Document Type

Student Paper

Publication Date


Research Program

Library Research Award

First Advisor

Dr. Brandon Marsh


In July of 1914, Europe fell into a conflict that resulted in the onslaught of the First World War. British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward called the Great Powers of Europe together in an attempt to de-escalate the tensions. Grey reinvigorated the Concert of Europe System as the foundation of his diplomatic actions. The Concert System involved multilateral negotiations between the Great Powers of Europe. While the Concert had prevented some conflict in the nineteenth century it failed to stop the First World War. This article examines how the July Crisis presented a challenge that the Concert system could not reckon with for namely two reasons. First, the Austro-Hungarian Ultimatum sent to Serbia was an unprecedented document that Grey and other statesmen were not prepared to contend with. And second, Grey’s complex system of ententes and his exclusion of Russia from the Four Power mediation muddied the path forward as negotiations were ultimately rendered ineffective.


Library Research Award 2022, Second Place

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