To what extent did the Sarajevo Assassination cause the outbreak of World War I?
The Sarajevo incident that occurred in 1914 served as the direct cause of the WWI. It was an unprecedented attack on the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, who were being shot by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb extremist; during Ferdinand’s visit to Sarajevo, Princip was caught on the scene. A chain of events ensued after the incident. When Germany provided the “Blank Cheque” to Austria-Hungary, she was cleared to send an ultimatum consisting of three harsh terms to Serbia, which Serbia’s refusal led to the World War I. As it seemed, to some people, that this incident caused the immediate outbreak of the war, I would say yes, and no. In the following paragraphs, I am going to explain, to what extent did the Sarajevo Incident cause the outbreak of World War I, which, I think that to a small extent, the incident caused the war to happen.
To a large extent, the war was caused by the series of pre-war disputes, ideology differences or other forms of competition. Firstly, the Austro-Serbian hostility rooted to the pre-war crises. Serbia, which promoted the Greater Serbia movement, pledged to unite all Serbs in the Balkan Region to form a large, independent Slav country after bringing the neighboring country of Bosnia-Herzegovina under Serbian control. However, Serbia’s ambition was shattered when Austria-Hungary annexed the state. Russia intervened; she wanted to expand her influence in the Balkans and aided Serbia. On the other hand, Germany, who promoted Pan-Germanism, openly supported Austria-Hungary’s annexation. Due to the German intervention, Russia and Serbia were forced to accept and recognize their territorial claim. Serbia’s irredentism hopes were crushed, and the Serbians gradually grew hostile towards Austria-Hungary. The above incident was known as the Bosnian Crisis.
Second, colonial rivalries or economic...
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