What was another name for World War I?

Expert Answers
esoppelt eNotes educator| Certified Educator

World War I or the First World War: The name “world war” came into use shortly before the First World War and likely came from the German word “Weltkrieg,” or world war.

The Great War: World War I was one of the largest wars in history. It was the first global war and it lasted over four years. 70 million combatants were involved, 10 million of whom were killed and 20 million of whom were wounded.

The War to End All Wars: World War I was unprecedented when it happened. War on a global scale with that many casualties and advances in military technology was something no one had ever seen. After all the destruction the hope was that it would be the last war.

The War to Make the World Safe for Democracy: This name is based on a speech given by US President Woodrow Wilson to Congress on April 2, 1917 in which he asked them to declare war on Germany. This was his statement

“The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them.”

The War of the Nations: Thirty-two countries were involved in World War I, thus the name the War of the Nations.

mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

World War I had several names. One of them was the Great War. While this wasn’t the first time fighting took place in many places at the same, this war did involve about 30 countries. As a result, it was called the Great War.

In the United States, World War I was also known as the war to end all wars. President Wilson stated one reason for the United States joining the war was to make this the last war ever. It was one reason why people agreed to support the war.

Another name for World War I was a war to make the world safe for democracy. Woodrow Wilson believed a victory in the war would make the world safer for democratic governments. Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey had non-democratic governments. Thus, World War I was known by several names in the United States and around the world.

lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

World War I was also known as The Great War, and The War to End All Wars. It was qualitatively and quantitatively different from wars that had occurred up to that time. It was the first time so many nations, and such a large percentage of the globe, was involved in a conflict. It also saw the use of new weapons that were capable of causing horrendous casualties. Poison gas and machine guns, along with other weapons, wiped out entire units. And since the practice up till that time was usually to have all the soldiers from a town in the same unit, some towns lost all their young men. People were sure that after such a horrible war, the world would learn that wars would have to end. But 20 years later, the War to End All Wars simply became World War I.

annalee40 | Student

"The War to End All Wars"

yadimata | Student

The "Great War"

gsenviro | Student

World War I was also known by other names such as Great War or First World War. This was the biggest war the world ever saw, till that point of time, and involved large numbers of nations spread across different continents. Millions of people suffered from this war, which also saw the introduction of several new types of weapons, including tanks, submarines and poisonous gases. Several nations lost their relevance and new superpowers emerged, most notably the US. Mainly countries suffered heavily from war, not only in terms of land, resources and international relevance, but also in terms of youth and work force. 

World War II was the biggest war the world has seen to date and after its outbreak the first world war was renamed as World War I.