posts 16 - 23 of 23
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 12

I think a lot of the time there is no good point or reason to war. The most surface level reason would be for revenge, territory, or some type of materialistic gains. This war is an example of that. From this war, I can safely say that human lives were lost. It is that way with all wars. Besides the loss of human lives, the survivors still lost something. They lost their limbs, innocence, parts of their lives, and more. I’ve learned in my history classes that wars often boost the economy but it can also bring it down in certain cases. Take the United States, for example, we were in a recession before the war. World War 1 opened up space and created jobs for people, thus improving the economy. As bad as this sounds, the deaths that were brought upon by the war freed up space in the industry. It’s horrible, but it’s true. This being said, though, it did not make it easier for the veterans to find jobs. Referring back to what we watched in class, the veterans were often discriminated against by employers. This war matters as the tension that came from the "ending" led to future wars like World War 2. You cannot understand WW2 without knowing about WW1.

We should learn that war is not something that is just for fun. It is serious and will always be a serious matter. In the documentary we watched, it started off with descriptions of men joining the war just because their friends joined or because of peer pressure. We heard multiple stories of officers deliberately telling young kids to lie about their age so they could be legally accepted. In “World War One in numbers,” it is said that the youngest British soldier was a 12 year old boy. It is said that he lied about his age, but the appearance of a preteen and an 18 year old are drastically different. It’s horrible to realize that people that young can just be accepted into the army so freely.

It is true that the world was entirely different after WW1. Before the war, the United States was in a recession. Then, when the U.S. joined, our economy started rising again. People were not living life the way that people after WW1 were. In “Firsts of the First World War,” the site lists off where the advancements have been made including the technological, medical, and scientific industry. World War One was the first major time when women were seen as people that could work arduously. Before that, women were expected to do all the menial things. Although women were not hired into these jobs immediately after the war ended, it still introduced them to the possibilities. It's crucial to understand WW1 as it was the first ever "major" war. Without this happening, like at least 60% of the world would not be what it is today. After World War 1, empires and countries shifted. Some of the countries began their decline after participating, like the Ottoman Empire. Our planet would be entirely different if it weren’t for this war.

Posts: 18

The Insanity that was World War I

The honest truth is that there was no real point to World War I. The assassination of the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary somehow catalyzed an entire global war, mainly through alliances and insane nationalism. But I don’t believe there was a real point to the war, especially not the intervention of so many nations and especially considering the losses which greatly outweigh the gains. While there were numerous advances in weaponry, military technology, manufacturing, and medical treatments, that does not begin to compensate for the millions of lives lost with this war. The soldiers that died were not that much older than high school students. As World War I by the numbers and Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old film indicated, many lied about their age to join the war effort for crazy reasons, such as peer pressure. The youngest was a mere 12 year old. It was, of course, not just soldiers that were killed either. An estimated 13 million civilians were also killed, and so many were left not just physically wounded but also psychologically affected by the trauma of the war. 5 Things You Need to Know about World War I described the war as a war of destruction. It hastened the changes in attitudes on gender and class and led to the collapse of the Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires. The cost of total war also nearly destroyed the economies of the powers involved. Furthermore, the conditions of the peace treaty that settled the war (Treaty of Versailles) indirectly led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and World War II. However, it is also described as a war of innovation. Industrialization brought about modern weapons, machinery and tactics. There were new technologies like tanks, poison gas, flamethrowers and more. Though these just helped cause more deaths, WWI greatly shaped wars to come. There were also major medical breakthroughs that helped minimize deaths caused by diseases. If WWI hadn’t been fought, who knows what kind of world we would be living in now?

From this war, we can learn and understand that war is real, and it is costly. It is dangerous and it is not something that should be taken lightly. The world at the time learned through this war that there is no telling how it would end or go. It lasted four years, even though the Allied powers had seemingly many more manpower, resources and nations involved. They also learned not to romanticize or idealize this war. Many men, and boys, joined without knowing what they were really getting themselves into until they entered “no man’s land”.

I agree with the statement that there was a world before the First World War and an entirely different world afterwards. As mentioned earlier, there were revolutionary technology advancements made during this war, and so many new inventions of weapons that would be later used in significant wars, attacks, and battles. These weapons cannot be taken back, only further advanced upon. Likewise, other advancements, such as medical ones, would greatly impact the world and continue to be advanced upon quicker and quicker in the following years.

It is important to understand WWI and learn about it so that history is not repeated. There is a quote by a philosopher named Santayana that I can’t seem to quite forget. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” We need to understand the past to understand how we can make sure tragedies like these don’t ever happen again. We also have to understand the past to make sense of our present and to help build our future. The past seems to explain a lot about why the world we live in today is what it is.

Posts: 18

The Insanity that was World War I

1. Unfortunately, there was no real point of this war other than for countries to establish dominance and intimidate the rest of the world. There was such a long buildup to this war, and it had been brewing for several years before it even happened. This might have made it inevitable at a certain point, but ultimately, it just made everyone's motives cloudy and World War I just became a war of anger and defense. There were several things that countries gained from this war, though most of them were bad things. With this war came the invention of machine guns, trench warfare, chemical warfare, and other tactics of fighting such as air warfare, which, while very useful things for a country to have, should not ever have to be used or invented in the first place. Some advancements in medicine also came from the war. The use of triage was just starting, There was much more lost in this war than was gained. Firstly, so much land was lost during this war. The Ottoman Empire collapsed, Germany lost so much of its property. livestock, allies, and its money. All countries lost millions of men, some just barely men. We saw children of ages as young as fifteen join the war. If they weren't killed, their bodies and souls were forever altered, and their lives never the same when they returned. This all matters because it shows the destructive nature of war and its irreversible impact on people and the world.

2. The lessons we can learn from this war is that war is not an answer to things, and that it's important to resolve things as they happen if at all possible, and not let things fester until they're so tangled that nobody knows how to approach the situation. We can also learn our own limits and boundaries. How far can we go before we are humiliated or can take no more? We can ask ourselves, "is this worth it?" "Are they worth going to war with?" If anything, this war taught us how not to fight a war. It showed us what didn't work, such as having teams of a sort, and having to fight on such a global scale.

3. Yes, I completely agree. First of all, the territorial difference in the world was huge. The layout of land on maps was so different. As mentioned earlier, the Ottoman Empire collapsed during the war, which made a huge change in countries within it. Also, when all was said and done, so much German land was handed over to places like France and Britain. Aside from geographical differences, there were human differences. Millions died during world war I. And death might have been merciful for some after this war. Those who weren't killed were left without limbs, without close comrades or family members whom they fought beside in battle. The phenomenon, shell shock, was first recognized during this war. The mental trauma seen in soldiers leaving war was incredible. They were afraid, and yet could not imagine a life without war. To top it all off, these men could not even find work when they returned. They came back to family and friends who did not support the war, and as a result, did not support them. Businesses did not want them, people didn't want to listen to them, and generally their suffering was ignored.

4. It is so important to learn this history, because it teaches us when and where war is appropriate and when it is not. It also teaches us to refrain from wars like this one, which was insanity. It really shows us the consequences of our actions and how not to repeat the actions of those who started world war I.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20


Honestly, war just shows how each country will always believe that what they are doing is right. The point is that no one country can have all this power or all this anger bottled up or else it’ll explode and become everyone else’s issues rather than just the one country. Another point is that there can never be peace within or between countries if everyone wants power. Imperialism is easily one of the biggest causes for most if not all wars, due to the original point that each country believes they are right. There was honestly nothing gained by dead bodies. Of course there were countless technological advancements regarding weaponry as well as the representation of mental health after the war such as shell shock but I feel as though the technological developments really made it concrete that the next war (World War 2) would be ten times more violent, more gruesome and have an increase in death and depression. The only way any war could be seen as a positive is by looking at it from the aspect of how the downsides of postwar life can ensure that something like that could never happen again. They were also taught what not to do as heavy punishments against Germany lit a fire of nationalism and thinking that they didn’t deserve this treatment which then led to the rise of Hitler, Nazism and the Holocaust. Obviously, you can’t blame any one person for the punishments in Germany but it would be interesting to understand what would have happened without them. The gains and losses from the war matter to teach the future generations of leaders who aren’t thinking the same as the ones before them what to not do or what to do.

Generally speaking, the moral of World War One would be that countries will believe they are correct til the end. They’ll create different methods to harm the opposite sides such as gas which was used by the Germans in 1915. Additionally, all countries should learn to be prepared. Having enough medics, having enough triage sites, having enough soldiers would of course increase their chances of winning their war for their site in a significant amount. Other countries who had the war in their own cities should also be prepared for the massive amount of damage that may come from the war. I don’t mean for these countries to be ready for war at all times but I mean, by the time war is declared countries should prepare themselves for what they are about to go through. I feel as though sometimes war is waged just for the hell of it or it goes on for far longer than needed. War can be 100% unneeded but it could happen at the worst times and it’s better to be slightly more prepared than otherwise. As mentioned in the Origins section of the video, Germany wasn’t even unified from a political standpoint, certainly no one expected for them to wage war on all countries. It was a war of destruction, as was said in 5 Things to Know About World War 1.

Globally, there was a feeling of innocence before the war. This is best illustrated through the excited young boys who enlisted for the military thinking it would be a nice little trip with their friends or that 'since he's going, i'm going' as we saw in the film in class. Each of those boys were so happy to feel part of something when in actuality, they probably didn’t understand what they were really fighting for. World War One really put global issues into perspective, proving how just because it wasn’t happening in your country didn’t mean it wasn’t your problem. Additionally, there were boundaries for countries that were changed as well as territorial spaces that were claimed. Finally, there was global chaos in the post war life. Over 13 million civilians were killed, several soldiers weren’t welcomed back home as nicely as they would expect, and countless people were without jobs. The article ‘5 Things You Need To Know About The First World War’ says it best as “The First World War was also a war against people.” People were conscripted, some volunteered, and several were hurt. It really didn’t matter how you saw the issue, you were going to be affected in some way and it was truly a wake up call to people.

We need to remember WWI, its causes and effects, so that it doesn’t happen in the future. We need to be more alert, we need to be more caring and we need to be able to build trust in our leaders. Rebellions, despite all the good that they can do, can also lead to extremists who assassinate world leaders causing issues like this. Not that these extremes would be common in today's society, but Austria-Hungary released a list of demands to Serbia, giving them 48 hours to comply. The demands included stopping all anti-Austro-Hungarian activity, dissolving some political organizations, removing some political officers, and arresting those within Serbia's borders who took part in the assassination.This was a huge catalyst for the war and letting things get out of hand can also lead to huge consequences. We can learn that using our voice is amazing and all, but there is a limit when it becomes foolish and the cause isn’t even being shown. The war also acts as a divider in history for students to study and understand its causes and effects so we can see how our world was before and make a point to prevent that.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 22
  • 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 was lost was the many lives that shouldn’t have been lost for the cause that it was for. The only thing that was gained in the war was the trauma that many drafted men had when being part of the army, and the medical innovation of medicine and the engineering innovations of airplanes. The aerial view of the western front in the photograph from The Atlantic is crazy to me— you can see the number of bombs used on the field as well as the maze-like trenches used in the war. There are sooo many craters on the ground, showing how ruthless the war really was considering how there wasn’t a lot of equipment to even combat things like that. The amount of casualties that came out of WWI were outstanding, and it’s so sad that many gave up their lives for a war that had no real significant meaning. I mean, the ways in how you could die in the war were astounding— in the film we watched in class called “They Shall Not Grow Old,” the amount of filth that the soldiers had to live with alone was detrimental. The lice, the trench foot, the dental problems, the illnesses, and the malnourishment, all added to the casualties sustained from the already deadly war.
  • What lessons should we learn from this war? (And by extension, what lessons did the world learn—at the time?)
    • The lesson we should learn from this war is that war should not be fought for only patriotism… and that not all wars are good. A lot of wars get glorified because people are “fighting to protect our country,” or fighting for the rights of others, but in this war, there was no valid reason for war other than to “flex some muscle.” A lot was lost in the war, and learning about the war just shows how devastating war is, and how war should only be used as a last resort type of thing for the protection of people’s rights and lives only. According to the article, “World War One in Numbers,” the youngest person to have signed up to become a soldier in World War I was a boy who was 12 years old— 12 years old! He wasn’t the only kid who lied about his age to join the war effort either, as we saw in the documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old,” because a lot of people were under the impression that this war was necessary and important to their pride.
  • 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 World War I ended, many countries lost land and some lands became fully established countries. Technology was affected by the First World War as well, and as the article “5 Things You Need To Know About The First World War” mentions, many advancements were made in chemistry, manufacturing, medicine, and communications. Some things that came out of the war that are still used today are machine guns, tanks, submarines, and barbed wire. The typhoid vaccine came out of this as well, along with other things. Additionally, the triage system continues to be used by doctors today, because of their creation during WWI (this was mentioned in the “Firsts of the First World War” article).
  • 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 important to understand World War I and learn about it because it shows us a lot about how the government cares more about politics than its people. All of WWI was started because some important Austrian-Hungarian people were assassinated. There was no need for so many countries to participate in the war, but many did because they wanted to take advantage of the situation and weaken the Axis powers and show their military might, and reap the benefits that the peace treaty could possibly bring, as the global guide made by The Guardian showed.
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

The Insanity that was World War I

As far as world wars go, WWI seemed incredibly pointless. We’re always told that the war started because of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, but plenty of important political figures have been assassinated without starting a world war. The exact reason this incident coalesced into a worldwide conflict is somewhat of a mystery to me. Leading up to WWI, there seemed to be a lot of tension in Europe surrounding land and power. Maybe all these European countries saw war as a way to deal with these tensions. Maybe they wanted to prove they were the greatest once and for all by winning. In the end, I think everyone came out of the war a loser. There were 40 million casualties, about half of which were deaths. New ways of warfare were introduced that are now considered war crimes. Not much seemed to have been gained. But because WWI had so many firsts, it will forever remain revolutionary in regards to how modern warfare operates.

From how much destruction happened, the most important lesson we should take away is to avoid war in any way possible. Anyone who is involved in war will forever be affected if they are “lucky” enough to survive the war. In some cases, it doesn’t even seem very lucky to survive. Veterans were treated like the bottom of the barrel and no one else had any idea what they had to go through. The psychological effects of war are also a burden they must carry forever. Many vets deal with PTSD and are unable to return to any semblance of a normal life. In some sense, it isn’t even really living, just surviving. It seems that many of the soldiers learned that war is, in every way, horrible. However there are those that became so desensitized to the atrocities or so proud of the idea of serving their country, that they would do it all again like some of the soldiers in They Shall Not Grow Old. Nationalism and propaganda are dangerous and should be viewed with skepticism especially when it comes to war.

Unfortunately, I think the “lesson” many countries learned after WWI is that they needed to be more powerful. Germany especially, after being stripped of almost all their war technologies and forces and having their pride stepped all over, wanted to prove their strength. This is part of the reason why Hitler was able to gain so much support. Post-WWI, Germans wanted a leader who would bring Germany back up to its previous height and Hitler promised them exactly that. The patriotism that he invoked in the common people gave him an incredible amount of power.

The biggest changes to the world after WWI were in warfare. There were so many new technologies and strategies in the war from the use of chemical weapons to attacks on civilians. Some of the technology used really opened people’s eyes to the destruction that humans are capable of. Before WWI, most people had no idea what war was truly like. After, it was much clearer that war is not a silly game for boys to play with their friends and it should not be treated as such.

As always, it is incredibly important to learn about our history so that we can learn from it and not make the same mistakes. This is especially true with WWI as most people can agree that it shouldn’t have happened. It is easy to gloss over the destruction and losses as just numbers and facts we have to remember for our tests. But when you listen to the personal stories and really look at the pictures, you begin to understand what truly took place, what each person went through and the importance of WWI becomes much more clear.

Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 16

The Insanity that was World War I

WWI was basically the world versus Germany and Austria-Hungary. Germany had Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire on their side but that was it for the Central Powers. The allied powers consisted of the Soviet Union, France, the US, Britain, Japan, and pretty much everyone else were fighting against Germany. There were many reasons it happened, but what was the match that started the fire was murder of the Archduke of Austria-Hungary by a teenaged Serbian Nationalist.

There was not a lot gained during this war, especially land. They fought in the trenches and lost millions of lives to move nowhere. On the Western Front there was only about 100 meters gained by either side over the three blood-filled years. Aside from land the Allies eventually pulled through and won it, well made a treaty, and this led to the fall of the German, Austria-Hungary, and Ottoman Empires. It also was a huge step for the U.S. because they were finally considered a world power among the likes of the Soviet Union and Germany.

16 million lives were lost. 16 million human beings died. Probably more that we don’t know of and for what?

This war mattered because it established that Germany was willing to do anything and it solidified the Soviet Union as a major world power and the U.S. as an up and coming world power. It was also the first war to include biowarfare and also had major technological advancements like tanks, planes, and bigger weaponry. Also had a huge impact on the economy of many countries and caused drastic changes in politics around the world leading up to WWII. And what most people tend to brush over is the effect it had on society and culture. So much art was created from this time and this was the first time that so many people came back from a war and suffered from PTSD. People had no idea what it was and this altered the way we lived and brought us into a great modernist period of life. Also it affected the way people thought about life. As a teenage man during 1914-1918 your purpose in life was to find a wife, and go to war. That is it. That is crazy. And most people left and died for their country and left their wives alone grieving with probably a child that they would have to raise themselves. That has a bigger impact on life than you think.

The clear lesson we SHOULD have learned from WWI is that violence really gets you nowhere and that throwing millions of your nation's men into war like toys has a devastatingly negative effect on the world. But we clearly didn’t learn that lesson and thought that it was a good idea to have yet another World War. Another lesson it taught us is that humans are inherently greedy and filled with the need for power.

The world definitely changed post WWI compared to pre WWI. That is not a hot take in many people's books. Because the effect of so many soldiers coming back from war traumatized affected a whole generation. Also families having to grief their whole life after losing their teenage son at battle. All the wives who had to raise a child fatherless because their husband who they married right before he went off to war died. The world wide mental state was just sad. Everyone in the world was sad. Also like I said previously it completely changed the cultural and artistic side of life moving towards a more modernist point of view on life. Also it was a segway into the rising power that was the Soviet Union.

Even if we all agree that war+insanity we should also agree on the fact that it is important to learn about because unfortunately it did happen and we can’t go back and change that. We have to learn about it and acknowledge just how much it has shaped our world today and if things didn’t go our way everyone would be German and Austrian-Hungarian. Also helps us understand that war doesn’t achieve much other than the mass loss of human life and that we should not make a mistake like this again and try to avoid war as much as possible.

Posts: 20
  • I can not think of anything that is gained from war unless it is a war fought for human rights. If that is the case then civil liberty, human rights, and peace is gained. I have read all of the sources given to us and watched the videos in class and to be honest I am still unsure of what was gained in this war specifically. I guess political borders and new advancements but I would not call that gained when the losses far outweigh the gains. The powerful imperial powers did fall as a result of this war but I question if that is worth the millions of lives on both sides that were lost. 8.5 million soldiers, 13 million civilians, and 21 million wounded. World War 1 matters because of the young men and women that risked their lives for an uncertain cause.
  • The lesson that the people of the world learned from this war was that no one really wins a war. We learned how unfavorable war is and how tragic or every one the outcome is. After the war, in Britain, 1 in every 6 people had a death in their family. I am sure the deaths from WWI were felt for generations. We learned the importance of peace and how crucial diplomacy is for all countries. This war and 16 million people’s deaths were caused by poor diplomacy and it is of course never the diplomats that have to die.
  • I do agree that there was a completely different world after world war 1, especially in Europe. It created a new time for Europe in which many empires and monarchies fell. Not to mention the borders of Europe completely changed to be more as we know them today. I believe for a little while it brought peace as people realized how devastating and tragic war is. Also, it is worth noting that the world after WW1 had completely different technology that allowed for the technology we use today. Lastly, I think after WW1 the rest of the world began to take America more seriously as the global power that it was and still is.
  • It is very important to understand and learn about World War l because it is important that a war like this never happens again. A country should never send its citizens into battle to get blown up and gassed when the cause does not affect them and will only end in their death. It is important to study WW1 because this was a crucial time for the world as it began its shift toward the world we know today. This War was started by human actions, which means it could happen again. It should never.

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