This is an event that is widely seen as a causative agent to the occurrence of World War I. In this historical happening, the nephew to Emperor Franz and the heir to the throne, Austria’s Archduke was assassinated. In 1914, he together with his wife were shot dead.
Otto Von Bismarck, a man credited for having kept Germany united in 1871, made a quote on his death bed that came to pass as he had predicted. He said that a great European War will some day break out due to a foolish thing in the Balkans.
In June 1914, the archduke traveled to Sarajevo sop as to inspect the imperial armed forces that were in Herzegovina and Bosnia. These were formerly Ottoman territories that Austria-Hungary annexed in 1908.
His visiting date was scheduled to be June 28th. This coincided with the anniversary of First Battle of kosovo in 1389. June 28th was an important day to the Serbians despite the fact that they lost their independence in 1448 and not 1389. On such a significant day, they would be expected to go ahead and take an exception of the strength of Austria imperial in Bosnia.
June 28th was also a day when the wedding anniversary of Franz’s wedding anniversary was to happen. He loved his wife Sophie, who was denied the status of a royal because he was born as a poor Czech aristocrat. The same happened to the children of the couple. The two toured Sarajevo on 28th June in an open car. They had little security with them. A Serbian nationalist, Cabrinovic, then threw a bomb to their car which rolled several times and wounded some bystanders and an officer.
Princip, a cohort of Cabrinovic, siezed the opportunity and shot at Franz and the wife at point-blank range. Princip then turned the gun on himself but was prevented from killing himself. angry onlookers then attacked Princip but he was arrested by the police. Meanwhile, Franz and Sophie died as medication was being sought for them.
A rapid chain of events followed after this assassination. Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbian govt for the incident, just like many other countries across the world. They hoped to use the opportunity and settle the question of Slav nationalism.
Austria-Hungary was however, reluctant in declaring war. They wanted to be assured that Germany would help them in case Russia intervened to support Serbia. Russia and Serbia were allies.
On July 28th, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. The peace talks between the great powers in Europe collapsed. Within a few weeks, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany and Russia and Serbia lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany. The 1st World War started. It is interesting that the war was triggered by the murder of Austria’s Archduke.