Holography Essay, Research Paper
WWI was the most deadly conflict the world had ever known at the time. Soon after the United States entered the war, over 100,000 American lives were lost. Families were devastated and all were shocked. How could a war that was only supposed to last several months take so many lives? The American public needed to be reassured that something so horrible would not happen again. Under his own reasoning, President Wilson did exactly that in declaring WWI ?the war to end all wars.?
One reason for Wilson?s bold quote was the vast loss of life. Over ten million men lost their lives and another twenty million men were wounded or missing. He felt that after such a horrible war with so many casualties, no country would ever want to, or could afford to, go to war again. This was especially true for countries that had a great amount of casualties such as Austria-Hungary, Russia, France, Germany, and the British Empire.
Those countries that sustained heavy loss of life also struggled with economic difficulties that would leave them timid of war for decades to come. Cities all over Europe were destroyed totaling billions of dollars in damage. Economies in Europe were in shambles because of the cost that the war brought to the countries that participated. The Central Powers faced rebuilding their own countries as well as punitive costs to be paid as restitution for the trouble they caused. Even countries declared neutral, such as Belgium, felt the financial effects of the war.
Wilson also had his own plans to make sure that WWI was the first and only world war. He called his plan the ?Fourteen Points.? With it, he expected to end all international conflicts. The most important of these fourteen points were to end all European Empires, allow Europeans to determine their own futures which he called ?self-determination,? and establish an organization to settle altercations between countries in the future. Most of the objectives outlined in Wilson?s plan were achieved, however his plan for a peace organization, which he later called the League of Nations, was never fulfilled. While other countries joined the League, Congress did not agree with Wilson in that the United States should join. Without the United States included, the organization became somewhat of a joke.
Even though Wilson?s reasoning behind calling WWI ?the war to end all wars? was sound, it is apparent that he was, in fact, incorrect to say the least. Since then, many wars have occurred and most of them are a direct result of WWI, especially WWII. President Wilson did have strong points in his opinion but in the end it turned out to be just that, an opinion?no more.