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World War 1: the Crisis That Shaped the 20th Century

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World War I
The Crisis That Shaped
The 20th Century
Stephanie Deprey
US History
Week 7

World War I was one of the biggest events that shaped the 20th century. Also known as the Great War raged from the summer of 1914 to November 1918. It was a very complicated time and occurred due to many different reasons and spanned over many different nations. There were also some very big effects on the world during and after the war that not only stunned America, but the whole global economy. This was only the start however of many huge conflicts to follow and still continue with world fighting to this day. One factor leading to World War I was fear. Everyone was afraid of everyone else in regards to power and what each would do with that power. Another interesting factor was cultural malaise leading to a feeling that there was something wrong with society and that war would be the way to purge society of its poisons. Perhaps, per this cultural malaise, war was inevitable. Decisions were made with great speed, without proper time for reflection. Perhaps some of the most fateful errors were caused by nothing more complex than lack of sleep. Although these are some interesting points and a good start to look at, there are still some more complex causes leading to war. By the beginning of the 20th century, nationalism had become the dominant emotional bond providing Europeans with a sense of community, tradition, a set of moral standards, and a motivation for political activity. With that brought three factors that show nationalism as a cause which include the rise of hatred among nations, an emphasis on militarism, and an attempt to find security through international alliances. Militarism itself was a cause of the war due to the pressure governments were under to act more precipitously than the heads of state thought advisable. Hence, diplomatic machinery found…...

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