The World War – I (1914-1918) had a great impact on the National Movement in India:
a) Resentment among the Indians:
The British government declared India as an ally and a belligerent. Indian people and resources were used in this war. It created great resentment among the Indians especially when they were not even consulted before joining the war.
b) Anguish among the Muslims:
The British were fighting against the Turkish Empire which was ruled by the Caliph (Khalifa). The Muslims had great respect for the Caliph. The Indian Muslims joined the Caliphate (Khilafat) Movement for the defence of Turkey against the British.
c) Peasant’s unrest:
During the war, the peasant’s unrest also grew. These movements helped prepare the ground for mass movement.
d) Home Rule Movement:
Annie Besant joined the Congress in 1914. In 1916 she along with Bal Gangadhar Tilak started the Home Rule Movement. The Home Rule League demanded self-government to the Indians.
e) The Lucknow Pact (1916):
In 1916, at the Lucknow Session, the ‘moderates’ and the ‘extremists’ were united. Besides, a pact was made between the Congress and the Muslim League to work unitedly for their demands of greater share and power for Indians in the Executive Council and election of members of the Legislative Councils.
Emergence of Gandhiji:
Gandhiji emerged as the leader of the nationalist movement in India during the First World War.