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A leader among the Serbian Narodna Odbrana nationalist insurgent group, Jevtic (1914), stated that “as every one knows, the old Austrio-Hungarian Empire was built by conquest and intrigues, by sales and treacheries”. Since the Archduke Franz Ferdinand is an heir to the…
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Reflection Questions Why was Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated? A leader among the Serbian Narodna Odbrana nationalist insurgent group, Jevtic (1914), stated that “as every one knows, the old Austrio-Hungarian Empire was built by conquest and intrigues, by sales and treacheries”. Since the Archduke Franz Ferdinand is an heir to the Austrian royalty, it would further the Serbian nationalist cause if he would be assassinated during his visit at Sarajevo during the Austrian military exercises there.
2.) How did the new technologies set the Great War apart from previous conflicts?
The new technologies during the Great War introduced the beginnings of modern warfare as steel warships, aircrafts, machine guns, tanks, armored cars, and gas weapons were utilized by the armies at war. These weapons were devastating to soldiers as death tolls during the Great War’s massive battles resulted to horrific loss of life due to these new weapons. Civilian populations were mobilized to many industrial factories as these weapons were needed to be manufactured at both high rate and volume.
3.) How did Russia’s involvement in the Great War lead to the Russian Revolution?
While Russia’s initial involvement in the Great War was seen in a positive light, most Russian soldiers were conscripts who were not close to willing to join in. Coupled by the lack of effective logistics, poor leadership of Russia’s many officers, and the eventual staggering casualties and desertions; it would be no surprise that such news would increase the discontent in the already disillusioned Russian population to the point of revolt. As Trotsky (1930) observed, “the revolutionary elements, scattered at first, were drowned in the army almost without a trace, but with the growth of the general discontent they rose to the surface” (p.15).
4.) How did Russia’s withdrawal change the course of the Great War?
The withdrawal of Russia would lead to military and political changes in Europe afterwards. Howard (2002) posited that “by then the Russians might well be out of the war and the Germans able to concentrate all their forces on breaking the Western allies”, this would add military pressure to the Western Front which France and Great Britain were engaged in. Politically, Russia’s humiliating withdrawal would lead to the downfall of the Tsarist regime and pave way for the rise of the Communist Soviet Russia.
5.) Why did the provisional government of Russia insist on remaining in the Great War?
The Russian Provisional Government under the Kerensky administration insisted on remaining in the Great War in was to adhere to its obligations with Russia’s wartime allies to continue the fight against the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires. This did not make the soldiers feel any better since such an objective showed less concern for the country’s welfare and situation.
6.) What was the significance of Lenin and Trotsky?
Vladimir “Lenin” Ulyanov and Lev Bronshtein, more famously known as Leon Trotsky, were the main leading figures of the Russian Communist Revolution. It was because of them that the communist revolution in Russia overthrew the Tsarist rule once and for all and also precipitated the firm withdrawal of Russia from the Great War.
7.) How did the creation of the Soviet Union affect the West?
The creation of the Soviet Union meant the Russia no longer had any intention to participate in the Great War along with Great Britain and France. This meant that the German and Austro-Hungarian armies that were fighting against the Russians could shift combat operations to support forces already engaging the British and French armies. This would increase the challenge the British and French forces had to contend with already.
8.) What were the outcomes of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919?
The Paris Peace Conference brought the official and formal end to the Great War and established treaties that would prevent such conflict from happening again. Foremost, the Treaty of Versailles greatly demilitarized Germany, and the Treaty of Saint-Germain resulted to the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and according to Heywood, “resulted in the redrawing of the map of central and eastern Europe in line with the principle of national self-determination” (p.59). Ironically, it was due to the humiliating and harsh measures of the Treaty of Versailles that led Germany to start the Second World War out of bitter resentment.
References
Heywood, Andrew. (2011). Global politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Howard, Michael. (2002). The first world war: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
(Borijove Jevtic. Personal account, June 28, 1914).
Trotsky, Leon. (1930). The history of the Russian revolution. (C. Russell, Trans., Vol. 1). Read More
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