The day World War I started – level 3


In 1914, countries in Europe were divided into two coalitions. On one side, there were Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. On the other side, there were France, Russia, and Britain.

Germany had the most powerful economy and the most modern army in Europe. However, unlike other great powers, it had almost no colonies. The Germans felt there was a chance for change.

On July 28, 1914, a future Austrian king was killed in Sarajevo. Austria started to prepare for a war with Serbia. However, Serbia was backed by Russia. The great powers began to mobilize and declared war on each other in August 1914.

Millions of soldiers across Europe went to war. The war was fought on many fronts in Europe, but it also spread to the colonies. Japan and the United States also joined the war.

The war didn’t end until November 1918, killing about 10 million people.

Difficult words: coalition (a union of countries in a war), unlike (different from another), great power (a very powerful country), mobilize (to prepare for a war).

What were the political motives behind the declarations of the European countries to enter into the First World War?


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