What conditions of Balkan areas led to World War I?

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(i) As the different Slavic nationalities struggled to define their identity and independence, the Balkan area became an area of intense conflict.

(ii) The Balkan states were fiercely jealous of each other and each hoped to gain more territory at the expense of the others.

(iii) During this period, there was intense rivalry among the European powers over trade and colonies as well as army and naval might.

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(iv) These rivalries were very evident in the way the Balkan problems unfolded.

(v) 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.

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