The Great War Ch. 3 by: Winston Churchill

Between the years of 1848 and 1914, the positions of leadership within the Austrian government changed drastically. These changes, caused by natural death, murder, and abdication, allowed for people to change their government positions in ways that normally wouldn’t have occurred, eventually allowing for certain situations to occur that, otherwise, would not have happened. These situations eventually lead the start of World War I.
In 1848, Francis Joseph Habsburg became the emperor of Austria. Though He had a long reign as emperor, Francis Joseph never did very well when it came to war and domestic policy. During the course of his reign, Francis Joseph’s brother, Maximilian, was assassinated in Mexico. After this incident, as well as the death of the Crown Price Rudolf, the new heir to the Habsburg throne was Francis Joseph’s nephew, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. When it came time for Franz Ferdinand to take the throne, he fell in love with a woman who was not of royal blood. In order to marry her, Franz Ferdinand renounced his claim to the Habsburg Throne. Kaiser William became the new leader of Austria in Franz Ferdinand’s place, soon followed by Kaiser William II. Though he did not rule Austria, Franz Ferdinand still maintained a high position in the Austrian government. Around this time new leaders began to rise up in the Austrian military, on such person being Conrad von Hötzendorf. Conrad von Hötzendorf’s official position was General of Infantry. He became incredibly strict with the Austrian army to a point where Franz Ferdinand was forced to take action, y telling him that what he was putting the soldiers through was unnecessary.
This was a significant period of time in history. This series of events allowed for the political position to be divided our in just the right way to allow an assassination attempt on Franz Ferdinand. This assassination was the catalyst for World War I, making it an event that changed history forever.