Causes of the First World War.

World War I is the most important event in human history in the last one hundred years.  We live the way we do today because of World War I; inspired, as it was, by the Pandora's Box of change unleashed by the French Revolution that ran rife across Europe like a plague.  Change which spelled the end of monarchies that had been in power for centuries; change which irrevocably recast society, redefining servility within the new class structures of capitalist society, spurred by and attendant to the snowballing of the Industrial Revolution; the brewing power of virulent nationalism; the unbridled pursuit of colonialism; and the growing sophistication of man's ability to wage war.  Starting point is the French Revolution and follows the panoply of events that led to the Guns of August in 1914.

Two Shots Heard Round the World.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, the Countess Sophie in Sarajevo, June 28, 1914.  Explains the assassination and its impact.  Follows the behind-the-scenes political maneuverings involving Austria-Hungary, Germany, Serbia, Czarist Russia, France and Britain which plunged the world into war.  Brings in a cast of characters featuring Czar Nicholas II of Russia; Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany; German Chancellor Theobald von Bethman-Hollweg; Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria-Hungary; Count Leopold von Berchtold, Austrian Foreign Minister; Count Franz Conrad von Hetzendorf, Austrian Chief of Staff; Sergei Sazonov, Russian Foreign Minister . . . these and others are the personalities who starred in the tragicomic opera of events in the final moments of peace, consigning first Europe and then the globe to Armageddon.

presentations - world war i