Begining of the Worldwar 1

World War I began in the Balkans, an area of southeastern Europe. In the early 1900′s, the Balkan states fought the Ottoman Empire in the First Balkan War (1912-1913). The states then fought each other in the Second Balkan War (1913). The major European powers stayed out of those wars. However, the major powers did not escape the third Balkan crisis.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. Hoping to ease tensions with the Balkan nations, he arranged to tour Bosnia-Herzegovina with his wife, Sophie. On June 28, 1914, an assassin killed Franz Ferdinand and Sophie in Sarajevo. The murderer, a young Bosnian Serb named Gavrilo Princip, had links to a Serbian terrorist group called the Black Hand.
The assassination of Franz Ferdinand gave Austria-Hungary a reason to attack Serbia, its long-time enemy in the Balkans. Backed by Germany’s promise of support, Austria-Hungary sent a list of demands to Serbia. Serbia accepted most of the demands and offered to settle the rest through an international conference. Austria-Hungary rejected the offer and declared war on Serbia on July 28.
Russia, coming to Serbia’s aid, massed troops along its borders with Austria-Hungary and Germany. Germany, aware that the conflict would spread, declared war on Russia on Aug. 1, 1914. France then called up its troops in support of Russia. On August 3, using false claims of French attacks, Germany then declared war on France.
Germany decided to attack France from the north, through neutral Belgium. Its army swept across the Belgian border on August 4. This invasion caused the United Kingdom to declare war on Germany. Within a week, the Balkan crisis had dragged Europe’s great powers into World War I.