First World

The concept of First World originated during the Cold War and included countries that were generally aligned with NATO and opposed to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the definition has instead largely shifted to any country with little political risk and a well functioning democracy, rule of law, capitalist economy, economic stability and high standard of living. Various ways in which modern First World countries are often determined include GDP, GNP, literacy rates, life expectancy, and the Human Development Index.[1] In common usage, as per Merriam-Webster, "first world" now typically refers to "the highly developed industrialized nations often considered the westernized countries of the world".[2]

Cold War alliances mid-1975
The "three worlds" of the Cold War era, between AprilAugust 1975.
  1st World: Western Bloc led by the USA and its allies.
  2nd World: Eastern Bloc led by the USSR, China, and their allies.
  3rd World: Non-Aligned and neutral countries.

History

After World War II, the world split into two large geopolitical blocs, separating into spheres of communism and capitalism. This led to the Cold War, during which the term First World was often used because of its political, social, and economic relevance. The term itself was first introduced in the late 1940s by the United Nations.[3] Today, the First World is slightly outdated and has no official definition, however, it is generally thought of as the capitalist, industrial, wealthy and developed countries. This definition includes Australia & New Zealand, the developed countries of Asia (South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore) and the wealthy countries of North America and Europe, particularly Western Europe.[4] In contemporary society, the First World is viewed as countries that have the most advanced economies, the greatest influence, the highest standards of living, and the greatest technology.[4] After the Cold War, these countries of the First World included member states of NATO, U.S.-aligned states, neutral countries that were developed and industrialized, and the former British Colonies that were considered developed. It can be defined succinctly as Europe, plus the richer countries of the former British Empire (USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand), Israel, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. According to Nations Online, the member countries of NATO after the Cold War included:[4]

The Western-aligned countries included:

The neutral countries included:

Shifting in definitions

Since the end of the Cold War, the original definition of the term First World is no longer necessarily applicable. There are varying definitions of the First World, however, they follow the same idea. John D. Daniels, past president of the Academy of International Business, defines the First World to be consisting of "high-income industrial countries".[7] Scholar and Professor George J. Bryjak defines the First World to be the "modern, industrial, capitalist countries of North America and Europe".[8] L. Robert Kohl\ , former director of training for the U.S. Information Agency and the Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C. uses First World and "fully developed" as synonyms.[9]

Other indicators

Varying definitions of the term First World and the uncertainty of the term in today's world leads to different indicators of First World status. In 1945, the United Nations used the terms first, second, third, and fourth worlds to define the relative wealth of nations (although popular use of the term fourth world did not come about until later).[10][11] There are some references towards culture in the definition. They were defined in terms of Gross National Product (GNP), measured in U.S. dollars, along with other socio-political factors.[10] The first world included the large industrialized, democratic (free elections, etc.) nations.[10] The second world included modern, wealthy, industrialized nations, but they were all under communist control.[10] Most of the rest of the world was deemed part of the third world, while the fourth world was considered to be those nations whose people were living on less than US$100 annually.[10] If we use the term to mean high-income industrialized economies, then the World Bank classifies countries according to their GNI or gross national income per capita. The World Bank separates countries into four categories: high-income, upper-middle-income, lower-middle-income, and low-income economies. The First World is considered to be countries with high-income economies. The high-income economies are equated to mean developed and industrialized countries.

Three World Model

Location NATO
NATO member countries as of 2017

The terms First World, Second World, and Third World were originally used to divide the world's nations into three categories. The model did not emerge to its end state all at once. The complete overthrow of the pre–World War II status quo, known as the Cold War, left two superpowers (the United States and the Soviet Union) vying for ultimate global supremacy. They created two camps, known as blocs. These blocs formed the basis of the concepts of the First and Second Worlds.[12]

Early in the Cold War era, NATO and the Warsaw Pact were created by the United States and The Soviet Union, respectively. They were also referred to as the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The circumstances of these two blocs were so different that they were essentially two worlds, however, they were not numbered first and second.[13][14][15] The onset of the Cold War is marked by Winston Churchill's famous "Iron Curtain" speech.[16] In this speech, Churchill describes the division of the West and East to be so solid that it could be called an iron curtain.[16]

In 1952, the French demographer Alfred Sauvy coined the term Third World in reference to the three estates in pre-revolutionary France.[17] The first two estates being the nobility and clergy and everybody else comprising the third estate.[17] He compared the capitalist world (i.e., First World) to the nobility and the communist world (i.e., Second World) to the clergy. Just as the third estate comprised everybody else, Sauvy called the Third World all the countries that were not in this Cold War division, i.e., the unaligned and uninvolved states in the "East-West Conflict".[17][18] With the coining of the term Third World directly, the first two groups came to be known as the "First World" and "Second World" respectively. Here the three-world system emerged.[15]

However, Shuswap Chief George Manuel believes the Three World Model to be outdated. In his 1974 book The Fourth World: An Indian Reality, he describes the emergence of the Fourth World while coining the term. The fourth world refers to "nations", e.g., cultural entities and ethnic groups, of indigenous people who do not compose states in the traditional sense.[11] Rather, they live within or across state boundaries (see First Nations). One example is the Native Americans of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.[11]

Post Cold War

With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Eastern Bloc ceased to exist and with it, the perfect applicability of the term Second World.[19] The definitions of the First World, Second World, and Third World changed slightly, yet generally describe the same concepts.

Relationships with the other worlds

Historic

During the Cold War Era, the relationships between the First World, Second World and the Third World were very rigid. The First World and Second World were at constant odds with one another via the tensions between their two cores, the United States and the Soviet Union, respectively. The Cold War, by virtue of its name, was a primarily ideological struggle between the First and Second Worlds, or more specifically, the U.S. and the Soviet Union.[20] Multiple doctrines and plans dominated Cold War dynamics including the Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan (from the U.S) and the Molotov Plan (from the Soviet Union).[20][21][22] The extent of the odds between the two worlds is evident in Berlin—which was then split into East and West. To stop citizens in East Berlin from having too much exposure to the capitalist West, the Soviet Union put up the Berlin Wall within the actual city.[23]

The relationship between the First World and the Third World is characterized by the very definition of the Third World. Because countries of the Third World were noncommittal and non-aligned with both the First World and the Second World, they were targets for recruitment. In the quest for expanding their sphere of influence, the United States (core of the First World) tried to establish pro US regimes in the Third World. In addition, because the Soviet Union (core of the Second World) also wanted to expand, the Third World often became a site for conflict.

Some examples include Vietnam and Korea. Success lay with the First World if at the end of the war, the country became capitalistic and democratic, and with the Second World, if the country became communist. While Vietnam as a whole was eventually communized, only the northern half of Korea remained communist.[24][25] The Domino Theory largely governed United States policy regarding the Third World and their rivalry with the Second World.[26] In light of the Domino Theory, the U.S. saw winning the proxy wars in the Third World as a measure of the "credibility of U.S. commitments all over the world".[27]

Present

The movement of people and information largely characterizes the inter-world relationships in the present day.[28] A majority of breakthroughs and innovation originate in Western Europe and the U.S. and later their effects permeate globally. As judged by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, most of the Top 30 Innovations of the Last 30 Years were from former First World countries (e.g., the U.S. and countries in Western Europe).[29]

The disparity between knowledge in the First World as compared to the Third World is evident in healthcare and medical advancements. Deaths from water-related illnesses have largely been eliminated in "wealthier nations", while they are still a "major concern in the developing world".[30] Widely treatable diseases in the developed countries of the First World, malaria and tuberculosis needlessly claim many lives in the developing countries of the Third World. 900,000 people die from malaria each year and combating malaria accounts for 40% of health spending in many African countries.[31]

The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced that the first Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) would be available at the summer of 2010. These include non-Latin domains such as Chinese, Arabic, and Russian. This is one way that the flow of information between the First and Third Worlds may become more even.[32]

The movement of information and technology from the First World to various Third World countries has created a general "aspir(ation) to First World living standards".[28] The Third World has lower living standards as compared to the First World.[15] Information about the comparatively higher living standards of the First World comes through television, commercial advertisements and foreign visitors to their countries.[28] This exposure causes two changes: a) living standards in some Third World countries rise and b) this exposure creates hopes and many from Third World countries immigrate – both legally and illegally – to these First World countries in hopes of attaining that living standard and prosperity.[28] In fact, this immigration is the "main contributor to the increasing populations of U.S. and Europe".[28] While these immigrations have greatly contributed to globalization, they have also precipitated trends like brain drain and problems with repatriation. They have also created immigration and governmental burden problems for the countries (i.e., First World) that people immigrate to.[28]

Environmental impact

Some have argued that the most important human population problem for the world is not the high rate of population increase in certain Third World countries, but rather the "increase in total human impact".[28] The per-capita impact – the resources consumed and the wastes created by each person – is varied globally; the highest in the First World and the lowest in the Third World: inhabitants of the U.S., Western Europe and Japan consume 32 times as many resources and put out 32 times as much waste as those in the Third World.[28] However, China leads the world in total emissions, but its large population skews its per-capita statistic lower than those of more developed nations.[33]

As large consumers of fossil fuels, First World countries drew attention to environmental pollution.[34] The Kyoto Protocol is a treaty that is based on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was finalized in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio.[35] It proposed to place the burden of protecting the climate on the United States and other First World countries.[35] Countries that were considered to be developing, such as China and India, were not required to approve the treaty because they were more concerned that restricting emissions would further restrain their development.

International relations

Until the recent past, little attention was paid to the interests of Third World countries.[36] This is because most international relations scholars have come from the industrialized, First World nations.[37] As more countries have continued to become more developed, the interests of the world have slowly started to shift.[36] However, First World nations still have many more universities, professors, journals, and conferences, which has made it very difficult for Third World countries to gain legitimacy and respect with their new ideas and methods of looking at the world.[36]

Development theory

During the Cold War, the modernization theory and development theory developed in Europe as a result of their economic, political, social, and cultural response to the management of former colonial territories.[38] European scholars and practitioners of international politics hoped to theorize ideas and then create policies based on those ideas that would cause newly independent colonies to change into politically developed sovereign nation-states.[38] However, most of the theorists were from the United States, and they were not interested in Third World countries achieving development by any model.[38] They wanted those countries to develop through liberal processes of politics, economics, and socialization; that is to say, they wanted them to follow the liberal capitalist example of a so-called "First World state".[38] Therefore, the modernization and development tradition consciously originated as a (mostly U.S.) alternative to the Marxist and neo-Marxist strategies promoted by the "Second World states" like the Soviet Union.[38] It was used to explain how developing Third World states would naturally evolve into developed First World States, and it was partially grounded in liberal economic theory and a form of Talcott Parsons' sociological theory.[38]

Globalization

The United Nations's ESCWA has written that globalization "is a widely-used term that can be defined in a number of different ways". Joyce Osland from San Jose State University wrote: "Globalization has become an increasingly controversial topic, and the growing number of protests around the world has focused more attention on the basic assumptions of globalization and its effects."[39] "Globalization is not new, though. For thousands of years, people—and, later, corporations—have been buying from and selling to each other in lands at great distances, such as through the famed Silk Road across Central Asia that connected China and Europe during the Middle Ages. Likewise, for centuries, people and corporations have invested in enterprises in other countries. In fact, many of the features of the current wave of globalization are similar to those prevailing before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914."[40]

European Union

The most prominent example of globalization in the first world is the European Union (EU).[41] The European Union is an agreement in which countries voluntarily decide to build common governmental institutions to which they delegate some individual national sovereignty so that decisions can be made democratically on a higher level of common interest for Europe as a whole.[42] The result is a union of 28 Member States covering 4,324,782 square kilometres (1,669,808 sq mi) with roughly half a billion people. In total, the European Union produces almost a third of the world’s gross national product and the member states speak more than 23 languages. All of the European Union countries are joined together by a hope to promote and extend peace, democracy, cooperativeness, stability, prosperity, and the rule of law.[42] In a 2007 speech, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European Commissioner for External Relations, said, "The future of the EU is linked to globalization...the EU has a crucial role to play in making globalization work properly...".[43] In a 2014 speech at the European Parliament, the Italian PM Matteo Renzi stated, "We are the ones who can bring civilization to globalization".[44] With the "Brexit" (British Exit) of the EU in 2016, the fundamental economic and motivational powerhouse of globalization in Europe was placed, once again, in the hands of Germany.

Just as the concept of the First World came about as a result of World War II, so did the European Union.[42] In 1951 the beginnings of the EU were founded with the creation of European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). From the beginning of its inception, countries in the EU were judged by many standards, including economic ones. This is where the relation between globalization, the EU, and First World countries arises.[41] Especially during the 1990s when the EU focused on economic policies such as the creation and circulation of the Euro, the creation of the European Monetary Institute, and the opening of the European Central Bank.[42]

In 1993, at the Copenhagen European Council, the European Union took a decisive step towards expanding the EU, what they called the Fifth Enlargement, agreeing that "the associated countries in Central and Eastern Europe that so desire shall become members of the European Union". Thus, enlargement was no longer a question of if, but when and how. The European Council stated that accession could occur when the prospective country is able to assume the obligations of membership, that is that all the economic and political conditions required are attained. Furthermore, it defined the membership criteria, which are regarded as the Copenhagen criteria, as follows:[45]

  • stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities
  • the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union
  • the ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union

It is clear that all these criteria are characteristics of developed countries. Therefore, there is a direct link between globalization, developed nations, and the European Union.[41]

Multinational corporations

A majority of multinational corporations find their origins in First World countries. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, multinational corporations proliferated as more countries focused on global trade.[46] The series of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and later the World Trade Organization (WTO) essentially ended the protectionist measures that were dissuading global trade.[46] The eradication of these protectionist measures, while creating avenues for economic interconnection, mostly benefited developed countries, who by using their power at GATT summits, forced developing and underdeveloped countries to open their economies to Western goods.[47]

As the world starts to globalize, it is accompanied by criticism of the current forms of globalization, which are feared to be overly corporate-led. As corporations become larger and multinational, their influence and interests go further accordingly. Being able to influence and own most media companies, it is hard to be able to publicly debate the notions and ideals that corporations pursue. Some choices that corporations take to make profits can affect people all over the world. Sometimes fatally.[48]

The third industrial revolution is spreading from the developed world to some, but not all, parts of the developing world. To participate in this new global economy, developing countries must be seen as attractive offshore production bases for multinational corporations. To be such bases, developing countries must provide relatively well-educated workforces, good infrastructure (electricity, telecommunications, transportation), political stability, and a willingness to play by market rules.[49]

If these conditions are in place, multinational corporations will transfer via their offshore subsidiaries or to their offshore suppliers, the specific production technologies and market linkages necessary to participate in the global economy. By themselves, developing countries, even if well-educated, cannot produce at the quality levels demanded in high-value-added industries and cannot market what they produce even in low-value-added industries such as textiles or shoes. Put bluntly, multinational companies possess a variety of factors that developing countries must have if they are to participate in the global economy.[49]

Outsourcing

Outsourcing, according to Grossman and Helpman, refers to the process of "subcontracting an ever expanding set of activities, ranging from product design to assembly, from research and development to marketing, distribution and after-sales service".[50] Many companies have moved to outsourcing services in which they no longer specifically need or have the capability of handling themselves.[51] This is due to considerations of what the companies can have more control over.[51] Whatever companies tend to not have much control over or need to have control over will outsource activities to firms that they consider "less competing".[51] According to SourcingMag.com, the process of outsourcing can take the following four phases.[52]

  1. strategic thinking
  2. evaluation and selection
  3. contract development
  4. outsourcing management.

Outsourcing is among some of the many reasons for increased competition within developing countries.[53] Aside from being a reason for competition, many First World countries see outsourcing, in particular offshore outsourcing, as an opportunity for increased income.[54] As a consequence, the skill level of production in foreign countries handling the outsourced services increases within the economy; and the skill level within the domestic developing countries can decrease.[55] It is because of competition (including outsourcing) that Robert Feenstra and Gordon Hanson predict that there will be a rise of 15–33 percent in inequality amongst these countries.[53]

See also

References

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  3. ^ Macdonald, Theodore (2005). Third World Health: Hostage to First World Health. Radcliffe Publishing. p. 4. ISBN 1-85775-769-6. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
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  27. ^ Painter, David (1999). The Cold War: An International History. London: Routledge. p. 66. ISBN 0-415-19446-6.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h Diamond, Jared (2005). Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York: Penguin (Non-Classics). pp. 495–496. ISBN 0-14-303655-6.
  29. ^ "A World Transformed: What Are the Top 30 Innovations of the Last 30 Years?". Knowledge@Wharton. February 18, 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  30. ^ Gleick, Peter (August 12, 2002), "Dirty Water: Estimated Deaths from Water-Related Disease 2000-2020" (PDF), Pacific Institute Research Report: 2
  31. ^ "Malaria (Fact Sheet)". World Health Organization. January 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
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  35. ^ a b Singer, Siegfried Fred; Avery, Dennis T. (2007). Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 59.
  36. ^ a b c Darby, Phillip (2000). At the Edge of International Relations: Postcolonialism, Gender, and Dependency. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 33. ISBN 0-8264-4719-8.
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  38. ^ a b c d e f Weber, Cynthia (2005). International Relations Theory: A Critical Introduction. Routledge. pp. 153–154. ISBN 0-415-34208-2.
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  44. ^ Europe as an expression of the soul, prime minister of Italy
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  53. ^ a b "http://www.international.ucla.edu/media/files/GlobalUnequal_10_252.pdf"
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  55. ^ "U.S. Trade with Developing Countries and Wage Inequality" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-23.
2019 Cricket World Cup

The 2019 Cricket World Cup (officially ICC Cricket World Cup 2019) is the 12th edition of the Cricket World Cup, scheduled to be hosted by England and Wales, from 30 May to 14 July 2019.The hosting rights were awarded in April 2006, after England and Wales withdrew from the bidding to host the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, which was held in Australia and New Zealand. The first match will be played at The Oval while the final will be played at Lord's. It is the fifth time that the Cricket World Cup will be held in England and Wales, following the 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999 World Cups.

The format for the tournament will be a single group of ten teams, with each team playing the other nine teams, and the top four teams progressing to a knockout stage of semi-finals and a final. The ten team tournament has gained criticism due to the lack of Associate teams in the tournament. Given the increase of the Test playing nations from 10 to 12, with the admission of Ireland and Afghanistan in June 2017, it will be the first World Cup to be contested without all of the Test playing nations being present, and after the elimination of all the Associate teams at the qualifying tournament, this will be also be the first World Cup to feature no Associate members.

2022 FIFA World Cup

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international men's football championship contested by the national teams of the member associations of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Qatar in 2022. This will be the first World Cup ever to be held in the Arab world and the first in a Muslim-majority country. This will be the first World Cup held entirely in geographical Asia since the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan (the 2018 competition in Russia featured one geographically Asian venue, Yekaterinburg). In addition the tournament will be the last to involve 32 teams, with an increase to 48 teams scheduled for the 2026 tournament. However, FIFA President Gianni Infantino indicated that this change may come earlier for the 2022 World Cup. The reigning World Cup champions are France.This will also mark the first World Cup not to be held in May, June, or July; the tournament is instead scheduled for late November until mid-December. It is to be played in a reduced timeframe of around 28 days, with the final being held on 18 December 2022, which is also Qatar National Day.Accusations of corruption have been made relating to how Qatar won the right to host the event. A FIFA internal investigation and report cleared Qatar of any wrongdoing, but the chief investigator Michael J. Garcia has since described FIFA's report on his inquiry as "materially incomplete and erroneous". On 27 May 2015, Swiss federal prosecutors opened an investigation into corruption and money laundering related to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. On 6 August 2018, former FIFA president Sepp Blatter claimed that Qatar had used "black ops", suggesting that the bid committee had cheated to win the hosting rights. Qatar has faced strong criticism due to the treatment of foreign workers involved in preparation for the World Cup, with Amnesty International referring to "forced labour" and stating that workers have been suffering human rights abuses, despite worker welfare standards being drafted in 2014.

Allies of World War I

The Allies of World War I or Entente Powers is the term commonly used for the coalition that opposed the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria during the First World War (1914–1918).

By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, the major European powers were divided between the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance. The Entente was made up of France, the United Kingdom and Russia. The Triple Alliance was originally composed of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, which remained neutral in 1914.

As the war progressed, each coalition added new members. Japan joined the Entente in 1914. After proclaiming its neutrality at the beginning of the war, Italy also joined the Entente in 1915. The United States joined as an "associated power" rather than an official ally. 'Associated members' included Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and Romania.

Aviation in World War I

[[World War I]

was the first major conflict involving the large-scale use of aircraft. Tethered observation balloons had already been employed in several wars, and would be used extensively for artillery spotting. Germany employed Zeppelins for reconnaissance over the North Sea and Baltic and also for strategic bombing raids over Britain and the Eastern Front.

Aeroplanes were just coming into military use at the outset of the war. Initially, they were used mostly for reconnaissance. Pilots and engineers learned from experience, leading to the development of many specialized types, including fighters, bombers, and trench strafers.

Ace fighter pilots were portrayed as modern knights, and many became popular heroes. The war also saw the appointment of high-ranking officers to direct the belligerent nations' air war efforts.

While the impact of aircraft on the course of the war was mainly tactical rather than strategic, most important being direct cooperation with ground forces (especially ranging and correcting artillery fire), the first steps in the strategic roles of aircraft in future wars was also foreshadowed.

Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme (French: Bataille de la Somme; German: Schlacht an der Somme), also known as the Somme Offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of the upper reaches of the River Somme in France. The battle was intended to hasten a victory for the Allies and was the largest battle of the First World War on the Western Front. More than three million men fought in the battle and one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history. The Battle of the Somme was fought in the traditional style of World War I battles on the Western Front: trench warfare. The trench warfare gave the Germans an advantage because they dug their trenches deeper than the allied forces which gave them a better line of sight for warfare. The Battle of the Somme also has the distinction of being the first battle fought with tanks. However, the tanks were still in the early stages of development, and as a result, many broke down after maxing out at their top speed of 4 miles per hour.

The French and British had committed themselves to an offensive on the Somme during Allied discussions at Chantilly, Oise, in December 1915. The Allies agreed upon a strategy of combined offensives against the Central Powers in 1916, by the French, Russian, British and Italian armies, with the Somme offensive as the Franco-British contribution. Initial plans called for the French army to undertake the main part of the Somme offensive, supported on the northern flank by the Fourth Army of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). When the Imperial German Army began the Battle of Verdun on the Meuse on 21 February 1916, French commanders diverted many of the divisions intended for the Somme and the "supporting" attack by the British became the principal effort.

The first day on the Somme (1 July) saw a serious defeat for the German Second Army, which was forced out of its first position by the French Sixth Army, from Foucaucourt-en-Santerre south of the Somme to Maricourt on the north bank, and by the Fourth Army from Maricourt to the vicinity of the Albert–Bapaume road. The first day on the Somme was, in terms of casualties, also the worst day in the history of the British army, which suffered 57,470 casualties. These occurred mainly on the front between the Albert–Bapaume road and Gommecourt, where the attack was defeated and few British troops reached the German front line. The British troops on the Somme comprised a mixture of the remains of the pre-war regular army; the Territorial Force; and Kitchener's Army, a force of volunteer recruits including many Pals' Battalions, recruited from the same places and occupations.

The battle is notable for the importance of air power and the first use of the tank. At the end of the battle, British and French forces had penetrated 10 km (6 mi) into German-occupied territory, taking more ground than in any of their offensives since the Battle of the Marne in 1914. The Anglo-French armies failed to capture Péronne and halted 5 km (3 mi) from Bapaume, where the German armies maintained their positions over the winter. British attacks in the Ancre valley resumed in January 1917 and forced the Germans into local withdrawals to reserve lines in February, before the scheduled retirement to the Siegfriedstellung (Hindenburg Line) began in March. Debate continues over the necessity, significance and effect of the battle.

Causes of World War I

The causes of World War I remain controversial. World War I began in the Balkans in late July 1914 and ended in November 1918, leaving 17 million dead and 20 million wounded.

Scholars looking at the long-term seek to explain why two rival sets of powers – Germany and Austria-Hungary on the one hand, and Russia, France, and Great Britain on the other – had come into conflict by 1914. They look at such factors as political, territorial and economic conflicts, militarism, a complex web of alliances and alignments, imperialism, the growth of nationalism, and the power vacuum created by the decline of the Ottoman Empire. Other important long-term or structural factors that are often studied include unresolved territorial disputes, the perceived breakdown of the balance of power in Europe, convoluted and fragmented governance, the arms races of the previous decades, and military planning.Scholars doing short-term analysis focused on the summer of 1914 ask if the conflict could have been stopped, or whether it was out of control. The immediate causes lay in decisions made by statesmen and generals during the July Crisis of 1914. This crisis was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by a Bosnian Serb who had been supported by a nationalist organization in Serbia. The crisis escalated as the conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia came to involve Russia, Germany, France, and ultimately Belgium and Great Britain. Other factors that came into play during the diplomatic crisis that preceded the war included misperceptions of intent (e.g., the German belief that Britain would remain neutral), fatalism that war was inevitable, and the speed of the crisis, which was exacerbated by delays and misunderstandings in diplomatic communications.

The crisis followed a series of diplomatic clashes among the Great Powers (Italy, France, Germany, Britain, Austria-Hungary and Russia) over European and colonial issues in the decades before 1914 that had left tensions high. In turn, these public clashes can be traced to changes in the balance of power in Europe since 1867.Consensus on the origins of the war remains elusive since historians disagree on key factors, and place differing emphasis on a variety of factors. This is compounded by changing historical arguments over time, particularly the delayed availability of classified historical archives. The deepest distinction among historians is between those who focus on the actions of Germany and Austria-Hungary as key and those who focus on a wider group of actors. Secondary fault lines exist between those who believe that Germany deliberately planned a European war, those who believe that the war was ultimately unplanned but still caused principally by Germany and Austria-Hungary taking risks, and those who believe that either all or some of the other powers, namely Russia, France, Serbia and Great Britain, played a more significant role in causing the war than has been traditionally suggested.

Developed country

A developed country, industrialized country, more developed country, or more economically developed country (MEDC), is a sovereign state that has a developed economy and advanced technological infrastructure relative to other less industrialized nations. Most commonly, the criteria for evaluating the degree of economic development are gross domestic product (GDP), gross national product (GNP), the per capita income, level of industrialization, amount of widespread infrastructure and general standard of living. Which criteria are to be used and which countries can be classified as being developed are subjects of debate.

Developed countries have generally post-industrial economies, meaning the service sector provides more wealth than the industrial sector. They are contrasted with developing countries, which are in the process of industrialization or pre-industrial and almost entirely agrarian, some of which might fall into the category of least developed countries. As of 2015, advanced economies comprise 60.8% of global GDP based on nominal values and 42.9% of global GDP based on purchasing-power parity (PPP) according to the International Monetary Fund. In 2017, the ten largest advanced economies by GDP in both nominal and PPP terms were Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Eastern Front (World War I)

The Eastern Front or Eastern Theater of World War I (German: Ostfront, Russian: Восточный фронт, Vostochnıy front) was a theatre of operations that encompassed at its greatest extent the entire frontier between the Russian Empire and Romania on one side and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and the German Empire on the other. It stretched from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south, included most of Eastern Europe and stretched deep into Central Europe as well. The term contrasts with "Western Front", which was being fought in Belgium and France.

During 1910, Russian General Yuri Danilov developed "Plan 19" under which four armies would invade East Prussia. This plan was criticised as Austria-Hungary could be a greater threat than the German Empire. So instead of four armies invading East Prussia, the Russians planned to send two armies to East Prussia, and two Armies to defend against Austro-Hungarian forces invading from Galicia. In the opening months of the war, the Imperial Russian Army attempted an invasion of eastern Prussia in the northwestern theater, only to be beaten back by the Germans after some initial success. At the same time, in the south, they successfully invaded Galicia, defeating the Austro-Hungarian forces there. In Russian Poland, the Germans failed to take Warsaw. But by 1915, the German and Austro-Hungarian armies were on the advance, dealing the Russians heavy casualties in Galicia and in Poland, forcing it to retreat. Grand Duke Nicholas was sacked from his position as the commander-in-chief and replaced by the Tsar himself. Several offensives against the Germans in 1916 failed, including Lake Naroch Offensive and the Baranovichi Offensive. However, General Aleksei Brusilov oversaw a highly successful operation against Austria-Hungary that became known as the Brusilov Offensive, which saw the Russian Army make large gains.The Kingdom of Romania entered the war in August 1916. The Entente promised the region of Transylvania (which was part of Austria-Hungary) in return for Romanian support. The Romanian Army invaded Transylvania and had initial successes, but was forced to stop and was pushed back by the Germans and Austro-Hungarians when Bulgaria attacked them in the south. Meanwhile, a revolution occurred in Russia in February 1917 (one of the several causes being the hardships of the war). Tsar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate and a Russian Provisional Government was founded, with Georgy Lvov as its first leader, who was eventually replaced by Alexander Kerensky.

The newly formed Russian Republic continued to fight the war alongside Romania and the rest of the Entente until it was overthrown by the Bolsheviks in October 1917. Kerensky oversaw the July Offensive, which was largely a failure and caused a collapse in the Russian Army. The new government established by the Bolsheviks signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Central Powers, taking it out of the war and making large territorial concessions. Romania was also forced to surrender and signed a similar treaty, though both of the treaties were nullified with the surrender of the Central Powers in November 1918.

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American journalist, novelist, and short-story writer. His economical and understated style—which he termed the iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his adventurous lifestyle and his public image brought him admiration from later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short-story collections, and two non-fiction works. Three of his novels, four short story collections, and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.

Hemingway was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school, he reported for a few months for The Kansas City Star before leaving for the Italian Front to enlist as an ambulance driver in World War I. In 1918, he was seriously wounded and returned home. His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms (1929).

In 1921, he married Hadley Richardson, the first of what would be four wives. The couple moved to Paris, where he worked as a foreign correspondent and fell under the influence of the modernist writers and artists of the 1920s "Lost Generation" expatriate community. His debut novel, The Sun Also Rises, was published in 1926. After his 1927 divorce from Richardson, Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer; they divorced after he returned from the Spanish Civil War, where he had been a journalist. He based For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) on his experience there. Martha Gellhorn became his third wife in 1940; they separated after he met Mary Welsh in London during World War II. He was present at the Normandy landings and the liberation of Paris.

Shortly after the publication of The Old Man and the Sea (1952), Hemingway went on safari to Africa, where he was almost killed in two successive plane crashes that left him in pain or ill-health for much of the rest of his life. Hemingway maintained permanent residences in Key West, Florida (in the 1930s) and Cuba (in the 1940s and 1950s). In 1959, he bought a house in Ketchum, Idaho, where, in mid-1961, he shot himself in the head.

George V

George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.

Born during the reign of his grandmother Queen Victoria, George was third in the line of succession behind his father, Prince Albert Edward, and his own elder brother, Prince Albert Victor. From 1877 to 1891, George served in the Royal Navy, until the unexpected death of his elder brother in early 1892 put him directly in line for the throne. On the death of his grandmother in 1901, George's father ascended the throne as Edward VII, and George was created Prince of Wales. He became king-emperor on his father's death in 1910.

George V's reign saw the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, and the Indian independence movement, all of which radically changed the political landscape. The Parliament Act 1911 established the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons over the unelected House of Lords. As a result of the First World War (1914–1918), the empires of his first cousins Nicholas II of Russia and Wilhelm II of Germany fell, while the British Empire expanded to its greatest effective extent. In 1917, George became the first monarch of the House of Windsor, which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a result of anti-German public sentiment. In 1924 he appointed the first Labour ministry and in 1931 the Statute of Westminster recognised the dominions of the Empire as separate, independent states within the Commonwealth of Nations. He had smoking-related health problems throughout much of his later reign and at his death was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII.

History of the United Kingdom during the First World War

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was one of the Allied Powers during the First World War of 1914–1918, fighting against the Central Powers (the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Bulgaria). The state's armed forces were reorganised—the war marked the founding of the Royal Air Force, for example—and increased in size because of the introduction, in January 1916, of conscription for the first time in the country's history as well as the raising of what was, at the time, the largest all-volunteer army in history, known as Kitchener's Army, of more than 2,000,000 men. The outbreak of war has generally been regarded as a socially unifying event, although this view has been challenged by more recent scholarship. In any case, responses in Great Britain in 1914 were similar to those amongst populations across Europe.On the eve of war, there was serious domestic unrest in the UK (amongst the labour and suffrage movements and especially in Ireland) but much of the population rapidly rallied behind the government. Significant sacrifices were made in the name of defeating the Empire's enemies and many of those who could not fight contributed to philanthropic and humanitarian causes. Fearing food shortages and labour shortfalls, the government passed legislation such as the Defence of the Realm Act 1914, to give it new powers. The war saw a move away from the idea of "business as usual" under Prime Minister H. H. Asquith, and towards a state of total war (complete state intervention in public affairs) under the premiership of David Lloyd George; the first time this had been seen in Britain. The war also witnessed the first aerial bombardments of cities in Britain.

Newspapers played an important role in maintaining popular support for the war. Large quantities of propaganda were produced by the government under the guidance of such journalists as Charles Masterman and newspaper owners such as Lord Beaverbrook. By adapting to the changing demographics of the workforce (or the "dilution of labour", as it was termed), war-related industries grew rapidly, and production increased, as concessions were quickly made to trade unions. In that regard, the war is also credited by some with drawing women into mainstream employment for the first time. Debates continue about the impact the war had on women's emancipation, given that a large number of women were granted the vote for the first time in 1918. The experience of individual women during the war varied; much depended on locality, age, marital status and occupation.The civilian death rate rose due to food shortages and Spanish Flu, which hit the country in 1918. Military deaths are estimated to have exceeded 850,000. The Empire reached its zenith at the conclusion of peace negotiations. However, the war heightened not only imperial loyalties but also individual national identities in the Dominions (Canada, Newfoundland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) and India. Irish nationalists after 1916 moved from collaboration with London to demands for immediate independence (see Easter Rising), a move given great impetus by the Conscription Crisis of 1918.Military historians continue to debate matters of tactics and strategy. However, in terms of memory of the war, historian Adrian Gregory argues that:

"The verdict of popular culture is more or less unanimous. The First World War was stupid, tragic and futile. The stupidity of the war has been a theme of growing strength since the 1920s. From Robert Graves, through 'Oh! What a Lovely War' to 'Blackadder Goes Forth,' the criminal idiocy of the British High Command has become an article of faith."

List of last World War I veterans by country

This is a list of the last World War I veterans to die by country. The last living veteran of World War I (28 July 1914 – 11 November 1918) was Florence Green, a British citizen who served in the Allied armed forces, and who died 4 February 2012, aged 110. The last combat veteran was Claude Choules who served in the British Royal Navy (and later the Royal Australian Navy) and died 5 May 2011, aged 110. The last veteran who served in the trenches was Harry Patch (British Army) who died on 25 July 2009, aged 111. The last Central Powers veteran, Franz Künstler of Austria-Hungary, died on 27 May 2008 at the age of 107.

The total number of participating personnel is estimated by the Encyclopædia Britannica at 65,038,810. There were approximately 9,750,103 military deaths during the conflict.

Veterans, for this purpose, are defined as people who were members of the armed forces of one of the combatant nations up to and including the date of the Armistice. This policy may vary from the policy in actual use in some countries.

Public Enemy (band)

Public Enemy is an American hip hop group consisting of Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, Khari Wynn, DJ Lord, Sammy Sam, and the S1W group. Formed in Long Island, New York, in 1986, they are known for their politically charged music and criticism of the American media, with an active interest in the frustrations and concerns of the African American community.

Their first four albums during the late 1980s and early 1990s were all certified either gold or platinum and were, according to music critic Robert Hilburn in 1998, "the most acclaimed body of work ever by a hip hop act". Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine called them "the most influential and radical band of their time." They were inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Russian Revolution

The Russian Revolution was a pair of revolutions in Russia in 1917 which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy and led to the rise of the Soviet Union. The Russian Empire collapsed with the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II and the old regime was replaced by a provisional government during the first revolution of February 1917 (March in the Gregorian calendar; the older Julian calendar was in use in Russia at the time). Alongside it arose grassroots community assemblies (called 'Soviets') which contended for authority. In the second revolution that October, the Provisional Government was toppled and all power was given to the Soviets.

The February Revolution (March 1917) was a revolution focused around Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg), the capital of Russia at that time. In the chaos, members of the Imperial parliament (the Duma) assumed control of the country, forming the Russian Provisional Government which was heavily dominated by the interests of large capitalists and the noble aristocracy. The army leadership felt they did not have the means to suppress the revolution, resulting in Tsar Nicholas's abdication. The Soviets, which were dominated by soldiers and the urban industrial working class, initially permitted the Provisional Government to rule, but insisted on a prerogative to influence the government and control various militias. The February Revolution took place in the context of heavy military setbacks during the First World War (1914–18), which left much of the Russian Army in a state of mutiny.

A period of dual power ensued, during which the Provisional Government held state power while the national network of Soviets, led by socialists, had the allegiance of the lower classes and, increasingly, the left-leaning urban middle class. During this chaotic period there were frequent mutinies, protests and many strikes. Many socialist political organizations were engaged in daily struggle and vied for influence within the Duma and the Soviets, central among which were the Bolsheviks ("Ones of the Majority") led by Vladimir Lenin who campaigned for an immediate end to the war, land to the peasants, and bread to the workers. When the Provisional Government chose to continue fighting the war with Germany, the Bolsheviks and other socialist factions were able to exploit virtually universal disdain towards the war effort as justification to advance the revolution further. The Bolsheviks turned workers' militias under their control into the Red Guards (later the Red Army) over which they exerted substantial control.In the October Revolution (November in the Gregorian calendar), the Bolsheviks led an armed insurrection by workers and soldiers in Petrograd that successfully overthrew the Provisional Government, transferring all its authority to the Soviets with the capital being relocated to Moscow shortly thereafter. The Bolsheviks had secured a strong base of support within the Soviets and, as the now supreme governing party, established a federal government dedicated to reorganizing the former empire into the world's first socialist republic, practicing Soviet democracy on a national and international scale. The promise to end Russia's participation in the First World War was honored promptly with the Bolshevik leaders signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany in March 1918. To further secure the new state, the Cheka was established which functioned as a revolutionary security service that sought to weed out and punish those considered to be "enemies of the people" in campaigns consciously modeled on similar events during the French Revolution.

Soon after, civil war erupted among the "Reds" (Bolsheviks), the "Whites" (counter-revolutionaries), the independence movements and the non-Bolshevik socialists. It continued for several years, during which the Bolsheviks defeated both the Whites and all rival socialists and thereafter reconstituted themselves as the Communist Party. In this way, the Revolution paved the way for the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922. While many notable historical events occurred in Moscow and Petrograd, there was also a visible movement in cities throughout the state, among national minorities throughout the empire and in the rural areas, where peasants took over and redistributed land.

Third World

During the Cold War, the Third World referred to the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the nations not aligned with either the First World or the Second World. This usage has become relatively rare due to the ending of the Cold War.

In the decade following the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the term Third World was used interchangeably with developing countries, but the concept has become outdated as it no longer represents the current political or economic state of the world. The three-world model arose during the Cold War to define countries aligned with NATO (the First World), the Communist Bloc (the Second World, although this term was less used), or neither (the Third World). Strictly speaking, "Third World" was a political, rather than an economic, grouping.

Since about the 2000s the term Third World has been used less and less. It is being replaced with terms such as developing countries, least developed countries or the Global South.

Western Front (World War I)

The Western Front was the main theatre of war during the First World War. Following the outbreak of war in August 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne. Following the Race to the Sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France, which changed little except during early 1917 and in 1918.

Between 1915 and 1917 there were several offensives along this front. The attacks employed massive artillery bombardments and massed infantry advances. Entrenchments, machine gun emplacements, barbed wire and artillery repeatedly inflicted severe casualties during attacks and counter-attacks and no significant advances were made. Among the most costly of these offensives were the Battle of Verdun, in 1916, with a combined 700,000 casualties (estimated), the Battle of the Somme, also in 1916, with more than a million casualties (estimated), and the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres), in 1917, with 487,000 casualties (estimated).To break the deadlock of trench warfare on the Western Front, both sides tried new military technology, including poison gas, aircraft and tanks. The adoption of better tactics and the cumulative weakening of the armies in the west led to the return of mobility in 1918. The German Spring Offensive of 1918 was made possible by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk that ended the war of the Central Powers against Russia and Romania on the Eastern Front. Using short, intense "hurricane" bombardments and infiltration tactics, the German armies moved nearly 100 kilometres (60 miles) to the west, the deepest advance by either side since 1914, but the result was indecisive.

The inexorable advance of the Allied armies during the second half of 1918 caused a sudden collapse of the German armies and persuaded the German commanders that defeat was inevitable. The German government surrendered in the Armistice of 11 November 1918, and the terms of peace were settled by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

World Trade Center (1973–2001)

The original World Trade Center was a large complex of seven buildings in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. It featured the landmark Twin Towers, which opened on April 4, 1973 and were destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. At the time of their completion, the Twin Towers — the original 1 World Trade Center, at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center, at 1,362 feet (415.1 m) — were the tallest buildings in the world. Other buildings in the complex included the Marriott World Trade Center (3 WTC), 4 WTC, 5 WTC, 6 WTC, and 7 WTC. The complex was located in New York City's Financial District and contained 13,400,000 square feet (1,240,000 m2) of office space.The core of the complex was built between 1975 and 1985, with a cost of $400 million (equivalent to $2.27 billion in 2018). The World Trade Center experienced a fire on February 13, 1975, a bombing on February 26, 1993, and a bank robbery on January 14, 1998. In 1998, the Port Authority decided to privatize the World Trade Center, leasing the buildings to a private company to manage, and awarded the lease to Silverstein Properties in July 2001.On the morning of September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda-affiliated hijackers flew two Boeing 767 jets into the North and South Towers within minutes of each other; two hours later, both towers collapsed. The attacks killed 2,606 people in and within the vicinity of the towers, as well as all 157 on board the two aircraft. Falling debris from the towers, combined with fires that the debris initiated in several surrounding buildings, led to the partial or complete collapse of all the buildings in the complex and caused catastrophic damage to ten other large structures in the surrounding area.

The cleanup and recovery process at the World Trade Center site took eight months, during which the remains of the other buildings were demolished. The World Trade Center complex was rebuilt over more than a decade. The site is being rebuilt with six new skyscrapers, while a memorial to those killed in the attacks, a new rapid transit hub, and an elevated park were all opened. One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 1,776 feet (541 m), is the lead building for the new complex, having been completed in November 2014.

World War I

World War I (often abbreviated as WWI or WW1), also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, and the two moved to a war footing.

A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe. By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France, Russia and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy (the Triple Alliance was primarily defensive in nature, allowing Italy to stay out of the war in 1914). Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; on the 31st, Austria-Hungary and Germany did the same, while Germany demanded Russia demobilise within 12 hours. When Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th; France ordered full mobilisation in support of Russia on 2 August.German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to rapidly concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks, then shift forces to the East before Russia could fully mobilise; this was later known as the Schlieffen Plan. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France. When this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day; the Belgian government invoked the 1839 Treaty of London and in compliance with its obligations under this, Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August. On 12 August, Britain and France also declared war on Austria-Hungary; on the 23rd, Japan sided with the Entente, seizing German possessions in China and the Pacific. In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus, Mesopotamia and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each powers' colonial empires as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe. The Entente and its allies would eventually become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary, Germany and their allies would become known as the Central Powers.

The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917 (the Eastern Front, by contrast, was marked by much greater exchanges of territory). In 1915, Italy joined the Allied Powers and opened a front in the Alps. The Kingdom of Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and the Kingdom of Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans. The United States initially remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade effectively prevented the Germans from doing the same the U.S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies. Eventually, after the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, and the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U.S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but ultimately the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops.Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, and Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918. The 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, and the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive. This offensive was initially successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated, signing the Armistice of Mudros. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, and the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918.

World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural, economic, and social climate of the world. The war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous revolutions and uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, France, the United States, and Italy) imposed their terms on the defeated powers in a series of treaties agreed at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, the most well known being the German peace treaty—the Treaty of Versailles. Ultimately, as a result of the war the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, and Russian Empires ceased to exist, with numerous new states created from their remains. However, despite the conclusive Allied victory (and the creation of the League of Nations during the Peace Conference, intended to prevent future wars), a Second World War would follow just over twenty years later.

World war

A world war is a large-scale war which affects the whole world directly or indirectly. World wars span multiple countries on multiple continents or just two countries, with battles fought in many theaters. While a variety of global conflicts have been subjectively deemed "world wars", such as the Cold War and the War on Terror, the term is widely and usually accepted only as it is retrospectively applied to two major international conflicts that occurred during the 20th century: World War I (1914–18) and World War II (1939–45).

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