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the Reichstag has by a large majority declared,
"We are driven by no lust of conquest," or that
it professes to repudiate "forced acquisitions of
territory and political, economic, and financial
violations," for the Reichstag is not the Imperial
German Government. On the contrary, it has
again and again vindicated its title to be called
a "hall of echoes." Installed in the seat of power
by the military party, the successor of Bethmann-
Hollweg, Dr. Michaelis, speaking with all the
authority of the emperor in what the family coun-
cils have decided to be the interest of the dynasty,
has said, "The constitutional rights of the head
of the Empire must not be endangered, and I am
not willing to permit any one to take the reins
out of my hands."



266 THE REBUILDING OF EUROPE

Impotent as the Reichstag may be as an ex-
pression of the will of the German people, one
fact is evident, and is of the highest importance:
the Imperial Government is confronted with a
greater problem in the making of peace than it
has ever had to face in the prosecution of the
war. The reason for this is that the Imperial
Government can no longer conceal the alliance
between predatory business and military power
which brought on the war.

Between the demand on the one side that the
real objects of the war be fulfilled by annexa-
tions, and on the other that the professions of
the Imperial Government that it was purely de-
fensive be established in the making of peace,
the house of Hohenzollern is loaded with a heavy
responsibility. It cannot safely disappoint
the alliance between the army and the preda-
tory class; and it cannot conveniently confess to
the loyal subjects who have believed its profes-
sions and been brought to the brink of ruin by
the war, that it has deliberately deceived them.
Yet this is the choice that lies before it.

The peril of the situation is frankly confessed
by at least one German statesman of the highest



AMERICA'S INTEREST 267

character, Prince Alexander von Hohenlohe.
His wise and brave utterances are worthy of the
son of the imperial German chancellor, who in
1899, during the first Hague Conference at the
instance of the American ambassador at Berlin
and first delegate to the conference, Hon. Andrew
D. White, who sent a messenger to Berlin for the
purpose warned the emperor of the lasting in-
jury he would inflict upon Germany if he al-
lowed the German delegates to block the pro-
posals for the formation of an international
tribunal, as they had been instructed to do,
and succeeded in obtaining a reluctant with-
drawal of open opposition.

Prince von Hohenlohe, with similar foresight,
takes the ground that jockeying for spoils of war,
instead of frankly stating Germany's desire for
peace, is a shortsighted policy. He holds that
for the German people, as for all others, the
highest and the only true reward for the sac-
rifices made in the war is the assurance of an en-
during peace; and such a peace cannot be based
on the spoils of war which Chancellor von Beth-
mann-Hollweg and his successor are hoping to
secure, but must be founded upon a just and hon-



268 THE REBUILDING OF EUROPE

orable settlement which will leave behind it no
sentiments of future revenge. Nothing, he holds,
could in reality so strengthen the empire, within
as well as without, as the establishment of such a
peace.

The German people, he believes, when fully
instructed, will draw the proper lessons from the
war. It may be well for them, he thinks, to real-
ize that their own government was in the first
place responsible for the war; but, he contends,
they will not permit foreign interference in their
political organization.

It required more than ordinary courage for
the prince to say publicly, in reply to the clerical
deputy, Spahn:

Without doubt, the majority of the German nation is
still monarchist. The different peoples of Germany still
hold to their princes, more or less, according to the in-
dividual character of the sovereigns. But that confidence
in the supreme chief of the Empire is still entirely intact
is an affirmation which, after three years of war, cannot
be maintained. . . . Confidence in the direction of the Em-
pire has begun to disappear among the German people.
. . . They begin to ask themselves how it happens that
nearly all the world is in arms against us, and who is
responsible for it.



AMERICA'S INTEREST 269

With regard to the attitude of the German
masses toward terms of peace, the prince pro-
ceeds to say:

The German people as a whole do not demand the
annexation of foreign territories. Only little groups of in-
dustrials and the superheated Pan-Germans, who are not
recruited from the masses of the population, but from the
circles of professors, functionaries, and burghers, desire
annexations. Herr Scheidemann has been called to or-
der because he pronounced the word "Revolution" from the
tribune in the Reichstag. And yet he has only repeated
what may be heard every day on the street. He also
added, "We have not yet arrived at that point." But it
would be puerile to dissimulate what might come of it,
if the men who hold in their hands the destinies of the
German Empire are not of sufficient proportions to carry
the responsibilities that are placed upon them, to recognize
the necessities of the new times, and to take account of
them. In that case the moment might well come when
they would recognize with terror that it is too late, and
that the German people have finally lost patience.

While the war lasts it will be difficult for any
German to oppose the Imperial Government, but
it is evident that there are in Germany inevitable
tendencies toward profound political changes.
The nature and extent of these will depend largely
upon the results of the war. If the Allies were



270 THE REBUILDING OF EUROPE

overcome or disunited, the triumph of autocracy
would be complete. No one in Germany could
resist the effect of victorious armies returning in
triumph from the field and a peace dictated by
successful imperialism. On the other hand, the
house of Hohenzollern is preparing for a different
contingency. The emperor, always sensitive to
deep-seated popular movements, notwithstanding
his strident proclamations that his royal preroga-
tives are "from God alone," has already pro-
posed "a people's kingdom of the Hohenzollerns,"
in the faith, it would appear, that a right con-
ferred by the people might be better than none
at all, and with a growing suspicion that the
people, in the end, if the armies are beaten, will
be more powerful than he has supposed them
to be. In that case, it would be as expedient to
disavow new ministers as it was to end the tight-
rope performance of Bethmann-Hollweg. The
negotiations for reform would have only to be re-
sumed, for this house of Hohenzollern is a shrewd
race of traders, which from a Swabian lordship
over a village of peasants has known how to raise
itself to the eminence of empire by an alterna-
tion of bloodshed and bargain, and would per-



AMERICA'S INTEREST 271

haps rather reign by the will of the people than
to follow in the footsteps of the Romanoff retire-
ment.

With what ease in an extremity the Imperial
Government might carry on negotiations for "a
people's kingdom of the Hohenzollerns" is illus-
trated by the interest taken when the same Herr
Scheidemann who pronounced the word "Revolu-
tion" in the Reichstag was engaged with approval
in sounding through socialistic channels the pos-
sibilities of a separate peace with Russia, and
won even from the annexationist press the com-
pliment that he "was in a fair way to become a
statesman." Yet it was Herr Scheidemann who
had boldly enunciated the doctrine that "the an-
nexation of the territory of a foreign population
constitutes a violation of the right of peoples to
dispose of themselves." This would be new doc-
trine to the house of Hohenzollern ; but, if the
army should fail, it would not be surprising if
the world were given to understand that the em-
peror, as some have contended, had been forced
into the war by his own officers and their con-
federates against his will! The historian may
some day be able to produce the evidence that this



272 THE REBUILDING OF EUROPE

is true. If this should prove to be the case, it
would be the end of Prussianism, but would it
not be the end of imperialism also?

Whatever may be the disclosures of the future,
it cannot be doubted that this is the main issue
of the Great War the right of peoples to dis-
pose of themselves. If this fundamental right
is conceded, there is a solid foundation for the
new Europe when the peace congress meets to
determine the future; for this right involves the
repudiation of autocracy, giving the state an
ethical basis, and at the same time implies the
existence of the inherent obligation of every peo-
ple to respect that right in others.

Unhappily, this doctrine has not yet been
clearly enunciated as a principle of public law.
In Germany it is still disputed. The eminent
professor of law in the University of Berlin, Dr.
Joseph Kohler, writes:

The irresistible force of war and conquest takes posses-
sion of countries and peoples. That is one of the funda-
mental principles of international law, and it suffices to
make litter of the old sentimentalities. ... It is need-
less to be disquieted over the superfluous sentiment regard-
ing a plebiscite, in virtue of which it is of importance to



AMERICA'S INTEREST 273

consult the population to know if it wishes to belong to one
state or another. The territory carries with it the popu-
lation that inhabits it; the individual who is not satisfied
has only to quit the territory of the State. . . . The ra-
tional assent of a people has hardly any sense; the im-
pulsive forces of the popular soul repose the greater part
of the time below the threshold of reason and reflection.
Thus it is all reduced to force, an inflexible domination.

This is Prussianism, which is at once a philoso-
phy, an institution, and above all an army. It
is the apotheosis of autocratic power. It has
created the Prussian state, and the logical policy
of the Prussian state is the domination of the
world. "World dominion or downfall" that is
the declared alternative that runs through the
desperate plotting and remorseless barbarism with
which Prussia is leading to ruin one of the great-
est nations on the earth.

Historically, Prussia may justly claim that Eu-
rope has never formally repudiated the doctrine
of the right of conquest, and that virtually every
state has at some time practised it. This can-
not be disputed, and it is important that it should
not be forgotten, for the time has now arrived to
determine permanently whether arbitrary force or
the generally accepted principles of justice are to



274 THE REBUILDING OF EUROPE

constitute the basis of European civilization. If
the Central powers are to be judged by their con-
duct, and the Allied powers by their professions,
this is really the fundamental issue between them.
If the future of Europe and of the civilized world
is to rest upon the assumption that a powerful
state, in order to satisfy its economic ambitions,
may take possession of the territory and people
of a weaker state by military force, and appro-
priate the land and the people to its purposes, then
all Europe and all the world is already Prussian-
ized in principle and will soon be Prussianized
in fact. It would be encouraging to believe that
only the Central Powers and their Turkish and
Bulgarian allies accept this principle.

It was the menaced application of the Prussian
theory of international relationship to the United
States that finally clarified the vision of the Amer-
ican people and enabled them to perceive that neu-
trality toward an empire holding, practising, and
plotting to extend and perpetuate that theory is
impossible. They had hesitated to avenge their
dead, cruelly slaughtered on the high seas; they
had been reluctant to join in what seemed to be a
European quarrel ; they believed that the German



AMERICA'S INTEREST 275

nation would itself rise in denunciation of such
enormities as it had been led into perpetrating;
they waited long for this in the faith that a whole
people a people that had risen to such heights
of excellence in many forms of civilization could
not always be blinded by leaders who defied all
the nations of the earth to check what they deemed
to be their irresistible force; but thus far they
have waited in vain.

Those who best know Germany and the Ger-
mans do not look for a general revolution while
the German armies are not beaten in the field.
Revolt against the existing system is not only ex-
tremely perilous for the persons who may pro-
pose it, but it is in the German character to be
loyal to the Imperial Government while their
country is believed to be still in peril. Not until
the whole ghastly truth dawns upon them regard-
ing the atrocities committed in their name, how
they themselves have been deceived; what cruel
wrongs have been done to their sons and brothers
in leading them to the shambles for the acquisi-
tion of ports, and mines, and war indemnities, and
that this has brought only disaster, debt, and
shame upon them, will the German people cry



276 THE REBUILDING OF EUROPE

out for a more responsible control of their own
destinies and a reorganization of international life
upon a basis of peace through justice. Already
isolated voices have been heard demanding these
changes. The protests have come mainly from
the Social Democrats, but it is not they alone who
are aware that Germany stands before the rest
of the world as a convicted culprit whose good
name has been lost through an unholy alliance
between private greed and the weird priest-craft
of divine prerogative, a partnership which has
decked out an altar of sacrifice in the name of re-
ligion in order to give to military power a sacra-
mental sanction for the commission of wholesale
crime.

That which has made it possible for this al-
liance to obtain the support of the German people
is the representation that Germany is the victim
of the selfish designs of other powers, and that a
fair field for German industry and commerce and
the safety of Germany from future attack could
be secured only by fighting. So long as this is
believed to be true, the Imperial Government will
not improbably be able to command support even



AMERICA'S INTEREST 277

from those who do not approve of aggressive de-
signs on the part of Germany.

The pathway to peace therefore leads in the
direction of better guarantees of justice to all na-
tions. So long as purely national interests are
made preeminent, military rivalry will be con-
sidered justified. It is therefore to be desired
that the fruits of victory in this war shall be in-
ternational fruits. No nation should be per-
mitted in the great settlement to place its private
interests above the general welfare. Each na-
tion involved in the Great War had, no doubt,
its own special national interests to serve in en-
tering it; but it cannot truthfully be said that
the Entente Allies had ends in view that were not
just. Russia was vindicating the right of Serbia
to a judicial hearing. France was Russia's ally
and a designated victim of German attack. Eng-
land was a pledged defender of Belgian neutrality,
and Belgium was ruthlessly subjugated in viola-
tion of solemn treaty obligations made to the
United States as well as to the European powers.
America's entrance into the war was a response to
repeated warlike aggressions and secret plots di-



278 THE REBUILDING OF EUROPE

rected against its industries, its neutral rights,
and its territorial integrity. As the President has
well said: "We have no selfish ends to serve.
We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek
no indemnities for ourselves, no material compen-
sation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We
are but one of the champions of the rights of man-
kind." But this championship of the highest
human interests would be illusory and nugatory
if the treaties of peace were in any respect embodi-
ments of the doctrines against which we are con-
tending, no matter in whose interest they might
be invoked. The cause for which we are fight-
ing would be lost if there remained in the field any
bully or any braggart reasserting a right to claim
territory or to enslave a people on the mere ground
of conquest by superior military force. The
American people are not participating in this
struggle for the purpose of setting any European
nation above another.

There will be questions of reparation, of
restoration, and of guarantees for the future, but
these adjudications should be made on judicial
principles and not merely on military grounds.



AMERICA'S INTEREST 279

Claims for damages and for advantages made by
the belligerents might very well be submitted to
the judgment of others before they are pressed as
final conditions of settlement. If there is to be
a durable peace, the idea of internationalizing
the results of the war must receive an immense
development. The victory of the Allies will not
belong to one, but to all; and the sooner the fact
of community of interest and a disposition to
submit to collective judgment can be established
in the minds of the belligerents, the sooner will
peace be possible, and the more just and lasting it
will be. Only in this spirit can the seas and
oceans of the world be made freely accessible and
safe for all nations. Many routes of transit that
have hitherto been closed to the nations shut off
from the sea will need to be opened, and the back-
ward nations of the world must be treated as the
wards in common of those more advanced in
civilization.

Nothing could contribute more effectually to a
termination of the war than a frank disavowal
of exclusive national gains. The exemplary
spirit of renunciation manifested by Russia and
the known absence of selfish purposes on the part



280 THE REBUILDING OF EUROPE

of the United States might well inspire such a dis-
avowal. A clear statement of the principles of
public law which it is desirable to establish for
the future, with a solemn compact to observe and
sustain them, would be an appropriate prelimi-
nary to the negotiations for peace. The whole
world would then be in a position to express its
voluntary adherence to those principles. Such
a compact would necessarily involve the repudia-
tion of the right of conquest for the purpose of
acquiring territory by military force from an in-
dependent state, and its infamous corollary that
the population goes with the land and becomes
subject to the will of the conqueror; for the only
foundation upon which Europe can be recon-
structed as a society of states is the inviolability
of its law-abiding members.

History will judge the nations involved in the
Great War much less by the motives with which
they profess to have entered into it than by the
results they finally bring out of it.

If the signatories of the treaty of peace base
its terms upon secret compacts for aggrandize-
ment, and go forth from the peace congress with
new secret engagements in their pockets, the idea



AMERICA'S INTEREST 281

of a new Europe will prove but a dream, and it
will be with the old Europe in a new guise that
America will still have to live.

The American people will doubtless support
their Government in joining a league of peace,
but they will expect from it a genuine purpose of
peace and not an occasion for brewing new con-
flicts into which the United States or other Amer-
ican countries would be drawn.

At least one English writer has hastily assumed
that

President Wilson has offered to guarantee a league of
peace and to back international treaties by the promise
that America will in the last resort intervene against the
aggressor and the treaty-breaker. In other words, she
stands security for such treaties in the future. Her inter-
vention is a new fact, a guarantee of a kind with which the
past was unacquainted.

Such a guarantee would, indeed, be "a new
fact/' but of a kind with which the future also
is likely to be unacquainted. The President has
of course made no such pledge. No intelligent
statesman would "stand security" knowing how
treaties are sometimes made for treaties he had
not previously approved.



282 THE REBUILDING OF EUROPE

A league of peace there will no doubt be; but
such a league cannot at the same time be a league
for future wars, either in the military or the
economic sense. Guarantees must be required
from all and equally, but the best guarantee will
be a new community of interest, based on the
award to each signatory of the treaty of peace
of equal rights and the requirement of equal
duties.

The American people desire to oppose aggres-
sion and treaty-breaking; but, if they are wise,
they will not pledge their Government, under the
pretext of enforcing peace, either to make war
on other nations, or to submit to war as a legal
act if made upon itself, in circumstances wholly
unknown at tfye time when the covenant for peace
is made.

The true wisdom is for America to associate
itself in good faith with the forces that seek for
peace with justice in the world; but, in order to
perform effectively its part, the first duty is always
to be able to defend itself.



INDEX



Absolutism, 13-16
Agrarian leagues, 251
AUdeutscher Verband, 91
Althusius, Johannes, on sover-
eignty, 17-18

Annexations proposed by Ger-
many, 250-262
Armaments, limitation of, 125-

126

Austin, John, referred to, 51
Australia, 117
Austria-Hungary, as part of

Central Europe, 153-165
the weak point in Prussia's

plans, 168

Autocracy, cases of, 227-228
indictment of, 214-215
mysticism of, 216-217
subsists on war, 231
wanting a moral foundation,
221

Backward nations, 279
Bagdad railway, referred to,

169, 126
Balkan States, future fate of

the, 155, 169, 237
Bassermann, German deputy,

quoted, 262

Belgium, invasion of, 77
future fate of, 169
neutrality of, 277
retention of by Germany, 259

283



Berchtold, Count, telegram
from, 129

Bethmann-Hollweg, referred to,
170, 172, 257, 258, 264,
265

Bismarck, Prince von, referred
to, 86, 87, 98, 140, 142,
152, 166

Bodin, Jean, referred to, 15

Bonaparte, Napoleon, referred
to, 15, 117, 176

British Empire, creation of, 36
neutrality of expected, 126-

127

transformation of, 115-11 6,
121

Bryce, Viscount, quoted or re-
ferred to, 108-109, 114

Biilow, Prince von, quoted or
referred to, 85-103, 141-142

Bundesrat, powers of the Ger-
man, 143-144

Byzantinism in Germany, 144

Canada, 117-119

Catherine II, attitude regard-
ing Poland, 77

Central Europe, referred to,
151-157, 161-169

Cheradame, Andre, referred to,
102

China, interventions in, 121,
184



284



INDEX



Christendom, failure of to
unite Europe, 3-4, 10, 27

Coal, importance of to political
control, 255

Commerce, relation of to peace
and war, 24-35

Commonwealth of nations, a
vision of a, 104

Conferences, how organized,

188, 190, 192
of business men, 204-206
See also The Hague Confer-
ences

Conquest, the right of, 20-22,
273

Constantinople, the fall of, 3

Courts, international, 68, 193-
195

Cruce, Emeric, referred to,
175

Cuba, Germany's desire to pos-
sess, 99

Culture, the true nature of, 64-
66

Curia, the Roman, 4

Czar of Russia, the, telegram

from, 127
referred to, 137



no alliance of with autoc-
racy, 226

the testing time of, 116, 133
the war of, 108-111
Dernberg, Dr. Bernhard, re-
ferred to, 261-262
Diplomacy, the function of,

199
Divine right, the dogma of,

228, 276
Dominions, the British, 117-

119
Dreadnaughts, the first building

of, 125

Dynasties, abolition of, 8
secret solidarity of, 9
struggle of with feudalism,
12

Economic imperialism, 170,
200-203, 229

Egypt, British attitude in, 125

"Encirclement" of Germany, al-
leged policy of, 98, 125,
258

Entente Allies, aims of, 84-85,
109-110, 120, 274, 277

Evolution, political, 67



Daily Telegraph, referred to,

142

Declaration of Independence,
omission of sovereignty in,
179-180

Democracy, a basis for interna-
tional law, 227
a constructive principle, 208
dangers of, 32

involves a principle of self-
abnegation, 221-222



Faustrecht, 4

Fenelon, quoted, 175

Fetials, college of, 9

Feudalism, character of, 12

Fichte, referred to, 46

Fisher, Mr. Andrew, quoted,
119

Frederick II, of Prussia, quoted
or referred to, 77, 166


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