The Cost of War: Democracy Comes at a Price – Part 1

The Cost of War: Democracy Comes at a Price – Part 1

A Serbian by the name of Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, on 28 June 1914. The action of Princip would lead the world into a war of unbelievable devastation. How could such advanced nations go to war with such ease is hard to understand, when many of them were industrial and commercial empires? Nevertheless, the American public’s stance towards the war was neutral and why not? It was not America’s war, but the old world doing what it does best, fighting over past legacies. But that stance was to change, once the American Banks stepped in.

This is the New Zealand Division marching from Trentham to embark for Europe. Source  A World War 1 Story, Part 6. Hutt Valley, Wellington, New Zealand, 14 April 1916. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This is the New Zealand Division marching from Trentham to embark for Europe. Source  A World War 1 Story, Part 6. Hutt Valley, Wellington, New Zealand, 14 April 1916. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Mobilizing the Troops

The troop mobilization during the Great War was massive. The Allied Powers consisted of the Russian Empire (12,000,000 troops); the British Empire (8,841,541 troops); the French Third Republic (8,660,000 troops); the Kingdom of Italy (5,615,140 troops); the Kingdom of Romania (1,234,000 troops);  the Kingdom of Serbia (707,343 troops);  the Belgium (380,000 troops); the Kingdom of Greece (250,000 troops); the United States (4,743,826 troops) and the Empire of Japan ( 800,000 troops).  The total for the Allied powers was 42, 959, 850 troops.  On the opposing side, the Central Powers consisted of the German Empire (13,250,000 troops); Austria-Hungary (7,800,000 troops); the Ottoman Empire (2,998,321 troops) and the Kingdom of Bulgaria (1,200,000 troops). The total for the Central Powers was 25,248, 321 troops.


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