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Current time:0:00Total duration:7:37

Video transcript

a lot of people including myself have found the study of World War one to be a little bit confusing sometimes and I think the reason is is the world was very different leading up to World War one than it is today to some degree the modern world we live in was shaped to a large degree by World War one and then later World War two and just to get a sense of what our modern world looks like and especially what modern Europe looks like this is a map of modern Europe but the interesting thing about this map is instead of being the traditional map that you normally see where you just see the country boundaries of state boundaries this has the state boundaries right here in these little grey lines they show the where where France ends and say Switzerland or Germany or Italy begins but overlaying on top of that we see where the languages are spoken so this is actually much more focused on where do people speak French where does people speak German and the thing that you will notice is for the most part throughout most of Europe today's boundaries the modern boundaries closely closely match up to where languages are spoken there are fewer areas where this isn't there's a there is more of a disconnect with Catalan and Spanish and actually that is leading to some issues but for the most part in modern Europe the country boundaries and the linguistic boundaries or the national boundaries kind of match up if we go if we rewind to the world of entering into World War one things were very different some of the boundaries we recognize we recognize we recognize the United Kingdom as well Ireland has since been carved out but we recognize it as not being that different than it is today Spain is not that different France is not that different Italy is not that different Germany is a good bit different in fact if you take Germany the German Empire entering or entering into World War one or in the early 1900's around 1914 between them and the Russian Empire they essentially they essentially were swallowing up a bunch of linguistic groups a bunch of linguistic groups right over here that now have their own independent states the other thing that you might notice is this huge this huge state called austria-hungary are often called the austro-hungarian Empire and people say well you know there's I'm familiar with some of these nations that have the word Austrian hungry in them but I'm not you know what is this austro-hungarian Empire and what's interesting about it really was an empire it was really trying to cobble together all of these folks that spoke all different all different types of ethnicities this is kind of a zoom in of the austro-hungarian Empire leading into World War one and the austro-hungarian Empire is probably the most important thing to understand if we're trying to get a sense of how World War one started because leading up to World War one in 1908 the austro-hungarian Empire formally annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina and that's another confusing thing for many of us that that's actually one country it's called Bosnia and Herzegovina or I guess for the austro-hungarians that was I guess now one region that they annexed and what's interesting about that is if you look at the linguistic map you see that this whole region right over here speaks are very similar essentially their dialects of Serbian Croatian Bosnian they are all very linguistically and ethnically connected so this whole region right over here this whole region right over here is linguistically and ethnically connected and what we'll see is is that this desire to to connect people with similar ethnic or linguistic routes was linguistic backgrounds is what led to a lot of what happened in World War or at least was the spark that fueled that people sometimes say the powder keg of World War one the other thing that was very different or the other I guess country or nation or Empire that we are not used to today is the Ottoman Empire so if we go today we see the cut the country of Turkey which is kind of on the Anatolian Peninsula so this is Turkey this is Turkey right over here this is modern-day Turkey but entering into World War one in 1914 Turkey was essentially part of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire so this right over here is what the Ottoman Empire looked like this is this is right over here is roughly modern-day Turkey but the Ottoman Empire consisted of modern-day Turkey and much of the modern Middle East so much of especially much of the Arab especially the Arab world or Assyria ock Lebanon much of what we're modern-day Israel is some of Saudi Arabia and this was really the dying state of the Ottoman Empire at its peak it controlled much of the Muslim world controlled northern Africa as well as all the stuff that you see here and even a little bit and even a little bit of Persia and actually a good bit of the Balkans Southeast Europe and even Greece at the peak of its Ottoman Empire now I'm talking about going hundreds and hundreds of years back into the past so when we enter into World War two we don't have a world where people kind of are where states are defined by linguistic boundaries or by ethnic boundaries to a large degree we had these empires that had existed that it existed as we exited it out of the 1800s and these empires were not just in Europe like the Austria austro-hungarian Empire or not just in the Middle East like the Ottoman Empire right over here is a kind of an empire map at around that point in time and you see probably the most dominant feature here is the British Empire that's in this pink color so British that's great that's that's the United Kingdom Great Britain would just be would just be this right over here you throw in Ireland you get the United Kingdom Great Britain was in control of the Indian the entire Indian subcontinent it was essentially all although nominally Egypt had was somewhat independent Great Britain had a huge amount of influence here obviously places like Canada and Australia and New Zealand were under the control of or part of the British Empire what a lot of people don't realize is a significant amount of Africa as well a significant amount of Africa was also was also under British control and what we have running up into World War one is kind of a race for Empire an arms race between the major powers of Europe in particular you have Great Britain or the United Kingdom that obviously had a vast empire the Sun never sets on the British Empire and it wasn't ever setting on this Empire that we just saw here and the German Empire was also starting to flex its muscle and starting and starting to militarize and the more that the Germans saw that the British were militarizing the more that the British and the more than the British the more the Germans would want a military military and vice versa and you just said this arms race and they were all trying to build their empires so the Germans there they were present in Africa you have the French who were present in much of Africa and you have to remember all of this in context some of this empire building was frankly just about ego and just about spreading someone's influence subscribing their power a lot of it was based on kind of ethnic beliefs about civilization I guess these were rationalizations to kind of take control of other people's resources and a lot of it was we were in a world where access to resources in particular access to raw materials and especially oil could to some degree define whether a power was a power at all and so with that I think we have a pretty good basis for the state of affairs as we enter into World War one