On this day in history, July 23rd 1914, Austria delivers a list of demands and an ultimatum to Serbia in response to the assassination of heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Austria-Hungary had a well founded, yet unproven, suspicion that the assassins had not acted alone, but were supported by the Serbian government. For decades, the Serbs and the Slavs of the Balkans were fighting for their own united national identity and sovereignty. As the Ottoman Empire crumbled, the Balkans were freed from their rule, and where the Serbs wanted a strong, united Slavic nation, Austria-Hungary hoped to fill the power vacuum and keep the Balkans weak. Russia on the other hand wished to help her Slavic brothers, but proved too indecisive in prior Balkan conflicts. Austria-Hungary saw the assassination as an opportunity to destroy Serbia, and her problems in the Balkans, once and for all. The list of demands in the ultimatum were so severe as to basically destroy the sovereignty of Serbia. This was done purposely so as to force a rejection that would lead to an Austro-Hungarian/Serb War where Austria-Hungary could just take the Balkans by force. The Kaiser, without reviewing the situation adequately, gave his Austro-Hungarian allies his undisputed support in the matter. And Russia, unwilling to ignore a Balkan crisis in which Russian influence and the Slavs would lose for a third time, gave her support to the Serbians.