August 7

Ep. 0019: The First World War, Part 4 (A Very-Not-Happy Ending)

With this episode, we wrap up our overview of WWI and the incalculable damage it did to the world.  I’ll likely cover other topics related to this war in the future, but this four-part series is my basic overview of some of the war and its most conspicuous results, legacies, and byproducts.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • How the war (and particularly how a lot of British actions during it) sowed the seeds for the violence and instability that has characterized the Middle East ever since
  • The collapse of Russia and the Bolshevik takeover there — another effect of the war that still has negative repercussions today
  • The end of the war, including the Paris Peace Conference and the horrible Treaty of Versailles, which pretty much guaranteed a Second World War.  (In the 1920 political cartoon shown, British PM David Lloyd George aims a howitzer at the Germans and says, “Off with the spiked hat!  What d’you think we fought for if not to abolish militarism?”)
  • How the British continued their blockade against the German people even after the armistice ended the war, in order to keep pressure on the Germans at the negotiating table.  (The blockade probably killed over 750,000 German civilians, BTW — think that might have given them a grudge???)
  • The so-called “Spanish Influenza” epidemic that hit at the end of the war
  • War and the growth of state power
  • Estimated breakdown of military deaths
  • Why most Americans see war in general, and the world wars in particular, in a very different light than Europeans
  • Prof CJ’s closing thoughts and analysis on the war as a whole

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Posted August 7, 2014 by profcj in category "American History", "Military History", "Modern World History", "Podcasts


  1. By Jay on

    I have started reading about the Balfour Declaration, and the Zionist movement. Any good references you can recommend? Enjoying the podcast.

    1. By profcj (Post author) on

      Sure. Three that deal with Zionism from different angles are:
      The Balfour Declaration by Jonathan Schneer
      A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin
      Against Our Better Judgment by Alison Weir

      Thanks for listening — glad you like the podcast!

  2. By Edward Jones on

    I can’t believe it but the souther Beltway(I295) bridge around Washington D.C. is named for Woodrow Wilson. After long study of WW1 I believe that if there were a time machine I had access to, I would go back to 1916 and take that man out. I really believe he is the linch pin.
    It’s funny, in a sad depressing way, that in HS and College I and others were taught what a wonderful peace loving man Wilson was, when the reality is so counter to the propaganda.
    But in this day do public schools even teach about Wilson and the war?

    Another measure of the success of the propaganda, check out how many German language newspapers there were in the USA in 1914 and then after the war. I no longer recall the numbers but most were run out of business. Also I have family in the midwest and back then they went it church and school and spoke german, but not after the war. It was still spoken at home up till WW2 but then forgotten.

  3. By Dusan Vilicic Held on

    Viruses are not cells per se, they are containers with a genetic payload that attach themselves to compatible cells and release their payload inside it. That payload modifies the cell’s systems (it inserts the genetic code into the cell’s own) so it starts producing copies of the virus. There are many viruses that can attack inmune system cells, it’s not uncommon. It also makes sense, as some of the first cells the virus will have the opportunity to infect will be immune system cells. The inmune system has ways of dealing with this kind of infection, and in the case of influenza it’s usually effective. Some viruses can overwhelm the immune system, though, like Ebola or HIV. I recommend Kurtzgesagt’s videos on this, they do a great job of explaining this in a simple way without oversimplifying [].


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