World War I

About World War I

The First World War was a global conflict between the major powers of Europe. The war was fought from 1914 to 1918 and was the first war in history to be fought on a global scale.

It was caused by a number of factors, including the rise of nationalism and the development of new technologies that made war preparations more difficult. Nations had spent a lot of money and energy building huge militaries, and now they wanted bigger and more powerful weapons.

There was a lot of tension between countries, especially those who were rivals. They argued over issues such as national sovereignty, racial antagonism and economic interests.

Some historians believe that Germany and Austria-Hungary were responsible for starting the war while others say that the war was caused by a wide range of other factors. The deepest division is between those who see Germany and Austria-Hungary as driving events and those who believe that other powers (such as France, Russia, Britain and Serbia) played a larger role than has been traditionally suggested.

The European power-plays prompted President Woodrow Wilson to request that Congress declare war on Germany in April 1917. He cited Germany’s violation of its pledge to suspend unrestricted submarine warfare in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean, which had caused many American lives to be lost.

As a result of the war, Austria-Hungary was split up into several successor states. The Russian Empire lost much of its western frontier as newly independent nations such as Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania were carved from it. The Ottoman Empire was also defeated. The Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers that would eventually compete for supremacy.