Blank Check Agreement

By 1879, the Danube Monarchy and Germany had entered into the so-called “double alliance”; Subsequently, Austria-Hungary became increasingly the largest and almost unique in Germany. Nevertheless, senior officials of the German Empire were aware of the risks associated with the so-called blank check. The geopolitical situation was tense. In South-Eastern Europe, the Austro-Hungarian and Russian spheres of influence intersected. In previous years, Serbia had moved closer and closer to the Tsarist Empire. Perhaps the authorities in Vienna and Berlin still hoped to maintain the local conflict – a vain hope, as it turned out in the weeks and months that followed. In retrospect, the “blank cheque” is considered a milestone in the outbreak of the First World War. In the field of finance, a “blank check company” refers to a developing company that does not have a specific business plan, for example.B. a purpose acquisition company. [3] The letter and memo contained only a request for support as it stood – Austrian diplomacy was both too proud and too delicate for that – but they left no doubt that Austria-Hungary was asking for Germany`s support in a very risky venture that could involve war with Russia. The Austro-Hungarian ambassador, Count Szőgyény, certainly made the request clearly by having lunch with William on July 5, while Hoyos, in a separate meeting, presented the case to German Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs Arthur Zimmerman (who took over from Foreign Minister Iagow on his Swiss honeymoon).

A blank check or carte blanche is literally a check that has no monetary value, but is already signed. Figuratively speaking, it is used to describe a situation in which an open or vague agreement has been reached and is therefore abused, or in which a party is willing to consider all costs in pursuing its objectives. On July 6, at a conference with Szögyény, Bethmann-Hollweg and Zimmermann reiterated the promise of Guillaume`s “blank cheque.” [35] Although Bethmann-Hollweg stated that the choice of war or peace was in Austria`s hands, he strongly advised Austria to choose the former. [35] On the same day, british Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey was warned by the German ambassador to London, Prince Lichnowsky, of the dangerous situation in the Balkans. [36] Grey believed that Anglo-German cooperation could resolve any Austro-Serbian dispute and he “believed that a peaceful solution would be found.” [36] The “blank cheque” is a notorious episode in the history of the First World War; Germany`s first truly fatal mistake – a promise of unconditional support for any action Austria-Hungary might take to punish Serbia. . . .

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