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Graf Gyula Andrassy von Csik-Szent-Király und Kraszna Horka
Famous Shoes to Fill

Gyula Andrássy was born on 30 June 1860 at Töketebenes in Hungary.  He was the son of Premier Andrássy, who had inaugerated the first Hungarian parliament since the 1848 revolution.   He formed an opposition party in Hungary in 1912 dedicated to franchise reform that would extend democracy in the kingdom.  He was resolutely opposed by then Premier
Istvan Tisza. However, he was also no friend and ally to the extreme socialist Mihály Károlyi, who led the loudest charge against Tisza.  In fact, Karolyi's bombast tended to drive Andrássy toward Tisza rather than away from him.

During the July Crisis, Andrássy actively opposed interference in the affair by Britain.  He stated:  "The attitude of Germany with regard to Belgium is undeniably a violation of international law; the German government itself admitted it.  The fate of Belgium is certainly the saddest page of contemporary history.  But the indignation of the English government is not impartial; for one can truly say that there is not a state in the world which has not committed such a violation of international law in the course of its history."  On the participation of Britain in the war on France's side, Andrássy stated: "It is clear as sunlight that without the intervention of England, France would long ago have been beaten to the ground and perhaps forfeited her position as a great power for generations."

At the now infamous 7 July cabinet meeting, where war against Serbia was proclaimed as the best solution to the Empire's woes, Andrassy found the opportunity to pounce on his rival Tisza.   According to Max Müller, Graf Andrassy started by asking the government the following specific questions and brokered no room for wavering.

1.  How it was possible that—in view of the conditions known to exist in Bosnia—the visit of the Archduke to Serajevo on a national Servian holiday had been allowed?

2.  Why proper precautionary measures had not been taken?

3.  How could one explain that after the first attempt on his life, the Archduke was allowed to proceed further?

4.  What was the extent of the anti-Serb demonstrations in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

5.  Did the Servian population suffer much loss, and if so, why were the demonstrations not at once checked?

6.  Is there any truth in the widely-spread and not hitherto contradicted report that the threads of the conspiracy can be traced back to Belgrade, and if so what will the Government do to ensure the punishment of the guilty?

7.  What measures does the Government propose to adopt in order that in future it may not be possible to conspire in safety and without punishment against the highest representatives of the State and against the internal safety?

As Müller wrote, “Andrassy proceeded to trace the recent history of the Southern Slav movement, particularly of the Pan-Serb propaganda in the annexed provinces, which he described as the immediate source of the assassination.  It seemed incredible, he said, that the authorities should have been ignorant of such a wide-spread conspiracy and great negligence had been shown in allowing the Archduke to visit Serajevo on a national holiday and in taking no adequate measures for his protection.  He pronounced a severe indictment of the policy pursued toward the Southern Slavs and stated that as the Servians had increased in numbers and power from year to year, so had their hatred towards the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy grown in intensity.

“Graf Tisza began his reply by explaining that the Archduke had on the occasion of his visit to Bosnia been acting independently in his capacity of Head of the Army and that he had gone where his military duties called him without consulting the Austrian or Hungarian Governments.

“The inquiry into the crime had not proceeded far enough, His Excellency said, for him to be able to male any statement as to the exact extent of the conspiracy, but he must take decided exception to the view held by Andrassy that the whole political position in Bosnia was undermined and that a revolution might be expected there at any moment.  It was not possible for him to say anything as to the results of the inquiry still proceeding, but, His Excellency asserted, the two Governments and all persons responsible for the foreign policy of the Monarchy were fully alive to their duty both as regards the tremendous interests attaching to the maintenance of peace, and as regards the interests connected with the very existence and the prestige of Austria-Hungary.  They were fully alive to the fact that Southern Slav propaganda were carried on in Austria, Bosnia, Croatia and Hungary and this was a factor to be reckoned with. 

“Graf Tisza, however, proceeded to defend the loyalty of the majority of the Serbs domiciled in Hungary and the action of his Government in re-establishing a constitutional state of affairs in Croatia with a parliamentary majority taken from the Serbo-Croat Coalition and pointed out that the Croats who were now for party reasons attacking that majority, were the very persons who were most anxious to break the ties binding Croatia to Hungary.  His Excellency took the opportunity of declaring how deeply he deplored the excesses committed against Servians after the outrage.

“The whole tone of Count Tisza's speech was peaceful and conciliatory and its tendency should be to counteract the warlike feeling which is in the air in this country and which must render all the more difficult the efforts of responsible Minister towards a peaceable settlement.”

After the War Began

Throughout 1915, he opposed Foreign Minister
Istvan Burián's Polish and Italian initiatives.  Even during the war, Andrássy would not forget his mission to reform the Hungarian franchise, and he made several speeches on the matter, as well as demands for peace after the Russians had suffered reversals during 1915. 

After Burián resigned (for a second time) in October 1918, Andrássy succeeded him as Imperial Foreign Minister, a post he did not hold for long (from 24 October until 2 November).  His last effort was to conclude a separate peace and thereby save the integrity of Hungary.   However, this had the effect of encouraging the South Slavs and Czecho-Slovaks to part Imperial company that much faster.  Ludwig Freiherr von Flotow, former German ambassador in Rome during the July 1914 crisis, succeeded Andrassy as Imperial foreign minister on 2 November, but there was little for him to do except be present at the signing of the formal armistice with the Entente on 3 November.  Flotow departed the Foreign Office on 11 November as the entire Imperial government dissolved itself.

After the war, Andrassy supported
King Karl's second effort to regain the Hungarian throne, but was captured by Premier Miklos Horthy's men and imprisoned for a short period.  After that, he returned to politics.  Gyula Andrassy died on 11 June 1929 in Budapest.

GWS, 6/02 [rev. 6/03]