Archduke Franz Ferdinand

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Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Early Life


The assasination of Archduke Franz and Sophie Ferdinand.

Franz Ferdinand was born on December 18, 1863 in Graz, Austria. Franz was the oldest son to Archduke Karl Ludwig, who was the brother of the Austro- Hungarian Emperor. After the deaths of Crown Prince Rudolph and Archdule Karl Ludwig, Franz became the heir to the Austro- Hungarian throne.

Archduke Francis Ferdinane met Countess Sophie Chotek of Bohemia in 1894. Sophie was deemed ineligible to marry Franz because Franz was of Hapsburg descent. To marry a Hapsburg man, you had to be at least a princess, and Sophie was a countess. To convince his father and the Emeror to allow the marriage. Franz enlisted the help of the Pope, the Czar, and the Kaiser. Eventually, the Emperor agreed to the marriage on the condition that neither Sophie nor her children could inherit the throne. Franz and Sophie were married on July 1, 1900.

Franz and Sophie Ferdinand.

The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Austria- Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908. This annexation angered Serbian nationalists because these nationalists believed the territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina should be a part of Serbia. Franz Ferdinand and Sophie Ferdinand came to Sarajevo in June 1914 to observe the imperial armed forces of their newest territories, which is when the Serbian terrorist group the Black Hand took action.

Despite being aware of terrorist activity, Franz continued to make public appearances. On June 28, 1914, while returning from a visit to the City Hall, Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip approached the vehicle. He then proceeded to throw a grenade, which hit the side of the vehicle. While the vehicle was turning around, Gavrilo shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the chest. Next, he shot Sophie, an expecting mother, in the stomach. He shot them at a close range, and the gun shots killed both almost instantly.

Background Information


Effect on World War One

Map of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tensions in Europe had been building for years, and this assassination was the event that lit Europe, a "powder keg," on fire. Austria- Hungary declared war on Serbia a month after the assassination. This led the Central Powers, Austria- Hungary's allies, to declare war on the Allied Powers, Serbia's allies.

Map of Europe in 1812

Click here to watch a video about the assasination.

A&E Television Networks. "Franz Ferdinand." A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2015. "Archduke Ferdinand Assassinated." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2015. "Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, 1914." Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, 1914. Eyewitness to History, 1998. Web. 11 Mar. 2015. Map of Europe 1914. N.d. N.p. Mindich, Talia. "8 Things You Didn't Know about Franz Ferdinand." PBS. PBS, 27 June 2014. Web. 23 Mar. 2015. Simkin, John. "Spartacus Educational." Spartacus Educational. Spartacus Educational, Jan. 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2015. Sophie and Franz Ferdinand. N.d. Smithsonian Mag, n.p.

Works Cited

Click here to learn more about the Serbian terrorist group the Black Hand.


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