Did Austria-Hungary start World War I?
Yes they did. After the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie had taken place by a Black Hand member, Austria started war against Serbia.
Yes, but becauser Serbia refused the ultimatum sent.
Austria-Hungary did not start WWI. They all had their part in it, because simply put, its all about inevitability. All the way from the time of the Napoleonic Wars up to WWI, everything was pretty much calm. Not too many wars happened, and when they did they didn't last too long and there weren't many killed. Anyhow, during this period, all these European countries became more powerful. Bascially, they all got very rich and what better place to invest all that money but the army. So therefore, by the late 1800s and the early 1900s, all of these European countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Austria-Hungary, England, and others were very wealthy, and they all had a powerful military. So, four sources of tension came up: nationalism, political and family rivalries, military buildups, and the alliance systems. So basically, all of Europe could be viewed as a lake full of gasoline, just waiting for that match to fall in a cause the explosion. WWI was inevitable and was going to happen weather Gavrillo Princep killed Ferdinand or not.
Austria started conflict and later the world war 1 because they had always wanted to crush Serbia who had helped and encouraged the Serbs living in Bosnia, Austria to uprise against the Austrian government and break free from their rule. Austria feared that if the Serbs succeeded then the other nationalities in Austria like the Poles, Croats, Ukranians would also break off and make their empire weak. They therefore decided that it would be best to crush Serbia, and so when the Serbian terrorist group "Black Hand" shot the heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand on June 28 1914 Austria sent an ultimatum to Serbia expecting it not to be accepted because they thought that this assasination would be a perfect excuse to crush Serbia once and for all. And when the Serbia accepted all but one of Austria's ultimatum demands ( which were brutal and hard to comply with) Austria declared war against Serbia (as it had always wanted) And so, I guess you could say that Austria did begin major conflict and was the very first nation to proclaim war.
I totally agree with you Austria pretty much just wanted a reason to start a war and when it got support from Germany it didn't think twice about negotiating some other punishment for Serbia but it declared war not understanding that the Russian were going to support Serbia and France would support Russia and so it would become something much bigger.