44:02 | Apr 7th
In the autumn of 1917, the Germans lend the Austrians a hand in their losing struggle with Italy. The result is the Battle of Caporetto, which undoes all of Italy's previous gains and brings the Central Powers within 20 miles of Venice.
46:00 | Mar 17th
By autumn of 1917, the Russian Provisional Government had failed. It lost popular support, the Army was collapsing, and the Germans were advancing on Petrograd. Lenin determined it was time for the Bolsheviks to make their move.
40:58 | Mar 10th
Following the July Days, Alexander Kerensky became convinced that the biggest threat to his government now loomed on the political right, and he became increasingly suspicious of the new army commander-in-chief, Lavr Kornilov.
45:35 | Feb 17th
The Kerensky Offensive provoked discontent among soldiers in Petrograd which triggered a Bolshevik uprising against the Provisional Government. The uprising was put down and evidence was made public that the Bolsheviks were being supported and funded...Show More
35:05 | Feb 10th
With the Bolsheviks relentlessly criticizing the Russian government, the question of war aims came to the fore. When the liberals in the government couldn't give a straight answer, a cabinet shuffle followed, giving socialists more power than before.
39:46 | Jan 20th
The US entered the war in early 1917, but it would take time for her to have an impact on the war. Brazil also joined the war in 1917, and in Canada, the political fight over conscription leads to a divisive general election.
39:36 | Jan 13th
By 1917, many in German and Austrian official and military circles had given up hope of winning the Great War on the battlefield and were ready to discuss peace terms. Hindenburg and Ludendorff, however, insisted that victory was at hand.
38:29 | Dec 16th, 2018
Russia's allies--The United Kingdom, France, Italy, and now the United States--were pleased that Russia was taking a more liberal and democratic direction, but they also expected Russia to honor the commitments the czar had made to them, even though ...Show More
56:57 | Dec 9th, 2018
Even the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare by the Germans was not enough to push Woodrow Wilson into supporting war, but the Zimmerman Telegram made it impossible to oppose war any further. Additionally, the Russian Revolution eliminated a...Show More
47:58 | Nov 11th, 2018
When the Great War began, Russian political factions mostly united in a common front to support the war effort, as political parties did in the other belligerent nations. But when Russia's military reversals and shortcomings in leadership became too ...Show More
41:11 | Nov 4th, 2018
With the Mexican Revolution winding down and the prospects of war between Mexico and the USA seeming increasingly remote, the German Foreign Secretary explores the idea of inviting Mexico to declare war on the United States.
41:13 | Sep 23rd, 2018
With four years of peace and progressive reform and a booming economy (due to the strong French and UK wartime demand for US imports), you would think Woodrow Wilson would cruise to an easy re-election. You would be wrong.
39:25 | Sep 9th, 2018
German East Africa was the last holdout among German colonial possessions. Neighboring Portuguese and Belgian soldiers, as well as South Africans, joined in to help the British, although the British were not always happy to accept their assistance.
31:30 | Jul 15th, 2018
The fighting continued at Verdun as the Russians prepare an offensive of their own to relieve the pressure on France. A German U-boat mistakenly sinks a passenger ferry in the English Channel, triggering another controversy over submarine rules of en...Show More
40:44 | Jun 17th, 2018
Venustiano Carranza is gaining momentum in the struggle over the future of Mexico, but Pancho Villa is not ready to give up. The Germans hope to lure the US into intervening, then Pancho Villa decides provoking the US is also in his interests.
49:00 | May 20th, 2018
With numbers of new volunteers declining every month, the British government wrestles with the issue of conscription. Across Europe, all the Great Powers are feeling the manpower and other shortages created by the war.
41:24 | Apr 8th, 2018
By the summer of 1915, both the Central Powers and the Allies were keen to get Bulgaria to join the war on their side. The Central Powers won the bidding war, and Bulgaria became the fourth (and last) member of the Central Powers.
42:40 | Mar 25th, 2018
By the spring of 1915, it was clear that the war would last for a long time and that it would be taking an economic toll on all the nations involved, and there would likely be political consequences as well. In Britain, the debate centered on whether...Show More
48:00 | Mar 4th, 2018
The sinking of Lusitania and the deaths of 128 Americans was a shock. While there was little support in the US for war against Germany, there was a strong feeling that *some* kind of response was necessary. It was up to Woodrow Wilson to figure out w...Show More
42:09 | Dec 3rd, 2017
The phrase "shackled to a corpse" is often used to describe Germany's dilemma in the Great War. Surrounded by enemy nations that collectively have a greater population and larger economies, she also finds herself stuck with a disappointing alliance p...Show More
53:14 | Nov 19th, 2017
By the beginning of the twentieth century, the USA was the major market for Central American coffee, cotton, sugar, and especially bananas, leading to US investment in the region, leading in turn to US involvement in Central American affairs.
54:55 | Oct 29th, 2017
The murder of Francisco Madero and the iron-fisted rule of Victoriano Huerta that followed might seem like the end of constitutional democracy in Mexico, but in fact the revolutionaries like the ones who had overthrown Díaz took up arms once again, a...Show More
40:18 | Oct 22nd, 2017
The UK and Japan had an alliance agreement, and when the Great War began, Japan was eager to enter the conflict. Aiding their ally was nice, but the Japanese were also eyeing German colonial possessions in the Pacific.
43:18 | Sep 24th, 2017
The Great War began as a confrontation between Austria and Russia. It soon became about a lot more than that, but for Austria, job one is defeating the Russians, or at least holding them at bay. The Austrian Army will prove incapable of accomplishing...Show More
44:01 | Sep 17th, 2017
President Wilson pushes through more reform legislation, including the Federal Reserve Act. The outbreak of the Great War creates a financial panic in the US, and Vice President Marshall pines for the days of a really good five-cent cigar.
42:46 | Aug 13th, 2017
The Great War started as a conflict between Austria and Serbia. Now, amid all the other conflicts emerging as the war goes continental, Austria makes its bid to punish Serbia for the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand.
49:48 | Jul 23rd, 2017
The outbreak of the Great War saw one of the German Navy's newest and most powerful battlecruisers in the Mediterranean. She was a threat to the Entente and had to be stopped. Only...what exactly is she trying to do?
41:53 | Jul 16th, 2017
The German war plan called for a massive offensive against France that would pass through Belgium, but one of the big unknowns in German war planning was whether the Belgians would resist, and if so, how fiercely.
37:28 | Apr 9th, 2017
Just weeks after the First Balkan War ended, the Second Balkan War broke out over the spoils. When it was over, Serbia was Russia's only remaining diplomatic asset in the Balkans, and was spoiling for a fight with Austria.
44:09 | Feb 26th, 2017
Italy has been angling to secure Libya as a colonial possession for some time now. But war fever broke out in 1911, partly because of the Agadir crisis, prompting Italy to declare war on the Ottoman Empire over control of the province.
49:51 | Jan 29th, 2017
1912 saw a Presidential election campaign unlike anything Americans had known before or since. It was America's only true three-way race, with the added drama of a grudge match between two men who had recently been friends and allies.
46:25 | Jan 8th, 2017
William Howard Taft and Wilfrid Laurier negotiate a US-Canada free trade agreement, but it blows up when the Canadians get the idea that it is a step toward US annexation. The Standard Oil Company is broken up, US Senator "Fighting Bob" La Follette m...Show More
41:59 | Dec 11th, 2016
Self-propelled vehicles that can carry passengers on roads are not exactly new; people have been experimenting with them since the late 18th century. But in the early years of the twentieth century, the automobile finally becomes a practical mode of ...Show More
36:09 | Dec 4th, 2016
The year 1910 saw a fierce debate in the UK, including two general elections, over the role of the House of Lords in a modern, democratic state. The British King Edward VII passed away in the middle of the crisis, moving some Tories to blame his deat...Show More
44:25 | Nov 13th, 2016
The early years of the century saw two important comets and the biggest meteorite strike on the Earth in recorded history. There was also a lot of attention paid to the planet Mars, amid speculation that Mars might be home to life. Maybe even intell...Show More
44:24 | Nov 6th, 2016
Roosevelt had pledged not to seek another term as President, and was concerned that his successor preserve and build upon his Progressive legacy. He chose William Howard Taft as his political heir, but after Taft's election, the two men would part wa...Show More
48:29 | Oct 23rd, 2016
In 1908, Austria-Hungary formally annexed Bosnia, which she had been governing for 30 years. For the first time in Franz Josef's 60-year reign, Austria was gaining, rather than losing, territory. A cause for celebration, right?
38:20 | Sep 18th, 2016
Surprisingly, small-scale flying machines have been around for centuries. It was not a question of theory, but an engineering problem: finding the right materials and designs to build a craft capable of carrying a human being through the air.
34:41 | Sep 11th, 2016
Despite the Liberals winning a landslide election in 1906, the political situation in the UK was turbulent. Liberal constituencies were jockeying for favor. The new Labour Party and the working classes were increasing in power. The women's suffrage m...Show More
55:37 | Aug 28th, 2016
Sergei Diaghilev's most enduring influence on twentieth century art was the Ballets Russes, a modern ballet company he created, starring the greatest male ballet dancer of the twentieth century and Diaghilev's lover, Vaslav Nijinsky.
44:39 | Aug 14th, 2016
The United States intervenes militarily in Cuba and elsewhere in Latin America. A great earthquake strikes San Francisco, triggering racial discrimination and an economic downturn. The Brownsville Affair. And Roosevelt takes "In God We Trust" off the...Show More
40:17 | Jul 31st, 2016
The launch of HMS Dreadnought sparked multiple naval arms races, most notably in South America. It also intensified the existing race between the United Kingdom and Germany. At the same time, British and Russian diplomats hammer out their own entente...Show More
35:22 | Jul 17th, 2016
The Entente Cordiale smoothed relations between Britain and France, but created complications for Britain's relations with Russia and with Germany. Britain makes overtures toward both of those countries, in the hope of repeating its diplomatic succes...Show More
40:33 | Jun 5th, 2016
The Japanese fund dissenters in Russia. A peaceful protest in St. Petersburg becomes "Bloody Sunday." Admiral Rozhdestvensky struggles against the odds to bring his fleet into the Pacific, and the Japanese win the Battle of Mukden, possibly the larg...Show More
45:35 | May 15th, 2016
The Japanese First Army defeats the Russians at the Battle of the Yalu River and advances from Korea into Russian-occupied Manchuria. The Japanese Second Army lands on the Liaodong Peninsula and advances north, while the Japanese Third Army moves sou...Show More
37:51 | May 1st, 2016
Europe has managed to keep the peace (more or less) for some 85 years now. Remarkably, she has done that with no formal peacekeeping structure; just a willingness among the great powers to come to the negotiating table when necessary. But how long ca...Show More
38:13 | Apr 24th, 2016
There has not been a general war in Europe since Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo. But military technology has grown frighteningly effective. Is war now obsolete? Is it time to find other ways of resolving differences, or else perish?
42:48 | Apr 10th, 2016
Slavic people occupy half the land area of Europe, and Slav nationalism is going to be a driving force in the history of the 20th century. This episode explains the history of the Slavs, with a special emphasis on the most important Slav nation: Russ...Show More
41:38 | Mar 6th, 2016
The remarkable unification of Italy in the nineteenth century was complete, but the problem of uniting these disparate peoples of the peninsula, who over the course of centuries had grown accustomed to thinking of themselves as different nationalitie...Show More
45:54 | Feb 21st, 2016
We return to the USA to take a look at some more issues facing President Roosevelt. Possible war crimes in the Philippines. Cuban independence. The Colombia Panama Canal. A major coal strike. And, most important, Roosevelt's prospects in the 1904 ele...Show More
38:39 | Feb 7th, 2016
After securing international recognition of his claim to the Congo, King Leopold sets to work to extract as much wealth as he can from the Congo in the most brutal ways imaginable. He is eventually exposed, but walks away a billionaire.