100 Years Ago

On June 28, 1914, 100 years ago Friday, Gavrilo Princip, a radical Serb member of Mlada Bosna (Young Bosnia) put a gun in his pocket and went out into the streets of Sarajevo, Bosnia. The area was at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was St. Vitus Day or Vitodan, an auspicious day in Serbian history that commemorated, among other things, the Serbs’ defeat by the Ottomans in Kosovo during the Battle of Kosovo Polje in 1389.
The Archduke Franz Ferdinand, ruler of the Empire, was in Sarajevo that day with his pregnant wife Sophie. The Empire had conquered Bosnia in 1878, and during the 36 years since, it had been a good colonist as compared to the previous owners of the land. In fact, more progress had occurred during the Empire’s reign than any other rulers of the land had done previously.
But occupation and colonization are always humiliating. No one wants to be ruled and occupied by the Other. It’s like someone takes over your house. Sure, he spends a lot of money fixing it up for you, but he owns it now and he tells you what to do. It’s shameful.
Princip’s irredentist ideology was the same as his ideological descendants Radovan Karadjic and Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990’s – Greater Serbia.
As assassins go, Princip was highly inept. But by a stroke of luck and terrible ineptitude on the part of his victims, he achieved his goal. As their motorcade passed, Princip pulled a gun out of his pocket and fired. The Duke and his wife were dead.
The bloodied bodies of the Duke and his pregnant wife lay in their car. In the chaos that rapidly followed, a monarchical alliance system set up to prevent war actually caused what it was trying to prevent.
World War 1, the war to end all wars, the last war of the tottering monarchies of Europe, had begun.

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0 thoughts on “100 Years Ago”

  1. just a little unimportant info about Franz Ferdinand – nothing really related to this political murder. Or not?! Franz was a fanatic hunter and killed (numbers vary) around 270.000 game animals during his life, on nearly all continents. Revenge by the “animal god”? 😉

    1. That trench warfare was horrible.
      It nearly wiped out an entire generation of young European men, especially in the UK, France and Germany. There were a number of great British poets who went off to fight and never came back. It was a disaster!

      1. Yes we lost some poets but we also lost some very important people as well. Many would be scientist would die in the war and set Europe back wards to the industrialized U.S. when planes and autos along with many other infant industries made Hugh advancements in technologies. Its sad to believe that dead poets would have somehow enhanced society. But hey I’m uneducated.

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