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  3. The Great War 1914 to 1918

The Great War 1914 to 1918 (HIST10014)

Undergraduate level 1Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 1
Subject codeHIST10014
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

The Great War, the ‘seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century,’ now lies a century behind us, but its aftershocks continue to reverberate down to the present. This subject will provide a global history of the war with special attention devoted to Australia’s role. Issues to be addressed include: Who was responsible for the war? Was WWI the first total war? To what extent did the war transform social and moral norms, gender, race and class relations, and the relationships within the global economy? What were the war aims of the belligerent nations? How did soldiers experience the war? Why did they keep fighting for so long? How did the war affect civilians? Did the war achieve anything or was it just an exercise in futility? Why did the peacemaking at Versailles fail? The subject requires that students read a range of materials, both secondary and primary. The tutorials are designed to enable students to explore key issues in European history and historiography during the period 1900-1920.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • demonstrate a general knowledge of some of the principal figures and significant events of World War I;
  • understand how the concept of total war might be applicable to the First World War;
  • gain an understanding of some of the key historiographical debates on topics such as the origins of the war, the nature of combat, the impact of the war on class, race and gender relations, and the legacy of the war;
  • be able to analyse primary and secondary sources in constructing historical arguments;
  • demonstrate research skills using printed and electronic sources in preparation of a critical primary source analysis; and
  • develop skills of critical thinking through group discussion of subject readings and preparation of written assessment.

Last updated: 12 December 2018