All Quiet on the Western Front Journal
1. What were the underlying causes of WWI?
2. What was the specific cause of WWI?
3. How did the soldiers react as they went off to war? Why?
Many different causes led to WWI. Militarism around the world was a major problem, the British had a large army and navy
so the Germans wanted to build an even bigger army. This “arms race” continued on all through Europe, each country
tried to raise nationalism and gain support for their new found and grander military. A tangled alliance between the Allies
and the Central Powers also created tensions. The need for more natural resources lead to increased imperialism, countries
wanted to expand their borders and gain more resources to become wealthy. The governments and militaries craved for more nationalism
too, they need people to join the armies and support their troops. Each country had its only special way for spreading nationalism,
such as propaganda and glorifying war.
One specific cause of WWI was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophia. The Austrians
held the Serbians responsible for the killing and they wanted Serbia crushed because of past incidents that had lead to tensions
between the two. Austria, with the help of German, demanded Serbia to follow strict and shameful laws. With the backing of
Russia, the Serbians went to war with Austria and Germany. A few weeks later, the French and British armies allied with Russia
and Serbia because of growing tensions and fear of invasion. Later in the war, Italy decided to join the Triple Alliance
with the French and British for strategic and defensive reasons only. The Germans were left with Austria to fight a difficult
two front war with the Russians on the Eastern Front and the Triple Alliance on the West. The Germans went on and lost the
war and had to pay large reparations.
The soldiers going into war had the feeling of excitement and joy. They were brainwashed by government and persuaded by others
to join the army and fight a glorious war. Europe hadn’t witnessed a war in over a hundred years since the Napoleon
Empire. The generation going into war believed it was a glorious opportunity that every teenage boy should go through and
down the path to manhood. The elders told young men to join because they thought it would be a pleasant experience even though
they never experience the life of war. The high spirited and newly trained troops marched into battle with the feeling of
invincibility and that nothing could take them down. Only when they see the front lines, their minds change drastically. The
horrors of war changed the lives of the “lost generation,” they were scarred for the rest of their lives.