1910 photograph of Archduke Franz Ferdinand with his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, and their three children (L-R), Prince Ernst von Hohenberg, Princess Sophie, and Maximilian, Duke of Hohenberg
Austria made demands with which Serbia could not comply. Russia responded with mobilization, Germany backed Austria in their declaration of war, France and England declared war on the Central Powers and World War I was on in earnest. The United States entered the conflict in 1917 on the side of the Entente. As for the nineteen-year-old terrorist, the police captured him and sentenced him to twenty years in prison, the maximum penalty for a murderer under the age of 20. He died of tuberculosis two years later in prison. The Austrians tried to hide Princip’s body so he could not be dug up and revered as a Serbian patriot; someone on the burial detail talked after the war, and he was enshrined in a grave as a hero.
Archduke Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo shortly before their assassination
Many of the intellectuals and military men of all the major powers had embraced Darwinism in the decades before the war, and rejected their inherited culture of Christendom. Philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed that “only fighting yields happiness on earth.” After all, men were only products of chance evolution, and the test of who were the fittest could only be determined by war. The results of the “War to End All War?” The Ottoman Empire fell to the Young Turks and they massacred their Armenian population. The Austro-Hungarian Empire of the Habsburgs was destroyed. The German Kaiser went into exile and within ten years the Nazi Party was on the brink of capturing the government. The Czar was murdered and Russia fell to the Bolsheviks, and France and England re-drew the map of the world. Everyone struggled or bided their time until September 1, 1939, when German troops massed on the borders of Poland, and Darwin’s children continued their long march to sacrifice to their war gods once again.
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip