The Lamps Go Out

  • R. J. Q. Adams
  • Philip P. Poirier


On 28 June 1914 the unpopular heir-apparent to an ancient but unsteady throne was shot dead in a backward provincial capital of the empire he expected some day to inherit. In these inglorious cir cumstances began the final chain of events which prefaced the Great War.1 Archduke Franz Ferdinand was brutally murdered by Serbian- trained nationalists, whose transparent plot gave Austria-Hungary the reason she sought to crush Serbia, drive back Russian ambitions in the Balkans and attempt a consolidation of her tottering and disparate empire. With full German support, she moved, but only very slowly. Revealing before the world what she considered to be the conclusive proofs of Serbian perfidy, on 23 July she issued to Belgrade an ultimatum designed to be a made-to-order causus belli. Acting finally a full month after the terrible event, Austria-Hungary had waited too long in carrying out her plan to wage a punitive war while world opinion was still on her side. She stood virtually alone, except for her constant friend, Germany.


Prime Minister General Staff Cabinet Minister Special Reserve Compulsory Military Service 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
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  21. 40.
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  24. 50.
    The Prime Minister’s correspondence with Miss Stanley is revealing both about him and those whom he knew. He kept virtually nothing back from her, and she was a loyal guardian of his secrets. His letters to her have recently been published: see Michael and Eleanor Brock (eds) H. H. Asquith: Letters to Venetia Stanley (Oxford, 1983).Google Scholar
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    Humbert Wolfe, Labour Supply and Regulation (London, 1923) p. 15.Google Scholar
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  39. 68.
    The Rt Hon. Christopher Addison, Politics from Within (London, 1924) vol. I, p. 86.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© R. J. Q. Adams 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Q. Adams
  • Philip P. Poirier

There are no affiliations available

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