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How much can a German satirical map tell us about the causes of WW1?

This enquiry helps students to understand the longer-term causes of the First World War. It uses two satirical maps (drawn in 1914) to make links between the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the war of 1914-18.

Students spend some time picking apart the maps. They try to work out what the symbols in the images represent.

Then, they delve more deeply into this symbolism by categorising evidence about the Franco-Prussian War.

Finally, students are in a good position to explain the significance of the Franco-Prussian War and the changing political climate of Europe for the outbreak of WW1, hopefully outlining their conclusions in a really nuanced and sophisticated way.

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  • Lesson presentation: PowerPoint
  • Lesson write-up: PDF
  • Worksheet 1: PDF

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