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What were the causes of the first world war? Many Folks think, that the First World War was caused by the assassination of the heir to the empire of Austria-Hungry, Arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand. However, I think, there have been several other more important causes that might have started the war. For example: the competition of countries, the people (Triple Entente and Triple Alliance), that the industries of Britain and Germany, Militarism, Rivalry and many more. Firstly, Germany was attempting to expand its empire, and Britain and France had large empires. Thus, as Germany became more power it also needed an empire. Britain and France didn't need this, as a massive German empire has been a hazard to the Britain and France's Empires. Hence, this made Germany a rival of both Britain and France. Second, the rivalry of Russia and also Austria-Hungry, both countries desired control of the Balkans. Russia attempted to control the Balkans by assisting the Slav individuals gain independence from Austria-Hungry. Austria-Hungry wanted to stop the Serbs helping the Slav individuals gain freedom. Therefore, a rivalry between Austria-Hungry and Russia had been shaped. Paradoxically, Britain was leading the planet's industry for several years. By 1914 Germany was producing more coal, steel, iron and cars than Britain. Britain saw Germany as a significant rival and its growing wealth and power as a potential threat to its own wealth and power. As a result, the competition of Germany and Britain heightened. On the flip side, some poeple believed this was the most important reason for the war: on June 28th 1914, the heir to the Austria-Hungarian empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assinated along with his wife, while touring the streets of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. The assassin.