On 28 June 1914 the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heirpresumptive to the Hapsburg throne, was shot in the streets of Serajevo, the capital of the Austrian province of Bosnia. Redeemed by the RussoTurkish war of 18767 from Ottoman rule, Bosnia had by the Congress of Berlin in 1878 been entrusted to Austrian administration; but in 1908, fearing lest a Turkey rejuvenated by the Young Turk revolution should seek to revive its claims on Bosnia, the Austrian Government annexed on its own authority a province confided to its care by a European mandate. This arbitrary act was only challenged on paper at the time; but the striking success of Serbia in the Balkan wars of 191213 brought out the dangers and defects of Austrian policy. For the Serbs were kin to the great majority of the Bosnian people and to millions of other South Slavs who were subject to the Austrian crown and discontented with its repressive government; and the growing prestige of Serbia bred hopes and feelings of Slav nationality on both sides of the Hapsburg frontier.
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June 30, 2010
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