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expediency, was a matter of national honor, all projects for
reconciliation on such a basis were manifestly fruitless.

Let us not lose sight of a very important industrial factor
in the situation on this border, namely, the existence in the
extreme northeastern part of the territory of France, be-
tween Longwy and Nancy, of enormous deposits of iron
ore, which, at the time of the Treaty of Frankfurt in 1871,
were regarded as useless by reason of the presence of phos-
phorus. These deposits, amounting possibly to 3,000,000,000
tons, commensurate, let us say, with the richness of the
Lake Superior beds, were made available for exploitation
by a scientific discovery made in 1883.

In the second chapter of the first volume the statement
was made that the coalition of Radical elements upon
which the Waldeck-Rousseau French Ministry reposed in
1898, the so-called bloc, tended to bring about a dual align-
ment of political forces in France. To some observers
this may seem like a reckless assertion. For France might
seem to be as far as ever removed from the realization
of a condition in domestic politics where two individually
coherent, clearly defined, well-organized parties, combin-
ing together nearly all the elements of political strength in
the country, confront each other in perennial conflict, —
assuming always that this is the necessary goal for the
development of representative institutions in democratic
states. The statement may be accepted, however, if taken
at its literal face value. For the institution of the bloc
tended to draw together the political forces of France into
two general classes by reason of their respective attitudes
of favor or hostility for the ensuing systematic program
of radical acts of legislation. Without obHterating the



102 The Great War

individual groups representing various shades of political
opinion, with often rather subtile and even shifting distinc-
tions, the bloc gave a broader scope, a loftier aim, a more con-
sistent general purpose to political activity. But the smaller
elements survived, and like the atoms of Democritus they
are in never-ceasing movement. They coalesce to form
new political entities, and separate to dissolve them.

After about a decade of successive, far-reaching reforms,
the impulsive progressive movement began to slacken.
The centre of political gravity had so completely shifted
towards the Left, that the professedly reactionary groups
within the Chamber were left in a comparative state of
impotence. But with the accomplishment of those designs
of the Radical campaign which inspired the most general
and enthusiastic support, the individualism of the different
groups became more accentuated. The great coalition of
the Left, grown unwieldy, began to disintegrate. Its un-
questioned superiority was transformed into a weakness.
As there was no longer a worthy opponent without, the
groups within the Left took sides against each other, their
old foes of the Right playing merely a secondary role as
casual allies of this or that group or combination. Many
of the adherents of the Left, breathless and distracted
from the precipitate advance, called for a more pru-
dent course, a breathing-space, a more moderate policy.
An interruption in the common action of the Socialist and
the less extreme elements of the Radical groups was sooner
or later inevitable. The latter feared that the appetite of
the former would continually expand with indulgence,
and that the coUectivist tendencies, from the momentum
already gained, would soon become ungovernable, and
would unhesitatingly override all other interests.

In the purely political field the first decade of the twen-
tieth century had witnessed amazing achievements in



Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 103

France. It had seen the complete discomfiture and dis-
persal of the real or imaginary enemies of the republic, the
subordination of the religious orders to strict control, the
separation of church and state, the secularization of public,
and in large measure private, education. But in spite of
the sensational progress of events, in spite of the fact that
the French people were constitutionally absolute masters
of their own destiny, some of the most elementary progres-
sive legislative measures in the social and economic field,
which had been realized in Germany under a paternal
bureaucracy years before, had not become law in France ;
the income tax, compulsory insurance, and old age pen-
sions, for instance. The latter, it is true, were established
by a law passed in 1910, but a law so carelessly prepared
that it had to be almost entirely revised in 1913.

Out of the indistinctness of party views and aims two
general tendencies became discernible, without particular
designations, not strictly coextensive with formal groups
or combinations, without an arbitrary barrier between
them, distinguished more in method than in principle,
responding to the most elementary differences of temper
and attitude as to expediency, and not controlled by stereo-
typed traditions. One of these tendencies was relatively
cautious, and inclined to emphasize public order and the
military security of the state. It might appropriately have
adopted the motto "safety first." The other tendency
was impatient of restraint, uncompromising in its adherence
to principles, contemptuous of the burdensome demands of
nationalism and the conventional conception of patriotism.
But these distinctions can be made more palpable by illus-
trations chosen from the salient incidents of the political
life of France in recent years.

M. Briand, Prime Minister in 1910, was a representative
of the Radical elements who desired the formation of a



104 The Great War

"group of order." His resolution to maintain a firm
administration was exhibited in a most conspicuous inci-
dent. A strike of railway employees in October, during
the recess of parliament, which threatened to paralyze the
whole system of internal communications in France, was
promptly restrained and brought to naught by the vigorous
intervention of M. Briand, who applied the process of
" militarization " to the railways involved. This means that
he summoned all the employees who were liable for mili-
tary service in the reserve forces as for a period of instruc-
tion, requiring them in reality to continue performing their
actual functions as a military duty, subject to court martial
in case of disobedience. The same device had once been
utilized in similar circumstances in Italy.

This drastic measure in defiance of the elementary
theories of democracy brought M. Briand into open con-
flict with the Socialists, and two Socialist members of his
cabinet, M. Millerand and M. Viviani resigned. The
conduct of the prime minister was sternly denounced by
M. Jaures, who had become a power with which every
ministry had to reckon. Standing head and shoulders
above his companions, he was manifestly the chieftain of
French Socialism, the French counterpart of Herr August
Bebel, with whom he profoundly differed, however, in his
views on practical methods, as we shall soon observe.

Born of middle class parentage in 1859, in the South of
France, after an excellent education Jean Leon Jaures
became professor of philosophy in the University of Tou-
louse. He entered the Chamber in 1885 as a Radical-
Republican, but was returned in 1893 as a Socialist. He
possessed as native endowment of the South the forceful
weapon of brilliant, impassioned oratory. Steadfast in
adherence to personal conviction, tireless in debate and
argument, stalwart in person, he was a born champion of



Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 105

parliamentary conflict. He was a veteran of hard-fought
struggles in defense of the cardinal principles of repub-
licanism. He had witnessed the Boulanger conspiracy and
its dchacle. He regarded the Dreyfus Case as an issue of
supreme importance in which the very existence of the
republic was imperilled; and he was one of the stoutest
defenders of Captain Dreyfus.

M. Jaures believed in the expediency of cooperating
with the constitutional parties. He had approved of the
entrance of M. Millerand, a Socialist, into the Waldeck-
Rousseau Ministry in 1898; and he had himself supported
the bloc, incurring thereby denunciation as a traitor to the
Socialist cause. German Socialists as a body maintained
that the principles of the Socialist creed must not be con-
taminated by association with middle-class or capitalist
politics or policies, that their hope of ultimate triumph
depended upon their attitude of uncompromising aloof-
ness. To the party who is absolutely certain of his eventual
capacity for unqualified victory — and the German Socialists
had no misgivings in this regard — "splendid isolation is the
attitude of prudent generalship," and concessions gratui-
tously diminish or obscure the fruits of the final triumph.

This fundamental problem was threshed out by the
International Socialist Congress at Amsterdam in 1904 in
discussing the resolution that no Socialist should hold office
in a bourgeois cabinet. The feature of the discussion was
a controversial combat of several hours' duration between
M. Jaures and Herr Bebel. The German leader advanced
the argument, incontrovertible in itself, that a larger meas-
ure of practical Socialism had been attained in Germany
with the austere aloofness of the Socialist party than in
France where the Socialist current had become diluted in
part by mingling with the capitalist streams. Herr Bebel
won a formal victory ; for the resolution was adopted.



106 The Great War

But the differences between Socialistic conditions in
France and Germany are considerable. They cannot be
entirely eliminated by debates and resolutions. The un-
compromising German Socialist must frequently shake his
head in despair at the seeming inconstancy of many of
his prominent brethren in France. The distinctive fea-
tures of the Socialistic situation in Germany and France
are largely the consequence of the diversity of economic
conditions, habits of thought and feeling, and in a measure
the attitude of the governments in the respective countries.
France, after all, the land of small proprietors, the ideal
home of democracy, did not offer so comprehensive a
social basis for the development of a numerous, compact
body of irreconcilable Socialists. But the economic situa-
tion in Germany, with the relatively larger industrial prole-
tariat afforded precisely such a basis, and the German spirit
of loyalty to doctrinal principles favored the supremacy of an
unbending attitude. Besides, the French Republic, whose
fundamental principles were menaced by implacable foes
among the reactionary elements, was constrained to mar-
shal all the available elements to its support. It recognized
among republicans by principle only relative divergences, not
essential contrasts. But the German government, identified
in many ways with such conservative forces as the French
Republic had to combat, regarded the Socialists with undis-
guised hostility as malcontents whom it was magnanimous
even to tolerate. And the extensive Socialistic legislation,
to which Herr Bebel pointed with such complacence, had
been largely purloined from the official program of Social-
ism, and introduced into the field of practical legislation at
the initiative of the government for the purpose of under-
mining the popular support of its avowed antagonists.

However, the United Socialists in France recognized
the principle which received this solemn, international



Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 107

sanction at Amsterdam. They adopted the rule forbid-
ding their representatives to take office in a capitalist
government, or vote for the budget, a capitalist instrument
for repression. Consec]iientIy, when M. Millerand, M.
Viviani, and M. Briand, all of them Socialists, became min-
isters at different times in defiance of this rule, they were
formally expelled from the United Social party.

The Briand Ministry resigned, February 27, 1911, and
was succeeded by the Monis Ministry, which involved a
change in men but not in program. They in turn were
followed by the Caillaupc Ministry, from June 27, 1911,
until January 10, 1912, which gave place to the "Great"
or "National" Cabinet with M. Raymond Poincare as
chief, containing M. Millejand, M. Delcasse, and M. Briand,
three former prime ministers in one single ministry. Early
in January, 1913, the election of M. Poincare to the presi-
dency resulted in a reorganization of the cabinet with
M. Briand at its head.

The selection of M. Poincare as president was regarded
as a triumph for order and nationalism. He was considered
a steadfast patriot, although no Jingo, a firm supporter of
the Triple Etite7ite, and a statesman who aimed to make the
presidency an element of stability, and not merely the cul-
minating decorative feature of the political edifice. Tsar
Nicholas II expressed his satisfaction at the election of
M. Poincare by a message of congratulation in which he
said: "The bonds which unite France and Russia will draw
still closer for the greatest good of the two allied and
friendly nations."

The ministerial program of the Briand Cabinet com-
prised the income tax and a plan for electoral reform
embodying the election of deputies from each department
collectively, regulated in such a way as to guarantee a
proportional representation for minorities. The Briand



108 The Great War

Ministry resigned in consequence of the adoption of aji
amendment to their electoral bill which they regarded
as depriving it of its efficacy. The Barthou Ministry, the
next in order, enjoys the distinction of having secured the
reestablishment of compulsory military service for three
years in the teeth of defermined opposition led mainly by
M. Caillaux and M. Jaures. No measure created pro-
founder discord among the professed adherents of progres-
sive and popular legislation. The Military Law passed the
Chamber July 19th, and the Senate August 7th. It pro-
vided that all healthy male citizens, without exception,
should serve three years in the active army, and subsequently
be enrolled eleven years in the reserve, seven in the terri-
torial army, and seven in the territorial reserve, twenty-eight
years of liability to service in all. The severely democratic
character of this measure, placing all classes on an absolutely
equal footing, recognizing no privilege of exemption, palli-
ated somewhat its inherent unpopularity. Such a radical basis
neither existed in Germany nor was desired by the classes
which really created public opinion there. Only the appar-
ent imminence of peril made the passage of this law possible
in France, and the majority, doubtless, accepted it with the
understanding that it was merely a temporary expedient.

The bitterness excited by the passage of the Military
Law stimulated the activity of the extreme Radical and
Socialist forces. The Radical and Radical-Socialist groups
met in congress at Pau in October, and drew up a mini-
mum compulsory program embracing the return to two
years' military service, progressive taxation on capital and
income, and the defense of the secular character of the ele-
mentary schools. Those who subscribed to the principles of
this congress called themselves henceforth United Radicals.

The costly military operations in Morocco and the initial
expenses involved in the vast enlargement of the army



Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 109

created a very serious financial situation requiring extraor-
dinary measures. The government proposed a loan of
1,300,000,000 francs ($250,900,000), hut was defeated, De-
cemher 2d, on the provision that the interest to be paid on
the bonds should be exempt from the proposed income
tax, and resigned. M. Doumergue formed a cabinet, De-
cember 8th, which professed the United Radical program
embracing the repeal of the three years' service and legis-
lation against religious schools, although the views of the
members individually on the points involved in their public
declarations were by no means harmonious.

In fact, the new cabinet affirmed that inasmuch as the
three-year basis had become law it ought to be enforced.
The financial situation was most embarrassing as the gov-
ernment faced a deficit of about 800,000,000 francs for the
ensuing year. M. Caillaux, Minister of Finance, was really
the dominating personality in the Doumergue Cabinet.
His popularity excited envy, and his methods were not
always such as to disarm suspicion. Man}' regarded him
as an unscrupulous demagogue, as a politician who deliber-
ately trimmed his sails to catch the most favorable breeze.

A systematic campaign of incrimination was launched
against him in the pages of Figaro by M. Calmette its
editor. We need not detail the charges. The arraign-
ment impugned the minister's personal honor and political
integrity and even implicated him in treasonable intrigues.
Madame Caillaux, impelled by resentment at the con-
tumely of which her husband was the victim, and more
particularly by dismay at the threatened publication of
letters written to her by M. Caillaux at a time when he
was married to another woman and inspired with a com-
promising degree of fervor, visited the private office of the
editor of the Figaro, March 16, 1914, with the alleged
intention of dissuading him. But she brought the ensuing



no The Great War

interview to a tragic termination by shooting and killing
M. Calmette. Her husband resigned his position in the
cabinet the same evening.

Madame Caillaux insisted that her act was unintentional
and involuntary. Her trial focused the attention of the
world, and was only less conspicuous than the Dreyfus
Affair. These two famous cases form a striking contrast ;
they illustrate characteristic eccentricities of the most an-
tagonistic political tendencies. The Dreyfus Case exem-
plifies the monstrous brutality of militarism; the trial of
Madame Caillaux, the excessive affability of democracy.
During the Caillaux trial, which lasted from July 19th to
28th, the fervid spirit of political partisanship invaded the
court room and corrupted the sober atmosphere of judicial
procedure. M. Caillaux made his appearance as witness
the occasion for an impassioned exhortation, surveying his
entire career and political activity as support for his appeal.
Madame Caillaux's acquittal was the absorbing topic in
Paris on the day that Austria-Hungary sent her fateful
declaration of war to Serbia. The verdict was accepted as
a sort of public vindication of M. Caillaux's popularity.

The regular election of deputies took place in April and
May, 1914, and the question of military service was recog-
nized as the most important subject of contest. The
program of the United Socialists demanded a vigorous
organization for national defense, with the gradual substi-
tution of a civic militia for the standing army and an
immediate return to the period of service for two years,
and a pacific foreign policy intended to realize a Franco-
German reconciliation. This group declared itself unalter-
ably opposed to any ministry which should hesitate to
restore the service for two years.

It is important to explain that adherents of collectivism
in France are chiefly divided in their allegiance between



Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 111

two sharply contrasted organizations and methods of opera-
tion. The United Socialists, affiliated with corresponding
bodies in other countries, are a political party in the conven-
tional sense. They seek to transform society in accordance
with their ideals by parliamentary methods. On the other
hand, the General Confederation of Labor (Confederation
Generale du Travail), commonly known as the C. G. T.,
the central organ of French Syndicalism, employs more
drastic, extra-parliamentary methods in seeking the common
goal. Syndicalism regarded with impatient scorn the un-
limited faith of the United Socialists in the efficacy of
parliamentary action.

The following comparison of the results of the election
in the spring of 1914 with the political grouping of the
members of the previous Chamber will serve to indicate
the nature of the Socialist accession of strength and the
political complexion of the war-chamber:

Strength in Strength in

Parties. old Chamber, new Chamber.

United Socialists .... 67 101

Independent Socialists . . — 2
Republican Socialists:

Augagneur Group . . 32 29

Briand Group ... 10 8

United Radicals .... 175 174
Radicals and Republicans

of the Left 167 149

Progressives 83 69

Liberal Action .... 34 34

Right 29 34

We can scarcely overestimate the significance of these
figures. In the first place, the groups which had made
public declaration of their hostility to the three years'



112 The Great War

military service had a distinct majority in this Chamber, a
circumstance which in itself was probably regarded with
satisfaction by the ruling circles beyond the Rhine. But
the results of this election have an importance far tran-
scending the scope of part}"" programs. For the impor-
tance of the results of the Great War may consist, not so
much in which individual states triumph, as in what kind of
states are the ultimate victors. About one-fourth of the
French war-chamber was made up of Socialists; and more
than one-half, of Socialists and those whose policy was
very closely related with that of the Socialists. The
Chamber was overwhelmingly democratic; the reaction-
ary groups had been almost eliminated. Furthermore, the
prime minister at the outbreak of the war was a Socialist
by profession. The most important positions in the sub-
sequent coalition ministry, the so-called Administration
for National Defense, were filled by Socialists or those
who professed their doctrines. Consider what all this
would mean in the event of ultimate victory for France.
It would mean that the ancient military glory of France,
forfeited by decadent imperialism, had been regained by
democracy and Socialism, the avowed foes of militarism.
It would establish the ability of a free people to defend its
liberty by self-imposed discipline and common action.
It would destroy the validity of all the political arguments
which the Berlin government can bring against the Ger-
man Socialists. It would be the victory of all that the
German rulers regard as irreverent, contemptible, and
subversive.

The Doumergue Ministry resigned on June 1st. On
the 2d the Republican Socialist Groups adopted a resolu-
tion declaring that they would support no government
which was not resolved to return as soon as possible to the
two years' service. President Poincare sent for M. Viviani




The Ribot Cabinet, the FrikIi Ministry whicli lasted tlirec Jays in June, 19 14.





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Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 113

to form a ministry. He had voted against the Military
Law, and could therefore plausibly claim the support of
the opponents of the three years' service by declaring
himself to be in favor of repealing it as soon as conditions
permitted. M. Viviani accepted the task but abandoned it
a day or two later. His lack of success in constituting a
ministry was largely due to failure to secure the support of
M. Jaures who held the balance of power.

M. Alexandre Ribot, a very estimable statesman of a
somewhat different political complexion, next undertook
the difficult task. His ministry, composed of trustworthy,
moderate elements, was completed June 10th; on the 12th
it underwent the supreme test by submitting its attitude
on the military question to the Chamber, in the follow-
ing terms:

"The law regulating the duration of military service,
which was adopted in the last legislative session after long
debates in which all views were thoroughly discussed, has
only just begun to be applied, and cannot straightway
become the subject of renewed discussion. Of all laws
those relating to the military organization ought to have
the greatest stability. If we commit the blunder of dis-
turbing this new law in any way while the balance of mili-
tary power in Europe remains the same, we sacrifice both
our security and the moral success which has been gained by
our adoption of this law and its reception by the country."

The Chamber made short shrift of this commendable



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