The Causes of World War 1: Blog Posts

Gavrilo Princip

By Unknown photographer (ap998281903921. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
  • What does he reveal about the causes of WW1?

Gavrilo Princip, the murderer of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was just the representative figure of young Serbian influenced population in Bosnia. Therefore, he was not directly responsible for the commencement of the First World War. One of the primary sources written by his comrade, Borijove Jevtic, reveals that their direct goal was to terminate the next ruler of Austria-Hungary, but to stir up a war involving majority of the European nations was not included in their first aims (“The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand”). According to the Constitution of the Black Hand, it is clearly stated that their focuses are on “national liberation and unification” (“Constitution of the Black Hand”). In this article, it is implicitly demonstrating its central theme; “unification” of the Balkans under the domination of Serbia. “Independence” is only encouraged against their mutual enemy, Austria-Hungary.

The responses of local media of neighboring countries such as Netherlands, France, Poland and Turkey, right after the incident, indicate about the lack of predictions regarding the beginning of the World War 1 (eurnews). At the time the incident had happened, majority of the media did not directly connect this assassination to the gradual upheaval impacting Europe on a global scale. Princip, in terms of his role played in this act, was a puppet. He was even directed by the member of the Black Hand, who were serving for the Serbian government, to kill himself due to his fear of investigators tracing their relationship between the Serbian government and the assassination (Duffy, “Who’s Who – Gavrilo Princip”).

Works Cited in URL links

“The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand”:

“Constitution of the Black Hand”:

eurnews. “WWI in historic newspapers: The assassination of Franz Ferdinand”:

Duffy, Michael. “Who’s Who – Gavrilo Princip”:


Willy and Nicky – Best Friends…at least for Willy

  • Why should we bother to learn about the relationship between Willy and Nicky in order to gain further significance regarding the cause of WW1?

Analyzing the relationship between Kaiser and Tsar provides us new insights regarding the process that led up to the German declaration of war against Russia. They were, in fact, cousins. Their relationship depicted in the Willy-Nicky Telegrams gives an impression to the audience that they were cordial to each other, benevolent for an assistance, at least for the beginning (“Willy-Nicky Telegrams”). It seems that they show consistent affection and admiration to each other, often referring to childhood events and shared memories between two of them (“Willy-Nicky Telegrams”). However, by comparing different sources, it is indicated that their relationship was not as simple as it was portrayed in the Willy Nicky Telegrams.

According to the article “The last emperors,” shows their relationship distantly. It is mentioned that: “When he [Nicholas] failed to respond positively, Wilhelm would get angry and encourage anti-Russian elements in his government” (Carter). This implies the personal qualities of Kaiser and Tsar, in which Kaiser often getting jealousy towards his cousin, portraying Kaiser’s immaturity in contrast to Nicholas. Further more, when both of them met in 1913, “George and Nicholas tried to grab private moments to talk, while Wilhelm did his best to stop them, convinced that they were politicking” (Carter). These quotes show Kaiser’s belligerent characteristics in regards with Nicholas. It is clear that both of them did not go along well in terms of friend-like relationships. This complex relationships from their childhood did leave impacts on their diplomatic relationships. This is one of the excerpt from Kaiser’s account in July 1914:

“This shows plainly how little we had expected – much less prepared for – war in July, 1914.  When, in the spring of 1914, Czar Nicholas II was questioned by his Court Marshal as to his spring and summer plans, he replied: ‘He resterai chez moi cette année parce que nous aurons la guerre’ (‘I shall stay at home this year because we shall have war’).  (This fact, it is said, was reported to Imperial Chancellor von Bethmann; I heard nothing about it then and learned about it for the first time in November, 1918)” (Duffy, “Primary Documents – Kaiser Wilhelm’s Account of the Events of July 1914”).

What is significant about this is that this excerpt reveals that Russia was expecting the coming of the war while Kaiser did not (Duffy, “Primary Documents – Kaiser Wilhelm’s Account of the Events of July 1914”). This means that Russia had more advantages in preparing for war since Tsar had been aware of the tensions between European countries. However, this quote also suggests that German chancellor, Bethmann, failed to report important information to Kaiser (Duffy, “Primary Documents – Kaiser Wilhelm’s Account of the Events of July 1914”). All of these aspects reveal how Kaiser was isolated from both inside and outside, with his cousin gaining more advantages than him, as well as his German chancellor choosing not to share one of the most important information concerning German diplomacy.

Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-R43302 / CC-BY-SA 3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (], via Wikimedia Commons
Works Cited in URL links:

Carter, Miranda. “The last emperors”:

Duffy, Michael.  “Primary Documents – Kaiser Wilhelm’s Account of the Events of July 1914”:

“Willy-Nicky Telegrams”:









Civil Rights-Inspired Photograph & Blog Post

First week of sit-ins in North Carolina

This photo mimicked the strategies that were used for lunch counter sit-ins in 1960s. The participants were mainly students, and it was part of the principles to not to bear any arms or weapons. Despite the student’s non-aggressive attitudes, they were not served any foods or drinks  by the cafeteria or the lunch counter. To create a setting that represents the lunch counter, I had to place few empty cups and some bottle of drinks along with a plate to show how the table is supposed to serve refreshments and snacks. I asked my classmate to not to put any facial expressions on our face. Since this photo captures the early stages of sit-ins movement, there are no people attacking the students in the photo. This movement was a very first attempt to stand against the segregation in lunch counter with specific organisation in the history of the United States. It shows the people’s responses in the public to this action by eliminating the presence of other humans in the surroundings. Jessica helped me remember that our faces should not be tilted by facing straight in the air. Our posture was significant in defying against the social injustice that had been harming not only the rights of African-Americans but also their dignity.

HL Blog Post

  • Prompt: Social equality between Africans and Europeans is both a desirable and beneficial outcome of colonial systems

The social equality gained by Africans in postcolonial period is not a desirable and beneficial outcome of colonial systems. In fact, the colonial system of most African countries discouraged the idea of social equality between Africans and Europeans, since the racial discrimination had been the core of colonialism adapted by different states during that time period. Therefore, European colonialism was strongly motivated by racial policies that placed Africans under the Europeans, the colonizers. These major motivations and sentiments at that time did nothing to encourage the social equality movements that came along with the independence movements.

By Ministry of Defence POST-1945 OFFICIAL COLLECTION [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Both Kenya and Angola, despite their colonizers being different, suffered great obstacles that had been imposed upon by their colonial authority in their course to achieve their independence and gain social equality rights. For Kenya, the existence of White Highlands represented the social hierarchy in the colonial system; it was the British colonial government that placed white settlers above Africans and demanded the locals to work for the settlers. The numerous attempts and successes were made by the British authority to enforce its oppressive system that came out purely as a product of its racial discrimination on the locals. The huge taxation and the adaptation of Kipande system did no efforts to contribute to the benefits of the locals but to slowly familiarize British system of dehumanization to the Africans. The British did not aim for the social equality for its results of colonial system. This is clear by the Mau Mau rebellion that took place in Kenya for a considerable length. It was after the local’s fierce resistance against the British authority that the colonial government finally reconsidered the independence for Kenya (source: Kenya). From local’s perspectives, it was not the British colonial system that eventually helped them gain their social equality, but it was their solemn determination, efforts and sacrifices that made them gain their independence. Not only in Kenya but for most former colonies in Africa, the social equality was not granted but rather achieved after the countless resistance from the local populations were held. From the British perspectives, the social equality was not “desirable and beneficial” results of colonial system, since the British resented the independence movements which were stimulated by the local population at first. This indicates it was not the British intention to stimulate those social equality movements in Kenya.


For Angola, the Portuguese initiated the assimilados, which resembled the French assimilation system in its colonies. Although the Portugal had long been regarded by international powers for its non-racial policies in its colonial system, this so-called “non racist policy” was a racist policy in reality. The colonial government encouraged the settlements of Portuguese in Angola. In fact, Angola had been used as the best foundation for the Portuguese to stabilize their financial capabilities, since the Portuguese used the local population for labor force. The Portuguese could not accept the social equality movements between Africans and Europeans; it will lose their most convenient form of labor source. Nonetheless, the social equality movements by the locals would only stand as obstacles for the Portuguese to maintain its wealth from the Portuguese perspectives. The colonizer did not wishfully expect or welcome the social equality movements that were led by the local population of Angola. In fact, the independence was only achieved after the war of independence had taken place by the local population and the Portuguese. The Portuguese resented the social equality as long as they could hold onto its “territories.” The massacre led by the Portuguese authority in 1961 also shows how the Portuguese did not tolerate any forms of resistance or independence movements attempted by the locals. The establishments of FNLA and GRAE were only achieved by the Angolans but the Portuguese did nothing to change its colonial system to benefit the local population.


These two colonial systems adapted by different countries did not benevolently tolerate the social equality movements that were led by the local population. Some people may argue the changes in colonizers’ perspectives regarding independence movements, which led them to accept those movements and start the process of decolonization. However, the initial system set by the colonizers indicate their colonial policies which created the social hierarchies that placed Africans at the lowest caste in most African colonies.  These colonial system does not show any intentions of colonizers to stimulate the social equality between Africans and Europeans. From the local’s perspectives, their independence was not achieved by the colonial system that existed. Instead, the colonial system only served as a form of oppression for the locals who wanted to gain the social equality.



Effects of the First World War: Blog Post

What does the Anglo-American Guarantee tell us

  • How does the Anglo-American Guarantee foresee the coming of the Second Great War?

By Lothar Velling, Relief: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
One of the effects of the First World War is the Anglo-American Guarantee which was proposed by President Wilson in 1919. However, this guarantee was never put into effect since the United States did not agree with the terms which remarks Wilson’s failure in convincing US politicians to pass the terms discussed at Paris Peace Conference as well as the Treaty of Versailles (“Enforcement of the provisions of the treaties: US isolationism, the retreat from the Anglo-American Guarantee, Disarmament-Washington, London and Geneva Conferences”).

The lack of US commitment and dedication as a total war is strongly reflected by US public supports for approving the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations. The original aim of the guarantee was to provide an alternative solution to the conflict which hanged between Germany and France. These two countries were one of the most heavily affected nations of WW1 in Europe. With both sides experiencing massive casualties and losses, the settlement of Rhineland, which is located on the borders of Germany and France, had been weighed incredibly. France wished to maintain the neutrality of Rhineland, or its possession, if possible. The US president and the Britain’s prime minister aimed to avoid French demands for Rhineland by providing an Anglo-American alliance which calls for the protection of French properties when it is being attacked by Germany. Wilson’s failure in convincing the US public portrays the difficulties which lie in order to pose a world peace. The world had not yet discovered the arrival of decimating world war which easily exceeds the damages caused in WW1.

Works Cited in URL:

“Enforcement of the provisions of the treaties: US isolationism, the retreat from the Anglo-American Guarantee, Disarmament-Washington, London and Geneva Conferences.”

Great Depression and Antisemitism

  • How does the Great Depression of 1929 relates to the rise of antisemitism in post world war 1 era?

The Great Depression (1929 – 39) could be considered as one of the most significant long-term effects after the WW1. It originally started in the United States with the collapse of the stock market, famously referred to as “Black Thursday.” It did not only impacted the domestic economy of the United States but the influences were spread across all over the world, especially affecting the regions in Europe. After the WW1, the United States experienced great increase in their economic capabilities on the contrary to the European nations which suffered from their devastated economy due to the war expenditures. In addition to lack of financial stability caused by wartime costs and assigned debts, there were significant needs for the monetary compensation for their inflicted losses with rising unemployment rate.

By Unknown or not provided (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The significance of Great Depression was that it changed the traditional currency structure from gold standards to present-day currency model. Great Depression caused the most harm to Germany amongst European nations. The economic shortages which lasted from WW1 due to British naval blockade were critical in defining German domestic economy in post WW1 era. Vast majority of German population suffered from severe unemployment. Adding to their staggering unemployment rate, Germany was obliged to payments for damages caused to Allies during WW1. These crucial factors contributed to the anti-jewish movement (Bermann and Wyrwa) in Germany, with Jewish population being the target of justification for the German declining economy.

Works Cited in URL:

Bergmann, Werner and Ulrich Wyrwa. “Antisemitism.”


Nature/Practices of the World War 1: Blog Posts

German U-boats and the sinking of Lusitania

Bundesarchiv, DVM 10 Bild-23-61-17 / CC-BY-SA 3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Why should we bother to learn about X? – (From Ms. Leinbach’s document)

The British blockade of the German essential life-line by the Royal Navy did lead Germany into a serious economic crisis with such a small amount of food to fulfill the hunger of the whole German population. The effects of the British blockade were not limited for food shortages but also for the greatly growing need for the raw resources. It is depicted in the British Library as: “the blockade of supplies to Germany weakened the country, directly contributing to the end of the war” (Bruton). Compared to the effects that the German U-boat had on British economy’s, the British blockade contributed to completely alter one nation’s economic and industrial regulations regarding natural resources including foods.

The significance of Lusitania was that it became one of the clear evidence that German military strategies and policies were heavily affected by the British military tactics attempted on Germany. It is also demonstrated that the world war 1 did take naval battles into the greater account. The nature of the British blockade and the German U-boat prove that their practices and daily encounterings possessed an ability to leave a enormous impact on both countries – in terms of economics, public perception regarding the enemy, and their allies. For Britain, the sinking of Lusitania caused mourns and loss of those who had passed away as well as an opportunity for its ally to enter in the war. BBC reports that: “Churchill later wrote: ‘In spite of all its horror, we must regard the sinking of the Lusitania as an event most important and favourable to the Allies’” (Seligmann). The nature of the British blockade and the German U-boat encounters were established in a fashion that triggered distinct responses from European public and called for instant changes which eventually affected the course of the WW1.

Works Cited in URL:

Bruton, Louise. “The War at sea.”

Seligmann, Matthew. “Lusitania: Who was to blame for the deaths of 1,201 people?”

Mata Hari was beautiful – The increased presence of women in WW1

  • Student explains the historical significance of events, people, or developments by showing what they reveal about issues in history or contemporary life – (From Ms. Leinbach’s document)
United States Public Domain

In the modern time history, the increased women’s presence and participation in the society during WW1 were regarded as a stimulator for further step closer to the gender equality and universal suffrage. Indeed, Britain did recognize women’s rights to vote, and it was first granted in 1918 from the women over the age of 30. At home, women worked in factories, farms, educational institutions; at war front, women worked for aiding nurses as well as working as an intelligence for her country which was not a rare practice during this time period. Despite these developments which brought lights into women’s commitment in the society, there were negative effects that frankly reflected the lack of women’s rights in the community. The women who worked for intelligence were often the best target for the executions.

From the perspectives of government officials and servants, women were the perfect suit for committing reconnaissance – since women’s position within the European society during WW1 was still inferior to men’s, it was relatively easy for the officials to cut these intelligence by putting a certain label on them, which called for a mass public attention whether positive or not. This often positioned those into a controversial position where the public opinion could be manipulated by using these figures. It is described that: “Real or imagined spies were convenient scapegoats for explaining military losses” ( Editors). The execution of Mata Hari, who were accused of betraying French government, and the progress of her court trial reveals her act of betrayal and malice was not fairly judged: “The military tribunal deliberated for less than 45 minutes” ( Editors); which results in one of the reasons why she still remains a controversial figure whose life remains hidden and unclear to the audience of the 21st century. The society labelled her as “vilified spy” (Luksic). Unfortunately, her background was not obvious to the public when she described her reason for being a prostitute: “I have done it only out of poverty” (Wheelwright). However, these introduction of women’s figure in WW1 reveals that women’s participation was essential in the course of WW1, whether to collect information or to fill the absence created in the society by soldier’s recruitment. Therefore, it certainly made impacts on the later gender equality movements, and it challenged the traditional society’s system where women were restricted in workplaces and their social status due to man-dominating society’s structure.

Works Cited in URL: Editors. “Mata Hari”

Luksic, Nicola. “Mata Hari and Edith Cavell: Women, intrigue and WWI propaganda.”

Wheelwright, Julie. “Mother, dancer, wife, spy: the real Mata Hari.”