100 years ago today, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, marking the start of the First World War.
100 years ago today…the middle ages ended. The Empire of Austria-Hungary, with a pedigree stretching back nearly 1000 years, (remember that the Duchy of Austria was created by Emperor Otto III in AD 996, the Kingdom of Hungary in AD1000), declared war on the Kingdom of Serbia vareniclinerx (established AD1217, conquered by the Ottomans in AD1459, and reestablished in AD1882), and starting the first world war.
By 1918, Three of the 4 big monarchies in Europe, Austria, Russia, and Germany, were gone. The British survived, but began to yield it’s global supremacy to the USA.
The old European civilization, and it’s notions of societal order, hierarchy, and supremacy, were all overthrown.
6 thoughts on “July 28, 1914”
Lord Grey, who had a significant role in the disaster, said, “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”
He was not an inspired Foreign Secretary.
Although Grey’s activist foreign policy, which relied increasingly on the Entente with France and Russia, came under criticism from the radicals within his own party, he maintained his position because of the support of the Conservatives for his “non-partisan” foreign policy. In 1914, Grey played a key role in the July Crisis leading to the outbreak of World War I. His attempts to mediate the dispute between Austria-Hungary and Serbia by a “Stop in Belgrade” came to nothing, owing to the tepid German response. He also failed to clearly communicate to Germany that a breach of the treaty not merely to respect but also to protect the neutrality of Belgium – of which both Britain and Germany were signatories – would cause Britain to declare war against Germany. When he finally did make such communication, German forces were already massed at the Belgian border, and Helmuth von Moltke convinced Kaiser Wilhelm II it was too late to change the plan of attack.
If Britain had stayed out of the war, the world would be very different. The German High Seas Fleet had played a significant role but it was still possible to stay out.
“The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”
Nor those of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Matter of fact, it looks like darkness all the way out.
The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise
He also failed to clearly communicate to Germany
And Germany didn’t hear what it didn’t want to hear. Leaving out the roles of von Moltke, Bethmann Hollweg, Berchtold and Conrad von Hötzendorf, who all pursued war, and Wilhelm II who dithered, is to completely overlook the personalities who turned the assassination of the unpopular Franz Ferdinand into a European wide war.
I found this American Heritage article, about 20 years ago, very interesting:
What We Lost In The Great War
I think the most significant long-lasting result of that war was not the last-gasp end of the feudal system, not the first examples of “total war”, nor mechanized warfare, nor any of a vast litany of warfare-related events.
No, I argue to you that the most significant thing to come out of WWI was the transition of liberalism from Classic Liberalism to PostModern Liberalism.
Classical liberalism has at its heart a decency and appreciation of humans and what limits their systems.
PostModern liberalism is a social cancer aimed at nothing less than the destruction of Western Civ and its rich inheritance of Greek philosophy. The result has been nothing less than a catastrophe for all humanity.
“Three of the 4 big monarchies in Europe, Austria, Russia, and Germany, were gone”: nope, four of the big five – he overlooked the Ottoman Empire.
“100 years ago today…the middle ages ended”: how silly.
Let us not forget that literacy was a premium for most people. The newspapers of the time rallied around gossip. The miracle is that any form of governance survived. WWII was the result of all the bloodshed on the Western Front. We are slipping back into a hazy isolation, where all worldly problems will sort themselves out. May God help the next generation.
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