The idea of waging war as a means to achieve ends is not new. Since the advent of civilization, wars have been fought either to gain territories or to destroy adversaries. Renowned military theorist, Carl von Clausewitz stated that war is nothing but the continuation of politics with other means. However, even if justified in totality, war has profound effects on humanity, on the cultural and geographical boundaries, and also on a country’s economy. WWI was fought at a global level with multiple partners indulging in conflict. The seeds of dispute and hostility sowed more than a century ago have today, unfortunately, blossomed into disturbing regional turmoil and conflicts.
The phrase, ‘History may not repeat itself but it rhymes’, often attributed to Mark Twain is spot on in this context. History cannot literally repeat itself—what is past is past. However, the present can conditionally fall into the same rat hole and can make the same mistakes. The evil legacy of subjugation and unwanted human loss and misery lingers on with the yoke of yesteryears being borne by generation after generation. So how did WWI reshape the world map? How did it lead to the polarization of world order and to the genesis of several national/regional conflicts around the world? Read the module to delve into this historical evaluation.