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World War One: July, 1914

23. Austria-Hungary sends an ultimatum to Serbia, accusing the Serbian government of complicity in murder of the crown prince, Franz Ferdinand, and making upon the Serbian government demands which no state could fully meet without an actual surrender of its independence as a nation. The Austro-Hungarian note further stipulated that Serbia must signify acceptance of these demands within 48 hours.

24. Russia, seconded by Great Britain and France, demands that Austria-Hungary prolong the term of her ultimatum to Serbia. When urged by Great Britain and Russia to support this demand for delay, Germany refuses and the proposal is, likewise, flatly rejected by the Austro-Hungarian government.

25. Serbia replies to the Austro-Hungarian note in conciliatory terms, agreeing to all demands not involving the surrender of her sovereignty, and proposes, in case her answer is not considered satisfactory, to refer the decision to the international tribunal at The Hague or to a council of the great powers.

26. Sir Edward Grey, British foreign secretary, suggests a conference of representatives of the four powers, England, France, Germany, and Italy, for the purpose of arriving at a plan to prevent complications between Austria and Russia. To this proposal France and Italy immediately agree but, Germany refuses.

27. Answering an inquiry from the Prince Regent of Serbia, Czar Nicholas II urges Serbia to neglect "no step which might lead to a settlement" but promises that if, despite Russia's pacific endeavors, war should ensue, "Russia will in no case disinterest herself in the fate of Serbia."

28. Despite proposals for mediation, the Austro-Hungarian government declares war against Serbia at noon (Tuesday).

29. Russia decrees partial mobilization against Austria. Sir Edward Grey urges the German government to suggest any method whereby the influence of the four powers, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, can be used together to prevent war between Austria and Russia. Serious complications between Germany and Russia begin to arise.

30. Germany pronounces objectionable Sazonov's proposal that Russia would desist from military preparation provided Austria should withdraw from her ultimatum such points as violate the sovereign rights of Serbia.

31. While Austria-Hungary ostensibly was willing to satisfy Russia, relations between Germany and Russia become extremely critical. Austria proclaims general mobilization of her armies. Russia follows with a similar proclamation. At 7 P.M. Germany sends France an ultimatum demanding within 18 hours a declaration whether, in the event of a war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral. Upon being questioned by England, France explicitly agrees to respect the neutrality of Belgium but Germany declines to make such a promise. At midnight Germany sends a 12-hour ultimatum to Russia demanding that mobilization cease not only against Germany, but against Austria-Hungary.