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Unit 5: Crisis and Change

Lesson A: Competition Leads to Global Conflict

Lesson Overview

Trenches in World War I Trenches in World War I

Trenches in World War I [1]

The relationships among the countries of Europe in the nineteenth century set the stage for a massive war that spread across the globe between 1914 and 1918. The growth of militarism, a web of alliances among European countries, imperialism, and a growing sense of nationalism in many European countries pushed the continent of Europe into
World War I.

Key Questions

  1. What were the causes of World War I?
  2. How did nationalism contribute to a declaration of war between European countries?
  3. How did World War I become a global war, when it started out as a dispute between the countries of Europe?

Student Outcomes

  1. Examine the role of nationalism in the decline of the Ottoman Empire, including the retreat of the Ottomans from the Balkans and the Black Sea regions.
  2. Assess the importance of nationalism as a source of tension and conflict within the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
  3. Describe the growth of European militarism and its impact on the outbreak of World War I.
  4. Explain the formation of European alliances and its impact on the outbreak of World War I.
  5. Analyze the role of economic and imperial competition among European powers and its role in the outbreak of World War I.
  6. Assess the impact of German and Balkan nationalism on the outbreak of World War I.
  7. Analyze cause-and-effect relationships and multiple causation, including the importance of the individual and the influence of ideas. (Historical Thinking Skill)

Key Terms

Student Resources

Chart of Activities

Activities to Complete Estimated Time
5 minutes
Key Terms
5 minutes
Activator: The World 1900-1914
15 minutes
Opening: The Causes of World War I
10 minutes
Activity 1: Long-Term Cause - Militarism
15 minutes
Activity 2: Analyzing Arms Spending
10 minutes
Activity 3: Long-Term Cause - Alliances
10 minutes
Activity 4: Long-Term Cause - Imperialism
15 minutes
Activity 5: Long-Term Cause - Nationalism
20 minutes
Activity 6: Nationalism as a Source of Conflict and Unity
45 minutes
Activity 7: Check for Understanding - Causes of World War I
10 minutes
Activity 8: Immediate Cause - Assassination of Franz Ferdinand
10 minutes
Activity 9: World War I Begins
15 minutes
Review and Assessment
35 minutes
Lesson Summary
5 minutes

Lesson Completion Time

The total estimated time to complete this lesson is 225 minutes.

Page Notes:

[1] Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trencheswwi2.jpg is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.