The Uniqueness of World War One

Subject: History
Pages: 2
Words: 437
Reading time:
2 min

The First World War was distinct from other former nineteenth century wars because of a number of reasons; the first being that it involved a vast number of nations. Austria Hungary, Germany and Turkey compromised the central powers while Italy, Russia, France, Britain, US, Romania, Greece, Portugal and Japan represented the Allied powers. Most conflicts during the nineteenth century occurred against the backdrop of maintenance of power balance. Additionally, because of a number of treaties, major conflicts had been avoided in the previous Century. This war is indeed a legacy because the kind of tactics utilized were distinct from previous wars especially because of the effects of technology.

Here, there were modern communication equipment between members of participating armies such as wireless communication and employment of trench warfare. Also, the types of artilleries used were the first of their kind. This war saw the introduction of light machine guns and howitzers (heavy guns) that had French origins. The war also left one of the largest casualties ever witnessed in the world. Estimates indicate that approximately twenty-one million people were wounded and ten million of them died. Mass production of resources need to fuel the war was also a unique trait. Consequently, industrial plants were converted to weapons manufacturing units and this strengthened the concept of organized labor especially in Germany with 531 strikes in 1917.

Most historians identify the First World War with the economic damages it created in the entire western world. The US, Britain, Germany and France were the major casualties as they had to cope with excessive inflation and soaring unemployment rates. Further still, this war had an effect on political systems owing to the increased popularity of republicanism and the decline of monarchies. For instance, the Ottoman Empire became known as the Republic of Turkey. It should be noted that the Turks did enjoy an expanded territory under this new arrangement especially with the occupation of Armenia in 1920.

Conversely, the newly created German republic which emanated from the German empire was much smaller than the original and it had much greater restrictions under the peace treaty. Lastly, the First World War also created a situation where most nations of the world still thought of war as a viable solution for solving political problems. An attempt by Britain to enhance collective security in the western world failed because the US resorted to isolationist policies that caused it to reject the Treaty of Versailles. This made the League of Nations less powerful and hence vulnerable to another global war.