World War I broke out during the late summer of 1914 as the result of a crisis in the diplomatic relations between two antagonistic states: the rambling, jaded, multinational Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the young but proud country of Serbia, the most dynamic of successor states to the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans. The antagonisms were both long-standing and real, and the interconnected nature of European power relations brought the two basic prewar camps into open hostilities in the first days of August 1914.
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