How Did The First World War Affect The Global Balance Of Power?

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The rise of nationalistic fervor across the world in 1914 around the world spurred significant competition among the Great Powers that pushed the world into what was then known as the “Great War”. The Treaty of Versailles signed in 1919, officially marked the end of the hostility between Germany and the Allied Powers but the competition among the great powers continued, threatening the global balance of power. To address this, in 1922, each of the Great Powers — United States, Great Britain, France, Japan and Italy, met in Washington for the first time since the signing of the Treaty of Versailles to ensure that the mistakes that led to the outbreak of war in 1914 would not be repeated. They hoped that through diplomacy, they could establish and ensure global balance of power among the five nations and significantly reduce any potential for future conflict.

Despite the end to
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President Woodrow Wilson announced plans to vastly expand the United States navy via the Naval Act of 1916. This proposal would ensure that the United States Navy would surpass the size of the British fleet by 1922. The Japanese government, in response to US expansion, announced their own plans to upgrade the Japanese Navy to a target of eight battleships and battlecruisers respectively. The UK also joined this arms race in 1921 announcing that it was going to build four new battleships that year and another four the subsequent year. This growing arms race coupled with the rise of isolationism within the United States led to a congressional effort to demand talks between
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