“The Great War” as it was known at the time was also said to be the “war to end all wars.” It seized all of Europe and much of the rest of the world in its grip of death and destruction. The first truly modern war, it changed how war—and peace—would be conducted throughout the remainder of the twentieth century and even to the present.
The Great War was a time of "firsts" and opened the door to the modern era. Almost all the major developed countries had a role to play in this war, as they never had before. This was the first time for fighting on land, at sea, and in the air. Modern weapons and munitions were developed in previously unimaginable quantities. By the end of the war, international politics, the relationships between the individual and the state, gender relations, and the role of artists and the media were all drastically changed. World War I laid the foundation for the modern world.
This course examines the major events of the war to further understand how they led to the shaping of this new world.
Lecture 1 The Greatest War
Lecture 2 Opening Shots
Lecture 3 Gallipoli and the Near and Middle East
Lecture 4 1915 in the West
Lecture 5 Home Fronts
Lecture 6 The Western Front in 1916
Lecture 7 The Eastern Front
Lecture 8 A Literary and Artistic War
Lecture 9 1917 in the West
Lecture 10 The War at Sea
Lecture 11 America Goes to War
Lecture 12 Germany Almost Wins the War in 1918
Lecture 13 Victory in the West
Lecture 14 Aftermath and Reputation
Professor Ramsden was educated at Oxford University and has taught at Queen Mary University of London since 1972. He is currently a professor of modern history and director of the Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate School, and was formerly head of history and dean of the Faculty of Arts. Professor Ramsden has been a visiting professor of history at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, 1995-96; a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow in New Zealand, 1999; and a Distinguished Academic Visitor at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, in 2001. He is a former literary director of the Royal Historical Society and chairman of the InterUniversity History Film Consortium. From 1984 to 1990, he was a director of the Historian’s Press. Professor Ramsden currently serves on the Academic Board of the Churchill Centre, based in Washington, D.C.