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Evaluate the extent to which the memory of the first world war effected
how nations or groups advanced their political objectives in the period 19181939.
World war one was a global conflict caused by the Austria-Hungary
declaring war on Serbia in response to the murder of Archduke Franz
Ferdinand who was heir to the throne for Austria-Hungary done by a
group of nationalists. Through this war many other big powers of the
world joined in causing a global conflict. This was considered the end to
all wars as it was the gravest war in human history involving many
countries and killing many people, such as the Armenian genocide. The
memory of World War one was horrible as many were killed and
countries such as Germany were heavily reprimanded for war crimes
and losing the war in the treaty of Versailles which officially ended the
war. While many may argue that the memory of world war one did not
effect how nations or groups advanced political objectives in the period
1918-1939, I would argue it had a huge effect.
The memory of World war one greatly effected the advancement of
political objectives because the sorrows of the war left great marks on
each country influencing choices made for political objectives.
Document 1 shows a picture of the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. This
is meant to show to the public the grave loss’ to World War one. This
advances political efforts because new British political parties forming
which promised to bring healing to the nation of Britain were able to
use things such as memorials to aid their advancements. Document five
is a speech given by the interior minister of Turkey. In the speech the
minister grieves for the lost Turkish lives and tells people to appreciate
what they sacrificed for Turkey. The audience this speech was garnered
to were Turkish voters as this was for the Gallipoli campaign. This is
goes to show how the losses of world war one was used to advance
political objectives as shown by the minister using the lost lives of
Turkish soldiers as reason to vote in favor of him.
A huge part in the memory of World War one effecting political
advancements were the reflections upon actions committed by certain
groups in terms of independence/rights. Document 2 is a statement
made by Ghandi were he specifically talks about how big of a role India
played in World War one for helping Britain win the war. “I came
reluctantly to the conclusion that the British connection had made India
more helpless than she ever was before, politically and economically”,
this was a direct consequence of India’s sacrifice for Britain. The whole
point of this statement was to make the case for India’s independence.
Ghandhi’s point of view in this statement is from the eyes of an Indian
man who experienced World War one firsthand on the aiding side from
India. The use of reflection upon the war is clearly used in advancing
the political objective of freeing India. This ties to a historical continuity
of Britain colonizing around the world and using its colonies for help in
warfare, no different in the case of India during World War one.
Document 5 reflects World War one veterans and their wants, “We
don’t want your goddamned memorial; we want work”, This showing
how the perspective of veterans can be used to persuade leaders into
making political advancements.
The memory of world war one was heavily used in advancing
political objectives through the manipulation of different groups or
events in World War one. Document 3 Adolf Hitler delivers a speech in
front of right-wing paramilitary discussing the future of rebuilding
Germany and uses Jews as a scape goat to use an excuse for the War
and gain supporters. “Our streets and squares shall once more bear the
names of our heroes; they shall not be names after Jewish traitors”,
completely showing the blame on Jews used to rally support for Hitler
advancing political objectives of dictatorship. Document 4 is a group of
communists making statements tearing apart western socialism and
how it was a failure from World War one. “In this way, socialist parties
betrayed their principles and turned into servants of imperialism”,
trying to exploit socialists in result of its failure in World War one to
persuade people to join the movement of communism.
Through the documents it has been shown a various number of times
how the memory of World War one effected advancements of political
objectives heavily. This is a continuity through out history as seen
through multiple widespread conflicts. An example of this is between
the Spanish and south Americans which resulted in Europeans making
political land grabs in result of conflict during the 1600-1700’s period. In
this situation the memory of conflict resulted in advancement of
political objective just like after World War one in the period of 19181939.