I believe that the First World War was started for the specific purpose of overthrowing the Russian, German & Austro-Hungarian monarchies/autocracies, and, despite the self-righteous response of Britain to the invasion of Belgium, certain members of the British Government, in league with other shady characters, were eager to find an excuse to participate in the war.
Shortly before the invasion of Belgium, the German Ambassador asked Sir Edward Grey (Britain’s Foreign Minister pictured here) if Britain would intervene if Belgian neutrality were compromised. Grey refused to answer in the affirmative.
Rudolf Steiner, in a series of lectures, The Karma of Untruthfulness, given in 1916, makes a very valid point about subsequent events:
"On 2 August the King of Belgium requested the intervention of England, that is, he requested England to intervene with Germany. The Belgian King saw it as a matter of course that England should negotiate with Germany about the neutrality of Belgium. Initially, England did nothing. She waited a whole day while Sir Edward Grey spoke to his Parliament in London. In doing so he concealed the conversation he had had with the German ambassador. Not a word did he breathe about it. If he had mentioned it, the whole session in Parliament would have taken a different course!
So after the discussion with the German ambassador had taken place, and after the King of Belgium had requested the intervention of England, everything paused in England, nothing was done. What was everybody waiting for? They were waiting for the violation of Belgium's neutrality to be accomplished! As long as it remained unaccomplished, matters could still have taken a course along which it would not happen. Powerful forces were working against it happening and it was hanging by a silken thread. If the request of the Belgian King had been fulfilled quickly enough, if England had intervened, it is questionable whether the violation of neutrality would have taken place. But when did Grey intervene? On the fourth, when the German armies had already set foot on Belgian soil! Why did he wait, even after the request of the King of Belgium? These are questions which have to be asked."