the end of the 19th century the Balkans was a part of the Ottoman
Empire that was ruled by Turkey. The Empire was declining, so Russia and
Austria-Hungary saw this as an opportunity to expand and take territories from
it. Some Balkan states like Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia who wanted to become independent.
“The next great European war will probably come out of some damned foolish
thing in the Balkans.” Otto von
Bismarck, German statesman, 1888. This quote is somewhat true since the
Balkans contributed to outbreak of WW1 in some ways.
First Balkan War of 1912 started because the four independent countries:
Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, and Montenegro wanted to take control of territories from
the failing Ottoman Empire. Russia encouraged them to create a loose alliance
and wanted to divide Albania, Macedonia, and Thrace between each other. They
added Greece into the alliance because they were the only ones who had a navy that
could stop the Turks from reinforcing their army in the Balkans. The war ended
with the Treaty of London. This war made Serbia bigger and stronger.
after the First Balkan War, the Second started just a year later. Bulgaria wasn’t
happy with what it had received from the first war. Bulgaria proceeded to attack
Serbia. They were almost successful until Greece stopped them. Romania decided
to join the war on Serbia’s side that’s when the Bulgarians knew it was time to
stop and agree to an Armistice. Serbia became even bigger than it was just a
year before this war. They posed a threat to Austria-Hungary’s ambitions in the
wanted to destroy Serbia, but they knew that wouldn’t be possible because Russia
would be against that. That’s where the Germans come in. Germany saw Russia as
a threat. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the Balkans was also
one of the causes of World War 1. Many events occurred after the assassination.
Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia for the attack. Germany forced Austria-Hungary to
declare war on Serbia. Germany went to war with France and Russia. They thought
they could defeat France fast enough before Russia could come to their aid.
all wanted to start a war, but everyone had a different reason to do so.
Germany wanted to expand, France wanted to regain what they lost at Rhine,
Britain didn’t want to allow Germany to increase its influence in Asia and
Africa, and Russia wanted to take control of territory from the failing
treaties between great states cease to be binding when they come in conflict
with the struggle for existence.” Otto
von Bismarck, German statesman. This quote correlates with what happened with
Germany and Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary used Germany as a bodyguard
against Russia because Austria-Hungary knew that the only way they could get
their hands on Serbia was to use Germany. They thought that Germany would take on
the Russians and they could take Serbia.
cause that led to World War 1 was imperialism. The competition was getting out
of hand. Every national wanted the resources and to expand. Militarism is another
cause because it became an arms race. Germany and Britain were working on their
navies. Other nations saw this and had to act quickly in order to have a chance
in the war. One major cause was nationalism. It started when the Slavs in
Bosnia and Herzegovina didn’t want to be part of Austria-Hungary but instead
part of Serbia.
immediate cause of the First World War was the assassination of Archduke Franz
Ferdinand. The Black Hand was a Serbian terrorist group that sent out a group
of assassins to kill the Archduke. The first attempt failed, but then they were
successful the second time. When he was in Bosnia, Austria-Hungary was in
control of it. Serbia wanted to take it from them. After the assassination,
Austria-Hungary believed Serbia was responsible and declared war against it.
After the declaration, Russia stepped in because of its alliance with Serbia.
Then Germany instantly declared war on Russia and that is how the war started
in the Balkans.
the end, there are many reasons as to why the War started. But what is certain
is that it started in the Balkans first, going back to what the German
statesman von Bismarck said, “The next great European war will probably come
out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans.” Otto von Bismarck, German statesman, 1888.”