EUROPE SINCE 1789
COLONIES AND IMPERIAL EXPANSION
God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
- RUDYARD KIPLING, "Recessional" ( 1897).
If Germany becomes a Colonizing Power, all I can say is "God speed her." She becomes our ally and partner in the execution of a great purpose of Providence for the benefit of mankind. . . .
GLADSTONE in the House of Commons, March 12, 1885.
THE latter half of the nineteenth century was strikingly marked by a great movement which had been going on for some, hundreds of years, the expansion of European people and power into other parts of the world. The process was more rapid than ever before, because some of the European states were now stronger and more capable of great undertakings, and because of improved means of communication: the telegraph, the steamship, the railroad. The principal motives continued, as in earlier times, to be desire for raw materials and wealth, the hope which individuals had of finding their fortune, and the belief that colonies made the mother country stronger and greater. As the Virginia Company of London and the Dutch East India Company had carried colonists and power to America or Asia in the seventeenth century, so in the nineteenth did the Association of the Congo and the British South The expansion of Europe Africa Company acquire great African dominions. As in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries England and France sought colonial possessions for raw materials and naval stores, so in the nineteenth and twentieth did the German Empire try to get colonies containing cotton and rubber. And as Great Britain in the time of George II and George III wished America to buy British manufactures and supply business for the British ships, so did France and Germany now hope that they might build up colonial empires to assure them of a market for their goods.
Nothing is more wonderful than this expansion of European people and power into America, Asia, and Africa. In early times the north shore of Africa, with Egypt and Carthage, was more important than southern Europe with Greece and Rome. From faraway times Asia rightly seemed the center of the world and the cradle of civilization, with the culture of the Tigris and Euphrates, the teeming myriads of old India, and farther remote the vast numbers and immobile character of immemorial China. To the wealthy and cultured upper classes of Hindustan and Persia, Europe must have seemed small and sparsely peopled and unimportant. During all this time and long after, the great American continents lay hidden beyond their ocean, almost unpeopled, and to the rest of the world unsuspected and unknown, unless sometimes faintly imagined as Atlantis or Ultima Thule. Europe unimportant once
During the past four hundred years a vast change has come over the world. Asia, which as late as the twelfth century threatened to overrun Europe, long ago lost her superiority, and Europe going forward with immense acceleration, has gained unquestioned primacy in culture and power. First she discovered and appropriated the Americas, then she took parts of Asia, then most of Africa also. By the beginning of the twentieth century European people and their rule had expanded into all the four quarters of the world, and the continents were largely occupied European peoples now dominate the world by them or contained in the colonial empires of European powers.
The greatest, though not the oldest of these colonial empires was the British, which at the end of the nineteenth century contained 13,000,000, square miles of territory and 425,000,000 people. As early as 1583 England established a claim to Newfoundland the center of the wondrous new American fisheries. In the early years of the seventeenth century she took possession of some of the smaller islands of the West Indies and presently, in 1655, the more important island of Jamaica. During this same period she began the establishment of her colonies on the mainland, and in the years from 1607, when Virginia was founded, to 1733, when Georgia was established, she got possession of the best part of the Atlantic coast of North America. Meanwhile in 1638 she took Honduras in Central America. In the first half of the seventeenth century also she obtained a footing in Africa at Gambia and the Gold Coast, and in 1651 the little island off the west African coast, St. Helena, afterward so much renowned. Meanwhile in Hindustan the English East India Company was establishing forts and factories which were the forerunners of an Indian empire. The British Empire
Down to the end of the seventeenth century the English colonies came largely from settlement or exploration, and they lay for the most part in North America. Britain now greatly extended her holdings as the result of successful wars, mostly at the expense of France. In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, she seized Gibraltar, one of the gates of the Mediterranean, which ever since she has kept; while in 1713 by the Treaty of Utrecht, which brought the struggle to an end, she got from France New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the outposts of Canada, and undisputed title to the territory of Hudson Bay. In 1763, by the Peace of Paris, which ended the Seven Years' War between England and France, she got from France the re- Increase by conquest mainder of Canada, what is now Prince Edward Island, Ontario, and Quebec, as well as important islands in the West Indies, and at the same time the supremacy of the British in India was confirmed. A little later she got the Falkland Islands not far east of the southern extremity of South America. Now, however, came the great disaster in the history of the British Empire: in 1775 the Thirteen Colonies on the mainland of North America rebelled, and by 1783 they had won the acknowledgment of their independence.
Increase of the British colonial empire soon proceeded again. In 1786 a beginning was made of obtaining the Straits Settlements, situated by the great trade routes which run past southeast Asia, near to the world's greatest supply of tin. In 1788 in New South Wales began the occupation of Australia. During the wars of the French Revolution and with Napoleon British control of the sea was at no time shaken, and in consequence new acquisitions were made, at the expense of France, or of Holland under French control. Thus it was that Ceylon, south of India, was taken in 1795, part of Guiana on the north coast of South America in 1803, and Cape Colony in 1806. They were all taken from the Dutch, and Britain kept them when the affairs of Europe were settled at the Congress of Vienna, Holland getting Belgium as compensation. In addition she got other West India Islands from France, Malta in the Mediterranean, Heligoland, once owned by Denmark, and Trinidad once held by Spain. Meanwhile the servants of the East India Company were extending the Company's sway over a vast territory and population in India, and in 1858, after the suppression of the Indian Mutiny, the Company's powers were transferred to the British Crown. During the first half of the nineteenth century also Crown Britain extended her possessions in Canada to the Pacific, and, except for Alaska, got possession of all North America from the United States to the Arctic. In 1878, at the Congress Further expansion of Berlin, in return for support against Russia, Turkey ceded to Great Britain the island of Cyprus at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.
In the second half of the nineteenth century England got complete control of the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. A Frenchman, Ferdinand de Lesseps, organized a company partly French and partly shared in by the Egyptian government, to cut a ship canal through the isthmus which joins Africa and Asia. He afterward failed in a still greater undertaking at Panama, but in 1869 the Suez Canal was opened to traffic, and the route to the Far East, formerly around the Cape of Good Hope, was shortened by six thousand miles. Before the discovery of America the Mediterranean Sea had immense importance, but after the time of Columbus and Da Gama, changed conditions made its consequence less. Now the opening of the canal in Egypt made the Mediterranean the short water route between Europe and Asia, and the greatest sea way in the world. This route soon passed under British control. In 1875, the khedive, the ruler of Egypt, a spendthrift at the end of his resources, sold to the British government Egypt's shares for £5,000,000, and Great Britain, owning nearly half of the stock, became the principal shareholder in the company. Egypt
The condition of Egyptian finances soon became so involved that the European powers intervened, and a Dual Control of the country was established by Great Britain and France. In 1881 a nationalist movement under Arabi Pasha threatened the foreigners, and, France declining to participate, England suppressed the uprising and took possession of the country. France protested at this, but the British government declared that it was not establishing a protectorate, and would withdraw as soon as conditions allowed. Egypt under British guidance and control settled down to prosperity and order and the masses of the people were better off than they had been for ages. Egypt becomes a British protectorate
But as the years went on British occupation continued. At length, in 1904, when Britain and France entered into the Entente Cordiale, France withdrew her opposition; and in 1914, early in the Great War, Egypt was made a protectorate of the British Empire. Under British control Egypt's domain was greatly extended. To the south lay the Sudan. Formerly it had been under Egyptian rule, but in 1881 under the Mahdi it became independent. Seventeen years later an English and Egyptian army under General Kitchener overthrew the Sudanese in the battle of Omdurman, and all the country was taken again. The Sudan
In 1884 a Conference was held in Berlin upon African affairs, and in 1890 agreements were made between Germany and Great Britain and France and Great Britain, by which rival claims were adjusted. British possessions were now extended south from the Sudan through Uganda to British East Africa which had been already obtained. In exchange for Heligoland, which she ceded to the German Empire, Britain got the island of Zanzibar just off the east African coast. Thus a splendid African empire had been built up from the mouths of the Nile to the Indian Ocean. Other African possessions
To the south an empire equally magnificent had been constructed in the meantime. At the beginning of the century Cape Colony had been taken from the Dutch. Then the Boers, or Dutch farmers, went away to the interior and founded independent communities, the Orange Free State, Natal, and the Transvaal. In 1843 Natal was annexed by the British, and the Orange Free State and the Transvaal were taken for a while, but soon given independence again. In course of time British dominion was extended far to the north of these small states. In 1889 the British South Africa Company was chartered, and under the leadership of Cecil Rhodes acquired the vast country afterward known as Rhodesia. So British territory in Africa extended down from the Mediterranean to South Africa German East Africa and up from the Cape of Good Hope to this same German possession. In 1899 the trouble which had long been growing between the British in South Africa and the Boer republics developed into a war, in which the small Dutch communities of hardy farmers, expert with rifle, well provided with artillery made in France, and taking advantage of the great distances of the country, proved themselves no poor match for Great Britain, obliged to carry on a difficult contest far from her base of operations. After skilful and heroic resistance, however, the Boers were completely conquered, and the two states annexed by Great Britain. As a result of all this one third of the continent had come into British hands. The Boer War, 1899-1902
During the latter part of the nineteenth century the British continued to enlarge their dominions in Asia. It was they who in the "Opium War" in 1842 forced the Chinese government to open five "treaty" ports to foreign trade, and also to cede to the British the small island of Hong Kong off the south China coast which later became a huge emporium of trade with China. The "Opium War" itself was an exceedingly ugly affair, for irrespective of its larger results it was intervention by the British because of efforts of the Chinese government to suppress the opium traffic, and save its people from ruin of body and soul. For many years the Chinese government was unable to prevent the importation and use of opium; and while the despair and indignation of the enlightened people of China were ill-understood, yet after a while people in the western hemisphere came to realize the enormity and horror of the thing. Finally the British authorities themselves intervened to help to bring it to an end. From the opening of the Chinese ports an enormous and wealthy trade developed, of which the great world powers obtained an increasing share. Toward the end of the century some of the European powers began seizing upon "spheres of influence." In 1898, at a time when it seemed that Russia was Possessions in China
The "Opium War"
about to get the greatest part of the spoils of the country, the British demanded and obtained the port of Wei-haiwei, not far from Korea and Port Arthur, and far to the north of the old settlement at Hong Kong. Wei-haiwei
India had from the first been the most important British possession in Asia. After the defeat of the French in the eighteenth century it had for a long while seemed far from possible enemies and safe from attack; but in the nineteenth century the constant expansion of Russia brought nearer the Muscovite power, until vigilance against Russia and the getting of a strong Indian frontier were of large moment in the foreign policy of Great Britain. With Afghanistan, to the northwest and leading to some of the great approaches down into India, two wars were fought, in 1838 and in 1878, as a result of which the country became in its foreign relations practically a protectorate of the British Empire, and a buffer state between India and Russia. In 1854 Baluchistan was made partly dependent, and later on a portion of it was made completely so, and the rest of it annexed. To the west of these two littleknown countries lay the ancient state of Persia. By the end of the nineteenth century Russian expansion threatened to absorb it, and at last bring the Russian Empire out to the warm waters of the south, on the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, over across from India. To counteract this, while the Russians were getting control of northern Persia the British tried to dominate the south, and a long contest was ended when Great Britain and Russia made their agreement of 1907 by which northern Persia became Russia's sphere of influence and the southern part a British sphere, with a neutral zone in between. To the east of India also British power was extended. In 1885 upper Burma, on the other side of the Bay of Bengal, was annexed. To the northeast the mountain states of Nepal and Bhutan were made dependent, and then after a while the British crossed through the vast mountains The approaches to India which separate India from the Empire of China, and by 1914 had made of Tibet practically an outlying dependent state.
By this time Britain had beyond dispute the greatest colonial empire in the world. With the aggregate of her domain there was nothing to compare except the possessions of the United States, the vaster but less valuable territory of Russia, and the immense expanses of China. The empire had been built up easily because England's geographical position gave her advantages over the greatest of her rivals, and her control of the sea enabled her to add to it in peace and as the result of every great war in which she fought. The area of the British Isles was only 120,000 square miles, that of England less than half as much, and the population of the United Kingdom only about forty-five million souls. But England, which at the beginning of the sixteenth century, was one of the less important countries in Europe was now the, greatest, and the empire of which she was the center embraced a fourth of the land surface of the earth. From this vast area came a large part of the world's tin, half of its gold, a third of its coal, a third of its wool, a fifth of its wheat, and other products without number. Its great weakness was that it was widely scattered, with the seas of the world separating its principal parts, and great land powers growing ever more powerful near them. It was held together by the thing which had built it up: the most powerful navy in the world. If ever the British navy were beaten or dispersed, then the empire would lie before the enemy like spoil to be taken at will. Extent and character of the British Empire
The British Empire was, in some respects, a strange and conglomerate affair. Not only were its parts widely separate and distant, but it embraced peoples of every race and religion, in all stages of culture and political progress. Its elements were far more diverse than those which composed Russia or Austria-Hungary. Outside of the British Peoples of the Empire Isles there were in this empire some twelve million English people, and about three million more of the white race. These people were mostly in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Of the remaining 365,000,000 all but 50,000,000 were in the vast aggregation of races in the Indian domain, while in Africa there were 40,000,000 negroes, and in the other lands some millions of Malays, Chinese, and others. A great part of all the Mohammedans of the world were under British rule, as were Brahmans, Buddhists and many others. In holding together these peoples the British showed themselves the ablest colonial administrators the world ever had seen.
In the empire the people of England and Scotland had obtained great wealth, and had made investments which rendered much of the world tributary to London; while the British mercantile marine, largely supported by trade between the parts, was the largest ever seen in the world. Some of the peoples in the empire, in India and Egypt, were held unwillingly and longed to obtain independence. None the less, considering all the difficulties involved, there had never been a great empire ruled so justly and well, and wherever British rule had come, in India, or the islands of the sea, better conditions had resulted for most of the people. British rule
To all the white peoples outside of the United Kingdom self-government had been granted: in Newfoundland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Union of South Africa. These self-governing dominions had such complete control of their own affairs that they were independent in all except name, ruling themselves through their own elected representatives. So loose was the connection, indeed, that a statesman declared that in August, 1914, the British Empire had come to an end. But at this very time it was abundantly shown that the bonds were never stronger, and that while the dominions were no longer Selfgovernment in parts of the Empire attached by any compulsion, they were strongly bound by ties of love and devotion.
To the remaining 365,000,000 people of the empire selfgovernment had not been given; but it could scarcely be doubted that the condition of the masses of India, bad as it was, had never before been so good, and that the fellaheen were attaining some prosperity and economic wellbeing for the first time in the history of Egypt. And there could be no doubt that most of the non-white population of the empire would not, if left to themselves, have evolved any representative, self-government, and were not yet fitted to make it work. The comparative liberality of British rule made it the more possible for some of the educated minority and the upper classes among these people to long for independence, and it was most proper that they should desire to have it. None the less, it is probable that in 1914 the greatest good of most of the people in the empire demanded the continuance of British rule, and that the British Empire was one of the most useful and beneficent organizations in the world. Subject peoples
Next in greatness was the colonial empire of France, her second empire, the work of the nineteenth century. After the Seven Years' War and the contests of the Revolution, and Napoleon's time, France's colonial domain had been reduced to a few trading posts in India, French Guiana on the north coast of South America, and a few islands, of which the most important were Martinique and Guadeloupe in the West Indies. In 1830 an expedition was despatched which captured Algiers and after a long and troublesome war Algeria was completely conquered ( 1857). In the period of the Second Empire an ambitious colonial policy was carried forward, some islands in the Pacific acquired, and, after a war with China, commercial concessions. In 1862 the French obtained part of Cochin China, and the rest of it five years later. In 1863 they established a protectorate over Cambodia. In 1867 a be- The French colonial empire ginning was made of the acquisition of French Somaliland in East Africa, commanding one side of the outlet of the Red Sea. Notwithstanding the fact that Napoleon failed to make a dependency of Mexico, France was by the end of his reign getting to be the second colonial power in the world. After the Franco-German War France sought compensation abroad, and Bismarck encouraged French statesmen to do this, glad to divert their attention. In 1885 after a war with China protectorate was established over Tonkin and Annam, states in southeastern Asia upon which the Chinese had long had some shadowy claim. All these acquisitions from Cambodia to the border of China became French Cochin-China, the chief Asiatic possession of France.
The greatest expansion was in northern Africa, where the French extended their power out from Algeria and through the Sahara, until all the north part of the continent to the borders of Egypt and Tripoli was included. In 1881 Tunis, to the east of Algeria, was occupied and became a protectorate. In 1892 Dahomey, on the southern shore of the great north African bulge was conquered, and from there, and from the mouth of the Senegal River, which they had long held, expeditions were dispatched to the north. About the same time, farther south, French traders pushed inland and acquired the French Congo. From all these points, north and south, explorers, as enterprising and bold as Champlain and La Salle once had been, explored the country and took it for France, until nearly all of the Sahara and its oases and trade routes were acquired. In 1895 France established a protectorate over the island of Madagascar, off the southeast coast, once the haunt of pirates, a vast extent to which the French had laid claim since before the beginning of the nineteenth century. In 1911 she established a protectorate over Morocco. The French in Africa
As a result of this expansion in Africa and Asia France had a magnificent colonial empire. Her possessions were far less in area, population and resources than those of the British Empire, yet some of them, like Morocco and Algeria, lay in a position of great importance, they were a store-house of raw materials, and furnished the products for a lucrative trade. Algeria had been annexed directly to France, and sent representatives to the legislature in Paris, though only a small portion of the population might vote, and the people had little control over the officials who ruled them. In Algeria to a considerable extent, and in the other colonies entirely, the French were an upper and ruling class. To none of the French colonies had complete self-government been extended, largely, no doubt, because to none of them had many Frenchmen ever gone to live. The French had shown magnificent ability and skill in acquiring possessions, but they were not colonizers as the British were, for most Frenchmen were unwilling to live outside of France, and no high birth-rate produced a surplus population to send abroad. As in the British Empire so in the French, capitalists had large concessions and had made great investments from which large revenues came. Yet for the most part the advent of France into these distant places had brought better conditions for the people. Extent and character of this empire
In the latter part of the nineteenth century the German Empire also acquired colonial possessions, but they were far inferior in size and in value to those of Great Britain or France. At a time when Great Britain had got vast possessions, and when France was gathering a new empire, the Germans were just achieving their national unity, and even after 1871 it seemed for some time to Bismarck and his contemporaries that colonies were of little importance. But to a younger generation they seemed indispensable, and about 1879 business men and merchants made the beginning of colonial development. In that year concessions were obtained in the Samoan Islands. In the next few years other trading posts were established in islands of The German colonies the Pacific and also in various places in Africa. In 1883 a German merchant, Lüderitz, laid the foundations of German Southwest Africa. A year later Togoland and Kamerun on the Gulf of Guinea were obtained by a German traveler. In the same year three other adventurous Germans acquired what was made into the most important of all Germany's colonial possessions, German East Africa, on the Indian Ocean. All these African holdings were got in the first place by travellers or merchants making treaties with native rulers. By this time the interest of Bismarck had been enlisted and the German government established protectorates in the new acquisitions.
Considerable efforts were made to extend German possessions, mostly without any success. British and German schemes soon came into conflict. It was the ambition of some Englishmen to get a broad strip of territory from the Cape of Good Hope to Cairo, and some Germans hoped that their country might acquire a stretch of territory straight across the southern portion of the continent from German Southwest Africa on the Atlantic to German East Africa on the Indian Ocean. In 1919, as a result of the Great War the British ambition was realized, but previously a compromise had been made. In 1890 an AngloGerman agreement was made which so established German East Africa that the British were unable to connect the northern and southern parts of their empire, and German Southwest Africa and Kamerun were enlarged. The English and the Germans in Africa
In Asia the Germans had one temporary success. In 1897, to avenge as they said, the murder of two missionaries, the German authorities seized Kiao-chau Bay in the Chinese province of Shantung, and compelled the Chinese government to yield them a ninety-nine year lease of the place. Then they proceeded to fortify it and make of it a great naval base, which might later be the foundation of a German protectorate in China. In South America, especially in Southern Brazil, where many German emi- The Germans in Asia and South America grants had settled, it was believed that the German Empire hoped to get possessions, but the Monroe Doctrine of the United States stood in the way. The best opportunity that remained seemed to be in Asia Minor and Mesopotamia, but here Germany encountered the opposition of Great Britain, until an agreement was made in 1914 just before the War broke out.
Altogether the efforts of the Germans to found a colonial empire had met with scanty success. It might have been that in the future the best of her colonies could have been successfully developed, but meanwhile the Germans showed less skill than the British or the French. In attempting to impose their system and their organization upon the natives of their colonies they sometimes acted with great harshness and brutality, provoking the natives to rise and then carrying on wars of extermination against them. This conduct brought them an evil renown; but it is necessary to remember that the terrible climate of central Africa and the distance from the customs and civilization of white men, led other colonizers besides the Germans to do deeds which might well bring the blush of shame. Altogether, the German colonies afforded hope for the future rather than a present benefit, and entailed expense to German taxpayers greater than the revenue yielded by them. German colonial administration
Italy, like Germany, entered the quest for colonies almost too late. Like the Germans the Italian people were long occupied in the mere effort to achieve national unity and make strong their position at home. When they turned to colonial expansion their first desire was to take Tunis, which lay directly across the Mediterranean and seemed to them the most natural field for enlargement. But France also wished to have Tunis, and, acting with greater promptness and decision, she took it, though the Italians continued to be more numerous there than the French. Some years before, an Italian steamship company had obtained a port at the southern end of the Red Sea, and after Italian colonization 1882. Italy built up from this the colony of Eritrea. Seven years later she obtained Italian Somaliland, some distance to the south, lying on the Indian Ocean. Between these two possessions lay the old mountainous Kingdom of Abyssinia, inhabited by hardly tribesmen who from ancient times had professed the Christian faith. Over Abyssinia the Italian government tried to establish a protectorate, but the inhabitants of the country would by no means submit, and in 1896 inflicted terrible defeat on an invading Italian army at Adowa. Ten years after Italy joined with Great Britain and France in acknowledging the independence of the country. Defeat in Abyssinia
About this time the Italians turned their attention to North Africa once more. In 1901 the Italians and the French had settled their differences, and it was understood that France recognized the paramount interest of Italy in the country of Tripoli. Once all the north coast of Africa from Algeria to Suez had been subject to Constantinople, though often the authority was nominal only. But in the course of the nineteenth century Algeria and Tunis had been taken by France, and Egypt occupied by the British; now only Tripoli and Cyrenaica remained. In 1911 Italy suddenly demanded that the sultan yield these districts. When this was refused an army of invasion was sent, and after a year of fighting Turkey was forced to cede them. The natives of the interior, however, long continued a harassing conflict which cost the Italians dear in money and men. Tripoli
Some of the lesser powers like Spain, Portugal, and Holland, still retained important colonial dominions, the relics of what had been won in their great days of long before, while in the nineteenth century Belgium obtained a magnificent domain in Africa, rich in tropical resources. In 1898 Spain lost to the United States nearly all of what still remained of her colonies: Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippine Islands. Portugal had long since lost the Spain and Portugal best of her colonies to the Dutch, from whom some had been taken by the British, but she still retained, in addition to some islands and trading stations, two large possessions on the opposite coasts of southern Africa, Angola in the west, and Portuguese East Africa which included Mozambique.
The Dutch had long since lost their important settlement at the mouth of the Hudson in North America, and in South America Brazil, both held only a short time, though in the northern part of South they still retained Dutch Guiana. Of the other possessions which they had won long ago South Africa and Ceylon had been lost to the British, but they still held the great Spice Islands of the Malay Archipelago, off southeastern Asia, Java, Borneo, Sumatra, Celebes, and the western part of New Guinea, the largest island in the world, which they shared with the British and the Germans. The Dutch colonies
The Dutch colonial empire for a great while had yielded vast stores of raw materials and large revenue to Holland. It was far more valuable than the colonies of the German Empire and for a long time more valuable than what France had. It made Holland much more important than she would otherwise have been, and also constituted a mortgage upon her political actions. To Germans, who hoped for the later inclusion of Holland with their larger empire, the Dutch islands near Asia seemed a splendid addition to be made to the German colonies; while Holland, not a great naval power herself, could never afford to offend the powers who commanded the sea lest she lose her distant possessions. It should be said that generally these colonies were ruled primarily in the interests of Holland, with a view to furthering trade, and with no great efforts made for the interests or advancement of the natives. Dutch colonial administration
Belgium did not get independence until 1831, but within half a century she had obtained a magnificent African possession. Following the explorations of Liv- The Belgian Congo ingstone and Stanley in central Africa and the revelations which they made of the possibilities and resources of this region, Leopold II of Belgium, after a conference of the powers held at Brussels, founded what he called the International Association of the Congo. He presently obtained the sanction of the Conference of Powers, which met at Berlin in 1884, to make of the Congo region an independent neutral jurisdiction, the Congo Free State, of which in the following year he became sovereign. He had invested large sums of money in this enterprise, but now taking for himself great tracts of the rubber country as a personal domain, he began to reap a huge fortune from it. This was accomplished partly by forcing the natives to labor, and such stories of cruel brutality began to spread around the world that the administration of the Congo became a great scandal. After much contention the rights of Leopold were purchased by the Belgian Government in 1908, the Congo Free State was annexed by Belgium, and reforms were introduced there.
Imperialism, the getting and holding of colonial empire, was probably an inevitable stage in the evolution of mankind. It resulted partly from the superior power of some of the European nations and their greater ambitions, which developed, partly from the changes that accompanied the Industrial Revolution. After the railroad and the steamship the world seemed smaller and its parts were brought closer together. As a consequence of the changes of the nineteenth century the population and the industries of Europe greatly expanded. The surplus population of England, Italy, and Germany went outside to other places. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa were all built up by such emigration, while the abler or the more adventurous went forth to such countries as India and Egypt to direct and govern the natives. Moreover, the expanding industrialism of countries like the German
Empire and Great Britain fostered an increasing population which could not be supported by domestic agriculture, and which could get its food only by selling manufactured products abroad. Often it seemed to imperialists that these manufactures could be best sold to colonial possessions, and it was true that the colonies of Britain and France purchased many things from them. Furthermore industrialism depended on a supply of raw products. A considerable portion of such raw materials was in the great colonial empires, especially of Great Britain, Holland, and France. After the old colonial system was ended in the earlier part of the nineteenth century Britain did not bar other countries from trading with her colonies, but some powers were not so liberal, and there was always the possibility that a state might attempt to monopolize its colonial products. So German imperialists believed it necessary for Germany's greatness that lands producing cotton, copper, rubber, and other materials should be taken and held.
Even when it was doubtful whether the mass of the people would be benefited by colonial acquisitions, and very doubtful whether colonies were wanted by them, individuals who hoped to get special privileges of great wealth, or who wanted protection for their investments, were often able to arouse the patriotism of the rest of the people and their love of greatness and glory for their country and lead them on to support colonial adventure. Just as small businesses were being consolidated into large corporations, so a great part of the resources of the earth were being assembled in possession of a few great powers; and it seemed to many that the future lay only with those powers, like Russia and the United States, which had vast territory in which to expand and enlarge, or with those like Great Britain and France, which had got colonies over the sea. The Germans' desire to get more territory or colonies while time still remained, was probably one of the major causes of the Great War. Patriotism and colonies
The subject populations were, probably, on the whole, better off than they would have been if left to themselves. That some of them were harshly and cruelly treated, that at best they had usually an inferior status, that they were often exploited, that they were ruled by aliens, that democracy self-government were never extended to them, that they were denied many things which their European masters had, is most true. If all this be considered from the point of view of what European liberals wanted for themselves, it is very lamentable indeed. But it must be remembered that the people of Algeria, of India, of Egypt and of Burma had not been able to develop democracy or much well-being for the masses; that the negroes of Africa were far down in the scale of mankind and that those who could survive were being rapidly lifted up through whole stages of human progress. Whatever evils attended imperialism, and they were not few or small, it is probable that the peoples affected were benefited and prepared for things better to come. It is certain, also, that Americans and Englishmen and Frenchmen were coming to have greater concern for their responsibilities and ever greater desire to improve the condition of the peoples whom they ruled. Subject colonial populations
General: Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, De la Colonisation chez les Peuples Modernes, 2 vols. ( 6th ed. 1908); Alfred Zimmermann, Die Europäische Kolonien, 5 vols. ( 1896- 1903), with bibliographies and maps.
The British Empire: E. G. Hawke, The British Empire and Its History ( 1911); C. F. Lavell and C. E. Payne, Imperial England ( 1919); Sir C. P. Lucas, The British Empire ( 1915), A Historical Geography of the British Colonies, 12 vols. (ed. 1916); The Oxford Survey of the British Empire, ed. by A. J. Herbertson and O. J. R. Howarth, 6 vols. ( 1914); A. J. Sargent, Seaways of the Empire ( 1918); W. H. Woodward, A Short History of the Expansion of the British Empire, 1500-1911 ( 3d ed. 1912). H. E. Egerton , Federations and Unions within the British Empire ( 1911); R. Jebb, The Imperial Conference, 2 vols. ( 1911).
Egypt: Earl of Cromer, Modern Egypt, 2 vols. ( 1908), best account of; C. de Freycinet, La Question d'Eqypte ( 1905); Alfred (Lord) Milner, England in, Egypt ( 1892); A. E. P. B. Weigall , A History of Events in Egypt from 1798 to 1914 ( 1915).
India: V. A. Smith, The Oxford History of India: from the Earliest Times to the End of 1911 ( 1919), excellent for an introduction; Sir T. W. Holderness, Peoples and Problems of India ( 1912), excellent; Sir Courtney Ilbert, The Government of India ( 3d ed. 1915).
South Africa: F. R. Cana, South Africa from the Great Trek to the Union ( 1909); G. E. Cory, The Rise of South Africa, volumes I-III ( 1910-19). On the Boer War: The Times History of the War in South Africa, 1899-1900, edited by L. S. Amery, 4 vols. ( 1900)
The French colonies: Marcel Dubois and Auguste Terrier. Un Siècle d'Expansion Coloniale, 1800-1900 (ed. 1902); Émile Levasseur , La France et Ses Colonies, 3 vols. ( 1890-3); Alfred Rambaud and others, La France Coloniale ( 6th ed. 1893).
The German Colonies: Kurt Hassert, Deutschland's Kolonien ( 2 ed. 1910); P. E. Lewin, The Germans and Africa ( 1915); H. Mayer, Das Deutsche Kolonialreich, 2 vols. ( 1909); Alfred Zimmermann , Geschichte der Deutsche Kolonialpolitik ( 1914).
Africa: Baron Beyens, La Question Africaine ( 1918); N. D. Harris , Intervention and Colonization in Africa ( 1914); Sir H. H. Johnston , A History of the Colonization of Africa by Alien Races ( 1899), The Opening ,up of Africa ( 1911); E. L. Castellani, Le Colonie e la Conferenza di Berlino ( 1885), best on this subject; Sir Edward Hertslet, The Map of Africa by Treaty 3 vols. ( 2d ed. 1896); and H. A. Gibbons, The New Map of Africa ( 1916).
Asia in general: A. T. Mahan, The Problem of Asia ( 1900); H. A. Gibbons, The New Map of Asia (1900-1911) ( 1919).
The Far East: Sir R. K. Douglas, Europe and the Far East, 1506-1912 ( 1913), best; É. Driault, La Question d'Extrême Orient ( 1908), excellent.
China: H. Cordier, Histoire des Relations de la Chine avec les Puissances Occidentales, 1860-1902 ( 1902); H. A. Giles, China and the Chinese ( 1902), The Civilization of China ( 1911), China and the Manchus ( 1912), all excellent for the beginner: H. H. Gowen , An Outline History of China ( 1913).
Japan: K. K. Kawakami, Japan in World Politics ( 1917); Lancelot Lawton, Empires of the Far East, 2 vols. ( 1912), about Japan, China, and Manchuria.
TRIPLE ALLIANCE AND THE ENTENTES
. . . l'aigle provoqué prendra son vol, saisara l'ennemi dan ses serres acérées, et le rendra inoffensif. Nous nous souviendrons alors que les provinces de l'ancien empire allemand: Comté de Bourgogne et une belle part de la Lorraine, sont encore aux mains des Francs; que des milliers de frères allemands des provinces baltiques gémissent sous le joug slave. C'est une question nationale de rendre à l'Allemagne ce qu'elle a autrefois possédé.
Alleged secret German official report, communicated by the French Minister of War to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, April 2, 1913.
Immer enger werden die Maschen des Netzes, in die es der französischen Diplomatic gelingt, England zu verstricken. Schon in den ersten Phasen des Marokkokonflickts hat bekanntlich England an Frankreich Zusagen militärischer Natur gemacht. . . . Die Englische Flotte übernimmt den Schutz der Nordsee, des Kanals und des Atlantischen Ozeans. . . . Die Englische Regierung spielt ein gefährliches Spiel.
A report of 1913, published in the Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, October 16, 1914.
FOR a generation after the Franco-German War the German Empire enjoyed undisputed prominence in Europe, not only because of its own enormous strength, but from the fact that it was the head of the Triple Alliance with Italy and Austria-Hungary. Even after the arrangement between France and Russia in 1893 the supremacy of Germany was not seriously disturbed. The Dual Alliance was regarded with suspicion not only by the rival alliance but by Great Britain as well. Therefore, down to 1901, at least, and actually for a few years after Preeminence of the German Empire, 1871-1904 that time, the German Empire continued, to be what it had been during the later period of Bismarck, the dominant power on the Continent of Europe. And indeed it did more than hold its place, for, ambition increasing with the marvelous expansion of its power, it became year by year stronger and more magnificent to friends and admirers, more threatening and terrible to the others. It was this increase in power and ambition that brought about the large diplomatic changes that now came to pass.
Hitherto the weaker Dual Alliance had confronted the stronger Triple Alliance with Britain, on the outskirts of Europe, usually more friendly toward Germany than either Russia or France. But in 1904 England and France settled their differences and made an arrangement, the Entente Cordiale, which was not an alliance but in the end proved to be just as effective as one. And three years later, when England and Russia settled their differences also, in the Anglo-Russian Accord, Dual Alliance and Entente Cordiale coalesced in a vaster combination, the Triple Entente. Thereafter Europe was divided by two great combinations. And the Triple Entente was so strong that Germany's old position of easy superiority was gone. German leaders did try to get back to the old position and dictate their will to the others. Five times they attempted this, and each time a great crisis resulted. On two of these occasions, the Morocco Crisis of 1905, and the Affair of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908-9, Germany won signal triumph, and seemed to have mastery once more. Twice, in the Morocco Crisis of 1911 and the crisis which arose concerning the Balkans in 1912, discomfiture came. Each time, in the end, war was avoided. But the tension gradually became so great that more and more people believed another such difference would make it difficult to avoid war again. The fifth crisis came in 1914, after the Austrian ultimatum to Servia. Then the dread catastrophe came. Europe divided, 1904-14
The great crises
The origin of the Entente Cordiale may be traced to one great cause, fear of the German Empire. England and France had been rivals or enemies for ages. and so different were the character and ideals of the two that rarely had they been able to regard each other with much of sympathy and understanding. As late as 1898 England and France had been very near war. But France had once been under the German's heel and had never forgotten; for thirty years she had lived right beside a neighbor who had often been arrogant and sometimes threatening; Germany was growing in population and power so much more rapidly than France as to make Frenchmen see that in another they could have little chance, and a new school of French leader believed that some day such a conflict could not be avoided. Accordingly, after 1898, with the passing of Hanotaux, who dislike Britain and preferred German friendship, a new group came into power, among whom Théophile Delcassé shortly became most important. It was their belief that France had best seek the friendship of England. Great Britain and France
The old school was passing in Great Britain also. Victoria's German husband had died long before, she herself died in 1901, and a year later the Marquis of Salisbury. The German naval laws of 1898 and 1900 were making the new generation of Englishmen have an apprehension of Germany that those before never had. It began to be said that Britain could no longer, such were the new conditions, afford to maintain her "splendid isolation;" that she must have her own friends to stand with if there were need. So in 1904 France and England signed an agreement by which they amicably adjusted all their differences everywhere, France acquiescing in the British occupation of Egypt, against which she had often protested, and Britain promising to support France in her plan to get possession to Morocco: "The two government agree to afford one another their diplomatic support." It was afterward The Entente Cordiale, 1904 seen, on the publication of the secret articles in 1911, that the two powers, while not making an alliance, had given each other assurances of assistance, if that were needed. In 1904 an alliance was not, perhaps, desired, and would probably not have been tolerated by many people in either of the countries. Moreover, it was said then that Germany would have gone to war to prevent it.
When the terms of the Entente were made known Germany seemed at first to make slight objection to it; but a little later she intervened with terrible brusqueness. March 31, 1905, the kaiser suddenly landed at Tangier, opposite Gibraltar, in Morocco, and told the sultan that he would uphold his sovereign power. To France this was as direct a challenge as could be made, for following the Entente agreement Frenchmen were making ready to end the anarchy which had long existed in Morocco, and round out their north African empire by taking Morocco themselves. After the kaiser's sudden assertion it was evident that France must, at Germany's behest, give up the enterprise or risk almost certain war. The kaiser at Tangier
The moment was well chosen for Germany's move. France herself was not in condition to fight a great war. It was by no means certain as yet how far Britain would support her, or, in view of political conditions in the British Isles, how far she could give support. Worst of all, no help could be expected from Russia. She was involved in a war with Japan, in which she had undergone repeated defeats, and just suffered the great disaster of Mukden. In the course of the struggle rebellion and disorder had arisen in her realm so that she was now distracted and weak, and her condition was such that years of recuperation were needed. Furthermore, the German emperor had been secretly intriguing with the tsar, over whose weak character his own obtained easy ascendancy. He was busily endeavoring to have Russia attach herself to Germany against England, who, he said, was the real France not able to resist Germany enemy, and have her bring France into a continental combination which Germany should lead. A few months after this time, indeed, in July, 1905, the kaiser and tsar met on board a vessel at Björkö in the Baltic, and there signed it secret treaty. This engagement was not accepted by the Russian government, but such negotiations temporarily weakened the Dual Alliance. Secret treaty of Björkö, 1905
It was a terrible moment for France; but she was not prepared to fight, and so had to yield to a great humiliation. There was in Paris at this time a German, Count Haenckel von Donnersmarck, unofficial representative of the kaiser. To a French newspaper he gave out an interview the meaning of which was not to be mistaken: Delcassé's policy was dangerous to Germany and was leading to war; in such a war France might win, but if she did not the peace would be dictated in Paris; he meant his advice kindly--"Give up the minister." And this was done, for as late as 1905 Germany could still command and France obey. Delcassé was forced to resign, and France compelled not only to yield with respect to Morocco, but virtually forced to appear before a European conference, called to meet at Algeciras, over the bay from Gibraltar. The first Morocco crisis, 1905
Germany had gone too far, and at the conference less was gained than six months before. The French had diligently strengthened their military resources, and the English, who had perhaps been more willing to go to war than the French in 1905, continued resolute, while Russia was now at peace. The French presented their case much more skilfully than the Germans, who had relied too greatly on display of force, and France gained a large part of what she wanted; for to France and Spain jointly was given the task of preserving order in Morocco. The results of the affair were none the less a large triumph for Germany. She had not, indeed, succeeded in breaking up the Entente Cordiale, which she much desired to accomplish, and it was seen now that the agreement was stronger The Conference of Algeria, 1906 than ever; nor had she imposed upon France as great a humiliation as seemed likely at first. But she had forbidden France to take Morocco; France had yielded, and at Germany's behest a French minister of foreign affairs had been driven from office. Apparently the position of Germany was as high as when France stood almost alone.
If fear of Germany and trend of diplomatic events had drawn France and Great Britain together, the same forces tended to draw together Russia and Great Britain, and in effect form a combination of Great Britain, Russia, and France. This was made easier because of the RussoJapanese War. After 1905, Russia, defeated in Asia, seemed less dangerous to Britain than before, at the same time that she turned back to Europe, and, as was soon seen, entered into rivalry with the German Empire rather than Great Britain. This took place when British suspicion and dread of Germany were steadily increasing. It took place also at a time when France, the ally of Russia, was becoming ever more closely bound to England. The result of all these factors was that in 1907 the British and the Russian governments settled their differences in friendly and generous spirit, much as France and England had done shortly before. In this agreement Russia acknowledged controlling influence in Afghanistan and in Tibet by Britain, who thus got a secure frontier for India, and Persia was practically divided between the two of them. After 1907 there were, over against the Triple Alliance, the secret agreement between Russia and France, the Entente Cordiale of Great Britain and France, and the Anglo-Russian Accord of Great Britain and Russia. These three arrangements now came to be spoken of together as the Triple Entente, and for the next seven years men understood that Europe was dominated by the two rival combinations, Triple Alliance and Triple Entente. Great Britain and Russia
The Anglo-Russian Accord, 1907
The Triple Entente, 1907-14
But while this was destined to check Germany soon, it could not do so at once; and in the very next year in the BosniaHerzegovina crisis, 1908-9 company with her principal ally she secured another more signal triumph. This time it was in the east of Europe, and had to do with the greatest of Teutonic interests, con trol of the. Balkans. In 1908 Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, in spite of a general European treaty, and in direct defiance of Russia.
By the Treaty of Berlin the two Turkish provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina had been put under the control of Austria-Hungary, though sovereignty continued to be vested in Turkey. Actual connection with Turkey ceased, however, and the government of the Dual Monarchy set to work to bring order to the districts and make them thoroughly subservient to its rule. The people were largely debarred from professional and government positions and treated as inferior to Hungarians or Germans, but considerable material prosperity was brought about, and in many respects the condition of the South Slavs in these provinces was better than that of those who ruled themselves in Servia and Montenegro. As time went on, therefore, Austria-Hungary came to regard them as part of her dominion, and Turkish ownership as a fiction. Thus things continued until 1908. In that year occurred the so-called Young Turk revolution in the Ottoman Empire. Ignoring the Austrian possession of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Young Turks invited the population of the provinces to send representatives to an assembly in Constantinople. This second an attempt to prepare for Turkish possession of the country again later on. But complete mastery of the district was now necessary for the Teutonic scheme of controlling the way down to Turkey and the greater domain across the straits. Under no circumstances would either Germany or Austria see the loss of Bosnia and Herzegovina threatened, and so Austria acted at once. October 3d, the Dual Monarchy cast aside the Treaty of Berlin, without consulting the other parties to the treaty, and announced that the provinces were annexed. The Dual Monarchy annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina
A dangerous crisis ensued. Turkey, most directly aggrieved, strongly protested, but could do nothing, and after a while accepted pecuniary compensation. Great Britain and France, who had signed the Treaty of Berlin, protested. To Russia--also a signatory, and much more greatly interested because of her position and ambition in the Balkans--the affront was far greater and she insisted that the matter be laid before a European congress. Most furious of all was Servia, the neighboring South Slavic state, who had long hoped that, on the breaking up of European Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina would be hers. If now the provinces were finally incorporated into AustriaHungary, then the dream of future Servian greatness would never be realized. Accordingly, while Russia was prepared to oppose the action as strongly as she could, Servia was resolved to fight to the death, and could with difficulty be restrained from attacking her powerful neighbor. Russia and Servia in the crisis
Austria was willing that a European congress should be called, but the taking of Bosnia and Herzegovina must be regarded as fait accompli. Russia resisted firmly, and was supported by her two partners in the Triple Entente. Servia, believing that she would be helped by Russia, made ready for war. With grave and anxious months the winter of 1908-9 passed slowly. Then suddenly the crisis was ended when Germany decisively intervened. She was apparently in the delicate position of having to offend one of her friends. She had enormous interests in Turkey; not less important was the alliance with the Dual Monarchy, whose position she would maintain at all costs. But her very able ambassador in Constantinople, Von Bieberstein, persuaded the Young Turks that it was best to accept the inevitable, and Turkey and Austria came to agreement. Meanwhile Germany gave full support to Austria against Russia and the Entente. German troops were massed in formidable array along the Russian fron- Germany compels Russia to yield 1909
tier, so that afterward the kaiser could say that he had stood forth beside his ally "in shining armor." A messenger was sent to the tsar, presumably to ask whether Austria's action were satisfactory. Russia was in no condition to fight, for she had recovered little as yet from the disasters of the war with Japan, and it was doubtful whether England, perhaps France, would be willing to fight because of the Balkans where they had no direct interest. So Russia yielded suddenly and completely. At the end of March the Russian government declared that it recognized the annexation as a fait accompli, and a few days later Servia, with bitterest humiliation signed a document declaring that she renounced her attitude of protest against the annexation, and would "live in future on good, neighborly terms" with Austria-Hungary.
Thus in 1909 Russia had been humiliated and rebuffed as France had been in 1905. In the east as in the west of Europe, when Germany spoke with hand on the sword, German word was law. The old successes of Bismarck were being revived and exceeded. In spite of the formation of the Triple Entente the colossal power of Germany was not shaken, and she stood dominant and terrifying as never before. She had given command to France, and Great Britain had not been able to save France from yielding; she had spoken to Russia in behalf of her ally, and Russia had yielded completely. Austria was now the principal power interested in the Balkans as Germany was in Turkey; and Servia, the little protégé of Russia, had been abandoned helpless, and forced to promise a friendship which she loathed. As if to complete the splendid success which she had gained, Germany now came to a separate understanding with the tsar. In November, 1910, the Russian ruler was the guest of the kaiser at Potsdam, and there an agreement was made by which Russia's position in Persia was acknowledged, and Russia withdrew opposition to the Bagdad Railway, which Germany wished Imposing position of Germany, 1909-11
The Potsdam Accord, 1910 to complete. So, not only was the Entente shaken when Germany spoke, but one of its members even seemed to be drawing away.
This crisis had ended without disaster, but like the others it was ominous of woes soon to come. The cynical violation of the Treaty of Berlin by Austria-Hungary was fraught with consequences of evil. All through the nineteenth century, with the progress toward better things, there had been effort to have the sanctity of treaties held in reverence. "Contracting powers can rid themselves of their treaty engagements only by an understanding with their co-signatories," said the Declaration of London in 1871, to which Austria-Hungary had been a party. But among Germans there had been growing up of late the doctrine that treaties need not be kept if they were in opposition to the good of the state, and in the more terrible days of 1914 this doctrine was to be reaffirmed. The result of Austria's action in 1908 was to undermine public confidence in treaties and international engagements, and to make the more cautious believe that such engagements could be maintained only by force. International engagements weakend
This was the last great diplomatic triumph which Germany was destined to win. The opponents of Germany and the Triple Alliance were coming more closely together, and feeling that they could count on one another for support more certainly now. Especially was this the case with England and France; they were strengthening their forces, and they were, apparently, strengthening year by year their determination not always to yield at Germany's behest. In France there was going on steadily both a revival of courage and assurance and a splendid rebirth of national feeling. In Great Britain there was each year more apprehensiveness about the German Empire, determination to be on perpetual guard, and not let France alone confront German aggression or suffer her again to be crushed. The policy of Russia was more obscure, and depend, appar- Increasing strength of the Triple Entente ently, more on the personal character of the ruler, who was known to be partly under the kaiser's influence and largely under that of his German wife. Yet, it was evident that Russia's great ambitions were now in the Balkans, so that she was thus brought again into direct rivalry with the Teutonic powers, and it was also certain that she was recovering the strength lost at Mukden and Tsushima. It was very evident also that the policy of Italy was now in conflict with that of the Austria-Hungary, at the same time that Italy had renewed her friendship with France, so that Italian support could no longer be counted on for Germany and Austria in any great war. All these factors had to do with the changes which now took place.
The third of the great disputes between the opposing combinations came in 1911, and again it had to do with Morocco. After the Conference of Algeciras, France went steadily on with the work which the powers had committed to her. She also tried to come to an understanding with Germany, and proceeded to get control of Morocco as far as she could. Under pretext of policing the distracted country she pushed an armed force farther and farther into the interior. It looked as though Morocco was about to become a French possession, whatever appearances were maintained, and Germany resolved that this should not be done without her consent and without a share of the country for herself. The second Morocco crisis, 1911
Without preliminary warning, July 1, 1911, it was announced that German commercial interests in Morocco were being threatened, and that hence a German warship had been sent to the harbor of Agadir, on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, to protect them. It was at once apparent that German interests were insignificant in the district, and that there was no unusual disorder. Evidently the Germans had intervened as before; and at once there came a crisis which brought the nations to the very verge of war. Agadir
THE ALLEGED PAN-GERMAN PLAN
The moment had been well chosen. France was torn by socialist and industrial agitation. There had just been a great strike on the railroads, broken only when the government had mobilized the trainmen as soldiers to run the trains, and the anger at this was so great that the discontented were practising acts of sabotage, wrecking and destroying wherever they could. Ministries were following each other in quick and bewildering succession, and the government seemed weak and unstable. In Great Britain also there was widespread industrial discontent, and there had just been disorders in Liverpool and London greater than people living could remember. Moreover, the country was in the very midst of the great constitutional struggle over the power of the house of lords, and the people were divided by a contest more bitter than anything since the passage of the Reform Law in 1832. Russia had recently entered into the Potsdam agreement with Germany, and in any event Russia was little interested in Morocco, which concerned her directly not at all. Britain and France embarrassed
The question now resolved itself into another great contest between the Entente and the Alliance, more especially between Germany and Great Britain and France. Between the French and the German governments began a series of "conversations," while France sought to learn how far Britain would give her support. The French government, which had itself effectually set aside the Algeciras agreement, was yet able to maintain that Germany's action distinctly infringed the agreement; while German, it would seem, with more bluntness, declared that France had made the agreement of no force, and that, in the new order of things which had arisen, Germany must have a part of Morocco, or else, as she hinted, some compensation elsewhere. The diplomatic struggle
In France the German demands made profound impression on a people always sensitive, and then in the midst of a great revival of patriotic and national feeling. Ger- Feeling in France and Great Britain many's action seemed harsh and unprovoked. Few people wanted war, and most Frenchmen dreaded it; but while there was from the first a spirit of conciliation and no outburst of popular wrath, there was also an unexpected firmness and a decision not to bow down again. In the midst of the negotiations France went steadily on arming and preparing for the worst. In Britain also political dissensions were hushed and put aside for the moment, as all parties stood close together. There was great popular sympathy for France and determination to support her. It was clearly realized that Germany, already dangerous to Great Britain on the seas, would be far more so if she got possession of part of Morocco, in the northwest corner of Africa, within easy striking distance of the Strait of Gibraltar, and lying right on the flank of the sea route to South Africa, constituting thus a menace both to Britain's short- and her long-water route to the East. For France the presence of Germany there would be no less a trouble and danger. Germany could thus make easy attack on the French Empire in northern Africa, and it would always be possible for her to stir up disaffection among the natives of Algeria and Tunis.
Accordingly, the two powers stood resolute and undaunted. All the French fleet was concentrated in the Mediterranean, and it was known that Britain's great fleet was ready in the Channel and in the North Sea. In the negotiations which were being carried on between Berlin and Paris, France, brought to bay, refused to let Germany have any share of Morocco. But if Germany would agree to give her a free hand there, she would from her other possessions grant compensation to Germany elsewhere. France refuses to yield
The German government was soon in a difficult position, much, indeed, like that of the last days of July 1914. Germany had intervened with bold determination two times before; each time her weaker opponents had yielded, and there had been no trouble because they had yielded. Difficulties of Germany's position
But now she had spoken commandingly again, and this time her word was not obeyed. It presently became apparent that, to enforce what she demanded, war might be necessary; but the socialists were bitterly opposed to such a war; most of the people did not feel that a vital interest of the nation was at stake; and it could not be pretended, as it was three years later, that Germany was being attacked by envious foes who were trying to effect her destruction. None the less, an important and influential part of the population, all those who had been striving for the creation of a greater German empire and for the expansion of German sea power, insisted that a part of Morocco must be got, or at the very least certain coalingstations. France, supported by Great Britain, refused firmly to consider giving Germany any part of the country; if however the Imperial Government acknowledged her absolute political supremacy in Morocco, so that it would not in the future be called in question, then she would cede to Germany about a third of her Congo territory. From this offer she would not swerve.
Therefore, in the anxious weeks of August and September, 1911, it seemed that any day war might break out. The French people dreaded the prospect of such a war, for they realized, as they did so clearly in 1914, that this time defeat meant the definitive loss of their position as a great power. But, encouraged by England, they stood watchful and firm. They were, indeed, in a position far different from the earlier years when the Kaiser is reported to have said "I hold France in the hollow of my hand." The best judges believed that they were superior to the Germans in airplanes and field artillery, and there could be no doubt that the sea power of the Entente was overwhelmingly superior to the German. Brought to the time of decision the German government hesitated at last. It is said that the best advisers were consulted about whether the present opportunity was favorable for war, The German Empire yields and the answers were against it. Especially did the financiers oppose a conflict. The French had been conducting what they called a "financial mobilization." The vast and expanding industry of Germany had been built up largely on borrowed capital, much of it supplied by the French. If the money foundation of this structure were shaken, the whole edifice might topple down in a great industrial panic. The French were silently calling in their loans, and a colossal panic seemed imminent with widespread economic ruin. Accordingly the French proposals were accepted: there was no war; and the crisis ended.
By the end of September the danger was past, and early in November an agreement was signed. Substantially France established her protectorate over Morocco, guaranteeing to all nations freedom and equality of trade; and she ceded to Germany part of her Congo. The arrangement was not completely satisfactory, since Frenchmen believed that Germany had been bribed to permit what she had no right to interfere in, and Germans were bitterly disappointed that they had obtained no part of Morocco. Germany had, it is true, been so confident of her strength that she had defied both. England and France, and she had made good her contention that no important matter could be settled unless she were consulted; but she was no longer able to carry her point, and if she had hoped to drive England and France apart and break up the Entente Cordiale, it was apparent now that the understanding was closer than before and virtually a strong alliance. The Morocco question settled
One of the principal results of this contest was increasing bitterness between Germany and Great Britain who had supported France stoutly. "We know now the enemy who loses no chance to bar our way." This bitterness resulted largely from comprehension that British support had made it possible for France to give to Germany the greatest diplomatic set-back that Germans had known since before the Franco-Prussian War. On all sides was German bitterness toward England expressed the determination to see that, next time, the Fatherland would be so prepared that there would be no receding, and it was probable that if another crisis found Germany ready she would not again endure to be checked.
But the next crisis did not arise through Germany's seeking, though it soon involved Austria's interests and her own. After the overwhelming defeat of Turkey in the first weeks of the First Balkan War, representatives of the Great Powers assembled in London ( 1912-13) to discuss the new problems just raised. Servia had not only conquered territory which she greatly desired, but she had now the chance of extending down through Albania and getting an outlet at last on the sea. To this Austria-Hungary was altogether opposed. Not only was Servia more hostile and dangerous to her than any other Balkan state, but a strong Servia resting on the sea would really block her hoped-for extension down toward the Ægean. Therefore she declared in effect that Servia must not reach to the sea and must not occupy Durazzo. Servia insisted upon getting the city, and in November Austria began to mobilize her troops. Germany declared that she would support her allies if they were attacked. Russia began to mobilize troops behind the screen of her Polish fortresses, and France announced that she would stand by her ally if needed. Italy, while opposed to Servia appearing on the Adriatic, was as much opposed to further extension of Austrian power down that sea coast. In Great Britain public opinion, so far as it was interested, was in favor of letting the small Balkan states keep the conquests they had won from the Turk, even though at the beginning the Great Powers had announced that these states would not be allowed to make conquests. The Balkan crisis of 1912
Servia yielded and withdrew her troops; and, in the treaty of peace which followed, an independent Albania was constituted, as Austria wished. The Montenegrins, however, continued to besiege Scutari, in northern Albania, and after a long investment, captured the fortress. Before the fall of the city the powers had notified Montenegro that Scutari was to belong to Albania, and then they blockaded the one little harbor which Montenegro possessed. When Scutari fell, Austria-Hungary demanded that it be given up at once, and went forward with the mobilization of troops. Again Russia made ready to support her Slavic kinsmen, but the crisis was passed when Montenegro yielded to the pressure of the powers and abandoned the city just taken at such cost. Servia and Montenegro yield to AustriaHungary, 1912-13
The result of the Second Balkan War, which soon followed, brought profound alteration in the balance of power and politics in Europe. Early in 1912, after long struggle between the Teutonic Powers and Russia for predominating influence in the Balkans, the result then was that Servia, small and unimportant, along with Montenegro, of little consequence, were friendly to Russia and to some extent dependent on her, while Greece, also unimportant, was bound by many ties to France. On the other hand, Rumania, the strongest and most progressive of the Balkan states, was bound by an agreement with the Central Powers and was an appendage of the Triple Alliance; Bulgaria, strong and successful, was very friendly to the Dual Monarchy; and Turkey, still believed to be more powerful than any of her neighbors, was bound by closest ties to the German Empire. But in 1913, after the Second Balkan War, not only was the strength of Turkey as a European power so weakened that she counted for little more than possessor of the incomparable site of Constantinople and territories in Asia, but Servia, the bitter enemy of Austria, had come out of both wars with increased power and territory and greatly increased prestige, and Rumania, former friend of the Central Powers, was no longer so closely bound to them, and had acted contrary to their wishes against their friend. The new situation in the Balkans 1913
Altogether, the position of Germany and AustriaHungary was much less good with respect to the Balkans than before. Austria greatly desired to settle at once her account with Servia, and reduce her permanently to a position in which she could never again be a source of apprehension. It was learned afterward that in August 1913 Austria-Hungary tried to get her partners in the Triple Alliance to join her in proceeding against Servia. But the Italian government refused to give sanction, and the matter was dropped until the next year. What action Germany then took is not certain, though most probably she also dissuaded her ally. During the conference of the powers at London, Germany acted along with Great Britain in trying to settle peaceably the matters at issue. Austria desires to recover influence in the Balkans, 1913
Had she joined Great Britain in the next year as cordially, it is probable that the Great War would have been avoided. But whereas in 1914 she was ready for the great decision, it is known that in 1913 she did not consider her preparations complete. The changes in the Balkans seemed to diminish her military superiority, and in 1913 many Germans declared that the country could be safe from the growing menace of Russia and Pan-Slavism only if great sacrifices were made and the army largely increased. Accordingly, huge and extraordinary sums of money were voted for greater armaments, and the army was increased to 870,000 men. Immediately thereupon the French, feeling the greater danger from Germany, enlarged their army also. They could not with stationary population simply expand their standing army as the Germans did, but by keeping the troops with the colors for three years instead of two they made a substantial increase. It was recognized that this was literally the last effort of France in the race. German preparations not complete
Pacifists and well-meaning people now began to believe that a great war never would come. But it had almost come in 1911, and as nearly in 1913. Both times the great struggle was avoided. Next year, however, another crisis would arise; and then the utmost efforts of those who wished peace would not be sufficient to keep it.
The Triple Entente: R. B. Mowat, Select Treaties and Documents (ed. 1916), contains the texts of the Entente Cordiale, public and secret parts, and of the Anglo-Russian Agreement; Sir Thomas Barclay, Thirty Years' Anglo-French Reminiscences ( 1914); L. J. Jaray, La Politique Franco-Anglaise et l' Arbitrage Internationale ( 1904); E. Lemon, L'Europe et la Politique Britannique, 1882-1910 ( 1910); R. Millet, Notre Politique Extérieure de 1898-1905 ( 1905), hostile to Delcassé; Gilbert Murray, The Foreign Policy of Sir Edward Grey ( 1915), defends; A. Tardieu , Questions Diplomatiques de l' Année 1904 ( 1905). Relations with Russia: The Willy-Nicky Correspondence, edited by Herman Bernstein ( 1918), to be supplemented by S. B. Fay, "The Kaiser's Secret Negotiations with the Czar, 1904-5," American Historical Review, October, 1918; N. F. Grant, editor, The Kaiser's Letters to the Tsar ( 1920).
The conflict over Morocco: P. Le Albin "Coup" d' Agadir ( 1912); H. Closs, West-Marokko Deutsch ( 1911); G. Diercks, Die Marokkofrage und die Konferenz von Algeciras ( 1906); L. Maurice , La Politique Marocaine de l'Allemagne ( 1916); E. Morel , Morocco in Diplomacy ( 1912), well documented, but strongly prejudiced against France and the Anglo-French policy, reissued as Ten Years of Secret Diplomacy ( 1915); A. Tardieu, La Conférence d' Algéciras (ed. 1917), best on the subject, Le Mystère d' Agadir ( 1912), best account of; A. Wirth, Die Entscheidung über Marokko ( 1911). General: Ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II, trans. My Memoirs: 18781918 ( 1923); Winston S. Churchill, The World Crisis, 19111914 ( 1913); Otto Hammann, Zur Vorgeschichte des Weltkrieges: Erinnerungen aus den Jahren 1897-1906 ( 1919); Heinrich Kannes , Kaiserliche Katastrophen-politik ( 1922); René Marchand , Un Livre Noir: Diplomatie d' Avant Guerre d' après les Documents des Archives Russes, Novembre 1910-Juillet 1914, 2 vols. ( 1922-3); B. von Siebert, ed., Diplomatische Aktenstücke zur Geschichte der Entente-politik des Vorkriegsjahre ( 1921), trans. as Entente Diplomacy and the World: Matrix of the History of Europe, 1909-14 ( 1921).
THE CAUSES OF THE GREAT WAR
Gelegentlich der Übergade der vorstehenden Note wollen Euer Hochwohlgeboren mündlich hinzufügen, dass Sie beauftragt seien --falls Ihnen nicht inzwischen eine vorbehaltlose zustimmende] Antwork der königlichen Regierung zugekommen sein solte--nach Ablauf der in der Note vorgesehanen, vom Tage und von der Stunde Ihrer Mitteilung an zu rechnenden 48 stündigen First, mit dem Personale der k. u. k. Gesandschaft Belgrad zu verlassen.
Instruction of COUNT BERCHTOLD to Baron von Giesel, about presenting the Austrian Note at Belgrade, July 22,1914.
SUCH had been the development of the politics of Europe that now there were not wanting those who each year predicted a great war inevitable in the future. Yet this seemed such a travesty upon civilization and the progress of mankind, that many contended in these later years that no great war could again take place; that war never paid; that the dreadful losses certain to come would deter the great nations from fighting; that arbitration would be used more and more in the future, and the Hague Tribunal be able peaceably to settle disputes; that the whole tendency of politics recently had been to make governments more and more democratic, and that the mass of the people, now that they had power in governing themselves, would not permit any more wars or give them support; that commerce and finance now bound the nations closely together, and that economic forces were bringing war to an end. There was much truth in all of these contentions, and perhaps had mankind been more fortunate and wiser, no great war need have come; but as Possibility of a great war one looks back and considers things as they were, not as men hoped they were, it is evident that certain great causes were tending very strongly to the awful catastrophe that came.
By 1914 the great nations of Europe were divided into two strong hostile combinations, the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente, armed to the teeth and constantly watching one another. In the nineteenth century there had been in Europe a development of armies and military preparations never seen before in the world. In former times there had been great military states, Assyria, Sparta, Rome, overawing all their neighbors; but now most men in the principal states of Europe had been trained as soldiers and were ready for the call. The "standing army" of Germany numbered 870,000, while 4,000,000 more trained soldiers could, if necessary, be called; in France 670,000 were in the camps, and it was thought that 3,000,000 could follow. By this time the soldiers of the Continental armies numbered millions, with millions more in reserve. There had never been anything like it before, and it was believed that another war would either be decided immediately in favor of that nation which could suddenly bring greatest forces to bear, or else all the contestants would soon be exhausted, because of the stupendous cost. Europe divided into two armed camps
Nor was this all. With these vast military establishments went the preparation of war-supplies in incredible quantities. Never before in the history of the world had there been so enormous an accumulation of rifles, cannon, machine guns, explosives, and death-dealing instruments of all kinds. The best brains and the greatest ingenuity in some of these countries went into the devising of more dreadful instruments of destruction. There were feverish activity and the most reckless expenditure to keep up in the race. Powerful weapons soon became obsolete and were replaced with others more terrible. To lag in the Equipment and preparation for war race might some time mean destruction by a more active rival. Elaborate arrangements were prepared for sudden attack, and complete plans of campaign. Spies were sent out in time of peace, to collect information or disarrange plans. Railway systems were constructed for quickly moving troops, and "strategic railways" appeared, as along the Belgian frontier of Germany, where there were few passengers and little freight to be moved. And still more terrible, but as a natural consequence, powerful men who gave their careers to military service, thought about military effectiveness so much and tried so hard to perfect their armies, that they came to think of war as a good thing, and to hope that there might some day be a chance to use the weapons they so diligently prepared. In all of these things Germany took the lead and kept far ahead. When statesmen of other countries tried to bring about reduction of armament, and arrange plans for settling national disputes by peaceable means, Germany always opposed or refused.
Because of mere geographical situation and the arrangement of outlets and frontiers some of the nations of Europe were at a disadvantage as compared with rivals, so that they earnestly desired to get things which they lacked, which could only be obtained by taking them away from others. Some countries were closed in from the sea by others, who could, whenever they wished, deny them outlet and strangle their economic life. Some nations had vast expanse of territory in which to increase their population and make themselves greater in the future; others had restricted areas and far less chance for growth. Geographical factors
Russia had immense territory wanting good outlet. To the north she had ports in the Arctic district, remote and closed by ice during much of the year. Far to the east she had a good outlet at Vladivostok, which was likewise closed during winter, and at the mercy of Japan. In the west she had ports on the Baltic Sea, but they were not Russia and AustriaHungary only used with difficulty during some months in the winter, but the German Empire could close all Baltic trade if ever it wished. In the south there were excellent ports on the Black Sea, and to this sea came most of Russia's commerce, but the only exit from the Black Sea was through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, narrow straits controlled absolutely by the Turks at Constantinople. It had been the age-long aspiration of Russians to get a good warm-water outlet, and it had long been their passionate desire to win Constantinople. But if Russia succeeded in this, then some of the greatest ambitions of Germany might come to nothing, and Austria-Hungary would be largely at Russia's mercy. Not only did Austria-Hungary desire to expand southward through the Balkans, but her great river, the Danube, emptied into the Black Sea, and much of her commerce went out past Constantinople. That is to say, if Russia succeeded in her ambition, then AustriaHungary, could be largely closed in and at Russia's mercy, while if Austria got what she desired, then Russia would be largely at her mercy in like manner.
There were many circumstances similar. Austria's other outlet was into the Adriatic, at Trieste and Fiume, but the end of the Adriatic was getting entirely into Italy's control. Germany, who could close in Russia on the Baltic, saw her great trade routes in the North Sea and through the English Channel at the mercy of Great Britain, who could shut them off if she wished. And all the nations with ports on the Mediterranean, the most important sea and the greatest water short-line in the world, found the Mediterranean held at both ends, at Suez and Gibraltar, by Great Britain. It was not that these outlets were closed and nations strangled or made economically dependent, but the fact that in some great struggle they could be. Statesmen thought of the future, and were filled with distrust. In time of peace all the seas controlled by Britain were used by all the nations as much as they The Adriatic, the Baltic, the Mediterranean wished, but during the Great War Britain's command of the sea at last brought Germany to her knees, just as already Russia had been destroyed largely because she had from the first been closed in by the German Empire and Turkey. Indeed, in 1911-12, during the Turco-Italian War, in which Russia had no part, Russia's grain fleet was completely stopped through the closing of the straits by Turkey.
Just as great to some seemed the disadvantage of not having room for expansion. The English-speaking peoples, the Russians, China and Japan, perhaps some of the South American states, had room in which to grow and increase their numbers. Even France, whose population was stationary, had a large colonial empire. But Germany's territory was small, and she had no good colonies in which might grow up a greater Germany over the seas. Germany's population was increasing, and some looked forward to the time when there would be 200,000,000 Germans in the empire, and then France would be at hopeless disadvantage. But when that time came, it seemed probable that the population of Russia might be 1,000,000,000; and then what chance would Germany have against her? Nor could this disparity be avoided, for Russia had immense territories only thinly peopled, able to support many more, while beyond a certain number it seemed impossible that Germany could support more in the limited area she possessed. Later on, accordingly, the destiny of the world would be in the hands of great contestants like Russia, the British Empire, perhaps the United States, with Germany relatively a minor power like France--unless before this evil day came, Germany struck and took from others the territory which they had and which she needed so badly. Room for growth of population
Connected with this were differences in birth rate and increase in population. In some countries the number of people was increasing more rapidly than in others, and, Birth rate and increase of people other things being equal, superior numbers would be sure to give greater military strength and power. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the population of France was 27,000,000; in 1914 it was a little less than 40,000,000. In the early part of the nineteenth century there were in the countries which afterward made up the German Empire, 24,000,000 people, but when the Great War began the population was estimated at about 70,000,000. During this same period the population of Great Britain had grown from 10,500,000 to over 40,000,000, though during the same time Ireland had declined from 8,000,000 to 4,500,000. In France the standard of living was high, the birth rate was low. On the other hand, in Italy where the standard of living was low, the population increased so rapidly that numerous emigrants had to go forth from a country which could not support them; and in Russia, despite an appalling infant mortality, it increased more rapidly still. In Germany, where the standard was high, it also increased rapidly, so that a large part of the population could only be supported by making goods to be exchanged with other nations for food. It was Germany's dearest desire to have more good territory in which to expand and increase her numbers, while the rapid increase which she had constantly made her more powerful, and more able to be arrogant and threatening to her neighbors.
There were particular things which seemed to bode ill for the future, such as the feeling in France that gross injustice had been done by Germany in taking AlsaceLorraine, though the desire of the French people for a war of revenge had largely passed away, and by 1914 it was very probable that France would never go to war solely to win the "lost provinces" back. Italy wished much for the lands in which Italians lived, which had not been given to her at the time when her unity was achieved, but it was not probable that she would go to war to get them, or be able to get them if she did. Far more important were the International relations rivalry between Teuton and Slav in eastern Europe, and the relations between Germany and England in the west.
The relations between Germany and England in earlier times had generally been good. But a great change came at the end of the century, when Germany, having built up the greatest military power in the world, seemed to desire naval supremacy also. In 1898 and in 1900 were passed two of the most important naval measures ever sanctioned in any country. Soon English leaders were alarmed, and in the years that followed the attention of people in Great Britain was given more and more to the growth and ambitions of Germany. Additional warships were built, and then, when for a while it seemed that Germany might still get ahead, vast appropriations were made and naval construction carried on with feverish haste. Many people believed that there was no danger, but many more thought that the British Empire was now threatened by the greatest danger that had ever confronted it. There were not wanting some who feared that the Germans might strike without any declaration of war, and evading the British fleet some misty night, suddenly throw into England a force which would destroy Great Britain without hope of redemption. It was necessary, then, to be perpetually on guard, to maintain overwhelming sea power, and perhaps raise a great army for defence. Some attempts were made to end this rivalry and suspicion, but though a temporary arrangement was arrived at, no real agreement could be reached. The British people desired to avoid a conflict, and the British government made a sincere effort to remove such differences as existed between the two nations, and in doing this made large and generous concessions, especially with respect to the Bagdad Railway scheme, but it cannot be known what good results might have come of this, since the agreement was reached only a little before the Great War broke out. Meanwhile the statesmen of Britain were constantly watching Germany's every move, Germany and Great Britain and it had become the cornerstone of her foreign policy that under no circumstances must she ever allow France, her best friend, to be crushed by German armies.
Less acute and less evident, perhaps, was another and greater rivalry, between the Teutonic peoples, especially the Germans in central Europe, and the Slavic peoples, especially Russia in the east--a contest which principally concerned Constantinople and the Balkans. For ages this contest had lasted. Once the Slavs had pushed the Teutons almost to the Elbe and the Rhine. Then the tide turned, and the history of the Middle Ages in central Europe is to a considerable extent the story of the reconquest of lands by the Germans from the Slavs. In this way was eastern Prussia built up; in this way the power of Austria also was extended, and just before the war there continued to be more Slavs in Austria than there were Germans and more Slavs in Hungary than Magyars. Poland had once been the great Slavic champion, but she had disappeared, and her place of leadership had been taken by the enormous Empire of Russia. The rivalry now was concerned largely with the mastery of the Balkan Peninsula. Teuton and Slav
In the days when the Eastern Roman Empire was decaying the Balkan Peninsula had been occupied largely by South Slavic peoples. In course of time they were overwhelmed and submerged by the Turks. In the nineteenth century they and the Greeks got their freedom once more. To this freedom they had all been helped by Russia to whom they looked as their protector and the great brother of their race. Russia desired to protect them or perhaps some day incorporate them in a great Pan-Russian domain, and she held these feelings not only because she was ambitious but because she felt the ties of religion and race; they were all of them Slavic in blood and they held the Greek Catholic faith. Also Russia greatly desired to have Constantinople and an outlet on the Mediterranean The South Slavs and Russia
THE OCEANS OF THE WORLD-MERCATOR'S PROJECTION:
SHOWING THE PRINCIPAL SEA LINES OF COMMUNICATION IN THE GREAT WAR
This would never be possible, perhaps, unless she controlled the Balkans.
But these ambitions of Russia conflicted directly with what had come to be the first ambition of the Germanic Powers, and their best chance for founding a greater empire. Germany began too late to try to build up a dominion in colonies or distant lands. There was no territory into which she could expand in Europe without taking it away from some neighbor as the result of a war; and by the time she attempted to get colonies, England and France had taken almost all of the best that were to be had. There did, indeed, seem to be some possibility of expansion in South America and in the Far East, but for the present the Monroe Doctrine debarred her from taking Latin American countries, and after the Russo-Japanese War European acquisitions in China came to an end, since they were now opposed by Japan. It might be that some day Germany could take away the colonial dominion of France or even the far-flung possessions of the British Empire; but if these things came they must be the result of a victorious war won by greater Germany in the future. One inviting field remained, and that was in the domain of Turkey, mostly in Asia Minor, which was thinly peopled and backward now under the rule of the Turk, but which had once been a seat of civilization, populous, important and wealthy. Under German rule it might be so again. Germany, the Balkans Asiatic Bagdad Railway
Accordingly, the German government had cultivated good relations with the Turks, and had recently become so influential in the government of that country that Turkey was getting to be an appendage of the German alliance. But in order that the German Empire might control the Turkish dominions it seemed necessary that AustriaHungary and Germany together should control the Balkan Peninsula which lay in between. This suited very well the schemes of the Dual Monarchy which desired to expand to the south. Gradually the plan took shape. The two MittelEuropa and the Bagdad Railway principal members of the Triple Alliance were to dominate the Balkans and thence get control of the Turkish lands and so build up across "Middle Europe" a great empire which would extend from the North Sea to the Persian Gulf. To hold it together, to carry on a great trade with profit, to defend it in time of war, a great railroad must bind all parts together. Already most of such a railroad existed. From the ports of the North Sea and the Baltic, lines ran to Berlin, then to Vienna and Buda-Pest, thence to Belgrade, and on to Constantinople. The Germans were extending this line of communication by building the "Bagdad Railway," which starting on the shore of the Bosporus opposite Constantinople would run across Asia Minor and across Mesopotamia to the city of Bagdad, so famed in the Arabian Nights, and thence on to the Persian Gulf, while a branch would go down along the Mediterranean past Egypt to the Arabian cities of Mohammed.
Realization of this scheme of "Middle Europe" would make it impossible to fulfil the ambitions of the Slavs; it was therefore strongly opposed by Russia. The field in which these conflicting ambitions most clashed was the Balkan Peninsula, the mastery of which was indispensable to success for either side. Hence the Balkans became the principal danger-spot of Europe. Twice did a great war almost break out because of disputes over this district. In 1908 Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina. Russia strongly objected, but yielded, suffering thus a diplomatic defeat. In 1912-13 another crisis developed when the small Balkan nations overthrew Turkey, took from her almost all of her territory in Europe, and then fought among themselves in dividing it up. On this occasion the Germans, and especially the Austrians, suffered loss, since the power of Turkey seemed to be destroyed, and Servia, Austria's bitterest foe, extended her territory and became more ambitious. It seemed now that Russia and the Triple Entente had the greater in- Rivalry in the Balkans fluence in the Balkans. The subject Slavic peoples in the Dual Monarchy became restless, and hoped that some day they could be independent or else join the Servian kingdom. Worst of all, if a hostile Servia remained independent, there might be no Middle Europe and no through railroad communication from Hamburg to Bagdad, since it was desirable that this railroad should run across Servia up the valley of the Morava River. This was, indeed, the cause that led directly to the war. The Teutonic Powers were determined that an independent Servia should not stand in their way. On the other hand, it was nearly certain that if Russia allowed Servia to be crushed, then her great hopes must come to an end. Hence there were endless plots and constant watching to see that neither side gained any advantage. Servia
The last and one of the important causes of the war was Germany herself. The character, the ambitions, the ideals of her rulers and her people made a great war probable whatever other causes existed. No people had developed so greatly in so short a time. They had succeeded because of high intelligence, industry, and their excellent organization. But they had also succeeded by force and by fraud and by might. And as the years went on the character of many of them underwent great alteration. Spoiled by success, they became selfish, cynical, hard, worshipping materialism, believing themselves superior and high above others. The Germans
Many peoples have thought themselves the greatest and the best in the world--the Greeks, and the Romans once, the British, the French, the Russians, the Japanese, and the people of the United States. But in recent times there has been no such extreme belief as that which was cherished by the Germans. "The Teutons are the aristocracy of humanity," said a well-known writer. "The Teutonic race is called to circle the earth with its rule, to exploit the treasures of nature and of human labor, and to Belief in racial superiority make the passive races servient elements in its cultural development." He declared that the great work of the world had been done by men of Teutonic race, that Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, and Voltaire were actually of Teutonic strain, and that Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were of the Teutonic type. "Whoever has the characteristics of the Teutonic race is superior." Such teachings were spread broadcast through the German Empire in popular form, and after a while generally believed in.
Above all was it believed that the German people were superior in war. They had humbled all with whom they had fought. There were still other and greater foes, but the reckoning would come with them also. An accounting would come with Russia, and many people looked eagerly forward to "the day" when the British Empire was to be laid low by German valor. Long-continued militarism had accustomed the German people to material ideas; great success in their recent wars, confident belief in their superiority and future success, caused many to believe that war was a good thing in itself. "Perpetual peace is a dream," wrote Field-Marshal von Moltke in 1880, "war is part of the eternal order instituted by God." Others declared that war was a part of the struggle for survival of the fittest, which, they said, was everywhere and always going on in the evolution of things. Through conflict the superior Germans would triumph over other nations. And as a result of the victories to come Germany would take away from the vanquished their possessions, which it was more fitting that she should have. It would be better for the world if Germans possessed France and parts of Russia and great domains everywhere, since then the greatest and the best of peoples would have chance for development larger and freer. Glorification of war
As Germany became greater and stronger each year, as belief in glorious destiny was preached and taught in the schools and everywhere circulated in cheap and popular Arrogance and boundless ambition writings, as Germans believed more in the goodness of war and in their invincible army and navy, their ambition and their arrogance were boundless. Not only military men but many others dreamed fondly of grand victories to come and books were published containing maps of the world with the best parts under German rule. All of this was well expressed in the writings of General von Bernhardi, especially in his Germany and the Next War, published in 1911. He maintained that war was a thing excellent in itself. Through great wars would Germany's future be assured. First "France must be so completely crushed that never again can site come across our path"; then would come the reckoning with England. The next war would be for Weltmacht oder Untergang, world-power or downfall;--and so in the end it was.
Along with this materialism, this ambition, this belief in the goodness of war, and the great plans that were cherished, went gradually an alteration in ethics and ideals that affected great numbers, but was for a while not understood by outsiders. Old maxims, often preached before and often abandoned as people improved, were revived now and strengthened. Since war was so good, force was the deciding factor, and might made right. Since the Germans were superior, and their aims for the good of the world, whatever they did to secure their ends was right; the end justified the means. Since the Germans were superior, a particular code existed for them: they were not bound by ordinary moral laws. The old teachings of Christ--that mercy and mildness should be shown, and that men should do unto others as they would have others do unto them--were openly scoffed at by teachers who proclaimed that Germans were supermen who should, by force or fraud or any means, obtain the mastery of inferior people. Cruelty, terror, hardness of heart might always be employed by Germans in a coolly scientific and deliberate way to get the success Old doctrines terrible once more which was theirs by right. Nor need promise be kept or treaties observed, if such observance hindered success.
Afterward among opponents widespread aversion and horror grew with obloquy and large condemnation. From enlargement and distortion of things said then reaction inevitably followed, reaction heightened by the pity that came with the defeat and suffering of the Germans. "The Allied and Associated Governments affirm," said the Treaty of Versailles made with Germany in 1919, "and Germany accepts the responsibility . . . of the war imposed . . . by the aggression of Germany and her Allies." The German plenipotentiary made passionate dissent: such confession would be a lie; Germany was not alone guilty; the underlying cause was the imperialism that had grown so greatly through Europe in the previous fifty years. "Let France Explain" was the title of a book that declares French diplomacy and machinations more culpable than German. Advocates affirm that the German people with good reason feared encirclement by enemies about them: France had stipulated that some of the money loaned to Russia should be used in constructing military railroads for invasion from Poland. In 1914 had been published captured documents purporting to show that previously British and Belgian military authorities conferred about possible future action. It was justly maintained, moreover, that militarism and extreme nationalism had flourished not solely in the German Empire; some Englishmen, some Americans, various Frenchmen, various Russians also represented what the world condemned in Bernhardi and Treitschke. It was well for this to be told to a great many people. Students of history, however, had known it all well enough. They had said no more than that during the years before 1914 belief in superiority of race, and of larger destiny in the future, arrogance, military ambition, reliance on military power, all of these things had been more conspicuous in Germany Later sympathy for the Germans
Excessive condemnation and reaction both misleading than in any other country whatever, and had, along with larger, underlying causes, led directly to the conflict.
Thus, many factors tended to bring on a struggle. Several times a great war nearly came to pass. By 1913 conditions had become such that it would be very difficult to avoid a great conflict if another occasion arose. The Teutonic Powers were now fully determined to secure certain things, especially in the Balkans. If they could, they would get them without war, but they were ready to fight if they must. By this time only a pretext was needed: one thing would do as well as another. Drifting toward a great war
The immediate cause of the war developed from a single episode. June 28, 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. The assassins were Bosnians, but the affair at once took on an ominous aspect when it was known that Austria-Hungary considered the crime to have been plotted in Servia with the knowledge of the government at Belgrade. The worst suspicions were confirmed when, about a month later, July 24, a note was addressed to the Servian government, declaring that it had acted in hostile way toward its neighbor, that it was a source of danger, and that evidently the infamous murder of the archduke had resulted largely therefrom. Accordingly, ten demands were presented which must be acceded to in full within forty-eight hours. One of these demands was that Servia remove officials "whose names and deeds the Austro-Hungarian government reserve to themselves the right of communicating"; while another was that Austro-Hungarian representatives be permitted to take part in court proceedings in Servia, and in measures undertaken there against those engaged in activities against the Dual Monarchy. Sarajevo and the Austrian note, 1914
At once it was the opinion of those who read the note that it had been so drafted as not to be acceptable. Sir Edward Grey, British secretary for foreign affairs, and The independence of Servia at stake one of the ablest and best diplomats in Europe, declared that he had seen so formidable a document addressed to an independent state. If Servia yielded what was now asked she would forego her sovereignty and independence, and become in effect a dependency of the power to whom she yielded. If this took place, then Austria, and with her the German Empire, would secure in the Balkans the supremacy for which they had so long striven, especially the vital advantage of controlling Servia and a necessary part of the route of the railway to Constantinople. No state can retain its sovereignty and allow representatives of a foreign power to take part in the business of its law courts, and if any power promised unconditionally to dismiss such officials as were afterward to be named, not only would it submit to a demand subversive of its independence, but it might be possible for the foreign power to cause it to remodel its government in such manner as to render it entirely subservient. Opinion of Sir Edward Grey
At once Servia appealed to Russia for support. Servians could count on the sympathy of Russia, and it was probable that Russia would not stand aside and see Germany and Austria obtain immediate preponderance in the Balkans. Austria unaided would probably be no match for Russia, but she would certainly be supported by the German Empire. Men believed that such a note would never have been dispatched from Vienna without the knowledge and approval of Berlin. The German authorities announced that they approved the contents of the note, but declared that they had not known these contents beforehand. It is now known, however, that on July 5 the German government promised assistance to the Austrian government in whatever course it might see fit to take: "Austria must judge what is to be done to clear up her relation to Servia; whatever Austria's decision may turn out to be, Austria can count with certainty upon it, that Germany will stand behind her as an ally and friend." But bad as it Danger of a general conflict
German assistance promised to Austria-Hungary in advance
would be if Russia came to the help of Servia, and Germany to the support of Austria-Hungary, the mischief would not stop there. France was bound to support Russia by the terms of the military convention, and it was her primary interest not to abandon Russia, unless Russia was making wicked and wanton aggression. And if France were drawn in, it was most probable that before long England would come to her support. Then a great European war would have begun, and it was impossible to tell how far it might afterward extend. Accordingly, those statesmen who desired to avert such catastrophe bent all their efforts to quenching the fire which had started.
In the terrible Twelve Days, July 24 to August 4, many efforts were made to settle the affair and keep peace. The British and French ministers in Belgrade urged Servia to give a satisfactory reply. The Servian government humbled itself and accepted most of the demands, not completely yielding to those which threatened its independence though offering to refer the decision about them to the Hague Tribunal. Austria refused to consider the reply, and declared war on Servia, July 28. At once an invasion began. The day before the tsar had declared " Russia will in no case disinterest herself in the fate of Servia." Austria makes war on Servia
The other great powers now bent themselves to keeping the peace between Austria and Russia. Great Britain, France, and Italy tried to do it in one way; Germany tried it in another. In the first group England took the lead. Sir Edward Grey proposed that a conference of the four powers be held to mediate between Russia and AustriaHungary and work for a satisfactory solution; but with such a scheme Germany would have nothing to do, saying that she could not take part in bringing her ally before a European tribunal. Germany had a plan very different. She attempted to terrify Russia by threats and so prevent her supporting Servia's cause. The dispute, she said, was an affair merely between Austria and Servia; no outside Austria, Germany, and Russia party should intervene; any such intercession "would precipitate inconceivable consequences." The German emperor promised, indeed, to use his influence to bring about an understanding between Austria and Russia, but the German ambassador in St. Petersburg was instructed to say that Russian military measures would be answered by mobilizing the German army, and "mobilization means war." July 29, the German emperor telegraphed to the tsar that it was perfectly possible for Russia to "remain a spectator" in the Austro-Servian war. Next day he said the tsar must decide: "You have to bear the responsibility for war or peace." That is to say, Germany probably wished that a war be avoided, and preferred peace, so long as she and her ally got what they asked for; otherwise they were quite willing to fight. On the contrary, Great Britain and France earnestly wished to avoid war, and were trying hard to bring about a compromise and satisfactory arrangement. Austria and Germany would make no compromise whatever, nor would Russia yield. Germany's plan: let Russia stand aside
Meanwhile, Austrian armies continued their march into Servia. The protests of Russia effected nothing. Then on the night of July 29, almost at the same moment, Russian and Austrian armies were mobilized against each other. Face to face with the dread conflict Austria seemed to hesitate. Then Germany stepped forward, and settled the affair herself. Russia, more and more threatened by Germany, was now mobilizing all her forces. July 31, the German government demanded that Russia stop all mobilization within twelve hours, and France was asked what she would do if a Russo-German war were begun. Russia returned no answer. August 1, the German Empire declared war upon Russia. The Great War begins
Neither England nor France had any direct interest in Balkan affairs, and both of them much desired peace. But the hour of fate was at hand for France. The German ambassador in Paris was instructed to insist on a reply to Germany declares war on France the German inquiry, and it is now known that he was also instructed, in case France left Russia to her fate, to demand that France hand over to the German authorities certain fortresses in pledge. But the reply was that "France would do that which her interests dictated." Two days later, August 3, Germany declared war upon France, falsely affirming that France had attacked her first. Actually the French, in their great desire to avoid war, had drawn their forces back some seven miles from the frontier. But also in this moment of destiny the French people stood up in unconquerable spirit before the greatest danger that had ever approached them. The German demands
The Continent was engulfed in the war now, and Great Britain was close to the brink. More than any other power had England striven for peace. Every resource had been tried. It was not improbable that France and Russia would be crushed, and British statesmen realized, what many people did not clearly see yet, that if France were destroyed, then Britain's associate would be gone, and Britain would be left, perhaps, to face alone a mightier Germany in the future. Yet the British people and parliament wanted to stay out of the war, and France could get no assurance that England would give her assistance. Almost certainly England would have helped France before the conflict was over, but her support might have been given too late. Meanwhile Germany was striving to keep Britain out of the war, and Sir Edward Grey had already declared that if Germany and Austria would make "any reasonable proposal" for keeping the peace and it became clear that France and Russia were not trying to keep it, then Great Britain "would have nothing more to do with the consequences." Germany and Great Britain
An event now occurred which caused Great Britain to enter the struggle at once. Germany violated the neutrality of Belgium. The plans of the German General Staff called for the immediate crushing of France and then Violation of the neutrality of Belgium afterward attacking Russia alone. If this was to succeed, there must be no delay. But the frontier between Germany and France was so strongly fortified that it seemed probable that much time would be lost in getting through. Between Germany and France lay also the neutralized countries of Switzerland, Luxemburg, and Belgium. Both Luxemburg and Belgium afforded easy and admirable entrance into the most vital part of France. It was true, the inviolability of the territory of these small states was guaranteed by treaties which had long been regarded as sacred and as part of the public law of Europe, and it was true also that the German Empire was engaged to uphold them. Nevertheless Germany at once began pouring an enormous force through Luxemburg and demanded that the Belgian government allow free passage. Belgium, suddenly asked to forfeit her neutralization, and threatened with terrible fate if she refused, bravely called upon the German government to keel) its promise, and then tried to resist the German armies, which struck at once. Belgium appealed to the other Great Powers: Great Britain, France, Russia promised all possible help. The German war plan
Great Britain and the Belgian Netherlands
With Belgium in the hands of a strong power hostile to Great Britain, the very existence of Britain would be threatened. It was therefore a cardinal principle of British statesmanship that the neutrality and independence of Belgium must be maintained. August 4, the British ambassador in Berlin was instructed to present an ultimatum demanding that Germany withdraw her forces from Belgium at once. The chancellor of the empire, Von Bethmann-Hollweg refused, saying bitterly that England was going to war for Belgian neutrality, "just for a scrap of paper." So the highest official of Germany spoke of the treaty obligations of his government. Before the reichstag he admitted that Germany had done wrong--"necessity knows no law." "From this admission," said a German writer afterward, "neither God nor the devil will "A scrap of paper" ever set us free." At midnight of August 4, when the time of the ultimatum had expired, Great Britain entered the war. During the war the Germans declared in turn that the Russians, the French, the British had brought on the conflict. Especially they maintained that mobilization of the Russian armies, in defiance of their own express warnings, had been the immediate cause. Afterward it was shown that this mobilization was continued by the Russian staff after the tsar himself had ordered it to cease. In Germany people believed on the whole that their government had led them in a war of defence against foes who forced the struggle upon them. Elsewhere, however, this was not generally the view, in spite of all the extenuation afterward made and all the additional diplomatic papers afterward published. Only the unreasoning and uninformed had ever contended that. Germany was responsible entirely and solely. What historians had said was that the German government was directly the cause of the conflict and the principal immediate factor in bringing it to pass: that while it made some efforts to avert war, it did this only on its own terms, unwilling to compromise and grant concessions; that--after all had been said--the fighting began only when Austria declared war on Servia, and the greater conflict only when the German Empire declared war on Russia and on France. All this it was well for the scholar to continue to maintain when afterward idealists and partisans asserted that the Germans were mostly blameless and had been very greatly wronged. Responsibility for beginning the war
Begun by Austria-Hungary and the German Empire
Militarism and the rivalry of nations: G. H. Perris, A Short History of War and Peace ( 1911), for an elementary introduction; H. N. Brailsford, The War of Steel and Gold, a Study of the Armed Peace ( 1914); P. Camena d'Almeida L'Armée Allemande avant et pendant la Guerre de 1914-1918 ( 1920); A. Gauvain, L'Europe avant la Guerre ( 1917); General C. von der Goltz, Das Volk in Waffen, trans. by F. A. Ashworth, A Nation in Arms ( 1915); E. F. Henderson, Germany's Fighting Machine ( 1914); Walter Lippman, The Stakes of Diplomacy ( 1915); Munroe. Smith , Militarism and Statecraft ( 1918); J. Poirier, L'Évolution de l'Armée Allemande de 1888-1913 ( 1914); J. T. W. Newbold, How Europe Armed for War ( 1916); E. A. Pratt, The Rise of Rail-Power in War and Conquest, 1833-1914 ( 1916); and for general considerations on war and national rivalry, Dr. G. F. Nicolai , Die Biologie des Krieges ( 1918), trans. by C. A. and J. Grande , The Biology of War ( 1919); John Bakeless, The Economic Causes of Modern War: a Study of the Period 1878-1918 ( 1921); E. C. Eckel, Coal, Iron, and War: a Study in Industrialism Past and Future ( 1920); H. H. Powers, The Things Men Fight for ( 1916), a very suggestive book.
German spirit and ambition: for a brief statement the most illuminating account is J. A. Cramb, Germany and England ( 1914), a book of rare beauty and power; Friedrich von Bernhardi , Deutschland und der Nächste Krieg ( 1911), trans. by A. H. Powles , Germany and the Next War ( 1912); Georges Bourdon, L'Énigme Allemande ( 1913); H. S. Chamberlain, trans. by John Lees, The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, 2 vols. ( 1911); Thomas Mann, Betrachtungen eines Unpolitschen ( 1918); Wallace Notestein and E. E. Stoll, Conquest and Kultur ( 1917) and Anonymous, Out of Their Own Mouths ( 1917), for collections of extracts and quotations translated--war compilations, avowedly of the worst things the enemy had said; Jacques Rivière , L'Allemand ( 1918); Otto-Richard Tannenberg, GrossDeutschland ( 1911); R. G. Usher, Pan-Germanism ( 1913). Also for German plans of expansion: H. Andrillon, L'Expansion de l'Allemagne ( 1914), concerning economic expansion; S. Grumbach , Das Annexionistische Deutschland ( 1917). Nationalism: E. B. Krehbiel, Nationalism, War and Society ( 1916); A. J. Toynbee, Nationality and the War ( 1915).
Diplomatic negotiations just before the war: Collected Diplomatic Documents Relating to the Outbreak of the European War ( 1914); E. R. O. von Mach, Official Diplomatic Documents Relating to the Outbreak of the European War ( 1916); J. B. Scott, Diplomatic Documents Relating to the Outbreak of the European War, 2 vols. ( 1916), a larger collection. For Germany, Die Deutschen Dokumente zum Kriegsausbruch, ed. by Karl Kautsky, 4 vols. ( 1919); and for Austria-Hungary, Diplomatische Akten-stücke zur Vorgeschichte des Krieges stücke zur Vorgeschichte des Krieges, 1914, ed. by Dr. Richard Gooss , 3 vols. ( 1919). S. B. Fay, "New Light on the Origins of the World War," American Historical Review, July, October, 1920, January, 1921. For the diplomatic negotiations also J. W. Headlam, The History of Twelve Days, July 24th to August 4th, 1914 ( 1915); M. R. Price, The Diplomatic History of the War (no date, probably 1914), containing documents but much vitiated by the prejudice of the author; E. C. Stowell, The Diplomacy of the War of 1914 ( 1915).
Attempted explanations, justifications, or condemnations: E. P. Barker and others, Why We Are at War: Great Britain's Case ( 1914); Colonel Bauer, Konnten Wir den Krieg Vermeiden, Gewinnen, Abbrechen? ( 1919), by one of the officers of Ludendorff's staff; Harold Begbie, Vindication of Great Britain ( 1916); Sir E. Cook, How Britain Strove for Peace ( 1914); Deutschland und der Weltkrieg ( 1915), by several authors, trans. by W. W. Whitelock , Modern Germany in Relation to the Great War ( 1916); H. A. L. Fisher, The War, Its Causes and Its Issues ( 1914); Dr. Richard Grelling, J'Accuse: von einem Deutschen ( 1915), Das Verbrechen, translated as The Crime ( 1917); J. W. Headlam, The German Chancellor and the Outbreak of War ( 1917); H. F. Helmolt , Die Geheime Vorgeschichte des Weltkrieges ( 1914); Gottlieb von Jagow, Ursachen und Ausbruch des Weltkrieges ( 1919); Earl Loreburn, How the War Came ( 1919); Ramsay Muir, Britain's Case Against Germany ( 1914); Paul Rohrbach, Der Krieg und die Deutsche Politik ( 1914), trans. by P. H. Phillipson, Germany's Isolation ( 1914); J. H. Rose, The Origins of the War ( 1914); T. Schiemann, Wie England eine Verständigung mit Deutschland Verhinderte ( 1915). Belgium and Luxemburg: Louis Renault, trans. by Frank Carr , First Violations of International Law by Germany: Luxembourg and Belgium ( 1917); Charles de Visscher, La Belgique et les Juristes Allemands ( 1916), trans. by E. F. Jourdain ( 1916); George Renwick, Luxembourg ( 1913).
THE GREAT WAR
Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt. Aeneid, i. 462.
THE Great War began August 1, 1914 with the declaration by the German Empire against Russia, and against France two days later. This was followed by declarations, of Great Britain against Germany, of the powers of the Entente against Austria-Hungary, and of Japan against the German Empire. By the end of the summer all of Europe --with the exception of Spain, Holland, the Scandinavian countries, Italy, Switzerland, and some of the nations of the Balkans, the outlying and less important parts--was involved in the most destructive war in the history of modern times. Before it ended, it brought a great part of the civilized world to the brink of destruction, and more men were killed or maimed, it is said, than in all the wars preceding since the beginning of the Christian Era. The Great War
It was evident at the beginning of the struggle that the Germans and their allies had great advantage from wonderful preparation and from striking suddenly at their chosen time; but it was widely believed that if only France and Russia could endure the assault a short while, the Allies of the Entente, because they had the greater resources in wealth and population, had the better chances to win. Actually this was not so. It is certainly true that the Germans expected a short war, an easy, overwhelming triumph; but when their first rush had been checked, in The opposIng forces the years that followed, there were times when their advantages and resources were so superior that time seemed entirely with them.
The Germans had the largest number of well-drilled, thoroughly trained, intelligent, and devoted soldiers possessed by any power in the world. France had as brave and as skilful soldiers, but not so great a population and not so large an army potentially or immediately available. Russia had great numbers of men, but scant facilities for training and equipping them as soldiers. Germany could put into the field in a short time 4,000,000 soldiers, without superiors anywhere. Military tradition and years of training were needed to make such fighting men as hers, and having them thus ready for a sudden stroke, it was extremely probable that her army could conquer any combination, while her enemies were trying to create more forces to fight her. The German army
If it required two or three years to make well trained soldiers, it took much longer to produce capable officers. Without skilled officers to lead the men no great war can be won, and without a great force of reserve officers no long conflict can be carried on with any success. One reason for the failure of the Russian armies after the first year, was that then most of the trained officers with whom Russia began the war were dead or in German prison camps. In 1914 Germany, of all the powers, had the largest number of trained officers, and by far the largest number of officers in reserve. The German officers
Far more difficult than the getting of capable officers or well-trained soldiers was the building up of general military organization, creating a general staff, and finding commanders who could lead large numbers of men. All the Great Powers had attempted to do this, and some of them like Russia, and especially France, had achieved much success. But in Germany the prevalence of military atmosphere and the long-continued military tradition German commanders and devotion to the science of war had given the largest number of higher commanders possessed by any nation. In the end it was seen that no German general had that sort of genius which would entitle him to be remembered among the first military captains of the world, none like Napoleon or Marlborough; but no other power had so many leaders of corps and divisions and armies, who had all the advantages given by patient study of military things. And in this, the result of generations of work, Germany had something which none of her enemies could create in a short time when the need came.
Germany had at the beginning of the war the largest amount of military equipment in the world, and the greatest facilities for immediately adding to her stock. The bravest soldiers only give themselves up to slaughter if, without proper weapons, they fight against foes well equipped. Millions of Russians were to fall because the Russian armies were often half armed. Modern armaments are very different from those of earlier times. In the Middle Ages weapons were comparatively simple, easier to make, and less expensive. Many a man had his sword or bow then, and armies could be quickly raised because men would quickly get weapons and assemble together. But the scientific and industrial development. of modern times, especially the latter part of the nineteenth century, introduced many strange, complicated and expensive devices, which were not generally in the possession of the men of the commonwealth, could not be quickly made, and were only to be got by skilled workmen laboring for a long time. Rifles, shells, cannon, explosives often required a year or two years to make. When the United States entered the war later on, her first year was largely spent in preliminary preparations and getting the necessary tools; and it was two years before Great Britain was able to have in France a large army provided with Material of war rifles and cannon. Indeed, the great service of France was to be that in the west she would hold Germany back while England and later America made themselves ready to fight. In the east Russia, not similarly defended was almost completely destroyed in the first two years. It is clear now that a nation provided with the enormous and terrible death-dealing devices of the latest age can probably conquer all of its enemies unprepared before they have time to equip themselves with the implements necessary for defence. Hence the Great War was such a critical period in the history of Europe: if Germany had triumphed, she might have conquered all her rivals and then not allowed them to arm themselves, and so maintained her domination for ages. At all events, it seems that Germany had prepared for a contest so thoroughly that when she took the field she had more of the material of war than existed then in all the rest of the world. Where the Russians had one rifle for every three soldiers, Germany had weapons in ample supply. In heavy cannon she was beyond all others, and she had accumulated shells, barbed wire, and warlike apparatus in incredible amounts.
Germany had the best system of military railroads in the world. Strategy is essentially the moving of armies. Once this had been done by the marching of infantry as quickly as possible over the best roads. But in the latter part of the nineteenth century it was evident that railroads would be of immense importance in the moving of armies, and this was indeed seen to be the case in the American Civil War ( 1861-5). Nowhere was this lesson taken to heart so well as in Germany, where more and more the railroads were laid out with respect to military considerations. By 1914 there was a magnificent system, controlled by the government and, when necessary, completely subject to the military authorities, radiating out from Berlin to all the important fortresses and points near the frontiers, while just within the boundaries, something like the rim Railroads In war of a wheel, ran connecting lines along which bodies of men might be swiftly moved back and forth. Russia and France had their military railroad systems also, but not so well-developed as the German. It was by means of this system that Germany hurled at Belgium the mighty army which so nearly crushed France at the beginning of the war. Because of it her armies in East Prussia were repeatedly able to disconcert the Russians moving more slowly. And because of the advantages which her railroads gave her she was soon able to take from France and Russia the best of their railroads available for campaigns against her.
Germany had at the beginning of the war the most extensive system of spying and secret propaganda in the world--though all the great nations employed these devices and some had them highly developed. In Belgium the work of the armies had been prepared in advance. Artillery distances had been very accurately measured, and concrete foundations for great cannon had been put under tennis courts or factory buildings. In France, socialists were encouraged to prevent or confuse mobilization. In Egypt, Morocco, India, and Ireland malcontents had long been urged and were now encouraged to rise against England or France. In Russia, it is said, huge bribes were offered to commanders who would sell their fortresses, and it was afterward learned that most of the plans of the Russian armies were sold by traitors to German spies, who also paid bribes to keep munitions from being dispatched to the Russian armies. Spies
The Central Powers had advantage of position. They were adjacent and could easily act together; the Allies were separated and for a long time acted separately. Moreover the Germans had the central position and the "inner lines," much as France had had in the War of the Spanish Succession. The Germans could move over short lines and strike in any direction quickly. Central position
On the other hand, the Allies had certain advantages which often seemed too little to bring them success but which, in the end, gave complete triumph. Above all they had command of the sea, which they retained throughout the conflict. In this the vital and indispensable factor was the British navy. Allies' Command of the sea
They had greater resources. At the beginning of the war it looked as if Germany and Austria-Hungary were hopelessly outmatched in population and resources of materials and money. Germany was, however, ready for a sudden stroke and so successful at the start that by the end of the first year she had taken possession of districts in Belgium, France, and Russia which were of immense importance for carrying on a European war, and which gave to her for some time a decisive advantage. The resources which she then had under her control enabled her to make twice as much steel, and hence twice as much war material and munition as all her opponents combined. Accordingly, in 1916 and 1917 many of the best judges thought it impossible that Germany could ever be defeated. All this was changed by the entrance of the United States into the conflict, after which the Allies had once more decisive superiority in all resources. Superior resources
However many factors may have entered into the war, the conflict presently assumed the character of a contest between two different types of civilization and mind, in which the democratic systems of France, Britain, and America, with their large allowance of personal liberty and individual initiative, were matched against the superbly organized and efficient autocracies of central Europe. In the end it was found that the democratic peoples showed greater tenacity of purpose, higher intelligence, and far greater power of adaptability and invention. Every one of the frightful devices, such as poison gas, and submarines used against merchant ships, were met and checked, and in the end excelled by new devices effective still. Initiative and inventiveness
Such were German methods and German ideals that it seemed to many that a German victory would bring the destruction of the democratic and humanitarian system toward which men had so long been striving. The Allies seemed almost hopelessly defeated after two years of the war, but always the cause for which they were fighting nerved them to hold fast and fight longer. Backward Russia was the only one of the Great Powers to drop out on the Allied side. It seemed to them that the world would scarcely be a fit place to live in if what the Germans had done was sealed with success. And so they fought on. Always too they were supported by the sympathy of most of the neutral peoples, and by the fact that one after another the neutrals were joining to support their cause. The Germans had no such moral support as this. They believed their cause a good one, but in a different way. They were strong in their courage and confidence, in the midst of success, but when the war began to go against them decisively, they did not persist as France had done almost against all hope, but collapsed completely before the war even reached their frontiers. Tenacity and moral courage
The German plan of campaign had been arranged long before the war. The armies of the empire could be mobilized so quickly that Germany could always strike before any of her foes. This, joined with the advantage of interior position, enabled her to strike at her enemies as she chose, and attempt to destroy them separately. She had planned to crush first the enemy most immediately dangerous, and afterward turn upon those who could not move so quickly, and destroy them also. The first attack, then, must be upon France, who had an army not so large as the German, but exceedingly good, and who could, perhaps, mobilize almost as rapidly as she. Therefore, the Germans designed to make an immediate and terrible thrust, hoping that France would be completely undone in less than two months, after which would come the turn The German Plan of campaign of the Russians, who would in any event be held by the Austrians while France was dealt with. But for the success of this plan the indispensable condition, it was thought, was that France should be overwhelmed without any delay; and it would not be easy to do this, since the short frontier between France and Germany was strongly fortified on both side--by a line of fortresses from Verdun down to Belfort, and from Strassburg down to Neu Breisach. Here the French positions could probably be forced only after much delay and enormous losses. Accordingly, for some years it had seemed possible that when Germany next attacked France, her armies would march up the valley of the Meuse, the best of all entrances into France from Germany, even though this line of march lay across the territory of Belgium, whose neutralization had been guaranteed by the German Empire along with the other Great Powers. If Germany abided by her word, then France would not be struck in this quarter; otherwise she might be attacked either through Alsace-Lorraine or through the Meuse Valley. Unfortunately she could not know whether the Germans would keep their engagement. In any event at the beginning France could concentrate for defence only about half as many troops as Germany could use in the thrust against her, and, in accordance with well-known principles of strategy, it was wisest for her to keep most of them concentrated in one large body. So, the French determined to ignore the possibility of an attack through Belgium, concentrate against Alsace-Lorraine, and, following the best principles of military science, take the offensive, if they could. This they did, in the earliest days of the war, attacking through the Lost Provinces, and gaining some slight success; but they were soon repulsed in Alsace and badly defeated in Lorraine, this being due partly to mismanagement and very largely to German superiority in machine guns and heavy artillery. Entrance into France
But the Germans were merely holding their lines with comparatively small forces in the south. Their great effort was through Belgium, straight at the heart of France. Their line of march was barred by the strong fortresses of Liége and Namur, with Antwerp supposedly impregnable, threatening their flank from the north. Against the avalanche of German soldiers the brave little Belgian army could do nothing but fight retarding actions, but it was hoped that the fortresses would hold until assistance came from England and France. The Germans were indeed, checked at first at Liége, but immediately they revealed to the world one of the great surprises of the war. Against Liége they brought up quickly incredibly large cannon which they moved easily on great broad wheels up to positions prepared by secret agents in dropped having ready at hand the exact distances dropped tenand twelve-inch shells upon the forts reducing them at once. Then, bringing up their monstrous 42-centimeter guns, which fired sixteen-inch shells, they captured Namur. All the western world was appalled at the news that this fortress had fallen in one day, and that the road into France was open. The invasion of Belgium
Through Belgium by forced marches came such an army as the world had never seen before--gray-clad soldiers in unending stream, equipped to the last detail, and accompanied by the most fearful engines of destruction. The Belgian army was flung aside upon Antwerp, which was masked, and which the Germans took two months later when they had leisure to bring up their heavy cannon. Brussels fell without resistance, and when the campaign was over it was found that all of Belgium, except for one little section on the Channel, adjoining France, had been taken at a stroke. The British and the French did try to come to the rescue, but they could not send strong forces at once, and those which they sent came too late. The French were heavily defeated at Charleroi and the British The British and the French defeated at Mons, narrowly escaping destruction as they retreated precipitately back into France.
For France the situation rapidly became almost hopeless. Her army, smaller than the German, was in the wrong place. Shifting a large number of soldiers is one of the most complicated and difficult tasks in the world, and it was very doubtful whether the French commanders could do it, with the Germans rushing down now upon Paris. In the course of three weeks, almost by a miracle, they accomplished the maneuver, but by the end of August, when this had been done, the French armies had undergone a succession of disastrous defeats. The French government moved from Paris to Bordeaux, and it was evident that one of the great crises in Europe's history was at hand. The Germans believed that they would soon have the French army cut off and surrounded, and would speedily capture Paris. It almost seemed that they would crush France in six weeks, as they boasted. France on the brink of destruction
The French people did not despair. They rose now to a height of grandeur which surprised their enemies and their friends, something that had before happened not seldom in the history of France. The frontier fortresses held from Belfort northward, above all the immensely important pivot position at Verdun. Between Verdun and the huge entrenched camp at Paris the retreating French armies were forced back until their line bulged far down in the center and threatened to burst asunder, while the Germans under Von Kluck threatened to outflank the end of the line near Paris. September 5, the matter at last came to issue. German horsemen had just ridden into the outskirts of Paris, but Von Kluck, confronting the fortress and a French army not yet destroyed, had turned aside from the capital, and thus left his own flank exposed. Joffre, commander of the French, unable to stand at first, had retreated steadily to positions which he considered Retreat of the French army favorable for a battle. "The hour has come," he said now, in a famous order, "to hold at all costs and allow oneself to be slain rather than give way. . . . Everything depends on the result of to-morrow."
September 6 began the series of mortal combats extending for a great distance and fought between 1,500,000 Germans with 4,000 cannon besides their monstrous, heavy guns, and 1,000,000 Frenchmen with a small but excellent British force. From the river which flows through this part of the country the conflict is known as the Battle of the Marne. The Germans were superior in numbers and equipment and flushed with a mighty triumph. The French were numerically inferior and disheartened by disaster. But the Germans were now wearied from their rapid advance and far from their base, while the French were close to their own, in favorable positions. For four days the great battle raged. The Germans fought bravely and well, but the French soldiers, with backs to the wall, with everything now and in the future at stake, rose to prodigies of valor. Generally the French line held at all points, and the battle was decided by two great German reverses. Near Paris their line was defeated after a terrible combat, they were nearly outflanked, and saved themselves only by precipitate retreat, at times almost like a rout; and their backward movement gradually compelled other German armies near by to give ground and go back with them. Meanwhile, in the center the Germans nearly broke through, and threatened to cut the; French line; but General Foch, four times attacking them in turn, and four times defeated, attacked once again, completely defeated the Prussian Guard, and broke through the German line. By September 10, the decision had come; and by the middle of the month the Germans had retreated from a large part of the conquests they had made, Paris was safe, and the French army was saved. The Battle of the Marne
The Battle of the Marne was the most decisive incident in the Great War. It was the most decisive battle in the history of Europe since the battle of Blenheim ( 1704). Had the Germans won the battle, almost certainly the French army would have been destroyed, or at best driven south of the Loire, leaving Paris and all north and east France, including the principal railways and industrial regions, in the enemy's hands, completely cutting off what remained of France from good connection with England. Most probably the Germans could then have held their lines in the west with few troops, turned on Russia and soon destroyed her, as they did anyhow somewhat later, then have come back to the west, completed the destruction of France, and undertaken the conquest of England. If England and the British fleet had passed under their sway, no other nation could have resisted their aggression; and the "world power," which Bernhardi had spoken of, might conceivably have been theirs for a great while to come. So strong was the military power of the Germans in 1914 that they could have defeated all other powers, if those powers were not given time to prepare. The British Empire and the United States could defeat the Germans later on, but not without some years to raise their armies and equip them. They had the necessary time only because meanwhile the French held the lines in the west, and this would have been impossible except for the triumph on the Marne. Immense importance of the battle
But actually, at the time, it seemed to the Germans that they had been merely repulsed, not badly defeated; that later on they would return and not fail. Moreover, in the campaign they had had enormous success. They went back after their defeat from the vicinity of Paris, and evacuated a considerable portion of France; but they halted along the Aisne River and, there entrenched, defied every attack of the Allies. They had conquered and they held behind their lines the richest industrial district of Great success of the Germans
THE WESTERN FRONT IN THE GREAT WAR
THE EASTERN FRONT IN THE GREAT WAR
France and the principal source of France's supply of coal and iron ore. No longer, except for outside assistance. could the French make sufficient munitions. When, in the following year, in the east the Germans had taken from the Russians Poland and the districts near by, much the same was the case with the Russians, and by the autumn of 1915 the Germans seemed to have won the war on the Continent of Europe. Russia was not able to recover; but France, supplied from abroad with materials for war, continued the struggle. This was possible only because of the British fleet.
The French and the British lacked the heavy artillery and the shells to drive the Germans back from the Aisne, but they wisely extended their own lines northward just in time to keep the Germans from occupying, as they might easily have done, the Channel ports, Calais and Dunkirk, the gateway to England. All too late the Germans realized the supreme importance of these places, and launched a series of mass attacks upon the British and the French in an effort to break through at all costs. At Ypres, where the British held against terrible odds, and along the Yser River, where the British, Belgians, and French were almost annihilated but held out until the country was flooded and warships at sea joined in the defence, the Germans were held back from their goal. The result of this action was almost as important as the victory of the Marne. Struggle for the channel Ports
For a while, in the west the great movements came to an end. The Germans had won mighty triumphs, but they had failed to win the war quickly. Both sides now settled down in long fortified lines, which ran from Switzerland to the North Sea, which left to the French a small part of German Alsace, but left within the German lines northeastern France and almost all of Belgium. These lines were constantly made stronger on both sides. until at last it seemed impossible that they could ever be broken. The line in the west
Meanwhile great things were happening in the east. While Germany hurled herself upon France, she left her eastern borders nearly unprotected, believing that the Russians could not immediately do much damage, and relying on the Austrians in the meantime to meet them. The Austrians did, indeed, begin an offensive into Russian Poland, but they were at once met by the advancing Russian armies, and hurled back in disastrous defeat. After a series of great battles the Russians overran nearly all of Galicia, the exposed part of Austria-Hungary, drove on the Austrian armies in precipitate rout, and captured all but one of the Galician fortresses. Austria had utterly failed to check the Russians, and in a short time was calling for assistance from the Germans. Russia shatters the Austrian power
While the Austrians were being driven back from Poland another Russian army invaded Germany itself. In a short time part of East Prussia had been crossed. At once a strong force was sent across Germany, and this army under a new commander, Von Hindenburg, caught the Russians in the region of the Mazurian marshes and lakes, and there at the battle of Tannenberg, a force of 250,000 Russians was scattered or destroyed. Some escaped, many thousands were paraded in triumph through the Berlin streets, but a host of them were killed by the great shells or smothered in the mud of the marshes. It was as complete a triumph as the victory of Hannibal at Cannae; yet such were the proportions of the Great War that it was merely an episode in the struggle. East Prussia was cleared of the foe; but it is believed that the absence from the west front of the German soldiers who did this had some connection with the victory of the French at the Marne. Russians defeated in East Prussia
In 1915 the Germans, holding the initiative as before, changed their general plan. They had intended to overwhelm France and then destroy Russia. In this they had failed. They now determined to hold France and Britain, standing on the defensive in their entrenchments in the Struggle in the east 1914-15 west, and turn their principal effort to destroying the Russians completely. During the winter of 1914-15 there was terrible and dreary fighting in the east as the Germans came to the aid of their demoralized Austrian allies. On the wintry plains of Poland, and farther north along the Russian border, great battles were fought, until presently the two sides settled down in lines of entrencments longer but less strong than those in the west. In March, the Russians took the great fortress of Przemysl, the last stronghold in Galicia, together with a huge Austrian army. All through the winter they had been fighting in the heights of the Carpathian Mountains for possession of the passes; now they had all but the most important one of them, and threatened to pour down into Hungary in a torrent. They were also near to the great fortress of Cracow, the fall of which might open the way into the German Empire.
But as spring began the Germans and Austrians were ready for a decisive blow. About the center of the long irregular line, not far from Cracow, an immense concentration of men and cannon was May 2, after a fearful bombardment--the like of which had never before been seen and which annihilated the Russians and completely obliterated their lines for a space of some miles--the Teutonic armies, launching a great attack, broke completely through the Russian position. This is one of the greatest disasters that can happen to an army, and often results in utter rout. The only hope is in rapid retreat until the parts disunited are rejoined. This the Russians tried to do, and in the main their backward movement was well carried out; it was never turned into rout, nor was their main force ever surrounded and captured. But the danger was very terrible. When the break-through occured at the Dunajec River, the Russian forces in Galicia and in the Carpathians were in imminent danger of being cut off, and while they were being pressed by Teutonic armies under The Dunajec Von Mackensen, farther north they were being attacked by the German armies of Von Hindenburg.
So began a great and disastrous retreat. The Russians fled from the Carpathian Mountains; they quickly abandoned nearly all of Galicia together with the great fortresses which they had captured after so much effort; and at the same time they were retreating back through Poland, fighting bitter rear-guard actions, but never really able to halt the pursuit. The outlying Polish fortresses were taken; then Warsaw, the capital; then the second-line fortresses; presently Brest-Litovsk, the center of the Russian system of defence, and even cities and strong points beyond. When at last the retreat came to an end, it was found that the Germans had, indeed, fallen short of entire success, for they had not completely destroyed the Russian armies, nor had they put Russia utterly out of the war. But Russia was virtually eliminated in this campaign. A vast number of her soldiers had been killed or disabled, and an equally great number taken prisoner by the Germans. Most of her trained officers were now captive or dead. Most of the war material was worn out or lost, and Russia was neither an industrial nation capable of making arms and ammunition on at great scale nor so situated that she could, like France, easily receive great supplies from outside. Moreover, her railroads best adapted for military purpose had fallen into the enemy's hands. Russia did continue to fight valiantly for some time, and she accomplished some great things in the following year; but as we see it now, she was definitely defeated in the campaign which began on the Dunajec. The Russian retreat
Thus, in the course of little more than it year--for BrestLitovsk fell in August and Vilna in September, 1915--Germany had greatly, though not completely succeeded in the west, and far more greatly succeeded in the east. In the autumn she turned her attention to the south, and soon accomplished the task for which she had begun the war: Conquest of Servia the getting control of the Balkans. Thus far the Serbs had been able to defend themselves. Twice had the Austrians, occupied as they were by their contest with Russia, sent expeditions over the Danube; twice had they been driven back in shameful defeat and disaster. But now a third invasion was undertaken by the Germans, at a time when Russia could give no more help, and, worse still, as the little country was struck in the flank by Bulgaria, who now entered the war on the side of the Central Powers. The exhausted Serbs were ground to pieces by the Teutons from the north and the vengeful Bulgarians from the east; their country was completely subjugated; and only a part of the Servian army and a few of the people escaped over the mountains in a horrible retreat, to be taken to islands off the coast by Allied warships.
Meanwhile the Allies had suffered a great defeat. In November 1914, Turkey had entered the war on the side of Germany and Austria. This more than balanced the decision of Italy not to assist the Central Powers, for it almost completely cut off Russia from her western partners, making it very difficult for them to obtain her wheat, which they badly needed, and just as hard for her to receive from them the war supplies without which she could not long do much. It was of the greatest importance that communications be opened up again by forcing the Dardanelles and afterward taking Constantinople. Moreover, this would not only assist Russia, but it would be a momentous success in itself, and bring to an end, perhaps, the German dream of mastery in the Balkans and Asiatic Turkey. Therefore, in February, 1915, British and French warships attempted to force the Strait of the Dardanelles. After severe losses they desisted, though it is said that victory was within reach if they had attacked again the next day. A great expedition was now sent out to take the positions which guarded the entrance, and in April a landing was effected on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Gallipoli
In all the war there was no more glorious and disastrous enterprise than this attempt to scale the barren, rocky mountains that guarded the strait. Even the drinking water had to be brought from a long distance, and numbers went insane from thirst. Many a heroic attempt was made, and the fighting went on all through the time when The Allies fail
the Russians were being defeated to the north. One day Allied soldiers won to the top of the mountains and saw the blue waters of Marmora in the distance; but they were soon driven out. The Turks fought with stubborn courage until the Germans, having put Russia out of the way and destroyed Servia, were coming to relieve them. Gallipoli was evacuated, and the troops thus withdrawn were Turkish resistance taken to the Greek city of Salonica, the most important position on the Ægean, to which they had been invited by the Greek government, though the invitation was withdrawn by the king of Greece.
If the Germans could only hold what they had seized, they would come out of the struggle incomparably the greatest power in the world. Accordingly, they chose this moment to let it be known that they would listen to proposals for peace. But however great the disasters which had come to the Allies ill the war, the consequences of such a peace as Germany would be willing to make seemed too terrible, and the German suggestions were not even considered. Besides, it still seemed to many that the future lay with the Allies; that they had been taken unprepared, and that soon they would be able to wage the war on equal terms, and get victory shortly after. Triumph of the Teutonic Powers
One great success they had: Germany had been swept from the seas. All her ocean commerce had vanished; and her warships stayed close to the fortifications of Heligoland and the Kiel Canal. German submarines did some execution against British warships at first, but this soon came to an end. German cruisers made daring raids, but only for a while. At first much damage was done to Allied shipping by German raiders; one by one, however, they were hunted down, and this also ceased. In November, 1914, in the Far Feast the German naval base of Tsingtao had been taken by the Japanese. A German fleet did destroy an inferior British fleet off the coast of Chile, but shortly after it was completely destroyed by a superior British force off the Falkland Islands. Meanwhile the British and the French fleets had complete control of the oceans, over which their commerce flowed in unceasing stream. Only once was there a great battle on the sea. May 31, 1916, the German fleet cruising off the coast of Denmark was overtaken by a part of the British Grand Fleet. The powerful but lightly armored British battle The Allies keep control of the sea
The Battle of Jutland, 1916
cruisers engaged the enemy, hoping to hold them until the remainder of the British fleet arrived. The Germans fought with great skill and superior equipment, inflicting heavy losses. As the rest of the British ships arrived the Germans withdrew, and in the failing light of the evening made good their escape. They had inflicted more damage. than they suffered, and they proclaimed a great victory won. After a few days, however, it was seen that the action was essentially a British victory, for Britain's hold on the seas continued unshaken. The German battleships had withdrawn to their haven, and the spirit of the crews was broken. They did not again come forth to fight for control of the waters. When they next emerged it was only to yield themselves in surrender. The German fleet escapes
The French fleet and later the Italian fleet, in the Mediterranean, and in the latter part of the war the powerful American fleet, contributed materially to maintaining the Allied mastery of the seas. But this command of the waters was owing primarily to the ships of the British Empire. Silently, and with little said about what was being done, in the fair weather of summer and in the storms and sleet and cold of the North Sea winters, unfaltering and with vigilance unceasing, the prolonged watch was kept. Always there was danger from the mines which Germans strewed in the sea; always the submarines were lurking to send in their deadly torpedoes. There was the blockade to maintain, by which Germany was slowly weakened and reduced; there were the all-important lines of communication across to France to keep open; there were the sea routes to be kept safe between the parts of the widely scattered empire and to the other countries from which came indispensable supplies; the German warships were watched lest they raid the coasts of England or lest some of them dash out into the open sea to prey upon Allied commerce; and above all the High Seas Fleet of the German Empire was to be waited for and met if ever it The British Grand Fleet
dared to come out. And on this faithful watch and ward the whole Allied cause depended. If ever the Grand Fleet were destroyed or beaten, in a short time the British Empire would be starved into complete surrender, and then triumphant Germany could dictate to the rest of the world such conditions as pleased her. After the war was over, the work of the British seaman stood out in its true proportions and grandeur. For some time it seemed that Germany could win the war in spite of the naval superiority of the Allies. It was evident that the Central Powers could not soon be starved into submission by blockade, but must be beaten also on land. At first it was hoped that this could be done when the powers of the Entente were more fully prepared. Britain was arming, and would presently be ready; and in May, 1915, Italy--partly through real sympathy with the western powers and aversion from German methods, and partly through desire of getting from Austria-Hungary Italia Irredenta and power in the Adriatic--declared war on the Dual Monarchy. But Italy was at once halted by the terrible obstacle of the Alps and made scarcely any progress; and it required more than a year for Britain to put a great army in France. So, in 1915, while Russia was being defeated and Servia destroyed, the Allies accomplished little in the west. The British made some slight progress at Neuve Chapelle; but immediately the Germans, using for the first time their terrible poison gas, attacked near by at Ypres, and nearly broke through to the ports of the Channel. That they failed to do this was because the Canadians, who had thrown themselves heart and soul into the war along with Great Britain, closed the gap and held the line. In September the French, attacking in the Champagne, after tremendous artillery preparation, tried to break the German lines as the Germans had broken the Russian; but after some success in the beginning they were brought to a halt, with nothing of impor- Slow progress of the Allies on land
Second Battle of Ypres
tance accomplished. In all respects 1915 was a year of Allied failure and German success.
Slow as it seemed, Britain was really assembling a great army in northern France, well drilled and fully equipped. Some time in 1916 she would be ready for her first great effort. But again Germany was ready to take the initiative, and she resolved to make a second thrust at France, to destroy her before England could throw in her might. Therefore, near to the key fortress of Verdun very secretly an enormous concentration of artillery was made. Suddenly toward the end of February, 1916, a terrible bombardment was begun from thousands of cannon, followed by an attack, which at once carried all the eastern environs of the fortress. So quickly was this accomplished that it seemed for a moment that the Germans would take Verdun as they had taken Antwerp and Warsaw. The railroad conmunications with the fortress were largely cut, and there was no small danger that a French army with all its stores and cannon might be trapped. It is said that the French military authorities resolved to abandon the position, but for sentimental reasons it was finally decided to hold on. Supplies were brought in by a wonderful system of motor transport hastily arranged, and the new German methods of attack were countered by new ways of defence. The Germans attacked with the utmost courage, but were met with an unconquerable valor. Other strong positions were taken, but the German progress now was very slow. Month after month through the spring and into the summer the fighting went on. There were savage struggles in underground passages, and scenes of slaughter too horrible to describe. Every little hill in the neighborhood was fought over and soaked with blood. Half a million Germans were killed and wounded, and the number of Frenchmen was perhaps even greater. In July the Germans were forced to slacken their efforts because of danger threatening elsewhere. Later on, after superb artillery Verdun, 1916
preparation, the French retook in two days all the important positions for which the Germans had struggled so long. In all respects the attack on Verdun was a great German failure.
The Germans had been forced to desist because at last the British were about ready, to the north. July 1, the British and the French, making the kind of artillery preparation which now preceded all great attacks, began an offensive to break through the German lines. For days the bombardment continued, and the distant thunder of the cannon could be heard over the Channel, in England. The attack was in the region of the River Somme, and was directed at the towns of Bapaume and Péronne and the more important centers of St. Quentin, Cambrai, and Laon behind them. If these places were taken, almost certainly the Germans would have to retreat out of France. The German positions were immensely strong. There were many little trenches and strong little forts for machine gunners, protected in front by tangles of thick barbed wire. Behind them were deep underground places of refuge, extending down several stories, in which armies could be shelterered while the great shells were falling. Unless these defences were largely obliterated beforehand, the attacking infantry would be mown down by machine guns as they came forward. When the infantry did advance, the French at once reached the outskirts of Péronne, but the British, more strongly opposed, made almost no progress. Thereafter, all through the summer, the armies were locked in a death struggle, the Allies slowly advancing a little, but suffering fearful losses, and the Germans losing perhaps as many. The autumn rains and the deep mud put an end to the offensive, and it seemed that the Allies had won almost nothing. They had taken no important town, and the German lines were nowhere broken. Actually, however, the Germans did make a considerable retreat in the following spring, and they now knew that The Battle of the Somme, 1916
The Germans hold their lines
England and France were not ready to abandon the contest, but that a terrible struggle must continue, wearing down the strength of both sides until one or the other gave up through exhaustion.
During the course of this summer the hopes of the Allies ran high for a time. In May, the Austrians attacked the Italians from the Trentino, but after some success they were forced to desist. Later the Italians captured Gorizia, and made great progress through the mountain barrier and on the way to Trieste. The Austrians had drawn back because in June the Russians under General Brusilov, making their last great effort, completely shattered the Austrian lines in the east, took a vast number of captives, and pressed on so far that only strong German assistance, at a time when it was difficult for Germany to detach any troops, saved the Austrians from destruction. The Russians were finally halted, but the position of the Central Powers now seemed so dangerous that in the last days of August Rumania joined the Allies. Germany, however, was still enormously strong. The Somme offensive was soon to come to an end, and the Russians had not only exhausted their strength but were now a prey to traitors and revolutionists, and were soon to drop out of the war. Accordingly, Rumania, attacked from the side of Bulgaria and from the north by a powerful German army, was mostly overrun, and crushed almost as completely as Servia had been in the year before. Italy, Russia, Rumania, 1916
The war had for some time resolved itself into a deadlock between Germany, flushed with success and gorged with conquests, and the Allies hoping to defeat her and wrest away what she had taken. It was evidently to be a contest of resources, a contest in which time and attrition would make the weaker succumb. The best judges now thought that Germany could never be defeated by England and France without further aid, and that at best the war must end in a draw. But the Germans now under- A contest of exhaustion took to win the war thoroughly and quickly by means of another device. With it, they came near to success, but in the end it brought about their own ruin.
They undertook to cut the communications of the Allies and starve England out, sinking all ships by means of submarines. The communications of the Germans were on land. If ever they were cut, as they were about to be when the war ended, Germany would be defeated. The most vital communications of the Allies were by sea. France depended on Great Britain, and the people of the British Isles could not continue the war, nay, they could only feed themselves a few weeks, when they were no longer able to bring over the seas their food and their raw materials. Had the Germans ever been able to defeat the British fleet, they would have quickly won the war, and won it completely; but this they were never able to do. Early in 1915, however, the Germans began using their submarines not only to sink warships, which usage allowed, but to destroy unarmed vessels as well; and in May of that year the giant liner Lusitania was sunk and great numbers of passengers, including many Americans, were drowned. The Germans maintained that since the British were trying by the blockade to starve them, especially their women and children, and force them to submit, it was very proper for them to retaliate, and try to blockade England, starve her into submission, and so end a hideous war. Submarines
This contention was accepted by few outside Germany, since in accordance with recognized principles it was proper for Britain, in command of the seas, to blockade Germany, as it would have been for Germany to cut off England if Germany's warships had got command of the seas. On the other hand, it had gradually come to be one of the fundamental maxims of procedure at sea that no ship should be sunk without saving the crew, in case they were willing to surrender; but it was soon seen that usually Sinking of merchant ships submarines sank the ships without warning, and that they could not, because of their small size, save the crews if they would. Germans declared that the submarine was a new weapon, and that new rules were applicable to it; but all over the world public sentiment ran strongly against the use of a weapon which could not, from its nature, be used in accordance with customary principles of humanity and mercy.
None the less the Germans used this device increasingly, hampered somewhat by the protests of neutrals and somewhat more by various devices which the Allied navies employed. But they paid little attention to protests and largely avoided the devices. Presently the menace became very grave. Great Britain went into the war with an enormous shipping tonnage, but month after month vessels carrying supplies were sunk by submarines, until not only the great loss of money and materials was felt severely, but presently it was necessary to restrict imports, since the war greatly increased the demands upon her merchant marine at the same time that the underwater boats were sinking so many ships. Germany still hesitated to put forth her full effort in this manner, but by the end of 1916, when the strain of the contest had begun to tell terribly on both sides, it was evident that if the sinking of Allied vessels continued at the rate that then prevailed, Great Britain must after some time be forced out of the war, and that if the rate of destruction could be greatly increased, the end might come very quickly. The principal obstacle was that the people and government of the United States were strongly opposed, and might conceivably be brought into the war against the German Empire. After much hesitation the choice was made, and January 31, 1917, the Imperial Government announced that it would begin unrestricted submarine warfare. The German people believed that Britain would be starved within a few months. Intensification of submarine attack
Unrestricted submarine warfare, 1917
This year, 1917, was for the Allies a year of despair and disaster. When the weather permitted, the British and the French began another offensive, to try again to break asunder the German lines. The Allies were hampered by the German retreat which had left an area of terrible desolation over which an attack could not well be made; but in April the British took the immensely strong position of Vimy and in June, with a huge explosive charge, they blew up the supposedly impregnable position of Messines. Farther north they desperately strove to break down into the plain of Flanders and compel the evacuation of the seaports of Belgium whence the submarines constantly issued. They seemed to have good chance of success; but they fought with a fatal ill fortune, and when the season came to an end they had endured fearful losses and taken from the Germans nothing that compelled an important retreat. During the summer the French made another effort to shatter the German lines. Near Laon they broke through the Chemin des Dames positions, and gained a brilliant local victory; but because of terrible losses, gave up the effort before anything decisive was accomplished. Later events were to show that this was the last great offensive effort the French could make by themselves. They had long borne the brunt of the war, and their losses had been so appalling that they were now almost at the point of despair. That they did not falter and accept a German peace, as some Frenchmen urged, was due to the efforts of their premier, M. Clemenceau, and most of all to their own unconquerable spirit. A year of disaster, 1917
The British fail
The French exhausted
If there was failure in the west, there was complete downfall in the east. Russia now dropped out of the war. A great agricultural state, with comparatively few railroads and scanty industrial development, her people, however brave, were not able unaided to carry on for a long time a great modern war. The Russian soldiers fought with a courage that should be remembered for a long time. The collapse of Russia
At first they won great victories, and, it may be, saved the Allied cause; but presently their trained officers were mostly gone and they had no reserve, while worst of all, most of their equipment was lost or worn out, and they could no longer get enough of the machine guns and wire, cannon and shells, without which no war can now be conducted. Their government was inefficient and corrupt; constantly military plans were betrayed to the German spies. And yet the Russians fought on beyond expectation. Again and again the simple peasants laid down their lives in hopeless attacks. Without artillery preparation they went forth against the enemy lines, torn by heavy shells from a distance, then scattered by the light artillery, riddled by machine-gun fire nearer at hand, and played upon with liquid fire as they attacked the entrenchments. Meanwhile the entire industrial and economic life of the country was disorganized. It was as if an entire nation, long suffering some grievous malady, had suffered near to the extreme of endurance, and was approaching to dissolution. The end came now. The government, an autocracy, efficient formerly in holding down its people, was overthrown. For a while it was hoped that under a new and liberal government Russia might become strong again, and take an important part in the war. But actually the people would endure no more, and they fell a prey to visionaries and radicals, who wished to establish in the distracted country new systems which had never before existed except in the minds of theorists and writers. Under the Bolsheviki, Russia withdrew from the war. In March of the following year they were forced to sign the Peace of Brest-Litovsk, by which Russia was dismembered and cut off from the sea. They now applied themselves to the establishment of the extremest socialism, seeming to care little for the fact that Russia had lost by the treaty what her great leaders had striven for ages to gain. At last the Germans were completely free in the east, and Great services of Russia
The Russian Revolution, 1917
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk,1918
could devote all of their strength to one more crushing blow in the west.
In October, 1917, there was a foretaste of what they could do when Italy was struck and almost destroyed at a blow. The Italians had had considerable success, in spite of diffi- The Battle of Capo- retto,1917
The Austro-Italian frontier
38. AUSTRO-ITALIAN FRONTIER
culties incredible and elsewhere scarce understood. Most of Italy's territory adjoining Austria-Hungary ended at the very foothills of the Alps. Immediately beyond, held by the enemy and strongly fortified in advance, rose tier on tier of giant mountains, until the ramparts at last were high above the snow and the clouds. To the south, at the head of the Adriatic Sea, was the Carso Plateau, littered with rocks, honeycombed with eaves, treeless, without water, blazing under the sun. Through all these defences the Italians with undaunted courage had slowly battered their way. They had mastered the Carso and now were near to Trieste. They had captured Monte Santo, and might soon strike through to open country at Laibach, and then march on toward Vienna. But the Austrians, reinforced by Germans, now massed against them, and, corrupting some of the discontented soldiers and thus making a weak point in the line, suddenly attacked with overwhelming numbers and with the fearful "mustard gas." They burst completely through, utterly defeating the Italians. The result of this Battle of Caporetto was that a large part of the Italian army was captured and half of their artillery. The Teutonic armies did not stop until they were nearly in sight of Venice; but then the Italians rallied with the courage of despair, and by efforts almost too late saved their country by standing along the little river Piave. None the less, Italy was now thoroughly discouraged, and almost persuaded to abandon the struggle. Earlier successes of the Italians
But more terrible than any of these things was the havoc wrought by submarines. In February, 1917, 800,000 tons of shipping were destroyed, and the Mediterranean and the waters about the British Isles became a veritable graveyard of ships. If destruction at this rate could be continued, then there was no doubt that the cause of the Allies was doomed. Their cause was absolutely dependent upon maintenance of communication across the seas. Not only was uninterrupted intercourse between Great Britain and the others indispensable, but all of them were waging the war now largely by means of supplies of food and material obtained from abroad. If such destruction by the submarines continued there must first be ever-increasing deficiency of munitions and equipment on the battlefronts, then the British must be starved into abject surrender. In the British Isles already people had only half as much to eat as in happier days. Now many always Destruction of shipping
Undernourishment and exhaustion
had with them the gnawing of hunger only partly appeased. Exhaustion, weariness, depression were remorselessly working their will.
Against all this was to be set one great factor, that the United States had entered the conflict against Germany and her partners. When the Great War broke out most Americans understood little about the causes or issues of the struggle, and nearly all of them dreaded foreign complications and hated the thought of a war. But in less than three years the great majority had changed profoundly, and by the beginning of 1917 willingly followed their leader into the contest. There were several reasons for this. From the beginning people were struck with horror at the methods which such a war involved. In Servia, in Poland, in Belgium, and in France, Germans did harsh and terrible things. Civilians, including even women and children, were shot down, hostages were seized, ruinous fines were imposed for small offences, while there were such plundering and such excess on the part of German soldiers that evidently much of it was being done with the idea of organizing terror and striking into the hearts of the people unreasoning fear. Many of the deeds perpetrated seemed so contrary to principles of humanity and to the spirit of ordinary times that at first the reports concerning them were not believed; but soon evidence accumulated in such manner that it was no longer possible to doubt them. For an alleged offence, never proved and probably not committed, the ancient town of Louvain was fired and a large part of it burned to the ground. The German Ambassador in Constantinople declared that if necessary the entire French nation would be held as hostage and starved to death in order to make England abandon the war. In Belgium the Germans methodically seized all the resources of the country, callously leaving the people to starve; and before long the Belgians would most probably have died of hunger had The United States joins the Allies
German methods in war
they not been fed by the charity of the British, the French, and the people of the United States. To Poland outside relief could not come, and it was not long before the appalling conditions there had caused the death of numerous old people and many of the children. This was commenced not when the Germans themselves were starving, but almost at the beginning of the war.
The Cathedral of Rheims, one of the supreme examples of Gothic architecture and religious art, something which had been loved and admired for centuries, which could not be replaced, was not far from the line of battle. Because, as they said, it was used by the French as an observation post, the Germans deliberately ruined it with shells from their cannon. From the very beginning the great German airships, the Zeppelins, sailed over the cities of England and France, dropping high explosives with fearful effect. Some military advantage was procured, but the nature of these air raids was such that the bombs were more apt to drop upon civilians than upon fortifications. In the same way German warships dashed out when they could and bombarded defenceless coast towns. The aversion with which all this was regarded was enhanced by terrible stories which came back of the way prisoners in Germany were starved and abused; while the spectacle, constantly more frequent, of men, and even women and children, being drowned at sea, increased sympathy for the Allies and horror and repulsion for Germany. Finally, nothing did more to prejudice neutral opinion from the start than the callous manner in which the rights of Belgium were treated as "a scrap of paper," and that unhappy country trampled in the dust. Frightfulness in war
These were the things which gradually swayed the feelings of the mass of the people in the United States and elsewhere. But with the leaders there were considerations still more important. It was felt instinctively, and it was Danger to American ideals realized more and more clearly, that the people of France and England stood for much the same things that Americans did, and that the Germans represented a different system. Evidently there was now going on in Europe a death struggle between the two. If the ideals of democracy, individualism, and personal liberty went down to destruction across the Atlantic, they would afterward most probably be in grave danger in the United States. In the opinion of many, the American people would later on in that case have to fight against German encroachment even as the people of France and England now were doing. By the beginning of 1917 it began to seem that Allied victory was not to be hoped for. Therefore, every consideration of prudence seemed to dictate that Americans join in the war and fight along with their friends, rather than later on fight alone against a mightier, triumphant German Empire. These feelings became constantly stronger, and at last many people felt that it was not only shameful but very dangerous for the United States to be neutral any longer. Early in 1917, when the German ambassador delivered his note announcing unrestricted submarine warfare, President Wilson advised that relations be severed with Germany and that assistance be given to the Allies with all of America's resources. April 6, 1917, the United States declared war. It was one of the most momentous events in the history of the American people, and it was destined to determine the issue of the struggle. Dangerous for America to remain out of the war
America, and America alone, could, indeed supply the mighty resources needed to defeat the Germans. The Germans had not only the advantage of position and the shorter lines, but greater resources in iron and coal, and hence in munitions of war. But with the accession of the United States the Allies again became definitely superior in these basic resources, and if only there was still enough time and if only they did not lose heart and give up the struggle, victory would almost certainly be theirs. At America's time of prep- aration first, however, it seemed that there might not be time for the United States to assemble her resources and bring them to bear in Europe; that she had, indeed, entered the struggle too late. It had taken England two years to bring her great strength to bear; it would probably take the Americans as long. They did begin with an energy and immensity of effort that left no doubt that they had resolved to give themselves utterly to the task, but throughout 1917, while the Allies were meeting with such disaster in Europe, the work of the United States was almost entirely preparation. Great armies were raised by compulsory service, the making of rifles, cannon, shells, and ships was begun on an unheard-of scale, but nothing would be ready for some time. Meanwhile the Germans hoped to win the war by means of their submarines or else by one more great stroke in the west.
By the beginning of 1918 they had pretty definitely failed in the first. No one device was ever found for disposing of the submarines, but gradually they were subdued. The protection of warships had long since been effected by putting around them a screen of fast moving destroyers. As soon as the United States entered the war her navy joined in the work. The naval superiority of the Allies was for the first time beyond all question, and the addition of the American destroyers made it possible to protect "convoys" of merchant ships also. The rate of destruction was now much diminished. Moreover, a new and terrible device was employed with increasing success: the depth bomb, which exploded beneath the water with fearful effect. Furthermore a vast barrage of mines was laid in the North Sea, hindering the exit of the German submarines; and in 1918 the British, in daring raids, succeeded in partly blocking the Belgian harbors out of which the submarines came. Altogether the submarines became less and less effective, and while they continued to be a serious menace until the end of the war, yet by the The submarines checked beginning of 1918 the Germans could no longer hope to win solely by them.
Thus the Allies would have time, and time was now on their side. There might still be a long and costly war, if the Germans stood on the defensive and fought with the protection of their fortified lines; though if the attack were pushed resolutely their ultimate defeat was certain. On the other hand, if they could strike on the west front before American aid arrived, it might be that victory would still be theirs. This chance they resolved to take, and all through the winter of 1917-18 there was a constant movement of troops and guns from the east to the west. Russia was completely broken, and only such forces were left there as were needed to guard the conquests and get such supplies as that ruined land could furnish. In truth the war had reached the stage where all the contestants were nearly exhausted. Italy was recovering from the defeat of Caporetto, but she was profoundly discouraged. France had lost a great part of all her young men, and Frenchmen, though unwilling to yield, were beginning to despair of ever defeating the foe. Britain also was nearly sunk beneath the burdens which she bore, and the fearful fighting of 1917 had greatly depleted her armies in France. On the other side, Austria was at her last gasp and able to do little more. Germany, with all her immense strength organized for the war, might fight on for some time, perhaps, and by a sudden blow might even conquer, but if she struck the blow and failed, then, as after-events were to show, all her power would go down at once into ruin. Exhaustion near
As Napoleon had once done, her leaders resolved to stake all on one last stroke. In the spring of 1918 she took the offensive and struck out with a blow like unloosing the forces of hell. March 21, the Germans attacked from St. Quentin, at a point where the British had recently taken over the lines from the French. A heavy mist enabled the enemy to surprise them. Shells from the great guns fell Great German attack, 1918 far behind the front lines, while light cannon and countless machine guns were brought forward by the attackers. The British were beaten as never before during the war, and for the first time on the western front fortified lines were broken completely through. The German plan had been to separate the French from the British, and drive the British back upon the Channel where they could have been destroyed; but to the north, about Arras, the lines held so fast that this failed. None the less, the Germans had broken clear through, and when at last their advance was arrested, they had gone more than thirty miles, up to the outskirts of the all-important railroad center of Amiens. Scarcely had the fighting died down when another fearful blow was struck farther north. The lines were raked with shells and every position drenched with gasses. In Armentières the streets ran with the liquid of mustard gas. An overwhelming force was thrown against the British again, and they were driven back so far that their commander told them they were fighting with "backs to the wall." But they fought as the British usually do fight, and with some aid from the French held on and barred the way to the Channel. This was in April. In May came the third phase of the German offensive, this time against the French lines. In one great rush they went through the position of Chemin des Dames, and, piercing far through the lines, rushed on until once more they came to the Marne. It was evident that the crisis of the war had come. If the Germans could, from the positions which they had taken, strike out again with the same success, they might next time get as far as Paris. Under stress of the fearful peril all the Allied armies were at last put under one command, under the great French General Foch, and cries went out to the United States to hasten her succor. The Battle of Picardy
The Americans had made giant strides in their preparations, but the best judges abroad did not expect them to be ready yet. Now, however, the need was so great America answers the call that they were asked to send across armies not entirely ready. This was done. The British furnished most of the shipping from their own diminished stock, and protected by warships from the submarines, there now began across the ocean a movement of men such as had never been seen before in the world. Early in July there were a million American soldiers in France, and they were now coming at the rate of more than a quarter of a million each month. And more than that, as they were tried, at first in very small operations, they bore themselves so well as to give much hope for the future. Evidently there was not much more time for the Germans before the weight of America would be felt. Twice more did the Germans strike, with less success than before. Then, July 14, their last offensive was undertaken. Between Rheims and Château-Thierry the attack was made and an effort made to cross the Marne and open the road to Paris. But the German plans had become known, and the French, giving ground a little, smothered the abandoned positions in a whirlwind of fire. After terrible losses the Germans were brought completely to a stand. Last effort of the Germans: Second Battle of the Marne
Four days later, July 18, Marshal Foch began a great Allied offensive. The assistance from the United States had enabled him to establish a reserve and again assemble an "army of maneuver." The Germans had driven three salients into his line, and in these salients they had the inner position and the short lines, but between the two greater salients, in the region from Montdidier to Soissons, the Allies had the same advantage. Accordingly it was from this part of the line that the Allied offensive began. A sudden attack by French troops and some Americans nearly captured Soissons, and threatened with gravest peril the German forces under the Crown Prince. After many days of desperate fighting these forces were extricated, but with heavy losses and after abandoning what they had taken in the successful stroke that had brought Allies begin an offensive them down to the Marne. Meanwhile, August 8, the British struck out at Montdidier, at the side of the salient to the north, and, capturing many prisoners and many important places, retook what they had lost in the disaster of March. During the same time the Germans abandoned, without fighting, the blood-soaked positions captured at such terrible cost when they tried to break through to the Channel. By the end of August, therefore, the great danger was past, and the Germans had definitely lost the offensive.
Marshal Foch resolved to continue the attack, and the fighting went on without any cessation. September 13, in their first large operation, the Americans wiped out the St. Mihiel salient which the Germans had driven to the south of Verdun in the early weeks of the war. A fortnight later a large American army began fighting to clear the Argonne Forest, which was the great buttress of the German positions in the south, and which protected one of their all-important lines of rail communication. In the center the French did not press the attack upon the impregnable positions about Laon, but in the north the British with some Americans and some Belgians, tried to smash through the Hindenburg Line in one place and break down into Flanders in another. It was the Germans who were now with their backs to the wall. Great assault on the German lines
The failing German fortunes were accompanied by collapse everywhere else. The army which in October 1915 had landed at Salonica had never accomplished anything, largely because it could not be strongly reinforced and because the submarines constantly harassed its communication line. But now, in September 1918, it suddenly fell upon the Bulgars, broke through their positions, and in a few days the Servians were back once more in their country, and the Allies were threatening the Bulgarian plain. By the end of the month Bulgaria had signed an armistice equivalent to complete surrender. Turkey, long since Germany's allies surrender exhausted, and just defeated in Asia by the British, was now in a hopeless position, and her surrender soon folU+00+AD lowed. This brought to an end the German dream of domU+00+AD ination in the Balkans and the founding of a great "Middle Europe." In October the Austrians, urged on by the Germans but with almost no power left, attacked the Italians, failed completely, and then, struck by the Italian armies, suffered the greatest disaster of the war. The entire Austrian forces surrendered or fled as disorganized rabble, abandoning their stores and cannon; and in a few days the Italians were through the mountains at last, at Trieste, in the Trentino, and on the march for Vienna. November 4, Austria-Hungary surrendered, and gave up the war. Austria collapses
While these disasters were ruining the German cause, they were fighting the last of their battles. Steadily through the tangled thickets, the rocks, and the mazes of barbed wire of the Argonne, the new American army was striking the inferior German force, and though their losses were very heavy, they advanced steadily, capturing positions deemed impregnable hitherto, and presently getting the main railway line, the vital line of German communications, under the fire of their great guns. If this line were cut, a large part of the German army might be forced to surrender. To the north the British and their comrades, with as splendid dash as was ever seen during the war, broke at last all through the Hindenburg Line, with its wide trenches, its deep underground fortifications, its labyrinths of barbed wire, and its thousands of machinegun emplacements. Here the courage of the British soldier was aided by the "tanks" or small moving fortresses, which the British had first used in the Somme offensive of 1916, and which at last solved the problem of breaking the systems of entrenchments. Moreover, they now broke through in Belgium, and occupied the coast with its submarine bases. Then turning south they began to threaten The Germans completely defeated
The British break the Hindenburg Line
he other great artery of German rail communications, the trunk line from Paris to Berlin, which goes through the valley of the Meuse, by Namur and Liége. If this were cut, and if the Americans cut the other line in the south, then the Germans might be forced to surrender on the field or else save themselves only by a flight like that of the Austrian armies. German communications threatened
The German soldiers, so wonderful in the days of success, began to waver now, and disaffection and despair increased among the German people. They had been slowly starved by the blockade. For a long time they sustained the struggle with wonderful perseverance and courage. Food had been insufficient. By necessary govU+00+AD ernment regulation they had been systematically underfed, until at last many people had only one third enough to eat. Finally the old, the infirm were dropping dead from hunger. Now, after staking all, they had lost. The men of the navy, ordered to dash out for a last effort, mutinied. The end was at hand; the authorities asked for an armisU+00+AD tice. When the conditions were announced, they were terrible enough: not only must the Germans at once evacuate France, Belgium, and their other conquests, but they must abandon Alsace-Lorraine, and withdraw behind the Rhine, yielding up the bridgehead fortresses, and leaving exposed their richest industrial district. They must surU+00+AD render their fleet and their submarines, disband their army, and give up most of their military equipment. It was evident at once that the acceptance of such terms would mean the end of the war. November 9, the German emperor abdicated his throne and fled to Holland. Two days later, November 11, German emissaries signed the armistice terms. Germany asks for an armistice
End of the German Empire
General accounts: for brief narratives-- C. J. H. Hayes, A Brief History of the Great War ( 1920); A. F. Pollard, A ShortHistory of the Great War History of the Great War ( 1920); D. W. Johnson, Topography and Strategy in the War ( 1917); longer accounts are John Buchan, A History of the Great War, 4 vols. ( 1921-2), the best of the longer, non-technical accounts in English; F. H. Simonds, History of the World War, 5 volumes ( 1914-20). Several periodical histories were undertaken by great metropolitan journals: London Times History of the War, Manchester Guardian History of the War, New York Times Current History of the War. Of the longer histories the most important are the British History of the Great War Based on Official Documents ( 1920-); Guerre de 1914; Documents Officiels, Textes Législatifs et Réglementaires ( 1914-), official publication of the French Government; Der Grosse Krieg in Einzeldarstellungen, published by the German Great General Staff (now disbanded).
Accounts by principal commanders: General Erich von Falkenhayn , Die Oberste Heeresleitung, 1914-1916 ( 1919), trans. General Headquarter, 1914-1916, and Its Critical Decisions ( 1919); Field Marshal Viscount French, 1914 ( 1919); General Basil Gourko, Memories and Impressions of War and Revolution in Russia, 1914-1917 ( 1918); Sir Douglas Haig's Despatches (December, 1915-April, 1919), edited by Lieut.-Col. J. H. Boraston ( 1919); G. A. B. Dewar and Lieut.-Col. Boraston, Sir Douglas Haig's Command, 1915-1918, 2 vols. ( 1922); GenU+00+AD eralfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , Aus Meinem Leben ( 1920); Field Marshal Conrad von Hoetzendorf, Aus Meiner Dienstzeit, 1916-1918, vols. I-III ( 1922-3); General Erich Ludendorff, Meine Kriegserinnerungen, 1914-1918 ( 1919), trans. My War Memories, 1914-1918, 2 vols. ( 1919). Particular episodes or campaigns: Von Auffenberg-Komarów, Aus Österreich-Ungarns Theilnahme am Weltkriege ( 1920); General-Major Baumgarten-Crusius, Die Marneschlacht ( 1919); General Berthaut, "L'Erreur" de 1914, Réponse aux Critiques ( 1919); E. Bircher, Die Schlacht an der Marne ( 1918), major in the General Staff of the German army; John Buchan, The Battle of the Somme ( 1917); General Luigi Capello, Note di Guerra ( 1920), for Italy's part; Major Otto Fehr, Die März-offensive 1918 ( 1921); Mémoires de Général Gallieni, Défense de Paris ( 1920); Louis Gillet, La Bataille de Verdun ( 1920); Sidney Low , Italy in the War ( 1917); Louis Madelin, La Victoire de la Marne ( 1916), trans.; John Masefield, Gallipoli ( 1916); Major-General Sir F. Maurice, Forty Days in 1914 ( 1919); H W. Nevinson , The Dardanelles Campaign ( 1918); [anonymous], Pourquoi l'Allemagne a Capitulé le 11 Novembre 1918 ( 1919), evidently based on documents in possession of the French General Headquarters; G. Prezzolini Caporetto ( 1919); Raymond Recouly , Foch; le Vaingueur de la Guerre ( 1919); Lieut.-Col. Rousset, La Bataille de l'Aisne (Avril-Mai, 1917) ( 1919), for the Nivelle offensive; D. Sancovici, La Paix de Bucharest ( 1919); Lieut.-Col. de Thomasson, Le Revers de 1914 et Ses Causes ( 1919); Ursachen des Zusammenbruchs. Entstehung, Durchführung und Zusammenbruch der Offensive von 1918 ( 1922); General H. von Zwehl , Die Schlachten im Sommer 1918 an der Westfront ( 1921).
The war on the sea: H. W. Fawcett and G. W. W. Hooper, eds., The Fighting at Jutland ( 1921); Charles Domville-Fife, Submarines and Sea Power ( 1919), excellent; Admiral Lord Jellicoe , The Grand Fleet, 1914-1916 ( 1918), a very important book, The Crisis of the Naval War ( 1920); J. Leyland, The Royal Navy ( 1914); Captain L. Persius, Der Seekrieg ( 1919); Rear-Admiral W. S. Sims, The Victory at Sea ( 1920); Grand Admiral von Tirpitz , Erinnerungen ( 1919), trans. My Menwirs, 2 vols. ( 1919). The war in the air: Major Charles. C. Turner, The Struggle in the Air, 1914-1918 ( 1919). America and the war: Lindsay Rogers, America's Case against Germany ( 1917), a good brief account; Diplomatic Correspondence between the United States and Germany, August 1, 1914-April 6, 1917, edited by J. B. Scott ( 1919); The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, ed. by B. J. Hendrick, 2 vols. ( 1922); Lieut.-Col. de Chambrun and Captain de Marenches, L'Armée Américaine dans le Conflit Européen ( 1919), excellent.
German practices in the war: Die Deutsche Kriegsführung und das Völkerrecht ( 1919), a German official publication atU+00+AD tempting justification; Hugh Gibson, A Journal from Our Legation in Belgium ( 1917); S. S. McClure, Obstacles to Peace ( 1917); Brand Whitlock, Belgium: a Personal Narrative, 2 vols. ( 1919), excellent. Austria-Hungary: Count Ottocar Czernin, Im Weltkriege ( 1919). Russia: The Letters of the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna to the Emperor Nicholas II ( 1922); Maurice Paléologue, La Russie des Tsars pendant la Grande Guerre, 3 vols. ( 1922). Peace proposals: G. L. Dickinson, Documents and Statements Relating to Peace Proposals and War Aims (December, 1916November, 1918) ( 1919).
THE SETTLEMENT OF 1920
The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty.
Address of the President to the Congress of the United States, April 2, 1917.
The idea that action should be taken after this war to secure an enduring peace in the future. . . .
VISCOUNT BRYCE, Essays and Addresses in War Time ( 1918). p. 176.
Not since Rome punished Carthage for Punic faith has such a treaty been written.
New York Tribune, May 8, 1919.
WHEN the Germans, with weariness and despair at home and their armies crumbling under the blows of the Allies at the front, surrendered by accepting the armistice, it was evident that an old era in the history of the western world had come to an end, and that the leaders of the nations must assemble and settle the affairs of the age which had been and prepare for the new order which was coming. Several times had this happened before in the history of Europe: in 1648, at the end of the dreadful Thirty Years' War; in 1713 and 1714, after the long War of the Spanish Succession; in 1814 and 1815, after Napoleon and the French Revolution. So now in 1919 the greatest of all the peace conferences was opened in Paris. The settlement after the War
Never had a peace congress assembled in the midst of such great and unreasoning expectations. In 1648 and 1713 the great mass of the people had no voice in government and little interest in what the government did. So Public interest and expectations it was in 1814, though then many people believed that a new and better era was at hand. But in 1919 the people of the victorious states had considerable control of their governments; most of the population could read and write, and had followed the events of the struggle with enormous interest. Moreover, whatever the original aims of the contestants may have been, as the war progressed and became a contest of endurance and exhaustion, so that it was necessary to have the fullest support of the body of the people, they were asked to throw themselves into the struggle so that the world might be made "safe for democracy," and war might be brought to an end. Everywhere the masses of the people, the simple minded, the liberal, the idealists, yearned for these things and believed that they would shortly be brought to pass, that a new and better world was about to be brought into being.
At the head of these people was President Wilson of the United States, the greatest idealist of his time. There was difference of opinion about the wisdom of some things which he did before America entered the war, and also afterward, but there could be no doubt about the loftiness and purity of his motives, or that he had the good of mankind at heart. His speeches and his communications seemed to great numbers of people in the Allied countries, and perhaps even in Germany and Austria, to express the yearnings of their hearts for better things. So it came about that at the end of the war he had for a short while unparalleled influence among multitudes of people who trusted with pathetic confidence that he would in some way bring about the great reforms which he had spoken of so finely. Few seemed to have thought of the difficulty of achieving the immense improvements now suddenly to be made, or to realize that some of these things were old problems that had baffled mankind for ages. President Wilson
In January 1918, President Wilson had outlined "Fourteen Conditions" of what he regarded as a proper peace.
Russia should be evacuated, Belgium, France, Rumania, Servia, and Montenegro evacuated and restored; AlsaceLorraine should be returned to France; the Italian frontier rectified; a free Poland should be established; the subject peoples of Turkey and Austria-Hungary be given a chance for autonomous development; and impartial adjustment of colonial claims should be made with consideration for the populations involved. He then entered upon larger and more difficult matters: there must be "open covenants of peace, openly arrived at"; no more private international understandings; "absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas"; removal of economic barriers; guarantees for the reduction of armaments; and "a general association of nations" under specific covenants for the purpose of maintaining peace. Some of these provisions were at once criticised as vague or impossible of fulfillment, but they were accepted by multitudes who believed them practicable and necessary for the good of the world. The "Fourteen Points"
Some of the matters proclaimed did present enormous difficulty. To make treaties openly, or bring diplomacy within control of representatives of the people had been much desired by reformers for a long time and many efforts had been made to obtain it. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the English house of commons had repeatedly tried to get control of foreign affairs, and when the first American government was instituted such control was given to congress; but in both countries it was presently obvious that secrecy was necessary for the proper conduct of foreign relations, and that such business could only be transacted effectively if left to the management of a small number of men experienced and expert. Control of foreign affairs
"Freedom of the seas" was a cry raised by the Germans during the war, and from them taken up by idealists everywhere who believed that there ought not to be any militarism or force, on sea or on land. The application of such a doctrine would principally affect Great Britain and "Freedom of the Seas" the British Empire. Britain had won her wars and become great through power on the sea. But it was generally admitted that she had not abused this power, and in time of peace had not for a long while interfered with other nations on the waters. In time of war she had not seldom exerted her sea power with decisive effect; but it was owing to this that the Allies had been able to resist the German armies. It was certain that the British people would regard any attempt to deprive them of it as a thrust at their very existence.
With respect to what was being called a "League of Nations," a long line of men, from Henry IV of France and William Penn to Tsar Alexander I and Tsar Nicholas II, had hoped for such a thing; and many a plan had been suggested for it; but so far the complexity of the problem had baffled all who attempted to solve it. The League of Nations
The Congress of Paris, which assembled January 18, 1919, began its work in the midst of prodigious popular interest and expectations which no assembly could have fulfilled. Idealists, pacifists, humanitarians, and a great number of others who were enthusiastic but ill-informed, expected such a settlement of the affairs of the world that all the damage done by the war would be amended, yet nothing taken from Austria-Hungary and the German Empire; that the Allies would be made content, yet the Central Powers not offended; that reparation should be made, yet no indemnities taken; that self-determination of peoples would be recognized, yet Germany and Austria not be shorn of their possessions; that open diplomacy would be established, democracy and the welfare of the masses; that there would be freedom of the seas, no more war, and a league of nations with good feeling and the brotherhood of man. On the other hand a smaller number, though not a few, with better knowledge of affairs and of what had been done in the past, predicted that some of the proposals current were irreconcilable and others im- The Congress of Paris, 1919 possible of accomplishment; and that with respect to the grander and more general schemes the utmost possible was for the best men to try earnestly and in good faith to solve some part of the difficulties which had remained insoluble so long.
From the countries which had participated in the war against the Central Powers came delegates to the Conference at Paris. Neither Germany nor her allies were to take part in the discussion or the framing of the treaties, which, when ready, were to be submitted merely for approval or rejection. Work of the congress
The great decisions were not arrived at openly or with the knowledge of all of the conference. Important affairs were first decided by the representatives of the four greatest powers, the British Empire, France, Italy and the United States, and sometimes Japan; after which they were made known to the other members of the congress. Actually the principal work was always in the hands of Mr. Lloyd George, M. Clemenceau, and Signor Orlando-prime ministers respectively of the United Kingdom, France, and Italy--and of President Wilson. The question of the freedom of the seas was soon dropped, and wisely, as competent critics had hoped and predicted beforehand. With respect to the reduction of armaments little was done; the defeated powers were to be compelled to diminish theirs, and it was hoped that the others would be able to do it later. Numerous questions remained to be settled, all the more difficult because the makers of the treaty would face the difficulties and try to settle them, not evade them by some specious solution. Procedure
Some, who professed to be the prophets of a new era, declared that a peace of vengeance would only lead to new wars, and that mild treatment, which would not offend Germany and her friends, was the only way to spare succeeding generations from the horrors which had blasted the present. Some proclaimed that there must be no Treatment of the conquered powers
AFRICA IN 1920
annexations and no indemnities; Germany and Austria must repair the devastation they had done in the invaded countries, but that was all. Not a few asserted that the people of the Teutonic countries were little, if any, more to be blamed than the others, since it was the greed of imperialists and capitalists, and the rashness of diplomats working in secret, which had brought on the war. On the other hand a great many declared that Germany and her allies must be stripped to the uttermost to pay for the infinite misery they had caused; that it was vain to try to conciliate such people by mild treatment; that an enduring peace could be obtained, if at all, only by so reducing Germany's power that she could make no unprovoked attacks in the future. Some of these advocates proposed that France should be given German territory down to the Rhine, and Germany be compelled to pay for all the expenses of the war. This last was obviously impossible since while the war had cost the Allies more than $120,000,000,000, the total wealth remaining to the Germans was apparently not half that much.
The question of the German colonies attracted less attention. Some declared that they ought not to be taken away, since the Germans had great need of colonial possessions and had never had their fair share. On the other hand it was asserted that they had cruelly misused the native populations, and were unworthy to be entrusted with ruling them longer. The German colonies
The question of Alsace-Lorraine was not really before the conference, since the French had already occupied it, and were not willing to discuss the matter further. But the whole question was very complicated, and had already been a great deal discussed. A portion of the people in Lorraine were French, but most of the rest were Germans. The districts had long been attached to the Holy Roman Empire, from which they were taken, mostly by force, by the French, under Louis XIV and Louis XV. On the AlsaceLorraine other hand, this territory had originally been part of a middle Kingdom between Germany and France, which had presently fallen to pieces. After their incorporation into the Kingdom of France the people of the provinces became strongly attached to the French government, took prominent part in the French Revolution, and thoroughly shared in the development of French nationality, so that in 1871 they were most unwilling to be taken by Germany from France. The question was further complicated because of the great strategic importance of the country in the hands either of Germany or France, and because in Lorraine lay the most valuable iron deposits in Europe.
The question of the Italian frontier seemed relatively simple, though it proved to be particularly difficult in the end. It was generally conceded that Italia Irredenta should be taken from the broken Dual Monarchy, but its extent proved not easy to settle. There was no doubt about the Trentino, nor about Trieste, though that port was Austria's sole outlet to the sea; but all down the Dalmatian coast, on the eastern side of the Adriatic, were old Italian towns and a fringe of Italian population, while the great mass of the people, in the country behind, were South Slavs. The islands and the seaport towns were, indeed, largely unredeemed Italian land, but if they were all given to Italy then an outlying fringe of Italians would shut off from the sea a far greater number of Jugo-Slavs. As a matter of fact, because of the broad untracked Dinaric Alps, just back from the coast, the South Slavic people would be effectually shut off from the sea if they were not given Fiume. The Italian Frontier
The question of the Czecho-Slovaks became prominent just before peace was made. Bohemia and Moravia, which had been independent kingdoms in the Middle Ages, then joined under one ruler, were united with Austria in 1526, the same year that part of Hungary was joined with Austria also the people were mostly West Slavs, The CzechoSlovaks and a body of their near kinsmen, the Slovaks, lived just to the east in Hungary. The Slovaks had remained a backward people, but the Czechs and Moravians had an old culture of which they were proud, and during the nineteenth century they had revived a strong national feeling.
The tragic fate of the Polish people had for some generations aroused the deepest sympathy among the statesmen of western Europe and among liberals all over the world. To reëstablish Poland had long seemed a much desired act of international justice, but the difficulties in the way of it were so insuperable that a new Polish state was outside the calculations of practical statesmen. Now by the strangest of coincidences all three of the powers which had once divided Poland were ruined by the war. There was little difference of opinion about the reconstitution of Poland, but much difficulty, in determining what the boundaries should be. In former times Poland had greatly extended her borders so that Polish population was widely scattered and mixed in with other peoples. Therefore it was not possible to make boundaries which would include all the Poles and not many Germans, Lithuanians, and others, or such boundaries as would include only Poles without leaving a great many of them outside the new state. Moreover, Poland had formerly extended to the Baltic. If now she were given her outlet to the sea at Danzig, then Prussia would be divided in two parts. Poland
The question of the South Slavs presented no fundamental difficulty. It was generally agreed that the people of the provinces of Carniola, Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina should be given their freedom; and there was already a movement on foot to have them all unite with their kinsmen of Montenegro and Servia in a large Jugo-Slavic state. It would undoubtedly be difficult to hold in one union these people of the same race, indeed, but differing much in culture and religion. The JugoSlavs
The immediate difficulty, however, was to reconcile conflicting ambitions of Italians and South Slavs on the Adriatic coast, and assure the new federation an outlet to the sea.
The question of Constantinople and the Turkish Empire presented such enormous difficulties, that for the most part it was postponed as long as could be. Many thought it well to take from the Turks all their possessions except Anatolia in Asia Minor, their real home, and then free the subjects whom they had so misruled or distribute the territories among Britain, France, Italy, and Greece. But Constantinople, as always, was so mighty a prize that there was no agreement about who should have it, and some thought the best solution was to let the Turks still remain. Constantinople and Turkey
Since the proceedings of the inner council of the Congress of Paris were largely secret, the greatest matters being settled, as at Vienna, in private meetings between the great men, the motives and procedure that prevailed are not yet entirely clear, despite published accounts. At the opposite extremes were President Wilson in and Premier Clemenceau. The American statesman stood for the high ideals and the liberal ideas which the long struggle had awakened in the hearts of the best people, but he seems to have been without great knowledge of European statesmanship and conditions and often hampered by insufficient information. He stood first of all for justice; he believed that an enduring peace could best be obtained by liberal terms; and he desired above all that the present opportunity should not be allowed to pass for establishing a league of nations, so that the governments might thereafter settle their differences by reason establishing justice, not war. The aged French premier was wise with the wisdom of long experience and service. Apparently he had none too great faith in a league of nations, but was willing to assist in establish- Business at the congress ing such a thing provided he was able to assure the safety of France for the future. Twice in his life had France been invaded by the Germans and terribly ravaged, and now he was resolved that such stern measures should be taken that it would not probably happen again. In between were the Italian premier, with no very striking policy aside from Italy's interests, it would seem and Mr. Lloyd George, one of the great liberal leaders of the world. who had been very near to the horror and tragedy of the conflict, who now used his matchless skill in reconciling the views of Clemenceau and Wilson. May 7, the treaty having been drawn up was presented to the German representatives at Versailles, where their leader made it dramatic declaration, not without eloquence and pathos, acknowledging Germany's defeat, but declaring that not the German people but the old system of European imperialism was responsible for the coming of the war. June 28, the treaty was signed. In a document as long as an ordinary book the affairs of Germany, Europe, and the world were settled. The Treaty Of Versailles, 1919
At the beginning of the Treaty of Versailles, and a part of it, was the Covenant or agreement, of the League of Nations designed "to promote international cooperation, peace and security, through open, just and honorable international relations." The members at first were to be the powers which had won the war and were now signing the treaty, while the remaining South American states and the neutral countries of Europe were invited to join. The seat of the league was to be Geneva, and it was to act through an assembly in which each member was to have one vote, and at council consisting of members representing the greater powers. The particular business of the council was to be planning a reduction of armaments "to the lowest point consistent with safety," and especially the taking of measures for preventing war. If there were any dispute which threatened war, it must be submitted The Covenant to arbitration or inquiry by the council, and in no case should there be resort to war until three months after decision, which must be rendered within a reasonable time. If a member of the league resorted to war in defiance of these provisions, he was to be regarded as committing an act of war against all the members of the league, who should sever relations with him and take measures to enforce the covenants. It was further provided that members should abrogate all treaties inconsistent with the provisions of the league, and that all other treaties and engagements should be made public. Article X provided that "The members of the League undertake to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all members of the League." This was afterward the object of much criticism as a provision to keep things as they were, and make impossible necessary revolution and change, much as the "Holy Alliance" had tried to do a century, before; but it was difficult to see how such a provision could be dispensed with, and it was hoped that proper changes would be brought about, when necessary, by voluntary action of the league or its members. Another article of vast possibilities for good, but complicated also with great difficulties, proclaimed that the members should secure fair and humane labor conditions everywhere, control traffic in women and children, in opium and other drugs, in arms and ammunition, and give just treatment to native populations. That this covenant contained defects was not to be doubted, and a large number of objections were easily raised. But it was evident that numerous objections might always be made with respect to any great constructive effort involving changes, as had been the case with the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, the great reforms of the French Revolution, the passing of the British Electoral Reform Laws, and the emancipation of the serfs in Russia. Article X
This Covenant of the League of Nations was the first section of the treaty with Germany. By other provisions Alsace-Lorraine was ceded to France, a small district to Belgium, and to Poland a small portion of Silesia and the greater part of Posen and West Prussia. She was to renounce her agreements with Belgium and Luxemburg; she was to cede to France the coal mines of the Saar Basin, on the French frontier, in compensation for the stern and terrible destruction of the French coal mines about Lens, the district to be administered by the League of Nations for fifteen years, the people of the district to determine after that time whether they would continue under the league, or be united with Germany, or with France. Altogether Germany lost thus more than 35,000 square miles, a sixth of her former area, and perhaps 7,000,000 of her population. Whereas in 1914 she had an area of 207,000 square miles and a population of 70,000,000 by the Treaty of Versailles she was reduced to about 170,000 square miles and about 63,000,000 of people. Furthermore, East Prussia was now left separated from the remainder of Germany by a "corridor" of Polish territory running down to the Baltic Sea, while Danzig was made a free city under the guarantee of the League of Nations. In the districts surrendered to Poland and to France lay a considerable part of the coal and iron ore upon which Germany's industrial greatness had been founded, and also her military strength. It was possible thus that for generations her strength and her greatness had passed away. Provisions of the Treaty of Versailles
She was required to abrogate the Treaty of BrestLitovsk, which she had forced on Russia; she was to recognize the independence of Austria, of Czecho-Slovakia, and Poland, the new states which were being established; leave the fate of the Danish country once taken from Denmark to be decided by the people themselves; and destroy the fortifications of the fortress of Heligoland. Destruction of German military power
Outside of Europe she was to renounce all her possessions, her colonies, her rights in China, Siam, Liberia, and Morocco, cede her rights in Shantung to Japan, and recognize the British protectorate over Egypt. She was to abolish conscription, and limit her army to 100,000 men, her navy to a few small ships, with no submarines, her warships being surrendered to the Allies, and she was to have no airplanes for purposes of war. She was also forbidden to keep any fortresses within a zone of territory extending from her western frontier to fifty kilometers east of the Rhine.
The treaty declared that the war had been forced upon the Allies by German aggression. To repair the damage and losses caused to them, Germany was to pay an indemnity, of which the amount was to be fixed later on, in accordance with Germany's ability to pay, and which was later fixed at various amounts. She wits to replace ton for ton the merchant ships destroyed in the war, and she was to undertake the restoration of the areas devastated by her armies of invasion. The Kiel Canal and certain rivers of Germany were to be opened to free navigation. The Indemnity
This treaty, which according to some was fearful and impossibly severe, was viewed with dismay by others as not sufficiently binding Germany as to make impossible another aggression, and by no means giving compensation for the evil and suffering she had caused. There was no doubt that the provisions of the settlement reduced Germany to poverty and weakness; but there was also no doubt that the people of England, Italy, and France, despite all indemnities that Germany could pay, would for generations remain crushed under burdens of taxation such as they had never known before, necessary from expenditures caused by the war. The indemnities required were not plunder, but merely to make good the ruin which Germans had wrought, and the reparation thus made was very incomplete. The terms of disarmament imposed Character of The treaty made the beginning, it was to be hoped, of general reduction of armaments, which the people of the democratic countries had long much desired. The populations surrendered were largely Polish or Danish and partly French, and the territories now to be given up had all previously been taken away from Poland, or Denmark, or France.
The results of the war being what they were, and the evil conditions which had come from the war being as great as they were, the peace was probably as good a one as under the circumstances was to be made. All in all, it had not been made in a spirit of hatred or revenge, nor with desire to destroy the German people.
With the allies of Germany separate treaties were made. As a result of the war Austria-Hungary had fallen to pieces. From the ruins had arisen Czecho-Slovakia, and the state Treaty of St. Germain with Austria, 1919 of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, whose independence the Allies had acknowledged. Accordingly the Dual Monarchy had ceased to exist. With Austria and with Hungary arrangements were made which stipulated that the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk should be renounced and also rights in Egypt, Morocco, Siam, and China; the navy should be surrendered, and an indemnity paid. No states suffered more fearful fate than Austria and Hungary. Austria--once the leading state in Europe, and long the principal power in the Dual Monarchy, which in 1914 had a population of 51,000,000 and an area of 260,000 square miles--was now reduced to the petty inland state of German Austria, with 40,000 square miles and a population of 9,000,000. The splendid old capital, Vienna, was left with too little territory to support its greatness and soon became a sad, deserted, famine-stricken place, while the Austrian population, largely because of the destruction and ravages of the war, were soon in such terrible straits that they had no recourse but the charity of the world. By a later treaty Hungary likewise was bereft of much of her territory and all of her alien populations. She also was left a minor, inland state of 35,000 square miles, containing 8,000,000 people; and she was soon overrun and plundered by Rumanian armies who now took vengeance for the miseries put upon themselves two years before. With Bulgaria a treaty was made which imposed upon her an indemnity, and took from her the territories which she had seized from Servia, Rumania, and Greece, during the war, while the disposition of the territory giving her access to the Ægean was to be decided by plebiscite of the local population. Bulgaria was left, therefore, the least important of the Balkan states, in the midst of rivals who had grown great by the war. By a treaty agreed upon after much difficulty and delay, Turkey was stripped of most of her possessions. Constantinople was left nominally to the sultan, but the Treaty of Trianon, with Hungary, 1920
Treaty of Neuilly with Bulgaria, 1919
Treaty of Sevres, with Turkey, 1920
straits were internationalized, the European territory of the Porte was given mostly to Greece, and the Ottoman dominions in Asia were largely divided among Great Britain, France, Italy, and Greece.
The more important part of the work done at Paris, and submitted at Versailles, was the treaty with Germany embodying the Covenant of the League of Nations. It was signed at Versailles June 28. A few days later it was ratified by the German Republic. At the end of July it was ratified by Great Britain and by Poland; in the following month, by Belgium; and in October by the British dominions, by Italy, and by France; and at the end of December by Japan. Meanwhile the surrendered German fleet, which had been interned at Scapa Flow, north of Scotland, having been sunk by the German crews, the Supreme Council issued a protocol containing provisions for making good their loss by surrender of additional German shipping, about the acceptance of which there was considerable negotiation and some delay; but January 10, 1920, the protocol having been accepted by the German government, ratificitions were exchanged at Versailles and the treaty put into effect. On this day, then, formally, the Great War came to an end. Ratification of the Treaty of Versailles, 1919-20
In that great event the United States took no part. She had exerted enormous, if not decisive, power in the later stages of the war, and during the negotiations of Paris her president had taken a prominent part. It was due particularly to his efforts that a league of nations had been planned and the covenant embodied in the treaty. But he had been unable to secure its ratification in the United States. The assent of two thirds of the senate was necessary for the acceptance of any treaty. A considerable number of senators refuse to accept the covenant without amendments which the president was unwilling to have made, and the covenant was not accepted and the treaty with Germany not sanctioned. The United States fails to ratify
The war and the settlement at Paris made immense changes in European relations and altered the map of the world more than it had ever been changed at one time before. In Europe itself France became again what she had once been for such a long time: first of the Continental powers. A great number of her best men had been killed and her resources so drained that she was thoroughly exhausted, but she had now acquired such resources and such position, that if she recovered at all she would most probably have a splendid future before her, and her colonial empire remained intact. Italy had at last got the unredeemed lands, the head of the Adriatic at Trieste, and also the end of the Adriatic by establishing a protectorate over Albania. For the time, at least, this sea was entirely under her domination. Across on the other side was the new Jugo-Slavic state. The age-long enemy, Austria, had been removed from all rivalry in the future. Belgium, slightly enlarged, and enormously enhanced in prestige, at once began to recover from the disaster that had fallen upon her. The new era: France
In central Europe the changes were still greater. The German Empire had fallen with the great disasters to its armies in eastern France. Just before the Germans surrendered there were outbreaks in many places; the kaiser and some of the lesser rulers fled from the country, socialist republics were hastily set up, and in Berlin and especially in Munich there were communist disorders much like those of Paris in 1871. For a moment it seemed that Germany was about to split into pieces and sink down into the chaos of ruin and disorder into which Russia had just gone before her. But the strong and solid qualities of the German people reasserted themselves; the disorders were suppressed; the separatist movements were. checked; and in place of the German Empire there presently appeared a federation of republics much like the United States of America, except that constitution and End of the German Empire, 1918 organization were socialized, less, indeed, than in Russia, but more thoroughly than anywhere else in the world. In the midst of national disorganization and disaster, liable for an indemnity of vast and indefinite amount, this government maintained itself with increasing difficulty. It probably had the support of most of the German people for the time, but it was constantly threatened on the one side by reactionaries and junkers, who hoped to see the older forms soon restored, and on the other by radicals and "Spartacides," or extreme communists, who wanted a complete revolution, more like the one in Russia.
The German state was greatly reduced in power and reputation; its old industrial prosperity was gone, its commerce had vanished, its colonies were completely lost. Most of its territory it still retained, but its immensely important districts on the upper Rhine and in Posen were gone, and with them vast stores of iron ore and coal. If the parts of the Republic remained together through the lean and hard years to come, there was the hope that Germany later on might recover and grow great once more, and, next to France, be the greatest Continental power; but it would be a generation before one could be sure of this. Position of the German Republic
For the old Dual Monarchy there was no hope of a better day. In what had been the realm of Austria-Hungary the servants of other days had become masters, and set up for themselves. In the north was Czecho-Slovakia, with its capital at Prague, apparently with a great industrial future before it. To the east a new Poland had appeared, which might later be one of the great European states if only it could live now through the period of death-like weakness in which war and famine had left it. To the south on the western side was the state of the once-despised South Slavs, with Italy holding the Adriatic; while to the south on the eastern side was the greater Rumania, which statesmen had so often dreamed of, Austria and Hungary
41. THE BALKANS IN 1920
doubled in size by having taken Transylvania from the Magyars. In the midst of these newcomers were Hungary, poor, and surrounded, without access to the sea, and with uncertain future, and Austria, poor and weak, and similarly cut off, having, perhaps, as her greatest hope, future incorporation with Germany.
The greatest changes of all had taken place in eastern Europe. Not only had Russia broken to pieces, but she had gone down in a revolution fundamental and sweeping. For the time she ceased to be one of the great powers of the world. All the outlying parts had dropped off: Finland, the Baltic Provinces, Poland, Bessarabia, the Ukraine, the Caucasus, and a great part of Siberia. It might be that all of these countries would later on be brought together in a great federation; but it might Changes in eastern Europe: Russia also be that the powerful Russia of the days before the war was not to appear again.
None the less, the standing of the Slavic peoples in Europe had been for the time improved. If on the one hand the Russian Empire had broken to pieces, yet the fragments had set up autonomous governments, and on the other hand the Slavs of central Europe, so long held by German masters, had got their freedom at last. Whether Poland, lying between bolshevist Russia, and a vengeful Germany, could maintain herself, remained to be seen. The fate of Czecho-Slovakia also lay hidden in the future. The new state of the South Slavs would certainly encounter most difficult problems in holding together such elements as the Serbs, the Croats, and the Slovenes. None the less Poland, Czecho-Slovakia, JugoSlavia, and also Rumania were now established as considerable states, and the prospects of the West and the South Slavs were brighter than they had been for five hundred years. The Slavs
Africa had fallen practically into the hands of Britain and France. In Asia all the northern part still belonged to the Russians, but the far more important southern part, all of it from Arabia to Malaysia, was now under the control of Great Britain. In the East almost all the important strategic positions and approaches to China were in the hands of Japan. Africa and Asia
For a chance to be one of the great world empires Germany had struck in 1914,, and her defeat in 1918 had for the present definitively taken from her the possibility of obtaining it. Russia, if she recovered, might be one of the greatest, as might Japan if she continued her wonderful expansion and success, and succeeded in her aggressions on the mainland. But the two powers which now seemed to hold first place were the British Empire and the United States. In her large population, intelligent and prosperous, in her infinite wealth, her immense re- The dominant powers sources, the United States held unrivalled position. But more imposing, though intrinsically less strong, was the position of the British Empire. She controlled most of Africa, and a great part of Asia; her colonies, her naval stations, her strategic positions were everywhere; she was mistress of the seas, and held the approaches to the best routes, the entrance to the Mediterranean and all the environs of Suez. Together the British Empire and the United States held assured control of the seas, and had in their keeping so great a part of all the world's wealth and resources, so large a part of all of the earth's coal and iron, tin and copper and gold, so much of its meat and wheat and corn, that for the present to a great extent the destiny of the world was in their keeping. Fortunate it might seem that such unparalleled greatness and wealth had come to the peoples which, notwithstanding many errors and mistakes, had most cherished democracy, humanity, and free development. The best of the English-speaking peoples might well be humble in contemplation of the mighty prospect before them. So it appeared in 1920.
But however bright might seem the future of the most fortunate, the outlook of most of the European nations, even their present, was dark indeed. Seldom had there been so much desolation and waste, so much misery and woe. The total cost of the war, variously estimated, had been, perhaps, at least $200,000,000,000, of which nearly two thirds had been the cost to the Allies. Such vast expenditures in four years' time could in no wise be met out of income, and the funds had been raised only in small part through taxation. Great Britain and afterward the United States had raised through taxes the greatest sums ever so obtained in the history of mankind; but France and Italy, Austria-Hungary, and especially the German Empire, had issued repeated loans, hoping to make the defeated enemy pay sufficient indemnity to cover them Crusing debt later on. Had the war been short, it is possible that the victor might have been able to do this, but when the long struggle was over it was evident that the ruined Central Powers had not remaining sufficient substance to make good the damage they had wrought and then reimburse to the victors the expenditures entailed by the war. Hence the present generation found itself burdened with a terrible, crushing mortgage which might be repudiated, which might be paid off after a great many years of economy and toil, which might remain indefinitely as a veritable millstone about the necks of weaker peoples in the future. In 1914 the national debt of France was about six billion dollars; after the war it was about thirty-three billion, or more than half of her national wealth. The debt of Great Britain had risen from more than three billion dollars to about forty billion. The financial position of Germany and of Austria was so utterly desperate that their future salvation could be hoped for rather than understood. Hard work, meager living, crushing taxes alone could get rid of these debts.
More terrible than the waste and the heritage of debt was the loss of life and happiness and health which the war had brought. The number of men killed was estimated at 7,500,000, and the total casualties of the struggle at 33,000,000. Horrible had been the losses of Germany and Russia, and the very flower of the manhood of France was gone. For a generation it would be a question whether France or Servia or Poland could ever recover, and during all this time from the Highlands of Scotland to the great plain of Russia travellers would see mutilated or weakened men dragging out the course of their lives. Millions of children were orphans, millions of women widows. To other millions of women it would seem that a curse was upon the earth in the time that they lived, for many could never expect to marry or hope to be mothers of children. Heritage of woe
The cost of the war: E. L. Bogart, Direct and Indirect Costs of the Great War ( 1919); A. Demangeon, Le Déclin de l'Europe ( 1920); Oswald Spengler, Der Untergang des Abendlandes ( 1917). The effects in Germany and Austria-Hungary: Graf Julius Andrassy , Diplomatie und Weltkrieg ( 1920), trans. Diplomacy and War ( 1921); R. H. Lutz, The German Revolution, 19181919 ( 1922); Ferdinand Runkel, Die Deutsche Revolution ( 1919). National aspirations: René Johannet, Le Principe des Nationalités ( 1919), critical of; R. W. Seton-Watson, Europe in the Melting-Pot ( 1919); Ralph Butler, The New Eastern Europe ( 1919), concerning Finland, Poland, Lithuania, and the Ukraine; Sarah Wambaugh, A Monograph on Plebiscites ( 1920). Improvements desired in the new era hoped for: Towards a Lasting Settlement ( 1916), essays by several liberal and radical authors, edited by C. R. Buxton; W. H. Dawson, Problems of the Peace ( 1918); Rev. Walter MacDonald, Some Ethical Questions of Peace and War, with Special Reference to Ireland ( 1919); Arthur Ponsonby, Democracy and Diplomacy: a Plea for Popular Control of Foreign Policy ( 1915); Richard Roberts, The Unfinished Programme of Democracy ( 1919).
The Congress of Paris: Most important, perhaps, at present, is R. S. Baker, Woodrow Wilson and the World Settlement, 3 vols. ( 1922); C. H. Haskins and Lord R. H., Some Problems of the Peace Conference ( 1920); Robert Lansing, The Peace Negotiations: A Personal Narrative ( 1921); A History of the Peace Conference of Paris, ed. by H. W. V. Temperley, 5 vols. ( 1920-1); C. T. Thompson, The Peace Conference Day by Day ( 1920), What Really Happened in Paris: the Story of the Peace Conference, 1919, ed. by E. M. House and Charles.Seymour ( 1921).
A league of nations: Viscount Bryce, Essays and Addresses in War Time ( 1918); Sir Geoffrey Butler, A Handbook to the League of Nations ( 1919); G. L. Dickinson, The European Anarchy ( 1916); S. P. Duggan, The League of Nations ( 1919); Viscount Grey and others, The League of Nations ( 1919); The Nations and the League ( 1919), by ten representative writers of seven nations; Lord Eustace Percy, The Responsibilities of the League ( 1919); Sir Frederick Pollock, The League of Nations ( 1919), with an excellent historical introduction; Charles Sarolea , Europe and the League of Nations ( 1919); J. C. Smuts, TheLeague of Nations League of Nations ( 1919); Elizabeth York, Leagues of Nations, Ancient, Medieval, and Modern ( 1919).
The Treaty of Versailles: The text of the Treaty of Versailles was printed as Senate Document No. 49, First Session, Sixtysixth Congress. Bernard M. Baruch, The Making of the Reparation and Economic Sections of the Treaty ( 1920); J. L. Garvin, The Economic Foundations of Peace ( 1919); Gabriel Hanotaux, Le Traité de Versailles de 28 Juin, 1919 ( 1919); J. M. Keynes , The Economic Consequences of the Peace ( 1919), an attack on the economic conditions of the treaty by an important British representative at Paris; André Tardieu, The Truth About the Treaty ( 1921). The other treaties: A. P. Scott, An Introduction to the Peace Treaties ( 1920).
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