Skip to comments.WWI and the Second Fall of Man
Posted on 06/27/2014 8:58:56 PM PDT by se99tp
On June 28, 1914, a Bosnian-Serb student named Gavrilo Princip killed Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, the duchess. (
) That deadly summer unfolded 100 years ago, and the world truly was never the same. Civilization was soon engaged in a horrific conflict marred by mechanized warfare previously unimaginable: tanks, subs, battleships, air power, machine guns with names like the Devils paint brush, and legions of poison gasthe largest-scale use of chemical weapons in history.
(Excerpt) Read more at christianideasdaily.com ...
Thanks for the ping, Lightman.
100 years later, the eve of the next conflagration....
You know, never until this moment did I realize the wife had been killed too. Very true about Russia.
It’s hard to put WWI in descriptive enough terms to explain it’s place in history. Pivotal might be as close as you can get.
WWI for all practical purposes wiped the European system of monarchy off the map and paved the way for the secular nation states we see today. It helped unleash communism that brought left wing ideology out from academia and into the seat of power.
This after centuries of Christian domination of Europe in both it’s thinking and politics that produced high European civilization of legend. Everything was just wiped off the slate, and what it unleashed meant the world would never be the same.
We are still living with it’s effects today, and will likely do so for generations. The consequences of it are the gift that keeps on giving, and generally not for the good. It’s still debatable whether it might be the trigger that ultimately brings down Western civilization.
I just went back and read the piece, very good. I wish they gave a credit for the picture they used. I also wish the piece was longer, and how often does one say that?
Thanks for posting this, I hope a lot of people read it!
As well as the end of the Hapsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire.
In Orthodox Christian thought “the one who restrains” who must be removed before the (last great) Antichrist can be revealed was the Emperor — be it the Roman Augusti (as the Emperors East and West were called from Diocletians reforms until the Empire fell in 1453) or their successors, the Tsars.
World War I and its aftermath swept aside every possible claimant to the Imperial Throne of Rome: the Tsars of Moscow, the “Third Rome”; the Kaisers, successor to the “Holy Roman Emperors” following on Charlemagne’s attempt to revive the office of Western Augustus; and the Ottoman Sultans, who, when it suited them, styled themselves as Muslim Roman Emperors, ruling from Constantinople (it was only Ataturk’s Turkish Republic which formally changed the name of the city to the popular Turkish nickname “Istanbul” — a corruption of the Greek eis ten politas).
Hilaire Beloc in Europe and the Faith http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/8442 informs us that the Junkers were essentially atheistic, a bridge between the anti-Christian Kulturkampf of Otto von Bismarck and the neo-paganism of the Nazis.
The assassination was not considered a very big deal at the time it happened. It was the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Berchtold who ginned up all of the problems with his impossible demands.
I have no idea why the dude wasn’t shot by Emperor Franz Joseph after the war went south - Berchtold was allowed to “retire” and lived on.
A really good read about all of the political missteps leading up to the actual start of the war is a book called “The Sleepwalkers” ...
Yes, and don't forget who was a decisive figure in this destruction: U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. We rightly complain that he was the first progressive "dictocrat" president here at home, but his foreign meddling after the war helped set the stage for WW II. He did this largely by pursuing the calamitous policy of destroying the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Although he did this in cahoots with the French, he was still one of the major drivers of this insane policy. In breaking up A-H, he created the little states that Hitler was able to occupy one by one in the run-up to WW II.
It didn't have to happen, and it seems ridiculous in hindsight, but regardless - it did occur.
Europe never fully recovered from essentially losing an entire generation of her best young men.
“In breaking up A-H, he created the little states that Hitler was able to occupy one by one in the run-up to WW II.”
Austria-Hungary was destined to fail; while Austria and Hungary could have stayed together, there was no way so many different ethnic and religious minorities were going to be ruled by foreigners from the north. The number of languages spoken alone made it impractical.
“... Woodrow Wilson. We rightly complain that he was the first progressive “dictocrat” president here at home...”
“Dictocrat”!! You’ve coined a new word, my FRiend! And how it applies to our current Tnediserp in the WH.
FWIW I stumbled upon an article about the 100th anniversary of Sarajevo. In that same city on this day, Bosnian Serbs are dedicating a statue to the assassin Gavrilo Prinzip! A reenactor of Prinzip fires a pistol into the air, TWICE, to commemorate the murders of the Archduke and his wife.
They want the Serb portion of Bosnia annexed to Serbia. What a sick way to frame their demand.
I’m mostly Slovenian and I day, how typical of the Serbs.
“day” = “say”
The fabricated nation of Iraq with all of its turmoil, past and present, is part of the legacy of the “Great War”.
It certainly did not end all wars!
Ugh, sorry for the late reply.
Although I don’t believe the empire could have survived in its contemporary form, it didn’t have to be annihilated. I see Wilson’s insistence on “democracy for the peoples’ of Central Europe” as an early form of Bush II’s “democracy in the middle East” project. Neither region was ready for it. Had some stronger confederated power block been allowed to survive, Hitler might not have had such an easy time of it. He might have been stopped, or at least hemmed in, before the disaster of Munich.
The destruction of Austro-Hungary was an overwrought reaction of the victors and smacked of shear vengeance. It was similar to the ruinous reparations visited on Germany. Neither policy was prudent, leaving both Germany and lands of the former empire prostrate, but not destroyed. They became more susceptible to the demogogue’s siren song after being ruined by reparations and splintered by Wilson’s “democratic imperative.”
Of course the Czechs and some other nationalities benefited from a short-lived freedom, but didn’t it get them swallowed up first by Hitler and then by Stalin? Anyway, just my honest opinion. Stopping Hitler was going to be a close run thing not matter what happened to the empire.
Good grief, that's sick! Can you imagine a bunch of communists going to Daley Plaza in Dallas and firing 4 shots in celebration of Kennedy's death?!
Im mostly Slovenian and I day, how typical of the Serbs.
When I lived in Prague, my Czech landlady used to tell me about her Serb cousin. "They're like rabid dogs," she used to say. This was during the time of the siege of Sarajevo.
I believe the Allies preferred handing the former Ottoman lands to an ally (Serbia, creating Yugoslavia) rather than leave them in the hands of a German ally.
Democracy was never the goal in either the Balkans or the Middle East; some former Hapsburg lands ended up under a monarchy (King Peter of Serbia) or a military government (Poland). Arabs were transferred from colonial rule to monarchs or dictators as well.
Ho Chi Minh realized Versailles was a lie when he went hoping to secure independence for Indochina; he was ignored, and thirty five years later obtained independence at gunpoint.
The goal of establishing democracy in central Europe was totally serious for men like Masaryk, Benes, et al. The problem was, the geographically crucial area (Bohemia) was now included in the new state of Czechoslovakia. The creation of Czechoslovakia basically recreated a small-scale version of the old empire--with all it's ethnic strife, pettiness, and brittleness. The new Czechoslovakia had none of Austro-Hungary's counterbalancing strengths. Czechoslovakia was bound to break up, but its dissolution was more consequential given its central location.
The rickety Czechoslovakia was tailor made for dismemberment. Don't forget that the second largest minority group in the new country was German. That's right, there were more Germans in the new Czechoslovakia than there were Slovaks. Those Germans were also in the most industrially developed areas of what we now call the Czech Republic. The Sudeten Germans were never going to be happy as citizens in a Czech majority state. In addition, the Czechs were at times ungracious victors, and although hardly oppressors, they gave the unhappy Sudetens enough to complain about. Hitler and his propaganda machine used these slights to great effect.
But back to Wilson. Astonishingly, he was unaware of the ethnic composition of the proposed Czechoslovakia when he started pushing for democratization. When he found out, he is said to have cried, "But Masaryk never told me that!" He was completely oblivious to the facts on the ground when he started pushing to redraw the borders of Central Europe.
Again though, I grant your point about the fringe areas of the empire. No one really cared about them, much less areas like Indo-China.
I can believe Wilson was completely ignorant about the ethnic & religious strife in Eastern Europe; as Americans we had little interaction with that part of the world. While Hitler had his share of aggression, initially he did start by re-creating a “German” state (with Austria and the Sudetenland, neither of which were taken by force). After that, it was more violent grabs for territory.
Czechoslovakia had similar problems to Austria-Hungary, but at least on a smaller scale in terms of numbers of ethnic groups and religions (compared to Yugoslavia, for instance - which had more of both and even different alphabets). I thought the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia in the 1990s showed an absence of animosity not seen in places like Yugoslavia and the USSR (Armenia vs. Azerbaijan, for instance). Czechoslovakia today is two countries; the rest of Austria-Hungary is ten more.
Fascinating history; thanks for the insights.
True story: I was living in Prague at the time of the break-up. An Englishman asked me with great consternation if I thought Wensceslas Square would be the scene of car bombings and snipings as in the former Yugoslavia. I had a good laugh and told him that neither Czechs nor Slovaks liked the union. The break-up would be more like a "Velvet Divorce" in which both sides said, Good riddance! And both Slovakia and the Czech Republic are doing pretty well these days on their own, thank goodness.
“The break-up would be more like a “Velvet Divorce” in which both sides said, Good riddance! And both Slovakia and the Czech Republic are doing pretty well these days on their own, thank goodness.”
Good description; it did work out well for both sides.
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