Friday, 27 June 2014

28 June 1914 a fateful day.

The 28 June marks the Centennial of the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. A fateful day and one that will shape much of what will happen in the XXth Century.

The Great War would start on August 1 and would transform the world. Canada's contribution was great and should be remembered, 10% of the population went to war (620,000) of that number 10% were killed. Many returned badly wounded to a Canada transformed by the war. New measures also such as Personal Income Tax, women voting, a move from a rural to an urban setting, industrialisation, social change in the work place, workers riots in Winnipeg and elsewhere and the harsh response of the Conservative Government of Robert Borden and Arthur Meighen.

The Great War would bring the fall of 4 Empires and would create more economic and social problems which would lead just 20 years later to the Second World War. What is also known today is that no one actually lost the war, it became clear at the end of 1917 to all involved that the war was un-winable. An armistice on 11 November 1918 was declared, it was the allies at the Peace Conference in 1919 who declared that Germany was guilty and France sought and got harsh terms in the Treaty of Versailles. European leaders in my view are all guilty in this case given that many were sleeping at the wheel and did not realize the danger of a World War.

This exhibit is currently on at the Canadian War Museum until 21 September 2014


  1. Very informative video. I knew about the assassination and how it was the catalyst for WWI, but not how it occurred -- clearly serendipity played a big part.

  2. I recently took a history on WWI - the preliminary leading up to war was fascinating to me. Especially the august madness