This resource, "Origins of WW I prepared by the BBC, is an interpretation of the causes of World War I. The value of the resource is that it offers a different interpretation as to the cause of war. It states that World War I was a war between the forces of democracy and the forces of autocracy. This would make for an interesting debate in a classroom. The resource is a six page article that could be easily printed out and used in class. No activities or assessments are offered. The resource does offer a unique interpretation that is worth exploring, however it reads like an excerpt from a textbook. The site itself does have several links to BBC material on World War I. These links are interactive and are certainly worth exploring. The article does an excellent job of exploring those indicators that deal with the causes of World War I. A teacher could construct an interesting debate in the classroom using this article. One side could represent Germany and one side could represent The United Kingdom. Or the students could play the role of historians arguing the validity of the thesis presented in the article. This is a site that may be more useful to a teacher preparing his lessons that to students reading the article. Despite this fact, the resource does provide excellent material on World War I and with a bit of work by the teacher could be made into an activity that students would find engaging.
Social Studies Standards (2001)
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 9)
Analyze the causes and effects of WorldWar I with emphasis on:
- Militarism, imperialism, nationalism and alliances;
- The global scope, outcomes and human costs of the war;
- The role of new technologies and practices including the use of poison gas, trench warfare, machine guns, airplanes, submarines and tanks;
- The Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations.