Lecture 16 - The Coming of the Great War

author: John Merriman, Department of History, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: April 16, 2010,   recorded: October 2008,   views: 4077
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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If the early years of the twentieth century were marked by a general consensus that a major war was impending, no similar consensus existed concerning the likely form that war would take. Not only the carnage of World War I, but also the nature of its alliances would have been difficult to imagine. Indeed, in 1900 many people would have predicted conflict, rather than collaboration, between France and Britain. The reasons for the eventual entente between France and Britain and France and Russia consist principally in economic and geopolitical motivations. Cultural identity also played a role, particularly in relations between France and Germany. The territory of Alsace-Lorraine formed a crucible for the questions of nationalism and imaginary identity that would be contested in the Great War.

Reading assignment:

Merriman, John. A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present, pp. 941-973

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Comment1 karen gohler , July 5, 2012 at 3:34 p.m.:

I want to thank you for your lectures. I love the topic,learned so much, please do you have lectures on China? Iam concerned why do nations continue to repeat the same mistakes? Any tours to these places for us poor folk? I wanted to say concerning the Jews there is a righteous list,of men who helped them escape,particular are the ones that got sent to China. marvelouse story of resilance. Human rights lectures?? U.n. activities and growth. thanks for making my life richer..

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