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Full text of "History of modern Europe, 1878-1919"

HISTORY OF MODERN EUROPE, 
1878-1919 



HISTORY OF 

MODERN EUROPE 

1878-1919 



G. P. GOOCH, D.Litt. 

Author of " History and Historians in the Nineteenth Century," etc. 




NEW YORK 
HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY 



Authorised Edition 

D 

39s 




PRINTED IN THE 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 



PREFACE 

AMONG the results of the Great War have been the open- 
ing of the archives of Berlin, Vienna and Petrograd, and 
the appearance of innumerable autobiographies, recording 
and explaining the part played by rulers and ministers, 
diplomats, soldiers and sailors in the generation preceding 
the outbreak of the struggle or during the course of the 
conflict. Though much of this literature is highly contro- 
versial and requires to be used with caution, sufficient 
material has accumulated to justify an attempt to recon- 
struct the main outlines of European history from the 
Congress of Berlin to the Treaty of Versailles. Professor 
Pribram's "Secret Treaties of Austria-Hungary," and the 
Livres Jaunes on the Franco-Russian Alliance and the 
Entente with Italy, reveal the obligations and transforma- 
tions of the diplomatic groups into which the Great Powers 
were divided. Republican Germany has set an example 
to her victors by ordering the publication of the most im- 
portant dispatches and memoranda in the archives of the 
Foreign Office from 1871 to 1914, of which the first six 
volumes bring the story down to the fall of Bismarck. 
The Bolshevists, again, in their campaign against the 
old regime and the old diplomacy, have revealed a mass 
of dispatches and telegrams, treaties and protocols, which 
enable us to measure the ambitions of the last of the 
Romanoffs. 

It is impossible within the limits of a single volume to 
do justice to a period crowded with events, fermenting with 
new ideas, and enriched by the triumphs of invention and 
discovery. The theme of this book is the relations of the 

Great Powers of Europe to one another! ItTs a" 

__ . - - 



Preface 

Europe, not a historj__of^the^ world. If Great Britain 
quarFe"ls wittT'France about Egypt or with Russia about 
Afghanistan, we must for a brief space cross the Mediter- 
ranean or the Caspian. But it is no part of our duty to 
describe the Venezuela crisis of 1896, the Boer war of 1899, 
or the Russo-Japanese collision of 1904. Nor is it neces- 
sary for our purpose to deal with domestic events, such as 
Home Rule or Woman Suffrage, the Dreyfus case or the 
denunciation of the Concordat, the rise of German 
Socialism or Stolypin's agrarian reforms. 

No one can be more conscious than the author that a 
study of the European system which perished in the flames 
of the Great War is a hazardous enterprise, and that any 
conclusions at which he arrives are necessarily provisional. 
We possess sufficient material to trace the main lines of 
development with a steady hand ; yet every month adds to 
our knowledge of detail and to a clearer appreciation of 
the personality of the protagonists. The historian of the 
future will know much that is hidden from us to-day, and 
he will approach his task in a calmer spirit than is possible 
to those who have been shaken by the storm and the 
earthquake. 

The present work is planned as a continuation of 
Fyffe's admirable "History of Modern Europe, 1792-1878," 
the colours of which are as fresh to-day as when they were 
painted. G. P. G. 



December, 1922* 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER FAGB 

i. AFTER THE TREATY ...... i 

^ 2. THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE ..... .32 

\g. THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA ..... 73 

4. BULGARIA AND THE POWERS ..... 115 ^ 

J^THE DUAL ALLIANCE ...... 156 

6. WILLIAM II ........ 188 

7. ARMENIA AND CRETE ...... 232 

8. FASHODA ........ 264 

9. THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR . . . .298 
10. THE ANGLO-FRENCH ENTENTE . . '. I 337 
IT. THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN ENTENTE .... 360 

12. THE NEAR EAST /T^c>wIi-\. .... 398 

13. ANGLO-GERMAN RIVALRY ..... 427 .- 

14. AGADIR ........ 458 

15. THE BALKAN WARS ...... 490 

N^i6. THE BREAKING OF THE STORM . . . . 532 

17. THE WORLD WAR : FIRST PHASE . . . . 560 

18. THE WORLD WAR : SECOND PHASE . . 607 

19. THE SETTLEMENT ....... 659 

INDEX ........ 697 




HISTORY OF MODERN EUROPE 



CHAPTER I 

AFTER THE TREATY 

" I BRING you Peace with Honour," announced Beacons- 
field to the applauding multitude on his return from the 
Congress of Berlin in July, 1878. 1 Yet the The 
Treaty provided n<s> permanent settlement of Berlin 
the tangled problem of the Balkans, and Settlement 
most of its signatories left the German capital smart- 
ing under a sense of disappointment or humiliation 
which boded ill for the tranquillity of Europe. Turkey 
had lost half her European dominions; Roumania resented 
the restoration of Bessarabia to Russia ; Bulgaria brooded 
regretfully over the spacious boundaries assigned to her by 
the defunct treaty of San Stefano; Montenegro, though 
doubled in size, dreamed of the still more generous 
provisions of the same charter ; Serbia lamented the trans- 
ference of Bosnia from the nerveless grasp of Constanti- 
nople to the tighter grip of the Hapsburgs; Greece 
contrasted the nebulous recognition of her claims with the 
substantial awards to her Balkan rivals; and, finally, 
Russia saw the precious fruits of her struggles and sacri- 
fices torn away from her by Beaconsfield and Andrassy, 

1 The student of contemporary history, once for all, may be referred 
to " The Annual Register " and Schulthess' " Europaischer Geschichts- 
kalender." Friedjung, "Das Zeitalter des Imperialismus " ; Egelhaaf, 
" Geschichte der neuesten Zeit " ; Debidour, " Histoire Diplomatique de 
1'Europe, 1878-1916"; and Holland Rose, "The Development of the 
European Nations," are also useful. 



2 History of Modern Europe [1878 

with the assent, if not indeed the encouragement, of Bis- 
marck, while Austria pocketed Bosnia and Herzegovina 
as a reward for inglorious neutrality. 



The execution of the provisions of the Treaty of Berlin 
proved no easy task, 1 for Russia and Turkey, though 
Distrust antagonists in the recent conflict, were at 
of one in their desire to impede the settle- 

Russia ment ; The usual Duality of Russian 

policy is again apparent," complained Salisbury to Lord 
Augustus Loftus, the British Ambassador at Petro- 
grad. "Every trick which the imagination can con- 
ceive, every subtle misconstruction of the Treaty is being 
used for the purpose of hindering its proper execution. 
But from Livadia we get nothing but professions of an 
intention to abide by the Treaty. The great question is : 
Will they evacuate on May 3 all the territories south of 
Roumania? If not, I do not see how peace can be pre- 
served; for having induced the Turk on the faith of the 
Treaty to evacuate Batum, Varna and Schumla, it is im- 
possible that we can leave him in the lurch. The Tsar 
understands the meaning of a point of honour." 1 

During the latter part of 1878 no progress was made 
towards the delimitation of the Bulgarian frontier, and 
the Tsar refused to recall his troops from the Balkan 
peninsula till that task was completed. The British Com- 
missioner, General Hamley, was instructed to secure for 
Turkey a frontier which she could defend, fortify and 
garrison, while Russia demanded the boundary most 
favourable to her Bulgarian protege. In January, 1879, 
Gortchakoff, in an arrogant dispatch, charged Great 
Britain with deliberately impeding progress, to which 
Lord Salisbury retorted that the delay was owing to the 

1 See Hertslet, "Map of Europe by Treaty," IV; and Holland, 
" The European Concert in the Eastern Question." i 

8 Oct. 16, 1878, Lady G. Cecil, " Life of Lord Salisbury," II, 344-5. 



is 7 8] The Russians in Bulgaria 3 

assertion of the Russian agents that the arrangements 
were merely temporary, and that Eastern Roumelia was, 
after all, to be united to Bulgaria. The Tsar, to do him 
justice, was more reasonable than some of his subordinates, 
and in the spring he instructed them that they must accept 
and carry out the Treaty. From this moment the frontier 
negotiations proceeded smoothly. In return for this 
belated compliance Russia was permitted to regard May 3 
as the beginning instead of the close of the period of 
evacuation, on condition that the process was concluded 
within three months. 

The main achievement of the Congress of Berlin was 
to destroy the Big Bulgaria which was called into being 
by the Treaty of San Stefano. 1 Macedonia R USS i a 
was restored to the direct rule of the Sultan, rules 
Eastern Roumelia was granted autonomy Bulgaria 
under a Turkish Governor, and Bulgaria started on 
its career as a peasant community with a popula- 
tion of two millions between the Balkan mountains and 
the Danube. It was taken for granted at the Congress 
that the new State would be a pawn in the hands of its 
creators; and the expectation was fulfilled when Russian 
officers and officials descended on Sofia in a swarm. 
Pending the election of a ruler, the country was governed 
by a Russian Commissioner, Prince Dondukoff, who 
treated it like a Russian satrapy, and hoped to secure the 
throne for a Russian Prince if not for himself. The Con- 
stitution drafted by the Commissioner was a curious blend 
of democratic provisions and executive autocracy, the 
object of which was the mutual checkmate of the ruler 
and the Parliament, while the Tsar hovered in the back- 
ground as a Deus ex machina. Thus a Single Chamber, 
manhood suffrage, payment of members, free and com- 
pulsory education and a free Press were balanced by the 
fact that Ministers were not responsible to the Chamber, 
which the ruler could dissolve. The Constitution was 

i See W. Miller, "The Balkans," and "The Balkans," by Nevill 
Forbes, etc. 






4 History of Modern Europe [1879 

accepted by an Assembly of Notables at the ancient city 
of Tirnovo in April, 1879, when Alexander Prince of 
Battenberg, son of Prince Alexander of Hesse (a cousin of 
the Grand Duke of Hesse) by a morganatic marriage with 
a Polish Countess, was summoned to the throne. The 
Prince, though only twenty-two years old, had fought for 
Russia and therefore for Bulgaria in the Turkish war, 
and was a handsome man of martial bearing and winning 
manners. He was the choice of the Tsar, his uncle by 
marriage, and he took the oath to the Constitution in the 
uniform of a Russian General. "Accept your Prince from 
my hands," said the Tsar to a deputation from Bulgaria; 
"love him as I love him." 

The Bulgarians naturally resented the action of Russia 
in handing over the Bulgarian territory of the Dobrudja 
Prince to R uman ^ a m compensation for the sur- 
Alexander render of Bessarabia ; but with this exception 
Complains they re g ar ded their liberators with grateful- 
hearts. Their feelings were shared to the full by 
the Prince; yet a brief experience of Russian tutelage 
wrought a dramatic change both in the ruler and 
his people. "I am devoted to the Tsar and wish to do 
nothing that could be construed as anti-Russian," he 
wrote to Prince Carol of Roumania after a few weeks on 
the throne, "but unfortunately the Russian officials have 
behaved with great lack of consideration. Utter chaos 
exists in all Ministries. Every day I am confronted with 
the alternative of signing the Russian demands or being 
accused in Russia of ingratitude. My position is really 
frightful. I reject everything that is against my con- 
science, and every day I must write to the Tsar to anticipate 
the slanders of the Russian officials." 1 "You will have 
a hard and thorny task," replied Carol, who knew some- 
thing of the difficulties of foreign rulers in the Balkans, 
"but I am convinced that much can be made of Bulgaria, 
and that you will lay the foundation-stone of the future 
Great Bulgaria. In the desperate condition of Turkey 

1 " Aus dem Leben Konig Karls von Rumanien," IV, 223, 



i88i] Prince Alexander 5 

the hopes of your people will be fulfilled quicker than you 
expect. The diplomatists with all their arts and crafts 
cannot impede the march of events. What you write of 
Russian misconduct does not surprise me, and I felt sure 
you would have many unpleasant struggles. I advise you 
to proceed with caution." l 

The Prince made the best of the situation, though with 
growing anger in his heart. "If the Russians go on like 
this," he remarked to Kalnoky, the Austrian Ambassador, 
on a visit to Petrograd, "they will be the most hated people 
in Bulgaria in a few years. They take their orders from 
Milutin (the Russian Minister for War), not from me." 
The Tsar's personal friendliness was unabated; but the 
situation grew worse when his assassination in 1881 
brought to the throne a ruler who made no pretence of 
sharing his father's affection for the Prince. The Austrian 
Minister at Sofia besought him not to be a doll ; but the 
-young ruler was convinced that it was useless to kick 
against the pricks. Unable to work with his anti-Russian 
Parliament, he threatened resignation unless irresponsible 
authority was accorded to him. The Assembly was dis- 
solved, the Constitution suspended, and a packed 
Assembly conceded autocracy for seven years. 

The coup d'etat of 1881 was only in appearance a 
triumph for the Prince, for the real victor was Russia. 
During the next two years Bulgaria was Hosti]it of 
nothing but a Russian province. Russian Alexander 
generals were appointed to the Interior, 
War, and Justice, and the powers of the tame 
Assembly were limited to voting the budget. When 
the high-spirited Prince began to chafe against the usurpa- 
tion of his powers, he was informed that his Russian 
Ministers took their orders from the Tsar. Two years 
later, on a visit to Moscow for the coronation, he bitterly 
complained to the Tsar and to Giers of Russian dictation, 
and on his return he restored the Constitution of 1879. 



" Alexander von Battenberg," 47-9. This interesting book is 
based on the Prince's papers. 



6 History of Modern Europe [1883 

The Russian Ministers, who had not been consulted, left 
Sofia in disgust, and the Prince emerged as the hero of 
his people and the champion of the principle " Bulgaria 
for the Bulgarians." There was something like open war 
between Sofia and Petrograd, and the Prince's letters were 
left unanswered. "Russia hates me because she fears 
me," he wrote to the German Crown Prince Frederick; 
"but I rejoice in this hatred, which I reciprocate with all 
my heart, though circumstances compel me to control my 
feelings for some years." The estrangement was increased 
by his desire to marry Princess Victoria of Prussia, the 
granddaughter of the Kaiser, and attempts were made 
from Russia to thwart his matrimonial projects by spread- 
ing unfounded rumours as to his private life. The 
Princess was too young and the Prince's position too in- 
secure for him to ask the Kaiser's permission; and in 
1884, on a visit to Germany, he was told both by the aged 
monarch and by Bismarck that his ambition was hopeless. 
"The marriage," declared the Chancellor bluntly, "is 
impossible, and so long as I am Chancellor it will not 
take place. Germany has no interest in Bulgaria. Our 
interest is peace with Russia. Now you are a Bulgarian 
you must submit to Russia." Thus in public and private 
affairs the Prince found himself opposed and checkmated 
by Russia. The Russian agents and officers remaining 
in the country busily intrigued with native malcontents. 
The one definite service rendered to the new State by its 
Russian patron was the training of an army ; but there was 
no room for sentiments of gratitude while the Bulgarian 
people felt that it had only escaped from the savage grip of 
the Turk to fall into the iron hand of the Muscovite. 

While Bulgaria was starting on her course heavily 
handicapped by Russian domination, Eastern Roumelia, 

as an autonomous province under the 
Roumelia sovereignty of the Sultan, entered on a path 

which was bound to lead to union. No one 
within or beyond her boundaries disputed that her 
inhabitants desired to be governed from Sofia; and 



is 7 9] Eastern Roumelia 7 

the sole ground of frustrating their wishes was the resolve 
of Great Britain and Austria to limit the sphere within 
which Russian influence would be supreme. A memor- 
andum to the Powers was drawn up by three leaders of 
Bulgarian opinion protesting against partition, begging 
good treatment for the province, and proclaiming that the 
inhabitants would without doubt sooner or later resort to 
arms. The Commissioners, who were appointed directly 
after the close of the Berlin Congress, represented the six 
Great Powers and Turkey, and included Baron Kallay for 
Austria and Sir Henry Drummond Wolff for Great 
Britain. 1 After a preliminary meeting at Constantinople 
the Commission established itself at Philippopolis, and on 
the whole worked harmoniously, the Russian opposition 
gradually dying away. 

The Organic Statute under which the province was to 
live was signed at Constantinople in April, 1879. The 
Constitution was less democratic than that T . 
of Bulgaria. Of the Assembly of fifty-six, Organic 
thirty-six were elected on a property or Statute 
culture qualification, and twenty were nominees or 
ex-officio members. The Assembly was allowed to discuss 
finance and administration, but not high politics. 
Bulgarian, Turkish and Greek were all recognized as 
official languages, and the chief posts were entrusted to 
Roumeliots. Aleko Pasha, ex-Secretary of the Turkish 
Embassy in London, and a Christian of Bulgar origin, was 
appointed Governor-General, and was assisted by six 
directors. The native militia was officered by Russians 
and Bulgarians, and a judicial system on European lines 
was introduced. For some years the machinery worked 
smoothly, all the more because it was generally recognized 
that union with Bulgaria was only a matter of time. After 
the Treaty of Berlin had decided the fate of the province, 
the Tsar had dispatched a General to advise the population 
to submit to separation for the time. He took with him, 
however, a large consignment of rifles, and was instructed 

1 See Drummond Wolff, " Rambling Recollections," II, 197-241. 



8 History of Modern Europe [1878 

to deliver a message of encouragement. " Russia has done 
what she could to help you. She is not responsible for 
your severance from Bulgaria. Accept these rifles, learn 
how to use them, and later on help yourselves." Both 
the rifles and the advice were accepted, and the inhabitants, 
confident that they were fulfilling the wishes of Russia no 
less than their own, began to make plans for a not too 
distant future. Their forecast of events was shared by 
Prince Alexander, who had confided to Andrassy on his 
selection for the throne that he would respect the Treaty of 
Berlin as long as possible, but that the separation could 
not possibly be permanent. 

The Russo-Turkish war had been won with Roumanian 
help ; but Russia proposed and the Powers approved treat- 
ment rarely meted out to an ally. Russia 
of argued that Bessarabia had been snatched 

Bessarabia from he _ after the Crimean war, and 

Roumania retorted that it had been taken by Russia 
in 1812. The appeal to history, however, was of 
less weight than the universal sentiment that timely 
support on the battlefield should have been rewarded and 
not penalized. It is true that Roumania received the 
Dobrudja; but she had no desire and therefore felt no 
gratitude for the strip of marshy land between the 
Danube and the Black Sea, the population of which was 
predominantly Bulgarian, and the severance of which 
from Bulgaria constituted an additional complication for 
the harassed statesmen of Bucharest. 

The anger of his subjects was fully shared by Prince 
Carol, who, aided and encouraged by his gifted wife 
"Carmen Sylva," had ruled the country with energy and 
wisdom since 1866, and had led it to victory in the Turkish 
war. 1 "It is sad," he wrote to his father, Prince Antony 
of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, on August 4, 1878, "that 
Europe should force a young State, which has proved its 

1 The history of the foundation of the Roumanian State is written 
once for all in the King's own papers, " Aus dem Leben Konig Karls," 
four volumes. The work was translated and abridged by Sidney 
Whitman as " King Carol of Roumania." 



1878] The Trials of Roumania 9 

power and vitality in a bloody war, to surrender a 
province. It is deeply wounding to make the indepen- 
dence which we won on the battlefield dependent on the 
cession of Bessarabia. When it became known people 
were so angry that even the coolest heads declared that 
they would rather resign the claim to independence than 
pay this price. I dissuaded the Ministers and other 
leaders from rash action. Europe desires and needs peace, 
and will not stick at half measures to carry out the decrees 
of the Congress by force. After the first outburst of anger 
they saw that we could not flout Europe. The loss of a 
province is always a hard blow for a dynasty. I hope 
the odium will not fall on me, for I have done my utmost 
to avoid the misfortune. The districts beyond the Danube 
are not given us as compensation for Bessarabia. We take 
them as war indemnity. So we have won much morally 
and materially. The districts have a great future." 
" Reconciliation with Russia," replied the wise old father, 
11 is a demand of self-preservation. Lasting enmity would 
be a lasting danger and would jeopardize internal develop- 
ment. However hostile opinion remains, all friends of 
Roumania advise a modus vivendi. The whole national 
energy must be concentrated on the Dobrudja. A formal 
protest would be a political error." 1 

Roumania took possession of the Dobrudja in 
November, 1878; but its southern frontier was not fixed for 
nearly two years, since the real point at The 
issue was the sphere of Russian influence. Dobrudja 
According to the Treaty, the boundary was Frontier 
to be drawn to the east of Silistria ; but while the 
Russian delegate on the International Commission strove 
to move it as far as possible from the Bulgarian 
fortress on the Danube, the delegates of the other Powers 
endeavoured to fix it so close that the abattoir was on 
Roumanian soil. The line was determined in June, 1880, 
the Roumanian frontier running very close to the town. 

Scarcely less humiliating to Roumanian sentiment than 

1 " Aus dem Leben Konig Karls," IV, 88-90, 96-7. 



io History of Modern Europe [1879 

the cession of Bessarabia was the demand for equal citizen- 
ship for the Jews, which the Treaty of Berlin laid down as 

a condition precedent to recognition. As 
Disabilities the constitution of 1866 declared that only 

Christians could become Roumanian citizens, 
a Constituent Assembly was needed for its modifica- 
tion. Passionate debates continued throughout the 
summer of 1879. "It is worse than the councils 
of war before Plevna," complained the distracted 
Prince. "At home I am accused as a champion of the 
Jews, abroad I am condemned as a weakling." His father 
agreed that it was the most dangerous crisis of the reign, 
but urged him to yield, since all the Powers except Russia 
were inexorable. Sturdza was dispatched to ask counsel of 
Bismarck, who replied that the Treaty of Berlin was a bloc, 
and that if a part was infringed the whole structure would 
collapse. When the Parliament showed no signs of 
yielding Great Britain proposed a collective Note, to be 
executed by Austria, and Bismarck threatened to refer the 
matter to Turkey. Finally, on October 18, 1879, the dis- 
qualification of 1866 was repealed, and Jews were allowed 
to be naturalized and to hold land. Several hundreds 
who had fought in the war were naturalized en bloc; but 
with that exception a special vote of the Legislature with a 
two-thirds majority was required in every case. This lip- 
service to the principle of religious equality was accepted 
by the Powers, Lord Salisbury observing that, though not 
a complete fulfilment of the demand, he trusted to 
Roumania to approximate more and more to the liberal 
intentions of the Powers. His hopes were sadly dis- 
appointed, for almost the whole of the large Jewish popula- 
tion remained aliens in the land of their birth. 

Russia, Austria and Turkey had recognized the new 
State without waiting for the removal of the disqualifica- 
tion, and Italy now followed suit. The Western Powers 
were persuaded by Bismarck to hold their hand till 
Roumania had bought the railways from Bleichroder and 
other German bankers who had financed their construction. 



The Frontiers of Greece n 

Recognition by Germany, France and Great Britain took 
place on February 20, 1880, when the period of probation 
came to an end. A year later Prince Carol c oronation 
took the title of king, his crown being con- of Carol, 
structed of Turkish cannon captured at 
Plevna. On this occasion Parliament was unanimous, 
and all the Powers joined in congratulations. In 
the same year the succession to the childless King was 
settled in favour of his nephew Ferdinand, son of the 
Leopold whose candidature for the throne of Spain had 
launched the Franco-German war of 1870. Relations with 
Russia remained strained, and in 1883 Roumania became 
a secret partner of the Triple Alliance. That the young 
kingdom had come safely through its trials in peace and 
war was due in equal measure to its accomplished ruler 
and to his trusted Minister Bratiano, the Liberal leader, 
who remained in power from 1876 to 1888. 

While the other Balkan States received prizes for taking 
part in the Turkish struggle, Greece was rewarded for 
standing aloof. Since the creation of the kingdom she had 
never ceased to demand better frontiers, and during the 
war offensive demonstrations had occurred in Thessaly. 
Her troops had been withdrawn at the instance of the 
Powers, and her demand to be heard at the Congress of 
Berlin was allowed. Her cause was pleaded by Delyannis 
and supported by Waddington ; but Article 24 was dis- 
tressingly vague, for Greece and Turkey were exhorted to 
come to an agreement on the "rectification of frontiers," 
and to seek mediation in case of need. The frontier pro- 
posed by Waddington, assigning Thessaly and the larger 
part of Epirus, was inserted in the protocol, not in the 
treaty ; and the dispute which arose from the carelessness 
or timidity of the Congress occupied the Chancelleries of 
Europe for three years. 1 

Greece affected to consider the line suggested at Berlin 

1 The best account is given by the French Minister at Athens, Comte 
de Moiiy, " Souvenirs," ch. 5, " L'Annexion de la Thessalie " ; cf. 
Fitzmaurice, " Life of Granville," II, ch. 6. 



12 History of Modern Europe [1880 

its own, and pourparlers with Turkey a mere formality. 
Turkey, on the other hand, issued a memorandum con- 
Greek demning Greek pretensions and retaining 
Frontier its rights over provinces "happy under the 
Claims laws of the Empire." "Great Britain per- 
suaded the Porte to send Commissioners to meet Greek 
Commissioners at Prevesa in the spring of 1879; 
but the meeting only revealed the impossibility of agree- 
ment, for the protocol which Turkey treated as a mere 
expression of opinion was brandished by Greece as the 
considered verdict of Europe. The Turkish offer was so 
small that Greece refused to discuss it, and invoked the 
assistance of the Powers. At the suggestion of Wadding- 
ton Greeks and Turks met again at Constantinople in 
August under the supervision of the Ambassadors; but 
the negotiations once again proved fruitless. 

After an interval of many months Great Britain and 
France proposed a collective Note calling on Turkey to 
execute the protocol, and, in the event of refusal, a 
conference of ambassadors aided by experts. The Powers 
agreed, and Turkey accepted the conference, reserving 
her liberty of action on its decisions. The conference met 
in Berlin in June, 1880, and accepted the line (which 
included Jannina) drawn up by Freycinet, who had 
succeeded Waddington and shared his sympathy for 
Greece. Both the Turkish offer of less than the Berlin 
protocol and the Greek demand for more were rejected; 
and, after the Freycinet line had been worked out by a 
technical commission, Turkey and Greece were called on 
to accept it as "the solemn manifestation of the will of 
Europe." Greece hastened to obey a command which 
gave her almost all that she wished ; but Turkey declined, 
and no steps were taken to compel her. Greece now 
determined to occupy the territory assigned to her, and 
began to mobilize. The Cabinets adopted a collective 
Note, drawn up by Great Britain, informing Turkey that 
the question could not be reopened, and adopting the lines 
fixed in the recent conference. It appeared as if the Sultan 



Greece receives Thessaly 13 

would have to yield; for Gladstone, who had returned to 
power in May, was a notorious enemy of the Turk and a 
whole-hearted Philhellene. The Turcophil Ambassador 
Layard was recalled from Constantinople, and Goschen, 
though refusing to be his successor, accepted a special 
mission to carry out the provisions of the Treaty of Berlin, 
for he was as ready as the Prime Minister to employ force, 
in order to compel obedience to the public law of Europe, 
and he hailed with delight the vigorous action which 
broke down Turkish resistance in Montenegro. Bis- 
marck, on the other hand, was opposed to coercion 
which might lead to war and thus reopen the Eastern 
question. 1 

At this moment Turkey received unexpected aid from 
a change of Ministry in France, which brought Ferry to 
power and Barthelemy St. Hilaire to the Atrt d 
Quai d'Orsay. The veteran translator of of 

Aristotle might have been expected to be France 
more Philhellene than statesmen ignorant of the 
services of Greece to civilization ; but he proceeded to 
astonish Europe by a series of dispatches depicting in 
vivid terms the danger of war, lecturing Greece on her 
mobilization, commanding her to accept arbitration, and 
accepting the Turkish contention that the Berlin Con- 
ference was nothing more than an attempt at mediation. 
Such language was music to the ear of Abdul Hamid, but 
provoked indignation in Athens, where credits were voted 
and military preparations were continued. France now 
suggested that Turkey and Greece should refer their 
dispute to the arbitration of the Powers. The proposal 
was declined by Turkey, who asked in turn for a discussion 
at Constantinople, in which she, but not Greece, should 
take part. The Powers, weary of the controversy and 
encouraged by Bismarck, accepted the suggestion which 
they had hitherto declined, reserving to themselves the 
right to impose terms if agreement proved impossible. 



stantinople " ; cf. " Die Grosse Politik," I 



V,' 17-; 



14 History of Modern Europe 

Though Bismarck professed himself favourable to Greece, 
Goschen reported that he was opposed to all his colleagues 
at Constantinople, who would think Greece lucky if she 
secured any extension of her frontiers, and who only 
desired Turkey to make concessions sufficient to prevent 
a revolution at Athens. Goschen himself was willing to 
surrender Cyprus in order to help Turkey to cede Epirus 
as well as Thessaly. The proposal was vetoed by Gran- 
ville, who, however, in a circular dispatch dated March 2 1 , 
1 88 1, recalled the decisions at Berlin and reminded the 
Powers that they were bound to satisfy the legitimate hopes 
of Greece. Turkey now herself proposed the cession of 
Thessaly, fearing a less favourable decision by the Ambas- 
sadors. Greece was finally allotted almost the whole of 
Thessaly, including Larissa and Volo, while Turkey 
retained all Epirus, except the district of Arta. Though 
indignant that Epirus had escaped her grasp and 
determined to win it by war or diplomacy at some 
future date, Athens submitted, and the Treaty which had 
cost so much trouble to frame was signed on May 24, 
1881. 

Bismarck would have preferred the cession of Crete 

rather than Thessaly ; but the Greeks insisted on extending 

their mainland possessions, and Crete had 

Autonomy 

for to be content with a modification of the 
Crete Organic Law of 1868. The Pact of Halepa, 
which derived its name from the suburb of Canea 
where it was signed in October, 1878, provided that 
the Governor-General should hold office for five years and 
be assisted by an adviser professing the faith to which he 
did not himself belong. The General Assembly was to 
sit for forty to sixty days in the year, and to consist of 
forty-nine Christians and thirty-one Mussulmans. Greek 
was to be the official language of the Assembly and the 
Courts. Natives were to have the preference for official 
posts. After the cost of administration had been met the 
surplus was to be divided equally between the Imperial 
Treasury and local needs, such as roads, harbours, 



1878] Montenegro 15 

schools, hospitals and other conveniences of civilization, 
on which nothing had been spent since the Venetians were 
'expelled by the Turks in the seventeenth century. A 
political amnesty and remission of arrears of taxation were 
promised and newspapers were authorized. It was the 
high-water mark of Turkish concession. Photiades 
Pasha, an able and conciliatory Greek, was appointed 
Governor-General, and the island entered on a decade of 
unaccustomed tranquillity. 

Montenegro took peaceful possession of the territory 
awarded to her on the frontier of Herzegovina ; but she was 
unable to obtain the two Albanian districts Montene ro 
of Gusinje and Plava, which were inhabited and 
by fighting Mussulmans who cared nothing Turkey 
for the Sultan nor the Treaty, and objected to being 
transferred to a new ruler like cattle. The envoy 
sent by the Porte to persuade the tribesmen to obey the 
Berlin award was murdered in August, 1878, and a second 
emissary failed to bend their will. The Sultan was glad 
of an excuse to take no further action, and it was widely 
believed that the Albanian League which had been formed 
to resist the provisions of San Stefano was revived at his 
suggestion. A compromise was suggested by Count 
Corti, Italian Ambassador at Constantinople, by which, 
instead of Gusinje and Plava, Montenegro should obtain 
part of the former and a strip between Podgoritza and 
Lake Scutari inhabited by Christians. The plan was 
accepted, but its execution was again frustrated by the 
Catholic Albanians, who objected to the rule of the 
Orthodox Prince Nicholas. The Mirdite Prince, Bib 
Doda, though his territory was not concerned, marched to 
the assistance of his Catholic friends, and 10,000 armed 
men were soon gathered on the frontier. 

At this moment Gladstone, whose admiration for 
Montenegro had been loudly expressed, returned to power. 
Representatives of the Powers met at Berlin in June, and 
proposed that Montenegro should receive the port of 
Dulcigno and a strip of coast southward to the River 



16 History of Modern Europe [1880 

Boy ana. 1 This time it was Turkey's turn to protest, since 
Dulcigno had a Mussulman population ; and the Albanians 

Gladstone were secretly urged to resist the cession, 
wins Gladstone was always ready for strong 

Dulcigno measur es where Turkey was concerned, and 
at his suggestion a naval demonstration of the Powers 
took place in September off Dulcigno, while Monte- 
negrin troops approached the town by land. "If 
Turkey befools Europe at Dulcigno," he remarked, "we 
may as well shut up shop altogether." Turkey refused to 
yield, and the admirals had no wish to bombard the little 
town. Gladstone's impatience at Turkish obstruction was 
shared by Goschen, who wrote to Granville from Constanti- 
nople : "The fleets must come up here. The Sultan has 
begun the struggle. The Turks must not win." Glad- 
stone had no intention of allowing the Turks to win, and 
when he decided to seize the Custom house at Smyrna 
the Sultan realized that the game was up. Dervish Pasha, 
the Turkish commander, drove out the Albanians from 
Dulcigno, and on November 26 the town was occupied by 
Montenegrin troops. Prince Nicholas gave public ex- 
pression of his gratitude to Great Britain for securing him 
an outlet on the Adriatic ; but he never developed the port, 
which was, indeed, nothing but an open beach. Dervish 
Pasha completed the pacification of Northern Albania by 
treacherously inviting Bib Doda to visit a Turkish ship 
and carrying him off to Asia Minor, where he lived in exile, 
till the Young Turk revolution of 1908 restored him to his 
home. Other members of the Albanian League were also 
exiled, and Montenegro entered on her inheritance without 
further strife. 

The inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina, like the 
inhabitants of Albania, objected to being transferred from 
Mussulman to Christian rule; but Austria was strong 
enough to enforce her Treaty rights without assistance 

i 

1 See Morley, "Life of Gladstone," III, 8-10; Fitzmaurice, "Life 
of Granville," II, cb. 65 Gwynn and TuckweU, " Life of Sir Charles 
Dilke," I, ch. ai. 






1878] Bosnia and Herzegovina 17 

from her co-signatories. 1 Before embarking on the 
Turkish war in 1877 the Tsar had purchased the neutrality 
of Austria by recognizing her right to annex Bosnia and 
Herzegovina, and on the motion of Great Britain the 
provinces were entrusted to her at the Congress of Berlin. 
At the eleventh hour, however, the Turkish plenipoten- 
tiaries refused to sign the Treaty unless Andrassy assured 
them that the occupation would be provisional and the 
sovereign rights of the Sultan maintained. Andrassy 
refused; but two days later, the day on which the Treaty 
was to be signed, they renewed the demand, and the 
Austrian plenipotentiary gave way. "Austria declares 
that the rights of the Sultan in Bosnia and Herzegovina 
will in no way be affected by the occupation, which is to be 
regarded as provisional. An arrangement as to the details 
of the occupation will be made immediately after the 
Congress." With this written declaration in their pocket, 
the Turkish plenipotentiaries signed the Treaty.* 

A few days later a proclamation to the inhabitants was 
issued. "The troops are about to cross the borders. 
They come as friends to end the evils Austria 
which have disturbed not only Bosnia and occupies 
Herzegovina, but the adjoining lands of Bosnia 
Austria for years. The Emperor could no longer 
look on and see violence reigning in the vicinity of 
his territories. At the Berlin Congress it was unani- 
mously resolved that Austria should restore order and 
welfare, and the Sultan has entrusted you to the care 
of the Emperor." The announcement of the coming occu- 
pation fell like a bomb. A bandit named Hadji Loo, 
who had won local prestige by a pilgrimage to Mecca, 
organized opposition in Serajevo, the Bosnian capital, 

1 See Sosnosky, " Die Balkanpolitik Oesterreich-Ungarns seit 1866," 
I and II, 1-42 ; and Larmeroux, " La Politique ExteVieure de 1'Autriche- 
Hongrie," I. The Austro-Russian agreements were revealed by Fournier, 
" Wie wir nach Bosnien Kamen." They are printed in Pribram, " The 
Secret Treaties of Austria-Hungary," II, 193-203. 

a See Wertheimer, " Graf Andrassy," III ; and " Le Rapport Secret 
de Carathe"odory Pacha," ed. Bareilles. 



i8 History of Modern Europe [i8 79 

where a provisional Government was formed. Turkey 
made no official pronouncement, and the Turkish officials 
left the province under rebel escort. Similar steps were 
taken in Mostar, the capital of Herzegovina. Eighteen 
days after the signing of the Treaty of Berlin Austrian 
troops crossed the frontier in four columns, and met with 
hostility from the outset. A squadron of hussars was 
cut to pieces, and as Serajevo was approached a holy 
war was proclaimed. The city was stormed after a 
desperate resistance, in which a large part perished in 
the flames. Meanwhile guerrilla warfare broke out in the 
rear. The 72,000 troops allotted to the task had to be 
reinforced. Herzegovina was subdued by the end of 
September, and on October 20 the last Bosnian strong- 
hold surrendered. 

In addition to Bosnia and Herzegovina Austria 
obtained at Berlin the right to station garrisons in the 
Sanjak of Novibazar, a narrow strip of land separating 
Serbia from Montenegro and connecting Bosnia with 
Macedonia. After the unpleasant experience in Bosnia, 
Andrassy was in no hurry to occupy the Sanjak, and it 
was not till the following year that he suggested an 
amicable arrangement with Turkey. A Convention was 
signed in April, 1879, according to which Austria was 
only to occupy the western portion. The garrisons took 
up their station in September, the Turkish administration 
and Turkish troops remaining in the Sanjak. This curious 
arrangement, which was of no advantage to Austria, and 
locked up troops in a position which would have been a 
death-trap in time of war, was destined to continue for a 
generation. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina had yielded to overwhelming 

forces and modern artillery in the autumn of 1879; but 

Bosnian t ^ le Mussulman inhabitants were scarcely 

Revolt, more discontented than the Orthodox. 

Brigandage continued in the outlying parts, 

and gendarmerie posts were occasionally attacked. 

When the provinces were at last beginning to settle 



i88 2 ] Reforms in Turkey 19 

down, the imposition of conscription in November, 
1 88 1, stirred the smouldering embers. Some of the con- 
scripts in Herzegovina disobeyed the summons to present 
themselves, and during the winter public buildings were 
set on fire. In the opening days of 1882 fresh attacks on 
patrols convinced Austria that she must act. Taught by 
experience, she dispatched not less than 60,000 troops to 
quell the revolt, and by the end of April tranquillity was 
restored. With the appointment in the same year of 
Kallay, a Hungarian nobleman and historical scholar, to 
the post of Joint Minister of Finance, which carried with 
it the administration of the provinces, Bosnia and Herze- 
govina entered on a period of rapid material development ; 
and during the twenty years of his enlightened rule the 
inhabitants, both Christians and Mussulmans, enjoyed a 
prosperity and a tranquillity which they had never known 
as a portion of the Ottoman Empire. 

While Beaconsfield's supreme object had been to 
prevent Russia from dominating the Near East, his 
Foreign Secretary regarded the Treaty of R e f orms 
Berlin as nothing more than a respite during for 
which Turkey must be compelled to put Turkey 
her house in order. And such compulsion could only 
be exercised by Great Britain, for Great Britain alone 
of the Powers had a disinterested desire to alleviate 
the lot of the subjects of the Sultan. Within a month of 
the close of the Congress a dispatch to Constantinople 
proposed a reform scheme by which each vilayet in Asiatic 
Turkey was to have a Governor appointed for a fixed term, 
while the virtual control of police, justice and taxation 
was to be in European hands. 1 The Ambassador, Sir 
Henry Layard, was instructed to press urgently for its 
acceptance; for "the Sultan's inclination to come to an 
agreement and our power of insisting upon it will diminish 
with each succeeding month." So anxious was Salisbury 
to seize the opportunity that he was prepared to support 
a loan of six millions for which the Sultan asked, on the 
1 " Life of Salisbury," II, ch. 8. Aug. 8. 



20 History of Modern Europe [1878 

ground that reforms were impossible without money. The 
project, however, was vetoed by the Prime Minister; for 
the bondholders protested at the first rumour of a fresh 
loan, and the combination of trade depression, a bad 
harvest and the Afghan war made money scarce. 

Despite the refusal of a loan, the Foreign Secretary 
continued to exhort and threaten the Sultan, who seemed 
in no hurry to answer the British dispatch 
of August 8. "The reluctance of England 
to enter on a full policy of partition," he 
wrote on October 17, "will not bear more than a 
certain amount of strain ; and that reluctance is the 
solitary support on which the Sultan's Empire now 
rests." A few days later the Porte replied to the dispatch 
of August 8, promising reforms less drastic than those 
proposed, but not without value if they could be carried 
out. To ensure, or at any rate to encourage, their execu- 
tion the British Government appointed British officers as 
special consuls at eight centres in Asiatic Turkey, with 
instructions to visit every part of their district, to inquire 
into the complaints of the inhabitants, to remonstrate 
against abuses, to spur local officials to action, and to 
report to Constantinople and London. The reports which 
reached Downing Street during 1879 from Sir Charles 
Wilson and his colleagues were filled with stories of 
brigandage, famine and outrage. As the result of vigorous 
representations by the British Ambassador a few individual 
grievances were redressed, some bad officials dismissed, 
and some tolerable governors were appointed. 1 But the 
Consuls were not hopeful, for the root of the evil was in 
Constantinople. When they spoke of impending Arab 
and Armenian revolts the Sultan replied that the mere 
presence of European supervisors stimulated discontent, 
and his promise to employ Europeans in high adminis- 
trative posts was evaded. 

Salisbury was profoundly depressed, but refused to 

1 See Watson, "Life of Sir Charles Wilson," ch. 7-11; cf. "Lord 
Kitchener's Life," I, 37-8. 



1879] The Efforts of Salisbury 21 

confess himself beaten. "The prospect is not bright," 
he wrote to Layard in November. "The character of 
the Sultan appears to be the doom of his Abdul 
race. But we must keep on pegging away Hamid 
and use every means of influence we possess. 
The first step is the appointment of a European 
officer, General Sir Valentine Baker, with an indepen- 
dent command of the gendarmerie. If the Sultan 
stands out we must be prepared for great events. 
Our action may not go farther than demonstrations to 
establish that our responsibility for Turkey is at an end. 
But it will not be from us that the fatal blow will come. 
The present palace system will not be indefinitely sub- 
mitted to by the Asiatic populations." The threat secured 
the appointment of Baker, who had fought for Turkey 
in the Russian war, as Inspector-General of Reforms in 
Asia Minor; but the instructions which he received did 
not confer the executive authority for which he hoped. 
Salisbury attempted to keep up his own spirits and those 
of his agents by reflections on the novelty of the situation. 
"I am afraid you take a desponding view of your work," 
he wrote to a consul at the end of 1879. "But this is the 
first serious attempt to cure misgovernment which has 
endured for centuries. In the nature of things the process 
must be very, very slow." He worked out a scheme of 
constitutional changes necessary to avert disaster, em- 
bracing "a small Council of State, nominated for life, 
exempt from exile, and with a veto on all provincial 
nominations and dismissals." But he had no expecta- 
tion of securing assent to such far-reaching encroachments 
on the Sultan's prerogative, and he had to confess to 
himself that nothing could be done at present except to 
support the Consuls. His task was indeed hopeless, for 
in the recent struggle between Russia and Turkey his 
chief had stood by the Sultan in shining armour and 
had torn up the Treaty of San Stefano. Moreover, Abdul 
Hamid was well aware that he had nothing to fear so long 
as Beaconsfield held sway in Downing Street. 



22 History of Modern Europe 

The return of Gladstone to power in May, 1880, was 

followed by a fresh attempt to secure the realization of 

Gladstone tne Sultan's promises of reform, and when 

admits the usual evasive reply was received he 

Failure, 1883 i nv j te( j tne p owers to j o i n j n pressure at 

Constantinople. The Powers agreed, and on June 11 
an identic Note was delivered to the Porte demand- 
ing "complete and immediate execution of Article 
6 1 of the Treaty of Berlin." 1 A further collective Note 
on September 7 set forth the required reforms in detail. 
Fresh promises were made and new schemes were elabor- 
ated; but the Sultan knew that no Power except Great 
Britain had its heart in the work, for even Russia had 
begun to lose interest. Gladstone's efforts were as fruit- 
less as those of Salisbury; and in 1883 Bismarck, who 
was anxious to avoid the revival of the Eastern question, 
informed the British Government that Germany cared 
nothing about the Christian subjects of the Sultan, and 
advised him to drop the matter. Nothing more, indeed, 
could be done at the moment. The Concert was dead, 
and the British occupation of Egypt destroyed whatever 
influence Great Britain possessed at Constantinople. The 
military consuls were withdrawn, in the belief that they 
were useless, though civilian consuls were allotted to 
Erzerum, Van and Diarbekir. When Salisbury returned 
to office in 1885 he asked for the documents relating to 
our influence at Constantinople, and after perusing them 
he observed, "They have just thrown it away into the 
sea without getting anything whatever in exchange." 
It is arguable that the withdrawal of the military consuls 
was a mistake; but when Gladstone took the helm in 
1880 Great Britain possessed no influence worth speaking 
of at Constantinople. Indeed, it became clear that 

1 " The Sublime Porte undertakes to carry out, without further delay, 
the improvements and reforms demanded by local requirements in the 
provinces inhabited by the Armenians, and to guarantee their security 
against the Circassians and the Kurds. It will periodically make known 
the steps taken to this effect to the Powers, who will superintend their 
application." 



1879] The Middle East 23 

pressure without the intention of resorting to force stiffened 
rather than weakened the resistance of the Sultan, who 
had no intention of allowing Armenia to go the way of 
Bulgaria. Moreover, nobody contemplated the cancelling 
of the Cyprus Convention, which, in return for the promise 
of British aid against any Russian attempt to take Turkish 
territory in Asia, bound the Sultan to introduce the neces- 
sary reforms for the protection of his Christian and other 
subjects. The lamentable result of the fitful interest 
shown by the Powers was to awaken hopes in the 
Armenian highlands which could not be fulfilled, and to 
arouse suspicions in the breast of the Sultan which were 
to bear fruit in organized massacre and outrage in days 
to come. 



II 

Though war between Great Britain and Russia over 
Constantinople had been narrowly averted, the antagonism 
remained, and it seemed possible that the R USS i a 
powder might catch fire in the highlands of in 

Afghanistan. 1 So long as Beaconsfield was Transcaspia 
at the helm the avowed object of British policy was 
to thwart Russian ambitions, while Alexander II, 
checkmated in the Near East, naturally turned his 
attention to the No Man's Land beyond the Caspian. 
His armies, however, had suffered so severely in the 
Turkish campaigns that he had no wish to try conclusions 
with Great Britain ; and the British Cabinet, now that the 
menace to Constantinople was removed, desired to resume 
normal relations. Early in 1879 Lord Dufferin, fresh from 
his term of office in Canada, was dispatched to Petro- 
grad to pour oil on the troubled waters. On presenting 
his letters of credence the new Ambassador was greeted 
by "a great scolding " from the autocrat, who complained 

i See Lady Betty Balfour, " Lord Lytton's Indian Administration." 
The Conservative policy is set forth in Buckle, " Life of Disraeli," VI, 
ch. 10 and 13 ; and " Life of Salisbury," II, ch. 8. An excellent account 
of the Afghan problem is given in Rose, ch. 13 and 14. 



24 History of Modern Europe [1877 

that England had thwarted his plans in a war not of 
ambition, but to rescue the Christians of Turkey from 
their suppressor. He had nevertheless done his best to 
meet English wishes at Berlin, and he would try to find 
a friendly solution of all outstanding questions. The 
charm of Lord Dufferin and his gifted wife proved 
irresistible, and invitations to the British Embassy were 
accepted even by the champions of Pan-Slav ideals. 1 

Despite the desire of the two Governments to live in 
tolerable harmony after the Congress of Berlin, forces 

Russia * iac * k gen set i n motion in Central Asia 
and which could not be reversed when peace 
Afghanistan was res t O red in Eastern Europe. Though 
the Russian Government assured Lord Clarendon in 
1869 that it regarded Afghanistan as entirely outside its 
sphere of influence, a correspondence relating to frontiers 
began in the following year between General Kaufmann, 
Governor-General of Turkestan, and the Ameer. In 1875 
the reception of a Russian envoy in Cabul and the annexa- 
tion of Khokand alarmed the Home Government, where 
Disraeli had succeeded Gladstone; and in 1876 Lord 
Northbrook, the cautious Whig Viceroy, made way for 
Lord Lytton, who had no belief in the Lawrence policy 
of "masterly inactivity." " We wanted a man of ambition, 
imagination, some vanity, and much will," wrote Beacons- 
field, "and we have got him." A treaty with the Khan 
of Khelat in 1876 brought Baluchistan within the orbit 
of the British Empire and enabled troops to be stationed 
at Quetta in the southern flank of Afghanistan; and a 
conference at Peshawar in 1877, which broke down on 
the refusal to allow British officers access to frontier posts, 
convinced the Viceroy that the Ameer was irrevocably 
committed to Russia. The cynical phrase of a Russian 
general, "Nos frontieres marchent avec nous," was widely 
quoted; and both Lord Lytton and Lord Salisbury, the 
Secretary of State, were deeply impressed by the writings 

1 Lyall's " Life of Dufferin," I, ch. 8 ; and Lady Dufferin, " My 
Russian and Turkish Journals." 



1878] Russia and Afghanistan 25 

and warnings of Sir Henry Rawlinson, who laboured 
unceasingly to arouse his countrymen to the dangers of 
Russia's advance towards the frontiers of India. 1 

After the Peshawar Conference all communications 
with the Ameer ceased, and the situation was complicated 
by the Russo-Turkish war. The summon- stolietoff 
ing of Indian troops to Malta in the spring in 

of 1878 and the order of the fleet to Con- Cabul 
stantinople seemed to bring war within sight. Russia 
retaliated by moving troops towards the Afghan 
frontier and by the dispatch of General Stolietoff to 
Cabul on June 13, the day of the opening of the Berlin 
Congress. Gortchakoff pretended that the mission was 
purely one of courtesy; but the dispatch of an envoy to 
Cabul formed part of the scheme for the invasion of 
India which Skobeleff had drawn up during the Turkish 
war. 2 Moreover, on April 25, in order to strengthen 
Russian influence in the coming negotiations, the War 
Minister had ordered the dispatch of three columns as a 
demonstration. The main force left Tashkend on June 13 ; 
but when it reached the Afghan border news arrived that 
the Treaty of Berlin had been signed. Stolietoff, however, 
only left Cabul on August 24, carrying with him, it was 
generally believed, a treaty with the Ameer, and members 
of the mission remained for some weeks longer in the 
Afghan capital. On learning of Stolietoff's reception the 
British Government invited the Ameer to receive a similar 
mission from India. No reply to the letter was received, 
and on September 8 the Viceroy telegraphed home that 
the envoy, General Sir Neville Chamberlain, would wait 
no longer and would march through the Khyber Pass 
to Cabul with an escort. 

The proposal involved war unless the Ameer surren- 
dered, and the mission was held back by a telegram from 
London, where a communication from Petrograd was 
awaited. When the Treaty of Berlin was signed Beacons- 

1 See G. Rawlinson, " Sir H. Rawlinson." 
* Printed in Rose, 602-7. 



26 History of Modern Europe [i8 7 a 

field expected that Russia would recall the Stolietoff 
Mission and the troops. After waiting 1 for a few weeks a 
letter was dispatched to Gortchakoff, who replied in most 
conciliatory terms that military demonstrations in the 
direction of Afghanistan would be discontinued, and that 
Russia did not aim at special influence in that country. 
The veto reached Simla too late, for negotiations with 
the semi-independent Khyber tribes for the passage of the 
mission had been begun by the frontier officers, who 
reported that to postpone the advance would arouse the 
contempt of the tribesmen. The mission was compelled 
to return to Peshawar by forces which it was useless to 
attack. 1 It was decided on October 30 to demand a written 
apology within three weeks for the affront in the Khyber 
Pass, and the reception of a permanent British mission. 
No reply to the ultimatum was received, and British troops 
crossed the frontier at three points. The defeated Ameer 
now offered to receive an envoy at Cabul, but the time for 
negotiations with Shere Ali was past. His troubles were 

due to Russia, but the assistance of Russian 
Overthrown. tro P s ^ or which he asked was refused. In 

replying to a vote of censure on December 16 
the Prime Minister spoke in friendly tones of his 
old antagonist. Preparations against India when war 
seemed likely were legitimate, and now the crisis 
was over the Tsar had ordered his troops to retire. 
"Russia has taken every step in this business to 
make honourable amends to England, and her conduct 
presents the most striking contrast to that of the Ameer." 
The campaign proceeded without a hitch, and Shere Ali 
fled to Russian Turkestan, where he died within a few 
weeks. By the Treaty of Gandamak on May 26 his son, 
Yakub Khan, accepted British direction of his foreign 
policy, and consented to a permanent British Resident at 
Cabul, in return for a promise of support against Russian 
aggression. Some frontier districts were ceded, and the 
British retained control of the Khyber Pass. " Greatly 

1 " Life of Salisbury," II, 337-44- 



The Accession of Abdurrahman 27 

owing to your energy and foresight," wrote the Prime 
Minister to the Viceroy, "we have secured a scientific 
frontier for our Indian Empire." 

The jubilation with which Beaconsfield and Lytton 
regarded their handiwork was rudely disturbed by the 
news of the assassination by mutinous The 
troops of Sir Louis Cavagnari, the British Cayagnari 
envoy, with mission and escort, six weeks Mission 
after his arrival. The treacherous Yakub abdicated, 
and after quelling sporadic risings Roberts ruled the 
country from Cabul throughout the winter. Early in the 
following year Abdurrahman, a nephew of Shere Ali, 
emerged from Turkestan, where he had lived as a Russian 
pensioner, claimed the throne, and, aided by British con- 
fidence, money and arms, built up a powerful and united 
kingdom, to which Kandahar was wisely restored by the 
Gladstone Government. The Afghans had learned by 
bitter experience the danger of intriguing with Russia and 
the futility of trusting to her promises of support, and 
Great Britain learned that an independent and contented 
Afghanistan was the best barrier against Russian designs 
on India. Lord Ripon, who had succeeded Lord Lytton 
as Viceroy, proclaimed and applied the principle that the 
danger of Russian wiles within the frontiers of India could 
best be met by winning the confidence of the Indian 
peoples. "The steady pursuit of the policy of the present 
Government," he wrote in 1882, "will place us in a better 
condition to encounter Russian intrigues than the fortifica- 
tion of all the frontier towns of Afghanistan and the 
garrisoning of the whole of them with British troops." * 

The signature of the Treaty of Berlin and the establish- 
ment of a friendly Ameer at Cabul diminished the Anglo- 
Russian tension in the Middle East without removing its 
causes. Russia had not recognized British over-lordship 
in Afghanistan, and everyone knew that the steam-roller, 
after a brief halt, would resume its advance. Preparations 
for an expedition against the Tekke Turcomans in the 

1 See Lucien Wolf, " Life of Lord Ripon," II, ch. 15-17. 



28 History of Modern Europe [1884 

summer of 1879 prompted a request from the British 
Ambassador for explanations, and elicited soothing assur- 
ances. The Tsar sent a message to the Queen that the 
expedition would not develop into an attack on Merv, and 
the Russophil Duke of Argyll rallied his countrymen on 
their " mervousness." But a rebuff to a Russian force at 
the end of 1879 led to the dispatch of a larger expedition 
under Skobeleff, who stormed Geok Tepe, the Turcoman 
stronghold, in January, 1881, and slaughtered twenty 
thousand of the inhabitants. The wholesale massacre 
broke the spirit of the Turcomans, and spread the terror 
of the Russian name throughout Central Asia. The 
Russian Foreign Office once more explained that there 
would be no advance on Merv; but Russian assurances 
failed to reassure even the Gladstone Ministry. Harting- 
ton, the Indian Secretary, announced on August i, 1881, 
that Great Britain would not tolerate foreign interference 
in Afghanistan. Ripon would have preferred a deal to a 
threat, and proposed that Great Britain should assent to 
Russia's advance on Merv in return for a promise to 
abstain from interference in Afghanistan. Russia, he 
believed, would occupy Merv in any case, and he advised 
that we should purchase security for Afghanistan while 
our assent was worth paying for. The plan was approved 
by Hartington but not by Granville, and was considered 
too risky to adopt. 

Despite repeated assurances Merv was occupied in 
February, 1884, and Russian territory was now almost, if 

Russia not actua ^y * n contact with north-west 

takes Merv, Afghanistan, and within easy reach of 

Herat. 1 That Russia should have taken 

this step with full knowledge of the importance 

attached to the matter by Great Britain suggested the 

resolve to pick a quarrel. It was impossible to check 

the Russian advance by force, and the Government of 

1 See Fitzmaurice, " Life of Granville," II, ch. 12; Holland, " Life 
of the Duke of Devonshire," I, ch. 14; Gwynn and Tuckwell, "Life 
of Dilke," II, ch. 39. 



i88 5 ] The Penjdeh Incident 29 

India suggested a Joint Commission to determine a frontier 
which Russia could not overstep without a breach of faith. 
The Cabinet approved, Russia accepted, and Sir Peter 
Lumsden started in the autumn to meet the Russian Com- 
missioner General Zelenoi. The General was due on the 
frontier on October 13; but early in October it was 
announced that he was ill and could not arrive till 
February. Lumsden was unable to commence work, and, 
despite urgent communications from the British Govern- 
ment, the General's "illness" continued throughout the 
winter. The breach of faith was aggravated by the fact 
that a large Russian force was meanwhile occupying 
territory forming part of the region whose ownership the 
Commission was to determine, and threatening frontiers 
which the military authorities deemed necessary to the 
defence of Afghanistan. Granville was convinced that the 
procrastination in regard to the Zelenoi mission was due 
to the approval, if not indeed the suggestion, of Bismarck, 
at that moment annoyed with British policy in regard to 
German colonial aims. 

On February 14, 1885, an unfounded rumour reached 
London that the Russians were marching on Herat, and on 
February 21 it was announced that troops Tension 
were close to Penjdeh, a fertile valley within at Penjdeh, 
the territory claimed by the Afghans, but 
to which Russia had announced that the claim would 
be disputed. 1 The British Government at once remon- 
strated; but the Russian Government declined to 
withdraw their advanced posts, adding that the officers 
had been ordered to avoid conflicts and that com- 
plications were only to be feared if the Afghans attacked. 
Lumsden, on his side, advised the Afghans stationed at 
Penjdeh to return to the positions they occupied, but not 
to advance beyond them. The Russians brought up re- 
inforcements, and early in March the Indian Government 
was ordered to assemble a force to march to the relief of 

1 For the Russian side see Stead, " The M.P. for Russia " (Olga 
Novikoff), II, ch. 9. 



30 History of Modern Europe [1885 

Herat in the event of war. The troops became restless and 
excited as they faced one another, and the situation was 
so grave that on March 4 the Queen sent a telegram to the 
Tsar. "The motive for this telegram is my keen desire 
that there should be no misunderstanding between the two 
countries. The news from the Afghan frontier causes m'e 
the greatest disquietude. I appeal to your good feelings, 
dear brother, to do all you can to prevent the misfortunes 
which would arise from an armed conflict between the 
Russian and Afghan troops." 

The Russian Government now justified the delay of 
General Zelenoi by the argument that before delimitation 

could take place its principles whether 
of E War purely geographical or partly ethnographical 

must be settled, and proposed to send 
an envoy to London. The objection, if it really 
existed, should have been communicated in the previous 
year, and the prospect of indefinite delay in- 
creased the apprehension that the Russian troops would 
seize the disputed territory while negotiations were pro- 
ceeding. There was, moreover, the danger lest the 
Afghans, encouraged by the presence of Lumsden, might 
resist a Russian attack, even if they did not provoke a 
collision. On March 30 the expected explosion took place. 
The Afghans occupied a position from which they declined 
to withdraw, and were attacked by General KomarofT , who 
proceeded to occupy the oasis of Penjdeh. "War is 
inevitable," declared the British Ambassador when the 
news reached Petrograd. " I shall be told to demand my 
passports." x The Tsar was inclined to disavow his 
General, but the excitement of the Press forced him to 
show a brave face. On April 27, in asking Parliament 
for a credit of eleven millions, Gladstone accused the 
Russians of an act of unprovoked aggression. In the 
event of war the British Government expected assistance 
from the Sultan, who, however, desired to remain neutral, 
and who inquired whether the other Powers would defend 

1 Baddeley, " Russia in the 'Eighties," ch. 10. 



1887] End of the Crisis 31 

his neutrality by sending ships to the entrance of the 
Straits. None of them could promise such assistance ; but 
he was none the less encouraged to maintain neutrality. 1 

The tension was acute, and in every capital in Europe 
war was considered inevitable; but neither Government 
desired a conflict. Moreover, the Ameer, at The 
this moment a guest of Lord Dufferin in Penjdeh 
India, anxious to prevent his country be- Settlement 
coming the battlefield of an Anglo-Russian conflict, 
refused the offer of British troops and expressed 
his readiness to surrender part of the disputed territory in 
the north. 2 The British Government proposed arbitra- 
tion ; but the Tsar replied that General Komaroff had acted 
rightly, and that he would never allow his conduct to be 
submitted to arbitration. The Cabinet, unwearying in its 
efforts for peace, pointed out that rejection meant war, and 
begged the Tsar to accept the appointment of an arbitrator, 
who, it was added, need never act. The Tsar finally 
assented to arbitration by the King of Denmark, and the 
crisis was over. His initial refusal remained a secret, and 
his consent was hailed with relief except by the Jingo 
Press in both countries, which shed tears of anger at the 
"humiliation." No more was heard of the arbitration, and 
the two Governments finally agreed that the Zulfikar Pass 
should remain Afghan territory, while Penjdeh was 
adjudged to Russia. The actual delimitation was to be 
worked out by a mixed Commission, which completed its 
task in 1887. Thus ended the excursions and alarums 
which began with the Stolietoff Mission and arose from 
Beaconsfield's resolute opposition to Russian ambitions 
in the Near East. 

1 See "Die Grosse Politik," IV, 111-28; and Freycinet, "Souvenirs," 
II, 300-3- 

" Life of Dufferin," II, ch. 3. 



CHAPTER II 

THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE 



THE outstanding result of the Congress of Berlin in the 
realm of high politics was the estrangement of Russia 
Russia fro m Germany. The Slavophils had forced 
attacks the Tsar to supprt the revolt of the Balkan 
Bismarck Christians, and their voices were raised in 
shrill anger when the triumphs of the battlefield 
were sacrificed at the council table. The restoration 
of Bessarabia and the annexation of Batum and 
Kars seemed a poor return for so much blood and 
treasure. "The Congress is a conspiracy against the 
Russian people," shrieked Ivan Aksakoff, "in which 
Russian representatives have taken part. The diplomacy 
of St. Petersburg is more dangerous than Nihilism. It is 
disgraceful treachery to the historic mission of Russia, and 
has lost for ever the respect and affection of the Slavs. 
Russia has been crucified by her own statesmen. A fool's 
cap and bells have been set upon her head." In the 
Moscow Gazette KatkofT, the prince of journalists, pro- 
claimed that Germany had left Russia in the lurch, and 
that the road to Constantinople lay through Berlin. 
Jomini, the strongest brain in the Foreign Office, wrote 
violent articles in the official Press, and General Milutin, 
the War Minister, worked openly for a French alliance. 
Schuvaloff, the chief Russian plenipotentiary at the Con- 
gress, whom Bismarck described as the cleverest man in 
Russia, after resuming his post in London for a short 
time, was recalled and virtually disgraced. The veteran 

1 A. Fischel, " Der Panslavismus," 428. 

32 



1878] Russia and Germany 33 

Gortchakoff, who had helped to shape Russian policy since 
the Crimean war, though compelled by advancing years 
to relinquish his grip, had not lost all his influence; and 
his personal hostility to Bismarck, dating from the war 
scare of 1875, was notorious. And, finally, the Tsar him- 
self shared to the full the anger of his subjects at the 
substitution of the Berlin compromise for the dictated 
settlement of San Stefano. His wrath was increased by 
the fact that the Emperor William, on the victorious con- 
clusion of the Franco-German war, had solemnly assured 
his Imperial nephew that he would never forget the services 
rendered by Russia. He spoke bitterly of the European 
coalition against Russia under Bismarck's leadership. 
Alexander was still under sixty, but the anxieties and dis- 
appointments of his reign had aged and soured him. 
Bismarck cruelly described him as sick in mind and body 
and prematurely worn out; and his conduct in the year 
following the Congress betrayed a lack of self-control. 

The Tsar's anger at the Berlin settlement rose to fever 
pitch when he learned that the German agents on the 
international commissions appointed to carry 
out the delimitations supported the Austrian 
rather than the Russian view in cases of 
disagreement. 1 In the spring of 1879 Italy was approached 
through the old Hungarian and Garibaldian rebel, 
General Tiirr, as to whether she would co-operate 
in a war against Austria; and soundings were taken 
in Paris, of which Waddington informed Bismarck, 
with equally little result. Russian troops were concen- 
trated on the German and Austrian frontiers, and in June 
the Tsar at the last moment cancelled a visit to Berlin for 
the golden wedding of his uncle. On August 8 the 
German Ambassador reported the monarch's angry com- 

1 Their instructions were to support the majority when Russia and 
Austria disagreed. The best book on Bismarck's later foreign policy, 
after his own " Reflections," is Plehn, " Bismarck's Auswartige Politik 
nach der Reichsgriindung." Grant Robertson, " Bismarck," is also 
useful. Erich Marcks, " Kaiser Wilhelm I," is a masterly study of the 
Emperor. 



34 History of Modern Europe [1879 

plaint that "if Germany wished the friendship of a hundred 
years to continue, she must alter her ways. Cela finira 
d'une maniere tres strieuse" Bismarck forwarded the 
Ambassador's dispatch to the Emperor William, who re- 
plied that his nephew had been misled by Gortchakoff, 
and that he would soon change again ; but this pleasant 
fiction was destroyed by an autograph letter from the Tsar 
to his uncle written on August 15. He repeated his 
strictures on the conduct of German agents on the Com- 
missions, reminded his correspondent of the services of 
Russia in 1870, "which you said you would never forget," 
and added that he could not hide his fears that the conse- 
quences might be disastrous for both countries. 1 The 
Kaiser was more pained than angered by the violence of 
tone, and he charged Bismarck to draft a response. The 
Chancellor replied from Gastein that it was regrettable 
that such a letter of unconcealed menaces, in which he 
detected the hand of Milutin, should be written, and if 
the Kaiser replied in a similar strain it would probably 
lead to war. To go on his knees to the Tsar, on the other 
hand, would merely encourage him to further menaces. 
Gratitude for 1870 could not compel Germany to sacrifice 
her friendly relations to Austria. The Kaiser replied to 
his nephew on August 28 in a letter drafted by the Chan- 
cellor, denying that his agents had received Russophobe 
instructions and that Bismarck was hostile, and recalling 
the occasions on which Austria and Germany had aided 
Russian interests. 

While the Kaiser believed that the rift in the lute was 

Bismarck's not Devon d repair, his omnipotent Chancellor 

New had reached the conviction that the hour for 

Policy a new orientation of German policy had 
struck. The Dreikaiserbund of 1872 had received a 

1 The dispatches relating to the foundation of the Dual Alliance are 
published in " Die Grosse Politik," III, 1-136. The Treaties mentioned 
in this chapter are printed in Pribram, " The Secret Treaties of Austria- 
Hungary," I; cf. Wertheimer, "Graf Andrassy," III; Singer, 
" Geschichte des Dreibundes " ; and Coolidge, " The Origins of the 
Triple Alliance. 






i8 7 g] Bismarck's Decision 35 

rude shock when Alexander and Gortchakoff hurried 
to Berlin in 1875, and in 1876 Gortchakoff rejected 
the suggestion of a treaty guaranteeing the Ger- 
man possession of Alsace and Lorraine in return for 
energetic support of Russian policy in the Near East. 
The Tsar also received a rebuff when on the eve of the 
Turkish war he asked whether Germany would remain 
neutral if Russia went to war with Austria. 1 After vainly 
endeavouring to evade the embarrassing question the 
Chancellor replied that Germany could indeed suffer her 
friends to win or lose battles, but not that one of them 
should be so injured as to endanger its position as a Great 
Power. This refusal of neutrality angered Gortchakoff 
and his master; and when the friendly Schuvaloff dis- 
cussed an alliance before the Berlin Congress, Bismarck 
pointed out that Germany would be in an inferior position, 
since both the geographical position and the autocratic 
Government of Russia would render it easier for her to 
dissolve the tie. His lifelong policy was to cultivate the 
friendship of Russia without committing his country to 
her exclusive protection. He defined his r61e at the 
^Berlin Congress as that of an honest broker, and he always 
^maintained that he had given full weight to Russian 
interests. "I conceived my role," he declared in his 
historic speech of February 6, 1888, "almost as if I were 
the third Russian delegate. No Russian 
wish reached me which I did not adopt and 
fulfil. I behaved in such a manner that 
at the end of the Congress I thought to myself, 
'If I did not already possess the highest Russian 
order in brilliants, I ought to receive it now.' I had the 
feeling that I had performed a service for a foreign Power 
which a Minister is seldom in a position to render. The 
campaign therefore surprised me. These attacks grew 
during 1879 into peremptory demands to put pressure on 
Austria. I could not agree ; for if we estranged ourselves 

1 For relations between Germany and Russia before the Berlin Con- 
gress see " Die Grosse Politik," II. 



36 History of Modern Europe [1879 



/^ Austria we should unless we wished to be wholly 

isolated necessarily fall into dependence on Russia. 
Would that be tolerable? I once thought that it would, 
on the ground that where no antagonism of interests 
existed there would be no reason for Russia to terminate 
the friendship. The course of the Congress disappointed 
me, and showed me that not even a complete temporary 
subordination of our policy could guarantee us against 
antagonism." 

Bismarck exaggerated his complaisance for Russia at 
the Congress; but there was no shadow of excuse for the 
Bismarck taunts f treachery with which he was 
chooses assailed, or for the belief that with a word 
Austria j^ cou \d have maintained the Treaty of 
San Stefano intact. The neurotic excitement of Russia 
and her ruler turned his thoughts increasingly towards 
a defensive alliance with Austria against a common 
danger. "The idea of coalitions gives me nightmares. 
We had waged victorious wars against two Great Powers. 
Everything depended on inducing at least one of them to 
renounce the design of revenge. It could not be France. 
The Treaty of Reichstadt revealed the danger that 
Kaunitz' league of France, Austria and Russia might be 
revived. I had therefore to choose between Russia and 
Austria. In point of material force, union with Russia 
has the advantage, and because I placed more reliance on 
traditional dynastic friendship and community of con- 
servative instincts than on fits and starts of public opinion 
among the Hungarian, Slav and Catholic populations of 
Austria, Hungary would always be pro-German if she 
thought merely of her interests, but she is anti-Austrian ; 
and the Germans in Austria also often lose touch with 
the dynasty." 

Despite the obvious disabilities of the Hapsburg realm 
as an ally, Bismarck's hesitations were swept away by the 
synchronizing of the Tsar's threats with the news of 
Andrassy's forthcoming resignation. Fearing lest his 
successor might be Francophil or Russophil, the Chan- 



i8 7 9] 



Bismarck and Andrassy 37 



cellor wrote that he would be glad to see him at Gastein 
or elsewhere. The Austrian Foreign Minister was no less 
eager for insurance against Russia, whom, The Gastein 
with British aid, he had thwarted at Berlin ; Conversa- 
and he arranged to reach Gastein on 
August 27. Prolonged and earnest conversations took 
place on the two following days. Russia, began 

y the Chancellor, wanted the German vote cast against 
Austria. "If I refuse, I shall break with Russia for 
Austria's beaux yeux." Andrassy then complained of 
Russian armaments, demands and threats, adding that 
Vienna had lost all confidence in the Tsar, and that 
Austria, France and Great Britain had agreed to vote 
together. "What, then, would Austria do if Russia at- 
tacked Germany without provocation ? " asked the Chan- 
cellor. "She would support you with all her strength," 
replied Andrassy, "and all her peoples would applaud." 
"In that case," rejoined Bismarck, "would Austria con- 
sider a League of Peace ? Germany wanted nothing 
more." "We, too," replied Andrassy. "Even the Arch- 
duke Albrecht now sees that Austria's welfare is bound up 
with Germany, and I think I can answer for the loyalty 
both of Germans and Magyars to a German alliance." 
The two statesmen agreed to meet again in Vienna after 
consulting their respective masters. The Emperor 
William promptly telegraphed, "Consider journey to 
Vienna impossible " ; but Bismarck replied that he could 
not accept responsibility for telling Andrassy that he was 
forbidden to return his visit, and his master gave way. 
The discussions with Andrassy were reported in great 
detail on August 31, and Bismarck argued that since the 

V^Tsar's threats had destroyed confidence in Russia, a de- 
fensive alliance with Austria was indispensable for Ger- 
many's safety. Without it, Russia would attack, and 
Austria would join France. If Germany did not secure 
Austria at once she might not be able to obtain her support 
when she needed it. 

"I found the Emperor so fully convinced of the useful- 



38 History of Modern Europe [1879 

ness and indeed the necessity of such an arrangement," 
wrote Andrassy joyfully to Bismarck on September i, 
"that further argument proved to be superfluous. He 
sees therein not only no departure from the determination 
to maintain peace between the three empires, but the only 
possible way of removing the sword of Damocles. As 
soon as you have obtained the approval in principle of 
the Emperor William I am authorized to receive a draft 
text and to prepare one myself. I am to remain in office 
till this matter is completed, and my successor, whom I 
have informed, is in perfect agreement. I have no peace 
of mind till I see the torch extinguished which the Tsar 
half-unconsciously brandishes above the European powder- 
barrel, and while I know the peace of Europe to rest in the 
hands of a Milutin, a Jomini, and presently doubtless of 
an Ignatieff. I am convinced the Tsar does not wish for 
war at present; but I cannot forget that he had no desire 
for the war just concluded. I consider it a European 
necessity to provide against this danger." 

In thanking Andrassy for his letter, Bismarck replied 
that unfortunately from the nature of things, geographical 
The as we ^ as poetical* his task could not be 
Kaiser's so speedily completed. " I have been obliged 
Objections to Dictate to my son sixty pages, the con- 
tents of which I had to expand by telegraphic and 
other additions. Yet in spite of all my pains, I have 
not succeeded in entirely removing the apprehension that 
our peaceful scheme may conceal some secret views of an 
aggressive character. This idea is unwelcome to a gentle- 
man of eighty-two. For him the attitude of the Tsar was 
only recently illuminated as with a lightning flash, though 
I have been repeatedly obliged to recognize the situation 
during the past few years. It will be a trial to find him- 
self forced into making a choice between the two neigh- 
bouring empires. With our dynasty habit exercises 
enormous influence. Besides, the Tsar is now endeavour- 
ing to force Jupiter Tonans into the background by a 
rapid transition to sunshine. The last threats were 



i8 7 9] The Kaiser at Alexandrovo 39 

followed within a week by a friendly invitation to send 
a Russian officer to Warsaw. This was accepted by the 
Emperor, who announced the dispatch of Field-Marshal 
Manteuffel without my previous knowledge. Manteuffel 
met with very considerable readiness to make advances, 
in the sincerity and performance of which I cannot place 
any confidence. I am not aware whether the meeting 
which is to take place to-day at Alexandrovo was sug- 
gested by him or by the Russians." 

The Kaiser assured Bismarck that he was only going 
to Alexandrovo to discover the origin of "the incompre- 
hensible letter," and to defend his Chancellor 
against baseless accusations. When the 
v monarchs met on September 3 the Tsar, 
who had suggested the interview, was in his most 
winning mood. He expressed regret that the letter 
of August 15 had caused offence, and wished it to be 
Tegarded as if never written. Nothing was further from 
his intention than to threaten. He had only called atten- 
tion to the fact that, if the Press of both countries con- 
tinued to rail at each other, a feeling of hostility would 
arise. The peace of Europe could only be preserved, in 
the future as in the past, by good relations between 
Prussia and Russia. The votes of the German agents on 
the European Commissions had aroused great irritation, 
for Russia was merely trying to improve the lot of the 
Christian populations; and the antagonism encouraged the 
Turks to obstinacy. Bismarck appeared unable to forget 
Gortchakoff's stupid circular of 1875; but Gortchakoff was 
homme mort. The Kaiser replied that he had been pained 
by the letter, but was glad to hear that no threat was 
intended; that Bismarck, though he had not changed his 
views, could not understand the attacks in semi-official 
organs; that the German agents had been instructed to 
support Russia and Austria when they were in agreement, 
and to vote with the majority when they were not. On 
the following day the Kaiser conversed with Giers, the 
acting head of the Foreign Office, and General Milutin, 



40 History of Modern Europe [i8 79 

the Minister of War. The former expressed satisfaction 
at the removal of misunderstanding, while the latter ex- 
plained the maintenance of large military forces after the 
close of the Turkish war on the ground that England was 
organizing and arming Asia Minor through her Consuls, 
and that a new conflict in the Near East was at hand in 
which England would be supported by Austria and 
possibly by France. 

The Kaiser returned from Alexandrovo convinced that 
the Russian danger was imaginary. In forwarding the 
The report of the conversations to Bismarck, he 
Kaiser's added that neither the Tsar nor any of those 
Policy w j 1Q stooc j highest in his confidence had 
'the slightest desire to wage war on Germany. It 
was therefore unnecessary to change the traditional 
policy, and still less to form a defensive coalition 
against Russia. "Put yourself in my place for a 
moment. I am in presence of a personal friend, a near 
relative and an ally, in order to come to an understanding 
as to some hasty and indeed misunderstood passages in a 
letter, and our interview leads to a satisfactory result. Shall 
I now join a hostile coalition against this sovereign behind 
his back ? I will not absolutely deny that the dangers set 
forth in your memoranda may arise one day, particularly 
on a change of rulers ; but I am utterly unable to see that 
there is any imminent danger* It is against my political 
convictions and my conscience to bind my hands for the 
sake of a possible eventuality. I must not disavow you 
and the steps which you have taken with Andrassy and 
his master. You may therefore speak of the eventuality 
of disagreement developing into a possible breach, and 
enter into pourparlers respecting the possible measures to 
/ be taken. But I do not authorize you to conclude a con- 
vention, to say nothing of a treaty. In this way I hope our 
views will again agree. If so, I can look forward with 
confidence to the future, which would otherwise be very 
darkj and anticipate a continuance of our relations with 
Russia, which are growing more friendly. I cannot tell 



18791 Bismarck and his Master 41 

you how painful this episode has been to me, when it 
seemed, for the first time in seventeen years, as if we do 
not agree." Bismarck was wholly unaffected by the report 
of the visit to Alexandrovo, which, indeed, he had tried to 
prevent. He pointed out that there was no idea of attack- 
ing Russia. If, however, Austria were attacked and in 
danger, Germany would be compelled by self-interest to 
V support her^ alliance or no alliance, since Germany's posi- 
tion, confronted by a victorious Russia, a defeated Austria 
and a hostile France, would be untenable. Moreover, 
instead of fighting Austria, Russia might win her over 
by the promise of Silesia. The Tsar was only friendly 
^ till he could win France or Austria or both. He could 
be informed of the pact when it had been signed. 

While the Chancellor was wrestling with his master 
for permission to push forward, he secured the assent of 
Bavaria, which occupied a position of special Bismarck 
importance in relation to foreign affairs, consults 
"Russian policy," he wrote to King Ludwig Bavaria 
on September 10, "has come to be entirely dominated 
by the warlike, revolutionary tendencies of Panslavism. 
Shuvaloff is in disgrace; the leading Minister is 
Milutin, the War Minister, who has increased the army. 
The Tsar did not desire the Turkish war, but was forced 
into it by Panslav feeling, which might drive him to war 
again. In these circumstances I cannot resist the convic- 
tion that in the future, perhaps in the near future, peace 
is threatened by Russia and perhaps by Russia alone. Her 
attempts to find support in France and Italy have failed, 
and she has recently presented to us threatening demands 
which involve that we should make a definite choice be- 
tween herself and Austria, at the same time instructing 
the German members of the Eastern committees to vote 
with Russia in doubtful questions ; whereas in our opinion 
the true construction of the decisions of the Congress is 
that of Austria, France and England, with whom Germany 
las accordingly voted, so that Russia with or without Italy 
is in a minority. Unless we join Austria, she will not be 



h < 

( is 



42 History of Modern Europe [1879 

to blame if she seeks an entente with France or Russia, 
and Andrassy's resignation makes this our last oppor- 
tunity." Only the two Emperors, concluded the Chan- 
cellor with a delicate compliment, had been informed. The 
King immediately replied that an Austrian alliance would 
have his full approval. 

To convert his master was the urgent task of the 

moment, and at Holstein's suggestion Bismarck sum- 

The moned Prince Hohenlohe, at that time 

Kaiser Ambassador in Paris, to Gastein. 1 On his 
Besieged arr i va i Hohenlohe confided to Holstein that 
he was himself unconverted. "Firstly, I do not 
trust Austria. Secondly, I do not think Russia really 
hostile. Finally, I believe an Austro-German alli- 
ance will lead to a Franco-Russian alliance and that is 
war." These doubts, however, were swept away when he 
saw the Chancellor next day. "He convinced me of the 
necessity," wrote the Prince in his diary. "He says 
Austria cannot stand alone in face of Russian threats. 
She will work round to an alliance with Russia or France. 
In both cases Germany is in danger of isolation. The 
Kaiser resists, owing to the fatal visit to Alexandrovo. 
Bismarck threatens to resign, and the Kaiser to abdicate. 
He asks me to see the Kaiser." 

On September 16 Count Stolberg, Vice-President of 
the Ministry, informed the Chancellor that the Kaiser 
would sanction a general defensive alliance, of which, 
however, the Tsar must be informed. Bismarck at once 
told Andrassy that his master agreed "in principle " with 
his own views, and proposed oral discussion. On Sep- 
tember 21 accordingly he left Gastein for Vienna in good 
spirits. "During the long journey," he writes in his 
"Reflections," "my sense of being in true German territory 
was deepened by my reception at the stations. In Vienna 
I found the people in a similar frame of mind. The greet- 
ings of the closely packed throng were continuous. The 
struggles of the past had not stifled the sense of the 

1 " Denkwiirdigkeiten," II, 274-7. 



The Dual Alliance 43 

community of blood. The Emperor was very gracious." 
The discussions of Gastein were resumed with the Emperor, 
Andrassy, Haymerle, the Foreign Secretary elect, and 
Koloman Tisza, the Hungarian Premier. Though Bis- 
marck's first object was insurance against Russia, he also 
desired aid against an attack from France; and indeed 
his master forbade an alliance directed against Russia 
alone. Andrassy replied that Austria had no quarrel with 
France and no reason to fight her, and cogently argued 
that such a treaty would drive France and Russia into an 
alliance. Bismarck rejoined that if Austria would support 
him against France, he would support Austria against 
Italy, though Germany had no quarrel with the latter. 
Austria, retorted Andrassy, did not require help against 
Italy ; but she would support Germany against France if 
France was supported by Russia. 

Bismarck suggested that the alliance should be rendered 
permanent by being communicated to and approved of 
by the Parliaments of Berlin, Vienna and Andrassy 
Budapest. Andrassy replied that a public versus 
treaty would be a provocation, since it would 
register the isolation of Russia and thereby weaken 
the peace party in St. Petersburg. Russia would 
ask to enter, and that would be the renewal of the Drei- 
kaiserbund, which he did not desire, as the Tsar was 
always casting his dignity into the scales. Bismarck ob- 
served that he feared he could not secure his master's 
assent to a secret and limited treaty, but invited Andrassy 
to produce a draft. On September 24, before accepting 
the Austrian scheme, the Chancellor made a final appeal 
for a defensive alliance against France as well as Russia. 
"He rose," relates Andrassy, "almost crumpling the paper 
in his hand, and came quite close to me. ' I can only 
say, think what you are doing. For the last time I advise 
you to yield. Accept my proposal,' he cried with loud 
voice and threatening mien. ' If not (a moment's silence, 
in which I heard my heart beat) I must accept yours.' 
The last words he spoke in a friendly way, adding with 



44 History of Modern Europe [1879 

a smile, ' But it will give me a cursed lot of trouble.* He 
gave me his hand. The approach of the towering figure 
was so threatening that I wonder what would have hap- 
pened if my nerves had failed me." * Bismarck at once 
visited the French Ambassador in Vienna to explain that 
the understanding need not disquiet France, as its char- 
acter was purely pacific. Two days later, on reaching 
Berlin, he informed the Russian Ambassador that nothing 
had occurred to disquiet Russia. 

The first part of the struggle was over; but a second 
and far graver contest of wills was at hand. Bismarck 
The had not been able to secure the general 
Kaiser treaty of defence which his master demanded, 
Yields } treaty there was to be; and the weary 
Chancellor felt unable to face oral controversy with 
his master. Hohenlohe had already done his best to 
convert the Kaiser in an interview at Strassburg on Sep- 
tember 22. The aged monarch complained bitterly that 
Bismarck, "apparently to avenge the letter," proposed an 
alliance against Russia which he could not accept. Hohen- 
lohe argued in reply that Austria and Russia would com- 
bine at Germany's expense, and that France would join 
them when the Anglophil Waddington fell. On September 
24, after signing the Treaty, Bismarck wrote a long letter 
explaining its nature and advantages, and added that with- 
out it he could not continue responsible for the safety of 
the country in view of the dangers which the future held 
in store. The Emperor was thus confronted with the most 
painful decision of his life. He was tormented not only 
by the fear of appearing disloyal to his nephew, but by 
the conviction that notice of withdrawal from the Conven- 
tion of 1873 should be given before a new treaty was 
framed. Acceptance of the Vienna draft was approved 
by the Empress, and urged by the Crown Prince and 
Moltke not less vigorously than by Hohenlohe and Stol- 
berg; but to all appeals the harassed Kaiser replied, 

1 The story thus related by his secretary Doczy doubtless grew in the 
telling ; but Andrassy described the incident to several friends 



i8 79 ] The Kaiser Surrenders 45 

"Rather abdication than perfidy." He was finally con- 
verted though not convinced by Count Stolberg, after a 
meeting of Ministers at Berlin on September 28, when the 
Chancellor explained the Treaty, added that he would 
resign unless his advice were adopted, and secured the 
approval of all the Ministers present. The Kaiser en- 
deavoured to placate his conscience by insisting that the 
Tsar should be informed of the Treaty; but Andrassy 
vetoed its communication before signature and forbade 
mention of a "Treaty," lest the Tsar should call for the 
text, or insist on a "warmed up Dreikaiserbund." A final 
attempt to secure Austrian aid against a French attack 
was repulsed by a threat of resignation from the whole 
Ministry, and the Kaiser gave way on October 5. The 
Treaty was signed in Vienna on October 7 by Andrassy 
and the German Ambassador, Prince Reuss. The troubled 
monarch now pleaded that his nephew should be informed 
before ratification, but once again he was overruled and 
the Treaty was ratified on October 16. 

The agreement was enshrined in a protocol, a joint 
memorandum, and a series of clauses. The former, signed 
by Bismarck and Andrassy at Vienna on 
September 24, briefly describes the origin 
of the pact. In the joint memorandum, 
signed on the same day, the Governments promised 
to remain true to the Berlin settlement. "To obviate 
every complication in the execution of the Treaty, both 
shall keep before them their friendly attitude towards 
Russia. Both declare their intention not to attack or 
menace Russia owing to differences arising out of the 
Treaty. As a proof of friendliness, they intend to nego- 
tiate new commercial Treaties." The Treaty itself opened 
with the usual pacific preamble. " Inasmuch as an intimate 
co-operation of Germany and Austria menaces no one, but 
is rather calculated to consolidate the peace of Europe as 
established by the Treaty of Berlin, Their Majesties, while 
solemnly promising each other never to allow their purely 
defensive agreement to develop an aggressive tendency, 



46 History of Modern Europe [1879 

have determined to conclude an alliance of peace and 
mutual defence. 

"I. Should, contrary to their hopes and loyal desire, 
one of the two Empires be attacked by Russia, the other 
is bound to assist and only to conclude peace in common. 

"II. Should one of the two be attacked by another 
Power, the other will observe at least benevolent neutrality. 
Should, however, the attacking party be supported by 
Russia, either by active co-operation or by military mea- 
sures which constitute a menace, the other shall aid." 

The third article bound the Allies for five years, and 
the Treaty was to be prolonged for three years more 
unless one of them desired negotiations a year before its 
expiration. 1 The fourth article bound the Allies to secrecy, 
except in a single eventuality. "The Allies venture to 
hope that, after the sentiments expressed by the Tsar at 
Alexandrovo, Russian armaments will not prove menac- 
ing. In that event they would consider it an obligation 
of loyalty to let the Tsar know confidentially that they 
must consider an attack on one as directed against both." 

The day after the signing of the Treaty Haymerle 
succeeded Andrassy as Foreign Minister. " If its making 

. was difficult," wrote the great Hungarian 

German statesman to Bismarck on leaving office for 
Satisfaction ever> <<j hope that it win be all the easier 

to maintain." "The fear of war," replied the Chan- 
cellor, "has everywhere given place to confidence in 
peace." Its authors might well look with satisfaction 
on their handiwork. It gave Andrassy exactly what he 
wanted, neither more nor less; and, though Bismarck had 
failed to carry his whole programme, he had insured 
against the most dangerous risk and had healed the feud 
between Vienna and Berlin. "It is the completion of my 
work of 1866," he declared with justifiable pride. The 
terms of the Treaty were not published till 1888; but all 

1 It was renewed in 1883 and at subsequent intervals. Not till 1902 
was it agreed that it should be automatically extended at the end of 
each three-year term. 



1879] Effect on the Tsar 47 

Europe knew that a momentous change had occurred. " I 
believe the best hopes of the stability and peace of Europe 
rest on the strength and independence of Austria," declared 
Salisbury on October 18. "Recent events justify the hope 
that if Austria is attacked she will not stand alone. The 
papers say a defensive alliance of Germany and Austria 
has been concluded. If true, it is good tidings of great 
joy." King Humbert expressed his satisfaction to the 
German Ambassador, and Waddington described it as a 
pledge of peace. In Russia it was regarded as a blow, 
but not as a menace. "Russia lost Austria after San 
Stefano," commented the Germanophil Schuvaloff bitterly, 
"and now she has lost Germany." The Emperor William 
was at last permitted to send a copy of the joint memor- 
andum of September 24 with a letter explaining that the 
conversations described therein were necessitated by the 
approaching resignation of Andrassy. "The two Chan- 
cellors agreed on a new entente to fill the void left by the 
abolition of the Germanic Confederation. I feel sure you 
will approve its principles and restore the entente of the 
three Emperors. If, however, the Nihilists and Panslavs 
were to dominate the Government, they would meet with 
joint resistance in the neighbouring countries." The Tsar 
replied that he fully approved the memorandum, and saw 
in it the return to the perfect understanding 

of the three Emperors which had rendered J^ he Tsa *l 

Reassured 

such services to Europe. The Kaiser s 
apprehensions as to the effect of the new departure 
on his nephew's mind proved baseless, for the Austro- 
German rapprochement, though its precise nature was 
kept secret, reduced instead of increasing the fever. 
"Six weeks ago," observed Bismarck to the French Am- 
bassador in November, "Russia was dreaming of fire and 
flame. My deal with Austria has brought her to reason. 
A week after it was notified in St. Petersburg the detente 
began. The Press campaign against Germany and Austria 
has been wholly stopped, and the heir to the throne is 
coming to pay his respects to the Kaiser." 



48 History of Modern Europe [1879 

The AustroGerman alliance removed the immediate 
danger to both parties; but Bismarck, baulked of his full 
demand, regarded it as merely a part of his grand scheme 
of defence. He hoped, wrote Lord Odo Russell to Lord 
Granville, 1 that it would hold back the Panslav flood till 
the peace party in Russia got the upper hand, and till he 
could renew the Dreikaiserbund. Indeed, he regarded his 
handiwork with singular detachment. "Our principal 
concern," he wrote in his " Reflections," "is to keep the 
peace between our two Imperial neighbours. I regarded 
it as no less enjoined on us to cultivate neighbourly rela- 
tions with Russia after than before. If we maintain the 
bridge which leads to St. Petersburg, Vienna can bridle 
its anti-German influences. If we had an irremediable 
estrangement from Russia, Austria would enlarge her 
claims. It is no part of German policy to expend our 
blood and treasure for the purpose of realizing the designs 
of a neighbour. In the interest of the European equili- 
brium the maintenance of Austria as a strong, independent 
Great Power is for Germany an object for which she might 
in case of need stake her fortunes with a good conscience ; 
but Vienna should avoid deducing from the alliance claims 
it was not concluded to support. It does not dispense us 
from the attitude of toujours en vedette." 

While the fate of the Treaty had been trembling in the 

balance the Chancellor had fitted another string to his bow* 

Bismarck ^ e had s un ded Disraeli in 1876 in vain 

sounds with regard to close political co-operation, 
England and , he now renewec j t h e attempt. On 

September 26 the German Ambassador appeared at 
Hughenden, where the Prime Minister was resting 
after the labours of the session. 1 Pan slavism, he 
declared, was dominant in Russia, who was likely to attack 
Austria, and such an attack would result in a general war. 
According to Beaconsfield's version of the interview the 

1 " Life of Granville," II, 209. 

2 See Buckle, "Life of Beaconsfield," VI, 486-94; "Life of Salis- 
bury," II, 364-70; " Die Grosse Politik," IV, 3-14, and III, 127-36. 



1879] Bismarck and Beaconsfield 49 

Ambassador declared that an alliance of Germany, Austria 
and Great Britain, bartering support against Russian 
aggression for maintaining British interests in the East, 
would maintain peace, and the Chancellor desired to know 
whether he would favour it before he suggested it to the 
Kaiser. He replied that he was and always had been 
favourable to the principle of an alliance or a good under- 
standing with Germany, but that a step which might seem 
hostile to France would be unpopular. Mtinster, however, 
was merely instructed to ask what England would do if 
Germany's refusal to yield to Russian demands should lead 
to war, ancf according to his report it was his host who 
proposed ari alliance, and added that he would regard a 
French attack- on .Germany* as a casus belli. Bismarck 
replied to Miinster' that his expectations were not alto- 
gether fulfilled, since no promise of armed assistance had 
be^ given, though he was grateful for the promise to keep 
w^Ttch on France. Miinster replied that Beaconsfield re- 
garded it as understood that he would support Germany 
and Austria in a war with Russia. 

The Prime Minister had referred the Ambassador to 
the Foreign Minister; and in writing to Salisbury a day 
or two later he expressed greater sympathy Beacons- 
for an alliance than he had displayed in his field's 
report to the Queen. "A fear of Russia, Reply 
as the Power that will ultimately strike at the root 
of our empire, is singularly prevalent. I believe that 
an alliance between the three Powers might be hailed with 
something like enthusiasm by the country. France could 
not in reason object to our helping Austria if attacked by 
Russia." Salisbury told the Ambassador that the Cabinet 
would stand by Germany if trouble arose with Russia; 
that he desired an alliance with both Powers; that peace 
would be secure if Russia knew that Germany and Eng- 
land would support Austria against an attack; that we 
could prevent France joining in a conflict begun by Russia. 
Miinster made no suggestion of an alliaruce, and the con- 
versation left the impression that Bismarck was now less 
E 



50 History of Modern Europe [1879 

anxious to secure British support. No further steps 
were taken, for the Chancellor had secured his master's 
consent to the Austrian Treaty. When, at the end of 
October, the Austrian and German Ambassadors con- 
fidentially announced its conclusion to Salisbury, no sug- 
gestion was made on either side that Great Britain should 
join it. Both parties were satisfied to let the matter drop. 
"Your Majesty is as free as air," wrote the Prime Minister, 
"and that, too, without showing any want of sympathy 
with the Austro-German view " ; to which the Queen 
replied, "We are well out of it." Bismarck, on his side, 
had learned that Great Britain continued to be animated 
by the friendliest feelings for the Central Powers, and the 
unfriendliest feelings for Russia, and he would have had 
difficulty in securing his master's assent to an alliance 
which would have emphasized the isolation of the Tsar and 
almost compelled him to seek the friendship of France. 1 

When his policy of threats had driven Germany into 

the arms of Austria, Alexander's obvious interest was to 

Russo- secure from the goodwill of his neighbours 

German what he could not extract from their fears. 
Rapprochement Directly Bismarck had returned from 
Vienna, Sabouroff, a diplomat of the school of 
Schuvaloff, not of Gortchakoff, arrived in Berlin with 
instructions to discuss a Russo-German agreement. 2 The 
Chancellor, without betraying any secrets, explained that 
Austria would no longer look to a western alliance in 
order to defend her interests in the East. "I have thus 
arrived at the first stage in my policy placing a barrier 
between her and the western Powers. Despite the clouds 
of this summer I do not despair of accomplishing the 
second part, the reconstruction of the Dreikaiserbund." 
Sabouroff replied that if Bismarck could show an entente 
a trots to be profitable to Russia and a pledge of peace, 

1 According to Eckardstein, Beaconsfield drafted a scheme for an 
alliance shortly before his fall. " Erinnerungen," II, 102-6. 

2 See "Die Grosse Politik," III, 139-79; and Simpson, "The 
Sabouroff Memoirs," in the Nineteenth Century, Dec., 1917, and Jan., 
1918. Sabouroff's memoirs have been subsequently published in Russian. 



The Russo-German Rapprochement 51 

the Tsar would not oppose it, but he wished for a closer 
relationship. "My desire for an alliance remains," re- 
joined the Chancellor, "but the situation has changed. 
In 1877 I was prepared for an offensive and defensive 
alliance, but to-day it could only be one of defence." 
Sabouroff carried away the impression that an entente was 
possible, and Bismarck undertook to persuade his master. 

The two men did not meet again till the end of January, 
1880, when Sabouroff was transferred from Constantinople 
to Berlin. Now that the Treaty with Austria Sabouroff 
was signed and ratified he had no wish for and 
an entente confined to Russia and Germany. Bismarck 
An agreement to defend each other against a coali- 
tion, he pointed out, involved a promise by Germany 
to attack Austria in certain circumstances. That 
would be a dangerous secret, and if it leaked out Austria 
would seek an alliance in the West. "Your interest is 
not to embroil Germany and Austria. You forget the 
importance of being a party of three on the European 
chess-board. That is the object of all the Cabinets, and 
above all mine. Nobody wishes to be in a minority. All 
politics reduce themselves to this formula : try to be a trois 
in a world governed by five Powers. I have made an 
entente a deux in order to return thereafter to an entente 
a trois if you really wish it. I do not see why Austria 
should refuse. If she does, we can fall back on an accord 
a deux." Sabouroff proceeded to sketch an agreement 
which would guarantee Russia against the entry of foreign 
fleets into the Black Sea, promising in return that changes 
in the status quo of Turkey in Europe would only take 
place with Austrian consent. Bismarck was asked to 
sound Austria. 

To secure the assent of Austria was not an easy task. 
Haymerle was no less suspicious of Panslavism than 
Andrassy, and when he visited Friedrichsruh in August 
he refused to commit himself. He considered that the 
Austro-German treaty was sufficient, and he feared that 
an accord a trois might loosen the bond. Moreover, he 



52 History of Modern Europe 

had no desire to facilitate Russian expansion in the Near 
East, while Bismarck frankly told Sabouroff that he did 
not share the general prejudice against handing over Con- 
stantinople " the latchkey of her door" to Russia, if 
Russia abstained from interference in Austria's sphere of 
influence in the Western Balkans. Since Vienna was so 
unsympathetic Bismarck made no further advances to 
Sabouroff, and at the end of the year Haymerle reiterated 
his conviction that Russia was hostile and could not be 
trusted. He was, however, willing to consider a limited 
agreement, since he could not rebut Bismarck's argument 
that at any rate Russia would be less of a danger if bound 
by some tie. 

Bismarck and Sabouroff proceeded to draw up an agree- 
ment, which the Tsar, his eldest son and Giers approved. 
A stro- Alexander was now as anxious for the 
Russian revival of the Triple Entente as Bismarck 
Rapprochement himselfj and it was agreed that the Kaiser 

should convert Francis Joseph. He therefore dis- 
patched an autograph letter to Vienna, declaring that the 
time had come to restore the entente, to remove the sore- 
ness which had prevailed since 1879, to guarantee Euro- 
pean peace, and to strengthen the monarchical principle. 
Even when Francis Joseph was ready to re-establish the 
Dreikaiserbund, Haymerle still held out. Bismarck com- 
plained that he was not an easy dove to tame; nor did 
he yield till Bismarck informed him that he must say Yes 
or No. At this moment, however, the assassination of 
Alexander II on March 13 caused delay and encouraged 
Haymerle, to Bismarck's annoyance, to offer fresh sugges- 
tions. Bismarck allowed him to fix the duration of the 
Treaty at three years, remarking that when Austria had 
worn the flannel next her skin for that period she would 
not be able to take it off without running the risk of 
catching cold. When Haymerle finally announced his 
country's acceptance, he stubbornly added the words, 
"By the express commands of the Emperor Francis 
Joseph.'* 



League of the Three Emperors 53 

Alexander III, though of inferior intellectual calibre, 
possessed greater steadiness of character than his father. 
Though the husband of a Danish wife and 
strongly opposed to German influences at Atexanderlll 
Court and in the Government, he had no 
desire to cut the threads which were barely woven 
once again with Berlin ; and he never forgot the 
horrors of the Turkish campaign in which he had taken 
part. The circular issued to Russia's diplomatic repre- 
sentatives on his accession announced that Russia had 
reached her full development, that her foreign policy would 
be absolutely peaceful, and that his first task would 
be the internal development of the country. Even stronger 
than his love of peace was his horror of revolution; and 
he saw in the conservative States of Germany and Austria 
welcome allies in the struggle against the forces of anarchy 
and irreligion to which his father had fallen a victim. A 
week after his accession he telegraphed cordial congratula- 
tions to the Kaiser on his eighty-fourth birthday ; and the 
aged monarch remarked, "From the new Tsar the old 
warmth, loyalty and friendship that does one good." 

With such a ruler there was no need to delay the agree- 
ment which already existed in outline; and on May 18 a 
"Ministerial Declaration of Policy on the Relation of the 
Dual Alliance to the League of the Three Emperors " 
stated that "with regard to the coming negotiations the 
German and Austrian Governments recognize that the 
prospective Triple Agreement can under no circumstances 
prejudice their treaty of alliance which continues to deter- 
mine the relations of the two Powers." The Treaty, con- 
cluded for three years and to be kept secret, was signed 
at Berlin on June 18 by Bismarck and the Ambassadors 
Szechenyi and Sabouroff. 

I. If one Power should find itself at war with a 
fourth Great Power, the others will observe benevolent 
neutrality and try to localize the conflict. This shall 
apply also to a war with Turkey, but only if a previous 



54 History of Modern Europe [1881 

agreement shall have been reached between the three 
Courts as to the results of this war. 

Three ^' ^ uss ^ a j m agreement with Ger- 

Emperors many, declares her firm resolution to 

League respect the interests arising from the new 
position assured to Austria by the Treaty of Berlin. 
The three Courts will take account of their respec- 
tive interests in the Balkan Peninsula, and promise 
that any modifications in the territorial status quo of 
Turkey in Europe can be accomplished only in virtue 
of a common agreement. 

III. They recognize the European and mutually 
obligatory character of the principle of the closing of 
the Straits. They will take care in common that 
Turkey shall make no exception to this rule in favour 
of any Government by lending the Straits to warlike 
operations. In case of or to prevent such infringe- 
ment, the three Powers will inform Turkey that they 
would regard her as putting herself in a state of war 
towards the injured party and as having deprived her- 
self of the security assured to her territorial status quo 
by the Treaty of Berlin. 

The Protocol, signed on the same day, added a number 
of important details. 

1. Bosnia and Herzegovina. Austria reserves the 
right to annex these provinces at whatever moment she 
may deem opportune. 

2. The Sanjak of Novibazar. The declaration 
exchanged between the Austrian and Russian pleni- 
potentiaries at Berlin on July 13, 1878, remains in 
force. 

3. Eastern Roumelia. The three Powers regard an 
occupation of Eastern Roumelia and of the Balkans 
as dangerous for the general peace. If it occurs they 
will try to dissuade the Porte from such an enterprise, 
it being understood that Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia 



i88i] League of the Three Emperors 55 

are to abstain from provoking the Porte by attacks 
against the other provinces of Turkey. 

4. Bulgaria. The three Powers will not oppose the 
eventual reunion of Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia if 
this question should come up by the force of circum- 
stances. They agree to dissuade the Bulgarians from 
all aggression against the neighbouring provinces, 
especially Macedonia, and to inform them that in such 
a case they would be acting at their own risk. 

5. Attitude of Agents in the East. To avoid 
collisions of interests in local questions, the three will 
order their representatives and agents to compromise 
their divergences by friendly explanations, and, where 
they do not succeed, to refer the matter to their 
Governments. 

The new friendship of Germany and Russia, which 
in Bismarck's words would prevent an Austro-Russian 
war and a Franco-Russian coalition, was Giers 
sealed by the visit of the Tsar and Tsarina succeeds 
to Danzig in September. Though the aged Gortchakoff 
Gortchakoff remained nominally Foreign Minister, he 
was no longer in even partial control; and Giers, 
a Protestant bourgeois of Jewish blood, who had 
married a relative of the Chancellor and was acting head 
of the Foreign Office, accompanied his master, whose 
devotion to peace he fully shared. The visit gave pleasure 
to both sides, and Giers informed the Austrian Ambassador 
that the Emperor had returned in a satisfied and tranquil 
mood. Bismarck, he reported, was thoroughly pacific, 
and the recognized necessity of joint defence against 
Socialism and revolution proved a bond of union. On 
Gortchakoff 's death early in 1882 Giers, to the delight of 
Bismarck and to the anger of the Slavophils, who pined 
for Ignatieff and satirically described his successful rival 
as German Ambassador to the Court of Russia, was 
appointed Foreign Minister. Though the Tsar was deter- 
mined to be his own pilot, it was of good omen that his 



56 History of Modern Europe 

chief adviser was an honest and cautious statesman of 
the school of Schuvaloff. 

Though the Russian Government was once more on 
friendly terms with Vienna and Berlin, unofficial opinion 
The * n K- uss ^ a continued hostile. Its manifesta- 
Skobeleff tions in the Press were now severely con- 
Incident trolled, and the astonishment was therefore 
all the greater when Skobeleff, the hero of the Turkish 
war and the idol of the Panslavs, broke the silence 
By a speech in Petrograd in January, 1882, on the 
anniversary of the taking of Geok Tepe. 1 Angered 
by the spectacle of Austria suppressing a rising in Herze- 
govina provoked by the introduction of conscription, and 
apprehensive lest Montenegro might be invaded, the 
gallant General declared that Russia could not be pro- 
voked too far. "The Russians belong to the great Slav 
race, the members of which are now persecuted and 
oppressed. Our faith in the historial mission of Russia 
is our consolation and strength." The warning to Austria, 
which was echoed by a call to arms in Aksakoff's Rus 
and which the General's admirers declared to have saved 
Montenegro from invasion, naturally excited the Central 
Powers, whose anger in turn spurred Skobeleff to fresh 
pronouncements in Paris. Russia, he declared to sym- 
pathetic ears, among them a deputation of Serb students, 
had not freed the Balkan Slavs to see Austria trample 
on them. She was not crippled by the recent war, and 
would shrink from no sacrifice for religion and race. If 
Austria attacked the Southern Slavs outside Bosnia and 
Herzegovina, Russia would fight. No authorized version 
of his utterances in Paris was issued, and he was rumoured 
to have added that the German was the enemy; that a 
struggle between the Teuton and the Slav was inevitable 
and could not be long delayed; that the conflict would 
be terrible, but that the Slavs would prove victorious. 
Giers promptly expressed the regret of the Russian 

1 See Olga Novikoff, " Skobeleff and the Slavonic Cause " (1883), 
Part II, ch. 2-3; and Baddeley, " Russia in the Eighties," ch. 6. 



1884] Renewal of the League 57 

Government, and on his return home the General was 
bidden to hold his tongue. The Dreikaiserbund was none 
the worse for the incident; but it was a genuine relief 
to Petrograd, scarcely less than to Vienna and Berlin, 
when the famous soldier died suddenly at Moscow a few 
weeks later. 

The Emperor William had come to realize that the 
Austrian alliance was not incompatible with a friendly 
Russia, and he supported his Chancellor The 
in avoiding any action which might tend Skiernewice 
to disturb the welcome if precarious harmony. Meetin g 1884 
For instance, when Moltke begged Bismarck in the 
summer of 1881 for money for the eastern frontier, 
on the ground that Russia was strengthening her 
fortifications, improving her railways and could now 
concentrate on the German frontier more rapidly than 
Germany herself, he declined. In February, 1883, 
Sabouroff suggested the prolongation of the Treaty of 
1 88 1, and in November Giers renewed the suggestion 
during a visit to Friedrichsruh. The Kaiser owed his 
neighbour a return visit for the Danzig meeting of 1881, 
and the presence of Prince William at the coming of age 
festivities of the heir to the throne prepared the way for 
his grandfather. The Treaty of 1881 was renewed in 
March, 1884, without modification, and in September the 
three Emperors, accompanied by their Foreign Ministers, 
met at Skiernewice, where the mistrust of Francis Joseph 
and Kalnoky was disarmed by the transparent sincerity of 
their host. 1 

i 
II 

The governing principle of Bismarck's policy since 
1871 was to safeguard his conquests and to preserve the 
peace of Europe by keeping France in quarantine, for 
without allies she was too weak to challenge the Treaty 
of Frankfurt. In 1881, ten years after the struggle, he 
could point to an Austrian alliance, a revived Dreikaiser- 

1 " Die Grosse Politik," III, 285-377. 



58 History of Modern Europe [1877 

bund, and a friendly England ; and before the end of the 
same year the only other Great Power in Europe was 
seeking admission to the league which, in fact though 
not in name, defied the continental ambitions of France. 
The making of Italy had been assisted at different 
times by a French and a Prussian alliance, and after 

Crispi visits the P rocess was complete the new State 
Bismarck, committed itself neither to Paris nor to 
Berlin. United Italy, indeed, was not at 
first taken very seriously as a Great Power, and no 
special efforts were made to court her favour. Bismarck, 
it is true, was ready at any moment to add Italy or 
any other State to the list of guarantors of the settlement 
of 1871 ; but he was in no hurry, since the fear of a clerico- 
monarchical restoration in France prevented Rome from 
establishing relations of confidence and cordiality with 
Paris. The fall of the Right in 1876 brought Depretis 
into power, and in the summer of the following year Crispi, 
the strongest figure of the. Left and at that moment 
Presides of the Chamber, was sent on a roving mission 
to the capitals. 1 Paris he found, as he expected to find, 
"distrustful"; but the real object of his journey was to 
learn the mind of Bismarck, who had recently put out 
feelers for closer union, and was now taking the waters 
at Gastein. "I am charged to ask if you would ally with 
us," he began, "in case we are forced into war with 
France or Austria." "If Italy is attacked by France," 
replied the Chancellor, "we should join and we will make 
a treaty for this purpose. But I do not expect such an 
attack unless France returns to monarchy, that is, to 
clericalism. I could not, however, consider the possi- 
bility of Austrian hostility. I am your friend, but I will 
not break with Austria. If she takes Bosnia, you could 
take Albania." He refused to recommend to Vienna the 
improvement of Italy's northern boundaries, but advised 
his visitor to see Andrassy. In Berlin the Italian states- 
man was the guest at a Parliamentary banquet presided 

1 Crispi, " Memoirs," II, ch. i. 



1878] Italy and Germany 59 

over by Bennigsen, and the ceremony was interpreted 
abroad as the harbinger of closer relations. At Budapest 
Crispi found Andrassy in friendly mood, but made no 
suggestion of an Austrian alliance, for which indeed he 
had no wish. The journey bore no immediate fruit, for 
in 1878 Depretis was succeeded by the Francophil Cairoli. 
On the eve of inviting Andrassy to Gastein in 1879 
Bismarck told the Italian Premier of his plans, and assured 
him that Italy would be welcome as a third in the partner- 
ship at any time; but Cairoli saw no need to accept the 
offer. When two Cabinet Ministers acted as pall-bearers 
of the President of the Irredentists early in 1880, Austria 
massed troops on the frontier, and the Italian Govern- 
ment announced that the advance of troops in the Tirol 
must be considered a menace. Irredentist incidents, 
tolerated by the Government, continued, provoking 
retaliatory measures from Vienna. 1 But at the very 
moment when a Francophil Premier was in power at 
Rome, and Italy and Austria were spitting fire at 
one another across the frontier, France took a step 
which drove the new kingdom into the Austro-German 
camp. 

When the news of the Cyprus Convention leaked out 
during the Congress of Berlin, Waddington was pacified 
by a suggestion that France should find congress 
compensation in Tunis. 2 "Waddington of 

and I often discussed the events taking Berlin 
place in the Mediterranean," reported Lord Salis- 
bury. 8 "With respect to Tunis I said that England was 
wholly disinterested, and had no intention to contest the 
influence which the geographical position of Algeria gave 
to France." On his return to Paris the French Premier 
asked for the substance of these informal negotiations to 
be placed on record in a formal dispatch, and Lord Salis- 
bury complied. Similar counsel was proffered by Bismarck, 

1 See Mayr, " Der Italienische Irredentismus." 

* Hanotaux, " Contemporary France," IV, 382-7. ^ 

" Life of Salisbury," II, 332-3. 



60 History of Modern Europe [1880 

who since 1871 had encouraged France to seek colonial 
compensation for the loss of the Rhine provinces, and 
who foresaw that a French occupation of Tunis would 
destroy the Francophil party in Italy. A rumour that 
the Chancellor had offered Tunis to Count Corti led 
France Waddington to warn the Italian Govern- 
covets ment that France had long regarded Tunis 
Tunis as necessary to her interests, and that 
Italy could only cherish dreams of conquest by risk- 
ing the open enmity of France. 1 On the other hand, 
Waddington told the Italian Ambassador at Paris in 
August, 1879, that he was opposed to the annexation of 
Tunis; that it had never been discussed by the Cabinet; 
and that so long as he remained in office nothing would 
be decided without Italian co-operation. In June, 1880, 
President GreVy observed to the Ambassador that, though 
the country might become a source of friction, it was not 
worth a cheap cigar. 3 In the following month, however, 
Freycinet, who had succeeded Waddington in the Premier- 
ship, used words to the Italian Ambassador which were 
calculated rather to confirm than to allay the suspicions 
of Italy. " For the present we have no intention to occupy 
the country, but the future is in God's hands. Why 
do you persist in thinking of Tunis? Why not turn 
your attention to Tripoli ? " " We seek neither Tunis nor 
Tripoli," rejoined the Ambassador, "only the status quo." 
"The future is in God's hands," repeated Freycinet, "and 
one day, doubtless far off, France may be led to occupy 
Tunis. If so, Italy shall be informed as long before as 
possible, and shall have our support in obtaining adequate 
compensation." So far from leaving the future " in God's 
hands," Freycinet was at that moment endeavouring to 
plant his foot in the Promised Land. " In agreement with 
Gambetta," he writes in his "Memoirs," 3 "I tried to make 

1 See jHajiptauXj" Contemporary France," III, J57.6-9 1 5 Billot, " La 
France et ritalle^nT^Ti^iT^and D'Estou7neTIeT^e~^6nsTanT, " La politique 
franchise en Tunisie." 

2 Crispi, " Memoirs," II, ch. 2. 
" Seuvenirs," II, 168-71. 



Franco-Italian Rivalry in Tunis 61 

use of the permission of Berlin, and I instructed Roustan 
to persuade the Bey to accept a Protectorate. He was 
almost persuaded, and Roustan wrote to me, ' Disembark 
a company of fusiliers, and the Bey will sign.' I was 
about to authorize it when I fell. I told Ferry, adding, 
* The fruit is ripe; you will pluck it at the right moment.' 
Tunis was a bad neighbour, and there was always a danger 
lest Italy might forestall her rival." 

The country whose fate was thus being canvassed in 
the Chancelleries of Europe formed in theory a part of 
the Ottoman Empire, but was ruled by Euro 
a dynasty which had been in possession and 
for two centuries. In the third quarter of T nis 
the nineteenth century only a small fraction of the 
land was under cultivation, and despite heavy taxa- 
tion there was an annual deficit. In 1869 a Triple 
Financial Control was established by Great Britain, 
France and Italy; but the experiment was doomed to 
failure, for each of the three was playing for its own 
hand. Great Britain had secured most of the concessions 
for public works ; France had learned to regard the country 
as a natural adjunct to Algeria ; and Italy, on becoming a 
Great Power, could not fail to be interested in a country 
which was reached in a few hours from Sicily and attracted 
a growing number of Italian colonists. From the middle 
of the 'seventies an open struggle was in progress between 
the three Consuls, all of whom happened to be men of 
ability and resolve. Sir Richard Wood had represented 
Great Britain since 1855; Roustan, who arrived in 1874, 
had represented France in Syria and was determined to 
win Tunis for France; while Macchio was equally vigorous 
and unscrupulous in pushing the claims of Italy. On 
several occasions the French Ambassador in Rome was 
instructed to warn the Italian Government that Macchio's 
imprudences might goad France to action, and to explain 
that, although France had no intention of annexing the 
country, she could not allow Italy to establish an influence 
superior or indeed equal to her own. The issue of the 



62 History of Modern Europe [1881 

conflict was determined in advance by the secret conversa- 
tions at Berlin, and it only remained for France to seize 
her prey at the most suitable moment. 1 

Ferry's Foreign Minister, Barthelemy St. Hilaire, a 
convinced partisan of a Protectorate, resumed negotiations 

Jules w ^k ^ e ^* e y ear ty m J 88i on the pretext 
Ferry's of regulating the policing of the frontier. 
Preparations R oustan submitted a treaty similar to that 
sanctioned by Freycinet; but the Bey hesitated and 
the foreign Consuls advised him to refuse. At this 
moment the Kroumirs in the north raided across 
the Algerian frontier, and on April 4 Ferry obtained six 
million francs for an expedition to restore order. 2 A 
shrill outcry at once arose in Constantinople and Rome. 
Since she reoccupied Tripoli in 1835 Turkey had claimed 
a shadowy suzerainty over Tunis, which was partially 
recognized by the presents of successive Beys to the Sultan 
as Caliph; and in 1871, hoping to profit by the disasters 
of France, she formally declared her sovereignty, which 
was at once pronounced null and void by the French 
Government. To this firman, nevertheless, Turkey 
appealed when French troops invaded Tunis, and pre- 
pared to reinforce her garrison in Tripoli and to send 
ships. France sharply replied that if the Turkish fleet 
appeared on the scene it would be attacked. Cairoli de- 
clared that France had deceived him, and invited Great 
Britain to join in a naval demonstration. "If Ferry 
had only told me," complained the Italian Ambassador 
to Freycinet, "we could have prepared public opinion in 
Italy ; as it is we look like dupes." Unfortunately Ferry 
did not consider himself bound by the promise of his 
predecessor to let Italy know before a decisive step was 
taken, and argued that Italy, though surprised, was not 
deceived. Bismarck, on the other hand, assured the 
French Ambassador that Germany would make no oppo- 

1 How her conduct appeared to an Englishman may be seen in 
Broadley, " The Last Punic War." 
3 Ram'baud, " Julea Ferry." 



1881] France Conquers Tunis 63 

sition to French action, even if it resulted in annexation. 1 
Granville offered mediation, but discouraged action at 
Constantinople, and merely exacted from France a con- 
firmation of the treaties favouring British commerce and 
a promise not to fortify Bizerta. 

The Tunis expedition was France's first military effort 
since the debacle, and her task appeared easy enough. 
Twenty-three thousand troops marched in Treat 
from Algeria, and eight thousand were of 

landed at Bizerta. After a trifling resist- Bardo 
ance the Bey yielded to his fate, and on May 12 
signed the Treaty of Bardo, which the French General 
presented him, with the warning that deposition would 
follow refusal, and with the promise not to enter the capital 
if he yielded. The Treaty established a Protectorate, 
France undertaking to defend the Bey against danger to 
his person and dynasty, and guaranteeing the existing 
treaties with the Powers, while assuming control of foreign 
relations. Financial reorganization was to be undertaken, 
and a Resident Minister was to represent France. Ger- 
many, Austria and Spain congratulated the French 
Government, and no one troubled about the paper pro- 
tests of Turkey. "France is resuming her place among 
the Great Powers," wrote Gambetta proudly to Ferry, 
the real founder of the second French colonial empire. 
It had required no more than twenty days to transform 
Tunis into a French Protectorate ; and the Treaty of Bardo 
was ratified on May 23, Clemenceau alone voting against 
it, on the ground that "it profoundly modified the 
"European system and chilled precious friendships 
'cemented on the field of battle." Believing that the sub- 
mission of the Bey involved the submission of his subjects, 
Ferry recalled most of the troops; but the south was un- 
conquered and the tribes quickly rose. Sfax was bom- 
barded and taken by assault, the army was raised to fifty 
thousand, and on October 28 the capture of the holy 

1 St. Hilaire wrote a private letter to Bismarck expressing the 
gratitude of France for German support. 



64 History of Modern Europe 

city of Kairouan, the attack on which was postponed till 
the summer heat was over, ended the revolt. 

The seizure of Tunis overthrew Cairoli, who lamented 

to the French Ambassador that he was the last Italian 

Indignation Minister who loved France. Italy seethed 

in with indignation, the prestige of the dynasty 

Italy received a rude shock, and wounded pride 

spurred her rulers to a momentous resolve. What, 

they asked themselves, was there to prevent the 

country which had pocketed Tunis from proceeding 

to gobble up Tripoli, or even from attacking the 

virtually undefended coasts of the peninsula itself ? Italy's 

natural ally would have been the strongest naval Power 

in the Mediterranean; but Great Britain had declined to 

(protest against an act which she had herself suggested. 
To whom, then, should she turn save to the arch-enemy 
of France, with whom Crispi had discussed a defensive 
alliance four years earlier? 

The conclusion of the Austro-German pact of 1879 had 
v been followed by a good deal of discussion between Berlin 
and Vienna in regard to Italy. 1 Neither Bismarck nor 
Hay merle had much confidence in Italian statesmen or 
t^ military strength, and Bismarck was much more eager 
to repair the wire to St. Petersburg than to throw a bait 
to Rome. Haymerle, on the other hand, anxious to keep 
Russia in quarantine, regarded Italy as an important piece 
on the chess-board, and was anxious to avoid any step 
which might push her towards France and, through 
France, eventually link her discontents with those of 
Russia. Thus he declined Bismarck's suggestion to 
answer Italian " irredentism " by an increase of arma- 
ments, and he had no desire to recover lost territory in 
the south by a war which would invite a flank attack 
from the north. His policy was to avoid a quarrel with 
Italy and to draw Great Britain into the orbit of the 

1 See Pribram, " Secret Treaties," II, ch. i ; " Die Grosse Politik," 
III, 183-247; Billot, " La France et 1'Italie," I, ch. 2; Crispi, " Memoirs," 
II, ch. 2; Chiala, " Pagine di Storia Contemporanea," II and III; and 
" La Politica Estera Italiana " (anonymous). 



i88ij Italy Seeks Allies 65 

Central Powers, since she, too, was the enemy of Russia, 
and could hold back Italy if Austria were at war with 
Russia. He knew that it would be difficult to win Ger- 
many for a Triple Alliance with the point against Russia, 
and therefore, in sending Kalnoky to Berlin in February, 
1880, on his way to take up the embassy in St. Peters- 
burg, he merely proposed to ask for British help pro 
domo nostra. The Chancellor did not wish Austria to 
attack or to excite Italy, but he recommended plain speak- 
ing in Rome. Italy's jackal policy always ready to 
attack from behind and to seize part of the booty needed 
a sharp lesson. He had ceased to believe that she would 
be a trustworthy ally. He discouraged an application to 
England as unnecessary, as she would in any case hold 
Italy in check; and to confront Russia with the spectre 
of a coalition would only arouse her suspicions. 

The discussion was renewed in October when Italy, 
apprehensive of French designs in Tunis, began to take 
soundings. The Chancellor replied that the Humbert 
road to Berlin lay through Vienna, and, visits 
when Vienna expressed readiness to listen 
to suggestions, Maffei, Secretary of the Italian Foreign 
Office, drafted a neutrality treaty "as a first step 
towards more intimate relations," shortly before King 
Humbert's first visit to Vienna in February, 1881. The 
basis was to be the status quo in the East, as defined in 
1878. Maffei added that France was striving hard for 
Italian friendship, on the basis of a deal over Tunis and 
Tripoli. Haymerle welcomed the idea of a neutrality 
agreement, but added that Bosnia and Herzegovina must 
be excluded from a guarantee of the status quo in the East. 
On the other hand, Austria would pledge herself to under- 
take no conquests in Albania or towards Salonika, if Italy 
would do the same, and would not oppose an extension of 
the Italian sphere in the Mediterranean outside the 
Adriatic. She would also make an "arrangement " in the 
Tunis question in Italy's interest, and favour the annexa- 
tion of Tripoli. Despite the favourable response in 
F 



66 History of Modern Europe [1881 

Vienna, official negotiations were not initiated, and the 
Austrian Ambassador in Rome reported that the "un- 
official " approach was not seriously meant. Austria had 
soon less need to desire them ; for on June 18 the revival 
of the Three Emperors League diminished the value of an 
Italian alliance. 

When the news of the Treaty of Bardo reached Rome, 
Sonnino wrote that Italy must seek for British friendship 

. . . and a close alliance with Germany and 

of Austria, since isolation was annihilation. 

Bismarck Anger against France was intensified by a 
sanguinary fracas at Marseilles in June, when French 
troops from Tunis were received with whistling, and 
the mob attacked the Italians who were assumed to 
be the culprits. Many Italians left the city, and 
anti-French demonstrations occurred in Italy. No final 
resolve, however, was taken for several months, and 
negotiations for a new commercial treaty were brought 
to a successful conclusion in the autumn. Despite the 
repugnance of the new Premier Depretis, an old Irre- 
dentist, and the lukewarmness of his Foreign Minister, 
Mancini, they both accompanied the King and Queen to 
Vienna in October. An alliance was not proposed by the 
hosts, and the guests avoided the risk of a rebuff ; but the 
friendly welcome and a general discussion of the situation 
prepared the way. A fresh request to Bismarck for his 
mediation provoked the reply that Italy, as the Power 
needing security, must make the first advance. The 
Chancellor informed Kalnoky, the new Austrian Foreign 
Minister, of Italy's action, and added that any agreement 
would be of one-sided advantage to Italy, all the more since 
the untrustworthy character of her policy and the continual 
change of Ministers might easily involve her friends in 
trouble, and rendered it doubtful whether she would fulfil 
her obligations. He advised his colleagues not to refuse 
what might strengthen the position of the Italian dynasty 
and therefore the monarchical principle, but to suggest the 
postponement of an answer till a modus vivendi with the 






i88 2 ] The Triple Alliance 67 

Pope had been reached, and then to make any Austro- 
German obligations to Italy dependent on the continuance 
of the present relations of those two States to Russia. 
King Humbert and his Ministers, however, were eager for 
a decision, and in the closing days of 1881 the Ambassa- 
dors at Berlin and Vienna were instructed to state that 
Italy wished, independently of particular questions, to 
join Germany and Austria, and would be ready to 
co-operate with them even if their obligations to other 
Powers did not allow an alliance. On January 19, 1882, 
the first conversation took place between Kalnoky and 
Robilant, the Italian Ambassador at Vienna; and on 
February I, Launay, the Italian Ambassador at Berlin, 
discussed an alliance with Bismarck. The Chancellor 
observed that as Germany had no differences with Italy, 
the l-atter must first win Austria for a treaty. "The key 
of the door which leads to Berlin is in Vienna." He 
pointed out various difficulties, among them the uncer- 
tainty arising from Ministerial changes in Rome, and sent 
the Ambassador away neither wholly satisfied nor wholly 
disappointed. 

The negotiations in Vienna were by no means easy. 
Robilant suggested a mutual guarantee of territory, which 
Kalnoky refused as involving too great risks The 
for both; and a neutrality treaty which he Alliance 
favoured was declared useless by Robilant. Signed 
Kalnoky consulted Bismarck, who advised him not 
to underwrite the possession of Rome but to offer 
more than a cold neutrality, lest Italy should sell herself 
to France for a guarantee of her capital. An agreement 
was finally reached in a compromise between neutrality 
and guarantee, which was signed at Vienna on May 20. 
If Italy were attacked by France without provocation, 
her partners would come to her aid. Italy, in turn, would 
help Germany against a French attack. If one of the 
Allies (or two) were attacked and engaged in war with two 
or more Great Powers, the casus foederis would arise for 
all. If a Great Power threatened the security of one of 



68 History of Modern Europe [1882 

the signatories, and that one was forced to make war, the 
others would observe benevolent neutrality, reserving the 
right to take part in the conflict if they should see fit. If 
peace was threatened, the Allies would consult with regard 
to military measures. The pact was to hold for five years, 
and to be kept secret. At Italy's wish each of the Allies 
signed an Additional Declaration, affirming that the 
treaty could in no case be regarded as directed against 
Great Britain. 

Though Italy was the petitioner, she obtained greater 

^/advantages than Austria; for the latter was bound to aid 
her against a French attack, while she was 

^ Advantages not P^ged to help her ally against a Russian 
onslaught. She was, moreover, by the fact 

\/ of the alliance, protected against an Austrian attack. 
At the Congress of Berlin she had played a minor 
part, but from 1882 onwards she was recognized 
as a Great Power. Though she had failed to secure 
the coveted guarantee of her capital, her hold over it 
was strengthened. The Treaty also brought solid advan- 
tage to the Central Powers. Bismarck was not only freed 
from the remote fear that Italy might join France in an 
attack, but secured an ally in resisting such attack. 
Austria, again, had no longer to fear a stab in the back if 
she was engaged in a life and death struggle with Russia, 
and could count on Italian assistance in repelling a Franco- 
Russian assault. The Frankfurter Zeitung accurately 
described the Triple Alliance as a manage de raison. It 
neither supplanted nor modified the Austro-German Treaty 
of 1879, of which Italy had no knowledge. In the follow- 
ing year Mancini revealed the existence, though not the 
terms, of the alliance, and all the party leaders, including 
Cairoli himself, expressed approval. The Ministry 
received a vote of confidence in a general election, and the 
sharp repression of Irredentist riots which followed the 
execution of Oberdank, the would-be assassin of Francis 
Joseph, was a further indication that official Italy had 
resolved to pursue a new course. The alliance was 



Austria and Serbia 69 

naturally disapproved in Vatican circles, where it had been 
an article of faith that Francis Joseph would never com- 
bine with the House of Savoy. How fragile were the 
links that bound Italy to her new allies was only to be 
discovered in after years by the statesmen, and in still later 
times by the peoples, of the Central Empires. 

The Bismarckian system of insurance against a dis- 
turbance of the status quo by France or Russia was com- 
pleted by secret treaties with Serbia and Austro- 
Roumania. At the Congress of Berlin Serb Treaty, 
Russia's whole-hearted support of Bulgaria 
prevented her doing justice to the claims of Serbia; 
and Andrassy's services in securing for the latter Nish 
and Pirot, then occupied by the Bulgarians, turned 
her eyes towards Vienna, despite her dislike of the occupa- 
tion of Bosnia. The Serbs were naturally Russophil ; but 
the creation of a Big Bulgaria by the Treaty of San 
Stefano had been a rude shock to a country which expected 
a reward for its help in the common struggle against the 
Turk. In 1880 Mijatovich, the new Foreign Minister, went 
to Vienna to negotiate with Haymerle, 1 who declared 
that there was no objection to Serbia's expansion to the 
south if she was not a Russian satrapy ; and on June 28, 
1 88 1, the Austrian Minister at Belgrad and the Serbian 
Foreign Minister signed a secret treaty for ten years. 

I. Both Powers engage to pursue a friendly policy. 

II. Serbia will not tolerate political, religious or 
other intrigues which, taking her territory as a point of 
departure, might be directed against the Monarchy, 
including Bosnia, Herzegovina and the Sanjak of 
Novibazar. Austria assumes the same obligation with 
regard to Serbia and her dynasty. 

III. If the Prince of Serbia wishes to assume the 
title of king, Austria will recognize it and will use her 
influence to secure recognition by the other Powers. 

1 Mijatovich, "Memoirs of a Balkan Diplomatist," ch. 3; and 
Pribram. " Secret Treaties," I. 



70 History of Modern Europe 

IV. Without a previous understanding with Austria, 
Serbia will not conclude any political treaty with another 
Government, and will not admit to her territory a foreign 
armed force, regular or irregular, even as volunteers. 

V. If either be threatened with war or finds itself at 
war, the other will observe friendly neutrality. 

VI. Where military co-operation is considered neces- 
sary, details will be regulated by a military convention. 

VII. If, as a result of circumstances not at present 
foreseen, Serbia were in a position to make territorial 
acquisitions to the south (except the Sanjak) Austria 
will not oppose, and will use her influence with other 
Powers to favour Serbia. 

A Personal Declaration by Prince Milan was annexed 
to the Treaty. "I hereby assume the formal engagement 
Serbia a not to enter mt anv negotiation relative to 
Kingdom, any kind of political treaty between Serbia 
and a third State without communication 
with and the previous consent of Austria." In the 
autumn the Serbian Premier, not quite satisfied with a 
particular clause, went to Vienna, and in a "Declaration 
of the two Governments " restated the meaning which 
Mijatovich thought was already clear. "Article iv cannot 
impair the right of Serbia to negotiate and to conclude 
treaties, even of a political nature, with another Power. 
It implies for Serbia no other engagement than that of 
not negotiating or concluding any political treaty which 
would be contrary to the spirit and the tenor of the treaty." 
Thus Serbia obtained Austria's leave to expand south- 
wards and to become a kingdom, a privilege of which 
Prince Milan availed himself in the following year. In 
return Serbia placed her foreign policy under Austrian 
control, and transferred her capital account from the 
Russian to the Austro-German firm. In February, 1889, 
she was rewarded for her loyalty by the renewal of the 
alliance till 1895 an< 3 by additional guarantees and con- 
cessions. Austria undertook to prevent any hostile in- 



i88 3 ] Roumania Joins the Triple Alliance 71 

cursion from Montenegro through territory under her 
administration, and to urge Turkey, in case of need, to 
take similar steps; and Serbia was authorized to extend 
her frontier in the direction of the Vardar valley "as far 
as circumstances permit." 

Roumania, like Serbia, had fought on the side of 
Russia in the Turkish war; and, like Serbia, she was 
deeply angered at her lack of reward. The Rouman i a s 
forced cession of Bessarabia rankled in her Secret 
memory, and when Russia began to threaten Treaty 
the Central Powers in 1879 the sympathies of her 
Hohenzollern ruler pointed to an association with 
Vienna and Berlin. In 1880 Carol's diary records 
the first attempts from Vienna towards a rapproche- 
ment, which failed owing to Roumania's demand 
for Transylvania and Bukovina. 1 In 1883, after long 
conversations of Bratiano with Bismarck and Kalnoky," 
the Austrian Foreign Minister and the Roumanian 
Minister in Vienna signed a secret alliance for five years 
on October 30. If Roumania were attacked without pro- 
vocation, Austria was to help. If Austria were attacked 
in a portion of her states bordering on Russia, Roumania 
would help. If either were threatened by aggression, 
military questions were to be determined by a convention. 
A treaty providing for the accession of Germany was 
signed on the same day, and both parties forthwith invited 
the Emperor William to adhere to the pact. Germany 
accepted the invitation, and five years later Italy was asked 
and consented to accede to the Treaty. The Treaty was 
renewed at intervals, and was still in force in 1914. 

In 1883 Bismarck could more than ever congratulate 
himself on the success of his labours. Austria and Italy 
were his allies. Great Britain was friendly, and the Courts 
were connected by marriage. Russia was a member of a 
revived Dreikaiserbund. Serbian policy revolved in the 
orbit of Vienna, and an allied Hohenzollern king ruled at 

1 " Aus dem Leben Konig Karls," IV. 

" Die Grosse Politik," III, 263-82, and Pribram, 1. 



72 History of Modern Europe [1883 

Bucharest. In the same year General von der Goltz began 
to reorganize the Turkish army, and laid the foundations 
of German influence on the Bosphorus. France stood 
alone, estranged from Great Britain over Egypt and from 
Italy over Tunis; and under the virile guidance of Jules 
Ferry she seemed to have turned her thoughts from the 
Rhine provinces to the alluring task of rebuilding her 
colonial empire, in which she received and appreciated the 
diplomatic support of Berlin. The mighty Chancellor 
bestrode Europe like a Colossus, and lesser men watched 
anxiously for his smiles and frowns. 



CHAPTER III 

THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA 

FROM the Congress of Berlin onwards the relations of the 
European Powers were complicated in an increasing degree 
by territorial and commercial rivalry outside Europe ; and 
the Dark Continent offered a tempting field for expansion, 
ambition and intrigue. At the opening of the present 
narrative the possessions of the Powers were mere patches 
on the map Algeria in the north, two British colonies 
thousands of miles to the south, with a few British, 
Spanish and Portuguese settlements dotted along the west 
and east coasts. Forty years later Abyssinia and Liberia 
were the only portions of Africa not subject to European 
rule. The headlong rapidity of the process of partition 
naturally generated friction ; and in particular the conflict- 
ing ambitions of Great Britain and France more than once 
led the two peoples to the verge of war. 



The accession of Ismail to the Khedivial throne of 
Egypt in 1863 was followed by the construction of rail- 
ways, telegraphs, lighthouses, harbours, i smai i 
and, above all, the Suez Canal, which was the 
opened to traffic in 1869; and large sums s P en <*thrift 
were at the same time squandered on war in the 
Sudan and on costly palaces for the ruler. 1 When the 
slender resources of the country were exhausted, the spend- 
thrift began to seek accommodation abroad. The sale of 

1 In addition to the official publications see, above all, Lord Cromer, 
"Modern Egypt"; Freycinet, "La Question d'Egypte." Sir Auckland 
Colvin, " The Making of Modern Egypt," is a useful summary. 

73 



74 History of Modern Europe [1876 

his Suez Canal shares to the British Government in 1875 
led to the dispatch of the Cave commission of inquiry, 
which reported that national bankruptcy was inevitable. 
The Caisse de la Dette was accordingly instituted in May, 
1876, with control by Great Britain, France, Germany, 
Austria and Italy over a large part of the revenue. In 
the autumn of the same year Goschen and Joubert visited 
Egypt in the interests of the British and French bond- 
holders, and a Dual Control was established a British 
official to supervise the revenue and a French official to 
watch expenditure. Salisbury would have preferred British 
predominance, but accepted "parity of influence." "When 
you have got a neighbour bent on meddling in a country 
in which you are deeply interested, you may renounce or 
monopolize or share. Renouncing would have been to 
place the French across our road to India. Monopolizing 
would have been very near the risk of war. So we resolved 
to share." l 

In 1878, after further inquiry by an Anglo-French 
Commission, the vast property of the Khedive was brought 
De osition UIK * er supervision, and Ismail accepted, in 
of substitution for the Dual Control, the posi- 

Ismail t j on constitutional ruler with the Armenian 
Nubar Pasha as Premier, Rivers Wilson as Minister 
of Finance, and a Frenchman as Minister of Public 
Works. 2 Seven months later, however, in February, 
1879, he engineered a military riot, forced Nubar to resign, 
and attempted to return to the delights of personal rule. 
A momentary compromise was found in a new ministry, 
retaining the British and French Ministers, with Tewfik, 
the Khedive's son, as its nominal head. But in April 
Ismail dismissed his Ministers European as well as native 
and appointed Cherif as Premier. The French financial 
houses pressed for immediate intervention, and Wadding- 
ton, the French Premier, suggested the deposition of the 
Khedive ; but the British Government had no wish to be 

1 " Life of Salisbury," II, 331-2. 

See Sir C. Rivers Wilson, " Chapters from My Official Lite." 



The Dual Control 75 

a mere dividend collector for the bondholders. The 
Khedive, however, was warned and warned in vain 
to behave himself; and in June the British and French 
agents in Cairo urged him to abdicate. He refused; but 
the Sultan deposed him by telegraph, and appointed 
Tewfik his successor. The blow fell so suddenly that 
Ismail made no resistance, and quietly withdrew to Italy, 
leaving no regrets behind him. 

Though Salisbury had not instigated the Sultan's 
action, it was none the less a salutary decision. The 
task was now to revive the Dual Control. 

" We want to have some control over the T . La ?^ ?* 

Liquidation 

government of Egypt, he wrote to Lord 
Lyons on July 7, "though we do not want to assume 
any overt responsibility. We shall be safer and 
more powerful as wire-pullers than as ostensible rulers. 
The control should take the form of inspection. Actual 
authority we cannot exercise." Major Baring and De 
Blignieres were appointed controllers, without executive 
power but with rights of inquiry into all branches of the 
Administration and with power to make suggestions. As 
the controllers were irremovable, Egypt was now virtually 
governed by the two Powers. "There is a very decided 
improvement," wrote Major Baring to Lord Lyons on 
December 29, 1879. "Since I have been connected with 
Egyptian affairs I never remember things going so 
smoothly. I like what I see of the Khedive. What we 
want is time." An international Commission of Liquida- 
tion was appointed to arrange a composition with Egypt's 
creditors, and Salisbury insisted that it should deal not 
only with the debt but with the needs of the country. 
Difficulties with France and other Powers postponed the 
appointment of the Commission with full powers till the 
spring of 1880; but its work was rapid and effective, and 
the Law of Liquidation was passed in July. The creditors 
were divided into three classes, two-thirds of the revenue 
were mortgaged for their claims, interest was reduced to 

1 Lord Newton, " Life of Lord Lyons," ch. 13. 



76 History of Modern Europe [1881 

four per cent., and a limit was placed on national expendi- 
ture. The establishment of the Caisse de la Dette and the 
limitation of expenditure saved Egypt from the abyss of 
bankruptcy, to the edge of which a fertile land and an 
industrious people had been brought by an improvident 
ruler. 

Two years of quiet progress followed the deposition of 

Ismail, and the Gladstone Ministry, formed in 1880, had 

at first more urgent problems to face else- 

*Arabi f where; 1 but the Cairo Government lacked 
moral authority. Resentment of alien rule 
and of the ever-increasing number of foreign residents 
grew into a threatening demand of "Egypt for the 
Egyptians." The storm broke on September 9, 1881, 
when Arabi, an Egyptian officer, accompanied by 5,000 
soldiers, surrounded the palace, demanding an increase of 
the army, a change of Ministry, and a National Assembly. 8 
The revolt was directed not only against the Europeans 
but against the ruling class, of Turkish or Circassian 
descent, which monopolized the highest posts in the army 
and the administration. The Government was too weak 
to resist, Arabi was promoted, and a period of veiled 
military dictatorship combined with foreign supervision 
set in. Arabi became a national hero, and a collision 
between the two authorities was inevitable. The situation 
was complicated by the arrival of a Turkish mission ; and 
the French and British Governments, though desirous of 
co-operation, found it difficult to agree on the measures to 
take in the event of the expected conspiracy to overthrow 
the Khedive. 

On the formation of Le Grand Ministere in November, 
1 88 1, Gambetta, a convinced supporter of the Condo- 
minium and mindful of Thiers' advice, "Surtout n'aban- 

1 For the policy of the Gladstone Government in Egypt (1880-5) see 
the official biographies of Gladstone, Granville, Dilke, the Duke of 
Devonshire, Northbrook, and Lord Lyons. 

2 Much information on Arabi and the Nationalists is to be found in 
Wilfrid Blunt, " Secret History of the English Occupation of Egypt," 
and " My Diaries " ; and in Broadley, " How We Defended Arabi." 



i88 2 ] Gambetta and Egypt 77 

donnez jamais 1'Egypte," at once invited Great Britain to 
discuss measures for the security of the Khedive, and 
proposed a joint assurance of sympathy and support. 1 
Gambetta's Note, accepted by the British Government on 
January 6, 1882, informed the Khedive that the two 
Governments considered his maintenance on the throne 
"as alone able to guarantee good order and prosperity," 
and expressed their resolve to guard by their united efforts 
against " all cause of complication, external or internal, 
which might menace the order of things established in 
Egypt." Granville explained to the French Ambassador 
that acceptance of the Note did not commit the British 
Government to any particular mode of action. Indeed, he 
remarked confidentially that he did not think it would 
prove of any practical use, and described it to the French 
Ambassador as purely platonic. "The mauvais quart 
d'heure may arrive at any moment," he wrote to Lord 
Lyons. "Gambetta would probably desire joint interven- 
tion, to which the objections are immense. The best plan 
would be for the Powers to make Great Britain and France 
their mandatories." 

The joint Note presented on January 8 was received 
without gratitude by the Khedive and with angry surprise 
by everyone else. The Sultan read it as an Anglo- 
usurpation of his supreme authority, and French 
as a sign that Egypt would share the fate 
of Tunis; the Chamber of Notables, which had just 
met, regarded it as an encouragement to the Khedive 
to resist its advice; the Nationalist party resented 
it as a threat of intervention; and the Powers began to 
murmur. " It has at all events temporarily alienated from 
us all confidence," telegraphed Sir Edward Malet from 
Cairo. "Everything was progressing capitally, and Eng- 
land was looked on as the sincere well-wisher and protector 
of the country. Now it is considered that she has definitely 
thrown in her lot with France, and that France, from 
motives in connexion with her Tunisian campaign, is 

1 See Reinach, " Le Grand Ministere "; and Deschanel, " Gambetta." 



78 History of Modern Europe [1882 

determined ultimately to intervene here. For the moment 
it has caused the national party, the military and the 
Chamber to unite in a common bond of opposition to 
England and France, and to make them feel more forcibly 
that the tie which unites Egypt to the Ottoman Empire is 
a guarantee to which they must strongly adhere to save 
themselves from aggression. The military, who had fallen 
into the background on the convocation of the Chamber, 
are again in everybody's mouth, and Arabi is foremost in 
protesting against what he considers an unjust interfer- 
ence." The Note was, in fact, a blunder of the first 
magnitude, and brought strength not to the Khedive but 
to Arabi, who henceforth represented not only the army 
but the nation. Moreover, the British and French Govern- 
ments were not in real agreement, for while Gambetta 
looked forward with impatience to an Anglo-French occu- 
pation, Granville was anxious to avoid action, and would 
have preferred Turkish intervention if force were required. 
"From the moment the joint Note was issued," declares 
Lord Cromer, "foreign intervention became an unavoid- 
able necessity." The pacific Granville was alarmed, and 
proposed a joint telegram that the Note had been misunder- 
stood ; but Gambetta naturally refused to draw back. The 
Notables, strong in the support of public opinion, now 
compelled the Khedive to change his Ministers, Arabi 
became Minister of War, and the power of the Controllers 
diminished. 

The situation was eased by the fall of Gambetta on 
February i, after two months of power, and the accession 

to office of Freycinet, who did not share his 
GambeUa frond's desire for adventure in Egypt, or 

his indifference to the frowns of Europe. 
The new Premier was informed that the British 
Government, in signing the Note of January 8, in- 
tended to reserve not only the method but also the 
principle of action, and that they were opposed to military 
intervention. The warning to France that she might find 
herself alone was needless, for Freycinet was as anxious 



i88 2 j Freycinet and Egypt 79 

as Granville to avoid risks. Turkey had already protested 
against the joint Note, and the four Powers made an 
identical verbal communication to the Porte that u the 
status quo should be maintained, and could not be changed 
without agreement between the Powers and the Suzerain." 
Gambetta stood alone among French statesmen of the 
first rank in his forward policy. "In finance Egypt is 
an Anglo-French question," declared Jules Ferry; "in 
politics it is a question for the Concert." And such was 
the view held by Freycinet and his valued counsellor 
President GreVy. 

Now that the towering figure of Gambetta no longer 
blocked the way, Granville was free to express his pre- 
ference for the Concert over Anglo-French Fre cinet 
partnership. On February 6 he proposed and 
a fresh exchange of views, suggesting that Granville 
any intervention should be in the name of Europe 
and that the Sultan should be consulted. Freycinet 
accepted the suggestion, and on February n the two 
Governments issued to the four Powers a circular inviting 
discussion. Any intervention should represent the united 
action and authority of Europe, and the Sultan should 
be a party to any proceedings or discussion. Bismarck, 
who had expressed a hope that Freycinet would be "more 
European " than Gambetta, was pleased at the invitation 
to internationalize the problem, but he had no desire to 
land German troops in Africa. Indeed, he told the 
French Ambassador that if France and Great Britain, 
who possessed special interests, desired to act and the 
other Powers gave them a mandate, he would agree. To 
the mighty Chancellor such questions were pawns in his 
game of chess against France. Egypt, he declared, was 
the Schleswig-Holstein of the two Western Powers; they 
would intervene together and quarrel over the spoils. 

The situation was desperately tangled. The Gladstone 
Cabinet objected to intervention from any quarter, while 
French policy varied from month to month. A proposal 
of Freycinet to depose Tewfik was rejected in London 



So History of Modern Europe [1882 

as unnecessary and indeed, after the joint Note promising 
him support, impossible. Freycinet's next plan was to 
send an Anglo-French squadron to Alexandria to protect 
the foreign population, the other four Powers being asked 
to co-operate in inviting Turkey to abstain for the present 
from all interference. On the other hand, Turkish troops 
might be summoned by France and Great Britain and 
operate under their control, if their landing should be 
considered advisable after the arrival of the fleets. Gran- 
ville approved the programme, while suggesting that the 
Sultan should be told that his help might be invoked 
later and that the other Powers, including Turkey, should 
be represented in the naval demonstration. But the latter 
proposal was declined by Freycinet. 

Sir Edward Malet pointed out that unless the Sultan's 
approval of the action of the Powers was secured and 
T . proclaimed in advance, the Chamber and 

Sultan's the army might combine to resist. The 
Attitude Sultan, however, annoyed by the dispatch 
of an Anglo-French squadron to Alexandria, was in 
no mood to oblige, and his ambassadors in Paris 
and London were instructed to protest. The other 
Powers were also offended at not being consulted, and 
declined to join in the Anglo-French recommendation to 
the Sultan to abstain from interference. Granville accord- 
ingly endeavoured to pacify the Powers and the Porte 
by a reassuring telegram. "It was never proposed to 
land troops. The Government intend, when calm is 
restored and the future secured, to leave Egypt to herself 
and to recall their squadron. If a pacific solution cannot 
be obtained, they will concert with the Powers and with 
Turkey on the measures which appear to them and the 
French Government the best." Smooth words failed to 
allay the smart, and the Sultan secretly encouraged Arabi 
to resist Anglo-French pressure. When the Khedive 
accepted an Anglo-French demand for the dismissal of 
his Ministry and the temporary withdrawal of Arabi from 
the country, the Ministry resigned; but public opinion 



i88 2 ] The Constantinople Conference 8l 

demanded the reinstatement of Arabi, and the spiritless 
Khedive capitulated. The attempt to liberate him from 
the military dictatorship had merely riveted its yoke. The 
Nationalists were intoxicated by their triumph, and 
attacks upon Europeans were expected from hour to 
hour. 

The naval demonstration having failed, Freycinet 
proposed a conference, and Granville approved. Bis- 
marck applauded the suggestion, but the Sultan refused, 
preferring to dispatch a commission to Egypt. The 
mission, however, was doomed to failure, for while its 
leader, Dervish Pasha, was instructed to support the 
Khedive, his colleague was secretly ordered to co-operate 
with Arabi. The object of the mission was not to assist 
the Khedive, but to restore the authority of the Sultan, 
whose desire was to pose as a bulwark against European 
aggression . 

Before the Conference started work the long-expected 
explosion took place at Alexandria on June u, when fifty 
Europeans were killed and a larger number Alexandria 
wounded. Arabi was now in the saddle, Riots, 
and requested Dervish Pasha to leave the June 1 
country. Not only Christian but Turkish families 
hurried away in fear of their lives. On hearing 
the news Freycinet urged the immediate meeting of 
a conference, with or without Turkey, and the Con- 
ference met at Constantinople on June 23 without its host. 1 
On the opening day the Sultan informed Lord Dufferin 
that he was ready to exclude France, whom he hated, 
and to hand over to Great Britain the control and 
administration of Egypt, reserving only the modified 
rights of sovereignty which he possessed. The Ambas- 
sador replied that if he were to transfer Egypt in fee simple 
Great Britain would scarcely accept the burden, and his 
refusal was approved by his Government. After a fort- 
night's discussion the Sultan was invited to send troops 
to restore order, subject to making no change in the 

1 See Lyall, " Life of Lord Dufferin," II, ch. i. 
G 



8z History of Modern Europe [1882 

privileges and international obligations of Egypt; but 
before Turkey accepted the limiting conditions a step had 
been taken which changed the whole situation. 

Since the massacre at Alexandria Arabi had ruled 
Egypt, and Freycinet began to talk of making terms with 
Alexandria ^ m J but the British Government sturdily 
Bombarded, replied that the military party must be over- 
July 1. thrown. The opportunity arrived when the 
strengthening of the fortifications at Alexandria appeared 
to threaten the safety of the ships in the harbour. 
On July 3 the British squadron was instructed to 
destroy the earthworks if the erection of batteries 
were continued. The Powers were informed of the 
order, and France was invited to co-operate. Frey- 
cinet declined on the ground that isolated action, except 
to defend the safety of nationals, would be disloyal to the 
Conference, and that no troops were at hand to repress 
the disturbances which an attack would provoke. A 
demand for cessation of work on the fortifications pro- 
duced no result, and on July n the forts were destroyed. 
The disorders foretold by Freycinet at once broke out. 
Several Europeans were murdered, the European quarter 
was set on fire, and the town was pillaged for three days, 
after which some British troops which had just arrived 
were landed. Arabi proclaimed "irreconcilable war" 
against the British, and was dismissed from his post as 
Minister of War. 

The news was received with varying emotions. The 
Sultan denounced the act as contrary to International Law, 
and the Tsar openly expressed his indignation. France, 
having advertised her disapproval by removing her ships, 
abstained from further comment. For a moment it 
appeared that the Conference, which was engaged in dis- 
cussing the conditions of Turkish intervention, had lost 
its purpose; but Great Britain displayed no desire to 
separate herself further from the Concert, and on July 15 
she invited the Powers to co-operate in securing the safety 
of the Canal. Of this limited duty Freycinet was not 



i88 2 j The Withdrawal of France 83 

afraid, and the British and French squadrons were 
ordered to patrol the Canal ; but troops were also needed, 
and an Anglo-French telegram invited the Conference 
to select the Powers for defending the Canal in case of 
need, the Ambassadors being instructed to add that their 
Governments were ready .to undertake the task. Frey- 
cinet had already secured preliminary credits, promising 
to take no action without further authorization by the 
Chamber. Germany, Austria and Russia, however, 
declined to confer a mandate, though they had no 
objection to the two Powers defending their own interests. 
The refusal of a mandate alarmed the French, and when 
on July 29 Freycinet asked for a further credit, pointing 
out that the defence of the Canal did not 
constitute intervention in Egypt, he was 
defeated by an overwhelming majority. 
The vote of the Chamber gave Egypt to Great Britain. 
The abdication of France which began when the fleet 
sailed away from Alexandria was confirmed. Tunis 
had proved more troublesome than had been expected; 
a campaign in Egypt suggested difficulties and hardships, 
and it was feared that Bismarck might be setting a trap. 
On the following day, July 30, Prince Hohenlohe informed 
Freycinet that Berlin was ready to propose the collective 
protection of the Canal in the form which he would prefer, 
and on July 31 and August i similar communications 
arrived from Italy, Russia and Turkey. If these assur- 
ances had come a day or two earlier, lamented the 
Minister in writing his memoirs, he would not have fallen. 
Be that as it may, Clemenceau spoke for the majority of 
his countrymen when he persuaded the nervous Chamber 
to limit its responsibilities. 

On the day before the overthrow of Freycinet the 
British Ambassador in Rome had invited Italy to join 
Great Britain and France in securing the safety of the 
Canal, and to co-operate with Great Britain in a move- 
ment in the interior, which France declined to join. 1 

1 Crispi, " Memoirs," II, ch. 3. 



$4 History of Modern Europe [1882 

Mancini replied that, as the question had been submitted 

to the Conference at Constantinople and Turkey had 

Italy undertaken to dispatch troops, he could 

declines not support another mode of intervention. 
Co-operation G ranville politely replied that he had been 
glad of an opportunity of giving a proof of British 
friendship for Italy. The decision was bitterly re- 
gretted by Crispi, who reminded Mancini of Cavour's 
participation in the Crimean war. "The Government of 
tiny Piedmont had the courage that the Government of 
Italy lacks to-day." Granville, on the contrary, was 
delighted at Italy's refusal. "We have done the right 
thing. We have shown our readiness to admit others, 
and we have not the inconvenience of a partner." He 
feared that co-operation with any Power would inevitably 
lead to friction, and the path was now clear for suppressing 
Arabi. Though the Sultan had agreed to send troops, 
the conditions of their employment were not accepted, and 
he had no mind to act as the mandatory of the Powers. 
Thus Great Britain, who at first resolved to avoid even 
joint military intervention, was now committed to isolated 
action, while France had by her own timidity since the 
fall of Gambetta handed over Egypt to her rival without 
a struggle. 

The British Government now displayed a decision 
and energy that had hitherto been lacking. The Sultan 
was informed that, in view of the growing seriousness 
of the situation, Great Britain considered herself invested 
with the duty of restoring order in Egypt and maintain- 
ing the safety of the Canal, and a circular dispatch in- 
formed the Powers that Great Britain, with the appro- 
bation of the Khedive, would safeguard the Canal. 
General Wolseley sailed for Port Said, and on Septem- 
ber 13 Arabi was crushed at Tel-el-Kebir. A few days 
later Wolseley entered Cairo, and the Khedive returned 
from Alexandria, where he had taken refuge. Assuming 
that foreign intervention was necessary, Great Britain was 
better fitted for the task than Turkey ; but, in the words 



i882] Defeat of Arabi 85 

of Granville, the isolated action which had been forced 
upon us was not of our seeking. 

Bismarck was delighted with the news of Tel-el- Kebir. 
"You have his full sympathy for the vigorous policy you 
have adopted," reported Lord Ampthill from B ismarc t 8 
Berlin. " He has never concealed his anxious steady 
desire to see Austria occupy Bosnia, France Support 
Tunis, and England Egypt; and now that these 
wishes have been realized his next wish is that the 
occupation may last, and thereby minimize the ever- 
recurring danger of another Oriental crisis. In his 
opinion a gradual dismemberment of the Turkish Empire 
is the only pacific solution of the Oriental ques- 
tion." The Chancellor's good will was cemented by the 
kindness shown by official and unofficial society to his 
son Herbert, at this time a member of the staff of the 
German Embassy. "The friendship of the British 
Empire," declared Bismarck, "is much more important 
for us than the fate of Egypt." He added that he would 
not oppose annexation, though he did not advise it. 1 
France, on the other hand, pretended that the situation 
as between the two Western Powers had not been radically 
changed by the campaign. A few days after Tel-el-Kebir 
the British Charge at Paris was told that "it would be 
in the interest of England to give at an early date some 
notion of her future intentions." It was impossible to 
give a precise reply; but the Egyptian Government, like 
the British, desired the abolition of the Dual Control. 
The country which had refused every invitation to co- 
operate now fought against the inevitable results of uni- 
lateral intervention. When, in November, the Presidency 
of the Commission of the Debt was offered to France, 
it was declined on the ground that it was inconsistent with 
the dignity of France to accept as an equivalent for the 
abolition of the Dual Control a position which was simply 
that of cashier. After some sharp diplomatic exchanges 
France "resumed her liberty of action in Egypt" a 

1 " Die Grosse Politik," IV, 36-8. 



86 History of Modern Europe [1883 

euphemism for hostility which lasted till 1904. Scarcely 
less hot was the anger of the Sultan at the spectacle of a 
British garrison securely entrenched in a Turkish province 
without asking or receiving his permission. 

Though at that time no British statesman, Liberal 

or Conservative, dreamed of a permanent occupation, 

The some organization was required; and Lord 

Dufferin Dufferin, who as Ambassador at Constanti- 
Mission nople had taken the i eadin g part in tne 

Conference, arrived on November 7 as High Com- 
missioner, and remained in Egypt till May, 1883.* 
"H.M. Government," ran his instructions, "while de- 
sirous that the British occupation should last as short a 
time as possible, feel bound not to withdraw from the 
task thus imposed upon them until the administration of 
affairs has been reconstructed on a basis which will afford 
satisfactory guarantees for the maintenance of peace, order 
and prosperity in Egypt, the stability of the Khedive's 
authority, the judicious development of self-government, 
and the fulfilment of obligations towards foreign Powers." 
Dufferin fulfilled his difficult task with his usual discretion 
and skill. The Sultan issued an Irad6 prohibiting the 
Khedive from adopting measures without submitting them 
for his approval ; but Tewfik, while profuse in acknow- 
ledgment of the Sultan's rights, explained that he was no 
longer a free agent. "Le veritable Khedive, c'est Lord 
Dufferin." To resist would lead to abdication. 

The Dufferin Report combined literary distinction with 
political wisdom and insight. Egypt, he declared, had 
never known good government ; but the spirit of the age 
had reached the valley of the Nile, and the fellah, like 
his own Memnon, had not remained irresponsive to the 
beams of the new dawn. His capacities must be de- 
veloped. Egypt should be governed neither from London 
nor by an irresponsible centralized bureaucracy, but by 
the creation, within prudent limits, of representative in- 
stitutions, municipal and communal self-government. The 

1 Lyall, " Life of Dufferin," II, ch. 2. 



i88 3 j The Dufferin Report 87 

rudimentary communal electorate supplied a starting point 
for political growth. The fellahin would vote for members 
of Provincial Councils, which would in turn elect a 
majority of the Legislative Council, while more than half 
of the General Assembly would be delegated by the spokes- 
men of the villages. The Legislative Council and the 
Assembly, however, were merely consultative bodies 
except in the case of new taxes, to which the assent of 
the Assembly was required. The scheme for administra- 
tive reorganization embraced the army, justice, police, 
taxation and other urgent problems; but the assistance of 
Europeans for some time was indispensable. "It is abso- 
lutely necessary to prevent the fabric we have raised from 
tumbling to the ground the moment our sustaining hand 
is withdrawn. The administrative system must have time 
to consolidate." Dufferin's recommendations were ap- 
proved by the Cabinet, embodied in an Organic Decree, 
and worked out during three decades of benevolent 
despotism. 

Great Britain had not conquered Egypt; for it be- 
longed to Turkey, with whom we had not been at war. 
The anomalous position was authoritatively British 
defined in a circular dispatch to the Powers Policy 
dated January 3, 1883. Events, declared D f i fl ed 
Lord Granville, had thrown upon Great Britain the 
duty of suppressing Arabi. "Though for the present 
a British force remains in Egypt for the preserve 
tion of public tranquility, H.M. Government are 
desirous of withdrawing it as soon as the state of the 
country and the organization of proper means for the 
maintenance of the Khedive's authority will admit of it. 
Meanwhile the position in which H.M.'s Government is 
placed towards His Highness imposes on them the duty 
of giving advice with the object of securing that the order 
of things to be established shall be of a satisfactory 
character, and possess the elements of stability and pro- 
gress." The Canal must be neutral in time of war and 
open equally to the commerce of all nations in time of 



88 History of Modern Europe 

peace. Among desirable reforms were the equal taxation 
of foreigners and natives, the creation of a small but 
efficient army under foreign officers, the substitution of 
an efficient gendarmerie for the native police. A British 
adviser was to supersede the Dual Control, and a repre- 
sentative assembly was foreshadowed. It was the im- 
primatur of the Cabinet on the Dufferin programme. A 
few days later the Dual Control was abolished by 
Sir Khedivial decree. In September Sir Evelyn 

Evelyn Baring arrived in Cairo with the modest 
Baring title of Consul-General and Diplomatic 
Agent, little thinking that he was to rule the country 
for twenty-three years. The Treasury was empty and 
the State owed 100 millions; but the situation was 
not hopeless. A British garrison was now at his 
back, and though the Caisse de la Dette remained, the 
Dual Control had vanished. The Khedive was of a gentle 
and yielding nature, and power immediately passed into 
the hands of the British Agent, who was loyally supported 
from home. "It should be made clear," wrote Granville 
when he entered on his duties, "that the responsibility 
which for the time rests on England obliges H.M. Govern- 
ment to insist on the adoption of the policy which they 
recommend, and that it will be necessary that those 
Ministers and Governors who do not follow this course 
should cease to hold their offices." In other words, Egypt 
was to be a British Protectorate without the name. "We 
are uncommonly grateful to the Prince," observed Har- 
court to Herbert Bismarck. "He could have upset the 
cart if he had wished. That we were left alone is due to 
Germany's good will." * 

Though early evacuation was impossible, the reduction 
of the garrison was urged by Dufferin, and Baring was 
prepared to content himself with 3,000 troops at Alex- 
andria. The reduction, however, and the removal of 
troops from Cairo were postponed when an ill-disciplined 
Egyptian army, commanded by Hicks, a British soldier 

1 " Die Grosse Politik," IV, 48. 



i88 3 ] Revolt of the Sudan 89 

of fortune, was annihilated at the end of the year in Darfur 
by the Mahdi, a sheikh of Dongola, who had raised the 
flag of revolt in 1881. Though the British Government 
had unwisely refrained from vetoing the expedition on 
the ground that it had no concern with the The Mahdi 
Sudan, it now forbade the Khedive to Revolts, 
attempt the recon quest of the province, for 
which he possessed neither the troops nor the money. 
Khartum and other fortified posts in the Sudan held 
out, but were likely to be surrounded by the flow- 
ing Mahdist tide. The British Government accord- 
ingly ordered the evacuation of the country south of Wady 
Haifa; but the sea coast from Suakin to Massowah and 
the country up to the White Nile was to be held, in order 
to check the slave trade between Africa and Asia. When 
the decision to evacuate the Sudan was censured by the 
Opposition as an act of cowardice, Granville replied that 
the Government had never assumed responsibility for that 
distant province. War in its trackless deserts would 
throw Egypt back into the financial chaos from which 
she was beginning to be extricated by British hands. 

A loan was needed by the Egyptian Government to 
meet the expenses of the rebellion and the Hicks expedi- 
tion, and it was also desirable to modify the Law of 
Liquidation, which made it impossible for the Government 
to pay its way. Granville therefore proposed a conference 
to enable the Government to fulfil its obligations and to 
restore equilibrium. The Egyptian Question had not been 
the subject of international discussion since 1882, and 
Ferry accepted on condition that related questions should 
be canvassed in preliminary conversations between Gran- 
ville and Waddington, the French Ambassador. France 
obligingly disclaimed a desire to restore the Dual Control 
or to substitute a French for a British occupation if Great 
Britain withdrew, and accepted the undertaking of Great 
Britain not to alter the international situation of Egypt. 
Granville regarded this statement as an approval of the 
policy of the dispatch of January 3, 1883, and proposed in 



9<> History of Modern Europe [1884 

return evacuation in January, 1888, if the Powers were 
then of opinion that such withdrawal could take place 
"without risk to peace or order." He also proposed to 
work out plans for the free use of the Suez Canal and the 
neutralization of Egypt on the Belgian model after evacua- 
tion. Both parties were pleased with the pourparlers. 
"Egypt is neither French nor English," declared Ferry 
in presenting the papers; "it has never ceased and never 
will cease to be a European question." 

The Conference itself, which opened on June 28, 1884, 
belied the hopes that were raised by these amicable pre- 
The London ^ mmar i es ' Though its programme was 
Conference, confined to the financial situation, differ- 
ences at once showed themselves. France 
desired to increase the power of the Caisse and thus 
in some measure to restore the Condominium. She 
opposed the reduction of the interest on loans by one-half 
per cent., which the British recommended on the ground 
that the security had improved, and equally objected to the 
idea of a British guarantee of the debt as a means of re- 
ducing the rate. The two parties indeed approached the 
Conference at cross-purposes, the one merely desiring to 
ease the financial situation, the other to emphasize the 
European character of the Egyptian problem. "Jules 
Ferry," wrote Lord Lyons on June 3, "thinks little of any 
consideration in comparison with the political success 
which it would be to him to give France again a political 
footing in Egypt, and, as a means to this, to get a time 
fixed for the departure of our troops. I am very unhappy 
about the growing ill-will on both sides of the Channel. It 
is not that I suppose France has any deliberate intention 
of going to war with us. But the two nations come into 
contact in every part of the globe, and questions arise 
which, in the present state of feeling, excite mutual 
suspicion and irritation. Who can say when and where 
some local events may not produce a serious quarrel, or 
some high-handed proceedings of hot-headed officials occa- 
sion an actual collision ? " Thus, after seven sittings in the 



i88 4 ] The Northbrook Mission 91 

course of a month, the Conference broke up without 
reaching any decisions. 

After the failure of the London Conference and in 
view of the imminent bankruptcy of Egypt, Lord North- 
brook, an ex- Viceroy of India and at that j^orthbrook 
moment First Lord of the Admiralty, was visits 
sent to Egypt to report and advise. 1 He Egypt 
spent six weeks in the country and drew up two 
reports. The first, devoted to finance, recommended 
the extension of irrigation, the abolition of the corvee, 
greater freedom in the taxation of foreigners, a reduction 
of the land tax, and the issue of a loan of nine millions, 
the interest of which was to be guaranteed by the British 
Government. "The effect of the proposals," he concluded, 
"will undoubtedly be to substitute the financial control of 
England for the international control proposed by the 
Conference; but the alteration seems to me an advantage 
both to the Egyptian and the English Governments. Nor 
do I see what objections the other Powers can entertain to 
this control by Great Britain after her sacrifices in main- 
taining the peace and safety of Egypt and the financial 
liability now to be undertaken." A second report, dealing 
with the Egyptian problem as a whole, argued that pro- 
gress to be solid must be gradual. "I cannot recommend 
the Government to fix any date at which the British troops 
shall be withdrawn. Their strength may be reduced 
before long to about 4,000 men ; but it would not be safe 
or wise to fix any definite time for their entire withdrawal, 
because the safety of such a step must depend on the 
internal state of the country, and upon the political position 
of Egypt." 

Northbrook was too sanguine in his belief that "no 
Power could object" to financial control by Great Britain. 
When the Egyptian Government took his advice to burst 
its fetters by employing part of the surplus ear-marked for 
the debt to meet the deficit on the administration, the 
Caisse secured a judgment from the Courts restoring the 

1 See Sir B. Mallet, " Lord Northbrook." 



92 History of Modern Europe [1885 

money. The proposal of a British guarantee of a loan was 
rejected not only by France but by Gladstone, Childers, 
and all the Commoners in the Cabinet, though approved 
by Granville and the Peers. "Had his proposals been 
accepted by the Cabinet and carried into execution," writes 
Lord Cromer, "internationalism, which has been the bane 
of Egypt, would have received a heavy blow, and the 
paramount power of Great Britain, as the guide and pro- 
tector of Egypt, would have been asserted. Nothing was 
done to carry his policy into execution. His mission was 
a failure." This verdict is scarcely fair to the Cabinet, 
which would have found it difficult if not impossible to 
secure the assent of the Powers; for Turkey was by no 
means inclined to facilitate our task, and France remained 
actively hostile. Italy, alone of the Powers, was friendly, 
for it had been arranged that she should take possession 
of Massowah and the adjacent coast in the Red Sea. 

At length in March, 1885, the London Convention 
relaxed the stifling grip of the Law of Liquidation, and 
The London ena bled a loan of nine millions to be raised 
Convention, at 3^ per cent., guaranteed by the Powers, 
which paid the indemnities due for the 
damage to Alexandria in 1882 and the deficits of 1882 
and 1883, and left a million over for improving irrigation. 
The Convention also arranged for an International Com- 
mission at the end of two years if Egypt could not pay her 
way; but the situation slowly improved, and the Com- 
mission was not required. Sir Edgar Vincent, the 
financial adviser, economized on everything except irriga- 
tion, which was developed by Sir Colin Scott-Moncrieff. 
Sir Evelyn Wood trained a native army, and Sir John 
Scott reformed the administration of justice. The 
Khedive remained friendly and unambitious, and though 
the Armenian Nubar, the cleverest brain in Egypt, re- 
sented dictation and resigned in protest, Sir Evelyn Baring 
gradually won the confidence of his native colleagues. 

A declaration added to the London Convention 
announced a conference in Paris on the status of the Suez 



i88 5 ] The Suez Canal 93 

Canal. Ferry, who eagerly desired to revive French 
interests in Egypt and to reconquer lost ground, invited 
the Powers to establish a system for guaranteeing at all 
times and to all comers the free use of the Suez Canal. 
The object of France and the majority of the Powers was 
to internationalize rather than neutralize the Canal ; and 
this policy was fought by the British delegates, Sir Julian 
Pauncefote and Sir Rivers Wilson, who were willing to 
neutralize the Canal but not the ports of access, and 
attempted to reserve for Egypt rights of police, which 
Great Britain would exercise in her name. After ten 
weeks of discussion a treaty was drafted representing the 
views of the majority; but Great Britain and Italy 
declined to accept it and the Conference broke up without 
result. The fall of Ferry shortly afterwards removed the 
champion of the forward policy; but on February 22, 1886, 
an amended text was submitted for British approval. 
Lord Rosebery postponed the discussion, Suez 
and negotiations continued at intervals till Canal 
an agreement was reached between France Treaty 
and Great Britain in October, 1887, and accepted 
by the Powers in October, 1888. The "Treaty for 
the establishment of a definite regime to guarantee free 
use of the Canal " was in itself satisfactory to France ; but 
in a dispatch, dated October 21, 1887, Lord Salisbury 
repeated the fatal words used by Sir J. Pauncefote at the 
end of the sittings of 1885. "Great Britain formulates 
a general reservation in so far as the Treaty is incom- 
patible with the transitional and exceptional situation and 
would impede the liberty of action of the British Govern- 
ment during the occupation." France accepted the 
reservation "on the understanding that all the Powers may 
take advantage of it." The Treaty was thus reduced to an 
academic declaration ; for, if Great Britain were at war, 
she could control and block the Canal. 

The determination to surrender the Sudan to the Mahdi 
and to withdraw the European garrisons was wise and 
indeed inevitable ; but the selection of Gordon for the task 



94 History of Modern Europe [1885 

was a tragic blunder. He had been Governor-General of 
the Sudan in the later years of Ismail, but he possessed 
The no other qualification. " Gladstone's Govern- 
Gordon ment," writes Lord Cromer, "made two 
Tragedy g rea t mistakes in dealing with the Sudan. 
The sin of omission was that it did not stop the Hicks 
expedition. The sin of commission was the dispatch 
of Gordon to Khartum. No Englishman should have 
been sent to Khartum, and if anyone had to be sent, he 
was not the man. Had I known him better I should 
certainly never have agreed to his employment. On reach- 
ing Khartum his combative spirit completely got the 
better of him. He was above all a soldier and a very 
bellicose soldier, and he could not brook the idea of 
retiring before the Mahdi. As for his instructions he 
threw them to the winds." There is nothing to add to 
Lord Cromer 's measured condemnation. But though 
Gordon was cut off owing to his own disobedience to 
orders, this was no excuse for the delay in sending an 
expedition for his relief. At no moment in recent years 
did British prestige stand lower in the world than when 
the news arrived in February, 1885, that Khartum had 
fallen and its romantic defender had perished. The 
British Government impulsively resolved to carry out the 
fallen hero's programme of smashing the Mahdi ; but the 
Penjdeh crisis compelled them to hold their hand, and the 
reconquest of the Sudan was postponed for a decade. 

Though the Conservatives had sharply attacked the 
Egyptian policy of the Gladstone Ministry, Salisbury had 
no more desire to remain permanently in Egypt than his 
rival, and on taking office in the summer of 1885 he at 
once dispatched Drummond Wolff as Envoy Extraordinary 
and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Sultan, 1 whose co- 
operation he was to invite in the settlement of the 
Egyptian question. On October 24, two months after his 
arrival in the Turkish capital, he signed a convention 
providing that the British and Turkish Governments were 

1 See his " Rambling Recollections," II, 274-320. 



1885] The Drummond Wolff Mission 95 

each to send a special Commissioner to Egypt, who, in 
agreement with the Khedive, were to reorganize the army 
and reform the administration. "So soon as the two 
Commissioners," ran the sixth article, "shall have estab- 
lished that the security of the frontiers and the good 
working and stability of the Egyptian First Wolff 
Government are assured, they shall present Convention, 
a report to their respective Governments, 
who will consult as to the conclusion of a conven- 
tion regulating the withdrawal of the British troops 
in a convenient period." The Convention was approved 
by all four Powers, and the Sultan expressed his 
pleasure at its conclusion. Wolff reported that it had 
done much to allay Turkish irritation, adding that the 
Turkish Commissioner, if wisely chosen, would be useful 
in creating institutions combining eastern and western 
elements and in tranquillizing the Sudan. He at once left 
for Egypt, followed by the Turkish Commissioner, Mukhtar 
Pasha, at the close of the year. Discussions between Wolff, 
Mukhtar and the Khedive on the pacification of the Sudan, 
the finances and the army, continued throughout 1886, and 
at the close of the year Wolff returned to England to 
discuss the situation with Salisbury. 

While the Commissioners were wasting their time in 
Cairo, the French Government, once again under the 
direction of Freycinet, continued its effort to shorten the 
occupation. In his first conversation with Herbert Bis- 
marck, the Foreign Secretary, on October 18, 1886, 
Herbette, the newly appointed French Ambassador at 
Berlin, made a bold bid for German support in the 
Egyptian quarrel. 1 The idea of revanche, he declared, 
was out of date, and an immense detente would occur 
if the Chancellor would publicly declare that he intended 
to use his enormous authority to maintain the status quo 
in the Mediterranean. All suspicions and apprehensions 
would disappear; all eyes would turn away from the 
eastern frontier, and France could employ all her 

1 " Die Grosse Politik," VI, 144-52. 



96 History of Modern Europe 

strength and resources where her vital interests were con- 
cerned. "For us it is really a question of our existence 
as a Great Power that England should evacuate Egypt. 
The Mediterranean is the pivot of our policy, and the 
English are abominated in France, much more than the 
Germans have ever been." In his interview with the 
Chancellor shortly afterwards the Ambassador renewed 
his appeal for German co-operation, but was informed 
that Germany could not press England to leave the 
country. The good will of France could never make up 
for the ill-will of England. 

At the same moment Waddington was instructed to 
raise the question in Downing Street. "You are quite 

Fran mistaken in thinking we want to stay in- 

suggests definitely," replied Salisbury; "we only 

Evacuation seek the means to withdraw honourably. 

Our troops would be much more useful in India. 
We are resolved to evacuate, but, when we do so, 
we shall ask Europe to fix a period in which we shall 
have the right of re-entry if new disorders occur. Without 
this our work of reorganization would be imperilled. A 
period of surveillance is necessary. We intend to 
negotiate with the Sultan, but desire first an agreement 
with France." Freyctnet replied by asking for an early 
declaration fixing the date of evacuation, and adding that 
the sooner it came the longer might be the period of sur- 
veillance. "Great Britain is forming cadres with British 
officers. This is natural, but does not tend to evacuation. 
The Sultan is now willing, owing to our representations, 
to form cadres with Turkish officers. We should not, 
however, oppose if England keeps some European officers 
for a time. Finally, any administrative or financial 
reforms tending to reduce the French personnel would 
be very unpopular, unless the date of evacuation is fixed. 
Egypt is the only question that divides us." The dispatch 
was conciliatory in tone; but on November 17 the Premier 
spoke gravely and almost threateningly in the Chamber. 
"If a Great Power installed itself definitely in Egypt, 



The Drummond Wolff Convention 97 

it would be a very grave blow at the influence of 
France in the Mediterranean, and in my opinion France 
should never accustom herself to the idea that it 
could pass definitely into the hands of a Great European 
Power." 

Early in 1887 Wolff returned to Constantinople to 
negotiate the second Convention contemplated in the pact 
of 1885, and sent a memorandum to the Secon( j \yolff 
Grand Vizier proposing the neutralization Convention, 
of Egypt, the retention of a sufficient 
number of British officers in the Egyptian army, and 
the right to re-enter in case of need. The latter 
claim, replied the Porte, was to usurp the Sultan's pre- 
rogative ; but a right of joint intervention was accorded in 
the Convention signed at Constantinople on May 22. The 
British troops were to retire after three years. If dangers 
within or without necessitated postponement, they would 
retire immediately after the disappearance of the danger. 
After ratification of the Convention the Powers were to 
be invited to guarantee the inviolability of Egypt. Turkey, 
however, would use her right of military occupation if 
she had reason to fear invasion or internal disorder, or if 
the Khedive neglected his duties towards the suzerain 
Power or his international obligations. The British 
Government was likewise authorized in similar cases to 
send troops to remove the dangers. The British and 
Turkish commanders were to act with due regard to 
Turkish rights, and the Turkish and British troops would 
be withdrawn when the grounds of their intervention were 
removed. If the Sultan did not mdve, Great Britain might 
take military action alone. In a letter attached to the 
Convention, Wolff explained that, if at the end of the 
three years one of the Great Mediterranean Powers should 
not have accepted it, Great Britain would consider this 
refusal as the "appearance of danger from without" 
contemplated by the Convention. 

The Sultan, Kiamil Pasha, the Grand Vizier, the 
Ministers, and the Sheikh-el-Islam were anxious to settle 
H 



98 History of Modern Europe [1887 

the Egyptian question; but the Convention provoked an 
outburst of wrath in France and Russia. Nelidoff, the 

Wolff Russian Ambassador, reproached the Grand 
Convention Vizier with sacrificing the rights of the 
Repudiated Sultan, adding that Russia would prefer 
an undefined state of transition to a recognition of 
Great Britain's special rights, and Giers observed to 
the Turkish Minister at Petrograd that Russia would 
probably refuse her cohesion. France, who was even 
more hostile, vainly urged Germany to join in protest, 
and informed the Sultan that she could not accept the 
right of re-entry without limit of time. The Turks were 
alarmed, and pretended to believe that, if the Convention 
were ratified, France might occupy Syria and Russia 
Armenia. The Porte therefore asked for an extension of 
the month in which ratification was due; but it made no 
use of the time granted, and Wolff left Constantinople 
on July 1 6. Shortly afterwards the Turkish Ambassador 
in London tried to reopen negotiations, but Salisbury 
cogently replied that "as long as the Sultan was so much 
under the influence of other advisers as to repudiate an 
agreement which he had so recently sanctioned, any fresh 
agreement would obviously be liable to meet with the 
same fate." 

Despite the repudiation of the Wolff Convention, the 
Turkish Commissioner remained in Cairo, without defined 
functions and as a centre of intrigue. On the other hand, 
the diplomatic position of Great Britain was improved; 
for the world now knew that she had reached an agree- 
ment for evacuation with the Sultan, who had withdrawn 
his assent under pressure from France and Russia. The 
conduct of France did not encourage Great Britain to 
further efforts to limit the duration of her stay in the 
valley of the Nile; and the cessation of the recurring 
deficits in 1888 encouraged Baring and his associates to 
persevere in their difficult task. 



Germany and Colonization 99 



11 

While France sought a solatium for Sedan in re- 
building her lost colonial empire, victorious Germany 
was for a decade content with the mastery Bismarck 
of the Continent. Millions of Germans and 
emigrated to America during the nineteenth Colomes 
century, but their loss was not greatly deplored. The 
traditions of the Hansa exerted no spell on Bismarck, 
who desired neither colonies nor a fleet, though he en- 
couraged other Powers to direct their gaze beyond the 
seas. Indeed his refusal to thwart their ambitions was 
an essential element in the policy of safeguarding his own 
handiwork. "He will hear nothing of colonies," wrote 
Hohenlohe after a visit to the Chancellor in 1880. "He 
says we have not the fleet to defend them nor the bureau- 
cracy to administer them. He spoke of my report on 
French plans in Morocco, and believed we could be glad 
if France took it; she would have plenty to do, and it 
would be a compensation for Alsace-Lorraine." 1 Bis- 
marck's calculated desinteressement was gratefully recog- 
nized in Downing Street. "On the sound rule that you 
love those most whom you consort with least," wrote 
Salisbury to Lord Odo Russell on January 14, 1880, 
"Germany is clearly cut out to be our ally. Even our 
ancient friend Austria is not so completely free from any 
plans or interests which cross our own for the present." 
The Foreign Secretary was wise to add the saving clause, 
for the spectacle of German enterprise enriching foreign 
lands and other Powers greedily carving up the African 
joint stimulated the German appetite, and eventually com- 
pelled the Chancellor to satisfy its hunger before it was 
too late. 

The connexion of Germany with Africa dates from the 
second half of the seventeenth century, when Prussian 
ships took part in the slave trade. A foothold was estab- 

1 Hohenlohe, " Denkwurdigkeiten," II, 291. 3 " Life of Salisbury," II, 373. 



ioo History of Modern Europe [1880 

lished on the Gold Coast, and an island off Senegal was 
bought by the Great Elector, whose head was full of 
The colonial schemes. 1 The Brandenburg African 
Great Company was founded in 1681 ; but the 
Elector enterprise proved a commercial failure and 
was abandoned forty years later. Interest in the 
Dark Continent was revived by German explorers, 
traders and missionaries in the nineteenth century ; 
and when the Empire was founded Hamburg mer- 
chants had already opened up a brisk trade both on 
the east and west coasts. In 1878 a German branch of 
King Leopold's International African Association was 
formed, and in 1882 the German Colonial Society was 
founded. It was to the west coast that German eyes were 
most frequently turned. In the middle of the century 
missions were established in Damaraland and Namaqua- 
land; and in 1864 some missionaries hoisted the German 
flag to the north of Walfisch Bay, the only harbour on 
the long unoccupied coast between the Orange River and 
Angola. The Bay was vaguely regarded as British ; and 
in 1868, owing to friction between missionaries and 
natives, the British Government promised the same pro- 
tection to German as to British subjects, thus implying 
that Damaraland and Namaqualand were within our 
sphere of influence. On the other hand, there was no 
effective British occupation except at Walfisch Bay ; and, 
despite the appeal of the Governors of Cape Colony in 
1867 a "d 1877 to annex the whole coast from Cape Colony 
to the Portuguese frontier, the Government refused to 
extend the area of territorial sovereignty beyond Walfisch 
Bay and fifteen miles of sea frontage when action was 
finally taken in 1878. In 1880, when German mission- 
aries complained of the danger from native wars and of 
the lack of protection from the British authorities, Bis- 
marck inquired whether the British Government was pre- 

1 The most useful surveys of the foundation of Germany's colonial 
empire are Zimmermann, " Geschichte der Deutschen Kolonialpolitik " ; 
and Lewin, " The Germans in Africa." An excellent sketch is given by 
Dawson, " The German Empire," I, ch. 17. 



i88 2 ] Luderitz the Pioneer 101 

pared to afford the same protection to German as to 
British subjects. The promise was given, but accom- 
panied by a disclaimer of responsibility outside Walfisch 
Bay. The door thus stood open for Germany, official or 
unofficial, to enter on any other section of the desolate 
coast. For two years longer, however, neither Power 

fhowed any desire to add the uninviting No Man's Land 
o their empire. 
In November, 1882, Luderitz, a Bremen merchant, 
acting on the suggestion of the Colonial Society, asked 
his Government to afford protection if he South- 
acquired territory in South- West Africa. 1 west 
Bismarck gave the required promise, sub- Africa 
ject to the condition that no other Power claimed 
the district. He proceeded to ask the British Govern- 
ment whether it claimed sovereignty or could afford 
protection in the Angra Pequena region. If not, 
the German Government would protect its own subjects, 
though without the least intention of establishing a foot- 
ing in South- West Africa. Granville replied that before 
deciding he must know the position of the proposed 
factory, and must consult the Government of Cape Colony. 
Without waiting for the British response Luderitz signed 
a treaty with a Hottentot chief for a small area with a sea 
frontage of ten miles, and proceeded to hoist the German 
flag. Cape Colony, though it had never desired to occupy 
Angra Pequena, was annoyed; but it did not suggest the 
occupation of the rest of the coast. On August 18 the 
German Government informed its Consul at the Cape 
that, if the rights of other nations were not thereby in- 
fringed, it would give protection to the Luderitz settle- 
ment; and a gunboat was stationed in the Bay of Angra 
Pequena. The commander of a British gunboat sent 
some months later from the Cape was informed that he 
was in German territorial waters. 

1 Both the British and German Governments published numerous 
Blue Books on the colonial friction of 1883-5. Cf. " Lord Granville's 
Life," II, and " Die Grosse Politik," IV, 1-108. 



102 History of Modern Europe [i88 4 

The Chancellor, expecting Great Britain to further 
German colonial policy in return for his invaluable support 
in Egypt, declined to be hurried or to hurry the Govern- 
ment, though it was twice reminded that he was waiting 
for a reply. At last, after nine months, Granville replied 
in November, 1883, that, though sovereignty had only 
been proclaimed at Walfisch Bay and the islands off Angra 
Pequena, any claim to sovereignty or jurisdiction by a 
foreign Power between Angola and Cape Colony would 
infringe our legitimate rights. It was a provoking com- 
munication, and Bismarck could hardly be blamed for 
inquiring on what these "legitimate rights" were based. 
Further delay ensued, for Bismarck's dispatch of Decem- 
ber 31 was referred to the Colonial Office, and Lord 
Derby proceeded to consult Cape Colony; but owing to 
a change of Ministry, the answer, recommending the 
British Government to assume control of the whole coast 
up to Walfisch Bay, including Angra Pequena, did not 
The reach London till May 29, 1884. It was 
Chancellor too late ; for, on April 24, the Chancellor, 
Acts weary of the repeated delays and apprehen- 
sive of being confronted with a fait accompli, pro- 
claimed a protectorate from the Orange River to Angra 
Pequena. In an outspoken dispatch of June n to the 
German Ambassador in London he sharply complained 
of "the game of hide and seek with the Colonial Office," 
and of the pretext that the Colonies were independent 
States. His question, he observed, could have been 
answered in a week without referring it to the Cape. It 
was only necessary to state the extent of the recognized 
possessions of England at that moment; whereas Lord 
Granville, and still more Lord Derby, had chosen to 
understand it as an inquiry whether it would suit England 
to annex fresh territory. 1 The feeling that Germany had 
not been treated fairly had been strengthened by the 

1 In his anger Bismarck proposed to the French Ambassador in May 
an entente in African questions to the exclusion of England, but did not 
follow it up. See Bourgeois et Pages, " Origines et Responsabilite~s de la 
Grande Guerre," 208-10. 



i88 4 ] Germany's First Colony 103 

contention of British statesmen that England had a right 
to prevent settlements in the vicinity of her possessions, 
and that she asserted a sort of Monroe doctrine in Africa. 
Granville replied that the Government had no thought of 
obstructing German colonization, and that he had not 
gathered that Germany had colonial ambitions. He ex- 
plained that the Cape Government had to be consulted 
on matters concerning them, and that Derby understood 
that Germany wished Great Britain to take the territory 
under her protection. At this moment Herbert Bismarck 
paid one of his flying visits to England and told Granville 
very plainly what his father thought of the action of the 
Government. The Foreign Minister apologized for mis- 
understandings, brought the matter before the Cabinet, 
and on June 21 informed the Ambassador that Great 
Britain recognized German sovereignty at Angra Pequena. 
On August 7 a German captain hoisted Lord 
the German flag over Angra Pequena, and Granville's 
the whole coast between Cape Colony and 
the Portuguese frontier, except Walfisch Bay, was 
subsequently declared German territory. The clumsy 
handling of the situation was resented by several 
members of the Cabinet. Granville's errors were mainly 
due to his failure to realize that, despite the Chancellor's 
personal indifference to colonies, Germany was determined 
to have them ; and for this ignorance Lord Ampthill and 
Miinster were in part responsible. 

"Bismarck is very grateful to you," reported Ampthill. 
"The Press is all praise at the fairness, justice and friend- 
liness of your decision, and I hear from all sides that it 
has done immense good to our international relations; 
for the Germans had set their hearts on the protection 
of Luderitz's enterprise. The Crown Prince, who shared 
the national craving but dreaded the anger and irritation 
it was producing against England, shares the national 
delight at your decision, which re-establishes the good 
feeling between England and Germany. The Crown 
Princess is also beyond measure happy at the general 



104 History of Modern Europe [i88 4 

contentment and altered tone of the Press. I am im- 
mensely relieved at your having dispelled the threatening 
incubus. It is a remarkable fact that Bismarck, contrary 
to his convictions and his will, has been driven by public 
opinion to the colonial policy he had hitherto denounced 
as detrimental to the concentration of German strength." 
At the same time a dragging dispute relating to the land 
claims of German settlers in Fiji was referred to a mixed 
Commission. 

Just when the sun had begun to shine brightly, the 
news that the Cape Parliament had asked for the annexa- 
Bismarck ^ on ^ Angra Pequena revived Bismarck's 
desires anger and suspicion. If England ignored 
Heligoland his protest) he declared on August 22, 
there would be a total breach. The matter was too 
small to fight about, but diplomatic difficulties could 
be raised in various quarters. He also renewed his com- 
plaints about the delay in answering his dispatch of 
December 31, 1883, and charged Derby with employing 
the interval to encourage the Cape Government to seize 
the coast and anticipate the action of Germany. Still 
more surprising was the complaint that he had received no 
reply to a dispatch which he read to the Reichstag, warn- 
ing Great Britain that if she refused her aid in German 
colonial enterprise, he would seek assistance from France. 
The incident displayed Bismarck at his worst; for the 
dispatch in question, by his own instructions, had never 
been presented. The gentle and courteous Granville was 
alarmed by these unexpected outbursts. "I am afraid we 
shall find Bismarck a great difficulty in our path. He is 
making use of us for electioneering purposes. We have 
met all his open colonial grievances; but he has a secret 
one Heligoland." The Ambassador had, in fact, 
informed the Foreign Secretary in May that Germany 
desired to construct a canal from the North Sea to the 
Baltic, and sounded him as to the surrender of the island, 
which was useless to England, and which would strengthen 
the good feeling of Germany in an extraordinary degree. 



1884] Bismarck in a Temper 105 

The Foreign Secretary urbanely replied that the cession of 
Gibraltar would doubtless strengthen our good relations 
with Spain; and a further reference to the subject in the 
following year met with a similar dilatory response. 
Granville believed that the cession would be unpopular, 
and that in any case Gladstone, Derby and himself were 
not the people to make it ; but it might be worth consider- 
ing as a factor in solving the financial difficulty in Egypt. 

"We have to deal with two sovereignties," wrote Bis- 
marck to Miinster on December 5. "One is exercised by 
Lord Granville, who utilizes our friendship Anglo- 
in Egypt and elsewhere, and believes that German 
his assurances of friendship are sufficient 
payment for it. The second is that of Lord Derby, 
who opposes us at most points where we touch. We 
cannot keep two accounts with England." A new 
source of friction occurred in the publication in a Blue 
Book of a dispatch containing a protest and a claim 
arising out of the bombardment of a village in the 
Cameroons, in which British property had been damaged. 
Such documents are not, as a rule, published till they 
are in the hands of the party to whom they are addressed ; 
but in the present case it was communicated to the German 
Ambassador instead of to his chief. For this trifling 
matter Bismarck staged an angry scene with the British 
Ambassador, and revived the old claim for compensation 
for property injured by the bombardment of Alexandria. 
Further friction arose when the Chancellor declared a 
Polish traveller in West Africa to be a British agent, and 
demanded a formal repudiation of him and his works. 

Granville and Derby, the most long-suffering and con- 
ciliatory of men, were now convinced that further yielding 
would only encourage the heavy-handed Chancellor to! 
bully Great Britain. Since 1876, the year before the 
annexation, German eyes had turned towards the Transvaal 
as an outlet for emigration and perhaps something more. 
A company, it was suggested, might obtain Delagoa Bay, 
or St. Lucia Bay in Zululand, and build a line to Pretoria. 



106 History of Modern Europe [i88 4 

Another plan, of which the energetic Luderitz was the 
author, aimed at securing Pondoland. There was no 
danger at Delagoa Bay, since Great Britain held a right 
of pre-emption ; but German plans in Zululand were sud- 
denly frustrated by the hoisting of the British flag at St. 
Lucia Bay on December 18, 1884. At the same moment 
Sir Charles Warren was dispatched from Cape Colony to 
eject Boer trekkers from Bechuanaland, and Sir Harry 
Johnston was sent on a mission which ultimately led to 
the acquisition of British East Africa. 

Bismarck had displayed remarkable patience and con- 
sideration before founding Germany's first colony ; but the 

T oland next sta e * n ^ e g rowtn of her African 

and Empire was carried through by a piece of 

Cameroon sharp pract i ce . i n April, 1884, the British 

Foreign Office was informed that the German Consul- 
General Nachtigal would visit the west coast of Africa 
to report on German commerce ; and, after assur- 
ances that his objects were purely commercial, Granville 
promised the assistance of the British authorities on the 
spot. But on July 5 Nachtigal, after arrangements with 
the chiefs, declared Togoland a German Protectorate. He 
next sailed to the Cameroons, where the principal chief 
signed a treaty in return for ;ioo, and hoisted the German 
flag over the Cameroon river. The British Consul in the 
Cameroons now returned from his holiday and proclaimed 
a Protectorate over the Oil Rivers, the mouths of the Niger, 
and the coast westward to the boundary of Lagos. 
Nachtigal's swoop only deprived Great Britain of a small 
section of the coast line; but Germany was subsequently 
permitted to annex the whole district of the Cameroons, 
though Cameroon chiefs had asked for British protection 
since 1879, and Granville confessed that the Government 
were intending to annex the country had Germany not 
done so. 

In the same eventful year, 1884, Germany planted her 
foot in New Guinea, to which the colonial party had for 
several years turned longing eyes. The western end of 



1884] German New Guinea 107 

the great island belonged to the Dutch, and a British 
company received a charter in 1881. The demand of the 
Governments of the Australian Colonies for the annexation 
of the eastern half being ignored, Queensland proceeded 
to annex it in April, 1883, without authoriza- The 
tion, but was promptly overruled by the Pacific 
Home Government. Despite this rebuke an Ocean 
intercolonial convention at the end of the same year 
demanded the annexation of all the unappropriated 
parts of New Guinea and the neighbouring islands, and 
declared that the acquisition of territory in the south- 
west Pacific was challenged by German settlers in the 
south seas, who proceeded to claim the protection of their 
Government; and in May, 1884, a German New Guinea 
Company was formed. An expedition was dispatched by 
the Company to acquire unappropriated territory on the 
north-east coast, and official protection was asked and 
accorded. The British Cabinet was divided, some of its 
members supporting the Australasian demands, while 
Gladstone, Granville and Derby favoured a friendly 
arrangement with Germany, whose good will in the 
Egyptian quarrel with France was urgently needed. No 
decision was reached, and when Meade, the Under- 
secretary of the Colonial Office, was sent to Berlin at the 
end of the year he was greeted with rebukes. England, 
declared the angry Chancellor, was obstructing Germany 
in the Pacific no less than in Africa. She already 
possessed a mass of territory which would require years to 
develop, and it was unworthy of her to grudge Germany 
a portion of New Guinea. Meade replied that the Colonies 
considered the Colonial Office to have been unduly pro- 
German ; that the annexation of the Cameroons and Togo- 
land had been accepted without protest; and that the 
Colonial Office had informed the Foreign Office that it 
preferred Germany to France as a neighbour. 

"Our relations with England have grown steadily 
worse ever since May," wrote the Chancellor to Miinster on 
January 25, 1885, "and it would not have occurred if you 



io8 History of Modern Europe [1884 

had presented our desires more energetically." Herbert 
Bismarck was accordingly once again sent to London in 
Herbert March, and once more set forth the 
Bismarck's grievance of his countrymen with a frank- 
Mission ness w hj c h t h e Ambassador had always 
feared to adopt. He explained that Germany, failing 
to receive the expected support in her colonial under- 
takings, had been compelled to show the difference 
between German friendship and enmity. "All the 
Ministers with whom I spoke," reported the envoy, 
"assured me that they quite understood the situation, 
and that now it had been so clearly explained further mis- 
understandings appeared to be impossible." The Prime 
Minister warmly grasped the proffered hand. "If Ger- 
many is to become a colonizing Power," he declared in 
sonorous tones in the House of Commons, "all I say is, 
God speed her ! She becomes our ally and partner in the 
execution of the great purposes of Providence for the 
advantage of. mankind." The Foreign Secretary, in full 
sympathy with his chief, expressed the same aspirations 
in more prosaic phraseology. "There appears to be a 
suspicion in Germany that we do not give full recognition 
of the present position of that great nation. I believe, on 
the contrary, that there is no country in which not only 
politicians, but all classes of the population appreciate 
more and with greater pleasure the important position 
which Germany has taken in Europe since its unification." 
A few weeks after these declarations the division of New 
Guinea was amicably arranged, Great Britain obtaining 
the southern half of the eastern portion of the island, while 
Germany secured the northern half, which was christened 
Kaiser Wilhelm's Land, and the New Britain Islands, 
which were renamed the Bismarck Archipelago. The 
sun was shining again ; but the spectacle of Great Britain, 
with territory in every continent, grudging a modest 
colonial empire in the unappropriated tropics to a Great 
Power with a growing trade and population, while accept- 
ing the steady support received from Germany in Egypt, 



1884] German East Africa 109 

was neither forgotten nor forgiven, while the high-handed 
and occasionally deceitful methods of Bismarck left a dis- 
agreeable impression in Downing Street. On the other 
hand, British statesmen were thankful that it was Ger- 
many and not France who had so rapidly extended her 
dominions, since French colonization meant the doom of 
British trade. 

The acquisition of the most valuable and thickly 
populated portion of Germany's colonial empire occurred 
without the friction that had marked the Peters 
earlier stages of its construction. The and 
authority of the Sultan of Zanzibar extended Zanzibar 
over the coast and far into the interior of East 
Africa, and several of the Powers signed commercial 
treaties with him in the middle decades of the nineteenth 
century. British influence was supreme at his Court, and 
in 1878 an offer to accept British protection was made 
and declined. Next to the British, the Germans were 
the most active and numerous of European traders, and 
in October, 1884, a German Consul was appointed at 
Zanzibar. In reply to an inquiry from the British Foreign 
Office, Bismarck replied that there was no intention of 
proclaiming a Protectorate; but there were pushing men 
in Germany resolved to force the Government's hand. 
Karl Peters, who had brought back from a residence in 
England a living interest in colonial questions, had 
founded a Society for German Colonization, which con- 
centrated its attention on East Africa. Despite the absence 
of official encouragement, Peters and two friends arrived 
at Zanzibar on November 4, 1884, dressed like mechanics, 
crossed to the mainland, penetrated beyond the coastal 
zone owning allegiance to the Sultan, concluded treaties 
with native chiefs, and hoisted the German flag over an 
area of 60,000 square miles. The explorer hurried home, 
founded a German 'East African Company, to which he 
transferred his treaty rights, and in February, 1885, 
secured Imperial protection over the territories. The 
Sultan protested, but the British representative was ordered 



no History of Modern Europe [1885 

to support German claims, and it was decided to limit the 
Sultan's authority to a strip ten miles deep along the coast. 
When he still refused to surrender his claims to the hinter- 
land, and sent troops to enforce them, a German squadron 
appeared with an ultimatum, to which he yielded. When 
the sultanate of Witu and parts of Swahililand and 
Somaliland were subsequently added by Peters and his 
associates, a delimitation of Anglo-German spheres of 
influence became necessary, and in the autumn of 1886 
Great Britain recognized Germany's rights over a strip 
of coast and over the Kilimanjaro region, Uganda and 
Witu. Since the two rivals were now in agreement, the 
Sultan had no choice but to accept the diminution of his 
German inherited rights and claims. Three years 
in later, Peters having discredited himself 

Samoa ^ ^is crue lties, German East Africa was 
transferred to the control of the Crown, to whom 
in 1890 the Company sold its rights. Germany's 
overseas empire was further enlarged by the planting of 
her foot in Samoa. The colonies thus acquired without a 
fleet and without moving a soldier were widely separated 
from the mother country and from one another, and were 
unsuited to settlement by white men, at any rate in large 
numbers ; but their possession increased the pride and self- 
confidence of the new-born German Empire, turned the 
eyes of the German people from the exclusive contem- 
plation of the European chess-board to the larger 
problems of Weltpolitik, and ultimately stimulated the 
demand for maritime power. 

The partition of Africa was carried out not only by 
the Great Powers, but by the ruler of a country too small 
to satisfy his masterful ambition. 1 In 1876 King Leopold, 
who had followed the exploration of the Dark Continent 
with passionate interest, invited to Brussels the leading 
geographical experts of the world and created the " Inter- 

1 See, above all, Stanley, " The Congo." The latest and most im- 
partial survey is by Professor A. B. Keith, " The Belgian Congo and 
the Berlin Act." 



i88 4 ] The Congo m 

national Association for the Exploration and Civilization 
of Africa," with himself as the President. Each nation 
was to establish a Committee and to undertake a section 
of the work, but the Belgian Committee at Brussels, where 
the headquarters of the Association were Stanley 
placed, alone displayed continuous and and 
creative activity. The journey of Stanley Leopold 
from the Indian Ocean to the Great Lakes and from 

(the Great Lakes along the Congo to the Atlantic 
coast in 1875-7 riveted the King's attention on the Congo 
basin. Stanley was promptly invited to Brussels, and 
in November, 1878, a separate committee of the Associa- 
tion was created with the title Comite d'Etudes du haut 
Congo. Though international in name, the undertaking 
was financed by Leopold, who dispatched Stanley in 
1879 to conclude treaties with the chiefs. Between 1880 
and the summer of 1884 the great explorer signed 
"treaties" with hundreds of chiefs and established stations 
on the Congo and its tributaries, where his rival de Brazza, 
a French naval officer of Italian descent, was already 
laying the foundations of the French Congo. 

The prospect of a new State in the heart of Africa 
aroused the apprehension of other colonizing Powers. The 
west coast had been explored by Portugal as far back 
as the fifteenth century, and it was on the daring adven- 
tures of Prince Henry the Navigator and his successors 
that she now based appeals to Great Britain to recognize 
her claims on the Congo. In February, 1884, a ^ ter pro- 
longed negotiations, an Anglo-Portuguese Convention 
was signed, recognizing both banks of the mouth of the 
river as Portuguese territory, in return for promises of 
commercial equality for all nations, free navigation of the 
Congo and the Zambesi, and the suppression of slavery 
and the slave trade in her new territory. Granville pointed 
out that the assent of Great Britain to Portuguese claims 
was only the first step, and the Treaty found no favour 
with the other colonizing Powers. Though it did not 
interfere with King Leopold's claims in the interior, he 



H2 History of Modern Europe [i8s 4 

was not the man to watch in silence the corking of the 
Congo bottle, and he quickly found powerful allies. The 
French colonial movement was in full swing under Jules 
Ferry, and de Brazza's achievements on the north bank 
An lo-Portu- arousec ^ hopes that France might one day 
guese Con- obtain the whole territory in question. A 
vention, 1884 f ortn { g ht after the signature of the Treaty 
France informed Portugal that she could not acknow- 
ledge it, and a month later Bismarck announced 
that Germany could not recognize such far-reaching 
arrangements in which she had not been consulted. The 
opponents of the Treaty were further strengthened by 
the recognition of the flag and thus of the territorial 
sovereignty of the International Association of the Congo 
(as the Comite" d' Etudes was now called) by the United 
States. At the same moment Leopold signed an agree- 
ment with France promising not to cede without previous 
consultation any of its stations or territories, and according 
France pre-emption if the Association were ever compelled 
to realize its possessions. 

Confronted by this formidable coalition, Portugal had 
no choice but to surrender, for Great Britain, with Egypt 
on her hands, could afford her no support. It was clear 
that the fortunes of the Congo basin could only be deter- 
mined by an International Conference, and on October 8, 
1884, Germany and France for a brief period on the 
best of terms jointly invited the Powers to Berlin to 
discuss freedom of commerce, freedom of navigation on 
the Congo and the Niger, and the methods of rendering 
occupation of territory effective. The Conference of the 
Powers, including the United States, assembled in 
November, and sat till the end of February, 1885, much 
time being occupied by the territorial dispute between 
France, Portugal and the Congo Association. By the 
Berlin Act the basin of the Congo was defined by the 
watersheds of the Congo tributaries and the Nile on 
the north, of the eastern affluents of Lake Tanganyika 
on the east, and of the Zambesi on the south. In this vast 



1885] The Berlin Act 113 

area the trade of all nations was to enjoy complete freedom. 
Freedom of navigation of the Congo and its tributaries 
was enjoined, differential dues on vessels The 
and merchandise were forbidden, and trade Berlin 
monopolies were prohibited. The provisions Conference 
of the Act were to be carried out by an Inter- 
national Commission. The Powers undertook to watch 
over the moral and material welfare of the natives, to 
suppress slavery and the slave trade, to encourage missions 
and exploration, and to prevent the Congo basin from 
becoming the arena of warfare. The International Asso- 
ciation, possessing no legal status, was not represented 
at the Conference; but, as it was recognized by and con- 
cluded conventions with all the Powers before the close 
of the Conference, it signed the general Act. British 
recognition was coupled with a convention empowering 
Consuls to hold Consular Courts, and to exercise civil and 
criminal jurisdiction over British subjects. The King, 
having secured recognition, proceeded to settle his boun- 
daries with France and with Portugal, which recognized 
the northern bank of the Congo as belonging to the 
Association. 

When the Berlin Act was signed, Leopold requested 
the Belgian Parliament to authorize his acceptance of the 
position of sovereign of what was henceforth officially 
known as "The Independent State of the Congo"; and 
permission was granted on condition that the connexion 
of Belgium and the Congo should be exclusively personal. 
The King thus found himself undisputed ruler of a 
territory of almost a million square miles, for, though 
the Powers had claimed ex-territorial jurisdiction, they 
did not exercise their rights, and most of them knew little 
and cared less whether the stipulations of the Act con- 
cerning the welfare of the natives and the liberty of com- 
merce were violated or observed. The international 
character of the State quickly disappeared as foreign 
officials were replaced by Belgians, and the large sums 
spent by the King out of his own pocket increased his 



"4 History of Modern Europe [1890 

determination to be master in his own house. But the 
vast estate required larger sums for communications and 
development than he could supply, and money was raised 
in Belgium, first by a lottery loan and later by a Parlia- 
mentary grant. The publication of his will in 1889, 
leaving the Congo Sfete to his country after his death, 
encouraged further investments of the national wealth. 

The early efforts of the King to cope with his gigantic 
task were watched with general sympathy and approval; 
The for the first Governor-General was loyal 
Brussels to the Berlin Act, and philanthropists 
Act looked forward to a systematic campaign 
against the slave trade which desolated and disgraced 
the heart of Africa. It was in no hostile spirit that in 
1889 the British Government urged Leopold to summon 
a conference at Brussels, and after months of discussion 
the Brussels Act was signed by the seventeen Powers 
which took part in it in July, 1890. Elaborate provisions 
for the suppression of the traffic were drawn up, and the 
sale of liquor and fire-arms was subjected to rigorous 
supervision and in certain areas entirely prohibited. Not 
a few of the delegates to the Conference left Brussels 
with the hope that their labours had ensured a brighter 
future to the natives; but it was only a year later that 
The King inaugurated the system of monopolies, con- 
cessions and exploitation which for the next twenty years 
turned large tracts of the Congo State into a hell upon 
earth and brought down maledictions on the head of its 
royal oppressor. 



CHAPTER IV 

BULGARIA AND THE POWERS 

DURING the years following the renewal of the Dreikaiser- 
bund in 1881 Europe enjoyed a brief respite from the crises 
and alarms which had followed one another in rapid suc- 
cession since 1875 ; but Beaconsfield had confided in the 
Crown Princess at the Congress of Berlin that the Bul- 
garian settlement would not last longer than seven years. 1 
The prophecy was to be fulfilled to the letter. A few 
hours' work in Philippopolis on a September day in 1885 
burst the floodgates that had been so laboriously con- 
structed by the Treaty of Berlin, reopened the feud 
between Russia and Austria, destroyed the Dreikaiser- 
bund, and led to a new grouping of the Great Powers. 

Irredentism in Eastern Roumelia had been fostered for 
a brief period by Russia, who in the pact of 1881 secured 
Austria's assent in advance to its union Eastern 
with Bulgaria; but when the friend- Roumelian 
ship between Petrograd and Sofia cooled, Irf edentism 
Alexander III ceased to desire a change which 
would strengthen an ungrateful satellite. The Prince, 
while smarting under Russian hostility, was anxious for 
the sake of his country to remove it, and in the summer 
of 1885 he confided his troubles to Kalnoky. The Austrian 
Foreign Minister invited him to attend the forthcoming 
manoeuvres in Pilsen, when he would have the chance of 
meeting Giers at the neighbouring Franzensbad. He 
seized the opportunity and informed Giers that he desired 

- See " Die Grosse Polltik," V and VI ; Corti, " Alexander von 
Battenberg"; Plehn, "Bismarck's Auswartige Politik," 183-305; 
Sosnosky, " Balkanpolitik," II; Beaman, " Stambuloff " ; Pribram, 
" Secret Treaties of Austria-Hungary " ; Schwertfeger, " Zur Europaischen 
Politik," V. 

"5 



n6 History of Modern Europe [1885 

a modus vivendi, to which the Russian Foreign Minister 
replied that he too desired a reconciliation. The two men 
parted on friendly terms, the Prince expressing his belief 
that there would be no outbreak in Eastern Roumelia for 
the present, and assuring the Minister that he had no 
intention of disturbing the status quo. He spoke in per- 
fect good faith; but a meeting had already been held on 
June 22 in a village near Philippopolis, where it was 
agreed to proclaim the union of the province in September, 
after the harvest was gathered in. When the date ap- 
proached the Prince was informed that the country was 
tired of separation, that every town possessed a secret 
committee, that union would be proclaimed on September 
18, and that he must lead it or be swept aside. Alexander 
was used to threats, and did not take the warning seri- 
ously. A week later, on celebrating his birthday, he 
displayed his good will to Russia by the distribution of 
distinctions to Russians serving in Bulgaria; but on the 
same day the mayors of all the towns of Eastern Roumelia 
accompanied their congratulations with the expression of 
a wish that he should soon be the ruler over both Bulgarias. 
The Prince woke up to the situation when on September 
16 Karaveloff, the Premier, informed him that union was 
about to be proclaimed. With his promise to Giers on 
his conscience Alexander argued that it was impossible, 
adding that he would himself act when action became 
possible, but that at the present moment Bulgaria would 
find herself alone. 

The Prince struggled in vain against the resolve of a 
united people, and on September 18, according to pro- 
gramme, the Konak in Philippopolis was 
Revolution in , ,_ 

Philippopolis, surrounded and the Governor-General con- 
Sept. 18 veyed across the frontier. The news was 
at once telegraphed to the Prince, who was at Burgas. 
"The whole population of South Bulgaria has to-day 
proclaimed union with North Bulg'aria. The army of 
South Bulgaria has already taken the oath to you and 
occupied the Turkish frontier, and impatiently awaits its 



i88 5 i Revolution in Philippopolis 117 

new chief." The telegram was signed by "the Com- 
mander of all the South Bulgarian troops." The Prince 
telegraphed to Karaveloff, the Premier, and Stambuloff, 
President of the Chamber, to meet him at Tirnovo. The 
former, like the Prince, found it difficult to choose between 
offending Russia and disappointing Bulgaria; but hesita- 
tion was swept away by the virile resolution of Stambuloff. 
"Sire, revolt is an accomplished fact. Two roads lie 
before Your Highness : the one to Philippopolis and as 
far further as God may lead; the other to Darmstadt. I 
counsel you to take the crown which the nation offers 
you." "I choose the road to Philippopolis," was the 
reply; "and, if God loves Bulgaria, may He protect me 
and her." A proclamation accepting the union was at 
once drafted and published. On the same day the three 
men started in carriages towards Philippopolis, greeted 
throughout the journey with passionate enthusiasm, and 
entered the southern capital three days after the revolu- 
tion. The Prince's decision was promptly confirmed by 
the Sobranje, which proclaimed the union of the two main 
portions of the Bulgarian race. The army was mobilized, 
for war seemed probable if not inevitable. 

The conspirators had chosen their time well. The 
Tsar, as usual, was spending the summer with his wife's 
relatives in Denmark, Giers was on holiday R USS i a 
in the Tyrol, and the recently appointed and 
British Ambassador at Constantinople, Sir Turke y 
William White, was a stout friend of the Balkan 
peoples. 1 Europe naturally expected the Sultan to 
invade Eastern Roumelia and drown the revolt in 
blood; and the paradoxical spectacle was witnessed of 
Nelidoff, the Russian Ambassador, urging him to smite 
down Orthodox Slavs by the Mussulman sword. Abdul 
Hamid, however, evinced no desire to take the field, either 
because he was afraid of the risk of the conflict spreading, 

1 Edwards, " Sir W. White," ch. 18. Morier thought that Great 
Britain should humour Russia in Europe in order to avoid a challenge 
in Asia. White, on the contrary, believed that yielding in Europe would 
encourage Russia to press forward in Asia. 



History of Modern Europe [1885 

or because he expected the Powers to veto his advance, or 
because he regarded the province as lost in all but name 
since 1878, or perhaps because he believed that Prince 
Alexander might form a welcome buffer between Russia 
and Turkey. On entering the southern capital the Prince 
had gone straight from the Te Deum in the Cathedral to 
the mosque, where he had ordered prayers for the Sultan ; 
and he sent a message to his suzerain that the revolution 
was not aimed at Turkey and that he would protect the 
Mussulmans. Though on September 23 Turkey invited 
the intervention of the Powers to maintain the Treaty of 
Berlin, it soon became clear that the Prince was not 
threatened from Constantinople. But while the attitude 
of Turkey was better than the conspirators had dared to 
hope, the Russian bear at once showed his claws. The 
Prince had telegraphed to Petrograd that he felt compelled 
to fulfil the wishes of his country and asked for Russian 
support. Giers telegraphed to his master, "For heaven's 
sake no union " ; and the Tsar answered the Prince's 
appeal not only by a telegram of disapproval but by an 
order peremptorily recalling every Russian officer from 
Bulgaria. A deputation was sent to Copenhagen to beg 
him to modify his hostility. "There can be no question 
of dissolving the union," was the reply; "but so long as 
you keep your present Government expect from me 
nothing, nothing, nothing." 

Against the hostility of Russia could be set the active 
encouragement of Great Britain. Queen Victoria had 

Queen ta ^en a fancy to the handsome young 
Victoria's Prince on a visit to England, and the 

Support marriage of her daughter to Prince Henry 
of Battenberg increased her interest in his brother. 
Moreover, in championing the union she was also giving 
rein to her undiminished animosity against Russia. Her 
views were shared by Salisbury, who was now his own 
master and able to display the sympathy with the Balkan 
Christians which Beaconsfield had never understood. One 
of the first acts of the provisional Government at Philip- 



i88 5 ] Salisbury Supports Bulgaria 119 

popolis was to implore British aid; and British Consuls 
were ordered to recognize it de facto. The three Empires, 
on the contrary, suggested a conference of Ambassadors 
at Constantinople, which should summon the Prince to 
evacuate Eastern Roumelia. Bismarck's policy was to 
keep the peace between Russia and Austria by supporting 
them in their respective spheres of influence. "In Bul- 
garia," he declared, "I am Russian," and he described 
the Prince as Russia's Statthalter. Francis Joseph ignored 
the Prince's appeal for support; but Kalnoky informed 
the Sultan that though he had a right to coerce Bulgaria 
he hoped he would not do so for fear of complications. 
Salisbury accepted the Conference, retaining a free hand 
if it should determine on coercion. In the instructions to 
Sir W. White he declared in significant phrases that we 
were not bound to the letter of the Treaty of Berlin, but 
must consider reason as well as legality and not forget 
the wishes of the inhabitants. The Prince should be ap- 
pointed Governor-General for life. The British Am- 
bassador found himself alone in the Conference which met 
on November 5, and which, since unanimity proved im- 
possible owing to his opposition, broke up on November 25. 
Kalnoky, who desired neither to disrupt the Dreikaiser- 
bund nor to evict the Prince, suggested that he might 
compound for his offence by ceding to Serbia 
Serbia Widin and a strip of territory south attacks 
of Pirot. As the ally and diplomatic B ute aria 
champion of Serbia he had proposed territorial com- 
pensation for his protege directly the revolution in 
Philippopolis occurred, but he insisted that such com- 
pensation should be secured peacefully through the good 
offices of the Powers. Neither Germany nor Russia, how- 
ever, recognized a Serbian claim to a solatium, and King 
Milan determined to win it by his own sword. He de- 
clined to receive the Bulgarian Minister who brought a 
letter from the Prince, and on November 14 he declared 
war. Salisbury had warned Serbia against attacking 
either Bulgaria or Turkey, and promised that if she 



120 History of Modern Europe [1885 

abstained the British Government would prove her friend. 
The headstrong Milan, however, refused to wait. The 
Serbian army crossed the frontier, was hurled back after 
a three days' battle at Slivnitza, and pursued to Pirot, 
where it was again defeated, despite the fact that the Bul- 
garian army was led by inexperienced officers who had 
never commanded more than a company. A collective 
Note of the Powers persuaded Serbia to cease hostilities, 
but Bulgaria refused the request for an armistice. 

The Austrian Minister hurried to the Bulgarian head- 
quarters at Nisch to stop hostilities; and when Prince 
Austria Alexander replied that he would halt if 

saves the Powers would recognize the union, the 
Minister bluntly rejoined that he could 
not negotiate, and that if he advanced he would 
confront Austrian troops, while Russia would occupy 
Bulgaria and he would lose his throne. The intervention 
was only just in time, for when hostilities ceased after a 
fortnight's duration Serbia's munitions were exhausted, 
and a Bulgarian occupation of Belgrad would have over- 
thrown the dynasty. 1 

After Alexander's sensational victory no more was 
heard of the reconquest of Eastern Roumelia. The out- 
spoken Katkoff censured the Tsar for sacrificing Russia's 
influence, and Giers admitted that the status quo ante 
could not be restored. Belgrad, Athens and Sofia, he 
suggested, should be invited by the Powers to demobilize, 
and Turkey to follow suit. Milan, however, was still in 
fighting mood, and instructed his delegate to the peace 
conference at Bucharest to spin out negotiations till the 
army was ready to renew the struggle, and then to break 
off the discussion. 2 Some of the Generals, however, 
secretly urged Mijatovich to make peace ; and after he 
had wasted three months in the Roumanian capital with 
the delegates of Bulgaria and Turkey, the Great Powers 
insisted on a conclusion, and a single-clause treaty stated 
that "peace is restored." The controversy between Bul- 

1 Mijatovich, " Memoirs," ch. 4. 2 ZMd., ch. 5. 



i886] The Claims of Greece 121 

garia and Turkey was terminated by a convention on 
February i, 1886, recognizing Prince Alexander as 
Governor-General of Eastern Roumelia for five years; 
and the two countries agreed that if either were attacked 
the other would send troops. Lord Rosebery, the Foreign 
Secretary in Gladstone's short-lived third administration, 
advised the Porte to abandon the pact, which Russia 
declared she would never accept. As Bismarck upheld 
the Tsar's objection, the military alliance was cancelled, 
and Russia's veto on the recognition of Prince Alexander 
by name was accepted. The Powers, including Turkey, 
then recognized "the Prince of Bulgaria" as Governor of 
Eastern Roumelia for five years. 

The storm aroused by the coup at Philippopolis was 
not yet over, for Greece, like Serbia, had demanded com- 
pensation for the aggrandisement of Bui- Greece 
garia. 1 If Eastern Roumelia might join demands 
Bulgaria, she argued, why should not Compensation 
Epirus join Greece? The Sultan, however, was in 
no mood for further sacrifices, and the streets of Athens 
echoed to the shrill cry "Zito Polemos ! " When Greek 
and Turkish troops were sent to the frontier, the Powers, 
at Salisbury's suggestion, dispatched two notes to Athens, 
the first inviting her to disarm, the second announcing 
that no naval attack on Turkey would be permitted. 
Greece proudly replied that to submit to the menaces 
of Europe would be to compromise her liberty ; and though 
she kept her ships in port, she continued her military 
preparations. Delyannis armed the population on the 
frontier, and these irregulars, who obeyed no orders, 
harassed the Turkish outposts. All the Powers except 
France and Italy were ready for coercion, and the fleets 
assembled at Suda Bay on January 29, 1886. Encouraged 
by the vigorous action of the Powers, Turkey denounced 
"the inexplicable ambition of the Greeks," declared her 

1 See Moiiy, " Souvenirs," ch. 6; Stillman, " Autobiography," ch. 37; 
and Rumbold, " Final Recollections of a Diplomatist," ch. 3-6. The 
British Minister was personally in favour of the satisfaction of Greek 
claims and opposed to the blockade. 



122 History of Modern Europe [1886 

readiness to "take up their challenge and defend her 
honour," and even hinted at a demand for compensations 
for her military expenditure. 

When Gladstone succeeded Salisbury a ray of hope 
shone for a moment in Athens; but Lord Rosebery was 
Blockade as determined as ms predecessor, in the 
of interests both of peace and of Greece her- 

Greece se i^ to p revent a conflict. 1 Delyannis and 
the Chamber remained so bellicose that Lord Rose- 
bery proposed to demand the reduction of the army to 
a peace footing, adding that if she refused the Minister 
should be recalled and a blockade proclaimed. All the 
Powers except France agreed, Freycinet replying that he 
regretted the peremptory tone of the demand relating to 
the army, and declining to promise to withdraw the French 
Minister or to establish a blockade. On the same day, 
April 23, wishing to spare Athens the humiliation of an 
ultimatum, he urged Delyannis to reduce the army with- 
out waiting for compulsion, adding that France would 
not forget it if Greece deferred to her views. It was a 
warm and friendly appeal, and on April 25 the Premier 
promised not to disturb the peace. 2 Despite this surrender 
at the eleventh hour, the joint Note of Great Britain, 
Russia, Germany and Austria was presented on April 26, 
insisting that orders should be issued within a week, to 
reduce the forces on land and sea to a peace footing. 
Next day the blockading fleets of the four Powers appeared 
off the Piraeus. The Ministers left the capital, and a 
blockade of the ports was proclaimed. 

Delyannis was obstinate; but the King ordered him 
to demobilize or resign. He resigned, and was succeeded 
by Tricoupis; but the crisis was not over, for on the day 
of his appointment the Turkish army received orders 
to cross the frontier on the following day and march 
on Athens if Greek attacks were not instantly stopped. 

1 E. T. Cook, " The Foreign Policy of Lord Rosebery," 6-n. 
8 Freycinet, " Souvenirs," II. Jules Ferry blamed Freycinet for 
separating France from the Concert. 



Greece Saved from Herself 123 

Skirmishing was in progress all along the frontier, De- 
lyannist officers were in command, and it was impossible 
to reach sections of the front by telegraph. "If fighting 
cannot be stopped at once we are lost," cried the new 
Premier to Stillman, the Times correspondent, who, at 
his request, persuaded the secretary left in charge of the 
British Legation (though without diplomatic relations to 
the Greek Government) to telegraph home a request that 
Turkey should be informed that the Greek troops were 
being ordered to stop fighting. Stillman also informed 
the Turkish Minister, who telegraphed to Constantinople. 
Peace was thus preserved with only a few Greece 
hours to spare, and Greece was saved from gives 
herself. "Delyannis," records Stillman, wa ^ 
"had promised war in the childish expectation that 
the Powers would oblige the Sultan to make some 
concession. The reserves were ill clad, and everything 
was lacking. The casual observer could see that war was 
not intended." Her military preparations cost Greece one 
hundred million drachmas and a forced currency ; but she 
was fortunate enough to find in the scholarly and high- 
minded Tricoupis, who ruled her for the next four years, 
a watchful guardian of the peace and a thrifty steward 
of her slender resources. 

While Serb #nd Greek claims for compensation were 
being proffered and rejected, the angry Tsar bided his 
time. On May 19 he ominously announced that "circum- 
stances might compel him to defend by arms the dignity 
of the Empire." That he was moved by wounded pride, 
not by reverence for the sanctity of treaties, was revealed 
when in June, 1886, he suddenly repudiated the clause 
in the Treaty of Berlin constituting Batum a free port. 
In reply to Giers' protest he exclaimed that he could 
not observe the Treaty of Berlin when everybody was 
making holes in it. Great Britain alone protested against 
the offence. His wrath was increased when the Prince 
summoned the representatives of his new province to Sofia, 
as if it were already a recognized part of his dominions, 



124 History of Modern Europe [1886 

excusing his action on the ground that otherwise the 
Opposition would have rejected the Turco-Bulgar pact. 
The Prince, however, was playing a losing game, for 
Russian agents were busily intriguing, and on the night 
Prince ^ August 2i some discontented Bulgarian 
Alexander officers entered the Palace, forced him at 
Kidnapped the po i nt o f t h e rev olver to sign his abdica- 
tion, and hustled him out of the country. "Words 
fail me to express my feelings and anxiety," wrote 
Queen Victoria, in her emotional way, to the victim. 
"Your parents could hardly be more anxious. My in- 
dignation against your barbaric, Asiatic, tyrannical cousin 
is so great that I cannot trust myself to write about it. 
My Government will do all that it can to win over the 
Powers to your cause." 

The Provisional Government only held office for three 
days, for loyal regiments marched on the capital, where 
Stambuloff, President of the Chamber, took control of 
the situation and begged the Prince to return. The in- 
vitation was accepted; but on reaching Rustchuk he was 
peremptorily informed by the Russian Consul that Bul- 
garia's welfare could only be found in reconciliation with 
Russia. The Prince should have deferred a reply till 
he reached the capital; but his spirit was broken by the 
Tsar's unrelenting hostility, and while Stambuloff, who 
had met him at the landing-stage, was asleep, he tele- 
graphed an abject surrender. "Russia gave me my 
crown, and I am ready to return it into the hands of 
her sovereign." The telegram was read with satisfaction 
in Petrograd and Berlin, but with consternation by the 
Prince's friends at home and abroad. "I am speechless," 
wired Queen Victoria, "and I implore you to retrace this 
step. After such triumphs it is unworthy of your great 
position." "It is a political error," wrote his father. "You 
should have replied from Sofia." The critics were right, 
for he sacrificed both his dignity and his throne. The 
Tsar, unappeased by surrender, drafted and dispatched a 
reply of brutal directness, which reached him before his 



i886] Prince Alexander Withdraws 125 

entry into Sofia. "I cannot approve your return to Bul- 
garia, as I foresee the sinister consequences for the country 
already so sorely tried. You will understand what you 
have to do. I reserve my decision as to my future action." 
The Russian thunderbolt struck the Prince to the earth, 
and Stambuloff's virile exhortations were in vain. On 
reaching his capital he resigned, sorrowfully explaining 
that one man could not stand alone against Europe, and 
wishing his successor better fortune. After appointing 
a Regency of three, headed by Stambuloff, he left the 
land which he had entered with high hopes seven years 
earlier and had served with courage and devotion. 

Though Alexander was eliminated, the Bulgarian 
problem had not been solved; and, indeed, the worst was 
to come, for the Great Powers were to be Bismarck 
drawn into the controversy. The Treaty supports 
of 1 88 1 had reconciled Berlin and Petrograd, Russia 
but had only plastered the deep-seated sore of Austro- 
Russian rivalry in the Balkans. Bismarck had re- 
peatedly announced that Germany had no interests in 
Bulgaria, which he never ceased to regard as within the 
Russian sphere of influence; and, true to his conviction 
that the Eastern Question was not worth the bones of a 
Pomeranian grenadier and to his lifelong principle of 
leaving Russia a free hand in the Near East, he was 
prepared for a Russian protectorate over Turkey through 
control of the Straits, for which Alexander longed more 
than for anything else, and even for the occupation of 
Constantinople itself. From the beginning of the crisis 
he had warned Kalnoky to do nothing to provoke Russia, 
and to observe the Treaty of 1881 in letter and spirit; and 
he now proposed that Russia and Austria should divide 
the Balkans into an eastern and western zone of influence. 
The suggestion was approved in Petrograd but declined 
in Vienna, where the exclusion of Russia from the Balkans 
was an axiom ; and to a Russian occupation of Bulgaria, 
which was regarded as highly probable, and which 
Kalnoky regarded as in no way covered by the Treaty of 



126 History of Modern Europe 

Berlin, Austria prepared to offer determined resistance. 
For the first time since the formation of the alliance Berlin 
and Vienna disagreed about an international issue, and 
Austria resented the carte blanche given by Bismarck to 
her dreaded rival. 

On September 25, General Nicholas Kaulbars, brother 
of the former Minister of War, entered Sofia as the Tsar's 
representative, to restore Russian influence. His first 
act was to order the liberation of the kidnappers of the 
Prince and the postponement of the elections for the Grand 
Sobranje, which was to choose a new ruler. The 
Regency, inspired by Stambuloff, declined to obey, and 
the elections strengthened its hands. The new Assembly, 
overwhelmingly anti-Russian, proceeded to choose 
Waldemar of Denmark, a brother of the King of Greece 
and the Tsarina, for its prince ; but the honour was de- 
clined. The Russian candidate, the Prince of Mingrelia, 
a school friend of the Tsar, was vetoed by Great Britain 
and Italy. Kaulbars now declared the Sobranje and its 
decrees, no less than the Ministry and the Regency, 
illegal, and, accompanied by the Russian Consuls, with- 
drew from the country, after a jack-boot dictatorship of 
two months. The King of Roumania was also 
approached, and Stambuloff never ceased to regret that he 
refused the offer. 

In her opposition to Bulgarian nationalism Austria had 

hitherto appeared to side with Russia, to the dismay of 

Q . . certain of her leading statesmen. Andrassy 

in drew up a Memorandum for the Emperor, 

Austria arguing that her sphere was in the Near 
East, which she must dominate, and that she must 
prevent Russia bringing all the Slavs under her in- 
fluence. Kalnoky, he complained, had brought her 
back to the Balkans, whence she had been removed by the 
Treaty of Berlin ; and his policy of admitting Bulgaria 
to be in the Russian sphere would lead to a retreat from 
Austria's sphere of influence or to partition, which would 
result in war. The Dreikaiserbund, he argued, was an 



i886] Attitude of the Powers 127 

unnatural grouping and destroyed her liberty of action. 
The German alliance was enough. Other leading 
politicians in Hungary, where opinion was violently 
Russophobe, argued that the German alliance was worth 
little if Austria had to yield to Russia every time. These 
complaints were repeated in the Hungarian Parliament and 
in the Delegations at Budapest; but they were without 
foundation, for there was little practical difference between 
Kalnoky and Andrassy. Austria, declared Tisza, the 
Hungarian Premier, on September 30, wished to foster the 
independent development of the Balkan States and pre- 
vent a protectorate or the permanent influence of a foreign 
Power. If Turkey did not press her rights, no one else 
was justified in armed intervention, and changes in the 
Balkans could only occur in agreement with the signatory 
Powers. Despite the Tsar's outcry, "Tisza has insulted 
Russia and therefore has insulted me," Kalnoky declared 
in the Delegations on November 13- that a military occu- 
pation of Bulgaria would compel Austria to take action. 
At the same moment Bismarck informed Russia that, 
though he would not oppose an occupation, he advised her 
not to provoke Austria. Credits were unanimously voted 
by the Delegations; and, though Germany would not 
assist, Kalnoky did not stand alone. 

Great Britain had watched the kidnapping and the 
deposition of Prince Alexander with genuine indignation 
At the Lord Mayor's banquet Salisbury Indignation 
spoke for the country in denouncing the in 

treachery of officers "debauched by foreign En glnd 
gold " ; and Lord Iddesleigh, who for a brief space 
held the seals of the Foreign Office under the watch- 
ful eye of his chief, suggested that the Sultan should be 
invited to recall him. The Prime Minister, though 
rejecting such a policy of provocation, declared, as he 
had declared ten years earlier, that we could not allow 
Russia to attack Constantinople; but, as British interests 
were not directly concerned in Bulgaria, he decided to take 
no action. Italy, too, expressed her disapproval of 



i28 History of Modern Europe 

Russia's conduct, and the Tsar was condemned to listen 
to a chorus of rebuke from Budapest and Vienna, London 
and Rome. 

Bismarck was determined to avoid being drawn into a 
quarrel arising from Austrian opposition to Russian policy 
in the Balkans; for he not only asserted but sincerely 
believed that Bulgaria was tacitly recognized by the 
signatories of the Treaty of Berlin as within the Russian 
orbit. Yet public opinion in Russia declined to regard the 
Chancellor as a friend; the Press campaign of 1879 was 
revived; and military preparations were made on the 
southern frontiers. It was at this moment, when Bismarck 
was fighting Russia's battle against his own ally, that 

Katkoff's Katkoff opened his campaign to turn the 
Press eyes of the Tsar from Berlin to Paris. 1 

Campaign y^g most celebrated of Russian journalists 
was an accomplished classical scholar and a master 
of several modern languages. Beginning life as 
Professor of Philosophy at Moscow, he drifted into 
journalism, and in 1850, at the age of thirty-two, he became 
editor of the Moscow Gazette, which he quickly trans- 
formed into the oracle of the Slavophils. He became a 
national and international personage during the ruthless 
suppression of the Polish rebellion of 1863, when in the 
name of his countrymen he hurled back the criticisms of 
Western Europe, and inspired Gortchakoff's disdainful 
rejoinders to the threats of intervention. The grateful 
Tsar not only read his paper with attention but allowed the 
journalist the privilege of direct communication. His 
gospel was that of Nicholas I, the gospel to which his 
father reverted after the experiments and disappointments 
of the early years of his reign autocracy, orthodoxy, 
nationality. The assassination of Alexander II strength- 
ened his influence, and Alexander III, who cared little for 
his German relatives and much for his Danish wife, read 

1 See Elie de Cyon, " L' Alliance Franco-Russe," ch. 4. The whole 
work is a paean to his friend and master. A life of Katkoff is badly 
needed. 



i886] Katkoff 129 

the Moscow Gazette with even greater sympathy than 
his father, who to the end emitted flickers of his early 
Liberalism. The leading articles indeed were written for 
Imperial eyes, and during the closing years of his life 
Katkoff was the most powerful man in Russia after the 
sovereign. 

The disruption of the Dreikaiserbund by the Bulgarian 
quarrel provided the great journalist with the opportunity 
for his last and greatest campaign. Austria's antagonism 
to Russian aims in the Near East was notorious, and he 
believed that the sole object of Bismarck's studied friend- 
liness was to keep Russia within the German orbit. It was 
clear that the Dreikaiserbund would not be renewed; 
but would the Tsar have the courage to free him- 
self at the same time from the stifling embraces of 
Berlin ? In the summer of 1886 the Moscow Gazette 
began to demand a Franco-Russian rapprochement, 
and at the end of the year he drew up a Katkoff 
memorandum to the Tsar calling for a and 
complete change in the orientation of Russian Fra nce 
policy. He had sympathized with France in 1870, 
and he now urged the sovereign not to repeat his 
father's mistake. To promise neutrality in a Franco- 
German war, he argued, denoted hostility to France, 
since it enabled Germany to remove her troops from 
the east. The logic of events pointed to a Franco- 
Russian entente. A strong France was essential to 
European equilibrium, and a weak France involved the 
isolation of Russia. If Russia regained her liberty of 
action, she would become the arbiter of Europe and could 
prevent war, as she prevented it in 1875. The Memoran- 
dum made a deep impression on the Tsar, who showed it 
to Tolstoi, Minister of the Interior, but not to the Foreign 
Minister; for it was a sustained onslaught on Giers, who 
retained full confidence in Bismarck and saw no reason 
to scrap the historic policy of Russo-German friendship. 
The unbridled attacks on the Foreign Minister in a 
country where the liberty of the Press was unknown led 
J 



130 History of Modern Europe [1887 

observers, at home and abroad, to the natural conclusion 
that the campaign was approved if not inspired by the 
Tsar himself. "I ought to be accredited to Katkoff," 
observed Sir Robert Morier caustically, "since Giers 
represents neither the people nor the Tsar." 

Bismarck remonstrated in vain against the Press 

campaign, and his answer to Katkoff was given on 

Bismarck's J anuarv IJ > I ^7, when he introduced a new 

European Army Bill a year before the expiry of its 

Survey predecessor, and surveyed the European 
situation in one of the greatest of his speeches. The 
three days' debate was opened by the aged Moltke, 
who painted in sombre colours the dangers hanging 
over the Fatherland. "None of us is unaware of 
the seriousness of the time. All the Powers are busily 
preparing to meet an uncertain future. Everyone asks, 
Is war coming? I do not believe that any statesman 
will deliberately apply the match to the gunpowder heaped 
up in every land. But the passions of the mob, the 
ambition of party leaders, misguided public opinion 
these are elements potentially stronger than the will of 
the rulers. If any country can work for peace it is Ger- 
many, which is not directly concerned in the questions 
which excite the other Powers. But to carry out this 
role of mediation Germany must be ready for war. If 
the demand of the Government is refused, I believe that 
war is certain. The eyes of Europe are on this assembly. 
Give us our whole demand, our provision for seven years. 
A vote for one or for three years is no help." 1 

Bismarck's speech of two hours filled in the Field 
Marshal's outlines. 2 "We have no warlike needs, for we 
belong to what Metternich called saturated states. But 
we need an army strong enough to ensure our independence 
with the aid of an ally. We do not expect an attack or 
hostility from Russia. That is not the cause of our army 
bill. We maintain the same friendly relations with the 

1 The speech is printed in Bismarck's " Reden," XII, 173-5. 
Ibid., XII, 175-226. 



1887] Bismarck on Russia 131 

present as with the late ruler, and they will not be disturbed 
by us. Nor do I believe that Russia seeks alliances in 
order to attack us. Everyone who knows Bismarck 
the Tsar trusts him. 1 If he intends un- on 
friendly relations, he will say so. We shall Bul s aria 
not have troubles with Russia unless we go and 
seek them in Bulgaria, as our Opposition journals 
demand. I should have deserved prosecution for treason 
for such folly. When I read these declamations I could 
not help thinking of the words, ' What's Hecuba to 
him ? ' What is Bulgaria to us ? It is all the same to 
us who rules there and what becomes of her. I reiterate 
my words about the bones of the Pomeranian grenadier. 
The Eastern question is not a casus belli for us. We shall 
allow nobody to throw a noose round our neck and embroil 
us with Russia. The friendship of Russia is of much 
more value to us than that of Bulgaria. The difficulty 
is not to keep Germany and Russia but Austria and 
Russia at peace, and it is our duty to ingeminate peace in 
both Cabinets. We risk being called pro-Russian in 
Austria and still more in Hungary, and pro-Austrian in 
Russia. That does not matter if we can keep the peace. 
Windthorst wishes German policy to be identical with that 
of Austria. Our relations with Austria rest on the con- 
sciousness of each that the existence of the other as a 
Great Power is a necessity in the interests of European 
equilibrium, not on the notion that the one places its 
whole strength at the service of the other. That is im- 
possible. There are special Austrian interests for which 
we cannot intervene, and there are German interests for 
which Austria cannot intervene. We do not ask Austria 
to take part in our quarrels with France, or in colonial 
difficulties with England, and in like manner we have no 
interests in Constantinople." 

1 Bismarck explained to the Bavarian Government that for diplomatic 
reasons he had expressed greater confidence in Russia than he felt. Tlie 
Tsar attached an importance to the powerful influences pressing for war 
which was incompatible with German interests. " Die Grosse Politik,' 
V, 117- 



132 History of Modern Europe [1887 

After thus declining to be drawn into war with Russia 
in support of Austrian policy in the Near East, the 
Bismarck Chancellor turned to the West, where the 
on era of rapprochement inaugurated by Wad- 

France dington and continued by Ferry had come 
to an end and where a new and sinister figure 
occupied the centre of the stage. "We have tried 
to oblige France everywhere except in Alsace-Lorraine. 
We have no intention and no reason to attack her. I 
would never fight because I thought a war might be 
inevitable. I cannot see into the cards of Providence. 
If the French will keep the peace till we attack, then 
peace is assured for ever. Do we want more French soil ? 
I was not anxious to take Metz. I have complete con- 
fidence in the present French Government. Goblet and 
Flourens are not the men to make war. If you could 
guarantee their continuance in office I would say, save 
your money. But the stimulation of the feu sacre by an 
active minority makes me anxious. We have still to fear 
an attack whether in ten days or ten years I cannot say. 
War is certain if France thinks she is the stronger and 
can win. That is my unalterable conviction. She is 
infinitely stronger than she was. If she won she would 
not display our moderation in 1871. She would bleed us 
white, and, if we won, after being attacked, we would 
do the same. The war of 1870 would be child's play 
compared with 1890 or whatever the date. The Govern- 
ments and the army chiefs cannot assume responsibility 
for doing nothing. There is also the possibility, even if 
France did not expect to win, that she might launch a 
war as a safety valve, as in 1870. Indeed, why should 
Boulanger not do so ? " 

The famous General had seen service in Algeria, Italy, 
Cochin China, and the campaign of 1870. l In 1882 he 
was appointed Director of Infantry at the War Office, 

1 The best study of the Boulangist movement in relation to foreign 
affairs is in Albin, " L'Allemagne et la France." Maurice Barres has 
painted a brilliant picture of Boulangism in " L'Appel du Soldat." 



i886] Boulanger 133 

and in 1884 commander of the army in Tunis. Returning 
to Paris in 1885, he plunged into the whirlpool of politics 
under the auspices of Clemenceau and the Rise 
Radicals, and in January, 1886, Freycinet of 

chose him as his Minister of War. Freycinet Boulan s er 
was a good Republican, but in sending a firebrand 
to the War Office he was unwittingly jeopardizing 
the life of the Republic. The new Minister played 
his cards skilfully, winning the favour both of officers 
and privates by much-needed improvements in the 
conditions of service. But his other activities were less 
innocent, and people began to whisper and to watch. In the 
summer of 1886 the German Embassy, and not the German 
Embassy alone, began to be alarmed. 1 "The topic of the 
day is the conduct of Boulanger," reported Lord Lyons 
on July 2, 1886. "He has by degrees put creatures of 
his own into the great military commands, and he is said 
to have used strange language in the Council of Ministers. 
From the way people talk one would think the question 
was whether he is aiming at being a Cromwell or a 
Monk." A fortnight later Lord Newton, of the British 
Embassy, described his first appearance at a big military 
display in Paris. "The mountebank had provided himself 
with a high-actioned black circus horse. As he pranced 
backwards or forwards on the circus horse and the public 
yelled their acclamations, President GreVy and the un- 
interesting crowd of bourgeois Ministers and deputies who 
surrounded him seemed visibly to quiver and flinch. From 
that day Boulanger became a dangerous man. The circus 
horse had done the trick." 2 After a year's absence from 
Paris, Prince Hohenlohe, the late German Ambassador, 
now Statthalter of Alsace-Lorraine, described in his diary 
on November 10, 1886, the new and alarming situation. 
"What strikes me most is the change in Boulanger's 
position. In the spring of last year he was considered 
a farceur. To-day he has the majority of the Chamber 

1 " Die Grosse Politik," VI, 125-222. 

2 Lord Newton, " Life of Lord Lyons," 521. 



134 History of Modern Europe [1887 

on his side. Freycinet does not dare to get rid of him, 
and even Ferry would find it difficult to form a Ministry 
without him. He knows how to win people and to dazzle 
the masses. If he stays two years longer in office, the 
conviction will become universal that he is the man to 
reconquer the provinces, and as he is utterly unscrupulous 
and extremely ambitious he will carry the masses into 
war. Blowitz agrees, and says that, if he remains, war 
will come in 1888. His fall is inevitable directly the 
country sees where he is leading it. Then he will be 
swept away, for the country is still pacific. But in a year 
it will be different." l " In Boulanger," echoed the Belgian 
Charg a month later, "the whole of France personifies 
her dreams of future greatness." In the closing days of 
the year the Freycinet Ministry fell, but his successor, 
Goblet, retained the dashing soldier at the Ministry of 
War. 

So imminent did a Franco-German war appear during 
the opening weeks of 1887 that Salisbury was forced to 

Salisbur consider the British attitude if it should 
and break out. In 1870 Gladstone and Granville 

Belgium nac j saved Belgium from attack by agree- 
ing to intervene against whichever of the combatants 
violated its neutrality. In 1887, however, the sym- 
pathies of the Prime Minister were deeply engaged 
on the side of the Central Powers, and, being convinced 
that peace was threatened rjy Russia and France alone, 
he desired not to intervene if Germany, in repelling a 
French attack, were to march through Belgium. On 
February 4 a letter signed " Diplomaticus " appeared in 
the Standard, then in close touch with the Prime Minister, 
which was generally regarded as semi-official. "In 1870 
Lord Granville wisely bound England to side with France 
if Prussia violated Belgian territory, and to side with 
Prussia if France did so. Would Lord Salisbury act 
prudently to take upon himself a similar engagement ? 
It seems to me that such a course at the present moment 

1 " Denkwurdigkeiten," II, 400-1. 



i88 7 ] Belgian Neutrality 135 

would be unwise to the last degree. However much 
England might regret the invasion of Belgian territory by 
either party to the struggle, she could not take part with 
France against Germany without utterly vitiating and 
destroying the main purposes of English policy all 
over the world." A passage through a country, he 
added, was not taking possession, and Great Britain 
would certainly receive a guarantee of integrity from 
Bismarck. A leading article argued that it would be crazy 
to engage in a fearful war. On the same day, February 4, 
Stead argued in the Pall Mall Gazette that the Treaty of 
1839 did not necessitate military aid. On February 5 the 
Spectator wrote that we should doubtless insist that 
Belgium should not form the arena of the war, but that 
we should not and could not hinder the passage of troops. 
We must protest, but nothing more, echoed the Morning 
Post. Belgium, observed Sir Charles Dilke in a much- 
discussed article in the Fortnightly Review, was no longer 
so popular as she had been. 1 Salisbury's feelings had 
been further ruffled by friction in Egypt, and he wrote to 
Lord Lyons (Feb. 5) that it was difficult not to wish for a 
second Franco-German war "to end this ceaseless trouble." 
In March de Lesseps visited Berlin semi-officially and 
assured the Chancellor of the pacific disposition of the 
President and the Cabinet, which Bismarck had never 
doubted; buit so long as Boulanger remained a national 
hero peace hung by a thread. " Germany is making pre- 
parations for war," reported the French Ambassador. "An 
imprudent word might decide Bismarck to crush us as a 
measure of precaution." 2 At the end of April a spark 
seemed likely to set Europe ablaze. On The 
April 20 a Frontier Commissioner of Police Schnaebele 
named Schnaebele was invited by a letter Outrage 
from a German Commissioner to discuss matters of 
administration. On reaching the rendezvous on the 

1 Reprinted in his " Present Position of European Politics," 42-7. 

2 Bourgeois et Pages, " Origines et Responsabilite's de la Grande 
Guerre," 221-2. 



136 History of Modern Europe [1887 

German side of the frontier, he was promptly seized 
and carried to prison at Metz. The excuse for this gross 
outrage was that he had misused his official position and 
seduced German subjects to espionage, and that his arrest, 
if ever he crossed the frontier, had been decreed by the 
High Court at Leipzig. The French Government kept 
cool, held an inquiry, and sent the report to Berlin. The 
German Government replied that it was not yet fully in- 
formed of the details. The diplomatic discussion was 
complicated by provocative utterances of Boulanger, for 
which he was rebuked by the President. The dangerous 
tension was ended when Bismarck satisfied himself that 
Schnaebele had been invited to cross the frontier. 1 Schnae- 
bele was released in ten days but was removed from his 
post, and the incident was closed ; but Frenchmen believed 
that Germany had tried to pick a quarrel, and the German 
Press loudly proclaimed that Boulanger was master of 
France and could declare war whenever he wished. 

The General, testifies Freycinet, his colleague, did not 
wish for war, but was flattered that France thought he 
could lead her to victory. He had indeed played with 
fire, for he suggested in the Cabinet a partial mobilization 
or a demonstration on the frontier. The peace-makers 
were forced to bestir themselves, and Jules Ferry informed 
the President of his readiness to engineer a Parliamentary 
End crisis. In pursuance of this plan Goblet 
of resigned and Rouvier formed a Ministry 

Boulanger w ith. ou t Boulanger, who was appointed 
Commander of an Army Corps at Clermont-Ferrand. 
The General remained the darling of the crowd. When 
he was deprived of his command in the following 
year for returning to the capital without leave, he stood 
for the Chamber as the champion of a revision of the 
Constitution, and was elected by a working-class constitu- 
ency in Paris by an overwhelming majority, Fortunately 

1 The best account of the Schnaebele incident is given by Albin, 
" L'AUemagne et la France," 78-100. Cf. " Die Grosse Politik," VI, 
182-9. 



1887] Russo-German Friction 137 

for the Republic, and fortunately for the peace of the 
world, he allowed the opportunity to slip, and fled to 
Brussels on learning that an order for his arrest had been 
signed. He was condemned in his absence for treason, 
and a dangerous and discreditable career was terminated 
by suicide. 

While German eyes were watching the histrionic per- 
formances of Boulanger with strained attention, Bismarck 
was more concerned with his eastern neighbour ; for while 
a French attack would not necessarily bring Russia into 
the field, a Russian attack would be the signal for an 
explosion in the west. Moreover, the hostility of France 
was incurable; but there was still hope of the Tsar. In 
January, 1887, the Tsar asked the Kaiser not to allow the 
return of Prince Alexander, and the Kaiser promised his 
veto. In April the Chancellor once more complained at 
Petrograd of the unbridled Press attacks, and Giers sum- 
moned up courage in the official organ to Katkoff 
denounce the Germanophobe campaign. The versus 
name of Katkoff was not mentioned; but 
it was the editor of the Moscow Gazette againsf whom 
the protest of Berlin and the warning of Petrograd 
were directed. Katkoff retaliated so angrily in his 
paper that the Tsar ordered him to talk over the matter 
with Giers. The Foreign Minister very properly declined 
an interview with his enemy, and offered his resignation. 
The Tsar had no wish to part with his experienced 
Minister; but he had advisers of different opinions, and 
felt compelled to throw sops to both parties in turn. A 
ukase of March 14 ordered alien landowners outside the 
towns on the eastern frontier to sell their property within 
three years, unless inherited in the direct line or by the 
survivor of a married couple if the heir was in Russia 
before the issue of the ukase. As the landowners in that 
district were almost exclusively German, the edict was a 
direct challenge to Berlin, and was answered by a Press 
campaign against Russian credit. 

Despite the toleration of Katkoff's campaign and the 



138 History of Modern Europe [1887 

notice to German landowners to quit, the influence of 
Giers though he once complained, "I am nothing and 
nobody, only the pen and mouthpiece of my Imperial 
master " was still considerable ; and, as usual, it was cast 
on the side of peace and moderation. The Dreikaiserbund 
Treaty, concluded in 1881 and renewed in 1884, had now 
to be prolonged or denounced. Bismarck was naturally 
anxious not only to keep open the wire from Berlin to 
Petrograd but to maintain the association between Russia 
and Austria. Giers was equally desirous to renew the 
pact, but he lamented that he stood almost alone. The 
Tsar, he explained, entertained great respect for Francis 
Joseph, and had no more intention of attacking him than 
of attacking the Emperor William. In view, however, 
of the notorious hostility of Hungary, he could not remain 
in treaty relations with Vienna, and public opinion would 
not understand it if it were to discover that he had done 
so. He was ready, however, to maintain the treaty con- 
tact with Berlin, and on May n, after long discussions, 
Bismarck Schuvaloff, the Russian Ambassador, 
and formally proposed a dual arrangement. 1 The 
Russia Chancellor replied that he could not promise 
neutrality in an Austro-Russian war unless Austria 
attacked Russia, and, with the assent of his ally, 
showed him the operative clauses of the Treaty of 
1879. Schuvaloff rejoined that Russia in like manner 
could only promise neutrality if Germany did not attack 
France. On these lines agreement was easy to reach, and 
on June 18 Schuvaloff and Herbert Bismarck, now pro- 
moted to the post of Foreign Secretary, signed a treaty 
for three years. That the Chancellor requested his son 
to sign it prompted Giers to remark that it was more 
advantageous 'to Russia than to Germany. 

The German and Russian Courts, ran the preamble, 

1 See "Die Grosse Politik," V, 211-68; and Goriainoff, "The End 
of the Alliance of the Three Emperors," American Historical Review, 
Jan., 1918. Paul Schuvaloff was the brother of Peter Schuvaloff, who 
represented Russia at the Berlin Congress. The Reinsurance Treaty was 
revealed in Pribram, " Secret Treaties," I. 



The Treaty of Reinsurance 139 

have resolved to confirm the agreement between them by 
a special arrangement, in view of the expiry on June 27 
of the secret Treaty of 1881, renewed in 1884. 

I. If one should find itself at war with a third 
Great Power, the other would maintain a benevolent 
neutrality, and would try to localize the The 
conflict. This provision would not apply Secret 

to a war against Austria or France if Treaty 
resulting from an attack by one of the contracting 
parties. 

II. Germany recognizes the rights historically ac- 
quired by Russia in the Balkan peninsula, especially the 
legitimacy of her preponderant and decisive influence 
in Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia. The two Courts 
engage to admit no modification of the territorial status 
quo of the said peninsula without a previous agreement, 
and to oppose every attempt to disturb this status quo or 
to modify it without their consent. 

III. The two Courts recognize the European and 
mutually obligatory character of the principle of the 
closing of the Straits. They will take care that Turkey 
shall make no exception to this rule in favour of any 
Government by lending the Straits to warlike operations. 
In case of or to prevent infringement, the two Courts 
will inform Turkey that they would regard her as placing 
herself in a state of war towards the injured party and 
as depriving herself thenceforth of the security of her 
territory under the Treaty of 1878.' 

The Treaty was completed by an "Additional and very 
secret Protocol." 

I. Germany, as in the past, will lend her assistance 
to Russia to re-establish a regular and legal Government 
in Bulgaria, and promises not to consent to the restora- 
tion of the Prince of Battenberg. 

1 This article appeared in the Treaty of 1881. 



140 History of Modern Europe [1887 

II. If the Tsar should be compelled to defend the 
entrance of the Black Sea in order to safeguard the 
interests of Russia, Germany engages to accord her 
benevolent neutrality and her moral and diplomatic 
support to the measures he may find necessary to guard 
the key of his Empire. 

The existence of the Dual Alliance of 1879 had been at 
once communicated to the Tsar; but the Reinsurance 

Reasons Treaty of 1887 was not revealed to Francis 
for Joseph by his ally. When the monarchs 

Secrecy met at Gastein in the summer, the Emperor 
William merely expressed regret that the Tsar had 
withdrawn from the Dreikaiserbund. The pact was 
kept secret by the Tsar's wish, as he had no desire to 
increase the fury of the Slavophils; but Bismarck was so 
little afraid of the charge of perfidy that he expressed the 
wish that Russia would betray it, and he himself revealed 
it after his fall. Since Austria had refused an unlimited 
guarantee in 1879, he had to find other means of guarding 
Germany against a French attack and its possible conse- 
quences; and in promising benevolent neutrality if Russia 
were attacked he was in no sense contravening or under- 
mining the alliance with Austria, which promised German 
support only to repel an assault. Moreover, in Bismarck's 
eyes, the new pact was of advantage to Austria, since 
Germany would retain a certain hold over Russian policy. 
Thus from the crisis which broke up the Dreikaiserbund 
and brought Austria and Russia to the brink of war, the 
Chancellor's genius extracted securities for the Empire he 
had founded, purchasing the assurance of Russian neutra- 
lity in a war provoked by France by a promise of German 
neutrality in a war provoked by Austria. 

The Reinsurance Treaty produced no outward result, 
for its existence was unknown to the Russian people not 
less than to Austria. Though KatkofFs death in August 
deprived the Slavophil army of its leader, the Press con- 
tinued to thunder against Germany and to urge an ap- 



The Bulgarian Forgeries 141 

proach to France. On September n Bismarck lodged a 
sharp complaint, to which Giers replied that he was pro- 
foundly distressed by the Press attacks, which were 
directed as much against himself as against the Chancellor. 
He had on several occasions begged to resign, but the Tsar 
despised the Press and refused to take action. Count 
Tolstoi, Minister of the Interior, was one of the chief 
offenders, and PobiedonostsefPs influence was deplorable. 
On the other hand, Giers could pledge his head that the 
Tsar would never raise his hand against the Emperor 
William, his son or his grandson. The For ers 
tension was increased by the fact that there at 

were mischief-makers eager to cut the Work 
wires between Berlin and Petrograd. During the 
early autumn documents found their way into the hands 
of the French Government, who forwarded them to 
the Tsar in Denmark without testing their authenticity. A 
letter from Prince Ferdinand to the Countess of Flanders 
confessed that he would not have accepted the Bulgarian 
throne without encouragement from Berlin ; while a second 
letter announced that every few days he was assured by 
German agents that German policy would change. An 
unsigned letter, apparently from Prince Reuss, the Ger- 
man Ambassador in Vienna, observed, "We cannot recog- 
nize him at present, but we can encourage him." Giers 
immediately detected the fraud and informed his master 
that they were forged. The Tsar replied that the affair 
seemed to him quite improbable, and that he knew Prince 
Reuss to be incapable of such trickery. He added that 
he would discuss the matter with Bismarck at their next 
meeting. Prince Reuss denied that he had ever written 
the letter to Prince Ferdinand. The latter denied that he 
had ever written to the Countess of Flanders, who in turn 
testified that she had received no such communication. 1 
On returning home on November 18 via Berlin the Tsar 
heard from the Chancellor's own lips that the incriminating 

1 The forgeries were attributed to various capitals and various hands, 
See "Die Grosse Politik," V, 338-50. 



142 History of Modern Europe [i88 7 

letters were unblushing forgeries. Bismarck professed to 
believe that he had completely eradicated the suspicions 
of the autocrat, who expressed to Giers his satisfaction 
with his conversations. He wished, however, to run no 
avoidable risks, and in the same month he forbade the 
Reichsbank to make loans on Russian securities, fearing 
that German money might thus become available for 
Russian aggression, and taking the risk that his action 
would drive Russia to the French bourse. 

The hostility of Russia and France both to Germany 
and Great Britain compelled Salisbury and Bismarck to 
Salisbury ^ ee P * n c ^ ose touch; and Great Britain's 
approaches association with Austria and Italy in defence 
Bismarck o f ^ e status quo in the Mediterranean made 
her almost a partner in the Triple Alliance. Salis- 
bury, however, was afraid that the accession of Prince 
William, which could not be long delayed, might involve 
a Russophil policy, and on November 10 he ex- 
pressed a wish for some direct assurance from Bismarck. 1 
"From your discussions with Hatzfeldt," replied the 
Chancellor on November 22, "I gather that a direct ex- 
change of ideas would be useful and would help to remove 
doubts as to our respective policies. Our nations have so 
many common interests and so many points where differ- 
ences could arise, and you and Germany are so trustful 
of each other, that we can be franker than is usual in 
diplomacy. You are mistaken in fearing that Prince 
William might favour an anti-English policy, any more 
than the Crown Prince would wish to make his policy 
follow the English lead. Both will only pursue German 
interests. The way to maintain these interests is so 
clearly dictated that it is impossible to swerve from it. 
It would be absurd to assume that the Government would 
inflict on the people the sufferings of a great war unless 
it could prove to the nation its necessity. Our army is 

1 Thus the famous autograph letter of Nov. 22 was not an unsolicited 
approach by Bismarck, much less a request for an alliance, but a 
response to a desire for assurances. See " Die Grosse Politik," IV, 368-88. 



i88 7 ] Bismarck to Salisbury 143 

ready, and millions would hasten to the flag if the inde- 
pendence and integrity of the Empire were threatened; 
but it is for defence and would only be set Bismarck 
in motion if attacked. To be more concrete, reassures 
we should not fight for our eastern interests. Salisbuf y 
The Sultan is our friend, but we should not fight 
for him. This does not mean that nothing but an 
attack would justify a call to arms. Germany has 
three Great Powers as neighbours and has open 
frontiers, and she cannot be blind to coalitions which 
might form against her. If Austria were conquered, 
weakened, or hostile in feeling, we should be isolated in 
face of France and Russia, and confronted with the possi- 
bility of a Franco-Russian coalition. Our interest com- 
mands us to prevent such a situation, if necessary by arms. 
The existence of Austria as a strong and independent 
Great Power is for Germany a necessity which the per- 
sonal sympathies of the rulers cannot alter. Austria, like 
Germany and England, belongs to the ' saturated ' Powers, 
as Metternich would say, and therefore to the pacific 
Powers. France and Russia, on the other hand, seem to 
threaten us France, true to her traditions and character, 
and Russia, who now assumes the threatening attitude of 
Louis XIV and Napoleon. The revolutionary party hopes 
that war would overthrow the monarchy, while the mon- 
archists believe that it would end the revolution. We are 
therefore always in danger, and must try to secure alli- 
ances. We desire that friendly Powers which have 
interests in the East to defend should by combination 
make themselves strong enough to keep the Russian sword 
in its scabbard, or help if there is a break. We should 
be neutral so long as German interests are not in danger. 
Germany will never fight for Russia; but Germany will 
be compelled to join in the fight if the independence of 
Austria is threatened by Russian attacks, or if England 
or Italy were in danger of being overrun by French armies. 
Such is the course of German policy, from which neither 
monarch nor Minister can divert it." The letter e^ded 



144 History of Modern Europe [1887 

with the statement that it had been read to and approved 
by Prince William; and Salisbury's request to see the 
text of the Austro-German Alliance was granted. 

"I thank you for your confidence, which I recipro- 
cate," replied Salisbury on November 30, "convinced that 

Reply li ls justified by the sympathy and the close 
I of community of interest of our two peoples. 

Salisbury L et me explain the grounds of the appre- 
hensions which I expressed to Hatzfeldt. If a Franco- 
German war breaks out, Russia, if she is wise, would 
not attack Germany, but would compel the Sultan, 
by occupying the Balkans or Asia Minor, to accept pro- 
posals which would make Russia master of the Straits. 
Russia would only abstain if she had to reckon with 
superior opposition. For this England and Italy would 
not suffice, and British opinion would probably not 
support a war for Turkey with Italy as sole partner. 
All would therefore depend on Austria; and unless she 
were sure of German support she would not venture on 
war, since Italy and England could not help her in an 
invasion of Russia. She would therefore remain neutral 
and try for compensation in Turkey. Austria could only 
be bold if sure of German help. When we were invited to 
an agreement on the eight points proposed to Sir E. 
Malet, we were surprised that the most important ques- 
tion for us, namely, the probable conduct of Germany, 
was not mentioned. 1 If Austria could be certain of 
German support in such a war, she could carry through 
the policy of the eight points. If not, England would 
be joining in a policy doomed to fail, that is, if Germany, 
while fighting against France, were neutral towards 
Russia. You have dispelled my fears by your frankness. 
You have shown me the Austro-German treaty, and have 
told Malet of the Kaiser's approval of the understanding 
between England, Italy and Austria. Finally you have 
convinced me that Germany's course will not be deter- 

1 The reference is to the second Mediterranean Agreement, then 
under discussion. 



Salisbury to Bismarck 145 

mined by the personal prepossessions of the ruler. The 
agreement now in preparation between England, Italy and 
Austria is in full harmony with your policy. The group- 
ing of the Powers, which is the work of the last year, 
will be a real buttress against Russian aggression." Salis- 
bury's letter was polite and indeed friendly; but its most 
significant feature was the strong hint that the best way 
of warding off the Russian danger would be unflinch- 
ing German support of Austria. "The Tsar," observed 
Salisbury several years later to Eckhardstein, "sounded 
me as to my price for benevolent neutrality in case of a 
war of Russia and France against Germany. As we were 
pledged to a free hand, I returned a dilatory answer. I 
acted in the same way with Bismarck, who also sounded 
me in his letter soon after the Tsar." * 

Germany and Austria had agreed to differ on the Bul- 
garian question; and while Bismarck, threatened with 
danger on both fronts, sought safety in the Austria 
secret treaty of reinsurance with Russia, and 
Kalnoky looked round for partners in the Italy 
dangerous task of checking Muscovite ambitions in 
the Near East. Since his return to power in 1886 
Salisbury had often expressed his desire for co-opera- 
tion with Austria, for he was as anxious as ever to 
erect new bulwarks against the southward advance of 
our most dangerous rival ; 2 but the help of Italy, whose 
interests in thwarting Russian ambitions were less 
direct, had to be purchased at a high price. The 
foundation of the Triple Alliance had neither ex- 
tinguished irredentism nor established enduring relations 
of confidence between the Allies. Bismarck observed 
to the Crown Prince Rudolf in 1883 that they could not 
depend on Italian support; and the omission of Francis 
Joseph to return King Humbert's visit to Vienna was 
keenly resented in Italy, where the Emperor's considera- 
tion for the feelings of the Pope appeared excessive. On 

1 " Erinnerungen," II, 154. 

a " Die Grosse Politik," IV, 263-94. 



146 History of Modern Europe [1887 

the other hand, Italy's occupation of Massowah in 1885 
without informing her allies appeared to Berlin and 
Vienna to be lacking in courtesy. The situation was 
modified by the Bulgarian crisis; for Austria, confronted 
with the danger of war without German help, needed the 
backing of Italy, while Italy, perturbed by the growing 
influence of Boulanger, turned for aid to her allies. It 
was in the light of these fresh factors that the renewal of 
the Triple Alliance, which was nearing the end of its 
five years' term, was discussed. 1 Robilant, Italy's Foreign 
Minister, asked for a guarantee of the status quo in the 
Mediterranean by which he meant a guarantee against 
a French descent on Tripoli or the northern coast of 
Morocco and added that without it the Alliance would 
be worthless. He further demanded that if Turkey were 
to be partitioned between Russia and Austria, Italy should 
be informed in good time and would not remain a mere 
spectator in other words, that she should receive com- 
pensation in the Balkans. Kalnoky desired to reject both 
demands, but was urged to compromise by Bismarck, who 
feared lest the sulking partner might sell herself to France 
for the recognition of her aims in Tripoli, which France 
was willing to accord. 

To meet the new situation Robilant proposed an agree- 
ment to prevent any territorial change on the coasts of 

Tri le European Turkey which could damage the 
Alliance interests of the Allies. If a fourth Power 
Renewed took act i ori) Italy and Austria as the most 
interested parties would co-operate. "If the status 
quo becomes impossible, and if, owing to the action 
of a third Power or for any other reason, Italy or 
Austria are forced to modify it by permanent or tem- 
porary occupation, they will only take action after an 
agreement based on reciprocal compensation." The de- 
mands of Italy in the west proved more difficult ; but 
Bismarck, anxious to humour the country which would 

1 See Pribram, " Secret Treaties," II, ch. 2, and " Die Grosse Politik," 
IV, 181-260. 



18873 The Triple Alliance Renewed 147 

be his sole ally if Boulanger attacked, informed Kalnoky 
that he would, if necessary, make a pact with Italy alone. 
The Austrian statesman slowly yielded ground, fearing 
Italian hostility in the event of a Russian war, or at any 
rate the diversion of part of the Austrian army to guard 
the frontier. But he desired to secure a quid pro quo, 
and asked for Italian help if Austria were attacked. 
Robilant refused, and Bismarck urged Kalnoky to yield. 
Finally Robilant offered to renew the agreement of 1882, 
with additional pacts with Germany and Austria. If 
Kalnoky refused, Italy would make a treaty with Germany 
alone. Kalnoky, with Bismarck and Robilant against 
him, gave way, Italy having withdrawn her demand for 
Austrian help in a war for Tripoli or Morocco. On 
February 20, 1887, the Treaty of 1882 was prolonged till 
1892, and the two Central Powers made separate agree- 
ments with their exigent ally. 

The Austro-Italian agreement concerned the East. 
"Austria and Italy, desiring the maintenance of the status 
quo in the Orient, will try to prevent any change injurious 
to either. But if, in the course of events, the status quo 
in the Balkans or the Ottoman coasts and islands in the 
Adriatic or ^Egean becomes impossible, and if, owing 
to the action of a third Power or otherwise, either finds 
necessary a temporary or permanent occupation, this 
occupation shall only take place after an agreement 
based on the principle of a reciprocal compensation for 
every advantage, territorial or other, which each obtains." 

The German-Italian agreement concerned the West. 
" If France made a move to extend her occupation, or 
even her protectorate or her sovereignty in Q erman ^ 
Tripoli or Morocco, and in consequence and 
Italy, to safeguard her position in the Italy 
Mediterranean, should feel she must undertake action 
in the said territories or even have recourse to extreme 
measures in French territory in Europe, the state 
of war between Italy and France would constitute 
on the demand of Italy the casus fcederis. If in such a 



148 History of Modern Europe [1887 

war Italy should seek territorial guarantees, Germany 
would not object, and, if necessary, will facilitate that 
object." 

The Treaty of 1887 was a triumph for Italy. " In 1882 
she was the suitor; but now Austria was in fear of a 
Ital 's Russian, and Germany of a French attack, 
new and Robilant could command his own price. 
Privileges In pa ying the bill the Central Powers divided 
their obligations. Austria was compelled to recognize 
Italy's interest in the Balkans and her claim to com- 
pensation if Turkey was partitioned, while Italy re- 
fused to promise support if Austria was attacked. 
Germany, for her part, purchased the continuance of 
Italy's help against a French attack by an obligation to 
take part in offensive war should Italy's ambitions in 
North Africa demand it. In the following year the first 
military convention between Germany and Italy was 
signed, Austria allowing Italian troops to cross her 
territory on their way to the western front. 

When the Triple Alliance was thus confirmed and 
extended, the protocols relating to Great Britain were not 
renewed; for a few days earlier Italy had concluded an 
agreement which further guaranteed her position. 1 At 
the end of January, 1887, Italy asked for a treaty; but 
Salisbury, while recognizing the identity of interests in 
the Mediterranean and the Near East, preferred an under- 
standing which would be less binding and which could 
be kept secret. The agreement was set forth in a Note 
of Count Corti on February 12 : 

I. The status quo in the Mediterranean, the Adriatic, 
the ^Egean and the Black Sea shall be maintained as 
far as possible. Care must therefore be taken to prevent 
any change to the detriment of the two Powers. 

II. If the status quo proves impossible, no modifica- 
tion shall take place except after agreement. 

III. Italy is entirely ready to support the work of 

1 " Die Grosse Politik," IV, 297-316, and Pribram, I. 



i88 7 j Great Britain and Italy 149 

Great Britain in Egypt. Great Britain is disposed, in 
case of encroachments by a third Power, to support the 
action of Italy at every other point of the North African 
coast, especially in Tripoli and Cyrenaica. 

IV. Mutual support in the Mediterranean to the 
extent that circumstances shall permit shall be afforded 
in every difference between one of the parties and a 
third Power. 

The compact was accepted by Salisbury in a declaration 
of the same date. "The statement of Italian policy has 
been received with great satisfaction, as it An io _ 
enables the Government to express their Italian 
desire to co-operate in matters of common Compact 
interest. The character of that co-operation must be 
decided when the occasion for it arises. Both Powers 
desire that the shores of the Black Sea, the ^Egean, 
the Adriatic and the north coast of Africa shall remain in 
the present hands. If, owing to some calamitous event, 
it becomes impossible to maintain the status quo, both 
desire that there shall be no extension of the domination 
of any other Great Power over any portion of those coasts." 
The arrangement had been made with the encouragement 
of Bismarck, and it was promptly communicated to 
Austria, who announced her adherence in a Note from 
Kalnoky on March 23. 1 "Austria is happy to observe that 
its principles and objects conform to those which guide 
her policy. Convinced that these objects would best be 
secured by our co-operation, she is ready to adhere to the 
declaration of friendship and of identity of political views 
recorded in the notes of February 12. Austria congratu- 
lates herself on the political rapprochement with Great 
Britain. Though Mediterranean questions do not 
primarily affect her interests, my Government has the con- 
viction that England and Austria have the same interests 
in the Eastern Question as a whole, and therefore the same 
need of maintaining the status quo in the Orient and of 

l " Die Grosse Politik," IV, 319-31, and Pribram, I. 



150 History of Modern Europe [1887 

preventing the aggrandisement of one Power to the 
detriment of others." 

The conditional promise of British assistance strength- 
ened Kalnoky's resolve to oppose Russian dictation in 
Ferdinand Bulgaria, despite Bismarck's declaration that 
for he would not regard an Austro-Russian con- 
Bulgaria fl ict Qver B u ig ar i a a s a casus belli. On 

July 7, 1887, tne Sobranje elected Ferdinand of 
Coburg, the clever and ambitious son of Louis Philippe's 
daughter Clementine, who accepted the throne sub- 
ject to the recognition of the Sultan and the sanction 
of the Powers. When neither was forthcoming, he 
accepted unconditionally on August 10 and took the 
oath at Tirnovo on August 14. The Tsar promptly pro- 
posed to the Powers to eject the Prince and to appoint a 
Russian general, regent, or governor of the two Bul- 
garias, and Turkey issued a circular Note calling attention 
to the gravity of the offence. Bismarck, true to his watch- 
word : u ln Bulgaria I am Russian," at once broke off 
diplomatic relations with Sofia ; but Salisbury warned both 
Russia and Turkey against intervention, adding that it 
would be useless to evict the Prince unless the Powers had 
agreed on his successor. At this moment Bulgaria unex- 
pectedly gained a second champion. The death of 
Depretis on July 31 brought Crispi to power, and the new 
Premier at once proposed to recognize Ferdinand instead 
of expelling him as Russia desired. Believing war to be 
in sight, he suggested to Great Britain a military conven- 
tion ; and though his suggestion was declined, the Mediter- 
ranean fleet visited Italian and Austrian harbours in 
September, while the Ambassadors of the three Powers at 
Constantinople were instructed to take counsel together till 
the crisis was over. 1 

Before the close of the year the three Powers drew still 
closer together. 2 On December 12 an Austrian Note to 
Great Britain proposed a second Mediterranean agreement. 

1 Crispi, " Memoirs," II, ch. 5 and 6. 

3 " Die Grosse Politik," IV, 335-95, and Pribram, L 



3887] The Mediterranean Pacts 151 

"Austria and Italy have agreed to propose to Great Britain 
the following points, to confirm the principles and to define 
the attitude of the three Powers : (i) The Austria 
maintenance of peace. (2) The status quo Italy, ' 
in the Orient, based on the treaties. (3) En s land 
The maintenance of the local autonomies established 
by the treaties. (4) The independence of Turkey, 
as guardian of important European interests, of all 
foreign preponderating influence. (5) Consequently 
Turkey can neither cede nor delegate her suzerain rights 
over Bulgaria to any other Power, nor intervene to 
establish a foreign administration there, nor tolerate acts 
of coercion undertaken with this latter object, under the 
form of a military occupation or the dispatch of volunteers. 
Likewise Turkey, constituted by the treaties guardian of 
the Straits, can neither cede any portion of her sovereign 
rights nor delegate her authority to any other Power in 
Asia Minor. (6) The three Powers are to be associated 
with Turkey in defence of these principles. (7) If Turkey 
resists any illegal enterprises such as indicated in Article 5, 
the three Powers will immediately agree on measures to 
procure respect for the independence and integrity of the 
Ottoman Empire. (8) If Turkey connives at any such 
illegal enterprise, they will, jointly or separately, provi- 
sionally occupy points of Ottoman territory." In a reply 
of the same date Great Britain accepted the eight points 
here enumerated. Rumours of the pact led to a question 
in Parliament, which merely produced the reply that the 
Government had concluded no agreement which bound the 
country to undertake military action. 

The Mediterranean insurance risk was still further dis- 
tributed by the inclusion of Spain. A Spanish Note to 
Italy, dated May 4, 1887, suggested an agreement on the 
following terms for four years : (i) Spain will not lend her- 
self as regards France, in so far as the North African 
territories among others are concerned, to any treaty or 
political arrangement aimed against Italy, Germany and 
Austria, or any one of them. (2) Abstention from all un- 



152 History of Modern Europe [1887 

provoked attack, as well as from provocation. (3) To 
maintain the status quo in the Mediterranean, Spain and 
Italy will exchange all information concerning their own 
and other dispositions. 

An Italian Note of the same date assented to these pro- 
positions, and the accession of Austria to the pact was 
recorded on May 21. 

During the closing months of 1887 the tension between 
Vienna and Petrograd became more than ever acute. 1 The 
Austro- monarchs assured one another that they 
Russian would not attack; but the concentration of 
Tension troops on the Galician frontier, combined 
with frenzied denunciations in the Russian Press, 
revealed the danger. Even Giers was excited, and 
denounced Kalnoky, while the Tsar spoke as if war was 
ultimately inevitable. It required Bismarck's utmost skill 
as mediator and moderator to keep the peace, when the 
military chiefs in the three capitals longed to decide the 
dispute by an appeal to arms. "The German Empire," 
ran the German speech from the throne on November 24, 
1887, "has no aggressive tendencies, and no needs which 
could be satisfied by victorious wars. But in defence we 
are strong, and we shall become so strong that we can con- 
front every danger without fear." These declarations were 
elaborated in the Chancellor's speech of February 6, 1888, 
in which, as in 1887, he surveyed the European situation 
and defined the attitude of his country. 2 A year ago, he 
began, he had feared a French attack; but one peace- 
loving President had succeeded another, and the Minis- 
terial changes were reassuring. "The anxieties of the 
year have been Russian rather than French ; but, like last 
year, I expect no attack. The Russian Press attacks are as 
dust in the balance against the authority of the Tsar. At 
my last interview I satisfied myself again that he had no 
hostile intentions against us or anyone else. I trust his 
word absolutely, and therefore the Press does not make me 
think our relations worse than a year ago. The massing 

1 " Die Grosse Politik," VI, 1-89. a " Reden," XII, 440-77. 



i888] Bismarck Warns Russia 153 

of troops on the German and Austrian frontier is nothing 
new, for it dates from 1879. There is no reason to attack 
us, for Russia does not want any more Poles. Why these 
troops? One does not ask for explanations. They are 
doubtless to give weight to Russia's voice in the next 
European crisis. Yet the danger of coalitions is 
permanent, and we must arrange once for all to meet it. 
We must make greater exertions than other nations on 
account of our position. Russia and France can only be 
attacked on one front; but God has placed us beside the 
most bellicose and restless of nations, the French, and He 
has allowed bellicose tendencies to grow up in Russia." 

The Chancellor proceeded to explain why he had 
published the Austro-German Treaty of 1879 on the eve 
of the debate. "It is not an ultimatum, a gigm^^g 
warning, or a threat, as some papers say, Policy 
for the Russian Cabinet was informed long Ex P lained 
ago. It is the expression of permanent interests on 
both sides. If we had not made it then, we should 
have to make it now. Think Austria off the map, 
and we are isolated with Italy between Russia and France. 
We cannot think Austria away. A State like Austria 
does not disappear. If one leaves it in the lurch it becomes 
estranged and will be inclined to offer its hand to the 
antagonist of its disloyal friend. If we are to avoid 
isolation in our exposed position, we must have a safe 
friend. We shall wage no preventive war. If we were 
to attack, the whole weight of the Imponderabilia would 
be on the side of our opponents. Threats and insults 
have aroused a justifiable embitterment, but we shall not 
go to war for trifles. We do not angle for love in France 
or in Russia. The Russian Press and Russian opinion 
have shown us an old, powerful and trustworthy friend 
the door. We do not press ourselves forward. We have 
tried to regain the trustful relationship, but we do not 
run after anybody. For that very reason we shall all 
the more carefully respect Russia's treaty rights, among 
them the rights not recognized by all our friends which 



154 History of Modern Europe 

we won for her in 1878. We all believed that the pre- 
dominant influence in Bulgaria would fall to Russia. 
We shall not support and we do not advise violence, 
and I do not think Russia wishes it. Bulgaria is not 
an object of sufficient magnitude to set Europe aflame 
in a war whose issue none can foretell. I do not expect 
an early breach of the peace. But I advise other countries 
to discontinue their menaces. We fear God and nothing 
else in the world." The proud peroration was rewarded 
by a storm of applause, which echoed throughout the 
Empire, and by the smooth and rapid passage of the 
last Army Bill which the aged Emperor was to see or 
the Iron Chancellor to propose. 

A few days after Bismarck's historic utterance the Tsar 
made a final attempt to solve the Bulgarian problem in a 
Russian sense. Ferdinand, he declared, must withdraw, 
Bulgaria could freely choose a ruler, and Russia would 
then no longer interfere. Germany and France supported 
the plan, but Austria and her friends declined to support 
the eviction of Ferdinand. Without waiting for a mandate 
from the Powers, Turkey now declared the Prince's title 
Bulgarian illegal. Bulgaria acknowledged the corn- 
Crisis munication, but neither Turkey nor Russia 
Ends too k steps to enforce it. The three years' 

crisis had ended with the confessed defeat of Russia; 
and indeed the Bulgarian policy of Alexander III 
deserved to fail. Bismarck had played his game 
with matchless skill. Peace had been preserved, France 
and Russia had been held apart, the Austrian alliance 
had remained intact, and a secret treaty kept open 
the line to Petrograd. "It was a complicated busi- 
ness," confessed the Chancellor. "The Emperor once 
said to me, * You are like a rider who tosses five balls 
into the air and catches them every time. I should not 
care to change places with you.' ' Kalnoky, too, had 
played a dangerous game and won. His policy, at once 
cautious and firm, had succeeded in eliminating Russian 
influence from Bulgaria, which for the next few years, 







i888j The Bulgarian Marriage Project 155 

under the virile direction of Stambuloff, leaned on Austria 
and Turkey. 

Though the Bulgarian crisis was over, the Tsar had 
no intention of renewing the old friendly relationship with 
Vienna.; but he was not yet finally estranged Love 
from Berlin. In 1888 the Chancellor once and 
more revealed his consideration for the Tsar's Policy 
feelings by preventing the marriage of the ex-Prince 
Alexander of Bulgaria with a daughter of the Crown 
Prince Frederick, which had been discussed since 
1884. He was supported by the old Emperor, who 
regarded it as a mesalliance, but the Crown Princess fought 
hard for her daughter's right to marry the man of her 
choice. Bismarck's decision, backed by a threat of resigna- 
tion, was finally confirmed by the girl's father when he 
became Emperor, and even Queen Victoria was won over 
to the Chancellor's side during a brief visit to Berlin. 
There was always a possibility, he believed, of the Prince 
being invited to return to Sofia, and in any case the Tsar's 
confidence in the German Government, which was the 
chief obstacle to a war, would have been shattered by a 
close association of his hated enemy with the Royal 
Family. u The foreign policy of the German Empire since 
1871," wrote Bismarck to the Emperor Frederick, "has 
been the maintenance of peace and the prevention of 
anti-German coalitions, and the pivot of this policy is 
Russia." * 

1 " Die Grosse Politik," VI, 277-98. 



CHAPTER V 

THE DUAL ALLIANCE 

WHILE the Austro-German alliance was no sooner con- 
ceived than concluded, the Franco-Russian alliance was 
Isolation discussed in public and private for many 
of years before official negotiations began. 

France R uss i a had watched the downfall of 
Napoleon III, the ringleader in the Crimean war, with 
unconcealed satisfaction ; and the formation of the 
Dreikaiserbund forbade the young Republic, as it 
struggled to its feet, to look for Russian sympathy or 
support. The one ray of hope lay in the possibility that 
Russia might desire the revival of France as a make- 
weight against German domination of the Continent. 
This aspect of the question was clearly present to the 
mind of Gortchakoff, with whom Chaudordy, an official 
of the French Foreign Office, discussed the situation in 
Switzerland in 1873. The French Government desired to 
know whether Russia would help if Germany reoccupied 
the territory which it had now evacuated or if new claims 
for territory or indemnity were put forward. The Russian 
Chancellor, while naturally unable to promise support, 
expressed himself in friendly terms and declared that 
Russia desired to see France as strong as before her 
defeat. 1 

1 See the French Yellow Book, " L'Alliance Franco-Russe," published 
in 1918; Daudet, " Histoire Diplomatique de PAlliance Franco-Russe," 
and " Alexandre III"; Freycinet, "Souvenirs," II; Elie de Cyon, 
"Histoire de 1'Entente Franco-Russe"; Hansen, "L'Alliance Franco- 
Russe," and " L'Ambassade Paris du Baron de Mohrenheim " ; Albin, 
" L'Allemagne et la France, 1885-1904 " ; Tardieu, " La France et les 
Alliances"; Schwertfeger, " Zur Europaischen Politik," V; Pribram, 
"Secret Treaties," II, Appendix B; Welschinger, "L'Alliance Franco- 
Russe"; American Historical Review, April, 1920. 

I S 6 



i8 75 ] The War Scare of 1875 157 

Two years later the war scare of 1875 afforded Russia 
an opportunity of displaying her good will to France. 
Though neither Bismarck nor his master R USS i a 
desired another war, the military leaders in helps 
Berlin spoke freely of a final reckoning F 
with a neighbour who was recovering from her mis- 
fortunes more rapidly than had been anticipated, and 
might be expected to give trouble in the future. The letter 
of Queen Victoria to the Emperor was not without moral 
effect, but it was the journey of the Tsar and Gortchakoff 
to Berlin which, at any rate in French eyes, removed 
the danger. The Russian intervention and the Chan- 
cellor's celebrated telegram from Berlin, "maintenant la 
paix est assume," which roused the undying resentment of 
Bismarck, were welcomed by anxious French Ministers 
both as an indication of practical sympathy and as a 
harbinger of more intimate relations in the future. "Soyez 
forts, Ge'ne'ral," said the Tsar to the French Ambassador 
Le F16. And Gortchakoff added, "Nous voulons la 
France aussi forte que par le passe* et Paris aussi 
brillant." 

The Due Decazes, who ruled at the Quai d'Orsay 
during the scare and who, like President Macmahon, 
desired a Russian alliance, fell in 1877.* He was succeeded 
by Waddington and Macmahon by GreVy, both of whom 
believed that France would be safer in humouring Bis- 
marck than in insuring herself against his hypothetical 
designs. Goutant-Biron was replaced at Berlin by St. 
Vallier, who was determined to restore friendly relations 
and was warmly welcomed by the Chancellor. During 
the tension in the Near East following the Treaty of 
Berlin, when the Tsar was boiling with indignation 
against the Central Powers, France could probably have 
made an alliance with Russia. Gortchakoff was Franco- 
phil, and the Grand Duke Nicholas, brother of the Tsar 

1 The remarkable Franco-German ra-p-prochement of 1878-85 may be 
traced in " Die Grosse Politik," III, 381-454; E. Daudet, "La France 
et 1'Allemagne," 2 vols. ; and Bourgeois et Pages, " Les Origines et les 
Responsabilites de la Grande Guerre," 181-219 and 365-95. 



158 History of Modern Europe [1880 

and commander in the campaign of 1877, who spent the 
winter of 1879-1880 in Paris, established cordial relations 
Waddin ton w ^ French officers. Waddington, how- 
Freycinet, ' ever, wisely refused to be involved in 
Gambetta R uss i a s quarrels at the other end of Europe. 
"I think Russia is inclined to a rapprochement," he 
observed in handing over the Foreign Office to his 
successor at the end of 1879, "but Bismarck has his 
eye on us. If a treaty were on the anvil he might reply 
with war." Accordingly when Freycinet was informally 
approached from Petrograd, the cautious Premier merely 
advised the fostering of sympathies between the two 
Governments, adding that nothing must be known, "for 
an evil will is on the watch which can wreck our en- 
deavours." l Gambetta, who had tacitly abandoned the 
policy of revanche and desired to make Bismarck's 
acquaintance, was equally opposed to an association which 
under existing circumstances would be a source rather 
of danger than of strength. "France must play a 
secondary role in Europe and be very reserved till we have 
got a very strong army," he remarked to Jules Hansen, 
a Gallicized Dane, "and then I, like you, shall be a par- 
tisan of a Russian alliance." 2 The Chancellor responded 
by supporting French designs on Tunis and by ordering 
the German representative at the Conference on Morocco 
which met at Madrid in 1880 to go "hand in hand " with 
France. So little disposition was there at Paris towards 
a rapprochement that early in 1880 Freycinet refused the 
extradition of Hartmann, who was charged with planning 
a bomb attack on the Tsar. Since no extradition treaty 
had been concluded, the French Government was within 
its rights in refusing to deliver the suspect; but the Tsar 

1 " Life of Dufferin," I, 304. Bismarck told Lord Dufferin on Dec. 14, 
1879, that Russian overtures were made through General Obroutcheff, who 
had been sent to the French manoeuvres, but that, as Chanzy reported 
that Russia was unready for war, the French Government was adverse to 
adventure. 

a Hansen, " L' Alliance Franco-Russe," ch. i. For the change in 
Gambetta's opinions see Mme. Adam, "Souvenirs," VI and VII; and 
Galli, " Gambetta et 1' Alsace-Lorraine." 



i88 5 ] Franco-German Rapprochement 159 

showed his displeasure by temporarily recalling his 
Ambassador. Jules Ferry, who succeeded Freycinet and 
dominated French policy during the follow- 
ing years, was even less disposed than his 
predecessor to link the fortunes of France 
with those of Russia, for he required and received 
the good will of Bismarck and of Prince Hohenlohe, 
the influential German Ambassador, in his task of 
refounding a French Colonial Empire. In 1884 General 
Campenon, Minister of War, observed to the German 
Charge that the past was past and that Germany 
and France united would rule the world; and Barrere 
remarked to Herbert Bismarck, "II n'y a plus de m^fiance 
chez nous." When Freycinet returned to power after 
Ferry's fall in 1885 he once more angered the Russian 
Government by the release of Prince Kropotkin from a 
French prison before the expiration of his sentence, by 
the expulsion of the Orleanist princes from France, and 
by the brusque recall of General Appert, the French 
Ambassador, to whom the Tsar was greatly attached. 1 The 
autocrat, whose, feelings for the French Republicans were 
described by Giers as those of contempt and disgust, 
angrily refused to receive the Ambassador designate, 
General Billot, or any one else, and recalled his own Am- 
bassador from Paris. "Ambassadors are quite unneces- 
sary under present circumstances," he explained ;" Charges 
d 1 Affaires are enough." Meanwhile Herbette, the newly 
appointed Ambassador to Berlin, declared that his task 
was to convince Bismarck that " Derouledisme " was dead. 
The disintegration of the Dreikaiserbund owing to the 
Austro-Russian quarrel over Bulgaria turned the eyes of 
the Slavophils towards Paris. On July 31, 1886, Katkoff 
opened his campaign with an article in the Moscow Gazette 
which echoed through Europe. 2 "There is talk of a meet- 
ing of the three Ministers at Kissingen. Will the Russian 
Minister find it necessary to go and make his bow before 

1 The General had Orleanist sympathies. 

a Cyon, " Histoire de 1'Entente Franco-Russe, " 153-4. 



160 History of Modern Europe 

the irascible Chancellor? He is believed to govern the 
world. But is it so? Did the German Empire create 
itself? Is not the preponderance of this 
em P ire the product of the voluntary servitude 
of Russia? If Germany stands so high, 
is it not because she has climbed on Russia's shoulders? 
If Russia were to resume her liberty of action, the 
phantom of German omnipotence would vanish. We 
are not asking for a Franco-Russian alliance. We 
wish that Russia should remain in free and friendly 
relations with Germany, but also that similar relations 
should be established with the other nations, and above 
all with France, who occupies in an increasing degree a 
situation in Europe worthy of her power. What have we 
to quarrel about, and what are her domestic concerns to 
us?" A -fortnight later Madame Adam, the friend of 
Gambetta till he tacitly abandoned the Revanche, trans- 
ferred the Nouvelle Revue, which she had founded as 
the organ of unbending nationalism, to a disciple of 
Katkoff, Elie de Cyon, a Russian doctor, who had settled 
in Paris during the 'seventies and had become a French 
citizen. French opinion, disappointed by the fruits of 
colonial adventure, began to share Clemenceau's convic- 
tion that the place for her soldiers was on her eastern 
frontier. Before the end of the summer D6roulede, author 
of the Chants du Soldat and the outspoken champion of 
the Revanche, visited Russia, where he was received by 
Katkoff and the Slavophils with open arms. The effect 
of the campaign quickly became apparent. "The note of 
the Russian Press," reported the Belgian Minister at 
Petrograd on December 3, "is extreme friendliness for 
France, who is considered as a future ally destined to 
paralyse Germ-any in the event of an Austro-Russian con- 
flict." 1 Katkoff's initial disclaimer of a wish for a definite 
alliance had been a tactical move. "I hate France," he 
wrote in May, 1887, "for she has been and is a school of 
revolutionary propaganda. But now, when Russia is 

1 Schwertfeger, " Zur Europaischen Politik," V, 155. 



i886] The First Approaches 161 

threatened by Austria and Germany, an alliance is imposed 
upon us by an ineluctable necessity." 

The Tsar himself, moved less by the drift of opinion 
than by his anger with Austria, invited Freycinet in 
September to conclude an alliance. 1 The Premier, the 
President and the majority of Ministers refused the offer 
and informed the German Ambassador. Despite this 
rebuff diplomatic relations were resumed in October. 
Mohrenheim returned to Paris, and Laboulaye, who had 
spent two years at Petrograd as First Secretary, was 
accepted by the Tsar. In taking leave 
of President Gre"vy the new Ambassador 
inquired whether he had no message to 
send. "None whatever," replied Gre"vy; "we have 
nothing to expect from him. Nobody wants France, and 
France wants nobody. If we stay quietly at home no one 
will come and attack us." The atmosphere at Petrograd 
was only a little less frosty. "I desire the best relations 
with France," observed the Tsar on receiving the Ambas- 
sador. "The times are difficult, and crises are perhaps 
at hand. Russia ought to be able to count on France and 
France on Russia. Unfortunately you are yourselves 
going through crises which prevent you pursuing a consis- 
tent policy and do not admit of collaboration. That is very 
regrettable, for we need a strong France, and we have need 
of each other. I hope France will understand this." 

The fall of Freycinet at the end of the year brought 
Flourens to the Quai d'Orsay ; and the new Foreign 
Minister seized the first opportunity of displaying his 
good will towards Russia. On January 9, 1887, the Bul- 
garian delegates, in their journey through Europe in search 
of support in their quarrel with Russia, were unofficially 
received by Flourens, who advised them in plain terms no 
longer to thwart Russian aims. At a time when every 
European statesman except Bismarck was a critic of 

144 Die Grosse Politik," VI, 91-124. The approach was made indirectly, 
without the knowledge of Giers, who refused to believe that it was 
authorized by the Tsar. 

L 



162 History of Modern Europe [1887 

Russia's high-handed conduct in Bulgaria, the support of 

the French Government caused pleasure and gratitude in 

The Petrograd. The way was thus prepared for 

Boulanger Russia to render a still greater service 

Crisis to F rance . At the end of 1886 Boulanger, 
as Minister of War, resolved to increase the troops 
on the Eastern frontier, where they were inferior in 
number to the Germans, and for this purpose ordered 
the erection of new barracks. Germany replied by recall- 
ing 75> reservists to the colours, and Herbert Bismarck, 
the interim Foreign Secretary, expressed himself in un- 
friendly tones. An inquiry of the Ambassador in Paris 
as to the reason of this measure brought a vague reply ; 
and Flourens, in fear of an attack, confided his apprehen- 
sions to Hansen, whom he knew to be in close touch with 
the Russian Ambassador. What, asked Flourens, would 
Russia do if Germany were to ask us for explanations as 
to our troops and Boulanger's order for new barracks ? 
The question was duly referred to Mohrenheim, who tele- 
graphed to Giers and received the brief reply, "Schuvaloff 
re*pondra." Schuvaloff, the Russian Ambassador at Berlin, 
was accordingly instructed to inform the German Govern- 
ment that in the opinion of the Tsar France had a right 
to do what she liked on her own territory. A few days later, 
on January 31, 1887, Bleichroder, the great Jewish banker 
from whom few of Bismarck's secrets were hid, observed 
to Herbette, the French Ambassador, "There was nothing 
to worry about, and it was only a misunderstanding with- 
out importance." The Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung 
declared that Germany had no intention of asking for 
explanations, and Herbette telegraphed home that France 
could be easy. 

The tension provoked by the order for barracks was 
relieved, but the danger of a collision remained. On 
February 6 Schweinitz, the German Ambassador, asked 
the Tsar whether he would remain neutral in a Franco- 
German war, in which case he could do what he liked in 
the Near East. "Russia was neutral in the three wars," 



1 887] Hesitations of the Tsar 163 

replied the monarch, "though it would have been her plain 
interest to abandon neutrality. To-day Russia must con- 
sult her own interests in a . greater degree, and cannot 
constantly aid Prussia, who is besides the ally of the 
Emperor Francis Joseph." The annihilation of France, 
he added, would completely alter the European equili- 
brium, and he was therefore unable to promise neutrality. 
The Tsar merely wished to keep his hands free, and was 
not yet prepared for a French alliance, though he wrote 
that France could count on his moral support. Mohren- 
heim approved Flourens' intention to propose a defensive 
alliance. "You must send some one to Petrograd not too 
much en vue, who would ask, ' Would the attitude of 
France in the case of a war in the East be indifferent to 
Russia ? If not, is a formal entente possible ? ' ' Flourens 
selected the Marquis de Vogue" ; but when he was ready to 
start Giers reported that the Tsar thought the time inoppor- 
tune for an alliance, which would alarm other Powers. 

While Boulanger remained at the Ministry of War one 
crisis followed another; for he was loyal neither to the 
Republic nor to his colleagues. On a 
Sunday in February the wife of the Foreign 
Minister visited the daughter of Count 
Miinster, the German Ambassador, in a state of great 
excitement. 1 Boulanger had written to the Tsar, urging 
an accord which would keep Germany quiet, and 
had ordered the French Military Attache*, at that moment 
on leave in Paris, to return to his post with the letter. 
"If it is not stopped," she added, "my husband will 
resign. You would not believe what is in the letter." 
The Attache", as in duty bound, informed the Foreign 
Minister of the event, and the letter never left Paris. A 
Cabinet was held, and Flourens threatened resignation; 
but thoug'h some of his colleagues would have preferred 
to get rid of the firebrand, he was allowed to remain on 
promising to abstain from such dangerous irregularities. 

1 See Beyens' report of Feb. 8, 1887 ; in Schwertfeger, " Zur Euro- 
paischen Politik," V, 171-2. 



164 History of Modern Europe [1887 

The Schnaebele crisis which occurred shortly afterwards 
made a Russian alliance a burning question. The French 
The Ambassador, acting on his own initiative, 
Schnaebele asked Giers what Russia would do if France 
Crisis were attacked, and Giers replied that the 
Tsar "dirait son mot." Flourens disapproved the 
Ambassador's action, fearing it might reach Bismarck's 
ears; but the trend of French policy was clearly 
shown in forwarding the Bulgarian letters to the Tsar and 
in the protest of the two Powers against the Drummond 
Wolff Convention. "It has delivered France from her 
isolation," wrote the Belgian Minister in Vienna, 1 "and 
has advertised the political intimacy of France and Russia, 
hitherto more or less platonic, while, on the other hand, it 
has strengthened the ties which unite the four other 
Powers. This division into two camps portends serious 
dangers to peace. The ever-growing hostility of Russia 
to Germany, and the ideas of revenge more vocal than 
ever in France since her people believe they have found 
an ally at Petrograd, cause anxiety here as elsewhere." 
The Belgian Minister at Berlin reported that the French 
Ambassador made no attempt to conceal his satisfaction. 
"L'empire des Tsars est a la mode," wrote the Belgian 
Charge^ from Paris on March 4, 1888. "In the theatre, 
the Press, the street, everything serves as a pretext for 
demonstrations." 

Political sympathy was reinforced by economic need. 
When Bismarck retaliated against the raising of the tariff 
and the decree forbidding foreigners to own land on the 
frontier by closing the German Bourse to Russian loans 
and encouraging Press attacks on Russian securities, his 
usual sureness of touch deserted him and he drove his 
formidable neighbour into the arms of the French Bourse. 
Russia had hitherto raised her loans mainly in Germany, 
though Holland and France (through the house of Roth- 
schild) had been minor investors. But the political no less 
than the economic advantage of supplying Russia with the 

1 Schwertfeger, " Zur Europaischen Politik," V, 200, 202. 



i888] The First French Loan 165 

i 

ever-increasing sums which she needed became clear to 
French financiers. An offer of assistance at the end of 
1887 from a syndicate formed by Hoskier, a naturalized 
Dane, was declined; but in the autumn of 1888 the Russian 
Finance Minister invited a French group to send a pleni- 
potentiary, and in October Hoskier arrived 
in the Russian capital. The Minister desired 
to convert the National Debt, and wished 
to test the French market in order to learn if it 
was as well disposed as the syndicate affirmed. For 
this purpose he asked for five hundred million francs 
at four per cent., and Hoskier undertook to find them. 
On December 10 the loan was issued at 86.45, an< 3 over- 
subscribed by 110,000 applicants. The Tsar expressed his 
'gratitude to Hoskier for freeing Russia from dependence 
on Berlin. In the following year three hundred and sixty 
jmillion francs at four per cent., issued at 93, were sub- 
scribed for unifying earlier loans, and the house of Roth- 
schild raised loans of seven hundred millions in March 
and twelve hundred and forty-two millions in May. Such 
|Sums are only lent by one Great Power to another when 
an alliance is in being or in sight. 

While the financiers were weaving their threads in 
public, the soldiers were at work behind the scenes. In 
November, 1888, an incident occurred, unknown to the 
public, which committed Russia far more than the accept- 
ance of a loan. The Grand Duke Vladimir visited Paris 
and informed Freycinet, the Minister for War, of his wish 
to inspect the new French rifle. 1 "I should like to have 
one and some cartridges to experiment with. You can 
rest assured it would not leave my hands." The Minister, 
not a little surprised, consulted his colleagues, who author- 
ized the transaction. Two months later the Military 
Attache* inquired if French experts would examine a similar 
type of rifle which might perhaps be manufactured in 
France for Russia. The Ministers again agreed, scenting 
an alliance in the wind. Russian artillery officers accord- 

* Freycinet, " Souvenirs," II, 414-18. 



166 History of Modern Europe [i88 9 

ingly travelled to Paris and were soon in intimate relations 
with French experts. The next stage was a request by 

the Russian Ambassador to allow engineers 
Munitions to stuc ty tne powder factories with a view 

to erecting similar factories in Russia. 
Finally, early in 1889, the Military Attache asked 
whether France would manufacture 500,000 rifles. "De- 
lighted," replied Freycinet, "but we should like to be 
assured that they will never fire at Frenchmen." 1 "We 
will give you full guarantees," was the reply ; and Mohren- 
heim, at Freycinet's wish, confirmed his assurance to the 
Foreign Minister. The manufacture of the rifles only 
began in 1890, when Freycinet was Premier; but mean- 
while the Russian officers studied the system of mobiliza- 
tion, transport and supply under the guidance of General 
Miribel, Chief of the Staff, and General Boisdeffre, ex- 
Military Attache* at Petrograd. At the same time a French 
engineer was dispatched to Russia to organize the manu- 
facture of munitions. 

The formation of the Freycinet Cabinet in March, 1890, 
was of decisive importance in the story of Franco-Russian 
relations. In earlier years Freycinet had not been 
reckoned the friend of Russia; but the reiterated expres- 
sions of confidence which he had recently experienced as 
Minister of War had transformed him into a warm advo- 
cate of an alliance, and President Carnot and Ribot, the 
new Foreign Minister, were no less favourable. The fall 
of Bismarck and the termination of the Reinsurance Treaty 
by his successor removed a formidable obstacle to co- 
operation. In May the Grand Duke Nicholas, whose 
visit to Paris ten years earlier has already been mentioned, 
asked to see the Premier, and told him that he was no less 
interested in the French army than in his own. "If I have 
any voice in the matter, the two will be one in time of 
war. And that, if it were known, would prevent war, 
for no one would care to challenge France and Russia." 
After inquiries as to the army and navy he parted 

1 Freycinet, " Souvenirs," II, 440-514. 



1890] Contact of the General Staffs 167 

from the Premier with the words : " In me France has 
a friend." 1 

In the same month the French Cabinet had the oppor- 
tunity of rendering the Tsar a valued service. The Am- 
bassador asked for the arrest of Nihilists who were engaged .^r 
in making bombs and preparing to start for Russia; and 
when nine men were seized by Constans, the energetic 
Minister of the Interior, with powerful bombs in their 
possession, the Tsar expressed his gratitude. Following 
up his success, the French Government 
inquired whether General Boisdeffre, Chief 
of the Staff, might receive an invitation 
to the manoeuvres, at which the Kaiser was also to 
be present. The request was graciously granted, and 
the General was the object of the friendliest attentions. 
"The most important aspect of his journey," reported the 
Ambassador, "for which I had desired a general officer to 
be invited, is that which concerns the Government. The 
rapprochement of France and Russia, which scarcely three 
years ago seemed an illusion, has gradually become solid 
enough for a visit like that of the Kaiser to arouse no 
apprehensions. It is not enough, however, to record this 
Platonic result; we must draw conclusions though not 
on the political plane. Without counting the probable 
resistance of a sovereign who cherishes his complete free- 
dom, there are two objections. Firstly, a declared entente 
would consolidate the Triple Alliance, which is now 
weakening; secondly, we must hide the defect of our 
Constitution which prevents the Chief of the State conclud- 
ing treaties, and thus deprives our politics of the 
advantage of secrecy. The military plane remains. After 
we have facilitated the arming of the Russian infantry 
there is only one step to take and this I hope Boisdeffre's 
mission would achieve. I think it has been taken. 
There will now be contact between the General Staffs." a 

1 Freycinet, II, 440-514. 

2 Laboulaye to Ribot, Aug. 24. This is the first document in the 
Yellow Book " L'Alliance Franco-Russe, " published in 1918. 



168 History of Modern Europe [1890 

The Tsar was not yet converted to an alliance, 
reported Boisdeffre on his return; but many of his 

/ _ , . countrymen believed that the Rubicon had 

f Infatuation * 

for been crossed. The dream obsesses every- 
Russia one at p ar i Sj wrote the Belgian Minister 
on September 17. "It comes from the very natural 
desire to lean on a great nation in resisting attack 
from the Central Powers; but it has become also a 
matter of sentiment. The infatuation for Russia has 
gained all classes. This Power is as popular to-day as 
Poland under the Second Empire. Many are convinced 
of the existence of a sort of entente secret engagements 
if not a treaty. Thus the arrival of any official personage 
acquires the proportions of an event, and the Grand Dukes 
can no longer travel in France without political signifi- 
cance being attached to the visits of courtesy which they 
pay to the authorities. A new journal, L' Union Franco- 
Russe, has just appeared, and reproduces the dithyrambs^ 
of the Paris Press in honour of the Russian alliance. The 
contrast between the institutions of the two countries is not! 
felt in Paris." 1 

While Boisdeffre was establishing contact with the, 
Russian Staff, Freyciriet and Barbey, his Minister of 
Marine, discussed the possibility of sending the northern, 
squadron to the Baltic. The project was supported by, 
the French Embassy in Petrograd, and encouraged by' 
Mohrenheim and the Russian officers in Paris. When thej 
question was raised in the Cabinet, Ribot inquired] 
anxiously what the other Powers would say ; but he was! 
speedily converted, and Laboulaye was instructed to soundi 
whether the fleet should add Cronstadt to its programme! 
in its forthcoming visit to Copenhagen, Christian ia and! 
Stockholm in September. The Russian Government! 
accepted the suggestion in principle, but, as the Tsar was 
going south, the date of the rendezvous was postponed. \ 
The reports from Petrograd during the winter were so^ 
favourable that in January, 1891, France renewed the pro- 

1 Scbwertfeger, " Zur Europaischen Politik," V, 274-5. 



isgi] The Empress Frederick in Paris 169 

posal, and the fleet was officially invited to visit Cronstadt 
in July. 

At this moment one of the incidents or accidents which 
constitute the romance of high politics rendered France 
more acutely conscious than ever of her The 
need for a powerful friend. The Empress Empress * 
Frederick visited Paris in February, 1891, Frederick 
and resided at the German Embassy. When her 
visits to the ateliers were followed by pilgrimages 
to Versailles and St. Cloud, bitter memories were 
revived and hostile manifestations began. On February 26 
the Kaiser gave preliminary orders for mobilization, to be 
carried out if his mother were molested on her departure 
on the following day. The threat was unknown to the 
public, and owing to the anxious precautions of the 
Government, and the departure of the train an hour before 
the specified time, the danger was averted. 1 A few days 
later (March 9) Mohrenheim read to Ribot a dispatch from 
Giers praising the correctness of French action during the 
visit of the Empress. "The Entente Cordiale so happily 
established between us," added Giers, "is the best 
guarantee of peace. While the Triplice ruins itself in 
armaments, the intimate accord of our two countries is 
needed to maintain in Europe a just equilibrium of forces." 
Mohrenheim added that these declarations possessed great 
importance, and that the Russian Government had never 
spoken so clearly. The accord, he added, was now as firm 
as granite. He then asked what the French Government 
thought of his demarche. Ribot replied that they appre- 
ciated its importance, that they considered the entente now 
established indispensable to the security of Europe, and 
that they were grateful to Russia for choosing the occasion 
of these recent incidents to reveal its necessity. 

The presentation of the Grand Cross of St. Andrew to 
President Carnot at the same moment was taken in Paris 
as an emphatic declaration of confidence ; but neither the 
Tsar nor his Foreign Minister had any affection for France. 

i Freycinet, " Souvenirs," II, 457-9. 



170 History of Modern Europe [1891 

"The significance of the distinction has been greatly 
exaggerated," remarked Giers to the Roumanian Minister. 
"It has often been given. France suggested a treaty, and 
we have refused. The Emperor did not wish for an 
engagement with a Republic which he does not love, and 
besides, the men in office change too frequently. It would 
be ungracious not to respond in some measure to the 
advances and amiabilities which are showered on us." * 
The entente was indeed still at the mercy of an incident. 
The In May the house of Rothschild withdrew 

Russian at the eleventh hour from its undertaking 
Jews to raise a loan, nominally in consequence 
of the persecution which was driving thousands of 
Jews across the frontier, and Russia believed that the 
step would not have been taken without the prompting of 
the Government. When a much-advertised French ex- 
hibition was opened at Moscow a few days later, the Tsar 
openly manifested his displeasure. The banquet was 
countermanded, the Tsar forbade his brother Serge, 
Governor of Moscow, to appear, and the reception was so 
chilling that the French Committee returned to Paris on 
the day of the opening. Politically and commercially the 
exhibition was a failure. Baron Marschall, the German 
Foreign Minister, believed that the persecution of the Jews 
was a mere pretext for the withdrawal of the loan, and that 
the real cause was the rejection of the French request for 
support in a Frano>German war. 

The momentary tension between France and Russia 
was ended by the renewal of the Triple Alliance. 2 During 
Crispi's tenure of office, which began in 1887, the friend- 
liness of Italy to her allies reached its height, while her 
relations with France became very strained. In 1888 
France declined to renew the commercial treaty, and in 
1890 Crispi would have resisted the fortification of Bizerta 
if he had been able to induce Great Britain to join in the 
struggle. In 1889 he urged Austria to make a military 

1 Schwertfeger, " Zur Europaischen Politik," V, 281-2. 

2 See Pribram, " Secret Treaties," II, ch. 3. 



i8 9 i] The Triple Alliance Renewed 171 

and naval convention on the lines of her convention with 
Germany in 1888, but, though pressed by Bismarck, 
Kalnoky declined. The Austrian Minister was equally 
unaccommodating in 1890, when Crispi suggested that 
the Triple Alliance should form a single treaty with 
common obligations. No change was required, he argued. 
Austria could not assume responsibility for Tripoli and 
Morocco, and Italy had never suggested supporting 
Austria against Russia. Crispi was suc- 
ceeded early in 1891 by the Francophil 
Rudini, who immediately entered into con- 
versations with France. The Triple Alliance, he declared, 
was purely defensive; but when France asked to see 
the text he refused. He also declined to answer the 
question whether, if France seized Alsace-Lorraine, Italy 
would be bound to support Germany. This indiscreet and 
indeed almost impertinent demand, confided Marschall 
to the Belgian Minister, completely cured Rudini of his 
hopes of a rapprochement with France. 1 He therefore 
presented a draft agreement at Berlin, where Caprivi 
willingly accepted an increase of German obligations. The 
third treaty of the Triple Alliance was signed on May 6, 
1891, for six years, with an extension of another six 
years unless notice was given. At Italy's wish the two 
pacts were merged in one, and a Final Protocol was added; 
each promised all the economic advantages compatible with 
existing engagements, and binding them to try to secure 
the extension of British support of the status quo in 
Turkey to western Mediterranean territories. 

The renewal of the Triple Alliance, backed by the 
unconcealed sympathy of Great Britain, made it plain 
that if Russia wanted to escape from isolation and im- 
potence she could only find a partner in France; and 
though the Tsar's distaste for republicanism and his dis- 
trust of the continuity of French policy were unabated, 
he was now prepared to consider proposals for co-opera- 
tion. On July 23 a French squadron entered Russian 

1 April 10, 1891. Schwertfeger, " Zur Europaischen Politik," V, 279. 



172 History of Modern Europe [1891 

waters for the first time since the Crimean war, and was 
received at Cronstadt with a cordiality which far surpassed 
The *ke warmtn f tne usual official greetings, 
Cronstadt and opened a new chapter in European 
Visit history. The climax was reached when, 
after the French naval band had rendered the Russian 
national anthem, the Tsar ordered the naval band 
to play the Marseillaise, hitherto forbidden in public 
places, and listened to it standing and uncovered. 1 The 
sailors who visited Petrograd and Moscow were astonished 
at the enthusiasm which they evoked. "When the fleet 
weighed anchor," writes Freycinet, "the rapprochement 
was made. It merely remained to translate it into official 
language. The Tsar had committed himself." The 
Cronstadt festivities created a profound impression 
throughout Europe, and in certain quarters alarm. "Till 
now," reported the Belgian Ambassador in Berlin, "the 
German Government never believed in the possibility of 
a Franco-Russian alliance. It will stimulate the hopes 
of the exaltes in both countries, and accumulate explosive 
material to which certain people are only too anxious to 
apply a match. The rapprochement is based solely on 
the common hatred for Germany, and must therefore have 
an aggressive character." "British opinion," pronounced 
the Belgian Minister in London, "does not apprehend 
immediate danger to peace; but the Franco-Russian 
alliance cannot fail to be aggressive without disappoint- 
ing the hopes which have given it birth. Both countries 
will cease to display reserve. One of them will protest 
with greater energy than ever in regard to Alsace and 
Egypt, the other will demand new concessions from the 
Porte." a 

Europe was correct in its view of the significance of 
the event. On the eve of the arrival of the French 
squadron the French Ambassador reported an intimate 

1 The playing of the Marseillaise was again forbidden after the 
departure of the fleet. 

*Aug. i. Schwertfeger, " Zur Europaischen Politik," V, 285-6. 






The Tsar Advances 173 

conversation with the Foreign Minister. " He spoke of 
the renewal of the Triple Alliance and of the indirect 
accession of England, and we asked our- R USS i a 
selves if the new situation did not render needs 
desirable a further step on the road to an Allies 
entente. As Giers may reopen the question, please 
send me instructions." "I told the President and 
Freycinet of Giers' overture," replied Ribot on July 24. 
"We think, after the renewal of the Triple Alliance, that 
we should fortify the guarantees which our entente assures 
us. We will therefore receive very favourably any pro- 
posals they may make. If Russia is thinking of an 
alliance to pursue certain political aims, we should examine 
it with care ; but I gather the projected accord would 
be simpler. We think it enough to agree that the Govern- 
ments will confer on any question threatening peace, and 
that if peace be menaced by a member of the Triple 
Alliance, France and Russia would at once take measures 
to prevent a surprise in other words, would agree to 
mobilize as soon as a member of the other group mobi-' 
lized, the conditions of mobilization to be fixed by the 
Staffs. Such an accord is all that we wish at present, 
and circumstances were never more favourable to its 
conclusion." 

On August 5 Giers informed Laboulaye that the Tsar 
accepted the principle of exchange of views, which he 
considered the natural sequel of what passed during the 
visit of the French squadron. The Russian Government, 
reported Laboulaye, seemed to wish not to confine the 
accord to the preservation of peace in Europe, or to a 
menace to peace by a member of the Triple Alliance. In 
other words, Russia desired the help of France against 
Great Britain as well as Germany and Austria. On 
August 10 the Ambassador was received by the Tsar, 
who observed that an entente was decided, but that its 
terms could not be settled in a hurry. "Mohrenheim must 
come for consultation, and then I think we shall see our 
way clearer." While the Ambassador was on his way to 



174 History of Modern Europe [1891 

Petrograd Ribot explained the situation to President 
Carnot. "Giers clearly wishes to avoid a firm engage- 
ment as to a military convention. Freycinet, on the other 
hand, is anxious for the Staffs to agree on the method 
of co-operation, fearing that Russia would direct all her 
forces against Austria, and leave France to face Germany 
and Italy. Moreover, the Tsar does not wish Germany 
to feel menaced by an alliance with a revanche Power." 
Four days later Mohrenheim handed to Ribot an official 
letter from Giers, by which the Dual Alliance was estab- 
The lished in principle. The situation created 
Political by the renewal of the Triple Alliance and 
Agreement the mQre or legs probable adhesion of 

England to its political aims, has led to the discussion of 
guarantees of peace. 

1. To define and consecrate the Entente Cordiale 
which unites them, the two Governments declare that 
they will confer on every question of a nature to threaten 
peace. 

2. If peace is in danger, and especially if one of 
the two is menaced by aggression, they agree to concert 
measures. 

Ribot accepted the formula, and declarations were 
exchanged on August 27 ; but his desire to appoint experts 
to work out practical measures found no response in 
Petrograd. "The Tsar thinks this enough for the 
present," wrote Giers to Mohrenheim, "and reserves con- 
sideration of the military question till his return to Russia, 
when he will discuss it with the Foreign Minister and 
the Minister of War." "We could not have secured 
more," comments Freycinet. "These stipulations, how- 
ever, were not sufficiently practical. They prescribed joint 
action but did not determine its conditions. A military 
convention was needed." The first step, however, was 
of incalculable importance, and the Premier made dis- 
creet allusion to it on September 9 in a speech before 



The Loan of 1891 175 

the foreign guests at the autumn manoeuvres. "The 
Government of France, despite superficial changes, is 
capable of sustained designs, and it brings to the accom- 
plishment of national tasks a consistency not inferior to 
that of any monarchy. No one doubts to-day that we 
are strong. We shall prove that we are wise. We shall 
know how to maintain, in a new situation, the tranquillity, 
the dignity and the measure which in evil days prepared 
the way for our recovery." 

The Cronstadt demonstration and the agreement to 
confer were followed by a fresh appeal to the French 
investor. The house of Rothschild, at the instance of 
the London branch, declined to assist the Russian Govern- 
ment while it persecuted its Jewish subjects ; and Hoskier, 
the obliging Dane who had proved useful in 1888, was 
now invited to Petrograd. Money was required no longer 
for conversion, but for railways and public works; but 
the moment was unfavourable, owing to the Russian 
famine, the Argentine crisis, the Baring failure and other 
untoward circumstances. Hoskier and his friends accord- 
ingly invited the assistance of Hambro in London, Hope 
in Amsterdam, and above all the Credit Fonder. The 
latter, being under government supervision, had to ask 
for permission to participate, which was granted by 
Rouvier, the Minister of Finance. A 3 per cent, loan 
was issued at 79%, and a million bonds of 500 francs 
were offered for sale. The response was Loans 
overwhelming, 7,500,000 bonds being applied and 
for in France and 300,000 elsewhere. That Speculations 
the loan was over-subscribed eight times seemed flatter- 
ing to Russia; but large numbers had bought in 
order to sell. Indeed, so many bonds were immediately 
offered for sale that the price fell and dragged down 
other Russian loans in its fall. The situation was saved 
by the Russian Government itself buying till the price 
rose to 77. In the long series of French loans to Russia, 
that of 1891 alone caused a momentary anxiety. By the 
time that the Dual Alliance was completed in the last 



176 History of Modern Europe [1891 

days of 1893 the French investor had staked four milliards 
on the political and economic solvency of his new 
friend. 

Freycinet and Ribot were determined not to rest till 
they had secured a military convention. They consulted 
Russia t ^ le R uss i an Ambassador, who advised them 
moves to approach the Tsar during his holiday 
Slowly j n Denmark. Hansen accordingly journeyed 
to Fredensborg in September and handed an aide- 
memoire to a member of the Tsar's entourage. He 
brought back the message that the Tsar would seriously 
consider the matter on his return home. The next 
opportunity of pushing forward the project was on 
the occasion of Giers' visit to Paris in November. 
The Russian statesman observed that a profound change 
had occurred in the European situation. There was no 
longer a question of German hegemony, and Caprivi was 
right in saying that the equilibrium was restored. When, 
however, his hosts urged the necessity of a military agree- 
ment in time of peace, Giers replied that he could trans- 
mit, but not discuss, a proposal that was for the Tsar 
alone to determine. It was only with difficulty, he added, 
that his master had been brought to approve the formula 
of common counsel. In discussing the visit after the 
departure of the Russian Foreign Minister, Mohrenheim 
told Freycinet that Giers had been won, but that the Tsar, 
who liked time to mature his decisions, must not be 
hustled. 

Though a military convention was still far off, the 
Governments commenced diplomatic co-operation as if 
they were already political and military allies. It was 
agreed to inform the Sultan that the Franco-Russian 
entente was not pointed against Turkey, but to add that 
she must only count on their good will if she aided them 
to frustrate the manoeuvres of the Triple Alliance. It 
was further agreed to maintain the Capitulations in 
Egypt and to preserve the status quo in the Mediterranean. 
In a dispatch to the French Ambassador in Turkey, Ribot 



i8 9 i] Co-operation in Turkey 177 

reported and expressed his satisfaction with the conversa- 
tions, especially in regard to the East. "I said that we 
could co-operate there at once if we could convince the 
Sultan that our entente did not menace him. Giers replied 
that the Tsar would undertake no action against him and 
that he did not covet Constantinople. I suggested the 
issue of similar instructions to our respective Ambassadors 
to impart this information to the Sultan. We must also 
co-operate in regard to the Holy Places. In Egypt Russia 
will only give us moral support; but the Sultan will 
understand that Russia and France are his only friends 
in defending Egypt against England." 

A few days later Giers forwarded his instructions to 
the Russian Ambassador at Constantinople. "The rap- 
prochement has, as its immediate result, 
produced everywhere an appeasement and 
a feeling of security which Europe has 
lacked for many years. Our Near East policy is 
the status quo, and the prevention of others from exert- 
ing influence over the Sultan contrary to our views such 
as the recent attempt of the Triple Alliance, aided by 
England, to intimidate him by the dispatch of fleets in 
Turkish waters. Encourage him to believe that the equili- 
brium is now restored, and that France and Russia can 
guarantee him against aggression by the rival group. The 
insinuations as to Russia's supposed aggressive intentions 
are false. Tell the Sultan not only that we do not menace 
him, but that, so long as he maintains loyal neutrality, 
we would be ready to defend him. France is equally free 
from thoughts of aggression. Her chief interest in the 
East is Egypt, the occupation of which she desires to 
shorten. Russia hopes that the Sultan will not recognize 
Ferdinand. France has had no official dealings with the 
illegal Government which has installed itself at Sofia. The 
only delicate point in our relations in the East is the Holy 
Places. Co-operation is impossible, since Russia must 
defend the Orthodox against attacks of other Confessions, 
and France is Protector of the Catholics. The agents of 



178 History of Modern Europe [1891 

both must therefore act as moderators." A copy of Giers' 
dispatch was forwarded to Ribot, who enclosed it to Paul 
Cambon at Constantinople. "Tell the Sultan," he added, 
"that France is friendly; but if he is feeble or complaisant 
to the Triple Alliance, France and Russia will consult their 
own interests. France will keep a portion of her Mediter- 
ranean fleet in the Levant." 

On December n the French Ambassador, the Marquis 
de Montebello, who had replaced Laboulaye, had his first 
audience with the Tsar, who, though friendly, made no 
reference to the alliance. Giers explained that his master 
appreciated the value of a military convention, but thought 
there was no hurry and wished to discuss it with a high 
French officer such as Miribel or Boisdeffre. If this was 
considered likely to attract attention, a Russian officer 
could be sent to Paris. Giers added that only the Tsar 
and himself were aware of what had taken place. Ribot, 
delighted that the cautious monarch had at last expressed 
a desire for discussion, forwarded a scheme drawn up by 

-_.... Generals Miribel and Saussier and revised 

Military 

Convention by Freycinet. Defensive war alone was 
Discussed can templated. Each should aid the other 
with its whole strength. Simultaneous mobilization 
should follow mobilization by the Triple Alliance. A 
review of the forces of the five Continental Powers showed 
that, though the Dual Alliance possessed more soldiers, 
the Triple Alliance could concentrate its forces more 
rapidly. Germany was the principal enemy, and Austria 
and Italy would collapse if Germany were beaten. France 
should therefore direct five-sixths of her forces against 
Germany and one-sixth against Italy. Russia could 
master Austria with half her army, and should direct the 
other half against Germany. The Tsar handed the docu- 
ment to General Wannovski for leisurely study, and in 
due course departed for a prolonged sojourn in Denmark. 
The delay alarmed and indeed exasperated the statesmen 
at Paris, who feared that a change of Ministry might at 
any moment imperil negotiations which had been kept a 



is 9 2] The Military Convention 179 

profound secret. "The Tsar does not love new faces," 
remarked Mohrenheim to Freycinet. " If you fall he will 
take a long time to decide." 

The impatience and irritation of the French Ministers 
increased from month to month. "Europe is tranquil," 
wrote Ribot in May, 1892, "but for how 
long ? Giers is timid and ill, and is afraid 
of too precise engagements. You must 
agree with him and the Minister of War on a draft 
and then send it to me for the Ministry to discuss. 
Boisdeffre is ready when needed to discuss technical ques- 
tions with the Russian staff." "The necessity of a military 
convention," he added in July, "was recognized in August, 
1891 ; but to this day nothing has been done, partly owing 
to the illness of Giers and the absence of the Tsar, though 
the Russian staff is as anxious for it as ourselves. If war 
broke out I should be blamed for not pressing it." The 
Ambassador soothingly replied that in the event of war 
Russia would co-operate, and that a Russian General was 
drawing up a scheme for the Tsar based on the Miribel 
memorandum. 

The Tsar returned from Denmark at the end of July, 
and General Boisdeffre was invited to the manoeuvres in 
August. He took with him a plan, resting on the 
principles of the February note, and discussions began 
with the Minister of War and the Chief of the Staff. 
Even now the greatest tact was needed. "The Chief of the 
Staff advises me not to seem in a hurry," reported the 
General on August 10, "as some people are trying to 
convince the Tsar that his hand is being forced. The 
War Minister does not wish for a military convention. 
The Russians do not share our wish for co-operation if 
Germany alone attacks. They also fear a change of 
Ministers in France, which would jeopardize the Treaty, 
and they are afraid of leakage. The Tsar is difficult to 
see, and very shy, and he does not understand French 
well. Giers is desperately ill in bed, and he fears France 
might be tempted to make war. Germany too might make 



i8o History of Modern Europe [1892 

war when she learned that a convention was signed." 
Despite all these difficulties Boisdeffre and Obroutcheff, 
Chief of the Staff, signed a military convention on August 
17. "I have read, re-read, and studied it, and fully 
approve it in its ensemble/' observed the Tsar next day 
to the General. Only the President, Ribot and Freycinet 
were to know. If its existence were communicated to the 
public, its provisions would leak out. "If it becomes 
public, for me the Treaty is annulled." "All the Ministers 
must know," replied the General. "And what harm is 
there for the world to know of the existence of a treaty, if 
it does not know its clauses, as in the case of the Triple 
Alliance ? " The Tsar reiterated that the military conven- 
tion must be kept secret. He believed that peace was not 
menaced at that moment, but he needed at least two years 
to complete his railways and munitions and to recover from 
famine and cholera. 

The document was taken to Giers in Finland by 

Obroutcheff, who read it aloud to the sick man. The 

F Foreign Minister expressed approval, but 

suggests remarked that he would read it again when 

Alterations his nea<i was b etter . The prize seemed 

within grasp; but the French negotiators incautiously 
proceeded to make three alterations. In the sentence, 
"If a member of the Triplice mobilizes, France and 
Russia shall also mobilize," it was proposed to insert, 
" If any member of the Triplice makes a general mobiliza- 
tion." A precautionary mobilization of two or three army 
corps, for instance by Austria, would thus not constitute 
a casus belli. Secondly, France's obligation to provide 
1,300,000 men was changed to "from 1,200,000 to 
1,360,000." Thirdly, in place of the clause binding both 
parties to secrecy, the French, explaining that the Presi- 
dent had no power to make treaties without the knowledge 
of Ministers, suggested as an alternative that the Treaty 
should only be divulged with the consent of both parties. 
These modifications, Boisdeffre believed, would prove 
acceptable and would not delay the signature of the con- 



1892] Russian Procrastination 181 

vention; but, innocent though they appeared to their 
authors, they provided a reason or an excuse for further 
procrastination. Giers had left for Aix in search of health, 
where Ribot and Freycinet, impatient to conclude the 
negotiations, found him in bed, too ill for discussion. The 
draft was left with him, and he promised his visitors to 
secure ratification on his return. His illness continued, 
and at the end of October Ribot asked the invalid, now 
at Monte Carlo, whether the project approved by the Tsar 
in August could not be signed with the trifling changes 
suggested at Paris. Giers replied that he was too ill to 
discuss the matter with the Tsar; and to the intense dis- 
appointment of the French statesmen the question slum- 
bered throughout the winter and spring. The Panama 
scandal had its share in the Tsar's refusal to hurry. The 
Freycinet Cabinet fell in February, 1892; but Freycinet 
remained at the War Office and Ribot at the Quai d'Orsay 
for another year. 

In May, 1893, the French Ambassador suggested to his 
Government that France should try to insert her three 
amendments not in the draft signed by the 
Chiefs of Staff but in an exchange of letters. A D ^f* r s 
This would be the quickest way of reach- 
ing the goal; and though it was impossible to renew 
the discussion at the moment, events might bring 
it up. A month later the Ambassador pressed for per- 
mission to propose his plan on the first favourable oppor- 
tunity ; but in July he had to confess that the new German 
army law necessitated modification of the figures of 1892. 
General Miribel accordingly drew up a note in August 
calling attention to the addition of 70,000 men to the 
German army. "The incidents of Aigues-Mortes and the 
presence of the Prince of Naples at the German manoeuvres 
at Metz," reported the Ambassador on September 7, "pro- 
vided an occasion for speaking to Giers, to whom I gave 
Miribel's note for the Tsar. We made a mistake last year 
in seeking to reopen negotiations after the draft was ap- 
proved by the Tsar. He has acted in the spirit of accord, 



182 History of Modern Europe [i8 93 

and only the form remains unsettled. We shall settle it 
this winter." After so many disappointments the forecast 
seemed over-sanguine; but an event was soon to occur 
which removed the last scruples even of the dilatory 
autocrat. 

In October, 1893, a Russian squadron visited Toulon, 

returning the visit to Cronstadt after an interval of two 

The years. In Paris men and women ran 

Toulon beside their carriages to kiss or touch the 
Visit hands of the officers, who were continually 
compelled to appear on their balconies, and some- 
times even cut their gloves in pieces for distribution to 
the crowd below. Paris, Lyons and Marseilles publicly 
ratified the work which French statesmen and soldiers had 
been carrying on behind the scenes for several years. 
France knew nothing of the military convention or the 
difficulties which had prevented its signature; but she felt 
that she had found a powerful friend, who was already 
an ally in fact if not in name. Even now, however, the 
stolid Tsar declined to hurry; and it was not till December 
17 that he asked to see the French Ambassador, to whom 
he expressed his surprise and delight at the welcome to his 
fleet. He was, nevertheless, disturbed by the frequent 
changes in the Ministries for War and Foreign Affairs, 
and made no reference to the Treaty. Yet the end was 
very near. A letter from Giers, dated December 27, 
brought joyful tidings. "After examining by supreme 
order the project of August, 1892, and submitting my 
view to the Emperor, I beg to inform you that the text 
of this arrangement may henceforth be considered as 
definitely adopted in its actual form." On the same day 
the French Ambassador wrote that it was also considered 
binding by France. After interminable delays Russia had 
at last taken the final step on her own initiative. The 
changes proposed in Paris were no longer pressed, and 
the French were by this time thankful to secure the 
coveted convention in its unamended form. The docu- 
ment signed by Giers and the Marquis of Montebello on 



i8 9 3] The Convention Signed 183 

December 31 was revealed by the French Government 
in 1918, when the Tsardom was overthrown and the 
alliance at an end. 

" France and Russia being animated by an equal desire 
to maintain peace, and having no other The 
aim than to be ready for a defensive war, Military 
provoked by an attack of the forces of Convention 
the Triple Alliance against one or other of them, have 
agreed on the following : 

1. If France is attacked by Germany, or by Italy sup- 
ported by Germany, Russia will employ all her forces 
to attack Germany. If Russia is attacked by Germany, 
or by Austria supported by Germany, France will em- 
ploy all her forces to combat Germany. 

2. In the event of the forces of the Triple Alliance, 
or of any member of it, mobilizing, France and Russia, 
at the first news and without the need of preliminary 
accord, will immediately and simultaneously mobilize 
the whole of their forces and bring them as near as 
possible to their Frontiers. 

3. The forces to be employed against Germany will 
be, on the part of France, 1,300,000 men, on the part 
of Russia 7 to 800,000. These forces will engage with 
all their might, so that Germany has to fight both on 
the East and West. 

4. The staffs of the armies will co-operate at all times 
in preparing and facilitating the execution of the mea- 
sures above contemplated. They will communicate in 
time of peace all the information relative to the armies 
of the Triple Alliance which comes to their knowledge. 
The ways and means of corresponding in time of war 
will be studied. 

5. France and Russia will not conclude peace 
separately. 

6. The present convention will have the same dura- 
tion as the Triple Alliance. 

7. All the clauses will be kept rigorously secret." 



184 History of Modern Europe [1895 

Though nobody doubted that an alliance had been 

concluded, the momentous secret was not officially 

The revealed to the world till January, 1895. 

Alliance "France has associated her interests with 

Proclaimed those of ^Q^^ nai { on declared Ribot, 

at this time Prime Minister, "in the interest of peace 
and the European equilibrium. This alliance, rati- 
fied/ by the universal sentiment of the country, con- 
stitutes to-day our dignity and our strength." While 
some of his countrymen were content with this brief but 
pregnant announcement, others begged for further en- 
lightenment. "If you have made an alliance, publish it," 
cried Goblet on June 10, in a debate on sending ships to 
the opening of the Kiel Canal; "we are strong enough 
to know and to tell the truth." His curiosity was not to 
be satisfied. "We have allied the interests of France 
to the interests of another nation," reiterated Ribot. "We 
have done it for the safeguarding of peace and the main- 
tenance of the equilibrium of Europe. And if there is 
nothing changed in the aspirations of our policy, there 
is nevertheless something changed in Europe since 1891. 
You, M. Goblet, knew the Foreign Office at a difficult 
time, and you did not possess the security which we have 
found in this alliance." A week later Mohrenheim pre- 
sented to President Faure the insignia of the Order of 
St. Andrew, and on the same day the French and Russian 
squadrons entered German waters together and passed 
through the Kiel Canal. It might have been difficult for 
a France without allies to share in the celebrations, but 
with a powerful ally at her side there was no loss of 
dignity. 

Though polite and even friendly to France in his public 
utterances, the Kaiser was none the less profoundly dis- 
turbed by the Franco-Russian alliance. "I perfectly 
know that you do not dream of attacking us," he wrote 
to the Tsar on September 26, 1895, "but you cannot be 
astonished that the Powers get alarmed seeing how the 
presence of your officers and high officials in an official 



The Kaiser's Regrets 185 

way in France fans the inflammable Frenchman into a 
white-heated passion, and strengthens the cause of 
chauvinism and revanche. If you are allied 
for better or worse with the French, well 
then, keep those damned rascals in order 
and make them sit still." 1 A second admonition 
followed a month later. "It is not the friendship 
of France and Russia that makes me uneasy, but 
the danger to our principle of monarchism through the 
lifting up of the Republic on a pedestal. The constant 
appearance of Princes, Grand Dukes, etc., at reviews, 
burials, dinners, races, with the head of the Republic, 
makes Republicans believe they are quite honest, excellent 
people, with whom Princes can consort and feel at home. 
The Republicans are revolutionists de natura. The French 
Republic is from the source of the Great Revolution, and 
propagates its ideas. The blood of Their Majesties is still 
on that country. Has it since then ever been happy or 
quiet again ? Has it not staggered from bloodshed to 
bloodshed and from war to war till it soused all Europe 
and Russia in streams of blood? Nicky, take my word, 
the curse of God has stricken that people for ever. We 
Christian Kings and Emperors have one holy duty 
imposed on us by heaven to uphold the principle (by 
the Grace of God) von Gottes Gnaden. We can have good 
relations with the French Republic but never be intimate 
with her. I always fear that in frequent and long visits 
in France people without feeling it imbibe republican 
ideas." 

"Willy's" warnings were wasted on "Nicky," who 
accepted the French alliance made by his father without 
enthusiasm, but with full conviction. 2 In 1896 the Tsar 
and Tsarina visited France the first visit of a crowned 
head to the Third Republic and received an ovation. 

1 " The Kaiser's Letters to the Tsar," 21-5. 

2 " We have rendered Europe a great service," remarked Lobanoff, 
the new Foreign Minister, to Hohenlohe in Feb., 1895, " in taking on 
France. God knows what these fellows would have been up to if we did 
not hold them in." Hohenlohe, " Denkwiirdigkeiten," II, 522. 



i86 History of Modern Europe [1897 

Finally, when President Faure returned the visit in 1897, 
it was the turn of the Tsar authoritatively to proclaim 
that France and Russia were nations amies et alliees. In 
the following years two additions were made 
to the edifice - The military convention 
was limited to the duration of the Triple 
Alliance. What, then, it was asked, would happen 
if that Alliance were dissolved, for instance, by the 
death of Francis Joseph? Delcasse resolved to fill the 
gap, and on his visit to Russia in 1899 he secured the 
Tsar's assent to an agreement recorded in an exchange 
of letters between Delcasse" and MuraviefT, dated July 28, 
1899. "The Governments, always bent on the main- 
tenance of peace and equilibrium between European forces, 
confirm the diplomatic arrangement formulated in August, 
1891. They decide that the project of the military con- 
vention of 1893 shall remain operative as long as the diplo- 
matic accord." After a further interval a naval convention 
was drawn up in 1912. l 

The conclusion of the Dual Alliance was an event of 
capital importance not only for France and Russia, but 
for Europe. That a first-class Power should desire an 
alliance with France was an emphatic recognition that she 
had recovered from her catastrophic defeat. The glaring 
differences of political institutions and ideas were forgotten 
in the satisfaction of procuring a powerful friend, and 
the secrecy of its terms enabled eager patriots to hope 
that it might perhaps contain some assurance with regard 
to the recovery of the Rhine provinces. On the side of 
Russia, who had less cause to fret about prestige, the 
alliance was hailed as good business. Her plans of Far 
Eastern expansion, among them the Siberian Railway, 
required unlimited capital, which thrifty France was ready 
and indeed eager to supply at a moderate rate. From 
the standpoint of European politics the conclusion of the 
alliance was a sign that the reign of Bismarck was over. 

* These documents are printed in the Yellow Book " L' Alliance 
Franco-Russe." 



1893] The Balance of Power 187 

"The nightmare of coalitions," which haunted his later 
years, was beginning to take concrete shape. Hence- 
forward Europe was divided into two armed 
camps, and entered on the path which led 
straight to the catastrophe of 1914. The 
Triple Alliance remained stronger than its rival, and 
so long as it could count on the sympathy of Great 
Britain its position was unassailable. But if Great 
Britain should ever be compelled to transfer her support 
from the older to the younger group, the diplomatic 
situation would be transformed, and the balance of power 
would be tilted against the Central Empires. 



CHAPTER VI 

WILLIAM II 

THE death of the Emperor William I in March, 1888, 
at the ripe old age of 91, and of his suffering son, the 
Emperor Frederick, three months later, in- 
WilSam v l ve< i n immediate change in the foreign 
or domestic policy of Germany; for 
William II, then in his thirtieth year, was an almost 
idolatrous worshipper of his grandfather and of the Iron 
Chancellor. 1 On the other hand, it was an open secret 
that he had disapproved the liberal opinions of his 
parents, and his father regarded his eldest son with critical 
eyes. When in 1886 Bismarck, at the Prince's wish, 
obtained the Kaiser's permission to admit him to the 
secrets of the Foreign Office, the Crown Prince sharply 
expressed his disapproval. "In view of the unripeness 
and inexperience of my eldest son, combined with his 
tendency to bragging and conceit, I consider it positively 

1 The Kaiser's personality may be studied in his " Letters to the 
Tsar " (best edition by W. Goetz) ; " The Willy-Nicky Correspondence " 
(edited by H. Bernstein), which contains 57 telegrams of the years 1904-7 ; 
"The German Emperor's Speeches," translated by Elkind ; and his 
" Memoirs." For his reign see the encyclopaedic work " Deutschland 
unter Kaiser William II," 3 vols., 1914, from which Billow's " Imperial 
Germany " is reprinted. For general summaries see Dawson, " The 
German Empire," II; Rachfahl, "Kaiser und Reich"; and Bornhak, 
" Deutsche Geschichte unter Kaiser Wilhelm II." Foreign policy is 
described in the four volumes of Hammann (Head of the Press Depart- 
ment of the Foreign Office), " Der neue Kurs," " Zur Vorgeschichte des 
Weltkrieges," " Um den Kaiser," and " Der missverstandene Bis- 
marck "; Reventlow, " Deutschland's Auswartige Politik, 1888-1914," and 
" Politische Vorgeschichte des Grossen Krieges " ; and Veit Valentin, 
" Deutschland's Aussenpolitik, 1890-1918." Schiemann's " Deutschland 
und die grosse Politik " contains his weekly survey of foreign affairs 
in the Kreuzzeitung bound up into annual volumes from 1901 to 1914. Of 
the many character studies that of Hammann, " Um der Kaiser," ch. 8, 
is perhaps the best. Rathenau, "Der Kaiser"; Lamprecht, "Der 
Kaiser "; and Czernin, " In the World War," ch. 3, portray the ruler in 
his later years. 

188 



i888] Accession of William II 189 

dangerous to allow him to come in contact with foreign 
affairs." * As soon as the Prince found himself on the steps 
of the throne he endeavoured to reassure his future subjects, 
some of whom were alarmed by his enthusiasm for soldiers 
and military affairs. 2 "I am well aware of the fact," he 
declared on the eve of the old Emperor's death, "that 
by the public at large, and particularly in foreign countries, 
I am represented as entertaining a wanton and ambitious 
craving for war. May God keep me from such criminal 
folly ! I repudiate all such imputations with indignation." 
A few weeks later, when he had become Crown Prince, 
he announced his admiration for Bismarck. "The Empire 
is like an army corps that has lost its Commander-in-Chief 
in the field, while the officer who stands next in rank lies 
severely wounded. The standard-bearer, however, is our 
illustrious Prince, our great Chancellor. Let him lead 
us; we will follow him." 

On June 15, the day of his father's death, William II 
issued proclamations to the army and navy. "These are 
days of sore trial and affliction in which The 
God's decree has placed me at the head of Kaiser's 
the army, and it is with deep emotion that Proclamations 
I first address myself to my army. We belong to 
one another." The second proclamation assured the 
navy that he had felt keen interest in its work and wel- 
fare since his earliest youth. Not till three days later did 
he issue a proclamation "To my people "; but the Speech 
from the Throne re the Reichstag in the following week 
reassured those who were alarmed at his having addressed 
the fighting services before his civilian subjects. "As 
regards foreign politics I am determined to keep peace with 
everyone, so far as it lies in my power. My love for the 
army will never lead me into the temptation to endanger 
the benefits which the country derives from peace. Ger- 
many is in no need of fresh military glory, nor does she 

1 Bismarck, " Gedanken und Erinnerungen," III, 2. 

2 " His photograph," remarked Galliffet wittily, looks like a declara- 
tion of war." 



History of Modern Europe 

require new conquests." The alliance with Austria and 
Italy, he concluded, would be maintained, and his personal 
friendship with the Tsar would be carefully fostered. 
Germans observed with delight that the cordial relations 
of the first William with the Chancellor were continued by 
the second. At the end of the year the Kaiser wrote to 
his "dear Prince " to assure him that the thought of his 
standing faithfully by his side filled him with joy and 
comfort, and hoping to God that they might long be per- 
mitted to co-operate for the welfare and greatness of the 
Fatherland. 

During the brief reign of the Emperor Frederick the 
German Ambassador in Vienna reported a remark of 
Kalnoky to the effect that it might have been better to 
follow the advice of the General Staffs in Berlin and 
Vienna in the previous autumn and to shatter the power of 
Russia before it became dangerous. The Crown Prince 
read the dispatch, and wrote Ja at the side of this passage. 
The Chancellor was horrified at the revealing monosyllable, 
and at once wrote a letter of warning and complaint 
"since the decision of peace and war will 

soon be in y UT hands -" The P wer of 
Russia, he explained, could never be really 

overthrown. Even France had recovered four years 
after her disaster. Russia, after attack and defeat, 
would be a second France. Moreover, an attack on Russia 
would involve a war on two fronts. The Crown Prince 
replied that he had exaggerated the importance of the 
annotation. It only meant that the political and military 
opinions diverged, and that the latter were, on their merits, 
not without justification. The military authorities were 
right in calling attention to the favourable opportunity ; 
but he never dreamed of subordinating the political to the 
military control, and he had always supported the pacific 
policy of the Chancellor. Henceforth he would abstain 
from writing political observations on the dispatches. 1 

1 " Die Grosse Politik," VI, 301-9; and Bismarck, " Gedanken," 
III, ch. 10, 



i888] Germany and Russia 191 

The old Emperor on his death-bed whispered to his 
grandson that he must always remain friends with Russia, 
and the fact that the round of visits on 
which William II entered only a month after 
his accession began with Petrograd seemed 
to show that he had taken the solemn admonition 
to heart. The Chancellor drew up a memorandum for 
his guidance, pointing out that Germany should not 
obstruct Russia in anything that was not vital to Austria. 
For instance, she should not oppose her designs on the 
Black Sea, the Straits, or even Constantinople. If Austria 
desired to prevent them she must find other allies for that 
particular task. Germany could not face a war on two 
fronts for the question who should rule Constantinople. 
On the other hand, the Kaiser should neither offer Russia 
any concession nor ask any favour. "We want nothing 
and we fear nothing from her, but we wish to live in 
friendship." In a word, the visit was to be a family 
affair, and politics should be kept in the background. 
These suggestions were carried out by the Kaiser, who 
was accompanied by his brother and Herbert Bismarck. 
The visit was an unqualified success, and the German 
Ambassador reported that the satisfaction of the Tsar 
increased from hour to hour and that even the Tsarina 
was delighted. Yet in the spring of the following year 
the Tsar toasted the Prince of Montenegro as Russia's 
only true friend. 1 

If the new ruler was thus ready to continue the 
Chancellor's policy in the East, the two men were equally 
in agreement as to the necessity of intimate relations with 
England. At different times Bismarck had made more 
than one approach to Beaconsfield and Salisbury, but he 
had never presented such a definite request for an alliance 
as that which he instructed Hatzfeldt to convey on 
January n, 1889.* "The peace of Europe can best be 
secured by the conclusion of a treaty between Germany 

1 " Die Grosse Politik," VI, 311-41. 

*ibid., iv, 399-419- 



192 History of Modern Europe [1889 

and England, pledging them to mutual support against a 
French attack. A secret treaty would ensure success in 
such a war, but its publication would prevent 
' li ' Neither France nor Russia will break 
the peace if they know for certain that 
they would have England against them." Salisbury 
asked for time for consideration and consultation, and 
on March 22 he gave his answer to Herbert Bis- 
marck, who had come to London to settle the Samoa 
problem. An alliance would be a blessing for both 
countries and for the peace of Europe. He had discussed 
the proposal with Lord Hartington and his colleagues, all 
of whom shared his opinion, but who regarded it as in- 
opportune, since it would break up the Parliamentary 
majority and overthrow the Ministry. "Unfortunately we 
are no longer living in the times of Pitt when the aristo- 
cracy ruled and we could pursue an active policy. 
Democracy is now the ruler and with it party government, 
which has made every Ministry absolutely dependent on 
the aura popularis." He added that he was very grateful 
for the suggestion, and he hoped that he would live to see 
the time when he could accept it. "Meanwhile we leave 
it on the table, without saying yes or no. That is un- 
fortunately all I can do at present." 

A day or two after this conversation Herbert Bismarck 
had a scarcely less interesting interview with Chamberlain. 
" His friendliness to Germany has never been so marked as 
it was yesterday," the Chancellor was informed. He went 
so far as to say Sine Germania nulla solus, and argued that 
both countries must do their utmost to remove all points 
where difficulties might arise. From Samoa he passed to 
South-west Africa, which was not worth a rap to Germany, 
and which she would do well to give up. Of course there 
would have to be compensation. "What would you say 
if we gave you Heligoland, which is useless to England 
and perhaps worth having for you, if only for the prestige ? 
The exchange would be popular and be sure of a majority 
in Parliament. I shall myself defend it in the House 



i88 9 ] Visit to England 193 

through thick and thin." At Chamberlain's suggestion 
Hatzfeldt mentioned the conversation to Salisbury, who 
did not commit himself, and remarked that they could 
return to the subject another time if the Ambassador 
wished. The Kaiser was delighted, and looked forward 
to signing the agreement during his forthcoming visit to 
England; but the Chancellor decided that the next step 
should be left to the British Government, and the deter- 
mination of the fortunes of the island was postponed for 
a year. 

The Kaiser's first visit to England took place in 
August, when he arrived at Osborne with a squadron 
and was appointed honorary Admiral of Osborne 
the Fleet. Delighted with the distinction, and 
he appointed his grandmother honorary Aldershot 
Colonel of the First Dragoon Guards, a deputation 
of whom was summoned from Berlin. "The hearts 
of the officers and men," he declared in presenting 
them to the Queen, "beat more proudly at the thought that 
they belong to a regiment which has the honour of being 
called the Queen of England's Own." He was delighted 
with the cordiality of his welcome, flattered by the interest 
which his personality excited, and loud in his admiration 
for the fighting services. "You have seen the greatest 
fleet that England ever assembled," declared the Prince of 
Wales in proposing a toast. "Every land must be ready 
for all eventualities, and I am convinced that the great 
German army will serve to maintain the peace of the 
world." "I appreciate very highly the great honour of 
my appointment as an Admiral," replied the Kaiser. "I 
greatly rejoice to have been present at a review of the navy, 
which I regard as the most magnificent in the world. 
Germany has an army commensurate with her needs, and 
if Great Britain has a navy corresponding to her require- 
ments Europe cannot fail to regard it as a most important 
factor for the maintenance of peace." After attending a 
sham fight at Aldershot the Kaiser appointed the Duke of 
Cambridge honorary Colonel of the 28th Infantry Regi- 



194 History of Modern Europe [1890 

ment, like Wellington before him. "The British troops 
have filled me with the greatest admiration," he declared. 
"At Malplaquet and Waterloo Prussian and British blood 
was shed in a common cause." The visit was thoroughly 
successful, and gave a feeling of confidence to both 
countries. "Neither England nor Germany thinks of 
war," wrote the Morning Post, "but it becomes daily 
clearer to both that if a war is forced on them they must 
stand or fall together. No paper alliance is required." 
"He created a very favourable impression," wrrtes Lord 
George Hamilton, at that time First Lord of the Admiralty. 
"He had great receptibility and the power of absorbing 
himself in whatever he was inspecting. He informed 
me that he knew Brassey's Annual almost by heart. 
He spent a whole day at Portsmouth examining the 
various establishments and talking to the officers in 
charge of them." 1 

The fall of Bismarck in March, 1890, two years after 

the death of his old master, was due to personal rather 

Kaiser t * lan to political causes. "He will be his 

and own Chancellor some day," remarked the 

Chancellor old statesman j n l88 6. For the first year 

the condominium worked with little friction ; but in 
1889 there were signs of a break, and in October 
the Tsar startled the Chancellor, during a visit to Berlin, 
by asking if he was sure he would remain in office. 
The young Emperor believed himself to possess not only 
the right but the capacity to rule, while Bismarck's 
masterful temperament and incomparable achievements 
made him in his own eyes, and in the eyes of the world, 
the uncrowned King of Germany. "I discovered," writes 
William II, "that my Ministers regarded themselves as 
Bismarck's officials." He had innumerable enemies, 
among them Waldersee, Moltke's successor as Chief of 
the General Staff, who intrigued against him in high 
places. The conflict is described in a spirit of passionate 
resentment by the fallen dictator in the third volume of 
1 " Parliamentary Reminiscences," II, 136-7. 



1890] Fall of Bismarck 195 

his Reflections, and more calmly in a long letter from the 
Kaiser to Francis Joseph 1 and in the opening chapter of 
his Memoirs. Differences of opinion in regard to the 
renewal of the anti-socialist legislation of 1878, the Inter- 
national Congress on the conditions of labour, and the 
danger of Russian military measures on the frontier melt 
into insignificance compared with the dominating issue 
of the struggle for power. "The real question," observed 
the Grand Duke of Baden, who took the part of his 
nephew, to Hohenlohe, "was whether the Bismarck or 
the Hohenzollern dynasty should reign." 8 To this ques- 
tion there could be only one answer. The two men parted 
with bitterness in their hearts, and Bismarck cried aloud 
that he could not lie down like a hibernating Dro in 

h an official reconciliation was the 
1894, an d visits to Friedrichsruh Pilot 
and Berlin were exchanged, each continued to speak' 
of the other with contemptuous anger. 3 The Kaiser 
assumed the burden of personal rule with a light 
heart, despite his youth and inexperience; for he was 
fortified by a confidence in himself which nothing could 
shake. "There is only one master in this country, and 
I am he. I shall suffer no other beside me." "I see in 
the people and the land which have descended to me a 
talent entrusted to me by God, which it is my duty to 
increase. Those who will help me I heartily welcome; 
those who oppose me I shall dash to pieces." In language 
recalling the mystical effusions of Frederick William IV, 
he declared that he was responsible for his actions to 
God and his conscience alone. Yet, though he was the 
ablest of the Hohenzollerns since Frederick the Great, 
he was unequal to the autocratic role to which he aspired; 

1 Published from the Austrian archives in Oesterreichische Rundschau, 
Feb., 1919, and reprinted in " Deutscher Geschichtskalender, " Lieferung 

54- 

2 " Denkwiirdigkeiten," II, 466. 

8 When Bismarck revealed the Secret Treaty of 1887 the Kaiser wrote 
to the Tsar that people would now see that he had acted rightly in dis- 
missing " this unruly man with his mean character." 



196 History of Modern Europe [1890 

and he was fortunate in his choice of the second Chancellor 
of the German Empire. 

Caprivi had attracted the attention of Moltke in early 
life and had distinguished himself in the war of 1870, 
The and it was a high compliment to the soldier 
New when he was appointed in 1883 Chief of 
Chancellor thf} Admiralty in succession to Stosch. 1 After 
five years' work with the fleet he returned to his 
first love and received the command of an army corps; 
but he was not forgotten, and when William II 
resolved to be his own master his thoughts turned to 
the man whose talent for organization was admired by 
his grandfather, who had not an enemy in the world, and 
who had held aloof from political controversy. His ability 
was recognized by Bismarck himself, who wished to see 
him Chief of the General Staff and believed him fitted 
for political tasks as well. "I have often wondered who 
could be my successor," remarked the Chancellor in 1878 
after a long conversation with Caprivi on a railway 
journey; "to-day I have seen him." When the storm 
began to threaten in 1890 Bismarck proposed to resign 
the Prussian Premiership, and suggested Caprivi as his 
successor. The General's summons to the highest post 
in the Empire was unexpected; but his simple religious 
faith convinced him that he would receive the guidance 
of which he stood in need, and the Kaiser comforted him 
with the words, "I will assume responsibility for affairs." 
In his first speech in the Prussian Diet, with disarming 
candour, he confessed his political inexperience; and he 
defined his task to be that of leading the German people, 
after the age of great men and great deeds, back into 
the prose of common life. 2 For this period of transition 
he was well suited, and in the avoidance of blunders the 
four years of his Chancellorship compare favourably with 

1 See Caprivi's " Reden," 1894, Einleitung ; the Kaiser's " Memoirs," 
ch. 2\ Hammann, " Der neue Kurs " ; Eckardt, " Berlin, Wien, Rom," 
and " Aus der Zeit von Bismarck's Kampf gegen Caprivi " ; Gothein, 
" Caprivi "; and Bismarck, " Gedanken," III, ch. 9. 

* Ins Alltagsdasein zuriickfuhren. 



18903 Holstein 197 

the record of his successors. " He is the greatest German 
after Bismarck," wrote the Kaiser to Francis Joseph, 
"loyal to me and firm as a rock." 

During the twenty-eight years of Bismarck's dictator- 
ship the foreign policy of Prussia and the German Empire 
was directed by a single brain and will; for though the 
ruler was consulted on the larger issues, the Minister 
could always, as in 1866 and 1879, carry his point by the 
threat of resignation. From 1890 onwards German policy 
was never again controlled by a single hand, and in 
the years immediately following it represented an un- 
stable compromise between the views of the Emperor, 
the Chancellor, Marschall von Bieberstein, 1 the Foreign 
Minister, and a mystery man in the Foreign Office. 

Baron von Holstein had commenced his diplomatic 
career under Bismarck at Petrograd, and, after serving 
in London and Washington, was installed Baron 
in the Prussian Foreign Office shortly before von 
the Franco-German war. He was summoned Holstem 
to Versailles during the siege of Paris, and remained 
in the Embassy in Paris, ingratiating himself with 
the Chancellor by helping in the overthrow of Arnim. 
Recalled to Berlin in 1876, he worked loyally with 
Bismarck, for whom he professed unbounded admira- 
tion ; but the Chancellor warned Prince William before 
his accession to be on his guard. 2 After his fall Bismarck 
regarded him as an enemy, if not a traitor, and loudly 
lamented that the virtual control of German policy should 
have fallen into such hands. "Holstein, who for ten 
years was taken seriously by nobody, now does every- 
thing," wrote Lothar Bucher, echoing the opinion of 
his chief to Busch in the autumn following the catas- 
trophe. 8 It was untrue to suggest that he "did every- 
thing." "I was far from being the director of German 
policy," he wrote to Maximilian Harden after his own 

1 For Marschall see Bettelheim, " Biographisches Jahrbuch," XVII. 
8 The Kaiser's " Memoirs," ch. i. 
8 Busch, " Bismarck," III, 343. 



198 History of Modern Europe [1890 

fall many years later, adding that he had no share in 
several of the most sensational incidents of the reign. 

Though merely a V or tr a gender Rat in the 
A Infiuf ncT" Political Department of the Foreign Office, 

he was nevertheless the most powerful in- 
fluence in the formation of German policy for the 
fifteen years following the fall of Bismarck. The 
public knew nothing of him, and he scarcely ever 
met the Kaiser ; but his mysterious activities filled thought- 
ful observers with apprehension. "He was the great 
unknown," writes his colleague Otto Hammann, the 
Director of the Press Department of the Foreign Office. 
"There was something abnormal and unhealthy in his 
nature, though he was intensely patriotic. He possessed 
many subterranean connexions, and worked a great deal 
in secret. He loved to supply diplomatists who enjoyed 
his special confidence with suggestions by private tele- 
grams. He pulled the unseen wires to which the figures 
danced." A similar portrait is drawn by Baron von 
Eckardstein, who was in close official and personal rela- 
tions with him for ten years. 1 "He was called I' eminence 
grise and the Reichs Jesuit. He was one of the most 
mysterious personages who ever worked behind the scenes 
of German policy. He often withheld reports from his 
official superiors. He belonged to the category of people 
who cannot see things under their nose. The more natural 
and obvious the thing appeared the greater was his sus- 
picion. He would break off negotiations directly the 
other party was ready to adopt his wishes. He only 
desired a thing so long as the others did not." The 
influence of this mysterious personage, who was to refuse 
the Foreign Office when Billow became Chancellor, was 
fully recognized in the Chancelleries of Europe. In later 
years King Edward referred to him indignantly as "that 
infernal mischief-maker," and the Kaiser denounces him 
in his Memoirs. 

1 " Erinnerungen," I, 13. The most vivid portrait is drawn by 
Harden, " Kopfe," I, 91-145. 



18903 The Russian Treaty Lapses 199 

The first fruits of what William II described as "the 
new course " were seen within a few days in the momen- 
tous decision not to renew the secret re- ~ 

(jermany 
insurance treaty with Russia. Towards the and 

end of 1889 Alexander III instructed Giers Russia 
to consider whether the secret treaty of 1887 should 
be renewed, and on the advice of his Minister he 
decided to renew it. 1 Bismarck was naturally of the 
same opinion, all the more since the death of his old 
master had introduced elements both of personal and 
political insecurity into the higher councils of the German 
Empire. "I should like to continue the agreement of 
1887," ne observed to Schuvaloff, "and there is no need 
to limit its duration." The Tsar wrote on his Ambas- 
sador's report : " I think Bismarck sees in our entente a 
sort of guarantee that no written agreement between 
France and Russia exists." Shortly after this conversa- 
tion Bismarck fell ; but the Kaiser at once invited Schuva- 
loff to continue the negotiations, since there was no change 
in German policy. The discussions were to be transferred 
to Petrograd; but a few days later instructions were sent 
to the German Ambassador to refuse renewal. There 
was no change in their relations, explained Caprivi ; but 
German policy must be transparent, and did not admit 
of a secret agreement. 

The Tsar was surprised but not annoyed. "In my 
secret heart I am well content that Germany has been 
the first to refuse renewal," he wrote on Giers' report, 
"and I do not particularly regret the ending of the 
Entente." His slow mind was already beginning to move 
in the direction of a French alliance; but his Foreign 
Minister expressed his surprise to the German Ambassador 
that Caprivi 's objections had prevailed over the Kaiser's 
assurances. He proposed an exchange of notes, express- 
ing the cordiality of relations; but the Tsar, supported 
by Schuvaloff, thought it best to accept the situation, 

1 See Goriainoff, " The End of the Alliance of the Three Emperors," 
American Historical Review, Jan., 1918. 



200 History of Modern Europe [1890 

and declared that it would be undignified to inquire why 
Germany had refused to renew the pact. When the Kaiser 
and Caprivi visited Russia for the manoeuvres in August, 
Giers explained that Russia could never accept Ferdinand 
as ruler of Bulgaria, and that the closing of the Straits 
remained a binding obligation. The Chancellor replied 
that Germany agreed, and Giers asked for a written con- 
firmation of his report of their conversation ; but Caprivi, 
while reiterating the peaceful and friendly intentions of 
Germany, declined to put pen to paper. The personal 
relations of the two rulers were amicable; but Germany 
under her second Chancellor had entered on "the 
new course," and Russia was quickly to follow her 
example. 

The non-renewal of the Treaty has been the subject 

of eager discussion ever since Bismarck revealed the story 

Bismarck * n t ^ le Hamburger Nachrichten on October 24, 

makes 1896, and angrily complained that the tele- 
Mischief graph wire to Petrograd had been cut. 1 
Hohenlohe, the Chancellor, gravely condemned the 
breach of State secrets, and added that the decision 
of 1890 was wise and had not damaged relations 
with Russia. Marschall von Bieberstein explained that 
Germany might have been simultaneously faced with a 
demand for military support from Austria and for 
benevolent neutrality from Russia, and would have had 
to decide who was the aggressor. To these and other 
critics Bismarck replied that he was in no way ashamed 
of his Treaty, which the Triplice en bloc could have equally 
well made and which had only been kept secret by the 
wish of the Tsar, and that by preventing Russia joining 
in a French attack the pact was advantageous to Austria 
by contributing to avoid a conflict which would involve 
for her a casus belli. Schuvaloff believed that Caprivi 's 
veto was in part due to the cordial relations of the young 
Kaiser to Russophobe England. Caprivi himself, of 

1 Broad hints had already been given by him. See Hofmann, " Fiirst 
Bismarck," I, 99-116; II, 4-6 and 370-90. 



i8 9 o] 



Heligoland 



201 



whom Schuvaloff declared that he acted "too honourably," 
defended his action on the ground that the double obliga- 
tion was "too complicated," and that if the secret became 
known it would wreck the Austrian alliance. The real 
author of the decision, however, was not Caprivi, but 
Holstein, who was convinced that France and Russia 
would never combine owing to the difference in their 
political institutions and ideas. The Kaiser argues in his 
Memoirs that the alliance had lost most of its value, since 
the Russians had ceased to wish for it. Whatever the 
motives and the wisdom of the decision, it constituted a 
complete break with the traditional policy of Germany. 
Whether, as Bismarck maintained, the renewal of the pact 
would have prevented the Franco-Russian rapprochement, 
which was already in progress, from blossoming into an 
alliance is uncertain ; but its lapse rendered that evolution 
inevitable. 

Shortly after the termination of the Russo-German 
Treaty of 1887 a second step of importance was taken 
which was also, though in less degree, dis- Heligoland 
tasteful to the fallen Chancellor. The Kaiser and 
had been profoundly impressed by Chamber- Zanzib&r 
Iain's suggestion in 1889 to hand over Heligoland 
at a price; for the cutting of the Kiel Canal, which 
began in 1887, increased its strategic significance. 
The simple transaction outlined by Chamberlain grew 
into a complex settlement involving large portions 
of the Dark Continent. On June 17, 1890, a treaty 
was signed by which Germany recognized a British 
Protectorate over Witu and the Somali coast, transferred 
Uganda, which had been forced by Peters to place itself 
under German protection, to the British sphere of in- 
fluence, agreed to a British Protectorate over Zanzibar, 
excepting the coastal strip which had been leased to the 
German East African Society, and recognized the basin 
of the Upper Nile to the borders of Egypt as within the 
British sphere. Great Britain, in return, promised to 
urge the Sultan to sell the coastal strip to Germany, who 



202 History of Modern Europe [1890 

was also empowered to extend inland to the Great Lakes. 
On the other side of the continent Germany obtained the 
narrow corridor to the Zambesi, henceforward known as 
the Caprivizipfel. And last, but not least, she obtained 
Heligoland. 1 

Each of the partners could maintain that he had 
rendered a service to his country and secured solid advan- 
tages at the cost of trivial sacrifices. Heligo- 
Expianation ^ an< ^> argued Salisbury, was of no strategic 
value and did not even possess a garrison. 
If we were at war with Germany, it would be seized 
before our fleet could arrive. If we were at war 
with other Powers, we should have to send a fleet 
for its defence, and thus divide our forces. Its value 
to us was purely sentimental. "We have made an 
agreement which removes all danger of conflict and 
strengthens the good relations of nations who, by their 
sympathies, interests and origin, will always be good 
friends." In return we had founded an East African 
empire, of which Zanzibar was the key. The Prime 
Minister's view of his bargain was neatly expressed in 
Stanley's verdict that we had exchanged a trouser button 
for a suit of clothes. A few voices were raised in protest ; 
but in 1890 no one dreamed of war with Germany, and the 
Two Power standard, proclaimed in the Naval Defence 
Act of 1889, envisaged France and Russia. If the Cabinet 
failed to forecast the effect of the cession on German naval 
ambitions, public opinion could hardly be blamed for 
missing the significance of an historic event. 3 

While the Treaty found few critics in the country which 
had unwittingly made the larger sacrifice, Caprivi had to 
meet vigorous attacks in the Press and the Reichstag. 
In his first speech in the Reichstag 3 he had confessed 

1 See Hagen, " Geschichte und Bedeutung des Helgolandsvertrages " ; 
Reventlow, " Auswartige Politik," 39-52 ; and the Kaiser's " Memoirs," 
ch. 2. 

* Lord George Hamilton still thinks the decision wise on the ground 
that we should not have fortified it sufficiently to defend itself, and that 
it would have divided our fleet in 1914. " Reminiscences," II, 140-2. 

3 " Reden," 95-114. Feb. 5, 1891. 



1890] Caprivi's Defence 203 

that he was "no colonial enthusiast," and, indeed, he 
looked at possessions overseas with the same cool and 
critical gaze as Bismarck. He made a c apr i v i s 
spirited defence, nevertheless, when the Colonial 
colonial party complained that he had need- Policy 
lessly sacrificed the prospects of a great Central African 
empire. Germany, he pointed out, could not sur- 
render Zanzibar, for she had never owned it. To the 
argument that it might ultimately have been secured he 
replied that the British position in the island was stronger 
than the German. Witu, again, was no sacrifice, for it 
was worthless. On the other hand, it was a substantial 
achievement to free German possessions from the 
sovereignty of the Sultan of Zanzibar, for as long as his 
flag flew over the territories the natives would not believe 
that Germany was their ruler. Bismarck himself had said 
that Salisbury was more valuable than Witu and England 
more important for Germany than Zanzibar or East Africa. 
The colonial enthusiasts were bluntly told that they must 
cut their coat according to their cloth. "We must ask 
ourselves how much colonizing strength we possess, how 
far the available money and human resources will go. 
Germany has too many irons in the fire. It is no use having 
her hands full of things of which she cannot make use. 
The worst thing that could happen to us would be to give 
us the whole of Africa, for we have got quite enough as 
it is." A friendly England, the barter of worthless 
territory for a long strip of the coast in full sovereignty, 
the acquisition of Heligoland, which England might have 
given to France in a similar colonial deal here was a 
balance-sheet which he was not ashamed to recommend 
to his countrymen. 

The Kaiser felt even more satisfaction than his Chan- 
cellor and dwelt with special pleasure on the acquisition 
of Heligoland. "Without a battle, without the shedding 
of a tear," he declared on visiting his new possession, 
"this beautiful island has passed into my possession. We 
have acquired it by a treaty freely concluded with a 



204 History of Modern Europe [1890 

country to which we are related by blood. I drink to the 
illustrious lady to whom we are indebted for the transfer." 

Bismarck declared that he would not have 
C?ritic[sms S si g ned the Treaty, arguing that if Germany 

had waited till England needed her support 
against France or Russia, smaller sacrifices would 
have been necessary. Heligoland, he added, would 
be difficult and expensive to fortify; but he was 
not opposed in principle, and still less was he sur- 
prised. "I expected it," he observed to Hofmann, the 
obsequious editor of the Hamburger Nachrichten, which 
conveyed the reflections of the oracle of Friedrichsruh to 
a listening world. "The Kaiser was always hot when 
Heligoland was mentioned. He always agreed grudg- 
ingly to postponement." 1 The impatience was unintelligible 
to Bismarck, who believed Germany to be safer without 
battleships, which would endanger the friendship of Great 
Britain. If an English army landed in Germany, he 
used to observe, it could be "arrested." William II, on 
the other hand, not only possessed since boyhood a love 
of the sea and an inexhaustible interest in the technical 
side of navies, but considered that a formidable fleet was 
essential to the power and prestige of the Empire; and 
he recognized that such a fleet could hardly be built while 
Heligoland belonged to a foreign Power. Nor could he 
be blamed for refusing to be satisfied with the fleet which 
he found on his accession, which was inferior in tonnage 
not only to Great Britain and France but to Russia and 
Italy, and was qualitatively in even worse plight. One 
of the new ruler's first acts was to replace Caprivi, who 
had no thought beyond coast defence, by an Admiral, 

1 See Busch, III, 353 ; Bismarck's " Gedanken und Erinnerungen," 
III, ch. ii ; and Hofmann, " Fiirst Bismarck," I, 60-7, 315-9. Hatzfeldt, 
the German Ambassador in London, records Eckardstein, was held 
responsible by the colonial enthusiasts for the Treaty which he negotiated 
and signed ; but Salisbury's demands in Africa rose when Sir E. Malet 
reported the Kaiser's eagerness for Heligoland. " Erinnerungen," I, 
309-10. Eckardstein's memoirs have been admirably translated and 
abridged by George Young under the title of " Ten Years at the Court 
of St. James's." 



The Kaiser and England 205 

Count Monts, who proceeded, by his master's orders, to 
draw up a plan for four large armoured vessels for the 
high seas. 

During the first seven years of the reign of William II 
the relations of Potsdam and Windsor were not only 
friendly but intimate indeed, to Bismarck's The 
critical eye, rather too intimate. "Instead Anglophil 
of fostering the conviction that in case of Kaiser 
need we could do without England and Austria, we 
followed a policy of expensive pourboires which made 
us seem in need of help, whereas both of them 
require our help more than we require theirs." * In March, 
1890, on a visit of the Prince of Wales to Berlin, the 
Kaiser, wearing the uniform of an English Admiral, 
returned to his favourite theme of the brotherhood of arms 
at Waterloo, and expressed the hope that the German army 
and the English fleet would keep the peace of the world. 
"Ein politisch Lied, ein garstig Lied," muttered old 
Moltke to Hohenlohe as he listened; but the Imperial 
orator did not trouble himself about the feelings of France 
so long as he could give vent to his admiration for his 
mother's land. In 1891 the visit to his relatives assumed 
a more formal character ; for an invitation from the City 
transformed the member of the Royal Family into the 
guest of the nation. After three years of probation the 
British people had learned to like the Kaiser, though 
Salisbury felt no confidence in him ; a and he in return never 
wearied of professing his good will for England. "I have 
always felt at home in this lovely country," he declared 
at the Mansion House, "being the grandson of a Queen 
whose name will ever be remembered as a noble character 
and a lady great in the wisdom of her counsels. More- 
over, the same blood runs in English and German veins. 
I shall always, so far as it is in my power, maintain the 
historic friendship between our nations. My aim is above 
all the maintenance of peace. Only in peace can we 

1 Bismarck, " Gedanken," III, 133. 

* Lord G. Hamilton, " Reminiscences," II, ch. 15. 



206 History of Modern Europe fi8 9 i 

bestow our earnest thoughts on the great problems the 
solution of which I consider the most prominent duty of 
our time." 

Firmly anchored in the Triple Alliance and in the 
friendship of Great Britain, William II and his Chancellor 
declined to take too tragically the visit of the French fleet 
to Cronstadt, which followed the Kaiser's visit to England. 
" How can we prevent two people shaking hands ? " asked 
Caprivi. "We could not prevent Cronstadt, and we did 
not wish to do so. That war is an inch nearer I do not 
believe. I cannot prophesy. War may come and a war 
on two fronts. But no Government can wish nowadays to 
provoke a war; and I am absolutely convinced of the peace- 
ful intentions of the Tsar." But though there was no 
cause for apprehension, the conclusion of a Franco-Russian 
German alliance f r such was the interpretation 

Army universally placed upon the demonstrations 
Increased suggested increased precautions against 
attack. In his first summer of office Caprivi had 
added 18,000 men to the peace strength, and on November 
23, 1892, he introduced a proposal for a further 70,000, 
bringing the army to 479,000, exclusive of 77,000 non- 
commissioned officers. At the same time, compulsory 
service was reduced from three to two years. The Bill 
was recommended in a two-hour speech, which distantly 
recalled Bismarck's celebrated orations of 1887 and 1888, 
not only in its broad sweep but in its principles and 
conclusions. 

"I cannot say that war is in sight," began the Chan- 
cellor. "The German Government lives in normal and 
friendly relations with all other Governments. Not one 
of them has made it difficult for me to maintain the honour 
and dignity of Germany, and we, for our part, have wanted 
nothing which could make difficulties for the rest. You 
have been told that the German nation is saturated, and 
we have no aim but to maintain the Treaty of Frankfurt. 
The Kaiser truly declared that Heligoland was the last 
piece of German soil that we coveted. We have got it, 



l8 9 2] 



Caprivi's Survey 



207 



and we covet nothing more. We want no more French 
soil or French subjects. Nor is there any real antagonism 
between ourselves and Russia; and Russia, I believe, 
wants nothing from us. The Tsar is one of the strongest 
factors of peace, and I know that he appreciates my pacific 
and loyal policy. There is, on the other hand, a prejudice 
against us in wide Russian circles of the nature of an 
elemental force. We hope that it may diminish, but as 
yet there is no sign. Russian armaments are steadily in- 
creasing, and even the Tsar may find himself in a position 
where he has no choice but to fight. I am blamed for 
cutting the wire to Petrograd. I deny it. We have taken 
every care to preserve it; but we do not wish it to take 
the current out of the wires which connect c . . 
us with Austria and Italy. No doubt ^ on 
Russia and France have drawn together. Cr nstadt 
It began before my time. There may be an alliance. 
A French paper asked the other day, ' Flirt or alliance ? ' 
If France does not know, we cannot. But if two 
friends are playing with fire, sparks may fly over to 
us, and we must keep our fire-engines ready. We shall 
attack neither; but we must be ready to meet attack. A 
war on two fronts is possible. We have confidence in 
the Triple Alliance one of the greatest of Bismarck's 
achievements; but its troops are inferior in numbers to 
those of Russia and France. In the event of war Germany 
will have to take the chief burden on her shoulders." l 
The speech, though in no sense alarmist or provocative, 
was serious in tone ; but after long debates lasting through 
the winter the Army Bill was rejected by the combined 
votes of the Catholics, the Radicals and the Socialists. 
The precedent of 1887 was followed, with the same result. 
A dissolution was rewarded by a majority for the Bill of 
201 to 185; and the largest increase of the army since 
the foundation of the Empire was carried through without 
further opposition. Even now, however, the army was no 
larger than that of France and far smaller than that of 
1 " Reden." Cf. Hammann, " Der neue Kurs," ch. 3. 



208 History of Modern Europe [1893 

Russia. The expense was met by the reforms of Miquel, 
the Minister of Finance. 

Meanwhile the friendship with Great Britain was kept 

in good repair. The Kaiser crossed to Cowes every 

The summer for the regatta, and members of 

Cowes the Royal Family could count on a warm 

Regatta we l c ome in Berlin. When the Duke of 
Edinburgh visited his nephew in 1893, the Kaiser 
raised one of his usual paeans to the British fleet. "For 
the German navy it is not only a model of technical per- 
fection, but its heroes, Nelson and the rest, have ever been 
and will ever be the guiding stars of German naval officers 
and crews. Should it ever happen that the two navies have 
to fight side by side against a common foe, the famous 
signal, ' England expects every man to do his duty,' will 
find an echo in the patriotic heart of the German navy." 
Caprivi was heart and soul with his Imperial master in 
his Anglophil sentiments, though his professions of devo- 
tion were less exuberant; and Hatzfeldt, whom Bismarck 
described as the best diplomatic horse in his stable, proved 
a skilful agent of a policy which he thoroughly approved. 
"I fully agree," wrote the Chancellor to the Ambassador 
soon after the passage of the Army Bill, "that the aim of 
our policy is gradually to win England for an official 
adhesion to the Triple Alliance. In any case everything 
must be avoided which could provoke a rupture of the 
friendly relationship now happily prevailing. A real and 
lasting estrangement would jeopardize the Triple Alliance 
through its effect on Italy, and indeed might force us to 
fall back on Russia." In the later months of the year 
agreements relating to the delimitation of the Kilimanjaro 
district and the hinterland of the Cameroons were amicably 
concluded, and during the winter the boundaries of Togo- 
land were similarly fixed. 

The sky began to darken in 1894, and Anglo-German 
relations were never to regain the confidence and intimacy 
of the opening years of the reign of William II. The 
partition of Africa, which had caused sharp friction in 



1 894] Friction in Africa 209 

1884-5 but had subsequently proceeded with unbroken 
harmony, now began again to ruffle the temper of the 
Chancelleries. The settlement of the western frontier of 
the Cameroons in 1893 left the eastern frontier to be de- 
limited with France. A Franco-German treaty in March, 
1894, enabled French territories on the Niger and the 
Congo to join, advanced France to the Shari river, and 
made Lake Chad the eastern frontier of the Cameroons. 
France was delighted with her bargain ; but Great Britain 
was annoyed, since territory left to Germany by the Anglo- 
German Treaty in order that France should not have it 
had been assigned to that Power. 

It was soon to be Germany's turn to complain; for 
a treaty concluded on May 12, 1894, between Great 
Britain and the Congo Free State leased Congo 
the Bahr-el-Ghazel district on the upper and 
Nile, which we regarded as a British sphere 
of influence, to King Leopold for life, with remainder 
to ourselves an arrangement which at once secured 
Leopold's recognition of our claim and regularized 
the Belgian occupation of certain districts. In return he. 
leased to Great Britain a strip of territory west of Tangan- 
yika 25 kilometres wide for the proposed Cape to Cairo 
telegraph and railway. The Bahr-el-Ghazel territory, 
thus handed over to the Congo State, was not ours to 
give ; but a worse offence was that the lease of the Tangan- 
yika strip was inconsistent with the Congo-German Treaty 
of 1884. France protested against the former part of the 
pact, and Germany against the latter, which in conse- 
quence was annulled; and though Germany had legal 
right on her side, the incident left an unpleasant memory. 
The friendship of Windsor and Potsdam, however, was 
too firmly established to be broken by the first colonial 
friction; and in June the Kaiser was appointed Colonel 
of the First Regiment of Dragoon Guards. "This makes 
me a member of the staff of English officers," he declared 
in grateful tones to a deputation of the Regiment at Berlin. 

The opening of the Kiel Canal in June, 1895, repre- 
o 



210 History of Modern Europe [i8 95 

sents perhaps the happiest moment in the reign of 
William II. All the Powers were invited to send a 
squadron to share in the festivities, and, to the horror of 
prophets of the Revanche, France, at the wish of her ally, 
accepted the invitation like the rest. 1 The Kaiser's speeches 
were tactful as well as eloquent, emphasizing the value of 
the canal for commerce and recognizing to the full the 
m cl need of the world for peace. "Seas do not 
Canal separate," he declared at Hamburg before 
Opened ^ cer emonies began; "they unite. All the 
peoples are eagerly watching our proceedings. They 
have an intense wish for peace, for only in peace 
can commerce develop." Three days later, on June 21, 
after laying the last stone in the canal, he welcomed 
his numerous guests. "It is not only for our own 
national interests that we have worked. We open the 
gates of the canal to the peaceful intercourse of the nations. 
I welcome the participation of the Powers, whose repre- 
sentatives we see amongst us and whose magnificent ships 
we have admired, with all the greater satisfaction because 
I think I am right in inferring from it the complete appre- 
ciation of our endeavours, the very object of which is to 
maintain peace." A German battle-fleet was not yet in 
being, and there was no reason to suspect the sincerity 
of the Imperial host's devotion to peace. "The speech 
finds a joyful echo in my heart," commented the Tsar; 
and Franco-German relations under Hanotaux were as 
friendly as they had been ten years earlier under Jules 
Ferry. The host had a friendly welcome for all his guests ; 
but his warmest words were reserved for Great Britain. 
"Ever since our fleet was established," he declared in a 
speech on a British battleship, "we have tried to form our 
ideas in accordance with yours and in every way to learn 
from you. The history of the British navy is as familiar 
to our officers and seamen as to yourselves. I am not only 

1 See Bourgeois et Pages, 253-5, f r the conditions on which Hano- 
taux accepted the invitation. Maurras' " Kiel et Tanger " reflects the 
repugnance of the Nationalists. 






i8 94 ] Prince Hohenlohe 211 

an Admiral of the Fleet but a grandson of the mighty 
Queen. I hope you will express our heartfelt thanks to 
Her Majesty for her graciousness in sending you here." 

The Kiel festivities were quickly followed by the end 
of the Anglo-German honeymoon. In the autumn of 1894 
Caprivi had been thrown by his master Hohenlohe 
to the Agrarian wolves, who accused him succeeds 
of sacrificing the country to the towns in Caprivi 
the commercial treaty concluded in 1894 with Russia, 
which reduced the duties on food, inaugurated a de- 
cade of freer exchange, and eased relations with Russia, 
whose paper Caprivi now allowed the Reichsbank once 
again to hold. His place was filled by Hohenlohe, who 
had wished to succeed Bismarck in 1890; but he was 
now seventy-five, and though his distinguished career as 
Bavarian Premier, Ambassador to France, and Governor 
of Alsace-Lorraine had given him a wider political experi- 
ence than that of any German statesman except Bismarck, 
the liberal-minded South German Catholic was never ac- 
climatized among the Prussian Junkers. 1 He proved a 
dignified figure-head; but he cared little for power, and 
his influence was smaller than that of any of his prede- 
cessors or successors. Like Caprivi, he accepted the 
Bismarckian doctrine that Germany was satisfied and that 
Weltpolitik was not worth the risks that it involved; but 
his opinions were of little practical importance. At no 
period of his reign was the Kaiser so much his own 
Foreign Minister as during the three years that elapsed 
between the fall of Caprivi and the installation of Biilow 
in the Wilhelmstrasse ; and it was precisely in this period 
that German policy assumed a new and dangerous orienta- 
tion. The wholesale breach with Bismarckian tradition 
and the adoption of a "forward" policy took place not 
on the fall of the great Chancellor but on the fall of his 
successor. 

A month after the Kiel festivities the Kaiser paid his 

1 See Hohenlohe's " Memoirs " and the Kaiser's " Memoirs," 
ch. 3. 



212 History ot Modern Europe [1895 

annual visit to Cowes; but on the present occasion there 
were such discords, both personal and political, in the 
Anglo-German melody that four years were to elapse 
before he again crossed the North Sea. His visits had at 
first given equal pleasure to hosts and guests; but his 
irritating familiarities and overbearing ways grated on the 
nerves of his uncle. "The regatta used to be a pleasant 
The recreation for me," complained the Prince to 
Kaiser's Eckardstein, who was not merely a Secretary 
Manners of the German Embassy but a persona 
grata at Court; "but now, since the Kaiser takes 
command, it is a bother. He is the boss at Cowes. 
Perhaps I shall not come next year." The guest spoke 
with equal unrestraint of the uncle, and referred to him at 
a dinner on board the Hohenzollern as "an old peacock." 
The Grand Duke of Mecklenburg, who was present, con- 
fided to Eckardstein his astonishment at such language 
and indeed at the Kaiser's conduct as a whole. 1 

Of greater importance were the political differences 
which had arisen or increased since the previous year. 
Nations remain friends only so long as neither attempts to 
thwart the cherished aspirations of the other, and German 
activities in South-East Africa had provoked the same 
annoyance and mistrust which the clumsy diplomacy of 
Granville and Derby had produced in Germany ten years 
earlier. For the first time a section of the British Press 
displayed a coolness bordering on hostility to the Queen's 
guest. The Standard's suggestion that the Kaiser must 
be more accommodating, and that he should seek wisdom 
from his grandmother and prove himself worthy of his 
descent, was naturally resented by the object of its 
criticism, and was followed by a Press duel between the 
two countries. At this moment, moreover, a new source 
of discord had been discovered. On resuming office in 
July Salisbury inherited the Armenian problem, on which 
British and German views were in fundamental disagree- 
ment. He had never been pro-Turk, and after the failure 

1 " Erinnerungen," I, 205-14. 



i8 95 ] England, Germany and Turkey 213 

of the Constantinople Conference in 1876 he had proposed 
to the Cabinet to abandon our traditional policy towards 
Turkey and to work for partition. 1 The plan was dis- 
missed by Disraeli as " immoral " and rejected by the 
Cabinet; but Salisbury's experiences of Turkish obstinacy 
and procrastination after the Congress of Berlin convinced 
him that Turkey would never reform. The Armenian 
massacres of 1894 confirmed his conviction, and led him 
to consider not only the temporary alleviation of Christian 
sufferings, but more radical methods of dealing with the 
Turk. 

When Salisbury returned to power in 1895 Germany 
appealed for support for her Italian ally in view of her 
difficulties with Abyssinia. The Prime Italy's 
Minister replied that to grant Italy the African 
desired facilities in the Red Sea would excite Difficulties 
French jealousy; but he was prepared to recognize 
her claims to the reversion of Albania and Tripoli. 
Hatzfeldt replied that the proposal would not assist 
Italy in her hour of need, and involved a partition 
of the Ottoman Empire, to which Germany was opposed. 
Moreover, Italian occupation of Albania would sharpen 
Austro-Italian rivalry in the Adriatic, and the reopening of 
the Balkan question would endanger Russo-German 
friendship. Salisbury rejoined that in his opinion the time 
had come for the Powers to agree as to their claims in the 
event of the disruption of Turkey, and asked for a state- 
ment of German desires. Germany replied that she 
attached the greatest importance to the integrity of Turkey, 
and forbade the Ambassador ever to discuss disruption. 8 

At the end of July Salisbury asked Eckardstein to find 
out when the Kaiser would arrive at Cowes, as he wished 
to discuss the Eastern Question with him ; and the inter- 
view was fixed for August 8 on board the Hohenzollern. 

1 " Life of Salisbury," II, 134. 

2 As no British version of these negotiations has appeared, we have 
to rely on German sources. See Hammann, " Der missverstandene 
Bismarck," 43-6 ; and Eckardstein, I, 205-14 ; cf. Sir Valentine Chirol's 
article in the Times, Sept. n, 1920. 



214 History of Modern Europe [i8 95 

The Kaiser was informed of the latest details of the discus- 
sions in London, and was warned that the Prime Minister 
The would probably make proposals relating 

Cowes to the Eastern Question. As the differences 
Interview k etween t h e two Governments had already 
been clearly disclosed, the Kaiser had no cause to 
welcome the interview, and his mood was further 
ruffled by an unfortunate accident which resulted in 
his visitor reaching the rendezvous an hour late. If 
the Kaiser's record of the conversation may be believed, 
Salisbury explained once more that he could not help Italy 
in the Red Sea, but would support her expansion in 
Albania and Tripoli. The Kaiser replied that France 
would forcibly resist Italian expansion in North Africa; 
that Italy could not be promised Albania if Austria was to 
remain a member of the Triple Alliance; and that he was 
altogether opposed to the dismemberment of Turkey. At 
this point Salisbury restated his thesis that the Armenian 
massacres proved the impossibility of preserving the 
Ottoman Empire, which was thoroughly rotten. The 
Kaiser minimized the atrocities and argued that Turkey 
was capable of improvement. The disagreement was 
complete, and the Kaiser records that, as he did not wish 
to part from the Prime Minister in an unfriendly spirit, he 
proposed that the conversation should be continued on the 
following day. Salisbury, however, either because he had 
not understood the invitation or for some other reason, 
returned to London without seeing him again. 1 

The conversation left the worst possible impression on 
both sides. Several years later Billow spoke of the 
disastrous effect on the Kaiser of Salisbury's proposals, 
which had never ceased to rankle, and the memory of 
which became increasingly painful as his intimacy with 
Abdul Hamid developed. Salisbury, for his part, com- 

1 A summary of the Kaiser's record of this conversation, which Sir 
Valentine Chirol was later allowed to read in Berlin, was communicated 
in 1901 to Salisbury, who remarked that it showed the expediency of 
having a witness to conversations with the Kaiser if he made it his 
practice to attribute his own proposals to hi<s interlocutor. 



1 895] 



The Transvaal 



215 



plained to Eckardstein that his master seemed to forget 
that he was not a Minister of the King of Prussia but 
Prime Minister of England. A final touch of displeasure 
was added to the visit by a flamboyant speech on the 
anniversary of the battle of Worth, delivered on board the 
cruiser of that name, and the Standard bluntly expressed 
the general sentiment that such utterances sfhould be 
reserved for German soil. For the first time the guest and 
his hosts parted from one another with mistrust and ill- 
feeling. 

The immediate cause of the estrangement was the 
difference between the British and German attitude towards 
Turkey ; but it was Africa which had loosened p re tori 
the bonds before the visit to Cowes, and it and 
was Africa which was now to strain them 
almost to breaking-point. President Kruger had 
visited Berlin in 1884 and was well received by 
Bismarck. "If a child is ill," he observed in his 
homely language, "it looks round for help. This child 
begs the Kaiser to help tfae Boers if they are ever ill." 
The appeal evoked no response, for the Treaty which 
Kruger had just signed in London forbade alliances with 
foreign States without British approval ; but when Ger- 
many became a great African power a few years later, it 
occurred to him that he might find in her a valuable 
associate in resisting British pressure. His confidence was 
strengthened in 1894 when two German warships were 
dispatched to Delagoa Bay as a demonstration against 
British interference with Portugal. "Till now," wrote the 
Volksstem in Pretoria, "the Germans have allowed the 
English to do what they like with us. At length they seem 
to have realized the folly of this policy. In the name of the 
people of the Transvaal we thank them." When the 
British Government complained that Germany was counter- 
working us in the Transvaal, Marschall replied that she 
wished to keep open Delagoa Bay for economic reasons 
and to support the independence of the Transvaal. 

How- compromising the flirtation between Berlin and 



216 History of Modern Europe [1895 

Pretoria had become was revealed by the German Consul 
at Pretoria on January 27, 1895, on tne birthday of the 

Kaiser. Speaking in accordance with in- 

Germany 

supports structions he expressed a hope that the 
Transvaal President was aware that Germany was a 
real friend. German South-West Africa, he added, 
had no greater political interest than to support the 
Transvaal in its efforts to maintain political equilibrium 
in South Africa. The President's reply recalled his visit 
to Berlin, and praised the German settlers in the Transvaal, 
who, unlike the English, readily obeyed the laws. "Our 
little Republic," he concluded, "only crawls about among 
the Great Powers; but we feel that if one of them wishes 
to trample on us the other tries to prevent it." The two 
speeches constituted a political demonstration of the first 
importance. The British Ambassador at Berlin com- 
plained to Marschall that Germany was fostering a spirit in 
the Transvaal contrary to its position in international law. 
The Foreign Secretary replied that the aim of Germany's 
policy was to defend against all attacks the material 
interests which she had created for herself by the construc- 
tion of railways and the development of commercial rela- 
tions with the Transvaal. For this purpose it was essential 
that it should be maintained as an independent State, in 
accordance with the Treaty of 1884, and German interests 
demanded the status quo. If Great Britain also desired to 
preserve it, she must oppose the activities of Rhodes and 
Jameson, who were endeavouring to absorb the Transvaal 
in British South Africa. The action of the Transvaal 
Government was due to the fact that Great Britain had not 
frowned on these tendencies. The British Ambassador 
rejoined that Jameson was aiming at an economic, not a 
political, union of South Africa. "That, too, is con- 
trary to German interests," retorted the Foreign Secretary. 
Throughout 1895 Great Britain and Germany stood in 
open antagonism in South Africa, each resolved to counter- 
work the encroachments of the other. Kruger's request 
to be allowed to annex the territory between Swaziland 






The Raid 217 

and the sea was declined on the ground that we should 
be unable to defend British interests in Swaziland. Great 
Britain proceeded to annex the district herself, and in 
April appropriated Amatongaland, another little coastal 
strip which might have given the Transvaal an outlet to 
the coast. Meanwhile the two German ships lay in 
Delagoa Bay, which was connected with Pretoria in the 
summer by the completion of a line from Lorenzo Marques. 
In a speech at the opening of the railway the Governor 
of Cape Colony, while declaring that Great Britain had 
never wished to interfere in the Transvaal, emphasized 
the community of South African interests. The speech 
provoked a blunt announcement from Pretoria that the 
President attached no importance to these declarations, 
and a lively agitation was set on foot in the 
Transvaal to regain the right of concluding 
treaties. Complaints and recriminations con- 
tinued throughout the autumn, and the British Govern- 
ment felt compelled to make a sharp protest in 
Berlin. "Two days ago," wrote the Kaiser to the 
Tsar on October 25, "Malet, on paying his farewell 
visit to the Foreign Office, used very blustering words 
about Germany behaving badly to England in Africa, that 
they would not stand it any longer, and that after buying 
off the French by concessions in Egypt they were at liberty 
"o look after us. He was even so undiplomatic as to utter 
the word war, saying that England would not shrink from 
making war upon me if we did not knock down in Africa." 
A rising of the Uitlanders against the exasperations 
of the Kruger regime was generally expected. As early 
as October Marschall informed the British Government 
that a coup was preparing, and on December 24 the 
German Consul in Pretoria telegraphed that mischief was 
brewing and that the Transvaal Government was anxious, 
to which Berlin replied urging Kruger to avoid provoca- 
tion. On the same day, December 30, the German colony 
in Pretoria appealed to the Kaiser for protection, and the 
Consul begged leave to summon marines from Delagoa 



218 History of Modern Europe [i8 9 6 ! 

Bay. On December 31 the German Government asked 
the Portuguese to allow a landing corps of fifty men from 
rpj^ Delagoa Bay to proceed to Pretoria for the 
Jameson defence of its nationals. Meanwhile on 
December 30 Jameson's troops crossed the 
frontier from Mafeking. On January i the German 
Ambassador informed the Prime Minister that no 
attack on the independence of the Republic could be 
tolerated. Salisbury replied that he recognized the danger 
and damage of the raid to various European interests in 
South Africa, and that he was doing everything possible 
to avert violent action against the Transvaal. On the 
same day Sir Frank Lascelles, who had recently succeeded 
Sir Edward Malet in Berlin, was instructed to say that 
the Prime Minister and the Colonial Secretary were sharply 
opposed to the raid and that the High Commissioner had 
been ordered to call Jameson back. Marschall proceeded 
to invite the French Ambassador forthwith to examine with 
him how far France would co-operate in limiting "the 
insatiable appetite " of England, adding that it was 
necessary to demonstrate that England could no longer 
count on Franco-German antagonism and seize whatever 
she wished. He next instructed Hatzfeldt to inquire what 
steps Great Britain would take to cancel the new and 
illegal situation; but before the Ambassador could obey 
his orders the raid had come to an ignominious end, and 
Jameson and his freebooters were under lock and key. 
The news of the collapse reached Berlin on January 2, 
and on January 3 the Kaiser dispatched the following 
telegram to Kruger : " I heartily congratulate you on the 
fact that you and your people, without appealing to the 
aid of friendly Powers, have succeeded by your unaided 
efforts in restoring peace and preserving the independence 
of the country against the armed bands which broke into 
your land." "I express to Your Majesty my deepest 
gratitude for Your Majesty's congratulations," replied the 
President. "With God's help we hope to continue to 
do everything possible for the existence of our Republic." 



The Kruger Telegram 219 

The Kaiser, the Chancellor and the Foreign Minister 
share the responsibility for launching this high explosive 
into the already ruffled waters of Anglo- 
German relations, and it is immaterial in 
whose brain the idea arose. 1 On the follow- 
ing morning Marschall sent for the Times corre- 
spondent, and explained that the telegram was a State 
action and that it was necessary to give England 
a lesson. The Kaiser was equally aware what he was 
doing, and steps were taken to safeguard the fleet. 
Before the news of Jameson's surrender arrived, he wrote 
a letter to the Tsar which reveals his excitement and 
indignation. "The Transvaal Republic has been suddenly 
attacked in a most foul way, as it seems not without 
England's knowledge. I have used very severe language 
in London and have opened communications with Paris 
for common defence of our endangered interests, as French 
and German colonists have immediately joined hands to 
help the outraged Boers. I hope you will also kindly 
consider the question, as it is one of the principles of 
upholding treaties. I hope all will come right, but come 
what may I will never allow the British to stamp out the 
Transvaal." In the light of this temperamental utterance 
the Kaiser's statement in his Memoirs that he disapproved 
the telegram is not convincing. 

"The whole German people," writes Reventlow, "stood 
behind the telegram as it understood it. There was a 
cry of relief, At last ! " Great Britain, or at any rate 
British subjects, appeared to be engaged in a deep-laid 
plot to swallow a little Republic with which Germans were 
connected by ties of sympathy as well as commerce. Some 
cool heads, like Hammann, regretted the implication of 
the message that Germany would have been ready to aid 
the Transvaal if invited; and Tirpitz condemned it on the 
ground of British strength and German impotence; but 

1 Conflicting versions are given by Admiral Hollmann, in Eckardstein, 
" Erinnerungen," I, 271-8; Hammann, " Der missverstandene Bismarck," 
47-51 ; and the Kaiser's " Memoirs," ch. 3. 



220 History of Modern Europe [1896 

even Bismarck, though always more inclined to carp 
than to bless, remarked that the British Government 

could very well have sent the telegram itself. 
Indignation ^ e applause of Germany was balanced by 

the indignation of the British Empire. 
"The nation will never forget this telegram," wrote 
the Morning Post in prophetic words, "and it will 
always bear it in mind in the future orientation of its 
policy." The reply of the Government took the form of 
ordering a flying squadron of six cruisers to Delagoa Bay, 
summoning part of the reserve fleet for service, and send- 
ing a torpedo-flotilla to the Channel, while Kruger was 
informed that Great Britain would at any price oppose 
foreign^ interference. The German Government, which 
had no wish for war, saw that it had gone too far. On 
January 6 Marschall explained to Sir Frank Lascelles that 
the Kaiser had no unfriendly intentions in sending the 
telegram, and complained of the Press attacks. The 
relations of Germany and the Transvaal, he informed the 
Reichstag in a conciliatory speech on February 13, were 
founded on the Commercial Treaty of 1885, which gave 
most favoured nation treatment and secured commercial 
and industrial freedom to German subjects. British 
attempts to make South Africa a closed economic unit 
would damage German interests. Germany, on the other 
hand, had no wish to intervene in the Transvaal, and 
did not desire a Protectorate. The Boer distrust of British 
policy was due not to German prompting, but to the aims 
of certain British subjects. Relations with the British 
Government had never ceased to be friendly, and the 
British Government had done its best to stop the raid. 

Excuses and explanations were useless, for the Kruger 
telegram was the most disastrous error of the early years 
of the reign of William II. The Franco-Russian 
rapprochement, which had begun before the accession of 
William II and which he had been unable to check, sug- 
gested an Anglo-German intimacy in compensation. For 
some years he had followed the path of wisdom j but the 



i8 9 6] The Kruger Telegram 221 

friction of 1894 and 1895 had diminished his popularity 
in England, and on January 3, 1896, he threw what was 
left of it to the winds. It was doubtless annoying to 
watch the insidious sapping and mining of the defences 
of the Transvaal ; but it was not a sovereign State. The 
telegram merely hastened its doom by in- German , s 
creasing the British resolve to remain the disastrous 
paramount Power in South Africa, and by B1 u nder 
fostering British suspicions of Kruger, who not only 
oppressed British subjects, but intrigued with a foreign 
Power. Moreover, the German Government was well 
aware that it could not in any case have rendered 
assistance to the Boers, since the British navy was in 
unchallenged control of the sea. Marschall, remarks 
Reventlow, thought in terms of law, not of force, hypo- 
thetically threatening what he could not perform. He 
learned his lesson, for there were no more German attempts 
to interfere in South Africa. Yet the mischief could not 
be undone. The Boers continued to regard Germany as 
a powerful friend; and the more ignorant of them may 
well have believed that German aid would be forthcoming 
in the struggle of which British and Boers began openly 
to speak after the lightning-flash of the raid had 
illuminated the dark places of South African politics. 

"The raid was folly," observed Salisbury to Eckard- 
stein in 1899, "but the telegram was even more foolish." 
The British and German Governments were before long 
to resume their friendly intercourse, and within a few 
weeks Berlin gave welcome encouragement to the recon- 
quest of the Sudan j but the British people never forgot 
or forgave what they took for a wanton challenge to our 
position in South Africa, and the German people were 
angered by the fury which the action of their impulsive 
ruler provoked. Henceforth the Kaiser's references to 
Great Britain in his letters to the Tsar are almost invariably 
disparaging. "The coup be bourse in the Transvaal has 
miscarried," he wrote on February 20. "They have 
behaved very improperly to me, but that leaves me un- 



222 History of Modern Europe [1895 

touched, whereas their mobilizing their celebrated 
squadron against us, who have hardly anything to speak 
of, makes them supremely ridiculous." The Triple 
Alliance itself was weakened by the shock. At the height 
of the crisis the German Government had vainly sounded 
the Powers as to co-operation ; and Italy accompanied her 
refusal with the momentous declaration that in the event 
of Great Britain joining in a Franco-German war she would 
refuse to recognize the casus fcederis, since the Italian 
fleet would be unable to defend her coasts. 1 Friendship 
with England, publicly declared Rudini, who had 
succeeded Crispi as Premier, was the necessary comple- 
ment to the Triple Alliance. 

Though Africa was the source of the most acute differ- 
ences between Great Britain and Germany, there were 
Japan other fields in which the policy of the two 
defeats countries pursued divergent paths. Japan's 
China conflict with China in 1894 ended with 
the Treaty of Shimonoseki, signed in April, 1895, 
by which China, defeated on land and sea, sur- 
rendered the Liao-tung Peninsula and Formosa, and 
undertook to pay an indemnity of thirty millions. 2 A 
month before the conclusion of the Treaty Germany vainly 
advised the victor not to claim territory on the mainland ; 
but when France and Russia u to prevent the shifting of 
the balance of power to Russia's disadvantage," as 
Hanotaux explained associated themselves with Ger- 
many, Japan reluctantly relinquished Port Arthur and its 
peninsula in return for an increased indemnity and a 
promise from China that she would not cede the territory 
thus restored. Each of the three European Powers re- 
ceived concessions from a grateful Chinese Government; 
but the balance-sheet of the enterprise was not completed 
in the year that witnessed the intervention. The Siberian 
railway, commenced in 1891, was rapidly advancing across 

1 See Pribram, " The Secret Treaties of Austria-Hungary," II, no. 

2 See Reventlow, " Deutschland's Auswartige Politik," 83-7; Bourgeois 
et Pages, " Origines et Responsabilites de la Grande Guerre," 248-53; 
and Rosen, " Forty Years of Diplomacy," I, ch. 15. 



i8 9 5] The Far East 223 

Asia, and Russia had alreadyfixed her eye on a terminus 
at Port Arthur. The Japanese, argued Lobanoff, would 
spread "like a drop of oil on blotting-paper." But though 
a Japanese foothold on the mainland might well seem 
intolerable to a Power which aspired to the hegemony 
of the Far East, and France naturally supported the aims 
of her ally, the association of Germany with her two rivals 
surprised onlookers both in Asia and Europe, including 
Bismarck, who described it as a leap in the dark. Hohen- 
lohe, however, was anxious to restore cordial relations with 
Petrograd, and on visiting the Tsar soon after the triple 
intervention he assured him that the object of Germany's 
policy had been to manifest her good will towards Russia 
in Eastern Asia. 1 

The Tsar, well satisfied with the result of the com- 
bination, confided to the Chancellor that he had informed 
the Kaiser that he would have no objection if Germany 
took a coaling station on Chinese soil. Hohenlohe replied 
that his master had already communicated this informa- 
tion to him in confidence, and added that the English 
claimed the Tsusan islands. "Yes," rejoined the Tsar, 
"they always want everything for themselves. When 
somebody takes anything, they want to take a good 
deal more." Here was the price of German German 
aid, of which the public was unaware; but alienates 
against the advantages of a Russo-German Japan 
entente in the Far East and the prospect of a German 
settlement in China had to be set the lasting enmity 
of Japan. "We shall remember," remarked a Japanese 
statesman with ominous brevity. The rapid growth 
of the island empire since it had thrown off the 
trammels of feudalism had escaped the notice of all the 
European Powers except Great Britain, who gave a 
striking demonstration of her confidence and good will and 
admitted Japan to the comity of nations by the Treaty 
of July 1 6, 1894, surrendering ex-territorial jurisdiction in 
five years and allowing her to frame her tariff freely, and 

1 Hohenlohe, " Denkwiirdigkeiten," II, 521. 



224 History of Modern Europe [1897 

a year later by declining to take part in the coercion that 
followed her victory over China. Thus Germany had 
associated herself with the two European Powers most 
hostile to Great Britain, in opposition to a rising Power 
in the Far East which enjoyed our sympathy and support. 
With a lack of imaginative foresight hardly less than that 
displayed in the Kruger telegram, the path had been 
chosen which led straight to the Anglo-Japanese alliance 
and the retaliation of 1914. 

On November 4, 1897, two German missionaries were 
murdered in the province of Shantung, and on Novem- 
Germany ber l \ four German cruisers entered the bay 
occupies of Kiao-chau, landed marines, and pro- 
Kiaochau c i a i me d the territory a German possession. 1 
After negotiations with China Germany secured the 
punishment of the offenders, financial compensation 
for the mission, a lease of Kiao-chau for ninety- 
nine years, and leave to build a railway to join the pro- 
jected Chinese system. She had already attempted in 
1895 to secure a coaling station at the mouth of the 
Yang-tse. "We needed a foothold in Eastern Asia," 
explained Marschall, "for without it we should be in the 
air alike on the economic, maritime and political plane. 
In the economic sphere we need a door into China, such 
as France possesses in Tonkin, England in Hongkong, 
and Russia in the north." German trade was indeed grow- 
ing rapidly, and German ships needing the smallest 
repairs had to dock in Hongkong or Japan. Henceforth 
Germany possessed one of the best ports in China, with 
a good harbour, a tolerable climate, and coal in the 
vicinity. A neat German town arose at Tsingtau, fortified 
against a sudden coup de main; but its connexion with 
Germany was at the mercy of Great Britain, and its 
security depended on the goodwill of Japan, which German 
statesmen, blind to her strength and careless of her in- 
terests, made no attempt to obtain. 

The spirit of challenge which had begun to characterize 

1 See the Kaiser's " Memoirs," ch. 3. 






1897] Kiao-chau and Port Arthur 225 

German policy was exhibited not only in the seizure of 
Kiao-chau but in the Imperial commentaries to which it 
gave rise. A naval squadron was dispatched prin 
under the command of Prince Henry to Henry's 
enforce the submission of China to German Voyage 
demands. Its vocation, declared the Kaiser in bidding 
him farewell, was to make clear to the Europeans 
in China, to the German merchant, and, above all, 
to China herself, that the German Michael had planted 
his shield firmly in the soil. "Should anyone attempt to 
affront us or infringe our good rights, then strike out 
with mailed fist, and, if God will, weave round your young 
brow the laurel which nobody in the German Empire will 
begrudge you." Prince Henry's reply, couched in Byzan- 
tine phraseology, announced that his whole desire was 
"to proclaim abroad, to all who will hear as well as to 
those who will not, the gospel of Your Majesty's anointed 
person." The German Government assured Salisbury that 
Germany had no desire to displease England, and that 
Kiao-chau, in the north of China, was far removed from 
the regions in which she was directly interested. Salisbury 
offered no protest; but he announced that, should a de- 
mand be made for exclusive privileges, or should other 
countries seek to take possession of Chinese ports, the 
Government would protect our vast interests in China. 

In pursuance of the secret agreement between the 
Kaiser and the Tsar, the German signal for the spoliation 
of China was speedily followed by Russia. 1 At the end 
of 1897 the Chinese Government informed the British 
Minister at Pekin that it had authorized the Russian fleet 
to winter in Port Arthur. In answer to British inquiries 
at Petrograd, Muravieff innocently explained that, as 
Vladivostok was ice-bound, China had offered hospitality. 
A similar reply was given to an inquiry from Japan, and 
it was added that the port was only lent temporarily as a 

1 The seizure of Port Arthur was due to Muravieff, who was supported 
by the Tsar, but opposed by the other Ministers. Rosen, " Forty Years 
of Diplomacy," I, ch. 16. 
P 



226 History of Modern Europe [1898 

winter anchorage. When two British gunboats also 
anchored in Port Arthur, Muravieff, scenting suspicion, 
repeated that the wintering of Russian ships in that 
harbour had no political importance; but four days later 
the tone of the Russian Government had changed, and 
the Ambassador informed Salisbury that the presence of 
the British ships had produced "a bad impression" at 
Petrograd. The Prime Minister softly replied that we 
possessed a treaty right to enter the port, but they had 
gone thither without orders from home and would doubt- 
less soon leave for another port. Russia's next step was 
to declare that China had given her "the first right of 
anchorage," and Muravieff now stated in ominous tones 
that the presence of British ships at Port Arthur was 
regarded in Petrograd as so unfriendly that rumours of 
war were afloat. Salisbury explained, with a meekness 
which angered many of his followers, that only one British 
Port vessel was in Port Arthur, that it had been 
Arthur sent without orders from the Cabinet, and 
Occupied that it WQuld be i eav i n g in a few days> The 

ship left a day or two later, and Russia secured 
from helpless China a lease of Port Arthur and 
Talienwan, with the right to build a railway to the 
peninsula. The Prime Minister, like humbler mortals, 
was indignant at the high-handed action and at the 
equivocation which had preceded it; but as he had no 
intention of opposing it by arms, he contented himself 
with a lease of Wei-hai-Wei as a naval base to restore 
the balance of power in the Gulf of Pechili. "I congratu- 
late you most heartily," wrote the Kaiser to the Tsar. 
"We two will make a good pair of sentinels at the entrance 
of the Gulf." A year later Germany purchased the 
Caroline Islands from Spaing 

The seizure of Port Arthur would have been difficult 
if not impossible without the good will of Germany, who 
championed Russian against British interests in the Far 
East. In addition to the friction in Africa and Asia 
already described, and to the dissension in the Near East, 



1896] Commercial Competition 227 

which will be studied later, two new causes of estrange- 
ment between Great Britain and Germany emerged in the 
middle of the 'nineties. German industry, "Made 
advancing by leaps and bounds, was begin- in 

ning to force an entrance for its low- German y" 
priced goods into England, and the bitter cry of 
"Made in Germany " arose from the victims of com- 
mercial competition. Lord Rosebery spoke gravely of 
the effects of the rivalry, in which Germany was steadily 
gaining ground; and the exasperation found vent in an 
hysterical article in the Saturday Review on September 4, 
1897, which complained that the two countries were rivals 
in every quarter of the globe, and argued that if Germany 
were annihilated to-morrow every Englishman would be 
the richer. It was not realized that the journal no longer 
exercised the smallest political influence, and the legend 
that Great Britain's hostility originated in commercial 
jealousy was impossible to destroy. Tirpitz himself always 
stoutly maintained that it was the competition not of ships 
but of goods which changed the political face of Europe. 
The growing coolness of Great Britain aided the con- 
version of the German people to their ruler's view that a 
rich and powerful empire required a fleet for the defence 
of its territory, the safeguarding of its commerce and the 
support of its diplomacy. On January 18, 1896, shortly 
after the Kruger telegram, the Kaiser delivered a signi- 
ficant address on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 
foundation of the Empire. "The German Empire has 
grown into a world empire. Everywhere in distant parts 
of the earth dwell thousands of our countrymen. German 
goods, German knowledge, German energy cross the 
ocean. The value of German goods at sea runs into 
thousands of millions. Yours is the grave duty to help 
me to bind this greater Germany closely to our home- 
land." The speech aroused widespread attention and 
criticism. "The proclamation of another German Empire 
in the future," commented the Times, "compels us to 
ask some serious questions. In what regions hitherto 



228 History of Modern Europe [1897 

lacking owners is it to be created, or how and from whom 
is it to be conquered ? " In Germany itself the ideal of 
Weltpolitik a phrase unknown to Bismarck was now 
being vigorously proclaimed by the Pan-German League 
founded in 1893, with Karl Peters as its first President, 
and Hasse, a Leipzig Professor and member of the Reichs- 
tag, as its second. Its more irresponsible members de- 
manded that Greater Germany should embrace all the 
Germanic peoples German Austria, German Switzerland, 
Flemish Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg; and though 
such fantastic notions were never widely adopted and were 
repudiated by the directors of national policy, they in- 
creased the malaise of Europe and fostered the apprehen- 
sion that Germany was changing from a "saturated" to 
an aggressive Power. 

When a modest programme of shipbuilding was 
rejected in March, 1897, owing to the opposition of the 

Centrum, the Kaiser gave vent to his angry 
SoTpower disappointment. In June, on the occasion 

of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, Prince 
Henry represented his country at a naval review 
at Spithead; and the vessel which he commanded 
made a poor show beside the ships of other countries. 
"I greatly regret," telegraphed the Kaiser, ever ready 
to preach a political sermon, "that I cannot give 
you a better ship, to compare with some of the 
splendid warships which other nations will send. This 
is one of the regrettable consequences of the attitude of 
those unpatriotic men who have hindered the supply of 
necessary vessels. But I will never rest till I have raised 
my navy to the same standard as that of my army." On 
another occasion he used the oft-quoted words, "The 
trident belongs in our hands." He now appointed as 
head of the Admiralty a man of first-rate ability, who was 
filled with a conviction of the greatness of Germany's 
mission in the world not inferior to his own. Admiral 
von Tirpitz had pushed his way up from the bottom of 
the ladder, largely owing to his work on the torpedo arm, 



1897] Tirpitz and Biilow 229 

and attracted the notice of William II before his accession. 
In 1896 he was appointed Commander of the Far East 
cruiser squadron, with a commission to seek out a place 
on the Chinese coast for a military and economic base; 
and, after advising the selection of Tsingtau, the strongest 
man in German politics since Bismarck was called home 
to the crowning work of his life. 1 

On June 28, 1897, a fortnight after the appointment 
of Tirpitz, Bernhard von Biilow succeeded Marschall von 
Bieberstein as Foreign Minister, a post held Biilow 
by his father before him. 2 The new Minister succeeds 
had begun his diplomatic career in Rome Marscha11 
in 1874, whence he passed to Petrograd, Vienna and 
Paris. His chief, Hohenlohe, declared in 1879 that 
he might well become German Chancellor, and he 
attracted the friendly notice of Gambetta. After spend- 
ing the next few years as First Secretary at Petrograd and 
Minister at Bucharest, he was appointed in 1894 to the 
Embassy in Rome, where his personal charm, his wide 
culture, and his Italian wife made him a popular and 
influential figure. The Kaiser told Biilow that his task 
would be to conduct Germany into the realms of Welt- 
politik and to secure the building of a fleet. The monarch 
had at last secured the services of an experienced diplo- 
matist, a brilliant debater, an accomplished Parliamentary 
manager, and a convinced Imperialist. "The times are 
past," declared the new Foreign Secretary in his first speech 
in the Reichstag, "when the German left the air to one 
of his neighbours, the sea to another, and reserved the sky 
for himself." For the twelve following years the Kaiser, 
Biilow and Tirpitz worked harmoniously together, and the 

1 See Tirpitz' "Memoirs"; the Kaiser's "Memoirs," ch. 9; and 
Hassell, " Alfred von Tirpitz." 

2 Biilow has explained his policy in his book, " Imperial Germany," 
and in his " Reden," 3 vols. Cf. Spickernagel, " Furst Bulow "; Tardieu, 
" Le Prince de Biilow "; the Kaiser's " Memoirs," ch. 4; Miinz, " Von 
Bismarck bis Biilow"; Hammann, " Vorgeschichte des Weltkrieges," 
and " Urn den Kaiser " ; J. Haller, " Die Aera Biilow." Hamel, " Aus 
Billow's Diplomatischer Werkstatt," analyses the differences between the 
first and second edition of his " Deutsche Politik." 



230 History of Modern Europe [1897 

three men must be held jointly responsible for a policy 
which changed the face of the world. 

In November, within a few months of his assuming 
office, Tirpitz introduced the first Navy Bill, which pre- 
sented a programme to be completed in 
seven years. He was assured at the 
Admiralty that the Reichstag would never 
accept a term of years, and Beningsen, the National 
Liberal leader, advised yearly credits. Tirpitz, however, 
resolved to secure continuity of construction, and to resign 
if he failed. The second novelty was that, while his pre- 
decessors had aimed at coast defence, a small battle fleet 
in home waters, and fast cruisers scattered over the globe 
ready to defend German commerce and attack the com- 
merce of enemies, the new system was to begin with a 
High Seas Fleet and to think about commerce defence if 
and when Germany secured some foreign bases. In com- 
mending his proposal to the Reichstag, he declared that if 
it were carried out the German fleet would in 1904 cease 
to be a quantity negligeable. Hohenlohe defended the 
proposal as "the result of the political development of 
Germany," and Tirpitz secured the approval of Bismarck 
and his Press by a timely visit to Friedrichsruh. At the 
age of eighty the fallen Chancellor had accepted an invita- 
tion from Ballin to revisit Hamburg ; and, after making a 
tour of the harbour and inspecting a giant liner, he 
remarked, "I am stirred and moved. Yes, this is a new 
age, a new world." The support of the Princes of the 
Empire and of the Ministers of the Federal States, of the 
Hanse towns and of the Universities, was sought by the 
indefatigable Minister, who also commissioned a transla- 
tion of Mahan's "Influence of Sea-Power on History." 
A new spirit had entered the Admiralty, and a new spirit 
was soon to dominate the German nation. 

The Navy Bill was warmly supported by the Conserva- 
tives and National Liberals, and fought by the Radicals 
under Richter and by the Socialists, who complained that 
the Reichstag was parting with its control of the purse for 



1898] First German Navy Bill 231 

a term of six years; but the support of a majority of the 
Centrum decided the issue. The third reading was carried 
in April, 1898, and the German navy, as a The 
factor in high politics, came into existence. Navy 
The programme consisted of 12 battle- League 
ships, 8 armoured vessels for coast defence, 10 large 
and 23 small cruisers. A Navy League was founded to 
educate the people to a perception of the need for sea 
power; and in a speech at Danzig on September 23, 1898, 
the Kaiser uttered the fateful words, "Our future lies on 
the water." 



CHAPTER VII 

ARMENIA AND CRETE 

IN addition to the causes of estrangement between Great 
Britain and Germany described in the previous chapter, 
there was a sharp divergence of sentiment and policy in 
regard to Turkey. A vein of idealism has run through 
British statesmanship since Canning championed the cause 
of Greek independence ; and the same spirit of disinterested 
humanitarianism that led to the support of Greek and 
Italian nationality was aroused by the Turkish atrocities 
in the Balkans in 1875, and by similar outrages twenty 
years later in Asia Minor. 



It was mentioned in the first chapter of the present work 

that the newly awakened interest of the Christian Powers 

The * n t ^ ie Armenians at ti 16 Congress of Berlin 

Armenian proved not a blessing but a curse. The 

Problem Sultan's suspicions of their loyalty were 

aroused, and a Turkish Minister grimly observed 

that the way to get rid of the Armenian question was 

to get rid of the Armenians, while no Power except 

Great Britain exerted itself to secure the execution of the 

promised reforms. Russia possessed the power but not 

the will to aid, and Turkish inertia once again triumphed, 

even Gladstone giving up the struggle in I883. 1 Without 

1 In addition to the Blue Books, see Bryce, " Transcaucasia and 
Ararat " (edition of 1896) ; Whates, " The Third Salisbury Administra- 
tion "; Lepsius, "Armenia and Europe"; Crispi, "Memoirs," III, 
ch. 9 ; Argyll, " Our Responsibilities for Turkey " ; Sir E. Pears, 
"Abdul Hamid"; E. T. Cook, "Lord Rosebery's Foreign Policy"; 
Ritter von Sax, " Geschichte des Machtverfalls der Turkei " ; Sidney 
Whitman, "Turkish Memories"; Lynch, "Armenia," 2 vols. ; Djemal, 
" Memories of a Turkish Statesman," ch. 9. 

232 



1894] The First Armenian Massacres 233 

indulging in spectacular massacres, the Turkish Govern- 
ment pursued its usual course of rendering the lives of its 
Armenian subjects intolerable; and it was inevitable that 
the bolder spirits should turn to thoughts of defence and 
retaliation. In 1880 a committee was formed in Tiflis, 
the capital of Georgia, where there was a large Armenian 
colony, and in the following years committees began to 
appear in Western Europe. In 1890 an Armenian asso- 
ciation was formed by Englishmen to bring the Armenian 
question before the public and to advise the leaders of the 
persecuted race. As the prospect of intervention raised 
by the Treaty of Berlin receded and the hope of reform 
died away, the national movement became more vocal, and 
acts of violence were committed, despite the warning of 
British and American friends that the appeal to force 
would be answered by massacre. The vast majority in 
town and country were untouched by the revolutionary 
spirit ; but the thought of committees plotting in the dark, 
with the sympathy of foreigners and perhaps of foreign 
governments, maddened the Sultan, who remembered the 
process by which Bulgaria had been detached from his 
empire. Suspects were imprisoned; and when in 1891 the 
Hamidieh irregular cavalry was formed of savage Kurds 
and armed with modern weapons, the Armenians became 
aware that they were living in the crater of a volcano. 

The massacres began in the Sasun district in the vilayet 
of Bitlis in the summer of 1894. Some villagers refused 
the irregular tribute levied on them by the M 
Kurds who lived higher up in the mountains, at 

and blood was shed. The Turkish authorities Sasun 
sent gendarmes to collect the taxes; and when the 
Armenians explained that they could not pay unless 
protected against the Kurds, who took everything 
that they possessed, the Governor charged them 
with rebellion and demanded troops. A large body of 
regulars arrived in the Sasun area, and, aided by Hamidieh 
cavalry, carried fire and sword among the hapless villagers. 
Entire villages were burned, and men, women and children 



234 History of Modern Europe [i8 94 

slaughtered with every circumstance of barbarity. When 
the news of the tragedy reached Europe through the reports 
of the British Vice-Consul at Van, Sir Philip Currie, our 
Ambassador at Constantinople, made energetic protests, 
and Lord Rosebery, appalled by "horrors unutterable and 
unimaginable," demanded an inquiry and the punishment 
of guilty officials. The Sultan, strong in his knowledge 
that the Powers were incapable of combination, replied 
in a tone of injured innocence that no undue severity had 
been applied in the suppression of the rebellion. "Just 
as there are in other countries nihilists, socialists and 
anarchists, endeavouring to obtain concessions of privi- 
leges which it is impossible to grant them, and just as 
steps have to be taken against them, so it is with the 
Armenians." While conceding the demand for an inquiry, 
he made it clear to his critics that he was in no mood for 
apology. The British Consul was forbidden to visit the 
scene of the massacre. The Mufti of Mush, who had 
incited the troops, and the Commander of the forces were 
decorated, while an official who had protested was 
dismissed. 

When it was announced that the object of the Commis- 
sion was "to inquire into the criminal conduct of Armenian 
The brigands," Sir Philip Currie was ordered 
Sham to invite the French and Russian Ambas- 
Inquiry sa dors to join in a formal protest against 
an inquiry which could be nothing but a farce; and 
Abdul Hamid was informed that the British Govern- 
ment "reserved to themselves entire liberty of action 
with regard to the whole matter." The Sultan gave way 
to the extent of allowing a British consul to join the 
Commission. Lord Kimberley, the Foreign Secretary in 
the Rosebery Government, thereupon invited the Powers 
to approve of the French and Russian Consuls at Erzerum 
being added France and Russia alone having consuls 
in the neighbourhood. France consented, subject to the 
approval of the Sultan. Russia was equally favourable, 
though explaining that she was averse to raising any 



1895] The Turkish Inquiry 235 

political question and was actuated by no arriere-pensee. 
Austria and Italy readily agreed to the joint representa- 
tion, while Germany replied that, though only indirectly 
interested in the question, she had advised the Sultan to 
appoint a commission satisfactory to the Powers. After 
agreement had thus been reached, it was proposed that 
the Consuls of the three Powers should send delegates 
instead of going in person ; and the British Government 
reluctantly agreed to this diminutio capitis. The first 
sitting, which was held in January, 1895, showed that the 
Turks were determined to render the inquiry useless. 
Witnesses feared to denounce the misconduct of Turkish 
officials before a Turkish Commission, and Government 
witnesses produced stories that were manufactured for the 
occasion. Yet, despite these obstacles to the elucidation 
of the truth, it was discovered that the Armenians had not 
revolted against the Government, and that the Turkish 
troops, instead of keeping the peace, had joined the Kurds 
in a savage assault. 

It was now the task of the British Government, which 
alone had its heart in the work, to devise methods of 
preventing the recurrence of atrocities. A The 
scheme of reform was drawn up by Sir British 
Philip Currie suggesting the appointment Scheme 
of a Vali for five years, approved and removable 
only by the Powers; a council of delegates; the local 
officials to be Moslem and Christian in accordance 
with their relative numbers; a court for each Vilayet, 
composed of two Moslems and two Christians; a mixed 
gendarmerie; and, finally, measures of protection against 
the incursions and levying of forced tribute by the Kurds. 
It was a business-like scheme, and Turkey resorted to her 
usual methods of protest and procrastination. The Sultan 
told Sir Philip that he did not see the necessity of such 
reforms; complained of British attacks on an old ally; 
denied that Armenians were lying in prison without trial ; 
warned him that if false reports continued to be believed 
in England it would endanger good relations ; and added 



236 History of Modern Europe [1895 

that his Mussulman subjects could not remain indifferent 
to the injuries they received at the hands of the Armenians, 
apparently encouraged and protected by England. The 
Turkish Ambassador in London, who coolly inquired of 
Lord Kimberley by what right Great Britain claimed to 
interfere in Turkey's internal affairs, was reminded of the 
Treaty of Berlin and the Cyprus Convention. 

The Sultan's next step was to appoint a commission 
to inquire into Armenian affairs, and Great Britain was 
invited to communicate direct with the Commission 
instead of putting forward a scheme of her own. But the 
continued persecution of the Armenians throughout Asia 
Minor persuaded France and Russia to instruct their 
Ambassadors to join Sir Philip Currie in elaborating a 
scheme on the basis of his own Memorandum. Great 
Britain in vain proposed to make all the higher appoint- 
ments subject to the approval of the Powers; but the 
scheme presented on May n, consisting of forty articles, 
and covering the whole field of administration, justice 
and finance, was far too drastic for the Sultan's taste. He 
asked for time for consideration, and appealed to Germany, 
who declined to intervene; but as reports of renewed 
barbarities arrived, Great Britain at the end of the month 
urged the Powers to insist on a reply, informing the 
Russian Ambassador at the same time that in the event 
of further delay she would employ "measures of restraint." 

Kimberley 's intentions were excellent, but he had 

drawn the bow too tight. Prince Lobanoff, who had 

Kimberle succeeded Giers as Russian Foreign Minister, 

versus cared nothing for the Armenians, and ex- 
Lobanoff p] a i n d that he could not agree to a new 
Bulgaria in Armenia. Fearing, or pretending to fear, 
a general rising of the race, two millions of whom 
lived within the frontiers of Russia, he replied that 
he would have nothing to do with coercion. Fortified 
by knowledge of Russia's decision, the Sultan rejected 
virtually the whole of the reform scheme. While accept- 
ing an increase of Armenians in the administration, he 



1895] Efforts of Great Britain 237 

refused a High Commissioner, a Commission of Control, 
the veto of the Powers on the Valis, the proposals for the 
reform of justice, the gendarmerie and police, and ignored 
the clauses relating to taxation and finance. On receiving 
this negative reply LobanofT explained to the British 
Ambassador that he had never regarded the reform scheme 
as an ultimatum, repeated that Russia would take no part 
in coercion, and added that he could not allow the creation 
of a district in which the Armenians would have excep- 
tional privileges and which would form the nucleus of an 
Armenian State. The British Government, though now 
unsupported by any of the Powers, did not flinch, and on 
June 19 Kimberley proposed that the Sultan should be 
asked to state his intentions with regard to the reforms 
within forty-eight hours. While the Russian Government 
was considering the proposal, the Rosebery Ministry fell, 
and on the following day Russia refused to agree to the 
demand. 

Salisbury, who combined the Foreign Office with the 
Premiership, was as eager as Kimberley to save the 
Armenians from their oppressor. He en- salisbur 
couraged Gladstone to deliver a flaming threatens 
denunciation in August, and he informed Turkey 
the Turkish Ambassador that he entirely supported the 
policy of his predecessor. 1 When the Sultan replied 
by restating his criticisms of the reform scheme, Salis- 
bury inquired how far Russia would go in the direction of 
coercion. LobanofT rejoined that he wished to co-operate 
with Great Britain, so long as no autonomous State was 
contemplated, and Salisbury explained that he had no such 
aim, and that the problem was to establish effective super- 
vision in accordance with the Treaty of Berlin. The 
Queen's Speech of August 15 referred to the "horrors 
which have moved the indignation of the Christian nations 
of Europe generally and of my people especially." In his 
speech on the Address the new Prime Minister, fresh from 

1 There is some interesting correspondence with Salisbury and Glad- 
stone in G. W. E. Russell, " Life of Canon MacColl," ch. 8. 



238 History of Modern Europe [1895 

his meeting with the Kaiser at Cowes, addressed a public 
warning to Turkey. "If, generation after generation, 
cries of misery come from various parts of the Turkish 
Empire, I am sure the Sultan cannot blind himself to the 
probability that Europe will at some time become weary of 
trie appeals that are made to it. He will make a calami- 
tous mistake if he refuses to accept the assistance and to 
listen to the advice of the -European Powers in extirpating 
from his dominions an anarchy and a weakness which no 
treaties and no sympathy will in the long run prevent from 
being fatal to the empire over which he rules." Such 
menaces left the Sultan cold, for Great Britain stood alone. 
On September u the Tsar confessed to 
IS EngiaSd f Hohenlohe that he was tired of the Armenian 
question. 1 Russia had now passed beyond 
the stage of refusing to support coercion and had 
imposed her veto on action by anybody else. The 
Emperor and himself, Lobanoff explained, were strongly 
against force being used by any or all the Powers. The 
significance of the warning was enhanced by an intimation 
from the Sultan that if Great Britain insisted on European 
supervision of the reforms he would place himself in the 
hands of Russia. His next step was to issue a contre- 
projet which withdrew the concessions already granted, 
and reserved to Moslems the whole of the administration. 
When Lobanoff realized that the British Government 
had no desire to create an Armenian State and no inten- 
tion of applying coercion, he consented to support the mild 
proposals which alone had a chance of being accepted. As 
the Sultan refused European supervision, Salisbury pro- 
posed a mixed Commission of Surveillance, containing 
three Europeans; and Russia, obediently followed by 
France, offered the Sultan the choice between the Com- 
mission and the main provisions of the scheme presented 
in May. Abdul Hamid, preferring a paper scheme to the 
presence of European supervisors, chose the former, and 
on October 17 an irade sanctioned the reforms. The sur- 

1 Hohenlohe, " Denkwiirdigkeiten," II, 521. 



Massacres in 1895 239 

render on paper was complete ; but it followed a far more 
terrible outbreak than that which had set the Concert in 
motion a year before. The greatest massacre 
of Christians that had occurred for centuries 
began on September 30 with an attack on 
a procession in Constantinople bearing a petition to 
the Government. Wholesale massacres occurred at 
Trebizond, Erzerum, Bitlis, Kharput, Diarbekr, Sivas, 
Aintab, Marash, and, most terrible of all, at Urfa, 
where three thousand men, women and children were 
burnt in the cathedral. The Consular reports left no 
doubt that the campaign was carefully organized; that the 
holocaust often began and ended to the call of the bugle ; 
that soldiers took part in the killing; that the authorities 
instigated or remained passive spectators of the tragedy ; 
and that not a single foreigner was injured. While pre- 
tending to accept the guidance of the Powers, the Sultan 
had encouraged and probably ordered the solution of the 
Armenian problem by the time-honoured methods of the 
East. When Russia vetoed the application of force by 
Great Britain she signed the death-warrant of myriads of 
the Christian subjects of the Turk for whom she had gone 
to war in 1877. 

While twenty-five thousand Armenians were dying by 
the sword, by fire, by water, by torture, by violation, by 
hunger, by cold, Salisbury protested vigorously to the 
Porte, which replied that the Armenian revolutionary 
movement and the support of the Christians by the Powers 
had excited his Mussulman subjects; that whatever blood- 
shed had occurred the Armenians were the aggressors; and 
that the Government was doing its best to restore order. 
The alleged revolt, moreover, was employed as an excuse 
for not promulgating the reforms which had been sanc- 
tioned, and the Sultan invited Great Britain to advise the 
Armenians to be quiet, and "to allow him to execute the 
reforms which could not be put in force till tranquillity 
was restored." The Powers contented themselves with 
sending ships through the Dardanelles for the protection 



240 History of Modern Europe [1895 

of their subjects. Lobanoff suggested that the Sultan 
should be allowed time to restore order, and advocated 
"as little interference as possible in Turkish affairs at the 
present moment " ; and Goluchowski, who had recently 
succeeded Kalnoky as Austrian Foreign Minister, declared 
with equal cynicism that the situation did not require even 
the consideration of the measures of coercion which Great 
Britain considered desirable. At the Guildhall banquet on 
November 9 Salisbury announced his disbelief that the 
reforms would be executed, and renewed his warnings of 
the summer; but Abdul Hamid was master of the situation, 
and carried out his sinister programme in leisurely fashion 
without a hitch. Sir Philip Currie gallantly endeavoured 
to galvanize his colleagues into motion, but in vain. 
Christendom was paralysed in 1895 by disunion and 
indifference, as it had been paralysed in 1453, and a 
gifted and unoffending race paid the penalty. Though 
Armenian revolutionaries had formed secret societies in a 
few cities, they were detested by most of their fellow- 
countrymen, who were unarmed and knew their own weak- 
ness much too well to risk revolt. 

At the end of 1895 a halt was called in the campaign 
of extermination; but the interval was not employed 
Lobanoff to P revent a recurrence of the atrocities. 
supports Lobanoff unblushingly announced that he 
Turkey " saw nothing to destroy his confidence in 
the good will of the Sultan, who was doing his best. 
It was therefore desirable to assist him in the arduous 
task of introducing the reforms, to give him the 
necessary time, and to increase his authority and prestige 
in the eyes of his subjects." The timid Goluchowski, 
who admitted that the Sultan could stop the massacres 
whenever he pleased, was equally determined not to raise 
the Eastern question. Germany never pretended to care 
what became of the Christian subjects of the Sultan. 
France followed her ally, and Italy, though far less callous, 
did not count. The United States, while sharing Great 
Britain's sympathy and indignation, and generously 



i8 9 6j Russian Veto on Coercion 241 

aiding in the task of relief, was not a signatory of the 
Treaty of Berlin, and held aloof from European com- 
plications. Thus Salisbury stood alone, as Kimberley 
before him, and with the fear of a European conflagration 
before his eyes he could do nothing but warn and protest. 
The Queen's Speech at the opening of the session of 1896 
merely recorded the acceptance by the Sultan of the 
principal reforms, regretted "a fanatical outbreak on the 
part of a section of the Turkish population resulting in a 
series of massacres which have caused the deepest indig- 
nation in this country," and promised to publish dispatches 
and reports. 

The paralysis of Christendom played into the hands 
of the Armenian revolutionaries, who warned the embassies 
at Constantinople that unless the massacres The 

were stopped and the reforms introduced Constantinople 
they would provoke disturbances. Spring Massacre 
melted into summer, and on August 26 a band seized 
the Ottoman Bank at Galata anil barricaded them- 
selves within, hoping to shock Europe out of its 
indifference. They were persuaded by the Russian 
dragoman to withdraw on promise of safety and were 
hurried on board a steamer, but their crazy and criminal 
act had given the Sultan the excuse which he needed for 
renewing his attack on the hated race. News of the coming 
coup had reached the Government, which proceeded to 
arm the Kurds and the dregs of the city with clubs and 
knives. Directly after the attack on the bank the army of 
destruction was let loose, and for two days the capital ran 
with blood. On the second afternoon the British Charge" 
informed the Sultan that he would land British sailors, 
and the Ambassadors followed with a joint Note. The 
organized massacres immediately ceased, though sporadic 
slaughter continued. This Turkish Batholomew, in which 
six to seven thousand Armenians were clubbed or stabbed 
to death in the streets of the capital in broad daylight 
and under the eyes of the Ambassadors, roused Europe 
more than the greater massacres of Asia Minor. It was 

Q 



242 History of Modern Europe [1896 

widely believed, both by Europeans and Turks, that the 
fleets of the Powers would steam up to the capital and 
depose the Sultan; yet nothing more alarming occurred 
than the Ambassadors' refusal to illuminate their houses 
on the Sultan's birthday a few days later. 

British opinion was stirred to anger not only by the 

devilry of the Turk, but by the impotence of a mighty 

En land's em P^ re< ^ n a series of inspired sonnets 

impotent William Watson called down the curses of 

Anger heaven on Abdul Hamid, "Immortally, 
beyond all mortals, damned " ; and Gladstone, again 
emerging from his retirement at the age of 87, pas- 
sionately denounced "the Great Assassin " in a speech 
at Liverpool, and pleaded for the recall of Sir Philip 
Currie from Constantinople and the expulsion of the 
Turkish Ambassador. When the mischief was done 
the six Ambassadors presented a joint Note, citing 
evidence of the official organization and supervision of the 
massacre, and demanding investigation and punishment. 
The Porte naturally denied that the mob had been set in 
motion by the Government, and a tribunal, appointed to 
try all who had been concerned in the riots, punished 
Armenians and allowed their murderers to go free. The 
explosion of fanaticism in the capital was followed by 
reverberations throughout Asia Minor, and the new attacks 
provoked retaliation. Every Armenian who declined to 
turn the other cheek to the smiter furnished the Sultan 
with a fresh excuse for flouting the Powers. A month 
after the blood-bath of the Bosphorus the Sultan replied 
to the Ambassadors that the Armenians enjoyed greater 
privileges than subject populations in other countries, and 
that they desired not the reforms which he had accepted 
but autonomy, to which he could never consent and which 
the Powers would never allow. The Note concluded by 
summoning the Powers to expel Armenian agitators from 
their territory. But diplomatic insolence was as powerless 
as wholesale slaughter to stir the Powers. Indeed, the 
Tsar, meeting Hohenlohe at Breslau on September 6, 



1896] The Wrong Horse 243 

expressed the opinion that England was responsible for 
the whole movement, adding that, though he was very 
fond of England and the English, he mistrusted their 
policy. 1 Salisbury abhorred the cruelties of the Turk 
scarcely less than Gladstone, but he dared not allow the 
tragedy to provoke the still greater catastrophe of a 
European war. His policy was endorsed by Lord 
Rosebery in a speech at Edinburgh on October 9, in 
which he replied to Gladstone's Liverpool speech and 
resigned the leadership of the Liberal party. "Against 
the policy of solitary intervention in the affairs of the 
East I am prepared to fight tooth and nail. Mr. Glad- 
stone speaks of the phantasm of a European war. I believe 
it is no phantasm at all. I believe there was a fixed and 
resolute agreement on the part of all or nearly all the 
Great Powers to resist by force any single-handed inter- 
vention by England. Isolated action means a European 
war. Concerted action of the Powers is the only way you 
can deal with the Eastern Question." 2 

The eighteen years following the Treaty of Berlin 
convinced Salisbury and most of his countrymen that in 
supporting Turkey against Russia we had 
"put our money on the wrong horse." 
Turkey had not reformed herself, and the 
Powers had neither compelled her to carry out her 
promises nor allowed Great Britain to undertake the 
duty which they shirked themselves. Our protests excited 
the anger of the Sultan, and our threats aroused his con- 
tempt. We failed to rescue the Armenians, and we lost 
whatever influence at Constantinople we had possessed. 
Russia had no more love of the Turk in 1894-6 than in 
1877-8; but she was now turning her eyes towards the 
Pacific, and had no intention of spilling her blood for 
another ungrateful Christian community. Moreover, she 
had no wish to see Turkey regenerate herself by reforms 

1 Hohenlohe, " Denkwurdigkeiten," II, 527. 

2 Reprinted in Coates, " Life and Speeches of Lord Roseberv," II, 
ch. 30. 



244 History of Modern Europe [1896 

which would strengthen her resistance to Russia's ultimate 
ambitions. And finally, she was not sorry for the oppor- 
tunity of turning the tables on her rival. When 
Alexander II desired to emancipate the Christian subjects 
of the Sultan, he had been thwarted by Beaconsfield ; 
and when Kimberley and Salisbury became their cham- 
pions, it was the turn of Russia to pronounce the veto. 
The Anglo-Russian struggle, which dated from the 
Crimean war, was still in progress, and the Armenians 
were sacrificed, like the Macedonian Christians before 
them, to a world-wide antagonism. The Sultan had 
discovered that he could do what he liked in his own 
house, and he found ample compensation for the loss of 
British friendship in grasping the outstretched hand of the 
Kaiser. 



II 

Abdul Hamid had triumphed in his wrestling match 

with Great Britain. Organized massacres came to an 

The end; but the misrule under which the 

Cretan Armenians, like his other Christian subjects, 

Problem continued to groan was unchecked and almost 
unregarded. In Crete, on the other hand, owing 
to its geographical position and the co-operation of 
Russia, Salisbury was enabled to emancipate a Christian 
population without the risk of war, and the Concert 
of Europe regained a portion of the prestige which 
it had squandered in the bloodstained highlands of 
Asia Minor. 1 

For ten yeats after the Pact of Halepa Crete lived 
quietly under Greek governors; but in 1889 the waters 
were ruffled by a violent quarrel between " Liberals " and 
"Conservatives." When the former, after a sweeping 
victory at the polls, excluded the latter from all posts in 
the public service, some Conservative deputies brought 
forward a motion for union with Greece in order to 

1 See W. Miller, " The Ottoman Empire," ch. 18 ; B^rard, " Les Affaires 
de Crete "; and Whates, " The Third Salisbury Administration.*' 



1896] Cretan Discontents 245 

embarrass their opponents. Tricoupes, the Greek Premier, 
endeavoured from Athens to discourage the agitation ; but 
the word "union" rekindled racial enmity, and the strife 
of Christian with Christian gave place to the fiercer 
struggle of Christian and Mussulman. A Turkish Com- 
missioner was dispatched from Constantinople ; yet neither 
money nor threats availed to calm the tempest. Villages 
were burned, murders were committed, Moslem peasants 
crowded into the coast towns, and Christian refugees 
sought refuge in Athens. A few Turkish troops were sent, 
and Tricoupes vainly urged the intervention of the Powers, 
and above all of Great Britain. A Firman virtually 
repealed the Pact of Halepa, announced the formation of 
a gendarmerie from the mainland provinces, and gave 
preference for official posts to Turkish-speaking candi- 
dates. The insurrection was suppressed, three Mussulman 
Governors in succession ruled the island, and the 
Assembly ceased to meet. 

In 1894 insurrection broke out afresh, and was sup- 
pressed in 1895. A Christian Governor was now 
appointed, but the Moslems protested against dm stians 
the selection, and he was in turn succeeded and 
by a Moslem. Tension continued through- Mussulmans 
out the year, and on May 24, 1896, a conflict flamed 
out in the streets of Canea. Salisbury proceeded to 
act on the advice which Tricoupes had addressed 
to him seven years before, and brought the demands 
of the Cretan Christians before the Concert. Mainly 
owing to the efforts of the British Government, a 
convention was accepted by Turkey, reviving the Pact 
of Halepa and providing that the Governor should be a 
Christian, appointed for five years with the approval of 
the Powers. Two-thirds of the public posts were to be 
reserved for Christians. The Assembly was to be elected 
biennially and to meet within six months. A commission 
of European officers was to reorganize the gendarmerie, 
and a commission of European jurists to reform the 
tribunals. On paper the programme was satisfactory, but 



246 History of Modern Europe [1897 

the will to carry it out was lacking. The Sultan selected 
a Christian Governor; but the late Moslem Governor 
remained in the island as Commander-in-Chief, with 
superior authority, and the delay in the organization of 
the gendarmerie aroused suspicions. The Moslems 
resisted the reforms, and on February 4, 1897, they broke 
loose in Canea. A large part of the Christian quarter 
was burned, and the flames of civil war enveloped the 
island. The Christians proclaimed union with Greece, 
and two days later Prince George, the second son of the 
King, hurried across with a torpedo flotilla 
Intervenes to P revent Turkish reinforcements from land- 
ing. A Note to the Powers argued that 
as the arrival of fresh Turkish troops would be 
followed by new atrocities, the Greek Government had 
decided to prevent it. The Cretans desired union 
with Greece, which indeed was the only solution of the 
question. A few days later Colonel Vassos landed west 
of Canea with 1,500 men to occupy Crete in the name 
of the King, and issued a proclamation that he was bring- 
ing peace and legality to the island. The cautious Tri- 
coupes was dead, and the inflammable Delyannis was 
again in power. Moreover, Greece had spent large sums 
on supporting refugees, and the demand for intervention 
was irresistible. The thrones of Balkan kings are pro- 
verbially insecure, and the prudent George dared not risk 
his crown by thwarting the will of his excitable people. 

The five Powers whose ships were at that moment in 
Cretan waters, surprised and annoyed by the Greek coup, 
telegraphed to their Admirals to occupy Canea. Goluchow- 
ski suggested that a naval cordon should be drawn round 
the island, and that the Christians and Mussulmans should 
be left to fight out their quarrels without reinforcement 
either from Athens or Constantinople; but Salisbury 
refused to encourage a war of mutual extermination. 
Prince George obeyed an order from the Admirals to 
withdraw his flotilla, but Vassos attacked and captured a 
Turkish fort. When the Admirals warned him against 



1897] The Powers and Crete 247 

attacking Canea and other towns which they had occupied, 
the Colonel replied that he had been sent to occupy Crete 
and would carry out his instructions. An attack on 
Turkish troops was interrupted by a bombardment from 
the fleets; and when a Note, promising autonomy on con- 
dition that Greek troops and ships left the island, produced 
no result, the Admirals blockaded the island and again 
bombarded the insurgents from Suda Bay. 

Since the Sultan was unable to send troops to Crete, 
he mobilized an army on the Greek frontier. The Powers 
were agreed in desiring to prevent war; but while Germany 
and Austria wished to compel Greece to withdraw Vassos 
from Crete, Great Britain argued that the future of the 
island should be determined before pressure was exerted. 
Russia was no longer an obstacle in the path of reform, 
for Lobanoff was dead, and the Queen of Greece was a 
Russian princess. It was a triumph for Salisbury when 
on March 2 Notes from the Powers were delivered both 
at Athens and Constantinople. King George Autonom 
was informed that Crete could not be for 
annexed to Greece, but would receive abso- Crete 
lute autonomy. In return the troops and ships were 
to be withdrawn within six days, or they would be 
ejected by the Powers. The Note to the Porte demanded 
complete autonomy for Crete, and promised that it should 
not be transferred to Greece. The Sultan had no choice 
but to accept; yet Greece, intoxicated by excitement and 
self-confidence, refused to withdraw her soldiers from the 
island. The proposal that they should remain as the 
nucleus of a gendarmerie, though agreeable to Salisbury, 
was rejected. The refusal to evacuate Crete, though hailed 
with delight by the Athenian mob, angered the Powers, 
each of whom sent six hundred men to the island. A 
strict blockade was established. The Admirals informed 
the inhabitants of the "irrevocable " decision of the Powers 
to grant complete autonomy, and ordered them to lay down 
their arms. The proclamation produced no effect, for the 
Cretans demanded union, not autonomy. 



248 History of Modern Europe [1897 

Meanwhile Turkey and Greece had mustered consider- 
able forces on the frontiers of Thessaly. The Sultan, 
while naturally desiring to chastise the Greeks, showed no 
eagerness for a war from which he knew that he would 
be allowed to derive no territorial advantage. The Greeks, 
on the other hand, who had not fought Turkey since the 
War of Independence, felt unbounded confidence in their 
military and naval prowess, and it was impossible for the 
King still in some degree a stranger in the land to resist 
the shrill cries raised by the National Society. At this 
moment a sympathetic telegram from one hundred British 
Liberals to the King, and a pamphlet of Gladstone com- 
mending her "marvellously gallant action," encouraged 
Greece to hope for British aid; money poured in from 
abroad, and a band of red-shirted "Garibaldians " took 
their place in the fighting line. As in 1886, Greek rifles 
went off by themselves on the frontier, and on April 5 the 
Powers warned both Turkey and Greece that whoever 
began hostilities would be held responsible and would be 

Greco- allowed no advantages from victory. Greece 
Turkish was deaf and blind; and on April 8 the 
War irregulars crossed the frontier into Mace- 
donia and Epirus. The bands were quickly driven 
back; but on April 17 the Sultan declared war. Respon- 
sibility, he declared, rested with Greece. The war 
was indeed of her making; but its ultimate cause was 
Turkish misrule in an island Greek by religion, language 
and political sympathy. 

In 1891 Tricoupes had proposed to Serbia and Bulgaria 
a joint campaign against the Turks, to be followed by the 
partition of Macedonia. The plan was betrayed to the 
Porte by Stambuloff, and during the years that followed 
no further attempt at combination was made. Greece now 
again attempted to purchase Bulgarian help by the offer of 
a partition of Macedonia and a port on the ^Egean, but 
in vain. The Sultan quieted Sofia and Belgrad by oppor- 
tune grants of bishoprics and schools in Macedonia ; and 
an Austro-Russian Note to the Balkan Courts warned them 



i8 9 7] Defeat of Greece 249 

not to interfere. The way was thus clear for inflicting on 
Greece the signal humiliation which she had courted. The 
Greek navy, though superior to that of Turkey, accom- 
plished nothing; and the land campaign was over in a 
month. On the day after the declaration of war Edhem 
Pasha drove his enemy from the Malouna Pass and en- 
camped in the plain of Thessaly. Panic seized the Greeks, 
who fled from Larissa, and the Athenian populace marched 
on the palace. Delyannis resigned, and the throne was 
saved by Rhallis, the new Premier. The defeated forces 
rallied at Pharsalos, and at Velestino Smolenski, the only 
General who distinguished himself in the campaign, re- 
pulsed the advance guard of the Turkish army. It was 
but a momentary gleam in the sky; for on May 4 Edhem 
Pasha forced back the whole Greek line from Volo on the 
coast to Pharsalos. The Crown Prince Constantine fell 
back on a strong position at Domokos, from which, how- 
ever, he was dislodged without difficulty on May 17. The 
road to Athens now lay open to the invaders, and the 
capital surrendered itself for a second time to panic. On 
May 19 a truce was arranged for Epirus, where the cam- 
paign had been no less disastrous, and on May 20 for 
Thessaly. 

Greece had been saved from annihilation by the inter- 
vention of the Powers. On assuming office Rhallis had 
informed the Ambassadors that the troops 
in Crete would be withdrawn and that he 
would be glad of mediation ; and Salisbury, 
who had been waiting for the opportunity, at once 
began to work for an armistice. The Powers ap- 
proved, though Germany insisted that Greece should first 
pledge herself to be satisfied with autonomy for Crete. 
Though the other Powers did not regard the condition 
as essential and Greece refused to accept it, the Kaiser 
insisted, and Greece gave way on May 10. Two days later 
the Powers informed the Sultan that Greece had entrusted 
her interests to the Concert, and would evacuate Crete and 
accept autonomy of the island; and they asked that the 



250 History of Modern Europe [1897 

Turkish commanders should be ordered to halt. Sir Philip 
Currie was at the same time instructed to decline any 
proposal for leaving conquered Greek territory in Turkish 
hands as security for an indemnity, though alterations of 
the strategic frontier might be considered. Turkey had 
been attacked and had won ; and her demands, which in- 
cluded the restoration of Thessaly and an enormous in- 
demnity, struck even the Kaiser as exorbitant. The Sultan 
was informed that nothing beyond strategic rectifications 
and a moderate indemnity could be allowed; and as the 
Concert was for once unanimous, he submitted and ordered 
the cessation of hostilities. The Treaty of Peace, signed 
at Constantinople on December 4, provided for an in- 
; p eace demnity of four millions, which was to be 
Concluded, raised under the supervision of an Inter- 
Dec * 4 national Commission. 1 The Turkish frontier 
was brought closer to Larissa, but only a single Greek 
village was transferred. Thanks to Great Britain 
and to the gentler mood of Russia, Greece emerged 
from her rash adventure with nothing worse than a few 
scratches. The situation was none the less profoundly 
disheartening to friends of the Eastern Christians. " First, 
100,000 Armenians slaughtered," lamented Gladstone, 
"with no security against repetition. Secondly, Turkey 
stronger than at any time since the Crimean War. 
Thirdly, Greece weaker than at any time since she became 
a kingdom. Fourthly, all this due to the mutual distrust 
and hatred of the Powers." 

The Cretan settlement proved much more difficult, and 
many months were spent in the search for a Governor- 
General. France suggested a former President of the 
Swiss Confederation, who declined the honour. Austria 
championed a Luxemburg officer, who failed to secure 
unanimity. Then Russia proposed two Turks and a 
Montenegrin prince; but Salisbury refused a Turk, and 
the Montenegrin candidate could not be spared by his 
cousin Prince Nicholas. At the close of the year Russia 

1 See Morison and Hutchinson, " Life of Sir Edward Law," ch. 6. 



The Cretan Settlement 251 

boldly put forward Prince George of Greece, and Salis- 
bury at once expressed that he had "much pleasure" in 
supporting his candidature. France and Italy approved; 
but Germany and Austria frowned on the plan. The 
Kaiser argued that the man who had led the torpedo 
flotilla would work for annexation, and then the other 
Balkan States would demand compensation, as in 1885-6. 
Austria added that as the proposal would be rejected by 
Turkey, it should not be made. After several weeks of 
deadlock the Kaiser informed the British Ambassador that 
he should withdraw from the Concert, and Btilow, in more 
picturesque language, explained why Germany "laid her 
flute on the table." Germany had no interests in the 
Mediterranean, and the other Powers might appoint whom- 
soever they pleased. Austria followed suit. The dis- 
cordant instruments in the orchestra were thus peacefully 
eliminated; but the Sultan's opposition to Prince George 
was unchanged. 

While these interminable discussions were in progress, 
Crete was suffering from her old maladies. When the 
Greek troops were withdrawn the British 
Consul urged that the Turkish troops should 
follow them; for the Cretan Christians were 
prepared to accept autonomy if they were removed. 
The Sultan, on the other hand, proposed to reinforce 
his garrisons; but the Powers protested, and, follow- 
ing the British initiative, ordered their Admirals to 
prevent a landing. When Germany and Austria with- 
drew their forces, the Admirals of the four Powers asked 
for an increase of their land forces, which only amounted 
to 2,500 men; and the coast towns were allotted to the 
Powers severally, Canea alone being in joint occupation. 
The strife between the Christians in the interior and the 
Mussulmans on the coast continued to rage; and the 
Admirals reported that they would probably come into 
collision with the Turkish garrisons if the Sultan persisted 
in refusing their recall. 

The deadlock was at last removed on September 6, 



252 History of Modern Europe [1898 

wheas a British force was attacked by Mussulmans in the 
harbour of Candia and suffered more than fifty casualties, 
while the British Vice-Consul was murdered. The fight 
spread to the whole town, in which the Mussulmans were 
in the majority, and hundreds of Christians perished. 
Admiral Noel, cutting the knot which the Chancelleries 
had failed to untie, terminated the conflict by bombarding 
the town, and sent an ultimatum to the Turkish Governor 
demanding the removal of the garrisons and the disarming 
of the Mussulmans. The paralysis of the Concert was at 
an end. British reinforcements were sent, and Russia was 
informed that if the Powers declined to co-operate Great 
Britain would act alone. Russia agreed to insist on the 
withdrawal of the garrisons, and the Powers accepted 
Salisbury's suggestion that each should, if necessary, expel 
the troops from its own district. On October 5 the Sultan 
was invited by a joint Note to withdraw his troops and 
officials and to hand over the island to the four Powers, 
who guaranteed his suzerain rights and the well-being of 
Christians and Mussulmans alike. The evacuation was to 
begin in a fortnight and be completed within a month. If 
the demands were not accepted, other steps would be 

taken. After pleading in vain for permis- 
Disa T ears s * on to retam garrisons in the fortified towns, 

he accepted the Note without reservations, 
and the withdrawal of Turkish troops began. On 
November 5 Admiral Noel assumed the administration of 
Candia, and the Commander was escorted to the harbour. 
The Turkish flag floated over a fort on the islet in Suda 
Bay a symbol at once of past domination and present 
impotence. 

These forcible proceedings were witnessed by the 
Turcophil Kaiser with indignation. "You know why I 
laid down my flute," he wrote to the Tsar on October 20. ' 
"Because I felt and saw that a certain Power was using 
us all as catspaws to get us to help her to take Crete or 
Suda Bay, and I would not be one of the party praying 

1 " The Kaiser's Letters to the Tsar," 60-2. 



1898] The Kaiser on Crete 



253 



the said Power to kindly look after the welfare of those 
poor darling Cretans. These recent events have shown 
me that my suspicions were right and that this Power 
means mischief and to use force. They want to expel the 
Mussulmans, who are the landed proprietors, and give the 
property to the Christians who were their labourers, and 
who revolted against their masters. That is the Cretan 
question in a nutshell downright robbery. What an 
effect this act of pillage has had on the Mohammedan 
world you have no idea. The Powers in Crete have played 
a foolish and most dangerous game. Remember what you 
and I agreed upon at Peterhof, that the Mohammedans 
were a tremendous card in our game in case you or I were 
suddenly confronted by a war with the certain meddlesome 
Power. If you go on following the lead of the other Power 
in Crete, the effect will be deplorable on your own Moham- 
medan subjects and on Turkey. Therefore I implore you 
to save the Sultan from a dangerous situation and to solve 
the Cretan question in a manner acceptable to him." 

Now that the four Admirals were the masters of the 
island, the Tsar, on whom the warnings of the Kaiser pro- 
duced no effect, revived the candidature of p ri 
Prince George, adding that he was the only George's 
ruler whom the Cretans would be likely to 
accept. The Powers agreed, and the Sultan's re- 
newed protest was brushed aside. On November 26 the 
Ministers of the four Powers at Athens offered the High 
Commissionership to the Prince for three years under the 
suzerainty of the Sultan. The National Assembly was to 
meet, an autonomous Government to be established, and 
a gendarmerie to be created. Each of the four Powers 
promised to advance .40,000 to inaugurate the machinery 
of administration. The Prince landed on December 21, 
and the Admirals departed; and though troops of the four 
Powers remained, the Prince became at once the sole re- 
sponsible authority. Many of the richer -Mussulmans 
migrated to Turkey in fear of Christian domination, but 
peace had at last descended on the distracted island. A 



254 History of Modern Europe [189$ 

mixed commission drew up a constitution, and 1899 wit- 
nessed the first assembly of autonomous Crete. The 
Prince appointed a Council of Five, one of whom was a 
Mussulman. In everything but name Crete was an inde- 
pendent Christian State. The census of 1900 showed the 
Mussulmans to be only one-ninth of the population. The 
flag, the postage stamps and the smaller coins were Cretan. 
The Prince's mandate was renewed, and for the first five 
years of his reign the island enjoyed a tranquil prosperity 
which it had not known for generations. By 1905 Prince 
and people had tired of one another, and the Opposition, 
led by Venezelos, who for a time had been one of the 
five Councillors, took to the hills. In 1906 the Prince 
resigned, and his father, who was invited by the Powers 
to select a successor, chose Zaimis, a respected ex-Premier. 
The task of the Powers came to an end when the inter- 
national troops began to withdraw in 1908. Everyone was 
aware that the union of Crete with Greece would occur in 
the next successful struggle, whenever it came, between 
the Christian and the Turk. 



Ill 

The crises in Armenia and Crete led to the intervention 
of Europe; and the intervention of Europe revealed the 
disunion of the Powers. In the former 
Great Britain and Russia were opposed to 
one another, while in the latter they co- 
operated; but on both occasions Great Britain and 
Germany found themselves in different camps. The Con- 
cert had indeed preserved the peace of Europe; yet its 
machinery creaked and groaned, and Great Britain 
emerged from her struggle with Turkey, which lasted 
from 1894 to 1898, relatively weaker than she entered on 
it. For while her relations to the Dual Alliance continued 
to be chilly, her friendship with the Central Empires 
waned; Austria and Russia patched up their quarrel in 
the Balkans; and Germany established herself as the 






1896] Russo-Bulgar Reconciliation 255 

acknowledged patron of Turkey. Italy alone remained a 
friend; and Italy was disheartened by the catastrophic 
failure of her Abyssinian adventure. 

The death of Alexander III at the end of 1894, an d 
of Giers at the beginning of 1895, cleared the path for 
the reconsideration of the policy which had transformed 
Bulgaria from a grateful protege to an angry opponent 
of Russian influence in the Near East. The attitude of 
the Tsar had always seemed crazy to Prince Lobanoff, 
the new Foreign Minister, a man of greater ability and 
strength of purpose than his predecessor. 1 The desire 
for reconciliation was even greater on the other side; for 
the vain and ambitious Ferdinand had wearied of playing 
second fiddle to the masterful Stambuloff, whom he re- 
placed in 1894 by tne Russophil Stoiloff, and who was 
murdered by political enemies at Sofia in 
the summer of 1895. Moreover, the Princess 
Louise of Parma, whom he had married in 
1893, presented him with a son in 1894, and the 
Prince had now a dynasty to secure. A Bulgarian 
mission in July, 1895, to lay a wreath on the grave of 
Alexander III, received a friendly welcome; and when in 
February, 1896, the Prince announced that his son would 
be baptized in the Orthodox Church, the Tsar accepted 
the invitation to be his godfather, and congratulated the 
father on his "patriotic resolve." For the only time in 
modern history a baptism was an international event. 
The Duke of Parma had consented to the marriage of 
his daughter on condition that the children should be 
brought up as Catholics, and now that the pledge was 
broken the Princess left her husband. The Pope inflicted 
minor excommunication, which involved that permission 
must be given every time that he received the sacrament, 
and the formal piety of Vienna treated him as an apostate. 
"The West has excommunicated me," declared the Prince 
in magniloquent terms to his Parliament; "the Eastern 

1 An interesting portrait of the autocratic Lobanoff is drawn by Rosen, 
" Forty Years of Diplomacy," I, ch. 12. 



256 History of Modern Europe [1896 

dawn illuminates my dynasty and lights up our future." 
The price was high, but the reward was great. Russia 
Prince now secure d for the prodigal son the recog- 
Ferdinand nition which the other Powers had long been 
Recognized p re p arec i to accord, and the Sultan accepted 
him as Governor of Eastern Roumelia. A round 
of visits followed, but Francis Joseph declined to 
receive him for several years. Thus Bulgaria had slipped 
away from Austria and re-entered the Russian fold, where 
she remained till 1913. When Roumania and Bulgaria 
seemed likely to come to blows in 1900, and Austria con- 
cluded a military convention with the former, Russia 
adjusted the balance by a military convention with the 
latter in 1902. 1 The twenty-fifth anniversary of the war 
of liberation was enthusiastically celebrated in the Shipka 
Pass. Lobanoff had played his cards well, and Russia, 
J^C^vering from her sulks, had regained her foothold in 
theBalkans. 

No one could complain of the reconciliation with 
Bulgaria; but more questionable schemes also flitted 
through the brains of Russian statesmen. The divergence 
of British and Russian policy in Armenia was only an 
aspect of their world-wide antagonism, and Lobanoff 
dreamed of a European coalition against the rival empire 
which should give Constantinople to Russia, Egypt to 
France, and Gibraltar to Spain. It was only a dream, 
and the dreamer passed away in the summer of 1896; 
but the desire to checkmate British policy in Turkey 
amounted to a serious resolve. Great Britain has never 
obtained credit on the Continent for her disinterested 
humanitarianism, and it was believed in Russia, from the 
Tsar downwards, that the crafty English had engineered 
a commotion in regard to Armenia in order to embarrass 
Russia. Prince Uktomsky's journal, indeed, explained 
British interest in that part of the world by the desire 
to establish overland communications between India and 

1 Printed in Lalov, " Les Documents Secrets des Archives du 
Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres de Russie," 14-17. 



1896] Bosphorus Plot of 1896 257 

the Mediterranean. Why should not Russia seize the 
moment when British policy had annihilated British in- 
fluence to solve the question of the Straits? 

Nelidoff's dispatches from Constantinople in the later 
months of 1896 argued that the time had come to secure 
the right of sending warships out of the 
Black Sea, and advised that the Sultan 
jhould be promised a guarantee of his 
jrritory in return for recognition of the right of 
egress. 1 To aid the Sultan in making up his mind, he 
added, both shores of the Bosphorus should be seized. 
The Tsar approved the plan, and the Ambassador was 
summoned to Petrograd. The admiral commanding at 
Odessa was ordered to visit Constantinople, studying 
en route the fortifications of the Bosphorus, and to work 
out a scheme for a military coup. An elaborate Memoran- 
dum was drawn up by Nelidoff, setting forth the anarchy 
in Turkey and the ferment in the capital after the 
Armenian attack on the bank. Armenians were probably 
hatching another plot, which would provoke another 
massacre. The Sultan might be deposed, and the army 
might mutiny. The Armenians would then rise. Europe 
would intervene and carry out reforms which would 
threaten Russia's security in the Black Sea and her com- 
munications with the Mediterranean. The more stable 
was Turkey the worse was the outlook for Russia. It was 
therefore necessary to anticipate the intervention of the 
Powers by seizing both shores of the Upper Bosphorus 
and securing the freedom of the Straits. The project 
must be speedily resolved and speedily accomplished. 
Ships and men must be ready at a moment's notice, and 
he would give the signal by a cipher telegram to Sebas- 
topol. Before the ships reached the Bosphorus he would 
ask the Sultan's permission to take possession of the 
heights on condition that Russia would look after Turkish 
interests. The other Powers at the same moment would 

i The incident was revealed in Dillon's " Eclipse of Russia," 231-44. 
His account is confirmed by Baron Rosen, " Forty Years," I, ch. 14. 

R 



258 History of Modern Europe [1896 

be invited to enter the Dardanelles if they wished, and 
if they did the Russian Mediterranean squadron would 
accompany them. The result of the coup would be the 
permanent occupation of the Upper Bosphorus and the 
neutralization of the Dardanelles, which would be thrown 
open to the warships of all nations. Russia would justify 
her action by fears for the security of her nationals. No 
Power, declared Nelidoff in conclusion, would forcibly 
oppose the seizure of territory or the construction of a 
Russian Gibraltar at the northern end of the Bosphorus. 

Witte When the bolt had been shot Russia could 
frustrates without anxiety take part in a conference 
on Turkey. This audacious scheme was 
approved by every member of a council called to 
consider it except Witte, the Minister of Finance, whose 
industrial and financial projects required unbroken peace, 
and was ratified by the Tsar ; and Nelidoff returned to his 
post with authority to give the signal whenever he wished. 
At the eleventh hour, however, the project was defeated 
by the combined efforts of Witte and Pobiedonostseff, 
once the Tsar's tutor ; and Europe did not learn till twenty 
years later of the guilty secret and of the danger from 
which it had narrowly escaped. 

The death of Alexander III, the recognition of Ferdi- 
nand, the identity of views in regard to Armenia, and 
other factors restored the wire between Vienna and Petro- 
grad, which had been broken since the revolution in 
Philippopolis. Nicholas II visited Francis Joseph in the 
summer of 1896, and the compliment was returned in the 
following spring. On the latter occasion the Foreign 
Ministers reached an agreement, which was ratified by 
their masters. On his return from Petrograd Goluchowski 
summarized the cardinal points of the understanding in 
a dispatch of May 8 to the Austrian Ambassador. 1 

The Conference held at the Winter Palace has estab- 
lished a common line of action, which, while taking 

1 Pribram, " Secret Treaties," I, 184-95. 




1 897] Austro-Russian Rapprochement 259 



account of the security and vital interests of the two 
Empires and eliminating the danger of a . rivalry 
disastrous to the peace of Europe on the Austro- 
seething soil of the Balkan Peninsula, Russian 
permits us to view more calmly the com- 
plications which may occur. Having agreed as to 
the necessity of maintaining the status quo as long 
as circumstances will permit, Count Muravieff and 
I were pleased to record that there existed no diver- 
gence of principle to prevent an understanding which 
would guard against eventualities which may soon occur 
even against our wishes. 

1. It was agreed that in case the maintenance of 
the status quo becomes impossible, Austria and Russia 
discard in advance all idea of conquest in the Balkan 
Peninsula, and they are decided to secure respect for 
this principle by every other Power. 

2. It was equally recognized that the question of 
Constantinople and the adjacent territory, as well as 
that of the Straits, having an eminently European 
character, is not of a nature to be made the object of a 
separate understanding. Count Muravieff declared that, 
far from striving for any modification of the present 
state of things, Russia held to the complete mainten- 
ance of the Treaty provisions, which gave full satisfac- 
tion to her in prohibiting, by the closing of the Straits, 
access to the Black Sea to foreign war vessels. 

3. On the other hand, the establishment of a new 
order of things in the Balkan Peninsula, outside Con- 
stantinople and the Straits, would give rise to a special 
stipulation between Austria and Russia, who declare 
themselves disposed to co-operate on the following 
lines : 

a. The possession of Bosnia, Herzegovina and the 
Sanjak of Novibazar may not be made the object 
of any discussion, Austria reserving the right of sub- 
stituting, when the moment arrives, for the present 



260 History of Modern Europe [1897 

status of occupation and of right of garrisoning that 
of annexation. 

b. The territory between Jannina and the lake of 
Scutari, with a sufficient extension on the east side, 
shall form an independent state under the name of 
the principality of Albania. 

c. The rest of the territory to be disposed of shall 
be the object of an equitable partition between the 
different Balkan States, on which Austria and Russia 
reserve the right of being heard. While inclined 
to consider as far as possible the legitimate interests 
of the participants, they are resolved to safeguard 
the principle of the present equilibrium, and, if need 
be by the rectification of frontiers, to exclude every 
combination which would favour the establishment of 
a marked preponderance of any particular Balkan 
principality. 

d. Having recorded that our two Cabinets have 
no other aim in the Balkan Peninsula than the main- 
tenance and pacific development of the small States 
established there, we agreed to pursue in future in 
this field a policy of perfect harmony, and to avoid 
in consequence everything which might engender 
friction or mistrust. 

A few days later Muravieff replied in a Note to the 
Russian Ambassador in Vienna, which approved the 
statement of the principles of Austro-Russian 
P lic y> but took objection to some of the 
concrete proposals. "The Treaty of Berlin 
assures to Austria the right of military occupation 
of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The annexation of these 
two provinces would raise a more extensive question, 
which would require special scrutiny at the proper 
times and places. As to the Sanjak of Novibazar, there 
would also be the necessity to specify its boundaries, which 
have never been sufficiently defined. The eventual forma- 
tion of a principality of Albania and the equitable partition 



1897] Germany Courts Turkey 261 

of all the territory to be disposed of between the different 
Balkan States also touch on questions of the future which 
it would be premature and very difficult to decide at 
present. I trust Count Goluchowski will remark, in spite 
of some slight differences of interpretation to which I 
have felt it my duty to call your attention, the perfect 
conformity in our way of looking at things." The entente 
thus concluded in 1897 formed the basis of Austro-Russian 
policy in the Balkans till 1908, when it was destroyed by 
the ruthless hands of Aehrenthal. 

While Russia opposed the cause of reform in Armenia 
and supported it in Crete, Germany opposed it in both, 
and skilfully seized the opportunity of entrenching her 
influence at Constantinople. The Kaiser resembled Bis- 
marck in his callous indifference to the sufferings of the 
Christian subjects of the Turk ; but he discarded the great 
Chancellor's lifelong principle of leaving Russia a free 
hand in the Near East. At the very moment that he was 
laying the foundations of a high seas fleet he pushed 
forward in the East and made Germany the dominant 
influence at Constantinople. Both aims were entirely 
legitimate; but each of them involved the antagonism of 
a great Power, and their simultaneous pursuit created the 
coalition which was one day to shatter the proud fabric 
of the German Empire. 

While Western Europe was ringing with condemna- 
tion of the Great Assassin, William II ostentatiously 
grasped his bloodstained hand. He sent his 
portrait to the Sultan, and as soon as the 
Powers showed that they meant business 
in Crete he withdrew from the Concert. The arrival 
of Marschall von Bieberstein as Ambassador in 1897 
brought to Constantinople a skilled and resolute 
diplomatist no less determined than his master to win 
the confidence of Turkey and to make her a political and 
economic outpost of the Triple Alliance. The path had 
already been prepared not only by the work of Von der 
Goltz but by the judicious investment of German capital. 



262 History of Modern Europe [1898 

Despite British preponderance for a generation after the 
Crimean war, only a few short railways were built in Asia 
Minor, and it was not till 1888, when Constantinople was 
linked up with Central Europe, that the project of a trunk 
line through Asia Minor began to take practical shape. 
For half a century far-sighted Germans, among them List 
and Moltke, had dreamed of German settlement or German 
influence in Asiatic Turkey. In return for a loan a group 
of financiers, mainly German, headed by the Deutsche 
Bank, obtained a concession for ninety-nine years to 
administer the line of 57 miles from Haidar Pasha (oppo- 
site the capital) to Ismid, which had been built by a British 
company, and to continue it to Angora, with a substantial 
kilometric guarantee and preferential right of extension. 
Angora was reached in 1892, and in 1893, in return for 
another loan, a concession was granted from Eski-Shehr 
(midway between Haidar Pasha and Angora) to Konia, 
which was reached in 1896. 

Germany's predominant influence in Turkey was con- 
firmed and proclaimed by a spectacular voyage of the 
William II Kaiser to Palestine and Syria in the autumn 
in of 1898, taking Constantinople on the way. 1 

Jerusalem Th e Imperial pilgrim delivered pious allocu- 
tions at Jerusalem and Bethlehem; but his main 
object was to strengthen German influence among the 
Mohammedans, to whom he rightly attributed an im- 
portant r61e in the drama of Weltpolitik. "Turkey 
is very much alive, and not a dying man," he wrote to 
the Tsar. " Beware of the Mussulmans if you touch their 
national honour or their Khalif ." The climax of the visit 
was reached in a speech at Damascus, where he used the 
memorable words, "May the Sultan and the three hundred 
million Mussulmans scattered over the earth be assured 
that the German Emperor will always be their friend." 
On returning to Berlin he summarized the impressions of 
his journey to the municipal authorities who welcomed 

1 The journey is illustrated in the Kaiser's letter to the Tsar of 
Nov. 9, 1898. 



1898] The Kaiser in the East 263 

him home. "Wherever we went, on all seas and in all 
countries and all cities, the German name is respected 
as it has never been before. My hope is 
that this will continue, and that our journey 
will have helped to open up fresh fields 
where German enterprise and German energy can dis- 
play their activity, and further that I have succeeded 
in advancing the noble work of securing the general 
peace of the world." The visit had indeed been an 
unqualified success. Germany had won the confidence 
of Abdul Hamid, and in the following year the Anatolian 
Railway Company secured in principle the right to extend 
its line from the heart of Asia Minor to the sultry shores 
of the Persian Gulf. And Turkey, for her part, had 
found a friend in the strongest Power in Europe, whose 
interests were opposed to partition and whose moral sup- 
port would enable her to resist unwelcome pressure from 
London or Petrograd. 



CHAPTER VIII 

FASHODA 

THE growing tension between London and Berlin was un- 
accompanied by any diminution in the antagonism between 
Franco- London and Paris. Anglo-French relations 
British were as strained during the decade which 
Rivalry followed the signature of the Drummond 
Wolff Convention as in the five years which preceded 
it. 1 Indeed, the danger of a rupture was more im- 
minent in the later than in the earlier period, for in 
the 'nineties Egypt was only one among the causes of 
friction. Weltpolitik was now in fashion, and both 
countries were determined to play their full part in the 
hazardous game. Great -Britain, with her unchallengeable 
command of the sea, was the best equipped for the race ; 
but France had recovered her self-confidence, had secured 
an ally, and was resolved to find compensation overseas 
for the loss of the Rhine provinces. Africa remained the 
chief theatre of the struggle ; but the prizes were numerous, 
and the diplomatic conflict was fought out in various parts 
of the world. 

Among the minor causes of rivalry was the group of 
islands in the south Pacific known as the New Hebrides. 
As the owner of New Caledonia France cast hungry eyes 
on the neighbouring archipelago, while Christian 
missions and commercial possibilities aroused in equal 
degree the interest of Australasia. In 1886 France coupled 
a proposal that she should take possession with a promise 

1 Le'monon, " L'Europe et la Politique Britannique," and Schefer, 
" D'une guerre a 1'autre," summarize Anglo-French relations. For French 
colonization see Rambaud, " La France Coloniale. " 

264 



1887] France in the Pacific 265 

that she would send no more of her criminals to the Pacific 
and would protect the missions. New Zealand and New 
South Wales were eager to free the Pacific 
from the convict curse; but opinion in Aus- Hebrides' 
tralasia as a whole, and above all in Victoria, 
was sharply opposed to annexation by France, and 
Lord Rosebery replied that he could not consent 
to a change. Despite this communication two French 
men-of-war were dispatched from New Caledonia with 
two hundred soldiers and artillery, two military posts 
were established, and the French flag was hoisted. In 
response to a request for explanations, France replied that 
the expedition had no political significance, that it was sent 
to protect French subjects, and that it was unauthorized 
by the Government. Lord Rosebery 's apprehensions that 
he might be confronted by a fait accompli were not 
removed by this statement, and two British men-of-war 
were dispatched to watch proceedings. In the following 
year a mixed commission of British and French naval 
officers was appointed to protect the life and property 
of the settlers; and this makeshift arrangement, which 
failed to preserve harmony among the whites or to 
secure the well-being of the natives, postponed the intro- 
duction of a real system of European control for twenty 
years. 1 

France had conquered Tunis with the approval of Great 
Britain; but the memory of the coup of 1881 continued 
to rankle in Italy, and towards the end of the 'eighties 
rumours of the fortification of Bizerta began to spread. 2 
In 1889 the French Government assured both Italy and 
Great Britain that it had no intention of fortifying the 
harbour. These soothing assurances produced no effect on 
Crispi, who in 1890 informed Salisbury that Bizerta was in 
fact being fortified 1 , argued that a new French naval 
base would threaten the balance of power in the Mediter- 

1 Cook, " The Foreign Policy of Lord Rosebery," 12-16. 
8 See Crispi, " Memoirs," II, ch. 12, and Billot, " La France et 
1'Italie. " Billot was French Ambassador in Rome. 



266 History of Modern Europe [1890 

ranean, and urged the British Government to protest. 
Salisbury replied that he had made inquiries and had been 
told that the works in progress were not 
of a military character. A month later 
Crispi was informed by the Italian Consul 
that the Bey had agreed that the dynasty should 
end at his death. This time he carried his com- 
plaints to Berlin. "We shall lose our liberty in the 
Mediterranean, and Italy will be subjected to a perpetual 
menace. If it cannot be prevented, the friendly Powers 
must at any rate join in demanding that Italy should 
receive a satisfactory guarantee against danger. In the 
event of war, a purely French Tunis would be of great 
importance, and Bizerta would threaten Sicily. If Ger- 
many does not prevent this change Italy will feel the 
Triple Alliance to be useless. Let Berlin warn Paris that 
the execution of the Treaty of July 9 may lead to war. 
If nothing is done, France will proceed to seize Tripoli." 
Caprivi sounded London and Vienna as to a joint protest, 
and, in the event of being unable to prevent unrestricted 
French sovereignty over Tunis, the ear-marking of 
Tripoli for Italy. 

The existence of the offending Treaty was denied by 
Ribot, and Salisbury was inclined to accept his word; but 
the fiery Crispi returned to the charge. It was impossible, 
he wrote to Salisbury, to prevent Tunis falling completely 
under French sovereignty, and she would seize Tripoli as 
well unless she were prevented. If Italy, on the other 
hand, were to hold Tripoli, a fortified Bizerta would be 
no menace either to Italy or Great Britain. "It is a ques- 
tion of our salvation and of your supremacy in the 
Mediterranean." The letter, reported the Italian Charge", 
made a deep impression on the British Premier, who bade 
him telegraph that on the day the status quo in the 
Mediterranean was changed Italy's occupation of Tripoli 
would become an absolute necessity, if the Mediterranean 
was not to become a French lake. "But the time has not 
come. He begs you wait. He does not believe in the 



France in Tunis 267 

Treaty of July 9. Turkey would declare war on Italy if 
she took Tripoli, and Russia would then enslave Turkey in 
the process of defending her. An attack 
on Tripoli would be the signal for the dis- ^^^ 
memberment of Turkey. That will come 
about later, but public opinion in England is not yet 
prepared for it. Italy will lose nothing by waiting. She 
will have Tripoli in the end; but the huntsman does not 
fire till the stag is within range of his rifle. Meanwhile, he 
will urge France not to alter the status quo in Tunis." A 
few days later Salisbury himself wrote in similar terms to 
the Italian Premier. "Tunis is destined to France, but 
not for a long time. Great Britain and Italy cannot allow 
Tripoli to share the fate of Tunis; but patience is needed. 
If Italy occupies Tripoli in time of peace, she will be 
reproached for reopening the Eastern question." Crispi 
in vain urged Salisbury to join in a warning that the 
Protectorate in Tunis could not be allowed to become full 
sovereignty. Though the Treaty of July 9 was a mare's 
nest, the fortification of Bizerta, despite French denials, 
was a reality; but after the fall of Crispi early in 1891 no 
further opposition was attempted. 

The annexation of Burma in 1885 made Siam a buffer 
between British dominions on the west and French Indo- 
China on the east, and was followed by a dragging and at 
one moment a dangerous dispute as to the boundaries of 
their respective spheres of influence. In 1889 Waddington 
made a proposal to which Salisbury returned no response. 
In 1892 the Ambassador returned to the charge with a new 
proposition making the Mekong the dividing line. This 
time the Premier replied that the idea deserved serious 
examination, and referred it to the Secretary of State for 
India. Three months later, when Waddington asked for 
an answer, Salisbury announced that his colleague had not 
yet reported. "As we are still a long way from Mekong 
he probably does not consider the question urgent." At 
this period the Prime Minister could have obtained better 
terms than he was subsequently to accept ; but he was now 



268 History of Modern Europe [i8 93 

succeeded by Lord Rosebery, in whose term of office 
the question brought the two countries to the verge of 
war. 

The crisis of 1893 arose, not from a disputed frontier 
but from the fact that France had certain grievances against 
Siam, for which she could obtain no redress 
b ^ peaceful measures. Lord Rosebery 
admitted that her grievances were substantial, 
and urged Siam to concede her demands; but he 
kept a watchful eye lest France, in the pursuit of 
her own interests, should injure British trade, or, by 
aggression on Siamese territory in the north, become 
coterminous with Burma. 1 In April, 1893, France resolved 
to enforce her demands, and a British ship was ordered 
to Bangkok to watch events. When France threatened 
a blockade to enforce an ultimatum, Lord Rosebery, while 
advising Siam to yield, dispatched a second ship to the 
mouth of the Menam, and ordered a third to be ready to 
follow. On July i he informed the French Government 
that the British Minister at Bangkok had been ordered to 
advise Siam to arrange her difficulties with France in a 
friendly manner. "But in view of the possibility that on 
the approach of a French fleet a rising might occur, it was 
necessary that some ships should be on the spot to protect 
British commercial interests." Till July 12 the Swift re- 
mained alone off the capital, while the other vessels lay at 
the bar of the river, A French gunboat was also stationed 
off Bangkok, and on July 13 Lord Rosebery was informed 
that no other French vessels would be sent up the river. 
On the following day, however, two French gunboats 
forced the defences at the mouth of the Menam, and Lord 
Rosebery promptly ordered the waiting vessels to follow 
them to Bangkok. A fortnight later a French ultimatum 
was delivered, a blockade was proclaimed, and friendly 
vessels were given three days to clear. 

When on Sunday, July 30, the French Admiral notified 
that the blockade arrangements applied to ships of war, 

1 Cook, " The Foreign Policy of Lord Rosebery," 38-50. 



i8 9 3j The Crisis in Siam 269 

the British Minister telegraphed that the Linnet was pre- 
paring to leave. Lord Rosebery instantly replied that the 
Linnet "must on no account leave," and Lord Dufferin was 
ordered to explain at the Quai d'Orsay that it was im- 
possible to allow British subjects to be left at the mercy of 
an unruly Oriental population. The Ambassador was 
received by the Foreign Minister on July 31, and politely 
informed that the blockade would be raised at once. 
Meanwhile the captain of the Linnet was told that the 
French Admiral had not demanded his withdrawal, but 
merely an alteration of position. On August i Siam 
accepted the French demands, and on August 3 the 
blockade was raised. The crisis had been short but sharp, 
and Lord Rosebery has confessed that on Lofd 
the critical Sunday he had faced the risk of Roseberys 
war. There was, indeed, no antagonism Policy 
of interests at Bangkok to justify or provoke a 
collision; but if the French Government had not promptly 
given way the guns might have gone off of themselves. 
Lord Rosebery 's vigorous stand received both praise and 
blame. On the one hand it was asserted that he enhanced 
British prestige by resisting an indefensible demand, while 
on the other it was argued that he risked a terrible conflict 
over a trifle. The Governments now proceeded to discuss 
the boundaries of the buffer which Great Britain was 
anxious to retain between Burma and Indo-China. France 
desired that Great Britain should not cross the Mekong; 
but the request was refused, since a province east of the 
river was formerly tributary to Burma. The negotiations 
made slow progress, and early in 1895 Great Britain 
occupied the district in question. It was not till January 15, 
1896, that a "Declaration" fixed the boundaries of the 
buffer state. The final settlement was regarded by 
Salisbury's critics as unduly favourable to France, but 
it ended the antagonism of the two nations in the Far 
East. 

The friction in the Pacific and the Far East was a trifle 
in comparison with their sleepless rivalry in the Nile 



270 History of Modern Europe [1892 

basin. 1 There were Liberals in England, even in the 
'nineties, who sincerely desired to withdraw from Egypt, 
as there were men in France like Clemenceau who opposed 
the dispersion of energies which should be concentrated 
on the recovery of Alsace-Lorraine. But the Zeitgeist 
was too strong for them. In the famous speech of 
October 2, 1891, in which "the Newcastle programme" 
was launched, Gladstone expressed the hope that Salis- 
bury would "take some step to relieve us from the 
burdensome and embarrassing occupation of Egypt," but 
at the same time expressed his fear that the question would 
be "handed over to his successor to deal 
with -" The words pointed to evacuation, 
but when the Liberal leader resumed office 
A few months later no more was heard of it. Indeed, 
when Abbas, who succeeded his father in 1892, 
appointed an Anglophobe Premier, Lord Rosebery 
sharply vetoed the nomination and reminded him that the 
Government expected to be consulted about such important 
matters as a change of Ministers. The Khedive sulkily 
surrendered, and the French Government protested against 
the "high-handed proceeding." The only result of the 
young Khedive's bid for independence was the increase 
of the British garrison, which was urged by Baring and 
promptly sanctioned by the Cabinet. 2 

Shortly after the brief crisis at Cairo Lord Rosebery 
was confronted with a grave decision at the other end 
of the Nile. The British East African Company, which 
had undertaken to administer Uganda when it passed 
under British control in 1890, found the task beyond its 
financial capacity, and in the summer of 1892 it decided 
to withdraw its administrator, Colonel Lugard. Lord 
Rosebery, who did not wish to leave without a master 
territory giving access to the Nile valley, desired to assume 

1 French policy during the years leading up to Fashoda is authoritatively 
described by Hanotaux himself in " Fachoda " ; cf. Freycinet, "La 
Question d'Egypte." 

a See Lord Cromer, " Abbas II." 



1894] France and the Congo 271 

the administration without delay and to build a railway 
from the coast; but the Cabinet was divided. "These 
wretched missionaries," complained Gladstone to Rhodes, 
"are dragging us into the centre of Africa. Our burden 
is too great. We have too much of the world." Sir 
Gerald Portal was dispatched to inquire into the situation, 
the Company meanwhile consenting to postpone evacua- 
tion. On receiving his report the Cabinet bought out the 
Company and assumed the administration in April, 1894; 
and in July, 1895, a few days before the fall of the Govern- 
ment, it was announced that the territory between Uganda 
and the sea would be a Protectorate and that a railway 
would be built as soon as possible ! 

The protest of Germany against the Anglo-Congolese 
Treaty of May 12, 1894, nas been mentioned in an earlier 
chapter; but the most formidable opposi- Anglo- 
tion came from France. 1 On June 7 the Congolese 
leaders of the French Colonial group inter- Treaty 
pellated the Government. The reply of the Foreign 
Minister showed how gravely the Treaty was viewed 
in Paris. Only the Sultan, argued Hanotaux, could 
dispose of the Sudan. In signing the Treaty, the 
Congo State had violated its own neutrality. The pact 
upset the balance of power in Africa and in the world, 
and was contrary to the interests and rights of France. 
Germany had secured the cancellation of the clause which 
concerned her, and France, for her part, must declare that, 
in so far as it concerned her, the Convention was null 
and void. In case of need, she must answer occupation 
by occupation. Since agents of the Congo State scoured 
the Bahr-el-Ghazel, the agents of other Powers could visit 
the same regions. "The Commander of the Upper 
Ubanghi has been ordered to return to his post and will 
leave France at once. The first detachments of his mission 
have already arrived. They will be reinforced if the 
Chamber grants us credits. The head of the mission has 
received the instructions and the resources necessary to 

, " The Foreign Policy of Lord Rosebery," 31-3. 



272 History of Modern Europe [i8 94 

assure the defence and maintenance of our rights." After 
this vigorous declaration, which distantly foreshadowed 
the Marchand mission, the Chamber unanimously adopted 
an equally unambiguous resolution. "France, relying on 
the fact that the Anglo-Congolese Convention is in 
manifest contradiction to the Berlin Act and that it 
threatens the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, considers 
it contrary to law and null." The Foreign Minister 
followed up his speech by formal protests in London and 
Brussels. 

The British Press was angered by the outburst in 
France; but the Governments kept cool, and amicable 

Con o discussions were opened at the Quai d'Orsay. 

Treaty An argumentative dispatch from the French 
Cancelled Foreign Minister restated the objections 
raised in his speech of June 7, and added that "the 
special position of the Congo State towards France 
rendered great caution necessary in the engagements 
which that State might think it right to make, at 
the risk of giving rise to claims on the part of a 
Power who, as a signatory of the Act of Berlin and 
of previous treaties, as well as on account of her proximity, 
had interests and rights to protect which could not be 
annulled by an agreement to which she was not a party." 
The British Government, concluded the dispatch, had not 
offered any reasoned reply to the French criticisms, the 
validity of most of which had been recognized by Lord 
Dufferin. Kimberley's reply, a week later, acknowledged 
the friendly tone of the dispatch. In answer to the 
criticism that the agreement ignored the rights of the 
Sultan and the Khedive on the Upper Nile, he explained 
that those rights would not be disregarded whenever 
Turkey and Egypt might be in a position to assert them. 1 
The guarantee of the integrity of the Turkish Empire in the 
Treaty of 1856 could not apply to the equatorial provinces 
of Egypt, which were acquired later; but Great Britain 
was ready to consider any well-substantiated Turkish 

1 " Egypt'" No. 2, 1898. Appendix I. 






1894] France in Central Africa 273 

claims. To the contention that the Congo State had 

(abused its neutrality, he replied that there was nothing 
in the Berlin Act to prevent a neutral Power from extend- 
ing its territories, and that the boundaries of the State 
had never been laid down in an international convention. 
Despite this forcible rejoinder, Great Britain released 
Leopold from the Treaty and did not insist on the lease. 
On August 14, the day on which this reply was 
dispatched, France and the Congo State signed a treaty 
by which the latter agreed not to occupy part of the 
territory leased to it by Great Britain, and recognized 
French rights to the basin of the Upper Ubanghi. France 
now resolved to explore her eventual possessions and to 
impose her provisional authority. She should have pro- 
ceeded more openly; but Anglo-French relations did not 
encourage confidences. Ever since France secured the 
right bank of the Ubanghi in the negotiations of 1885-7 
she had turned her eyes to the Upper Nile, for the sources 
of the tributary of the Congo were close to Egypt's river. 
When Belgium, in spite of treaties, crossed the fourth 
parallel, established positions on the Upper Ubanghi, 
spread over the Nile basin, and tried to block French 
expansion to the north and east, a small credit was voted 
by the French Chamber in 1892 to reinforce French posts 
on the Upper Ubanghi and to connect them with the coast 
by telegraph and river communications. In 
May, 1893, it was decided to give the com- 
mand to Colonel Monteil, but the mission 
did not start. Meanwhile Belgium pushed forward, 
brushing aside French protests with the terse re- 
joinder that possession was title. It was not till July 17, 
1894, when the Anglo-Congolese Treaty had awakened 
public opinion to the possibilities and dangers of the 
territories between the Congo and the Nile, that Monteil 
embarked. When he arrived in West Africa, however, 
the Franco-Belgian Treaty was signed, and he was ordered 
to the Ivory Coast. Colonel Liotard was appointed Com- 
missioner in the Upper Ubanghi, with instructions to 



274 History of Modern Europe [1894 

extend French influence in the Bahr-el-Ghazel and up 
to the Nile ; but, as he was unprovided with means of 
action, he did little beyond planting a few posts. 

After the Anglo-Congolese Treaty had thus been torn 
to shreds, Great Britain brought forward the question of 
her sphere of influence on the Upper Nile as laid down 
in the Anglo-German Convention of 1890. France con- 
sented to negotiate and, at the wish of the British Govern- 
ment, proceeded to discuss at the same time all outstanding 
questions in Central Africa. Negotiations were begun in 
the autumn at the Quai d'Orsay by Dufferin and Hano- 
taux, with the aid of experts from the respective Colonial 
Offices. At the end of the year an agreement was reached 
on various African questions; but, except for an agreement 
on the boundaries of Sierra Leone, the 
scheme was rejected by both the French and 
British Governments. Hanotaux has re- 
vealed that France secured the definition and limita- 
tion of British claims in the equatorial regions of the 
Nile, and that the disputed provinces were in some degree 
under the supervision of both Powers; but the settlement 
which satisfied the Foreign Minister appeared to his 
colleagues to involve needless sacrifices. As the scheme 
has never been published it is impossible to estimate its 
merits ; but from its rejection dates the race for the Upper 
Nile which culminated in the earth-shaking crisis of 
Fashoda. 

The French Colonial group had aroused a good deal 
of interest in Africa, and at the opening of 1895 tne 
Government was urged to take up a position on the Nile 
and to prevent fresh British encroachments. Rumours of 
French activity in the regions between the Congo and the 
Nile led to the historic declaration by Sir Edward Grey 
on March 28, on which British policy was to rest till 
France reluctantly accepted our claims nine years later. 
"Rumours have come with regard to the movements of 
expeditions in various parts of Africa, but we have no 
reason to suppose that any French expedition has instruc- 



The Grey Declaration 275 

tions to enter, or the intention of entering, the Nile valley. 
And I will go further and say that, after all I have 
explained about the claims we consider we have under 
past agreements, and the claims which we consider Egypt 
may have in the Nile valley, and adding to that the fact 
that those claims and the view of the Government with 
regard to them are fully and clearly known 
to the French Government, I cannot think Declaration 
it possible that these rumours deserve 
credence, because the advance of a French expedition 
under secret instructions right from the other side 
of Africa into a territory over which our claims have 
been known for so long would be not merely an incon- 
sistent and unexpected act, but it must be perfectly well 
known to the French Government that it would be an 
unfriendly act, and would be so viewed by England." 

The Grey declaration aroused anger and astonishment 
in French official circles. In the first place the Monteil 
mission had been diverted many months earlier from the 
Nile to the Ivory Coast, and no fresh decision as to a 
mission to the Upper Nile had been taken. Secondly, 
it warned France off a vast district which belonged not 
to Great Britain, but to the Sultan of Turkey, in which 
France had as much or as little right as anyone else. And 
thirdly, it accompanied a legally indefensible claim by a 
threat of war. The French Ambassador at once informed 
Kimberley that he could not conceal the painful impression 
which would be created in France. While negotiations 
were in progress, he complained, one party had declared 
that it could admit no question as to its rights in the 
territory under discussion. The Foreign Secretary replied 
that, on the contrary, Great Britain would have a right 
to complain if a French expedition entered the territory 
during negotiations, and he hoped France would assure 
him that the rumours were unfounded. Baron de Courcel 
rejoined that no news of an expedition had been received, 
and complained that the declaration constituted a prise en 
possession of the whole basin of the Upper Nile. Kim- 



276 History of Modern Europe [1895 

berley replied that the mere reiteration of a claim to a 
sphere of influence over the Nile basin, which had already 
been made fully known to France, could not be so 
regarded. The British Government, moreover, had 
assured the French Government that if Egypt should 
hereafter reoccupy the Sudan it would recognize her right 
to its possession. 1 

Such is Kimberley's report of the conversation; but 
the French Ambassador's version suggests that the 
Foreign Secretary poured water into his 
subordinate's wine. 2 According to Baron 
de Courcel Kimberley explained that a 
declaration by an Under-Secretary was less solemn 
than by the Foreign Secretary or the Prime Minister; 
that it was a claim which France was free to accept 
or reject; and that the question remained open. The 
Sudan, he added, once restored to Egypt, would share 
her destinies. " I look forward to the end of our occupa- 
tion, when it will no longer be a bone of contention. The 
good understanding of the two countries is worth more." 
So much importance was attached by the Quai d'Orsay to 
this record of a momentous conversation that it was shown 
to Kimberley, who, after modifying certain details, con- 
firmed its accuracy. "Thus Sir Edward Grey was cor- 
rected by Lord Kimberley," writes Hanotaux, "for he 
admitted the principle of a French counter-claim, as he 
had done during the negotiations, and he recognized the 
impossibility of basing any exclusive rights on a temporary 
occupation." 

The French case in answer to the Grey declaration was 
set forth in a speech by the Foreign Minister to the Senate 
on April 5. The Sudan and equatorial Africa, declared 
Hanotaux, were occupied by the Mahdi, but belonged to 
the Sultan and the Khedive. At that moment there was 
probably not a single European in those vast regions. 
The Anglo-German agreement of 1890 recognized a British 
sphere of influence on the right bank of the Nile as far 

1 " Egypt," No. 2, 1898. Appendix 4. a Hanotaux, " Fachoda." 



1895] Hanotaux on Egypt 277 

as the confines of Egypt, while on the left bank no limit 
was fixed; but France had protested. The British claims, 
to which her adhesion was desired, had 
never been even approximately defined. 
"Would it not be better to abstain from 
public declarations which are only statements of the 
arguments of one of the parties, and which might frustrate 
an agreement by stultifying the discussion in advance? 
When I think of the immense extent of the territories 
involved, and of the absolute lack of information as to 
what is going on there, I ask myself whether it is not 
premature to attempt to settle the whole question before- 
hand by a paper delimitation. While defending definite 
rights, founded on indisputable titles, I should for my 
part consider it a very unfriendly proceeding to enclose 
the discussion beforehand in a narrow circle from which 
it could not escape. Between two Powers which respect 
each other and whose relations are always courteous there 
can be no question of aggression or injunction where com- 
plex problems are concerned, for which so many different 
solutions may be usefully considered. No one can look 
upon these first delimitations vaguely sketched on imper- 
fect maps as possessing the immutable character given by 
long usage to the frontiers of European States. Nor can 
anyone claim to hamper the enterprise of the courageous 
men who go forth to explore these new countries. But 
when the time comes for settling finally the fate of these 
distant countries, I think that, by providing that the rights 
of the Sultan and the Khedive are respected, and by 
assigning to each party concerned what is due to it accord- 
ing to its works, two great nations will be able to arrive 
at an arrangement which will reconcile their interests and 
satisfy their common aspirations towards civilization and 
progress." The speech of the French Foreign Minister 
was a polite but firm refusal to recognize the new "Monroe 
Doctrine " in the valley of the Nile; and France proceeded 
on her way in equatorial Africa, with the watchword "first 
come, first served " inscribed upon her banner. 



278 History of Modern Europe [1896 

The return of the Unionists to power in the summer of 
1895 with a strong Ministry and a large majority inaugur- 
ated the most critical period of Anglo-French relations 
since the fall of Napoleon. There was no longer any talk 
of the evacuation of Egypt; and the new Government not 
only associated itself with the Grey declaration but at once 
formed plans for the reconquest of the Sudan. A final 
effort to secure the assent of France was made when 
the Kruger telegram revealed in a flash the hostility of 
The Germany. Salisbury informed the French 

Dongola Ambassador that Great Britain desired to 
destroy Mahdism, and that an expedition 
to Dongola was under consideration. Would France 
agree on condition that there should be no advance 
beyond Dongola except after consultation with her ? Baron 
de Courcel favoured the suggestion of an understanding, 
which was also approved by Berthelot, the Foreign 
Minister in the Bourgeois Cabinet; but his colleagues 
rejected his advice, and Berthelot resigned. 

An event which occurred ki the heart of Africa on 
March i, 1896, provided the British Government with a 
convenient if not convincing excuse for the expedition. 
Italy had sought compensation for Tunis by occupying 
Massowah on the Red Sea, where the Khedive had long 
maintained a garrison, now isolated by the Mahdist revolt, 
and which Great Britain was glad to see in friendly hands. 1 
She slowly advanced towards the highlands of Abyssinia, 
but in 1887 a column was annihilated by Abyssinians at 
Dogali. The Treaty of Uccialli, signed in- 1889, made the 
King of Italy the intermediary for Abyssinia's relations 
with foreign Powers; and Italy henceforth regarded the 
country as a Protectorate. But Menelek, arguing that the 
text empowered him, but did not compel him, to employ 
Italy as his intermediary, denied the Italian claim. An 
Anglo-Italian pact of 1891 settled the boundaries of the 
two spheres of influence. Kassala was placed within the 



1 Italy's activities in Abyssinia are fully described by Billot, " 
et 1'Italie," I; cf. Stillman, " Francesco Crispi." 



La France 



1896] Italian Defeat at Adowa 279 

British zone, but Italy was allowed to occupy it for military 
reasons. Abyssinia was recognized by Great Britain to 
be in the Italian zone ; but France, who was engaged in a 
tariff war with Italy, regarded Abyssinia as a pawn in her 
game against Great Britain and Italy. 

The proclamation of a Protectorate over the Somali 
coast in 1890 increased Italy's interest in Abyssinia; but 
Menelek believed that she was intriguing 
with his rebel vassals, and he was annoyed Abyssinia 
by her pretensions to a Protectorate. In 
1896 General Baratieri had nearly 30,000 Italian troops 
under his command; and, although Menelek had 
recently compelled an Italian garrison to surrender, 
he made overtures for peace on the basis of Italy's with- 
drawal from the territory recently occupied and the revision 
of the Treaty of Uccialli. Baratieri, knowing that he was 
about to be superseded, rejected the overtures and attacked 
the Abyssinian army of 100,000 men at Adowa. The 
Italians lost seven thousand in killed, wounded and pris- 
oners; and had the Abyssinians pursued, they would have 
been annihilated. Baratieri retreated to Massowah, Crispi 
was hurled from power, the Treaty of Uccialli was can- 
celled, and Italy's ill-advised endeavours to conquer or 
dominate Abyssinia came to an abrupt conclusion. 

While the Italian troops were being chased from the 
highlands of Abyssinia, the Dervishes had surrounded 
Kassala. In addition to the danger of the Italian garrison, 
the Egyptian Government was expecting a forward move- 
ment of the Dervishes from Berber, and the military 
authorities of Egypt urged that an immediate advance 
was essential. Accordingly on March 16 it was announced 
in the House of Commons that an advance would take 
place from the frontier post at Wady Haifa to Dongola. 
The movement, it was explained, would assist the Italian 
garrison at Kassala by creating a diversion, and would 
save Egypt from a menace which would become formidable 
if allowed to grow. The announcement was followed by 
spirited debates. Labouchere expressed his pleasure at the 



280 History of Modern Europe [1896 

defeat of the Italians in an unwarrantable invasion of 
Abyssinia, and protested against an expedition which 
would anchor us in Egypt for a century. Sir William 
Harcourt, as Leader of the Opposition, denounced the 
step as perilous, and foretold a further advance on 
Khartum. In reply to a vote of censure moved by Mr. 
Morley, Chamberlain argued that the advance was due to 
the Italian disaster and the resulting ferment among the 
Dervishes. The evacuation of Egypt, he urged, could not 
in any case take place till the lost provinces had been 
recovered. Mr. Balfour wound up the discussion by a 
similar argument that the condition of Egypt could not 
be regarded as satisfactory till control over the Sudan had 
been restored. 

It was obvious, though it was not explicitly stated, that 
the advance to Dongola was the beginning of the recon- 
quest of the whole of the Sudan and that it postponed the 
evacuation of Egypt to the Greek Kalends. It was thus 
interpreted in France, and the new Foreign Minister, 
Bourgeois, called the attention of the British Ambassador 
Franco- to ^ e S Tavii -7 f tne results which a 
Russian campaign in the Sudan might produce. 
Obstruction The warn i ng was repe ated on April 2 in 
the Chamber. "We cannot remain indifferent to the 
consequences of an enterprise which tends to adjourn sine 
die the fulfilment of engagements. We must maintain 
the European character of the Egyptian question." With 
this object in view France and Russia, after vainly asking 
for explanations and attempting to reopen the Egyptian 
question, cast their votes on the Caisse against granting 
.500,000 (one-fifth of its reserve) towards the expenses of 
the expedition. Germany held the key to the position, 
and, as she had recognized the British claims to the Upper 
Nile in the agreement of 1890, a majority approved the 
grant. The French bondholders, however, appealed to the 
Mixed Tribunals and obtained a veto on the allocation. 
The British Government responded by finding the money, 
and Dongola was occupied in September after two battles 



1896] The Marchand Mission 281 

in which the native Egyptian displayed discipline and 
courage. Salisbury now explained that, though the ad- 
vance would not be continued for the present, Khartum 
could not be left permanently in Dervish hands. 

The Bourgeois Government, not content with oppos- 
ing a grant from the Caisse, developed the attack on 
British policy along parallel lines. Negotia- The 
tions with Abyssinia were begun, and the Marchand 
task was entrusted to Marchand which had Ex P edition 
once been assigned to Monteil. His instructions were 
signed by the Colonial Minister on February 24, 1896. 
"Last September you submitted a plan of an ex- 
pedition in the Upper Ubanghi to extend French 
influence to the Nile. If we are to anticipate the 
English, we must arrive there first." This momentous 
decision did not in form conflict with the expedition to 
Dongola, for no British Minister had as yet announced 
a decision to go further. But it was in direct contraven- 
tion of the Grey declaration; and though France declined 
to admit the validity of that famous pronouncement, she 
was well aware that she must reckon with the consequences 
of ignoring its veto. 

When the resources of French diplomacy and enter- 
prise had thus been mobilized, the Bourgeois Ministry 
fell on April 29, 1896, and Hanotaux returned to the 
Foreign Office in the Me" line Cabinet. Though a con- 
vinced supporter of French Colonial ambitions, he con- 
sidered that the Bourgeois policy had marched too rapidly 
and he endeavoured to limit its risks. That Germany, 
Austria and Italy approved the advance to Dongola was 
a further motive for caution. Instructions were promptly 
dispatched to the French representatives in Petrograd, 
Constantinople and Abyssinia to hold their hands; and 
though the Marchand mission was not recalled, fresh 
orders were sent to Liotard, the Governor of the Upper 
Ubanghi, to whom Marchand was subordinated. "The 
Marchand mission is not a military enterprise. There is 
no thought of conquests. The policy which you have 



282 History of Modern Europe [1896 

pursued for two years and of which our establishment in, 
the Nile valley should be the crown, must be strictly 
followed." Thus Hanotaux endeavoured to repair the wire 
to London by returning to the policy of peaceful penetra- 
tion. The improvement in the situation, however, was 
purely superficial; for the new Foreign Minister had 
neither the power nor the desire to abandon a dangerous 
path. To deny that the Marchand mission was a military 
enterprise might ease diplomatic tension for the time; but 
the intrepid explorer carried with him the flag and the. 
hopes of France, and no cunningly devised formula could 
disguise the fact that it was a deliberate challenge to the] 
official policy of the British Empire. 

At this moment a fresh source of friction arose in thel 
annexation of Madagascar. 1 After many years of diplo- 

France mat i c friction and many months of desultory 
Annexes fighting a treaty was signed in 1885, whichl 
Madagascar transferred the foreign relations of the 
island to the control of France, admitted a French 
resident to the capital, and ceded the bay of Diego 
Suarez with the surrounding territory. The Queen was 
to retain her position, and France was not to interferei 
in internal affairs. There was no mention of a Protec- 
torate ; and though Great Britain consented to recognize the 
new situation in 1890, in return for concessions in Zanzibar, 
the Government of Madagascar refused to allow France the 
influence she expected to exercise. Such a situation could 
not last; and in 1894 an ultimatum demanded the recogni- 
tion of French authority throughout the island. The, 
demands were only accepted in part, and a war of conquest 
commenced. In September, 1895, the capital was occu- 
pied, and in 1896, after a rebellion had been suppressed, 
the island was annexed, and the victorious Gallieni re- 
mained as the first Governor. Great Britain grudgingly, 
surrendered the Capitulations ; but the virtual suppression 
of British trade by high tariffs further embittered the 
relations between London and Paris. 

1 See Hanotaux, " L'Affaire de Madagascar." 






[897] Towards Khartum 283 

The year 1897 witnessed a lull between the laying of 
the train in 1896 and the explosion of 1898; but there were 
ominous rumblings of the coming storm. France and 
Russia, not content with their success in preventing the 
use of the surplus of the Caisse for the Dongola expedition, 
actually complained of the Egyptian Government accepting 
the money from Great Britain without their consent. The 
reply of the British Government to this barefaced attempt 
at dictation was given on the meeting of Parliament by the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, who announced that a further 
advance was essential. "Egypt can never be permanently 
secure so long as a hostile Power 'is in occupation of the 
Nile valley up to Khartum." England, he added, would 
not be worried out of Egypt by hindrances and difficulties. 
The French and Russian Press fumed, but no official 
action was taken. During the year the desert railway was 
carried south from Dongola, and stores were collected for 
the grand advance. 

Meanwhile France endeavoured to improve her diplo- 
matic position. Hanotaux had always maintained friendly 
relations with Germany, like Jules Ferry before him. In 
April, 1897, the Chancellor Hohenlohe, who visited Paris 
every year to consult his dentist, had a cordial interview, 
and in July the boundaries of Togoland were amicably 
settled. Shortly afterwards an Anglo-French agreement 

on Tunis was reached, which contained 

T- . , Franco- 

some trifling concessions to British trade. Italian 

The relations of France and Italy were Rapprochement 
also becoming more friendly. After the disaster of 
Adowa and the fall of Crispi the Francophil Rudini 
recognized the French position in Tunis by giving up the 
Capitulations, and terminated the ten years' tariff war by 
a commercial treaty in 1898. The renewal of Franco- 
Italian harmony was fostered by the arrival of Camille 
Barrere, one of the most accomplished of French diplomats, 
as the French Ambassador at the end of 1897. 

While Kitchener and Marchand were slowly feeling 
their way from the north and the west towards the Upper 



284 History of Modern Europe [1897 

Nile, Salisbury succeeded in eliminating a source of 

possible danger to British plans. When the advance on 

Dongola was launched, Mr. Rennell Rodd 

Abyssinia was sent from Cairo to convince Menelek 
that it involved no evil designs on his terri- 
tory or independence. Addis Abeba had witnessed 
a good deal of Franco-Russian intrigue during the 
long diplomatic struggle for the valley of the Nile, and 
the Emperor's capacity for mischief had been recently 
increased by his triumph at Adowa. The Rodd mission 
was completely successful. The Treaty signed on May 14, 
1897, secured a pledge of neutrality during the operations 
against the Khalifa, and a promise from the ruler "to do 
all in his power to prevent the passage through his 
dominions of arms and ammunition to the Mahdists, whom 
he declares to be enemies of his empire." In return for 
this assurance of benevolent neutrality, the Somaliland 
frontier was modified in his favour. No attempt was made 
to settle the boundary between Abyssinia and the British 
Egyptian sphere on the north and west ; for such questions 
could be more profitably discussed after the anticipated 
destruction of the Dervish power. About the same time 
Colonel Macdonald was ordered to advance north from 
Uganda in order to join hands with the Anglo-Egyptian 
forces when the time came for them to advance south 
from Khartum, and another expedition was equipped to 
plant a chain of posts from the Victoria Nyanza along 
the White Nile. Owing, however, to difficulties with 
the native troops and physical obstacles neither of the 
enterprises accomplished its aim. 

The Lower Niger attracted French ambitions no less 
than the Upper Nile, and French agents were busy in the 
hinterland of the British colonies on the coast. Early 
in 1897 the disputed claims were referred to a Joint Com- 
mission in Paris ; but French expeditions continued to 
push forward. Africa, lamented the Prime Minister at 
the Guildhall banquet, had been created to plague Foreign 
Secretaries. He added that there was a limit to the exer- 






i8 9 7] The Niger Commission 285 

else of conciliation, and that we could not allow our most 
elementary rights to be trampled on. Countries which 
we regarded as our property, echoed the west 
strident voice of Chamberlain, had been African 
invaded. This situation we could not Problcm s 
accept, and a frontier force had been organized which 
would be necessary "whether or not the difference 
reached a satisfactory solution." After an interval of 
many months the Niger Commission in Paris resumed 
its deliberations in the autumn, when Hanotaux engaged 
in intimate conversation with the British Ambassador. 
The French negotiators proposed to enlarge the basis of 
the gought-for accord by including the left bank of the 
Niger, and asked for the north and east shores of Lake 
Chad in return for concessions in the navigation of the 
Niger and other privileges. Sir Edmund Monson replied 
that the conference could only deal with the right bank, as 
the left had been settled in 1890, and that claims east of the 
lake must avoid undue expansion toward the Nile. "If 
other questions are adjusted," wrote the Ambassador to 
Hanotaux (Dec. 10), "the Government will make no 
difficulty about this condition. But in doing so they 
cannot forget that the possession of this territory may in 
the future open up a road to the Nile, and they must 
not be understood to admit that any other European Power 
than Great Britain has any claim to occupy any part of 
the valley of the Nile. The views of the British Govern- 
ment upon this matter were plainly stated by Sir Edward 
Grey and were formally communicated to the French 
Government. Her Majesty's present Government entirely 
adhere to the language that was on this occasion employed 
by their predecessors." The Ambassador assured Salis- 
bury of his great satisfaction in making this communica- 
tion, as his dispatches had shown how necessary it was 
to remind the French Government of the British views 
as to the Nile valley. It would not, he believed, prejudice 
the chances of a satisfactory arrangement in West Africa. 1 

1 See " Egypt," No. 2. 1898. 



286 History of Modern Europe 

The name of Marchand was not mentioned in the 
communication; but Salisbury's explicit confirmation of 
the Grey declaration constituted a fresh and solemn warn- 
ing. Hanotaux replied that to mix up the Niger and 
the Nile would only prejudice the work of the Niger Com- 
mission. "The French Government cannot refrain from 
repeating the reservations which it has never failed to 
express every time that questions relating to the valley 
of the Nile have been brought forward. The declaration 
of Sir Edward Grey gave rise to an immediate protest by 
our representative, and I myself, in the name of the 
Government, made declarations to which I consider I 
am all the more justified in referring from the fact that 
they have called forth no reply from the British Govern- 
ment." Thus once again the two Governments restated 
their divergent views on a subject which, rightly, they 
considered to be of vital importance, in the most uncom- 
promising manner. 

The Niger negotiations proceeded throughout the 
winter, on the basis that possession created rights. The 
West British attitude appeared to Hanotaux at 
African once stubborn and threatening. Lord Sel- 
Settlement borne, Under-Secretary for the Colonies, in 
a speech at Bradford, was particularly menacing. 
"We wish for peace, but not at any price. We 
did not fight about Madagascar, because our interests 
there are so small; but can we say the same of West 
Africa ? " The language of the Colonial Secretary in 
Parliament on February 18, 1898, was equally threaten- 
ing; but on the same day the British delegates on the 
Niger Commission recognized French claims, which had 
been denounced as exorbitant, and which secured the 
union of the Senegal, the Niger and the Ivory Coast 
settlements. Four months were needed to complete the 
agreement, which was signed at Paris on June 14, and 
delimited the spheres of influence from Senegal to the 
Nile basin. The pact cleared up the whole complex of 
boundary questions in West Africa, and, in the opinion 



1898] 






Battle of Omdurman 287 

;of Hanotaux, gave France what she wanted without serious 
[sacrifices; but it was attacked by the French colonial 
jenthusiasts and ratification was delayed. 

The question of the Nile valley alone remained, and 
Hanotaux desired to solve it before the expected collision 
occurred. Kitchener's advance began in March, and the 
fierce battle of the Atbara on April 8 liberated the province 
of Berber and announced the approaching doom of the 
Khalifa. Marchand was believed to be near Fashoda, 
if indeed he had not already arrived. But on the day 
following the signature of the Niger Convention the 
[Me'line Ministry fell, and Delcasse" entered on his seven 
years' tenure of oflice at the Quai d'Orsay, for which 
jhis earlier experience as Minister of the 
Colonies had in some degree prepared him. 
Marchand reached Fashoda on July 10, but 
his arrival was unknown till two months later. The 
decisive struggle with the Mahdist forces was timed 
for the beginning of September, and on August 2 Salis- 
bury drew up instructions for the period following the 
capture of Khartum. No large scale military operations 
for the occupation of the southern provinces were con- 
templated, but flotillas were to be sent up the Blue and 
the White Nile. If the former encountered Abyssinians 
it was to report and wait for orders. The latter was to 
be commanded as far as Fashoda by the Sirdar, who was 
to take with him a small body of British troops. "In 
dealing with any French or Abyssinian authorities who 
may be encountered, nothing should be said or done 
which would in any way imply a recognition of a title 
to possession on behalf of France or Abyssinia to any 
portion of the Nile valley." 

On September i the Anglo-Egyptian army came in 
sight of Omdurman, and at daybreak on September 2 
the Dervish force of about 30,000 men attacked with 
reckless courage.. By nine o'clock in the morning the 
charges had been broken, and the army moved forward 
towards the capital. An unexpected sally from behind 



288 History of Modern Europe [i8 9 s 

the hills jeopardized the right wing for a time; but when 
Kitchener entered the capital in the afternoon the Khalifa, 

Kitchener with tne sorrv remnants of his host, escaped 
enters from the other end of the city. In a battle 

Khartum of mac hi n e-guns against spears the losses 
of the victors amounted only to a few hundreds, 
while the Dervish casualties were reckoned at nearly 
20,000. The native troops, according to the customs 
of war in the Sudan, dispatched hundreds of wounded 
men as they advanced across the plain after the battle 
was over. At night the British and Egyptian flags 
floated over the palace where Gordon had perished in 
1885, an d Kitchener emphasized the defeat of the Khalifa 
by the destruction of the Mahdi's tomb. 

Delcasse offered Sir Edmund Monson his sincere con- 
gratulations on the victory, "despite the differences about 
Egypt of the two Governments." He supposed a flotilla 
would steam southwards, and it would probably fall in 
with Captain Marchand. The latter had been instructed 
to consider himself an emissary of civilization, without 
authority to decide on questions of right, which must be 
discussed between the two Governments, and he hoped the 
British commander might be instructed to avoid a con- 
flict. The Foreign Minister expressed his desire that all 
causes of difference should be amicably settled, and his 
conviction that this could be achieved by frank discussion. 1 
On receiving a telegraphic report of the conversation 
Salisbury ordered the Ambassador to state that all the 
territories which were subject to the Khalifa had passed 
by right of conquest to the British and Egyptian Govern- 
ments. "H.M. Government do not consider that this 
right is open to discussion, but they would be prepared 
to deal in the manner suggested by his Excellency with 
any territorial controversies in regard to regions not 
affected by this assertion." Delcass merely remarked 
that the phrase "territories subject to the Khalifa" was 

1 This is the first conversation also described in the French Yellow Book, 
" Affaires du Haut-Nil et du Bahr-el-Ghazal." 1898. 









Kitchener at Fashoda 289 

rather vague, and that he had no accurate knowledge of 
their extent. 

Meanwhile news had reached Kitchener that the French 
flag was flying at Fashoda, five hundred miles south of 
Khartum ; and on September 10 he steamed south from 
Omdurman with five gunboats, two hundred British and 
Sudanese troops, and artillery. 1 On September 18, when 
within a few miles of the village, he dispatched a letter 
to inform "the Chief of the European expedition" of his 
victory at Omdurman and his approaching arrival. Mar- 
chand replied, warmly congratulating the Sirdar on his 
victory, and informed him that he had occupied part of 
the Bahr-el-Ghazel and the Shilluk country on the left 
bank of the Nile as far as Fashoda. On August 25 he 
had driven off a Dervish attack from the river, and on 
September 3 had signed a treaty with a local chief placing 
the Shilluk country on the left bank of the Nile under the 
Protectorate of France, subject to ratification by the 
French Government. "I offer you my best wishes on 
your arrival on the Upper Nile," he concluded, "and 
shall be happy to welcome you at Fashoda in the name of 
France." 

On reaching Fashoda on September 19, a few hours 
after receiving this polite but unbending reply, Kitchener 

was visited by Marchand, whom he con- v .. . 

J . Kitchener 

gratulated on his long and arduous journey. meets 
The presence of the French at Fashoda Marchand 
and in the valley of the Nile, he proceeded, was 
regarded as a direct violation of the rights of Egypt 
and Great Britain, and he must protest against their hoist- 
ing of the French flag in the dominions of the Khedive. 
He begged Marchand not to resist the re-establishment of 
Egyptian authority, as the British-Egyptian forces were 
much more than a match for his eight officers and a 
hundred and twenty men, and he offered to convey him 
and his followers north on a gunboat. Marchand replied 

i See his report and the correspondence with Marchand in " Egypt," 
No. 3. 1898. 



ago History of Modern Europe [1898 

that he could not retire or haul down his flag without 
orders, and begged that the matter should be referred 
to Paris, which, he felt sure, would at once order his 
retirement. Thus the French flag continued to fly, and 
the Egyptian flag was hoisted a few hundred yards away. 
Kitchener followed up his verbal protest by a written 
argument against the occupation of any part of the Nile 
valley, adding that the government of the country had 
been resumed by Egypt and that a British commandant of 
Fashoda had been appointed. 

On the day before the meeting of Kitchener and Mar- 
chand an important interview took place between Delcasse 
and the British Ambassador. Did Great 
M DlcassT d Britain, inquired the Foreign Minister, 
maintain that Marchand had no right to 
be at Fashoda? Sir Edmund Monson replied that 
France well knew that an incursion into the basin of 
the Nile would be regarded as an unfriendly act. Why, 
then, was this mission dispatched? Delcasse rejoined 
that France had never recognized the British sphere of 
influence in the Upper Nile, and had indeed protested 
against it. The Bahr-el-Ghazel had long been outside 
the influence of Egypt, and France had as much right at 
Fashoda as England at Khartum. Only a mandate from 
the Sultan could justify the British claim. Sir Edmund 
ended the conversation by remarking that the situation 
was very serious. The British Government would not 
consent to a compromise. It had no desire to pick a 
quarrel, but it naturally resented a step which it had 
cautioned France not to take. Delcasse assured his visitor 
that every member of the Cabinet was anxious for good 
relations with England. If England was equally anxious 
there could be no danger. 

A Cabinet Council was held on September 27, and the 
British Ambassador was invited to the Quai d'Orsay the 
same evening. Marchand had told Kitchener that on 
arriving at Fashoda he had dispatched two copies of his 
Report, one through the French Congo, the other through 



[8 9 8j Anglo-French Discussions 291 

Abyssinia. This document it was indispensable to obtain 
quickly as possible, and they would be grateful if in- 

tructions could be forwarded to Marchand to send a copy 

irect to Cairo. Sir Edmund asked whether he was to 
conclude that Marchand would not be lecalled before 

is Report was received. Delcasse" replied that he was 
dy to discuss the question in a most conciliatory spirit, 

ut that the Ambassador must not ask him for the im- 
possible. Salisbury consented to forward the message, 
but added that much uneasiness would be created by a 
prolongation of the existing state of affairs. The public 
was anxious to know what was going on, but it would 
be enough if the imminent departure of Marchand could 
be announced. On September 30 Sir Edmund again 
visited Delcasse, who informed him that he could not 
evacuate Fashoda without discussion or conditions, adding 
a wish that- the delimitation of the French colonies of the 
Congo and the Upper Ubanghi might be discussed. 

The conversations had hitherto taken place in Paris; 
but on October 6 Baron de Courcel sought out the Prime 
Minister at Downing Street, and in a long 

and inconclusive interview insisted on the , F 1 l [f llce . 
,. ., T- holds out 

strong feeling that prevailed in France. 

Salisbury assured him that the strength of feeling 
in England was not less remarkable, and referred 
his visitor to the assertions of British claims in 1890, 
1894, 1895 an d 1897. The Ambassador suggested that 
both sides should announce that negotiations on the 
delimitation of the spheres of influence were in progress, 
and claimed that France should have a considerable part 
of the left bank of the Nile. The conversation was resumed 
on October 12. France, declared the Baron, desired an 
outlet on the Nile for the commerce of her Ubanghi pro- 
vince, and asked for a position on the navigable portion 
of the Bahr-el-Ghazel. She had established posts in the 
province for some time, and had the right to them attach- 
ing to long and undisputed occupation. To Salisbury's 
suggestion that Marchand should retire beyond the water- 



292 History of Modern Europe [1898 

shed between the Ubanghi and the affluents of the Nile, 
the Baron replied that the watershed was difficult to 
determine, and he renewed his suggestion for a general 
agreement on the territories between Lake Chad and the 
Nile. The Prime Minister, finding his language indefinite 
and rhetorical, declined to discuss such questions till they 
were formulated in precise phraseology, and the second 
interview, like the first, concluded without definite result. 
The conversations in London and Paris made it clear that 
the French Government realized that Fashoda must be 
evacuated, but that it wished to save its face by negotia- 
tions. But while France was ready for conditional 
evacuation, Great Britain insisted on unconditional 
surrender. 

The patience of the Prime Minister was not shared 
by the British Press or by public opinion. At the very 
Lord moment that he was listening to the 
Rosebery "rhetorical " arguments and appeals of the 
Intervenes p renc h Ambassador, Lord Rosebery was 
addressing a meeting at Epsom. The question, he 
declared, was of supreme gravity. " In face of a deliberate 
warning that a particular act would be considered 
as an unfriendly act, it has been deliberately com- 
mitted. Behind the policy of the Government is the united 
strength of the nation. No Government that attempted 
to recede from or palter with that policy would last a week. 
The nation will make any sacrifice and go any length to 
sustain them. On the other side of the Channel there is 
an element of great gravity too ; there is a question of the 
flag. I honour the flag. But the flag is a portable affair. 
It can be carried by irresponsible people, and I have some 
hope that the flag in this case is not necessarily the flag 
of France but the flag of an individual explorer, and is 
therefore not carrying the full weight of the Republic be- 
hind it. M. Delcasse has shown a conciliatory spirit. I 
hope that this incident will be pacifically settled, but it 
must be understood that there can be no compromise of 
the rights of Egypt. Great Britain has been treated rather 



1898] France Yields 293 

too much as a negligible quantity in recent years. Let 
other nations remember that cordiality can only rest on 
mutual respect for each other's rights, each other's terri- 
tories, and each other's flag." 

These trumpet tones were echoed by Hicks-Beach, the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a speech at Tynemouth. 
"It would be a great calamity that after a 
peace of more than eighty years, during which 
I had hoped that unfriendly feeling had prac- 
tically disappeared, those friendly relations should be dis- 
turbed. But there are worse evils than war, and 
we shall not shrink from anything that may come." 
Chamberlain announced the calling up of the reserves 
and other precautions, which were not to be inter- 
preted as threats; but he claimed all the territory 
which we had "freed at great price from anarchy and 
misrule." A few softer notes were heard, and the Daily 
News pleaded for consideration for "the legitimate ambi- 
tions of France " ; but the multitude preferred the crude 
chauvinism of the Daily Mail. Opinion was intoxicated 
by the victory of Omdurman and exasperated by the long 
delay. A cartoon in Punch embodied the angry impa- 
tience of the man in the street. "What will you give me 
if I go away ? " asks the little organ-grinder. " I will give 
you something if you don't," replies a muscular John Bull 
with a menacing frown. France was well aware that war 
might come at any moment, and she feverishly prepared 
for the worst. 

Marchand's report was duly dispatched to Paris via 
Cairo; but the decision of the French Cabinet was not 
determined by its contents. France yielded to force, and 
on November 4 Baron de Courcel informed Salisbury that 
Fashoda would be evacuated. The Prime Minister joy- 
fully announced the end of the crisis. "There will be 
plenty of discussion," he added; "but a cause of dangerous 
controversy has disappeared, and we can only congratulate 
ourselves." Marchand refused to return home through 
Egypt, preferring the long route through Abyssinia. It 



294 History of Modern Europe [1898 

was a spectacular humiliation for a Great Power ; for Great 
Britain had secured unconditional evacuation by threat of 
war. The object of the Marchand mission, declares Hano- 
taux, was to possess a valuable pawn in negotiating the 
same sort of compromise as regards the Nile as had been 
reached in reference to the Niger. It was a dangerous 
game to play, even if the negotiations had preceded the 
victory of Omdurman, as Hanotaux had desired. Salis- 
bury had proved himself too yielding for the taste of the 
country in the Far East; but in the Nile valley he was 
adamant, and France had only herself to thank for the 
results of neglecting repeated and peremptory warnings. 
France had one enemy already, and she could not afford 
another. To quarrel with Great Britain was to play into 
the hands of Germany, and to destroy any 
cnance f ultimately recovering the Rhine 
provinces. "A conflict," declared Delcasse 
to the Chamber with simple truth, "would have in- 
volved sacrifices disproportionate to the object." The 
French fleet was weak, and her enemy could have 
taken the whole of her colonial empire if she had 
wished. Having once chosen his path, the Foreign 
Minister resolved to harvest from British friendship what 
he could not obtain from the thwarting of her will. While 
France was still smarting under humiliation, he told his 
friends that he wished to remain at the Quai d'Orsay till 
he had restored the bonne entente with England. His 
wish was to be gratified; but a rough road had to be 
traversed before the rivals clasped hands in 1904. 

The demand that arose in certain quarters for the 
establishment of a Protectorate over the Sudan was re- 
jected by the Prime Minister, who announced at 'the 
Guildhall banquet that it would only be declared if abso- 
lutely necessary. He added that the position of Great 
Britain in Egypt had been changed, since "a stricken 
field was one of the stages on the road to history." The 
status of the Sudan was defined in an Anglo-Egyptian 
Convention signed on January 19, 1899. The British 






1898] The Sudan Regime 295 

and Egyptian flags were to be used together except at 
Suakin, the supreme military and civil command to be 
vested in a Governor-General appointed by the Khedive 
with the consent of the British Government, the country 
to be governed by martial law till further notice, the juris- 
diction of the mixed tribunals to be recognized nowhere 
except in Suakin, the import and export of slaves to be 
prohibited, and the Brussels Act in respect to fire-arms and 
liquor to be enforced. The Sudan was to be free from 
the international complications which rendered the occupa- 
tion of Egypt a perpetual strife, and to be ruled by a 
benevolent despot from Khartum. A year The 
later the remnants of the Khalifa's army Khalifa's 
were mown down by machine-guns by Sir 
Francis Wingate in Kordofan, and the Khalifa him- 
self preferred death to surrender. The character of 
the new regime was described by the Prime Minister 
without circumlocution on the meeting of Parliament. 
"We hold the Sudan by two titles first as having 
formed part of the possessions of Egypt, and then by the 
title, much older and much less complicated, which is 
called the right of conquest. In the first written com- 
munication to the French Government I was careful to 
base our title on the right of conquest, because I think 
it is the most useful, the most simple, and the soundest of 
the two." 

Logical French critics pointed out that if Great Britain 
appealed to the right of conquest, Marchand could do the 
same, and that if the claim in law was good, there was 
no need to throw the sword into the scale. The joint 
sovereignty, they argued, was a British Protectorate in 
everything but name; and the Treaty was juridically null, 
since the firman of 1892 forbade the Khedive to cede or 
alienate territory or privileges. No Power, however, 
raised a voice in protest, and official France was perforce 
dumb. Though the crisis was over, bitter feelings re- 
mained and found expression in both countries. The 
Colonial Secretary gave free vent to his anger in a speech 



296 History of Modern Europe [i8 99 

on January 18, 1899. The exclusion of British trade from 
Madagascar in 1896, he complained, was a breach of faith. 
The conduct of France in regard to the Newfoundland 
fisheries, he added, was a typical example of a malicious 
policy which apparently aimed at combining the maximum 
damage to others with the minimum advantage to herself. 
It was at this moment that France secured a harbour in 
the Persian Gulf from the Sultan of Muscat, and that 
Great Britain compelled him to substitute a coaling-station. 
After the great surrender Baron de Courcel was suc- 
ceeded by Paul Cambon, who was destined to play a 

leading part in the reconciliation of the 
Influence' nations which had been within sight of war. 

On January 2, 1899, tne new Ambassador 
expressed a wish to resume the African conversa- 
tions of his predecessor. Salisbury was now ready to 
negotiate, and the Declaration of March 21 gave satis- 
faction to both parties. The position of France on the 
Niger and the Congo was improved. While under the 
pact of 1890 France only touched Lake Chad on the north, 
she now touched it on the east and at one point on the 
south. Salisbury proposed a formula by which each 
should recognize as the sphere of the other all territory on 
either side of a given line; but Delcass rejected a proposal 
which would consecrate British pre-eminence in Egypt 
and the Sudan, and would recognize the right to dispose 
of countries which did not belong to the signatories. He 
therefore proposed, and Salisbury accepted the formula : 
"France engages to acquire neither territory nor influence 
east, nor Great Britain west, of the agreed line." The line 
of partition followed the watershed of the Nile and the 
Congo, Wadai falling to France, Darfur, Bahr-el-Ghazel 
and Kordofan to Great Britain. The latter provinces 
formed a free commercial zone, and France thus obtained 
commercial access to the Nile. Though the Nile valley 
was naturally left to Great Britain, France was not re- 
quired to recognize British claims in Egypt. Great 
Britain made no sacrifices, but she recognized France's 






899] The Final Agreement 



297 



right to expand from West Africa towards the Sahara 
and the interior. Despite the frustration of her hopes in 
the Sudan, she was to own an even larger jr rance s 
share of the surface of the Dark Continent African 
than her rival. "The work," declared Em P*re 
Cambon many years later, "went quickly and smoothly, 
for Lord Salisbury knew his own mind. Then I 
suggested that there were several other matters which 
might be settled in an equally friendly spirit. He 
shook his head and smiled. * I have the greatest con- 
fidence in M. DelcasseV he said, * and also in your present 
Government. But in a few months' time they will prob- 
ably be overthrown, and their successors will do exactly 
the contrary. No, we must wait a bit.' " * The period of 
waiting was to extend to four years, filled with grave 
decisions and crowded with unexpected events. 

1 Interview in The Times, Dec. 22, 1920. 



CHAPTER IX 

THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR 

THE dangerous tension between Great Britain and the 
Dual Alliance arising from competing interests and ambi- 
tions in Asia and Africa, and culminating in the incidents 
of Port Arthur and Fashoda, turned the thoughts of 
British statesmen once more towards the Power with which 
they had till recently lived in the friendliest relations. The 
Kruger telegram was neither forgotten nor forgiven; but 
An lo _ there had been no repetition of the ill- 
German advised attempt to interfere in South Africa. 
Detente Moreover, the steady support of British 
policy by the Triple Alliance during the reconquest 
of the Sudan, and the Kaiser's telegram of congratu- 
lation on the Atbara victory, were doubly welcome at 
a time when France and Russia were piling obstacles in 
our path. The detente opened the way for a rapproche- 
ment; and the unsuccessful effort of Great Britain to 
transform the rapprochement into an alliance forms the 
main theme of this chapter. 

Though Salisbury was Prime Minister and Foreign 
Secretary, Chamberlain was the most forceful personality 
of the Unionist Cabinet formed in 1895, and his restless 
activities ranged far beyond the walls of the Colonial 
Office. The Colonial Secretary was not altogether satis- 
fied with his chief's yielding attitude in the Far East. His 
views were shared by his Liberal Unionist colleague, the 
Duke of Devonshire, who complained that he was bom- 
barded with complaints from the cotton industry about the 
danger to Lancashire's Chinese market. At the end of 
February, 1898, at a small dinner-party at the house of 
Alfred Rothschild, Chamberlain and the Duke begged 

298 






II 



i8 9 8] Chamberlain Approaches Germany 299 

Baron von Eckardstein, the popular First Secretary of the 
German Embassy, to arrange a meeting between the 
Ambassador and Chamberlain. 1 Hatzfeldt and Chamber- 
lain met next day, and informal conversations, extending 
over the whole field of Anglo-German relations, were 
continued two or three times a week throughout March. 

Chamberlain's suggestion of an alliance found a sym- 
pathetic response in the Ambassador; but the Wilhelm- 
strasse objected that the system of party Chamberlain 
government in England rendered it difficult and 
to guarantee the permanence of such an 
arrangement. When Chamberlain replied that Parlia- 
ment could approve, Billow rejoined that the publica- 
tion of an Anglo-German treaty would destroy the good 
relations between Berlin and Petrograd. The negotiations 
reached a deadlock early in April, and Chamberlain be- 
lieved that Russia had got scent of the discussions; but 
at the suggestion of Alfred Rothschild, and with the 
approval of Hatzfeldt, Eckardstein visited the Kaiser at 
Hamburg. After listening to the report, the impression- 
able monarch expressed agreement with the views of the 
Embassy ; but a week later Hatzfeldt informed Eckardstein 
that it was useless to continue negotiations, since the 
Kaiser and Billow had turned against an agreement. 
Unmoved by the rebuff from Berlin, Chamberlain returned 
to the charge; for his heart was hot within him, and on 
May 13 his wrath boiled over in a speech to his consti- 
tuents. "As to the manner in which Russia secured 
Port Arthur, the promises made and broken a fortnight 
later, I will only quote the proverb, ' Who sups with 
the devil must have a long spoon.' In future we have 
to reckon with Russia in China and Afghanistan. But 
what can we do in our isolation ? Some of our critics 
say we should have made an arrangement with Russia; 
but it takes two to make an agreement. What Russia 
asked we could not give, and we could give nothing to 
head her off. And if an agreement were reached, who 

1 Eckardstein, " Erinnerungen," I, 292-6. 



300 History of Modern Europe [i8 9 s 

could guarantee its fulfilment ? " The moral of the 
speech was co-operation with Germany. 

On May 30 the Kaiser discussed the new situation in 
a " private and very confidential " letter to the Tsar. 

"With a suddenness wholly unexpected to 
T Comment' S me am * placed before a grave decision 

which is of vital importance for my country, 
and which is so far-reaching that I cannot foresee 
the ultimate consequences. The traditions in which 
I was reared by my beloved grandfather of blessed 
memory as regards our two houses and countries have, 
as you will own, always been kept up by me as a holy 
bequest from him, and my loyalty to you and your family 
is, I flatter myself, above any suspicion. In the beginning 
of April the attacks on my country and person, till then 
showered on us by the British Press and people, suddenly 
fell off, and there was, as you will have perceived, a 
momentary lull. This rather astonished us at home and 
we were at a loss for an explanation. In a private inquiry 
I found out that H.M. the Queen herself through a friend 
of hers had sent word to the British papers that she 
wished this unnoble and false game to cease. Such an 
unwonted step naturally led us to the conclusion that 
something was in the air. About Easter a celebrated 
politician proprio motu suddenly sent for my Ambassador 
and a brule pourpoint offered him a treaty of alliance with 
England ! Count Hatzfeldt, utterly astonished, said he 
could not quite make out how that could be after all that 
had passed between us since '95. The answer was that 
the offer was made in real earnest and was sincerely meant. 
My Ambassador said he would report, but that he doubted 
very much whether Parliament would ever ratify such a 
treaty, England till now always having made clear to 
anybody who wished to hear it that it never by any means 
would make an alliance with any Continental Power 
whoever it may be ! After Easter the request was urgently 
renewed, but by my commands coolly and dilatorily an- 
swered in a colourless manner. I thought the affair had 



i8 9 8] The Kaiser Consults Russia 301 

ended. Now, however, the request has been renewed for 
the third time in such an unmistakable manner, putting 
a certain short term to my definite answer and accompanied 
by such enormous offers showing a wide and great future 
opening for my country, that I think it my duty to Ger- 
many duly to reflect before I answer. Before I do it, I 
frankly and openly come to you, my esteemed friend and 
cousin, to inform you, as I feel that it is a question, so 
to say, of life and death. We two have the same opinions, 
we want peace, and we have sustained and upheld it till 
now ! What the tendency of the alliance is you will well 
understand, as I am informed that the alliance is to be 
with the Triple Alliance and with the addition of Japan 
and America, with whom pourparlers have already been 
opened ! What the chances are for us in refusing or 
accepting you may calculate yourself ! Now as my old 
and trusted friend I beg you to tell me what you can 
offer me and will do if I refuse. Before I take my final 
decision and send my answer in this difficult position, 1 
must be able to see clearly, and clear and open without 
any back-thoughts must your proposal be, so that I can 
judge and weigh in my mind before God, as I should, 
what is for the good of the peace of my Fatherland and 
of the world. You need not fear for your Ally in any 
proposal you make should she be placed in a combination 
wished by you." 

The Tsar replied that three months ago Great Britain 
had made him offers with a view to destroying the Franco- 
Russian alliance "in a masked way." Soon 
afterwards he had secured Port Arthur, 
reached an agreement with Japan about 
Korea, and was on the best of terms with the United 
States. Germany could count on the friendship of 
Russia, but the Kaiser must settle for himself what 
value to attach to the British offer. 1 The letter con- 

1 The letter has not been published, but Hammann supplies a summary 
from the Berlin Foreign Office. Nothing is known of the British offer 
mentioned by the Tsar. 



302 History of Modern Europe 

firmed Billow and Holstein in their decision to avoid an 
alliance and to deal with separate issues on their merits. 
The door, however, was left open, and in June Salisbury 
discussed with Hatzfeldt a rapprochement in a form which 
should not challenge Russia. No advance, however, was 
made or could be made, as the Kaiser and his advisers 
at that time considered the good will of the Russian 'Court 
too valuable to endanger. " Since I communicated with 
you in May," wrote the Kaiser to the Tsar on August 18, 
"England has now and then reopened negotiations with 
us, but has never quite uncovered its hand. They are 
trying hard, as far as I can make out, to find a continental 
army to fight for their interests. But I fancy they won't 
easily find one, at least not mine ! Their newest move is 
to wish to gain France over from you." 

The lack of response to the British feelers left no sore- 
ness, for no formal offer was made or even considered 
En land ^7 the Cabinet. Co-operation was possible 
Germany, without alliance, and at this moment a field 
Portugal was O p en i n g i n which the countries might 
pursue their interests without fear of collision, and 
where Germany might find compensation for what 
she described as her "sacrifice " irt renouncing all 
claims in South Africa, and where Rhodes might 
further enlarge the British Empire. The finances of 
Portugal were, as usual, in confusion, the interest on 
British and German loans was in arrear, and the German 
Government proposed a deal. In the expectation that 
Portugal would approach one or other of them, and de- 
siring that she should not turn to France, the two countries 
agreed to reply that they could only finance her jointly, 
and that as security for a large loan the colonies should 
be pledged or ceded. A secret treaty was signed in 
October, 1898, which divided the colonies into spheres of 
influence, Southern Mozambique, Northern Angola, 
Madeira, the Azores and Cape Verde Islands falling to 
Great Britain, while Germany's share consisted of 
Southern Angola and Northern Mozambique. Partition 



i8 9 8j The Portuguese Colonies 303 

was only to be carried out if Portugal desired to sell. 1 
At the close of the year the two Governments made dis- 
creet public references to the argument. Germany, de- 
clared Chamberlain, was a dangerous competitor, but 
there were many important questions in which the two 
countries could agree without an alliance. "There are 
many points where we can co-operate," echoed Biilow, 

^" without damage to and with integral maintenance of 
other relationships." The Portuguese pact, however, re- 
mained a dead letter, for the country escaped financial 
collapse. Salisbury disliked the Treaty of 1898, and in 
the following year the Marquis de Several, a persona 
gratissima at the British Court, persuaded him to renew 
the old mutual guarantee against attack in an exchange 
of notes described as the Treaty of Windsor. T 
This pact removed the soreness created by Windsor, 
the British ultimatum of 1890, which vetoed 
the Portuguese claim to sprawl across South Africa; 
and, though it was not verbally inconsistent with 
the Anglo-German Treaty, Germany was not officially 
informed of it till many years later. When references 
to it in speeches when the British fleet was at Lisbon 
in 1900 caused a German inquiry what treaty was in 
question, Lord Lansdowne replied that it renewed the 
long-standing alliance and did not infringe the pact of 
1898. 

A further step along the path of co-operation was 
taken when Rhodes visited the German capital in the 
spring of 1899. 2 In conversation with a friend of Rhodes, 
the Director of the German Colonial Department spoke 
of the hostility of the South African statesman to Ger- 
many. The Englishman thereupon offered to suggest a 
visit, and was assured that the empire builder would be 
received by the Kaiser. Rhodes welcomed the oppor- 
tunity, for the Cape to Cairo railway was very near his 

1 Cf. Eckardstein, " Erinnerungen," II, 205. The Anglo-Portuguese 
Treaty of 1872 gave Great Britain the pre-emption of Delagoa Bay. 

2 Eckardstein, "Erinnerungen," I, 314-15; Basil Williams, "Cecil 
Rhodes," 309-11. 



304 History of Modern Europe [1899 

heart. The reconquest of the Sudan and the extension 
of Rhodesia northwards left only the middle of the route 
to be arranged with the Congo State or Germany, accord- 
ing as it passed east or west of Lake Tanganyika. The 
trans-African telegraph was an easier problem financially, 
but equally required foreign assent. The Anglo-Congolese 
Treaty of 1894, which had provided a strip through Congo 
territory, had been cancelled, and henceforth Rhodes 
placed his chief hopes in German East Africa. Early in 
1899 he discussed the line with Kitchener and Cromer in 
Egypt, and visited Brussels and Berlin on his way home. 
On leaving King Leopold's study he caught hold of the 
British Military Attache, who happened to be passing, 
and hissed in his ear, "I tell you that man is Satan." 

The interview with the Kaiser was extremely cordial, 
beginning with friendly chaff about the Kruger telegram, 
which, as Rhodes explained, had diverted 
^ e wrat ^ ^ ^ s countrymen from his own 
head, and ending with a promise of every 
facility for carrying the telegraph wires through German 
East Africa. The conversation was renewed at an 
Embassy dinner, after which the Kaiser gave orders 
that "when Mr. Rhodes gets into our territory he 
does not require a military escort for his workers, as that 
would put him to unnecessary expense." Details took 
time to work out, and the agreement was not signed till 
the autumn. In return for permission to carry the tele- 
graph through German territory, the Chartered Company 
promised not to build a railway line to the Atlantic except 
through German South- West Africa. It was also agreed 
that, if Germany could not finance a railway through 
German East Africa, Rhodes should undertake the task. 
The Englishman was delighted not only with his bargain 
but with his host, whom he described as "a big man, a 
broad-minded man." "Your Emperor was very good to 
me," he wrote to a German friend. "I shall not alter 
my determination to work with the German colonies in 
Africa." His gratitude and confidence were generously 






1 899] The Samoa Problem 305 

expressed in a codicil to his will, providing that the 
Kaiser should choose a number of Rhodes scholars for 
Oxford University every year. The visit was one of the 
factors in the Kaiser's friendliness to Great Britain during 
the Boer war, and a telegram of congratulation after the 
relief of Kimberley showed that the fascination of the 
famous Afrikander was still undimmed. 

The Anglo-German negotiations concerning Portu- 
guese Africa had proceeded in perfect harmony; but the 
discussion of the Samoan problem generated a good deal 
of heat. Holstein, declares Eckardstein, detested Salis- 
bury, whom he credited with the desire to injure Germany 
and involve her in trouble by his devilish ingenuity. 
Hatzfeldt, who knew him better, repudiated this carica- 
ture; but the Ambassador's nerves were upset by the 
excursions and alarums of Berlin. Indeed, his relations 
with the Prime Minister became so strained in the summer 
of 1899 that the two men did not meet for weeks. The 
tripartite condominium under which Samoa 
had lived since 1889 hd proved unwork- 
able, the United States and Great Britain 
favouring one solution and Germany another. Salis- 
bury was annoyed by threats through unofficial channels, 
and the blundering Holstein hinted that the Kaiser 
would break off diplomatic relations if a satisfactory 
agreement were not reached forthwith. Salisbury very 
properly declined to negotiate further with a pistol at 
his head, and ironically observed to the Duke of Devon- 
shire that he was daily expecting an ultimatum. "Un- 
fortunately it has not yet come. If it does not, Germany 
will lose a first-rate opportunity of getting rid not only 
of Samoa but of all her colonies, which seem too expensive 
for her, in a respectable way. And we should then be able 
to unite with France along the line of colonial compensa- 
tions." Hatzfeldt now invited Eckardstein, who had 
temporarily withdrawn from the diplomatic service, to 
get in touch with Chamberlain. The Baron joyfully 
accepted the task, and secured the approval of Berlin 



306 History of Modern Europe [i8 99 

for his proposal to surrender German claims in Samoa 
in return for compensation elsewhere. After two months 
of negotiation an agreement was reached by which Ger- 
many ceded her rights in Samoa in return for the British 
Solomon Islands and a portion of the Gold Coast. The 
pact was approved by Holstein but opposed by Tirpitz, 
who won Biilow and the Kaiser to his side. The situation 
!was completely changed by the outbreak of the Boer 
'war, which strengthened Germany's position as a bar- 
gainer; and she finally secured Savaii and Upolu, ceding 
the German Solomon Islands in return. The United States 
received the island of Tutuila, and the British flag dis- 
appeared from the Samoan archipelago. 

While Great Britain and Germany were chaffering 
about a group of islands in the Pacific, the leading States 

of the world had gathered at The Hague, 
Conference m res P nse to an invitation from the Tsar, 

to discuss the reduction of armaments. The 
action of Nicholas was welcomed by leading English- 
men, among whom Stead held a foremost place, as 
a disinterested offer of service to humanity; and it 
was rumoured that an encyclopaedic work by Bloch, a 
wealthy Polish banker and pacifist, on the future of war 
had attracted the ruler's attention. The genesis of the 
Hague Conference, as revealed by Witte many years later, 
was of a much more prosaic character. 1 Early in 1898 
the War Minister, Kuropatkin, drew up a memorandum 
for the Tsar, stating that as France and Germany had 
improved their artillery, Russia and Austria could not lag 
behind. The cost, however, would be deterrent, and both 
countries would profit by an agreement not to buy new 
guns. On being asked for his opinion, the Finance 
Minister replied that Austria would think that Russia 
was insolvent, or that she wished to spend the money 
on some unavowed object. The proposal, moreover, 
would injure Russian credit. A far better plan, argued 
Witte, would be for all the Powers to economize on their 

1 Dillon, " The Eclipse of Russia." 269-78. 



The Hague Conference 307 

armaments. The reasoning convinced the Tsar, and the 
revised proposal was draped in diplomatic phraseology 
by the Foreign Office. On August 24 Muravieff presented 
to each of the diplomatic representatives accredited to the 
Russian Court a copy of the Tsar's rescript. 

The invitation was accepted by all the Governments to 
which it was addressed, and the first Hague Conference, 
attended by every European State, the United States and 
Japan, opened on May 18, 1899. * But it quickly appeared 
that the main object for which it had been summoned 
could not be achieved. When Russia pro- 
posed that there should be no increase of 
armies or military budgets for five years, 
the representative of Germany rose to explain that 
his country was not suffering from an intolerable burden 
and that it refused even to discuss the reduction or 
arrest of armaments. The declaration struck a felon 
blow not only at the Conference itself, but at the preserva- 
tion of European peace; for the unchecked growth of 
armaments by land and sea augmented the potential 
danger of every State to its neighbours, . and increased 
the tension in which rulers and ministers, diplomatists 
and financiers, Parliaments and the Press, lived and 
worked. German apologists subsequently explained that 
they could not afford to remove any portion of defensive 
armour with an angry France on one side and the Slav 
Colossus on the other. It would, indeed, have been 
difficult to reduce the principle of the Tsar's rescript to 
figures, and it might have proved impossible; but it was 
owing to the German veto that the task was not attempted. 
The decision, moreover, was due not merely to legitimate 
apprehensions for the security of her frontiers, but to the 
doctrine of national self-sufficiency which she had come 
to embrace with almost ecstatic fervour. The suggestion 
of any limitation on his unfettered control of the army 
and navy seemed to the Kaiser now and ever afterwards 

1 See J. B. Scott, " The Hague Peace Conferences " ; Zorn (one of the 
German delegates), " Die beiden Haager Friedenskonferenzen." 



308 History of Modern Europe [1899 

an almost blasphemous challenge to his prerogative. The 
Conference had thus to content itself with an anaemic 
vaeu that the restriction of expenditure on armaments 
was desirable for the material and moral welfare of man- 
kind. On the other hand, it accomplished some useful 
work by attempting to humanize the rules of war, though 
Great Britain declined to recognize the immunity of 
private property at sea, to which the United States and 
Germany attached importance. Of far greater significance 
was the creation of a permanent Arbitration Tribunal, 
mainly owing to the skill and courage of Sir Julian 
Pauncefote, the British Ambassador at Washington and 
First British Plenipotentiary. 

The General Act of the Hague Conference was signed 
on July 29 by twenty-six of the twenty-eight participat- 
ing Powers. But armaments continued to in- 
Eng War at crease > and on October 9 the British Empire 
was at war. The events of the struggle 
in South Africa concern the historian of modern 
Europe as little as its causes; but the reaction of 
the struggle on European politics was profound. The 
position of Great Britain at the opening of the conflict 
was one of "splendid" if not risky isolation. France and 
Russia seemed incurably hostile; Germany was less un- 
friendly, but scarcely a friend; the United States, though 
our outspoken sympathy in the Spanish war had softened 
the angry memories of Venezuela, stood aloof from the 
controversies of Europe; Japan had not yet made her 
choice between London and Petrograd ; Austria and Italy 
took no active part in Weltpolitik. This loneliness was 
intensified both by the setting and by the incidents of 
the war. The world knew little and cared less for the 
grievances of the Uitlanders in the Transvaal, who, 
despite the annoyances and humiliations of which they 
complained, contrived to pile up enormous fortunes. The 
Raid was unforgotten, and our failure to probe responsi- 
bility to the bottom and to punish Rhodes confirmed the 
suspicion that high political and financial circles had 



1899] 



The South African War 309 

designs on the independence of the Boer Republics. 
More than one nation, again, had felt the lash of Cham- 
berlain's sharp tongue, and the fact that the negotiations 
were in the hands of the arch-Imperialist did not conduce 
to a patient hearing of the British case. Thus the ulti- 
matum from Pretoria seemed to onlookers in Europe the 
natural rejoinder to the dispatch of troops British 
from England and India. When it was Prestige 
discovered that untrained Boers could on Suffers 
occasion defeat British regulars, sympathy turned to 
enthusiasm, and the efforts of the two little States 
to defend their independence against a mighty Empire 
were watched with breathless interest and rewarded with 
unstinted applause. To hostile eyes England appeared 
as- the great bully who had already swallowed half the 
world, and was about to gobble up two peasant Republics 
endowed with unlimited stores of mineral wealth. With 
scarcely an exception the Press of Europe sympathized 
with the Boers; and the Emperor Francis Joseph's observa- 
tion to the British Ambassador at a diplomatic reception, 
"In this war I am on the side of England," was the more 
appreciated in British official circles because it was a voice 
crying in the wilderness. 1 

The rally of the self-governing Dominions to the cause 
of the Mother Country, though welcome evidence of 
Imperial solidarity, afforded no adequate compensation 
for the scowls and jeers of Europe; and the first result 
in the sphere of high politics of the outbreak of war was 
to restore the wire between London and Berlin. After 
an absence of four years the Kaiser had instructed Etatz- 
feldt in the early summer to make discreet inquiries in 
regard to an invitation. The indispensable Eckardstein 
sounded the Prince of Wales, who replied that he had 
no objection, but that his nephew must deliver no more 
bombastic speeches in the course of his visit. Soon after 
the Queen's invitation for the autumn had been received 
the impulsive monarch threatened that he would not come 

1 Rumbold, " Final Recollections," 359-60. 



310 History of Modern Europe [i8 99 

unless the question of Samoa were promptly settled; but 
his annoyance blew over when Chamberlain and Eckard- 
stein discussed the problem in friendly conversation. The 
visit had been suggested from Berlin; but after the out- 
break of war the hosts were much more anxious than the 
guest that it should be paid. From the British point of 
view it was in the highest degree desirable that the Boers 
in the field and on their farms should know that German 
support would not be forthcoming, and that the rumour 
of a European coalition about to intervene on their behalf 
was an idle dream. 

At the Lord Mayor's banquet the Prime Minister 
announced that our relations with Germany were as good 
as they could be, and on November 19 the 
Em P eror anc * Empress arrived in England. 
The visit was a complete success, and on 
this occasion the Kaiser and his uncle enjoyed each 
other's society. But it was much more than a 
personal reconciliation of the courts after the explosion 
of the Kruger telegram. Billow accompanied his master, 
and high politics were discussed. The way had been 
prepared by the conversations in the spring of 1898 and 
in the early autumn of 1899, when in the course of the 
Samoa negotiations Chamberlain warned Eckardstein that 
if he could not reach agreement with Germany he would 
make a deal with France and Russia. Holstein, immured 
in the twilight world of the Wilhelmstrasse, believed the 
threat to be bluff; but Hatzfeldt had sharper eyes, and 
encouraged his subordinate to discuss an alliance. When 
the Kaiser reached England, Chamberlain broached his 
favourite project, and met with an encouraging response. 
"I had two long talks with the Kaiser," he wrote to 
Eckardstein on December i, "which confirmed my earlier 
opinion of his extraordinary insight into European 
problems. Billow also made a great impression on me. 
He expressed a wish that I should say something about 
the common interests of the United States, Germany and 
England. Hence my speech at Leicester yesterday." 



Chamberlain at Leicester 311 



,., 

It was not surprising that the Leicester speech should 
echo round the world. Chamberlain was the most forceful 
personality in British politics, and since the outbreak of 
the Boer war the eyes of Europe were upon him. He 
began by complaining of the abuse of the foreign Press, 
which had not spared the almost sacred person of the 
Queen. "These attacks on Her Majesty have provoked a 
natural indignation which will have serious consequences 
if our neighbours do not mend their manners." After 
this resounding rebuke to France, and a warmly phrased 
tribute to the friendliness of the United States, he turned 
to the topic which was uppermost in his thoughts. "There 
is something more which I think any far-seeing English 
statesman must long have desired, and that is that we 
should not remain permanently isolated on the Continent 
of Europe; and I think that the moment Chamberlain 
that aspiration was formed it must have suggests 
appeared evident to everybody that the Alhance 
natural alliance is between ourselves and the great 
German Empire. We have had our differences, our 
quarrels, misunderstandings, but at the root of things 
there has always been a force which has necessarily 
brought us together. What interest have we which is 
contrary to the interest of Germany ? I can foresee many 
things which must be a cause of anxiety to the statesmen 
of Europe, but in which our interests are clearly the same, 
and in which that understanding of which I have spoken 
in the case of America might, if extended to Germany, 
do more perhaps than any combination of arms to preserve 
the peace of the world. At bottom the character of the 
Teutonic race differs very slightly indeed from the 
character of the Anglo-Saxon race. If the union between 
England and America is a powerful factor in the cause 
of peace, a new Triple Alliance between the Teutonic 
race and the two great branches of the Anglo-Saxon race 
will be a still more potent influence in the future of the 
world. I have used the word alliance, but it matters little 
whether you have an alliance which is committed to paper 



312 History of Modern Europe 

or whether you have an understanding which exists in 
the minds of the statesmen of the respective countries. 
An understanding is perhaps better than an alliance." 

Though the speech was encouraged by the rulers of 
Germany, it found no responsive echo in the Fatherland. 
German opinion was pro-Boer, and the suggestion of an 
alliance with the wolf while busily engaged in devouring 
the lamb was rejected with scornful anger. The outcry 
was too much for the supple Billow, who was counting 
on the succession to the Chancellorship, and whose heart 
had never been and never was to be in a 
British alliance. The Reichstag speech 
which restored the Foreign Secretary to the 
favour of his countrymen aroused the scorn of Chamber- 
lain, who had no mercy for flinching or hedging. 
"I won't say anything of the way Billow has treated 
me," he wrote to Eckardstein, "but it is useless to 
continue the negotiations for an alliance. Whether 
they can be resumed after the end of the war, which has 
stirred up so much dust, remains to be seen. I am truly 
sorry that all your earnest efforts seem vain. Everything 
went so well, and Salisbury was quite friendly again and 
with us." It was in vain that Billow sent a confidential 
explanation of the offending utterance to the Colonial 
Secretary through Eckardstein, pointing out that his 
position was very difficult and that his attitude was un- 
changed. Events, moreover, had occurred and were about 
to occur which further diminished the prospect of a 
rapprochement. 

On October 18, 1899, a week after the Boer ultimatum, 
the Kaiser had utilized the launching of a vessel at Ham- 
burg to issue another stirring appeal to the deaf ears of 
his people. "Bitterly do we want a strong navy. Ham- 
burg appreciates the absolute necessity for our foreign 
interests of a strong protecting force and how indis- 
pensable it is to increase our righting force at sea. Yet 
the realization of this need extends but slowly in our 
Fatherland, which unfortunately still wastes its strength 



i8 9 9] The German Navy 313 

in fruitless party strife. With deep anxiety I have had 
to observe what slow progress interest in and under- 
standing of great questions of world-wide importance have 
made. If the strengthening of the navy, in spite of 
constant entreaties and warnings during the first eight 
years of my reign, in the course of which I was not even 
spared scorn and mockery, had not been persistently | 
refused, how differently we should have been able to 
promote our thriving commerce and our 
overseas interests. Still my hopes that the 
Germans will nerve themselves have not 
yet vanished. For strong is the love of Fatherland 
that beats in their hearts. And, indeed, it is a 
wonderful structure that my father and grandfather and 
their great Paladins helped to erect. In all the glory of 
its magnificence it stands there, the Empire which our 
fathers yearned to see and of which our poets have sung." 
It was the last time that the Imperial preacher had to 
complain of his people's lack of interest in the darling 
project of his heart. Everyone now saw what was 
coming. "The Kaiser is expected to propose a new 
programme," reported the Belgian Minister on Novem- 
ber 21, "as he is strongly impressed by recent events 
the Spanish war, Fashoda, South Africa. The moral is 
that Germany is exposed to the risk of being despoiled 
of her laboriously constructed colonial empire, and, even 
worse, losing her foreign trade and mercantile marine. 
The fleet of the 1898 programme will suffice to defend the 
German coast, but not for action at a distance. The 
programme will probably pass, for the considerations 
which have struck the Kaiser seem to have produced the 
same impression on the majority of Germans." 1 

The Reichstag, declares Tirpitz in his Memoirs, 
required to be " nursed " ; and having successfully adminis- 
tered the first dose in 1898 he had determined in the 
summer of 1899 to repeat the experiment at latest in 1901. 
The financial provision had proved inadequate; it seemed 

1 Schwertfeger, " Zur Europaischen Politik," I, 50-1. 



314 History of Modern Europe [1899 

desirable to equal>.e the number of ships built each year; 
and above all the atmosphere had been improved by the 
lessons of Cuba, Manila and Fashoda. His views were 
shared with deep conviction by the Foreign Secretary, 
who on Di cember 1 1 invited the Reichstag to reflect on the 
perils of tl e time. " We must be prepared against sur- 
prises by la, id or sea. We must have a fleet strong enough 
to prevent lie attack of any Power. Storms may arise at 
any momen.. Events since 1898 have shown the wisdom 
of the First Navy Bill. All the Powers are increasing their 
fleets. Without a large increase of our own we cannot 
maintain our place in the world beside France and 
England, Russia and America. We are the objects of 
envy, political and economic. The times of our political 
anaemia and economic and political humility must not 
lecur. In the coming century the German people will 
be the hammer or the anvil." 1 Such ringing words had 
not been heard in the Reichstag since the fall of the Iron 
Chancellor. 

A few days later the Government received unexpected 
assistance in their educational campaign from the stoppage 
Th and searching of three German merchant- 

Bundesrath men for contraband on the east coast of 
Stopped Africa. Two were allowed to proceed, but 
the Bundesrath was taken to Durban to a Prize Court. 
The German note of protest was as shrill as any 
patriot could desire, and Salisbury expressed his astonish- 
ment at its tone. Hatzfeldt was ill and away from 
his post, and the situation looked ugly, for the German 
Government seemed to have lost its head and was believed 
to be ready to break off diplomatic relations. Eckardstein, 
who had returned to official life as First Secretary of the 
Embassy on the occasion of the Kaiser's visit, reported 
that the Cabinet wished to prevent the repetition of the 
offence; but on his next visit to the Foreign Office he 
learned to his dismay that a German Admiral was expected 
in London with an ultimatum of forty-eight hours in his 

i Billow, " Reden," I. Dec. n, 1899. 



The Bundesrath Incident 315 

pocket. Salisbury, nevertheless, was in a very accom- 
modating mood. No official report about the cargo of the 
Bundesrath, he observed, had been received ; but it seemed 
clear that it carried no contraband. " I shall not await the 
report of the Prize Court, but I shall release 
the ship at once, pay compensation, and soft* Answer 
promise not to trouble German ships again." 
It was a handsome surrender, and on January 19 
Biilow announced that England had apologized, tendered 
compensation, and given orders to prevent recurrence. 
"Germany," he added, "who has so often shown 
her freedom from aggressive tendencies, has a special 
right to considerate treatment." No great damage 
had been done to the relations of the Courts and the 
Chancelleries, and when the Prince of Wales was shortly 
afterwards shot at in Brussels on his way to Copenhagen, 
the Kaiser hurried from Berlin to congratulate him on 
his escape. On the other hand, the repercussion of the 
Bundesrath incident on German mentality was profound 
and enduring. It was these January days of 1900, far 
more than the propaganda of the Kaiser, Tirpitz and the 
Navy League, which brought home to the German people 
their powerlessness at sea. "It's an ill wind that blows 
nobody any good," observed Billow when the news 
arrived, and Tirpitz suggested that an Order should be 
given to the British commander. "The Chancellor ordered 
champagne," relates the Kaiser in his Memoirs, "and we 
three drank to the British navy, which had proved such 
a help." 

The moment had now arrived for the introduction of 
the Second Navy Bill. "We hesitated for a long time," 
records Tirpitz, "whether to bring the idea of the English 
menace into the preamble. I should have preferred to have 
left England out of it altogether; but such an unusual 
demand, namely, the doubling of our small naval force, 
made it scarcely possible to avoid pointing at least at the 
real reason." Germany, it was explained, must have so 
strong a battle fleet that war, even for her most powerful 



316 History of Modern Europe [1900 

naval opponent, would be attended by such dangers that its 
supremacy would be at stake. The programme doubled 
that of 1898, and contemplated the construction of thirty- 
four battleships in sixteen years, thus bringing the total 
to thirty-eight ships of the line. The coast vessels of the 
first programme were to be dropped, but fourteen large 
cruisers instead of ten, and thirty-eight small cruisers 
instead of twenty-three were to be built, while the torpedo 
boats were to be increased to eighty. That the demand 
for six cruisers was dropped was of no importance, since 
for technical reasons it was at that moment impossible 
to build them. The new Bill, unlike its predecessor, left 
the provision of credits to the annual Budget, which not 
only humoured the sticklers for Parliamentary control, 
but enabled larger or costlier types to be adopted if 
desired. 

The second Bill met with less opposition than the first, 
and the steady support of the Centrum secured it against 
danger. 1 The Socialists continued their 
opposition, but of the bourgeois leaders 
Richter alone carried on the fight. "After 
a long and excited session of the Budget Committee," 
relates Billow, "he came and said to me privately, 
' You will succeed. You will get a majority. I would 
never have believed it.' I explained why his opposition 
was inexplicable to me, for the German democracy had 
for decades demanded efficiency at sea. Herwegh stood 
at the cradle of the German fleet, and the first German 
warships had been built in 1848. I pointed out why we 
must protect our commerce and our industries on the 
ocean. He listened attentively, and said at last : * You 
may be right, but I am too old, and I cannot take part 
in this new turn of affairs.' " The Kaiser was delighted 
at the success of his efforts. "The ocean is essential for 
Germany's greatness," he declared at the launching of a 

1 Bassermann, the leader of the National Liberals, now began his 
steady and powerful support of a large navy. See the first speech in his 
" Reden," I. 



Plans of Intervention 317 

ship in July, 1900; "but the ocean proves that on it and 
beyond it no great decision can be taken without the 
German Kaiser." Billow's satisfaction was expressed, 
as usual, in terms better calculated to reassure foreign 
opinion. "Show me a single case in which our policy 
was anything but moderate," he exclaimed on June 12, on 
the third reading. "Adventure and aggression are not 
in our minds. But we will not be brushed aside or run 
over. We want security that we shall be able to develop 
in peace, both in the political and economic field." In- 
terest, honour and dignity, he declared in after years, 
compelled Germany to win for her international policy 
the same independence that she had secured for her policy 
in Europe. 

The isolation of Great Britain and the sympathy felt 
throughout Europe for the Boer Republics naturally led 
to rumours of mediation or intervention. 1 
After concluding his autumn holiday in 
Biarritz in October, 1899, Muravieff visited 
Paris on his way home and discussed the situation 
with the French Government. Before the Foreign 
Minister had left the capital some Anglophobe news- 
papers announced the imminence of Russian inter- 
vention, and Russian papers spoke of a Franco-Russian 
understanding against Great Britain. No details of the 
discussions in Paris have been published; but Jules 
Hansen, the Gallicized Dane who did odd jobs for the 
French Foreign Office, had journeyed to Berlin on the 
outbreak of war to discover whether Germany would share 
in intervention. 3 Billow declined to receive him ; but, 
though he had seen nobody of importance, he tried to 
persuade the British Government that Germany had sug- 
gested intervention to France. The attempt failed, for 
Eckardstein had warned Downing Street against his in- 
trigues. French public opinion would have welcomed 

i See Hammann, " Zur Vorgeschichte des Weltkrieges," ch. 3, and 
" Der Missverstandene Bismarck," 73-5. 
a Eckardstein, " Erinnerungen." 



3i8 History of Modern Europe [1900 

almost any means of displaying its sympathies with the 
Boers ; but there is no reason to credit the French Govern- 
ment with hostile intentions. President Loubet and the 
Premier, Waldeck-Rousseau, two of the steadiest heads 
in France, were anxious to allow the country to recover 
from the fever of the Dreyfus crisis ; and Delcasse, though 
he had no love for England, had realized that colonial 
expansion was difficult if not impossible without her 
assent. On the other hand, he had only recently paid 
a visit to Petrograd, and could scarcely meet Russian 
suggestions with a blank negative. 

After his visit to Paris Muravieff met his master, who 
had been staying with his wife's relatives in Hesse, and 
accompanied him to Potsdam on November 8. During 
the few hours' conversation no mention of mediation 
appears to have been made, and a few days later the 
Kaiser and Billow started for England. No action was 
taken till the early disasters had embarrassed Great 
Britain, and the stopping of the Bundesrath had inflamed 

Russia German opinion ; but at the end of February, 
proposes 1900, after renewed discussion with France, 
Intervention the R uss j an Ambassador in Berlin asked 
whether Germany would join France and Russia in 
a joint demarche in London with the object of 
restoring peace. 1 The reply was sent through the 
Ambassador in Petrograd that Germany could not expose 
herself to complications so long as she had to reckon 
with French hostility. She therefore inquired whether 
France and Russia would be ready to join her in a 
guarantee of each other's European possessions. This 
seemingly innocent query produced the result which was 
expected if not indeed desired; for France was not to be 
trapped into a recognition of the Treaty of Frankfurt. 
The incident was related by Eckardstein to his friend 
Alfred Rothschild, who informed the Government. The 

1 Bourgeois et Pages, " Origines et Responsabilite's de la Grande 
Guerre," 288, do not doubt that the Russian proposal was suggested by 
the German Government, but they supply no evidence for their belief. 



Attitude of the Kaiser 319 

Russian Charg assured the Foreign Office that Berlin 
was constantly trying to induce France and Russia to 
join her, and that Russia had hitherto refused; but the 
communication produced as little effect as an anonymous 
and undated memorandum in French presented to the 
Prince of Wales in Copenhagen, suggesting that Germany 
had more than once whispered to France and Russia that 

they should stab England in the back. No ^ 

, . Germany s 

further suggestions came from Petrograd Negative 

till October, 1901, when the Russian Charg Replies 
in Berlin presented a memorandum asking for the 
German view in regard to mediation. The German 
Government replied that it was always ready to help 
to end the war, but that collective action would bear 
the appearance of a threat, and added that it would be 
better if mediation was proposed by a single Power, for 
instance Russia. The reply was verbally conveyed by 
the Under-Secretary to the Charge", who replied that he 
expected nothing else. 

Several years later, in the Daily Telegraph interview, 
the Kaiser claimed credit for having frustrated a Franco- 
Russian attempt at intervention; and there is no doubt 
that his insistence on a mutual guarantee effectively pre- 
vented co-operation. Whether he was willing to take 
action if France had accepted his condition we do not 
know; and whether the intervention would have been in 
the form of a menace or a mere offer of friendly services 
we cannot tell. When the revelation was made the Temps 
semi-officially replied that the project was not to humble 
England in the dust, but merely to offer mediation. The 
German people, like the French, would have applauded 
vigorous action on the part of their Government; but the 
persistent refusal of the Kaiser and Billow on other occa- 
sions to associate themselves with the pro-Boer sentiments 
of their countrymen suggests that they never contem- 
plated action designed to thwart Great Britain in the ful- 
filment of her military task. The Kaiser declares in his 
Memoirs that Queen Victoria thanked him warmly for 



320 History of Modern Europe [1901 

declining to join in the suggested pressure. "The idea 
of coercive intervention," declared Billow in the Reichs- 
tag, "never crossed our minds, and no Power contem- 
plated anything but friendly mediation. The Powers 
which academically ventilated mediation always explicitly 
disclaimed all thought of forcing England to make peace 
against her will." To this we may add the emphatic 
testimony of Sir Frank Lascelles, the British Ambassador, 
that the German Government never took any hostile step 
during the Boer war. 1 Looking back on this period after 
jhis fall, Billow quietly observes that German neutrality 
was necessitated by the national interests. "Even if, by 
taking action in Europe, we had succeeded in thwarting 
England's South African policy, our relations would have 
been poisoned for many a long day. Her passive resist- 
ance to the international policy of new Germany would 
have changed to active hostility. Even in the event of 
defeat in the South African war, England could have 
stifled our sea power in the embryo." 

A letter from the Tsar to King Edward, written after 
the repulse of the second Russian feeler in Berlin, con- 
firms the view that the project of interven- 

T /L T eal F ' S ^ on was never f a verv alarming character. 8 
"Pray forgive me," he wrote in May, 1901, 
"for writing to you upon a very delicate subject, 
which I have been thinking over for months; but 
my conscience at last obliges me to speak openly. 
It is about the South African war, and what I say 
is only said as by your loving nephew. You re- 
member, of course, when the war broke out what a strong 
feeling of animosity against England arose throughout 
the world. In Russia the indignation of the people was 
similar to that of the other countries. I received addresses, 
letters, telegrams, etc., in masses, begging me to interfere, 
even by adopting strong measures. But my principle is 
not to meddle in other people's affairs, as it did not con- 

1 Pall Mall Gazette, Nov. 6, 1917. 

1 Published by Sir Sidney Lee in The Times, May, 1922. 



igoo] Kruger and the Kaiser 321 

cern my country. Nevertheless all this weighed morally 
upon me. So sad to think it is Christians fighting against 
each other. How many thousands of gallant young Eng- 
lishmen have already perished out there ! Does not your 
kind heart yearn to put an end to this bloodshed? Such 
an act would universally be hailed with joy." No one 
could take offence at such an appeal. King Edward, 
after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Foreign 
Secretary, gently replied that the end could hardly be 
far off, and that when peace and order had been restored, 
the territories would enjoy in full measure the tranquillity 
and good government which England had never failed to 
assure to the populations which had come under her sway. 
When the Kaiser renewed to his uncle the warning which 
he had given to his grandmother, that a Franco-Russian 
coalition was forming to attack the British Empire, and 
added that his own personal influence alone could stay the 
avalanche, the British Government refused to take the 
communication seriously. 

Whatever the secret thoughts of the Kaiser during the 
different phases of the dragging struggle, his actions were 
consistently friendly. His statement in the Daily Tele- 
graph interview that in the darkest days of the struggle he 
worked out a plan of campaign with the aid of his Generals 
and sent it to Queen Victoria was promptly contradicted 
by the Chancellor in the Reichstag, who explained that 
the communication was nothing more than a series of 
military aphorisms. Whatever its exact nature, it was 
intended as a sign of good will. A more substantial 
service was the refusal to receive Kruger when, in the 
autumn of 1900, he fled from Pretoria and 
was greeted with tumultuous applause in ^oro* in 
Paris, where he was accorded an interview 
with Delcasse. On reaching Cologne on December 2 
he was informed that the Kaiser could not i^eceive 
him; but the greetings in the first German city were 
so encouraging that he resolved to push on to Berlin 
in the hope that the ruler might change his mind. The 
V 



322 History of Modern Europe [1901 

German Minister at Luxemburg was accordingly dis- 
patched in hot haste to Cologne to veto the project. 
When the action of the Government was sharply attacked 
in the Reichstag, Bu'low, who had recently succeeded 
Hohenlohe as Chancellor, replied that a visit would have 
been of no advantage either to Germany or to Kruger. 
The visit to Paris had done him no good, for Delcasse* 
had refused to take action. "We, like other countries, 
feel sympathy with the Boers; but we must not be guided 
by our feelings. There is no need to ask or say which 
side is right. We are ready, on a basis of mutual con- 
sideration and complete equality, to live in peace and 
friendship with England. We are not called upon to 
play Don Quixote or to tilt at English windmills." He 
had done his best, he added, to prevent war, urging 
Kruger (through the medium of the Dutch Government) 
in May, June and August, 1899, to compromise. He had 
told him that it was useless to apply to Germany, and had 
advised him to seek American mediation. 

The favourable impression created in Great Britain by 
the Kaiser's refusal to receive the fallen President was 

o confirmed by his conduct on the death of 

Victoria's his venerated grandmother. Directly he 

Death heard that the Queen's life was in danger 
he hurried across to Osborne, arriving two days before 
the end. 1 His practical sympathy produced a pro- 
found impression on the Royal Family and in the country, 
and was all the more appreciated since it was well under- 
stood that if he had consulted his popularity among his 
subjects he would have stayed at home. During his 
fortnight's residence he conferred the Order of the Black 
Eagle on Lord Roberts, who had recently surrendered 
the command in South Africa to Lord Kitchener. 
Observers noted with pleasure the cordiality of his 
relations with his uncle, and the new King displayed 

1 As his carriage drove out of the station a man called out, " Thank 
you, Kaiser." " That is what they all think," remarked the Prince of 
Wales, " and they will never forget this coming of yours." The Kaiser's 
" Memoirs," ch. 4- 



The Boxer Revolt 323 

his good will by presenting the Garter to the Crown Prince, 
who accompanied his father. "The visit has produced 
a complete revulsion in the popular sentiment," reported 
the Belgian Minister. 1 "The change began with his visit 
in 1899. But the sympathy for the Kaiser does not extend 
to the German people, where the grant of the Black Eagle 
to Lord Roberts is sharply criticized. The English see 
in the Germans dangerous economic rivals. The visit has 
had an excellent effect on the relations of the Courts, but 
it has not modified the feelings of the peoples." 

The friendship of the German Government was of 
peculiar value, for at no time during the reign of 
William II had German influence stood higher relatively 
to that of the other Great Powers. His commanding 
position was emphasized by the acceptance of Count 
Waldersee as commander of the international expedition 
for the suppression of the Boxer movement 
in China in 1900 and the relief of the 
Legations in Pekin. Since Russia con- 
tributed the largest number of troops, she naturally 
desired the chief post; but Great Britain and Japan 
objected to strengthen her existing predominance in 
the Far East. Russia, in turn, was equally opposed 
to a Japanese or British lead. The Kaiser saw his oppor- 
tunity and seized it. He invited Salisbury to propose a 
German commander, and when the Prime Minister 
hesitated he sounded the Tsar, who in like manner 
declined to commit himself. The Kaiser, records 
Hammann, burned to see his old favourite Waldersee at 
the head of the expedition, and he proceeded to announce 
that the Tsar had placed the appointment in his hands. 
Lamsdorff wished to correct the statement, but the Tsar 
decided to take no action. The appointment was the result 
rather of pushful diplomacy than of the unanimity of the 
Powers; but the peoples knew nothing of the means by 
which the prize had been secured, and interpreted the 
choice as a spontaneous tribute to the position which 
1 Sphwertfegejr, " Zur Europaischen Politik," I, 76-7. 



324 History of Modern Europe [1900 

Germany had won for herself. The lustre of the diplo- 
matic achievement, however, was dimmed by an Imperial 
admonition to the departing troops to give no quarter 
and take no prisoners, which, though inspired by the 
assassination of the German Ambassador in Pekin, would 
have been more suitable on the lips of an Assyrian con- 
queror than of a Christian monarch at the opening of the 
twentieth century. 

Anglo-German co-operation for the relief of the 
Legations was followed by Anglo-German co-operation 
in defending China against territorial or 
commerc i a l encroachments from the north. 
The Yangtse Agreement, recorded in an 
exchange of Notes on October 16, 1900, provided 
that the Yangtse basin and all other portions of 
China where the signatories could exert influence should 
remain open to the trade of every nation, and that 
the integrity of China was to be maintained. If a third 
Power sought territorial privileges, the signatories were 
to discuss common action. The undertaking of Germany 
to defend the status quo against Russian menaces was 
considered of such value that no claim for special rights 
in the Yangtse basin was put forward by Great Britain. 
The other Powers adhered to the pact, for Russia had 
herself proclaimed the integrity of China and had promised 
the evacuation of Manchuria. Moreover, Biiiow suc- 
ceeded, or believed himself to have succeeded, in excluding 
Manchuria from the agreement a surrender on the part 
of Salisbury which caused the Duke of Devonshire to 
remark that it was not worth the paper on which it was 
written. 

Such was the situation on the eve of the Queen's death 
and the visit of the Kaiser. Since France and Russia 
were as unfriendly as ever, the thoughts of the Colonial 
Secretary returned to the project of an Anglo-German 
alliance which had slumbered since the end of 1899. * I n 

1 See Eckardstein, " Erinnerungen " ; Hammann, " Zur Vorgeschichte 
des Weltkrieges," ch. 5; " Memoirs of Hayashi." 









The Manchurian Controversy 325 

the middle of January, 1901, Chamberlain and Eckard- 
stein were the guests of the Duke of Devonshire at 
Chatsworth, where the discussion was renewed. The 
time of splendid isolation, argued Chamberlain, was over. 
England was ready to solve outstanding questions, 
especially Morocco and the Far East, with one or other 
of the two European groups. The Cabinet would prefer 
Germany, but, if such an agreement proved impossible, 
we should arrange with France and Russia, even at the 
cost of the greatest sacrifices. It was Billow's wish that 
the Kaiser should not discuss an alliance or other pending 
questions in order that he might not commit himself; 
but Eckardstein informed him of the Chatsworth con- 
versation, and the monarch engaged in intimate conversa- 
tion with Lord Lansdowne. According to Hammann, 
he avoided the discussion of an alliance, but his visit 
created an atmosphere favourable to negotiation. 

At this moment a fresh obstacle to intimacy arose. 
While the Kaiser was still our guest, the Government 
learned that Russia was about to fortify her Q erman 
settlement in Tientsin. Lord Lansdowne declines 
suggested a joint protest on the strength Co-operation 
of the Treaty of 1900, and though the Wilhelmstrasse 
denied its applicability, the Kaiser wished to adopt 
the proposal, remarking to Wolff-Metternich, his new 
ambassador, that he could not always be oscillating 
between Petrograd and London without the danger of 
falling between two stools. A more serious difference of 
interpretation arose when Japan informed the British 
Government that Russia was pressing Pekin to ratify a 
secret treaty between Alexeieff, her chief representative 
in the Far East, and a Chinese general, which was detri- 
mental to European interests in North China. Japan 
accordingly proposed to stiffen Chinese resistance by an 
identical declaration in Pekin. When Lord Lansdowne 
asked the German Government for its opinion, he received 
the reply that the Yangtse Treaty did not apply to Man- 
churia, but that Germany was ready to warn China against 



326 History of Modern Europe [1901 

territorial or financial commitments to third Powers. Lord 
Lansdowne welcomed the promise to join in a warning, 
and made no reference to the interpretation of the Treaty. 
The difference of opinion, however, leaked out, and on 
March 15 the Chancellor announced the divergence in 
the Reichstag. "It is clear from the text that it does 
not include Manchuria, and we made it clear in the 
negotiations. Nothing can be more indifferent to us than 
what happens in Manchuria. There are no real German 
Divergent i nterests there. We only watch over German 
Interpreta- interests in China, and we leave it to England 
tions to look after her own." Germany, he 
added, declined to play the part of a lightning-con- 
ductor. The statement was promptly contradicted by 
Lord Cranborne, the Under-Secretary, who declared 
that, since no limitations were mentioned in the Treaty, 
it included North China. According to Hammann, 
Salisbury had suggested 38 latitude as the northern limit 
of the sphere covered by the Treaty, but this was altered 
in order to veil German indifference to Manchuria, and 
the words "where they can exert influence" were sub- 
stituted. This formula was adopted to prevent the dis- 
appointment which would arise if Manchuria were 
expressly omitted. Lord Lansdowne admitted that the 
phrase imposed a limitation, but related it to the article 
concerning the open door, not to that concerning the 
integrity of China. Japan now publicly proclaimed that 
she had joined the pact unconditionally ; but the difference 
between the British and German interpretations remained, 
and each partner was annoyed with the other. 

Despite the refusal of Germany to co-operate against 
Russian encroachment in Manchuria, Lord Lansdowne 
remarked to Eckardstein on March 18 that he was con- 
sidering the possibility of a defensive arrangement, which 
he believed several of his most important colleagues would 
approve. If the Cabinet took it up, and if Germany were 
in favour of it, he would make an official offer. The 
formula "defensive arrangement" was chosen because 



Alliance Discussions Fail 327 

Holstein, though favourable to a rapprochement, detested 
the word "alliance." Eckardstein replied by suggesting 
an Anglo-German-Japanese pact to maintain integrity and 
the open door in China, which he knew his friend Hayashi, 
the Japanese Ambassador, to favour. On March 20 
Holstein proposed a still larger scheme. If 
Germany were to guarantee the British 
Empire, Great Britain should join the Triple 
Alliance and bring Japan in with her. The negotia- 
tions, he added, should take place in Vienna. By 
March 25, a week after the first conversation, the chief 
points were fixed. The casus foederis was to arise if either 
party were attacked. A separate alliance was to be made 
by both with Japan with reference to the Far East. When 
Lord Lansdowne was informed of Holstein 's desire that 
the negotiations should take place in Vienna, he remarked 
that he must first clear up the situation with regard to 
Germany. 

Once again, as in 1898 and 1899, the work of the 
negotiators in London was complicated and thwarted from 
Berlin. The Kaiser believed that England wanted to use 
the German sword against Russia. Waldersee had 
returned from the Far East with the belief that Great 
Britain wished to use Germany as a buffer against Russia, 
and urged the Kaiser to withdraw his troops and to 
guarantee the indemnities by the immediate raising of the 
maritime customs. Accordingly an agent arrived with a 
demand to settle the claims of German subjects in South 
Africa to compensation and to raise the maritime customs 
in China. As the British Government had already 
promised investigation and full compensation for German 
claims in South Africa as soon as the military situation 
allowed, and had declined to consent to the raising of the 
Chinese customs, Lord Lansdowne was naturally annoyed. 
A few days later the King received a letter from the 
Kaiser, denouncing his Ministers as "unmitigated 
noodles." The King complained to Eckardstein of his 
master's conduct. "You know my view that England and 



328 History of Modern Europe [1901 

Germany are the natural allies. But we cannot take part 
in the Kaiser's buck-jumping. Besides, some of our 
Ministers, especially Salisbury, have a great suspicion 
both of him and Billow. I have tried to dispel it, but there 
is an end to everything. Moreover, the scoldings and threats 
of the Flottenverein do not help us to feel confidence." 
Despite these obstacles, the negotiations continued. The 
invalid Hatzfeldt returned from Brighton, and Salisbury 
from the Riviera. The Prime Minister was ready for an 
alliance with Germany alone. Lord Lans- 
downe suggested the discussion of separate 
questions as a preliminary to an alliance, 
but the exasperating Holstein replied that England 
must first promise help, not only if Germany were 
attacked by two Powers, but also if she were compelled 
to support one of her allies. When Lord Lansdowne 
asked for a statement in writing, he declined to supply it. 
By the middle of June Chamberlain had lost hope. 
"If the people in Berlin are so short-sighted," he com- 
plained to Eckardstein, "there is no help." The negotia- 
tions for an alliance once more fell through; but in July 
a final opportunity for a rapprochement was presented by 
the Moroccan mission to London. French designs on 
Morocco were becoming apparent, and Sir Arthur 
Nicolson, the British representative at Tangier, visited 
Eckardstein in the German Embassy. France, he declared, 
was aiming at a Protectorate, and Lord Lansdowne was 
in favour of co-operation to preserve the status quo. The 
way might be prepared by an Anglo-German commercial 
treaty with Morocco after an agreement between the two 
countries as to the distribution of concessions. All 
measures, commercial, financial and political, should be 
carried out jointly. The Baron reported the offer to 
Berlin, but obtained no response. He had discussed the 
question with Chamberlain and Rhodes in 1899 and with 
Chamberlain and Devonshire at Chatsworth in January, 
1901, and had worked out a plan. Great Britain was to 
have Tangier and the Mediterranean coast outside the 






The Influence of Holstein 329 

Spanish zone, Germany to have coaling stations on the 
Atlantic, and together they were ultimately to partition 
the country. 

As the year wore on the chances of a solid agreement 
faded away. In November Richthofen, who had succeeded 
Billow as Foreign Secretary, lamented to Eckardstein that 
Holstein did not know what he wanted, and that Billow 
had been against it from the first. Holstein had long been 
convinced that Salisbury was an enemy, and that nothing 
could be accomplished while he remained at the helm; 
but there were reasons of a less personal character which 
led the rulers of Germany to refuse the proffered alliance. 
In the first place, they believed that close union with 
Great Britain would endanger, if not destroy, her good 
relations with Russia by involving her in her partner's 
quarrels. And, secondly, the unpopularity of Great 
Britain during the Boer war rendered them chary of 
making an alliance with the nation whose offences were 
trumpeted forth by almost every paper in the Fatherland. 
It was in order to diminish the shock . . 
that Holstein had desired to transfer the makes 
negotiation to Vienna, and suggested the Conditions 
adhesion of Great Britain (with Japan) to the Triple 
Alliance rather than a separate Anglo-German pact. 
Neither of these dangers was imaginary, but the rejection 
of the British approaches involved a far greater peril. 
Holstein, the blind leader of the blind, regarded the 
antagonism of Great Britain to France and Russia as an 
immutable factor in the European situation, and dismissed 
as bluff Chamberlain's broad hint that if we could not 
find support in one camp we must seek it in the other. 
Two years after the rejection of the latest British offer, 
King Edward's visit to Paris was to open the eyes even 
of the moles of the Wilhelmstrasse. 

The British and German nations knew nothing of the 
negotiations or of their failure; but the temper both of 
the Governments and of the peoples was further ruffled 
by an oratorical duel between the Chancellor and the 



330 History of Modern Europe [1901 

Colonial Secretary. The continuance of malignant attacks 
on the conduct of the troops in South Africa prompted 
Chamberlain on October 25, 1901, to observe that we 
should never approach what those nations who now 
accused us of barbarism did in Poland, the Caucasus, 

Bosnia, Tonkin, and in the war of 1870. 
Th A?m rman The rebuke aroused a storm of indignation, 

and an orator declared in the Reichstag 
amid cheers, "Who insults the German army insults 
the German people." The cool-blooded Chancellor 
was well aware that most of the stories of the British 
"mercenaries," which had provoked Chamberlain to 
wrathful protest, were legends; but he felt bound to 
pick up the glove which had been thrown down, and tried, 
though in vain, to secure an apology from the Cabinet. 
In defending his own policy, he declared on January 8, 
a Minister should leave other countries alone. "The 
German army stands far too high and its scutcheon is too 
bright to be affected by unfair judgments. We may say, 
as Frederick the Great said of someone who attacked him 
and the Prussian army, * Let him alone, and do not get 
excited; he is biting granite/ " In his next public utterance 
Chamberlain proudly rejoined that he had no wish to give 
lessons to foreign statesmen, and no desire to receive them. 
After nearly four years of intermittent negotiation it 
was clear that an Anglo-German alliance was impossible; 
and the active brain of the Colonial Secretary immediately 
turned to the alternative. On February 8, 1902, King 
Edward entertained his Ministers and members of the 
Diplomatic Corps; and after dinner Eckardstein observed 
Chamberlain and the French Ambassador in earnest con- 
versation for half an hour. He caught the ominous words 
"Morocco " and "Egypt " ; and he was not surprised when 
the Colonial Secretary later in the evening remarked to him 
that Billow had now for the second time censured him in 
the Reichstag. "I have had enough of such treatment, 
and there can be no more talk of co-operation with Ger- 
many." When the other guests had gone the King 



1902] The Japanese Alliance 331 

retained the Baron and added some significant words. 
The attacks of the Press and the speech of the Chancellor, 
he declared, had aroused such anger that, at any rate for a 
long time, there could be no talk of co-operation. "More 
than ever we are urged by France to unite with her in all 
colonial disputes." The Baron informed Billow and the 
Kaiser of the King's words, but they hardly seemed to 
appreciate their importance. On a visit to Highbury in 
September, 1902, the Baron found his host filled with 
angry resentment. Every negotiation with Berlin, he ex- 
claimed, proved a bad job. Eckardstein inquired if it 
were really intended to unite with France and Russia, and 
received the reply, "Not yet; but it may come." A visit 
to Lord Lansdowne in Ireland confirmed the statement that 
Cambon's discussions with the two Ministers had led to 
no result, since the problem of Morocco was complicated 
by the question of Gibraltar. 

The Anglo-German negotiations of 1901 had con- 
sidered the admission of Japan as a partner in the new 
league; but when the British approaches to Berlin were 
repulsed, London and Tokio determined to make a pact 
of their own. Japan, like Great Britain, was beginning 
to feel the risks of isolation ; but the Elder Statesmen 
differed as to the means to meet the peril. Prince Ito 
desired a frank discussion with Russia, and proceeded 
on a fruitless visit to Petrograd with this object. The 
larger party, on the other hand, was convinced that a 
satisfactory agreement with Russia was impossible, and 
preferred an alliance with her rival. Negotiations were 
accordingly carried on in London by Lord The 
Lansdowne and Baron Hayashi, the Japanese Japanese 
Ambassador, and in January, 1902, a treaty Am^ace 
was signed for five years. The two Governments 
recognized the independence of China and Korea; 
but they authorized each other to safeguard their 
special interests by intervention if threatened either 
by the aggression of another Power or by internal dis- 
turbances. If either Power, in the defence of such in- 



333 History of Modern Europe [1902 

terests, became involved in war, the other would maintain 
strict neutrality. If, however, either were to be at war 
with two Powers, its partner would come to its assistance. 
The Treaty was received with satisfaction in both 
countries, though warning voices pointed to the risks 
which were involved. The admission of Japan to alliance 
on equal terms with a great European Power gave her 
a position to which no Oriental state had ever attained. 
In the second place it virtually assured her that in the 
event of war with Russia she would only have a single 
foe to meet. The advantage to Great Britain was less 
obvious, all the more since Japan declined to extend her 
obligations to India. But the addition of her growing 
armaments to our potential strength in the Far East was 
a tangible gain. The allies might well feel that they would 
be a match for any hostile combination, and would be 
able to defend their commercial and political interests, 
which the aggressive policy of Russia appeared to 
threaten. Though the new friend was far away and her 
full strength was unrevealed, the prestige of Great Britain 
throughout the world was strengthened by the knowledge 
that she no longer stood alone. 

On the termination of hostilities in South Africa by 
the surrender of the Boers in June, 1902, it appeared as 
if something of the old friendliness between Great Britain 
and Germany might be restored. Lord Roberts and Mr. 
Brodrick, the Minister of War, accepted an invitation 
to the army manoeuvres ; and the Kaiser declined to receive 
the Boer generals, who had come to Europe to collect 

The funds for their stricken fellow-countrymen, 
Kaiser's unless they were presented by the British 

Visit Ambassador a condition which they declined 
to accept. In November the Kaiser paid a family 
visit to Sandringham for the King's birthday ; and 
Mr. Balfour (who had succeeded his uncle as Prime 
Minister at the close of the war), Lord Lansdowne 
and the Colonial Secretary were invited to meet him. At 
the Guildhall banquet Mr. Balfour referred scornfully to 



1902] Blockade of Venezuela 333 

the "fantastic imaginings" of the Press with regard to 
the visit; but the rebuke was speedily followed by armed 
co-operation against a recalcitrant South American State. 

At the opening of the century Venezuela was in the 
grip of President Castro, who showed as little considera- 
tion for the subjects of the Great Powers as 
for the rebels who challenged his despotic C * s ly at 
rule. In the summer of 1903 Lord Lans- 
downe's patience was exhausted, and the Government, 
convinced that he would yield to force alone, decided 
on a blockade. As Germany had similar grievances 
and similar claims, her co-operation was officially in- 
vited, and the Governments undertook to support each 
other's demands. When Castro continued to turn a deaf 
ear to remonstrance and menace, an ultimatum was pre- 
sented on December 7, the warships at La Guayra were 
seized, and the coast blockaded. After a brief resistance 
the President proposed the submission of a portion of the 
claims to arbitration, and the dispute was referred to 
the Hague tribunal. Though the Governments co- 
operated harmoniously, their association was viewed by 
large sections of British opinion with profound distaste, 
and Ministers found it prudent to minimize their commit- 
ments. The unfriendliness was noted in Germany with 
surprise and resentment. "We have acted in full agree- 
ment and perfect loyalty," declared Billow in the Reichstag 
on January 19, 1903. "All the more curious is the hos- 
tility of a portion of the British Press, which is only 
explicable by a certain embitterment resulting from the 
violent attacks of the continental Press during the Boer 
war. I am glad to say that no change has occurred in 
the relations between the monarchs and the Cabinets, who 
meet in the old friendly manner." 

The Venezuelan adventure was scarcely concluded, 
when the British Cabinet was confronted with a problem 
of far greater importance to Anglo-German relations. 1 

1 A semi-official account of the Bagdad Railway negotiations, from 
the beginning till 1914, is given in the Quarterly Review, Oct., 1917. 



334 History of Modern Europe [1903 

In 1902 the Bagdad Railway Company received a con- 
cession to build a line from Konia to the Gulf, with a 
kilometric guarantee ; but as the security was not specified 
and no terminus was selected, the document was little 
more than a draft. The final convention was signed on 
March 5, 1903, extending the railway from 
Konia to Basra, via Adana, Mosul and 
Bagdad, with branches to Aleppo, Urfa, 
Khanikin and other cities north and south of the 
trunk line. The concession included conditional per- 
mission to work all minerals within twenty kilometres 
each side of the railway, to construct ports at Bagdad and 
Basra, and to navigate the rivers in the service of the 
railway. It was a princely gift, and it required British 
good will to turn it to full account. Chamberlain had 
remarked to the Kaiser during his visit in 1899 that he 
would like to see Great Britain co-operating with German 
enterprise in Hither Asia. But while French financiers 
took shares, German efforts to secure British assistance 
were unavailing; and Georg von Siemens, the founder 
and director of the Deutsche Bank, who journeyed to 
London in 1901, received no encouragement from the 
Foreign Office. 

Shortly after the signature of the Convention of March 
5, rumours began to spread that British co-operation was 
contemplated if not actually assured ; and on April 8 the 
Prime Minister announced that the matter was under con- 
sideration. Germany had suggested that British capital 
and control should be equal to that of any other Power, 
and that Great Britain should sanction the increase of the- 
Turkish customs; that the Indian mails should be carried 
by the railway, and that Great Britain should employ her 
good offices to secure a terminus at or near Koweit. 
Whether or not we co-operated, he argued, the railway 
would be built. German and French financiers were in 
agreement, and we had to consider whether it was desirable 
that the shortest route to India should be entirely in foreign 
hands; whether the terminus should be at Koweit, in our 



I90 3 ] 



The Bagdad Railway 335 



own sphere of influence ; and finally whether British trade 
would benefit if British capital were represented. " I think 
that this great international artery," he concluded, "should 
be in the hands of three Powers rather than of two or one. 
It is to our interest that countries which we cannot absorb 
should not be absorbed by others." This announcement, 
which clearly indicated the leanings of the Prime Minister, 
stimulated the campaign against co-operation; and on 
April 23 he informed the House that the invitation had 
been declined. The Cabinet had desired the whole line, 
including the portion already constructed, to be inter- 
national, with equal rates, equal powers of control, con- 
struction and management for Germany, Great Britain and 
France. The German proposals did not offer sufficient 
security for these principles, and we were therefore unable 
to meet their wishes. The decision was greeted by 
Unionist opinion with relief as an escape from the embrace 
of a Power whose ambitions were beginning to excite 
apprehension; but it was regretted by champions of an 
Anglo-German understanding as a needless widening of 
the gulf that was beginning to yawn between the two 
peoples. 

The Bagdad discussions were quickly followed by the 
revival of an unsettled controversy. The grant by Canada 
in 1897 of a preference of 33^ per cent, 
on imports from the Mother Country had 
led to formal protests from Belgium and 
Germany against the breach of the most-favoured- 
nation treatment secured to them respectively by the 
Treaties of 1862 and 1865. Salisbury replied by giving 
the year's notice required to terminate the Treaties, and 
suggested a new agreement, allowing the self-governing 
colonies to make their own arrangements for inter-Imperial 
trade. According to German law the general or higher 
tariff automatically came into force on the termination of 
a commercial treaty; but in 1898 the German Government, 
in order to afford time for negotiations, continued for a 
year most-favoured-nation treatment to every part of the 



336 History of Modern Europe [1903 

British Empire except Canada. 1 This provisional arrange- 
ment was renewed in 1899, 1900 and 1901, the law of the 
latter year prolonging the provisorium till the end of 
1903. On March 18, 1903, Lord Lansdowne inquired 
what action Germany intended to take after December 31. 
Baron Richthofen, the Foreign Secretary, replied that he 

~ hoped to prolong most-favoured-nation treat- 

Germany f, T? T ^ 

threatens ment to Great Britain, but that it Germany 
Retaliation were differentiated against in important parts 
of the Empire, and if, in particular, South Africa 
followed the example of Canada, he was doubtful if 
public opinion would sanction it. Sir Frank Lascelles 
rejoined that a tariff war would inflict incalculable injury 
on both countries, adding the friendly warning that if 
any serious damage were done to British trade by cancel- 
ling most-favoured-nation treatment, the Government 
would be compelled to retaliate. At this point a new factor 
was introduced by the insertion of a clause in the Canadian 
tariff imposing a surtax of ten per cent, on the goods of 
any country which discriminated against imports from 
Canada. In explaining this decision to the German 
Government Lord Lansdowne pointed out that it was only 
taken after the failure of every effort to secure fair treat- 
ment of Canadian produce, and would be revoked if 
Germany restored most-favoured-nation terms. Since the 
British market was too valuable to risk for considerations 
of logic or pride, and since German trade with Canada 
continued to increase despite the preference to the Mother 
Country, no more was heard of retaliation. The contro- 
versy, nevertheless, had added to the store of ill-will which 
was steadily accumulating between the two countries, and 
which was driving the controllers of British policy in the 
direction of France. 

1 " Correspondence with the Governments of Belgium and Germany," 
1903. Cd. 1630. 



CHAPTER X 

THE ANGLO-FRENCH ENTENTE 



WHILE the relations between Great Britain and Germany 
were drifting from bad to worse, warmer airs began to 
blow between Great Britain and France. 1 The idea of a 
rapprochement was born on the day of Delcass^'s appoint- 
ment as Minister for Foreign Affairs in June, 1898. 
Though originally Anglophobe, like all prominent states- 
men except Clemenceau, he informed the first visitor at 
the Quai d'Orsay of his intention to restore cordial re- 
lations. The decision to evacuate Fashoda cleared the 
ground for a new orientation, which would facilitate 
colonial expansion without abandoning the hope of revising 
the Treaty of Frankfurt; but to the soreness created by 
Fashoda and the Dreyfus case a new and 
powerful irritant was added by the Boer 
war. The pioneers of reconciliation, how- 
ever, abated neither hope nor effort. Work of en- 
during importance was accomplished by Sir Thomas 
Barclay, to whom it occurred that it would be of service 
if the British Chambers of Commerce were invited to 
meet in the French capital in 1900, the year of his Presi- 
dency of the Chamber in Paris. Salisbury saw no objec- 
tion, and Delcasse* approved. The meeting was a great 
success, and English visitors flocked to the Exhibition. 

i See G. H. Stuart, " French Foreign Policy, 1898-1914 " ; Reynald, 
" La Diplomatic Francaise, 1'CEuvre de Delcasse"; Millet, "Notre 
Politique Exte"rieure, 1898-1905 "; Tardieu, " La France et les Alliances"; 
Mevil, " De la Paix de Francfort h la Conference d'Algeciras " ; Pinon, 
" France et Allemagne." 



w 



337 



338 History of Modern Europe [1903 

Though Kruger's visit took place shortly after, the seed 
had been sown, and the gross caricatures of Queen 
Victoria disappeared. No real advance was possible 
during the Boer war; but the accession of King Edward 
and the resignation of Salisbury inaugurated a new era. 

In the spring of 1903 the King visited Paris for the 
first time for more than three years. "The visit was his 

Rin own idea," testifies Paul Cambon. 1 "I 

Edward's informed my Government, and Lord Monson 

Visit was not a i} tt j e as tonished by an inquiry 
from the Quai d'Orsay as to how the King would 
wish to be received. He telegraphed to the King, 
who answered that he desired his reception to be as official 
as possible, and that the more honours that were paid 
to him the better." "When the cavalry descended the 
Champs-Ely se>s," writes Tardieu, an eye-witness, "em- 
barrassment and uncertainty weighed on the public. The 
Nationalists had announced their intention of hooting, 
but the King, who had not thought of the danger of a 
hostile demonstration, won the day. The population gave 
him a reception not indeed enthusiastic, but at first re- 
spectful and soon sympathetic. The path was open." 

The speech which won the heart of France struck a 
personal note rare in royal utterances. "It is scarcely 
necessary to tell you with what sincere pleasure I find 
myself once more in Paris, to which, as you know, I 
have paid very frequent visits with ever-increasing 
pleasure, and for which I feel an attachment fortified by 
so many happy and ineffaceable memories. The days of 
hostility between the two countries are, I am certain, 
happily at an end. I know of no two countries whose 
prosperity is more interdependent. There may have been 
misunderstandings and causes of dissension in the past, 
but that is all happily over and forgotten. The friend- 
ship of the two countries is my constant preoccupation, 
and I count on you all who enjoy French hospitality in 

1 Interview in The Times, Dec. 22, 1920. The King's travels are 
recorded by J. A. Farrer, " England under Edward VII." 



i 9 o 3 ] King Edward and France 339 

their magnificent city to aid me to reach this goal." The 
royal visitor was entertained at a State banquet at the 
Elyse"e, and accompanied the President to a military 
review at Vincennes and to the races at Longchamp. The 
visit terminated the acute estrangement of the two countries 
which dated from the Fashoda crisis. 

Three months later President Loubet returned the 
King's visit, and was lodged at St. James's Palace. "I 
hope, "" declared the royal host, with a warmth 
unusual on such occasions, "that the welcome 
you have received to-day has convinced 
you of the true friendship, indeed I will say the 
affection, which my country feels for France." The 
toast of the Lord Mayor at the Guildhall was no less 
cordial. The visit was a spectacular success, and the 
King, in reply to the President's farewell message, tele- 
graphed : "It is my most ardent wish that the rapproche- 
ment between the two countries may be lasting." The 
next step was a convention by which "differences of a 
juridical order, particularly those relating to difficulties 
of interpretation of existing conventions, shall provided 
they affect neither the vital interests nor the honour of the 
contracting Powers and cannot be solved through diplo- 
matic channels be submitted to the permanent Court of 
Arbitration in accordance with Article 16 of the Hague 
Convention." "The Convention," wrote Paul Cambon to 
Sir Thomas Barclay, to whom it was mainly due, "will 
cut short a quantity of daily difficulties and incidents of 
which one can never foresee the outcome." 1 

Delcasse had accompanied President Loubet to London, 
where he discussed the new situation with Lord Lans- 
downe. The conversations thus inaugurated lasted eight 
months, and success was rendered possible by the very 
magnitude of the field of controversy. At the end of the 
year Lamsdorff brought tq Paris an autograph letter from 
the Tsar expressing satisfaction at the rapprochement 

1 Barclay's " Anglo-French Reminiscences " give an excellent account 
of the transition from hostility to friendship. 



340 History of Modern Europe [1903 

between his ally and Great Britain. "The immediate 
origin of the entente," records Lord Cromer, "is to be 
found mainly in the local situation in Egypt. Egyptian 
finance was then in a flourishing condition ; but owing to 
the international fetters imposed in circumstances which 
had wholly ceased to exist, the country was unable to 
derive any real profit from the surplus funds. 

The P sition had > in fact > become intoler- 
able." France was no less eager to clear 
her path in Morocco. From the death in 1727 of 
Muley Ismail, the Louis XIV of Morocco, the country 
had known little of order or security, and the con- 
quest of Algeria gave France a neighbour's interest 
in its tranquillity. The frontier was roughly fixed by 
treaty in 1845, and in 1877 Muley Hassan petitioned for 
a permanent military mission to aid the reorganization of 
the country. In 1880 the Powers met in conference at 
Madrid, when Bismarck informed the French Government 
that Germany had no interests in Morocco, and that the 
German delegate would model his attitude on that of 
France. The practice of extending consular protection to 
natives, which gave a pretext for interference, was limited, 
and all the signatory Powers obtained most-favoured- 
nation treatment. 

The occupation of Tunis on the east and Gambia on 
the south made many Frenchmen desire to round off their 
West African dominions by incorporation of the whole 
or part of Morocco, and the surrender of Fashoda created 
the demand for a substitute. In 1900 Abdul Aziz, who 
had succeeded his father, Muley Hassan, in 1894, at tne 
age of thirteen, took over the reins of government; but 
though the young ruler was intelligent and attractive, his 
passions for bicycles and motor-cars, fireworks and photo- 
graphy, and countless other temptations of European 
civilization, emptied the Treasury and disgusted his con- 
servative subjects. The uncertain Algerian frontier and the 
savagery of the tribes led to continual friction, and the 
French authorities, military and civil, uttered loud com- 



903] French aims in Morocco 341 

taints. 1 A Moorish Mission which visited London at 
ing Edward's accession was warned by Lord Lans- 
downe that France would have to defend her interests if 
.he Sultan could not keep order; and the Mission, on 
visiting Berlin, found no encouragement. On July 20, 
1901, a convention was signed with the 
French Government revising the Treaty of 
1845, and associating the two Governments 
in measures for policing the frontier. A Franco- 
Moorish commission was appointed to carry out its 
provisions, and Delcasse" informed the Sultan that it 
would depend upon him to keep France mindful of his 
sovereignty. A second Convention was signed at Algiers, 
under which France supplied a few instructors for 
Moroccan troops to keep order on the frontier, while a 
French bank advanced a small loan. Despite this aid a 
revolt against the Sultan broke out and continued through- 
out 1903. Pacific penetration, however, required to be 
supplemented by the good will of possible competitors. 
In 1900 Delcasse" secured the benevolent neutrality of 
Italy by the recognition of her claims to Tripoli. He 
next turned to Spain, offering a partition if the status quo 
should prove impracticable; and on November 10, 1902, it 
was agreed that Spain should have the reversion of the 
north, including Tangier and Fez, while her sphere of 
influence in the south should be extended. When the 
Treaty was ready the Sagasta Cabinet fell, and Silvela, 
fearing the British frown, declined to sign ; whereupon 
Delcasse*, changing his course, approached Great Britain. 2 
If Egypt and Morocco thus provided the elements of a 
bargain, the principle of barter might prove equally fruit- 
ful in other parts of the world. Great Britain was anxious 
to sweep away the grievance of the "French shore " of 

1 See the Livre Jaune, " Affaires du Maroc, 1901-5." 
8 " It was good too good," remarked Silvela. " Could we accept it 
without England's permission?" See R. Millet, "Notre Politique Ex- 
teVieure, 1898-1905," ch. 14. Pinon " France et Allemagne," 286-91, 
prints the Franco- Spanish Treaty; cf. Maura, "La Question du Maroc 
au Point de vue Espagnol." 



342 History of Modern Europe [1904 

Newfoundland, and France entertained some minor 
ambitions in West Africa which it was in our power to 
satisfy. The other differences presented less difficulty, 
and the outbreak of the Japanese war emphasized the need 
of a settlement. The most important of the agreements 
signed on April 8, which collectively form the Treaty of 
1904, was the Declaration respecting Egypt 
E Mo?occ d and M <> roc co. Great Britain declared that 
she had no intention of altering the political 
status of Egypt, and France undertook not to obstruct 
our action by asking that a limit of time be fixed 
for the British occupation or in any other way. France, 
in turn, declared that she had no intention of alter- 
ing the political status of Morocco, and Great Britain 
promised not to obstruct her action in that country. In 
both countries commercial liberty was to prevail for at least 
thirty years. No fortifications were to be permitted on the 
Moroccan coast opposite Gibraltar. France was to come 
to an understanding with Spain in regard to Morocco, 
and the contracting parties agreed to afford one another 
diplomatic support in carrying out the Declaration. A 
Khedivial Decree, annexed to the Declaration, laid down 
regulations relating to the Egyptian debt, and gave the 
Egyptian Government a free hand in the disposal of its 
own resources so long as the punctual payment of interest 
on the debt was assured. The Caisse de la Dette remained, 
but the surplus of 5^ millions in its possession was to be 
transferred to the Government. Financial liberty for 
Egypt was balanced by the settlement of the juridical posi- 
tion of the Suez Canal in time of war in accordance with 
the wishes of F'rance. 

The settlement of the Newfoundland fishery dispute 
was the second outstanding achievement of 1904. The 
controversy dated from the Treaty of Utrecht, which, while 
recognizing that the island should thenceforth belong to 
Great Britain, gave to the French "the right to catch and 
dry fish " on part of the coast henceforth known as the 
French shore. The interpretation of this Treaty and its 



i 9 o 4 ] The Treaty of 1904 343 

successors gave rise to endless disputes and dangerous 
friction. France now renounced her privileges under the 
Treaty of Utrecht and its successors, and N ew f oun( j, 
retained the right of catching all kinds of ,. land 
fish in territorial waters on the French shore Fisheries 
during the fishing season. French fishermen might 
enter any harbour on the French shore and obtain 
bait or shelter on the same conditions as the in- 
habitants, but subject to the regulations for the improve- 
ment of the fisheries. Compensation was to be paid to the 
fishermen obliged to abandon their establishments on the 
French shore. Thus the main cause of friction, the right 
of landing on the French shore, was at length removed. 
The surrender of the privilege was balanced by three con- 
cessions in West Africa. The frontier fixed in 1898 
between the British colony of the Gambia and Senegambia 
was slightly modified' in order to give France access to the 
navigable portion of the river ; the Los Islands, command- 
ing Konakry, the capital of French Guinea, were ceded; 
and the 1898 boundary between British and French 
Nigeria, which compelled French convoys from the Niger 
to Lake Chad to follow a circuitous and waterless route or 
to pass through British territory, was modified. France 
thus obtained 14,000 square miles and uninterrupted access 
from her territories on the Niger to those on Lake Chad. 
A third document contained a Declaration concerning 
Siam, Madagascar and the New Hebrides. In the former 
the two Powers confirmed the agreement of 1896, in which 
they undertook to refrain from armed intervention or the 
acquisition of special privileges in the basin of the Menam. 
France now recognized that all Siamese possessions on 
the west of this neutral zone and of the Gulf of Siam, in- 
cluding the Malay Peninsula and the adjacent islands, 
should come under British influence, while Great Britain 
recognized all Siamese territory on the east and south-east 
of the zone as henceforth under French influence. As 
regards Madagascar the British Government abandoned 
the protest which had been maintained since 1896 against 



344 History of Modern Europe [1904 

the tariff introduced after the annexation of the island. 
The difficulties in the New Hebrides arising from disputes 
as to land title and the absence of jurisdiction over the 
natives were to be referred to a commission, the scope 
and procedure of which were to be determined by a special 
agreement. 1 

At the close of his covering dispatch Lord Lansdowne 

argued that, desirable as were the agreements on their 

Lord intrinsic merits, they should be regarded 

Lansdowne's not merely as a series of separate transactions, 

Satisfaction j^ as f orm j n g p ar j- o f a comprehensive 

scheme for the improvement of the relations of the 
two countries. The antipathies and suspicions of 
the past had given place to friendship. "And it may 
perhaps be permitted to the Government to hope that, in 
thus basing the composition of long-standing differences 
upon mutual concessions, and in the frank recognition of 
each other's legitimate wants and aspirations, they may 
have afforded a precedent which will contribute something 
to the maintenance of international good will and the pre- 
servation of the general peace." The other Powers sub- 
sequently adhered to the Khedivial decree, and "the 
Egyptian Question " ceased to be an international problem. 
The Treaties were received in England with a chorus of 
praise, broken only by a shrill protest from Lord Rosebery. 
The French Yellow Book, issued on May 26, explained 
our partner's view of the bargain. Both Governments, 
declared Delcasse", recognized that great moral and material 
interests demanded an amicable settlement. In Newfound- 
land France had only abandoned privileges which were 
difficult to maintain and in no way necessary, while the 
essential right of fishing in territorial waters was preserved 
and the right of fishing for and purchasing bait along the 
whole extent of the French shore was explicitly recognized. 
In West Africa the British concessions were of consider- 
able importance. The Niger-Chad frontier had been im- 



1 The New Hebrides Convention, establishing an Anglo-French con 
dominium, was signed in 1906. 



I 

1 



Franco-Italian Pacts 345 

proved, and the keys of Konakry were now in French 
hands. " Under our influence Morocco would be a source 
of strength for our North African Empire. If subject to 
a foreign Power, our North African possessions would be 
permanently menaced and paralysed. The 
moment had arrived to decide who was to 
exercise preponderant influence in Morocco. 
The present state can only last on condition that 
it is sustained and improved. On the importance 
of securing from England the promise not to hamper 
us it is superfluous to insist. We should complete 
our work of civilization, thus showing ourselves the best 
friends of Morocco, since we are the nation most interested 
in her prosperity. This will greatly strengthen French 
power without prejudice to acquired rights, and will ulti- 
mately benefit everybody." The sacrifice in Egypt was 
small. No change was to be made in the political status ; all 
necessary guarantees for French financial interests had been 
obtained. He noted with special pleasure our adhesion to 
the execution of the Suez Canal Convention of 1888. 

The reconciliation of Great Britain and France had 
been preceded by the reconciliation of France and Italy. 
After the Anglo-French Convention of March, 1899, de- 
limiting spheres of influence in North Africa, the Italian 
Government asked for and received explanations from 
Paris; and the Foreign Minister, Visconti Venosta, the 
last survivor of the school of Cavour, suggested that these 
assurances should be reiterated in a more explicit manner. 1 
On December 14, 1900, accordingly, Barrere informed the 
Foreign Minister, "in view of the friendly relations which 
have been established between France and Italy, and in 
the belief that this explanation will conduce further to 
improve them," that the Convention of March, 1899, left 
the vilayet of Tripoli outside the partition of influence 
which it sanctioned, and that France had no intention of 

1 The dispatches and agreements were published in a Livre Jaune, 
1919, and are reprinted in Pribram, II, 226-57; cf. R. Pinon, " L'Empire 
de la Med her ranee." 



346 History of Modern Europe [1900 

interrupting caravan communications. Visconti Venosta 
replied that French action in Morocco aimed at the exercise 
and safeguarding of the rights resulting from its proximity 
to her empire; that such action would not prejudice the 
interests of Italy as a Mediterranean Power; and that, in 
the event of a modification of the political or territorial 
status of Morocco, Italy would reserve the right to develop 
her influence in Tripoli. 

The quarrel of twenty years was thus healed in the 
usual manner by the recognition of spheres of influence 
Franco- m otner peoples' property. The text was 
Italian Re- naturally kept secret, for Tripoli was a 
conciliation x ur ki s h province; but the rapprochement 
was advertised to the world by the visit of an Italian 
squadron to Toulon in the spring of 1901. The re- 
newal of the Triple Alliance was due in 1902, and the 
negotiations of Rome with Vienna and Berlin were accom- 
panied by discussions between Italy and France. In 
March, 1902, Prinetti, the Foreign Minister, explained to 
Barrere that the text of the Treaty could hardly be modi- 
fied, but that assurances could be given which would 
remove French apprehensions. At an interview with 
Billow at Venice shortly after their conversation, Prinetti 
vainly attempted to secure the modification of the text; 
but it would have been impossible to reveal the amended 
text to France, who for that reason preferred a direct 
arrangement. Without waiting for the conclusion of his 
negotiations with Barrere, Prinetti sent a telegram to 
Paris, dated June 4, 1902. "In the renewal of the Triple 
Alliance there is nothing directly or indirectly aggressive 
towards France, no engagement binding us in any eventu- 
ality to take part in an aggression against her, no stipula- 
tion which menaces her security and tranquillity. The 
protocols or additional conventions to the Triple Alliance, 
of which there has been much talk of late, which would 
alter its defensive character, and would even have an ag- 
gressive character against France, do not exist." On receiv- 
ing this momentous communication, the substance of which 



Italy and the Triple Alliance 347 

was shortly announced to the Chamber and the parties, 
Delcasse" expressed to the Italian Ambassador "the deepest 
gratitude of the French Government for their highly loyal 
proof of the policy of peace." Delcasse 's announcement 
seemed to the Central Powers to suggest subterranean 
intrigues; but it in no way contravened the letter of the 
Triple Alliance, which had never pledged Italy to co- 
operate in an attack on France. The German Chancellor, 
according to his wont, poured oil on the troubled waters, 
wittily observing that in a happy marriage the husband 
did not mind his wife indulging in an innocent extra 
dance. On June 28 the Triple Alliance was renewed. 
But henceforth Italy had one foot in each camp, and the 
new orientation was to determine her attitude at the Con- 
ference of Algeciras and on even more important occasions. 
Count Monts, the German Ambassador in Rome, pro- 
phetically reported that Italy was an untrustworthy ally, 
who in a Franco-German collision would fail to keep tryst. 
After Prinetti's declaration of principle, the discussion 
of a detailed formula was begun and the results were 
recorded in an exchange of letters between Loubet 
the Foreign Minister and the Ambassador, visits 
dated November i. Each undertook to Rome 
maintain neutrality not only in a case of direct or 
indirect aggression, but also if the other, "as the 
result of a direct provocation, should find itself compelled, 
in defence of its honour or security, to take the initiative of 
a declaration of war." In that eventuality each would 
previously communicate its intentions to the other, which 
would thus be enabled to determine whether direct provo- 
cation existed. Each further assured the other that no 
military obligation in disagreement with this declaration 
existed or would be contracted. The agreement remained 
a secret; but the visit of President Loubet to Victor 
Emmanuel in 1904 the first visit of the head of a Catholic 
State since the downfall of the Temporal Power 
announced to the world the termination of the feud between 
the Latin sisters. 



348 History of Modern Europe [1904 



ii 

After receiving the blessing of Great Britain on her 
work in Morocco, France turned to the task of reform with 
new zeal. 1 Delcasse' instructed the French Minister to 
declare that the French presented themselves at Fez as 
friends. Far from diminishing the Sultan's prestige, they 
wished to increase it. In communicating the message the 
Minister added : " I am certain that you recognize the 
pressing necessity of reforms, which will increase the 
authority of the Government and in which France will help 
you." To assist these reforms France advanced in June 
twenty-two million francs guaranteed on the customs, and 
the news was at once telegraphed to all the Powers. The 
kidnapping of Perdicaris, an American citizen, by Raisuli 
at the same moment facilitated "peaceful penetration " by 
revealing the need of a strong hand. At the close of the 
year the French Government resolved to present a com- 
plete scheme of reforms to the Sultan, and 
on Decem ber 15 Delcasse drew up his in- 
structions for Saint-Rene* Taillandier, who 
was selected for the mission to Fez. A strong Morocco, 
argued the Foreign Minister, could only be secured 
by the close union and confidence of the two Govern- 
ments. France had shown her helpfulness by the loan 
and by providing officers to reorganize the garrisons. 
The first need was the restoration of order, and French 
officers would therefore aid in the training of police. 
Roads and telegraphs were also required and a State bank 
would be useful. On reaching Fez in February, 1905, the 
envoy reported the Sultan as saying that while most of the 
suggested reforms were practicable, some were very diffi- 
cult to accept and must be discussed with the Maghzen. 

1 See the Livre Jaune, " Affaires du Maroc, 1901-5 " ; the German 
Weissbuch on Morocco, 1906; Morel, "Morocco in Diplomacy"; Ham- 
mann, " Zur Vorgeschichte des Weltkrieges," chs. 7-8; Schwertfeger, 
14 Zur Europaischen Politik," II. 



i 9 o 4 j Germany and Morocco 349 

The discussions commenced; but before they were con- 
cluded a third party roughly intervened. 

The attitude of official Germany towards the Anglo- 
French Treaty had at first been friendly. At Delcass^'s 
reception on March 23, 1904, Prince Radolin 
asked if he might put "an indiscreet ques- 
tion." Was it true that an agreement had 
been signed or was on the point of being signed 
between France and England? "Neither one nor the 
other," replied the Foreign Secretary; "but we have 
been conversing for some time with the London Cabinet 
with a view to the friendly settlement of the questions 
which interest our two countries. An understanding has 
been recognized to be possible, and will probably be 
reached." " Newfoundland is said to be in question ? " 
"We have spoken of it." "And Morocco?" "Also. 
But you know our point of view on that subject. We wish 
to maintain the political and territorial status quo ; but if it 
is to last it must be improved. Last year repeated aggres- 
sions offered us legitimate reasons for intervention. I 
resisted, but each time with greater difficulty. We have 
had to reinforce and increase our troops at considerable 
expense. The Sultan has experienced the value of our aid. 
It must be continued; but it will be given in such a way 
that everyone will derive advantage, since security is 
essential for commerce. Needless to add, commercial 
liberty will be strictly respected." "And Spain?" "We 
shall respect her interests and legitimate aspirations." 
Prince Radolin, added the Foreign Minister in reporting 
the conversation, "found my declarations very natural and 
perfectly reasonable." On April 18, after signing the 
Treaty, Delcasse" instructed the French Ambassador to 
inform the Wilhelmstrasse that Lord Lansdowne and him- 
self had been concerned exclusively with the interests of 
their own countries, without detriment to those of any 
other Power. He did not think it necessary to present a 
copy of the Treaty, since it was known to all the world. 

Official comment was favourable. "German com- 



350 History of Modern Europe [1904 

mercial interests are in no danger," wrote the Norddeutsche 
Allgemeine Zeitung, "and greater stability would benefit 
us all." The French Ambassador reported that the prin- 
cipal organs recognized that German commercial interests 
had nothing to fear. There was nothing to complain of, 
wrote Professor Schiemann, if French policy did not 
deviate from pacific penetration, and if the open door were 
maintained. "We have no cause to imagine that the 
Treaty has a point against any other Power," echoed the 
Chancellor. "It seems to be an attempt to remove a 
number of differences by peaceful methods. We have 
nothing, from the standpoint of German interests, to object 
to in that. As to Morocco, the kernel of the Treaty, we are 
interested in the economic aspect. We have commercial 
interests, which we must and shall protect. We have, 
however, no ground to fear that they will be 
overlooked or infringed." Two days later, 
in closing the debate, the Chancellor de- 
nounced the Pan-German. "Reventlow said that the 
Treaty, above all the Moroccan clauses, had been received 
in Germany with shame and consternation, since we 
ought not to allow other Powers more influence there 
than ourselves. That can only mean that we should de- 
mand a slice of Morocco. If it is refused, are we to fight ? 
He is silent." It was natural that the Pan-German should 
grumble at the Chancellor's self-effacement. " Morocco is 
a German concern," wrote the Rheinisch-Westfalische 
Zeitung on April 11, "owing to our increasing population 
and our need of naval bases. If Germany does not peg out 
claims, she will retire empty-handed from the partition of 
the world. Is the German Michael to get nothing ? The 
time has come when Germany must secure Morocco from 
the Atlas to the sea." The Pan-German annual Congress 
on June 3 pronounced Germany to be humiliated and 
demanded the Atlantic coast; but the Kaiser informed 
King Edward on his visit to Kiel that Morocco had never 
interested him. 1 

1 Eckardstein, " Erinnerungen," III, 88. 



1905] Germany becomes Suspicious 351 

The dispatch of the French envoy to Fez with a com- 
prehensive programme of reforms in his portmanteau was 
the signal for a change of front at Berlin. On January 4, 
1905, when it was rumoured that a Moorish mission would 
visit Berlin, the German Minister at Madrid remarked 
to the French Charg that a mission to protest against 
the Franco-Spanish agreements would be well received, 
and on February 1 1 the French Charg at Tangier reported 
to Delcasse an ominous communication from his German 
colleague. "After the Anglo-French arrange- 
ment of 1904," observed Kiihlmann, "we Declaration 
supposed the French Government was wait- 
ing for the Franco-Spanish agreement before putting 
us in possession of the new situation. But now 
that everything is settled, we see that we have been 
systematically kept aloof. The Chancellor tells me that 
the German Government was ignorant of all the 
agreements concerning Morocco, and does not acknow- 
ledge himself to be bound by them in any way." 
Delcass^ instructed his Ambassador at Berlin to complain 
of this language, and to remind the Government that he 
had answered Prince Radolin's inquiries on March 23, 
1904; that, except Russia, Germany alone was informed 
before the Treaty was signed ; that no request for explana- 
tions had been made ; and that the Ambassador at Berlin 
had informed the Government of the Franco-Spanish 
Treaty before it was published. The Under-Secretary 
who received the complaint replied that he knew nothing 
of Kuhlmann's declaration, but added that Germany was 
not bound by the Anglo-French or the Franco-Spanish 
Treaties. 

After the dispatch of the French mission to Fez, 
Holstein suggested that the Kaiser should visit Tangier, 
and the Chancellor approved the plan. 1 Germany 
demanded commercial equality and the independence of 
the Sultan, wrote the French Ambassador on March 22 
in reporting on the new situation. A written declaration 

1 Hammann, " Zur Vorgeschichte des Weltkrieges," ch. 8. 



352 History of Modern Europe [1905 

as to the effect of the Franco-British and Franco-Spanish 
accords on Germany's commercial interests might be 
useful, for France was now under the menace of a dis- 
agreeable surprise. His apprehensions were increased by 
a warning in the Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung that 
the French negotiations at Fez did not square with the 
avowed policy of maintaining the status quo. The object 
of the coming demonstration was explained 
by the chancellor in the Reichstag on 
March 29. "A year ago the Kaiser told 
the King of Spain that Germany does not strive for 
territory in Morocco. It is therefore useless to attri- 
bute to the Tangier visit any selfish purposes directed 
against its integrity or independence. No one who does 
not pursue an aggressive goal can find cause for appre- 
hension. We have economic interests, and in Morocco, 
as in China, it is our interest to keep the open door." The 
Kaiser's sentiments were expressed in a message to 
President Roosevelt on March 6 asking him to join in 
urging the Sultan to reform his Government, and promis- 
ing in that event that they would support him against 
any nation which sought exclusive control. France and 
Spain, he argued, were a political unity, who wished to 
divide up Morocco and close her markets to the world; 
and if Spain occupied Tangier and France the hinterland 
they would dominate the roads to the Near and Far East. 
The President declined to interfere as American interests 
were too small; but he expressed his friendliness to 
Germany and his belief that her policy was pacific. 

On March 31 the Kaiser, who had reluctantly yielded 
to Billow's desire for a political demonstration, 1 landed 
from his yacht at Tangier and addressed the German 
Colony. "I am happy to salute the devoted pioneers of 
German industry and commerce who aid me in my task 
of maintaining the interests of the Fatherland in a free 

1 See the Kaiser's " Memoirs," ch. 4, and Schon, " Memoirs of an 
Ambassador," 19-24. Spickernagel says that the Kaiser improvised the 
speeches." Fiirst Biilow," 65. 



The Kaiser at Tangier 353 

country. The Empire has great and growing interests 
in Morocco. Commerce can only progress if all the 
Powers are considered to have equal rights under the 
sovereignty of the Sultan and respect the independence of 
the country. My visit is the recognition of this inde- 
pendence." The theme was developed in a speech to the 
Sultan's uncle and plenipotentiary. "My The Tan ier 
visit is to show my resolve to do all in my Demonstra- 
power to safeguard German interests in tion 
Morocco. Considering the Sultan as absolutely free, 
I wish to discuss with him the means to secure these 
interests. As for the reforms which the Sultan con- 
templates, it seems to me that he should proceed with 
great caution and consider the religious sentiments of 
the people, so that public order is not troubled." To this 
version, communicated by Kiihlmann, the text forwarded 
by the French Charge added two introductory sentences. 
"It is to the Sultan in his capacity of independent 
sovereign that I pay my visit to-day. I hope that under 
his sovereignty a free Morocco will remain open to the 
peaceful competition of all nations, without monopoly or 
annexation, on a policy of absolute equality." The reason 
for this dramatic change commonly given at the time in 
France and Great Britain was that the Kaiser took advan- 
tage of the collapse of Russia in the Far East to coerce 
her ally. The motive was frankly avowed by the Pan- 
German Press, but it was not the main ground of the 
action of the Government. The French Press spoke openly 
of making a second Tunis, and Germany believed that 
unless she called a halt Morocco would be swallowed 
up before her eyes. Moreover, the apprehensions aroused 
by the mission to Fez were confirmed by the existence of 
secret treaties. 

A treaty had been signed by Lord Lansdowne and 
Paul Cambon on April 8, 1904, at the same time as the 
documents published to the world. If either Government 
found itself compelled by the force of circumstances to 
modify its policy in regard to Egypt or Morocco, the 



354 History of Modern Europe [1905 

engagements relating to commercial liberty, the free 
passage of the Suez Canal and the prohibitions of fortifica-i 
tions on the Straits of Gibraltar would remain. Each 
Government promised not to oppose the other if it desired 
to abolish the Capitulations. The third 
T Treatieif t art ^ c ^ e contained the kernel of the agree- 
ment. The Mediterranean coast from Melilla 
to the Sebu river, whenever the Sultan ceased to 
exercise authority over it, should come within the 
sphere of influence of Spain and be administered by 
her, she, on her part, pledging herself to commercial 
liberty, and to abstain from fortifying the Straits or from 
alienating any part of the territory. When Spain adhered 
to the Anglo-French declaration in the following Sep- 
tember, and declared herself "firmly attached to the 
integrity of the Moorish Empire under the sovereignty 
of the Sultan," a similar Convention was signed which 
frankly contemplated partition. The two treaties were not 
published till 1911 ; but since they were known to a number 
of persons in London, Paris and Madrid, and communi- 
cated to Petrograd, their provisions were quickly known 
at Berlin. 1 Germany's case was that, if she did not act, 
she would one day wake up to find Morocco closed to her 
commerce. 

The fundamental error was that Delcasse had not pur- 
chased Germany's assent in advance. The good will of 
Italy had been bought by recognition of her claims to 
Tripoli, that of Great Britain by assent to her position 
in Egypt, that of Spain by the hypothetical reversion of 
the northern littoral. "By incredible blindness," wrote 
Rene Millet, 2 "the Government took precautions with 
everybody except the only one of its neighbours whom 
it had serious cause to fear." Despite the provocation to 
which it was a reply, the Tangier demonstration was a 
no less colossal blunder, for its inevitable result was to 
turn a limited obligation into a general defensive under- 

1 Valentin, " Deutschlands Aussenpolitik," 54. 

2 " Notre Politique exterieure," 224. 



Germany Demands a Conference 355 

standing. It was promptly announced that a British 
squadron would visit Brest in July, that a French squadron 
would return the visit at Portsmouth, and that King 
Edward would visit Paris in May on his way to join the 
Queen at Marseilles. 

After the Tangier demonstration the Kaiser delivered 
a series of ominous speeches on his western frontier. "I 
hope peace will not be broken," he declared at Karlsruhe 
on April 27. "I hope the events now in progress will 
keep the attention of our nation awake and strengthen 
its courage. I hope we shall find ourselves united if it 
becomes necessary to intervene in world polities." Similar 
ominous phrases were employed at Mainz and Saarbriick. 
The Tangier warning was the first act of a 
drama of which the invitation to an inter- conference 
national conference was the second. On 
April ii the Chancellor, in a circular dispatch, de- 
fended his policy and suggested a new conference of 
the signatories of the Treaty of Madrid. The Morocco 
Treaty, he complained, was never communicated to 
the German Government by tongue or pen. Germany, 
however, did not move, as the Treaty recognized the 
status quo, and he therefore assumed that France would 
consult the Treaty Powers if she aimed at changes limit- 
ing their rights. "It was necessary to act when the 
Moroccan Government asked us if France was in truth 
the mandatory of the Powers, when we learned of parts 
of the programme, and when great papers pointed at 
Tunis as a model." A conference, he concluded, was the 
best solution, since Germany sought no privileges by 
separate agreement, and her interests were identical with 
those of other Powers. 

The French Envoy had been busily engaged in dis- 
cussions at Fez since February, and on April n he re- 
ported that the Sultan consented to his troops being 
organized on French models at Tangier, Rabat, Casa- 
blanca and Ujda. But the atmosphere rapidly changed 
when a German Envoy, Count Tattenbach, reached Fez 



356 History of Modern Europe [1905 

on May 13, and on May 28 Abdul Aziz rejected the French 
proposals. Though Delcasse argued that to submit to a 
conference was to ask the Sultan to put himself in tutelage 
and leave the path he had followed for years a course he 
could not imagine possible Abdul Aziz rejoined that he 
could only accept the French proposals if ratified by the 
Powers; and on May 30 he invited the signatories of the 
Treaty of 1880 to meet at Tangier. 

Strengthened by the support of Great Britain and 
Russia, and by the assurance of Austria that she would 
side with the majority, Delcass held out stubbornly 
against a conference. But his game appeared to his 
colleagues to be fraught with danger. Prince Henckel 
von Donnersmarck visited Paris, saw the 
Premier and some f his colleagues, and 
explained his mission in an interview with 
the Gaulois. 1 "You do not seem to suspect the gravity 
of the events which are in preparation, and I have 
crossed the frontier to enlighten you. The Emperor 
and the people are irritated to see the repulse of their 
efforts for relations of courtesy and a policy of isolating 
Germany. Is this the policy of France or the personal 
conception of Delcasse"? If you think that your Foreign 
Minister has engaged your country in a too adventurous 
path, show it by separating yourselves from him, and 
above all by giving your foreign policy a new orientation. 
The Emperor does not wish for war, but if you are beaten 
you will be bled white." The air was thick with rumours 
of a German ultimatum and talk of the unpreparedness 
of the army. At the same moment it was announced that 
the Sultan had rejected the French proposals. It was the 
most dangerous moment in Franco-German relations since 
Boulanger. The decisive Cabinet was held on June 6. 
President Loubet remained faithful to the Foreign 
Minister, but all his colleagues were hostile. Delcasse 
argued that France could not go to a conference without 
humiliation, and asserted that two days ago he had re- 

1 Published after Delcasse"'s resignation. 



1905] Fall of Delcasse 357 

ceived an offer from Great Britain, who would mobilize 
the fleet and land 100,000 men in Schleswig-Holstein. 
The Premier replied that the acceptance of the British offer 
would mean war, and that the Conference must be held. 
His colleagues supported the Premier, and the Foreign 
Minister, after warning them that their pusillanimity 
would encourage German insolence, withdrew and 
resigned. 1 

"The British offer," on the strength of which Delcass^ 
was prepared to risk a war, existed only in his imagina- 
tion, though the legend is still repeated by 
him and is to this day believed abroad. He 
asked for a promise of armed support, but 
failed to obtain it. Lord Lansdowne, however, ex- 
plained both to the French and German .Ambassadors 
that public opinion, which saw in the "theatrical " 
Tangier journey an unfriendly act against Great Britain 
as well as France, could not be expected to remain 
indifferent, and might demand intervention if France 
were attacked. 3 Such a warning against aggression 
was very different from a solemn undertaking to engage 
in hostilities. Delcasse's mistaken interpretation of 
the British official attitude was due to the obiter dicta 
of certain highly placed personages, who expressed their 
individual convictions. 

On the fall of Delcass^ the Prime Minister took over 
the Foreign Office, and on June 11 explained his policy 
to the German Ambassador. "I dislike a conference," 
he observed, "but if I accept there must be a preliminary 
understanding. Yet if that is secured a conference is 
needless. We have no interest in infringing the 
sovereignty or integrity of Morocco, but our common 
frontier of 1,200 kilometres makes us the party most con- 
cerned in law and order. You seem resolved to block 

1 The story was told by Stephane Lauzanne in Le Matin in October, 
and is set forth in detail in MeVil, " De la Paix de Francfort & la Con- 
ference d'Algeciras." This book is virtually Delcasse's apologia. 

2 Hammann, " Zur Vorgeschichte des Weltkrieges," 135-6. 



358 History of Modern Europe [1905 

all our proposals, and we cannot accept a conference where 
that would happen. We must therefore first know how 
Germany regards reforms." Billow's attitude was in part 
due to the urgent advice of Marschall in Constantinople, 
who was doing his best to win the sympathies of Islam, 
to support the Sultan of Morocco. The Chancellor accord- 
The m S^y replied that Germany could only 
Chancellor's discuss the programme when France accepted 
Warnings t ^ e Conference, which would enable Morocco 
to satisfy the just desires of France, who would thus 
obtain the sanction of Europe. The reorganization 
of the army and police would be by mandate to 
France on the Algerian frontier, and in other parts, 
especially on the Atlantic, to other Powers. Financial 
reform would be international, and the Bank of Morocco 
would be supplied and controlled by the Powers. Without 
accepting or rejecting the Conference, Rouvier again ex- 
plained his attitude to the Ambassador on June 21. "Our 
proposals to the Sultan are not what Germany believes. 
We have not tried to secure control of internal or external 
affairs, nor have we sought to introduce the Tunis regime. 
It never occurred to us to infringe Morocco's treaty obliga- 
tions to German commerce. If our proposals are accepted 
all the Powers will benefit. We think a conference danger- 
ous without previous agreement, and useless with it. But 
we do not definitely decline." It would indeed have been 
dangerous to do so, as the French Ambassador suggested 
after a conversation with the Chancellor. "He was very 
courteous, but emphasized the necessity not to let this 
question mauvaise, tres mauvaisc, drag on, and not to 
linger on a road borde de precipices et meme d'abimes. 
His insistence on an immediate solution struck me deeply, 
and should influence your decisions. He added, however, 
that, if France accepted the Conference, German diplomacy 
would adopt an attitude which would satisfy us." 

This menacing conversation was followed by a Note 
on the following day. Germany was glad to take note 
of French denials of a desire to control Morocco, all the 



1905] The Kaiser and Roosevelt 359 

more because the Moorish Government itself interpreted 
the French proposals in a different sense. If France 
solved the problem alone, she would probably be com- 
pelled by the force of things to reach by degrees a position 
to which she said she did not aspire. The French pro- 
posals regarding the army and finance, which Morocco 
had communicated to Germany, would gravely impair 
her sovereignty, and would be in the interest of France 
rather than the other Powers. Such an exceptional 
position for a single Power was incompatible with Article 
17 of the Treaty of Madrid, which gave every signatory 
most-favoured-nation treatment, a principle which, in 
German eyes, extended beyond the economic sphere. A 
conference was desirable not to minister to Germany's 
amour-propre or to defend the dignity of France, but to 
escape from a bad situation. 

While the German Government was pressing France 
by arguments and threats, the Kaiser was imploring 
Roosevelt to join in the appeal. 1 "Rouvier, Rooseve i t s 
who has shown himself distinctly friendly Mediation 
to Germany," he wrote on June 11, "has Re <i uested 
indirectly informed the German Charge* that England 
has made a formal offer to France to enter into an 
offensive and defensive alliance with England which 
would be directed against Germany. At present the 
leading statesmen of France are opposed to such an 
alliance, because they still hope to reach a satisfactory 
agreement with Germany. Indirectly Germany has been 
given to understand that the French Government desire 
to give her a portion of Morocco under the name of a 
sphere of interest, France taking the greater part for 
herself ; but Germany cannot accept. My people are sure 
England would now back France by arms in a war against 
Germany, not on account of Morocco but of German policy 
in the Far East. The British Government has asked for 
time to consider the question of a conference. I feel sure 
you could now give a hint in London and Paris that you 

1 See Bishop, " Theodore Roosevelt," I. 



360 History of Modern Europe [1905 

would consider a conference the most satisfactory means 
to bring the Moroccan question to a peaceful solution. 
If not inclined, your influence could prevent England 
joining in a Franco-German war, started by the aggressive 
policy of France." "It looked like war," relates Roosevelt, 
"so I took active hold of the matter through Speck and 
Jusserand and got things temporarily straightened up. 
I showed France the great danger of a war, and the little 
use England could be, and that a conference would not 
sanction any unjust attack on French interests. I would 
not accept the invitation unless France was willing ; but, if 
I did, I would, if necessary, take a strong ground against 
any attitude of Germany which seemed to me unjust and 
unfair. At last France told me on June 23 

Peacemaker that she would a g ree -" Now that th ^ Presi- 
dent had secured the French assent to a 
conference, he turned to the other party to the dis- 
pute. Nobody would understand or pardon a war for 
frivolous reasons, he observed to Speck. "I entreat the 
Kaiser to show himself satisfied with this genuine triumph. 
It would be most unfortunate now to raise questions about 
details." So skilfully did the President conduct his 
mediation that he earned the gratitude of both parties, and 
Mr. Root has expressed the opinion that his noiseless 
mediation in the Morocco crisis was of greater importance 
than his spectacular intervention between Russia and 
Japan. 

On July 8 the French Premier and the German Ambas- 
sador exchanged a Declaration defining the conditions on 
which France accepted the Conference, and the German 
Ambassador formally declared that Germany did not 
contest the Anglo-French Agreement of 1904. "France, 
convinced that Germany will not pursue any aim which 
would compromise the legitimate interests of France or her 
rights resulting from her treaties, and in harmony with 
the sovereignty and independence of the Sultan, the 
integrity of the Empire, economic equality, the utility of 
police and financial reforms by international accord, the 



i 9 o 5 ] Plans for the Conference 361 

recognition of the situation created by the Algerian 
frontier and the special interest of France in the mainten- 
ance of order, accepts the invitation." On July 12 the 
British Government also agreed to the Conference. On 
August i the Premier handed to the Ambassador a pro- 
gramme of reforms relating to the police, finance, and 
adjudication of public works, and on August 26 Radolin 
accepted the programme. Further discussion took place 
with Dr. Rosen, the German Minister at Tangier, who 
was sent to Paris. The Premier expressed p re i imillary 
his hope that, in Radolin 's words, there Agreement 
would be ni vainqueur ni vaincu, and the 
accord signed by Rouvier and Radolin on Septem- 
ber 28 seemed to realize this aspiration. 1 The organ- 
ization of the police, except on the Algerian frontier, 
was to be international. A State bank was to supply 
credits for the police, the troops and public works. 
Morocco was not to alienate any public service to the profit 
of particular interests, and the principle of adjudication 
without distinction of nationality was to be adopted for 
public works. The Conference was to be held at Algeciras, 
and both missions were to leave Fez. 

On December 16 the Premier informed the Chamber 
that the Sultan had accepted the programme and the place 
of meeting, and spoke with satisfaction of the work that he 
had accomplished. France's frontier rights were recog- 
nized by Germany and excluded from the Conference, 
and he looked forward with confidence to the meeting at 
Algeciras. 2 Almost at the same moment the Chancellor 
described the situation to the Reichstag in a speech which 
made no attempt to conceal his anxieties. "The Triple 

1 The compromise was facilitated by a telegram from Rominten, where 
the Kaiser told Witte of the Pact of Bjorko, and Witte urged his host 
to conciliate France in Morocco. 

2 Caillaux declares, in his book " Agadir," that Rouvier twice vainly 
tried to settle the question by buying off Germany, first in November by 
offering Mogador and the hinterland, and secondly in December when 
Pollet, a naval officer, negotiated with Kiihlmann, the First Secretary 
at Tangier. Both approaches were declined, as Germany wished for a 
satisfaction of principle and for the humiliation of France. 



362 History of Modern Europe [1905 

Alliance will maintain peace and the status quo in Europe. 
That was its origin, and that is its object. Yet Germany 
must be strong and in case of need maintain herself 
without Allies. In the Middle Ages the richest monas- 
teries had the thickest walls." He proceeded 
Defence to an e l a k rate defence of his policy in 
Morocco, which he defined as the preserva- 
tion of economic equality in an independent State. 
"German rights could not be cancelled by a Franco- 
English Treaty; for the Treaty of Madrid gave all 
the signatories most-favoured-nation treatment, and Ger- 
many had a legal right to be consulted in any change 
in Morocco. If it be said that our commercial in- 
terests are not enough to justify serious representa- 
tions, I reply that it is not a trifle when treaty rights 
and prestige are involved. I greatly hoped that the 
adjustment between our rights and the Franco-English 
Treaty could have proceeded harmoniously, and I spoke 
in conciliatory terms, saying we had no reason to believe 
that it was pointed against us. My expectation that the 
other parties, before proceeding to carry out their plans in 
Morocco, would approach us was not fulfilled. Our 
moment came when France sent an envoy to Fez with a 
reform programme which would have made Morocco a 
second Tunis. This clearly injured our rights under the 
Treaty of 1880 and threatened our economic interests. If 
we silently surrender our economic rights in Morocco it 
would encourage the world to similar conduct in other and 
perhaps greater questions. The charge that we desire to 
attack France or to compel her to side with us against 
England is nonsense. I take full responsibility for the 
journey to Tangier, which 'Rebel calls the journey of pro- 
vocation, but which was useful in bringing to general 
knowledge the international character of the question. Get 
animal est tr ] es mechant: quand on I'attaque, il se defend." 
: On the resignation of Mr. Balfour on December 4, 
Campbell-Bannerman formed a Liberal Ministry, and 
explained its policy at a meeting at the Albert Hall on 



1905] 



The Liberals in Power 



363 



December 22. 1 The references to foreign affairs were brief 
but clear. "I wish emphatically to reaffirm my adhesion 
to the policy of the Entente Cordiale. Even Cam bell _ 
more important than any actual amicable Bannerman's 
instrument is the real friendship between Policy 
the two peoples, and one of the objects of our policy 
will be to maintain that spirit of friendship unim- 
paired. As regards Russia we have nothing but good 
feeling towards that great people. In the case of 
Germany also I see no cause whatever of estrangement in 
any of the interests of either people, and we welcome the 
unofficial demonstrations of friendship which have lately 
been passing between the two countries. With other 
European Powers our relations are most friendly. Our 
relations with Japan are sufficiently known to the world by 
the recent Treaty, and with the United States we are bound 
by the closest ties of race, tradition and fellowship. This 
is a most pleasing outlook, which I trust will not be marred 
by any events that can occur. Our general foreign policy 
will be opposed to aggression and to adventure, and will 
be animated by a desire to be on the best terms with all 
nationalities." 

A few days after the new Prime Minister's reassuring 
survey, the Military Correspondent of the Times wrote an 
article on the hostility of Germany to France, ending with 
a warning to Berlin that a war might unchain animosities 
in unexpected quarters. 3 On the following day, Decem- 
ber 28, Major Huguet, the French Military Attache', in 
discussing the article, remarked that the French Embassy 
was worried because Sir Edward Grey had not renewed 
the assurances given by Lord Lansdowne. 3 Colonel 
Repington reported the conversation to the Foreign 
Secretary, who was engaged in his constituency, and 
who replied that he had not receded from anything Lord 
Lansdowne had said. 

1 " Speeches," 179. 

2 Repington, " The First World War," I, ch. i. 

3 Haldane, " Before the War," 29-^0. 



364 History of Modern Europe [1906 

The Ambassador, after returning' from his holiday, 
informed Sir Edward on January 10 that the French 
Government considered the danger to be real, and asked 
whether Great Britain would think she had so much at 
stake as to be willing to join in resisting an unprovoked 
attack. If this were even a possible attitude, conversa- 
tions would be desirable between the General Staffs as 
to the form of co-operation in the northern portion of 
France. The Foreign Secretary replied that he could 
promise nothing to any foreign Power unless 
il was subsequently to receive the whole- 
hearted support of public opinion here if 
the occasion arose. 1 "I said, in my opinion, if war 
was forced upon France on the question of Morocco, 
public opinion in this country would have rallied 
to the material support of France. I gave no promise, 
but I expressed that opinion during the crisis to the 
French Ambassador and the German Ambassador. I 
made no promise and I used no threats. That position 
was accepted by the French Government; but they said 
to me at the time, and I think very reasonably, ' If you 
think it possible that the public opinion of Great Britain, 
should a sudden crisis arise, justifies you in giving to 
France the armed support which you cannot promise in 
advance, you will not be able to give that support, even if 
you wish it, when the time comes, unless some conversa- 
tions have already taken place between naval and military 
experts.' There was force in that. I agreed to it, and 
authorized those conversations to take place, but on the 
distinct understanding that nothing which passed between 
military or naval experts should bind either Government 
or restrict in any way their freedom to make a decision 
as to whether or not they would give that support when the 
time arose. I had to take the responsibility of doing that 
without the Cabinet. It could not be summoned. An 
answer had to be given. I consulted Sir Henry Campbell- 
Bannerman, the Prime Minister; I consulted Lord 

1 Speech of Aug. 3, 1914. 



igo6] The Conference of Algeciras 365 

Haldane, who was then Secretary of State for War; and 
the present Prime Minister (Mr. Asquith), who was then 
Chancellor of the Exchequer. That was the most I could 
do, and they authorized that on the distinct understanding 
that it left the hands of the Government free whenever the 
crisis arose." The military conversations began on 
January 17, and continued at intervals till 1914. Almost 
at the same moment the British Military Attach^ at 
Brussels began similar, though unofficial, discussions with 
the Chief of the Belgian Staff. 

The Conference of Algeciras, which was attended by 
twelve States in addition to Morocco, opened on 
January 16. The President, the Due The 
d'Almodovar, began by excluding from dis- Conference 
cussion the sovereignty of the Sultan, the Opens 
integrity of Morocco, and commercial liberty as prin- 
ciples universally accepted. King Edward remarked 
to Cambon : "Tell us what you wish on each point, 
and we will support you without restriction or reserves." : 
The two main questions of the police and a State 
bank were reached early in February. France's de- 
mand for the police mandate and her revised offer to 
share it with Spain were rejected by Germany, who first 
proposed that the Sultan should select officers from the 
minor Powers, and later that she should choose from 
"foreign" nations. These suggestions were in turn re- 
jected by France and Spain, and at the same moment 
discussions on the State bank reached a deadlock. A 
rupture was generally expected ; but pacific influences were 
at work behind the scenes. In urging France to accept 
the Conference President Roosevelt had promised her fair 
play, and in the middle of February he intervened on her 
behalf in secret negotiations with the Kaiser. 8 He sup- 
ported a Franco-Spanish mandate for the police, and when 
the Kaiser objected that it would place that arm entirely 

1 See the Livre Jaune, " Affaires du Maroc, Protocoles et Comptes 
Rendues de la Conference d'Alge"ciras," and Tardieu, " La Conference 
d'Algdciras." 

2 Bishop, " Theodore Roosevelt," I, 489-505. 



366 History of Modern Europe [1906 

in their hands, Roosevelt pointed out that the mandatories 
would be responsible to all the Powers. At this moment 
Biilow began to realize that Holstein's policy was leading 
straight to war, and took the control out of his hands. A 
second mediatory influence came from Austria, who 
proposed that France should organize the police in four 
of the eight ports open to commerce, Spain in three and 
Switzerland or Holland in one. Roosevelt disapproved 
of the plan as suggesting partition, and a second Austrian 
proposal of a Franco-Spanish mandate under a Swiss 
Inspector-General was at last accepted at the end of March. 
The main difficulty having been overcome the delegates 
were anxious to be gone, and on April 7 the Act of 
Algeciras was signed. 

From 2,000 to 2,500 police were to be distributed among 
the eight ports, and Spanish and French officers, with 
thirty to forty non-commissioned officers, 
were to act as instructors. The Swiss 
Inspector-General was to reside at Tangier. 
The State Bank of Morocco, with the exclusive privilege 
of issuing bank-notes, was to fulfil the functions of 
Treasurer and Paymaster of the Empire, to make 
advances to the Government up to a million francs, and 
to open credits for the police and public works. The 
capital was to be divided into as many equal parts as there 
were signatories, each Power having the right to subscribe. 
The total capital was to be fifteen to twenty million francs. 
In addition to the board of directors and a High Commis- 
sioner appointed by the Moroccan Government, four 
censors, nominated by the Banks of England, Germany, 
France and Spain, were to see that the intentions of the 
Act were carried out and to make an annual report. 
Public services were not to be alienated to private interests, 
and foreigners might acquire, land and build in any part 
of the country. On the Algerian frontier France and 
Morocco were jointly to carry out the regulations of the 
Act concerning Customs and the traffic in arms, while 
Spain and Morocco were to execute them in the Riff 



igo6] The Act of Algeciras 367 

country. The final article declared all existing treaties, 
conventions, and arrangements between the signatory 
Powers and Morocco to remain in force ; but in case their 
provisions were found to conflict with those of the Act, 
the stipulations of the latter were to prevail. The United 
States added a Declaration that in signing the Act and the 
Protocol it assumed no responsibility for its enforcement. 
The British delegate brought forward the question of 
limiting the importation and sale of alcoholic drinks, and 
the Conference, at his suggestion, referred the matter to the 
'Diplomatic Body at Tangier, adding its sympathy with the 
proposals. Declarations expressing the hope that the 
Sultan would gradually abolish the system of slavery and 
prohibit the public sale of slaves, and that he would 
reform the administration of the prisons, were read to the 
Conference by Sir Arthur Nicolson and adopted by all 
the delegates except the Moroccan representatives, who 
complained that neither of the questions had been on the 
programme. 1 

The Conference of Algeciras was a prolonged duel 
between France and Germany. The former was openly 
backed by Russia, Great Britain and Spain, The 
while the United States supported her Inconclusive 
cause behind the scenes. Germany, on Conference 
the other hand, though she championed the principle 
of international responsibility dictated by her interests, 
received scanty support from her friends, since Austria 
was determined not to quarrel with France, and Italy 
was fettered in advance by her secret arrangement 
respecting Morocco and Tripoli. It was, nevertheless, a 
drawn battle. While France obtained the aM-important 
police mandate for herself and her partner, Germany estab- 
lished her contention that the problem was the concern of 
all the Powers. Both Governments professed their satis- 
faction. Bourgeois, the Foreign Minister, declared to the 
Chamber that the special rights and interests of France 
had been preserved by concessions which neither aban- 

1 See the White Book, " Morocco," No. i, 1906. 



368 History of Modern Europe [1906 

doned the fruit of past efforts nor jeopardized the prospect 
of the future. In the crucial issue of the police he had 
accepted a neutral Inspector-General, who would merely 
watch the result of the service. He concluded with a 
tribute of gratitude to the unshakable firmness of Russia; 
"and England, our equally faithful friend, sustained our 
cause." 

Algeciras, writes Reventlow, was a German defeat ; 
and he sharply censures the Chancellor for threatening 

, war without intending it. 1 The German 

Encirclement 

or Government, on the other hand, professed 

Insurance itself sat i s fi e( j. The Kaiser telegraphed his 
thanks to Goluchowski, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign 
Minister, for his support at the Conference, where 
he had proved himself "a brilliant second on the 
duelling-ground," adding that he could count on a 
similar service in a similar case. The Chancellor wel- 
comed the settlement as equally satisfactory for Germany 
and France and useful for all civilized countries. Germany 
had not desired to go to war on account of Morocco, for 
she had no direct political interests and no political aspira- 
tions; but to allow her treaty rights to be disposed of 
without her consent was a question of prestige. Though 
both sides pretended to be satisfied with the results of the 
wrestling match, the Conference proved no more than a 
breathing-space between the rounds; and its enduring 
result was to tighten the bonds between Great Britain and 
France, which the German plenipotentiary at Algeciras 
vainly pressed Sir Arthur Nicolson to loosen. Billow had 
had a good hand but had played it badly. The process 
which Germans describe as encirclement, and Englishmen 
as insurance, had begun. 9 

144 Politische Vorgeschichte des Weltkrieges," 117-29; cf. the pungent 
criticism of Haller, " Die Aera Biilow," 15-30. 

1 The term " Einkreisungspolitik " was invented by Holstein. 



CHAPTER XI 

THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN ENTENTE 

WHILE British and French statesmen were joyfully bury- 
ing the hatchet, the antagonism between Great Britain and 
France's ally remained. The Anglo-German Treaty of 
1900 and the Anglo-Japanese alliance of 1902 proclaimed 
from the housetops our suspicion of Russian aims in the 
Far East; and our responsibility for the defence of India 
led us to watch her activities in the Middle East with 
jealous eyes. A plan drawn up by Salisbury for adjusting 
relations throughout Asia was rejected at Petrograd. Her 
conterminous frontier and the weakness of Persia afforded 
her opportunities of exerting political and economic pres- 
sure ; and in the closing years of the nineteenth century the 

rivalry of the two Powers at Teheran was, 

y , , r^. . . Lord Curzon's 

unconcealed. The position was analysed by Apprehen- 

Lord Curzon in a lengthy dispatch dated sions 
September 21, 1899, in response to a request from the 
Cabinet for the views of the Government of India. 1 
"Ever since the first visit of the late Shah to Europe 
Persia has been drawn increasingly into the vortex of 
European politics. She is one of those countries which 
must inevitably have attracted the attention of Europe, 
partly from increasing infirmity, but still more from the 
opportunities suggested by their latent though neglected 
sources of strength. Closely pressing upon Persia and 
Afghanistan is the ever-growing momentum of a Power 
whose interests in Asia are not always in accord with our 
own, while the Gulf is beginning to attract the interest of 
other and sometimes rival nations. For the present our 

1 Published as a White Paper in 1908. 
Y 369 



370 History of Modern Europe [1903 

ambitions are limited to prevent the interest we have built 
up from being undermined. We have no desire to disturb 
the political status quo as long as it can be maintained; 
but we press for an early decision and for early action 
since, unless we bestir ourselves, there is good reason for 
fearing that the already trembling balance may be dis- 
turbed to our disadvantage. The advance of Russia across 
the deserts that form the natural barrier between West and 
East Persia could not be regarded without uneasiness by 
the Government of India; for Russian pledges to respect 
the interests and independence of Persia are quite insuffi- 
cient to save Persian or British interests from erosive 
agencies." 

Even more vital to the safety of India and the prestige 
of the Empire was the maintenance of our position in the 
Persian Gulf, where the East India Com- 
P an y ^ a d opened a factory in 1763 and a 
Political Agent had resided since 1812. * 
We had rooted out the nests of pirates and destroyed 
their fleets, suppressed slavery, surveyed and buoyed 
the Gulf, and kept down plague. The racial chiefs re- 
ferred their disputes to the Resident at Bushire, and had 
bound themselves to have no dealings with any other 
Power. We had a protectorate over Bahrein and prefer- 
ential relations with Koweit. Despite our well-known 
interests, however, Russian emissaries officers, "ex- 
plorers," doctors "studying plague" swarmed in the 
Gulf. The termination of the Boer war restored to Great 
Britain her freedom of action; and on May 15, 1903, Lord 
Lansdowne made the most momentous declaration of 
British policy since Sir Edward Grey's pronouncement in 
1895. "Firstly, we should protect and promote British 
trade in the Gulf. Secondly, we should not exclude the 
legitimate trade of others. Thirdly, we should regard the i 
establishment of a naval base or a fortified port in the Gulf 
by any other Power as a very grave menace to British 

1 See Lovat Fraser, " India under Lord Curzon," and Chirol, " The 
Middle Eastern Question/' 



1903] Russia in Asia 



371 



interests, and we should certainly resist it by all the means 
at our disposal." The announcement, he added, was made 
in no minatory spirit, because he knew of no such proposal. 
This emphatic warning was reinforced by Lord Curzon's 
naval demonstration in the Gulf in November, 1903. 1 
British prestige was enhanced by the journey, which pro- 
claimed, not only to those who saw the squadron and heard 
the voice of the Viceroy but to listeners far away in 
Teheran, Petrograd and Berlin, the determination of 
Great Britain to defend her position in the Gulf from 
challenge or attack. 

The struggle against Russian encroachments was 
waged not only in Manchuria and Persia but on the 
lofty plateaux of Tibet, where the priestly 
hierarchy which governs the country under 
the shadowy suzerainty of China has done 
its best to close the gates against any approach from 
the south. In March, 1899, Lord Curzon described 
the situation to the Secretary of State. 2 "We seem 
to be moving in a vicious circle. If we apply to 
Tibet, we either receive no reply or are referred to the 
Chinese Resident. If we apply to the latter, he excuses 
his failure by his inability to put any pressure on Tibet." 
The exasperation provoked by this studied insolence was 
intensified by the Tsar's simultaneous reception at Petro- 
grad in September, 1900, of a Siberian Buddhist named 
Dorjiev, whose journeys taught Tibet to look to Russia 
for protection and Russia to regard Tibet as a pawn in 
her world-wide game against Great Britain. When a 
third attempt to communicate with the Dalai Lama broke 
down, the Viceroy proposed that the Political Officer for 
Sikkim should set up pillars where the Tibetans had 
encroached, and that, if these pillars were overthrown, we 
should occupy the Chumbi valley. The approval of the 
Cabinet having been secured, the Political Officer pro- 

1 His speeches are printed in " Lord Curzon in India," 500-7. 
8 The Blue Books on Tibet are unusually detailed. Colonel Young- 
husband has told his own story fully in " India and Tibet." 



372 History of Modern Europe [1904 

ceeded in the summer of 1902 to the north of Sikkim and 
ordered the Tibetans inside the frontier to withdraw. On 
January 18, 1903, the Government of India, in a weighty 
dispatch, proposed an expedition to Lhasa. It was far 
more than a mere border dispute or the amelioration of 
trade ; it was a question of our entire future political rela- 
tions with Tibet, and how far we could allow another 
Great Power to exercise influence there. The Russian 
border nowhere touched Tibet, and no Power had any 
connexion with Tibet except China, Nepal and India. To 
the protests of the Russian Ambassador Lord Lansdowne 
replied that where an uncivilized country adjoined a civil- 
ized, a certain local predominance was inevitable, but that 
this did not involve designs on its independence. 

The Younghusband Mission crossed the frontier at the 

end of 1904 and marched into Lhasa on August 3, whence 

The Young- the Dalai Lama had fled. A month later 

husband Tibet signed a treaty undertaking to observe 

Mission ^ pact Q f jg^ to erect b OU iKi ar y pillars, 

to open marts at three places, to maintain an agent 
at each in order to forward communications, to keep 
open the roads leading to them, and to raze all forts 
on the routes to the capital. The ninth and last article 
was designed to terminate the Russian menace. Tibet 
engaged that, without the previous consent of the British 
Government, no portion of Tibetan territory should be 
ceded, sold, leased, mortgaged or otherwise given for 
occupation to any foreign Power; no such Power should 
be permitted to intervene in Tibetan affairs ; no representa- 
tives or agents of any foreign Power should be admitted; 
no concessions for railways, roads, telegraphs, mining or 
other rights should be granted to any foreign Power or the 
subject of any foreign Power, unless similar or equivalent 
concessions should be granted to Great Britain ; no Tibetan 
revenues should be pledged or assigned to any foreign 
Power or the subject of any foreign Power. Having thus 
secured all his political and economic requirements, 
Younghusband accepted the request that the indemnity, 



i 9 o 5 ] The Expedition to Lhasa 373 

which had been fixed at ^500,000, should be paid at the 
rate of one lakh annually for seventy-five years a change 
which involved the occupation of the Chumbi valley dur- 
ing a similar period. With this important modification 
the Treaty was signed on September 7 in the presence of 
the Amban, who undertook to sign when permission had 
been obtained from Pekin. Seals were affixed by the 
Acting Regent, the Council, the three great monasteries 
and the National Assembly. On the same day a separate 
Agreement was signed empowering the British trade agent 
at Gyantse to visit Lhasa to discuss trade affairs. 

The British Cabinet repudiated the clause relating to 
the indemnity, which disobeyed their instructions that it 
should be a sum payable in three years; 
and Tibet was informed that the agreement 
allowing a trade agent to proceed to Lhasa 
was regarded as needless, since the Cabinet had given 
repeated assurances to Russia that no lengthy occu- 
pation of territory and no intervention in internal 
affairs was sought. The twofold object of the mission 
appeared to have been attained. The monks had learned 
that the British arm was long enough to reach the 
Forbidden City, and on the outstanding questions of 
boundary, trade and communication, our demands had 
been accepted. Secondly, in Mr. Brodrick's words, the 
risk of Tibet having political relations with other States 
had been removed. Indeed, the champions of Lord 
Curzon claimed that nothing but his unsleeping vigilance 
had prevented the establishment of a Russian Protectorate 
over Tibet. 

When the Russian menace on the northern section of 
the glacis has been warded off, there remained a danger 
on the north-west; and a pointed warning was uttered in 
Mr. Balfour's speech of May n, 1905, on Imperial 
Defence. Russia, he declared, was making steady pro- 
gress towards Afghanistan, and railways were under con- 
struction which could only be strategic. War was 
improbable, but these factors altered the position. India 



374 History of Modern Europe [1905 

could not be taken by surprise and assault. A war on the 
North- West Frontier would be chiefly a problem of trans- 
port and supply. We must therefore allow 

Afghanistan nothin g to be done to facilitate transport. 
Any attempt to make a railway in Afghan- 
istan in connexion with the Russian strategic railways 
should be regarded as an act of direct aggression against 
us. "I have, however, not the smallest grounds to 
believe that Russia intends to build such a railway. If 
ever attempted, it would be the heaviest conceivable blow 
at our Indian Empire. As long as we say resolutely that 
railways in Afghanistan should only be made in time of 
war, we can make India absolutely secure. But -if we, 
through blindness or cowardice, permit the slow absorp- 
tion of the country, if the strategic railways are allowed to 
creep close to our frontier, we shall have to maintain a 
much larger army." 

Friction in China, Persia, Tibet and Afghanistan had 
increased the inherited tension between Great Britain and 
Russia, and the outbreak of war in the Far East ushered in 
a period of dangerous strain. Since the Dual Alliance did 
not extend to the Far East, France was not compelled to 
join her ally ; but in time of war benevolent neutrality may 
melt into belligerency at any moment. British opinion 
openly favoured Japan; but the Cabinet observed strict 
neutrality, and on February 12 Lord Lansdowne denied 
the foolish rumour that Japan had been permitted to use 
Wei-hai-Wei as a base. When the Anglo-French Treaty 
was signed King Edward was paying a visit to the Danish 
Court, and he remarked to Izvolsky, the Russian Minister, 
that the newly signed Treaty encouraged a hope of reach- 
ing a similar understanding with Russia. 1 Sir Charles 
Hardinge, he added, had just reached St. Petersburg as 
British Ambassador, with instructions to improve rela- 
tions. It would be difficult to agree on the various 
questions at issue, but the attempt ought to be made. 
Izvolsky, for his part, lamented the Anglo-Japanese 

1 Sidney Lee, The Times, July 22, 1921. 



1904] The Japanese War 375 

alliance, which, he argued, encouraged the war party in 
Japan. The conversation was not without value, for 
Izvolsky was soon to be Foreign Minister; but no progress 
could be made during the conflict. Moreover, the Tsar 
was still bitterly hostile, resenting our alliance with Japan, 
our harbouring of Russian exiles, and the growing 
influence of Jews in England. 1 

A struggle which required ships no less than soldiers 
was certain to raise the question of the Straits. 2 When 
in the autumn of 1902 Russia obtained per- 
mission for four destroyers to pass the straits 
Straits, the British Ambassador at Con- 
stantinople presented a formal protest to the Porte and 
announced that we should not hesitate to use the precedent 
for British ships in case of war. During the opening 
months of the Japanese conflict the Black Sea fleet re- 
mained passive; but trouble began in July when two 
cruisers of the Volunteer fleet, which had been created at 
the time of the Penjdeh crisis and was permitted to pass 
the Straits under a commercial flag, assumed the character 
of warships and stopped British and German vessels in the 
Red Sea. The P. & O. Malacca was searched, despite the 
assurance that she carried ammunition for the British fleet 
at Hong-Kong and a general cargo for Yokohama. The 
Russian captain demanded to see the latter, and, as it 
could not be reached without endangering the stability of 
the vessel, a prize crew was placed on board and the ship 
ordered back to Suez, whence she was to sail to Libau to a 
Russian prize court. Almost at the same time the Ardova, 
a British ship carrying explosives from the Government of 
the United States to Manila, and the Formosa were seized. 
Russian ships of war were justified in searching 
neutrals for contraband; but converted cruisers had no 
such right. The Kaiser telegraphed to the Tsar that such 
violation of. international law would create surprise and 

1 Dillon, " The Eclipse of Russia," 329-30. 

8 See the admirable work of Coleman Phillipson and Noel Buxton, 
" The Question of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles." 



376 History of Modern Europe [1904 

disgust in Germany, and the Tsar replied that it 
should not occur again. The British Ambassador 
lodged an emphatic protest, demanding the release 
of the Malacca on the ground that the status of the 
cruiser was irregular and that the ammunition was 
for the British navy and bore the British Govern- 
ment mark. The reply was conciiatory. The Malacca 
was not to go to a prize court, and no such 
incident should occur again ; but "as a matter of form " its 
cargo would be examined at a neutral port. Since this 
Xh appeared to maintain the claim of volunteer 

Volunteer cruisers to be ships of war, the Mediter- 
ranean squadron was sent to Alexandria, 
and a cruiser was ordered to Suez to anchor close 
to the Ardova. At the same moment the Knight 
Commander, bound from New York to Yokohama, with 
American-owned cargo, was sunk by the Vladivostock 
squadron on suspicion of contraband and because the ship 
could not spare a prize crew to take her to port. When 
announcing this outrage the Prime Minister and Foreign 
Secretary added that Russia had given orders that 
seizures by the volunteer ships should not be recognized, 
and had withdrawn them from the Red Sea. The 
Smolensk and Petersburg resumed their activity off the 
Cape; but the shock was diminished by the Prime 
Minister's announcement that, at Russia's request, British 
cruisers had been sent to bid the vessels to stop their 
activity, as they had not received orders. They were 
found at Zanzibar, and no British vessel was interfered 
with during the remainder of the war. 

Despite the tension with Great Britain, the Tsar longed 
to make use of his ships in the Black Sea, and he was 
encouraged to do so by the Kaiser on October 10. 
"Shebeko informed me of your intention to send out the 
Black Sea fleet in conjunction with the Baltic fleet, and 
asked me for my opinion. I confess that long since I have 
been expecting his plan to be executed. It is a sound 
military plan and will ensure victory. The Sultan as 



1904] 



The Dogger Bank 377 



we both know for certain will not offer a shadow of 
resistance. Once you are out we shall all quietly accept 
the fait accompli. I have not the slightest doubt that 
England will accept it too, though the Press may fume 
and rage and their squadrons steam about a little." : 
In spite of this encouragement the project was wisely 
dropped, and the Baltic fleet alone was ordered to the 
Far East. 

"I visited the fleet during its passage through the Belt," 
records Izvolsky, then Russian Minister at Copenhagen, 2 
"and found Admiral Rojdestvensky and 
his officers in a state of nervous excite- 
ment over the report that Japan had sent 
destroyers to Europe. This report emanated from 
Halting, of the Russian Secret Police, who came to 
Copenhagen several times and told me that Japanese 
destroyers were in the vicinity. I discovered that the 
report was baseless and that his sole object was to extort 
money. I informed my Government, but in vain. I 
scented danger, not from Japan, but from the defects 
rendering hazardous the passage of the Great Belt, and 
accordingly I induced Denmark to lend her best pilots and 
to station gunboats at the danger points." Emerging from 
the Belt the Admiral mistook some Norwegian vessels for 
Japanese destroyers, and fired several shots without reach- 
ing them. On the afternoon of October 21 the Kamchatka 
fell behind on account of engine trouble. Towards 
evening she met and fired on a Swedish vessel and others 
unknown, and informed the Admiral by wireless that she 
was attacked on all sides by torpedo-boats. Just after 
midnight a green rocket was fired and the anxious watchers 
on the flagship, believing they saw a suspicious vessel, 
gave orders to fire. The Gamecock fleet of about thirty 
steam trawlers, from Hull, was on the Dogger Bank that 
night, with about fourteen trawlers of another fleet, and 

1 Troubetzkoi says that on a rumour that the fleet would come out, 
Great Britain made it clear that her fleet would oppose. " Russland als 
Grossmacht," 151. 

* " Memoirs," 42-3. 



378 History of Modern Europe [1904 

it was by them that the rocket had been fired as a fishing 
signal. 

Lord Rosebery spoke for the nation in denouncing the 
"unspeakable outrage." Preliminary orders for mutual 
support were sent to the Home fleet at 
Cromarty, to the Channel fleet at Gibraltar, 
and to the Mediterranean fleet at Pola, 
while four battleships were ordered to Portland and 
submarines were dispatched to Dover. The two Govern- 
ments, however, kept their heads, and the Tsar sent a 
message that in the absence of news he could only explain 
the incident as a regrettable misunderstanding, adding that 
he sincerely regretted the loss of life, and that he would 
afford complete satisfaction to the sufferers as soon as the 
mystery was solved. The Cabinet met on October 28, 
and the Prime Minister left the same evening to address 
a meeting at Southampton. The Russians were out of 
their course, and they knew that the Dogger Bank was 
frequented by fishermen. Happily the Russian Govern- 
ment had expressed its regret, the Tsar had promised 
liberal compensation, the officers and material witnesses 
would stop at Vigo, an inquiry would be held by an 
International Commission, the guilty would be tried and 
punished, and Russia would issue instructions to prevent 
a recurrence of the offence. With the signature of a Con- 
vention at Petrograd on November 25 the crisis was over. 
The settlement had been facilitated by the mediation of 
Delcasse*. The Commission met on December 22, and by 
February 25, 1905, the work was done. The report im- 
plicity, if not explicitly, dismissed the Russian case. The 
trawlers had committed no hostile act; the Kamchatka 
had been deceived, for no Japanese torpedo-boats were in 
the vicinity, and the firing was therefore unjustifiable. 
There were, however, extenuating circumstances. 

It was perhaps fortunate that the British Cabinet was 
unaware of the anger which filled the heart of the Tsar 
during these critical weeks and of the design to establish 
a Russo-German alliance. The Kaiser had encouraged 



1904] The Kaiser and Tsar 379 

the Tsar to believe that "Russia must and will win " and 
that " Korea must and will be Russian " ; and the open 
sympathy of Berlin enabled the troops to German 
be withdrawn from the Polish frontier. 1 J aids 
Russia was indeed compelled to pay for Russia 
these favours by the conclusion of a one-sided com- 
mercial treaty on July 28; but the struggle with Japan 
was severe, and without German aid there was little chance 
of victory. On August 15 Lord Lansdowne warned the 
German Ambassador that if Japan, owing to breaches of 
neutrality, became involved in war with Germany, Great 
Britain would accept the casus foederis. "For some time," 
telegraphed the Kaiser on October 27, "the English Press 
has been threatening Germany that she must on no account 
allow coals to be sent to the Baltic fleet on its way out. 
It is not impossible that the Japanese and British Govern- 
ments may launch joint protests against our coaling your 
ships, coupled with a summons to stop. The result of 
such a threat of war would be the inability of your fleet to 
proceed for want of fuel. This new danger would have 
to be faced by Russia and Germany together, who would 
both have to remind your ally France of her obligations. 
It is out of the question that France would try to shirk 
her duty. Though Delcasse" is Anglophil and would be 
enraged, he would be wise enough to understand that the 
British fleet is utterly unable to save Paris. In this way 
a powerful combination of the three Continental Powers 
would be formed, and the Anglo-Saxon group would think 
twice before attacking it. Before acting you ought not 
to forget to order new ships. They will be excellent 
persuaders during the peace negotiations. Our private 
firms would be most glad to receive contracts. I am 
sorry for the mishap in the North Sea." "Of course, 
you know the first details of the North Sea incident from 
our Admiral's telegram," replied the Tsar, on October 29. 

1 Austria also assured Russia that she need not defend her southern 
front, and Russia in return promised neutrality in the event of an attack 
by Italy. Szilassy, " Der Untergang der Donaumonarchie," 180. 



380 History of Modern Europe [1904 

"Naturally it completely alters the situation. I have no 
words to express my indignation with England's conduct. 
I agree fully with your complaints about 
^ er behaviour concerning the coaling of our 
ships by German steamers, whereas she 
understands the rules of keeping neutrality in her own 
fashion. It is certainly high time to put a stop to 
this. The only way, as you say, would be that Ger- 
many, Russia and France should at once unite upon 
arrangements to abolish English and Japanese arrogance 
and insolence. Would you like to frame the outlines of 
such a treaty and let me know it? As soon as it is ac- 
cepted by us, France is bound to join her ally. This 
combination has often come to my mind; it will mean 
peace and rest for the world." "Best thanks for tele- 
gram," wired the Kaiser. "Have sent off letter and draft 
of treaty you wished for this evening. Heard from private 
source that Hull fishermen have acknowledged that they 
have seen foreign steam craft among their boats, not 
belonging to their fishing fleets. So there has been foul 
play." ' 

After dispatching his telegram the Kaiser sat down to 
write a letter. "I have at once communicated with the 
Chancellor and we have secretly drawn up the three 
articles of the Treaty you wished. Be it as you say. 
Let us stand together. Of course, the alliance would be 
purely defensive against European aggressor or aggressors 
in the form of a mutual fire insurance. It is very essential 
that America should not feel threatened by our agreement. 
As for France, we both know that the Radicals and the 
anti-Christian parties, which for the moment are the 
stronger ones, incline towards England, but are opposed 
to war, because a victorious general would mean certain 
destruction to this Republic of miserable civilians. The 

1 For the amazing story of the Bjorko Treaty see " The Kaiser's Letters 
to the Tsar," and the telegrams in Bernstein, " The Willy-Nicky Correspon- 
dence "; Izvolsky, "Memoirs"; Witte, "Memoirs"; Bompard, in 
Revue de Paris, May 15, 1918; Nekludoff, Revue de deux Mondes, 
March i, 1918; Fay, American Historical Review, October, 1918; Dillon, 
" The Eclipse of Russia." 






1904] Russo-German Schemes 381 

certainty that France means to remain neutral and even 
to lend her diplomatic support to England gives English 
policy its present unwonted brutal assurance. This un- 
heard-of state of things will change for the better as soon 
as France is forced to declare herself for Petersburg or 
London. If you and I stand shoulder to shoulder, France 
must openly join us. This will put an end to made up 
grievances about so-called breaches of neutrality. This 
consummation once reached, I expect to be 
able to maintain peace, and you will be left AmMnent 
a free hand to deal with Japan. Of course, 
before we can approach France that tiresome North Sea 
incident, which I am glad you have referred to the Hague 
Tribunal, must be closed. I enclose the draft of the 
Treaty. May it meet with your approval. Nobody knows 
anything about it, not even my Foreign Office. The 
work was done by me and Billow personally." 

"Their Majesties, in order to localize the war, have 
laid down the following articles of a defensive alliance : 

"I. If one is attacked by a European Power, its ally 
will help. The two allies, in case of need, will also act 
in concert to remind France of her obligations under the 
Franco-Russian Treaty. 

"II. No separate peace shall be concluded. 

"III. The promise of help includes the case where acts, 
such as the delivery of coal to a belligerent, should give 
rise after the war to complaints by a third Power as to 
pretended violations of the rights of neutrals." 

The Tsar returned the draft with an article binding the 
Kaiser to defend the conquests which Russia expected 
from the war. "This, if revealed, would lead the world 
to infer," replied the Kaiser, "that we had, instead of 
concluding a defensive alliance, formed a sort of Chartered 
Company for annexation purposes, possibly involving 
secret clauses for the benefit of Germany. It would be 
better merely to promise not to support any proposals for 



382 History of Modern Europe [1904 

robbing Russia of the fruits of victory." The Kaiser 
proceeded to offer further advice for keeping the British 
lion in his den. "An excellent expedient for cooling 
British insolence would be to make some military demon- 
stration on the Perso- Afghan frontier, where they think 
you powerless to appear with your troops during the war. 
Even should your forces not suffice for a real attack on 
India, they would do for Persia, which has no army ; and 
pressure on the Indian frontier from Persia will have 
remarkably quieting influence on the hot-headed Jingoes 
in London. I am told that this is the only thing they 
are afraid of, and the fear of your entry into India from 
Turkestan and into Afghanistan from Persia was the only 
cause that the guns of Gibraltar and the British fleet 
remained silent three weeks ago. Should the revised draft 
meet with your approval, it can be signed immediately. 
God grant that we may have found the right way to hem 
in the horrors of war and give His blessing to our plans." 
In acknowledging the revised draft on November 23 
the Tsar wired that before signing it was advisable that 
the French should see it. "It is my firm 
conviction," replied the Kaiser, "that it 
would be absolutely dangerous to inform 
France before we have both signed the Treaty. It is 
only the absolute knowledge that we are both bound 
by the Treaty to mutual help that will bring France to 
press upon England to keep the peace for fear of France's 
position being jeopardized. Should France know that a 
Russo-German Treaty is only projected, she will immedi- 
ately give notice to her friend, if not secret ally. The 
outcome would doubtless be an instantaneous attack by 
England and Japan on Germany in Europe as well as in 
Asia. Their enormous maritime superiority would soon 
make short work of my small fleet. A previous informa- 
tion of France will lead to a catastrophe. It would be 
far safer to abstain from concluding any treaty at all." 

On December 3 it was announced that a German ship 
had been stopped under the Foreign Enlistment Act from 



1904] Russo-German Co-operation 383 

coaling at Cardiff because its cargo was believed to be 
destined for the Russian fleet; and the Kaiser at once 
renewed his pressure at Petrograd. "The 
British Government," he wrote on Decern- 
ber 7, "seems to think the moment oppor- 
tune for an action against the provisioning of your 
fleet with coal. Under the pretext that it is its duty 
to maintain strictest neutrality, it has forbidden the 
German vessels belonging to or chartered by the Hamburg- 
America line to leave British ports. My fears that this 
would happen have now come true, and I must fix the 
attitude Germany has to take. It is far from my intention 
to hurry you in your answer about our treaty; but you 
will, I am sure, be fully alive to the fact that I must now 
have absolutely positive guarantees whether you intend 
leaving me unaided in case England and Japan should 
declare war against me on account of the coaling of the 
Russian fleet. Should you be unable to guarantee me that 
in such a war you will loyally fight shoulder to shoulder 
with me, then I regret I must immediately forbid German 
steamers to continue to coal your fleet." An agreement 
was accordingly signed on December n by which Russia 
promised to "stand by " Germany, and Germany to supply 
coal to the fleet. The fall of Port Arthur on January i, 
1905, however, increased the danger to the Russian fleet 
on its voyage from Madagascar, and the Kaiser proposed 
that Russia should buy his colliers. The Russians had 
no crews to man colliers, and Ballin, of the Hamburg- 
America line, was told that he must act on his 
own responsibility and at his own risk. Meanwhile 
the project of a political treaty slumbered for several 
months. 

After the fall of Port Arthur, President Roosevelt un- 
officially but vainly advised Russia to make peace,; but 
on May 31, after the crowning victory of Tsushima, Japan 
secretly asked the President to invite the belligerents to 
negotiate. The Tsar agreed in principle, and on June 8 
Roosevelt telegraphed an identic invitation, offering to 



384 History of Modern Europe [1905 

arrange the time and place. As France and Germany were 
already urging Russia to make peace, the President sug- 
gested that Lord Lansdowne should exert 
P ressure on J a P an ' The Foreign Secretary 
declined; and when the belligerents met 
at Portsmouth he was unable to second the Presi- 
dent's heroic efforts to avoid a rupture. "The English 
Government has been foolishly reluctant to advise 
Japan to be reasonable," he wrote on August 23; and 
on September n, when the Treaty was signed, he told 
Whitelaw Reid that the Kaiser had stood by him like a 
trurnp. 1 

Though the British Government declined to press its 
victorious ally, it had taken a step which contributed to 
make Japan accept somewhat less than she had demanded. 
Though the Treaty of 1902 was concluded for five years, 
a new compact of wider scope was signed in London on 
August 12, 1905, for ten years. In addition to handing 
over Korea to Japan, the Treaty introduced two new 
principles of vital moment to Great Britain. In the first 
place, the scope of the agreement was extended to embrace 
India, thus correcting what was generally regarded as the 
inequality of advantage under the Treaty of 1902. In the 
second, each was to come to the assistance of the other 
if attacked by a single Power a stipulation which not 
only increased our liabilities, but involved the obligation 
to intervene in a struggle between our ally and the United 
States. Lord Lansdowne instructed Sir Charles Hardinge 
to communicate the text of the new compact, "which has 
a purely pacific purpose and tends to protect rights and 
interests of incontestable validity." At their next inter- 
view Lamsdorff observed that everyone from the Tsar 
downwards regarded the Treaty as directed against 
Russia. The Ambassador rejoined that only the mention 
of India could justify such a notion, and that the Treaty 
was purely defensive. These assurances produced no 
effect on the Tsar, who had, indeed, recently concluded 

1 Bishop, " Theodore Roosevelt," I, chs. 31-2. 



i 9 o 5 ] Pact of Bjorko 385 

the Treaty with Germany which had been discussed in 
the previous autumn. 

On July 19 the Kaiser telegraphed to the Tsar from 
a port in Sweden, where he had visited the King, that 
he could not pass the entrance to the Gulf 
of Finland without sending his love and 
best wishes. "Should it give you any 
pleasure to see me, I am, of course, always at your 
disposal." The Tsar was "delighted," and suggested a 
meeting at Bjorko, near Viborg, where on July 23 
the royal yachts arrived. The Kaiser proposed the visit 
"as a simple tourist, without any ceremony," and the Tsar 
accordingly brought no political adviser with him. But 
the monarchs agreed that in the event of a British attack 
on the Baltic they would safeguard their interests by 
occupying Denmark during the war. The Kaiser then 
produced the draft of a treaty, which he persuaded the 
Tsar to sign on board the Hohenzollern on July 24. The 
Kaiser insisted on the signature of witnesses, and the 
compact was accordingly countersigned by Tschirsky and 
by Admiral Birileff, who did not read the document. 

I. If any European State shall attack either Power 
the other will aid with all its forces. 

II. Neither will conclude a separate peace. 

III. The Treaty shall come into force on the con- 
clusion of peace with Japan, and may only be cancelled 
at a year's notice. 

IV. Russia will make its terms known to France 
and invite her to sign it as an ally. 

The Kaiser returned home delighted with his handi- 
work. "The Alliance will be of great use to Russia, as 
it will restore quiet in the minds of the people and confi- 
dence in the maintenance of peace in Europe, and 
encourage financial circles in foreign countries to place 
funds in enterprises to open up Russia. In times to come 
even Japan may feel inclined to join it. This would 
Z 



386 History of Modern Europe [1905 

cool down English self-assertion and impertinence. 
July 24 is a cornerstone in European politics and turns 
over a new leaf in the history of the world, which will 
be a chapter of peace and good will among the Great 
Powers of the Continent. The moment the news of the 
new grouping becomes known, Holland, Belgium, Den- 
mark, Sweden and Norway will all be attracted to this 
new centre of gravity. They will revolve in the orbit of 
the great block of Powers (Russia, Germany, France, 
Austria and Italy)." The Kaiser's old dream of a Conti- 
nental combine under German leadership to keep England 
in her place seemed to be fulfilled. 

A month later Witte, on his return from America, 

was invited to visit the Kaiser at Rominten, where his 

host, after securing leave from the Tsar, 

Witte's to i fa m t jj at a defensive alliance had been 
Keturn 

signed at Bjorko which France was to be 

asked to join. "Having imparted this extraordinary 
piece of news," relates the Russian statesman, "he 
asked me whether I was satisfied, and in my inno- 
cence I replied that my heart was filled with joy." 
He added that if France was to come in she should not 
be too hard pressed in Morocco. "He is a firm advocate 
of a Russo-German-French Alliance," wrote the Kaiser 
on September 26, "and was consequently very agreeably 
surprised when I told him of our work at Bjorko. The 
' Continental combine ' flanked by America is the sole 
manner effectively to block the way to the whole world 
becoming John Bull's private property, which he exploits 
to his heart's content after having, by lies and intrigues 
without end, set the rest of the civilized nations by the 
ears for his own personal benefit. Now the peace being 
signed, would you not think it practical if we were to 
instruct our Ambassadors at foreign Courts identically, 
without letting them into the existence of a treaty, that 
in all questions of general policy our Ambassadors are 
to work together ? This common espousal of a common 
cause will not fail to impress the world that our relations 



i 9 o 5 ] The Tsar's Repentance 387 

have become closer, and thus slowly prepare your allies 
the French for the new orientation which their policy must 
take for the entry into our treaty." 

While the Kaiser was dreaming of the Dual and Triple 
Alliance united under his command, the Tsar was 
oppressed by his guilty secret. On his return from Bjorko 
he appeared to Lamsdorff to be embarrassed, and when 
the conclusion of the Japanese war compelled him to 
divulge it the Foreign Minister "could not believe his 
eyes or ears." The Grand Duke Nicholas, the Minister 
of War and the Chief of the Staff were also informed, 
but no action was taken till the return of Witte. The 
Kaiser, as we have seen, had told the Tsar that his guest 
had approved the Treaty, and Witte congratulated the 
Tsar at their first meeting. Nicholas quoted Witte's 
approval to Lamsdorff, who excitedly asked if that was 
the fact. Witte replied that he had not seen the text, 
and when the Foreign Minister produced it he exclaimed 
with his usual bluntness, "Does not His Majesty know 
that we have a treaty with France ? " Even the feeble 
and obedient Lamsdorff was clear that the new pact must 
be denounced, since France would otherwise have to 
revolve within the German orbit or sacrifice 
the Russian alliance. The vacillating Tsar 
had already hinted his difficulties, and on 
September 29 the Kaiser administered a telegraphic 
cordial. "The working of the Treaty does not collide 
with the Franco-Russian alliance, provided, of course, 
that it is not aimed directly at my country. On the 
other hand, the obligations of Russia towards France 
can only go so far as France merits them through 
her behaviour. Your ally notoriously left you in the 
lurch during the whole war, whereas Germany helped you 
in every way as far as she could without infringing the 
laws of neutrality. That put Russia also morally under 
obligations to us. I fully agree with you that it will 
cost time, labour and patience to induce France to join 
Us. Our Moroccan business is regulated, so the air is 



388 History of Modern Europe [1905 

free for a better understanding. Our Treaty is a very 
good base to build upon. We joined hands and signed 
before God, who heard our vows. I therefore think that 
the Treaty can well come into existence. What is signed 
is signed; God is our testator." 

The position of LamsdorrT and Witte was strengthened 
by 'the reply of the Russian Ambassador at Paris, who, 
on being instructed to sound the French 



T La Ss* Government, rejoined that it was useless, 
since France would never join a German 
league nor recognize the settlement of 1871. Witte 
then wrote to Berlin that the pact was not binding, 
as it did not bear the signature of the Foreign Minister; 
to which Billow replied, "What is signed is signed." 
The final step was taken at the advice of Witte, who 
was appointed Prime Minister on October 20, when 
the Tsar sent a letter to the Kaiser through the ordinary 
diplomatic channels, and the Russian Ambassador was 
instructed to add that it must remain inoperative till 
Russia, Germany and France could agree, since the 
adhesion of France was at present impossible and the 
Treaty was incompatible with the Dual Alliance. The 
Kaiser appeared unable to recognize that the game was 
up. "The Chancellor, to whom I read parts of your 
letter," he wrote on November 28, "told me that our purely 
defensive agreement cannot possibly clash with the French 
Treaty. For, if it did, the meaning would be that Russia 
is bound to support France even in a war of aggression 
against Germany. If your French agreement is, like ours, 
purely defensive, there is no incompatibility between the 
two." The Kaiser only realized that the alliance was dead 
when the publication of Lamsdorff's instructions to the 
Russian delegate to the Conference of Algeciras showed 
that Russia had emancipated herself from German leader- 
ship. Thus the Treaty of Bjorko, treacherously extorted 
and quickly denounced, was the prelude to a new orienta- 
tion of Russian policy. 

Soon after the repudiation of the pact the Tsar began 



i 9 o 5 ] Great Britain and Russia 389 

to discuss with the British Ambassador, Sir Charles 
Hardinge, the questions at issue between Great Britain 
and Russia. In his speech at the City Liberal Club on 
October 20, 1905, Sir Edward Grey declared that the roots 
of estrangement lay solely in the past, and urged both 
Governments to encourage mutual confidence. A few 
weeks later the speaker found himself Foreign Secretary, 
and Campbell-Bannerman declared in his programme 
speech at the Albert Hall that new Ministers had nothing 
but good feelings towards the great people of Russia. 
The Conference of Algeciras provided a welcome oppor- 
tunity for co-operation and common counsel. The British 
delegate, Sir Arthur Nicolson, was already converted, 
and his conversations with Count Cassini, the Russian 
delegate, were shared by Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace, 
the leading British authority on Russia and a persona 
grata at the Russian Court. When at this moment Turkey 
threw down a challenge to the British occupation of Egypt 
by the occupation of Tabah, the Russian Ambassador at 
Constantinople informed the Porte that the Russian 
Government supported the British claims. 

British opinion had sympathized with the reform 
movement of 1905, and the opening of the Duma in May, 
1906, was anticipated with disinterested satis- The 
faction. The governing classes in Russia, Russian 
however, could hold the Duma at bay Loan 
so long as they could obtain money from abroad, 
and a large loan was needed to tide the country 
over the financial crisis of the Japanese war. When 
Witte became Prime Minister on October 20, 1905, he 
at once began negotiations for an international loan. 1 The 
French Government, which was naturally expected to 
contribute the largest share, was unable to move till the 
Morocco crisis was over; and Poincare, the Minister of 
Finance, doubted the legal right of the Russian Govern- 
ment to conclude the loan without the sanction of the 
Duma. At last, when the Treaty of Algeciras was signed, 

1 Witte, " Memoirs," ch. n. 



390 History of Modern Europe [1906 

and the jurist Martens had settled the legal question, the 
contract for the loan was signed in Paris on April 3. "It 
was the largest foreign loan in the history of modern 
nations," writes Witte with pride. "By its means Russia 
maintained intact its gold currency, and was enabled to 
recover after the ill-starred war and the senseless turmoil 
known as the Revolution. This loan enabled the Govern- 
ment to weather all the vicissitudes of the period." The 
German Government, in retaliation for the failure of the 
Bjorko policy, forbade German participation. British 
finance, on the other hand, participated for the first time 
since the Crimean war; and the warnings uttered, not only 
in London but in Paris and Petrograd, rendered this 
participation all the more significant. 
Clemenceau cautioned his countrymen in 
UAurore against new loans to assure the 
Tsar victory over his own subjects. "Opposition 
organs," wrote the Petrograd correspondent of the 
Times on April 9, "continue their campaign against 
a foreign loan before the Duma meets. They fear that 
the Government, having secured a large sum, will try 
to terrorize the Duma." Their apprehensions were only 
too well founded. The Duma opened on May 9, only to 
be dissolved on July 22. "The Government's arbitrary 
step," wrote the Times, at that time still a Russophobe 
organ, "justifies only too completely the reformers who 
besought the friends of constitutional liberty in the West 
not to lend more money to the autocracy. The Russian 
Government obtained their loan by what now looks un- 
commonly like false pretences, but they cannot live on 
it for ever. How can they hope to hold down for ever 
an exasperated people ? " The news of the dissolution 
reached London on the eve of the meeting of the Inter- 
Parliamentary Union; and Campbell-Bannerman added 
to his inaugural address a resonant warning to the Russian 
Government and a message of hope to the Russian people. 
"La Douma est morte. Vive la Douma." 

The discussions between the two Governments pro- 



1907] Russia and Persia 391 

ceeded, and the substitution of Izvolsky for Lamsdorff 
brought to office a statesman already convinced of the 
necessity of a Triple Entente. "Russia will now take a 
new turn," observed Aehrenthal on hearing of the appoint- 
ment, "for he leans towards England." In May, 1907, 
the Times hinted that an agreement was on the point of 
being signed. "It does not exist," replied the Foreign 
Secretary, "but I must add that there is a growing 
tendency in both countries to occupy themselves in a 
friendly manner with questions of common interest as 
they arise. This tendency has recently led the two Govern- 
ments to co-operate on more than one occasion. It is a 
tendency which we shall be happy to encourage, and 
which, if it continues, will naturally involve the progres- 
sive settlement of questions and the strengthening of 
friendly relations between them." 

On February i, 1907, a session of the Russian Ministers 
was held to discuss the Persian aspect of the problem. 1 
England, explained Izvolsky, proposed to 
divide Persia into spheres of influence. Till 
recently this idea had found no support in 
Russian public opinion, and official circles were con- 
vinced that Persia must fall entirely under Russian 
influence and that Russia must advance with a trans- 
Persian railway to a fortified base on the Gulf. Recent 
events, however, had shown this to be impossible, and 
had proved that everything must be avoided which 
could lead to a conflict with England. The best method 
was to delimit spheres of influence. He then referred to 
the close connexion between a Persian settlement and the 
Bagdad Railway. An agreement with England could only 
lead to the desired result if it provoked no opposition 
from Germany, who was already disturbed by the possi- 
bility of a rapprochement. He had therefore assured 
Berlin that Russia would undertake no obligations with- 
out a previous understanding if they in any way affected 
German interests. A German understanding was needed. 

1 Siebert, " Diplomatische Aktenstucke," 315-19. 



392 History of Modern Europe [1907 

Till now Russia had tried to hinder the Bagdad Railway, 
but the Ministers must now decide if it was wise to alter 
this policy. Kokovtseff, the Minister of Finance, approved 
an agreement with Germany, but argued that the old 
objections to the railway remained. It would create com- 
petition with Russia's cereal export by enriching Asia 
Minor and Mesopotamia, while the branch lines towards 
the Persian frontier would endanger her position in North 
Persia by allowing German and English articles to reach 
her economic sphere of interest. Since, however, the rail- 
way could not be prevented, it must be accepted, and 
compensation should be secured. The Minister of Trade, 
the War Minister and the General Staff agreed that the 
time for opposition was passed and that compensations 
should be sought. 

The negotiations between Berlin and Petrograd regard- 
ing the Bagdad Railway were not completed till 1910, 

. . but the Anglo-Russian settlement proceeded 
Russian apace. On August 31, 1907, Sir Arthur 
Convention Nicolson and Izvolsky signed a convention 
at Petrograd. Lord Salisbury's famous declaration 
that in the Near East we had put our money on the 
wrong horse terminated the tension in Europe, while 
the Anglo-Japanese alliance and the defeat of Russia 
by Japan removed all apprehensions regarding the Far 
East. Thus the pact of 1907, though more limited in 
scope than that of 1904, achieved a similar result by 
removing the causes of antagonism between the two 
historic rivals. 

The first and most important of the three agreements 
concerned Persia. "The Governments of Great Britain 
and Russia, having mutually engaged to respect the in- 
tegrity and independence of Persia, and sincerely desiring 
the preservation of order throughout that country and 
its peaceful development, as well as the permanent estab- 
lishment of equal advantages for the trade and industry 
of all other nations, considering that each of them has, 
for geographical and economic reasons, a special interest 



The Anglo-Russian Convention 393 

in the maintenance of peace and order in certain provinces 
of Persia adjoining, or in the neighbourhood of, the 
Russian frontier on the one hand, and the The 
frontiers of Afghanistan and Baluchistan on Persian 
the other hand, and being desirous of avoid- Clauses 
ing all cause of conflict between their respective interests 
in the above-mentioned provinces, have agreed on the 
following terms : 

I. Great Britain engages not to seek any conces- 
sions of a political or commercial nature beyond a line 
from Kasr-i-Shirin, passing through Bagdad and in- 
cluding Ispahan and Yezd, and ending at a point on 
the Persian frontier at the intersection of the Russian 
and Afghan frontiers, and not to oppose demands for 
similar concessions in this region supported by the 
Russian Government. 

II. Russia engages not to seek concessions beyond 
a line from the Afghan frontier through and including 
Gazik, Birjand, Kerman, and ending at Bunder Abbas, 
and not to oppose demands for concessions in this region 
supported by the British Government. 

III. Russia and Great Britain engage not to oppose, 
without previous arrangement, any concessions to 
British or Russian subjects in the regions between the 
lines mentioned in Articles I and II. 

In other words, Persia was divided into a large Russian 
and a small British sphere of influence, with a neutral 
zone in which the two countries were to have equal 
opportunities. 

A letter from Sir Edward Grey to Sir A. Nicolson, 
dated August 29, explained why the Persian Gulf formed 
no part of the Convention. "The arrangement respecting 
Persia is limited to the regions of that country touching 
the respective frontiers of Great Britain and Russia in 
Asia, and the Persian Gulf is not part of those regions, 
and is only partly in Persian territory. It has not, there- 



394 History of Modern Europe [1907 

fore, been considered appropriate to introduce into the 
Convention a positive declaration respecting special in- 
terests possessed by Great Britain in the 

Gulf > the result of British action in those 

waters for more than a hundred years. His 
Majesty's Government have reason to believe that this 
question will not give rise to difficulties between the 
two Governments should developments arise which 
make further discussion affecting British interests in the 
Gulf necessary. For the Russian Government have, in 
the course of the negotiations leading up to the conclusion 
of this arrangement, explicitly stated that they do not 
deny the special interests of Great Britain in the Persian 
Gulf a statement of which His Majesty's Government 
have formally taken note. In order to make it quite clear 
that the present arrangement is not intended to affect the 
position in the Gulf, and does not imply any change of 
policy respecting it on the part of Great Britain, His 
Majesty's Government think it desirable to draw attention 
to previous declarations of British policy, and to reaffirm 
generally previous statements as to British interests in 
the Persian Gulf and the importance of maintaining them. 
His Majesty's Government will continue to direct all their 
efforts to the preservation of the status quo in the Gulf 
and the maintenance of British trade; in doing so they 
have no desire to exclude the legitimate trade of any other 
Power." 

In regard to Afghanistan, Great Britain declared that 
she had no intention of changing the political status of 
the country or of interfering in its internal concerns, and 
would neither tak, nor encourage Afghanistan to take, 
any measures threatening Russia. Russia, for her part, 
recognized Afghanistan as outside her sphere of influence, 
and promised that all her political relations with the 
country should be conducted through the British Govern- 
ment. In a third agreement both Powers engaged to 
respect the territorial integrity of Tibet, and to abstain 
from all interference in its internal administration. 






1907] The Convention Examined 395 

The Treaty was received in Russia with mixed feel- 
ings. 1 To Witte it appeared a triumph of British 
diplomacy, making it impossible for Russia to annex 
Persia. The British Parliament had risen before the 
signature of the Treaty, and the expert analysis had to 
be deferred till the session of 1908. The attack was opened 
on February 6 by Lord Curzon, who found little to praise 
in what he described as the most important treaty con- 
cluded in the last half-century by a British Government. 
The conception was right, but its execution was faulty. 
The settlement was doubtful as regards Afghanistan, bad 
in Tibet and worse in Persia. Lord Lansdowne, on the 
other hand, though critical of details, expressed confidence 
in Russia's loyalty. While Lord Curzon spoke of her as 
an enemy to be watched, the leaders of the Opposition 
and most of their followers were prepared to regard her 
as a friend. 

In 1907, as in 1904, the Government and their expert 
advisers secured as much and at as low a price as the 
situation permitted. We had given up 
nothing, argued Sir Edward Grey, that we 
had not lost before. But the later balance- 
sheet, if regarded purely as a business transaction, was 
the least successful. The character of the bargain was 
determined when Lord Kitchener, the Commander-in- 
Chief in India, on being asked how much of Persia 
he could defend, replied that he could only be responsible 
for the south-east. For this reason we confined our zone 
to Seistan, the larger part of the province of Kerman, 
and Persian Mekran, and insisted on a neutral zone against 
the wishes of Izvolsky. It was of the utmost importance 
that henceforth Russia could no longer threaten the 
approaches to India; but in theory we surrendered our 
preferential position not only in the south, but in the 
Gulf, where our influence had been unchallenged for a 
century. No answer was given by the spokesman for the 
Government to the criticism that Russia's recognition 

1 See Troubetzkoi, " Russland als Grossmacht, " ch. 5. 



396 History of Modern Europe [1907 

of our position in the Gulf was not explicitly stated in 
her own words and above her own signature; and the 
Afghan clauses, lacking the Ameer's assent, remained a 
dead letter. 

If the Anglo-Russian Convention was open to criticism 
as a business transaction, its political success was beyond 
cavil. Russia could only regain her position as a Great 
Power by adding British friendship to the French alliance; 
and Great Britain, having* definitely taken sides with 
France, required Russian support in face of the growing 
danger from Germany. Thus the removal of local friction 
was followed, as had been the case with France, by 
diplomatic co-operation in various fields. The Anglo- 
French Entente and the Dual Alliance broadened into the 

Triple Entente, which confronted the Triple 
Comments Alliance on the European chess-board. 

Prince Biilow endeavoured, without much 
success, to assuage the anxiety with which his country- 
men regarded the termination of an historic feud. 
"Relying on assurances," he declared on April 30, 
1907, "we watch the end of the negotiations without 
anxiety. I may be told that I take the Anglo-Russian 
rapprochement too calmly. I take it for what it is the 
attempt to remove difficulties which I brought home from 
my residence abroad, that the antagonism of the whale 
and the elephant was not unalterable. That we are sur- 
rounded by difficulties and dangers no one is better aware 
than myself. They are the result of our exposed position. 
We need not be alarmed at ententes in regard to matters 
which do not directly concern us. We cannot live on the 
enmities of other nations. Let us grant to others the 
freedom of movement which we claim for ourselves." To 
Reventlow, on the other hand, it appeared a greater blow 
to Germany than the Anglo-French pact of 1904, and 
complaints of Einkreisung became more than ever the order 
of the day. 1 

The reconciliation of Russia and Great Britain was con- 

1 " Politische Vorgeschichte," 130-5. 



The Far East 397 

firmed by a rapprochement between their respective allies. 
On June 9, 1907, France and Japan agreed to respect the 
independence and integrity of China, with R USSO - 
economic equality for all nations. In the Japanese Re- 
following month Russia and Japan signed conciliation 
a similar treaty, and agreed to maintain the status 
quo and to secure respect for it by all pacific means 
at their disposal. A few months later they signed 
three agreements, which had been settled in principle at 
Portsmouth, concerning the fisheries, commerce and 
navigation, and the Manchurian railways. Thus the 
dangerous tension surviving from the Russo-Japanese war 
was removed. The two parties Great Britain and Japan 
on the one side, Russia and France on the other had now 
made friends. Russia had no longer to think of the perils 
of the Far East, and could turn her undivided attention to 
the even more dangerous game of European politics. 



CHAPTER XII 

THE NEAR EAST 



THE chronic misrule of the Turk in Macedonia encouraged 
the neighbouring Christian States to peg out claims for 

the future by armed propaganda and 
Macedonia or S anize ^ massacre. 1 In June, 1902, Turkey 

invited the Powers to press Bulgaria to dis- 
solve the Macedonian Committee ; but Russia and Austria, 
who had covenanted in 1897 to co-operate in the 
Balkans, informed Abdul Hamid that the first move lay 
with him. The Sultan promised reforms and appointed 
an Inspector-General, Hilmi Pasha, to carry them out. 
The scheme was palpably insufficient, and in January, 
1903, Lord Lansdowne outlined his own programme. "In 
our opinion the condition of the population in Macedonia 
has become almost intolerable. The appointment of one 
or more Christians on the Commission of Inquiry at Con- 
stantinople and on the Committee of Inspection in Mace- 
donia would be valuable; but inquiry is not enough. We 
need the appointment of European inspectors in the de- 
partments of Justice and Finance, and European officers to 
reorganize the gendarmerie and police. Without arrange- 
ments for payment of salaries no reforms are possible." 
Shortly afterwards the Austrian and Russian Ambassadors 
handed to the Foreign Secretary an outline of the scheme 
drawn up by Lamsdorff and Goluchowski, and asked him 
| to support it. The Inspector-General was to be irre- 

1 The Blue Books on Macedonia are very numerous. The best books 
on the subject are : Sir C. Eliot, " Turkey in Europe " ; Brailsford, 
!" Macedonia "; and "The Balkan Question," edited by L. Villari. 

398 






i 9 o 3 ] First Reform Scheme 399 

movable for a term of years except by agreement with the 
Powers. Foreign experts were to reorganize the police 
and gendarmerie, the latter to consist of Christians and 
Mussulmans. The Porte was to stop the crimes of 
Albanians against Christians. Amnesty was to be granted 
to all accused or condemned for political offences in the 
three vilayets in connexion with recent disturbances. A 
Budget was to be drawn up for each vilayet, and local 
revenues, checked by the Ottoman Bank, were to be 
assigned in the first place to the needs of the local adminis- 
tration. Finally, the collection of tithe was no longer to 
be farmed out. The Foreign Secretary accepted the 
scheme in principle and undertook to recommend it to the 
Sultan, but he reserved the right to recom- The 
mend changes after closer examination. The "February 
Sultan accepted the "February programme " Programme" 
en bloc, and undertook to apply it not only to Mace- 
donia but to the three other vilayets of Turkey in 
Europe. To ensure that Turkey should have no 
pretext for inaction, Lamsdorff had visited Sofia and 
Belgrad and exhorted the Cabinets to suppress revolu- 
tionary agitation. The Bulgarian Government thereupon 
dissolved the Macedonian Committees in Bulgaria, and 
ordered its commercial agents in Turkey to warn the 
Bulgar leaders that, if an insurrection occurred, Bulgaria 
would render no assistance. 

Despite the Sultan's theoretical acceptance of the 
reform scheme and the readiness of Bulgaria to hold her 
hand, the Balkan sky remained dark with clouds; and in 
July, 1903-, the anticipated explosion occurred in Mace- 
donia. The insurgents stood no chance against the 
regulars, and on August 31 Bulgaria appealed to the 
Powers. Austria and Russia proposed to meet the situa- 
tion by a warning from the Powers to Turkey and Bulgaria 
that neither could count on support if they resisted the 
Austro-Russian programme; but Lord Lansdowne replied 
that the time had come for the stronger measures which he 
had from the first held himself free to propose. The re- 



400 History of Modern Europe [1903 

bellion was over by the end of September, and the Foreign 
Secretary now forwarded suggestions to Vienna, where 
Lamsdorff and Goluchowski were engaged on a fresh 
scheme of reform. A Christian Governor, unconnected 
with the Balkans or the Great Powers, or a Mussulman, 
assisted by European assessors, selected by Austria and 
Russia, should be appointed. European officers in 
adequate numbers should reorganize the gendarmerie. 
Turkey should withdraw her troops from the Bulgarian 
frontier, and Austria and Russia would guarantee that 
Bulgaria would not send troops or allow bands across the 
frontier. Each of the Powers should send six officers to 
accompany the troops. The Austrian and Russian 
Governments thanked the British Minister for his sugges- 
tions, adding that they were in accord with decisions 
already reached at Miirzsteg, where the Emperor and the 
Tsar, accompanied by their Foreign Ministers, had met to 
discuss the situation. 

On October 24 the Austrian and Russian Ambassadors 
brought the Miirzsteg programme to Downing Street. 

_ i. Civil agents of Austria and Russia 

Murzsteg were to accompany the Inspector-General, 
Programme call fa s attention to the needs of Christians 
and the misdoings of the local authorities, watch the 
introduction of reforms and the pacification of the 
country, and report to their respective Governments. 

2. A foreign general, with foreign officers, should 
be appointed to the gendarmerie, dividing up the 
country for supervision, instruction and organization. 

3. After the pacification of the country Turkey 
should modify the boundaries of the administrative 
units, with a view to the more regular grouping of the 
nationalities. 

4. The administrative and judicial institutions should 
be reorganized, and Christians be admitted to the public 
service. 

5. Mixed committees, with an equal number of 



i 9 o 3 ] The Miirzsteg Programme 401 

Christians and Mohammedans, should inquire into the 
crimes committed during the recent troubles. 

6. Turkey should pay for the repatriation of 
Christian refugees, and the rebuilding of houses, 
churches and schools destroyed by Turks. The money 
should be distributed by committees on which Christian 
notables would sit, while Austrian and Russian Consuls 
should supervise. 

7. A year's taxes should be remitted to Christians in 
the burnt villages. 

8. Turkey should undertake to introduce the reforms 
of the February and the Miirzsteg programmes without 
delay. 

9. The irregulars should be' disbanded. 

After a peremptory Austro-Russian warning, the 
Miirzsteg programme was accepted in principle. An 
Austrian and a Russian assessor were appointed. General 
di Georgis was selected to train the gendarmerie with 
twenty-five foreign officers to assist. Macedonia was 
divided into zones, Austria taking Uskub, The 
Italy Monastir, Russia Salonika, France Gendarmerie 
Seres, and Great Britain Drama. Germany Reforms 
undertook no zone, but supplied a director for the 
gendarmerie school at Salonika. An agreement be- 
tween Turkey and Bulgaria in April removed the fear of 
another rising. Austria and Russia were hopeful, and 
the Civil Agents reported the presentation of hundreds of 
petitions. "It is felt on all sides," wrote the Austrian 
Civil Agent, "that a new epoch has begun." The experi- 
enced British Consul Graves reported from Salonika a 
temporary improvement, but added that it would not last 
unless finance and the judiciary were reformed, and that 
there was no change in the methods of the Turkish 
Government.- 

Lord Lansdowne had never believed in the adequacy of 
the Austro-Russian programmes, and on January 11, 1905, 
he outlined bolder measures in a dispatch. No part of the 
2 A 



402 History of Modern Europe [1903 

reform scheme had been carried out except the organiza- 
tion of the gendarmerie, in which the European officers 
were still too few. Money was needed, and it could only 
be secured by the reduction of the army. As the Concert 
was slow and somewhat ineffective, Great Britain had stood 
aside while Russia and Austria grappled with the problem ; 
but the persistent and successful obstruction of Turkey 
Lord called for joint pressure by the Great Powers. 
Lansdowne's The first demand should be the reduction 
Scheme o f ^ troO p S j n anc j near Macedonia to 

the number required for internal order, while Bulgaria 
should make a corresponding reduction and prevent the 
organization of bands. If she declined, the Powers 
might collectively guarantee that Bulgaria should not be 
allowed to occupy Turkish territory. The second de- 
mand should be for the appointment of a Commission of 
Delegates, nominated by the Powers and under the pre- 
sidency of the Inspector-General, possessing administra- 
tive and executive powers. Financial reforms should 
include the commutation of the tithes and provide for 
a fixed payment to the Porte by each vilayet, the 
balance remaining for local purposes. The Inspector- 
General, assisted by the Commission, might command 
the troops. 

Meanwhile Russia and Austria presented a financial 
reform scheme in which all Macedonian revenues should 
pass through the local branches of the Ottoman Bank, 
which should control its expenditure under the supervision 
of the Inspector-General and the Civil Agents. If the 
money was ear-marked for Macedonian reforms and com- 
pensation to the Christian victims of 1903, the two Powers 
were willing to agree to the raising of the customs from 
eight to ten per cent. Turkey's reply was a rival scheme 
of financial reform without foreign control ; but Lord 
Lansdowne refused to accept either the one or the other. 
Before he consented to the raising of the customs he must 
ask why the deficit could not be diminished by reducing 
the troops, and must obtain a guarantee that the proceeds 




The Financial Commission 403 

would go not to the Ottoman Bank, which was unequal 
to the task, but to some competent authority which would 
apply them to the Macedonian reforms. Russia and 
Austria consented that the other Powers should send a 
delegate to co-operate with their Civil Agents in the super- 
vision of finance. The appointment of financial delegates 
now became the official policy of the Powers, and in 
August the six Ambassadors urged Turkey to allow them 
to exercise their functions in co-operation with the Civil 
Agents. When she refused, Lord Lansdowne suggested 
a naval demonstration. A collective Note presented in 
November accordingly demanded the extension of the 
mandates of the Inspector-General, the Civil Agents and 
the gendarmerie for two years longer, and the acceptance 
of the reglement of the Financial Commission, which was 
to consist of the Inspector-General, the Austrian and 
Russian Civil Agents, and a delegate from each of the 
four other Powers. After a demonstration at Mitylene by 
ships of all the Powers except Germany, and the occupa- 
tion of the custom house and telegraph office, the Sultan 
yielded to necessity. 

Sir Edward Grey, who at this moment replaced Lord 
Lansdowne at the Foreign Office, found the Concert "ex- 
hausted by the effort it had made," and 
was reluctantly compelled for a time to 
play a watching game. The gendarmerie 
won the confidence of the inhabitants, and the British 
representative reported hopefully on the work of the 
Financial Commission. In April, 1907, Sir Edward 
agreed to the raising of the customs duties by three per 
cent., to take effect in July. At the same moment he 
informed Benckendorff that though the administration 
was improved, the Powers must in his opinion make a 
much more serious effort to stop the bands. "The Greek 
bands are at the root of the whole problem." In conse- 
quence of British pressure, the Austrian and Russian 
Governments addressed a joint Note on September 30 
to Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia. The bands, it was sug- 



404 History of Modern Europe [1907 

gested, were fighting each other partly owing to a mis- 
understanding of Article III of the Miirzsteg programme. 
Any delimitation would not take into account the re-group- 
ing of nationalities brought about by the activities of the 
bands, but would be decided by the status quo ante. This 
misconception now being removed, the Greek, Bulgarian 
and Serbian Governments must try to stop the bands 
receiving support. The Austro-Russian Note was sup- 
ported by the Ministers of the other Powers; but not one 
of the Balkan States admitted Article III to be a cause of 
the trouble. Nothing had been gained, and the Sultan 
was soon to show that he was as stubborn as ever. When 
the Powers asked for the prolongation of all foreign man- 
dates for seven years the period for which the higher 
customs duties were granted he replied that the Civil 
Agents and the Financial Commission must enter the 
Turkish service, like the gendarmerie officers. It was 
only after weeks of pressure and menace that he gave way 
and renewed all the mandates till 1914. 

Despite the efforts of the Powers the condition of 
Macedonia grew steadily worse, and at the end of 1907 
Sir Edward Grey boldly resumed the 
initiative - The Powers, he urged, should 
represent to the Sublime Porte that the 
heavy charges on the Macedonian Budget for the main- 
tenance of Turkish troops were out of all proportion to 
the services which they rendered in the maintenance 
of public security, and that the only effective means 
of suppressing the bands lay in the increase upon a large 
scale of the gendarmerie, the formation of mobile columns 
of gendarmes, and in granting executive power to the 
officers in command. The savings effected by the reduc- 
tion of the troops would provide funds for their increase 
and adequate equipment. This vigorous call fell on deaf 
ears. Austria and Russia declined to co-operate on the 
ground that the demands would meet with a categorical 
refusal from the Sultan. Wolff-Metternich bluntly in- 
formed the Foreign Secretary that the German Government 









AehrenthaPs Thunderbolt 405 

deemed his proposals impracticable. Before asking for 
an increase in the gendarmerie, wrote Tittoni, the Powers 
should demand the fulfilment of the original engage- 
ments. 

While these excuses for inaction were reaching Down- 
ing Street, a blow was struck at the waning prestige of 
the Concert. On January 27, 1908, Aehrenthal, the 
masterful diplomat who succeeded the pliant Goluchowski 
at the Ballplatz in 1906, and who, while Ambassador at 
Petrograd, had desired the revival of the Dreikaiserbund, 
announced that he had obtained from the Sultan permission 
to survey the route for a railway through 
the Sanjak of Novibazar, connecting the 
Bosnian system with the Turkish terminus 
at Mitrovitza. 1 Article 25 of the Treaty of Berlin em- 
powered Austria to construct military and commercial 
roads through the Sanjak; and though railways were not 
specifically mentioned, nobody argued that the Austrian 
Minister was exceeding his treaty rights. 

In announcing the concession he proclaimed that, true 
to her Balkan policy, Austria pursued no territorial aims 
and merely desired an alternative route to Salonika, since 
Serbia could block her outlet to the ^Egean in the event 
of a tariff war. On March 24 Billow spoke with sympathy 
of the Austrian project, "though we neither gave nor were 
asked our advice." "I was informed of the intention," 
echoed Tittoni in the Italian Chamber, "but I could not 
dispute the right. There is no danger to the Concert or 
to peace if all the Powers regard railways as an item in 
the reform of Macedonia." Very different was the recep- 
tion of the news in Russia, where Izvolsky bitterly com- 
plained of the violation of the spirit of the pact of 1897 
and of the Miirzsteg agreement. The co-operation in the 
Balkans inaugurated in 1897 came suddenly to an end, 
and the wound was too deep to be healed by Aehrenthal's 
subsequent acceptance of the project of a railway from the 

* See Molden, " Graf Aehrenthal : Sechs Jahre aussere Politik Oester- 
reich-Ungarns," 32-8. 



406 History of Modern Europe [1908 

Danube at the junction of Serbia and Roumania to San 
Giovanni di Medua on the Albanian coast. 

While the anger of Russia was due less to her sympathy 
with the Macedonian peasantry than to her jealousy of 
Austrian influence in the Balkans, Great Britain regretted 
that the chances of securing reform were diminished if 
not destroyed by the spectacle of a leading Power begging 
a favour at the moment that the Concert was formulating 
demands for judicial reform; and Sir Edward Grey's 
references to Austria's action were polite but unambiguous. 
"Our attitude towards these railway pro- 
jects," he declared on February 28, "is one 
of benevolent neutrality. But this latest 
project has undoubtedly been the occasion of very 
marked comment. That this special moment should be 
chosen for promoting a large railway scheme which 
requires the Sultan's consent was sure to excite appre- 
hension lest individual Powers should be turning their 
attention to objects specially adapted to their interests. 
I should regret exceedingly that any such impression 
should gain ground, because I wish to see the Concert 
maintained for Macedonian reforms." But an even graver 
issue was involved. " In discussing the Macedonian ques- 
tion you are never far from the Turkish question, which 
has more than once led to a European war. As long as 
the Concert exists you have a certain guarantee that the 
question will not lead to war." He proceeded to reiterate 
the proposals which he had pressed during the winter, 
with a significant addition. "If a Turkish Governor were 
appointed for a fixed term of years a man whose character 
and capacity were accepted and recognized by the Powers 
and if he had a free hand and his position were secure, 
I believe that the whole Macedonian question might be 
solved. Tinkering at the Miirzsteg programme will not 
improve the situation." 

Austria had only herself to thank for the speech : for 
when she betrayed the cause of Macedonian reform Sir 
Edward Grey, who was in earnest, naturally took it up. 



i 9 o8] Sir Edward Grey's Plan 407 

The Austrian Press, led by the Fremdenblatt, roundly 
declared that an independent Governor was impossible 
without the coercion of Turkey ; and comment in the other 
capitals was no more encouraging. Undeterred by the 
hostile reception of his speech, Sir Edward embodied its 
substance in a vigorous dispatch to the Great Powers. 
The prompt response of the Russian Government, which 
since the Sanjak coup was free to pursue its own line, 
manifested a welcome advance towards the British stand- 
point. While approving in principle the appointment of 
a Governor for Macedonia, it was compelled to recognize 
that it had no chance of being adopted unanimously by 
the Powers or accepted by the Sultan. The same object 
could be satisfactorily attained by making the Inspector- 
General irremovable for a term of years without the consent 
of the Powers. Sir Edward, delighted by the reply, 
virtually accepted the proposal that Hilmi Pasha should 
be raised to the rank of Vizier, confirmed for a term of 
years and superseded only with the consent of the Powers. 
There seemed at last to be some prospect of advance ; but 
it could only come from the growing intimacy of Great 
Britain and Russia, and it was to foster the spirit of 
confidence and co-operation that King Edward accepted 
the invitation to visit the Tsar at Reval in June. 

The first visit ever paid by a British sovereign to 
Russia aroused unusual interest both at home and abroad, 
and was as sharply challenged by the Labour 
party as it was warmly defended by Sir 
Edward Grey. The visit, he declared, was 
long overdue. The King had not seen the Tsar 
for seven years, and the Tsar had visited Queen 
Victoria at Balmoral. "The time has arrived when, if 
the relations of the countries are* friendly, it cannot longer 
be postponed without marked discourtesy. You might as 
well tear u*p the Convention; and to continue the discus- 
sion of Macedonian reforms would be fruitless." On 
June 10 the King and Queen, accompanied By Sir John 
Fisher, Sir John French and Sir Charles Hardinge, 



408 History of Modern Europe [1908 

reached Reval. " I am confident," declared the Tsar, "that 
this meeting will strengthen the numerous and powerful 
ties which unite our houses, and will have a happy result 
of bringing our countries closer together and of main- 
taining the peace of the world. During the past year 
several questions of great importance for Russia and Great 
Britain have been settled satisfactorily. I am certain that 
Your Majesty appreciates as much as myself the value of 
these agreements, for, despite their limited scope, they 
can only aid in spreading between our countries the senti- 
ments of good will and mutual confidence." "I can 
cordially subscribe to the words of Your Majesty on the 
Convention recently concluded," replied the King. "I 
believe it will serve to strengthen the ties which unite 
our peoples, and I am certain it will lead to a satisfactory 
settlement of some important matters in the future. I am 
convinced that it will also greatly aid to maintain the 
peace of the world." Izvolsky and Sir Charles Hardinge 
also issued a communiqud that they were in complete 
agreement on all points. 

These soothing assurances merely stimulated specula- 
tion, and far-reaching designs were confidently attributed 

German to t ^ ie actors m tne drama. Prince Billow 
Apprehen- displayed his anxiety by pointed inquiries, 
sions an( ^ Izvolsky assured him that "no open 
or secret Anglo-Russian Conventions existed which 
could be directed against German interests." Sooth- 
ing assurances were also conveyed to Aehrenthal. 
That apprehension was felt in still higher quarters was 
revealed by a speech of the Kaiser to his officers during 
an inspection at Doberitz. "It seems they wish to en- 
circle and provoke us. We shall be able to support it. 
The German has never fought better than when he has 
had to defend himself on all sides." A few days later 
he was greeted with unusual enthusiasm at the Hamburg 
regatta and by Die Wacht am Rhein. "When I asked 
myself what this outburst meant," he declared, "our old 
German song burst forth. Then I knew. Gentlemen, I 



i 9 o8] The Reval Visit 



409 



thank you and I have understood you. It was a hand- 
shake to a man who goes resolutely on his way and who 
knows that he has somebody behind him who understands 
him and is willing to help him." Germany was mistaken 
in attributing to the chief actors at Reval designs against 
her security or welfare, but she was right in her belief 
that the visit had tightened the bonds between the two 
Powers. 

Nowhere was the Reval visit more anxiously canvassed 
than in certain secret conventicles both within and without 
the dominions of the Sultan. Young Turk 
exiles had long planned and plotted for a 
Republic and a Constitution ; but in 1905 
the reform movement within the Ottoman dominions 
became independent of Paris, and a network of com- 
mittees was formed in European and Asiatic Turkey, 
with their headquarters at Salonika. 1 The anarchy of 
Macedonia constituted a standing invitation to the Powers 
to intervene; and the Young Turks, recognizing the neces- 
sity of reforms, resolved that they should be carried out 
by Turkish hands. Their programme contemplated a 
strike of the troops at some critical moment, and the 
Third Army Corps, which was stationed in Macedonia, 
was selected for the experiment. From time to time the 
Yildiz spies stumbled across the threads of the conspiracy, 
and in March, 1908, a Commissioner was dispatched from 
Constantinople to collect evidence. Fearing discovery, the 
Committee of Union and Progress planned a rising for 
September; but the meeting at Reval determined them 
to forestall by immediate action the intervention which it 
appeared to foreshadow. On July 3 Niazi Bey raised the 
flag of revolt at his native village of Resna, and took to 
the hills, where he was promptly joined by Enver Bey. 
On July 6 the officers of the Monastir garrison deserted, 
and volunteers poured in from Macedonia and Albania. 
On July 22 Niazi entered Monastir in triumph, and on 
July 23 the Constitution of 1876 was proclaimed. The 

1 See Moore, "The Orient Express," ch. 21, " The Young Turks." 



410 History of Modern Europe [1908 

following day, faced with the Young Turk ultimatum, 
"Surrender or we march on Stamboul," Abdul Hamid 
granted the Constitution, and at midday Hilmi Pasha 
himself proclaimed it from the steps of the Konak in 
Salonika. The revolution was hailed with delight through- 
out the Ottoman dominions. The murdering bands dis- 
appeared as if by magic, Greeks and Bulgarians, Mussul- 
mans and Christians fraternized in the streets, the Press 
became free, women doffed their veils, and the sorely tried 
citizens of the Turkish Empire entered on a brief period 
of light-hearted happiness. 1 In the course of the summer 
the whole machinery of control the gendarmerie, the 
Financial Commission and the Civil Agents wasscrapped. 



II 

While Europe was still ringing with praises of the 
Young Turk revolution, the harmony of the Chancelleries 
was rudely disturbed by a proclamation of 
Francis J ose ph> announcing the formal in- 
corporation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in his 
dominions (on the ground that annexation was the 
essential preliminary to the grant of a Constitution), 
and the evacuation of the Sanjak of Novibazar. 2 In 
the League of the Three Emperors, concluded in 1881, 
Austria received the right to annex the provinces when- 
ever she deemed opportune. Kalnoky, however, the 
Foreign Secretary, made no use of the privilege, and, 

1 See " Turkey," No. i, 1909 (Correspondence on the Constitutional 
Movement in Turkey). Excellent pictures of this brief period of hope are 
drawn by C. R. Buxton, " The Revolution in Turkey," and Sir E. Pears, 
" Forty Years in Constantinople." The second stage of the Young Turk 
movement is described by G. F. Abbott, " Turkey in Transition." 

2 See the Austrian Red Book, " Diplomatische Aktenstiicke betreffend 
Bosnien und die Herzegovina, 1909 " ; Siebert, " Diplomatische Akten- 
stiicke zur Geschichte der Ententepolitik," ch. i ; Friedjung, " Das 
Zeitalter des Imperialismus," II, chs. 23-5 ; Molden, " Graf Aehrenthal " ; 
Conrad, " Aus meiner Dienstzeit," I ; Sosnosky, " Die Balkanpolitik 
Oesterreich-Ungarns," II; Steed, "The Realm of the Hapsburgs " ; 
Larmeroux, " La Politique . ExteVieure de 1'Autriche-Hongrie," II ; 
Troubetzkoi, " Russland als Grossmacht " ; Schwertfeger, " Zur Euro- 
paischen Politik," III ; Bogitshevich, " Causes of the War." 



Aehrenthal and Izvolsky 411 

soon after the renewal of the Treaty in 1884, Russia's 
wrath at the union of Eastern Roumelia with Bulgaria 
was a warning not to provoke her further. During the 
decade of strain, 1887-1897, the matter naturally slum- 
bered. Even in 1897, when Francis Joseph returned the 
visit of the Tsar to Vienna in 1896, a proposal to reaffirm 
the right of annexation provoked the chilling rejoinder 
that it would "require special scrutiny at the proper time." 
Kallay's successor in Bosnia, Burian, openly favoured 
annexation, and the substitution of a Russophil for an 
Austrophil dynasty in Belgrade in 1903 had introduced a 
new danger for the southern provinces of the Empire. 

Aehrenthal had secured the concession for the Sanjak 
railway without consulting Russia; but he never dreamed 
of annexing Bosnia without a previous understanding. 
The Sanjak controversy left Izvolsky angry and sus- 
picious, and the criticisms of Miliukoff and other orators 
in the Duma spurred him on to recover his prestige. For 
some weeks the Foreign Minister's demeanour towards 
Berchtold, the Austrian Ambassador, was chilly; but the 
mood passed, and in April their discussions bore fruit in 
a memorandum recording his desire that j zvo i s i c 
the entente of the two Powers should be re- approaches 
newed. Austria should agree to the Danube- Aehrenth l 
Adriatic railway, which would give Serbia access to 
the sea through Albania. Aehrenthal replied that the 
line ought to run through Bosnia. Without consult- 
ing either France or Great Britain, Izvolsky now played 
his trump card in an aide-memoire of July 2, accepting 
the Sanjak railway and announcing his readiness, should 
the maintenance of the status quo prove impossible, to 
discuss changes, among them the annexation by Austria 
of Bosnia, Herzegovina and the Sanjak, in return for the 
opening of the Straits to Russian warships. The intimation 
that Austria might annex Bosnia was a delightful surprise 
to Aehrenthal, and, once assured of Russia's conditional 
assent, he determined to carry out the project with the 
least possible delay. If Izvolsky pointed the path, the 



412 History of Modern Europe [1908 

Young Turk revolution indicated the moment. On hear- 
ing the news he remarked to his wife, "Now I must take 
on myself the odium of doing what all my predecessors 
since Andrassy were afraid to do." He replied that, if 
Russia would advocate the opening of the Straits for 
Roumanian and Bulgarian warships as well as for her 
own, and would guarantee that Constantinople should not 
be attacked by a Russian fleet, he would evacuate the 
Sanjak and surrender Austrian rights over Montenegro. 
After a Crown Council on August 19 he secured the 
assent in principle of Germany and Italy to the deal, 
and Izvolsky gave a hint to the Serbian Foreign Minister, 
Milovanovich. 

Final arrangements were made when Izvolsky, who 
was staying at Karlsbad, accepted an invitation from 
The Berchtold to meet Aehrenthal at his castle 
Buchlau Con- in Bohemia on September 15. As the con- 
versations versations took place without witnesses, and 
nothing was committed to paper, and as the two states- 
men subsequently supplied conflicting versions to the 
public, 1 we cannot be sure what occurred. The main 
lines of agreement, however, had already been mapped 
out, and Aehrenthal accepted Izvolsky 's plan for a 
European conference to ratify the proposed changes; 
but Izvolsky was later to maintain that he spoke of the 
unlawfulness of Aehrenthal's plans and merely promised 
not to oppose them, while a letter from Aehrenthal to 
Francis Joseph written on the evening after the interview 
reported that the Russian statesman had promised a 
benevolent attitude. The latter version was confirmed 
by the host, to whom both Ministers described their con- 
versation. A second conflict of testimony was much more 
serious. According to Aehrenthal's report to the Emperor, 
he informed Izvolsky that the annexation would perhaps 
take place early in October before the meeting of the 
Delegations. The Russian statesman urged a later date, 
say the middle of October, after his return to Petrograd. 

1 Fortnightly Review, September and November, 1909. 



The Buchlau Interview 413 

Aehrenthal replied that such a postponement would hardly 
be practicable, but promised to let him know beforehand 
in good time. After the annexation Izvolsky loudly com- 
plained that he had been deceived; but when Berchtold, 
the Austrian Minister in Petrograd, reminded him of the 
Buchlau conversations, he did not deny that the beginning 
of October had been mentioned. He had, indeed, only 
himself to thank for his embarrassment; for he had 
promised to send to Vienna an exact record of what had 
been agreed at Buchlau, and had never done so. 

After completing his cure at Karlsbad the Russian 
Minister crossed the Alps and entered on a leisurely round 
of diplomatic visits, in which he intended to discuss the 
opening of the Straits with Italy, France and Great Britain. 
The Austrian Minister, on the contrary, returned to Vienna 
resolved to act. The Russian bear, he observed to Schon, 
would growl but would not bite. It was clear that Turkey 
would protest, and Aehrenthal therefore determined to 
have Bulgaria on his side. On September 23 Ferdinand 
visited the Emperor at Budapest and was 

received with royal honours. "Aehrenthal ,? ul **F i ?5 1 
L . Complicity 

did not tell the Prince of his arrangements 

with Izvolsky or of the approaching annexation," writes 
his biographer, "and they did not discuss common 
action. He may, however, have dropped a hint." 
In any case, Ferdinand was assured that Austria would 
raise no objection if he were to proclaim his independ- 
ence; but, as at Buchlau, no precise date was fixed. 
An incognito visit to Vienna followed, and another inter- 
view with the Foreign Minister took place. A strike on 
the Oriental Railway, followed by Bulgaria's seizure of 
the line, and the simultaneous refusal of the Sultan to 
invite the Bulgarian envoy to a Court function, precipitated 
the decision, and the independence of Bulgaria was 
proclaimed at Tirnovo on October 5. 

On October i the Austrian Ambassadors to France, 
Italy, Great Britain and Germany were dispatched 
with autograph letters from their sovereign which they 



414 History of Modern Europe [1908 

were ordered to deliver on October 5. On reaching, Paris 
on October 3 Izvolsky found a letter of September 30 
from Aehrenthal announcing that annexation would take 
place on October 7. Since, however, President Fallieres 
was to be away on October 5, the audience of Count 
Khevenhiiller was fixed for October 3; and at 3 P.M. on 
that day the letter of Francis Joseph was 
P resented - " This letter," commented the 
President, "announces the annexation of 
Bosnia. What of the independence of Bulgaria ? " " It 
is all arranged," was the prompt if indiscreet reply. 
"Bulgaria will anticipate us by a day." The momentous 
news was thus prematurely announced to the world at 
Paris instead of simultaneously at the different capitals, 
and Khevenhiiller informed Pichon that Russia, Germany 
and Italy approved the action of his Government. The 
annexation was proclaimed by Francis Joseph on 
October 6 instead of October 7. 

Clemenceau, the French Premier, was more indignant 
with Izvolsky for not consulting Russia's ally than with 
Aehrenthal for infringing the Treaty of Berlin, and 
French opinion was but little perturbed. "It does not 
profoundly modify the European system," wrote Hano- 
taux; "it is serious but not mortal." 1 In Russia and 
Serbia, on the other hand, where nothing was known of 
the preliminary negotiations, stupefaction prevailed. In 
conversation with Vesnitch, the Serbian Minister at Paris, 
Izvolsky declared that he could not understand Serbia's 
excitement, since she lost nothing and gained Russian 
support; and the Russian Ambassador in Vienna in like 
manner explained to the Serbian Minister that the 
surrender of the Sanjak was sufficient compensation, since 
it blocked Austrian expansion towards Salonika and 
opened up the prospect of Serbia securing it. In public, 
however, Izvolsky assumed a different tone. He declared 
that Aehrenthal had acted without his knowledge; and 



1 " La Politique de 1'Equilibre " ; cf. Gauvain, " L'Europe au joui 
ir," I, " La Crise Bosniaque." 



Indignation in England 415 

in order to restore his shattered prestige he resolved to 
summon Austria before the European Areopagus in the 
hope that, while ratifying her action, it might at the same 
time admit Russia's claim to compensation. It was in 
the hope of securing British consent to his plan that he 
left Paris for London on October 9; but here, too, dis- 
appointment awaited him, and he was again forced to 
listen to well-deserved reproaches for concealing his plans 
from his friends. 

When Count Mensdorff presented the Emperor's 
autograph letter, King Edward made no attempt to conceal 
his displeasure; and his autograph reply 
expressed regret at the action of Austria, 
and reminded his august correspondent of 
the solemn engagement of 1871. In a speech to his 
constituents on October 7 Sir Edward Grey declared 
that any modification of the Treaty of Berlin must be 
approved by another European Congress, just as Russia's 
repudiation of the Black Sea clauses of 1856 had to be 
ratified at the London Conference of 1871, which decreed 
that " no Power can free itself from the engagements under- 
taken by treaty nor modify its stipulations without consent 
of the contracting parties." The British, French and 
Russian Ambassadors at Constantinople were instructed 
to tell the Porte that all changes in the Treaty of Berlin 
required the assent of all its signatories, and a British 
squadron was sent to the ^Egean as a symbol of sympathy 
and support. On October 13 an official communique 
announced that the British and Russian Ministers had 
agreed to demand a conference. Izvolsky had thus secured 
the first item of his programme; but the second and far 
more important of his demands compensation for Russia 
had been refused. Sir Edward Grey had known nothing 
of the conspiracy against the Treaty of Berlin, and after 
denouncing its breach by Austria he could hardly support 
his colleague's proposal for a further encroachment on 
Turkish sovereignty. He made it plain to his visitor that 
the question of the Straits must not be raised at the Con- 



4*6 History of Modern Europe [1908 

ference, but he accompanied the intimation with a written 
assurance that he sympathized with the object and that 
the veto was only temporary. 1 On October 13 Prince 
Biilow informed the British Government that Austria was 
opposed to a conference and that Germany must support 
her ; but on October 22 Aehrenthal explained to the Delega- 
tions that he had no objection to a meeting if the pro- 
gramme was settled in accordance with his views and the 
annexation sanctioned but not discussed. 

The third partner in the Triple Alliance was by no 

means satisfied with the course of events, and Victor 

Emmanuel described the annexation as a 

P Itlly ln stab at the Treat y of Berlin. Anti-Austrian 
manifestations took place before the Palazzo 
Venezta in Rome; and the seething discontent found 
vent in a passionate oration by Fortis, an ex-Premier, 
during the debate of December 3 and 4, to which the 
Austrian Ambassador was an interested listener. "There 
is only one Power with whom Italy sees a possibility 
of conflict, and that, I regret to say, is our ally. 
The Government must invite the nation to new sacri- 
fices to adjust our military forces to the needs of the 
situation." Bosnia, he argued, was a material gain, and 
Italy came out of the crisis with empty hands. 2 Tittoni 
was in an awkward predicament, for he had willingly 
agreed to the annexation in advance. He now declared 
that he knew that it was coming, but that Aehrenthal's 
sudden move was a surprise. The Triple Alliance, he 
explained, only guaranteed compensation for Italy in the 
event of a change in the status quo in Albania or Mace- 
donia, and the voluntary surrender of the Sanjak was of 
great importance, since it removed all fear of an Austrian 
advance to Salonika. A conference to ratify the changes 

1 Siebert, " Diplomatische Aktenstiicke," 517. 

a The scene is described by William Miller, who adds that Giolitti, 
" after a careful study of the House," rose and congratulated the orator. 
" The Foreign Policy of Italy," Quarterly Review, April, 1916. Tittoni 's 
speech is printed in his speeches on Foreign and Colonial Policy (English 
translation). 



Anger of Serbia 417 

of the Treaty would be necessary, but there was nothing 
to be gained by abuse of Austria. 

If the annexation came as a shock to Great Britain 
and to the people, though not to the Governments, of * 
Russia and Italy, it was a staggering blow 
to Montenegro and Serbia, who at once 
began to make military preparations. "My 
country," lamented Milovanovich, the Foreign Minister, 
to a Vienna journalist, "feels it almost like physical 
pain, so that the very soul of the people cries out." 
Serbia had never reconciled herself to Austria's con- 
trol of Bosnia, and King Milan once remarked that 
he was the only Serb who had forgiven the occupation. 
Since King Peter's accession the hope of ultimately 
detaching the Jugoslav provinces from Austria by Russian 
aid had taken firm root in the country. Relations had 
become strained in 1905, when Austria launched a tariff 
war in reply to a proposed Serbo-Bulgarian customs 
union; and the "Pig War" left the whole nation 
exasperated, and was followed by large orders to Creusot. 
Milovanovich, well aware that the annexation could not 
be reversed, set forth on a round of visits to the Chan- 
celleries to ask for autonomy for Bosnia and Herzegovina 
under the guarantee of the Powers, and a port on the 
Adriatic as a consolation prize. Sir Edward Grey, he 
reported, promised to support the demand for territorial 
compensation so long as Russia did the same. 1 An even 
warmer welcome awaited Prince George and Pasitch at 
St. Petersburg. "The Tsar," reported the latter, 
"expressed great sympathy for Serbia, but advised a quiet 
line of conduct, as our cause was just but our prepara- 
tions weak. The Bosnia-Herzegovina question would be 
decided by war alone. Austria would consent neither to 
autonomy nor territorial compensation. Russia would not 
recognize the annexation. He believes Austria will not 
attack Serbia, but we must give no provocation." Despite 
these counsels of moderation Serbian opinion remained 

1 Bogitshevich, " Causes of the War," 110-12. 

2B 



4i8 History of Modern Europe [1908 

bellicose; but her appeal to Turkey was equally fruitless. 
The evacuation of the Sanjak had gilded the pill, and 
Kiamil declared that, though he would not recognize the 
annexation and the boycott of Austrian goods expressed 
the just resentment of the people, he must decline active 
co-operation. 

Autumn passed into winter with Europe in turmoil, 
though no State cared or dared to challenge Austria to 
ordeal by battle. The hysterics of Belgrad aroused the 
contemptuous anger of Vienna, and the fiery Chief of the 
Staff, Conrad von Hotzendorff, deeply convinced that 
Austria would one day have to meet a combination of foes 
if she did not deal with them singly, repeatedly urged 
summary chastisement. Germany was loyal, Italy negli- 
gible, Russia weak, France indifferent, Great Britain 
pacific. "Your Sir Edward Grey wants peace," remarked 
Aehrenthal to British visitors; and when he was warned 
not to underrate British influence, he replied, "What can 
England do to us?" His confidence was strengthened 
by the speeches of Billow and Izvolsky in the closing days 

Prince of the ^ ear> n Decemoer 7> tne Chancellor 
Biilow's combined judicious homage to the Young 
Support Turks with unflinching support of his ally. 
"The whole civilized world watched them with sym- 
pathy and respect. It has been said that we were 
their opponents, because we stood well with the ancien 
regime. We do not interfere in the domestic politics 
of other countries. Our only desire is to see Turkey 
economically and politically strengthened. We have 
never taken or asked for Turkish soil. We have 
no need to play a leading part in the Bosnian game. We 
were told of the intention to annex about the same time 
as Italy and Russia, but not of the moment. Austria 
must settle for herself what are her vital interests and 
how to deal with them. We did not hesitate to support 
these interests to the utmost of our power, and I told 
Izvolsky that in regard to the Conference we should not 
separate ourselves from our ally." Izvolsky 's long- 



The Conference Plan 419 

deferred speech to the Duma on December 24 was pitched 
in the minor key, and virtually admitted that the game 
was lost. Indeed, he lamented to Berchtold 

that he was a broken man. He explained Ijvolsky's 

, Apologia 

that Russia s freedom of action in the 

Bosnian question was barred by the pacts of thirty 
years. To protest without the intention to fight would 
have been madness. The only course was to press 
for a conference, after a preliminary discussion between 
the Cabinets, and that implied no unfriendliness to 
Austria. The mildness of language, so different from the 
Minister's earlier utterances, was attributed at Vienna to 
AehrenthaPs threat to publish the documents unless 
Izvolsky ceased to attack his good faith. 1 When the new 
year dawned the idea of a conference was already fading 
away. Austria declined to attend without a preliminary 
agreement and unless a discussion of the annexation was 
ruled out; and if her actions were to be condoned in 
advance it seemed futile to bring the Powers together in 
solemn conclave. There were, however, three urgent 
problems to be liquidated the relations of Austria to 
Turkey, the relations of Bulgaria to Turkey, and the 
relations of Serbia to Austria and all three were solved 
without bloodshed before Easter. 

Aehrenthal had argued that the unsolicited withdrawal 
of the garrisons from the Sanjak was adequate compensa- 
tion to Turkey for the loss of her shadowy rights over 
Bosnia and Herzegovina; but the Turkish boycott of 
Austrian goods and the desire to diminish the number of 
his opponents finally persuaded him to add a solatium. 
The news that Austria would pay two and a half millions 
for the loss of Crown property in the annexed provinces, 
was hailed by Sir Edward Grey as "the first blue sky." 
The relief was increased when Bulgaria's offence against 
Turkish sovereignty was purged by a covenant to pay 

1 In private Izvolsky freely vented his anger. " Aehrenthal is not a 
gentleman," he cried to the Austrian Charge". Szilassy, " Der Untergang 
der Donaumonarchie," 194. 



420 History of Modern Europe [1909 

five millions for her share of the Oriental railways; and 
the transaction was arranged by Russia reducing Turkey's 
indemnity of 1878 by a similar amount. 

In Aehrenthal's opinion the suzerain's acceptance of 
the annexation ought to carry the assent of less directly 
interested States; and though his view was not shared by 
Serbia, the Triple Entente endeavoured to build a bridge 
for her retreat. The Serbian official reply to the demarche 

of the Powers satisfied neither the Ballplatz 
Hoids^Out nor Downing Street, and a more submissive 

formula was drafted by Aehrenthal and Sir 
E. Cartwright. The solution of the crisis seemed within 
sight, but it was not to end without a final alarm. On 
March 17 Pourtales informed Izvolsky that the Chan- 
cellor was ready to suggest that Aehrenthal should 
acquaint the Powers with Turkey's sanction of the 
annexation; and, if Russia approved, Germany, perhaps 
in association with Russia, would propose to the Powers 
to recognize it in an exchange of notes, thus fulfilling the 
wish of Petrograd for an European sanction. Izvolsky 
thanked Pourtales for his friendly communication "the 
first sign since the beginning of the crisis of the German 
Government's desire to diminish the tension " but re- 
marked that it appeared to negative a conference, to 
deliver Serbia into Austrian hands, and to relieve Austria 
of the necessity of solving the other problems. He 
promptly telegraphed the news to London and Paris, add- 
ing that he might accept the offer in principle, with a 
guarantee for the meeting of the Conference. 

On March 23, after six days had elapsed without a 
response to the German proposal, Prince Billow applied 
what he asserted to be gentle pressure, but what was 
regarded throughout the world as something closely 
resembling an ultimatum. 1 "The German Government 

1 " It was not an ultimatum, but a proposal for mediation," writes 
Jagow, " v/hich Izvolsky welcomed as an escape from a cul-de-sac. His 
assistant Tcharikoff observed that Germany had rendered Russia a great 
service." Kiderlen-Wachter, however, then Acting Foreign Minister, 
boasted to Take Jonescu that he alone framed the ultimatum. " I knew 



German Pressure in Petrograd 421 

is glad to note that the Russian Government recognizes 
the friendly spirit of Germany's step and that Russia 
seems inclined to accept the proposal. It is ready to sug- 
gest to the Vienna Cabinet to invite the Powers, while 
notifying them of the Austro-Turkish Agreement, formally 
to assent to the cancelling of Article XXV of the Berlin 
Treaty. Before doing so, however, it wishes to be sure 
that the Russian Cabinet is ready to accept German 
the Austrian proposal. Say we expect a pre- presses 
cise answer, Yes or No. Any ambiguous Russia 
reply we must regard as a refusal. In that case we should 
let things take their course. The responsibility for all 
eventualities would rest exclusively on Izvolsky." * 

After consulting the Tsar, Izvolsky replied that, if 
Austria invited the Powers to assent to the cancelling of 
Article XXV, the Russian Government would declare her 
formal and unconditional acceptance. In giving this new 
proof of a desire to solve the crisis, he hoped that Berlin 
would use its influence to persuade Vienna to accept the 
British initiative and to reach an understanding with 
Belgrad. In reporting the event to London and Paris 
Izvolsky explained that opposition was impossible, as it 
presented the alternative of an instantaneous recognition 
of the annexation or an invasion of Serbia. In view of 
the great danger to Russia and to the peace of the world 
from an Austro-Serb conflict, and also in order to protect 
Serbia, there was no option but to accept. The Russian 
Ministers were to explain to the British and French 
Governments the greatness of the sacrifice for the sake of 
peace, and to add that Russia had no intention of fore- 
going the Conference. Aehrenthal expressed his "grateful 
satisfaction " to the Chancellor; but the surrender came so 
suddenly that the Neue Freie Presse published a warlike 

Russia was not ready for war. Schon would never have dared to do it." 
Take Jonescu, " Personal Impressions," 58. The German Government 
had invited France to join in the demarche, but in vain. 

1 Billow's telegram to Pourtales is published in Hammann, " Bilder aus 
der letzten Kaiserzeit." 



422 History of Modern Europe [1909 

article on March 25 in which the historian Friedjung, on 
the basis of documents (some of which were forged) sup- 
plied to him by the Austrian Government and emanating 
from the Austrian Legation at Belgrad, accused the Serbo- 
Croat leaders of treasonable intercourse with Belgrad. 

Billow promptly instructed his Ministers to invite 
Rome, Paris and London to follow the example of Petro- 
grad. Italy accepted, though Tittoni was annoyed at the 
suddenness of the demand. 1 France replied that she would 
accept, but hoped that Austria would postpone her request 
till the Austro-Serb conflict was ended. Sir Edward Grey, 
who shared the resentment of Sir Arthur Nicholson, stub- 
bornly replied that the recognition of annexation must 
follow, not precede, an Austro-Serb settlement. On 
March 26, however, Aehrenthal declared that he would 
wait till March 28, but would then issue an ultimatum to 
Belgrad. Cartwright reported that Aehrenthal was in 
earnest, and on March 28 Sir Edward approved the 
Aehrenthal-Cartwright formula in its final shape, and 
announced that when Serbia had dispatched it and Austria 
had accepted it, he would recognize the abrogation of 
Article XXV if invited to do so. On March 31 the 
Serbian Minister brought to the Ballplatz 
his countrv>s formal surrender. Serbia 
recognized that her rights were not infringed 
by the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 
accordance with the advice of the Great Powers she 
undertook to cease her attitude of protest and oppo- 
sition, to alter the tendency of her policy towards 
Austria, and to live with her on neighbourly terms. 
Trusting to the peaceful intentions of Austria, she pledged 
herself to reduce her army to the standard of the spring of 
1908. The Triple Entente now complied with a request 
to accept the abrogation of Article XXV, Austria for her 
part surrendering the right to police Montenegrin waters. 
The bloodless conflict of the Chancelleries left deep 

1 Tittoni describes his interview with Count Monts in his little book, 
" Who Was Responsible for the War? " 



1909] The European Situation 423 

scars on the body politic of Europe. Aehrenthal had 
played for high stakes and won. He had carried through 
his breach of the Treaty of Berlin with a 
skill and resolution which were universally 
recognized, if not universally approved. The 
apparent success of his policy gave a new feeling of 
self-confidence to the Hapsburg Empire; and on his 
death in 1912 Pichon was to hail him as the greatest 
Austrian Minister since Metternich. The closeness of the 
ties which bound Vienna to Berlin was advertised by the 
Kaiser's appearance "in shining armour." Berlin had 
neither suggested nor desired the annexation ; but as soon 
as opposition developed, the duty and interest of Germany 
became manifest, and Holstein emerged from his retire- 
ment to urge the Chancellor to range himself unhesitat- 
ingly on the side of his ally. When the crisis was over, 
Billow pronounced judgment in the Reichstag. "Austria 
has right on her side. The annexation is no cynical theft, 
but the last step on the road of a political and cultural 
effort begun thirty years ago. She has won her right to 
the provinces by hard work; and her formal offence is 
purged by her settlement with Turkey. Serbia's aspira- 
tions are not worth a world-war. Russia's recent conduct 
has won the gratitude of all friends of peace." After his 
retirement he described the crisis with less reserve. "For 
the first time the Austro-German alliance proved its 
strength in a grievous conflict. The group of Powers 
whose influence had been so much over-estimated at Alge- 
ciras fell to pieces when faced with the tough problems 
of Continental policy." His statement is true enough, but 
it is not the whole truth. The Central Powers had won a 
Pyrrhic victory. Though the immediate result was the 
discomfiture of the Triple Entente, the ultimate conse- 
quence was the tightening of its bonds. 1 The anger of 
Izvolsky was in some degree the humiliation of a profes- 

1 To Billow's claim that the capitulation of Russia was " the end of 
King Edward's Einkreisungspolitik," Haller replies that it was, on the 
contrary, its beginning. " Die Aera Billow," n.. 



424 History of Modern Europe [1909 

sional wrestler by the superior skill of his antagonist ; but 
of greater importance was the brooding resentment of 
Russia and her ruler. She had seen her secular rival 
increase her power in the Balkans; she had missed the 
compensation for which she had consented to the annexa- 
tion ; she had failed to secure the summoning of a con- 
ference; and above all she had been compelled to confess 
to Serbia and to the Slavs throughout the Balkans that she 
was too weak to defend their interests. Henceforth Petro- 
grad and Belgrad were closely linked by revengeful 
memories and hopes. The Tsar forgave William II but 
Russia's not Francis Joseph. On visiting the King 
Deep of Italy in October, 1909, he ostentatiously 
Resentment avo id e d passing through Austrian territory; 
and though normal diplomatic relations were restored in 
February, 1910, the spectacular humiliation continued to 
rankle. Moreover, in December, 1909, a secret treaty 
superseded and enlarged the Russo-Bulgar pact of 1902, 
and declared that^the realization of the ideals of the Slav 
peoples in the Balkans would only be possible after a 
Russian victory over the Central Powers. 1 

The Kaiser had long been alarmed at the trend of 
Russia's policy, and during the crisis he unbosomed him- 
self to the Tsar. "You are right in saying the old year 
was eventful," he wrote on January 8, 1909; "the annexa- 
tion of Bosnia was a genuine surprise for everybody, 
particularly for us, as we were informed about Austria's 
intentions even later than you. But Austria having taken 
this step without consulting us, hesitation as loyal allies 
was out of the question. You will be the first to approve 
this loyalty of ours. But this does not mean that we intend 

J The Russo-Bulgar Treaty is printed in Laloy, " Documents Secrets," 
52-8. For the bitter quarrel between the Hapsburg Empire and the Jugo- 
slavs see Seton-Watson, " The Southern Slavs " ; Siidland (a pseudonym 
for the Croatian Pilar), "Die siidslavische Frage und der Weltkrieg " ; 
Mandl, " Oesterreich-Ungarn und Serbien," and " Die Habsburger und 
die siidslavische Lage " ; Bogitshevich, " Causes of the War " ; Ubers- 
berger, "Die Rolle Serbiens," in " Deutschland und der Weltkrieg"; 
Friedjung, " Zeitalter des Imperialismus," II, ch. 23 ; Miss Durham, 
" Twenty Years of Balkan Tangle "; and " Das Deutsche Weissbuch iiber 
die Schuld am Kriege." 



1909] The Kaiser's Comments 425 

to drop our old friendly relations. Valuing them as I do I 
consider it all the more important that whatever might 
injure them should be removed. Recently we have been 
represented as resenting your agreement with England 
about Central Asia. The same rumours are circulated 
about the visit Uncle Bertie paid you at Reval. All 
Nonsense ! We understand perfectly that Russia must 
for the present avoid getting into a conflict with Great 
Britain. And you have repeatedly assured me that you 
would not enter upon any agreement with 
England of a more general nature. No, 
my dear Nicky, neither your agreement 
with England nor your meeting at Reval has produced 
any uneasiness or disappointment in Germany. The 
cause is quite a different one. It is the patent fact 
that for the last two years Russian policy has been 
gradually drawing away from us more and more, evolving 
always closer towards a combination of Powers unfriendly 
to us. The Triple Entente between France, Russia and 
England is being talked of by the whole world as an 
accomplished fact. English and French papers miss no 
opportunity of representing this alleged Triple Entente as 
being directed against Germany, and only too often the 
Russian Press chimes in joining the chorus. The ten- 
dency of Russian policy to prefer to lean on England and 
France was particularly evident in the present crisis." 

After the capitulation of Russia the Kaiser thanked 
the Tsar for "the loyal and noble way in which you led 
the way to preserve peace. It is thanks to your high- 
minded and unselfish initiative that Europe has been 
spared the horrors of an universal war. I am credited by 
some papers with being the author of annexation and am 
accused among other nonsense of having humiliated 
Russia by my peace proposals ! Of course you know 
better. Personally, I am totally indifferent to newspaper 
gossip; but I cannot refrain from a certain feeling of 
anxiety that, if not contradicted at once, the foul and 
filthy lies which are freely circulated about my policy and 



426 History of Modern Europe [1910 

my country will tend to create bitterness between our 
peoples. If you and I join in open and loyal co-operation 
The f r ^ e maintenance of peace which is my 
Potsdam most fervent wish I am thoroughly con- 
Agreement v i ncec i that peace will not only be main- 
tained but not even be troubled." The two monarchs 
remained on friendly terms, and the agreement in 
regard to Persia and the Bagdad Railway reached at 
Potsdam in 1910 was compared by Kiderlen-Wachter to 
Bismarck's reinsurance Treaty of 1887. But no lasting 
detente occurred, and the Press of each country became 
ever more critical and suspicious of the policy and aims 
of the other. The stage was set for the world-war and the 
grand rehearsal had taken place. 



CHAPTER XIII 

ANGLO-GERMAN RIVALRY 

THE Navy Law of 1900 brought Germany into what 
German publicists describe as the danger-zone, and in his 
political apologia Biilow claims credit for careful steering. 
When Bebel quoted in the Reichstag articles 
by naval officers arguing that the fleet must 
be strong enough to defeat England, he 
dismissed them as rubbish to which no sensible Ger- 
man paid attention. Even when the programme of 
1900 was completed, he pointed out, the navy would 
only be fourth or fifth on the list, and it harboured 
no aggressive designs. 1 In an interview sought by a 
British journalist in November, 1904,* the Chancellor con- 
tinued his efforts to dissipate the suspicion of his policy 
and character. He consented to see Mr. Bashford, he 
explained to the Reichstag on December 5, because in 
recent months certain British publicists had sown tares 
in the garden of Anglo-German relations. "I cannot 
imagine that the thought of a war can be seriously enter- 
tained by sensible people. I hope the destinies of both 
countries will always be guided by cool heads who know 
that England and Germany, not only now but for ever, 
are best served by the preservation of the present peaceful 
relations." 3 

Official assurances failed to dispel the anxiety of the 

* " Reden," Jan. 22, 1903. 

3 Published in the KolniscTie Zeitung, the Nineteenth Century, and 
reprinted in Billow's " Reden," II, 393-400. 

3 Hammann relates that Biilow, like Admiral Galster, desired for 
political reasons that Germany's navy should consist mainly of defensive 
units, but that Tfrpitz insisted on capital ships. " Zur Vorgeschichte des 
Weltkrieges," 144-5. 

427 



428 History of Modern Europe [1905 

British Government, which was fostered not only by the 
dimensions of the Navy Law of 1900 and by the inspection 
of its first-fruits on the King's visit to Kiel, but by provo- 
cative utterances of the Kaiser and certain of his subjects. 
It was owing to the anticipated danger from a new quarter 
that it was decided in 1903 to construct a first-class naval 
base at Rosyth; that the Cawdor programme of four 
battleships annually was sanctioned; and that Sir John 
Fisher, on his appointment as First Sea Lord in 1904, 
proceeded to concentrate the fleet in home waters. 
Obsolete ships were scrapped, and in October, 1905, the 
Dreadnought, the largest and most heavily armed vessel 
in the world, was laid down. 

Long before Englishmen had begun to suspect the 
designs of the German navy, Germans had felt alarm 
at the strength of the British fleet. The foolish article in 
the Saturday Review in 1897, contending that if Germany 
could be swept away to-morrow every Englishman would be 
the richer, was exploited to whip up enthusiasm for a fleet. 
In 1904 an article in the Army and Navy Gazette, suggest- 
ing that Great Britain should veto any further increase of 
the German warships, was accepted as the authentic voice 
of the Admiralty. Early in 1905 a still more threatening 
note was struck by a member of the Ministry. In explain- 
ing to his constituents the object and result of the policy 
of concentrating the main force of our fleet 
in home waters, Mr. Arthur Lee, Civil Lord 
of the Admiralty, urged his hearers to turn 
their face from France and the Mediterranean to the 
North Sea. If war were declared, it would be pos- 
sible to strike the first blow before the other party 
read the news in the papers. The speaker in vain com- 
plained that he was misreported and misunderstood. The 
Kaiser complained to the British Ambassador, and large 
sections of German opinion began to believe that their 
country was threatened by a sudden attack. The con- 
struction of the Dreadnought intensified the feeling of 
danger and impotence. " I was besieged by a demand for 



The Naval Competition 429 

a large increase to meet British threats," writes Tirpitz. 1 
"My Bill of March, 1906, added the six large cruisers 
which had been refused in 1900, and obtained money to 
widen the Kiel Canal, through which Dreadnoughts could 
not pass." The naval rivalry entered on a new and more 
dangerous stage. Each Admiralty attributed aggressive 
designs to the other, and sections of the Press in both 
countries laboured at its congenial task of sowing tares in 
the cornfield. The situation was thoroughly understood 
by the German Ambassador, Wolff-Metternich. "The 
real cause of the political tension," he reported to Berlin 
in 1906, "is not commercial rivalry, but the growing im- 
portance of our navy." i 

On the other hand, a speech by the Prime Minister on 
May 4, 1905, explaining the views of the newly founded 
Committee of Imperial Defence, contributed 
in some degree to tranquillize opinion. The 
army and navy, he argued, should be concen- 
trated as far as possible; but experts had decided that even 
if the regular army was abroad and our organized fleets 
at a distance, an invasion would not be attempted with 
less than 70,000 men. 

The detente following the Algeciras Conference was 
employed by the newly installed Liberal Cabinet to strive 
for an arrest of armaments. It was announced that one of 
the four battleships of the Cawdor programme would be 
omitted, with corresponding reduction in destroyers and 
submarines. If any expectation existed that this step 
might evoke a response from Berlin, it was quickly dis- 
appointed. The Kaiser observed to Sir Frank Lascelles 
that if disarmament were to be brought up at the next 
Hague Conference he should decline to be represented. 3 
Each State must decide for itself what forces it required. 
In August King Edward visited Cronberg, where the 
Kaiser remarked to Sir Charles Hardinge that the 
approaching conference was great nonsense. That his 

1 " Memoirs," ch. 15. 

Cook, " How Britain Strove for Peace " (from official sources). 



430 History of Modern Europe [1906 

attitude was not dictated by hostility to Great Britain was 
shown by his cordiality to the British War Minister whom 
he invited to the September manoeuvres and allowed to 
examine the organization of the German War Office. 1 

The Morocco crisis had proved too much for the 
Chancellor's strength, and it was not till November 14 that 
Bulow ^ e rea PP eare< i * n tne Reichstag and sur- 
surveys veyed the European situation. "We have 
Europe no j^ ea Q f di s t ur bing the Franco-English 
friendship. The Franco-Russian alliance has been no 
danger for peace; on the contrary, it has helped to 
make the world-clock keep time. We hope to be able to 
say the same of the Anglo-French Entente. Good rela- 
tions between Germany and Russia have not damaged the 
Franco-Russian alliance, and good relations between Ger- 
many and England are not incompatible with the Entente, 
if it pursues peaceful aims. The Entente without good 
relations of its members to Germany would be a danger 
to peace. A policy aiming at encircling Germany, form- 
ing a ring of Powers in order to isolate her, would indeed 
be dangerous. Such an encirclement is impossible without 
pressure. Pressure brings counter-pressure, and from 
pressure and counter-pressure explosions can arise. 
Between England and Germany there are no evil memories 
or deep political differences. Economic rivalry does not 
necessitate political differences, much less war. I was 
gratified by the reception of the German Burgomasters, 
and I have good hopes of the coming visit of German 
journalists. There is not a sensible man in Germany who 
does not desire straightforward and tranquil relations. 
Sympathy with the Boers was not the result of hatred of 
England but of German idealism. To my deep regret I 
am always reading in the Socialist Press that our defensive 
naval measures are the cause of English ill-feeling. 
The notion that the fleet is building against England is 
utter folly. The English apprehension of a great fleet 
not yet in existence is simply unintelligible. We have 

1 Haldane, " Before the War," 23-8, 



1907] The Second Hague Conference 431 

no idea of building a fleet as strong as the English, and we 
shall never break the peace. Time and patience are 
needed. The barometer has moved from Rain and Wind 
to Changeable. To point to Fair, both sides must avoid 
irritations. Too much importance has been attached to 
presumed friction between the two rulers. The meeting 
at Cronberg has strengthened the good personal relations." 

Undeterred by the hostility of the Kaiser to the limita- 
tion of armaments, Campbell-Bannerman pleaded in the 
Nation for its discussion at The Hague. The writer's 
sincerity was confirmed by a navy programme in 1907 of 
three capital ships and a promise to drop a second if others 
would do the same. The offer was communicated officially 
to seven Powers ; but on April 30 Prince Biilow, to whom 
the invitation was virtually addressed, curtly announced 
in the Reichstag that the German Government could not 
participate in a discussion which they believed to be un- 
practical if not actually dangerous. Russia and Austria 
also expressed a wish to postpone the question. 

Despite the frowns of the Powers, Sir Edward Fry, 
the British Plenipotentiary, initiated a discussion on 
August 17 at the fourth Plenary Meeting 
of the Conference. 1 He began by quoting 
Muravieff's circular of 1898, and pronounced 
its true and eloquent words more applicable than ever. 
"I know you will agree with me that the realization of 
the wish expressed in 1899 would be a great blessing 
for the whole of humanity. Is this hope capable 
of realization? I can only say that my Government is 
a convinced adherent of these lofty aspirations, and that 
it charges me to invite you to co-operate in realizing this 
noble object. Recognizing that several Governments 
desire to restrict their military expenses, and that this 
can be realized by the independent action of each Power, 
it would be ready to communicate yearly to the Powers 
who would do the same the programme of new ships of 
war and the expenditure this would entail. In conclusion 

1 Protocols of the Eleven Plenary Meetings, Cd. 4081, 1908, pages 27-31,; 



432 History of Modern Europe [1907 

I propose the following resolution : The Conference con- 
firms the resolution adopted in 1899,* and, seeing that the 
charges have considerably increased in almost all countries 
since that year, declares that it is highly desirable to see all 
Governments resume the serious study of this question." 
When the British Plenipotentiary had concluded his 
eloquent appeal, the President read a letter from the first 
American Plenipotentiary. "In regretting that more pro- 
gress cannot be made at this moment," wrote Mr. Choate, 
"we are happy to think there is no intention on the part 
of the nations to abandon the efforts, and we express our 
sympathy for the views and our support for the proposition 
of the British delegates." "In the name of the French 
delegation," echoed M. Bourgeois, "I expressly support 
the proposition. As the promoter of the vcen of the first 
Conference, I express confidence that from now till the 
next Conference the study will be resolutely continued." 
A similar letter of support was read from Spain; and a 
joint communication from Argentine and Chile proudly 
claimed that they were the first and only States to conclude 
a convention (in 1902) limiting their naval forces. The 
The discussion was closed by a brief address 
Question from the President. In 1899, declared 
Shelved Nelidoff, the discussions were so lively that 
they threatened to wreck the Conference. The Russian 
Government had therefore not put it on the programme, 
since it was no topic for fruitful discussion, and decided 
not to share in the debate. It would be best to reaffirm 
the voeu of 1899. The resolution was put to the meeting, 
and the President declared that the unanimity of the ap- 
plause rendered a vote unnecessary. Thus the ideal of 
1898 was again interred with regret or relief. The most 
important achievement of the Conference was to reform 
the laws oi naval warfare and to approve the creation of 
an International Prize Court. 

1 " That the limitation of military charges which weigh on the world 
is highly desirable for increasing the material and moral well-being of 
humanity. " 



1907] The Kaiser in England 433 

The signature of the Anglo-Russian Convention in 
August, 1907, was not immediately followed by a diplo- 
matic partnership, and nobody interpreted it as precluding 
friendly relations with Germany. The invitation to the 
Kaiser to visit Windsor in the autumn of 1907, and his 
decision to spend a brief holiday in the T . 
mild air of the Solent, filled the friends Windsor 
of peace in both countries with satisfaction. Vlsit 
On November 11 the Hohenzollern steamed into Ports- 
mouth harbour, and in reply to an address by the Mayor 
of Windsor the Emperor remarked : " It seems like com- 
ing home again; I am always glad to be here." The 
climax of the visit was the ceremony at the Guildhall. 
The Emperor opened with a reference to his last visit in 
1891, when he received the Freedom of the City. "When 
I addressed Sir Joseph Savory from this place sixteen 
years ago I said that my aim was above all the mainten- 
ance of peace. History, I venture to hope, will do me the 
justice that I have pursued this aim unswervingly ever 
si nee . The main prop and base for the peace of the world 
is the maintenance of good relations between our two 
countries, and I shall further strengthen them as far as 
lies in my power. The German nation's wishes coincide 
with mine." On November 15 Lord Curzon conferred the 
degree of Doctor of Civil Law on the Emperor. On 
November 18 he left Windsor for Highcliffe Castle, while 
the Empress returned to Germany. 

The hopes expressed by the statesmen and journalists of 
both countries appeared to be fullyrealized. "The visit," de- 
clared Professor Schiemann in the Kreuzzeitung, "plainly 
demonstrated the wish for friendly relations between the 
two peoples. The English Press has shown real under- 
standing for the Emperor's personality and the necessities 
of our policy, and we most gratefully accept the hospitality 
he has received. No real antagonism of interests exists." 
The Vossische Zeitung, which was in close touch with 
the Chancellor, declared that the visit set the seal on the 
reconciliation of the peoples, and there was no longer any 
2C 



434 History of Modern Europe [1907 

ground for attributing to Great Britain a policy of en- 
circlement. Except the National Review, which sounded 
its usual note of strident discord, most of the Opposition 
leader writers were only a little less cordial than their 
Liberal comrades. The Times, though critical, was not 
blind to the possible significance of the occasion. "An 
essential condition for gaining our friendship is a con- 
ciliatory policy towards our friends. Germany, we have 
felt, is inclined to go any lengths, short of war, to secure 
an advantage. If Berlin sees that other nations have no 
desire to quarrel with her, and that she will gain nothing 
by attempting to interfere with existing alliances, there 
will be no further cause of trouble. The visit, while alter- 
ing nothing in the 7 nature of actual arrangements, may 
alter everything by throwing a new and more genial light 
on all the political problems of the day." 

The unofficial verdict of the editorial chair was con- 
firmed by the voice of the Chancelleries. "I wish to ex- 
The press my satisfaction at the welcome of our 
Situation Imperial couple by King and people," de- 
Improves clared p fince Bulow in the Re i chstag . i 

believe that, when the history of the last decade is 
written from the sources, it will appear that the tension 
between Germany and England, which has long op- 
pressed the world, was due in the last resort to a great 
mutual misunderstanding. Each attributed to the other 
purposes which it did not entertain. To remove these 
misunderstandings and to clear away the resulting sus- 
picion was beyond the power of the two Governments, if 
not filled with good will. Public opinion must help. That 
the friends of peace in England did not labour in vain is 
shown by the reception of our Imperial couple. I am 
certain that I speak for this House and the German people 
when I say that such peaceful and friendly feelings are 
shared by us and honestly reciprocated." "The whole 
country has felt pleasure," echoed Sir Edward Grey in 
addressing his constituents at Berwick. "It is bound to 
have a good effect. More than half the difficulties of 



1907] The Bagdad Railway 435 

diplomacy disappear when the nations become convinced 
that neither of them intends ill to the other." The Foreign 
Secretary took occasion to reassure France by affirming 
the solidarity of the Entente, but repeated that it was not 
directed against any country. "I have no complaint to 
make that Germany is embarking on a very large naval 
programme; but we should of course have to increase our 
own. The position, however, is perfectly safe, at any rate 
for a year or two more." "By my visit to England," 
wrote the Kaiser to the Tsar on December 28, in one of 
the few passages in his correspondence not unfriendly to 
Great Britain, "I think I have removed many causes for 
misunderstanding and distrust, so that the atmosphere is 
cleared and the pressure on the safety-valve relieved." 

On arriving at Windsor Baron von Schon, the Foreign 
Secretary, had declared to an interviewer that there was 
no intention to discuss concrete political 
questions. The Emperor, however, was 
incapable of excluding high politics from his 
conversation. No project of Imperial policy was nearer 
his heart than the Bagdad Railway; and the British 
refusal to co-operate had been not only a sore dis- 
appointment but an effective obstacle to the success of 
the scheme. Though the French Government like the 
British had declined official participation in 1903, the 
French group of the Ottoman Bank continued to desire 
a share. But as the Bourse was closed to Bagdad shares 
this tie was of slender value. The German company, 
thrown back on its own resources, pushed on with the 
line. Though the concession of 1903 covered the whole 
distance from Konia to the Gulf, a Turkish guarantee was 
only available for two hundred kilometres to Bulgurlu, 
which were completed in 1904. In 1906 Helfferich was sent 
to Constantinople by the Deutsche Bank and the Anatolian 
Railway Company to arrange with Turkey for carrying 
the line through the Taurus Mountains and if possible to 
Aleppo. Though convinced that an understanding with 
England was imperative, he desired to show that Germany 



436 History of Modern Europe [1907 

could complete the enterprise alone, if necessary, and thus 
have something with which to bargain. Though the three 
per cent, increase of customs duties in 1907 was earmarked 
by Sir Edward Grey for Macedonian reform, other Turkish 
funds proved to be available, and the resumption of 
building in 1908 was reported to be practicable. 

Such was the state of affairs when the Emperor, finding 

Mr. Haldane among the guests at Windsor, broached the 

The subject of British co-operation. 1 "I said 

Haldane that I could not answer for the Foreign Office, 

Conversations but thw> speak i ng as War Minister, one 

thing I knew we wanted was a * gate ' to protect 
India from troops coming down the new railway. He 
asked me what I meant by a ' gate,' and I said that 
meant the control of the section which would come near 
to the Persian Gulf. ' I will give you the gate,' replied 
the Emperor. I saw the Foreign Secretary, who, after 
taking time to think things over, gave me a memorandum 
he had drawn up. The substance of it was that the British 
Government would be very glad to discuss the Emperor's 
suggestion, but that it would be necessary, before making 
a settlement, to bring into the discussion France and 
Russia, whose interests also were involved. Some weeks 
afterwards difficulties were raised from Berlin. Germany 
said that she was ready to discuss with the British Govern- 
ment the question of the terminal portion of the railway, 
but she did not desire to bring the other two Powers into 
that discussion, because the Conference would probably fail 
and accentuate the differences between her and the other 
Powers. The matter thus came to an end." The veto of 
Prince Billow on a four-Power conference in Berlin ended 
the brief period during which reconciliation was in the 
air.* Under the mellowing influence of a warm popular 
welcome the Emperor's instinctive dislike for English 

1 Haldane, " Before the War," ch. 2', cf. Schon, " Memoirs," 59-63. 

2 Schon, who discussed the question with Sir E. Grey, explains the veto 
by the argument that Germany would have found herself alone at the 
conference table against three Powers acting together and not favourably 
disposed. 



igo8] 



The Tweedmouth Letter 



437 



ideas and institutions momentarily yielded to a revival of 
family associations and a desire to resume the political 
intimacy of the early years of his reign. If the British 
refusal of co-operation in 1903 was an error, the German 
refusal of British conditions in 1907 was a calamity. 

The King's speech at the opening of the Session of 
1908 began with a warmly phrased reference to the 
Kaiser's visit; but the sky quickly rilled with The 
driving clouds. " It was in the last weeks Tweedmouth 
of February," writes Colonel Repington, 1 Letter 
"that I learnt that the Kaiser had addressed a letter 
to Lord Tweedmouth on naval policy. This letter 
appeared to me an insidious attempt to influence, in 
German interests, a British First Lord, and at a most 
critical juncture, namely, just before the estimates were 
coming on in Parliament." After taking a week to 
think it over, the Times published a brief letter from its 
Military Correspondent on March 6 with the title, "Under 
which King ? " The Kaiser had addressed a letter to 
Lord Tweedmouth on British and German naval policy, 
and a reply had been dispatched. Both letter and reply 
should be laid before Parliament without delay. A shrill 
leader argued that the Emperor wished to cut down British 
shipbuilding in order to steal a march on our naval 
supremacy. "It was a purely private and personal com- 
munication," replied the Prime Minister to the critics, 
"conceived in an entirely friendly spirit. The answer was 
equally private and informal, and neither the letter nor 
the answer was communicated to the Cabinet. Before the 
letter arrived the Cabinet had come to a formal decision 
with regard to the Navy estimates." 

Prince Billow dealt with his own critics in a similar 
manner. "I cannot publish the letter because it is private. 
I wish I could. It could be signed by any of us, by any 
sincere friend of good relations. 3 Every sovereign has a 

^'Vestigia," ch. 21. 

a The Kaiser had shown the letter to Schon } who saw no reason to 
stop It. 



438 History of Modern Europe [1908 

right to address other statesmen. It is a gross libel to 
suggest that it is an attempt to influence the Minister in 
Prince t ^ le * nterest ^ Germany, or a secret inter- 
Biilow's ference in the domestic affairs of Great 
Comments Britain. Our Kaiser is the last man to 
imagine that the patriotism of an English Minister would 
accept foreign suggestions as to the naval budget. We 
wish to live in peace with England, and therefore feel 
it bitterly that a section of English publicists is always 
talking of the German danger, though the English fleet 
is largely superior &nd other nations have greater fleets 
and work out their development with no less zeal. Yet 
it is always Germany and only Germany against which 
public opinion on the other side of the Channel is excited 
by an unscrupulous polemic. It would be in the interest 
of tranquillization between the two lands and of the world 
if this polemic ceased. As we do not contest England's 
right to settle her standard without us seeing in it a threat 
against us, so little can others complain that we do not 
wish our shipbuilding to be considered as a challenge to 
England. In the Kaiser's letter one gentleman speaks to 
another, one seaman to another. The Kaiser highly values 
the honour to be an Admiral of the British fleet. That 
is the tendency and tone of the letter. It would have been 
very regrettable if his noble objects had been misconceived, 
and I note with satisfaction that such attempts have found 
almost universal reprobation." 

The Navy estimates for 1908-9, providing for only 
two Dreadnoughts, testified to the conciliatory spirit of 
the Cabinet, which determined to utilize King Edward's 
visit to Cronberg, on his way to Marienbad, to open 
negotiations. 1 Sir Charles Hardinge explained the un- 
easiness of the Cabinet, pointed out the dangers of naval 
competition, and urged that friendly discussion should 
take place between the Governments. The Kaiser renewed 

1 In June Ballin and Sir Ernest Cassel had the first of a series of 
semi-official conversations on the naval rivalry, which were reported to the 
Kaiser and the King. See Huldermann, " Berlin," ch. 8. 



Cronberg and Ischl 439 

the assurance of his friendliness, but impulsively declared 
that no dictation as to his naval armaments by a foreign 
Government could be tolerated, and that he would rather 
go to war than submit to it. Herr von Jenisch, who repre- 
sented the German Foreign Office, was equally emphatic 
in declining the British overtures. The personal aspects 
of the visit were pleasant enough. "Uncle Bertie was 
all sunshine at Cronberg and in very good humour," 
reported the Kaiser to the Tsar on August iS. 1 King 
Edward proceeded from Cronberg to Ischl to congratulate 
Francis Joseph on his diamond jubilee. " He brought up 
the topic of the German fleet," writes the The i scjl j 
biographer of Aehrenthal, "explained the re- Conversa- 
sentment it aroused in England, and asked 
his host to persuade Germany to limit her shipbuild- 
ing. Francis Joseph refused. The parting was friendly, 
but the conversation was a landmark. Aehrenthal 
would have preferred a smaller German fleet, but he 
could not interfere." The King had no other pur- 
pose than to diminish the tension which was beginning 
to threaten peace; but the Emperor remarked that his 
guest had gone away dissatisfied, and to suspicious eyes 
in Central Europe the King's action came to appear as 
another link in the chain of his machinations against the 
solidarity of the Triple Alliance. "He tried to detach me 
from the alliance with Germany," complained Francis 
Joseph to Conrad, "but I put him off." 2 The two 
monarchs never met again. 

The publication of an undated and anonymous inter- 
view with the Kaiser in the Daily Telegraph on October 28, 
1908, let loose a fresh hurricane. The conversation was 
published with his approval as a contribution to friendly 
relations, and it was a bitter disappointment to him that 

1 The Kaiser sent a long telegraphic report to the Chancellor in 
Norderney of his conversation with Sir Charles Hardinge. His tone in 
discussing the question of naval rivalry, declared the Kaiser, was sharp and 
almost dictatorial. The telegrams are printed in Hammann, " Bilder aus 
der letzten Kaiserzeit," 141-4. 

2 Conrad, " Aus meiner Dienstzeit," I, 55. 



440 History of Modern Europe [1908 

it produced the opposite result. 1 Its dominant theme was 
his friendship for England, as evinced both openly and 
secretly during the Boer war and steadily maintained, 
although neither shared by his own people nor recognized 
by the object of his affections. While the Daily Telegraph 
DaU informed its readers that the interview was 
Telegraph the work of a retired diplomatist, the 
Interview Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung issued a 
statement that the Emperor received from an English 
gentleman the manuscript of an article collating a 
series of conversations at various times and with various 
personages, with a request to sanction its publication in 
the interests of good relations. The Emperor forwarded 
it to the Chancellor at Norderney, who sent it to the 
Foreign Office for revision. As the Foreign Office raised 
no objection it was published. On seeing it in print, 
Billow informed the Emperor that he had not previously 
read it and that, if he had known its contents, he would 
have deprecated publication. 2 At the same time the 
German Foreign Office informed Reuter that the Emperor 
had not expressed a wish for publication, but declared 
that he had no objection if the Foreign Office approved. 
The Kaiser explains in his "Memoirs" that he suggested 
certain omissions, which, by an oversight, were not 
made. 

Surprise and indignation were universal in Germany, 
and in his speech in the Reichstag on November 10 the 
Chancellor made no attempt to conceal his emotion. Great 
damage, he confessed, had been done by the interview, 
important parts of which were incorrect. For instance, 
no plan of campaign for South Africa had been worked 
ou t nothing but some purely academic " aphorisms " on 

1 The Kaiser read the interview before it appeared, and corrected one or 
two words so that his meaning should be made clearer. It is reprinted 
in the Appendix to D. J. Hill, " Impressions of the Kaiser." 

* A representative of the Foreign Office read parts of it to the Chan- 
cellor, who ordered its careful examination by the Foreign Office. The 
most complete account of the incident is given in Spickernagel, " Fiirst 
Biilow," ch. 5; cf. Schon, 102-9, and the Kaiser's " Memoirs," ch. 4. 



i 9 o8] The Daily Telegraph Interview 441 

war in general, of which the General Staff knew nothing. 
Germany had not been guilty of playing a double game. 
"We warned the Boers in October, 1897, triat they would 
have to fight alone, and in May, 1899, we urged them 
directly and through the Dutch Government to arrange 
matters, as war meant certain defeat." Nor was the picture 
of the proposed intervention by Russia and France correct. 
It was also untrue that the majority of Germans were 
hostile to England, and Japan could rest The 
assured that Germany had no adventurous Chancellor 
aims in the Far East. "If these revelations Ex P tains 
had appeared singly and correctly, the sensation would 
have been slight. For two decades the Kaiser has 
laboured, often under very difficult circumstances, to 
bring about friendly relations. The passionate sympathy 
of our people for the Boers led to unjust and violent 
attacks, and from England have also come unjust attacks 
on ourselves. Our aims were misunderstood, and hostile 
plans attributed to us which never entered our heads. The 
Kaiser, convinced that this situation was a misfortune for 
both lands and a danger to the civilized world, has stuck 
to his guns. Any doubt as to the purity of his intentions 
and his patriotism is unjust. I quite understand that, 
just because he knew himself to have striven zealously 
and sincerely, he felt pained by the constant attacks and 
suspicions of his naval plans. The knowledge that the 
publication has not produced the desired result in England, 
and has aroused excitement and painful regret in Germany, 
will lead him henceforth to observe even in private con- 
versation the reserve which is essential to the unity of our 
policy and the authority of the Crown. If it were other- 
wise, neither I nor my successors could carry our burden. 
For the mistake I accept full responsibility. The officials 
in the Foreign Office trusted that I had read the document, 
as I read most things. I at once offered to resign, and 
the hardest resolve in my life was to remain at the Kaiser's 
wish. We must not, however, make a misfortune into a 
catastrophe. The mischief is not so great that it cannot 



442 History of Modern Europe [1908 

be made good. But no one must forget the warning that 
we have all received." 

The Daily Telegraph interview, like the letter to Lord 
Tweedmouth, however well intentioned, increased the 
malaise which it was intended to dispel. When the Kaiser 
confessed that his subjects as a whole were unfriendly to 
England, he was generally believed, and when he affirmed 
his own undeviating good will he failed to carry convic- 
tion. Moreover, the rashness of his language deepened 
the impression already prevalent throughout Europe that 
his personality was an explosive element in world politics. 
A second shock of a similar character was narrowly 
averted by the suppression of an interview with an Ameri- 
can journalist, Dr. Hale, on the Kaiser's yacht, which 
had been passed by the Foreign Office and was about to 
appear in the December issue of the Century Magazine. 3 

British While Cabinet Ministers expressed their con- 
Apprehen- fidence in the good will of Germany, a 
sions growing number of observers came to regard 
a collision as probable if not inevitable. From the 
opening of the century Mr. Leo Maxse had pro- 
claimed in the National Review that Germany was the 
enemy, and that the safety of the country depended on 
close association with France and Russia. Lord Cromer 
warned the Government in the House of Lords that "their 
main duty was to make provision betimes for the European 
conflict which might not improbably be forced upon us 
before many years." During his cure at Marienbad in 
1908 King Edward received a visit from Clemenceau, the 
French Premier, who argued that the Territorial Army 
was a plaything, and urged the creation of a national 
army. On November 23 Lord Roberts delivered a speech 

1 Cf. Bassermann's speech in his " Reden," I, and Hammann, " Urn 
den Kaiser," ch. 6. The Crown Prince describes his father's physical and 
moral collapse at this crisis and his anger with Biilow. " Memoirs," 87-8. 
The Kaiser bitterly complained that the Chancellor had " betrayed " him. 

2 According- to D. J. Hill, " Impressions of the Kaiser," 96, the printed 
copies were bought up, taken out to sea by a German warship, and used to 
stoke the furnaces. 



Lord Roberts's Warning 443 

in the House of Lords which succeeded in making com- 
pulsory service a living issue. "There lies in front of us 
one of the strangest spectacles ever witnessed. Within a 
few hours' steaming of our coasts there is a people number- 
ing over sixty millions, our most active rivals in com- 
merce and the greatest military Power in the world, adding 
to an overwhelming military strength a naval force which 
she is resolutely and rapidly increasing, while we are 
taking no military precautions in response. Words 
cannot express the responsibility which lies on the members 
of the Legislature. We are trustees for the future of the 
Empire. It is my absolute belief that, without a military 
organization more adequate to the certain perils of the 
future, our Empire will fall from us and our power will 
pass away." 

While Lord Roberts was proclaiming his fears and 
propounding his remedies, Sir John Fisher secretly pro- 
posed to avert the menace by very different 
means. As far back as 1905, on his appoint- 
ment to office, the First Sea Lord, in a 
written memorandum, predicted an Anglo-German war 
in August, 1914 j 1 and on March 14, 1908, he wrote 
to King Edward, "That we have eventually to fight 
Germany is just as sure as anything can be." "Early 
in 1908," he writes, " I had a long secret conversation 
with the King, in which I urged that we should ' Copen- 
hagen ' the German fleet at Kiel, a la Nelson, and I 
lamented that we possessed neither a Pitt nor a Bismarck 
to give the order." The criminal design of seizing the 
fleet of a foreign Power in time of peace, without even 
Canning's excuse in 1807, was never communicated to 
Ministers. "I don't want to disclose my plan of cam- 
paign to anyone," wrote Sir John to Lord Esher on 
January 17, 1908, "not even Campbell-Bannerman him- 
self. The only man who knows is Sir Arthur Wilson, 
and he is as close as wax. The whole success will depend 
on suddenness and unexpectedness." 8 The reception of 

1 " Memories," 64. a Ibid,, 18-19, 183. 



444 History of Modern Europe [1908 

the plan by those to whom it was confided did not en- 
courage its author to admit the public into the circle of his 
initiates. 

The tension was recognized and deplored by no one 
more than the German Ambassador in London, who com- 
plained that the provocatory methods by 

which the fleet was boomed g ot on English 
nerves. "Count Wolff-Metternich," writes 
Tirpitz, "watched this increasing fear of Germany 
with growing anxiety. Till then he had taken up 
the right standpoint that the English must and 
would accustom themselves to our Navy Bill. It is in- 
telligible, if not quite excusable, that under the strong 
pressure of English circles around him in 1908 he should 
begin to lose his sure judgment of the deeper reasons of 
Anglo-German jealousy. 1 His reports caused Billow to 
enter into detailed discussions with me during the winter. 
Since January, 1909, I declared my readiness to allow a 
proportion which would secure a definite British superiority 
for all time." There was only one path back to confidence 
and cordiality, but the Kaiser and his third Chancellor 
stubbornly refused to take it. "I am asked why we oppose 
limitations," declared Billow in the Reichstag on Decem- 
ber 10, 1908. "The technical difficulties are very great. 
It is not only the number and size of the battleships. 
How is one to reckon the interests of each Power at sea ? 
And what of the problem of inventions ? Besides, we are 
in the middle of Europe, in the most strategically un- 
favourable position on the world map. The present situa- 
tion in Europe is not very comfortable. Our position 
would be bad indeed, and the peace imperilled if we 
reduced our armaments below the level demanded by our 
position in Europe. Finally, our fleet is determined by 
a law, solely to assure the defence of our coasts and our 
commerce." Meanwhile the construction of a mighty 
fleet was pressed steadily forward to the strident accom- 

1 Schon describes the conflicts between Tirpitz and the Ambassador, and 
adds that the Admiral often enforced his views by threats of resignation. 



King Edward in Berlin 445 

paniment of the Pan-German orchestra, and talk of war 
became common in both countries. 1 

The relations of Great Britain with Germany in the 
earlier stages of the Bosnian crisis were less strained than 
with Austria, for everyone was aware that she had to 
stand by her ally. The inevitable friction was eased by 
the official visit of the King and Queen King 
to Berlin in February, 1909, the novel Edward's 
feature of which was the King's visit to visit 
the Rathaus, where he spoke gratefully of his "splen- 
did reception " by the municipality. Controversial 
topics were studiously avoided. The King's Speech on 
the opening of Parliament declared that he was much 
impressed and gratified by the warmth of his reception 
by all classes of the community. "In its extremely har- 
monious course," declared the Chancellor, "it was a 
happy event. The warm welcome they received here, its 
echo in England, above all, the King's words of sincere 
love of peace and friendship, have shown once again to 
both peoples how much cause they have to respect each 
other and to co-operate in peaceful work. Germany is 
England's best customer, and England is ours." 

A few days before the German ultimatum to Russia 
ended the Bosnian crisis, British nerves received an un- 
expected shock. The Navy Law of 1908, reducing the life 
of capital ships from twenty-five to twenty years, con- 
formed to the general practice and excited no alarm in 
Whitehall; but in the autumn the Admiralty heard that 
the programme of 1909-10 was being anticipated, and in 
January, 1909, Sir Edward Grey informed the German 
Government that in consequence the British estimates 
would be considerably increased. The Admiralty's pro- 
posal for meeting the new German Navy Bill was to lay 
down six Dreadnoughts in 1909-10, and a similar number 

1 Pan-Germanism may be studied in " Zvvanzig Jahre Alldeutscher 
Arbeit und Kampfe," 1910; W. T. Arnold, " German Ambitions "; Charles 
Andler, " Le Pangermanisme " ; Cheradame, " 1'Europe et la Question 
d'Autriche," and "The Pan-German Plot Unmasked"; Seton-Watson, 
" German, Slav and Magyar "; Nippold, " Deutscher Chauvinismns." 



446 History of Modern Europe [1909 

In the two succeeding years. A battle raged within and 
without the Cabinet ; but the First Lord emerged victorious, 
since his defeat would have involved the resignation of the 
Foreign Secretary. Estimates were indeed for four; but 

it was added that the Government "might 
Estimates 1 find lt necessary to make preparations for 

the rapid construction of four more large 
armoured ships." Mysterious whispers of coming trouble 
had filled the lobbies during the opening weeks of the 
session; but few were prepared for the dramatic scene 
when Mr. McKenna rose on March 16. "The safety of 
the Empire," he began, "stands above all considera- 
tions." For the first time the estimates were justified 
by selecting Germany as the standard by which to meas- 
ure our requirements, and British and German Dread- 
noughts were balanced against each other down the vista 
of the coming years. Mr. Balfour made his hearers' flesh 
creep by suggesting that our rival might possess twenty- 
five ships in April, 1912. The Prime Minister, while 
rejecting such fantastic exaggerations, confessed that 
seventeen ships in April, 1912, were a possibility and 
thirteen a certainty. A wave of panic swept over the 
country. Men began to speak openly of war as possible 
and even probable, and the legend of stealthy acceleration 
seemed proof positive of a fell design to wrest the trident 
from Britannia's hands. 

Sir Edward accepted the explanations and assurances, 
"some vouchsafed before March 16 but more precisely after 
it," that there had been no acceleration in the date for the 
completion of the vessels; but the public continued to 
believe that Germany had tried to steal a march on her 
rival. The political result of the crisis was deplorable ; but 
the British navy profited by the panic, for six of the eight 
vessels of the 1909-1910 programme were super-Dread- 
noughts, with 13. 5-inch guns instead of 1 2-inch. This 
stroke delayed the construction of the German vessels that 
had already been laid down ; and when the danger-point 
of the spring of 1912 was reached, Germany possessed 



i 9 o 9 ] The Naval Estimates 447 

not the thirteen monsters which Mr. Asquith had foretold 
as a certainty, but nine. Mr. McKenna, on the other 
hand, followed up his eight Dreadnoughts by five in each 
of the two succeeding years, thus completing in his three 
years of office the programme of eighteen which he had 
originally proposed to his colleagues. 

On the same day that Prince Billow was disclaiming 
acceleration, Mr. Arthur Lee moved a Vote of Censure on 
the Government for not at once laying down 
eight Dreadnoughts. In a weighty speech censure 
the Foreign Secretary replied that he was 
not sure that the four extra ships would be required, 
and that in any case they need not be ordered before 
July, as they would not be completed any sooner. 
But he made no attempt to disguise the serious nature 
i>f the problem. "The situation is grave. A new 
situation in this country is created by the German pro- 
gramme, whether it is carried out quickly or slowly. 
When it is completed Germany will have a fleet of thirty- 
three Dreadnoughts the most powerful the world has ever 
seen. That imposes on us the necessity, of which we now 
are at the beginning except so far as we have Dread- 
noughts already of rebuilding the whole of our fleet." 
The speech concluded with the sensible suggestion that 
future panics should be obviated by the Admiralties ex- 
changing information and providing facilities for inspec- 
tion by Naval Attaches ; but the proposal was declined by 
the German Government. It was announced in July that 
'the four contingent Dreadnoughts would be laid down, 
and the decision was received almost without protest. 
"Armaments are increasing," declared Lord Rosebery in 
an impressive speech at a banquet to Colonial journalists 
on July 9; "this calm before the storm is terrifying." The 
rejection by the House of Lords of the Declaration of 
London, which had been drawn up during the winter by 
naval experts to assist the projected Appeal Prize Court at 
The Hague, was due to the growing apprehension in Con- 
servative circles that Britain might before long find herself 



448 History of Modern Europe [1909 

at war, and that it would be unwise to tie her hands by the 
surrender of any belligerent rights. 

In his "Imperial Germany," published in 1913, Prince 
Biilow explained the ideas which had governed him in the 
Bulow's crea ^ n of a large navy. It was a delicate 
Naval task, he declares, to awaken public opinion 
Policy to j ts necess ity without arousing patriotic 
feeling to such an extent as to damage irreparably 
Germany's relations with England, against whom her 
sea power would for years still be insufficient, and 
at whose mercy she lay in 1897 like butter before the 
knife. "It was both necessary and desirable for us to be 
so strong that no sea power could attack us without grave 
risk, so that we might be free to protect our oversea 
interests, independently of the influence and choice of other 
sea powers. Our vigorous national development, mainly 
in the industrial sphere, forced us to cross the ocean. For 
the sake of our interests, as well as of our honour and 
dignity, we were obliged to see that we won for our inter- 
national policy the same independence that we had secured 
for our European policy. I have always been convinced 
that a conflict would never come to pass 

"i. If we built a fleet which could not be attacked 
without very grave risk. 

"ii. If we did not indulge in undue and unlimited 
shipbuilding. 

"iii. If we allowed no Power to injure our reputation 
or our dignity. 

"iv. If we allowed nothing to make an irremediable 
breach between us and England. 

"v. If we kept calm and cool, and neither injured 
England nor ran after her." 

The Prince's pacific maxims were negative in character, 
and the mere fact that he and his master set their faces 
against the limitation of naval armaments was fatal to 
the confidence which is the only sure foundation of peace. 



Bulow's Mistakes 449 

The most brilliant of Bismarck's successors lacked the 
master's capacity to measure the ultimate consequences 
of his policy. Weltpolitik was the fashion 
among the Great Powers, and it was natural 
that he should desire Germany to play 
i her part; but to the Chancellor Weltpolitik meant the 
I rapid construction of a mighty fleet in addition to the 
'. strongest army in the world. Though there is no reason 
to attribute to him aggressive designs, his policy was a 
challenge to our secular practice of maintaining our safety 
\ against invasion and the provisioning of our people by the 
possession of an unconquerable fleet. The Iron Chancellor 
gained a colonial empire without a fleet and without firing. 
a shot. If the growth of new ambitions demanded a 
departure from the policy of his later years, his successors 
should have followed his practice of securing one object 
and incurring one risk at a time. William II was sur- 
rounded by men who agreed in desiring a forward move- 
ment, some looking to the Turkish Empire, others to the 
Atlantic. Each had its prizes and its risks. It was the 
task of statesmanship to choose between the Eastern and 
Western policy. 1 It is the supreme condemnation of the' 
Kaiser and Billow that, in addition to thwarting Russia 
in the Near East, they simultaneously antagonized Great 
Britain by threatening her naval supremacy* 

Bethmann-Hollweg inherited no bed of roses when he 
I succeeded Biilow as Chancellor in July, 1909. "Whether 
Germany might have secured a different world-constella- 
tion at the opening of the century," he writes in his 
pathetic "Reflections," "by accepting the English ap- 
proaches and reaching a naval understanding, need not 
be discussed. In 1909 the main lines were laid down.^ 
England had taken lip her position beside France and,* 

1 The Kaiser (" Memoirs," ch. 14) argues that his policy involved no 
risks at all; but the necessity of a choice is clearly recognized in the 
memoirs of Tirpitz, representing one school, and Bernstorff, representing 
the other. Johannes Haller's brilliant little book, " Die Aera Biilow," 
contains an annihilating criticism of Billow's policy. Biilow defended 
himself in an interesting letter of June 21, 1919, reprinted in Spicker- 
nagel's " Fiirst Biilow," 92-102. 



450 History of Modern Europe [1909 

Russia, while Germany had settled her naval programme 
and developed a Near Eastern policy. Sharp words had 
been exchanged, and the atmosphere was frosty and 
charged with suspicion. Prince Billow informed me that 
the attitude of England was an object of grave anxiety, 
Bethmann thou g h he hoped it might yield to treat- 
and ment. The fleet was Germany's darling. 
Tirpitz j n it t | le forward-striving forces of the nation 
seemed to be most vividly incarnated. Apprehensions 
as to the grave international complications which arose 
from our navy policy were smothered by a robust 
agitation. Its direction was in the hands of a man 
who claimed political authority. Where differences be- 
tween the navy and the political direction occurred, public 
opinion was almost invariably on the side of the former. 
The weighing of international factors appeared as kow- 
towing to the foreigner. The Pan-German movement had 
already begun to secure a footing among the Conservatives 
and National Liberals not a wish for war but an arrogance 
which complicated my task." The Chancellor's dislike of 
Tirpitz was heartily reciprocated. "Prince Billow," writes 
the Admiral, "inspired in me a different feeling of security 
than his suspicious and inexperienced successor. The 
former gave the navy his full sympathy ; but after his 
resignation I had to fight for the most necessary credits 
till I was exhausted less with the Reichstag, which 
showed growing insight, than with the Treasury and the 
Chancellor, who suppressed a great deal that was desirable 
for Germany's armament." The Pan-Germans made no 
secret of their hostility. "In Bethmann's eyes," writes 
Reventlow, "the first aim of German diplomacy was to 
secure British neutrality in the event of a Continental war. 
He did not share the conviction of the necessity of a 
powerful German fleet, believing that its influence made 
rather for war than for peace." 

Though the new Chancellor was powerless to alter the 
course of the ship, a more accommodating spirit entered 

* " Reflections," I, ch. i. 



The New Chancellor 451 

the Wilhelmstrasse ; and Kiderlen-Wachter, whom he 
called to office despite the Kaiser's disapproval, and who 
exercised more power than was usually allowed to the 
Foreign Secretary, shared the view that Germany should 
be satisfied with a fleet which did not arouse British' 
hostility. "The army preserves peace," he observed to! 
Reventlow; "the fleet endangers it." The Chancellor was 
convinced of the good will of the British Government, and 
determined on a frank interchange of views. He declares 
that he found no obstacle in the highest quarter. "As 
we could not dissolve the Franco-Russian partnership, 
we could only obviate its danger by an understanding with 
England. Not only did the Kaiser agree with this view, 
but he repeatedly indicated it to me as the only possible 
policy. In the opening days of August I began discus- 
sions on the fleet with Sir E. Goschen. The negotiations 
led to no result, as the London Cabinet hardly showed 
interest in their success, and no formula was found to 
satisfy the Admiralties." The Kaiser declares in his 
" Memoirs " that he supported these endeavours, though 
without much hope of success. 

"The Chancellor," relates Sir Edward Cook, 1 "sent for 
the British Ambassador, to whom he said that he realized 
that the naval question was regarded by 
England as the chief obstacle to really cor- Negotiations 
dial relations between the two countries; 
that the German Government were now ready to make 
proposals for a naval arrangement, but that discussion 
on that subject could profitably be undertaken only 
as part of a general understanding based on a conviction 
that neither country had hostile or aggressive designs 
against the other. The British Government were naturally 
much gratified by the Chancellor's messages and met his 
overtures cordially. The naval question was the dominant 
one for them, but they were ready to consider with the 
utmost sympathy any proposals for a general understand- 
ing so long as these were not inconsistent with Britain's 

Britain strove for Peace." 



452 History of Modern Europe [1909 

existing obligations to other foreign Powers. The naval 
proposals made by Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg were 
somewhat vague. There could be no question, it was ex- 
plained, of any departure from the German Navy Law 
as a whole, as that would meet with insuperable opposition 
in the Reichstag; but the German Government were will- 
ing to discuss the question of ' retarding the rate ' of 
building new ships. Precise explanation of this formula 
was not forthcoming. What was understood to be meant 
was that the total number of ships to be completed by 
1918 would not be reduced, but that the number of capital 
ships might be reduced in the earlier years and equiva- 
lently raised in the later. There would, it will be seen, 
be no ultimate reduction of expenditure, and no definite 
reduction of the total German programme. 

"The basis of naval negotiation suggested by the 
Chancellor was thus undefined, slender, shadowy. The 
quid pro quo which he required for it was positive and 
substantial. Great Britain was to be party to an agree- 
ment declaring that (i) neither country had any idea of 
aggression, and that neither in fact would attack the 
other; and (2) that in the event of an attack made on 
either Power by a third Power or group of Powers, the 
Power not attacked should stand aside. 

"To the first condition there was and could be no 

objection; to the second, the objection from the British 

The point of view was serious. If Great Britain 

Neutrality accepted the German condition, it became 

Problem practically certain, owing to the general 

position of the European Powers, that she would be 

bound to stand aside from any Continental struggle. 

In any such struggle Germany could arrange without 

difficulty that the formal inception of hostilities should 

rest with Austria. If Austria and Russia were at war, 

Germany was pledged to support Austria ; while as soon as 

Russia was attacked by two Powers, France was bound 

to come to her assistance. The giving of the pledge 

proposed by the German Government would, therefore, 






Anglo-German Negotiations 453 

prevent Great Britain from supporting France, no matter 
what the reasons of the conflict or its results might be. 
Thus French trust and good will would be forfeited, 
since Great Britain could be of no assistance to France, 
should Germany determine to press to the ultimate issue 
of war any demands she might choose to make. It could 
not be overlooked by Ministers acting as trustees for their 
country's future that the period of forced British neutrality, 
involved in the Chancellor's proposals, might be used by 
Germany strenuously to consolidate her supremacy in 
Continental Europe. Great Britain would be a paralysed 
spectator, until Germany were free to devote undivided 
strength to reducing her, the only remaining independent 
factor in Europe. Moreover, the German proposal in- 
volved, in the second place, a repudiation in certain events 
of England's treaty obligations to Belgium. Suppose 
Germany in a war with France were to invade Belgium, 
England would have been prevented by this proposed 
agreement with Germany from vindicating Belgium's 
neutrality. It is not surprising, therefore, that in the 
autumn of 1909 the British Government declined the 
German Government's proposal. Politically, it was open 
to the gravest objections; on the naval side, it offered no 
substantial reduction of naval expenditure." 

If Tirpitz is to be believed, the Chancellor found in tine 
Minister of Marine a partner in his endeavours. "From 
the first days of his taking office I sup- 
ported him in his endeavour to meet the 
English in various matters brought forward 
by them. In particular I influenced the Emperor in 
this direction, and I left nothing undone for the negotia- 
tions concerning a naval agreement. Since January, 1909, 
I had been ready for any agreed proportion. As a starting 
point I mentioned 3 14, but later declared myself ready 
for 2:3, and finally settled on 10 : 16. Even though 
Churchill left certain back doors open which secured a 
greater superiority, I passed them over, convinced that 
the completion of our Navy Bill would fulfil the defensive 



454 History of Modern Europe [1910 

purpose which was all we had ever aimed at." But though 
he supported Bethmann's efforts, he had no belief in their 
success. :f In the course of these conversations I received 
the impression that the English Government was not 
serious about a real naval understanding, but that it was 
only concerned to confirm our Foreign Office in the legend 
that the fleet was to blame for everything. One of the 
chief supporters of the idea that only the fleet prevented 
Germany going arm-in-arm with England in world- 
politics was the Secretary to the Embassy in London, 
Kiihlmann. Bethmann's fundamental error was the be- 
lief that certain concessions in naval affairs, little courtesies, 
so to speak, might alter our relations. A few ships more 
or less were all the same to the English. It was clear that 
they preferred us to have not even a fleet fifty or a hundred 
per cent, weaker than theirs. We could only obtain recog- 
nition by abandoning the building of the fleet altogether." 
In May, 1910, the Kaiser came to London for King 
Edward's funeral, and his manifest sympathy was 
warmly appreciated. Negotiations were re- 
S sumed in the summer, the course of which 
was subsequently described by Sir Edward 
Cook. "Speaking in Parliament in July, 1910, Mr. 
Asquith said : ' We have approached the German 
Government. They have found themselves unable to do 
anything. They cannot, without an Act of Parliament, 
repeal their Naval Law. They tell us, and no doubt with 
great truth, they would not have the support of public 
opinion in Germany to a modified programme.' The 
Chancellor replied to this speech that the German Govern- 
ment had not opposed a non possumus to the British 
approaches; they could not agree to reduce naval con- 
struction, but they were ready to discuss temporary re- 
tardation. The precise meaning of this proposal was again 
not defined, but the British Government at once responded 
to the overtures, and in August, abandoning their pre- 
vious contention that any naval agreement must be based 
upon a reduction of the existing German naval pro- 



i9io] Naval Retardation 455 

gramme, they intimated their readiness (i) to discuss the 
suggestion of temporary retardation; (2) to negotiate a 
naval agreement on the basis that the existing German 
programme should not be increased, and that information 
should be exchanged with regard to the actual progress 
of shipbuilding in each country; (3) with regard to a 
political understanding, to give assurances that in any 
agreement between themselves and any other Power there 
was nothing directed against Germany, and that they 
themselves had no hostile intentions respecting her. 

"The reply of the German Government was received in 
October, and negotiations continued till the spring of 1911. 

" (i) With regard to ' temporary retardation,' this pro- 
posal, upon which the Chancellor had relied to justify 
his denial of a non possumus attitude, was withdrawn in 
May, 1911, a withdrawal which was strange, since the 
reason given (namely, the importance of feeding the ship- 
building industry with a definite quantity of Government 
orders) would have been equally cogent against the offer 
when first made. 

" (2) With regard to the negotiation of a naval agree- 
ment on the basis of no increase in the German pro- 
gramme and of exchange of information, the German 
Government agreed to discuss the latter subject; negotia- 
tions continued for many months : the final British memor- 
andum, accepting the German conditions on all essential 
points, was communicated at the end of January, 1912, 
and was left unanswered. As for the basis of no increase 
in the German programme, the German Government in 
October, 1910, asked what equivalent engagement would 
be made by Great Britain. The British Government were 
considering their reply, when the German The 
Emperor informed the British Ambassador Kaiser 
that he would on no account ever consent Obstructs 
to any agreement binding Germany not to enlarge her 
naval programme. The discrepancy thus apparent 
between the attitude of the Emperor and the Chancellor 
respectively was not cleared up, but in May, 1911, 



456 History of Modern Europe 

the German Government intimated their readiness to 
examine any proposals for a mutual reduction of ex- 
penditure on armaments not involving a departure from 
the requirements of the Navy Law. The withdrawal at 
the same time of the offer of temporary retardation did not 
inspire confidence, and the professed readiness of the 
German Government to negotiate a naval agreement on a 
fresh basis had been preceded by a very uncompromising 
official declaration in the Reichstag. 

"On March 13, 1911, Sir Edward Grey made a 
speech in Parliament indicating between the lines the 
course of negotiations with Germany, defining the limits 
within which alone those negotiations could hopefully 
proceed, and declaring it to be a paradox that while senti- 
ments of friendship were sincere armaments should in- 
crease. This speech met with a favourable reception in 
the German Press; but, on the subject coming up in the 
Reichstag, the Chancellor took occasion to apply cold 
water. ' I consider,' he said, ' any control as absolutely 
impracticable, and every attempt in that 
direction would lead to nothing but continual 
mutual distrust and perpetual friction. Who 
would be content to weaken his means of defence 
without the absolute certainty that his neighbour was 
not secretly exceeding the proportion allowed to him 
in the disarmament agreement? No, gentlemen, any- 
one who seriously considers the question of universal 
disarmament must inevitably come to the conclusion 
that it is insoluble so long as men are men and States are 
States.' 

" (3) While Germany was thus alternately coming for- 
ward and drawing back on the naval side of the negotia- 
tions with England, the German Government continued to 
attach great importance to a political understanding. 
They laid emphasis on this point in their reply of October, 
1910, and when negotiations were resumed after the 
General Election in this country, the British Government 
assented to the German view that some wider agreement of 



i 9 n] Search for Neutrality Formuk 457 

a political nature should be a condition precedent to a naval 
arrangement, and submitted suggestions as a basis for dis- 
cussing such a political agreement. An arrangement, as 
foreshadowed by the Chancellor, embodying a general 
political formula, might be considered more comprehen- 
sive, far-reaching, and intimate than any arrangement, 
short of actual alliance, that England had with any other 
Power; and such an arrangement, therefore, might cause 
misunderstanding in France and Russia. The British 
agreements with France and with Russia were not based 
on a general political formula; they were settlements of 
specific questions, and the settlements had transformed 
relations of friction and pinpricks into friendship. There 
was nothing exclusive in those friendships, and the British 
Government had seen with satisfaction the settlement of 
some questions between France and Germany and between 
Russia and Germany. Why should not something of the 
same kind be attempted between England and Germany? 
The reply of the German Government (May, 1911) to these 
suggestions seemed not unfavourable, though the with- 
drawal of the previous naval offer was discouraging. The 
German Government declared that the British suggestions 
might form a suitable basis for an agreement, though they 
repeated their preference for a general political formula." 

The tension seemed to be growing less acute. In May 
the Kaiser accepted King George's invitation to attend 
the unveiling of the Memorial to Queen The 
Victoria, and was received with the usual Kaiser's 
cordiality. "I observed with my own eyes," Vlsit 
reported Count Lalaing, the Belgian Minister, "that 
the welcome of the public became warmer from day 
to day. The death of King Edward seems to have 
brought about a slight ddtente in Anglo-German rela- 
tions." 1 But at this moment a rash resolve at Berlin 
sundered the two nations once again, and plunged Europe 
into a crisis even more alarming than that of 1908. 

1 Schwertfeger, " Zur Europaischen Politik," III, 245-6. 



CHAPTER XIV 

AGADIR 

THE Conference of Algeciras was followed by improve- 
ment neither in the relations between France and Germany 
nor in the internal conditions of Morocco. 1 

The kernel of the Treat y was the Power 
given to France and Spain to provide police 
for eight ports under a Swiss inspector; but recruit- 
ing and instruction proceeded very slowly and were 
never fully carried out. A French official was shot 
at Tangier, and a French doctor was murdered in 
Marakesh. In April, 1907, General Lyautey occupied the 
town of Ujda on the Algerian frontier "until reparation 
was secured." In June Sir H. Maclean, instructor to the 
Moorish army, was kidnapped by Raisuli. In July some 
navvies employed on the port works at Casablanca were 
murdered for endangering the cemetery, and the attack 
was followed by the bombardment of the town and the 
occupation of the surrounding territory. France was now 
entrenched both in the east and west of the Promised 
Land. Drawing strength from the hostility to foreign 
encroachments, Mulai Hafid raised the banner of revolt 
against his brother Abdul Aziz in the south, and was 
proclaimed Sultan at Fez in January, 1908. Abdul Aziz 
was crushed, and by the end of the year Mulai Hafid was 
recognized by the Powers after promising to respect the 

1 See the Livres Jaunes, " Affaires du Maroc," 4 vols., 1906-12 ; Tardieu, 
" La Conference d'Alge*ciras " (edition of 1909) and " Le Mystere 
d'Agadir " ; Louis Maurice Bompard, " La Politique Marocaine de 
1'Alleraagne " ; Caillaux, " Agadir " ; Mermeix, " Chronique de Fan 
1911 "; Albin, " Le Coup d'Agadir "; Morel, " Morocco in Diplomacy "; 
Bethmann-Hollweg, " Reflections," I, ch. 2 ; W. B. Harris, " Morocco That 
Was"; Hammann, " Bilder aus der letzten Kaiserzeit"; Siebert, ch. 10. 

458 



i 9 o8] The Casablanca Crisis 459 

Act of Algeciras. He, however, failed to restore order. 
The Riff tribesmen defied him in the north and a new 
pretender, El Roghi, in the south. 

In 1907 Pichon, Clemenceau's Foreign Minister, 
encouraged conversations between Raynaud, the editor 
of La Depeche Marocaine, and the German Legation at 
Tangier, which showed the possibility of an entente on 
the basis of the political desinteressement of Germany in 
return for a share in important economic enterprises; and 
in January, 1908, Jules Cambon reported that the German 
Foreign Secretary desired to discuss an economic entente. 
In March Baron Schon informed the Reichstag that 
Franco-German relations were normal and even friendly, 
and that Germany fully recognized the loyalty of France 
to the Act of 1906. But these approaches were rudely 
interrupted in September by an incident which for some 
weeks threatened the peace of the world. Some German 
residents in Casablanca, aided by their The 
Consul, had established in 1906 an agency Casablanca 
for organizing desertions from the Foreign Deserters 
Legion, and in September, 1908, it persuaded two 
Germans, a German naturalized as a French citizen, a 
Russian, a Swiss and an Austrian to desert. The Consul 
provided them with civilian clothing, hid them in the 
city for some days, and intended to embark them on a 
German steamer lying off the port. Early in the morn- 
ing of September 25 they were accompanied to the 
harbour by a member of the Consulate; but the boat in 
which they embarked capsized and they were forced to 
return to the shore. The Commandant of the harbour 
noticed them and gave orders to arrest them. A brief 
struggle ensued, and the German Consul loudly demanded 
the restoration of the three Germans. 

When the Governments were informed, Austria 
declined to take action ; but Baron Lancken appeared at 
the Quai d'Orsay to demand "prompt and complete satis- 
faction." The Minister replied by demanding that the 
German Consul should be disavowed and censured. A 



460 History of Modern Europe [1908 

fortnight later the German Government proposed arbitra- 
tion; but when Pichon accepted, Berlin demanded the 
punishment of the port authorities at Casablanca and the 
release of the three deserters, after which the German 
Consul would also be punished. Pichon replied that the 
matter was now referred to arbitration. The German 
Ambassador again demanded the prompt liberation of the 
three Germans and compensation for the two employes of 
the German Consulate who had been injured. Next day 
Billow informed the French Ambassador that unless the 
second demand was conceded the Kaiser would recall his 
Ambassador. Pichon stood firm, and replied that he must 
await the arbitral award. On November 6 Biilow made 
a final and equally fruitless attempt to procure an apology 
for the arrest of the deserters before the arbitration began. 
" King Edward," writes Tardieu from inside knowledge 
of the French Foreign Office, "let the French Govern- 
ment know that he would place at its disposal on the 
Continent, if peace were broken, five divisions of infantry 
and one division of cavalry to hold the left wing in the 
second line." On November 7 the British and Russian 
Ambassadors informed the Quai d'Orsay that their 
Governments fully approved the action and shared the 
policy of France. Two days later the Austrian Ambassador 
told Pichon that his master had urged the Kaiser, who 
was at that moment his guest, to settle the 
l uestion amicably, and the Kaiser had 
agreed. The crisis was over, and Kiderlen- 
Wachter and Jules Cambon proceeded to sign a declara- 
tion regretting the events of September 25 and referring 
the questions of fact as well as of law to arbitration. 
The verdict of The Hague Tribunal censured "the grave 
and manifest fault " of the Chancellor of the German 
Consulate in aiding the escape of the non-German 
legionaries. The French authorities had acted correctly, 
except that needless violence had been displayed in the 
arrest of the deserters. 1 

1 Schon, " Memoirs," 90-3. 






i 9 o 9 ] Franco-German Pact 461 

The decision of the German Government not to push 
the Casablanca quarrel to extremes was in part due to the 
ferment provoked by the Daily Telegraph interview and 
to the preoccupation of the Central Powers with the 
Bosnian crisis. "Kiderlen visited me to-day on behalf of 
Baron Schon," reported Jules Cambon on January 26. 
"He renewed the assurance that Germany had only 
economic aims in Morocco. I said that France would 
emphasize her interest in the integrity of Morocco, and 
Germany her will not to thwart the political interests of 
France. Both would express their desire, while keeping 
in view the special and recognized position of France, to 
see their nationals associated in economic enterprises." 
On February 3 the formula was settled, and Jules Cambon, 
its author, travelled to Paris to secure the approval of the 
Government. On February 8 the declaration was signed. 
"The Governments, animated by an equal The 
desire to facilitate the execution of the Act Morocco 
of Algeciras, have agreed to define the 
meaning they attach to its clauses in order to avoid 
all cause of future misunderstanding. Consequently 
France, entirely attached to the maintenance of the 
integrity and independence of Morocco, resolved to 
safeguard economic equality and therefore not to thwart 
German commercial and industrial interests; and Ger- 
many, pursuing merely economic interests, and recog- 
nizing that the special political interests of France are 
closely bound up with the consolidation of order and 
internal peace and resolved not to thwart those interests, 
declare that they will not pursue or encourage any measure 
of a kind to create in their favour or the favour of any 
Power an economic privilege, and that they will seek to 
associate their nationals in the affairs which they may be 
able to secure." On the same day letters were exchanged 
between Cambon and Schon declaring that "the political 
desinleressement of Germany " did not affect the positions 
already held by her nationals, but implied that they would 
not compete for posts in the public services of a political 



462 History of Modern Europe [1909 

character, and that when their interests were associated it 
would be recognized that French interests were the most 
important. 

The agreement appeared to embody a profound modifi- 
cation of Franco-German relations. Pichon declared that 
it removed all causes of conflict in Morocco, 
and Prince Radolin, the German Ambas- 
sador, cheerfully added that a lasting entente 
had been secured. The Kaiser congratulated Schon, 
and Biilow informed the Reichstag that it assured 
France her legitimate political influence in Morocco 
without allowing her to appropriate the country. "I 
rejoice," declared Aehrenthal to the French Ambassador, 
"and so do all my countrymen, whose cordial sympathy 
with you grows daily stronger." Similar felicitations came 
from Tittoni at Rome. In informing Sir Edward Grey 
of the Declaration, Paul Cambon declared that it in no 
way infringed the rights and interests of other nations, 
and the Foreign Secretary replied that the Government 
were glad to see the end of the disagreement. Russia, 
on the other hand, neither felt nor feigned satisfaction, 
for she saw in the Morocco entente fresh evidence of 
French reluctance to back up her ally in the Bosnian 
crisis. 1 

"We dream of no new departure," declared Pichon. 
"Our rights and interests are to-day what they were 
yesterday. We have no intention of going beyond the 
limits fixed at Algeciras." But this was to understate 
the case. The Convention, while paying lip homage to 
the Treaty of 1906, increased French freedom of action. 
"We can now cash the Act of Algeciras," declared the 
Journal des Debats. Even in France, however, the agree- 
ment did not escape criticism. "One is struck by the 
vagueness of the formulas and the engagements," 
comments Caillaux. "Germany did not recognize our 

1 In July, 1911, Izvolsky denounced the pact of 1909 to Caillaux; and 
Troubetzkoi condemns it as the fraternization of the seconds while the 
duel was in progress. 



Economic Co-operation 463 

full liberty of action, and France conceded a heavy 
economic mortgage." 

Germany promptly invited a technical discussion, and 
a French expert was dispatched to Berlin, where it 
appeared that she desired to cancel the Algeciras principle 
of public adjudication. 1 France was, of course, at liberty 
to associate England and Spain in her enterprises, but 
their share must come out of the French quota. Despite 
Germany's virtuous championship of equal opportunity in 
Morocco, the country was henceforth to be a preserve for 
herself and France. The Berlin aide-memoire, sum- 
marizing the results, reached Paris on June 9; but Pichon, 
pressed to sacrifice old friends to the new partner, post- 
poned his reply till October, when, despite a few reserves, 
he accepted the German invitation. The spoils to be 
divided consisted of mines, public works The 
and railways, and in all three difficulties Morocco 
quickly arose. The Union des Mines had Mines 
been founded in 1907 by Schneider, Creusot and Krupp; 
but nothing had been done owing to opposition from 
the Mannesmann Brothers, who advanced money to 
Mulai Hafid while Pretender and obtained mining 
concessions in return. In 1909 negotiations between the 
two groups began in Paris, but the Mannesmann claims 
were so excessive that no settlement had been reached 
before the Agadir crisis. 2 In the domain of public works 
the progress was no less disappointing. French and 
German capitalists created a Socie'te Marocaine des 
Travaux Publics, and projects of water supply and tram- 
ways, lighthouses and harbour works, were elaborated. 
In the first plan, that for lighthouses, the British Govern- 
ment protested against the allocation of the contract to 
the Socie'te, and claimed open tender under the Act of 
Algeciras; and the project accordingly lapsed. 

The construction of railways was delayed by the 

1 The attempts at co-operation in Morocco and in the French Congo 
are fully described by Tardieu, " Le Mystere d'Agadir." 

2 They were a thorn in the flesh to Schon. " Memoirs," 115-18. 



464 History of Modern Europe 

French claim that certain lines were strategic. The military 

authorities had long demanded lines from Casablanca into 

Tbe the Shawia, and from the Algerian frontier 

Morocco to Ujda, and credits were voted for their 
Railways construction by military engineers. In 
January, 1911, Schon informed M. Pichon that he 
did not object to railways in the military zones of 
occupation if they were open to trade on equal terms for 
all ; but he claimed that a special agreement was necessary 
if the line was built beyond Ujda towards Fez, and sug- 
gested the employment of the Socit and the prior con- 
struction of a line from Tangier to Fez. Pichon was willing 
that the French lines should be constructed by the Societe" 
under the direction of French military engineers, and had 
no objection to a prior Tangier-Fez line. An agreement 
was within sight, and on March 2 Jules Cambon advised 
his Government to sign the German draft. At this moment 
the Ministry fell and French policy changed. "I see the 
advantage in signing it," telegraphed Cruppi, the new 
Foreign Minister, to Cambon on March 4; "but would 
not Spain and England object to the clause binding France 
and Germany to secure the concession of Tangier-Fez for 
the Societ6 ? " " It would be very inconvenient if we do 
not sign," replied the Ambassador. "The project does 
not prevent Spain and England competing in the adjudi- 
cation. If we change tactics at the moment when an 
instrument for exploiting the country is under discussion, 
we shall ruin the results already obtained as well as our 
work of economic penetration. If we make Germany think 
that we want to dodge the Convention of 1909, it would 
create many difficulties." Cruppi proposed a small change 
in the accord, which Kiderlen accepted; but Cruppi then 
telegraphed that its terms must be weighed, and summoned 
Cambon to Paris. 

The Convention of 1909 encouraged the French and 
German Governments to extend their co-operation to the 
Congo. The French Ngoko-Sangha Company had 
neglected its concession, and German traders supplied 



i 9 u] Economic Co-operation 465 

the natives' wants in exchange for rubber and ivory. 
These products were in theory the monopoly of the com- 
pany; but a claim for compensation was refused by the 
French Government. The company appealed to the 
Chamber, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs recom- 
mended and secured an indemnity of two and a half million 
francs. The company now favoured co-operation with 
the German Company of South Cameroon. The approach 
was welcomed in Berlin, and an agreement was negotiated 
at the end of 1910. When the affair became known the 
French Government undertook not to sanction the con- 
sortium till the Chamber had approved; and when the 
Monis Cabinet took office it announced that it could not 
carry out the consortium. 

Meanwhile the collaboration of France and Morocco 
was no more successful than that of France and Germany. 
A loan of 1910 paid off the Sultan's debts, 
but he was soon in debt again. A second 
loan in 1911 was equally sterile. The 
handling of the military problem was no less unsatis- 
factory. When the Sultan invited General Mangin to 
reorganize his army, the General's request for French 
officers was not granted, and when the tribes round Fez 
rose in 1910 there were no troops to defend the capital. 
In a word, France had obtained no political benefit, and 
Germany no economic advantage, from the pact of 1909 
which had been so loudly acclaimed. 

The procrastination of the new French Cabinet with 
regard to the railway accord caused all the more annoyance 
in Berlin since rumours of a forward policy in Morocco 
were beginning to circulate. On March 13, 1911, Kiderlen 
spoke to Jules Cambon of rumours of military action in 
Morocco. "German opinion might be excited, and it 
would be wise if Germany were informed in good time. 
By small successive military operations France could be 
led on to an even more extended operation, which would 
end by annulling the Act of Algeciras." The Ambassador 
replied that French plans were not fixed, but she would 



466 History of Modern Europe 

respect the Act of Algeciras as hitherto. On returning 
to Berlin after a short stay in Paris in connexion with the 
railway accord, he visited Kiderlen on April 4. " I spoke 
of the bad news from Morocco and of the security of the 
Europeans if they were invested. We should probably 
be forced to occupy Rabat, but in any case we should 
respect the spirit of Algeciras and the sovereignty of the 
Sultan." Kiderlen dryly replied that he had no news from 
Morocco, and was apprehensive of the effect of such action 
on German opinion. On April 19 Cruppi announced that, 
in view of the danger to Europeans, France had listened 
to the Sultan's appeal for aid in organizing a Moroccan 
force for the relief of Fez. A French column would also 
be available if required to succour the capital. 1 

On receiving the news the Chancellor remarked to the 
Ambassador that the news from Tangier was not good, 
German ^ ut ^^ tnm s WOU W calm down. If France 
warns intervened they would grow worse. "You 
France know German opinion on Morocco, and 
I must take account of it. If you go to Fez you 
will stay there, and then the Morocco question will 
be raised in its entirety, which I wish at all costs to 
avoid." "Who tells you that we shall not leave the 
capital?" asked Cambon. "The revolt is against the 
Sultan, not against the Europeans," replied the Chan- 
cellor. " I can only insist on the importance of observing 
the Act of Algeciras, for difficulties will begin directly 
French troops enter Fez. I cannot encourage you ; I can 
only counsel prudence. I do not say No, because I cannot 
assume responsibility for your compatriots; but I repeat 
I do not encourage you." "The Chancellor," reported 
Cambon, "does not seek adventures in Morocco, and only 
wishes to maintain Germany's economic interests; not so 
the Pan-Germans. We must try to solve the question 
without putting ourselves too much forward. I deplore 

1 Izvolsky describes Cruppi as profoundly ignorant of foreign affairs and 
blind to the importance of the expedition to Fez, which he believed to be 
covered by the Act of 1906, " Un Livre Noir," I, 56, 103-4. 



IQII] 



The March to Fez 



467 



the articles in our Press on the Tunisification of Morocco, 
which are brought up against our official declarations." 
The Chancellor returned to the charge on April 25. "The 
Sultan is in danger," he remarked to the Ambassador, 
"but not the Europeans. When you are at Fez, will you 
be able to abandon him ? If not, do you think Moroccan 
independence will remain intact? Difficulties may begin 
which will destroy the work of three years." 

While the Chancellor watched French action with dis- 
may, the German Foreign Secretary secretly welcomed 
the opportunity of striking out a new line 
of policy. "If the Sultan requires the 
support of French bayonets," he remarked, 
"we shall consider that the Act of Algeciras is in- 
fringed and we shall resume our liberty." "We shall 
stay there some weeks," replied the Ambassador, "and 
when order is restored we shall retire." " I do not suspect 
your intentions," rejoined Kiderlen; "but when will the 
French agents on the spot think their task is accom- 
plished ? " Meanwhile the German Press began to peg 
out counter-claims. The Post demanded "a German 
Algeria," and even the Berliner Tageblatt clamoured for a 
port at Agadir. On May i the Norddeutsche Allgemeine 
Zeitung officially observed that a violation of the Act of 
Algeciras, voluntary or involuntary, would restore to all 
the signatories their liberty of action. 

The French Press was divided on the wisdom of a for- 
ward policy. The Temps contended that the Act of 
Algeciras would not be infringed by a temporary occupa- 
tion of Fez. Hanotaux argued that there was no choicq, 
since if Fez were taken and the Sultan killed the whole 
country would lapse into anarchy. The Journal des 
Debats, on the other hand, warned the Government that 
"a policy of disguised conquest" would involve the hos- 
tility of Spain and Germany ; and Jaures roundly declared 
the expedition a fraud, as neither the Sultan nor the Euro- 
peans were in danger. The view that a new situation had 
been created was shared by Spain, who claimed that 



468 History of Modern Europe 

French military intervention gave her the liberty of action 
defined in the secret Treaty of 1904; and despite French 
protests she landed troops at Larache and occupied El- 
Kasr. "France is securing the military and financial 
administration of the whole country," complained the 
Premier Canalejas, "and Spain will have nothing left." 

While the Spanish and German Governments regarded 
the march to Fez as the death-knell of the Algeciras settle- 
The ment, Sir Edward Grey accepted the assur- 
British ances of Paris. On May 2 Mr. Dillon 
Attitude asked the Foreign Secretary whether he 
had been consulted concerning the military measures in 
Morocco, and whether he approved the attack on the in- 
dependence of Morocco. Sir Edward replied that France 
had informed the British Government, like the others, of 
the measures to succour the Europeans. Her action, he 
added, did not aim at changing the political status of 
Morocco, and he saw no objection to it. He made the 
same reply to an inquiry by the German Ambassador 
during a visit of the Kaiser to London in May. It was 
not only the right but the duty of France to succour the 
Europeans, and French intervention would be of benefit to 
the world. 1 Not content with thus publicly approving the 
action of France, he instructed the British Ambassador at 
Madrid to call the attention of the Government to the 
danger of Spanish action in Morocco, and invited it to 
announce that if order continued in El-Kasr the troops 
would be withdrawn to Larache, since France had declared 
that her troops would withdraw from Fez as soon as 
possible. 

While troops were on the march to Fez, Cruppi at- 
tempted to reopen the railway negotiations; but the 
Ambassador at Paris had no instructions, and Kiderlen 
was on a holiday. Jules Cambon therefore visited the 
Chancellor on June n. "I am still very anxious about 
Morocco," began the latter. "German opinion is on the 
alert. French influence is growing, whether she wishes it 

1 Siebert, " Diplomatische Aktenstucke, " 417* 



Germany's Warnings 469 

or not. If you leave Fez you will be compelled to return 
within a year. In Germany people will . say German 
interests are being neglected, and I see the possibility of 
extremely grave difficulties." "Possibly," replied the 
Ambassador, "but nobody can prevent Morocco falling 
one day under our influence. Why not discuss all out- 
standing matters, except Alsace-Lorraine ? We could try 
to give German opinion satisfactions which would allow 
it to watch our influence in Morocco develop without dis- 
quiet." "I will think it over," replied the Chancellor; 
"but go and see Kiderlen at Kissingen." 

The advice was followed, and on June 22 the Ambassa- 
dor reported the result. The situation, began the Foreign 
Secretary, had been completely transformed, The 
with forces under French officers through- Kissingen 
out the country and a Sultan at the orders Conversations 
of France. "You are wrong as to the Sultan's power 
and character," replied Cambon; "we have to put in 
his hands a military force and to discipline it, if we 
do not want to abandon the country to anarchy and to 
ruin trade. Have you forgotten the compact of 1909, 
which recognizes French political influence ? Why do you 
contest our exercise of it?" "Influence is not Protector- 
ate," rejoined Kiderlen, "and you are on the road to 
organize a veritable Protectorate; and that is not in the 
pact of 1906 or 1909, any more than is your occupation 
of the Shawia and the East." Cambon remarked that it 
was not easy in dealing with a barbarous authority to fix 
how far influence could go, and proposed a general dis- 
cussion like that of England and France in 1903. "I 
agree," replied Kiderlen. "If we keep to Morocco we 
shall not succeed. It is useless to plaster over a tottering 
structure." At this point the Ambassador entered a 
caveat. "If you want part of Morocco, French opinion 
would not stand it. One could look elsewhere." "Yes," 
rejoined Kiderlen, "but you must tell us what you want." 
Cambon promised to submit these ideas to his Govern- 
ment; and at parting the Foreign Minister exclaimed, 



470 History of Modern Europe 

" Bring us back something from Paris." Cambon travelled 
straight to Paris, where he reported to Cruppi; but the 
same evening the Monis Cabinet fell and was succeeded 
by Caillaux. Before, however, the new Ministry had 
time to consider Cambon's communication the German 
Government took a step which shook Europe to its 
foundations. 1 

Kiderlen's wish, according to Reventlow, had long 
been to wipe Morocco off the slate. He considered that 
Billow's policy had been a failure and must be liquidated 
by the surrender of political claims in return for colonial 
compensation. The expedition to Fez provided the 
The opportunity for which he had waited, and 
Panther's he seized it with both hands. 2 On July i 
Spring the Q erman Ambassador at Paris informed 
the new French Foreign Minister, M. de Selves, that the 
Panther had been sent to Agadir. In presenting the 
Note he added that the Act of Algeciras was dead, and 
that Germany desired to eliminate the Morocco question 
by friendly discussion. A dispatch was communicated 
to all the signatories of the Act of Algeciras. "Some 
German firms established in the south of Morocco, notably 
at Agadir and in the vicinity, have been alarmed by a 
certain ferment among the local tribes, due, it seems, to 

1 The Kaiser declares in his " Memoirs " that he vigorously, though 
vainly, protested against the Agadir decision. 

* Kiderlen's attitude remains uncertain, but he was clearly a dangerous 
man. In his public utterances he disclaimed all desire for Moroccan 
territory. The Pan-Germans, on the other hand, claimed him for their 
own, and Class, the President of the Pan-German League, declared that 
both Kiderlen and Zimmermann, the Under-Secretary, expressed their 
intention to take part of Morocco. The Foreign Secretary confessed to 
the Reichstag on Feb. 17, 1912, that he had discussed with Class methods 
of arousing patriotic sentiment, but denied that he had gone further. 
His friend Reventlow, who condemned the Agadir coup as crazy, testifies 
that he never dreamed of a foothold in Morocco, and knew that England 
would forbid it, but that he purposely allowed ambiguity to rest on his 
aims, desiring to create a vigorous sentiment to which he could point 
in his negotiations with France. " He told me that he had said to an 
influential Pan-German, in order to lead him astray, that we would never 
go out of Morocco. The fool believed it ; but we were never there, so we 
could not go out. The idea was right, but its execution faulty." The 
Crown Prince was a champion of partition. " Le Maroc est un beau 
morceau," he remarked to Jules Cambon; " vous nous ferez notre part 
et tout sera fini." Bourgeois et Pages, " Origines et Responsabilites," 337. 



IQI i] The Panther at Agadir 471 

recent occurrences in other parts of the country. These 
firms have applied to the Imperial Government for pro- 
tection for their lives and property. At their request the 
Government have decided to send a warship to Agadir to 
lend help in case of need to their subjects and proteges 
as well as to the considerable German interests in that 
territory. As soon as the state of affairs has resumed its 
normal tranquillity the ship will leave." In presenting 
the Note the German Ambassador added a few verbal com- 
ments. He would not discuss if the sending of the Panther 
conformed to the Act of 1906, as it had been so infringed 
that its authority could no longer be invoked. German 
opinion was very nervous, and this action was intended to 
calm it. This measure of precaution for the life and 
property of German subjects should not affect the relations 
of the two countries. M. de Selves replied that he greatly 
regretted the event. Conversations were desirable, but 
this would change their character. It would be difficult 
to persuade France of the reality of the motive alleged. 
On the same day the French Charge" in Berlin reported the 
explanation given by Zimmermann, the Under-Secretary. 
The Panther had been dispatched because considerable 
German interests were menaced by agitation, and because 
public opinion could no longer suffer the Government to 
look idly on at a moment when France and Spain seemed 
no longer to intend to observe the limitations of Algeciras. 
The Foreign Minister frankly explained his attitude to 
Baron Beyens, the Belgian Minister at Berlin. "If 
France had continued to advance with cal- Kid er i en . 
culated slowness we should have had to Wachter 
submit to her usurpations. One day she Ex P lains 
would have invoked the hostility of a village which 
constituted a strategic point to occupy it militarily; 
another time she would have made a pretext of the uncer- 
tainty of the boundaries on the map to cross them. It 
would have been the invasion of the drop of oil. I thanked 
heaven," he added with his little malicious laugh, "when 
I learned of the march on Fez. for it restored our liberty of 



472 History of Modern Europe [i 9 u 

action. Yet we did not wish to act without making a last 
attempt at an understanding. At Kissingen I spoke of a 
compensation due to Germany. We consented to abandon 
Morocco in return for territory in Africa. This friendly 
discussion remaining without result, we sent the Panther." 
"It has been urged," echoed the Chancellor on Novem- 
ber 9, "that the Sultan himself summoned the French to 
his assistance ; but a ruler who relies solely on the support 
of foreign bayonets is no longer the independent ruler on 
whose existence the Act of Algeciras was based. We let 
this be known and suggested to France an understanding, 
leaving, of course, the initiative to her. At first we re- 
ceived no positive proposals from Paris, while the French 
military power continued to spread in Morocco, and the 
fiction began to be established that France was acting 
with a European mandate. When therefore German 
interests appeared to be threatened we sent a warship to 
Agadir. Never for a moment did we attempt to acquire 
territory in Morocco. It was not a provocation, but we 
protect our rights. Morocco was like a festering wound 
in our relations not only with France but also with Eng- 
land. The expedition to Fez led to an acute stage and 
rendered an operation necessary. We performed the 
operation in order to heal the wound." 

The news of the Panther's spring was received with 
even greater indignation and surprise in Downing Street 
than at the Quai d'Orsay; for the British 
Government was resolved at all costs to pre- 
vent Germany from securing a naval base 
in Morocco, and appears to have known little of the 
repeated warnings from Berlin when the troops set forth 
for Fez. "You are violating the Act of Algeciras," 
observed Sir Arthur Nicolson, who in the absence of the 
Foreign Secretary received the Ambassador. "That has 
already lost its validity," was the prompt reply. 

In communicating the aide-memoire to the British 
Government Count Metternich was furnished* with an ex- 
planatory Memorandum. "Though our information as to 



Sir Edward Grey's Attitude 473 

the position of the Europeans at Fez did not tally with that 
of the French, no objection was raised to the advance. A 
situation had meanwhile gradually arisen which rendered 
the Algeciras Act illusory. Whilst, for instance, a limited 
co-operation in the establishment of police under inter- 
national control was granted to France and Spain in the 
open ports, similar institutions were now growing up under 
the direction of French officers at the most important points 
of the interior. It might appear questionable whether it 
would be possible to return to the status quo of 1906. 
We were therefore prepared, if it became necessary, to 
seek, in conjunction with France, some means, which would 
be compatible with the interests of the other signatory 
Powers, of arriving at a definite understanding on the 
Morocco question. Direct negotiations could hardly meet 
with insuperable difficulties in view of the good relations 
between us and France." 

Sir Edward, to whom the expedition to Fez appeared 
wholly legitimate, regarded the voyage of the Panther as 
an unprovoked attack on the status quo. 
"The official communication," he declared 
on November 27, "was accompanied by an 
explanation given to us at the same time which seemed 
to me much more important than the actual com- 
munication of the sending of the ship. It made it 
clear that the German Government regarded a return to 
the status quo in Morocco as doubtful, if not impossible, 
and that what they contemplated was a definite solution 
of the Moroccan question between Germany, France and 
Spain. The communication was made to the Foreign 
Office on the Saturday. On the Monday I asked the Ger- 
man Ambassador to come and see me. I informed him 
I had seen the Prime Minister, and that we considered 
the situation created by the dispatch of the Panther to 
Agadir as so important that it must be discussed in a meet- 
ing of the Cabinet. The next day I asked the German 
Ambassador to come and see me again, and said that I 
must tell him that our attitude could not be a disinterested 



474 History of Modern Europe [1911 

one with regard to Morocco. We must take into con- 
sideration our Treaty obligations to France and our own 
interests in Morocco. We were of opinion that a new 
situation had been created by the dispatch of a German 
ship to Agadir. Future developments might affect British 
interests more directly than they had hitherto been affected, 
and, therefore, we could not recognize any new arrange- 
ments that might be come to without us. I made it quite 
clear to the Ambassador that this communication and the 
exact words which I used were those of His Majesty's 
Government sitting in Cabinet." 

On July 9 Kiderlen-Wachter and Jules Cambon began 
the conversations which were to continue for four months. 
The German Foreign Minister declared him- 
Conveaf kms se ^ reac ty to renounce territorial claims in 
Morocco, and asked for compensation in 
the Congo. It would be impossible, he added, to 
admit a third party to the discussions without in- 
viting all the signatories to the Treaty of Algeciras. 
The Ambassador did not demur, but remarked that France 
must keep her friends and allies informed. Kiderlen pro- 
ceeded to remark that he desired to resume the conversa- 
tions of Kissingen. Agadir, replied the Ambassador, had 
changed the situation. Agadir, retorted the Foreign Secre- 
tary, was a necessity. "The railway hitch opened my 
eyes. Let us leave the past. I am ready to give up 
Morocco, but, to get that accepted by German opinion, we 
must have compensation, for instance in the Congo." 
While these conversations were proceeding in Berlin the 
British Government were waiting for news. Sir Edward 
regarded his communication of July 4 as a request for 
information, but it was not couched in an interrogatory 
form. "The declaration that Agadir created a new situa- 
tion," declared the German Chancellor on December 5, 
"did not appear to us an inquiry necessitating an answer." 
Both parties were to blame Sir Edward in not definitely 
asking for explanations, the German Government for fail- 
ing to volunteer a reassuring statement. In the absence 



Compensation in the Congo 475 

of direct communication suspicion was inevitable. A par- 
tition of Morocco haunted his mind, and there were 
rumours of impossible demands in the Congo. 

On July 1 6 Kiderlen suggested the cession of the 
French Congo from the Sangha to the sea. " That would 
break off the negotiations," replied Cambon ; 
"we cannot give up our whole colony." "I 
will give you North Cameroon and Togo- 
land," rejoined the Foreign Secretary. "But we can- 
not have our colony cut off from the sea." "You 
bought your liberty in Morocco from Spain, England 
and even from Italy," rejoined Kiderlen, "and you 
jhave left us out. You should have negotiated with us 
before you went to Fez." The dialogue filled the Ambas- 
sador with anxiety, and on July 19 he advised his Govern- 
ment to consider what measures should be taken and what 
diplomatic situation would result if the negotiations broke 
down. Sir Edward Grey was also considering the possi- 
bilities of danger. " I have been asked by the British 
Ambassador," reported de Selves to Paul Cambon on 
July 20, " as to our views on a conference in the event of 
a rupture of negotiations, and what the French programme 
would be." On the same day his reply was dispatched to 
London. ' The negotiations of France and Germany 
about French equatorial Africa will probably last for 
some time. If they fail, France would not object to Eng- 
land inviting a conference of the signatories of 1906, and 
England, in taking the initiative, should outline the pro- 
gramme. The cession of Moroccan territory to Germany, 
however, would be contrary to the pacts of 1904 and 1909." 
On the same day de Selves telegraphed to Jules Cambon 
that the cession up to the Sangha was impossible, but that 
France was ready to modify the frontiers. This telegram 
crossed one from Jules Cambon reporting a heated inter- 
view in which Kiderlen loudly complained of indiscretions 
in the French Press, and censured de Selves for saying 
to Schon that he could not take these excessive demands 
seriously. " In such a grave affair I only utter serious 



476 History of Modern Europe 

words," added the Foreign Minister. " We must both 
observe discretion. If conversation is rendered impossible, 
we shall resume our liberty of action, and demand the 
integral application of the Act of Algeciras, and if neces- 
sary we will go jusqu'au bout." " I understand your 
menace," rejoined the Ambassador with dignity, " and 
your wish to go far, and we are equally willing." 

On July 21 Sir Edward Grey asked the German Ambas- 
sador to see him : " I said I wished it to be understood 

Conversa- t ^ lat our s ^ ence j * n tne absence of any cona- 
tion of munication from the German Government, 
must not be interpreted as meaning that we 
were not taking in the Moroccan question the interest 
which had been indicated by our statement of the 
4th of that month. I had been made anxious by the 
news which appeared the day before as to the demands 
which the German Government had made on the French 
Government, demands which were in effect not a rectifica- 
tion of the frontier, but a cession of the French Congo, 
which it was obviously impossible for the French Govern- 
ment to concede. I heard that negotiations were still pro- 
ceeding, and I still hoped that they might lead to a satis- 
factory result; but it must be understood that if they were 
unsuccessful a very embarrassing situation would arise. 
I pointed out that the Germans were in the closed port of 
Agadir; that according to native rumours they were land- 
ing and negotiating with the tribes, so that, for all we 
knew, they might be acquiring concessions there, and that 
it might even be that the German flag had been hoisted at 
Agadir, which was the most suitable port on that coast for 
a naval base. The longer the Germans remained at 
Agadir the greater the risk of their developing a state of 
affairs which would make it more difficult for them to with- 
draw and more necessary for us to take some steps to pro- 
tect British interests. The German Ambassador was still 
not in a position to make any communication to me from 
the German Government." 

The Ambassador's telegraphic report reached Berlin 



The Mansion House Speech 477 

the next day, and a reassuring message was at once dis- 
patched. It would have been well had Downing Street 
waited for that reply, and it would also have been well 
if the German Government had explained its views before 
instead of after the conversation. A few hours after the 
interview a public declaration of British policy introduced 
new elements of danger into a delicate situation. " I be- 
lieve it is essential in the higher interests Llo d 
not merely of this country but of the world," George's 
declared Mr. Lloyd George at the Mansion Warning 
House, "that Britain should at all hazards maintain 
her place and her prestige amongst the Great Powers 
of the world. If a situation were to be forced on us in 
which peace could only be preserved by the surrender 
of the great and beneficent position Britain has won by 
centuries of heroism and achievements, by allowing Britain 
to be treated, where her interests were vitally affected, as 
if she were of no account in the Cabinet of Nations, then 
I say emphatically that peace at that price would be a 
humiliation intolerable for a great country like ours to 
endure." The significance of the declaration was empha- 
sized by a strident leader in the Times. 

The date of the speech had long been fixed, and it 
was justly resented by more than one of his colleagues 
that a step of such importance should have been taken 
without reference to the Cabinet. The Foreign Secretary, 
who must bear the chief responsibility for the decision, 
seems to have been unaware that he was launching a high 
explosive. It was precisely the same claim to be con- 
sidered that the Kaiser had championed at Tangier, and it 
provoked the same explosion in Germany as the Tangier 
declaration had provoked in England. The German people 
saw France and Germany engaged in discussing the 
Moroccan question, and no French statesman had raised 
the alarm. Suddenly a contingent declaration of war 
seemed to be flung across the North Sea. It was regarded 
as convincing evidence that Great Britain was as eager to 
thwart the colonial and commercial ambitions of Germany 



478 History of Modern Europe [1911 

as she was to encourage those of France. The Pan- 
Germans were furious, and Maximilian Harden in shrill 
tones called for a declaration of war in reply to the in- 
tolerable insult. 

The reply of the German Government to Sir Edward's 
queries in the interview of July 21 had been dispatched 
before the text of the Chancellor's speech! 
reached Berlin; but orders were at once 1 
sent to Wolff-Metternich, in presenting the 
reply, to complain of the Mansion House declaration. 
"On July 24, three days after the speech of the Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer," relates Sir Edward Grey, 
"the German Ambassador came to see me. He informed! 
me that the German intention in sending a ship to 
Agadir had not changed. Not a man had been landed 
there. Germany had never thought of creating a naval 
port on the coast of Morocco, and never would think of it.| 
I said that I was likely to be asked in Parliament what was 
happening at Agadir, and I should like to know whether 
I might say that the German Government had informed me 
that not a man had been landed. The Ambassador askedl 
me to make no public statement with regard to this com- 
munication until he had had time to communicate with hisj 
Government. The next day, July 25, he came to see me 
again, and told me that the information that he had given 
me on the previous day was confidential, and that the 
German Government could not consent to its being used 
in Parliament in view of the speech of the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer. He then made to me in regard to that 
speech a communication which was exceedingly stiff in 
tone. I felt it necessary to say at once that as the speech 
of the Chancellor of the Exchequer seemed to me to give 
no cause for complaint, the fact that it had created surprise 
in Germany was in itself a justification of the speech, for 
it could not have created surprise unless there had been 
some tendency to think that we might be disregarded. 
The German Government had said that it was not con- 
sistent with their dignity, after the speech of the Chan- 



The Effect in Germany 479 

cellor of the Exchequer, to give explanations as to what 
was taking place at Agadir. I said to the Ambassador 
that the tone of their communication made it inconsistent 
with our dignity to give explanations as to the speech of 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Ambassador ob- 
served that if the British Government had intended to 
complicate and embroil the political situation and to bring 
about a violent explosion, they could certainly have chosen 
no better means than the Chancellor's speech." After this 
stormy interview the clouds quickly dispersed, and on 
July 26 Sir Edward was authorized to communicate to the 
House the reassuring message of July 24. On the 27th 
the German Ambassador made a very conciliatory com- 
munication, and an hour or two later the Prime Minister 
in Parliament expressed an earnest desire for the success 
of the Franco-German negotiations. 

The Mansion House speech, while inflaming German 
opinion, modified German demands. "Kiderlen demanded 
the Congo from the coast to the Sangha," German 
writes his friend Reventlow, "and he told Demands 
Cambon, No haggling; take it or leave it! Modified 
Then came the speech and he drew back." "Yester- 
day's conversation was very different from the last," 
reported the French Ambassador on July 24; and the 
Foreign Minister now displayed a desire for agreement. 
"Reserving the free export of iron, Germany will let you 
found this North African Empire which is your great 
objective." He renewed the demand from the Congo to 
the sea, but offered Togoland and North Cameroon, and 
the absolute abandonment of Morocco. Once again the 
Ambassador replied that it was impossible to cede the 
French Congo. A further advance was registered on 
July 25, when Fondere, the African expert, informed the 
Premier that Baron Lancken had asked him to visit the 
German Embassy. "Go and find out what he wants," 
replied the Premier. Next day Fondere reported that 
Germany would be content with part of the colony be- 
tween the Sangha and the sea, would leave Gabon and 



480 History of Modern Europe [i 9 n 

a fraction of the Middle Congo, and transfer North 
Cameroon and most of Togoland. The Premier replied 
that the demands were still too high; but he informed 
the Ambassador in Berlin, who welcomed the indication 
that Germany was weakening. On August i a further 
advance towards settlement was made, when Kiderlen, 
after a visit to the Kaiser, declared that the essential 
demand was for access to the Congo, while he would not 
complain of a French Protectorate in Morocco. De Selves 
accepted the principle, and on August 4 Kiderlen re- 
nounced his claim to the Congo Coast. But though a 
certain approach had been made, the two parties were 
still far from agreement, and on August 14 Kiderlen 
withdrew the offer of Togoland, as German opinion would 
not allow it. The danger was not yet over, and the 
Ambassador reported a rumour that the German authorities 
were studying the landing of troops at Agadir. By the 
middle of August seven German proposals for territorial 
Deadlock cess i ns ln the Congo had been rejected by 
and France, and six French offers by Germany. 
Danger On August l8 Kiderlen left Berlin to consult 
the Kaiser, leaving the French Ambassador in a state 
of grave anxiety. "Opinion is excited," he reported on 
August 20. "If the negotiations fail, Germany will prob- 
ably refuse a conference and occupy the seas. The 
internal situation affects the external. The elections ap- 
proach, and the parties compete in patriotism. I hope our 
apprehensions may be groundless, but it would be levity 
not to see the possibility of conflict." 

While Caillaux was still on holiday, he heard that 
Kiderlen had told certain Ambassadors "that the attitude 
of France made war almost inevitable, and the situation 
could not remain as it was." Rumours reached him of 
German agents in the hinterland of Agadir and Mogador 
telling Chiefs that Germany would soon control this 
region ; and pamphlets continued to appear in Germany, 
among them West Marokko Deutsch, which sold 80,000 
copies in a few days, and argued that all compensation 



Financial Panic in Germany 481 

outside Morocco was unacceptable. He believed that Ger- 
many still coveted part of Morocco, and he was ready to 
fight to prevent it. Returning from his holiday on 
August 17 he took the rudder from the hands of his in- 
experienced Foreign Minister, summoning the brothers 
Cambon from Berlin and London and Barrere from Rome 
to assist the Cabinet with their counsel. 

On August 30 Jules Cambon returned to Berlin with 
two sets of instructions, one for Morocco, the other for 
the Congo. The concessions in the latter were only to 
be discussed when France had definitely obtained the 
Protectorate of the former. On September 4, when the 
conversations between Kiderlen and Jules Cambon were 
renewed, the Foreign Minister virtually accepted the 
Morocco proposals, but demanded larger compensation 
than France offered. On September 8 Kiderlen proposed 
a rival scheme for Morocco, which its author defended as 
merely designed to prevent the expulsion of German in- 
dustry, but which was scouted by the Ambassador as an 
attempt by Germany, under cover of economic guarantees, 
to retain her position in Morocco. The critical stage 
reached in the negotiations became known, and a financial 
panic ensued. German stocks fell, there was a run on the 
banks, and the bankers declared that Germany was not 
financially prepared for war. The wiser heads were against 
a conflict, and both the Kaiser and the Morocco 
Chancellor were throughout opposed to war. Agreement 
"To obtain any part of Morocco," wrote Reached 
Schiemann, who was in close touch with the Govern- 
ment, "is only possible by war with England and 
France. The cost would outweigh the possible gain, 
and the moral justification would be more than doubtful." 
After this revelation of Germany's economic weakness, 
Kiderlen showed himself more accommodating. The 
Morocco accord was signed on October n, and the 
covering letters on October 14. 

On the following day the Congo discussions were 
resumed; and Kiderlen remarked, "If you wish them to 
2F 



482 History of Modern Europe [1911 

succeed you must give us access to the Congo." The 
difficulties were increased by the neurotic condition of 
German opinion. "A campaign against the exchange is 
in full swing among the members of the Reichstag, who 
wish to reopen the Morocco question," reported the Am- 
bassador. "German opinion seems increasingly to regret 
the pact and returns to the idea of partition. It feels 
Morocco is worth more to France than any part of the 
tropics, and therefore would not regret a rupture. I should 
not be surprised if it occurred, though I do not fear an 
immediate conflict; but a landing at Agadir is not im- 
possible." The thorny question was on the verge of settle- 
ment when on October 27 Kiderlen suddenly raised the 
question of the French pre-emption of the Congo. " If the 
matter arises, France must confer with Germany, whose 
interests must not be neglected." His tone suggested a 
rupture, and the Ambassador accompanied his report with 
the words, "We must not yield." The news was promptly 
forwarded to London and Petrograd, with a request for 
their views. Russia, who had no wish to be dragged into 
war for the sake of Morocco, suggested that "any change 
Con o ^ sovereignty in the Conventional basin 
Agreement must be discussed by all the signatories 
Reached of the Berlin Act . i The f ormu l a was 

approved by Great Britain, and accepted by France 
and Germany. The Congo Treaty was signed on 
November 3, and the joint Treaty on November 4. The 
exhausting debate of four months, in which Kiderlen and 
Jules Cambon had had over one hundred interviews, was 
at an end. 

The settlement satisfied both the French Premier and 
the French Ambassador. France, declares Caillaux, ob- 
tained all she asked in the political, administrative and 
judicial sphere in Morocco; and in the economic field she 
only conceded the maintenance of tariff equality, though 
this time without limit. Jules Cambon was equally con- 
vinced that the Moroccan jewel was worth a high price. 

1 Sazonoff, unlike Izvolsky, was lukewarm throughout the months of crisis. 



The Moroccan Settlement 483 

Unless France had been prepared to pay it, Morocco would 
have been internationalized and lost to her for ever. 
Clemenceau and Pichon criticized the departure from the 
pact of 1909, of which they were the authors, and Hano- 
taux complained that the cession of 100,000 square miles 
broke the back of the French Congo. The settlement was, 
however, a triumph for France, who rounded off her 
African Empire. In March, 1912, by the Convention of 
Fez the Sultan accepted a French Protectorate; and after 
a massacre of French officers and civilians in Fez and the 
abdication of Mulai Hafid in favour of his brother Mulai 
Yusuf, the country settled down under the firm but tactful 
rule of General Lyautey. 1 

The reception of the treaties in Germany was far more 
hostile, and Lindequist, the Colonial Minister, resigned 
in protest. Schiemann> however, correctly The 
described them as the maximum obtainable Balance- 
without war, and the Chancellor discussed sheet 
the settlement with his habitual moderation. "After 
the dust of the conflict has settled," he observed to 
the French Ambassador, "we shall both see the im- 
portance of the results obtained, and Europe will 
find peace therein. The situation has been cleared up. 
Doubtless Morocco was destined to pass more and more 
into your sphere of influence ; but we distinguished 
between political influence (as recognized by us in 1909) 
and direct authority. Perhaps at Paris they confused these 
things, and thence arose friction, which will now disappear. 
You are the masters in Morocco." When Jules Cambon 
complained of the sending of the Panther, the Chancellor 
reminded him of his grave warnings. "If you could 
go to Fez, we could go to Agadir." Nowhere was 
the feeling of relief stronger than in London. "Tell 
M. Caillaux," said Mr. Asquith, "that he returns 
from Berlin, like Lord Beaconsfield, bringing peace 
with honour." 

^German agents continued to give trouble. "Hostility continues the 
principle of German policy in Morocco," complained Lyautey, July 28, 1913. 



484 History of Modern Europe [1911 

The official defence of the Treaty did little to assuage 

the bitterness of the German people. The Chancellor 

sorrowfully complained that they were living 

Disappointed in an atmos P ner e of passion such as they 
had never experienced. When he declared 
that the Panther was not sent to acquire territory, and 
that South Morocco was not a desirable possession 
for Germany, there were jeers and laughter. But if 
there was contempt for the Government which had 
brandished the sword and then sheathed it, there was burn- 
ing indignation against Great Britain. "We know now," 
declared Heydebrand, the Conservative leader and "the 
uncrowned King of Prussia," "when we wish to expand, 
when we wish to have our place in the sun, who it is that 
lays claim to world-wide domination. It has been like 
a flash in the night. We shall secure peace not by con- 
cessions but with the German sword." 1 His attacks on 
the Chancellor were ostentatiously applauded by the 
Crown Prince, who, despite the lecture he received on the 
same day from the Chancellor in his father's presence, 
continued to play the part of Hotspur which he had chosen 
for himself. Anglophobia was stimulated by an interview 
correctly or incorrectly reported with Sir Fairfax Cart- 
wright in the Neue Freie Presse, and by a speech of Captain 
Faber which suggested that the British fleet had been on 
the point of opening hostilities. 

On November 27 Sir Edward Grey reviewed the crisis 
and replied to his British and German critics. The Treaty 
was signed, but the sea was still rough. "So much sus- 
picion and gossip have collected that it is exciting men's 
minds and corroding their tempers to a greater extent than 
ever before. Some people take delight in suggesting how 
near we were to war. It is as if the world were indulging 
in a fit of political alcoholism." The German Foreign 
Minister now declared that there was never any intention 
of taking any part of Morocco. "If after my com- 
munication of July 4 that intention had been con- 

1 Cf. Bassermann's angry speech, " Reden," I. 



i 9 i i] The Tripoli War 485 

fided to us as definitely as that, a good deal of 
misunderstanding would have been avoided." The 
Chancellor replied in the Reichstag on 
December 5. He would follow Sir Edward's 
good example and avoid recriminations; but 
the tension could have been prevented if greater con- 
fidence had been placed in the German declarations 
and if the Chancellor of the Exchequer had not inter- 
vened. The root of all the trouble was the disposal 
of Morocco in 1904 by France and England without 
consideration for German interests. "From this arose the 
necessity for us to go to Algeciras and then to Agadir 
to safeguard our economic interests and to show the world 
that we were firmly resolved not to allow ourselves to be 
elbowed aside." This was now at an end. "The English 
Ministers have unanimously expressed a desire for better 
relations with us, and I associate myself entirely with this 
desire. But it can only come if the British Government 
is prepared to give in her policy positive expression to her 
need for such relations." 

Among the repercussions of the Agadir crisis was the 
seizure of Tripoli by Italy, who had long cast greedy eyes 
on the African coast. 1 "All interested Powers have 
recognized our prior rights in Tripoli," declared Tittoni in 
1905. "I have often been asked lately, Is Italy preparing 
to occupy it? I answer decidedly, No. Italy should not 
occupy it except when circumstances make it indispens- 
able. We could never allow the balance of power in the 
Mediterranean to be disturbed to our disadvantage. It is 
not to be thought of while we are in cordial relations with 
Turkey, and it would encourage those who wish to hasten 
her end. The integrity of the Ottoman Empire is one of 
the foundations of our foreign policy. But if we do not 
wish to occupy Tripoli at present, that does not mean our 
action there should be nil. The rights we have for the 

1 See Barclay, " The Turco-Italian War," and Giolitti, " Memoirs." 
The Italian atmosphere on the eve of war is reflected in the volume, 
" L'Ora di Tripoli," by Corradini, the leader of Italian nationalism. 



486 History of Modern Europe [1911 

future must give us a preference in the economic field." l 
The cordiality of which Tittoni spoke was not of long 
duration. Early in 1908 Italy quarrelled with the Sultan 
about the acquisition of land and the unfriendliness of the 
Turkish authorities to Italian consuls, and after a naval 
demonstration obtained satisfaction. In October, 1909, 
at Racconigi she secured Russia's assent to ultimate 
annexation by agreeing to Russian views in regard to the 
Straits. In February, 1910, attention was called in the 
Italian Chamber to French encroachments on the frontier, 
as if it were already Italian. The Banco di Roma opened 
a branch in Tripoli to aid Italian undertakings, subsidized 
steamers visited the ports, and subsidized schools were 
opened. The ground was prepared, and Italy only 
awaited the moment to strike. 

In June, 1911, San Giuliano informed Aehrenthal that 
he might have to annex Tripoli ; and when Jagow 
announced the voyage of the Panther, he 

Said to the Under - Secretai 7> "Tripoli's hour 
is nigh." On August 26 the Italian Minister 
at Petrograd announced the intention of his Govern- 
ment to "end the continual unpleasantness and compel 
Turkey to respect Italian interests." He added that 
the other Powers knew of the plan and had no objec- 
tion. But the Italian Ambassador at Vienna only in- 
formed Aehrenthal on September 26 that his Government 
would act at once. 2 An ultimatum was issued on Septem- 
ber 26, and war was declared on September 29. The com- 
plaints of ill-treatment of her nationals and opposition to 
her trade were mere pretexts. "It is an unprovoked war 
of conquest," wrote Schiemann on September 27, "and a 
danger to European peace. The Eastern Question will be 
reopened in its full scope. Injury to Turkey is injury to 
our interests. Germany did not expect it, and cannot 
approve. It reminds us of the Boer war. Both were in 
a fashion historical necessities; but both were acts of 
violence." On the outbreak of war Jagow was empowered 

1 " Italian Foreign Policy," Speeches, 19-27. 2 Molden, " Aehrenthal." 






i9ii] Italy and Europe 487 

to offer a solution which gave Italy the same position in 
Tripoli as Great Britain occupied in Egypt; but though 
San Giuliano was favourable, it was rejected by Giolitti. 
British opinion was equally hostile; yet no word of protest 
or rebuke was heard from the Minister who had so sharply 
condemned the far less serious offence of the annexation of 
Bosnia. 

The effects of the Tripoli war on the European situation 
were indirect but none the less significant. Italy's action, 
undertaken at least with the passive good T . 
will of the Triple Entente and without con- Triple 
suiting the interests of her allies, marked Alliance 
a further stage on her journey from one camp to 
the other. If her independent attitude at Algeciras and 
the outburst of anger in the Bosnian crisis were storm 
signals, the attack on Tripoli was her declaration of in- 
dependence. The Kaiser was indignant at the disturb- 
ance of his plans to win the Mussulman world. " Italy 
was not bound to obtain our consent and did not do so," 
writes Bethmann-Hollweg; "but when she wished to attack 
Turkey in Europe the status quo in the Balkans became 
a critical question. We were again and again compelled 
to mediate to prevent the differences of our allies growing 
into danger." The hot-headed Conrad thirsted for war, 
but was overruled by the dying Aehrenthal. Austria's 
veto on Italian attacks in European Turkey was considered 
in Italy to prolong the war ; but sharp friction with France, 
arising from the search for contraband on French ships 
bound for Tunis, counterbalanced the enmity to Austria. 
"Italy now realized the value of the Triple Alliance," 
writes Bethmann-Hollweg. "When Kiderlen visited Rome 
in January, 1912, he was warmly welcomed by the King 
and the Ministers. At a meeting of the Kaiser and the 
King in March Victor Emmanuel did not hide his deep 
resentment against France, and when San Giuliano came 
to Berlin in November a renewal of the Alliance was 
arranged. A new blossoming seemed at hand; but the 
pristine strength of the Triplice was gone, for Italy had 



488 History of Modern Europe [1911 

undertaken too many obligations to France, England and 
Russia." Despite the conclusion of a naval convention 
relating to the Mediterranean in 1913, the upshot of the 
Tripoli war was that Turkey came to occupy the position 
in the confidence of Germany and Austria which Italy had 
forfeited. 1 

Now that one item of the Racconigi programme had 
been carried out, Sazonoff considered that the other might 
The have its turn, all the more since the closing 
Tcharykoff of the Straits injured Russian trade. He 
therefore flew a kite at Constantinople and 
proceeded to sound France and Great Britain. "I 
told Sir Edward," reported Benckendorff on October 23, 
"that Russia thinks the time has come for closer 
relations with Turkey, and that the Russian Ambas- 
sador has informally presented a scheme under which 
Russia would influence the Balkan States to main- 
tain friendly relations with Turkey, and might even 
guarantee the capital, in return for which the Sultan would 
open the Straits to Russian warships. Russia hoped 
that France and England would help at Constantinople. 
Sir Edward replied that he stood by his memorandum of 
1908, that he would examine the formula, and that Sir 
Gerard Lowther would be instructed to keep in touch 
with TcharykofT and support him." Tcharykoff made it 
clear to the British and French Ambassadors that his 
conversations with the Vizier were private, and that the 
Russian Government retained a free hand for the eventual 
official negotiations. 8 

Turkey was in no yielding mood. When on Decem- 
ber 4 a Russian note openly claimed free passage for her 
warships the Porte replied that such a serious change 

1 For Austrian distrust of Italy see Chlumecky, " Oesterreich-Ungarn 
und Italien " (1907), and " Die Agonie des Dreibundes " (a reprint in 
1915 of articles written during the years 1906-15). For Russo-Italian 
relations see Siebert, " Diplomatische Aktenstiicke, " ch. 11-12. 

z Siebert, ch. 18. The Belgian Minister at Bucharest reported the 
rumour that Turkish authority over Crete would be confirmed and the 
capitulations abolished. See Schwertfeger, " Zur Europaischen Politik," 
IV, 41-2, 54-5; and " Un Livre Noir," 143-79. 









Russia and the Straits 489 

could not be made without the assent of the other signa- 
tories of the Treaty of Berlin ; and the Jeni Gazette 
announced officially that no Turk could for a moment 
entertain the idea that the Ottoman Empire could sink 
to the level of a Russian vassal. In reply to Turkey's 
inquiries Great Britain and France replied that if she per- 
mitted the opening of the Straits they would consent, 
and that if she declined they would take no part in exer- 
cising pressure on her. Germany and Austria, on the 
other hand, refused consent and encouraged Turkey to 
hold her ground. The Turkish Cabinet xurke 
therefore dispatched a firm reply to Russia. stands 
"The Government cannot authorize the 
exclusive passage of the Russian fleet through the 
Straits in time of peace or war, and declares that 
all rights over the Straits belong exclusively to the 
Ottoman people and its sovereign." On the same day 
an interview with Sazonoff appeared in the Temps. The 
overtures to Turkey, he declared, were not official, but 
were "academic" conversations of the Russian Ambas- 
sador, who had acted without special instructions. Though 
Tcharykoff was promptly recalled, the attempt to suggest 
that Russia had not been rebuffed deceived no one, and 
the incident further estranged Turkey from the Triple 
Entente. 



CHAPTER XV 

THE BALKAN WARS 



THE spectacle of Great Britain standing in shining armour 
beside France encouraged the chauvinists on both sides 
of the Rhine. "I went to Berlin in the 
autumn >" writes Tirpitz, "and represented to 
the Chancellor that we had suffered a diplo- 
matic check, and must salve it by a Supplementary 
Naval Bill. The Chancellor denied the check and 
feared that a Bill would lead to war with England. 
My plan did not aim at an actual increase of our fleet 
but at increasing our readiness for war. One weak 
point in our naval armament lay in the autumn change 
of recruits, which with our short period of service tem- 
porarily crippled the preparedness of the fleet. We 
planned to put a reserve squadron into commission, so 
that in future we should have three squadrons instead of 
two. This reform only necessitated an increase of three 
big ships. Nobody could believe that England could be 
incited to war by an increase of three ships, unless she 
was already resolved to fight, and Count Metternich did 
not anticipate danger. On November 14 the Kaiser in- 
structed the Chancellor to work the Supplementary Bill 
into the budget of 1912." 

While Tirpitz was striving for an increase of the fleet, 
wiser heads resolved on a fresh attempt to relieve the 
tension which had threatened the peace of the world. The 
settlement of the Morocco question produced a certain 
detente with Germany, and Anglo-Russian co-operation 

49 



Russia and Persia 491 

in Persia was at this moment proceeding less smoothly 
than usual. Sir Edward Grey sympathized with the efforts 
of Persian nationalists to reform the Government of their 
country and to frustrate the intrigues of the Shah, both 
before and after his deposition, and he sincerely desired 
to abstain from interference in the internal affairs of the 
country, as he had promised in 1907.* Russia, on the 
other hand, had no belief in the constitutional movement 
and no desire for its success; and, although the Foreign 
Secretary occasionally put the brake on the Russian steam- 
roller, he never dared to push his protests too far. If the 
Persian question were mismanaged, he explained to his 
Liberal critics, the Persian question might disappear and 
bigger issues would arise. The situation was thoroughly 
understood and skilfully exploited at Petrograd. "The 
English," wrote Sazonoff in a revealing letter to the 
Russian Minister in Teheran on October 8, 1910, "pur- 
suing as they do vital aims in Europe, will if necessary 
sacrifice certain interests in Asia in order to maintain the 
Convention with us. These circumstances we can naturally 
turn to our own advantage, for instance in our Persian 
policy." Thus when in 1911 the Persian Government 
secured the services of Mr. Shuster, an The 
American expert, to reorganize the national Shuster 
finances, and he proceeded to appoint British 
subjects to aid him in the Russian sphere, Sir Edward 
joined in compelling him to resign. In following up 
her victory, however, Russia put forward demands on 
Teheran which for once he was unable to approve. When 
Benckendorff visited the Foreign Office on December 2 
he found the Foreign Secretary in very serious mood. If 
co-operation in Persia ceased, argued the latter, it would 
mean the end of the Entente, and he would resign, as he 
could not strike out the new line of policy which would 
become inevitable. The Ambassador reported that he had 

1 The Blue Books on Persia are very numerous. Cf. Browne, " The 
Persian Revolution " ; Shuster, " The Strangling of Persia " ; Fraser, 
" Turkey and Persia in Revolt "; Sykes, " History of Persia," II (edition 
of 1921); and Siebert, " Diplomatische Aktenstiicke," chs. 4-5. 



492 History of Modern Europe [1912 

never seen him so disturbed, and Cambon confirmed the 
verdict. "To maintain the Entente," added the former, 
"we must assure him that we will observe the Convention, 
otherwise it is certain that he will resign." The difficulty 
was overcome, but the divergence of opinion left a scar. 

"Public opinion is beginning to turn in our direction 
again," * remarked Wolff-Metternich to Benckendorff ; and 
Benckendorff agreed. A direct exchange of views between 
London and Berlin seemed desirable, and an early visit 
from Sir Edward Grey was proposed. After preliminary 
discussions carried on through the agency of Sir Ernest 
Cassel and Ballin it was agreed that Lord Haldane should 
be sent on a private mission. On February 4 the German 
Government announced that the Novelle might be revised 
if Germany received satisfactory assurances for a friendly 
orientation of British policy, and on February 8 Lord 
Haldane arrived in Berlin. 

"My first interview," relates the envoy, "was with 

the Imperial Chancellor, and the conversation, which was 

L rd quite informal, was a full and agreeable 

Haldane's one. 2 I said that the increasing action of 

Mission Germany in piling up magnificent arma- 
ments was, of course, within the unfettered rights of 
the German people. But the policy had an inevitable 
consequence in the drawing together of other nations in 
the interests of their own security. I told him frankly that 
we had made naval and military preparations, but only 
such as defence required, and as would be considered in 
Germany matter of routine. I went on to observe that 
our faces were set against aggression by any nation, and 
I told him, what seemed to relieve his mind, that we had 
no secret military treaties. But, I added, if France were 
attacked and an attempt made to occupy her territory, 
our neutrality must not be reckoned on by Germany. Next 
day I was summoned to luncheon at the Schloss, and 

1 Siebert, 253. 

* Haldane, " Before the War "; cf. Bethmann-Hollweg, " Reflections," 
I, ch. 3; the Kaiser's " Memoirs," ch. 5; and Tirpitz, " Memoirs," I. 



The Haldane Mission 493 

afterwards had a long interview with the Emperor and 
idmiral von Tirpitz in the Emperor's cabinet room. He 
landed me a confidential copy of the draft Tir j 
)f the proposed new Fleet Law, with an versus 
intimation that he had no objection to my Bethmann 
communicating it privately to my colleagues. I was 
careful to abstain even from looking at it then, for I 
saw that, from its complexity and bulk, it would require 
careful study. So I simply put it in my pocket, and I 
repeated what I had said to the Chancellor. We then 
discussed the proposal of the German Admiralty for the 
new programme. Admiral von Tirpitz struggled for it. 
I insisted that fundamental modification was essential if 
better relations were to ensue. The tone was friendly, 
but I felt that I was up against the crucial part of my 
task. The Admiral wanted us to enter into some under- 
standing about our own shipbuilding. He thought the 
two-Power standard a hard one for Germany, and, indeed, 
Germany could not make any admission about it. The 
idea then occurred to me that, as we should never agree 
about it, we should avoid trying to define a standard pro- 
portion in any general agreement that we might come 
to, and, indeed, say nothing in it about shipbuilding, but 
that the Emperor should announce to the German public 
that the agreement on general questions, if we should 
have concluded one, had entirely modified his wish for 
the new Fleet Law, as originally conceived, and that it 
should be delayed, and future shipbuilding should at least 
be spread over a longer period. The Emperor thought 
such an agreement would certainly make a great difference, 
and he informed me that his Chancellor would propose to 
me a formula. 

"At my final meeting with the Chancellor he suggested 
that we might agree on the following formula : 

"i. The High Contracting Powers assure each other 
mutually of their desire for peace and friendship. 

"2. They will not, either of them, make any com- 



494 History of Modern Europe [1912 

bination, or join in any combination, which is directed 
against the other. They expressly declare that they are 
not bound by any such combination. 

"3. If either of the High Contracting Parties become 
entangled in a war with one or more other Powers, the 
other of the High Contracting Parties will at least 
observe toward the Power so entangled a benevolent 
neutrality, and use its utmost endeavour for the locali- 
zation of the conflict. 

"4. The duty of neutrality which arises from the pre- 
ceding article has no application in so far as it may 
not be reconcilable with existing agreements which the 
High Contracting Parties have already made. The 
making of new agreements which make it impossible 
for either of the Contracting Parties to observe neutrality 
toward the other beyond what is provided by the pre- 
ceding limitations is excluded in conformity with the 
provisions contained in Article 2. 

"Anxious as I was to agree with the Chancellor, I was 
unable to hold out to him the least prospect that we 

Discussion could accept the draft formula which he 
of had just proposed. Under Article 3, for 

Neutrality exam pi e) we should find ourselves, were 
it accepted, precluded from coming to the assistance 
of France should Germany attack her and aim at getting 
possession of such ports as Dunkirk, Calais and Boulogne. 
Difficulties might also arise which would hamper us in 
the discharge of our existing treaty obligations to Belgium, 
Portugal and Japan. The % most hopeful way out was to 
revise the draft fundamentally by confining its terms to 
an undertaking by each Power not to make any unpro- 
voked attack upon the other, or join in any combination 
or design against the other for purposes of aggression, 
or become party to any plan or naval or military com- 
bination, alone or in conjunction with any other Power, 
directed to such an end. He and I then sat down and 
redrafted what he had prepared, but without his com- 



1912] The Haldane Mission 495 

milling himself to the view that it would be sufficient. 
We also had a satisfactory conversation about the Bagdad 
Railway and other things in Turkey connected with the 
Persian Gulf, and we discussed possibilities of the re- 
arrangement of certain interests of both Powers in Africa. 
I entertain no doubt that he was sincerely in earnest in 
what he said to me on these occasions, and in his desire 
to improve relations with us and keep the peace. So I 
think was the Emperor, but he was pulled at by his naval 
and military advisers, and by the powerful, if then small, 
chauvinist party in Germany. But still there was the 
possibility of an explosion, and when I returned to 
London, although I was full of hope that relations between 
the two countries were going to be improved and told my 
colleagues so, I also reported that there Lord 
were three matters about which I was Halftone's 
uneasy. The first was my strong impres- 
sion that the new Fleet Law would be insisted on. The 
second was the possibility that Tirpitz might be made 
Chancellor in place of Bethmann-Hollweg. The third 
was the want of continuity in the supreme direction of 
German policy." The Kaiser was equally pleased with the 
visit. "He was very nice and reasonable," he wrote to 
Ballin on February 9. "I have gone very far to meet 
him, but there is a limit. I have done all I can." 1 The 
Chancellor was hopeful, and it was a good sign that 
Tirpitz was depressed. 

In his first conversation with the German Ambassador 
after Lord Haldane's return Sir Edward Grey declared 
himself " immensely impressed " with his colleague's 
report of his conversations with the Chancellor, and 
expressed with the greatest emphasis his determination to 
carry on the work thus begun. He hoped it would be 
possible gradually to disperse the war cloud. Everything 
depended on a detailed examination of the German sug- 
gestions. The path to reconciliation, however, was beset 
with difficulties ; for when the Novelle was studied it was 

1 Huldermann, " Albert Ballin," ch. 7; cf. Siebert, ch. zu. 



496 History of Modern Europe [1912 

found to involve a sensational increase in the size and 
striking power of the fleet. "I hear it is the Novelle 
which has caused the hitch," wrote the Chancellor to 
Ballin on March 2. "It is feared that it will affect public 
opinion so that a political agreement would be unaccept- 
able. But the idea of an understanding is still fully 
accepted, even if it is only reached in six months or a 
year, and England reckons that the confidence will con- 
The tinue, even if there is no agreement. Success 
Negotiations is possible despite the fleet." Germany, 
however, was equally disappointed with the 
political offer which was all that England felt at 
liberty to make. "Grey only offered us neutrality in 
an unprovoked attack," complains the Chancellor, "and 
refused our addition ' if war is forced on Germany.' 
Why should such a strictly limited neutrality formula 
hurt the feelings of England's friends? It would 
merely have shown them that they could not rely on her 
help in an anti-German policy. Ever since 1909 Grey 
had told me on every occasion of his primary obligation 
to the Dual Alliance, but in return for his neutrality 
formula I could not surrender the Novelle. England's 
effort of reconciliation was sincere, but perhaps we were 
wrong in under-estimating her int