What was the First "World War"? | HistoryNet

What was the First “World War”?

3/20/2014 • Ask Mr. History, World War I

Dear Mr History,

What and when was the first “world war,” in that fighting took place across all continents (excluding Antarctica)?



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Given the amount of global venues where the British and French navies fought, the Seven Years War (1756-1763) is often cited as the first world war worthy of the term. While Prussia fought Austria and Russia over Silesia, Britain and France extended the conflict to North America, India and the Mediterranean, among others. Still World War I expanded things to truly global proportions.



Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
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