Thursday, June 30, 2011

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The archduke whose murder provoked World War I.
In the years since, many have tried to portray the Archduke as spoiled, aloof and uninformed but that could not be farther from the truth. He was wealthy, having inherited the fortune of his cousin the Duke of Modena and he was more of an avid sportsman than an intellectual but he was also well educated, well traveled and took his position as heir to the throne seriously. He devoted a great deal of his time to studying the problems of Austria-Hungary and how he might one day solve them, looking to examples from history and the world around him for ideas. He traveled extensively across Europe and around the world visiting Australia, Japan and Canada on one trip alone. He served in the army and was found to have a natural talent for organization, eventually becoming inspector general of the Imperial & Royal armed forces in 1913. His personality was such that he could seem a bit authoritarian at times but this was certainly not his character as his private life clearly shows. (Read entire article.)

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