The United States in the World War

By John Bach McMaster | Go to book overview

THE UNITED STATES IN THE WORLD WAR

CHAPTER I
THE OPENING OF THE WORLD WAR

JUNE 29, 1914, the newspapers in the United States made known to their readers that on the previous day the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his morganatic wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, had been assassinated in Serajevo, the capital of the Austrian province of Bosnia.

The event was no new occurrence in the House of Austria. Within forty-seven years the Emperor Francis Joseph had lost, by the assassin's hand, his brother, his son, his wife and now his nephew. During a day or two the murder was a matter of current conversation; but ere July was half spent the crime had been almost forgotten. Our trouble with Mexico, home rule for Ireland, the doings of the Ulster men, the Caillaux trial, the violence of the suffragettes in England held the attention of the public.

Great was the astonishment of our countrymen, therefore, when they read in the newspapers of July 24, that cable dispatches from London reported weakness in the stock markets of Europe caused by fear of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, and the possible drawing into the conflict of other European powers. Newspapers of July 25 contained a dispatch from London setting forth that an ultimatum of unprecedented severity had been sent to Serbia by Austria-Hungary; that it sought to fasten on Serbia responsibility for the assassination

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