Presentation on theme: "Introduction World War I is infamous for the use of trench along the Western Front, within a system of opposing manned trenches and fortifications (separated."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction World War I is infamous for the use of trench along the Western Front, within a system of opposing manned trenches and fortifications (separated by a "No man's land") running from the North Sea to the border of Switzerland. Hostilities were also prosecuted, however, by more dynamic invasion and battle, by fighting at sea and - for the first time - in and out from the air. More than 9 million soldiers died on the various battlefields, and nearly that many more in the participating countries' home fronts on account of food shortages and genocide committed under the cover of various civil wars and internal conflicts.
But historians and political scientists have argued for nearly a century without reaching a consensus on what were the most important causes. But there is not consensus on how the war could have been prevented. Some, though not all, of the more prominent explanations are outlined below: Arms race as cause: A cause of the war was the escalating arms race. The major participants in the race were Britain and Germany due to new imperialism. Overall, nations in the Triple Entente became fearful of the Triple Alliance and vice versa. Nationalism as cause: The civilian leaders of the European powers found themselves facing a wave of nationalist zeal that had been building across Europe for years. This left governments with even fewer options and little room to maneuver as the last weeks of July 1914 slipped away. Frantic diplomatic efforts to mediate the Austrian-Serbian quarrel simply became irrelevant, as public opinion in key countries demanded war to uphold national honor.
Militarism as cause: The military high command, reporting directly to the king, and not elected civilian governments, controlled Germany, Austria, Russia, and Turkey. Their goal was military power and glory, the theory says, regardless of the needs and wishes of the people. The implication was that true peace required the abdication of those rulers, the end of the aristocratic system, and the end of militarism. Economic imperialism as cause: In that period of time there was a strong conflict in the economical system. The causes of a so strong kind of conflict was the strategic importance of the colonies for the economy.
War poets The term war poet came into currency during and after World War I. A number of poets writing in English had been soldiers, and had written about that experience. Quite a number had died, most famously Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, and Charles Sorley. Others such as Siegfried Sassoon had survived, but made a reputation based on scathing poetry written from the disabused point of view of the trench soldier who had lost faith in his military superiors. The long and hard period of the first world war deprived modern literature of a lot of young artist. Here there are some different “stories” of the life of three of the well known poet of that period, useful to demonstrate how much the modern world, and literature, have lost with that war.
The large number of soldier sent to the trench comprehend young people from all the social classes. Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918), (1890-1918), for instance, was the least privileged of the British poets we are reading; he was born into a working-class Jewish family. Although his working-class origins and economic circumstances prevented him from attending Oxford or Cambridge, he was a talented artist and enrolled in evening classes in the Art School of Birkbeck College, London University. He hoped to make his living as a portrait artist and had moved to South Africa to pursue his career when the war broke out. He returned to England in 1915, enlisted in 1916 and was killed at the front on April 3, 1918. Both T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound knew Rosenberg's poetry and admired it. Some critics suggest that, had he survived the war, he might have been an outstanding poet, equalling both Pound and Eliot in reputation. The century was deprived of one of its most promising poets when he died in the Great War.
An example of patriotism was Wilfred Edward Salter Owen Owen who was born on March 18, 1893. He was on the Continent teaching until he visited a hospital for the wounded and then decided, in September, 1915, to return to England and enlist. "I came out in order to help these boys-- directly by leading them as well as an officer can; indirectly, by watching their sufferings that I may speak of them as well as a pleader can. I have done the first" first" (October, 1918). Owen was Injured in March 1917 and sent home; he was fit for duty in August, 1918, and returned to the front. November 4, just seven days before the Armistice, he was caught in a German machine gun attack and killed. He was twenty-five when he died.
Military Casualties in World War I (1914-1918) Belgium 45,550 British Empire 942,135 France 1,368,000 Greece 23,098 Italy 680,000 Japan 1,344 Montenegro 3,000 Portugal 8,145 Romania 300,000 Russia 1,700,000 Serbia 45,000 United States 116,516 Austria-Hungary 1,200,000 Bulgaria 87,495 Germany 1,935,000