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War in Europe, 

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I cannot expect to be fiee from errors of fact, 
though I have taken pains to verify statements 
that seemed likely to be questioned. Doubtless 
there are also mistakes of inference and deduction. 
At least it may be claimed that such as may be 
found in these pages do not arise from prejudice 
for or against any of the contestants ; for I have 
spent happy days and formed friendships alike in 
Germany, Austria, France, England, and Servia. 

The book is intended to be a study of facts, 
conditions and probable results, and not to be an 
argument. Upon many critical questions relating 
to the war, necessary evidence has not yet reached 
the world. Upon many others, where the facts 
are established, there is opportunity for honest 
differences of opinion. Upon few issues are the 
materials so abundant that a conclusion may be 
safely reached in the thick of the struggle. What- 
ever the faults of judgment, they are the author's 
own; the book has been written without aid or 
revision from others. The purpose is to treat the 
subject fairly and impartially. While sympathiz- 
ing with all the peoples involved, there is one na- 
tion in favor of which I feel an unalterable par- 
tiality : it is the United States of America, which 
has her anxieties and interests also in the tremen- 
dous struggle. 

Albert Bushnell Haet. 

Cambridge, October 17, 1914. 




I. — Significance of the European War . 1 
War in Our Time, 1 ; Approach and Ex- 
tent of the War, 5; Effect on the Peace 
Movement, 9; Significance to Americans, 

II. — Minor Powers of Europe .... 15 
Small and Large Powers, 15; Scandi- 
navian Group, 17; Holland and Belgium, 
19; Switzerland, 22; Spain and Portugal, 
23; Balkan States, 24. 

III. — The Six Great Powers 28 

Italy, 28; France, SO; Austria-Hungary, 
33; Great Britain, 37; Russia, 40; Ger- 
many, 44; Non-European Elements in the 
European War, 48. 

AV. — Non-political Divisions of Europe . 52 
Industrial Unities, 52; Social Unities, 54; 
Religious Divisions, 57; Lack of Religious 
Rivalry in the War, 60 ; Race Divisions 
among Minor Powers, 63 ; Race Divisions 




in Great Britain, 67; Race Divisions in 
Germany, 69; Race Divisions in Russia, 
70; Race Divisions in Austria-Hungary, 

V. — International Rivalries and Strains 78 
Traditional National Hatreds, 78; Mili- 
tary Rivalries, 82 ; Commercial Rivalries, 
85 ; Transportation Rivalries, 90 ; Colo- 
nial Rivalries, 93 ; Race Bitterness, 99. 


VI. — War in the Balkans 104 

The Balkans to 1878, 104; Balkan Trou- 
bles from 1878 to 1912, 107; Balkan 
Wars of 1912 and 1913, 111; High Tide 
for Servia, 113; Atonement for Ferdi- 
nand, 115; Responsibility for the Ulti- 
matum, 120. 

VII. — The War Becomes European . . . 125 

Attitude of Russia, 125; English Efforts 
at Mediation, 128; Austro-Russian Con- 
versations, 130; Mediation of Emperor 
William, 133; Mobilization and Diplo- 
macy, 135; France, 138; Great Britain, 
140; Montenegro and Japan, 147; Bel- 
gium, 149. 



VIII. — Psychology of the European War 

The Sovereigns, 154; The Ministers, 159; 
The Military Men, 161; Mobilization, 
163; Public Sentiment, 165; Kismet, 166. 

IX. — Questions of Neutrality . . . iQQ 
What is a Neutral? 169; Military Service, 
172; Foreign Trade, 174; Neutrality of 
Italy, 177; Neutrality of Belgium, 180. 

X. — Methods of Warfare 186 

Recruiting, 18 6; Information, 18 9; 
Atrocities, 193; Noncombatants, 195; 
Forced Contributions, 202 ; Airships, 203 ; 
Submarines and Mines, 206; Rigors of 
War, 209. 

NI. — Effect of the War on the United 

National Sympathies, 212; Trade and 
Transportation, 216; The America n Army 
and Navy, 219; American Democracy, 
223; Monroe Doctrine. 227. 

XII. — Outcome of the War 230 

Numbers and Losses, 230; Transportation 
and Supplies, 234; Command of the Sea, 
237; Varied Fields of Warfare, 240; For- 
tune of War, 243; Possible Terms of 
Peace, 246; Basis of a True Peace, 251. 








WAR is woe. War is destruction. War 
is death. War is hell. Against war 
pulls the natural shrinking of every 
living man, woman, and child from pain and dan- 
ger. War is a denial of the most elementary basis 
of political economy, which assures us that men 
habitually act upon what they suppose to be their 
interests. War fills with consternation the great 
owners of property who see impending the pov- 
erty of individuals and of nations. War is the 
enemy of culture, art, education — of everything 
that exalts the mind. War is contrary to the 
Christian religion, denying the brotherhood of 
man and the love of one's neighbor. The respon- 
sibility of bringing about war shocks the greatest 
statesmen and disturbs the most ruthless soldiers. 



War is obsolete. War is discredited. For fifteen 
years the Hague Conferences have been hopefully 
searching for a way of preventing war and 
thought the world on the brink of the millennium. 

Yet a few weeks ago suddenly burst out the 
most terrific war ever known to mankind, the 
largest, the farthest reaching, the most destruc- 
tive of life. When in 1883 the great volcano of 
Krakatoa blew itself into fragments, the sound 
was heard ten thousand miles away on the coast 
of England. So the clamor of the armed host in 
Europe crosses the ocean and disturbs the peace- 
ful life of the whole western hemisphere. 

Notwithstanding its horror the war seems re- 
mote; it is hard for Americans to realize, even 
after weeks of undiminished excitement, that 
other countries are being torn to pieces by the 
shock, destruction, and terrors of furious fight- 
ing. While the reader in his easy chair opens 
this book, far away on the other side of the ocean 
drab-clad masses of troops are trudging wearily 
— company after company, regiment after regi- 
ment, division after division, steering east, west, 
north, south — anywhere, to find their human 
prey. / ;his moment the bugle is sounding a 
halt. Tired soldiers are opening their haversacks 
and watching the kettle boil under the tripod of 
muskets. At this moment an aeroplane is hover- 
ing over a hostile town, watching for the chance 
to drop a bomb which will presently blow into- 


fragments a group of babies and nursemaids in 
the park. 

While we think about it, a million men are 
straining every nerve, flogging gun-horses, curs- 
ing, tugging, bringing up the transports, parking 
ammunition wagons, setting out hospital material, 
digging rifle pits, exchanging shots with the 
enemy's pickets ; they are half dead with fatigue, 
yet only at the beginning of their toil of getting 
ready for the coming great battle. A fourth of 
them are unconsciously preparing themselves for 
the operating table or the soldier's shallow grave. 

Just at this moment noncombatants are fleeing 
with shrieks of despair from their villages — un- 
armed men, whitebeards, women, cripples, tod- 
dling children, rushing out of the range of the bat- 
tery which is beginning to drop shells among 
them. They are leaving their little all, the sav- 
ings of a lifetime's toil, leaving it to go up in 
smoke. They cringe at the thought of the fate of 
the helpless peasants in the Balkan War of last 
year, for even civilized and Christian soldiers do 
queer things when they have in their power the 
wives and children of their enemies. 

At this moment a regiment of ini ''?a"y gives 
way and the cavalry are riding furiously among 
them, shooting, sabering, breaking their skulls. 
At this moment the horses are straining at the 
big siege guns which are slowly moving forward 
to get into range of the church spire five miles 


away beyond the trees ; and within half an hour 
the church that has lasted through centuries of 
battles and sieges and is precious with the memor- 
ials of twenty generations, will be a heap of ruins. 

Out at sea, in the track of the usual cheerful 
procession of steamers, every craft that thought 
itself in danger has been scurrying to port — to 
any port except that of an enemy. The tick of a 
wireless receiver brings alarm to a captain who 
has laughed at fifty gales. Out on the North Sea 
comes the boom of heavy guns, and the periscope 
of the submarine cuts through the water like the 
fin of a man-eating shark. Perhaps at this very 
second a vessel, German, Russian, or English, is 
hit by the unseen projectile of the monster, and 
is carrying a thousand brave sailors down to the 
bottom of the sea. 

Within the peaceful boundaries of the United 
States the war makes distress and fear. Your 
neighbor is frantic because he has no news from 
his wife and children, last heard of in Strassburg. 
The next man had everything fixed for a profit- 
able shipment of grain ; his wheat is sidetracked 
at Buffalo, and it may be months before he can 
get a vessel. Across the street is a cloakmaker ; 
his materials were to have been shipped from 
Paris this week, and now he must discharge his 
hands. Another is calculating up his share of 
the hundred millions of new taxation which the 
Federal Government has laid. The next man is 


a Serbo-Croatian, called by the Hungarian gov- 
ernment to go home and fight his blood-brethren 
of Servia; and unless he goes he never can show 
his face again in his Fatherland. No earthquake, 
no fire, no flood, no hurricane, could cause a tenth 
of the anguish and terror which has befallen the 
civilized world. 


One of the dreadful incidents of the war is the 
amazing quickness with which it has come on. 
Most wars which were not sudden inroads of 
pirates or nomad horsemen have bubbled a long 
time before the volcano finally broke out. Even 
Napoleon had a playful way of giving notice that 
he was about to strike a neighbor by upbraiding 
the ambassador of that country on some public 
occasion. The War of the Revolution had been 
gradually approaching for about a year and a 
half when it finally broke out in 1775 ; and even 
then it was more than a year before the colonies 
would take the once-for-all step of declaring in- 
dependence. In the American crisis of 1860-61 
there were five months between the secession of 
South Carolina and the firing of the first gun 
against Fort Sumter; and up to the very last 
there were hopeful spirits who thought there 
would be some kind of compromise. The war of 
Prussia against Austria in 1866 had been coming 


on visibly for a long time; and almost three 
months passed in preparations and discussions 
before the Prussian troops actually moved. Even 
the last war in which Prussia was engaged, in 
1870, was preceded by several weeks of exchange 
of views with regard to the proposed choice of a 
Hohenzollern to be king of Spain. In 1914, how- 
ever, Europe appeared to be in perfect peace on 
the morning of July 23; but on the evening of 
August 2 six powers were already committed 
to war. 

The war is, or threatens to be, European in its 
geographical extent, but it is world-wide in its 
immediate and future effect. The area of terror 
and damage reaches into every continent and 
every ocean. The actual theater of land war in- 
cludes such distant places as Kiao-Chao on the 
Chinese peninsula of Shan-Tung; the Samoan 
and Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean ; and 
the interior of Africa. The King of the Tonga 
Islands blends his note of opera-bouffe by gravely 
announcing the neutrality of his kingdom ! The 
cruisers of the various powers suddenly loom up 
just outside the three-mile limit near any neutral 
port of the Atlantic, or Pacific, or. Indian Ocean 
and then disappear. The majestic merchant 
ships of England, France, and Germany scuttle 
to port or keep the seas with apprehension. 
When before this year have the most powerful 
and fastest merchant vessels in the world been 


compelled to put out their lights, blanket their 
portholes, silence their wireless, and dash through 
fogs at full speed without the warning whistle? 
The world is learning the meaning of Kipling's 
lines : 

"The Liner she's a lady, an' she never looks nor 
'eeds — 

The Man-o'-War's 'er 'usband, an' 'e gives 'er all she 

Never since the Armada have the narrow seas 
been so full of terror, or the broad seas so beset 
with losses. Of the great fleet of the Hamburg- 
American line — two hundred and one ships in all 
— after about ten days of war, not one was afloat 
on the ocean. Of these only a few have been 
actually captured, but the stoppage of transit 
has affected the commerce of the world. Even 

"The little cargo-boats, . . . the same as you an' me" 

are afraid of capture, and anywhere in the North 
Sea are afraid of mines. 

No country in the world is detached from 
this struggle. All the small neutral powers of 
northern and western Europe are in daily fear 
of being drawn into the contest. The so-called 
neutrals of the Balkan region are watching 
their opportunity to leap into the fray at the 


dramatic moment. One Asiatic power, Japan, 
is already engaged in war and China may 
very easily be brought in. For it is the ten- 
dency of such a war to draw into its fearful 
machinery innocent and unwilling by-standing 

Many wars have been waged which, though 
desperate and long-continued, have little affected 
the ordinary life of the people. England 
throughout the Napoleonic period kept up her 
manufactures and her trade. The North, during 
our Civil War, grew more populous and richer 
every year. But the European system of uni- 
versal military service stops mines, breaks up 
factories, except those operated for military 
reasons, depletes capital, and crushes to earth the 
little business man. The number of men and 
women who had made a modest success of their 
workshop or agency or hotel and who are already 
ruined and never can recover, literally runs into 
the millions. Where are the flourishing arts of 
peace? What has become of the attractive exhi- 
bition at Malmo in Sweden? Of the great book 
show at Leipsic? Of the art exhibit at Venice? 
Who buys pictures, or orders statues, or con- 
tracts with prima donnas in such a time as this? 
Who endows universities, founds schools, builds 
laboratories, in the midst of the stress and sacri- 
fice of war? Even the arts of peace are, for the 
time being, almost paralyzed. 



The war affects the whole world through its 
fearful disappointment to those who hope for uni- 
versal peace. It is a sinister comment on the 
efforts of the first Hague Conference of 1899 and 
the second Hague Conference of 1907 and the 
Hague Tribunal and the Hague conventions, that 
in the last fifteen years eight wars have broken 
out ; and in not one have the parties availed them- 
selves of the opportunity for a rational discus- 
sion of the questions at issue. The Boer War, 
the Russo-Japanese War, the Italo-Turkish War, 
the French War in Morocco, two Balkan wars 
and the Civil War in Mexico and now this Euro- 
pean war all ignored the possibility of arbitration 
by the new machinery. 

Still it was hoped that controversies between 
great European powers would at least give time 
for discussion in the spirit, if not the precise 
methods, of the Hague movement. The passions 
of great nations run too swiftly. Sir Edward 
Grey in July never hinted at Hague arbitration, 
though he did his best to bring about a kind of 
arbitral conference of four powers. The war may 
bring such disaster to the nations that they will 
more effectually seek a way of preventing or min- 
imizing war altogether; but it looks as though 
the slow work of the Hague conferences would 
need to be done all over again, and even then 


would be hampered by the fact that the war has 
introduced many new problems of methods of 
fighting and ways of treating neutrals. 

The war has unchained neAV forces all over the 
world. Unless Europe is beaten to a standstill, 
unless every nation is so exhausted and miserable 
that it is willing to start again from the point 
where it stood when the war broke out, the strug- 
gle is bound to result in great territorial changes 
and new combinations of the powers. Austria- 
Hungary, excepting for the period of its occupa- 
tion of North Italy, has had about the same ter- 
ritory for several centuries. France, except for 
Alsace and Lorraine, has about the boundaries of 
1689 ; but now the map of Europe is likely to 
undergo adjustments. 

Even if it remains about what it was before, the 
war has shown such diabolical progress in the art 
of destroying life that it is a question whether 
civilization can endure, unless airships and sub- 
marines are put under some kind of international 
supervision. Apparently the old science of forti- 
fication has broken down. The land transporta- 
tion of men, supplies, and great guns has under- 
gone a change through the use of motors. Swift 
sea transport brings distant parts of the globe 
into the European struggle. The Mongol, the 
South Sea Islander, and the Afghan have a direct 
interest in the questions of this war and future 
wars, and may take a hand in settling them. 



To the people of the United States the war has 
the direct and immediate significance of making 
irregular and uncertain many lines of commerce 
and production. The great wheat farmer and the 
cotton planter look doubtfully across the sea. 
The banker who is ready and anxious to finance 
their shipments finds his capital dormant because 
of the lack of ships. When ships sail there is the 
serious question of guaranteeing payment for the 
cargoes on the other side. The ship-owner hesi- 
tates to take over foreign ships under the new 
registry law because he feels doubtful whether he 
can keep them busy after the war is over. The 
whole endless chain of personal and business rela- 
tions is confused and demoralized by a war to 
which we are not parties. 

This is an opportunity to profit by the neces- 
sary changes in the currents of trade. Asia and 
South America are enormously valuable markets, 
but they cannot buy unless they can sell their own 
products in exchange ; and it is uncertain how far 
the United States can either seize upon or hold 
these opportunities for trade. The people of this 
country may learn to do without certain foreign 
articles, or may make good substitutes on this 
side of the water. On the other hand it is pos- 
sible that foreign countries will learn to do with- 
out some American exports. All we are sure of 


is that the world's trade once smashed can never 
be put together in the same form again. 

Americans have enormous commercial and 
social interests in this war. The actual property 
of American individuals, firms and corporations 
abroad runs up to the hundreds of millions. The 
potential profits on the sale of American bread- 
stuffs, coal, cotton, oil, and manufactures are 
measured by scores of millions. The vast ship- 
ping property forms another link in the chain 
which binds Europe and America together. So- 
cially we are interested in countries from which 
have immigrated thirteen and a half millions of 
our own people. The United States is the largest 
and most successful champion of popular govern- 
ment as against autocratic government, and that 
is another issue in this war. 

Therefore, Americans, of all people in this 
crisis, need a knowledge of the causes, conditions, 
and probable outcome of the titanic struggle. 
They have less opportunity than Europeans of 
seeing the circumstances for themselves. Few 
American travelers penetrate deeply into the 
countries or the character of the people of 
Europe. Our diplomats are changeable; and one 
who has carefully observed the diplomatic service 
of all nations declares that most ministers never 
get acquainted with anybody except those of their 
own set whom they meet at dinners. Business 
men who trade on their own account with Europe 


are more apt to have clear views of the conditions, 
but they see only a portion of the decisive fac- 

To the best informed observers in Europe the 
relations between men and nations which have at 
last led to war are singularly intermixed ; and the 
most impartial men hardly know where to fix 
blame and responsibility. The people of the 
United States have no alliances and no national 
prejudices in Europe. During the two recent 
Balkan wars the popular sympathy went toward 
what seemed to be an effort to get rid of an obso- 
lete and offensive government. That sympathy 
has been much disturbed by the rival claims of 
the Turks, Bulgarians, Albanians, Servians, and 
Greeks. In the present struggle the United 
States sympathizes with the Austrian effort to 
hold members of many races in concord ; with the 
intellectual and scientific greatness of Germany ; 
with the republican government of France ; with 
the Russian desire to have a clear entrance to 
the world's seaways ; with English freedom of 
commerce. Our desire is to understand what the 
European nations actually are, and to realize 
the interplay of those nations upon each other. 
Still more we need to know what the race elements 
of Europe are, and how far there is truth in the 
idea that a race war is unavoidable, and perhaps 
to be desired. 

Each party to the war puts forward its own 


statement of the reasons which seemed to that 
power to make war the better choice of two evils ; 
each power is convinced that its reasons are satis- 
factory. The ministers and priests of each power 
pray to the same God for help against each 
other, and earmark the Almighty as infallibly on 
their side. Yet to the average American mind in 
all this turmoil no one reason or series of reasons 
seems clear or coherent or sufficient to justify a 
million painful deaths. The only way to form a 
judgment as to the causes, responsibility, and 
righteousness of the war is to consider what kind 
of people they are who have joined battle with 
such fury and on so tremendous a scale. 




THE present map of Europe is the result 
of many thousand years of occupation 
by primitive people who have left no 
records ; and of three thousand years of pressure 
and counter-pressure between organized political 
groups. Every mile of European frontier has a 
long record of blood and diplomacy, but the gen- 
eral territorial history has gone through four 
stages of development. First there were com- 
paratively small tribal or national groups, such 
as the Norsemen, the Gauls, the Germans. Sec- 
ond, Rome extended her power over southern 
and western Europe, solidifying these elements. 
Third, the Empire broke up about 500 a. d., and 
a multitude of fragments appeared, some of them 
independent lordships whose territory was little 
more than the castle in which the lord lived. 
Fourth, the units were slowly and with great diffi- 
culty brought together again, not into one world 



power, ' but into countries varying in size from 
the Republic of San Marino, with 32 square miles, 
to Russia in Europe with 2,100,000 square miles. 

This process has left marks upon every part 
of Europe. The Roman walls in England, in 
central Germany, and in the Balkans were parts 
of the outer boundary of Rome. The little kinks 
and curves in the frontier between Switzerland 
and Italy indicate the results of border wars 
otherwise long since forgotten. Some of the small 
powers, like Holland, are pieces broken off of a 
once larger unit. Some of the larger countries 
such as Austria-Hungary are mosaics of former 
nations and pieces of nations. 

During the last three hundred years the pre- 
vailing tendency has been to compress the remain- 
ing small units into powerful nations ; and that 
process has brought about what we now call the 
six Great Powers — Great Britain, France, Ger- 
many, Italy, Austria-Hungary and Russia; and 
there is a tendency to create a seventh unit, by 
combining the numerous Slav elements in the 
Balkans and adjacent countries into one empire. 
Alongside the six powers are fifteen weaker coun- 
tries, some of them very small. In addition there 
are five nominally independent states which are 
really protectorates — Luxemburg, Liechtenstein, 
Monaco, Andorra and San Marino. 

The key to the present situation in Europe 
is that the great national units do not in any 


country correspond to racial units. Great 
Britain has two elements ; one of which, the 
Anglo-Saxon, is a compound of several races ; and 
the other, the Celtic, is divided among Scotch, 
Irish and Welsh. France includes a large in- 
fusion of original German blood. Germany 
does not include the Germans in Switzerland, 
Austria-Hungary, and Russia, or the Germanic 
Dutch and Flemings. Italy comes nearest the 
ideal of one race inhabiting one country, though 
northern Italy, like northern France, has a strong 
infusion of German blood. Austria-Hungary and 
Russia are inhabited by many races which are by 
no means friendly to their fellow countrymen. 

To understand the war it is therefore neces- 
sary to know what are the national units of 
Europe, and at the same time to realize what is 
the strength of each in territory, population, 
wealth, fighting men, and military spirit. 


The fifteen minor European powers are divided 
into three groups. First may be mentioned the 
six prosperous and independent states of Sweden, 
Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, and Swit- 
zerland. The three Scandinavian countries have 
been the breeding place of one of the toughest 
and most warlike peoples that the world has ever 
known. The Norsemen conquered England and 


left a vigorous strain in the population of that 
island. They conquered northern France, and 
Normandy is full of their sons. They set up a 
kingdom in Sicily; they pushed into Russia. 
Sweden for a long time held large territories on 
the south coast of the Baltic. They had the 
enterprise to discover America in the year 1000, 
and America has reciprocated by discovering the 
strength and substance in those people, of whom 
1,250,000 are now a part of our Commonwealth. 

They have lost most of their former importance 
in European affairs because of the drift into 
large units ; and to-day the three kingdoms with 
313,000 square miles have a combined population 
of 10,800,000 (Sweden 5,600,000; Denmark, 
2,800,000; Norway, 2,400,000), and would be 
able in case of emergency to put about 450,000 
men on a war footing. Though renowned sailors 
for thousands of years, the Scandinavian coun- 
tries now have no navies which would be a serious 
makeweight in a general war; but their coun- 
tries have a great strategic importance because 
they flank the Baltic to the west, and because 
the only international highway from that great 
sea out to the greater ocean runs through a 
narrow water, The Sound, which is commanded 
by their batteries. Hence Germany and Rus- 
sia are credited with coveting both Denmark and 
Sweden; and before this great war broke out the 
Swedes were arming against the possibility of 


an attack from the eastward. Though Teutonic 
in origin and therefore first cousins to the Ger- 
mans, the Norsemen are not Germanic and have 
rivaled and fought Germans for ages. As late 
as 1864 the Prussians proved to the Danes by 
the resistless logic of bayonets that Schleswig- 
Holstein was not Danish territory. 


Holland and Belgium have gone through an 
interesting history. As the Italian cities were 
the center of the southern trade, wealth, and 
culture during the Renaissance, so the cities of 
the Low Countries, Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, and 
the rest, were the richest and most intelligent 
and artistic part of the north. Manufactures 
and commerce brought them wealth. A system of 
schools open to a considerable part of the boys, 
appeared earlier in those regions than anywhere 
else in Europe. They were parts of the Holy 
Roman Empire. The Low Dutch language was 
just as good, and for a long time had as much 
claim as High Dutch to be the German language. 
These provinces passed to Spain, revolted against 
Philip II; and seven of them, of which Holland 
was the most populous and wealthiest, gathered 
into a confederation (1579) which has become 
the modern kingdom of Holland. In its little 
area of 12,600 square miles live 6,000,000 peo- 


pie, who have been among the happiest folk on 
earth. The country is fertile, the Dutch are good 
sailors ; but the secret of their wealth is the 
possession of 736,000 square miles of East Indian 
islands — Java, Sumatra, part of Borneo — which 
are in a state of vassalage not very far from 
that of slavery. 

Politically and commercially the importance 
of Holland is that it covers the mouths of the 
River Rhine. Rotterdam, which has the best and 
most accessible harbor on the whole coast of the 
North Sea, except perhaps Antwerp, is an entre- 
pot of German commerce. Holland is a wall be- 
tween the German interior and the coast, forcing 
the Germans to betake themselves to the harbors 
of Bremen and Hamburg, which are less acces- 
sible from the sea side and more remote from 
the land side, than Rotterdam. The Dutch, who 
are quite aware of the value of their sea front 
to other people, have been making an effort to 
fortify their frontiers and keep up an army. 

With their war strength of 175,000 men in 
Europe and their little navy of fourteen second- 
class vessels Holland could not defend herself 
more than a few weeks against any one great 
enemy ; and is not, like Belgium, protected by 
treaties of neutralization entered into by the 
Great Powers. 

Belgium is the only one of the six northern 
small powers which has been a party to the 


present war, and its experience shows how little 
any single small power counts in the tremendous 
combinations of the twentieth century. Belgium, 
with its 11,000 square miles and its population 
of 7,400,000, is one of the most thickly settled 
areas on the globe. In the great struggle with 
Spain three centuries ago the people took the 
Catholic side and were long bottled up as Spanish 
and Austrian provinces, but in 1831 they were 
allowed to form a separate kingdom, and since 
that time have flourished. They have quantities 
of coal and are excellent iron-makers. Their 
country is a garden. Their late King Leopold, 
one of the "undesirables" of modern life, con- 
trived to make himself sovereign of an enormous 
area of 900,000 square miles on the Congo where 
he substantially made slaves of all the negro 
population that he could reach. The Belgian 
nation in 1908 shook him out of that principality 
and made the Congo a colony of the kingdom. 
There are great potentialities in this equatorial 
river region and it would be a lure to any enemy 
of Belgium. 

Belgium, as will be seen further on, is "neu- 
tralized" by a general treaty ; but it is especially 
protected by the manifest military interest of 
Great Britain. It lies opposite the British 
coast and is closely bound up with Great Britain 
in trade and business. The royal houses of the 
two countries are akin. The presence of a hostile 


or unfriendly power on that coast would under 
all circumstances be looked upon by England 
as a menace, and in 1914 led in a few hours to a 
declaration of war by England. Like the Dutch 
the Belgians tried to protect their frontier with 
modern fortifications, which proved too weak for 
the recent inventions in siege guns. The Belgian 
army has a peace strength of 54,000 and a pos- 
sible war strength of 350,000, and they have 
shown that though a small country can no longer 
protect itself against the attack of a large one, it 
may add considerable strength to an alliance. 


The sixth little country, Switzerland, is one 
of the wonders of our time. Here are two races, 
Latin and Germanic ; four languages, Italian, 
French, German, and Romansch; twenty-five little 
states united in a federation ; a population under 
4,000,000 on an area of 16,000 square miles, 
of which about half is broken mountains. This is 
the most democratic of all European countries, 
with a tradition of six centuries of self-governing 
cantons. The Swiss are the best hotel-keepers in 
the world; carry on a profitable dairy industry 
drawn from pastures above the snow; and are 
beginning to manufacture on a large scale. No 
country has ever shown more appreciation of the 
federal government of the United States, many 


elements of which may be found in the Swiss 
federal constitution. 

The Swiss are models to the world of thrift, 
self-respect, and also of self-protection. They 
have devised a system of military training under 
which every able-bodied young man serves at sev- 
eral intervals, making a total of not less than 
six months under the colors. The result is that 
within a few hours of the outbreak of war between 
Germany and France, the Swiss had 200,000 men 
on their frontier, every one used to marching, 
camping, and shooting at a mark. They are 
backed by a mountainous country which in all 
ages has been easy to defend by a few who knew 
the ground, against an invading host ; and they 
are likely to go through the war without sending 
a man across the border or seeing a hostile sol- 
dier inside their lines. 


Two other small powers are quite out of the 
radius of the war. Spain with 190,000 square 
miles, a population of 20,000,000, and an effi- 
cient war strength of 300,000, has long since 
dropped from the once proud position of the 
strongest power in Europe. Her sympathies are 
distinctly with France, and the Spaniards would 
probably throw themselves into the fray if their 
great Latin neighbor seemed likely to be downed. 


The neighboring republic of Portugal, with 34,000 
square miles and 6,000,000 people, has for sev- 
eral years been almost torn to pieces by revolu- 
tions and counter-revolutions. So far as it has 
vitality it sides with England as an ancient friend. 
The more so because Portugal has nearly a mil- 
lion square miles in Africa and finds it desirable to 
take cover under the wing of the British naval 


The third group of small powers comes close 
to the present crisis because the alleged cause 
of war arose within their boundaries. These are 
the seven Balkan states, Rumania, Bulgaria, 
Servia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, and Euro- 
pean Turkey. Within twenty-four months these 
states have been grouped in three different com- 
binations and a fourth seems impending. It is 
therefore not necessary to consider them sepa- 
rately, except to point out some differences of 
situation and of relations with the neighboring 
large powers. There is no unity among them, 
either of religion, nationality or race; and every 
one of them is more or less split up into rival 
races. Their physical make-up is about as given 
in the table on the following page. 

Another Balkan area, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 
is Austrian territory, and has an area of 20,000 
square miles, a population of 2,000,000 ; a normal 











T~li] 1 TO na 




























war strength of 100,000; and 650,000 Slavs in 
Dalmatia, which is part of the coast of the Balkan 

Here are about 26,000,000 people occupying 
a region which ought to be a geographic unity. 
The commercial situation is unique, for the Bal- 
kans front on the Black Sea, the iEgean Sea, 
the Adriatic Sea, and the great navigable Danube. 
The Balkans are also on the only land route 
between central Europe and Asia Minor, and 
that is the inevitable line of a continuous rail- 
way system stretching from the coast of the North 
Sea to the coast of the Yellow Sea in China. 

The Rumanians think of themselves as a Latin 
race and the Bulgarians as an Asiatic race, al- 
though there seems little doubt that the main 
constituent in both cases is Slavic. In all these 


countries, taken together, the Turks are 2,000,- 
000 in number, the Greeks are 4,000,000, and 
the Albanians some 1,200,000, leaving a total of 
Balkan Slavs (if all Bulgarians and Rumanians 
are included) of 17,000,000. 

The military strength of this population is 
tolerably well known through the wars of 1912 
and 1913 in which every one of these powers was 
engaged and most of them twice over. With the 
exception of Rumania, which has valuable oil 
fields, they are all agricultural countries with lit- 
tle mining, manufacturing or shipping. The 
women are accustomed at all times to work in the 
fields, and with the aid of the children and old 
men can summon the fortitude to raise a crop and 
harvest it. Hence, it is possible to put into the 
field ten per cent of the whole population for 
short campaigns. All the armies actually en- 
gaged, whether Servian, Bulgarian, Montenegrin, 
or Greek, have shown a capacity for long 
marches, hard sieges and tough fighting. It is 
perfectly clear that if all the Balkan powers, or 
the Balkan powers south of the Danube, had 
hung together after the first Balkan War of 
1912-1913, that Austria-Hungary would never 
have dreamed of stirring up a hornets' nest down 
there. A Balkan confederation which could hang 
together ten years would have a great effect on 
European politics, by its ability to defend itself 
and settle its own problems. 


A special weakness in the Balkan situation is 
the anarchy in Albania, a so-called country which 
is no country. There are hundreds of thousands 
of Albanians, speaking one Albanian language; 
but there never has been an Albanian country, an 
Albanian government, an -Albanian literature, an 
Albanian national spirit. The so-called Albania 
is filled with tribes as kindly to each other as the 
Highland clans of Scotland in old days. Albania 
is a dead weight upon every effort to settle the 
Balkans. Another weak spot is Turkey, which 
will be considered further on as an Asiatic power. 



/^\F the six great powers the smallest in 
\ P population and resources at present is 
Italy, though that country has passed 
through the most spectacular history in human 
annals. In ancient conditions southern Italy was 
the geographical center of the world for trade, 
for war, and for government. It was occupied 
by a great people who maintained the Roman 
civilization and with it encircled the Mediterra- 
nean Sea during seven eventful centuries. The 
fall of the Roman Empire is a thing for us mod- 
erns to take to heart, for it meant that the 
highest science and most powerful organization 
of those times was unavailing against the crush 
of crude but daring numbers. Italy, which had 
been the richest and safest country in the world 
became the prey of Western barbarians who 
sacked the cities, burned the fleets, threw down 
the aqueducts, uprooted the government, and 




killed a large part of the population. It took 
fourteen centuries to bring back to the peninsula 
a common Italian nationality, and the physical 
ability to defend itself. 

That work was finished only the other day; 
for it was in 1870 when the kingdom of Italy was 
completed and the capital was removed to Rome. 
The present population of Italy is 35,000,000, 
living on 110,000 square miles of territory to 
which should be added the 406,000 square miles 
of the new colony of Tripoli with 530,000 inhab- 
itants. Italy has an army based on universal 
service after the German model; but it has had 
no recent test except the conquest of Tripoli in 
1912. The normal war strength is about 700,000. 

In addition Italy has a navy which twenty-five 
years ago was a factor in international ques- 
tions, and on which it has recently been spend- 
ing about $40,000,000 a year. Navies are now 
reckoned in terms of "dreadnoughts," after an 
ironclad completed by England in 1906 of a size 
and power never before reached. Vessels of that 
type or larger are "dreadnoughts" or "super- 
dreadnoughts." The previous type of battleship 
is a "pre-dreadnought" or a second-class ship ; 
and they are still available for fleet operations, 
as are new-model torpedo-boats, "destroyers" and 
submarines. Below the pre-dreadnoughts all bat- 
tleships are antiquated and worthless for fleet 
operations, and may be left out of account in 


taking stock of the forces of the various nations. 
When, therefore, it is said that Italy possesses 
six dreadnoughts and twenty second-class cruis- 
ers, it is shown to be a respectable naval ally ; 
and the possession of that navy made it possi- 
ble to occupy Tripoli and to compel Turkey not 
only to yield her slender claims on that province, 
but to give up the Greek Islands. 

Although without coal, Italy has considerable 
manufactures and the Italians have revived their 
ancient shipping trade. They are good ship- 
builders and good sailors, and their vessels are 
found on every sea. It is rather a poor country 
in comparison with some of its neighbors, the 
public revenue being under $600,000,000, or about 
$16 per capita. In addition there are heavy 
provincial and municipal taxes and it is esti- 
mated that more than a fourth of the annual in- 
come of the nation goes into the public treasury. 
The debt of $2,800,000,000, or about four and a 
half years' income, is out of proportion to the 
means of the country, especially since Italy has 
been engaged in no European war since 1866. 


Next in order of population is France, the 
very name of which, curiously enough, is German, 
for the Franks who pushed into what is now 
northern France were first cousins of the Saxons 


and the Lombards. French novelists still like to 
make out that the Gascons of southern France 
are of a different intellectual strain from their 
northern co-citizens ; but there is no country in 
Europe in which there are fewer visible race and 
national strains than in France. Gauls, Romans, 
Teutons, and Normans have been fused into one 
French race. Except for a few insignificant 
corners of the country, nothing but French is 
heard. Provencal and "Felibrism" are rather 
gentle sports, somewhat like composing modern 
ballads in the Scotch of Robert Burns. Few edu- 
cated Frenchmen readily speak any other modern 

The defeat of 1870-71 by the Prussians sobered 
and solidified the country. There has been an 
internal strife between the Clericals and the gov- 
ernors of the Roman Church; and another be- 
tween Socialists and capitalists. When it comes 
to a great crisis like the present one, France is 
a unit: there are no longer parties or factions. 
That defeat forced France to provide a wonder- 
ful system of public schools, well ordered, and 
very effective: the present illiteracy is only 4 
per cent. The defeat also led to a military prepa- 
ration almost beyond the ability of the country 
to bear. A part of the army has been used in 
colonial wars and for colonial garrisons ; on the 
other hand the African provinces furnish black 


On 207,000 square miles of territory lives a 
population of 40,000,000. The peace strength 
of the army is 570,000 ; its formal war strength 
about 1,400,000; and its uttermost strength 
probably about seven per cent of the population, 
which would make 3,000,000 soldiers in arms for 
a short time. The French navy was not many 
years ago second only to the British but it has 
failed to keep up with the advance of other 
countries. It includes nine super-dreadnoughts 
and dreadnoughts, and about twenty second-class 
ships. France has made a desperate effort to pro- 
tect the frontiers with heavy forts ; but had not 
yet come to the point of carrying the system 
northward along the frontier of Belgium to the 

Commercially and financially France is one 
of the strongest countries in the world. Besides 
31,000 miles of railway there are 10,000 miles 
of canals and navigable rivers. The merchant 
marine has a tonnage of 1,500,000. The exports 
are about 1,200 million dollars ; and the imports 
1,600 millions, part of the difference being paid 
in the form of interest on French loans to other 
countries. The mine products are worth 150 
millions and the total manufactures are not far 
from 2,000 millions. 

The French people are notably thrifty ; and 
a few years after the "debacle" of the Prussian 
war of 1871, paid their war indemnity of 1,000 


million dollars, and began to save again. The 
country is heavily taxed — about TOO million dol- 
lars a year ; and the debt is fearful, 6,576 million 
dollars, or ten years' national income, and steadily 
increasing in time of peace when this war broke 
out. Against this burden is placed the French 
industry, inventiveness and artistic taste which 
give to the country leadership in many lines of 
trade, and a most intense national spirit. 

France possesses colonies with the prodigious 
area of 4,500,000 square miles, and a population 
of 41,000,000, of which only a few thousand are 
French. These colonies include Algeria, Tunis 
and Morocco ; large and not immediately valua- 
ble tracts in tropical Africa ; French Indo-China ; 
and a few small posts and settlements. So far 
more French money has gone into these colonies 
than has come out. 


In striking contrast with the two highly cen- 
tralized and unified countries just described is 
the Empire of Austria-Hungary. On paper it 
bulks large; its territory is 261,000 square miles; 
its population about 52,000,000. It is a central 
empire, for its boundaries touch those of Russia, 
Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Montenegro, Servia, 
and Rumania. It has a proud history of victory 
over eastern and less civilized neighbors, and has 


administered a great empire for many centuries. 
Its capitals, Vienna and Budapest, are among the 
most splendid of modern cities. The Emperor, 
who is also the Archduke of Austria and Apos- 
tolic King of Hungary, is head of the imperial 
family of Hapsburg, which for about five hun- 
dred years included the Emperor of the Holy 
Roman Empire, the leading figure among all 
German states, whether within or without his 
domains. Austria was repeatedly the foe of Na- 
poleon, and was one of the alliance which at last 
overwhelmed him. From his fall in 1815 to 1859, 
Austria, though never at war with any of her 
great neighbors, was the leading power in eastern 

When the make-up of the Empire is examined, 
its many elements of weakness will at once be 
seen. It includes half a score different races, 
and four religious confessions. In intelligence 
and education it is far behind its western neigh- 
bors : the illiteracy in Austria is 26 per cent and 
in Hungary 41 per cent. A fundamental weak- 
ness of the Empire is that it is divided into 
two rival halves, the boundary between which is 
the River Leitha which enters into the Danube 
just above Pressburg. They are often called Aus- 
tria and Hungary, from the principal court in 
each. More correct terms are for the western 
half "Cis-Leithia" and for the eastern half 
"Trans-Leithia," each including all the provinces 


in its part of the Empire, which as a whole is com- 
monly called The Dual Monarchy. The western 
half is further subdivided into seventeen provinces, 
each with its Diet, such as Upper Austria, the 
Kingdom of Bohemia, the Duchy of Tyrol, and so 
on. Trans-Leithia is subdivided into two prov- 
inces of which the Apostolic Kingdom of Hungary 
is the most populous. 

Here are all the materials for a federal 
government: a central authority based on nine- 
teen provinces besides Bosnia and Herzegovina, 
each with its own legislature ; and a central gov- 
ernment. There is, however, no federal govern- 
ment ; first because it would break up the dual 
arrangement which is a concession to the pride 
of the Hungarians ; secondly, because it would 
take the numerous Slav provinces out from under 
the control of Austria or of Hungary and give 
them an opportunity to combine their forces in 
a common congress. 

On paper Austria-Hungary is rich and power- 
ful. The total governmental revenues for local, 
provincial, Hungarian, Austrian, and general pur- 
poses are about 1,100 million dollars a year, a 
per capita of about $21 ; the debt was, at the 
beginning of this war, 3,800 million dollars, or 
almost three and a half years' income. The steam 
tonnage was 560,000, for Austria has a large 
carrying trade in the Mediterranean, to the 
Orient, and to New York. The Austrians are 


great road builders, as is shown by their 29,000 
miles of railroad and 8,000 miles of canals and 
navigable rivers. The imports are about 680 mil- 
lions a year and the exports 550 millions, the dif- 
ference being partly freight money and probably 
in part an increase of private debt. Austria has 
coal and some iron and its mines bring it in 100 
million dollars a year. The Austrians, especially 
the Bohemians, are excellent business men, com- 
petent to manage large enterprises ; but there is 
a rift between the two sections, because the Aus- 
trian side has the only good fuel and contains 
most of the manufactures, leaving the Hungarian 
side chiefly agricultural. Austria is the only 
great European power which has no colonies. 

The Austro-Hungarian army has a nominal 
peace strength of 312,000, which is only about 
half as great as in France and Germany, and a 
formal war strength of 900,000. The army 
looks good to the outsider ; the men are well set 
up, the officers trim and soldierly. The Emperor 
is a military figure, the spirit and traditions of 
the people are warlike. Nevertheless the Aus- 
trians have been beaten whenever they have gone 
to war in the last half-century. In 1848 the 
Hungarians successfully revolted and were only 
subdued by the aid of Russian troops. In 1859 
the French and Sardinians defeated the Austrians 
at Solferino in North Italy; in 1866 the Prussians 
took only one month to crush the Austrians at 


Koniggratz. In the campaigns of 1914 the Aus- 
trians, perhaps for reasons that cast no dis- 
credit on their military spirit and organization, 
were beaten in early battles by the Servians and 
the Russians. 

An element of weakness which has affected all 
these contests is the make-up of an army in which 
there are more Slavs than all other races put to- 
gether. The Austrian policy for many years was 
to hold down Hungary with Italian regiments and 
Italy with Hungarian regiments ; and now the 
forces are probably so disposed that Austro- 
Servians are not set to fight their blood brethren 
from the Balkans. As a tactical unit, however, 
the Austrian army is much less to be taken into 
account than the French, German, or Russian. 
The navy is very small, with only three first-class 
ships and fifteen of the second class ; since the 
only seaports are Trieste and Dalmatia there is 
little chance for naval operations in the open 


As one of the warring powers, Great Britain 
has had until 1914 the double advantage of being 
an island and of possessing the most powerful 
navy in the world. Von Moltke, the great German 
tactician, is said to have said that he had worked 
out three different plans for invading England, 
but none for getting out again. The distance 


across the channel is so short that if an army 
could be got on board transports lying off the 
Belgian, French or Dutch coast at nine o'clock 
at night, it could be disembarked on the English 
coast at daylight the next morning. What are 
the material resources which can protect Eng- 
land from this danger of a sudden crushing in- 

The Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland is 
smaller than any of the Continental powers ex- 
cept Italy. It contains only 120,000 square miles, 
inhabited by 46,000,000 people. The wealth of 
Great Britain is its combination of manufactures 
and commerce. Its mines produce 260 million 
dollars a year. It exports 2,000 millions a year 
of manufactured goods and about 1,500 millions 
more of other products. The total imports are 
4,200 millions. To carry this total commerce of 
7,700 millions it has 11 million tons of steam 
vessels and another million of sailing vessels. Its 
enormous capital is invested all over the globe ; 
and though the French are considered to be the 
richest European nation, the British are the 
busiest and the most generally prosperous. The 
annual income of the home government is about 
1,000 million dollars a year, or about $21 per 
capita. The national debt up to 1914 was 3,500 
millions, or three and a half years' income. 

In addition to its home wealth England rules 
the greatest colonial empire in the world, occupy- 


ing 11 million square miles of the earth's surface, 
with a population of 400 million human beings, 
of whom only 15 millions are European. This 
empire includes the semi-continent of Australia, 
the great stretch of Canada, and vast areas in 
Asia and Africa. 

In military strength Great Britain is far be- 
hind the continental powers. The regular army 
includes less than 200,000 men, of whom half are 
in the colonies ; its so-called war strength is 800,- 
000, the greater part of which are, however, raw 
levies entirely unused to war. At its utmost need 
the United Kingdom could perhaps call out for 
defense from invasion another million of green 
troops. In September, 1914, the war office inti- 
mated that it expected to put 1,500,000 men in 
the field within twelve months. 

Nevertheless the British navy makes Great 
Britain a great and immediate military power. 
Its first-class ships, dreadnoughts or better, were 
at the beginning of the war 31, against 21 similar 
German ships ; the second-class ships were 90 
against 38 for the Germans. The naval war 
strength is 130,000 men. Not only is the navy 
large; it has behind it the traditions and experi- 
ence of centuries of sea power ; and during the 
first weeks of the war it almost bottled up the 
Germans. England also succeeded in protecting 
her commerce through the Mediterranean and 
Suez Canal and across the Atlantic, and was able 


to bring thousands of native East Indian troops 
to reinforce her army fighting in France. 


Russia has for centuries been a reservoir of 
compressed political gas, pushing in every direc- 
tion for an outlet. When Peter the Great came 
to the throne two centuries ago the German's 
and Swedes almost shut him out of the Baltic, 
and the Tartars cut him off from the Black Sea. 
War after war was necessary to gain free access 
to those waters. Meanwhile the Russians pushed 
eastward through the almost unpopulated area 
of north Asia, until they reached the Pacific. The 
Black Sea is only a station on the way to the 
world's open waters, and the obvious line of 
approach for Russia is through the Bosphorus 
and the iEgean Sea to the Mediterranean. 

Notwithstanding these geographical disadvan- 
tages, Russia is an immense and growing Empire. 
The area in Europe is 2,100,000 square miles, 
with a population of 144 millions. Beyond the 
Urals Russia holds over 6,000,000 square miles 
with an additional population of 27,000,000. 
Russia boasts control of the largest number of 
Europeans that have been held under one sway 
since the fall of the Roman Empire. 

The country is in many ways poor. Its in- 
come of 1,500 million dollars is only about $9 


per capita. The national debt of 4,500 million 
dollars is not far from three years' income. These 
immense sums are possible because of the great 
numbers of people, each of whom can contribute 
a little. European Russia is two-thirds the 
size of the United States and has about 38,000 
miles of railroad against 250,000 in this country. 
The imports have been about 650 million dollars 
and the accession of Czar Peter, who admired 
a sixth of the foreign commerce of Great Britain. 
Mining and manufactures are little developed. 
The steam tonnage is only 500,000. 

As a fighting machine Russia is much less effi- 
cient than most other European countries because 
the country has relatively few railroads and good 
highways ; and the people are on a low intellectual 
plane, the percentage of illiteracy being at least 
50 per cent. This is not simply because they 
are Slavs, for out of the 144 millions, only about 
108 millions are Slavs. It is because of a gen- 
eral low state of social and political development. 
Nevertheless, the Russian army has good fighting 
material, though the officers are too few for the 
troops, and are generally considered inferior in 
fiber and training to the Germans and Austrians. 

Russian wars have been very numerous, but 
it is a significant fact that since 1762, when the 
Russian army was fighting Frederick the Great 
and the accession of Czar Peter, who admired 
Frederick, suddenly changed Prussia's enemy into 


an ally, there has been no war between Germany 
and Russia. They fought as allies against Na- 
poleon. Bismarck contrived a three-Emperor 
alliance in 1872, in which the various sorts of 
eagles learned to nest together for the time. Fur- 
ther, previous to 1914 no serious hostilities ever 
arose between Russia and Austria, in the whole 
history of both countries. 

The military strength of the Empire is hard 
to estimate because the army has been under- 
going changes since the defeat by the Japanese 
in 1905. The peace strength is stated at 1,200,- 
000, which is about twice that of any other nation. 
The war strength is loosely set down at 5,500,000. 
The number of men actually available is larger 
than in most countries because Russian levies for 
war do not break up ordinary occupations. 
When Germany or Austria mobilizes, many in- 
dustries stop on a few hours' notice. In Russia, 
just as in the Balkans, the fields can be tilled for 
a season or two even though great numbers of 
men be taken away. Russia might for a few 
months turn ten per cent of its population into 
soldiers, as Servia and Bulgaria did in 1913, 
without commercial ruin. That would make 14,- 
000,000 soldiers ; but nobody has ever devised 
transportation or commissariat for such hordes. 
Nevertheless a fraction of the population, aggre- 
gating 6,000,000, could be raised and yet would 
leave 96 per cent of the people at home. If an 


army of a million were destroyed, another million 
to replace it would only be about three per cent 
of the able-bodied males. In addition Russia con- 
tains a population of 27,000,000 in Asia. 

Two Russian fleets were destroyed by the 
Japanese ten years ago. The Russian navy 
was in process of reconstruction when the war 
came on but had not gone far, for Russia counts 
only about four dreadnoughts and sixteen second- 
class ships. Even a larger force would be of little 
service bottled up in the Baltic or Black Sea. 
Though John Paul Jones was once Admiral in 
the Russian navy, that arm of the service has 
never distinguished itself. 

In land war Russia is the only European coun- 
try that cannot be penetrated by any force that 
is likely to be brought against it. Napoleon's 
Grand Army of 550,000 men, probably the most 
tremendous that up to that time had ever been 
brought under one command, was defeated by the 
three great military geniuses, General Frost, Gen- 
eral Famine, and General Kutusoff. The Allies 
in the Crimean War never carried their invasion 
out of sight of salt water. In the present war 
the Germans and Austrians for a time occupied 
part of Russian Poland, but were pushed back 
when the main Russian army came up. This 
double quality of a country almost impervious to 
invasion, which at the same time can pour out 
almost an indefinite number of men for offense, 


gives Russia a power in war and a weight in 
European councils which has not yet been put to 
its full proof. 


By common consent the greatest military power 
in Europe is Germany. The area of 209,000 
square miles is almost exactly equal to France ; 
but though Germany is inferior to France in 
natural fertility it harbors a population of 
65,000,000. In its colonies, which are chiefly 
African, the 1,000,000 square miles contain 
12,000,000 negroes and only 24,000 white people. 
Germany by its magnificent system of common 
schools has banished illiteracy: 99 per cent of 
the people above ten years of age can both read 
and write. Probably as many as two or three 
million Germans know some other language than 
their own. No country has ever yet succeeded like 
Germany in adapting science to the arts both of 
peace and of war. The Germans are wonderful 
chemists, great manufacturers, fine shipbuilders ; 
and their Krupp guns, their dirigibles, their ex- 
plosives, are unrivaled. 

The country has a magnificent system of rail- 
roads and canals and a splendid merchant marine. 
It contains 38,000 miles of railroad and over 
8,000 miles of canals and navigable rivers. The 
Kiel Canal from the Baltic to the North Sea 
gives it a water connection within its own boun- 


daries which enables it to use its fleet either 
in the east or the west at its will. Prussia was 
always a frugal nation and Germany has had a 
similar reputation, but the national expenditure 
is not far from 1,000 millions a year, which is 
about $15 per capita. The public debt is for 
the Empire about 1,000 million dollars and for 
the states and cities 4,000 millions more. Ever 
since the war with France in 1871 Germany has 
kept a part of the thousand million dollars, ex- 
acted from France as an indemnity, as a special 
military war chest ; and it is probably now in 

The foundations of Germany's intellectual 
greatness go back to the German Renaissance 
which included the Reformation, but the country 
suffered terribly from the Thirty Years' War. 
In 1618 there were 30,000,000 Germans, who in- 
habited perhaps the most prosperous and en- 
lightened country in the world, abounding in 
castles, monasteries, cathedrals, cities, pictures, 
and statues. In 1648 only 12,000,000 Germans 
were left from the slaughter of soldiers, the fear- 
ful harrying of the country people, and the de- 
struction of proud cities such as Magdeburg. It 
was two centuries before Germany came back to 
a population of 30,000,000, and out of poverty 
and barrenness began to build up a new world 
of thought. The Germans were the first modern 
European country to organize university instruc- 


tion on the basis of a select and expert body of 
professors and freedom of choice of their studies 
by the students. Goethe lamented that the Ger- 
mans should be so strong in mind and yet so 
wretched for lack of a national existence. 

Bismarck and King William I created the na- 
tion by their genius, and founded the German 
Empire in 1871 on a military system. There is 
now hardly an able-bodied man in Germany old 
enough to shoulder a musket, who has not served 
for a few months or a year or two as a soldier, 
living in barracks, and carrying his rifle and 
knapsack, exercising, sweating, marching and 

The number of men called up has been in- 
creased till the peace strength was officially 
stated at 790,000 and the war strength at 
1,900,000. The Landwehr, who are men in the 
prime of life, at once raise the available men 
when war breaks out to about 4,000,000, which 
is 6 per cent of the total population. The 
Landsturm, of still older men, would, in a pinch, 
increase the force available for defense against 
invasion to 5,000,000 or even 6,000,000, includ- 
ing volunteers not liable for service, and tem- 
porary levies. 

Those are almost impossible figures, because 
Germany does not live entirely off her own land, 
but like England has a great manufacturing pop- 
ulation which draws part of its food supply from 


outside. To draft 10 per cent of the popula- 
tion into the army would mean such a dislocation 
of the whole social and business system that, if 
continued more than a few weeks, it would spell 
commercial ruin. 6,000,000 men are not much 
below half the German men between 17 and 45. 

The intellectual and military development of 
Germany is no more wonderful than its extraor- 
dinary development in manufactures and com- 
merce. In 1913 Germany was exporting 2,500 
million dollars' worth of products of which about 
1,500 million were manufactures; and was im- 
porting nearly 3,000 million dollars' worth, a 
total foreign trade almost two-thirds as large as 
Great Britain's. To help carry this enormous 
commerce Germany owned 3,000,000 tons of ship- 
ping, nearly all steam vessels, which made it the 
second commercial power in the world, next to, 
although only one-fourth as large as, Great 
Britain. The mines of Germany produced 600 
million dollars a year. The wealth from these 
colossal transactions has flowed into banks and 
financial institutions of every kind: it was shown 
in the rapid growth of beautiful cities ; in mag- 
nificent highways ; in great railway stations and 
bridges and tunnels; in the colossal subscription 
to government loans in 1914. In thirty years the 
country has been changed from an agricultural 
nation with some manufacturing and shipping in- 
terests, to a commercial nation which rivaled and 


pushed Great Britain in all quarters of the globe. 

The present German Emperor nearly twenty 
years ago became a convert to the idea that a 
German navy must be created to protect and fos- 
ter German colonies and German trade. He 
seems to have been influenced by that remarkable 
book, Admiral Mahan's "Sea Power," of which 
the central thought was that in time of war the 
object of naval operations is to destroy the main 
fleet of the enemy; and then your own fleet can 
go where it likes, picking up the colonies of the 
other side. Germany began in 1898 to make 
great sacrifices to build a powerful navy, which 
in 1914 reached 21 first-class and 38 second-class 
ships of war, with a multitude of smaller craft 
and a force of 200,000 men. 



It remains to notice some parts of the world 
outside of Europe which are brought into the 
pending struggle and share the fortunes of one 
or the other group of contestants. First come 
the colonies of the various nations, so far as they 
are fighting units. Only one great power can 
and does draw men, ships, and supplies from its 
outliers : Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the 
Cape Colonies, and India have all proved in the 
present war that they recognize their part in the 


mighty British Empire, and will share the dangers 
of the mother country in a European war. The 
number of troops which they can speedily add to 
the British forces is probably a hundred thou- 
sand; and in case things should go hard with 
Great Britain that number might be doubled or 

A second power, France, has built up in the 
colonies in North Africa a native army of good 
soldiers, the so-called Zouaves or Turcos. A few 
thousand of them fought in 1871 and a larger 
contingent has been put into the lines opposite 
the Germans in 1914. In case of a long war 
there is at least a recruiting ground in Africa 
for several hundred thousand French troops. 
The French colonies farther south in Africa, 
Madagascar, and French Indo-China have not 
been organized to the point where they can give 
aid to their mother country. 

A third power, Russia, has no colonies over 
seas, but can draw upon her Asiatic population 
of 27,000,000 for from 500,000 to 1,000,000 
troops, including such renowned fighting men as 
the Circassians, and the men of Samarcand and 
Khiva. The new Italian colony of Tripoli is in 
no position to give effective aid to the mother 
country. The Germans have a few thousand 
native troops in their African colonies, but they 
are too few and too distant to be drawn upon. 

Two independent Asiatic countries have shared, 


or are likely to share, in the fortunes of the war. 
Japan has in its limits of 149,000 square miles a 
population of about 52,000,000 ; in addition it 
holds Formosa with 3,000,000 people and Korea 
with 14,000,000. The peace army is about 
225,000, but within ten years Japan has shown 
a capacity to raise, transport, and supply nearly 
a million men. The navy, which was strong in 
1905, has now been outstripped by western na- 
tions. The Japanese have built three dread- 
noughts and have perhaps thirty second-class 
ships. The Japanese are excellent sailors and 
their ability to place forces of several hundred 
thousand men where they will on the eastern coast 
of Asia makes them a power to be reckoned with. 
In addition Japan is in alliance with Great 
Britain and under pledge to protect the British 
interests in the Orient in case of war, and has 
entered the contest, the first object of attack 
being the German colony of Kiao-Chao. 

The other Asiatic power is Turkey, which till 
1913 held territory reaching up till it touched 
Bosnia, and had still several million European 
subjects. Through their hold on Constantinople 
and both sides of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, 
the Turks control the entrance to the Black Sea; 
and they are in a geographical position to throw 
an army, if they had one, northward through 
Bulgaria or northwest through Macedonia. Un- 
fortunately there is no Turkish army in the mod- 


ern sense. German officers undertook to recon- 
struct the array in 1912 ; but in the war of 1913 
the Turks were beaten in every pitched battle, and 
forced to surrender every great fortress that was 

None of the European Balkan powers has any 
naval strength, except Greece, which in 1914 
bought two American ironclads of the second 
class, intended to offset two vessels ordered by 
Turkey in England. These latter ships have been 
taken over by England, but the Turks in August, 
1914, acquired two powerful German ironclads 
which took refuge in the Dardanelles. The Turks 
are, however, neighbors to the Russians in Ar- 
menia and war is not unlikely to break out on 
that frontier. 



MOST of the nations described in the pre- 
ceding chapter are not only territorial 
and nearly racial units, but have one or 
two acknowledged national lines of activity. For 
instance, the Scandinavian countries are large 
producers of food and are just beginning to de- 
velop their water power into manufactures. None 
of them has colonial aspirations, except for Ice- 
land, Greenland, and the little group of West 
India Islands including St. Thomas and St. Croix, 
which Denmark has twice been on the point of 
selling to the United States. Holland at home 
depends on a remarkably intensive tillage, and 
some manufactures ; but lives chiefly from trade. 
The three great interests of Switzerland, hotels, 
dairy products, and manufactures, merge easily 
into each other. Belgium is preeminently a man- 
ufacturing countx-y with large and profitable in- 
dustries of coal, iron, and machinery. 



So with the great powers. Italy is a prosper- 
ous agricultural country and in the north has 
large manufactures, and in all parts has a lively 
shipping trade. England is predominantly a 
manufacturing and commercial country. Even 
Ireland, though a prosperous agricultural region, 
includes the great manufacturing and shipbuild- 
ing district around Belfast. France resembles 
Great Britain in its commercial interests, but in 
addition is a rich agricultural country, having 
one monopoly product, champagne, which is at- 
tractive both to civilians and military men from 
surrounding countries. Germany, though it con- 
tains a strong constituency of large land-owners 
who demand and receive consideration for their 
agriculture, has become an industrial country 
much ruled by industrial considerations. The 
manufacturers, forwarders, and vessel-owners 
have a powerful influence on the government and 
have been able to direct the policy of the Empire 
toward foreign trade and colonies. In Austria- 
Hungary agriculture and industry divide on very 
nearly the line between the two halves of the Em- 
pire, and that causes a serious strain. The Bal- 
kans are an agricultural region exporting cattle 
and grain and every one of them wants its own 
outports. Russia possesses some mineral wealth, 
including coal, but the greater part of the people 
are land-owners or land tillers. The nation is not 
divided upon any material issues. 



From the point of view of social life every one 
of the European countries is divided into clearly 
recognized upper and lower classes. The con- 
trasts between the very wealthy and the very 
poor are nowhere sharper than in many parts of 
the United States, but they are harder to over- 
come ; partly from the tradition that a family 
once peasant must remain peasant ; partly from 
the action of the trades unions in cultivating a 
class feeling. The stratum of wage-earners is 
much more permanent than in America. The 
likelihood that the child of a poor family will 
come to be a man of consequence is decidedly less. 
The military system tends to divide most of the 
European countries sharply between the social 
class from which officers are taken, and the social 
class of the privates. 

These contrasts of material conditions are 
strengthened by the existence in all European 
countries, except Switzerland and the Balkan 
states, of an hereditary nobility, which includes 
a large number of the great land-owners, is re- 
cruited from the richest business men, and enjoys 
a decided preference for important and well-paid 
state offices, both civil and military. In some 
countries the nobility is a tradition instead of an 
actual factor in the nation's life. Thus in France 
noble families, whether their titles go back to the 


Bourbon kings or the Bonaparte emperors, pos- 
sess only what might be called a trademark in 
their titles. They have a legal right to use them 
and anybody else who assumes them can be prose- 
cuted ; but they carry no privileges and the list 
of general officers in the present French army 
shows that men without even the "de" may aspire 
to high military station. Even in plain and dem- 
ocratic Switzerland members of certain families 
in most of the cantons have an unwritten but 
recognized preference when they put themselves 
forward as candidates for election to public office. 

In all the other countries, England, Austria, 
Hungary, Russia, Italy — even in Holland, Den- 
mark and Sweden — there is a caste of nobles who 
not only think themselves, but are thought by the 
lower class, to be made of a superior clay. In 
Germany the privileges of inherited rank are re- 
duced to a system. Nobody can be a general in 
the army unless he is a "von." If necessary, he 
receives the distinction when he is promoted. The 
German nobility, outside of the reigning families, 
is, in general, not rich. The Emperor is fond of 
speaking of "my poor nobility" as a class for 
which he must provide by opening up a military 
career to its sons. These young men, together 
with the sons of the industrial and middle class, 
form the famous "officer class," which is one of 
the chief buttresses of the German army. In time 
of peace they are the hardworking drill-masters 


and administrators of their commands, the adored 
heroes of the middle-class maidens, the uniformed 
and sometimes proprietary ornaments of the city 
streets. In time of war they furnish a body of 
highly skilled professional soldiers, filled to the 
brim with genuine patriotism, devoted to their 
work, furiously loyal to their Emperor, prodigal 
of their lives, the like of which the world has 
seldom seen. On the other hand some Germans 
complain of the current notion that the officers 
are superior in ability and character to all their 

The growth of democracy has brought about 
severe strains within several of the European 
countries, strains which somewhat weaken several 
of the contestants in the war. Even in Germany 
the Social Democratic party casts over 4,000,000 
votes, which is more than a third of the total 
voters, some of whom recently played a practical 
joke by electing a Socialist member to the Reich- 
stag from the district in which His Imperial 
Majesty has his usual residence. Up to the out- 
break of the war there were many declarations 
that they would overwhelm the military party by 
a general strike of workmen in case war should 
come on. In Norway the democratic spirit has 
been so strong that the country nine years ago 
almost became a republic ; and the people, like the 
English in 1688, elected their own king. In Eng- 
land the people at large, including workmen and 


agricultural laborers, have gradually got control 
of the government; and their head representative, 
the Prime Minister, is a parliamentary king of 
far greater significance to the nation than the 
crowned king and his court. 

None of the countries now involved, however, 
has in this crisis suffered from a public opposi- 
tion to the war; partly because the war broke 
out in such a manner as to make every country 
believe that it must fight or perish; partly be- 
cause the man subject to military duty who ques- 
tions the righteousness of mobilization is likely to 
be shot; partly because even the Social Demo- 
crats would not venture to link with their move- 
ment and its destinies the odium of having weak- 
ened their nation at a critical moment. Whatever 
the result of the war, the democratic spirit is 
likely to come up again and there may be social 
revolutions like that of Russia only nine years 
ago. Still the principle of a privileged and titled 
class is dear to most Europeans, and it is not 
likely soon to disappear, no matter what defeats 
the military men may suffer from others than 
their countrymen. 


The completeness of national spirit just now 
in Europe is the more striking because there are 
several systems of grouping on that continent 


which pay little attention to national boundaries. 
Five churches, most of which have a prodigious 
number of members, are scattered through 
Europe, subdividing several countries into re- 
ligious groups which have for ages been suspi- 
cious of each other. In round numbers there are 
in Europe 110 million Greek Catholics, 180 mil- 
lion Roman Catholics, 98 million Protestants, 8 
million Moslems, 9 million Jews, a total of 405 
million inhabitants between the Ural Mountains 
and Iceland. In general terms the Greek Cath- 
olics and Moslems all live in the east and south- 
east ; the Roman Catholics in southern and cen- 
tral Europe, the Protestants in northern and 
western Europe ; the Jews are widely distributed 
with large numbers concentrated in Poland and 
some other districts of Russia, and in the eastern 
provinces of Austria. 

If there were five nations corresponding to these 
five religious groups the present war could be 
better understood, for from the days of Con- 
stantine the Great, the first Christian Roman 
Emperor, to the Balkan Crisis of 1912, religion 
has been one of the chief motives for European 
wars. The fearful Thirty Years' War was a 
conscious effort of German Catholics and German 
Protestants each to stamp out the other's re- 
ligion. There is vague talk of proclaiming a 
Holy War of all the Moslems in behalf of Turkey 
in this year 1914. If all the Protestants would 


act together, the Scandinavian countries, Hol- 
land, North Germany, England, Wales, and Scot- 
land, and parts of Switzerland and Hungary 
would be fighting side by side. If all the Roman 
Catholics would organize, France, Italy, Ireland, 
Spain, Portugal, South Germany, Austria, most 
of Hungary, German, Russian, and Austrian 
Poland, and part of Albania would be firing back 
across the Protestant entrenchments. If the 
Greek Catholics were moved by one religious im- 
pulse, the greater part of Russia, almost all the 
Balkans, and several million Austrian subjects 
would take the field. If the Moslems pulled to- 
gether, the remnant of Turkey, part of Albania, 
600,000 Albanians, 600,000 Bulgarians, and 6,- 
000,000 Russian subjects in Europe would be shar- 
pening their scimitars around the same crescent. 

Such wars would at least have behind them 
some clear and positive rule of action ; and such 
wars may conceivably come again. The Turks 
carried the Koran as far as Vienna as late as 
1683. The Prince Bishop of Salzburg exiled his 
Protestant subjects as late as 1730, and some of 
them came over to Georgia and built another 
Salzburg. The Jews in Rumania and in Russia 
have been put into a kind of social and political 
inferno, as a non-military way of fighting them. 
Why is it that the religious motive has almost 
no place in the present war? 

Chiefly because, though every nation involved 


has a state church, every nation also admits the 
right of its subjects to choose and practice some 
different religion; and to sound the trumpet of 
a religious war would mean in most countries to 
begin a civil war. The present policy of every 
modern state, including even Turkey, is to call 
every one of its subjects to the patriotic work 
of war and to avoid religious distinctions. Few 
would care to encounter the stigma of belonging 
to a non-militant church in the midst of a popu- 
lation otherwise all liable to military service. 


A few simple statistics will show clearly why 
every one of the great powers carefully avoids 
religious issues. Italy is from the religious point 
of view the most unified of the six powers. Pro- 
fessed Roman Catholics make up about 34,- 
000,000 out of the 35,000,000 people. There are 
in the country only 40,000 Jews and 70,000 
Protestants. Yet all the world knows that at 
least half the men in Italy would oppose any 
State policy which tended to give the Catholic 
Church greater power and authority than it now 
has. In France the conditions are much the same. 
Over 38,000,000 out of 40,000,000 are officially 
Catholics, and there are no less than sixty-seven 
Catholic bishops in the country. Nevertheless, 
ever since 1901 there has been a political struggle 


going on between the majority in the French 
legislative bodies and the Church authorities, in 
which the State has relentlessly dissolved more 
than five hundred Catholic associations. The 
French Protestants are 1,500,000 in number, and 
much resemble the Church of England people in 
Great Britain. They are prosperous and in some 
parts of Southern France are a strong and vigor- 
ous element, but are intensely patriotic. When 
the war broke out, Catholic priests returned from 
exile to join the army, and Protestant pastors 
are fighting alongside them. 

Great Britain is far more divided in a religious 
point of view than most people realize. Out of 
the 46,000,000 inhabitants of Great Britain and 
Ireland, 6,000,000 are Catholics, of whom 3,- 
250,000 live in Ireland, as against 600,000 Irish 
Episcopalians and 450,000 Irish Presbyterians. 
The rivalry between Catholics and Protestants 
agitated England from the Reformation in 1534 
to the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, but 
not a trace of it appears in the attitude of the 
British people toward this war. 

In Germany the situation is even more striking 
because in the population of 65,000,000 there are 
24,000,000 Roman Catholics and 600,000 Jews. 
Even in Protestant Prussia there are 15,000,000 
Catholics out of 40,000,000, and in Alsace-Lor- 
raine, Bavaria, and Baden there are more Catho- 
lics than Protestants. 


Germany has gone through long religious quar- 
rels in the Imperial Reichstag and especially in 
the Prussian Landtag where Bismarck for years 
fought the claims of the Catholic Church and 
supported the "Falk Laws" of 1880, intended to 
curb that Church. Not a vestige of that con- 
troversy appears in the German preparations 
and campaigns of 1914. 

Even in the Balkans, now that the Moslems are 
turned out, there is little religious controversy 
except that the Greek, Bulgarian, and Servian 
national churches each has an organization which 
is as much political as religious. The two coun- 
tries in which religious dissensions ought to play 
the largest part are Austria and Russia. In 
Austria-Hungary there are 34,000,000 Roman 
Catholics, 10,000,000 Greek Catholics, 4,500,000 
other Christians, including the lively Calvinists 
and Unitarians of Hungary, and 2,500,000 Jews. 
Here are elements for endless difficulty, particu- 
larly since the Hapsburg imperial house is 
strongly Roman Catholic. However, Austria long 
since learned that toleration is the only possible 
system for an Empire so loosely knit together. 

In Russia the situation is peculiar because four 
of the five European churches have millions of 
adherents in that Empire ; and because the gov- 
ernment has for many years been distinctly hos- 
tile to any church or organization outside the 
official and highly centralized state Greek Catho- 


lie Church as established in Russia. Though the 
Balkans and Russians were brought into the 
Christian faith by missionaries of the Greek faith 
that Church has for the last thousand years 
shown little missionary spirit. Wherever its ad- 
herents go priests and bishops follow them ; but 
the Russian Church has never made an effort to 
convert either other Christians or the heathen 
outside its own dominions. Perhaps for that 
reason it has been the more arrogant and intol- 
erant over its own subjects. Nevertheless it has 
been necessary to give freedom of religious wor- 
ship to the 14,000,000 Moslems in European and 
Asiatic Russia. Poland was a Roman Catholic 
country when divided in 1775, and Russian Po- 
land continues Catholic to this day in spite of all 
efforts to break up that church. There are more 
than 12,000,000 of this faith. The 6,000,000 
Jews have, in spite of all obstacles, maintained 
their faith and there are some prospects that, 
because they have taken up their military service 
so unhesitatingly, they may receive the privileges 
of Russian subjects. The Poles are encouraged 
to fight the battles of Russia because they will 
thereby earn the right to remain Roman Catholics. 


Social and religious subdivisions clearly play 
a small part in the rivalries which have brought 
on the war. How far have the differences of race 


been a factor? The race map of Europe is even 
more confused and puzzling than the map of re- 
ligions; but it is easy to trace the effect of races 
upon the grouping of the present belligerent na- 
tions. The 405 millions of Europeans are sub- 
divided into four great groups : the Slav ; the 
Asiatic ; the Teutonic ; and the Latin ; each of 
which is again subdivided into smaller portions. 
In round numbers the Slavs number 140 millions ; 
the Latin peoples — that is, Spain, Portugal, 
France, Belgium, and Italy, together with the 
Swiss and Austrian Italians and the kindred 
Greeks — make up 110 millions. The Germanic 
peoples, including nearly all the Germans, the 
Scandinavians, Dutch, Flemish Belgians, and 
English, together with northern Switzerland, are 
127 millions, and to them may be added the rem- 
nants of the Celtic race in Wales, Ireland, and 
Scotland, making in all 135 millions. The Asiatic 
races include the Finns, the Magyars, the Turko- 
Tatars of Russia, and perhaps the Bulgarians, 
and the remnants of the Turks in the Balkans, 
together about 20,000,000. 

These are the gross figures, but they are far 
from representing the real effect of race in divid- 
ing countries and creating race antipathies. 
Taking first of all the minor countries, the three 
Scandinavian powers and Holland, Spain, Portu- 
gal, are each of a nearly pure native stock and 
subject to no race strains from within; still their 


foreign policy is somewhat affected by relations 
with neighbors of the same stock as themselves. 
For example, the Dutch are probably suspicious 
of the Germans because of the possible claim that 
people of substantially the same race ought to be 
in one nation. Belgium has a Flamand element, 
which refuses to speak French, and there has been 
a neat interior quarrel between the two languages 
and the two race elements that constitute them ; 
but the rift closed up when the Germans came 
across the border. Switzerland is divided between 
the Germanic and German speaking cantons on 
the north and the Latin cantons speaking French, 
Italian, and Romansch on the south and west. 
Nevertheless, no people in the world are more 
united and more determined to stand together for 
mutual protection than the Swiss. 

In the Balkans the race strains are fiercest and 
most enduring because that peninsula has been 
the haunt of warring races ever since the Roman 
Empire; and within its borders may be found 
Slavs, Bulgarians, Turks, Rumanians, Greeks, 
and Albanians, all of whom look upon themselves 
as separate races. In fact, the Bulgarians not 
only took over the Slav language of the Servians 
after they had conquered their present seat, but 
there can be little doubt that they took in a large 
amount of the Slav population ; so that probably 
the present Bulgarian race is far more Slav than 
Asiatic. The Rumanians call themselves a Latin 


people because they have Latin words in their lan- 
guage ; but it is nearly fifteen centuries since the 
Roman people of that district lost their identity 
and the Rumanians are presumably in large part 
a Slav race. 

In the 24,000,000 of Balkan population, in- 
cluding Rumania, and what is left of European 
Turkey, the race elements are about as follows: 

Slavs 15,000,000 

Greeks 4,000,000 

Turks 2,100,000 

Albanians 1,200,000 

Jews, Gipsies, Russians, 

Magyars, etc. . . 1,700,000 


But this population is not subdivided into four 
corresponding territorial groups. About 1,- 
000,000 Bulgarians are now living in Servia or 
Greek Macedonia. About 220,000 Greeks are in 
Bulgaria and Constantinople. About 100,000 
Rumanians are in Bulgaria and Servia. About 
900,000 Turks are left in Macedonia and Bul- 
garia. The Albanians are an undoubted primi- 
tive race, as old as the Greeks or Etruscans, but 
they are divided into 400,000 Catholics, and 
700,000 Moslems and 100,000 Greek Catholics. 

It is this mix-up of races, religions, and na- 


tions which has caused the frightful wars in the 
Balkans. The Bulgarians, Servians, and Greeks 
last year adopted and practiced to some extent 
the simple policy of putting an end to the race 
issue by exterminating the people within their 
boundaries who did not correspond to the national 
unit. Greeks massacred Bulgarians, and Bul- 
garians massacred Greeks, and the Servians took 
the precaution to massacre Albanians who were 
beyond the Servian border, but even murderers 
sometimes lack thoroughness and the work of 
destruction was left uncompleted. 


Among the great powers several are almost en- 
tirely free from race stresses. In Italy and France 
there are some Germanic elements, but they have 
long since been merged in the main population. 
Neither of those powers has the slightest fear of 
a back-fire being lighted after the troops have 
gone to the front. Great Britain is nearly in the 
same condition. The British have for several 
hundred years had an Irish question which of late 
has taken the form of a demand for local self- 
government in that island. The German states- 
men seem to have entirely misconstrued the spirit 
of the Irish, who, when war broke out, instantly 
asserted their loyalty. As an Empire Great 
Britain has the responsibility of keeping order 


and content in the imperial dependencies, partic- 
ularly India. Here is a practical opportunity 
for appealing to race hatreds, for the English 
are conquerors, and as recently as 1857 had to 
fight for their lives. Even that far-distant land 
of people far more remote from the English in 
culture and point of view than the most ferocious 
Greek or Bulgarian "comitadjis," is eager with 
spontaneous gifts and offers of men. Native 
princes seventy years old demand the right to 
lead their forces to the field in France, or wher- 
ever the King of Great Britain and Emperor of 
India may need them. In South Africa the 
supposed German sympathies of the Dutchmen, 
their assumed gratitude for Emperor William's 
interest in their war fifteen years ago, has had 
some effect; a force of Boers has joined the 
Germans. So far, most of them seem to feel a 
sense of membership in the British Empire which 
is in danger; they have buried their differ- 
ences and are ready to take ship for the scene of 
battle. The 46,000,000 inhabitants in the British 
Islands are the nucleus for 300 million people of 
varied races in India, in Burma, in the Straits 
Settlements, in the Federated Malay States, in 
Egypt and Soudan. To this must be added 
1,500,000 Europeans in the Union of South 
Africa, 8,000,000 Canadians, 5,000,000 Aus- 
tralians, and 1,000,000 New Zealanders, many of 
whom are not of English race. 



Germany has some curious small elements 
which still adhere to their language and are con- 
sciously non-German. There are over 100,000 
Lithuanians; 100,000 Cassubians; 100,000 
Wends, who are the remnant of a once dominant 
Slav people. Much more significant are the 
nearly 3,500,000 Poles, the greater part of whom 
are settled by themselves in the Prussian province 
of Posen and speak no tongue but the Polish. 
Every effort to Germanize those people has failed, 
including the method of settling German emigrants 
and giving them special inducements to pros- 
per. The Poles simply adopted the same methods 
and have been even more prosperous. These peo- 
ple are Slavs and speak a Slavic tongue ; they 
have held fast to their language and nationality 
through a hundred and forty years of Prussian 
control. They lie on the frontier of Russia and 
are blood brothers of the Russian and Austrian 
Poles. Of course, they perform military service 
like other people and their young men are some- 
where at the front. The Czar of Russia has 
during the war offered to unite them with the 
Poles in Russia and to give them free use of their 
language and religion and "autonomy" under the 
Russian crown (whatever that may mean). 

The one uncertain part of Germany is Alsace- 
Lorraine, the province which was conquered and 


annexed from France in 1871. The population 
is about 2,000,000. In Lorraine French was the 
habitual language in 1871, and in Alsace Ger- 
man was spoken among the peasantry and in many 
of the towns. Apparently the greater part of the 
population of both districts at the time deeply 
resented the transfer. Many thousands emi- 
grated into France and the German government 
so suspected the annexation that for many years 
they were administered as "Imperial Terri- 
tories." There is little doubt that though only 
200,000 people are now officially reckoned to be 
French speaking, the language and the sentiment 
of devotion to France have been cultivated in a 
great number of families. Here is the curious 
spectacle of a people who were part of the Holy 
Roman Empire until about 1680, and who are 
most of them entirely German in descent yet who 
include a strongly anti-German element. 


The extreme of race divisions and stresses is 
felt by the two great powers in eastern Europe. 
Russia is generally supposed to be almost wholly 
Slav, but that is a great mistake. There is no 
recent census available, but semi-official estimates 
show about the following race proportions : Out 
of 144) million people estimated for the Russian 
Empire in Europe in 1912, apparently about 108 


million were Slavs, including 9,000,000 Poles in 
Poland and other parts of the Empire ; over 
6,000,000 were Jews; about 4,000,000 were 
Finns; 8,000,000 to 9,000,000 were Turko- 
Tatars; 2,000,000 owned to being Germans (the 
actual number is probably much greater), leaving 
about 17,000,000 of other races, most of whom 
were Europeans in origin. Leaving out the Poles, 
the Russian Slavs, who are the ruling race of the 
Empire, must be a little under 100 million or not 
much more than two-thirds of the whole popula- 

The Russians are racially somewhat different, 
because many other race elements have in the 
course of ages been amalgamated in the Russian 
race. Finns, Germans, Poles, Turks and Mongols 
have intermarried and accepted the Russian lan- 
guage and culture. There is a little reason in 
Kipling's dictum that "Russia is not the most 
eastern of western nations, but the most western 
of eastern nations." The effect of domination 
by the Mongols is still seen in Russian absolutism, 
and the sharp separation of the ruling class. Yet 
no people so easily acquire western languages and 

The 9,000,000 or so of Poles living in Poland 
have furnished Russia with much the same con- 
troversy as that in Prussian Poland, with the ad- 
dition of a Jewish population of over a million, 
and with the aggravation that the Russians have 


made a much more determined effort than the 
Prussians to break the Polish national spirit. In 
1830 and again in 1863 the Poles revolted and 
attempted to restore their independent nation. 
They have been suspected, persecuted, deprived 
of privileges ; yet the Russian government is 
driven at last to offer to loyal Poles the greater 
part of that which they have so long demanded. 
The Poles have been racial and Slav champions ; 
they have proved the possibility of a compara- 
tively small race fraction of the Empire keeping 
its individuality and at last achieving for itself 
a local status. Not as a reward for this devotion 
to their race, but in recognition of their willing- 
ness to fight for their former harsh masters, the 
Poles seem likely to secure for themselves some- 
thing like the degree of self-government that is 
possessed by every state in our Union. 

The Finns present a somewhat different prob- 
lem, for they were a recognized part of Sweden 
from 1323 until 1809; they are of an Asiatic 
race, closely akin to the Magyars ; they preserve 
their own language ; and though the Czar of 
Russia was their sovereign, they were for many 
years not included in the Empire. They have had 
their own coinage and, until twenty-five years ago, 
their own postal system. Out of a population of 
3,000,000 there are only about 10,000 Russians. 
The world has looked on with sympathy at the 
brave efforts of this little people to preserve 


rights which were denied them simply because 
they did not fit in with the general Russian sys- 
tem of a centralized government, carried on by a 
small Russian aristocracy. In the present war 
their loyalty has been suspected, but unless Rus- 
sia should suffer serious reverses there is no like- 
lihood of their getting out from under the Russian 
crown. If autonomy is granted to Poland, how- 
ever, the argument that all Russia must be uni- 
form falls away, and the Finns may come into 
their own again. 


The immediate cause of the present war was 
the fear of the government of Austria-Hungary 
that race rivalries were about to break up that 
Empire. That this fear has much reason may be 
seen from a brief statement of the actual race 
divisions in the Dual Monarchy. The total popu- 
lation, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, is as 
follows: Cis-Leithia (the Austrian half), 29,- 
000,000; Trans-Leithia (the Hungarian half), 
21,000,000; Bosnia and Herzegovina, which are 
a sort of dependency of the whole Empire, 2,- 
000,000, a total of 52,000,000. Among these 
52,000,000 may be found members of every race 
of central and eastern Europe. The Germans 
are 12,000,000; Magyars, 10,000,000; Italians, 
about 1,000,000; various miscellaneous races, 


1,000,000; Slavs, 28,000,000. Of these last 
5,000,000 are Poles, 7,000,000 are Serbs (Ser- 
vians and their blood brethren, the Croatians, 
Slovenians and Bosnians) ; 4,000,000 are Ruthen- 
ians (i. e., people speaking Russian, but living 
within the boundary of the Empire) ; Bohemians, 
5,000,000 ; Moravians, Slovaks, and other Slav 
people, 7,000,000. 

Not only are the Slavs in the majority in the 
Empire by the proportion of 28 to 24, but they 
are in a majority in the Austrian half by 18,- 
000,000 Slavs against 10,000,000 Germans, and 
1,000,000 Italians. In Hungary there are 11,- 
000,000 non-Magyars against 10,000,000 Mag- 
yars, but out of the 11,000,000 about 3,000,000 
are Germans and other non-Slavic people, and 
3,000,000 more in Rumania who do not consider 
themselves Slavs. 

Then how does it come that both on the Aus- 
trian side and on the Hungarian side the Slavs 
are completely under the dominion of the other 
races? First of all, because they are subdivided 
into many provinces which are not geographically 
grouped together. Bohemia is on the northwest- 
ern frontier, close against Germany ; Galicia, 
which is Austrian Poland, is on the northern 
frontier, close against Russia, and that is the 
reason that Lemberg and Cracow were so furi- 
ously attacked by the Russians in August, 1914. 
The Slav mountain provinces of Carniola and 


Gradiska are on the, west, almost alongside Italy. 
Croatia and Slavonia lie on the south ; and Bos- 
nia is next door to Servia. Thus the Slav prov- 
inces make a circle around the great provinces of 
Hungary and Austria from Rumania back to 
Montenegro. The eastern Slav states are fast in 
a vise between Hungary and Russia; the western 
are hemmed in by Hungary and the Austrian- 
Germans on the one side and the German Empire 
and Italy on the other. It is politically impos- 
sible for those provinces ever to form an empire 
which shall not include the Magyar and German 
central states. 

That patent difficulty does not in the least 
prevent a tremendous race pressure. Hungary 
considers itself a separate kingdom having the 
same sovereign as Austria, and within a few years 
has hinted that it might get on as an independent 
kingdom. Nobody who has not been in the coun- 
try understands the intense feeling between the 
Magyar and the German, based on the fact that 
in the dual monarchy there is only one king and 
he is a German, is surrounded by Germans and 
is infused with a policy of close friendship and 
mutual enterprise with the Empire of Germany. 
There was a time when Vienna nearly overcame 
the Hungarians. Maria Theresa a hundred and 
fifty years ago drew the great nobles to her court, 
attempted to attach them as courtiers to the 
capital, made them wear German clothes, swear 


in German, and even speak the hated language. 

The Hungarian grandees were land-owning 
magnates, who liked the extraordinarily manly 
and picturesque costume of their noble fathers, 
were fond of making their own decisions, and at 
last broke away from this de-Magyarizing influ- 
ence. In 1848 they came to the point of declar- 
ing their own independence and actually had it 
so far as Austria was concerned, till Russia oblig- 
ingly sent troops to destroy the new republic and 
restore its people to the Austrian domination. 
One result of the defeat of the Austrians by the 
Prussians in 1866 was a new understanding be- 
tween the Austrian and Hungarian parts of the 
Empire in 1867 under which each had its govern- 
ment and the Monarchy should act for both sec- 
tions in foreign relations, military matters, and 
common finances. 

This gave the Hungarians nearly a free hand 
in an attempt to Magyarize the Slavs, which has 
gone on steadily until the outbreak of this war. 
In earlier times the Austrian government delib- 
erately planted Germans, Rumanians, and Ser- 
vians on the outer borders of Hungary, as a par- 
tial curb upon that proud people. The effort of 
Hungary to break down the racial feeling of those 
units has been a failure, as has been the similar 
effort of the Germans over the Bohemians and 
Italians on their side of the Empire. The success 
of the Serbs in the Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 


stiffened the courage of all the Slavic units, espe- 
cially on the Hungarian side; and led to a belief 
in the minds of Hungarian and German leaders 
that some of the Slavs in Bosnia and Croatia 
were on the point of revolt. 




THE political, religious, and racial divisions 
of Europe account for a part of the pas- 
sions which brought about war, but when 
the issue was once joined many other causes com- 
bined to bring one nation after another into the 
struggle and to arrange them in two hostile 
groups. The first of these is a set of rather ob- 
scure national hatreds. For about five hundred 
years the English and the French, though sep- 
arated by only twenty-two miles of water, cordi- 
ally detested each other, and with few exceptions 
found themselves on opposite sides in any Euro- 
pean war. The Napoleonic struggle in which 
England remained the only power which kept up 
the war year after year (with the short interval 
of the Peace of Amiens in 1802) strengthened 
this feeling; but after Napoleon's fall the two 
countries became reconciled; then friendly; then, 



in the Crimean War of 1854, allies. Later diffi- 
culties arose chiefly out of rivalries for territory 
in central Africa ; but for some time before the 
war the two countries were not only friends but 
cordially united for common defense. Months 
ago, before there was a glimmer of war, the 
British government made an agreement by which 
the French fleet was to be concentrated in the 
Mediterranean, and the British fleet in the Chan- 

For several generations England and Russia 
were at swords' points, of late years over the 
territorial question of the boundaries in central 
Asia, and it is only sixteen years ago that Rud- 
yard Kipling denounced the Russians. 

"When he shows as seeking quarter, with paws like 

hands in prayer, 
THAT is the time of peril — the time of the Truce of 

the Bear!' 

Nevertheless of late years, the conviction which 
has arisen in the minds of both countries that 
there was nothing in the world which they both 
wanted to such a degree that one must yield or 
the other would fight, has removed that animosity ; 
and the two countries are now cooperating. 

The Germans and the French were fearfully 
exasperated with each other through the conquests 
of Napoleon and his harsh handling of conquered 
countries and places, but Germany, like England, 


had no quarrel with the Bourbon monarchy that 
was restored in France after Napoleon was over- 
thrown. The thing that brought war in 1870 was 
that France under the Second Empire was the 
last obstacle to a German Empire. Having over- 
thrown the French, the Germans took away what 
to their minds seemed a mislaid part of their own 
country, since it had been French only a matter 
of two hundred years. That detail adjusted, 
from that time to the present the Germans have 
shown the gracious conqueror's willingness to be 
forgiven. The French have consistently hated the 
Germans and all their works with the same kind 
of resentment that the Prussians felt when Na- 
poleon desolated their country in 1806. Still 
even in the midst of terrible fighting the Germans 
have a much kindlier feeling for the French, whom 
they recognize as people with a grievance, than 
against the English who, to their minds, have 
come into the war when they had received no 
injury to themselves. 

The hatred between Germany and England is 
a thing of recent date. The King of England 
from 1715 to 1760 was also Elector of Hanover. 
In the eighteenth century England was the help- 
ful friend and ally of Prussia, against France 
and Austria. Indeed the war of 1914 is the first 
serious conflict in history between the Anglo- 
Saxons and their close racial kinsmen, the Ger- 
mans. The English stood by and saw the 


French abjectly defeated in 1871 without in- 
terfering. Bismarck and Disraeli acted to- 
gether cordially in the settlement of the Balkan 
question in 1878. The mother of the present 
German Emperor was a daughter of Queen Vic- 
toria. Suspicion between the two powers which 
ripened into hatred goes back to the beginning 
of a German navy about fifteen years ago, which 
put the English to the expensive task of keeping 
up a navy which should at all times be as large 
as that of Germany, combined with that of any 
other power in the world. The English thought 
that the Emperor William sympathized with the 
Boers in the South African War of 1899. The 
Germans felt that the English were unwilling to 
give them a fair chance in Africa and took the 
side of France in the complications over Morocco 
in 1911. Somehow in both countries people at 
large caught the idea that the other fellows meant 
them harm. Nevertheless, we have the best of 
documentary evidence that for some time up to 
the actual declaration of war the Germans were 
trying hard to come to an understanding with 
England and through England with France, so 
as to form a "block" in western Europe. 

These national dislikes were weak in compari- 
son with the hatred felt between Austria-Hungary 
on one side and Servia and Montenegro on the 
other. Since the Servians had no seaport they 
were dependent for an outlet upon Austria, which 


has long treated them with rudeness and con- 
tempt. The Austrians on the other hand, espe- 
cially since the recent Balkan wars, have consid- 
ered Servia the leader in an effort to break up the 
Empire. Anyone who has been in the Balkans 
catches the evidence of this fierce and burning 
race hatred between the Serb and his powerful 
neighbors, the Magyars and Germans. 


National ill-feeling has been very much height- 
ened by the universal military service which now 
obtains throughout Continental Europe. It 
means that every boy, as he grows up, looks for- 
ward to military service and puts into shape 
the reasons why so many soldiers are needed. 
Frenchmen or Germans are taught that they are 
serving their country by getting ready to repel 
the attack of Germans or Frenchmen. Every 
general staff takes pains to learn what is going 
on in the neighboring country and what its spirit 
is. The officers particularly feel it a professional 
matter to think ill both of the character and the 
military preparations of their neighbors. For 
months the officers of the German navy are said 
to have been drinking a toast, "To the Day" ; 
that is, to the day when their fleet would clash 
with that of the English. Doubtless there has 
been a similar spirit among British officers. 


Part of the military preparation is the fortify- 
ing of cities and frontiers. In the Alps along 
the boundary between Italy and Austria moun- 
tain peaks have been taken, galleries have been 
constructed behind cliffs, forts have been built 
thousands of feet above the valleys, railroads and 
highways are protected by batteries and forts. 
The French about twenty-five years ago began to 
construct a system of powerful forts along their 
frontier from Switzerland to Luxemburg, flanked 
by smaller forts and aided by redoubts and en- 
trenchments which made almost a continuous line. 
The effect of that system was to hold the Germans 
for many weeks at the beginning of the war from 
an invasion of France by that route. 

Great cities like Paris are provided with a mod- 
ern system of forts, a hundred miles in circum- 
ference. Other cities like Vienna and Berlin are 
protected chiefly by the armies on the frontiers ; 
but even in peace cities are occasionally put under 
what the Germans call a "secondary state of 
siege," in which the police have unusual powers 
over visitors and residents. The effect is to 
create in the public mind the feeling that war is 
inevitable ; that every precaution must be taken 
all the time ; that somebody beyond the border is 
simply watching for the opportunity to leap at 
the throat of one's country. 

Armies in time of peace are kept within their 
own boundaries except for a few visits of show 


troops ; but navies go all over the world. Whether 
or no trade follows the flag, international jeal- 
ousies are likely to follow the flag. Sometimes 
light upon a state of feeling is shed by incidents 
of the official courtesies of naval intercourse. 
When the United States, for instance, sent in 
1908 a fleet of ironclads to make a friendly visit 
in Japan, the Japanese with punctilious courtesy 
announced that they would send a fleet of an 
equal number of vessels to meet and escort the 
Americans to their anchorage in Yokohama. 

Nobody quite knows in Europe how many 
soldiers are called into service, or how many forts 
are building, but all military authorities with 
eagerness watch the annual list of new naval ves- 
sels, and the accounts of new types of destructive 
craft. War feeds on war; every battle leaves be- 
hind it something to avenge. The prestige of 
defeating an army ; the ambition of the command- 
ing generals ; the desire for an opportunity of 
distinction, all play their part in pushing a coun- 
try into war. A new pace was set in 1913 by the 
unexpected success of the Balkan allies against 
Turkey. Emperor William at once announced 
that the results of the war compelled him to en- 
large the German army ; and he also pushed 
through the Reichstag a special war tax of 1^ 
per cent on the property of Germany. France 
took alarm at what seemed to her a disturbance 
of the military balance, and in 1913 passed a bill 


providing in future for a three-year military ser- 
vice for all able-bodied young men. Instead of 
making this immediately effective by keeping the 
"class of 1910," which had already served two 
years, the government called up in the same year 
the class that had reached the age of 20, and also 
the class that was 21 years old, thus increasing 
the army under the colors by something less than 
one-third. These preparations made the Germans 
think war was approaching. The air was full of 
a military spirit. 


From the days of the Carthaginians and the 
Punic Wars down to the present time a fruitful 
cause of war is the desire of nations to secure a 
trade and the profits thereof. In the old days, 
when the seas were beset by pirates, no permanent 
trade was possible that was not protected by a 
military or naval force; and when so protected it 
became a monopoly. Our modern conditions are 
different; civilized powers unite to clear the seas 
of pirates and the general tendency is to open the 
ports of every nation to the vessels of every na- 
tion. The two principal restrictions are protec- 
tive tariffs, which aim to prevent international 
trade, and the rigid colonial system which keeps 
colonial ports closed except to vessels of the em- 
pire to which they belong. In spite of tariffs, all 


the contesting powers have been trading among 
each other and with other powers which have re- 
mained neutral. The old-fashioned colonial sys- 
tems have almost broken down except in Russia, 
whose colonies lie next door to them on the main- 
land of Asia. Never since the world began was 
trade as broad and as profitable as in the year 

The evidence of this is the tremendous volume 
of business reported by statisticians. The carry- 
ing trade between nations busied about 23,- 
000,000 tons of shipping; the new ships built in 
that year aggregated about 3,000,000 tons ; the 
total value of international commerce was 42,000 
million dollars. Every one of the six powers 
shared in this prosperity. The total value of 
English imports and exports combined was 6,900 
million dollars ; that of Germany was 5,000 mil- 
lion; and France 3,900 million; of Austria 1,250 
million; of Italy 1,200 million; of Russia 1,450 
million, making a total of 19,700 million in those 
powers alone. The external commerce, out and 
in, of the United States in that year was 4,300 
million. Since every export from one country is 
an import into another, these totals divided by 
two give 12,000 million dollars as the approxi- 
mate value of the commodities transported across 
the boundaries of the six great European powers 
and the United States. The profits upon that trade 
could hardly have been less than 2,000 millions. 


England was the greatest carrier and had the 
most populous colonies, but Germany was con- 
stantly raising the skill of her manufactures, the 
enterprise of her merchants, the industry and at- 
tention to business of her selling machinery in 
other countries. Germany's actual and propor- 
tional trade increased from year to year. Ap- 
parently Great Britain was not anxious on that 
score because her trade was never so great as 
in 1913 when England imported goods to the 
value of 394 million dollars from Germany and 
exported a value of 292 million dollars to Ger- 
many. There is no evidence that England had 
formed any purpose of shutting German goods 
out of her colonies or excluding German ships 
from any of the high seas. On the contrary, 
England looked on without a protest at the found- 
ing of the Germany colony of Kiao-Chao in 1898, 
which was expected to grow into an entrepot of 
Chinese trade. In fact, the English did not find 
their colonial trade the chief source of national 
wealth; inasmuch as the exports from Great 
Britain to all the British colonies were only 1,024 
million dollars out of a total export of 3,112 
million dollars. Of course, if England really de- 
sired to destroy or to damage German commerce, 
a war would be the readiest way of bringing it 
about, provided England could keep control of 
the seas. 

For many years there has been a competition 


of nations in picking up points of vantage for 
future trade. The British, as one of the four 
great colonizing and trading nations of the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries, had an oppor- 
tunity to choose their seats early, especially as 
they fought and in the end overcame the other 
large maritime powers, the Dutch, the Spaniards, 
and the French. Think of the spots which the 
English soldier "painted red" in those early 
times ! Boston, New York, Chesapeake Bay, 
Charleston, Jamaica, Honduras, Bombay, Cal- 
cutta, Madras, Ceylon, Singapore, Gibraltar, 
Malta, Puget Sound, Cape Town, Melbourne, 
New Zealand, and later Hong Kong, Aden, 
Egypt, Cyprus. Pickings were good when Eng- 
land began. These fortified posts give England 
protection all the way from London through the 
Mediterranean and the Red Sea, to India, China, 
and Japan. The purchase of the Suez Canal in 
1875, which has remained a British public work, 
completed this magnificent chain. 

Something was still left for future collectors 
of commercial points of vantage. The Dutch 
have their East India Islands, which would, how- 
ever, be simply a weakness if they entered into 
this war. The French have established themselves 
in North Africa, Mauritius, Madagascar, retain 
Martinique and French Guiana, and have taken 
up a convenient set of stations in southeastern 
Asia. The United States has planted its flag in 


Porto Rico, the naval stations of Cuba, the Pan- 
ama Canal strip, the Hawaiian Islands, and 
Manila. Nevertheless there was not much avail- 
able for the Germans. Their African possessions, 
though large, lie entirely off the great highways 
of the world's commerce. Their Pacific Islands 
are of little account. It was natural to feel that 
they were crowded out and that war might give 
a chance to upset the English chain of islands, 
dependencies and fortified places. 

The Germans appear to be convinced that a 
main cause of the war was the formal decision of 
the British government that German trade and 
German shipping must be driven from the sea. 
No steps were taken in that direction by Parlia- 
ment; none by the British colonial governments. 
The splendid North German Lloyd line, by its 
intelligence and courtesy, became the best from 
Europe to Eastern Asia. German goods were 
sold in every British market. The German in- 
ference from this fact was a deep-laid, long- 
planned conspiracy to pool the British colonial 
trade policy with the French Alsace-Lorraine 
policy and the Russian pan-Slavic policy, all 
watching for a convenient moment to force Ger- 
many and her allies, Austria-Hungary and Italy, 
into war. This was the method of the English 
with the Spaniards from 1577 to 1807, with the 
Dutch from 1651 to 1689; with the French from 
1689 to 1815. Germany was the fourth rival 


commercial nation, and thought it logical that an 
attempt should be made to ruin her in the same 
way. The fact that the Dutch, the Spaniards 
and the French have to-day a large commerce 
in spite of English opposition a century ago, may 
or may not affect this argument. The United 
States has an immense foreign trade, on every 
sea ; yet has not been conscious of any purpose 
of Great Britain to kill that trade, by laws or 
by dreadnoughts. How far Great Britain seems 
to have sought to force a quarrel at this time will 
be discussed later in this book. The German con- 
clusion on the subject is in the nature of the case 
not based on documentary evidence, for none 
bearing on this question of restriction of trade 
has been made public. 


The sea roads are open to all nations, and will 
be so long as there is a system of civilized powers ; 
but the land roads are monopolies, and the coun- 
tries through which they run are likely to adhere 
to the power that controls the highway. 

Several unofficial statements by Germans of the 
disabilities under which Germany has labored 
argue that one of the objects of German policy 
is to build and control a railway from western 
Europe to southern Asia. For this purpose there 
is only one possible direct route. It goes down 


the upper Danube; southeastward through the 
Balkans to Constantinople ; thence eastward 
through Asia Minor, rounding the northeast 
coast of the Mediterranean ; across to the valley 
of the Euphrates ; down that river to the Persian 
Gulf ; thence eastward through Persia till it 
strikes the Indian Empire. 

The conception is a magnificent one, and would 
long ago have been carried out in some fashion 
but for the masterly success of Turkey in pre- 
venting any radical improvement in the conditions 
of its Empire, and the objection of the English, 
who had no wish to let others find a short road 
to India. Considerable parts of this line are al- 
ready built or under way. From Berlin to 
Vienna, Budapest, and Belgrade there is a well- 
traveled route. From Belgrade lines through 
Servia and Bulgaria and the remnants of Turkish 
territory reach the Golden Horn. Three miles 
away across the Bosphorus is the handsome sta- 
tion of the German-owned railway through South- 
ern Asia Minor to Eregli. Thence the road is 
under construction eastward, and there is a con- 
cession from the Turkish government all the way 
to Bussorah, which was a famous place three 
thousand years ago when the Hebrew prophet 
asked, "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with 
dyed garments from Bozrah ; this that is glorious 
in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his 
strength?" Thence probably a line will be con- 


structed through Persia and Baluchistan to Kur- 
rachee, where it would connect with the Indian 
system. Before many years a line will certainly 
be built from the eastern end of that system, in 
Burma, through the mountains to Southern China 
and Canton. 

There is ground for the German feeling that 
the world has not been fair to them in their rela- 
tions with the Orient. The Russians have con- 
tinuous territory to the Pacific, and the Trans- 
Siberian railway, which is an international high- 
way. The English are the masters of the short 
sea line via the Suez Canal, because they possess 
naval power against anybody else, because of 
their fortresses, and because of their ability to 
block the Suez Canal against their enemies in 
time of war, whatever the Convention of 1888 
may say to the contrary. The Germans had the 
capital, wanted to invest it in a railroad, and 
secured a concession from Turkey. Failing an 
official announcement, we are left to guess how 
far the Germans felt reasonably entitled to such 
political control in the Balkans as would be neces- 
sary to give them a world-route. 

The idea of making any considerable part of 
this line a German enterprise, backed up by the 
government as a national work, conflicts with 
several serious difficulties. The first is that Ger- 
many does not reach to the Balkans ; but Austria- 
Hungary does, and one of the presumed reasons 


for the alliance between the two Empires is to 
keep open that route as far as Austrian influence 
goes. If, then, Austria can ever reach a long arm 
down through the Balkans to Constantinople, that 
link in the world-route will be brought substan- 
tially under German influence. To accomplish that 
result means the rousing up of 24,000,000 Balkan 
people who can in case of need put about 2,- 
000,000 experienced soldiers into the field; and 
they would all die in their trenches before they 
would admit the Germans directly or through the 
Austrians into their country. They have been 
under the Turkish yoke for five centuries, and 
having had the vitality to free themselves are (as 
a matter of prediction) not likely to accept the 
control of a distant power representing a differ- 
ent race and culture from their own. 

The next section of the road has also its diffi- 
culties, because though a track can be laid and 
trains can be run by a German company, there 
can be no such thing as a German national high- 
way that does not involve the conquest and hold- 
ing of a considerable part of Asia Minor. That 
Avould cut the Turkish Empire in two, and neither 
fragment could keep up a national existence. 


The war on both sides is in part a war for 
the acquirement or the protection of colonies. 


Old as the word and the practice is, we do not 
always realize that in the modern world the most 
successful colonies are not planted by any one 
power. The largest European colony in exist- 
ence is the United States of America, in which 
every person except the full-blooded Indians is 
a colonist or a descendant of a colonist. There 
are now living within our boundaries 9,000,000 
people of German or German-Austrian parentage ; 
10,000,000 of English, Scotch, Irish, and Welsh ; 
3,200,000 Slavs, inclusive of 1,700,000 Poles' 
3,000,000 Scandinavians; 2,000,000 Italians; 
130,000 Greeks. Similar colonies, especially of 
Italians and Germans, exist in the Argentine Re- 
public and in Brazil. Germans in all three coun- 
tries buy their share of German goods and thus in- 
crease the wealth and trade of the mother country. 

There seems to be an inherent feeling among 
nations that there is a special advantage and 
profit in possessing, governing, and selling goods 
to areas over which your country shall have full 
control. Plenty of money can be made out of 
colonies consisting of people of the European 
stock who have complicated and expensive wants. 
Money can be made, though less readily, from 
trade with a thickly-settled and populous coun- 
try like India ; the average buying power of the 
natives is low but there are many of them. The 
English have enjoyed an advantageous trade 
there for three hundred years. 


The ultimate profits to be drawn from colonies 
in equatorial Africa are doubtful because the pur- 
chasing power of the natives is small, and be- 
cause it is hard to induce them to labor. Some 
years ago two live young American business men 
attempted to start business in Venezuela. They 
were proceeding in a river steamer and had on 
board a mule. At a landing they called to a 
man on shore in Spanish, "Look here ! If you 
will come down and look after our mule we will 
give you a dollar." To which the answer was, 
"I have a mule up here in the village ; if 3 T ou 
will come on shore and look after my mule, I 
will give you a dollar." That is the weak spot 
in all attempts to plant European colonies among 
savage or barbarous races. Unless they can be 
stirred up by a European desire for something 
more than shelter and daily food, they can be 
induced to work only by some kind of force. The 
Dutch have for many years practised in their 
Asiatic islands what they called a "labor system," 
which was a mild slavery. King Leopold on the 
Congo and the rubber companies on the upper 
Amazon have tried the most barbarous and de- 
structive methods of inducing the natives to fur- 
nish the necessary labor for getting out the raw 
products upon which the white traders may make 
a profit. The Portuguese colonies, which are 
several centuries old, are almost a failure. 

Only three of the six European great powers 


have colonies which bring in an income. Russia 
has Asiatic provinces which under the protective 
tariff of the country are to a large degree re- 
served for Russian trade. France has found a 
field for capital and also a nursery of soldiers 
in Algeria and Tunis, and is now taking posses- 
sion of Morocco. In addition France has large 
colonies on the Niger and Congo and the Island 
of Madagascar; and Tongking, Anam, Cam- 
bodia and Cochin China, grouped under the gen- 
eral term of French Indo-China. In 1898 they 
seized the port of Kwangchau Wan from the 
Chinese. France is generally supposed to spend 
far more than she gets from her colonies, even 
counting to the good both the local taxes and the 
profits of French traders. It was bad fortune 
for the French, but a great blessing to the United 
States of America that they lost the Ohio 
Valley and subsequently had to part with Lou- 
isiana, since Providence had decreed that those 
regions were to make up part of a western 

Great Britain is the great colonizing nation of 
modern times — very early on the ground, from 
the first attacking the Spanish and the French 
colonies, uprooting the Dutch in New Nether- 
land, seizing many of the West India Islands, 
building up a magnificent empire in India and 
Burma, planting colonies and ports all the way 
from England to China, and in recent years tak- 


ing Egypt and a considerable part of the African 

The Italians have had bad luck with their 
colonies. Their settlement at Eritrea on the 
Red Sea has been a failure. The French took 
Tunis out from under their very nose in 1881, 
and it is only two years ago that they wrested 
Tripoli from its slender connection with the 
Turkish Empire. Doubtless they would be glad 
to receive a block of anybody else's colonies any- 
where, for they are fine sailors and have a large 
merchant marine. 

Germany was three hundred years ago in an 
excellent strategic position for the possession 
of colonies. The German Hansa was the largest, 
strongest, and best managed commercial enter- 
prise of the period, and practically controlled 
the whole Baltic trade. The Germans were good 
sailors and had a population of farmers and arti- 
sans who would have made the best kind of colon- 
ists. The world was then young and they might 
easily have planted themselves on the coast of 
America or in the West Indies. The Thirty 
Years' War ruined Germany and prevented her 
taking advantage of this opportunity. For the 
last hundred years the Germans have been enrich- 
ing other independent countries with the labor, the 
intellectual forces and profits of their immigrants ; 
yet in 1913 the Germans had only about 25,000 
of their own people in all their colonies, of whom 


2,000 were in the German Pacific Islands and a 
few hundred in Kiao-Chao, besides a military gar- 
rison of unknown strength. It seems clear that 
few Germans are willing to go to tropical or 
Asiatic coast settlements, even with the aid and 
incentive of their officials. 

Nevertheless Germany has an increasing popu- 
lation from which it might well spare several 
hundred thousand a year to build up a distant 
colonial empire. The question is where to find 
the space. Parts of South America are attrac- 
tive to the Germans, of whom some hundreds 
of thousands may be found in the La Plata Val- 
ley ; but the only way that German colonies could 
be founded would be by military conquest, for no 
Latin- American power would willingly admit so 
powerful a neighbor. Athwart all schemes of 
European powers in South America stands the 
Monroe Doctrine, as applied and emphasized by 
President Roosevelt in correspondence with Ger- 
many in 1901. Any valuable part of Asia would 
have to be taken by force from Russia, France 
or Great Britain. The Pacific Islands are poor 
picking so far as colonization and trade go. 
Africa is now completely subdivided among the 
various European powers. The most obvious col- 
lection of colonies is the British ; and in any fu- 
ture readjustment on a large scale, it would be 
Great Britain who would give up the territory, 
if Germany could compel the transfer. Or the 


French might be deprived of North Africa, or 
their Asiatic colonies, which lie in a more favora- 
ble zone than colonial Africa. Even there the 
question would arise which perplexes the United 
States in the Philippines : how to govern and 
satisfy a population among whom none of the 
people from home are willing to pass their lives 
and bring up their children. 


As has been pointed out in the previous chap- 
ter, the sharpest antagonism nowadays is between 
race groups. The suspicions and prejudice be- 
tween European neighbors is paralleled by the 
state of feeling between Japan and China and be- 
tween China and the Western powers in general. 
At present the race issues have been much intensi- 
fied by the experience of the Balkans where for 
five centuries there has been the most bitter feel- 
ing between the conquering Turks and the sub- 
ject Christian races. Slowly the weight of the 
Turks has been rolled off, almost disappearing 
after the first Balkan war of 1912; but that 
brought into relief the race hatreds between Bul- 
garians, Greeks, and Servians, when free to rage 
without even the small control formerly exer- 
cised by the Turkish government. So long as 
there are thousands of Bulgarians, Greeks and 
Servians living outside their national boundaries 


and each group claiming a special national status 
within the country in which it lives, there will be 
no peace in the Balkans. 

Until there is peace in the Balkans there will 
be no permanent peace in eastern Europe. Three 
outside nations have long worked upon the Balkan 
people : Turkey, Russia, and Austria. Turkey 
is for the time being out of commission, so to 
speak, but Russia has a genuine national inter- 
est in fellow Slavs and coreligionists, and, in 
addition, a determination sooner or later to take 
Constantinople by the water route through the 
Black Sea or by the land routes through Bul- 
garia and Asia Minor. Austria has also a racial 
interest in the Balkans ; a race antagonism be- 
tween the Germans and Magyars on one side and 
the Balkan Slavs and Bulgarians on the other 
side ; a race sympathy between the Croatians, 
Slovenes, and other Slav peoples and their breth- 
ren south of the Danube. In general all the 
Balkan peoples cordially detest Austria, partly 
because that country has not been obliging in 
trade relations. 

This race hatred was raised to a high pitch by 
the murder of Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Aus- 
trian imperial throne, at Sarajevo, Bosnia, June 
28, 1914. The actual murderer and some of his 
accomplices were Austrian subjects; but the Aus- 
trians laid the crime at the door first, of Servians 
who had a hand in the conspiracy; second, of 


minor Servian officials who were believed to have 
been a party to the murder; third, of the Ser- 
vian government which had not prevented the 
affair; and fourth, of the whole Servian people 
who maintained that government. 

This outbreak is only the high tide of a race 
feeling which has been evident in eastern Europe 
for many years. The Germans, both in Ger- 
many and in Austria, look upon the Slavs as an 
inferior but dangerous people. All the efforts of 
the last century and a half to Germanize them 
have come to naught, both within and without 
the German and Austrian Empires. Many Slav 
groups are doing well; for instance, the Bohe- 
mians who show an excellent capacity for business 
and finance. The Slavs are in general a less 
active, pushing and planning race than the Ger- 
mans, and have offered an india rubber resistance 
to the attempt to lead them into a culture which 
they did not desire. Yet there is no evidence 
that the Slavs are incapable of building up strong 
communities and of developing republican forms 
of government. So far as equality of condi- 
tions go the Servians, with their multitude of 
small land-holding farmers, are one of the most 
democratic peoples in the world. One of their 
offenses is that they show a capacity to do well; 
while they were weak and behind the rest of the 
world, there was bttle to fear. The thing that 
most aroused Europe in the Balkan wars was 


that Slav armies could take the field, fight des- 
perate pitched battles, and hold their own against 
a strong opponent. 

The Germans have been aroused by the so- 
called pan-Slavic movement, a vague effort, headed 
by Russia, to bring all the Slavs in eastern 
Europe into some kind of accord, which meant 
of course the drawing away of Slav subjects of 
Germany and Austria-Hungary. That movement 
is undeniably hostile to Germanism, but it has 
already lost vitality for the simple reason that 
not a single Slav unit, either in the Balkans or in 
the Austro-Hungarian Empire, desires to be a 
part of Russia or a part of any empire in which 
Russia is predominant. The Servians are doubt- 
less grateful to Russia for backing them up in the 
present war, but they would turn their armies 
upon Russia and fight till the last man dropped 
rather than be Russianized. So far as there is 
any danger that Russia may try to pick up frag- 
ments of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the prin- 
cipal obstacle is that there is apparently not a 
single Austrian province that would not think it- 
self worse off on the Russian side of the boundary 
than on the Austrian. 

Nevertheless, Germans and Slavs believe mu- 
tually each that the other race is bent upon con- 
quest ; and that if successful each will try to 
stamp out the peculiar ideas and culture of the 
other side. Protestant and Roman Catholic Ger- 


mans are to be forced into the Greek Church, or, 
per contra, the Servians and the Russians will 
be compelled to accept the Roman or a Protestant 
Church. The fierce and long-continued Russian 
effort to break up the Finnish and Polish national 
culture has been and is a strong argument on the 
Germanic side. 

Up to 1914 it was doubtful whether Russia had 
the slightest intention or wish to take Germans 
or Magyars inside her boundaries. It is doubt- 
ful whether even in the case of a great success 
Russia will demand any territory inhabited by 
Slavs except perhaps Prussian and Austrian 
Poland. The question of the future of mankind 
is not to be settled by the Slavs calling the Ger- 
mans pig-headed, obstinate, and bent on world 
rule; or by the Germans calling the Russians 
half-barbarous Asiatics. The main result of this 
state of things is, or has been, that when the 
crisis came the leading Slav power and the lead- 
ing German power were ready to believe the worst 
of each other's morals and intentions. 




MOST wars finally turn upon a single inci- 
dent which may be the culmination of 
a long and acrid controversy, but is 
accepted as the reason for hostilities. In 1861 
everybody knew that the war actually began with 
the firing on Fort Sumter. In 1870 the last of- 
ficial reason was the insistence, or supposed in- 
sistence, of the Emperor of the French upon a 
pledge from the King of Prussia that he would 
not in future allow any Hohenzollern to occupy 
the throne of Spain. In the present struggle, 
however, so many powers are involved, so many 
relations and cross-relations have to be taken 
into account, that the precise moment when the 
temple of Janus burst open is, and will always 
be, impossible to fix. For reasons hereafter given, 
August 1, 1914 marks the extinction of the last 



possibility of peace and may be considered the 
date of the beginning of the war. 

Inhabitants of a seasoned wooden house some- 
times smell smoke, then see little wreaths floating 
out from the eaves ; while they are rushing to 
and fro, calling for the fire department, suddenly 
the flame, which has been gaining ground within, 
shoots up through the roof, and all you can say 
about it is, "Fire ! Fire !" So it is with the 
present conflict. Eight nations were placing their 
troops in the field before any one of them could 
give a solid and substantial reason for the war, 
other than that they were compelled to defend 
themselves against a wicked and unprovoked 

That the war began in eastern Europe was 
natural because, as has been shown in earlier 
chapters, the tension in that part of the world 
is greater, and on that battleground of the ages 
live a number of race groups of individuals whose 
fate is settled for them by members of a different 
race unacceptable to them. Whatever might have 
happened next year or in the next decade, it is 
clear that the prime reason for the war of 1914* 
is to be found in the abnormal relations of the 
Balkans to the rest of the European powers. 

The tale of the present condition of the Balkans 
may be taken up in the year 1876, just when 
Henry Watterson was going to raise one hundred 
thousand men to march to Washington and inau- 


gurate Tilden and did not. In that year Turkey 
still occupied almost all the territory north to the 
Danube and Save Rivers, except for Greece, then 
confined to the southern peninsula ; and the plucky 
little country of Montenegro, which was the only 
part of the Balkans that never bowed the knee to 
the Turks. 

The trouble was made public by certain jour- 
nalists who discovered that the Turks were 
sending certain irregular troops called Bashi Ba- 
zouks to harry, strip, and torture the Bulgarians. 
With great difficulty these journalists got access 
to the English newspapers ; that aroused Mr. 
Gladstone, then Prime Minister. When in 1877 
Russian and Rumanian troops marched south- 
ward, freeing Bulgaria, England held off and did 
not resist. Then a change came about: the Con- 
servatives came to power in England, took the side 
of Turkey and for their good-nature received 
the Island of Cyprus. Austria, which was on the 
flank of Russia, refrained from using the mili- 
tary opportunity of cutting the Russian com- 
munications and held off while the Russians 
penetrated to San Stephano, within sight of the 
imperial city of Constantinople. Then England 
took affright and in the Congress of Berlin com- 
pelled the Russians to draw back beyond the 

Austria was at last rewarded with the two 
provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which com- 


pleted a compact block of territory lying between 
the Adriatic Sea and the Turkish province of 
Macedonia. On the other side the Bulgarians were 
allowed to set up a little principality like that 
of the Servians. The purpose of the Treaty of 
Berlin, signed July 31, 1878, was to give Austria 
close contact with the Balkan states and at the 
same time to prepare the Christian inhabitants of 
the rest of the Balkans for some sort of govern- 
ments of their own. Russia was left shut out from 
the Danube by the buffer state of Rumania, which 
looks on itself as non-Slav. Anyone can see that 
this settlement was crude and temporary, yet 
when Disraeli and Salisbury returned to London 
from the Congress they rode through the streets 
in triumph and Disraeli made his brilliant and 
theatrical remark, "I bring you peace with 
honor." The only wonder is that this settlement 
endured for thirty-six years. 


It was part of a general disposition not to 
look Oriental things squarely in the face that the 
Treaty of 1878 still kept up the fiction of Turkish 
supremacy over Bulgaria and also over Bosnia 
and Herzegovina. Bulgaria was "constituted an 
Autonomous and tributary Principality under the 
suzerainty of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan." 
Part of the present Bulgaria was separately or- 


ganized as the province of "Eastern Roumelia." 
As for the western districts, it was provided that 
"the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall 
be occupied and administered by Austria-Hun- 
gary." Montenegro was held to be independent, 
as was also Servia. Rumania gave up some ter- 
ritory on the Russian border and received other 
territory on the delta of the Danube. This treaty 
left Turkey still the strongest power in the Bal- 
kans ; and the five little Slav or semi-Slav states, 
Rumania, Servia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and 
Greece, were left to work out their own salva- 
tion. Macedonia and Albania continued integral 
parts of the Turkish Empire. 

The Austrians occupied in Bosnia and Herze- 
govina a region which had never been theirs, in 
which the population was Serb, and in which 
there had been no such things as good order and 
good government for centuries. The two prov- 
inces were not added to Trans-Leithia, though 
they lay adjacent, but were administered by the 
Imperial Government in Vienna as a kind of un- 
official outside part of Cis-Leithia. It took many 
years to tranquilize the two provinces in which 
about a third of the population was intensely 
Moslem ; but the Austrians persevered, built nar- 
row-gauge railroads, stopped the brigandage, en- 
couraged farming and lumbering, and made a 
handsome little capital out of the old Moslem 
town of Sarajevo. When the author visited that 


place, in 1913, it seemed a peaceful center of a 
prosperous district. 

Meantime across the border Macedonia was 
year after year the scene of the merciless forays 
of the Comitadjis. These were professional 
brigands, armed and aided by committees or asso- 
ciations of Bulgarians or Greeks as the case 
might be, and their main object was to kill out 
as many Greek or Bulgarian villages as pos- 
sible so as to hold as much territory as possible 
when the break-up came. The Turks had no bet- 
ter ,morals, but as lords of the land their policy 
was to keep the peace. Slowly the Turkish au- 
thority ebbed; in 1885 the Bulgarians annexed 
Eastern Roumelia and set up a kingdom. In 1885 
the Servians descended on Bulgaria and were 
smashed in five days' fighting, leaving the belief 
throughout the world that they were worthless as 

The traffic on the River Danube has long been 
open to all nations, but the Upper Danube runs 
wholly through Austro-Hungarian territory, and 
the Austrians were the intermediaries between the 
Balkan Slav powers and the rest of Europe. 
They were constantly suspected of biding their 
time till they might safely move down from Bos- 
nia through Macedonia and take possession of 
Salonica, thus giving them a port on the iEg£ean 
and a land route in the direction of the Orient. 

In 1908 the Young Turks revolted and deposed 


Sultan Abdul Hamid. Their government every- 
where relaxed and the Austrians, on October 5, 
1908, Issued a declaration to the effect that the 
Emperor had made up his mind "to exercise my 
sovereign rights upon Bosnia and Herzegovina," 
promising the people civil rights, freedom of re- 
ligious belief, and freedom of the press, and a 
formal constitution. To the Austrian mind this 
was simply the formal statement of what had 
been intended thirty years before by the Treaty 
of Berlin; they looked upon it as simply a decla- 
ration that Turkey no longer had any rights in 
the provinces. Part of the population considered 
this action a second and unrighteous conquest, 
which was intended to remove the last hope of 
combination with their Serb neighbors in Servia 
and beyond. 

Servia also took it in very ill part till Austria 
used such threats that on March 31, 1909, the 
Servian government formally declared that "Ser- 
via recognizes that the Fait Accompli regarding 
Bosnia had not affected her rights — Servia under- 
takes to renounce from now onward the attitude 
of protest and opposition — she undertakes, more- 
over, to modify the direction of her policy with 
regard to Austria-Hungary and to live in future 
on good, neighborly terms with the latter." Not- 
withstanding this unwilling promise, the Servians 
were in trouble with Austria much of the time. 
The Austrians cruelly hampered their exports of 


grain, cattle, and timber, which were their only 
means of livelihood. Belgrade lies, as recent 
experience shows, a short cannon shot from the 
Hungarian border and the Austrian Minister and 
Consul-General were potent forces in Servian 


Then in 1912 the unexpected happened. Tur- 
key had gone through several stages of revolution, 
and, for the moment, seemed impotent. Venizelos, 
the Greek Premier and the ablest statesman who 
has appeared in southeastern Europe for many 
years, laid the foundation for an understanding 
between Greece, Servia, and Bulgaria. There is 
every reason to suppose that von Hartwig, Rus- 
sian Minister to Servia, was the adviser of this 
movement ; he assured them of the good will of 
Russia and perhaps of the intention of Russia to 
keep Austria out if necessary. In October, 1912, 
war began, and by the next June the Turkish 
power in Europe, after six hundred years of exist- 
ence, was smashed. The city of Constantinople 
was too large a prize for any of the allies and re- 
mained Turkish, with a narrow belt of territory 
behind it. Otherwise the whole of the Balkans 
was apportioned by a treaty (practically dictated 
by the Great Powers) to the five Christian powers, 
Rumania, Bulgaria, Servia, Montenegro, and 


Greece, and to the mixed Christian and Moslem 
people of Albania. 

At that moment the Balkan alliance was still 
intact. A quarrel arose as to the portion of 
Macedonia which should go to Bulgaria. On that 
issue a second war began on June 30, 1913, be- 
tween Servia and Greece on one side, aided by 
Rumania, and Bulgaria on the other. The result 
was the humiliation of Bulgaria, the loss of per- 
haps 200,000 additional men and fearful excesses 
against the non-combatants. 

All this time the Austrians were lying along 
the frontier of Bosnia waiting for the opportunity 
to step in; and some of the ablest statesmen in 
the Empire thought the time had then come for 
a step which would in all probability have brought 
about the two combinations of opposing powers 
which are now fighting each other. It was clear 
that if Austria went into the Balkans, Russia 
would do the same. The event proved that either 
the Austrians were not ready to take the step, or 
had not the assurance of support of Germany 
which was necessary in such a crisis. War all but 
came over the question whether the Montenegrins 
should hold Scutari which they had captured from 
the Turks with so much blood ; but Montenegro 
and her allies gave way on that point, and the 
Balkan powers made their own peace at Bucharest 
on August 10, 1913, without a general European 


"These Great Powers stir up trouble in the 
Balkans ; they make us fight," said a highly placed 
Bulgarian. Nobody will ever know how far Rus- 
sia caused either of the Balkan wars nor how far 
Russia recommended moderation to the allies. 
One thing is certain: there is not and never has 
been any evidence that any Balkan power de- 
sired or would have accepted incorporation with 
Russia, or would have failed to fight with all its 
strength against any arrangement which meant 
that Russia should establish a protectorate over 
them. Probably Russia expected the good will of 
the Balkan powers in her designs on Constanti- 
nople, and the driving out of the Turks from 
Europe altogether, but the world knows nothing 
of any agreements, pledges, or treaties upon that 


The result of the Balkan War was to give the 
world a new impression of the national and mili- 
tary strength of the Balkan powers. They easily 
defeated the Turks, who, to be sure, were dis- 
organized and amazingly unprovided. Think of 
a great modern army taking the field absolutely 
without any ambulance or hospital service, and 
leaving to die upon the field all the wounded who 
could not crawl away! In the second war, when 
the Bulgarians expected to repeat their triumph 
of 1885, the Servian armies man for man, regi- 


ment for regiment, division for division, stood 
day after day and week after week against the 
Bulgarians. The Servian people were naturally 
elated ; their sovereign is a figurehead, the real 
head of the nation being the Prime Minister 
Pashitsch, a man of large capacity. Servia is a 
peasant land, most of the farmers owning their 
own fields ; it has almost no city population. Yet 
it had fought two victorious campaigns and its 
area and population were nearly doubled as a re- 
sult of the war. It is not strange that the peo- 
ple harked back to the ancient Empire of Czar 
Stephen Dushan, and that they felt hospitable and 
receptive toward their blood brethren, the Croa- 
tian, Bosnian, and Slovenian Serbs, who were 
their next neighbors to the north. Their news- 
papers preached the likelihood of a new political 
map of southeastern Europe. Their school chil- 
dren had long been taught to sing about the 
ancient glories of the Servians and how their 
country had been kept down by the barbaric 

But what the Servians wished was less sig- 
nificant than what the Serbs in Trans-Leithia 
thought. Naturally the Austro-Hungarian gov- 
ernment has not been generous in producing proof 
that its people were losing their loyalty. In case 
of any break-up the pressure would immediately 
come upon the Magyars, who, as has been pointed 
out, are only 10,000,000 in an aggregation of 


21,000,000. All the circumstances point to the 
certainty that the Magyar statesmen informed the 
German statesmen who were carrying on the 
monarchy in Vienna that unless something were 
done, the Trans-Leithian part of the Empire 
would crack in pieces. 


Now enters upon the scene a personality whose 
name will always be associated with this war. 
Franz Ferdinand, heir to the dual monarchy, and 
very soon expecting to become Emperor, was the 
only Austrian statesman known to the outside 
world who favored meeting the grievances of the 
Slav element by recombining the Empire into three 
race units — German, Magyar, and Slav — instead 
of two existing. He was married to a Slav. He 
naturally wanted to save his Empire and perhaps 
had hit upon the only peaceful method by which 
it could have been saved. June 28, 1914, Franz 
Ferdinand, while visiting Sarajevo, was assassi- 
nated by a band of conspirators. It was a ter- 
rible murder, comparable to the assassination of 
President McKinley in 1901. The world rang 
with accounts of the tragedy and questions of its 
effect. For four weeks little was heard from 
the Austrian government. It was vaguely under- 
stood that a judicial commission was examining 
the case. Then on July 23, 1914, a thunderbolt 


crashed from a clear sky in the form of a docu- 
ment which was intended to be virtually a decla- 
ration of war on Servia. 

This "ultimatum" was practically an indict- 
ment of the whole Servian people and government 
as accomplices in the murder of Franz Ferdinand. 
It declares in set terms that "the murder at 
Sarajevo was conceived in Belgrade, that the mur- 
derers received the arms and bombs with which 
they were equipped from Servian officers and offi- 
cials, who belonged to the Narodna Odbrana, and 
that, lastly, the transportation of the criminals 
and their arms to Bosnia was arranged and car- 
ried out by leading Servian frontier officials." 
It demanded from the Servian government the 
most humble and complete disavowal of further 
unfriendliness toward Austria, and the punish- 
ment of all persons who in the judgment of 
Austrian officials were concerned in the murder, 
in particular the arrest of a Major Tankosic 
and of a certain Ciganowic — Servian officials, who 
had been compromised as a result of the investi- 

The basis of this document is the Austrian 
investigation on Bosnian territory of the circum- 
stances of the murder. That investigation was 
held in secret and the findings appeared to be 
founded upon the confessions of the two conspira- 
tors who were captured red-handed at the time 
of the murder. There is such a thing as the 


Third Degree in the unwritten jurisprudence of 
the United States ; and there used to be in most 
European countries a Fourth Degree of physical 
terror, produced by the fear or application of 

The details of the judicial proceeding have not 
been made public and probably never will be made 
public. All we know is that the Austrian author- 
ities undoubtedly believed that the whole thing 
was a Servian plot. The Austrians, leaving in 
the background the fact that the two assassins 
who were captured in Sarajevo were Bosnians, 
and that the Ciganowic, mentioned above, was 
an Austrian subject, insisted that: (a) the mur- 
der had been planned by Servians; (b) that the 
bombs in the hands of the conspirators "were 
manufactured for military purposes, and judg- 
ing from the way they were originally packed 
were from the Servian arsenal at Kragukejwac" ; 
(c) that the conspirators and their arms were 
aided across the border by Servian officials; (d) 
that a secret society, Narodna Odbrana, was at 
the bottom of it. 

That Servians had some hand in the obscure 
plot for killing Franz Ferdinand is altogether 
likely; that the Servian government had any 
knowledge or suspicion of it, is both unproved and 
improbable. When this crisis came General Pot- 
kin, head of the Servian army, was actually in 
Budapest ; so little did the government expect a 


breach with Austria. That the Servian people 
are morally responsible for the murder is pre- 
posterous, or would be except for the exceedingly 
disagreeable fact that the present king of Servia, 
Peter, came to the throne in 1903 by the murder 
of a king. 

It is a gruesome story ! Foreigners in Bel- 
grade tell you how a band of Servian officers, 
sworn to fidelity to King Alexander, suddenly 
broke into his little palace at night. As they 
smashed in the door they put the electric light 
apparatus out of service ; and the King and 
Queen Draga, in their terror, hid in a dark closet. 
Then the conspirators broke into a neighboring 
shop and carried off candles with which they 
searched the building. The Queen, out of a win- 
dow, saw officers in Servian uniform and called 
upon them to defend their sovereign. That re- 
vealed the hiding-place, and the man and woman 
were butchered like cattle in the shambles and 
thrown out of the window. 

Thus was the way prepared for the coward 
King Peter, who later rewarded these murderers 
with medals, appointments and honors. They 
were perfectly well known, but the Servian people 
let it go at that— apparently on the theory that 
if you could not remove both Alexander and 
Peter at the same time, it was still worth while 
to kill one of them. 

Peter has long been a figurehead in his own 


country. He is sick, perhaps dying, and lives 
in fear of the bullet that may cut short his miser- 
able life; but the Servian statesmen and people 
are not in a position to say that the killing of 
a lawful sovereign is outside the habits of the 
Servians. The Austrians have shrewdly mixed 
up the known and proved Servian murder of 
Alexander with the possibly Servian murder of 
Franz Ferdinand. 

Whoever wrote the Austrian ultimatum was 
in such a state of rage and fury that he did not 
know how to follow up this advantage, for he 
also charges the Servian people with furnishing 
out of the royal arsenal the bomb that killed 
Franz Ferdinand. Perhaps the Austrians believe 
that the Servians keep a supply of assorted bombs 
suited to the climates of various countries. As 
the people of New York too well know, a bomb 
is a very easy thing to make. It is not easy to 
believe that Servian military authorities should 
furnish a ready-made bomb, even if it could be 
shown that they had planned the assassination. 
The story sounds like those disjointed confessions 
which are wrenched from the mouth of a poor 
wretch upon the rack. 

That there are Serb societies having members 
partly in Servia, and partly in the neighboring 
Serb-speaking countries, is altogether likely. The 
crushing weight of the Turkish domination for 
centuries drove men to such secret and desperate 


means. Perhaps some Servian officers (possibly 
some of King Peter's obliging co-murderers) were 
in the combine. It is likely also that nothing but 
fear of immediate consequences would nerve the 
Servian government up to a searching investi- 
gation and punishment of such people. And if 
the Austrian government had any reasonable 
proof that the Servians took part in the murder 
they were entitled to demand redress, quick and 

Anybody who knows the Balkan conditions 
must, however, believe that the crime of Servia, 
in the eyes of the Austrians, is not assassination 
but success. Of all the exasperating things that 
happened to Austria f rom the outbreak of war in 
October, 1912, to the partition of the Balkans 
among the seven Balkan powers in July, 1913, 
the most exasperating was the appearance of a 
strong and victorious Servia. The Serb race has 
been looked upon as rather mild, not easy to 
arouse, content with small things. The Austrians 
had their ministers, their consuls and their spies 
throughout the Balkans and yet never seem to 
have suspected that the spirit of the old Servian 
heroes would show itself again. 


That Austria intended drastic action had been 
for several days rumored in diplomatic circles. 


On July 20 Sir Edward Grey wrote to Sir 
William Edward Goschen, British Ambassador at 
Berlin, that he was informed that Austria was 
about to take some steps which might prove 
warlike. Two days later Goschen reported that 
the German Secretary of State was aware that 
Austria was about to act and that the German 
government considered it an affair in which they 
could not interfere. The German Ambassador to 
the United States, Bernstorff, has made the 
public statement that Germany approved in ad- 
vance the Austrian ultimatum, and gives the rea- 
sons therefor ; but he is clearly mistaken, because 
the German authorities in Berlin explicitly deny 
any such knowledge and the State Secretary of 
Germany went so far as to say that the ultimatum 
left much to be desired as a diplomatic docu- 

Nevertheless it is perfectly clear that the Ger- 
man government had a previous understanding 
that in case the Austrian government felt that 
there was imminent danger of a break-up of the 
Empire, Germany would, if necessary, back 
Austria up, leaving to her all the responsibility 
of deciding what steps were necessary in order to 
put a stop to the ambition and intrigues of 
Servia. Furthermore, on July 23, the Chancellor 
of the German Empire sent a dispatch to the 
courts of France, England, and Russia to say 
that "the action as well as the demands of the 


Austro-Hungarian government can be viewed only 
as justifiable," adding, "We anxiously desire the 
localization of the conflict because every inter- 
cession of another power on account of the vari- 
ous treaty-alliances would precipitate inconceiva- 
ble consequences." In a communication five days 
later to the German governments, the German 
chancellor said: "The agitation conducted by 
the Pan-Slavs in Austria-Hungary has for its 
goal, with the destruction of the Austro-Hun- 
garian monarchy, the scattering or weakening of 
the triple alliance with a complete isolation of 
the German Empire in consequence. Our own 
interest therefore calls us to the side of Austria- 

Fifty years hence, when the history of this 
war can be written from the intimate, official, and 
private correspondence of this time, it will prob- 
ably appear that the Hungarian statesmen ap- 
pealed to their Austrian brethren to come to the 
rescue. There is no suggestion that Galicia, 
Bohemia, and the Slav Alpine provinces were in- 
fected. The Austrian government probably com- 
municated with Germany and received general 
assurances of support; and then issued the ulti- 
matum in a form far more caustic than the Ger- 
man Imperial Government had expected. By this 
time Hungary, Austria, and Germany were all 
committed to administering a very strong dose 
of medicine to the Servians. 


Von Hartwig, the bellicose Russian Minister 
to Servia, had been replaced by a more moderate 
man, who during the forty-eight hours allowed 
the Servians for an answer to the Austrian mes- 
sage, under instructions from St. Petersburg used 
all his influence to induce the Servians to make 
a moderate reply which might obviate war. This 
influence was strengthened by the English repre- 
sentative, Crackanthorpe. Sir Edward Grey, the 
ablest foreign minister in Europe, wrote of the 
ultimatum: "I have never before seen one state 
address to another independent state a docu- 
ment of so formidable a character." 

Under these strong influences, and a sense of 
their own danger the Servians on July 25 made 
a reply which to the outsider seems a complete 
surrender. The only point which they seemed to 
reserve was an unwillingness to allow delegates of 
the Austro-Hungarian government to take part 
in an official Servian investigation relating to the 
murder plot. At the end of the reply the Servian 
government offered to refer the matter to the 
arbitration of the great powers. 

To the Austrian mind this reply was simply 
"a play for time," "disingenuous," dishonest, 
evasive, and unsatisfactory. For instance, they 
said, the Servians had used the words "judicial 
inquiry" instead of the Austrian term "investi- 
gation." Again the Servian government in its 
apology "condemns every propaganda which 


should be directed against Austria-Hungary." 
Whereas the Austrians demanded the phrase 
"condemns the propaganda against Austria- 
Hungary." The conclusion is irresistible, that 
the Austrians expected war, were preparing for 
war, and would have been extremely discomfited 
if the Servians had accepted their demands to 
the last dotting of an i and crossing of a t. At 
any rate Sir Edward Grey wrote that "the Ser- 
vian reply had already involved the greatest 
humiliation to Servia that I had ever seen a 
country undergo." July 28 Austria-Hungary 
formally declared war on Servia, "in order to 
bring to an end the subversive intrigues origi- 
nating from Belgrade and aimed at the terri- 
torial integrity of the Austro-Hungarian mon- 
archy." Thus the first formal hostilities were 
inaugurated. In a few hours skirmishes began 
on the borders of the two countries. 




"^ROM the first day of the official proceed- 
ings, July 23, 1914, it was clear that the 
crisis deeply affected Russia. On that 
very day the Austrians attempted to soothe the 
Russians by the statement that they "had no 
intention of bringing about a shifting of the bal- 
ance of power in the Balkans." Sir Edward 
Grey saw more deeply into the matter and re- 
marked a few days later: "If they could make 
war on Servia, and at the same time satisfy Rus- 
sia, well and good ; but if not, the consequences 
would be incalculable." It is altogether probable 
that Germany exercised a pacific influence by 
making it clear to Austria that the annihilation 
of Servia would certainly arouse Russia. At any 
rate as early as July 25 the Germans informed 
the English representative that "Austria-Hun- 
gary had no intention of seizing Servian terri- 
tory," and apparently about the same time the 



Austrians informed Russia that "there is no in- 
tention of acquiring Servian territory, nor of 
threatening the continued existence of the Ser- 
vian kingdom." Having obtained or sanctioned 
this declaration, the German government from 
that time to the end took the ground that what 
was going on was a local war between two powers 
in which no other European power had any direct 
concern. If a nation of fifty millions had occa- 
sion to fight a nation of five millions, so much the 
worse for the smaller one. 

The Russian government was once more put 
into the anxious position which it has occupied at 
various times during the two preceding years : to 
the Russian mind the Austrians must have designs 
beyond the mere thrashing of a saucy neighbor. 
Was it a revival of the old intention to control a 
line down through the Balkans to Salonica? 
Whatever the purpose of Austria, would Russia, 
the greatest Slav power of the world, stand by 
and see a neighbor of the same religion and race 
invaded and thrashed at a probable loss of fifty 
thousand lives? The Servian offense of trying 
to enlarge her boundaries by incorporating Aus- 
trian Slavs could hardly seem to the Russian gov- 
ernment contrary to good morals. 

"Don't expect calico to tell you her mind," 
said the late eminent jurist, Josh Billings; "Cal- 
ico doesn't know her own mind. Calico of all 
kinds is the child of circumstances." Perhaps 


the Russian government did not know its own 
mind and was the child of circumstances, but it 
was clear that Christendom would look upon Rus- 
sia as unable or unwilling to protect those of her 
own household if Servia were delivered up to Aus- 
tria. The Teutonic interpretation of Russia's 
attitude is that the Russians were afraid that 
they would lose a chance of incorporating Servia 
into their Empire. A glance at the map will show 
that to annex Servia, or to make it a serviceable 
dependency, would require the previous annexa- 
tion of Rumania and Bulgaria and war with 
Greece. Here is the critical point in the whole 
development of the war : every one of those five 
Balkan powers would fight Russia with the same 
intense patriotism that they fought Turkey or 
would fight Austria, if necessary to keep their 
independence. Whatever the motives of Russia, 
they did not include destroying the independence 
of Servia in the process of preventing destruction 
of that independence by Austria. 

Nor is it clear that the Russians were set in 
motion by a desire to take either Slav or German 
territory from Austria and Germany. The only 
Slavs so situated that they could be conveniently 
pried off were the Austrian Poles in Galicia and 
the Prussian Poles in Posen, both of which groups 
would probably rather stay where they are than 
take the chances which the Russian Poles have 
endured. For a week Russia "hung in stays," 


and, as will be seen later, at the very last moment 
seemed on the brink of an arrangement with Aus- 
tria that would stop the war altogether. 


During the dark daj s of the Balkan wars when 
the rivalry between Austria and Russia time after 
time threatened to bring on a general European 
war, by common consent Europe looked to Sir 
Edward Grey, Foreign Minister of Great Britain, 
as a sort of clearing house of diplomatic opinion, 
and as a source of midway measures which in 
every case prevented the breach. If, as many 
people believed, England wanted war and had 
carefully prepared for this moment, it is clear 
that Sir Edward Grey, the accredited spokesman 
of the English government, did not want war, and 
did everything that was humanly possible to 
bring the two principal parties, Austria and Rus- 
sia, to an agreement. The time was fearfully 
brief, chiefly because of the impatience of Aus- 
tria to wring the neck of her little enemy, Servia. 
From the first it was perceived that Germany and 
France and Italy were inseparable parts of the 
problem ; and it was necessary to collect informa- 
tion and apply diplomatic pressure by each 
power concerned in half a dozen different courts. 
Grey was ably served by the ambassadors of 
Great Britain, and by none more faithfully and 


energetically than by the Ambassador to Berlin, 
Goschen, and the Ambassador to Vienna, De Bun- 
sen, both of German extraction. It is one of the 
curiosities of the controversy that the German 
Ambassadors to London, Prince Lichnowsky, and 
to Vienna, von Tschirschky und Bogendorff both 
bear Slavic names ; and that the late Professor 
von Treitschke, the apostle of Germanism against 
the Slav, also bore an unmistakable Slav name. 

The first effort of Germany was to persuade 
England to "localize the war by inducing Russia 
to stay her hand" ; but Grey's point of view was 
that if Russia felt inclined to go into the fray 
England would neither interpose nor agree to 
support Russia. On July 24 Grey telegraphed 
that "in view of the extraordinary stiff character 
of the Austrian note, the shortness of the time 
limit, I felt helpless as far as Russia was con- 
cerned." On the same day he proposed a con- 
ference of the four great powers who were not 
yet drawn in, Germany, France, England, and 
Italy. Italy and France accepted. At one mo- 
ment, July 27, the German government ac- 
cepted in principle "mediation between Russia 
and Austria by the four powers" ; but after a 
few hours' reflection held off, first, because the 
"conference suggested would practically amount 
to a court of arbitration" ; and second, for the 
cogent reason that in such a conference France 
would be a sort of representative of Russia, and 


Germany of Austria, leaving the decision to be 
made practically by England and Italy. The 
real objection was the feeling that Austria was 
making war on an issue of national honor and 
interest — the same reason that long influenced 
the United States Senate against arbitration 

Grey now transferred his energies to two other 
plans : mediation by the German Emperor in per- 
son ; and an agreement on the Servian question 
between Austria and Russia through "conversa- 
tions" in St. Petersburg and Vienna. To the very 
last Grey still tried to propose anything that 
would call a halt. As late as July 31 he sug- 
gested to Germany that the four outside powers 
unite in offering to Austria that "they would 
undertake to see that she obtained full satisfac- 
tion of her demands on Servia, provided that they 
did not impair Servian sovereignty and the in- 
tegrity of Servian territory" ; and on the critical 
day of August 1 he wrote to Goschen, "I still 
believe that it might be possible to secure peace 
if only a little respite in time can be gained be- 
fore any great power begins war." 


The breach between Russia and Austria had 
been foi'eseen for several years and relations were 
repeatedly strained during the Balkan wars of 


1912 and 1913. The result of these threats of 
wars which did not come about was that each 
side seems to have been pretty sure that if the 
other were pushed to an extremity it would yield 
on any minor question, rather than go to war. 
Only the archives of the Austrian War Depart- 
ment could settle the question whether the Aus- 
trians had correct information of the state of the 
Russian army, or of the condition of the Russian 
diplomatic mind. On the day after the Austrian 
ultimatum, Sazonof, the Russian Foreign Minis- 
ter, told the British Ambassador in St. Peters- 
burg that the "Austrian step clearly meant war 
was imminent . . . Russian mobilization, at any 
rate, will have to be carried out." July 27 when 
it was clear that the Austrians were on the 
point of invading Servia, Sazonof proposed to 
talk things over with Austria to see if the Aus- 
trian ultimatum could not be modified. For these 
negotiations the word "conversation" was used, 
apparently to avoid the admission that either 
power was willing to negotiate or to make any 
diplomatic concessions. Sazonof added that if 
that method should fail, "I am ready to accept the 
British proposal, or any other proposal that 
would bring about a favorable solution of the 

Here comes in the question of the proposed 
guaranty of the integrity of Servia, which the 
German government urged with some authority 


upon Austria. The Austrians publicly announced 
that they did not intend to destroy Servia. On 
July 28 the question seemed to have come down 
to the issue whether Austria would promise to 
respect not only the "integrity" but the "inde- 
pendence" and "sovereignty" of Servia. When 
matters were moving to a crisis in St. Petersburg 
on July 31, Sazonof drew up a so-called form- 
ula, in the words : 

"If Austria will agree to check the advance of 
her troops on Servian territory; if recognizing 
that the dispute between Austria and Servia has 
assumed a character of European interest, she 
will allow the Great Powers to look into the mat- 
ter and determine whether Servia could satisfy 
the Austro-Hungarian government without im- 
pairing her rights as a sovereign State or her in- 
dependence, Russia will undertake to maintain her 
waiting attitude." 

Next day a modification of this formula was 
sent out by Sazonof to all the powers: 

"(Urgent) Formula amended in accordance 
with the English proposal: 'If Austria consents 
to stay the march of her troops on Servian terri- 
tory, and if, recognizing that the Austro-Servian 
conflict has assumed the character of a question of 
European interest, she admits that the Great 
Powers may examine the satisfaction which Ser- 
via can accord to the Austro-Hungarian govern- 
ment without injury to her sovereign rights as a 


State and to her independence, Russia undertakes 
to preserve her waiting attitude !' " 

Nevertheless on that very day complete mobil- 
ization of the Austrian forces was ordered, 
though war was not formally declared by Austria 
on Russia till August 6 and then Austrian troops 
crossed the Russian border. 


So far as notes and conversations of which we 
now have record are concerned, Russia appears 
to have endeavored to avoid the war ; but the true 
story of her purposes is to be inferred from 
the course of the last possible means of prevent- 
ing a general war — the mediation of the German 
Emperor. In the present spirit of Europe, where 
every power looks upon every other power as in- 
sincere, bellicose, and devilish, it is the fashion 
to assert that Germany and the German Emperor 
desired war and brought it on. To offset this 
charge a so-called German White-Book has been 
issued by the German Foreign Office, in which are 
printed some of the telegi'ams and dispatches. 
Another side we know through the similar English 
White-Book; the two sets supplementing each 
other. That Emperor William did not expect 
war is clear from the fact that when the ulti- 
matum was sent out by Austria he was in Norway. 
Clearly Germany was the key to the whole situa- 


tion : as the ally of Austria ; as the strongest mili- 
tary power in Europe ; and as the power which, 
during the controversy over Morocco in 1911, 
the Balkan wars, and other international strains, 
had distinctly given powerful aid to keep the 

It is impossible not to believe that the German 
Emperor as well as the German government was 
aware of the fix of Austria-Hungary, and of the 
purpose to give a bad fall to Servia. On the other 
hand, it is impossible not to believe that the 
Emperor was behind the successful effort of 
Germany to lead Austria to give some sort of 
guaranty of the integrity of Servia. On their 
side, the English representatives and apparently 
other people believed that the German Ambassa- 
dor to Vienna, von Tschirschky und BbgendorfF, 
was a bitter foe of Russia and aggravated the 
matter; and that the German Ambassador at St. 
Petersburg, Count Pourtales, persuaded his gov- 
ernment that the Russians could not be induced 
to fight. 

Grey turned to Germany as the only hope of 
peace. July 28, while the conference of the four 
powers was still under discussion, he wrote : 
"I am ready to propose that the German Secre- 
tary of State should suggest the lines on which 
those principles should be applied." 

The day after William's return to his capital, 
July 21, he telegraphed to Czar Nicholas, set- 


ting forth the necessity of some punishment for 
the Servians, but adding, "I am therefore exert- 
ing all my influence to induce Austria-Hungary 
to come to an open and satisfying understanding 
with Russia." The next day the Czar replied, 
asking the Emperor's help : "A disgraceful war 
has been declared on a weak nation. The indig- 
nation at this, which I fully share, is immense in 
Russia. I foresee that soon I can no longer with- 
stand the pressure — and that I shall be forced to 
adopt measures which will lead to war." William 
replied suggesting that "Russia remain in the 
role of spectator toward the Austrian-Servian 
war," and urging that "no military measures be 
taken by Russia which Austria-Hungary would 
think threatening." This correspondence is re- 
plete with sincerity and clearly shows the Ger- 
man Emperor trying to hold back the tide till 
Austria and Russia should be able to agree upon 
a form of accommodation. 


That this attempt failed seems due chiefly to 
militarism both in Russia and in Germany. Un- 
der modern systems of warfare military men lay 
great stress upon the advantage of a few hours 
in getting their troops to the front in case war 
comes on. The German army was distributed 
throughout the Empire and there were probably 


300,000 men east of Berlin. Perhaps, though 
there is no information at present on that sub- 
ject, troops of the regular army had been sent 
toward the Russian frontier for several days ; but 
a formal order of general "mobilization" up to the 
end of July was not issued by any of the powers 
involved except Servia. At the beginning of the 
controversy, Buchanan, the British Minister at 
St. Petersburg, warned the Russian government 
not to mobilize; but on July 25 orders were 
given, which though not technically mobilization, 
amounted to calling in men who were not a part of 
the regular army then under the colors ; and later 
military developments show that many thousands 
must have been pushed westward. As early as 
July 29 William strongly protested against the 
Russian mobilization and Nicholas replied that 
"for technical reasons" the orders given could 
not be revoked. On the 29th official orders were 
given for Russian mobilization in the southern 
provinces, which Austria accepted as an evidence 
of a warlike purpose. On August 1 the Austrians 

The crisis with Germany came two days later. 
July 31 the German Chancellor notified his Am- 
bassador to Russia that "Russia has mobilized 
her entire army and navy; in other words, mobil- 
ized against us also" ; and that Germany has been 
obliged "to announce that danger of war threat- 
ens us, which does not mean mobilization. Mobil- 


ization, however, must follow unless Russia ceases 
within 12 hours all warlike measures against us 
and Austria-Hungary, and gives us definite assur- 
ance thereof." 

At the last moment (August 1) the Czar tele- 
graphed : "It is technically impossible to discon- 
tinue our military operation, which has been ren- 
dered necessary by Austrian mobilization. We 
are far from wishing for war, and so long as 
negotiations with Austria regarding Servia con- 
tinue my troops will not undertake any provoca- 
tive action." The Kaiser replied: "In my en- 
deavors for the maintenance of the peace of the 
world, I have gone to the extreme limit possible. 
It is not I that shall bear the responsibility . . . 
no one menaces the honor and right of Russia, 
which well might have waited upon the result of 
my mediation. The peace of Europe can yet be 
conserved by thee if Russia desires to discontinue 
her military measures which threaten Germany 
and Austria-Hungary." The same day Emperor 
William telegraphed to King George of England : 
"Nicky has ordered the mobilization of his whole 
army and fleet. He has not even awaited the re- 
sults of the mediation I am working at and left 
me without any news. I am off for Berlin to take 
measures for insuring safety of my eastern fron- 
tiers." Next day, August 2, Russian troops 
crossed the German frontier and war broke out. 

So far as the published dispatches and our 


imperfect knowledge of the circumstances go, it 
is proved that Emperor William would have held 
his hand for a few days if Russian mobilization 
had not seemed to him a warlike act directed 
against Germany. Whether Austria would in 
those few days have come to an understanding 
which would practically have nullified her ulti- 
matum against Servia is a question to which no 
answer is written, even in the books of the Fates. 


Every power in Europe knew beforehand that 
if Russia went to war with Germany, France 
would infallibly attack on the west. Otherwise 
it would have been suicidal for Russia to chal- 
lenge or to accept a challenge or to drift into 
war with both Germany and Austria-Hungary. 
As has been seen, Russia tried vainly to extract 
a promise of support from England. Without 
any question she had such an assurance from 
France, not only through the long-standing se- 
cret agreement of about 1895, but by positive 
assurance at the time. France also tried to get 
Grey to promise English aid. The French, fore- 
seeing the danger that war might break out with 
Germany, beginning with outposts acting without 
orders, removed all her troops ten kilometers back 
from the frontier. On August 1, the Germans de- 
manded of France a statement of her intentions 


and gave eighteen hours for an answer, at the 
end of which time the French simply replied that 
they would do whatever they thought to their 
interest. Practically at the end of the eighteen 
hours there was a state of war between the two 
countries (August 2). 

How far the French desired war is hard to 
estimate. Only a few months ago they voted for 
a three-year military system, compulsory on all 
able-bodied Frenchmen. It is fair to infer that 
they expected war within a year or two at long- 
est ; but of all the Great Powers involved, France 
had the least to do with the Austrian ultimatum. 
It is hard to see how a combination between 
France and other powers to bring on war against 
Germany on the first day of August, 1914, could 
have prophetically foreseen the action of Aus- 
tria. The French have been ready for war with 
Germany whenever they saw a good opportunity 
for the last forty years, and the whole nation as 
one mass accepted the opportunity when it came 
without hesitation and with very little effort to 
avert it. France's only share in the peace nego- 
tiations seems to have been her acceptance of the 
invitation to a conference of the four powers. 
France, however, could not fight without Russia, 
nor Russia without France. Together they 
hoped to be the two jaws of the vise with 
which to crush both Germany and Austria-Hun- 



The most complicated situation on the Euro- 
pean chessboard was that of Great Britain, for 
she had great interests in the Mediterranean that 
would be affected by war in southeastern Europe; 
she was deeply interested in any naval war ; and 
she was in some degree committed by the previous 
engagement with France and Russia. When the 
crisis came Italy declined to consider herself 
bound to aid her two allies in the Triple Alliance 
because her engagements applied only to a de- 
fensive war, and, in the judgment of the Italians, 
this was an offensive war. In the same manner, 
though on different grounds, England at the be- 
ginning of the fierce hours of negotiation that 
preceded war made it clear that she did not feel 
bound to aid either Russia or France, simply be- 
cause of the Triple Entente; and (as has been 
seen) declined to give pledges to either of those 
two powers. 

Grey did drop a warning on July 27 that the 
British fleet happened to be assembled for a naval 
review and for the time being would remain assem- 
bled ; but he took pains to emphasize the fact that 
England was entering in the whole matter not 
with a view to save Servia but to save the rest of 
Europe. July 31 he wrote: "Nobody here feels 
that in this dispute, so far as it has yet gone, 
British treaties or obligations are involved." But 


at the same time he wrote: "I had not only 
definitely declined to say that we would remain 
neutral, I had even gone so far this morning as 
to say to the German Ambassador that if France 
and Germany became involved in war we should 
be drawn into it." This is simply a way of say- 
ing that England was not bound to go to war 
because of previous pledges, but was very likely 
to go to war to protect her own interests. 

Nothing can be clearer than that the German 
government was confident that Great Britain 
would keep out of the war. In the first place 
both the Chancellor, von Bethmann-Hollweg, and 
the Secretary of the Foreign Office, von Jagow, 
had for months been working upon a scheme, 
which, of course, must have been approved by the 
Emperor, to come to an understanding with Great 
Britain and through Great Britain with France, 
under which those three powers (presumably in 
association with Austria) should become the ar- 
biters of Europe and thereby of Asia and of 
Africa. There is no evidence of a crisis in the 
ill-feeling between the people of the two nations 
previous to July 23. That Germany did not expect 
war with Great Britain is almost decisively proven 
by the fact that no hint was given to the two great 
German steamship lines, the Hamburg and the 
North German Lloyd. How far this belief rested 
upon the supposed unwillingness of the British to 
fight any strong power ; how far upon the con- 


viction that the English would see it contrary to 
their interest to fight ; and how far upon the 
assumption of the Germans that the English 
would think like Germans upon such an issue is 
impossible to determine. 

In all probability Great Britain would speedily 
have been drawn into the conflict through mere 
nearness to the scene of it in every ocean ; but 
there were two direct reasons which led England 
into the war instantly and irrevocably. The first 
was the geographical fact that the English Chan- 
nel, command of which means command of the 
British Islands, narrows down to twenty-two 
miles at Dover ; and a naval war between Ger- 
many and France would mean the passing of 
German fleets within a cannon shot of the 
British shores, and the bombardment of the 
French coast within hearing of British sea- 
ports. That contingency had so far been fore- 
seen that in 1912 a formal agreement was made 
that the British would withdraw their Mediter- 
ranean fleet and the French would withdraw 
their Channel fleet to the Mediterranean. This 
could mean nothing but a guaranty by Great 
Britain of the French Atlantic coast in case of 

That question was brought up sharply by a 
proposition from the German government that 
England should remain neutral provided the Ger- 
mans would engage not to annex any of the terri- 


tory of Continental France. Grey replied, July 
30: "What he asks us in effect is to engage to 
stand by while French colonies are taken and 
France is beaten, so long as Germany does not 
take French territory as distinct from the col- 
onies. From the material point of view such a 
proposal is unacceptable, for France without 
further territory in Europe being taken from 
her, could be so crushed as to lose her position 
as a Great Power and become subordinate to Ger- 
man policy. Altogether apart from that, it 
would be a disgrace for us to make this bargain 
with Germany at the expense of France, a dis- 
grace from which the good name of this country 
would never recover." 

Two days later Prince Lichnowsky notified his 
government that Earl Grey had telephoned him 
suggesting that if Germany would agree not to 
attack France, France might remain neutral. 
Emperor William at once replied : ''If France 
offers me neutrality, which must be guaranteed 
by the British fleet and army, I shall, of course, 
refrain from attacking France and employ my 
troops elsewhere." King George at once an- 
swered that Lichnowsky must have misunderstood 
the proposition ; if the idea of confining the war 
to Austria, Germany, and Russia found lodgment 
in Sir Edward Grey's mind, it would appear from 
the correspondence that France would enter into 
no such engagement, and Grey afterward ex- 


plained that his idea included the neutrality of 

Germany was still so desirous for English neu- 
trality that, according to Grey, Lichnowsky on 
August 1 "pressed me as to whether I could not 
formulate conditions on which we would remain 
neutral. He even suggested that the integrity 
of France and her colonies might be guaranteed." 
Nothing more was heard of French neutrality. 
On the contrary, on August 2 Grey gave to 
France the following memorandum: 

"I am authorized to give an assurance that, if 
the German fleet comes into the Channel or 
through the North Sea to undertake hostile opera- 
tions against French coasts or shipping, the 
British fleet will give all the protection in its 

"This assurance is, of course, subject to the 
policy of his Majesty's Government receiving the 
support of Parliament, and must not be taken as 
binding his Majesty's Government to take any 
action until the above contingency of action by 
the German fleet takes place." 

The second impetus to England was given by 
the German entry into Belgium. On July 30 the 
German government appears to have offered to 
respect the neutrality of Belgium, provided Eng- 
land would agree for that consideration to remain 
neutral. During the next two days Grey at- 
tempted to secure a promise from Germany not 


to begin hostilities in Belgium ; and secured from 
France a positive statement that France would 
respect the neutrality of Belgium unless some 
other power violated it. On August 2 Luxem- 
burg was entered by German troops, the German 
government taking pains to notify the Luxem- 
burg Minister of State that: 

"The military measures taken in Luxemburg 
do not constitute a hostile act against Luxem- 
burg, but are only intended to insure against a 
possible attack of a French army. Full compen- 
sation will be paid to Luxemburg for any damage 
caused by using the railways, which are leased 
to the Empire." 

On August 3 the German troops entered Bel- 
gium in defiance of the protests of the Belgian 
government; and, on the refusal of the German 
government to withdraw, the British Minister de- 
manded his passports. At 7 p. m. August 4 Ger- 
many formally declared war on England, and at 
11 p. m. England reciprocated. 

The last chance of peace between Germany and 
Russia disappeared on August 1, and in the 
course of the next three days Great Britain came 
to the point of joining France and Russia. If 
the German charge is justified, that it was the 
previous purpose of those three powers to act 
together in a conspiracy against Germany, Great 
Britain had not played fair with her allies ; for 
she had assured Russia and France as well as 


Germany that she was not under obligations to 
unite with them. She had made several efforts 
to secure neutrality for herself and apparently 
for France; and up to the occupation of Bel- 
gium no English interest had been seriously 

The trusted and accredited representative of 
Great Britain is Sir Edward Grey, and the charge 
that he hoodwinked Austria and Germany in- 
volves the belief that he is capable of leading the 
statesmen of the other European powers a dance 
for twelve days ; and of persuading the German 
Chancellor and Emperor that his formal dis- 
patches did not mean what they said. If Grey 
thus subtly induced Germany to go into war, with 
the confidence that she would have one ally and 
only two adversaries, and then at the last moment 
threw off the mask when Germany could no longer 
withdraw, then the world is confronted by a 
greater danger than any Slav Empire or Yellow 
Peril. For Sir Edward Grey would be established 
as a statesman with the morals of Metternich, the 
abandon of Napoleon, and the intellectual power 
of Bismarck. The only defense for Europe 
against such a Machiavelli would be another St. 
Helena ! 

All the circumstances seem to show that the 
Germans confidently expected Great Britain to 
stand neutral, but they expected it on grounds 
of the probable policy and interest of Great 


Britain and not upon any words of Britain's re- 
sponsible statesman. The English public was de- 
lighted with war, partly from an accumulated 
patriotism, partly from a sense of power in their 
fleet, and partly from a desire to show that they 
were still an indispensable factor in the world's 
affairs; and doubtless behind all that, was the 
feeling that the time had come to put an end to 
German commercial and seafaring rivalry. 


Montenegro, which is identical with Servia in 
language, race, and religion, had for several years 
been a cockboat in the wake of a steam launch 
that was fearlessly moving about among iron- 
clads ; and on August 7 declared war on Aus- 
tria in sympathy and alliance with Servia. Japan 
at the other end of the world seemed not deeply 
involved in this controversy, but Japan was 
closely bound to Great Britain by two treaties. 
By the first, January 30, 1902, it was agreed with 
regard to China and Korea that: 

"If either Great Britain or Japan, in the de- 
fense of their respective interests as above de- 
scribed, should become involved in war with an- 
other power, ... in the above event any other 
power or powers should join in hostilities against 
that ally, the other high contracting party will 
come to its assistance and will conduct the war 


in common, and make peace in mutual agreement 
with it." 

By the second agreement of August 12, 1905, 
it was provided that : 

"If by reason of unprovoked attack or aggres- 
sive action, wherever arising, on the part of any 
other power or powers, either contracting party 
should be involved in war in defense of its terri- 
torial rights or special interests mentioned in the 
preamble of this agreement, the other contract- 
ing party will at once come to the assistance 
of its ally and will conduct the war in com- 
mon and make peace in mutual agreement with 

The English and Japanese governments ex- 
changed views, and on August 23 Japan de- 
clared war upon Germany. At first the few Aus- 
trian interests in eastern Asia were excepted by 
the Japanese, but the Austrian government ex- 
plained that it shared with its ally in the war thus 
declared. The Japanese in their declaration 
spoke of the uncertainty of commerce and the 
number of steamers that were lying in port, not 
daring to go to sea. There seems, however, no 
reason to doubt that if Japan had declared her 
neutrality it would have been respected by Ger- 
many, which had no wish to create new enemies 
at that distance. The real motive of the Japanese 
is to impress upon the world their vitality as a 
Western Power, resident in the East, as a power 


which shares in the dangers and destinies of the 
Western world. 


The case of Belgium is peculiar. It is the only 
one of the eight participating powers which had 
no quarrel with anybody. Belgium was in no 
danger from a wave of Slavic barbarism. Bel- 
gium, though prosperous, was not envied by other 
commercial powers ; though the possessor of an 
immense area in Africa, nobody was trying to get 
her territory. The Belgian ports, particularly 
Antwerp, were freely and profitably used by Ger- 
man trade. There was no boundary squabble, no 
special military spirit. No people in Europe 
were less involved in questions of Triple Alliance 
and Triple Entente and Balance of Power. They 
were literally minding their own business up to 
the day when war broke out between France and 

The peculiar position of Belgium as a specially 
neutralized power will be considered later, to- 
gether with the question whether the Belgians had 
departed from their neutrality. For the present 
the question is only how Belgium got into the 
war. On July 30 Grey notified Goschen that in 
his opinion the Chancellor of the German Em- 
pire "in effect asks us to bargain away whatever 
obligation or interest we have as regards the neu- 
trality of Belgium. We could not entertain that 


bargain either." Next day he inquired of both 
French and German governments whether they 
were "prepared to engage to respect neutrality 
of Belgium, so long as no other power violates it." 
The next day he notified Belgium that he as- 
sumed she would "maintain to the utmost of 
her power her neutrality, which I desire and ex- 
pect other powers to uphold and observe." 
France gave the required assurance at once. 

Goschen reported, July 31, "that German 
government consider that certain hostile acts 
have already been committed by Belgium. As an 
instance of this, he alleged that a consignment of 
corn for Germany had been placed under an em- 
bargo already." On August 3 the French gov- 
ernment offered five army corps to the Belgians 
in case they should be invaded, but the Belgians 
intimated that they thought they could take care 
of themselves. Meanwhile the German government 
offered the Belgian government "friendly neu- 
trality entailing free passage through Belgian 
territory, and promising to maintain the inde- 
pendence and integrity of the kingdom and its 
possessions at the conclusion of peace, threaten- 
ing in case of refusal to treat Belgium as an 
enemy. An answer was requested in twelve 

Next day, August 4, and three days after 
the beginning of German mobilization, the Ger- 
man government notified the Belgian government 


that since they "have declined the well-intentioned 
proposals submitted to them by the Imperial 
Government, the latter will, deeply to their re- 
gret, be compelled to carry out, if necessary by 
force of arms, the measures considered indispen- 
sable in view of the French menaces." Where- 
upon the Germans crossed the border and hos- 
tilities at once began. 

The Germans still sought to hold back Great 
Britain from declaring war, by the formal assur- 
ance that "even in the case of armed conflict with 
Belgium, Germany will, under no pretense what- 
ever, annex Belgium territory. Sincerity of this 
declaration is borne out by the fact that we 
solemnly pledged our word to Holland strictly to 
respect her neutrality. It is obvious that we 
could not profitably annex Belgian territory 
without making at the same time territorial ac- 
quisitions at expense of Holland. Please impress 
upon Sir E. Grey that the German army could 
not be exposed to French attack across Belgium, 
which was planned according to absolutely unim- 
peachable information. Germany had conse- 
quently to disregard Belgian neutrality, it being 
for her a question of life or death to prevent 
French advance." 

Leaving aside for the moment the question 
whether Germany was under a special pledge not 
to disturb Belgium, the question of responsibility 
is perfectly simple. Four suggestions were made 


that Belgium had incurred invasion by hostile 
acts: (1) by holding up a grain cargo; (2) by 
permitting her forts to be designed by a French 
engineer; (3) by building forts on the German 
frontier, which was an evidence of hostile feeling; 
(4) by the passage of a number of French officers 
in automobiles across Belgium on the second or 
third of August; (5) by negotiations with Eng- 
land several years previous for English defense 
and use of Belgium in case of war. This is said 
to be based on documents discovered after the fall 
of Antwerp. Every observer and reader may de- 
cide for himself how far those complaints are sus- 
tained by the evidence that is adduced. 

In any case all the world knows that they were 
not the determining factors in the action of Ger- 
many. Belgium was attacked because it lay 
across a roundabout, but supposedly easy, road 
to Paris, and might eventually come into the circle 
of the Allies. The German military engineers had 
decided that the French fortified frontier from 
Switzerland to Luxemburg was too strong to be 
forced in any brief time. Hence, the Germans 
entered by the Belgian frontier, south of which 
the only strong French fortress was Maubeuge. 
The French expected to stand on the defensive; 
and "life or death" to the Germans meant the 
success or failure of the plan to break down that 
defense and capture Paris before the Russians 
could get up in force on the eastern frontier. 


The consequences of this act must be to impress 
all the small European powers with apprehension. 
Switzerland appreciated the circumstances and 
instantly called out her army and lined her north- 
ern frontiers. Nothing but a conviction of im- 
perious and military necessity would have driven 
Germany to an act which was bound to create 
consternation among small powers and surprise 
among neutrals throughout the world. 



TO read some of the utterances of the day 
one would think that the European war 
that is now raging is being fought by 
automatons. We picture to ourselves "We Wil- 
liam" or "We Nicholas" busily unpacking card- 
board boxes of soldiers and winding up the spring 
in the back of each one, and setting him march- 
ing toward Paris, or toward Berlin. It is a con- 
venient way of simplifying the problem to look 
upon it as a war of dynasties, due to the ambition 
of a little group of men, who have nothing per- 
sonally to lose, and stand a good chance of get- 
ting on the front page of the metropolitan dailies. 

Nothing could be further from the truth than 
the idea that ten million men are tearing each 
other to pieces because their sovereigns so bid 
them do. The days are long gone by when some 
German princes sold their subjects in batches to 
serve in far-off America at a bonus of $35 per 



man, and more if they were killed. Not in a 
thousand years has Europe been so free from the 
professional mercenary, selling his sword to the 
highest bidder. And though hundreds of thou- 
sands of men would joyfully risk their lives in 
defense of Emperor or King or Grand Duke, the 
only king in Europe who has a close touch, and 
the personal friendship of his subjects, is King 
Nicholas of Montenegro. That is not so difficult, 
because he could gather most of his loving sub- 
jects within the area of Madison Square. 

The personality of the sovereigns is an impor- 
tant factor in the conflict, but simply as Kings 
only one of them occupies the center of the stage. 
Kaiser Francis Joseph cannot possibly have 
made the decision to send to Servia the ultimatum 
that was a spark to the powder. King Peter of 
Servia is a worthless figurehead, who has hardly 
been mentioned in the proceedings. The Kings 
of Bulgaria and Rumania are both imported Ger- 
mans. Ferdinand of Bulgaria seems to have been 
overridden by the military men in the second 
Balkan war of July, 1913. Charles of Rumania 
was a remarkably handsome and courtly man, who 
was at best one of a group of guiding statesmen in 
his county. The Sultan of Turkey is a signa- 
ture machine, who does what he is told by the 
combination of men, who for the time being have 
taken upon themselves the responsibilities of the 
Ottoman Empire. King Albert of Belgium is new 


to the throne, and though he has shown himself 
a bold and manly sovereign, the last thing for 
which he would claim authority is the coming on 
of war with Germany. As for France, there is 
not even the shadow of a Bourbon or Bonaparte 
cast athwart the public sentiment of the country; 
and the President of the Republic is in reality 
only the chairman of a national committee of 

The three sovereigns who stand out in relief 
against the dark background of the war are King 
George, and his two cousins, Emperor William 
and Czar Nicholas. As for George V, the Eng- 
lish people exercise the inalienable right of gos- 
siping about royalty. One set tells the visitor 
that the King's sense and carefully modulated in- 
fluence over English statesmen make him a power 
in the realm. Another set, equally well unin- 
formed, assure you that he only puts things in a 
mess, and undoes the work of his father. The 
weight of evidence is that King George is a man 
who possesses the manly virtues of sense and 
steadfastness. In the correspondence between the 
courts in the crisis of July, 1914, we find a per- 
sonal letter to Cousin William ; but nobody for a 
moment supposes that it contains a syllable which 
had not been read and approved by Asquith, the 
responsible head of the British government. No 
personal desire of the King for war or to prevent 
war deflected the decisions of the British cabinet. 


George V cannot take the field in command, as 
did the great William of Orange in 1689. He 
cannot construct a majority in the House of 
Commons, as did George III, and thus keep alive 
a war even after it became repugnant to the peo- 
ple of the realm. The only ambition which he can 
cherish is to hand down his crown undiminished; 
and the war somewhat endangers that modest 

The Czar Nicholas much resembles his cousin 
George in person and in character; but by the 
laws of Russia he is endowed with tremendous 
power in time of peace, and still more in time of 
war. "Autocrat of all the Russias," "Great 
White Czar," supreme and unquestioned monarch 
of the largest and most populous European coun- 
try, his word is law, his ministers are his ser- 
vants, the people are his serfs ! All this sounds 
magnificent; but has Czar Nicholas actually ex- 
ercised any of these pyramidal prerogatives in 
the present crisis? 

Read the telegrams which he exchanged with 
Emperor William, and see whether you can dis- 
cover there this imperial and unquestionable will. 
Instead, between the lines appears the evidence 
that if Nicholas could have bent the resolution 
of those who stood nearest to him, he would have 
held up the mobilization of Russia till there was 
time to discover whether Austria would give way 
on the Servian question sufficiently to reassure 


Russia. That might not have stopped the war, 
but it would have relieved the Czar from the re- 
proaches of William, when he solemnly held him 
up before God and man as responsible for the 
breach. The truth is that the Czar of Russia is 
inclosed in a palisade of officials every one of 
whom is nominally his servitor; but he is only a 
reservoir of power; they control all the distribu- 
tion pipes ; and it is they, and not the Czar, who 
decided that war was better for Russia than the 
previous state of things. 

The Emperor William is the one genuinely 
commanding royal figure in Europe. He lives 
under the same political roof as the Reichstag, 
which makes laws and votes men and money for 
military purposes, but under the German Con- 
stitution he has immense sovereign powers. He 
directs the seventeen votes of Prussia in the 
Bundesrath, and unofficially controls enough more 
votes to make up the majority of the votes of the 
Bundesrath which are necessary for formal action. 
He is a military monarch inured to camp and sad- 
dle, familiar with the deep-laid plans of the mili- 
tary experts. In the negotiations and cross-corre- 
spondence of that age-long and fearfully brief 
eight days, from the Austrian ultimatum to the 
German declaration of war on Russia, he appears 
as the one independent statesman who might per- 
haps speak the restraining word to the Austrians, 
and who did counsel moderation to that power. 



William II, German Emperor, cannot act 
without the support and aid of the Chancellor 
and other statesmen who summarize and inter- 
pret the national will. He could not control the 
course of events which, as the publications of the 
dispatches show, swept him and his Chancellor 
away from the policy which they had been culti- 
vating of friendship and perhaps eventual alliance 
with England and then with France. There is a 
voice of the German nation which is more power- 
ful than that of all the Hohenzollerns. The Em- 
peror leads Germany in the direction towards 
which the current flows. He has not the power, 
if he had the will, either to make war or to keep 
the peace against the decided sweep of German 
public opinion. 

Yet the final decisions have undoubtedly been 
made by small groups of statesmen in each coun- 
try. Not a single parliament, assembly, diet, 
duma, or skuptshina decided the action of any one 
of the countries involved. The English Parlia- 
ment and the German Reichstag accepted and 
approved what each understood to be an inevit- 
able state of facts. France took the ground that 
the war was defensive, and needed no declaration 
of war by the Chamber. In England Sir Ed- 
ward Grey was the dominant figure, and the 
dispatches reveal him as calm, patient and re- 


sourceful. To the very last moment he strove to 
find some influence, or combination, or personality 
which would stay the flood. He pleaded for the 
few little hours of delay that would perhaps make 
possible an understanding between Russia and 
Austria. Though he once referred to the fact 
that his decisions were subject to the will of 
Parliament, he announced the position of his 
country, and committed Great Britain to a point 
of view which led that country to the side of the 
Allies, without a previous vote of Parliament. 

The two other foreign ministers who affected 
the decision were Sazonof, the Russian, and Beth- 
mann-Hollweg, Chancellor of the German Empire. 
Both of them preferred peace, if they could reach 
their ends without war. Another individual 
stands out from the group of diplomats and am- 
bassadors because of the tragic responsibilities 
of presenting the ultimatum of Germany to Rus- 
sia. This was De Pourtales, German Ambas- 
sador to Russia. The dispatches tell us that 
when the fatal moment arrived he broke down, 
as the mighty Bismarck once broke down when 
the military men had almost persuaded the old 
Emperor William to take territory from Austria 
after the war of 1866. Almost heart-broken he 
pleaded with Sazonof to give him a "formula" — 
that is, a condensed statement of what would 
satisfy Russia. As has been described above, a 
memorandum was handed to him, and subse- 


quently modified, which came near preventing the 
war. The German foreign minister also with 
anguish spoke to the English minister to Berlin 
of the wrecking of his hopes for an understand- 
ing with England. 


To accuse these statesmen and the other diplo- 
mats who loyally strove to prevent the conflict, 
of being influenced by personal or dynastic mo- 
tives would be a great injustice. The natural 
disposition of diplomats is to adjust matters. 
The ministers and ambassadors who in every 
country finally urged or agreed with a declara- 
tion of war, had around them, and behind them, 
another ring of persons exercising influence upon 
them. Here comes in the tremendous weight of 
the military men. 

Almost any soldier whom you meet will tell 
you that the object of his life is to prevent war, 
but the soldier is an immense political force 
throughout every European country. Great 
Britain has the social custom, followed by the 
United States, that it is unsuitable for a military 
or a naval man to appear in uniform, unless he 
is on duty. Everywhere on the Continent a man 
almost lives in his uniform; a favorite subject 
for the German comic papers is the young officer 


who tries to sneak out of barracks in "mufti." 
The Continental military element is not only al- 
ways before the public eye, it is deep in the coun- 
cils of state. The ministers of military and naval 
affairs are almost always men who have seen 
military or naval service, or who are actually in 
service. In the modern armies the high officer is 
not simply the recipient of honors and titles, gold 
braid and medals, but is an essential part of the 
machinery of state. Every officer from lieutenant 
to field-marshal (except in England) is a daily 
sharer in the hard work of drill and administra- 

Militarism has been a tremendous force in this 
crisis, partly by a steady emphasis put on war 
as a means of settling disputes, which accustoms 
a whole community to think in terms of Krupp 
guns and Zeppelins ; partly because the high mili- 
tary officers are a part, and often the strongest 
part, of the combination of those who make de- 
cisions. We are accustomed to think of Germany 
as a country saturated with militarism, but it is 
much the same in every European country down 
to little Montenegro. The present war only ac- 
cents the general belief that any nation and any 
of its citizens may be called upon to fight for 
the nation's right to live. Everybody is taught 
that the only rational method of self-defense is 
to hit the other fellow before he can get his fists 



Hence in the crisis which terminated in war 
"mobilization" has been a frequent word. The 
term hardly came into being till the Prussian- 
Austrian war of 1866, for it means the frantically 
rapid calling together of men liable for service, 
and putting them on the enemy's frontier. Every 
American knows that when two football rush lines 
oppose each other, the one that is first in motion 
is more likely to break through the other line. 
The amazing success of the Germans in 1870 in 
concentrating their army on the border before 
the French could organize their forces, has led 
to a fetish worship of mobilization. It is like a 
football trick tried for the first time : in the 
next game the other side is practising the same 
trick. The first great lesson of the present war 
at Liege was that a comparatively small force 
behind fortifications can "break up the forma- 
tion" of the charging forwards, and even halt 
their rush, no matter how swift their mobiliza- 

Behind mobilization is the effect of the fear of 
mobilization on the other side, which played a 
great part in the diplomatic preliminaries of the 
war. The Austrians followed up their ultimatum 
on Servia with their armies within three days 
after it expired, expecting to catch the Slavs nap- 
ping; and were furious because the Servians mob- 


ilized at the same time that they were preparing 
the apology which Austria ignored. Emperor 
William, occupying the powerful place of the 
mediator who alone could dispose the hard hearts 
of the Austrians and Russians to an accommoda- 
tion, telegraphed with passionate earnestness to 
the Czar that if the Russians mobilized, his mis- 
sion was at an end. His point was that mobiliza- 
tion disturbed the delicate balance of military 
force, and that he could not permit the Russians 
the slightest tactical advantage. The Russians 
on their side doubtless felt that the Germans 
were in a position to throw troops on the bor- 
der in forty-eight hours, while it would take 
them seven times as long, and they would give no 

Another of the psychical elements of the prob- 
lem is that all the great countries felt compelled 
to prove that they were ready to fight ; and that 
probably accounts for the Russian mobilization 
in the midst of the Emperor's mediation. The 
question whether Russia would intervene in case 
Austria attacked a Balkan power had been many 
times raised, and came to a test last year, when 
the Austrians were ready to go to war to drive 
the Montenegrins out of Scutari. Russia held 
off at that time, and it probably was the belief 
or the Austrians in 1914 that Russia was either 
not ready or not willing to confront the Dual 
Monarchy. There was a general exhibition of 


mouthfuls of sharp teeth. Even the English 
pointedly called the attention of the other powers 
to the fact that their most powerful fleet hap- 
pened to be assembled, and would remain assem- 


The newspapers played a smaller role than 
usual in such controversies ; the crisis came too 
swift, too concentrated. Intimations were given 
out from time to time of the series of attempts 
either to stop or to "localize" the strife. But 
nobody was sufficiently informed of the play of 
international forces to arouse public sentiment 
upon them. Questions of men and ships and forts 
were withheld from the press. Even government 
organs, such as some of the great German news- 
papers, were muffled. From the secession of 
South Carolina, in December, 1860, to the break- 
ing out of Civil War the next April, there were 
four months of discussion and exchange of views. 
In Europe, from the time the public realized the 
danger of great war till the great war began, was 
less than five days. 

It had been confidently supposed that should 
such a danger arise, the great money powers of 
Europe would deflect it. We have been told that 
they really put an end to the war between Russia 
and Japan, by refusing to lend any more money. 
Capital was international; the enormous com- 


mercial interests would never allow a war. In 
fact the business interests of Europe were either 
not consulted or not heeded. Of nothing has Ger- 
many been more justly proud than of its two rich 
and powerful steamship companies — the Ham- 
burg and the North German Lloyd, but so little 
did the astute semi-official managers of this line 
expect war, that some of their greatest liners 
were saved from capture only by heading away 
from their ports of destination. 

In this country the small business men would 
have a great influence over such a question, be- 
cause they could see ruin staring them in the face, 
but the Austrian manufacturer, the German 
chemist, the Russian landowner, the English ship- 
owner, have been swept away by a tide against 
which they have hardly seemed to struggle. The 
small investors, the depositors in post offices and 
banks in every country accept and passionately 
support a war which is likely to sweep away their 


The conclusion is irresistible that practically 
every nation interested accepts the war as a thing 
for Avhich it was not responsible, and which it 
could no more avoid than it could avoid an ava- 
lanche. The Austrians, without the slightest 
doubt, believed that their empire would fall to 


pieces unless they once for all stopped the growth 
of Servia. The Servians saw no escape except to 
call out their army for the third time in two 
years. The Russians were genuinely convinced 
that the crushing of Servia would mean the con- 
trol of the Balkans by Germany and Austria. 
The Germans were sure that the Russians in at- 
tacking Austria were attacking Germanism, and 
that they must take up the challenge. The 
French had less direct cause than other powers 
for offensive action, but had been waiting for 
forty years for the opportunity to get back their 
lost provinces. The Belgians lay in the most di- 
rect path of a great power, and had no choice but 
to expiate their geography with blood. The Eng- 
lish kept up the greatest navy in the world in or- 
der that they might be ready to prevent the lodg- 
ment of any rival power on their shores or on the 
coast opposite them. Everybody, thinking and 
unthinking, seemed absolutely certain that his 
state must fight or be destroyed. 

Not everybody — the peasantry, the helpless 
noncombatants, the foreigners caught in the 
cogs of the infernal machine of war, have been 
strongly for peace. Little wayside villages, 
country churches, orphan asylums, at an hour's 
notice found themselves between fiercely battling 
and enraged armies. Whatever the national con- 
victions of the necessity of this war, there are 
still pathetic protestors who cannot be silenced,. 


who in anguish wonder whether some way out of 
the labyrinth might not have been found. But 
they appear to be the only active members in 
Europe of the universal World Peace Society. 




SINCE the Napoleonic times there has been 
no war in central Europe which involved 
more than two or at most three Great 
Powers. In 1854 it was two small French and 
English armies rather than France and England 
that attacked the small Russian post of Sebasto- 
pol rather than Russia. In 1849 it was a Russian 
army, not the Russian nation, which aided the 
Austrians to overcome the Hungarians. The 
Prussian wars of 1864, 1866, and 1870 were each 
directed against one antagonist, except that in 
1866 the Prussians had to fight the South Ger- 
mans at the same time as the Austrians. In the 
war of 1877 the main antagonists were Russia 
and Turkey. The old practice of a body of allies 
clustering together against another group or 
power was realized in the two recent Balkan wars, 
which at the same time brought out the difficulty 
of keeping allies side by side throughout a war 
and still more throughout a peace. 



In every war after 1815 there was a large 
group of countries which took no part in the hos- 
tilities, but which maintained so far as was pos- 
sible while war was going on their previous rela- 
tions of trade and intercourse with the belliger- 
ents. Gradually by custom, by treaties which 
involved neutral and belligerent powers, and by 
treaties made beforehand between later belliger- 
ents, the rights and duties of neutrals were laid 
down. In the two Hague Conferences of 1899 
and 1908 numerous conventions were drawn up, 
many of which have been signed by a large number 
of powers, clearly setting forth these rights and 
duties. The penalty of deliberately aiding one 
of the belligerents is for the other side to treat 
the offender as a party to the war. The reward 
of standing by the duties of neutrals is to enjoy 
trade and intercourse with all the belligerents. 
One of the most important privileges is to re- 
main in a foreign country after it goes to war, 
but that right is subject to many limitations. 
Every government in time of peace as well as in 
time of war has the right to decide whether any 
foreigner or any kind of foreigner shall be allowed 
to come into the country, or having come, shall 
be allowed to stay there. Nevertheless the ex- 
pulsion of well-behaved foreigners for any but 
grave reasons is usually taken up as a grievance 
by any self-respecting government of which the 
exile was a national. The present war broke out 


so suddenly that great numbers of people were 
caught unawares, particularly Americans, who 
are a traveling people; on August 1, 1914, about 
100,000 of them were on the Continent of Europe. 
The knowing ones took early trains, for the mo- 
ment mobilization was proclaimed every govern- 
ment seized the railroad system and civilians were 
allowed to ride only on sufferance. Many Ger- 
mans, Frenchmen, or Austrians were caught away 
from home in their own country. At the same 
moment the system of travelers' credits broke 
down, and when trains began to run again irreg- 
ularly, many travelers could not raise the money 
to get out. The United States government took 
an unprecedented step in appropriating 2,- 
750,000 dollars for the relief of "marooned" 
Americans ; by undertaking to forward deposits 
made in the State Department to persons abroad, 
and by sending a ship of war to carry the money 
and give assistance. As a matter of fact not one 
in ten of the Americans thus caught was left 
entirely without means. 

Hundreds of these returning participants in 
the fringes of the war have published their ex- 
periences. Few of them seem to have had much 
trouble in France, for it was easy to get to Eng- 
land from that country. In Russia, Austria, and 
Germany, however, many people went through 
hardships, aggravated sometimes by the fact that 
they spoke English and were taken for English; 


that is, for nationals of an enemy power. As al- 
ways happens in such confusion and excitement, 
and as happened frequently in our Civil War, 
some people were harshly and brutally treated, 
but that is not to be laid to any nation or to 
any government. No systematic hostility to 
Americans was shown in any country ; and in 
individual cases of oppression or abuse it must 
be presumed that after the war proper indemnity 
will be secured by the United States government. 
Some automobiles were "impressed," subject to 
later payment; thousands of trunks were strand- 
ed ; but no authentic case has been reported of an 
American losing life or being put in peril because 
he was a neutral. 


A clear neutral personal right is to be free un- 
der all circumstances from service in a foreign 
army. Some cases have been reported where 
chauffeurs who claimed to be American have been 
commissioned with their machines, either because 
it was handy to have the keeper with the beast, 
or because he looked like material for a soldier. 
The general drag-net of the army includes three 
classes : ( 1 ) citizens of the belligerent coun- 
tries ; (2) former citizens who have lived else- 
where but cannot make out a clear case of nat- 
uralization in a foreign country and happen to 


be in their old homes; (3) residents in other 
countries (particularly the United States) who 
are entirely out of the physical power of their 
government. Neutrals will make no attempt to 
protect a man not their citizen who is in his 
native country when war breaks out. The few 
instances of Americans born who are forced into 
service will undoubtedly be disposed of as soon 
as the overburdened military offices can be 
prodded to investigating the cases. Naturalized 
citizens who have a clear case would also be 
set free, but a mere claim to naturalization with- 
out any papers or other proof will probably be 
dismissed until the war is over, which in hundreds 
of cases is certain to be too late for them — poor 
fellows ! By special treaties with Germany and 
some other powers, beginning in 1868 the United 
States has secured the principle that a foreigner 
who remains in the United States five years loses 
that foreign citizenship by naturalization. If, 
however, he returns to reside in his original coun- 
try, he thereby loses his American citizenship. In 
such instances the military governments will prob- 
ably take the benefit of the doubt if the man has 
once been a French, German, or Russian citizen. 

The pressure upon nationals of other coun- 
tries living in the United States during the last 
three years has been terrible. Servians, Bul- 
garians, Montenegrins, Albanians, Turks, and 
Greeks went home in masses in 1912 to take 


advantage of the remarkable opportunity to get 
killed in defense of their country. The sea road 
was open to them and the total number of these 
volunteers who traveled five thousand miles is 
probably over a hundred thousand. In 1914* 
similar calls produced a less result because it 
was almost impossible for men to get home to 
any countries except England, France, and Italy. 
The point is a very serious one for thousands of 
these men ; because if their country is engaged in 
war and they fail to respond to a call they are lia- 
ble to be posted as deserters, branded in public es- 
timation as cowards, and subject to punishment 
or exclusion if in the future they try to go home. 

On the other hand the laws of the United 
States are very explicit that no American shall 
become an officer or soldier in a foreign army 
and that no troops for any foreign army shall 
be recruited within the United States. In the 
Boer War there was a small contingent of Ameri- 
cans who braved the penalties of this law and 
it is said that large numbers have gone to Canada 
and enlisted there on their own statement that 
they were Canadians, for the love of adventure 
and the glamour of a soldier's life. 


The general principle that a neutral is not 
precluded by war from carrying on regular trade 
with a belligerent power is subject to many limi- 


tations. In the first place any belligerent has 
the right to fortify the coast by submarine mines 
within his own territorial three-mile limit ; and 
merchant ships attempting to enter such ports 
do so at their own peril. In the second place 
when a neutral vessel attempts to enter a port 
outside of which there are blockading vessels, it 
may be captured and confiscated. In the third 
place, a vessel which carries contraband of war 
bound to one belligerent port may be captured 
by the cruisers of any enemy belligerent. No 
neutral is bound to prevent the shipment of con- 
traband goods, even guns and ammunition, but 
the vessel owner takes his own risk of capture ; his 
government will do nothing for him. 

By modern practice this doctrine of contra- 
band has been extended in two ways. First, pro- 
visions are "conditional contraband" if the like- 
lihood is that they will be used to feed soldiers 
in the field. Furthermore, goods, including food, 
which are to be landed at a neutral port but are 
intended to pass from that neutral port to a 
belligerent are contraband, and may be seized 
on the high seas. This principle is very impor- 
tant in the present war because grain shipments 
to Holland can be seized before they reach that 
country if they are destined for the German 
army. The Dutch government has made itself 
safe by providing that such shipments shall not 
be forwarded to Germany at all. Inasmuch as 


the whole German coast from the Dutch boundary 
to the Danish is practically under blockade by 
the British fleet and the route through the Skaga- 
rack and the Sound into the Baltic is also 
blocked to hostile vessels, Germany can at pres- 
ent receive no food shipments from outside of 
Europe, a factor which may have a great weight 
in the war. 

This situation has greatly interfered with 
American shipments of grain because of the un- 
certainty of cargoes reaching port and therefore 
the difficulty of assuring payment for the cargo 
on delivery. The forwarding of cotton also is 
hampered by much the same causes. 

Some of the belligerent powers, especially Ger- 
many, have applied very strict rules to the mails. 
No letter is mailable in the German post office 
unless written in German and postmasters have 
the right to satisfy themselves that it is written 
in German. Even letters directed in English to 
German civil officials from the United States ap- 
pear in some cases to have been held back. No- 
body can complain of a precaution which applies 
to Germans as well as to foreigners. 

Similar restrictions have been applied to sub- 
marine cable lines. The Germans made the just 
complaint that cablegrams were sent to the United 
States and re-telegraphed to Canada from Great 
Britain, while the Germans had no direct cables 
in operation. The result was a general rule 


that no cablegram should be sent in cipher and 
none in any form which would convey military in- 
telligence to the representatives of belligerent 
powers. Some submarine cables have been cut, 
which is a recognized right of war ; but down to 
October most of the cables to Europe were in 

The wireless telegraph presented novel difficul- 
ties as to neutral rights. One system worked from 
the eastern United States to Great Britain; an- 
other from Long Island to Germany. Marconi- 
grams could be received or transmitted not only 
across the sea but to the cruisers and merchant 
ships of the various belligerent powers. The 
United States finally took the bold but reasonable 
step of putting government inspectors into all 
the wireless stations and refusing to allow the 
transmission of anything that would be useful 
to ships of war. The Germans have keenly felt 
their lack of direct and unrestricted communica- 
tion from Germany to the United States, because 
it deprives them, as they feel, of the chance to 
present their case and their cause to the American 


All the circumstances point to the conclusion 
that neither Germany nor Austria put much de- 
pendence on the position of Italy as the third 
member of the Triple Alliance. So long as he 


could, Bismarck , adhered to the old Three Em- 
peror Alliance of Russia, Germany, and Austria, 
and he turned to Italy and admitted that new 
power in 1882 because Russia was no longer cor- 
dial and Italy could offer a considerable army, 
a small, but at that time effective, navy, and 
great commercial advantages. By the completion 
of the Gotthard Tunnel in 1882, Genoa became 
an important collecting point for the Mediterra- 
nean and the Oriental trade on one side and for 
Germany on the other side. 

This admission into the highest society of na- 
tions was a great feather in the cap of Italy 
which had so recently become a nation ; and at 
that time the Italians were on bad terms with the 
French, partly for commercial reasons and partly 
because the French blocked the ambitions of Italy 
in North Africa. The Austrians had beaten the 
Italians at the sea fight of Lissa in 1866, and 
had at least broken even in the land battles. Un- 
fortunately for good feeling between those two 
powers the language boundary, which in the East- 
ern Alps is almost the same as the race boundary, 
does not coincide with the political boundary. 
The so-called Trentino, a southern district of 
the Tyrol, including the city of Trent, is almost 
entirely Italian in speech, and Trieste is in popu- 
lation, and apparently in sympathy, overwhelm- 
ingly Italian. Hence there have been many pop- 
ular demonstrations against the Austrians in 


Italy, and this feeling was much heightened by 
rivalries between the two powers at the time 
of the Balkan wars on the other side of the 

When war broke out, therefore, the Italian 
government on August 1 declared that Italy was 
not bound to assist her allies in an "offensive 
war," and that Italy would remain neutral. 
Nevertheless the regular army of 700,000 was 
directed toward the northern frontier, and was 
probably reinforced, though up to the middle of 
October the reserves had not been called out in 
full and there was, as yet, no formal mobiliza- 

The Germans were very anxious that Italy 
should join the two powers and it is the current 
belief that offers were made of territorial advan- 
tages to Italy, probably out of" the colonies of 
France and England. Italy refused the offer 
and appears to have maintained neutrality in 
honorable fashion. Italy, however, has large am- 
bitions in the eastern Balkans and in Africa, and 
since the people are apparently very hostile in 
spirit toward the Austrians, it is likely that that 
country will be drawn into the war sooner or 
later. At present Italy is the only European 
commercial power that has a large army and navy 
which is not engaged in hostilities. 



Switzerland was neutralized by the Treaty of 
Vienna in 1815 ; which has so far been respected. 
Holland has no special protection by European 
treaties, but her neighbor Belgium at the begin- 
ning of the war was able to show three documents 
guaranteeing her freedom from disturbance by the 
belligerent powers. The first of these treaties was 
a result of revolution. In 1815 the Powers at 
Vienna made an artificial combination of the for- 
mer Dutch Confederation (commonly called Hol- 
land by the English) and the former Austrian 
provinces, both of which had for a time been in- 
corporated in France by Napoleon. These two 
elements differed in religion, and had no common 
interest in the sovereign who was given to them. 
In 1830, when the French Bourbon monarchy was 
overthrown by a revolution, the southern part 
of Holland also revolted, and by hard fighting 
made it clear that it could not be kept down by 
the Dutch part of the kingdom. 

Hence, after the revolution, by the treaty of 
November 15, 1831, Great Britain, Austria-Hun- 
gary, France, Prussia, Russia, and Belgium 
united in a treaty establishing the boundaries 
of the present Belgium and providing that "Bel- 
gium shall form an independent and perpet- 
ually neutral state, which shall be bound to ob- 
serve such neutrality toward all other states." 


April 19, 1839, the same powers, with the addi- 
tion of Holland, again put their signatures to a 
treaty setting forth in the same words that "Bel- 
gium shall form an independent and perpetually 
neutral state. It shall be bound to observe such 
neutrality toward all other states." For a third 
time, on August 9, 1870, three weeks after the 
beginning of the Franco-Prussian War, Great 
Britain and Prussia united in a treaty which 
set forth that "His Majesty, the King of Prussia, 
having declared that notwithstanding the hos- 
tilities in which the North German Confederation 
is engaged with France, it is his fixed determina- 
tion to respect the neutrality of Belgium so long 
as the same shall be respected by France." Great 
Britain pledged herself to defend Belgium against 
any infringement by the French. Two days later 
a treaty in almost identical terms was signed 
with France, engaging to respect the neutrality 
so long as it was observed by Prussia and her 
allies. In both cases the special treaties were to 
expire a year after the end of the war, but "on 
the expiration of that time the independence and 
neutrality of Belgium will so far as the High 
Contracting Parties are respectively concerned 
continue to rest as heretofore on Article I of the 
Principal Treaty of the nineteenth of April, 

Switzerland, by special provision of the Treaty 
of Vienna of 1815, and some other small powers 


in Europe enjoy — or up to August 4, 1914, did 
enjoy — the same presumption that they would 
not be drawn into war against their national will. 
Switzerland has a commanding military situation 
toward all four of her great surrounding neigh- 
bors, none of which could permit either of the 
other three to take possession of this magnificent 
natural fortress. 

Belgium is a country without natural defenses 
and in more than a score of wars has been a 
battleground for other people, because it lies 
between the German and French centers of pop- 
ulation. It is not an accident that Waterloo and 
Liege are almost in sight of each other: be- 
cause of Waterloo and fifty earlier battles the 
Belgians desired to have the five nations which 
were most likely to go to war exempt her 
from their contests ; and Belgium has therefore 
had a longer stretch of peace than any other 
nation of Europe. This freedom from alarms 
has made it possible to devote the energies of 
the people to making themselves one of the most 
prosperous states in the world. Nevertheless of 
late years Belgium has grown uneasy, has or- 
ganized a system of citizen soldiery and has 
built the powerful fortresses of Liege, Namur, 
and Antwerp. 

When on August 4 Goschen had his last in- 
terview with Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, he 
conveyed the direction of the British government 


that he should offer war to Germany if Belgium 
were to be invaded ; and the Chancellor "expressed 
his poignant regret at the crumbling of his entire 
policy and that of the Chancellor, which had been 
to make friends with Great Britain and then, 
through Great Britain, to get closer to France." 
. . . He said that the step taken by His Majes- 
ty's Government was terrible to a degree; just 
for a word — "neutrality," a word which in war 
time had so often been disregarded — just for a 
scrap of paper, Great Britain was going to 
make war on a nation who desired nothing bet- 
ter than to be left alone. The German states- 
man's phrase will go down to history, for it in- 
dicates a frame of mind which was not that of 
the first Chancellor of the German Empire, 
Prince Bismarck. 

Manifestly there was a difference in the cir- 
cumstances of 1870 and 1914. The treaty of 
Belgian neutrality was signed the day after the de- 
cisive battle of Gravelotte, when the Germans were 
making their way straight across the eastern 
frontier of France; and in 1914 that road was 
closed by powerful French forts. Bismarck was 
always a thrifty diplomat; he had as few scru- 
ples as any man in Europe, and would have torn 
up any treaty which he thought was a noose 
around the neck of his country. Nevertheless it 
is a question whether he would have been willing 
to pay the price of the loss of public confidence 


as to the binding force of inconvenient treaties 
which were made long in advance in order to pre- 
vent the operation of sudden necessities or pas- 
sion. t ''r*l>iM444/\,r-£-\* 

Some defenders of Germany have characterized 
the step as "a breach of international good man- 
ners." A German professor justifies the action 
of his country on the ground that "this neu- 
trality had some time previously actually been 
violated by France. Before the war broke out 
French officers traveled through Belgium and 
French troops reached Belgian territory before 
the declaration of war. For all this there are 
the most convincing proofs, and since this was 
known in Germany and the danger of being throt- 
tled from Belgium by France and England had to 
be met, nothing else remained for Germany but 
on her side to disregard the neutrality of Bel- 

The "convincing proofs" have not yet been laid 
before the world, and the refusal to execute the 
treaties stands on just the same footing as the 
invasion of Belgium, which is discussed earlier in 
this volume. Neither is justified under the ordi- 
nary principles of international law. Both might 
be justified by the Law of National Existence if 
necessary to save Germany from destruction. 
Neither can be justified at all except by showing 
to the satisfaction of impartial and neutral per- 
sons that the continued existence of Germany was 


endangered ; and that the only safety was by mak- 
ing war on the nation that happened to hold a 
territory convenient for the invasion of France. 

Would the English government have protested 
against the occupation of Belgium by the French 
had the French taken that step? On July 31 
England sought and received the assurance of 
the French that they would not invade Belgium; 
and when the question was later raised in Parlia- 
ment Sir Edward Grey issued a statement to say 
that England would unquestionably have inter- 
fered to protect Belgium's freedom against 
France. In such a crisis every nation must de- 
clare for itself what sacrifices it will make and 
what enmities it will encounter in order to carry 
out its military plans. That decision remains 
subject to the judgment of mankind as to the 
paramount necessity of a policy which involves 
the ruin of an innocent third party. The ma- 
terials are not yet at hand for a final decision in 
the minds of neutrals of the bedrock responsibility 
for this undesirable state of things. 




THE object of the military systems of Con- 
tinental Europe is first of all to put as 
large a part as possible of the male 
population through a military training; and then 
in case of war to enroll as active soldiers as large 
a part of these trained men as possible. The 
first result is brought about by universal military 
service which varies all the way from the Swiss 
method of six months for each man to the ex- 
treme French service just enacted of three years 
for every man. 

In practice there are many exemptions. Ger- 
many has a system of "one-year volunteers" which 
means that every youth who can pass examina- 
tions somewhat more serious than the stiff est 
entrance examinations to an American college 
is allowed to serve one year at his own expense 
under favored conditions. A sharp young man 
can carry on some work in a university while 



serving in the same town as a soldier, and young 
doctors get off with six months' service. For a 
long time clergymen were exempted, till in France 
one of the items in the long struggle with the 
Church was the rigid inclusion of theological 
students. In practice no government has been 
able to take care of all the young men who in a 
particular year arrive at the military age of 
twenty or thereabouts ; and a portion of them 
are excused for the time being. Those physically 
deficient, as shown by examination, are com- 
monly relieved outright. 

At the moment when war broke out on an 
unexampled scale, a certain number of men in 
all the great Continental countries, averaging 
about one per cent of the population, were "under 
the colors" ; that is, for the time being members 
of the regular army. Even before war broke 
out the "reserves" were in some cases called. 
These are men who have finished their immediate 
military service, but remain on the books, subject 
to a call at any moment. Next comes in Germany 
the call for the Landwehr; that is, all able-bodied 
men up to thirty-nine years of age. Behind that 
is the Landsturm of men from thirty-nine to 
forty-five. These clockwork regulations, if car- 
ried out completely, would enroll all the able- 
bodied men from seventeen to forty-five, which is 
about between a fourth and a fifth of the total 
population ; but exceptions are manifold. Men 


in the transportation service must stick to their 
jobs, although they are soldiers: otherwise the 
army could no't be carried and kept supplied. No 
government can possibly put into the field more 
than six to seven per cent of the population, un- 
less to defend the country for a brief period from 
invasion; and of these not over half could be on 
the firing lines. 

The levies take no account of education or 
wealth except that the one-year volunteers usually 
become officers of the reserve and Landwehr, and 
thus in case of war see service as officers. It is 
told that a German-American millionaire who 
had never been naturalized and always pooh- 
poohed at American citizenship happened to be 
in Germany when the war broke out, and was 
immediately drawn into the ranks as a private. 
In Great Britain for several centuries troops 
have been raised by volunteering. Even in Ger- 
many the government has announced that more 
than a million volunteers have offered themselves. 
This can mean only that men belonging to levies 
not yet called have volunteered for immediate 
service; and that those who are physically inca- 
pable of serving in the field volunteer for some 
less exacting function. 

The result of this general liability to service 
is that the weight of the war has instantly come 
down on every community and almost every fam- 
ily. There are no patriots who take upon them- 


selves the defense of their country and there are 
also no skulkers. The German or Frenchman 
has no claim to a pension except for loss of 
limb or health ; in those countries there is no 
class of ex-soldiers ; no soldier vote. Going to 
war is like paying one's taxes, except that it 
reachest the poorest in the land. Hence, any 
sort of internal opposition to war is almost im- 
possible. There can be no peace party in the 
national or local legislatures. Criticisms on the 
conduct of the war may be treated as treason. 
The whole vitality, passion, and endurance of 
each country are thrown into the struggle, under 
the direction of the military organization. The 
result is the marching to war of the most enor- 
mous forces ever arrayed against each other. 


In the old wars it was nobody's business to 
keep the public informed of what was going on 
in the field and accounts of disasters sometimes 
were weeks in leaking out. After the destruction 
of Napoleon's Grand Army in Russia in 1812 
the dispatches to France were encouraging till 
the famous number of the Moniteur in which the 
terrible truth was told, ending with the phrase 
"the health of the Emperor was never better." 
From the Crimean to the Boer War there was 
half a century of war correspondents who looked 


upon themselves as irregular generals who made 
war by describing it. They were the same sort 
of men, in some cases the same men, as the ex- 
plorers in Africa and Central Asia, daring any- 
thing; and some of them, especially "Bull Run 
Russell," correspondent of the London Times, 
had much influence on public sentiment and 
action. In our Civil War the correspondents 
rose to the maximum of importance ; so much 
so that General Sherman expressed the opinion 
that the proper way to deal with them was to 
stand them up and shoot the lot. He was net- 
tled by the fact that the movements and plans 
of his army were printed within twenty-four 
hours ; and those newspapers within forty-eight 
hours were in the hands of the enemy. The power 
of the correspondents to make or break com- 
manders in the field was alarming. 

Nevertheless in the Spanish War the news- 
papermen again undertook to carry on the cam- 
paigns and one of them modestly boasted that he 
himself brought on the war. When General Shaf- 
ter, after the surrender of Santiago, sent an offi- 
cer to the top of the government building to run 
up the American flag the officer found a reporter 
there, and answered over the parapet, "Man here 
already, sir." To which the General replied, "Tell 
him to come down." "He won't come down." 
"Throw him down !" But no private citizen can 
ever "throw down" a newspaperman. 


The first people to discover that an army 
was more likely to be successful if its movements 
were not made known to the world until after 
they had been successful, were the Japanese in the 
Russian war of 1905. Then in 1912, the Bul- 
garians completed the destruction of the founda- 
tions of modern civilization by corralling the cor- 
respondents miles back of the battlefield, and fur- 
nishing them with desiccated items of news which 
of course must be true because they came from 

The advantage of operating on plans unknown 
not only to the enemy, but to the armies of the 
home country were such that almost the first 
guns in the campaigns of 1914 were opened 
against the newspapermen and newspapers. Each 
country treated the war, not as an international 
event in which all newspaper buyers were inter- 
ested, but as its private concern. Few regular 
correspondents were allowed from the French, 
German, Austrian, or Russian newspapers. Even 
Great Britain, which is little accustomed to such 
restrictions, recognized that the first necessity was 
national defense, and accepted, in some cases 
under pretty strong pressure, the muzzling of the 

Correspondents of various nations, especially 
American and English, have put these restrictions 
to the test ; and so far it does not appear that 
any of them has been shot, although any man who 


skirmishes about in the rear of a fighting army 
picking up such information as he can from the 
peasants and the wounded runs a risk of fall- 
ing into the wrong hands. The result has been 
that the most tremendous battles in history have 
been fought without anything but the most gen- 
eral and inevitable facts being made known to 
the world. The Germans got within three days' 
march of Paris without the Parisians knowing the 
imminence of the danger. Part of the German 
army was then swept back sixty miles without the 
German people realizing that there had been a 

This concealment is a great relief to the com- 
manders and enables them to shift troops and 
undertake complicated movements without their 
own men knowing what is going on. This is a 
very important point, because if some of those 
men are captured they may carry to the enemy 
much desired information. It is curious how ea- 
gerly the newspapers and even military author- 
ities seize upon such facts as that since no Aus- 
trians have been captured in Alsace, it must be 
that they are not on the front. The Germans 
take English prisoners on the center of their 
line ; and hence infer that troops are probably 
being shifted from west to east. 

In battles raging along a continuous front of 
a hundred and twenty miles the Recording Angel 
could not intelligently set down the movements 


of all the different commands ; and even those who 
are on the firing line are often unable to com- 
municate with their own friends at home in re- 
gard to their personal safety. The postal card 
was invented for the benefit of the German sol- 
diers in 1870, but in this war most of the armies 
seem to have followed the Bulgarian method of 
forbidding any soldier to write home anything 
that would throw light on the location of troops. 
Indeed, the Bulgarians were forbidden to put a 
date or a place name in their letters. Such a 
thing as a military or naval officer writing an 
account of a fight in detail, which should after- 
wards appear in print, is almost unthinkable in 
the present war. In fact precautions go to the 
extent of forbidding the circulation of English 
newspapers or extracts from English newspapers 
in the part of Belgium occupied by the Germans. 


Whatever the military advantage of getting out 
from under the correspondents' searchlight, the 
process deprives the fighting powers of a valua- 
ble protection. So long as correspondents rode 
in and out of battles, hobnobbed with officers on 
the march, visited field hospitals and talked with 
prisoners, they knew what the troops were doing 
to each other and to the noncombatant popula- 
tion. If they had accompanied the Greek, Bui- 


garian, and Servian armies in 1913 the fearful 
barbarities of that war simply could not have 
happened; for neutral correspondents, accus- 
tomed to note what was going on and to take 
pictures, would have roused the civilized world. 
The charges of atrocities committed by soldiers 
of one or another army in the present war would 
have much less effect upon the world if corre- 
spondents were in a position to affirm or deny 
their truth. It is a serious responsibility for 
the military authorities to dry up the sources 
of information, or to confine them entirely to 
persons directly under their own orders. The 
Austrians are reported to have forbidden their 
wounded who return home to tell the tale of 
their own experiences and sufferings. 

In the field all the commanders accuse their 
enemies of barbarous and illegal practices. The 
Germans are sure that the French are using 
dum-dum or soft-nosed bullets ; the French are 
convinced that the Germans massacre prisoners. 
In both cases there is probably a substratum of 
fact. It is no answer to such charges to say that 
this or that army is comprised of men who are 
incapable of such outrages. A volunteer army 
may include many bad men — an army of uni- 
versal military service is bound to contain the 
worst men in the nation because it takes them all. 
A French officer has recently written: "I found 
myself quite a different man when at the front. I 


recognize savage instincts. I live like a savage." 
In our Civil War the newspapers on both sides 
abounded in instances of cruelty, many of them 
well founded. We learned then that war bru- 
talizes men, and that Christian husbands and 
fathers in the fury of battle will do things that 
would shock a wild Indian. 

Charges of killing the wounded of the other 
side are made in every war and it often happens, 
frequently because the wounded keep up the fight. 
In some of the Continental armies the non-com- 
missioned officers strike and abuse their own men 
and prisoners may come in for the same kind of 
treatment. When the question comes to be care- 
fully investigated, it will probably be found that 
the bullets and massacres were used without or- 
ders and against orders. Though in and near 
the Balkans there seems to be a kind of minus- 
morality which makes war not only hell but "be- 
neath the lowest deep a lower deep." 


The same thing is true in general with regard 
to the treatment of noncombatants, except that 
the feeling between the civil population of an 
invaded country and the soldiers of an invading 
army is much more hostile than that between 
opposing soldiers. The German looks on the Rus- 
sian private as the representative of a bad sys- 


tern, but after all as doing his job under orders: 
the German peasant looks on the Russian Cossack 
as a devil let loose and sometimes the cavalryman 
tries to deserve his reputation. In former wars, 
even as late as Napoleon's time, the population 
was harried, robbed, and sometimes tortured. 
Milder principles now prevail and the fundamen- 
tal notion is that civilians in occupied territory- 
are entitled to be protected in their lives and 

The Germans in 1870 initiated a system of seiz- 
ing supplies right and left and giving certificates ; 
and at the end of the war the French govern- 
ment took up and paid those certificates, on the 
ground that the loss was a national one and ought 
not to fall solely on the unhappy residents of an 
occupied district. The same system seems to be 
now in use by the German army. It may be laid 
down as a certainty that the Germans in France 
or Russia, the French in Germany and the Rus- 
sians in Austria will take possession of all the 
food and supplies that they can lay their hands 
on; though a humane commanding general will 
not bring the population to a starvation point 
within his lines. Such rights of seizure seem to 
be recognized by The Hague Convention of 1899, 
and however harsh they must be they are not an 
infraction of the laws of nations or the practice 
of civilized war, provided compensation is made. 

War involves from first to last a fearful de- 


struction of property. The energies of nine na- 
tions are just now directed toward supporting 
millions of their men whose sole business is to 
destroy. Railroads carry heavy guns to the 
frontier which are to be used in tearing to pieces 
railroads beyond the frontier. Any town or city 
is subject to attack; and for a great many years 
a favorite method has been to throw shells which 
demolish and set on fire the buildings. Under the 
laws of war this is allowable only in case of cities 
which resist attack or are fortified; but every 
bombshell means the killing of noncombatants. 
"If you object," the military authorities answer, 
"very well, then evacuate the town. We shall not 
destroy it, if you will give it up without a fight." 
Grant before Vicksburg and Gillmore outside of 
Charleston deliberately threw shells into the in- 
habited portions of those cities. 

It is generally regarded as inhumane to fire 
upon hospitals, museums, churches, and like build- 
ings which are not used for military defense, and 
it was strongly forbidden by The Hague treaties. 
In the siege of Strassburg in 1870, the Germans 
avoided the Cathedral which came through the 
siege intact. In 1914 the Germans shelled Rheims 
which was practically unfortified, and according 
to their own account deliberately fired on the 
Cathedral, a marvel of Gothic art which had 
escaped damage in numerous sieges and captures 
during seven hundred years. The act was ex- 


cused on the ground — denied by the French — that 
the Cathedral towers were used for signaling. 
The same argument, if valid, would of course 
apply if the French got within range of Cologne 

The state of things in Belgium brings back 
some of the worst passions of old-fashioned war- 
fare. The Belgians knew that the Germans were 
likely to march by their right flank if they ever 
got into war with France, but they hoped that 
day was far off and expected that France and 
Great Britain would come to their aid if the 
Germans crossed their boundary. When on 
August 4 the German armies arrived in front of 
Liege, they expected that the Belgians would 
give way, perhaps with a little show of force. 
They could not hope to repulse the Germans, and 
it seemed to the German mind inevitable that they 
would, after a few hours, be able to press on to 
their invasion of France. 

Mankind was astonished that the Belgians, who 
had previously had no special military reputa- 
tion, should for many days block the road. They 
looked on the invaders not simply as enemies, but 
as monsters; just as the Germans looked on the 
Huns in ages past ; as western Europe looked on 
the Croatian horsemen who served Austria and 
harried the territory of the Prussians till mothers 
frightened their children to sleep with threats of 
the Croats. The Belgian population was nerved 


with the intensest national hatred. On the other 
side this disturbance of their plans seemed to the 
Germans a futile proceeding which would cause 
great loss of time and men without saving Bel- 
gium. To their minds the Belgians were engaged 
in a kind of civil war, and were almost traitors. 

Under these conditions of exasperation the Ger- 
mans spread over the Belgian territory, occu- 
P3 r ing villages and cities. From the first they 
exacted the severest penalties against noncom- 
batants who joined in the fray. The Belgians 
were disposed to do as their ancestors did un- 
der like circumstances — to call on the whole 
population to resist — but the freedom of non- 
combatants from being attacked depends on 
their willingness to keep their hands off the guns. 
In 1862 when the Union troops were fired upon, 
''under cover of the houses" of Fredericksburg, 
General Sumner simply announced that unless a 
satisfactory answer was received, he would "bom- 
bard" the town. On the promise of Longstreet 
that the Confederates would not make use of the 
town, Sumner respected the place. The civilian 
who takes up arms is liable to be captured 
and then treated not as a prisoner but as a 
brigand. The house which harbors "snipers" is 
liable to be destroyed. 

There most authorities think the penalty stops. 
If a peasant fires at a German soldier, that is 
a reason for shooting him, but not his family 


and his neighbors. If a house keeps up the 
fight, that does not give the right to destroy the 
village. Hence, in neutral nations there was a 
feeling of horror when it was announced that 
the city of Louvain had been given over to the 
flames by the Germans because shots were fired 
from some of the houses. The German defense 
of this act is briefly set forth in a letter from 
Emperor William to President Wilson, dated Sep- 
tember 4 : 

"Some villages, and even the old town of Lou- 
vain, with the exception of its beautiful town hall, 
had to be destroyed for the protection of my 

"My heart bleeds when I see such measures in- 
evitable, and when I think of the many innocent 
people who have lost their houses and property 
as a result of the misdeeds of the guilty." 

This is another of the cases in which the moral 
responsibility can be affixed only in the light of 
actual circumstances. The Belgian government 
and the German government have radically 
divergent beliefs as to what actually happened. 
If, as the Germans insist, there was a deliberate 
and systematic plan to take advantage of the 
temporary absence of a part of the German 
troops to attack the other part by the civilians, 
men and women, firing from houses on a pre- 
arranged signal, — that was an act of bad faith 
which would justify the severest measures toward 


those who are actually concerned. It would not 
justify a destruction of buildings which were the 
heritage of mankind, or of men, women and chil- 
dren who had no part or responsibility in the 
outbreak. Both Belgians and Germans produce 
testimony which seems unimpeachable that the 
other side has been guilty of fearful excesses. 
Some German wounded were blinded, or mutilated. 
Some German officers were shot in the houses in 
which they had been billeted, but politely received. 
On the other side the Belgian Commission and 
correspondents describe the maiming and murder 
of men, women, and some children and the destruc- 
tion and loot of buildings, villages, towns, and 
cities which the Belgians assert had not been 
guilty of any hostile acts. 

Up to October the people of the United States 
were not provided with even such conflicting state- 
ments as to the treatment of the civil population 
in enemies' countries occupied by the various 
armies in the East. To judge from the accounts 
of the behavior of the Russian contingent in China 
in 1900, and from the undeniable reports of the 
Commission on the atrocities in the Balkans last 
year, we shall by and by have a new crop of hor- 
rors from that part of the world. There race 
hatreds are accented and savage methods of war- 
fare are traditional. The Russians are reported 
to be on the point of declaring that they will give 
no quarter to Germans. That principle is con- 


trary to the recognized laws regulating civilized 
warfare, and to the plain principles of humanity. 
The object of modern warfare is not to destroy 
a country, or a city, or a village, but to break up 
military resistance. A wounded man, a prisoner, 
or a noncombatant who does not attack the 
troops, is not in a position to affect military 
operations, and common humanity demands that 
his life shall be spared. 


An incident of wars as late as Napoleon's time 
was the "Brandschatzung," or payment by a city 
of a ransom in cash or valuables, to avoid being 
burned by a victorious army. The system was 
based on the idea that burning a captured city 
was the righteous and normal thing. With the 
disappearance of the notion that the private 
property of the people in a conquered area is 
the lawful spoil of the conquerors, the Brand- 
schatzung had almost died out in civilized coun- 
tries. It was revived by Germany in Belgium and 
France by the laying of a penalty upon provinces 
and cities which they occupied. According to news- 
paper accounts, Liege was assessed 50,000,000 
francs for the privilege of being knocked to 
pieces ; Brussels was assessed 200 million francs 
and the money was paid by four wealthy citizens 
who of course look to their government to reim- 


burse them. Smaller amounts were laid on other 
towns and districts. There seems to have been no 
statement as to what would happen if these 
amounts were not paid : presumably the Germans 
would seize private property on their own respon- 
sibility to the amount of the levy, and refer the 
former owners to their own government for relief. 
In the case of the city of Ghent an agreement was 
made by civic authorities to pay over 50,000,000 
francs in supplies if the Germans would keep their 
troops out of the city, but the Belgian govern- 
ment did not carry it out. 

Such levies during the campaign are a con- 
venient way of getting at part of the resources of 
occupied territory without overthrowing the civil 
government. Somewhat similar levies were made 
on a few of the French towns ; but in the first 
phase of the campaign few of them were occupied 
long enough to secure a systematic payment. It 
seems to be accepted that in case any of the 
powers is laid prostrate by the war a huge money 
indemnity will be exacted from it, like the 5,000 
million francs paid by France to Germany in 
1871 ; the purpose being partly to repay the ex- 
penses of the war and partly to cripple the power 
upon which such immense sums are assessed. 


For the first time the air has been the scene 
of contests for supremacy among nations. Per- 


haps with some premonition of what was going 
to happen, nearly all the European countries 
within the last two years have been busy con- 
structing fleets of air vessels, partly of the aero- 
plane type which depends on its own power to 
keep it up, and partly of the dirigible type which 
is kept up by the inflation of gas bags. Interna- 
tional law was not prepared for this new kind 
of weapon and there have been no general inter- 
national agreements on the subject. A conven- 
tion of The Hague Conference in 1907 provided 
that "the contracting powers agree to prohibit 
for a period extending to the close of the Third 
Peace Conference the discharge of explosives and 
projectiles from balloons or by other new methods 
of a similar nature." But this treaty was not 
to bind in any war participated in by a non- 
signatory power. 

Hence, all the belligerents have used aeroplanes, 
first of all for scouting; and they have proved of 
great service in detecting the positions of the 
enemy, pointing out their lines of defense and 
giving notice of movements of troops. Rival 
aeroplanes have occasionally fought battles over- 
head and numbers of them have been brought 
down by firing from the earth. 

A second use has been to skirmish over hostile 
territory. The French claim that one of their 
aeroplanes passed over the German city of Nurem- 
berg the first day of the war (the Germans say 


it was previous to the war) and the French have 
dropped bombs on some of the German airship 
stations. On their side the Germans have dropped 
bombs into Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent and Paris. 
The aeroplanes carry very little weight and ap- 
parently have to descend to within gunshot in 
order to make sure of their mark. The Zeppelins 
can hover over a place for an indefinite time. 
The German method is for them to take a posi- 
tion out of range, then let down a man hundreds 
of feet on a wire cable, who drops the bomb. A 
Zeppelin can carry a ton of explosives and has 
a range of hundreds of miles. Hence it is known 
to be a part of the German plan of offense to send 
a fleet of Zeppelins some night to range over 

Upon the face of it, a bomb dropped by an 
airship is not morally different from a bomb pro- 
pelled by a mortar. Down to October no serious 
destruction was caused by any airship, but the 
wrecking of hospitals and other private buildings 
in Antwerp by bombs dropped from a Zeppelin 
raised the question of the right under interna- 
tional law to drop bombs on anything but for- 
tresses. Perhaps a fortified city may be considered 
as one fortress and the terror of the civil popu- 
lation has always been counted on as a desirable 
thing for the besiegers. The German theory is 
that women and children and other noncombat- 
ants ought to be sent out of a fortified place 


before the enemy begins his attack. The diffi- 
culty is that nobody knows at first whether the 
fall of a shell means simply a threat or the 
beginning of a bohibardment that may last for 
days ; and it is a serious matter to turn 
thousands of people out of their homes and 
into a country which is already devastated by 

H. G. Wells in one of his novels pictures the 
effect upon the United States of an invasion by 
aircraft which systematically destroys the towns, 
camps, and other points where troops are trying 
to collect, till they have uprooted civilization. 
The thing is physically possible in Europe, if an 
enemy can only get complete control of the air. 
The only defense is to fight the devil with fire, 
the aeroplane with another airship. This makes 
a fearful kind of warfare in which there are no 
wounded, but every man or craft that is hit 
goes to instant destruction. The percentage of 
loss in any well-contested air fight would not be 
less than half of all the crews, which is about 
ten times the risk of the ordinary infantryman 
engaged in a land battle. 


Land-fighting is safer also than sea-fighting 
under present conditions, for the losses of men 
per thousand engaged in a fleet action would 
probably be about as great as in a land battle, 


and the sailor is exposed to the additional dan- 
ger that, though up to that moment unhurt, he 
is likely to be drowned if the ship goes down. 
A still more terrible danger comes from the tor- 
pedoes. In our Civil War Lieutenant Cushing 
drove a steam launch over a boom and got near 
enough to torpedo and destroy the Confederate 
ironclad Albemarle. That kind of open attack 
can no longer be made, because the quick-firing 
guns would destroy any torpedo craft afloat be- 
fore it could get within torpedo range; but what 
of the new submarines which creep up to within 
a few thousand feet and drive home their ter- 
rible weapon? This is the first war in which sub- 
marines have played any part and several cruis- 
ers, most of them British, have been sunk. Here 
again there is no protection in international law. 
If it is good morals to shoot an enemy above 
water it is good morals to shoot under water. 
Just before the war broke out, Scott, the English 
naval expert, wrote an article to prove that sub- 
marines would henceforth decide naval war ; and 
Sir Conan Doyle published a lurid tale based on 
the supposed extermination of the British mer- 
chant fleet by a pair of bold submarines. The de- 
struction of three British cruisers within an hour, 
apparently by the same German submarine, late in 
September, showed that this apprehension was not 
a dream ; but all the naval powers engaged have 
submarines and an equal opportunity to use them. 


When Farragut attacked the forts below 
Mobile in 1864 one of his ships was sunk by a 
"torpedo." That was the same kind of infernal 
machine that we now call a mine. It is the right 
of every power in time of war to protect its 
own harbors and coasts by anchoring these in- 
fernal machines, some of which go off when 
touched by a passing vessel and others can be 
fired by electricity from watchers on the shore. 
All the harbors, French, English, German, Rus- 
sian, and Austrian, are doubtless protected by 
mines, through which there are lanes available 
for the home vessels of war and commercial ships. 
In addition, mines have in several recent wars 
been sown in the open sea. The Japanese were 
accused of doing it in 1905. The Turks did it 
in 1912, and several merchantmen were blown 
up in entering or leaving the port of Smyrna. A 
German mine-layer was destroyed by an English 
ship which shortly after was blown up, proba- 
bly by a submarine. In October the British gave 
notice of the laying of a mine field in a specified 
region of the North Sea. The English later 
warned all comers that a certain arm of the North 
Sea was mined by them. This sowing of mines on 
the high seas and in the track of neutral vessels 
is contrary to international law and common- 
sense. Russia, for instance, has no right to make 
it dangerous for Swedish ships to traverse the 
open Baltic. 



Submarines and mines are only part of the evi- 
dence of a determination by all the powers en- 
gaged to push the war with every energy, even 
at the expense of loss and suffering to neutrals 
and noncombatants. The day has long passed 
when, as at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745, the 
English commander rode forward, drank to the 
health of the French and called on his troops for 
a cheer. Germany, by its marvelous training, 
discipline, and power over the national resources, 
has set an example of fierce and unrelenting war 
which the other powers do their best to recipro- 
cate. It is this spirit which seems to have caused 
most of the trouble in Belgium, the feeling of the 
invaders that the war must be fought ; that all 
obstacles must be overcome; that any nation, 
army, fortress, or people who stand in the way 
must be crushed. It is the spirit of the old-fash- 
ioned football ; the teams are sent out to win and 
not to give examples of the restrictions laid down 
by the rules. 

One unusual element in the war is the appear- 
ance of cavalry far beyond the armies. This 
method of warfare was apparently suggested by 
the Cossacks, long known as the finest cavalry in 
Europe, and the German Uhlans who both in the 
war of 1870 and 1914 have shown amazing bold- 
ness. Troops and squads of them have appeared 


fifty miles beyond their lines, taking villages, cut- 
ting telegraphs, living on the country and filling 
whole provinces with terror. Should the French 
and English armies move into an enemy's coun- 
try, they would doubtless try the same adven- 
turous tactics. The only remedy seems to be a 
patrol of armored automobiles. 

The use of heavy artillery in the field adds much 
to the din and something to the destruction of 
war. The Servians two years ago were the first 
to prove to the world that large guns could be 
carried anywhere with an army, guns that would 
drop their missiles four miles from the point of 
departure. All the present large armies are 
equipped with similar large cannon, many of them 
using high explosives. Then the Germans have 
for the first time in war brought into the field 
big guns with a caliber of fourteen inches, send- 
ing a shot weighing a ton, which, if it strikes the 
earth, will blow out a hole in which five horses 
can be entombed. Such a shot striking the con- 
crete or steel roof of a fort may smash it into a 
rubbish heap. The use of these guns brought 
about the capture of the great ring fortress of 
Liege and Namur in Belgium and Maubeuge in 
France ; while the French evacuated the powerful 
fort of LaFere without a stand because they were 
satisfied it was untenable. 

All the armies have learned the art of bur- 
rowing, which was first practised on a large scale 


in our Civil War and was used with much effect 
in the Boer, Japanese, and Balkan wars. A 
straight, open trench can be located by airships 
and cleared out with shrapnel; but troops in the 
field build practical bombproofs which protect 
great numbers of the men even from artillery fire. 
This must be the reason why the reported losses 
are so low in proportion to the men engaged. 
General Grant in 1864 started into the Wilder- 
ness with about 125,000 men and added 50,000 
more by reinforcement during the next six weeks, 
but out of these he lost 70,000 dead, wounded, 
and missing. If the Allies had suffered losses 
in this proportion, they would have sacrificed 
500,000 men during August and September, but 
there is no evidence of an actual loss of half that 
number. In spite of the terrific hardships of 
marching every day for weeks and then fighting 
every day for a fortnight, neither army seems in 
October to be worn down. Perhaps when the offi- 
cial returns are made after the war we shall find 
out that, like the Japanese in 1905, the officials 
have made remarkable mistakes in their totals. 
In a two months' campaign in fine weather there 
has been no opportunity for disease to set in; 
but in most previous wars twice as many men 
have died without a wound as have been killed or 
disabled by bullets or shells. 





f I "^HE neutral powers of Europe watch the 
J progress of the war with some preju- 
dices. The Turks, who are much influ- 
enced by Germany, at one time seemed on the 
point of going in as an ally on that side. The 
Italians show symptoms of taking up the cud- 
gels against Austria-Hungary. The Spaniards 
would probably sympathize with their Latin 
neighbors, the French. Rumania is pro-Russian, 
for if Russia is victorious, there may be a chance 
to incorporate into Rumania part of the 3,- 
300,000 Rumanians who live at present in the 
Austrian Empire. 

The United States as a nation is sympathetic 
with all of the contestants ; we have nothing to 
ask from any of them ; whichever group is suc- 
cessful, that group has nothing to give which 
the United States desires. Our people is made 



up of race strains which include every religion, 
race, and nationality now engaged in the war. 
The President issued on August 5 a proclama- 
tion of absolute neutrality and on August 18 
sent out another proclamation urging his fellow- 
countrymen not to take sides even among them- 
selves. The war is a cause of grief not only to 
the 9,000,000 people who have come to this coun- 
try from Austria, Servia, Russia, and all the other 
countries now fighting, but also to the 78,000,000 
who were born in America and who are appalled 
at the woe which has fallen upon the world. 

These ties of interest and sympathy are 
stronger because of the great number of Ameri- 
cans who in recent years have visited Europe. 
There were a hundred thousand in 1914, and 
there have been nearly as many every summer 
during some years. Over a million American 
citizens have set foot upon the mother continent. 
Hundreds of men and women have been students 
in the universities, technical and art schools of 
France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Russia, and 
England. Exchange professors have gone from 
the United States to Germany, France, and Eng- 
land; and Germans, Frenchmen, and Englishmen 
have in return come over here. Every nation 
at war is a sister nation of this country. 

The United States has been interested in every 
European war for a century; first came the revo- 
lutions of 1830 and 1848, which drove to this 


side of the water some of the best citizens that 
we have ever had ; then the Crimean War of 1854 
which led to a controversy about British enlist- 
ments in the United States. The four succeed- 
ing wars from 1859 to 1871 were overshadowed 
for us Americans by our own Civil War. The 
battle of Tilden against the Tweed Ring in 1870 
was at the time more absorbing than the bat- 
tles of Worth or Gravelotte between the Prus- 
sians and the Frenchmen. Of the powers con- 
cerned in those four wars, Austria, Denmark, 
Italy, and France sent us at that time few immi- 
grants ; and the numerous German- Americans 
turned the sympathies of the public toward the 
Germans. Americans felt that their own experi- 
ence of war might be useful to these foreign 
armies. The chief way in which war, the war 
spirit, and preparations for war abroad were 
pressed upon the attention of this country was 
the discovery about 1867 that several foreign 
governments had introduced a system of univer- 
sal military service ; and that therefore Germans 
or others who had lived years in this country and 
even some who were naturalized, were seized if 
they returned to their native country, and com- 
pelled to perform their service or to suffer the 
penalty of evading it. 

The war of 1877 in the Balkans, the Russian 
campaigns in central Asia, the Boer War in 1899, 
the Tripolitan war of 1911, and even the two 


fierce and dreadful Balkan wars of 1912 and 
1913, all passed over us as a tale that is told, 
a spice in the morning newspaper, a vague notion 
that "those fellows away out there are waking 
up." The first distant war that really came home 
to the American people was that between the 
Japanese and the Russians in 1904-1905; and 
part of the interest arose from the fact that 
Japan was a near neighbor to our insular posses- 
sions in the Philippines. It never seems to have 
occurred to anybody that a European war could 
ever take place which would tremendously concern 
and alarm the people of North America. We 
hardly realize now that we are next neighbors 
along a frontier of 3,000 miles to one of the 
great military powers engaged in this struggle. 
It is rather an agreeable bit of excitement that 
German and English cruisers stop vessels going 
in or out of New York, as the English used to do 
a century ago. The terrific thunders of a world 
contest are still so distant that we look upon our- 
selves as happily outside the field of conflict. 
Whatever happens, a broad and blessed ocean is 
our entrenchment. And have we not an army and 
navy that can protect us from any accident? 

All these notions of remoteness from Europe, 
of living in "our own sphere," of never interfering 
in foreign relations, of expecting foreign nations 
to keep out of our hemisphere, are blown to the 
winds by the actualities of this tremendous war. 


First of all, the hundred thousand Americans who 
were enjoying their holiday in all parts of Eur- 
ope, have been caught as people are caught by 
a cloudburst. Modern military mobilization lays 
its hands upon the whole transportation system of 
central Europe. Think of our Civil War, when 
from the firing on Sumter to the first attempt to 
move on Richmond, a whole year elapsed ! Think 
of our leisurely movements in the Spanish War! 
Compare them with the colossal engine of mob- 
ilization which catches between its cogs the trav- 
eler and sojourner, whether native or foreigner! 
European travel is no longer a pastime ! It is a 
business necessity — a part of the world's com- 
merce of which we have been so proud: yet it 
is liable to paralysis at any moment so far as 
the tourist and the business man are concerned. 


Aside from personal sympathies, the United 
States is mightily moved by the disturbance of 
commerce. There has been nothing like it since 
modern commerce arose, for even in the Napo- 
leonic wars when Napoleon attempted to close 
the coasts of Europe to English trade, just as 
England is now attempting to close it to German 
trade, neutral vessels plied from port to port. 
No coast was completely closed and the United 
States as the principal neutral power possessing 


a large shipping, had special advantages and 
special profits in the European trade. To-day the 
United States has for the time being lost a com- 
merce to Germany and Russia which mounted up, 
out and in together, to 575 million dollars a 
year. In certain lines very important to Ameri- 
can manufacturers, such as dyestuffs, the Ger- 
mans have close to a monopoly. Some American 
steel works are closed down because they can 
no longer get a mineral from Austria which was 
necessary for their product. Predictions are 
made that southern states next year will raise 
only half a cotton crop because of the lack of 
kainite, the German potash product used as a 
basis for the necessary fertilizers. 

In the other direction, American exports are 
heavily hit, first by the lack of communication 
with Germany, Austria, and Russia, and second, 
by the weakening of demand caused by the stop- 
ping or short time of foreign factories which 
use our raw material. There is bound to be a 
strong demand for food, for any one of the great 
armies now in the field would perish if its ene- 
mies could cut off its food supply for six con- 
tinuous days ; but Europe can get on a year or 
two with half the cotton fiber that it has been 
using. This gap can be filled in part by selling 
to those world markets which can no longer be 
reached by the great Continental powers. The 
English trade to Africa and Asia and South 


America is disturbed but can probably about hold 
its own unless the Germans decisively defeat the 
British fleet and thus get command of the sea. 
It is not enough for them to let loose additional 
cruisers, though those random vessels have sunk 
a respectable number of British merchantmen all 
over the world. Germany can destroy English 
trade only by destroying the fleet. That is the 
great principle of Mahan's theory of Sea Power. 

The difficulty in the way of the United States 
taking up the slack, so to speak, of the German 
trade is that South Americans and Chinese and 
other nations can only buy to about the amount 
which they can sell. It will take years to read- 
just the great currents of world trade, for inter- 
national commerce depends upon the physical 
fact that most nations have a staple which they 
can raise to better advantage than their neigh- 
bors and with that product they buy the surplus 
from other countries. The United States cannot 
absorb all the Brazilian coffee or Chilean nitrates 
or Peruvian rubber or Argentine wool and meat. 

On the other hand, can the United States make 
South African diamonds, Honduras mahogany, 
Indian opium, or fine Limoges china, while the 
production of those articles is disturbed by the 
war? If not, this country stands to lose a large 
segment of its international trade; and though 
only about one-tenth of the goods used in the 
United States are produced outside of the coun- 


try, and though we could get along without 
those imports which may be classed as luxuries, 
we must also get on without the profits and the 
employment which has gone to make our exports : 
for if we do not buy we cannot sell. 

All the theories of international trade are much 
disturbed by international loans. When New 
York City bonds to the amount of over $100,- 
000,000 fell due in September and were found 
to be owned abroad, the banks had to hustle 
about to make arrangements for taking them up ; 
and in the course of a few months hundreds of 
millions of American securities will be sent over 
from Europe, either to raise cash on them or to 
settle balances of trade. If only two or three 
countries were involved in the war and all the rest 
were neutral and had their ordinary purchasing 
power, the United States would suffer very little; 
but when all Europe is disturbed and most of it 
engaged in war, the United States is bound to 
lose trade. That means to give up also any 
large schemes for capturing German or English 
or French trade ; because there must be an end 
to war some time and then our new customers are 
likely to drift back to their old connection. 


The war cannot fail to change the point of 
view, both of military men and of statesmen, with 
regard to the nature and size of our military 


force. In comparison with the figures given in 
earlier chapters for foreign armies our regular 
force is a bagatelle. The Continental United 
States has a population of over 100,000,- 
000, which is about that of Germany and Italy 
together, but those two powers keep up peace 
forces which together amount to about 1,000,000 
men while the United States army has an enlisted 
strength of 80,000 rank and file besides 5,000 
officers. Our army is less than one-tenth of one 
per cent of the population ; we had fewer soldiers 
ready for service in July, 1914, than Belgium 
with its 7,000,000 people. 

This does not mean that the American army 
is at present too small for the tasks that are 
put upon it. It is ample for garrisoning the 
forts, for police duty in states which have not 
the public spirit and sand to take care of them- 
selves, and for small expeditions outside the coun- 
try, like that to Cuba in 1906 and to Vera Cruz 
in 1914. The United States is prodigal in the 
amount it spends for this force. The military 
appropriations for the last complete year were 
$110,000,000, which is almost as much as was 
spent by Austria-Hungary in the same year. If 
disarmament can be secured with a good prospect 
of world peace the army need not be greatly en- 
larged for present purposes, but the campaigns 
in the Balkans and still more in central Europe 
show that any future war is likely to be fought 


by big units. General von Moltke, General Joffre, 
General Rennenkampff before entering into actual 
warfare handled in maneuvers or otherwise forces 
considerably larger than the whole army of the 
United States. If we can come to some agreement 
for a "Pax Americana" among all the western 
powers we shall not need to take account of these 
enormous numbers, because none of the powers 
engaged except England has ever carried any con- 
siderable number of soldiers across the sea; but 
if European wars are to be as numerous in the 
future as they have been in the past, the United 
States will have to enlarge its army. 

This country is not likely to adopt the idea 
that it can afford to give or need give two or 
three years out of the most productive part of 
a young man's life to learn the art of war ; but 
there is much to be said for the Swiss system of 
universal service for brief periods, counting to- 
gether to about six months, and more for the 
officers. The Swiss are very like the Americans 
in their individuality and democracy and neither 
of those qualities has been cut down by such serv- 
ice. In spite of the undesirable side of barrack 
life, which is a severe test of a young man's 
morals, such a universal service would do much 
to set up American youth, to push back their 
shoulders, inflate their lungs, train their leg mus- 
cles, teach them to do what they are told, make 
them aware that every man-child in the world is 


born to perform service at the behest of older 
people. It will take the boys out of the slums 
and the schools and the farms and the shops 
for a few months, show them how large their own 
country is, give them the feeling that they are 
responsible for its welfare and defense. If the 
European war directs the United States toward 
that course, it will not have been altogether evil. 

Upon the navy the effect of the war must be 
much more immediate and startling. There has 
been no ironclad fighting of much significance 
since the Civil War except in the Russo-Japanese 
war ; and this is the first opportunity to test the 
new naval engines of destruction. Whatever the 
United States builds henceforth must be deter- 
mined by the results of the war. If the heavy 
first line of powerful ships wins in the naval bat- 
tles that are impending, then we must build dread- 
noughts or nothing. If the submarines play the 
havoc that many naval critics expect from them, 
we must build submarines. If the fast, light- 
armored cruiser can dodge about its heavier op- 
ponents and run away from the submarines, then 
that is the type to build. There are some almost 
comical cross-bracings in the naval warfare. 
For instance an airship can see a submarine below 
the surface ; and perhaps in future every great 
cruiser will carry a nest of detective aeroplanes. 

Again if Europe settles down to partial dis- 
armament and Japan is included, the United 


States will naturally accommodate itself to that 
system ; but if Germany or England comes out 
of the struggle with a powerful and permanent 
navy there will be nothing for it but that the 
United States should build ships enough to main- 
tain its power and dignity. It is not in the 
least necessary to pay attention to Hobson's 
clamor that the United States should have the 
most powerful navy in the Atlantic and another 
most powerful navy in the Pacific; but the ex- 
perience of this war shows that the most peace- 
ful nations may suddenly wake up to find an 
enemy within their borders ; that henceforth every 
power that makes war will aim to strike with the 
intensity and suddenness with which Austria and 
Russia have struck. Politeness, consideration, 
willingness to listen to explanations are not a 
part of modern war and the United States must 
govern itself accordingly. A world organization 
for keeping the peace is the only other thing that 
can protect peaceful nations. 


It is necessary for the United States to think 
about its defense, because a failure to provide 
for the future would be a terrible calamity for 
the cause of popular government. We have put 
all our money into the bank of free government ; 
we have assumed that the voter is bound to look 


out for the interests of the whole community ; that 
the taxpayer will cheerfully make sacrifices to 
maintain a government which he in part controls. 
That confidence has been justified in the history 
of the American Republic, and particularly in 
the Civil War where both sides showed a splendid 
power of combination and ability to organize on 
a great scale, and a patriotic spirit which gave 
immense aid to democracy throughout the world. 

Nevertheless the Civil War in comparison with 
the war to-day seems wasteful of treasure and 
life. It took us a year to enlist and drill armies 
such as appeared in Germany and France within 
three days of the mobilization order. In the fol- 
lowing twelve months the Army of the Potomac 
four times advanced, delivered its blow, and re- 
tired to the shelter of field works ; while the 
French army went on fighting in line for thirty 
days out of thirty and still held its ground. It 
was three years before the Eastern Army found 
in General Grant a general who could utilize it : 
the German commanders were designated and 
proved in maneuvers years before the crash came. 
Both North and South had to make generals out 
of middle-aged civilians : there is not an officer 
in any one of the European armies holding an 
important command who has not had a lifetime 
of military experiences. 

The English democracy is showing its capacity 
to deal with tremendous problems, and its first 


military line is showing splendid stuff ; but mili- 
tary critics are extremely anxious about the sec- 
ond line of volunteers who have never before han- 
dled a musket, who are short of trained officers, 
and yet who must shortly take the field against 
the most highly trained and best equipped armies 
that have ever marched. The United States might 
as well awake to the fact that we shall be ruined 
if we have nothing better than the organization 
of 1861, or the organization of 1898, when a 
nation of eighty millions was able, after seven 
weeks' delay, to send a military force of 17,000 
men to take Cuba, in a state of confusion and 

Otherwise the day of our great democracy will 
pass ; for either some centralized monarchy will 
descend upon us with its battalions of infantry 
and squadrons of ships, aeroplanes, and sub- 
marines, every detail thought out beforehand, 
every contingency considered, and teach us the 
cost of poor preparation ; or else the Ameri- 
can people will rise and create a dictator who 
may save them from destruction. Whatever the 
American force, large or small, whatever the war- 
ships and forts and regiments, we must learn 
the lesson that in war or in peace the great re- 
sults are accomplished by those who think before- 
hand, make preparations, accumulate materials, 
develop commanders and submit to the guidance 
of experts in all technical matters. 


This does not mean that the people shall have 
less voice in their own government, but that they 
shall aim to keep in public life those who show a 
capacity to serve their country. It means longer 
terms for members of the House of Representa- 
tives, more cooperation between Congress and all 
the departments of government ; more carefully 
planned expenditure and less appropriation for 
the improvement of Higgle-Piggledy Creeks and 
military posts in the Wyoming Mountains. It 
means a more intelligent public interest in the 
use of the national resources for national pur- 
poses. Germany is an imperial country in which, 
we Americans think, a few people have far too 
great power ; but Germany is the schoolmaster 
of the world in the honest, frugal, and intelligent 
application of a nation's means to the nation's 
weal. Germany would be stronger still if it 
called more upon the knowledge, public spirit, 
and patriotism of the average man. The United 
States will be stronger when it looks the future 
squarely in the face and instructs its public men 
to justify democracy by showing that it knows 
how to take care of itself in the midst of the 
tremendous forces of our time. 

On the other hand, the United States is in the 
most favorable situation to urge some kind of 
international agreement, which shall depend not 
only on solemn treaties but on a world-police of 
some sort. The problem is almost unsolvable, but 


the country can lead the way, when the war is 
over, if other nations will join. 


Whatever the outcome of the war, it is certain 
to have a serious effect upon the relations of 
the United States with Latin- American neighbors. 
It is for a moment a relief because it gives to the 
government at Washington free-hand for months 
to come in Mexico and any other storm centers ; 
but when the peace is made there is certain to 
be a redistribution of power in Europe which 
will react upon the rest of the world. If the 
Allies are victorious they may carve up the Ger- 
man African colonies, and presumably will put 
Germany for a long time out of condition to take 
part in the politics of the western hemisphere. 
Should Germany win, she may take Jamaica from 
Great Britain, or some of the French West India 
Islands. This is contrary to the spirit of the 
Monroe Doctrine, but the United States would 
hardly be in a position to test that doctrine 
against a power which had just beaten Great 
Britain, France, and Russia. 

In either case sooner or later some European 
power will cast desirous eyes on South America. 
Sooner or later, probably through some well- 
founded quarrel with a Latin-American state, 
some European power will send a military expedi- 


tion, and even a punitive squadron would come 
under the ban of President Roosevelt's corre- 
spondence with Germany in 1901. Any prospect, 
even remote, of more official colonies in America 
would lead to an understanding between the 
United States and its neighbors to the southward. 
If the Monroe Doctrine is to be given up, the end 
of this war will be a good time to take that step. 
If it is to be maintained, it must be maintained 
in the teeth of new circumstances and a new dis- 
tribution of the world's forces. 

In this as in all other matters we must look 
in the face the new dangers revealed by the out- 
break and conduct of this war. If Austria can 
invade a neighboring country which six days 
before supposed itself at perfect peace with its 
neighbor, Russia might conceivably do the same 
thing some time with the United States. If it 
would be justifiable for the English, having occu- 
pied the Austrian coast province of Dalmatia, to 
shoot women because other women had fired on the 
troops, any enemy which might reach the United 
States would have the right to shoot our innocent 
sisters under like conditions. If the Russians 
would be justified in bombarding and destroying 
a church in Breslau on the ground that a military 
use might be made of it, then it is equally justifi- 
able for any power that has the military force, to 
land on the Jersey coast and bombard the Cathe- 
dral of St. John the Divine in New York. If the 


Servians capture Temesvar and demand a "con- 
tribution of 200,000 crowns," some day the East 
Indians may put the city of New York to a ran- 
som of 2,000 million dollars. If Germans make 
war on Belgium on the ground that it is "a mat- 
ter of life or death" to use Belgian territory, 
they have an equal military right to cross Switzer- 
land in order to get at Italy, or to cross New 
England in order to invade Canada. Such ex- 
treme uses of war power are controlled only by 
the discretion of the strongest party. The United 
States and all other powers must take notice that 
their neutrality in great world wars is dependent 
upon their ability to protect themselves. The 
rights of war are now defined not so much by in- 
ternational law, or by previous treaties, as by the 
extent to which a great and victorious power 
deems it desirable to push its physical powers, and 
wise nations will take precautions that these ex- 
treme principles of civilized warfare are not put 
into practice within their boundaries. 




NO prophet is sufficiently daring, after two 
or three months of such a war, to risk 
his reputation on a statement of what 
the final result will be. The first element in that 
problem is the number of soldiers engaged on 
each side ; and no mortal man knows what are the 
forces actually on foot at any given time, and 
still less what is the size of the armies which de- 
ploy against each other in the field. All we know 
is that Germany and France have the machinery 
and organization to put under the colors for the 
first series of battles something like three per cent 
of their whole population, which would be, rough- 
ly speaking, 2,000,000 Germans and 1,200,000 
French ; but these figures lost their relation as 
soon as the Germans invaded France, for it takes 
not less than twenty-five per cent more men to 



carry on war on something like equal terms in an 
enemy's country. Then arises the question of 
what proportion of the second line can be raised, 
transported, and made available. 

The other three great powers are not so well 
organized for getting out their men. The Aus- 
trian regular army is smaller in proportion than 
the German. England had only 100,000 troops 
available at the first send-off, and in the first 
three months Great Britain could not have raised 
more than 400,000 serviceable men in all. The 
Servians and Belgians have been fighting at very 
close range and must have been able to use not 
less than 200,000 men apiece. The great mys- 
tery is Russia, which probably pushed 500,000 
men to the frontiers in the first month and an- 
other 500,000 in the second month; but Russia 
is a giant which gets new strength every time he 
touches the ground. Out of that far-extended 
soil spring levy after levy, and the final result of 
the war depends more upon the capacity of Rus- 
sia to feed, clothe, arm, and transport the mil- 
lions of available men than on any other element 
of the conflict. 

Another main element is the capacity and in- 
telligence of the soldiers ; and it is on this that 
Germany builds her hopes of success. The Ger- 
man armies have in three previous wars driven 
their enemies before them like chaff before the 
wind, partly because of their superior quality; 


quite as much because their highly organized 
transport makes it possible for them to concen- 
trate and outnumber their foes at critical points. 
That superiority now seems threatened. A thou- 
sand men against a thousand men, the Belgians 
seem to have given a good account of themselves ; 
and the French, regiment for regiment, and army 
corps for army corps, seem to have been about 
as good as the Germans. An element in the con- 
test which was apparently quite unexpected to 
Continental critics has been the dash and success 
of the British. So far as can be judged, it seems 
probable that, without their aid, the French would 
have been forced back of Paris within the first 
month, which would have probably caused the 
caving in of their line of defense on the German 

In the Boer War and Balkan Wars it was 
proved that the crude and uneducated Cape 
Dutchman or Servian when properly handled 
might be about as good a soldier as the best. He 
is accustomed to hard work and simple fare; he 
is a good marcher, will stand cannon fire, and 
has learned the art of "digging himself in." The 
two rival weapons of modern warfare are the 
heavy field gun and the trench. It is not an acci- 
dent that there appears to have been neither in 
the east nor west a complete defeat of any army 
by any other army. Good armies with even an 
irregular supply of food cannot be broken up, 


crumpled up, and reduced to fragments as they 
were in 1866 and 1870. 

Apparently the modern long-range rifles and 
cannon do less killing than the old-fashioned, 
near-at-hand weapons. One may guess that the 
Germans have had 500,000 men engaged in bat- 
tles on the eastern frontier and 1,000,000 on the 
western frontier during the campaign; but down 
to September 1, the official reports of killed, 
wounded and missing aggregated only about 
100,000, or less than seven per cent of the 
troops — only one in fourteen. This is nothing 
like the similar losses in the battles of our Civil 
War, and is less than the total losses of little 
Bulgaria during the campaigns of 1912 and 1913. 
There is no lack of bravery in the almost con- 
tinuous fighting, and hand to hand attacks with 
cold steel have occurred, though nothing like as 
often as the correspondents would have us believe. 
The fighting is very hard for both sides because 
the men have to stand terrible cannonading di- 
rected by aeroplanes ; but with any sort of deep 
protection they hold their ground tenaciously, or 
yield slowly and in order. 

The newspapers have been filled with accounts 
of the disruption of the Austrian armies, and 
nothing but bad defeat could account for the cap- 
ture of a place like Lemberg; but the Germans 
pressed back the French through half a dozen 
important towns, and then yielded the ground 


gained. The air is full of flying reports of tre- 
mendous numbers of killed and prisoners, going 
so far as an assertion that the Germans had cap- 
tured 92,000 Russians and killed 250,000 ! That 
sort of abject and overwhelming defeats have not 
been seen in modern warfare, except over such 
adversaries as the Turks in 1912 ; and it is doubt- 
ful whether any considerable army throughout 
the war will be put to flight and thus destroyed 
as a tactical unit. 


Another factor is the relative ease and in- 
genuity of transportation. The French and 
British have been operating on very short lines 
of communication: probably no British soldier 
has been more than two hundred and fifty miles 
from London, and no French division more than 
a hundred and fifty miles from Paris. This ad- 
vantage of closeness to supplies, reinforcements, 
and headquarters is much diminished by the Ger- 
man transport. In the first place the railroads 
have been constructed with a view to the concen- 
tration of troops upon the frontiers. In the cen- 
ter of Germany you find a railroad line which 
seems to have no commercial reason and are told, 
"Oh, yes. That is a War Road." Not only are 
there lines radiating from Berlin, Bremen, Frank- 
fort, Munich, Leipzig, and other centers, but 


throughout the Empire the stations, junctions, 
and sidings are arranged to allow the easiest and 
least interrupted passage from one line to an- 
other. The Germans have made every provision 
against a congestion of traffic or rolling stock. 

All the contestants in central Europe are mak- 
ing great use of modern methods of transit. The 
cavalry, which a few years ago was thought to be 
superseded, has recovered its prestige as a scout- 
ing and covering force, and there have been some 
cavalry charges as parts of pitched battles. 
There are also bicycle regiments, motor cycles, 
armored automobiles carrying quick-firing guns, 
and a great use of motors for transporting both 
men and supplies. That is the reason why thou- 
sands of private automobiles, including those in 
use by foreign tourists, were commandeered at 
the beginning of the war. The killing fatigue of 
the march is lightened by loading men upon ma- 
chines ; motors tow provision and ammunition 
wagons ; powerful motors draw the heavy guns, 
and particularly the siege guns which have been 
so significant in the war. No horse teams could 
have been depended upon to do the work. The 
automobile, like the horse, requires fodder, and 
one of the serious questions of the war is whether 
the gasoline supply of the various nations is going 
to be sufficient for their needs. Russia and Ru- 
mania are the only European countries that have 
a large production of their own. 


Quite as important as the number and efficiency 
of soldiers is the question of their food, for if 
any of the nations, as is the case of Great Britain, 
does not regularly raise food enough for its peo- 
ple, it must get supplies from other countries or 
yield. Russia, Austria, and Servia raise their 
own food supplies, and if Austria has succeeded 
in harvesting her magnificent grain crop she will 
probably have a surplus to send over to Germany. 
No wheat can get out of Russia while the Turks 
hold the Bosphorus and the Germans control the 
Baltic. France, England, and Italy all have 
good sea connections to grain- and meat-produc- 
ing countries, such as the United States and the 
Argentine. The doubtful quantity is the actual 
condition of the German food supply ; that 
country has imported considerable quantities 
regularly from over-sea, and may have been 
laying up a store ; though it is incredible that 
there should be enormous warehouses full of 
grain kept for emergencies without so many 
people knowing it that everybody would know 

As for military material, all the countries have 
their own factories, except Servia. So long as 
the Creusot Works in France, the Armstrong 
Works in London, and the Krupp Works near the 
Rhine are in the hands of their friends, that sup- 
ply will be kept up; still it takes an immense 
amount of ammunition to supply the modern 


quick-firers ; some authorities declare that two 
to three tons of projectiles are fired off for every 
man that is hit. 


All calculations and predictions of the relative 
force and efficiency of the various nations are 
touched by the great issue of sea power. When 
the war broke out Great Britain had about as 
much ship tonnage as all the rest of Europe to- 
gether, four times as much as Germany, and a 
navy which was equal to that of Germany and 
France combined. In number of ships, experience 
in building, tradition of naval discipline, and 
record of naval successes Great Britain is the 
most powerful naval nation that the world has 
ever seen. While the Continental powers have 
spent their energies on armies, with side allow- 
ance for navies, the British have made the navy 
for years their principal care. Further, the 
British have their own coaling stations all over 
the world — for instance, Esquimalt on Van- 
couver's Island in British Columbia ; a number of 
Pacific Islands ; Weihaiwei in north China, and 
Hongkong in south China; Aden; Port Said; 
Malta ; and Gibraltar. That means that the 
British can easily recoal and supply their ships 
in all seas, while their enemies are compelled to 
resort to the difficult expedients of sending out 


ships with coal and provisions to meet their 
cruisers at sea. 

Sea power depends on the ability to maintain a 
fleet which can move at its will; and that means 
that it must either destroy any large hostile fleet 
on the ocean or shut it in by blockade. The Ger- 
mans have shown themselves bold and skilful 
sailors, for only one or two of their vessels of 
war have been captured on the open sea. One of 
them, the Emden, succeeded, two months after 
the war broke out, in sinking eleven British ships 
on the coast of India. Others have ranged up and 
down the Pacific. The actual position of the 
main fleet is probably not known to the German 
people, but has doubtless been reported by British 
spies, for you cannot hide a first-class modern 
fighting ship behind a warehouse. 

So long as the German fleet remains in its own 
ports or the Kiel Canal it is safe, because it is 
practically impossible for a fleet to attack a coast 
which is protected by mines. Therefore the old- 
fashioned attacks on a coast or river, like that of 
Farragut on New Orleans in 1862, are now almost 
impossible. The only way actually to reach the 
German fleet would be to land an army at some 
distance which was powerful enough to march 
overland and seize the canal or harbor, thus cap- 
turing the warships or forcing them to sea. 

Of course the English fleet could in the same 
way take refuge in the English estuaries, but that 


would mean to let loose a fleet of hornet ships 
which would sting Great Britain all over the 
world. No ironclad fleet has ever kept the sea 
during the winter storms such as rage in the 
North Sea. The English fleet is the stopper in 
the bottle, a stopper very likely to be loosened 
by too much motion. If the blockade is once 
raised for a single day the Germans can get out, 
though once out they take the risk of being cut 
off from the very narrow stretch of home coast 
to which they have access. 

The real naval contest, apparently, is to be 
fought in the air and under water. The Germans 
are the only power that have a considerable num- 
ber of Zeppelin dirigible airships, and without 
doubt they are building more with all their might. 
Their hope is that those craft will be able to soar 
above the English fleet, out of range of its guns 
and yet able to drop pitiless bombs among the 
ships. The only protection would seem to be a 
fleet of English aeroplanes which should fire or 
ram the bigger craft. Any day may bring the 
news that the feat of destroying the English sea 
power has been accomplished ; on the other hand 
the war may pass without such a battle ; the Zep- 
pelins cannot operate in stormy weather and have 
shown little offensive power on land. 

If that fails, there is still the opportunity of 
the submarine. The English have more ' sub- 
marines and more submarine experience than the 


Germans, but they cannot do execution in the 
shallow coast waters protected by mines ; while 
the Germans can send their submarines out at 
any time in good weather. These underwater 
ships cannot operate in rough seas, for they must 
use their periscopes to get an occasional outlook. 
Nobody outside the service quite knows what pre- 
cautions have been taken. All large modern war- 
ships have booms and use torpedo nettings and 
searchlights, watch every moment for the peri- 
scopes ; and very likely surround themselves with 
a curtain of floating mines. In such a long-con- 
tinued struggle, lasting for months, the advan- 
tage of position is on the side of the blockaded 


No war has ever been fought upon so many 
fields and in so many complications at the same 
time. As a matter of fact the following cam- 
paigns are being waged: 

(1) Germans with Allies in France and Ger- 


(2) Germans with British, naval warfare on the 

North Sea and all over the globe. 

(3) Germans with Belgians aided by English. 

(4) Germans with Russians in East Prussia, 

Posen, and Poland. 


(5) Austrians with Russians in Poland, Galicia, 

and Hungary. 

(6) Austrians with Servians in Servia and the 

neighboring Austrian provinces. 

(7) Austrians with Servians and Montenegrins 

in Bosnia. 

(8) Austrians with French and perhaps British 

in the Adriatic and on its coast. 

(9) Germans with Japanese and some English 

aid in China. 

(10) Germans and Australians and New Zealand- 

ers in the Pacific. 

( 11 ) Germans with French and English in Africa. 
To these may perhaps be added at any time : 

(12) a land campaign between the Italians and 
Austrians along their common frontier; (13) a 
naval attack by Italian, French, and British ships 
against the Austrian vessels and coasts; (14) an 
attack by Rumanians and Bulgarians on the Aus- 
trians; (15) war between the Turks and Rus- 
sians on the Black Sea; (16) a corresponding 
fight between the Greeks and Turks by land and 

Manifestly these various campaigns affect each 
other, particularly as most of the belligerents 
and possible belligerents are in a ring around 
Germany and Austria-Hungary. This leaves it 
possible for the central contestants to shift ar- 
mies on the inside line, and it appears to have 


been the original German campaign to smash 
France in a few weeks, leave an occupying force 
there, and then transfer the bulk of the army to 
the Russian frontier. As matters now stand it 
is entirely possible that the Germans might win a 
decisive victory over the English fleet or the 
Allies' army, and almost at the same moment be 
crushed in by the Russians ; or Austria might be 
quite overwhelmed by the Servians and Russians, 
while her ally, Germany, was everywhere able to 
hold her ground. 

Warfare in the Far East is in a curious con- 
dition. The English and their colonies have eas- 
ily picked up most of the German islands in the 
Pacific Ocean, and the Japanese are besieging 
Kiao-Chao, the one German colony on the conti- 
nent of Asia. The Chinese are eager to have the 
Germans turned out of that colony, but stand 
helpless while the Japanese march through their 
neutral territory to reach the German posses- 
sions. The case is in many respects like the dis- 
regard of the neutrality of Belgium. The Ger- 
mans hold China responsible for this invasion, 
and announce that in due time they will claim 
an indemnity from China, besides the return of 
the colony. The only indemnity that China could 
possibly pay would be more territory. There 
seems every likelihood that the greatly superior 
force of the Japanese will take Kiao-Chao, and 
the Japanese government has notified the powers 


that the territory will be restored to China. In 
acknowledging this information Secretary Bryan 
took pains to intimate that the United States 
expected that promise to be kept. 


For such a conflict between two powerful 
groups of nations there is hardly any precedent 
except the coalition against Napoleon, from 1812 
to his final downfall in 1815. When that strug- 
gle began, France controlled the subordinate 
kingdoms of Italy, Naples, Holland, Westphalia, 
and the Grand Duchy of Warsaw (Poland) be- 
sides several German kingdoms which Napoleon 
had created. Gradually there was formed against 
him a coalition of Russia, Prussia, Austria, and 
England. It required three terrible years to de- 
cide the strife, including the battles of Leipzig 
and Dresden in 1813; the campaign of 1814 in 
France over much of the ground now again 
plowed up by armies, and the Waterloo campaign 
of 1815. 

None of those campaigns was so destructive of 
the industry and wealth of the countries con- 
cerned as in the few months of the present war. 
Europe cannot now carry on war for three years 
or for two years, simply because it has not the 
means to keep on foot so long the kind of armies 
that alone can hope to win. Abraham Lincoln 


was deeply concerned because the Civil War was 
costing the Federal government a million dollars 
a day. The western campaign in France must 
require a consumption of food, munitions and cost 
of transportation amounting for both parties to- 
gether to not less than seven millions a day, and 
the eastern campaigns require almost as much. 
This is a rising expenditure, for there will be 
constant increase in the expense for care of the 
sick and wounded ; and the more soldiers that 
are raised, the more money must be provided to 
support them. Victory will be almost as costly 
as defeat and there is no likelihood that the war 
will stop before 10,000 million dollars have gone 
into the chasm. 

Of course the governments will all borrow. 
During the last half -century of wars there was 
always some neutral power which had cash for the 
contestants. Japan and Russia were fighting 
each other in 1905 with money derived from 
French and English capitalists. Of whom shall 
the contesting countries borrow now? The only 
neutral which has large sums to lend is the United 
States, which has no desire to invest in support of 
the war. The only resource of the European 
powers is their own people, and the Germans have 
shown the splendid pluck of subscribing 1,000 
million dollars to a new national war loan. There 
is, however, only one place from which such a loan 
can be taken and that is the savings of the people. 


In a hundred and fifty or two hundred days 
that thousand million dollars will have dis- 
appeared in pay, rations, forage, ammunition, 
care of sick and wounded, and support of desti- 
tute families of the soldiers. And then what? 
Another loan or an enormous war tax, perhaps 
in the end forced contributions, all of which will 
absorb more and more of the movable capital in 
the country. Germany and France are frugal 
nations except for the modern class of rich mer- 
chants and manufacturers, but they can save 
something, perhaps a third, on their annual cost 
of living. That saving also is bound to go into the 
national treasury or else the war must flag and 
eventually stop. If it goes on long enough, every 
nation that holds out will have squeezed away the 
quick capital of its people. Farms, buildings, 
mines, cities, railroads, wharves, factories, vessel 
property, will remain so far as that particular 
country has not been actually crossed and rav- 
aged by hostile armies ; but stocks of goods, raw 
materials and the cash of the country will be gone. 

Among the various powers Austria is likely to 
be the first to come to this state of exhaustion, 
because it is poorer than its western neighbors 
and because it stands more chance of invasion and 
capture of its capitals than any other power. 
Germany, though a very rich nation, has the most 
expensive, because the most efficient, army; and 
unless it can get control of the sea has the least 


chance of relief from outside. France has great 
accumulated capital, but very large sums have 
been lent to Russia. Still the French peasants' 
traditional stocking may furnish means to keep 
on when other nations are exhausted. Great 
Britain has enormous productive industries in all 
parts of the world ; but if her fleet should be 
crippled, would collapse sooner than any Conti- 
nental country, because the United Kingdom 
could not then feed or defend itself. Russia alone 
of all these countries can keep up war for several 
years without ruin ; because while several million 
men are fighting, 140 million people will be work- 
ing to support them. 


Whatever the sufferings and losses of the peo- 
ple, in the end the war must come to one of three 
results : 

(1) It is possible, though unlikely, that the 
whole of warring Europe may be brought into 
the pitiable condition of Germany in 1648, when 
gaunt and starving bands of men, calling them- 
selves armies, passed to and fro across the coun- 
try, eating up the scanty supplies of food and 
leaving the inhabitants to starve. In that time 
of horror a poor Protestant pastor relates that 
he was in such misery that he felt sure the good 
Lord would cause some rich man to die, so that 



he might have a rex-daller for performing the 
funeral services ; and the Almighty answered his 

In such a case the probable result would be 
that Europe would make a peace restoring, as 
nearly as possible, the conditions of July, 1914. 
The boundaries would be little disturbed; trade 
and commerce would be again opened to all na- 
tions on about the same terms as before. The 
surplus of a hundred years' labor would be swept 
away, and Europe would begin a process of hard 
work and saving, rebuilding, slow rising in popu- 
lation. That task might not be so long as it was 
after the Napoleonic wars. The example of 
France after 1871 shows what a nation can do by 
"sitting tight" for a few years, earning much and 
spending little. The control of the forces of na- 
ture and the use of machinery would perhaps en- 
able Europe in thirty years to come back to its 
previous wealth and population. 

(2) The Allies may win a general and decisive 
victory ; and, on the doctrine of chances, that is 
the most probable result. For in a wearing-down 
process the maritime nations and Russia have a 
decided advantage ; and if the Allies should be 
worsted, it is not unlikely that Italy would come 
to their aid. If the time comes when resistance 
by Germany and Austria is no longer possible, 
what terms will probably be meted out to the 


Austria by that time would presumably be so 
crushed and the unity of the Empire so affected 
that no further punishment need be inflicted, 
except that Italians might take Trieste and the 
Trentino ; and Servia might take Bosnia and 
Herzegovina with a sea-front on the Adriatic ; 
probably Montenegro would voluntarily come into 
this combine. If the Rumanians joined in the 
war they might perhaps get the province of Buko- 
wina, which includes so many of their people. 
The Russians would undoubtedly claim Constan- 
tinople with the control of both banks of the Bos- 
phorus and Dardanelles, and perhaps Western 
Asia Minor ; they would also probably expect 
Galicia. At that point, however, there might well 
be so much squabbling over fragments of the Em- 
pire, and so much objection on the part of the 
people of the Austrian provinces to being shuffled 
out like a deck of cards, that by common consent 
Austria would be left with a territory not much 
diminished; but would be compelled to reorganize 
so as to give the Slavs an opportunity of self- 

As for Germany, Alsace-Lorraine is practically 
already mortgaged by the Allies to France ; and 
Russia might claim Posen and perhaps east Prus- 
sia. There is just the same objection to taking 
that territory that there was to slicing off Al- 
sace-Lorraine from France: it would leave a per- 
manent scar in the consciousness of the German 


people. Neither the Germans nor the Austro- 
Germans nor the Magyars can be removed from 
their land, and they will stay as neighbors, pre- 
sumably friends and probably more anxious than 
ever for a political union of all the German-speak- 
ing people, to which union the Magyars would 
have to adhere or be submerged. 

Germany would lose in such a peace all or 
nearly all her colonies ; and probably the Allies 
with their colonies would thereafter lay discrim- 
inating duties on German ships for the purpose 
of keeping down their carrying trade. Such a 
peace, imposed by the will of conquerors, would 
probably bind Germany to keep up none but a 
greatly reduced army. It does not seem likely, 
in view of the terrible passions of the war, that 
the Allies would take the broad and states- 
manlike view that a hundred million people of like 
views and aspirations are bound to occupy a 
place in the world ; and that it is better for the 
conquerors to treat them as equals rather than 
as subjects. 

One possibility is that the Allies will quarrel 
over the division of the spoils, and that Germany 
will be admitted, as France was admitted in 1814<, 
as a power which must be reckoned with in the 

(3) The third alternative is that the German- 
Austrian combination may win a decided victory. 
If another Frederick the Great should unexpect- 


edly arise, he might double the forces of the coun- 
try by adding his genius ; and there is always the 
chance of getting complete command of the sea, 
which would probably mean the invasion of Eng- 
land. That would nearly destroy France's ally, 
and if France were then conquered there would 
be more than an equal chance of defeating Russia. 
Allowing that Germany comes out possessed of 
sufficient power to dictate, what would probably 
be her will? As to European territory, Austria 
might receive Servia and Macedonia with the sea- 
port of Salonika ; but would hardly wish either 
German or Russian territory. Germany would 
certainly annex Belgium and not unlikely Hol- 
land, but would probably leave the boundaries of 
France about as they were. The Scandinavian 
powers might be untouched if they had not joined 
in the war. Germany would probably take such 
of the English colonies as pleased her fancy, espe- 
cially any in which Germans might like to settle. 
This would not include Canada or Australia, but 
not unlikely would include South Africa. If Eng- 
land were brought to her knees she would have to 
give up her chain of fortresses from Gibraltar to 
India ; Hongkong and the Straits Settlements 
would go ; probably not India, for it would be a 
serious thing for Germany to take on 300 mil- 
lion unwilling subjects. Restrictions and special 
taxes would be laid on English commerce. Eng- 
land would be obliged to keep down her navy be- 


low any danger to the Germans. The Germans 
would not be likely to keep their hands off Asia 
Minor, which in climate, productions and markets 
would be a good field for German colonization. 


If Europe is wise it will, whoever is the victor, 
avoid these harsh terms, because they would sim- 
ply mean a truce. The defeated and humbled 
party would simply wait for an opportunity to 
get its revenge, just as Napoleon's cruel and con- 
temptuous treatment of Prussia from 1806 to 
1812 led to his overthrow. Passions calm down 
after the greatest war ; nations recognize the 
right of other nations to be. Slav and Teuton 
have dwelt side by side without much interference 
with each other for half a thousand years and 
they can live in harmony again. Among the 
things that ought to be done to make the peace 
permanent are the following: 

( 1 ) Europe must recognize the blood kinship 
of people of the same race, and must cease to try 
to destroy the language and traditions of race 
groups. Here in the United States we have pur- 
sued the other policy with great success because 
the race elements are so scattered over the whole 
country that we can make English the common 
language of courts and commerce ; but the Mag- 
yars cannot impose their language upon the Slav 


f ractions of their Empire. . Perhaps the most 
serious cause of the war is the feeling of wrath 
due to these attempts to destroy national lan- 
guages, traditions, and religions. A European 
peace ought to offer not only toleration of re- 
ligions but of race existence. 

(2) Europe must also give up the idea of com- 
pelling large racial units to accept a government 
which is hateful to them. The German accusation 
of the Russians finds an echo in other parts of the 
world, because of the stupid cruelty of the Rus- 
sian government toward Finland, Poland, and the 
Baltic provinces. Somewhere there must be a 
limit to the right of a group within a country to 
demand independence. The United States has 
within half a century compelled a third of its 
members to remain in the Union with the other 
two-thirds, and there is now no more loyal part 
of the country than the once hostile section. We 
have found the solution of our questions in fed- 
eration. So have Switzerland, Germany, Canada, 
Australia, and South Africa. Perhaps that is the 
solution for countries like Austria-Hungary and 
Russia in which there are large separate racial 

(3) Europe must admit a larger and more 
effective share of the whole community to de- 
cisions as to their own destiny. It is a fearful 
thing for any nation to allow half a dozen or 
half a hundred persons to decide upon peace or 


war, and to put their country into a position 
where it must fight, without discussion or vote, or 
the opportunity for public opinion to make itself 
felt. Even in England war was decided upon by 
the Cabinet before Parliament was allowed to 
discuss it. In Germany the Reichstag acquiesced, 
with a few negative Socialist votes. In Austria- 
Hungary there is no federal parliament. In Rus- 
sia the Duma has no voice in such an important 
matter. In a sense popular government is on 
trial in this war. If the British and French 
armies are beaten the militarists will all assert 
that it was because their power was weakened by 
their popular governments. 

(4) Above all no peace can be durable that 
does not provide in some way against the causes 
which have brought about the present war. Chief 
among them is the feeling, fostered by .great 
armaments, that war is a proper and a manly 
way of settling national differences. War and 
more war is inevitable so long as there is any 
power or group of powers which keeps war always 
in the foreground. If you have paid a million 
dollars for an automobile of the biggest, most 
complicated, fastest, strongest, most durable 
type, you will not be satisfied to leave it in the 
garage year after year. You will want to mount 
it, ride it, and show the world that you have an 
unapproachable automobile. No nation with an 
army and navy can help thinking that they ought 


to be used, or concluding that at last the time has 
come to use them. 

(5) The only remedy is to prohibit fast death- 
dealing automobiles and armies to everybody. 
The coming on and course of the present war are 
absolute proofs that war can only be prevented by 
some sort of world federation in which every na- 
tion shall have an armed force upon a fixed pro- 
portion, to be used as part of a contingent of a 
world police force. That must be provided, for 
mankind can never be free from two dangers : the 
first is the possible rise of a barbaric power which 
recognizes no law, like the hordes led by Attila and 
Tamerlane; the second is the danger from some 
highly civilized power which may suddenly adopt 
the barbarians' method of ruthless warfare. No 
human kindness, no treaties, can prevent those 
dangers ; and unless Europe can find some way 
of creating a public force which shall in no coun- 
try be sufficient to destroy a neighbor and yet 
for all countries shall be strong enough to provide 
against the ungovernable forces of the world, the 
greatest war of history will after a few years be 
followed by a greater one. Perhaps Macaulay's 
New Zealander may yet have the opportunity to 
muse over the broken arch of London Bridge. 


rHl 27? 

Hart — 

War in Bur ope. 

pisl-14 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 

20m-3-45 department of public instruction 

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