Application and Reflection Questions
How did the struggle for colonies around the world divide the nations of Europe?
What factors led to the development of two major blocs of alliances in Europe?
Did the alliances that developed across Europe encourage the outbreak of war? Why or why not?
Did the threat of war lead to the buildup of army and navy forces in Europe, or did the buildup of these forces encourage war to break out? Explain your answer.
Why did the Ottoman Empire join the Central powers? What factors played a role in its decision to ally with Austria-Hungary, an empire to which it had lost land?
What role did nationalism play in the buildup to World War I?
Which country do you think was at fault for starting World War I? What evidence points to your choice?
How did the countries that became the Allied powers and the Central powers react to the prospect of war in late July and early August of 1914? Trace each major combatant’s reaction.
Why might World War I be considered the first “modern” war?
How did the colonial attitudes of European powers affect the execution and outcomes of World War I?
In what ways were the war roles women played quite traditional? In what ways did women’s participation in the war change expectations about their roles in society?
Is it acceptable for a government to suspend protections for civil liberties during wartime, as the United States did in World War I? Why or why not?
Do you think the Allies should have agreed to an armistice, or should they have insisted upon a German surrender? Why? If Germany had been asked to surrender, is it likely it would have? Why or why not?
How might the outcome in Russia have been different if the provisional government had agreed to peace with the Central powers and focused on solving Russia’s problems? Would this have undermined support for Lenin and the Bolsheviks?