Discuss the Impact of World War I?

As many as 8.5 million soldiers and some 13 million civilians died during World War I. Four imperial dynasties collapsed as a result of the war: the Habsburgs of Austria-Hungary, the Hohenzollerns of Germany, the sultanate of the Ottoman Empire, and the Romanovs of Russia.

World War I was fought globally and had global consequences. It leads to rise of new ideologies and new centre of Human power at the same time it had huge cost attached with the war. The Impact of the World War I is as follows:

Human and economic cost:

  • Approx 10 million died due to direct military action
  • Rails and River transport was destroyed.
  • Millions were killed due to typhus.
  • The fragile machinery of international exchange was destroyed.
  • The influenza pandemic

Rise of new centre of power

  • US’s military was turned into a large scale fighting force with intense experience of modern warfare.
  • US economic hegemony started to the rise after the war. European dominancy phase started to decline.

Advent of new ideologies:

  • Rise of communism in Russia
  • Fascism and Nazism
  • Rise of socialism

Changes in the Political map of Europe and colonies:

  • Austria and Hungary became new independent states.
  • Serbia kingdom became Yugoslavia
  • French occupation over Rhineland.
  • French, British and Russian divided Ottoman Empire into sphere of influence.
  • A buffer zone of nations was created between Russian and Europe to help deter the spread of Bolshevism.

Social Changes:

Birth rates went down because millions of young men died. Civilians lost their homes and fled to other countries.

The role of women also changed. They played a major part in replacing men in factories and offices. Many countries gave women more rights after the war had ended, including the right to vote.

The upper classes lost their leading role in society. Young middle and lower class men and women demanded a say in forming their country after the war.


World War 1 boosted research in technology, because better transport and means of communication gave countries an advantage over their enemies.

After World War 1, the need for an international body of nations that promotes security and peace worldwide became evident. This caused the founding of the League of Nations.

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