Edward Raymond Turner.

Europe since 1870 online

. (page 44 of 49)
Online LibraryEdward Raymond TurnerEurope since 1870 → online text (page 44 of 49)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Melting-Pot (1919); Ralph Butler, The New Eastern Europe
(1919), concerning Finland, Poland, Lithuania, and the Ukraine.

Improvements desired in the new era hoj)e(l for: Towards a
Lasting Settlement (1916), essays by several liberal and radical
authors, edited by C. R. Buxton; W. H. Dawson, Problems of
the Peace (1918); Rev. Walter MacDonald, Some Ethical Ques-
tions of Peace and War, unth Special Reference to Ireland (1919);
Arthur Ponsonby, Democracy and Diplomacy: a Plea for Popular
Control of Foreign Policy (1915); Richard Roberts, The Un-
finished Programme of Democracy (1919).

The Congress of Paris : Dr. E. J. Dillon, The Peace Conference
(1919), critical of and not very satisfactory; C. H. Haskins and
R. H. Lord, Some Problems of the Peace Conference (1920);
Robert Lansing, The Peace Negotiations: A Personal Narrative
(1921) ; A History of the Peace Conference of Paris, ed. by H. W.
V. Temperley, 2 vols. (1920); Andre Tardieu, The Tnith About
the Treaty (1921); C. T. Thompson, The Peace Conference Day
by Day (1920), What Really Happened in Paris: the Story of the
Peace Conference, 1919, ed. by E. M. House and Charles
Seymour (1921).

A league of nations: Viscount Bryce, Essays and Addresses
in War Time (1918); Sir Geoffrey Butler, A Handbook to the
League of Naticms (1919); G. L. Dickinson, The European
Anarchy (191G); Viscount Grey and others. The League of Na-
tions (1919); The Nations and the League (1919), by ten repre-
sentative writers of seven nations; Lord Eustace Percy, The
Responsibilities of the League (1919); Sir Frederick Pollock,


The League of Nations (1919), with an excellent historical in-
troduction; Charles Sarolea, Europe and the League of Nations
(1919); J. C. Smuts, The League of Nations (1919); Elizabeth
York, Leagues of Natioiis, Ancient, Medieval, and Modern (1919).
The Treaty of Versailles: Bernard M. Baruch, The Making of
the Reparation and Economic Sections of the Treaty (1920); J. L.
Garvin, The Economic Foundations of Peace (1919); Gabriel
Hanotaux, Le Traite de Versailles de 28 Juin, 1919 (1919); J.
M. Kej^nes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919),
a brilliant but specious attack on the economic conditions of the
Treaty by an important British representative at Paris.



. . . in the most atlvanccd countries the following will be pretty
generally applicable: 1. Abolition of property in land and ap-
plication of all rents of land to public purposes. ... 3. Aboli-
tion of all right of inheritance. ... 6. Centralisation of the
means of communication and transport in the hands of the Stale
. . . 8. Equal liability of all to labour. . . .

Karl Marx and Friedpuch Engels, Manifesto of the Com-
munist Party (1848).

Jesuis un partisan convaincu de rc^aZi7ccconomi^?/crf5oaa/c .

je pense que I'egalite doit s'etablir dans le monde par I'organisation
spontanee du travail et de la propriete collective des associations
productrices librement organisces et federalisees dans les com-
munes, et par la federation tout aussi .spontanee des communes,
mais non par Taction supreme et tutelaire de TEtat.

Mikhail Bakl'NIN, Preambule pour la Seconde Livraison de
L'Empire Knouto-Germanique (1871).

We are about to ask how it is possible to conceive the transformation
of the men of to-day into the free producers of to-morrow working
in manufactories where there are no masters. . . violence en-
lightened by the idea of the general strike ....
Georges Sorel, Reflections on Violence (trans. 1914.)

Russia is declared to be a Republic of Soviets of Workmen's, Soldiers'
and Peasants' Deputies. All the power in the centre and in the
provinces belongs to these Soviets.

. . . private ownership of land is abolished, and the whole land
fund is declared common national property and transferred to the
laborers without compensation. Inheritance, whether by law or by
will, is abolished.

Decrees of the Soviet Government of Rus^a, 1917.

After the middle of the nineteenth century the prog- Progress
ress of socialism in Europe was increasingly rapid. It of socialism
was spread abroad by the powerful writings of Karl Marx, '" "^°^®




Other social
doctrines :


by the teachings of his associate Engels, and by the labors
of disciples, notable among whom was the brilliant Ferdi-
nand Lassalle in Germany. In 1871 it received a setback
in the overthrow of the Commune of Paris, which Marx had
hoped would succeed. Moreover, the socialists, in the
presence of their own vast doctrines, began to split up into
different creeds, and by the beginning of the twentieth
century it was often difficult for outsiders and even for
adherents to determine just what socialism meant. None
the less, meanwhile it continued to go forward, especially
in Germany and in France.

In the course of this time other social doctrines had been
preached, of which the more important made much prog-
ress. Some of them developed alongside of socialism or
even in opposition to it; others were the outgrowth or
extension of socialism itself. About the time when
Marx began doing his work a Frenchman, Pierre-Joseph
Proudhon, revived and extended the teachings of prede-
cessors in France, that government interfered with the
liberties and thwarted the happiness of most of the
people, and that property was got by plundering the mass
of the people. His most famous work, Quest-ce que la
Propriete? (WTiat is Property?), pubhshed in 1840, de-
clared that property was theft. He believed that man's
happiness could best be obtained under anarchism,
absence of government and governmental interference.
Like many others who have taught extreme and subver-
sive doctrines, Proudhon was a theorist, kindly and hu-
mane; but his doctrines were taken up by bolder and more
violent persons, who undertook to accomplish great re-
forms by getting rid of existing governments, and who
strove to destroy governments by murdering their princi-
pal officials. Under Mikhail Bakunin, a Russian, and his
followers, anarchism spread horror and dread throughout
Europe. In the course of a single generation a tsar of
Russia, an empress of Austria, a king of Italy, a president


of France, a premier of Spain, and even a president of the
United States, fell victims to anarchist assassins.

Marx was ahiiost from the first Ijitterly opposed to the
teachings of Proudlion; and sociahsm and anarchism have
continued to he widely separate, emhodying vvvy diircrent
theories of organization. The anarchists would destroy
all authority above, so as to establish complete and ex-
treme individual freedom. The ideal of the socialists was
that the State, reorganized, should control all collectively
or for the common welfare of all the i)eople. Uj)on the
great body of men anarchism never had more effect than
to excite wondering curiosity or terror; and it never did
much to affect socialist theories or methods.

But socialism was affected by a radical movement
from within. In the course of the half century that passed
after the time when Louis Blanc and Karl Marx began
teaching, socialism gained in greatness and importance,
and many of the more moderate reforms advocated by its
adherents were slowly obtained. Great and obvious evils
remained, however, some of wliich were not remedied be-
cause it was not known how to amend them. During this
period many of the more moderate and practical socialists
abandoned their extremer theories and took part in the
politics of the states where they lived, hoping thus to
better conditions by sustained and constructive effort.
But it was obvious that after two generations many of the
tilings foretold by socialist leaders had not come to pass,
and slight prospect was seen of bringing them about as
things for the most part were then going. Accordingly, as
is ever the case, the bolder, the rasher, the more fiery and
impatient, proclaimed that existing methods never could
effect fundamental betterment, and that the important
changes which socialists desired must be obtained by very
different devices.

In France, in the latter part of the nineteenth century,
appeared leaders who proclaimed that the great goal of

and social-


with the
of socialism




action" by
trade unions

Objects of




socialism was to be reached not through slow, patient work
and persuasion but through violence and force; not
through efforts in legislatures, which were the creations
of the middle classes, who always controlled them, but
through direct action of the workers themselves. As
parliaments had been devised by the middle class, so had
tlie working people created an institution peculiarly their
owTi, the trade union, which they really controlled, and
which was their particular means of bringing desired
changes to pass. The new movement was soon known as
syndicalism, from syndicat (trade union). It spread rap-
idly into other countries, and across the ocean into Canada
and the United States, where its adherents styled them-
selves Industrial Workers of the World (I. W. W.).

Syndicalists proposed to render the workingmen's
unions more powerful by making them larger and more
comprehensive. They would organize into one big union
all the workers employed in a single industry, and then
make powerful alliance of the large groups. In time of
need workers who resisted their employers could be sup-
ported by their brethren in gigantic strikes, or even general
strikes, which would paralyze the transportation and
industrial life of the nation. It was in France that these
ideas were most strikingly carried out, though they were
tried also in Russia and England. In the years 1906-9
several efforts, only partly successful, were made by
French workers to paralyze opposition by means of great
strikes, and in 1910 an effort was made to stop all railway
traffic. But the railway strike failed when the govern-
ment mobilized the strikers for military service on the
railways, thus putting them in effect under martial law;
and on other occasions not all the workingmen joined, and
many citizen volunteers took the place of the strikers.
Syndicalist workmen were taught that there must be no
real peace even in the time when no strikes were going on,
but that capitalism must be damaged and diminished by

IX lil'iO

and syndi-


secret, continual destruction; tluit laborers must do less
work than they were paid for, and that they must injure
the product and hurt the machinery whenever they could.
Since on one occasion, it is said, certain French workmen
beginning a strike had thrown their wooden shoes into the
machinery to ruin it, this destruction was known as

The extreme views and often the violence of the syndical- Socialism
ists not only awakened great apprehension wherever they
made themselves known, but aroused suspicion among
some of the socialists themselves. Syndicalism really
proposed to bring about some of the most important re-
forms which socialists had originally taught; but syndi-
calist methods and the results they strove for were very
different from what many of the socialists now sup-
ported. In the early years of the twentieth century the
syndicalist leaders in Liverpool, in Dublin, in Paris, in
Barcelona, and elsewhere, hoped to bring about the sup-
pression of capitalism and the taking over by workmen of
property and the means of production, so that the railways,
factories, and mines should be owned and managed by the
laborers for their own profit and advantage. Some of them
hoped for a new organization of the State, which should
be but a group of industries or unions of workers, controlled
completely by the laborers within them. All this, if
necessary, should be done by revolution and force.

In Germany socialism had been carried forward by Socialism in
Ferdinand Lassalle, disciple of Marx and son of a wealthy the German
Jewish merchant. Lacking the profound mind and intel- ™Pire
lectual reach of his master, he nevertheless possessed such
brilliancy and charm that he made friends of officials like
Bismarck and attracted a large following among the work-
men of his country. In 18G3 he founde<l the General
Workingmen's Association. Before nmch came of it he
was killed in a duel, but in 1869 the Social Democratic
Party was founded by VVilhelm Liebknecht and August



In Austria-

In France

Bebel. Socialists were regarded with suspicion and dis-
like by the government of the new German Empire, stern
laws were passed against them, and presently some of the
things they demanded were done by the State itself with
the hope of lessening their influence and weakening their
power. Nevertheless, their numbers grew rapidly until at
last they had the largest following of any party in the
country, though many who were not socialists, but merely
liberals and moderates, voted with them. Shortly after
the Social Democratic Party was founded it received more
than 100,000 votes; in 1912 it had more than 4,000,000.
The party was ably led by Bebel, who displayed great skill
in the Reichstag, and became one of the striking orators of
his age. For a long time it could do no more than be a
party of opposition and protest; but after the fall of the
German Empire at the end of the Great War a German
republic was established, partly upon a socialist plan.
In Austria-Hungary also socialism made some progress;
but not till the beginning of the twentieth century did a
socialist political party attain any importance there. This
was partly because Austria and Hungary, with respect to
industrial development, lagged behind their neighbors to
the north and the west, and partly because in no other
great state was the population less homogeneous, more
divided by race and religion.

In France also socialism had made rapid growth, though
with more violent upheavals, which were followed by
reaction and repression, so that development was re-
tarded for a while. A socialist movement in 1848 had led
to a fierce uprising in Paris, which was quelled after
terrible fighting. The capture of Paris by the Germans in
1871 was almost immediately followed by the establish-
ment there of a commune, which, had it been maintained,
would have been a socialist community only loosely con-
nected with the rest of France. But against it the con-
servative people and the peasants of the rural districts rose,


and Paris was again capturrd after a siege more terril)le
than that endured at the liands of the Germans. 'I'here
was much destruction of property and life, followed by
great and merciless vengeance. For a time the socialists
were completely crushed, and socialism was entirely dis-
credited in the eyes of most of the people of France. But
after a while communists who had been sent into exile were
allowed to return, and gradually socialism gained strength
again. For some time French socialists were divided into
parties, especially under Jules Guesde, who in Germany
had studied the Social Democratic organization, and who
was a follower of Marx, and under Jean Jaures, the great-
est and most accomplished orator of his time, who ad-
vocated gradually socializing the means of production.
In 19D4 the different factions were united, and ten years
later the French Socialist Party received 1,500,000 votes.
In France socialism was supplemented and extended by
the syndicalist doctrines, which spread outward to neigh-
boring countries, especially to Spain, to Italy, to Great
Britain, and to Ireland. In Belgium, Italy, and in Spain
socialist and syndicalist doctrines had considerable effect
and got much attention.

In Great Britain, where the Industrial Revolution had
begun and attained greatest growth, where Robert Owen
and his associates had taught some of the first of the
socialist doctrines, and where Marx had spent the best of
the years of his life, socialism developed more slowly than
in Germany or France. This was due very largely to the
temperament of the British people, long accustomed to
slow change and improvement, and always distrustful of
the usefulness of theories and general ideas. For more
than a generation in the British Isles socialism made
scarcely any progress. In 1880 "William ■Morris, the poet,
and H. M. Hyndman, followers of the teachings of Marx,
organized the Social Democratic Federation, which drew
no large following, however. Three years later the Fabian

of the Com-
mune, 1872

In Great



The Fabian

Growth of
after 1918

Society was founded by a group of intellectual leaders,
including the well-known writers on economic history,
Sidney and Beatrice Webb, the Anglo-Irish dramatist,
G. B. Shaw, and the prolific minor novelist, H. G. Wells.
They proposed to follow the "Fabian" policy of gradually
getting political parties to accept and carry through social
reforms. Presently socialism began to affect the labor
organizations, and in 1893 a trade-union leader organized
the Independent Labor Party, whose members hoped that
socialism might be brought to prevail in their country.
By 1914 British socialists, increasingly numerous and
active, were advocating as a matter of course the abolition
of capitalism and wages, the taking over by the State of the
great industries, like mining and transportation, and the
control of the lesser ones by the workers themselves.
During the time of the Great War, confronted with the
immense danger that threatened the destruction of
Great Britain and the British Empire, these doctrines,
though much talked of and written about, were by most
of the workingmen of Britain thrust away into the back-
ground. But after the victory, when the enemy was
powerless, in the midst of the want and discontent which
followed the destructive conflict, socialism and syndicalism
seemed to take possession of a greater part of the popu-
lation than ever before. Accordingly, some observers de-
clared that the Labor Party would in the future get con-
trol of the government and attempt to reform the State by
the application of socialistic ideas. And there were not
wanting those who aflBrmed that what was called bolshe-
vism had much more chance of being established in Great
Britain, where the majority of the inhabitants were an
industrial proletariat, than in a country like Russia, where
almost all the people were peasants, uneducated and
not progressive. It was very probable, however, that
here as elsewhere, what seemed like powerful tendency
toward sweeping social changes was to a considerable


extent merely the unrest and tJie ferment following in-
evitably in the wake of the war.

In Russia, likewise, socialist doctrines had been taught,
but for a long time they had seemed to be of slight impor-
tance there, since in Russia there was little industrialism.
Even after the Russian industrial revolution had done its
work, the overwhelming bod}- of the j)eopIe continued to
be agricultural workers, isolated, uneducated, conserNa-
tive, and moved only by desire to obtain a larger share of
the agricultural lands. Nevertheless, it was in Russia
that the most complete and thorough-going experiment in
socialism was tried. During the misery and confusion
which overw^helmed that country in the latter part of the
Great War, the old system completely collapsed. In 1917,
after a revolution had overthrown the old government,
certain socialists, whose leaders were Lenine and Trotzky,
forming a group called the BoJsheviki, seized power and
maintained themselves. They then decreed some of the
sweeping changes W'hich Marx had long before hoped
would come to pass. Private property and inheritance
were abolished; land, capital, transportation were national-
ized; and it was decreed that all people should work. By
this time all over the world radical leaders w^ere loudly pro-
claiming that socialism w^as the hope of the future, and
that bolshevism was destined shortly to overthrow what
they called the outworn systems. For the moment it
appeared to many that the Russian Revolution was the
most striking event since 1793, and that bolshevism held
untold possibilities for good or for evil in the future. But
it is probable that this revolution in Russia was less the
result of the advance and the power of socialism than of
the destruction, the uncertainty, and the general unrest,
which proceeded from the \Yar of the Nations.

Perhaps no great struggle ever produced such mighty
results in so short a time as the war which began in 1914.
The conflict lasted little more than four vears, but in that

In Russia

of the doc-
trines of
Marx in

Unrest of
the period
of the war



from the
Great War

Russia and
the Great

aries plan
to withdraw
from the war

time the most powerful state in Europe, the German
Empire, was overthrown, Austria-Hungary was broken to
pieces beyond all hope of redemption, and the Russian
Empire not only broke into pieces, but was the scene of a
revolution more striking than any since that which long
before had transformed France and Europe. The conse-
quences and changes of the cataclysm are not to be esti-
mated yet. But nowhere else in Europe was the old order
so completely altered as in Russia.

At the beginning of the Great War the Russian armies
had much success, utterly defeating the Austrians; but
their own losses were heavy, especially against the Ger-
mans; and after a while, as their military material was
exhausted, they were forced to carry on the struggle with
prodigal and hideous sacrifice of their men. In 1915 the
Teutonic allies defeated them completely, drove them from
the territory which they had occupied, and conquering
Poland and part of the Baltic Provinces, drove deep into
Russia itself. From this disaster the Russians never
recovered. It was now seen that a great agricultural
state, not well organized, could sustain no long conflict
with an industrial state well organized for war and well
equipped. Russian war supplies were exhausted; the
transportation system was breaking down; vast numbers
of men had been killed or wounded; the country was filled
with miserable refugees from provinces taken by the foe.
It is true that a great national enthusiasm had been aroused
at the beginning of the conflict. Russians desired to
help their kinsmen in Servia, and there was an outburst
against all things German, the old name of the capital,
St. Petersburg, being changed to Petrograd, the Slavic
equivalent. But many of the oflScials and reactionaries
had no desire to continue the war, and plotted to make
peace with Germany as soon as they could. They feared
that a continuance of the disastrous conflict would destroy
their old privileges and position, and not a few of them


were of German sympathy or extraction. But the
Hberals in the Duma steadily supported the war, beHeving
that only with its triumphant conclusion could they obtain
the changes which they hoped for; and the local zemstros
did excellent work in relieving distress and providing
material of war. In 1916 the Russians made a last great
effort, with much success, but at enormous cost; and after
this they could do no more. By the end of the year the
nation was almost completely exhausted; the inefficient
government had nearly broken down, and thought only of
making peace in time to save itself; and the people had
suffered almost to the limit of endurance.

The end came with a suddenness that surprised the
world. The poorer people in Petrograd were starving, and
hunger now drove them to revolution, as once it had driven
the rabble of Paris. Early in March, 1917, bread riots
began, which increased until the whole city was filled with
fighting and confusion, during which the troops deserted
the government and went over to the mobs. The op-
position in the Duma was plotting to overthrow the
government at this very time; and the Duma was now sus-
pended. The tsar acted with much weakness and in-
decision and the capital was lost. The other great cities of
the Empire joined the revolution, and a part of the Duma
now instituted a provisional government of the country.

Online LibraryEdward Raymond TurnerEurope since 1870 → online text (page 44 of 49)