World's View on a World War

Matt Schofer

Context

Both World War 1 and World War 2 are applicable in this scope because it's about how the world views World Wars. For a war to be deemed a World War, it requires a global level of participation towards the war effort on either side. Leading into the First World War, world powers, Germany, Great Britain, and France with Italy, Russia and the United States remaining neutral in the beginning of the war. When Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assinated, world powers sided with their respective allies which pit Great Britain, France against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Carrying on further, at the beginning of World War 2, Hitler's Germany stood poised to invade land they coveted as the United Kingdom atempted to avoid war at all costs. However, when Hitler invades Poland it forces the United Kingdom and the allies to join the war on side of Poland forming the allies of Poland, the UK, and France versus Germany, Japan and Italy with the US and the USSR remaining neutral in the beginning of the war.

The Image of War

War is commonly glorified especially before the practice of photography of war became common, but continued glorification in depictions of war in art and events. The image of the soldiers ascending the Dolomites of the Alps poses war as  a synthesis of everything man has accomplished in science. Conquering the Alps is considered one of those events that is made to portray the peak of Italian science and their ability to conquer nature. This concept is reoccuring throughout history, it occured recently in the Cold War with the space race with the US and USSR competing for scientific superiority.

Weary Warfare

The juxtaposition of glorified warfare is of course the death and gore of war it's self. Images of war tend to cause weariness over war because it causes people of to focus on the costs of war such as the loss of life and the terror it causes people who are affected by the war great anguish and distress. The cost of human suffering in the minds of the average citizen must be avoided rather than continuing to fight. Moments of that would be akin to when the US saw video footage from the Vietnam War and America began to oppose the continuation of war in Vietnam. 

Importance

The Historical Significance of the perception of a war is crucial because it determines the soldiers and the citizens overall attititude towards the war. Citizen's attitude towards the war could very well determine the outcome of a war, a  common example of this is the Vietnam War where a major contributing factor to their efoort to stave off United States interferement was the fear that it meant the end of Vietnamese society to loose, but the there was no direct motivator for United States' to win. Germany during World War 2 had incredible morale which guided them to swift victories in the war until defeats in Russia which ultimately led to an end of the German Campaign. Given that, it is vital during a war to have citizen based support of the war or else there is rather no point in continuing to fight because loosing will inevitable.

Info Obtained From...

Abbot, Willis J. The Nations at War: a Current History. Syndicate Pub. Co., 1914.

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