The Outbreak of the Great War

A 1914 British recruitment poster

Below please find a set of web questions of the Great War written by your classmate, Jonathan St. Jean. Please answer at least one of these questions with response of a paragraph or more.

  • Why was the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand so important?
  • What role did nationalism play in the outbreak of the war?
  • What impact did new technologies have on the conduct of warfare?
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18 Comments

  1. moshberm

     /  November 25, 2012

    The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand sparked a series of events which ultimately led to the First World War, also known as the Great War, until the second World War. Once the Archduke was killed, the Austrians used it as an excuse to drag Serbia into a war, using politically grounded tactics. This war escalated until all the world powers were involved.

    At the outbreak of the war, nationalism was a primary motivation in the fighting.

    New technologies, tanks specifically, heavily impacted the outcome of the war. (During World War II, Poland would be famous for responding to German Panzers with soldiers mounted on horseback.) Heavy artillery meant more deaths and more chaotic fighting.

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  2. Elizabeth Adler

     /  November 25, 2012

    The assassination of the Archduke may not have been the only factor of World War 1 but played a major role by creating a domino affect. When there were investigations about the assassination of the Archduke and Austria refused to assist in the investigation (in the midst of failing relationships with Serbia) Germany sent a warning that they would declare war if necessary. As certain countries grew to defend other countries allies were made and the war started.

    Technologies played a major role since this was one of the first wars that used semi automatic rifles and machine guns. This war used trench warfare, poison, and air raids to create a sense of fear at home.

    However, the biggest factor in both world wars was nationalism. Before this nationalism had not played as big as a role. More people died in both world war’s than any other war combined. Germany used the term “fatherland” in order to recruit soldiers and create a sense of pride. At this point propaganda was used in order to have people at home support the war and work for the war. People wanted to fight for their country and their home which created for a very violent war.

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  3. Mukteshwar Abeeluck

     /  November 27, 2012

    The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was very important because it was the event that triggered a war between many nations and their “allies”. And by “allies” it was countries that opted to take advantage of an opportunity against rivalries. Bosnia seeked help from Germany and also received help from the Austrian-Hungarian. Serbia seeked help from Russia, which had the backing of France, who had the backing of the United Kingdom. The U.K wanted a balance of powers and felt that Germany is power hungry. France and Germany have a long history of rivalry.

    Nationalism was very vital to the outbreak of the war because all the countries were trying to prove their strengths against the others. All the nations at some point have a history of a great ruler or militaristic quality that lead their nation to success. Seeing other nations thriving for that respect.

    New technologies had a significant impact on the conduct of warfare. There was no more use of sticks and arrows so to say. The introduction of automatic weapons as well as various poisonous gasses allowed for increased number of deaths. To make it worse, introduction of tanks and aircrafts instilled an immense amount of fear into civilians. Aircrafts are very unpredictable, although some did recon, some dropped bombs as well.

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  4. Even though the assassination of the Archduke in my opinion was not the primary reason for the outbreak of the war, it certainly led to a series of events which ultimately led to the Great War. It was the period when the business between the two countries became the whole world’s discussion. Countries were allied together and attacking one involved another one in the war as well.

    Nationalism played a huge role during the war. The extreme love and dedication towards one’s country was a result of the French Revolution and reached its peak during the Great War. If before people with different religion, culture and traditions lived together, they strived for independence during the war. The big empires such as Ottoman empire, Russian empire and Austro-Hungary were not working anymore. Nationalism was also used greatly as propaganda to get people to fight for their country, especially by Germans.

    The new technology had a very devastating impact during and after the war. The results were more chaotic and brutal than people would have ever expected them to be. Millions died and even more were terribly injured. The machine guns, tanks and other deadly things used during the war wiped out the most of men generation in many countries.

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  5. Davin M. Alexander

     /  November 29, 2012

    The assassination of Archduke is widely believed as the start of the WWI. However that was only a small portion of the reason. All the events that had taken place during this era really drove this world down the road to chaos. Secret alliances, treaties in one sided benefits and nationalism also played a role.

    Nationalism was a key part in this unraveling of the world. Austria ruled over many nationalities that wanted to be free and their own country. Serbia especially because they had finally broken free of the Ottoman Turks for so long.

    Technological advances made this war more deadly than any other before it because their was so many things that can kill a solider now. Airplanes paved the way for air raids, mostly unsuccessful though. Tanks, machine guns automatic rifles etc.

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  6. Shirley Exilus

     /  November 29, 2012

    The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was important because it triggered the start of World War I. Like with any other war, there are always more than one reason for that war. Like so, his death was prominent because he himself was a man of importance. He was heir to the throne of Austro-Hungarian and then he is killed by a serbian. So I guess they took that as an act of war, in which Bosnia was ready for battle. Nationalism played a crucial role in the war because it help form alliances. For instance Russia supported Serbian which supported Slav nationalism. As for technology, the use of barbed wires, machine guns poisonous gas etc. just made the war more deadly and even more unpredictable because each side was constantly finding new ways to do damage.

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  7. dong guan

     /  December 6, 2012

    Historians have said that the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand was the trigger of the first global war. When Serbia refused to let Austrians investigate the death of the Archduke, Austrian declared war on Serbia. Russian came in to defend Serbia, as Germany backed up Austrians. The Triple Alliance (Central Power) was formed among Germany, Austro-Hungarians, and Italians. The Triple Entente (Allies) was formed among Russia, France, and United Kingdom. If any one of these countries was attacked or entered war, the rest of the alliance had to come in.
    Nationalism was an extreme loyalty and devotion for one’s nation. Nationalism was also the major cause of World War I. People were obsessed with nationalism, because they wanted to show their pride and superiority of their country. The first global war had introduced many new military technologies such as barbed wire, machine gun and poison gas. Barbed wire and machine gun was first introduced during the Spanish American War and the American Civil War, but were not fully extensive until World War I. The British also had their dreadnoughts, tanks and aircraft while the Germany had their U-boat, and zeppelin. Soldiers weren’t able to march on the battle field like they did during the American Revolutionary War because the new weapons were extremely powerful. They had to hide in trenches. War World I was one of the deadliest wars in history and caused millions of live.

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  8. Aroosa Altaf

     /  December 11, 2012

    The assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand because it became the reason to start the war. Other Europeans began to take sides and this started a global war. Nationalism was played a huge role in the outbreak of the war because it also opened doors to the idea behind self-determination known to be “the idea that peoples within the same ethnic origins, language, political ideals had the right to form sovereign states” (Traditions, pp.765). The impact of new technologies on the conduct of war was that it made the war even more ‘crazier’ and deadly. Such as machine guns and mustard gas, tanks and airplanes which developed during the war.

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  9. Julia Zhu

     /  December 14, 2012

    Archduke Francis Ferdinand had just taken over the Austro-Hungarian Empire was assassinated in Sarajevo by Serbians. It created even more tension between Austrians and Serbians and European countries decided to take sides which led to a European war. This event definitely makes a mark in history because it was the last spark that broke out before war started. However the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand itself was not enough to start the First World War. The main reason which led to the war was nationalism. They were pretty much fighting to see who the stronger country was in Europe and among the world. National leaders were secretly allied with other powers which broke Europe into two groups: the alliances and central powers.
    World War I was different from any other wars because it was more of a modern war. Countries were industrializing and technologies have been advancing drastically which made the war a lot more lethal. The invention of battleships, machine guns, poison gas, tanks, and airplanes have caused more casualties than any other war. These new technologies created more ways to “kill”.

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  10. Max Barlow

     /  December 14, 2012

    #3
    New technological advancements at this time, made warfare change because there were much more effective weapons being made. These new advancements such as tanks, machine guns and lethal gasses created casualties at a faster rate. Also, trench warfare was implemented to keep soldiers safe, while not in combat due to the ability to kill enemies from far distances. These technologies were based off European ideas such as the submarine, machine guns, hand grenades and long range artillery. World War I proved where these new ideas were first employed, and this resulted in a new military style for many countries.

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  11. Yordanka Kremenarova

     /  December 15, 2012

    The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was important because it was one of the main reasons that led to World War I . Austrians used the serbian refusal for his assassination as a motive to start a war with them. After Serbians asked other countries for help, the involvement in the war affected the whole world.

    Nationalism played an important role in the outbreak of the war. it was another reason why so many countries got involved in the war. They all had self-pride, and support for people of their kind, meaning : language, religion, traditions, etc.

    New technologies had bad impact on the conduct of warfare. There were very advanced weapons which caused the death of many people. There was much more damage in the countries, then it use to be before having all the technologies.

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  12. Jonathan Qin

     /  December 16, 2012

    #3.With the advancement of new technology allows more destructive weapons to effect warfare. With each advancement, stronger and more violent weapons are being created. From the past, soldiers would only carry a weapon and have little to no protection. In later advances, weapons such as tanks, battleships, submarines, and other weapons can inflict massive damage towards a person’s enemy and also protect the one’s who operates it. Instead of tens and hundreds of people dying, we have thousands of people dying each and every battle and war.

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  13. Maria Sultana

     /  December 17, 2012

    The impact that technology had on the conduct of warfare was making the military stronger. The upgraded guns and weapons made the army much more powerful and more quicker. They seemed to be more confident and had more strategic plans that went smoothly with their weapons. It basically made them a very powerful force. Tanks and machine guns made a huge difference to how they attacked their enemies.

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  14. Dimitri Antonopoulos

     /  December 18, 2012

    The new technology was not yet perfect, but it stil help give countries an upper-hand during the war. Aerial attacks werent as accurate as they are now, but did serve them better for recon work. These advancements in technology also helped countries come up with effective strategies than in the past. Eventhough these new weapons also saved lives, it also killed many. It made war more deadly than what it was. You can probably say now that the countries with the most money can invest in new technology making them far much superior than others.

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  15. mohamed Sleem

     /  December 18, 2012

    The assassination of Franz Ferdinand essentially led to long held tension between allies, and axis to throw in their sword with their faction. We see propaganda sort of create a military complex in many of these countries, where they use it to instigate the war further, pleading the youth to avenge their beloved arch duke, escalating the conflict. In this war we see a new type of warfare. The biggest impact would be the machine gun was essentially created no man land between trenches. We also see enhanced artillery, and the introduction to chemical warfare, which uses deadly mustard gas, and white phosphorous gas to blind and burn enemies. Finally we see psychological warfare, were the Germans might play loud music and use artillery fire to create a sort of nervous panic in allied troops.

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  16. dina bychkova

     /  December 18, 2012

    The assassination of Franz Ferdinand triggered the World War. It gave the Austrians an excuse to attack serbia. He was next in line to take the throne in Austria-Hungary but was assassination. Austria allied with Germany and Serbia allied with Great Britain, Russia and france. This lead to the tension between the Allies and Axis.

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  17. Tamar Walkenfeld

     /  December 19, 2012

    The assassination of Francis Ferdinand of Austria by a neighboring Serb brought about great rivalry between the two nations. Because of national alliances, other nations were brought in to take sides and the conflict ultimately heightened into a war consisting of many nations. The real cause of World War I was nationalism. Nationalism is what triggered Princip to act in the first place. Europeans were influenced by the spread of Nationalism after the French Revolution and Napoleanic conquests. Many subject minorities in large empires had nationalistic ideals that led them to revolt in the hopes of becoming their own independent nation state. Serbia was one of the territories that gained independence from the Ottoman Empire. The Serbs of Austria Hungary who were influenced by Pan-Slavism wanted to join with the independent Serbian state, which caused a point of tension between the Serbs and Austria-Hungary. With Russia backing the Serbs and Germany backing Austria Hungary, an internal conflict was arising. The national rivalries that followed were all part of the cause of the war.

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  18. Alana Horowitz

     /  December 19, 2012

    World War One was marked as the first total war. This was in part because of the new technologies that were available to both armies. Machine guns, first used in colonial wars in 1880’s and 1890’s, was the maxim gun. WWI was the first time both sides used them. Poison gasses, a nasty and terrible weapon, was another technological invention used for the first time during WWI. Chlorine gas was first used by Germans as canisters that they would throw into trenches. By the January 1915 the British also used it, but it soon became ineffective due to gas masks. Phosgene, another type of poisonous gas, caused 85% of the 100,000 chemical warfare deaths during the war. A third gas, Mustard gas, was the least deadly and was used just to incapacitate people. Tanks and aircrafts were also used during the war. Aircrafts dropped some bombs, and the German’s Zeppelins dropped bombs during night raids on England. The Germans also developed submarines and used them extensively during the war. Some effects of this increasing technologies, were the unprecedented casualties of war. WWI was the first industrial warfare. Besides for the enormous amount of deaths, civilians became part of the war. The Home Front was busy creating the weapons, and were also effected by the plane bombings. The German’s use of “U-boats” also triggered the US’s involvement into the war.

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