What was the effect of World War 1?

1 Answer
Sep 30, 2017

It had immense effect in ways that we are still experiencing


WW1 was probably the single biggest catalyst for change in modern history its effects were profound and still resonate with us today, some of its effects can be summarised as follows:

1) The destruction of the old political orders of monarchies
2) The exploration of alternative political orders of government
3) Reawakening of nationalism in central Europe
4) Emancipation of Women
5) The coming of age of the USA
6) Massive technological advances

1) The end of WW! saw the destruction of the German, Austrian and Russian empires, the peace treaty (re) created most of the central European countries we know today changing the political map drastically and creating tensions that would explode in 1939

2) The collapse of the established ruling elite across much of Europe created power vacuums into which many new political theories vied for supremacy - communism if Russia, in Germany a situation close to civil war existed as communist, battled with right wing factions and even anarchists with the Fascists taking control in Germany, Italy and Spain, the remnants of that upheaval can be directly seen as the origin of the Cold War and current east west tensions

3) The Treaty of Versailles created many states in Central Europe as the old empires were dismantled, this created tensions between the old and the new countries as the old felt aggrieved at the loss of land, the new felt threatened by the old

4) WW1 was the most significant cause of Women's emancipation across Europe, their mobilisation into the work force for war production created an unstoppable demand for more equality that became increasingly harder to resist

5) The Transformation of America - Pre war America was a minor nation with no great presence on the world stage, it participation in WW1 not only transformed America politically but was the kick start it needed for its massive industrialisation for the production of munitions and arms

6) Massive technology advances - Many technologies came of age due to the war (or were invented during it)

Aircraft, from the status of rich mans toys in 1914 with the British Empire entering the war with about 9 aircraft, in the 4 years of the was Britain built just under 68,000 and ended the war with an independent Air Force and 25.000 aircraft

Submarines - a minor weapon system pre war proved to have massive strategic impact in the war and cemented its place in all modern navies

The Tank - Didnt exist pre war became the most iconic and dominant weapon system of the 20th century and beyond

Radio - From a virtual curiosity to a working practical means of communication

Medial Science - The chances of survival of wounds in 1914 compared to 1918 changed dramatically due to innovations in medical science in the fields of speed of casualty treatment, antiseptics, theatre procedures etc etc
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