Edward Raymond Turner.

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(1920) ; P. L. Orsi, ^Italia Moderna: Storia degli Ultimi 150 Auni
(2d ed. 1902) . Also M. Brali, Geschichte des Kirchenstaats, .'3 vols.
(1897-1900); Bolton King, History of Italian Unity, 2 vols.
(1899), best account of, in English; Ernesto Masi, // Risorgi-
mento Italiano, 2 vols. (1918); W. J. Stillman, The Union of
Italy, 1815-1895 (1898); G. M. Trevelyan, Garibaldi's Defense
of the Roman Republic (1907), Garibaldi and the Thousand (1909),
Garibaldi and the Making of Italy (1911), brilliantly WTitten;
H. R. Whitehouse, Collapse of The Kingdom of Naples (1899).

Spain: C. E. Chapman, A History of Spain (1919), based
mostly on Don Rafael Altamira, Ilistoria de Espana y de la
Civilizacion Espahola, 4 vols. (1900-11), the best general work.
Also Butler Clarke, Modern Spain, 1815-1898 (1906); G. D. du
Dezert, VEspagne de VAncien Regime, 3 vols. (1897-1904);
Gustave Hubbard, Histoire Contemporaine de VEspagne, 6 vols.
(1869-83), excellent for the period 1814-18G8; M. A. S. Hume,
Spain: Its Greatness and Decay {U79-1788) (1888); E. H.
Strobel, The Spanish Revolidion, 1868-1875 (1898).

The Ottoman Empire: Stanley Lane-Poole, The Story of
Turkey (1897); Nicholae Jorga, Geschichte des Osmanischen
Reiches, 5 vols. (1908-13), best.

The lesser states: P. J. Blok, Geschiedenis van het Neder-
landsche Volk, 4 vols. (2d ed. 1912-15), trans, by Ruth Putnam
and others. History of the People of the Netherlands, 5 vols. (1898-
1912); Leon van der Essen, A Short History of Belgium (1916);
Wilhelm Oechsli, Geschichte der Schweiz im Neunzehnten Jahr-
hundert. Vols. I, II (1903-13), covering the period 1798-1830;
R. N. Bain, Scandinavia, a Political History of Denmark, Norway,
and Sweden, from 1513 to 1900 (1905).


GERMANY, 1864-1871

The old political science was mistaken when it regarded the Army
as nothing but the servant of diplomacy. . . . Such a con-
ception . . . has vanished from our age of universal military
service; for we all feel nowadays . . . that the very consti-
tution of the State reposes upon the nation's share in bearing
Treitschke, Politics (trans. 1916), ii. 389.

The military becomes the normal form of life. Our civil life is to be
recast. Every citizen is to be a soldier. . . . Moltke and
Bismarck are the great men of our age. Prussia is our model
state of an armed and drilled nation. . . . The military be-
comes the true tj^pe of human society; some pitiless strategist is
a hero; some unscrupulous conspirator is a statesman; and the na-
tion which is the best drilled and the best armed in Europe is to
go to the van of modern civilization . . . this we owe to
Frederic Harrison in the Fortnightly Review, December, 1870.

Und Trommeln und Pfeifen, das war mein Klang,
Und Trommeln und Pfeifen, Soldatengesang,
Dir Trommeln und Pfeifen, mein Leben lang,
Hoch Kaiser und Heer!
LiLiENCRON (who Served as an officer in 1866 and 1870—1).

The great SHORTLY after the middle of the nineteenth century

military there was a succession of wars which then and for some

triumphs of ^j^^ afterward seemed of most importance because of
the Germans . . i i e ^•

their part in the unification of Germany and the foundmg

of the German Empire. But seen now, in the longer per-
spective of the time passed since then, they have a greater
importance because they completely shifted the center
of power in European affairs, and because the conditions
which decided their outcome after a while affected the




life of every great people in the world. They were tlie
Danish War (1864), the Austro-Prussian War (1800), and
the Franco-German War (1870-1). The first of these
struggles is relatively unimportant now, but the second
marked a new era in the history of modern Europe, and the
third the definite ending of an old one. In these two great
wars Prussia showed herself not only the new leader of
the German peoples, but invincible in battle and of
matchless military might.

The successes of the Prussians against Austria and of
the Germans against France were so swift and so over-
whelming that afterward the reputation of German
military power was held almost as the legend of some
strange and superhuman thing, growing in estimation
until at last it seemed of uncanny and overpowering great-
ness. But actually, after this military power had reached
the height of its grandeur and then been broken to pieces,
it was seen to have been the carefully wrought work
of men who introduced a new principle into military usage,
and then perfected their work with wondrous care and
organization. In the end it was evident that they had
brought into effect one of the most important changes in
the nineteenth century.

In the history of military organization in Europe since
the breaking up of the Roman Empire there are seen to
have been several great steps. In the Middle Ages, when
the "feudal system" flourished, armies were composed of
tenants who held land partly on terms of service in war.
As the feudal system decayed, armies came to be com-
posed much more largely of mercenaries or paid soldiers,
sometimes hired by the ruler of a country, often as-
sembled by some captain who made war a business. Such
mercenaries served in the Hundred Years' War between
England and France; they did most of the fighting in the
numerous wars between Italian states; and they had a
great part in ruining Germany in the Thirty Years' War.

reputation of
the Germans

Armies in






The national
army in the

by Prussia

As strong national governments arose these mercenary
soldiers were gathered together under direct authority
of the central government. In the seventeenth century
Louis XIV of France had a numerous army of paid soldiers ;
the German princes had smaller ones; and a very small
force was maintained in England. A great number of
Irishmen served in French armies and died in the service
of France; and German princes, like the father of Frederick
the Great, hired or kidnapped their soldiers from all over
Europe. It was by building up the largest and best army
of this kind in central Europe that Prussia laid the founda-
tions of her greatness. In this system, which continued
in effect until the period of the French Revolution, the
armies were small in numbers, compared with the total
population of the country; the soldiers were professional,
making war their business, and they were paid for their
military service.

The great innovation that followed was suggested by
what the French did. During the dark period when the
work of the Revolution seemed in danger of being over-
thrown by foreign foes, the French republic was saved
by great new armies drawn from the entire nation, called
out to serve their country in its need. "All France and
whatsoever it contains of men and resources is put under
requisition," said the decree. In so far as this was carried
out it substituted the idea of the men of the nation in arms
for the older idea of a small force of hired soldiers.

But it was left to Prussia really to effect this revolution
in carrying on wars. It was with a standing army of the
old type that Frederick the Great had won his triumphs,
and it was an army of this sort which Napoleon had
crushed at Jena. By the terms of the treaty which
followed this defeat Napoleon, desiring permanently to
cripple Prussia's military power, limited her army to
42,000 men. But from the degradation of this period
almost at once began a splendid period of regeneration


and reform not unlike that which a few years before had Prussia pre-
made France herself so great. In the years from 1807 to P^^^ ^°^

ffip \?^a.r of

1813, while Stein and Hardenberg were freeing the serfs Liberation
and abolishing class distinctions, the army was reorganized
by Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, who, in order to evade
Napoleon's restriction, kept under arms the 42,000 men
only so long as necessary to give them the proper military
training, and then summoned in succession other forces
of equal size to receive a like training. The result of this
was that when, in 1813, Prussia rose against the French
Empire in the War of Liberation, she was able to put into
the field 270,000 well-trained soldiers. And the new
principle, which had been used in accomplishing this, was
strengthened and preserved as soon as Napoleon was
overthrown. In 1814 the idea of the great reformers, that
military service was the obligation of the citizen and
that the army should be a national force, was embodied
in the Military Law of Boyen, which, proclaiming that
"Every citizen is bound to defend his Fatherland," pro- Boyen's
vided for universal military service. Every man in Prus- ^^^» ^^^*
sia was liable, on becoming twenty years old. He was to
serve for three years in the standing army and two years
in the reserve; then for fourteen years afterward he might
be called to serve in the Landwehr, and for eleven years
thereafter in the Landsturm. That is to say, there was
now organized in Prussia an army of the men of the na-
tion, part of whom were in active service and ready for
sudden emergency, while the rest might be mobilized
or called out from the various reserves, if the country
should need them.

For a long time the importance of this regulation was xhePrus-
not realized outside of Prussia. Even there it was not sian army
fully applied, for Prussia did not really have universal enlarged
military service. Not all the young men were called to
the colors when they came to be twenty years old, and as
numbers increased, the proportion of those not called



The work of

The work
of Von
Moltke and
Von Roon

grew steadily larger. In 1860, when the population of
Prussia was 18,000,000, with 150,000 young men of
military age each year, she called into service only 40,000
as had been arranged in 1814 when the population was
about 11,000,000. There was a bitter struggle in 1862,
between the king and the Prussian parliament, over a
plan brought forward by the king and his military advisers
for enlarging the army by calling each year 65,000 youths to
the colors. For this scheme the lower house of the Landtag
refused to appropriate the necessary money. It was at
this juncture that Bismarck was brought into the ministry.
Under his guidance affairs were managed without parlia-
mentary sanction. The desired military reforms were
now carried through, and the standing army was in-
creased to 400,000, with double that number of trained
reserves in the Landwehr.

Along with this development of a new army went the
work of the greatest military genius in all the period be-
tween Napoleon and Foch. In 1857 Von Moltke was
appointed chief of staff of the Prussian army. He was
the second greatest master of military organization and
preparation in the nineteenth century. Since the period
of Napoleon European railway systems had grown up and
communications had been much altered and improved.
Von Moltke realized clearly the importance and the
military meaning of these changes and began training the
commanders of the Prussian armies in great schemes of
maneuver, mobilization, and attack, worked out in advance.
Not only were plans elaborated in minutest detail for the
carrying on of possible wars with other great powers near
by, but under Von Roon the most careful arrangements
for rapid mobilization were prepared, so that when the
hour for action came each man might quickly know just
what to do. Military stores and equipment were got to-
gether, a splendid artillery was provided, and the "needle-
gun," a breech-loading rifle, was adopted for infantry use.



The result of all this was that by 1864i Prussia had the
largest and best-equipped army in the world, with the
largest number of well-trained reserves behind it, and that
this army coukl be moved down to the frontier with a
speed hitherto undreamed of.

Outside of Prussian military circles much of this, as is
often the ease when great changes are developing, was
little noticed or understood at the time. France was still
considered the greatest military power on the Continent,
and most people would have regarded Austria as more
important than Prussia. That which opened the eyes of
contemporaries and led directly to great changes which
were to mark off the earlier from the latter part of the
nineteenth century in Europe, was the series of wars
in which the Prussian army was used and in which Bis-
marck consolidated the German Empire.

Moltke's plans for military campaigns were always
conceived with respect to political conditions and diplo-
matic relations in Europe. With respect to these things
he worked with Prussia's great statesman, Bismarck.
The German statesmen who began the Great War in
1914 were not able to prevent Germany appearing as the
aggressor and mostly in the wrong; but Bismarck always
contrived, sometimes with baseness and cunning but
always with most masterly skill, to put the odium on his
opponents, and arrange matters so that they fought
without the sympathy or the assistance of others.

The first contest, the Danish War, needs little attention,
for it is principally important now because of what it led
up to. South of Denmark were the two duchies of Schles-
wig and Holstein, peopled largely by Germans, but joined
with Denmark by a personal union, since the Danish king
was also Duke of Schleswig and of Holstein. Holstein
was a member of the Germanic Confederation. The
Schleswig-Holstein question had long been troublesome
in the politics of Europe. Many people in these provinces


little atten-

and military




The German
tion, Den-
mark, and
the Duchies

War with



preferred some connection with their kinsmen in the Ger-
man Confederation, but the Danish kings naturally
desired to attach the provinces more closely to their
kingdom. In 1852 the so-called London Protocol provided
that while the king of Denmark might be duke of Schleswig,
the duchy should not be made part of Denmark. In 1863,
however, the Danish Government prepared to annex both
duchies. The Diet of the Confederation protested, and
the Germans were eager that the incorporation should
be prevented. Indeed, they desired that Schleswig also
should be admitted into their Confederation. Bismarck
began now to plan, as he afterward declared, to annex
the duchies to Prussia. He contrived, however, to make
it appear that measures were only being taken to maintain
the provisions of the Protocol of London, or else merely
to admit Schleswig to the Confederation. Accordingly,
he was able to bring it about that Austria, whose measures
he had just been opposing, acted with Prussia. In Janu-
ary 1864, the governments sent an ultimatum demand-
ing that within forty-eight hours the Danish Government
repeal the constitution which decreed that the provinces
be annexed. This demand was purposely so contrived
that it could not be accepted, and war was begun. The
armies brought against Denmark were more than sufficient
to overwhelm her. Von Moltke prepared a plan of cam-
paign by which he expected in very short time to destroy
the entire Danish army. The plan was not well carried
out, but this only delayed the end. The Danes attempted
to defend themselves behind the Dannevirke, a fortified line
of defense across the narrowest part of Jutland; but their
entrenchments were soon forced, and the entire peninsula
overrun. The Danes at first had command of the sea, but
this was lost and the invaders carried the war forward into
the islands which are such an important part of the
kingdom. In August the contest was abandoned; in
October the Treaty of Vienna sealed the surrender of



Denmark; and Schleswig and Holstein were yielded to the
joint possession of Austria and Prussia.

This was only a prelude to the greater struggle which
followed. Bismarck was about to Ijring to a crisis the long
contest between Austria and his country for leadership
among the German peoples. He now plotted more openly
to get the duchies for Prussia, and rapidly the relations
between Austria and Prussia were strained to the break-
ing point. Austria was ill prepared to maintain her
contentions, so that she yielded to an agreement not
satisfactory to her, the Convention of Gastein, by which
Prussia was to administer Schleswig and she would ad-
minister Holstein. Bismarck regarded this merely as a
temporary measure, and busied himself so that when the
conflict began, Austria would have no great allies but be
obliged to fight single handed. He knew that Russia was
friendly, and that Great Britain was not disposed to in-
terfere in Continental matters, if she could avoid it. It was
apparent to all, however, that it would be disadvantageous
to France if Austria were overthrown by Prussia; but
Bismarck, through secret negotiations which have never
been fully revealed, probably by appearing to promise
Napoleon territorial gains on the Rhine, made it probable
that France would be neutral. With Italy he concluded an
alliance early in 1866. This was a dangerous period in
Bismarck's career, for his war policy was not popular
in Germany; and Austria might make terms with Italy,
or else France intervene to support Austria or seize Ger-
man territory bordering on the Rhine. But the hazard
passed as the crisis moved swiftly forward. Austria,
mobilizing her forces, demanded that the disposition of
Schleswig and Holstein be referred to the Diet of the
Confederation. Bismarck declared this a breach of the
Convention just made, and seized Holstein. Almost all
the German states supported Austria, the members voting
in the Diet that the federal forces should be used against

Contest be-
tween Aus-
tria and

diplomacy of



The Austro-
War, 1866


Prussia; and the Austro-Prussian War began in June,

Prussia at once brought forth the mighty weapon she
so long had been preparing. Her available army num-
bered 660,000 men, well trained. The infantry was armed
with the needle-gun, which could be fired three times as
rapidly as any other gun then in use. The artillery num-
bered 1,000 cannon. Opposed to this the Austrians could
bring into the field 600,000 men. Their army was based
not on universal service like the Prussian, but on the con-
script system, in which men could hire substitutes if they
wished. Their infantry was armed with muzzle-loading
rifles, inferior to the Prussian, though with longer range.
Their artillery, 800 guns, was inferior in numbers, but it
also had longer range. Actually, in the contest which
followed, the Austrian artillery was very effectively
handled, but the campaign was decided by infantry fight-
ing. The Prussians had to use part of their forces against
the smaller German states, but the Austrians were com-
pelled to detach part of their army to act against the Ital-
ians in the south.

The great contest was fought between Austria and
Prussia. The Austrians might well have taken the of-
fensive and attempted an invasion of the enemy's country,
but they resolved to act upon the defensive, and in Bo-
hemia they awaited the attack. What followed astonished
the world. The ideas worked out by Von Moltke called
for grand decisive movements rapidly executed, and with
the splendid army ready at hand all that he had planned
could be done. With great skill the Prussian armies were
moved through the mountain passes, and, despite all the
efforts which the enemy could make, they were united at
Koniggratz. In the battle which followed, the Austrians,
after stubborn resistance, were totally defeated. Their
retreat degenerated into a wild flight. In a few days
Vienna was at the mercy of the foe. In less than six



weeks Prussia had overcome all the smaller states and
destroyed Austria's military power completely. Not since
Napoleon's time had such rapidity of movement and such
appalling strength been shown. In reality, Prussia was now
the first military power in the world. As a result of the
Treaty of Prague which followed, Austria was virtually
excluded from German affairs; the old Confederation was
dissolved; Prussia became the head of a new confederation
of the north German states; she annexed Schleswig and
Holstein, and various other territories from those states
which had opposed her, while Venetia was acquired by

The immense significance of these changes and the
greatness of the power which had brought them about
were not perceived by most people at first, and could
not be. The alteration was understood best in France,
and soon a great deal of discontent and uneasiness arose
there. Accordingly, out of the war of 1866 there presently
emerged the causes of a third great struggle, this time
between Germany, led by Prussia, and France.

Such a war ought never to have come between civilized
peoples, and yet, as one looks back to study the causes, it
is hard to see how it could have been avoided. Among
the French there was growing uneasiness that their place
of leadership in Europe was being taken by a new, up-
start state. The government of Napoleon III had passed
the days of its popularity, and the Bonapartist leaders
believed that only some great success in foreign policy
or in war could restore it in the estimation of the people.
Napoleon and French statesmen had expected Austria to
win in 1866, and had probably not intended in any event
to allow her to be so badly defeated that the political
balance in Europe would be altered; but the struggle had
come to an end before they could intervene or protest.
They were bitterly disappointed that France was not
allowed to get territorial compensations, when Prussia

triumph of

in France

Prussia and



ment in

The plotting
of Bismarck

had just made such gains. Not only did France get noth-
ing of the German territory by the Rhine, which she seems
to have expected, but when Napoleon strove to acquire
Luxemburg, Bismarck opposed it and assisted in bringing
about the neutralization of that country in 1867. Na-
poleon and his associates were completely disappointed.
They perceived that the position of France in Europe had
diminished through the mere change of circumstances
elsewhere, and the French people felt instinctively that
something was wrong. Accordingly arose in France the
idea that there must be "Revenge for Sadowa" (Konig-
griitz). It is probably true that the great majority of
the French people had no desire for war with Prussia be-
cause of these things, but the demand for action was skil-
fully cried about by the press, which was controlled and
cleverly manipulated by those who preferred to have war.
Actually the French leaders tried to form an alliance with
Austria and Italy, and some arrangements were made for
cooperation between Austrian and French armies against
Prussia, to take place in 1871.

The machinations of Bismarck on the other side were
more culpable and far more cold-blooded. Desiring the
union of the south German states with those already in the
North German Confederation, he believed that a success-
ful war against some foreign enemy — particularly France,
the traditional enemy — would serve to bring them all to-
gether in a burst of patriotic ardor. He afterward said
also that he did not believe the unification of Germany
would be allowed if France could prevent it, and that it
would be necessary first to overthrow her in battle. He
felt certain, moreover, that Prussia would be victor, and
so be raised higher in Europe than ever before. So he
desired war with France, and tried with all of his craft and
his skill to bring it about. These feelings did not yet
affect most of the German people nor the king of
Prussia, but were shared by Bismarck chiefly with the



army leaders. In Germany also, however, the press was
so controlled and manipulated as to hasten on the contest
as much as that could be done.

The direct cause, as in so many other cases, was not an The throne
important matter. The throne of Spain, becoming va- ^^'°
cant, was offered to a member of the Hohenzollern family.

Online LibraryEdward Raymond TurnerEurope since 1870 → online text (page 11 of 49)