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these references are all based upon Plato's
narrative, and consequently that this ar-
gument only amounts to this: **the classi-
cal writers believed Plato to have meant
the story o^ Atlantis for a history and not
a fiction. »

ffTo account for the similarity of the
fauna and flora of the old world and the
new, some authorities are of the opinion
that the two hemispheres were once united
at the north.

It is further argued by the opponents of
the Atlantis theory that the sudden des-
truction of such a vast area of land must
have had such an influence upon the
climate of Europe and America as to have
materially changed the fauna and flora of
the two continents. But there is no evi-
dence of such a change having taken place
ten or twelve thousand years ago, when
the Atlantis catastrophe is supposed to
have occurred.

§§In reply to the arguments brought for-
ward by Brasseur de Bourbourg, it is
affirmed that the original documents from
which he deduced his theory are not ob-
tainable, and consequently these arguments
rest entirely upon Brasseur's own asser-
tioAs. It seems much more likely that
Brasseur was mistaken in his second inter-
pretation of the Codex C/ii/nalpopoea than

*Jowett's translation of Plato's Dialogues, Vol. II.,
p. ri07.

■IGenesis. Chapter VII., verse a.

*Donnelly's Atlantis, pp. 75-97.

§H. H. Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. V., p. 127.

i|H. H. Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. V., p. 127, in a

* Weise, Discoveries of America, p. 20.

**Wiusor, Narrative and Critical History of Amer-
ica, Vol. I., p. 42.

•I tPi-escott, Conquest of Mexico, Vol. III., pp. 356-7,
note by the editor.

tiJ. W. Foster, Prehistoric Races, p. 399.

§§H. H. Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. V., p, 128.


that the author or authors of that docu-
ment should have thought it necessary to
conceal so harmless a narrative as that of
the destruction of an island or a continent
under an elaborate cipher. Brasseur has
published no translation of these docu-
ments. He claims that the Atlantis
cataclysm is the subject of the Ter-
Amoxtl, of which several Mexican manu-
scripts are the hieroglyphic transcriptions,
yet *"he has not succeeded in transcribing
a single one of these hieroglyphic char-

Such are the chief arguments for and
against the Atlantis theory. It will be
noticed that its opponents, while denying
that there is any demonstrative evidence
that the Atlantis described by Plato ever
existed, do not deny, nevertheless, that
there may have been, in remote antiquity,
a large island in the Atlantic, perhaps even
a continent, which may have been sunk
beneath the sea by some great earthquake
or other convulsion of nature. The one
argument which they bring forward against
the possibility of the existence and sudden
destruction of such an island applies only
in so far as that destruction is supposed to
have taken place within the past ten or
twelve thousand years, and does not pre-
clude the possibility of such a catastrophe
having occurred at a far earlier period.
There are, as we have seen, strong scien-
tific reasons for thinking that a great con-
tinent once lay in the Atlantic ocean,

midway between Europe and Africa on
the one side and America on the other.
Whether this continent sank gradually or
suddenly, when and how its destruction
was brought about, whether it was the
home of a mighty civilization, or a deso-
late region covered with ever-burning vol-
canoes; whether it was the land of which
Plato wrote; whether Plato himself really
believed in its existence — all these are
questions which will probably forever baf-
fle the ingenuity, the patience and the
learning of the archccologist, the geologist,
the historian and the critic.


H. H. Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. V.,
pp. 123-9; ~^- J- Weise, Discoveries of
America, Chap. I. ; Washington Irving,
Life of Columbus, Vol. III., pp. 449-501;
Wm. H. Prescott, Conquest of Mexico,
Vol. III., pp. 356-7; Justin Winsor, Nar-
rative and Critical History of America,
Vol. I., pp. 41-46; The Dialogues of
Plato, translated by B. Jowett, Vol. II.,
Timaeus and Critias; Louis Figuier, .The
World Before the Deluge, p. 281; Ency-
clopaedia Brittanica, article, Atlantis; J.
W. Foster, Prehistoric Races of the Unit-
ed States of America, pp. 394-399; Pop-
ular Science Monthly, Vol., XV., p. 759-
764; Ignatius Donnelly, Atlantis or the
Antediluvian World, the entire book; the
Bible, Genesis, Chap. VI.

R. D. O'Leary.

*Prescott, Conquest of Mexico, Vol. III., p- 3o5, note


Paper read before the Seminary, September S3.

^N accordance with our custom, this,
<;:^ the first meeting of the Historical
Seminary for the new university year, is
devoted to outlining the work which we
expect to pursue. You have just listened
to a review of those magazines and peri-
odicals which bear upon our line of study,
and have, I trust, decided to set apart a

certain portion of your time for regular
magazine reading. There are, however,
certain articles bearing' upon European
relations which usually presuppose a
knowledge of the main international inter-
ests of each country of Europe. Some of
you have this knowledge; some of you do
not have such knowledge. I shall attempt


to state to you simply the points which
you should know in order to understand
these articles.

It is, then, my purpose in this paper to
sketch briefly the relations which exist
between the nations of Europe, the great
powers of the continent. I shall not de-
vote any time to a consideration of those
most interesting questions of European
states today, namely, the relations of the
people of the various states toward their
national governments, and the essentially
socialistic position held by many of those
governments in their dealings with ques-
tions of general wellfare. Nor shall I be
able to tell you of conditions of life in
various countries of Europe, or make
comparisons between different classes of
population. These things play their part
and often an important one in the fixing
of a nation's policy. It may be necessary
to mention them as prime factors in deter-
mining whether this or that nation will do
this or that thing, but that interesting
question, alway interesting, of how our
neighbors live across the Atlantic, must
be left untouched.

Nearly every nation of Europe to-day
is supporting an armament the like of
which has never before been seen in the
history of the world. The governments
of Europe rest their international rela-
tions upon a basis of force. The air is
full of rumors of some improvement in
the utensils of war by which Germany, or
Russia, or France, or any other nation
has added wonderfully to her fighting
strength. The relations of these nations
are therefore conducted in large measure
with the thought of war, or of the possi-
bility of war, as the great question before
which all minor measures must give way.
You may talk as you please of the great
struggle for reform within the Italian
kingdom, of the efforts of an Emperor
William to crush out immorality and de-
gradation, or of the fall of a French ministry
upon a question of control of the Romish
church, yet when France in her practice
manoeuvres for the army of two weeks

duration takes nearly three-quarters of a
million of men from their occupations and
compels them to march and countermarch
day and night, to fight sham battles and to
hurry to the frontiers of the country as if
to resist an invading enemy, that looks
like preparation for war on a rather large
scale, although it may of course mean a
war of defense and not a war of attack.
And when Russia, with a starving popula-
tion whose needs she is not able to supply,
marches a goodly share of her army to the
Polish border there to waste the revenues
of the starving by the firing of blank car-
tridges in a mimic strife, merely for the
purpose of accustoming her officers and
her armies to the topography of her
boundaries; then we say that means war,
or the hope of war, or the fear of war.

The idea of the possibility of war is
then the essence of the European position.
But there can be no thought of war unless
national interests clash, or national pride
is stirred, or national revenge aroused.
Each country has its interests and each
naturally finds its allies and its enemies;
so that there is to-day in Europe a clearly
marked dividing line between two great
systems of national friendships. One party
consists of the triple alliance, Germany,
Austria and Italy, with England thrown in
as an adherent though not a member.
These nations have for their ideal the
maintenance of the existing conditions as
between nations. In natural opposition
to this league of four, are to be found
Russia and France, each having some
cause for complaint, or some injury to
redress, but not publicly known to be
bound by any treaty of offense or defense
in case of war. Thus the first question
that we have to answer is, what are the
national interests which create such na-
tional friendships. I shall try to set before
you that which each of the six countries
regards as its interest.

Beginning with the triple alliance, the
first member and organizer of that alliance
was the German Empire. The foreign
interests of Germany may be said to be



directed almost solely toward one point,
namely, toward France. When on May
10, 187 1, the definitive peace between
Germany and France was signed, Germany
regained a strip of territory, Alsace-
Lorraine, which had been torn from her
own two centuries before, and which, with
varying fortunes had for the most part
remained in the control of France since
the days of Richelieu. The people of that
territory, once thoroughly German, had in
the years passed under French control,
become, in a large measure, Frenchmen
in spirit, if not altogether in language.
The French people, therefore, regarded,
and still regar/d, the cession of Alsace-
Lorraine not as a return of territory to
Germany, but as forced gift to a victorious
rival, and in this view they have received
support from the unrest evident in the
ceded territory itself. The taking of
Alsace-Lorraine from France made inevi-
table the enormous military equipments of
France and Germany to-day, and because
of them of all other nations as well. It
may be possible that the French people,
humiliated by a war in which their utter
weakness was shown, would in any case
have forced their government to make
preparation for retaliation; but the cession
of Alsace-Lorraine could have no other
result. When the treaty was being ar-
ranged Von Moltke, the distinguished
leader of the German forces, asserted most
seriously that if Germany insisted upon
the cession of Alsace-Lorraine it would be
necessary for her to stand under arms,
ready to defend that territory for at least
thirty years. Popular'German feeling de-
manded it, however, and the cession was
made. To-day popular French feeling
demands that this territory shall be re-
gained, and France, with a debt one third
greater than that of any other nation, feels
herself bound to spend yearly enormous
sums in warlike preparation. Probably
in neither nation are the leaders of the
government as insistent upon the idea of
retention or reconquest as are the mass
of the citizens. Governments are often

forced to bend to popular will, even in
Europe. Germany, then, is watching
France. Every improvement in military
science or equipment must be met with a
better one, and every move in diplomatic
circles must be counterbalanced by other
moves. The safety of Germany lies in
the isolation of France, and in the main-
tenance of the existing conditions. A war
in Europe means danger to German inter-
ests. The death of one emperor and the
accession of another has made no change,
in Germany's policy in this respect, nor
has the fall of Bismarck from power
changed the situation, except, perhaps, to
make more certain the peaceful policy of
Germany. The nationality of Germany
has been successfully asserted in the for-
mation of the empire. All that she cares
for at the present is to maintain honorably
that national existence which makes her

The second member of the triple alliance,
Austria-Hungary, or Austria as I shall use
the name for convenience, finds her inter-
ests threatened, in case of war, in another
direction. Austria regards herself as at
least a joint heir with Russia to the do-
mains of Turkey. But the means by
which Austria hopes to receive her share
of the inheritance differ widely from those
which Russia would be likely to use. Aus-
tria desires that, without interverition from
other nations, the western principalities of
Turkey shall, at the proper time, assert
their independence and seek the protection
of Austria — in which event they would be
very likely to be absorbed by that country.
The Austrian government can not, there-
fore, be said to be friendly to the Porte.
On the other hand Russia sees her best
interest in the Balkan peninsula in a
friendly alliance with Turkey by which she
may be able to act as a defender of purely
Turkish interests and then demand her
pay for friendship's offering. The pay in
particular upon which Russia has her eyes
set for the present, is that portion of the
Turkish territory which is gradually com-
ing under Austrian influence. Russian



boundaries in Poland already meet those
of Austria, and it is here that each nation
is wont to carry on her mock wars and
burn powder, always, it is said, in prepa-
ration for defense of the frontier.

And Austria has still another reason for
wishing to maintain peace. There is no
nation in Europe to-day, unless it be
Turkey, which is burdened with such
momentous questions of internal politics
as is Austria. Her population and her
institutions are of the widest variation in
character. She has not, and to all ap-
pearances it is impossible for her to have,
a distinct national character. Each of
the races within her boundaries is imbued
with class and race feelings and enmities
for other classes and races. Hungary re-
fuses to be absorbed by Austria proper —
Bohemia is in a constant state of unrest,
because she has not that place and influ-
ence which Hungary occupies — and in the
other provinces, Germans, Czechs, and
Magyars, are continually embroiled over
race troubles. The attempt to remedy
these evils, and the fear that in case of
war only a half-hearted support would be
given by the people, are additional reasons
why Austria desires the maintenance of
peace. She has no spirit of nationality,
therefore her ability to engage in a hard
and self-sacrificing war is very limited.

The third member of the triple alliance
is Italy. Italy, like Germany, has, after
centuries of struggle, asserted her national
existence during the last half of the present
century, and also like Germany her great-
est care at present is to maintain intact
that national existence. Austria, once the
enemy and the censor of both Germany
and Italy, is now compelled by the neces-
sity of events to relinquish all hopes of
regaining her former predominance over
either of these nations, and, as we have
seen, has with them formed the triple alli-
ance for the preservation of peace. The
nation which is most likely to trench upon
Italian territory in case of war is France.
It was France that gave Sardinia the help-
ing hand in the war of freedom from

Austrian domination in 1859, ^^^ France
naturally expected Italian assistance and
comfort later in her war with Germany.
But she was dissapointed. Instead of
rendering assistance, Italy, by her warlike
attitude toward Austria, did much to pre-
vent Austria from coming to the assistance
of France, thus leaving the contest to be
settled by the two nations alone. France,
therefore, is inclined to regard Italy as a
false friend, and there can be no doubt
that in case of a general European war
Italian territory would be invaded by
French armies. The depth of hatreds be-
tween nations as seen in the actions of the
people themselves, was well indicated in
the attack last year by citizens of Rome
upon a body of French pilgrims who had
come to the classic city to pay their re-
spects to the Pope. An off-hand remark
by one of the pilgrims while near the tomb
of Victor Emanuel II., reflecting upon the
character of that monarch, so incensed an
Italian standing near that he made a vic-
ious attack upon the Frenchman. Within
a few moments the whole body of French
pilgrims was compelled to flee before the
fury of a mob, and the excitement was in-
tense in Rome for several days. The
governments "regretted" the incident, but
the feeling of the people of both nations
remained bitter for some time. The
power of the Pope in Italy is, in the eyes
of Italian nationalists, a great danger, and
it is thought that France and Frenchmen
would like to see him regain his former
position in temporal affairs in Italy. The
interests of Italy, therefore, coincide
largely with those of Germany. She is
satisfied with present conditions and fears
the uncertainties and expense of war.

"These three nations therefore, Ger-
many, Austria and Italy, form the triple
alliance, which is generally regarded as a
league of peace. It aims primarily at
defense, not at aggression. Since its

original formation, in 1879, it has proved
itself the most efficient means of maintain-
ing the status quo ; and, by its recent
renewal, Germany, Austria and Italy con-



tinue under obligations, each to support
the other if attacked. Germany, menaced
on the Rhine, has to maintain a co-equal-
ity with France. Austria, .threatened in
the Principalities, and in danger of disin-
egration, has to provide against a possible
forward movement on the part of Russia
towards the accomplishment of the designs
which the latter is believed to have long
cherished against the Balkan Provinces
and Constantinople. Italy too must secure
herself against French aggression. These
powers, therefore, combine together to
conserve present interests."*

England, while not a member of the
triple alliance, is understood to be friendly
to it and to the idea of peace. England
is essentially a trading nation. There was
a time when England sought to build up
a great colonial and foreign trade by wars
of conquest. Spain, Holland and France
have each been competitors and her ene-
mies at once, but in each instance England
was the victor, and to-day she stands
without a rival in international trade.
Her interests, therefore, necessitate the
preservation of peace at any cost, unless
indeed the cost be the loss of any portion
of her trade or the danger of such a loss.
There are three points* to-day towards
which her energies* are especially directed:
first : the opening of the Dark Continent,
Africa ; second : the preservation of peace
and of some sort of financial order in
Egypt- and third; the guarding against
Russian advance toward India either
through Asia proper or through the Med-
iteranean. As far as Africa is concerned,
Egypt excepted, there seems to be little
danger of trouble arising. The nations of
Europe have in pl^in words peaceably
agreed to divide the booty, each being
left to deal with the people of an inferior
civilization, in the share allotted to it,
according as it shall seem best to the all
wise statesmen of that nation. In Egypt,
matters are more complicated. In 1875
affairs in Egypt had passed into such a
state of anarchy that both France and
England determined upon intervention.

Egypt was then, and is still, nominally a
part of the Turkish domain, but there
neither was, nor is there now any real
authority exercised from Constantinople.
In 1875 an English minister of Finance
and a French minister of Public affairs
were forced upon Egypt; a little later
Egypt was declared insolvent and England
and France became receivers for the estate.
Step by step the complete control of
Egypt passed into the hands of these two
nations, but more particularly into those
of England as manager of financial affairs.
Finally in 1882, on the occasion of the
revolt of Arabi Pasha, France withdrew
from Egypt, hoping thereby to compel
England to do the same, but in reality
leaving her the supreme control. England
could not afford to leave Egypt to her own
resources. The Suez canal, more impor-
tant to England for the protection of trade
interests and of India, than to any other
nation, would by such a withdrawal be
left in hands of a possible enemy in time
of need. Moreover Egyptian bonds are
a favorite purchase in English exchanges,
and any indication of withdrawal from
Egypt until that country is able to main-
tain a stable government of her own would
result in the quick downfall of the English
party in power, whether liberal or conser-

But France, meanwhile, proclaims the
continuation of English power in Egypt
to be in reality an annexation. She asserts
that it is a threat agai'nst her own interests
in north Africa and upon the Mediterra-
nean, and she would not be slow to seize
any opportunity offered which could be
used to compell the evacuation of Egypt.
Here, then, is a chance for strife between
France and England. It is not, however,
generally believed that war between these
two powers could arise over this one point
unless other questions were involved. The
fact that France is not represented to-day
in the control of Egypt is entirely due to
her own haste in evacuation, and that
too at a moment when all Europe ap-

* " Current History," Nov.' 1891, p. 353.



proved the suppression of Arabi Pasha's
revolt, as a necessary step for the preser-
vation of life and property. Nevertheless
the question remains a sore point with
France, and is likely to remain so for
some time to come.

The third point toward which England's
foreign policy is directed, is, as I have
said, the protection of India from Russian
advance, either in Asia proper or through
the Mediterranean. For the last hundred
years, yes for even a longer period, Rus-
sia has been steadily pushing forward her
frontiers to the southeast. England mean-
while has gradually extended her dominion
over India until in the last decade the
English and Russian frontier guards pace
their beats almost face to face in the gates
of Herat. England fears that Russia will
attempt still further advance and that in
the end she must fight for her Indian pos-
sessions. Every movement, therefore, in
that far away district of Central Asia is
watched with the utmost anxiety, and it is
this fear also that makes England, the
home of the best development of European
civilization, become the champion of the
immobile Turk. As long as Turkey stands
guard over the Russian entrace to the
Mediterranean, and the passage of war
ships through the Dardanelles is prohibited,
so long quick communication between
England and India, by way of the Suez
canal is possible. But once permit Russia
free access to the Mediterranean and
England's security is gone, the Suez canal
is endangered, and the long journey around
Cape Good Hope would effectually pre-
vent the rendering of assistance in case of
an Indian emergency. England feels that,
while she hopes to retain her position in
India, she must see to it that Turkey is
preserved intact, and it is largely for the
same reason that she retains her position
in Egypt.

Under present conditions then, England
is satisfied. War would destroy or tend
to destroy those conditions, and would
create a great change in the delicate bal-
ance of power by means of which English

interests are for the present preserved.
England therefore is for peace and it is
for this reason that she takes sides with
the triple alliance in most matters of minor
European relations.

Of the six great powers of Europe to-
day, we have seen that the interests and
the efforts of four look toward the preser-
vation of peace. The threat then, of the
violation of peace, the threat which neces-
sitates the expenditure of such vast sums
upon armies and navies by every country
in Europe, must come from Russia or
from France, In fact it comes from both
and in looking over the ground so far we
have seen the reasons in part why that
threat exists. There is no need to recount
in detail the causes of a warlike feeling in
France. I have already mentioned them
as the Alsace-Lorraine question, the re-

Online LibraryKansas. UniversitySeminary notes published by the Seminary of historical and political science → online text (page 36 of 62)