Why the first world war wasn’t really

The world—or, at least, those parts of it that participated in the original events—has recently taken great interest in the first world war. Its almost casual beginning, between June 28th 1914, when the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by a Bosnian nationalist and the first days of August, when Germany declared war on Russia and France, drawing in their ally Britain, has fascinated historians, while the horrors that followed have fascinated everyone, though in a rather different way. But does the conflict deserve its title? It was undoubtedly a world war. But it was certainly not the first. That laurel belongs to a war which broke out 160 years earlier, in 1754, and carried on until 1763. Though fighting did not start in Europe until 1756, and for this reason the conflict is known as the Seven Years’ War, it was truly global. Every inhabited continent except Australia saw fighting on its soil, and independent powers on three of those continents were active participants. – The Economist

See more at: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/07/economist-explains?fsrc=scn/fb/wl/ee/tr/whyfirstwordwarwasnt#sthash.RmFRfdye.dpuf

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