World War I
It broke out when the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914. Germany marched through Belbium, a neutral territory, in order to attack France. The was involved the Central European Powers (Germany, Austria- Hungary and Italy) on one side and the Allies, or Triple Entente (Britain, France, Russia, Japane and then United States) on the other. Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914; Britain justified war on Germany because Britain was signatory of an agreement to respect Belgium’s neutrality. It therefore told the nation that it would defend the weak Belgium against the strong Germany, fighting for the democracy and freedom.
Germany nwarly defeated the Allies in the first few weeks of war in 1914, since it had better equipment, better-trained soldiers and a clear plan of attack. Apart from the Crimean War, this was Britain’s first European war since the Napoleonic Wars, and the country was unprepared for the terrible modern artillery, machine guns and tanks, and the use of gas and shells during the attacks. “Shell shock” was the term used by doctors to allude to the psychological effect of shell explosions.
President Wilson proposed “Fourteen Points” to work out the peace treaty and prevent future occasions of war. He devised a plan to set up the “League of Nations”, an organization in which the representatives of the world’s nations would try to discuss and settle their differences. But the American Senate voted against the involving in the European problems and the United States never joined the League of Nation.
The war was a monster which claimed the lives about nine million men. It caused the ruin of four great empires, made a Communist revolution in Russia, and paved the way for the rise of dictators like Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler.