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kings of France, of the Two Sicilies, and of Spain (all of them
members of the Bourbon family) who had been driven out by Napoleon,
were set back upon their thrones.

This arrangement left Italy all split up into nine or ten different
parts, although its people desired to be one nation. It left Austria a
government over twelve different nationalities, each one of which was
dissatisfied. It joined Belgium to Holland in a combination
displeasing to both. It gave Norway and Finland as subject states to
Sweden and Russia respectively. It left the Albanians, Serbians,
Roumanians, Bulgarians, and Greeks all subject to the hated Turks. It
set upon three thrones, once vacant, kings who were hated by their
subjects. It divided the Poles up among four different
governments - for, strange as it may seem, the powers could not decide
who should own the city of Cracow and the territory around it, and
they ended by making this district a little republic, under the joint
protection of Austria, Prussia, and Russia. In fact, the Swiss, serene
in their lofty mountains, were almost the only small people of Europe
who were left untroubled. The Congress of 1815 had laid the foundation
for future revolutions and wars without number.

At first, the Poles were fairly well treated by the Russians, but
after two or three unsuccessful attempts at a revolution, Poland,
which, as one of the states of the Russian Empire, was still called a
kingdom, was deprived of all its rights, and its people were forced to
give up the use of their language in their schools, their courts, and
even their churches. In the same fashion, the Poles in Prussia were
"not even allowed to think in Polish," as one Polish patriot bitterly
put it. All through the first half of the 19th century, there were
uprisings and struggles among these people. As a result of one of
them, in 1846, the little Republic of Cracow was abolished, and its
territory forcibly annexed to Austria.

The Italian people formed secret societies which had for their object
the uniting of Italy, and the freeing of its people from foreign
rulers. All through Germany there were mutterings of discontent. The
people wanted more freedom from their lords. Greece broke out into
insurrection against the Turks, and fifteen years after the Congress
of 1815 won its right to independence. Not long afterwards, the
southern half of the Netherlands broke itself loose from the northern
half, and declared to the world that it should henceforth be a new
kingdom, under the name of Belgium. About the same time, the people of
France rose up against the Bourbon kings, and threw them out "for
good." A distant cousin of the king was elected, not "king of France"
but "citizen king of the French," and the people were allowed to elect
men to represent them in a parliament or Congress at Paris. In Spain,
one revolution followed another. For a short time, Spain was a
republic, but the people were not well enough educated to govern
themselves, and the kingdom was restored.

[Illustration: Prince Metternich]

The statesman who had more to do with the division of territory in
1815 than any other was Prince Metternich of Austria. He stood for the
"divine right of kings," and did not believe in allowing the common
people any liberty whatsoever. In 1848, an uprising occurred in
Austria, and crowds in Vienna, crying, "down with Metternich," forced
the aged diplomat to flee. During the same year, there were outbreaks
in Germany. The people everywhere were revolting against the feudal
rights of their kings and princes, and gaining greater liberty for
themselves. In 1848, France, also, grew tired of her "citizen king,"
and that country a second time became a republic. The French made the
mistake, however, of electing as their president, Louis Napoleon
Bonaparte, nephew of the great Napoleon, and in time he did exactly
what his uncle had done, - persuaded the French people to elect him

Questions for Review

1. What were the motives of each of the nations represented at the
Congress of Vienna?
2. Why were the Russians and Prussians the leaders of the meeting at
3. Why did the English and Austrians assist each other?
4. What had Napoleon done for Poland? (See last chapter.)
5. What kings deposed by Napoleon were set back on their thrones?
6. What were the greatest wrongs done by the Congress?
7. How did the Poles protest against the settlement made by the
8. What did the Belgians do about it?
9. What did the French finally do to the Bourbon kings?


Italy a Nation at Last

The Crimean War curbs Russia. - Cavour plans a United Italy. - War
against Austria. - Garibaldi, the patriot. - The Kingdom of Sardinia
becomes part of the new Kingdom of Italy. - Venice and Rome are
added. - Some Italians still outside the kingdom.

Meanwhile, Italy, under the leadership of two patriots named Mazzini
and Garibaldi, was in a turmoil. The Austrians and the Italian princes
who were subject to them were constantly crushing some attempted

One thing which helped the cause of the people was that the great
powers were all jealous of each other. For example, Russia attacked
Turkey in 1853, but France and England were afraid that if Russia
conquered the Turks and took Constantinople, she would become too
powerful for them. Therefore, both countries rushed troops to aid
Turkey, and in the end, Russia was defeated, although thousands of
soldiers were killed on both sides before the struggle was over.

You will remember that the counties of Piedmont and Savoy in western
Italy, together with the island of Sardinia, made up a little kingdom
known as the "Kingdom of Sardinia." This country had for its prime
minister, a statesman named Count Cavour, who, like all Italians,
strongly hoped for the day when all the people living on the Italian
peninsula should be one nation. At the time of the Crimean War (as the
war between Russia on the one side and Turkey, France, and England on
the other was called) he caused his country also to declare war on
Russia, and sent a tiny army to fight alongside of the English and
French. A few years later, he secretly made a bargain with Napoleon
III. (This was what President Bonaparte of France called himself after
he had been elected emperor.) The French agreed to make war with his
country against the Austrians. If they won, the Sardinians were to
receive all north Italy, and in return for France's help were to give
France the county of Savoy and the seaport of Nice.

When Cavour and the French were all ready to strike, it was not hard
to find an excuse for a war. Austria declared war on Sardinia, and, as
had been arranged, France rushed to the aid of the Italians. Austria
was speedily beaten, but no sooner was the war finished than the
French emperor repented of his bargain. He was afraid that it would
make trouble for him with his Catholic subjects if the Italians were
allowed to take all the northern half of the peninsula, including the
pope's lands, into their kingdom. Accordingly, the Sardinians received
only Lombardy in return for Savoy and Nice, which they gave to France,
and the Austrians kept the county of Venetia. A fire once kindled,
however, is hard to put out. No sooner did the people of the other
states of northern Italy see the success of Sardinia, than, one after
another, they revolted against their Austrian princes and voted to
join the new kingdom of Italy. In this way, Parma, Modena, Tuscany,
and part of the "States of the Church" were added. All of this
happened in the year 1859.

These "States of the Church" came to be formed in the following way:
The father of the great king of the Franks, Charlemagne, who had been
crowned western emperor by the pope in the year 800, had rescued
northern Italy from the rule of the Lombards. He had made the pope
lord of a stretch of territory extending across Italy from the
Adriatic Sea to the Mediterranean. The inhabitants of this country had
no ruler but the pope. They paid their taxes to him, and acknowledged
him as their feudal lord. It was part of this territory which revolted
and joined the new kingdom of Italy.

You will remember the name of Garibaldi, the Italian patriot, who with
Mazzini had been stirring up trouble for the Austrians. They finally
pursued him so closely that he had to leave Italy. He came to America
and set up a fruit store in New York City, where there were quite a
number of his countrymen. By 1854, he had made a great deal of money
in the fruit business, but had not forgotten his beloved country, and
was anxious to be rich only in order that he might free Italy from the
Austrians. He sold out his business in New York, and taking all his
money, sailed for Italy. When the war of 1859 broke out, he
volunteered, and fought throughout the campaign.

But the compromising terms of peace galled him, and he was not
satisfied with a country only half free. In the region around Genoa,
he enrolled a thousand men to go on what looked like a desperate
enterprise. Garibaldi had talked with Cavour, and between them, they
had schemed to overthrow the kingdom of the Two Sicilies and join this
land to the northern country. Of course, Cavour pretended not to know
anything about Garibaldi, for the king of Naples and Sicily was
supposed to be a friend of the king of Sardinia. Nevertheless, he
secretly gave Garibaldi all the help that he dared, and urged men to
enroll with him.

[Illustration: The First Meeting of Garibaldi and Victor Emmanuel]

With his thousand "red-shirts," as they were called, Garibaldi landed
on the island of Sicily, at Marsala. The inhabitants rose to welcome
him, and everywhere they drove out the officers who had been appointed
by their king to rule them. In a short time, all Sicily had risen in
rebellion against the king. (You will remember that this family of
kings had been driven out by Napoleon and restored by the Congress of
Vienna in 1815. They were Bourbons, the same family that furnished the
kings of Spain and the last kings of France. They stood for "the
divine right of kings," and had no sympathy with the common people.)
Crossing over to the mainland, Garibaldi, with his little army now
swollen to ten times its former size, swept everything before him as
he marched toward Naples. Everywhere, the people rose against their
former masters, and welcomed the liberator. The king fled in haste
from Naples, never to return. A vote was taken all over the southern
half of Italy and Sicily, to decide whether the people wanted to join
their brothers of the north to make a new kingdom of Italy. It was so
voted almost unanimously. Victor Emmanuel, king of Sardinia, thus
became the first king of United Italy. He made Florence his capital at
first, as the country around Rome still belonged to the pope. The pope
had few soldiers, but was protected by a guard of French troops.
However, ten years later, in 1870, when war broke out between France
and Prussia, the French troops left Rome, and the troops of Italy
marched quietly in and took possession of the city. Rome, for so many
years the capital, not only of Italy but of the whole Mediterranean
world, became once more the chief city of the peninsula. The pope was
granted a liberal pension by the Italian government in order to make
up to him for the loss of the money from his former lands. The dream
of Italians for the last 600 years had finally come to pass. Italy was
again one country, ruled by the popular Victor Emmanuel, with a
constitution which gave the people the right to elect representatives
to a parliament or congress. One of the worst blunders of the Congress
of Vienna had been set right by the patriotism of the people of Italy.

It should be noted, however, that there are still Italians who are not
part of this kingdom. The county of Venetia, at the extreme northeast
of Italy, was added to the kingdom in 1866 as the result of a war
which will be told about more fully in the next chapter, but the
territory around the city of Trent, called by the Italians Trentino,
and the county of Istria at the head of the Adriatic Sea, containing
the important seaports of Trieste, Fiume, and Pola, are inhabited
almost entirely by people of Italian blood. Certain islands along the
coast of Dalmatia also are full of Italians. To rescue these people
from the rule of Austria has been the earnest wish of all Italian
patriots, and was the chief reason why Italy did not join Germany and
Austria in the great war of 1914.

[Map: Italy Made One Nation, 1914]

Questions for Review

1. Why did England and France side with Turkey against Russia?
2. What bargain did Cavour make with Napoleon III?
3. How did the rest of Italy come to join Sardinia?
4. Explain the origin of the "States of the Church."
5. Why did Sicily and Naples revolt against their king?
6. What Italians are not yet citizens of the kingdom of Italy?


The Man of Blood and Iron

The people demand their rights - Bismarck, the chief prop of the
Prussian monarchy - The question of the leadership of the German
states - The wonderful Prussian army - The war on Denmark - Preparing to
crush Austria - The battle of Sadowa - Easy terms to the defeated
nation - Preparing to defeat France - A good example of a war caused by
diplomats - Prussia's easy victory - The new German empire - Harsh terms
of peace - The triumph of feudal government.

All of this time, the kings of Europe had been engaged in contests
with their own people. The overthrow of the French king at the time of
the revolution taught the people of the other countries of Europe that
they too could obtain their liberties. You have already been told how
the people of Austria drove out Prince Metternich, who was the leader
of the party which refused any rights to the working classes.

That same year, 1848, had seen the last king driven out of France, had
witnessed revolts in all parts of Italy, and had found many German
princes in trouble with their subjects, who were demanding a share in
the government, the right of free speech, free newspapers, and trial
by jury. The empires of Austria and Russia had joined with the kingdom
of Prussia in a combination which was known as the "Holy Alliance."
This was meant to stop the further spread of republican ideas and to
curb the growing power of the common people.

[Illustration: Bismarck]

Not long after this, there came to the front in Prussia a remarkable
man, who for the next forty years was perhaps the most prominent
statesman in Europe. His full name was Otto Eduard Leopold von
Bismarck-Schönausen, but we generally know him under the name of
Bismarck. He was a Prussian nobleman, a believer in the divine right
of kings, the man who more than anybody else is responsible for the
establishing of the present empire of Germany. He once made a speech
in the Prussian Diet or council in which he said that "blood and
iron," not speeches and treaties, would unite Germany into a nation.
His one object was a united Germany, which should be the strongest
nation in Europe. He wanted Germany to be ruled by Prussia, Prussia to
be ruled by its king, and the king of Prussia to be controlled by
Bismarck. It is marvellous to see how near he came to carrying through
his whole plan.

After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Prussia remained among the
powers of Europe, but was not as great as Austria, Russia, England, or
France. The German states, some 35 in number, had united in a loose
alliance called the German Confederation. (This union was somewhat
similar to the United States of America between 1776 and 1789.)
Austria was the largest of these states, and was naturally looked upon
as the leader of the whole group. Prussia was the second largest,
while next after Prussia, and much smaller, came the kingdoms of
Bavaria, Saxony, Hanover, and Wurtemburg. Bismarck, as prime minister
of Prussia, built up a wonderfully strong army. He did this by means
of a military system which at first made him very unpopular with the
people. Every man in the nation, rich or poor, was obliged to serve a
certain number of years in the army and be ready at a moment's notice
to join a certain regiment if there came a call to war.

Having organized this army, and equipped it with every modern weapon,
Bismarck was anxious to use it to accomplish his purpose. There were
two counties named Schleswig (shlĕs'vig) and Holstein (hōl'stīn)
which belonged to the king of Denmark and yet contained a
great many German people. The inhabitants of Schleswig were perhaps
half Danes, while those of Holstein were more than two-thirds Germans.
These Germans had protested against certain actions of the Danish
government, and were threatening to revolt. Taking advantage of this
trouble, Prussia and Austria, as the leading states of the German
Federation, declared war on little Denmark. The Danes fought
valiantly, but were overwhelmed by the armies of their enemies.
Schleswig and Holstein were torn away from Denmark and put under the
joint protection of Austria and Prussia.

This sort of arrangement could not last. Sooner or later, there was
bound to be a quarrel over the division of the plunder. Now Bismarck
had a chance to show his crafty diplomacy. He made up his mind to
crush Austria and put Prussia in her place as the leader of the German
states. He first negotiated with Napoleon III, Emperor of the French,
and made sure that this monarch would not interfere. Next he
remembered that the provinces of Venetia, Trentino, and Istria still
belonged to Austria, as the Italians had failed to gain them in the
war of 1859. Accordingly, Bismarck induced Italy to declare war on
Austria by promising her Venetia and the other provinces in return for
her aid. Saxony, Bavaria, and Hanover were friendly to Austria, but
Bismarck did not fear them. He knew that his army, under the
leadership of its celebrated general, von Moltke, was more than a
match for the Austrians, Bavarians, etc., combined.

When Bismarck was ready, Prussia and Italy struck. The Austrians were
successful at first against the Italians, but at Sadowa in Bohemia,
their armies were beaten in a tremendous battle by the Prussians.
Austria was put down from her place as the leader of the German
Confederation, and Prussia took the leadership. Hanover, whose king
had sided with the Austrians, was annexed to Prussia. The king of
Prussia and several of his generals were anxious to rob Austria of
some of her territory, as had been the custom in the past whenever one
nation defeated another in war. Bismarck, however, restrained them. In
his program of making Prussia the leading military state in Europe, he
saw that his next opponent would be France, and he did not propose, on
attacking France, to find his army assailed in the rear by the
revengeful Austrians. Accordingly, Bismarck compelled the king to let
Austria off without any loss of territory except Venetia, which was
given to the Italians. Austria was even allowed to retain Trentino and
Istria, and was not required to pay a large indemnity to Prussia. (A
custom which had come down from the middle ages, when cities which
were captured had been obliged to pay great sums of money, in order to
get rid of the conquering armies, was the payment of a war indemnity
by the defeated nation. This was a sum of money as large as the
conquerors thought they could safely force their victims to pay.) The
Austrians, although they were angry over the manner in which Bismarck
had provoked the war, nevertheless appreciated the fact that he was
generous in not forcing harsh terms upon them, as he could have done
had he wanted to.

The eyes of all Europe now turned toward the coming struggle between
Prussia and France. It was plain that it was impossible for two men
like Bismarck and Emperor Napoleon to continue in power very long
without coming to blows. It was Bismarck's ambition, as was previously
said, to make Prussia the leading military nation of Europe, and he
knew that this meant a struggle with Napoleon. You will remember also
that he planned a united Germany, led by Prussia, and he felt that the
French war would bring this about. On the other hand, the French
emperor was extremely jealous of the easy victory that Prussia and
Italy had won over Austria. He had been proud of the French army, and
wanted it to remain the greatest fighting force in Europe. He was just
as anxious for an excuse to attack Prussia as Bismarck was for a
pretext to attack him.

It should be kept in mind that all this time there was no ill-feeling
between the French people and the Germans. In fact, the Germans of the
Rhine country were very friendly to France, and during Napoleon's time
had been given more liberties and had been governed better than under
the rule of their former feudal lords. All the hostility and jealousy
was between the military chiefs. Even Bismarck did not dislike the
French. He had no feeling toward them at all. It was part of his
program that their military power should be crushed and his program
must be carried through. Europe, to his mind, was too small to contain
more than one master military power.

The four years between 1866 and 1870 were used by Bismarck to gain
friends for Prussia among other countries of Europe, and to make
enemies for France. The kingdoms of south Germany (Bavaria, Baden, and
Wurtemburg), which had sided with Austria during the late war, were
friendly to France and hostile to Prussia. Napoleon III, however, made
a proposal in writing to Bismarck that France should be given a slice
of this south German territory in return for some other land which
France was to allow Prussia to seize. Bismarck pretended to consider
this proposal, but was careful to keep the original copy, in the
French ambassador's own handwriting. (Each nation sends a man to
represent her at the capital of each other nation. These men are
called ambassadors. They are given power to sign agreements for their
governments.) By showing this to the rulers of the little south German
kingdoms, he was able to turn them against Napoleon and to make secret
treaties with these states by which they bound themselves to fight on
the side of Prussia in case a war broke out with France. In similar
fashion, Bismarck made the Belgians angry against the French by
letting it be known that Napoleon was trying to annex their country

Meanwhile, aided by General von Moltke and Count von Roon (rōn),
Bismarck had built up a wonderful military power. Every man in Prussia
had been trained a certain number of years in the army and was ready
at a moment's notice to join his regiment. The whole campaign against
France had been planned months in advance. In France on the other
hand, the illness and irritability of Napoleon III had resulted in
poor organization. Men who did not wish to serve their time in the
army were allowed to pay money to the government instead. Yet their
names were carried on the rolls. In this way, the French army had not
half the strength in actual numbers that it had on paper. What is
more, certain government officials had taken advantage of the
emperor's weakness and lack of system and had put into their own
pockets money that should have been spent in buying guns and

When at last Bismarck was all ready for the war, it was not hard to
find an excuse. Old Queen Isabella of Spain had been driven from her
throne, and the Spanish army under General Prim offered the crown to
Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern, a cousin of the king of Prussia. This
alarmed Napoleon, who imagined that if Prussia attacked him on the
east, this Prussian prince, as king of Spain, would lead the Spanish
army over the Pyrenees against him on the south. France made so
vigorous a protest that the prince asked the Spaniards not to think of
him any longer. This was not enough for Napoleon, who now proceeded to
make a fatal mistake. The incident was closed, but he persisted in
reopening it. He sent his ambassador to see King William of Prussia to
ask the latter to assure France that never again should Prince Leopold
be considered for the position of king of Spain. The king answered
that he could not guarantee this, for he was merely the head of the
Hohenzollern family. Prince Leopold, whose lands lay outside of
Prussia, was not even one of his subjects. The interview between the
king and the French ambassador had been a friendly one. The ambassador
had been very courteous to the king, and the king had been very polite
to the ambassador. They had parted on good terms.

[Illustration: An Attack on a Convoy in the Franco-Prussian War.]

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Online LibraryLouis P. BenezetThe World War and What was Behind It The Story of the Map of Europe → online text (page 6 of 16)