Greater cause of outbreak of WW1 - Schlieffen Plan or assassination of Franz Ferdinand

Topics: World War I, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, World War II Pages: 2 (542 words) Published: October 27, 2014
Which was the more important reason for the outbreak of the First World War in 1914: •The assassination of Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo, or
The Schlieffen Plan?
You must refer to both sources when explaining your answer. (10 marks)

Assassination of Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo - 1914
Direct cause (short term) - spark
Shot by Gavrilo Princip (a member of the Black Hand – A Serbian nationalist group) on 28th June 1914. •Thought to be because Bosnia had been taken over by Austria-Hungary and many Serbs were in Bosnia. •Archduke Franz Ferdinand and wife Sophie were visiting Bosnia. Franz Ferdinand was heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and after the assassination; Austria-Hungary believed that it was Serbia’s way of wanting war with them. •The assassination led to Austria-Hungary giving Serbia a 10 point Ultimatum that they were to agree to or Austria-Hungary threatened to declare war on Serbia. •Serbia agreed to all but one (justice system), so Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. •Serbia had Russia as an ally, so Russia declared war on Austria-Hungary. •Austria-Hungary asked for Germany’s help and Germany assured Austria-Hungary (so-called “Blank Cheque”) and that links to the Schlieffen plan as it was then put into action.

The Schlieffen Plan - 1905
Middle/long term cause
“Lunch in Paris, dinner in St Petersburg” shows the confidence that the Kaiser had in this plan. •The existence of the plan proved Germany’s intentions
Failure of plan brought other countries to readiness (a war footing) •When the Franco-Russian alliance formed in 1893, Germany had a problem of what to do in the event of war on two fronts (Russia and France). In 1905 von Schlieffen came up with a plan as a solution to the problem. The Schlieffen plan involved going through neutral Holland and Belgium, as the French would be expecting an attack Alsace- Lorraine (the border they shared with Germany, and would have most of their army situated). It was predicted...
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