At the turn of the 20th century the delicate fabric of social order in Europe rested on a knife’s edge. As imperial powers expanded their empires, it was only a matter of time before conflict between them would shatter peace in Europe. In that era, Russia found itself against Europe’s most powerful empires, namely Austria-Hungary and Germany.
The fissure between those empires was cemented by the Bosnian Crisis of 1908 which saw Austria-Hungary annex Bosnia and Herzegovina by using Bulgaria’s declaration of independence from the Ottoman Empire as an advantageous political catalyst given its destabilization of the Balkan region. Austria-Hungary’s actions would provoke Russia to rise to the defense of its Slavic brethren situated in Serbia and Montenegro in a response that would forever alter how Russia would align itself among the continental powers of Europe. While a widespread conflict was averted by the amending the Treaty of Berlin, the political climate the Bosnian Crisis cast would light the fuse for the inevitable outbreak of WWI which was detonated with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Bosnian-Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip.
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