"July Crisis"

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, May 24, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    The so-called "July Crisis" actually spans the period from the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, on 28 June 1914, to the general declaration of war in early August.

    Elements within the Austro-Hungarian government had been itching to strike at Serbia during the immediate pre-war years, but had lacked a credible excuse to do so. Nationalist pan-Slav agitation within Serbia, and which Austria-Hungary suspected was encouraged by the Serbian government, served only to destabilise Austro-Hungarian influence in the Balkans.
  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    The July Crisis was the immediate cause of the First World War !

    By 1914, a decade of reckless diplomacy and recurrent crises had taken its toll on European international relations, and it was widely feared that a general war was becoming unavoidable. On June 28, the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by a young Bosnian Serb whose weapons had been supplied by ultra-nationalists with contacts in the Serbian government. Serbia and Austria-Hungary had long been bitterly antagonistic and Austria soon secretly decided to make use of the murder to force a crisis that would lead to the invasion and destruction of Serbia in a localized war. On July 5 the German Kaiser blithely pledged to unconditionally support Austria in this dangerous scheme. Despite some disquieting hints, it was only on July 23 that the crisis broke into the open, when Serbia was suddenly presented with an impossible ultimatum by Austria-Hungary.

    From then on, events moved quickly. Russia immediately gave strong support to its ally Serbia, France backed its ally Russia, and though Germany began to grow alarmed, it stubbornly continued to encourage Austria, making a diplomatic solution impossible. After Austria declared war on Serbia on July 28, the crisis rapidly spun out of control. As the situation grew more ominous, the exhausted diplomats and political leaders were unable to resist their military chiefs' demands for preparatory measures, which neighboring nations felt compelled to respond to, leading to full-scale mobilizations and then to war. Germany declared war on Russia August 1 and on France two days later. On August 4, Germany invaded Belgium, which drew Britain into the conflict on the same day. Austria came in between August 6 and August 12. By then, all of the European powers except Italy were at war with each other.


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