HIS 102
Unit 10:  The Great War

Tsar Nicholas II in 1914

Photo of the Russian imperial family leaving the Winter Palace to "mingle" with the "people" after the declaration of war on 3 August 1914 (20 July by the Russian calendar).  It is difficult, but you can pick out Tsar Nicholas II in the photo.  This was one of the last "good" days for the imperial couple, as the Russian people--as did most of the other citizens of countries in Europe--enthusiastically greeted the onset of war and rallied around the tsar.

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What you must do in this unit What you can do in this unit Some videos that you can watch for this unit Extra Credit Options
  • For up to 50 points of extra credit, read Professor Evans' translation of Georges Boucheron, L'Assaut: l'Argonne et Vauquois avec la 10e division, 1914-1915 or his translation of Lefèvre, Le carnet de campagne du sergent Lefèvre, 1914-1916. Each translation reads very fast, is available in pdf, Ipad or Kindle versions on the website. In a one-, or two, page paper, answer the following question: How did the war affect Boucheron and the men who fought it? (With instructor permission, you may read this instead of Remarque and substitute this paper for the Remarque paper.)
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, explain the impact of World War I in a one-page paper (maybe more depending on how good).  Please be sure to cite your sources.  Start here (canadaonline.about.com/od/ww1battles/p/beaumonthamel.htm).
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, watch All Quiet on the Western Front (1930, directed by Lewis Milestone), and assess the historical accuracy of the film in a one-page paper.
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit (maybe more), offer a detailed contrast between Remarque's depiction of the war in his novel and Milestone's view of the war in his film adaptation of the novel.
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, read Barbara Tuchman, The Guns of August (1962) and write a one-page paper in which you explain what went wrong for the Russian army in the first two months of the war.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, read the "Willy-Nicky" Telegrams, exchanged between tsar and kaiser, 29 July - 1 August, 1914 and write a long paragraph in which you assess these rulers' grasp on reality.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, read the comments by Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941, Emperor 1888-1918), "A Place in the Sun" (1901) and write a long paragraph explaining how the Kaiser's attitude contributed to the march towards war.
  • For up to 5 points of extra credit, you can submit the answers to the Remarque study questions.  Please write in formal, complete sentences.
  • For extra credit, please suggest a relevant website for this unit of the course.  Send your instructor the title of the site, the URL and a brief explanation why you find the information interesting and applicable to the material being studied this unit.
Unit Learning Objectives
  • Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to (1) explain the impact of the war on the lives of the generation that fought it, (2) describe the sequence of events that led to war in 1914 and (3) analyze a historical primary source.

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