Home > History > WWI, the great war and the League of Nantions.

WWI, the great war and the League of Nantions.

The first world war, also know as the “great war”, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. It involved all of the world’s great powers,which were assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (centred around the Triple Entente) and the Central Powers (originally centred around the Triple Alliance). More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history. More than 9 million combatants were killed, largely because of great technological advances in firepower without corresponding advances in mobility. It was the sixth deadliest conflict in Western history (source Wikipedia).

As Edmond Taylor said in The Fossil Monarchies: 

The First World War killed fewer victims than the Second World War, destroyed fewer buildings, and uprooted millions instead of tens of millions – but in many ways it left even deeper scars both on the mind and on the map of Europe. The old world never recovered from the shock.

When the roar of the guns finally shut down and people from all over the world finally realiced that the great war was over and the balance in Europe was restoresd once again the goverments realized that they had to do something to avoid the risk of fighting another war like that. So they met and decided to create the League Of Nations, .

The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended World War I, and it was the precursor to the United Nations. The League was the first permanent international security organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. At its greatest extent from 28 September 1934 to 23 February 1935, it had 58 members. The League’s primary goals, as stated in its Covenant, included preventing war through collective security,disarmament, and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration.[1]Other issues in this and related treaties included labour conditions, just treatment of native inhabitants, trafficking in persons and drugsarms tradeglobal healthprisoners of war, and protection of minorities in Europe.

The diplomatic philosophy behind the League represented a fundamental shift in thought from the preceding hundred years. The League lacked its own armed force and so depended on the Great Powers to enforce its resolutions, keep to economic sanctions which the League ordered, or provide an army, when needed, for the League to use. However, they were often reluctant to do so.

Even though they failed to fulfill their main goal as we all know as it meant the rise of the third reich and the holocaust.


Further readings

  • The Great War and modern memory. Paul Fussel. Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • Army art of World War I. Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, 1993.
Categories: History
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