series of trenches stretching from the English Channel to the Swiss border, witnessed brutal warfare. The Eastern Front, though larger and less fortified, was equally deadly.

Major Events

Key events of World War I include the Battle of the Marne, where the German advance was halted, marking the end of mobile warfare on the Western Front. The Gallipoli Campaign was another significant event, where the Allies’ failed attempt to control the sea route from Europe to Russia resulted in heavy casualties. The sinking of the passenger ship Lusitania by a German submarine, which resulted in American deaths, was instrumental in bringing the United States into the war in 1917.

Technological Advancements

World War I was a crucible for technological innovation. The war saw the first use of chemical weapons, tanks, and aircraft in combat. Submarines became a significant naval weapon, and machine guns became a ubiquitous feature on the battlefield. These advancements changed the face of warfare, making it more lethal and mechanized.

Conclusion: The Aftermath

The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which held Germany responsible for the war and imposed hefty reparations. The aftermath of World War I saw the dissolution of empires, redrawing of boundaries, and the emergence of new nations. The League of Nations was established to maintain world peace, but it failed to prevent another devastating conflict – World War II. The social and economic upheavals caused by the war also set the stage for significant political changes, including the Russian Revolution and the rise of Fascism.

World War I was a watershed event in human history, leaving an indelible mark on the world’s political, social, and economic landscape. Its repercussions are still felt today, making it a pivotal study in understanding the dynamics of global conflicts.

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141 World War 1 Essay Topics & Examples

World War I was one of the deadliest conflicts in global history. It took place in 1914-1918 and involved the Central Powers on the one side and the Allies on the other.

If you’re looking for interesting WW1 topics, you’re at the right place! StudyCorgi has plenty of WW1 topics to write about! Below, you’ll find a wide choice of topics about Word War 1, which you can use for your project, debate, thesis, or research paper. Besides WWI research topics and questions, you’ll find free WW1 essay examples. You can read them to get inspiration for your own works.

🏆 Best WW1 Essay Topics

👍 good world war 1 research topics & essay examples, 💡 simple topics of ww1, 📌 easy world war 1 essay topics, ❓ ww1 research questions, 💣 ww1 research topics, ⚔️ more world war 1 topics.

  • The Reaction of the American Citizens to the US Entry into World War I World War I left a lasting impact on America, influencing the next ten years of American foreign policy and domestic policy.
  • World War I Provocative Phenomenas The World War I 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 and Political World Domination The complexity of the origins of World War I is undeniable, but it is possible to observe that one of the crucial factors was the struggle for domination on the political map.
  • World War I Aftermath for the United States World War I is one of the darkest moments in modern times. It erupted in 1914 with the world’s powerful nations forming opposing alliances.
  • Outbreak of World War I The World War I was inevitable as it resulted from the existing differences, leaders` personal ambitions, and the unstable international situation.
  • Pan-Slavism and Nationalism as Causes of World War I Both nationalism and imperialism were major forces that drove the alliances toward World War I. The Pan-Slavic movement was not created by Russia to achieve its political goals.
  • World War I: Nationalism and the US Impact In the case of WWI, nationalism led to the development of a competitive worldwide environment where each country felt the urge to overpower its closest rivals.
  • World War I: Franz Ferdinand’s Death and Alliances The Great War caused the death of at least 8.5 million soldiers and 7 million civilians. The Great War maimed and injured 20 million people.

  • The United States’ Involvement into World War I Historians agree that numerous forces played a role towards initiating this war. This essay gives a detailed analysis of the major causes of the war and its aftermath.
  • Pan-Slavism in Fueling World War I The role of Pan-Slavism in fueling WWI has often been put in the center of discussions about this historic event.
  • The League of Nations’ Activity After World War I It should be noted that President Roosevelt, although concerned about Germany’s actions, only gave one speech in Chicago, but no action had followed.
  • WWI and Interwar Military Innovations WWI triggered the development of an array of interwar military innovations. Today specialization is common in contemporary military forces.
  • World War I, Its Chronology and Impacts This paper focuses on World War I that was identified as an important mark in the world’s history. It provides a detailed description of the war and explain its impacts.
  • World War One: Fundamental Reasons The paper examines the fundamental reasons that have led to World War One and make an accent on the reasons that drew the United States of America into the world conflict.
  • Modernization in Post World War I Turkey and Iran After World War I, the important and contradictory process of modernization of Middle Eastern countries could be observed. The prominent examples are Iran and Turkey.
  • Causes and Consequences of World War I The WW I is considered one of the most devastating and horrible military conflicts in the history of humanity, which resulted in the creation of the new world order and the collapse of numerous states.
  • Events and Causes of World War I World War 1 took place between 1914 and 1918. A number of authors and scholars have come up with possible causes of the First World War. It took place between rich countries.
  • World War I and American Participation This paper analyzes the events that drew the United States into World War I. It clearly discusses why America first remained neutral between 1914-1917.
  • World War I: Nationalism, Imperialism, Militarism This paper analyzes how nationalism, imperialism, and militarism irrevocably led to World War I, and how the alliance system contributed to the ultimate outbreak of war.
  • World War I and the US’ Role During and After It This paper is dedicated to revealing the causes of World War I as well as defining the role of the United States during the war and after its end.
  • World War I: Pan-Slavism in German-Speaking States This paper analyzes the role of nationalism, imperialism, and militarism and especially the rise of Pan-Slavism in Eastern Europe in German-speaking states.
  • The United States’ Role in the World War I The U.S. managed to maintain neutrality for an impressive amount of time, yet even the American government had to define its position toward WWI at some point.
  • World War I: Causes and the United States’ Role This paper aims to investigate the underlying causes of World War I along with the exploration of the role of the United States in the war.
  • World War I: Prerequisites and Consequences World War I is an example of how political ideologies and movements can influence the course of history and people’s perception of current events.
  • World War I: Causes and the Entry of the US The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the immediate cause of World War I. But the events that led to the Great War go further back into the nineteenth century.
  • The World Remade: World War I The World War I became one of the most meaningful events that shaped the history of the humanity and preconditioned the development of the global intercourse in a particular way.
  • The History of Reasons for WWI Outbreak and the United States in WWI On April 6th, 1917, the United States of America decided to enter the First World War after maintaining its neutrality for three years since the conflict’s beginning.
  • Nationalism as a Cause of World War I World War I was triggered by numerous causes, and nationalism is one of them. It is mainly perceived as a sense of pride experienced by a nation.
  • World War I and the Role of the United States in It When considering the factors that led to the eruption of WWI, one must mention nationalism, imperialism, and militarism.
  • World War I and the United States’ Participation American people will always remember the effects of World War I. It claimed millions of lives and caused the destruction of cultural and architectural masterpieces.
  • World War I and American Neutrality The U.S. Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles due to provisions established by Woodrow Wilson regarding collective security and the League of Nations.
  • History of Aviation in World War I and World War II Aviation history has various periods that crafted its unique story. It began before the seventeenth century and is known for several momentous events that led to its development, such as World War I and World War II.
  • World War I: Wilson Woodrow and League of Nations This is an essay that generally talks about some of the events of World War I, there is a discussion about Wilson Woodrow and his fight for the League of Nations.
  • Conscription in Canada During World War I In Canada, Conscription during World War I was a total failure as it left the nation more divided than it was before.
  • Employment Opportunities for British Women After World War I Due to the need for Great Britain to unite all of its resources to survive the devastating effect of WWI, the social role and the opportunities for employment changed for women.
  • The Chinese in Canada Before World War I Canada before World War One was characterised by the immigration of foreign communities, especially the Chinese, which resulted in suspicion and fear by locals.
  • Renaissance Development and Crisis of the World War I The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period.
  • World War 1 Influences Analysis No one state can be charged with causing the world war. It was as a result of economic and political rivalry among nations. There was also the issue of nationalism.
  • World War I (WWI) Effects On American Society WWI brought into America new cultural practices, it became a stimulant for trade, and it also brought into the country a unifying spirit which contributed to the economic success.
  • The World War I and the October Revolution Russia’s participation in the First World War added to the misery of the people who not only had to suffer the poverty at home but also had to fight and support an unpopular war.
  • Nursing During World War I: The Importance of the Discipline In the USA, the World War I provided an avenue for nursing to discover the importance of professional training and discipline. This war posed a threat to the status of nursing.
  • American World War I Propaganda The U.S.A. produced the greatest number of propaganda materials in relation to any other single nation participating in the war.
  • Was World War One the Main Cause of the Russian Revolution? This paper will explore the contribution of the First World War to the subsequent revolution that took place in Russia, analyzing whether the war was the main contributing factor.
  • Workers and Immigrants During the World War I and II The consequences of World War I, the restriction of immigration, and the fear of immigrants led to the isolation of the United States during the 1930s.
  • Causes of World War I Overview The increase of the armaments and military forces by the European countries in the years preceding 1914 was another predecessor of World War I.
  • World War I: History and Causes The global conflict that lasted four years resulted in millions of human deaths and changed the map of Europe and the Middle East.
  • Fallouts of World War I World War I brought dramatic changes in all aspects of life. Globally, the political and governmental structure of world countries were changed.
  • World War I as a Total War World War I was a conflict the nations had never seen before. Over thirty countries lost millions of lives between 1914 and 1918, fighting for their ideals and principles.
  • America’s Entry Into World War I The onset of World War I came with repercussions to the United States, which initially planned on avoiding any confrontations.
  • “Experiences of World War I Soldiers” Lecture by Isherwood This essay discusses the lecture “Experiences of World War I Soldiers” by Ian Isherwood, from his course “Aftermath: The Experience of War and ‘Modern’ Memory.”
  • World War II Was a Continuation of World War I WWI was a conflict between the Central Powers and the Allied Powers. The former included Germany, the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, and Austria-Hungary.
  • Post-WWI America in “Soldier’s Home” by Ernest Hemingway The purpose of this paper is to analyze the short story in terms of its plot, characters, setting, and conflict in relation to its overall message and symbolism.
  • The Progressive Era and World War I The purpose of this paper is to discuss whether the decision to enter the war was a failure or success from the point of view of the Progressive Era values and ideas.
  • Results of World War I for Germany Having studied Germany’s after-war commitments, one should conclude that they could have been one of the principal causes of World War II.
  • Analysis of the World War 1 and Cold War The First World War is among significant wars that have occurred in history because it led to the Cold War characterized by persistent strains and conflicts.
  • WWI and Territorial Changes in Europe This paper reviews how the Russian, Ottoman, German, and Austria-Hungary empires collapsed during and after WWI and which regions were created from the downfall.
  • What Was the Most Significant Reason to the Outbreak of World War 1
  • Factors That Made the United States Join the Alliances in World War 1
  • How Did the Development of Technology Affect World War 1
  • What Expectation Did British Soldiers and Civilians Have of Their Government Following WWI
  • The American Home Front During World War 1
  • Traditions and Encounters: World War 1
  • Fertility Shocks and Equilibrium Marriage-Rate Dynamics: Lessons From World War 1 in France
  • Analyzing Propaganda During World War 1
  • Good Cynicism and Bitterness From World War 1
  • What Was Trench Warfare and What Was Its Impact in World War 1
  • How Did the Interdependency of the Alliance Systems Help Lead To the Outbreak of WW1
  • The Long Term and Short Term Causes of WW1 and How Each Player Became Involved in the Great War
  • How Womens Lives Were Affected by World War 1
  • How Did Imperialism Cause World War 1
  • How the European Alliance Helped Cause World War 1
  • The Impact World War 1 Had on Russia
  • How Did the Middle East Change as a Result of World War 1
  • What Was Life Like in the Trenches During World War 1
  • How Did the Outbreak of WWI Contribute to the Genocide of the Armenians
  • Why Australians Joined World War 1
  • Recruitment, Censorship and Propoganda in WW1 in Both Britain and Germany
  • Discovering the American Past in World War 1
  • Which Was the More Important Cause of World War 1
  • The Most Influential Underlying Causes of World War 1
  • Canadian History Since World War 1
  • Comparison Between World War 1 And World War 2
  • Military Leaders World War 1 as Well as After the War
  • The Differences Between WWI and WWII
  • The Bauhaus Movement During the World War 1
  • What Expectation Did British Soldiers and Civilians Have of Their Government Following WWI?
  • Causes Effects and Aftermath of World War 1 History
  • How America Suffered From World War 1
  • Aircraft During World War 1 and World War 2
  • Liberal Democracy and Capitalism After World War 1
  • Germany Between World War One to World War Two: Culture and Politics
  • The Four Main Long-Term Causes of World War 1
  • Industrial Revolution and the World War 1
  • How Did the Location of Industry Respond to Falling Transport Costs in Britain Before World War 1
  • The Fallout After World War 1 and the Great Depression
  • The United States’ Entry Into World War 1
  • How Did WW1 Lead to the Development of the Medical Field of Plastic Surgery?
  • What Did the Intelligence Tradecraft Develop During World War 1?
  • Did Britain Want Germany Weak After World War 1?
  • Why Did Italy Enter Into World War 1?
  • How Did Technological Developments During WW1 Affect the Soldiers Who Fought?
  • Was WW1 the Result of Tensions Caused by German Nationalism?
  • Should the United States Have Entered World War 1?
  • Why Was World War 1 a Total War for Britain?
  • What Was the Political Impact of World War 1?
  • How Did Modern Weapons Change Combat in the First World War?
  • Did WW1 Change the Status of Women?
  • Was Germany Responsible for the Outbreak of World War 1?
  • What Was the Underlying Cause of World War 1?
  • How Did the World War 1 Change British Society?
  • Why Did Australia Become Involved in World War 1?
  • Should Any One Nation Be Seen as Responsible for the Outbreak of the First World War?
  • How Did the First World War Affect Britain?
  • What Was the Contribution of Britain to the Defeat of Germany in WW1?
  • Did the First World War Liberate British Women?
  • Why Did Central Power Lose the World War 1?
  • How Did World War 1 Exacerbate Europe’s Economic Problems?
  • Was the United States Genuinely Neutral During the First Years of World War 1?
  • Did the First World War Represent an Irrevocable Crisis of Gender in the UK?
  • How Did World War 1 Influence Modern-Day Art?
  • Why Did Aircraft Make Significant Differences in World War 1?
  • The role of nationalism in fueling WWI.
  • Conditions, strategies, and impact of trench warfare during WWI.
  • The significance of new weapons and military technology in WWI.
  • The role of propaganda in shaping public opinion during WWI.
  • The effects of WW1 on the lives of civilians.
  • Immediate and long-term consequences of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • The significance of colonial troops in WWI.
  • Artistic responses to WWI and its aftermath.
  • The impact of WWI on the global balance of powers.
  • The progress in medical practices and treatments during WWI.
  • Diplomatic failures and tensions that led to WWI.
  • The experiences of soldiers in the trenches.
  • Women’s non-combat roles during WW1.
  • The role of espionage and intelligence in WW1.
  • Religious institutions’ responses to WWI.
  • The involvement of non-European countries in WW1.
  • Aerial warfare strategies in WWI.
  • The role of war correspondents in reporting on WW1.
  • The impact of WW1 on subsequent conflicts and international relations.
  • Ways in which WWI is remembered and commemorated in different countries.
  • Research topic maker
  • Research question maker

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StudyCorgi. (2023, August 25). 141 World War 1 Essay Topics & Examples. Retrieved from

StudyCorgi. (2023, August 25). 141 World War 1 Essay Topics & Examples.

"141 World War 1 Essay Topics & Examples." StudyCorgi , 25 Aug. 2023,

1. StudyCorgi . "141 World War 1 Essay Topics & Examples." August 25, 2023.


StudyCorgi . "141 World War 1 Essay Topics & Examples." August 25, 2023.

StudyCorgi . 2023. "141 World War 1 Essay Topics & Examples." August 25, 2023.

StudyCorgi . (2023) '141 World War 1 Essay Topics & Examples'. 25 August.

The Causes and Effects of World War I Essay


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The effects of World War I can be seen around the world even now, more than one hundred years after its end; however, there is still no consensus as to its cause. In the words of Alfred Korzybski, “the destruction was brought about by nationalism, entangled alliances, narrow ethnic concerns, and desires for political gain – forces that are still with people today.” (cited in Levinson, 2014). Even though the majority of United States citizens did not have the direct experience of the terrific upset that the war caused in Europe, it can be argued that the country’s concern with championing democracy around the globe is one of its products (Levinson, 2014).

Many historians agree that an atmosphere of twentieth-century Europe was conducive to the creation of a complex mixture of economic, social, and political reasons that translated into powerful forces of imperialistic, nationalistic, and militaristic movements leading to the diplomatic crises of 1914 (Donaldson, 2014). Therefore, it can be said that the blame for the war could not be assigned to any individual country or a group of countries.

Nonetheless, the issue of responsibility was the main focus of the world in the years following the Armistice of 1918 (Donaldson, 2014). To this end, the Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and the Enforcement of Penalties met in Paris in 1919 (Donaldson, 2014). The investigation conducted by the commission showed that Germany and Austria, along with Turkey and Bulgaria as their allies, were responsible for the aggressive foreign policy tactics that led to the precipitation of the war (Donaldson, 2014).

The start of World War I was precipitated by the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, on June 28, 1914 (Mulligan, 2010) The elimination of the high-standing official was carried out by the group of secret society members called Black Hand and directed by Bosnian Serb Danilo Ilić (Storey, 2009). The political objective of the murder was to separate Austria-Hungary’s South Slav provinces to combine them into Yugoslavia (Storey, 2009).

In response to the killing of their official, Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia that commanded its government to prosecute the assassins. The objective of the ultimatum was to make its terms so strict that Serbia would be forced to reject it, thereby giving an excuse for launching a small war against it (Storey, 2009). Taking into consideration that Serbia had diplomatic relationships with Russia strengthened by their shared Slavic ties, the Austro-Hungarian government decided to take precautions against the two countries declaring war on it and allied with Germany. It is agreed that Germany was not opposed to Austro-Hungarian bellicosity, but rather supported and encouraged it, thus providing one more reason for the precipitation of the Great War (Levinson, 2014).

Even though Serbia’s response to the ultimatum was placating, Austria-Hungary decided to take aggressive action and declare war. It is argued that the main reason for World War I was the web of entangling alliances among the countries having an interest in the conflict between Austro-Hungary and Serbia (Storey, 2009). Following the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war, the Russian monarch mobilized his army because of the binding commitment of the treaty signed by the two countries.

As a result, on August 3, 1914, Germany declared war on the Russian Empire (Levinson, 2014). France was bound by treaty to Russia, and, therefore, had to start a war on Austria-Hungary and Germany. Even though a treaty tying France and Britain was loosely worded, the latter country had “a moral obligation” to defend the former (Levinson, 2014). Therefore, Britain and its allies Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Japan, and the Union of South Africa also took a bellicose stance against Germany and offered their assistance in the military action against the country (Levinson, 2014). Thus, a gigantic web of entangling alliances pushed numerous countries to the precipice of war over what was intended to be a small-scale conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia.

Numerous other reasons led to World War I. The conflicting political interests of Russia and Japan over Manchuria and Korea resulted in a military defeat of Russia (Levinson, 2014). Therefore, the country wanted to restore its dignity by a victorious war. During the same period, a lot of small nations were seething with discontent over the Turkish and Austro-Hungarian rule, thereby providing an opportunity for the Russian Empire further to stir resentment by firing up nationalistic zeal under a pretense of pan-Slavic narrative (Levinson, 2014).

Austria-Hungary, on the other hand, sought an opportunity to establish its influence over a vast territory of mixed nations; the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne provided them with a perfect excuse for the initiation of the war. Political clashes in Germany were a reason for the country’s government to resort to the military conflict as a way of “averting civil unrest” (Levinson, 2014). Another factor that caused World War I was the desire of France to revenge a military defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871 (Levinson, 2014).

It is impossible to name a single reason for the initiation of World War I. However, it is clear that the entangling web of alliances among numerous parties participating in the war, as well as complicated plots of governments and empires, led the small-scale dispute between Austria-Hungary and Serbia escalating into a military conflict that swept the entire world.

Donaldson, P. (2014). Interpreting the origins of the First World War. Teaching History , 155 (4), 32-33.

Levinson, M. (2014). Ten cautionary GS lessons from World War I. Et Cetera, 71 (1), 41-48.

Mulligan, W. (2010). The origins of the First World War . Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Storey, W. (2009). The First World War . Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

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Essay Introduction

Research paper on world war 1 essay, argumentative essay examples on world war 1 essay, thesis statement for world war 1 essay.

The First World War, which occurred from 1914 to 1918, was a devastating military conflict that involved numerous nations around the world. At the time, this global war was supposed to be “the war to end all wars,” a quote made famous by President Wilson. However, post-war decisions would eventually lead the way to another world war, one with similarly devastating proportions. Modern military technology like automatic machine guns, toxic gases, airplanes, submarines, tanks, and grenades combined with traditional fighting tactics resulted in carnage unlike ever before. While the United States is known for leading the Allies to victory in 1918, American soldiers were not involved in combat until three years after the fighting had already started. Wilson and the United States intended to stay neutral throughout the war, but certain economic factors ultimately pushed the Americans into the fighting as well. The main reason the United States joined the Allies in the First World War was to make sure war loans would be paid back and to prevent valuable exports from being destroyed by German submarines.

As the “Great War” broke out in Europe in 1914, the immediate response from President Wilson was to keep the United States neutral. Most American citizens agreed with this decision, as most people in the country did not want to be involved in another military conflict. After the United States forcibly occupied Cuba and the Philippines during the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War at the turn of the century, most American citizens were turned off by the idea of entering a war within another country’s borders. Entering a war would also be very costly and would cause countless American casualties.

By 1914, the American population had a diverse mix of ethnicities. Some Americans were immigrants or descendants of immigrants from Germany, Ireland, Austria-Hungary, and other Slavic nations, meaning they still had close ties with their homeland and generally still supported the Central Powers. However, more Americans, especially those with political power, supported the Allied Powers because they spoke English like the British and had British ancestral ties. This divided opinion caused tensions between different ethnic groups, so neutrality was important to help keep peace within the United States (Blum).

Progressive women like Jane Addams, founder of Hull House, and Carrie Chapman Catt of the National American Woman Suffrage Association led passionate anti-war movements to convince Congress not to go to war. Henry Ford, owner of Ford Motor Company, traveled across Europe in 1915 to advocate peace. The Socialist Party was heavily involved in the anti-war effort as well. According to an excerpt written by the Emergency Committee to President Wilson, “We, the Socialist Party, constitute a large portion of the common mass of the people, whose voices are not heard in the metropolitan press, but whose hearts are right and who do not want war. It is the voice of the common people you should hear before you act” (Work 33). It is clear that neutrality during the First World War was favored by most American citizens. President Wilson even used the slogan “He kept us out of war” to help him get re-elected in 1916. However, a series of unfortunate events eventually led to American military involvement (Work).

Argumentative Essay Examples of World War 1

From the beginning of the war in 1914, Britain and France decided that the most effective way to win the war was to create a naval blockade in the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. This was created to prevent any resources or supplies from entering the Central Powers, a technique that Britain believed would devastate the German population and quickly end the war. At this time, Britain had a powerful Royal Navy and solid control of the seaways in Western Europe. They also had control of most coal-refueling stations, which merchant ships found essential to complete voyages across the Atlantic Ocean.

When neutral countries like the United States continued to trade and loan money to the Central Powers, Britain, and France were angered and decided to intervene. Britain started detaining neutral merchant ships, examining all cargo aboard, and confiscating any resources intended to be sent to Germany. Britain and France also practiced “preclusive purchasing,” meaning that they bought out surplus materials from neutral countries for the purpose of depriving the Central Powers of important resources. For example, when Switzerland was going to export 40,000 heads of cattle to Germany, the Allies threatened to cut off all fodder exports to Switzerland. Switzerland was dependent on fodder imports to feed their livestock, so they signed the “Allied-Swiss pact of 12 May 1917,” which was a “Swiss commitment to limit cattle exports to the enemy in exchange for guaranteed reception of fodder from the Allies” (Farrar).

American companies that were known to be supplying the Central Powers were blacklisted and prevented access to British-controlled waterways. Americans were angered by this trade interference, but American companies could not afford to lose access to British-controlled waterways. In order to prevent further interference by the British navy, almost all American companies gave in to British demands and stopped exporting goods to the Central Powers. With trade cut off from the Central Powers, the Allies increased trade with neutral countries while belligerent countries like Germany faced starvation and poverty (Farrar).

When the United States declared neutrality at the beginning of the war, they continued to support both sides economically. American banks continued to loan money, and American businesses continued to trade with the Allies and Central Powers. It was not until the Blockade of Germany when American trade with the Central Powers diminished quickly. The American economy started to flourish because of the drastic increase in American exports to the Allies. “Merchandise exports comprised nearly 12 percent of gross national product in 1916, roughly double their share in 1914, and more than in any other year for which data are available” (Fordham).

The exports of “crude and manufactured foodstuff” and manufactured products to the Allies increased dramatically throughout the wartime, putting tons of money into the pockets of industrialists. American banks, over-confident with an Allied victory, loaned billions of dollars to the Allies to help finance the war. According to Senator Gerald Nye, the United States joined the Allies because they were “fighting to save the skins of American bankers who had bet too boldly on the outcome of the war and had two billion dollars of loans to the Allies in jeopardy” (Fordham). Once a substantial amount of money was loaned to the Allies, American banks needed the Allies to win the war so they could pay back the war debts. America now had a serious economic stake in the war (Fordham).

The Blockade of Germany was successful for the Allies in increasing trade and loans with neutral countries and depriving the Central Powers of critical resources. However, the blockade would also cause a whole new problem: Submarine warfare. Angered that the blockade was destroying trade with neutral countries, the Germans decided to sink Allied and neutral merchant ships heading for Britain and France. The decision to conduct submarine warfare was mostly economic since the Germans wanted to stop the Allies from trading heavily with neutral countries (Gompert).

Submarine Warfare and the Sinking of the Lusitania

A major incident that influenced American involvement in the war was the sinking of the Lusitania. The Lusitania was a British passenger ship that was sunk surprisingly by a German submarine on May 7, 1915. People around the world were outraged by this event, considering over one thousand passengers were killed, including 128 Americans. While any civilian fatality is devastating, it would be untrue to say that the loss of American life on the Lusitania was the main reason that the United States entered the war.

The event took place nearly two years before the United States declared war, so obviously, the attack did not prompt urgent action. Also, the passengers aboard the Lusitania were aware that they were traveling through submarine-infested waters before they started the voyage. Finally, the Lusitania was known to be hiding war munitions aboard. This shows that the Lusitania may not have been so innocent after all. This event was just another attack against Allied exports and the economy (Gompert, Blum).

Ideas on the Resumption of Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

The attack on the Lusitania caused outrage across the United States, but not enough to declare war on Germany. While the United States was still a neutral country, more Americans were starting to support the Allies because of the German’s ruthless submarine warfare tactics. After April 1916, when the Sussex was sunk by German Submarines, Germany put restrictions on submarine warfare because President Wilson threatened to cut off any “diplomatic ties” with Germany. However, this peace in the seas was short-lived.

The German Army was weakened, and German citizens were starving because of the Blockade of Germany. Germany’s victory seemed unrealistic, so the Germans decided to resume unrestricted submarine warfare in February 1917 out of desperation. According to Henning Von Holtzendorff, the naval chief of staff for Germany, the Germans “could sink 600,000 tons a month” if they resumed unrestricted submarine warfare (Gompert 66). The Germans were successful. “As advertised by German admirals, U-boats started sinking transatlantic shipping at an unprecedented rate: 25 percent of all British-bound shipping was sunk in March.

By April, the German admiralty prediction of tonnage sunk was being exceeded” (Gompert 67). Many of the merchant ships being sunk were American, which started hurting the American economy. Businesses were losing tons of money worth of exports because sea travel across the Atlantic started to decline, and tons of resources were sinking to the bottom of the ocean. This increased threat on American merchant ships was a major turning point in the war and soon led to American intervention a couple of months later (Gompert).

The United States had several economic incentives to join the Allies in the First World War. The Blockade of Germany basically forced the United States out of neutrality since they could no longer trade or loan money to the Central Powers. As a result, large amounts of exports and loans were being sent to the Allies, boosting the American economy. Now American banks and businesses had an incentive for the Allies to win. If the Central Powers won, American banks would not get their loans paid back. Finally, German submarines started sinking thousands of tons of American exports when they resumed unrestricted submarine warfare, so it sparked a huge economic incentive to join the war. Although most Americans intended to stay neutral throughout the whole conflict, economic pressures eventually pushed the United States into the mix.  

World War 1 Essay Sample

The First World War was a war that took place from 1914 to 1918. It is often referred to as the “Great War” or the “War to End All Wars.” The United States entered the war in 1917 but never became heavily involved, fighting only on an economic level. This essay will discuss some of the reasons why America entered WW1 and summarize what happened during this time.

Essay Sample On World War 1

  • Thesis Statement – World War 1 Essay
  • Introduction – World War 1 Essay
  • Causes of World War 1
  • Effects of World War 1
  • Conclusion – World War 1 Essay
Thesis Statement – World War 1  Essay Waking up on the morning of November 11th, 1918, German soldiers were greeted with an announcement that they had finally reached their goal. After four years of fighting and terrible losses, Germany’s military had finally succeeded in defeating France and capturing Paris. Introduction – World War 1 Essay World War I or also known as the Great War, was a massive battle that initiated in 1914 and lasting all the way until 1918. The war was between the world’s most significant powers as two combatant sides, i.e., the central powers and the allies. It was a series of events that had outset this which consist of critical features such as foreign policy, alliances, the growth of militarism, crisis, and nationalism. It brought a considerable development of war techniques and weapons. This war is also known as “war to end all wars” originating in Europe that go on from 28th July 1914 to 11th November 1918. The allied powers include France, Britain, Russia, Italy, and the United States, and the Central powers which include Germany, Hungary, Austria, and the Ottoman Empire. Get Non-Plagiarized Custom Essay on World War 1 in USA Order Now Main Body – World War 1 Essay Causes of World War 1 Vienna Congress –  In 1815, the nationalism resolution of the Congress was remained unnoticed completely. As a result, Europe had robust nationalistic systems or movements. The other causes that led to war are sharp colonial and commercial competition between the European powers. This was due to the competition for colonies that created a battle between the European countries. Competition with England –  The unification of Germany had made it a compelling competitor for England. The two nations competed in manufacturing highly-developed industrial goods. Germany required colonies to sell its finished product and get raw materials from. France and England have established colonies in Africa and Asia, and they viewed Germany as a competitor. Increased military powers – European countries were also determined to increase militarization. The industrial revolution made it possible for nations to improve their military power. After sometimes the countries became enemies and they started using their military forces against each other. Ferdinand murder – The murder of Francis Ferdinand as well as his wife at Sarajevo became the immediate cause of World War I. Austrian government accused Serbia of the murder, and it demanded a reply within 48 hours. The answer given did not satisfy Austria, and it declared war with Serbia. Effects of World War 1 Loss of humans – The worst effect of World War I that lasted for four years included the loss of millions of lives on the battlefield. Other people were injured or mutilated in a war whose level had not been represented in the past. The emergence of new states – There was also a change in Europe where the Turkish, Austria, Russian and German empires fell. Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia come out as new states. There were even changes in the older states. Democratic and labor groups become part – Democratic administrations and labor groups became part of the newly established states. There was also the passing of labor welfare in some countries. Conclusion – World War 1 Essay World War 1 was a devastating war that led to the deaths of millions of people. The United States entered World War 1 in 1917, which ended four years later after Germany surrendered. This essay has examined the events leading up to America’s involvement and how they impacted its citizens’ lives during this time period. Buy Customized Essay on World War 1 At Cheapest Price Order Now

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Free World War I Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: War , Germany , World , Politics , Europe , England , World War 1 , United States

Words: 1700

Published: 11/02/2022


World War (WW) 1 remains to be one of the initial events that ever manifested in modern history. It had a global scope. It defined a magnificent turning point in the world’s history. Europe was subdivided into a series of sovereign countries or states. However, it still formed a uniform cultural community about some aspects. For instance, Christianity predominantly defined Europeans with shared ideology on the supernatural being, their morality, and underlying destiny. Most states in Europe had varied sorts of administration and governance. It is only France and the neighbor Portugal that were republics. Most of the nations were monarchies. A wide range had constitutional monarchies like the Great Britain. Russia and some others had autocratic governments. Besides, culture was unilateral across Europe. People co-existed freely, and movement from one country to other was allowed without a necessarily show of passports. In 1914, significant changes of events occurred. The Europe’s industrial nations had dominated substantial parts of the world. The centers of power, which included the Britain, Germany, as well as France governments, had direct and indirect control of approximately 80 percent of the globe’s inhabitable surface (Walter, 2006). They possessed considerably nearly half of the globe’s industrial gist. Their merchants dominated half of the globe’s international trade (Walter, 2006). Nevertheless, the European countries fronted a devastating war virtually on each other. Their perennial rivalry for the globe’s influence, as well as their economic power, resulted in significant differences, divisions, or unprecedented suspicions among the states (Richard, 2004). Some national groups, which owned no specific states or those not included in the existing territories desired, expressed their nationalism. Most of these groups were largely found in Eastern Europe. They included the Poles, Ukrainians, the Croatians, Serbs, as well as Czechs. Tensions grew significantly among sovereign states culminating in war (Richard, 2004). Europe had ominous arms that were up for grabs. Germany had already become a unified and solidified country in 1871; it presented a new power to reckon with. Its rapid growth and expansion as an economic hub and military command raised an alarm, particularly, for France and the sister Britain (Richard, 2004). Shifts and possible adjustments in power balancing ended. Europe finally was drawn into two unified alliance blocks: Germany and Austria-Hungary constituting one block while Britain, France, and the sister Russia forming another block (Richard, 2004). The death of Archduke Francis Ferdinand-an Austria-Hungary heir precipitated the war (Richard, 2004).

Nationalism as a Cause of WW 1

Different political leaders agitated for independent countries or states. The leaders believed in defending and constantly pursuing the possible interests of their sovereign states. The profound desire of Slavic individuals to gain freedom from the predominant reign of Austro-Hungarian Empire fueled or propelled the World War 1 (Walter, 2006). Serbian citizens were militant. They demanded a unification and formation of the smaller Kingdom of the Serbia. In the Middle East, there was an uprising of the Arabic-speaking nationalists, seeking independence from the prime Ottoman Turkish Rule (Walter, 2006). Other nationalists from Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, as well as Poland, demanded a break from the leading Russian Empire (Walter, 2006). Furthermore, Russia also resolved to support Pan-Slavism, especially among the Balkans. This promoted yellow Slavic-affiliations quest to have the Austria-Hungary's Empire overthrown. The peace treaties experienced after war leading to the formation of new states; for instance, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Turkey were merely symbolic. They were dominantly ruled by ethnic nationalist affiliations (Walter, 2006). This fundamentally demonstrates that nationalism was imperatively the main causative factor of the World War 1.

Imperialism as a Cause of WW 1

Aggressive nationalism similarly manifested in the economic rivalry and competition. There were colonial conflicts. These propelled dangerous divisions among focal European powers. The highly industrialized countries in Europe competed negatively for the foreign markets and further engaged in constant tariff wars (Richard, 2004). The most felt and unsettled economic rivalry entailed the Great Britain and Germany. It was apparent by the twentieth century that Germany's rapid economic growth and expansion had threatened British's predominance in the economy. For that reason, British was extremely reluctant to acknowledge the comparative decline in its industry base in comparison to that of Germany (Richard, 2004). This strained their relations. The persistent search for fresh colonies resulted in fomented colonial rivalry. The imperial rules stumbled on one another. Notwithstanding, all major rulers engaged in a perennial scramble for new empires. Scramble for Colonies culminated into war (Richard, 2004).

Militarism as a Cause of WW 1

After 1907, there was an upsurge in military command on policy-making (Richard, 2004). This was particularly shown in Germany and Russia. The Germans and their rival Britons reached a consensus that naval power was the ideal as well as imperative in securing new trade routes. It was also better for the protection of merchant shipping. Additionally, military commanders and politicians resolved to have navies as a measure of commanding the seas during the war. The dreadnoughts and battleships were constructed from both warring ends. This expensive venture of the naval race resulted in strained relations and hostilities among nations (Richard, 2004).

The Events that Drew the United States into World War 1

In 1917, the U.S. President, Woodrow Wilson presented a sensational appeal to the joint session of the U.S. Congress, seeking for a declaration of war on its arch-rival Germany (Nancy, 2008). The President cited serious Germany’s violation of its pledge to defer unrestricted submarine military operations and warfare especially in the vast North Atlantic and the entire Mediterranean waters (Nancy, 2008). Besides, the president mentioned the attempts by Germany to lure Mexico in forming an alliance aimed at fronting war with United States (Nancy, 2008). Therefore, Germany’s persistent submarine attacks, especially on passenger and merchant ships, drew the U.S into the war. The Sussex Pledge, which prohibited sinking of unarmed boats and military incursions in water, was breached by Germany. The German military leadership had a conviction that the resumption of the unrestricted submarine operations and war fronts would assist in defeating the Great Britain (Sue, 2010). Germany also believed that U.S. was no longer a neutral party. It had supplied ammunitions and financial provisions to its allies. Additionally, Germany believed that the U.S. had already jeopardized its neutrality by acquiescing and rallying behind the Allied blockade mostly of Germany (Sue, 2010). U.S. had good relations with Germany until 1917 when the latter breached the pledge. President Wilson was further reluctant to declare war on Germany due to doubt of achieving full support of the American nationals on his quest (Sue, 2010). Nonetheless, the perennial submarine attacks, especially on the U.S. merchant and their passenger ships, made it join the war. The ‘Zimmerman Telegram,’ which demonstrated the possible threat of attack on the U.S. by Germany made the citizens of America, support the war. Additionally, the law on international diplomacy and relations stipulated that U.S. naval soldiers were to operate in civilian ships to be protected from the constant attacks by German submarines. This was an act of war on Germany (Sue, 2010). Germans had demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that it did not intend to seek any peaceful termination of the conflict (Sue, 2010). America had an enormous industrial ability. The country had been partially supplying its allies with financial help, weapons, as well as other goods since the inception of the war in 1914. It had powerful and well-established blue-water naval personnel. America ensured a win of WW 1 by bringing experienced soldiers and new tactics to the battle field.

Events that Led to the Defeat of the Treaty of Versailles

The underlying factors that led to the defeat of this treaty were the concerted strength of the opposing fronts. The opposition to the formation of the League of Nations, and the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Board’s displeasure of not being brought on board during the negotiations of the terms or conditions of the Treaty (John, Richard & Donald, 2001). Besides, political ignorance, incapacitation, and plain inflexibility of President Woodrow resulted in the final defeat of the noble Treaty of Versailles (John, Richard & Donald, 2001). There were serious political, social, or economic ramifications and far-reaching effects in case the Treaty was ratified by the United States. There were possible economic embargoes or strained to sever diplomatic and international relations. Critics are further perceived the Treaty as a supranational government (John, Richard & Donald, 2001). It was believed that it would control the power of the United States government from possibly determining and managing its affairs. The U.S. failed in ratifying the treaty because of the grudge and personal enmity between the president and the Republican leader-Lodge Henry Cabot (Vishwa, 2004). Their pride could not allow for the sober deliberations and adoption of the treaty. Additionally, ethnic groupings in U.S. also played a significant role in its defeat (Vishwa, 2004). In conclusion, World War 1 changed the landscapes, perceptions of people, and states towards each other. Despite, the defeat and the end of war, it is unfortunate that peace and harmonious co-existence was equally lost. It was coupled with disillusionment, especially for those who believed in ideals of economic and political progress. Large places in Europe were ruined, economies were on near collapse, and every young generation was near extinct. The Paris Peace Conference (PPC) held in the year 1919 helped in the ratification and streamlining of states.

John, P., Richard, P., & Donald, R. (2001). The Oxford Guide to the United States Government. Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. Nancy, G. (2008). The Great War and America: Civil-Military Relations during World War I. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Security International. Richard, H. (2004). The Origins of World War I. Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge Univ. Press. Richard, H. (2004). The Origins of World War I. Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge Univ. Press. Sue, V. (2010). The United States enters World War I. Edina, Minn.: ABDO Pub. Vishwa, N. (2004). International Relations. New Delhi: Vikas Pub. House. Walter, H. (2006). Everyday Life: World War I. Tucson, Ariz.: Good Year Books.


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