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at the beggining of the war austro hungarian empire was a major european power that badly needed to modernise and federalise. its ruler was old and the archduke was its heir apparent. he had a plan to federalise and modernise the empire when he gained power and this was seen to be key to maintaining the balance of power in europe. he was shot by serbian anarchists in bosnia then part of austro Hungary who opposed his plan to reorganise around their independent state. as a result the empire declared war on serbia. the empire was disorganised however and didnt have the troops to attack so required the aid of russia or Germany and turned to germany as they had the best and most easily deployed army. this upset russia who considered serbia to be a russian protectorate so they declared war with a very substandard army and had to call on old allies to help bringing france and italy into the war. britan seeing theese allies were about to be defeated by the superior german army used an old alliance with Belgium to trigger their entry into the war to try and preserve the balance of power and curb the ascendant power of germany. in order to combat the british germany bought turkey into the war causing the british to call heavily on their empire and seek military alliance with the usa. the usa were only drawn into the war when germany formed an alliance with mexico and encouraged them to declare war on the us...something like that anyway

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Q: Why did the asassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand set off World War 1?
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