World War I, also known as the Great War, was a global conflict that lasted from 1914 to1918. It was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo. This event led to a series of diplomatic and military actions that eventually drew in all of the great powers of Europe, as well as other nations from around the world.
The war was fought between two main alliances: the Allied Powers, which included France, Britain, and Russia, and the Central Powers, which included Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. Millions of soldiers fought through brutal trench warfare, gas attacks, and other deadly tactics. New technology, such as machine guns and airplanes, made the conflict even more devastating.
The United States entered the war in April 1917 on the side of the Allied Powers, which shifted the balance in favor of the Allies. In 1918, a series of successful offensives by the Allied Powers forced Germany to seek an end to the conflict. The war officially ended on November 11, 1918, when Allied representatives and Germany signed the Armistice of Compiègne.
The consequences of World War I were significant and far-reaching. The war caused the deaths of millions of people, including civilians, and left many more injured or displaced. It also led to significant changes in the political and economic landscape of the world, including the break-up of empires and the rise of new nations. The Treaty of Versailles, signed in 1919, imposed harsh penalties on Germany and set the stage for World War II.