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Why Did World War 1 Happen

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On June 28th of 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in the city Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, a member of the Serbian terrorist group the Black Hand. This sparked what would later become the First World War in August of 1914, a gruesome war that caused millions of casualties, the undoing of alliances and empires, and destruction. Not only was this war extremely damaging, but its origins have confused historians for years, and a conclusion is still yet to come. So, why exactly did World War One happen, and who or what is responsible? Though many historians have argued that the reason it came about was due to Balkan nationalism and German war plans to crush democracy and expand their territory, closer examination reveals …show more content…

After the death of Austria’s archduke, Serbia was blamed for his assassination. As Austria’s close ally, Germany decided to give their military a ‘blank check’, basically saying that whatever Austria needed to do to get revenge on Serbia, Germany would support. Germany’s intentions through this actions was not to encourage Austria into starting a wide conflict, but rather for them to defend themselves, however, Austria took it as their support in war: “Apparently the Austrians made no effort to explain what exactly they intended to do, or when… One indication among many that at this point the Germans did not regard the situation as being serious enough to require much thought or care.” This is a perfect example of miscommunication between European nations. Germany failed to clarify Austria’s intentions before impulsively granting full support: “Much depended on the “unspoken assumptions.”” Allies were too dependent on each other and expected that each need was common. Austria’s acceptance of this blank check and aggressive actions towards Serbia lead to series of offensive conflict, that eventually involved other major powers of Europe: “By giving Austria-Hungary a blank check against Serbia, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Bethmann Hollweg made a broader escalation of the Balkan crisis possible.” Though Germany’s intentions were just to support their ally Austria, this impulsive generosity lead to serious and widespread

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