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The Assassination Of Archduke Ferdinand Essay

2015 words - 8 pages

The sound of two bullets being fired rang out in once peaceful Savejo Street. Each shot was followed by the sickening sound of lead piercing flesh as the sovereign duke of Austria-Hungary fell. People ran up and attempted to assault the assailant but where quickly held back by the police who took control of the situation. A small mob quickly formed, gathered around the victims and came to an unsettling conclusion. On June 28th, 1914 Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his wife Sophie were assassinated by an overly passionate 17-year-old nationalist, Gavrilo Princip("Francis Ferdinand, archduke of Austria-Este" Encyclopedia Britannica). People mourned his death and were outraged when Princip was sent to prison instead of being executed(Duffy, "Who's Who - Gavirlo Princip"). Little did they know that the shot fired at the duke would have greater impact than the shot heard around the world. This lone bullet would release the pent-up aggression of ancient nations and embroil the world in a war of the likes it has never seen. How did the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand affect wars within Europe for the next 100 years? Well due to the broadness of this question I cannot possibly explain its impact in the span of only 2000 words; instead I will be focusing primarily on WWI and WWII. In answer to the question above The Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, combining with other factors, allowed for the waging of World War I, while sowing the seeds for the Second World War to sprout and flourish from.
Ferdinand's death was not much mourned over by the Austria-Hungary government or Frank Joseph the Emperor at the time. This loss was instead used as an excuse to establish authority and influence within the Balkans, via the Serbians. Three weeks after the assassination Austria-Hungary issued a severe ultimatum to Serbia(Duffy, "Feature Articles-The causes of World War One"). Demanding that the perpetrators be brought to justice and heavy control of Serbia's influence over its people(Duffy, "Feature Articles-The causes of World War One"). Hoping that the Serbians would refuse to the harsh terms of the ultimatum, Austria-Hungary planned to use it as an excuse to invade Serbia (Duffy, "Primary Documents- Austrian Ultimatum to Serbia")Also it knew that if it did invade Serbia and its Slavic people, Russia, who declared itself the protector of all Slavic people, would come to its rescue so it organized beforehand help from Germany(Encyclopedia Britannica, "World War I",2). Surprisingly Serbia agreed to all the terms within the ultimatum save a minor clause or too. It even offered to have the matter settled in national court (Duffy, "Primary Documents- Austrian Ultimatum to Serbia").
Nevertheless, on July 28 Austria-Hungary still declared war on Serbia(Encyclopedia Britannica, "World War I",2). This galvanized Russia into action which mobilized on July 30th which forced Germany to step in on August 1st (Encyclopedia Britannica, "World War...

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