You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

World War I – Causes and Origins, 1815-1914

5. The Long-Term Causes of the First World War

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this module, we turn from the societal tensions in Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries to some of the long-term causes of the First World War, focusing in particular on nationalism, imperialism and the European alliance system.


In this course, Dr Sascha Auerbach (University of Nottingham) explores the causes and origins of the First World War. The course begins with a broad overview of Europe in the nineteenth century, as Europe moved from co-operation in the first half of the century to competition in the second. In the second and third modules, we look at the domestic politics of the major European powers—the socio-political changes that contributed to the outbreak of war in 1914—before moving on to consider the longer- and shorter-term causes of the war itself, from the rise of nationalism to 'the shot heard round the world'—the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.


Sascha is a historian of modern Britain and the British Empire in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. He was born in London, but did his degrees in the U.S. at Oberlin College (B.A.) and Emory University (M.A.,Ph.D.). Before coming to Nottingham, he held full-time posts in both the U.S. and Canada, most recently at the University of Northern British Columbia. In 2011, he was a Fulbright research scholar at King's College London (Law), and in summer 2012, he was a visiting research fellow there (History).

Sascha is primarily a cultural historian, with a particular interest in the interaction between individual identity, structures of the state, and ideas about race and gender in the final decades of the nineteenth century and the initial decades of the twentieth. His topics of study range from the history of local courtrooms in London's East End to indentured labour in South African gold mines and the sugar plantations of British Guiana. He is currently working on two major research projects. The first focuses on the "police courts" of London and how their daily operation and public portrayals combined to create a unique cultural milieu in local courtrooms. His second major research project examines migration and indentured labour in the British Empire, and its relationship to ideas about race, the origins of human rights and articulations of "justice" in British domestic and imperial society.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Auerbach, S. (2018, August 15). World War I – Causes and Origins, 1815-1914 - The Long-Term Causes of the First World War [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Auerbach, S. "World War I – Causes and Origins, 1815-1914 – The Long-Term Causes of the First World War." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,