World War I
The Black Hand

The Black Hand
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.06

     challenging words:    investigation, assassinate, destruction, dagger, failure, oath, refused, terrorist, heir, successful, entire, purpose, plots, army, attempt, goal
     content words:    World War, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Black Hand, Black Hand Secret Society, Greater Serbia, Franz Joseph, Archduke Ferdinand, World War I., Prime Minister, Black Hand Society

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The Black Hand
By Jane Runyon

1     World War I officially began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. But who was behind this assassination? And why did they think it was important to kill someone? The answers to these questions can be answered partially by learning about a secret society in Serbia called the Black Hand.
2     In May of 1911, a group of ten men met and formed the Black Hand Secret Society. One of the leaders of this group was a high ranking official in the Serbian government. Others were members of the Serbian army. All of them had one main purpose in mind. Their goal was to create a Greater Serbia and to reach this goal by any means possible. They did not believe that this goal could be achieved by talking. They believed that the only way to unite all Serbs was through violence and destruction. They became a secret society of terrorists.
3     One of the first plots that the Black Hand created was to assassinate the Emperor of Austro-Hungary, Franz Joseph. The attempt failed. The group then decided to assassinate the Governor of the Austrian provinces. They recruited a terrorist to stab the governor with a poisoned dagger. This plot, also, was a failure.

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