We will be throwing the clock back and will be reviewing a documentary on the start of World War I.
World War I started with a wrong turn. It was the most destructive war that had ever been. It was the first genuine global war. It was fought in the mountains, the sky, and the deserts. America was launched as a world power. The roots of World War II and the Cold War are found in this war. The Balkans took center stage in the war. It was fought over by the Austrian Empire, Russian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. So how did this region spark the first world war?
The Ottoman Empire had its roots deep into the Balkans, but the Serbians had tossed off their Turkish masters and established independence. However, there was an enemy to the north that wanted to challenge Serbian independence: the Austrian Hungarian Empire. Emperor Franz Joseph ruled the joint Austrian-Hungarian Empire and had been in charge of the Empire for sixty-six years. He had resisted a lot of change.
The Serbians believed the Austrian-Hungarian Empire to be a repressive state. However, the Austrian-Hungarian Empire kept the peace in Europe. They were a multinational empire. Despite this, they were in a state of crisis. This would give her enemies opportunities to break away from the Empire. The Serbians were happy with this internal crisis because they could incorporate the Slavs into one superstate in the South: Yugoslavia.
A secret military society the Black Hand was formed. They would use assassination and terrorism as their tools to bring about Yugoslavia. Gavril Princip was in Belgrade talking revolution with his friends. He had heard that Franz Ferdinand was going to visit Bosnia and observe the troop movements in the mountains of Sarajevo. Princip wanted to take action against Franz Ferdinand. For the Black Hand, the Austrian troops were just a smokescreen for an invasion of Serbia. The Black Hand okayed the assassination attempt.
In 1914, Franz Ferdinand was Emperor in Waiting. In fact, his portrait was painted wearing the stars of an Emperor. He was a man who made his own way. He married a woman who was not of royal blood. He also had radical ideas for reform and it was a way to protect the empire and his own future as emperor. He toasted peace and wanted to avoid war. He did not see what was coming.
Franz Ferdinand chooses to make his appearance in Sarajevo on their national day. The Serbian Ambassador warned them against making the trip. The Austrians laughed off the warning. Even with the warning, security was light. A bomb was thrown at Franz Ferdinand and his wife. The bomb missed and Franz Ferdinand made his way to the Town Hall. Franz Ferdinand left after visiting7 the town hall he made his way to the car. A driver made a wrong turn and was assassinated. Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie died on their way to the hospital.
The Governor of Bosnia called for Austria to revenge for the assassination. Serbia must learn to fear the Austrians again. In a twist, a man who wanted peace was quickly becoming a rallying point for the war. War with Serbia was going to be unavoidable. What would happen if was declared? Who would fight in this war, after all it was just a local fight? Surely nobody else would declare war on Serbia, would they? Tune into the rest of this documentary to find out more about the start of World War I.
This is an excellent documentary to show for a history class.
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