Essay on Peacemaking and The Aftermath of World War I

Published: 2021-07-08 20:36:15
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George Washington University
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Critical thinking
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The first world war and the massive occupation in east-central Europe, as opposed to the occupation of the western Europe, led to the deepening of rifts between the various ethnic groups in the region. in spite of the fact that the various ethnic groups in the region all suffered the same misery, they did have a shared feeling of solidarity at the conclusion of the great war. Post-world war one issues such as Japanese and Italian nationalism, a belligerent German nation, disputed borders, isolationism, and the punitive reparations that were worsened by a global financial distress were some of the challenges that led to ethnic rifts and ultimately led to the outbreak of the second world war.

The first world war resulted in massive loss of life on both sides. The extreme number of the lives lost were not expected and came as a shock for both sides. Such massive losses thus led to the shift in public and political opinions. Such shifts in opinion were witnessed from parties that previously supported the war however on experiencing the devastation and ferocity of the war, such parties, primarily the British and the United States of America, now adopted isolationism and pacifism opting not to intervene and bear no burden. Such policies were adopted in order to safeguard their way of lives. However, such shifts in opinion would later result in the ethnic crises that followed in the years after the first world war.

One of the outcomes of the first world war was the numerous treaties that followed, the majority of which had harsh territorial and financial terms and as a result, they were intensely unpopular with the defeated countries. Consequently, the treaties led to negative consequences such as the rise of parties committed to avenge the losses of the great war, revisionism and a defiance of the international order. For instance, the dissolution of the Ottoman and Hapsburg empires resulted in nation states in central and eastern Europe that possessed restless minority populations. These new one ethnic nation states were extremely repressive and authoritarian as such were at constants odds with the neighboring multiethnic neighbors as they were not willing to accommodate the minority groups in the region. subsequently, due to the previously adopted ideals of isolationism and pacifism by Britain and the United States, did not intervene and as a result of the new nations, such as Germany, Bulgaria, Austria and Hungary, increasingly became irredentist and justified the persecution of other minority ethnic groups as a security measure to secure its territory and citizens.

Another major factor that led to further conflict in the post first world war era was due to the contested legitimacy of the boundaries of the newly formed states. the dissolution of the Ottoman empire also led to the development of politically artificial states in the middle east such as the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and trans-Jordan. Resources such as oil as well the new boundaries influenced the ethnic conflicts, for instance, Iraq still tried to invade oil-rich Kuwait and Syria still considering Lebanon and Jordan a larger part of Syria successfully occupied Lebanon while still eyeing Jordan. Also, the legitimacy of the rule of the newly formed states also contributed to further conflicts such as the refusal of the Saudi Arabian Wahhabi rule by the Shias and the Sunni Hashemites.

Ultimately, the brutality and the conflicts of the first world war are still evident. The war had far-reaching political consequences that affected politicians, civilians, and combatants as well as the generations that still struggle with the wars consequences. It clear that the present world is still in living through a post first war state of affairs with such issues as continuous conflicts in the middle east, the efficiency, and legitimacy of collective security institutions such as the UN and the transatlantic disagreements over the use of forces.

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