The most interesting element about the major international powers prior to World War I is that geopolitical power rested with the European continent. The major international powers prior to World War I were nations in Europe. Great Britain was one such power. With an expansive empire, due to a powerful navy, was one of the major international powers prior to World War I. France was another such power. The Austrian- German empire featured a great level of control of in the European continent, stretching through much of Central Europe. Finally, the Eastern portion of the European continent was controlled by another major international power in Russia. Russian control of this section of Europe represented another international power. The start of the war was one in which all of these powerful nations plunged into conflict. It was one in which all of these nations went "all in" against one another, pitting each nation's fortune against one another. This is what made it such a worldwide conflict, and helped to move Europe from the center of power to America after the conflict.