The World War I wiki last edited by Mandarinestro on 09/29/14 07:03AM
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The First World War took place between 1914 and 1917 and was fought between the Allies and the Central Powers.
In June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophia were shot dead by assassin Gavrilo Princip, a Serb nationalist.
Tensions quickly rose among the European powers when monarchs and governments began taking sides, mainly because they were involved in treaties which obligated them to defend their allies and ententes during international conflicts. During the days following the assassination, Austria-Hungary openly promoted Serb discrimination, causing the Russian Empire to condemn such racism as the Serbs were of Slavic ethnicity. In turn, the German Empire backed Austria-Hungary by condemning the Serb movement as terrorism. Great Britain and France soon back Russia, forming the "Triple Alliance" to fight the "Central Powers" Germany and Austria-Hungary.
The war officially began at Archduke Ferdinand's one-month anniversary at July 28, 1914. Although Austria-Hungary only declared war on Serbia, Germany, Britain, Russia, France, and even the Ottoman Empire would eventually join the fray.
Many historians agreed that the Allies were too excessive in punishing the Central Powers. The Treaty of Versailles burdened them, especially Germany, with unrealistic requirements to pay post-war reparation costs and millitary restrictions which sparked more aggression rather than humble the defeated nations.
Dictators such as Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini would later use the Treaty to rally major support in a second great conflict.