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This short volume has been designed to serve as 
an introduction to the study of recent European 
History. Stress is laid throughout upon the main 
currents of political development, in order that the 
story of Europe since 1789 may present itself as an 
intelligible and harmonious whole. For this purpose 
the chronological method of treatment has been to 
a certain extent abandoned, and no attempt has 
been made to trace the separate development of 
each state, events being viewed — except in the last 
chapter — from a European and not from a sectional 
standpoint. Nor does this book make any pre- 
tensions to serve as a compendium of information. 
Much that has hitherto figured prominently in his- 
torical textbooks is omitted ; attention has been 
confined almost entirely to those facts which best 
illustrate the progress of the main factors in the 
history of Europe from the French Revolution to 
the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. 

Mill Hill, 

December 1915. 























1789-1914 ...... 259 


british prime ministers and foreign 
ministers, 1789-1914 . . . .261 






The great historians of the eighteenth century 
were accustomed to divide the history of Europe 
into three great eras, which they called by the names 
of the Ancient Era, the Mediaeval Era, and the Modern 
Era. The period of the ancient era was one of early 
civilisation, and culminated in the age of the great 
Empire of Rome, whose rule and civilisation spread 
over a large part of Europe and some parts of Asia 
and Africa. The mediaeval era, or period of the 
Middle Ages, was that which saw the decay of the 
old civilisation of Rome and the formation in Europe 
of a large number of separate states, each under its 
own ruler and all of a very much lower state of 
civilisation than had been seen in the days of the 
Roman Empire. During this era the general state 
of the people was worse than in the ancient era, but 
civilisation gradually developed more and more, until 
by the sixteenth century we may say that the condi- 
tion of the more flourishing states of Europe was equal 
to that of the Roman Empire of antiquity. At this 
time, too, the sixteenth century, progress became 
more marked, and a number of important changes 
came about, changes which so altered conditions of 
life that they are held to mark the beginning of a new 
age, and thus we have the modern era. 


This division of past history into three periods 
was quite in accordance with truth, and became 
everywhere accepted by historical writers. But at 
the end of the eighteenth century there became 
noticeable a further series of very great changes, 
which have had the effect of altering the state of 
the people of Europe to a far greater degree than 
any previous changes in recorded history. Life at 
the present day differs more from life in the days 
of Napoleon than life in that period differed from 
life under the Roman Empire. This last series of 
changes, then, constitutes the greatest revolution 
that history records. It is obvious that historians 
must add yet another era to the former three, and 
commence this most recent era at the time when 
these enormous changes began to be felt — that is, 
at the end of the eighteenth century. Historians 
have not yet agreed upon a special name for the 
new era — perhaps we may call it the Recent Era. 

Now, of course, no historical period begins sud- 
denly. Life is much too complicated to allow of 
that. Changes only come about gradually, and we 
cannot take a date and say " this date marks the 
end of the one period and the beginning of the other." 
The ideas of the old days, the institutions of the old 
days, the people of the old days, are still with us 
for a long time after any date so chosen, while one 
will also find that there are new ideas and new things 
in existence for some time before this date as well. 
But it is customary, for convenience, to take some 
date as a dividing line, and in the case of the change 
to the recent age the date selected is usually the 
year 1789. The reason for this is that in that year 
there began that striking series of events which we 


call the French Revolution, the first indication of 
the coming of a new era which arrested the attention 
of the world. Other changes had already occurred 
which had come quietly, without making very much 
stir, and without impressing people in general with 
the fact that Europe was being revolutionised, but 
the noisy and violent scenes of the French Revolution 
evoked the attention and interest of every one, and 
hence we take the beginning of this political move- 
ment as marking a convenient starting-point for our 
new era. 

Before we begin to consider the changes and the 
events which have taken place between the year 1789 
and the present day, it may be as well to see first 
of all in what respects life and things differed at 
that time from what they are at this present time. 
In studying history we must always beware of reading 
back into the past modern things and institutions 
and ideas which did not then exist at all, or which 
existed in a very different form. 

Let us first consider the everyday life of the people 
of the year 1789. The sights which regularly and 
normally met their eyes were very different from 
those of to-day. In towns, the streets were narrow, 
the buildings on an average smaller and meaner than 
those of present-day towns, the roadways ill kept, 
pavements often entirely absent, traffic scanty, 
though occasionally becoming jammed and confused 
in the narrow thoroughfares, and shops small, with 
little window space. The countryside, of course, has 
changed less, though here again we should find 
meaner cottages and a larger amount of waste land, 
marsh and wood, roads in general very bad, muddy, 
and hard to negotiate, and a much larger number of 


travellers on horseback. There were no railway 
lines, with their strings of telegraph poles, no com- 
plicated agricultural machines, and of course no 
motor traffic other than the steam car which occa- 
sionally appeared as a novelty and a curiosity. The 
bicycle did not exist except as a form of amusement, 
being then worked by striking the feet on the ground, 
and having neither tyres nor pedals. 

The lower classes were dressed in a manner not 
unlike that of the workman and the peasant of 
to-day, though frequently wearing the faded cast-off 
suits and gowns of the gentry. The upper classes, 
and to a certain extent the middle classes, dressed 
in magnificent costumes of bright colour, intricate 
workmanship, and often extravagant eccentricity. 
' Fashions ' changed as rapidly as they do now, 
though some, such as those of hair powder, pigtails 
and long-tailed coats were of long duration. But 
the people of that time were as accustomed to the 
sight of their " fashions " as we are to the sight of 
ours, and would have laughed at our modern costumes 
as we are inclined to laugh at theirs. 

As regards Avhat we call the conveniences and 
comforts of life there was an even greater contrast 
between then and now. Lamps, candles and rush- 
lights did the work of our gas and electricity. To 
light them the tinder-box did the work of our 
matches. The big fires on the hearth were hardly 
sufficient to keep out the cold of winter from the 
rooms even of royal palaces. Doors and window- 
frames admitted great draughts of cold air, and 
occasioned the use of ingle-screens and bed-curtains. 
Water had to be fetched from well, fountain or 
conduit, except in a few favoured towns. The 


streets were ill paved, ill kept, and either badly 
lighted (by oil) or not at all. Diet was far more 
limited than it is now, foreign foodstuffs and products 
were hard to obtain and consequently dear, and a 
varied menu was only possible for the well-to-do. 
Tea, coffee and cocoa were still what we should call 
expensive, though beer was plentiful and cheap in 
the northern countries, and wine equally plentiful in 
the southern countries. In country districts trade 
was still mainly local, and it was difficult to get 
things that had been produced at a distance. 

Most striking, perhaps, are the differences in 
methods of communication. There were no railways, 
no motor cars, no steamboats, no electric telegraphy. 
The horse was still the main engine of communication 
by land, the sailing-ship by sea. It took several 
days to cross France ; it was considered wonderful 
when Napoleon got from Warsaw to Paris in eight 
days in 1812, and when he got from Paris to Mainz 
in three in 1806. Messages had, as a rule, to be 
carried by hand, though England and France shortly 
adopted a system of semaphore signal stations along- 
some of the main roads by means of which news of 
importance could be transmitted rapidly. The sea 
voyage to America took some six weeks, and sailing- 
vessels were exposed to all the risks of storm, ship- 
wreck, contrary winds, exhaustion of water and 
provisions, and piracy. 

Again, when in 1792 the great European War 
broke out, it was waged under far different conditions 
than a war of the present time. Owing to the 
enormous difficulties of transport and commissariat 
movements were slow and the size of armies was 
comparatively small. Artillery had an extreme 


effective range of a mile, though a few cannon had 
been known to do good work at longer distance. 
The musket was still unreliable for anything but 
volley firing at a range exceeding a few dozen yards. 
Cavalry still played an effective and often a decisive 
part in battles. At sea, naval battles consisted of 
cannonades at short range, followed not infrequently 
by boarding and hand-to-hand fights with pike, 
musket and cutlass. 

But if the material conditions of life were so 
different in 1789 to what they are now, the ideas 
of that age were equally strange to those of ours. 
Nowadays we are accustomed to see almost every 
man a voter — that is to say, in most of the European 
countries a large part of the men of the country 
are able to help to elect the members of the governing 
body. If the people are not satisfied with the doings 
of their Government, the voters can turn out that 
Government by voting against it at the next elec- 
tion. In some countries almost all the adult men 
have votes, in others only a part of them can vote, 
but everywhere the idea prevails that the govern- 
ment of the people should be carried on by persons 
who have been definitely chosen by the people to 
govern them. This state of things, where the 
majority of the men of a country have the right to 
elect the governing body or Parliament, is called 

Now in 1789 Democracy did not exist in Europe, 
except, in some of the tiny Swiss cantons. Great 
Britain and Ireland had Parliaments, in which some 
of the members were elected by the people, but in 
both cases the majority of the members were chosen 
by the wealthy landowners and nobles, so that the 


English and Irish Parliaments were by no means 
Democratic. The Netherlands, too, had a Parlia- 
ment, bnt for some time it had had little power, 
and it was elected chiefly by the wealthy classes. 
Great Britain was an oligarchy — that is to say, it 
was ruled by only a few of its people, the wealthy 
landowners, and there were some other states in 
Europe, such as the republics of Venice and Genoa, 
which were controlled by a small wealthy section 
of the population. In nearly all the other countries 
of Europe the government was that of an absolute 
monarchy, where an hereditary sovereign appointed 
the ministers and dictated the laws and the policy 
of the country without reference to any other power 
than his own will. There are two states which call 
for special mention. Central Italy formed what was 
called The States of the Church, and was ruled by 
the Pope, who was elected for life by the chief bishops 
of the Roman Catholic Church, the cardinals. Poland 
was a limited monarchy, where the king's power was 
hedged round with restrictions, but as Poland ceased 
to exist as an independent state after 1795, we need 
not stop to consider its government in detail. 

Most European countries, then, were governed 
despotically by kings and princes. We at the 
present day, accustomed to Democratic freedom, 
can hardly understand at first how the men of that 
age could have tolerated such a state of things. 
Yet it is undoubtedly true that they did tolerate it — - 
until the French Revolution started the great wave 
of Democracy. Why, then, was it that the people 
in 1789 consented to be governed despotically by 
absolute princes ? The reasons are these. In the 
first place, government then was not nearly so 


important and all-embracing a business as it is now. 
By making use of our modern methods of manufacture 
and communication Governments can do now far 
more than they ever used to accomplish. They 
can train and support huge armies ; they can con- 
struct public works, docks, roads, railways, canals, 
public buildings, on a scale before impossible ; they 
can carry through great schemes of national insurance 
and accident insurance ; they can supervise great 
movements like the creation of small holdings and 
the organisation of public education. A century ago 
the means at the disposal of Governments in the 
way of money and national energy were far too small 
to allow of these things being attempted except on 
a very small scale. Governments then concerned 
themselves with the raising of taxes to pay for the 
expenses of administration and for the army and 
navy, the general regulation of special grievances in 
the country, and the regulation of foreign policy. 
The taxes, except in war time, were not expected to 
be altered to any extent, new laws were infrequent 
in an age when change had not yet become rapid, 
foreign policy was beyond the grasp of the masses. 
Hence the doings of the Government, " matters of 
State," were not of such keen interest to the ordinary 
man as they now are, and, generally speaking, folk 
were willing to leave these things entirely in the 
hands of those whose business it was to look after 
them. It was the King's business to look after the 
Government, he was allowed to draw his big salary 
from the country for that very purpose. 

Secondly, the mass of the people at that time was 
quite unfitted to take a part in the government. 
Many people to-day doubt if the working men and 


agricultural labourers are really capable of giving a 
sound judgment on matters of national importance 
or of subordinating the temptation to seek for personal 
gains to a wholesome patriotism. If this idea is 
sometimes expressed about our present-day working 
men, with all their advantages of material prosperity 
and education, what could have been said for the 
lower classes of the eighteenth century, uneducated, 
poor, and utterly ignorant of matters outside their 
own daily round ? Here again, government was a 
matter for the skilled politicians, for the scholars, 
for those who knew ; the lower classes, as a rule, 
were content to leave politics alone. It was only in 
time of exceptional stress or excitement — a famine, 
a new tax, a bad harvest, a national defeat in war — 
that " the masses " became turbulent, and threatened 
their rulers with rebellion. 

Thirdly, these occasional risings and murmurs of 
discontent in themselves tended to put a brake on 
absolute monarchy. A king could not go too far in 
oppression or in opposing the wishes of his people, 
or there would be rebellion, or he might be assassi- 
nated. Though kings were generally backed by their 
standing armies of hired soldiers, a rising, or a threat 
of one, frequently sufficed to paralyse royal action, 
and thus the fear of provoking disorders helped to 
keep the ruler more or less in sympathy with his 

Fourthly, we must remember that a despotic king- 
does not necessarily abuse his power. He will certainly 
have some interest in the prosperity of his king- 
dom, if only with a view to increasing its revenues. 
And the century preceding the French Revolution 
was notable for its benevolent and well-meaning 


sovereigns. Some historians have called it " the 
age of benevolent despots " and " the age of paternal 
despotism." The most celebrated of these rulers are 
Frederick the Great of Prussia, the Emperor Joseph II, 
and Catharine the Great of Russia. 

Lastly, we must not forget the force of habit. 
Seeing that kings had existed for over a thousand 
years, and that the people had during all this time 
been forced to submit to the rule either of a feudal 
oligarchy of nobles or to the despotism of kings, 
there was no pressing reason for a change until the 
economic situation, the material world around them, 
should have first changed. That material change, 
as we shall see, was developing all through the later 
part of the eighteenth century, and this at last 
brought about the change. 

So far from the mass of the people having a share 
in the government, in most parts of Europe they 
were subjected to a distinct social suppression. In 
Prussia the mass of the population were mere serfs ; 
they could not marry or leave their village without 
their lord's consent, they had to labour without wages 
several days a week on their lord's land. In eastern 
Germany, in Hungary, in Poland, in Russia, the 
position of the lower classes was no better. In 
western Europe things were somewhat better, and 
the peasants of the Rhineland, of France, and of 
northern Italy were virtually free men. It has been 
said that slaves do not rebel until they become 
partially free, and certainly the peasants of eastern 
Europe remained passive under their yoke of serfdom 
while the peasants of the west broke out into revolu- 
tion. The eastern serfs, poor and oppressed, thought 
themselves lucky if they got the means of subsistence, 


the peasantry of France, supported and led by a 
strong middle-class element from the numerous small 
towns, were eager in their prosperity to snatch 
complete political freedom. 

There was another political idea which has come 
into prominence only since 1789 — the idea of Nation- 
ality. During the last century we have constantly 
heard the cry that men of one nationality and race 
should not be ruled by men of another. We shall 
see that this idea was at the bottom of a great deal 
of the history of the nineteenth century. But in 
1789 this idea was hardly recognised at all in theory 
or practice. It was not considered wrong that 
the German family of Hapsburg should rule over 
Hungarians and Czechs and Belgians and Roumans 
besides ruling over Germans. It was not considered 
wrong that the Danish king should rule over Germans 
in Schleswig and Holstein, or that the Swedish king 
should rule the Finns of Finland. Recent historians 
have condemned the partition of Poland between the 
rulers of Russia, Prussia and Austria as an offence 
against the natural law of racial independence ; at 
the time of the partition of Poland it was condemned 
merely as an instance of the grasping greed of the 
three rulers. The idea of Nationality, then, has also 
grown up since 1789. 

A word must be said as to the religious ideas of 
the eighteenth century. The age of universal Catholic- 
ism, and of universal Christianity even, had passed 
away. Outwardly religion still held an important 
position in life. The churches were rich and numer- 
ous, there were plenty of clergy, services were held 
with regularity. But for a long time disbelief had 
been spreading. Though outwardly conforming to 


the religion of their country very many nobles and 
gentlemen had ceased to believe in Christianity at 
all, and there were thousands of atheists among the 
lower classes, particularly in the towns of western 
Europe. France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria 
and Poland were mainly Catholic, as was also 
Ireland ; Great Britain, Holland, the northern king- 
doms and Prussia were Protestant. Germany was 
divided, the north-east being mainly Protestant and 
the south-west mainly Catholic. Russia had her 
own Greek Church, which was akin to that of the 
subject Christians in the Turkish empire. But 
religious strife was almost dead, the clergy of all 
countries were lifeless and worldly ; there was no 
keen religious activity. Some French bishops openly 
confessed themselves as atheists, and were not 
reproved for it. The Prussian bishops, Lutheran 
Protestants, refused to take action against a pastor 
who denied the truth of Christianity. Everywhere 
the same spiritual deadness was to be observed. It 
required the storms of the Revolution to stir up a 
fresh and purer life among those responsible for the 
care of the souls of the people. 

And now let us turn to the map of Europe as it 
stood in the year 1789. With comparatively small 
differences, France, Spain and Portugal occupied the 
same areas as they do at the present day, Great 
Britain and Ireland, though under separate Parlia- 
ments, were yet ruled by one King and one Govern- 
ment as they are to-day. But while the changes of 
frontier have been so small here in the west as to 
be almost imperceptible at first sight, the map of 
central and eastern Europe has been very considerably 





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Italy was a collection of little states, such as 
the Republic of Venice, the Kingdom of the Two 
Sicilies, and the States of the Church. Foreign 
powers exercised great influence in Italy, for Milan 
and Mantua belonged to the ruler of Austria, whose 
brother ruled Tuscany, while the Two Sicilies and 
Parma belonged to two princes of the Spanish royal 

Germany, as then constituted, was a collection of 
disjointed states, some large and some small, includ- 
ing a total number of three hundred and forty-three. 
These were all under the nominal authority of the 
Holy Roman Emperor, who was elected for life by 
eight of the leading princes, who on this account 
were styled Electors. Our King, George III, was 
the Elector of Hanover. As a matter of fact both the 
election and authority were nominal. The Electors 
always chose the most powerful prince of Ger- 
many — namely, the head of the Austrian house of 
Hapsburg, and the dignity of Holy Roman Emperor 
was really hereditary. The power of the Emperor, 
too, was very weak (though as ruler of the Hapsburg 
lands he was always a powerful prince), for he could 
do little in the Empire without the consent of the 
clumsy Diet or feudal Parliament of Germany, and 
this power was slow to sanction or encourage any- 
thing which might tend to make the Emperor's 
overlordship a real one. When German rights were 
threatened it was possible for the Diet to authorise 
a declaration of war, and to raise an Imperial army, 
but this force was small and usually wretchedly 
equipped, so that for all practical purposes the 
Empire was a collection of states each more or less 
influenced by the ruler of Austria. 


The position of the Holy Roman Empire was 
further complicated by the fact that some of the 
most powerful of its members held lands outside its 
boundaries. Austria, for instance, besides holding 
Belgium and other lands within the bounds of the 
Empire, ruled Hungary and Milan which were out- 
side. Prussia proper was outside Germany altogether. 
Holstein was held by the King of Denmark. The 
Elector of Saxony had sometimes been King of Poland. 
Thus the Empire was a very complicated and clumsy 
institution, badly in need of reform. 

Proceeding further east we find the kingdom of 
Poland still occupying a large area between the 
Empire and Russia, which latter state was conse- 
quently smaller than at the present day. Finland, 
too, at that time was not Russian, but Swedish, while 
Denmark and Norway were united under one sove- 
reign. Finally, in the south-east of Europe, instead 
of the modern collection of Balkan States, we find 
the great Empire of the Ottoman Turks stretching 
northwards to Odessa and Belgrade. 

This, then, was the Europe of 1789, the Europe 
that was to be so violently stirred by the outbreak 
of the French Revolution and which was to form the 
basis of the Europe which we ourselves know at 
the present day. In this book we shall trace how 
the great changes of the recent era occurred, and 
how they have brought about and led up to the 
state of affairs at the beginning of the twentieth 



Since the achievement of unity by France, that 
country had been growing in population, in wealth 
and in prosperity. It shared with England and 
Holland the greatest material welfare which any 
land of that age could show. Its culture was the 
model for the whole of Europe. Its peasants, though 
oppressed by severe taxation, were industrious, pros- 
perous, and virtually free. Along with the develop- 
ment of civilisation and prosperity came naturally 
an increase in the means of the Government. The 
revenues increased, there were more opportunities 
for public action, and the administration became 
more complex and busier. But while France was 
developing in this way, the institutions by which 
France was governed remained the same as they 
had been a century before. The old central Govern- 
ment became overworked with the increase of business, 
for a great deal of what we now do by means of local 
councils had then to be done in France by the central 
power. The collection of the taxes was carried out 
in a wasteful and old-fashioned way, by allowing 
private firms or business men to do the collecting 
and to make a profit on it, instead of having the 
money collected by the Government officials. Old- 
fashioned laws and regulations interfered with pro- 



grcss, such, for instance, as that which forbade a man 
to change over from one trade to another without 
a long and costly legal process, or that which put 
taxes on goods passing from one province to another. 
In many ways the old system of government was 
becoming obsolete ; it needed reform. 

Along with the growth of commerce and manu- 
factures there had sprung up in France a numerous 
and influential middle class, a class which was active, 
businesslike, and on the whole well educated ; and 
it was this middle class which took the lead in de- 
manding reforms in their country. There was, in 
fact, plenty to complain of and plenty to ridicule in 
the old system. As one would expect, books and 
pamphlets soon appeared to attack the old system 
and to suggest alterations, and it became quite the 
fashion for educated people to regard the age in 
which they lived as one of unnatural abuses and 
ridiculous wrong. Two authors became particularly 
famous for their works on the government of states. 
These were Francoise de Voltaire and Jean Jacques 
Rousseau. Voltaire began to write satirical pam- 
phlets as a young man of twenty, and he continued 
to write books on a variety of subjects until his death 
at the age of eighty-four in 1778. Rousseau came 
from Geneva, though his family was French, and was 
nearly forty before he began to write ; his most 
famous work, The Social Contract, appeared in 
1762, when he was fifty, and he died in 1778, a few 
weeks after Voltaire. Of the two, Voltaire was far 
the more brilliant, his works are noted for their wit 
and their sarcasm ; Rousseau was more stolid in 
his style, and was not so popular among the educated 
classes. But Rousseau, in his Social Contract, 


worked out a theory which can best be summarised 
in the idea that the people of the past have made 
kings and the people of the present can depose them, 
and that if the king no longer governs in accord 
with the will of his people he need no longer be 
obeyed. This doctrine became very popular, and 
Rousseau's famous book became a sort of gospel 
for the reforming party in France. 

Besides being influenced by the theories of writers 
like Voltaire and Rousseau, the people of France 
were also much influenced by the practical example 
of the Americans. The year that saw the death of 
these two writers also saw the embarkation of France 
on a war against England in alliance with the re- 
volted American colonies. That war ended in the 
establishment of the independent republic of the 
United States. Hundreds of Frenchmen had been 
over to America to help the colonists against the 
English troops, and these returned after the peace of 
1783, full of admiration for the democratic institu- 
tions of the States. Thus the tide of reform was 
reinforced by waves from across the Atlantic, and 
we find the most celebrated of the French volunteers 
who served under Washington, the Marquis de 
Lafayette, taking a leading part in the early stages 
of the French Revolution. 

But there were also more urgent and practical 
reasons which led to the outbreak of Revolution. 
There were grievances which imposed not merely 
annoying inconvenience on the people but positive 
hardship. Let us take a few instances of these. 
First and foremost was the enormous injustice in 
the arrangement of taxation. The main source of 
revenue of the French government was a tax called 


the " taille." From the payment of this tax the 
wealthy classes were exempt, so that the entire 
burden fell on the shoulders of those who could least 
afford to pay. How came it about that the wealthy 
were exempt ? For the answer to this question we 
have to go back to the middle ages. The taille was 
originally intended to be used for the support of 
troops. Now the mediaeval nobility of France had 
to serve in the King's army in person, and at their 
own expense, and were consequently excused from 
payment. With the great increase in the size of 
the French army in the sixteenth century the free- 
serving nobles became a very small and insignificant 
fraction of the forces, and in the course of time the 
King ceased to trouble about summoning them, as 
their period of compulsory service was too short to 
be effective in a campaign of that period. Thus the 
nobility neither served nor paid. It soon occurred 
to businesslike men that if they could persuade the 
King to make them nobles, they too might become 
exempt from paying taxes, and from the beginning 
of the seventeenth century it became a practice to 
offer a sum of money to the King in order to be made 
a nobleman. When the King was hard pressed for 
money the temptation proved too great to resist, 
and hundreds of people had, by paying a big lump 
sum cash down, been ennobled, thus securing ex- 
emption from payment of taxes for themselves and 
for their descendants. For the Government, of 
course, this was killing the goose that laid the golden 
eggs, and by the time of King Louis XVI, who came 
to the throne in 1774, it was found that almost all 
the wealthy class people had as a matter of course 
bought or inherited the rights of nobility. Thus 


it came about that those who best could pay 
avoided the greatest of all the taxes levied in the 

Then there were the surviving feudal customs. 
Peasants were compelled to work without wages to 
keep the local roads and bridges in repair ; they 
were irritated by the obligation to pay dues at stated 
times to the lords, dues which usually took the form 
of chickens, wheat, eggs or other produce ; they were 
plagued with destructive game which attacked their 
crops and which the laws would not allow them to 
kill under plea of preserving them for the lord's 
hunting; they were irritated at the neglect shown 
towards them by the wealthy landlords who, in 
most districts, had moved their residence to the 
capital ; they were further disturbed by local tolls 
and customs barriers which forced them to pay 
customs dues on goods going from one part of the 
kingdom to another; the guild regulations made it 
extremely difficult for a man to transfer himself from 
one trade to another ; commissions in the army were 
reserved exclusively for the noble classes ; prefer- 
ment to high places in the Church was in practice 
also reserved to the sons of noble families. 

The Church, as represented by its higher digni- 
taries, was particularly obnoxious to reformers. For, 
besides being often idle, profane, and vicious men, 
these Churchmen were, like the nobles, exempt from 
taxation, for ever since the middle ages the Church 
had claimed financial independence, only granting 
a ' free gift ' to the Government when it thought 
fit. The unfair distribution of wealth in the Church, 
where dissolute bishops were rolling in money while 
hardworking parish priests were barely able to live 


on their income, was provocative of great discontent 
and much criticism. 

One of the most objectionable of all the imposts 
was the " gabelle," or salt tax. Salt, a necessary 
article of human food, was a Government monopoly, 
like tobacco and matches at the present day in France. 
It was heavily but unequally taxed, the price being 
enormously high in some districts and quite low in 
others, according to the different arrangements made 
in the past by local administrative officials. In a 
few places there was no tax at all, salt being sold at 
cost price. Thus it happened that a sou's worth of 
salt in a " salt-free " town cost twenty-four sous in 
another highly taxed town. Smuggling salt from 
cheap districts into dear districts was heavily punished, 
nevertheless it went on wholesale. In 1783 more 
than 10,000 persons were arrested in France for salt- 
smuggling. As a partial guard against smuggling, 
everyone was compelled to purchase two or three 
litres of salt every year at the Government store, 
whether they consumed it or not. Finally, we may 
observe that the nobility were exempt from the 

Another grievance frequently heard of in the days 
preceding the Revolution was that of " lettres de 
cachet ' or " letters of the seal." By issuing one 
of these, the Government could obtain the arrest 
and imprisonment of any person whatsoever, and 
could keep him in prison as long as they liked with- 
out trial. This right of the Government was much 
abused ; ministers and their friends used these 
" letters of the seal " to strike at their own private 
and personal enemies. For instance, one of the 
leaders of the outbreak of the Revolution, the Count 


of Mirabeau, had as a young man been imprisoned 
without charge or trial for two years by a " lettre de 
cachet " obtained from a minister by his father, 
with whom he had quarrelled. 

It can be understood, then, how ready, how 
anxious, how eager France was for reform. Even as 
early as 1753, the Earl of Chesterfield, visiting France, 
wrote that he found ' all the symptoms which he had 
ever met with in history previous to great changes 
and revolutions in government.' The advance of 
time did nothing to stem the rising tide, for the 
nobility and the governing classes were loth to 
tamper with a system which favoured them with 
such great privileges. The people's murmurings 
grew greater and greater, but it was dangerous to 
rebel and to risk defeat by the royal troops and 
death at the hands of the executioner. There were 
serious riots in Paris in 1775, but they ended with 
the appearance of the troops and the public execu- 
tion of the ringleaders. It needed some special 
crisis to open up the way for this Revolution which 
had been for so long brewing. The occasion arose 
through the approach of " national bankruptcy." 

The expenses of Government were growing year 
by year as the activities of France developed, and 
by the middle of the eighteenth century it became 
apparent that the strictest economy would be neces- 
sary to make both ends meet. For the Government 
had to pay, not only the annual cost of administra- 
tion and other current expenses, but also the interest 
on the loans raised for the great wars of the past 
half-century, the wars of Louis XIV and Louis XV. 
The Austrian Succession war had left behind a con- 
siderable debt, the Seven Years War left behind a 


very heavy one. Louis XVI's Government could not 
resist the temptation to get its revenge on England 
by joining in the American war; France had the 
satisfaction of seeing England beaten and of regaining 
Tobago, but the war cost France nearly 1,200,000,000 
francs (nearly £50,000,000), a large amount for those 
days, and added heavily to the debt. Hence by 
the time the American war was over, in 1783, the 
Government found itself absolutely unable to meet 
the expenses of administration in addition to the 
interest on the loans. In 1783 the deficit, that is 
the excess of expenditure over revenue, was, in 
English money, £3,000,000 ; by 1785, the deficit had 
reached £4,000,000 ; meanwhile new loans to the 
amount of £9,000,000 had been raised. It was 
obvious that this state of things could not go on. 

It was useless to say " Impose more taxes." To 
make up for the absence of revenue from the wealthy 
classes, the poorer had been taxed up to the hilt — 
to have added still further to their burdens would 
have driven them to the workhouse and they could 
then have paid no taxes at all. There was but one 
obvious and necessary way out — to tax the rich. 
But the rich would not consent to be taxed ; they 
had never in their generation paid taxes, and they 
were resolved not to start doing so. The rich 
controlled the administration, the rich surrounded 
the King. Every suggestion for the taxation of the 
wealthy classes, such as the scheme drawn up by 
Turgot, was thrown out by the influence of the 
courtiers. And so things drifted on from bad to 
worse, the Government raising new loans at high 
interest to pay the interest on old loans. This, of 
course, could not continue. The inevitable day must 


come when the rich would have to pay their share of 
the public burdens, but the only thought of the cour- 
tiers was to postpone the evil day as long as possible. 
Had King Louis XVI been a strong-minded, politic 
man, he would have put himself on the side of reason, 
safety, and popularity by calling on his people to 
join with him in forcing through the changes required. 
But the opposition of the courtiers, whose point of 
view was throughout supported by the Queen, Marie 
Antoinette of Austria, was sufficient to overcome 
the weak mind of the King, and the reforms remained 
unearned out. 

But something had to be done, as the Government, 
faced with an ever-increasing annual deficit, was 
rapidly heading towards bankruptcy. At last, when 
pressure was put on the wealthy classes to consent 
to a change of system, they suggested, in hopes of 
still further averting the day when their privileges 
would cease, that before doing anything definite the 
advice of the old French Parliament, the " States- 
General," should be taken. This body had never 
met since 1614, getting on for two centuries ago, 
but it was theoretically supposed to represent the 
nation, and as such would doubtless command 
respect. It was divided into three Houses or 
" Estates," Lords, Clergy, and Commoners, and as 
no measure could pass without the consent of all, 
the wealthy courtiers felt fairly safe against revo- 
lutionary changes. The writs were therefore issued, 
and on May 5, 1789, the States-General opened its 

We must now summarise very briefly the chief 
events of the Revolution. The whole period of the 
twenty-five years which follow is intensely interesting, 


as it is full of movement and action. It is a favourite 
period of study for many historical readers and its 
events should certainly be read in detail in some 
larger work. Here we can only point out the general 
features in the development of the history of the 

As soon as the States-General assembled at Ver- 
sailles, close to the royal palace outside Paris, it was 
evident that the members elected by the Commons 
or Third Estate meant business. They grasped at 
once the essential fact that as long as the veto of 
the other Estates remained, any reforms they might 
propose would necessarily fail, and so they imme- 
diately took up the firm position that they must 
have the assembly recast in such a way as to place 
the reactionary courtiers in a minority. There were 
about 500 commoners to about 250 priests and 
250 nobles, but as a large number of the priests and 
some of the nobles were on the side of reform, while 
there was hardly a supporter of the old system among 
the Third Estate, the union of all three Houses in 
one would have the desired effect of giving the 
reformers a majority in the assembly. There was 
evidence that on occasions in the middle ages the 
Estates had met as a single body, so the Third 
Estate now demanded the union of the Houses in a 
single body, and refused to transact business until 
their wishes were complied with. They were not 
going to waste time in debating measures which were 
sure to be rejected by a separate House of Lords. 

We now have a contest between the nobles of 
the Court on the one side and the representatives 
of the vast majority of the nation on the other, 
while the King flutters hesitatingly between the two. 


Generally speaking, the personal influence of his daily 
companions inclined Louis XVI, against his better 
judgment, to the side of the courtiers, and thus the 
resources of the Government were placed at the 
disposal of the reactionaries. In a case of this sort 
it would be strange if matters were not pushed to 
the extreme of armed conflict, in which case the 
possession of a large standing army gave the re- 
actionary party a decided point of vantage ; but the 
reformers relied upon the universal discontent with 
the existing system which was known to have per- 
meated the soldiery to a very considerable extent, 
and also upon the pugnacity of the Paris mob, which, 
against an army weakened by disaffection, might 
achieve something. 

The contest first centred round the question of 
the separation of the three Estates. The commoners 
obstinately refused to transact business till their 
wishes were complied with, and business remained 
at a standstill for five weeks. Then they grew 
bolder; being joined by a few of the clergy, they 
declared themselves to be " the National Assembly," 
and proceeded to business on the assumption that 
the remaining clergy and the lords were merely 
absentee members of their own body. The stroke 
was bold, but met with great approval in Paris, and 
in the country at large. A fortnight later King 
Louis came over in person and commanded them to 
revoke their action. But the members of the Third 
Estate, strengthened by the effect of an oath taken 
among themselves at a meeting in a neighbouring 
tennis court (an oath which declared that they would 
not separate till France had been reformed), boldly 
refused to obey the King, and matters reached a 


crisis. The weak King, however, vacillated ; he 
was at first paralysed by the unexpected resistance, 
and tamely gave way, ordering the other Estates to 
join the self-constituted " National Assembly." But 
a few days later he altered his tone, troops were 
marched into Paris and Versailles, and preparations 
were made for a blow at the rebellious members. 
Then occurred the decisive episodes of the 14th of 

The news of the approaching attack roused the 
Parisians to fury. When they heard that Necker, 
a minister who was known to be inclined to favour 
reform, had been dismissed and banished, they 
rushed to arms. The mob seized the public buildings 
and attacked the Bastille, a great prison-fortress 
corresponding to our Tower of London. Meanwhile, 
the troops were ordered up, and a street battle 
seemed imminent. The great crisis had come. But 
at the fateful moment of conflict some of the 
troops joined the people, and others refused to act 
against them ; the whole scheme of crushing the re- 
formers by force collapsed, and from that moment, 
when it appeared that the army could not be relied 
on to act against the people, the success of the Revo- 
lution was assured. The Bastille, not being victualled 
for a siege, surrendered that same afternoon, and 
the mob celebrated their victory by wild rejoicings, 
and by the murder of some of the garrison. 

The events of July 14 were decisive. It was not 
the fall of the Bastille, but the declaration of the 
troops for the popular side which proved the decisive 
factor in the situation, but the former event, being 
taken as symbolical and as typifying the fall of 
the old oppressive system before the onslaught of the 


enraged nation, was soon elevated to the rank of 
the red-letter day of the Revolution, and as such its 
anniversary is still celebrated as the great national 
holiday in France. 

The King at once gave way. Necker was recalled ; 
the troops were withdrawn ; the National Assembly 
was allowed to proceed to its work of reform. On 
August 4 the privileges of the nobility were declared 
abolished amidst a scene of great enthusiasm, and 
the Assembly then set itself to the tasks of recon- 
structing the whole system of administration and 
drawing up a Constitution which was to form the 
basis of the future government of France. This 
important work kept the Assembly busy for two full 
years, until at last, on September 21, 1791, the King 
gave his final sanction to the new Constitution, and 
the Revolution was presumed to have come to an 

So far the proceedings of the revolutionary party, 
though there had been some ugly scenes in Paris, 
and though their Constitution contained many flaws 
and weaknesses, had been on the whole moderate. 
The National Assembly had swept away all the main 
abuses of what soon came to be called the " ancien 
regime," the old system. Its leaders had been men 
of talent, wealth, and education, many of them, 
notably Mirabeau and Lafayette, drawn from the 
ranks of the reforming party among the nobility. 
But the events of these two years had not been 
altogether conducive to peace and settlement in the 
future. Public opinion now had free vent, and a 
spirit of discussion, debate, and universal dabbling 
in politics had grown up which was all the more 
fierce and keen from the fact that public opinion 


had for so long been muzzled. This in itself might 
have cooled down in time, and the weak points in 
the new Constitution might have been amended 
gradually, had it not been for two things. In the 
first place, the King regretted the establishment of 
the new Constitution because it enormously reduced 
his power and made the new elective Parliament 
the real ruler of the kingdom, and, led on by the 
Queen and his friends, he plotted its speedy over- 
throw. In the second place, the country became 
involved in a great war, and thus the critical first 
years of the revolutionary settlement were fated to 
fall in the abnormal times of a serious and perilous 
national struggle against foreign enemies. 

The opposition of the King was a great bar to 
the smooth working of the new Constitution. The 
people felt that they could not trust the King, and 
on several occasions had shown their fears in a 
remarkable manner. About three months after the 
fall of the Bastille, news reached Paris that Louis 
had appeared at a banquet of officers at Versailles 
during which the tricolour, the red, white and blue 
badge adopted by the reformers, had been trampled 
under foot. Fearing another attempt at armed 
interference with the National Assembly, a mob, 
largely consisting of women, marched out to Ver- 
sailles, murdered some of the guards of the palace, 
and forced the royal family to remove their residence 
to the Tuileries palace in the centre of Paris. Some 
time after, at Easter 1791, when the King attempted 
to remove to the suburb of St. Cloud, his coach was 
stopped by the mob and he was compelled to return. 
For by this time it had become rumoured that Louis 
intended to flee from the capital, either to the army 


of his brother-in-law, the Emperor Leopold II, or 
more likely to the French army stationed at Metz, 
which, being largely composed of German-speaking 
troops, was less sympathetic towards the people 
than were the other armies of France. This sus- 
picion was confirmed in June of that year, when the 
royal family succeeded in escaping from Paris and 
hurrying off towards Metz, leaving behind a procla- 
mation annulling all the measures of the National 
Assembly. They were stopped and seized before 
they were able to reach the troops on whom they 
relied, and they were brought back to Paris. An 
incident of this sort could not fail to leave a very 
bad impression on everybody, though when the 
King agreed to accept the completed Constitution, 
and it was proclaimed on September 21, people 
hoped that royal opposition would now cease. 

But hardly had the new Parliament been assembled, 
elected by all Frenchmen of the upper and middle 
classes, when the country found itself drifting to- 
wards war. The causes of this, and the history of 
the war, will be dealt with in the next chapter, but 
we must here examine what the effects of this war 
were upon the course of the Revolution. The war 
proved a long one — it lasted from 1792 to 1802, 
and it ended not only creditably but splendidly for 
France. But at its outset it was otherwise, for the 
French armies, weakened by the slackening of dis- 
cipline which accompanied the Revolution and by 
distrust of their noble officers, collapsed hopelessly 
at the first shock of arms, and it was two years before 
victory really began to declare for the French. 
Twice the country was in the greatest danger; first 
in the summer of 1792, and again in the summer of 


1793. The situation demanded national unity and a 
solid front towards the invading foes. In neither 
case did national unity appear; in the first crisis it 
was marred by the attitude of the King and the 
Court, in the second crisis it was marred by the 
bitter strife of parties within France itself. 

Now Louis XVI, and still more his Austrian wife 
Marie Antoinette, so far from wishing success to the 
arms of France, were cordially hoping that the 
Austrians and their allies the Prussians would win. 
For the Governments of Austria and Prussia were 
decidedly alarmed at the spread of democracy in 
France, and feared a similar outbreak in their own 
dominions. If King Louis asked for the help of 
Austrian troops to suppress the new Parliament and 
Constitution there was no doubt that his request 
would be granted. Scores of the nobles of France 
had emigrated into Germany in disgust at the over- 
throw of their old system, and those who remained 
with the King were all anxious that their country 
might be beaten in order that they might reap a 
personal advantage in the restoration of the ancien 
regime. In the circumstances, when the King and 
Queen sympathised with the invaders, and betrayed 
the French military plans to the enemy, success was 
improbable. The cry arose that the unpatriotic 
sovereign must go, and that the traitor courtiers 
should be cast into prison as national enemies. 

Again we find the Paris mob responding to the 
stimulus of fear. In June 1792 came news that 
the French armies, which had invaded the Austrian 
province of Belgium, were retreating in panic over 
the frontier; the mob rose, burst into the Tuileries 
palace, and for some hours mocked and threatened 


the King and Queen. Nothing definite, however, was 
done on this occasion, but at the end of July there 
arrived a proclamation couched in high and dictating 
language from the commander of the invading Prussian 
army. The Parisians were stirred to fury, and on 
August 10 there took place a rising secondary in im- 
portance only to that of July 14, 1789. The Tuileries 
was again stormed, the King's Swiss Guards were 
massacred, and the royal family sent as prisoners to 
the Temple gaol. At the end of the month came 
news of the fall of the frontier fortress of Longwy 
to the Prussians. Three or four thousand priests, 
nobles, officers and other royalists were seized and 
conveyed to the Paris prisons. On September 3 
came news of the fall of the fortress of Verdun. The 
road to Paris lay open to the Prussians, save for 
Dumouriez's army and the hills of the Argonne. 
Panic set in in Paris. There followed a scene of 
terrible massacre and bloodshed ; a crowd of enraged 
men took possession of the prisons, and as the cells 
were emptied the unhappy victims were butchered. 
In Paris alone 1400 persons were massacred in this 
way, including many women and young boys. These 
atrocious murders were repeated in many provincial 
towns. Curiously enough, the King and his family 
escaped the fate of their supporters. While the 
September massacres were going on in Paris, the 
Prussians were preparing for their march on that 
city, but the unexpected resistance of Dumouriez's 
army in the Argonne hills and the advent of heavy 
rains which made the roads almost impassable to 
the invaders caused progress to be slow, and when, 
on September 20, their advance guard was repulsed 
at Valmy, they began to fall back. Two days later, 


on September 22, 1792, a new revolutionary assembly, 
elected hurriedly by the whole adult male population 
of France, and styled " the Convention," declared 
France a Republic. 

The first crisis of the war was over, and it had 
resulted in the overthrow of the monarchy. One 
can hardly see how, in the circumstances, the nation 
could have acted otherwise than to get rid of the 
authority of Louis XVI and his friends, who were 
nothing less than traitors to their country, though in 
their estimation the King was the country personified. 
The fall of Louis dragged down the whole system of 
monarchy, and left France a Democratic Republic. 
The Convention proceeded to draw up a new Con- 
stitution, the establishment of which it wisely post- 
poned until after the war, and a Government was 
set up by the appointment of a Committee of Public 
Safety, consisting of nine members. Once more 
people hoped that the Revolution was over, and 
that the country would now settle itself down to 
finish the war, and to establish its new Republican 
Constitution in peace. 

But again hopes were to be disappointed. The 

French people were not going to settle down in unity 

and peace, and the war was by no means over. 

Parliamentary government was new to France, and 

party struggles were carried on with an extreme of 

bitterness. In England, where the Parliamentary 

Constitution had had free play for a century, parties 

had ceased to carry oh war to the knife against one 

another ; the party defeated at a general election 

resigned itself to its fate as a matter of course, and 

hoped for the best at the next election. But in 

France, where Parliamentary life was new, defeated 


politicians had not the patience to wait for the swing 
of the pendulum in their favour; they wanted to 
control things, by hook or by crook, and to gain and 
secure power they were willing to resort to violence, 
intimidation, proscription of enemies, and gerry- 
mandering of elections. The times, too, were not 
suitable for the development of quiet party govern- 
ment of the English pattern. The country was 
engaged in a serious and critical war, while the 
treacherous conduct of the royalists towards the 
country had sown the seeds of what the historian 
Carlyle calls "preternatural suspicion," — a fear that 
your neighbour, particularly your enemy, is plotting 
secretly against you, and that he is possibly leagued 
with the national foe. In such circumstances, French 
politics became mere struggles of force, violence 
cloaked under the formulas of peaceful politics. 

In the new French Parliament of 1792, the Con- 
vention, strife was not long in breaking out. Two 
parties appeared : the Girondins or Moderates, 
whose leaders were men from the Gironde district 
in the south of France, and the Jacobins or extreme 
Revolutionaries, who took their name from the old 
Jacobin convent in whose great hall the members of 
this party had established a political club which 
exercised powerful influence in Paris, and which had 
numerous " daughter-clubs " in the provincial towns. 
These two parties, Girondins and Jacobins, soon fell out 
and began to attack each another in bitter speeches. 
Their first point of dispute was as to the treatment 
to be dealt out to the deposed King. The Jacobins 
were for putting him to death, the Girondins wished 
to spare his life. After much debate, the death of 
Louis XVI was voted in the Convention by 366 to 


355, and on January 21, 1793, he was executed by 
the newly invented guillotine in the great square 
which is now the Place de la Concorde. 

The second great crisis of the war came with the 
spring of 1793. The French army in Belgium had 
suffered a severe defeat at Neerwinden, and the allies 
proceeded to invade the north-east of France. But 
the national danger had no effect on party strife. 
Girondins and Jacobins attacked one another with 
bitter hatred. Then came violence. At the begin- 
ning of June the Jacobins, obtaining the supremacy 
in the Convention, ordered the arrest of the Girondin 
leaders. Sooner than submit to this, the Girondins 
took up arms, and a fierce civil war broke out. Nor- 
mandy rose; thousands of Bretons and Vendeans 
declared against the Republic; Bordeaux, Lyons, 
Marseilles, Toulon, all were in revolt. No wonder 
the Government turned to severe measures. The 
Norman rebels were routed at Pacy, Lyons and 
Toulon faced lengthy sieges ; the rebels of La Vendee 
proved harder to hunt down, and the district was 
left a prey to anarchy for months. Meanwhile, by 
tremendous efforts, the Government raised the means 
of prosecuting the war against the invaders with 
vigour, and by the end of the year the victories of 
Hondschoote, Wattignies, and the Geisberg had. 
secured the frontiers from attack. 

But the result of this civil war was the establish- 
ment of the Reign of Terror. The Revolutionary 
Tribunal set to work to punish the victims sent to 
it by the Committee of General Security, while the 
Committee of Public Safety approved and supervised 
this policy of securing domestic unity by violence 
and terrorism. Suspected malcontents were arrested 


in scores and, after a mockery of a trial, sent to the 
guillotine. And this went on for a whole year. The 
Terror was at its height in June and July 1794, when 
the executions in Paris alone averaged 196 a week. 
Similar things went on in the provinces, where 
Jacobin leaders sent down by the Committee of 
Public Safety carried out wholesale massacres of 
possible rebels. The infamous Jean-Baptiste Carrier 
had upwards of 15,000 persons slaughtered in and 
around the city of Nantes, and when the guillotine 
could not work fast enough, he sent his prisoners out 
in large batches on board the barges of the Loire, 
sinking the boats and drowning the unfortunate 
wretches within. Collot d'Herbois and Fouche had 
hundreds of Lyonese shot down in batches. At 
Arras, Bordeaux, Marseilles, similar scenes took 
place. It is impossible to estimate with exactitude 
the total number of victims. We have the records 
of the Paris tribunal containing mention of 2,625 
persons executed ; the total for the whole of France 
must have been enormous. 

Meanwhile the victorious Jacobins had begun to 
split into factions. Within the party itself it soon 
became a great scramble of rival politicians to secure 
power to themselves. The fallen Royalists, in- 
cluding the Queen, and the fallen Girondins were 
put to death before the end of the year 1793, and for 
some time yet the Jacobin party hung together. 
The chief leaders of the party were now Robespierre, 
Danton, and Hebert, between whom there existed 
much mutual dislike and suspicion. In March 
1794, the parties of Robespierre and Danton com- 
bined against the Hebertists, who were arrested, 
tried and guillotined — twenty of them. Two months 


later Robespierre's group secured the destruction of 
their rivals, the Dantonists, of whom six prominent 
leaders were sent to the scaffold. Robespierre was 
then left supreme in the Committee of Public Safety, 
and under his direction the Terror reached its worst 
phase. But this deluge of blood could not go on 
for ever. The vast mass of the nation was horrified 
and disgusted at the bloodthirsty excesses of the 
Jacobins; but the Terror was effective, people were 
afraid to take the first steps in rebellion for fear of 
instant arrest and execution. At last, however, the 
politicians themselves began to be appalled at the 
extent of the bloodshed, and both in and out of 
the Convention men secretly longed for the fall of 
Robespierre and the system he represented. 

In the Committee of Public Safety, meanwhile, 
there had occurred a further split. The majority 
of the Committee began to tire of Robespierre's 
supremacy, and prepared to attack him. The attack 
took place on July 27; Robespierre found himself 
under arrest, he refused to submit and escaped to 
the Hotel de Ville, or Town Hall of Paris, where he 
was joined by his friends. Robespierre's enemies, 
however, inarched against the town hall, seized it, 
and took " the tyrant " prisoner, and next day he 
was executed in the Place de la Concorde. The fall 
of Robespierre was the turning-point of the Reign 
of Terror. The victorious party still consisted of 
Terrorists, but on the news of the fall of " the tyrant ' 
so great a cry of delight went up at the destruction 
of the man who was held to typify the Terror, that 
the men who now obtained control of the Govern- 
ment, themselves sick of the system, took the oppor- 
tunity to end it. The victories of Fleurus, Kaisers- 


lautern and Saorgio had ended the critical period of 
the war, and the national danger, which had been 
the sole excuse for the Reign of Terror, no longer 
existed. After being used to destroy ninety-five of 
Robespierre's supporters, the guillotine was set in 
motion only fourteen times in the following month, 
and by the end of the year it stood practically idle. 

The Reign of Terror was over. But the fall of 
Robespierre, though it was the beginning of a decided 
reaction, did not close the period of violent politics. 
For some years to come changes of Government 
could be brought about only by force. By the 
summer of 1795 the victory of France in the war 
seemed assured; Prussia and Spain had made peace, 
Holland had been conquered, the English army had 
been driven ignominiously from the Continent. It 
was considered time that the Republic should settle 
down under a permanent Constitution, but the Con- 
vention decided that the ultra-democratic Constitu- 
tion drawn up in the first days of the Republic would 
not be satisfactory, for the lower classes were dis- 
credited by the excesses of the Paris mob. The 
Convention therefore drew up a third French Con- 
stitution, establishing two Houses of Parliament, 
both elected, but differing in the property and age 
qualifications of the members. The vote was given 
on a property qualification which excluded the lower 
classes, and the system of election was to be indirect — - 
that is, the voters did not choose the actual members 
of Parliament, but chose committeemen who after- 
wards met to select members according to their own 
choice. The Government was to consist of a com- 
mittee of five Directors, chosen by the members of 
the Houses. Finally, and here we may note the 


reluctance of French parties to submit patiently to 
the verdict of elections, it was decided that two- 
thirds of the old Convention should be retained as 
members of the first of the new Parliaments-. 

And now we haVe a return to violence. The party 
that had overthrown Robespierre had separated 
itself entirely from the Jacobin Club, which had, in 
fact, been closed by the orders of this party. The 
remnants of the Jacobin party, the remaining Terror- 
ists, and the mob of Paris which found itself deprived 
of the vote by the new Constitution now made 
common cause to overthrow the Moderate party 
which ruled the Convention. Twice in the spring 
of 1795 they attempted a rising, but on both occa- 
sions they were beaten and the ringleaders punished. 
Hardly had the last of these revolts been put down 
when a new rising took place, led this time by 
Royalists, reactionaries, and those who were irritated 
at the attempt of the Convention to retain power 
over the new Parliament. This movement, however, 
was put down as easily as the two former, after a 
fierce cannonade in the streets in which the young 
Napoleon Bonaparte distinguished himself. 

The new Constitution then came into force, and 
with the establishment of the two new Houses of 
Parliament and the Directory the country did at 
last settle down into something like quiet. Every 
one wished for peace, every one was tired of politics ; 
stable, firm government without the abuses of the 
ancien regime was all people wanted. The political 
contests under the Directory did not excite very 
much interest. There was a continuous struggle 
between the Democrats, who tended towards Jaco- 
binism, and the Moderates, who leaned towards 


Royalism. The first Directors were decidedly Demo- 
crat, and when in 1797 the Moderates gained a 
majority in the Houses, the Democrats, calling in 
the help of the most Democratic regiments of the 
army, resorted to violence, and seized and trans- 
ported no less than fifty-five Moderate members. 
Thus again violence really ruled the roast in France. 
The elections of next year (one-third of the Houses 
resigned annually) were flagrantly gerrymandered, 
and in the next year quarrels between the Houses 
and the Directors led to what was virtually the forced 
reconstruction of the Directory, three of its members 
being turned out, and three others put in. Finally, 
in November 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte, returning 
from his campaigns in Egypt and Syria, collected 
round him a sufficient number of troops on whom 
he could rely, and overthrew the whole Constitution. 
The members of the Lower House were turned out 
of their hall at the point of the bayonet, and Bona- 
parte then drew up a new Constitution — the fourth 
French Constitution of the Revolutionary Period — 
which virtually created him sovereign of France. 

By this Constitution the Government was en- 
trusted to three Consuls, of whom the First Consul 
(Bonaparte) had all the real power. The Consuls 
were advised and assisted by four bodies : a Council 
of State, a Senate which prepared the laws, a Tri- 
bunate which discussed the laws, and a Legislative 
Assembly which voted on the laws, passing or 
rejecting them without discussion. To get these 
bodies, the middle and upper classes were to elect 
electors who in turn met to elect other electors, who 
proceeded to elect men called " Notabilities of the 
Nation," of whom there were to be five or six 


thousand. The Consuls chose the Council of State 
and the entire Senate, and the Senate then elected the 
entire Tribunate and Legislative Assembly by choosing 
men who were among the " Notabilities of the Nation." 
This extremely complicated system was designed by 
Bonaparte and his friend Sieyes with the sole purpose 
of leaving as little influence as possible to the people 
and as much as possible to the First Consul. The 
new Constitution was submitted to the approval of 
the people, who were asked to go before the local 
officials and vote either for or against it. The result 
showed that three million had accepted it while only 
fifteen hundred had voted against it. Apart from 
political pressure and the gerrymandering of votes, 
there is no doubt that most people accepted the Con- 
stitution and the rule of Bonaparte as a rather welcome 
deliverance from the party struggles and unsettled 
state of affairs which had sprung from the Revolution. 
The recent reverses in the field, and the retreat of 
the French armies from Italy, combined with the 
fame of Bonaparte as a successful general, also had 
a great influence on public opinion. 

From the close of 1799 onwards for fifteen years 
Napoleon Bonaparte was the despotic sovereign of 
France. He was far more powerful that Louis XVI 
had ever been, for his realm was organised on a 
businesslike footing, and he was not driven to con- 
sider the feelings of the aristocracy. France had 
achieved her Revolution. The old grievances had 
been swept away, and the country had returned to 
the rule of a powerful centralised monarchy, whose 
sovereign was the greatest political genius living, 
perhaps the greatest political genius of all time. 
In 1802 the Consulate, which had at first been given 


him for ten years, was awarded him for life ; in 1804 
he took the title of Emperor, and was crowned in 
the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, the Pope 
officiating at the ceremony. Various amendments 
in the Constitution, such as the abolition of the 
Tribunate in 1808, made his power still more despotic. 
His vast energy found expression in many works of 
domestic reform and in his great wars of conquest. 
His codes of law, his religious settlement, his public 
works, bore lasting testimony to his devotion to 
France, while the names of his victories still evoke 
thrills of patriotic pride in the hearts of modern 

Under his rule the material benefits of the Revolu- 
tion became part of the regular system of France. 
The new division of the provinces into Departments 
established in 1789 took firm root, and the Govern- 
ment became still further centralised. The Roman 
Catholic faith once more became the national re- 
ligion, after the atheistic interlude of the Reign of 
Terror, though the Church was strictly subordinated 
to the supervision of the State. The chaotic systems 
of provincial law gave place to a new series of national 
Codes. The extraordinary new Calendar established 
by the Republic, divided into new months named 
after the seasons, the weather and agricultural 
operations, with its weeks of ten days, its national 
festivals and its reckoning of the years from the 
establishment of the French Republic instead of 
from the birth of Christ — this extravagancy of the 
Revolution was swept away in 1806, and the old 
Calendar restored. 

It appears, then, as though the great revolutionary 
outbreak had ended in nothing but the removal of 


the material grievances which had done so much to 
provoke it. The enthusiastic hopes of Democracy — 
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity — had ended in the 
Napoleonic despotism. But as a matter of fact 
Democracy had not been crushed ; it still smouldered 
beneath the surface even of the Napoleonic empire, 
and with the further development of the Economic 
Revolution it was once more to raise its head. 



We have seen how the course of the French Revolu- 
tion was influenced by the course of the great war 
which France was waging at the time. It was one of 
the ironies of fate that the new age of "liberty" and 
" universal brotherhood " should begin with a war the 
like of which had not yet been seen by Europe. Let 
us examine the causes which led to the outbreak 
of this great war. 

In the first place, we may safely say that both sides 
were quite willing, if not eager, for war. The French 
people, in the first flush of excitement at their new- 
found liberty, imagined that a new age had dawned 
upon the world, and that as their own political life 
was now so different from what it had been in the 
days of the ancien regime, so the other peoples of 
Europe would also experience a similar regeneration 
inspired by the example of France. The great and 
hopeful enthusiasm of this time led the French to 
think, not only that they were to set the example of 
democratic liberty, but that they were to become the 
active champions or crusaders of that liberty. Many 
enthusiasts, therefore, cried out for a great demo- 
cratic crusade, in which France was to raise the other 
nations m rebellion against their despotic sovereigns 
and help them to freedom. And in the excitement 



of the moment it was generally believed in France 
that such a crusade was possible. 

On the other side, the other nations of Europe were 
led to believe exactly the reverse — that France, 
instead of being strengthened by her Revolution, had 
been seriously weakened by it. The French army 
was known to be in a very slack state of organisation 
and discipline, and if war broke out there was known 
to exist an influential party of reactionaries who 
would do all they could to hinder the success of a 
democratic war. The other European monarchs, too, 
were alarmed at the triumph of Democracy in the 
neighbouring kingdom, and were somewhat afraid of 
its spreading to their own dominions. In fact, the 
example of France had already stirred up a serious 
revolt in Belgium, where the Austrian rule was 
unpopular ; the Belgians had driven out the Austrian 
garrisons and proclaimed their independence as a 
Republic — the " United Belgian States " — and had 
only been suppressed with difficulty by a concen- 
tration of troops on the revolted province. A war 
with France, then, from their point of view would 
serve the double purpose of beating an old rival and 
enemy and of destroying the poison of Democracy 
at its source. It was generally thought in the rest 
of Europe that France must necessarily be severely 
beaten and that it was a good opportunity of 
humbling her. Thus both sides were confident of 
success and desirous of a war. 

There were other minor causes which led to war. 
A strong party in France believed that a war was the 
best means of settling the contest between the King 
and the nation by compelling the former either to side 
with his people against a foreign foe or to become a 


declared enemy of the people's cause. A strong- 
party at the Austrian court wished for war against 
the new democratic France because it had showed a 
strong inclination to break off the Austro-French 
alliance, which had been of great service to Austria 
since 1756 and which King Louis XVI and his 
Austrian Queen supported. 

Both sides had given some occasion for the other 
side to declare war. France had annexed certain 
towns which, though surrounded by French territory, 
were themselves part of the Holy Roman Empire, 
and had thus violated the rights of some score of 
German princes — a provocation which the Austrian 
sovereign as Holy Roman Emperor might easily use 
as a casus belli, or reason for war. On the other hand, 
the Emperor Leopold II had not only issued declara- 
tions in language both insulting and threatening to 
France, but had allowed the assembling on Imperial 
territory of an armed force of emigrated French 
nobles whose avowed aim was to overturn the French 
Constitution by violence. At the beginning of 1792 
the French Government demanded the withdrawal of 
Leopold's suggestions of a right to interfere in the 
internal affairs of France, and the Austrian reply 
proving unsatisfactory and defiant, France declared 
war in April 1792. Austria was at once joined by 
Prussia and Sardinia as allies, and preparations were 
made for a great invasion of France. 

The great Revolutionary War, which engaged the 
forces of France for ten years, opened badly for the 
champions of Democracy. Their armies were igno- 
miniously hurled back from the frontier, and the 
Allies commenced a march on Paris. It was thought 
that the war was virtuallv settled. But the Allies 


had not started the campaign until fairly late in the 
year, and the advent of bad, wet weather at the end 
of September put a stop to operations. The unex- 
pected resistance of General Dumouriez against the 
Duke of Brunswick's Prussians at Valmy decided 
the Allies to fall back, and the conquest of the new 
Republic was postponed till the following year. But 
the recent reverses had fired the French to an effort. 
When every one thought that the campaign had 
ceased, for winter operations were almost always 
considered at that time too difficult for armies to 
attempt, the French came pouring back towards 
the frontiers and, taking the Allies by surprise, rolled 
in a great wave of conquering triumph over Belgium, 
the Palatinate, and Savoy, Dumouriez defeating the 
Austrians under Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen at 
Jemmappes, near Mons. 

Carried away by this wave of success, the French 
proceeded upon actions which gave an increased 
bitterness to the war and added to the number of 
their enemies. After promising to the peoples of the 
occupied territories liberty and democratic freedom, 
they proceeded to annex Belgium, Savoy and Nice 
to France, while in defiance of the Treaty of West- 
phalia, which had been observed in this respect since 
1648, they opened the river Scheldt to navigation and 
prepared the way for the foundation of a naval base 
at Antwerp. At the same time, a boastful proclama- 
tion promised French aid to all peoples that chose to 
rebel against their monarchs. The result of these 
reckless actions was to bring on war with the Nether- 
lands and with England, and a great anti-French 
coalition was formed, which was soon joined by Spain, 
Portugal, and some of the small Italian states. At 


the beginning of 1793 France found herself fighting, 
not merely against her eastern neighbours, but against 
a ring of enemies. 

For a second time the French armies collapsed. 
The Prince of Coburg beat Dumouriez at Neerwinden 
and reconquered Belgium; the Germans drove the 
French back through the Palatinate and entered 
Alsace ; the Sardinians came back into Savoy ; the 
Spanish armies poured round the ends of the Pyrenees, 
the English besieged Dunkirk and occupied Toulon. 
In addition to all this, civil war broke out within the 
nation itself. Again it seemed as if France were 
about to be overwhelmed by the foes she had so 
recklessly provoked into attacking her. But again 
the nation responded to the appeal of danger. We 
have seen how ruthlessly domestic dissensions were 
quelled. A conscription law, the first of its kind, 
filled up the depleted ranks of the army, and another 
great effort was made to free the country of the 
invaders. Possessing the advantages of the central 
position and unity of command, the French were 
again remarkably successful. The Anglo- Austrian 
forces in Belgium were repulsed at Hondschoote and 
Wattignies, the victory of the Geisberg drove the 
Germans back to the Rhine, and the Spaniards were 
pressed back into their own country. This progress 
continued during the next campaign, that of 1794. 
The Anglo-Austrians were defeated by Jourdan at 
Tourcoing, separated, and driven out of Belgium, 
after further defeats at Boxtel and Fleurus. The 
main Prussian army was defeated at Kaiserslautern, 
the Sardinian army at Saorgio ; the eastern Pyrenees 
were turned. By the end of the year the French 
held everything up to the Rhine, the Alps, and the 



Pyrenees. In another vigorous winter campaign 
General Pichegru conquered the whole of the Nether- 
lands, and the English army withdrew to its own 

The task of crushing France, instead of appearing 
easy as in 1792 and 1793, now seemed hopeless, and the 
Allies showed signs of weakness. In February 1795 
the Grand Duke of Tuscany, brother of the Emperor 
Francis II (who had succeeded Leopold in 1792), 
set the example of making peace with France. 
Prussia withdrew from the war by the Treaty of 
Basle in April, and Spain followed suit in July. 
Of her six most important foes of two years ago, 
France now saw Prussia and Spain beaten, the 
Netherlands conquered, and England repulsed from 
the Continent ; there remained Austria and Sardinia 
still with armies in the field. 

The reduction of these two remaining states to 
submission was mainly the work of the rising General 
Napoleon Bonaparte. During 1795 little had been 
done save the reduction of some of the Rhine fortresses 
and the occupation of Genoa by the French. But 
in 1796 the war minister Carnot planned a strong 
forward move on two lines, one through Germany 
and the other through northern Italy to the land of 
Austria itself. The northern army was repulsed by 
the able generalship of the Austrian Archduke 
Charles, who defeated half the French army at 
Altenkirchen and drove the other half, which narrowly 
escaped capture, back to the Rhine. But Bonaparte, 
in a campaign of wonderful brilliance, carried out 
his part of the programme in Italy, and penetrated 
the Austrian lands to the north-east. He first forced 
the Apennines at Montenotte, separated the Sardi- 


nians from the Austrians, and compelled the former 
to sue for peace ; then, hurrying east, he beat the 
Austrians at Lodi and laid siege to Mantua. While 
covering the siege of this fortress, Bonaparte won a 
series of extraordinary victories over highly superior 
numbers, victories of which the most noted are those 
of Castiglione, Areola, and Rivoli. Continuing his 
campaign throughout the winter, in what was now 
becoming the usual French fashion, he drove the 
Austrians out of Italy, and after the fall of Mantua 
he invaded Austria, defeated the Archduke Charles 
in a series of battles of which Neumarkt is the most 
noted, and finally compelled the Emperor Francis 
to ask for peace. After some negotiation, the Treaty 
of Campo Formio, 1797, brought the war of the First 
Coalition to an end, though some of the smaller 
German princes obstinately kept the field for a few 
weeks longer. 

The Treaty of Campo Formio gave to the French 
Republic the simple boundaries of the Rhine, the 
Alps, and the Pyrenees, boundaries which the French 
at once hailed as the "natural frontiers" of their 
country. But besides this, the victories of Bonaparte 
in Italy secured for France a foothold in that country, 
where a new state called the Cisalpine Republic was 
erected, including the cities of Milan, Mantua and 
Bologna, and under the virtual protection of the 
French Republic. Austria received some compensa- 
tion for the loss of Belgium and Milan by the annexa- 
tion of the greater part of the dominions of Venice, 
which now disappeared as an independent state. 

The Continent was now at peace ; of all the enemies 
of France England alone kept up the struggle, pro- 
tected from attack by her naval supremacy. Between 



these two there seemed no satisfactory means of 
settling the war, for France had little chance of 
winning at sea while the English had little chance 
of effecting much against the French forces on land. 
To obtain something like naval equality with England, 
the French Republic sought the alliance of other 
states that possessed fair-sized navies ; in 1795 the 
Netherlands, conquered by Pichegru, were formed 
into a new " Batavian Republic " and entered into 
alliance with France, while in the following year 
Spain was persuaded to take up the cudgels against 
her old colonial rival and to join the alliance against 
England. The coalition of the three navies of France, 
Spain, and Holland against England threatened to 
be effective, but the British naval victories of St. 
Vincent and Camperdown shattered the hopes based 
on this new alliance. Britain's naval supremacy 
remained unimpaired, and in 1798 its effectiveness 
was demonstrated in a very striking manner. Bona- 
parte was sent in command of a French expeditionary 
force to Egypt with the ultimate idea of cutting a 
way through to attack the English possessions in 
India. Though the transports landed their men in 
safety, the escorting French Mediterranean fleet was 
caught and almost annihilated by Nelson in the 
great battle of the Nile, and the expedition, thus cut 
off from supplies and reinforcements, was left to be 
worn down by Turks and British until it had to 
surrender after the battle of Alexandria in 1801. 

The news of Nelson's victory at the Nile had the 
effect of renewing the Continental war. When it 
became known that the best of the French soldiers, 
with their best general, were cut off in the distant 
country of Egypt, a new coalition sprang into being. 


But this coalition was defensive besides being aggres- 
sive, for the French Republic had been steadily 
increasing its hold on Italy since the peace of Campo 
Formio, violently and almost without excuse taking 
possession of the small states, Sardinia, Tuscany, the 
Papal dominions, and Naples, as well as seizing control 
of Switzerland. Hence it was to stop the further 
spread of French power and influence, as well as to 
attempt to regain what had been previously lost, that 
the Second Coalition was formed. Austria, Sardinia, 
and the Two Sicilies at once joined England in her 
struggle against France, and this time Russia, alarmed 
at the rapid increase in the power of the new French 
Republic, joined actively in the league. Prussia had, 
since her retirement from the war in 1795, been 
swayed by a pacifist party that thought her interests 
would be best served by keeping out of warfare at 
all costs, and when invited to join the coalition she 
refused to break away from an attitude of rigid 

The war of the Second Coalition lasted for two 
years only. It began with a wave of French disasters 
and ended with a recovering wave of French triumphs, 
and it is significant for the history of France that the 
turning-point coincided with the return from Egypt 
of General Bonaparte. The Austro-Russian armies 
came into conflict with the French in Germany, 
Switzerland, and Italy, defeating them with heavy 
losses at Stockach, Cassano, the Trebbia, and other 
places. The French were driven from almost the whole 
of Italy, their army in Germany was driven back, and 
a force of English and Russians landed in Holland 
to raise that country against its conquerors. 

But the wave then set in the opposite direction. 


The Anglo-Russians were defeated at Bergen and 
driven out of the Netherlands; the Russians in 
Switzerland were decisively checked at Zurich; and 
above all, Bonaparte, secretly leaving Egypt, returned 
to France and took possession of the reins of govern- 
ment. Once more the French arms were carried 
forward. Bonaparte himself crossed the Great St. 
Bernard pass in the rear of the Austrians and routed 
then after a severely contested battle at Marengo ; 
Moreau pursued a successful campaign through South 
Germany and crowned it with the victory of Hohen- 
linden over the Austrian Archduke John. Once 
more, as in 1797, the French moved towards Vienna, 
and again the vanquished Austrians declared it 
impossible to continue the struggle. By the Treaty 
of Luneville, 1801, the war of the Second Coalition 
was brought to an end. The settlement of Campo 
Formio was again recognised, but in addition France 
secured the annexation of the continental dominions 
of Sardinia, and the establishment of a French pro- 
tectorate over the Genoese (now called the Ligurian) 
Republic. Once more Revolutionary France had 
proved her vigour, and a second stage in the expansion 
of her dominions had been reached. 

The collapse of the Second Coalition too, had a 
profound effect in England, where a loud outcry for 
at least a temporary peace now began to be heard. 
Hence, in 1802, the Addington Ministry signed with 
the French Republic the Treaty of Amiens, by which 
England recognised the French conquests in Belgium 
and elsewhere on the Continent in return for the 
acquisition of the colonies of Ceylon and Trinidad, 
given up at the expense of France's allies, Holland 
and Spain. Thus the French Revolutionarv war, 


which had lasted for ten years, came to an end 
triumphantly for France and the Revolution. 

But the interval of peace was not destined to be 
a long one. The power of France had grown too 
great to allow the other states of Europe to tolerate 
the new settlement for long. And France was not 
even contented with what she had already got. 
Under the able direction of the First Consul Bonaparte 
she aimed more and more at the supremacy over 
the whole of Europe. Of course, had all the rest of 
Europe been firmly and solidly united in its deter- 
mination to check the growing power of France it 
must have been able to overwhelm tjie single country 
against which it was struggling; but as yet there 
was no such firm unity among the European states, 
petty jealousies and selfish interests prevented an 
effective co-operation of the other Powers against the 
Republic, and it was not until they had learnt in the 
school of experience the bitter results of disunion and 
disagreement in the face of a powerful common foe 
that the Allies were able to co-operate effectively for 
a real victory. 

The most persistent of France's enemies had been 
Great Britain, and it was Great Britain that com- 
menced the second great war of this period, a war that 
is generally known as the Napoleonic war. Fearing 
the further peaceful development of French military 
and naval resources, England forced on the reopening 
of hostilities at an earlier date than had been antici- 
pated. In 1803 Great Britain declared war on France, 
and naval operations commenced which soon involved 
the fleets of England, France, Holland, and Spain, as 
in the previous war. Bonaparte, who became Emperor 
in 1804, prepared to invade England itself, a plan 


which British naval supremacy never allowed of carry- 
ing into effect, and also struck at British commerce 
by the decrees issued from Berlin and Milan in 1806, 
forbidding France and her allies to trade with Britain ; 
England occupied herself with capturing French colo- 
nies and sweeping French commerce from the seas, 
while she did all she could to stir up the continental 
Powers to the formation of a third coalition against 
her enemy. 

By the year 1805 Austria and Russia were again 
ready to enter the lists. A Third Coalition was 
formed, and war began. Prussia, still swayed by the 
peace party, hesitated, anticipating more advantages 
from a benevolent neutrality towards France than 
from a costly war. The French plan of campaign 
resembled those of 1796 and 1800. Two great armies 
moved through south Germany and Italy respec- 
tively, with the aim of uniting before the Austrian 
capital. This time Bonaparte took charge of the 
northern force, and commenced his operations with 
the brilliant capture of one of the Austrian field 
armies at Ulm. So complete was this victory that the 
French were able to march on without opposition to 
Vienna, which surrendered to Napoleon. At the same 
time Massena, the victor of Zurich in 1799, beat 
the Austrians in Italy at Caldiero, and opened up the 
other road to Vienna. Reinforced bv the arrival of the 
first Russian army, the Austrians again gave battle at 
Austerlitz in Moravia, where, in sight of the three 
emperors of France, Austria and Russia, the French 
gained a splendid victory. In spite of the Russian 
desire to continue fighting, the defeated Austrians now 
sued for peace, and by the Treaty of Pressburg they 
withdrew from the war, ceding Venice, the Tyrol 


and part of the Adriatic coast at the demand of the 
victorious Napoleon. 

At this point Prussia, which had so far preserved 
her neutrality, discovered that her inaction had only 
resulted in a loss of prestige and evoked the contempt 
of Napoleon. It had been hoped by the Prussians, 
and indeed Napoleon had promised, that Prussia was 
to receive Hanover as the price of her good will towards 
France, but in 1806 it was discovered that Napoleon 
had no intention of keeping this promise. The Prus- 
sians were furious, and at last joined the coalition. 
But it was too late. Had they struck before Auster- 
litz they might have changed the course of the war, 
but now Austria was crushed and unwilling to risk 
another conflict, and Napoleon could deal with Prussia 
alone. The reaction from the peace spirit, however, 
ran high in Prussia, so much so that the Prussians ad- 
vanced to attack the French without waiting for the 
support and co-operation of the Russian armies, and 
in the twin battles of Jena and Auerstadt the Prussians 
were thoroughly routed. Once more the armies of 
Napoleon Bonaparte marched on from triumph to 
triumph. Berlin fell, Warsaw fell, the Russians were 
repulsed at Eylau and severely defeated at Friedland, 
and then the Emperor of Russia sued for peace. The 
ensuing Treaty of Tilsit, 1807, crowned this wonderful 
series of successes. The Austrian cessions of the 
Treaty of Pressburg were recognised, a large part of 
Poland, including Warsaw, was erected into a Grand 
Duchy for Napoleon's friend the King of Saxcmy, and 
the most important of the Prussian fortresses were 
handed over to the keeping of the French. Thus 
ended the war of the Third Coalition. 

Napoleon was now the admitted dominator of 


the Continent. His power was supreme in France, 
the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. Prussia and 
Austria appeared helpless before him, and Russia had 
been beaten and forced into acquiescence in his an- 
nexations. Spain was his faithful ally, and was shortly 
to fall beneath the heel of his power. The obstinate 
and gallant resistance of Sweden was overcome by 
Russian aid. Britain alone remained unconquered 
and hurled successful defiance at him. 

Since the British naval victories at Finisterre and 
Trafalgar it had been recognised as impossible for a 
French invasion of England to be seriously under- 
taken. But Napoleon continued to strike at British 
trade by his enforcement of the Berlin Decrees, and 
he exerted himself to force the other continental states 
to accept them and to enter what he called his " Con- 
tinental System" for the destruction of British trade. 
Portugal's sympathy and friendliness towards Eng- 
land led him in 1807 to dispatch an army which over- 
ran and occupied that country, while in the following 
year he gained the opportunity of increasing his hold 
on Spain. A series of domestic quarrels in the Govern- 
ment of that country led to the royal family submitting 
the settlement of the problem of Spanish government 
to their ally Napoleon. Of this he took advantage, 
and settled Spanish questions by declaring the old 
dynasty of Spain deposed and appointing his own 
brother Joseph Bonaparte to be King of Spain. This 
provoked a breach of the Franco-Spanish alliance, 
and war began between Spain and France, Portugal 
also taking the opportunity to rise against the oppres- 
sors. The time for a fourth coalition had come. 
Prussia, kept down by the French garrisons, refused 
to join, but Austria once more took up arms. Russia 


might have given valuable assistance, but jealousy of 
her neighbour Austria and the fact that France had 
not yet taken any territory from Russia (except the 
recently acquired Ionian Islands in 1807) and seemed 
inclined to be friendly to her prevented the great 
eastern Power from opposing Napoleon. 

The Fourth Coalition, then, included Austria, Spain, 
Portugal and Great Britain. But once more the 
power of Napoleon triumphed. After the victoiy of 
Eckmiihl the French Emperor pressed on into Austria 
and again Vienna fell, though at Aspern-Essling, where 
he tried to cross the Danube, he suffered his first defeat 
in a great two days' battle. Napoleon then waited for 
the arrival of the second army, which as usual was 
coming through Italy, and then made a further at- 
tempt to cross the Danube. This time he was success- 
ful, and at Wagram the Austrians were so severely 
defeated that they were once more obliged to sue 
for peace. By the Treaty of Vienna, 1809, Austria 
had to give up West Galicia to the Grand Duchy of 
Warsaw, and her possessions on the Adriatic and in 
the Inn Valley to France and her ally Bavaria. 

A fourth coalition had failed, and France was more 
powerful than ever. The Spaniards and Portuguese, 
backed by an English army, still kept up a resistance 
in the Peninsula, but, though Lisbon and Cadiz seemed 
impregnable, Napoleon did not consider " the Spanish 
ulcer " a very serious matter at that time. He felt he 
could leave the affairs of the Peninsula in the hands 
of his brother Joseph and his generals ; he had greater 
work elsewhere. That work was to complete his con- 
quest of Europe by the thorough reduction of Russia. 
France already dominated the Continent, but Napo- 
leon felt that his rule would not be complete until 


he had overthrown Russia as thoroughly as he had 
overthrown Austria and Prussia. That conquest was 
planned for the year 1812. 

Napoleon was now at the summit of his power. 
Throughout the western and central parts of the Con- 
tinent he was supreme. To France itself he added 
provinces until it included within its limits Holland, 
north-west Germany, and north-west Italy ; Amster- 
dam, Bremen, Hamburg, Turin, Genoa, Florence, and 
Rome being all cities of France. There was also 
an isolated province along the eastern shore of the 
Adriatic Sea, including the cities of Trieste and Spalato. 
Around the empire were clustered a series of subject 
states : Spain under his brother Joseph, Naples under 
his brother-in-law Joachim Murat, the kingdom of 
Westphalia under his brother Jerome, the Grand 
Duchy of Berg under his nephew Napoleon Louis, 
the kingdom of Italy held by Napoleon himself, the 
subject Swiss Confederation, the lesser German states 
bound up with Westphalia and Berg in the Confedera- 
tion of the Rhine with Napoleon as Protector. Further 
out lay Prussia, still bridled with French garrisons, 
and Austria, humbled with four successive defeats 
and shorn of many of its former provinces. The 
Grand Duchy of Warsaw, held by the King of Saxony 
(a member of the Confederation of the Rhine), carried 
Napoleon's influence as far as the walls of Kovno and 
Brest-Litovsk. All these lands were kept in subjec- 
tion to Napoleon's will by a splendidly organised 
Imperial system centred at Paris, a large and magnifi- 
cent army, and the directing genius of the great 
Emperor himself. 

The great Russian campaign of 1812 opened with an 
advance up the valley of the Niemen. The Russians, 



outnumbered by the 450,000 that Napoleon had 
brought with him, had no alternative but to fall back. 
The French proceeded with the invasion, aiming for 
Moscow, the old capital and true centre of Russia, as 
their objective. When the invaders had been weak- 
ened by the placing of many thousands on their in- 
creasingly long line of communication, the Russians 
under Kutusoff ventured to oppose them in the field. 
A fearful battle at Borodino ensued, in 'which Napo- 
leon was victorious. The French then advanced on 
Moscow, which was thereupon evacuated, not merely 
by the military, but by the civilian population as 
well. When the invaders occupied the city, it was 
set on fire by the Russians, and a great part of 
Moscow was burnt down. Napoleon now hoped that 
the occupation of their old capital would force the 
Russians to submit, but this was not so, and on the 
approach of winter he decided to retreat. Owing to 
the cold weather and the exhaustion of supplies 
in the districts already traversed by his troops, he 
decided to retreat by a more southerly route, but when 
this became apparent the Russians prepared to resist 
this southward march by all means in their power. 
A second battle now took place at Malo-Jaroslavetz, 
and the French vanguard was severely cut up. The 
Russians, however, fell back, but prepared for another 
fight. Anxious to get back to safety before the advent 
of the cold, Napoleon now changed his plans, and went 
back to his former road. Disasters now set in. The 
cold became intense, hordes of Cossacks raided and 
destroyed the food depots prepared for the returning 
troops, with lamentable effects, and the Grand Army 
of Napoleon, swelled by numerous reinforcements who 
brought no food or supplies with them, soon became 


a straggling line of famished and shivering sufferers, 
who might easily have been destroyed at a single blow 
from the Russian army. Kutusoff, however, preferred 
to let Nature do his work for him, and only once, at the 
Beresina, was any serious attack on the retreating 
host made. But of over 600,000 men who crossed 
the frontier as invaders, more than 500,000 either 
perished or were made prisoners. It was the greatest 
military disaster of modern times. 

The retreat from Moscow was the signal for the 
downfall of Napoleon. It would be almost impossible 
to replace the half -million men who had been lost. 
No sooner had the news become known than Prussia, 
in spite of the garrisons, declared war on France. 
Sweden followed suit, and dispatched an army across 
the Baltic. Austria prepared to join them, and de- 
clared war later in 1813. A Fifth Coalition had arisen. 
Against this new combination of foes Napoleon exerted 
himself in a most wonderful manner. New conscripts 
were raised, and at the head of a quarter of a million 
men he advanced into Germany to meet his enemies. 
There followed a fierce struggle in the centre of Ger- 
many. Many battles were fought ; wherever Napoleon 
himself commanded, as at Liitzen, Bautzen, and 
Dresden, the French were successful, but when his 
generals were in command the fortune of war declared 
against them. At last the main forces on either side 
were concentrated at Leipzig, where a tremendous 
three days' battle, " the Battle of the Nations," ended 
in the total defeat of the French Emperor. 

But Napoleon was not yet daunted. Rallying 
every available man round him, he stood at bay on 
the soil of France itself against overwhelming odds, 
while Marshal Soult did his best to keep the Duke of 


Wellington's armies from crossing the Pyrenees. In 
the early months of 1814 Napoleon fought ten fierce 
battles for the defence of Paris, of which he won six, 
but with each fight his numbers diminished, the foe 
closed in on him, and at last, after his last remnant of 
28,000 had held 200,000 of the enemy at bay for ten 
hours on the outskirts of the city, Paris surrendered, 
and the great Emperor declared himself willing to 

The Treaty of Paris followed. France was reduced 
to its limits of 1792, at the outbreak of the Revolu- 
tionary War. Napoleon, while retaining the title of 
Emperor, was to retire to the island of Elba, and never 
to leave it. As a guarantee against the aggressive 
policy of conquest symbolised by Napoleon, Louis 
XVIII, of the old royal family of France, was restored 
to the throne, his nephew Louis, who had died during 
the Republic, being reckoned as Louis XVII. The 
difficult questions arising out of the reconstruction 
of the map of Europe were referred to a European 
congress which was to meet at Vienna. 

But before the ambassadors at Vienna could com- 
plete their arrangements, the armies of Europe were 
once more to be called into the field. Napoleon did 
not remain in Elba for a year. Encouraged by the 
dissatisfaction which was produced in France by the 
reactionary proposals of King Louis XVIII's advisers, 
he slipped away from his island in 1815, landed in 
France, and called the army to his side. The army 
responded, and though it cannot be said that the 
French nation as a whole were at all enthusiastic for 
him, the support of the armed men carried him back 
to his throne. King Louis fled the country, and had 
to appeal for foreign help. Meanwhile Napoleon 


issued a proclamation declaring that he wished only 
to rule over the French people, and denying any idea 
of future wars of conquest. He hoped that the other 
states would not want the trouble of another war 
merely to restore Louis XVIII. and also reckoned on 
the jealousies that had appeared among the Powers 
at the Congress of Vienna to prevent united action 
against him. But the fear of Napoleon was so great 
that it was felt that to allow him to remain ruler of 
France would be to allow him the means of preparing 
for the day when he could conquer them all again, and 
forthwith it was decided to concentrate the troops of 
the Fifth Coalition once more upon France. 

Napoleon's cause looked hopeless, and his only 
chance lay in winning a few victories over small de- 
tachments before the larger armies came into the field. 
A few such defeats might possibly frighten the Allies 
into making peace on easy terms. He therefore 
marched into Belgium, where were a Prussian force 
under Bliichcr and a mixed army of English, Dutch 
and others, under the Duke of Wellington. The cam- 
paign, however, was soon over. After a victory over 
Blucher at Ligny, Napoleon attacked Wellington at 
Waterloo ; he failed to drive him from his positions, 
and when Bliicher's force arrived on the battlefield 
later in the day the French rout was made complete. 
Napoleon's fate was sealed. It availed him little that 
he abdicated the throne and declared his infant son 
emperor as Napoleon II. He fled across France, but 
eventually gave himself up to the captain of an - 
English warship. This time he was dispatched as a 
prisoner to the distant island of St. Helena, where 
he died in 1821. For the offence of having received 
back Napoleon, France had to pay an indemnity of 


£28,000,000, to allow foreign troops to garrison some 
of her fortresses for five years, and to pay another 
£50,000,000 for the support of the unwelcome visitors. 

The Congress of Vienna had meanwhile recon- 
structed the map of Europe, and the resulting Treaty 
of Vienna of 1815 fixed the boundaries of the European 
States according to the general agreement of the 
Powers. The chief provisions of this settlement may 
be summarised thus : Russia secured Finland and the 
greater part of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw ; Prussia 
received the Polish province of Posen and extended 
her domains by the grant of part of Saxony and a big 
province on the Rhine ; Austria regained the Tyrol and 
the Adriatic Coast, along with both Venice and Milan ; 
the old Holy Roman Empire was reconstructed as 
the German Confederation, under the presidency of 
Austria; Belgium and Holland were united under the 
Dutch royal family ; Sweden and Norway were united 
under the rule of the Swedish king; Italy was again 
subdivided into a number of petty states ; Spain 
and Portugal were restored to their former dynasties ; 
and Great Britain received Malta, the Ionian Islands, 
Heligoland, and several distant colonies, of which the 
most important was the Cape of Good Hope. 

The long period of European upheaval and change 
was at last over. It was a period of tremendous action 
and effort, and it left every country more or less ex- 
hausted and anxious for peace and repose. The war, 
as we have seen, originated in the self-assertive and 
aggressive spirit of revolutionary France, a spirit 
which was well maintained after the Republican 
Government had collapsed. The domination of the 
Emperor of France was thrown off only after a gigantic 
struggle, in the course of which the Powers of Europe 




learned the advantages and the necessity of united 
action. The constant call for unity and co-operation 
gradually accustomed the rulers of Europe to look at 
things from a general European as well as from a 
national and a personal point of view, and this led, 
in the days of the Vienna Congress, to the formulat- 
ing of those ideas of a ' Holy Alliance," and of 
the " Concert of Europe " which were so marked a 
feature of the views of the statesmen of the generation 
succeeding the Treaty of Vienna and which have 
profoundly influenced European politics down to the 
present day. 



While the attention of Europe was being con- 
centrated on the violent episodes of the French 
Revolution and the activities of the great wars, 
another revolution was slowly developing in the 
industrial world — a revolution which, though at- 
tracting comparatively small notice at the time, was 
to exert a far more permanent influence than that of 
the political revolution in France. This Industrial 
Revolution consisted in a series of changes resulting 
from the discovery of new processes in manufacture, 
and its first developments can be traced for some 
time earlier than the French Revolution. 

There have always been inventors who discover 
new processes or who improve on old processes in 
trade, but up to the middle of the eighteenth century 
there had not been many of them. Change was very 
slow, and people were accustomed to go on doing 
things in the same way as their fathers had done 
them. But in the latter part of the century there 
appeared a number of inventors who devised a re- 
markable series of improvements on old methods, 
and most of these new inventors were Englishmen. 
Hargreaves, Arkwright, Crompton, Cartright and 
Horrocks made their name by their great improve- 
ments in the arts of spinning and weaving; James 



Watt immortalised his name by the invention of his 
steam engine in 1782 ; Cort and others devoted their 
attention to the art of iron smelting and working; 
while Brindley, Metcalfe, Telford and Macadam worked 
wonders with canals, bridges and roads. 

This great outburst of industrial improvement, 
centred in Great Britain, had far-reaching effects. 
For it was but the beginning of a long series of such 
improvements, a series which has gone on without 
intermission to the present day. In fact, every new 
invention or improvement since the end of the 
eighteenth century seems to have suggested two or 
three more, until we find the output of such inven- 
tions enormous. If we go to a big factory and 
take a glance at one of the great machines now 
in use — a spinning machine, a weaving machine, a 
printing machine, for instance — the whole thing 
seems so stupendously wonderful and complicated 
that we can hardly conceive how such an engine 
could have come to be invented. But we must 
remember that the machine we see to-day is the 
ultimate result of some scores, and perhaps some 
hundreds of small inventions and improvements, 
and is the combined work of many people's brains. 
The spinning machine of the present-day Lancashire 
cotton mill bears little resemblance to Hargreaves' 
spinning jenny which created such a stir in 1767, 
but it is directly developed from that earlier machine 
by a process of continual improvement, adjustment 
and adaptation. 

This vast output of mechanical inventions, which 
may be termed the result of Applied Science, has 
revolutionised the world. It is this which has 
caused the great modern change in material con- 


ditions of life. We have said that life to-day differs 
more from life a hundred years ago than life at that 
period differed from life under the Roman Empire. 
The reason for this lies entirely in the Industrial 
Revolution. It has not only altered our material 
conditions, it has alloAved the development of ideas 
and ways of thought which were more or less im- 
possible in the previous age. 

The list of inventions of first-rate importance which 
have appeared since the end of the eighteenth century 
is a very long one. The first that suggest themselves 
are, of course, the railway, the steamboat, the electric 
telegraph, the telephone and the petrol engine. Then 
we have such things as lighting by gas and lighting 
by electricity, the electric motor, the typewriter, the 
bicycle, photography, electrotyping, not to speak of 
such very modern inventions as the aeroplane and 
the submarine boat. In a smaller way we have 
such things as matches, petroleum, indiarubber, 
coal dyes, tinned foods, beef extract, beet sugar, 
and hundreds of other things quite unknown to our 
ancestors of a century ago. And in addition to these 
new things, articles which, on account of distance 
and the difficulties of transport, were rarely to be 
obtained in Europe then, have been brought plenti- 
fully within our reach at the present day. 

The effects of this great Industrial Revolution 
have been manifold. In the first place, the world 
has been reduced very much in practical size for its 
inhabitants. The crossing of the Atlantic, formerly 
a matter of some five or six weeks, is now a matter 
of as many days. We can go by rail from Paris to 
the far ports of Asia in a fraction of the time formerly 
required. And as regards the communication of 


intelligence the electric telegraph has virtually 
annihilated distance altogether; the result of the 
Derby is known in Calcutta five minutes after the 
race has been won, though the distance is some four 
thousand miles. 

One result of this shortening of distance is the 
tendency towards union and cosmopolitanism among 
people of various nations. National quarrels and 
wars are doubtless as violent as ever, but there no 
longer exists so violent an antipathy towards foreigners 
as used to be found in the minds of people a hundred 
years ago. Another result is the increased facility 
for tracking down and capturing criminals. By 
means of the telegraph we can make sure that a 
fugitive criminal shall be preceded by the news of 
his crime and particulars necessary for his seizure, a 
fact which makes crime less easy to perpetrate with 
impunity ; while the existence of fast-going ironclad 
cruisers makes piracy impossible at the present day 
in times of peace. 

The improvement in material conditions was 
accompanied by the spread of education and culture. 
Schools multiplied enormously all over Europe, and 
a demand arose for national schools and compulsory 
education in most of the European states. Scientific 
knowledge and literary culture spread from the 
aristocratic few to large numbers of middle-class 
and even of lower-class men and women. Com- 
pulsory national education was adopted in England 
between 1870 and 1876, by France in 1882, and by 
Germany in 1871 and 1880. 

A further result of the Industrial Revolution is 
the massing together of people in large manufacturing 
towns. The necessity and convenience of keeping 
the great modern machines in special factory buildings 


and collected at special centres has led to the develop- 
ment of towns in a manner previously rare. The 
majority of European towns and cities in the eigh- 
teenth century were tiny places compared with those 
we call towns to-day. The collection of vast masses 
of labourers in one place, too, gives opportunities for 
mutual discussion, organisation, and political action 
to the working classes, opportunities that were not 
to be had in the life of scattered agricultural nations. 
The mobs of great cities have always wielded great 
power in history, from the mob of ancient Rome to 
the mob of revolutionary Paris, and despotic Govern- 
ments have always had to humour such mobs, either 
by "bread and games," or by spectacular public 
executions on a wholesale scale. The Industrial Revo- 
lution developed so many great towns that many of 
the European peoples became largely collections of 
town mobs, organised for political action more 
thoroughly than in the old days, and, by means of 
the modern methods of communication, in touch with 
one another and ready for concerted action in a way 
unknown to those of a century ago. Here we get 
some insight into the power of modern Democracy. 
It is worth observing that Russia, the least industrial 
country in Europe, is also the least democratic. 

The enormous advantages conferred on civilisa- 
tion by the development of modern machinery and 
methods of communication have given far more 
power of action to the Governments of states than 
they had before. Formerly a nation had not enough 
capital or spare labour to allow its Government to 
undertake works on a very large scale. But now 
the ordinary bread-winning work of the nation can 
be carried on so much more rapidly and economically 
as regards energy, time and labour, that there is 


plenty of energy left over for extra work at the direc- 
tion of the Government. The Government can call 
upon more labourers than before for public works, 
and still be certain that the food supplies of the 
community will be procured in abundance; the 
Government can raise rapidly and without difficulty 
far more money for its purposes of government than 
it ever could have extracted from a hard-working 
nation of a century ago ; while hundreds of persons 
are now available for employment as Government 
servants and officials, who could not have been 
spared from more necessary forms of labour in the 
old days. Hence the great power and effectiveness 
of modern Governments compared with those of the 
previous era. In the year of the Waterloo campaign 
the United Kingdom contained about 20,000,000 
inhabitants, and paid £74,500,000 in taxation; a 
hundred years later, Mr. Lloyd George estimated 
his war budget at £1000,000,000, to be levied among 
the 50,000,000 inhabitants of the kingdom. 

The increasing expenditure of the European Govern- 
ments naturally provoked a greater demand from 
the peoples to know how their money was being spent, 
and to obtain some sort of control over its spend- 
ing. The development of the cities gave force to 
this rising demand. Democratic control was every- 
where being demanded. As the Industrial Revolu- 
tion spread over Europe the outcry became louder, 
until in every country there existed a party which 
advocated the overthrow of the old despotic system 
of royal government and the establishment of a 
Parliament responsible to the mass of the people and 
powerful enough to control the actions of the Govern- 
ment. It was not the French Revolution that 
brought about the rise of Democracy in Europe ; the 


lamentable termination of that political movement 
rather set back the forces of Democracy for a genera- 
tion. It was the slow development of the new con- 
ditions brought about by the Industrial Revolution 
which gave the impetus to modern Democracy. 

We have said that the increase in facilities of 
communication gave to the people of Europe a broader 
and more cosmopolitan outlook on life. But in 
another sense the new era brought with it a reaction 
towards separatism. In 1789 we find people living 
in quiet and comparative content under the rule of 
men of another race ; for instance, we have the 
Belgians ruled by the Austrian Hapsburgs, the Hol- 
stein Germans ruled by the Danish king, and the 
Czechs of Bohemia and the Italians of Milan paying 
taxes to and suing in the courts of the Austrian 
ruler. During the century following the settlement 
of Europe by the Treaty of Vienna we find no 
such tendency to submit to alien rule. We see 
the Belgians rising in rebellion against the Dutch, the 
Italians against the Austrians, the Poles against the 
Russians, the Greeks and Bulgars against the Turks. 
Why is this? The reason is twofold. In the first 
place, the nationalist movement is often one aspect 
of the democratic movement. The mass of the 
people is beginning to demand liberty and self- 
government. The classes that have hitherto mono- 
polised the government of the country are exerting 
themselves to prevent their monopoly being taken 
from them. If the governors are aliens there is an 
additional ground of hatred for the people, and the 
cry arises, " Out with the foreigners, who have come 
here to oppress us and keep us down ! ' In the 
second place, as Democracy comes to power, and the 
influence and authority of the sovereign shrinks, 


there appears another cause for national animosity 
which did not exist before. Under the old system, 
the despot's hand lay equally heavy on all his sub- 
jects, and the despotic ruler of a state which com- 
prised more than one people might be expected to 
guide his rule more or less impartially over all his 
subjects, standing aloof in his high position from 
any special sympathy with one race against another. 
But when the power of the people was substituted 
for the power of the sovereign, the race that found 
itself in the minority was exposed to the mercy of 
the people of the race that found itself numerically 
superior, and the people who thus wielded power 
over a smaller race could not be expected to display 
the same benevolent impartiality to both races that 
was expected from a despotic sovereign. 

Nationalism has always been some sort of a force 
in history, though in some ages it has not been so 
actively conspicuous as in others. The oppressive 
exactions and restrictions of Napoleon's despotism 
stirred up a great wave of Nationalism in Europe in 
the decade preceding his fall, but with the removal 
of the tyrant it began to ebb for a short time. With 
the development of Democracy it began to appear 
again under the influence of the causes above out- 
lined, and it is one of the most important factors in 
the history of the nineteenth century. 

The political history of Europe during the century 
following the Vienna Settlement may be said to 
consist mainly in the interplay of three great forces : 
Democracy, Nationalism and International Rivalry. 
In the following chapters we shall trace the develop- 
ment of these forces, and see what changes they have 
brought about since 1815. 



The Vienna Settlement of 1815 had taken no 
particular account of either democratic or nationalist 
ideals. There were some people who would have 
liked to see the sovereigns of Europe settle down 
to a programme of domestic reforms in which their 
people would be called upon to join with their 
assistance and advice. But the kings were by no 
means inclined to encourage the establishment of 
parliamentary institutions, wishing to retain as far 
as possible their old unfettered sway. France, alone 
of the continental Powers, now enjoyed some share 
of self-government, for King Louis XVIII, anxious 
to remove the unfavourable impression resulting 
from his return at the head of a conquering host of 
aliens, had issued in 1814 a charter, granting his 
kingdom a Parliament of two Houses with certain 
limited rights of controlling the actions of the 

The restored Government of the Bourbon dynasty, 
however, was by no means democratic. There was 
a high financial qualification for electors, which 
excluded the lower classes altogether from the fran- 
chise, while the Crown reserved the right of unlimited 
creation of peers to control the Upper House and 
exercised it freely, seventy-six, for instance, being 



created in a batch in 1827. When Parliament 
became at all restless, the Court resorted to fresh 
elections, new electoral laws, and all sorts of tricks 
to secure pliant members. It was not long before 
the forces of Democracy began to gather head. 
Opposition to the King appeared both in Parliament 
and out, newspapers were filled with attacks on the 
Government, especially after the mild and good- 
natured Louis XVIII had been succeeded by his 
harsh brother Charles X in 1824. Charles was the 
resolute enemy of all that savoured of Democracy 
and " the Revolution." " I had rather hew wood 
than be a king on the conditions of the King of 
England," was one of his sayings, and he exercised 
the most rigid control over Parliament and the Press. 
Those in the civil service or in the army who ex- 
pressed any sympathy with Democracy were at once 
dismissed ; newspapers that had been too free in 
their criticisms were stopped. 

This severity at last provoked a revolt. In July 
1830 the King issued four Ordinances or decrees, 
dissolving Parliament, calling a new one, altering the 
electoral law, and placing further restrictions on the 
Press. This was the signal for rebellion. The city 
of Paris rose, and after three days' street fighting, 
the old King despaired of reducing the mob, gave 
up the struggle in disgust, abdicated the throne 
and crossed over to England ; he died in Austria, 
six years later, at the ripe age of seventy-nine/ Left 
to themselves, the Parisians proceeded to discuss 
what sort of Government should be established, and, 
though many Were for a Republic, the memories of 
the Reign of Terror and the hostile attitude of the 
other Prowers of Europe led them to establish a 


Constitutional Monarchy of the English pattern. 
The crown was offered to Louis Philippe, Duke of 
Orleans, a descendant of Louis XIII of France, and 
he was forthwith raised to the throne as " King of 
the French." The most noted leaders of this " July 
Revolution ' were Lafayette (an old hero of the 
great Revolution), Guizot and Thiers. 

Louis Philippe, the " citizen king," had a hard 
task before him. He had neither the prestige of 
the old line of kings, nor the military glory of Napo- 
leon, nor the support of the lower classes which had 
kept up the Republic. From the first days of his 
reign the Republicans, many of them now Socialists, 
raised riots and insurrections against him. The young 
Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, son of the Emperor's 
brother Louis, tried to raise the old supporters (>f 
the empire against him. The aristocratic friends 
of the late king snubbed him. Yet he managed 
to keep his throne in safety for no less than eighteen 
years. His conduct was a mixture of mildness and 
severity. He would amble round Paris, shaking 
hands with the workmen and shopkeepers and talk- 
ing to them, while he entertained all classes on a 
great scale ; on the other hand, he ordered the severe 
suppression of the Socialist riots in Paris, Lyons 
and elsewhere, and, capturing the young Bonaparte, 
imprisoned him in a fortress, from which, however, 
that adventurous young man contrived to make an 
exciting escape. 

But he was not destined to keep his throne. The 
Revolution of 1830, while removing the more severe 
restrictions on liberty, did not extend the franchise 
to any extent, and as the democratic party increased 
in numbers and in power the restlessness of the 


masses grew greater, especially in the growing towns. 
The overturn came as suddenly as in 1830. The 
democratic party had been in the habit of holding 
big political banquets at which many speeches were 
delivered. One of these banquets was forbidden by 
order of the King in February 1848, and this pro- 
voked the outburst. As in the previous revolution, 
there was fierce street fighting for three days. As 
before, the King gave up the fight as hopeless, abdi- 
cated, and withdrew to England disguised as " Mr. 
Smith " ; he died at Claremont Park in Surrey 
in 1850. This time all were agreed that France 
should be a republic and that it should be governed 
by a Parliament elected by universal suffrage, every 
adult man being entitled to a vote. But when the first 
Assembly met a furious contest broke out between 
the Socialists under Louis Blanc, who were strong 
in Paris, and the anti-Socialists under Lamartine, 
who commanded a large majority in the Assembly. 
As in the days of the great Revolution the minority 
refused to submit to the decision of the majority, 
and bloodshed ensued. Before the Assembly met, 
the Socialists of Paris had opened what they called 
" National workshops," where all who professed them- 
selves unemployed could receive a franc a day at 
the nation's expense on condition of declaring them- 
selves willing to undertake work if required by the 
Government. These places were soon supporting 
a mob of 100,000 armed proletariats, eager for further 
upheavals in the hope of gain and plunder. One of 
the first measures of the new National Assembly 
was to order the closing of these places ; the effect 
was to let loose this horde of violent men upon them- 
selves, and upon the unfortunate city. A second 


three days of bloodthirsty street fighting followed, 
but at last the forces of the Assembly, led by General 
Cavaignac, crushed the Socialists, and order was 
restored. The year closed in quiet, the new Republi- 
can Constitution was completed, and the elections 
were held for the first President of the French Re- 
public. The result of the elections was startling. 
While General Cavaignac came second with 1,400,000 
votes, the successful candidate was Louis Napoleon 
Bonaparte, whose great name secured him the 
suffrage of no less than 5,400,000 voters. 

Democracy had at last triumphed, and the rule 
of the masses was inaugurated. Yet the situation 
was hardly one for rejoicing. The restored age of 
" Liberty, Equality and Fraternity ' had begun 
with a civil war in the streets of Paris, and this with- 
out the excuse of national danger from without, and 
the first act of the people after the establishment 
of their new Constitution had been the election to 
the chief magistracy of the representative of the 
despotic Bonapartist regime. There were many 
who said that history would repeat itself, and that 
the unrestrained violence of parties would lead up 
to another Napoleonic despotism in which all parties 
would be subdued. The Napoleon was ready to 
hand; the French parties played into his hands. 
The Socialist party tried another revolt in Paris 
in 1849, but without success. The anti-Socialists 
thereupon, fearful of Socialist gains at the next 
elections, brought in and passed a new electoral law, 
the effect of which was reckoned as disfranchising 
some three million of the lower-class voters. The 
President watched all this with satisfaction, and 
meanwhile did all he could to ingratiate himself with 



the soldiers and officers of the army. At last, on 
the night of December 1, 1851, the new Napoleon 
struck his blow. Seventy-eight of the leaders of the 
parliamentary majority found themselves suddenly 
seized in their beds and hurried off to prison. Next 
day a proclamation summoned the nation to help 
the President against the self-seeking Assembly, and 
denounced the recent electoral law. The Socialists 
were delighted, and rushed to help the President, 
and after a further three days of rather desultory 
street fighting, Napoleon, supported by the army 
and the lower classes, remained the victor. A new 
Constitution, based on the artfully complicated one of 
1799, was produced by the President. By 7,500,000 
votes to 640,000, the people approved of the sug- 
gestion that Napoleon should be deputed to draw up 
a new Constitution. Blinded by their delight at the 
overthrow of the middle-class Assembly, and gulled 
by the promise of universal suffrage for a fettered 
and impotent Legislative Assembly, the French 
people accepted the new situation. Under the new 
Constitution Louis Napoleon became President for 
ten years, but a year later, in 1852, he assumed 
the title of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, 
gaining the assent of the nation to this change by 
a further vote of 7,800,000 against 250,000. History 
had repeated itself. 

The Second Empire maintained itself for eighteen 
years, during which the internal history of France 
is almost a blank. Safe in the support of the army, 
Napoleon III kept the people loyal by allowing them 
to take part in the elections for the Parliament, 
though the complications of the Constitution enabled 
him to control the composition and actions of the 


Legislature. The Emperor also sought popularity 
by a revival of his uncle's schemes of aggrandisement 
and by a series of military enterprises of which the 
Crimean war was the first and the Franco-German 
war the last. He also favoured the Pope and the 
Church, and thus received the support of the clerical 
influence. The nation as a whole was contented 
with the revived Imperial system, but there existed 
a strong body of opinion which opposed it, and with 
the further development of the Industrial Revolution 
the working classes began to clamour once more for 
a real instead of a nominal influence on the Govern- 
ment's actions. But Napoleon III, unlike Charles X 
and Louis Philippe, was assured of the enthusiastic 
support of the soldiers, and when the trained fighting 
men were on his side he felt he had little to fear 
from the mob. 

But with the collapse of the army Napoleon's 
power also fell. This did not occur until the Franco - 
German war of 1S70. The news of the first defeats 
in Alsace and Lorraine encouraged the Democrats 
to prepare another Revolution ; the news of the total 
defeat and capture of the Emperor at Sedan settled 
their action. A rising in Paris ensued, and, without 
the shedding of blood, the Emperor was declared 
deposed and a Republic once more restored. A 
provisional Government was appointed by the 
Republican leaders, Favre and Gambetta, to carry 
on the war against Germany, and it was arranged 
that an Assembly should be summoned to draw up 
a new French Constitution. Peace with Germany 
was arranged early in the following year, but when 
the Assembly met there were ominous threats of 
civil discord. Four parties contested the elections : 



the Republicans, the Bonapartists, and the supporters 
of the dynasties of Charles X and Louis Philippe, 
called the Bourbonists and Orleanists respectively. 
Though the Republicans won the largest separate 
number of seats, it was found that between them the 
three parties that believed in some form of monarchy 
had a majority in the Assembly. The fact that the 
three monarchist parties were naturally irreconcilable 
was really sufficient to secure the Republic from 
overthrow by either of them, but the fact that the 
Republicans were in a minority made things very 
awkward and difficult for them. The situation 
would have taxed the statesmanship of a people less 
ready to shed blood than the French. As it was, 
the Paris Republicans thought the best way of settling 
the question was to use the persuasion of force on the 
monarchist members. But the army, trained in the 
Bonapartist tradition, was far from Republican, 
and rallied to the defence of the national Assembly. 
And then occurred a strange passage of history. 
With the victorious Germans still encamped outside 
their capital, and under their very eyes, the French 
proceeded to indulge in a civil war of the most atrocious 
kind between the Socialist Republicans of the City 
or " Commune ' of Paris, and the forces of the 
national Assembly of France. For six weeks the 
fighting raged in and out of the city, until, after a 
bombardment far more severe and destructive than 
that of the Germans, the Communists were over- 
powered and peace was restored. The Communists 
had shown no mercy to their political enemies in Paris, 
and when the city fell they paid the penalty with the 
death of 20,000 of their number. Such was the 
dreadful inauguration of the Third French Republic. 


For many years after the fall of the Commune 
the Third Republic was on its trial, and no one felt 
sure that a fresh revolution was not due to break 
out in the near future. The deadlock in the Assembly, 
due to the irreconcilable nature of the four parties, 
prevented the establishment of a settled Constitution 
until, in 1875, the existing form of government was 
allowed to become recognised, at least for the time 
being, in default of anything different being practi- 
cable. In 1875, then, the Republic was definitely 
established, and Thiers, the hero of the 1830 
Revolution, was elected its first President. 

The Monarchist parties continued to assail the 
Republic ; as late as 1885, the elections showed that 
forty-five per cent, of the seats were held by Monarchist 
members . But the Republicans had obtained a definite 
majority, and the division among their opponents 
was an additional security for them. Napoleon III 
died in 1873, at Chislehurst in England, and his only 
son Eugene was killed as a volunteer in the Zulu 
war of 1879; the " dynasty " is now " represented ' 
by Victor Napoleon Bonaparte, grandson of Jerome, 
King of Westphalia. The extinction of the elder 
male line of the Bourbons on the death of the Count 
of Chambord in 1883, united both Bourbonist and 
Orleanist claims in the person of the Count of Paris, 
whose claims passed at his death in 1894 to his son 
Louis, the present " Duke of Orleans." But the 
Monarchist parties by now have shrunk to insignifi- 
cance, and nothing short of a national disaster would 
lead to the overthrow of the Republic. 

Since the fall of the Second Empire, France has 
enjoyed democratic government, with universal male 
suffrage and a Republican Constitution. We must 


now turn to some of the other more important 
continental states and trace the progress of Demo- 
cracy in them. 

Democracy in Germany had a very bad time of 
it for a generation after the Vienna Settlement. For 
though the rulers of the thirty-nine states of the 
German Confederation had promised some measure 
of democratic freedom to their people, and the Con- 
stitution of the Confederation provided that Parlia- 
ments should be set up in the constituent states, 
very little was done to fulfil these hopes. Some of 
the smaller states received Parliaments by grant 
of their rulers, notably Bavaria, Wurttemberg, 
Hanover and Baden, but the two leading states, 
Austria and Prussia, were ruled by sovereigns who 
frowned on ' the Revolution ' and all its works. 
The " Liberals," too, brought down upon themselves 
a marked reaction owing to the extravagance of 
their ideas and language. For instance, when a 
well-known anti-revolutionary writer named Kotzebue 
was murdered by a Liberal student, the democratic 
Press of Germany hailed the crime in language hardly 
compatible with good taste. The result of this 
reaction was the passing by the majority of the 
Central Council or Diet of Germany (a body chosen 
by the rulers of the states) of the Carlsbad Decrees, 
1819, a series of laws which established a strict 
censorship of the Press, suppressed the Liberal clubs 
of the university students, and established a new 
court to punish democratic agitators. Under the 
activities of this court, which sat at Mainz, some 
thousands of persons were sentenced to imprisonment 
and exile. 

The Carlsbad Decrees and the Mainz Commission 


were only partially successful. Discontent was every- 
where manifest, particularly in the larger towns and 
among the hot-headed young students of the universi- 
ties. Liberal plots were continually coming to light, 
affording more work for the judges at Mainz, riots 
occurred from time to time at Frankfort and other 
places. In 1830, the news of the French Revolution 
of July caused something like a revolt in Hesse, 
Hanover and Saxony, and the Duke of Brunswick 
was forced to flee from his dominions. But the 
forces of the reaction were too strong, being backed 
by the might of the Austrian and Prussian Govern- 
ments — and directed by the genius of the Austrian 
statesman, Prince Metternich. By the year 1848, 
however, the forces of Democracy had gathered 
sufficient strength in Germany to win a brief hour 
of triumph. That year was one of popular upheavals 
all over Europe, and was long remembered as " the 
year of revolutions." The ball was set rolling by 
the February Revolution which turned Louis Philippe 
off the throne of France. In almost all the German 
states there followed a simultaneous outburst of 
Revolution. Frederick William IV of Prussia had 
recently made the experiment of summoning a very 
narrow and aristocratic Parliament in Berlin, and 
had found it impossible to submit to the criticisms 
and claims of even this body; the population of 
that city now rose in arms and demanded a fully 
free democratic Assembly. A fight began between 
the King's troops and the populace, and the Revolu- 
tion was on the point of suppression, when the King, 
in a fit of weakness, gave way, recalled his troops, 
and placed himself at the mercy of the democratic 
mob, while his sterner brother William, who had led 


the troops against the rebels, was forced to flee the 
country, execrated by the German Liberals as the 
" Cartridge Prince." Meanwhile the mob of Vienna 
had carried out a similar revolution in the Austrian 
capital. Prince Metternich fled to England and the 
Austrian Emperor was obliged to yield to the insur- 
gents and to order the meeting of a democratic 
Assembly for the Austrian empire (excluding Hun- 
gary and Austrian Italy). While as head of this 
state he was forced to consent to the assembling of 
an Austrian Parliament, as head of the German 
Confederation he was compelled to consent to the 
assembling of another democratic Assembly for that 

The work of consolidating the Revolution in 
Germany and the Austrian empire now fell upon 
the two Assemblies that were now met, the one at 
Frankfort, the other at Vienna. Both bodies were 
destined to fail. The causes of the failure were 
somewhat different in each case ; the German Parlia- 
ment embarked on a series of lengthy debates on 
constitutional theory and fundamental laws, debates 
which merely wasted time until the enthusiasm of the 
revolutionaries had cooled down ; the deliberations 
of the Austrian Assembly were marred by Nationalist 
disputes. The leaders of the Democrats at the 
Vienna Parliament were German Austrians, drawn 
from the capital and its neighbourhood, and as such 
they were anxious in any new constitutional arrange- 
ment to preserve that predominance in the empire 
which its German-speaking subjects had hitherto 
enjoyed. This, of course, did not satisfy the repre- 
sentatives of the other races of the Hapsburg empire, 
and dissensions soon became furious. The Imperial 


Government artfully took advantage of these dissen- 
sions to keep the Assembly busy while the Emperor 
concentrated his faithful troops on Vienna. The 
murder of Latour, the Minister of War, by the mob, 
served as an opportunity for the adoption of severe 
measures. General Windischgratz, who had already 
reduced the rebellious Czechs of Prague to submission 
in a similar manner, bombarded the city, and when 
a force of Magyar rebels hurried up to its relief 
from Press burg, the Austrian general defeated it at 
Schwechat and forced the capital to surrender. The 
Austrian Assembly was then forced to adjourn to the 
distant country town of Kremsier, while Windisch- 
gratz proceeded to make an example of the rebel 
leaders, twenty-four of whom were put to death. 
The revolution was crushed, as far as Austria was 
concerned, and when the Emperor Ferdinand resigned 
the throne to his son, the present Austrian emperor, 
at the end of 1848, he could feel assured that the 
power of the Crown was still undiminished. 

The example of Austria had its immediate effect 
in Prussia. Regaining his courage, King Frederick 
William summoned his troops to his aid, forcibly 
turned out the Prussian Parliament at Berlin, and 
restored the absolute rule of the sovereign. As 
usual, events in Austria and Prussia decided events 
in the lesser states. One of the first acts of the new 
Austrian emperor had been to withdraw all the 
Austrian delegates from the Frankfort Parliament, 
and when Prussia too became hostile its days were 
obviously numbered. In vain the Assembly offered 
to make the Prussian king " Emperor of Germany," 
Frederick William would have nothing to do with 
a proposal originating from a revolutionary Assembly, 


and when the Prussian delegates withdrew the German 
Assembly simply broke up and disappeared. 

The great Revolution of 1848 did not pass over 
Germany and Austria altogether without lasting 
effect. The Austrian emperor, in 1849, granted a 
limited Constitution to his dominions, and though 
it was repealed in 1851, it was the beginning of a 
series of parliamentary Constitutions granted by 
the free will of the Emperor, the fourth and last 
of which, that of 1867, is the present Constitution 
of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The King of 
Prussia, in 1850, also granted a Constitution to his 
dominions which, though far from democratic, has 
remained in force to the present day. The new 
Prussian Parliament often proved refractory, notably 
in opposition to Bismarck's military measures, but it 
was never strong enough to obtain the real direction 
of affairs. 

In the years 1866 to 1871, Germany and Austria 
underwent a thorough reconstruction as the result 
of the Austro-Prussian and Franco-German wars. 
The Austrian empire was entirely separated from 
the other German states, which became bound 
together with Prussia as the new German empire, 
while the clumsy old German Confederation disap- 
peared altogether. In making the arrangements for 
the government of these new organisations the rulers 
of both Austria and Germany were considerably in- 
fluenced by democratic ideas. The steady progress of 
the Industrial Revolution and the continuous develop- 
ment of democratic theories and ideas was having its 
effect. The Lower House of the German Parliament, 
the Reichstag, was to be elected directly by universal 
suffrage, and the adoption of this system in the 


Constitution of the North German Confederation 
in 1866 marks an epoch in the history of German 
Democracy. The new Austrian Constitution of 1867 
only provided for the enfranchisement of the middle 
classes, but even this limited form of Democracy 
was an enormous advance on what would have been 
granted a generation earlier. Hungary received a 
separate Constitution at this time, a Constitution 
which only enfranchises a small fraction of the people, 
but which is still in force in that country. 

Further progress towards Democracy has, however, 
since been made in Austria. To the 353 members 
elected by the middle-class voters there were added in 
1896 another seventy-two members, elected by uni- 
versal suffrage. Eleven years later, in 1907, the elec- 
toral system was completely remodelled, and Austria 
now possesses a Lower House elected entirely by 
universal suffrage. It is significant that what could 
not be secured by rebellion and bloodshed sixty years 
before was granted almost as a matter of course at 
the beginning of the twentieth century. 

Turning to Italy, we see the same struggle for 
democratic freedom. Here again we find the demo- 
cratic ideal closely influenced by the nationalist 
ideal ; but whereas in Austria the two interfered 
with one another and each tended to mar the success 
of the other, in Italy they joined hands and made 
common cause. For in the latter country the popu- 
lation belonged entirely to one race, and the subjects 
of the various states into which the land was divided 
were stirred by a common desire to be free from 
tyrannical rule and a common desire to rid themselves 
of the control of the alien Hapsburg. The petty 
despots of the Italian peninsula, in constant fear of 


rebellion and revolution, were accustomed to look 
for support to the powerful Austrian emperor, just 
as the lesser German princes looked to Austria and 
Prussia to support them against the threatening tide 
of popular tumult. Where the despots were forced 
to rely on Austria, the powerful protector could 
dictate their policy, so the Italians felt that the real 
ruler of Italy was the Emperor of Austria, and the 
desire for national independence was thus grafted 
onto the desire for political freedom. 

We shall trace the history of Italian Nationalism 
in a later chapter; we must here observe only 
the democratic movements which accompanied the 
achievement of national unity. There was great 
discontent throughout the peninsula at the Vienna 
Settlement, for the new rulers allowed their subjects 
far less liberty than they had enjoyed under the 
Emperor-King Napoleon and King Joachim of Naples. 
Everywhere the reaction against "the Revolution" 
was carried to excess. The excellent codes of laws 
imposed by the Napoleonic administrators were 
replaced by the old-fashioned collections of local law ; 
those who had served the French in any capacity 
were refused admission to office in the civil services 
of the restored states ; we even find that the King of 
Sardinia laid waste the Botanical Gardens made bv 
the French at Turin and refused to issue passports 
for the fine new road over the Mont Cenis Pass 
because it had been built by Napoleon's orders, while 
Pope Pius VII abolished street lighting in Rome 
as an undesirable alien innovation. The restored 
Governments were almost all of them reactionary, 
harsh and despotic. 

The first blow for freedom came from the Two 


Sicilies. The city of Naples burst into revolt in 1820, 
and King Ferdinand I was forced to grant a Consti- 
tution to his subjects. No sooner, however, was 
the King able to escape from the city than he fled 
to Austria, calling upon the Emperor Francis I to 
restore him by force of arms. His wish was granted, 
and at the battle of Rieti the Neapolitan revolution 
was crushed. Three days after this battle a revo- 
lution occurred in Piedmont against the King of 
Sardinia. After the crushing of the Neapolitans 
this new revolt had little chance of success, par- 
ticularly as part of the army remained loyal to the 
King. The loyal troops, reinforced by the Austrians, 
overthrew the rebels at Novara, 1821, and the old 
regime was restored. After this Naples and Piedmont 
kept quiet for a generation, but in 1830 a revolt broke 
out in the Papal States, in Parma, and in Modena. 
Again the Austrian army was called on, and the 
rebellions were stamped out. There were further 
outbreaks against the oppressive temporal rule of the 
Pope in 1832 and 1846 (in the latter of which Louis 
Napoleon Bonaparte served as a volunteer with the 
Democrats), and again Austrian troops were called in 
for the work of restoring order. 

Meanwhile the oppression and persecution carried 
on by the Italian Governments was enormous. 
Austria set the example, thousands of malcontents 
from the Austrian provinces in the north-east being 
carried away to the dungeons of the Spielberg and 
other prisons. Relentless persecution begat secret 
societies of plotters, the most noted of which took 
the name of the Carbonari (the charcoal burners), 
meeting in woods, cellars, and attics to plan risings. 
The secret societies were hunted down by the secret 


police with their armies of spies, and to such a pitch 
had mutual suspicion grown that Austria employed 
a special set of police whose task was to spy upon the 
ordinary police. Thousands of arrests were made 
annually, and those who were convicted met with no 
light treatment. When Gladstone visited the Nea- 
politan prisons in 1850, he saw the political prisoners 
lying chained two and two together; and there were 
sometimes as many as six thousand political offenders 
at once in the gaols of the city. 

The "year of revolutions" found all the Italian 
states ripe for rebellion, with one exception. King 
Charles Albert of Sardinia, ascending the throne in 
1831, had administered his realm for seventeen years 
with clemency and sympathy for his people. He 
would have granted a Constitution long before had 
he not been informed that to set so bad an example 
would be treated as a casus belli by Austria. The 
outburst of 1848 was his opportunity. All Italy was 
rising round him against its rulers ; his own dominions 
alone were loyal. He seized the opportunity to issue 
a Constitution and prepare for war with the powerful 
Austrian empire. Circumstances were in his favour. 
Naples had risen, Milan and Venice had risen, the 
Papal States and Tuscany, Parma and Modena were 
rising. Austria, too, seemed to be for the moment 
paralysed by the insurrection in Vienna and by the 
nationalist movements in the other parts of her 

But the power of Austria was greater than at first 
sight appeared. She possessed strong fortresses in 
her Italian provinces, the troops could be thoroughly 
trusted when fighting against enemies of Italian race, 
while the armies of the Pope and of the King of 


the Two Sicilies were known to be more favourably 
disposed to their paymasters than to the democratic 
Liberals of Rome and Naples. The Italians fought 
well : 6000 Tuscans forced 35,000 Austrians to 
retreat after a six hours' battle at Curtatone. But 
the main Austrian army under Radetzky beat the 
main Sardinian army at Custozza, and drove them 
back into their own territory. During the following 
winter the Austrian insurrections at home were 
largely suppressed, and in the following spring 
Radetzky was able to crush the Sardinian army at 
Novara (the scene of the battle of 1821), overthrow 
the newly formed Tuscan and Roman republics, and 
force the remaining Italian revolutionists to abandon 
the struggle. Sardinia only preserved her dominions 
from dismemberment by paying an indemnity of 
£3,000,000 and by the abdication of Charles Albert. 
One great point, however, Sardinia had gained : the 
Austrians neglected to insist on the abolition of the 
Constitution, and the Sardinian Parliament continued 
to sit ; the Constitution of Italy to-day is the Sardinian 
Constitution of 1848. 

The further history of Italian Democracy is the 
history of the union of Italy. As each successive 
state and province was added to the dominions of 
the Sardinian monarch, it received the full advantages 
of the Constitution of 1848, with its political liberty 
and universal suffrage. With the occupation of Rome 
in 1870 the whole of Italy was brought under the sway 
of an Italian Parliament elected by the Italian people. 

When we turn to the great eastern empire of 
Russia we find that the forces of Democracy made 
far less progress there than in the other great states 
of Europe. Russia was the last of the great states 


to feci the effects of the Industrial Revolution, for 
in this empire the really big cities were so few and 
the proportion of the population dwelling in towns 
so small that the organised power of the working 
men was far less than in the more industrial countries. 
As we have seen in the recent history of France, the 
conservative influence of the country districts has 
often been able to counterbalance the extreme revo- 
lutionary tendencies of the capital and the great 
towns, so in Russia the dead weight of the vast 
agricultural population has been the best security 
of the " little Father of the Russians " against the 
revolutionary movements in the few and isolated 
industrial towns. The great growth of these towns 
in the later nineteenth century and the influence of 
democratic progress in the other nations has led 
the Czar to grant some sort of a Constitution to the 
Russian people, but Russia still remains by far the 
least democratic of the great states of Europe. 

There was an early development of Liberalism 
among the more educated Russians in the few years 
following the overthrow of Napoleon. The Czar 
Alexander I himself favoured Liberal ideas, and 
there was much talk of a Russian Constitution. But 
the over-eager enthusiasm of the Russian Liberals, 
who plotted an armed rising, spoilt the whole plan ; 
Alexander dropped his democratic ideas, and the 
empire remained an absolute monarchy. In 1861 
Russia followed the example of Prussia and Austria, 
which earlier in the century had abolished the surviv- 
ing feudal rights of the landowners over their serfs 
(Prussia in 1807 and Austria in 1848), and all Russians 
were declared to be free men, but this edict was not 
accompanied by any grant of political liberty. During 


the later part of the century there was a marked 
growth of democratic sentiment in the towns, but 
its most striking manifestation was the upgrowth of 
the extravagant political group called the Anarchists, 
with whom hatred of despotic government developed 
into a dislike of all legally constituted government 
whatsoever. The members of this group, whose 
ideal was a state in which there should be no laws, 
police, compulsory taxation or army, indulged their 
hatred of the existing system by frequent acts of 
violence, many Government officials of high and 
low rank being assassinated by their agents. These 
murders culminated in the assassination of the Czar 
Alexander II in 1881 by a bomb, and they remained 
a feature of Russian political life right on into the 
next century. In 1904 Plehve, the Prime Minister, was 
assassinated by an Anarchist bomb, and in the follow- 
ing year the Grand Duke Sergius, uncle of the present 
Czar, fell a victim to the Socialist assassin Kalayeff. 

The outbreak of the Russo-Japanese war was taken 
as the opportunity for a great series of Socialist and 
democratic movements. Riots, strikes and assassina- 
tions took place in all the cities of Russia. The 
Government retaliated by wholesale arrests, execu- 
tions, and the dispatch of hundreds of the Revolu- 
tionaries to the distant penal settlements of Siberia. 
The most serious crisis was that of Bloody Sunday in 
St. Petersburg, when the presentation of a petition 
to the Czar by the Democrats led to a series of scuffles 
which ended in the repulse of the mob by the troops 
after some bloodshed. 

This was in January 1905 ; before the end of the 
vear the Czar took a step in the direction of conciliation 
by the granting of a moderate Constitution providing 


for the election of a Russian Parliament or " Duma ' : 
which was to assist the Government by its advice, 
though it was given little actual power. The system 
of election was indirect — that is, the voters chose 
electors who in turn chose the members, and the 
arrangements for constituencies and electing were 
very complicated. The first Russian Parliament 
met in 1906, but its first action was to demand so 
much larger powers that it was promptly dissolved. 
A second Duma, elected early in the next year, 
proved equally refractory and met with a similar 
fate. The Czar now issued an edict amending the 
Constitution by redistributing the constituencies of 
the Duma and disfranchising large numbers of former 
voters. At the same time the members of the late 
Duma were visited with severe retribution for their 
independence, thirty-one being sent off to Siberia and 
many others being imprisoned in Russia. When the 
new Duma met it was found to be, as was expected, far 
less revolutionary and self-assertive than its predeces- 
sors, and under the amended Constitution of 1907, 
with its Duma controlled by the wealthy classes, Russia 
has settled down into something resembling quiet. 

We have now traced the fortunes of Democracy 
in the greater continental states. It is now time to 
turn to the second of the great forces which have 
specially moulded the history of recent Europe, the 
force of Nationality. Some of the peoples of Europe, 
such as the French, the Russians and the Spaniards 
had already attained national unity by the beginning 
of the nineteenth century, but in those that had not, 
such as Italy and Germany, the force of Nationalism 
was to play a powerful part in their history during 
the ensuing hundred years. 



The Treaty of Vienna of 1815 once more sub- 
divided the Italian peninsula into a collection of 
small states. In the north-west lay the kingdom of 
Sardinia, which included the island which gave its 
title to the sovereign, and the districts of Savoy and 
Nice across the Alps. The north-eastern provinces of 
Lombardy and Venice belonged to Austria. Farther 
south came the small duchies of Parma, Modena and 
Lucca (the first of these given in 1815 to the wife 
of the Emperor Napoleon). Then came the Grand 
Duchy of Tuscany, under the younger brother of 
the Austrian Emperor, and the Papal States, the 
temporal dominions of the Pope. The south of the 
peninsula was united with the island of Sicily in a 
kingdom which since the Middle Ages had borne 
the rather curious name of ' the Kingdom of the 
Two Sicilies " — the island dominions and the main- 
land dominions of the King of Sicily. Corsica, the 
birthplace of the great Napoleon, belonged to France, 
and the Maltese Islands to the United Kingdom. 

Under the domination of Napoleon, Italy had 
enjoyed something like unity, being only divided 
into three parts and those all administered under 
the same Imperial system, and many people regretted 
the return of the old state of affairs in 1815. Soon 



there appeared clubs and societies which aimed at 
bringing about the " risorgimento " — the ' resur- 
rection " of federated Italy. One of the most ardent 
workers in the cause of unity was Joseph (Giuseppe) 
Mazzini, who was also a Democrat of an extreme 
type. Mazzini founded a society called ' Young 
Italy " and tried to stir up a great Italian rebellion. 
Banished in turn from Sardinia, France and Switzer- 
land as a dangerous revolutionary, he came to 
England — the common refuge of continental exiles — 
and thence helped to keep aflame the spirit of Italian 

We have seen how the peoples of the little states 
tried in vain to shake off the rule of the despots and 
the overlordship of Austria, and how Democracy and 
Nationalism learned to support each other in Italy. 
It is significant that when the Piedmontese revolted in 
1821 they proclaimed their king, Victor Emmanuel I, 
as king of Italy, and had the Austrians been beaten 
in the war of 1848 large parts of the country would 
undoubtedly have been annexed to Sardinia. As it 
was, the Italian war of 1848 was a hopeless failure, 
and the only effective step that had been taken 
towards the union of the states was the union of the 
Duchy of Lucca with the Grand Duchy of Tuscany 
in 1847, an arrangement that had been stipulated 
for in the Treaty of Vienna of 1815. The transfer 
was due to the inheritance of Parma by the Duke of 

But while Mazzini and his friend and pupil Giuseppe 
Garibaldi were keeping alive the flame of rebellion 
in the hearts of the people, there appeared on the 
scene the cool and clear-headed statesman who was 
to achieve bv statecraft what the fanatical and hot- 


headed Mazzini and Garibaldi would never have 
accomplished alone. This man, the creator of modern 
Italy, was Count Camillo di Cavour, founder of the 
newspaper II Risorgimento and a leading Sardinian 
patriot. He entered the Sardinian Cabinet in 1849, 
and three years later became Prime Minister of his 
country. The aim of his life was the liberation and 
the union of Italy under the leadership of the Sardinian 
royal family. 

Cavour's statesmanship was deep-laid and perse- 
vering. While doing his utmost to prepare the 
Sardinian army for the next war, he realised that 
the enormous strength of the great Austrian empire 
could not be overcome without the aid of some ally. 
Of the other great Powers of Europe, France, then 
ruled by Napoleon III, was the most likely to 
afford the required assistance. Napoleon was anxious 
for opportunities of military glory, and might be 
induced to repeat his uncle's exploits against the 
vanquished of Marengo, Austcrlitz, and Wagram. 
France was jealous of the Austrian supremacy which 
had replaced that of France in Italy ; besides, France 
might be won over by more tangible prizes, and 
Cavour was willing to sacrifice the transalpine pro- 
vinces of Savoy and Nice in order to gain the much 
greater prize of the whole Italian peninsula. In 
another striking and curious way Cavour bid for the 
alliance of France. When the Crimean war broke 
out, and it was rumoured that Sardinia was going 
to join Russia against the impending entrance of 
Austria into the war, Cavour proceeded to reassure 
the Emperor Napoleon by declaring war against the 
Russians and placing 15,000 Sardinian troops at the 
disposal of the French commanders. 


The Franco-Sardinian entente was thus cemented, 
and in Italy men began openly to hail the French ' 
emperor as the restorer of Italian liberty. But as 
time went on and nothing further was done, the V 
Italian patriots began to grow impatient, and one of 
their number, Orsini, displayed his disappointment tt 
by going to Paris and hurling a bomb at Napoleon. 
This was one of the very few successful political 
crimes of history, for the Emperor, escaping unhurt 
from the explosion which killed and injured 166 other 
people, was so scared by the dying threats of the L 
criminal that unless Napoleon acted promptly there 
were more bombs to follow, that he at once entered 
into negotiations with Cavour for the signing of a 
definite treaty. The Emperor and the Sardinian 
Prime Minister met at Plombieres a few months after, 
and there the outlines of a treaty of alliance against 
Austria were drawn up. 

The war began in the spring of 1859. The Sar- 
dinian army was fully mobilised ; Austria sent an 
ultimatum demanding instant demobilisation; Sar- 
dinia refused; Austria declared war on Sardinia; 
and France then declared war on Austria. For six 
weeks the campaign raged over the Lombard plain, 
the Allies steadily beating back their enemy. De- 
feated at Montebello, at Palestro, at Magenta, and 
finally in a furious battle at Solferino, where the three 
monarchs of France, Sardinia and Austria watched 
the victory of the Allies in a tremendous thunder- 
storm, Austria sued for peace, offering to cede Milan 
and to allow Sardinia to seize the Duchy of Parma. 
To the great surprise and mortification of the Italians, 
Napoleon accepted these terms, and ordered his 
troops to withdraw from the war. Two reasons 



Scale of JHLes 





actuated him in this resolve : in the first place, what 
he had seen of the Sardinian army had convinced 
him that a liberated Italy would not be the mere 
helpless puppet in the hands of France that he 
hoped; in the second place, Prussia was seriously 
considering joining in the war with the purpose of 
weakening her great . western neighbour, France. 
He therefore eagerly accepted the opportunity of 
making a peace which did not leave Sardinia too 
strong and which freed him from the menace of an 
attack on his north-eastern frontier. As for the 
Sardinians, when the French withdrew they had no 
option but to accept the peace which Napoleon thus 
thrust upon them. Cavour himself, disappointed 
and chagrined, momentarily lost his usual cool- 
headedness and resigned his post in a fit of passion. 
King Victor Emmanuel II, however, wisely accepted 
the inevitable, and made haste to take possession of 
his new province of Lombardy. 

When the war broke out in the spring of 1859, the 
duchies of the north, Parma, Modena, and Tuscany, 
had risen in the name of Italian unity, and a similar 
movement had broken out in the Papal States, though 
here the pope, Pius IX, was able to suppress some of 
the rebels, his troops putting Perugia to a brutal 
sack. When peace was concluded at the Treaty of 
Zurich the attitude of Sardinia towards these revo- 
lutionists became rather ambiguous. The natural 
impulse was to encourage the demand for union, but 
Victor Emmanuel hardly knew whether France and 
Austria would allow him to annex the revolted 
districts beyond the limits of the Duchy of Parma. 
Cavour returned to office at the beginning of 1860, 
and his first action was to sound his late ally as to 


the terms on which further territorial extension could 
be allowed to Sardinia. At Plombieres it had been 
proposed that the acquisition of the whole north of 
Italy by Sardinia should be paid for by the cession of 
Savoy and Nice to France, and this bait was once 
more held out by Cavour, though Venice was no 
longer to be counted among the lands within his 
grasp. Napoleon accepted the bribe, and, secure in 
the support of France against any attempt of Austria 
to stop him, Cavour proceeded to carry out the 
annexation of Parma, Modena, Tuscany and the 
papal province of Romagna, all of which welcomed, 
with virtual unanimity, their union with the kingdom 
of Sardinia in March 1860. 

The " Young Italy " party of Mazzini and Garibaldi 
now urged that the war of liberation should be 
carried into the unredeemed south. Overawed by the 
armies of the Pope and the King of the two Sicilies, 
many of whose regiments were composed of hired 
Swiss, the people of the two southern states were 
for the moment quiet, but it was well known that 
the appearance of a Sardinian army would bring on 
a southern revolution against which the hated 
Governments of Rome and Naples could not possibly 
stand. But again the question was, " How far will 
our powerful neighbours allow us to go?" France 
had given no pledge as regards the south, and would 
be almost sure to object to another Sardinian war 
of conquest. Austria had allowed the annexation 
of the duchies only because France had guaranteed 
the act. 

The Sardinian Government was again in a dilemma. 
The precipitate enthusiasm of the " Young Italy ' 
party, however, suggested to Cavour a course of 


action. His plan was to send Garibaldi into the 
south to stir up revolution, giving him all the help 
he possibly could short of openly declaring war on 
the southern states ; at the same time he determined 
openly to disapprove of Garibaldi's expedition, and 
to represent to France that the annexation of the 
south was far from the minds of the Sardinian 
Government. In this way he hoped to overthrow 
the existing Governments in the south without giving 
France or Austria an immediate ground for war. 

In May the expedition of Garibaldi and his thousand 
" redshirts " slipped out of Genoa harbour. The 
governor of Genoa received orders from Cavour to 
prevent their departure, orders which were, much 
to Cavour's pretended annoyance, not carried out 
successfully. It was six days before the expedition 
landed safely at Marsala, and Cavour was anxious 
lest the warships of the King of the Two Sicilies 
should catch the ' redshirts ' at sea. " Monsieur 
le Comte," he secretly wrote to the Sardinian ad- 
miral, Persano, ' try to place your ships between 
Garibaldi and the Neapolitan cruisers ; I hope you 
understand me." The admiral's celebrated reply 
ran, " Monsieur le Comte, I think I understand you. 
In case of need, send me prisoner to the fortress of 

Once landed, Garibaldi's progress was wonderful. 
After a pitched battle against greatly superior num- 
bers at Calatafimi, he stormed the city of Palermo, 
and six weeks after his landing he was in posses- 
sion of the greater part of the island of Sicily. By 
the month of August he was ready to invade the 
mainland with Sicily subdued in his rear. His 
march from Reggio to Naples was a triumphal pro- 


gress, and the King withdrew from the city to an 
entrenched position on the Volturno. Here Garibaldi 
met with a serious check ; and after a fortnight's 
fierce fighting he was obliged to settle down before 
the fortifications of Capua. 

Just at this time Cavour's enemies played right 
into his hands. The salvation of the old regime in 
Rome and Naples depended on the attitude of France. 
If Napoleon III cried halt to the King of Sardinia, 
and lent help to the pajDacy, as he was inclined to 
do, the revolution would in all probability be crushed. 
If, on the other hand, Cavour could manage to get 
the consent of France to come to the aid of the Gari- 
baldians the cause of Pope Pius IX and Francis II 
of Naples was lost. At this crisis the Pope took the 
mad step of declaring his intention of restoring the 
Bourbons to the throne of France. Nothing more 
was needed to secure Napoleon's consent to the 
invasion of the south by Sardinia. The army of 
Victor Emmanuel crossed the frontier, encouraged, 
it is said, by Napoleon's message, ' Make haste, 
and good luck to you ! " The Pope's army, swelled 
by large numbers of Catholic volunteers from Ireland 
and Belgium and by Bourbonist Frenchmen, was 
routed at Castelfidardo ; the Sardinian army forced 
its wav down the Volturno vallev to the rear of the 
Neapolitan positions ; and the King of the Two 
Sicilies, defeated in every engagement, shut him- 
self up in the coast fortress of Gaeta, where he 
held out for several months longer. In February 
1861, Gaeta surrendered to General Cialdini and the 
deposed king retired to his mansion in Rome. 

Meanwhile Cavour hastened to secure the fruits 
of his labour. As had been done in the case of the 


northern duchies, a ' plebiscite ' or vote of the 
people was taken in the liberated lands on the question 
of union with Sardinia. In the former case less than 
2 per cent, of the voters opposed the Union, in the 
south less than 1 per cent, of the two million voters 
declared for the old regime. The Roman Campagna 
was not included in the plebiscite, for on the speedy 
collapse of Pius IX's Bourbon restoration scheme 
Napoleon reverted to his former policy of friendship 
to the Pope, and forbade Victor Emmanuel to 
advance into the immediate neighbourhood of the 
Eternal City. The annexation of the rest, however, 
was an accomplished fact. The Parliament that 
met at Turin, the Sardinian capital, five days after 
the fall of Gaeta, included deputies from all the lands 
of the recent plebiscite, and on March 17, 1861, the 
King of Sardinia was proclaimed Victor Emmanuel I, 
King of Italy. 

In less than two years the map of Italy had been 
completely altered. But the new map of the liberated 
kingdom showed two ugly blank gaps — the one 
round Rome, the other in the north-east corner. It 
now became the aim of Italian policy to complete 
the unity of the peninsula by the acquisition of the 
missing territories. The great Cavour did not live 
to see the completion of this work; in June 1861 he 
died, at the age of fifty-one. As for Garibaldi, his 
idea was to force on the conquest of Rome and Venice 
at once, without any consideration for the probable 
actions of France and Austria. With him the 
question was not " Is this course of action possible 
and practicable?" but always "Is this course of 
action right and in accordance with justice ? " It 
was in reference to him and Mazzini that Cavour 


had shortly before written : ' Italy must be saved 
from foreigners, evil principles, and — madmen.'''' 
Thus, as soon as he was able, Garibaldi collected a 
band of volunteers and set out from Sicily to march 
to the conquest of Rome. The Government, fearful 
of driving Napoleon III into hostility, at once took 
serious steps to stop the expedition ; unfortunately, 
the Garibaldians showed fight when the Government 
troops came to disarm them, and in a combat on the 
Aspromonte Garibaldi was wounded and captured, 
1862. In 1861, by a treaty with Napoleon III the 
Italians guaranteed not to attack Rome, and as a 
token that the idea of its occupation was given up 
the city of Florence was declared the capital of the 
kingdom of Italy. 

Meanwhile, unable to make further headway 
towards Rome owing to the opposition of France, 
the Government turned to the question of Venice 
and the Austrian province. In 1865 the Italian 
Government offered to buy the province from the 
Austrian empire for a payment of £4,000,000 — not 
a bad bargain. When this plan failed, Italy once 
more adopted Cavour's policy and looked round for 
an ally. That ally fortunately came to hand early 
in 1866. The Austro-Prussian war was on the point 
of breaking out, a war in which Prussia would be 
assailed, not only by the Austrian empire, but by 
numerous smaller members of the German Confedera- 
tion, such as Hanover and Saxony and possibly, 
thought Bismarck, by France. Prussia stood in 
need of an effective ally, and the desire of Italy 
for Venice fell in with Bismarck's schemes against 
Austria. Thus, when the war broke out in June 
1866, Italy entered the field as an ally of Prussia. 


As a bait for Italian neutrality, Austria forthwith 
offered to cede Venice free to Italy as the price of 
her neutrality, just as she did with Istria and the 
Trentino when Italy joined the Allies in 1915. But 
on both occasions the Italian Government felt that 
it was better to secure the desired lands from a van- 
quished foe in concert with powerful allies than to 
accept them without fighting for them at the price 
of allowing Austria to return triumphant from the 
war and demand them back again from a dishonoured 
and friendless state. 

In the war which followed, Italy did not play a 
successful part. Her army was beaten, on the anni- 
versary of the great day of Solferino, at Custozza, 
where she had suffered an earlier reverse in 1848; 
her fleet was defeated off the island of Lissa in the 
Adriatic. But the overwhelming victory of her ally 
Prussia at Sadowa saved her, and in spite of the 
Austrian victories the Hapsburg emperor found 
himself compelled to grant away the Venetian 
province to his defeated foe by the peace of Prague. 
Thus the policy of relying upon an ally was again 

One blank patch had now been rilled up in the 
map of the kingdom of Italy ; there remained the 
Roman state. In 1867 Garibaldi made another 
attempt to defy the power of France by a raid into 
the papal territory. Leaving his quiet home in the 
Sardinian island of Caprera, he entered the Roman 
state at the head of a force of eager volunteers, but 
the Italian Government dared not help him, and he 
was routed at Mentana by a force of French troops 
which had been sent by Napoleon to defend Rome. 
The chance of the Italians, however, came with the 


fall of the monarch whose actions and attitude had 
so profoundly influenced the recent history of the 
peninsula. On the news of Sedan, in September 
1870, the spell which had kept the Italian tricolour 
from waving over Rome was broken, and a force of 
60,000 men, under General Raffaele Cadorna, ad- 
vanced upon the city. After a show of resistance, 
Pope Pius IX retired into the palace of the Vatican, 
and the Eternal City became once more the capital 
of the united kingdom of Italy. In 1878 the popular 
King Victor Emmanuel died, and the visitor to 
Rome can see to-day in the great central square of 
the city the magnificent monument erected by the 
Italian nation to the re galantuomo (the cavalier 
king) who had done so much for it, and in the 
Church of the Pantheon the worthy tomb with its 
simple epitaph, ' Victor Emmanuel, Father of the 

Since 1870 there has appeared in Italy a party 
which demands that all those lands where the people 
speak Italian shall be added to the Italian kingdom. 
This party aims at the eventual occupation of the 
Italian Tyrol, Istria and Trieste, Corsica and Nice, 
the Maltese islands, and the Swiss canton of Ticino — 
lands which it calls " unredeemed Italy " — Italia 
irridenta. It was largely the ambition of reclaiming 
the unredeemed districts in the Austrian dominions 
that led Italy to embrace the cause of the Allies 
against the central empires in 1915. 

Before leaving the subject of Italian Nationalism, 
a word must be said as to the present position of the 
Pope. On the fall of Rome in 1870, Pius IX with- 
drew into the Vatican palace, and declared that he 
would never again leave it until his states were 


restored to him, a declaration which has influenced 
succeeding popes. An arrangement was, however, 
made by which the papal states should still be 
reckoned as having a nominal existence, and at the 
present day Pope Benedict XV rules over a miniature 
state comprised within the outer walls of the Vatican 
grounds, with its own court, its own standing army 
of papal guards, and its own diplomatic service. 
The Pope, of course, still remains the spiritual head 
of the great Roman Catholic Church, and as such his 
power has been increased to an unprecedented height 
by the decree of July 1870, which declared the will 
of the successor of St. Peter absolute and supreme 
in all ecclesiastical matters. It is often said that the 
prestige and influence of the Pope has never been 
greater among Catholics than it has been since the 
papacy rid itself of the encumbrance of the temporal 
dominion of the States of the Church. 



The condition of Germany after the Vienna Settle- 
ment was somewhat different from that of Italy, for 
whereas the latter had no central authority to sym- 
bolise the unity of its people, the German Confedera- 
tion gave to the former some semblance of common or- 
ganisation. There were, however, serious drawbacks 
to this nominal union besides those arising from 
the long-standing independence and local patriot- 
ism of the individual states. The chief of these 
drawbacks arose from the fact that several states 
occupied territories which were partly within and 
partly without the boundaries of the Confederation. 
In some cases, such as those of Danish Holstein, 
Dutch Luxemburg and English Hanover, the main 
interests of the rulers lay outside the Confederation; 
in the case of the two leading states, Austria and 
Prussia, the main interest of the rulers lay within 
Germany. The efficient working of a confederation 
whose leading princes were being continually called 
away by affairs in Hungary, Dalmatia, Galicia, Italy, 
Prussia, Poland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Great 
Britain, Ireland, Canada, India, South Africa and 
Australia, was almost impossible. Hence from the 
very first the German Confederation was virtually of 
no effect as a European state at all. 
i 113 


Beneath the surface of the German Confederation 
of the Treaty of Vienna the real situation was this. 
Two powerful states, Austria and Prussia, ruled by 
German dynasties and controlled mainly by German 
interests, disputed the leadership of the German 
race. Under their wing were grouped a number of 
smaller states of varying size, all of them purely 
German, too weak to do without the overlordship 
of a greater Power and too independent to submit 
readily to absorption by another state. Add to 
these three territories which, though populated by 
Germans, were ruled by foreign sovereigns, and we 
have the Germany of 1815. 

Now had there been only one great Power in the 
German Confederation it might have been a fairly 
easy matter to build up a German nation round that 
Power. But the even balance between Austria and 
Prussia gave Germany two different centres, and 
acted for long as a bar to the achievement of national 
unity. Again, if either Austria or Prussia succeeded 
in attracting to itself the other German states and 
thus forming a united German empire, the new 
national state would find itself tied up in a political 
organism which would include large numbers of people 
who were not of German race at all, unless in accept- 
ing the leadership of Germany the Austrians were 
willing to throw over their rule in Hungary, Lom- 
bardy, and their other non-German provinces, or 
the Prussians were willing to throw over the Polish 
districts of the east. Clearly the union of Germans 
in one state with Hungarians, Poles or Italians would 
be far from the Nationalist ideal, and it was not to 
be expected that a great Power would voluntarily 
abandon extensive provinces for the sake of an ideal. 


Of the two leading states it was obviously Prussia 
that had the best claim to be the German state, for 
since the loss of Warsaw in 1807 the Polish population 
of the Prussian kingdom had been comparatively 
small, and would hardly weigh at all against the 
population of a united Germany, while the non- 
German population of the Hapsburg dominions far 
outweighed the German Austrians in numbers, and 
would be a serious drag on the German population 
of a united Germany and Austria. Hence there arose 
three different Nationalist parties. The first, repre- 
sented by the society called the " National Verein ' 
(the National Union), advocated a united Germany 
of the type actually now in force — that is, includ- 
ing Prussia and the smaller states, and excluding 
Austria altogether. The second, represented by the 
" Reform Verein " society, wanted a united Germany 
which would include the Austrian lands already 
within the borders of the Confederation; the whole 
of Prussia might be included, but the remaining 
Austrian dominions must be kept apart from Germany 
and given a separate administration. The third, 
which had but few supporters, aimed at a huge 
central European state, dominated by the German 
race, but including the whole of both Prussia and the 
Austrian empire. From the point of view of the 
Nationalist ideal the last of these plans was hideous, 
the second highly desirable, and the first was good 
but incomplete. The scheme of the Reform Verein 
would undoubtedly have been carried out had it not 
been for two factors : the undesirability of including 
in the German National state a country whose Govern- 
ment was so closely bound up with and interested 
in a large state or collection of states outside Germany, 


and the inveterate jealousy and competition that 
existed between Austria and Prussia. During the 
nineteenth century these two Powers were destined 
to come into violent conflict. The triumph of Austria 
might have made possible the second or the third 
of the Nationalist plans — as it was, the triumph of 
Prussia resulted in the victory of the scheme of the 
National Verein. 

For half a century after the formation of the 
German Confederation Austria and Prussia watched 
one another with anxious and jealous eyes. Austria 
held the nominal leadership of Germany, as she had 
done in the days of the old Holy Roman Empire, but 
since the wars of Frederick the Great it had been 
recognised that Prussia was a Power strong enough 
to act as her equal in many respects. But while 
the balance of the two Powers resulted for long in a 
political deadlock and the maintenance of the status 
quo, Prussia managed to obtain an advantage of 
first-rate importance in the economic and commercial 
sphere. The Prussian minister Von Maasen devised 
a scheme for binding some of the smaller German 
states more closely to Prussia by means of a Zollverein 
or Customs Union. By this arrangement Prussia 
entered into agreements with some of the smaller 
states by which for purposes of trade the countries 
were to be considered as one ; goods were to pass 
freely between the members of the Customs Union, 
and duties were only to be levied on those boundaries 
which adjoined states which did not belong to it. 
The first of these agreements was that made between 
the kingdom of Prussia and the tiny county of 
Schwarzburg-Sondershausen in 1819; Hesse-Darm- 
stadt and Anhalt followed in 1828; and so successful 

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was this policy that by the year 1836 the Zollverein 
included all Germany except Austria, Luxemburg and 
a group of states round Hanover in the north-west. 
Austria was soon roused to jealousy by events which 
seemed so likely to bind the Zollverein states closer 
to Prussia, and in 1841 she demanded that she should 
be included in the Zollverein. The admission of 
Austria would have knocked the bottom out of the 
political idea of the Customs Union, and fortunately 
for Prussia the Austrian demand was made easy to 
reject by the insistence of Metternich that the non- 
German provinces of Austria should be included. 
The scheme for the admission of Austria thus fell 
through, not by any means to the disappointment of 
the Prussian statesmen. 

The revolutions of 1848, violently upsetting the 
old systems, brought the matter of German National- 
ism to the surface. As has been stated, two demo- 
cratic Assemblies or " Diets " met, one for Austria 
at Vienna and the other for the German Confederation 
at Frankfort. It was here that the advocates of the 
three different schemes of Union had their best oppor- 
tunity of canvassing their views. On the whole, 
the plan received with most favour was that which 
suggested the reform of the confederation as a demo- 
cratic National state. But beyond electing the 
Archduke John of Austria as Regent of Germany the 
new Diet did little to consolidate its ideas, and, as 
we have seen, with the collapse of the revolution in 
Vienna and Berlin the Assembly itself fell to pieces. 
Just before the withdrawal of the Austrian delegates, 
the Frankfort Diet offered to place itself under the 
protection of the King of Prussia and offered him the 
title of Emperor of Germany, but Frederick William 


IV had no wish to accept from the hands of a revo- 
lutionary and democratic body a crown which would 
certainly involve him in a war with Austria for which 
he was not prepared, and the offer was declined. 

As usual, however, while appearing to have left 
things in the same state as before, the revolutionary 
movement had real results on the fortunes of German 
Nationalism. For while contemptuously scorning 
the crown offered by the disheartened deputies of 
the German Diet, Frederick William of Prussia at 
once set to work to gain the same reward by a different 
method— namely, by quiet negotiations with the 
smaller states. Before the end of 1849 Prussia 
announced the formation of a League of the North, 
including Saxony, Hanover, Baden, Hesse-Cassel, 
Oldenburg and other smaller states. The action, 
however, proved too precipitate ; Austria took up a 
threatening attitude, the larger members of the 
League began almost at once to fear for their inde- 
pendence, and when' the first Diet of the League met, 
in March 1850, Saxony and Hanover had dropped out 
of the new federation. The crisis of this episode of 
German history came when the Emperor of Austria, 
summoning the other German states to send up their 
usual members to the old Diet of the Confederation, 
ordered troops to march into the territory of the new 
League to suppress some disorders which had occurred 
there. This obvious threat of war had its effect, and 
Frederick William's house of cards came tottering 
down. Before the end of the year, by an agreement 
with Austria signed at Olmiitz, the Prussian League 
of the North was dissolved. 

The Convention of Olmiitz restored the old state 
of affairs to Germany, and in 1851 the Confederation 


was again in working order as before. But Prussia 
did not forget what she considered " the humiliation 
of Olmutz." She was soon to find a leader who would 
take steps to avenge that humiliation. 

In 1861 Frederick William IV was succeeded by 
his brother, William I, and one of the new king's first 
actions was to give the chief Ministry of Prussia to 
Otto von Bismarck, a statesman of great genius and 
force, who was destined to do for Germany all that 
Cavour had done for Italy, and more. The keynote 
of Bismarck's policy was the efficacy of force and 
the ultimate power of the sword. ' The German 
problem," he declared, in a celebrated speech made a 
few days after his appointment, " cannot be solved by 
parliamentary decrees, but only by blood and iron ! " 
As a commencement he demanded that the Prussian 
army should be increased and improved by the passing 
of a more severe conscription law than had yet existed 
and by the devotion of a much larger sum than was 
customary to military equipments. These measures 
met with violent opposition from the Prussian people 
and from the Prussian Parliament as well. But 
Bismarck was determined to make his country a 
strong military Power in spite of itself, and his reforms 
were forced upon the nation without receiving the 
consent of Parliament. Two general elections re- 
turned majorities increasingly adverse to Bismarck, 
but the King believed in him and ignored their 
violent protests. It was not until the great victory 
of Bismarck's new army at Sadowa that the nation 
came round to agree with the desirability of the recent 
measures of military reform. 

When Bismarck, aided by the War Minister von 
Roon and the Commander-in-Chief von Moltke, had 


got his army into readiness, he prepared for the blow 
which was to place Prussia at the head of a united 
Germany and drive Austria outside the limits of the 
Confederation. As a prelude, he sent the Prussian 
army to gain experience in actual warfare (which 
none of the existing soldiery had seen) by taking part 
with Austria in a little war for the object of liberating 
the Germans of Holstein from Danish control. 

There had long been disputes between the inhabi- 
tants of Holstein and their Danish ruler, and the 
question was complicated by the fact that that duchy 
was united for purposes of administration with the 
neighbouring duchy of Schlcswig, which lay outside 
the bounds of the German Confederation, though its 
population was largely German. The Holsteiners, as 
subjects of the Confederation, were constantly appeal- 
ing to the Diet against their sovereign the King of Den- 
mark, and the tendency of the Germans to resent the 
presence of a Danish ruler in Germany had led to two 
wars already, that of 1848 and that of 1849-50, on 
both of which occasions the absorption of the German 
states in their own domestic troubles prevented them 
from gaining any advantage. In 1863 Charles IX of 
Denmark issued a new decree by which Schleswig and 
Holstein were separated ; the effect of this was to 
leave the Danish Government free to deal with the 
Schleswig Germans as they liked, whilst the protec- 
torate of the Confederation over Holstein still acted 
as a check upon its actions in the southern duchy. 
Before this decree was issued, the fact that Schleswig 
enjoyed the same administration as Holstein guaran- 
teed the Schleswig Germans from Danish aggression 
because of the control exercised by the Confederation 
over Holstein, since acts of government intended for 


Schleswig used to have effect throughout the united 
province of Schleswig-Holstein. This, reduced to 
its essence, was the German grievance, but it was so 
covered over with other disputes about the succession 
to the duchies and treaty rights that the Schleswig- 
Holstein question was one of the most difficult and 
complicated in Europe. As Lord Palmerston, the 
British Prime Minister, said, there were only three 
people in Europe who had ever thoroughly under- 
stood it : one (the late Prince Consort) was dead, 
another (a Danish statesman) had gone mad, and the 
third (himself) had forgotten it. 

The Schleswig-Holstein knot was now, however, 
to be cut by the swords of Austria and Prussia. 
Both professed to act as the protector of German 
interests ; both marched to war with sidelong glances 
of mutual suspicion. The actual war was soon over. 
Though the Danish fleet gained a naval victory over 
the Prussian fleet off Heligoland, by land the invaders 
were, of course, irresistible by so small a state as 
Denmark, and the w T ar was brought to a rapid con- 
clusion by the Treaty of Vienna of 1864, by which 
both Schleswig and Holstein were ceded to the con- 
querors to dispose of as they thought fit. Here lay 
the apple of discord which was to bring on the long- 
impending war between the two great German states. 
For though by a temporary agreement which, said 
Bismarck, "papered over the cracks," Prussia took 
charge of Schleswig while Austria took charge of 
Holstein, no permanent agreement could be reached 
owing to the Prussian desire to get hold of the whole 
of the ceded territory. 

The military preparations of Prussia had meanwhile 
alarmed the local patriotism of the lesser German 


states ; Austria at least had left them alone, and they 
did not like this new attitude of Prussia. When 
Bismarck threw aside the suggestions of Austria for 
an equal partition of the duchies it became apparent 
that Prussia was out for something more than the 
safeguarding of German interests in Schleswig, and 
Austria began to hint at the necessity for war. This 
was exactly what Bismarck wanted, and when 
Austria presented an ultimatum demanding the 
acceptance of her settlement and the reduction of the 
Prussian forces under arms she scornfully rejected it. 
Meanwhile he had secured the alliance of Italy with 
the bait of Venice, while Austria secured the support 
of the majority in the Diet of the Confederation and 
of most of the lesser states of Germany. Napoleon 
III thought of taking part, but he preferred to wait, 
with the idea of coming in at the critical moment 
to rescue Prussia (who, it was almost universally 
believed, was sure to be defeated) and to secure 
something for France in the process. 

The Austro-Prussian war was a revelation to Europe. 
It was now that Bismarck's wonderful preparation 
became manifest. For, before the Austrian forces 
could be set in motion, the Prussians were mobilised, 
over the frontiers and in the capitals of their enemies. 
Dresden fell, Cassel fell, Hanover fell, in rapid succes- 
sion, and the Hanoverian army, surrounded and 
captured at Langensalza before it hardly had time to 
move, was put out of action at a single blow. Mean- 
while, von Moltke concentrated the main Prussian 
forces for the invasion of Austria, and, crossing into 
Bohemia, he met the main Austrian army under 
Benedek at Sadowa, before the fortress of Konig- 
gratz, on July 3, 1866, The forces opposed numbered 


about 220,000 a side, but part of the Prussian army, 
under the Crown Prince Frederick, did not come up 
until late in the day. The enormous superiority 
acquired by the Prussian infantry, owing to the 
adoption of the new breech-loading musket, over the 
Austrian infantry with their muzzle-loaders, decided 
the day, and with the arrival of the Crown Prince the 
Austrian rout was complete. 

So overwhelming was this defeat that the Austrian 
Government, in spite of the victory of Custozza over 
the Italians, at once opened negotiations for peace. 
Though many Prussians demanded a triumphal march 
into Vienna, the news that Napoleon III was pre- 
paring for action, and this time in the interests of 
defeated Austria, led Bismarck to advise the wiser 
counsel of securing a satisfactory and speedy termina- 
tion of the war. Austria was ready to withdraw her 
claims to supremacy in Germany, as long as the 
German territories of the Austrian empire remained 
untouched and independent. Hence, without any 
further fighting, the Austro-Prussian war ended with 
the Treaty of Prague of August 1866. 

The settlement thus effected, though it did not 
establish Bismarck's ideal of a Prusso-German empire, 
had at least the advantage of paving the way for 
such a creation by the definite exclusion from Germany 
of the great Power that had for many ages dominated 
her. The Treaty of Prague may be divided into two 
parts, the one dealing with the territorial changes 
affecting the individual states, the other dealing with 
the political organisation of Germany. As regards 
territory, Austria itself suffered only in the loss of 
Venice, which was ceded to the kingdom of Italy. 
But to the lesser German princes who had taken the 


field against Prussia a stern retribution was meted 
out : Hanover, electoral Hesse, Nassau and the city 
of Frankfort were extinguished as independent states 
and became mere provinces of Prussia ; Bavaria and 
Hesse-Darmstadt lost small pieces of territory ; and 
the whole of Schleswig-Holstein became Prussian. 
As regards the new political grouping, the old German 
Confederation of 1815 was abolished ; Austria became 
a separate state, altogether divorced from the rest 
of Germany ; the states north of the Main were 
joined with Prussia in a new North German Con- 
federation (similar to the League of the North 
planned by Frederick William IV); and the rest 
of Germany, consisting of Bavaria, Wurttemberg, 
Baden and southern Hesse-Darmstadt, became a 
separate South German Confederation. 

It may be asked whv the Prussian League was not 
extended to cover the southern states. The reason 
was that, as in the case of the Italian national king- 
dom, the attitude of France had to be considered. 
For though the result of what was called the " Seven 
Weeks War " (though the campaign was really over in 
five) had shown the efficiency of the Prussian forces, it 
was still generally believed that the army of Napoleon 
III was the best in Europe. The weaker and more 
divided Germany was, the more influence the power 
of France was likely to have, and Napoleon viewed 
with dismay the prospect of the erection on his 
eastern frontier of a strong and united German state. 
The exclusion of Prussia from the south was carried 
out in response to the threats of France, which Power 
would almost certainly have declared war to prevent 
the complete union of the German states. As it was, 
Napoleon III felt that the new North German 


Confederation was too strong a neighbour and began 
immediately to prepare his army for action against 
Prussia and to enter into an alliance with the states 
of South Germany. 

The next four years witnessed a contest between 
Napoleon and Bismarck to secure the prospect of 
success in the inevitable Franco-Prussian war. And 
here we get a striking example of the influence of the 
personal element in history, for whereas Bismarck's 
moves were uniformly sound and successful, Napoleon 
Ill's were incomplete, slovenly and bungling. We 
can feel sure, as we read the history of these years, 
that had he been pitted against the first Napoleon 
instead of against his nephew, Bismarck's task would 
have been far harder, if not doomed to failure. Let 
us compare some of their measures of preparation. 

In the first place, Bismarck took immediate steps 
to consolidate and conciliate the subjects of the new 
North German state. In 1867 King William pro- 
claimed the Constitution of the Confederation, a 
constitution acceptable to the lesser princes and to 
the mass of the people. For, while giving great 
powers to the King of Prussia as President of the 
Confederation, it established a Parliament of two 
Houses, of which one, the Bundesrath, represented 
the separate Governments of the Confederation, and 
the other, the Reichstag, was elected by universal 
suffrage. This liberal measure of popular freedom 
coming from the man of " blood and iron," with whom 
people knew that it was dangerous to attempt to 
trifle, contrasts greatly with the domestic policy of 
the French Emperor, who, in these critical years of 
preparation, shifted irresolutely between occasional 
outbursts of despotic rule and fits of conciliation 


which irritated the Democracy of France rather than 
pleased it. Turn again to foreign policy : Bismarck 
exerted himself to the utmost to secure the friendship 
or the neutrality of other Powers. Austria might 
be expected to take the first opportunity of avenging 
Sadowa, while the activities of the Pan-Slav party 
in Russia, who aimed at the conquest of the Polish 
provinces of Prussia, made the attitude of the Czar 
Alexander II doubtful. The kev of the situation 
here Bismarck found in the mutual jealousies of 
Austria and Russia in the Balkan peninsula. BisA 
marck took advantage of these to offer Russia his/ 
alliance and support in all matters relating to the 
Balkans. Aggression at the expense of decaying 
Turkey had always seemed more practical to Russia 
than aggression against powerful Prussia, and 
Bismarck's offer was accepted. Bismarck pledged 
Prussia to support Russia against Austria in the 
Balkans, and particularly to support Russia in 
the rather dangerous act of repudiating her treaty 
obligations regarding the Black Sea, in return for a 
Russian alliance in case of Austria joining France. 
Thus the possible intervention of Austria as Napoleon's 
ally was counteracted by the assurance of Russian 
support in that event. Napoleon showed the same 
unreliable vacillation in his diplomatic relations 
with foreign states as he did in his domestic policy. 
Though he sought the alliance of Austria, Italy and 
Denmark, he met with little encouragement, largely 
because these states were half afraid to commit them- 
selves to engagements with so uncertain and shifty 
a schemer. In his relations with the South German 
states, too, Napoleon played into Bismarck's hands. 
Napoleon's aim was to rouse their local patriotism 


against the threatened absorption by Prussia. Bis- 
marck's aim was to represent Napoleon as the real 
aggressor and Prussia as the protector of the small 
German states against French aggression. Twice 
the Emperor allowed himself to be fooled into draw- 
ing up suggestions for a Franco-Prussian partition 
of the plunder of South Germany, and on both 
occasions Bismarck published the proposals with 
telling effect in the South German states. This was 
sufficient to place the South German armies at the 
disposal of Prussia when the war broke out. 

Finally, in the material preparations for fighting, 
the superiority of the German organisation became 
manifest from the first days of the war. Just as the 
breech-loading musket had given Prussia a pull over 
Austria in 18GG, so now the breech-loading cannon, 
recently adopted by Prussia, gave the Germans a 
decided advantage in 1870. The French equipment 
and organisation, in spite of extravagant declara- 
tions to the contrary, had been carried out in the 
most slipshod and unbusinesslike manner, while the 
methods of mobilisation were far behind the rapid 
system devised by von Roon and von Moltke. The 
training of the officers, the previous study of the 
probable areas of operations, the organisation of the 
General Staff, and the effective use of cavalry were 
other points in which the German army far excelled 
that of France. Last, but not least, the wonderful 
German spy system organised by Stieber, who con- 
trolled no less than 36,000 spies in France, belonging 
to all ranks, trades and professions, enabled the 
Germans to act with a minuteness of certain infor- 
mation about the enemy that was totally lacking on 
the French side. 


The war opened in a curious manner. A revolution 
in Spain had deposed the old dynasty of sovereigns, 
and the Spanish revolutionaries offered the crown 
to Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern, a distant relative 
of the Prussian king. Though this young man's 
chances of ever inheriting the crown of Prussia were 
hopelessly remote, Napoleon III declared that his 
accession in Spain could not be allowed by France as 
threatening to upset the balance of power by the 
union of Prussia and Spain. Unwilling to become 
the cause of war, Leopold withdrew his acceptance 
of the Spanish crown. But this victory tempted 
Napoleon to humiliate the Prussian royal family 
further, and he now demanded that King William 
should give a pledge that he would never at any 
future time allow any renewal of Leopold's candida- 
ture for the throne of Spain. The King courteously 
declined to make such a pledge, and Napoleon 
determined to make this the excuse for war. Know- 
ing that Prussia was ready for an immediate blow 
at France, Bismarck made hostilities certain by 
publishing the King's telegram describing his interview 
at Ems with the French ambassador and abbreviated 
in such a way as to give the impression that the King 
had insulted the French ambassador. This had the 
desired effect in Paris, and war was declared by France 
on July 19, 1870. 

At the beginning of August the French crossed 
the German frontier and won a skirmish at Saar- 
briicken, where the Prince Imperial distinguished 
himself. Two days later the main German armies, 
fully mobilised and moving over ground every kilo- 
metre of which had been studied on the maps for 
three years by the officers, began their invasion of 



France. Taken utterly by surprise by the rapidity 
of the German concentration and advance, the French 
fell back, being defeated time after time whenever 
they attempted to check the advance of the in- 
vaders. The successive defeats of Weissenburg, Worth, 
Spicheren, Colombieres, Vionville and Mars-la-Tour, 
Gravelotte and Saint Privat resulted not only in the 
general repulse of the French, but in the cutting off 
and besieging of the main Imperial army, with its 
Commander-in-Chief, Marshal Bazaine, in the fortress 
of Metz. The news of all this provoked a wild out- 
burst of frenzy in Paris, similar to the panics of the 
Revolutionary war in 1792 and 1793, though, fortun- 
ately, the rising of 1870 was carried out without 
bloodshed. The Paris mob threatened to overthrow 
the Imperial Government and depose the Emperor 
unless Bazaine was immediately relieved. Prudence 
dictated that the attempt to regain communication 
with Metz should not be made until time had been 
allowed for a reorganisation and reinforcement of the 
French armies, but the fear of a Republican revolt in 
Paris forced the hand of the Emperor. Though he 
knew that the task was virtually hopeless, Napoleon 
preferred to hazard an advance towards Metz rather 
than face the certainty of losing his crown at the 
hands of the Parisians ; and the Imperial forces 
under the Emperor and Marshal Macmahon, the hero 
of Magenta, moved out to their doom. On Sep- 
tember 1 they were surrounded by superior numbers at 
Sedan, near the Belgian frontier, and after a desperate 
struggle, in which Napoleon exposed himself in 
the thickest of the fight, the whole French army 
surrendered. Next day the two chief actors in the- 
Franco-German struggle, Bismarck and Napoleon, 


English Miles 

o_ ,_ Coulmiers oBeaiinelaRalande 






J *«-< 



met ; the more skilful player had won the game, and 
the Emperor, defeated by the Germans and disowned 
by the French, went as a prisoner to Wilhelmshohe 
in Prussia. 

The disaster of Sedan and the declaration of the 
Republic which followed it at Paris did not end the 
war, as many thought these events would do. For 
the victorious Germans would not consent to make 
peace merely on condition of their being allowed to 
complete the unity of Germany and to put forward 
Prince Leopold as a candidate for the throne of Spain ; 
they demanded the cession of territories by France, 
those provinces of Alsace and Lorraine which were 
the last relics of that " natural frontier of the Rhine " 
about which Frenchmen had formerly boasted so 
much. To these terms the Republican Government 
at Paris refused to agree, and under the name of the 
' ; Government of National Defence " they proceeded 
to undertake the continuance of the war, even under 
the adverse circumstances of the loss of their two 
best armies, Macmahon's at Sedan and Bazaine's at 
Metz (which surrendered in October). As usual in 
French history, the invasion of La Patrie stirred a 
national resistance of enormous vigour, but the 
Germans of 1870 were not the Germans of 1792, and 
the campaign of that next terrible winter was to show 
that even the most gallant and devoted patriotic 
enthusiasm will not avail against superior organisa- 
tion, armament, and equipment. 

After Sedan the Germans met with no resistance 
in their march to Paris until they reached the forti- 
fications of the capital. But while von Moltke was 
busy forming his lines round the city, the Government 
of National Defence, inspired by the energies of Leon 


Gambetta, a Republican organiser who escaped from 
the besieged capital by balloon, undertook the task 
of rallying round itself the forces of France. Before 
many weeks had passed, several new armies were in 
the field, and these were directed by Gambetta, from 
the Government headquarters first at Tours and then 
at Bordeaux, with the purpose of relieving Paris and 
expelling the invaders from France. While Trochu 
defended the capital, de Paladines, Chanzy, Bourbaki, 
Cambriels and Faidherbe formed a ring of armies 
north, west, and south of the German positions round 
Paris, and a series of engagements followed in which 
the German forces were led by the Crown Prince 
Frederick, the King's nephew Prince Frederick Charles, 
the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and 
Generals Von der Tann, von Werder, Manteuffel, 
Steinmetz and Goeben. 

In these battles the Germans, by their superior 
organisation and equipment, as well as by their 
strategic advantage of holding the inner side of the 
ring, were usually successful. The chief operations 
took place in the neighbourhood of Orleans, where a 
determined attempt was made to cut a way through 
to Paris. Defeated before the town in October, the 
French recaptured it by de Paladines' victory at 
Coulmiers in November, the only real success gained 
by France in the war. Before the end of the year, 
however, the German victories of Beaune la Rolande, 
Loigny and Beaugency drove the French back and 
placed Orleans once more in German hands. In the 
northern sector the German victories at Amiens, 
Bapeaume and Saint Quentin secured the control of 
the country north of Paris, while in the extreme south- 
east of the line of operations the battles of Villersexel 


and Montbeliard resulted in the flight of Bourbaki's 
85,000 into Switzerland, where they were interned. 
This disaster, combined with Faidherbe's defeat at 
Saint Quentin and the rout of the central French 
army under Chanzy by Prince Frederick Charles, at 
Le Mans, made it impossible for the French to retain 
hopes of winning, and with the fall of Paris at the end 
of January 1871, the Provisional Government opened 
negotiations for peace. 

The terms demanded were high, for, besides the 
cession of Alsace and eastern Lorraine, the French 
were required to pay a war indemnity of £200,000,000 
and to submit to a military occupation of the north- 
east of France until the whole of this large sum had 
been paid. The French, however, were obliged to 
submit to these terms, and by the Treaty of Frank- 
fort the war was brought to an end. Though no 
specific mention of it occurred in the treaty, the real 
prize of the war had been grasped on January 18, 
1871, when, by the unanimous consent of the German 
princes, William I, King of Prussia, was proclaimed 
Emperor of a united Germany. The Constitution 
of the North German Confederation was extended to 
cover the whole of the new Imperial state, and the 
newly-won province of Alsace-Lorraine was declared 
the common possession of the empire, to be adminis- 
tered by the Chancellor of the Imperial Government. 

The union of Germany presented in its completion 
somewhat different features from the contemporary 
union of Italy. Though both had to be accomplished 
by force, the " blood and iron " theory was carried 
to far greater extremes in Germany than in the 
southern kingdom. This was due partially to the cir- 
cumstance that a considerable section of the German 


people were for long averse to the union ; no plebis- 
cites were taken on the annexation of Hanover and 
Saxony, Alsace-Lorraine, or even Schleswig-Holstein. 
The kingdom of Italy is composed of people of 
one race only ; the German empire, while excluding 
the ten millions of Austrian Germans, includes some 
two million Poles, and a smaller though appreci- 
able number of Danes and Frenchmen. Altogether, 
from the Nationalist point of view, the German 
empire is a far less satisfactory state than the Italian 
kingdom, though under the circumstances which 
attended its formation it is hard to see how the result 
could have been different. 



In the history of Germany and of Italy we have 
been dealing with countries where the force of Nation- 
alism exerted a unifying influence. We shall now 
turn to two countries where the same force of 
Nationalism has exerted an influence in exactly 
the opposite direction, tending to split the state 
up into fragments, instead of bringing many frag- 
ments together into one state. These countries 
are Austria-Hungary and the Turkish empire. 

Now if we look at the map which shows the races 
of Europe, we shall see how extraordinarily complex 
a state the Austrian empire of 1815 was. In the 
lands that were included in the German Confedera- 
tion, the majority of the people were of German 
race, though in two or three districts there were 
large groups which were not German. There were 
the Czechs, who occupied the valleys of Bohemia and 
the province of Moravia ; there were the Slovenes 
at the head of the Adriatic ; there were the Italians 
overlapping from the Venetian coastland and the 
Adige valley. Beyond the limits of Germany the 
divisions were more complicated still. The great 
Hungarian plain was mainly occupied by the Magyars 
or Hungarians, though all round they were fringed 
by other smaller races which were not Magyar or 



anything like the Magyars. Up in the Carpathians 
to the north there lived the Slovaks and the Ruthe- 
nians ; up in the Carpathians to the east, and in 
the valleys sloping down from them, lived the Rou- 
mans ; while in the mountains of Dalmatia to the 
south-west and in the broad slopes coming down 
from those heights lived the closely similar Croats 
and Serbs. Even so we have not got all the races 
of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, for across the 
Carpathians to the north, very much intermingled 
with the Ruthenians, were large numbers of Poles. 
This description gives the broad outlines of the 
distribution of races, but the situation was com- 
plicated by the existence of large border-districts 
where people of two or three races were intermixed, 
and of some isolated settlements such as those of 
the Germans in the far south-east. 

When we consider these facts, we can understand 
the question that was always forcing itself upon 
the Government of this polyglot empire : ' If the 
Nationalist ideal now so rapidly gaining force aims 
at the formation of states coincident with racial 
boundaries, what is to become of the Austrian 
empire ? " 

A word must be said as to the grouping of these 
various races. The eleven distinct groups which 
we have named were divided among four great 
racial families. The Germans were of Teutonic 
origin, and were akin to their neighbours of Prussia, 
Bavaria, Saxony and the rest of the Confederation. 
The Italians and the Roumans, separated though 
they were by many miles of distance, were sub- 
stantially of the same race and spoke languages 
which resembled each other very closely. The 


Magyars have a distinct individuality of their own, 
being considered by some ethnologists (or students 
of race) rather Asiatics than Europeans. The 
remainder, Czechs, Slovenes, Slovaks, Croats, Serbs, 
Ruthenians and Poles, are all Slavonic, being akin 
to the Russians, the Bulgars and the Serbs of the 
Balkan peninsula. For, while a German, a Magyar 
and an Italian would be mutually unintelligible in 
speech, it would be comparatively easy for an edu- 
cated Serb to understand the language of a Slovene, 
a Czech or a Pole, without having to undergo a 
course of instruction in it. This fact, at any rate, 
makes one bond of union between the seven races 
above mentioned, but the Slavonic peoples of Austria 
are divided geographically into two groups by the 
great wedge of Germans, Magyars and Roumans 
thrust out along the Danube valley. 

It may be asked how this conglomeration of 
peoples came to be joined together in a single state. 
The answer is that the three chief political units 
which existed here in the Middle Ages— the arch- 
duchy of Austria, the kingdom of Bohemia and the 
kingdom of Hungary — came to be united by political 
marriages of heirs and heiresses. As for the lesser 
peoples, they were mostly conquered by the Govern- 
ment either of the archduchy of Austria, the king- 
dom of Hungary, or of the two combined. Much 
of the south of the empire was conquered from the 
Turks, who played a very important part in the 
history of the Austrian dominions. It was, in fact, 
the common danger of the Turk that kept the Haps- 
burg dominions so closely bound together. During 
the eighteenth century the power of the Ottoman 
empire rapidly declined, and it was at the beginning 



of the nineteenth century, when the Turks were no 
longer a serious menace to any of the inhabitants 
of the Hapsburg dominions, that the separatist 
spirit first began to show itself in the Austrian 

The Imperial Government naturally opposed this 
tendency with all its might, and it may be said that 
as the nineteenth century progressed the question 
of how to preserve the fabric of the Austrian empire 
rose to the foremost place in the minds of its rulers. 
To counteract separatism, the Government relied, 
first, on the fidelity of a powerful army, and secondly 
on the lack of sympathy and co-operation between 
the different races. Had each section aimed merely 
at independence the combined effort of all the various 
groups might have proved successful, but their 
policy was complicated by the desire of some of the 
races to retain an ascendency over some of the others ; 
thus the Magyars, while desirous of independence 
for themselves, were anxious to have control over 
the neighbouring Roumans, Serbs and Croats, the 
Poles wanted to rule the Ruthenians, and the Germans 
of Vienna were loth to yield their supremacy over 
the Czechs of Bohemia. The difficulty of fixing 
definite boundaries between the territories of the 
races was another cause of disagreement between 
them. Well might the Austrian Emperor adopt as 
his motto the Latin maxim, " divide et impere ' 
(divide and rule). 

In the earlier part of the century the chief cause 
for anxiety came from the Magyars of Hungary; 
in the later part, after the Magyars had been pacified 
by the settlement of 1867, the greatest danger came 
from the Slavonic peoples. This was the result of 


the spread of the Pan-Slav movement, which aimed 
at the union of all the Slavonic peoples in a great 
federation where they would be free from the rule 
of any foreign race. The Pan-Slav, or All-Slav, 
movement was at first confined to a few intellectual 
and literary men, but it gradually spread its influence 
among the Slav peoples generally, and in 1848 a 
Pan-Slav Congress was held, under the protection 
afforded by the Bohemian Revolution, at Prague. 
The support of the Russian Prime Minister Gort- 
schakoff gave a great fillip to the movement, and in 
1867 another Pan-Slav Congress was held at Moscow, 
under the patronage of the Russian Government. 
By the end of the century the Slavonic danger 
was the greatest problem of the Austro-Hungarian 
Monarchy, and it was the Slav movement in the 
south which led to the outbreak of the great European 
war in 1914. 

During the later nineteenth century people were 
always expecting and prophesying the break-up of 
the Austrian empire, and the Government had to 
make great exertions to prevent this taking place. 
Early in the century the Emperor Francis had laid 
it down as a principle that the best means of pre- 
venting dissolution was to prevent any partial change 
in the empire, for, just as the English Tories of 1832 
felt that any tampering with the Constitution would 
pave the way for unbridled Democracy, so he felt 
that the first step towards change would open the 
gate for the Nationalist ideal to triumph. " My 
realm," he said, "is like a worm-eaten house; if 
one part is removed, one cannot tell how much will 

By dint of watchful severity, the Nationalist 


forces were kept in check for thirty years after the 
Vienna Settlement. The chief unrest came from 
Hungary, where it was largely an aristocratic move- 
ment of the Magyar nobles, and from the Italian 
provinces, where it was purely democratic. Italy 
had enjoyed a certain amount of liberty and self- 
government in the days of the Cisalpine Republic 
and the Napoleonic kingdom of Italy, and the 
Lombardo -Venetians resented bitterly the entire 
suppression of local liberties by Austria. But the 
first open rebellion against the rule of the Hapsburg 
was in Galicia, where the Poles raised the standard 
of independence in 1846. The Austrian Poles were 
few in number, and their mutual antipathy to the 
neighbouring Ruthenians provided the Government 
with ready allies on the spot. The defeated Poles 
sought refuge in the tiny republic of Cracow (a 
state established by the Vienna treaty of 1815), but 
the city was taken by Benedek (later in command 
at Sadowa), and the republic annexed to Austria. 

This rising was, however, but the prelude to the 
convulsions of the " year of revolutions," 1848. 
While the forces of Democracy were bursting out 
on all sides, the Nationalist movement found ex- 
pression in many places. Hungary demanded a 
self-governing Constitution, and Bohemia declared 
its separation from the Government of Austria. The 
Hungarian movement was immediately followed by 
a Slavonic movement in the south, where Serbs, 
Croats and Slovenes combined to form a " Triune 
Kingdom " with, a separate administration, a move- 
ment at once frowned upon by the Magyars, who 
wished to gain control of this outlet to the Adriatic. 
The three new revolutionary states — Bohemia, Hun- 


gary and the Triune Kingdom — still professed loyalty 
to the Hapsburg dynasty, and it was only when the 
Emperor Francis Joseph showed his determination 
to crush their efforts for liberty that the Magyars 
threw off his authority altogether and proclaimed 
their independence. It was otherwise with the 
Italian rebels of the south-west; the Venetians and 
Milanese from the outset declared their separation 
from the Hapsburg dominions. 

The failure of these four Nationalist revolutions 
well illustrates how mutual antagonism marred the 
success of the efforts of the subject races of the 
Austrian empire. The Emperor could at once call 
upon his German-speaking troops to move against 
the Czechs and the Italians, while the claims of the 
Magyars to rule over their neighbours provided him 
with willing allies in the Serbs, Croats, Slovenes and 
Roumans. Windischgratz reduced the Czechs to 
submission by the bombardment of Prague, Radetzky 
restored Hapsburg rule in the Italian provinces by 
the victories of Custozza and No vara. Hungary 
was invaded by a force of Germans which received 
the active assistance of the Roumans and the southern 

The Magyars of Hungary, however, were to put 
up a splendid resistance to their enemies. At the 
beginning of 1849 Windischgratz defeated their 
forces under Dembinski at Kapolna, and the Hun- 
garian capital, Buda-Pesth, was left in the hands 
of the Austrians. But under the able leadership 
of Arthur Gorgei, the Magyar forces recovered their 
position in a series of victories of which Godollo was 
the most important, and the invaders were driven 
from the country. So severe was the Austrian 


defeat that, although by this time the rest of the 
empire was secure, the Government despaired of 
reducing the Magyars without the assistance of an 
ally. The Czar Nicholas I had watched the Magyar 
progress with alarm as an encouragement to his own 
Polish subjects to do likewise ; earlier in the campaign 
he had allowed 3000 Russians to give some help to 
the Austrian garrisons in Transylvania ; he now 
came forward to offer the assistance for which Austria 
asked. Eighty thousand Russian troops under 
Paskievich now poured over the Carpathian passes, 
and large reinforcements soon followed. Against the 
overwhelming superiority of the Austro-Russian forces 
the Magyars could no longer hold out. A series of 
defeats culminated in their overthrow by the Austrian 
commander von Haynau at Temesvar, and five days 
later the Magyar forces surrendered to the Russians 
at Vilagos. Louis Kossuth, the political organiser 
of the Hungarian Revolution, fled into the Turkish 
dominions, and the independence of Hungary was 
crushed out with great severity by the thorough 
methods of von Haynau. 

By the end of 1849 the Austrian empire had 
triumphed over the forces of Nationalism, and the 
" worm-eaten house " had been buttressed up once 
more. It might have been expected that the Triune 
Kingdom would have received some recompense for 
its assistance against the Magyars, but it was held 
inadvisable to make any concessions whatever to 
Nationalism, and the independence of that creation 
disappeared with the triumph of Austria. For a 
dozen years the empire enjoyed a period of domestic 
quiet, broken only by the enforced cession of Lom- 
bardy after the war with Napoleon III in 1859. 


Hungary continued to be a source of alarm to the 
Emperor, and when he thought to conciliate the 
country by the restoration of the old Hungarian 
Constitution in 1860, the act was taken as a sign of 
weakness, and preparations for revolt once more 
began. By rigorous measures and a declaration of 
martial law the threatened revolt was suppressed, 
but the Magyars remained disloyal and ready for 
the opportunity of rising. There were many who 
thought that the Hungarians would have revolted 
during the war against Prussia and Italy in 1866, 
and for some time the King of Italy had been 
intriguing with them for a rebellion which would 
give him an opportunity of seizing Venice. Though 
there were unmistakable signs that the Magyars 
wished for the defeat of Austria, there was no actual 
rising, though as soon as the war was over, and the 
Austrian army had returned shattered and discredited 
from the Sadowa campaign, the national leaders of 
Hungary, Francis Deak and Julius Andrassy, at 
once demanded an independent administration for 
their country. 

It was almost certain that a refusal would mean 
armed rebellion, and after Sadowa the Emperor 
Francis Joseph felt very uncertain as to the efficacy 
of his army. At this juncture the Hungarian leaders 
appeared with the draft of a new Constitution which, 
though it deprived Austria of her supremacy over 
Hungary, at least promised that the two countries 
should be ruled by a common Government in matters 
of foreign, military and financial policy. Fearing 
the result of a war, the Emperor accepted their 
proposals, and in 1867 the empire was reconstructed 
as what came to be known as the Dual Monarchy. 



By this compromise the empire was divided into 
two parts, each with its own Parliament and adminis- 
tration ; the Austrian section included the lands 
just released from the German Confederation and 
the provinces of Galicia and Dalmatia; the Hun- 
garian section comprised the rest of the Hapsburg 
dominions. The empire of Austria and the kingdom 
of Hungary, thus separated, were to have a common 
minister of foreign affairs, a common minister of 
finance, and a common minister for war, while the 
Hapsburg ruler was to take the title of Emperor- 
King and be crowned at Buda-Pesth. Below the 
surface of this agreement between the two leading 
peoples of the Hapsburg dominions lay the under- 
standing that they should each in their own sphere 
of influence dominate over the lesser peoples. To 
make the work of the common central Government 
easier, it was arranged that each Parliament should 
elect a committee of sixty members who were to 
meet together annually to advise the ministers and 
to receive the instructions of the Emperor. 

Such in fact was the Constitution of 1867. It has 
several times been revised, but it has on the whole 
worked unexpectedly well. The two sections of the 
Dual Monarchy have still certain interests in common ; 
both are exposed to Russian aggression, both have 
large subject populations of discontented Slavs. By 
the arrangements of 1866, the Hapsburg dynasty 
had become more of a real protector to the Hungarians 
than formerly. Up to that date it had been primarily 
a German family; its interests were centred in 
Germany and the Germans, and the other races only 
occupied a secondary place in its policy. But after 
Sadowa it found itself shut out from the rest of 


Germany and from Italy, and its face was hence 
turned eastward and southward. It has, in fact, 
been said that since 1867 Austrian foreign policy 
has been largely subordinated to Hungarian foreign 
policy, particularly in the efforts made by the Emperor 
Francis Joseph to conquer the Serbians of the Balkan 
peninsula and to cut a way through to Salonica and 
the Aegean. 

Since 1867 a further factor has been introduced 
into the Austro-Hungarian nationality problem by 
the acquisition of the provinces of Bosnia and Herze- 
govina. These districts were taken over by the 
Dual Monarchy at the Berlin Treaty of 1878, and 
administered by the common Government of the 
Monarchy as a Protectorate. In 1908, by a treaty 
with Turkey, the rights of Protectorate were super- 
seded fey a definite annexation to the dominions of 
Austria-Hungary, and in this way some million and 
a half more Slavs were included within the limits of 
the Hapsburg dominions. 

This annexation coincided with the rise to self- 
reliance of the Balkan nations. Four years after 
there came the Balkan wars, in which the neighbour- 
ing state of Serbia achieved a double triumph, first 
over Turkey and then over Bulgaria. A new danger 
threatened the Dual Monarchy. For the victorious 
Serbians, coming back from their successes in the 
south, turned their faces northwards, and openly 
declared their purpose of eventually absorbing their 
kinsmen across the Danube and the Drina, who 
were to be rescued by the Serbian arms from the 
yoke of Austria-Hungary as their other kinsman 
had just been rescued from the Ottoman tyranny. 
This boastful language evoked an enthusiastic response 


in Bosnia and Slavonia, and a corresponding alarm 
at Buda-Pesth and Vienna. The sudden emergence 
of Serbia as a rising military state was objectionable 
to Austria-Hungary for another reason. There had 
long been a scheme on foot for the extension of 
Austro-Hungarian influence, if not of the dominions 
of the Monarchy, southwards along the valleys of 
the Drin a, the Morava, the Drin and the Vardar to 
Durazzo and Salonica ; and this sudden rise of a go- 
ahead military state across the way south threatened 
to put an extinguisher on these plans of expansion. 
Austrian influence had prevented the extension of 
Serbia to the sea, for she had threatened war if the 
Treaty of Bucharest (which ended the Balkan struggle) 
stipulated for such an extension of Serbian power. 
The open propaganda, of the " Narodna Odbrana," 
or Serbian patriotic society, which preached a 
crusade against Austria as the enemy of Serbia, 
completed the determination of the Government of 
the Dual Monarchy that Serbia must feel the weight 
of Austrian arms. 

These facts made an Austro-Serbian war almost 
inevitable, and Serbia made haste to assure herself 
of a powerful ally, without whose aid she must 
necessarily collapse before the might of her great 
northern neighbour. That support was extended to 
her by the empire of Russia, one of the Powers of 
the Triple Entente, and thus the Serbian national 
movement became dovetailed into the greater political 
rivalries of Europe. 

The occasion of the declaration of war between 
Austria and Serbia was to be very striking. The 
Emperor Francis Joseph had reached the age of 
eighty-three, and his death had been for some years 


expected. His heir was his nephew, the Archduke 
Francis Ferdinand, who was generally believed to 
be admirably fitted, by a long course of political 
experience, for the task of handling the difficult 
problems of the Dual Monarchy. The next heir 
was this man's nephew, a much younger man without 
very much political experience and almost unknown 
in Austria-Hungary, who it was believed would 
require some years' more experience before he could 
be considered really capable of a secure handling of 
Austro-Hungarian policy. As the old emperor, who 
had held the reins of power for sixty-five years, was 
not expected to live long, it was universally hoped 
by the supporters of the Dual Monarchy that the 
life of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand would be 
prolonged until his successor should have time to 
gain a greater acquaintance with the problems of 
his future dominions. These hopes were rudely 
shattered when, on June 28, 1914, the Archduke 
was assassinated at Serajevo by Princip, a young 
Serbian enthusiast whose hatred of the prince as 
a strong anti-Serbian dictated this great crime. 
Fury against the nation to which the murderer 
belonged and in whose interest the crime had been 
committed now rose to its height in Austria-Hun- 
gary, and an ultimatum was dispatched to Serbia 
demanding a disavowal of the anti -Austrian policy, 
the dissolution of the Narodna Odbrana, the insti- 
tution of proceedings against those suspected of 
complicity in the Serajevo crime, and, above all, 
permission for Austro-Hungarian officials to enter 
Serbia and '' collaborate in the suppression of the 
subversive movement directed against the territorial 
integrity of the Monarchy." This last demand was 


rejected by the Serbian Government, who, however, 
agreed to the other articles of the ultimatum. 
Austria, nevertheless, insisted on the debated clause, 
which would have imposed a great humiliation on a 
free and independent kingdom, and, on the refusal of 
Serbia to comply, Austria -Hungary declared war on 
Serbia on July 28, 1914. The ultimate problem 
of Austro-Hungarian Nationalism was left to be 
solved by the issue of the great European war. 



Turning from Austria-Hungary to the Balkan 
peninsula we find the same state of affairs, but with 
very important local differences. And in tracing the 
history of Nationalism in this part of Europe we shall 
see how its forces were successful in disintegrating a 
large and united empire. 

In only a very small part of the Turkish empire of 
1815 was the bulk of the population Turkish, namely 
in the immediate neighbourhood of Constantinople 
and in the flat lands of the Dobrudja. The Greeks 
occupy the southern parts of the peninsula and a large 
portion of the JEgean and Black Sea coastlands. In 
the west are the Albanians. Between the iEgean and 
the Danube the bulk of the population are Bulgars, 
while the north-west is occupied by the Serbs. Across 
the Danube are the Roumans of Wallachia and Mol- 
davia. Of these races, which are very much inter- 
mixed in the border districts, the Greeks and Albanians 
are very much akin to one another, and both are 
considered distant relatives of the Roumans in the 
north, though the similarity is remote. The Serbs 
and Bulgars, however, are very much alike, though 
there has always existed a jealousy between the two 
races which has been intensified by their recent 
political separation and the wars of 1885 and 1913. 



The Turks bear no resemblance to any of the other 
races of the Balkans. 

This last fact is one of great importance. For in 
consequence the Turks have been detested by their 
subject peoples in a way that the Hapsburgs and their 
German friends never were in Austria-Hungary. 
This hatred has been intensified by religious differ- 
ences. In the Hapsburg empire the religious ques- 
tion has not complicated the problem of Nationalism, 
as all its subjects have been united under the wing of 
the Catholic Church, but in the Balkans the Turks 
have always been represented, not merely as an 
intruding Asiatic people, but as the enemies of the 
Christian religion. Some of the Albanians, known as 
the Arnauts, have embraced the Mohammedan faith, 
but elsewhere in the Balkans a common Christianity 
has acted as the strongest bond of union between the 
subject peoples and has prevented the Ottoman 
Government from adopting the Hapsburg device of 
using one subject race to crush another. This extreme 
racial and religious bitterness, too, in combination 
with the wild and backward nature of the moun- 
tainous Balkan lands, has given to Balkan warfare a 
character of ferocity and barbarity which has often 
aroused the horror of the more civilised countries of 

It must always be remembered that the Balkan 
provinces were only part of the Turkish empire, 
which extended over Asia Minor, Armenia, the valleys 
of the Euphrates and Tigris, Syria, the coasts of the 
Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, Egypt, Tripoli, and 
nominally over Algiers and Tunis as well. Hence 
came the large supplies of men who filled the Turkish 
army and kept the Christian populations down. It 


was as though the Hapsburg emperor had been able 
to command the armies of the whole German Con- 
federation for the suppression of his Magyar, Italian 
and Slavonic revolts. 

The recent history of the Turkish Empire, too, has 
a special character in that it has been so frequently 
exposed to the single or collective interference of 
the great European Powers. Partly because of their 
natural antipathy to an Asiatic and Mohammedan 
intruder, partly as a result of the system of collective 
benevolent supervision instituted by the Holy Alliance 
(see p. 172), but mainly on account of the self-seeking 
greed and mutual rivalries of the Powers, the great 
states of Europe have, since 1815, constantly inter- 
fered in the affairs of the Ottoman empire. The 
decline of Turkish power had been rapid during the 
eighteenth century, and by the beginning of the 
nineteenth it was generally believed that the Ottoman 
empire was rotten and ready to fall to pieces at the 
first blow from a strong European Power. The 
anticipated scramble of the Powers for the spoils of 
Turkey kept European Governments uneasily busy 
all through the century, and it always came as a great 
surprise when the Turks managed to show by their 
successful defensive operations in war that, although 
their capacity for aggression was gone, they still 
possessed vigour enough to put up a stout defence. 

The two Powers most interested in the Turkish 
empire were naturally Russia and Austria, whose 
dominions abutted on those of the Sultan. The 
Russians were anxious to increase their territories at 
Turkey's expense, both towards the lower Danube 
and along the other end of the Black Sea in the 
Caucasus region. A fictitious document known as 


" the will of Peter the Great " called upon the suc- 
cessors of that monarch to carry the Russian standard 
to Constantinople, an achievement which the great 
Napoleon had once declared would give Russia the 
mastery of the world. Russia, too, had put herself 
forward as the special protector of the Balkan Chris- 
tians, which she had a good claim to do, seeing that 
the latter belonged to that Greek Church which was 
established in Russia alone of the great European 
states. By the Treaty of Kutchuk Kainardji of 
1774 the Czarina Catherine II had secured concessions 
for the Christians of the Balkan provinces, and this 
fact was later on to give Russia an excuse for extend- 
ing a claim to a virtual protectorate over them. 
Austria's aims lay further west, in Serbia and Bosnia, 
though she was fearfully jealous of any extension of 
her eastern neighbour's influence towards Constanti- 
nople. England and France, though not particularly 
ambitious of annexing Turkish provinces, were never- 
theless anxious to prevent any other Power, especially 
the great eastern empire of Russia, from annexing 
any. Prussia, until the later part of the century, 
expressed little interest in the distant Balkans. 

At the time of the Treaty of Vienna the Turkish 
empire was distracted with the revolt of the Serbs in 
the north-west, who were trying to attain the inde- 
pendence enjoyed by their kinsmen of the little 
mountain principality of Montenegro, which had 
never been annexed to the Ottoman dominions. This 
revolt, which had been slowly bubbling up and down 
for a dozen years, was ended in 1817 by the grant of 
local self-government to the most resolute of the 
rebels, those of the Morava valley, which was now 
formed into an independent principality under the 



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Illyrians {Albanians) ¥,''/'//'2/%, 





successful swineherd Kara George. Four years later 
the Balkans were convulsed by the terrible Greek 

This revolt, which on account of its occurrence in 
the land of the Classics excited an extraordinary 
interest throughout Europe, was organised by the 
' Hetaireia Philike," a patriotic society which aimed 
at the restoration of Greek independence. The first 
outbreak, under Hypsilanti, failed because the rebel 
leaders organised their forces on the friendly soil of 
Russia and tried to cut their way through the Rouman 
and Bulgar districts before they reached Greece. But 
the second outbreak of 1821, centring in the Morea, 
was immediately successful, the Turkish troops being 
driven back into Albania. The massing of Moham- 
medan troops upon the revolted districts then followed, 
but the mountainous and difficult nature of the land, 
and the occupation by the Greek sailors of the numerous 
islands of the iEgean, enabled the rebels to carry on a 
guerilla warfare which seemed to defy suppression. 
For six years the war raged under conditions of hideous 
ferocity on both sides, thousands of non-combatants 
being put to the sword without mercy. By the year 
1827, however, the rebellion seemed to be at last on 
the point of suppression, the task of reducing the 
brigand bands of the Morea being entrusted to the 
Egyptian contingent under Ibrahim Pasha. 

At this juncture Russia entered the arena, declaring 
that she came to rescue the Christians of Greece from 
Mohammedan oppression. The other Powers at once 
took alarm ; they sympathised with Greece, yet they 
did not want to see Russian influence increase in the 
Balkans. England and France therefore declared 
that they had as much right to have a finger in the 


pie as Russia had, and proposed a joint intervention. 
Russia did not see her way to refuse co-operation, 
and by the Treaty of London of 1827 the three Powers 
undertook to effect a settlement in the revolted areas. 
Turkey chose gallantly to face war rather than to 
allow outside Powers to interfere with her domestic 
concerns, and military and naval operations at once 
commenced. In 1827 the allied fleet, under the 
English admiral Codrington, shattered the Turkish 
squadron off Navarino, and in the following year a 
French army of 14,000 landed in the Mcrea. This 
saved the Greeks but did not reduce Turkey to 
submission. It was not until the Russian general 
Diebitsch, in the summer of 1829, marched into the 
heart of Turkey and forced the Balkan passes that the 
Sultan Mahmud II accepted the Peace of Adrianople. 
By this treaty the southern portion of Greece, includ- 
ing the classic city of Athens, was erected into a self- 
governing kingdom, but under Turkish protection. 
At the same time Russia secured for the Roumans of 
the north the establishment of two self-governing 
principalities, Moldavia and Wallachia, which were to 
be ruled by native Rouman princes. This arrangement 
was made with the idea of weakening Turkey's power 
of resistance on the north-eastern frontier. As the 
Treaty of Adrianople was negotiated entirely by Russia, 
the other two Powers felt slighted and discredited. 
They therefore insisted upon asserting their influence 
by gaining for Greece still better terms ; after long 
negotiations the Sultan was prevailed upon to grant 
the total independence of Greece in 1832. The Greeks 
chose as their first king Otto, son of the King of 
Bavaria, but after a long reign he fell out with his new 
subjects, and in 1862 was deposed; the crown of 


Greece was then conferred upon George, son of the 
Danish heir-presumptive and brother of the English 
Queen Alexandra. 

Though Nicholas I of Russia prophesied the speedy 
decease of Turkey, " the sick man of Europe," there 
were no further risings of importance in the Balkan 
provinces of the Ottoman empire for more than a 
generation. It was fortunate for the Turks that 
there were not, for during this period they had to 
face other revolts in Egypt and Syria and a serious 
war with Russia in 1853. This arose out of the 
Russian claim to a protectorate over the Balkan 
Christians. In the course of some negotiations about 
the rights of Christian pilgrims at Jerusalem, Russia 
put forward this extravagant interpretation of the 
treaty of 1774. To enforce his claims, Nicholas I 
occupied the Rouman principalities with an army, and 
Turkey forthwith declared war. As a protest against 
Russian aggression England and France joined the 
Turks, and the Crimean War was the result. The 
Russians were defeated on the Danube and in the 
Crimea, and were obliged to yield their extreme 
claims by the Treaty of Paris of 1856. 

The year 1875 saw the beginning of a great Slavonic 
revolt against the Turkish rule. The rising began in 
the province of Herzegovina and spread into Bosnia 
and Macedonia ; the rebels defeated the Turkish troops 
at Nevesinje and captured the fortress of Nikshich. 
Encouraged by these successes, the Prince of Serbia 
declared war against his suzerain the Sultan and 
placed his troops at the disposal of the rebel cause. 
Not to be outdone by a rival Serb dynasty, the Prince 
of Montenegro (now King Nicholas) declared war also 
against Turkey. The Bulgars then joined in the 


rebellion, while the Greeks and the Roumans began 
to make warlike preparations. It was said that the 
last hours of the " sick man of Europe " had come. 
But that hardy old invalid had a good deal of fight 
left in him ; summoning up troops from his Asiatic 
dominions, the Sultan Abdul Hamid II, who had just 
succeeded to the throne after a domestic revolution 
at Constantinople which added still further to the 
Turkish difficulties, struck hard at the rebels. The 
Serbs were routed after a five days' battle at Alexinatz, 
and the Prince of Serbia made peace, leaving the 
Bulgars to be suppressed with atrocities as dreadful 
as those they had themselves perpetrated on the 
Turks. By the beginning of 1877 the triumph of 
Turkey seemed complete, when there appeared once 
more upon the scene the benevolent friend of the 
Balkan Christians — Russia. 

The advance of the Russian army changed the 
aspect of affairs. Though the Turks put up a brave 
defence on the Danube, when Osman Pasha distin- 
guished himself by a five months' resistance behind 
the mud walls of Plevna, their lines were forced and 
the enemy pushed on to the Balkan mountains. 
Roumania, which had become a single state by the 
voluntary union of the principalities in 1862 (ruled by 
a relative of the King of Prussia), joined the Russians 
on their first appearance on the frontier, the Serbs 
again rose, and early in 1878 Greece also declared war 
on the unfortunate Sultan. The Russian hosts proved 
too strong for the Ottomans ; Gourko forced the 
Balkan passes and descended into the plains of 
Roumelia. There a ten days' battle at Philippopolis 
ended in the defeat of the Turks, and the Porte (the 
Turkish Government) sued for peace. With the 


Russian army within sight of the towers of Constanti- 
nople, the Sultan accepted the Treaty of San Stefano 
in March 1878. 

The terms of the Treaty of San Stefano were briefly 
as follows : Russia got a slice of Roumania and a new 
province beyond the Caucasus ; Roumania, Serbia 
and Montenegro were all to receive a considerable 
extension of territory, while the overlordship of the 
Sultan over the two former was abolished ; Bulgaria 
became a self-governing principality, dependent on 
Turkey, but with a constitution framed by Russia ; 
Bosnia and Herzegovina were to form a self-governing 
state under the joint protection of Russia and 
Austria ; finally, the fortifications on the Danube, 
which had proved an obstacle in the way of the 
Russian advance on Constantinople, were to be razed. 
But if the rebel races had found an ally in one 
Power, the Turks were now to find an ally in other 
Powers, for the triumph of Russia, as always, evoked 
the active opposition of Austria and England. It 
was declared that this treaty, by cutting European 
Turkey into two irregular and separate fragments, 
would virtually annihilate her as a European state, 
while the " Big Bulgaria " was declared to be a mere 
cloak for a Russian protectorate which would come 
within striking distance of Constantinople. Time 
was to show that when once their independence of 
Turkey was assured, the small Balkan states would 
not be the docile puppets which Russia hoped they 
would be, but in 1878 it was universally believed on 
both sides that this subservience would be the result ; 
hence the violent opposition of Austria and England. 
For a time the situation looked serious and war seemed 
imminent. A congress of the Powers was called, and 


English Miles 






met at Berlin. Here it became certain that persist- 
ence with the Russian plans would mean a war against 
Austria, England and Turkey, and on second thoughts 
Russia agreed to a modification of the San Stefano 

The result was the Treaty of Berlin of July 1878 : 
Russia kept her territorial gains, though the port of 
Batum was to be unfortified; Roumania, Serbia, and 
Montenegro were to be enlarged and independent, 
but their territories were to be considerably less than 
under the earlier treaty ; Bulgaria was reduced to less 
than half her originally intended size, but a portion 
of the Bulgar territory was formed into a second 
Bulgar state called Eastern Roumelia, whose governor 
was to be nominated by the Sultan ; Bosnia and 
Herzegovina were to become an Austrian protec- 
torate, and the seaport of Spizza was to be annexed 
to Austria-Hungary. A supplementary treaty, not 
signed till 1881, brought the Greek boundary north 
to include Thessaly and part of Albania. Thus was 
established that political settlement of the Balkans 
which was not essentially altered till another generation 
had elapsed. 

The Bulgarian Constitution was completed, under 
Russian direction, in 1879, and Prince Alexander of 
Battenberg (brother of Admiral Prince Louis), a 
German, but a nephew of the Czar, was elected Prince 
of Bulgaria. From the first, however, the new state 
adopted an independent attitude, refusing to be 
guided by Russian advice and aiming at the creation 
of a strong, self-supporting Bulgar empire. After 
some years of military preparation, the Prince opened 
negotiations with the smaller Bulgar state, Eastern 
Roumelia, which resulted in the union of the two 

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countries and the expulsion of the Turkish Governor 
under circumstances of unnecessary and childish 
insult. A war with Turkey was expected, but, to 
every one's surprise, the Sultan contented himself 
with protests, while it was Serbia that drew the sword. 
Neither of these two Slavonic states had been con- 
tented with the frontier assigned them by the Powers 
at Berlin, and jealousy of this new success of Bulgaria 
drove King Milan of Serbia (who had adopted the 
royal title in 1882) to a declaration of war. The 
Serbians, however, were defeated at Slivnitza, and 
peace was restored on the mediation of Austria- 
Hungary. Meanwhile in Russia a burst of annoyance 
had occurred at the ungrateful independence of the 
Balkan protege, and plans were formed for the recon- 
struction of the Bulgarian Constitution. A rather 
foolish plot to kidnap the Prince succeeded in terrify- 
ing him into abdication in 1886, but the Bulgarians 
proceeded to elect as their ruler Prince Ferdinand of 
Saxe-Coburg, another German who had no ties to 
Russia. Under his rule the independent spirit of the 
country increased to such an extent that a few years 
later, when it was suggested that Russia should create 
a self-governing principality on the borders of Turkey 
in Asia, the Government of Nicholas II declared that 
they did not wish to see " a new Bulgaria in Armenia." 
It is this fact, and not the sentimental sympathy for 
the harassed Bulgarians, that makes the ' Jingo ' 
war-policy of 1878 seem absurd to present-day 

Meanwhile the Nationalist spirit began to develop 
a further forward movement in the newly liberated 
states. Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, all declared that 
they would not be content until they had united all 


their kinsmen under their sway. Troubles broke out 
again in the Turkish provinces, particularly in Mace- 
donia, where brigand bands terrified whole districts 
and worked no end of havoc. In 1897 Greece went 
so far as to declare war on Turkey, with the object of 
securing control of the island of Crete, now in revolt 
against the Sultan's rule. The Greek troops were 
easily routed by the Turks, but once more the Powers 
interfered and saved Greece from the consequences of 
her rashness. Crete received self-government, under 
a high commissioner selected by the Powers. But 
the collapse of the Greek army in 1897 did not dismay 
the Government of King George, and preparations 
were made for another struggle in the near future. 

It was, however, obvious that any movement 
against Turkey must, to be successful, be either con- 
certed by all the Balkan states or else supported, as 
in 1877, by some outside Power. These little countries 
had never quite liked the thought of having had their 
independence presented to them by outsiders, when 
their own efforts to win freedom by the sword had 
met with an ignominious end. They now determined 
to form a league among themselves which would be 
sufficiently strong and well prepared to tackle the 
Turkish empire without any help from the Powers. 
This league was formed by the states of Bulgaria, 
Serbia, Greece and Montenegro ; Roumania had no 
more to gain from Turkey, and was not included in 
this alliance. Bulgaria, meanwhile, had come into 
line with her allies by the adoption of a royal title by 
Prince Ferdinand, who in 1908 took the title of " Czar 
of Bulgaria " (since altered to " Czar of the Bulgars "). 

At the end of 1912 the Balkan League took up arms 
for the achievement of its Nationalist aims. Their 


success, due to their long preparation for the struggle, 
was as remarkable as, and in fact bore many resem- 
blances to, the victorious career of the Germans in 
France in 1870. The Turks were defeated in every 
engagement. While the Serbs routed one of their 
armies at Kumanovo and occupied Skoplje, the 
Greeks won the victory of Gribovo and forced their 
way to Salonica, and the Bulgars, after a preliminary 
success at Kirk Kilisseh, completely defeated the 
main Turkish army at Lule Burgas. Overthrown in 
the open field, the Turks retired to the security of 
their fortifications, behind the lines of which they 
made a more stubborn defence. After great efforts 
the Bulgars, assisted by the Serbs, reduced the great 
fortress of Adrianople, while the Montenegrin army, 
after an equally severe struggle, compelled the sur- 
render of Scutari. The main forces of the Sultan were 
now reduced to holding Gallipoli and the little penin- 
sula on which their capital is situated, and here, after 
tremendous efforts of the Allies to pierce through, the 
Tchatalja lines proved an effective barrier to further 
progress. Finding it a harder task than they had 
looked for to get to Constantinople, the League now 
opened negotiations for peace, and a treaty was drawn 
up by which the Turks agreed to hand over all their 
territory in Europe, with the exception of the coast- 
lands of the Sea of Marmora and the important 
fortified posts which command the entrances of the 
Dardanelles and the Bosporus. 

No sooner did the Allies see the fruits of their labour 
within their grasp than they at once proceeded to 
quarrel over the spoils. There had been an ugly race 
between the Bulgar and Greek troops to be the first to 
seize the important seaport of Salonica, and when both 


forces were cantoned in the town there occurred some 
unpleasant incidents of friction between the two 
races. The Bulgars now brought down the wrath of 
the other members of the League on their heads by 
demanding more of the conquered territory than the 
others thought fair; and when the others refused to 
agree to the Czar Ferdinand's plans they were told 
that Bulgaria would secure their accomplishment 
with the sword. Bulgaria had an army which was 
almost as large as the combined forces of all the other 
allies, but the balance was definitely cast against 
them by the sudden entrance of Roumania upon 
the scene. The second Balkan war was soon over. 
Driven in at all points, the too-ambitious Bulgars 
were forced to submit, and after a vast amount of 
further argument and haggling the Treaty of Bucharest 
was drawn up and signed in the summer of 1913. One 
event of ironical bitterness robbed the League of part 
of its spoils . Whilst the Allies were engaged in cutting 
each other's throats, the Turks quietly marched a 
strong force out from the Tchatalja lines and took 
possession of that fortress of Adrianople that had 
cost the League so much blood. 

The Treaty of Bucharest recognised the restoration 
of Turkish rule at Adrianople; Bulgaria was given 
the rest of Roumelia ; Greece took southern Macedonia 
and Salonica, with the island of Crete; Serbia was 
awarded northern Macedonia, with Skoplje; Monte- 
negro got a few small inland towns ; Roumania was 
compensated for her share in the recent operations 
by a slice out of the north-east of Bulgaria, including 
the fortress of Silistria. The Albanian districts, 
which, divided among the Christian and the Moham- 
medan population, had hardly shown any real desire 


for a national organisation, would have been par- 
titioned out between Serbia, Greece and Montenegro, 
had it not been for the warning voice of Austria. 
Under threat of war, the Balkan states were obliged 
to agree to the Austrian plans for the settlement of 
Albania. This province, which was to include the 
hard-won fortress of Scutari and to shut out Serbia 
from the sea, was raised into an independent state, 
under a ruler called the " Mpret " or Prince. The 
throne was offered to and accepted by a German, 
Prince William of Wied, but, after a brief experience 
of attempting to govern a land which was distracted 
by civil strife between Christians and Mohammedans, 
that gentleman abdicated the uneasy throne, leaving 
his kingdom a prey to mere anarchy. 

The treaty concluded in 1913 satisfied hardly any 
one in the peninsula, and it was considered on all 
hands to be merely a temporary settlement. But 
it must be considered as another great step in the 
evolution of the Balkan nationalist question, as it 
has brought the national ideal nearer of achievement. 
The new frontiers of the states coincide, if not exactly, 
at least roughly with racial boundaries, though the 
bitter feeling which exists in the mixed border dis- 
tricts is a factor which does not make for permanent 
peace in the land. The outbreak of the European 
war in 1914 found the Balkan states alive with 
unfulfilled ambitions, and there was a universal 
feeling that the general conflict would soon embrace 
the whole of the peninsula. Serbia, whose relations 
with Austria initiated the great struggle, was dream- 
ing of a Serb empire which would embrace Bosnia, 
Herzegovina and Slavonia, with an outlet westwards 
to the Adriatic Sea ; Montenegro was burning to 



English Miles 

SO 100 150 SOO 


n i i a <"• J? 




regain Scutari ; Bulgaria was smarting under her 
recent defeat, and specially vindictive against Serbia ; 
Roumania was turning eager eyes to her kinsmen 
across the Carpathians. Turkey, too, who had 
recently found a new friend in the German empire, 
was inclined to strike a blow to regain what she had 
lost, and the advantages promised by the Kaiser 
William from the formation of a Turko-German 
alliance soon led to the entrance of the Ottoman 
empire into the war as the ally of Germany and 

The opening of the war, then, which almost at 
once involved three Balkan states — Serbia, Monte- 
negro, and Turkey — seemed to presage a further 
violent reconstruction of the political balance in the 
peninsula, and we cannot say that the ' Eastern 
Question " — as it has always been called by the 
statesmen of Europe — had yet by any means been 
brought to a final and a satisfactory solution. 



We have just been considering some of the main 
developments of two of the great forces which have 
moulded the recent history of Europe — Democracy 
and Nationalism. We must now turn to the third 
great force of the age — International Rivalry. This, 
of course, has always existed since the beginning of 
things, though since the beginning of the Recent 
Period it has received some new characteristics 
from the development of the Industrial Revolution 
and the working of the forces of Democracy and 

At the end of the eighteenth century the chief 
factor in international politics was the rapid and 
vigorous expansion of the power of France. Under 
the First Republic, and later under the Emperor 
Napoleon, France became the leading Power of 
Europe, and in fact threatened to become the ruler 
of the whole Continent. This dangerous upsetting of 
the Balance of Power provoked the combination of 
all the other states in a great effort to throw off 
the supremacy of the upstart empire, and the result 
was the overthrow of Napoleon and the restriction of 
the boundaries of France under the Treaty of Vienna 
in 1815. The history of the late wars had shown the 
necessity for co-operation between the great states, and 



the lessons learnt in this period were remembered 
after the conclusion of peace. 

The result was the development of the idea of the 
" Concert of Europe." Under this theory the great 
Powers were to be linked together in an amicable 
federation for the preservation of peace and order ; 
expensive and wasteful wars were to be thus avoided, 
and mutual discussions of the whole European society 
were to take the place of the self-interested snarling- 
matches which led up to and provoked hostilities ; 
the lesser states could be kept in order by the common 
protectorate of their powerful neighbours ; the forces 
of disorder and revolution could be kept down by a 
common and united effort of the leading Governments. 
These results were sincerely hoped for by many 
enthusiasts when, in 1815, the Czar Alexander I, at 
the suggestion of the religious revivalist, Baroness 
von Kriidener, proposed the formation of a " Holy 
Alliance ' between the great Powers which was to 
be cemented by the recognition of a common Chris- 
tianity. The Czar's proposals met with some support 
and resulted in the establishment of a league which 
was to include all the sovereigns of Christendom, 
great and small alike. The Holy Alliance was joined 
by almost all the European princes, most of whom 
regarded it as a mere pious formality without any 
serious meaning. It was rejected alone of the Chris- 
tian states by the United Kingdom and the Papacy, 
our Government adopting the view of Lord Castle- 
reagh that it was " a piece of sublime mysticism and 
nonsense," while the Pope refused to join a league 
founded by a prince who was not a Roman Catholic. 

But while the Holy Alliance was no more than a 
ceremonial expression of an ideal, there was at the 


same time a movement among the great Powers which 
seemed to promise the establishment of the ideals of 
the " Concert of Europe." This was an alliance signed 
by Russia, Austria, Prussia and the United Kingdom, 
while it was intended that as soon as France had paid 
up her war indemnity she too should be included. 
This Quadruple Alliance of 1815 thus became a 
Quintuple Alliance in 1818, and was familiarly known 
as " the Pentarchy." One of the proposals of the Czar 
Alexander was for periodical congresses, at which 
the current European questions could be discussed 
between the Powers, to the avoidance of isolated 
attempts at aggrandisement which usually led to war. 
The only chance this plan had of succeeding was 
if it could be agreed among all the Powers that the 
decisions of the majority should always be accepted, 
and that such decisions should be enforced if necessary 
against refractorv members of the Alliance bv the 
united forces of the others. But while it was com- 
paratively easy to gain the consent of all to a common 
action in the settlement of questions mainly affecting 
the little states of the Continent, it was quite another 
matter when the affairs of one of the members of 
the Alliance came under discussion. A great Power 
could not be expected to give up its domestic freedom, 
or its liberty of action in foreign policy either, for the 
sake of a new ideal of universal peace ; the Alliance, 
too, was so small that the " minority " on any question 
was usually strong enough to defy coercion except 
at the expense of a great and costly war. It was 
obvious, then, that as soon as the national interests of 
any of its members were seriously threatened by the 
decisions of the Alliance, the Pentarchy would fall to 
pieces at once. 


For a few years, however, the Alliance seemed to 
work fairly smoothly. Four congresses were held, 
all of which resulted in the adoption of resolutions 
which were actually carried out. The first of these 
congresses, held in 1818 at Aix-la-Chapelle, debated 
the question of the admission of France to the 
Alliance and matters relating to the war indemnity 
and the military occupation of that country. The 
other three were summoned to deal with the revolu- 
tionary unrest in the south of Europe ; the Congress of 
Troppau of 1820 authorised Austria to undertake the 
suppression of the Neapolitan Revolution by force; 
the Congress of Laibach of 1821 confirmed the action 
of Austria in Naples and directed the Hapsburg army 
to march to the assistance of the King of Sardinia 
against his rebellious subjects ; the Congress of 
Verona of 1822 authorised France to suppress the 
Spanish Revolution . So far the ' ' Concert of Europe ' 
seemed to have been singularly successful. 

But there were already, before the conclusion of 
the Congress of Verona, signs of the real weakness of 
the Concert of Europe. When the Greek insurrection 
broke out, Russia asked that she might be allowed to 
intervene in the Balkan peninsula, in the same way 
that Austria and France asked for the right of invad- 
ing Italy and Spain. Here, however, she at once ran 
up against Austrian jealousy ; Metternich declared 
that the Turkish empire was on a different footing 
to Naples, Sardinia or Spain, and that the Greek 
revolt was to be regarded as " beyond the pale of 
civilisation." Russia's plans of intervention were 
defeated for the time being, but as the Greek revolt 
continued, Russia's patience could no longer be con- 
trolled. The conciliatory Czar Alexander I died in 


1825, and the more resolute and pushing Nicholas I 
declared his intention of intervening in the Balkans 
in despite of any protests of the other Powers. The 
result was the compromise of 1827, by which England, 
France, and Russia were recognised as jointly em- 
powered to intervene in Turkey, but the Eastern 
Question had definitely broken up the effective 
co-operation of the Pentarchy. 

And yet, though it was the Eastern Question that 
wrecked the smooth course of the Concert of Europe, 
it was strangely enough in connection with that same 
Eastern Question that the fiction of the Concert 
was longest maintained. For the prospect of the 
dissolution of the Ottoman empire and a scramble 
for the spoils between the great Powers kept all the 
diplomats of Europe active, and each Power was so 
jealous of its rivals and afraid of other Powers taking 
an undue share in the destruction of Turkey and 
the partition of its provinces that the theory of the 
European Concert was always invoked to prevent 
isolated action by rival Powers. We may follow up 
this Eastern Question and see how it affected the 
international relations of the Powers of Europe. 

The joint intervention of the three Powers in Greece 
in 1827 resulted in the Treaty of Adrianople, in which 
Russia stole a march on her allies. Public attention 
was now switched away from European Turkey 
to the Asiatic provinces, where Mehemet Ali, the 
Khedive or hereditary Governor of Egypt, was trying 
to build up a southern Mohammedan state. After 
some striking military successes the rebel prince 
advanced through Asia Minor towards the Bos- 
porus, and for a moment it seemed as if Mehemet 
Ali would totally overthrow the Sultan Mahmud II 


and establish himself, not merely as ruler of Egypt, 
Syria and Asia Minor, but of the whole Turkish 
empire, which would be thus united more strongly 
than under the existing Sultan's rule. A curious 
political phenomenon now startled and amused the 
public of Europe. In the previous few years Russia 
had appeared as the enemy of Turkey, desirous only 
of weakening and partitioning her, while France and 
England had for forty years more or less consistently 
upheld the integrity of Turkey against Russian aggres- 
sion. But since the triumph of Mehemet Ali would 
mean the consolidation of the Turkish empire under 
a strong and bold ruler, his success was ardently 
wished for by France and England, who gave him 
a considerable amount of encouragement in his cam- 
paign against the Sultan. Mahmud II, despairing of 
defending himself against the victorious rebel, looked 
round for an ally, whom he found in Russia, to whom 
the triumph of Mehemet Ali meant the strengthening 
of the state she herself wished to weaken. ' A 
drowning man," said Mahmud, " will clutch at a ser- 
pent," and the world beheld the unusual spectacle 
of Russia supporting the Sultan of Turkey against 
a rebel whose banners were upheld by England 
and France. In reality there was no change of 
policy, for Russia had always supported the idea of 
a weak Turkev while the other two Powers were the 
consistent supporters of a strong Turkey. 

The Russo-Turkish alliance enabled Mahmud to 
arrange a satisfactory treaty with Mehemet Ali, who 
had to content himself with the provinces of Egypt, 
Syria, Cilicia and Crete. There was now peace for 
some years, broken only by a petty war in Cilicia 
between the two rival Mohammedan princes, but 


during these years England underwent a change of 
policy. Seeing that her support of the Egyptian 
Khedive had been unavailing, and that Russia had 
committed herself to the support of the old Turkish 
empire, England suddenly abandoned Mehemet Ali 
and called upon Russia to act with her in support 
of a strong Turkish empire under its old dynasty. 
This encouraged the Porte to declare war on Mehemet 
Ali, but the Turkish forces were again beaten. Eng- 
land now joined Turkey in arms, and Russia, not 
wishing to crush the Khedive too much but keep 
the Turkish dominions divided, rather unwillingly 
followed suit ; Austria and Prussia were induced to 
give their approval to the Sultan's cause, and a fleet 
and army of English and Austrians were sent to the 
help of the Turks. France alone, which had entered 
into very friendly relations with the new Egyptian 
state, held aloof. The Anglo-Austrians captured 
Acre and Beyrout, Mehemet Ali was reduced to sub- 
mission, and the Treaty of London of 1841 confined 
him to his old province of Egypt. 

The next phase of the Eastern Question was 
that arising from the Russo-Turkish quarrel over 
the meaning of the Treaty of Kutchuk-Kainardji. 
Russia insisted upon her protectorate over the Balkan 
Christians being recognised by Turkey, and in 1853 
war resulted (see p. 154). As usual, the Turks put 
up a good defensive fight, and held the line of the 
Danube, but the Russian naval victory at Sinope in 
the Black Sea exposed the shores of Turkey to an 
invasion at any point, and the Turks felt obliged to 
ask help from France, Austria and England. In 
1854 Napoleon III of France, anxious to initiate 
his empire with a wreath of military glory, only too 



readily declared war on Russia "to avenge 1812," 
and England, seriously alarmed for Constantinople, 
joined him. Sardinia, for reasons before mentioned, 
came into the alliance in 1855, while Austria, half 
afraid to expose her frontiers to invasion and half 
grateful for the Russian help against the Magyars five 
years before, but jealous as ever of Russian influence 
in the Balkans, adopted a curious attitude of pro- 
Turkish neutrality. 

The plans of the Allies — England, France, Turkey, 
and, later, Sardinia — were to destroy the Russian 
commerce and navy and then to make a series of 
raids all round the fringe of that vast eastern empire. 
The example of 1812 prevented any attempt at an 
invasion of the inner parts of Russia. And indeed 
the Allies found quite enough to occupy them in the 
work they had undertaken. Though in the Baltic 
the Aland Islands were captured and the Finnish 
port of Kola was destroyed, the allied squadrons were 
repulsed from Kronstadt and distant Petropavlovsk, 
while in Armenia the Russians crossed the Turkish 
frontier and captured Kars. The main forces, how- 
ever, were concentrated on the Crimean peninsula, 
where the Russian fortress of Sebastopol made a 
famous defence. The city held out for nearly a year, 
during which several pitched battles were fought in 
its neighbourhood — at the Alma, at Balaclava, at 
Inkermann, at the Tchernaia — in all of which the 
Allies were successful. On the fall of Sebastopol the 
Russians agreed to treat for peace, and the result was 
the Treaty of Paris of 1856. The Russian claims 
over the Balkan Christians were repudiated ; the 
Black Sea was closed to both Turkish and Russian 
warships, and all fortifications on its shores were to 



be dismantled ; Russia ceded to the principality of 
Moldavia (subject to the Turkish Protectorate), a 
strip of territory along the lower Danube; and the 
navigation of the Danube was to be free to all nations, 
under the regulation of an International Committee 
appointed by the Powers. The Black Sea restrictions 
were afterwards removed by the Treaty of London of 

The next occasion on which the Eastern Question 
brought about a European crisis was in 1877, when 
the revolt of the subject nationalities brought Russia 
once more into the field. As we have seen, the 
Russo -Turkish war of that year ended in the Treaty 
of San Stefano, which brought England and Austria 
into the field. War with these two Powers was only 
avoided by Russia's timely concessions, and the 
Treaty of Berlin terminated the crisis. The rivalry 


of Austria and Russia now became more acute than 
ever, for there now occurred a definite shifting of the 
balance of political influence in the Balkans. By 
the independent movement in Bulgaria Russia was 
deprived of her influence in the east, while the annexa- 
tion of Bosnia and the formation of the Albanian 
state gave Austria a footing in the west such as Russia 
had not enjoyed in the palmiest days of her influence 
in the peninsula. It was the Eastern Question, too, 
that led to the opening of the great war of 1914, 
though the situation in the Balkans only provided 
part of the grounds of conflict which were to embroil 
the greater part of Europe. 

While at one end of Europe the Eastern Question 
formed a subject of perpetual discord among the 
Powers, at the other end of the Continent there was 
another centre of disturbance, namely France. It 
may seem strange to suggest that after the wonderful 
period of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars the 
France of the ensuing period was a danger to Europe, 
but it was precisely because of the memory of the 
great days of Austerlitz and Jena, of Wagram and 
Borodino that the other Powers thought that France 
was still a dangerous neighbour long after the defeats 
of Leipzig and Waterloo. As long as Louis XVIII 
and his brother reigned the Powers felt a certain 
amount of trust in them, though not in the nation 
they ruled, and when in 1830 the people rose and set 
up a new popular sovereign in the person of Louis 
Philippe, there was a general feeling of apprehension 
at what France was going to do in foreign policy. 
This alarm was all the greater in that the accession 
of the Orleanist king coincided with the Belgian 
Revolution, when the southern Netherlands threw off 
the rule of the Dutch royal family and declared their 


independence. The rebels offered to confer the crown 
of Belgium on a prince of King Louis Philippe's 
family, and the old apprehensions of French aggression 
in the Netherlands once more arose. In the face of 
the protests of Europe the offer was declined, and the 
crown of Belgium conferred upon a German prince. 
Alarm was renewed when, in 1831, French troops 
entered Belgium to assist the rebels against the 
Dutch, and particularly when France suggested that 
she might be allowed to " rectify her frontier " by 
annexing some of the Belgian towns. On this occa- 
sion Lord Palmerston declared that England could 
never consent to allow France to annex even " a 
cabbage garden or a vineyard " in Belgium. Louis 
Philippe, however, did not press the question, and the 
fears of Europe over the Belgian matter died down. 
Great Britain even went so far as to allow the river 
Scheldt to be opened and Antwerp to become once 
more a great seaport, on condition that Belgium 
remained independent of foreign control. 

As Louis Philippe began his reign with alarming 
the fears of Europe, so he ended his reign with 
another incident of this sort. This time the scene of 
action was Spain. An arrangement was made for 
the marriage of an Orleanist prince to the heiress- 
presumptive of the Spanish throne, and Europe was 
once more in a state of wild alarm. Shortly after 
this, however, occurred the revolution which drove 
the Orleanist dynasty into exile, and there remained 
no fear that. the court of Spain would act readily 
in concert with the revolutionary Government of 
the Second Republic. All these things, however, 
tended to keep alive the fear of a revival of French 

The accession to power of the nephew of the great 


Napoleon did nothing to soothe these apprehensions. 
In fact the new ruler of France deliberately adopted 
a policy of military enterprise. He first interfered 
in the dominions of the Sultan, where he claimed 
for France certain rights of protection over the 
Christian Churches of Jerusalem, and when Russia 
entered upon war with the Turks he organised the 
Alliance which conducted the war of the Crimea 
from 1854 to 1856. When this war was concluded 
Napoleon III looked round for further opportunities 
of fighting, and in 1858, by the compact of Plombieres, 
agreed to interfere in Italy for the benefit of Sardinia. 
There followed the Italian war of 1859, the battles 
of Magenta and Solferino, and the Treaty of Zurich. 
The ambition of the new Napoleon now turned across 
the Atlantic, where an opportunity arose for the 
invasion of Mexico. That turbulent republic found 
itself unable to pay its debts, and so in 1861 a joint 
intervention was planned by Great Britain, France 
and Spain. The troops thus sent out remained on 
the Mexican coast until a satisfactory financial 
settlement was made, but when the English and 
Spanish soldiers went home, the French remained, 
and it was soon seen that Napoleon had further 
designs on the country. In 1863 he obtained the 
consent of a party of Mexican malcontents to the 
establishment of a Mexican empire, under a nominee 
of Napoleon's, Maximilian of Austria, brother of 
the Emperor Francis Joseph. The new sovereign, 
supported by the French troops, made his entrance 
into the city of Mexico in 1864, and a war commenced 
between his supporters and those of the republic. 
For three years Maximilian retained a precarious 
position on the Mexican throne, until in 1867 the 
United States entered the lists. The Americans 


had, since 1823, adopted the principle of President 
Monroe, that no further increase of European influence 
in America should be allowed : when the French 
troops established themselves in Mexico the United 
States had been engaged in civil war, but as soon as 
these domestic troubles were over, President Johnson 
demanded the withdrawal of the French from North 
America. Unwilling to embark in a distant war 
with so powerful a country as the United States, 
with its seasoned and victorious army of that time, 
Napoleon ignominiously withdrew his support from 
Maximilian, who was forthwith defeated by the 
Mexican republicans, captured and put to death. 

We have seen how France intended to intervene 
in the Austro-Prussian war of 1866, and how the rapid 
victory of the Prussians ended the war before Napo- 
leon had an opportunity of coming in. Disappointed 
by this rebuff and humiliated by the crowings of 
boastful Yankees over the Mexican fiasco, the French 
Emperor devoted himself to the task of preparing 
for a big war with Prussia. That war came in 1870, 
and resulted in the total defeat of the French and 
the overthrow of the Emperor Napoleon III. The 
fears which had not been dispelled by Leipzig and 
Waterloo at last disappeared after Sedan and the 
Treaty of Frankfort. 

But the same shifting of the balance of power 
which reduced the strength of France to moderate 
proportions brought about a corresponding increase 
in the strength of another Power — the new consoli- 
dated empire of Germany. Until after the Franco- 
German war it had not been realised how strong 
Germany was growing. Had the other Powers had 
any insight into the consequences of the iron system 
of Bismarck, they would never have allowed Prussia 


to obtain control over the South German states and 
annex Schleswig-Holstein and Alsace-Lorraine to 
the new empire. But it was not to be foreseen at 
that time that after the victory over France and 
the consolidation of the new empire Germany would 
set itself down to a quiet, leisurely, persevering and 
thorough preparation for the day when she should 
startle and convulse the globe with an almost super- 
human effort to grasp the sceptre of the world. 
Just as the statesmen of the early seventeenth century, 
stirred by the memories of Philip II, persisted in 
regarding decadent Spain as the danger of Europe 
whilst France was rising under the guidance of 
Richelieu and Mazarin to a position of supremacy on 
the Continent, so the statesmen of the later nine- 
teenth century, looking backwards at the days of 
Napoleon I, failed to realise that it was no longer 
France but Germany that was a menace to the 
balance of power. 

The rise of Prussia to the supremacy of Germany 
has already been traced through the steady progress 
of the Danish war of 1864, the Austrian war of 1866 
and the French war of 1870. After the last of these 
struggles, it was generally anticipated, both within 
Germany and without, that the new empire, having 
obtained its unity and its freedom from foreign 
intervention from north, east or west, would settle 
down to peaceful commercial, literary and musical 
pursuits . Both Bismarck and the old Kaiser William I 
repeatedly declared their satisfaction and content 
with the boundaries and power of the new state. 
As always in history, aggressive developments have 
a defensive side to them, and the passage of the new 
comprehensive Conscription law by France in 1875 
led to a further increase in German armaments and 


talk of an immediate war to prevent France strength- 
ening herself for " the revenge ' about which so 
many French statesmen were talking. But no new 
war took place, and when Bismarck presided over 
the Congress of Berlin, after the Russo-Turkish war 
in 1878, Germany only appeared as an unambitious 
and disinterested mediator among a set of grasping 
and greedy Governments. It was universally felt 
that there was no danger to be apprehended from 

And as long as Bismarck retained the reins of 
power, the opinion of Europe on this point was 
probably correct. Like Cavour in Italy, the " Iron 
Chancellor " felt that he had a mission in life, and 
when that mission, the union of Germany under 
Prussian leadership, was fulfilled, he did not wish 
to embark in new schemes of wild aggression. He 
formed the Triple Alliance with Germany and Italy 
as a defensive measure against the attempted revenge 
of France and the threat of Russian Pan-Slavism. 
He entered into a separate treaty with Russia in 
order to prevent a war with that Power. He always 
expressed the firmest friendship for England. Had 
not France been exasperated by the loss of Alsace- 
Lorraine he would have doubtless tried to establish 
an agreement with the Government of the Republic. 
As it was, he gave cordial support to the development 
of- the French colonial empire in Asia and Africa, 
and urged France to find compensation in big new 
provinces abroad for the loss of a district which, he 
declared, had only been taken by Germany to secure 
her Rhenish frontier from attack. 

In 1888 died the Kaiser William I, at the advanced 
age of ninety. He was followed to the tomb in a 
few weeks by his son, the Emperor Frederick, who 


left the crown to his son William II, then twenty- 
nine years of age. It soon became apparent that 
a change of policy was going to take place. After 
a series of disputes with the minister who had made 
Germany what she was, the new Kaiser dismissed 
Bismarck from office in March 1890. At the same 
time the Emperor refused to renew Bismarck's treaty 
with Russia, and initiated a course of naval expan- 
sion and preparation the first stroke of which was 
the acquisition of the British island of Heligoland, in 
exchange for the German rights over Zanzibar and 
the adjacent African coast. This treaty evoked in 
England the self-satisfactory observation that we 
had got a new suit in exchange for a trouser button ; 
twenty-five years later it was discovered how useful 
a trouser button may be on occasion. 

The developments of the next two decades gave 
a decided indication how things were going with 
Germany. Whilst the population and prosperity 
of the country increased by leaps and bounds, the 
army and navy were still further extended. The 
German Navy League organised a great movement 
for the building of warships, and Germany for the 
first time became a sea Power, under the naval 
administration of von Tirpitz, appointed Minister 
of Marine in 1897. A German squadron appeared in 
the Far East, where in the same year the port of 
Tsing-tao was acquired by treaty with China. German 
emissaries appeared in the Turkish empire with 
railway schemes and commercial plans, and steps 
were taken to secure the alliance of the state that 
held Constantinople and the Dardanelles. By the 
beginning of the twentieth century it was clear that 
the danger to the European balance of power now 
came from Germany. 



While the Powers of Europe were engaged in 
watching one another's movements on the Continent, 
there was another sphere of rivalry in which conflict 
took place — the colonial sphere. At the beginning 
of the century England alone of the Great Powers had 
anything like a colonial empire. Of the second-rate 
states Spain, Portugal and Holland possessed exten- 
sive colonies ; no other European state had more than 
a few isolated posts abroad. The old colonial system 
still held good, namely that all colonial trade remained 
entirely in the hands of the country to which the 
colony belonged. This restriction w T as very irksome 
to the colonists, and a vast amount of contraband 
trade between the colonies of different states went 
on. One set of settlements, those planted by the 
English on the Atlantic seaboard of America, had 
thrown off the rule of the mother country altogether, 
and thus had secured, besides political independence, 
liberty of trade with all nations as well. The example 
of the United States of America undoubtedly suggested 
a similar movement in other colonial communities, 
and when Napoleon conquered Spain and set up 
Joseph Bonaparte as king, the Spanish colonies took 
advantage of the fact to revolt, at the same time 
opening their ports to foreign commerce. 



So popular in the Spanish colonies was the new 
system, that when the Treaty of Vienna restored the 
legitimate dynasty of Spain, the colonists demanded 
the continuance of their trade with foreign countries. 
The Spanish Government, however, refused to con- 
sent to this, in the interests of the Spanish shipowners, 
and the result of this refusal w T as a colonial revolt. 
Unfortunately for Spain, she had not the resources 
for conquering the vast, thinly peopled and unmapped 
areas of Central and South America, and not being 
willing to relax her commercial system, she lost her 
colonies. One after another, in the years following 
1815, her dominions on the mainland raised the 
standard of revolt, until the loss of Peru in 1826 left 
her without a foothold on the American continent. 
The revolted colonies were formed into separate and 
independent republics, now represented by the 
fifteen states of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, San 
Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, 
Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina 
and Uruguay. 

The neighbouring Portuguese colony of Brazil 
acted with the Spanish colonies. When Napoleon's 
armies overran Portugal, the Portuguese royal family 
sought refuge in their colonies, and even after the 
restoration of their European kingdom they still 
continued to reside in Brazil until 1821, when the 
clamours and threats of their subjects at home com- 
pelled King John VI to return to his palace in Lisbon. 
The thought of being again governed from Europe 
and perhaps losing their trade privileges now in turn 
drove the colonists to rebel, and as the King could not 
conveniently live in two places at once and had not 
the means of reducing Brazil with Portuguese troops 


or Portugal with Brazilian troops, he was obliged to 
consent to the separation of his dominions. To make 
the separation as little effective as possible, he per- 
suaded the Brazilians to accept as their ruler his son 
Pedro, who was crowned Emperor of Brazil in 1822, 
while it was arranged that Pedro's son and daughter 
should inherit Brazil and Portugal respectively. 
Although the separation of the countries was thus 
perpetuated, the Brazilians were never quite satisfied 
with even this slight tie with the mother country; 
the new emperor and his son were somewhat despotic 
men ; the former was compelled to abdicate the 
throne in his son's favour in 1831, and the latter 
(who rejoiced in the imposing name of Pedro John 
Charles Leopold Salvador Bibiano Francis Xavier 
de Paul Leocadio Michael Gabriel Raphael Gonzaga), 
was also driven out of the country by a revolution 
which took place in 1889. Since that date Brazil 
has been a republic. The republic of Paraguay, 
originally part of the Portuguese dominions, estab- 
lished its independence under the adventurer Francia 
in 1815. 

When Spain and Portugal had lost their colonies 
in America, the position of the European states as 
regards oversea dominions was as follows : Great 
Britain had her Canadian settlements, a large part of 
India, Ceylon, Cape Colony, New South Wales and 
British Guiana, along with smaller places such as 
Gambia, Sierra Leone, Jamaica and the other British 
West Indies ; Holland ruled over the Spice Islands, 
Sumatra, Java and much of the Malay Archipelago, 
with part of Guiana; Portugal had settlements on 
the east and west coasts of Africa, with smaller 
colonies like Goa and Madeira ; Spain still held Cuba, 


the Philippines and the Adrar coast in West Africa ; 
France held Cayenne in South America, and a couple 
of West Indian islands. Prussia and Austria were not 
colonising Powers, and the Russian expansion over 
Siberia can hardly be called colonial. 

During the greater part of the nineteenth century 
Great Britain had no serious rival in the colonial 
sphere. She increased her dominions in India ; she 
occupied the whole of the continent of Australia ; 
she took over New Zealand ; she pushed the Canadian 
boundary across to the Pacific; she founded new 
colonies in Ashanti, Natal, Hong-Kong, the Straits 
Settlements. In fact, the only other power that 
seemed to have any interest in oversea colonising 
was France, who occupied Algeria in 1830, Tahiti in 
1842, Senegambia in 1860 and Cochin-China in 1862, 
besides other settlements of minor importance, like 
Nossi Be and the Marquesas. By land, Russia 
pushed on her conquests in Asia, reaching Vladi- 
vostok in one direction in 1860, and Samarkand in 
another in 1868. The advance of Russia into Central 
Asia caused great alarm in the minds of English 
statesmen, who saw in this advance a menace to 
India, but the other Powers paid little attention to it. 

The year 1884 marks an epoch in the history of 
European colonisation. For at this date Bismarck 
initiated a policy of annexations which was to 
develop into a scramble for land in the other con- 
tinents which soon left hardly any parts of Africa, 
and as little as could be managed of Asia, under 
their original native rulers. These annexations were 
suggested to him by the renewed colonial activity of 
France and England. In 1881 France extended her 
sway over the African state of Tunis, and in the 



following year England secured control over Egypt, 
while France embarked on a scheme for extending 
her influence in the neighbourhood of Cochin-China. 
In 1882 the German Colonial Union was formed to 
encourage colonisation. In 1884 the first German 
colony was established at Angra Pequena Bay, in 
South-West Africa. 

Anxious that Germany should not be left in the 
lurch while other Powers were increasing their terri- 
tory, Bismarck now looked round for other opportuni- 
ties of German colonisation. The settlement at Angra 
Pequena was organised as German South- West Africa, 
the occupation of Togoland and the Cameroons fol- 
lowed. Next year, in 1885, German East Africa was 
founded, and extended northwards into the Witu 
district. At the same time the north-east coast of 
New Guinea was annexed, and the Marshall Islands 
occupied. In 1888 the Bismarck Archipelago was 
added to the German empire, and named after its 
greatest statesman. Under the rule of William II 
Germany obtained Heligoland, in exchange for her 
rights over Witu and Zanzibar, Tsing-tao in China, 
and the Caroline, Pelew and Marianne Islands by 
purchase from Spain in 1899. 

The sudden advent of Germany as a colonial Power 
awoke the jealousy of France. A force was at once 
dispatched to seize the untouched strip of coast 
between the Cameroons and the Portuguese colony 
of Angola. This part of Africa was formed into 
the colony of French Congo. In other directions, 
too, French enterprise found scope for extension. 
In 1894 a French column occupied Timbuktu; two 
years earlier another force reduced the natives of 
Dahomey, while other settlers raised the tricolour on 


the Ivory Coast. The whole of the western Sudan 
was soon under the influence of France, and means 
were found of joining this area up with the French 
Congo. In 1885 a protectorate was established over 
Madagascar, which was definitely annexed ten years 
later. In Asia the Republic extended its control 
over Annam in 1883 and Tonkin in the next year, 
while somewhat later a treaty with Siam increased 
the French possessions in the valley of the Mekong, 
much to the irritation of England. This Anglo- 
French colonial jealousy came to a crisis in 1898, 
when the occupation of the Sudanese fort of Fashoda 
by Major Marchand, a French explorer, threatened 
to upset the planned annexation of the whole district 
recently conquered from the Mahdi by England. The 
withdrawal of the French left the eastern Sudan to 
Great Britain, but it was some years before the ill- 
feeling arising out of this incident was forgotten. 

At the beginning of the twentieth century France 
began to make advances towards the conquest of 
Morocco. This was treading on the toes of Germany, 
who had also decided upon advances in Morocco. 
The result of the ensuing dispute was the calling of a 
Conference of the Powers at Algeciras in 1905, which 
left Morocco open to the peaceful penetration of all- 
comers, but recognised the right of France and Spain 
to a sort of joint protectorate there. The claims of 
Germany were again raised in 1911, and were only 
bought off by the cession of an enormous slice of 
French Congo. At the price of losing 100,000 square 
miles of territory elsewhere France at last obtained a 
definite protectorate over the greater part of Morocco. 

Colonising energy spread from France to the king- 
dom of Italy, whose thoughts were first turned to this 


sphere of action by the establishment of the French 
protectorate in Tunis. In fact, the Italians felt 
themselves cheated of a possible field for expansion 
by this move of the French Republic, and for some 
years the incident caused bitter ill-feeling between the 
two countries, an ill-feeling which was one of the causes 
of the formation of the Triple Alliance. A rush to 
secure some part of the African continent now took 
place. In 1882 Italians occupied the harbour of 
Assab, three years later Massowa was taken from 
the natives, and in 1890 the colony of Eritrea was 
constituted. The native Arabs resisted, but were no 
match for the European invaders. In 1889 a second 
colony had been formed on the southern Somali coast. 
There followed an intermittent war with the Abys- 
sinian highlanders of the hinterland, in the course of 
which Italy experienced a defeat which made a pro- 
found impression throughout the world as a symptom 
of the virility of the non-European races. In 1896 
General Baratieri led a force of 20,000 Italians against 
an enemy four times as numerous at Adowa ; the 
result, which the disparity of numbers did something 
to account for, was a terrible defeat, the invaders 
losing 6000 men and all their artillery. The battle 
of Adowa secured the independence of Abyssinia, 
which was recognised by a treaty of peace shortly 

At the beginning of the new century plans were 
formed for the conquest of Tripoli, which was still 
administered by officials of the Sultan ; a Turko- 
Italian war followed in 1911, when the naval pre- 
dominance of Italy secured the conquest. Before 
Turkey had agreed to recognise the Italian victory 
the Balkan war broke out, and the Sultan, now 

1V1I € A 


British 1 

French I 

German J 

Italian Iiiiliiiil:;li::!l 

Spanish I=£^L=.=j 

threatened by dangers nearer home, at last ceded 
Tripoli, subject to a nominal suzerainty, in 1912. 


One of the places where the Abyssinian victory of 
Adowa made an impression was in distant Japan, 
where a non-European race was likewise threatened 
by the advances of a European Power. In 1875 
Russia had occupied the island of Sakhalin, though 
she withdrew her claims to the neighbouring Kurile 
Islands on the protest of the Japanese. After the 
war between Japan and China in 1894, the Russians 
stepped in to prevent the fortress of Port Arthur 
falling into Japanese hands, and, much to the Mikado's 
disgust, then proceeded to occupy the town herself. 
The presence of the Russians in Port Arthur was 
regarded by Japan alike as a mark of humiliation 
and a menace, and, like Germany in 1862, she set 
herself steadily to prepare for a life-and-death struggle 
with the great European intruder. Meanwhile the 
Russians completed their great Trans-Siberian rail- 
way which was connected up with both Vladivostok 
and Port Arthur. At last, when Russia, having 
established a protectorate over Manchuria in 1900, at- 
tempted to do the same thing in Korea, the Japanese 
declared war, in 1904. 

It was at first much doubted if the oriental state 
was capable of standing against Russia's might, but 
for the last thirty years Japan had opened her gates 
to the full flood of modern European influence, and 
had adopted the machinery, the methods and the 
system of a Western state. And, though the magni- 
ficent old nobility, the Samurai, had been shamefully 
deposed from their position of martial pre-eminence, 
owing to the introduction of European democratic 
ideas, their brave spirit still animated many of the 
officers and soldiers of the Mikado Mutsu-Hito. The 
Russians, operating in a district many hundreds of 


miles from their homeland, were defeated in engage- 
ment after engagement, at Liao-Yang, at the Sha-Ho, 
at Mukden, whilst their fleet proved equally unable 
to beat the Japanese. When Port Arthur fell to 
General Nogi, the Far Eastern squadron fell into 
Japanese hands, and when the Russian Baltic fleet, 
after a long journey round the Cape of Good Hope, 
reached the Far East, it was annihilated by Admiral 
Togo in the great naval battle of Tsu-Shima. After 
this, Russia, who had little heart in the war, professed 
herself ready to negotiate for peace, and by the Treaty 
of Portsmouth (in the United States) the war was 
brought to an end in 1905. The Japanese obtained 
Port Arthur and the southern half of Sakhalin, with 
a protectorate over Korea and southern Manchuria. 
Thus after a cost of over 200,000 Japanese casualties, 
Russian progress in the Far East was brought to a 

In other directions, however, the Russians continued 
to extend their sphere of influence. In 1884 Merv in 
the Turcoman district was occupied, and in the next 
year the seizure of the Afghan town of Penjdeh nearly 
led to war with Great Britain, who again felt uneasy 
about her Indian possessions. In 1893 the greater 
part of the Pamir plateau was added to the dominions 
of the Czar, and Russian influence began to make itself 
felt in Persia. Here again, by approaching India from 
the west, British interests appeared to be threatened. 
But in 1907, when a common fear of Germany had 
brought the two Powers nearer together, a treaty 
between Great Britain and Russia was signed at 
Petersburg, by which their interests in the Middle 
East were defined. Both nations were excluded from 
aggression in Tibet, Afghanistan was recognised as an 


English protectorate, Persia was divided into three 
parts — a Russian sphere of influence in the north, a 
British sphere of influence in the south-east, and a 
joint sphere of influence over the rest of the country. 

Austria-Hungary alone of the Powers has not be- 
come a colonising nation ; her oversea dominions 
consist of the ice-bound rocks of Franz Josef Land, 
ten degrees under the north pole, discovered by the 
Austrian explorer Payer in 1872. But there has been 
one noteworthy new colonial development which has 
been directed by one of the minor states of Europe. 
In 1876 the International African Association was 
formed under the direction of Leopold II, King of the 
Belgians, for the development of the Congo basin. 
In 1885, at a conference held at Berlin, the Belgian 
king obtained the permission of the Powers to erect 
its settlements into a " Congo Free State " under 
Leopold's protection. The administration of this 
sovereign was characterised by a slackness which 
allowed a great deal of unnecessary cruelty to the 
natives, but his death in 1909 resulted in the estab- 
lishment of direct Belgian control under an agreement 
concluded twenty years earlier. 

By the beginning of the twentieth century there 
was hardly any part of the land surface of the globe 
that was not under the influence and direction either 
of European states or of states of European origin. 
The largest of the remaining areas, where the native 
peoples still retained independence, was the Chinese 
empire, where, with the exception of northern Man- 
churia, the Asiatic rulers still held unfettered sway. 
Japan alone of the non-European states can be held 
to rank as a Power. Siam retains an independent 
existence, while the mountain tribes of Nepal and 


Bhotan in the Himalayas, also preserve a nominal 
independence. The Turkish empire can hardly be 
called a European state, and the deserts of central 
Arabia have not been taken under European control. 
In Africa Abyssinia keeps the flag of native indepen- 
dence flying. We must not forget to add the two 
republics of Liberia and Hayti, in West Africa and 
the West Indies respectively, formed for the benefit 
of liberated negro slaves. 

A word must be said as to the colonial states that 
have thrown off their connection with Europe. The 
struggling republics of South and Central America 
have never yet been powerful enough to exert much 
influence in the world, but the United States of 
America, with its vast population and its tremendous 
natural resources, must be reckoned one of the Powers. 
Though not a military nation, the " Americans " — 
for they have succeeded in monopolising the conti- 
nental adjective — have developed a powerful navy? 
and they have shown excellent fighting qualities on 
occasion. The gradual consolidation and centralisa- 
tion of the states, especially since the great Civil 
War between North and South in 1861-1867, has 
increased their united influence enormously, as their 
expulsion of the French from Mexico, their conquest 
of Cuba, Porto Rico and the Philippines from Spain 
in 1898, and their efforts to effect the transference 
of the Dominion of Canada from the British empire 
to their own have conclusively shown. 

The great developments of the Industrial Revolu- 
tion have so altered and improved our means of com- 
munication that the furthest parts of the habitable 
globe are now within easy and rapid reach of Europe. 
Colonies are now no longer far-away lands with 


but little influence on continental politics ; they are 
living members of the European states system, and 
as such have more and more to be taken into account 
by the statesmen of the age. When war broke out 
in 1914 fighting was seen, not only in France and 
Belgium, in Poland and Galicia, but all over the face 
of the globe — in West Africa, in East Africa, in South 
Africa, in the Far East, in the Malay Archipelago, 
in the South Atlantic, in the Pacific. The Foreign 
Ministers of Europe no longer confine their attention 
mainly to territorial adjustments on the Continent ; 
the age of World-Politics has begun. 



One of the chief characteristics of recent European 
history has been the development of huge military 
establishments, to such an extent, indeed, that the 
period from 1871 to 1914 has been called that of the 
Armed Peace. In earlier centuries the resources of 
the European states allowed none of them to keep 
up a very large army in time of peace, and even dur- 
ing a war there were not the facilities for equipping, 
feeding and managing more than a limited number 
of men. It was considered wonderful, for example, 
that France should be able to get together a quarter 
of a million men in the eighteenth century. But 
with the development of resources under the influence 
of the Industrial Revolution it became possible to 
increase the forces at the disposal of Governments to 
a hitherto undreamt-of size. 

France set the example, during the Revolutionary 
war, of first applying a law of Conscription. Attacked 
on all sides by what looked like an invincible coali- 
tion of European states, forced to stand up against 
the united strength of Germany, Austria, the Nether- 
lands, Italy, Spain and Great Britain, the French 
found salvation in the adoption of the principle that 
for the preservation of the safety and the forwarding 
of the interests of the state it is the duty of the citizens 
to fight for their country. At first this principle was 



announced merely as a theoretical proposition, as it 
was hoped that the ensuing response of the nation to 
provide volunteers would be enough to secure the 
safety of the Republic. In 1792 thousands of men 
presented themselves as volunteers at the army depots 
of France, and many new regiments were formed. But 
the result was far from what had been expected; 
the men who offered their services contained among 
their number many sincerely patriotic and self- 
sacrificing enthusiasts, but by far the greater number 
consisted of unemployed, wastrels, and adventurers, 
filled with political zeal for the Revolution and amen- 
able to no real discipline. The new troops refused 
to obey their officers, behaved badly on the field of 
battle and deserted in large numbers. The general 
report of the commanders was that the volunteers of 
1792 were altogether unsatisfactory, if not worthless. 
The Government now fell back upon more business- 
like measures. Already the principle of national 
service had been declared by an order to the army 
officials to make a return of able-bodied citizens 
suitable for the army ; in 1793 the first real Conscrip- 
tion law was passed. All Frenchmen between the 
ages of eighteen and forty were to be held ready for 
service, and the recruiting officers were to make a 
preliminary selection of half a million conscripts. 
The danger of the military situation justified the 
measure, but so new was the idea that it provoked an 
outburst of opposition from hundreds who preferred 
the risk of national defeat to the risk of personal 
injury or death. In the Royalist districts, where 
the people had no sympathy with the Republic and 
hoped for the success of the enemy, the attempt 
to force them to risk their lives for a Government 


they hated provoked a rebellion — this was the chief 
cause of the insurrection in La Vendee. The Jacobin 
Government compromised ; while insisting on the 
carrying out of the Conscription, they passed a 
new law later in the year restricting the choice of 
the recruiting officers to men between the ages of 
eighteen and twenty-five. By the beginning of 1794 
France thus had 770,000 men under arms. The total 
collapse of the Coalition followed. 

The troops thus raised proved sufficient for the 
occasion, and no fresh conscription was held for five 
years. The war ended, except as against England, 
whose troops dared not at that time show their noses 
on the Continent. The army was allowed to dwindle 
owing to losses, dismissals, desertions and the dis- 
patch of Bonaparte's expedition to Egypt, until it 
was reduced to its normal peace establishment. 

On September 5, 1798, accordingly, a new Conscrip- 
tion law was passed, by which all French subjects 
between the ages of twenty and twenty-five were 
made liable to be called up. This famous law formed 
the basis of the French system of national defence 
until the year 1870. The rigour of its application 
varied with the times. Napoleon I in his last years 
of power called up not only the conscripts legally 
due for service at the time of action, but anticipated 
the course of time by calling out those who would 
become old enough for service in succeeding years. 
This accounts for the youth of the soldiers seen in 
the French ranks in 1813, 1814 and 1815. In times 
of peace and economy vast numbers of exemptions 
were granted, and Napoleon III preferred to have a 
smaller but better trained army rather than a larger 
and less expert force. 


In response to the new system established in France 
the other Powers had to follow suit, if they wanted 
to be able to meet France on equal terms. Prussia 
and Austria adopted the Conscription system after 
the campaigns of Austerlitz and Jena, the Prussian 
army being reorganised by Scharnhorst, the Austrian 
by Count Stadion and the Archduke Charles. Russia 
then adopted a system of compulsory recruiting 
which her vast population made comparatively easy. 
In 1812 one recruit was taken out of every twenty- 
five heads of the population, and in later and more 
peaceful days the proportion of conscripts was very 
much smaller. Britain alone of the Powers did not 
adopt compulsion. 

The period from the Revolutionary and Napoleonic 
wars to the Franco -German war may be termed the 
period of the old Conscription. The period of the 
new Conscription begins with Bismarck's army re- 
forms of 1862. At that date it was computed that 
of 156,000 Prussian subjects who annually became of 
military age only 40,000 were recruited. The new 
law provided for the enrolment of some 25,000 more 
annual conscripts, and at the same time the period of 
service was lengthened. We have seen how bitterly 
the people and the Parliament of Prussia opposed 
these measures, but after Sadowa a reaction set 
in, and the nation expressed its approval of what 
Bismarck had done by a parliamentary vote of 230 
to 75. After the war of 1870, France declared it 
necessary for her security that she should increase 
her forces, and immediately after the conclusion of 
peace measures were taken to include as many young 
Frenchmen as possible in the lists of the Conscription. 
On March 13, 1875, was passed the law which corre- 


sponds in the new Conscription to the law of Septem- 
ber 5, 1798, in the old Conscription. Virtually universal 
service was established, and this being imitated in 
Germany and other states of Europe, it became the 
custom to pass, by means of a short-service system, 
the whole of the manhood of the country through 
the national army. Almost every European state 
adopted the theory and practice of universal service, 
Great Britain alone, placing her entire reliance on 
her fleet, refusing to fall in with the general current. 

When the available armies of the nations now 
numbered millions, it was obvious that warfare would 
be a more enormous and terrible business than ever, 
and there were many who saw in the common exposure 
of whole nations to the " moving accidents of flood 
and field " the best security for the keeping of the 
peace. But the mutual fears and conflicting interests 
of nations were to prove more powerful than the 
airy philanthropic philosophy of idealogues and the 
short-sighted materialism of individuals, and in the 
result the rival states were able to fling at each other 
vaster masses of armed men than on any previous 
occasion in history. 

After the Franco-German war Bismarck's aim was 
to prevent France from being able to have that 
" revenge " about which her people were almost at 
once talking. To secure this result, Bismarck aimed 
at isolating France by coming to a good understanding 
with all the other Powers of Europe. England, the 
traditional enemy of France, was friendly ; Italy, her 
ally of 1866, was also friendly and even disposed 
for the renewal of the alliance ; Russia dreaming of 
Pan-Slavism, and Austria-Hungary still smarting 
from Sadowa, were the dangerous Powers. Again 


Bismarck's statecraft achieved a remarkable triumph. 
As in 1870. he made the most of the rivalry of these 
two states in the Balkan peninsula. Austria was 
now being violently nudged by her emancipated 
partner Hungary to attract her attention to Russia's 
schemes of aggrandisement in the direction of Con- 
stantinople, and the Russo-Turkish war of 1877 very 
conveniently opened out to Bismarck the means of 
diverting Austria from her vindictive broodings over 
Sadowa. At the Berlin Congress of 1878 Bismarck 
presided impartially and benevolently, though by 
refusing to support the extravagant demands of the 
Czar Alexander II he incurred the wrath of Russia. 
This, however, correspondingly brought with it the 
approval of Austria, and in 1879 a treaty was signed 
between Germany and Austria by which each bound 
herself to support the other against any possible 
attack by Russia, whilst if either were attacked by 
any other Power, each bound herself to preserve a 
benevolent neutrality towards the other. Thus Bis- 
marck assured himself of an ally in case of a Russian 
attack, and of a free hand against France in case of a 
French attack. France alone he did not fear ; it was 
an alliance of France and Austria, of France and 
Russia, or of all three that he dreaded. 

As a set-off against her promise of neutrality in the 
case of another Franco-German war, Austria gained 
the promise of German neutrality in case of an attack 
by Italy. Bismarck now felt secure on the side of 
Austria, but what if circumstances brought about a 
coalition of France, Russia, and Italy ? Germany 
felt confident of being able to deal with France, but 
could Austria hold Russia at bay while her flank 
was being assailed by Italy? To prevent such a 


dubious crisis from arising Bismarck at once set out, 
with his extraordinary cleverness, to attach Italy 
definitely to his own side. But in view of the recent 
Austrian alliance the task was difficult. Italy was 
still anxious to occupy those Italian-speaking dis- 
tricts in Istria and the Trentino which still obeyed 
the rule of Vienna, and though she felt grateful to 
the victor of Sadowa she felt the bitterest hatred 
towards the victor of Custozza and Lissa. The 
question was : Could Italy be persuaded to forego 
the opportunity of avenging these defeats and gaining 
the desired territories (which a Russian attack on 
Austria would hold out to her) by any corresponding 
advantages held out by Germany ? Fortunately for 
Bismarck, Istria and the Trentino were not the only 
unredeemed lands. Italy had always regretted the 
loss of Nice and Savoy, ceded to Napoleon III in 
1859, for Nice was an undoubtedly Italian town, and 
Savoy was the original home of the dynasty — the 
" House of Savoy." Corsica, too, according to the 
Nationalist principle should belong to Italy. If only 
France could be made in some way to quarrel with 
Italy, it might be possible for Bismarck to foment a 
regular antipathy between the two nations, an anti- 
pathy that might, as more recent, be got to outweigh 
the old antipathy to Austria. To further his plan, he 
egged on France to occupy Tunis, which it was known 
the Italians were thinking of taking for themselves. 
Unable to resist the bait, France forthwith, in 1881, 
hoisted the tricolour over the African city. A furious 
outburst of indignation convulsed Italy. The Press 
vigorously assailed France and her rulers ; the French 
Press replied in equally vigorous terms ; the quarrel 
was made : the trick was done. 


Negotiations between Germany and Italy at once 
began. Bismarck offered the support of the allied 
Teutonic powers against France ; the Italian Govern- 
ment was only too pleased. But the prospect of an 
alliance with the traditional foe, the victor of Custozza 
and Lissa, was not very acceptable to the Italian 
people in general. They hated France, but they 
hated Austria as much or even more. It was necessary 
to apply pressure on King Humbert to secure the 
completion of the alliance. " If you will not accept 
our friendship" —this is what Bismarck said in effect 
to Italy — " you will have to face our enmity. The 
German army, by its victory of Sadowa, saved you 
from a catastrophe in 1866; we shall now leave you 
to the mercy of Austria and perhaps may even help 
our ally to conquer you." This prospect appalled 
the Italian Government. A few months ago they 
might have appealed to France to resume her role of 
1859 and repeat the services rendered at Magenta 
and Solferino, but the Tunisian crisis prevented that ; 
France was at the moment more like fighting against 
the Italians than for them. There seemed no satis- 
factory alternative, and Italy gave way. In May 1882 
the treaty between Germany, Austria and Italy was 
signed, and the Triple Alliance came into existence. 

Having thus safeguarded Germany against attack 
in the near future, Bismarck turned his attention to 
his remaining rivals, Russia and France. Somewhat 
alarmed at the prospect of a joint attack from Austria 
and Prussia, Russia now seemed inclined to make 
the very alliance which the Austro-German combina- 
tion had been designed to checkmate, but before any 
agreement could be come to between France and 
Russia Bismarck had again stepped in. By the 


Treaty of Czernowitz (where in 1884 the German and 
Russian emperors were enjoying the hospitality of 
Francis Joseph of Austria) Germany and Russia 
agreed to remain neutral in the case of any other 
Power attacking them, thus guaranteeing the former 
against a Franco-Russian aggression and the latter 
against an Austro-German aggression. The treaty 
was defensive only, and so did not break through the 
Austro-German Treaty of 1879. France now remained 
friendless and isolated, and by the German grab for 
colonies in Africa had her attention distracted from 
her European frontiers, where for some years she had, 
as her War Minister Jules Louis Lewal remarked, 
been " staring, as if hypnotised, into the gap in the 
Vosges." From the year 1884 Bismarck felt satisfied 
that the peace and security of his newly created 
empire was at last assured for some time to come. 

But where Bismarck wished only for security and 
independence, William II aimed at expansion and 
supremacy, and soon after the fall of Bismarck in 
1890 it was apparent that the new Kaiser was about 
to embark in ventures which would upset many 
European apple-carts. In the first place he refused 
to renew the Treaty of Czernowitz, which was due to 
expire in 1890, thus showing that he had no fears of 
the results of a possible Franco-Russian alliance and 
that he might join Austria in an attack on the Czar's 
dominions. His internal policy was equally threaten- 
ing and bellicose ; more and more money was spent 
on the army, a great navy began to appear in the 
Baltic and the North Sea, to join which the Kiel 
Canal was built across the territory annexed from 

Russia took alarm, and turned to France for support, 


In 1891 the French Atlantic fleet paid a visit to 
Kronstadt, and it soon became known that at the 
festivities attending the entertainment of the visitors 
a Franco-Russian alliance was discussed and agreed 
to shortly after. But since Germany seemed, by the 
abandonment of her Russian agreement, to be able 
to defy the combined forces of France and Russia, 
these two Powers eagerly looked round for further 
support. Their thoughts naturally turned to Great 
Britain, while it was also suggested that the French 
quarrel with Italy might be patched up in the hopes 
of breaking the Triple Alliance, unpopular as it had 
always been in Italy. 

The task of bringing over England and Italy was a 
hard one. England had for long stood ostentatiously 
aloof from binding herself to any alliances, always 
preferring to retain a free hand in European crises ; 
and besides, England was on none too friendly terms 
with either France or Russia over colonial questions. 
A dispute over the Siamese frontier brought about 
much ill-feeling between England and France in 1893, 
and the Fashoda incident of 1898 nearly brought on 
a war. England and Russia, too, had only just got 
over the Penjdeh incident, and they were still bicker- 
ing over the Pamir frontiers. Italy was still sore 
over Tunis, and numerous " incidents " in the shape 
of riots and insults kept ill-feeling between France 
and Italy at a height. It required some diplomatic 
skill to adjust the difficulties which lay in the 
path of an agreement which would include France, 
Russia, Great Britain and Italy. 

But the rapid rise of the commerce, the navy and 
the military force of Germany at last caused so much 
alarm that Great Britain found herself drawn irresis- 


tibly towards an agreement with France and Russia, 
whilst Italy, knowing that the unsubstantial nature 
of the Treaty of 1882 was fully appreciated in Berlin 
and Vienna, feared the extension of the Austro- 
German power almost as much as France and Russia 
did. The result was seen at the beginning of the 
twentieth century. In 1901 France and Italy came 
to an understanding on African questions ; in 1904 
an Anglo-French agreement adjusted colonial rela- 
tions ; in 1907 an Anglo-Russian treaty denned the 
position of those two Powers in the Middle East. 
The road was clear for the completion of the Quadruple 
Alliance. But Italy was still nominally bound by 
her attachment to the Triple Alliance of 1882, while 
the English Government resolutely refused to bind 
itself by anything more than general agreements. 
It became customary at this time to speak of England, 
France and Russia as the Triple Entente, while Italy 
was still supposed to be united with Germany and 
Austria-Hungary in the Triple Alliance. But it will 
be far simpler and nearer the truth to speak of the 
Quadruple Entente and the Dual Alliance. For the 
impending struggle was to be one of the four outer 
Powers against the two Central Empires. 

Let us pause for a moment to see what were the 
special aims of the six European Powers who were 
shortly to join in deadly combat. Great Britain 
desired to check the advance of a Power which openly 
boasted its intended destruction of British naval 
supremacy on " the Day " ; France was again gazing 
into the gap in the Vosges and hungering for Alsace- 
Lorraine ; Italy cast longing eyes on Istria and the 
Trentino ; Russia aimed at foiling Austrian schemes 
in the Balkans and, more remotely, the spread of Pan- 


Slavism. It must be remembered, too, that France 
and Italy were still keen on revenge for past defeats. 
But apart from these special aims there lay at the 
back of the minds of the Quadruple Entente the fear 
of the undue aggrandisement of the powerful empire 
now ruled by the ambitious Kaiser William II. On 
the other side we find Austria-Hungary intent chiefly 
on extending her influence down the western side of 
the Balkan peninsula, while Germany, the source 
and origin of the whole strife, demands, under the 
specious title of "a place in the sun," nothing less 
than the supremacy of the world. 

And so the diplomatic situation developed, and the 
armaments kept mounting up, and the warships were 
launched in dozens every year; the only question 
was " When will the crash come ?" Three times the 
God of War gave a runaway ring, but at last he put 
in his appearance in real earnest. 

The first crisis came in 1905, when the Kaiser 
William landed on the coast of Morocco and declared 
that France and Spain should no longer monopo- 
lise the north-west corner of Africa. As the two 
threatened states had just concluded an agreement 
as to the advance of their influence in that country? 
this German attack was an unexpected intrusion, 
and much debate followed. Germany had hitherto 
exercised no political influence in Morocco, and it 
was a decided victory for her that France, unprepared 
for an immediate war (whilst her ally Russia was 
engaged in the struggle with Japan), agreed to submit 
Moroccan questions to a congress of the Powers. 
This was held at Algeciras in 1906, but meanwhile the 
Russo-Japanese war came to an end, and France 
showed a firmer front. England and Italy both 


supported the French view of the questions at issue. 
The result was to check the German claims to political 
influence in the country, and the Kaiser's intended 
humiliation of France failed. The manner in which 
the attack was made, however, and particularly the 
enforced dismissal of the French Foreign Minister 
Delcasse by order of a German ultimatum, had stung 
French pride to fury, and the day of "la revanche " 
came considerably nearer. 

The second crisis came in 1908, when Austria, 
taking advantage of a revolutionary movement 
among the Turks at Constantinople, suddenly an- 
nexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, which by the Treaty 
of Berlin she held only as protectorates. Russia, 
France, and Great Britain at once protested, and 
there was talk of war. The Kaiser then declared 
that if the action of his ally were opposed by Russia 
he would at once attack her with all his forces. The 
Entente was once more caught napping, and the 
Austrian act of aggression was tamely agreed to. 
This time it was Russia's pride that was stung 
to fury, especially when the triumphant Kaiser 
proclaimed in boastful terms how his appearance 
'' in shining armour ' had terrified the Czar into 

The third crisis came in 1911. The anarchic 
condition of the interior of Morocco led France to 
dispatch an expedition to occupy Fez, a seizure 
which greatly strengthened the French position in 
that country. Suddenly there appeared off the 
coast of Morocco the German gunboat Panther, 
followed a little later by the cruiser Berlin. Whilst 
these vessels took up their position at Agadir, 
Germany declared that the occupation of Fez had 


altered the balance of power in the north of Africa so 
materially that it would be necessary to have a 
fresh treaty drawn up to secure German " interests." 
Again there was talk of armed resistance to this 
forceful interference. But again it seemed as if 
the Entente were afraid of a fight; the French 
agreed to negotiate, and the German " interests " 
in Morocco were abandoned by the Kaiser in return 
for the cession of 100,000 square miles of territory 
in French Congo. 

Three times had the aggressions of the central 
empires brought Europe within sight of war, and 
three times had the Entente swallowed its resent- 
ment and yielded to the aggressor. But the time 
had come when it was felt that another humiliation 
would be intolerable, and when the next provocation 
came the challenge was accepted. In 1913 Austria- 
Hungary interfered in the deliberations of the Balkan 
ambassadors at Bucharest, and frustrated the Serbian 
plans for the annexation of Albania and the exten- 
sion of Serbian influence to the Adriatic. Burning 
with resentment, Serbia at once turned to stirring 
up the rebellious spirits of the Bosnian Serbs, who 
were subjects of Austria-Hungary. The Serbian 
society of the " Narodna Odbrana " was the instru- 
ment of this work, and the excessive zeal of one of 
its enthusiastic members, Princip, led to the assassina- 
tion of the Austrian heir-presumptive — the Archduke 
Francis Ferdinand — at Serajevo, on June 28, 1914. 
Here was a splendid excuse for the conquest of 
Serbia. An ultimatum was dispatched by Austria 
demanding a humiliating abandonment of the Serbian 
hopes of one day including in their kingdom their 
kinsmen of Bosnia, and demanding also a free hand 
for Austrian officials to enter Serbia and suppress 


the anti- Austrian movement. This combination of 
humiliations was too much for Serbia to accept, and 
she appealed for help to Russia, Russia, however, 
was by no means anxious for war and urged 
Serbia to concede much in the hopes of avoiding 
bloodshed. Serbia accordingly agreed to every- 
thing but the demand for the Austrian officials to 
be given authority within the kingdom. Austria- 
Hungary declared that this refusal showed an in- 
tention of continuing secretly to plot against her 
and accordingly declared war on Serbia on July 28, 

There followed a week of tremendous diplomatic 
activity and universal anxiety. Serbia had offered 
to submit all the points at issue to the decision of 
a European Congress, but Austria had refused this 
tardy means of settling the dispute. Immediately 
after the Austrian declaration of war, which it was 
felt would involve all the great Powers in strife, 
Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Minister of the United 
Kingdom, again proposed a European Congress. 
Again Austria refused to allow the other Powers a 
voice in her own quarrel. Matters now looked very 
serious. It was certain that Russia would not stand 
another rebuff like that of 1908, that she would not 
stand idly by and see Serbia crushed by the might 
of Austria. It was equally certain that Germany 
would once more appear " in shining armour ' to 
fulfil her pledges of the Triple Alliance. It was 
certain, too, that in that case France would join 
Russia. Italy would in that event be nominally 
bound to join Germany and Austria, but public 
feeling in Italy was bitterly hostile to the central 
empires, and no Government favourable to those 
Powers could stand in that country; Italy might 


even join the other side, to avoid the revenge of her 
late allies which a victory over France and Russia 
would enable them to take. Great Britain was 
pacific but uneasy, and if British interests were 
threatened, she too might come in. 

The German Government, however, had no fears 
of defeat. Germany knew how thoroughly prepared 
she was for the long-premeditated struggle. She 
knew, or thought she knew, other things, too, which 
might enable her ally to gain the great material 
advantage of conquering Serbia without the risk of 
a European war at all. Russia had recently been 
troubled by democratic upheavals and a series of 
ugly strikes in the big towns ; it had just been rather 
too freely admitted in the French Parliament that 
the army of the Republic was in no condition for 
immediate war, especially in the important branch 
of the artillery ; the United Kingdom seemed on 
the verge of becoming a disunited kingdom by the 
threat of civil war in Ireland over the Home Rule 
question. The Kaiser, therefore, felt no scruples 
about letting loose the dogs of war. Russia, as 
expected, came to the assistance of Serbia ; Germany 
joined Austria against Russia ; and France came to 
the help of Russia against the central empires. The 
great European war had begun. 

Thus the great conflict began with Germany and 
Austria-Hungary facing France, Russia, and Serbia 
(who was at once joined by the little state of Monte- 
negro). Great Britain and Italy remained at first 
neutral, though France and Russia appealed for their 
assistance against the common enemy of the world. 
But so confident were the Germans of success, that 
they seemed to deliberately force Great Britain into 
war. Here again, while confident of a superiority 




even over the whole united forces of the Quad- 
ruple Entente, the Kaiser hoped that he might over- 
awe or trick Great Britain into remaining neutral 
until France and Russia had been separately crushed. 
The United Kingdom was ruled by a Liberal Govern- 
ment which had always professed a love of peace, 
and many both at home and abroad feared that 
Mr. Asquith's Government would sacrifice national 
honour and security for the dangerous ideal of keep- 
ing out of war at any price. Fortunately these fears 
proved wrong. The country was disturbed by the 
threatened outbreak of civil war in Ireland, where 
two hosts of armed citizens stood ready to embark 
in internecine strife ; the insignificance of the Irish 
danger in the face of a united and resolute Great 
Britain remained again to be proved. There were 
ominous upheavals among the English lower classes, 
particularly where the trade unions had strength, 
and it was known that English Socialism had always 
been anti-militarist ; some Labour leaders and some 
Cabinet ministers were known to be in favour of 
" peace at any price." Under these circumstances 
the Kaiser judged it safe to defy English opinion. 

The German plan of campaign was to first paralyse 
France by a rapid and overwhelming blow at Paris, 
and then to turn with all her strength against Russia. 
The chief obstacle to this plan was the line of very 
strongly fortified positions which lay directly across 
their path on the Franco-German frontier. As it 
would take weeks to reduce these fortresses, it was 
determined to avoid them by an invasion through 
Belgium, for the Franco-Belgian frontier was guarded 
only by a few comparatively small and weak for- 
tresses. But the invasion of Belgium would violate a 
treaty signed by the Powers in 1839, when the king- 


dom of Belgium was recognised as an independent 
and neutral state. By this treaty the Powers agreed 
that they would all respect the neutrality of Belgium ; 
and Germany (who now represented Prussia) could 
not send her armies through Belgium without violat- 
ing that neutrality. This would give a casus belli 
to the other signatory Powers. As Germany was 
already at war with France and Russia, and Austria 
was her ally, this would not matter as far as those 
Powers were concerned, but Great Britain too had 
signed the treaty, and the breach of it might give her 
a really good excuse for joining in the attack against 
the grasping ambition of the Germans. Nevertheless 
Germany took the risk, and declaring that they 
would not allow " a scrap of paper " to prevent them 
from " hacking their way through ' to Paris, the 
Germans crossed the Belgian frontier. 

The effect of this was a real surprise for Germany. 
The Irish struggle and the anti-militarist vapourings 
were alike relegated to the background of English 
politics, and the Government sternly declared its 
intention of opposing the violation of the Belgian 
treaty by force of arms. Unable to overawe the 
British Government, Germany next tried to trick 
it into compliance with her wishes. There followed 
what Mr. Asquith described as " the infamous pro- 
posal " to buy English neutrality by a promise to rob 
France only of her colonial possessions, and not of 
her European territories, after she had been beaten. 
The offer was scornfully rejected, and when the 
appeals of the Belgians to save their country from 
invasion and conquest came across the Channel, 
the United Kingdom declared war on the German 
Empire, on August 4, 1914. 



We have seen how the rivalries of the nations have 
led to struggles and wars of great magnitude during 
the last century. Throughout this period, and in 
fact at almost all periods of history, there were large 
numbers of people who believed it possible so to 
arrange matters that there would be no more wars 
and that the nations would settle down as comrades 
to establish a new world of peace and prosperity. 
These ideas are doubtless great and noble, and there- 
fore should not be given up because of the vast diffi- 
culties in the way of their fulfilment, but the history 
of the Peace movement has been one of continual 
disappointments and failures. 

When the French Revolution broke out, the Demo- 
crats were filled with grand ideas of the brotherhood 
of man. A certain Anacharsis Clootz on one occasion 
collected a large number of men of all different nations 
and races, and brought them as a deputation to the 
French Parliament, which declared forthwith that the 
day of universal brotherhood had arisen. "Frater- 
nity " was one of the catchwords of the Revolution, and 
the enthusiasts sincerely believed that if only Demo- 
cracy could have free sway there would be no more wars 
at all. At this date, then, arose the belief that wars 
are entirely caused by the despotism of sovereigns 



and the ambition of princes. This theory has many 
adherents even at the present day. Like most 
political theories it is based on a partial truth. There 
have undoubtedly been some wars that have arisen 
out of the ambitions of ruling princes. But it must 
always be remembered that the most despotic king 
has got to consider the feelings of his subjects to some 
extent, and it is usually found that the peoples have 
supported their rulers in most of the wars of history. 
A king doubtless often has at his disposal the means 
of plunging the country into war, but so does the 
Government of a democratic country ; national 
ambition finds a better means of expression in the 
policy of a single man than in the policy of a com- 
mittee or of a parliament, but parliaments as well 
as sovereigns have often been under the sway of a 
war spirit. The establishment of Democracy did not 
prevent the Balkan states from attacking each other 
in 1913; the establishment of Democracy did not 
prevent the United Kingdom and the South African 
republics from fighting in 1899; the establishment of 
Democracy did not prevent the great European war 
of 1914. The French Republicans of the end of the 
eighteenth century showed themselves as warlike, 
as ambitious and as despotic towards other weaker 
peoples as any king of France ; the Germans as a 
whole were heart and soul in the movement for the 
extension of " Deutschtum," or German power, over 
the whole world. The ambitions of a single man are 
simpler to grasp than the ambitions of a whole people, 
and to say that wars are due merely to the grasping 
machinations of a few crowned heads and that popular 
war enthusiasm is merely the result of artful deception 
and instigation on the part of the sovereigns may be 


an easy solution of the problem, but it is not a 
correct one. 

The French Republic, as soon as victory attended 
its armies, soon showed that " Fraternity " was to be 
strictly subordinated to French national interests. 
The Belgians were forced, much against their will, to 
give up their ideas of independence and become 
French citizens. The Cisalpine Republic was from 
the first kept in strict subordination to the French 
Republic. The same thing happened to the Helve- 
tian Republic ; the same thing happened to the 
Batavian Republic. Not a single one of the new 
fraternal democracies but was not groaning under the 
iron heel of France after a few weeks of imaginary 
independence. Napoleon merely continued the work 
of the Republic in this respect. It was not the 
ambitious conquests of the Emperor that turned the 
French nation against him ; it was the costly failures 
of the Russian campaign of 1812 and of the three 
following years. 

As has been pointed out before, the common danger 
of Napoleonic aggression evoked a community of in- 
terest and effort among the other Powers of Europe. 
The result was Alexander I's " Holy Alliance " of 
1815. How that came to grief we have already seen. 
But in spite of this failure much had been done. The 
Powers were far more ready to discuss matters than 
before the days of the Holy Alliance, and there was a 
feeling of common sympathies and common interests 
that had not existed in the eighteenth century. One 
of the causes of this was the danger which was still 
supposed to threaten all the rest of Europe from 
French Imperialism. Another cause was the common 
danger actually experienced by all the Governments 


from the democratic movement. These common in- 
terests tended to keep up a good understanding 
between the great Powers. 

There was another cause which led to the perpetua- 
tion of the " Concert of Europe " idea. At the Con- 
gress of Vienna the whole map of Europe had been 
reconstructed in a manner never before done at any 
conference of ambassadors. When the final agree- 
ments as to boundaries and other matters had been 
reached, instead of each state making a series of 
separate treaties with its neighbours, the whole 
settlement was written down in one treaty — the 
Treaty of Vienna — and signed by the ambassadors of 
all the states concerned. Now the signature of a 
treaty by a number of states makes all and each of 
those states responsible for seeing the terms of that 
treaty observed, and if one state afterwards breaks 
the treaty, the other signatories have a casus belli, or 
recognised right to declare war against the defaulter. 
Hence, by the action of the European states in draw- 
ing up a settlement of Europe attested by the signa- 
tures of all their ambassadors, those states obtained 
a common and mutual interest in all the arrangements 
made in the Treaty of Vienna. Thus, if Russia and 
Prussia agreed to shift their boundary in Poland a 
few miles east or west, Spain, France or the United 
Kingdom could quite logically claim a right to forbid 
it ; if Spain ceded a single village to France, it would 
give occasion for Russia, or Austria, or Sardinia, or 
Naples or any other of the signatory states, to inter- 
vene. This common interest of all in the affairs of 
each led every threatened upsetting of the Vienna 
settlement to be discussed more or less peacefully 
throughout the whole of Europe, and the jealousies 


of the Powers found a ready means of checking the 
aggressions of their rivals in an appeal to " the 
treaties " of 1815. And for fifty years " the treaties " 
were a real force for preserving the equilibrium, and 
with it the peace, of Europe. 

The idea of the Concert of Europe received its first 
serious blow in 1866. The settlement of Belgium in 
1832 had been considered a matter for all the great 
states ; the settlement of Russo-Turkish questions 
after the Crimean war was relegated to a big congress 
at Paris ; but the very important modifications in the 
European system which followed Sadowa were carried 
out by a simple treaty between the belligerent states 
of Central Europe. ' The treaties ' were set at 
defiance, and it was in vain that France urged that 
these breaches of the mutual agreement of 1815 were 
fit subjects for a European congress. The spell was 
now broken, and when the Franco-German war was 
over the transference of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany 
was effected by a treaty between France and Germany 
alone. The Concert of Europe as a working idea was 

Moral and religious teachers had criticised the 
Concert as being based on selfish and sordid motives. 
In spite of the pious professions of the Holy Alliance, 
it was an undoubted fact that the idea of the Concert 
was mainly to preserve their territories to the reign- 
ing dynasties and to keep a check on the aggressions 
of rival nations. The idea of fraternity, the idea of 
universal peace and goodwill, had little to do with it. 
But when the very practical Concert of Europe col- 
lapsed the more ideal conception of a universal 
brotherhood of the nations came forward again, and 
resulted in a definite international movement for the 


avoiding of war as a human evil as opposed to a 
national evil. The movement had some rather im- 
portant results, among them being the institution of 
the system of arbitration in national disputes. 

The first important instance of the application of 
this system was in 1871, when the United States 
agreed with Great Britain to submit certain questions 
to the decision of a committee selected by five rulers, 
three of whom were to be " impartial." These three 
were the King of Italy, the Emperor of Brazil, and 
the President of Switzerland ; the Queen of England 
and the American President were the others. The 
questions to be decided concerned the liability of 
Great Britain to pay damages for alleged help given 
to the southern "rebels " in the American Civil War. 
The meetings of the committee were distracted by 
some severe friction, especially when the American 
member wished to make England responsible for 
almost the whole cost of the war she was supposed 
to have abetted. Had the committee accepted this 
American claim there is no doubt that the attempt at 
arbitration would have failed — England would have 
withdrawn her consent to obey the decisions of the 
committee. As it was, the arbitrators decided that 
Great Britain was liable for the payment of £3,250,000 
to the United States. This was accepted by Glad- 
stone's Government, and war was avoided. 

The example was repeated in 1873, when the same 
two Powers allowed the German Emperor to decide as 
to the ownership of San Juan Island off the American 
coast; the result was unfavourable to Great Britain. 
In 1893 there was another arbitration between the 
same two states, over the question of the Behring 
Sea seal fishery. There was a committee of seven — 


two English, two American, one French, one Italian 
and one Swedish. This time the result was favourable 
to Great Britain. 

In 1898 there appeared a document of great im- 
portance in the development of international agree- 
ments. The Czar Nicholas II issued a note to the 
other rulers of the world suggesting the possibility 
not only of establishing arbitration as a regular 
institution but of cutting down and perhaps eventu- 
ally abolishing the great armaments now maintained 
by the Powers. The result of the Czar's note was 
the meeting of the first Peace Conference at The 
Hague, in 1899. Twenty-six states sent ambassadors 
to this Conference, including such distant ones as 
China, Japan, Persia and Siam. Three suggestions 
were made at this conference : for the establishment 
of aregular court and system of international arbitra- 
tion, for the modification and regulation of the methods 
of fighting, and for the reduction or abolition of arma- 
ments. The first of these suggestions was adopted, 
and a regular international court was established at 
The Hague ; this court was to be open for the settle- 
ment of all disputes, but it was not made compulsory 
that disputes should be carried there. It offered a 
ready means for the peaceful solution of questions 
where otherwise war might result. As regards the 
second suggestion, the conference drew up and agreed 
to a list of rules intended to make warfare somewhat 
less barbarous and more humane : peaceful non- 
combatants were not to be massacred or mutilated, 
expanding bullets were not to be used, wells were not 
to be poisoned. On the third suggestion no agreement 
was found possible. 

The results of the Hague Conference of 1899 were 


disappointing to some people, but a great deal had 
been accomplished. The reduction of armaments was 
undoubtedly a practical impossibility, for while so 
many national ambitions and grievances remained 
unsatisfied the Powers could never agree to abandon 
the means of one day fulfilling their desires by force 
of arms. The reduction or abolition of armies and 
navies would mean a virtual acceptance of the per- 
manence of existing territorial arrangements, unless 
entire reliance could be placed on The Hague tribunal 
to satisfy all the conflicting ambitions and aims of 
the various states. Could France abandon the army 
with which she hoped to regain Alsace-Lorraine ? 
Could the Balkan states abandon the armies with 
which they hoped to conquer Turkey ? Could Italy 
abandon the army with which the unredeemed lands 
were to be restored ? Could Germany abandon the 
army with which she intended to conquer the world ? 
Agreement on matters of disarmament was impos- 
sible, and the scheme had to be abandoned. As 
regards the regulation of warfare a good deal of effect 
was possible ; though individual instances of the 
breach of The Hague conventions might occur, it was 
quite probable that civilised countries would agree as 
a rule to observe them. The chief result, however, of 
The Hague Conference was the establishment of the 
court or tribunal. Though there were some deep- 
seated rivalries and feuds which it appeared could 
only be solved by war, there were numerous minor 
questions which might easily lead to war if there did 
not exist a court, more or less impartial, ready to 
hand for their settlement. 

A second Peace Conference was held at The Hague 
in 1907, and a few more regulations for the conduct 


of war were passed, with other laws for the conduct of 
arbitration. Between 1899 and 1914 a fair number 
of disputes between different nations had been settled 
by resort to arbitration. 

The early years of the twentieth century witnessed 
the spectacle of the European nations in arms at the 
same time as talk of peace was on every one's lips- 
After all, in spite of the colossal piling up of arma- 
ments, there had been no war between European 
states of the first magnitude since 1871. Thirty 
years passed, forty years passed, and still there was 
no great European war. The Hague Court was busy 
settling international disputes ; the nations were busy 
exporting and importing goods from one to the other 
in peaceful commerce ; the democratic parties were 
ringing with talk of universal brotherhood and peace. 
No wonder that the prospect of war was looked upon 
as a " scare " and a " bogey." The Anglo-Boer war 
was passed over as a distant scuffle in the wilds of 
Africa ; the Russo-Japanese war failed to arouse the 
fears of the peoples of Europe — it, too, was thousands 
of miles away ; even the Balkan wars passed by with- 
out awakening the mass of people to the proximity of 
warfare on a large scale in Europe. 

It was still said that war on a serious scale between 
the great European nations was impossible. War 
under modern conditions, with the terrible death- 
dealing implements now in the hands of armies and 
navies, would be too disastrous to human life for any 
Power to undertake. It was said that it would be 
impossible for a great nation to consent that its entire 
youth and the flower of its manhood, ill-educated and 
well-educated, navvy, tinker, merchant, artist and 
poet, should be thrown into the furnace of war, to be 


mangled and destroyed by the lyddite shell, the deadly 
Maxim gun and the torpedo. It was said by some 
military experts that under modern conditions the 
Defence had so great a superiority over the Attack 
that with anything even approaching equal numbers 
no combatant could make any impression on any other 
combatant. It was said that international trade had 
grown to such vast proportions that its suspension by 
a great war would be too ruinous to be borne for a 
month ; that the collapse of financial credit would 
wreck the intending combatants before operations had 
started ; that the vast amount of foreign investments 
owned by each Power would prevent too great a 
straining of friendly relations. It was said that the 
withdrawal of the manhood of Europe to fight would 
leave so great a dearth of labour in every country 
engaged in war that commerce would perish and the 
nation could not even be fed. It was said that the 
working classes all over Europe, inspired by the divine 
genius of Democracy, would rise in revolt to stop the 
hideous game. It was said that the spread of educa- 
tion, the increased intercourse of men of different 
races and nations, would broaden the human mind 
against a suicidal outburst of conflict among the 
peoples. It was said that the invitations of The 
Hague tribunal would be irresistible. It was said 
that the ' Yellow Peril," the danger of eventual 
conquest by the millions of yellow men from China 
and Japan, would prevent the white nations from 
fighting amongst each other. It was said that a 
" Black Peril " from Africa would do the same thing. 
In short, the great majority of educated people 
believed that a great European war was impossible. 
Unfortunately these speculative hypotheses turned 


out to be idle dreams. The conflict of national aims 
was too much for cosmopolitan humanitarianism ; the 
ambitions of a powerful people, grown inordinately 
proud and self-confident, laid the train to the huge 
heap of combustibles that had been piling up since 
the Franco-German war ; the bullet of Princip set the 
spark to the train — and Europe was ablaze. 



In this book we have been considering the historical 
development of the Continent of Europe. We have 
seen how the new era introduced by the Industrial 
Revolution and proclaimed by the French Revolution 
resulted in a political system in which the chief 
factors of movement were Democracy, Nationalism, 
and International Rivalry. In discussing these 
things our illustrations have naturally been drawn 
from the greater countries of the Continent, from 
France and from Germany, from Italy and from 
Austria, from Russia and from the Turkish empire. 
But these great factors in recent history have had 
their effects also on the lesser states of Europe, and 
it will be worth while to turn to the history of those 
lesser states and take a few examples of those effects. 
It must always be remembered, however, that in 
studying the history of Europe we are studying 
the history of the Continent as a whole, and not 
the history of each separate state. Every European 
country has a separate history of its own, and in al. 
countries we find that their recent history makes 
interesting reading, but in this book we are not 
taking the story of Europe from the point of view 
of each separate state but from the point of view of 
Europe as a whole. Anything that we shall here 



deal with in the history of the lesser states, then, 
must needs be illustrative merely of general tenden- 
cies and not of the domestic history of the states 

Perhaps in no country can the effects of the Indus- 
trial Revolution be traced so clearly and strikingly 
as in the case of Denmark. At the beginning of 
the nineteenth century Denmark was not in a very 
flourishing condition. She drew her chief wealth 
and power from her carrying trade in the Baltic, 
to protect which she had built a powerful navy. 
Owing to her having this navy Napoleon saw the 
advantage of getting Denmark as an ally against 
Great Britain, and the result was Nelson's victory 
at Copenhagen in 1801 and Gambier's seizure of 
the fleet in 1807. During the nineteenth century 
Denmark's internal prosperity leaped up with as- 
tonishing rapidity. Politically she was weaker, for 
whilst at the settlement of 1815 her king lost Norway, 
the war of 1864 against Russia and Austria lost 
her the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein. But 
economically she made great strides. 

Up to the middle of the nineteenth century the 
mainland possessions of the kingdom of Denmark 
were for the most part waste and barren. But with 
the advance of agricultural machinery and the 
introduction of new methods the Danes took seriously 
in hand the development of the soil of Jutland. 
Under the direction of the " Hedeselskabet " — a 
society for reclaiming the heaths — hundreds and 
thousands of acres have been brought under culti- 
vation. The Danish farmers enjoy at the present 
day almost the highest reputation in the world. 
Corn was always grown in fair quantities, but the 


later nineteenth century saw the production of cheese, 
butter, bacon, eggs and other farm produce on a 
very large scale ; the collection, packing and dis- 
tribution of all these products were organised in 
a methodical way under the direction of farming 
unions. Manufactures developed too — a third of 
the population is now supported by them. Under 
the direction of the United Steamship Company of 
Denmark her commerce has still further increased. 
The new port of Esbjerg, founded in 1868, already 
has a population of 15,000 and a great trade. The 
Industrial Revolution has raised the prosperity of 
Denmark manyfold. 

Illustrations of the development of Democracy 
may be drawn from Spain, Portugal and Switzerland. 
After the fall of Joseph Bonaparte, Spain fell back 
under the influence of its native ruler, Ferdinand VII, 
a despotic man without any sympathy for popular 
institutions. The Cortes, or Parliament, was sup- 
pressed, and a period of absolute rule began. In 
spite of the noble way in which the nation had fought 
for six years against the intruder who had usurped 
the throne of their ancient dynasty, while Ferdi- 
nand VII had been enjoying himself in France on 
his large pension from Napoleon, the restored king 
would allow no form of parliamentary freedom. 
Not only that; the " Liberal " leaders were arrested, 
imprisoned and in many cases put to death. The 
natural result was an insurrection. Under the lead 
of General O'Donnell, an Irish adventurer who had 
become Count of La Bisbal, the Liberals rose in 
1820 ; the King became a virtual prisoner, the Cortes 
was summoned and a number of reforms were passed. 
But Spanish Democracy was no less oppressive than 


French Democracy of the same period ; the Church 
and the landed interest were violently attacked, 
heavy taxes were levied and a reactionary party 
quickly made its appearance. It was not long before 
a civil war between Reactionary Moderates and 
Revolutionary Liberals broke out, and this opened 
up the opportunity for a renewal of French inter- 
vention. The Congress of Verona gave Louis XVIII 
permission to invade the country, and in a few months 
the whole of Spain was overrun, in 1823. The King 
was restored to liberty, the Cortes was abolished 
and a Royalist reign of terror stamped out for the 
time all signs of democratic unrest. 

The unpopular Ferdinand VII retained the ser- 
vices of the French troops until 1827; he was able 
to keep his throne unaided from that date until his 
death in 1833. He left the throne to his daughter 
Isabella, an infant three years old, and her succession 
was immediately challenged by her uncle Don Carlos. 
The majority of Spaniards accepted the infant Queen, 
for her Council (guided by the Queen Mother) bid 
for popularity by promising a Liberal Constitution ; 
Don Carlos, on the other hand, rallied round him the 
reactionary elements in Spain, and a civil war began. 
Some of the leading " Carlists ' were nobles from 
the Basque provinces of the north, and it was this 
district that formed the Pretender's headquarters ; 
the war dragged on among the wilds and mountains 
of the north for seven years, and was marked by 
horrible barbarities on both sides ; at last, in 1840, 
the Pretender was hunted right over the frontier 
into France. 

For some time Spain enjoyed a period of rest, 
though the loss of the colonies and the devastations 


of the Carlist war had made her a very poor country, 
and brigandage was rife in many parts of the land. 
But as the Queen grew up she adopted her father's 
opinions, and a severe repression of Liberalism 
began. The Cortes was suppressed, and under the 
direction of the Prime Minister, Gonzalez Bravo, the 
Liberal party was exposed to a severe repression 
and persecution. In 1868 this resulted in a second 
Spanish revolution ; the Royalist troops were de- 
feated by the rebel regiments at Alcolea, and Queen 
Isabella fled to France. There followed one of those 
interludes of turbulence and anarchy which disgraced 
continental Democracy and provided the best excuse 
for royal despotism. First it was intended to estab- 
lish a republic, but the majority of the revolu- 
tionary leaders thought that a constitutional mon- 
archy of the Belgian pattern would be both more 
acceptable to the nation and more secure. The 
crown of Spain was then offered to several European 
princes, of whom Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern 
accepted the offer ; this, however, provoked the 
intervention of Napoleon III, at whose demand, 
as we have seen, the acceptance was withdrawn. 
Meanwhile the Regency had been conferred on 
Marshal Prim, who at last secured for his country 
a king in the person of Amadeus of Savoy, a son of 
the King of Italy. Though he was half-unwilling 
to take the dangerous and bankrupt throne, Amadeus 
was raised to the throne in 1870, and on the day 
of his landing Marshal Prim was murdered by a 
political fanatic. The reign thus unfavourably 
started did not last long, and in 1873 the Italian 
prince resigned the unwelcome throne. The state 
of the country at this time was appalling. The 


Carlists, under another Don Carlos, grandson of the 
former one, were up in arms in the north ; the treasury 
was empty; brigandage and violence were rampant 
all over the land. Under these circumstances the 
revolutionary party fell back upon a republic. 
This did not improve matters, and Spain relapsed 
into almost total anarchy. Taxes could not be 
collected, whole provinces refused obedience to the 
Cortes and appointed local independent administra- 
tive bodies, and bands of brutal marauders terrorised 
the people of the country districts. At last, in 1874, 
when it seemed that the country had been brought 
to the lowest depths of barbaric anarchy, Manuel 
Pavia, one of the military leaders, resolved to be 
the General Monk of Spain. His soldiers expelled 
the Cortes from their hall, and Queen Isabella's 
young son was proclaimed as Alfonso XII. 

Under Alfonso XII Spain settled down into some- 
thing approaching quiet. The Carlists were crushed, 
and their leader driven out, in 1876. A moderate 
Constitution, issued in that year, rallied the Liberals 
to the cause of the old dynasty. The country ac- 
cepted the Constitution, and under the mild rule of 
Alfonso the country gradually recovered its prosperity, 
such as it was. Though universal suffrage was granted 
in 1889, the extreme Revolutionary party continued 
to intrigue against the monarchy, and during the 
reign of Alfonso XIII some very unpleasant incidents 
occurred. Strikes, riots and bomb-throwing became 
more prevalent than in any European country save 
Russia. When the young King was married in 1906, 
to a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England, 
a bomb was thrown at his carriage ; in 1909 the city 
of Barcelona was disgraced by atrocious riots in 


which the mob burnt many religious buildings and 
ill-treated the inmates. It was evident that the 
triumph of Democracy had not brought peace and 
content to Spain. 

The history of Portugal during the century follow- 
ing the fall of the Napoleonic empire in 1815 bears 
considerable resemblance to that of Spain. King 
John VI, who had taken refuge in Brazil when the 
French invaded Portugal, remained in his new home 
long after his country regained peace and security. 
This absence of the sovereign irritated the Portu- 
guese, who talked of the indignity of being governed 
from a mere colony of their own founding. In 1820 
Lisbon broke out into revolt, and the rebels would 
not submit until they received a promise that the 
King would return. The result has been already 
described ; the Portuguese got back their King but 
lost their colony, which in its turn refused to be 
governed from across the Atlantic. In 1821 King 
John issued a Constitution, but the loss of Brazil in 
the next year caused a violent reaction against the 
Liberal party, whose action in demanding the recall 
of the King had led to the loss of the largest of the 
Portuguese colonies. There followed numerous riots 
and disturbances in Portugal, and on one occasion 
the King had to flee for refuge on board a British 
warship in the Tagus. John VI died in 1826, leaving 
the crown of Portugal to his granddaughter Maria 
da Gloria, while his grandson Pedro was to be heir 
of Brazil. The accession of a woman, though it 
had been allowed on a previous occasion in Portuguese 
history, was opposed by her uncle Dom Miguel, just 
as the accession of Isabella of Spain, seven years 
later, was to be opposed by her uncle Don Carlos ; 


in 1828 the Portuguese Pretender declared himself 
King and seized Lisbon with the aid of the Reaction- 
ary party. The young Queen escaped to England, 
and the leaders of the Liberal party were put to death. 
A Liberal reaction occurred in 1832, and a civil war 
broke out, encouragement being given to the rebels 
by the success of the French and Belgian revolu- 
tionists two years before. For two years this 
' Miguelist war " raged, and in the end the Pretender 
was expelled and Queen Maria returned. The victory 
lay with the Liberal party, and the Constitution was 

There followed a period of violent unrest in Portu- 
gal. There were constant riots and revolts both 
of the Democratic Radicals and of the Reactionary 
Moderates. Almost every change of Ministry was 
accompanied by riot and bloodshed. Portuguese 
politics were nothing if not bloodthirsty. In 1846 
both the parties combined to overthrow the Ministry 
of Saldanha, who was trying to keep a balance 
between them, and the country was given over to 
anarchy for some months. After the collapse of 
this rising things went a little better, slowly improving 
as the century went on. 

There was a return of unrest at the end of the 
century. A republican movement appeared, and a 
rising in Oporto in 1891 attempted to overthrow 
the Monarchy. Universal suffrage was granted in 
1901, but this failed to satisfy the extreme Radical 
party. In 1906 King Carlos and his Prime Minister 
Joao Franco attempted to quell discontent by severe 
measures. The Cortes was suppressed and an 
absolute regime began, but in 1908 the King and his 
eldest son were murdered in the streets of Lisbon. 


Franco fled the country, and there was an immediate 
rising. The Cortes was restored and the murdered 
King's second son Manuel was declared king. But 
his reign was short. The republicans rose in Lisbon 
in 1910, the young king fled to England, and the 
Portuguese republic was proclaimed. Thus far had 
Democracy advanced in Portugal. 

In Switzerland we have the same struggle between 
Revolution and Reaction, though the question was 
not in this case concerned with the institution of 
Monarchy. Switzerland was a federal republic, of 
which the separate cantons enjoyed a large measure 
of self-government. The July Revolution of 1830 
in France stirred up a strong democratic movement 
in Switzerland, and most of the cantons adopted very 
Liberal Constitutions. Fighting between Aristocrats 
and Democrats took place in Basle, and the result 
was that several cantons declared their intention of 
seceding from the Swiss Confederation if the recent 
democratic changes were not suppressed. After 
much negotiation a civil war broke out, and the five 
reactionary cantons were forced to abandon their 
plans of secession. Ill-feeling still remained, and 
in 1845 seven cantons formed a " Sonderbund," or 
separate league, for the defence of old institutions in 
Church and State. Another civil war followed, and 
again the reactionary cantons were suppressed, in 
1847. In 1848 a new Swiss Constitution increased 
the powers of the central Government at the expense 
of those of the separate cantons, and the capital, 
which had formerly been shifted from one city to 
another from time to time, was now fixed at Berne. 
In 1874 a new and extremely democratic measure was 
adopted in Switzerland. This was the Referendum; 


under this system, any bill brought in by the Swiss 
Parliament must, if 30,000 voters petition against 
it, be submitted for the approval of the entire elec- 
torate, a special poll for or against the bill being 
held for the occasion. This democratic experiment 
has not been imitated in any other European state. 

Turning to the question of Nationalism, we may 
draw excellent examples of the effects of this move- 
ment from the states of Belgium and Norway, while 
important results have also been caused by the 
Nationalist movement in the Russian provinces of 
Poland and Finland. 

The settlement of Vienna formed the whole of the 
Netherlands into one kingdom under the House of 
Orange. This arrangement, however, did not suit 
the Belgians, who differed very considerably in race, 
language, pursuits and religion from their Dutch 
neighbours. There were four million Belgians and only 
half that number of Dutch in the new kingdom, but 
in the States-General or Parliament of the Netherlands 
the two races were represented by an equal number 
of members. The majority in Parliament, consisting 
of Dutchmen and friends of the ministers, was accus- 
tomed to carry by small parliamentary majorities 
laws adverse to the interests and feelings of the 
majority of the nation ; Belgian agriculture was 
taxed for the benefit of Dutch commerce ; the Dutch 
language superseded Flemish and French in the 
public offices, the Catholic schools and institutions 
of Belgium were opened for the inspection of Dutch 
Protestant officials and reporters. This state of 
affairs lasted for fifteen years, during the whole of 
which time the Belgians continuously agitated for 
redress of grievances, but without success. Belgium 


had never had a really independent existence since 
very distant ages, but the experience of Spanish, 
Austrian and French rule had not dulled the local 
patriotism of her inhabitants. 

As elsewhere in Europe, the French Revolution of 
1830 evoked a corresponding movement in Belgium. 
A riot took place in Brussels, and the population took 
up arms. The Dutch troops advanced to restore 
order in the city, but found its entrances barred 
against them ; they therefore resorted to a bom- 
bardment of Brussels, a bombardment which only 
stirred the spirit of liberty still further. Then the 
Dutch offered to give the Belgians a separate Parlia- 
ment if they would consent to the maintenance of 
the House of Orange on the throne. Had this 
offer come before the bombardment of Brussels it 
would doubtless have been agreed to, but now pas- 
sions were inflamed and nothing short of complete 
independence would satisfy the Belgians. A regular 
war now began between Dutch and Belgians, in 
which the latter were worsted, being defeated in 
the battles of Hasselt and Tirlemont. Meanwhile, 
after it had been declined by a French prince, the 
crown of Belgium was accepted by a German prince, 
Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, in 1831. The Powers now 
stepped in to supervise the new settlement. Whilst 
French troops marched to the assistance of the Bel- 
gians, negotiations were opened for the termination 
of the war. King William of the Netherlands was 
greatly chagrined at the way in which the Powers 
forbade him to suppress the revolted Belgians, but 
his protests were overridden. France was violently 
pro-Belgian, and the other Powers were not anxious 
for another European war ; while stipulating against 



any increase of French territory, therefore, they 
agreed to recognise the independence of Belgium, 
and by the treaties of 1832 and 1839 Belgium became 
an independent and neutral state, while the River 
Scheldt was opened to trade. Thus was finally 
established the Belgian kingdom, by the treaty whose 
violation, seventy-five years later, involved Great 
Britain in war with the German Empire. 

Turning to Norway, we have the same impatience 
with the anti-national settlement of Vienna. The 
treaty of 1815 had taken Norway away from the 
sovereign of Denmark and transferred the kingdom 
to Sweden. This transfer, which broke through the 
tradition of centuries, was most unpopular in Norway, 
and all through the nineteenth century there was 
friction between the two countries. The Govern- 
ment consisted almost entirely of Swedes, and the 
King was almost invariably to be found in the 
Swedish parts of his dominions. Some concessions 
were made during the century, particularly when the 
Norwegians secured a regular parliamentary system 
of government in 1871. The establishment of the 
Storthing or Norwegian Parliament only encouraged 
the development of the national principle, and long 
disputes and negotiations took place between the 
Crown and the Norwegian ministers. It was even 
thought, in the last decade of the century, that war 
would break out between the two parts of the Mon- 
archy. In 1898 the Storthing ordered the adoption 
of a distinct national flag, and three years later it 
commenced a series of fortifications along the Swedish 
border. In 1905, on the refusal of the King, Oscar II, 
to appoint a separate diplomatic service for Norway, 
the Storthing proclaimed the deposition of their 


sovereign and proceeded to elect a new one. So 
unanimous was the public opinion of Norway that 
opposition seemed to King Oscar a hopeless task, 
negotiations were opened, and the independence of 
Norway was peacefully recognised by treaty with 
Sweden before the end of the year. The Norwegian 
crown was offered to and accepted by a son of the 
Crown Prince of Denmark, who forthwith ascended 
the throne as Haakon VII. The nationalist principle 
had once more triumphed in Europe. 

Finland and Poland provided the empire of Russia 
with a nationalist problem of some magnitude. The 
province of Finland was taken over from Sweden 
during the Napoleonic wars, and was confirmed to 
Russia by the treaty of Vienna. Though the Russians 
were not popular in the country, there was little real 
agitation or discontent until the later part of the 
nineteenth century. Finland possessed its own Diet, 
and after 1860 its own coinage; the army was re- 
stricted to service at home, and the Finnish language 
was legalised. But an era of repression set in with 
the reign of the Czar Alexander III. Russian officials 
were appointed to censor the Finnish newspapers, 
the Russian language was made obligatory for all 
officials. A retaliatory agitation for more complete 
independence began, but did not reach the height 
of insurrection, though it produced the assassina- 
tion of the Russian Governor- General Bobrikoff in 

In Poland, however, the spirit of Nationalism was 
much stronger. A word must be said as to the 
history of the overthrow of this once extensive 
Monarchy. Poland, in the middle of the eighteenth 
century, was a large and populous kingdom, but 


its organisation was very loose and its Government 
had hardly any power. It was, in fact, a mere 
congeries of feudal estates, each governed more 
or less independently by its lord. Without any 
effective national organisation, this extensive state 
invited aggressions from its powerful neighbours, 
aggressions which were made easy by the open 
character of its clumsy frontiers and for which 
opportunity was given by the religious differences 
of the Polish people. Hence there occurred, in the 
later eighteenth century, a series of aggressions 
which resulted in the total extinction of Poland as an 
independent state. In 1772 a combined aggression 
of Russia, Austria, and Prussia resulted in the first 
partition of Poland : Russia took a long strip which 
included Mohilev, Vitebsk and Dvinsk; Austria took 
Galicia, with Lemberg, Przemysl and Tarnopol ; 
Prussia took the district known as West Prussia, 
with Elbing, Marienburg and Bromberg. In 1793, 
while Austria was concentrating all her energies on 
the Revolutionary war with France, Russia and 
Prussia stole a march on her in Poland, and the second 
partition took place. Russia now secured a very 
large piece, including Minsk, Pinsk and Berdichev ; 
while Prussia took the whole valley of the Warta, 
with Thorn, Posen and Kalisch. The last partition 
took place in 1795 ; Russia got Mittau, Kovno, 
Vilna, Grodno and Brest-Litovsk ; Austria got 
Lublin, Radom, and Cracow; Prussia got Bialystok, 
Ostrolenka, and Warsaw. Such resistance as the 
Poles thought fit to give was easily overcome by the 
armies of the spoilers. 

When Napoleon established the Grand Duchy of 
Warsaw in 1807, the Polish kingdom appeared to 
have been revived on a small scale, but with the fall 



Boundary of Poland at the Union of Lublin, 1569 '... 
The Partition of Poland, 1772-1795. 


1772 1793 1795 

To Austria 
To Prussia . 
To Russia 

of the Napoleonic empire that creation disappeared, 
and the Treaty of Vienna made a fresh partition of 


the land. The greater part of the former kingdom 
of Poland went to Russia. Twice during the nine- 
teenth century Poland rose in rebellion against the 
rule of the Czar. In 1830 the news of the Paris 
Revolution started the insurrection, which was only 
put down after a severe battle at Ostrolenka in 1831. 
A second rebellion broke out in 1863, which was 
suppressed with even greater difficulty after a three 
days' battle at Grokowiska. Poland was thereafter 
exposed to a systematic tyranny which aimed at 
the suppression of all further attempts at indepen- 
dence. The Russian language was made official 
throughout Poland, thousands of Poles were exiled 
to Siberia, and heavy fines were imposed on the 
Roman Catholic population. Discontent, however, 
could not be suppressed, and the disaffection of the 
Poles was such as to invite an attack on that part of 
Russia by Germany and Austria. When the great 
European war broke out in 1914, the Germans de- 
clared that they would liberate Poland from the 
Russian oppressor, and the Czar Nicholas II accord- 
ingly issued a proclamation to the Poles in which 
he promised them a separate Constitution and the 
reunion under his own Government of all the old 
provinces of the Polish kingdom. 

Many illustrations of the workings of the rivalry 
of the great Powers might be drawn from the 
history of the lesser states of Europe. The Concert 
of Europe can be seen at work in Spain, where 
Louis XVIII was sent to the aid of Ferdinand VII; 
in Greece, where the Powers interfered to secure its 
independence and to extend its frontiers ; in Switzer- 
land, where the movements of the Sonderbund war 
were carefully watched by the neighbouring states; 


in Denmark, where succession questions distracted 
the Government ; and in Belgium, where the Powers 
intervened to secure King Leopold in power. Colonial 
rivalries, too, bring into the foreground the question 
of the lesser states as colonising agencies, the fall 
of the Spanish overseas empire, the separation of 
Brazil from Portugal, the formation of the Congo 
Free State and its eventual annexation by Belgium. 
The lesser states, too, have played their part in the 
great events which led up to the great war of 1914, 
and we must remember that it was a question re- 
lating to one small state, namely Serbia, that led 
to the outbreak of the war, while it was a question 
relating to another small state, namely Belgium, 
that led to the entrance of Great Britain into the 

Before we close our survey of recent European 
history we must turn back to our own country and 
consider how the history of Europe reacted upon 
and influenced our history, what our attitude towards 
the great movements on the Continent has been, 
and what principles have ruled our foreign policy in 
relation to the states of the European continent. 



From her position as an insular Power, Great 
Britain enjoyed a certain freedom from continental 
entanglements. It is true that in the course of the 
eighteenth century her forces intervened with great 
effect in the various European wars of the time, but 
her main attention was usually given to domestic and 
colonial questions. She had realised that the com- 
mand of the sea would secure both herself and her 
oversea dominions from attack, and was therefore 
mainly interested in continental politics merely as 
they affected the maritime situation. If there was 
one particular question on which she had consistently 
shown great interest it was that of the Netherlands 
Threatened for long by the increasing military and 
naval strength of France, she bent every effort to com- 
datmg the aggressive schemes of the Bourbon kings 
in the Low Countries. Her policy as regards Europe 
therefore resolved itself into three main efforts- 
to prevent France from annexing Belgium and 
Holland (with their great ports facing London) to 
prevent the increase of French territory elsewhere 
and to prevent the formation of alliances between 
France and other maritime Powers. Of these the 
question of Belgium figured first and foremost ; for 
this had she gone to war in 1742 and 1756, for' this 
she joined in the Revolutionary war in 1793. 



The French Revolution was at first hailed with 
delight in England, partly because it appeared to 
be at its initiation a movement intended to create 
a constitutional state of the English pattern across 
the Channel, a state with which friendly relations 
might be possible, partly because the disturbances of 
France were likely to weaken her for aggressive 
purposes. But when the mild Constitutionalism of 
1789 developed into the Reign of Terror, and the 
apparent weakness of the armies gave place to the 
conquests of the end of 1792, England seriously took 
alarm The seizure of Antwerp, the annexation of 
Belgium and the opening of the Scheldt drove the 
Pitt Ministry into war, and, as we have seen, the war 
did not really end (in spite of the truce of Amiens) 
until the French had been driven out of Belgium. 

In the course of this great struggle— a struggle of 
twenty-two years— Great Britain had to bear enor- 
mous burdens and perform great deeds. Her taxes 
rose, her armies had to be increased and their numbers 
maintained, her commerce had to be guarded against 
the hosts of privateers sent out from the hostile ports, 
her allies had to be fed with money, her coasts had 
to be protected by a watchful fleet against the 
threatened danger of invasion. Throughout the long 
struggle the mass of the nation behaved itself with 
noble enthusiasm and patriotism. Some dark blots 
smirched the page of our history during those critical 
years: the factious opposition of the New Whigs 
under Charles James Fox to the efforts of the national 
Government, the seditious plots of a few fanatical 
Democrats, the angry violence of the Irish rebellion 
and its bloodthirsty conclusion, the perilous mutiny 
of the sailors in that moment of greatest danger 


when, in 1797, the combined fleets of France, Spain 
and Holland were prepared to sweep down on our 
coasts with an invading army. Yet some such bitter 
shadows seem bound to fall across the brilliant 
struggles of great nations, and, taken as a whole, this 
great contest with France was a brilliant struggle. 
As our Prime Minister, William Pitt, expressed it, 
England saved herself by her exertions and Europe 
by her example. 

The close of the Napoleonic war left the country 
disturbed, heavily taxed and deeply in debt. It 
was felt that a period of peace was required. There 
grew up a demand that in future England should not 
interfere in continental affairs unless its interests were 
vitally threatened, though as a matter of fact this 
really represented the policy of Great Britain as it 
had been for centuries. The idea of non-intervention 
was stimulated by the separation of the crowns of 
Great Britain and Hanover in 1837, owing to the 
German dynastic law refusing to sanction the accession 
of a woman whilst our law knew no such limitation 
to prevent Victoria ascending the throne. The separa- 
tion was hailed quite as a relief, for Hanover had 
always had entire self-government, and it had often 
been complained that England was being dragged 
into continual embroilments on the Continent for the 
benefit of the Hanoverians. It would form an inter- 
esting speculation for those who delight in following 
up the unfulfilled destinies of history to calculate 
what would have been the result of the accession of 
the male line of the House of Guelf in England had 
Queen Victoria not lived to rule. Would England 
have refused to assist Hanover against Prussia in 
1866? Would this have brought Napoleon III into 


the field against England as Prussia's ally ? Would 
the union of the crowns of Great Britain and Hanover 
have prevented the union of Germany under the 
House of Hohenzollern till the present day ? Such 
speculations are interesting and amusing, but it may 
be as well to point out that they are almost useless, 
for so complex are the forces which mould history 
that the shifting of one factor in international politics 
may cause the most extraordinary and incalculable 
results on the others. 

But while England lost what interest she had in 
Hanover she developed other interests in other parts 
of Europe. Already in 1789 she held Gibraltar, thanks 
to its magnificent defence by Lord Heathfield a few 
years earlier. The Treaty of Vienna gave her Malta 
and the Ionian Islands in the Mediterranean and 
Heligoland in the North Sea, whilst in 1878 she 
acquired Cyprus. The Ionian Islands and Heligoland 
were lost during the century, the latter in exchange 
for Zanzibar and Witu in 1890, the former ceded to 
Greece in 1864. On the whole Great Britain has 
devoted her attentions outside her own borders to 
colonial questions, and since the failure of the Hundred 
Years War in the fifteenth century she has never 
seriously thought of conquering an empire on the 
mainland of Europe. 

As a counterbalance to the idea of non-intervention, 
there grew up in the early nineteenth century a 
contrary doctrine of intervention, though it was 
based on rather novel ideas. The old policies of 
intervention had been confessedly self-interested, and 
had as their avowed aim the spread of English power 
and influence ; the new policy of intervention was 
set forth to be the outcome of a sense of moral 


duty and ungrudging altruism, though it often gave 
the appearance of being the old wolf of aggression 
in disguise. This doctrine, however, undoubtedly 
originated in unselfish motives, just as a similar 
movement in revolutionary France had done ; the 
idea was that all those states and peoples who were 
struggling for liberty and national independence 
should receive the support of Great Britain as the 
great champion of freedom and national liberty. 
The first noted exponent of this policy was George 
Canning, who, however, never lost sight of the advan- 
tages accruing from the pushing forward of England's 
name everywhere and from the appearance of British 
fleets in force at foreign harbours. Lord Palmerston 
was the next minister to adopt this policy of militant 
Liberalism, and he too was known always to keep an 
eye to the increase of Britain's influence in Europe. 
With the third great advocate of this policy, William 
Gladstone, the unselfish motive undoubtedly pre- 
dominated, for throughout his career that states- 
man always made a great point of urging the 
claims of Christian ethics, even though on some occa- 
sions they conflicted with opportunities for national 

The most celebrated example of Gladstone's 
" moral " policy was the cession of the Ionian Islands 
to Greece. Those islands became British in 1815, by 
the Treaty of Vienna. They provided a convenient 
point of vantage in the eastern Mediterranean, they 
possessed at least one fine harbour, they had a pro- 
fitable export trade ; on the other hand, the inhabi- 
tants were Greeks and expressed a violent desire for 
union with Greece. While acting as Commissioner 
or Governor of the islands, Gladstone acquired a 


sympathy with the demands of the people, and in 
1864 he prevailed upon Lord Palmerston to hand 
the islands over to the King of Greece. The act has 
been censured by many as an act of undue national 
sacrifice, though others have defended it on grounds 
of Christian goodwill and morality. 

If Britain attempted to have her say in the demo- 
cratic movements of the Continent, she in her turn 
was somewhat influenced by continental Democracy. 
The first French Revolution evoked a very consider- 
able outburst of democratic sentiment in the country, 
until the discrediting horrors of Robespierre's rule 
and the blatant militarism of Napoleon drove public 
opinion in the opposite direction. The French 
Revolution of 1830, however, distinctly influenced 
affairs in this country, for it was the example of the 
Paris insurrection that encouraged the Reformers, 
threatened the Tories and terrified King William. 
The " year of revolutions," too, produced a corre- 
sponding movement in these islands ; the Chartists 
organised the monster petition in England and the 
Irish malcontents attempted an armed rising. But 
on the whole England may claim to have exerted 
more influence on the Continent than any continental 
movements did on England. 

During the early and middle part of the nineteenth 
century, Great Britain shared the general distrust 
of France. She opposed Louis Philippe's interven- 
tion in Belgium and she protested violently against 
the Orleanist marriage in Spain. She increased her 
defences when Napoleon III became emperor, cast 
disapproving eyes on the Mexican expedition and 
formed corps of volunteers to prepare against a 
possible French invasion. When Lord Palmerston 


brought in his Conspiracy Bill in 1858 to prevent the 
recurrence of plots like Orsini's, which had been 
organised by Italians in London, Parliament drove 
the minister from power for truckling to the national 
enemy, Napoleon III. It was not until the news of 
Sedan arrived that the French danger was seen to be 
a matter of past history. 

But if fear of France occupied a prominent place 
in English foreign policy down to 1870, fear of Russia 
figured even more prominently still. There were 
several reasons why Great Britain stood in dread of 
Russian aggression. In the first place, Russia was 
considered to be a baby giant who had not yet learnt 
to use his strength, and it was feared that that vast 
Slavonic population might be one day turned loose 
on the other nations of Europe with the result of 
overthrowing that balance of power which was the 
best guarantee for peace and national security. In 
the second place, Russia's face was always turning to- 
wards Constantinople, and it was believed that if the 
Czar once got a footing on the Mediterranean English 
naval and commercial interests in the Aegean and 
the Levant would suffer, especially after the opening 
of the Suez Canal in 1869, when the main route to 
India was diverted to the Mediterranean. In the 
third place, Russia's possessions stretched out towards 
our Indian dominions, and there was a strong feeling 
against allowing her to push her frontiers right up to 
ours in that region so that her troops could march 
direct upon British India. 

For all these reasons Great Britain felt herself to be 
the enemy of Russia, and she consequently adopted 
the policy of opposing Russian aggression everywhere, 
especially in Turkey and on the Indian frontier. 


Thus from the days of the Greek war of independence 
to the days of the Berlin Treaty our efforts were used to 
maintain the strength and territory of Turkey against 
" the Bear." It was for this that we intervened in 
Greece and fought the battle of Navarino ; it was for 
this that we first supported and then fought against 
Mehemet Ali ; it was for this that we entered upon 
the Crimean war; it was for this that London rang 
with the " Jingo " song in 1878. It was not until the 
discovery that the Balkan Christians could snap their 
fingers at the Czar that British anxieties on this 
score were laid more or less at rest. 

Our fears for India nearly led us into war with 
Russia over the Penjdeh incident in 1885, and ac- 
tually did lead us into war with the Afghans, whom 
we suspected of playing into the hands of the Russians 
in 1838 and in 1878. The former of these wars wit- 
nessed the disastrous retreat from Cabul through the 
Jugdulluk Pass, when the British host was reduced 
to a single man ; the latter war (which we might 
have avoided had we accepted the Amir's offer of 
a protectorate in 1873) made the reputation of the 
future Earl Roberts. 

Colonial rivalry also played its part in other spheres 
of British action. The opening of the Suez Canal 
brought with it a renewed interest in Egypt, which 
we had occupied in 1801 only with the object of 
expelling the French expedition. This led to the 
purchase of the Khedive's Canal shares by Disraeli 
in 1875 and the occupation of Lower Egypt in 1882, 
followed up, after a pause, by Kitchener's conquest 
of Upper Egypt and the Soudan at the end of the 
century. In Indo-China we came into conflict with 
French claims in 1893, and there were other disputes 


about boundaries on the west coast of Africa. There 
was some slight friction with Germany over their 
planting of African colonies in 1884, and the Aus- 
tralians were particularly sore when England allowed 
the Germans to get a foothold in New Guinea. Eng- 
land also took part in the " scramble for China " 
at the end of the nineteenth century, when all the 
Powers set out to gain ports in the Celestial Empire. 
Whilst Russia got Port Arthur and Germany got 
Tsing-tao, Great Britain secured Wei-hai-wei as her 
share of the plunder. There were even disputes 
with Portugal over the frontiers in east and west 
Africa, and during the 'nineties much ill-feeling 
towards the English was produced in Lisbon. 

But with the beginning of the twentieth century 
arose a new factor in England's foreign policy. The 
rapid growth of German commerce and naval strength 
became a menace to our security. Though there 
were no specific reasons for quarrelling, ill-feeling 
grew between the two nations, especially after the 
outburst of hostility against us in Germany at the 
time of the Boer war. The avowed aim of the German 
Navy League, to crush the fleets of Britain, made 
hostilities a matter of probability, and the diplomatic 
opposition of Germany over the Moroccan and 
Bosnian questions still further embittered the rela- 
tions between the two countries. A secret official 
report issued in Germany in March 1913 contained 
the following bellicose passage : " Neither the ridicu- 
lous shriekings for revenge by French patriots, nor 
the Englishmen's gnashing of teeth, nor the wild 
gestures of the Slav peoples will divert us from our 
aim of protecting and extending German influence 
all over the world." Still Great Britain refused to 


commit herself to any definite treaty of alliance with 
the Powers hostile to Germany. Agreements were 
come to with France in 1904 and Russia in 1907, but 
these merely composed outstanding differences and 
gave no definite promise of help against any other 

When at last the great European war broke out, 
at the end of July 1914, Great Britain felt that a 
critical time had arisen when she might be called 
upon to act. Sir Edward Grey made a last effort to 
induce Austria to accept mediation on the subject 
of the dispute with Serbia, but his pleading fell on 
deaf ears. Then came the embroilment of Russia, 
Germany, and France in the dispute, and England 
was called upon to render assistance to the other 
members of the Entente in their hour of peril. But 
England was by no means anxious for a war, and it 
may be doubted if she would have come into the fight 
for a long time had not the German invasion of 
Belgium forced her hand. All that Sir Edward Grey 
would do was to promise to guarantee the French 
commerce and coasts from attack by a German fleet 
or invading army and to promise that if Germany 
neglected her warning on this point she would join 
France as an ally. 

As we have seen, the German plan of campaign 
necessitated a march through Belgium, and this move 
would, it was thought, almost certainly force Britain 
to side with France. It has been pointed out what 
considerations induced Germany to ignore the British 
protest. The German Chancellor, von Bethmann- 
Hollweg, sounded the British ambassador at Berlin on 
the subject, and on July 29 told him that in any case 
Belgium would be restored to her full independence 



and freedom when the war was over, and appealed to 
him for a promise of neutrality. This promise was, of 
course, refused, and the British attitude on the Belgian 
question became firm. On August 2 the German 
troop-trains moved up to the Belgian frontier and an 
ultimatum from the Kaiser's Government demanded 
free passage for his troops through Belgium to France. 
Belgium, alarmed for her own security in the event 
of the triumph of her powerful neighbour, strenuously 
refused the desired permission, and orders were given 
to the Belgian troops to resist the German invasion 
by all the strength in their power. German troops 
immediately crossed the frontier, and the King of the 
Belgians forthwith sent an appeal to King George 
to come to his assistance. After an ultimatum had 
been presented by Great Britain to Germany demand- 
ing the suspension of the invasion of Belgium, we 
declared war, on August 4, 1914. 

We may conclude, perhaps, with a quotation from 
Mr. Asquith's speech of November 9, 1914. " We 
shall never sheath the sword which we have not 
lightly drawn until Belgium recovers in full measure 
all and more than all she has sacrificed, until France 
is adequately secured against the menace of aggression, 
until the rights of the smaller nationalities of Europe 
are placed upon an unassailable foundation, and until 
the military domination of Prussia is wholly and 
finally destroyed. That is a great task worthy of a 
great nation. It needs for its accomplishment that 
every man among us, old or young, rich or poor, busy 
or leisurely, learned or simple, should give what he 
has and do what he can." 




Great Britain and Ireland 

(The United Kingdom, 1801) 

1760. George III. 

1820. George IV. 

1830. William IV. 

1837. Victoria. 

1901. Edward VII. 

1910. George V. 


1774. Louis XVI. 
[1792. First Republic.] 
1804. Napoleon I, Emperor. 
1814(1815). Louis XVIII. 
1824. Charles X. 
1830. Louis Philippe. 
[1848. Second Republic] 
1852. Napoleon III, Emperor. 
[1870. Third Republic] 


1786. Frederick William II. 
1797. Frederick William III. 
1840. Frederick William IV. 



Prussia (continued) 
1861. William I (German Emperor, 1870). 
1888. Frederick III. 
1888. William II. 


1780. Joseph II (Holy Roman Emperor since 

1790. Leopold II. 
1792. Francis II (Francis I, Emperor of Austria, 

[The title Holy Roman Emperor was 

abandoned in 1806.] 
1835. Ferdinand I. 

1848. Francis Joseph. 


1762. Catherine II. 
1796. Paul. 

1801. Alexander I. 
1825. Nicholas I. 
1855. Alexander II. 
1881. Alexander III. 
1894. Nicholas II. 

Sardinia {Italy) 

1773. Victor Amadeus III. 
1796. Charles Emmanuel IV. 

1802. Victor Emmanuel I. 
1821. Charles Felix. 
1831. Charles Albert. 

1849. Victor Emmanuel II (1861 Victor Emmanuel 

I, King of Italy). 
1878. Humbert. 
1900. Victor Emmanuel II of Italy. 


MINISTERS, 1789-1914 

)> >) 

; j :) 

Prime Ministers. 
1783. William Pitt. 

1801. Henry Addington. 
1804. William Pitt. 

1806. Lord Grenville. 

1807. Duke of Portland. 
1809. Spencer Perceval. 
1812. Earl of Liverpool 

1822. „ „ 

1827, George Canning. 

1827. Viscount Goderich. 

1828. Duke of Wellington. 

1830. Earl Grey. 

1834. Viscount Melbourne. 

1834. Sir Robert Peel. 

1835. Viscount Melbourne 

Foreign Ministers. 

Duke of Leeds. 

Lord Grenville. 

Lord Hawkesbury. 

Lord Harrow by. 

Lord Mulgrave. 

Charles James Fox. 

Viscount Ho wick. 

George Canning. 

Earl Bathurst. 

Marquis Wellesley. 

Viscount Castlereagh. 

Viscount Castlereagh (cre- 
ated Marquis of London- 
derry, 1821). 

George Canning. 

Viscount Dudley. 

Viscount Dudley (created 
Earl, 1827). 

Earl Dudley. 

Earl of Aberdeen. 

Viscount Palmerston. 

Duke of Wellington. 
Viscount Palmerston. 









Sir Robert Peel. 
Lord John Russell. 

>> )> >> 
Earl of Derby. 
Earl of Aberdeen. 
Viscount Palmerston. 
Earl of Derby. 
Viscount Palmerston. 

Earl Russell. 
Earl of Derby. 
Benjamin Disraeli. 
William Gladstone. 

Benjamin Disraeli. 
(Earl of Beaconsfield, 

William Gladstone. 
Marquis of Salisbury. 
William Gladstone. 
Marquis of Salisbury. 

>■> >> 

William Gladstone. 
Earl of Rosebery. 
Marquis of Salisbury. 

5) 5) 

Arthur Balfour. 

Sir Henry Campbell - 

Herbert Asquith. 

Earl of Aberdeen. 
Viscount Palmerston. 
Earl Granville. 
Earl of Malmesbury. 
Viscount Palmerston. 
Sir George Grey. 
Earl of Malmesbury. 
Lord John Russell (Earl 

Earl of Clarendon. 
Earl of Malmesbury. 

Earl of Clarendon. 
Earl Granville. 
Earl of Derby. 

Marquis of Salisbury. 

Earl Granville. 
Marquis of Salisbury. 
Earl of Rosebery. 
Earl of Iddesleigh. 
Marquis of Salisbury. 
Earl of Rosebery. 
Earl of Kimberley. 
Marquis of Salisbury. 
Marquis of Lansdowne. 

)> >> 

Sir Edward Grey. 


Abdul Hamid II, 159 
Acre, 177 
Addington, 54 
Adowa, 194 
Adrianople, 166 

Treaty, 157 
Afghan Wars, 255 
Agadir, 213 
Aix-la-Chapelle, 174 
Aland Isles, 178 
Albania, 151, 167-8, 214 
Alcolea, 235 
Alexander I, 96, 172, 174 

II, 97, 127, 206 

III, 243 

„ of Bulgaria, 162 

Alexandria, 52 
Alexinatz, 159 
Alfonso XII, 236 
XIII, 237 
Algeciras, 193. 212 
Alma, 178 

Alsace-Lorraine, 134 
Altenkirschen, 50 
Amiens, 133 

,, Treaty, 54 
Anarchists, 97 
Andrassy, 145 

Anglo-French Treaty, 207, 257 
Anglo-Russian Treaty, 197, 207, 

Antwerp, 48, 181 
Arbitration, 225 
Areola, 51 
Arkwright, 69 
Arnauts, 152 
Aspern-Essling, 59 

Aspromonte, 109 
Asquith, 218-19, 258 
Auerstadt, 57 
Austerlitz, 56 
Austro-Prussian War, 123 

Balaclava, 178 
Balkan League, 165 
Bapeaume, 133 
Barcelona, 236 
Basle, 239 

„ Treaty, 50 
Bastille, 27 

Batavian Republic, 52, 222 
Battle of the Nations, 63 
Bautzen, 63 
Bazaine, 130 
Beaugency, 133 
Beaune-la-Rolande, 133 
Belgian Neutrality, 218-19 

,, Revolutions, 45, 241 
Benedek, 142 
Beresina, 63 
Berg, 60 
Bergen, 54 
Berlin Decrees, 56 

„ Treaty, 162-3 
Bethmann-Holhveg, 257 
Bey rout, 177 

Bismarck, 120-34, 184-6, 205-9 
Black Peril, 229 
Black Sea restrictions, 127, 178 
Blanc, 80 

Bloody Sunday, 97 
Blucher, 65 
Bonaparte family, 58-60, 85, 





Borodino, 62 

Bosnia, 147, ch. viii, 213-14 

Bourbaki, 133-4 

Bourbonists, 84 

Boxtel, 49 

Bravo, 235 

Brazil, 189, 237 

Brindley, 70 

Brunswick, 48 

Bucharest Treaty, 167-9, 214 

Bulgaria (ch. viii) 

Cadiz, 59 

Cadorna, 111 

Calatafimi, 106 

Caldievo, 56 

Calendar, Republican, 42 

Cambriels, 133 

Camperdown, 52 

Campo Formio Treaty, 51 

Canning, 252 

Cape of Good Hope, 66 

Capua, 107 

Carbonari, 93 

Carlists, 234-6 

Carlos of Portugal, 238 

Carlsbad Decrees, 86 

Carnot, 50 

Carrier, 36 

Cartright, 69 

Cassano, 53 

Castelfidardo, 107 

Castiglione, 51 

Castlereagh, 172 

Cavaignac, 81 

Cavour, 101-8 

Ceylon, 54 

Chambord, 85 

Chanzy, 133-4 

Charles X, 79 

Archduke, 50-1, 204 

Albert, 94-5 
China scramble, 256 
Cialdini, 107 

Cisalpine Republic, 51, 222 
Clootz, 220 
Coalitions, European, 46-65 

Coburg, 49 

Codrington, 157 

Collot d'Herbois, 36 

Colombieres, 130 

Commune, 84 

Confederation of the Rhine, 60 

Congo Free State, 198 

Conscription, 201 

Constitutions, French, 28, 30, 

33, 38, 40, 42, 77, 80, 81, 82, 

Consulate, 40-1 
Continental System, 58 
Convention, 33 
Cort, 70 
Coulmiers, 133 
Cracow, 142 
Crete, 165, 167 
Crimea, 158, 177 
Crompton, 69 
Cuba, 199 
Curtatone, 95 
Custozza, 95, 110 
Czechs, 136, 142-3 
Czernowitz, Treaty, 209 

Danton, 36 

Danube Commission, 179 

Deak, 145 

Delcasse, 213 

Dembinski, 143 

Departments (France), 42 

Diebitsch, 157 

Directory, 38 

Disraeli, 255 

Dresden, 63 

Dual Monarchy, 145 

Duma, 98 

Dumouriez, 48-9 

Eckmiihl, 59 

Education, 72 

Egypt, 52, 192, 255 

Elba, 64 

Empire, Holy Roman, 14 

Esbjerg, 233 

Eylau, 57 



Faidherbe, 133-4 
Fashoda, 193 

Ferdinand of Bulgaria, 164-5 
„ of Naples, 93 

VII of Spain, 233^ 
Fez, 213 
Finisterre, 58 
Finland, 15, 243 
Fleurus, 49 
Fouche, 36 
Fox, 249 

Francis I of Austria, 141 
„ Ferdinand, 149 
,, Joseph, 143-8 
Franco, 238-9 
Franco-German War, 129 
Frankfort Treaty, 134 
Frederick William IV, 87-9, 
Emperor, 124, 133, 
,, Charles of Prussia, 

Friedland, 57 

Gabelle, 21 
Gaeta, 107 
Gallipoli, 166 
Gambetta, 133 
Garibaldi, 100, 106-10 
Geisberg, 49 
Genoa, 7, 54 

German Confederation, 66, 113, 
,, Empire, 134 
Girondins, 34 
Gladstone, 225, 252 
Godollo, 143 
Goeben, 133 
Gorgei, 143 
Gortschakeff, 141 
Gourko, 159 

Graeco -Turkish War, 165 
Gravelotte, 130 
Great St. Bernard, 54 
Great War of 1914, 150, 168, 
200, 215, 258 

Greece, ch. viii 

Greek War of Independence, 156 

Grey, Sir E., 215, 257 

Gribovo, 166 

Grokowiska, 246 

Guizot, 79 

Hague Conference and Tribunal, 

Hargreaves, 69-70 
Hasselt, 241 
Haynau, von, 144 
Hebert, 36 

Heligoland, 122, 186, 251 
Hetaireia Philike, 156 
Hohenlinden, 54 
Hohenzollern candidature, 129 
Holy Alliance, 172 
Hondschoote, 49 
Horrocks, 69 
Humbert of Italy, 208 
Hypsilanti, 156 

Ibrahim Pasha, 156 

Inkermann, 178 

Ionian Islands, 59, 66, 251-2 

Irridentism, 111 

Isabella of Spain, 234-5 

Italy, Napoleon's Km., 60 

Jacobins, 34 

Japan, 196-7 

Jemmappes, 48 

Jena, 57 

John VI of Portugal, 237 

,, Archduke, 54 
Jourdan, 49 

Kaiserslautern, 49 
Kapolna, 143 
Kara George, 156 
Kars, 178 
Kiel canal, 209 
Kirk Kilisseh, 166 
Kola, 178 
Koniggratz, 123 
Korea, 196 



Kossuth, 144 
Kotzebue, 86 
Kremsier, 89 
Kronstadt, 178, 210 
Kriiderer, von, 172 
Kumanovo, 166 
Kutchuk Kainardji, 154, 158 
Kutusoff, 62-3 

La Bisbal, 233 

Lafayette, 28, 79 

Laibach, 174 

Lamartine, 80 

Langensalza, 123 

Latour, 89 

League, Prussian, 119 

Leipzig, 63 

Le Mans, 134 

Leopold II, 30, 46 

Lettres de Cachet, 21 

Liao-Yang, 197 

Ligny, 65 

Ligurian Republic, 54 

Lisbon, 59 

Lissa, 110 

Lodi, 51 

Loigny, 133 

London Treaty (1827), 157 
„ (1841), 177 
„ (1871), 179 

Louis XVI, 24-35 
„ XVII, 64 

„ XVIII, 64, 77-8, 180, 234 
„ Philippe, 79-80, 180-1 

Lucca, 99-100 

Liitzen, 63 

Lule Burgas, 166 

Luneville, 54 

Maasen, von, 116 
Macadam, 70 
Macmahon, 130 
Magenta, 102, 130 
Magyars, 136, 142-5 
Mahniud II, 157, 175-6 
Mainz Commission, 86-7 
Malo-Jaroslavetz, 62 

Manchuria, 196 

Manteuffel, 133 

Mantua, 51 

Manuel of Portugal, 239 

Marchand, 193 

Marengo, 54 

Maria da Gloria, 237-8 

Marie Antoinette, 24, 31, 36 

Mars la Tour, 130 

Massena, 56 

Maximilian of Austria, 182 

Mazzini, 100, 108 

Mecklenburg-Schwerin, 133 

Mehemet Ali, 175-7 

Mentana, 110 

Metcalfe, 70 

Metternich, 87-8, 118, 174 

Metz, 130-32 

Mexico, 182 

Miguelists, 237-8 

Milan Decrees, 56 

Milan of Serbia, 164 

Mirabeau, 28 

Moltke, von, 120, 123, 132 

Montb61iard, 134 

Montebello, 102 

Montenegro, ch. viii 

Montenotte, 50 

Moreau, 54 

Morocco, 193, 212-14 

Moscow, 62 

Mpret of Albania, 168 

Mukden, 197 

Murat, 60 

Napoleon I, 39-42, 50-65 

II, 65 

III, 79, 81-83, 85, 93, 
101-111, 123, 125- 
132, 177, 182-3 

Narodna Odbrana, 148-9, 214 
National Verein, 115 
Navarino, 157, 255 
Necker, 27-28 
Neerwinden, 49 
Neumarkt, 51 
Nevesinje, 158 



Nice, 105 

Nicholas I, 144, 158, 175 
II, 164, 226, 246 
,, of Montenegro, 158 
Nikshich, 158 
Nile, The, 52 
North German Confederation, 

Norwegian Revolution, 242-3 
Novara, 93, 95 

O'Donnell, 233 
Olmiitz, 119 
Ordinances, Four, 78 
Orleanists, 84-5 
Orleans, battle, 133 
Orsini, 102 
Osman Pasha, 159 
Ostrolenka, 246 

Pacy, 35 

Paladines, de, 133 
Palermo, 106 
Palestro, 102 
Palmerston, 181, 252-4 
Pan-Slavism, 141 
Papacy, 111-12 
Paris, City of, 84 

Treaty (1814), 64 
„ (1856), 178 
Partitions of Poland, 244-5 
Paskievitch, 144 
Pavia, 236 
Peninsular War, 58 
Penjdeh, 197, 255 
Pentarchy, The, 173 
Periods of History, 1 
Persia, 198 
Perugia, 104 

Peter the Great's will, 154 
Petropavlovsk, 178 
Philippines, 199 
Philippopolis, 159 
Pichegru, 50 
Pitt, 249-50 
Pius VII, 92 
„ IX, 104, 107, 111 

Plehve, 97 

Plevna, 150 

Plombieres, 102 

Poland, 7, 243-6 

Poles, German and Austrian, 

135, 137, 142 
Port Arthur, 196 
Porto Rico, 199 
Portsmouth (Treaty of), 197 
Prague, 143 

„ Treaty, 110, 124 
Pressburg Treaty, 56 
Prim, 235 
Princip, 149 
Public Safety, Committee, 35 

Quadruple Entente, 211 

Radetzky, 95 
Redshirts, 106 
Referendum, 239 
Reform Verein, 115 
Religions of Europe, 12 
Republic, French (1st) 33, (2nd) 

80-1, (3rd) 83 
Rieti, 93 

Risorgimento, 100 
Rivoli, 51 
Roberts, Earl, 255 
Robespierre, 36-7 
Roon, von, 120 
Roumania, ch. viii 
Roumans of Hungary, 137 
Rousseau, 17 
Russo-Japanese War, 196 
Ruthenians, 137-42 

Saarbrucken, 129 
Sadowa, 123 
St. Cloud, 29 
St. Helena, 65 
St. Privat, 130 
St. Quentin, 133-4 
St. Vincent, 52 
Saldanha, 238 
Salonica, 166 
San Stefano, 160-1 



Saorgio, 49 

Savoy, 105 

Saxe-Teschen, Duke of, 48 

Saxony, 57 

Scharnhorst, 204 

Scheldt, 48, 181, 242 

Schleswig-Holstein, 121-5 

Schwechat, 89 

Scutari, 166 

Sebastopol, 178 

Sedan, 130 

September massacres, 32 

Serbia, ch. viii 

Serbs in Austria, 137-8, 146 

Serfdom, 96 

Seven Weeks War, 125 

Shaho, 197 

Siam, 193 

Sieyes, 41 

Sinope, 177 

Skoplje, 166 

Slivnitza, 164 

Slovaks, 137 

Slovenes, 136 

Social changes, 3 

Social Contract, 17 

Solferino, 102 

Sonderbund, 239 

Soult, 63 

South American Republics, 188 

Spanish American War, 199 

Spicheren, 130 

States-General, 24 

Steinmetz, 133 

Stieber, 128 

Stockach, 53 

Suez Canal, 254-5 

Swiss Guards, 32 

Taille, 19 
Tchatalja, 166 
Tchernaia, 178 
Telford, 70 
Temesvar, 144 
Tennis Court Oath, 26 
Terror, Reign of, 35 
Thiers, 79, 85 

Tilsit, 57 
Tirlemont, 241 
Tirpitz, von, 186 
Tourcoing, 49 
Trafalgar, 58 
Trebbia, 53 
Trinidad, 54 
Triple Alliance, 208 
Tripoli, 194 

Triune Kingdom, 142-3 
Trochu, 133 
Troppau, 174 
Tsing-Tao, 186 
Tsu-Shima, 197 
Tuileries, 31 
Tunis, 190, 194, 207 

Ulm, 56 

United States, 18, 182, 187, 199, 

Valmy, 48 
Vendee, 35, 203 
Venice, 7, 51 
Verona, 174, 234 
Victor Emmanuel I (Savoy), 100 
„ II (Savoy), 104 
I (Italy), 104-11, 145 
Vienna, 56, 59, 89 

Treaty (1809), 59 

„ (1815), 66, 99, 

223, 251 
„ (1864), 122 
Vilagos, 144 
Villersexel, 133 
Vionville, 130 
Voltaire, 17 
Volturno, 107 
Von der Tann, 133 

Wagram, 59 

Warfare, methods, 5, 128, 228 

Warsaw, 57 

(Grand Duchy), 57-9 
Waterloo, 65 
Watt, 70 
Wattignies, 49 

INDEX 269 

Weissenburg, 130 Windischgratz, 89, 143 

Wellington, 64-5 Workshops, National, 80 

Werder, von, 133 Worth, 130 
Westphalia, Kingdom, 60 

William I of Germany, 87, 120- Yellow Peril, 229 

34, 184-5 Young Italy, 100, 105 
II of Germany, 186, 192, 

209, 212-19 Zanzibar, 186 

IV of England, 253 Zollverein, 116 

„ of Netherlands, 241 Zurich, 54 

of Wied, 168 „ Treaty, 104 

Printed in Great Britain for the University of London Press, Ltd., 
by Richard Clay & Sons, Ltd., London and Bungay. 






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It is, in fact, a notable handbook of Modern English 
History, and it deserves a wide currency. 



•1 q a Q 4 


BINDHG S^CT. JUN 1 1 1970 

Hasluck, Eugene Lewis 
299 A short history of modern 

H33 Europe