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Causes of the First World War

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88 Causes of the First World War The five great powers: There were five powerful countries in Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century: Britain, France, Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary. In the West: Britain and France had large empires. Now Germany also wanted an empire and this made the three countries rivals. ...read more.


People of different races lived in the Balkans. One of the chief groups was the Slavs. Since many Slavs lived in Russia as well as in the Balkans, it was logical that Russia would support the Slav people. Russia was also keen to control the Balkans to gain better access to the Mediterranean Sea. ...read more.


Assassination at Sarajevo: Tensions were building up. It took only one spark to set them alight. On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir of the Austro-Hungarian throne, was visiting Sarajevo. He was shot dead by a Serbian student called Gavrillo Princip. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Russia came in on the side of Serbia and declared war on Austria-Hungary. The other major countries of the alliances were drawn in. The last one was Britain, when Germany marched through Belgium to attack France (Britain had a treaty to protect Belgium). ...read more.

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