The Start of The Great War (WW1)


  • Nationalism – Strong patriotic feelings for one’s own county.
  • Alliance – Agreement between 2 or more parties to help each other
  • Neutral Country – One that does not take sides in a war.

The Great War, as it was known at the time, got it’s start when a 19 year old Serbian man shot and killed the crown prince of Austria-Hungary.


1914 Europe is a powder keg, any little thing could set them all off.  A long history of fighting and back and forth had led to the formation of alliances. The alliances are pulled into play when the Archduke of Austria-Hungary is assassinated in Bosnia. Nationalism is one of the main causes of the war, as many countries see this as an opportunity to settle old scores.  This is an neat little 6 minute video about the causes of World War 1:


Everyone thought it would be a short war. No one expected it to last as long as it did, and cost nearly as much as it did in both money and manpower.


More Resources:

Because we in the midst of the 100 year anniversary of WW1, there are many resources and new stories being released almost daily.  Mental Floss has an excellent section on WW1 that is being updated almost daily right now.

Netflix has a GREAT 8 part docmentary available for streaming right now.  The Great War Diary is an awesome documentary put out by the BBC.  Word of warning, the 4th chapter, “The Heart’s Desire” is all about love and big pimping during the war.  As this is done by the BBC, there were no qualms about flashing ta-tas and culos all over the place.  As such, the fourth chapter is not suitable for kids in my opinion, and I’d urge parents to watch it ahead of time to determine if it is suitable for your teens.

Of course, Ducksters has a nice piece on the Assassination.

I’m including a link to this one, but the BBC has a really fun Rap Battle. There is some language so parents be warned.  But Origins: Rap Battle – WW1 is overall pretty funny.

There is a History Documentary that goes a bit beyond just the assassination and into the start of the war on youtube.


An of course, again by the BBC, Horrible Histories has a WW1 episode, found on Daily Motion.  Frightful First War is hilarious and good fun, like we’ve all come to expect from the Horrible Histories series.

Horrible Histories – Frightful First World War by VithusanRaguwaran21

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