The First World War: A Turning Point in Global History

100th Anniversary

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of when the United States became directly involved in the First World War. The Great War. By then the war had already been raging for three years. (The events leading up to the outbreak of war are fascinating. For further reading I suggest historian Barbara Tuchman’s book The Guns of August.) By 1917 the Western Front of the conflict had stalled into protracted trench warfare–war at its most gruesome.

This war consisted of massed artillery, machineguns, elaborate trenches, gas attacks, massive barbed wire entanglements, sapping, flamethrowers, and primitive tanks. This war was a veritable meat grinder that consumed an entire generation of European men. 11 million soldiers and sailors lost their lives to combat and disease by war’s end.. And, unlike the European wars of the 18th and 19th centuries where civilians had largely been spectators, WWI also took the lives of nearly 7 million noncombatants.

In retrospect, WWI was a major pivot point in human history. If it were not for the chaos caused by WWI, there probably would not have been a successful Russian Revolution, at least not in that decade. And if it were not for the punishing war reparations on Germany dictated by the pre-written Versailles Peace Treaty, there probably would not have been mass currency inflation in Germany, no rise of the National Socialists (Nazis), no World War II, no Holocaust, no division of Europe, and no Cold War. In many ways, we are still feeling the after effects of The Great War.

Inevitability

Regardless of the events of the two World Wars of the 20th Century, some things were inevitable.  The colonial era in the lower latitudes ended. And although they probably wouldn’t have been quite so rapid, The technological advances of the 1900s would  still be made. (Most likely, aviation and spaceflight, in particular, would not have advanced nearly so rapidly.) Here in the United States, one can only imagine. How would life would be different if World War I and the subsequent chain of events had not occurred. It is very likely that we would still have a sound currency based on specie, a smaller and less centralized government, lower taxes, and suffer much less of the now ubiquitous Surveillance State.

I urge SurvivalBlog readers to be scholars of history. More than anything else, we need to be on guard against the wiles of men who lust for power and who are willing to force us into contrived conflicts and all too willing to use our young men as cannon fodder to further their goals. It is only by stepping back and looking at the arc of history in the past hundred years that we can see just how much freedom we have lost and how little our citizenry has gained. As we honor the fallen of World War I, we need to keep that perspective.

More to Come

There are many issues that transcend party politics and the orchestrated divisiveness of the present day. As a Christian, it is my hope that America will return to Godly, limited, and restrained government. But as a realistic observer of what has transpired since the U.S. entered The Great War, I can predict that humanity will probably suffer more of the same: pointless wars, unbridled government, unspeakable cruelties on a grand scale, and political charades that just barely conceal the wanton quest for power by a diabolical few.

As the pawns in the global chess game, what can we do? I say: Hold fast to the company of those who share your faith, keep your voice strong for righteousness and good government, and live your life in a way that pleases God. We live in a dangerous world that is governed by men and women who think only of themselves and their schemes. More World Wars devastating metropolitan regions seem inevitable. We should be deep in prayer, well prepared with deep larders. Stay geographically isolated from the maelstrom of the big cities, trained for self-sufficiency, and well armed. May God help us in the next hundred years. Those years will be calamitous. – JWR

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16 Responses to The First World War: A Turning Point in Global History

  1. John Howard says:

    Regarding the comment “I urge SurvivalBlog readers to be scholars of history…” Well long are the days one could walk into a bookstore or surf an online site ordering up a history book and expect it to serve actual historical accounts. My wife and I found this great 12 volume set called The Golden Book History of the United States and pulling up the famous evangelist Dwight Moody it didn’t reference him as a right wing extremists but stated the historical facts on him. We were safe from the current Liberal bias which is so prevalent in our modern day history textbooks. Sadly, one must check the content of their history books prior to purchasing them. My wife says there are two kinds of historical accounts today… One written for truthbearers and the other for Snowflakes. Stay vigilant! JH

    • Beckie Grube says:

      I agree! Has anyone compiled a list of good history books where we (slightly) younger folks can learn the truth of what happened and why? Not just U S history, but world history? Because they’re certainly not teaching it in school, and haven’t been for a very long time.

  2. Christopher says:

    I really should read your most current book “Land of Promise”, as for some reason I thought it was set in Ireland. But no, it is set in, to my surprise, Africa. The concept of the American Redoubt has been troubling to me, as it seems indefensible against real military without the back up of the US military. Far ahead of this than myself, as the Lord leads us, I would suggest South Africa may indeed become the land of refuge for our people. If you have not heard of Angus Buchan and the “It’s Time” event this past April, you may want to check it out. How any of that relates to a post on WWI is a valid question. One which I was prompted to answer by your closing comments. Your brother in Christ Jesus.

  3. Rose says:

    Excellent article.

  4. TimeHasCome says:

    Although World War 1 was tragic and all wars since then have been tragic they are minuscule in comparison to the Un-Civil War of 1860 . Where 1 in 4 soldiers never returned home and 1 in 12 returned home without a limb or blind . Where neighbors joined and fought side by side with neighbors , so entire communities would lose a generation of men .
    This young nation of 30 million had 6% of the population either dead or wounded. To tally all conflicts since then and you cannot reach even 1% of population. The ability to kill has grown exponentially. The old standby for killing in the next Un-Civil War will be the nemesis named starvation .
    The current frothing of hatred toward our current sitting president can only be satiated with blood . Major media outlets are openly calling for the removal of president Trump by any means necessary. Keep preparing like there is no tomorrow because there may not be a tomorrow to come.

    • VT says:

      Your comments show a myopic view,the events of WW1 dwarf the US Civil War(that also included Mexico-they were invaded to try to supply the Confederacy).WWI literally redrew the world map and collapsed power structures that had lasted hundreds of year(Russia,Ottoman,Hapsburg, middle east).As far as casualties, everyone involved except the US lost a generation and took 20 years to repopulate.

  5. Dario Monje says:

    I found a set of the American encyclopedia written before 1950. It’s amazing how much different history was told in those volumes. So, I recommend that people today should look around old book stores, Goodwill and Salvation Army, etc and purchase old history books and encyclopedias. You can even find old school history books. Especially if you have children. They deserve the truth, not “history” as seen through Liberal eyes.

  6. Jim Pyron says:

    Check out Hillsdale College in Michigan. They are a conservative Christian college and offer many FREE online coursed in American government, the Constitution, history and many other subjects. I have enrolled in several and they are excellent. Just finished one on C. S. Lewis. You can watch anytime. Web site is Hillsdale.edu
    3006 Jim

  7. JBH says:

    On this subject, I highly recommend a book by Pat Buchanan called “Hitler, Churchill and the Unnecessary War”.

    In it Buchanan argues that WW1 and WW2 will be viewed as essentially one war far into the future and it will be viewed as a Civil War engulfing Western Civilization. He argues that the British brought it on through a short period of very bad diplomatic decisions prior to WW1 after more than a century of very good diplomatic decisions. He openly wonders if the West will in fact survive this Civil War as in his view the drain in quality man power, treasure, courage and general moral rectitude is still being felt today and has shifted the balance of power in the world to the east.

    Buchanan was criticized by some as supposedly defending Hitler in the work. Buchanan actually addressed this right in the work labeling Hitler a monster. He does not build up Hitler at all. What he does is tear down the other European and US statesman. Churchill gets a particular beat down, not for his handling of WW2 but for his statesmanship (or lack thereof) before the wars. Furthermore some of Buchanan’s critique of Churchill comes from Churchill’s own self critiques in later Churchill rightings.

    Another important feature of the book is that Buchanan criticizes the statesmanship that lead to the wars, not the prosecution of the wars themselves. He is clear that he views the performance of the Allies to have been magnificent in the wars. It was the entering of the wars at all that he criticizes.

    This book and Amity Shlae’s “Forgotten Man” have had probably more influence on me and opened my mind to more alternate historical perspectives than any others. The have largely opened my eyes to the programming I feel I received in school regarding the 20th Century. Neither one may be 100% but they but severe chinks in what I view as the propaganda started at least by FDR that carried forth at least through my initial schooling in the 60s and 70s.

  8. Brewster, ohio man says:

    If your a WW1 history buff I highly recommend these two series on you tube.

    26 videos
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdEBPyoq11-7H07u7iwGM_3l-_QfxFj9B

    https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGreatWar

    THE GREAT WAR covers the events exactly 100 years ago: The story of World War I in realtime. Featuring: The unique archive material of British Pathé. Indy Neidell takes you on a journey into the past to show you what really happened and how it all could spiral into more than four years of dire war

  9. Tim says:

    I once heard someone say that the long-term (behind the scenes) purpose of wars in or history has been the elimination of our best and brightest. So I thought about that. Going all the way back tp 1066, but the bulk of all wars has involved the white race killing each other. Looking at Europe and America today, it seem the goal if finally being achieved. The sad thing is, liberals are CHEERING the result.

    • VT says:

      Perfect example of the need for good history,there was lots going on but only western Europe was covered in most history books

  10. Tim says:

    Darn “autospell”.

  11. Michelle from Canada says:

    all too willing to use our young men as cannon fodder to further their goals

    Why would they not use our young men as cannon flodder to further their goals. those young men are our sons not theirs. This must be one of your preoccupation James. Wars are dangerous times for those who have sons.

    We must start thinking outside the box. The western world is not in the same shape it was in WW2. It seam you will have to face the warriors of Islam before you a

  12. Jerry Erwin says:

    Hi Jim,

    Most of your readers already I’ll bet know this stuff, but wow! Great article! I really enjoyed reading it. Especially where you acknowledge that it was GERMAN WAR REPARATIONS that caused their currency deflation, once their gold was taken from them. A lot of two-bit doomers on the internet like to point at Wiemar Germany, without pointing out this fact.

    I was serving as an Army Reserve intelligence Analyst (96B) when the Iraq War started. I didn’t buy any of the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” B.S., based on information from the original UNSCOM Inspector, Scott Ritter.

    To make a long story short, I made these wars work for me, but stilled served. Late in my enlisted career, I was direct appointed as an All-Source Intelligence Officer, and graduated MIOBC. While serving here in the ‘States, one of my many jobs was working Counterintelligence/Force protection. One of my “actionable events” even included a former Taliban, here in the U.S., trying to get a job as a civilian U.S. Army linguist.

    On the subject of history, one book that I couldn’t put down just recently was Antony Beevor’s “The Fall of Berlin: 1945.” I’ve always been fascinated by the collapse of the Eastern Front, for some reason (One of my historical role models has always been German Gen. Reinhard Gelehn, Chief of Intelligence for the Eastern Front – subject for another post. BTW, he was not a Nazi).

    If any one book can give you religion (literally) about being a Survivalist, it’s this one.

    You’ve been a continuing inspiration as I follow in your footsteps (as a professional Survivalist). Take care and God Bless.

  13. zelmer says:

    A great series of books to check into are the ‘Politically Incorrect Guides’ dealing with history, evolution and many other topics. No nonsense books that get to heart of the subject with just the facts.

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