What conditions of Balkan areas led to World War I?

  • As the different Slavic nationalities struggled to define their identity and independence, the Balkan area became an area of intense conflict.
  • The Balkan states were fiercely jealous of each other and each hoped to gain more territory at the expense of others.
  • During this period, there was intense rivalry among the European powers over trade and colonies as well as army and naval might.
  • These rivalries were very evident in the way the Balkan problems unfolded.
  • Each power—Russia, Germany, England, Austria-Hungry—was keen on countering the hold of other powers over the Balkans and extending its own control over the area. This led to a series of wars in the region and finally the First World War.