chapter  10
18 Pages

The French Revolution

ByJohn McGrath

World War I turned out to be a watershed in European history. It produced a series of political, social, and economic crises that transformed the landscape of Western culture. In addition to the human cost, America's costliest conflict ravaged Europe's economy. All of Europe's citizens were now faced with the prospect of declining economic and social development. The map of Europe also had to be redrawn, both to weaken Germany and to fill the open spaces caused by the collapse of the Russian, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman Empires. Another major feature of Europe during the interwar years was the growing size and responsibilities of the political state. Europe's combatants had financed the cost of fighting World War I through loans, all of which had to be repaid when the conflict ended, and their desperate monetary policies contributed to post-war inflation. The Great War also brought about a transformation of Western culture.