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By David Stevenson

In the summertime of 1914 Europe exploded right into a frenzy of mass violence. The battle that had international repercussions, destroying 4 empires and costing hundreds of thousands of lives. Even the successful nations have been scarred for a iteration, and we nonetheless at the present time stay in the conflict's shadow. during this significant new research, released a few 90 years after the 1st international struggle begun, David Stevenson re-examines the reasons, direction and influence of this 'war to finish war', putting it within the context of its period and exposing its underlying dynamics. His ebook offers a wide-ranging overseas heritage, drawing on insights from the most recent study. It deals compelling solutions to the most important questions about how this negative fight opened up: questions that stay disturbingly proper for our personal time

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Extra resources for 1914-1918: The History of the First World War

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Though unequal in their political influence and military might, all (at least on paper) were stronger than any of their neighbours. All owed their birth in part to violence and all were willing to use it. This willingness proved the Achilles heel of the glittering, if flawed, civilization moulded during centuries of European primacy. True, after Napoleon’s defeat his victorious enemies had agreed on regular summit meetings to encourage consensus between them. But this system collapsed within a decade, and by the early twentieth century its vestiges – usually referred to as the ‘Concert of Europe’ – were shadowy.

Yet propaganda bodies such as the Narodna Odbrana (or ‘People’s Defence’) continued to support Serbs outside Serbia, as did the Belgrade press, and the Black Hand (‘Union or Death’), founded in 1911, a secret organization committed to unifying all Serbs by violence. The Sarajevo assassins belonged to a group known as ‘Young Bosnia’, largely composed of school students. They wished to destroy Habsburg authority and unite all South Slavs (including the independent states of Serbia and Montenegro and the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes within Austria-Hungary) in a new Yugoslav federation.

On the fateful day, despite a bomb attempt against the motor-car procession by another member of Princip’s group, the Archduke continued his tour, making an unscheduled change of itinerary to console an injured victim. It brought his vehicle right by Princip, who did not miss his chance. These details matter because although in summer 1914 international tension was acute, a general war was not inevitable and if one had not broken out then it might not have done so at all. It was the Habsburg monarchy’s response to Sarajevo that caused a crisis.

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