On June 28th 1914, a Bosnian terrorist group known as the Black Hand assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife. This act was the event that essentially sparked the beginning of World War I. However, the assassination was not the one and only reason behind such a massive conflict. There were underlying issues that all together helped push the European nations to battle. With all things considered, the First World War was caused by the struggle for military power, the intense feelings of national pride and the need to build and expand empires. .
One of the contributing factors that led to the war was each country's need to have a strong military force. All throughout Europe it was believed that the answer to ending the war and regaining peace was by having the best army and newest equipment. Multiple countries often struggled against each other to assert dominance on land and at sea.
" Only those powers that have great navies will be listened to with respect when the future competition of the Pacific Trade comes to be solved: and if for that reason only, Germany must have a powerful fleet" Out of all of Europe, Britain was the biggest naval power, but during the war, that title was threatened. Germany was determined to emerge from the conflict on top as the most powerful armed force in Europe. This competitive struggle for military dominance was known as an "arms race". The growth of military forces resulted in an increased danger of war. .
Another component that helped start the war was the desire amongst the major European countries to obtain multiple different colonies. Competition between countries was often over which would succeed to overthrow and claim a colony. " They suspect the Emperor (of Germany) of an aggressive plan of world domination, and they see that Germany is forcing the pace of building armaments in order to dominate Europe" The driving force behind this behavior was to create and expand an empire.