France, still stinging over the loss of Alsace and part of Lorraine in the Franco-Prussian war, made an agreement allying itself with Russia in any war with Germany or Austria-Hungary.
Britain, after finding itself friendless during the Second Boer War in South Africa (1899–1902) allied itself with France and worked to improve relations with the United States of America.
When the war began, the fate of the workforce changed; overnight, American factories were repurposed to produce goods to support the war effort and women took on jobs that were traditionally held by men, who were now off to war.
Americans were mostly against entering the war up until the bombing of Pearl Harbor, after which support for the war grew, as did armed forces.
Its leader, Kaiser Wilhelm II, eldest grandson of Britain’s Queen Victoria, envisioned an Imperial Navy that could rival Great Britain’s large and renowned fleet.
This would increase German influence in the world and likely allow the country to expand its colonial holdings.A number of smaller nations aligned themselves with one side or the other.In the Pacific Japan, seeing a chance to seize German colonies, threw in with the Allies.From civil rights, racism, and resistance movements to basic human needs like food, clothing, and medicine, the aspects of how life was impacted are immense.For a nation that was still recovering from the Great Depression, World War II had a major impact on this country's economy and workforce.Britain, fearful of losing its dominance of the seas, accelerated its naval design and construction to stay ahead of the Kaiser’s ship-building program.Russia was rebuilding and modernizing its large army and had begun a program of industrialization.Heyman in World War I (Greenwood Press, 1997) wrote, “Not physically hurt but scarred nonetheless were 5 million widowed women, 9 million orphaned children, and 10 million individuals torn from their homes to become refugees.” None of this takes into account the deaths in the Russian Civil War or the Third Balkan War, both of which directly resulted from World War I, nor the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918 that killed 50 million people worldwide, which was spread in part by conditions at the front and by soldiers returning home.The highest national military casualty totals—killed, wounded, and missing/taken prisoner—in round numbers (sources disagree on casualty totals), were: For more information, click to see the Casualties of World War I.The Allies were the victors, as the entry of the United States into the war in 1917 added an additional weight of men and materiel the Central Powers could not hope to match.The war resulted in a dramatically changed geo-political landscape, including the destruction of three empires: Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman and Russian.