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What caused World War I? Captivate your students and have them investigate the MAIN reasons for what caused World War I! In this lesson, students will first be hooked by reading a "case file" about the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. They will then move through a series of primary source documents, maps, and graphs to explore the underlying causes of World War One. After analyzing the documents and answering some guided questions, students will organize the documents under the framework M.A.I.N. (militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism) and connect the underlying causes to the spark—the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Students will then analyze an Emile Zola quote on war and participate in a “Four Corners” activity framed around the inevitability of war between prosperous and powerful nations. Finally, students will write a document-based essay responding to the essential question—“Was World War One an inevitable result of European nations’ prosperity or European nations competing for prosperity?”