Ancient history

First World War

  • Europe in the 19th th century, saw the appearance of nationalisms and the creation of nation-states (as in Germany in 1871, or in Italy, where we then speak of the Risorgimento Italian). This leads to a claim for the nation's independence.
  • A new European order has been put in place:a system of alliances is being set up, in the event of a conflict. The Triple Entente consists of France, Russia and Great Britain while the Triple Alliance brings together Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary.

July 28, 1914 - November 11, 1918


On June 28, 1914, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, Archduke François-Ferdinand, was assassinated in Sarajevo by a Serb. Austria declaring war on Serbia in July, it is the whole alliance system that drags the old continent into the war. In August 1914, Germany invaded France via Belgium, which triggered the Battle of the Marne. The short war, initially planned by the military, turns into a war of position:the soldiers bury themselves in the trenches.

The protagonists call on colonial troops, making this war a global conflict. The war is also total:the economy of the belligerents (countries at war) is entirely war-oriented, the State intervenes directly in the economy to plan production. After the general mobilization, the public authorities realized that the men had to be replaced in the factories and in the fields:the women were to carry out activities to which they would not have had access before the war. Similarly, censorship and propaganda campaigns are established by the public authorities:this is "cramming".

The tactic boils down to a war of attrition, while trying to break through enemy positions. The year 1916 was marked by a large number of battles, the most emblematic of which was that of Verdun, where more than half a million soldiers perished (an estimated 700,000 victims) but no progress on the front was notable. /P>

The year 1917 was characterized by a deep erosion of patriotic sentiment:strikes at the rear and mutinies at the front marked this moral crisis. Following the Bolshevik Revolution in November 1917, the Russians withdrew from the conflict, allowing the Germans to redeploy their troops on the Western Front. But the entry into the war of the United States in February 1917 marked a turning point for the Allies:significant material and military support made it possible to relaunch a war of movement, thus repelling the Germans in October 1918. A revolutionary wave forced William II to abdicate :the Weimar Republic was born in November 1918.


  • The Great War, the first industrialized conflict, had 17 million victims, including a large number of disfigured people, called the "broken faces".
  • It put an end to European supremacy, the countries coming out of the war encountered financial, material and demographic difficulties.
  • The moral impact is just as important:the great powers want to put in place tools so that the Great War remains the "Der des Ders", with in particular the establishment of the League of Nations (an international body guaranteeing the world peace.)

Next Post