Why did the initial enthusiasm for WWI quickly wear off? Whom to blame for the horrors of the war?

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enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

No single individual was responsible for the First World War. The peace that had been maintained since Napoleon's time became increasingly difficult to manage due to the ever increasingly Entangled Alliances.  Throughout the 1800's, there had been minor wars in European colonies, which resolved some of the political issues between the competing European Nation-States; rarely did the major powers directly confront one another militarily within Europe.  The enthusiasm initially felt in August 1914 may have come from the erroneous belief that long standing diplomatic conflicts between the countries would finally be resolved in a general military offensive; however, the horrors of modern warfare arose as military and political leaders attempted to conduct battles according to 19th century standards when the weaponry had advanced into the 20th. Learn more at the link: