Causes of World War I

Mac's History
Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Google Apps™
42 pages
Mac's History
Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).


All the foundational information your students need to build their knowledge, interest, and skills upon. Concise information in point form with stunning images and thought-provoking questions. **

The story of how the first world war began is complex and confusing. This presentation explains the factors that contributed to the start of WWI.

Google App Links are on the Teacher Instructions Sheet!

Topics covered include:

♦ Brief overview of the Franco-Prussian War

♦ The growing Russian Empire

♦ Emerging nationalism

♦ European imperialism

♦ The alliance system of Europe

♦ The Balkans

♦ Assassination of the Archduke

♦ The July Crisis

♦ The Start of the War

♦ The Ottoman Empire's reasons for joining

♦ U.S. neutrality and eventual entry into the War

Two versions of this lesson!

The first is a Presentation - PowerPoint/Google Slides - for those teachers who know the topic and want to guide their students through the material. This lesson takes me approximately two 60 minute periods to complete. It includes handouts for note taking as well as reflection questions. There are three links within the presentation to Youtube. The videos total ~20 minutes. Youtube links are checked weekly and updated when necessary.

The second version consists of the information and images on worksheets that the students can read through at their own pace. This is best done if laptops or tablets are available for the class or for online learning. This version comes with more indepth questions that the students can work through at their own pace.

Check out the entire 1914-1945 series:

Lesson 1: Causes of WWI free!

Lesson 2: The Treaty of Versailles

Lesson 3: The Russian Revolution (coming soon)

Lesson 4: The Rise of Fascism

Lesson 5: Western Democracies in the Interwar Years

Lesson 6: World War II: An Overview

Corresponding Movie Guides

Paris 1919

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Total Pages
42 pages
Answer Key
Does not apply
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social studies.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.


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