Essay On The July Crisis

832 Words 4 Pages
In June of 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife Sophie visited the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina to observe routine Austrian military maneuvers. It was in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo where both the Archduke and his wife lost their lives at the hands of a group of young Bosnian nationalists, who sought to liberate Bosnia from Austrian subjugation. The murder of the Archduke precipitated the July Crisis, where over the course of the month the great powers of Europe attempted to arrest the threat of war which loomed over the world. However, It was all for naught, for on August 1, 1914, Germany declared war on the Franco-Russian entente, sparking the First World War.
In the years following the outbreak of the First World War, historians have argued over how and why the death of the Archduke triggered a crisis that coalesced into the defining war of the 20th century. Many place the blame on Germany for their role in enabling Austria to declare war on Serbia so as to justify a war with Serbia’s neighbor and strongest ally Russia. While Germany did have a role in enabling Austria’s declaration of war upon the Serbs, their role is eclipsed by the Austrian leader’s willingness to go to war with Serbia which would have happened even without Germany’s backing. To illustrate how Austria’s desire for war with Serbia mad the outcome of the July Crisis inevitable, I must examine first why Austria and
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Austria’s then foreign minister, Baron Alois Lexa, famously tricked his Russian counterpart, Alexander Lzvolsky, into accepting Austria’s annexation of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in exchange for Austrian endorsement of Russia’s claim to Naval access in the Ottoman Straits, before reneging on his promise. Lzvolsky then reneged in turn, or would have, had it not been for Germany’s implied threat of war with

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