1 / “PEACE,” 1918–1933

NOVEMBER 11, 1918

When the slaughter across Europe ceased after 11:00 A.M. on November 11, 1918, and peace returned to the world, the extent of the devastation that lay about the exhausted armies was new to human history. After four years of war, the piles of stones, the battered chimneys, and the roofless houses were the only signs that people had once lived in peaceful towns and villages. The trenches where soldiers had burrowed, lived, fought, and died for a few yards of mud were mute evidence of the way of life that had destroyed the quiet countryside. The life and culture that were over had been Europe’s greatest era. All that was left on the continent were the remnants of the four empires destroyed by the conflict. Over ten million people lay dead, and millions more had been wounded—but the cost in heartache and sorrow could not really be reckoned. What had begun with the murder of an Austrian archduke ended with millions of soldiers from many nations fighting across continents and oceans.

But the big losers were the countries of Europe. For Germany, the war had been a struggle for domination of world economy and trade, though the German leaders had led the German people to believe they were battling for survival against encirclement by Britain, Russia, and France. The vision of a Germandominated Europe that the German nationalists had grasped for vanished suddenly in the fall of 1918—but only after they had occupied Belgium, overrun northern France, and defeated Russia.

The German government sought peace then only because it feared utter destruction and because its leaders wished to save the army and keep the nation intact. Further fighting, they reasoned, could destroy the Fatherland without bringing victory


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Origins of World War II


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 195

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?