The seeds of the devastating dispute had been planted long before the assassination that Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

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Europe by 1914

Almost specifically a century before, a meeting of the European says at the congress of Vienna had developed an worldwide order and balance of power that it s long for virtually a century. By 1914, however, a multitude of pressures were threatening to tear that apart. The Balkan Peninsula, in southeastern Europe, to be a particularly tumultuous region: formerly under the regulate of the ottoman Empire, its condition was unsure by the so late 1800s, as the dilute Turks continued their slow withdrawal from Europe. Order in the an ar depended ~ above the collaboration of two competing powers, Russia and also Austria-Hungary. The slumping Austria-Hungary--in which small minorities (Germans in Austria, Magyars in Hungary) attempted to control big populations that restless Slavs--worried for its future together a an excellent power, and also in 1908 it annexed the pair Balkan districts of Bosnia-Herzogovina. This grab because that territory and also control angry the elevation Balkan country of Serbia--who considered Bosnia a Serb homeland--as well together Slavic Russia.


Upstart Serbia then doubled its territory in back-to-back Balkan battles (1912 and 1913), additional threatening Austro-Hungarian prominence in the region. Meanwhile, Russia had gone into into an alliance through France--angry over German annexation of your lands in the results of the Franco-Prussian battle in 1870-71--and great Britain, whose legendary naval dominance was intimidated by Germany's cultivation navy. This Triple Entente, squared off versus the German-Austro-Hungarian alliance, meant that any local conflict had actually the potential come turn into a general European war.


Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, a great friend that Kaiser Wilhelm the Germany, met through him in mid-June 1914 to discuss the tense case in the Balkans. Two weeks later, top top June 28, Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, to be in Sarajevo to inspect the imperial armed forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina. When 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip and also his fellow members that the nationalist Young Bosnia motion learned the the archduke's plan visit, they took action: offered with tools by a Serbian terror organization called the black Hand, Princip and his cohorts travel to Sarajevo over time for the archduke's visit.

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The royal pair was touring the city in an open car, v surprisingly tiny security; one of the nationalists threw a bomb at your car, but it rolled turn off the earlier of the vehicle, wounding an military officer and some bystanders. Later that day, the imperial auto took a wrong turn near where Princip taken place to be standing. See his chance, Princip fired right into the car, shooting Franz Ferdinand and also Sophie in ~ point-blank range. He climate turned the pistol on himself, yet was tackled by a lot of bystanders that restrained him until the police arrived. The archduke and his wife were rushed far to seek clinical attention, yet both passed away within the hour.