A School History of the Great War
by Albert E. McKinley, Charles A. Coulomb, and Armand J. Gerson
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Copyright, 1918, by

Albert E. McKinley, Charles A. Coulomb, and Armand J. Gerson

[Transcriber's Note: Certain characters within this text have been transcribed using the following scheme:

x is equivalent to x with a macron above it; x is equivalent to x with a breve above it.]


This brief history of the world's greatest war was prepared upon the suggestion of the National Board for Historical Service. Its purpose is to expand into an historical narrative the outline of the study of the war which the authors prepared for the Board and which was published by the United States Bureau of Education as Teachers' Leaflet No. 4, in August, 1918. The arrangement of chapters and the choice of topics have been largely determined by the various headings in the outline for the course in grades seven and eight.

The authors trust that the simple presentation here given may aid in developing a national comprehension of the issues involved in the war; and they hope it may play some part in preparing the American people for the solution of the great problems which lie immediately before us.










VIII. THE WAR IN 1914 77

IX. THE WAR IN 1915 95

X. THE WAR IN 1916 107

XI. THE WAR IN 1917 118

XII. THE WAR IN 1918 135



CHRONOLOGY—Principal Events of the War 181


A School History of the Great War



To understand the Great War it is not sufficient to read the daily happenings of military and naval events as they are told in newspapers and magazines. We must go back of the facts of to-day and find in national history and personal ambition the causes of the present struggle. Years of preparation were necessary before German military leaders could convert a nation to their views, or get ready the men, munitions, and transportation for the war they wanted. Conflicts of races for hundreds of years have made the southeastern part of Europe a firebrand in international affairs. The course of the Russian revolution has been determined largely by the history of the Russian people and of the Russian rulers during the past two centuries. The entrance of England and Italy into the war against Germany was in each case brought about by causes which came into existence long before August, 1914. A person who understands, even in part, the causes of this great struggle, will be in a better position to realize why America entered the war and what our nation is fighting for. And better yet, he will be more ready to take part in settling the many problems of peace which must come after the war is over. For these reasons, the first few chapters of this book are devoted to a study of the important facts of recent European history.

A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.—It is remarkable that almost exactly a century before the present world war, Europe was engaged in a somewhat similar struggle to prevent an ambitious French general, Napoleon Bonaparte, from becoming the ruler of all that continent, and of America as well. He had conquered or intimidated nearly all the states of Europe—Austria, Prussia, Russia, Spain, etc.—except Great Britain. He once planned a great settlement on the Mississippi River, and so alarmed President Jefferson that the latter said the United States might be compelled to "marry themselves to the British fleet and nation." But England's navy kept control of the seas; Napoleon's colony in North America was never founded; and at last the peoples of Europe rose against their conqueror, and in the battle of Waterloo, June 18, 1815, finally overthrew him.

EUROPE SINCE 1815.—After the downfall of Napoleon the rulers of Europe met in conference at Vienna and sought to restore conditions as they had been before the war. They were particularly anxious that the great masses of the people in their several nations should continue to respect what was termed "the divine right of kings to rule over their subjects." They did not, except in Great Britain, believe in representative governments. They feared free speech and independent newspapers and liberal educational institutions. They hated all kinds of popular movements by which the inhabitants of any country might throw off the monarch's yoke and secure a share in their own government. For over thirty years the "Holy Allies,"—the name applied to the monarchs of Austria, Prussia, and Russia,—succeeded tolerably well in keeping the peoples in subjection. But they had many difficulties to face, and after 1848 their policy was largely given up.

DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENTS.—During the nineteenth century the people of Europe were restive under the rule of kings, and gradually governments controlled in greater or less degree by the people were established. Almost every decade saw popular uprisings in some of the European states. About 1820 insurrections occurred in Greece, in Spain, and in southern Italy; and the Spanish American colonies revolted from the mother country. In 1830 popular uprisings took place in France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, and other places. In 1848 a far more serious movement occurred, which overthrew the French monarchy and established a republic. From France the flame of liberty lighted fires of insurrection in Germany, Austria, Poland, and Italy. Similar attempts were made at later times. As a result of these popular uprisings and of the growing education of all classes of the people, manhood suffrage and representative institutions were established in most of the European states.

NATIONAL ASPIRATIONS.—The Holy Allies had refused to recognize the right of nations to independent existence. They had bartered peoples and provinces "as if they were chattels and pawns in a game." But when the peoples tried to found democratic governments, they often discovered that the quickest and surest way was to unite under one government all who belonged to a given nationality. Thus the last hundred years in Europe has witnessed the erection of a number of new national states created by throwing off the yoke of some foreign ruler. Among the new nations thus established were (1) Belgium, freed from the kingdom of Holland; (2) Greece, Serbia, Roumania, Bulgaria, and Albania, freed from Turkish rule; (3) Italy, united out of territories controlled by petty sovereigns and Austrian rulers; (4) Norway, separated from Sweden. The same period saw also the unification of a number of German states into the German Empire. But during this time several races were unsuccessful in obtaining independence, among which we may note the Poles (in Russia, Prussia, and Austria), the Czechs (checks), or Bohemians (in northern Austria), the Finns (in the northwestern part of the Russian Empire), and the Slavic people in the southern part of Austria-Hungary.

INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT.—The nineteenth century was not only a period of political change in Europe. It was also a time of great changes in the general welfare of the people. It witnessed a remarkable alteration in everyday employments and habits. In 1800 a great part of the population was engaged in agriculture. Manufacturing and commerce were looked upon as of minor importance. The goods that were produced were made by hand labor in the workman's own home. Beginning first in England about 1750 and extending to the Continent between 1820 and 1860, there came a great industrial change. The steam engine was applied to spinning, weaving, and countless other operations which previously had been performed by hand. Steam engines could not of course be installed in every small cottage; hence a number of machines were put in one factory to be run by one steam engine. The workers left their small huts and gardens in the country and came to live in towns and cities. After the steam engine came steam transportation on land and water. Then followed an enormous demand for coal, iron, steel, and other metals. More goods could be produced in the factories than were needed for the people at home. Hence arose more extended commerce and the search for foreign markets.

COLONIAL EXPANSION.—In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Spain, Portugal, France, and England settled the American continents and parts of Asia. By a series of wars in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Dutch secured part of the possessions of Spain and Portugal; and England obtained almost all of the French colonial territories. In the eighteenth century the thirteen English colonies on the Atlantic seaboard made good their independence; and in the nineteenth, Spain lost all of her vast possessions in America. During the early nineteenth century, Great Britain, in spite of the loss of the thirteen colonies, was by far the most successful colonizing country, and her possessions were to be found in Canada, India, the East and West Indies, Australia, and Africa.

Leaders of other nations in Europe thought these colonies of Great Britain were the cause of her wealth and prosperity. Naturally they too tried to found colonies in those parts of the world not occupied by Europeans. They hoped by this means to extend their power, to find homes for their surplus population, and to obtain markets for their new manufactured goods. Thus Africa was parceled out among France, Germany, Great Britain, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, and Italy. The islands of the Pacific were seized in the same manner. Proposals for a partition of China were made by Germany, Russia, Japan, France, and Great Britain; and if it had not been for the American demands for the "open door of trade" and for the "territorial integrity" of China, that nation probably would have shared the fate of Africa. The noteworthy fact about this rivalry for colonies is that almost the entire world, except China and Japan, came under the domination of Europeans and their descendants.

Having noted a few general features of European history during the nineteenth century, we shall now take up in turn each of the more important countries.

GERMANY.—After the overthrow of Napoleon, a German Confederation was formed. This comprised thirty-nine states which were bound to each other by a very weak tie. The union was not so strong even as that in our own country under the Articles of Confederation. But there were two states in the German Confederation which were far stronger than any of the others; these were Austria and Prussia. Austria had been a great power in German and European affairs for centuries; but her rulers were now incompetent and corrupt. Prussia, on the other hand, was an upstart, whose strength lay in universal military service. As the century progressed, the influence of Prussia became greater; and the jealousy of Austria grew proportionately. Bismarck, the Prussian prime minister, adopted a policy of "blood and iron." By this he meant that Prussia would attain the objects of her ambition by means of war. Under his guidance she would intimidate or conquer the other German states and force them into trade and commercial agreements, or annex their territory to that of Prussia.

Bismarck looked for success only to the army. With the king back of him, he defied the people's representatives, ignored the Prussian constitution, and purposely picked quarrels with his neighbors. In 1866, in a brief war of seven weeks, Austria was hopelessly defeated and forced to retire from the German Confederation. In 1870, when he felt sure of his military preparations, Bismarck altered a telegram and thus brought on a war with France. The Franco-Prussian War lasted only a few months; but in that time the French were thoroughly defeated. Many important results followed the war: (1) The German states, influenced by the patriotic excitement of a successful war, founded the German Empire, with Prussia in the leading position, and the Prussian king as German emperor or "Kaiser." (2) A huge indemnity of one billion dollars was exacted by Prussia from France, and this money, deposited in the German banks and loaned to individuals, played a large part in expanding the manufactures and commerce of Germany. (3) Prussia took away from France, against the wishes of the inhabitants, the provinces called Alsace-Lorraine. This "wrong done to France," as President Wilson has said, "unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years." (4) The French people carried through a revolution and established a republic—for the third time in their history—which has continued down to the present.

After 1870 Germany made remarkable material progress. By 1911 her population had grown from 41,000,000 to 65,000,000. Her coal and iron production in 1911 was eight times as much as in 1871. In wealth, commerce, coal production, and textile industries, among European countries, Germany was second only to Great Britain; while in the production of iron and steel Germany had passed Great Britain and was second only to the United States.

But this great industrial and commercial advance was not accompanied with a corresponding liberality in government. The constitution of the German Empire gave very large powers to the emperor, and very little power to the representatives of the people. Prussia, the dominant state in the empire, had an antiquated system of voting which rated men's votes according to the taxes they paid, and placed political power in the hands of a small number of capitalists and wealthy landowners, especially the Junkers (yoong'kerz), or Prussian nobles. The educational system, while giving a rudimentary education to all, was really designed to keep large masses of the people subject to the military group, the government officials, and the capitalists. Blind devotion to the emperor and belief in the necessity of future war in order to increase German prosperity, were widely taught. The "mailed fist" was clenched, and "the shining sword" rattled in the scabbard whenever Germany thought the other nations of Europe showed her a lack of respect. Enormous preparations for war were made in order that Germany might gain from her neighbors the "place in the sun" which she was determined upon. Other nations were to be pushed aside or be broken to pieces in order that the German "super-men" might enjoy all that they wished of this world's goods and possessions.

AUSTRIA-HUNGARY.—The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1910 had a population of 49,000,000, made up of peoples and races who spoke different languages and had different customs, habits, and ideals. These races, instead of being brought under unifying influences as foreigners are in the United States, had for centuries retained their peculiarities. Germans comprised 24 per cent of the total population; Hungarians, 20 per cent; Slavic races (including Bohemians, Poles, South Slavs, and others), 45 per cent; Roumanians, over 6 per cent; and Italians less than 2 per cent. The Germans and Hungarians, although only a minority of the total population, had long exercised political control over the others and by repressive measures had tried to stamp out their schools, newspapers, and languages. Unrest was continuous during the nineteenth century; and the rise of the independent states of Serbia, Roumania, and Bulgaria tended to make the Slavic and Roumanian inhabitants of Austria-Hungary dissatisfied with their own position.

After 1815 the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy continued under the rule of the royal family of Hapsburgs, whose proud history extends back to the fifteenth century. Austria (but not Hungary) was part of the German Confederation, and her representative had the right of presiding at all meetings of the confederation. Between 1815 and 1848 the Austrian emperor and his Prime minister were the leaders in opposition to popular government and national aspirations. But in 1848 a serious uprising took place, and it seemed for a time that the diverse peoples would fly apart from each other and establish separate states. The emperor abdicated and his prime minister fled to England. Francis Joseph, the young heir to the throne, with the aid of experienced military leaders succeeded in suppressing the rebellion. For sixty-eight years (1848-1916) he was personally popular and held together the composite state.

In 1866 Austria was driven out of the German Confederation by Prussia. Seven years earlier she had lost most of her Italian possessions. Thereafter her interests and ambitions lay to the southeast; and she bent her energies to extend her territory, influence, and commerce into the Balkan region. A semblance of popular government was established in Austria and in Hungary, which were separated from each other in ordinary affairs, but continued under the same monarch. In each country, however, the suffrage and elections were so juggled that the ruling minority, of Germans in Austria and of Hungarians in Hungary, was enabled to keep the majority in subjection.

Austria-Hungary has not progressed as rapidly in industry and commerce as the countries to the north and west of her. Her life is still largely agricultural, and cultivation is often conducted by primitive methods. Before the war her wealth per person was only $500, as compared with $1843 in the United States, $1849 in Great Britain, $1250 in France, and $1230 in Germany. She possessed only one good seaport, Trieste (trĭ-ĕst'), and this partly explained her desire to obtain access to the Black Sea and the AEgean Sea. About half of her foreign trade was carried on with Germany. The low standards of national wealth and production made the raising of taxes a difficult matter. The government had a serious struggle to obtain the funds for a large military and naval program.

ITALY.—For a thousand years before 1870 there was no single government for the entire Italian peninsula. Although the people were mainly of one race, their territory was divided into small states ruled by despotic princes, who were sometimes of Italian families, but more often were foreigners—Greeks, Germans, French, Spanish, and Austrians. The Pope, head of the Roman Catholic Church, governed nearly one third of the land. This condition continued after 1815. But during the nineteenth century the Italians began to realize that they belonged to one race. They saw that the rule of foreigners was opposed to the national welfare.

By 1870 the union of all Italy into one kingdom was completed. In this work three great men participated, as well as many lesser patriots. The first was Garibal'di, a man of intense courage and patriotism. He aroused the young men of Italy to the need of national union and the expulsion of the foreigners. For over thirty years he was engaged in various military expeditions which aided greatly in the establishment of the national union. The second leader was of an entirely different character. Count Cavour (ka-voor') was a statesman, a politician, a deep student of European history, and a man of great tact. He, too, wished for a united Italy, but he believed union could not be gained without foreign assistance. By most skillful means he secured the support of France and of England, while at the same time he used Garibaldi and his revolutionists. He had succeeded, at the time of his death in 1861, in bringing together all of Italy except Rome and Venice. He won for the new Italian kingdom a place among the great nations of Europe.

The third great Italian was Victor Emman'uel, king of Sardinia. He approved of a limited monarchy, like that of England, instead of the corrupt despotisms which existed in most of the Italian peninsula. He knew how to use men like Cavour and Garibaldi to achieve the national ambitions. By a popular vote in each part of Italy Victor Emmanuel was accepted as king of the united nation. The country was not ready for a republic; but Victor Emmanuel proved a wise national leader, willing to reign, according to a written constitution under which the people's representatives had the determining voice in the government. In 1870 the king entered Rome and early the next year proclaimed the city to be the capital of Italy.

BELGIUM.—The country we now know as Belgium has had a very checkered history. At one time or another it has been controlled by German, French, Spanish, and Austrian rulers. At the opening of the nineteenth century it was annexed to the kingdom of Holland (1815). But a revolt took place in 1830, and the Belgians separated from the Dutch and chose a king for themselves. Their constitution declares that the government is a "constitutional, representative, and hereditary monarchy." The government is largely in the control of the people or their representatives. There is one voter for every five persons in the population, nearly the same proportion as in the United States. In 1839 the principal states of Europe agreed to recognize Belgium's independence, and in case of war among themselves to treat her territory as neutral land, not to be invaded. This treaty was signed by Prussia as well as by Austria, France, Great Britain, and Russia. The treaty was again acknowledged by Prussia in 1870. It was in violation of these treaties, as we shall see, that Prussian and other German troops invaded Belgium on August 4, 1914.

FRANCE.—In 1789 France entered upon a period of revolution. The old monarchy was shortly overthrown, and with it went aristocracy and all the inequalities of the Middle Ages. A republic, however, did not long endure; and Napoleon Bonaparte used his position as a successful general to establish a new monarchy called the French Empire. After Napoleon's downfall, the allied monarchs of Europe restored the old line of kings in France. But the country had outgrown despotism. A revolution in 1830 deposed one king and set up another who was ready to rule under the terms of a constitution. In 1848 this monarchy was displaced and the second French republic was established. But again a Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon I, seized the government and established a second empire, calling himself Napoleon III. He aped the ways of his great predecessor and tried by foreign conquest or annexation in Africa, Italy, and Mexico to dazzle the French people. But he was never popular, and his reign closed in the defeat and disgrace of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), for which he was partly responsible.

The third French republic was proclaimed in 1870 and is the present government of the country. Under the constitution there is a senate, the members of which are elected for nine years, and a lower house, elected for four years. The president is chosen by these two houses of the legislature for a term of seven years. No member of the old royal families may become president of the republic. The president of France does not possess nearly so much power as the president of the United States. Many of the executive duties are performed by the premier, or prime minister, and other cabinet ministers.

Republican France has become one of the great nations of the world, and its democratic institutions are firmly rooted in the hearts of the people. It has been compelled to face German militarism by erecting a system of universal military training. The patriotism and self-sacrifice of all classes during the Great War have been beyond praise.

GREAT BRITAIN.—During the nineteenth century Great Britain did not experience any of the sudden revolutions which appeared in nearly every other country of Europe. For centuries England, Scotland, and Ireland had possessed representative institutions. When reforms were needed, they were adopted gradually, by the natural process of lawmaking, instead of resulting from rebellion and revolt. In this way Great Britain had been changed from an aristocratic government to one founded on democratic principles. By 1884 the suffrage was nearly as extensive as in the United States. Parliament became as truly representative of the people's will as our American Congress. Far-reaching social reforms were adopted which advanced the general welfare. Among these reforms were acts for improving housing conditions, regulating hours of labor and use of machinery in factories, and establishing a national insurance system, old-age pensions, and compensation to injured workmen.

Great Britain was the first nation to experience the advantages and disadvantages of the new age of coal and iron, and the new methods of factory production. Her wealth and commerce grew at a rapid rate, and she invested her profits in enterprises in many parts of the world. The factory system drew so many workers from the farms, that Great Britain no longer raised sufficient food for her population. She became dependent upon the United States, Australia, South America, and other lands for wheat, meat, and other necessaries of life. Her merchant vessels were to be found in all parts of the world; and her navy was increased from year to year to protect her commerce and colonies. From now on it became evident that England's existence depended upon her ships. If in time of war she lost control of the seas the enemy could starve her into submission. Hence during the nineteenth century Great Britain's policy was to maintain a fleet stronger than that of any possible combination against her.

England's colonial system had been developed into a great empire. Principles of English liberty and representative government were carried by Britishers to many parts of the world. The American Revolution showed the mother country that Englishmen would not brook oppression even by their own king and parliament. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries England adopted the policy of erecting her colonies into self-governing communities. Thus the separate colonies in Canada, in Australia, and in South Africa were grouped in each case into a federal government, somewhat similar to that of the United States, and three great British democracies were formed within the boundaries of the empire. So successful has been the British system of colonial government that there has been virtually no question of loyalty during the Great War. All parts of the dominions have contributed in men and money to the common cause, and frequent imperial war conferences have been held in London. In these conferences representatives from the colonies and the mother country have joined in the discussion of important imperial questions.

TURKEY AND THE BALKANS.—In 1453 the Turks captured Constantinople. Thereafter their power was rapidly extended in southeastern Europe and for several centuries they were the dominant power in the Balkan peninsula. During this time they overran Hungary and invaded Austria up to the walls of Vienna. They subjugated Greece and all the lands now included in Serbia, Roumania, Bulgaria, Albania, as well as a number of near-by Austrian, Hungarian, and Russian provinces.

Many diverse races were included within the Turkish dominions. They differed among themselves in language, religion, and culture. The Turks were Mohammedans, while their subject peoples in Europe were mainly Christians belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church.

First driven out of Hungary and Russia during the eighteenth century, the Turks lost nearly all their European possessions in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The subject peoples had kept their national traditions and customs and from time to time they aimed at independence. The Turkish rule was oppressive and at times its methods were barbarous. If there had been no jealousies among the great European powers, it is probable that Russia would have occupied Constantinople long ago. The other powers, fearing this might make Russia too strong, interfered on several occasions to prevent such an occupation. But the powers could not prevent the smaller nationalities from attaining their independence from Turkey. Greece, Serbia, Roumania, Bulgaria, and Albania were freed from the rule of the "unspeakable Turk" and erected into independent kingdoms at various times between 1829 and 1913. Of her great empire in Europe, Turkey retained, at the outbreak of the Great War, an area of less than 11,000 square miles (less than the area of the state of Maryland), and a population of 1,890,000, which was almost altogether resident in the two cities of Constantinople and Adrianople.

RUSSIA.—In 1914 Russia was an empire occupying one seventh of the land area of the world and inhabited by about 180,000,000 people. During the nineteenth century the country was ruled by absolute monarchs called czars, under whom political and social conditions were corrupt and oppressive. However, some progress was made during the century. Serfdom or slavery was abolished from 1861 to 1866; restraints upon newspapers, publishers, and schools were partly withdrawn. Natural resources were developed, factories established, and railroads built. But these measures only served to whet the appetite of the people for more liberal government. The activities of revolutionists and reformers were met by most severe measures on the part of the government. Thousands were transported to Siberia and many were executed. Even as late as 1903 five thousand persons were imprisoned, exiled, or executed for political activity against the Czar's government. An attempt of the people to force a representative government upon the Czar failed after a seeming success in 1905-1906; for the Duma, or legislative assembly, then created was given little power.

Russia has not been fortunate in her relations with the neighboring states. Her great ambition, the occupation of Constantinople, was repeatedly balked by other countries. In an attempt to obtain an ice-free harbor on the Pacific, Russia brought on the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, in which she was disastrously defeated. In another direction Russia was more successful. She posed as the protector of the Slavic provinces under Turkish rule and saw the day when nearly all of them were free.

Russia is a country of vast territory, enormous population, and unbounded natural resources. But before the war it had no experience in self-government. Its land and mineral resources were not used for national purposes. A small governing class, with the Czar at the head, controlled its tremendous powers and wealth. Naturally, when an insurrection is successful against such a government, the people lose all self-control and go to great extremes. Liberty and self-government succeed only when all the people are willing to abide by the laws made by the majority. May this time soon come for Russia!

SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY.—1. Look up facts concerning Napoleon Bonaparte, Gladstone, Bismarck, Cavour, Garibaldi, Victor Emmanuel I. 2. On outline maps of the world show the principal colonial possessions of Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and Holland. 3. Show on an outline map of Europe the location of peoples that had not attained to national independence before 1914. 4. Compare the size and population of the European countries with your own state in the American Union. 5. How far did the people in European countries possess a share in their government in 1914? 6. Look up in detail the government of Germany.

REFERENCES.—For facts such as those mentioned above see the World Almanac, the Statesman's Yearbook, and any good encyclopedia. For Germany, see Hazen, The Government of Germany, published by the Committee on Public Information, Washington, D.C.[1] Reference may also be made to Harding's New Medieval and Modern History or to other histories of Europe.


[1] Hereafter the publications of the Committee on Public Information are indicated as follows: (C.P.I.).



It would be impossible to make a list of all the causes which led Germany from time to time to take such action as would tend to force war on one or another of the nations of Europe. For besides questions of national honor or of national rights there were the writings of German philosophers, historians, and scientists, a great majority of whom maintained that war was a necessity if men were to continue to live in large groups or societies. These writers were chiefly Prussian, but Prussia, including more than half of Germany, dominated the rest of the empire through the organization of its government. The following paragraphs present what seem to be the chief reasons why Germany, and especially Prussia, wanted war.

WAR AS A PROFITABLE BUSINESS.—According to those German writers there are two results from a successful war. First, the victors take more or less territory from the vanquished; second, the victors may demand a large sum of money, called an indemnity, from the defeated people, who thus have to pay their conquerors for having taken the trouble to defeat them.

In both of these instances the result is advantageous to the winner of the war, and particularly to the governing class of that nation. Through the taxes from the new territory more money flows into the national treasury, and a great many new officials must be appointed. These, of course, for many years are appointed by the rulers of the victorious nation. Besides this not only do we find new markets opened up for the manufacturers and merchants, but the conquered territory frequently contains great stores of raw materials. In both cases the goods can now pass to and fro without the drawbacks of possible embargoes or import taxes which interfere with the freedom of trade. This is well illustrated by the results of the seizure of part of Lorraine by Germany from France in 1870. Lorraine contains great stores of coal and iron ore. These Germany wanted. So that part of Lorraine was demanded which would give to Germany rich mines of coal and iron. Some other ore deposits, which could not be easily utilized, she left to France. Not long afterwards a new process for making iron was discovered which made the French deposits more valuable than those Germany had taken. Undoubtedly one of the reasons for the present war was that Germany wished to increase her national wealth by seizing the iron mines that had become so valuable.

Many times before 1870 the Prussians had made large gains, in the way of increased territory and prestige, by means of war. It was the boast of many Prussian kings that each one of them had added to the lands over which he ruled. In almost every instance this increase was due to a successful war, enabling the king of Prussia to seize territory which did not belong to him.

The indemnity which may be collected from a conquered nation is also a source of profit to the conqueror. The money is deposited by the government in banks, which thus have large sums ready to lend to manufacturers and merchants who wish to increase their business. The result of this is a great stimulation of manufactures and commerce. In the case of Germany, the effect on industry of the $1,000,000,000 of indemnity which she received from France following the Franco-Prussian war was so great that Germany was soon manufacturing more than her people could consume, and German commercial agents spread all over the globe seeking to find profitable customers for the surplus.

On the other hand, the German leaders have failed to realize that the destruction of men and materials in war is always a great national loss. In the case of a long war, the losses from these causes may, even for the victors, overbalance any advantage which may be secured in the way of territory or money from the vanquished nation.

GERMANY WANTED LAND FROM HER NEIGHBORS.—The present war was largely the result of Germany's desire to secure territory. The territory that was particularly wanted was in a number of different places.

In the first place, Germany coveted the rest of the iron mines which she had made the mistake (from her point of view) of letting France keep in 1870. These are located along the northeast frontier of France, about half a dozen miles from the boundary. Germany wanted also the greater part of Belgium, because it has valuable iron ore deposits, and especially because it has great deposits of coal. It has been said that without these mines of Belgian coal and of French iron, which Germany seized at the very beginning of the war, she would soon have had to give up the fight.

In the second place, Germany's only ports are on the shallow north coast, and the channels are intricate and difficult of navigation. These ports are inconveniently situated for exports from Germany's chief manufacturing region, the lower Rhine valley. The best ports for western Germany are Antwerp, in Belgium, and Rotterdam, in Holland. Germany wanted a port toward the west through which she could more conveniently reach her customers in North and South America and elsewhere. It is interesting to notice that the river Scheldt (skelt), on which Antwerp is situated, passes through Holland on its way to the sea. Even if Germany secured Belgium this would not give her control of the Antwerp outlet nor would it give her Rotterdam. It is certain that eventual domination of Holland was part of Germany's plan.

Germany wanted that part of Russia which was along the Baltic Sea. The part of Germany adjoining this, called East Prussia, is the stronghold of the Prussian Junkers, or landed nobility. These people already own great estates in the Baltic provinces of Russia. Germany wished to govern this German-owned land and provide a place to which her surplus population could emigrate and still be in German territory. The Junkers were especially anxious for this to come about as it would greatly increase their power in Germany.

"Pan-Germanists" is the name given to a group of German leaders who aimed especially to bring all German-speaking peoples into the German Empire. In general, however, the same leaders aimed to bring under German control all the districts that have been mentioned above, together with the Balkan states and other lands.

GERMANY WANTED MORE COLONIES.—Germany's commercial expansion came after most of the world had been divided among the other nations. She thought she must have more colonies to provide her with raw materials and to give her markets for some of her surplus manufactures. Other reasons why Germany wanted colonies were that she might obtain more food, and that she might establish coaling stations for her navy, so that it could protect her commerce, especially her food-carrying ships. As the war has shown, Germany can hardly produce a full supply of food for her own people.

The easiest way to get colonies seemed to be by making war against some nation that already possessed them, in the hope that a victorious Germany could seize the colonies she desired. On the other hand, without war, she had gained some large colonies and was assured of others in Africa, and she had secured a prevailing influence over the immense domains of Turkey in Asia. By 1914 the Germans had more than half completed a railroad through Turkey to the Persian Gulf, and expected soon to dominate the eastern trade by the Berlin-Bagdad route.

GERMANY WANTED "A PLACE IN THE SUN."—Germany was acknowledged to be the strongest nation in continental Europe. Her position as a world power, however, was disputed by Great Britain, both by reason of the latter's control of the sea through her enormous fleet, and by reason of Great Britain's numerous colonies all over the world. It was galling to German pride to have to coal her ships at English coaling stations. She wanted stations of her own. By bringing on a war that would humble France to the dust and make Belgium a part of Germany, thus giving her a chance to seize the colonies of France and Belgium, Germany would at once attain a position in the world's affairs which would enable her to challenge the power of any nation on earth.

THE SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST.—German thinkers carried to an extreme the theory of the survival of the fittest. This doctrine teaches that all living things have reached their present forms through a gradual development of those qualities which best fit them to live in their present surroundings. Those that are best adapted live on, and produce a new generation that are also well fitted to survive. Those that are not fitted to their surroundings soon give up the struggle and die. The Germans applied this same belief to nations, and claimed that only those nations survived that could successfully meet world conditions. They believed that war was an inevitable world condition, and that that nation would survive that was best able to fight. They believed in war, because they believed that just as nature removes the weak animal or plant by an early death, so the weak nation should pay the penalty of its weakness by being defeated in war and absorbed by the stronger one. War would prove which nation was the most nearly perfect. The Germans had no doubt that this nation was Germany. Acceptance of this belief by the German people had much to do with bringing on the present war.

GERMANY WANTED TO GERMANIZE THE WORLD.—As a result of the reasoning outlined in the last paragraph, German writers taught that those things which were German—their speech, their literature, their religion, their armies, in short the manners, customs, and thoughts of the Germans—were the best possible manners, and customs, and thoughts. These things all taken together are what is meant by Kultur (kool-toor'),—not merely "culture" as the latter word is generally used.

Since the Germans believed that their Kultur was the highest stage of human progress, the next step, according to the view of their leaders, would be to Germanize all the rest of the nations of the earth by imposing German Kultur upon them. If possible, this was to be brought about with the consent of the other nations; if not, then it was to be imposed by force.

SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY.—1. Locate Antwerp, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Bremen, East Prussia, Alsace-Lorraine. 2. Show on an outline map the regions which Germany desired to control. Who would have suffered? 3. If all countries adopted the German idea of war what would be the condition of the world? 4. Has any nation the right to impose its rule upon another people because it believes its own ideals are the only true ones?

REFERENCES.—See page 26; also Conquest and Kultur (C.P.I.); War Cyclopedia (C.P.I.), under the headings "German Military Autocracy" and "Pan-Germanism."



WHAT IS MILITARISM?—Militarism has been defined as "a policy which maintains huge standing armies for purposes of aggression." It should be noticed that the mere fact that a nation, through universal conscription, maintains a large standing army in times of peace does not convict it of militarism. Every one of the great European powers except England maintained such an army, and yet Germany was the only one that we can say had a militaristic government.

A more narrow definition of militarism is that form of government in which the military power is in control, and with the slightest excuse can and does override the civil authority. This had been the situation in Germany for many years before the outbreak of the Great War.

Let us take a glance at the development of this sort of government. After Napoleon conquered Prussia, early in the nineteenth century, one of the conditions of peace was that Prussia should reduce her army to not more than forty-two thousand men. In order that the country should not again be so easily conquered, the king of Prussia enrolled the permitted number of men for one year, then dismissed that group, and enrolled another of the same size, and so on. Thus, in the course of ten years, it would be possible for him to gather an army of four hundred thousand men who had had at least one year of military training.

The officers of the army were drawn almost entirely from among the land-owning nobility. The result was that there was gradually built up a large class of military officers on the one hand, and, on the other, a much larger class, the rank and file of the army. These men had become used, in the army, to obeying implicitly all the commands of the officers.

This led to several results. Since the officer class furnished also most of the officials for the civil administration of the country, the interests of the army came to be considered the same as the interests of the country as a whole. A second result was that the governing class desired to continue a system which gave them so much power over the common people. We should perhaps consider as a third result the fact that the possession of such a splendid and efficient military machine tended to make its possessors arrogant and unyielding in their intercourse with other nations.

COMPETITION IN ARMAMENTS.—After 1870 the German emperor was the commander of the whole German army, which was organized and trained on the Prussian model. The fact that Germany had such an efficient army caused other nations to be in constant fear of attack. Therefore her neighbors on the continent of Europe were led to organize similar armies and make other preparations for defense.

Moreover, Germany in recent years formed a number of ambitious projects of expansion and colonization which would probably bring her into conflict with other countries. In order to assure herself of success, Germany proceeded to enlarge and otherwise improve the organization and equipment of her army. This led France and Russia to enlarge their armies. So the competition went on.

GERMANY'S NAVY.—For over a century Great Britain's control of the seas had been almost undisputed. In order to carry out her projects of expansion, Germany required a fleet which, while perhaps not so large as that of Great Britain, would be large enough to make the result of a naval battle questionable. Huge money grants were obtained from the German people, and for a time more battleships were built by Germany than by England. England dared not permit the naval superiority to pass into Germany's hands. The result was a competition in dreadnaught building quite as feverish as the competition in armies. The building and maintenance of these great fleets were a heavy burden upon the people of both countries. England made several offers to limit the competition by promising to build no ships in any year in which Germany would build none, but Germany in every case refused to agree to the plan.

SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY.—1. Make a chart showing the comparative sizes of European armies in 1914. 2. In the same way compare the European navies in 1914. 3. What effect is produced upon a country by an aristocratic military class? 4. Compare the German military policy with that of the United States. 5. Will disarmament be one of the good results of this war?

REFERENCES.—The World Almanac; War Cyclopedia (C.P.I.), under the names of the several countries, and under "Navy"; German Militarism (C.P.I.).



INTERNATIONAL LAW.—In the civilized world to-day each community is made up of citizens who have a right to the protection of the laws of their community and who in turn have the duty of obedience to those laws. During recent centuries improved means of communication and transportation have brought all parts of the world closer together, and there has grown up in the minds of many enlightened thinkers the idea that the whole civilized world ought to be regarded as a community of nations. In the past the relations of nations to one another have been very nearly as bad as that of persons in savage communities. Quarrels have usually been settled by contests of strength, called wars. Believers in the idea of the community of nations argue that wars would cease or at least become much less frequent if this idea of a community of nations were generally accepted.

The body of rules which nations recognize in their dealings with each other is usually spoken of as international law. As to certain rules of international conduct the civilized nations of the world have been in general agreement for many centuries. Among such rules are those for the carrying out of treaty obligations, the punishment of piracy, the protection of each other's ambassadors, the rights of citizens of one country to the protection of the laws of the country they are visiting, the protection of women and children in time of war.

As in community law so also in international law rules have frequently grown up as matters of custom. In the second place agreements have sometimes been reached through negotiation and written out in the form of treaties between the two nations concerned. In the latter half of the nineteenth century several attempts were made to strengthen international law by means of general conferences of the nations. One of the most famous of these was the Conference of Geneva in 1864, which reached a number of valuable agreements on the care of wounded soldiers and gave official international recognition to the Red Cross. At the very end of the century occurred the first of the two famous international conferences at The Hague.

Toward this growing movement in the direction of the setting up of a community of nations in which each has equal rights and equally recognizes the force of international law, the German Empire has taken an attitude of opposition. She has steadily refused to accept her place as a member of a family of nations. Her leaders have taken the ground, as explained in Chapter II, that strong nations should control weaker nations whenever it is to their own interest. As a principle this is just as barbarous as if in a community the man with the strongest muscles or the biggest club should be permitted to control the actions of his neighbors who happened to be weaker or less effectively armed. Just as the strong brutal man must be taught that laws apply to him as well as to the weaker members of the community, so must Germany learn to respect the laws of nations and the rights of weaker peoples.

THE CALL FOR A WORLD PEACE CONFERENCE.—In spite of the rapid growth of armaments in Europe after 1870 there was growing up among many of the leading thinkers of the nations a movement looking toward permanent peace in the world. The movement soon gained great strength among all classes. Peace societies were formed, meetings were held, and pamphlets were prepared and distributed. Toward the close of the century public opinion in most countries was leaning more and more toward the idea of universal peace. Governments, however, were slower to take up the problem. Strangely enough the first government to take action in the matter was that of Russia, at the time the most autocratic of all the nations of Europe.

Two years before the close of the century Czar Nicholas II sent out an official invitation calling upon the nations to send representatives to an international conference to discuss the problem of the prevention of wars. The Czar pointed out the dangers which must surely result if the military rivalry of the nations were not checked. He referred to the fact that European militarism was using up the strength and the wealth of the nations and was bringing about a condition of military preparedness which must inevitably lead in the end to a war more disastrous and terrible than any war in the history of mankind. The Czar did not go so far as to suggest complete and immediate disarmament. Every one knew that Europe was not ready to consider so violent a change of policy. The Russian invitation merely proposed that the conference should try to agree upon some means for putting a limit upon the increase of armaments. It suggested that the nations should agree not to increase their military or naval forces for a certain limited period, not to add to their annual expenditure of money for military purposes, and to consider means by which later on there might be an actual reduction of armaments. It was necessary to avoid the jealousies which might arise among the great powers if the capital of one of them were selected for the conference, so the Czar suggested that the meeting take place at The Hague, the capital of small, peace-loving Holland.

THE FIRST HAGUE CONFERENCE.—The conference called by the Czar met on May 18, 1899. All the great nations of the world sent delegates, as did many of the smaller nations. In all, twenty-six governments were represented, twenty of which were European. The United States and Mexico were the only countries of the New World which sent representatives. The queen of Holland showed her appreciation of the honor conferred upon her country by placing at the disposal of the conference, as its meeting place, the former summer residence of the royal family, the "House in the Woods," situated about a mile from the city in the midst of a beautiful park.

DISARMAMENT.—Although the menace of the tremendous armaments of Europe had been the chief reason for the conference, absolutely nothing was accomplished toward solving that problem. This failure was largely due to the opposition of Germany, which, as the strongest military power in Europe, would listen to no suggestion looking toward the limitation of military force. At one of the early meetings of the conference a German delegate brought out clearly and unmistakably his government's opposition to any consideration of the subject. In a sarcastic and arrogant speech he defended the German system of compulsory military service and her expenditures for military purposes. While it is extremely doubtful, in view of the difficulties in the way of any general policy of disarmament, that much could have been accomplished by the conference even under the most favorable circumstances, this stand on the part of the German government meant the immediate and absolute defeat of the suggestion. The other nations of Europe had established their large military systems as a measure of defense against Germany, so that in the face of that government's refusal to agree to the policy of limiting armaments, no neighboring country on the European continent could adopt it. In the conference, the matter was dismissed after the adoption of a very general resolution expressing the opinion "that the restriction of military charges ... is extremely desirable for the increase of the material and moral welfare of mankind."

ARBITRATION.—The conference met with a somewhat larger measure of success when it came to discuss the question of the peaceful settlement of international disputes, though here also the attitude of the German government stood in the way of complete success. The United States from the days of John Jay had taken the lead among the nations of the world in the policy of settling international disputes by peaceful means. Quite different has been the traditional policy of Prussia, which throughout its history has relied upon force to accomplish its purposes. All the German wars of the nineteenth century could easily have been averted if the Prussian government had honestly desired to settle its quarrels by peaceful methods. She has taken the ground, however, that arbitration can only work to her injury, since she is better prepared for war than any other nation and can mobilize her army more rapidly than any of her neighbors. "Arbitration," said one of her delegates at The Hague, "would simply give rival powers time to put themselves in readiness, and would therefore be a great disadvantage to Germany." This point of view shows clearly how the German leaders place the growth of German power far above such considerations as right and justice.

THE HAGUE PEACE TRIBUNAL.—The struggle in the conference over the question of arbitration centered about the establishment of a permanent tribunal or international court of arbitration to which nations might bring their disagreements for settlement. The United States delegation favored making a definite list of the kinds of disputes which nations would be compelled to bring to the tribunal for settlement. On the other hand, the Kaiser himself sent a dispatch from Berlin in which he spoke strongly against anything in the nature of an arbitration tribunal. Largely through the efforts of Mr. Andrew D. White, head of the American delegation, the German government was brought to modify its stand. Germany finally agreed to the creation of the tribunal, but only on condition that in no case should the submission of a dispute to it be compulsory. The tribunal was to be established, but it would have the right to render a decision only in those cases which the disagreeing nations might decide to submit to it.

The Hague Tribunal is not made up of permanent judges like an ordinary court. It consists of persons (not more than four from each country) selected by the various nations from among their citizens of high standing and broad knowledge of international affairs. From this long list any powers between whom there is a disagreement may choose the persons to form a court or tribunal for their special case.

THE SECOND HAGUE CONFERENCE.—The conference of 1899 had proved an absolute failure so far as disarmament and compulsory arbitration were concerned. In fact the years immediately following were marked by two destructive wars: that between Great Britain and the Boers of South Africa, and the war between Russia and Japan. These wars made it clear that with the applications of modern science warfare had become so terrible that, if the nations could not arrange by agreement for its abolition, they should at least take steps to lessen its horrors. This was the chief reason back of the invitation for a second Hague Conference, which was issued by the Czar at the suggestion of President Roosevelt. Forty-seven nations—nearly all the nations of the world—- were represented when the conference assembled on June 15, 1907.

Attempts were made to reopen the questions of disarmament and compulsory arbitration, but without success. Germany again stood firmly against both suggestions. The conference consequently confined its efforts almost entirely to drawing up a code of international laws—especially those regulating the actual conduct of war—known as "the Hague Conventions." They contain rules about the laying of submarine mines, the treatment of prisoners, the bombardment of towns, and the rights of neutrals in time of war; they forbid, for example, the use of poison or of weapons causing unnecessary suffering. Even on these questions Germany stood out against certain changes which would have made war still more humane. But her delegates took part in framing the Hague Conventions; and Germany, like all the other powers later engaged in the Great War, accepted those conventions by formal treaty, thus binding herself to observe them.

RESULTS OF THE HAGUE CONFERENCES.—Leaders of the movement for universal peace felt that in spite of the small success of the Hague Conferences a definite beginning had been made. Many of them were very hopeful that later conferences would lead to larger results and that even Germany would swing into line. There were plans to hold a third conference in 1914 or 1915. As we look back upon the years between 1907 and 1914, it seems hard to understand the general blindness of the world to the certainty of the coming struggle. Armaments were piled up at a faster rate than ever. Naval armaments also entered into the race. From the point of view of bringing about permanent peace in the world we must view the conferences at The Hague as having hopelessly failed.

They did accomplish something, however. Arbitration was accepted by the nations of the world, in principle at least. Moreover, the conferences helped the cause of international law by showing how easily international agreements could be reached if all the nations were honestly in favor of peaceful decisions. Some day when the present war has taught the world the much needed lessons that the recognition of international law is necessary to civilization, and that the nations must join together in its enforcement, the work begun at The Hague in 1899 and 1907 will be taken up once more with larger hope of success.

SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY.—1. How are ordinary laws enforced? How is international law carried out? Why the difference? 2. Enumerate the instances in which questions of international law have been brought up during the present war. 3. Look up the history of the Red Cross movement. 4. Why did the Hague Conferences fail to attain their great objects? 5. Summarize what was actually accomplished by the Conferences. 6. Has the history of the Hague Conferences any lessons which will be of value after this war?

REFERENCES.—War Cyclopedia (C.P.I.), under "Red Cross," "Hague Conferences." See also publications of the World Peace Foundation; International Conciliation (C.P.I.); War, Labor, and Peace (C.P.I.).



The years between 1870 and 1914 were marked by growing jealousies among the great powers of Europe. All were growing in wealth and commerce, and each looked with envious eyes upon the successes of its neighbors. In this chapter we are going to consider some of the special reasons for the growth of international jealousies during this period, and the grouping of the great nations into alliances.

ALSACE-LORRAINE.—At the close of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, France was humiliated by being forced to give up to Germany a large section of her eastern lands—Alsace and northeastern Lorraine. It was true that these provinces had long ago belonged to Germany. All of this territory, however, had been French for generations, and much of it for over two hundred years; and in both provinces the population was loyal to the French government and violently opposed to being transferred to the rule of Germany. But defeated France had no choice in the matter, and the provinces became part of the German Empire. France has never forgotten or forgiven this humiliation. Lloyd George, the British prime minister, in speaking of the Alsace-Lorraine problem (January, 1918) said, "This sore has poisoned the peace of Europe for half a century, and until it is cured healthy conditions cannot be restored."

German rule in Alsace-Lorraine has been unwise as well as severe. The teaching of the French language in the elementary schools of the provinces was forbidden. Military service in the German army was made compulsory despite the protests of the inhabitants, who felt a horror of some day being forced to fight against the French, whom they regarded as brothers. All important offices were filled by Germans from beyond the Rhine. The police constantly interfered with the freedom of the people. French newspapers were suppressed on the slightest excuse. Attempts were made to prevent Frenchmen from visiting Alsace and Alsatians from visiting France. German army officers stationed in the provinces openly ignored the rights of the population and were upheld in their conduct by the German government. As time passed the inhabitants grew more and more dissatisfied with the strict German rule.

In France also hostility to Germany was increased by the conditions in Alsace-Lorraine. Frenchmen could not forget that they had been robbed of these provinces. Hope was kept alive that some day they might be won back. In the city of Paris, in the Place de la Concorde, there are eight large marble statues each representing a great city of France. One of these represents Strassburg, the chief city of Alsace. Every year, on July 14, the national holiday of France, the people of Paris have placed a wreath of mourning on this statue. This custom expresses the sorrow of France for the loss of her eastern provinces, as well as her hope that some day they may be restored.

ITALIA IRREDENTA.—Italia Irreden'ta in the Italian language means "unredeemed Italy." It refers to the territory adjoining Italy on the north and northeast, occupied by Italians but not yet redeemed from foreign rule.

When in 1871 the kingdom of Italy took its present form through the union of former Italian states (Chapter I), Italia Irredenta remained under the rule of Austria. Italians feel, however, that Italian unity is not complete so long as adjoining lands inhabited by Italian-speaking people are ruled by foreign governments. So they regard these lands as "unredeemed."

Italia Irredenta consists chiefly of the Trentino (tren-tee'no), a triangle of territory dipping down into the north of Italy, and some land around the northern end of the Adriatic including the important city of Trieste. Both of these regions are ruled by Austria. For many years this situation has led to ill feeling between the two countries. While it has not had so direct a bearing on the outbreak of the World War as the question of Alsace-Lorraine, it nevertheless largely explains the entrance of Italy into the war on the side of the Allies.

RUSSIA AND THE BOSPORUS.—Still another situation which in the years before the war was the cause of international jealousies was Russia's long-standing ambition to control Constantinople on the Bos'porus. As Constantinople is the capital of the Turkish Empire, the continued existence of that state, at least on the continent of Europe, was threatened by Russia's purpose. Russia has long been in need of an ice-free port as an outlet for her commerce. Archangel (ark'ān'jel) in the north is ice-bound most of the year. Vladivostok', her port on the Pacific, is ice-bound for three months of the year. Russian trade by way of the Baltic must pass through waters controlled by other countries. Naturally she has turned toward the Bosporus and Dardanelles (dar-da-nelz')—the straits connecting the Black Sea with the Mediterranean—as the natural outlet for her trade, and this explains her desire to possess Constantinople.

For centuries Russia has been so much more powerful than Turkey that she would surely have taken possession of Constantinople if the other nations of Europe had not interfered. On two different occasions during the nineteenth century England came to the assistance of the Turkish Empire and saved Constantinople from the Czar. Great Britain was led to take this action through fear that Russian control of Constantinople might endanger the safety of her own communications with India. In the years immediately preceding the outbreak of the Great War the danger from Germany made other quarrels of much less importance, and England's disagreement with Russia over her desire for a trade outlet was forgotten.

EUROPEAN AMBITIONS IN THE BALKANS.—Russia has always felt a strong interest in the small nations of the Balkan peninsula. Their inhabitants are for the most part Slavs, of the same race as the Russians themselves, and they have naturally looked upon the great Slavic empire of the Czars as their protector. There was, moreover, a pan-Slavic party in Russia, i.e. a group who looked forward to a union of all the Slav nations under the leadership of Russia. The pan-Slavic movement had its beginning in the help Russia had given these states in their revolt from Turkey.

Russia's aims and hopes in the Balkans were strongly opposed by Austria-Hungary. That state has long felt the need of seaports to the southeast and has hoped, with German support, to secure an outlet on the AEgean and to control the whole course of the Danube. This purpose could be accomplished only by annexing a large part of the Balkan peninsula. The Balkan situation, therefore, brought Russia and Austria face to face in opposition to each other. It was one of the most serious instances of international rivalry in the period before the war.

Italy also was interested in the Balkan question. She saw that if the Austrians should annex the Balkan lands lying to the south they would control the whole eastern shore of the Adriatic. Italian interests and ambitions would suffer. This fear, added to the constant bitterness caused by the problem of Italia Irredenta, inflamed the hostility of Italy toward Austria.

Finally, Turkey also had an interest in the Balkan situation. She hoped to benefit by the various jealousies of the great powers. She believed that fear of a general war would keep all of them from making any move in the Balkans and so would prolong her own shaky existence as a European state.

RIVAL COLONIAL EMPIRES.—Some time after the establishment of the German Empire, her rapidly growing wealth, population, and trade led her to regret the opportunities for colonial expansion that she had missed. She cast jealous eyes upon the vast colonial possessions of other nations. She also took what was left over,—several large regions of Africa, a port in China, a few islands in the Pacific,—not nearly enough to satisfy her ambitions. South America was closed to her by the policy of the United States which is expressed in the Monroe Doctrine. In Asia, however, she secured extensive commercial and industrial concessions—the forerunners of political control—in the Turkish Empire. Germany's desire for colonies was natural enough, but her jealousy of her more fortunate European neighbors must be considered as one of the reasons underlying her military and naval preparedness for war.

Germany's covetous attitude toward the colonial possessions of other nations led to several serious international disagreements in the years before the Great War. More than once it almost brought her into conflict with the government of the United States. An agreement had been made for the joint control of the Samoan Islands by Great Britain, Germany, and the United States. Germany's attempt to enlarge her interests in the islands led to a quarrel with American officers. An American flag was seized by armed Germans, war vessels were sent to Samoa, and a naval battle seemed about to take place. A hurricane destroyed the vessels, however, before any fighting had occurred, and the three countries drew up a treaty which settled that particular difficulty (1899).

Germany also resented our acquisition of the Philippines and other Spanish colonies. At the outbreak of our war with Spain in 1898, when Admiral Dewey steamed into Manila Bay, he found there a German fleet that was half disposed to interfere with his operations. But when Dewey showed a willingness to fight, the Germans withdrew.

Several years later Germany picked a quarrel with Venezuela and, in defiance of the Monroe Doctrine, bombarded a fort on her coast. Acting in conjunction with England and Italy, German warships blockaded the ports of Venezuela to force the payment of financial claims. President Roosevelt's insistence that Germany drop her further plans of aggression, and his promptness in concentrating the American fleet in the West Indies, resulted in Germany's accepting a peaceful solution of the dispute.

In 1911 Germany tried to force France out of Morocco. Since 1904 France had by common consent taken general charge of affairs in that country. Later Germany made objections to this arrangement. Finally, in 1911, when France was sending troops into the interior to put down disorders among the natives, Germany sent a gunboat to Agadir (ah-gah-deer'), on the west coast of Morocco. It looked as if she intended to take possession of the port there. France protested and the affair began to look very warlike. England came to the support of France, and Germany gave up all claim to Morocco, taking in exchange about 100,000 square miles in equatorial Africa. After this humiliation the German militarists became more determined than ever to force the war which they thought would make Germany supreme over her rivals.

THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE.—The various jealousies among the nations of Europe which we have just considered, and particularly the general fear of the growing power of the German Empire, largely explain the strong international alliances which came into existence between 1870 and 1914.

Germany, after 1870, knew that France would for many years be too weak to retake Alsace-Lorraine. All that German leaders had to fear was that France might succeed in securing powerful friends among the other nations and that a strong combination of countries might some day challenge Germany's supremacy on the Continent. To prevent or at any rate to counterbalance any such combination, Germany looked about for allies upon whose help she might rely in case of necessity. At first she planned a general league of friendship with the great countries lying to the east and southeast, Russia and Austria-Hungary. This combination, known as the League of the Three Emperors, was soon broken up by the growing jealousies of Russia and Austria in the Balkans. Germany, having to choose which of these two nations she would support, decided in favor of Austria. There followed a growing coldness in the relations between Germany and Russia.

Germany having allied herself with Austria, looked about for another nation to give greater strength to the combination. Her thoughts turned toward Italy, which, in case of another war against France, could attack the French southeastern border and so prove a valuable ally. For a number of years there had been ill feeling between Italy and France, and Germany counted on this feeling to bring Italy under her influence. The chief difficulty in the way of Germany's plan was that Italy would have to abandon her ideas in regard to Italia Irredenta and enter into friendly relations with Austria, her old enemy. Italy was finally driven into this unnatural alliance by the action of France, which in 1881 occupied Tunis, a land which Italy herself had been planning to annex as a colony. Italy, too weak to prevent this action of France, entered the alliance with Germany and Austria into which she had been invited. So it was that the Triple Alliance was established (1882), as a league of defense against any nations which should begin an attack upon any one of the three.

THE TRIPLE ENTENTE.—Entente (ahn-tahnt') is the French word for understanding or agreement. In the recent history of Europe it refers to that friendly grouping of nations which was formed in self-defense against the Triple Alliance. The war of 1870 had left France not only humiliated but weakened and isolated. The formation of the Triple Alliance put out of question the idea of a successful war against Germany to right the wrong which France had suffered. In fact it seemed to make more probable a new attack upon France. Russia also found herself in a position of isolation. Their isolation and consequent danger gradually drew these two nations together, distant as they were from one another and different as they were in government and ideas. So there was established a dual alliance between the French Republic and the Russian Empire.

Great Britain had for a long time remained outside the jealousies and combinations of the continental powers. In fact she had frequently found herself at odds with France over the rights of the two nations in Africa, and with Russia over the question of Constantinople and Russian aggression in Asia. When English statesmen discovered, however, that the German Empire was constantly enlarging her navy with a view to challenging English control of the seas, they felt that it would be well for Great Britain to seek friendships on the Continent. Old quarrels with France and Russia were forgotten. Friendly relations were established, and Great Britain, France, and Russia entered into a league of friendship known as the Triple Entente (1907).

SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY.—1. Locate the Bosporus, Alsace-Lorraine, Italia Irredenta, Balkan peninsula, AEgean Sea. 2. Explain the geographical importance of Constantinople. How was Russia prevented from taking it in the Crimean War of 1854 and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877? 3. Show on a map of Europe the countries in the Triple Alliance and those in the Triple Entente. Why was each alliance formed?

REFERENCES.—War Cyclopedia (C.P.I.); Harding, New Medieval and Modern History; Hazen, Europe since 1815; and other European histories. For the treaties forming the two alliances, see A League of Nations, Vol. I, No. 4.



THE BALKANS.—As we have learned in Chapter I, the Balkan states are, with the exception of Montenegro, the result of a series of revolutions which took place during the last hundred years. These revolutions were the result of two causes. First there was a growing restlessness of the different groups of people in the Balkan peninsula. This was due not only to centuries of Turkish misrule, but also to the influence of the republican movement which developed in northern and western Europe as a result of the French Revolution. The second cause of the Balkan revolutions was the gradual growth among the oppressed races of the feeling that they would better their condition by throwing off the despotic Turkish rule and by organizing each separate race into a separate nation. Thus it was that the revolutions brought into existence a group of small states, each populated chiefly by one of the races inhabiting the Balkans.

RACES IN THE BALKANS.—There are more races represented in the Balkans than in any similar sized territory in Europe. Most of the Balkan states lie along what was the northeastern fringe of the Roman Empire. So we find inhabiting them not only ancient races like the Greeks and Albanians, but also descendants of Roman colonists like the Roumanians, and other racial groups like the Serbs and Bulgars, which represent the survivals of the barbarian invasions of the Middle Ages. While the larger groups of invaders passed on to the west, these dropped out and moved southward into the Balkan peninsula, where their descendants still remain. We must not think that these are pure races. There has been much intermixture, and to-day all of the groups contain a strong Slavic element, although some are rather unwilling to admit it. There is besides a Turkish element in the population, as the result of the long period of Turkish rule, especially in those districts where many of the original inhabitants accepted Mohammedanism, as in Albania and Macedonia.

THE SLAVS.—The Serbs, a Slavic race, form the chief part of the population in Serbia and Montenegro, as well as in Bosnia and other parts of southern Austria-Hungary. Together with the Croats and Slovenes of southern Austria-Hungary, the Serbs are called the Jugo-Slavs (yoo'go-slavz) or South-Slavs (jugo means "south") to distinguish them from the Czechs, Poles, and Russians of the north. There is, however, a strong feeling of relationship between these two great Slavic groups.

THE BULGARS.—The Bulgars are descended from a non-Slavic race allied to the Tatars and Finns. They came into the Balkan region on the heels of some of the early migrations and seized the land now called Bulgaria; there, however, they mingled with the native Slavic people whom they conquered, and whose language they adopted. There are, besides, many Bulgarians in the Dobrud'ja—the district lying between the lower Danube and the Black Sea. Likewise in the province of Macedonia, the Bulgarians form the largest element in the population.

THE ROUMANIANS.—Roumania is the old Roman province of Dacia, and the Roumanians claim to be descendants of colonists which the Romans sent into that province as an outpost against invasion. It is certain that the language spoken by the Roumanians is much like Latin, but, as a recent writer says, the language is closer to Latin than the Roumanians are to Romans.

THE ALBANIANS.—The Albanian people are descended from the most ancient of all the races in the Balkan peninsula; their language is the oldest language spoken in Europe. For centuries they were nominally subject to Turkey; but the Turks never really succeeded in conquering them, though many of the Albanians became Mohammedans.

THE GREEKS.—Though the Greeks are descended in part from the people who inhabited their country in ancient times, and though they speak a modern form of the old Greek language, it is certain that the present inhabitants are a much mixed race. They are largely Slav, but hold a strong feeling for the great past of their country. This gives them an unusually strong national rallying point. In many ways the Greeks are the most progressive of the Balkan races.

RUSSIA AND AUSTRIA AS PROTECTORS OF THE BALKAN COUNTRIES.—The struggle between the great powers as to which of them should become the heirs of "the sick man of Europe," as the Sultan of Turkey was long ago called, dates back about a century. Austria on account of her geographical position and her desire to expand to the southward, and Russia on account of her desire for Constantinople and the racial ties connecting her with the Balkan states, each hoped to be preferred. Both Austria and Russia, then, for more or less selfish reasons, were anxious to bring about the break-up of the Turkish Empire in Europe. Whenever a revolt against Turkish rule would break out, the revolutionists could almost always count on the help of one or the other of these nations.

Since the Slavs and the Greeks hated each other, and both hated the Bulgarians, there was sometimes a tendency for the Bulgarians and the Greeks to look to Austria or Germany for help, as a counterpoise to Russia's influence on behalf of the Slavic states. At one time, however, Russia gave great aid to Bulgaria. In all the twists and turns of Balkan politics we find Russia or Austria posing as protector of the rights of one or another of the Balkan states.

On the other hand, when all the Balkan states bordering Turkey put aside their rivalries and combined for an attack on Turkey in 1912, Germany and Austria gave what moral support they could to Turkey. Austria had no desire to see a strong league of the Balkan states formed to the south of her, a league which would be largely under the influence of Russia.

German leaders had already formulated their dream of Mittel-Europa (Mid-Europe), a broad band of German-controlled territory extending to Turkey. With Turkey itself Germany made treaties which practically assured her control all the way to Bagdad. Germany had no desire either for a Balkan league, which would block her way, or for the defeat of Turkey, which might interfere with the carrying out of the treaties.

THE BALKAN WAR OF 1912.—Turkish rule in Macedonia had become increasingly bad. Situated in the midst of three of the larger Balkan countries, it had representatives of each among its population. These countries put aside for the time being their jealousies of each other. In 1912 Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, and Montenegro formed an alliance and presented a demand to Turkey that Macedonia should be made self-governing. Most of Europe believed that the German-trained army of the Turks would annihilate the armies of the smaller nations. But in a little over a month Turkey was beaten. Even Constantinople might have been taken had Bulgaria pursued the advantage gained by her troops. This time no nation protected Turkey, and the treaty of peace left her with only a tiny bit of European territory and the city of Constantinople. Incidentally, Germany had lost much prestige, for Turkey had fought the war with the help of German officers and with German encouragement, and had lost.

THE SECOND BALKAN WAR.—Unfortunately, the victors soon quarreled over the spoils. Bulgaria had seized Thrace and wanted most of Macedonia, including the city of Saloni'ca, which had been captured by the Greeks. Austria intervened to prevent Serbia from getting any increase in territory on the southwest, toward the Adriatic. Hence Serbia wanted a share of the lands to the south, claimed by Bulgaria. Bulgaria, backed by Austria and Germany, refused to make any concessions, or to leave the dispute to arbitration. She began the second Balkan war with a night attack on the Serbian and Greek armies, but was unable to defeat them. On the contrary Bulgaria was defeated within a month, partly because Roumania and Turkey also entered the struggle against her. Bulgaria had to give up much of her conquests to her former allies. Roumania claimed a slice off her northeastern corner, and a Turkish army recaptured Adrianople and neighboring territory from the hard-pressed Bulgarians.

LOSS OF PRESTIGE BY GERMANY AND AUSTRIA.—One of the important results of these two wars was the loss of prestige by Germany and Austria. These "Central Powers," as they were called, had gone out of their way to encourage first Turkey, and then Bulgaria, and both these countries had been badly beaten. In any future diplomacy the opinions and desires of the Central Powers would have less weight and impressiveness than formerly. To regain their lost influence it was practically certain that these nations would, at the earliest opportunity, make an attempt to impose their will upon the victorious Balkan states.

SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY.—1. Locate Macedonia, the Dobrudja, Nish, Sofia, Durazzo. 2. Define and explain Mittel-Europa; "The sick man of Europe." 3. Which nations of the Balkan peninsula border upon the Black Sea? Which border upon the Adriatic? Which lie along the Danube? 4. On an outline map of the Balkan peninsula indicate the races to which the populations belong and their distribution. 5. We have read in this chapter that the old Roman province of Dacia developed later into modern Roumania; can you name the Roman provinces which correspond to the modern nations of France, Spain, England, Switzerland? 6. What do you know of the history of Constantinople prior to its capture by the Turks? 7. Explain the causes of the second Balkan war. How did the outcome of this war affect the history of the great European powers?

REFERENCES.—War Cyclopedia (C.P.I.); Study of the Great War (C.P.I.); Davis, The Roots of the War; Hazen, Europe since 1815; and other general histories of recent Europe.



GERMANY'S RESPONSIBILITY.—Germany's tremendous increase of armaments, her opposition to arbitration, her hostility to the purpose of the Hague Conferences, her building up of the Triple Alliance, her challenge to England's naval supremacy and her refusal to accept England's suggestion that both nations should limit their expenditures on naval armaments, the glorification of war on the part of her teachers and writers,—all make it clear that the present Great War was of her planning. For years she prepared herself to inflict a crushing blow with all the weight of her powerful army and navy and establish herself as the mistress of the world. On this she was willing to stake her very existence. To use a phrase made famous by one of her leading military writers, Germany had decided upon "world power or downfall."

German militarists all looked forward to the day when her years of preparation would at last reap their reward through the crushing of Germany's rivals. England particularly, with her vast trade, her colonial empire, and her control of the sea, they planned to lower to a subordinate position in the world. "Der Tag" (dĕr tahkh), "the day" when the long-awaited war should burst upon the world, was a favorite toast in the German army and navy. As long ago as the end of the Spanish-American War, a German diplomat said to an American army officer: "About fifteen years from now my country will start her great war. She will be in Paris in about two months after the commencement of hostilities. Her move on Paris will be but a step to her real object—the crushing of England. Everything will move like clockwork. We will be prepared and others will not be prepared."

FINAL PREPARATIONS.—In 1913 the German government decided upon a large increase in her already tremendous standing army. Immense sums were also appropriated for aircraft and for huge guns powerful enough to batter to pieces the strongest fortresses. To pay for this extra equipment additional heavy taxes were voted. The new arrangements were all to be completed by the fall of 1914. Alterations were also hurried on the Kiel Canal. This waterway, connecting the Baltic with the North Sea, had been opened in 1895 and was of great naval importance. The new German battleships, however, were so large that the canal was not large enough to admit them. The work of widening and deepening the passage was undertaken by the government, and was finally completed on July 1, 1914. Preparations for the Great War were complete at last, both on land and sea. The gunpowder was ready. All that was needed was a spark to bring about the explosion.

THE AUSTRO-SERBIAN QUESTION.—For years before the war the Serbs and other Jugo-Slavs in the southern provinces of Austria-Hungary had been dissatisfied with Austrian rule. The Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hĕr-tsĕ-go-vee'nah) were especially aroused when those provinces, after a long temporary government by Austria-Hungary, were formally annexed by that power in 1908. Their wish was for union with the adjoining Serbian kingdom. Their aspirations did not cause very much trouble while Serbia was small and weak; but when, as a result of the Balkan wars, Serbia was revealed to the world as a warlike nation with extended boundaries and growing national ambitions, the Austrian Serbs grew restless. There is little doubt that Serbs of Serbia had much to do with the anti-Austrian activities that rapidly spread among their brothers within the Austrian Empire. The Austrian government, much disturbed by a movement that threatened to spread among her other subject populations, began to seek a pretext for crushing her southern neighbor and so settling the troublesome Serbian question once for all.

In 1913, at the close of the second Balkan war, Austria-Hungary informed her allies, Italy and Germany, of her intention to make war upon Serbia, and asked for the support of those countries. Italy refused to have any part in the matter. Germany, realizing that Russia would probably come to the assistance of Serbia and that a general European war might follow, no doubt prevailed upon Austria to stay her hand. Germany's preparations at that time were not quite complete.

THE ASSASSINATION OF FRANCIS FERDINAND.—In the early summer of 1914 occurred the event that was destined to plunge the world into war. Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, made a visit to the southern provinces of the monarchy. On June 28, while he and his wife were driving through the streets of Serajevo (sĕr'a-yā-vo), in Bosnia, three pistol shots were fired into the carriage, mortally wounding the archduke and his wife. The assassin was an Austrian Serb, a member of a Serbian secret society which had for its aim the separation of the Serb provinces from Austria-Hungary and their annexation to the kingdom of Serbia. The crime caused great excitement and horror throughout Europe. But the deed had given Austria the opportunity to settle its account with Serbia and thus put an end to the Serb plottings within the Austrian borders.

THE DECISION FOR WAR.—There is evidence that on July 5, one week after the murder at Serajevo, a secret meeting of German and Austrian statesmen and generals took place in the German emperor's palace at Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin. Probably at this conference it was definitely decided that the assassination of the Austrian crown prince should be used as a pretext for crushing Serbia. Austria, it was expected, would thus permanently settle her Serbian problem. Germany must have known that this action would probably lead to a general European war, since Russia would come to the rescue of Serbia and France would stand by Russia. But Germany was ready at last, and so the terrible decision was made.

THE AUSTRIAN ULTIMATUM.—On July 23, the Austro-Hungarian government sent a note to the government of Serbia holding her accountable for the Serajevo murder and making a number of humiliating demands. Serbia was told she must suppress all newspapers inciting enmity to Austria, that she must dissolve all societies that were working toward "Pan-Serbism," that she must dismiss from the Serbian public service all officials whom the Austrian government should officially accuse of plotting against Austria, that she must accept the help of Austrian officials in Serbia in the putting down of anti-Austrian activities and in searching out accessories to the plot of June 28, that she must arrest two Serbian officials who had been implicated by the trial in Serajevo, and that she must put a stop to the smuggling of arms from Serbia into Austria.

The demand that Serbia admit Austrian officials into Serbia to take part in the work of investigation and suppression was an intolerable invasion of Serbia's sovereignty within her own borders. But the most threatening part of the note was its conclusion: "The Austro-Hungarian government expects the reply of the royal [Serbian] government at the latest by 6 o'clock on Saturday evening, the 25th of July." In other words, the note was an ultimatum giving Serbia a period of only forty-eight hours in which to agree to the Austrian demands.

SERBIA'S REPLY.—Serbia's answer to the Austrian ultimatum was delivered within a few minutes of the time set. She agreed, practically, to all the Austrian demands except those which required that Austrian officials should conduct investigations and suppress conspiracies in Serbia, and she even went part way toward accepting those. Serbia went on to suggest that if Austria was not entirely satisfied with the reply, the points still in dispute should be referred to the international tribunal at The Hague. This reply the Austrian government considered unsatisfactory. Forty-five minutes after the Serbian note had been placed in the hands of the Austrian minister to Serbia that official handed a notice to the Serbian government stating "that not having received a satisfactory answer within the time limit set, he was leaving Belgrade" (the Serbian capital). Austria-Hungary made immediate preparations for the invasion of Serbia and on July 28 declared war.

EFFORTS FOR PEACE.—Meanwhile Great Britain, France, and Italy were putting forth every effort to preserve the peace of Europe. In these efforts the lead was taken by Sir Edward Grey, the British foreign minister. As early as July 26 he urged a conference at London of the representatives of France, Germany, Italy, and Great Britain to find some solution of the problem which might be satisfactory to both Austria and Russia. Italy and France agreed at once, but Germany raised objections. Germany's only suggestion for preserving the general peace of Europe was that Austria should be permitted to deal with Serbia as she pleased, without interference from any other power. And so it continued through those critical days. Every effort made by England looking toward a peaceful settlement of the quarrel was baffled by Germany's refusal to cooeperate. This is not difficult to understand in the light of our later knowledge of the plans and aims of the German government.

THE DECLARATIONS OF WAR.—Austria's declaration of war on Serbia (July 28) was followed by the general mobilization of Austria's troops. Austria maintained that all her armies were for the war on Serbia, but her preparations were so extensive that it was clear she was getting ready to fight Russia also. In reply Russia began to mobilize her troops, partly to prevent the destruction of Serbia, but also to defend herself from possible Austrian attacks. Russia definitely notified Germany that her mobilization was directed against Austria only. Meanwhile England continued her efforts to bring about a conference of the powers, a plan which Germany continued to foil. The Czar in a formal telegram to the Kaiser on July 29 suggested that the Austro-Serbian problem be given over to the Hague Tribunal, a suggestion which would have led to peace. Nothing came of this proposal.

On July 31 the German government, on the ground that Russia's mobilization was a threat of war, sent ultimatums to both Russia and France. The ultimatum to Russia gave that government twelve hours in which to stop all war preparations against both Germany and Austria. The ultimatum to France informed that government of the message just sent to Russia, and demanded a reply within eighteen hours as to whether France would remain neutral in case of war between Germany and Russia. The crowds in the streets of Berlin went wild with joy over the news of the two ultimatums. There were cries of "On to Paris" and "On to St. Petersburg." The Kaiser addressed his people from the balcony of his palace. In the course of his speech, he said, "The sword is being forced into our hand." The government of Germany had decided to make its people believe that they were about to fight in self-defense.

Russia would not demobilize her armies under a German threat. Consequently the next day, August 1, Germany declared war upon Russia. Two days later, August 3, Germany declared war on France because that country had refused to desert her ally in this time of danger. The greatest war of all history had begun.

GREAT BRITAIN ENTERS THE WAR.—The German military leaders felt sure that Great Britain would remain neutral in case of a general European war. They based this belief on the peaceful temper of the English people, upon the serious domestic problems she was facing, such as the question of woman suffrage, Irish Home Rule, and the threatening labor situation. Germany regarded England as a nation of shopkeepers who would not fight unless they were attacked. After Germany had made herself supreme on the Continent England's turn would come.

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