The Origins of the First World War

Programs for Teachers
Newberry Teachers' Consortium
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This seminar is an intense examination of some of the events that led to the first world war and its subsequent interpretation by historians. Historians have been concerned particularly with making sense of a war that did not end all wars, nor make the world safe for democracy.  Thinking about the war in this way raises difficult questions of how and why this cataclysmic event occurred, issues of agency and contingency, and larger notions of “causality” and “responsibility.”  The war also has compelling and lasting relevance that can be felt in the global dominance of US economic and military power, the nascence of Ireland, “Arabia,” Israel, the south Asian states of Pakistan and India, as well as those of the African continent.

Seminar led by Eugene Beiriger, DePaul University

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