To What Extent Was the First World War Global from Its Outset and to What Extent Was It Mainly a European Conflict?

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When Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist and member of the Black Hand Gang, shot and killed the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914 , he inadvertently provoked one of the bloodiest and most destructive wars this world has ever seen, the First World War. Historians to this day still debate the exact origins of the First World War and more particularly, how World War One precipitated to have such a global impact and effect to be named a ‘World War’. This essay endeavors to argue that the First World War was always going to be, and was, a global war from its outset as the international scene at the time and the imperial nature of the nations fighting dictated that a global war was inevitable. In doing this, this essay shall also address the extent to which the First World War was a European conflict and will contend that although it was a war fought between European powers over European problems it wasn’t a completely European conflict. Instead it was a global conflict that was fought across the world with global ramifications, highlighting why this conflict deserves the title the ‘First World War’ and not the ‘Great War’. One of the main reasons why the First World War was global from the outset was because it was fought between European powers and Europe at the time held global dominance in a number of ways. Directly through its member states having empires and overseas colonies, through which it could recruit men and employ their resources to assist it in the war, and indirectly as it was the global economic leader . What this meant was that if a major war were to occur in Europe, as it did, it would have intercontinental ramifications, ‘war for Europe, meant war for the World’ . Europe’s member states having empires and overseas colonies meant that a European war was a global war in three ways. The first was
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