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Causes and Consequences

of the

War of 1914


Member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of New York

and of the Honorable Society of

Lincolns Inn (Eng.)





Copyright, 1914


Howard Pitcher Okie

^National Capital Press, Inc.

Book Manufacturers

Washington, D. C.

OCT 30 i 9 14




Chapter. Page

I. Introductory 7

II. Causes of the War 18

III. The Great Powers Are Involved.... 30

IV. England's Intervention 33

V. Germany's Side of the Controversy 64

VI. England's Declaration of War 70

VII. England's Colonies 84

VIII. Land Forces 86

IX. The Sea Power 92

X. Financial Resources of the Great

Powers 96

XL Food Supplies of the Belligerent

Powers 107

XII. Consequences of the War 110

Appendix 121



Map of Europe Infold

Geographical Distribution of Teutons and

Slavs 25

Servia Before and After the Balkan War

(2 Maps) 27

The German Colonies. : 112

Map of Poland Before Dismemberment 115

Races in Austria-Hungary 118




As this book goes to the press, Belgium, the
importance of whose existence as a factor in the
maintenance of European peace can not be over-
estimated, is in the possession of Germany. If this
occupation is continued, it means that forty miles
instead of three hundred and forty miles will sep-
arate Germany from England, and that the little
island will, while that condition continues, be in
danger of being over-run by the invading forces
of her Teuton neighbor. England is not adapted
to the permanent maintenance of a large body of
regular troops. Such a burden would impose an
impossible drain upon her industrial life. She has
regarded distance from her most powerful conti-
nental rival as one of two indispensable attributes
of safety; her fleet was the other.- No treaty with
Belgium or France had to be invoked to spur
Britain on to war when the littoral of the English
Channel was menaced by German occupation.
Self-preservation caused her, first, to endeavor to
have Germany regard the neutrality of Belgium

8 Causes and Consequences

as inviolate and to confine her operations in France
to the southern and central provinces, and, second,
when such efforts had failed to enter upon this
battle for her very existence.

A citizen of another state may assume that
England has guaged her position correctly; if she
has — if the oft expressed forebodings of Lord
Roberts find fulfilment — then England, in spite
of all her glorious achievements in the cause of
liberty and human advancement; the abolition of
slavery in her own colonies by honorable pur-
chase not by a fratricidal war; her suppresion of
the slave trade in the Atlantic, and of piracy in
the Yellow Seas; her noble work in Egypt, where
millions have cause to bless her for daily bread;
her unselfish exercise of her unpaid and thankless
task as "policeman of the world;" in spite of all
these works — and many others — this champion of
the oppressed and exemplar of popular liberty may
be effaced from the political map of the World.
This once solid rock of human liberty may yet
be hurled into outer space and darkness to find
her last affinities in silence and in cold.

The facts underlying this war are certain.
Probably, never before has there been so little
conflict in regard to the statement of premises.
Hence, from the diplomatic correspondence which
I have inserted in this volumn, in extenso, one

of the War of 1914 9

reading it carefully, may be in a position of
absolute knowledge. The opposing nations have
drawn (as you or I may draw) different conclu-
sions from the same facts. For example, Russia
and Germany are agreed that Russia mobilized
her troops near the German frontier during the
course of negotiations. The agreement stops
there. Russia contends that her mobilization
was not threatening in character, but a purely
defensive measure dictated only by prudence;
that the means of transportation within her vast
empire were not so adequate as those possessed by
her western neighbors and she could not — if
avoidable — take an even start with them. Ger-
many took an entirely different view of Russia's
action and made that a cause of war which may
have been only a legitimate exercise of prevision
and caution.

It is certain that Germany and England desired
to keep the peace with each other; but, some one
country blundered; to place the responsibility, one
must know what transpired between the several
countries in the shape of official communications
exchanged between their accredited representatives.
One who is not disposed to take the trouble in-
volved in the acquisition of this knowledge should
at least keep out of the argument. Here is an
illustration: In the left hand column below is


Causes and Consequences

Mr. Bernard Shaw's criticism of his government.
In the column parallel to it is an excerpt from
official documents which were readily available to
Mr. Shaw when he wrote his diatribe.

From an article by Mr. Bernard
Shaw appearing in the American
Press, September 6, 1914:

"Had the government or the
labor party had a real modern
foreign policy, Mr. Asquith might
have said fearlessly to Prussian
militarism: 'If you attempt to
smash France, we two will smash
you if we can. But if you will
drop your mailed fist nonsense and
be neighborly, we will guarantee
you against Russia just as heartily
as we now guarantee France
against you.' Can it be doubted
that if this had been said reso-
lutely, and with the vigorous sup-
port of all sections of the house,
Potsdam would have thought
twice and thrice before declaring

Extract from a letter from Sir
Edward Grey to Sir William
Goschen (Ambassador to Ger-
many), dated July 29, 1914:

"I said to the German Ambas-
sador (in London), this morning
that if Germany could get any
reasonable proposal put forward
which made it clear that Germany
and Austria were striving to pre-
serve European peace, and that
Russia and France would be un-
reasonable if they rejected it, /
would support it at St. Petersburg
and Paris, and go the length of
saying that if Russia and France
would not accept it his Majesty's
Government would have nothing
more to do with the consequence,
but otherwise, I told German
Ambassador that if France be-
came involved we should be
drawn in. (Vide p. 44.)

The language in the right hand column is
simply a paraphrase of Mr. Shaw's proposition,
with only those inevitable differences which dis-
tinguish the language of statecraft from that of
popular journalism.

It was not the original purpose of the author to

of the War of 1914 11

touch upon the subject of the interdependence of
nations with similar ideals of human liberty; but,
the fact that an active anti-English propaganda
is now being carried on in the United States is
irresistibly provocative.

Within a clearly defined limit the advocacy of
the German cause in America is decidedly useful.
It clears away numerous doubts and shows sharply
and clearly the totally different aspects of the
moral obligations of one who is a citizen of a free
country from those of one who acknowledges the
sovereignty of another who rules by "divine right."

The "case for Germany'' in this country has
been entrusted to able hands; to men who have
distinguished themselves in science, arms, com-
merce and journalism. That the arguments put
forth by them are puerile in the extreme is not
sufficient to overcome a presumption of their
wisdom which rests upon their past performances
in their respective fields of employment.

It does, however, have the disquieting effect of
making us believe that certain distinguished sci-
entists, soldiers, men of affairs and journalists
regard us as fools.

Take a concrete instance of this advocacy. In
a recent message from Mr. Herman Ridder, which
appeared originally in his paper, the New Yorker
Staats-Zeitung, but which has been reprinted in the

12 Causes and Consequences

American papers with an unanimity that is wonder-
ful in view of the fact that he describes them
as an "English-tainted press;" he seeks to revive
to Germany's advantage the quarrel which the
American Colonies had with the "mother country"
some hundred and fifty years ago.

The people of the United States have not brooded
over that quarrel. Their time has been too fully
occupied with other things; but, as the Teutonic
protagonists seem to think that it would be well
for their cause, let us go back to our school days.

In the last half of the eighteenth century the
British throne was occupied by King George, a
fat, foolish, German Prince, the third of the
Hanover line. He succeeded his grandfather,
George the Second, a German who never be-
came sufficiently English to speak that lan-
guage; the mother of George the Third was a
German woman, the Princess Augusta, daughter
of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha; at the period
during which he reigned, kings governed in Eng-
land, as they do today in Germany, by "divine
right," and, when George, in his sublime egotism
and folly, pursued an oppressive course toward
the handful of his subjects then forming the
American Colonies, the English people who sub-
scribed to his belief in- kingly infallibility had no
course but to acquiesce, save that now and again

of the War of 1914 13

a Pitt or a Burke gave ineffectual tongue in the
House of Commons to the British conscience which
had no adequate means to express itself at the
polls. When in the course of his war against the
American colonies it seemed necessary to George
the Third to utilize the services of paid assassins to
devastate the hearths and homes of those of whom
he was the sworn protector, he turned to his own —
really his own — country, Germany, and thousands
of professional murderers were readily recruited to
wage a merciless war upon a people with whom
they had no quarrel — of whose very existence they
had been previously ignorant.

There are old men alive today in New Jersey
who can tell tales that came first-hand from their
grandfather's lips of atrocities committed by the
Hessians which will reflect in many details the
cruelties inflicted by the German troops upon the
peace-loving Belgians of this very day, whose
only crime is that they put their national honor
above an ignoble love of peace.

The foregoing is not a pretty or pleasant story.
The people of this country were glad to forget
the whole horrible affair of the German invasion
of America. That an intelligent man should de-
liberately recall it, in the expressed hope that it
would advance Germany in the sympathies of the
American people, is surprising. It is an extreme
instance of unwise advocacy.

14 Causes and Consequences

When the never-robust mind of George the
Third gave away to utter madness, there was, in
England, born the new era of national — as dis-
tinguished from individual — responsibility. From
the days of the Regency, England has had no
trouble with her Colonies; she also entered, at
that eventful period, upon an era of international
peace (since unbroken upon the continent of
Europe save by the Crimean War), that was un-
exampled during her previous life under kings
who ruled as well as reigned and which continued
down to that night of the 3rd of August, 1914, when
the German eagles entered the peaceful plains and
villages of Belgium.

Again; the bugbear of Pan-Slavism is invoked
to frighten us — vicariously. It would seem that
those engaged in advocating Germany's cause in
America must realize that we are a highly educated
people. Why address to us arguments which could
only appeal to — say, the inhabitants of Western
China — Thibet? When have "a people" destroyed
the world's peace?

France did not devastate Europe during the
period of the Napoleonic wars. Napoleon, in his
vain attempt to establish "a dynasty" led his
polyglot army for the glory of the house of Bona-
parte, not for the peculiar aggrandisement of the
French. The peace of the world has no reason to

of the War of 1914 15

fear the Teutons, except they be the blind instru-
ment of a Hohenzollern or a Hapsburg. The erec-
tion of a great Slav Empire south and east of Prus-
sia may retard the expression of the ambition of
an individual ruler to the north and west. It will
not stop human progress. We have no fear of
Demos; it is Ego, with his murderous cult of the
unimportance of the masses and of the suprem-
acy of the individual when the progress of a
kingly ruler is concerned, from whom we rush to
shield ourselves. If the new Slav state will be used
disastrously to further the personal ambitions of
Nicholas of Russia and other wars result, our
tears will be shed for suffering humanity, not
because of the diminishing of the glory of the other
ruling European house.

One other instance will suffice to show the total
inability of the adherent of military autocracy as
represented by the supporters of Germany in this
war, to understand the view point of the American.

England is attacked because when in occupation
of India she punished certain of those responsible
for the "black hole of Calcutta" with instantane-
ous death. They were fastened to the mouths of
cannons and blown to pieces. Civilization has
made much progress since then, but is yet unable
to suggest a death more painless and swift. If
men of the Southern States of America had to

16 Causes and Consequences

avenge the murderers and ravishers of their wives
and daughters as did the British officials who de-
vised this punishment, it would have taken a more
unpleasant form. But, in order to understand
the German view, we must not forget that the
victims of the sepoys were largely of the civilian
class, and were innocent of any provocation. If
in defense of hearth and home an Indian had fired
upon an invading soldier, in a German uniform,
it would no doubt, from a German standpoint,
have been eminently proper for him to receive
a punishment no more merciful than that which
the Germans visited upon the civilian defenders
of Louvaine.*

This sacro-sanctity of the man in uniform exists
in the German mind only where the uniform of
the Kaiser is concerned. That is wholly good, so
far as it goes.

During the Boer War, General Kronje and his
laagers were surrounded and some thousands of
active combatants, none of whom wore uniforms,
surrendered to the British. Suppose they had been
shot out of hand, as were the civilian defenders of
Belgian and French towns, what a howl of protest
would have gone up from Germany! And Ger-
many would have been right.

In such a wise the spokesmen of Germany's

* See note p. 124.

of the War of 1914 17

cause in this country have spoken the last word in
foolish advocacy, but even had they spoken "with
the tongues of angels" they have chosen the wrong
forum. If they would truly serve Germany,
Potsdam, not New York, should be the auditorium
of their eloquence — incidentally it might be the
scene of their martyrdom. Let them dissuade
official Germany from the policy of laying mines
in the open sea to the hazard of neutral shipping;
from their course of treating heroic civic defenders
as malefactors; from dropping bombs from a
height safe to the avialur, upon cosmopolitan
cities like Antwerp and Paris, and, if they are
successful, they will have rendered Germany a
real and substantial service.

18 Causes and Consequences


From the day upon which Germany rejected
the offer of Mr. Winston Churchill (the First Lord
of the British Admiralty), to enter into a truce,
during which the struggle between the two coun-
tries for superiority of naval armament would be
suspended,* war between England and Germany
has been imminent. The strain upon the two coun-
tries engaged in the unprofitable rivalry had been
intolerable. The steadily increasing burden fell
upon all, and was not made the less wearisome by
the slightest prospect of relief. Heavy land and
income taxes were evolved in England and the
German chancellor was compelled to make a

* Addressing the House of Commons upon the Naval
Estimates, March 18, 1912, Mr. Churchill said: "It is
clear that this principle could be varied to suit the circum-
stances. Let me make it clear, however, that any retardation
or reduction in German construction within certain limits
will be promptly followed here, as soon as it is apparent, by
large and fully proportionate reduction. For instance, if
Germany likes to drop out any one, or even two, of these
dreadnaughts (battleships) from her annual quotas and keep
her money in her own pocket for the enjoyment of her own
people and for the development of her own prosperity, we
will at once, in the absence of any dangerous development
elsewhere and not now foreseen, drop out our correspond-
ing quota. All slowing down by Germany will be accom-
panied, naturally on a larger scale by us."

of the War of 1914 19

direct levy, not only upon income, but upon the
capital of each individual.

Naval and military rivalry has been the real and
underlying cause of the Anglo-German conflict.
Still it is profitable to know the proximate, or im-
mediate causes of the war, and from them to de-
termine, each for himself, the responsibility of
those to whom, by birth or popular choice, have
been committed the solemn duties of safeguarding
the welfare of those men, women and children suf-
fering in this calamitous hour, the awful, the un-
speakable horrors of war.

International law is written in treaties and "con-
ventions . ' ' They embody provisions , which in their
multiplicity, in the old world, at least, provide a
rule of conduct for almost every condition arising
in inter-state relations. Among the most important
of these sources of the organic law of Europe is
that known as the Treaty of Berlin. That treaty
was promulgated in 1878, at the close of Austro-
Turkish war. The provisions directly related to
this war of 1914 were:

1. The creation of a vassal state within the
territorial limits now known as Bulgaria, with the
right to the inhabitants to "freely elect" their
own ' "prince." The suzerain power was Turkey,
who was empowered to collect a yearly tribute and
an annual contribution to the Ottoman national

20 Causes and Consequences

debt. Neither of these obligations were ever met
in any degree.

2. The two Turkish provinces of Bosnia and
Herzegovina were taken from Turkish control
and put in the custody of Austria, with a right in
the dual monarchy of "military occupancy and
administration. ' '

The latter clause of the treaty turned over to
Austrian stewardship the domestic affairs of nearly
two million people of Servian stock, for the major
part adherents of the orthodox Greek Church ; the
state religion of Austria is Roman Catholic.

Contemporaneously with the Berlin treaty,
Austria executed and delivered to Turkey a secret
protocol, wherein she declared that her occupa-
tion of the two surrendered provinces would be
transient and that sooner or later, full Turkish
sovereignty would be restored. The Berlin Treaty
made no change in the status of the individual
citizen of the two provinces and conferred none of
the rights or obligations of personal sovereignty
upon the Austrian Emperor and the degree of that
monarch's suzerainty was jealously watched by
Russia, acting as the chief protector of the ad-
herents of the State Church of Russia.

In spite of the fact that Austria's administration
of Bosnian affairs was immeasurably better than
that which had been inflicted upon the inhabi-

of the War of 1914 21

tants by Turkey, the population have never ac-
quiesced in the Austrian domination. Their politi-
cal hopes looked to a complete political and
social amalgamation of all the Balkan Serbs,
those of Southern Austria (where, previous to
the last Balkan War, there were more Serbs
than in Servia), Montenegro, Roumelia, Bulgaria,
Roumania, and Servia proper. The Servian am-
bition has been to erect from these peoples, in the
southeast of Europe, a mighty Slavonic Empire
under the benevolent tutelage and protection of
Russia. This project was made rather more dif-
ficult of realization by the transfer of Bosnia and
Herzegovina from the cruel, but uncertain grasp
of Turkey to the firmer clutch of the Austro-
Hungarian Empire, with its implacable opposition
to the construction of another empire which would
overshadow its northern neighbor in importance
and power.*

Austria's opposition to the scheme of a Slav em-
pire was expressed in several ways. Within her own
dominion she relentlessly pursued the political plot-
ters working for Austria dismemberment. When
opportunity seemed present she acquired absolute
sovereignty over additional territory to her south
and by the well known methods of diplomacy
sought to keep the petty Balkan States divided

i^J* See note p. 128.

22 Causes and Consequences

and one or more of them in friendly relationship
with herself. It is apparent that Turkey was in
this behalf an important ally of Austria, and this
will account for the extraordinary interest in the
material welfare of old Turkey shown by Ger-
many, who very recently, has openly declared
that the Teutonic civilization of Western Europe
is menaced by the growing strength, resulting from
the organization and extraneous alliances of the
Slavonic peoples.

The term "Slav" etymologically means a mem-
ber of an ethnological division. In its popular use
it means an adherent of the Greek or "orthodox"

The "Manchester Guardian" (Eng.), in a recent
issue says: "Russia is very often called 'the pro-
tector of the Slavs,' but the phrase is one of those
which people go on repeating without considering
whether it is right or wrong. Russia may justly be
called the protector of the orthodox, but to give
her the title of protector of the Slavs is only partly
true. The Poles are Slavs, and they exceed in
number the entire population of the Balkan
peninsula, yet Russia has consistently oppressed
them. The Bohemians are also Slavs, and although
a few Russian nationalists have tried to curry
favor with them, there is not the slightest chance
of Russia risking the life of a single soldier to save

of the War of 1914 23

them, should Austria again treat them harshly or
unjustly. The bond between Russia and Servia is
religious rather than racial. For Catholic or Pro-
testant Slavs Russia cares nothing.

" 'One rarely hears a Russian speak well of the
Poles,' writes a correspondent, 'but they are often
enthusiastic when they talk of Servians and Bul-
garians.' 'In Belgrade and Sofia I went into the
churches, and the effect upon me was overwhelm-
ing,' said a Russian publicist, 'the services were
just like those at home, and as I looked at the
people around me, I felt more than I had ever
done before that they were truly my brothers.'
In the churches of Warsaw or Prague the good
man would doubtless have felt that Poles or Bo-
hemians were even more distant cousins than he
had been led to think. The influence of religion
in international politics is far stronger than is
generally believed."

No doubt, the writer referred to rigid, formal
and non-ethical religions, of which the Greek

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