At the start of the war, Europe welcomed the conflict, though few could have imagined the long term effects. Most people believed that their country would come out on top within months. In addition, the war was welcomed both patriotically and idealistically as a means of protecting its territory and upholding right against might, the sanctity of treaties, and international morality. Ultimately, it lasted for more than five years, and its implications have far-reaching consequences.
The Triple Entente, the three major European powers (Great Britain, France, and Russia), had formed an alliance to protect themselves from a resurgent Russian Empire. The alliances were designed to protect themselves against the looming Russian bear. After all, these countries had shared colonial empires and had made significant investments in those colonies. Aside from this, the Triple Entente had allied with Austria-Hungary and Serbia in the early years of the war.
A full-scale world war would threaten the sea routes of other countries, which is why Great Britain joined the fray. It also feared for its colonies, including Australia and the Middle East. Although the United States joined World War I in 1917, the war’s effects were felt throughout the world. The Western Front, in Europe, was a deadly stalemate for much of the war. Battles on the First Battle of Somme and First Battle of Verdun, in particular, were notoriously bloody.
While the United States helped facilitate the Hundred Days Offensive, Germany ultimately was defeated militarily. World War I officially ended on November 11, 1918 at 11:11 a.m. In the meantime, influenza and other diseases were spreading throughout the world, and revolution broke out in Germany and Russia. Meanwhile, much of Europe lay in ruins. In addition, thousands of people died of shell shock, and gas poisoning. There were many other wars, but World War II was the most deadly.