The assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand ignited the start of World War I. However, his death was not the only reason why the Great War progressed. The secondary cause of the Great War was the mutual defense alliances between the countries involved. These alliances inevitably caused the participation of many nations in the war.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph Maria, the heir presumptive to the Austria-Hungary throne, was assassinated in Sarajevo. He was assassinated by the young Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslavist. It must be remembered that Austria-Hungary seized control of Serbia to claim its resources. This seizure inflamed that nationalism of the people that led to the assassination of the Archduke.
Austria-Hungary did not take the murder lightly. It resulted to the proclamation of war of Austria-Hungary against Serbia. This war declaration led Russia to join the war due to its mutual defense treaty with Serbia. The agreement stated that they would help each other when war the country goes to war.
Many alliances formed soon after the declaration of war. The country of Germany allied with Austria-Hungary. France allied with Russia bringing in Britain and Belgium with it. Japan came into the picture because it is allied with Britain. The United States came in late into the game to fight against the Germans.
The first major battle during World War I was the battle of Tannenberg on August 26, 1914. The next major battle was the Battle of Marne in France on September 5, 1914. The German submarines or U-boats caused a major block that prevented vessels from traveling. The Battle of Marne also started the trench warfare.
Trench warfare uses a network of trenches that protected the soldiers from the enemy’s rifle shots and are substantially sheltered from artillery. These trenches were separated by distances that are shorter than the firing range of a rifle.
On November 1917, Russia pulled out of the war due to the Bolshevik Revolution. Russia signed a peace treaty which marked the end of its war with Germany and Austria-Hungary. The end of the war with Russia strengthened Germany because they focus their efforts and resources on the Western Front.
The United States wage war against Germany in April 1917. Germany continued to fight the war, but it failed and suffered significant casualties. The Allied powers gained an advantage in the war, and the strike of the German soldiers forced Germany to surrender. Germany signed the Armistice, an agreement of warring parties to stop fighting, on November 11, 1918. Germany and the Allied forces then signed the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, to formally end World War I.