Alliances and Politics In the years leading up to the war, the nations of Europe were constantly jockeying for power and making alliances.
Germany made an alliance with Austria-Hungary and Italy in 1881.
Imperialism Imperialism is when a country expands its influence and power into a large empire.
Some European countries, such as France and Britain, had created large worldwide empires and had become very rich.
All it would take was one international event and Europe would be at war.
Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was assassinated in Sarajevo.Other European countries, such as Russia and Germany, wanted to create their own vast empires.This caused competition and conflict between many of the countries throughout the world.There were many factors that led up to the start of World War I in Europe.A lot of these factors were rooted in the deep history of the old powers of Europe including Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Britain.Austria-Hungary Declares War Austria-Hungary issued a number of harsh demands on Serbia, threatening to invade if Serbia did not comply. When Serbia's response fell short of the demands, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28.More Declarations of War Austria-Hungary had hoped they could quickly take over Serbia and that Serbia's ally, Russia, would not risk a major war in order to help Serbia. Russia immediately began to mobilize its troops and prepare for war.The war also brought vast social consequences, including the mass murder of Armenians in Turkey and an influenza epidemic that killed over 25 million people worldwide.Few events better reveal the utter unpredictability of the future.The German leaders felt that they were being surrounded by enemies (France, Russia) and that war was going to happen eventually.They felt that the sooner the war occurred, the better chance Germany had to win.