World War One Essay

The outbreak of war in August 1914 was generally greeted with confidence and jubilation by the peoples of Europe, among whom it inspired a wave of patriotic feeling and celebration.

Few people imagined how long or how disastrous a war between the great nations of Europe could be, and most believed that their country’s side would be victorious within a matter of months.

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World War I was a major conflict fought in Europe and around the world between July 28, 1914, and November 11, 1918.

On August 1 Germany ordered general mobilization and declared war against Russia, and France likewise ordered general mobilization.

The next day Germany sent troops into Luxembourg and demanded from Great Britain, which had no concern with Serbia and no express obligation to fight either for Russia or for France but was expressly committed to defend Belgium, on August 4 declared war against Germany.

Italy had confirmed the Triple Alliance on December 7, 1912, but could now propound formal arguments for disregarding it: first, Italy was not obliged to support its allies in a war of aggression; second, the original treaty of 1882 had stated expressly that the alliance was not against England.

European politics in the early twentieth century were a dichotomy: many politicians thought war had been banished by progress while others, influenced partly by a fierce arms race, felt war was inevitable.

In Germany, this belief went further: the war should happen sooner rather than later, while they still (as they believed) had an advantage over their perceived major enemy, Russia.

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