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Archduke Ferdinand and Gavrilo Princip Essay

The connection between Archduke Ferdinand and that of Gavrilo Princip was that of an assassin and a victim. Though these two men had nothing in common at birth, their fates were intertwined by a series of events that led to their meeting on the fateful Sunday of June 28th, 1914. Archduke Francis Ferdinand was an Archduke of Austria-Este who was provisionally scheduled to inherit the Austro-Hungarian throne. At birth, there was no reason to think that he would be heir presumptive, but certain events happened that quickly changed this presumption.

His cousin Crown Prince Rudolf committed suicide and his father relinquished his succession rights within days of the tragedy. From then on, he started being groomed for succession. He met and married Countess Sophie Chotek. Politically, the archduke advocated for sovereignty of all the ethnic groups in the empire. With Serbia, he approached it carefully believing that harsh treatment of Serbia would bring a disagreement between Austrian- Hungary and Russia . Gavrilo Princip on the other hand was an ethnic Serb born in Bosnia- Herzegovina in July, 1984. He left for Serbia in his teenage years to continue his education.

While there, he joined the Black Hand secret society, a terrorist group that had mandated itself with the task of separating Bosnia-Herzegovina from the Austria-Hungarian Empire and unifying it with an independent Serbia . Senior members of Black Hand felt that Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s political plans would make attaining the independence of Serbia slow, if not impossible. It therefore followed that when they learned that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was planning a trip to Sarajevo in June of 1914, they planned an assassination . On 28th June, 1914 Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophia arrived in Sarajevo.

Gavrilo Princip was among the seven members of Black Hand mandated with the task of assassinating him. The seven members spaced out along the Appel Quay each having been given instructions to and kill the Archduke when his motorcade approached his position. The attempts of all seven of them failed with only one of them managing to throw a grenade that did not kill the archduke. Ferdinand and his wife proceeded to the town hall to attend their official reception. Later, as they were on their way to the hospital to see those that had been injured from the earlier incident, they came face to face with Gavrilo Princip.

Princip took advantage of the situation and fired two bullets, one killing Duchess Sophia and the other one killing the Archduke. This assassination sparked a series of events that led to the First World War. References: Belfield, Richard (1966) The Assassination Business: A History of State-Sponsored Murder. Carroll & Graf Publishers: New York Gilbert, Martin (1995). First World War. HarperCollins. pp. 11-12 Marshall, S. L. A. (2001). World War I. Mariner Books. p. 2-3 www. spartacus. schoolnet. co. uk/FWWprincip. htm. Accessed on 2nd April, 2009 www. imdb. com/name/nm1532728/bio. Accessed on 2nd April, 2009

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