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World War I, or "The Great War"
Transcript of World War I, or "The Great War"
Today: We'll learn how fragile many European countries were before the beginning of World War I and what resulted.
Goal: By the end of this lesson, SWBAT describe the Central and Eastern European empires.
This is what Europe looks like today. What stands out to you?
This is what it looked like prior to World War I. What's different? What's similar?
Here are the languages of Europe.
Is it more similar to the first map or the second?
What about this one?
This is a map of European ethnicities.
Quick activity: Discuss at your table two advantages and two disadvantages to being a "polyglot" empire -- a country whose people speak different languages and share little in common. We'll discuss in five minutes.
Discussion time! Let's hear your ideas.
Now let's look at how Europe got this way. Here's Germany:
Just 40 years before World War I began in 1914, Germany had unified from many small countries into one massive, powerful country by winning a war with France.
Germany's victory convinced Britain and France to ally together. That alliance would remain for the next forty years.
Now here's the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Different colors mean different languages.
The House of Habsburg ruled Austria for hundreds of years. At various times, their domain included everything from Belgium to Naples to Portugal to Mexico. By WWI, however, their holdings had shrunk to a diverse range of central European territories known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire (or Austria-Hungary for short). This multi-ethnic empire wasn't well suited to the nationalistic spirit of the times. Serbia wanted to incorporate the empire's Serbian- and Croatian-speaking territories into its own kingdom, a move that Austria-Hungary saw as a fundamental challenge to their idea of loyalty to the emperor.
Austria-Hungary had just annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908.
That created tensions with Serbia, who considered the Bosnians rightfully part of their empire.
Here's where it gets complicated: Serbia had originally gone to war with the Ottoman Empire in 1876 and had conquered Bosnia. However, Austria-Hungary convinced the rest of Europe to give Bosnia to
instead. Serbia thought that Bosnia (and all the fellow Serbs living there) had been stolen from them.
Blue = Serbian
In your notebooks, please answer the following questions:
1. If you were in charge of Serbia (a small and weak country), what might you do to try to get Bosnia back? 2+ sentences.
2. If you were in charge of Austria-Hungary, how would you react to an aggressive act from Serbia? How might your reaction affect the various people in your empire? 3+ sentences.
3. Why might the Balkans be called the "powder keg" of Europe? 1+ sentences.
4. Describe how Austria-Hungary is an example of a "polyglot empire." 2+ sentences.