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The Great War was a global war that began on August 1914 and lasted until October 1918. The conflict was fought between the Central Powers (Austria-Hungary, Germany, and the Ottoman Empire) and the Triple Entente (mainly Russia, Britain, and France).


The Great War began when British and French military forces invaded the German African protectorate of Togoland in August 1914.

During the conflict, Russia faced difficult challenges against Germany due to constant mismanagement of resources and manpower. Due to Russia's mishandling, Russian citizens revolted and Tsar Nicholas II was abdicated and succeeded by Grand Duke Michael. The Russian government ruthlessly crushed several uprisings, but was unable to win the war against Germany. By 1918, Russia was summarily defeated to the German war machine and, under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, relinquished all claims to several territories in Eastern Europe.[1]

The United States remained neutral throughout the war despite President Woodrow Wilson's attempts to convince Congress to declare war on Germany in response to Germany's series of unrestricted submarine warfare on supply ships delivering to the Allies, including those delivered by America. Strong isolationist politicians such as Henry Cabot Lodge were instrumental in preventing Wilson's declaration of war due to the lack of an overt threat to the United States.

In October 1918, Allied forces successfully forced Germany to accept a ceasefire agreement, which brought an end to the war.


By June 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed and officially ending the Great War. Under the treaty, it outlined reparations to be paid by Germany and established new borders after the Great War; furthermore, it chartered the creation of the European Trade Organization with its main goal to usher a new era of European cooperation and preventing future conflicts similar to the Great War.

Following its ratification, the ETO helped in repairing and boosting Europe's war torn economy and allowing countries, such as Germany, in establishing strong, democratic institutions and rejoining the world community. The United States, however, due to its noninterference, was not represented during the signing of the treaty. As a result, America accepted a policy of international isolationism.

Russia, at the time struggling with internal unrest, distant itself from Western Europe's "anti-imperialistic" agenda and its government becoming weary of outside influence. This led to a stagnated relationship with the West in which it was exacerbated by the discovery and execution of French spies within Russia for allegedly encouraging insurrection. Ultimately, on September 1921, Russia cut off all communication with the outside world and sealed its borders.


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