The First World War: Who was Responsible?

Ref: C2339458

Some say the Great War was due to German aggression; others that Britain, France and Russia contributed significantly to the conflict by curtailing the Kaiser’s quest to be their equal. Asking could it have been averted, this talk will examine some of the key reasons for each country’s culpability in one of the most debated and emotive of subjects.

Course aim

Re-assessing the question of culpability, although we will examine the catalyst for war in 1914, this talk discusses all the major nations’ contributory roles.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Assess whether Germany desired, prepared and ultimately provoked war in 1914
  • Understand why Russian mobilisation had terrible consequences.
  • Discuss if Serbia could have accepted Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum in its entirety.
  • Explain why Austria-Hungary has sometimes been held solely accountable for the conflict.
  • Examine the extent to which Britain can be reproached and why the French President played a provocative role.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Students could enhance their active learning through engagement in local and national commemorative projects. With a greater understanding of other societies’ cultures and attitudes, students could also develop their critical thinking skills.

Download full Course information sheet

The First World War: Who was Responsible?

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  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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