1. Germany was competing with the UK in an arms race
2. The British feared an attack on their empire
3. Germany was competing to expand its army
1. By 1914, all major powers had formed alliances
2. Made war more likely
3. Set countries against each other by forming enemies between alliances, also ensuring that every country in that alliance would be involved in a war.
1. All superpowers had gained colonies
2. Germany wanted its own empire
3. Scramble for Africa - all in same place - feared presence of enemies close to new territory
1. Countries wanted to assert power and authority
2. Patriotic pride encouraged conflict between neighbours
3. Peasants in colonies wanted to be free from colonialised rule.
1. Kaiser Wilhelm - built up German army and navy, aggressive foreign policy, distrusted by other powers, wanted Germany to be a superpower.
2. Count Berchtold - Austrian PM, implemented an ultimatum on Serbia during the July Crisis.
3. Franz Ferdinand -assassinated in Sarajevo.
Assassination of Franz Ferdinand
1. Heir to Austrian throne FF visits Sarajevo, Bosnia.
2. 'Black Hand' terrorists shoot him, and Austria blames Serbian sympathy for terrorism for the Archduke's death.
3. Austria (& Germany) send Serbia an ultimatum.
4. Serbia only agrees to some parts of ultimatum, and Russia mobilises forces to support Serbia.
5. Germany demands that Russia stop, then declares war.