International School History - IB Diploma History

Video - Long Shadow - The Legacy of WWI
Remembering and Understanding
Long Shadow


David Reynolds shows how the common perception of the Great War as futile slaughter has been moulded over time. The image of mud and trenches, poets and poppies was not the general view in the 1920s and 1930s, but developed after the Second World War and, most of all, through popular depictions of the war from the 1960s.

Reynolds gets to the roots of shifting public memory by comparing the British and German sense of what the Great War meant right back in its immediate aftermath. Britain invested in the diplomatic ideals of the League of Nations and Reynolds charts the extraordinary popularity of disarmament movements. For many British people, the terrible sacrifice would not have be in vain if the Great War proved be the war to end war.
   
Ballots and Bullets
Long Shadow


David Reynolds examines the intriguing paradox of the Great War - that it was not caused by profound political or ideological divisions but did create them in its wake. He looks at how the conflict made politics red hot, giving birth to an age of turbulent mass democracy.

Democracy, Reynolds argues, hit postwar Europe like a big bang. He traces how, in the immediate aftermath of war, monarchies toppled, the people rose up and three iconic leaders - Vladimir Lenin, Woodrow Wilson and Benito Mussolini - emerged with competing visions of people power that polarised much of continental Europe between right and left in the 1920s and 1930s.
   
Us and Them
Long Shadow


Nowhere was the legacy of the Great War more profound than in the unleashing of nationalist fervour across Europe. David Reynolds argues that the war made national identity a stark either-or issue, a matter of 'us' versus 'them', and he traces the recurrent struggle between nationalist uprisings and empire-building by Hitler, Stalin and latterly the European Union in the century since 1914.

The Great War shattered the old empires that had ruled central and eastern Europe for centuries and, in 1918, nationalist politicians seized their moment. David travels to the Sudetenland in the Czech Republic and to the Palace of Versailles to explore the drastically changed map of middle Europe in 1919. He explores how the new nation states hastily patched together from the ruins of the Habsburg Empire destabilised the whole European continent for much of the 20th century.

 

 

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