Sgt._Pepper wrote:Germany was the one responsible for escalating it, while France tried everything to avoid a war.
No, no, not really. I think you've got a misunderstanding of history, or at the very least you have an exceptionally oversimplified understanding. While the actions of the Kaiser certainly helped nudge the conflict into open war, it was mainly through incompetence; the Kaiser gave the Austrio-Hungarians a "blank check" of support for the Empire's actions against Serbia and then went on holiday on a boat where nobody could reach him. They hadn't even bothered to check with the Austrio-Hungarians or dig very deep into what the Empire was planning to do specifically regarding the death of Franz, nor the wider implications of those actions.
Hötzendorf (on the Austrio-Hungarian side) had been the massive driving force to getting the Empire into a war with Serbia (he'd requested war no less than twenty times in the past two years).
The Russians began "semi" mobilizing before anybody else, and the strategic understanding of warfare at the time meant that a nation that did not mobilize while its enemy did would be walked over without much of a fight, forcing everybody elses' hands as well.