Primary Sources from WWI Document Archive

Primary Sources from WWI Document Archive

Discussion

For this discussion post, you will explore some primary sources (i.e. sources written at the time of the event) from World War I. Go to
http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Diaries,_Memorials,_Personal_Reminiscences.
This is the portal for diaries, memoirs, and personal remembrances on the WWI Document Archive website. Choose three of the sources listed on the page to read. When you have finished reading them, submit a discussion post about what you read (be sure to list the full name of each source). What kinds of war experiences did your sources have? Were they similar to or different from the kinds of experiences talked about in Chapter 29? In what ways? Then respond to two of your classmates.
Guidelines for Discussion Posts
Your posts should be between 2 and 3 paragraphs each. Because this is an academic course, you should take care to use correct grammar and to make sure your thoughts are organized and coherent. In addition, always be sure to answer the specific question(s) specified in the post. Your responses should be no more than 1 paragraph each and should relate directly to the content in your classmates’ posts. Please remember to write with civility and respect, even if you disagree with a classmate.
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Unit Overview
In this unit, you will read about the most destructive war in human history to that point: World War I. In Chapter 29, you will learn about the factors that led to war on such an enormous scale; especially the force of nationalism and the creation of a European alliance system. Here, think about the relationship between the nationalism that helped cause World War I and the emerging nationalism you read about in the period of the Atlantic Revolutions (Chapter 25). Does nationalism always carry with it the seeds of violence and destruction, or are there particular historical reasons that allow nationalism to take on a more aggressive tone at certain times?
Chapter 29 will then take you through the war itself, from beginning to end. It will describe life in combat as well as life on the home front, and will highlight areas of combat that may be less well known to you; including those in east and southwest Asia as well as in Africa. As you read, try to imagine how your experience of the war would have differed depending on your location, your sex, and your nationality.
The last section of the chapter talks about the last years of the war and its aftermath by focusing on the Russian Revolution, the contribution of the United States to the war, and the terms of the peace treaties. In what ways did World War I lead to the Russian Revolution? In your opinion, should Russia have stayed out of the war? Could Russia have stayed out of the war? In terms of the peace treaties, how was the idea of self-determination used differently in different areas? How can you account for these differences?
You will complete a quiz on Chapter 29. You will also read the letters and/or diaries of three people who lived through World War I, and then write a discussion post based on your readings. Keep in mind that because your focus paper on Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is due at the end of Unit 11, you may want to begin reading the book in this unit. Finally, you will have an opportunity to complete your movie option by watching either Gallipoli or Regeneration.

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