This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

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

x

"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

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
x

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.

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.
x

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

DePue Origins of WWI

x

"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

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

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

Dr. Michael Epkenhans, "Germany and the Outbreak of WWI Reconsidered"

Dr. Michael Epkenhans, professor and Director of Historical Research at the Centre for Military History and Social Sciences of the German Armed Forces at Potsdam, presents, Germany and the Outbreak of WWI Reconsidered.

Presented July 27, 2014 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
x

The Great War in Transnational Perspective, Dr. Jay Winter

Jay M. Winter, the Charles J. Stille Professor of History at Yale University, is a specialist on World War I and its impact on the 20th century.

The history of global war requires a global perspective to make sense of the seismic waves the outbreak of the 1914-18 conflict sent around the world. This lecture describes the parameters of recent approaches to the study of war loosely grouped around the
term “transnational.” That term describes the way in which the history of the war has been written more and more by scholars who were born in one country, educated in a second and teach in a third. The changing career trajectories of historians have informed historical accounts which go beyond the single nation or state to do justice to a conflict which transcended national borders and which was much, much bigger than the states waging it.

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

"Poilu: The Notebooks of Corporal Louis Barthas," Edward Strauss

“If we suffered so stoically, without raising useless complaints, don’t let anyone tell you that it was because of patriotism, or to defend the rights of peoples to live their own lives, or to end all wars…”

Along with millions of other Frenchmen, Louis Barthas, was conscripted to fight the Germans in the opening days of World War I. Ed Strauss, former publisher of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, vividly brings Barthas’ frontline experiences to life through the first English translation of his notebooks, which describe riveting wartime experiences of near-ceaseless combat in some of the fiercest French battles: Artois, Flanders, Champagne, Verdun, the Somme and the Argonne. This quintessential memoir of a “poilu,” is a journey directly into the heart of the Great War.

Recorded March 4, 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
x

"The Outbreak of War in 1914: New Ways to Think About the 'Road to War,'" Dr. Michael Neiberg

Dr. Michael Neiberg, historian and author of Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of War in 1914, discusses a more nuanced approach to thinking about the road to war, moving beyond the traditional explanation of MAIN (Militarism, Alliances, Imperialism, and Nationalism).

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

"Nations Worth Dying For? National Identities and the Coming of the Great War," Dr. Pierre Purseigle

Dr. Pierre Purseigle, historian and President of the International Society for First World War Studies, discusses the evolution of national identity and nationalism in prewar Europe, the differences between national identity and nationalism, and the changing relationship between empires, states, and their subjects/citizens.

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

Sean McMeekin | July 1914: Countdown to War - January 29, 2014

In a discussion of his new book, historian Sean McMeekin reveals how a small cabal of European statesmen used the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to initiate a long-awaited showdown among the Continent's powers, ultimately leading to the start of World War I.

x

"Stalemate in the West", Edward Gutierrez

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

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

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

Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of War, 1914 - Michael Neiberg

Michael Neiberg, US Army War College

The common explanation for the outbreak of World War I depicts Europe as a minefield of nationalism, needing only the slightest pressure to set off an explosion of passion that would rip the continent apart. This talk will present a crucial reexamination of the outbreak of violence in 1914. It will show that ordinary Europeans, unlike their political and military leaders, neither wanted nor expected war during that fateful summer. By training our eyes on the ways that people outside the halls of power reacted to the rapid onset and escalation of the fighting, this talk dispels the notion that Europeans were rabid nationalists intent on mass slaughter. It reveals instead a complex set of allegiances that cut across national boundaries.

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

France’s Planning & Fighting the First Months of WWI, Brigadier General Dr. Robert Doughty

Brigadier General Robert Doughty retired in July 2005 after 40 years of service in the U.S. Army. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1965 and received his PhD from Kansas University in 1979. He served in a variety of assignments in the United States, Europe, and Vietnam, and his awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, and Combat Infantry Badge. He served as the Head of the Department of History at the U.S. Military Academy from 1985 until 2005.

Doughty makes a point that rarely in military history has a commander or an army made so many mistakes and escaped defeat than in the case of the French and General Joffre prior to and during the opening months of World War I. Doughty highlights the numerous mistakes made by the French military command in planning for the war and by General Joffre in analyzing and confronting the German threat during the first months of the war.

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

Shares

x

Check Also

x

Menu