Introduction to World War I

By Dr. Timothy Heinrichs

As we observe the centennial of the First World War, we are digging into turf that is rich with lessons. For one thing, we learn that while building civilization is a work of centuries, an individual dedicated to hatred canĀ  tear much of it down in a couple of seconds. Moreover, the compelling faith in human progress that sweetened the intellectual atmosphere of the West not only failed to shame the European powers away from war; it seems to have even blinded world leaders to our potential ferocity. As with the French Revolution, we see idealism transformed to terror.

At the same time, we see the interconnectedness of the historical phenomena. Napoleon Bonaparte fits into the story of its causes, and communism and its fall fit into the legacies of the war. We also note the interconnectedness of nations of the world. They seem to respond the same historical themes, but it marvelously diverse ways.

Last Updated November 10, 2014