The First World War is widely regarded as the defining event of the twentieth century, and continues to fascinate and appal in equal measure. This course seeks to explain why and how the war was fought, and to understand why its legacy remains relevant more than a century after it ended.
As the centenary of its outbreak approaches, the First World War still attracts undiminished interest and evokes intense emotions. The carnage of the trenches and the suspicion of futility continue to exert a terrible fascination for commentators both academic and popular. Indeed, the flow of publications and media outputs about the war shows no sign of abating. This course, while not overlooking fundamental moral or ideological dilemmas posed by the First World War, focuses on examining the claim that it was the first genuinely global, total and modern war. The course therefore studies all major participants and campaign theatres - not only the Western Front - and explores the war’s transformative impact on technology, diplomacy, national economies, relations between states and their citizens, and cultural creativity. Finally, it seeks to appreciate how what happened between 1914 and 1918 shaped the years that followed, and why the ‘Great War' retains its title.
Listen to Sheila Tremlett talking about the course:
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.