Edward Raymond Turner.

Europe since 1870 online

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franchise was at first restricted by rigid property and
educational qualifications, so that only one person in
forty could vote. A great extension was made in 1882,
while in 1912 a reform was made by which manhood suf-
frage was, in effect, introduced.

The extending of the franchise in Italy was long de- Vatican and
layed and much hampered because of the illiterac}- of a Quirinal
large part of the population, especially in the south. The
effective working of the government was long impeded itaiy
by the hostility of the pope. AMien Rome and the little
strip of territory around it were occupied in 1870, it was
not the purpose of the Italian Government to drive the
pope away or to interfere with him as pope. Cavour's
ideal had been: libera chiesa in siato libera (a free church
in a free state). Next year the Italian Parliament passed
the Law of Papal Guarantees, still in force, which guaran-
teed the pope's sovereignty, possession of the Vatican and
other places, and a large pension in perpetuity. Pius IX

Church and
State in



Prisoners of
the Vatican

ments nec-
essary for
union and

refused to accept this, hoping that the lost temporal pos-
sessions of the Church would be returned to him, and as
late as 1914 Benedict XIV expressed hope that this would
be brought about. The popes refused to take the pen-
sion, and remained in voluntary isolation, "prisoners"
in the Vatican. As the years went by and no Catholic
power restored to the Papacy what had been lost, the
popes tried to thwart and obstruct the Italian authorities.
In 1883 the decree Non expedit (not expedient) declared
it not well for Catholics to vote at parliamentary elections
or to hold office under the Italian Government; and in
1895 a further decree, Non licet (not allowable), proclaimed
that the Church forbade these things. The trend of ideas
in the nineteenth century was such that there were numer-
ous Catholics who no longer considered it well for the
Church to be a temporal power, who conceived its func-
tions to be purely spiritual and ecclesiastical, and who
therefore had no hostility toward the Italian Government
because of the seizure of the papal states. Accordingly,
the orders of the popes concerning Italian politics were
by no means generally obeyed. The strongest impulse in
Italy continued to be the fervent feeling of patriotism
awakened during the great years of unification. The
Catholic population was divided by a conflict between
nationalism and the Church, Many had no hesitation in
zealously supporting the government; many, more scrupu-
lous and obedient, heeded the behests of the Church.

Huge tasks confronted the new state. The effects of
the weakness, the misery, the oppression of the centuries
past, were not to be made up at once by any device.
Especially in the south, so long weighed down under the
oppressive tyranny of the Bourbons, there were old condi-
tions surviving, poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, that it
would take much to overcome and remove. In this
southern part there were no railroads yet, ecclesiastics
and rulers there having long considered them to be works


of the devil, good communications hud not yet l)een
opened, and manufactures were utterly wanting. In the
north there were railroads, good eonnnuniealions, and
flourishing industrial cities. In this part there was a
sturdy body of small proprietors, among whom the lands
had been parcelled out. In the south, especially- in
Sicily, the land was held in large estates by the nobUs, as
in Russia, and as in western Europe during the Middle
Ages, worked by an ignorant and debased peasantry. The
nation was poor and taxation inevitably opj)ressive; but
though the south contributed least, it was necessary for a
while that the greater part of the revenue should be spent
there, since the country could not be truly united until
the chief differences between the northern and the south-
ern portions were done away with.

Considerable development followed. New railroads
were constructed, manufacturing extended, commerce de-
veloped. Much of this was accomplished in the face of
difficulties that remained very great. The principal oc-
cupation, as in France, was agriculture, but much of the
soil was not rich, methods of cultivation were primitive,
the peasants in the south very backward, and the land
there held in the manner of the Ancient Regime. It was
difficult to develop manufactures as Great Britain and
Germany were then doing, since Ital}' was almost entirely
without iron and coal, and could obtain these essentials
only by buying them at high price abroad. Italy had no
large quantity of exports to send out, and it was difficult
merely to develop carrying trade in competition with the
great seafaring nations. From a country thus poor and
lacking rich natural resources it was necessary to raise
huge taxes, partly to do the necessary things long left
undone, and partly to sustain the ambitious foreign policy
upon which the country soon embarked. The taxation
was so crushing as to bow down the |)eople and hamper the
development of business; yet for a long time almost all

in Italy

ment and




Increase of

Italian na-

Italy enters
the Triple

the public revenue thus raised was devoted to paying
interest on the large national debt, and to paying for the
army and the navy. Notwithstanding all these things,
and notwithstanding that many people could barely make
a living, the birth-rate was high and the population in-
creased rapidly, just as it had under still worse circum-
stances in Ireland in the first half of the nineteenth cen-
tury. In 1914 the population of Italy was almost as great
as that of France, and nearly twice as large as that of
Spain, though the area of each one of these countries was
twice as great as her own. Italy, indeed, like Japan at
the same time, was unable to support her rapidly increas-
ing numbers. Accordingly, there was a large and in-
creasing emigration, to the South American countries, and
especially to the United States where myriads of Italian
peasants became small farmers, sellers of fruit, or did the
construction work on railways, sewers, and public im-
provements, always hoping for the day when enough
money would be saved to enable them to return to the
beloved land of their birth.

It was ardent nationalism that made possible the
strong union which was accomplished in Italy. During
the Middle Ages Italy had been divided into states as
completely self-conscious and as completely distinct as
was Germany at the same time; and these divisions had
been maintained down into the nineteenth century. Yet
when the unification of the country was brought about
a centralized nation state was erected, like England or
France, whereas in the German Empire no more than a
federal union of the parts was effected. The people also
were filled with recollection of the greatness of Rome in
the past, and with desire to have Italy important in the
present. The Italian leaders resolved to make their
country a great power. Partly through fear of France
and also because of anger at her course, and partly be-
cause of previous association with Prussia, Italy joined


the alliance which the German Empire and Austria-
Hungary had made, and thus helped to form the Triple
Alliance (1882). A large army and a large navy were
now deemed necessary, and the expense of maintaining
them not only constituted a burden beyond the real
resources of the country, but took a great part of the public
revenue which was sorely needed for education and inter-
nal improvements.

During this time, while Italy was an appendage of the
German alliance, she felt that she had security from
France, and set out to acquire a colonial empire. Some
possessions were taken in eastern Africa, but when attempt
was made to conquer the independent kingdom of Abys-
sinia, the Italian forces suffered a crushing defeat (1896).
For some years Italian colonial aspirations remained in
abeyance, until in 1912, when a great change had come
over international relations, Italy suddenly tried to take
Tripoli away from Turkey. During this time Italy's con-
nection with her partners had been growing weaker and
weaker. The old fear and suspicion of France seemed
to disappear. On the other hand, while relations with
the German Empire remained cordial, with the Dual
Monarchy they never became completely satisfactory.
In 1866 Italy had joined Prussia against Austria, and
though defeated had shared in the Prussian success. It
was then that she had obtained Venetia, rounding out her
possessions in the northeast. But at this time not all the
Italian population in this part of Europe was given to
her, a considerable portion remaining under Austrian rule
across the Alps in the Trenthio, at the head of the Adriatic
about Trieste, and scattered along the Dalmatian shore
of the Adriatic. Italian nationalists, fired with patriotic
feeling, longed to bring their brethren of this Italia Ir-
redenta into union with themselves. This could never be
accomplished, so it seemed, until Austria-Hungary was
defeated and conquered. Furthermore, extension of


Irreden ta


Austrian power down the eastern shore of the Adriatic al-
ways seemed threatening to Italy, whose own Adriatic
coast, low and defenceless, might lie helpless before the
naval power of Austria based on the fortresses of the moun-
tainous shore over the sea. Finally, there was in the
twentieth century a conflict of ambition between the two,
since both Austria-Hungary and Italy desired to extend
their power and dominion in the Balkans. This opposition
gradually weakened the Triple Alliance, and it was the
principal factor in bringing Italy into the Great War
against the Teutonic powers in 1915.
Spain: the In 1870 the people of Spain were in the midst of troub-

1873^5*^' ^^"^ times. During the long reign of Isabella II the

reputation of the Bourbon dynasty had sunk lower and
lower, until in 1868 she was driven away by a liberal
uprising, and a provisional government was set up while
the revolutionists sought a new monarch. It was during
this search for a sovereign that the crown was offered to a
relative of the king of Prussia, thus causing the tension
between Prussia and France, the immediate occasion of the
Franco-German War. In 1871 Amadeo of Savoy accepted
the throne, but after two years in the midst of dishearten-
ing difficulties he abandoned his attempt to rule the
country. In 1873 the liberals set up a republic. This was
contrary to the wishes of most of the people, and Spain now
fell into the greatest confusion. Order was restored only by
the stern rule and the military despotism of the president.
The Bour- Emilio Castelar. In 1875 the Bourbon line was restored
bons re- when the son of Isabella was made king as Alfonso XII.

stored, 1875 During the ensuing reign order was maintained and the af-
fairs of the state were administered by the conservatives
with wisdom and success. On the death of the monarch
in 1885, and after the birth of his posthumous son, Alfonso
XIII, in the following year, the government was adminis-
tered under the regency of the Queen Mother, Maria
Christina, who turned to the liberals. In 1902 the young


kinjE? came of ago. His personal qualities endeared liini to
liis su})jeets, and despite great diffieMJtirs the dynasty still
keeps a hold upon the throne, though the tenure has be-
come more precarious each year.

Most of the Spanish people had cared noliiing for a The govern-
rcpublic when Castelar was trying to establish one, and ^^^^
the nation welcomed back a king with as much delight
as the English once received Charles II. A period of
improvement and reform began, which slowly produced
good results. In 187G a constitution was adopted which
in form gave the people a government like that of Italy or
Belgium, vested in the codes, or parliament, elected by the
people. In 1890 the principle of manhood suffrage was
adopted for electing members of the lower house of the
Cortes. As in Great Britain the ministry is dependent
upon a majority in the parliament, and as in France this
majority is formed by a combination of political parties
willing to act together. But actually the Spanish people,
for ages without experience in self-government, cared
little about their government and were utterly unable to
control it. Parliamentary majorities were made by the
ministry, and a government could always get sanction
from the electorate by controlling the elections. ]Morc-
over, the extension of the suffrage in 1890 to the mass of
the people strengthened the conservative and reactionary
elements in the state, especially the Church, since the
voters, many of whom were illiterate as well as inex-
perienced, voted entirely at the dictation of the priests.
Nevertheless, after 1880 a period of reform began, in Reforms
which trial by jury was introduced, taxation reformed, and
obstacles removed from industry and trade, obstacles
that had survived in Spain longer than almost anywhere
else in Europe. The liberal leader, Sagasta, wished also
to improve education and take it out of the hands of the
clergy, and effect such a separation of Church and State as
was afterward brought about in France: but, not with-




past great-
ness and

standing that there was considerable hostihty to the
reHgioiis orders because of their vast wealth and posses-
sions, the body of the people supported the clericals and
enabled them almost entirely to prevent such changes.

After three centuries of decline and decadence there
were immense obstacles in the way of recovery, and the
loss from those centuries was not easily to be made up.
The country was poor, agriculture languished, there was
little industry and not much trade. No longer did great
quantities of gold come from colonies, for most of them
had long ago been lost, and those which remained were a
burden and expense. Most of the people were ignorant
and superstitious, and more than half of them could neither
read nor write. Taxation was heavj^ and the national debt
almost too great to be borne. None the less, gradually
there has been an improvement in the last generation.
"VMiat appeared at first a great disaster, the loss of most
of the remaining Spanish colonies to the United States
in 1898, soon seemed a benefit, since it removed much
trouble and expense. Of late the population has been
increasing, and wealth and prosperity along with it. The
land has been getting more and more into the hands of
peasant proprietors, and manufacturing and commerce
have once more begun to flourish. The country remains
poor, and in the midst of their splendid cathedrals and
vast palaces the people have memories of the past more
than possessions in the present. Nevertheless, Spain,
once the land of the Inquisition, of autos da fe, of proud
noblemen, of innumerable beggars, is coming to be a land
of some industry and prosperity, and may have a large
future before her.

Portugal, like Spain, had played her part long before
the beginning of the nineteenth century, and, like Spain,
the best of her heritage in 1870 consisted of glorious memo-
ries from the past. For her also the nineteenth century
had been a period of weakness, quietude, and decay. After


the Napoleonic wars and after the withdrawal of the
British troops who had occupied the country, Portugal was
the scene of struggles between parties of progress and re-
action. No great advance was made and not niucli was Economic
possible, for the country had no large national wealth stagnation
and no great industries or trade. Its finances were
hopelessly tangled, taxes were very high, and the debt of
the nation was large. Brazil had proclaimed her inde-
pendence in 1822, but Portugal still possessed a colonial
empire, mostly in Africa, nmch beyond her resources to
maintain. As time went on her debt increased and her
affairs became more embarrassed. It was not possible to
improve education or economic conditions, and most of the
people remained poor and illiterate, with small under-
standing of political matters and no previous experience
in self-government. So the Portuguese people, in their
out-of-the-way corner of Europe, lived on in the decay of
their country, in the midst of monuments of departed
grandeur, attracting little foreign attention, except when
other countries, like Germany or England, hoped some day
to inherit their colonial possessions. It is believed that
in 1898 Great Britain and Germany did make a secret
agreement about how these possessions might be divided
between them later on, if ever Portugal could be per-
suaded to sell.

In 1910, when the reigning dynasty had sunk into The Por-
complete disrepute, Manoel II, young, inexperienced, and tuguese Re-
foolish, was driven from the throne and a republic pro- P"^'*<^' ^^^^
claimed. A constitution modelled on that of France was
adopted, providing for a legislature, the Cortes, with a minis-
try responsible to it, and a president. But it was evident
at once that it would take generations of education
and training in self-government before the Portuguese
people could make it work successfully; and the new gov-
ernment had to sustain itself by force and Ijy many of
the arbitrary methods of imprisonment and suppression



of the Dutch
in the past


which had made the monarchy odious. Furthermore,
there were violent disputes between the clericals and
friends of the republic, for notwithstanding that the entire
population was Roman Catholic, the republican govern-
ment at once proceeded to separate Church from State,
suppress the wealthy religious orders, and confiscate what
they owned. It would probably be long before the settle-
ment was complete.

The history of Holland in the nineteenth century was
mostly a record of quiet prosperity and of solid achieve-
ment by a nation once great but now for a long time small
in the midst of mightier neighbors. When after a pro-
longed and desperate struggle during the sixteenth century
the Dutch succeeded in winning their independence from
the Spanish crown, they had become the greatest sea power
in Europe. It was their ships and their command of the
sea, more than anything else, that had given them their
triumph ; and not only had they come through the contest
successfully , but they had obtained an extensive colonial em-
pire in the Far East, and become the greatest commercial
nation as well. During the earlier years of the seventeenth
century they had a great part of the carrying trade of
Europe in their hands, and they so developed the herring
fisheries of the North Sea that the waters yielded them
greater wealth than Spain got from her mines in Peru.

But England now began to rise up as a great commercial
power. Her geographical position was more favorable
than that of the Dutch, since she lay across the routes
by which the Dutch reached the outside world, and could,
if she desired, always close them. Sea wars followed,
resulting largely from commercial and colonial competi-
tion, in which the Dutch failed to hold their own. Worse
still, they were exposed to attacks from France, then,
under Louis XIV, the greatest and most aggressive mili-
tary power in Europe, and they were not, like England,
protected by the sea. The Dutch did save themselves,


and afterward, together with Enghind, they cheeked tlic
aggressions of France. But by 1713, when this was
achieved, they were exliausted by a task which liad })ecn
beyond their strength, and whereas in tlie seventeenth
century they were one of the principal Euroj^ean powers,
in the eighteenth they sank to the second class and no
longer played a great part. Like Spain, the United Nether-
lands, even in this period of decline, continued to pos-
sess large colonial dominion, mostly in the Far East; but
unlike the Spaniards, the Dutch continued to be, what
they had been from the first, industrious and successful
workers. They played a lesser part because neighboring
powers had gro\\Ti far greater and more rapidly than them-
selves, so that relatively they were less than before.

During the wars of the French Revolution the Dutch
Netlierlands were overrun like others countries near by;
and in 1810 they were annexed directly to France. But
when Napoleon's power was crumbling, the Dutch pro-
claimed their freedom and made themselves a kingdom
under William I, son of the last stadtholder who had ruled
before the Frenchmen came. When the Congress of
Vienna was doing its work, the leaders determined to
strengthen Holland against possible aggression from
France in the future, and in 1815 what had before the
French Revolution been the Austrian Netherlands, and
before that the Spanish, was joined to the new Dutch
kingdom, the united territories being known as the King-
dom of the Netherlands.

This union was not destined to last. The people of tlie
Dutch Netherlands were mostly Protestant and Germanic,
while the population of the Belgic provinces was Catholic
and part of it had derived its culture from France. The
Belgian population was more numerous than the Dutch,
but while Belgium was compelled to contribute the larger
part of the taxation, the offices and power in the govern-
ment were reserved for Dutch officials. William I was

The King-
dom of the

of Belgium
from Hol-



Holland in
the nine-
teenth cen-

very conservative; he offended the Hberals, and he further
outraged the feeHngs of his Belgian subjects by trying to
impose on them Dutch language and laws. Wlien in
1830 the Bourbon monarchy was overthrown in France
by a revolution in Paris, the Belgians rose against their
masters, and demanded a separate legislature. William
refused any concessions, so they proclaimed their complete
independence. The Dutch people, inflamed by strong
national feeling, supported their monarch, and he might
have reconquered the rebels had it not been that England
and France intervened. Thus Belgium won her independ-
ence; and, so different were the two peoples in character,
aspirations, and ideals, that it was probably best that the
separation took place.

The political history of Holland in the nineteenth
century was uneventful. The Dutch, with many proud
memories from the past, were intensely conscious of their
nationality, and passionately resolved to keep their inde-
pendence. They had no great love for England, who had
once beaten them in great trade wars and taken from them
some of their colonial possessions; but in the past France
had been the great enemy, and then they had only been
saved by assistance from Britain. During the nineteenth
century these conditions no longer existed, but at the be-
ginning of the twentieth, a danger that had long been
looming up appeared more threatening. The most am-
bitious German leaders were thought to look forward to a
day when the German Empire would be greater, and when
it would include possessions which they thought should
properly belong to it but which were not yet within the
Empire. Some German writers asserted that the Dutch
were closely related to the Germans, that of right they
should enter a Germanic federal union, and that Holland,
lying across the mouths of Germany's great river, the
Rhine, ought to be brought into such union. More and
more did the Dutch dread incorporation with their power-

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<f^ ^ British
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IMIH Dutch
^ Spanish
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ful neighbor, and the loss of independent existence. In
1890 Queen Wilhelmina, a girl of ten, came to the throne,
and for a while her subjects feared that there ^^()lll(l be no
heir to the crown and that, the dj'^nasty dying out, their
country might lose its independence. After the birth of
an heir, however, this fear abated; though the Dutch
continued to guard with great jealousy against any in-
fringement of their freedom. After the beginning of the
Great War they guarded their neutrality likewise.

Online LibraryEdward Raymond TurnerEurope since 1870 → online text (page 29 of 49)