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World wars

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B Movie Maniac
938371.  Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:12 pm Reply with quote

When was the 1st world war?

I was under the misapprehension that Britain lost the American war of independance cos we were busy with Napoleon. Turns out that was wrong.. ok so I don't know my history dates, easy date check but kind of right as France was heavily involved as were the Dutch! and Historians do refer to this as a world war

938389.  Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:15 pm Reply with quote

Welcome BMM :-)

I'm sure some of our historians will be interested in thinking about this one...

938399.  Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:22 pm Reply with quote

There are several wars that can be called "world war" before 1914 because they involved several nations and were fought on more than one continent.

I think the 18th century was when world wars became common because of the rush to colonise various parts of the world, and the continuing religious rivalries between various royal houses. The Napoleonic wars were more about conquest in Europe and the rise of nationalism.

I think the reason why these various wars were not recognised in name as world wars is because they were primarily wars between European powers. To a less extent you can describe the cold war as such a world war because it was fought over a number of continents by various nations, but the main protagonists wre the United States and Soviet Union.

World War I was the first war that included sides that were not fighting for a European empire, such as the US and Japan. World War II also saw various countries joining in who were not fighting for a European empire.

Another reason for those two wars standing out as world wars is the sheer number of combatants and deaths that took place.

938418.  Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:11 am Reply with quote

There's a very strong case for the Seven Years' War as 'world war'. The principal protagonists were France and Britain but it involved other European powers, Russia and the Mughal Empire and it involved conflict all around the globe (India, North and Central America, Africa, the Pacific etc) and featured armies raised in those various far flung places and many others besides.

938435.  Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:02 am Reply with quote

Winston Churchill called it the first world war because of this, but others argued that the war was based on personal conflicts between the royal houses of Europe which brought others into the war, and that the number of casualties were not as great.

938439.  Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:12 am Reply with quote

Casualties are a red herring. The various conflicts in China and the Far East in the C13th 15th accounted for probably well in excess of 100,000,000 casualties, but we don't consider them to be a world war. It's also certainly arguable that WWI was little more than a personal conflict between royal houses, so to exclude other wars on that basis is fallacious.

WWI was originally called 'The Great War' because it was the biggest we'd ever been involved in (although for Americans that was still their Civil War). Our convention of naming the 1914-19 and 1939-45 wars as the First and Second World Wars is largely down to the fact not that they were the first or second global conflicts, they quote simply were not, but that they were the first and second global conflicts that the United States had been part of.

938827.  Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:32 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
I'm sure some of our historians will be interested in thinking about this one...

Mike!!! Where are you?!?

Janet H
938871.  Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:13 pm Reply with quote

He's ranting at a Japanese account of the invasion of Singapore in 1942. Well, actually he's watching QI on Dave, but you know what I mean.

938951.  Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:18 am Reply with quote

As has been mentioned on Qi before, WWI was called thus by some people long before WWII was even on the horizon. Other previous wars had also been called "The great war" before being renamed as something else, but none were called World War as far as I know.

WWI in Europe had a lot to do with the quarrels between royal households, but it was also about nationalism, and involved countries outside Europe that were not colonies, or fighting proxy wars.

939029.  Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:53 am Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
There are several wars that can be called "world war" before 1914 because they involved several nations and were fought on more than one continent.

In that case I nominate the Roman Empire as it fought opponents on Europe, Africa and Asia.

939037.  Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:36 am Reply with quote

Ahh, but that wasn't a war, it was an empire defending itself at various times on different fronts :)

939083.  Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:24 pm Reply with quote

I would suggest that what we call the Roman Empire was really an extended period of war against the people subject to its tyranny.

939117.  Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:00 pm Reply with quote

[Inevitable Python remark] So that's what the Romans did for us! [/Inevitable Python remark]

1107558.  Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:33 pm Reply with quote

Q: Did the USA cynically delay entering into WWI?

Ok - so the Zimmermann Telegram (Jan 1917) was WWI's Pearl Harbour (along with the sinking of many merchant ships in June 1917), and the first US troops (14,000) landed in June 1917 purely for propaganda.

Did the UK need to wait until the following spring for the US to properly join in?

There appear to be some flimsy excuses at this point - although a delay for training seems reasonable. But waiting for materials seems flimsy, since the US economy was already geared up for this.

All the while, european people were dying in their 100,000s and the UK debt to the US through lend-lease is rapidly piling up (After sending all the allied assets possible to the US).

There was pretty much a bankruptcy hearing before lend-lease was offered. So why not other financial considerations?

I've searched the interwebs, and see no comment on this question (raving or otherwise) - so I'm expecting/hoping this assertion to be shown to be well wide of the mark.

But why not wait until all parties are on their knees?

1108117.  Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:03 am Reply with quote

Almost tempted to click on the link just to find out what, if anything, this is all about!


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