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Who was to blame for the start of World War One?
Historians have several theories about what caused the start of WWI, which they often group into 3 categories: trigger events, short-term & long-term causes.
Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Why was the Archduke assassinated?
To identify 3 mains causes of the outbreak of WWI
To write a newspaper account of the outbreak
How far is this empire from East to West?
What problems might an emperor have in controlling his empire?
On a bright summer’s day, 28 June 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, heirs to one of the wealthiest empires in Europe got into their car and drove through the elegant streets of Sarajevo in Bosnia. The couple were extremely happy that day – it was their wedding anniversary.
Artist’s impression of the moment when Gavrilo Princip stepped forward to the car and shots the Archduke in the chest, and Sophie in the stomach.
Both died within minutes from their wounds. Two bullets were about to lead to the deaths of a further 20 million men!
Gavrilo Princip, Serbian terrorist
Archduke’s bloodstained jacket
Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
Russia mobilises its army & declares war on Austria-Hungary
Germany helps its ally, Austria-Hungary & declares war on Russia
France & Britain help their allies and declare war on Germany & Austria-Hungary ….
Some historians think the causes of World War One go back even further, to the late nineteenth century when countries like Germany & Britain were building up their empires and their armies and were determined to show the world who was boss!
Discuss with your partner what you think was the most significant cause of the war.
You are going to hold a debate on who or what was most to blame for starting the First World War. Divide into 7 groups. Nominate a person who will be your representative in the debate. 1 group will suggest the assassination was the cause, another group will argue it was the alliance system, the other groups will suggest it was the military build-up and political ambitions of their opponents.
You are about to hold a class debate on who was to blame for the start of World War One. How can you ensure your team wins the debate?