The Elegy Written in a Country Chruchyard (Thomas Gray) : Critical Analysis and Summary

Among the most powerful and finest elegies in English Literatures 'Elegy Written in a Country Chruchyard' remains the immoral. 'Elegy written in a country churchyard’ was penned down by Thomas Gray and was completed in around seven years. The poem was contemplated upon in the village of Stokes Poges after the death of Gray’s school friend Richard West and hence the Gray-West persona the obscure young man who died with his ambition unfulfilled.

The poem opens with Gray creating a mood of despondency and sets the tone of melanchonic reflection by creating atmosphere of the churchyard by describing how after a long and tiring day ‘ploughman plods his weary way’ and ‘leaves the world to darkness and to me.’

In such an ambience, he plunges to deliberate upon the lives of modest forefathers of the hamlet which makes him understand the irrevocable nature of death : ‘Each in his narrow cell forever laid/ the rude forefather’s of the hamlet sleep’

It is a fact that neither any customary sounds of the morning like ‘The cock shrill clarion’ nor housewife’s ‘evening care’ shall arose these forefathers from their ‘lowly bed’ He recognises the simple life of those who lived colse to the soil sympathising over their fate with humanitarian enthusiasm.

The poet moves on with a tone of moralising advising the rich,high and the haughty not to mock at the simple joys of these men or belittle their unspectacular labour for death is the greatest leveller : 'The paths of glory lead but to the grave'.

No monuments or memorials were raised for these dead men, but what purpose do they serve? The ‘storied urn’ or ‘the animated bust’ cannot call the ‘fleeting breath'. The dead are unaffected by any exaggerated words of flattery.

Gray now expresses another convincing idea of the caliber of these village forefathers to prove their worth as groat administrators, musicians and orators which was suppressed owing to extreme poverty and lack of education : ‘ chill penury repressed their noble rage/And froze the genial current of the soul’.

However he does understand the distinct advantages of poverty and illuminates the brighter side of oblivion. Gray highlights the fact that the simple life of these men prevented them from committing crime and bloodshed which often accompany an individuals quest for power : 'Forbade to wade thossugh slaughter to a throne/And shut the gates of Mercy on mankind'.

The tombstones of these men carry awkwardly executed inscriptions of their names and ages. The idea of the natural desire of a human to be remembered after death is also discussed as a dying man largely relies on the love qnd sympathy of someone left living behind : ‘On some fond breast the parting soul relies/some pious drops the closing eye requires'.

The last few stanzas contain the self potrait of Gray and the technique of dramatic persona. We learn that how the poet used to greet sunshine from the top of the hill and that at noon time he used to stretch himself beneath a beech tree in a contemplative mood. He describes how someday he shall lie burried in same churchyard and some kindered soul shall inquire his fate.

The poem closes with the self written epitaph of Gray who reflects himself as a ‘Melancholy’ and scholarly person with a sympathetic and generous heart who shall with full confidence rest in 'The bosom of his father and his God’.

Gray’s ‘Elegy’ is deservedly popular, mainly owing to its universal appeal which finds an echo in every heart.

Take for instance take the initial idea of the poem of the irrevocability of death. The teaching stands true for all humans and the beauty of verse is enhanced by the vivid description of day to day happenings.

Consider again the obvious idea of death being no respects of birth or status. ‘The paths of glory lead but to the grave’ is a line on which a thoughtful reader lingers for several minutes for it embodies an universal truth.

A very striking idea is expressed in the following four lines which account for the moral of the elegy : ‘Full many a gem of purest ray serene/ The dark unfatham’d caves of the ocean bear/ Full many a flower is born to blush unseen/ And waste its sweetness upon the desert air’.
Thus, Dr. Johnson rightfully remarks about it : ‘(The Elegy) abounds in images which find a mirror in every heart and sentiments to which every bosom returns an echo’.

The Story of Lost Friends (Ruskin Bond) : Critical Analysis and Summary


The poem ‘The story of Lost Friends’ is a mirror of Ruskin Bond’s growing up years. It is an evocative memoir about cuts and bruises received in childhood. Some wounds heal, some take a long time and some don’t heal at all Bond had his share of each. The bonds of friendship that were forged left an incredible mark on the poet. Thus, His childhood can be aptly summed up as a journey through climbing trees, little escapades and friend.

Burmese Boy

After his father’s death, Bond was ‘despatched’ to his Mother’s house in Denra. After an initial phase of loneliness, Bond finds his first friend of childhood whom he describes as a boy with ‘blackberry eyes’ whose ‘mother was Burmese’ and father ‘An English soldier killed in the War’ Their friendship started with a small scuffle as they ‘ rolled and fought but not for long’. The arrival of the gardenor made them running. They shared some extremely enjoyable moments such that ‘Jime was suspended for a time’. The fields yellow with mustard, parrots wheeling in the sunshine and morning must on the foothills had a new meaning for them.
There relationship was a touch of passion for they pledged to meetd again and sealed their pledge with their own blood.

However, they joy was short lived. They had gone to see ‘gone with the wind’ but just like the cinema was a ‘crashing bore for boys’ it bought a crashing end to their friendship. The extremely warm feeling of sleeping with his partner at night gave way to a disgraceful morning. Bond stayed a night at his friend’s house much to the displeasure of his parents. There was a huge scene in the morning which left his ‘friend unhappy’ and his ‘pride wounded’ such short phrases depict pain and frustration in Bond’s heart. This incident caused a wedge between them and his friend was soon sent to an ‘orphanage in kalimpong’.

The pledge was never fulfilled and the boy was left yearning for love and security However, on the brighter side, Bond learned the Value of companionship from this friend.

Contrast of Manohar and Bansi

Manohar was a fifteen year old boy bond describes him as ‘A slim dark youth with quiet’ Eyes and a gently quzzical smile/ Manohar’ the single word sentence ‘Manohar says it all.

Manohar worked in a restaurant and talked about his home ‘at the bottom of the river where the water ran blue and white’. Bond was drawn towards him and two of them decided to go to Manohar;s native village in the Mountains Since they had no money, Bond sold his ‘bicycle for thirty rupees’ and left dehra, leaving a note for his parents , saying them he would return to them when he had grown up.

It was a difficult trek to Manohar’s village in the mountains. They ‘crossed the rushing waters of the Ganga’ and ‘Then took the pilgrim road’. They had to spend a night at the wayside inn in bitter cold. They drank country liquor brewed there and listened to an old soldier’s exploits with women in Rome during World War I. They reached Manohar’s village late next evening.

The young poet was comforted to hear old village headman’s words of wisdom as he set in a spot of sunshine on a string cob, ‘Not death but a summing up of life’. The people of the village were extremely poor. The poet and his friend often went hungry but he ‘did not long for home’

They ate wild berries, milked other’s goat and caught small fish in the river. At last, bond’s stepfather sent his office manager to bring him back to Dehra. This marked the end of the beautiful relationship that Bond shared with Manohar and the starting of the everlasting quest of Bond in search of Manohar.

Though Bansi and Manohar has a contrasting nature, both of them enriched his life. Bansi was an individual full of life and vibrancy on the other hand, Manohar represents the serene side of life.

Bansi is potrayed as a grown up with the traits of a child, being fun-loving and lively.

Manohar through still a child has a serenading effect on bond, teaching Bond about the serious aspect of life.

Furthermore, Bond learned he value of keeping a promise from Bansi. From Manohar, the learnt qualities of sharing, loving and caring.

Lastly, it is important to note the conclusions Bond derieves from two. Bansi teaches him the fact that it is ‘Natural for a man to strive to excel/At something’ and that ‘A man who fails well is better than who succeeds badly’ whereas, Manohar became a metaphor for true friend.

Journey of the Magi (TS Eliot) : Critical Analysis and Summary

‘Journey of the Magi’ has been penned down by Nobel prize winner TS Eliot an is a contrast of experiences based on the nativity of Christ. The monologue describes the journey of the Magi to Bethlahem in search of spiritual pacification and is an account of Eliot’s own conversion to Anglican faith, making the journey and objective correlation for Eliot.

As per the Gospel story, the Magi were the three wise men namely Balthazar- King of Chaldea, Gaspor - King of Ethopia, Melchoir -King of Nubia who belonged to the priestly class of magicians and had come to Bethlahem to pay homage to infant Christ presenting him with gifts of gold, myrrh, and frankincense. They symbolise wandering human souls in search of spirituality, the eternal spiritual quester.
The poem, ‘Journey of the Magi’ opens with the nativity sermon of Lancelot Andrews preached in 1622 which describes the hardships Magi faced due to deep ways, sharp weather, meeting snow and hostile conditions which were hard to combat : ‘ A cold coming we had of it/ Just the worst tme of the year’ in ‘the very dead of winter’.The Magus admits that there was introspection promoted for ‘there were times we regretted’ as they had given up materialistic pleasures and sensuality of ‘Summer places on the slope’ and ‘silken girls bringing sherbet.’

Besides wondering whether it was worth the effort, their major issue of search was ignored and the day to day difficulties bogged them down with ‘camelmen cursing and grumbling’, ‘night fires going out’ and ‘villages, dirty and charging high prices’. and they admitted, ‘A hard time we had of it’.

The Magi now ‘preferred to travel all night’ and faced agonising moments of self doubt : ‘voices singing in our ears saying that this was all folly’ before they finally reached a temperate valley.

The second half of the poem abounds in symbolism with the temperate valley signifing the change in their lives that followed the ardous journey. They come across a ‘ running stream’ depicting the timelessness of their journey; ‘watermill beating the darkness’ continuing the image of extinction and renewal; ‘three trees signifing three crosses at calvary; ‘an old white horse’, a metaphor for rebirth of Christ, the Savior and the defeat of paganism; ‘Vine leaves over the lintel’ again symbolic of the vine that christ metamorphosed into his blood; ‘Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver’ refers to betrayal of christ by Judas and lastly ‘feet kicking empty vine skins ’is symbolic of the worn out forms and rituals of the old dispensation.
The Magus describes their destination as : ‘Finding the place, it was ( you may say) satisfactory’. Such a deliberate understatement reflects the turmoils in the minds of the Magi as an outcome of the clash of their old dispensation and new beliefs.

The last twelve lines describe the psychological change in Magi as they wore caught in confusion and perplexity and claimed that ‘This birth was hard and bitter agony for us like Death’. The journey marked the end of their old dispensation but didnot give them satisfaction of faith for the Magus claims, ‘I should be glad of another death’ so that he may be born into a new faith.

The poem can be studied at three levels : The actual journey of the Magi; Eliot’s journey from doubt to faith while his conversion to anglicanism, and journey of any individual in spiritual quest.
belonging to the Ariel poems, the journey traces Eliot’s own spiritual quest and his yearing for sublime peace.
The monologue reconfirms the universal truth that the brave and the dauntless who embark upon journies with conviction are graced with divinity but it is sensual jdesires and temptations that need to be overcome.

ISC Mathematics Pattern Analysis

There is one thing for sure, nobody can exactly quess the Mathematics questions but the pattern can be traced out.

Section A

The first question is compulsory. It has ten parts. It covers the entire of syllabus. The expected topics in the form of small three marks questions in serial are :

(i) Matrix
(ii) Inverse Trignometric Functions
(iii) Conics
(iv) Limits
(v) Differenciation
(vi) Integration
(vii) Probability
(viii) Correlation/Regression
(ix) Complex Numbers
(x) Differential Equations

Now, five questions need to be attempted out of remaining eight. The expected serial is :

(a) Determinant : A proving question
(b) Matrix : A question from the use of matrix to solve a three variable equation.

(a) Lagrange Theorem/Rolle Theorem (Lagarange -70%, Rolle -30%)
(b) Conics

(a) Inverse Function Proving
(b) Boolean Proving

(a) Differentiation
(b) Maxima and Minima

(a) Definite Integration
(b) Application of Integration

(a) Correlation (Karl Pearson more Important)
(b) Regression

(a) Probability
(b) Probability

(a) Differential Equations (I.F. Important)
(b) Complex Numbers (Locus not Important)

Section B & Section C

All the topics will be covered. There a six topics and six questions will be asked.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE : All analysis and predictions under this sections are made by panel of experienced teachers on the basis of previous year board patterns. We are in no way associated with the board or take the responsibility if the predictions go wrong. All mentioned details in analysis are expected on the simple basis of probability.

Summary of Macbeth

Act I, Scene 1 : The witches plan to meet after the battle, which we find is a rebellion in Scotland. They are summoned by their familiars and end with the theme of the play.

Act I, Scene 2 : The king and his thanes are at a camp and hear word of the battle from the bleeding sergeant. The sergeant had saved Malcolm earlier. He says that the battle was doubtful, with the rebel Macdonwald receiving reinforcements and luck. However, Macbeth man aged to fight well, and killed the slave Macdonwald. A second attack by the Norweyan lord angered Macbeth and he met their attacks so the Norwegians got their butts kicked. The sergeant goes to get some medical attention, and then Ross tells the rest of the story. Norway and the rebel Thane of Cawdor were met by Macbeth and were defeated. The Norwegian king Sweno was forced to pay ten thousand dollars. Macbeth is given the rebel Cawdor's title.

Act I, Scene 3 : The witches meet again, as planned. One has been killing pigs. Another witch is getting revenge on the captain of the Tiger, who's wife has not given her a chestnut. Winds summoned by her will blow in every direction, making the sailor throw up and nev er sleep, though the ship will never be lost. The witch has the pilot's thumb. Then Macbeth comes. The witches sing a little song. Macbeth comments on the good and bad day, then Banquo sees the witches. They look human in some ways, but don't in others. The witches hail Macbeth as Thane of Glamis, his current title, as well as Cawdor, which he doesn't know he is to receive, and King, which is a complete shock. Banquo is suprised that Macbeth isn't ecstatic at the prophecy, and asks the witches why they have no prophecy for him. The witches make important predictions to Banquo, as lesser but greater, less happy but happier than Macbeth. They also say his children will become Kings. Macbeth wants to know more. The witches vanish, and the two puzzle over the disapperance. Ross and Angus come. Ross tells them the kind heard of his victory in battle. They tell him the King will honor him in person, but that he has also received the t itle of Cawdor. Macbeth asks why he is given someone else's title and is told of the treason. Now Macbeth starts thinking the prophecy might come true. Banquo is still worried. Macbeth is scared as he considers killing the king to complete the prophecy. Banquo says he is getting used to his new title. Macbeth comes out of his thinking and thanks the men. He tells Banquo they will talk later.

Act I, Scene 4 : The king asks if Cawdor is executed yet and if the people who did it are back yet. Malcolm says the aren't back but someone who saw it said Cawdor confessed and apologized, at peace with himself so that death was not a problem, and the way he left was be tter than the way he lived. Duncan makes a comment important to theme, saying he trusted Cawdor, because he was deceptive in the way he acted. When Macbeth arrives, Duncan thanks him for what he did, saying he can never repay him. Macbeth says he was just doing his duty. Duncan says Macbeth will grow, and Banquo will be close to his heart. Banquo also expresses his loyalty, saying the benefit would be for Duncan. Duncan says he is happy despite troubles, and declares his son Malcolm his successor, making Malcolm a problem in Macbeth's getting the throne. Duncan decides to go to Macbeth's castle, and Macbeth goes to tell his wife. Macbeth talks of how he is having dark thoughts about trying to become king. Duncan comments on how great Banquo is and then follows him.

Act I, Scene 5 : Lady Macbeth is reading a letter from Macbeth, which tells about the witches prophecy. Lady Macbeth says that her husband is too nice to get the greatness he is promised. She decides to help him gain the crown. A messenger tells her the King is coming. Lady Macbeth decides that Duncan will be killed while staying there. She tries to get rid of all kind thoughts so that she can do the deed. She tells her husband to appear normal, even while he plans to kill the King.

Act I, Scene 6 : Duncan talks about how pleasant the castle is. Banquo notes how the birds are abundant, marking it for a nice place. Duncan greets Lady Macbeth, who returns the formality and assures her loyalty. She leads them into the castle.

Act I, Scene 7 : Macbeth contemplates the crime and says he should do it soon if he does it. If this was all there was to it, and all he had to worry about was the afterlife, he would do it. But he is also judged here, and murdering may lead to his own death. He is supposed to be loyal to Duncan as a relative and subject and host. And Duncan is such a nice, great leader that whoever kills him will be damned. Everyone will be sad. There is nothing to make him do it except ambition, which is like a spur but also like a rider who jumps on a horse but falls off the other side. Lady Macbeth says Duncan almost finished dinner. Macbeth doesn't want to kill someone who has done him so well. Lady Macbeth asks what happened to his hope that he had so much. She will not love him if he doesn't do this, what he wants. Macbeth doesn't want to do it, and Lady Macbeth asks what happened since he was so willing to do it before. She says that if she had sworn to, she would kill a baby suckling at her breast. Lady Macbeth says they won't fail because they will get the King's attendants drunk and make it look like they did it. Macbeth comments on his wife's mannly mettle, and starts to believe his wife. She says it will look like the servants did it, so Macbeth agrees to do it, while hiding what he did from his face, a refernce to the theme.

Act II, Scene 1: Banquo and Fleance are walking around and wondering at the time. Baquo is worried about the dark thoughts in his head. Macbeth comes up and Banquo asks why he isn't sleeping when Duncan went to bed happy and sent them gifts. Macbeth responds that he wasn't as good a host because he was unprepared. Banquo dreamt of the witches and Macbeth says they should talk about that later. Banquo wants to maintain his loyalty to the king. Macbeth dismisses his servant and then imagines a dagger before him, but he isn't sure if it is real. He says it encourages to do the deed, showing him how. In the night, he dreams of Hecate and the witches, of a wolf howling the time for murder, and compares his stealthy approach to that of Tarquin. In horror, he resolves to do the deed.

Act II, Scene 2 : Lady Macbeth says that the alcohol that made the attendants drunk has given her courage. Omens of death wish the king good night, and Macbeth is going to kill him as the drunk attendants are unconscious. When Macbeth shows up she is afraid they woke up and it didn't work. She would have done it if Duncan didn't look like her fathe. But he did it, after some trouble. One attendant woke up and said "Murder" but then they went ack to sleep. Donalbain either said "God bless us" or "Amen" in response to Duncan saying it. Macbeth is troubled because he could not say "Amen". Lady Macbeth says not to think that way. Macbeth says he heard a voice saying he murdered sleep, which is described as such a sweet and pleasant thing. She tells him not to think of such sickly things and to wash his hands. She then agrees to put the daggers back, because Macbeth doesn't want to. She says only kids fear death and sleep. She will get some blood on the attendants to make them look guilty. Macbeth is troubled by knocking and says that nothing can wash his hands clean, and the blood will make the seas red. Lady Macbeth feels bad to have red hands but to be innocent of the crime itself. She tells him to wash his hands and retire and put on his nightgown so that they will not be suspicious to the watchers. Macbeth wishes he did not know what he had done.

Act II, Scene 3 : The porter hears knocking and says that a porter at hell would have a busy job. He pretends to be the porter of hell, and imagines the sort of people who would come, such as a farmer who didn't get the high prices wanted, a traitor, and a tailor who tried to overprice his garments. Finally he lets Macduff and Lennox in, and they have a discussion about drinking. The porter tells how drink causes red noses, sleep, and urine. He also says it causes lechery, though it takes away the performance. Macbeth comes and greets Lennox and Macduff. Macbeth leads Macduff to the king. Lennox comments on weird things that happened during the night. Macduff returns, having discovered the murder. He is in hysterics, telling them of the horror of horrors and calling for an alarm. He compares the events transpiring to Judgement Day, when the dead rise up to a trumpet. Lady Macbeth comes and asks what is going on. And Macduff tells Banquo when he enters. Macbeth reenters commenting on how awful life is with the death of his king. Malcolm and Donalbain are then informed what happened. Lennox says it looked like the chamber attendants had done it. Macbeth says that in his fury, he killed the attendants. Malcolm and Donalbain are afraid and agree to leave. Banquo says they should reassemble to investigate the matter. Malcolm, in a comment relevant to the theme, says it is easy to show a false sorrow. They both agree it is not safe there and depart.

Act II, Scene 4 : The old man says this is the worst night he has ever seen. Ross speaks metaphorically of the battle between light and dark. The old man compares it to an owl killing a great falcon. Ross then talks of the mysterious event with the horses of Duncan getting loose and eating each other. Macduff says it is thought the attendants did the murder. He thinks they were paid by Malcolm and Donalbain. Macbeth is said to have gone to Scone to get the crown. Duncan's body is said to be buried. Macduff and Ross bid each other farewell. The old man bids them farewell with a comment alluding again to the theme.

Act III, Scene 1: Banquo comments on how Macbeth has everything he was promised, but he thinks Macbeth gained it through evil. But Banquo hopes now that his prophecies will come true and his kids will be kings. Macbeth invites Banquo, his chief guest, to a feast. Banquo and Fleance are riding that afternoon, but can be back by supper. Macbeth says that Malcolm and Donalbain, their cousins whom guilt rests upon, are in England and Ireland but don't admit to the crime. Macbeth bids them farewell then tells the servant to fetch the murderers. While waiting, he deliver a soliloquy about how it is insufficient to be king, unless he is secure. He fears Banquo, with his wisdom and temper, will try to unseat him, as the prophecies said his children would be kings. Macbeth fears he has given up his soul and committed an evil act, just to put Banquo's descendants on the throne. He tells fate to fight him to the death. Macbeth has been convincing the murderers that Banquo is a bad person over the course of two earlier meetings. Macbeth tells the murderers they have a special role as men, and the murderers say they have had a rough life and would do anything. Macbeth tells them to kill Banquo, their mutual enemy. He compares is battle with Banquo to fencing, but says he can't kill him himself. He tells them to do it carefully, and to kill Banquo's son Fleance as well.

Act III, Scene 2 : Lady Macbeth sends a servant for Macbeth, then says something that reminds of Macbeth's earlier soliloquy. It is no good to be insecure in what you have, and you might as well be destroyed. She asks Macbeth why he is keeping to himself and acting worried when he can't change what he has done. Macbeth says there is still a threat, and he wishes he were one of the dead who are in peace, than have such constant worries. Lady Macbeth tells him to act happy. Macbeth says his wife needs to remember that, too, and that they need to flatter Banquo to cover up for their dark plans. Lady Macbeth says not to kill Banquo and that they won't live forever. Macbeth says they can be happy after Banquo and Fleance are dead, which will happen that night. Macbeth doesn't want to tell his wife of his plans so that she can be innocent. He says this evil deed will help what was badly begun.

Act III, Scene 3 : A new murderer appears, claiming to be sent by Macbeth. Banquo approaches and they kill him, but Fleance escapes. They go to tell Macbeth.

Act III, Scene 4 : At the banquet, they seat themselves according to rank. Lady Macbeth goes to play hostess, while Macbeth meets with the Murderer. He learns Fleance escaped and says he is now surrounded by fears instead of being calm and safe. Macbeth is grateful that at least the snake is gone, thought the worm Fleance will likely return. He tells the murderer they will meet again. Lady Macbeth tells him to be a good host, otherwise the guests might as well be eating at home or paying for the meal. Macbeth then sees a ghost of Banquo sit in his chair, but Ross and Lennox tell him to sit since they don't see the ghost. Lady Macbeth tells the guests to wait, that this is just a temporary fit. She tells Macbeth that it is just his imagining from fear. Macbeth says he is just ill and drinks wine to Banquo. He tells the ghost to go away, that it is not real. Lady Macbeth tells the lords to leave after Macbeth continues to act strangely. He wonders then where Macduff is. He says he will go to see the witches again.

Act III, Scene 5 : Hecate is angry because the witches have been dealing with Macbeth without consulting her. She says he will be told his destiny at the cave the next day. The various spells she contrives will lure him into a false sense of security. The witches prepare for her return.

Act III, Scene 6 : Lennox thinks it is suspicious how Macbeth has been acting and how two people killed their fathers. Macduff is reported to be in the English court, rallying forces to remove Macbeth.

Act IV, Scene 1 : The witches meet again and cook up a spell in their cauldron with all sorts of interesting ingredients. Macbeth approaches them to answer his question, regardless of any havoc it might wreak. Macbeth opts to hear it from the witches' masters and is greeted by an apparition that can read his mind and answer his question. The armed head represents Macbeth, telling him to beware of Macduff. The bloody child represents Macduff, who we later find out was not of woman born. Macbeth wonder why, then, he should fear Macduff but just to be safe he will kill him anyway. The crowned child is Malcolm, with the tree representing Burnham Wood, and says not to fear until Great Burnham wood moves against him. Macbeth feels safe since a wood can never move and he knows no people not of woman born. He thinks the prophecy is a good and insures him a safe life. Then a line of kings is seen, thought to represent the descendents of Banquo that eventually lead to King James. The last king holds a mirror to make the line seem endless. So Macbeth gets his question answered about Macbeth's descendents and the witches try to cheer him up by dancing. Then they disappear. Lennox tells Macbeth than Lennox has gone to England. Macbeth comments in his aside about how he was overtaken by time because he failed to act on his plan. He decides to kill Macduff's children.

Act IV, Scene 2 : Lady Macduff is wondering why her husband left. She thinks he was mad, looking like a traitor, loveless and cowardly to leave his family and possessions. Ross tries to comfort her, telling her he knows what is wrong at the moment. People don't know they are traitors, when they know fear. Ross leaves and says he will be back. Lady Macduff has an interesting conversation with her son Sirrah about what they will do without a father. The messenger tells her to leave, that she is in danger. But Lady Macduff doesn't know where to go, and she has done no wrong. As she realizes that doing good is sometimes a bad thing, the murderers arrive. The murderers kill the Son, but Lady Macduff escapes.

Act IV, Scene 3 : Malcolm says they should find some place to cry, while Macduff says they should defend their native country the way they would a fallen comrade. Scotland is full of cries. Malcolm says this could be true, but he fears that Macduff could betray him to Macbeth for a reward. Malcolm says that even is Macduff isn't treacherous, he good give in to the royal command the way a cannon recoils after it is fired. He says bad things can look good while good things still look good. Malcolm asks why Macduff left his family. Macduff says he is not a bad person, that the tyrant Macbeth hurts Scotland as legal ruler. Malcolm says he does want to retake Scotland, but then to check still if Macduff is a spy, he lies, saying how he is a man of vices who would be an even worse ruler. At first, Macduff says the vices won't be a problem, that Scotland can deal with them and that Macbeth is worse. When Malcolm persists, Macduff says that Malcolm truly unfit to rule and fears for his country. Malcolm then says his fears are allayed, and that he really is virtuous person. Macduff says this is hard to deal with all of a sudden. The doctor then talks about how the king is healing people with the evil. Malcolm does not recognize Ross since he's been in England for a while. Ross tells how awful things are in Scotland, but assures Macduff his family is fine. He encourages them to return and save Scotland. Ross then tells Macduff that his family is actually dead. He encourages revenge. Macduff thinks Macbeth wouldn't have killed his kid if he had any of his own. They plan to go to Scotland.

Act V, Scene 1 : The gentlewoman who cares for Lady Macbeth has summoned a doctor, but in two nights the reported symptoms of waking up and writing something have not occurred. The doctor says it is a disturbance of nature for her to do such things while appearing to sleep. The gentlewoman will not repeat anything Lady Macbeth has said for she is unsure, but then Lady Macbeth appears, carrying a light. Lady Macbeth acts as if washing her hands, seeing a spot of blood. She questions why her husband should be scared, but complains still of the blood that was shed. She is wracked with guilt that troubles her as the two observe. The doctor says she needs the help of god, not a doctor for her troubles

Act V, Scene 2 : The English forces with the Scottish thanes are near, Menteith reports. The revenge they seek is a strong enough cause to raise the dead and wounded. Angus says they will met at Burnham wood, and Caithness asks if Donalbain is coming. Lennox explains he has a list of everyone, including boys ready to show their manhood in their first battle, and Donalbain is not on the list. Caithness explains that Macbeth is strengthening his castle, and is acting crazy, unable to rule. Angus explains these are the consequences of the murder; people don't willingly follow him and his title means little. Menteith explains Macbeth is afraid of himself, and Caithness compares Malcolm to doctor, and by working with him they will cure their country by shedding their blood.

Act V, Scene 3 : Macbeth is wondering how the prophecy will come true, and tries to remain confident. Macbeth upraids his servant for seeming afraid, but is told of the English forces. Mcabeth tells Seyton this revolt will either remove or leave him happy, as right now he has none of things due a man of old age. Macbeth asks for his armor, planning to defend himself to the end. Macbeth asks the doctor to cure his wife. The doctor wishes he weren't there.

Act V, Scene 4 : Malcolm hopes to regain the safety they once had. Menteith is sure it will happen. Malcolm tells each soldier to cut down a large tree branch and put it in front of him, thereby camouflaging himself. The scouts will think there are less of them. Macbeth waits in his castle, his only hope of defense. Though they have hopes of what they want to accomplish, now is the time for actual blows and battle to win.

Act V, Scene 5 : Macbeth says let them come to the castle, he can hold them off. If they didn't have his soldiers, then he could have met them on the field and beat them back. Macbeth has forgotten what it is like to be afraid, having as much fear as a man can bear. Macbeth wishes his wife had died later, at a better time. He comments on how life passes at this little speed, with people dying after a futile life. Macbeth says the messenger comes to speak, he should give his report quickly. The messenger, unsure of how to report what he saw, says Birnham wood appeared to move (remember that the soldiers are carrying boughs to hide themselves as they move), thus the prophecy is fulfilled. Macbeth starts wishing this were just all over and prepares for death fighting.

Act V, Scene 6 : Macolm and Macduff split off from Siward, and they throw down their boughs, preparing to fight.

Act V, Scene 7 : Macbeth knows he is stuck fighting, and he wonders who was not born of woman. Macbeth tells Young Siward who he is, and Macbeth says he should be not just hateful but fearful to Young Siward's ears. Macbeth says he doesn't fear any not of woman born and kills Young Siward. Macduff says he must kill Macbeth to avenge his family, and only Macbeth. By the noise of Macbeth's armor, he locates him. Siward explains the battle is easy. Malcolm enters the castle.

Act V, Scene 8 : Macbeth asks why he should kill himself when the wounds he might inflict upon himself would look better upon his living enemies. Macbeth says he has avoided Macduff and does not want to kill him after killing his family. Macduff says he will speak with his sword instead of words. Macbeth says the Macduff will not hurt him. Macduff then reveals that he was ripped from his mother's womb while she died. Macbeth is angry to discover that the prophecy will come true and only provided him false hope. Macduff tells him to give up and explains he will be put on a pole and displayed as a tyrant. Macbeth says he will try despite the prophecy rather than yield to Malcolm.

Act V, Scene 9 : Malcolm wishes no one had to die, but Siward says it is necessary and the cost wasn't that high for such a good day. Ross tells Siward that Young Siward, who just became a man in fighting, died. He tells him not to have sorrow, though. Siward says he died well then. Macduff hails Malcolm as king holding Macbeth's head.

ISC Mathematics Sample Papers

Pattern : The ISC Mathematics is a three hour long paper. The paper is divided into three sections. The Section A has a total of nine questions. The first question is compulsory and has 10 parts each of 3 marks each. The students are expected to attempt any five more questions from the remaining eight. Each of these optional question is of 10 marks usually divided in two equal parts. Section B is meant for science students and Section C for Commerce ones. The student is expected to attempt any one of these sections. Each section has three questions and two need to be answered. Section B and Section C are both worth 20 marks each. This makes the ISC Mathematics Papers of 100 marks.


The Murder Scene in Macbeth and Reaction of those present

Macduff and Lennox were appointed to awaken the king . They met the porter who was in a drunken state and had been admitting various people like farmer, an equivocator and tailor into hell. He ironically says: ‘I ’ll devil porter it no further’ where he symbolically turns the castle into hell and compares Macbeth to the devil.

On entry of Macbeth, we notice a dramatic change in his personality as he seems to be in control of the situation. It is to be noted that it is initial foretaste of Macbeth’s ruthlessness in scenes to follow.

After the exchange of pleasantries, when Macduff goes on to awaken the king, the interval is used by Shakespeare to describe the stormy night. Lennox describes the night of the regicide as unruly, with chimneys blown down; lamenting heard, owl shrieking and earth shaking. Macbeth admits : ‘ ’Twas a rough night’.

On Macduff’s returns the horrid news of regicide was announced, ‘Confusion now hath made his masterpiece most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope . The lord’s anointed temple, and stole thence/ The life of the building’. Macbeth tried to teriporise by saying ‘what is’t you say the life’. They were advised by Macbeth to approach the chamber themselves and destroy their sight with a new Gorgon while alarum bell was ring to awaken others.

It is at this point that Lady Macbeth makes here grand appearance, being in full control as she had intended to ‘Show (her) grief and clamors roar upon his death';. It is ironic that Macduff tried to hide the news from Lady Macbeth for he believed that the news was not meant for a woman’s ears. He simply stated to Banquo : ‘O Banquo, Banquo, our royal master’s murdered’ Hearing this Lady Macbeth exclaimed. ‘Woe, alas! What, in our house’ to which Banquo sincerely replied: ‘Too cruel anywhere’.

On re-entering, Macbeth began with a rousing eulogy for a man he had just murdered for he says : ‘Had I died an hour before this chance/ I had lived a blessed live’ and that ‘The wine of life is drawn, and the mere less/ Is left the vault to brag of’. Such, a response proves Malcolm’s later statement to be correct: 'To show unfelt sorrow is an office that a false man does easy’.

The discovery was followed by news of Macbeth killing the kings’ alleged assassins – the chamberlains. Macbeth’s justification was that ‘The expedition of my violent love outrun the pauser reason’.

This was a new development in the plot of which even Lady Macbeth, the chief architect of the plan was unware of seeing the transparency of Macbeth’s actions, Lady Macbeth fainted as she gave in to her femine nature. Perhaps, this could also be a stage managed event by nor to prevent her husband betraying himself any further.

However, her fainting served the purpose for Banquo took the charge to break the meeting and meet later to ‘question this most bloody piece of work to know it further’. At last, Malcolm and Donalbain were left on the stage who decided to flee to England and Ireland respectively for they understood discretion is the better part of valour. The scene ended with their galloping away in the view of their safety.

It is to be noted that nobles of Scottand were genuine in their experession of horror, Macbeth on other hand had a false response. However, Macbeth’s expression of grief is dramatically ironic : ‘Had I died an hour before this chance/ I had lived a blessed time’ For it is not only expressed in conventional terms but also accounts for Macbeth’s overwhelming consciousness of the sin.

The Murder of Lady Macduff

In the murder scene, Macbeth’s tyranny went to extreme limits of vindictiveness. Through the massage of the apparituons, he had begun to feel secure and decided ‘to crown (his) throughts with acts’.

To prove that this decision was not a vain boost the decided to storm Macduff’s castle and to ‘give to the edge o’ the sword his wife, his babes , and all unfortunate souls that trace him inhis line’ for Macduff was his strongest opponent.

Macduff inspired by patriotism had fled to England to meet Malcolm,erroneously ignoring the danger to which his family was exposed on that account.

The massacre in the murscene is significant for reviving the terror of tradedy, deepening pathos and providing Macduff with an emotional cause to kill Macbeth.

Furthermore, the scene serves to highlight the brutality of Macbeth. Which is contrasted with the innocence of young son of Macduff. The boy had won over the affection of the audience through his childish prattle and his brutal murder intensifies the feeling of revulsion for Macbeth.

The scene opens with Lady Macduff upbraiding her husband for his sudden flight from Fife saying ‘his flight was madness’; for he lacked the natural feelings of love and concern for his family which are found even in most diminutive of birds like wren. Macduff had left ‘his wife, his babes, his mansions and his titles in a place from whence himself does fly’ and hence Lady Macduff rightly felt betrayed by this action.

Ross though at loss for words, tried to present an honourable profile of Macduff as a man who was ‘noble, wise, judicious and best knows the fits o’ the season’. He comments on the condition of Scotland and says that they were passing through cruel times when people call themselves traitors without knowing the reason for it. They had to cling to every rumour owing to their fears while the nation was lossed on a violent sea of uncertainity. Such was his overwhelming grief that he decided to leave lest he should disgrace his manhood.

The tension of is the scene is now relieved by an interlude of dramatic relief. A homely and domestic atmosphere is set to potray the feminity of Lady Macduff and innocence of her child.

Lady Macduff perhaps to keep her mind off the situation begins to indulge in small talks with her son. She told the child that his father was dead and asked him how he would live . The child replied ‘as birds do’ meaning to survive on what he got. With Macbeth’s orders of murder lurking in the background, the child’s confidence that ‘poors birds they are not set for’ carries high dramatic irony. The child was further convinced that his father was not dead as his mother was not weeping. Even if her father was dead and his mother was not weeping, ‘It were a good sign that (he) should quickly have a new father’.

The child’s remark regarding traitors that ‘liers and swearers are fools; for there are lier and swearers enow to beat honest men to hang them up’, is another demostration of his quick wit. It is to be noted that Lady Macduff calls her husband a traitor for he had sworn to protect her and broken his oath by fleeing to England.

The mood of cheerfulness was suddenly broken by the arrival of a messenger who warned her : ‘Some danger does approach you nearly’. Lady Macduff thought that she had ‘done no harm’ but at the same time realised the vanity of the thought.

On the entry of the murderers and their enquiry regading Macduff she hopes that her husband is in ‘no place so unsanctified /where such as thou mayst find him’. It is a subtle reminaer that Macduff is in the court of king Edward. The son also defends the honour of his father when the murder calls Macduff traitor : ‘Thou liest,thou shag hair’d villian’.

The scene ends with the murder of the child and Lady Macduff being chased by the murders. The brutality of the murder acts as a catalyst and instigates people to revolt against Macbeth. It marks the begining of the end of Macbeth’s tyrannical rule.

Sleepwalking Scene in Macbeth : Act I , Scene V

The tragedy of Macbeth is known for shakespeare’s intuitive insight into the working of the human mind. Two grand figures are explored in this timeless tragedy, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Shakespeare has drawn Lady Macbeth as a loyal though misguided and misguiding wife who for the fulfillment of her husband’s desire prayed to be nerved by unnatural access to ferocity but ultimately suffers a crash of finer spirit due to nemesis.

The Sleepwalking scene opens in the ante room in the Dunsiane where a gentlewoman is seen in a conversation with a doctor of physic discussing the unnaturalness of the disease of Lady Macbeth. She seems to be walking in her sleep and ‘in the slumbery agitation, performing various acts of wakefulness’, which as per the doctor is ‘a great perturbation in nature’.

Lady Macbeth’s sonambulism is perhaps the outcome of her revolting conscience. Once an apparently strong woman who had called upon ‘thick night’ to hide her deeds has now ordered for a taper by her side constantly; for she needs to dispel the darkness of fear as well as the darkness of hell. Therefore, ‘She has light by her continuously;’ is her command’ even when she would be asleep. Moreover, in this state of sleepy wakefulness she would rub her hands constantly. The gentlewomen claims that she had known her ‘continue in this a quarter of an hour’. Obviously, Lady Macbeth seems to be recoiling from the revolting effort and the physical horrors of the scenes of that night in the sleepwalking scene.

Lady Macbeth says, ‘Out damned spot! Out, I say ! – One, two; do’t — hell is murky ! - fie, my lord, fie ! a soldier, and afeard ?’. Such disjointed and incoherent mutterings project the pathetic and traumatic state that she is in. “Her psychological (problems) disorders corrode her pshycle.

Hence, three main reasons of Lady Macbeth’s delirium in the Sleepwalking Scene can be characterized as the more reproduction of the scenes that she has passed through; the struggle to keep her husband from betraying himself; and the uprising of her feminine nature against the foulness of the deed. Furthermore, we may add to this her fear of after death, ‘“Hell is murky’ and her realization of absolute moral deterioration of Macbeth for she has heard that ‘The thane of Fife had a wife, where is she now’.

The sleepwalking scene is highly dramatic in its revelation of those very crimes which she had sought to suppress. She unknowingly revels not only the murder of Duncan but also that of Banquo. How ironic is it that once she claimed, ‘A little water clears us of this deed’ and now she continually washes her hands, a futile attempt to divest herself of the oppressive guilt and painfully acknowledges, ’all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand’. The doctor true to the practice of his age admits, ‘This disease is beyond my practice’ and says, ‘She needs the divine more than the physician.’ The statement of doctor carries high dramatic irony and acts as a subtle reminder of the power of king Edward, the confessor to heal diseases beyond the scope of science . To conclude, nemesis seems to have overtaken her.

The Sleepwalking scene is only scene in prose except the doctor’s concluding lines which act as choric commentary and brings the scene to effective conclusion. The doctor even forsees that she would try to bring her life to an end for he instructs to ‘remove from her means of all annoyance’.

By the end of the Sleepwalking Scene, we no longer consider Lady Macbeth to be an awful instigator. The scene projects her feminine nature and wins our sympathy over her piteous state. We are made to believe that she had been suppressing her true nature and her suffering forces us to suspend our judgement over her crimes. Her concluding words remind us of Macduff’s knocking and that Macbeth cannot sleep in bed and she cannot find true rest in her sleep. To conclude, we can only repeat with the doctor ‘God, God forgive us all’.

Lady Macbeth Character sketch

Lady Macbeth, the Clytemnestra of English tragedy is naturally drawn as a foil to Macbeth.She possesses ‘a frightfully determined will’ and an iron stability of resolve. It is to Lady Macbeth what imagination is to Macbeth the feature that transcends and dominates all other in the character. It is the secret of her influence over Macbeth and of her success in winning him to consent.

But, it proves her ruin. It makes Lady Macbeth impose upon herself and bear, for a time, a strain beyond the ultimate endurance of the rest of her powers. In fact, her imperious will, like Macbeth’s excess of imaginative faculty, disturbs the proper relation of the forces of the character.

Lady Macbeth’s character has extreme self reliance, unlike Macbeth who turns to her for co-operation, until his menancing sense of retribution substitutes its fatal stimulus. Intellectually too, Lady Macbeth is superior of Macbeth just as Portia is of Bassanio and Rosalind of Orlanto. The dexterity with which she meets Macbeth’s reluctance to go further in the work, the swiftness with which she perceives the effect of the deed on Macbeth and the resource and alertness of brain Lady Macbeth manifests at the banquet scene, all are but commendable.

But intellectual keenness does not compensate the lack of imagination. Gifted with true imaginative insight, Lady Macbeth could never have made her appaling miscalculation as to the moral results her crime would produce in Macbetdh and in herself.

Of conscience, she certainly manifests less than Macbeth. It has been held that even the dire sleepwalking scene doesnot justify us with crediting her with true remorse for : ‘from her lips, as from her husbands, no word of contrition for the past ever falls’.

However, judging more by what we see rather than what we hear, the wrecked body and soul does highlight some working of the conscience as a potent cause in the character of Lady Macbeth.

The three main reason of Lady Macbeth’s delirium in the sleepwalking scene can be characterised to mere reproductions of the scenes of that horrible night; continuous struggle of Lady Macbeth to keep her husband from betraying himself and the uprising of her femine nature against the foulness of the deed.

Illuminating the brighter side of the character of Lady Macbeth we find in her character true devotion to her husband. Variety remarks, ‘she lives only in him (Macbeth) and his greatness’ . It is notable that even after Macbeth’s breakdown in the banquet scene, Lady Macbeth utters no word of reproach but simply remarks : ‘You lack the season of all natures, sleep’. Lady Macbeth’s very initial solioluqy reveals her indepth understanding of her husband’s nature.

Lady Macbeth’s invocation of the powers of darkness proves that she is no stranger to gentler impulses of womanhood, for a Goneril would not need to pray that she might be ‘unsexed’ or a Regan to petition for a richer measure of ‘direst cruelity’.

To quote Bradley, ‘Lady Macbeth is perhaps the most awe- inspiring figure that Shakespeare ever drew. Sharing certain traits with her husband, she is at once clearly distinguised from him by an inflexibility of will, which appears to hold imagination, feeling and conscience completely in check.

Thus, Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth is a misguided and misguiding wife who for the fulfillment of her husband’s desires prays to be nerved by unnatural access to ferocity but ultimately suffers a crash of finer spirit due to nemesis.

World War II


World War II, or the Second World War was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including all of the great powers, organized into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. The war involved the mobilization of over 100 million military personnel, making it the most widespread war in history. In a state of "total war", the major participants placed their complete economic,industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Over 70 million people, the majority of them civilians, were killed, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.

The starting date of the war is generally held to be September 1939 with the German invasion of Poland and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by the United Kingdom, France and the British Dominions. However, as a result of other events, many belligerents entered the war before or after this date, during a period which spanned from 1937 to 1941. Amongst these main events are the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, the start of Operation Barbarossa, and the attack on Pearl Harbor and British and Dutch colonies in South East Asia.

On land, sea and in the air, Poles fought Germans, Italians fought Americans and Japanese fought Australians in a conflict which was finally settled with the use of nuclear weapons. World War 2 involved every major world power in a war for global domination and at its end, more than 60 million people had lost their lives and most of Europe and large parts of Asia lay in ruins.

The Soviet Union and the United States emerged from the war as the world's leading superpowers. This set the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 45 years. The United Nations was formed in the hope of preventing another such conflict. The self determination spawned by the war accelerated decolonisation movements in Asia and Africa, while Western Europe itself began moving toward integration.


After the aftermath of World War I, a defeated Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles.This caused Germany to lose a significant portion of its territory, prohibited the annexation of other states, limited the size of German armed forces and imposed massive reparations. Russia 's civil war led to the creation of the Soviet Union which soon was under the control of Joseph Stalin. In Italy, Benito Mussolini seized power as a fascist dictator promising to create a "New Roman Empire." The Kuomintang (KMT) party in China launched a unification campaign against regional warlords and nominally unified China in the mid-1920s, but was soon embroiled in a civil war against its former Chinese communist allies. In 1931, an increasingly militaristic Japanese Empire, which had long sought influence in China as the first step of its right to rule Asia, used the Mukden Incident as justification to invade Manchuria; the two nations then fought several small conflicts, in Shanghai,Rehe and Hebei until theTanggu Truce in 933.Afterwards Chinese volunteer forces continued the resistance to Japanese aggression in Manchuria,and Chahar and Suiyuan.

Adolf Hitler, after an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government in 1923, became the leader of Germany in 1933. He abolished democracy, espousing a radical racially motivated revision of the world order, and soon began a massive rearming campaign. This worried France and the United Kingdom, who had lost much in the previous war, as well as Italy, which saw its territorial ambitions threatened by those of Germany.To secure its alliance, the French allowed Italy a free hand in Ethiopia,which Italy desired to conquer. The situation was aggravated in early 1935 when the Saarland was legally reunited with Germany and Hitler repudiated the Treaty of Versailles, speeding up remilitarization and introducing conscription. Hoping to contain Germany, the United Kingdom ,France and Italy formed the Stresa Front.The Soviet Union, concerned due to Germany 's goals of capturing vast areas of eastern Europe, concluded a treaty of mutual assistance with France.

Before taking effect though, the Franco-Soviet pact was required to go through the bureaucracy of the League of Nations, rendering it essentially toothless and in June 1935, the United Kingdom made an independent naval agreement with Germany easing prior restrictions. The United States, concerned with events in Europe and Asia , passed the Neutrality Act in August.In October, Italy invaded Ethiopia, with Germany the only major European nation supporting her invasion. Italy then revoked objections to Germany 's goal of making Austria a satellite state.

In direct violation of the Versailles and Locarno treaties,Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland in March 1936. He received little response from other European powers. When the Spanish Civil War broke out in July, Hitler and Mussolini supported fascist Generalísimo Francisco Franco's nationalist forces in his civil war against the Soviet-supported Spanish Republic. Both sides used the conflict to test new weapons and methods of warfare and the nationalists would prove victorious in early 1939.

With tensions mounting, efforts to strengthen or consolidate power were made. In October, Germany and Italy formed the Rome-Berlin Axis and a month later Germany and Japan, each believing communism and the Soviet Union in particular to be a threat,signed the Anti-Comintern Pact, which Italy would join in the following year. In China , the Kuomintang and communist forces agreed on a ceasefire to present a united front to oppose Japan .


The Nazis were responsible for the killing of approximately six million Jews (overwhelmingly Ashkenazi) as well as two million ethnic Poles and four million others who were deemed "unworthy of life" (including the disabled and mentally ill, Soviet POWs,homosexuals,Freemasons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Roma) as part of a program of deliberate extermination planned and executed by the Nazi Germany. About 12 million, most of whom were Eastern Europeans, were employed in the German war economy as forced labor in Germany during World War II.

In addition to the Nazi concentration camps, the Soviet Gulag, or labor camps, led to the death of citizens of occupied countries such as Poland,Lithuania,Latvia and Estonia, as well as German prisoners of war (POW) and even Soviet citizens themselves who had been or were thought to be supporters of the Nazis. Sixty percent of Soviet POWs died during the war. Richard Overy gives the number of 5.7 million Soviet POWs. Of those, 57% died or were killed, a total of 3.6 million. Some of the survivors on their return to the USSR were treated as traitors.

Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, many of which were used as labour camps, also had high death rates. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East found the death rate of Western prisoners was 27.1 percent (for American POWs, 37 percent), seven times that of POW's under the Germans and Italians. The death rate among Chinese POWs was much larger; a directive ratified on August 5, 1937 by Hirohito declared that the Chinese were no longer protected under international law. While 37,583 prisoners from the UK, 28,500 from the, Netherlands and 14,473 from United States were released after the surrender of Japan, the number for the Chinese was only 56.

On February 19, 1942 Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, interning thousands of Japanese, Italians,German Americans, and some emigrants from Hawaii who fled after the bombing of Pearl Harbor for the duration of the war. 150,000 Japanese-Americans were interned by the U.S. and Canadian governments, as well as nearly 11,000 German and Italian residents of the U.S..

Allied use of slave labor occurred mainly in the east, such as in Poland, but more than a million was also put to work in the west. For example, in the 1940's, Lac Saint-Jean, along with various other regions within Canada, such as the Saguenay, Saint Helen's Island and Hull, Quebec, had Prisoner-of-war camps. By 1942 the Lac St. Jean region had 2 camps with at least 50 POWs. These prisoners where forced into hard labour which included lumbering the land and assisting in the production of pulp and paper. Canada 's war prisons, such as St. Helen's prison, camp forty seven (Camp 47), where numbered and remained unnamed. The POWs where classified into categories including there nationality and civilian or military status. Camp 47's POWs were mostly of Italian and German nationality. These prisoners were forced into farming and lumbering the land. By 1944 Camp 47 would be closed and shortly afterwards destroyed because of an internal report on the treatment of prisoners. By December 1945 it was estimated by French authorities that 2,000 German prisoners were being killed or maimed each month in mine-clearing accidents.


In Europe, prior to the start of the war, the Allies had significant advantages in both population and economics. In 1938, the Western Allies (United Kingdom, France, Poland and British Dominions) had a 30% larger population and a 30% higher gross domestic product than the European Axis (Germany and Italy); if colonies are included, it then gives the Allies more then a 5:1 advantage in population and nearly 2:1 advantage in GDP. In Asia at the same time, China had roughly six times the population of Japan, but only a 89% higher GDP; this is reduced to three times the population and only a 38% higher GDP if Japanese colonies are included.

hough the Allies economic and population advantages were largely mitigated during the initial rapid blitzkrieg attacks of Germany and Japan , they became the decisive factor by 1942, after the United States and Soviet Union joined the Allies, as the war largely settled into one of attrition. While the Allies' ability to out-produce the Axis is often attributed to the Allies having more access to natural resources, other factors, such as Germany and Japan's reluctance to utilize women in the labour force, Allied strategic bombing, and Germany's late shift to a war economy contributed significantly. Additionally, neither Germany nor Japan planned on fighting a protracted war, and were not equipped to do so. To improve their production, Germany and Japan used millions of slave labourers; Germany used about 12 million people, mostly from Eastern Europe, while Japan pressed more than 18 million people in Far East Asia.


In Europe , occupation came under two very different forms. In western, northern and central Europe (France, Norway, Denmark, the Low Countries, and the annexed portions of Czechoslovakia) Germany established economic policies through which it collected roughly 69.5 billion reich marks by the end of the war; this figure does not include the sizable plunder of industrial products, military equipment, raw materials and other goods. Thus, the income from occupied nations was over 40% of the income Germany collected from taxation, a figure which increased to nearly 40% of total German income as the war went on.

In the east, the much hoped for bounties of lebensraum were never attained as fluctuating front-lines and Soviet scorched earth policies denied resources to the German invaders. Unlike in the west, the Nazi racial policy encouraged excessive brutality against what it considered to be the "inferior people" of Slavic descent; most German advances were thus followed by mass executions. Although resistance groups did form in most occupied territories, they did not significantly hamper German operations in either the east or the west until late 1943

In Asia, Japan termed nations under its occupation as being part of the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere, essentially a Japanese hegemony which it claimed was for purposes of liberating colonized peoples. Although Japanese forces were originally welcomed as liberators from European domination in many territories, their excessive brutality turned local public opinions against them within weeks. During Japan's initial conquest it captured 4 million barrels of oil left behind by retreating Allied forces, and by 1943 was able to get production in the Dutch East Indies up to 50 million barrels, 76% of its 1940 output rate.


Concentraton camps/elimination camps existed earlier (such as the US Concentration Camps forced on Cherokee and other Native Americans in the 1830s, Cuba (1868–78), the Philippines (1898–1901) by the Spaniards and Americans respectively), the English term "concentration camp" was first used to describe camps operated by the British in South Africa during the 1899-1902 Second Boer War. Purportedly conceived as a form of humanitarian aid to the families whose farms had been destroyed in the fighting, the camps were used to confine and control large numbers of civilians as part of a scorched earth tactic.

At the time that Kitchener started the concentration camps in South Africa the war had entered the guerilla phase and set battles during which farms could be destroyed no longer happened. By destroying crops, livestock and farmsteads under the 'Scorched Earth' policy the Boer fighters were deprived of supplies and shelter.It also left the women and children on such farms destitute and they were forcibly removed, against their will, to the camps where thousands died of disease and starvation.

The Holocaust is the term generally used to describe the genocide of approximately six million European Jews during World War II, as part of a programme of deliberate extermination planned and executed by the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi) regime in Germany led by Adolf Hitler

Other groups were also persecuted and killed, including the Roma; Soviet civilians,Soviet prisoners of war; ethnic Poles; the disabled; gay men; and political and religious opponents. Most scholars, however, define the Holocaust as a genocide of European Jewry alone, or what the Nazis called the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question." Taking into account all the victims of Nazi persecution, the total number of victims would be between nine and 11 million.

Every arm of Nazi Germany's bureaucracy was involved in the logistics of the mass murder, turning the country into what one Holocaust scholar has called "a genocidal state."


On December 16, 1944 German forces counter-attacked in the Ardennes against the Western Allies. It took six weeks for the Allies to repulse the attack. The Soviets attacked through Hungary, while the Germans abandoned Greece and Albania and were driven out of southern Yugoslavia by partisans. In Italy, the Western Allies remained stalemated at the German defensive line. In mid-January 1945, the Soviets attacked in Poland, pushing from the Vistula to the Oder river in Germany, and overran East Prussia.

On February 4, U.S., British, and Soviet leaders met in Yalta. They agreed on the occupation of post-war Germany, and when the Soviet Union would join the war against Japan .

In February, Western Allied forces entered Germany and closed to the Rhine river, while the Soviets invaded Pomerania and Silesia. In March, the Western Allies crossed the Rhine north and south of the Ruhr,encircling a large number of German troops, while the Soviets advanced to Vienna. In early April the Western Allies finally pushed forward in Italy and swept across western Germany, while in late April Soviet forces stormed Berlin; the two forces linked up on Elbe river on April 25.

German forces surrendered in Italy on April 29 and in Western Europe on May 7. However, fighting continued on the until the Germans surrendered specifically to the Soviets on May 8. In Prague, resistance of remnants of German Army continued until May 11. In the Pacific theater, American forces advanced in the Philippines, clearing Leyte by the end of 1944. They landed on Luzon in January 1945 and Mindanao in March. British and Chinese forces defeated the Japanese in northern Burma from October to March, then the British pushed on to Rangoon by May 3. American forces also moved toward Japan, taking Iwo Jima by March, and Okinawa by June. American bombers destroyed Japanese cities, and American submarines cut off Japanese imports. On July 11, the Allied leaders met in Potsdam , Germany. They confirmed earlier agreements about Germany, and reiterated the demand for unconditional surrender by Japan, specifically stating that "the alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction". During this conference the United Kingdom held its general election and Clement Attlee replaced Churchill as Prime Minister.


In an effort to maintain international peace, the Allies formed the United Nations, which officially came into existence on October 24, 1945.

Regardless of this though, the alliance between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union had begun to deteriorate even before the war was over, and the two powers each quickly established their own spheres of influence. In Europe, the continent was essentially divided between Western and Soviet spheres by the so-called Iron Curtain which ran through and partitioned Allied occupied Germany and occupied Austria. In Asia, the United States occupied Japan and administrated Japan 's former islands in the Western Pacific while the Soviets annexed Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands; the former Japanese governed Korea was divided and occupied between the two powers. Mounting tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union soon evolved into the formation of the American-led NATO and the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact military alliances and the start of the Cold War between them.

In many parts of the world, conflict picked up again within a short time of World War II ending. In China, nationalist and communist forces quickly resumed their civil war. Communist forces were eventually victorious and established the People's Republic of China on the mainland while nationalist forces ended up retreating to the reclaimed island of Taiwan . In Greece, civil war broke out between Anglo-American supported royalist forces and communist forces, with the royalist forces victorious. Soon after these conflicts ended, war broke out in Korea between South Korea , which was backed by the western powers, and North Korea, which was backed by the Soviet Union and China; the war resulted in essentially a stalemate and ceasefire.

Following the end of the war, a rapid period of decolonization also took place within the holdings of the various European colonial powers. These primarily occurred due to shifts in ideology, the economic exhaustion from the war and increased demand by indigenous people for self-determination. For the most part, these transitions happened relatively peacefully, though notable exceptions occurred in countries such as Indochina, Madagascar, Indonesia and Algeria. In many regions, divisions, usually for ethnic or religious reasons, occurred following European withdrawal; this was seen prominently in the Mandate of Palestine, leading to the creation of Israel and Palestine, and in India, resulting in the creation of the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.

Economic recovery following the war was varied in differing parts of the world, though in general it was quite positive. In Europe, West Germany recovered quickly and doubled production from its pre-war levels by the 1950s. Italy came out of the war in poor economic condition, but by 1950s, the Italian economy was marked by stability and high growth. The United Kingdom was in a state of economic ruin after the war, and continued to experience relative economic decline for decades to follow. France rebounded quite quickly, and enjoyed rapid economic growth and modernization. The Soviet Union also experienced a rapid increase in production in the immediate post-war era. In Asia, Japan experienced incredibly rapid economic growth, and led to Japan becoming one of the most powerful economies in the world by the 1980s. China, following the conclusion of its civil war, was essentially a bankrupt nation. By 1953 economic restoration seemed fairly successful as production had resumed pre-war levels. This growth rate mostly persisted, though it was briefly interrupted by the disastrous Great Leap Forward economic experiment. At the end of the war, the United States produced roughly half of the world's industrial output; by the 1970s though, this dominance had lessened significantly.


Estimates for the total casualties of the war vary, but most suggest that some 60 million people died in the war, including about 20 million soldiers and 40 million civilians. Many civilians died because of disease, starvation, massacres, and deliberate genocide. The Soviet Union lost around 27 million people during the war, about half of all World War II casualties. Of the total deaths in World War II, approximately 85 percent were on the Allied side (mostly Soviet and Chinese) and 15 percent on the Axis side. One estimate is that 12 million civilians died in Nazi concentration camps, 1.5 million by bombs, 7 million in Europe from other causes, and 7.5 million in China from other causes. Figures on the amount of total casualties vary to a wide extent because the majority of deaths were not documented.

Many of these deaths were a result of genocidal actions committed in Axis-occupied territories and other war crimes committed by German as well as Japanese forces. The most notorious of German atrocities was the Holocaust, the systematic genocide of Jews in territories controlled by Germany and its allies. The Nazis also targeted other groups, including the Roma (targeted in the Porajmos), Slavs, and gay men, exterminating an estimated five million additional people. For Japan, the most well-known atrocity is the Nanking Massacre, in which several hundred thousand Chinese civilians were raped and murdered. The Japanese military murdered from nearly 3 million to over 10 million civilians, mostly Chinese. According to Mitsuyoshi Himeta, at least 2.7 million died during the Sanko Sakusen implemented in Heipei and Shantung by General Yasuji Okamura.

While many of the Axis's acts were brought to trial in the world's first international tribunals, incidents caused by the Allies were not. Examples of such actions include population transfer in the Soviet Union, Japanese American internment in the United States, the Soviet massacre of Polish citizens and the controversial mass-bombing of civilian areas in enemy territory, most notably at Dresden.

When Japan continued to reject the Potsdam terms, the United States then dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August. Between the two bombs, the Soviets invaded Japanese-held Manchuria, as agreed at Yalta. On August 15, 1945 Japan surrendered, finally putting an end to the war.

World War I


World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, the War of the Nations and the War to End All Wars, was a world conflict lasting from 1914 to 1919, with the fighting lasting until 1918. The war was fought by the Allies on one side, and the Central Powers on the other. No previous conflict had mobilized so many soldiers or involved so many in the field of battle. By its end, the war had become the second bloodiest conflict in recorded history.
World War 1 became infamous for trench warfare, where troops were confined to trenches because of tight defenses. This was especially true of the Western Front. More than 9 million died on the battlefield, and nearly that many more on the home fronts because of food shortages, genocide, and ground combat. Among other notable events, the first large-scale bombing from the air was undertaken and some of the century's first large-scale civilian massacres took place, as one of the aspects of modern efficient, non-chivalrous warfare.


European politics in the early twentieth century were a dichotomy: many politicians thought war had been banished by progress while others, influenced partly by a fierce arms race, felt war was inevitable. In Germany this belief went further: the war should happen sooner rather than later, while they still (as they believed) had an advantage over their perceived major enemy, Russia . As Russia and France were allied Germany feared being attacked from both sides and had developed the Schlieffen plan to deal with it: a swift looping attack on France designed to knock it out early, allowing concentration on Russia. After rising tensions, the catalyst occurred on June 28th 1914, when Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian activist, an ally of Russia. Austro-Hungary asked for German support and was promised a 'blank cheque'; they declared war on Serbia on July 28th. Russia mobilised to support Serbia , so Germany declared war on Russia ; France then declared war on Germany . As German troops swung through Belgium into France days later, Britain declared war on Germany too. Declarations continued until much of Europe was at war with each other. There was widespread public support.


World War 1 is actually much more complicated than a simple list of causes. While there was a chain of events that directly led to the fighting, the actual root causes are much deeper and part of continued debate and discussion. This list is an overview of the most popular reasons that are cited as the root causes of World War 1.

(1) Mutual Defense Alliances

Over time, countries throughout Europe made mutual defense agreements that would pull them into battle. Thus, if one country was attacked, allied countries were bound to defend them. Before World War 1, the following alliances existed:

Russia and Serbia

Germany and Austria-Hungary

France and Russia

Britain and France and Belgium

Japan and Britain

Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia , Russia got involved to defend Serbia . Germany seeing Russia mobilizing, declared war on Russia . France was then drawn in against Germany and Austria-Hungary . Germany attacked France through Belgium pulling Britain into war. Then Japan entered the war. Later, Italy and the United States would enter on the side of the allies.

(2) Imperialism

Imperialism is when a country increases their power and wealth by bringing additional territories under their control. Before World War 1, Africa and parts of Asia were points of contention amongst the European countries. This was especially true because of the raw materials these areas could provide. The increasing competition and desire for greater empires led to an increase in confrontation that helped push the world into World War I.

(3) Militarism

As the world entered the 20th century, an arms race had begun. By 1914, Germany had the greatest increase in military buildup. Great Britain and Germany both greatly increased their navies in this time period. Further, in Germany and Russia particularly, the military establishment began to have a greater influence on public policy. This increase in militarism helped push the countries involved to war.

(4) Nationalism

Much of the origin of the war was based on the desire of the Slavic peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina to no longer be part of Austria Hungary but instead be part of Serbia . In this way, nationalism led directly to the War. But in a more general way, the nationalism of the various countries throughout Europe contributed not only to the beginning but the extension of the war in Europe . Each country tried to prove their dominance and power.

(5) Immediate Cause: Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The immediate cause of World War I that made all the aforementioned items come into play (alliances, imperialism, militarism, nationalism) was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary . In June 1914, a Serbian nationalist assassinated him and his wife while they were in Sarajevo , Bosnia which was part of Austria-Hungary . This was in protest to Austria-Hungary having control of this region. Serbia wanted to take over Bosnia and Herzegovina . This assassination led to Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia . When Russia began to mobilize due to its alliance with Serbia , Germany declared war on Russia. Thus began the expansion of the war to include all those involved in the mutual defense alliances.


Even after the official end of World War I, its far-reaching effects resounded in the world for decades in the forms of changing politics, economics and public opinion. Many countries began to adopt more liberal forms of government, and a hostile Germany was forced to pay for a large deal of war reparations, which ultimately led to the start of World War II. As Europe fell in debt from war costs, inflation plagued the continent. Additionally, the optimism of previous decades was abandoned and a bleak, pessimistic outlook on life was adopted after people had experienced the brutality of warfare.

(1) Governmental Changes

As a result of World War I, socialistic ideas experienced a boom as they spread not only in Germany and the Austrian empire but also made advances in Britain (1923) and France (1924). However, the most popular type of government to gain influence after World War I was the republic. Before the war, Europe contained 19 monarchies and 3 republics, yet only a few years afterward, had 13 monarchies, 14 republics and 2 regencies. Evidently, revolution was in the air and people began to more ardently express their desires for a better way of life.

(2) Effects of a harsh Peace

A second political effect of World War I centers solely on the treatment of Germany in the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. The Germans were forced to sign a humiliating treaty accepting responsibility for causing the war, as well as dole out large sums of money in order to compensate for war costs. In addition, the size of the German state was reduced, while that of Italy and France was enlarged. The Weimar government set up in Germany in 1918 was ill-liked by most of the citizens and maintained little power in controlling the German state. Rising hostilities toward the rest of Europe grew, and many German soldiers refused to give up fighting, even though Germany 's military was ordered to be drastically reduced. Given such orders, numerous German ex-soldiers joined the Freikorps, an establishment of mercenaries available for street-fighting. The open hostility and simmering feelings of revenge exhibited by Germany foreshadowed the start of World War II.

(3) Economic Change

Technology experienced a great boost after the war, as the production of automobiles, airplanes, radios and even certain chemicals, skyrocketed. The advantages of mass production and the use of machinery to perform former human labor tasks, along with the implementation of the eight hour work day, proved to stimulate the economy, the United States ' in particular. However, much of Europe suffered devastating losses of physical property and landscape as well as finances . By 1914, Europe had won the respect of the world as a reliable money-lender, yet just four years later was greatly in debt to her allies for their generous financial contributions toward the war effort, owing them as much as $10 billion. In an effort to pay back their allies, the governments of many European countries began to rapidly print more and more money, only to subject their countries to a period of inflation. Members of the middle class who had been living reasonably comfortably on investments began to experience a rocky financial period. Germany was hit the hardest in terms of struggling with war reparations, and inflation drastically lowered the value of the German mark. In a period of no more than three months in 1923, the German mark jumped from 4.6 million marks to the dollar to 4.2 trillion marks to the dollar. It appeared that inflation knew no bounds.

(4) Disillusionment

Psychologically, World War I had effects similar to those of a revolution. A growing sense of distrust of political leaders and government officials pervaded the minds of people who had witnessed the horror and destruction that the war brought about. Many citizens were angered that peacemakers had not expressed their ideals fervently enough, and people began to wonder why the war was fought at all. A feeling of disillusionment spread across the world as people bitterly decided that their governments in no way knew how to serve the best interests of the people. The loss of loved ones on the battlefield was especially disturbing, for in some parts of Western Europe , one of four young men had lost his life in battle. Altogether, the war killed 10 to 13 million people, with nearly a third of them civilians. The future certainly did not look bright for the families of those killed in the war, and a grim acceptance of reality replaced the optimistic dreams of those in decades past.

(5) Summary

World War I did not completely end with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, for its political, economic and psychological effects influenced the lives of people long after the last shot was fired. Two main political changes rocked the world after the war: a greater number of countries began to adopt more liberal forms of government, and an angered Germany tried to cope with the punitions doled out to them by the victors, as its hostilities rose to the point where it provoked the Second World War two decades later. Despite the advantages brought forth by developing technologies, the war mainly had a damaging effect on the economies of European countries. People's hopes and spirits also floundered, as they grew distrustful of the government and tried to cope with the enormous death toll of the war. The turbulent period after World War I called for a major readjustment of politics, economic policies, and views on the world.


About 8 million men surrendered and were held in POW camps during the war. All nations pledged to follow the Hague Convention on fair treatment of prisoners of war . In general, a POW's rate of survival was much higher than their peers at the front. Individual surrenders were uncommon. Large units usually surrendered en masse. At the Battle of Tannenberg 92,000 Russians surrendered. When the besieged garrison of Kaunas surrendered in 1915, 20,000 Russians became prisoners. Over half of Russian losses were prisoners (as a proportion of those captured, wounded or killed); for Austria 32%, for Italy 26%, for France 12%, for Germany 9%; for Britain 7%. Prisoners from the Allied armies totalled about 1.4 million (not including Russia , which lost between 2.5 and 3.5 million men as prisoners.) From the Central Powers about 3.3 million men became prisoners.

Germany held 2.5 million prisoners; Russia held 2.9 million and Britain and France held about 720,000. Most were captured just prior to the Armistice. The U.S. held 48,000. The most dangerous moment was the act of surrender, when helpless soldiers were sometimes gunned down. Once prisoners reached a camp, in general, conditions were satisfactory (and much better than in World War II), thanks in part to the efforts of the International Red Cross and inspections by neutral nations. Conditions were terrible in Russia , starvation was common for prisoners and civilians alike; about 15–20% of the prisoners in Russia died. In Germany food was in short supply, but only 5% died.

The Ottoman Empire often treated POWs poorly. Some 11,800 British Empire soldiers, most of them Indians, became prisoners after the Siege of Kut , in Mesopotamia , in April 1916; 4,250 died in captivity. Although many were in very bad condition when captured, Ottoman officers forced them to march 1,100 kilometres (684 mi) to Anatolia . A survivor said: "we were driven along like beasts; to drop out was to die." The survivors were then forced to build a railway through the Taurus Mountains .

In Russia , where the prisoners from the Czech Legion of the Austro-Hungarian army were released in 1917 they re-armed themselves and briefly became a military and diplomatic force during the Russian Civil War.


The First World War was different from prior military conflicts: it was a meeting of 20th century technology with 19th century mentality and tactics. This time, millions of soldiers, both volunteers and conscripts fought on all sides. Kitchener 's Army for instance was a notable British volunteer force formed in 1914.

Much of the war's combat involved trench warfare , where hundreds often died for each metre of land gained. Many of the deadliest battles in history occurred during the First World War. Such battles include Ypres , Vimy Ridge, Marne , Cambrai, Somme , Verdun , and Gallipoli. The combination of machine guns and barbed wire was responsible for the largest number of casualties during the First World War.

(1) Machine guns

The machine gun is perhaps the signature weapon of trench warfare, with the image of ranks of advancing infantry being scythed down by the withering hail of bullets. The Germans embraced the machine gun from the outset - in 1904, every regiment was equipped with one machine gun - and the machine gun crews were the elite infantry units. After 1915, the MG 08/15 was the standard-issue German machine gun. Its number entered the German language as an idiomatic expression for "dead plain". At Gallipoli and in Palestine the Turks provided the infantry, but it was usually Germans who manned the machine guns.

The British High Command were less enthusiastic about machine gun technology, supposedly considering the weapon too "unsporting", and they lagged behind the Germans in adopting the weapon. In 1915 the Machine Gun Corps was formed to train and provide sufficient heavy machine gun teams. To match demand, production of the Vickers machine gun was contracted to firms in the USA . By 1917, every company in the British forces was also equipped with four light Lewis machine guns, which significantly enhanced their firepower.

The heavy machine gun was a specialist weapon, and in a static trench system was employed in a scientific manner, with carefully calculated fields of fire, so that at a moment's notice an accurate burst could be laid upon the enemy's parapet or at a break in the wire. Equally it could be used as light artillery in bombarding distant trenches. Heavy machine guns required teams of up to eight to move them, maintain them and keep them supplied with ammunition.

(2) Other trench weapons

The use of barbed wire was decisive in slowing infantry across the battlefield. Fast moving infantry (or even cavalry) could probably cross between the lines and reach enemy machine gun posts and artillery. Slowed down by the wire, they were much more likely to be cut down by the machine guns. Liddell Hart identified wire and machine gun as the elements that had to be broken to regain a mobile battlefield.

The grenade came to be the primary infantry weapon of trench warfare . Both sides were quick to raise specialist bombing squads. The grenade enabled a soldier to engage the enemy indirectly (without exposing himself to fire) and it did not require the precise accuracy of rifle fire in order to kill or maim. The Germans were well equipped with grenades from the start of the war, but the British did not anticipate a siege war entered the conflict with virtually none.

During the first year of the war, none of the combatant nations equipped their troops with steel helmets . Soldiers went into battle wearing simple cloth or leather caps that offered virtually no protection from the damage caused by modern weapons. The number of lethal head wounds that troops were receiving from shrapnel increased dramatically. The French were the first to see a need for greater protection and began to introduce the first steel helmets in the summer of 1915. At about the same time the British were developing their own helmets (Brodie helmet) When they entered the war, this was the helmet also chosen by the Americans. The traditional German pickelhaube was replaced by the stahlhelm or "coal-scuttle helmet" in 1916.

(3) Air and Sea weapon technology

The First World War also saw the use of chemical warfare and aerial bombardment, both of which had been outlawed under the 1907 Hague Convention. Chemical warfare was a major distinguishing factor of the war. Gases uses ranged from tear gas to disabling chemicals such as mustard gas and killing agents like phosgene. Only a small proportion of casualties were caused by gas, but it achieved harassment and psychological effects. Effective countermeasures to gas were found in gas masks and hence in the later stages of the war, as the use of gas increased, in many cases its effectiveness was diminished.

Fixed-wing aircraft were first used militarily during the First World War. Initial uses consisted principally of reconnaissance, though this developed into ground-attack and fighter duties as well. Strategic bombing aircraft were created principally by the German and British empires, though the former used Zeppelins to this end as well.

U-boats, or submarines , were first used in combat shortly after the war began. Alternating between restricted and unrestricted submarine warfare during the First Battle of the Atlantic , they were employed by the "Kaiserliche Marine" (German Imperial Navy) in a strategy of weakening the British Empire by attacking its merchant shipping. In 1915, the RMS Lusitania liner was sunk with United States citizens aboard, affecting the United States ' entry into the war.

At the beginning of 1914, the submarine remained something of a nautical curiosity of uncertain usefulness. By the end of 1918, the value of the submarine as a weapon had been proved beyond all reasonable doubt.


Industrial and economic resources played an important role in World War I. Military success was critically dependent on a country's ability to produce a continuous supply of goods for their armies. German industrial resources were so great that Germany was able to survive the British naval blockade and meet the demands of four years of war, while giving some help to Austria-Hungary . British industry, although capable and versatile, had begun to lag in output and in modernization. Britain came to depend heavily on U.S. production. Throughout the war, Germany occupied French territory that contained important industrial and mineral resources, so France also depended on U.S. supplies. Russian industry was incapable of dealing with the needs of the Russian armies. In addition, since the Ottoman Empire controlled the Dardanelles Strait, Russia was cut off from Allied supplies via the Mediterranean Sea and could not easily be supplied from its Arctic or Pacific ports.

During the war, Britain and France were able to harness the economic resources not only of their own vast colonial empires, such as India and Indochina , but also of the United States . This ability gave them a great advantage. The Central Powers were cut off from their prewar markets and sources of food and raw materials. Although Germany gained access to the vast economic resources of the western part of the former Russian Empire in the spring of 1918, it was too late in the war to affect the outcome.

The Allies also enjoyed a critical advantage in being able to obtain loans from American investment banks. The Allies used the loans to purchase oil, wheat, steel, and other critical products. When the United States entered the war, the U.S. Treasury Department took over the financing of loans to the Allied Powers to cover their supply purchases in the United States . The combined economic resources of the United States and the British Empire played a significant role in the Allied victory.


In the aftermath of World War I, the political order of Europe came crashing to the ground. The German, Austro-Hungarian, and Russian empires ceased to exist, and the Ottoman Empire soon followed them into oblivion. New nations emerged, borders were radically shifted, and ethnic conflicts erupted. Victors and vanquished alike faced an enormous recovery challenge after four years of financial loss, economic deprivation, and material destruction. Amid this chaotic situation, the leaders of the victorious coalition assembled in Paris to forge a new international system that would replace the old order. The decisions they made would determine the future of Europe , and much of the rest of the world, for decades to come.

(A) Treaty of Versailles

Delegates from all of the Allied countries met in Paris , France , in January 1919 to draft the peace treaties. But it soon became evident that real decision-making authority rested in the hands of the leaders of the four states whose economic and military might had defeated the Central Powers: Prime Minister David Lloyd George of Britain , Prime Minister Vittorio Orlando of Italy , Premier Georges Clemenceau of France , and President Woodrow Wilson of the United States . The Japanese delegation was on the same level as the four European powers, but it participated in the conference debates only when matters pertaining to East Asia were discussed.

Britain 's principal goal at the peace conference was to remove the threat of German naval power and to end Germany 's overseas empire. Once Lloyd George had achieved these two objectives, he pursued a moderate territorial settlement out of concern that a harsh peace would prompt a defeated Germany to try to destroy the new international order. Orlando wanted the territory that the Allies had promised Italy when it entered the war as well as additional territory on the Adriatic Coast inhabited by Italians. Clemenceau had two principal goals: to establish a set of ironclad guarantees against a future German military threat to France and to require Germany to pay to repair the extensive damage that it had caused to northeastern France during the war. The United States had no financial or territorial claims against Germany , but Wilson fought for what he regarded as a peace of justice. He wanted a new international organization known as the League of Nations to be created to help prevent future armed conflicts.

The Treaty of Versailles that the representatives of the new German Republic were compelled to sign on June 28, 1919 , was a compromise. On the one hand, Germany was deprived of portions of its prewar territory, such as Alsace and Lorraine , the city of Danzig ( Gdansk ), and the Polish corridor . Also Germany was unilaterally disarmed and forced to accept an Allied military occupation of the Rhineland and to give up its colonial empire. Germany was forced to accept responsibility for the outbreak of the war and was required to pay the cost of repairing the wartime damage, known as reparations. On the other hand, Germany emerged from the peace conference as a potentially powerful country because its industrial areas were left intact and it did not lose any vital territory.

The U.S. Senate refused to approve the treaty in part because of internal U.S. politics, and the United States concluded a separate peace treaty with Germany in 1921. Without U.S. support, the economically weakened, war-weary countries of France and Britain were left with the difficult task of enforcing the provisions of the Versailles peace.

(B) Legacy of the war

When Marshal Foch of France learned of the Versailles Treaty's contents, he reportedly complained, “This is not peace. It is an armistice for twenty years.” As it turned out, he was uncannily accurate in his prediction of when humanity would be plunged into a second world war. World War II was a conflict that would surpass its predecessor in the number of deaths and injuries, the extent of physical destruction, and the geographical area affected. The terrible experiences of World War II have tended to overshadow the memory of the war that broke out in the summer of 1914. But World War I unquestionably represented a major turning point in history, and its consequences are still felt throughout the world.

The major fighting in World War I was confined to a relatively limited area: northeastern France , western Russia , the Balkan Peninsula , the Alpine frontier between Austria-Hungary and Italy , and the deserts of what would later be called the Middle East . But millions of people far from the battlefields felt the effects of the war, people who lived not only at the home front in Europe but also in towns and villages throughout the world. Men from as far away as Australia and India died on the fields of northern France and the beaches of Gallipoli. Africans from Senegal and Morocco fought in the trenches on the western front while Bedouin tribesmen from the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula rode camels against the Ottomans.

The death of over 10 million men in combat left a gaping chasm in the social and economic life of the postwar world. Many of those who survived the war returned home with physical disabilities that prevented them from rejoining the work force. Others suffered the lasting effects of what in those days was called shell shock and what is today labeled post-traumatic stress disorder , a psychological affliction that prevents a successful adaptation to civilian life. Many of the dead left widows and orphans who had to cope with severe economic hardship and emotional loss.

The war had a profound effect on the relations between men and women in the major belligerent states. As the men rushed to the battlefield, women moved into many traditionally male occupations in industry. They then began to achieve a degree of independence and self-reliance that had been unavailable before the war. Many of the countries involved in the war (including Britain , the United States , and Germany ) granted women the right to vote for the first time shortly after the war ended.

The war also profoundly disrupted the revered cultural tradition of the Western world. Optimism about human nature and about the glorious future of civilization was discredited as soldiers from what had been hailed as the most highly civilized societies on earth slaughtered each other without mercy. Artists began to produce works that mocked the self-confident assertions of humanism and portrayed the sordid realities of modern life. Social scientists and psychologists probed the sources of human aggression in an effort to explain the orgy of violence that had ended. Philosophers bemoaned the decadence of civilization and the decline of the west.

The economic consequences of the war were felt throughout the world. All of the countries involved had to borrow heavily to pay for the costs of the war, either from their own citizens or from foreign lenders. Such deficit-financing generated inflation, which impoverished many citizens living on fixed incomes. Some governments, such as the Soviet regime in Russia , repudiated their foreign debts, wiping out the savings of frugal investors in many countries. The war also wrought political changes that had serious economic consequences. For example, the new states in Eastern Europe that were formed out of the defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire found it nearly impossible to achieve economic viability. When the empire was divided into separate countries, the new countries were cut off from their prewar markets and sources of food and raw materials.

When Nazi leader Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, he was able to destroy much of the Versailles treaty by exploiting two pervasive sentiments of the 1930s. The first was the lingering suspicion, particularly widespread in Britain , that Germany had been treated unfairly at the peace conference and that its demands for territorial changes should be considered. The second was the universal belief that any political compromise with Nazi Germany was preferable to another European war. The diplomacy of appeasement, which enabled Hitler to remilitarize Germany and take over territory during the 1930s, was therefore a direct outgrowth of the memories that millions of survivors retained of the traumatic experience of the World War I. They were intent on not repeating the experience at all costs.


World War One involved almost every country in Europe and each country took part in its outbreak. However, the country I believe was most responsible for starting World War One was Germany . Germany ignited militarism and the alliances in Europe . Germany always felt they needed to be stronger and far superior to the other nations because of their location weakness.

In the start of the war Germany was the aggressor and immediately activated the Shlieffen Plan in which Germany attacked France which would be followed by a defense against Russia . Although I do believe Germany bears the most responsibility for the outbreak of the war, I sympathize with them in that they were backed into a corner when Russian troops mobilized to defend Austria and activated the Austrian-German alliance system. In addition, Germany had to be conscientious of the fact that they were hated by both France and Russia from previous conflicts and could be attacked by either of them at any time.

World War I shook and forever changed the world. World War I was a war that never should have taken place yet the reasons behind it like nationalism, imperialism, militarism, tensions on the Balkan Peninsula, the alliance system, the killing of Archduke Ferdinand transformed a small scale war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia into an all out global war.

Few countries remained untouched or unchanged by the war. World War I which started in 1914 and ended in 1918 had a devastating effect as millions of soldiers died and civilians were killed in the war. However as history is known to repeat itself, it is evident that World War One taught the world nothing because in 1940, an even greater war occurred that changed the world again forever.