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[Illustration: Campaigns 1859-71]

THE DEVELOPMENT

OF THE

EUROPEAN NATIONS

1870-1914

BY

J. HOLLAND ROSE LITT.D.

FELLOW OF CHRIST'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE
AUTHOR OF 'THE LIFE OF NAPOLEON,' 'THE LIFE OF WILLIAM PITT,'
'THE ORIGINS OF THE WAR,' ETC.

'Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.' - VIRGIL.

FIFTH EDITION, WITH A NEW PREFACE AND
THREE SUPPLEMENTARY CHAPTERS

1915

_First Edition . . October 1905.
Second " . . November 1905.
Third " . . December 1911.
Fourth " . . November 1914.
Fifth " . . October 1915._

TO

MY WIFE

WITHOUT WHOSE HELP

THIS WORK

COULD NOT HAVE BEEN COMPLETED




PREFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION


In this Edition are included three new chapters (Nos. XXI.-XXIII.), in
which I seek to describe the most important and best-ascertained facts
of the period 1900-14. Necessarily, the narrative is tentative at many
points; and it is impossible to attain impartiality; but I have sought
to view events from the German as well as the British standpoint, and to
sum up the evidence fairly. The addition of these chapters has
necessitated the omission of the former Epilogue and Appendices. I
regret the sacrifice of the Epilogue, for it emphasised two important
considerations, (1) the tendency of British foreign policy towards undue
complaisance, which by other Powers is often interpreted as weakness;
(2) the danger arising from the keen competition in armaments. No one
can review recent events without perceiving the significance of these
considerations. Perhaps they may prove to be among the chief causes
producing the terrible finale of July-August 1914. I desire to express
my acknowledgments and thanks for valuable advice given by Mr. J.W.
Headlam, M.A., Mr. A.B. Hinds, M.A., and Dr. R.W. Seton-Watson, D. Litt.

J.H.R.

CAMBRIDGE,

_September_ 5, 1915.




PREFACE TO THE FOURTH EDITION


The outbreak of war in Europe is an event too momentous to be treated
fully in this Preface. But I may point out that the catastrophe resulted
from the two causes of unrest described in this volume, namely, the
Alsace-Lorraine Question and the Eastern Question. Those disputes have
dragged on without any attempt at settlement by the Great Powers. The
Zabern incident inflamed public opinion in Alsace-Lorraine, and
illustrated the overbearing demeanour of the German military caste;
while the insidious attempts of Austria in 1913 to incite Bulgaria
against Servia marked out the Hapsburg Empire as the chief enemy of the
Slav peoples of the Balkan Peninsula after the collapse of Turkish power
in 1912. The internal troubles of the United Kingdom, France, and Russia
in July 1914 furnished the opportunity so long sought by the forward
party at Berlin and Vienna; and the Austro-German Alliance, which, in
its origin, was defensive (as I have shown in this volume), became
offensive, Italy parting from her allies when she discovered their
designs. Drawn into the Triple Alliance solely by pique against France
after the Tunis affair, she now inclines towards the Anglo-French
connection.

Readers of my chapter on the Eastern Question will not fail to see how
the neglect of the Balkan peoples by the Great Powers has left that
wound festering in the weak side of Europe; and they will surmise that
the Balkan troubles have, by a natural Nemesis, played their part in
bringing about the European War. It is for students of modern Europe to
seek to form a healthy public opinion so that the errors of the past may
not be repeated, and that the new Europe shall be constituted in
conformity with the aspirations of the peoples themselves.

CAMBRIDGE,

_September_ 25, 1914.




PREFACE


The line of Virgil quoted on the title-page represents in the present
case a sigh of aspiration, not a paean of achievement. No historical
student, surely, can ever feel the conviction that he has fathomed the
depths of that well where Truth is said to lie hid. What, then, must be
the feelings of one who ventures into the mazy domain of recent annals,
and essays to pick his way through thickets all but untrodden? More than
once I have been tempted to give up the quest and turn aside to paths
where pioneers have cleared the way. There, at least, the whereabouts of
that fabulous well is known and the plummet is ready to hand.
Nevertheless, I resolved to struggle through with my task, in the
consciousness that the work of a pioneer may be helpful, provided that
he carefully notches the track and thereby enables those who come after
him to know what to seek and what to avoid.

After all, there is no lack of guides in the present age. The number of
memoir-writers and newspaper correspondents is legion; and I have come
to believe that they are fully as trustworthy as similar witnesses have
been in any age. The very keenness of their rivalry is some guarantee
for truth. Doubtless competition for good "copy" occasionally leads to
artful embroidering on humdrum actuality; but, after spending much time
in scanning similar embroidery in the literature of the Napoleonic Era,
I unhesitatingly place the work of Archibald Forbes, and that of several
knights of the pen still living, far above the delusive tinsel of
Marbot, Thiébault, and Ségur. I will go further and say that, if we
could find out what were the sources used by Thucydides, we should
notice qualms of misgiving shoot through the circles of scientific
historians as they contemplated his majestic work. In any case, I may
appeal to the example of the great Athenian in support of the thesis
that to undertake to write contemporary history is no vain thing.

Above and beyond the accounts of memoir-writers and newspaper
correspondents there are Blue Books. I am well aware that they do not
always contain the whole truth. Sometimes the most important items are
of necessity omitted. But the information which they contain is
enormous; and, seeing that the rules of the public service keep the
original records in Great Britain closed for well-nigh a century, only
the most fastidious can object to the use of the wealth of materials
given to the world in _Parliamentary Papers_.

Besides these published sources there is the fund of information
possessed by public men and the "well-informed" of various grades.
Unfortunately this is rarely accessible, or only under conventional
restrictions. Here and there I have been able to make use of it without
any breach of trust; and to those who have enlightened my darkness I am
very grateful. The illumination, I know, is only partial; but I hope
that its effect, in respect to the twilight of diplomacy, may be
compared to that of the Aurora Borealis lights.

After working at my subject for some time, I found it desirable to limit
it to events which had a distinctly formative influence on the
development of European States. On questions of motive and policy I have
generally refrained from expressing a decided verdict, seeing that these
are always the most difficult to probe; and facile dogmatism on them is
better fitted to omniscient leaderettes than to the pages of an
historical work. At the same time, I have not hesitated to pronounce a
judgment on these questions, and to differ from other writers, where the
evidence has seemed to me decisive. To quote one instance, I reject the
verdict of most authorities on the question of Bismarck's treatment of
the Ems telegram, and of its effect in the negotiations with France in
July 1870.

For the most part, however, I have dealt only with external events,
pointing out now and again the part which they have played in the great
drama of human action still going on around us. This limitation of aim
has enabled me to take only specific topics, and to treat them far more
fully than is done in the brief chronicle of facts presented by MM.
Lavisse and Rambaud in the concluding volume of their _Histoire
Générale_. Where a series of events began in the year 1899 or 1900, and
did not conclude before the time with which this narrative closes, I
have left it on one side. Obviously the Boer War falls under this head.
Owing to lack of space my references to the domestic concerns of the
United Kingdom have been brief. I have regretfully omitted one imperial
event of great importance, the formation of the Australian Commonwealth.
After all, that concerned only the British race; and in my survey of the
affairs of the Empire I have treated only those which directly affected
other nations as well, namely the Afghan and Egyptian questions and the
Partition of Africa. Here I have sought to show the connection with
"world politics," and I trust that even specialists will find something
new and suggestive in this method of treatment.

In attempting to write a history of contemporary affairs, I regard it as
essential to refer to the original authority, or authorities, in the
case of every important statement. I have sought to carry out this rule
(though at the cost of great additional toil) because it enables the
reader to check the accuracy of the narrative and to gain hints for
further reading. To compile bibliographies, where many new books are
coming out every year, is a useless task; but exact references to the
sources of information never lose their value.

My thanks are due to many who have helped me in this undertaking. Among
them I may name Sir Charles Dilke, M.P., Mr. James Bryce, M.P., and Mr.
Chedo Mijatovich, who have given me valuable advice on special topics.
My obligations are also due to a subject of the Czar, who has placed
his knowledge at my service, but for obvious reasons does not wish his
name to be known. Mr. Bernard Pares, M.A., of the University of
Liverpool, has very kindly read over the proofs of the early chapters,
and has offered most helpful suggestions. Messrs. G. Bell and Sons have
granted me permission to make use of the plans of the chief battles of
the Franco-German War from Mr. Hooper's work, _Sedan and the Downfall of
the Second Empire_, published by them. To Mr. H.W. Wilson, author of
_Ironclads in Action_, my thanks are also due for permission to make use
of the plan illustrating the fighting at Alexandria in 1882.

J.H.R.

_July, 1905._




CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER I
THE CAUSES OF THE FRANCO-GERMAN WAR.

CHAPTER II
FROM WÖRTH TO GRAVELOTTE

CHAPTER III
SEDAN

CHAPTER IV
THE FOUNDING OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC

CHAPTER V
THE FOUNDING OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC - _continued_

CHAPTER VI
THE GERMAN EMPIRE

CHAPTER VII
THE EASTERN QUESTION

CHAPTER VIII
THE RUSSO-TURKISH WAR

CHAPTER IX
THE BALKAN SETTLEMENT

CHAPTER X
THE MAKING OF BULGARIA

CHAPTER XI
NIHILISM AND ABSOLUTISM IN RUSSIA

CHAPTER XII
THE TRIPLE AND DUAL ALLIANCES

CHAPTER XIII
THE CENTRAL ASIAN QUESTION

CHAPTER XIV
THE AFGHAN AND TURKOMAN CAMPAIGNS

CHAPTER XV
BRITAIN IN EGYPT

CHAPTER XVI
GORDON AND THE SUDAN

CHAPTER XVII
THE CONQUEST OF THE SUDAN

CHAPTER XVIII
THE PARTITION OF AFRICA

CHAPTER XIX
THE CONGO FREE STATE

CHAPTER XX
RUSSIA IN THE FAR EAST

CHAPTER XXI
THE NEW GROUPING OF THE GREAT POWERS (1900-1907)

CHAPTER XXII
TEUTON _versus_ SLAV (1908-13)

CHAPTER XXIII
THE CRISIS OF 1914

INDEX

MAPS AND PLANS


Campaigns of 1859-71

Sketch Map of the District between Metz and the Rhine

Plan of the Battle of Wörth

Plan of the Battles of Rezonville and Gravelotte

Plan of the Battle of Sedan

Map of Bulgaria

Plan of Plevna

Map of the Treaties of Berlin and San Stefano

Map of Thessaly

Map of Afghanistan

Battle of Maiwand

Battle of Alexandria (Bombardment of, 1882)

Map of the Nile

The Battle of Omdurman

Plan of Khartum

Map of Africa (1902)




INTRODUCTION

"The movements in the masses of European peoples are divided
and slow, and their progress interrupted and impeded, because
they are such great and unequally formed masses; but the
preparation for the future is widely diffused, and . . . the
promises of the age are so great that even the most
faint-hearted rouse themselves to the belief that a time has
arrived in which it is a privilege to live." - GERVINUS, 1853.

The Roman poet Lucretius in an oft-quoted passage describes the
satisfaction that naturally fills the mind when from some safe
vantage-ground one looks forth on travellers tossed about on the stormy
deep. We may perhaps use the poet's not very altruistic words as
symbolising many of the feelings with which, at the dawn of the
twentieth century, we look back over the stormy waters of the century
that has passed away. Some congratulation on this score is justifiable,
especially as those wars and revolutions have served to build up States
that are far stronger than their predecessors, in proportion as they
correspond more nearly with the desires of the nations that
compose them.

As we gaze at the revolutions and wars that form the storm-centres of
the past century, we can now see some of the causes that brought about
those storms. If we survey them with discerning eye, we soon begin to
see that, in the main, the cyclonic disturbances had their origins in
two great natural impulses of the civilised races of mankind. The first
of these forces is that great impulse towards individual liberty, which
we name Democracy; the second is that impulse, scarcely less mighty and
elemental, that prompts men to effect a close union with their kith and
kin: this we may term Nationality.

Now, it is true that these two forces have not led up to the last and
crowning phase of human development, as their enthusiastic champions at
one time asserted that they would; far from that, they are accountable,
especially so the force of Nationality, for numerous defects in the life
of the several peoples; and the national principle is at this very time
producing great and needless friction in the dealings of nations. Yet,
granting all this, it still remains true that Democracy and Nationality
have been the two chief formative influences in the political
development of Europe during the Nineteenth Century.

In no age of the world's history have these two impulses worked with so
triumphant an activity. They have not always been endowed with living
force. Among many peoples they lay dormant for ages and were only called
to life by some great event, such as the intolerable oppression of a
despot or of a governing caste that crushed the liberties of the
individual, or the domination of an alien people over one that
obstinately refused to be assimilated. Sometimes the spark that kindled
vital consciousness was the flash of a poet's genius, or the heroism of
some sturdy son of the soil. The causes of awakening have been
infinitely various, and have never wholly died away; but it is the
special glory of the Nineteenth Century that races which had hitherto
lain helpless and well-nigh dead, rose to manhood as if by magic, and
shed their blood like water in the effort to secure a free and
unfettered existence both for the individual and the nation. It is a
true saying of the German historian, Gervinus, "The history of this age
will no longer be only a relation of the lives of great men and of
princes, but a biography of nations."

At first sight, this illuminating statement seems to leave out of count
the career of the mighty Napoleon. But it does not. The great Emperor
unconsciously called into vigorous life the forces of Democracy and
Nationality both in Germany and in Italy, where there had been naught
but servility and disunion. His career, if viewed from our present
standpoint, falls into two portions: first, that in which he figured as
the champion of Revolutionary France and the liberator of Italy from
foreign and domestic tyrants; and secondly, as imperial autocrat who
conquered and held down a great part of Europe in his attempt to ruin
British commerce. In the former of these enterprises he had the new
forces of the age acting with him and endowing him with seemingly
resistless might; in the latter part of his life he mistook his place in
the economy of Nature, and by his violation of the principles of
individual liberty and racial kinship in Spain and Central Europe,
assured his own downfall.

The greatest battle of the century was the tremendous strife that for
three days surged to and fro around Leipzig in the month of October
1813, when Russians, Prussians, Austrians, Swedes, together with a few
Britons, Hanoverians, and finally his own Saxon allies, combined to
shake the imperial yoke from the neck of the Germanic peoples. This
_Völkerschlacht_ (Battle of the Peoples), as the Germans term it,
decided that the future of Europe was not to be moulded by the imperial
autocrat, but by the will of the princes and nations whom his obstinacy
had embattled against him. Far from recognising the verdict, the great
man struggled on until the pertinacity of the allies finally drove him
from power and assigned to France practically the same boundaries that
she had had in 1791, before the time of her mighty expansion. That is to
say, the nation which in its purely democratic form had easily overrun
and subdued the neighbouring States in the time of their old, inert,
semi-feudal existence, was overthrown by them when their national
consciousness had been trampled into being by the legions of the
great Emperor.

In 1814, and again after Waterloo, France was driven in on herself, and
resumed something like her old position in Europe, save that the throne
of the Bourbons never acquired any solidity - the older branch of that
family being unseated by the Revolution of 1830. In the centre of the
Continent, the old dynasties had made common cause with the peoples in
the national struggles of 1813-14, and therefore enjoyed more
consideration - a fact which enabled them for a time to repress popular
aspirations for constitutional rule and national unity.

Nevertheless, by the Treaties of Vienna (1814-15) the centre of Europe
was more solidly organised than ever before. In place of the effete
institution known as the Holy Roman Empire, which Napoleon swept away in
1806, the Central States were reorganised in the German Confederation - a
cumbrous and ineffective league in which Austria held the presidency.
Austria also gained Venetia and Lombardy in Italy. The acquisition of
the fertile Rhine Province by Prussia brought that vigorous State up to
the bounds of Lorraine and made her the natural protectress of Germany
against France. Russia acquired complete control over nearly the whole
of the former Kingdom of Poland. Thus, the Powers that had been foremost
in the struggle against Napoleon now gained most largely in the
redistribution of lands in 1814-15, while the States that had been
friendly to him now suffered for their devotion. Italy was split up into
a mosaic of States; Saxony ceded nearly the half of her lands to
Prussia; Denmark yielded up her ancient possession, Norway, to the
Swedish Crown.

In some respects the triumph of the national principle, which had
brought victory to the old dynasties, strengthened the European fabric.
The Treaties of Vienna brought the boundaries of States more nearly into
accord with racial interests and sentiments than had been the case
before; but in several instances those interests and feelings were
chafed or violated by designing or short-sighted statesmen. The Germans,
who had longed for an effective national union, saw with indignation
that the constitution of the new Germanic Confederation left them under
the control of the rulers of the component States and of the very real
headship exercised by Austria, which was always used to repress popular
movements. The Italians, who had also learned from Napoleon the secret
that they were in all essentials a nation, deeply resented the
domination of Austria in Lombardy-Venetia and the parcelling out of the
rest of the Peninsula between reactionary kings somnolent dukes, and
obscurantist clerics. The Belgians likewise protested against the
enforced union with Holland in what was now called the Kingdom of the
United Netherlands (1815-30). In the east of Europe the Poles struggled
in vain against the fate which once more partitioned them between
Russia, Austria, and Prussia. The Germans of Holstein, Schleswig, and
Lauenburg submitted uneasily to the Danish rule; and only under the
stress of demonstrations by the allies did the Norwegians accept the
union with Sweden.

It should be carefully noted that these were the very cases which caused
most of the political troubles in the following period. In fact, most of
the political occurrences on the Continent in the years 1815 to
1870 - the revolts, revolutions, and wars, that give a special character
to the history of the century - resulted directly from the bad or
imperfect arrangements of the Congress of Vienna and of the so-called
Holy Alliance of the monarchs who sought to perpetuate them. The effect
of this widespread discontent was not felt at once. The peoples were too
exhausted by the terrific strain of the Napoleonic wars to do much for a
generation or more, save in times of popular excitement. Except in the
south-east of Europe, where Greece, with the aid of Russia, Britain, and
France, wrested her political independence from the grasp of the Sultan
(1827), the forty years that succeeded Waterloo were broken by no
important war; but they were marked by oft-recurring unrest and
sedition. Thus, when the French Revolution of 1830 overthrew the
reactionary dynasty of the elder Bourbons, the universal excitement
caused by this event endowed the Belgians with strength sufficient to
shake off the heavy yoke of the Dutch; while in Italy, Germany, and
Poland the democrats and nationalists (now working generally in accord)
made valiant but unsuccessful efforts to achieve their ideals.

The same was the case in 1848. The excitement, which this time
originated in Italy, spread to France, overthrew the throne of Louis
Philippe (of the younger branch of the French Bourbons), and bade fair
to roll half of the crowns of Europe into the gutter. But these
spasmodic efforts of the democrats speedily failed. Inexperience,
disunion, and jealousy paralysed their actions and yielded the victory
to the old Governments. Frenchmen, in dismay at the seeming approach of
communism and anarchy, fell back upon the odd expedient of a Napoleonic
Republic, which in 1852 was easily changed by Louis Napoleon into an
Empire modelled on that of his far greater uncle. The democrats of
Germany achieved some startling successes over their repressive
Governments in the spring of the year 1848, only to find that they could
not devise a working constitution for the Fatherland; and the deputies
who met at the federal capital, Frankfurt, to unify Germany "by
speechifying and majorities," saw power slip back little by little into
the hands of the monarchs and princes. In the Austrian Empire
nationalist claims and strivings led to a very Babel of discordant talk
and action, amidst which the young Hapsburg ruler, Francis Joseph,
thanks to Russian military aid, was able to triumph over the valour of
the Hungarians and the devotion of their champion, Kossuth.

In Italy the same sad tale was told. In the spring of that year of
revolutions, 1848, the rulers in quick succession granted constitutions
to their subjects. The reforming Pope, Pius IX., and the patriotic King
of Sardinia, Charles Albert, also made common cause with their peoples
in the effort to drive out the Austrians from Lombardy-Venetia; but the
Pope and all the potentates except Charles Albert speedily deserted the
popular cause; friction between the King and the republican leaders,
Mazzini and Garibaldi, further weakened the nationalists, and the
Austrians had little difficulty in crushing Charles Albert's forces,
whereupon he abdicated in favour of his son, Victor Emmanuel II.
(1849). The Republics set up at Rome and Venice struggled valiantly for
a time against great odds - Mazzini, Garibaldi, and their volunteers
being finally overborne at the Eternal City by the French troops whom
Louis Napoleon sent to restore the Pope (June 1849); while, two months
later, Venice surrendered to the Austrians whom she had long held at
bay. The Queen of the Adriatic under the inspiring dictatorship of Manin
had given a remarkable example of orderly constitutional government in
time of siege.

It seemed to be the lot of the nationalists and democrats to produce
leaders who could thrill the imagination of men by lofty teachings and



Online LibraryJohn Holland RoseThe Development of the European Nations, 1870-1914 (5th ed.) → online text (page 1 of 56)