To do this essay, you will have to describe AND EXPLAIN the steps by which the countries of Europe tumbled into war after the death of Franz Ferdinand.


Use this writing frame to build your essay.  

Instructions are in red bold.

Mouseover the maroon text for hints on what to say.


How did the murder of Franz Ferdinand lead to a World War, June-August 1914?

Your opening sentence will set the scene, saying:

'After the murder of Franz Ferdinand on 28 June 1914, there were four key decisions which took the countries of Europe into war.'


Paragraph 1

Write a sentence or two outlining the first point: Austria declares war

Start with the words: 'Europe started the slide to war when...'

... and then explain Austria's reasons for that decision



Paragraph 2

Write a sentence or two outlining the second point: Russia mobilises

Start with the words: 'The next step on the road to war...'

... and then explain Russia's reasons for mobilising



Paragraph 3

Write a sentence or two outlining the third point: Schlieffen Plan - Germany's response

Start with the words: 'The third step...'

... and then explain Germany's reasons for declaring war



Paragraph 4

Write a sentence or two outlining the fourth point: England declares war

Start with the words: 'Finally...'

... and then explain why Britain joined the war




And, finally, end with a paragraph making a general point summarising what you think.

Start with the words: 'Overall, the...'



Your name:


Your form:




1 Austria-Hungary declared war
Mention the declaration of war on 28 July

Perhaps mention the ultimatum of 23 July

1 Explanation of WHY Austria declared war
Perhaps mention Austria's fear of Serbia - Hotzendorf - anger about the murder of Franz Ferdinand - the 'blank cheque of 5 July - the intentional severity of the ultimatum

2 Russia mobilised
Mention the order of a general mobilisation on 31 July

2 Explanation of WHY
Perhaps mention Serbia's acceptance of Austria's ultimatum apart from Clause 6 - desire of Grand Council to avoid war - Nicholas II's feeling that 'An unjust war has been declared on a weak country' - Nicholas's inability to call a partial mobilisation

3 Schlieffen Plan - Germany's reponse
Mention declaration of war on Russia 1 August - pretend attack on Nuremberg and declaration of war on France 3 August

3 Explanation of WHY Germany declared war
Perhaps mention the threat of Russian mobilisation ('a loaded pistol pointing at your head') - Wilhelm's rejection of Nicholas's telegram

Mention Schlieffen assumption that Russia was the greater danger but was slower - only one plan - danger to Germany now Russia was mobilising first- railway timetables - a plan of attack only - Bethmann-Hollweg - Moltke's feeling of 'the sooner the better'

4 Britain declares war
Perhaps mention Germany's invasion of Belgium 3 August - Britain's declaration of war 4 August

4 Explanation of WHY Britain declared war
Mention the Treaty of 1839.   Perhaps mention Bethmann-Hollweg's surprise - British sympathy for 'little' Belgium (Punch cartoon) - fear of German militarism

Perhaps mention

5 hint
Perhaps mention

Perhaps mention

6 hint
Perhaps mention