World War I started with Austria’s declaration of war against Serbia on July 28th, 1914. This set off a chain of events that eventually lead the world to war in rapid succession. This paper will show the chain of events that happened that lead up to World War I, the major players of the war, along with the key players. The first assignation attempt of the Arch Duke Ferdinand failed when a bomb bounced off the back of his open air limousine. This injured a few people in the crowd and a few police officers in the car behind the limousine.
For added protection, a sword carrying police officer was placed in the car with the Arch Duke and his wife. This afforded little protection to the Arch Duke and Duchess as the shots that were fired that eventually lead to their death came from the opposite side of where the police officer was stationed (Smitha). The assignation of the Arch Duke Ferdinand gives Austria the ammunition it needs to take care of its Serbian problem. Austria delivers to Serbia strict demands in which it needed to meet to avoid a war with Austria.
The terms were so severe, however, that Serbia did not act on the ultimatum, and thus Austria declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914 (First World War). Six days after Austria declares war on Serbia, the German army invaded Belgium. Because of this act on the German’s part, the whole of the British Empire declared war on the Germans. On the same day, August 3, 1914, Germany declared war on France and on Belgium the very next day (First World War). On November 2, 1914, the British blockade German ports (The Legends). World War I was the world’s first true world war.
Fighting broke out on many continents, Europe, Asia, Africa, and in the Pacific. In the Pacific, Germany’s colonies were taken over by Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The loss of these colonies meant that the German Empire had fallen. Unrestricted German U-Boat attacks brought the Americans into the war (U-Boat (submarine) warfare). The battles of World War I were the first modern battles, complete with tanks, air planes, and chemical warfare. World Way I changed the lives of all Europeans, and all of those the world over.
In Russia, the Czar’s lost power to the Bolsheviks; the Ottoman Empire had been destroyed. Britain also gained control of Jerusalem, and most of the Middle Eastern countries. America, for the first time in her history, was seen as a major power in the world of international politics. During the war, her wealth grew exponentially. It was this wealth that allowed the United States to loan money to the fledgling European Allies. The repayments of these loans were one of the issues that sparked World War II. World War I saw the rise of global powers, and the fall of global powers and of whole empires.
The Treaty of Versailles effectively ended World War I, but did not solve the European problems, thus, set the stages for World War II to be fought.
Smitha, Frank. Europe’s Slide to War 1911-1914. 6 May 2007 <http://fsmitha. com/h2/ch04. htm> First World War. com Feature Article – Who Declared War and When. 6 May 2007 <http://www. firstworldwar. com/features/declarationsofwar. htm> The Legends and Traditions of the Great War. 6 May 2007 <http://www. worldwar1. com/heritage/heritag2. htm> U-Boat (submarine) warfare at the Atlantic during World War I. 6 May 2007 <http://www. germannotes. com/hist_ww1_uboat. shtml>