Causes of World War I
World War I , known at the time as "The Great War" or "The War to End All Wars", was a major historical turning point in the progression of the human race. This event changed the fate of countries across the globe; some changed for the better, others turned to the worst. Some of these outcomes even led to World War II, another devastating war that gave history a new direction. But how could a war as massive as World War I begin? The simplest starting point for the war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, but the tensions had started long before. World War I was caused by the ethnic and ideological conflicts in the Balkans, Austria-Hungary, and the decline of the Ottoman Empire.
The Balkans region is in the southeast section of the European Continent ("Balkans."). Including Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, and Yugoslavia, this peninsula is often under ethnic difficulties. "Since ancient times, the Balkans have been the site of...ethnic unrest" ("Balkans."). After the fall of the Byzantine Empire, Christians had filled the area. When the Ottoman empire arrived, Turks forced Christianity partially into hiding. Other conflicts such as this created many nationalistic feelings in the area, as the people wanted their own nations to rule. In the 19th century, these nationalistic feelings continued to rise, and tensions filled the area. All that was needed to set off this area was one more turning point, which was provided by the assassination of the Archduke.
Established in 1867 under Franz Joseph I, the Austro-Hungarian empire was a strong power in Europe that stretched over more than 240,000 square miles, including more than 50 million people ("Austro..."). Formed to give Austria an ally after the loss to Prussia, this dual monarchy was a great peace settlement between Austria and Hungary. They accepted that the nations had common interests, and opened similar ministries in government. For the first couple decades, peace...
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