Outbreak of World War I (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The outbreak of World War I contributes to the collapse of the Russian, German, and Austrian empires, weakens Great Britain and France and their colonial empires, catapults the United States to a dominant position in world affairs, and sets the stage for an even more devastating world war.
Summary of Event
The assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, on June 28, 1914, set in motion a chain of events which resulted in a world war which profoundly affected the course of history. Virtually since its beginning, historians have attempted to explain how such a relatively minor event as the assassination could have had such devastating consequences. The war not only ravaged the economies of the major European states but also caused or made possible the triumph of communism in Russia, the rise of Nazism in Germany, and the international anarchy which led to World War II. Not least, World War I resulted in the deaths of between ten and twenty million people.
After the assassination of Francis Ferdinand, the chief of staff of the Austro-Hungarian army recommended that his emperor, Franz Joseph, mobilize his army on the border between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. The chief of staff argued along with civilian members of Franz Joseph’s government that members of the Serbian government and armed forces had helped plan and carry out the assassination. He noted...
(The entire section is 1547 words.)
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