Од атентата до ултиматума : формативни период Јулске кризе 28. VI - 23. VII 1914.

Vukasović, Predrag (2014) Од атентата до ултиматума : формативни период Јулске кризе 28. VI - 23. VII 1914. In: Сто година од почетка Првог светског рата : историјске и правне студије. Insitut za uporedno pravo, Beograd, pp. 447-456. ISBN 978-86-6411-001-3

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This article deals with the first, incipient, formative period of July Crisis 1914, going on from murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, on June 28, to deliver of the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia on July 23 1914. The author has no claim to explore and describe the genesis and causes of World War I – a theme filling many volumes written by noted European historians. These causes are too complex and many-layered to be only mentioned in a twenty-paged text: such an attempt would have to be necessarily reduced at a meager collection of commonplaces. Instead, I have opted for an analysis of the July crisis’ first twenty-five days, a period in which the foreign-policy decisions of three key actors (Austro-Hungary, Germany and Serbia) had been shaped and born their first fruits. The Sarajevo assassination had a dual aspect: it was a terrorist act of extremely nationalistic youth movement Mlada Bosna, but it also was an integral part of national emancipation and liberation processes taking places in the Balkans from the outbreak of Serbian revolution in an accelerating pace. The Austrian investigation of this crime quickly revealed the involvement of some Serbian military officers in organizing, preparing and providing logistic support to the immediate provided by Austrian law-enforcing bodies, Austro-Hungarian government had officially requested from Serbia to start her own inquiry into Serbian subjects’ links with Sarajevo gunshots. Simultaneously, Vienna had urged that Russia apply pressure on Serbia to give a proper satisfaction to this demand. Despite Germany’s full diplomatic support to these steps, they were fruitless: both Serbia and Russia had refused to take into account relatively moderate demands of Central Powers. In the meantime, in first reaction at Sarajevo assassination, Serbian ambassadors to France and Russia, Vesnić and Spalajković respectively, stated that Serbia had warned the Austro-Hungarian government of the impending murder – something that Serbian Prime Minister Pašić had vigorously denied in interviews to Az Est on 7 July and to the Paris edition of the New York Herald on 20 July. With refusal of this Austro-Hungarian demand in Belgrade and St. Petersburg, the first stage of July Crisis was brought to an end. The second phase had encompassed the process of taking political decision on presenting an ultimatum to Serbia and formulating its wording in a way guaranteeing that it would be rejected. Military circles in Austria were prone to the immediate attack on Serbia with no declaration of war, but Hungarian Prime Minister Tisza had obstinately opposed to the war option arguing that any attack on Serbia would trigger Russian intervention and outbreak of a world war make at least much more probable, if not inevitable. Middle solution, adopted under the strong pressure of Germany – to send an unacceptable ultimatum to Serbia – was the least favorable one for its authors: it missed the surprising effect of a Blitzkrieg, not acquiring a semblance of international legitimacy for an aggressive encroachment onto the territory of a weaker neighbor. The German aims were more comprehensive: while Dual Monarchy had struggled for her survival against virulent germs of national self-determination dissipating her internal, partly even medieval structures, Reich had striven for more ambitious and more indefinite concepts, divided between fascinating conquest of East and strife for world naval supremacy. Finally, Serbia was not a mere innocent victim of unprovoked foreign aggression: an offensive aspect of her policy towards Austria-Hungary, more present as general mood of public opinion than as an officially formulated government’s foreign-policy program, had revolved on unsolved, maybe unsolvable Yugoslav question in adjacent Monarchy. Playing a role of Yugoslav Piedmont, Serbia had actively undermined the foundations of Habsburg Danube Commonwealth, and more informed part of Serbian publics knew this. Italian Piedmont was able to unify Italy without destroying Habsburg rule; Yugoslav Piedmont would not be able to do so. The third and last phase of July crisis’ formative period was extended from taking the final political decision on ultimatum to delivery of this document to Serbian government (July 14 – 23). The delay was due to the two distinct factors. The Chief of Austrian General staff Conrad had warned his Foreign Minister Berchtold that the Austro-Hungarian Army was not prepared for declaration of war to Serbia until July 25, a date when summer harvest in country would be over. On the other hand, both Central Powers had desired that the ultimatum was to be presented to Belgrade only after the Russo-French summit in St. Petersburg had been ended, in order to prevent inter-allies consultations at the highest level in the moment of revealing the Balkan crisis. German diplomacy had falsely persuaded Entente Powers that German government had no knowledge on the ultimatum’s content. Germany had also misled her only ally into belief that she sincerely strove to localize the imminent Austro-Serbian war forestalling the possible Russian intervention, while she was in fact stirring up a war against Russia and France, hoping that Great Britain would remain neutral in this conflict.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: COBISS.SR-ID - 47287055
Uncontrolled Keywords: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Serbia, July Crisis
Subjects: Pravna istorija
Depositing User: Mirjana Markov
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2022 09:59
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 09:59
URI: http://ricl.iup.rs/id/eprint/1319

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