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Archive for the 'World Civ-World War One' Category

Britain Should Not Have Fought in the First World War

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

WWI and America’s Rise as a Superpower

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

America’s rise to superpower status began with its 1917 entry into World War I. President Woodrow Wilson had grand visions for the peace that followed, but failed. The battle he started in the US between idealists and realists continues to this day.

Der Spiegel explores WWI and America’s Rise as a Superpower

Was World War I the outcome of elite machinations?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

What caused Europe to immolate itself? World War I, after all, was neither an avalanche nor a tempest but a ghastly man-made disaster. The question of responsibility has preoccupied Europe, and its historians, since the war began, and the identification of culprits has also varied over time, running the gamut from German militarism to reckless diplomacy, the faceless forces of imperialism and nationalism, and ideologies like social Darwinism. The debate has never been purely academic…

Not surprisingly, the approaching centenary of the fateful summer of 1914 has elicited new reflections on the war’s causes. While the current crop of books on the outbreak of the war offer a range of perspectives, they tend, on balance, to find blood primarily on the hands of Europe’s “Great Men,” a small cabal of diplomats, kings, military leaders and their advisers. In her highly readable The War That Ended Peace, Margaret MacMillan concludes that “the decisions that took Europe into that war—or failed to prevent it—were made by a surprisingly small number, and those men—few women played a role—came largely but not entirely from the upper classes, whether the landed aristocracy or the urban plutocracy.” 

The first world war: Look back with angst

Friday, July 25th, 2014

A century on, there are uncomfortable parallels with the era that led to the outbreak of the first world war…

Yet the parallels remain troubling. The United States is Britain, the superpower on the wane,
unable to guarantee global security. Its main trading partner, China, plays the part of Germany, a new economic power bristling with nationalist indignation and building up its armed forces rapidly. Modern Japan is France, an ally of the retreating hegemon and a declining regional power. The parallels are not exact—China lacks the Kaiser’s territorial ambitions and America’s defence budget is far more impressive than imperial Britain’s—but they are close enough for the world to be on its guard. Which, by and large, it is not.

The Economist draws the parallel on the even of the centenary


The Disturbing Relevance of WWI

Friday, July 25th, 2014

It has now been 100 years since the outbreak of World War I, but the European catastrophe remains relevant today. As the Continent looks back this year, old wounds could once again be rubbed raw.

Reading Response Questions

10 interpretations of who started WWI

Friday, July 25th, 2014

This BBC post offers 10 insights from 10 reputable historians into the causes of WWI.

During World War I, Germany Unleashed ‘Terrorist Cell In America’

Friday, May 30th, 2014

In the early years of World War I, as many as 1,000 American horses per day were shipped off to Europe to assist in the Allied war effort, even though the United States was officially neutral. Those horses became the target of germ warfare, infected with anthrax cultures on American soil; at the same time, mysterious explosions were rocking U.S. munitions factories, and fires were breaking out on ships headed to Europe.

Journalist Howard Blum says this was all part of an aggressive campaign of spying and sabotage the German government unleashed on the United States soon after war broke out in Europe. Blum’s book, Dark Invasion, is about the campaign and the effort of American law enforcement to crack what Blum calls “the first terrorist cell in America.” It’s filled with fascinating characters, from the duplicitous German ambassador who held the title of Count, to Capt. Franz von Rintelen, who plotted destruction while living at the Yacht Club in New York, to the NYPD bomb squad detective who in effect formed an anti-terrorist squad to try to find the saboteurs. Interesting

Fresh Air Interview

10 interpretations of who started WWI

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

As nations gear up to mark 100 years since the start of World War One, academic argument still rages over which country was to blame for the conflict.

Here 10 leading historians give their opinion

From The Trenches To The Web: British WWI Diaries Digitized

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Most of this trove consists of official diaries, recording the day-to-day activities of British army units in the first world war. The scale of death is huge. Nearly a million British soldiers died in the war, half of them on the Western front in France and Belgium.

The Disturbing Relevance of World War I

Monday, January 20th, 2014

It has now been 100 years since the outbreak of World War I, but the European catastrophe remains relevant today. As the Continent looks back this year, old wounds could once again be rubbed raw. (from Der Speigel)

PDF Version of the article

Reading resposne questions