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History 121D19

Europe experiences no continent wide wars between the

Napoleonic wars and WWI


No country had a police force so the military was responsible for

everything
The Crimean War was an example that most of the wars in the

period were exported


Leaders were worried that war would spark a rebellion
The growth of socialist parties and the increasing use of strikes

as a weapon of labor stoke these fears


War can be very difficult on the home populations
In 1871, Paris descends into Revolution after the Franco-Prussian

war
That government lasted for 3 months
From the time of German unification, great powers felt the

balance of power had shifted


There was mistrust among the great powers towards Germany
These were stoked by many little conflicts around the world
People are constantly worried about the degeneration of the poor
A huge percentage of the military recruits fighting in the Boer

Wars in South Africa were deemed unfit for service


Mass armies are emerging in this time
Armies are increasingly becoming professionalized
People are increasingly looking to the military as a career with

advancement
Particularly in the guards and cavalry, the units remain

aristocratic
There are growing feelings that the officer force shouldnt be

dominated by the aristocracy


There are increasing numbers of regimental officers who are of
humble origin

The most highly developed military society was found in Prussia

even before German unification


Militaries are aided by cartography, communications, telegraphs,

a mass press
The population can now follow the course of events of a war and

maintain interest
All of this can happen because of the creation of a reserve

system
And because of the industrial revolution, countries are much

more wealthy
The French Revolution started the idea of a mass civilian army
The French Revolution showed how a mass army of commoners

could defeat an aristocratic army


Prussia has the closest thing to a system of conscription in

Europe
The outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war showed the need for

Prussian conscription
A professional military was no match to one where all able-

bodied males were forced into military service


Many countries adopted mandatory military service
Nearly 10% of a countries service could be called up in times of

war
In 1914, Germany had about 5 million trained reserves in

addition to its regular army


With the rise of citizen armies, the concept of war begins to

change
The male members of the lower classes are winning the right to

vote
The population is starting to become more literate

It becomes increasingly necessary to justify why a nation was

going to war
You didnt have to do this before, you just asserted national pride

or made people obey you


Hostilities now have to be reinforced by ideals which were shared

amongst the entire fighting population


War, like so many other things in our class, was now

democratized
Writers declared that the new age of war had emerged; it was

now common people, not aristocrats, who threaten security


Much of the industrial innovation that has helped other areas of

society is now assisting the military as well


Along with greater and greater numbers, you also have

increasing ability to inflict damage on your opponents


The American Civil War is seen as the last traditional war and the

first modern war combined


The first of the ironclad naval ships, the first submarine torpedo
boats, mortars, railroads, aerial reconnaissance, and rifles that

can shoot multiple bullets without reloading


The bullets that go into the rifle are incredibly important as well
Roughly 90% of the casualties in the civil war come from

repeating rifles
European armies are starting to adopt these rifles as well
Steam was applied to warships in the 1820s and 1830s
Propeller wheels were used on ships to make them faster
Metal skins were also added onto the ships
Exploding shells were much more accurate and caused much

more damage
All of this means the cost of building and maintaining these
armaments is astronomical

The overall increase in military expenditure was enormous:

between 86 and 400% increases


There were many warning signs throughout the 19th century of a

larger conflict
The US Civil War showed the growing importance of industrial

might for military success


The Concert of Europe established after the Napoleonic Wars

dissolved when Germany invaded neutral Belgium


All alliances of the late 19th century were mobilized when

countries started going to war


Once war was a certainty, there is a tremendous amount of joy

that spread throughout the continent


Britain went wild with joy at the prospect of a war with Serbia
Wilhelm II felt they couldnt show weakness and reject any

notions of a settlement as they would have been seen as weak


Nationalism ran extremely deep at the outbreak of WWI
Educated men resorted to
Germans are called the Huns throughout the war
Hamburgers and Frankfurters take their names during this time
The majority of people are welcoming war
It was providing a welcome relief from bourgeois society
Among intellectuals, many welcomed war as an aesthetic

experience which would purify Europe of its degenerate elements


Whichever side you were on, God was on your side
Despite no big wars, the 19th century has a growing enthusiasm

for war
Vast battles with fanciful weapons, some of which had not been

invented, delighted readers in the 19th century


Oliver Wendell Holmes saw war as the remedy for the bourgeois
lack of courage

It was the clearest way of proving ones national superiority over

someone else
The triumph of extreme nationalism, or just nationalism,
provided the spark for WWI and accounts for the celebratory

spirit of the age


War seemed like liberation from an unbearable situation
It created a new kind of social order
WWI was the defining moment of the 20th century
It devastates the continent and has no clear resolution
Some historians view WWI and WWII as one conflict with a brief

intermission
WWI is the first