James Rarick Western Civilization II Essay

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The fact that the Ottoman Empire had experienced significant losses until that time meant that other European powers needed to intervene and attempt to gain control over areas that the Ottomans lost. The Allies eventually won the conflict but it was difficult to determine the exact effects that their victory would have on their relationship with the Ottoman Empire, as its leaders seemed determined to maintain most of their attitudes with regard to non-Muslims within their borders, thus meaning that one of the primary reasons for which the French, the English, and the Sardinians entered the war was believed to be unimportant by the Ottomans.

6. Crisis in the Ottoman Empire

People across Greece saw the Crimean War as an opportunity to concentrate their powers into removing Ottoman control from within their borders. Individuals in the Epirus region started to publicly express revolutionary attitudes in an attempt to influence others to join their cause. The political map of the Ottoman Empire thus came to be redrawn as other European powers experienced rapid progress and as the Turks acknowledged their reduced presence on the continent.

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire was also a result of members of the Ottoman elite starting to consider that it would have been better for them and for their community in general to be a part of a smaller and stronger state rather than being part of a state that spread across large parts of Asia and Europe and that had very little influence on both continents. Members of the Ottoman elite thus "preferred a state with a nationalist Turkish identity to one with a more diffuse Ottoman or Islamic facade." (O'Brien 179) This makes it possible to understand the crisis that the Ottoman Empire experienced during its last years. Countries that it was in control of took advantage of this situation to emphasize their need for independence and thus provided the world with the opportunity to acknowledge that it was pointless for it to continue to accept the Ottoman Empire as one of the greatest powers on the planet.

III. War and Revolution during the twentieth century

The twentieth century was very similar to the nineteenth century when considering the wars and conflicts that occurred throughout the past century. However, the fact that technology experienced significant progress and that the number of people grew rapidly as a consequence also reflected negatively on the numbers of deaths occurring through a conflict. The two World Wars were large enough to involve almost the entire world in a conflict motivated by a series of controversial concepts. To a certain degree, one can safely claim that the conflicts occurring throughout the twentieth century had more of an influence on the social order than any other events happening throughout this time period.

9. The Balkan Wars

Society had experienced much change at the turn of the twentieth century and many Balkan countries had managed to achieve independence from the Ottoman Empire. However, the fact that many individuals who originated in these respective countries were still under Ottoman rule influenced the group to get actively involved in devising a strategy to remove Ottoman influence from their territories. Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia united in 1912

to form the Balkan League. While it was obvious that Balkan countries were determined to gain autonomy from the Ottoman Empire ever since the late nineteenth century, the twentieth century made it possible for the whole world to understand that these countries were determined to fight for their independence, despite the fact that they had to go against what was several decades earlier one of the most powerful nations on Earth.

Russian forces apparently played an important role in inspiring and coordinating Balkan countries to remove Ottoman influence in the region. The four nations involved in the Balkan League cooperated as a result of acknowledging the unique role that each of them could play in increasing the chances of victory. With most of its forces concentrated in Asia, the Ottoman Empire needed to struggle with the forces it had on European ground. Its attempts to transport troops across the Aegean Sea failed because the Greek navy was superior to the Ottoman one and this played an essential role in deciding the odds of the war. The first Balkan war thus materialized in the end of Ottoman presence in Europe Catalca line consequent to approximately five centuries of occupation.

The Second Balkan war involved Bulgaria going against Serbia and Greece on account of their reluctance to cede part of Macedonia to the Bulgarians as agreed on previous to the First Balkan War. While Bulgarians had a series of victories in their initial enterprise, conditions changed significantly when Romanians intervened and forced Bulgaria to accept an armistice in which it needed to accept conditions that affected its borders.

10. The First World War

a. Causes

The First World War commenced as a result of Archduke Franz Ferdinand being assassinated in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. Austria-Hungary used this crime as a pretext to issue a series of demands (that were intentionally designed to be impossible) to Serbia. The fact that Germany was allied to Austria-Hungary meant that it needed to intervene in a situation involving a major conflict. However, both countries had different understandings of a German intervention, as Austria-Hungary expected it to direct its forces to the East while Germany wanted to concentrate its forces in France.

Most forces involved in the First World War got involved in the conflict because they had to respect treaties saying that it was mandatory for them to do so. While a great deal of troops and weapons were involved in the conflict, stalemates were very common and millions of people died without any of the belligerent camps achieving significant successes.

b. Belligerent camps

As previously mentioned, most of the countries involved in World War One took action because they were obliged through contract to do so. Initially starting as a small and rather insignificant conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, the war rapidly spread and came to involve Germany, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire joining Austria in fighting as the Central Powers while France, the British Empire, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Italy, the Kingdom of Romania, the Empire of Japan, Belgium, Greece, Portugal and the United Stated fighting as the Entente (Allied Powers).

Trench warfare dominated most of 1916 and 1917 and the war changed significantly as the U.S. took up arms against the Central Powers on account of this alliance attacking its ships and as a result of the Bolshevik Revolution rebelling against the Russian Czar. The War finally ended in 1918 after both belligerent camps acknowledged that it was very impossible for them to be able to advance, taking into account that soldiers were demoralized and as the Central Powers were particularly weakened by their enemies.

11. The Russian Revolution

Russians had grown unsatisfied with the condition they were in at the turn of the twentieth century and a series of measures taken by the Czar further managed to cause unrest among the masses. The First World War caused great concern among Russian populations as people started to feel that the Czar had no interest in well-being. The fact that he directed most of Russia's resources to frontlines left civilians starving and suffering greatly. "In October (November by today's calendar in Russia) 1917, this group, the Bolsheviks, stormed the Winter palace, headquarters for the temporary government, and they took control." (Sterling 74) V.I. Lenin was in charge of the Bolsheviks and he soon became Russia's leader, gained control of the country's industries, withdrew it from the First World War, and reformed the leading party by calling it the Russian Communist Party and by restructuring most of the principles it respected until that time.

4. Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Civil War took place between July 1936 and April 1939 and involved the Republicans fighting on behalf of the Spanish Republic and the Nationalists wanting to overthrow the government. The nationalists were led by General Francisco Franco and received support from Nazi Germany, the Kingdom of Italy, and Portugal while the loyalists were supported by Soviet Russia and Mexico. Nationalists eventually won the conflict consequent to installing a war of attrition and consequent to atrocities being committed by both sides.

5. The Second World War

The Second World War was the biggest conflict in the history of mankind and the number of individuals involved and the number of casualties played an important role in preventing future conflicts from evolving as rapidly as it evolved during the 1939-1945 period. Adolf Hitler's party experienced significant success during the early 1930s and this enabled the Nazis to develop in one of the strongest forces in Germany. The Versailles treaty consequent to World War One influenced Germans to…

Sources Used in Document:

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12. "The State and Revolution in the Twentieth Century: Major Social Transformations of Our Time," (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007)

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