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The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History, Second Edition
Richard W. Bulliet, Pamela Kyle Crossley, Daniel R. Headrick, Steven W. Hirsch, Lyman L. Johnson, David Northrup
History WIRED

The Crisis of the Imperial Order, 1900-1929


The Schlieffen Plan
This map details the German plans, developed before the war began, for a quick victory over France.

Trenches on the Web: Map Room
This site offers a comprehensive collection of maps detailing the battle lines of World War I, primarily as it was fought in Europe.

World War I Map Pictures
This site contains numerous clickable maps that explore the fighting within and outside Europe.

The Western Front
This article contains numerous clickable maps depicting the history of the Western Front during World War I.

The Eastern Front
This companion site to the previous one traces the conflict among Germany, Russia, and Austria-Hungary.

The Somme Battlefield
This site offers a detailed map of this infamous battle on the Western Front.

Wars and Atrocities in the First Quarter of the Twentieth Century
This unique map places the loss of life in World War I in the context of other calamities that occurred at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Losses in the First World War
Derived from the same collection as the map at the previous site, this map illustrates the loss of life per combatant in World War I.

The Russian Civil War
This map shows the advances of the Whites in 1919.

Aftermath of the First World War
This map shows the territorial changes in Europe and the Middle East after World War I.


World War I: Trenches on the Web
This outstanding site offers numerous images of the war ranging from photographs of weapons and combat to art work inspired by the conflict.  You must visit this collection.

The Spartacus Internet Encyclopedia, British History 1700-1950: The First World War
This comprehensive site offers, among many things, images of political leaders, weapons, and the home front as well as many charts detailing the carnage.

Photos of the Great War
This site has a large image base depicting numerous aspects of the war from naval technology to women's experiences.

France at War II and France at War III
These sites offer stereoscopic photographs of French soldiers on the Western Front.

Imperial War Museum: On line Exhibits
This site has links to many exhibits that explore World War I.

The Museum of the Great War
This site provides numerous images of the war and its impact on European society. It includes a section on architectural developments during the first quarter of the twentieth century.

In Flanders Field
From a Belgian perspective, this site explores the Western Front and the many individuals who fought there or supported the war effort on the home front.

Sassoon on the Somme
Experience this battle through the eyes of one soldier.

The Wilfred Owen Multimedia Digital Archive
View film clips of the war at this superb site.

BBC News: The Great War, 80 Years On
Under the section entitled "Voices of the Past," you can listen to audio clips detailing veterans' recollections.  You can also watch the powerful film clip detailing the Western Front experience.  This site is a must-see.

The Armenian Genocide: Pictures
This site presents images from this atrocity that occurred in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

World War I Posters
View this site's examples of American propaganda aimed at mobilizing support for the war effort.

Images of the Great War: French Posters, Prints, and Books
Observe French efforts at war propaganda at this site.

World War I Songs: Early Recordings from a 1918 Victrola
Listen to songs that were popular in the United States during the war.

American Leaders Speak: Recordings from World War I and the 1920 Election
Listen to efforts to enlist the American public's support for the war and hear the debate over whether the United States should join the League of Nations.

Aftermath: When the boys came home
Numerous images accompany this site's account of Great Britain during the 1920s.

World War I and the Art World
Explore the advent of modern art and its connections to the war at this site.

Art of the First World War
This site focuses on artists' depictions of the war.

Images from the Russian Revolution
This site provides several photographs, mainly of leaders, from the early period of the Russian Revolution.

Treaty Ports and Extraterritoriality in 1920s China
This site depicting China during the upheavals after the Chinese Revolution offers many images, primarily of urban areas.

Selected Film Clips of Rudolph Valentino
Watch clips from these early versions of mass-produced motion pictures made in Hollywood during the 1920s.

Buster Keaton: The Man who fell to the Earth
This site offers film clips of this famous comic star of the 1920s.

Photos of Gloria Swanson
This site presents still images of another star of the Hollywood film industry that developed after World War I.

Old Time Radio: The Golden Years
At this unique site you can listen to numerous clips from United States radio programs during the 1920s and 1930s.

The Jazz Age: Flapper Culture and Style
Explore the life of the "new woman" after World War I  in the United States.

The Life of Henry Ford
This site chronicles the rise of the automobile industry in the United States.

Ad Access
This site presents early advertising which was geared toward the "new consumerism" in the United States after World War I.

Activity One:

In web Activity Four for Chapter 29, The New Imperialism, 1869-1914, you explored an early example of Westerners, particularly those in Britain and the United States, beginning to question the idea that Western culture was superior to the cultures of the rest of the world.  World War I accelerated this process of reevaluating such beliefs.  Never before had humans witnessed death and destruction on such a broad scale.  Perhaps the best way to examine the psychological impact of World War I is through visual imagery.  To begin your exploration of the horrors of the battlefield, go to Photos of the Great War. You can study hundreds of images at this site, but be sure to view the images under "Weapons and Equipment," "Death and Destruction," and "Locations."  You may not have time to look at all of the pictures within these sections, but at least try to view a broad sampling.

Motion picture technology was also available during World War I.  To view film clips from the Battle of the Somme, go to Filming the War.  Read the text in the left-hand frame and, as you continue through this site, download and view the film and audio clips provided.  Again, doing this may take a while, but the time is well worth spending.  To conclude your exploration of combat during the war, go to BBC News: The Great War, 80 Years On.  Under "Voices from the Past" click on "Images" and "Newsreel" and then watch a montage of images from the Western Front.

After reviewing these sites, explain why the war was so devastating in terms of death and destruction.  What technological developments of the past century contributed to this situation?  Describe the psychological impact that combat must have had on many of the soldiers.  Also, consider what effect viewing these images must have had on people in Western societies.  How did these images of war challenge the values and assumptions that had prevailed during the nineteenth century, particularly the notions of progress, reason, and white superiority.  Why did World War I make many people in the West more willing to accept the revolutionary theories of Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, and Emile Durkheim?  (See Revolution in the Sciences on pages 774-775 of Bulliet, et al., The Earth and Its Peoples [Second Edition].)  

Activity Two:

New work in the sciences increasingly challenged the West's faith in reason and progress during the early part of the twentieth century, in part because of the legacy of World War I.  This same skepticism about nineteenth-century values can be seen in the art of the early twentieth century.   Go to Web Museum: Expressionism, Web Museum: Picasso and Cubism, Web Museum: Toward Abstraction, and History of Surrealism.  (Be sure to read the text carefully and to study the images provided. Click on at least one artist's name among those that are hyperlinked at each of these sites.)  Explain how artistic expression was changing during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Against what earlier styles and traditions were artists rebelling?  What new styles and traditions were emerging?

You can also observe similar trends in the world of music.  Go to Classical Midi Archives: Stravinsky;  listen to the passages from The Rite of Spring and analyze the ways in which this work reflects the new expressiveness of the art world at this time.  World War I accelerated these trends; you can learn more about this development by reading the text and studying the images at World War I and the Art World.  (Be sure to place the cursor over the topics on the left-hand side of the screen and to click all the links.)  Describe the war's impact on artistic expression.  Did it lead to radical departures or did it encourage contemporary trends within the art world?

Next, go to The Metropolitan Museum Special Exhibitions: Painters in Paris, 1895-1950.  At the bottom of the page, click on "Learn more about this exhibition" and then read the text.  Be sure to visit the hyperlinks at the bottom of this page.  Then return to The Metropolitan Museum Special Exhibitions: Painters in Paris, 1895-1950 and click on "View images from this exhibition."  Analyze these images by identifying the paintings that you feel exemplify the various schools of modern art that were emerging during the early twentieth century--expressionism, cubism, abstraction, and surrealism.  Try to find one painting that fits in each category and explain your choices.  Finally, analyze the ways in which these new forms of art challenged the nineteenth-century values of progress and reason.

Activity Three:

Although World War I helped to usher in an age of skepticism in the West, the postwar period was also a period of excitement and innovation.  New technology might have made the carnage of the war possible, but it also helped to transform the lives and raise the living standards of ordinary people.  For an example, go to Model T Road Trip; click on "Begin the Journey" and continue on this virtual excursion until it ends.  Be sure to visit all hyperlinks--either the text that appears in red or the images--and then answer the following questions.  How did the mass production of automobiles in the United States alter the lifestyle of the family depicted?  What conveniences did this technology provide?  What innovations in marketing and finance enabled more people to purchase automobiles?  How did the advent of the automobile age change the outlooks of different members of this family?

For another example, go to movie.site  and read the sections entitled "The Birth of Film," "The Silent Era," and "The Beginning of the Studio System."  Explain the evolution of motion pictures during this time period.  What kinds of motion pictures appealed to broad audiences?  How did the industry that produced motion pictures evolve?  Did movie producers regard their craft as artistic expression or the creation of entertainment?   Why, according to Bulliet, et al, The Earth and Its Peoples (Second Edition), page 776, did Hollywood studios become the main producers of motion pictures in the world?

To view samples of or images from American motion pictures made during the 1920s, go to  Selected Film Clips of Rudolph Valentino, Buster Keaton: The Man Who Fell to Earth, and The Photos of Gloria Swanson.  Read the texts, study the images, and watch the film clips while you are visiting these sites.  All three of these movie stars were incredibly powerful box-office draws during the 1920s.  Describe the kinds of films that they made.  Were they realistic or fantasies?  Why do you suppose that these genres had such broad appeal?  How did watching these films allow people to escape from their problems?

Radio also emerged as a form of mass entertainment after World War I.  To access a history of radio, go to Old Time Radio: The Golden Years and read the text in this detailed time line.  Clicking on the hyperlinks will enable you to listen to songs, speeches, and excerpts of radio programing from 1918 to 1939.  Be sure to visit all of the links to Donna Halper's site and to listen to the excerpts there.  To what extent did the growth of the radio industry parallel that of the motion picture industry?  Consider how the industry that produced radio programs evolved during this time?  Why did people tune in to listen to the radio?  Did it provide a release from everyday problems as movies did?  What other purposes did radio serve besides providing entertainment?  Would you argue that access to radio and motion pictures lessened or exacerbated the class differences that existed in the West before World War I?

Activity Four:

World War I and the new technologies of the early twentieth century also had a lasting impact on the world outside the West.  World War I resulted in the creation of the Soviet Union in the 1920s.  This nation represented a new form of political and economic organization since one party controlled the economy.  It also represented a national liberation movement since the Communist Party worked to modernize the nation's economy quickly in order to stand up to the Western industrial powers.  The Communists' economic strategies also attempted to limit foreign control of their economy.  Although this experiment resulted in mass atrocities (see The Stalin Revolution in Chapter 31, The Collapse of the Old Order, 1929-1949), it also inspired other leaders and movements around the world.

Sun Yat-sen (1867-1925), the father of modern Chinese nationalism, was one of those leaders influenced by the Communist Revolution. For a brief biography of Sun, see CNN.com Asia Now: Sun Yat-sen; you can read more about him at Modern China: Sun Yat-sen. After reading about Sun, analyze the influence that Western ideas had on Sun's vision for China's future. Describe Sun's use of Chinese history to inspire his followers and explain the impact of the Bolshevik Revolution on his strategies for national liberation in China, paying particular attention to his ideas on the organization of the state.  Unfortunately, Sun Yat-sen failed to see his dream of a united and strongly independent China realized before his death.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a contemporary of Sun, did manage to oversee the transformation of a modern nation-state. To learn more about him, see Mustafa Kemal Ataturk: Ataturk's Life. You can also read portions of a speech he gave at the national convention of the People's Party of the Republic, which was held in Ankara between October 15 and 20, 1927, at The Speech: Part I and The Speech: Part IV.  Discuss the influence of Western ideas on Atatürk's vision for Turkey's future. Describe his use of Turkish history to inspire his followers and examine the impact of the Bolshevik Revolution on Atatürk's strategies for Turkish national liberation, paying particular attention to his ideas on the organization of the state.

When you have finished reviewing these sites, compare and contrast Sun Yat-sen and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. What is similar about their ideologies of national liberation, and what is different?  Did they confront similar problems as they pursued their goals of national liberation? What successes and failures did they experience in their efforts to create modern nation-states in China and Turkey?  How did the Communist Revolution in Russia inspire each man?  In what ways did each man's actions threaten the world order after World War I?