World War 1 has been called a lot of things. It has been called unnecessary, stupid, revolutionary and many other things. But, it is an undisputed fact that the world wasn’t the same as it was after the war ended. Wars are never positive things, the massive loss of life and the constant violence is not something one looks out for in their life. There are however certain positive changes that come out of war. World War 1 also has it positives and negatives which we shall now take a close look at.
Positive effects of World War 1:
- League of nations:
The league of nations was an intergovernmental organization that was founded on 10th of January 1920. This was after world war 1 ended and this organization aimed to maintain world peace. Its primary goals were preventing wars, collective security and disarmament and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. It wasn’t very successful at its mission as it couldn’t prevent the second world war from taking place. It was also very crippled in its mission with countries like the USA not joining the organization. It is however still a positive effect of the war as it symbolizes some of the firsts efforts to bring about world peace. It created ideals for international peace and was a forerunner of the united nations. All of which are good things.
- Breaking colonialism:
The World Wars 1 and 2 combined bankrupted the Britain and French empires and also tore apart the German, Russian, Ottoman, and Austrian empires. This led to over a hundred countries becoming free of the bonds of their colonial masters. Colonies in Africa and Asia could not be managed as successfully as they were managed before the war. There were uprisings in many of the colonies and post war most of these empires were left licking the wounds of battle and could not keep the colonies in control,which in turn made the colonial masters to abandon their colonies and give independence to a lot of colonies that they held.
- Greater acceptance of women and worker rights:
Women had a hard time being accepted as equals before the war. But, the war gave them an opportunity to take part in jobs that were reserved for men. In the year 1919 all women were given the right to vote in America and this changed the landscape on how the world viewed women. The power to vote for women soon after spread to countries like Britain, Ireland and Germany. This was also the period when women got equal rights and were also given the incomes that they demanded.
Laborers also got more rights. There were laws passed to keep rent rates in check. The distribution of wealth also shifted towards the poor. Laborers could demand more because if they ceased to work, the wars could not be won.
- Scientific and Technological advancements:
The war led to the exponential growth of science and technology. There were great leaps in areas of communication, transport and industry during this period. Airplane technology progressed more during world war 1 than during the next 20 years. Everything from mounting guns onto planes, making them fly longer, other smaller technologies like seat belts, parachutes and not to forget, the system of taking off and landing in traffic patterns were all made during this period. Technologies such as tanks, trucks, telephones, motor cars etc. All saw an exponential growth in this period. All fields of science such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology also saw huge breakthroughs.
Negative effects of World War 1:
- World War 2:
A major factor that caused world war 2 was the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty was made at the end of world war 1 and left Germany in a crippled position, which inevitably led to the rise of Hitler and world war 2. We all know how World War 2 was. It was a complete disaster with Nazism, communism, fascism all rising during this period.
- A Messed Up Middle East:
The fall of the ottoman empire which had control over the middle east for a long time, caused instability in the region. The British tried to move in and throw in their western influences but this did not work well and later this led to the region facing a lot of troubles which led to jihadist movements. Some disputes remain unsolved to this day as a result of this.
- Did not bring peace to Europe as it aimed to do:
There was no considerable peace in Europe after the war. Germany went into an economic depression and the Russian civil war broke out. Numerous smaller wars were being fought across Europe after the end of world war 1.
- Unprecedented loss of Life:
The war led to death of 17 Million people and the injury of over 20 million people and this was death at a scale the world had not heard or seen of before. To make this worse a lot of diseases broke out as a result of the war. At the end of all this over 30 million were dead. Beyond the death what remained was not great either, A lot of soldiers who were wounded during the war needed attention as a result of their injuries and some had to be taken care for their entire life times. The deaths and injuries left many families crippled and unable to fend for themselves.
- More destructive wars:
The creation of industrial warfare through means such as the use of trenches, Tanks, more powerful guns, Chemical weapons and so on were all created during this period. This made wars more destructive and more harmful to both soldiers and civilians. There were more unnecessary deaths being caused than ever before.
So, to sum things up, World War 1 did have its positive effects. But, it is also wise to remember that it was the worst ever war that mankind has taken part in. It led to the creation of a great number of problems around the entire globe, some of which have not been resolved to this day.