posts 1 - 15 of 23
Boston, US
Posts: 350

Sources to peruse:

In addition to what we’ve done in class, our screening of the 2018 film directed by Peter Jackson, They Shall Not Grow Old, and your examination of the following powerful websites/online exhibitions:

  1. World War I via photographs
  2. World War I by the numbers
  3. 5 Things You Need to Know about World War I
  4. The firsts of World War I
  5. The first World War: The Study of a Global Conflict. For this site, poke around. This site is SIMPLY AMAZING. Pay particular attention to these sections:

#1: Origins [3:16]

#3: Empires [3:29]

#5: Slaughter [5:05]

And make sure you click on the interactives between the horizontal number menu along

the lower part of the screen.

The four BIG questions I’d like you to address in this post depend on your thoughtful and careful examination of the five items above. As you respond, please make specific reference to these five items AS WELL AS anything relevant from class.

  • We can debate the whys behind the war, the long-term and short-term causes (and I’m sure you’ve taken tests in other classes about this) etc. but here’s the essential question that matters: What was the point? What was gained from this war? What was lost? Why did it matter?
  • What lessons should we learn from this war? (And by extension, what lessons did the world learn—at the time?)
  • There are folks who argue that there was a world before the First World War and an entirely different world afterwards. Is that true? What changed forever?
  • And finally, why is it important to understand World War I and learn about it, even if we can argue that war = insanity, (this one in particular)?
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 18

The Insanity that was World War I

Overall, I think the first World War can be best defined as a devastating conflict that resulted in the loss of millions of lives and caused significant social, economic, and political changes around the world. It is difficult to identify any clear gains or benefits that came from the war, as its negative impact far outweighed any potential positives.The war helped to establish the United States as a major global power, as the country's entry into the war tipped the balance in favor of the Allies and set the stage for the US to become a dominant player on the world stage in the decades that followed. There was also a shift away from imperialism and the former powerful empires fell, mainly as a result of the war. The numbers of WWI are so impactful, it forces you to take in the raw statistics of the loss, pain, and its wide scope.

However, it is important to note that these changes came at an enormous cost, and any potential gains were outweighed by the massive loss of life, the destruction of infrastructure, and the trauma and suffering experienced by millions of people. Ultimately, the point of World War One is difficult to pinpoint, as it was a tragic and catastrophic event that led to immeasurable human suffering and loss.

One of the key lessons we learned from World War One was the importance of diplomacy and peaceful conflict resolution. The war was triggered by a series of diplomatic failures, and the resulting bloodshed and destruction highlighted the need for nations to work together to prevent conflicts from escalating into war. Also, the creation of the League of Nations after the war was also an important lesson in the value of international cooperation and collaboration. It was also a war that was different from any other. It was filled with new technology which caused more death and destruction but also redefined the structure of war.

It is very important to learn about the first war as a massively significant turning point in world history. By understanding the First World War, we can better understand the past, present, and future of global politics and conflict.The war's causes and consequences continue to influence world events to this day.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 14

World War 1

What was the point? What was gained from this war? What was lost? Why did it matter?

I believe there was no real point to World War 1, as the causes and ideas behind it were infinitely more complicated than a simple timeline of events. However, I do believe that imperialism and militarism were largely demonstrated throughout the War as countries tried to establish power. As far as gains from the war, there were technological innovations from machinery to Kleenex to medical information, and more- it's just sad how much death and destruction had to come with it. The loss of World War 1, I believe, speaks for itself. World War 1 in numbers described that 8.5 million troops were thought to have been killed and 21 million physically injured (excluding those left with mental wounds and trauma from the war), and nearly 13 million citizens throughout the fight. I believe that World War 1 changed the world, not just because of what was gained from the war, but because of how much change it led to- and the fact that it led to the rise of the Soviet Union and Hitler.

What lessons should we learn from this war?

I think both us in modern-day society and the society of World War 1 have all taken away the lessons that history must always be remembered, and that war is unpredictable. I think everyone also learned how much destruction can take place at the hand of people in high powers. Like 5 things to know about world war 1 said, it was a war of destruction.

There are folks who argue that there was a world before the First World War and an entirely different world afterward. Is that true? What changed forever?

I would agree with this statement because too many things changed forever. Not only were there advances in technology that transformed the way we travel and communicate but they also increased imperialism. It also caused a catalyst for the great migration from Africa, and those who returned from war. It also sparked people's fight and determination against inequality and demand of civil rights. Photos of world war 1 even show how Veterinarians were changed by world war 1 thanks to dispatch dogs and their hospitals.

And finally, why is it important to understand World War I and learn about it, even if we can argue that war = insanity, (this one in particular)?

It's so importnt to understand and learn about world war 1 because it shaped the world we live in. It also allows us to understand what NOT to do so we don't repeat history.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 17

I believe WWI marked the end of wars being fought mostly for territorial gain. After the Great War, it becomes clear that the intent of making war is to assert a political, economic, racial, or ethical ideology over another person with little regard for human liberties. Of course, all wars are fought with this nuance, however, it seems World War One eclipses the age of imperialism and its many battles. As a society, we lost the innocence of our youngest and most able and socially/politically involved citizens for a war effort meant to boost our nation’s economy, not bring peace and prosperity to war-torn peoples.

The lessons we should learn from this war are that war is complicated, messy, and its consequences should never be underestimated. Every war teaches us these same principles, and I have no doubt these feelings were present throughout WWI as well. The world learned just how far we’re willing to go to establish international power in a time of great expansion and development across the globe. The dominant world powers had not definitively established themselves yet, but after the war, it became clear which nations weren’t to be trifled with.

The argument that there was a world before the First World War and an entirely different world afterwards is without a doubt, true. The world after the First World War was one completely revolutionized by advances in warfare technology and strategy. The many military firsts of the war include the introduction of tanks, flamethrowers, and chemical warfare. The war’s end continued a global momentum that inspired militarization across the world, for countries now feared the possibility of a World War happening again. What changed was the international attitude surrounding military intervention and the morality of making war. The zeitgeist of the Great War was inarguably fear, and this mood would persist well into the late 20th century and remains today.

It is important to understand World War I and learn about it because of how significant the war was in setting the stage for the Progressive era of the roaring twenties and ultimately the rise of competing fascist and communist governments across war-torn Europe. The war’s end was essential in laying the groundwork for non-Western powers to enter the global sphere and participate in the age of industrialization in unprecedented proportions. There is something disturbingly beautiful about the insanity of WWI; and that is from chaos, ambition is born. It is this ambitious attitude that will dominate foreign affairs in the decades following the war and will shape the international approach to human rights and social harmony.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 21

The Insanity that was World War I

Ultimately, the war was just for show. For more or less, it was a domino effect triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which—due to the creation of alliances—brought nation after nation into the war to defend their allies. For lack of a better description, it was really all just a publicity stunt. Countries wanted to establish themselves as world powers and, in order to do so, they entered the war to assert their dominance. There really wasn’t any significant driving factor to involve the world in this war; a war that should have just been between Austria Hungary and Serbia—if at all. Regarding territory and power, not a whole lot was honestly gained. The front line only moved in small increments throughout the war and never sufficiently led to the fall of a nation. Of course, there were some technological gains that highlighted the few “pros” to this event. Developments such as poison gasses, machine guns, tanks, airplanes, and more helped progress modern combat to what it is today. Other than that, there was not much to be gained from this tragedy. The losses? Well besides just the 40 million soldiers and innocent civilians, what else is there that matters? Does the total destruction of cities and towns help make matters worse? Or what about the completely economic depression that swept across the globe and left the majority of those impoverished without a job, house, or food to eat? Are those not enough to justify why maybe, just maybe the war was just a bit unnecessary? Looking at it from a broad perspective, this was the first time the world ever engaged in a full out war amongst themselves. It accurately portrayed the true brutality, inhumanity, and extremities of wartime. It set the state for future allies that still hold strong to this day, of which play a large role in dictating global affairs.

As mentioned above, we can really fully grasp the true brutality, inhumanity, and extremities that exist during wartime from this war. I feel as though it set a precedent that another world war would be too detrimental to the well-being of people and nations—of course this standard wasn’t followed for long, highlighted by the coming of WWII. In addition, we got a sense of how to deal with the externalities of war: trauma, losses, medical/physical impairments. New cures and coping mechanisms were developed to aid the healing process felt by so many in this world. In hindsight, we also learned the importance of restricting complete world power by one singular nation—essentially creating tyranny in world affairs. This is accurately illustrated through the Nazi regime in the years that followed. As Nazi Germany gained undeniable control over most of Europe, they were evidently able to abuse their power in the most negative ways possible (think the Holocaust). In order to avoid tragedies like this from happening, it is important to establish a more divided rule of the world with enough competition that no one nation can rise above the rest and control the globe.

I would completely agree with those claims. Prior to the war, there was a sense of innocence across the globe. This is best seen through the ecstatic young boys who enlisted for the military thinking it would be a fun little adventure with their friends. Once the realization came that this wasn’t just a little game, I think society as a whole got a little more sincere and mature. People had to rebuild their lives and start fresh due to the complete destruction brought on by the war. There was a more globalized sense in that people began paying more attention to international news, rather than having their patriotism override their ego and focus just on their nation alone. On a more concrete level, geographic lines themselves were altered postwar. Border lines were redrawn, colonies were lost/gained, territorial control shifted, and international organizations were created to establish peace throughout the world for years to come—something that still dictates and regulates international affairs to this day.

It’s so crucial to understand the history of WWI because it’s equally as important to learn from it. By doing so, we can use past experiences in order to make our best efforts in trying to prevent these tragedies from ever happening again. History does repeat itself and if we don’t use this understanding of our history, we are bound to repeat the very mistakes that have cost the lives of millions. That is what this very class does so successfully too which is why I strongly feel as though we are prepared to be better leaders than most others.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 14

I am not really sure what the point of the war was, I know that we mostly learn that the causes of the war but I’ve never really understood why it escalated that far. I think that it had a lot to do with a country’s honor and power. For example, in the second photograph of the first source, these men are looking incredibly decorated and posing for the photo. However, as you scroll further down, you see images of the horrors of fighting in the war. I think that this heavy contrast just shows these decorated men are willing to sacrifice their citizens (a lot of which were still children) for a war based on pride and were also willing to take the credit for it. A lot of technological advancements and new fear tactics were gained during this war, for example tanks in combat were first used during WW1 (4). However because of the many horrors that occured during WW1, we also have gained more knowledge about certain medical conditions and more knowledge on the effect of war on people and soldiers. There was a lot lost from this war. Most notable is probably the death toll for both soldiers and civilians from the war. Not only that, the suriviors were also left with psychological wounds (3). In addition, I think that it is important to note that the “gains” from the war can also be interpreted as losses for the wars after that because the combat and weaponry evolved to become more horrific for the soldiers and it brought more possibilities of worse ways of fighting. I think that this matters because WW1 changed the “standard” for wars to come after it.

I think that we should have learned that it was wrong to push a romantic view of the war onto teenagers in order to get them to enlist joyfully. In the film we watched in class, as well as the film I watched (All Quiet on the Western Front), there were moments were boys were signing up to join the war, despite not being of age, because it seemed fun to them. Source 2 says that a soldier as young as 12 years old was allowed to serve, which I think just shows a failure on the people in charge that they think they can manipulate a 12 year old into fighting and thinking that it is a right choice. I feel as though this war quickly turned brutal for the soldiers involved and that this narrative should have been said to the boys before they joined.

I think that this is true. As I said before, the war brought on many new ways of fighting and I think that once an invention is made, there is no getting rid of it unless something better than it comes along. I cannot even imagine the fear of seeing a tank for the first time rolling towards me, but if that was the first moment that the world saw it, the world definitely would have changed because of that. And the technology has only gotten better and better which is terrifying.

It is important to understand WW1 because it seems to be what changes the world scene, even in the modern day. I think that there were many effects that came after the war, some of which are still seen today and by understanding the original event, it would help us to understand why things are the way they are today.

Posts: 18

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about major conflicts in world history class, it’s definitely not the reason why World War I started. To this day, I still don’t fully understand why the war fully started besides I guess the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Opposing, other conflicts like World War II, I think of Hitler and the Holocaust, the Civil War I think slavery, the Cold War I think communism, but World War I, I don’t know what really comes to mind. Maybe territorial gains, and making sure an empire looked powerful enough? Despite, thinking that there wasn’t much of a purpose to this war, I definitely agree that there were some benefits to this war, namely technological advancements. World War I was the first to be fought on land, air, and sea, which in turn turned to air attacks for the first time in human history. This would give militaries new ways of attacking their enemies now. There was also the advancement in the use of poisonous gas, which once again made the battlefield even more dire. However, there was also so much lost in this war, namely when you look at the number of casualties. Thirteen million civilians shot dead, is a crazy number, and I believe shouldn’t be something that we need to go through as human beings. 8.5 million troops is an even larger and crazier number to imagine. I think this all matters because it foreshadows and leads to how other conflicts are fought in the rest of the twentieth century. Technologically, the use of poisonous gas for warfare, I believe lead to the creation of objects like the atomic bomb. The negatives also matter so much, because so many lives were lost during the battle. There isn’t a way to justify just simply bad people.

I think one of the biggest things we should’ve learned from this war is that war causes too much chaos, and shouldn’t be the first decision we consider when thinking about how to deal with one another. Wars are destructive obviously, however, I think soldiers should’ve been more conscious of trying not to kill as many civilians. I think this war was also supposed to be a learning opportunity for genocides being wrong. During this time in world history, was when the Turkish government committed the Armenian genocide. However, instead of acknowledging their wrongdoing, the Turkish government brushed over their acts, which as we know, they still do today. Blatantly ignoring such atrocities can send a message to other countries that this act is ok, when by no means it is. Think about how if the Turkish government recognized their mistakes right away, maybe the Holocaust wouldn’t have happened, or wouldn’t have been so widespread. Maybe even, World War II wouldn’t have been fought for the reason it was fought.

I agree with this statement. This is actually something we are talking about in APUSH right now, as we’re learning about the twentieth century. Before World War I and World War II, the United States in particular, had a sense of neutrality. Before World War I, society wasn’t as belligerent as it is today. Today, the entire world hasn’t been at world peace for a very long time. I think especially from the two World Wars on, society has always just had a mindset to continue to follow another conflict.

I think it’s important to learn about World War I, because it is a pivotal point in world history. I think it sets up part of the way of how the world functions after this war. I also think simply because it is an “anchor point” in world history, if this isn’t taught to the young people of today’s society, the history will become lost, and eventually, no one will even know about it. On the topic of knowing that war is an insane act to commit, I think that’s why we need to continue to talk about this conflict. World War I was the first of its kind to have so many people die on the battlefield, or even from attacks that the non-British soldiers attacked with. Also, I think the beauty of learning about the past is that it shapes modern history. By not teaching a certain topic in class, we, as students, I feel, are less likely to do this learning process at home, and thus not be able to from some important opinions, and consider more serious topics, like the current censorship of educational texts around the country.

coffee and pie
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

War is political. The point was to settle this political conflict. Countries are roped in through collateral damage or alliances already made, some started the conflict in the first place. It’s to see who would win, to ‘protect’ their people. Without superiority complexes and an inability to peacefully work things out, war cannot be born. From this war, the aftermath was millions of lives lost, both for those involved in the war or not. There were innovations and technological advancements, but only pertaining to war. In the firsts of the war article, we see examples of these technological achievements. They include but are not limited to widespread use of often fatal poison gas, and the use of a triage system. Remember that they only would have needed to use the triage system if there were many many deaths… the triage system was used almost everywhere near the front lines.Some policies changed, irrespective of whether it was for good or bad - only to allign themselves with war. Politically, it depends on who you ask what was gained or lost. Some countries gained immense global power and a reputation, the glory that comes with winning a war. Others humiliatingly lost, loosing their position and their power. Everyone lost lives.

I think the war proved how small, irresponsible or rash decisions that involve war crimes can amplify. At the time, I don’t think that realization was widespread. In the film, many of the soldiers said they would do it again, and spoke of the atrocities more lightly than I expected. They knew it was horrible, but why did they not treat it as such? Despite all that went wrong, the world did not learn as there were many wars after. So was there ever a lesson we learned?

I think the world was different before and after the world. For those who were drafted or actively participated, their whole lives were changed. It is undeniable that they were the same person before and after. I would hope that the world was atleast more wary of war after this. In fact, the whole world was traumatized by the war, directly or indirectly. As mentioned before, the world balance of who had power changed, and would never really return to as before. With that comes changes in attitude towards countries (nationalism), towards war, violence, lives, corruption, etc etc.

I think we need to remember WWI, its causes and effects, so that it doesn’t happen in the future. As students, we are the next generation of voters, parents, teachers, the next adults. And when we get that power, we need to be able to use it well and justly. We’ve seen that democracy is dependent on the people - so we need the people to be good. We need to teach about how the draft roped in young kids like us because of peer pressure and comradery, so we don’t repeat it. We need to know about all the deaths and injuries so that it doesn’t happen again. We need to know about war so that we can do something about it if it comes up again.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 19

The Insanity that was World War I

I think that the point of the war was to essentially just show dominance. A lot of these countries and their leaders had big egos, and they wanted to show their country’s superiority by fighting against each other. For example, Britain and France just wanted to kill as many germans as possible and show them that they were inferior. Many soldiers can back up this claim and say they only joined so they could stop the germans. I’m not exactly sure what was gained from this war. I guess there were things like new inventions and machines made that we have benefitted from nowadays, and there were also new inventions in things like consumer items and goods. Politically, the war established that the US was a strong force that should be taken seriously, and there were also many reforms and rebuilds of society’s and governments in many countries. What was lost was millions of lives. millions of young lives (as well as old ones too). This war mattered because every country had people fighting against one another. These were regular people that were either told to fight to the death, or they signed up to fight to the death. Not only that, but we lost many other lives for various other reasons like genocide. The reasons for the war itself didn’t matter, but the people who fought in it and died for it did.

We should learn that war is not a pretty thing at all. It’s inhumane, grotesque, and in so many ways unnecessary. We should learn that we use real people to fight these wars, and that should not be taken lightly. These wars were fought for the people in power who did not care about the individual lives that were being taken. There were even lives taken from people that had nothing to do with the war, in incidents like the Armenian genocide. I think that we should learn to be more kind and more connected. We should look back on events like these and vow as a world to never let them happen again. (I know that everyone coming to peace is unrealistic, but it’s what we SHOULD learn).

This statement makes a lot of sense. Both physically and mentally, the world was changed. The photos that were captured during the time are great proof of this. There were new inventions, new borders, new reforms in society, but there were also new mindsets, new respects, and new conflicts made after this war. Emphasis on the new mindset part because i think that everybody after the war gained a new perspective and a new mindset on other people, other countries, and war in general. Going back, a lot of these soldiers were very young, and they saw things and experienced things that they have/had to remember for the rest of their lives. There were some people who said they would do it again no questions asked, but there were others who were traumatized and scared for life. Some countries realized the strength that other countries had, and some conflicts were definitely made after the world ended. This war definitely created new mindsets, for everyone. Everything changed forever.

It is important to understand and learn about World War I so that we don’t let it happen again. We should learn about it so we can understand the atrocities that took place and all of the lives lost. It’s important to realize just how messy and unprofessional the war was. How messy and unprofessional every war is.

Posts: 20

In all honesty, I don’t really know what the point was. It all sort of just descended into complete chaos. I think this war was brewing for a long time––people needed change––but this wasn’t the right way to go. As a result, imperial dynasties that had been in tyrannical power came crashing down, illness spread, hostilities were magnified, and the death count was unimaginable. New superpower nations arose, and it was honestly a precursor to a popularity contest. Regardless of the atrocities, I do think this was a crucial page in history that led to where we are today. There is seriously no excuse for the murders that happened, though. No “enlightenment” or surge in technology is worth that.

I think the main takeaway here is that nations need to work together. It is the 21st century. We all live on Earth. We all have resources to share. Why does there STILL need to be turmoil. Why must we continue generational resentment across generations? I think we all need to learn from our history, and determine when enough is enough. For example, Putin’s war is unnecessary. It simply seems an attempt to return to imperialism, and more shocking, the rest of the world’s reactions––of being bystanders. I’m not saying we should all become communists––each nation has a right to their own governments and way of ruling, but realize that we have bigger issues at hand. I don’t understand why we all cannot be more collaborative, and share our space better, or while we still have it. The only thing the war taught these countries (and us) at the time, was that we are incapable of putting pride aside.

Well, I made this point earlier. To me, pre-WW1, during, and post was the transitioning from that imperialism we learned about in World History––whether that be large monarchs, other colonialism, or nations owning half of the globe. It led to the change of political order and governments, and changed the way people went about their lives––it changed culture. It brought more modernization (probably so they could invent more weapons to pew pew people), but also a new and more powerful independence (for those not in the war, obviously). Nevertheless, it brought resentment and hostility to the globe. It commended a toxic loyalty and pitted people against each other. It made civilians anxious and on-edge with its propaganda and violence that had never been seen before. It also completely desensitized those fighting in it. As we saw in class, it created a band-of-brother’s mentality, and young men fighting in it did not care about the lives they were taking for their countries. I think our feeling of peace has changed forever. If our leaders have proved they cannot be civil in their legal affairs and relations, why shouldn’t we anticipate a WW3 that everyone talks so loosely about?

We must never ever let history repeat itself. This is why it is so important to talk about the events of World War I. I think it’s so important to understand what happened from as many sides as we can so we don’t forget and make the same mistakes. I think it is important to understand where these existing grievances and distrust comes from. I think it is important to talk about so we can learn how to be better for each other, and how to move forward. No change will come if understanding is not put in place first.

Freight Farm Enjoyer
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 19

The Insanity that was World War I

Something that has seemed pretty clear to me from the moment I began learning about World War I in school was that there was really no point. Weapon technology, human population, and alliances between nations had all blown up, so it's no wonder that one of the earlier post-industrial wars was just a travesty for human life. All that seems to really have been gained was a change in the essential way that war worked, as civilian slaughter became more and more normalized, with thirteen million civilians being killed, more than the still shocking 8.5 million troops. As airplanes had only recently come into existence, it was the first war to be fought on land, air, and sea simultaneously. It really served to mark a turning point in history when it comes to how war was fought. In addition to massive loss of human life, and the emergence of an acknowledgement of psychological stress such as PTSD ("shell shock"), the scars left by the war were permanent, as the experiences of those who fought in it are still infamous to this day for being more harrowing than most other wars throughout history.

One of the most important lessons to learn from the war, to me, is that governments can very effectively use propaganda to get their citizens to do anything, even die for their country. Watching They Shall Not Grow Old, something that struck me is that most of the men giving accounts of their time during the war said that they felt excited and exhilarated upon going out to fight, instead of scared or at the least sort of apprehensive. They believed that what they were doing, fighting for their country, was something that they genuinely wished to do with their lives. There are tons of examples of government propaganda from the war, such as the United States referring to the German as the "Hun", or another poster promoting warfare by stating "It is far better to face the bullets than to be killed at home by a bomb", and it's clear that it was extremely effective. When effectively used, propaganda like this is capable of convincing people to do absolutely anything in the name of patriotism, and it's important to remember how untrustworthy it can be, given the juxtaposition of the excitement before going off to fight and with the real horrors faced during the war.

World War I was, obviously, not the first war in which civilians were killed, nor was it the first war in which civilians were killed en masse (we've all heard of the atrocities in the Herero-Nama genocide about a decade prior). Still, it feels like it marks a turning point in just how many civilians were massacred. This was normalized during the war for the purpose of, among other things, curbing enemy morale during times of war. It was the first time air attacks had ever been used on British civilians, or civilians in most countries for that matter, and with new technology such as powerful bombs, poison gas, and flamethrowers, it's no wonder that people were so eager to kill non-combatants. It's hard to say that war could ever be the same again after such an all-encompassing war killed so many innocent people and used so many new weapons, and by now we all know that those tactics and developments and weaponry did not slow down in the following decades.

One of the most important reasons to understand World War I is that it serves as an extreme example of a war being fought for no good, valid reason, and leaving scars on those who participated. That being said, it doesn't do any good to write it off as some comically useless fight and completely ignore it, because it could happen again. Obviously it would be fought differently, but we still have complex systems of alliances between different countries and even more devastating weapons that we did in the early twentieth century. Fundamentally, it's important to be able to understand how governments can rouse their people up to do these things in order to make sure that people don't fall for the same propaganda again in the future.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 21

The Insanity that was World War I

  • We can debate the whys behind the war, the long-term and short-term causes (and I’m sure you’ve taken tests in other classes about this) etc. but here’s the essential question that matters: What was the point? What was gained from this war? What was lost? Why did it matter?
    • From what I've gathered the point of war to 1 show dominance. For these countries it isn't about who wins or loses its about the respect they gain or lose after war. Wars also happen for a number of other reasons like land, religion etc. we even see this today with the Israeli -Palestinian conflict over the holy land. Relating back WW1 the reason it started was because Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and with the assasination of the Archduke they wanted to create Serbia. Austria-Hungary quickly asked Serbia a list in which they had to comply to including dissolving certain political groups, arrest those who were a part of the assassination etc. with the backing of Russia they declined and this triggered a domino effect. Now superpower countries were involved.
    • What was gained from this war? I think this was absolutely blown out of proportion and often times with wars that go to such large scales the reason for the war gets lost. People forget the reason why they're fighting but, they know that they have to win. Hence why I believe that nothing is gained from war because people eventually forget why they're fighting. It becomes a patriotic contest
    • What is lost?- Everything. From hundreds of thousands of people to the large amounts of money each country would spend on the army. Nothing should ever be more important that a human life and in war even that seems useless.
  • What lessons should we learn from this war? (And by extension, what lessons did the world learn—at the time?)
    • War shouldn't be an option. I know it is a very theoretical answer but the losses outweigh the wins. During WW1 they had children as old as 14-15 fighting for a cause they didn't fully understand. They were fed propaganda on what war was like and was coerced to be a part of it. It wasn't fair to them and they should've had a childhood. So what do we learn from this? For some reason war seems to be the resolution to major conflicts but, in the end both sides lose regardless of if they "win" or not so there is no point in it.
  • There are folks who argue that there was a world before the First World War and an entirely different world afterwards. Is that true? What changed forever?
    • After the horrors of WW1 a lot of countries declared to avoid it at all costs then WW2 happened. Also War became a LAST resort option. If all else fails then then there would be war especially the time in which WW1 took place, there was an economic boom, scientific breakthroughs, as well as all round industrialization making this war more deadly than ever before. With machine guns and gasses just being created countries seemed to want to try out these new industrialized inventions but after WW1 countries realized the real damage of war.
  • And finally, why is it important to understand World War I and learn about it, even if we can argue that war = insanity, (this one in particular)?
    • It is important to understand WW1 as well as learn about it because it allows us to see the gruesome parts of war. It's not always about the patriotism we are so obsessed with these were actual humans who fought and died for nobility reasons. Generally learning about history is such a core part of human development. Understanding what happens on the soil that we live one and argue that the negative impact of it. For example Trench warfare and trench foot, poison gas, shell shock etc.
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

The Insanity that was World War I

I’m not sure what the point of this war was, I’m not sure what the point of any war is, except ego. However, this particular war seems so useless, the entire reason why it even started is so silly and petty, apart from the fact that maybe it helped with the advancement of industrialization, and new medical innovations, which were only needed because of the conditions the soldiers faced during the war. The only gain was the death of 16 million people, the injuries, and the psychological trauma of millions more. Many empires were lost. I think it was the beginning of the end for many of them. A lot of young pre-teen and teenage boys were lost, a lot of boys who had a bright future. In world war I by numbers source it says that the youngest soldier was 12 years old, even if a 12-year-old lies about his age, you can still tell he’s too young. This matters because it points out the fact that little boys should not be fighting in a war, they don’t have the mental strength for it, I mean no one does, but especially young boys, their brains aren’t even half developed.

We should learn how war does more harm than good, and that as a human race in general we should probably stop wars. Another thing I learned and I think everyone should know is how much ego and pride of people in government leads to the start and continuation of the war. When I watched, "All Quiet on the Western Front", I noticed the fact that the German general in charge, didn’t want to end the war because he wanted to be regarded as “Great” a great warrior, who won many wars like his father, when he had never even been to front lines. I think the world learned many things, the world learned about shell shock(4) the psychological trauma that soldiers go through. The world also learned how useless war is, even though we still had many more after. The government learned how the spreading of propaganda leads people to be “pro-war” and to also be gullible and believe anything they’re told, this was also used during WW2 because it is a very effective tactic.

The war heightened the need for nations to prove that they’re the strongest, or most powerful, we still see it today with Russia, China, and many other countries. After the war, there was a lot more industrialization, and the use of machines, etc. In addition, every other war after that became more deadly. WW1 was a worldwide war, so most countries were involved, which had never happened before, every country was affected, especially India. it reshaped the allyship of countries.

It’s important to learn about it because it was the first world war. It also shows how something fickle can cause the start of so much destruction. We always say it good to learn about history so we don’t repeat it in the future, I think most people aware about this war, yet this hasn’t stopped war from happening, WW2 happened a couple years after so we didn’t really learn our lesson. However, It is good that we are learning about it so the future generations don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Posts: 10

Post on the insanity that was WWI 22-23

In my opinion, there was no point to the war. It was a war of pride and promises; pride in that the war was arguably quite avoidable, but pride caused a conflict between two nations to escalate into becoming a global conflict, and promises in that alliances with other nations and promises to colonies (as described in the Empires section of The Gaurdian’s interactive documentary and as seen in picture 17 of The Atlantic series) just added onto the global military potential and power that we see is so disastrous. Territory was lost and entire empires collapsed post-war, but even worse, millions of lives were lost. Little was arguably gained from this war; some nations gained territory or independence from former empires, but nothing in comparison to those who were tragically lost.

The war mattered not only because of what and who was lost, but because of what it taught the world; it remained a warning of what allied nations could do, and it set the stage for the next world war, which would harbor the massacre of civilians and genocide. We should learn, or rather be reminded, from this war that the benefits of war rarely, if ever, outweigh the detriments and should not be started over petty arguments and those with little threat. We should also remember that war is not pretty; it never has been, and it never will be. Glorifying war, although strategically smart when you’re trying to recruit men to be soldiers (as we saw in They Shall Not Grow Old and the BBC statistic siting that a boy as young as 12 joined the army), is a frightening fallacy to put in the minds of people, especially when they sign up unaware and unprepared for war, because the majority of them will die.

I would pretty much agree that the pre-WW1 world and the post-WW1 world are entirely different worlds because of how much it was a turning point for the globe; post-WW1, millions have lost their lives, nations their territory, wartime technology first used in the war is the blueprint for even deadlier weapons of mass destruction (as IWM said, WW1 was the first major use of poison gas), and the harsh reparations the Allies put upon Germany would cause public resent in Germany to grow to the point where they would allow a horrific person to hold a position of power, and eventually start the most infamous genocide in world history.

Finally, it is important to understand WW1 and learn about it because of the ways in which it sets the global stage for the decades following it, shifting the world towards what we know it to be today. Aside from the wounded feelings it leaves in Germany, the war transforms many colonies’ feelings about colonialism by the end of the war and sets the stage for nations’ attempts to decolonize and gain their independence back. It also, as IWM states, “was a war of innovation,” which just highlights how the innovative technology developed to aid nations during the war would lead to more advanced and widespread technology, and eventually even deadlier technology in the context of war. Even ideas that were “tested out” during WW1 would be extremely significant, which we especially see in how Adolf Hitler is inspired by and references the Armeninan genocide within the Ottoman Empire.

South Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 11

The insanity that was WWI

  • What was the point? What was gained from this war? What was lost? Why did it matter?

World War I really didn't have a point. It was simply a war fought over greed for power and control over others, which quickly spiraled out as allies joined the war. WWI was a global war, with over 30 nations contributing to the chaotic destruction which took place. This war was also not a war of the nation but a war of the people. Invading armies barraged through cities atrocities against innocent civilians, in an attempt to break the national morale and societal support of the war. There was no simple driving factor of the war, it simply came about due to the actions of a couple of governments, who then involved the world. To be completely honest this war shouldn’t have even happened at all and even so, it shouldn't have been a global war. Politics were quite chaotic and many allies joined due to collateral economic damage as they also have formed alliances. Throughout the first world war, you also see an explosion of technological innovation, specifically those that are weapons of war. In Brittan there was full governmental intervention in war production, making over 4 million rifles, 250,000 machine guns, 52,000 airplanes, 2,800 tanks, 25,000 artillery pieces, and over 170 million rounds of artillery by 1918. These military advances increased both the death toll and the damage caused as nations were purely focused on murdering as many enemies as possible. There were some medical advances that followed as well which shifted British99oiio- deaths from war to outnumber those deaths from diseases. This war was not only pointless and could have easily been resolved, it was an pointless slaughter of over 16 million people. This war forever changed the world's social and political landscape, the economy changed and the future of how conflicts are dealth with have been altered.

  • What lessons should we learn from this war? (And by extension, what lessons did the world learn—at the time?)

The main thing we should learn from this war is that war is not the solution to political conflict, it brings so much more harm than good. We also must learn to control the greed and immense accumulation of power if the wrong person gains control of military arms or political power, mass destruction will follow. The propaganda that grew during the first world war was extremely destructive, lies that men and young boys were fed, leading to boys as young as twelve years old fighting on the front lines of this battle. The fact nations feel comfortable sending children out to fight whilst they are desperate for fighters in the war they started is simply inhumane. War simply cannot be an option, seeing the military advancements possible in such a short amount of time if governments devote their full focus to such, and with modern technology, another world war will lead to the extinction of the human race. There is simply no “winner” in a war, both sides lose.

  • There are folks who argue that there was a world before the First World War and an entirely different world afterward. Is that true? What changed forever?

The world before the first world war was entirely definitely different than post WWI as the global war also acted as a shifting point for society as this was one of the first major wars where there were weapons of mass destruction used, even to commit massacres of innocent civilians, it turned into almost a normal for a few years that the demoralization of nations was regularized. The war also partially acted as a technological revolution, with mass production and inventions of military weapons, as well as health and industrial innovations. Tactics were simply different, extreme development of technological inventions forced the following of societal and economic development which didn’t slow down.

  • And finally, why is it important to understand World War I and learn about it, even if we can argue that war = insanity, (this one in particular)?

It is extremely important to both learn about and understand World War I as it is a prime example of the pure violence and terror war can bring upon society, this was was fought for no reason and to this day leaves a lasting effect. It demonstrates the destructive nature of humans especially when greed takes control, as well as the innovative technological advancements we are capable of. From that, we must learn to prevent this chaos from occurring again, which has repeatedly failed, via WW2, etc. From my point of view, being exposed to the atrocities that took place during WWI truly opened my eyes to how impactful WWI was on global society.

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