World War I

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How did the Great War impact Europe?

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The Great War had such an impact on Europe that it took decades to recover. The economic impact, as well as the destruction and loss of life, was significant. The biggest problem was that Germany was ripe for someone like Adolfo Hitler to come in and take it.
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I think another impact has to be the impact on the nations which were destroyed by the fighting taking place in their countries. The cost of rebuilding was enormous. Also as mentioned above it did set in motion the Germans desire for vengeance and the beginnings of WWII.

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That's a very broad question depending on what you include in the definition of impact, but let me get you started on what I believe to be a few important impacts.

Human Cost - 16 million people, both military and civilian, died in this war.  Entire generations of young men almost wiped away.  In 1919, the year after the war was over in France, there were 15 women for every man between the ages of 18 and 30.  All of the lost potential, all of the writers, artists, teachers, inventors and leaders that were killed were permanently denied to the future of the nations.

Imperial Realignment - The Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up and drastically shrunk, while Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were all born as new nations.  The nation of Germany was also smaller, and the Ottoman's of Turkey were finished.  The Kaiser went into exile, and Germany plunged into economic and political chaos.

Pacifism/Despair - The postwar generation in Europe really believed it had been the "War to End All Wars" in that they never wanted to experience such a catastrophe again, and for a short time during the 1920s, a wave of pacifist literature and art fluorished in France and Germany.  Others, damaged by the war physically or emotionally, or having lost loved ones, had lost faith in humanity given the terrible destruction the war brought.

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In my opinion, the major impact of the Great War is that it set in motion the events that would lead to WWII.  Since WWII changed the face of Europe and the world, I think that this is really a tremendous impact.

The Great War led to WWII because it made Germany into an angry and embittered country that had many problems.  It also caused Italy to feel unhappy.  These two countries' dissatisfaction was what led to WWII.

The Treaty of Versailles did things such as taking away German territory and imposing harsh reparations on Germany.  This made Germans very bitter and caused them to want revenge.

The Great War led to the Treaty of Versailles and that led to WWII.  That is, to me, the most important impact of the war.

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