Thursday, July 31, 2014

How did it start?

 Image above: The Pre-World War alliances

History sites to use

BBC on this day since 1953
On this
World War 1 Encyclopedia
Australian War Memorial
Victoria Cross recipients
RSL Virtual War Memorial
Interactive documentary on the Great War sites for the class
Windows to the Great War
History and geography
Just real interesting


Causes of World War 1

There are many causes of World War 1. But the event that triggered the war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, in June, 1914. During the period of Industrial Revolution, that is, from the 18th to the 19th century, Europe underwent drastic changes. The race for being the biggest and fastest economy in the world was the reason behind all the crisis and tension in Europe. The rising tensions over the Balkan region led to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.

Franz Ferdinand and Family

Gavrilo Princip image

Austria and Hungary fought over the territory with Serbia and Russia, to have greater influence in the region. The strategic geographical as well as economic position of the Balkan region was the main reason behind the fight. This fight sucked in the remaining Great Powers into the conflict through different treaties and alliances.

Important Reasons


Serbia emerged as the victor in the Balkans, and as a result, expanded its territory. It was unacceptable for Austria to see Serbia emerge as a power in Europe. Therefore, in order to curb their power, Austria threatened war on them, if they acquired the port from the Turks. Also, Austria gained support from the Germans to drive Serbia back. England, on the other hand, threatened the German embassy to pull out of the conflict. This was because the German and Austria-Hungary alliance was in itself a big threat for Great Britain. In such a manner, alliances made by the Great Powers was seen as one of the main reasons for this conflict.

A cartoon called - 'A Chain of Friendship'


During the latter half of the 19th century, it was seen that nations, like Great Britain, France, and Portugal were acquiring lots of wealth from foreign colonies, markets, etc. The major colonies for these nations included India, Africa, and Australia. Other European powers, like Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Russia wished to do the same, but the British policies of strategic exclusion stopped them from doing so. Thus, the tension and the fear that Great Britain was using this wealth to increase their arms power caused more friction between the nations. There was a arms race on between these European nations to acquire colonies, indulge in colonial trade, and seek new sea routes. This was another reason that led to the tensions before June 1014.

A map of Britain, France, Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary


Militarism (Arms Race)
All of Europe was under threat because of the rising tensions and growth of neighboring nations. This fear led to increased acquisition of military arms by nations to have a stronger defensive side. To protect their colonial possessions colonial powers rapidly increased their naval power. In response Germany was building a massive naval fleet to challenge the colonial powers.This rise in military strength produced a class of professional and powerful military officers, who actually added fuel to the war by their aggression (sabre rattling).

Important Facts

  • In response to the threats, a set of alliances were formed all over Europe. Most of them joined the alliance to save their backs in case of an attack, as everyone knew that a European war was very likely in the near future. Such a European war was also seen as likely to become a world war because the major nations involved were also colonial powers.
  • Germany and Austria-Hungary tied up to sign a treaty in 1879 forming the Dual Alliance
  • Italy joined the German and Austrian alliance in 1882, and this gave rise to the Triple Alliance
  • France and Russian Alliance was formed in 1894.
  • The Triple Entente alliance was formed between Great Britain, France, and Russia as an answer to the Triple Alliance.
  • Britian has an 'agreement' with Belgium, that if Belgium was invaded, they would come to defend them - because of the German Schleiffen Plan this agreement came into play early on 4 AUgust 1914 when Germany invaded Belgium.  

Videos to watch

From time ot time I will post on the Windows to the Past blog a list of relevant videos for you to watch. Some of these we will watch in class but the majority will be for you to watch to support your learning on the topic.  Here is a list relating to the causes of World War 1 that I would love you to watch:

Documentaries on the causes

Slide show good

July crisis

25 interesting things

Origins of World War 1

Causes and effects



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

South Australia in 1914: Before the Storm

Image above: Glenelg Jetty in 1914.

BBC on this day since 1953
On this
World War 1 encyclopedia sites for the class
Windows to the Great War
History and geography
Just real interesting



South Australia before World War 1

In pairs dot point the answers from the article from the following questions:

1. What does it mean by the newly formed “Commonwealth of Australia”?

2. What developments symbolised what is described as the golden age at the beginning of the 20th Century?

3. “The stupefying moral codes and mores of the Victorian Age.” Meaning?

4. Of the men in South Australia, how many went to the Great War and how many came back? How many were damaged when they returned?

5. What was dominating the South Australian papers before war broke out?

6. How many people lived in Adelaide in 1914? What % of South Australia’s population was that?

7. Talking population - What was the ethnic mix, average age, most common diseases and life expectancy of 1914 South Australia?

8. Tell me about family life (marriage, family size, household duties, home appliances, divorce, gender roles) in 1914 South Australia.

9. The moral and racial attitudes of South Australians were …..

10. Did 1914 Adelaide City look that different to today? In what ways was it similar and different? Who was responsible for planning it originally?

11. Where was electricity used in 1914?

12. Tell me about transport and communications in 1914 Adelaide.

13. How did women fair in 1914 South Australia?

14. What did people do for entertainment in 1914 South Australia?

15. What were the most popular recreation activities/sports in 1914 South Australia?

16. Did South Australians in 1914 do drugs or gambling?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The past was a different world

Image above: 1826: The first photograph ever taken which still exists  by Nicéphore Niépce. He called his method heliography (sun writing) and this photograph took 8 hours of exposure time (hence sunlight on both sides of the building).
Sites related to Windows to the past

World War 1 encyclopedia sites for the class
Just real interesting 


The past was a different world

So what was life like in Europe on the eve of World War 1? Here are a few images from the time:
In Paris
In New York
In Russia
In Australia

Pick an area of life and research what it was like in 1900. Develop 10 interesting points about the life at the time in relation to your chosen area.

You may pick one from:
Working life
Life in the home
Being a child
Going to school
Communicating technology used
Escaping life (drugs etc)
Whatever else

The past: A world but not as we know it!

Image above: This is one of the most famous photographs from the Second World War. The soldier and the nurse are unknown but people have come forward to claim the fame. Apparently the nurse slapped the soldier immediately after. The event was the celebration of the end of the war and it was taken in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Sites related to Windows to the past

World War 1 encyclopedia sites for the class
Just real interesting 

Getting a start with history

Welcome to Windows to the past, the blog for Stage 1 History at Thebarton Senior College. The blog is your resource for the class and hopefully beyond! Over coming months I will post materials to support your learning and stimulate your thinking about history.

As mentioned today, History, or rather Humanstory is the study of the past, with a focus on the present and an eye to the future. 

The attached Youtube about the nature of history is a great starting point for our discussions. To help you get started here ar esome questions on the video:

Watch the video and select a scene from the video showing an event in history that you wish to find out more about. Do a screen capture (Snag it) of the scene and then do some research using the Internet, before you answer the following questions:

1.  When did the event happen?

2.  Where did it happen?

3.  What happened?

4.  Can you identify the historical characters involved in the event?

5.   What is the significance of the event in World History? Why do you think it was selected to be shown in this video?

Background to the course – just read and think about what the subject will involve!

Please read this summary from the SACE curriculum document re: Stage 1 History:

1.     History involves the investigation of human experience over time. By studying past events, actions, and phenomena, you will gain an insight into human nature and the ways in which individuals and societies function. History encourages inquiry into the activities of people in order to gain an understanding of their motivations and the effects of actions in particular places at particular times; make comparisons; and draw conclusions.

2.     The learning requirements summarise the knowledge, skills, and understanding that students are expected to develop and demonstrate through their learning.

In this subject, you are expected to:

1.   explain how particular societies in selected periods and places since 500 AD have been shaped by both internal and external forces

2.   identify and explain historical concepts

3.   apply hypotheses and/or focusing questions to guide historical inquiry

4.   analyse and evaluate sources

5.   understand and appreciate the role of particular individuals and groups in history

6.   communicate informed and relevant arguments, using subject-specific language and conventions.


                The course will comprise two in-depth studies (time duration in brackets)

a. Australia’s involvement in World War 1 (Term 3 Week 1-8).

b. The Pacific War 1939-45 (Term 3, Week 9 –Term 4, Week 6)

4.     The assessment for Stage 1 History involves four pieces of work. 

They are:
Two Folio pieces of work, worth 20% each (a text or film analysis and an essay, oral or computer presentation on an historical question). One to be on Australia’s involvement in the First World War and the other on The Pacific War 1939-45.

A Sources Analysis worth 30%, involving the use and analysis of original letters and photographs from World War 1.

An Investigation worth 30% involving an investigation of a student developed historical question on The Pacific War 1939-45.