100 years ago today, it remained the calm before the approaching storm. It had been less than three weeks since the Archduke was assassinated. Within two weeks, the Austro-Hungarian bombardment of Belgrade became the "official" beginning of the Great War.
What the wars years looked like:
World War I in Photos, A 10-Part Series By Alan Taylor (The Atlantic)
One hundred years ago, in the summer of 1914, a series of events set off an unprecedented global conflict that ultimately claimed the lives of more than 16 million people, dramatically redrew the maps of Europe, and set the stage for the 20th Century.
How they changed things:
The War to End All Wars? Hardly. But It Did Change Them Forever, by Steven Erlanger (New York Times)
The war destroyed kings, kaisers, czars and sultans; it demolished empires; it introduced chemical weapons, tanks and airborne bombing; it brought millions of women into the work force, hastening their legal right to vote. It gave independence to nations like Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic countries and created new nations in the Middle East with often arbitrary borders; it brought about major cultural changes, including a new understanding of the psychology of war, of “shell shock” and post-traumatic stress.
It also featured the initial step of the United States as a global power. President Woodrow Wilson ultimately failed in his ambitions for a new world order and a credible League of Nations, setting off much chaos with his insistence on an armistice and his support for undefined “self-determination.” And the rapid retreat of the United States from Europe helped sow the ground for World War II.
And, a milestone in the development of one of my favorite periodicals:
Great War: The Climate of June 1914, by Richard Kreitner (The Nation)
The first modern war, then, created the modern Nation.
Today we inaugurate here at Back Issues what will become a recurring feature of the blog: “Great War” will follow—in real time, one hundred years later—the political and military maneuvering both before the outbreak of fighting and once the war got under way.