- In 1904 France and Britain had signed the Entente Cordial (friendly understanding). This didn't mean they would defend each other but the countries promised that they wouldn't quarrel over colonies. This brought the countries closer together. Three years later, they included Russia in the agreement so the Entente Cordial became the Triple Entente.
- Britain was the most powerful country in the world with the largest empire and richest trade. In 1914, Germany was producing more iron, steel and cars. They showed interest in gaining colonies which gave access to cheap goods. This brought conflict with France. Britain was getting more concerned about the German Navy and France felt threatened by their expanding colonies. During this time, Germany was building up their economy and it was stronger than Britain and France's while the two countries were trying to prevent it.