Causes Of World War 1
World War I took place primarily in Europe from 1914 to 1918 and resulted in over 40 million casualties, including 20 million military and civilian deaths. The cause of World War I is primarily the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. On June 28, 1914, a Bosnian Serb student, Gavrilo Princip, shot and killed the Archduke, who was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.
This incident took place in Sarajevo. Princip was a member of a group known as Young Bosnia whose aims included independence from Austria-Hungary and unification of the South Slavs.
After the assassination, Austria-Hungary demanded that Serbia take action and punish those responsible for killing the Archduke and when Serbia did not comply with this demand, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. All major European powers got involved in the war because they had overlapping agreements for collective defense. And, one should not forget how complex international alliances were in those times.
The Entente Powers were France, Russia, the British Empire, Italy and the United States. Italy joined the war from 1915 while the US joined from 1917. Russian withdrew from World War I in 1917 after the Russian Revolution. The Central Powers were led by Austro-Hungarian, German, and the Ottoman Empires. The Entente Powers defeated the Central Powers.
Fighting in World War I primarily took place on the western front in trenches, breastworks and fortifications. The eastern front with its plains and limited rail network was not conducive to trench warfare. However, fighting still occurred on the eastern front. Heavy fighting also took place along the middle eastern front and the Italian front. For the first time in history, hostilities were conducted in air. Fighting also took place at sea.
World War I marked the end of the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman and Russian empires. Czechoslovakia, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Latvia gained their independence with the collapse of the German empire. The cost of war saw the breakup of the British Empire and France suffered for more than a generation trying to overcome the devastation caused by World War I.
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