EA June 2014

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WORLD WAR ONE—SPECIAL SECTION

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With the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I approaching on June 28, European Affairs presents two articles on the Great War.

Michael Mosettig looks at the day of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and the shots that inalterably changed the face of Europe and the global balance of power.

Brian Beary takes the longer view and looks at the turbulence of WWI as a historical warning that today’s national borders are not sacrosanct, even in Europe. On June 28, 1914, after the Sarajevo assassination, it would have been impossible to predict what ensued and emerged.  We also provide Michael Mosettig’s annotated reading list on World War I.

 
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June 28 and “The Shots Heard Round the World”—100 Years Ago

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Michael MosettigThe shots hurriedly fired at point-blank range from the steps of a delicatessen in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, found their royal targets, mortally wounding the heir to the throne of the Habsburg Empire and his wife. Those fatal rounds would come to be known as the shots heard round the world, but that colorful wording compresses into one phrase a month of ultimatums and military mobilizations that would lead to a world war and to what has been described as "the primordial catastrophe of the twentieth century."

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Good Reading on WWI

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The First World War has produced a bounty of books, fiction and nonfiction, as well as poetry still recited in the English-speaking world. The bounty shows no signs of slowing as the anniversary approaches. Here's a sampling.

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WWI Transformed the Map of Europe – Could It Change Again?

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brianbeary-august2011On June 26, the political leaders of the EU’s 28 member states will gather near the fields of Flanders in Ypres, Belgium, for a working summit. The meeting will take place on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the event that plunged Europe into the chaos and destruction of World War 1. The leaders will visit In Flanders Fields Museum, which presents the story of the “Great War,” and the Menin Gate Memorial, which commemorates the millions of soldiers who lost their lives in the war.

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Slim Options for the Republic of Georgia

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armensahakyanphotoAlthough all eyes have been on Ukraine, many of the issues raised there are present in another former soviet republic—Georgia. Both Georgia and Ukraine border Russia and seek stronger ties with the West. In 2008 and 2014, Georgia and Ukraine respectively began experiencing increasing political and economic pressures from Russia in an attempt to prevent the states from leaving its sphere of influence. The pretext for intervention in both cases was the protection of Russian citizens and Russian speakers. Interestingly, both crises happened in the backdrop of the successful Olympic Games.

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