Q:

What are some short-term causes of WWI?

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Quick Answer

The immediate cause of World War I was the assassination, in Sarajevo, of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne. The assassination, which was carried out by a Serbian nationalist, led to an Austrian military response that triggered a declaration of war by Russia. Germany, Austria's ally, then declared war on Russia and found itself at war with Russia's allies, France and Britain.

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Full Answer

The underlying reason for this domino-like progression of declarations of war was the political alignment of Europe in 1914. At the heart of the tension was the ongoing rivalry between Germany and the British Empire over control of the sea and access to colonial markets. Germany lacked overseas possessions and was in the process of building a large, modern navy. The British took this as a direct threat to their position and began seeking allies in Europe to contain German aggression. It was this elaborate network of alliances and mutual-defense pacts that set the stage for an event, any event, to trigger war. Once Austria declared war on Serbia, Russia was bound by its pledge of protection to enter the war, as was Germany. Britain and France were likewise bound to Russia, making a global conflict inevitable.

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  • Q:

    Where did World War I start?

    A:

    World War I arguably began in Sarajevo, as the proximate cause of the conflict was the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serbian nationalist. The killing exacerbated the existing tensions between Austria and Serbia, leading to the first declaration of war.

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  • Q:

    What was the cause of World War I?

    A:

    Although the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand is cited as the main cause that thrust the world into war, many causes and events led up to World War I. Some of the secondary causes include the mutual defense alliances in place at the time, nationalism, imperialism and militarism.

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  • Q:

    How did World War I begin?

    A:

    World War I was fomenting due to a tangled web of alliances between the various European powers, but the catalyst for the war was the assassination of the Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand. The assassination occurred on June 28, 1914, at the hands of Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip of the Black Hand. His subjects did not view the archduke favorably, but it served as an excuse for Austria to start a war with Serbia.

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  • Q:

    What event resulted in the start of World War I?

    A:

    The event that set off World War I was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and his wife Sophie by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist, on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo. The assassination resulted in the July Crisis, during which Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, Britain and Russia entered into frantic diplomatic maneuvering in an effort to prevent the outbreak of war. The negotiations proved unsuccessful, and on July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, an act which quickly led to an all-out conflict between all of the involved nations.

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