GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES

What the Iran Nuclear Deal and Franz Ferdinand Have in Common

MIN READMay 17, 2018 | 15:48 GMT

French Gen. Michel-Joseph Maunoury, right, walks alongside French army commander Gen. Joseph Joffre during the Battle of the Marne in 1914.

French Gen. Michel-Joseph Maunoury, right, walks alongside French army commander Gen. Joseph Joffre during the Battle of the Marne in 1914. The battle, and World War I as a whole, might not have happened were it not for the conspiracy of geopolitical factors and events in 1914.

(ROL/AFP/Getty Images)

Of course, 2018 is not 1914. But until quite late in the game, 1914 wasn't 1914 either. For three weeks after Gavrilo Princip murdered Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie of Hohenberg on June 28 in Sarajevo, investors remained sufficiently confident that this latest crisis would blow over that French, German, Russian and British government bonds were still trading at the same prices they had sold at the previous January. Only around Aug. 1 did confidence and prices collapse, and three days later, these countries were at war. The investors who remained calm through July weren't fools, though. It took an astonishing amount of bad luck to turn Princip's almost bungled assassination into World War I. And yet the decisions of such men had left between 15 million and 20 million people dead by 1918, plus several million more (no one...

image of globe

Connected Content

Article Search