BBC - Austria-Hungary–Serbia relations
Jul 23, Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. That adage applies to governments as well as to people. A case in point is the ultimatum that. In 20th-century international relations: Growing tensions and German to June between Serbia and Austria-Hungary, so named In all postcommunist states except Serbia, the solutions to economic problems were expected to. Austrian-Serbian relations are foreign relations between Austria and Serbia and their predecessor states. Austria has an embassy in Belgrade. Serbia has an.
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: Now for the second round - against Austria. The Italian Prime Minister in cited this fact to claim that: In fact, the Austrian Chief of Staff General Hotzendorf had asked for a 'surprise' war to destroy Serbia more than 25 times in the eight years after Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by Bosnians - inhabitants of the Austro-Hungarian Empire - so the Austrian government strangely judged that it did not have justification to attack Serbia straight away.
Instead, it sent an ultimatum to the Serbs on the grounds that it had not kept its promise of to suppress the Black Hand. The terms of the Ultimatum demanded that the Serb government: Stop all publications attacking Austria, 2. Suppress the Black Hand and all other anti-Austrian terrorist groups, 3.
Stop schools teaching anything that would make pupils hate Austria, 4. Dismiss any civil servants or army officers who were anti-Austrian, 5. Allow Austrian police to help in an investigation of Serbia's links to Franz Ferdinand's assassination, 7. By bad luck, a little later the returning procession missed a turn and stopped to back up at a corner just as Princip happened to walk by.
Princip fired two shots: Princip was arrested before he could swallow his poison capsule or shoot himself. Princip too was a minor under Austrian law, so he could not be executed. Instead he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and died of tuberculosis in All were Bosnian by birth. Most were Serbian, or one might say Orthodox, but one was a Bosnian Muslim: None of the plotters was older than Their anger over conditions in Bosnia seems directed simply at the visible authorities.
The assassins were not advanced political thinkers: From statements at their trial, the killing seems to have been a symbolic act of protest. A closer look at the victims also supports this view: Assassination attempts were not unusual in Bosnia.
Some of the plotters originally planned to kill Governor Potiorek, and only switched to the royal couple at the last minute.
Franz Ferdinand had limited political influence. He was Emperor Franz Joseph's nephew, and became the heir when Franz Joseph's son killed himself in his sisters could not take the throne.
Franz Ferdinand's wife, Sophie Chotek, was a Bohemian noblewoman, but not noble enough to be royal. She was scorned by many at court, and their children were out of the line of succession Franz Ferdinand's brother Otto was next. Franz Ferdinand had strong opinions, a sharp tongue and many political enemies. He favored "trialism," adding a third Slavic component to the Dual Monarchy, in part to reduce the influence of the Hungarians.
His relations with Budapest were so bad that gossips blamed the killing on Magyar politicians. There have been efforts to say that Serbian politicians had him killed to block his pro-Slav reform plans, but the evidence for this is thin.
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.
Austria–Serbia relations - Wikipedia
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. 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.
Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
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.
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.
Serbia before World War I
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.
After the Berlin government responded with the so-called "blank check," the war party saw no further reason to seek peace. Third, the terms of the ultimatum show that the Austrians came to a decision even though they were acting on incomplete information. The ultimatum was issued well before the trial of the assassins could establish the facts of the crime. Vienna knew nothing about the Black Hand or its role, but it made no difference: The Serb reply The Serbs in turn failed to do their utmost to defuse the crisis.
When Serbia first received the ultimatum, Pasic indicated that he could accept its terms, with a few reservations and requests for clarification. As time passed, however, it became clear that Russia would support Serbia regardless of the situation. After that, Pasic gave up seeking peace.
While a long reply was written and sent, Serbia rejected the key points about Austrian interference in domestic judicial and police work. Pasic knew that this meant war, and the Serbian army began to mobilize even before the reply was complete. While mobilization was prudent, it did not imply a strong commitment to peace. Because the Serbian reply did not accept every point, Austria broke off relations on July The tough positions taken by both Austria and Serbia brought the situation too close to the brink to step back, and in a few days matters were out of control.
Again, the specific arguments raised by each side matter less than their mutual willingness to take risks.