World War 1

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The Great War was the biggest armed conflict at the time and the bloodiest. Over four years, millions of combatants lost their lives, and civilian casualties exceeded 10 million. Moreover, while it started as a small-scale local conflict between Serbia and Austria-Hungary, the war divided Western Europe into two equally powerful alliances that battled across the globe and sucked in even remote countries, such as Japan and the US.

World War 1 was the first war to include the use of advanced weaponry. Airplanes, tanks, automatic arms and chemical agents were fast-paced through the final stages of development and tested at scale on the battlefield. The effects of mustard gas and phosgene alone were so catastrophic that the Geneva Convention came to be in 1925 to prohibit further use of biological and chemical weapons. Luckily, nuclear weapons were created much later.

However, the biggest issues of WWI did not end on November 11, 1918. The consequences of the war would span decades. After all, the horrific pandemic of the Spanish flu was a direct result of the war. The same can be said about the demographic crisis that cut down the male population of major allies and spurred the equal rights movements when women had to take over the male jobs. Massive shortages of essential goods affected every industry, from automotive to fashion. In addition, the number of books, movies, photos and paintings depicting the events of the war reflected the influence on the entertainment industry. 

The political repercussions were even more long-lasting. The war helped the revolution take down the Russian royal house and incited the creation of the USSR that remained a powerful counterbalance to Western values and democracy throughout the 20th century. At the same time, the humiliation of losing WW1 sowed dissatisfaction among the German and Italian elites, which later led to the rise of the fascist parties. And those sparked the flames of World War 2 barely two decades later.

WW1 overturned the established world order, and the unsolved conflicts continued simmering until they spilled over into another all-encompassing conflict, this one even scarier and bloodier. Considering the large-scale repercussions of the Great War, it’s no wonder WW1 essays are a common assignment among History, Political Science, and Philosophy professors.

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