World War I

World War One started in 1914 after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. It is also known as the Great War.

Factors responsible 

  • The primary cause of World War 1 was the death of Archduke Franz of Austria. Due to this murder, Austria-Hungary declared battle on Serbia. Russia entered this fight due to its coalition with Serbia, Germany, declared war on Russia due its alliance with Austria-Hungary. Due to these alliances, the war expanded into common defense federations.
  • Since World War One, Africa and Asia have been the conflicts between the European countries. Because of the raw material present in these countries. This increasing fascination with greater monarchies pushed the world into World War I. These economic interests were also the reasons for the United States to enter World War One.
  • Nationalism played a vital role at the beginning of World War One. Two events of Serbian nationalism were instantly associated with the opening of World War One. Slavic Serbians wanted freedom from Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Empire. To create a united Serbian nation, they made an effort to attain control of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Serbian nationalism increased with the downfall of the Ottoman Empire. The Killing of the Archduke of Austria by a Bosnian was another cause that induced World War One.

Consequences of World War I


  • World War I cost the participating countries a lot of money. Countries had to raise taxes and borrow money from their citizens. They also printed money in order to buy weapons and other things they needed for war. This led to inflation after the war.


  • World War I brought an end to four monarchies: Czar Nicholas II of Russia, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, Emperor Charles of Austria and the sultan of the Ottoman Empire had to step down. New countries were created out of old empires. Austria- Hungary was carved up into a number of independent states.


  • World war changed society completely. Birth rates declined because millions of young men died (eight million died, millions wounded, maimed, widows and orphans). Civilians lost their land and fled to other countries.
  • The role of women also changed. They played a major part in replacing men in factories and offices. Many countries gave women more rights after the war had ended, including the right to vote.
  • The upper classes lost their leading role in society. Young middle and lower class men and women demanded a say in forming their country after the war.

Treaty of Versailles

  • On June 28, 1919, World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles was an attempt to prevent the world from going into another war.

Other Consequences

  • The U.S., which had won the war but had not experienced the conflict on its territory, became a first world power.
  • The triumph of the Soviet Revolution (Russian Revolution) and the social crisis that followed the war encouraged workers in many countries to protest, creating a pre-revolutionary climate.
  • The extreme nationalism experienced during the war, coupled with fear of a Communist revolution, encouraged the middle-class populations of some countries to move to the extreme right. This created a hotbed of fascist movements.
  • Creation of the League of Nations: The League of Nations was an international diplomatic group developed after World War I as a way to solve disputes between countries before they erupted into open warfare. A precursor to the United Nations, the League achieved some victories but had a mixed record of success.

World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural, economic, and social climate of the world. The war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous revolutions and uprisings.

Practice Question-

Discussing the factors responsible for outbreak of World War I, briefly analyze its consequences.

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