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World War I had a century to set itself up. Conflicts in Europe had been building up during an era of relative peace. The first to come to blows was that between Austria-Hungary and Serbia over Bosnia. Serbia's dream of a Slavic empire was crushed in 1908 when Bosnia was annexed by Austria. In July, 1914, nationalistic members of the Black Hand, a Serbian secret society, went to Sarejevo in Bosnia at the same time as the heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. After a pair of bungled assassination attempts, one of the members, Gavrilo Princip, shot the Archduke and his wife. In responce, the Austrian crown gave Serbia an ultimatum to right the wrong. Noncompliance would mean invasion. Russia came to the aid of its fellow Slavs in Serbia, and announce it would defend Serbia. To be safe, the Russians began to send troops towards their border with Germany, Austria-Hungary's ally. Germany took that as a threat and declared war. France was put on alert. There was no going back with four nations in a state of war and two more, Italy and England, waiting to see if they would need to enter the fighting.