Aehrenthal, Aloys Lexa von

Aehrenthal, Aloys Lexa von
   Aloys Lexa von Aehrenthal was an Austro-Hungarian foreign minister. Born in September 1854 in Gross-Skal, Bohemia, Aehrenthal started his career at the foreign service of the Habsburg monarchy in 1877 and served in the Foreign Office and as envoy to Romania. In 1899, he became ambassador to Russia. Seven years later he was appointed as foreign minister, launched a policy of strengthening Austria- Hungary’s position in the Balkans, and initiated the unilateral Habsburg annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Aehrenthal thereby provoked the Annexation Crisis of 1908–1909 as a consequence of which relations with Russia and Serbia were severely strained while Austria-Hungary seemed diplomatically isolated and completely dependent on German support.
   Aehrenthal tried to improve relations with Italy and to gain more leeway in international affairs but died of leukemia in February 1912, his visions of stronger Austria-Hungary unfulfilled. It was his successor, Count Berchtold, who had to face the dramatic decline of the security situation in the Balkans in 1912.
   See also <>; <>.
    Albertini, Luigi. The Origins of the War of 1914. Translated by Isabella M. Massey. New York: Enigma, 2005.

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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