July 27, 1914

By Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent

The Journal’s headlines reported troubles from Ireland to the Balkans:

ULSTERITES CLASH
WITH KING’S TROOPS
CATHOLICS EXCITED
Ten Thousand Rifles and a Quantity of Ammunition
Landed from Yacht
FOUR KILLED WHEN SOLDIERS CHARGE
Many Wounded Among Them
Several Women and Children One Woman Killed

The threat of civil war in Ireland resulting from Parliament’s consideration Irish home rule threatened Britain’s capability of meeting its obligations should war break out in Europe.

THE EUROPEAN IMBROGLIO AND THE CAUSES THAT LED UP TO IT
MAY BE BLOODIEST STRUGGLE WORLD HAS EVER WITNESSED
Russia Mobilizes Troops and Declares She Will Stand Back of Servia
FRANCE AND GERMANY HAVE HIGH WAR FEVER
Every Country in Europe Hurrying Its Troops Together Preparing for Conflict

The paper succinctly reported the rapidly emerging war:

War clouds hung low over Europe today.

Austria was massing troops on the Servian frontier.

To check them Servians dynamited the bridge across the River Save, the international boundary.

A fight had occurred between Servians on shore and an Austrian troop ship on the Danube.

Another fight was reported at the month of the River Temes, near Belgrade, the Servian capital.

Belgrade has been evacuated. Nish, in the interior, being made temporary capital.

The Servian army was mobilizing under Crown Prince Alexander.

It was announced Austrian troops would not occupy Belgrade today, presumably to give Germany time to strive for localizing the war.

A Russian army mobilization order was reported to have been issued.

***

The Russian general strikers went back to work that their government might not be hampered during the foreign crisis.

England announced it would be neutral as between Austria and Servia, but that its position would be “critical” if another power interfered.

At the same time the English asked the Germans, French and Italians to join them in mediation efforts.

***

The British fleet was paling at Portland, ready for North Sea service.

French reservists were ordered to be ready for a call to the colors, and the French fleet was concentrated at Toulon.

***

All markets were disorganized, and the Vienna, Budapest and Brussels bourses were closed.

Runs were in progress on the German savings. banks.

AUSTRIA, GERMAN AND ITALY
SERVIA, FRANCE, ENGLAND
That Is the Line-up of the Powers in War Which Now Seems Inevitable
TURKEY WILL TRY TO REGAIN PROVINCES
Every Country in Europe Will Be Drawn Into It for Self Protection

The paper’s reporting of the situation sets out the nationalistic and ethnic issues. These issues were closely followed by residents of Marion County:

From Austria’s declaration of hostilities against Servia the greatest war in history is threatened.

This situation is this:

Austria’s southeastern provinces have large Servian populations. That is, the people are Servian brace and sympathy, just as there is a population which is Mexican by race and sympathy in southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, though born in the United States.

Two important Austrian provinces – Bosnia and Herzegovina – originally were Servia’s.

Many years ago they passed to Turkey. The war of 1878 loosened Turkey’s grip. The sultan retained a nominal suzerainty but the provinces were under Austrian supervision.

It was plain they must pass ultimately altogether out of Turkey’s hands. When this happened Servia hoped to acquire them again. A large share of their people, being Servians, wanted this to happen.

In 1908 Austria, however, suddenly annexed both provinces. This was a dreadful blow to Servian ambitions, but Servia was not strong enough to resist and Russia had not then sufficiently revered from the effects of the war with Japan to render any aid.

Austria Robbed Servia

Servia had another ambition. An inland country, it was compelled to trade through Austrian ports on terms unfavorable to Servian commerce. The Servians longed for a seaport.

In the Balkan war they fought their way to the Adriatic. Instead of permitting them to retain a port, however, Austria organized the kingdom of Albania, shutting them in again.

The Servians blamed Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, for this anti-Servian policy.

At Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia, June 28, Gavrio Prinzip, a Servian student, shot the archduke and his wife dead.

There is no question that for a long time past a powerful organization has been working, not only in Servia but among the Servians in Austria, for the promotion of Servia’s interests, which necessarily meant to the detriment of Austria’s

Austria charged that this organization inspired Francis Ferdinand’s assassination.

The article then proceeds to describe how the powers allied to Serbia (Russia) and Austria (Germany) respectively and the alliances arrayed with and against Russia and Germany drew Europe and eventually the United States and the rest of the world into a global conflict that remains unsettled this day.

 

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About whclarc

We are devoted to providing information fresh from the Archives, Library and Collections of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. We specialize in the history of Marion County and the greater Salem area.
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