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WATCH: Unit 6 Overview

The First World War was not a reversal of the trends of the long nineteenth century, but rather their product. Nationalism, industrialization, capitalism, and the system of great empires all helped to cause the war and its immense suffering. But the massive impact of the war created cracks in this system. Some of these changes—like the emergence of communism in Russia—would happen almost immediately. Others—like the decline of formal overseas empires—would take decades to develop. Was the war a symptom of change, or its cause?

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Video transcript