Under the rule at the time of the assassination, the old Austrio-Hungarian Empire was built by conquest and intrigues, by sales and treacheries (The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand). Franz Ferdinand was a man who many believed would make this empire even more harsh and oppressive and these people fought against such an outcome. However, it has been noted by some that the changes Ferdinand wished to implement may have saved the nation, but while such radical reforms might have saved the empire, they were not popular among those with vested interests in the existing structure (Franz Ferdinand).
Clearly there were many who were opposed to the rule of Ferdinand and they took action. Seven conspirators joined the crowd lining the Archduke's route to City Hall and were successful in killing not only Franz but his wife Sofia, who was pregnant (Assassination of an Archduke, 1914). As one author notes, although the causes of WWI are very convoluted, it is safe to say that these two deaths in Sarajevo provided the spark that ignited the flames of that war (Pendleton).
Prior to the assassination of Ferdinand we can see that there was a great deal of political conflict between one European nation or another for many years, if not decades. One author notes that, it had been simmering for many years before it actually took place. Two countries would have a conflict, they’d have a conference, straightening it all out, and two more countries would be in a dispute over something totally different (Cox). In essence, Europe was in one conflict or another, conflicts that were never really resolved, from 1871 unti...
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...ared, if also economically spent.
It is quite obvious, as well as logical, that the assassination of Ferdinand did not cause the First World War. But, the tensions that had been growing suddenly exploded into action with the assassination. Many people were simply hoping tensions would go away, or that some action would take place so that they could go to war and find their own security and power.
The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Retrieved 20 February, 2005 from http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/1914/ferddead.html
Cox, Kim. Causes Leading To WWI. Retrieved 20 February, 2005 from http://www.kimcox.org/causesww1.htm
EyeWitnesstoHistory.com. Assassination of an Archduke, 1914. Retrieved 20 February, 2005 from http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/duke.htm
Franz Ferdinand. Retrieved 20 February, 2005 from http://www.gwpda.org/bio/f/franzfrd.html
Pendleton, Anthony. Serbian chief leads secret terrorist organization. Retrieved 20 February, 2005 from http://aia.lackland.af.mil/homepages/pa/spokesman/Sep01/heritage.htm
What were the causes of WWI? Retrieved 20 February, 2005 from http://www.faqfarm.com/History/WWI/24509
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