Consequences of the War

 

Contents

 

 

World War I caused more damage than any other war before it. 9 million soldiers and as many civilians died in the war. Germany and Russia suffered most, both countries lost almost two million men in battle.

Large sections of land, especially in France and Belgium, were completely destroyed. Fighting laid buildings, bridges and railroad lines in ruins. Chemicals and gun shells made farming land unusable for years to come.

 

Economic consequences

World War I cost the participating countries a lot of money. Germany and Great Britain spent about 60% of the money their economy produced. Countries had to raise taxes and borrow money from their citizens. They also printed money in order to buy weapons and other things they needed for war. This led to inflation after the war.

Shipbuilding industry in World War I

Shipbuilding industry in World War I

The Allies wanted reparations from the Central Powers, because they were responsible for starting the war.

Economy all across Europe broke down. Companies had to close because men left their jobs to fight in the army. When they came back there were no jobs left for them. Other businesses specialized in producing weapons. After the war they had nothing else to sell. During the war governments controlled the economy more than before.

The United States entered the war very late. It did not suffer destruction the way European countries did. Because they had played a smaller part in the war, America remained economically stronger than the others.

 
Political Consequences

World War I brought an end to four monarchies: Czar Nicholas II of Russia, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, Emperor Charles of Austria and the sultan of the Ottoman Empire had to step down.

Map of Europe after World War I

Map of Europe after World War I

New countries were created out of old empires. Austria-Hungary was carved up into a number of independent states. Russia and Germany gave land to Poland. Countries in the Middle East were put under the control of Great Britain and France. What was left of the Ottoman Empire became Turkey.

In the course of the Russian Revolution the Soviet Union emerged, together with a new ideology: Communism.

 

Social    Consequences

World War I changed society completely. Birth rates went down because millions of young men died. Civilians lost their homes and fled to other countries.

The role of women also changed. They played a major part in replacing men in factories and offices. Many countries gave women more rights after the war had ended, including the right to vote.

The upper classes lost their leading role in society. Young middle and lower class men and women demanded a say in forming their country after the war.

 

Women working in a weapons factory

Women working in a weapons factory

 

World War I- Online Exercises

 

Words

  • Allies = countries that fought against Austria-Hungary and Germany
  • battle = fighting
  • birth rate = the number of babies born per 1000 people
  • business = company
  • carve up = cut up, divided
  • cause = lead to
  • citizen = a person who lives in a country and has rights there
  • civilian = not a soldier
  • damage = destruction
  • demand a say = if you want to help make a decision
  • destroy = damage completely
  • economy = the system by which a country's products and services are produced
  • emerge = come up
  • empire = a group of countries ruled by a king or queen
  • especially = above all
  • factory = place where things are produced
  • flee-fled = escape
  • government = the people who rule a country
  • gun shell = the outer, metal part of a bullet
  • including = also
  • independent = free
  • inflation = when prices go up because the money is worth less
  • leading = dominant, number one
  • major = very important
  • participating = taking part
  • raise = make higher
  • remain = stay
  • reparation = money that the defeated countries have to pay to the winners
  • replace = to do something in someone else's place
  • responsible = to blame
  • right to vote = to be allowed to vote for a president or a member of parliament
  • ruins = not much is left of something
  • society = people in general
  • soldier = a person who fights for their country in an army
  • Soviet Union = Communist country that was created out of Russia in 1917; it lasted until 1991
  • suffer = here: lose men and civilians
  • sultan = ruler of a Muslim country or empire
  • tax = the money that people must pay to the government ; it is used for general services
  • unusable = unable to be used
  • weapons = guns, bombs and other objects you use for fighting