The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the start of world war I

The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the start of world war I

Archduke Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia on June 28, 1914 by Gavrilo Princip, a member of a Serbian nationalist terrorist group fighting against Austria-Hungary’s rule over Bosnia. On that fateful day, the Archduke Ferdinand was in Sarajevo to inspect his troops there.

Nationalism played an important role in World War I. The Serbian nationalists were furious following Austria-Hungarian Empire’s annexation of the Balkans in 1908. The Serbian nationalist terrorist group wanted to unite all Serbs under one government.

When Austria-Hungary learned that the assassins were sponsored by Serbia, they blamed them & issued an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia, which was partially rejected.

The Austrian-Hungarian Empire felt that it had the pretext it was looking for – to put the Serbians in their place and vowed to punish them for the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, triggering actions leading to war between most European states.

With the support of Germany, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28. The alliance system, which existed in Europe then, pulled one nation after another into the war.

To protect Serbia, Russia decided to declare war on Austria-Hungary. Within a few days, Germany declared war on Russia, Serbia’s main ally, and started to invade France (via Belgium), which then caused Britain to declare war on Germany.