World war

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A war is referred to as a war which, due to its geographic scope over several continents and the unlimited use of all available strategic resources, gains worldwide importance or which, as a result , entails a fundamental reorganization of worldwide international relations .

Historical development of the term

The oldest evidence for the use of the term "World War", which is quoted in the Grimm dictionary , dates from 1599. "World War" was used more frequently, especially during the Napoleonic period, and Friedrich Ludwig Jahn probably used it in relation to the Wars of Liberation . In the second half of the 19th century, the term “time of world war” was widely used to denote the epoch of the Napoleonic Wars . Karl Marx used the term to describe the international consequences of the proletarian revolution he predicted : "Revolutionary uprising of the French working class, world war - that is the content advertisement of the year 1849". The word first appeared in the spelling dictionary in 1929.

Assignment of the term in modern times

Today the term “world war” is mostly associated with two wars. These are

These two wars are also known as " total wars ". The use of the ordinal number ("First" World War) was first used by the officer and journalist Charles à Court Repington (1858-1925). His work “The First World War 1914–1918. Personal Experiences ”(London: Constable 1920) was made available in the 9th edition in a French translation in 1922. In the Weimar Republic, the ordinal number was the first to appear through the poet Stefan George in the poem “A Young Leader in the First World War” (Bondi Verlag, Berlin December 1921).

Other uses of the term

The term world war for a war was already widely used in the run-up to the First World War, when a military conflict between the world powers emerged under new dimensions of warfare, for example with August Niemann . The term for a future war had been in use since the 1880s at the latest.

Be in the scientific literature

also referred to as " ancient world wars".

Some historians believe that you can too

consider or call them "world wars". All conflicts concerned the major powers and have already been fought in Europe and America or Europe, America and Asia .

The First or Second World War was and is occasionally referred to as “ world fire ” (a term from Nordic-Germanic mythology).

During the Cold War , the scenario and the consequences of a Third World War , partly fought with nuclear weapons , were discussed.

The Second Congo War (1998–2003) was sometimes referred to by politicians and the media as the “African World War” or something similar due to the large number of states involved.

World civil war in the 20th century

In some cases, based on Ernst Nolte's concept of a “world civil war of ideologies”, the proxy wars since 1945, which together also cost many millions of lives, are assigned to the overall scenario of a so-called world civil war that has not come to rest since 1914 .

The international peace movement has been calling for global disarmament, international arbitration and efficient international law since the 1880s. This catalog of demands has been under Pope Benedict XV since 1917 . also part of Catholic social teaching. In the course of the fight against terrorism and brutal civil wars, doubts about pacifism are being raised , and at the same time there is growing acceptance of a gradual structural change in the military to a kind of world police . The type of conventional wars between nations, on the other hand, has appeared much less frequently since 1989.

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: World War II  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Klaus Schubert and Martina Klein (eds.): Das Politiklexikon , 4th edition, Dietz, Bonn 2006, online on the website of the Federal Agency for Civic Education, accessed on February 27, 2010
  2. Jörg Ulrich Fechner: In Stahlgewittern - considerations and questions about the French translation from 1930. P. 356f. In: Natalia Zarska (Hrsg.), Gerald Diesener (Hrsg.), Wojciech Kunicki (Hrsg.): Ernst Jünger - A balance sheet . Leipziger Universitätsverlag 2010, ISBN 978-3-86583-452-2 ., S. a. German dictionary by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm online
  3. Stefan Nacke, René Unkelbach, Tobias Werron (eds.): World events. Theoretical and empirical perspectives. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2008, ISBN 978-3-531-15311-7 , p. 32.
  4. See e.g. B. Karl Goedeke : Outline of the history of German poetry from the sources. Sixth volume: time of the world war . Ehlermann, Dresden 1898.
  5. ^ Karl Marx: The revolutionary movement . In: Neue Rheinische Zeitung of January 1, 1849, ( online , accessed April 28, 2019), quoted from Heinrich August Winkler : The long way to the west . Volume 1: German history from the end of the Old Reich to the fall of the Weimar Republic. CH Beck, Munich 2000, p. 114.
  6. World War
  7. ^ Rolf Dieter Müller: Total war and economic order . In: Bruno Thoss and Hans-Erich Volkmann (eds.): First World War. Second World War: a comparison. War, war experience, war experience in Germany . Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 2002, pp. 43–56.
  8. ^ Helmut Bleiber, Walter Schmidt, Wolfgang Küttler (eds.): Revolution and reform in Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries. Half Volume 2: Ideas and Reflections. Trafo, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-89626-532-6 , p. 183.
  9. See Gaudium et spes, No. 82: Bellum est omnino interdicendum ; the war should be completely prohibited.