Monday, April 14, 2014

The Hapsburg Vacuum

While Vladimir Vladmirovich declared that the collapse of the Soviet Untion was the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century, I think otherwise.  I would argue that it was the destruction of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that gets such honors.

I was walking through the Mezuj Sarajeva 1878-1918, chronicling the period of Austrian rule over Bosnia when such thoughts came to me- right when I was staring at the gun of Princip, and the pants he wore.

My rationale is this: the power vacuum that existed in Central Europe without a counterweight to Germany or the Soviet Union created the ability for both powers to come conquering through the region rather unchecked.  The absence of a counterbalancing central power in Central Europe paved the way for a century of strife.  Meanwhile, the absence of the benign gatekeeper to keep the squabling tribes of the region from fighting would come back to haunt the Balkans among other places.


John Brown said...

Long life Franz Joseph!

Paul Rockower said...

Long Live John Brown!