Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist, on his visit to Sarajevo on 28 June 1914, together with his wife Princess Sophie. The one and only factor that holds the two states together, the only heir to the Habsburg dynasty, murdered. Austrian government reacted harshly. Austria, who was afraid to confront Russia alone, firstly consulted Germany.
After Germany’s implicit support, Austria sent a diplomatic note to Serbia for the next 48 hours that an independent state cannot accept. Serbia gave evasive replies to this note with the support of Russia. Austria began to bomb Belgrade on July 28, 1914 and declared war on Serbia. After that Russia declared general mobiliziation on July 31.
Due to preexisting statement of Germany -“Russian general mobilization will be accepted as a war declare”-, Germany declared war against Russia on August 1 and against French on August 3. Germany wanted to immediately crush France and return to Russia which is in an effort to complete its mobilization as Germany’s plan named “Schlieffen Plan” that made in peacetime. Germany asked for “innocents passage” to Belgium, for the easiest way to reach France. Germany wanted to move their army through Flanders Fields. Belgium as neutral country, rejected Germany’s proposal after consulting Britain. Germany attacked Belgium on August 4, 1914. Britain declared war against Germany. The war began on three fronts on August 4, 1914.
Britain and France, strengthened their economic positions as a result of the Industrial Revolution and Colonialism were in a better economic position against Italy and Germany. After forming their political unit Germany and Italy tried to close the gap until 1914. Britain’s and France’s intention to preserve the areas of economic domination and Germany’s intention to seize them are among the main economic causes of the war. These causes can be categorised as; colonies, rulership of sea routes, international trade concessions.
On the other hand, ownership of oil deposits, which have been in use since the end of the 19th century and made its mark on 20th century, were also the main economic causes for the war.
Outcome Of the War
1918 marked the begging of the end for Germany. After 1918, the war turned against the Centeral Powers. The Allied Powers started to repel attacks from German army. At this point, there wasn’t much to do for Centeral Powers.
After the negotiations made between Centeral and Allied Powers conflicts officially ended.
The war, in which 65,038,810 soldiers from all countries participated, left a total of 8,556,315 dead, 21,219,452 wounded and 7,750,945 missing or prisoner, according to official figures. World War 1 did not solve any issues between countries. On the contrary ideologies such as extreme nationalism, newly evolved fascism and national socialism developed after the war as a result of treaties involving heavy sanctions, therefore prepared the ground for World War II.