AQA GCSE History: Conflict and tension, 1894–1918

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BA Conflict and tension: The First World War, 1894 - 1918

In this wider world depth study module, students will explore and come to understand the complex and diverse interests of the Great Powers and other states that provided fertile ground for tension and hostilities. It focuses on the causes, nature and conclusion of the First

World War and seeks to demonstrate how and why tensions escalated and conflict broke out, and why it proved so difficult to bring one of the deadliest wars of the modern era to a conclusion. This study also explores the roles and actions of key individuals and groups in shaping change and how they were affected by and influenced international relations.

This module consists of three parts detailed below:

Part one: The causes of the First World War

Themes explored include:

  • The Alliance System: the Triple Alliance; Franco-Russian Alliance; relations between the ‘Entente’ powers; the crises in Morocco (1905 and 1911) and the Balkans (1908–1909), and their effects on international relations.
  • Anglo-German rivalry: Britain and challenges to Splendid Isolation; Kaiser Wilhelm’s aims in foreign policy, including Weltpolitik; colonial tensions; European rearmament, including the Anglo-German naval race.
  • Outbreak of war: Slav nationalism and relations between Serbia and Austria-Hungary; the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo and its consequences; the July Crisis; the Schlieffen Plan and Belgium; reasons for the outbreak of hostilities and the escalation of the conflict.

Part two: The First World War: stalemate

Themes explored include:

  • The Schlieffen Plan: the reasons for the plan, its failure, including the Battle of Marne and its contribution to the stalemate.
  • The Western Front: military tactics and technology, including trench warfare; the war of attrition; key battles, including Verdun, the Somme and Passchendaele, the reasons for, the events and significance of these battles.
  • The wider war: the war on other fronts; Gallipoli and its failure; the events and significance of the war at sea, including Jutland, the U-Boat campaign and convoys.

Part three: Ending the war

Themes explored include:

  • Changes in the Allied Forces: consequences of the Bolshevik Revolution and the withdrawal of Russia on Germany strategy; the reasons for and impact of the entry of the USA into the war.
  • Military developments in 1918 and their contribution to Germany’s defeat: the evolution of tactics and technology; Ludendorff the German Spring Offensive; the Allied advance during The Hundred Days.
  • Germany surrenders: impact of the blockade; abdication of the Kaiser; armistice; the contribution of Haig and Foch to Germany’s defeat.

Resource Examples

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This module download also includes the following teaching resources:

  • AQA GCSE History Exam Booklets (2020 & 2021 Syllabus) (zip)
  • L1 Alliance System (pptx)
  • L10 Conditions In The Trenches Chart (docx)
  • L10 Conditions In The Trenches Chart (pdf)
  • L10 Conditions In The Trenches Information For Group Work (doc)
  • L10 Conditions In The Trenches Information For Group Work (pdf)
  • L11 Battle Scenarios (doc)
  • L11 Battle Scenarios (pdf)
  • L11 New Weaponry (pptx)
  • L11 Weapon Chart (pptx)
  • L11 Weapon Chart (pdf)
  • L11 Weapons Card Sort (pub)
  • L11 Weapons Card Sort (pdf)
  • L12 Battle Of The Somme Verdun (pptx)
  • L12 Resources (pptx)
  • L12 Resources (pdf)
  • L13 Jutland (mp3)
  • L13 The War At Sea (docx)
  • L13 The War At Sea (mp4)
  • L13 The War At Sea (pdf)
  • L13 War At Sea (mp3)
  • L14 Gallipoli (mp3)
  • L14 Gallipoli (pptx)
  • L16 Impact Of Russia S Withdrawal From Wwi On Germany (docx)
  • L16 Impact Of Russia S Withdrawal From Wwi On Germany (pdf)
  • L17 Arrival Of The American (mp3)
  • L17 Us Entry Into Ww1 (mp4)
  • L17 Us Entry Into Wwi (pptx)
  • L17 World War One 4 Why Did The Usa Enter Wwi (mp4)
  • L18 Ludendorf And The Spring Offensive (pdf)
  • L18 Ludendorf And The Spring Offensive (docx)
  • L18 The German Spring Offens (mp3)
  • L19 Trench Life (mp3)
  • L2 Wilhelmine Foreign Policy (doc)
  • L2 Wilhelmine Foreign Policy (pdf)
  • L20 Ludendorff S 100 Days Offensive (pdf)
  • L20 Ludendorff S 100 Days Offensive (docx)
  • L20 The Hundred Days Offensive 5 Minute History Documentary (mp4)
  • L20 Wwi Animation- Canada S Hundred Days August 1918 (mp4)
  • L21 Germany At The End Of Wwi (pptx)
  • L3 Colonial Tensions And European Armament (pptx)
  • L3 The Assassination Of Archduke Franz Ferdinand Cartoon (mp4)
  • L3 The Assassination Of Archduke Franz Ferdinand Newspaper (docx)
  • L3 The Assassination Of Archduke Franz Ferdinand Newspaper (pdf)
  • L3 Wwi Timeline Chart (pptx)
  • L3 Wwi Timeline Chart (pdf)
  • L4 Anglo-German Naval Race Stick In Sheet (pdf)
  • L4 Anglo-German Naval Race Stick In Sheet (docx)
  • L5 Alliance System (pptx)
  • L5 The Schlieffen Plan (pdf)
  • L5 The Schlieffen Plan (docx)
  • L6 Belgian Army Tactics (docx)
  • L6 Belgian Army Tactics (pdf)
  • L6 Belgian Reaction To The Schlieffen Plan Chart (docx)
  • L6 Belgian Reaction To The Schlieffen Plan Chart (pdf)
  • L7 Bef (pptx)
  • L8 Comparing Sources On Trench Warfare (pptx)
  • L8 Comparing Sources On Trench Warfare (pdf)
  • L8 Trench Diagram To Label (pdf)
  • L8 Trench Diagram To Label (docx)
  • L8 Trench Warfare (pptx)
  • L8 Trench Warfare Source Activity (pdf)
  • L8 Trench Warfare Source Activity (pptx)
  • L9 Life In The Trenches (pdf)
  • L9 Life In The Trenches (doc)
  • L9 Reality Of Trench Warfare (ppt)