World War I

Section 1, Fall 21

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 16/16
Credits: 3
Day Time Room Start Date End Date
  • W
  • 1540-1740
  • WB114
08/25/2021 12/01/2021

Course Description

World War One. One hundred years ago, the United States joined World War I on the side of Britain, France, and Russia. President Woodrow Wilson (who briefly attended the law school) felt strongly that Germany’s adoption of unrestricted submarine warfare was a barbaric violation of international law that required the United States to abandon its carefully crafted neutrality. The contours of that neutrality, and its abandonment in light of German violations of the law of the sea, were hardly the only times during World War One when the great powers treated international law as highly relevant -- despite the fact that many might assume a vanishingly small relevance for international law amidst a bloody global war among great powers. Many blame the start of the war on an interlocking system of treaties of alliance. British entry into the war, which was not required by any treaty of alliance, nonetheless appeared to depend importantly on British obligations under a treaty guaranteeing the neutrality of Belgium, the earliest target of German aggression. The Versailles Treaty, which ended World War One, exercised such a hold over European powers that almost every account of the causes of World War Two begins with a description of that international legal document. This course will examine the wealth of international law that was relevant to a conflict that a prominent historian called “the moment of birth for our contemporary world.”

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Final Type (if any): None
Description: None

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Written Work Product: Either (a) a substantial research paper or (b) a short paper and an analytically rigorous project reflecting substantial research, such as a group presentation to the class or the creation of a website. Students will choose their topics from among a broad array of options provided by the instructor. The submission deadline is on or before the last day of the exam period at noon (submitted via EXPO). NOTE: Students seeking to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement must timely submit a completed Writing Requirement Intent Form to the Student Records Office - retroactive exceptions will not be granted.

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Resources: To be announced.
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level writing requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Tuesday, November 23, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Friday, December 03, 11:59 PM