World War I – Still Relevant Almost a Century Later
World War I is often called the “Great War”, and for good reason. There is not a single continent on Earth that was not impacted in one way or another, and the ramifications can still be seen today.
WWI brought women out of their homes and into the work force, paving the way to eventual equality between the sexes.
Following WWI, a disgruntled Chinese public began to rally the country together once more in order to rise to the position of power they held for centuries before the rise of Western imperialism, leading to a series of economy-boosting revolutions.
The Ottoman Empire was systematically dismantled and reassembled by the Allied Powers after WWI ended, grouping together warring tribes who are in combat to this very day.
Women in the Workplace
With most of the country’s able-bodied men fighting in the war, the home front found itself greatly lacking in laborers. The need for goods was only increasing as the Great War raged on, and women began to fill the positions left by draftees. Millions of women world-wide were leaving their domestic tasks for employment in munition factories and fields. While the impact of WWI on women’s suffrage is debatable, women had the opportunity to prove to the world that they were capable of more than house-keeping, and stake their place in the workforce.
China’s Rise to Economic Power
Though the Hsin-Hai Revolution brought an end to dynastic rule in China, the repercussions of WWI began an intellectual movement that eventually solidified the success of the Communist Revolution in 1949. At the end of the war, China sought to have the land that was lost during battle restored to them, namely the Shandong Province. The Western Allies paid little attention to the Chinese representative’s demands and rewarded Shandong to Japan in the Treaty of Versailles, creating a unified feeling of betrayal throughout China.
The proceedings in Versailles left the Chinese people feeling powerless in this new Western-dominated world. Students of Peking university and other schools gathered in demonstrations against their spineless government and the betrayal of the Allied powers at Versailles. Though these protests did not accomplish their objective of reclaiming the Shandong Peninsula, the movement succeeded in bringing China’s various classes together and creating the Communist Party. The intense focus on science and experimentation during this period established radical thinking intellectuals who would go on to rally workers and peasants, ultimately leading to the success of the Communist Revolution. The new Communist government drove out the parasitic financial, comprador and speculative classes who had drained China of its wealth since the British and Western imperial conquest of the East.
Dividing the Middle East
The aftermath of WWI presented several opportunities for the Allied powers to claim lands that had previously belonged to Germany or her allies. One of these territories is present-day Iraq. At the end of the war British occupied territory that would later become Iraq, Palestine, Trans-Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and Britain’s military success made her the dominant presence in the region. Boundaries were drawn without regard to the land’s inhabitants or historical divides, causing conflicts between ethnic groups which would later be exacerbated by the discovery of oil in this region.
About the Author
Aileen Lopez is a writer and the Outreach Director for the Morgan Law Firm, a firm that represents clients going through a divorce in Austin divorce firm. See additional articles on the firm’s Austin Divorce Blog.