A general introduction to the WW1, dealing with- a) Why this conflict was going to be different? b) Why was there a need for a Home Front? c) What was "Total War"?

Essay by teganiscoolHigh School, 11th grade January 2004

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The First World War and its subsequent events were like no other event in history. What made this war so different was the systematic influence of the Industrial Revolution and the political and social changes that consequently followed, and hitherto was the first of its kind, a war concerning every nation alike. The new political and economic problems that arose within Europe as a result of the French and Industrial Revolutions were a major factor to the origins of the Great War. Like all other great events in history, WW1 did not come suddenly. Long before its advent, important changes were taking place in commerce and industry which prepared the way for the notable transformation of domestic life at the commencement and duration of WW1. Unlike the wars that took place previous to WW1, this war arose on many fronts. The ultimate outcome, however, was governed just as much if not more, by the people at home than those on the battlefield.

Recognising the fundamental causes of the war, shows the significance and sheer size of the war itself and makes the need for the home front much more necessary to complete the total war theory.

Recognised initially as the 'Peoples War', this scheme developed in the late 1800's as a component of an increasing perception of public character. Halfway through World War One, it became known as 'Total War' - the organisation and mobilisation of whole civilisations and all of their resources for the war effort, in not only the political sense but also in social, economic and even psychological senses. British society found itself at war with more than just the Germans, there was a psychological war they were battling also, with the transformation of their society and the diversifying principles that total war demanded from them. The...