What role did socialism and communism play in the First World War?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Socialism and communism played only a relatively small role in World War I.  They were not a part of the cause of the war.  They were also not responsible for the end of most of the war.  All that these two ideologies did was to hasten the end of one part of the war.

The main impact of socialism and communism was to hasten the end of the war on the Eastern Front.  There, Russia was fighting against Germany.  Russia was not doing particularly well for most of the war, but it was fighting.  This situation came to an end because of socialism and communism.  In Russia, socialists and communists helped to overthrow the regime of the Tsar.  With the regime overthrown, they continued to protest against the war, which they felt was a war that was only in the interests of the ruling class.  Eventually, they overthrew the provisional government that had arisen after the fall of the Tsar and instituted a communist government.  This government pulled the country out of the war.

This was the main impact of these ideologies in WWI.

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