It could be reasonably assumed that history is more than an abstract set of facts; having no bearing on the present global events. In actuality, consequences of certain global events resonate over a span of a century, due to their immense gravity. Modern world wars have caused irreparable damage to landscapes of countries, disrupting peace and security situation thereof. Robert Gates (American defense secretary) famously stated: Few events have had such a remarkable effect on the world such as World Wars.
1. Sedition and Espionage Laws /Acts
As America officially entered World War I in 1917, Woodrow Wilson specifically warned Congress about impending disloyalty from his American brethren. For countering it, he enacted the legendary Espionage and Sedition Acts in order to prosecute individuals posing a threat to national security.
Due to this reason, lampooning the American constitution was deemed as a federal crime, giving the ability to censor newspapers and media. As a result, hordes of American citizens were incarcerated in Wilson’s term.
More so, in 1919, it was decided by the Supreme Court that this act was not in violation of the First Amendment as well as freedom of speech clause. The Sedition and Espionage Acts are the reason Edward Snowden took political asylum while Chelsea Manning was incarcerated.
2. What’s a Passport?
Passports were unheard of before World War I; they were rarely a traveling necessity. It did exist for sailors to enter-leave seaports. As the 19th century concluded, railroads had popularized travel to a new zenith. All forms of legal paperwork were abolished in Europe. Borders were open season from 1860-1914, that’s when it all changed for the worst.
For neighbors at daggers drawn, border restrictions were soon enforced, whereas open-travel was just wishful thinking. United Kingdom took the honor of setting border restrictions in existence today.
The modern passport was the culmination of Status Alien Acts and British Nationalist Acts of 1914. This British invention was ultimately adopted as a global practice.
3. Crisis in Middle-East
The modern Middle-East is a redundant creation, kudos go to (for the lack of a better word) World War I.
As of yet, the present bunch of minor nation-states existing in the Middle-East were nonexistent prior to 1914. They belonged to the Ottoman Empire originally. As the Allied bloc neared an eventual victory, France and United Kingdom decided to share the spoils of the war. Enter the infamous Sykes-Picot pact.
United Kingdom and France sealed a deal during World War I about the division of the Middle-East section. Lebanon, Syria and Iraq were formed withal new territories added in their empires. The aspirations of the populace were simply neglected.
Since the Jews were promised their prophetic homeland in Palestine as per the Balfour Declaration, it opened up a Palestine-Israel Pandora box, which exists to this day.
Most analysts hold United Kingdom responsible for post-1918 instability within the Middle-East region due to tribal, ethnic and sectarian variances. To map sketching experts, these differences were no critical concern. It heralded infamous Iraqi genocide of the Kurds. This is primarily the biggest drawback of world wars.
4. Mounting Debts
From being the world’s primary creditor, Britain succumbed to a debtor state in a matter of just four years (thanks to the 1st World War). No analysis could have figured the eventual financial catastrophe impending or the massive debt accumulated on the warring nations.
United States was the undisputed winner of the World War I. Entering the World War I very late (1917), it became a force to be reckoned with; graduating to the new global banker as European nations struggled with mountainous debt. It shoved United Kingdom from its creditor position.
As recent as 2015, Britain finally repaid its enormous debt of £1.9-billion, whereas Germany paid its own share of war-debt as per the Treaty of Versailles. However, its last payment concluded the century old debts in 2013 when it paid $94-million. It would be the second biggest stain left by world wars.
5. Live Minefields in Belgium
Farmers working in Belgium, France and Germany are evidently living on the edge. The extensive amount of ammunition left as remnants of World War I still poses a constant threat to their daily livelihood. As they farm, they stumble upon a variety of live-and-loaded weaponry, withal some weaponry exploding instantly.
Due to this reason, professional teams are assigned for neutralizing all such minefields in order to pave way for safer farming. During 2012, Belgium accumulated 105 tons of World War I ammunition, inclusive of poisonous gas. Interestingly, they refer to their harvest as iron harvest, due to explosive conditions in which they are sown and reaped.
While on the subject, Germany accumulated 3,000 intact failed bombs. These figures are simply a drop in the ocean. In World War I, at least 1.4-billion shells were fired, which still causes deaths of unaware people. It is one of the biggest stain left from world wars.
6. Advances in Science
Tremendous strides were made in technology and medicine during WWI. The vaccinations enabled in decreased rates of mortality and higher population growth. The landscape of future wars was inevitably altered with the entrée of the atomic bomb. It became a trump card for the nations owning it.
World War II only gave impetus to the creation of the United Nations (its effectiveness is another story) in 1945, intended for global peace. More so, complementary organizations were established such as the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and World Bank; an effect to prevent another Great Depression. Military and civil hospitals acted on an ad-hoc basis, dealing with speedy medical interventions. On an optimistic note, the blood banks were founded during this wartime in 1914 as it was discovered that blood clotting could be averted. Post-traumatic stress disorder was first coined after the events occurring in Vietnam.
7. The French Champagne Connection
Some high-elite snob may exclaim blithely that champagne is only called champagne when it hails from the Champagne region situated in France. He is closer to truth, than most are.
During World War I, the regions manufacturing champagne was obliterated. The Treaty of Versailles specifically stated that no sparkling wine would be referred to as champagne, signed by signatories of their treaty. The word belonged to French legacy.
The clause is still in effect as of yet, not abided by America. In case of America, cheap wine is also known as champagne. Drinking this cheap liquor gives bad hangovers. This is due to the fact that the Treaty of Versailles was never implemented by the Senate. It exempted from abiding by this stipulation.
8. Ireland Unrest
Ireland was a significant constituent of the British Empire prior to World War I, but as the war concluded, Ireland jump-started their personal Brexit. The infamous Easter Uprising of 1916 was the rise of Irish nationalist sentiments, germinated due to conditions produced during World War I.
The divide was widened due to partaking in British armed forces in World War I. The Easter Uprising of 1916 was the erupting point as James Connolly and a bunch of volunteers raged through Dublin and declared the Irish Republic. This heralded a century of bloodshed continuing to this day.
9. Hungarian Expatriates
In 1920, the deadly Treaty of Trianon was signed as a peace agreement between Allied bloc and Hungary. As was the case with all such war-based treaties, the Axis bloc took a massive hit in this case as well. The defeated party’s land became war booty. As the Austrian-Hungarian Empire split, it inevitably created massive chaos and instability.
Hungary lost hook, line and sinker. Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia earned a generous 2/3 of Hungarian empire. Due to this reason, the Hungarian populace was segmented into two countries. Due to this rising dissatisfaction, Hungarian exclaves were formed in both countries, as assimilating into alien countries was a bridge too far.
10. Creation of the European Union
One critical reason for the establishment of the European Union was that never again a war should be fought in Europe between the members of European nations. Therefore, the European Union was inaugurated in 1993 in a bid to strengthen trade relations. The famous Treaty of Rome formed the heart of avoiding war and founding a new form of governance. As a result, the European Union is viewed as a peace device. At present, the European Union has become a symbol of peace, justice and a common currency adhered by all. Fortunately, European Union is a beneficial upshot of these world wars.
Admittedly, one event eventually leading to another, escalated into a catastrophic war, reverberations of which are felt still today. Worlds wars have eventually demoted to national/ domestic wars. Nevertheless, they have left an imprint on human existence today.