Was the First World War really a world war?

This enquiry focuses on the extent to which the First World War was a world war. Contemporary evidence from a variety of geographical locations outside Europe is examined alongside further evidence which suggests that the War was essentially a Euro-centric conflict.

Stage 1

What evidence is there that the First World War was a world war?

This initial stage introduces students to a range of original evidence (deliberately restricted to exclude evidence from Europe itself) suggesting that the First World War deserves to be known as a world war.

World wide conflict enquiry student template

A student worksheet on which students can record a range of sources as evidence of the impact of the First World War outside Europe.

World wide conflict - list of resources

A student resource list which which explains the background detail of each source. There are twelve sources listed. To be used in conjunction with Powerpoint presentation 1.

Evidence of the impact of World War 1 outside of Europe - powerpoint 1

This powerpoint presentation consists of a range of sources which are evidence of the impact of the First World War outside Europe. 

Outline world map

A blank outline of a world map with modern state boundaries. A student resource.

Stage 2

How much of the First World War took place in Europe?

The second stage of the enquiry introduces further evidence which deliberately gives a different impression of the First World War from that analysed in the first stage. It shows how much of the fighting and the bulk of the casualties and deployment of non-European forces (including labour forces) occurred in Europe itself and that much of the War’s expenditure was undertaken by European powers.

First World War Casualty Figures 1914 - 1918

A student task sheet which lists the First World War military deaths and wounded by country.

World wide conflict - task sheet 2

Student instructions for tasks centred around financial statistics.

Financial statistics of the First World War

Link to a website for completion of task two of this enquiry.

World wide conflict - task sheet 3

A student task sheet containing links to websites about modern visits to the Western Front and information about non-European labour forces which served there.

Map of the World 1914-1918

A single powerpoint slide showing the geographical spread of the rival alliances, 1914 -1 918.

List of Allied and Central Powers

A list of the Allies or "Entente Powers" and the Central Powers.

List of non-combatant Allied Powers

List of Allies who declared war on Germany and the Central Powers during the First World War but did not fight.

Stage 3

Was the First World War really a world war?

This last stage of the enquiry gives students an opportunity to debate their own response to the enquiry question drawing on evidence considered in the previous stages.

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