The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand

The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand

It made it impossible for the major powers to keep out of what should

have been a small third Balkan war. This was because Austria, a major

super power, had been embarrassed by little Serbia and had to deliver

an ultimatum. Germany delivered the blank cheque to Austria, as she

had to support ethnically other Germans who lived in Austria. The

confidence of the blank cheque meant that Austria had to act and

deliver a harsh ultimatum on Austria. Serbia couldn't take the blame

for the whole of assassination but neither could it allow Austria to

inspect it, they therefore didn't comply with the full 10 demands of

the ultimatum. Austria then had to declare war on Serbia and bomb

Belgrade. Serbia's champion Russia contained Pan Slavs like herself

and so she had to become involved. She mobilised in order to get

Austria to back down; this was obviously a war of Slavdom versus


Germany asked Russia to immobilise but Russia couldn't because she was

such a big country it would take ages, Germany had to then declare war

on Russia, and soon after on France because of the Schlieffen plan.

According to the schleiffen plan Germany also had to invade Belgium to

invade France quickly then invade Russia. This broke the treaty of

London and so Britain declared war on Germany. The war had well and

truly begun, with the other countries now in a war they couldn't have


But there were other reasons behind the assassination, which forced

Europe into war so suddenly. Britain wanted to ensure Germany didn't

dominate Europe with Weltpolitk and also because of Anglo German naval

rivalry. Russia wa...

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...llies and leave them

isolated. This view treats Balkan matters largely as influences on

policy elsewhere

The tough positions taken by both Austria and Serbia brought the

situation too close to the brink to step back, and in a few days

matters were out of control. Again, the specific arguments raised by

each side matter less than their mutual willingness to take risks.

This policy of brinkmanship made war more likely than negotiation.

Second, in 1914 both sides believed that they were in a strong

position to win if war came. The Austrians had German backing; the

Serbs had promises from Russia. Neither side considered the chance the

war would spread across Europe.

Third, neither side really believed that their differences could be

settled by negotiation. Only one regime could rule the South Slavs in

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