(Termed World War I after World War II came to pass)

World War I, military conflict, from August 1914 to November 1918, that involved many of the countries of Europe as well the United States and other nations throughout the world. World War I was one of the most violent and destructive wars in European history. Of the 65 million men who were mobilized, more than 10 million were killed and more than 20 million wounded.

The fundamental causes of the conflict, were rooted deeply in the European history of the previous century, particularly in the political and economic policies that prevailed in Europe after 1871, the year that Germany emerged as a major European power.

World War I was the first total war. Once the war began, the countries involved mobilized their entire populations and economic resources to achieve victory on the battlefield. The term home front, which was widely employed for the first time during World War I, perfectly symbolized this new concept of a war in which the civilian population behind the lines was directly and critically involved in the war effort.

Some links with much more comprehensive information for your reading enjoyment:

The Great War - PBS online:

War Times Journal:

Encyclopedia of the First World War:

Encarta Encyclopedia article of WWI: