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Germans, the minority in Austria, controlling affairs
there, and the ^Magyars, less than half of the population
of Hungary, controlling affairs in that part. So the
two most powerful minorities united to keep the rest in
subjection. This arrangement was now working well,
and Austria-Hungary was starting forward again on the
road of prosperity and advancement. The others, Slavs
and Rumans, could not yet make themselves heard, and
only dreamed of their day which might, perhaps, come in
the future.

To the east of the Central Powers lay the vast Russian
Empire, stretching for seven thousand miles, from the
Carpathian Mountains to the Pacific coast of northeast

The Aus-
gleich : a
Dual Mon-

The Russian



Growth of

the power
of Russia

Condition of
the people in

Asia, embracing all the great plain of the eastern half of
Europe, and beyond the Ural Mountains, all the north
part of Asia. Some far-reaching and fundamental re-
forms had just been made in Russia, but down to within a
decade of 1870 the condition of the Russian people had
changed but little in many generations. For a long time
the history of this part of the world had had to do mostly
with the expansion of the Great Russian race, one of the
parts of the Northern Slavs, from the district about Mos-
cow, where their power first arose. To the east and the
south they had gone, until in the course of the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries they had built up a great inland
Muscovite state, and sent forth colonists and traders to
take the Siberian country in Asia. Meanwhile to the west
they had come into contact with the Poles, previously the
leading Slavic people. During the eighteenth century
they took what they wished from their neighbors to the
west: Baltic provinces from Sweden in the north, terri-
tory from Turks and Tartars in the south, and most of
Poland, when it was partitioned (1772, 1793, 1795). At
the beginning of the nineteenth century the Russians
had held their own against Napoleon, and at the Congress
of Vienna the tsar had been looked upon as the mightiest
ruler in Europe.

The great French ideas of the Revolution and Napo-
leon's time scarcely even touched Russia, whose people
remained unreached by the influences that so profoundly
altered life in the western half of the Continent. The
government was an autocracy, with all the power of Church
and State concentrated in the hands of the ruler, the tsar,
while administration was actually carried on by a bureau-
cracy of numerous officials appointed by him and respon-
sible to him. There was a small upper class of nobles,
many of them poor and without much power. There was
a small bourgeoisie, so scanty as compared with the vast
numbers in the realm as scarcely to have any weight.


Beneath was the great mass of the nation, the peasants,
living in their lonely and dirty little villages in the forest
and over the plains, carrying on a primitive agriculture,
devoted adherents of the Greek Catholic or Orthodox
faith, living in village communities and bound in serfdom,
much as the peasants of western Europe had lived two or
three centuries before. Few of these people could read or
write. Most of them had the intellectual outlook of
medieval peasants. Save in the petty concerns of their
villages none of them had aught to do with the govern-
ment of the country or any control over it. Many of
them were oppressed by the judges and officials. For
most of them life was hard and poverty-stricken, lonely,
meager, and bare.

Generally the rulers of Russia had been conservative
and intensely desirous of retaining autocratic power and
established position. For a while Alexander I (1801-1825)
had tried to act as a liberal, but his successor, Nicholas I
(1825-1855), had been thoroughly reactionary, and re-
solved that none of the dangerous doctrines recently risen
in the west should enter his country. He and others
of the ruling class of Russia, as was afterward the case,
were firmly resolved to maintain the power and privileges
of their ruling class; but they were also anxious to keep
unchanged Russian institutions, Russian character, and
the Russian religion, which they considered to be superior
to all others. During the lifetime of Nicholas I w^estcrn
and radical ideas had been almost completely kept out
of Russia, through repression, censorship, and the unceas-
ing vigilance of spies and pohce. Meanwhile, there was
not only no progress in the country, but deterioration and
decay set in, while the government became constantly
more corrupt and inefficient. So long as Russia was con-
sidered invincible in war it was possible to uphold this
system, but during the Crimean War (1854-6) Russian
armies were shamefully defeated, and it was evident that

The Russian

The govern-
ment of


the people's discontent with evil conditions and poor ad-
ministration at length would have to be appeased.
The great During the war a new tsar, Alexander II (1855-1881),

had come to the throne. At once he undertook great
reforms. By the abolition of serfdom (1859-1866) the
peasants were relieved of manorial obligations, made com-
pletely free, and given part of the lands on which they had
' worked. In 1864 the judicial system was reformed,
jury trial and western principles being introduced. At the
same time larger rights of local self-government were
granted in the rural divisions, and, in 1870, also in the
cities. But by that time the reform movement in Russia
had come to an end. On the one hand there was reaction
because the upper class believed that too-great innovations
had been made. On the other hand, there was great dis-
illusion and disappointment on the part of numerous
simple people who had expected everything to be re-
formed, but who at once discovered much of evil still re-
maining. Whether in the realm of the tsars the great
changes which had come over western Europe could be
brought about peaceably in course of time or only by force
and revolution — all this lay hid in the future.
The King- In Italy as in Germany a great alteration of affairs had

dom of recently taken place. After centuries of weakness, divi-

^^^^^ sion, and subjection, the Italian people had been united

in one nation, and almost all of the peninsula had been
brought together in the lungdom of Italy. By 1870 the
process was nearly complete, and, indeed, later in that
very year the last, crowning part of the work would be
done. Italians then were in the midst of the grand part
of their modern history, thrilling with patriotism, their
hearts warm with new sense of dignity, greatness, and
success. In 1870, however, a great part of all the people
then living could remember when Italians were not only
divided among several small states, as the Germans had
been, but when some of them had been in subjection to


forcif^n masters, and almost all of the others ruled by
despots dependent ui)on foreign masters.

During the Middle Ages, when nation states were
being built up in England, in France, and in Spain, out of
the smaller fragments in which these countries were i)re-
viously divided, in Italy the spirit of localism was so strong,
and such striking and brilliant individuality developed
in different places, that for some time the peninsula
was crowded with small city-states, much as old Greece
once had been. During all this time there were efforts
to consolidate these fragments into larger jurisdictions;
but every effort to accomplish any Italian unity was
brought to nothing, partly because the German emperors
of the Holy Roman Empire always attempted to keep
Italy a part of their dominions, and even more because the
popes at Rome, wishing to be the most important sover-
eigns in the country, thwarted all attempts to make one,
united Italian nation. Later on, when the Italians
were conquered by foreign powers, Italy was only a geo-
graphical expression, as Metternich said some centuries
later, and the Italian people remained divided among
divers small states. During the sixteenth and seven-
teenth centuries they were ruled by the pope, by the
Spaniards, and by princes under the shadow of Spain.
In the eighteenth century the power of Spain was suc-
ceeded by the dominion of Austria. During the French
Revolution the Austrian masters were expelled, but Italy
was soon made a part of the empire which Napoleon con-
structed. The Napoleonic era, along with much suffering,
brought a great deal of good, since the previous smaller
divisions were now consolidated into three large parts,
and among the people feeling of nationality was awakened.
The Congress of Vienna, when it rearranged European
affairs, had ignored the aspirations of the Italian people
even as it disregarded those of the Germans. The north
part of the country, around INlilan and Venice, was left an

Italy in
earlier times

Italian na-^





The Risorgi-

The unifica-
tion of Italy

Austrian province, and all the remainder, divided in parts
as before, was ruled by sovereigns subservient to the
Austrian power.

In vain had a secret society, the Carbonari, endeavored
to throw off the foreigner's yoke. In vain the patriots
rose to get reform and independence; always the move-
ments were easily crushed by the superior Austrian power.
Nevertheless, during all this time a Risorgimento (resurrec-
tion) had been going on, under the leadership of various
aspiring men, chief among whom was Mazzini, who
founded the society Giovine Italia (Young Italy), placing
his hopes in the youth of the land. During this stirring
of mind the Italian people were taught to consider them-
selves as one nation, with one language and common
traditions, heirs of a glorious past, and destined to have
happiness and glory once more when unity would be
achieved in the future.

The establishment of the Italian nation was brought
about under the leadership of the north Italian state of
Piedmont (Sardinia), and was due, above all others, to the
consummate leadership of the Italian statesman Cavour.
With great skill he obtained the assistance of France,
and then in a war with Austria (1859) Lombardy, part of
Austria's possessions, was conquered. Fired with en-
thusiasm the people of the adjoining states expelled
their princelings, and despite the opposition of France, the
states were permitted to join with the greater Piedmont,
so that most of the northern half of Italy was free and
united. Next year Garibaldi, an Italian patriot and
exile, led an expedition into Sicily and Naples, and easily
conquered all the southern half of the peninsula, yielding
all this country at once to the king of Piedmont. In
1861 the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed, embracing the
entire peninsula excepting Venetia and the city of Rome
with a small domain about it. In 1866 Italy, joining
Prussia against Austria, obtained Venetia as her reward.


In 1870 a French garrison was still holding Rome for
the pope, but the Italian people were hoping that some
day the old capital of the country would become the
capital of their new state.

In southern Europe, at the western and the eastern
extremities, were two states, once great but now in decline
and decay. At the western gateway of the Mediterran-
ean was Spain, with grandeur departed and glory gone.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries she had for a
while been the greatest power in the world, dominating
much of western and central Europe, and in possession
of the greatest commerce and the most extensive and
wealthiest colonial empire which the world ever had seen.
But poverty of natural resources in Spain, emigration of
the best Spaniards to the colonies in America, expulsion
of Moorish artisans and Jewish business men, and religi-
ous intolerance which forbade much intellectual activity,
soon brought decline. Subject provinces in Europe were
lost, Spanish armies were defeated, and Spain ceased
to be leader in Europe. At the beginning of the eighteenth
century a great European war was fought concerning the
possessions of Spain, and in 1713 the Spanish dominions
in Italy and the Netherlands were lost. The vast colonial
empire remained for another hundred years, but more and
more the trade passed to the Enghsh. Then, in the ear-
lier years of the nineteenth century, save for some islands
in the Caribbean, all of the American possessions of Spain
won their complete independence.

During the French Revolution the Spaniards were some-
what affected by the new ideas, and in Napoleon's time
many reforms were made in their country, but the na-
tional uprising there against Napoleon's power was fol-
lowed by a period of reaction. Thereafter during the
nineteenth century the history of Spain had been con-
cerned with a succession of struggles between a minority
of liberals, who would bring reform, and the majority of

Spain in the

During the




In 1870 the nation, conservative or ignorant and superstitious,

while tlie country was also torn by strife betw^een rival
claimants to the throne. In 1870, indeed, the throne was
vacant, as the result of a revolution, and the Spanish
leaders were seeking a new sovereign throughout Europe.
The fundamental cause of the lowly position in which the
Spanish people now found themselves was that world-
conditions had altered : other nations possessed greater re-
sources and had become relatively richer and greater;
change of the principal trade routes had left Spaniards
more outside the world's greatest affairs; while the coal
and iron which were making some industrial nations great
whereto no large extent available in Spain.
The Otto- At the other end of the Mediterranean were the relics

man Empire ^^ ^^le Ottoman Empire, extending from Constantinople
up through the Balkans, and down across the Bosporus
through Asia Minor, into Mesopotamia, into Palestine,
and nominally around the north African shore, through
Tripoli and Egypt. It was still great in size, but its
power and its strength had departed. The Turks, like
the Hungarians and the Finns, were alien intruders in
Europe. In the fourteenth century they had crossed
into Europe from Anatolia, in Asia Minor, w^here already
they had laid the foundations of their state. In 1453
they captured Constantinople and by the sixteenth cen-
tury, if they were not the greatest power in Europe,
they were yet so powerful as to menace all of their
neighbors. All the eastern Mediterranean as well as the
Black Sea was held firmly in their grip, and their Euro-
pean boundaries were pushed up as far as the Danube.
Brave as warriors and essentially a military nation, the
developing civilization of western Europe presently left
them behind, and they were no longer able to wage war
with Christian states, which possessed superior organiza-
tion and equipment. In 1571 they were defeated in the
great naval battle of Lepanto; and in 1683 before the


walls of Vienna. Accordingly their conquests came to an
end, and their outlying provinces began to fall away.
Furthermore, they had never developed any good political
organization, so that their empire merely consisted of a
conglomeration of different subject peoples, oppressed
and debased, but retaining their own religion, speech, and
racial consciousness. Among these subjects the Turkish
conquerors lived — a minority of the entire population —
keeping their position by force and by maintaining the
differences between the various bodies of their subjects.

The condition of the subject majority in the European
dominions of Turkey was extremely bad. This was not
so much because of the cruelty and wickedness of the
Turks as from their lack of administrative ability and
genius to govern wisely and well. Moreover, it was
probably not much worse than the condition of most of
the peasants in the Hapsburg dominions and in Russia.
None the less, the Christian population of Greece and the
Balkans yearned for their freedom, and a succession
of revolts brought them independence in whole or in
part. Already the Greeks, with the assistance of the
great Christian powders, had achieved their independence,
while the Serbs and the Rumanians had won autonomy
under overlordship of the sultan. Long before 1870
Turkey would probably have been extinguished by a
Russian conquest, had it not been for the opposition first
of Great Britain, afterward of Austria and Britain. In
the first half of the eighteenth century the Ottoman Em-
pire had seemed to Montesquieu as a sick man, and
afterward its end was often predicted and expected.
Many believed that it would be a blessing if this came to
pass. "As a matter of humanity I wish with all my soul,"
said Stratford Canning in 1821, "that the Sultan were
driven bag and baggage into the heart of Asia."
During all this time, however, the failing power of the
Turk was effectively protected by the jealousies of the

The waning
of the

Condition of
the subject



The smaller

The neutral-
ized states

great European states. This had just been strikingly
shown. Russia under Tsar Nicholas I aspired, apparently,
to get possession of Constantinople, long desired by the
Russians, and so obtain for Russia a better outlet on the
great seas of the world. Against her France and England
had fought the Crimean War (1854-6), defeating her and
saving Turkey from destruction.

In 1870 the smaller states of Europe were going forward,
some in quiet prosperity, under the shadow of their
mightier neighbors. Greece was poor and small, but
independent, and developing her commerce, as of old. In
the Balkans some of the Christian peoples, like the Bul-
gars, still were ruled by the Turk; others, like the Serbs
and the Rumanians, had their autonomy, and were expect-
ing more complete independence in the future. The Scan-
dinavian countries, once the source of so much terror and
power, were now outside the current of mightier affairs,
their scanty resources not having permitted development
like that which had come to their neighbors to the south.
Denmark was small and unimportant, and had recently
lost her two southern provinces, Schleswig and Holstein
(1864). The Congress of Vienna had given Norway to
Sweden, in place of Finland, long a Swedfsh possession,
but taken by Russia in 1809, so that Norway and Sweden,
different as they were in the character of their peoples,
and in economic development, were ruled by one king.
Holland, though dispossessed of some of her colonies during
the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, still had one
of the wealthiest colonial empires, and was prosperous
through agriculture and commerce. The remaining three
states had recently been neutralized, Switzerland in 1815,
Belgium in 1831, and Luxemburg in 1867, thus giving
them, it was hoped, security and peace, and at the same
time putting them outside the greater currents of Euro-
pean politics. The Belgians, since their successful re-
volt from Holland in 1830, and the establishment of a

europp:an states in isto no

Belgian state by the Great Powers in 1831, had gone for-
ward greatly in industrial prosperity and wealth. Previ- The Swiss
ous to 1848 the Swiss people had been united in a loose con- Republic
federation. In that year civil war broke out, when the
Sonderbund, an organization of the more conservative
cantons, tried to leave the others. This secession was
prevented, and in the same year a new constitution was
adopted, making of the Swiss communities a strong, com-
pact federal union.


The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland: the best
of the shorter works for detailed reading is A. L. Cross, A His-
tory of England and Greater Britain (1914). The best general
history of England is the cooperative work, The Political His-
tory of England, edited by the Rev. William Hunt and R. L.
Poole, 12 vols. (1905-10). For the later period. Sir Spencer
Walpole, History of England Since 1815, 6 vols, (revised edition,
1902-5), based on thorough study of contemporary accounts.
For the government of England: A. L. Lowell, The Government
of England, 2 vols. (ed. 1912), best; Sir William Anson, The
Law and Custom of the Constitution, 3 vols. (ed. 1907-9) ; Walter
Bagehot, The English Constitution (ed. 1911); A. V. Dicey,
Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (8th ed.
1915); Sidney Low, The Governance of England (ed. 1914); Sir
Courtney Ilbert, Parliament (1911).

France : the best and most important work on the period be-
fore 1789 is the great cooperative work edited by E. Lavisse,
Histoire de France depuis les Origines jusqu^a la Revolution, 9 vols.
in 18 (1900-10). For the later period the most important work,
also edited by Lavisse, is now appearing: Histoire de France
Contemporaine, to be complete in 10 vols., covering the period
from 1789, vols. I, II (1920); another important work is the
cooperative history edited by Jean Jaures, Histoire Socialiste,
1789-1900, 12 vols. (1901-9), the different volumes written by
prominent French socialists. Also Pierre de la Gorce, Histoire
de la Seconde Republique Franqaise, 2 vols. (7th ed. 1914), His-
toire du Second Empire, 7 vols. (4th ed. 1896-1905), from the cleri-
cal point of view; Henry Houssaye, 1815, 3 vols. (1896-1905);
Blanchard Jerrold, The Life of Napoleon III, 4 vols. (1874-82),


sympathetic; L. ISIichon, Le Goiivernemeiit Parlementaire sous la
Restauration (1905); Emile Ollivier, UEmpire Libiral, 17 vols.
(1895-1014); Georges Weill, La France sous la Monarchie Con-
siihiiioncUc, lSU-18^8 (1912).

' The Germanies and Prussia: Ernst Berner, Geschichte des
Preiissischen Staates (2d ed. 1896); W. H. Dawson, The German
Empire: 1867-1914, 2 vols. (1919); E. Denis, La Fondation
de VEmpire Allemand, 1852-1871 (1906); K. T. von Heigel,
Deutsche Geschichte vom Tode Friedrichs des Grossen bis zur
Auflosimg des Alten Reiches, 2 vols. (1899-1911); Heinrich von
Sybel, Die Begrundnng des Deutschen Reiches dutch Wilhelm I,
7 vols. (1889-90), trans, by M. L. Perrin and Gamaliel Brad-
ford, 7 vols. (1890-8); Heinrich von Treitschke, Deutsche
Geschichte im Neunzehnten Jahrhundert, 5 vols. (3d ed. 1895),
from the period of the French Revolution, brilliantly written,
strongly nationalist, hostile to the liberals, trans, by E. and C.
Paul, Vols. I-VII (1915-19); H. von Zwiedineck-SUdenhorst,
Deutsche Geschichte von der Auflbsung des Alten his zur Errichtung
des Neuen Kaiserreiches (1806-1871), 3 vols. (1897-1905).

The Holy Roman Empire, Austria, and Austria-Hungary:
Archdeacon William Coxe, History of the House of Austria from
1218 to 1792 (many editions); Heinrich Friedjung, Oesterreich
V(m 1848 bis 1860, 2 vols. (1908-12), best for the period, Der
Kampf um die Vorherrschaft in Deutschland, 1859 bis 1866, 2
vols. (6th ed. 1904-5); Franz Krones, Handbuch der Geschichte
Oesterreichs, 5 vols. (1876-9); P. M. Leger, Histoire de VAutriche-
Hongrie, depuis les Origines jusqua VAnnee 1878 (1879), trans.
by Mrs. B. Hill (1889).

Russia: the best book to give the beginner an acquaintance
wnth the Russian people and their life is Sir D. M. Wallace,
Russia (ed. 1912). The best recent work in English on Russian
history is Raymond Beazley, Nevill Forbes, and G. A. Birkett,
Russia, from the Varangians to the Bolsheviks (1918). The older
standard work is Alfred Rambaud, Histoire de la Russie depuis
les Origines jusqua Nos Jours (6th ed. completed to 1913 by E.
Haumant, 3 vols. 1914), English trans., 3 vols. (1881). Also
V. O. Kliuchevsky, abridged and trans, by C. J. Hogarth, A
History of Russia, 3 vols. (1911-13), best account of, to the end
of the seventeenth century; A. Kornilov, English trans, by A.
S. Kaun, Modern Russian History, 2 vols. (1917); Maxime
Kovalevsky, Modern Customs and Ancient Laws of Russia (1891),
Russian Political Institutions (1902), excellent and scholarly;


James Mavor, An Economic History of Russia, 2 vols. (1914),
best economic history; W. R. A. Morfill, History of Russia from
the Birth of Peter the Great to the Death of Alexander II (1902);
T. Schiemaiin, Geschichte Russhuuls unter Kaiser Xikolaus I, 4
vols. (1904-19); F. H. Skrine, The Expansion of Russia (3ci ed.

Italy : Janet P. Trevelyan, A Short History of the Italian People

Online LibraryEdward Raymond TurnerEurope since 1870 → online text (page 10 of 49)