The Impact Of The Treaty Of Versailles, 1919

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Treaty of Versailles, 1919

Impact of World War I

World War I was one of the most destructive wars in modern history. Nearly ten million soldiers died as a result of hostilities. The enormous losses on all sides of the conflict resulted in part from the introduction of new weapons, like the machine gun and gas warfare, as well as the failure of military leaders to adjust their tactics to the increasingly mechanized nature of warfare. A policy of attrition, particularly on the Western Front, cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers.

No official agencies kept careful accounting of civilian losses during the war years, but scholars suggest that as many as thirteen million non-combatants died as a direct or indirect result of the war. The conflict uprooted or displaced millions of persons from their homes in Europe and Asia Minor. Property and industry losses were catastrophic, especially in France, Belgium, Poland, and Serbia, where fighting had been heaviest.

The "Fourteen Points"

In January 1918, some ten months before the end of World War I, US President Woodrow Wilson had written a list of proposed war aims which he called the “Fourteen Points.” Eight of these points dealt specifically with territorial and political settlements associated with the victory of the Entente Powers, including the idea of national self-determination for ethnic populations in Europe. The remainder of the principles focused on preventing war in the future, the last proposing a League
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