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War solves problems, but the wastefulness of war can only be felt by the peoples families, friends, and of course, the person in the trenches. Hundreds, and sometimes thousands, dying at the hands of other war soldiers whose only purpose is to kill. Bloodshed all over the world because of greed and the human lust for power and fame. The World Wars were fought over cruelty and punishment toward Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Throughout the years there have been many wars fought over many different disputes or different reasons. This report will touch upon some of the many effects that the World Wars led to. The human loss from the war was mainly from the USSR. At the time, Germany was the strongest power in Europe yet she remained burdened with political misery. While it was beginning the process of destroying Europe, the war also began to fulfill prophecy. In the nineteenth century, a Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, foresaw a future in which the world would be divided between the United States and Russia.
Both would expand east and west until the buffers between them were absorbed or subordinated. Europe was impoverished and exhausted, Asia was already in chaos after the collapse of China. Those in ideas and attitudes probably exceeded changes in political states. In an area of mass attacks, mass slaughter, and mass production, the common man at last came into his own. European countries channeled their goods into war that caused social changes across the country. European society was unified as a result of working together for a common goal.
Lack of luxurious items during the war made uniform clothing more common. Europeans never wore fancy, lavish costumes again. Uniforms were the first and most dramatic changed for apparel. Women became a bigger part of society. Because men were at war, they took most of the jobs, which men previously held. In England, the proportion of woman workers rose strikingly in public transportation, banking, and commerce.
After the war, many women could get a job, get an apartment to live in, could go out without a guardian, and were able to smoke in public. Eventually, women won the right to vote in certain countries. Strong forces shaped the power and legal status of labor union. Employers fought to keep union organizations form interfering with their power and manufacturing plants and armed forces were often used against strike workers. A long war wasnt possible unless workers were willing to put in longer working hours and make an increasing rate of production.
Strike workers reached its highest levels ever just before the war. Britain, France, and Germany struck deals with union and governments to eliminate strikes and bad working conditions in exchange for immediate integration into the government process. Although in the first year of the war, the strikes stopped. In Germany, in May 1916, 50, 000 Berlin workers held a three-day walkout to protest the arrest of the pacifist Karl Liebknect. The war even made soldiers revolt just like workers because sharpened some social differences and conflicts.
The draft was unfair in the aspect that unskilled young men and junior officers were sent into the trenches most often, sometimes costing them their lives. Skilled workers, on the other hand, could be given assignments that kept them at home. Governments obtained many new powers in order to fight the war. War governments increased the power of the police to fight opposition. Everyone saw the necessity to expand police powers and control the opinion of the public.
The government stopped anyone that supported a compromise peace. Expanded police powers included the control of public information such as censoring newspapers and personal mail. The beginning of propaganda was during the time period of World War I. Propaganda is the process in which governments used the media to influence people to enlist in the army and the brainwash them into supporting the war.
The economic impact of World War I affected two different types of people. At the end of the war, some people profited and other suffered due to the effects of inflation. Inflation was the greatest single economic factor as war budgets rose to astronomical figures and massive demand forced shortages of many consumer goods. The danger confronting us, is the rapid depression of the standard of life of the Europeans populations to a point which will mean actual starvation for some. (John M. Keynes) Inflation affected different people quite differently. Skilled worker in strategic industries found that their wages kept pace with prices or even rose a little faster.
Unskilled workers and workers in less important industries fell behind. The people who suffered the most were people dependent on fixed income. Old peoples income on pension or middle class living on small dividends remained about the same while prices doubled or tripled. Conflicts over the differences in purchasing power arose. Four year of chaos and utter destruction had smashed the old world Europe. The most advanced quarter of the world had turned to violence and barbarism of its own accord.
One of the greatest civilized nations is so universally unpopular that the attempt can actually be made to exclude it from the civilized community as barbaric, although it has long proved its fitness by the magnificent contributions to that community which it has made. The early part of the war satisfied the fascination with speed, violence, and the machine as manifested in the pre-war Futurists. Many movements shared resolute machinist contempt for all academic states in the arts, a hatred for bourgeois culture, and a commitment to the free expression of individuals. All these feeling were given an additional cost of violence and anger by the horrors of the wartime experience. Poets had gone to war in 1914 believing in heroism and nobility. When I speak of disillusionment, everyone will know at once what I mean.
One need not be a sentimentalist; on may perceive the biological and psychological necessity for suffering in the economy of human life, and yet condemn war both in its means and ends and long for the cessation of all wars. (Wilfred Own) The anger of the soldier poets was directed against those who had sent them to war not their enemy. A mood of devastation and emptiness prevailed at the end of a war where great sacrifices had brought very little gain. The echoes of a world shattering were heard throughout the world as Europe collapsed into total war. These echoes were the sound of change as Europe was transformed socially, politically, economically, and intellectually into a machine of complete destruction. Europe would never be the same.
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