The War to End All Wars, 100 Years Ago


Kyle Beck, Website Editor

From June of 1914 to November of 1918, one of the most devastating periods of warfare in our history ravaged the globe. During this time, the world would undergo change that would permanently shape the future borders and conflicts of today. At the start of the war, many countries were still accustomed to the old ways of warfare and many were beginning to modernize their militaries. From using cavalry and bludgeons from centuries past in medieval Europe, to the first use of modern chemical warfare, the Great War was the war that bridged the methods of killing one another. It was also the war that ended the long period of autocracies throughout Europe. The collapse of empires, such as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire, German Empire, Russian Empire, were felt around the world. It awakened a time of reconstruction for many people and their countries. But it also led to the birth of nations. Especially in the Middle East. Much of the modern conflict between states we see today in that region can be traced back to the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire in 1916. Even the Cold War, one of the major events of the 20th century, can stem from the communist revolution of 1917 in tsarist Russia. World War I also brought in the new age of diplomacy and foreign relations for the United States. Most notably, the creation of the League of Nations, the predecessor to the United Nations created after the second world war. Ultimately, one can only speculate what the future of the world would have been with a victory of the Central Powers. We can all agree, the the globe’s borders and political activity would be much different than it is now.