The Road to World War I. 1914-1918. By 1914, Europe had enjoyed a century of relative peace. International events, such as the first modern Olympic games in 1896 and the First Universal Peace Conference in 1899, were steps toward keeping the peace.
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The Road to World War I
By 1914, Europe had enjoyed a century of relative peace.
International events, such as the first modern Olympic games in 1896 and the First Universal Peace Conference in 1899, were steps toward keeping the peace.
However, while peace efforts were under way, powerful forces were pushing Europe towards war.
The glorification of the military.
As the world entered the 20th century, an arms race had begun.
By 1914, Germany had the greatest increase in military build up.
The fiercest rivalry at the time was between Britain and Germany in which both countries greatly expanded their navies.
The armies of France and Germany had more than doubled between 1870 and 1914.
Alliances were intended to promote peace by creating powerful combinations that no one would dare attack.
Over time, countries throughout Europe made mutual defense agreements that would pull them into battle.
If one country was attacked, allied countries were bound to defend them.
Before the war, Africa and parts of Asia were being fought for by different European powers.
The increasing competition and desire for greater empires led to an increase in tensions that helped push WWI.
Before the war, each country was attempting to prove their dominance and power.
Germans were proud of their new empire’s military power and industrial leadership.
The Balkan Region
In 1912, several Balkan states attacked Ottoman Turkey and succeeded in taking a large amount of land.
The bloody Balkan wars raised tensions.
By 1914, the Balkans were called the “powder keg of Europe”- a barrel of gunpowder that a tiny spark might cause to explode.
Sarajevo, Capital of Bosnia
Assassination of Archduke Franz-Ferdinand heir of the Austrian empire by Serbian Terrorist GavriloPrincip.
“ The first (bullet) struck the wife of the Archduke, the Archduchess Sofia, in the abdomen… she died instantly.
The Second bullet struck the Archduke close to the heart. He uttered only one word “Sofia”- a call to his stricken wife. Then his head fell back and he collapsed. He died almost instantly.”
- BorijoveJevic, co-conspirator