Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia - HISTORY
Alexander's erratic behaviour, along with an unpopular marriage to a much older The changes in Serbia presented several problems for Austria-Hungary. pathize with their brother Serbs and Croats in Austria-Hungary. The expedition was to have other European problem were satisfactorily solved. All the nationalist .. nothing of the Prussian officer about them in their relations to the men they. Austria-Hungary–Serbia relations Hungarian prime minister Istvan Tisza blocks immediate retaliation on Serbia. Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.
Austria-Hungary regarded Serbia as the leading, and the worst, example of this. Serbia was declared an independent state.
Austria-Hungary dominated the Balkans economically. To try to reduce its dependence on Austria-Hungary, Serbia began to build trade links with France and Bulgaria Austria-Hungary reacted by banning all imports of Serbia pork so the quarrel was called 'the Pig War'and Serbia responded by selling its pork to France - it sent it through Bosnia to the Adriatic, and then by sea to France.
The Serbs were furious, not just because Serbs lived there, nor even because they had hoped to conquer Bosnia themselves, but also because Austria stopped Serbian pork going through Bosnia. Serbia appealed to Russia, but Nicholas would not go to war with Austria, and Serbia was forced to recognise Austria's right to Bosnia. Next year, Bulgaria attacked Serbia, but was defeated, leaving Serbia as the leading Slavic power in the Balkans. Pasic, the Serbian prime Minister, declared: Who was involved within Serbia, and why?
The planning was secret, and most of the participants died without making reliable statements. Student groups like Mlada Bosna were capable of hatching murder plots on their own. During several of the eventual participants talked about murdering General Oskar Potiorek, the provincial Governor or even Emperor Franz Joseph. Once identified as would-be assassins, however, the Bosnian students seem to have been directed toward Franz Ferdinand by Dimitrijevic-Apis, by now a colonel in charge of Serbian intelligence.
Princip returned from a trip to Belgrade early in with a plan to kill Franz Ferdinand, contacts in the Black Hand who later supplied the guns and bombs, and information about the planned June visit by the heir, which Princip would not have known without a leak or tip from within Serbian intelligence.
InApis took credit for planning the killing, but his motives can be questioned: In fact, the Radical Party and the king were afraid of Apis and had him shot. Those who believe Apis was at work point to "trialism" as his motive. Apis is supposed to have seen the heir as the only man capable of reviving Austria-Hungary. If Franz Ferdinand had reorganized the Habsburg Empire on a trialist basis, satisfying the Habsburg South Slavs, Serbian hopes to expand into Bosnia and Croatia would have been blocked.
In early JuneApis is said to have decided to give guns and bombs to Princip and his accomplices, and arranged to get the students back over the border into Bosnia without passing through the border checkpoints. Pasic and the state While Apis may or may not have been guilty of planning the murder, the murder did not necessarily mean war. There was no irresistable outburst of popular anger after the assassination: Austria-Hungary did not take revenge in hot blood, but waited almost two months.
When the Habsburg state did react against Serbia, it was in a calculated manner as we will see in a moment. For now, suffice it to say that the Austrians chose to blame the Pasic government for the crime. How culpable was the Serbian regime? There is no evidence to suggest that Pasic planned the crime. It is unlikely that the Black Hand officers were acting on behalf of the government, because the military and the Radical Party in fact were engaged in a bitter competition to control the state.
After the Balkan Wars, both military and civilian figures claimed the right to administer the newly liberated lands the so-called Priority Question. AfterPasic knew that Apis' clique would kill to get their way. Pasic's responsibility revolves around reports that he was warned of the intended crime, and took inadequate steps to warn Austrian authorities. Despite Pasic's denials, there is substantial testimony that someone alerted him to the plot, and that Pasic ordered the Serbian ambassador in Vienna to tell the Austrians that an attempt would be made on the life of the heir during his visit to Bosnia.
However, when the Serbian ambassador passed on the warning, he appears to have been too discreet. Instead of saying that he knew of an actual plot, he spoke in terms of a hypothetical assassination attempt, and suggested that a state visit by Franz Ferdinand on the day of Kosovo June 28 was too provocative. Austrian diplomats failed to read between the lines of this vague comment. By the time the warning reached the Habsburg joint finance minister the man in charge of Bosnian affairs any sense of urgency had been lost, and he did nothing to increase security or cancel the heir's planned visit.
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After the murders, the Serbian government was even more reluctant to compromise itself by admitting any prior knowledge, hence Pasic's later denials. If we agree that the Pasic government did not plan the killings, what can we say about their response to the crisis that followed? War in was not inevitable: Blame in Austria-Hungary Before we can answer that question, we must look at the official Austrian reaction to the killing.
This took two forms. First, the police and the courts undertook a wide-ranging series of arrests and investigations. Hundreds of people were arrested or questioned, sometimes violently.
Twenty-five people were finally tried and convicted, though only a few were executed, because so many of the defendants were minors.
Second, the Austrian foreign ministry and the emperor's closest advisors considered what to do about Serbia's role in the plot. Investigators quickly learned that the murder weapons came from Serbian sources, but Austrian intelligence failed to distinguish between the roles of the Pasic administration and the unofficial nationalist groups: Austria's blame for the war attaches to its calculated response to the murders.
Early councils were divided. The chief of staff, General Franz Baron Conrad von Hoetzendorf, wanted a military response from the beginning. Conrad had previously argued that the Monarchy was surrounded by enemies who needed to be defeated individually, before they could combine. In other words, he wanted a war against the Serbs and Russians, followed later by a confrontation with Italy.
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Leopold Count von Berchtold, the Habsburg foreign minister, generally agreed with Conrad's analysis. Berchtold took no strong position in the crisis: The only real opposition to a policy of confrontation and war came from the Hungarian Prime Minister, Count Stephan Tisza.
Tisza was personally opposed to militarism and took the risks of war more seriously than Conrad. Also, as a Magyar, Tisza realized that a Habsburg victory would be a domestic defeat for Hungarians: Either the Slavic population of Hungary would increase, leaving the Magyars as a minority in their own country, or trialism would replace the dualist system, again discounting Magyar influence.
The early Austrian deliberations included another, calculated element that shows their limited interest in peace: The Austrian ambassador in Berlin found that the Germans, especially Kaiser Wilhelm, supported a war to punish Serbia and offered their full support. This was in clear contrast to events during the Balkan War ofwhen Berlin refused to back Vienna in any intervention.
Like the Austrians, the Germans feared a future war with Russia, and preferred to fight soon, before their enemies grew stronger. When the Austrian Council of Ministers met again on July 7, the majority favored war. To satisfy Tisza, the council agreed to present demands to Serbia, rather than declare war at once.
In the belief that a diplomatic victory alone would not be enough to destroy Serbia as a threat, the demands were deliberately to be written in such extreme terms that Serbia could not accept them. Serbia's refusal to comply would then become the excuse for war. Within a week, Tisza himself consented to this plan: The final point ultimatum demanded the suppression of anti-Austrian newspapers and organizations including Narodna Odbranaa purge of anti-Austrian teachers and officers, and the arrest of certain named offenders.
Two points seriously interfered in Serbian sovereignty: Austrian police would help suppress subversives on Serbian territory, and Austrian courts would help prosecute accused conspirators inside Serbia. The document had a hour deadline. The council finalized the demands on July 19th and sent them to Belgrade on the 23rd. The war party in Vienna hoped that the Serbs would fail to agree, and that this could be an excuse for war.
The hour time limit is further evidence that the document was not meant as a negotiating proposal, but as an ultimatum. We can say three things about how the Austrian process of decision bears on Austria's responsibility: First, the majority in the Council of Ministers assumed from the first that war was the appropriate response. Only Count Tisza opposed it, and he did so largely for reasons of domestic politics. His objections were overcome by the promise to seek no annexation of Serbia.
The negotiations with Serbia were really a sham, to create a good impression: A second clue to Austria's intent is Vienna's approach to Berlin for Germany support in case of war. In October Vienna moved to absorb them into the empire, announcing the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This move outraged Serbia, who saw the annexation as both an expansion of Austrian power and a threat to Slavic independence in the Balkans. Serbia mobilised its military in response to the annexation, however, they later backed down after failing to secure Russian backing. The Treaties of London and Bucharest saw Serbia gain a considerable amount of territory and people, almost doubling in size from 48, to 87, square kilometres and growing by 1. This expansion made Serbia one of the largest states in southern Europe, as well as the most militarily powerful nation in the Balkans.
A French image from depicting territorial claims in the Balkans By now, Serbian and Austro-Hungarian relations were at a dangerously low ebb.
Military planners in Vienna spoke openly about crushing its insolent neighbour; the only task was to find a pretext for war against Serbia. Pan-Slavic nationalist groups began to form and flourish. These groups had two aims: These groups used propaganda and agitation to promote pan-Slavism and condemn its enemies — not just Austria-Hungary but also moderate Serbian politicians who had failed to stand up to Vienna.
Though comprised mostly of students and young radicals, these militant nationalist groups enjoyed some support from Serbian bureaucrats, military officers, even members of the royal family. In June a handful of Black Hand members assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, an event that would tip Europe into a catastrophic war.
Serbia was a Balkan nation sandwiched between Austria-Hungary and other states previously controlled by the Ottoman Empire. It gained national independence from the Ottomans in the s but came under the political and economic control of Austria.
Under King Peter I fromthe Serbian nation modernised and liberalised, underwent economic growth and started to shed itself of Austrian control. Serbia also became a harbour for nationalism and pan-Slavism, a movement that antagonised Austro-Hungarian leaders.