The great war was a global conflict that affected the U.S, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Ottoman empire, Asia, and parts of the Russian empire between 1914 and 1918. The first World War (WWI) affected the globe’s political, social, and economic settings based on the adverse effects generated by the engagement of superpower countries in the conflict. Reviewing the death of over nine million civilians and soldiers during the great war exposes readers to the knowledge of the long and short-term causes of WWI and the entry of the U.S into the conflict.
Long-Term Sources of Great War
The outbreak of the First World War was impacted by long-term forces of imperialism, nationalism, and militarism. European imperialism played a crucial role in the spread of WWI, for example, the scramble for Africa increased rivalry between European nations who struggled for larger territories and control over the continent (Corbett et al. 671). Secondly, nationalism caused unrest in Europe based on the differences in beliefs, values, language, and customs shared by the rivals. The need for sovereignty and control over small groups within multiple nations, for instance, foresaw the isolation of the Balkans as rivals within the Austro-Hungarian empire, and the enmity translated into the Great War (Corbett et al. 674). Finally, militarism resulted in the long-term sources of WWI because many developed states across Europe fought to strengthen and expand their military forces in readiness for global emergency conflicts.
Short-term Causes of the Great War
The relatively short timing events before the eventuality of the great war escalated the enmity among numerous European countries. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was a major short-term cause of the great war; a Bosnian Serb nationalist student shot the archduke of Austria alongside his wife Sophie on June 28, 1914 (Corbett et al. 673). Besides, WWI intensified in 1914 with the entry of other allied groups in the war against Serbia and Austria-Hungary (Corbett et al. 672). The formation of European allied groups might have also contributed to the short-term effects of the great war globally following the entry of Great Britain and France into the war.
Entry of the U.S in WWI
The majority of the war fought during WWI took place in Europe; as a result, the U.S did not participate in the war for a long time until it was forced into global warfare. For example, Germany’s choice to invade Belgium propagated the U.S government to join the great war. Belgian soldiers refused to allow the German troops into the French-German border on August 4, 1914; however, the continuous submarine attacks on American merchant ships and passengers led President Woodrow Wilson to announce America’s entry into WWI (Corbett et al. 673). In addition, the publication of the Zimmerman telegram and allies’ propaganda on the brutal killings of Germany facilitated U.S entry into the Great War. The propaganda on the Zimmerman telegram requested Mexico to attack America to stop them from participating in the European war.
WWI was initiated by imperialism, nationalism, and militarism as the primary long-term sources of the global conflict. Similarly, the killing of Archduke Franz and the formation of allies included the short and immediate forces behind the development of WWI. The analysis of the implications of the great war exposes the effects of the Zimmerman telegram, invasion of Belgium, and media propaganda on Germany killings as the leading forces behind America’s entry into the Great War.
Corbett, P. Scott, et al. U. S. History. OpenStax, 2014.