History of World War I - Vol. 1

History of World War I - Vol. 1

History of World War I - Vol. 1

History of World War I - Vol. 1

Excerpt

Although very few people survive today who fought in or directly experienced World War I, the conflict continues to fascinate historians and students around the world. This is hardly surprising: The four years of terrible conflict between 1914 and 1918 affected not only those who fought but also those at home and those who came after. The fighting and its inconclusive aftermath, which would spark an even more terrible second world war a mere two decades later, dominated the history of the 20th century. Without an understanding of the first global conflict, its causes, and its aftermath, the course of the 20th century cannot be fully comprehended.

World War I marked the end of one age and the beginning of what can be termed the modern world. Before the United States entered the conflict in 1917, the war was fought mainly by the great powers of Europe, most of which could boast prestige and world influence stretching back many decades if not centuries. These powers were run by small elites—members of the aristocracy, top-ranking bureaucrats, and senior military figures—who habitually settled international matters among themselves. Because the European powers held colonies throughout the world, the decisions and agreements made by and between their controlling elites had global impact. Democracy . . .

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