Module 3: The July Crisis

Did the Great Powers “sleepwalk” into conflict, or was the Great War the conscious result of German aggression?


  • Strachan, The First World War, TBD

  • Mombauer, The Origins of the First World War, part 2

  • Sean McMeekin, July 1914, introduction

Watch all or parts of the following videos:

Participate in the Discussion Forum:

  1. List three salient facts that you learned from your reading and viewing of the material above.

  2. Chose a set of the documents in your Mombauer reading for this week and post a comment on what they say and how they fit together.

  3. Having watched the entire 37 Days series and read documents in Mombauer, write something about the perspective and prejudice that the video series displayed.

  4. On my Great War blog, do a category search for the term “Sarajevo” and “Debate.” Read the posts that come up. Comment on something from one of the posts that strikes you as interesting.

  5. After you have completed all the activities in this module, post to the “What I still have questions about” link. (You can find my responses to the questions from Module 2 here.)

View my lectures: 

  • Shifting Alliances (pdf)

  • The Anglo-German Naval Rivalry (pdf)

  • The Schlieffen Plan (pdf)

Write a brief reflective essay on one of the following:

  • Choose one of the Powers and describe the role that it played in the road to war?

  • What role Serbia play in provoking the war?

  • If you were able to watch 37 Days, what viewpoint does it advance? Can you imagine a counter-argument?

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