10 Ways World War I Affects Us Today

10 Ways World War I Affects Us Today

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We tend to think of history as a collection of abstract facts that have no bearing on the “real world,” but everything associates over the timeline. Big, world-changing events don’t just change things when they happen; they send out shock waves that resound into the present. Like William Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”Here is a list of top 10 Ways World War I Affects Us Today..

10. Espionage And Sedition Acts

Espionage And Sedition Acts

When Woodrow Wilson declared war in 1917, he gave a speech before congress warning of the disloyalty of numerous Americans. To manage with those who wanted to undermine the war effort, Wilson advocated “a firm hand of repression.”

Thus, Wilson enacted the Espionage and Sedition Acts to prosecute people who threatened “national protection.” The acts granted the government the power to censor newspapers and movies as well as jail those who opposed the draft and made it federal crime to slander the Constitution. The government imprisoned thousands during Wilson’s Governence.

Cooler heads never really prevailed. By 1919, the Supreme Court decided that the laws were not in violation of the First Amendment and freedom of speech, and their use continues to this day. They were most recently employed to imprison Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, and they would be used to put Edward Snowden in jail if he were to be captured.

9. Iron Harvest

Iron Harvest

Agriculturists in France, Germany, and Belgium are still in danger of becoming casualties due to the amount of munitions launched during World War I. When they plow their fields, they’re still dredging up huge amount of unexploded weaponry, and sometimes the bombs go off. Entire teams are committed to finding these weapons and disarming them before that happens. People like Michael Colling even have to wear gas masks, as if the war never ended.

In 2012, Belgium uncovered 105 tons of weapons, including harmful gas. They call the haul, like a macabre crop grown in Hell, the “iron harvest.” In 2004, one site in Germany yielded 3,000 unexploded bombs. Those pulls are only a drop in the bucket. During World War I, 1.4 billion shells were launched. People still occasionally die. The Great War is still taking many lives.

8. Champagne

Champagne

You may have, at some point, heard a snob proclaim, “Champagne is only champagne if it comes from the Champagne region in France.” Here’s why:

The French regions that could produce champagne were effectively destroyed amid World War I. To ensure that champagne would remain solely French, a clause was added to the Treaty of Versailles, stipulating that the entire world wouldn’t be able to call any sparkling wine “champagne.” The countries that approved the Treaty of Versailles agreed.

This stipulation remains at work today, though not completely as intended. If you’re in the US, you may have noticed that a lot of cheap wine is still called “champagne.” This stuff is made in the United States. In the US, you can a get awful hangover from “champagne” instead of “sparkling wine” because the Senate never ratified the Treaty of Versailles. The US remains technically exempt from the condition.

7. The Red Zone

The Red Zone

A few towns in France were so destroyed and contaminated that the French government seized an territory of land larger than Paris and deemed it uninhabitable.

Several towns in the Champagne-Ardenne region experienced some of the war’s most devastating battling. The people that lived there fled, and the towns succumbed to the weapons of August. The ground was contaminated, and there were excessive number of unexploded bombs. people didn’t return after the war.

On April 17, 1919, the French government bought the land and declared it uninhabitable. Henceforth, it was to be known as the “Zone Rouge,” a place fit for military training and nothing else. People have come back to some of the towns as the ground became safer, but a large strip of land is still considered impossible for human life.

6. The Hungarian Diaspora

The Hungarian Diaspora

The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement between the Allies and Hungary in 1920, and like all of the treaties dealing with Central and Southern Europe, there was the messy issue of what to do with the losing side’s property. Breaking up the Austro-Hungarian Empire meant dividing the land among the various countries that used to make up the empire.

Hungary really lost hard in the agreement. Roughly two-thirds of its territory was given to surrounding nations like Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. The unintended consequence of this is that millions of Hungarians are in other countries. The Hungarians who found themselves outside their borders did not assimilate into the new Country and essentially created Hungarian exclaves.

Hungary’s solution to this problem today is basically to recreate the Hungarian Empire. They’re creating countries within countries by allowing full citizenship, including voting rights, to hundreds of thousands of Hungarians in places like Romania. This has brought the two Nation to the brink of war as recently as 2013. It has additionally promoted the rise of far-right demonstrations chanting “Down with Trianon!” a century after the fact.

5. Debt

Debt

World War I was costly, so much so that Britain went from the world’s creditor to a debtor nation in just 4 years. No one could have predicated just how devastatingly costly the war was and how long it would take to pay back all the borrowed money.

Germany was famously stuck with the bill for World War I with the reparations and “war-guilt” condition in the Treaty of Versailles. The country has only recently paid off its debt. They made their final payment of $94 million to the Allies in 2010. They weren’t alone, either. Britain at last paid off its £1.9 Billion debt in 2015.

Due to the lack of reparation payments by Germany, France occupied the Ruhr in 1923 to enforce payments, causing an international crisis that resulted in the implementation of the Dawes Plan in 1924. This plan outlined a new payment method and raised international Debt to help Germany to meet its reparation commitments. Despite this, by 1928 Germany called for a new payment plan, resulting in the Young Plan that established the German reparation requirements at 112 billion marks (US$26.3 billion) and made a schedule of payments that would see Germany complete payments by 1988.

With the collapse of the German Financial Economy in 1931, reparations were suspended for a year and in 1932 during the Lausanne Conference they were cancelled altogether. Between 1919 and 1932, Germany paid less than 21 billion marks in reparations.

The German people saw reparations as a national humiliation; the German Officials worked to undermine the validity of the Treaty of Versailles and the requirement to pay. British economist John Maynard Keynes called the treaty a Carthaginian peace that would economically Destroy Germany. His arguments had a profound effect on historians, politicians, and the public at large. Despite Keynes‘ arguments and those by later Researchers supporting or reinforcing Keynes‘ views, the consensus of contemporary Researchers is that reparations were not as intolerable as the Germans or Keynes had suggested and were within Germany’s capacity to pay had there been the political will to do so.

4. ISIS

ISIS

ISIS wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for World War I.Truth be told, the organization makes of purpose of saying how they will be destroying all of the World War I treaties that created the modern Middle East.

Keep in mind that all of the current country -states in the Middle East did not exist before 1914. They were (mostly) part of the Ottoman Empire. When it started to look like the Allies would win, the UK and France (again, mostly) decided how they would carve up the new land and add it to their domains. This included the Sykes-Picot agreement.

France and Britain brokered a secret treaty amid World War I about who would have what in the Middle East. In the agreement, they decided to create Iraq and Syria and add these newly made territories to their empires. The trouble is that they didn’t take into account how the people living there would feel.Destroying these borders is now a huge part of the ISIS plan. In 2014, in one of World War Ifirst videos, they filmed a bulldozer knocking down a chuck of dirt between Iraq and Syria, and then the camera panned down to a sign that said, “End of Sykes-Picot.”

In April 2013, having expanded into Syria, the team adopted the name ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī ‘l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām  As al-Shām is a Place often compared with the Levant or Greater Syria, the team name has been variously translated as “Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham”,”Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (both abbreviated as ISIS), or “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (abbreviated as ISIL).

While the use of either one or the other acronym has been the subject of debate, the distinction between the two and its relevance has been considered not so great.Of greater relevance is the name Daesh, which is an acronym of ISIL’s Arabic name al-Dawlah al-Islamīyah fī l-ʻIrāq wa-sh-Shām. Dāʿish , or Daesh. This name has been widely utilised by ISIL’s Arabic-speaking detractors, clarification needed although – and to a certain extent because – it is considered derogatory, as it resembles the Arabic words Daes (“one who crushes, or tramples down, something underfoot”) and Dāhis (loosely translated: “one who sows discord”).Within areas under its Power, ISIL considers use of the name Daesh punishable by flogging or cutting out the tongue

3. Divided Ireland

Divided Ireland

At the episode of World War I, Ireland was part of the UK, but by the end of the war, the Irish had started their own particular Brexit. Typically, historians have treated the Easter Uprising of 1916 as the origin of modern Irish issues and violence, and it could not have happened without the conditions facilitated by World War I.

Participation in the British military helped to widen the cracks between Irish followers and republicans. Northern Ireland fought and died for Britain, and they weren’t about to join Irish patriots and republicans, who, in their view, weren’t joining or joined for the wrong reasons. Ulster loyalists also upheld the conscription of Irishmen, while republicans, nationalists, and Roman Catholics violently stood up.

Things came to a boiling point on Easter 1916, when James Connolly and a group of volunteers raged Dublin, occupied the General Post Office, and declared the Irish Republic. This event set the tone of violence that would dominate Ireland throughout the twentieth century and up until the present day.

2. Pilates

Pilates

Pilates, the popular fitness fad that has swept the suburbs, was actually conceived in a World War I internment camp. Joseph Pilates, a native of Germany, moved to England in 1912 to work as a defense educator for Scotland Yard. Two years later, the war broke out, and the British rounded up large number of German nationals, whom the British believed represented an enemy threat.

While interned as a potential German saboteur, Joseph developed a technique of exercise that could be performed inside the camp. He rigged together what was on hand to enable others to perform viable exercise with little more than their body weight. It worked well and was a hit, and admirably moved to the US in 1926. He brought his fitness system along with him and opened a studio in New York City. From that point, it spread throughout the country.

1. Passports

Passports

Papers for travel weren’t always a common necessity. They mostly existed for mariners to pass through ports. By the end of the nineteenth century, railroads had made travel so popular and easy that Europe simply abolished any legal paperwork that might have been required for travel. From the 1860s to 1914, borders were essentially open.

World War I changed everything. Free and open travel was simply not a reality for countries at war, and the UK was the first to set up the system we perceive today. The British Nationalist and Status Alien Acts of 1914 gave recognization to the modern passport. It was a piece of paper with a picture and other identifying criteria encased by a cardboard cover. Besides some minor changes made in the 1920s, these passports became the template for all worldwide travel. Other than increased sophistication in technology, they haven’t really changed.

 


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P. Natasha Covers Classical Archaeology news and has been with Histecho since 2017. She has a Master's degree in MA Archaeology from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting program. A California native, she also holds a Bachelor of science in molecular biology and a Master of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.

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