Archduke Franz Ferdinand Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Archduke Franz Ferdinand?
Archduke Franz Ferdinand was a member of the Austrian royal family who played a critical role in the events leading up to World War I. Born in 1875, he was the eldest son of Archduke Karl Ludwig and Princess Maria Annunciata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, and thus was heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. He had an important influence on Austro-Hungarian foreign policy, as well as a number of controversial personal views. In 1909, his marriage to Countess Sophie Chotek von Chotkova sparked accusations of dynasticism by some members of the court. The couple were not allowed to marry without Emperor Franz Joseph’s permission due to her lower rank, and their children were not eligible for succession to the throne. Despite this controversy, they remained married until Sophie’s death in 1914. As heir presumptive to the throne, Franz Ferdinand served in various military capacities during his lifetime, including as commander-in-chief of Austria’s armed forces from 1914 until 1918. In June 1914, Franz Ferdinand made a trip with his wife Sophie to Sarajevo in Bosnia where they both were assassinated by Gavrilo Princip on June 28th. This event is widely believed to have sparked World War I due its significance within Europe’s political climate at that time: it highlighted tensions between Austria-Hungary and Serbia (who backed Princip), encouraged other countries such as Germany and Russia into action and led France into declaring war against Austria-Hungary two days later. Although Archduke Franz Ferdinand spent most of his life playing an important role within AustroHungarian politics and military affairs, it is clear that his assassination marked one of history’s pivotal moments which changed Europe forever.