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arrangement. And the policy, as thus defined,
was forthwith put into execution.

In carrying out this work, France gave proofs of
her generosity and friendliness, placing instructors
at the Sultan's disposal for his troops at Figuig,
Oudjda, and Adjeroud (July, 1902), enabling him to
negotiate a loan (October, 1902), not holding him
responsible for the sanguinary outbreaks at Taghit
(August, 1903), and at El Moungar (September,
1903), nor yet for the attack made at Zenaga by the
people of Figuig against Mr. Jonnart, the Governor-
General of Algeria (June, 1903). In spite of certain
fluctuations due to Algerian influences and to



118 FRANCE AND THE ALLIANCES

General O'Connor's imprudent language, the coopera-
tion continued. As Mr. Delcasse wrote: ''The an-
archy with which the Moorish Empire had to con-
tend did not allow us to visit upon its monarch the
responsibility for acts from which we had to suf-
fer." We therefore permitted free entry, into the
Algerian territory, of the money, weapons, ammuni-
tion, and even troops which the Maghzen needed in
order to cope with the Roghi (June, 1903). We
further placed at his service a member of our mili-
tary mission. Captain Larras, for the organizing of
the expedition against Oudjda (July, 1903). We
gave him two pieces of artillery with their material
and men (August, 1903). Captain Martin, another
French officer, was commissioned to instruct the Mo-
roccan troops on the frontier (September, 1903).
The Algerian Lieutenant Ben Sedira, with his cannon
''carrying dread everywhere," assured the success of
the mahalla directed against Taza (October-Novem-
ber, 1903). Thus, the Maghzen was able to appre-
ciate at the same time the necessity and efficacy of
our assistance. And under the excellent superin-
tendence of General Lyautey, who, in the autumn of
1903, was appointed to the command of the subdi-
vision of Ain-Sefra, there was a commencement of
peace on the frontier, which a few months before had
been in such a serious state of disturbance.^

Although this pacification was important, it was
not, however, adequate, considering the double inter-
est that inspired our Moroccan policy. It was not
1 See the YeUow Book (1901-1905).



THE MEDITERRANEAN UNDERSTANDINGS 119

only on our borders but through the whole of the
Moorish territory that, both commercially and politi-
cally, we needed the restoration of order. Our pol-
icy of reform and cooperation was intended to be
applied over the entire length and breadth of the
Empire, In order to prevent the establishment of
any influence hostile to ours, it was necessary for us
to make our action felt at Fez. On the 8th of April,
1904, the Franco-English agreement secured us the
renunciation of Great Britain, up to then our most
redoubtable adversary. We had been guaranteed a
similar renunciation of Italy several years before.
Spain's adhesion was to be secured six months later.
By a grievous error, Mr. Delcasse lost a great deal of
time before he bethought himself of drawing the
necessary conclusions from this new situation. Not
before the 16th of May did Mr. Saint-Rene Taillan-
dier, our Minister at Tangier, furnish Ben Sliman
with explanations concerning the Franco-English
Treaty; and, only in January, 1905, when nine
months had been lost, did he go to see the Sultan at
Fez. However, in spite of this grave mistake, some
useful measures were taken. On the 27th of May,
1904, Captain Fournier, a Frenchman, was intrusted
by the Sultan with the organization of the police at
Tangier. On the 12th of June, an association of
French Banks granted the Sultan a loan of sixty-two
and a half millions, guaranteed by the Customs
duties, the lenders having the option of checking
the receipts in the eight ports open to commerce,
and furthermore a previous deduction and prefer-



120 FRANCE AND THE ALLIANCES

ence rights on future loans. The creation of a State
Bank through our agency was also planned. In
May, 1904, at the Maghzen's request, we lent our
diplomatic assistance for the purpose of delivering,
from the hands of the brigand Raisuli, Mr. Perdic-
caris, an American, and Mr. Varley, an Englishman,
who had been captured and detained by him. Not-
withstanding the reservations formulated by Ben
Sliman as to the Franco-English agreement, espe-
cially respecting its '^difficult points," and those of
its terms that ''might offer ambiguities and lead to
something contrary to what was aimed at" we were,
therefore, justified in believing that the programme
of reforms elaborated — too slowly — by the Min-
ister of Foreign Affairs and the Tangier Legation,
would be considered at Fez as the logical develop-
ment of the amicable policy which Ben Sliman him-
self, in July, 1904, had defined when saying: ''His
Majesty knows that the most powerful motive of
your insistence is the community of interests pos-
sessed by the Governments of the two neighbouring
countries and also the community of harm that they
are exposed to suffer."

There was nothing extraordinary about the pro-
gramme of reforms. It was based on three guiding
principles: Morocco's integrity, the Sultan's sov-
ereignty, commercial liberty. It continued the
work that had been begun, — police, trade, civili-
zation. There was no design of conquest, or of pro-
tectorate, or of monopoly. Conquest would have
cost too dear. A protectorate would have served no



THE MEDITERRANEAN UNDERSTANDINGS 121

purpose in face of the exclusiveness of the tribes.
Monopolization would have been contrary to inter-
national treaties. To create police forces with Mo-
roccan natives and Algerian instructors in all the
principal towns; to restore finances by means of a
more honest collection of taxes, a genuine checking
of expenses, and the repression of smuggling ; to in-
crease the carrying trade by public works wisely
planned and the construction of ports, bridges, and
roads — all this by contract law ; to multiply hospi-
tals, schools, educational and charitable institutions,
— such was the tenor of the programme, which, if
realized with the unique means of action conferred
on us by Algeria, and with the clear-sighted sym-
pathy of Europe, herself destined to benefit by it,
would, within a short time, have been able to change
the face of the Moorish Empire. As Mr. Delcasse
wrote: ''Far from diminishing the Sultan's author-
ity, we were peculiarly anxious to enhance his pres-
tige." And with reason, the Foreign Minister added :
"It will be in his name that the agents we may have
to place at his disposal will exercise their functions,
carefully applying themselves, in accordance with
our wishes, to ingratiate themselves with the popu-
lation, not to offend their feelings, but to respect
their beliefs, their customs, and their organization.
In return, we expect the Makhzen, while appreciat-
ing our efforts, to do his best sincerely to second
them. And, thus, an era of peace and prosperity
will soon dawn upon Morocco."

A few weeks later, all this appearance of promise



122 FRANCE AND THE ALLIANCES

had vanished. At the instigation of Germany, the^
Maghzen and the Sultan separated themselves
bruskly from the policy of cooperation. The Mo-
roccan problem passed from the African into the
European domain. The solution, which had been
rendered possible through the development of our
alliances and friendships, was handed over to a
diplomatic melee — a veritable conflict of alliances,
the consequences of which were to weigh heavily on
the world, while the causes leading up to them must
be sought in the history of the past twenty years.



CHAPTER IV

FEANCE AND THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE

I. Formation of the Triple Alliance. — Crisis of 1875 and the
Russian intervention. — Bismarck and the " coalition night-
mare." — Congress of Berlin. — Austro-German Alliance.

— Italy's accession. — Isolation of France.

II. Hegemony of the Triple Alliance. — Kalnoky and Crispi.

— Bismarck and Russia. — Triple "counter-assurance" of
Skiernevice. — Double "counter-assurance" of 1887. —
Bismarck and England. — Bismarck and French colonial
policy. — Bismarck's threats. — Military laws. — Speeches
of the 8th of January, 1888, and the consequences.

III. Triple Alliance and the Franco-Russian Alliance. — Ger-
man anxiety. — German attempt to capture the Dual Alli-
ance. — Advances of William II. — Policy of William II. —
Cooperation of the two systems. — Favourable situation of
Germany. — Mr. von Buelow's mistake.

IV. Triple Alliance and the Western understandings. — Ap-
prehensions of William II. — Economic crisis in Germany.

— Germany and Italy. — Italy and Austria. — Speeches
of William II. — Policy of reserve. — Russian defeats. —
Conflict of the Alliances.



France has not developed her alliances and friend-
ships with nothing in the way of opposition to face
her. When our diplomacy began to incline towards
Russia, about the year 1889, the Triple Alliance, initi-
ated in 1879 by the bond between Austria and
Germany, and completed by Italy's joining the com-
bination, in 1882, dominated Europe without any-

123



124 FRANCE AND THE ALLIANCES

thing to counterbalance it. Fifteen years later, this
same Triple Alliance subsisted over against the har-
monious edifice of agreements, the completion of
which once more enabled us to make our diplomacy
actively felt. A study, therefore, of the relations
between France and the Triple Alliance is necessary
for the right comprehension of our conduct and our
interests.

On the 10th of May, 1875, the Czar, Alexander II,
arrived in Berlin. For several weeks, Europe had
been living in the dread of a crisis. A sensational
article published by Mr. de Blowitz in the Times on
the 6th of the same month, and giving a summary
of what had recently appeared in the German press,
predicted that a war was on the point of breaking
out. What the German writers said was in sub-
stance this: ''To finish once for all with France is
not merely opportune. It is a duty Germany owes
to herself and to humanity. Europe will never be
tranquil as long as a struggle is possible ; and there
will be this possibility of a struggle as long as the
blunder made by the Treaty of Frankfort remains
unrepaired. For it leaves France in a position to
survive and recommence the duel. Germany is
troubled by the consciousness of having only half-
crushed her enemy and of being able to defend
herself only by sleeping with one eye open." This
accurate and striking recapitulation of articles that
could be read every day in the Trans- Rhenish press,
aroused, according to Lord Derby's expression, ''uni-
versal indignation." Sympathy for France, van-



FRANCE AND THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE 125

quished but dignified in her defeat; and, what was
more, the fear of a definitive rupture of the balance
of power in Europe, facihtated the task of the Due
de Decazes, who was resolved on '^exciting" the
Powers.

To General Le Flo, the French Ambassador, the
Czar had made a promise that he would intervene;
and between the Czar and the British Government
there was an entire agreement on the subject. In
vain Bismarck had the following statement inserted
in the North German Gazette: ''The language of the
European press is all the more unintelligible, as ab-
solutely nothing has occurred which is of a nature
to trouble the relations existing between the French
and the German Government." In vain, he de-
nounced the "hypocritical league composed of ultra-
montane-revenge politicians and Exchange bears."
No one believed him. On the 12th of Ma}^, Alex-
ander II said to Viscount de Gontaut-Biron, the
French Ambassador, in an interview he had with
him while at Berlin: ''Peace is necessary to the
world. We each have enough to do at home. Rely
on me, and make yourself easy. Tell Marshal Mac-
Mahon how much I esteem him and how sincerely I
wish that his Government may be strengthened.
I hope that our relations will become more and
more cordial. We have interests in common. We
must remain friends." On the 14th of May, Gort-
chakoff addressed a telegraphic circular to the vari-
ous Russian Ambassadors, announcing that "the
maintenance of peace was assured." Bismarck, in



126 FRANCE AND THE ALLIANCES

his anger, overwhelmed the Russian Chancellor with
his sarcasms: ''Why not/' said he, ''coin five-franc
pieces with this motto: 'Gortchakoff protect
France.' Or else, why not organize at the German
Embassy in Paris a theatre where, with the same
device, he might appear before French society in
the role of a guardian angel, in a white robe, with
wings, amidst a display of Greek fire." Whatever
may have been his real intentions, Bismarck was
none the less caught in his own trap. Russia and
England spoiled his game. If he did not desire war,
he had allowed or caused the contrary to be believed.
In either case, the issue was the same : a discomfi-
ture. "Whether it had been his wish or not to en-
lighten himself as to the sentiment of the Powers,
he knew now what he had to expect. The Franco-
Russian rapprochement had appeared as a combina-
tion eventually realizable, in the course of this press
campaign so brutally entered upon, so ingeniously
magnified, and so happily closed." ^

Thence was born the Triple Alliance. From the
moment of this alarm, which he himself had been
responsible for, Bismarck was obsessed, as Count
Schouvaloff put it, with the "coalition nightmare."
He saw only one way of warding off the fancied dan-
ger; namely, to take the initiative, and on the Ger-
man victories establish a league so strong and so
wide-reaching that France would be for a long time
condemned to isolation. The Alliance of the Three
Emperors proposed in 1872, which indeed was to

1 Hanotaux' History of Contemporary France, Volume III.



FRANCE AND THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE 127

have been rather an understanding than an alliance,
appeared to be impracticable on account of Eastern
difficulties. At Germany's instigation, Austria was
nourishing hopes of revenge in the East. Russia
lived only for her policy in the Balkans. Between
Vienna and Saint Petersburg there was bound to be
conflict. A choice had to be made. Bismarck did
not hesitate ; and, in spite of the Emperor William,
he chose the good-will of Vienna. Already, in 1878,
he had refused to give any pledges to the Czar
against the hypothesis of an Austro-Russian war.^
His pretension to play the role of the ''honest inter-
mediary" expressed nothing more than his deter-
mination to remain neutral. At the Congress of
Berlin, his attitude was explicable only by the choice
he had made of Vienna in preference to Russia
through his hatred of Gortchakoff. Three months
later, the Russian Chancellor quitted Germany, say-
ing that the Congress had been ''the darkest episode
in his career." Alexander II declared that "Bis-
marck had forgotten his promises in 1870." The
Russian newspapers raged against the German pol-
icy. Troops were massed on the frontier of Poland.
Uneasy at the Russian movements in the East,^
Francis- Joseph asked for protection. On the 7th
of October, 1879, the Austro-German Treaty was
signed, in spite of the Emperor William's reluctance.
Austria's abrogation of Article 5 in the Treaty of
Prague, and Bismarck's assurances of political help
to Count Andrassy, with regard to the occupation of
* See Bismarck's Thoughts and Souvenirs, Volume II.



128 FRANCE AND THE ALLIANCES

Novi-Bazar, were the first indications of the rap-
prochement. Within less than a year, an alliance
was substituted for it. The Treaty, which was pub-
lished by the two signataries in 1888, was drawn up
as follows : —

Considering that their Majesties, the Emperor of Austria and
King of Hungary and the Emperor of Germany and King of
Prussia must esteem it to be their unavoidable duty as sover-
eigns to watch under all circumstances over the safety of their
Empires and the tranquillity of their peoples ;

Considering that the two Monarchs will be able, by a solid
alliance of the two Empires, in the kind of that which previously
existed, more easily to accomplish this duty, as also more effica-
ciously ;

Considering, in fine, that an intimate agreement between
Austro-Hungary and Germany can threaten no one, but is
rather calculated to consolidate European peace as created by
the stipulations of the Treaty of Berlm ;

Their Majesties, the Emperor of Austria and King of Hun-
gary and the Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia, prom-
ising each other solemnly never to give any aggressive tendency
whatsoever to their purely defensive^ agreement, have resolved
to conclude a reciprocal alliance of peace and protection ;

In this aim, their Majesties have appointed as their plenipo-
tentiaries :

For his Majesty the Emperor of Austria and King of Hun-
gary, his real Privy Councillor, the Minister of the Imperial
House, as also for Foreign Affairs, Lieutenant Julius, Count
Andrassy, etc, ;

For his Majesty the Emperor of Germany, his Ambassador
and plenipotentiary extraordinary, Lieutenant-General Prince
Henry VII of Reuss, etc. ;

Who have both entered into relations with each other to-day
in Vienna, and, after showing each other their powers duly
recognized as good and sufficient, have settled what follows : —

Article I. — If, contrarily to what may be hoped and con-
trarily to the sincere wishes of the two high contracting parties,
one of the two Empires were to be attacked by Russia, the two



FRANCE AND THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE 129

high contracting parties are bound to lend each other reciprocal
aid with the whole of their imperial military power, and, sub-
sequently, to conclude no peace except conjointly and in agree-
ment.

Article II. — If one of the two high contracting parties
were to be attacked by another Power, the other high contract-
ing party binds itself, by the present act, not only not to up-
hold the aggressor against its high Ally, but at the least, to
observe a benevolent neutrality with regard to the contracting
party aforesaid.

If, however, in the case previously mentioned, the Power
attacking were to be upheld by Russia, whether by way of ac-
tive cooperation or by military measures that should threaten
the Power attacked, then the obligation of reciprocal assistance
with entire military forces — obligation stipulated in Article
I of this Treaty — would immediately become executory,
and the military operations of the two high contracting parties
would also, in such circumstances, be conducted jointly until
the conclusion of peace.

Article III. — This Treaty, in conformity with its pacific
character and to avoid all false interpretation, will be held
secret by all the high contracting parties.

It may only be communicated to a Third Power with the
knowledge of the two parties and after a special agreement be-
tween them.

Considering the intentions expressed by the Emperor Alex-
ander at the Alexandrowo interview, the two contracting par-
ties nourish the hope that Russia's preparations will not, in
reality, become threatening to them; for this reason, there is
at present no motive for communication.

But, if, against all expectation, this hope should be ren-
dered vain, the two contracting parties would recognize that it
was a duty of loyalty to inform the Emperor Alexander, at least
confidentially, that they must deem any attack directed against
one of them as being directed against both.

To testify which, the plenipotentiaries have signed this
Treaty with their own hand and have affixed their seals thereto.

Made at Vienna, on the 7th of October, 1879.
Signed : Andrassy.

Prince Henry VII of Reuss.



130 FRANCE AND THE ALLIANCES

This defensive Alliance was especially aimed at
Russia, and, subsidiarily, against France. Mili-
tarily, it constituted a guarantee against one or the
other of these two Powers. Politically, it consoli-
dated the triumph of 1871. But in order to hold
Europe in check and to impose on her, in peace,
the German supremacy, as also to avoid surprises
such as that of 1875, it was not altogether adequate.
A wider foundation was needed for the hegemony
which Bismarck claimed to exercise from Berlin
over the rest of the world. With a view to supply
this breadth of base, an invitation was given to Italy
in 1882. Mention has already been made of the
grievances that irritated her against France. She
was only too willing. Bismarck had merely to
beckon to her. In the autumn of 1873, Victor
Emmanuel had paid a visit first to Vienna, then to
Berlin; and, from that date, journalists and other
political writers, such as Colonel Marselli, had
preached the German Alliance. In 1875, the Em-
peror of Austria went to Venice, and the Emperor
of Germany to Milan. And the triumphal reception
accorded, at once to William I and to Marshal von
Moltke, was rightly judged to foreshadow a political
understanding. The Tunis affair did the rest. In
October, 1881, King Humbert, accompanied by de
Depretis and Mancini, made a journey to Vienna;
and, at the end of December, his Ambassadors
informed the Governments of Germany and Austro-
Hungary that he was ready to give his adhesion
to the defensive pact of 1879, on the basis of a



FRANCE AND THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE 131

reciprocal territorial guarantee. In February, 1882,
negotiations were begun at Vienna between
Count Kalnoky, the Prince of Reuss and Comte de
Robilant. On the 20th of May, 1882, the Triple
Alliance was concluded. Its text was not published.
But the tenor may be guessed by that of the
Austro-German Treaty, to which Italy merely
acceded. The pact was concluded for five years
and, failing a formal renewal, was to expire on the
20th of May, 1887. As every one knows, the Triple
Alliance has never, since then, ceased being in force.
Quinquennial renewals took place in March, 1887,
and June, 1891. At the latter date, it was stipulated
that the Alliance should be prolonged for twelve
years with the option of denunciation at the end of
the first six years. The three contracting parties
not having made use of such option, the third re-
newal, for a period of twelve or six years, was signed
at Berlin on the 28th of June, 1902.

The conclusion of the Triple Alliance corresponded
to the desire expressed by Bismarck when he wrote :
''We had made victorious wars on two great Euro-
pean Powers. It was essential that we should
remove one of these two powerful adversaries that
we had vanquished on the battle-field from the
temptation to make alliances with others for the
purpose of obtaining revenge. We could not address
ourselves to France. Any one acquainted with the
history and character of the Gallic nation had no
difficulty in understanding why." ^ The Austrian
^ Thoughts and Souvenirs, Volume II.



132 FRANCE AND THE ALLIANCES

Alliance, which he had always desired, gave him
satisfaction. As for the Italians, of whom he said in
1880, ^'The Italians are like those crows that feed
on carrion and hover around battle-fields until
something is left for them to eat," ^ he accepted
them with a touch of disdain, as a sort of political
instrument, and still more as affording by their
connection with Austria and Germany an additional
guarantee for Austria. Germany thus found her-
self at the head of a coalition disposing of more than
two million men on a war footing, and barring
Central Europe from the North Sea to the Medi-
terranean with a line of alliances of which she was
the guiding hand. She was the dictator of peace —
a peace which she both imposed and guaranteed.
''The force of Germany was protected by a belt of
two bulwarks : against France, there was the Italian
alliance ; against Russia, that with Austria. Within
this double dyke, where she was invulnerable, she
remained free for making an attack. Defensive in
its appearance, this grouping of forces allowed
Germany to act on the world at will. This it is
which, since that time, has been called the German
hegemony." ^

In face of such a combination, France, by herself,
was paralyzed. True, the Republic had not per-
mitted her to sink "gradually or by sudden drops" *
to the degree Bismarck hoped. Her army was in

* Maurice Busch's Memoirs, Volume II.

^ Charles Andler's Prince Bismarck.

3 Bismarck's Thoughts and Souvenirs, Volume II.



FRANCE AND THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE 133

process of reorganization. In Jules Ferry she pos-
sessed a firm, clear-sighted statesman. She had
just proved in Tunis that she was capable of willing
and executing. However, diplomatically, she was,
none the less, reduced to impotence. Russia was


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