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The Road to Hell? Intentions, Uncertainty and the Origins of World War I, Dr. Sebastian Rosato

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"The Road to Hell? Intentions, Uncertainty and the Origins of World War I," Dr. Sebastian Rosato

A century after the outbreak of World War I, there is still little consensus on its causes. The lessons learned are of particular importance for the United States and the world today. University of Notre Dame Professor Sebastian Rosato specializes in the theory and history of great power politics and will question established explanations and develop new arguments about the causes of the Great War.

The event is part of the Hesburgh Lecture Series and is presented in partnership with the Notre Dame Club of Kansas City.

Recorded April 19, 2015 in J.C. Nichols Auditorium at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

New Thinking on the Origins of World War I

This summer marks the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, perhaps the most transformative war in history. While the wars of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars harnessed national populations to the war effort in a way not previously seen since the emergence of the modern states system, WWI combined the mobilization of both populations and industrial power, enhanced by technology, to produce a most lethal form of warfare. WWI also redrew the map of Europe and created the modern Middle East, as it led to the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Russian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire, thereby unleashing nationalism the disruptive characteristics of which still plague us today. It also paved the way for the great ideological conflicts of the 20th century by unleashing the forces of state-based communism and fascism. To commemorate the outbreak of The Great War, FPRI and ROA will present a workshop offering presentations by three eminent scholars of the war. Michael Neiberg of the US Army War College will discuss the factors that led to the outbreak of the war. John Schindler of the US Naval War College will discuss the often overlooked role of Austria-Hungary in the war and the Eastern and Italian fronts. Kate Epstein of Rutgers University-Camden will discuss the role of pre-war British defense policy in the outbreak of the conflict. Mac Owens, editor of Orbis and professor at the Naval War College, will moderate the panel.
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The Origins and Effects of Trench Stalemate - Nicholas Murray

Nicholas Murray, U.S. Naval War College

This presentation will explain what caused the stalemate, why trenches posed such a particularly difficult problem, what the knock on effects in terms of society and the home front were, and how the warring parties attempted to deal with the issue

Lecture presented during the 15th Annual Truman Library Teachers' Conference at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

13. The Origins of World War I

France Since 1871 (HIST 276)

The traditional, diplomatic history of World War I is helpful in understanding how a series of hitherto improbable alliances come to be formed in the early years of the twentieth century. In the case of France and Russia, this involves a significant ideological compromise. Along with the history of imperial machinations, however, World War I should be understood in the context of the popular imagination and the growth of nationalist sentiment in Europe.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Tangled Maps of Empire: Diplomatic Origins of the First World War
07:24 - Chapter 2. A Delicate Balances: The Shifting Alliances of the Great Powers
19:26 - Chapter 3. The British Empire on the World Stage: Capabilities on the Continent
32:29 - Chapter 4. Mounting Tensions in Alsace-Lorraine: The Saverne Crisis
40:14 - Chapter 5. War Expectations and Enthusiasm

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2007.
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Verdun: The Bleeding of Nations - Richard S. Faulkner

Dr. Richard S. Faulkner joins The National World War I Museum and Memorial to discuss the Battle of Verdun

For more information regarding Then National World War I Museum and Memorial visit

Christopher Clark, France and the Origins of the Great War

H-France Salon, Volume 6, Issue 13
Society for French Historical Studies
Plenary Session
26 April 2014
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The War of 1914: An Avoidable Catastrophe, Dr. Sean McMeekin

Sean McMeekin is Professor of History at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Rejecting earlier accounts of the outbreak of World War I, which emphasized structural factors or German ‘premeditation,’ McMeekin proposes instead a series of contingent occurrences stretching from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28 to the British ultimatum to Berlin on Aug. 4, 1914. Far from fated by the alliance system or the arms race, the war of 1914 was an eminently avoidable catastrophe brought on by the opportunistic scheming by a small handful of statesmen, often driven as much by personal complexes and rivalries as by compelling reasons of state. Though
aware, in some sense, of the risks they were running, none of the men responsible could have imagined the scale of the human catastrophe they were about to unleash.

Presented November 7, 2014 as part of the National World War I Museum and United States World War I Centennial Commission 2014 Symposium, 1914: Global War & American Neutrality.

The Symposium was held in association with The Western Front Association East Coast Branch and the World War I Historical Association. Sponsored by Colonel J's, the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund and Verlag Militaria.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

British Naval Strategy in the First Months of the Great War, Dr. Phillip Pattee

Phillip Pattee, PhD in Military and Diplomatic History (Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa.) is a retired U.S. Navy Commander, currently serving as an associate professor in the Department of Joint, Interagency and Multinational Operations at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.

Dr. Pattee looks at how British naval strategy handled fleet dispositions, technology and tactics, control and intelligence, enemy objectives and capabilities, the nature of the war and what is to be achieved, during the first months of World War I and how British and associated Allied strategy defeated that of the Central naval powers.

Presented November 8, 2014 as part of the National World War I Museum and United States World War I Centennial Commission 2014 Symposium, 1914: Global War & American Neutrality.

The Symposium was held in association with The Western Front Association East Coast Branch and the World War I Historical Association. Sponsored by Colonel J's, the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund and Verlag Militaria.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

"The Profit Motive as Cause of the Great War: What's the Evidence?" Dr. Richard Hamilton

Dr. Richard Hamilton, historian and author of such books as The Origins of World War I, reviews the decision-making in Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Great Britain on the eve of the Great War and discusses how this evidence contradicts Marxist arguments about the causes of the war.

Presented at the World War I Historical Association Symposium, The Coming of the Great War, November 8-9, 2013.

Recorded November 8, 2013 in J.C. Nichols Auditorium at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

The Great WWI Controversy: Who Was to Blame? A Panel Discussion on the Centennial

The origins of the First World War have aroused deep controversy for decades. On the centennial of the war, there is renewed interest in revisiting its origins. Was Germany to blame? Did Europe’s statesmen sleepwalk to war? In this panel discussion, leading historians and IR experts will weigh in on the debate and offer lessons for avoiding another great power conflict.

Graham Allison: Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School
Peter Gourevitch: Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego
Charles S. Maier: Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History, Harvard University
Thomas Weber: Professor of History and International Affairs, University of Aberdeen; Visiting Scholar, CES
Chaired by: Alison Frank Johnson: Professor of History, Harvard University

Monday, Nov 24th, 2014
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causes of world war 1.MPG

simple powerpoint description of the causes of world war-1

The Intelligence Legacy of WWI

Society for Military History 2014 Conference at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit
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Domination and Betrayal - WWI and the Modern World

The Great War signaled the terminal crisis of the European old regime–a crisis more than a century in the making. Pursuing the story of this crisis across themes of domination, integration and betrayal, UW History Professor Raymond Jonas considers the rivalries that underpinned the war and the bleak geopolitical thinking that informed them. Professor Jonas explores the political culture that obliterated tolerance for difference, finding the foundations of power in nation and race. Finally, he asks us to ponder the responsibilities of the powerful, viewed with the eyes of the young men they had persuaded to fight.

Raymond Jonas
UW Professor of History
11/5/14

The Guns of Autumn: World War I on the Eastern Front, Dr. Dennis Showalter

Dennis Showalter is Professor of History at Colorado College, where he has taught since 1969. He is past President of the Society for Military History, Joint Editor of War in History and has held visiting appointments at the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy. He specializes in modern military history.

The centennial of the Great War has inspired a predicable abundance of conferences, books, articles and speeches. Most are built on a familiar meme: soldiers and societies as victims of flawed intentions and defective methods, which in turn reflected inability
or unwillingness to adapt to the spectrum of innovations, material, both intellectual and emotional, that made the Great War the first modern conflict. That perspective is reinforced by the war’s rechristening, backlit by a later and greater struggle, as World
War I, which confers a preliminary, test-bed status. In point of fact, the defining aspect of World War I is its semi-modern character. The “classic” Great War, the war of myth, memory and image, could be waged only in a limited area: a narrow belt in Western
Europe. War waged outside of the northwest European quadrilateral tended quite rapidly to follow a pattern of de-modernization. Peacetime armies and their cadres melted away in combat, were submerged by repeated infusions of unprepared conscripts, saw their support systems melt irretrievably away and saw their public and political support erode to critical points. Those developments began with the first salvoes of the Guns of August and, arguably, even earlier. This session examines and analyzes the processes that defined and shaped the Great War on the Eastern Front and heralded the disappearance of three empires.

Presented November 7, 2014 as part of the National World War I Museum and United States World War I Centennial Commission 2014 Symposium, 1914: Global War & American Neutrality.

The Symposium was held in association with The Western Front Association East Coast Branch and the World War I Historical Association. Sponsored by Colonel J's, the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund and Verlag Militaria.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

The Outbreak of the First World War

In this lecture, Prof Michael Neiberg explores a number of themes relating to the outbreak of the First World War, from the diplomatic crisis to the reaction of civilian populations.

Were Europeans as 'eager' for war as is commonly perceived? Are there parallels in what's happening in the world today?

The Western Front Association is a UK registered charity.

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If You Are In Favor of the Kaiser Keep it to Yourself, Dr. Michael Neiberg

Michael Neiberg is a Professor of History in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

Dr. Neiberg discusses the reactions of everyday Americans to the outbreak of World War I. He argues that such a bottom up approach provides a better understanding of what American views were and how they changed than the traditional top down view that American attitudes reflected those of President Woodrow Wilson.

Presented November 8, 2014 as part of the National World War I Museum and United States World War I Centennial Commission 2014 Symposium, 1914: Global War & American Neutrality.

The Symposium was held in association with The Western Front Association East Coast Branch and the World War I Historical Association. Sponsored by Colonel J's, the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund and Verlag Militaria.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

Dr. Osvaldo Rosato en Enfoque Médico 2012.2/2

"Tides, Tectonic Plates & Talismans All Over Again," Dr. Gary Armstrong

Dr. Gary Armstrong, Professor of Political Science at William Jewell College, describes and critiques the reemerging debate among political scientists over the causes of World War I, including the role of structural factors and the shift in the global balance of power.

Presented at the World War I Historical Association Symposium, The Coming of the Great War, November 8-9, 2013.

Recorded November 9, 2013 in J.C. Nichols Auditorium at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

"Stalemate in the West", Edward Gutierrez

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

"Paris, 1919: Six Months That Changed the World," Dr. Margaret MacMillan

Dr. Margaret MacMillan, historian and author of Paris, 1919: Six Months That Changed the World, discusses the Paris Peace Conference, the significance of the decisions made in Paris, and how the those decisions continue to affect the world today.

Recorded May 25, 2007 in J.C. Nichols Auditorium at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

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