The Great War And The Shaping of the 20th Century Essay

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The Great War And The Shaping of the 20th Century

Another man is killed; Another family receives a telegram saying that a loved one was killed in battle; The family will never be the same again without the presence of this man. This is an effort to explain some of the impact that World War I had on millions of individuals. This sequence of events was conducted over and over millions of times during WWI. So why were there so many deaths?Who were the instigators of a war that caused so much suffering, not just in family life, but in society in general? What were some of the effects that war had on society? To answer these questions, it is necessary to look at history, prior to the war, and examine the actions of certain individuals
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[iii Though, the "Black Hand" assassinated Ferdinand, which led to greater tensions between Serbia and Austria-Hungary, the Black Hand was not the only instigator of the war.

Another instigator of the war to be discussed is Wilhelm II. Wilhelm II was shrewed, treacherous, and hysterical. He was a chronic bully, and his habitual style of discourse was a neurotic bluster that masked the painful inner uncertainty of a small man who has had the bad luck in life to be called upon to stomp about in a giant’s boots. [iv] When the opportunity for a war surpassed the opportunity for peace between Austria and Serbia, Wilhelm II took advantage of the opportunity by telling Berchtold, Serbia must be dealt with, and as soon as possible. [v] Wilhelm II also told Berchtold that, "He promised his full support and advised immediate action against Serbia[vi]." Though it was quite clearly recognized that a world war might be the consequence, On July 5th, Wilhelm II, holding the fate of Austria and Serbia in his hands, and also the fate of the peace of Europe, chose war by offering Germany’s 'full support' to Austria-Hungary.[vii] Therefore, Wilhelm II helped to ignite the start of WWI with his ‘war fever’ attitude and by offering his “full support” to Austria-Hungary.

The last instigator of the war to be discussed is the Austrian foreign minister during the war, Count Leopold von Berchtold. Berchtold was The

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