Both wars started primarily as a result of the extreme nationalism that prevailed in one country. In the case of World War I, that country was Serbia, and the extremism manifested as state-sponsored terrorism (the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand). In the case of World War II, that country was Germany, and the extremism manifested as Nazism and the successive German invasions of three countries in 18 months.
The outcomes, however, could not have been more different. Yes, the West "won" both wars in the sense of not being annexed by Germany or forced to give up its political systems. However, as we can clearly see from the resistance of the United States and other countries to terrorism in the postwar era, the West joined the wrong side in World War I. Its interests really lay with the preservation of Austria-Hungary, which was representative of the other great European empires. In addition, as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks demonstrate, no state can afford to ignore a high-profile act of terrorism such as that carried out by Gavrilo Princip and his fellow Serbs.
The side that started World War II lost, but the people who started World War I achieved their ultimate ends: Greater Serbia -- that is, Yugoslavia, ruled from the old Serbian capital of Belgrade. -- Amyz, 16:28, June 8, 2007 (EDT)
- Thank you for commenting. I am aware this is a radical reinterpretation of World War I, nor would I discount the role of the competing alliance systems in turning the war into a Europe-wide conflagration -- but I stand by what I wrote. Terrorism is terrorism, and this was state-sponsored. Austria-Hungary responded more or less the same way we did in Afghanistan. We were simply more fortunate in that our traditional rivals were not already allied with Afghanistan. Talk 14:00, June 11, 2007 (EDT)
- One could certainly make the argument that the alliance systems had created a Europe that was simply waiting for a spark, but there is no question that the historical spark was nothing more, or less, than a state sponsered assassination. Saying that we entered on the "wrong" side is a bit more of a question, but there is no question that AH was the "wronged party". Boomcoach 14:09, 11 June 2007 (EDT)
How is this even terrorism? The Bosnians were fighting for their independence. AH's response to Serbia was not at all like our response to Afghanistan. They used this to demand to make Serbia give up its sovereignty, not to liberate the people from an oppressive regime. If by "west" you are referring to America, then the statement "the West joined the wrong side in World War I. Its interests really lay with the preservation of Austria-Hungary, which was representative of the other great European empires" is completely wrong. Look at Wilson's 14 points. It’s clear what the West's idea was regarding territorial sovereignty, and the AH empire. None the less, you are entitled to your interpretation, and though I don't agree, it is intriguing. Bohdan 15:01, 11 June 2007 (EDT)
Technically, the Archduke, who commanded (like all heirs to the throne in those days) his own regiment, was a military target. If you can support your argument that THERE WAS ALREADY A WAR ON when he was killed, I suppose that would make his assassination not terrorism. As far as Serbia giving up its sovereignty, what do you mean by sovereignty? Do you mean that Austria-Hungary sought to re-annex Serbia? Amyz 15:50, June 12, 2007 (EDT)
- My interpretation of the events following the assassination was that AH used this incident to give an ultimatum to Serbia taht, in effect, would violate Serbia's sovereignty. Serbia gave in to all the demands, but the ones that violated their sovereingty. In fact, I have in front of me quoted in A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples by Fred Singleton, Kaiser Wilhelm' comment o Serbias response to the ultimatum: "This is more than one coul have expected....With it, every reason for war dissapears....I am convinced that, on the whole, the wishes of the Dual Monarchy have been acceded to". So yes, I do believe that AH wanted to re-annex Serbia, in fact I fall into the group of people who believe that it was their intention all along. Bohdan 16:20, 12 June 2007 (EDT)