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Chronological determinism (so named by Gray Wolf here) is the assumption that because you're approaching a point when in OTL something happened, you should unleash something similar on your unsuspecting ATL.

Historical cycles[]

In some ways, chronological determinism is more plausible than it sounds. There are apparent cycles in history; by the late 1890s Europe had recovered enough from the French Revolutionary Wars to be ready for another go. America's economy does have booms and busts, and in a more interconnected world that boom and bust is going to have knock-on effects that it wouldn't have had earlier.

This is all well and good, but cycles don't drive history; the forces driving the cycles do. Just because 1900's rolled around and Europe's recovered from Napoleon doesn't mean that the Great War we know (an Austro-Hungarian crisis in the Balkans) is going to break out. The turn-of-the-century war could just as well have been an Anglo-French clash over Fashoda, or a mishandling of Dogger Banks leading Russia fighting against the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. It could have been a foreign intervention after a successful 1905 revolution triggering a foreign intervention and leading to a replay of what happened in France a century earlier.

More likely and better than any of those options, it's something that evolves organically out of the circumstances in the ATL.

Or, potentially, the war doesn't happen. The war could wait for another decade, and ATL historians would argue about whether there's a different war cycle, or a war cycle at all. (Bear in mind that if you filed off the names and had Franz Ferdinand's assassination take place in an ATL, somebody would absolutely call it implausible.)