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Before the war, Serbia and Austria-Hungary were rivalrous in nature. Serbia was very interested in the Balkans, but somebody had made it there first; Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary had annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Serbs in these provinces wanted to be reunited with their fellow Serbs in Serbia, and they asked for this many times. The Serbian government asked to negotiate with Austria-Hungary, but Austria-Hungary had no interest in giving up land. The Serbs in Serbia were frustrated, and figured the only way to get their attention was to use violence. This led to the creation of the Black Hand, the terrorist group which was responsible for the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. After the assassination, an outraged Austria-Hungary sent Serbia an ultimatum. Serbia was fine with the first two terms, but refused to accept the last one which insisted that Serbia let Austro-Hungarian officials into Serbia to investigate the Black Hand. On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. I believe that because of Austria-Hungary's refusal to negotiate with Serbia and Serbia's violent reaction to that refusal are part of what led to World War 1. But these are only two of the countries I believe had a hand in the conception of WW1.

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