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The term "world war" was coined a few years before the outbreak of hostilities in World War I. There was concern that the many complex alliances among major nations could result in a war among most of the world's most powerful countries. Since these countries had overseas empires, such a war would employ resources from across the globe, and likely result in battles on multiple continents. This fear was justified: In 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia. They were supported by the German and Ottoman empires. Serbia was supported by France, Russia, and the UK. So one declaration of war quickly involved a number of major powers, with many colonies on other continents. In addition to the Eastern and Western fronts in Europe, there was a Middle Eastern front, an African campaign, and minor events in China and the Pacific islands (later the United States would enter the war, thus involving the Americas). The war was known by many names: The Great War, The World War, The War to End All Wars, The Kaiser's War, The War of the Nations, and The War in Europe.

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16y ago
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11y ago

Some disagree that WWI was not a 'total war'. By definition, a total war is a war in which a nation mobilizes all available resources to stop the enemy force. World War II is a better description of a 'total war'.

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9y ago

World War I began with a small (if also violent and internally important) squabble among factions in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its eruption into an international total war occurred for two reasons: first, European nations were inflamed by the desire to achieve national glory, either through expansion or maintaining the status quo, and entered the war for this reason. Second, the complex alliance-system then dominant practically forced several major nations to enter the war, even though their interests were not directly threatened.

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11y ago

World War One was by no means the first global war in history.

Historians differ as to what war was the first global conflict but any number of European wars spreading to their colonies during the age of empire make plausible candidates. Churchill, in his history of the English Speaking Peoples, point to the seven years war (1756-1763) as the first Global conflict and it makes a good candidate as it transformed the world. Fought on every ocean on Earth with five of the greatest navies that ever set sail it is the reason the world speaks English rather then French. Apart from the main operations in Europe it saw large imperial armies committed in North America and Asia. Estimates of total casualties range from 900.000 to 1.2 million making losses compatible to the world wars of the twentieth century in terms of pr capita losses compared to world population.

Going back earlier the first wars of global reach I've come across was the conflict between the Netherlands and Portugal 1590-1609 that ranged across the globe with fighting in Asia, Africa and the new world even if the actual number of land troops committed was fairly small.

As to why World War one turned global - it did so for the same reason previous European conflicts did so. The Great powers of Europe had extensive colonial possessions and when they went to war with each other their colonies and dominions became involved as well.

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13y ago

World War I became a "World War" because of alliances. Within the period of 8 days, 6 countries were at war.

July 28, 1914: Austria declares war on Serbia, causing Russia to mobilize

August 1, 1914: Germany declares war on Russia

August 3, 1914: France declared war on Germany

August 4, 1914: Great Britain declares war on Germany

The Sides

The Allies: Britain, France, Russia, Italy, United States

Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungry, Turkey, Bulgaria

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12y ago

people wanted land and they could not get it

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Q: How did world war 1 become a total war?
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Related questions

What did world war 1 become once the participating countries began devoting all of their resources to the war effort?

The answer is "Total War":)


Did Austria Hungary become on nation after World War 1?

Austria Hungary did not become one nation after World War 1.


When did the great war become known as World War 1?

After the 2nd World War.


The first total war in world history was what?

world war 1


What did the US become after world war 1?

world powers


Was World War 1 a 'total war' for the US?

yes.


After world war 1 did the US become a world power?

yes


Total Americans in World War 1?

alot


Why did World War I become entrenched?

World war 1 became entrenched because of the alliance system


How World War I become a world war?

World War 1 became a world war when the Allies and the Central powers started to invaded colonies in the world especially in Africa


Why was world war 1 called the total war?

A lat of man died!


When did Australia become involved in world war 1?

In 1914.