Archduke Ferdinand, 1914

Archduke Ferdinand, 1914

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Caption: Archduke Ferdinand and Duchess leaving the town hall at Sarajevo a few minutes before their deaths." Franz Ferdinand (December 18, 1863 - June 28, 1914) was an Archduke of Austria-Este, Austro-Hungarian and Royal Prince of Hungary and of Bohemia, and from 1889 until his death, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Historians have disagreed on how to characterize the political philosophies of Franz Ferdinand, some attributing generally liberal views on the empire's nationalities while others have emphasized his dynastic centralism, Catholic conservatism, and tendency to clash with other leaders. On June 28, 1914, Franz Ferdinand (age 50) and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg (age 46) were killed in Sarajevo, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian province of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by Gavrilo Princip, a member of Young Bosnia and one of a group of assassins organized by the Black Hand. The assassinations, along with the arms race, nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and the alliance system all contributed to the origins of WWI, which began a month after his death, with Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia. This caused the Central Powers (including Germany and Austria-Hungary) and the Allies of WWI (countries allied with Serbia or Serbia's allies) to declare war on each other.

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