Margaret MacMillan discusses the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and why his death led to the Outbreak of World War I.
World War I began in Europe in July of 1914, sparked by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. However, a complicated history of alliances, military buildup and nationalism had led to a situation where the war could become a large and worldwide conflict. The United States initially tried to maintain neutral, but eventually entered the war in 1917. In this lesson, students will learn about the causes, impact, and significance of World War I.
As a class, view the following video clip and then discuss the questions below.
Video Clip: The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand (0:46)
Why were Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Bosnia? Why was it considered a bad time for them to be there?
Explain Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s role and importance in Austria-Hungry.
Describe Gavrilo Princip’s beliefs and his role in the assassination.
Describe the process of events and people involved in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
Break students up into groups and have each group view the following video clips. Students should take notes using the handout provided, and then share their findings with the rest of the class.
HANDOUT: World War I Handout (Google Doc)
Video Clip: The United States' Decision to Enter World War I (8:00)
Professor Margaret MacMillan discussed the evolution of public opinion in the United States during World War I and its eventual decision to enter the war in 1917.
Video Clip: World War I and Trench Warfare (4:39)
Professor Richard Faulkner talked about trench warfare during World War I and the challenges that it posed.
Video Clip: Technology Advances in World War I (4:33)
Professor Richard Faulkner talked about the advances in technology by the beginning of World War I and the consequences of those advances in the war.
Video Clip: World War I - Propaganda (4:31)
Eli Paul discusses the role of propaganda during the US involvement in World War I.
Video Clip: African-Americans in the World War I (1:28)
Doran Cart gave a tour of the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City and spoke about objects related to America's role in what was then called the "Great War."
Video Clip: Women in the World War I (1:21)
Doran Cart gave a tour of the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City and spoke about objects related to America’s role in what was then called the “Great War.”
Video Clip: Woodrow Wilson and the End of World War I (6:44)
Author Margaret MacMillan discussed Woodrow Wilson's beliefs and role in regards to the end of World War I.
Video Clip: World War I - Fall of Empires (4:45)
Author Margaret MacMillan describes the fall of four major imperial powers involved in World War I.
After viewing the video clips and reporting out to the entire class, have students write an essay (or similar culminating activity) that includes the following information. Students should cite specific examples from the videos and class discussion.
The causes of World War I and if it could have been avoided
The United States decision to enter World War I and its impact
The contributions of different countries and groups to the war