Assignment 3

Write a coherent essay in response to one of the following questions.  Support your statements with reference to pertinent historical examples, and make use of Hew Strachans The First World War if and when suitable.

Since at least some major powers wanted to avoid war in the years before 1914, how can you account for the fact that war came in 1914?  Why and how did efforts to avoid war fail?  And why were the combatants not able to bring the war to some sort of negotiated conclusion rather than drag it on with such a huge loss of life?


Some important countries “sat out” much of World War I notably, Italy, the United States, and Japan.  How crucial was this fact in determining the nature and course of the war?  And what was the effect of early withdrawals from the war, such as Russia’s?


In the Spanish Civil War, who were the Nationalists and who were the Republicans?  What accounted for joining one side or the other?  What motivated these various factions in pursuing the war with such intensity and vengeance?

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