The Causes And Effects Of World War I

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Nicknamed “The War to End All Wars”, World War I lasted four years, killing seventeen million and wounding twenty million. At the war’s beginning, young men flocked to enlistment offices, hoping to feel a sense of adventure, hoping to bring honor to their families, hoping to become heroes. The nature of war was severely misunderstood, and as weaponry and strategic methodology began to develop rapidly, the atrocities involved with war quickly became apparent to civilians and soldiers. The war’s effect ran far beyond suffering soldiers, substantially changing Europe’s economy, and even sparking the movement for women’s suffrage. (Bonacorsi). As the war came to an end, Europe changed socially, politically, and economically, resulting in conflict that would fuel later contention.
At the war’s commencement, the
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Stefan Zweig of Vienna wrote in his autobiography that the war was a “rapid excursion into the romantic, a wild, manly adventure… and the young people were honestly afraid that they might miss this most wonderful and exciting experience of their lives” (Zweig, The Rushing Feeling of Fraternity). Young men flocked to enlist, believing that the war would be honorable and quick; many believed they’d be home in a matter of months. Using propaganda that promoted nationalism, enlistment, and organizations from the homefront, the government painted the war as an exciting opportunity (Bonacorsi). In All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul recounts the story of his enlistment, remembering that when “we first went to the district commandant to enlist, we were a class of twenty young men… We were still crammed full of ideas which gave to life, and to the war also an ideal and almost romantic character” (Remarque, 21). Paul’s recollection reveals the nature of the circumstances

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