3 THINGS THAT LED TO THE WW1

Terrence Heard & Mika Blanco

Entente Cordiale


German militarism and especially the buildup of naval power convinced Great Britain that Germany may soon establish itself as a dominant power on the Continent. In order to create a counterweight to the German Empire, the British decided to enter into an alliance with France that came to be known as Entente Cordiale. In 1907, Britain also entered into an alliance with Russia that was already in alliance with France. This formed the Triple Entente which in turn became the core of the Allies during World War I.

Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria


On June 28, 1914, a group of conspirators from the revolutionary movement called Mlada Bosna (‘Young Bosnia’) carried out the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir presumptive, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife while they were visiting Sarajevo. Since the assassin, Gavrilo Princip and his 5 accomplices were Bosnian Serbs, the Dual Monarchy accused Serbia to stand behind the assassination. The event triggered the course of events that directly led to the outbreak of World War I but it did not cause it. Austria-Hungary was determined to eliminate the ‘Serbian threat’ before the assassination of its heir presumptive and it only needed an excuse to declare war on its Balkan neighbor.

July Ultimatum


On July 23, Austria-Hungary presented an ultimatum to Serbia. Vienna, however, intentionally imposed impossible demands to Serbia in order to be able to declare war on its neighbor for ‘orchestrating’ the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. A few days later, the Austro-Hungarian troops invaded Serbia and started the devastating World War I. It led to the World War 1 because, the July Crisis was a diplomatic crisis among the major powers of Europe in the summer of 1914 that led to the First World War. Immediately after Gavrilo Princip, a Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo, a series of diplomatic maneuverings led to an ultimatum from Austria-Hungary to Serbia, and ultimately to war.