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Impact of WWI on European Society - Essay Example

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The author of this essay "Impact of WWI on European Society" touches upon the consequences that world experienced after WWI. As the text has it, the world in general and Europe in particular witnessed huge political, social and cultural changes after the First World War…
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Impact of WWI on European Society
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"Impact of WWI on European Society"

Download file to see previous pages This paper briefly analyses the impacts of WW1 on European society. The total deaths of all nations who fought in the WW1 are thought to have been 8.5 million with 21 million being wounded. Alongside these statistics, was the fact that vast areas of north-eastern Europe had been reduced to rubble. Flanders in Belgium had been all but destroyed with the ancient city of Ypres being devastated. The homes of 750,000 French people were destroyed and the infrastructure of this region had also been severely damaged. Roads, coal mines, telegraph poles had all been destroyed and such a loss greatly hindered the area's ability to function normally (The Treaty of Versailles). Apart from the 116,000 American soldiers, all the other soldiers killed in the WW1 were from Europe. In other words, Europe suffered heavy casualties as a result of WW1. It should be noted that along with the loss of lives, Europe faced a lot of destruction of its properties. The return of war prisoners after WW1 caused many social problems in Europe. Millions of Europeans were in jails after WW1. They forced to spend longer periods in jails even after the end of WW1. Decades after the end of WW1, they got freedom and their return caused new social problems in Europe. “Emaciated and physically broken, they experienced psychological and material difficulties adjusting to normal life. Their spouses had often remarried. The state aid they received after the release was insufficient and they failed to get new employment” (Paxton, & Hessler, p.472) “The birth rate in Northern and Western Europe declined by one half after the WW1” (Paxton & Hessler, p.18). It should be noted that the birth rate reduced considerably after WW1 since European couples were either separated after the war or failed to engage in sexual activities because of the physical and psychological trauma caused by this war. Moreover, European women forced to come out from kitchens and work in the factories just like men after WW1. They started to lead a more independent life after WW1 (Paxton & Hessler, p.20). Such free life helped them to avoid pregnancy and forced sexual activities. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles was instrumental in ending WW1. It was signed on 28 June 1919. This treaty created a lot of controversies in Europe, especially in Germany. It puts the entire blame on Germany for causing WW1. It forced Germany to concede many of its lands and pay heavy compensation to certain countries. The "Big Three" (David Lloyd George of Britain, Clemenceau of France and Woodrow Wilson of America) were responsible for the preparation of the clauses of Treaty of Versailles. The Big Three were keen on humiliating German feelings as much as possible. In fact, they were concerned about the rise of communism in Europe and they tried to block the spreading of communism in Europe through this treaty. Some people believe that the controversial clauses in the Treaty of Versailles were the exact reason for the occurrence of WW2. Hitler, through his inspirational speeches, injected nationalism in the veins of Germans. He argued that German culture is superior to other cultures and hence Germans have the right to rule the world. He had pointed out that the allied powers caused shame to Germans while forcing them to accept the responsibilities of WW1. In short, the end of WW1 actually prepared a way for WW2.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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