A History of The Nations and Empires Involved and a Study of the of the Events Culminating in The Great ConflictA History of The Nations and Empires Involved and a Study of the Events Culminating in The Great Conflict by Logan Marshall PREFACE When the people of the United States heard the news of the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on June 28, 1914, it was with a feeling of great regret that another sorrow had been added to the many already borne by the aged Emperor Francis Joseph. That those fatal shots would echo around the world and, flashing out suddenly like a bolt from the blue, hurl nearly the whole of Europe within a week's time from a state of profound peace into one of continental war, unannounced, unexpected, unexplained, unprecedented in suddenness and enormity, was an unimaginable possibility. And yet the ringing of the church bells was suddenly drowned by the roar of cannon, the voice of the dove of peace by the blare of the trump of war, and throughout the world ran a shudder of terror at these unwonted and ominous sounds. But in looking back through history, tracing the course of events during the past century, following the footsteps of men in war and peace from that day of upheaval when medieval feudalism went down in disarray before the arms of the people in the French Revolution, some explanation of the Great European war of 1914 may be reached. Every event in history has its roots somewhere in earlier history, and we need but dig deep enough to find them.