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World War I, a Total War

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The First World War, also called the Great War, took place throughout Europe, involving major nations such as Germany, France, Britain, Russia and the United States of America. From 1914 to 1918, World War One was a war in which all nations resources, economics, humans and ideology were mobilized in the war effort in order to win. This made World War One in many ways, a total war. All of the nation's economic resources were mobilized in an effort in order to win. The First World War's cost in fighting totaled over $337 billion and by 1918, it cost $10 million per day. Nations raised part of the money to pay for the war through income taxes and other taxes. Unfortunately, most of the money came from borrowing, which created even larger debts. The government borrowed money from citizens by selling war bonds and they even went as far as printing extra money to need their needs during the war. [1] Several countries used all of their resources for the war, and many suffered because of it. In Germany, the pain of daily hunger and the humiliation of standing in food lines, foraging, and participating in the black market struck the entire population. [2] Evelyn, Princess Bl�cher wrote this account of hunger on the German Front saying, "We are all growing thinner every day, and the rounded contours of the German nation have become a legend of the past." [3] In Germany the production of various resources were cut short due to the lack of farmers. ...read more.


What a sad sight it is to see the old carts drawn by nags that even the requisition officers refused; these poor people, distressed, leaving their homes and their possessions, without knowing whether they will return." [12] The death of so many young men affected France more than any other countries. During the 1920's, France's population dropped dramatically because of the low birthrate. [13] Even the United States contributed to this aspect of the First World War. The Four Minute Men, recruited for their talent in speaking, presented pep talks heard by millions in support of the war. [14] They were able to speak their patriotic speeches in a variety of languages and even moved into the new medium of film producing movies such as The Beast of Berlin. [15] Government propaganda pictured the war as a battle for liberty and democracy. Man power was the chief contribution of the United States to World War One. America entered the war with 128 000 men, soon requiring all men 21 to 30 to register for military service, then broadening to 18 to 45 in 1918. Many men enlisted voluntarily and woman signed up as nurses and office workers. About five million American men and women were involved in the war. [16] Germany probably had the biggest impact, socially, on this total war. The majority of German efforts to influence public opinion came from cautious bureaucrats in the War Press Office, a part of the War Ministry. ...read more.


[28] The British government was not concerned about elections or political debates among each other, but they were determined to encourage their troops in effort to succeed on the battle field. Russia ordered full mobilization, saying that "Russian leaders were convinced there was no turning back" [29] The French government boosted morale during the final years of the war by tapping the energies of local school teachers, townspeople and farmers, offering the most optimistic responses they could contrive. [30] The political aspect of the war was even mobilized in the United States of America. At the start of World War One, President Wilson declared the neutrality of the United States but the sinking of Lusitania and other actions of the Germans against civilians drew American sympathies to the Allies. [31] Thus, America's government fully mobilized themselves in the First World War. The First World War was a war of total war. A war in which all nations resources, economics, humans and ideological are mobilized in the war effort in order to win. Although it is argued that America did not contribute to the total aspect of war because they did not fight on their country's land, the amount of political, ideological and economic resources that the United States mobilized far outweighs the argument that they were not in a total war. European countries; Britain, France, Germany and Russia were clearly, to a large extent, in a total war during the First World War. After all nations mobilized all that they had, World War I truly became a total war. Winters 1 ...read more.

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