posts 1 - 15 of 19
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, MA, US
Posts: 16

The main points of this war were pride and territory. That is why the governments of these countries forced their people to fight, and encouraged them with heavy propaganda. If there had not been so many previously solidified alliances, the war probably would have stayed between Austria-Hungary, Serbia, and probably Germany. I was surprised to see that on the Interactive Map by The Guardian, a lot of countries actually joined in anticipation of the end of the war, and did not suffer many losses. They joined to have a place in the end of war treaties and hopefully gain land or money. Of course, the losers suffered great losses of pride, land, and money. The major players in the war sustained thousands of deaths. I think the fact that the war resulted from anywhere between 9-16 million deaths is enough to say this war mattered. Another reason why it matters is because it was the predecessor to WWII.

I think we should learn diplomacy and to not be involved in pointless conflicts concerning the pride of others. We should be more respectful of human life and not throw it away. It could be debated if the world learned a lesson at all. While not on a global scale, pointless wars have definitely occurred since WWI (WWII doesn't count because it was definitely not pointless).

After WWI, people became more depressed and hopeless. It was like the mentality of everyone changed. New technology led to more violent and lethal wars. But there was also improvement in war medicine and recognition of shell shock, as mentioned in the “Firsts of WWI” article. Borders and countries rearranged themselves and some collapsed. People realized that mass death is possible and this caused a general decrease in optimism and hope.

Even if the war itself was unjustified, we should still study it. We should study it through the lens of it being pointless and insane, however, so that it doesn't happen ever again. We also need to understand how WWII happened, the factors that led to it, because it was definitely a more important and worse war than WWI. I think learning about WWI can promote peace and unity between nations, if taught in the right way.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 14

The Insanity that was World War I

The point of WWI was to prove who was the most powerful. The Allied Powers and Central Powers continued to send millions of troops to the trenches to die despite a complete lack of forward movement. It was essentially a contest to see who could last the longest without running out of soldiers. WWI allowed the US to establish itself as a global power before its stint of extreme isolationism after it joined the war and tipped the scale for the allies. It directly led to the Russian revolution and the rise of communism as well as the collapse of the German empire and its economy. The treaty of Versailles dissolved the Ottoman Empire and created our modern middle eastern map. WWI was the direct precursor to WWII and its aftermath perfectly set the stage for the rise of authoritarianism and another world war. The trauma of this war changed the World's population forever and destroyed any sense of security.

I think that the most important lesson that we should learn from WWI is that war should only be fought for good reason. In this case, countries were dragged into the conflict simply because of existing alliances and colonization. Most soldiers did not know what they were fighting for–most were not fighting for anything. War should not be declared lightly, like the assassination of an archduke, and other countries should not engage in fruitless conflict.

The first World War marked many firsts; this "war to end all wars" brought conflict to a bloodier level. It began the use of aircraft and the targeting of non-soldiers with around 13 million civilian deaths. The war caused new levels of trauma in survivors and was the first instance of recognized shell shock. The World had never seen this level of blood-shed and mortality in war and the war expanded our capability of violence. WWI also introduced the use of chemical warfare and led to the creation of defined laws of war. Humans will never be able to return to conflict without mass destruction and civilian death.

I think it's important to understand World War I because a significant portion of 20th-century events can be directly tied back to it. Because it played such a significant role in the development of the century, we should understand it so we don't let it happen again. A world war in the presence of nuclear power would be devastating; the human race cannot survive another major global conflict. This war was so pointless and traumatic that it altered the course of history, so its causes and effects are of the utmost importance to our lives.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

All of these questions are very complex and interconnected, so I think it's best to answer them one at a time.

1. World War I is often described as a 'powder keg', with Franz Ferdinand's assassination being the spark that set it off. Europe had wanted a reason to decimate it's enemies, and was searching for one. But by the time the dust had settled, all that was won was a few miles of territory, at the cost of untold amounts of destruction. Entire cities were laid to waste, abandoned after being shelled to rubble.

2. The number one lesson learned from the war was the cruelty of humans and specifically war tactics. The Geneva conventions are famous for outlawing the use of many tactics in war, most of them being things that were performed during WWI. Gassing, cluster bombs, razor wire, all of it was used because both sides knew it was effective, even if cruel.

3. There is a stark difference between the world post and pre WWI. Europe had never had a conflict that wasn't one side steamrolling the other in over 100 years, and the sheer length and resources spent in the great war scarred every nation involved, even today. How we view war went from this noble act, almost fun for the soldiers involved, to the gritty reality that it was torture for 16 million soldiers even if they were winning. It sobered Europe to the horrors of war, at least for a little while.

4. I think it's important to learn and examine what happens when humans are pushed to the brink of their cruelty. War becomes a painful stalemate, soldiers live every day in fear of dying a slow, painful end. Countries simply compete in resources, who can spare the most money, the most land, the most men. The millions of rifles and artillery shells only make that more evident. Like a machine venting steam, they throw their excess at each other with no regard to human life.

Posts: 12

The war started with the Austro-Hungarian Empire wanting to get revenge for the murder of heir Franz Ferdinand, but quickly progressed into something much more than that. Countries/empires that were allied with each other wanted to gain power and defeat their enemies. In my eyes, not much was gained from this war and there was a massive loss of life. According to the World War I in numbers article, an estimated 8.5 million troops and 13 million civilians were killed. The war matters in hindsight because it shows how much people are willing to do to gain power and that people in positions of power are willing to kill mass amounts of innocent people to achieve their goals.

I think that we should learn from WWI that war is not something to glorify. Both the WWI in numbers article and the film we’re watching in class described how men of extremely young ages were lying about their ages to enlist to fight in the war, thinking that it was an exciting and amazing thing they could do for their country. They were not aware of the true nature of war and how brutal and horrifying it was. It is extremely important to understand that war is not something to be taken lightly.

I do think that WWI changed the world. It was the first time that a war was fought on many fronts globally and it sparked the development of technologies that are integral to warfare and combat to this day like tanks. I think, as I said earlier, that it really demonstrated how people were capable of committing such violence that led to an amount of casualties never before seen.

I think it is important to understand that World War I was a brutal power-struggle. It is important to understand the horrifying losses of World War I in order to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again.

Posts: 10

The Insanity that was World War I

WWI broke out when the growing tension between Austria-Hungary and Serbia finally reached its breaking point with the killing of ArchDuke Ferdinand and his “picture-perfect” family. But this war wasn't about their assassinations, or even the tension between these two countries. The whole point was to prove which countries and alliances were most powerful because in reality Austria-Hungary was looking for a reason that could be justified for starting a war with Serbia and they saw the assassinations as an opportunity. The need for soldiers to prove their superiority reflects this as in Britain, you had to be eighteen to sign up for the armed forces and nineteen to serve abroad. Young men were told to lie about their age by officials so they could make sure they had enough soldiers, the youngest boy to serve was only twelve years old. By declaring war, they dragged all of Europe into it because of all of the alliances both countries had. In just one month of the treaties kicking in, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, France, Britain, and Japan had all mobilized their armies and officially declared war. More was lost than gained from this war, it's thought that eight point five million troops and an estimate of thirteen million civilians lost their lives due to this war.

WWI should've taught the lesson that young men and boys are not a warring country’s pawns, that a country should recognize soldiers as human beings with lives. During a war, a country should be more concerned with keeping their people safe than with recruiting the most amount of soldiers.

The world did change after WWI as it was a war of innovation. Advances in weaponry and military technology were made to provoke tactical changes as each side tried to gain an advantage over the other. WWI brought the introduction of aircrafts into warfare, which left soldiers and civilians vulnerable to attacks from above. Major innovations were also made in manufacturing, chemistry, and communications. And medical advances made WWI the first major conflict in which British deaths in battle outnumbered deaths caused by disease.

I think war in general is insanity, but I would say WWI in particular is the definition of insanity and it's the reason it should be studied carefully, not only by students, but also by nations. So they are exposed to what kind of atrocities could break out if war is rushed into like it was in 1914.

Posts: 15

1: The war was a large power imbalance, where all the fighting was in hope of gaining territory and cutouts of Europe. Although the Allies gained control of much of Europe and the Middle East, all parts of the war probably would have been better of if it didn't happen. Around 16 million soldiers and civilians died, and the economies of all countries involved, whether big or small, were heavily affected. The Treaty of Versailles also led to political turmoil in Europe which eventually led to even more death and destruction in World War II. The war mattered because it drastically changed the political landscape of Europe and the Middle East. It also established a new world order and set the stage for future conflicts.

2: I think the biggest lesson we and the world have and had learned is just how devastating war is. Whether it was the tens of millions of lives lost, the torn-apart families, the destruction of homes, towns, cities, and even countries, as well as the economic impact on all involved. Something else I noticed was how quickly we can develop technology beneficial to us in wars. Tanks, gas, and the use of planes in war were all used for the first time, and if any other major war involving America comes up, I'm sure new technology would arise that is unlike anything we have ever seen.

3: Before the war, Europe was dominated by a few major powers, but after the war, these powers had to deal with the emergence of new groups in the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, and elsewhere. This shift in power dynamics completely changed the geopolitical landscape of Europe and the world. Another major change was the rise of the United States as a superpower. The US emerged as a major economic power, and its presence was felt even across the globe in unseen ways.

4: WW1 serves as an important reminder of the consequences of unchecked militarism and imperialism. Additionally, it gives a lesson in the power of alliances and the importance of peace in times of conflict.

Posts: 16

There’s always a duality to war and the reasons to reach for that drastic measure. There’s the point that’s the official reasons for the declaration, a list of sentiments, the official doctrine, what have you. And then there’s the ‘point.’ Power. It’s a scramble to prove oneself supreme to the other nations through force. A nationalistic patriotism so blinding that the prospect of sending a bullet through another human being was painted as almost a game to be won, as referenced in They Shall Not Grow Old. Although this is certainly not an all-encompassing description of warfare, it is certainly relevant. The rich and the powerful were able to move the pawn pieces about with little care for the individuals, the losses, while they dreamt up patriotic sentiments to spread throughout the nation to convince more young men to sign up for the war effort. It was a contest, another aspect of this game, a test to see which nation would hold out as “The World Power” — who would have a say in the cutting up of territory, acquisition of funds, et cetera.

Certainly a sense of disillusionment was ‘gained’ from this war in stride with a new swell of comradery and patriotism. The same trenches that poured out lost souls, unsure of what they stood for after the traumatic experience, produced men now more than willing to die for the country and for those around them. However, the war also led to innovation. Technological advancements were funded for the war effort, some of which would grow to better the area as a whole, such as innovations in manufacturing, chemistry, the medical field, and communications. But with these gains came tremendous losses. 8.5 million troops are believed to have been killed in the war. Children as young as twelve years old were enlisting, despite the laws against it, due to propaganda as well as the fact that servicemen directing enlistment were incredibly lax about these age limits. ‘Shell Shock’ — the psychological trauma suffered by servicemen — was beginning to get widespread acknowledgement by the medical community, mainly due to the sheer number of soldiers who suffered from it.

World War One was a war that illustrated unchecked nationalism, militarism, and imperialism accumulating to a deadly crescendo of violence. One cannot say that the war did not matter, even if the conflict was avoidable, because it scarred the world in such a way that everything healed back twisted enough to amount to another great conflict. It should have mattered because it taught the lesson that war was not to be viewed as a game, not to be served to young boys through alluring propaganda and nationalism. It should have been a moment when the countries of the world took a step back to realize how the way the world was functioning must be off if it had allowed one catalyst incident — Franz Ferdinand’s murder — to surmount to so many dead, so many traumatized. It should have led to a kind of self-reflection on a legislative scale, a moment to ponder the sheer tragedy of warfare, the ethics of a draft, and the brutal legacy it would leave.

It is always important to learn history, to understand its patterns, to reflect on how we got here and try to work to build a better world. It is especially important when such tremendous loss and tragedy was a result of a war which was insanity. If we do not acknowledge how humans got to that point, what people were willing to do, then how are we going to make sure it never happens again?

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

The Insanity that was World War I

The start of the war is marked by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which was the breaking point of the tension between the Central powers and the Allies. At its core, the point of the war was to prove who was the most powerful, and the reason that these countries were able to put so much of their resources and people into this war was nationalism. People were proud of their countries, and like we saw in the film in class, young boys would even lie about their ages to be allowed in the army, despite being young teenagers. Countries used everything and everyone that they had to show that they were stronger than the others, and this could only lead to detrimental amounts of loss. The war took millions of lives and devastated large areas of land. The aftermath of the war led to revolutions and shifts in global power, all leading up to the beginning of WWII. I think that really all that was gained was new military weapons that were much more deadly, which only led to more loss in the future. This war is responsible for so many of the global shifts that the world experienced in this time, such as the changes in power, the destabilization of European society, and it also directly led to Soviet communism and the rise of Hitler.

I think that a main lesson that we should learn and teach is that war and violence are not a matter of proving who is the strongest and establishing a sense of pride, and they should not occur without necessity. One of the reasons that the war escalated as much as it did was because people wanted to fight, they wanted to feel the glory of winning battles at the cost of as many lives as they could take. I think that a lesson we learned was just how brutal human beings are capable of being to each other. During the war, people didn’t value human life, and they were careless with how lives were being spent.

The First World War changed the world through its impact on military weaponry, international relations, and general ideas of mass destruction of human life. The dynamics of power throughout the world would never be the same after the war, as the US got a foothold as a superpower while other countries that gained power contributed to the build up into WWII. Additionally, the ways in which people used technology and tactics to destroy each other were changed forever, as over the past decades technology has advanced to have the ability to decimate millions of people in one attack. The sheer amount of bloodshed has left a mark on both the world and individual lives forever, and wars and conflicts will never be the same as they were before WWI.

It is important to understand World War I because it has completely shaped the world that we live in today, and it also teaches us a lot about how situations can become major, world consuming war if violence is the first approach to a threat. I think that this war really demonstrated the harmful effects of intense nationalism and the inability of countries and their leaders to come up with civil solutions and agreements. Now, a century later, I think that learning from the lessons of World War I and World War II are even more important given the constant advancements in nuclear weapons, and the threats and signs that can lead to war should be taken very seriously so that they can be deescalated.

Curious George
Boston, MA
Posts: 17

What was the point of the war? There wasn’t one. Teenage boys too young for war weren’t fighting for democracy or freedom. They were being called by their governments jstu so they could prove who was the biggest and baddest. The declarations of war resulted from a network of treaty and alliances that were activated by the act of a secret society, not belonging to any of the big nations involved in WWI. Without such strong alliances beforehand, the war would’ve been much smaller and would not have included the massive countries, which the majority of deaths came from. The war shaped the world by establishing a new world order and modern technology. The war led to the advancement of manufacturing, communication, chemistry, and aircrafts. However, these gains were outweighed by the world’s losses. 8.5 million troops and 13 million civilians. Because victory depended on popular support, invading armies would commit atrocities against civilians to break morale and decrease their support for the war effort. The loss of humanity will always outweigh these advancements that could have been made during peaceful times or should not exist at all. The advancement of deadly poisons and military warfare does no good to the world, and any advancements that became useful to the world afterwards could have been made under much different circumstances. Overall, both the winners and the losers lost because their populations and economies were left in ruins after the war.

An appreciation for humanity must have been learnt after the war. America became more isolationist and all became weary of what war may lead to. Many cruel and inhumane war tactics became outlawed at the Geneva conventions because of their uses in WWI.

Yes, the worlds before and after the war were two separate things. Before, everyone was ready to fight for their country and glory, but the massive deaths and crumbled economies left a hopeless seeming world. No one could enter a war without fearing the violent capabilities of humans. Power also shifted from a few western states to America and the Soviet Union. Colonizations were also empowered to demand greater autonomy of their own nations.

It is important to understand how disgusting and pointless war can be. WWI is the greatest example of the dangers of patriotism, militarism, and greed. Just because others are not citizens of a country does not mean that the government should not treat them as human beings. And as citizens, each has the responsibility to protect humanity, not their government. They should always question government decisions that can lead to war.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

The “point” of World War 1 was really for countries to try and assert their dominance and be the most powerful country in Europe, and in the world. Each country that joined did so not for some greater humanitarian or military strategy, but mostly just as a way to try and come out on top over others. In this regard, I don’t think anything was really gained from the war, as all countries suffered massive casualties and while the Allies technically won, no side truly exited victorious. However, the exception to this is the US which, following World War 1, was able to become extremely powerful on a global scale, especially in the wake of economic destruction in Europe which didn’t follow in the US for another several years. If anything else was gained, it was an understanding of the horrors of modern warfare. Previously, major wars had been far more about honor and uniformity rather than massacres and complete unrestrained force. The combination of hypernationalism and new technological developments catalyzed a global tragedy which left many countries shocked, and the US, for example, became strongly isolationist in response. While little was won, much was lost. An estimated 8.5 MILLION people died and another 21 million were wounded for almost no gain by any side. The relatively stable Europe which had existed before collapsed politically and economically leading to sentiments which allowed the rise of fascism and World War 2. World War 1 is incredibly important within itself and in a greater historical context. It remains a unique horror in global history which had massive ramifications on public opinion of war as well as on political/economic stability. The hyper nationalism which caused, but did not end with World War 1 continued in Germany especially to create an environment willing to embrace fascism along with a desire to dominate above other countries. In this way, it directly led to World War 2.

Continuing off my first paragraph, I think we should learn from this that war is truly horrible, and that especially in a war which serves no greater purpose than power dynamics, there can be no true winners. World War 1 saw the dawn of modern warfare, changing it’s existence forever. It significantly expanded the impact of a war, as 65 million people from around the world fought in the war. Besides those fighting, the war also had a major lasting impact on civilians, especially with increased bombing and shelling against them. Because technology only keeps increasing, especially with the onset of a military industrial complex in the US among other countries, we only find new ways to cause mass casualties on a larger and larger scale. In that way, we should learn that no once can beat war. In the end, our own technology will work against us to cause immense damage to our own countries as we destroy others, mindless of the humanity of those we fight against. I think many people started to glimpse this at the end of the war, as witnessed by the rise of fascism. As people feared their own destruction and were shocked by what they had witnessed, they turned to hyper nationalism in order to try and run away from that realization. Ironically, this then led to another world war which caused even more destruction.

I think there was definitely a shift in global society following World War 1, but I don’t think it was fully realized until the end of World War 2. I think a lot of people were both figuratively and literally shell shocked at the unimaginable destruction they had witnessed, but were not yet ready to put that into action. There was definitely an increased desire to avoid war and international entanglement which led to the creation of the League of Nations, but it proved ineffective and wasn’t able to actually change in response to the actions of member and non-member countries, as was definitely represented by the lack of reaction to Germany’s expansion leading up to World War 2. There was also a desire to limit extreme warfare, but countries responded to this by building up their military technology rather than working to disarmament as was done following the Arms Race as the threat of total annihilation finally led people to seek change. Therefore, while the war forever changed attitudes about war and global conflict, they were not truly put into action for another couple decades.

Both the destruction and context of World War 1 make it crucial to learn about. There is a common sentiment across the globe that we nee to prevent tragedies like World War 1 from happening again, as it claimed so many lives for no gain. I believe that the best way to do this is to learn about what happened and why, as we can’t prevent something if we don’t know what we’re really preventing. Only by facing the atrocities that have happened and taking initiative can we keep them from repeating. For events on a global scale, that learning is even more important because it’s so broad. It’s easy to pass over international news because it feels far off, but learning the warning signs, and following them in our own lives, but also far away, is crucial to keeping volatile situations from growing.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

The Insanity that was World War I

I think the big idea and point of this war was to own the most amount of territory and be regarded as the world's "superpower". The governments wanted pride and control over various areas. The Austria-Hungarian empire wanted Serbia as a whole to apologize for the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, killed by a Serbian man named Gavrilo Princip. Serbia refused to apologize, as it had nothing to do with Serbia as an entire country. Then, the Austro-Hungarian empire decided to declare war. It sided with Germany and the Ottoman Empire in the war. Britain and Germany seemed to be the most involved in the war, with the most fatalities as well. According to the BBC source "World War One in Numbers", 8.5 million troops were killed, although no one really has an accurate number of fatalities. 21 million troops were wounded, and 13 million civilians were killed.

I think one of the most treacherous parts of this war was how many young men lied about their age to serve in the army. Many soldiers told recruiters their actual age, and recruiters told them to go to the back of the line and lie about their age when it's their turn. I was shocked when I heard about this in class.

I think what we should have learned from this war is that war should never happen again. War is traumatizing and fatal on any side, to any country/territory/person, etc. War is bad no matter what, and there is never a "winner". Unfortunately, we didn't learn this, and went on to World War 2, the Cold War, the War in Ukraine, and so on.

In the IWM source "5 Things You Need To Know About WW1", it talks about how it was not inevitable, but instead started by people's actions and decisions. I agree with this, and I think that it also got blown out of proportion in the beginning.

Something that changed dramatically after the First World War was that there were much more African Americans in the US workforce. When white Americans got enlisted in the army, there were many vacancies left for jobs, especially in the North. This became what is known as "The Great Migration". They got many more job opportunities and moved North for a better life.

It was also the First war fought on Land, Air, and Sea. First War with recognition of "shell shock", first use of tanks, first British women in military service, etc.

I think it is very important to understand World War 1, and its impacts on the world. It was a GLOBAL war, no matter what people think, it affected everyone. I think it is important to learn about the effects of this war, and how we can prevent events like this in the future.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

I think the main point and drive for this war was to satisfy countries' nationalism. With new advancements and technology being introduced during this time period people felt strong enough to fight what was thought to be a short-term battle. One of the websites mentions that innovations were made in manufacturing, chemistry, and communication which resulted in there being more casualties in battle than from disease.

From this war, we should learn about the dangers of technology and militarization. During this war, it is estimated that 8.5 million soldiers died and even 13 million civilians died. The Germans introduced air attacks or air raids on British cities which ultimately wounded 4,800 soldiers and countless civilians. We should learn how far is too far and how to not allow selfishness to impact the well-being of millions of families and individuals.

When you look at content like the film in class or the photographs you see a shift between the men from the start of enlisting and by the end of the war. The atmosphere was completely different after the war. Families would say that their relatives are back but are a different person. The reality is that war was a traumatic experience especially for those on the frontlines. Bodies would be scattered on the grounds and the mice and rats were a reminder of all the dead flesh they feasted on. With the return of soldiers the presence of shell shock was recognized. This is another example of how the war impacted the mental health of soldiers.

It is important to know about WWI for many reasons. This was a global war, where the influence of imperialism was particularly significant. India sent over one million troops to fight supporting the British. Imperialism in itself has many issues and forcing those natives of colonized lands without deliberation is unjust. Another aspect of the war that is important to know and acknowledge is the extreme and unnecessary death tolls. Many of the soldiers were young men who were ready to serve for their country. The youngest of them was only 12 years old but lied about his age in order to serve. While on the field they were exposed to death, poor hygiene, terrible weather during winter times and many illnesses. I think this is inhumane for people to endure as a result of the superiority complexes of those in power who don’t have to experience any of the dirty work while in the field.

Boston, US
Posts: 15

This was was essentially just a battle for power and control over Europe between two different groups of countries, both of whom wanted complete control. This control would lead to economic and possible territorial gain for all of the different countries that ended victorious. World War I was very much a stupid war with very minimal actual justification besides a lust for power and control. However, it is also one of the most important events in modern history. This war was revolutionary. First off, the power dynamic in Europe was defined for the next 90 years. It helped bring the US into a more central role in global politics. It also, for better or worse, completely revolutionized warfare and created a blueprint for a massive war between large alliances of different countries. It also was one of the deadliest conflicts in human history at that point.

I feel like a lesson that we should have (and to a degree had after the fact) learned was how to more properly handle large alliances and how to be more moderate with our declarations of war. Realistically, the only reason that WWI can be called anything close to a world war is because of alliances dragging in countries that had no real reason to fight each other. We definitely learned to approach conflicts, like the one between Serbia and Austria that started the whole war, with more moderation. World War II, at least, was started for a far more reasonable reason that WWI. In a more literal sense, we also gained an massive amount of knowledge that revolutionized warfare itself.

I would argue that there being a pre and post WWI world is definitely true, at least to a degree. It wasn't just the war, but the world helped jump start globalization. It also completely changed the way people thought about war. It had become so much more efficient at killing people, and probably felt much more threatening. The death toll was pretty much unprecedented at that point, especially for Europe. It revolutionized many different technologies that helped in the war effort, and not just wartime technology. Pretty much everything was accelerated, and has continued being so even up to our current lives.

WWI is one of the most important evens of the modern era. It changed the course of the world forever, and helped start technological revolution on a never-before-seen level. While the war itself was unnecessary and stupid, the outcome and general impacts of it were incredibly important. Thus, I feel like it is very important to understand what happened, why it happened, and how that affects us even now.

Dorchester, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 14

I think that at the beginning of the war, the point was to show where your loyalty lied and ultimately that progressed into Germany trying to show that it was a dominant power in the world. There were past animosities that were triggered again by the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. But ultimately after a while, the war was just fought until someone won. As seen in the film we watched there was not much gained by this war, the people were tired and they soon realized there was really no point to the war. At first these men enlisted because they wanted to show their nationalism and patriotism because of the propaganda that was spread by military officials and their governments. These men lost their ways, they came back from the war with loss of emotion and sympathy, with both physical and mental scars, and they lost respect from the people. I think ultimately the world learned that war wasn't something that should be a goal or celebrated, but something we should try to avoid. The world was changed forever because of World War I, because this big war there were smaller wars between countries on expansion or independence, and those were seen as respectable and necessary in some ways, but after world war I, the world changed. This war not only effected the people who fought in it but millions of innocent people, this war targeted civilians to play on the morale of their enemy countries as a tactic to defeat them(as shown in the article World War I through pictures). I think this method of war emotionally scarred the people, it changed their attitudes toward the government as well. As we will see during World War II as well, it took a long time for the U.S to actually join the war because the citizens didn't want to declare war and they actively protested against it and we can also see this through the lash back that the government and soldiers got for the Vietnam war. World War I changed the world, because it made people more sensitive to the topic of war and the notion of declaring war. Although another world war did happen after, countries like Britain and France did wait a little before joining in and tried methods of diplomacy before ultimately joining the fight. This is one of the reasons it is important to study world war I so that we are able to compare the attitudes and shifts of society post war and to get further explanations on what triggered the second world war. And because it was such a gruesome and terrible war, we are able to learn the true realities of war, because after watching that documentary in class, I realized what war really entailed, and it was hard to watch, so I think that learning about it turns people away from the idea of war and makes us more sensitive to it as well.

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