Have you ever sat and thought about all those events that were world-changing. Those events that led to that wow moment when the world was sent down a path of change that no one could for see. Sometime ago a very good friend of mine were having that discussion, based on the question, what single event changed the world in our life time. We kicked around a number of ideas and topics around and slowly worked our way through the 21st century and into the 20th century. We as we talked we defined our question further to, what person had the greatest impact that changed the world in the 20th century? This took the conversation out of, our life time and expanded our conversation.
At the time Yugoslavia was in its finale death throes as it broke up into the various states that it had made it up. It then dawned on us that what we where watching was the last gasp of the First World War and the Treaty of Versailles. Yugoslavia and its various parts had very much been a child of the First World War and the Treaty of Versailles and for much of the 20th century had been held together but the sheer force of will of one man, Josip Broz Tito. When he died Yugoslavia came apart much as the Austro-Hungarian Empire came apart in 1918.
Yugoslavia and the states that made it up had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. With the end of the First World War this Empire ceased to exist as it broke into its individual states. New and old nations emerged in central and southern Europe. From this we also looked at the rise of new political systems, communism and nazism, the depression, and the beginning of the end of the old Empires that grew in the 18th and 19th century. The lists became endless as we examined how the 20th century had evolved and the influence that it had on the 21st century. These events influenced every aspect of life from politics, war, science and technology, art, you name it, these events influenced the world we live in today.
And the one person who was responsible for the start of all this. That one person who set the world in motion for such cataclysmic change? Many will disagree but before you do think about it. The one person who had such great influence over world events. Gavrilo Princip. Who you ask?
On Sunday 28th June, 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a member of the Black Hand, shot the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Throne and his wife Sophie, plunging the world into War. At the time did Gavrilo realize that his actions would have such an impact. Most likely not he was one of those nameless people who was acting on order from his nameless superiors and striking a blow for Serbian independence.
Many will disagree with me but think about it. What if Princip had not assassinated Franz Ferdinand, how would the world have been different? What if the Archduke and his wife had simply driven out-of-town and he became the Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1916. Though the European powers were gearing for war as they eyed each other, it was his death that sent the armies marching.
Sorry I haven’t been around much this summer. I’ve been working on a couple of projects and deal with a few life issues that have needed to be delt with. Now that I have a few things out of the way I’ll be able to get back to working on History’s Lessons. If you like to see a few of the items I’ve been working on then check out Laughing Devil Photography, one of the things my Ginny and I work on.
Take care everyone and enjoy.
On the night of October 16, 1859 John Brown lead a small group of men into the town of Harpers Ferry with the intension of capturing Colonel Lewis Washington along with two pistols and a sword owned by George Washington. A second party captured further hostages at Harpers Ferry along with the government arsenal.
On October 17 arsenal workers discovered Brown and his men and with local militia surrounded the armoury. With their escape rout cut off Brown took 9 of his captives and moved to the smaller engine house and fortified his positions. This building would become known as John Brown’s Fort.
At 3:30 President James Buchanan ordered a detachment of US Marines under the command of Brevet Colonel Robert E. Lee 2nd US Cavalry along with Lt. Jeb Stewart to recapture the arsenal and crush the revolt.
On April 12, 1861 the first shots of the American Civil War were fired with the bombardment of FortSumter near Charleston South Carolina. There are a few who feel that John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry was in fact the first shot of that long and blood conflict.
Brown’s plan had been to arm Black slaves in Virginia and carry out an armed inserection that would bring about the end of slavery in the United States.
What many people don’t know is that Brown’s raid had a Canadian connection in that it was planned and organized in a small church in Chatham in Canada West, present day Ontario and that many of Brown’s men were from Canada.
were Brown planned his raid on Harpers Ferry.
The engine house at Harpers Ferry.
US Marines storm the engine house.