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World War I

Related: 1914 - 1915 - 1916 - 1917 - 1918

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) - Lewis Milestone [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Definition

World War I (also known as the First World War , the Great War, and the "War to End All Wars") was a conflict that lasted from 1914 to 1918. Chemical weapons were used for the first time, the first mass bombardment of civilians from the sky was executed, and some of the century's first genocides took place during the war. No previous conflict had mobilized so many soldiers, or involved so many in the field of battle. Never before had casualties been so high. World War I was also a war of change, a last blow to the old order in Europe to pave way for the new. Dynasties such as the Habsburgs, Romanovs, and Hohenzollerns, who had dominated the European political landscape and had roots of power back to the days of the Crusades, all fell after the four-year war. Many of the events and phenomena that would dominate the world of the twentieth century can trace their origins to this war including the spread of Communism, World War II and even the Cold War.

World War I proved to be the decisive break with the old world order, marking the final demise of absolutist monarchy in Europe. It would prove the catalyst for the Russian Revolution, which would inspire later revolutions in countries as diverse as China and Cuba, and would lay the basis for the Cold War confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States. The defeat of Germany in the war and failure to resolve the unsettled issues that had caused the Great War would lay the basis for the rise of Nazism, and thus the outbreak of World War II in 1939. It also laid the basis for a more modern form of warfare that relied heavily on technology, and would involve non-combatants in the horrors of war as never before. Although wars had been brutal affairs, often causing mass hardship for civilian populations, from this point on, all people of all classes would have to see the true color of war on a greater scale than before. World War I showed the direction war was headed where each side would begin to use desperate and sometimes horrific strategies to gain any advantage.

It was commonly called "The Great War" or sometimes "the war to end all wars" until World War II, although the name "First World War" was coined as early as 1920 by Lt-Col Court Repington in The First World War 191418. Some scholars write of the First World War as merely the first phase of a 30-year-long war spanning the period 19141945.

Over 9 million men would die on the battlefield, and nearly that many more people would die on the homefront from food shortages, starvation, genocide, and being caught up in the fighting.

World War I became infamous for the horrors of trench warfare, where huge numbers of troops were confined to trenches and could move little because of tight defenses. This was especially true of the Western Front. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWI

WWI subcultures

Because of the (1914-1918) world war, though, everything changed. The wartime trenches had infestations of lice and fleas. Soldiers had their heads shaved. Consequently men with short hair appeared to have been at the front in the war, while men with long hair might be thought of as pacifists and cowards, suspected of desertion.

Some artists managed to avoid the war by sitting it out in neutral Switzerland. A group of artists in Zurich invented Dadaism as an anti-war, anti-art, art movement and a parody of the pro-violent attitudes of Futurism. They became politically active as an underground anarchical attempt to change society's trend toward self-destruction. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_subcultures_in_the_20th_century [Dec 2004]

Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand (sometimes called Francis Ferdinand in English) (December 18, 1863 - June 28, 1914) was born in Graz, Austria and was the Habsburg Archduke of Austria and heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. His assassination by Gavrilo Princip on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo, Austrian-occupied Bosnia-Herzegovina, precipitated the Austrian declaration of war against Serbia which triggered World War I. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Ferdinand%2C_Archduke_of_Austria [Jul 2004]

European Art During WWI

  • 1916, Zurich: "A line of poetry is a chance to get rid of all the filth that clings to this accursed language," Ball exclaimed. "I want the word where it ends and begins," he cried. "Dada is the heart of words." (That was "The First Dada Manifesto," July 14, 1916). The Cabaret Voltaire. Zurich.

    Dada [...]

  • 1917: Marcel Duchamp Toilet 'Ready-Made'

    Franz Ferdinand (2004) - Franz Ferdinand

    Franz Ferdinand (2004) - Franz Ferdinand [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Franz Ferdinand is an unrelentingly smart, fluffy, and fun debut. This Scottish four-piece plays vaguely angular, guitar-heavy post-pop that makes you want to dance around the room while playing air guitar. It's the ideal hipster guilty-pleasure music for 2004. This is what the Rapture and Interpol would sound like if they wrote songs half as good as those they rip off, or the Strokes if their parents had sent them to art school instead of the fashion academy. Every song on here is so blatantly derivative it sounds almost original, like a modern Blur without the gloomy hangover. It's too early yet to tell if this is just a band for the moment or one for the ages--but who really cares with pop music, anyway? Songs like "Darts of Pleasure," "Come on Home," "Take Me Out," and "Cheating on You" are so good they will surely appeal to those without slanty, messy haircuts. --Mike McGonigal, Amazon.com

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