HIS 119: World War I

The First World War and the settlement that followed from 1914-1919. Causes, conduct, and consequences of the war including military, political, economic, social, and cultural factors, with special emphasis on connections between the home front and the battlefield.
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Eric Rauchway and Ian Campbell 






Spring Quarter 2017


The war to end all wars; “goodbye to all that.”  Global observers viewed 1914-1918, the years of World War I, as an epoch-defining cataclysm.  The demands of total warfare placed nations and societies under unprecedented stress; they ripped apart empires and families as surely as they did bodies in the trenches.

This course presents a multifaceted view of World War I, one that is rooted in operational history (guns, tanks, battles) but reaches beyond to consider the social, cultural, and economic entanglements of the conflict.  Beginning from the hotly contested debate about the war’s origins, we will narrate the conflict in all theaters and consider its global legacies.  We will pay special attention to the individual experience of violence heretofore impossible to imagine, which we will explore by reading targeted primary sources – novels and memoirs.

Satisfies the following fields for the History major:

United States


Asia/Middle East