The seed of the devastating dispute had to be planted long before the assassination the Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

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Europe by 1914

Almost exactly a century before, a conference of the European says at the conference of Vienna had developed an worldwide order and balance of power that it s long for nearly a century. Through 1914, however, a multitude of forces were threatening to tear that apart. The Balkan Peninsula, in southeastern Europe, was a particularly tumultuous region: previously under the regulate of the footrest Empire, its standing was unsure by the so late 1800s, together the weakened Turks continued their slow-moving withdrawal native Europe. Stimulate in the an ar depended ~ above the cooperation of two contending powers, Russia and also Austria-Hungary. The slumping Austria-Hungary--in which tiny minorities (Germans in Austria, Magyars in Hungary) attempted come control huge populations that restless Slavs--worried because that its future together a good power, and in 1908 it annexed the pair Balkan districts of Bosnia-Herzogovina. This grab for territory and control angered the live independence Balkan country of Serbia--who considered Bosnia a Serb homeland--as well as Slavic Russia.

Upstart Serbia then doubled its region in back-to-back Balkan wars (1912 and also 1913), further threatening Austro-Hungarian supremacy in the region. Meanwhile, Russia had gotten in into an alliance with France--angry end German annexation of their lands in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870-71--and an excellent Britain, whose legendary naval supremacy was intimidated by Germany's farming navy. This Triple Entente, squared off against the German-Austro-Hungarian alliance, meant that any regional conflict had the potential come turn into a general European war.

Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, a great friend of Kaiser Wilhelm that Germany, met through him in mid-June 1914 to comment on the tense instance in the Balkans. Two weeks later, top top June 28, Franz Ferdinand and also his wife, Sophie, were in Sarajevo to inspect the imperial armed forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina. As soon as 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip and his fellow members that the nationalist Young Bosnia activity learned of the archduke's plan visit, they take it action: supplied with tools by a Serbian terrorist organization referred to as the black color Hand, Princip and also his cohorts traveled to Sarajevo over time for the archduke's visit.

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The royal pair was touring the city in an open up car, through surprisingly small security; among the nationalists threw a bomb at your car, yet it rolled off the ago of the vehicle, wounding an army officer and also some bystanders. Later on that day, the imperial automobile took a dorn turn close to where Princip occurred to it is in standing. Seeing his chance, Princip fired right into the car, shoot Franz Ferdinand and Sophie in ~ point-blank range. He climate turned the gun on himself, but was tackled by a lot of bystanders that restrained him till the police arrived. The archduke and also his wife were rushed far to seek clinical attention, yet both passed away within the hour.