Why Did World War 1 Start

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How did WWI start? The simplest answer is that the immediate cause was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the archduke of Austria-Hungary. His death at the hands of Gavrilo Princip – a Serbian nationalist with ties to the secretive military group known as the Black Hand – propelled the major European military powers towards war. The events that led up to the assassination are significantly more complicated, but most scholars agree that the gradual emergence of a group of alliances between major powers was partly to blame for the descent into war. By 1914, those alliances resulted in the six major powers of Europe coalescing into two broad groups: Britain, France and Russia formed the Triple Entente, while Germany, Austria-Hungary and…show more content…
"The most we can hope for," MacMillan says, "is to understand as best we can those individuals who had to make the choices between war and peace." Can any individual be blamed for the First World War? The Guardian identifies six people who, from a British perspective, had the largest roles in the events leading to the outbreak of war: Kaiser Wilhelm II, the "hot-tempered, military-minded ruler of German empire and kingdom of Prussia" who was "increasingly suspicious of motives" in Britain, France and Russia David Lloyd George, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, who "against his earlier inclinations" ultimately became a leading proponent of military action against Germany Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, who found himself caught between Russia's loyalty to Serbia, and his desire to avoid war on the continent Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who was "keen to strengthen Austrian army" but wanted not to antagonise Serbia Herbert Asquith, the British Prime Minister who led the nation into war, to be replaced by Lloyd George in December
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