Which two of her main points strike you as the most significant? Explain each of the two she emphasized and why you think each is especially important for 20th century history.

https://www.vox.com/a/world-war-i-maps

Background on the Topic of World War I.
The centenary or 100-year anniversary of the Great War (as it was called at the time, 1914-1918) generated enormous interest in all the world nations that participated. And that was many! While most of the fighting occurred in Europe, the prevalance of European empires around the world meant that all continents were drawn in to the fight. Today, World War II memories often overshadow historical knowledge of the First World War. However, in many ways, World War I was more significant to 20th century world history than the better remembered Second World War.

What was World War I all about?
These maps (linked here) offer a nice summary of the nations, the nationalist ambitions, and the interlocking international alliances that stimulated this conflict. Looking back, it appears absolutely foolhardy to imagine that all the great world powers committed themselves to war with few necessary reasons. Most felt their honor was at stake and many people believed that war was character-building for young men.

The war took the lives of some 9,000,000 people in battle, and many millions in related wartime dangers. The aftermath, including the Spanish flu, more than doubled that number. The first world war also created the century’s first genocide in Armenia (although many would offer that distinction to the Herero massacre/genocide in German SW Africa in 1904-1907).

Early maps focus on the causes of war and highlight many of the key battles (maps 1-24). Youmay skim details in the first half. The later maps (25-40) focus on the summary takeaways about the war and its impact.

Some important aspects of World War I to consider.
1. It was a ‘total war’ that required the full mobilization of all citizens and most of the economies of the belligerent nations. All adults, soldiers and civilians, made sacrifices; and all expected some rewards afterward.
2. It was a technological war that brought new ‘weapons of mass destruction’ into the 20th century world: rapid fire artillery, chemical warfare, mechanized transport, and some aerial warfare. Definitions of war and what was accceptable began to change.
3. Old nations and old empires died; new ones with new values were born. People’s citizenship changed overnight.

Assignment
Before beginning this assignment, (1) read my intro to the First World War and (2) read the article by Margaret Macmillan in the Wall Street Journal. You will need to evaluate those sources in order to offer a good, critical analysis.

Your topic: Historian Margaret Macmillan selects many examples of the important consequences of World War I.

Which two of her main points strike you as the most significant?

Explain each of the two she emphasized and why you think each is especially important for 20th century history.

Which two of her main points strike you as the most significant? Explain each of the two she emphasized and why you think each is especially important for 20th century history.

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