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History 1401E Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Whistle Rymes, Archduke Franz Ferdinand Of Austria, July Crisis

Course Code
HIS 1401E
Brock Millman
Study Guide

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Immanuel Geiss, July 1914. The Outbreak of the First World War: Selected Documents (New
York: Scribner’s, 1967), 76-87, 110-1, 113, 122-4, 127-31, 142-6, 170-1, 183-7, 282-4, 292-
Letters sent regarding the first world war from European government officials
Written by William II
Covers the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo and the series of
diplomatic maneuverings that led to an ultimatum from Austria-Hungary to Serbia,
and eventually leading into war
Describes local conflict ultimately expanding into WWI as more powers became
Confusion with time delays and whether a country was ‘declaring’ war or mobilizing
created a chain reaction of nations joining what would be called the Great War
These documents are from the July crisis which was a diplomatic crisis among the
major powers of Europe in the summer of 1914 that led to World War I/ local conflict
ultimately expanding into World War as more powers became involved
To Whom?
These letters were for the eyes of the government officials not for the mass public
Who Cares?
Letters ask what caused the world war
Austrian-Hungarian and Serbian conflicts are explained
Shows German support and beyond that, pressure as a cause of Austria’s
aggressive action
Indicates the level of confusion and back and forth sloppiness that may have aided in
the start of the war (especially the way in which Austria-Hungary was dealing with
Shows the personality of William II, and the influence he had (not just a title - he was
influencing policy)
Shows german calculation of alliances, their self-deception regarding Britain, and
their reaction when they see that most of the world’s powers are allied against them
Particularly demonstrated by marginal comments made by William II on last
letter in the collection.
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