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assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of
Austria-Hungary, and his wife by a Serbian nationalist on the morning
of June 28, 1914, while traveling in a motorcade through Sarajevo, the
capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Archduke was chosen as a
target because Serbians feared that after his ascension to the throne,
he would continue the persecution of Serbs living within the
Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Serbian terrorist organization, the Black
Hand, had trained a small group of teenage operatives to infiltrate
Bosnia and carry out the assassination of the Archduke. It is unclear
how officially active the Serbian government was in the plot. However,
it was uncovered years later that the leader of the Black Hand was
also the head of Serbian military intelligence. In order to understand
the complexity of the causes of the war, it is very helpful to know
what was the opinion of the contemporaries about the causes of the
Great War. In the reprint of the article "What Started the War", from
August 17, 1915 issue of The Clock magazine published on the Internet
the author writes: "It is thought that this war that is been ongoing
for over a year, began with the assassination of the Archduke Francis
Ferdinand. However, many other reasons led to this war, some occurring
as far back the late 1800's. Nationalism, militarism, imperialism, and
the system of alliances were four main factors that pressed the great
powers towards this explosive war."  
According to the article above, the author stresses that the
nationalism was one of the primary causes of the war. In the ninetieth
and twentieth centuries, especially after the French Revolution
nationalism was becoming a powerful force in Europe so people that had
the same culture, language wanted their own country. And that was the
problem for the government of Austria-Hungary that did not want to
lose their power and control. The Slavs in the southern part of the
empire were their main concern since they wanted to join up to Serbia.
Militarism is the second cause according to the article above, which
comes after the nationalism. To understand what the author means by
militarism one should be familiar with the situation of the world in
the beginning of the century, which was the result of both industrial
and democratic revolutions. Britain at that time was the largest
empire in the world, and it also had the largest navy. The navy was so
big and strong because the Britons needed to protect their empire and
maintain the sea routes between the different colonies. The Kaiser
William II of Germany hated and envied Britain for having a stronger
navy than his. He increased the German navy and built many warships.
Britain responded with building more ships and increasing its navy
too. This started a race for building more and better warships and it
created tension and competition between those two countries.
Imperialism and the system of alliances are the last two major causes
of the War. There was a quarrel between France and Germany about
controlling the colonies, and especially Morocco, which leads to a
greater conflict, the Great War. Europe at that time was divided into
two rival alliance systems: Triple Entente that included Great
Britain, France, and Russia and the Triple Alliance, which included
the Central Powers of Austria-Hungary, Germany, and eventually the
Austria-Hungary must take a large proportion of any blame for the
outbreak of war in 1914. The reason for Germany's part in the causes
involves Germany's "blank Check" policy. Before sending its ultimatum
to Serbia, Austria needed to be sure of the support of its ally,
Germany. Such support was forthcoming in the form of a telegram to the
Emperor Franz Joseph on 6 July 1914. The telegram has become known to
history as the "Blank Check". In order to balance the power, France
and Russia signed an alliance. Russia saw itself as the 'protector of
Slavs' in the war, and immediately mobilized. When the war began, the
German decision that if they were going to have to fight Russia and
France, they would strike at France first according to its Schlieffen
Plan, and then turn West to Russia. Germans believed ... more

trench warfare

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The Art Of War
The Art of War


The pounding of shells, the mines, the death traps, the massive, blind destruction, the acrid stench of rotting flesh, the communal graves, the charred bodies, and the fear.  These are the images of war.  War has changed over the centuries from battles of legions of ironclad soldiers enveloped in glimmering armor fighting for what they believe to senseless acts of guerrilla warfare against those too coward to be draft-dodgers.  Those who were there, who experienced the terror first hand were deeply effected and changed forever.  In their retinas, images of blood and gore are burned for the rest of their life.
It has been said that there is no point in the "pretty, flowery, pastel" art that makes a person feel good.  It doesnt have any use, for the artist or the observer.  Art is supposed to deal with emotion.  It is one thing that helps people heal, not only by seeing, but also by doing.  Art is able to take all the bad emotions, all the hurts and pains and lets you express them.   It is no wonder that many that have seen the destruction of war have turned to art.  You dont see any "pretty pictures" of war.  Id like you to find one pretty aspect of war.  There is none, so therefore, war, as a subject for art, is hardly ever pretty.  The stories that they write, the paintings that they paint, the pictures that they take, are usually horrific scenes.  Only rarely do we see pictures of triumph (i.e. raising the flag at Iwo Jima) but those scenes take place only after the aftermath.  
It is also no wonder that many war artists actually use their talent only during and after war.  They use their art as a place for catharsis.  Only after they are done healing the torment of the war, they can be done with art.  One artist in World War One, Braque, fought in 1914, a year later he was wounded.  During his convalescence, he painted.  A year later he returned to his home.  He left not a single drawing or canvas alluding to what he had been through and no representation of the war is present in his work.  He made himself a fresh start, like others did.  Many painted and drew what they saw and lived through. From the sketchbooks of pencil drawings done at the warfront to the canvases painted on returning home, theirs is an intense and accurate testimony.  Yet, many have gone forgotten. This is probably due to the painful memories they conjure up.  This is why they have not much been looked at once the war was over.  
One of my most favorite poems, is an untitled poem by James Monroe Meserve.  Meserve was a solider in the American Civil war. In this poem, he his writing home to his family.  He talks of his wife and children being his guardian angels. I always cry when I read this poem because it is a sweet and loving poem about this mans undying love, even after his death.  Yet, Meserve still is able to have an underlying fact of the dark truth of war. He writes:
When my lonely post I'm walking
In some distant grove or glen,
O, will not the wand'ring angels
Watch their loving father then?

Far thee well, my loving Addie,
Ah, the word doth take my breath,
No -- my heart is clinging to thee,
As the ivy clings in death.

Meserve makes his love known for his family, but if you read between the lines, you can hear his pain and anguish of being away from them.  He went off to war to fight for what he believed in.  He has already lost his two sons to the war and now he was joining in to help.  I think in this way, writing home is the only way that he can vent his fear.  He fears that he might be forgotten as just another one of the millions who fought and died in the war. By writing this poem he is not forgotten.    
Ethel Lynn Eliot Beers was another Civil War Veteran, but she wasnt fighting on the front lines.  She was a nurse.  In her b.....leak poem "Across the Lines," she tells the story of ol Charlie Coleman.  She touches on two important issues of war.  First, Coleman is a man killed in battle.  She explains that his side won the ... more

trench warfare

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  • R: WWII R: WWII WWII assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife by a Serbian nationalist on the morning of June 28, 1914, while traveling in a motorcade through Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Archduke was chosen as a target because Serbians feared that after his ascension to the throne, he would continue the persecution of Serbs living within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Serbian terrorist organization, the Black Hand, had t...
  • E: The Art Of War E: The Art Of War The Art Of War The Art of War The pounding of shells, the mines, the death traps, the massive, blind destruction, the acrid stench of rotting flesh, the communal graves, the charred bodies, and the fear. These are the images of war. War has changed over the centuries from battles of legions of ironclad soldiers enveloped in glimmering armor fighting for what they believe to senseless acts of guerrilla warfare against those too coward to be draft-dodgers. Those who were there, who experienced the...
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  • R: Trench Warfare2 R: Trench Warfare2 Trench Warfare2 World War 1 is perhaps best known for being a war fought in trenches, ditches dug out of the ground to give troops protection from enemy artillery and machine-gun fire. The trenches spread from the East to the West. By the end of 1914, trenches stretched all along the 475 miles front between the Swiss border and the Channel coast. The trench system on the Western Front consisted of front-line, support and reserve trenches. The three rows of trenches covered between 200 and 500 ya...
  • E: Cause of WWI E: Cause of WWI Cause of WWI The First World War had many causes; the historians probably have not yet discovered and discussed all of them so there might be more causes than what we know now. The spark of the Great War was the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife by a Serbian nationalist on the morning of June 28, 1914, while traveling in a motorcade through Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Archduke was chosen as a target ...
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  • Honor Honor honor Is it glorious to die for your country?.... This question has been posed to many young people about to embark on war although the answer has usually been \'yes\' in response to their country due mainly to the fact that the government instills it in the people of the country to support one\'s country and one way is to send young abled bodied men into the army. If you were one individual that was not in favour of fighting for your country you would surely become an outcast by the countries p...