World History: Journey Across Time

Chapter 20: Imperialism and World War I

Web Activity Lesson Plans

In this chapter, students have learned how imperialism, nationalism, and militarism shaped the world before World War I. Rivalries between countries caused nations to form alliances. While these alliances balanced power, they also endangered Europe's security. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the event that sparked World War I. Students will visit the Web site First World to learn about the day the Archduke was shot and how it changed the world.

Destination Title: First World

Lesson Description:
Students will read about the day's events leading up to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. They will have the opportunity to read how other countries viewed the events and what actions they did, or did not, take. After reading, students will answer four questions. They will apply the knowledge by writing a memorandum to President Woodrow Wilson either defending or advising against a policy of neutrality.

Instructional Objectives

  • Students will relate the assassination of the Archduke to the beginning of World War I.
  • Students will analyze the reaction of nations around the world to the assassination.

Student Web Activity Answers

  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated on June 28, 1914. An earlier attempt on his life was made that morning.
  • Believing that Serbia was to blame for their heir's assassination, Austria-Hungary comprised a lengthy list of demands after Archduke Ferdinand's assassination.
  • Germany invaded Belgium in order to make a route to France after France declared war on Germany on August 3.
  • U.S. President Woodrow Wilson took the stance of total neutrality at the start of World War I.
  • Answers will either defend or argue against President Wilson's stance. Either way, students should use historical arguments about how other countries they considered allies would respond. The memorandum should reflect thought on how the argument would affect world events.

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