how conflict in the balkans and the building of empires lead to ww1

Topics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, World War I, Sarajevo Pages: 2 (432 words) Published: August 4, 2014

On June 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was brutally murdered on an official trip to Sarajevo, in Bosnia by Princip, a member of the terrorist group The Black Hand. Under normal circumstances, this relatively minor incident would've passed without any major consequences, but due to the build up of alliances before 1914, and the rapidly growing tension in Europe, the assassination escalated eventally into a full scale war involving nearly the whole of Europe. Firstly, the buildup of alliances prior to the 1914 meant that many countries were dragged into the fight between Austria and Serbia although it was a relatively minor matter. An example of this was the Kaiser's reply to Franz Joseph which contained the 'black check' in which he promises Franz Joseph that Germany would support Austria in every way. In short, this encouragment only fueled Austrians to force Serbia to give way, rather than settling the dispute between themselves. Secondly, some Austrian politians saw the assassination provided an opportunity for an attack against Serbia, and a way of solving the issue of Serbs in the Austrian Empire. On July 1914, the Austrian Government presented an ultimatum to Serbia, even though there wasn't any proof that the Serbian Government had been involved in the assassination, and although the Serbs indicated they were reluctant to go to way, the forcefulness of the Austrians meant that the Austrian Government declared war on Serbia on 28 July 1914. As a result, the war between Austria and Serbia quickly dragged in the Powers in Europe, despite desperate diplomatic attempts to stop the war. In this time, Russia mobilised its army and Germany followed suit, declaring war on Russia on the same day.


The building up of empires in Europe contributed significantly to outbreak of war in 1914 as certain European countries became engaged in the struggle for dominace. By 1870, the 3 main empires were in decline, and...
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