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HIS242_Paxton_Ch2.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIS242H1
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Winter

Description
1 Europe in the Twentieth Century Notes Chapter 2: The Coming of War Pre-WWI  Europe has avoided major catastrophes through diplomacy o Keeping things regional  Liberal optimism  If war comes, modern weapons will make it quick, decisive  Science and technology will make for quick knockouts o Long wars would be impossible to sustain WWI  Destroys an entire generation  Ruins many European treasures o Prosperity doesn’t return until the 1960s  Destroys European primacy o Great Powers forced to call in on external forces… USA  Loses sovereign control over their own destinies henceforth The July Crisis of 1914 Austro-Serbian war begins the confrontation of July 1914  But it is different from the subsequent escalation that draws in the Great Powers o A-S Crisis: political assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand June 28 1914, Sarajevo in Bosnia o Heir to the Habsburg throne  At first glance: purely internal matter  Austro-Hungarian subject has killed the Habsburg heir on Austro-Hungarian territory  But… Gavrilo Princip was armed and trained by the Black Hand  Underground terrorist group out of Serbia o Independence for all South Slavs  So… the issue is how directly were they supported by Serbia?  The July Crisis o June 28: Assassination o The crisis: prove Serbian complicity and punish o July 29: Russian mobilization I) The Balkans: Declining Empires and Rising Nationalities o The Balkan area is unique in 1914  Complex patchwork of national identities  Unsettled boundary statuses 2 th o Early 19 Century Eastern Europe… 3 broad empires:  Austria-Hungary  Imperial Russia  Ottoman Turkey  Passive governance  Remote authority  Mix of languages  Different customs  Different religions  Contrary to Western European patterns  Active governance  Universal literacy  phases out dialects, regional customs  National education o 1815 onwards:  Decline of the three empires  Struggle to place new pattern of governance  Attempt to go West  FAIL: years of passive tolerance has allowed differentiation for too long o Ottoman Empire  First to lose its grip  Provinces start asserting national autonomy/independence from Turks  Serbia goes autonomous in 1817  Full independence in 1878  Independence is good in the West…  In the East: destabilizing  While the Ottoman Empire falls apart, Austria-Hungary and Russia cannot remain passive  New opportunity to gain land, trading partners etc.  This puts them into oppositional conflict  Neither can predominate  Other Great Powers try to mediate conflict by balancing gains  Internal Destabilization  Austria-Hungary and Russia fear ethnic revivals  Austria-Hungary has it worse  Nationalism threatens its very existence  Survival depends on muting all national independence movements  Blocking Serbian expansion is a priority  The only Balkan nation to threaten a Great Power vitally  Serbia could not or would not stop the Black Hand o Serbia becomes a pariah  Austro-Hungary wants to annex Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908 so that they can never become part of a greater Southern Slav state  Russia is interested… looking to recoup from humiliation of Russo- Japanese war loss of 1905 3  The annexation is negotiated with Russian foreign minister, Alexander Izvolsky, in advance with Austrian foreign minister, Baron Alois von Aehrentha so that Russia would acquire rights to move warships through the Straits at Constantinople  The annexation is announced before the Straits are negotiated  Izvolsky is pissed and goes to German chancellor, Prince Bernhard von Bulow  Bulow threatens to release info that Izvolsky had agreed to the deal earlier in secret if he threatens war on Austria-Hungary o Balkan Destabilization  The newly independent Balkan states are not unified nation states  Too much ethnic variation  Too many languages  Cultures  Religions  Together they compose “imagined communities”  But they are very real to the people  Dozens of languages, and language is the bearer of new identities  East: Orthodox Catholic  West: roman Catholic  Bosnia/Albania: some Muslims  Some attempt to go West  But even within “homogenous states” there are minorities while some “kin” remain outside  Dominant nationalities attempt to absorb/expel minorities and to expand to incorporate separated kin  Balkan Wars in which Serbia profits  1912: First Balkan War  Aggressors profit from spoils of Macedonia  Within a few months, the victors argue over spoils  Leads to 1913: Second Balkan War  Forcing Bulgaria to give up territory  Accompanied with “ethnic cleansing”  Austro-Hungary freaks…  Serbia cannot have any further successes o Back to June 28 1914…  Austro-Hungarian government has no proof that the Serbian government knew of Princip’s plans  Still… they seize the assassination as the moment to screw Serbia  Habsburg government decides to wage a punitive war directly on Serbia 4 II) Germany’s “Blank Check” o Austro-Hungarian plan: war must be limited or risk Russian intervention on Serbia’s behalf  Onth German counter-threat could neutralize Russians o July 5 : Kaiser Wilhelm grants Habsburg Empire a “blank check”  Complete solidarity  Plus, officials actively goad Austrians to action  The net of involvements have started ensnaring other Great Powers… o Germans know that Russians might intervene…  Bluff? If so, a counterbluff is possible…  Would France intervene? Maybe not  1905: Russo-Japanese War  No involvement  1908: Bosnian Annexation Crisis  No involvement  Kaiser is obsessed about “encirclement”  1914 is an opportunity to prove that Germany and Austria could break out  besides… Germany is in a better position to fight France and Russia now than later  France still adjusting to military service law of 1913  Russia still in the middle of rearmament program  July 1914 is a strategic time… react now or reconcile to eventual decline III)Austria’s Ultimatum to Serbia o Austro-Hungary presents an ultimatum to Serbia  Worded in an unacceptable manner  They need it to be refused as justification for military action  They want rd punish Serbia  Presented July 23  Careful timing to avoid French visit to Russia/Kaiser on holiday  Called the “timed note”  Shows that Austrians knew they were going to the brink  Accuses Serbia of being guilty of tolerating criminal dealings, subversion, separatism within Habsburg lands, obliging Austria to put an end to it  Plus a list of ten demands  Designed to engage European sympathy  Unconditional acceptance demanded within 48 hours  All Austrian demands accepted but one  No Austrian participation in the Serbian investigation  So the offer is rejected on July 25  And Serbian military mobilizes o Last week of July: a testing time  Diplomacy has worked prior to the July Crisis  But these are new circumstances…  Attempt of one Great Power, supported by another, to reduce decisively the power of a small neighbour  Very difficult to negotiate an end 5 o Germans block all efforts of conciliation  They want war o July 28 : Austro-Hungary declares war on Serbia th o July 29 : Army shells on Belgrade  This is the first time since 1878 that a Great Power is at war on the Continent Escalation: From Local War to Continental War Military alliances/Great Power rivalries threaten escalation from the start, although Germany and Austria want the Austro-Serbian war to be localized… Degree of escalation depends on:  Diplomatic skills  Access to information  Control over militaries  Perceptions of unfolding choices between war and humiliation I) Russia’s Mobilization o Russia is the most immediately affected by the Austrian ultimatum  They cathot accept another humiliation like Bosnia 1908  July 28 : Russia goes to arms when
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