Edward Raymond Turner.

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standing was closer than ever and virtually a strong alli-

One of the principal results of this contest was increas- German bit-
ing German bitterness toward England. Great Britain
had supported France stoutly, and in Germany there had
been widespread indignation at what was termed the un-

toward Eng-



The Balkan




warranted interference of England. "We know now the
enemy who loses no chance to bar our way." This bitter-
ness resulted largely from comprehension that British
support had made it possible for France to give Germany
the greatest diplomatic set-back that Germans had knowTi
since before the Franco-German War. On all sides was
expressed the determination to see that, next time, the
Fatherland would be so prepared that there would be no
receding; and it was probable that if another crisis found
Germany ready she would not again endure to be checked.
But the next crisis did not arise through Germany's
seeking, though it soon involved Austria's interests and
her own. It came from the Balkan wars of 1912 and
1913, and had to do with Teutonic influence and plans in
southeastern Europe. After the overwhelming defeat of
Turkey early in the First Balkan War representatives
of the Great Powers assembled in London to discuss
the startling new problems just raised. It was not long
before dangerous tension developed. Servia, by reason
of her success, had not only conquered territory which she
greatly desired, but she had now the chance of extending
do\\Ti through Albania and getting an outlet on the
Adriatic Sea. To this Austria-Hungary was altogether
opposed. Not only was Servia more hostile and danger-
ous to her than any other Balkan state, so that she was
entirely unwalling for Servia to become greater and more
independent, but a strong Servia resting on the sea
would really block her hoped-for extension toward the
yEgean. Therefore she declared, in effect, that Servia
must not reach to the sea and that she must not occupy
Durazzo. Servia insisted upon getting the city, and in
November Austria began to mobilize her troops. Then
Germany declared that she would support her allies if
they were attacked. Russia began to mobihze troops
behind the screen of her Polish fortresses, and France
announced that she would stand by her ally if she were


needed. Italy, while oi){)ose(l to Servia appearing' on the
Adriatic, was as much opposed to further extension of
Austrian power down the eastern coast of that sea. In
Great Britain puhlic oj)inion, so far as it was interested,
was in favor of letting the small Balkan States keej) the
conquests they had won from the Turk, even though at
the beginning the Great Powers had announced that these
states would not be allowed to make conquests.

Servia yielded and withdrew her troops, and in the
treaty of peace that followed an independent Albania
was constituted, as Austria wished. The Montenegrins,
however, continued to besiege Scutari, in northern Al-
bania, and after a long investment, captured the for-
tress. Before the fall of the city the powers had notified
Montenegro that Scutari was to belong to Albania, and
then they blockaded the one little harbor which Monte-
negro possessed. When Scutari fell, Austria-Hungary de-
manded that it be given up at once, and went forward with
the mobilization of troops. Again Russia made ready to
support her Slavic kinsmen as when the Servians had been
threatened some months before over Durazzo. Once
more the crisis was passed when Montenegro yielded to
the pressure of the powers and abandoned the city which
she had just taken at such great cost.

The result of the Second Balkan War, even more than
that of the First, produced a profound alteration in the
balance of power and politics in Europe. Early in 1912,
after long struggle between the Teutonic powers and Rus-
sia for predominating influence in the Balkans, the result
then was that Servia, small and unimportant, along with
Montenegro, of little consequence, were friendly to Russia
and to some extent dependent on her, while Greece, also
unimportant, was bound by many ties to France. On the
other hand, Rumania, the strongest and most progressiv^e
of the Balkan states, was allied by secret agreement with
the Central Powers, and thus attached to the Triple Alli-

Servia and
yield to

The new
situation in
the Balkans,



power of the

Austria de-
sires to re-
cover her
influence in
the Balkans,

not com-

ance; Bulgaria, strong and successful, was very friendly
to the Dual Monarchy, and Turkey, still believed to be
more powerful than any of her neighbors, was bound by
close ties to the German Empire. But after the end of
the Second Balkan War not only was the strength of
Turkey as a European power so weakened that she counted
for little more than possessor of the incomparable site of '
Constantinople and territories in Asia, but Servia, the
bitter enemy of Austria, had come out of both wars with
increased power and territory and greatly increased
prestige, and Rumania, former friend of the Central
Powers, was no longer so closely bound to them, and had,
indeed, acted contrary to their wishes against their friend.

Altogether, the position of Germany and Austria-
Hungary was less good with respect to the Balkans than
before. It seemed to both of them, apparently, that their
position was endangered and impaired. Austria greatly
desired to settle at once her account with Servia, and
reduce her permanently to a position in which she could
never again be a source of apprehension. It was learned
afterward that in August, 1913, Austria-Hungary wished
to proceed against Servia at once, and tried to get her
partners in the Triple Alliance to join her. But the Italian
Government, describing it as a "most perilous adventure,"
refused to give sanction, and the matter was dropped until
the next year. What action Germany then took is not
certain, though most probably she also dissuaded her ally.
During the conference of the powers in London, she had
acted along with Great Britain in trying to settle peace-
ably the matters at issue.

Had she joined Great Britain in the next year as cor-
dially, it is probable that the Great War would have been
avoided. But whereas in 1914 she was ready for the
great decision, it is known now that in 1913 she did not con-
sider her preparations complete. The changes in the Bal-
kans seemed to diminish her military superiority, and in


19L3 many Germans declared that the country could be safe
from the ^'rowing menace of Russia and Pan-Slavism only
if great sacrifices were made and the army largely increased.
Accordingly, huge and extraordinary sums of money were
voted for greater armaments, and the army was increased
to 870,000 men. Immediately thereupon the French, feel-
ing the greater danger from (lermany, increased tlieir
army also. They could not with their stationary popu-
lation simply expand their standing army as the Germans
were doing, but by keeping the troops with the colors for
three years instead of for two they made a substantial in-
crease. It was recognized that this was literally the last
effort of France in the race.

So many dangerous periods had now been safely passed
that pacifists and well-meaning people began to believe
that a great war never would come. But it had almost come
in 1911, and more nearly in 1913. Both times the great
struggle was avoided, it would now seem, because Germany
was not yet ready. In another year she would be pre-
pared. Then another crisis would come, again about
Servia and the Balkans, and that time the utmost efforts
of those who wished peace would not be sufficient to keep


The Triple Entente: R. B. Mowat, Select Treaties and Docu-
ments (ed. 1916), contains the texts of the Entente Cordialc, public
and secret parts, and of the Anglo-Russian Agreement; Sir
Thomas Barclay, Thirty Years' Anglo-French Reminiscences
(1914); L. J. Jaray, La Politique Franco- Anglaise et V Arbitrage
Internatif)nale (1904); E. Lemonon, UEnrope et la Politique
Britannique, 1882-1910 (1910); R. Millet, Notre Politique
Exterieure de 1898-1905 (1905), hostile to Delcasse; Gilbert
Murray, The Foreign Policy of Sir Edward Grey (1915), de-
fends; G. H. Perris, Our Foreign Policy and Sir Edward Grey's
Failure (1912) opposed to the ententes; A. Tardieu, Questions
Diplomatique s de VAnnee 1904 (1905).

Relations with Russia: The Willy-Nicky Correspondence,

of Pan-

The lull pre-
ceding the


edited by Herman Bernstein (1918), to be supplemented by
S. B. Fay, "The Kaiser's Secret Negotiations with the Czar,
190-1-5," American Historical Review, October, 1918; N. F.
Grant, editor, TJie Kai.sers Letters to the Tsar (1920).

The conflict over Morocco: P. Albin, Le '"Coup" d'Agadir
(1912); H. Closs, West-Marokko Deutsch (1911); G. Diercks,
Die Marokkofrage und die Konferenz von Algeciras (1906); L.
Maurice, La Politique Marocaine de V Allemagne (1916); E.
Morel, Morocco in Diplomacy (1912), well documented, but
strongly prejudiced against France and the Anglo-French policy,
reissued as Ten Years of Secret Diplomacy (1915); A. Tardieu,
La Conference d' Algeciras (ed. 1917), best on subject, Le Mys-
tere d\4gadir (1912), best account of; A. Wirth, Die Entschei-
dung Uber Marokko (1911).



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unroniis,'"' •,e,°"„\]„, :.. Marquesas 1

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(»'■) „ , ,. ," !»'< ' PitMirn l.(«r.) .SalayGomej

Oparol.(«r.). ^,^,^,,

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Dougherty t. ,

^?^ («' ) British Empire

'South Orkneys




Gelcgentlich dor Uborgahe dor vorstehonflon Note wollon Euor
Hocliwolilgt'l)oren inUiidlich liinziifiigen, dass Sie hcauftragt seien
— falls IhiR'H iiiclit inzwisclu'ii ciiu* vorlR'haltlijSf zustiriimendc
Antwort der konigliclu'ii Regicniiig zngokoinnicn st-iii solltc — nach
Ablauf dor in dor Note vorgesehenen, voin Tage und von der
Stunde Hirer Mitteilung an zu reehnenden 48 stiindigen Frist, mil
dem Personale der k. u. k. Gesandsehaft Belgrad zu verlassen.
Instruetion of Count Beuchtold to Baron von Giesl, about
presenting the Austrian Note at Belgrade, July 2^2, 1914.

Such had been tlie development of the politics of
Europe. Ominous and terrible things loomed up ever
more striking, and there were not wanting those who
each year predicted a great war inevitable in the future.
Yet, this seemed such a travesty upon civilization and the
progress of mankind that many a zealous and earnest
person contended in these later years that no great war
could again take place, that war never paid, and that the
dreadful losses certain to come would deter the principal
nations from fighting. It was beheved that arbitration
would be used more and more in the future, that the
Hague Tribunal, which had been erected in 1899, at the
suggestion of the tsar, and to which shortly after the
United States had brought the first case, would be able
peaceably to settle disputes. Furthermore, it was often
said that the whole tendency of politics recently had been
to make governments more and more democratic and bring
them more thoroughly under the control of the represen-
tatives of the people; that the commonalty in all countries
were really bound together by ties recognized ever more
clearly; that each year they better imderstood how wars


of a great

and peace



class inter-
est and wars


General and



were made by the upper classes in their own selfish class
interests, that they were fought by the common people
upon whom fell all the suffering and loss, but who got
none of the benefits of victory; and that, therefore, the
mass of the people, now that they had power in governing
themselves, would not permit any more wars or give them
support. Finally, it was believed by many that commerce
and finance now bound together the nations so closely
that powerful economic forces were making war impossible.
There was much truth in all of these contentions, and
perhaps had mankind been more fortunate and wiser, no
great war need have come. But as one looks back now
and considers things as they were, not as men hoped they
were, it is evident that there were certain great causes tend-
ing almost irresistibly to the awful disaster which came.

The immediate causes of the Great War of 1914 were
the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and
the note that Austria-Hungary addressed to Servia
thereupon. But great and larger causes had long been
potently working.

The great nations of Europe were by 1914 divided into
two great hostile combinations, the Triple Alliance and
the Triple Entente, armed to the teeth and constantly
watching each other. Militarism had developed until
in Europe there was the vastest accumulation of arms,
munitions, and war supplies which had ever been got to-
gether, the largest number of soldiers that had ever been
trained for war, the greatest amount of military science
and skill, and not a little desire to use in war what had been
prepared for war. Certain consequences of the mere
geographical shape, arrangement, and division of Europe
made some nations hostile to others. The trend of events
seemed to favor some nations of Europe more than
the others, which caused military statesmen to believe
that if their nations did not make war now they could
have little chance in the future. Differences in birth-rate


and growth of population made disparity, arrogance, and Great rival-
fear. The relations between Germany and England, and "^^ ^^

. . differences

the rivalry between Teutons and Slavs, especially with
respect to the Balkans, had for some years threatened a
conflict. Above all, the character, tiie amljitions, the
ideals, the purposes of the German people made war seem
desirable to them, a good thing not to be shunned. Most
of these causes affected and influenced all of the European
powers, and for that reason in theearly years of the struggle
it seemed to many people in the United States that here
was merely another contest brought about by rivalries and
unwholesome ambitions, with one side no better than the
other. Presently, however, it was seen that German
designs had influenced and directed all the other factors;
and in the end the opinion prevailed that blame should
be placed upon the Grrnum people and their leaders.

The growth of the great opposing combinations has al- Triple
ready been traced. By 1914 the German Empire, Austria- against
Hungary, and Italy still composed the Triple Alliance. For Triple
some time Italy had been attached to it principally through Alliance
fear of what might happen if she left it, and her attitude
in any great conflict was a matter of conjecture; but
Rumania had long been secretly allied with Austria-
Hungary, and more recently Turkey had been so closely
attached to Germany's interest that it seemed very prob-
able that any loss through Italy would be made good by
her. On the other side were Great Britain, Russia, and
France, held together more loosely, and held together
principally through dread of the mighty and mcreasing
greatness of the German Empire, with Russia sometimes
drawn away for the moment by the influence of the kaiser
upon the tsar. AMiatever might be true of Italy and to
a less extent of Russia, the two Teutonic powers on the
one side, and Great Britain and France on the other, con-
stantly drew closer together, and constantly watched their
opponents with increasing suspicion and alarm. In both




ment of the


groups, and especially in England and France, many peo-
ple bore their opponents no hostility and hoped that war
never would come; but on both sides were those who
constantly watched for the favorable moment to better
their position, and constantly worked to oppose their
opponents. Several dangerous situations had arisen, and
always the two combinations seemed to drift into deeper
enmity and graver danger of war.

These great combinations had resulted not only from
political developments, but partly from the growth and
preparation of military power. In the nineteenth century
there had been in Europe such a development of armies
and military preparations as had never been seen before.
In former times there had been great military states,
Assyria, Sparta, Rome, overawing all their neighbors; but
now almost every man in most of the great states of
Europe had been trained as a soldier and was ready for
the summons to come.

The wars of the eighteenth century were carried on in
Europe by professional soldiers, paid and supported by
the governments, who kept them as standing armies in per-
manent military establishments. Such armies were small
as compared with the population of the countries that
maintained them. Louis XIV terrified all Europe when
he assembled 400,000 soldiers at a time when the popula-
tion of France was 10,000,000. But during the nineteenth
century these small armies of professional hired soldiers
were given over. In 1813 a law passed in Prussia provided
that a certain number of the young men of the nation
should be trained as soldiers for a short period, after which
like numbers should be trained in succession for the same
short period, so that after a while a large number of all
the young men should have been trained as soldiers, and
in time of need could be called out for active service. This
system was extended and perfected in Prussia until after a
time a large portion of all Prussia's men had had military


training. It was because of this tliat Prussia so easily
won her great triumphs over Austria and France. She
had by far the largest number of well-trained soldiers of
any state in the world. Enormous advantage came from
this, because a large army could not be created quickly.
War was becoming so elaborate and complicated that it
was nearly hopeless for men without military training or
organization to stand against an army well prei)ared.

So great and so obvious was the advantage of Prussia,
that in time all the neighbors of the Gennan Phnpire
adopted this system: France, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and
Russia. The extent to which the system of "universal"
military service was adopted by each one depended upon
the size of the population and the financial ability of the
nation to support gigantic military forces. Russia did not
find it necessary' to take all of her men, nor did the German
Empire, but France, with nmch smaller population, and
living directly by Germany, enrolled all her men physi-
cally fit, and was by 1014 the classic example of the sys-
tem. There all the young men, not deformed or too weak,
when they arrived at the age established by law, went to
the training camps for three years, and after their period
of training entered the reserve. In 1914 the number of
soldiers in the "standing army" of Germany was 870,000,
while 4,000,000 more trained soldiers could, if necessary,
be called; in France 670,000 were in the camps, and it was
thought that 3,000,000 could follow. By this time the
soldiers of the Continental armies numbered millions, with
millions more in reserve. There had never been anything
like it before, and it was believed that another war would
either be decided immediately in favor of that nation which
could suddenly bring greatest forces to bear, or else all the
contestants would soon be exhausted as a result of the
stupendous cost.

Nor was this all. With these vast military establish-
ments went the preparation of war-supplies in incredible

Growth of
armies in






tions, and

The Hague
Peace Con-

quantities. Never before in the history of the world had
there been so enormous an accumulation of rifles, cannon,
machine guns, explosives, and death-dealing instruments
of all kinds. The best brains and the greatest ingenuity
in some of these countries went into the devising of more
and more dreadful instruments of destruction. There
was feverish activity and the most reckless expenditure
to keep up in the race. Powerful weapons soon became
obsolete and were replaced with others more terrible. To
lag in the race might some time mean destruction by a
more active rival. Preparations for the future were
constantly made. Elaborate arrangements were prepared
for sudden attack, and complete plans of campaign.
Spies were sent out in time of peace, to collect infor-
mation or disarrange plans. Railway systems were
constructed for quickly moving troops, and "strategic
railways" appeared, as along the Belgian frontier of Ger-
many, where there were few passengers and little freight
to be moved. And still more terrible, but as a natural
consequence, powerful men who gave their careers to
military service thought about military effectiveness so
much and tried so hard to perfect their armies, that they
came to think of war as a good thing, and to hope that
there might some day be a chance to use the weapons so
well prepared. In all of these things Germany took the
lead and kept far ahead. When statesmen of other
countries tried to bring about reduction of armament, and
arrange plans for settling national disputes by peaceable
means, Germany always opposed or refused.

Some efforts were made to abate this activity, and
there were not a few who dreamed of bringing war to an
end. In 1898 Tsar Nicholas II invited the nations to
consider the project of disarming. As he truly declared,
increasing armaments and the expenses entailed threatened
to destroy European civilization. In the next year what
was known as the First Peace Conference assembled at


The Hague. The German representative declared that
in his country the army was no burden; and it was not
possible to agree upon any scheme of reduction; but a
permanent court of arbitration known as the Hague
Tribunal, was established, to deal, at the request of
powers concerned, with dili'erences which they had been
unable to settle by diplomatic negotiation. In 1907 a
second Peace Conference met at The Hague. There
was a larger attendance, and stronger efforts were now
made to substitute peaceable arbitration for war, and so
make possible the reduction of armaments. Again there
was no success, and it was afterward stated that from
Germany came the most effective opposition. A body of
conventions was drawn up to regulate the conduct of war
and forbid certain harsh methods and divers dreaded
devices, like poisonous gases. These conventions were
adopted, but again Germany made no actual change in
the stem and terrible regulations contained in her Kriegs-
branch im Landkriege (usages in war), which had been
issued five years before. The Hague Conferences ac-
complished little, but they are the principal monument
to the Russian ruler who afterward perished so miserably
as a result of war. And they were afterward seen to have
been preliminary steps toward the forming of a league of
nations to abolish all war.

Because of mere geographical situation and the arrange-
ment of outlets and frontiers some of the nations of
Europe were at a disadvantage as compared with the
others. They earnestly desired to get things that they
lacked, which could only be got by taking them away from
rivals. Some countries were closed in from the sea by
others, who could, if they should so wish, deny them outlet
and strangle their economic life. Some nations had vast
expanse of territory in which to increase their population

Online LibraryEdward Raymond TurnerEurope since 1870 → online text (page 35 of 49)