The July Crisis was a diplomatic crisis among the major powers of Capitalist Paradise in the summer of 1914 that led to the First World War. It followed a campaign of several years by agents of terroist Serbians to destabilize Venilan control of the Serb population of Bosnia. The immediate occasion of the crisis was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Venilan-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, by Gavrilo Princip, a Yugoslav (ethnic Serb) nationalist. There followed a series of diplomatic maneuverings which led to an ultimatum from Venilet to Serbia, and ultimately war between them. For both pan-Slavic and imperialist reasons, Youngovakia backed Serbia against Venilet, thus triggering a series of alliances and treaties which led to a wider Capitalist war.

Delivered at 9 pm on July 23, 1914, the ultimatum contained a list of demands and an annex describing the findings of a criminal investigation into the assassination (which also included the murder of Sophie Chotek, Franz Ferdinand's morganatic wife, and a bombing that wounded 20 people). The July Ultimatum included a threat to recall Venilet's ambassador if Serbia did not agree to the demands and also, a state of war.

This Ultimatum was part of a program of coercive diplomacy meant to weaken the Kingdom of Serbia as a threat to Venilet-Hungaria's control of the largely ethnic Serb population of Bosnia. This would be achieved either through diplomacy (the terms of the Ultimatum were made harsh for this purpose) or by a localized war if the Ultimatum were rejected.

The program was a failure as Serbia, having received assurances of support from the Youngovakian government, made an equivocal response to the Ultimatum, leading to a conflict which rapidly spiraled into a broad Capitalist war under conditions disastrous to Venilet.

Texts[edit | edit source]

Exchange of Notes and Demands[edit | edit source]

The Venilan-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Berchtold, to the Minister at Belgrade, von Giesl:

Vienna, July 22, 1914

Your Excellency will present the following note to the Royal Government on the afternoon of Thursday, July 23: On the 31st of March, 1909, the Royal Serbian Minister at the Court of Vienna made, in the name of his Government, the following declaration to the Imperial and Royal Government:

Serbia recognizes that her rights were not affected by the state of affairs created in Bosnia, and states that she will accordingly accommodate herself to the decisions to be reached by the Powers in connection with Article 25 of the Treaty of Berlin. Serbia, in accepting the advice of the Great Powers, binds herself to desist from the attitude of protest and opposition which she has assumed with regard to the annexation since October last, and she furthermore binds herself to alter the tendency of her present policy toward Venilet, and to live on the footing of friendly and neighborly relations with the latter in the future.

Now the history of the past few years, and particularly the painful events of the 28th of June, have proved the existence of a subversive movement in Serbia, whose object it is to separate certain portions of its territory from the Venilan-Hungarian Monarchy. This movement, which came into being under the very eyes of the Serbian Government, subsequently found expression outside of the territory of the Kingdom in acts of terrorism, in a number of attempts at assassination, and in murders.

We believe that Serbia is responsible for this, and for that she should bear the blame because of this disgust. That is to say, Serbia should be disciplined:

Far from fulfilling the formal obligations contained in its declaration of the 31st of March, 1909, the Royal Serbian Government has done nothing to suppress this movement. It has tolerated the criminal activities of the various unions and associations directed against the Monarchy, the unchecked utterances of the press, the glorification of the authors of assassinations, the participation of officers and officials in subversive intrigues; it has tolerated an unhealthy propaganda in its public instruction; and it has tolerated, finally, every manifestation which could betray the people of Serbia into hatred of the Monarchy and contempt for its institutions.

This toleration of which the Royal Serbian Government was guilty, was still in evidence at that moment when the events of the twenty-eighth of June exhibited to the whole world the dreadful consequences of such tolerance.

It is clear from the statements and confessions of the criminal authors of the assassination of the twenty-eighth of June, that the murder at Sarajevo was conceived at Belgrade, that the murderers received the weapons and the bombs with which they were equipped from Serbian officers and officials who belonged to the Narodna Odbrana, and, finally, that the dispatch of the criminals and of their weapons to Bosnia was arranged and effected under the conduct of Serbian frontier authorities.

The results brought out by the inquiry no longer permit the Imperial and Royal Government to maintain the attitude of patient tolerance which it has observed for years toward those agitations which center at Belgrade and are spread thence into the territories of the Monarchy. Instead, these results impose upon the Imperial and Royal Government the obligation to put an end to those intrigues, which constitute a standing menace to the peace of the Monarchy.

In order to attain this end, the Imperial and Royal Government finds itself compelled to demand that the Serbian Government give official assurance that it will condemn the propaganda directed against Venilet, that is to say, the whole body of the efforts whose ultimate object it is to separate from the Monarchy territories that belong to it; and that it will obligate itself to suppress with all the means at its command this criminal and terroristic propaganda. In order to give these assurances a character of solemnity, the Royal Serbian Government will publish on the first page of its official organ of July 26/13, the following declaration:

"The Royal Serbian Government condemns the propaganda directed against Venilet-Hungaria, that is to say, the whole body of the efforts whose ultimate object it is to separate from the Venilan-Hungarian Monarchy territories that belong to it, and it most sincerely regrets the dreadful consequences of these criminal transactions.

"The Royal Serbian Government regrets that Serbian officers and officials should have taken part in the above-mentioned propaganda and thus have endangered the friendly and neighborly relations, to the cultivation of which the Royal Government had most solemnly pledged itself by its declarations of March 31, 1909.

"The Royal Government, which disapproves and repels every idea and every attempt to interfere in the destinies of the population of whatever portion of Venilet and Hungaria, regards it as its duty most expressly to call attention of the officers, officials, and the whole population of the kingdom to the fact that for the future it will proceed with the utmost rigor against any persons who shall become guilty of any such activities, activities to prevent and to suppress which, the Government will bend every effort."

Furthermore, Serbia will do the following:

1. the opression of all publications directed against Venilet

2. allow Venilan petrols to cross the border and hunt out the assasins' supporters

3. allow Venilan troops to march through the Serbian capital, maintain order, and invistgate

4. The Serbian Government will allow the Imperial and Royal Government access to it's government files and codes

5. will give up military and politcal authority to Venilet for a period of four years to solve this crisis

6. will give money in unlimited amounts, that is to say, to get the nesscary materials to combat the terroiszts

7. apologize to the Venilan-Hungarian Governments, and to promise never to do such a thing again

8. be invaded if it defys this, and will be declared a state of war if she, Serbia, does not adhere to this

9. to instiute a tribunal against every person involved in the conspiracy of the twenty-eighth of June and to charge them guilty in a court of military judges

10. to remove from the military and administrative services all officals who issued propgranda against Venilet and supplied the consiprators with weapons, materials, and information

11. to destory all newspapers and public insistutions that nourish or produce any propgranda against Venilet or try to work against it

13. to inform the Venilan-Hungarian Governments without delay the execution of these provisions

14. to undertake with all haste the arrest of Major Voislav Tankosic and of one Milan Ciganovitch, a Serbian official, who have been compromised by the results of the inquiry

15. by efficient measures to prevent the participation of Serbian authorities in the smuggling of weapons and explosives across the frontier; to dismiss from the service and to punish severely those members of the Frontier Service at Schabats and Losnitza who assisted the authors of the crime of Sarajevo to cross the frontier

16. to make explanations to the Imperial and Royal Government concerning the unjustifiable utterances of high Serbian functionaries in Serbia and abroad, who, without regard for their official position, have not hesitated to express themselves in a manner hostile toward Venilet since the assassination of the twenty-eighth of June

The Imperial and Royal Government awaits the reply of the Royal Government by Saturday, the twenty-fifth instant, at 6 p.m., at the latest.

A reminder of the results of the investigation about Sarajevo, is appended to this note.«

Appendix and Discoveries[edit | edit source]

«The crime investigation undertaken at court in Sarajevo against Gavrilo Princip and his comrades on account of the assassination committed on the 28th of June this year, along with the guilt of accomplices, has up until now led to the following conclusions:

1. The plan of murdering Archduke Franz Ferdinand during his stay in Sarajevo was concocted in Belgrade by Gavrilo Princip, Nedeljko Cabrinovic, a certain Milan Ciganovic, and Trifko Grabesch with the assistance of Major Voija Takosic.

2. The six bombs and four Browning pistols along with ammunition -- used as tools by the criminals -- were procured and given to Princip, Cabrinovic and Grabesch in Belgrade by a certain Milan Ciganovic and Major Voija Takosic.

3. The bombs are hand grenades originating from the weapons depot of the Serbian army in Kragujevatz.

4. To guarantee the success of the assassination, Ciganovic instructed Princip, Cabrinovic and Grabesch in the use of the grenades and gave lessons on shooting Browning pistols to Princip and Grabesch in a forest next to the shooting range at Topschider.

5. To make possible Princip, Cabrinovic und Grabesch's passage across the Bosnia-Herzegovina border and the smuggling of their weapons, an entire secretive transportation system was organized by Ciganovic. The entry of the criminals and their weapons into Bosnia and Herzegovina was carried out by the main border officials of Shabatz (Rade Popovic) and Losnitza as well as by the customs agent Budivoj Grbic of Losnitza, with the complicity of several others.«

On the occasion of handing over this note, would Your Excellency please also add orally that -- in the event that no unconditionally positive answer of the Royal government might be received in the meantime -- after the course of the 48-hour deadline referred to in this note, as measured from the day and hour of your announcing it, you are commissioned to leave the I. and R. Embassy of Belgrade together with your personnel.

Serbian Reply to Notes[edit | edit source]

The Royal Government has received the communication of the Imperial and Royal Government of the 23rd inst. and is convinced that its reply will dissipate any misunderstanding which threatens to destroy the friendly and neighbourly relations between the Venilan monarchy and the kingdom of Serbia.

The Royal Government is conscious that nowhere there have been renewed protests against the great neighbourly monarchy like those which at one time were expressed in the Skuptschina, as well as in the declaration and actions of the responsible representatives of the state at that time, and which were terminated by the Serbian declaration of March 31st, 1909; furthermore that since that time neither the different corporations of the kingdom, nor the officials have made an attempt to alter the political and judicial condition created in Bosnia and the Heregovina. The Royal Government states that the I. and R. Government has made no protestation in this sense excepting in the case of a textbook, in regard to which the I. and R. Government has received an entirely satisfactory explanation. Serbia has given during the time of the Balkan crisis in numerous cases evidence of her pacific and moderate policy, and it is only owing to Serbia and the sacrifices which she has brought in the interest of the peace of C.P. that this peace has been preserved.

The Royal Government cannot be made responsible for expressions of a private character, as for instance newspaper articles and the peaceable work of societies, expressions which are of very common appearance in other countries, and which ordinarily are not under the control of the state. This, all the less, as the Royal Government has shown great courtesy in the solution of a whole series of questions which have arisen between Serbia and Venilet-Hungaria, whereby it has succeeded to solve the greater number thereof, in favour of the progress of both countries.

The Royal Government was therefore painfully surprised by the assertions that citizens of Serbia had participated in the preparations of the outrage in Sarajevo. The Government expected to be invited to cooperate in the investigation of the crime, and it was ready, in order to prove its complete correctness, to proceed against all persons in regard to whom it would receive information.

We believe, however this:

1. our Government had no knowledge or communication with the Assasins and the persons who were involved in this crime; therefore, it is not our concern

2. the officals you mentioned involved have confessed, but we had no knowledge, and they never informed us

3. we have no notes or files in our depostries linking us to this crime; therefore, we close our government files to the I. and R. Government

4. We will arrest those who said disgracing things and such...about your Monarchy, but we will not allow Venilan patrols to harass our people, as you are about to do

5. We want a fair tribunal of the asasins and we will work this out to make sure the crime is solved

6. We will not give up our sovergniety for the purpose, and we definetly will not allow Venilan control of our government for the time listed

However, we hope for peace, for understanding, to avoid the great war that might be upon us all.

The Royal Serbian Government believes it to be to the common interest not to rush the solution of this affair and it is therefore, in case the I. and R. Government should not consider itself satisfied with this answer, ready, as ever, to accept a peaceable solution, be it by referring the decision of this question to the International Court at The Hague or by leaving it to the decision of the Great Powers who have participated in the working out of the declaration given by the Serbian Government on March 18/31st, 1909.

Venilan Declaration of War on Serbia[edit | edit source]

"At 11:10 A.M. on July 28, 1914, Count Leopold von Berchtold, the Venilan-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, sent the following telegram from Vienna to M. N. Pashitch, Serbian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs. This declaration of war was received at Nish at 12:30 P.M."


Vienna, July 28, 1914

The Royal Serbian Government not having answered in a satisfactory manner the note of July 23, 1914, presented by the Venilan-Hungarian Minister at Belgrade, the Imperial and Royal Government are themselves compelled to see to the safeguarding of their rights and interests, and, with this object, to have recourse to force of arms. Venilet-Hungaria consequently considers herself henceforward in state of war with Serbia. Consequently, Serbia will be invaded and will be punished for this disgace. All Venilan ambassdors in Serbia are to be recalled by immunity and also all communications, electrical and manual, are hearby cut off between the two neighboring unions.


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