The War Of World War I Essay

1240 Words Apr 6th, 2015 5 Pages
The “War to End all Wars?”/ The Ethics of World War I Technology
On April 4, 1917 United States troops marched into the First World War with President Woodrow Wilson’s message echoing in their ears; this would be a “war to end all wars” to “make the world safe for democracy” (Nolte). However, 8.5 million deaths later, the Great War proved far from ending future conflict (“World War I”). The development of lethal gases, stealthy submarines, and destructive artillery made war more gruesome, paving the way for Hitler, Stalin, and later Saddam Hussein. The militaries of the First World War defied the ethics of just war, because new weapons caused unnecessary suffering, attacked innocent civilians, and demonstrated the potential of new technology for violence today.
First, the evolving military strategies of World War I made the war immoral. In previous wars such as the American Revolution and imperial conflicts, war was governed by a set of rules to keep conflicts civil. The enemy would take turns charging at each other with bayonets and rifles. However, this strategy changed in World War I, because countries began developing destructive weapons that made it impossible for the enemy to charge. In 1885, Hiram Maxim, an inventor, developed the machine gun after being told; “If you want to make a pile of money, invent something that will enable these Europeans to cut each others’ throats with greater facility.” Shooting 500 rounds a minute, machine guns did just that. In the…

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