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As seen in retrospect, World War I, also known as the First World War or WWI (July 28, 1914–November 11, 1918), had a profound impact not only on the subsequent chain of historical events but also on the social structures, institutions, and values, conventions, and visions of the future in postwar societies. Overshadowed in the contemporary mass historical consciousness by the Second World War, the original World War had soon come to be called by its participants the Great War for several reasons that could hardly be foreseen. First, the war marked the end of the so-called Old Europe of multiethnic empires and gave the world a new map of nation-states, with the balance of powers shifted from Western Europe to the United States. Second, ...

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