The Great War Essay

1269 Words 6 Pages
The Great War

The Great War, which is more commonly called World War I began on July 28, 1914 and lasted until November 11, 1918. It was a global war centered in Europe and involved more than 70 million military personnel. There were over 9 million combatants, and 7 million civilians died as a result of the war (Keegan, 1998). It was one of the deadliest recorded military conflicts in history, and was the reason for numerous major political changes. The main event that led to the spark of World War I was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Who was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne (Willmott, 2003). Archduke Franz Ferdinand was a friend to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, the two met in mid-June 1914 to discuss
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On July 23, the Austro-Hungarian ambassador to Serbia decided to deliver an ultimatum: The Serbian government must take steps to wipe out terrorist organizations within its borders, suppress anti-Austrian propaganda and accept an independent investigation by the Austro-Hungarian government into Franz Ferdinand’s assassination, or face military action (History.com). The czar’s government began moving towards mobilization of its army, believing that Germany was using the crisis as an excuse to launch a preventive war in the Balkans. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28. On August 1, after hearing news of Russia’s general mobilization, Germany declared war on Russia. The German army then launched its attack on Russia’s ally, France, through Belgium, violating Belgian neutrality and bringing Great Britain into the war as well (Keegan, 1998). The next four years, the Great War would grow to involve Italy, Japan, the Middle East and the United States, among other countries. The war left in its wake three ruined imperial dynasties (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey). On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson went before a joint session of Congress. Wilson wanted to declare war against Germany. Wilson noted that Germany’s violation of its pledge to suspend unrestricted submarine warfare in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, also commenting on its attempts to entice Mexico into an

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