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declaration and its worthy authors. A resolution was im-
mediately passed by a vote of 374 to 167, declaring that
"the Chamber, faithful to the wish of the electors is
resolved to grant its confidence only to a government
which can unite the political forces of the Left." In con-
sequence of this vote of lack of confidence the ministry, of
course, resigned.



114 The Great War

In the meantime M. Viviani had come to an under-
standing with the elements whose support was indispensa-
ble, and his efforts a second time to form a ministry were
crowned with success. This Viviani Cabinet which held
the reins of government at the outbreak of the Great War
was the forty-ninth ministry in the course of forty-three
years. Compare this record with the stability of German
administration, only five different Chancellors during the
same period !

M. Viviani's statement, that he would retain the recruits
of 1913 for their third year of service in the autumn of
1915, indicated that he did not contemplate an imme-
diate abrogation of the three-year law; and yet, strange as
it may seem, the new prime minister obtained a vote of
confidence on June 16th of 362 votes against 132. The
violent anti-militarism of the United Radicals had appar-
ently been disarmed very suddenly.

The declaration of policy of the Viviani Cabinet con-
tained the following statement:

"Parliament has accepted the law of August 7, 1913,
regarding the prolongation of military service. The dis-
cussion of the bill was long and violent; but it was finally
passed. The law in itself is not sufficient to insure the
defense of the country. The government will shortly
introduce a number of proposals, the most important of
which will deal with the military training of the youth,
and the reorganization of the reserves. Not before these
proposals have been adopted and applied, and have given
actual proof of their practicability, will any government be
able to propose a partial alleviation of the burdens of mili-
tary service on the basis of experience and with due con-
sideration for the necessities of the national defense. Until
then the government will make loyal application of the
present law, subject to the control of parliament."



Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 115

Thus the stanchest Radical leaders, though impelled by
popular bitterness to condemn in principle the service for
three years, wlien face to face with responsibility found
themselves constrained, in spite of their unqualified profes-
sions, to make their conduct conform to the exigencies of
the actual situation.

Two particular occurrences within a month of the out-
break of the war undoubtedly discredited France in the
estimation of her present enemies. One of these, the Cail-
laux Case, has already been considered. The other was
Senator Humbert's disclosure.

The government's request for the granting of additional
sums for war material at the conclusion of the discussion
of the budget in the Senate on July 13th was the signal for
this unexpected incident, an exclamation of alarm which
aroused anxious emotion throughout France, and attracted
interested attention beyond the Rhine. Senator Humbert
advanced to the tribune and in forcible terms depicted the
lamentable condition of the nation's military equipment, to
which the artillery alone constituted relatively an excep-
tion. While his allegations were undoubtedly exaggerated,
the)^ just as certainly rested upon a considerable basis of
truth. The minister of war himself did not contradict
them. The publicity given to the deficiencies in this
sensational way inevitably created a profound impression.

The International Socialist Bureau met on July 30, 1914,
in Brussels, to consider the threatening international situa-
tion. M. Jaures and Mr. Keir Hardie were present among
the thirty-two delegates from different countries. A reso-
lution was adopted urging the proletariat to organize
demonstrations against war, and to exert pressure to pre-
vent armed intervention by Germany and Russia. And it
is significant to recall that martial law was proclaimed
throughout Germany the next day, isolating the people



116 The Great War

and cutting off the action of international forces ; a merely
casual coincidence, no doubt.

M. Jaures was editor of I'Hutnaritte. He employed the
pen as well as the organs of speech as weapons in his
defiant war on warfare. He had been one of the leading
advocates of the project of forestalling war by means of
a general strike throughout the prospective belligerent
countries. He advocated this plan at the convention
in Brussels on July 30th. He straightway fell a victim
to his own benign doctrines. The cause of peace de-
manded a martyr in a last vain effort to exorcise the awful
curse of war.

A crazed fanatic youth, impelled by distorted metamor-
phic apparitions of patriotism and nationalism, Raoul Villain,
shot and killed M. Jaures on the evening of July 31st, as
he sat before a cafe in the Rue du Croissant, a little street
leading off the Rue Montmartre in Paris.

In spite of the stupendous international situation the
obsequies of M. Jaures were celebrated in parliament,
August 4th. The Chamber listened standing to a glowing
tribute expressed by M. Deschanel, who declared that the
whole of France was united over the coffin of the mur-
dered leader, and that on this solemn occasion there were
no political adversaries, only Frenchmen.

M. Jaures had advocated the establishment of a universal
citizen militia, which would guarantee the security of the
covnitry but discourage wars for aggrandizement. He
published a short time before his death an exposition of
his doctrine of national defense in a book entitled L'Armee
nouvelle, — "The New Army," — in which he forecast with
an amazing degree of accuracy the initial stages of a
Franco-German conflict, the French recoil and recovery
in the face of invasion. The success of his plan depended
upon the capacity of the French to act effectively on the




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Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 117

defensive. The almost unchallenged tradition that the
French were temperamentally discjualified for acting on
the defensive has been completely overthrown by the
events of the Great War; while the discovery of the almost
impregnable character of trenches, which can be defended
as effectually by a citizen militia as by a standing army,
lends powerful support for the kind of military organiza-
tion which M. Jaures elaborated.

The French had a full measure of sensational material at
home to absorb their attention in July, 1914. The rapidly
developing international crisis, as it irrepressibly obtruded
itself, created a remarkable unanimity of feeling. The war
was accepted with unexpected calmness and with a quiet
spirit of determination. The mobilization was attended
with an enthusiastic outburst of patriotic fervor.

Herr von Schon, the German Ambassador in Paris,
while systematically protesting the pacific intentions of
Germany steadfastly insisted that the contest between
Austria-Hungary and Serbia should be localized by the
abstention from interference of all other powers as the only
means of avoiding incalculably disastrous consequences.
He repeated that Germany associated herself with France
in the earnest desire of maintaining peace, and urged that
France utilize her influence in St. Petersburg for the
purpose of restraining Russia, but evaded every definite
proposal respecting any corresponding action on Ger-
many's part by pleading lack of instructions.

Herr von Schon created in this way the impression in
Paris that he was endeavoring to compromise France in the
eyes of Russia by inducing her to become a party to a one-
sided conciliatory enterprise in applying pressure to Russia,
while Germany obviously abstained from exerting any
corresponding pressure on Austria-Hungary. He called
on M. Viviani on July 31st, at seven in the evening, to



118 The Great War

inform him of the declaration of the so-called state of
"danger of war" (Kriegsgefahf) in Germany, and of the
ultimatum to Russia, and to request that he be informed
by one o'clock the next day what would be the attitude of
France in the event of a conflict between Germany and
Russia. As has already been noticed, the only reply was
that France would act as her interests dictated. Beginning
on August 2d there were frequent complaints of the vio-
lation of the French frontier by German troops. The
French government made formal protest.

But the only communication that it received in reply
from the German government was the declaration of war,
transmitted by Herr von Schon, August 3d, at 6.45 P. M.,
in the form of a note to the President of the Republic
(see text in Volume I, page 243) declaring that the German
civil and military authorities had observed a number of
unmistakably hostile acts committed on German territory
by French military airmen, in consequence of which Ger-
many considered herself in a state of war with France, and
the German ambassador demanded his passports and left
Paris the same evening at ten in a special train.

The German government asserted that French military
airmen had violated the neutrality of Belgium and had
flown over the Eifel region and dropped bombs at Wesel
and near the Carlsruhe-Nuremberg railway line. The
French government denied these allegations categorically.
Which government was most likely to be "misinformed.?"
The problem will probably resolve itself into the subjective
question of individual sympathy. The allegation of aerial
violations would be a convenient pretext for war because
aeronautic vehicles leave no tracks. One may readily sur-
mise that in futvire this may become the usual diplomatic
formula of politeness in declarations of war, the real sense
of the words becoming merely perfunctory.




The Palais Bourb(Hi, Paris, whert the French deputies sit.




The Chamber of Deputies.



Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 119

On the day following the declaration of war the Cham-
bers convened for voting war supplies and taking such
other action as the situation required. In a long address
delivered before the Chamber of Deputies, which was
interrupted at intervals by tremendous outbursts of ap-
plause, Prime Minister Rene Viviani set forth the develop-
ment of the crisis and the part taken by the French
government.

He began by recapitulating the events which led to the
outbreak of the European war, and showed why the repub-
lic was constrained to defend her frontiers against German
aggression. He declared that Serbia, in accordance with
the prudent counsels of the powers of the Triple Etitente, had
accepted nearly all the demands of Austria-Hungary. The
unjustifiable refusal of the Austro-Hungarian government
to accept the Serbian reply was aggravated by an arrogant
communication of the German government to the powers
of the Triple Entente stating that the Austro-Serbian con-
flict ought to be localized, and that the intervention of a
third power would have incalculable consequences. Ger-
many thwarted the conciliatory activity of the Triple
EnteJite; and Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against
Serbia made the situation much more acute. Upon the
failure of the British proposal for mediation by the four
powers not immediately concerned, Russia proceeded to
partial mobilization, July 29th, as a precautionary measure.
The declaration of martial law by Germany, July 31st,
threw a veil of secrecy over military preparations which
had been under way since July 25th, and whose progress
was then greatly accelerated. Germany sent an ultimatum
to Russia demanding demobilization within twelve hours,
although Russia was maintaining a conciliatory attitude
and had accepted a formula for a peaceful settlement
of the controversy. This was accompanied by acts of



120 The Great War

hostility against France, making French mobilization neces-
sary on August 1st. On the next day the German troops
crossed the French frontier in three places. These inci-
dents were multiplied on the 3d. The French frontier
was violated in more than fifteen places; but instead of
expressing regret, the German ambassador presented a
declaration of war making absurd allegations that French
aviators had dropped bombs on German soil. The British
Foreign Minister had promised the help of the British navy
to defend the coasts of France if they were attacked by a
German fleet. The victors of 1870 had wished to redouble
their blow dealt at that time ; but thanks to her rehabilita-
tion and friendships France had thrown off the yoke
imposed by Bismarck.

The prime minister continued: "Germany has nothing
with which to reproach us. We have, to secure peace,
made sacrifices without precedent, and have borne for half
a century in silence the wound opened by her in our side.
We have submitted since 1904 to systematic provocation,
whether in 1905, 1908, or 1911. Russia has given proof of
great moderation in the events of 1908 and the present
crisis. All our sacrifices have been useless, our compro-
mises sterile, our efforts vain; for, while engaged in the
work of conciliation, we and our allies are attacked by
surprise. No one can believe in good faith that we are
the aggressors. Italy, with the clear conscience of her
Latin genius, has notified us that she intends to remain neu-
tral. This decision has roused throughout France an echo
of sincere joy. I have interpreted this to the Italian charge
d'affaires, in letting him know how I congratulated myself
that the two Latin sisters, who have the same origin and
same ideals did not find themselves opposed to each other.

"I declare, gentlemen, that our independence, dignity,
and security, which the Triple Entente has regained in the



Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 121

equilibrium for the service of peace, are now attacked. The
liberties of Europe, of which France and her allies are the
proud defenders, are attacked. These liberties we are g;oing
to defend, for it is they tiiat are in question, and all the rest
has been but pretext. France, unjustly provoked, did not
want war. She has done all in her power to avoid it.
Since it is imposed upon her, she will defend herself against
Germany and any other power which, not yet having made
known its decision, should take her part in the struggle
between the two countries.

"A free and strong people, supported by an ancient
ideal and united in every way for the protection of its
existence, a democracy which has been able to discipline
its military effort and which did not fear last year to add
to its burden in response to neighboring armaments, an
armed nation struggling for its own life and for the inde-
pendence of Europe — such is the spectacle we have the
honor to offer witnesses of this formidable struggle which
for some days past has been prepared in the most me-
thodical way. We are without reproach; we shall be
without fear.

"France has often shown in less favorable conditions
that she is the most redoubtable adversary when she fights,
as is the case to-day, for freedom and for right.

"In submitting to you our acts, gentlemen — to you who
are our judges — we have, in bearing the weight of our
heavy responsibility, the support of an untroubled con-
science and the certainty of duty performed."

The expectations, hopes or fears, respecting the probable
action of the Socialists in the event of a European con-
flict, based, quite legitimately, as it would seem, upon their
avowed attitude of militant pacificism, their bitter opposi-
tion to military service, and their drastic proposals for the
prevention of war, were deceived in all the belligerent



122 The Great War

countries. But nowhere did the Socialists respond with
greater alacrity to the national cause than in France. The
Socialists and Syndicalists alike rallied to the national de-
fense. The Socialist deputies voted the war credits because
they regarded them as indispensable for the salvation of
their liberty and freedom. During the early days of the
war friendly relations were reestablished between the
Socialist party and the C. G. T. and a Committee on Action
composed of delegates from both, was invested with full
power to act in all circumstances in behalf of the common
interests of the two bodies.

The war crisis resulted in fundamental changes in the
cabinet. As early as August 3d, M. Gauthier, Minister of
Marine, resigned, and was replaced by M. Augagneur,
while M. Viviani relinquished the portfolio of foreign
affairs to M. Doumergue. On August 26th the ministry
was converted into a coalition cabinet, the Administration
of National Defense, as it was called, by the admission of
M. Ribot, M. Briand, M. Millerand, and M. Delcasse, and
two members of the United Socialist party, M. Sembat
and M. Guesde. The latter entered the ministry with the
consent of the permanent directing board of the party.
M. Jules Guesde made the following public declaration of
his attitude on August 29th:

"I go into the cabinet as an envoy of my party, not to
govern but to fight. If I were younger, I would have
shouldered a gun. But as my age does not permit this, I
will, nevertheless, face the enemy and defend the cause of
humanity.

" I am confident of final victory, and without hesitation
as to its subsequent role in France, the party will never
deviate from the line of conduct laid out. As the solidarity
of workmen does not shut out the right to defend them-
selves against traitor workmen, so international solidarity



Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 123

does not exclude the ri^rht of one nation aj^^ainst a govern-
ment traitor to the peace of Europe.

" France has been attacked, and she will have no more
ardent defenders than the workmen's party."

In his memorable speech before the Chamber, the
French Prime Minister, M. Viviani, alluded with satisfaction
to the sympathy of Italy and France, the two Latin sisters
with the same origin and the same ideals. This vision of
Latin solidarity has been frequently proclaimed by idealists,
but it has rested upon a rather insecure foundation of fact.

The slight ethnological community that exists between
the two nations is probably due not so much to the [pres-
ence of Latin blood in France as to the ancient Gallic
stratum in the racial composition of Northern Italy. The
English and the Germans are racially more closely con-
nected than the French and the Italians. Italy owes very
much to the assistance of France in her process of unifica-
tion, although this debt has been somewhat obscured by
the subsequent jealousy and suspicion of the two nations.
Their intimate cultural relationship, which is mainly due
to historical causes, lends sentimental fervor to the hope
that from association in the trials and convulsions of the
present there may spring an abiding fellowship uniting
these two gifted peoples on the basis of tolerance, candor,
and practical sympathy.

Two noteworthy speeches delivered in the days that
followed the declaration of war by Italy presented in a
striking manner the official view regarding this fateful
step in Germany and Italy respectively.

In addressing the German Reichstag on May 28, 1915,
Chancellor von Bethmann-HoUweg introduced his discus-
sion of the subject with the following statement:

"Nobody threatened Italy; neither Austria-Hungary
nor Germany. Whether the Triple Entente was content



124 The Great War

with blandishments alone, history will show later. With-
out shedding a drop of blood or endangering the life of a
single Italian, Italy could have secured the long list of con-
cessions which I recently read to this Chamber, territor)'^
in Tyrol and on the Isonzo as far as the Italian speech is
heard, the satisfaction of the national aspirations in Trieste,
a free hand in Albania, and the valuable port of Valona."

Distrust of Austria's promise, he averred, was manifestly
no valid reason for Italy's conduct, because Germany had
guaranteed that the concessions would be fulfilled. Per-
haps the final offer came too late. There were evidences,
he declared, that while the Triple Alliance was still in
existence, Italian statesmen "had engaged themselves so
deeply with the Triple Entente that they could not disen-
tangle themselves." He continued:

"To have two irons in the fire is always useful. Before
this Italy had shown her predilection for extra dances.
But this is no ballroom. This is a bloody battlefield upon
which Germany and Austria-Hungary are fighting for
their lives against a world of enemies."

He said that early in May four-fifths of the Senate and
two-thirds of the Chamber had been opposed to war and
that the people generally supported the attitude of the
majority in parliament, which included all the most reliable
statesmen. But the cabinet, corrupted by foreign gold, had
favored the instigators who by inflaming the passions of the
mob revolutionized the course of events. Germany had
accomplished the ungrateful task of persuading her faithful
ally, Austria-Hungary, to go to the utmost in making con-
cessions, the extent of which was entirely disregarded in
the debates of the Italian Parliament. The activity of
Prince von Biilow and his diplomatic ability and thorough
knowledge of the Italian situation and of Italian person-
ages were proof that Germany had done all she could for



Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 125

reconciliation. The Italian people had been deceived by
their own rulers.

In conclusion the Chancellor declared that Germany
would not be dismayed by what had happened:

"The greater the danger that we have to confront, sur-
rounded on all sides by our enemies, the more deeply does
the love of home grip our hearts, the more must we pro-
vide for the future of our children and grandchildren, and
the more must we endure until we have conquered and
have secured every possible guarantee and assurance that
no enemy alone or combined will hazard again a trial
of arms."

With characteristic Italian feeling for majesty of setting,
the Prime Minister, Signer Salandra, selected a national
festival on June 2d and the Capitol in Rome, with its im-
posing tradition of civic and imperial splendor, as the time
and place for replying in public to the statements and
charges of the German Chancellor. He began as follows:

"I address myself to Italy and to the civilized world in
order to show, not by violent words, but by exact facts
and documents, how the fury of our enemies has vainly
attempted to diminish the high moral and political dignity
of the cause which our aims will make prevail. ... I
shall speak with the respect due to my position and to the
place in which I speak. I can afford to ignore the insults
written in imperial, royal, and archducal proclamations.
Since I speak from the Capitol and represent in this
solemn hour the people and government of Italy, I, a
modest citizen, feel that I am far nobler than the head of
the Hapsburgs."

Referring to the hatred and calumny of Italy's oppo-
nents, the speaker declared : "An atavistic degeneration
to primitive barbarism is more ditficult for us who have
twenty more centuries behind us than they have." He



126 The Great War

believed that it was very questionable whether a statesman
has any right to speak "of alliance and respect for treaties
who, representing with infinitely less genius, but with
equal moral indifference, the tradition of Frederick the
Great and of Bismarck, proclaimed that necessity knows
no law, and consented to his country trampling under foot
and burying at the bottom of the ocean all the documents
and all the customs of civilization and international laws."

He showed that Italy had made known her disapproval
of Austria-Hungary's aggressive movement against Serbia
from the first. The Italian government had expressed the
view as early as July 25, 1914, that the proceedings of
Austria-Hungary without previous accord with her ally
were contrary to the spirit of the alliance. That the designs
of the Dual Monarchy were not purely defensive was
revealed by the Austro-Hungarian ambassador's remark to
the Marquis di San Giuliano on July 29, 1914, that Austria-
Hungary could make no binding engagement regarding



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