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Senior Modern History Background Study: The Road to WW1

A look at the behavior behind warfare using WWI as a case study to explore the various 'isms' and factors that lead to conflict in 1914.

Ryan Slavin

on 30 January 2015

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Transcript of Senior Modern History Background Study: The Road to WW1

Long Term Causes
FQ: To what extent was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand the reason for WW1 beginning?
FQ: To what extent did 'Militarism' or the arms race between nations contribute to the outbreak of war in 1914?

FQ: To what extent did the establishment of empires or 'Imperialism' and the 'Alliances' between nations contribute to the outbreak of war in 1914?
World War outbreaks!!!!!!!
Short Term Causes
The key concepts & practices that lead to war:
Why did nations choose to go to war in 1914? And, is it any different today?

A source-based approach to the study of the concepts and practices that lead to the 'outbreak' of WW1
Read p.25 of Inquiry 1:
- Questions 1 to 5
- Discussion preparation:
Values Dilemma
As we travel through this inquiry you will build your argument in response to the focus questions by organizing your notes collaboratively on a Google Doc in an Extent Barometer as shown below. Here is the link to the Doc (be sure to bookmark it!): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_FXI20Mx9ePVaXm9m6cpjMPm5fO4n4OC6NyGzzLaMQw/edit?usp=sharing
Briefing 1: The Spark
Extent Barometer Instructions:
Learning Intent:

The series of events that lead to the outbreak of war in 1914.

The motives behind and the causes of the events that led to war in 1914 and their effects on other nations.

- Analysis and evaluation of evidence;
- Chronology & sequencing of historical events
Success Criteria:
Your ability to articulate clearly, with supporting evidence, which factor(s) contributed most to the outbreak of WW1, taking into account 'causation', i.e. what might happen as a result of a particular action.
Continuous, collaborative Analysis and Evaluation Activity:
Articulate in the comment forum what you could and would do if confronted with a similar dilemma, taking into account 'cause & effect', i.e. what might happen as a result of your actions.
FQ: To what extent did 'NATIONALISM' contribute to the outbreak of war in 1914?
My nation is superior to most
Tweet your responses >> Tally/graph
Extension Activity: Attitudinal Scale >> Debate
Nationalism Learning Intent:
Evaluate the definitions of 'Nationalism' and 'Nation-State' given in the sources here;
Write your own definition in YOUR glossary;
Include Nationalism in the shared notes (extent barometer)
Success criteria:
Demonstrate your understanding of nationalism with your definition (3 dot points including the notion of the 'nation-state';
Apply your understanding of nationalism to the WW1 context and evaluate the extent to which it contributed to the outbreak of war in 1914 by contributing to the extent barometer.
Can you think of examples within Australian society where 'nationalism' is evident?
NATIONALISM SOURCE 1: History Crash Course (first 5 min only)
NATIONALISM SOURCE 2: Inquiry 1, pp.26-27
NATIONALISM SOURCES 3, 4 & 5: Propaganda Posters
1. What are the messages in these posters?
2. How do they utilize 'nationalism' to get these messages across?
3. How useful do you think these are in assessing Australian Nationalism prior to WW1?
Further Reading:
Lawrence, J. et al 1986 Modern World Emerges pp118-123.
Cowie, H. 1992 Legacies 1. 92-100:
Peer Assessment:
Check 1) your partner's definition. Similar to this,
NATIONALISM: 'Feeling of loyalty which exists within a group of people who are united by race, language, territory or history.'

2) the shared notes document (Extent barometer) for whether we have completed the task in accordance with the '
For starters...
All of the factors below played a role in WW1 breaking out in 1914.

1. Firstly, note them all down. Then, from the list,
choose 5 of the factors
that you think
have been the most significant/influential reasons for war breaking out and discuss your assumptions. Place them in order of significance/influence.

Germany's invasion of Belgium;
The increasing size of the German army & navy;
The behaviour of Aus
ria-Hungary towards Serbia (newly incorporated in its empire);
Britain's rivalry with Germany;
France's desire for revenge (in losing the Franco-Prussian War 1870-71);
Germany's fear of being surrounded by France and Russia;
Austria's rivalry with Russia;
The size of the British Empire;
Germany's desire to dominate Europe;
Suspicion between main powers in Europe around the turn of the century;
The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria;
Alliances between European powers.

2. From your top five, choose one that is a long-term cause (built up over time) and one that is a trigger or catalyst (short-term cause). For each, discuss why you think they might have contributed to the cause of WW1. And, can you think of a contemporary equivalent?
Learning Intent 1:
i. Make sure you know these terms and add to YOUR glossary:
- Alliance
- 'Triple Entente'
-'Triple Alliance'
Success criteria:
You can articulate the definitions of each term and explain which countries comprised each of the above alliances.
Learning Intent 2:
Success Criteria:
i. Colour code the countries/alliances on your map correctly according to the map on this Prezi and add a key.
ii. determine the most strategically effective alliance from SWOT.
iii. Flowchart accurately the escalation to WW1 throughout July 1914
... the nation-state needs economic strength and security. The state has to act to make sure it has sufficient resources to maintain its strength and independence. If necessary, it may look outside of its borders to gain or add to its resources. In 1914, Britain had its great empire - possessions that provided it with raw materials for industry, and then acted as a market to sell the manufactured goods[ - the mercantile system]. France and Germany also had their imperial possessions [see map],... and Germany, in particular, was looking to expand its colonial possessions to increase its national strength.

This search for economic strength could, in some cases, lead to competition between states. For example, France and Germany both claimed the coal-rich area around Alsace-Lorraine on their shared border, and had fought over it as recently as 1871. In that Franco-Prussian war, Prussia had defeated France and taken Alsace-Lorraine as the spoils of victory. For people living in 1914 this conflict occurred less than 50 years earlier, and we should remember how powerful 50-year-old memories can still be - the attitude of many older Australians to Japanese because of their WWII experiences is a good example of this. So the existence of the nation state can lead to economic policies and actions which can harm other nations' interests, leading to rivalry and antagonisms.
Link to Nationalism
IMPERIALISM SOURCE 3: Inquiry 1, pp.27
IMPERIALISM SOURCE 2: World Map of Empires 1914
... to the extent Barometer!
But first, a look at the concept and its definition... to the Glossary!
How has the concept of 'Imperialism' contributed to the outbreak of war in 1914?
Which are the top 3 by 1914?
As you travel through this section on 'Alliances', complete the following tasks...
Can you follow the complex web?
i. Create a diagram (mindmap or other) in the
Extent Barometer
that shows your understanding of the alliances and flowchart of the escalation.
ii. Note on map (handed out)
iii. Complete a SWOT analysis of each alliance

in the shared extent barometer

1. Backgrounds, Changes & Continuities: Motives & Causes

2. Effects, Interests and Arguments
Aspects of Inquiry:

One of the key issues facing a student of the causes of the Great War is to consider whether nationalism was a significant factor.

Nationalism can be defined as existing where there is a conviction among a group of like-minded people with similar culture and interests that they are different from their neighbours, that they occupy or lay claim to a definable area, and have a right to be united as a nation in control of that area. Keep this definition in mind as we explore the causes of the war, and decide whether you think nationalism was at the basis of war breaking out in 1914.

One of the key aspects to understanding the coming of war in 1914 is to realise that the countries involved were all modern nation states. This means that each country was unified (some more effectively than others, as the case of Austria-Hungary shows). Each promoted a sense of
among its citizens - which involved the people of that country having
to the central government and accepting that
were more important than local or regional interests and loyalties. So what France wanted, the French people wanted; what Germany wanted, the German people also wanted; and so on. Nationalism need not be a problem - an identification with and commitment to one's country can be a positive and healthy attitude, leading citizens to value and develop what is good in the state, and to improve what is bad. But the concept of a strong and unified nation could carry with it other implications or consequences as well.
Tying Nationalism to Imperialism
IMPERIALISM SOURCE 1: The Modern World Emerges. Pp.121-122
Imperialism, the policy of gaining and holding colonies, caused tensions among nations. From 1870 to 1914 they argued over and competed for colonial possessions. For example, Great Britain wanted to own territory from the south to the north of Africa so that it could link Cape Town to Cairo by rail. This cut across German and French plans to link their colonial possessions across the width of Africa...

At times it looked as though the great powers would go to war over disputed territory. Although the powers managed to settle their differences without war, the constant clashes convinced nations that they needed to form alliances with other great powers for protection and that they had to build large navies to defend their world empires.

Imperialism caused division, resentment and warlike attitudes among the great powers. It was a major cause for the "war climate".
Who can extract a definition from this?
For further, in depth reading on 'Imperialism' see text:
- The Countdown to War: 1900-1914. pp.159-60
- Hoepper, B. (1994) Inquiry 1. Pp. 408-12
- Dixon, B. (2000) Key Features of Modern History.
ALLIANCES SOURCE 4: Causes of WW1 - Alliances

Peer Assessment:

Check the diagrams (alliances & escalation flowchart) In your notes for accuracy according to the success criteria
Read pages 34-36 of Inquiry 1 - 'Alliances as a factor in the coming of war in 1914'.
Countries had signed alliances with each other as a means to prevent war and preserve peace.

The alliance system created a
Balance of Power
– As each country grew stronger through alliance, so did its rivals and peace was assured through equilibrium.

The fear of war prompted a need to balance power across powerful nations to avoid one 'superpower' dominating.
1879: Dual alliance >>> Germany + Austria-Hungary.
Mutual assistance if either were attacked by Russia or another power.
1882: Triple alliance >>> Germany + Austria-Hungary + Italy
Entente Development
: Dual – France and Russia would aid each other in event of attack from Germany or Germany/ Austria-Hungary.
Entente Cordiale (friendly agreement) Britain and France agreement over Egypt (British control) & Morocco (French control).

As a result:
riple Entente – France, Russia, Britain
riple Alliance – Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy.
28 JUNE Franz Ferdinand Assassinated
>>> The Kaiser (German king) told Austria to ignore British & Russian requests for negotiation
>>> Austria declared war on Serbia.
>>> After Russia refused to halt mobilisation to support Serbia, Germany declared war on it.
>>> It also declared war on France as it began mobilisation.
>>> When Belgium refused passage to France, Germany declared war on it too.
>>> Britain declared war on Germany in support of Belgium, France & Russia.
If only they left Belgium out of it, eh?
Alliance Source 2
Alliances Source 3
What information do these sources provide to explain why Germany and Austria-Hungary would have felt threatened by the alliance?
Powerful countries dramatically increased military spending (Germany most - doubling that of France) and the size of their armies and navies (Great Britain most powerful by naval force and Germany by land army). There was a race to keep in front - an ARMS RACE! And, consider the alliances and total the numbers = balance of power!
Implicit note:
Military reputation synonymous with national pride.
Self-Study Stop:
1) Read pages 29-31 of 'Inquiry 1
and answer the questions in your notes in preparation for discussion:

2) Then, evaluate to what extent the concept of 'Militarism' was an influential factor in causing WW1 in the shared notes.
Now in a piece of extended writing, please answer the key question using your analysis and evaluation of information in your extent barometer.
Test yourself with this enjoyable clip on the lead-up to WW1
How effective was Germany's strategy in the beginning? And, knowing what you know now (in terms of military projection capability), what might you have done instead?
SOURCE: www.3history.co.uk, The Schlieffen Plan
1. From these sources, what assumptions can be made?
2. What other evidence would you like to have to fill in the gaps?
Scene from 1964 film 'Mary Poppins', set in 1910...
1) How does this film corroborate that which you have already analysed, in terms of British imperialism?
2) As an historian, to what extent is this source useful in understanding British imperialism at the turn of the 20th century?
Complete a flow chart in YOUR notes of the 'July Days' using ALL the information here. Be sure to break each stage in your flow chart into two sections: CAUSE (the events) & EFFECT (your thoughts on how this would impact on other nations)
Class Discussion!
...lets talk strategy!
Flipped lesson
Deepen your understanding with further analysis of the German strategy in a collaborative SWOT using Wallwisher here:
In 1 or 2 correctly structured TEECL paragraphs topic sentence; elaboration/explanation; examples/evidence; concluding/linking sentence), answer the following focus question:

Flipped lesson
Final Stage:
Aspects of Inquiry in this section:
Continuous Note-Taking/Graphic Organizer:
Remember to maintain the notes as you watch!
'Assassination of Franz Ferdinand': Part 2 (9min)
Assassination of Franz Ferdinand: Part 3 (6min)
Documentary - "Assassination of Franz Ferdinand: Part 1"
The successful Balkan nations however, quarreled over the new frontiers. Bulgaria was attacked by all 4 neighbours where they divided Macedonia between them. Despite the quarrel, Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria all increased in size.

Nationalism in the Balkans
The Balkan League (Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece & Montenegro) attacked Turkey (Ottoman Empire) in an attempt to wrest the regions of Albania and Macedonia from Turkish rule. Turkey surrendered most of its European possessions. The new nation of Albania was created
By the end of 1913 Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Rumania and Bulgaria had all managed to liberate themselves from Ottoman rule.

Serbia now showed new confidence and appeared ready to challenge Austria-Hungary (Habsburg Empire) for territory and the people’s necessary to form a large and united Serbian nation.

Consider and make connections with your learning of the 'Trigger' earlier!
why might this have tensions?
Check your definition:
: When a country increases their power and wealth by bringing additional territories under their control.

Population of Overseas Colonies
Area of Overseas Colonies
How do these statistics help you understand tensions between European nations leading up to WW1?
Perspective in History
How have the British depicted/represented the German emperor? And, why might they do this?
Is your response the same for this source?
SWOT Time!
Considering all that which you have learnt already relating to ALLIANCES, Complete a collaborative SWOT Analysis of the alliances:
Triple Entente
and the
Triple Alliance (aka Central Powers):

A completed map of Europe in your book accurately showing 1) the two alliances and 2) the German plan of attack using directional arrows and notes of explanation demonstrating your understanding of the Schlieffen Plan
Contribute at least one point in each category of the collaborative SWOT analysis of the Schlieffen Plan.
A TEECL paragraph (or two) evaluating the effectiveness of the Schlieffen Plan with at least one piece of evidence from the information here to support your ideas.
A thumbs up from one of your peers with one piece of advice for improvement (if applicable)
Effectively Analyse information about Germany's military strategy employed when entering WW1 in order to make reasoned conclusions about its effectiveness.
SOURCE: British propaganda showing Belgium defiantly resisting the Schlieffen advance (alphahistory.com)
How effective was Germany's strategy in the beginning? And, knowing what you know now, what might you have done instead?
Full transcript