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Prepared by Theresa Armao [email protected]

A History of The Nations and Empires Involved and a Study of the
Events Culminating in The Great Conflict

by Logan Marshall


When the people of the United States heard the news of the
assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne
of Austria-Hungary, and his wife in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on June 28,
1914, it was with a feeling of great regret that another sorrow
had been added to the many already borne by the aged Emperor
Francis Joseph. That those fatal shots would echo around the
world and, flashing out suddenly like a bolt from the blue, hurl
nearly the whole of Europe within a week's time from a state of
profound peace into one of continental war, unannounced,
unexpected, unexplained, unprecedented in suddenness and
enormity, was an unimaginable possibility. And yet the ringing of
the church bells was suddenly drowned by the roar of cannon, the
voice of the dove of peace by the blare of the trump of war, and
throughout the world ran a shudder of terror at these unwonted
and ominous sounds.

But in looking back through history, tracing the course of events
during the past century, following the footsteps of men in war
and peace from that day of upheaval when medieval feudalism went
down in disarray before the arms of the people in the French
Revolution, some explanation of the Great European war of 1914
may be reached. Every event in history has its roots somewhere in
earlier history, and we need but dig deep enough to find them.

Such is the purpose of the present work. It proposes to lay down
in a series of apposite chapters the story of the past century,
beginning, in fact, rather more than a century ago with the
meteoric career of Napoleon and seeking to show to what it led,
and what effects it had upon the political evolution of mankind.
The French Revolution stood midway between two spheres of
history, the sphere of medieval barbarism and that of modern
enlightenment. It exploded like a bomb in the midst of the
self-satisfied aristocracy of the earlier social system and rent
it into the fragments which no hand could put together again. In
this sense the career of Napoleon seems providential. The era of
popular government had replaced that of autocratic and
aristocratic government in France, and the armies of Napoleon
spread these radical ideas throughout Europe until the oppressed
people of every nation began to look upward with hope and see in
the distance before them a haven of justice in the coming realm
of human rights.

It required considerable time for these new conceptions to become
thoroughly disseminated. A down-trodden people enchained by the
theory of the "divine right of kings" to autocratic rule, had to
break the fetters one by one and gradually emerge from a state of
practical serfdom to one of enlightened emancipation. There were
many setbacks, and progress was distressingly slow but
nevertheless sure.

The story of this upward progress is the history of the
nineteenth century, regarded from the special point of view of
political progress and the development of human rights. This is
definitely shown in the present work, which is a history of the
past century and of the twentieth century so far as it has gone.
Gradually the autocrat has declined in power and authority, and
the principle of popular rights has risen into view. This war
will not have been fought in vain if, as predicted, it will
result in the complete downfall of autocracy as a political
principle, and the rise of the rule of the people, so that the
civilized nations of the earth may never again be driven into a
frightful war of extermination against peaceful neighbors at the
nod of a hereditary sovereign. Logan Marshall


Chapter I
All Europe Plunged into War

Dramatic Suddenness of the Outbreak - Trade and Commerce
Paralyzed - Widespread Influences - Terrible Effects of War - The
Tide of Destruction - Half Century to Pay Debts

Chapter II
Underlying Causes of the Great European War
Assassination of the Austrian Crown Prince - Austria's Motive in
Making War - Servia Accepts Austria's Demand - The Ironies of
History - What Austria Has to Gain - How the War Became
Continental - An Editorial Opinion - Is the Kaiser Responsible? -
Germany's Stake in the War - Why Russia Entered the Field -
France's Hatred of Germany - Great Britain and Italy - The Triple
Alliance and Triple Entente

Chapter III
Strength and Resources of the Warring Powers
Old and New Methods in War - Costs of Modern Warfare - Nature of
National Resources - British and American Military Systems -
Naval Strength - Resources of Austria-Hungary - Resources of
Germany - Resources of Russia - Resources of France - Resources
of Great Britain - Servia and Belgium

Chapter IV
Great Britain and the War
The Growth of German Importance - German Militarism - Great
Britain's Peace Efforts - Germany's Naval Program - German
Ambitions - Preparation for War - Effect on the Empire

Chapter V
The World's Greatest War
Wars as Mileposts - A Continent in Arms - How Canada Prepared for
War - the British Sentiment - Lord Kitchener's Career - A
Forceful Character

Chapter VI
The Earthquake of Napoleonism
Its Effect on National Conditions Finally Led to the War of 1914

Conditions in France and Germany - The Campaign in Italy - The
Victory at Marengo - Moreau at Hohenlinden - The Consul Made
Emperor - The Code Napoleon - Campaign of 1805 - Battle of
Austerlitz - The Conquest of Prussia - The Invasion of Poland -
Eylau and Friedland - Campaign of 1809 - Victory at Wagram - The
Campaign in Spain - The Invasion of Russia - A Fatal Retreat -
Dresden and Leipzig - The Hundred Days - The Congress of Vienna -
The Holy Alliance

Chapter VII
Pan-Slavism Versus Pan-Germanism
Russia's Part in the Servian Issue - Strength of the Russian Army
- The Distribution of the Slavs - Origin of Pan-Slavism - The
Czar's Proclamation - The Teutons of Europe - Intermingling of
Races - The Nations at War

Chapter VIII
The Ambition of Louis Napoleon
The Coup-d'etat of 1851 - From President to Emperor - The Empire
is Peace - War With Austria - The Austrians Advance - The Battle
of Magenta - Possession of Lombardy - French Victory at Solferino
- Treaty of Peace - Invasion of Mexico - End of Napoleon's Career

Chapter IX
Garibaldi and Italian Unity
Power of Austria Broken
The Carbonari - Massini and Garibaldi - Cavour, the Statesman -
The Invasion of Sicily - Occupation of Naples - Victor Emmanuel
Takes Command - Watchword of the Patriots - Garibaldi Marches
Against Rome - Battle of Ironclads - Final Act of Italian Unity

Chapter X
The Expansion of Germany
Beginnings of Modern World Power
William I of Prussia - Bismarck's Early Career - The
Schleswig-Holstein Question - Conquest of the Duchies -
Bismarck's Wider Views - War Forced on Austria - The War in Italy
- Austria's Signal Defeat at Sadowa - The Treaty of Prague -
Germany after 1866

Chapter XI
The Franco-Prussian War
Birth of the German Empire and the French Republic
Causes of Hostile Relations - Discontent in France - War with
Prussia Declared - Self deception of the French - First Meeting
of the Armies - The Stronghold of Metz - Mars-la-Tour and
Gravelotte - Napoleon III at Sedan - The Emperor a Captive;
France a Republic - Bismarck Refuses Intervention - Fall of the
Fortresses - Paris is Besieged - Defiant Spirit of the French -
The Struggle Continued - Operations Before Paris - Fighting in
the South - The War at an End

Chapter XII
Bismarck and the German Empire
Building the Bulwarks of the Twentieth Century Nation
Bismarck as a Statesman - Uniting the German States - William I
Crowned at Versailles - A Significant Decade - The Problem of
Church Power - Progress of Socialism - William II and the
Resignation of Bismarck - Old Age Insurance - Political and
Industrial Conditions in Germany

Chapter XIII
Gladstone as an Apostle of Reform
Great Britain Becomes a World Power
Gladstone and Disraeli - Gladstone's Famous Budget - A Suffrage
Reform Bill - Disraeli's Reform Measure - Irish Church
Disestablishment - An Irish Land Bill - Desperate State of
Ireland - The Coercion Bill - War in Africa - Home Rule for

Chapter XIV
The French Republic
Struggles of a New Nation
The Republic Organized - The Commune of Paris - Instability of
the Government - Thiers Proclaimed President - Punishment of the
Unsuccessful Generals - MacMahon a Royalist President - Bazaine's
Sentence and Escape - Grevy, Gambetta and Boulanger - The Panama
Canal Scandal - Despotism of the Army Leaders - The Dreyfus Case
- Church and State - The Moroccan Controversy

Chapter XV
Russia in the Field of War
The Outcome of Slavic Ambition
Siege of Sebastopol - Russia in Asia - The Russo-Japanese War
-Port Arthur Taken - The Russian Fleet Defeated

Chapter XVI
Great Britain and Her Colonies
How England Became Mistress of the Seas
Great Britain as a Colonizing Power - Colonies in the Pacific
Region - Colonization in Africa - British Colonies in Africa -
The Mahdi Rebellion in Egypt - Gordon at Khartoum - Suppression
of the Mahdi Revolt - Colonization in Asia - The British in India
- Colonies in America - Development of Canada - Progress in

Chapter XVII

The Open Door in China and Japan
Development of World Power in the East
Warlike Invasions of China - Commodore Perry and His Treaty -
Japan's Rapid Progress - Origin of the China-Japan War - The
Position of Korea - Li Hung Chang and the Empress - How Japan
Began War - The Chinese and Japanese Fleets - The Battle of the
Yalu - Capture of Wei Hai Wei - Europe Invades China - The Boxer
Outbreak - Russian Designs on Manchuria - Japan Begins War on
Russia - The Armies Meet - China Becomes a Republic

Chapter XVIII
Turkey and the Balkan States
Checking the Dominion of the Turk in Europe
The Story of Servia - Turkey in Europe - The Bulgarian Horrors -
The Defense of Plevna - The Congress of Berlin - Hostile
Sentiments in the Balkans - Incitement to War - Fighting Begins -
The Advance on Adrianople - Servian and Greek victories - The
Bulgarian Successes - Steps toward Peace - The War Resumed -
Siege of Scutari - Treaty of Peace - War Between the Allies - The
Final Settlement

Chapter XIX
Methods in Modern Warfare
Ancient and Modern Weapons - New Types of Weapons - The Iron-clad
Warship - The Balloon in War - Tennyson's Foresight - Gunning for
Airships - The Submarine - Under-water Warfare - The New Type of
Battleship - Mobilization - The Waste of War

Chapter XX
Canada's Part in the World War
New Relations Toward the Empire - Military Preparations - The
Great Camp at Valcartier - The Canadian Expeditionary Force -
Political Effect of Canada's Action on Future of the Dominion

Dramatic Suddenness of the Outbreak - Trade and Commerce
Paralyzed - Widespread Influences - Terrible Effects of War - The
Tide of Destruction - Who Caused the Conflict? - Half Century to
Pay Debts

At the opening of the final week of July, 1914, the whole world -
with the exception of Mexico, in which the smouldering embers of
the revolution still burned - was in a state of profound peace.
The clattering hammers and whirling wheels of industry were
everywhere to be heard; great ships furrowed the ocean waves,
deep-laden with the world's products and carrying thousands of
travelers bent on business or enjoyment. Countless trains of
cars, drawn by smoke-belching locomotives, traversed the long
leagues of iron rails, similarly laden with passengers engaged in
peaceful errands and freight intended for peaceful purposes. All
seemed at rest so far as national hostile sentiments were
concerned. All was in motion so far as useful industries demanded
service. Europe, America, Asia, and Africa alike had settled down
as if to a long holiday from war, and the advocates of universal
peace were jubilant over the progress of their cause, holding
peace congresses and conferences at The Hague and elsewhere,
fully satisfied that the last war had been fought and that
arbitration boards would settle all future disputes among
nations, however serious.

Such occasions occur at frequent intervals in nature, in which a
deep calm, a profound peace, rests over land and sea. The winds
are hushed, the waves at rest; only the needful processes of the
universe are in action, while for the time the world forgets the
chained demons of unrest and destruction. But too quickly the
chains are loosened, the winds and waves set free; and the
hostile forces of nature rush over earth and sea, spreading
terror and devastation in their path. Such energies of hostility
are not confined to the elements. They exist in human
communities. They underlie the political conditions of the
nations, and their outbreak is at times as sudden and
unlooked-for as that of the winds and waves. Such was the state
of political affairs in Europe at the date mentioned, apparently
calm and restful, while below the surface hostile forces which
had long been fomenting unseen were ready to burst forth and
whelm the world.


On the night of July 25th the people of the civilized world
settled down to restful slumbers, with no dreams of the turmoil
that was ready to burst forth. On the morning of the 26th they
rose to learn that a great war had begun, a conflict the possible
width and depth of which no man was yet able to foresee; and as
day after day passed on, each day some new nation springing into
the terrible arena until practically the whole of Europe was in
arms and the Armageddon seemed at hand, the world stood amazed
and astounded, wondering what hand had loosed so vast a
catastrophe, what deep and secret causes lay below the ostensible
causes of the war. The causes of this were largely unknown. As a
panic at times affects a vast assemblage, with no one aware of
its origin, so a wave of hostile sentiment may sweep over vast
communities until the air is full of urgent demands for war with
scarce a man knowing why.

What is already said only feebly outlines the state of
consternation into which the world was cast in that fateful week
in which the doors of the Temple of Janus, long closed, were
suddenly thrown wide open and the terrible God of War marched
forth, the whole earth trembling beneath his feet. It was the
breaking of a mighty storm in a placid sky, the fall of a meteor
which spreads terror and destruction on all sides, the explosion
of a vast bomb in a great assemblage; it was everything that can
be imagined of the sudden and overwhelming, of the amazing and


For the moment the world stood still, plunged into a panic that
stopped all its activities. The stock exchanges throughout the
nations were closed, to prevent that wild and hasty action which
precipitates disaster. Throughout Europe trade, industry,
commerce all ceased, paralyzed at their sources. No ship of any
of the nations concerned except Britain dared venture from port,
lest it should fall a prey to the prowling sea dogs of war which
made all the oceans unsafe. The hosts of American tourists who
had gone abroad under the sunny skies of peace suddenly beheld
the dark clouds of war rolling overhead, blotting out the sun,
and casting their black shadows over all things fair.

What does this state of affairs, this sudden stoppage of the
wheels of industry, this unforeseen and wide spread of the
conditions of war portend? Emerson has said: "When a great
thinker comes into the world all things are at risk." There is
potency in this, and also in a variation of Emerson's text which
we shall venture to make: "When a great war comes upon the world
all things are at risk." Everything which we have looked upon as
fixed and stable quakes as if from mighty hidden forces. The
whole world stands irresolute and amazed. The steady-going habits
and occupations of peace cease or are perilously threatened, and
no one can be sure of escaping from some of the dire effects of
the catastrophe.


The conditions of production vanish, to be replaced by conditions
of destruction. That which had been growing in grace and beauty
for years is overturned and destroyed in a moment of ravage.
Changes of this kind are not confined to the countries in which
the war rages or the cities which conquering column of troops
occupy. They go beyond the borders of military activity; they
extend to far-off quarters of the earth. We quote from the New
York WORLD a vivid picture drawn at the opening of the great
European war. Its motto is "all the world is paying the cost of
the folly of Europe."

Never before was war made so swiftly wide. News of it comes from
Japan, from Porto Rico, from Africa, from places where in old
days news of hostilities might not travel for months.

"Non-combatants are in the vast majority, even in the countries
at war, but they are not immune to its blight. Austria is
isolated from the world because her ally, Germany, will take no
chances of spilling military information and will not forward
mails. If, telephoning in France, you use a single foreign word,
even an English one, your wire is cut. Hans the German waiter,
Franz the clarinettist in the little street band, is locked up as
a possible spy. There are great German business houses in London
and Paris; their condition is that of English and French business
houses in Berlin, and that is not pleasant. Great Britain
contemplates, as an act of war, the voiding of patents held by
Germans in the United Kingdom.

"Nothing is too petty, nothing too great, nothing too distant in
kind or miles from the field of war to feel its influence. The
whole world is the loser by it, whoever at the end of all the
battles may say that he has won.


Let us consider one of the early results of the war. It vitally
affected great numbers of Americans, the army of tourists who had
made their way abroad for rest, study and recreation and whose
numbers, while unknown, were great, some estimating them at the
high total of 100,000 or more. These, scattered over all sections
of Europe, some with money in abundance, some with just enough
for a brief journey, capitalists, teachers, students, all were
caught in the sudden flurry of the war, their letters of credit
useless, transportation difficult or impossible to obtain, all
exposed to inconveniences, some to indignities, some of them on
the flimsiest pretence seized and searched as spies, the great
mass of them thrown into a state of panic that added greatly to
the unpleasantness of the situation in which they found

While these conditions of panic gradually adjusted themselves,
the status of the tourists continued difficult and annoying. The
railroads were seized for the transportation of troops, leaving
many Americans helplessly held in far interior parts, frequently
without money or credit. One example of the difficulties
encountered will serve as an instance which might be repeated a
hundred fold.

Seven hundred Americans from Geneva were made by Swiss troops to
leave a train. Many who refused were forced off at the point or
guns. This compulsory removal took place at some distance from a
station near the border, according to Mrs. Edward Collins, of New
York, who with her three daughters was on the train. With 200
others they reached Paris and were taken aboard a French troop
train. Most of the arrivals were women; the men were left behind
because of lack of space. One hundred women refused to take the
train without their husbands; scores struck back for Geneva;
others on foot, carrying articles of baggage, started in the
direction of Paris, hoping to get trains somewhere. Just why
Swiss troops thus occupied themselves is not explained; but in
times of warlike turmoil many unexplainable things occur. Here is
an incident of a different kind, told by one of the escaping
host: "I went into the restaurant car for lunch," he said. "When
I tried to return to the car where I'd left my suitcase, hat,
cane and overcoat, I couldn't find it. Finally the conductor said
blithely, 'Oh, that car was taken off for the use of the army.'

"I was forced to continue traveling coatless, hatless and minus
my baggage until I boarded the steamer FLUSHING, when I managed
to swipe a straw hat during the course of the Channel passage
while the people were down eating in the saloon. I grabbed the
first one on the hatrack. Talk about a romantic age. Why, I
wouldn't live in any other time than now. We will be boring our
grandchildren talking about this war."

The scarcity of provisions in many localities and the withholding
of money by the banks made the situation, as regarded Americans,
especially serious. Those fortunate enough to reach port without
encountering these difficulties found the situation there equally
embarrassing. The great German and English liners, for instance,
were held up by order of the government, or feared to sail lest
they should be taken captive by hostile cruisers. Many of these
lay in port in New York, forbidden to sail for fear of capture.
These included ships of the Cunard and International Marine
lines, the north German Lloyd, the Hamburg-American, the
Russian-American, and the French lines, until this port led the
world in the congestion of great liners rendered inactive by the
war situation abroad. The few that put to sea were utterly
incapable of accommodating a tithe of the anxious and appealing
applicants. It had ceased, in the state of panic that prevailed,
to be a mere question of money. Frightened millionaires were
credited with begging for steerage berths. Everywhere was dread
and confusion, men and women being in a state of mind past the
limits of calm reasoning. Impulse is the sole ruling force where
reason has ceased to act.

Slowly the skies cleared; calmer conditions began to prevail. The
United States government sent the battleship TENNESSEE abroad
with several millions of dollars for the aid of destitute
travelers and the relief of those who could not get their letters
or credit and travelers' checks cashed. Such a measure of relief
was necessary, there being people abroad with letters of credit
for as much as $5,000 without money enough to buy a meal. One
tourist said: "I had to give a Milwaukee doctor, who had a letter
of credit for $2,500 money to get shaved." London hotels showed
much consideration for the needs of travelers without ready cash,
but on the continent there were many such who were refused hotel

As for those who reached New York or other American ports, many
had fled in such haste as to leave their baggage behind. Numbers
of the poorer travelers had exhausted their scanty stores of cash
in the effort to escape from Europe and reached port utterly
penniless. The case was one that called for immediate and
adequate solution and the governmental and moneyed interests on
this side did their utmost to cope with the situation. Vessels of
American register were too few to carry the host applying for
transportation, and it was finally decided to charter foreign
vessels for this purpose and thus hasten the work of moving the
multitude of appealing tourists. From 15,000 to 20,000 of these
needed immediate attention, a majority of them being destitute.


Men and women needed not only transportation, but money also, and
in this particular there is an interesting story to tell. The
German steamer KRONPRINZESSIN CECILIE, bound for Bremen, had
sailed from New York before the outbreak of the war, carrying
about 1,200 passengers and a precious freight of gold, valued at
$10,700,000. The value of the vessel herself added $5,000,000 to
this sum. What had become of her and her tempting cargo was for a
time unknown. There were rumors that she had been captured by a
British cruiser, but this had no better foundation than such
rumors usually have. Her captain was alert to the situation,
being informed by wireless of the sudden change from peace to
war. One such message, received from an Irish wireless station,
conveyed an order from the Bremen company for him to return with
all haste to an American port.

It was on the evening of Friday, July 31st, that this order came.
At once the vessel changed its course. One by one the ship's
lights were put out. The decks which could not be made absolutely
dark were enclosed with canvas. By midnight the ship was as dark
as the sea surrounding. On she went through Saturday and on
Sunday ran into a dense fog. Through this she rushed with

Online LibraryLogan MarshallA History of the Nations and Empires Involved and a Study of the Events Culminating in the Great Conflict → online text (page 1 of 25)