Good for Peace

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Franz Ferdinand’s assassination was tragic but good for peace, the New York Times announced 100 years ago. Matthew Yglesias explains:

The Times reported that “in Russia, England, and France the Archduke Francis Ferdinand was regarded as one of the most serious dangers to the European peace” while “even in Germany his accession to the throne was viewed with apprehension.” Their view was that Franz Ferdinand was a proponent of an aggressively anti-Serbian foreign policy, and that his removal from the order of succession made a Balkan conflict less likely.

By contrast, the new heir apparent, “while popular in Vienna is described as a young man of no remarkable ability.”


  1. Grasspunk says:

    In honor of this I’ve been singing “Take Me Out” and “This Fire” all day long.

  2. Zhai2Nan2 says:

    Sorry, I’m ignorant. Am I supposed to understand the last part?

    It says that Franz’s replacement was a young man of no remarkable ability. However, I have searched Wikipedia and other similar sites and I can’t find the name of Franz’s replacement.

    Am I supposed to remember who replaced Franz and why his abilities were noteworthy? Sorry, I know this is a newbie question, but you’ve sparked my curiosity.

  3. Isegoria says:

    Franz was succeeded by Karl I.

  4. Zhai2Nan2 says:

    I’m surprised that I was so ignorant of this leader! From Wikipedia:

    The English writer, Herbert Vivian, wrote:

    “Karl was a great leader, a Prince of peace, who wanted to save the world from a year of war; a statesman with ideas to save his people from the complicated problems of his Empire; a King who loved his people, a fearless man, a noble soul, distinguished, a saint from whose grave blessings come.”

    Furthermore, Anatole France, the French novelist, stated:

    “Emperor Karl is the only decent man to come out of the war in a leadership position, yet he was a saint and no one listened to him. He sincerely wanted peace, and therefore was despised by the whole world. It was a wonderful chance that was lost.”

    Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, who at the time of Charles’ reign was the commander in chief of the Imperial German Army, commented in his memoirs:

    “He tried to compensate for the evaporation of the ethical power which emperor Franz Joseph had represented by offering ethnical reconciliation. Even as he dealt with elements who were sworn to the goal of destroying his empire he believed that his acts of political grace would have an impact on their conscience. These attempts were totally futile; those people had long ago lined up with our common enemies, and were far from being deterred.”

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