*World War I began in 1914, after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and lasted until 1918. During the conflict, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire (the Central Powers) fought against Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the United States (the Allied Powers).
*Convinced that Austria-Hungary was readying for war, the Serbian government ordered the Serbian army to mobilize, and appealed to Russia for assistance. On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers quickly collapsed.
-Within a week, Russia, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Serbia had lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany, and World War I had begun.
*WWI was the bloodiest conflict in human history
-In Europe alone, 500 million people were directly or indirectly affected (10 million died, 30 million injured or disabled…)
-By 1918 most people believed that there would never be another war like it again. People’s attitudes had changed a lot since 1914. They didn’t see war as a big adventure any more. -The Allied powers met in Versailles to decide who caused the war, who was to pay (reparations) and what was to happen to Germany, Austria-Hungary and Europe as a whole. -After the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany lost territories, was forbidden to invest in its army and was forced to pay a very high indemnity to the allied countries.
Consequences: *The German Empire is smaller, as she lost territories in the west (Alsace-Lorraine, Rhineland for France) and in the east (for Poland). -Russian Empire became a smaller Soviet Union. -Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia became independent as Poland. -The Austria-Hungarian Empire was divided on ethnic groups (Czechoslovakia…) and -Austria became a small state. -The Ottoman Empire was divided in Turkey, Bulgaria, Albania, Romania.