World War I : The War to End All Wars

World War I began in 1914, after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and lasted until 1918. Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire fought against Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the United States. As a result of new military technologies and the horrors of trench warfare, World War I saw unprecedented levels of carnage and destruction. By the time the war was over more than 16 million people,soldiers and civilians, were dead.

At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, Allied leaders hoped to build a post-war world that would safeguard itself against such devastating conflicts in the future. Some hopeful participants even began calling World War I the War to End All Wars. But the Treaty of Versailles, signed on June 28, 1919, did not achieve that goal. Saddled with war guilt, heavy reparations and denied entrance into the League of Nations, Germany felt tricked into signing the treaty, believing that any peace would be a peace without victory, As the years passed, Germany's hatred of the Versailles treaty and its authors can be counted among the causes of World War II.

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World War I