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

WW1 Total War

Extracts from this document...


Linde Smeets IB European History year 2. TOTAL WAR Instead of relying on their military force, the participating countries of World War One relied on their economic ability to produce a continuous supply of goods for their armies to win the war. If one looks at the causes of this change, can one therefore conclude that the First World War was a total war? And if it were one, what were the effects of it on the people of the participating countries? When one evaluates the First World War, one sees that a very unique factor of this war was that the people from the participating countries all seemed to be so enthusiastic about the upcoming war. They all wanted to be a part of it, and all the people were in complete support of their governments. The French writer Doregeles wrote about his experiences in Paris. He wrote "...thousands of men eager to fight would jostle one another outside recruiting offices, waiting to join up." And, "...sheafs of flags appeared at windows, and howling processions rolled out on the boulevards." The people hadn't seen a war before and they were ignorant about its consequences. ...read more.


This strategy of attiration cost all the participating countries a lot of soldiers, and diminished the significance of the individual. This was also a cause of the centralization of power, because the decisive government was not in the warzone and therefore did not see the soldiers as human beings. It is more likely that they saw the soldiers as pawn that no real worth. A similar phenomenon occurred in the involved countries politics. The governments seemed to recognize that the national interest was more important than the internal conflicts between different political parties. The emperor of Germany said: "I recognize parties no more. I recognize only Germans!" These different political parties did not criticize the authorities anymore, which allowed the participating countries' governments make claims to authority that they could never have made in times of peace, and had drifts towards totalitarian political methods. The governments' increasing power and influence led to the centralization of power. In the beginning of the war, the governments did not see the need to think about their economic status. Most countries thought like the Chief of Staff Moltke of Germany. He said: "Don't bother me with economics. ...read more.


All rights were suspended to the government. Newspapers and magazines throughout Europe were censored to so that they also promoted and support the war. This inside total war also triggered outside total war. When the civilians of a country become a part of the war effort of a country, they also become targets for that same country's enemies. Hereby, the Allied as well as the German side undertook actions that we would now define as war crimes against humanity. The first world war is a total war because of the impact it had on civilians daily life, and on the fact that basically entire countries revolved around war in political sense as well as economic sense. People were no longer seen as human beings; they were pawns in the governments' game. A human life had lost its worth. Also, the war propaganda and illusions that the governments used to keep the civilians in support of the war lead to a fierce hatred between the countries involved. The hatred between the countries lead to the complication of the peace negotiations. This was a key fact for the start of the Second World War, for one of the main causes of that war was the fact that the Germans were unsatisfied with the outcome of the peace conferences of the First World War. ...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. World War 1 Information

    wants access to Adriatic Sea, which is under control of the Turks > Bulgaria and Serbia are encouraged by Russia to fight Turkey > As a result, Albania is created to act as a buffer between Serbia and Austria-Hungary because of the tension > Second Balkan War 1913 > Bulgaria

  2. WW2 as a total war

    imperialistic ideology, and failure to jumpstart Germany's economy into a total war mode. However, due to rearmament, employment for the war effort rose. As Germany acquired new territory, its raw production and agricultural production came cheap. While re-militarizing the Rhineland, Hitler also introduced conscription.

  1. Was World War One a Total War?

    This war was now also an economic war due to its length, thus the availability of supplies was crucial in order to keep on going, and it was therefore critical to be able to maintain this constant income of supplies.

  2. Why did Germany & Her Allies Lose WW1?

    Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in The World Crisis, directly attributes the German defeat in World War I to the sinking of the Lusitania. According to S.L.A Marshall in the American Heritage History of World War I, "the tide of world opinion began shifting against Imperial Germany, never to turn back".

  1. WWI - Total War essay

    Men of all ages kept dying and receiving crippling injuries (both physical and mental). Teenagers, young men, old men - all suffered. Many women had to raise their children and work by themselves because of the absence or disability of their men.

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

    Churchill, Roosevelt Potsdam: Stalin, Churchill, Truman --> Stalin, Attlee, Truman - Unlike at Yalta, the United States made little attempt to form a good relationship with Stalin. There was very little progress at the conference and two issues above all produced a deadlock: 1)

  1. World War I, a Total War

    [5] What resources Britain had went toward the war in effort to win the battle. In Russia, "As the war went on, the example of tsarist Russia made governments alert to the dangers of a hungry population: Women protesting food shortages in the capital city of Petrograd had set off the chain of violence that toppled the monarchy."

  2. The Causes of WW1. First World War caused by MANIA: Militarism - Alliances ...

    century, the network of alliances emboldened both sides and diplomatic responses soon gave way to militaristic ones. To adjust to aggressive new order of international relations each of the powers began rapidly building up their arsenals, for it had become clear that the brawniest power would get its way.

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