An Age of Unrest Essay

This essay has a total of 3171 words and 13 pages.


An Age of Unrest




An Age of Unrest

“Bang! Bang! Boom!” were a few of the agonizing sounds heard many times during the
decade where firearms and explosions were used to express a national idea in an attempt to
further a political cause. Within the decade of 1910-1920, many thought that national
pride and respect could be gained through harming others, hurting another country’s
feelings by taking away their “self-respect,” and by vanishing the lives of many.
Political statements were protested and emphasized by the scientific, historical,
artistic, and lyrical contents of this era. Sadly, many influenced their ideas by
committing actions the cycled into many tragic events; events that led to a decade of
chaos and unrest, a decade that couldn’t sleep.

The Great War as it was called, lead to many innovations in many areas. But one area has
continued to lend us innovations that were derived some eighty-four years ago. The
development in science and technology became quick necessities that, at the time, were
needed not only to control the chaos but protect those who were innocent. Although many
advancements between 1914 and 1918 we still use today, there are two that have proven to
be as important today as they were during the chaotic day of the second decade of the
twentieth century.

Imagine the British citizens watching large chaos covered prototypes of the ‘tank” being
tested in Britain’s countryside. British officials, in order to conceal their use, told
many who asked that new “tanks” were being built to carry water across the desert and
named them W.C. or water carrier. The initials for this stood for the toilet and so the
name water tank or tank was born (Uschon 31). In 1915 when Britain built the first tank
the French were not far behind in developing their own tanks for the battlefield (Asimov
98). Winston Churchill was responsible for initiating the development of such large
vehicles (The New Illustrated Science and Invention Encyclopedia 60). The need for tanks
came when machine guns and trenches caused a stale mate war fare. Armored cars were
already in use. Military heads realized that by crossing an armored car with the
agricultural tracks used in farming, a vehicle that could enter enemy space and be
protected could be developed. The first tank to enter the war was of British origin and
was known as the Centipede, but later called the Big Willie or Mother. It made its debut
in Fille and took a crew to operate it. A coordinator commander, one to change the main
gears, and at least two, called gearsmen, to control the tracks. By the end of the war
Britain had twenty-six hundred tanks who were up against France’s three thousand seventy
of a lighter use. Still, protection in the field wasn’t the only kind needed. During
1910 and 1915 two large ocean liners carrying passengers, many Americans, were sunk by an
accident in the name of war. A detecting device was needed for the vast ocean to scan any
under water dangers. And what better time to develop this type of detector then in a time
when the type of technology could determine a country’s status (Asimov 98-101).

Ocean warfare during this time became very popular as a means to destroy an opponent
without much loss. That left many people intent on the idea to create a detection device
that would stop surprise attacks and help ocean liners from colliding with hidden objects
at sea. Sonar was developed in 1916 by the French scientist Paul Langeuin originally as a
method for ships to detect icebergs. It was found this device could be used on war ships
as well to detect submarines (The New Illustrated Science and Invention Encyclopedia, 60).


The word sonar was derived from the world’s sound navigation and ranging. It worked as it
still does or the principle of echo location. Acoustics or sound waves , which are
mechanical vibrations, travel through the water and bounce off nearby objects. The waves
are reflected back to the sending ship and distanced can then be read. With the chaos of
surprise attacks during World War I, further more advanced and readable sonar submarine
detection was pursued (Travers 11). Sonar is used on both ships and submarines to track
the sea bed and measure depth. Many large fishing vessels are sonar as well to detect
large groups of fish. Though it isn’t as detailed as radar during the Cold War, it
provided a sense of warmth in the cold matters (The New Illustrated Science and invention
Encyclopedia, 61). Sonar wasn’t developed until after many liners had lost their
passengers and a need for a detection device. Though it was originally developed to
detect icebergs, it had a greater use during this time to detect oncoming submarines. Had
sonar been developed earlier many ships who may have lost innocent lives to war submarines
may have survived to carry more passengers across the Atlantic instead of being swallowed
up by it’s ferocious currents.

It was just like a scene from the movie Titanic as the steamship majestically floated out
of the New York harbor May 1, 1915 carrying one thousand nine-hundred and twenty-four
people. It was ten months into World War I and at the time of the German submarine
warfare, when the Lusitania, the “floating hotel,” began its voyage to Liverpool, England
(Uschan 15).

It was six days later that the passengers aboard were startled by the appearance of a
German submarine, a U-20 led by Captain Karl Schwieger. The sight surprised many that
originally looked forward to a safe and luxurious trip. On May 7, 1915, Schwieger had
fired a torpedo to the Lusitania that set off many explosions and set the ship sinking to
the ocean floor in less than twenty minutes. Of the one thousand one hundred and
ninety-eight who died, one hundred and twenty-eight were Americans (“Lusitania” Encarta
98); this had offended and influenced the United States to go to war. Many conflicts rose
as a few people dealt with peace issues and most dealt with ‘getting back” at Germany.
Negotiations over submarine warfare were held between the United States and Germany after
the sinking, and man issues concerned the United States (Uschan 21).

The sinking of the Lusitania was only one of many logs placed in the fire of war. It was
the cause that influenced and encouraged many Americans to either defend their country of
fight another, in effort to gain the nation respect that Germany had offended. As many
logs had spread the fire of war, the original cause was of less and less concern; the
tragic events and conflicts had worsened and increased since that Sunday of June 28, 1914
(Uschan 1914).

The beginning of the great celebration of the royal couple’s fourteenth anniversary would
have never augured the events that were to come that beautiful sunny day in Sarajevo that
twenty-eighth of June 1914. Austrian Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie recognized their
special day with a ceremony that changed their lives forever.

Ferdinand was to heir the throne of Austria-Hungary and his main purpose in visiting the
capital of Bosnia was to review the Austrian troops. The joyous event was filled with
cheers and screams as the royal couple, seated in the rear of the convertible, made their
way through the crowd. Among the crowd were seven young Serbian men who felt that the
Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina should be freed from Austro-Hungarian rule. These seven
nationalists were armed with pistols and bombs. Their purpose was to shoot and kill the
royal couple, but their first attempt cause only minor damage when a bomb hit the car and
bounced right off, but it sent a motorcade to City Hall. On the archduke’s trip to the
hospital to visit any victims, a Serbian assassin, Gavrilo Princip, jumped on the car and
fired twice hitting Ferdinand in the head and his wife in the abdomen. They died soon
after they were wounded (Uschan 8). Their deaths were the political spark that set the
fire of the Great War and the piece of string that later tangled into the disastrous web
of World War II.

The seven Serbian nationalists obviously made a political statement; they used a political
idea to further a cause, or to hurt someone else’s, by spreading ideas through such
horrifying events as the assassination of the royal couple. These factors also fit the
abstract definition of propaganda.

Propaganda is a tool that politically furthers a cause by spreading ideas, information, or
rumors, may they be good or bad. Propaganda was a way for people to express the way they
were feeling toward the war in an artistical way. Motivational propaganda is often used
in wartime. During World War I the propaganda reflected what was happening in the
political aspects while it stirred fear and hatred among the people and prepared them for
the necessary sacrifices of the war. Both sides involved in World War I mostly used it to
dehumanize the enemy (Uschan 14). The British government even created a secret War
Propaganda Bureau. The government would monitor newspapers to make sure that they
maintained the right purpose (Clare 55). However, propaganda was not only seen through
newspapers , it was in magazines, posters, and postcards.

After the assassination in Sarajevo, the Austro-Hungarian office received German
assurances of support and then sent a harsh ultimatum to the Serbian government. The
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