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Who was to blame for World War I?

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Quick Answer

According to FirstWorldWar.com, World War I was triggered by the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian throne in June 1914 by a Serbian nationalist group. Although the group operated outside of Serbian governmental authority, the country was held responsible for starting the war. Austria-Hungary eventually responded by suppressing the nationalist movement within Serbia and increasing their presence in the Balkans, which resulted in conflict between Russia and Europe.

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Full Answer

About.com explains that the conflict between Austria-Hungary eventually escalated into a full-scale war, causing Russia to get involved in defense of Serbia. Russia was threatened by the Austro-Hungarian invasion of the Balkans, and Germany took the opportunity to act on long-standing tensions to declare war on Russia as well. Bulgaria remained on the Austro-Hungarian side, while France, Japan, Britain, Italy and eventually the United States joined forces with the allies against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Even though the catalyst of the war was the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand, historians agree that such a large-scale conflict had been coming for quite some time due to serious tensions between these heavily interconnected nations. First World War notes that this long-standing tension was termed the "Great War," even before the first battle began.

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