• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Was World War One a Total War?

Extracts from this document...


Was it a "Total War"? Define and conclusion A Total War can be defined as a conflict that encompasses a total mobilization of resources such as human, industrial, agricultural, military with an aim to have such an output that the enemy won't be able to overcome. Perhaps the largest difference between a Total War and a normal war is that there is no difference between those who are fighting and the civilians; they are all seen as an enemy. From this point of view, World War One could definitely be considered a Total War because it was a complete contrast to the limited wars of the 18th Century which were small, trying to avoid battles, not touching the society and continuing the trading systems. Firstly, WW1 had an all encompassing character which although it began with the Germans and Austrians fighting against Russia, Britain and France. Within a few months all other European powers such as Turkey, Italy, Rumania and USA ended up joining the war. What at first could have been only a small conflict in the Balkans region, due to the alliance system it became a total war because it suddenly involved everyone else in Europe. ...read more.


Even though there was a law that prisoners would not be ill treated, this time there was ill treatment of prisoners, and a bitterness that only grew between populations and other powers, due to all the propaganda and hate "installed" over the people. The Germans used an anti-British campaign through the means of the press, the Belgian people who were supposed to be a neutral country were deported in order to work in German factories, and the Turks who massacred and treated Armenians as slaves, an act of genocide. With war raging throughout Europe, there was a significant amount of government interference in the life of the people, they eradicated child labour, built new sewage systems, thus turning public life more organized in order to increase in intensity and detail their output in the war. Britain which had a policy of home liberalism shifted its views and the government took over railways, encouraged food rationing, conscription into key industries such as coal mining, taxation was increased. Even women managed to work in factories and farms in order to increase production. ...read more.


Thus USA began providing great economic contribution. In addition, since U-boats were threatening Britain, they started transporting materials in convoys which would be surrounded by warships, thus warships would be targets before the supply ships sank. Agriculture also suffered loses because the blockades caused a shortage of food for civilians leading to many deaths. German farmers were conscripted so while Germany was being blockaded, agriculture was extremely significant, however it was being halved. In turn, the governments completely misjudged the military, and gave them too much power, believing that war would be over soon. Now, after power had been given to the military, it was hard to take back to take control over the situation. In conclusion, World War One was a Total War because countries needed to re-direct national economies to attend to demands of war supply, this made countries enter into alliances with both business and labour creating a kind of corporate state. It however undermined social and political structures, it mobilized all of the nations' resources for victory and it was extremely severe with everyone. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. The cold war - the conferences and the start of the cCold War

    40 protesters were killed, 400 wounded and thousands arrested. There were similar protests in Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania, all of which were treated the same b) 1956 - Poland; there were riots in Poznan. 53 workers were killed by the Polish army.

  2. World War I, a Total War

    [6] This major power was hit hard during the war and the lack of resources and economics were causing an uproar because they had all been mobilized to war efforts rather then on the home front. During World War One, "Despite France's rich agricultural resources, the country found itself facing an increasing food deficit.

  1. Rwanda Genocide

    by giving them weapons and used their international power to let Hutus enter Tutsi refuge camps that were set by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) (newyorker, 8.Jan.2010), to murder them all. Within the refuge camps, another 50 thousand people have lost their lives.

  2. WW2 as a total war

    Weaponry such as anti-tank guns, land mines, bombs, and different types of tanks were used.

  1. Detailed Revision notes on the Peloponnesian War and Punic Wars.

    Gulf (major trade area), but Athens' alliance w/Megara angered Corinth and ensured Corinth's enmity towards Athens (crucial element in origins of Peloponnesian War) * Helots surrendered to Sparta 460BC and resettled north of Corinthian Gulf (threat to Corinth shipping) Sparta and Corinth furious and Corinth now at war w/ Athens * Athens fighting Corinth on land (losing)

  2. WWI - Total War essay

    Civilian ships were sunk, civilian were bombarded by airship artilleries and etc. Nobody knew what could happen in the close future and whether tomorrow will come for them. The most intense cases were the sinking of Lusitania, when German U-boats swallowed the lives of more than 1000 innocent people, only because of the entrance in the war zone.

  1. World War One; A Limited & Total War

    Great Britainâs economy was slowly becoming more government owned. In 1914, the government took over the all the railroad industries in order to transport more materials for the war effort (Packet). This sufficed up until around December 1916, when the coal fields were taken over in Southern Whales (Packet).

  2. Why did Tsarism fail to survive the first world war

    As Richard Pipes had stated: âThe events of 1917 demonstrated that for all its immense territory and claim to great power status, the Russian empire was a fragile, artificial structure, held together not by organic bonds connecting rulers and ruled, but by mechanical links provided by the bureaucracy, police, and armyâ.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work