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Week 8: Leading up to World War I

Read

Causes and Course of The First World War: Before The Great War

Primary Source Readings: Number 4

This semester, you will read two primary sources every other week. The topic of each reading set relates to the subjects that we will be studying in the history of Western Civilization. I have selected two readings for every topic that contrast and conflict one another.

Your assigned readings are the next pages of the course and the detailed description of assignment requirements are in the Dropbox folder for this week’s Primary Source Reading.

Watch the Following Supplemental Videos

  1. Empires before World War I: Austria-Hungary [Enter key starts video]
    Ottoman empire. British, German, French and Russian empires. Created by Sal Khan.
  2. Empires before World War I: German and Italian Empires in 1914 [Enter key starts video]
    Tsingtao beer. Created by Sal Khan.
  3. Alliances Leaning to World War I [Enter key starts video]
    There are a number of European alliances that contributed to the broad scope of World War I. Prominent among these are the 1839 Treaty of London, which promised that the United Kingdom would protect Belgium’s neutrality, the 1879 Dual Alliance treaty between Germany and Austria-Hungary to protect each other in the event of Russian attack, the 1892 Franco-Russian Military Convention that promised mutual assistance in the face of attack, the Triple Entente linking the United Kingdom and France (and later Italy), and the Triple Alliance linking Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy (at first).Created by Sal Khan.
  4. Language and Religion of The Former Yugoslavia [Enter key starts video]
    Primer on the differences of language and religion that helped to propel World War I. Created by Sal Khan.
  5. Archdukes, Cynicism, and World War I [Enter key starts video]
    In which John Green teaches you about the war that was supposed to end all wars.Instead, it solved nothing and set the stage for the world to be back at war just a couple of decades later. As an added bonus, World War I changed the way people look at the world, and normalized cynicism and irony. John will teach you how the assassination of an Austrian Archduke kicked off a new kind of war that involved more nations and more people than any war that came before. New technology like machine guns, airplanes, tanks, and poison gas made the killing more efficient than ever. Trench warfare and modern weapons led to battles in which tens of thousands of soldiers were killed in a day, with no ground gained for either side. World War I washed away the last vestiges of 19th century Romanticism and paved the way for the 20th century modernism that we all know and find to be cold and off-putting. While there may not be much upside to WWI, at least it inspired George M. Cohan to write the awesome song, “Over There.” Created by EcoGeek.
  6. Beginning of World War I [Enter key starts video]
    In which John Green teaches you about the war that was supposed to end all wars.Instead, it solved nothing and set the stage for the world to be back at war just a couple of decades later. As an added bonus, World War I changed the way people look at the world, and normalized cynicism and irony. John will teach you how the assassination of an Austrian Archduke kicked off a new kind of war that involved more nations and more people than any war that came before. New technology like machine guns, airplanes, tanks, and poison gas made the killing more efficient than ever. Trench warfare and modern weapons led to battles in which tens of thousands of soldiers were killed in a day, with no ground gained for either side. World War I washed away the last vestiges of 19th century Romanticism and paved the way for the 20th century modernism that we all know and find to be cold and off-putting. While there may not be much upside to WWI, at least it inspired George M. Cohan to write the awesome song, “Over There.”
  7. The Great War Begins [Enter key starts video]