Archduke Ferdinand Essay Research Paper The Assassination

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Archduke Ferdinand Essay, Research Paper The Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand No other political murder in modern history has had such momentous consequences as the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. He was the heir to the Habsburg empire, and the first to fall victim to political homicide. Unlike some constitutional monarchies in Western Europe, the Habsburgs had failed to modernize their multinational state. They used force to defend their institutions, and they were faced with a mass of revolutionary movements in Italy and Hungary. Although the Sarajevo assassins were Bosnians and thus Austro-Hungarian citizens, and although they had plotted against the Habsburg dignitaries for years, three leading members of the conspiracy, Princip, Cabrinovic, and Grebez,

came to Sarajevo from Belgrade. They were armed with pistols and bombs, which they had obtained through some Bosnian youth from Major Voljislav Tankosic, one of the leaders of the Black Hand. Despite the common goal of national liberation shared by the Young Bosnians and the Black Hand alike they differed in their approach to internal problems in the South Slav society. The civilian authorities at the border informed the Serbian government that some members of the Black Hand were smuggling arms into Austro-Hungarian territory. An investigation was at once opened. They questioned Colonel Apis, the leader of the Black Hand, but he denied that his men were involved in these operations. There is a theory that there was a power struggle between Apis and Pasic, the Prime Minister who

thought Apis was threatening the whole political system of Serbia. The struggle led Apis to approve the delivery of the arms to the Sarajevo assassins. It seems that Apis did not expect that Princip and his accomplices would succeed in killing the archduke. Colonel also thought that their efforts would provoke a greater strain in relations between Pasic and the Vienna government. These complications would further weaken Pasic s position in relation to Apis. The conflict of interests between the European powers was intensifying on the eve of 1914 and forcing Germany and Austria-Hungary toward a common policy in the Balkans. France and Germany were competing actively in this area by offering state loans and armament contracts to the Balkan states. At the same time, Russia was

increasing their influence by advocating an alliance of Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Montenegro not only against the Ottoman Empire, but also against Austria-Hungary. Franz Ferdinand was a strong supporter of a preventive war against Serbia. From his Internal Political Instructions, he said that a war with Serbia was a certainty. He intended to annex Serbia if he had succeeded Franz Josef. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand s decision to visit Bosnia-Herzegovina in June 1914 was based on military, political, and personal considerations. He was expected to attend and the Emperor commanded the archduke to represent him as well. The news of Franz Ferdinand s visit was made public in an announcement, which appeared in the press in the middle of March 1914. This spurred the Young Bosnians

and other South Slav secret societies to greater efforts. The security measures for the Archduke s journey to Bosnia were not impressive. A close friend warned him that he might be killed in Sarajevo, all he replied was I am sure your warning is justified, but I do not let myself be kept under a glass cover. Our life is constantly in danger. One has to rely upon God. The police had prepared a special report on the activities of the Young Bosnians, but were rebuked for having a fear of Children. On the eve of June 28 they had again warned that the archduke should not visit Sarajevo on St. Vitus Day. However, the chief of the reception committee, an army officer, rejected the warning by saying: Do not worry, these lesser breeds would not dare to do anything. It was 10:10 am on June