Prepared by Theresa Armao Ah1123@aol.com
A History of The Nations and Empires Involved and a Study of the Events Culminating in The Great Conflict
by Logan Marshall
When the people of the United States heard the news of the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on June 28, 1914, it was with a feeling of great regret that another sorrow had been added to the many already borne by the aged Emperor Francis Joseph. That those fatal shots would echo around the world and, flashing out suddenly like a bolt from the blue, hurl nearly the whole of Europe within a week's time from a state of profound peace into one of continental war, unannounced, unexpected, unexplained, unprecedented in suddenness and enormity, was an unimaginable possibility. And yet the ringing of the church bells was suddenly drowned by the roar of cannon, the voice of the dove of peace by the blare of the trump of war, and throughout the world ran a shudder of terror at these unwonted and ominous sounds.
But in looking back through history, tracing the course of events during the past century, following the footsteps of men in war and peace from that day of upheaval when medieval feudalism went down in disarray before the arms of the people in the French Revolution, some explanation of the Great European war of 1914 may be reached. Every event in history has its roots somewhere in earlier history, and we need but dig deep enough to find them.
Such is the purpose of the present work. It proposes to lay down in a series of apposite chapters the story of the past century, beginning, in fact, rather more than a century ago with the meteoric career of Napoleon and seeking to show to what it led, and what effects it had upon the political evolution of mankind. The French Revolution stood midway between two spheres of history, the sphere of medieval barbarism and that of modern enlightenment. It exploded like a bomb in the midst of the self-satisfied aristocracy of the earlier social system and rent it into the fragments which no hand could put together again. In this sense the career of Napoleon seems providential. The era of popular government had replaced that of autocratic and aristocratic government in France, and the armies of Napoleon spread these radical ideas throughout Europe until the oppressed people of every nation began to look upward with hope and see in the distance before them a haven of justice in the coming realm of human rights.
It required considerable time for these new conceptions to become thoroughly disseminated. A down-trodden people enchained by the theory of the "divine right of kings" to autocratic rule, had to break the fetters one by one and gradually emerge from a state of practical serfdom to one of enlightened emancipation. There were many setbacks, and progress was distressingly slow but nevertheless sure.
The story of this upward progress is the history of the nineteenth century, regarded from the special point of view of political progress and the development of human rights. This is definitely shown in the present work, which is a history of the past century and of the twentieth century so far as it has gone. Gradually the autocrat has declined in power and authority, and the principle of popular rights has risen into view. This war will not have been fought in vain if, as predicted, it will result in the complete downfall of autocracy as a political principle, and the rise of the rule of the people, so that the civilized nations of the earth may never again be driven into a frightful war of extermination against peaceful neighbors at the nod of a hereditary sovereign. Logan Marshall
Chapter I All Europe Plunged into War
Dramatic Suddenness of the Outbreak - Trade and Commerce Paralyzed - Widespread Influences - Terrible Effects of War - The Tide of Destruction - Half Century to Pay Debts
Chapter II Underlying Causes of the Great European War Assassination of the Austrian Crown Prince - Austria's Motive in Making War - Servia Accepts Austria's Demand - The Ironies of History - What Austria Has to Gain - How the War Became Continental - An Editorial Opinion - Is the Kaiser Responsible? - Germany's Stake in the War - Why Russia Entered the Field - France's Hatred of Germany - Great Britain and Italy - The Triple Alliance and Triple Entente
Chapter III Strength and Resources of the Warring Powers Old and New Methods in War - Costs of Modern Warfare - Nature of National Resources - British and American Military Systems - Naval Strength - Resources of Austria-Hungary - Resources of Germany - Resources of Russia - Resources of France - Resources of Great Britain - Servia and Belgium
Chapter IV Great Britain and the War The Growth of German Importance - German Militarism - Great Britain's Peace Efforts - Germany's Naval Program - German Ambitions - Preparation for War - Effect on the Empire
Chapter V The World's Greatest War Wars as Mileposts - A Continent in Arms - How Canada Prepared for War - the British Sentiment - Lord Kitchener's Career - A Forceful Character
Chapter VI The Earthquake of Napoleonism Its Effect on National Conditions Finally Led to the War of 1914
Conditions in France and Germany - The Campaign in Italy - The Victory at Marengo - Moreau at Hohenlinden - The Consul Made Emperor - The Code Napoleon - Campaign of 1805 - Battle of Austerlitz - The Conquest of Prussia - The Invasion of Poland - Eylau and Friedland - Campaign of 1809 - Victory at Wagram - The Campaign in Spain - The Invasion of Russia - A Fatal Retreat - Dresden and Leipzig - The Hundred Days - The Congress of Vienna - The Holy Alliance
Chapter VII Pan-Slavism Versus Pan-Germanism Russia's Part in the Servian Issue - Strength of the Russian Army - The Distribution of the Slavs - Origin of Pan-Slavism - The Czar's Proclamation - The Teutons of Europe - Intermingling of Races - The Nations at War
Chapter VIII The Ambition of Louis Napoleon The Coup-d'etat of 1851 - From President to Emperor - The Empire is Peace - War With Austria - The Austrians Advance - The Battle of Magenta - Possession of Lombardy - French Victory at Solferino - Treaty of Peace - Invasion of Mexico - End of Napoleon's Career
Chapter IX Garibaldi and Italian Unity Power of Austria Broken The Carbonari - Massini and Garibaldi - Cavour, the Statesman - The Invasion of Sicily - Occupation of Naples - Victor Emmanuel Takes Command - Watchword of the Patriots - Garibaldi Marches Against Rome - Battle of Ironclads - Final Act of Italian Unity
Chapter X The Expansion of Germany Beginnings of Modern World Power William I of Prussia - Bismarck's Early Career - The Schleswig-Holstein Question - Conquest of the Duchies - Bismarck's Wider Views - War Forced on Austria - The War in Italy - Austria's Signal Defeat at Sadowa - The Treaty of Prague - Germany after 1866
Chapter XI The Franco-Prussian War Birth of the German Empire and the French Republic Causes of Hostile Relations - Discontent in France - War with Prussia Declared - Self deception of the French - First Meeting of the Armies - The Stronghold of Metz - Mars-la-Tour and Gravelotte - Napoleon III at Sedan - The Emperor a Captive; France a Republic - Bismarck Refuses Intervention - Fall of the Fortresses - Paris is Besieged - Defiant Spirit of the French - The Struggle Continued - Operations Before Paris - Fighting in the South - The War at an End
Chapter XII Bismarck and the German Empire Building the Bulwarks of the Twentieth Century Nation Bismarck as a Statesman - Uniting the German States - William I Crowned at Versailles - A Significant Decade - The Problem of Church Power - Progress of Socialism - William II and the Resignation of Bismarck - Old Age Insurance - Political and Industrial Conditions in Germany
Chapter XIII Gladstone as an Apostle of Reform Great Britain Becomes a World Power Gladstone and Disraeli - Gladstone's Famous Budget - A Suffrage Reform Bill - Disraeli's Reform Measure - Irish Church Disestablishment - An Irish Land Bill - Desperate State of Ireland - The Coercion Bill - War in Africa - Home Rule for Ireland
Chapter XIV The French Republic Struggles of a New Nation The Republic Organized - The Commune of Paris - Instability of the Government - Thiers Proclaimed President - Punishment of the Unsuccessful Generals - MacMahon a Royalist President - Bazaine's Sentence and Escape - Grevy, Gambetta and Boulanger - The Panama Canal Scandal - Despotism of the Army Leaders - The Dreyfus Case - Church and State - The Moroccan Controversy
Chapter XV Russia in the Field of War The Outcome of Slavic Ambition Siege of Sebastopol - Russia in Asia - The Russo-Japanese War -Port Arthur Taken - The Russian Fleet Defeated
Chapter XVI Great Britain and Her Colonies How England Became Mistress of the Seas Great Britain as a Colonizing Power - Colonies in the Pacific Region - Colonization in Africa - British Colonies in Africa - The Mahdi Rebellion in Egypt - Gordon at Khartoum - Suppression of the Mahdi Revolt - Colonization in Asia - The British in India - Colonies in America - Development of Canada - Progress in Canada
The Open Door in China and Japan Development of World Power in the East Warlike Invasions of China - Commodore Perry and His Treaty - Japan's Rapid Progress - Origin of the China-Japan War - The Position of Korea - Li Hung Chang and the Empress - How Japan Began War - The Chinese and Japanese Fleets - The Battle of the Yalu - Capture of Wei Hai Wei - Europe Invades China - The Boxer Outbreak - Russian Designs on Manchuria - Japan Begins War on Russia - The Armies Meet - China Becomes a Republic
Chapter XVIII Turkey and the Balkan States Checking the Dominion of the Turk in Europe The Story of Servia - Turkey in Europe - The Bulgarian Horrors - The Defense of Plevna - The Congress of Berlin - Hostile Sentiments in the Balkans - Incitement to War - Fighting Begins - The Advance on Adrianople - Servian and Greek victories - The Bulgarian Successes - Steps toward Peace - The War Resumed - Siege of Scutari - Treaty of Peace - War Between the Allies - The Final Settlement
Chapter XIX Methods in Modern Warfare Ancient and Modern Weapons - New Types of Weapons - The Iron-clad Warship - The Balloon in War - Tennyson's Foresight - Gunning for Airships - The Submarine - Under-water Warfare - The New Type of Battleship - Mobilization - The Waste of War
Chapter XX Canada's Part in the World War New Relations Toward the Empire - Military Preparations - The Great Camp at Valcartier - The Canadian Expeditionary Force - Political Effect of Canada's Action on Future of the Dominion
Chapter I. ALL EUROPE PLUNGED INTO WAR Dramatic Suddenness of the Outbreak - Trade and Commerce Paralyzed - Widespread Influences - Terrible Effects of War - The Tide of Destruction - Who Caused the Conflict? - Half Century to Pay Debts
At the opening of the final week of July, 1914, the whole world - with the exception of Mexico, in which the smouldering embers of the revolution still burned - was in a state of profound peace. The clattering hammers and whirling wheels of industry were everywhere to be heard; great ships furrowed the ocean waves, deep-laden with the world's products and carrying thousands of travelers bent on business or enjoyment. Countless trains of cars, drawn by smoke-belching locomotives, traversed the long leagues of iron rails, similarly laden with passengers engaged in peaceful errands and freight intended for peaceful purposes. All seemed at rest so far as national hostile sentiments were concerned. All was in motion so far as useful industries demanded service. Europe, America, Asia, and Africa alike had settled down as if to a long holiday from war, and the advocates of universal peace were jubilant over the progress of their cause, holding peace congresses and conferences at The Hague and elsewhere, fully satisfied that the last war had been fought and that arbitration boards would settle all future disputes among nations, however serious.
Such occasions occur at frequent intervals in nature, in which a deep calm, a profound peace, rests over land and sea. The winds are hushed, the waves at rest; only the needful processes of the universe are in action, while for the time the world forgets the chained demons of unrest and destruction. But too quickly the chains are loosened, the winds and waves set free; and the hostile forces of nature rush over earth and sea, spreading terror and devastation in their path. Such energies of hostility are not confined to the elements. They exist in human communities. They underlie the political conditions of the nations, and their outbreak is at times as sudden and unlooked-for as that of the winds and waves. Such was the state of political affairs in Europe at the date mentioned, apparently calm and restful, while below the surface hostile forces which had long been fomenting unseen were ready to burst forth and whelm the world.
DRAMATIC SUDDENNESS OF THE OUTBREAK
On the night of July 25th the people of the civilized world settled down to restful slumbers, with no dreams of the turmoil that was ready to burst forth. On the morning of the 26th they rose to learn that a great war had begun, a conflict the possible width and depth of which no man was yet able to foresee; and as day after day passed on, each day some new nation springing into the terrible arena until practically the whole of Europe was in arms and the Armageddon seemed at hand, the world stood amazed and astounded, wondering what hand had loosed so vast a catastrophe, what deep and secret causes lay below the ostensible causes of the war. The causes of this were largely unknown. As a panic at times affects a vast assemblage, with no one aware of its origin, so a wave of hostile sentiment may sweep over vast communities until the air is full of urgent demands for war with scarce a man knowing why.
What is already said only feebly outlines the state of consternation into which the world was cast in that fateful week in which the doors of the Temple of Janus, long closed, were suddenly thrown wide open and the terrible God of War marched forth, the whole earth trembling beneath his feet. It was the breaking of a mighty storm in a placid sky, the fall of a meteor which spreads terror and destruction on all sides, the explosion of a vast bomb in a great assemblage; it was everything that can be imagined of the sudden and overwhelming, of the amazing and incredible.
TRADE AND COMMERCE PARALYZED
For the moment the world stood still, plunged into a panic that stopped all its activities. The stock exchanges throughout the nations were closed, to prevent that wild and hasty action which precipitates disaster. Throughout Europe trade, industry, commerce all ceased, paralyzed at their sources. No ship of any of the nations concerned except Britain dared venture from port, lest it should fall a prey to the prowling sea dogs of war which made all the oceans unsafe. The hosts of American tourists who had gone abroad under the sunny skies of peace suddenly beheld the dark clouds of war rolling overhead, blotting out the sun, and casting their black shadows over all things fair.
What does this state of affairs, this sudden stoppage of the wheels of industry, this unforeseen and wide spread of the conditions of war portend? Emerson has said: "When a great thinker comes into the world all things are at risk." There is potency in this, and also in a variation of Emerson's text which we shall venture to make: "When a great war comes upon the world all things are at risk." Everything which we have looked upon as fixed and stable quakes as if from mighty hidden forces. The whole world stands irresolute and amazed. The steady-going habits and occupations of peace cease or are perilously threatened, and no one can be sure of escaping from some of the dire effects of the catastrophe.
The conditions of production vanish, to be replaced by conditions of destruction. That which had been growing in grace and beauty for years is overturned and destroyed in a moment of ravage. Changes of this kind are not confined to the countries in which the war rages or the cities which conquering column of troops occupy. They go beyond the borders of military activity; they extend to far-off quarters of the earth. We quote from the New York WORLD a vivid picture drawn at the opening of the great European war. Its motto is "all the world is paying the cost of the folly of Europe."
Never before was war made so swiftly wide. News of it comes from Japan, from Porto Rico, from Africa, from places where in old days news of hostilities might not travel for months.
"Non-combatants are in the vast majority, even in the countries at war, but they are not immune to its blight. Austria is isolated from the world because her ally, Germany, will take no chances of spilling military information and will not forward mails. If, telephoning in France, you use a single foreign word, even an English one, your wire is cut. Hans the German waiter, Franz the clarinettist in the little street band, is locked up as a possible spy. There are great German business houses in London and Paris; their condition is that of English and French business houses in Berlin, and that is not pleasant. Great Britain contemplates, as an act of war, the voiding of patents held by Germans in the United Kingdom.
"Nothing is too petty, nothing too great, nothing too distant in kind or miles from the field of war to feel its influence. The whole world is the loser by it, whoever at the end of all the battles may say that he has won.
DILEMMA OF THE TOURISTS
Let us consider one of the early results of the war. It vitally affected great numbers of Americans, the army of tourists who had made their way abroad for rest, study and recreation and whose numbers, while unknown, were great, some estimating them at the high total of 100,000 or more. These, scattered over all sections of Europe, some with money in abundance, some with just enough for a brief journey, capitalists, teachers, students, all were caught in the sudden flurry of the war, their letters of credit useless, transportation difficult or impossible to obtain, all exposed to inconveniences, some to indignities, some of them on the flimsiest pretence seized and searched as spies, the great mass of them thrown into a state of panic that added greatly to the unpleasantness of the situation in which they found themselves.
While these conditions of panic gradually adjusted themselves, the status of the tourists continued difficult and annoying. The railroads were seized for the transportation of troops, leaving many Americans helplessly held in far interior parts, frequently without money or credit. One example of the difficulties encountered will serve as an instance which might be repeated a hundred fold.
Seven hundred Americans from Geneva were made by Swiss troops to leave a train. Many who refused were forced off at the point or guns. This compulsory removal took place at some distance from a station near the border, according to Mrs. Edward Collins, of New York, who with her three daughters was on the train. With 200 others they reached Paris and were taken aboard a French troop train. Most of the arrivals were women; the men were left behind because of lack of space. One hundred women refused to take the train without their husbands; scores struck back for Geneva; others on foot, carrying articles of baggage, started in the direction of Paris, hoping to get trains somewhere. Just why Swiss troops thus occupied themselves is not explained; but in times of warlike turmoil many unexplainable things occur. Here is an incident of a different kind, told by one of the escaping host: "I went into the restaurant car for lunch," he said. "When I tried to return to the car where I'd left my suitcase, hat, cane and overcoat, I couldn't find it. Finally the conductor said blithely, 'Oh, that car was taken off for the use of the army.'
"I was forced to continue traveling coatless, hatless and minus my baggage until I boarded the steamer FLUSHING, when I managed to swipe a straw hat during the course of the Channel passage while the people were down eating in the saloon. I grabbed the first one on the hatrack. Talk about a romantic age. Why, I wouldn't live in any other time than now. We will be boring our grandchildren talking about this war."
The scarcity of provisions in many localities and the withholding of money by the banks made the situation, as regarded Americans, especially serious. Those fortunate enough to reach port without encountering these difficulties found the situation there equally embarrassing. The great German and English liners, for instance, were held up by order of the government, or feared to sail lest they should be taken captive by hostile cruisers. Many of these lay in port in New York, forbidden to sail for fear of capture. These included ships of the Cunard and International Marine lines, the north German Lloyd, the Hamburg-American, the Russian-American, and the French lines, until this port led the world in the congestion of great liners rendered inactive by the war situation abroad. The few that put to sea were utterly incapable of accommodating a tithe of the anxious and appealing applicants. It had ceased, in the state of panic that prevailed, to be a mere question of money. Frightened millionaires were credited with begging for steerage berths. Everywhere was dread and confusion, men and women being in a state of mind past the limits of calm reasoning. Impulse is the sole ruling force where reason has ceased to act.
Slowly the skies cleared; calmer conditions began to prevail. The United States government sent the battleship TENNESSEE abroad with several millions of dollars for the aid of destitute travelers and the relief of those who could not get their letters or credit and travelers' checks cashed. Such a measure of relief was necessary, there being people abroad with letters of credit for as much as $5,000 without money enough to buy a meal. One tourist said: "I had to give a Milwaukee doctor, who had a letter of credit for $2,500 money to get shaved." London hotels showed much consideration for the needs of travelers without ready cash, but on the continent there were many such who were refused hotel accommodation.
As for those who reached New York or other American ports, many had fled in such haste as to leave their baggage behind. Numbers of the poorer travelers had exhausted their scanty stores of cash in the effort to escape from Europe and reached port utterly penniless. The case was one that called for immediate and adequate solution and the governmental and moneyed interests on this side did their utmost to cope with the situation. Vessels of American register were too few to carry the host applying for transportation, and it was finally decided to charter foreign vessels for this purpose and thus hasten the work of moving the multitude of appealing tourists. From 15,000 to 20,000 of these needed immediate attention, a majority of them being destitute.
AN OCEAN INCIDENT
Men and women needed not only transportation, but money also, and in this particular there is an interesting story to tell. The German steamer KRONPRINZESSIN CECILIE, bound for Bremen, had sailed from New York before the outbreak of the war, carrying about 1,200 passengers and a precious freight of gold, valued at $10,700,000. The value of the vessel herself added $5,000,000 to this sum. What had become of her and her tempting cargo was for a time unknown. There were rumors that she had been captured by a British cruiser, but this had no better foundation than such rumors usually have. Her captain was alert to the situation, being informed by wireless of the sudden change from peace to war. One such message, received from an Irish wireless station, conveyed an order from the Bremen company for him to return with all haste to an American port.
It was on the evening of Friday, July 31st, that this order came. At once the vessel changed its course. One by one the ship's lights were put out. The decks which could not be made absolutely dark were enclosed with canvas. By midnight the ship was as dark as the sea surrounding. On she went through Saturday and on Sunday ran into a dense fog. Through this she rushed with unchecked speed and in utter silence, not a toot coming from her fog-horn. This was all very well as a measure of secrecy, but it opened the way to serious danger through a possible collision, and a committee of passengers was formed to request the captain to reconsider his action. Just as the committee reached his room the first blast of the fog-horn was heard, its welcome tone bringing a sense of security where grave apprehension had prevailed.
A group of financiers were on board who offered to buy the ship and sail her under American colors. But to all such proposals Captain Polack turned a deaf ear. He said that his duty was spelled by his orders from Bremen to turn back and save his ship, and these he proposed to obey. A passenger stated:
"There were seven of the crew on watch all the time, two aloft. This enabled the captain to know of passing vessels before they came above the horizon. We were undoubtedly in danger on Sunday afternoon. We intercepted a wireless message in French in which two French cruisers were exchanging data in regard to their positions.
"The captain told me that he imagined those to be two vessels who regularly patroled the fishing grounds in the interest of French fisheries. If the captain of either of those vessels should have come out of the fog and found us, his share of the prize in money might have amounted to $4,000,000. Did privateer ever dream of such booty!
"Early on Saturday our four great funnels were given broad black bands in order to make us look like the Olympic, which was supposed to be twenty-four hours ahead of us. There was a certain grim humor in the fact that the wireless operator on the Olympic kept calling us all Friday night. Of course we did not answer."
On Tuesday, August 4th, the great ship came within sight of land at the little village of Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, off the coast of Maine; a port scarce large enough to hold the giant liner that had sought safety in its waters. Wireless messages were at once flashed to all parts of the country and the news that the endangered vessel, with its precious cargo, was safe, was received with general relief. As regards the future movements of the ship Captain Polack said:
"I can see no possibility of taking this ship to New York from here with safety. To avoid foreign vessels we should have to keep within the three-mile limit, and to accomplish this the ship would have to be built like a canoe. We have reached an American port in safety and that was more than I dared to hope. We have been in almost constant danger of capture, and we can consider ourselves extremely lucky to have come out so well.
"I know I have been criticized for making too great speed under bad weather conditions, but I have not wilfully endangered the lives of the passengers. I would rather have lost the whole whip and cargo than have assumed any such risk. Of course, aside from this consideration, my one aim has been to save my ship and my cargo from capture.
"I have not been acting on my own initiative, but under orders from the North German Lloyd in Bremen, and although I am an officer in the German navy my duty has been to the steamship line."
CLOSING THE STOCK MARKETS
We have so far dealt with only a few of the results of the war. There were various others of great moment, to some of which a passing allusion has been made.
On July 30th, for the first time in history, the stock markets of the world were all closed at the same time. Heretofore when the European markets have been closed those on this side of the ocean remained open. The New York Exchange was the last big stock market to announce temporary suspension of business. The New York Cotton Exchange closed, following the announcement of the failure of several brokerage firms. Stock Exchanges throughout the United States followed the example set by New York. The Stock Exchanges in London and the big provincial cities, as well as those on the Continent, ceased business, owing to the breakdown of the credit system, which was made complete by the postponement of the Paris settlement.
Depositors stormed every bank in London for gold, and the runs continued for a couple of days. In order to protect its dwindling gold supply the Bank of England raised its discount rate to 8 per cent. Leading bankers of London requested Premier Asquith to suspend the bank act, and he promised to lay the matter before the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In all the capitals of Europe financial transactions virtually came to a standstill. The slump in the market value of securities within the first week of the war flurry was estimated at $2,000,000,000, and radical measures were necessary to prevent hasty action while the condition of panic prevailed.
This sudden stoppage of ordinary financial operations was accompanied by a similar cessation of the industries of peace over a wide range of territory. The artisan was forced to let fall the tools of his trade and take up those of war. The railroads were similarly denuded of their employees except in so far as they were needed to convey soldiers and military supplies. The customary uses of the railroad were largely suspended and travel went on under great difficulties. In a measure it had returned to the conditions existing before the invention of the locomotive. Even horse traffic was limited by the demands of the army for these animals, and foot travel regained some of its old ascendency.
War makes business active in one direction and in one only, that of army and navy supply, of the manufacture of the implements of destruction, of vast quantities of explosives, of multitudes of death-dealing weapons. Food supplies need to be diverted in the same direction, the demands of the soldier being considered first, those of the home people last, the latter being often supplied at starvation prices. There is plenty of work to do - of its kind. But it is of a kind that injures instead of aiding the people of the nations.
TERRIBLE EFFECTS OF WAR
This individual source of misery and suffering in war times is accompanied by a more direct one, that of the main purpose of war - destruction of human life and of property that might be utilized by an enemy, frequently of merciless brigandage and devastation. It is horrible to think of the frightful suffering caused by every great battle. Immediate death on the field might reasonably be welcomed as an escape from the suffering arising from wounds, the terrible mutilations, the injuries that rankle throughout life, the conversion of hosts of able-bodied men into feeble invalids, to be kept by the direct aid of their fellows or the indirect aid of the people at large through a system of pensions.
The physical sufferings of the soldiers from wounds and privations are perhaps not the greatest. Side by side with them are the mental anxieties of their families at home, their terrible suspense, the effect upon them of tidings of the maiming or death of those dear to them or on whose labor they immediately depend. The harvest of misery arising from this cause it is impossible to estimate. It is not to be seen in the open. It dwells unseen in humble homes, in city, village, or field, borne often uncomplainingly, but not less poignant from this cause. The tears and terrors thus produced are beyond calculation. But while the glories of war are celebrated with blast of trumpet and roll of drum, the terrible accompaniment of groans of misery is too apt to pass unheard and die away forgotten.
To turn from this roll of horrors, there are costs of war in other directions to be considered. Those include the ravage of cities by flame or pillage, the loss of splendid works of architecture, the irretrievable destruction of great productions of art, the vanishing of much on which the world had long set store.
THE TIDE OF DESTRUCTION
Not only on land, but at sea as well, the tide of destruction rises and swells. Huge warships, built at a cost of millions of dollars and tenanted by hundreds of hardy sailors, are torn and rent by shot and shell and at times sent to the bottom with all on board by the explosion of torpedoes beneath their unprotected lower hulls. The torpedo boat, the submarine, with other agencies of unseen destruction, have come into play to add enormously to the horrors of naval warfare, while the bomb-dropping airships, letting fall its dire missiles from the sky, has come to add to the dread terror and torment of the battle-field.
We began this chapter with a statement of the startling suddenness of this great war, and the widespread consequences which immediately followed. We have been led into a discussion of its issues, of the disturbing and distracting consequences which cannot fail to follow any great modern war between civilized nations. We had some examples of this on a small scale in the recent Balkan-Turkish war. But that was of minor importance and its effects, many of them sanguinary and horrible, were mainly confined to the region in which it occurred. But a war covering nearly a whole continent cannot be confined and circumscribed in its consequences. All the world must feel them in a measure - though diminishing with distance. The vast expanse of water which separates the United States from the European continent could not save its citizens from feeling certain ill effects from the struggle of war lords. America and Europe are tied together with many cords of business and interest, and the severing or weakening of these cannot fail to be seriously felt. Canada, at a similar width of removal from Europe, had reason to feel it still more seriously, from its close political relations with Great Britain.
In these days in which we live the cost of war is a giant to be reckoned with. With every increase in the size of cannon, the tonnage of warships, the destructiveness of weapons and ammunition, this element of cost grows proportionately greater and has in our day become stupendous. Nations may spend in our era more cold cash in a day of war than would have served for a year in the famous days of chivalry. A study of this question was made by army and navy experts in 1914, and they decided that the expense to the five nations concerned in the European war would be not less than $50,000,000 a day.
If we add to this the loss of untold numbers of young men in the prime of life, whose labor is needed in the fields and workshops of the nations involved, other billions of dollars must be added to the estimate, due to the crippling of industries. There is also the destruction of property to be considered, including the very costly modern battleships, this also footing up into the billions.
When it is considered that in thirteen years the cost of maintenance of the armies and navies of the warring countries, as well as the cost of naval construction, exceeded $20,000,000,000 some idea may be had of the expense attached to war and the preparations of European countries for just such contingencies as those that arose in Europe in 1914. The cost of the Panama Canal, one of the most useful aids to the commerce of the world, was approximately $375,000,000, but the expense of the preparations for war in Europe during the time it took to build the canal exceeded the cost of this gigantic undertaking nearly sixty to one.
The money thus expended on preparation for war during the thirteen years named would, if spent in railroad and marine construction, have given vast commercial power to these nations. To what extent have they been benefited by the rivalry to gain precedence in military power? They stand on practically the same basis now that it is all at an end. Would they not be on the same basis if it had never begun? Aside from this is the incentive to employ these vast armaments in the purpose for which they were designed, the effect of creating a military spirit and developing a military caste in each by the nations, a result very likely to be productive of ill effects.
The total expense of maintenance of armies and navies, together with the cost of construction in thirteen years, in Germany, Austria, Russia, France and Great Britain, was as follows:
Naval expenditures $5,648,525,000 Construction 2,146,765,000 Cost of armies 13,138,403,000 Total $20,933,693,000
The wealth of the same nations in round figures is:
Great Britain $80,000,000,000 Germany 60,500,000,000 Austria 25,000,000,000 France 65,000,000,000 Russia 40,000,000,000 Total 270,500,000,000
This enormous expense which was incurred in preparation for war needed to be rapidly increased to meet the expenses of actual warfare. The British House of Commons authorized war credits amounting to $1,025,000,000, while the German Reichstag voted $1,250,000,000. Austria and France had to set aside vast sums for their respective war chests.
HALF CENTURY TO PAY DEBTS
In anticipation of trouble Germany in 1913 voted $250,000,000 for extraordinary war expenses and about $100,000,000 was spent on an aerial fleet. France spent $60,000,000 for the same purpose.
The annual cost of maintaining the great armies and navies of Europe even on a peace basis is enormous, and it must be vastly increased during war. The official figures for 1913-14 are:
British army $224,300,000 British navy 224,140,000 German army 183,090,00 German navy 111,300,000 French army 191,431,580 French navy 119,571,400 Russian army 317,800,000 Russian navy 122,500,000 Austrian army 82,300,000 Austrian navy 42,000,000 Total $1,618,432,980
It was evident that taxes to meet the extraordinary expenses of war would have to be greatly increased in Germany and France. As business became at a standstill throughout Europe and every port of entry blocked, experts wondered where the money was to come from. All agreed that, when peace should be declared and the figures were all in, the result financially would be staggering and that the heaviest burden it had ever borne would rest upon Europe for fifty years to come. For when the roar of the cannon ceases and the nations are at rest, then dawns the era of payment, inevitable, unescapable, one in which for generations every man and woman must share.
Chapter II. UNDERLYING CAUSES OF THE GREAT EUROPEAN WAR Assassination of the Austrian Crown Prince - Austria's motive in Making War - Servia Accepts Austria's Demand - The Ironies of History - What Austria had to Gain - How the War Became Continental - An Editorial Opinion - Is the Kaiser Responsible? -Germany's Stake in the War - Why Russia Entered the Field - France's Hatred of Germany - Great Britain and Italy - The Triple Alliance and Triple Entente
What brought on the mighty war which so suddenly sprang forth? What evident, what subtle, what deep-hidden causes led to this sudden demolition of the temple of peace? What pride of power, what lust of ambition, what desire of imperial dominion cast the armed hosts of the nations into the field of conflict, on which multitudes of innocent victims were to be sacrificed to the insatiate hunger for blood of the modern Moloch?
Here are questions which few are capable of answering. Ostensible answers may be given, surface causes, reasons of immediate potency. But no one will be willing to accept these as the true moving causes. For a continent to spring in a week's time from complete peace into almost universal war, with all the great and several of the small Powers involved, is not to be explained by an apothegm or embraced within the limits of a paragraph. If not all, certainly several of these nations had enmities to be unchained, ambitions to be gratified, long-hidden purposes to be put in action. They seemed to have been awaiting an opportunity, and it came when the anger of the Servians at the seizure of Bosnia by Austria culminated in a mad act of assassination
ASSASSINATION OF THE AUSTRIAN CROWN PRINCE
The immediate cause, so far as apparent to us, of the war in question was the murder, on June 29, 1914, of the Austrian Crown Prince Francis Ferdinand and his wife, while on a visit to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, the assassin being a Servian student, supposed to have come for that purpose from Belgrade, the Servian capital. The inspiring cause of this dastardly act was the feeling of hostility towards Austria which was widely entertained in Servia. Bosnia was a part of the ancient kingdom of Servia. The bulk of its people are of Slavic origin and speak the Servian language. Servia was eager to regain it, as a possible outlet for a border on the Mediterranean Sea. When, therefore, in 1908, Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, which had been under her military control since 1878, the indignation in Servia was great. While it had died down in a measure in the subsequent years, the feeling of injury survived in many hearts, and there is little reason to doubt that the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was a result of this pervading sentiment.
In fact, the Austrian government was satisfied that the murder plot was hatched in Belgrade and held that Servian officials were in some way concerned in it. The Servian press gave some warrant for this, being openly boastful and defiant in its comments. When the Austrian consul-general at Belgrade dropped dead in the consulate the papers showed their satisfaction and hinted that he had been poisoned. This attitude of the press evidently was one of the reasons for the stringent demand made by Austria on July 23d, requiring apology and change of attitude from Servia and asking for a reply by the hour of 6 P.M. on the 25th. The demands were in part as follows:
1. An apology by the Servian government in its official journal for all Pan-Servian propaganda and for the participation of Servian army officers in it, and warning all Servians in the future to desist from anti-Austrian demonstrations.
2. That orders to this effect should be issued to the Servian army.
3. That Servia should dissolve all societies capable of conducting intrigues against Austria.
4. That Servia should curb the activities of the Servian press in regard to Austria.
5. That Austrian officials should be permitted to conduct an inquiry in Servia independent of the Servian government into the Sarajevo plot.
An answer to these demands was sent out at ten minutes before 6 o"clock on the 25th, in which Servia accepted all demands except the last, which it did not deem "in accordance with international law and good neighborly relations." It asked that this demand should be submitted to The Hague Tribunal. The Austrian Minister at Belgrade, Baron Giesl von Gieslingen, refused to accept this reply and at once left the capital with the entire staff of the legation. The die was cast, as Austria probably intended that it should be.
AUSTRIA'S MOTIVE IN MAKING WAR
It had, in fact, become evident early in July that the military party in Austria was seeking to manufacture a popular demand for war, based on the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife. Such was the indication of the tone of the Vienna newspapers, which appeared desirous of working up a sentiment hostile to Servia. It may be doubted if the aged emperor was a party to this. Probably his assent was a forced one, due to the insistence of the war party and the public sentiment developed by it. That the murder of the Archduke was the real cause of the action of Austria can scarcely be accepted in view of Servia's acceptance of Austria's rigid demands. The actual cause was undoubtedly a deeper one, that of Austria's long-cherished purpose of gaining a foothold on the Aegean Sea, for which the possession of Servia was necessary as a preliminary step. A plausible motive was needed, any pretext that would serve as a satisfactory excuse to Europe for hostile action and that could at the same time be utilized in developing Austrian indignation against the Servians. Such a motive came in the act of assassination and immediate use was made of it. The Austrian war party contended that the deed was planned at Belgrade, that it had been fomented by Servian officials, and that these had supplied the murderer with explosives and aided in their transfer into Bosnia.
What evidence Austria possessed leading to this opinion we do not know. While it is not likely that there was any actual evidence, the case was one that called for investigation, and Austria was plainly within its rights in demanding such an inquiry and due punishment of every one found to be connected with the tragic deed. But Austria went farther than this. It was willing to accept nothing less than a complete and humiliating submission on the part of Servia. And the impression was widely entertained, whether with or without cause, that in this Austria was not acting alone but that it had the full support of Germany. That country also may be supposed to have had its ends to gain. What these were we shall consider later.
SERVIA ACCEPTS AUSTRIA'S DEMANDS
Imperious as had been the demand of Austria, one which would never have been submitted to a Power of equal strength, Servia accepted it, expressing itself as willing to comply with all the conditions imposed except that relating to the participation of Austrian officials in the inquiry, an explanation being asked on this point. If this reply should be deemed inadequate, Servia stood ready to submit the question at issue to The Hague Peace Tribunal and to the Powers which had signed the declaration of 1909 relating to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The subsequent action of Austria was significant. The Austrian Minister at Belgrade, as before stated, rejected it as unsatisfactory and immediately left the Servian capital. He acted, in short, with a precipitancy that indicated that he was acting under instructions. This was made very evident by what immediately followed. When news came on July 28th that war had been declared and active hostilities commenced, it was accompanied by the statement that Austria would not now be satisfied even with a full acceptance of her demands.
That the intention of this imperious demand and what quickly followed was to force a war, no one can doubt. Servia's nearly complete assent to the conditions imposed was declared to be not only unsatisfactory, but also "dishonorable," a word doubtless deliberately used. Evidently no door was to be left open for retrogressive consideration.
THE IRONIES OF HISTORY
It is one of the ironies of history that a people who once played a leading part in saving the Austrian capital from capture should come to be threatened by the armies of that capital. This takes us back to the era when Servia, a powerful empire of those days, fell under the dominion of the conquering Turks, whose armies further overran Hungary and besieged Vienna. Had this city been captured, all central Europe would have lain open to the barbarities of the Turks. In its defense the Servians played a leading part, so great a one that we are told by a Hungarian historian, "It was the Serb Bacich who saved Vienna." But in 1914 Servia was brought to the need of saving itself from Vienna.
WHAT AUSTRIA HAD TO GAIN
If it be asked what Austria had to gain by this act; what was her aim in forcing war upon a far weaker state; the answer is at hand. The Balkan States, of which Servia is a prominent member, lie in a direct line between Europe and the Orient. A great power occupying the whole of the Balkan peninsula would possess political advantages far beyond those enjoyed by Austria-Hungary. It would be in a position giving it great influence over, if not strategic control of, the Suez Canal, the commerce of the Mediterranean, and a considerable all-rail route between Central Europe and the far East. Salonika, on the AEgean Sea, now in Greek territory, is one of the finest harbors on the Mediterranean Sea. A railway through Servia now connects this port with Austria and Germany. In addition to this railway it is not unlikely that a canal may in the near future connect the Danube with the harbor of Salonika. If this project should be carried out, the commerce of the Danube and its tributary streams and canals, even that of central and western Germany, would be able to reach the Mediterranean without passing through the perilous Iron Gates of the Danube or being subjected to the delays and dangers incident to the long passage through the Black Sea and the Grecian Archipelago.
We can see in all this a powerful motive for Austria to seek to gain possession of Servia, as a step towards possible future control of the whole Balkan peninsula. The commercial and manufacturing interests of Austria-Hungary were growing, and mastership of such a route to the Mediterranean would mean immense advantage to this ambitious empire. Possession of northern Italy once gave her the advantage of an important outlet to the Mediterranean. This, through events that will be spoken of in later chapters, was lost to her. She apparently then sought to reach it by a more direct and open road, that leading through Salonika.
Such seem the reasons most likely to have been active in the Austrian assault upon Servia. The murder of an Austrian archduke by an insignificant assassin gave no sufficient warrant for the act. The whole movement of events indicates that Austria was not seeking retribution for a crime but seizing upon a pretext for a predetermined purpose and couching her demands upon Servia in terms which no self-respecting nation could accept without protest. Servia was to be put in a position from which she could not escape and every door of retreat against the arbitrament of war was closed against her.
But in this retrospect we are dealing with Austria and Servia alone. What brought Germany, what brought France, what brought practically the whole of Europe into the struggle? What caused it to grow with startling suddenness from a minor into a major conflict, from a contest between a bulldog and a terrier into a battle between lions? What were the unseen and unnoted conditions that, within little more than a week's time, induced all the leading nations of Europe to cast down the gage of battle and spring full-armed into the arena, bent upon a struggle which threatened to surpass any that the world had ever seen? Certainly no trifling causes were here involved. Only great and far-reaching causes could have brought about such a catastrophe. All Europe appeared to be sitting, unknowingly or knowingly, upon a powder barrel which only needed some inconsequent hand to apply the match. It seems incredible that the mere pulling of a trigger by a Servian student and the slaughter of an archduke in the Bosnian capital could in a month's time have plunged all Europe into war. From small causes great events may rise. Certainly that with which we are here dealing strikingly illustrates this homely apothegm.
HOW THE WAR BECAME CONTINENTAL
We cannot hope to point out the varied causes which were at work in this vast event. Very possibly the leading ones are unknown to us. Yet some of the important ones are evident and may be made evident, and to these we must restrict ourselves.
Allusion has already been made to the general belief that the Emperor of Germany was deeply concerned in it, and that Austria would not have acted as it did without assurance of support, in fact without direct instigation, from some strong allied Power, and this Power is adjudged alike by public and private opinion to have been Germany, acting in the person of its ambitious war lord, the dominating Kaiser.
It may be stated that all the Powers concerned have sought to disclaim responsibility. Thus Servia called the world to witness that her answer to Austria was the limit of submission and conciliation. Austria, through her ambassador to the United States, solemnly declared that her assault upon Servia was a measure of "self-defense." Russia explained her action as "benevolent intervention," and expressed "a humble hope in omnipotent providence" that her hosts would be triumphant. Germany charged France with perfidious attack upon the unarmed border of the fatherland, and proclaimed a holy war for "the security of her territory." France and England, Belgium and Italy deplored the conflict and protested that they were innocent of offense. So far as all this is concerned the facts are generally held to point to Germany as the chief instigator of the war.
Russia, indeed, had made threatening movements toward Austria as a warning to her to desist from her threatened invasion of Servia. Great Britain proposed mediation. Germany made no movement in the direction of preventing the war, but directed its attention to Russia, warning it to stop mobilization within twenty-four hours, and immediately afterward beginning a similar movement of mobilization in its own territory. On August 1st Germany declared war against Russia, the first step towards making the contest a continental one. On the 2d, when France began mobilization, German forces moved against Russia and France simultaneously and invaded the neutral states of Luxembourg and Belgium. It was her persistence in the latter movement that brought Great Britain into the contest, as this country was pledged to support Belgian neutrality. On August 4th, Great Britain sent an ultimatum to Germany to withdraw from the neutral territory which her troops had entered and demanded an answer by midnight. Germany declined to answer satisfactorily and at 11 o'clock war was declared by Great Britain.
AN EDITORIAL OPINION
As regards the significance of these movements, in which Germany hurled declarations of war in rapid succession to east and west, and forced the issue of a continental war upon nations which had taken no decisive step, it may suffice to quote an editorial summing up of the situation as regards Germany, from the Philadelphia North American of August 7th:
"From these facts there is no escape. Leaving aside all questions of justice or political expediency, the aggressor throughout has been Germany. Austria's fury over the assassination of the heir to the throne was natural. But Servia tendered full reparation.
So keen and conservative an authority as Rear Admiral Mahan declares that 'the aggressive insolence' of Austria's ultimatum 'and Sevia's concession of all demands except those too humiliating for national self-respect' show that behind Austria's assault was the instigation of Berlin. He adds:
"Knowing how the matter would be viewed in Russia, it is incredible that Austria would have ventured on the ultimatum unless assured beforehand of the consent of Germany. The inference is irresistible that it was the pretext for a war already determined upon as soon as plausible occasion offered.'
"Circumstantial evidence, at least, places responsibility for the flinging of the first firebrand upon the government of the Kaiser. Now, who added fuel to the flames, until the great conflagration was under way?
"The next move was the Czar's. 'Fraternal sentiments of the Russian people for the Slavs in Servia,' he says, led him to order partial mobilization, following Austria's invasion of Servia. Instantly Germany protested, and within forty-eight hours sent an ultimatum demanding that Russia cease her preparations. On the following day Germany began mobilizing, and twenty-four hours later declared war on Russia. Mobilization in France, necessitated by these events, was anticipated by Germany, which simultaneously flung forces into Russia, France, Luxembourg and Belgium.
"It was Germany's historic policy of "blood and iron" that fired Austria to attempt the crushing of Servia. It was Germany that hurled an ultimatum, swiftly followed by an army, at Russia. It was Germany that struck first at the French frontier. It was Germany that trampled upon solemn treaty engagements by invading the neutral states of Luxembourg and Belgium. And it was Germany that, in answer to England's demand that the neutrality of Belgium be protected, declared war against Great Britain.
"Regardless, therefore, of questions of right and wrong, it is undeniable that in each succeeding crisis Germany has taken the aggressive. In so doing she has been inspired by a supreme confidence in her military might. But she has less reason to be proud of her diplomacy. The splendid audacity of her moves cannot obscure the fact that in making the case upon which she will be judged she has been outmaneuvered by the deliberation of Russia, the forbearance of France and the patience of Great Britain. She has assumed the role of international autocrat, while giving her foes the advantage of prosecuting a patriotic war of defense.
"Particularly is this true touching the violation of neutral territory. For nearly half a century the duchy of Luxembourg has been considered a 'perpetually neutral state,' under solemn guarantee of Austria, Great Britain, Germany and Russia. Since 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands, it, too, has been held 'an independent and perpetually neutral state,' that status being solemnly declared in a convention signed hy Great Britain, France, Russia, Austria and Prussia. Yet the first war move of Germany was to overrun these countries, seize their railroads, bombard their cities and lay waste their territories.
"For forty years Germany has been the exemplar of a progressive civilization. In spite of her adherence to inflated militarism, she has put the whole world in her debt by her inspiring industrial and scientific achievements. Her people have taught mankind lessons of incalculable value, and her sons have enriched far distant lands with their genius. Not the least of the catastrophes inflicted by this inhuman war is that an unbridled autocracy has brought against the great German empire an indictment for arrogant assault upon the peace of nations and the security of human institutions."
IS THE KAISER RESPONSIBLE?
How much reliance is to be placed on the foregoing newspaper opinion, and on the prevailing sentiment holding Kaiser Wilhelm responsible for flinging the war bomb that disrupted the ranks of peace, no one can say. Every one naturally looked for the fomenter of this frightful international conflict and was disposed to place the blame on the basis of rumor and personal feeling. On the other hand each nation concerned has vigorously disclaimed responsibility for the cataclysm. Austria - very meekly - claimed that Servia precipitated the conflict. Germany blamed it upon Russia and France, the former from Slavic race sentiment, the latter from enmity that had existed since the loss of Alsace and Lorraine in 1870. They, on the contrary, laid all the blame upon Germany. In the case of England alone we have a clear vista. The obligation of the island kingdom to maintain the neutral position of Belgium and the utter disregard of this neutrality by Germany forced her to take part and throw her armies into the field for the preservation of her international obligations.
Many opinions were extant, many views advanced. One of these, from Robert C. Long, a war correspondent of note, laid the total responsibility upon Austria, which, he said, plunged Europe into war in disregard of the Kaiser, who vigorously sought to prevent the outbreak, even threatening his ally in his efforts to preserve peace. In his view, "All the blood-guiltiness in this war will rest upon two Powers, Austria and Russia. It rests on Austria for her undue harshness to Servia and on Russia for its dishonesty in secretly mobilizing its entire army at a time when it was imploring the Kaiser to intervene for peace, and when the Kaiser was working for peace with every prospect of success."
We have quoted one editorial opinion holding Germany wholly responsible. Here is another, from the New York TIMES, which, with a fair degree of justice, distributes the responsibility among all the warring nations of Europe:
"Germany is not responsible; Russia is not responsible, or Austria, or France, or England. The pillars of civilization are undermined and human aspirations bludgeoned down by no Power, but by all Powers; by no autocrats, but by all autocrats; not because this one or that has erred or dared or dreamed or swaggered, but because all, in a mad stampede for armament, trade and territory, have sowed swords and guns, nourished harvests of death-dealing crops, made ready the way.
"For what reason other than war have billions in bonds and taxes been clamped on the backs of all Europe? None sought to evade war; each sought to be prepared to triumph when it came. At most some chancelleries whispered for delay, postponement; they knew the clash to be inevitable; if not today, tomorrow. Avoid war! What else have they lived for, what else prepared for, what else have they inculcated in the mind of youth than the sureness of the conflict and the great glory of offering themselves to this Moloch in sacrifice?
"No Power involved can cover up the stain. It is indelible, the sin of all Europe. It could have been prevented by common agreement. There was no wish to prevent it. Munition manufacturers were not alone in urging the race to destruction, physical and financial. The leaders were for it. It was policy. A boiling pot will boil, a nurtured seed will grow. There was no escape from the avowed goal. A slow drift to the inevitable, a thunderbolt forged, the awful push toward the vortex! What men and nations want they get."
GERMANY'S STAKE IN THE WAR
What had Germany to gain in the war in the instigation of which she is charged with being so deeply involved? Territorial aggrandizement may have been one of her purposes. Belgium and Holland lay between her and the open Atlantic, and the possession of these countries, with their splendid ports, would pay her well for a reasonable degree of risk and cost. The invasion of Belgium as her first move in the war game may have had an ulterior purpose in the acquisition of that country, one likely to be as distasteful to France as the taking over of Alsace-Lorraine. Perhaps the neutral position taken by Holland, with her seeming inclination in favor of Germany, may have had more than racial relations behind it. Considerations of ultimate safety from annexation may have had its share in this attitude of neutrality.
The general impression has been that Germany went to war with the purpose of establishing beyond question her political and military supremacy on the European continent. Military despotism in Germany was the decisive factor in making inevitable the general war. The Emperor of Germany stood as the incarnation and exponent of the Prussian policy of military autocracy. He had ruled all German States in unwavering obedience to the militarist maxim: "In times of peace prepare for war." He had used to the full his autocratic power in building up the German Empire and in making it not only a marvel of industrial efficiency, but also a stupendous military machine. In this effort he had burdened the people of Germany with an ever-increasing war budget. The limit in this direction was reached with the war budget of the year 1912 when the revenues of the princes and of all citizens of wealth were specially taxed. No new sources of revenue remained. A crisis had come.
That crisis, as sometimes claimed, was not any menace from Britain or any fear of the British power. It was rather the very real and very rapidly rising menace of the new great Slav power on Germany's border, including, as it did, the Russian Empire and the entire line of Slav countries that encircled Germanic Austria from the Adriatic to Bohemia. These Slav peoples are separated from the governing Teutonic race in the Austrian Empire by the gulfs of blood, language, and religion. And in Europe the Slav population very largely outnumbers the Teuton population and is growing much more rapidly.
Recent events, especially in the Balkan wars, had made it plain, not to the German Emperor alone, but to all the world, that the growth into an organized power of more than two hundred millions of Slav peoples along nearly three thousand miles of international frontier was a menace to the preservation of Teuton supremacy in Europe. That Teuton supremacy was based on the sword. The German Emperor's appeal was to "My sword." But when the new sword of the united Slav power was allowed to be unsheathed, German supremacy was threatened on its own ground and by the weapon of its own choosing.
However all this be, and it must be admitted that it is to a degree speculative, there were in 1914 conditions existing that appeared to render the time a suitable one for the seemingly inevitable continental war. Revelations pointing to defects in the French army, deficiencies of equipment and weaknesses in artillery, had been made in the French Parliament. The debate that occurred was fully dwelt upon in the German papers. And on July 16th the organ of Berlin radicalism, the VOSSICHE ZEITUNG, published a leading article to show that Russia was not prepared for war, and never had been. As for France, it said: "A Gallic cock with a lame wing is not the ideal set up by the Russians. And when the Russian eagle boasts of being in the best of health who is to believe him? Why should the French place greater confidence in the inveterate Russian disorganization than in their own defective organization?"
As regards the Kaiser's own estimate of his preparedness for war, and the views of national polity he entertained, we shall let him speak for himself in the following extracts from former utterances:
"We will be everywhere victorious even if we are surrounded by enemies on all sides and even if we have to fight superior numbers, for our most powerful ally is God above, who, since the time of the Great Elector and Great King, has always been on our side." - At Berlin, March 29, 1901.
"I vowed never to strike for world mastery. The world empire that I then dreamed of was to create for the German empire on all sides the most absolute confidence as a quiet, honest and peaceable neighbor. I have vowed that if ever the time came when history should speak of a German world power or a Hohenzollern world power this should not be based on conquest, but come through a mutual striving of nations after a common purpose.
"After much has been done internally in a military way, the next thing must be the arming ourselves at sea. Every German battleship is a new guarantee for the peace of the world. We are the salt of the earth, but must prove worthy of being so. Therefore, our youth must learn to deny what is not good for them.
"With all my heart I hope that golden peace will continue to be present with us." - At Bremen, March 22, 1905.
"My final and last care is for my fighting forces on land and sea. May God grant that war may not come, but should the cloud descend, I am firmly convinced that the army will acquit itself as it did so nobly thirty-five years ago." - At Berlin, February 25, 1906.
In the early days of the reign of William II war was prominent in his utterances. He was the War Lord in full feather, and the world at that time looked with dread upon this new and somewhat blatant apostle of militarism. Yet year after year passed until the toll of almost three decades was achieved, without his drawing the sword, and the world began to regard him as an apostle of peace, a wise and capable ruler who could gain his ends without the shedding of blood. What are we to believe now? Had he been wearing a mast for all these years, biding his time, hiding from view a deeply cherished purpose? Or did he really believe that a mission awaited him, that regeneration of the world through the sanguinary path of the battle-field was his duty, and that by the aid of a successful war he could inaugurate a safer and sounder era of peace?
We throw out these ideas as suggestions only. What the Kaiser purposed, what deep-laid schemes of international policy he entertained, will, perhaps, never be known. But if he was really responsible for the great war, as he was so widely accused of being, the responsibility he assumed was an awful one. If he was not responsible, as he declared and as some who claim to have been behind the scenes maintain, the world will be ready to absolve him when his innocence has been made evident.
WHY RUSSIA ENTERED THE FIELD
In this survey of the causes of the great war under consideration the position of Russia comes next. That country was the first to follow Austria and begin the threatening work of mobilization. Germany's first open participation consisted in a warming to Russia that this work must cease. Only when her warning was disregarded did Germany begin mobilization and declare war. All this was the work of a very few days, but in this era of active military preparedness it needs only days, only hours in some instances, to change from a state of peace into a state of war and hurl great armed hosts against the borders of hostile nations.
The general impression was that it was the Slavic race sentiment that inspired Russia's quick action. Servia, a country of Slavs, brothers in race to a large section of the people of Russia, was threatened with national annihilation and her great kinsman sprang to her rescue, determined that she should not be absorbed by her land-hungry neighbor. This seemed to many a sufficient cause for Russia's action. Not many years before, when Austria annexed her wards, Bosnia and Herzegovina, both Slavic countries, Russia protested against the act. She would doubtless have done more than protest but for her financial and military weakness arising from the then recent Russo-Japanese War. In 1914 she was much stronger in both these elements of national power and lost not a day in preparing to march to Servia's aid.
But was this the whole, or indeed the chief, moving impulse in Russia's action? Was she so eager an advocate of Pan-Slavism as such a fact would indicate? Had she not some other purpose in view, some fish of her own to fry, some object of moment to obtain? Many thought so. They were not willing to credit the Russian bear with an act of pure international benevolence. Wars of pure charity are rarely among the virtuous acts of nations. As it had been suggested that Germany saw in the war a possible opportunity to gain a frontier on the Atlantic, so it was hinted that Russia had in mind a similar frontier on the Mediterranean. Time and again she had sought to wring Constantinople from the hands of the Turks. In 1877 she was on the point of achieving this purpose when she was halted and turned back by the Congress of Berlin and the bellicose attitude of the nations that stood behind it.
Here was another and seemingly a much better opportunity. The Balkan War had almost accomplished the conquest of the great Turkish capital and left Turkey in a state of serious weakness. If Europe should be thrown into the throes of a general war, in which every nation would have its own interests to care for, Russia's opportunity to seize upon the prize for which she had so long sought was an excellent one, there being no one in a position to say her nay. To Russia the possession of Constantinople was like the possession of a new world, and this may well have been her secret motive in springing without hesitation into the war. Her long-sought prize hung temptingly within reach of her hand, the European counterpart of the "Monroe Doctrine" could not now be evoked to stay her grasp, and it seems highly probable that in this may have lain the chief cause of Russia's participation in the war.
FRANCE'S HATRED OF GERMANY
The Republic of France was less hasty than Russia and Germany in issuing a declaration of war. Yet there, too, the order of mobilization was quickly issued and French troops were on the march toward the German border before Germany had taken a similar step. France had not forgotten her humiliation in 1870. So far was she from forgetting it that she cherished a vivid recollection of what she had lost and an equally vivid enmity towards Germany in consequence. Enmity is hardly the word. Hatred better fits the feeling entertained. And this was kept vitally alive by the fact that Alsace and Lorraine, two of her former provinces, still possessing a considerable French population, were now held as part of the dominions of her enemy. The sore rankled and hope of retribution lay deep in the heart of the French. Here seemed an opportunity to achieve this long-cherished purpose, and we may reasonably believe that the possibility of regaining this lost territory made France eager to take part in the coming war. She had been despoiled by Germany, a valued portion of her territory had been wrested from her grasp, a promising chance of regaining it lay before her. She had the men; she had the arms; she had a military organization vastly superior to that of 1870; she had the memory of her former triumphs over the now allied nations of Austria and Germany; she had her obligations to aid Russia as a further inducement. The causes of her taking part in the war are patent, especially in view of the fact that in a very brief interval after her declaration her troops had crossed the border and were marching gaily into Alsace, winning battles and occupying towns as they advanced.
GREAT BRITAIN AND ITALY
We have suggested that in the case alike of Austria, Russia, Germany and France the hope of gaining valuable acquisitions of territory was entertained. In the case of France, enmity to Germany was an added motive, the territory she sought being land of which she had been formerly despoiled. These purposes of changing the map of Europe did not apply to or influence Great Britain. That country had no territory to gain and no great military organization to exercise. She possessed the most powerful navy of any country in the world, but she was moved by no desire of showing her strength upon the sea. There was no reason, so far as any special advantage to herself was concerned, for her taking part in the war, and her first step was a generous effort to mediate between the Powers in arms.
Only when Belgium - a small nation that was in a sense under the guardianship of Great Britain, so far as its nationality and neutrality were concerned - was invaded by Germany without warning, did Britain feel it incumbent upon her to come to its aid. This may not have been entirely an act of benevolence. There was a probability that Germany, once in control of Belgium, could not readily let go. She might add it to her empire, a fact likely to seriously affect British sea-power. However this be, Great Britain lost no time after the invasion in becoming a party to the continental war, sending her fleet abroad and enlisting troops for service in the aid of her allies. France and Belgium.
Italy, a member of the Triple Alliance, the other members of which were Germany and Austria, was the only one of the great Powers that held aloof. She had absolutely nothing to gain by taking part in the war, while her late large expenses in the conquest of Tripoli had seriously depleted her war chest. As regards her alliance with Germany and Austria, it put her under no obligation to come to their aid in an offensive war. Her obligation was restricted to aid in case they were attacked, and she justly held that no such condition existed. As a result, Germany and Austria found themselves at war with the three powerful members of the Triple Entente, while Italy, the third member of the Triple Alliance, declined to draw the sword.
The defection of Italy was a serious loss to the power of the allies, so much so that Emperor William threatened her with war if she failed to fulfil her assumed obligations. This threat Italy quietly ignored. She gave indications, in fact, that her sympathies were with the opposite party. Thus Germany and Austria found themselves pitted against three great Powers and a possible fourth, with the addition of the two small nations of Servia and Belgium. And the latter were not to be despised as of negligible importance. Servia quickly showed an ability to check the forward movements of Austria, while Belgium, without aid, long held a powerful German army at bay, defending the city and fortresses of Liege with a boldness and success that called forth the admiring acclamations of the world.
THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE AND TRIPLE ENTENTE
This review of causes and motives may be supplemented by a brief statement of what is meant by the Triple Alliance and Triple Entente, terms which come into common prominence in discussing European politics. They indicate the division of Europe, so far as its greater Powers are concerned, into two fully or partially allied bodies, the former consisting of Germany, Austria and Italy, the latter of Great Britain, France and Russia. These organizations are of comparatively recent date. The Alliance began in 1879 in a compact between Germany and Austria, a Dual Alliance, which was converted into a Triple one in 1883, Italy then, through the influence of Bismarck, joining the alliance. In this compact Austria and Germany pledged themselves to mutual assistance if attacked by Russia; Italy and Germany to the same if attacked by France.
The Triple Entente - or Understanding - arose from a Dual Alliance between France and Russia, formed in 1887, an informal understanding between Britain and France in 1904 and a similar understanding between Britain and Russia in 1907. Its purpose, as formed by Edward VII, was to balance the Triple Alliance and thus convert Europe into two great military camps. When organized there seemed little probability of its being called into activity for many years.
Chapter III. STRENGTH AND RESOURCES OF THE WARRING POWERS Old and New Methods in War - Costs of Modern Warfare - Nature of National Resources - British and American Military Systems - Naval Strength - Resources of Austria-Hungary - Resources of Germany - Resources of Russia - Resources of France - Resources of Great Britain - Servia and Belgium
Within the whole history of mankind the nations of the earth had never been so thoroughly equipped for the art of warfare as they were in 1914. While the arts of construction have enormously developed, those of destruction have fully kept pace with them; and the horrors of war have enormously increased side by side with the benignities of peace. It is interesting to trace the history of warfare from this point of view. Beginning with the club and hammer of the stone age, advancing through the bow and arrow and the sling-shot of later times, this art, even in the great days of ancient civilization, the eras of Greece and Rome, had advanced little beyond the sword and spear, crude weapons of destruction as regarded in our times. They have in great part been set aside as symbols of military dignity, emblems of the "pomp and circumstance of glorious war."
Descending through the Middle Ages we find the sword and spear still holding sway, with the bow as an important accessory for the use of the common soldier. As for the knight, he became an iron-clad champion, so incased in steel that he could fight effectively only on horseback, becoming largely helpless on foot. At length, the greatest stage in the history of war, the notable invention of gunpowder was achieved, and an enormous transformation took place in the whole terrible art. The musket, the rifle, the pistol, the cannon were one by one evolved, to develop in the nineteenth century into the breech-loader, the machine gun, the bomb, and the multitude of devices fitted to bring about death and destruction by wholesale, instead of by the retail methods of older days.
At sea, the sailing vessel, with her far-flung white wings and rows of puny guns, has given way to the steel-clad battleship with her fewer but enormously larger cannons, capable of flinging huge masses of iron many miles through the air and with a precision of aim that seems incredible for such great distances.
We must add to this the torpedo boat, a tiny craft with a weapon capable of sinking the most costly and stupendous of battleships, and the submarine, fitted to creep unseen under blockading fleets, and deal destruction with nothing to show the hand that dealt the deadly blow. Even the broad expanse of the air has been made a field of warlike activity, with scouting airships flying above contending armies and signaling their most secret movements to the forces below.
OLD AND NEW METHODS IN WAR
In regard to loss of life on the battle-field, it may be said that many of the wars of ancient times surpassed the bloodiest of those of modern days, despite the enormously more destructive weapons and implements now employed. When men fought hand to hand, and no idea of quarter for the defeated existed, entire armies were at times slaughtered on the field. In our days, when the idea of mercy for the vanquished prevails, this wholesale slaughter of beaten hosts has ceased, and the death list of the battle-field has been largely reduced by caution on the part of the fighters. With the feeling that a dead soldier is utterly useless, and a wounded one often worse than useless, as constituting an impediment, every means of saving life is utilized. Soldiers now fight miles apart. Prostrate, hidden, taking advantage of every opportunity of protection, every natural advantage or artificial device, vast quantities of ammunition are wasted on the empty air, every ball that finds its quarry in human flesh being mayhap but one in hundreds that go astray. In the old-time wars actual hand-to-hand fighting took place. Almost every stroke told, every thrusting blade was directly parried or came back stained with blood. In modern wars fighting of this kind has ceased. A battle has become a matter of machinery. The strong arm and stalwart heart are replaced by the bullet-flinging machine, and it is a rare event for a man to know to whose hand he owes wound or death. Such, at least, was largely the case in the war between Russia and Japan in 1905. But in recent battles we read of hordes of soldiers charging up to the muzzles of machine guns, and being mowed down like ripened wheat.
COSTS OF MODERN WARFARE
But while loss of human life in war has not greatly increased, in other directions the cost of warfare has enormously grown. In the past, little special preparation was needed by the fighter. Armies could be recruited off-hand from city or farm and do valiant duty in the field, with simple and cheap weapons. In our days years of preliminary preparation are deemed necessary and the costs of war go on during times of profound peace, millions of men who could be used effectively in the peaceful industries spending the best years of their lives in learning the most effective methods of destroying their fellow men.
This is only one phase of the element of cost. Great workshops are devoted to the preparation of military material, of absolutely no use to mankind except as instruments of destruction. The costs of war, even in times of peace, are thus very large. But they increase in an enormous proportion after war has actually begun, millions of dollars being needed where tens formerly sufficed, and national bankruptcy threatening the nation that keeps its armies long in the field. The American Civil War, fought half a century ago, was a costly procedure for the American people. If it had been fought five or ten years ago its cost would have been increased five-fold, so great has been the progress in this terrible art in the interval.
NATURE OF NATIONAL RESOURCES
It is our purpose in the present chapter to take up the subject of this cost and review the condition and resources of the several nations which were involved in the dread internecine struggle of 1914, the frightful conflict of nations that moved like a great panorama before our eyes. These resources are of two kinds. One of them consists in the material wealth of the nations concerned, the product of the fields and factories, the mineral treasures beneath the soil, the results of trade and commercial activity and the conditions of national finance, including the extent of available revenue and the indebtedness which hangs over each nation, much of it a heritage from former wars which have left little beyond this aggravating record of their existence. It is one which adds something to the cost of every particle of food consumed by the people, every shred of clothing worn by them. Additions to this incubus of debt little disturb the rules when blithely or bitterly engaging in new wars, but every such addition adds to the burdens of taxation laid on the shoulders of the groaning citizens, and is sure to deepen the harvest of retribution when the time for it arrives.
A second of these resources is that of preparation for war in time of peace, the training of the able-bodied citizens in the military art, until practically the entire nation becomes converted into a vast army, its members, after their term of compulsory service, engaging in ordinary labors in times of peace, yet liable to be called into the field whenever the war lords desire, to face the death-belching field piece and machine gun in a sanguinary service in which they have little or no personal concern. This preparedness, with the knowledge of the duties of a soldier which it involves, is a valuable war resource to any nation that is saddled with such a system of universal military training. And few nations of Europe and the East are now without it. Great Britain is the chief one in Europe, while in America the United States is a notable example of a nation that has adopted the opposite policy, that of keeping its population at peaceful labor, steadily adding to its resources, during the whole time in which peace prevails, and trusting to the courage and mental resources of its citizens to teach them quickly the art of fighting when, if ever, the occasion shall arrive.
It must be admitted that the European system of militarism is likely to be of great advantage in the early days of a war, in which large bodies of trained soldiers can be hurled with destructive force against hastily gathered militia. The distinction between trained and untrained soldiers, however, rapidly disappears in a war of long continuance. Experience in the field is a lesson far superior to any gained in mock warfare, and the taking part in a few battles will teach the art of warfare to an extent surpassing that of years of marching and counter-marching upon the training field.