100 years ago, one teenager changed the world forever - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

100 years ago, one teenager changed the world forever

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It’s been a 100 years since a sickly 19 year-old sparked a war that forever changed the world.

While many to this day continue to debate whether or not the war was justified or pointless, one thing is for certain, when Gavrilo Princip shot the Archduke of Austria-Hungary and his wife, it was that very spark which caused a war, which led to the creation of new machinery, new nations, new chemical compounds, another World War, the atom bomb and the Cold War, which eventually led to creation of the Internet.

On June 28th 1914, Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife went on an official visit to the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. Assassins from the nationalist group Mlada Bosna, were waiting patiently for their motorcade to pass by. One of them, Gavrilo Princip, shot and killed Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie.

The assassination led to a month negotiations between Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, France, and Britain which was called the July Crisis. Austria-Hungary believed the Serbs to be directly involved in the assassination of the Archduke and his wife. They delivered to Serbia the July Ultimatum, a series of demands that were intentionally made unacceptable to provoke a war with Serbia. When Serbia inevitably refused the demands, Austria-Hungary declared war on July 28th 1914, exactly one month after the assassination.

Eventually Germany and the Ottoman Empire jumped in on the side of Austria and the rest is history. A virtual powder keg exploded unleashing the latest technology of the industrial era into one of the most brutal wars in history.

After the war, the Ottoman Empire, an empire that spanned the Middle East for hundreds of years, was carved up and led to the creation of many nations that still exist today around almost the same borders drawn up by the British, French and the League of Nations.

Twenty years later, as a direct consequence of World War I, with a vengeful Germany perceiving the Treaty of Versailles to be unjust, blaming the Jews and Communists for Germany’s defeat and post war problems, while also looking to expand German territory; Nazi Germany, along with Italy and Japan formed the Axis Powers and started World War II. Eventually, the Axis was defeated by the Allies in a war that killed around 60 million people.

The atom bomb, which the United States used on Japan to bring World War II to an abrupt end, brought humanity into the nuclear age, and with that, the Cold War. The Cold War saw the United States and her allies form NATO, in a decades long nuclear stand-off with the Soviet Union and their Warsaw Pact allies. 

Realizing the need for a way to communicate in the event of a nuclear war, the US Defense Department authorized the creation of the ARPANET, which became the DARPANET. This led to the Internet, which led to the world we have today.

All of this and more, can be directly attributed to the actions of a 19 year-old boy, 100 years ago to this day.

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