Prior to 1914 Germany, France, and Britain were the three industrial super-powers of the world. However, the impact of World War I and the great Depression caused a shift in this power to the United States. Germany, extremely angered by this shift sought to regain their financial and economic standing.
Austria-Hungary had been at odds with Serbia over land issues prior to 1914 (the year of the Archduke’s assassination.
Thus, even if the heir to the throne hadn't been assassinated, Austria-Hungary may have still gone to war with Serbia. However, Not
with out Germany’s support.
Serbia did not agree to all the terms of Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum which was issued after the assassination of Arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie on June 28 th 1914. However, the terms that Austria-Hungary issued in their ultimatum were strict and unyielding. So much so, that it seems the ultimatum was written with the knowledge that Serbia would Not adhere to all the terms. Thus would mean easy access or a reasonable excuse for Austria-Hungary to go to war with Serbia. The assassination is said to be the initial spark of the war but Austria-Hungary took advantage of this incident that occurred on Austria-Hungarian land. Years prior to 1914 when the arch duke was killed, Austria had been in a feud with Serbia. Thus making the spark seem more like an excuse to somewhat mask the real desire for going to war. Austria-Hungary
Germany’s ‘blank check’ was key to the outbreak of War.