100 years ago today (28th June 1914), the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated whilst on a visit to Sarajevo. This event led directly or indirectly to the opening of hostilities in the First World War exactly one month later. The First World War according to some authorities (though not all) was influential in the success of the Russian Communist revolution just 3 years later. Then the Treaty of Versailles at the end of WWI, coupled with the depression of the 1920s, undoubtedly contributed to the rise of Nazi Fascism in Germany and ultimately to the Second World War. The end of the Second World War also led directly to the development of the Communist bloc throughout Eastern Europe. Other major events directly or indirectly associated with the end of the Second World War included the dismantling of empires (notably the British Empire), and the installation of the State of Israel and the consequent tensions in the Middle East, which we still experience today.
I am not an expert historian, but it would be interesting to hear others' views on the causes and effects at work here, and whether any of these other upheavals would have occured without Sarajevo initiating a chain of events. If indeed without that single atrocity 100 years ago, WWI, WW2, the Iron Curtain, Israel, and perhaps the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and other major changes in world history and geography may not have taken place, then does that make 28th June 1914 arguably the most significant date in history? Or at least could the assassination be described as the single most significant act by one human being in history? What other candidates would there be?
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