The World War
What started as an isolated local conflict in South-East Europe in the summer of 1914 turned into a global war that would last for nearly four years and kill nine million people. It also shaped the culture of the United States, which sent more than a million troops to fight for its cause.
The Roots of the War
In the early 19th century, European nations began expanding their empires by conquering colonies and establishing new territories. These empires often exploited their colonial subjects, which caused dissatisfaction and resentment.
As a result, there was tension between opposing empires, especially those with rival colonial interests. These tensions eventually led to the creation of a new set of countries called the Entente, comprised of Britain and France, and a rival set called the Central Powers, composed of Germany and Austria-Hungary.
The Entente and the Central Powers both shared common aims, which were to dominate European and world affairs. They also fought for territory, resources, and ideas.
The First World War, sometimes referred to as the “war to end all wars,” began in August 1914. The conflict spread into the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, causing the death of more than nine million people in uniform and over twenty million civilians. Ultimately, the war ended in 1918.