The Origins of World War I is a lecture from a Yale University on which this learn node is based. The topic is from the Open Yale course France Since 1871 taught by Professor John Merriman, shown teaching in the image. The 45-minute lecture is offered in transcript, mp3 audio, and Flash or Quicktime video. The course overview explains:
The traditional, diplomatic history of World War I is helpful in understanding how a series of hitherto improbable alliances come to be formed in the early years of the twentieth century. In the case of France and Russia, this involves a significant ideological compromise. Along with the history of imperial machinations, however, World War I should be understood in the context of the popular imagination and the growth of nationalist sentiment in Europe.
A major player in the era that led to World War I was Otto von Bismarck. Internet Archive provides his book online: Bismarck, the man and the statesman; being the reflections and reminiscences of Otto, Prince von Bismarck 1898. His image here is from that books frontispiece. The Encyclopedia of 1848 Revolutions is an online source that of a sort the internet has made possible. Dozens of scholars contribute articles to the encyclopedia about the era from in the causes of World War I percolated. The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, a kick-off point in World War I, is described in a report in the WWI Document Archive housed at Brigham Young University.