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World War I was the first major war that included a country from almost every part of the world. It was the second bloodiest war second only to W.W.II. The greatest destruction that humankind had ever previously experienced began on a calm and beautiful August day. It was a senseless slaughter that no nation benefited from. It lasted from 1914-1918. America was involved from April of 1917 to November of 1918. It ended with the Treaty of Versailles, which was signed on November 11 at 11:11 a.m. in 1918. World War I started because of the assassination of Franz Josef Ferdinan and his wife Sophie while they were in a motorcade in the capitol city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Franz Ferdinan was next in line for the thrown of Austria-Hungry. Principe, a member of the Black Hand terrorist organization, shot them. Preceding the shot that started the war, tension was created though out Europe when Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II increased the size of his army. The Kaiser had a disturbed childhood. He was born with a bad arm that he couldn't use. Germans valued perfection in humans and it would be kind of hypocritical for the future leader of Germany to speak of perfection and not be perfect himself. His parents put him through hell and back trying to fix his arm. Nothing worked and the constant medical experiments on his body left him messed-up for life. At age 29 Kaiser Wilhelm II became the youngest emperor of Germany. The Kaiser had a personality all to himself. He knew that he had all the power, and he let everyone know about it.
The British Royal Navy had long fascinated him, and he wanted one for his own. He got his wish and fulfilled his militaristic dream of having a large and powerful military.
The rest of Europe became alarmed at the sudden increase of German military activity.
This made every European country look more closely at Germany in fear that they would try to start something. Another source of tension in Europe was the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. Austria-Hungry and Russia both wanted to control the disintegrating Ottoman Empire. With all of this tension already in Europe, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinan was all that was needed to spark the start of the war. Serbia firmly denied any compensation to Austria for the death of the Archduke, so Austria declared war on Serbia.
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