There were many indirect causes for the World War 1, such as the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, unification of Germany, the formation of Alliances, nationalism, militarism, and imperialism. In 1871, 25 separate states unified to become one powerful German nation. This upset the balance of power in Europe, where England, France and Russia were three almost equally powerful nations. Germany becoming more powerful disrupted all of that. Because of the tension from the unevenness of power, nations formed alliances for protection. However, these alliances resulted in two powerful groups of nations: the Allies, which were Russia, France, and England; and the Central Powers, which were Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Ottoman Empire. Because of these powerful nations being separated in such a way, one disagreement could have resulted in a battle. Nationalism is defined as admiration for ones country. During the years before World War 1, the sense of nationalism was great. People didn't mind dying for their country even if they didn't know why they had to die. This unhealthy rise of nationalism was just another of many factors that started World War 1. After the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, Austria gave Serbia an ultimatum before it would declare war: end anti-Austrian feeling in government, punish Serbian officials involved, and allow Austria to participate in the investigation. Serbia agreed to all of the terms except the last, so Austria declared war. Before the war began, there was competition between many of the countries involved to have the biggest and best armed forces. However the greatest cause of World War 1 was the formation of the Alliances.
Before World War I started certain European nations had entered into many alliances to protect themselves from each other. The countries created alliances between themselves to motivate their defense which would bring the armies together in case of War.