Today in history

On June 28, 1914, a teenage Serbian nationalist gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, as their motorcade maneuvered through the streets of Sarajevo. Next in line for the Austro-Hungarian throne, Ferdinand had not been particularly well liked in aristocratic circles. Nonetheless, his death quickly set off a chain reaction of events culminating in the outbreak of World War I.

The History Channel.

This entry was posted in History. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Today in history

  1. Bruce of Newcastle

    Its a sign of the times that political assassination is back in vogue, usually by Islamists, but not always. I would put the new era as starting with the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Mr Abdullah in Afghanistan survived an attempt a few weeks ago, before his opponents just decided to rig the election instead.

    A reaction to the remoteness of the political class from a fed-up populace, which democracy fixed for a while until the oligarchs found out how to subvert it. History repeats.

  2. Alfonso

    Times have changed….these days who gives a rat’s.
    The Chinese could assassinate the US President and with obfuscation and some temporary trade sanctions the US elites would have the populace back to Facebook and Playstation before dinner.

  3. stackja

    Liberty Quotes
    The horrors of revolution and civil war can be avoided if a disliked government can be smoothly dislodged at the next election.
    — Ludwig von Mises

    Royal cousins Wilhelm II and King George V went to war.

  4. Joe Goodacre

    If not the assassination, some other event probably would have set Europe off.

    WWI wasn’t enough to get it out of their system either.

  5. sabrina

    Great thread Sinc, and good point you made Bruce. Sometimes we do not realize how lucky we are in Australia that political assassination is not the way to sort out problems despite tremendous differences of opinion. Perhaps John Newman is the only example in my living memory.
    Re WW1 and subsequent wars that followed, not every country or society has learned lessons though, I think.

  6. Baldrick

    Its a sign of the times that political assassination is back in vogue …

    Serbian leaders unveil a life size statue of the young radical, Gavrilo Princip, whose assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, sparking World War One.

    Two concerts in two Bosnian cities will also mark the 100th anniversary on Saturday of the Sarajevo assassination in a divided country where the past still haunts the present.
    The separate events speak volumes to Bosnia a century on, where perceptions of the Bosnian Serb who gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand have been warped by time and politics, and wounds are still raw from the bloody demise of Yugoslavia.

    One of the worlds most bloodiest and deadliest wars is now a reason to celebrate a State sponsored political assassination, with all the trimmings. Go figure.

  7. Roger

    “The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century. The first of these was World War I, and much of our present predicament can be traced back to it. It was a war (the memory of which seems to be fading) when Europe, bursting with health and abundance, fell into a rage of self-mutilation which could not but sap its strength for a century or more, and perhaps forever. The only possible explanation for this war is a mental eclipse among the leaders of Europe due to their lost awareness of a Supreme Power above them. Only a godless embitterment could have moved ostensibly Christian states to employ poison gas, a weapon so obviously beyond the limits of humanity.”

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Templeton Address, 1983

  8. Petros

    It’s worth remembering that there were a number of assassination attempts on Austro-Hungarian royals. Sisi was one who copped it. They weren’t exactly widely loved outside Austria. I don’t know why Princip’s effort caused a war when the others didn’t.

  9. manalive

    The war was inevitable assassination or not. The Germans were itching for it, the French wanted revenge, the Russians and Austrians were frothing over the Balkans.
    It would have been better for all concerned if the Schlieffen Plan had worked as intended, the Belgians had granted passage of German troops, the British stayed out and the French quickly outflanked and forced to an armistice. Then Germany could have walloped the Russian Imperial Army and later Bolsheviks (à la Tannenberg) and expanded their empire east as was intended.
    Also Hitler killed in the battle, instead of narrowly escaping death as happen at least twice in fact on the Western Front — just in case.

  10. Petros

    So Manalive, Germany gets Poland then? Interesting. Being situated between Russia and Germany is rather awkward at times.

  11. Disillusioned

    Alfonso, would Obama really be worth fighting a war over?

    Petros, most people are unaware the that German invasion of Poland in WW2 was quickly followed by an invasion of Poland by the Russians. I don’t recall reading of any protests and declarations of war with Russia. If Germany and Russia had confined the war to the eastern front by the non-interference of France and the UK the world may have been a better place today. If such could have happened in 1914 so much the better but there would not be a fraction of the technology we have today if either war had not had UK/US involvement.

  12. If Germany and Russia had confined the war to the eastern front by the non-interference of France and the UK the world may have been a better place today

    Agreed, except Germany in 1939 wasn’t going to settle for just Poland.

  13. Disillusioned

    Steve, Hitler wanted Russia more than the western European countries. With Germany tied up with Russia, Italy may have not been so ambitious and the UK/US could have done more damage to Japan earlier but that is supposition so the ultimate end result is an unknown quantity as much as the failure of the assassination of Ferdinand. We are no better of speculating on what could have been in the current world. Better to accept what is and adapt, you can’t change what has already occurred but you can learn to recognise the precursors it you study history, something the left ignores today because they believe that they can control the totalitarian Islamic monster and we will pay the price for it.

  14. Petros

    All very interesting but we were talking about WWI. It seems things would have been better if Germany just stayed out of it and let the Austrians fight their own battles. The present day Austrians even have the temerity to claim (re WWII) that they were Hitler’s first victims (the Anschluss).

  15. Beertruk

    WWI a mistake, Archduke Franz Ferdinand found alive.

Comments are closed.