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.


2 comments:

John Brown said...

Long life Franz Joseph!

Paul Rockower said...

Long Live John Brown!