Joint Meeting of Central and Allied And Powers: World War 1
“I think a curse should rest on me because I love this war. I know it’s smashing and shattering the lives of thousands every moment, and yet I can’t help it — I enjoy every second of it.”
Winston Churchill, in a letter to his friend in 1916
In June, 1914, Archduke Francis Ferdinand was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, a Yugoslav nationalist. Ferdinand was the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, the second largest state in Europe. Despite the name, Austria-Hungary included territories inhabited by many other ethnicities--most importantly, the Slavs. Princip and his group of terrorists, the Black Hand, believed that the Slavs of Austria-Hungary should be united with the Slavs of Serbia to form the state of Yugoslavia (which would actually come into existence in 1918). They committed this assassination in the name of their Slavic nationalism. As one would imagine, the Austro-Hungarian royal family did not take kindly to the archduke’s death and invaded Serbia after issuing an ultimatum to the country. Russia saw itself as a protector of the Slavs and, therefore, of Serbia, so Russia mobilized its army to defend Serbia. Germany declared war against Russia to support its ally, Austria-Hungary, and then the United Kingdom and France joined the war to support their ally, Russia leading to the formation of 2 Blocs, Triple Entente of Russia, France, and the UK and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy.
The First World War, waged from 28 June 1914 to 11 November 1918, is one of the largest conflicts the world has ever seen. Over 70 million troops were mobilised and 17 million lives were lost. New methods of warfare were developed or perfected – chemical weapons, tanks and airplanes, trench warfare. Part of the ‘Great’ War’s enduring tragedy is that it was largely pointless, springing to life because nations were more prepared to fight than to discuss. And its legacy was equally marred by the Treaty of Versailles, widely seen as flawed, and the League of Nations, an organisation set up with noble ideals perhaps but ultimately doomed to weakness and irrelevance. Two decades after the conclusion of ‘the war to end all wars’, Europe and the world were once again torn apart by their unresolved demons.
The First World War set the tone for the bloodshed to follow in the 20th century. Its geopolitical implications were paramount, with some powers emerging with a global influence and others left worse off or even broken up into several states.
It is in this context that we simulate the Committee on World War 1. This committee will comprise of all relevant countries and major powers of the world. The committee is a perfect balance between research, foreign policy, and on the spot thinking to navigate the detailed crises given to them by us, the executive board. The delegates will be put to the test and will face situations which they should use to prove their metal. They are expected to act and behave like actual representatives aiming to achieve their country’s goals while forming alliances, drafting paperwork such as directives and press releases as well as during their speeches.
We expect the World War 1 to be a fast-paced, multi-dimensional committee dealing with the situations that arise. The committee will have to act upon the several different problems faced in terms of war and conflict, international alliances, international law and the overall impact of the actions that are taken. The delegates get to rewrite history and choose whether to go to war or achieve peace.