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The world war, also known as the Great War, was a global conflict that lasted from 1914 to 1918. It was the deadliest war in history, with an estimated 16 million people losing their lives. The war involved the major world powers of the time, DW News Today including Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and the Central Powers on one side, and the Allied Powers, including France, Great Britain, and Russia, on the other.

The main cause of the war was the intense competition for power and resources among the major European powers. Tensions had been building up for years, with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary in June 1914 acting as the spark that ignited the conflict. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, which led to a chain reaction of alliances and declarations of war among the major powers of Europe.

The war quickly spread beyond Europe, with the involvement of major powers in other parts of the world. The United States entered the war in 1917, tipping the balance in favor of the Allies. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, which imposed heavy penalties on Germany and other Central Powers. The war had a profound impact on the world, reshaping political, economic, and social structures.

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