Berchtold, Leopold, Graf von
Berchtold, Leopold, Graf von lā´ōpôlt gräf fən bĕrkh´tôlt [key], 1863–1942, Austro-Hungarian foreign minister (1912–15). During the Balkan Wars he successfully worked for the creation of an independent Albania to block Serbian access to the Adriatic Sea. After the assassination (June 28, 1914) of Archduke Francis Ferdinand at Sarajevo, he directed the reckless policy that precipitated World War I. Although Serbia made a conciliatory reply to his harsh ultimatum, Berchtold pressed for full acceptance; he probably even magnified a border incident in order to secure Emperor Francis Joseph's signature to the declaration of war on Serbia.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Austria and Hungary, History: Biographies