The Great War
It began as a local European conflict. It expanded into a general European struggle. It ended as a global war involving 32 countries. It cost 8.5 million lives and nearly 200 billion dollars. It is called "The Great War." It was World War I.
More than 100,000 Americans lost their lives during World War I. Another 234,000 were wounded. Why did it start? How did we get into it? What was it all about? These are some of the questions which will be covered in the following report on the Great War. Many thousands of books have been written about the First World War and today thousands of resources are available on the Internet. The war took place between 1914 and 1918, but although it happened such a long time ago, reading about it now one can still get the feeling of how horrible it was.
Before getting into the war itself, it is a good idea to look at some of the conditions that existed throughout Europe that led to the war breaking out. Most experts give three main reasons why WWI began. The three main causes most historians say are the spirit of intense nationalism throughout Europe; the political and economic rivalry among the European nations; and the establishment in Europe of large armaments and of two hostile military alliances.
Nationalism - People felt that if they had the same ethnic origin and language, they should have their own independent nationality. The Congress of Vienna had left Germans scattered out all over Europe. Italy also was spread out and under foreign control. Belgium was part of the Netherlands, but didn't want to be. The lack of independence caused tension and resulted in minor wars breaking out among nationalities. By 1871 the Belgians, Italians,