Nations of Europe and the Great War - Charles Morris

All Europe Plunged into War


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, and giving Nobel prizes of honor even to so questionable an advocate of peace as Theodore Roosevelt, the redoubtable Colonel of the Rough Riders.

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 confused 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.

Dramatic Suddenness of the Outbreak

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 are 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.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


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 incredible.

Trade and Commerce Paralyzed

For the moment the world stood still, plunged into a panic that stopped all its activities. The chambers of finance 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 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.

Widespread Influences

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 columns 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."

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


"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 in Argentina face ruin from the stoppage of their wheat trade. Peru declares a moratorium. China will miss her ginseng from the Virginia mountains, and must otherwise make medicine. Rubber tires go soaring in price. Boots will do the same while shoemakers shoot each other, and the commerce in hides is halted. Children the world over will miss their Nuremberg toys at Christmas.

"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."

Dilemma of the Tourists

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 themselves.

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 of 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 of 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 today 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 accommodation.

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.

An Ocean Incident

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 unchecked speed and in utter silence, not a toot coming from her fog-horn. This was all very well as a measure of secrecy, but it opened the way to serious danger through a possible collision, and a committee of passengers was formed to request the captain to reconsider his action. Just as the committee reached his room the first blast of the fog-horn was heard, its welcome tone bringing a sense of security where grave apprehension had prevailed.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


A group of financiers were on board who offered to buy the ship and sail her under American colors. But to all such proposals Captain Polack turned a deaf ear. He said that his duty was spelled by his orders from Bremen to turn back and save his ship, and these he proposed to obey. A passenger stated:

"There were seven of the crew on watch all the time, two aloft. This enabled the captain to know of passing vessels before they came above the horizon. We were undoubtedly in danger on Sunday afternoon. We intercepted a wireless message in French in which two French cruisers were exchanging data in regard to their positions.

"The captain told me that he imagined those to be two vessels who regularly patrolled the fishing grounds in the interest of French fisheries. If the captain of either of those vessels should have come out of the fog and found us, his share of the prize in money might have amounted to $4,000,000. Did privateer ever dream of such booty!

"Early on Saturday our four great funnels were given broad black bands in order to make us look like the Olympic, which was supposed to be twenty-four hours ahead of us. There was a certain grim humor in the fact that the wireless operator on the Olympic kept calling us all Friday night. Of course we did not answer."

On Tuesday, August 4th, the great ship came within sight of land at the little village of Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, off the coast of Maine; a port scarce large enough to hold the giant liner that had sought safety in its waters. Wireless messages were at once flashed to all parts of the country and the news that the endangered vessel, with its precious cargo, was safe, was received with general relief. As regards the future movements of the ship Captain Polack said:

"I can see no possibility of taking this ship to New York from here with safety. To avoid foreign vessels we should have to keep within the three-mile limit, and to accomplish this the ship would have to be built like a canoe. We have reached an American port in safety and that was more than I dared to hope. We have been in almost constant danger of capture, and we can consider ourselves extremely lucky to have come out so well.

"I know I have been criticized for making too great speed under bad weather conditions, but I have not wilfully endangered the lives of the passengers. I would rather have lost the whole ship and cargo than have assumed any such risk. Of course, aside from this consideration, my one aim has been to save my ship and my cargo from capture.

"I have not been acting on my own initiative, but under orders from the North German Lloyd in Bremen, and although I am an officer in the German navy my duty has been to the steamship line.

Closing the Stock Markets

We have so far dealt with only a few of the results of the war. There were various others of great moment, to some of which a passing allusion has been made.

On July 30th, for the first time in history, the stock markets of the world were all closed at the same time. Heretofore when the European markets have been closed those on this side of the ocean remained open. The New York Exchange was the last big stock market to announce temporary suspension of business. The New York Cotton Exchange closed, following the announcement of the failure of several brokerage firms. Stock Exchanges throughout the United States followed the example set by New York. The Stock Exchanges in London and the big provincial cities, as well as those on the Continent, ceased business, owing to the breakdown of the credit system, which was made complete by the postponement of the Paris settlement.

Depositors stormed every bank in London for gold, and the runs continued until every bank was closed. In order to protect its dwindling gold supply the Bank of England raised its discount rate to 8 per cent. Leading bankers of London requested Premier Asquith to suspend the bank act, and he promised to lay the matter before the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In all the capitals of Europe financial transactions virtually came to a standstill. The slump in the market value of securities within the first week of the war flurry was estimated at $2,000,000,000, and radical measures were necessary to prevent hasty action while the condition of panic prevailed.

This sudden stoppage of ordinary financial operations was accompanied by a similar cessation of the industries of peace over a wide range of territory. The artisan was forced to let fall the tools of his trade and take up those of war. The railroads were similarly denuded of their employees except in so far as they were needed to convey soldiers and military supplies. The customary uses of the railroad were largely suspended and travel went on under great difficulties. In a measure it had returned to the conditions existing before the invention of the locomotive. Even horse traffic was limited by the demands of the army for these animals, and foot travel regained some of its old ascendency.

War makes business active in one direction and in one only, that of army and navy supply, of the manufacture of the implements of destruction, of vast quantities of explosives, of multitudes of death-dealing weapons. Food supplies need to be diverted in the same direction, the demands of the soldier being considered first, those of the home people last, the latter being often supplied at starvation prices. There is plenty of work to do—of its kind. But it is of a kind that injures instead of aiding the people of the nations.

Terrible Effects of War

This individual source of misery and suffering in war times is accompanied by a more direct one, that of the main purpose of war—destruction of human life and of property that might be utilized by an enemy, frequently of merciless brigandage and devastation. It is horrible to think of the frightful suffering caused by every great battle. Immediate death on the field might reasonably be welcomed as an escape from the suffering arising from wounds, the terrible mutilations, the injuries that rankle throughout life, the conversion of hosts of able-bodied men into feeble invalids, to be kept by the direct aid of their fellows or the indirect aid of the people at large through a system of pensions.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The physical sufferings of the soldiers from wounds and privations are perhaps not the greatest. Side by side with them are the mental anxieties of their families at home, their terrible suspense, the effect upon them of tidings of the maiming or death of those dear to them or on whose labor they immediately depend. The harvest of misery arising from this cause it is impossible to estimate. It is not to be seen in the open. It dwells unseen in humble homes, in city, village, or field, borne often uncomplainingly, but not less poignant from this cause. The tears and terrors thus produced are beyond calculation. But while the glories of war are celebrated with blast of trumpet and roll of drum, the terrible accompaniment of groans of misery is too apt to pass unheard and die away forgotten.

To turn from this roll of horrors, there are costs of war in other directions to be considered. These include the ravage of cities by flame or pillage, the loss of splendid works of architecture, the irretrievable destruction of great productions of art, the vanishing of much on which the world had long set store,

The Tide of Destruction

Not only on land, but at sea as well, the tide of destruction rises and swells. Huge warships, built at a cost of millions of dollars and tenanted by hundreds of hardy sailors, are torn and rent by shot and shell and at times sent to the bottom with all on board by the explosion of torpedoes beneath their unprotected lower hulls. The torpedo boat, the submarine, with other agencies of unseen destruction, have come into play to add enormously to the horrors of naval warfare, while the bomb-dropping airship, letting fall its dire missiles from the sky, has come to add to the dread terror and torment of the battlefield.

We began this chapter with a statement of the startling suddenness of this great war, and the widespread consequences which immediately followed. We have been led into a discussion of its issues, of the disturbing and distracting consequences which cannot fail to follow any great modern war between civilized nations. We had some examples of this on a small scale in the recent Balkan-Turkish war. But that was of minor importance and its effects, many of them sanguinary and horrible, were mainly confined to the region in which it occurred. But a war covering nearly a whole continent cannot be confined and circumscribed in its consequences. All the world must feel them in a measure—though diminishing with distance. The vast expanse of water which separates the United States from the European continent could not save its citizens from feeling certain ill effects from the struggle of war lords. America and Europe are tied together with many cords of business and interest, and the severing or weakening of these cannot fail to be seriously felt. Canada, at a similar width of removal from Europe, had reason to feel it still more seriously, from its close political relations with Great Britain and the ties of race and governmental conditions which intimately bind them. In fact, the war practically crossed the ocean and brought the Dominion of Canada within its reach. Many loyal Canadians stepped into the fray as an aid to the British cause,

Who Caused the Conflict?

Returning to the topic of the suddenness of the issue, which iii less than a week plunged the five leading nations of Europe into internecine war, shall we seek to discover an adequate reason for this rapid plunge into the arena of conflict? It was much less a rising of people against people than of war lord against war lord. What had the great mass of the people to do with it, except to raise the idle cries of "Hoch der Kaiser," "On to Berlin," and the like popular mouthings! What had the men of wealth and business prominence to do with it? What the parliaments of the nations? The fact is patent that this vast, this inexcusable, war was primarily due to three men, three autocrats, three rulers of a type beyond which the civilized world has long since grown, bare surviving remnants of Roman imperialism and medieval tyranny. These three men were Francis Joseph of Austria, William II of Germany, Nicholas II of Russia, men who, when it came to a question of war, had but to raise their hand and the peoples under their rule were forced to respond. We are not here concerned with their motives, the secret ambitions or political considerations that moved them. What we are concerned with is the terrible fact that three men, in this age of national progress, still possessed the power to plunge a continent into carnage, cause the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of their subjects and the misery of the millions dependent upon them. In the words of Shakespeare, "It is not, and it cannot come to good." The conclusion of this passage from the great bard, "but break my heart, for I must hold my tongue," does not apply to the modern historical critic, since to hold his tongue is the very last thing that he would think of doing in such a crisis.

It would have been but just, if those men were so eager for war, to have put them in the field themselves and let them decide the issue involved by a triple duel. If the whole three had fallen upon the field of glory the world would have closed over them almost without a ripple and all moved smoothly on. But to call vast armies into the field, to slaughter innocent men in myriads! that is another question.

In this age of the world it is out of all reason for any one man to have such fearful power. It is not a matter here of ability to decide wisely upon great issues, but that of any single, fallible individual's possessing such power. If war is threatened it should be decided upon deliberately and calmly by a body of the seniors of the nation, not the self-chosen advisers of the emperor. It may be said, indeed, that in such a case a nation might be practically vanquished before it was ready to strike back at a more impulsive enemy. Yet France and Britain are governed by such bodies of seniors, and neither of them can well go to war without parliamentary approval. Yet in the present exigency such deliberations as were necessary caused no loss of time, and both were ready to strike back promptly when their interests and obligations were threatened.

Cost of Modern Warfare

Let us close this preliminary chapter with a consideration, not of the immediate effect of war, but of its final cost. In the end, after the storm has passed, the changes of territory, if any, are made, and industry has begun to revive, what remains? There is left a load of debt that for half a century or longer after the war will hang like a chain around the necks of the people, every man and woman of which will feel its constricting bonds.

Here it is not the men who made the war that suffer. They have long been laid away in the cemetery, with statues significant of the "glory" of their career, anthems chanted to their memory. It is not they who must pay the cost. This falls upon the people, who are taxed through generations to meet the dead and past issue, and suffer a perennial privation in consequence.

And in the days to which we have now come the cost of war is a giant to be reckoned with. With every increase in the size of cannon, the tonnage of warships, the destructiveness of weapons and ammunition, this element of cost grows proportionately greater and has in our day become stupendous. Nations may spend in our era more cold cash in a day of war than would have served for a year in the famous days of chivalry. A study of this question was made by army and navy experts in 1914, and they decided that the expense to the five nations concerned in the European war would be not less than $50,000,000 a day.

If we add to this the loss of untold numbers of young men in the prime of life, whose labor is needed in the fields and workshops of the nations involved, other billions of dollars must be added to the estimate, due to the crippling of industries. There is also the destruction of property to be considered, including the very costly modern battleships, this also footing up into the billions.

'When it is considered that in thirteen years the cost of maintenance of the armies and navies of the warring countries, as well as the cost of naval construction, exceeded $20,000,000,000, some idea may be had of the expense attached to war and the preparations of European countries for just such contingencies as those that arose in Europe in 1914. The cost of the Panama Canal, one of the most useful aids to the commerce of the world, was approximately $375,000,000, but the expense of the preparations for war in Europe during the time it took to build the canal exceeded the cost of this gigantic undertaking nearly sixty to one.

The money thus expended on preparation for war during the thirteen years named would, if spent in railroad and marine construction, have given vast commercial power to these nations. To what extent have they been benefited by the rivalry to gain precedence in military power? They stand on practically the same basis now that it is all at an end. Would they not be on the same basis if it had never begun? Aside from this is the incentive to employ these vast armaments in the purpose for which they were designed, the effect of creating a military spirit and developing a military caste in each by the nations, a result very likely to be productive of ill effects.

The total expense of maintenance of armies and navies, together with the cost of construction in thirteen years, in Germany, Austria, Russia, France and Great Britain, was as follows:

Naval expenditures $5,648,525,000
Construction 2,146,765,000
Cost of armies 13,138,403,000
Total $20,933,693,000

The wealth of the same nations in round figures is:

Great Britain $80,000,000,000
Germany 60,500,000,000
Austria 25,000,000,000
France 65,000,000,000
Russia 40,000,000,000
Total $270,500,000,000

This enormous expense which was incurred in preparation for war needed to be rapidly increased to meet the expenses of actual warfare. The British House of Commons authorized war credits amounting to $1,025,000,000, while the German Reichstag voted $1,250,000,000. Austria and France had to set aside vast sums for their respective war chests.

Half Century to Pay Debts

In anticipation of trouble Germany in 1913 voted $250,000,000 for extraordinary war expenses and about $100,000,000 was spent on an aerial fleet. France spent $60,000,000 for the same purpose.

The annual cost of maintaining the great armies and navies of Europe even on a peace basis is enormous, and it must be vastly increased during war. The official figures for 1913–14 are:

British army $224,300,000
British navy 224,140,000
German army 183,090,000
German navy 111,300,000
French army 191,431,580
French navy 119,571,400
Russian army 317,800,000
Russian navy 122,500,000
Austrian army 82,300,000
Austrian navy 42,000,000
Total 81,618,432,980

It was evident that taxes to meet the extraordinary expenses of war would have to be greatly increased in Germany and France. As business became at a standstill throughout Europe and every port of entry blocked, experts wondered where the money was to come from. All agreed that, when peace should be declared and the figures were all in, the result financially would be staggering and that the heaviest burden it had ever borne would rest upon Europe for fifty years to come. For when the roar of the cannon ceases and the nations are at rest, then dawns the era of payment, inevitable, inescapable, one in which for generations every man and woman must share.

Underlying Causes of the Great European War


What brought on the mighty war which so suddenly sprang forth? What evident, what subtle, what deep-hidden causes led to this sudden demolition of the temple of peace? What pride of power, what lust of ambition, what desire of imperial dominion cast the armed hosts of the nations into the field of conflict, on which multitudes of innocent victims were to be sacrificed to the insatiate hunger for blood of the modern Moloch?

Here are questions which few are capable of answering. Ostensible answers may be given, surface causes, reasons of immediate potency. But no one will be willing to accept these as the true moving causes. For a continent to spring in a week's time from complete peace into almost universal war, with all the great and several of the small Powers involved, is not to be explained by an apothegm or embraced within the limits of a paragraph. If not all, certainly several of these nations had enmities to be unchained, ambitions to be gratified, long-hidden purposes to be put in action. They seemed to have been awaiting an opportunity, and it came when the anger of the Servians at the seizure of Bosnia by Austria culminated in a mad act of assassination.

Assassination of the Austrian Crown Prince

The immediate cause, so far as apparent to us, of the war in question was the murder, on June 29, 1914, of the Austrian Crown Prince Francis Ferdinand and his wife, while on a visit to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, the assassin being a Servian student, supposed to have come for that purpose from Belgrade, the Servian capital. The inspiring cause of this dastardly act was the feeling of hostility towards Austria which was widely entertained in Servia. Bosnia was a part of the ancient kingdom of Servia. The bulk of its people are of Slavic origin and speak the Servian language. Servia was eager to regain it, as a possible outlet for a border on the Mediterranean Sea. When, therefore, in 1908, Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, which had been under her military control since 1878, the indignation in Servia was great. While it had died down in a measure in the subsequent years, the feeling of injury survived in many hearts, and there is little reason to doubt that the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was a result of this pervading sentiment.

In fact, the Austrian government was satisfied that the murder plot was hatched in Belgrade and held that Servian officials were in some way concerned in it. The Servian press gave some warrant for this, being openly boastful and defiant in its comments. When the Austrian consul-general at Belgrade dropped dead in the consulate the papers showed their satisfaction and hinted that he had been poisoned. This attitude of the press evidently was one of the reasons for the stringent demand made by Austria on July 23d, requiring apology and change of attitude from Servia and asking for a reply by the hour of 6 P. M. on the 25th. The demands were in part as follows:

  1. An apology by the Servian government in its official journal for all Pan-Servian propaganda and for the participation of Servian army officers in it, and warning all Servians in the future to desist from anti-Austrian demonstrations.
  2. That orders to this effect should be issued to the Servian army.
  3. That Servia should dissolve all societies capable of conducting intrigues against Austria.
  4. That Servia should curb the activities of the Servian press in regard to Austria.
  5. That Austrian officials should be permitted to conduct an inquiry in Servia independent of the Servian government into the Sarajevo plot.

An answer to these demands was sent out at ten minutes before 6 o'clock on the 25th, in which Servia accepted all demands except the last, which it did not deem "in accordance with international law and good neighborly relations." It asked that this demand should be submitted to The Hague Tribunal. The Austrian Minister at Belgrade, Baron Giesl von Gieslingen, refused to accept this reply and at once left the capital with the entire staff of the legation. The die was cast, as Austria probably intended that it should be.

Austria's Motive in Making War

It had, in fact, become evident early in July that the military party in Austria was seeking to manufacture a popular demand for war, based on the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife. Such was the indication of the tone of the Vienna newspapers, which appeared desirous of working up a sentiment hostile to Servia. It may be doubted if the aged emperor was a party to this. Probably his assent was a forced one, due to the insistence of the war party and the public sentiment developed by it. That the murder of the Archduke was the real cause of the action of Austria can scarcely be accepted in view of Servia's acceptance of Austria's rigid demands. The actual cause was undoubtedly a deeper one, that of Austria's long-cherished purpose of gaining a foothold on the Aegean Sea, for which the possession of Servia was necessary as a preliminary step. A plausible motive was needed, any pretext that would serve as a satisfactory excuse to Europe for hostile action and that could at the same time be utilized in developing Austrian indignation against the Servians. Such a motive came in the act of assassination and immediate use was made of it. The Austrian war party contended that the deed was planned at Belgrade, that it had been fomented by Servian officials, and that these had supplied the murderer with explosives and aided in their transfer into Bosnia.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


What evidence Austria possessed leading to this opinion we do not know. While it is not likely that there was any actual evidence, the case was one that called for investigation, and Austria was plainly within its rights in demanding such an inquiry and due punishment of every one found to be connected with the tragic deed. But Austria went farther than this. It was willing to accept nothing less than a complete and humiliating submission on the part of Servia. And the impression was widely entertained, whether with or without cause, that in this Austria was not acting alone but that it had the full support of Germany. That country also may be supposed to have had its ends to gain. What these were we shall consider later.

Servia Accepts Austria's Demands


Imperious as had been the demand of Austria, one which would never have been submitted to a Power of equal strength, Servia accepted it, expressing itself as willing to comply with all the conditions imposed except that relating to the participation of Austrian officials in the inquiry, an explanation being asked on this point. If this reply should be deemed inadequate, Servia stood ready to submit the question at issue to The Hague Peace Tribunal and to the Powers which had signed the declaration of 1909 relating to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The subsequent action of Austria was significant. The Austrian Minister at Belgrade, as before stated, rejected it as unsatisfactory and immediately left the Servian capital. He acted, in short, with a precipitancy that indicated that he was acting under instructions. This was made very evident by what immediately followed. When news came on July 28th that war had been declared and active hostilities commenced, it was accompanied by the statement that Austria would not now be satisfied even with a full acceptance of her demands.

That the intention of this imperious demand and what quickly followed was to force a war, no one can doubt. Servia's nearly complete assent to the conditions imposed was declared to be not only unsatisfactory, but also "dishonorable," a word doubtless deliberately used. Evidently no door was to be left open for retrogressive consideration.

The Ironies of History

It is one of the ironies of history that a people who once played a leading part in saving the Austrian capital from capture should come to be threatened by the armies of that capital. This takes us back to the era when Servia, a powerful empire of those days, fell under the dominion of the conquering Turks, whose armies further overran Hungary and besieged Vienna. Had this city been captured, all central Europe would have lain open to the barbarities of the Turks. In its defense the Servians played a leading part, so great a one that we are told by a Hungarian historian, "It was the Serb Bacich who saved Vienna." But in 1914 Servia was brought to the need of saving itself from Vienna.

What Austria had to Gain

If it be asked what Austria had to gain by this act; what was her aim in forcing war upon a far weaker state; the answer is at hand. The Balkan States, of which Servia is a prominent member, lie in a direct line between Europe and the Orient. A great power occupying the whole of the Balkan peninsula would possess political advantages far beyond those enjoyed by Austria-Hungary. It would be in a position giving it great influence over, if not strategic control of, the Suez Canal, the commerce of the Mediterranean, and a considerable all-rail route between Central Europe and the far East. Salonika, on the Aegean Sea, now in Greek territory, is one of the finest harbors on the Mediterranean Sea. A railway through Servia now connects this port with Austria and Germany. In addition to this railway it is not unlikely that a canal may in the near future connect the Danube with the harbor of Salonika. If this project should be carried out, the commerce of the Danube and its tributary streams and canals, even that of central and western Germany, would be able to reach the Mediterranean without passing through the perilous Iron Gates of the Danube or being subjected to the delays and dangers incident to the long passage through the Black Sea and the Grecian Archipelago.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


We can see in all this a powerful motive for Austria to seek to gain possession of Servia, as a step towards possible future control of the whole Balkan peninsula. The commercial and manufacturing interests of Austria-Hungary were growing, and mastership of such a route to the Mediterranean would mean immense advantage to this ambitious empire. Possession of northern Italy once gave her the advantage of an important outlet to the Mediterranean. This, through events that will be spoken of in later chapters, was lost to her. She apparently then sought to reach it by a more direct and open road, that leading through Salonika.

Such seem the reasons most likely to have been active in the Austrian assault upon Servia. The murder of an Austrian archduke by an insignificant assassin gave no sufficient warrant for the act. The whole movement of events indicates that Austria was not seeking retribution for a crime but seizing upon a pretext for a predetermined purpose and couching her demands upon Servia in terms which no self-respecting nation could accept without protest. Servia was to be put in a position from which she could not escape and every door of retreat against the arbitrament of war was closed against her.

But in this retrospect we are dealing with Austria and Servia alone. What brought Germany, what brought France, what brought practically the whole of Europe into the struggle? What caused it to grow with startling suddenness from a minor into a major conflict, from a contest between a bulldog and a terrier into a battle between lions? What were the unseen and unnoted conditions that, within little more than a week's time, induced all the leading nations of Europe to cast down the gage of battle and spring full-armed into the arena, bent upon a struggle which threatened to surpass any that the world had ever seen? Certainly no trifling causes were here involved. Only great and far-reaching causes could have brought about such a catastrophe. All Europe appeared to be sitting, unknowingly or knowingly, upon a powder barrel which only needed some inconsequent hand to apply the match. It seems incredible that the mere pulling of a trigger by a Servian student and the slaughter of an archduke in the Bosnian capital could in a month's time have plunged all Europe into war. From small causes great events may rise. Certainly that with which we are here dealing strikingly illustrates this homely apothegm.

How the War Became Continental

We cannot hope to point out the varied causes which were at work in this vast event. Very possibly the leading ones are unknown to us. Yet some of the important ones are evident and may be made evident, and to these we must restrict ourselves.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Allusion has already been made to the general belief that the Emperor of Germany was deeply concerned in it, and that Austria would not have acted as it did without assurance of support, in fact without direct instigation, from some strong allied Power, and this Power is adjudged alike by public and private opinion to have been Germany, acting in the person of its ambitious war lord, the dominating Kaiser.

It may be stated that all the Powers concerned have sought to disclaim responsibility. Thus Servia called the world to witness that her answer to Austria was the limit of submission and conciliation. Austria, through her ambassador to the United States, solemnly declared that her assault upon Servia was a measure of "self-defense." Russia explained her action as "benevolent intervention," and expressed "a humble hope in omnipotent providence" that her hosts would be triumphant. Germany charged France with perfidious attack upon the unarmed border of the fatherland, and proclaimed a holy war for "the security of her territory." France and England, Belgium and Italy deplored the conflict and protested that they were innocent of offense. So far as all this is concerned the facts are generally held to point to Germany as the chief instigator of the war.

Russia, indeed, had made threatening movements toward Austria as a warning to her to desist from her threatened invasion of Servia. Great Britain proposed mediation. Germany made no movement in the direction of preventing the war, but directed its attention to Russia, warning it to stop mobilization within twenty-four hours, and immediately afterward beginning a similar movement of mobilization in its own territory. On August 1st Germany declared war against Russia, the first step towards making the contest a continental one. On the 2d, when France began mobilization, German forces moved against Russia and France simultaneously and invaded the neutral states of Luxembourg and Belgium. It was her persistence in the latter movement that brought Great Britain into the contest, as this country was pledged to support Belgian neutrality. On August 4th, Great Britain sent an ultimatum to Germany to withdraw from the neutral territory which her troops had entered. Germany retorted by a declaration of war against Great Britain. This was issued at 7 P. M. Great Britain replied by a similar declaration at 11 P. M.

An Editorial Opinion

As regards the significance of these movements, in which Germany hurled declarations of war in rapid succession to east and west, and forced the issue of a continental war upon nations which had taken no decisive step, it may suffice to quote an editorial summing up of the situation as regards Germany, from the Philadelphia North American of August 7th:

"From these facts there is no escape. Leaving aside all questions of justice or political expediency, the aggressor throughout has been Germany. Austria's fury over the assassination of the heir to the throne was natural. But Servia tendered full reparation. So keen and conservative an authority as Rear Admiral Mahan declares that 'the aggressive insolence' of Austria's ultimatum 'and Servia's concession of all demands except those too humiliating for national self-respect' show that behind Austria's assault was the instigation of Berlin. He adds:

"'Knowing how the matter would be viewed in Russia, it is incredible that Austria would have ventured on the ultimatum unless assured beforehand of the consent of Germany. The inference is irresistible that it was the pretext for a war already determined upon as soon as plausible occasion offered.'

"Circumstantial evidence, at least, places responsibility for the flinging of the first firebrand upon the government of the Kaiser. Now, who added fuel to the flames, until the great conflagration was under way?

"The next move was the Czar's. 'Fraternal sentiments of the Russian people for the Slavs in Servia,' he says, led him to order partial mobilization, following Austria's invasion of Servia. Instantly Germany protested, and within forty-eight hours sent an ultimatum demanding that Russia cease her preparations. On the following day Germany began mobilizing, and twenty-four hours later declared war on Russia. Mobilization in France, necessitated by these events, was anticipated by Germany, which simultaneously flung forces into Russia, France, Luxembourg and Belgium.

"It was Germany's historic policy of 'blood and iron' that fired Austria to attempt the crushing of Servia. It was Germany that hurled an ultimatum, swiftly followed by an army, at Russia. It was Germany that struck first at the French frontier. It was Germany that trampled upon solemn treaty engagements by invading the neutral states of Luxembourg and Belgium. And it was Germany that, in answer to England's demand that the neutrality of Belgium be protected, declared war against Great Britain.

"Regardless, therefore, of questions of right and wrong, it is undeniable that in each succeeding crisis Germany has taken the aggressive. In so doing she has been inspired by a supreme confidence in her military might. But she has less reason to be proud of her diplomacy. The splendid audacity of her moves cannot obscure the fact that in making the case upon which she will be judged she has been outmaneuvered by the deliberation of Russia, the forbearance of France and the patience of Great Britain. She has assumed the role of international autocrat, while giving her foes the advantage of prosecuting a patriotic war of defense.

"Particularly is this true touching the violation of neutral territory. For nearly half a century the duchy of Luxembourg has been considered a 'perpetually neutral state,' under solemn guarantee of Austria, Great Britain, Germany and Russia. Since 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands, it, too, has been held 'an independent and perpetually neutral state,' that status being solemnly declared in a convention signed by Great Britain, France, Russia, Austria and Prussia. Yet the first war move of Germany was to overrun these countries, seize their railroads, bombard their cities and lay waste their territories.

"For forty years Germany has been the exemplar of a progressive civilization. In spite of her adherence to inflated militarism, she has put the whole world in her debt by her inspiring industrial and scientific achievements. Her people have taught mankind lessons of incalculable value, and her sons have enriched far distant lands with their genius. Not the least of the catastrophes inflicted by this inhuman war is that an unbridled autocracy has brought against the great German empire an indictment for arrogant assault upon the peace of nations and the security of human institutions."

Is the Kaiser Responsible?

How much reliance is to be placed on the foregoing newspaper opinion, and on the prevailing sentiment holding Kaiser Wilhelm responsible for flinging the war bomb that disrupted the ranks of peace, no one can say. Every one naturally looked for the fomenter of this frightful international conflict and was disposed to place the blame on the basis of rumor and personal feeling. On the other hand each nation concerned has vigorously disclaimed responsibility for the cataclysm. Austria—very meekly—claimed that Servia precipitated the conflict. Germany blamed it upon Russia and France, the former from Slavic race sentiment, the latter from enmity that had existed since the loss of Alsace and Lorraine in 1870. They, on the contrary, laid all the blame upon Germany. In the case of England alone we have a clear vista. The obligation of the island kingdom to maintain the neutral position of Belgium and the utter disregard of this neutrality by Germany forced her to take part and throw her armies into the field for the preservation of her international obligations.

Many opinions were extant, many views advanced. One of these, from Robert C. Long, a war correspondent of note, laid the total responsibility upon Austria, which, he said, plunged Europe into war in disregard of the Kaiser, who vigorously sought to prevent the outbreak, even threatening his ally in his efforts to preserve peace. In his view, "All the blood-guiltiness in this war will rest upon two Powers, Austria and Russia. It rests on Austria for her undue harshness to Servia and on Russia for its dishonesty in secretly mobilizing its entire army at a time when it was imploring the Kaiser to intervene for peace, and when the Kaiser was working for peace with every prospect of success."

We have quoted one editorial opinion holding Germany wholly responsible. Here is another, from the New York Times, which, with a fair degree of justice, distributes the responsibility among all the warring nations of Europe:

"Germany is not responsible; Russia is not responsible, or Austria, or France, or England. The pillars of civilization are undermined and human aspirations bludgeoned down by no Power, but by all Powers; by no autocrats, but by all autocrats; not because this one or that has erred or dared or dreamed or swaggered, but because all, in a mad stampede for armament, trade and territory, have sowed swords and guns, nourished harvests of death-dealing crops, made ready the way.

"For what reason other than war have billions in bonds and taxes been clamped on the backs of all Europe? None sought to evade war; each sought to be prepared to triumph when it came. At most some chancelleries whispered for delay, postponement; they knew the clash to be inevitable; if not today, tomorrow. Avoid war! What else have they lived for, what else prepared for, what else have they inculcated in the mind of youth than the sureness of the conflict and the great glory of offering themselves to this Moloch in sacrifice?

"No Power involved can cover up the stain. It is indelible, the sin of all Europe. It could have been prevented by common agreement. There was no wish to prevent it. Munition manufacturers were not alone in urging the race to destruction, physical and financial. The leaders were for it. It was policy. A boiling pot will boil, a nurtured seed will grow. There was no escape from the avowed goal. A slow drift to the inevitable, a thunderbolt forged, the awful push toward the vortex! What men and nations want they get."

Germany's Stake in the War

What had Germany to gain in the war in the instigation of which she is charged with being so deeply involved? Territorial aggrandizement may have been one of her purposes. Belgium and Holland lay between her and the open Atlantic, and the possession of these countries, with their splendid ports, would pay her well for a reasonable degree of risk and cost. The invasion of Belgium as her first move in the war game may have had an ulterior purpose in the acquisition of that country, one likely to be as distasteful to France as the taking over of Alsace-Lorraine. Perhaps the neutral position taken by Holland, with her seeming inclination in favor of Germany, may have had more than racial relations behind it. Considerations of ultimate safety from annexation may have had its share in this attitude of neutrality.

The general impression has been that Germany went to war with the purpose of establishing beyond question her political and military supremacy on the European continent. Military despotism in Germany was the decisive factor in making inevitable the general war. The Emperor of Germany stood as the incarnation and exponent of the Prussian policy of military autocracy. He had ruled all German States in unwavering obedience to the militarist maxim: "In times of peace prepare for war." He had used to the full his autocratic power in building up the German Empire and in making it not only a marvel of industrial efficiency, but also a stupendous military machine. In this effort he had burdened the people of Germany with an ever-increasing war budget. The limit in this direction was reached with the war budget of the year 1912, when the revenues of the princes and of all citizens of wealth were specially taxed. No new sources of revenue remained. A crisis had come.

That crisis, from Germany's point of view, was not any menace from Britain or any fear of the British power. It was rather the very real and very rapidly rising menace of the new great Slav power on Germany's border, including, as it did, the Russian Empire and the entire line of Slav countries that encircled Germanic Austria from the Adriatic to Bohemia. These Slav peoples are separated from the governing Teutonic race in the Austrian Empire by the gulfs of blood, language, and religion. And in Europe the Slav population very largely outnumbers the Teuton population.

Recent events, especially in the Balkan wars, had made it plain, not to the German Emperor alone, but to all the world, that the growth into an organized power of more than two hundred millions of Slav peoples along nearly three thousand miles of international frontier was a menace to the preservation of Teuton supremacy in Europe. That Teuton supremacy was based on the sword. The German Emperor's appeal was to "My sword." But when the new sword of the united Slav power was allowed to be unsheathed, German supremacy was threatened on its own ground and by the weapon of its own choosing.

However all this be, and it must be admitted that it is to a degree speculative, there were in 1914 conditions existing that appeared to render the time a suitable one for the seemingly inevitable continental war. Revelations pointing to defects in the French army, deficiencies of equipment and weaknesses in artillery, had been made in the French Parliament. The debate that occurred was fully dwelt upon in the German papers. And on July 16th the organ of Berlin radicalism, the Vossische Zeitung, published a leading article to show that Russia was not prepared for war, and never had been. As for France, it said: "A Gallic cock with a lame wing is not the ideal set up by the Russians. And when the Russian eagle boasts of being in the best of health who is to believe him? Why should the French place greater confidence in the inveterate Russian disorganization than in their own defective organization?"

As regards the Kaiser's own estimate of his preparedness for war, and the views of national polity he entertained, we shall let him speak for himself in the following extracts from former utterances:

"We will be everywhere victorious even if we are surrounded by enemies on all sides and even if we have to fight superior numbers, for our most powerful ally is God above, who, since the time of the Great Elector and Great King, has always been on our side."—At Berlin, March 29, 1901.

"I vowed never to strike for world mastery. The world empire that I then dreamed of was to create for the German empire on all sides the most absolute confidence as a quiet, honest and peaceable neighbor. I have vowed that if ever the time came when history should speak of a German world power or a Hohenzollern world power this should not be based on conquest, but come through a mutual striving of nations after a common purpose.

"After much has been done internally in a military way, the next thing must be the arming ourselves at sea. Every German battleship is a new guarantee for the peace of the world. We are the salt of the earth, but must prove worthy of being so, Therefore our youth must learn to deny what is not good for them.

"With all my heart I hope that golden peace will continue to be present with us."—At Bremen, March 22, 1905.

"My first and last care is for my fighting forces on land and sea. May God grant that war may not come, but should the cloud descend, I am firmly convinced that the army will acquit itself as it did so nobly thirty-five years ago."—At Berlin, February 25, 1906.

In the early days of the reign of William II war was prominent in his utterances. He was the War Lord in full feather, and the world at that time looked with dread upon this new and somewhat blatant apostle of militarism. Yet year after year passed until the roll of almost three decades was achieved, without his drawing the sword, and the world began to regard him as an apostle of peace, a wise and capable ruler who could gain his ends without the shedding of blood. What are we to believe now? Had he been wearing a mask for all these years, biding his time, hiding from view a deeply cherished purpose? Or did he really believe that a mission awaited him, that regeneration of the world through the sanguinary path of the battlefield was his duty, and that by the aid of a successful war he could inaugurate a safer and sounder era of peace?

We throw out these ideas as suggestions only. What the Kaiser purposed, what deep-laid schemes of international policy he entertained, will, perhaps, never be known. But if he was really responsible for the great war, as he was so widely accused of being, the responsibility he assumed was an awful one. If he was not responsible, as he declared and as some who claim to have been behind the scenes maintain, the world will be ready to absolve him when his innocence has been made evident.

Why Russia Entered the Field

In this survey of the causes of the great war under consideration the position of Russia comes next. That country was the first to follow Austria and begin the threatening work of mobilization. Germany's first open participation consisted in a warning to Russia that this work must cease. Only when her warning was disregarded did Germany begin mobilization and declare war. All this was the work of a very few days, but in this era of active military preparedness it needs only days, only hours in some instances, to change from a state of peace into a state of war and hurl great armed hosts against the borders of hostile nations.

The general impression was that it was the Slavic race sentiment that inspired Russia's quick action. Servia, a country of Slavs, brothers in race to a large section of the people of Russia, was threatened with national annihilation and her great kinsman sprang to her rescue, determined that she should not be absorbed by her land-hungry neighbor. This seemed to many a sufficient cause for Russia's action. Not many years before, when Austria annexed her wards, Bosnia and Herzegovina, both Slavic countries, Russia protested against the act. She would doubtless have done more than protest but for her financial and military weakness arising from the then recent Russo-Japanese War. In 1914 she was much stronger in both these elements of national power and lost not a day in preparing to march to Servia's aid.

But was this the whole, or indeed the chief, moving impulse in Russia's action? Was she so eager an advocate of Pan-Slavism as such a fact would indicate? Had she not some other purpose in view, some fish of her own to fry, some object of moment to obtain? Many thought so. They were not willing to credit the Russian bear with an act of pure international benevolence. Wars of pure charity are rarely among the virtuous acts of nations. As it had been suggested that Germany saw in the war a possible opportunity to gain a frontier on the Atlantic, so it was hinted that Russia had in mind a similar frontier on the Mediterranean. Time and again she had sought to wring Constantinople from the hands of the Turks. In 1877 she was on the point of achieving this purpose when she was halted and turned back by the Congress of Berlin and the bellicose attitude of the nations that stood behind it.

Here was another and seemingly a much better opportunity. The Balkan War had almost accomplished the conquest of the great Turkish capital and left Turkey in a state of serious weakness. If Europe should be thrown into the throes of a general war, in which every nation would have its own interests to care for, Russia's opportunity to seize upon the prize for which she had so long sought was an excellent one, there being no one in a position to say her nay. To Russia the possession of Constantinople was like the possession of a new world, and this may well have been her secret motive in springing without hesitation into the war. Her long-sought prize hung temptingly within reach of her hand, the European counterpart of the "Monroe Doctrine" could not now be evoked to stay her grasp, and it seems highly probable that in this may have lain the chief cause of Russia's participation in the war.

France's Hatred of Germany

The Republic of France was less hasty than Russia and Germany in issuing a declaration of war. Yet there, too, the order of mobilization was quickly issued and French troops were on the march toward the German border before Germany had taken a similar step. France had not forgotten her humiliation in 1870. So far was she from forgetting it that she cherished a vivid recollection of what she had lost and an equally vivid enmity towards Germany in consequence. Enmity is hardly the word. Hatred better fits the feeling entertained. And this was kept vitally alive by the fact that Alsace and Lorraine, two of her former provinces, still possessing a considerable French population, were now held as part of the dominions of her enemy. The sore rankled and hope of retribution lay deep in the heart of the French. Here seemed an opportunity to achieve this long-cherished purpose, and we may reasonably believe that the possibility of regaining this lost territory made France eager to take part in the coming war. She had been despoiled by Germany, a valued portion of her territory had been wrested from her grasp, a promising chance of regaining it lay before her. She had the men; she had the arms; she had a military organization vastly superior to that of 1870; she had the memory of her former triumphs over the now allied nations of Austria and Germany; she had her obligations to aid Russia as a further inducement. The causes of her taking part in the war are patent, especially in view of the fact that in a very brief interval after her declaration her troops had crossed the border and were marching gaily into Alsace, winning battles and occupying towns as they advanced.

Great Britain and Italy

We have suggested that in the case alike of Austria, Russia, Germany and France the hope of gaining valuable acquisitions of territory was entertained. In the case of France, enmity to Germany was an added motive, the territory she sought being land of which she had been formerly despoiled. These purposes of changing the map of Europe did not apply to or influence Great Britain. That country had no territory to gain and no great military organization to exercise. She possessed the most powerful navy of any country in the world, but she was moved by no desire of showing her strength upon the sea. There was no reason, so far as any special advantage to herself was concerned, for her taking part in the war, and her first step was a generous effort to mediate between the Powers in arms.

Only when Belgium—a small nation that was in a sense under the guardianship of Great Britain, so far as its nationality and neutrality were concerned—was invaded by Germany without warning, did Britain feel it incumbent upon her to come to its aid. This may not have been entirely an act of benevolence. There was a probability that Germany, once in control of Belgium, would not readily let go. She might add it to her empire, a fact likely to seriously affect British commerce. However this be, Great Britain lost no time after the invasion in becoming a party to the continental war, sending her fleet abroad and enlisting troops for service in the aid of her allies, France and Belgium.

Italy, a member of the Triple Alliance, the other members of which were Germany and Austria, was the only one of the great. Powers that held aloof. She had absolutely nothing to gain by taking part in the war, while her late large expenses in the conquest of Tripoli had seriously depleted her war chest. As regards her alliance with Germany and Austria, it put her under no obligation to come to their aid in an offensive war. Her obligation was restricted to aid in case they were attacked, and she justly held that no such condition existed. As a result, Germany and Austria found themselves at war with the three powerful members of the Triple Entente, while Italy, the third member of the Triple Alliance, declined to draw the sword.

The defection of Italy was a serious loss to the power of the allies, so much so that Emperor William threatened her with war if she failed to fulfil her assumed obligations. This threat. Italy quietly ignored. She gave indications, in fact, that her sympathies were with the opposite party. Thus Germany and Austria found themselves pitted against three great Powers and a possible fourth, with the addition of the two small nations of Servia and Belgium. And the latter were not to be despised as of negligible importance. Servia quickly showed an ability to check the forward movements of Austria, while Belgium, without aid, long held a powerful German army at bay, defending the city and fortresses of Liege with a boldness and success that called forth the admiring acclamations of the world.

The Triple Alliance and Triple Entente

This review of causes and motives may be supplemented by a brief statement of what is meant by the Triple Alliance and Triple Entente, terms which come into common prominence in discussing European politics. They indicate the division of Europe, so far as its greater Powers are concerned, into two fully or partially allied bodies, the former consisting of Germany, Austria and Italy, the latter of Great Britain, France and Russia. These organizations are of comparatively recent date. The Alliance began in 1879 in a compact between Germany and_ Austria, a Dual Alliance, which was converted into a Triple one in 1883, Italy then, through the influence of Bismarck, joining the alliance. In this compact Austria and Germany pledged themselves to mutual assistance if attacked by Russia; Italy and Germany to the same if attacked by France.

The Triple Entente—or Understanding—arose from a Dual Alliance between France and Russia, formed in 1887, an informal understanding between Britain and France in 1904 and a similar understanding between Britain and Russia in 1907. Its purpose, as formed by Edward VII, was to balance the Triple Alliance and thus convert Europe into two great military camps. When organized there seemed little probability of its being called into activity for many years.

Strength and Resources of the Warring Powers


Within the whole history of mankind the nations of the earth had never been so thoroughly equipped for the art of warfare as they were in 1914. While the arts of construction have enormously developed, those of destruction have fully kept pace with them; and the horrors of war have enormously increased side by side with the benignities of peace. It is interesting to trace the history of warfare from this point of view. Beginning with the club and hammer of the stone age, advancing through the bow and arrow and the sling-shot of later times, this art, even in the great days of ancient civilization, the eras of Greece and Rome, had advanced little beyond the sword and spear, crude weapons of destruction as regarded in our times. They have in great part been set aside as symbols of military dignity, emblems of the "pomp and circumstance of glorious war."

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Descending through the Middle Ages we find the sword and spear still holding sway, with the bow as an important accessory for the use of the common soldier. As for the knight, he became an iron-clad champion, so incased in steel that he could fight effectively only on horseback, becoming largely helpless on foot. At length, the greatest stage in the history of war, the notable invention of gunpowder was achieved, and an enormous transformation took place in the whole terrible art. The musket, the rifle, the pistol, the cannon were one by one evolved, to develop in the nineteenth century into the breech-loader, the machine gun, the bomb, and the multitude of devices fitted to bring about death and destruction by wholesale, instead of by the retail methods of older days.

At sea, the sailing vessel, with her far-flung white wings and rows of puny guns, has given way to the steel-clad battleship with her fewer but enormously larger cannons, capable of flinging huge masses of iron many miles through the air and with a precision of aim that seems incredible for such great distances.

We must add to this the torpedo boat, a tiny craft with a weapon capable of sinking the most costly and stupendous of battleships, and the submarine, fitted to creep unseen under blockading fleets, and deal destruction with nothing to show the hand that dealt the deadly blow. Even the broad expanse of the air has been made a field of warlike activity, with scouting airships flying above contending armies and signaling their most secret movements to the forces below.

Old and New Methods in War

In regard to loss of life on the battlefield, it may be said that many of the wars of ancient times surpassed the bloodiest of those of modern days, despite the enormously more destructive weapons and implements now employed. When men fought hand to hand, and no idea of quarter for the defeated existed, entire armies were at times slaughtered on the field. In our days, when the idea of mercy for the vanquished prevails, this wholesale slaughter of beaten hosts has ceased, and the death list of the battlefield has been largely reduced by caution. on the part of the fighters. With the feeling that a dead soldier is utterly useless, and a wounded one often worse than useless, as constituting an impediment, every means of saving life is utilized. Soldiers now fight miles apart. Prostrate, hidden, taking advantage of every opportunity of protection, every natural advantage or artificial device, vast quantities of ammunition are wasted on the empty air, every ball that finds its quarry in human flesh being mayhap but one in hundreds that go astray. In the old-time wars actual hand-to-hand fighting took place. Almost every stroke told, every thrusting blade was directly parried or came back stained with blood. In modern wars fighting of this kind has ceased. A battle has become a matter of machinery. The strong arm and stalwart heart are replaced by the bullet-flinging machine, and it is a rare event for a man to know to whose hand he owes wound or death. Such, at least, was largely the case in the war between Russia and Japan in 1905. But in recent battles we read of hordes of soldiers charging up to the muzzles of machine guns, and being mowed down like ripened wheat.

Costs of Modern Warfare

But while loss of human life in war has not greatly increased, in other directions the cost of warfare has enormously grown. In the past, little special preparation was needed by the fighter. Armies could be recruited off-hand from city or farm and do valiant duty in the field, with simple and cheap weapons. In our days years of preliminary preparation are deemed necessary and the costs of war go on during times of profound peace, millions of men who could be used effectively in the peaceful industries spending the best years of their lives in learning the most effective methods of destroying their fellow men.

This is only one phase of the element of cost. Great workshops are devoted to the preparation of military material, of absolutely no use to mankind except as instruments of destruction. The costs of war, even in times of peace, are thus very large. But they increase in an enormous proportion after war has actually begun, millions of dollars being needed where tens formerly sufficed, and national bankruptcy threatening the nation that keeps its armies long in the field. The American Civil War, fought half a century ago, was a costly procedure for the American people. If it had been fought five or ten years ago its cost would have been increased five-fold, so great has been the progress in this terrible art in the interval.

Staggering Figures on the Greatest War in History

According to official estimates over 75 per cent of the population of Europe was involved in the war of 1914. Of an estimated total of 495,473,000 persons in all Europe, nations having an approximate total of 372,373,000 inhabitants were fighting against each other with a total estimated army strength in time of war of about 17,992,000 men. The statistics of the warring nations were approximately as follows:

Nations Estimated Population Strength of Army
Russia 160,100, 000 5,500,000
Germany 64,900,000 5,300,000
Austria-Hungary 51,340,000 2,000,000
Great Britain 45,000,000 730,000
France 39,601,000 4,000,000
Belgium 7,432,000 222,000
Servia 4,000,000 240,000
Totals 372,373,000 17,992,000

Nature of National Resources

It is our purpose in the present chapter to take up the subject of this cost and review the condition and resources of the several nations which were involved in the dread internecine struggle of 1914, the frightful conflict of nations that moved like a great panorama before our eyes. These resources are of two kinds. One of them consists in the material wealth of the nations concerned, the product of the fields and factories, the mineral treasures beneath the soil, the results of trade and commercial activity and the conditions of national finance, including the extent of available revenue and the indebtedness which hangs over each nation, much of it a heritage from former wars which have left little beyond this aggravating record of their existence. It is one which adds something to the cost of every particle of food consumed by the people, every shred of clothing worn by them. Additions to this incubus of debt little disturb the rulers when blithely or bitterly engaging in new wars, but every such addition adds to the burdens of taxation laid on the shoulders of the groaning citizens, and is sure to deepen the harvest of retribution when the time for it arrives.

A second of these resources is that of preparation for war in time of peace, the training of the able-bodied citizens in the military art, until practically the entire nation becomes converted into a vast army, its members, after their term of compulsory service, engaging in ordinary labors in times of peace, yet liable to be called into the field whenever the war lords desire, to face the death-belching field piece and machine gun in a sanguinary service in which they have little or no personal concern. This preparedness, with the knowledge of the duties of a soldier which it involves, is a valuable war resource to any nation that is saddled with such a system of universal military training. And few nations of Europe and the East are now without it. Great Britain is the chief one in Europe, while in America the United States is a notable example of a nation that has adopted the opposite policy, that of keeping its population at peaceful labor, steadily adding to its resources, during the whole time in which peace prevails, and trusting to the courage and mental resources of its citizens to teach them quickly the art of fighting when, if ever, the occasion shall arrive.

It must be admitted that the European system of militarism is likely to be of great advantage in the early days of a war, in which large bodies of trained soldiers can be hurled with destructive force against hastily gathered militia. The distinction between trained and untrained soldiers, however, rapidly disappears in a war of long continuance. Experience in the field is a lesson far superior to any gained in mock warfare, and the taking part in a few battles will teach the art of warfare to an extent surpassing that of years of marching and counter-marching upon the training field.

British and American Military Systems

Britain and the United States, the only two of the greater nations that have adopted the policy here considered, are not trusting completely to chance. Each of them has a body of regular troops, fitted for police duty in time of peace and for field duty in time of war, and serving as a nucleus fitted to give a degree of coherence to raw militia when the sword is drawn. Subsidiary to these are bodies of volunteer troops, training as a recreation rather than as an occupation, yet constituting a valuable auxiliary to the regular forces. This system possesses the advantage of maintaining no soldiers except those kept in constant and needful duty, all the remaining population staying at their regular labors and adding very materially every year to the resources of the nation, while saving the great sums expended without adequate return in the process of keeping up the system of militarism.

What is above said refers only to the human element in the system. In addition is the necessity of preparing and keeping in store large quantities of war material—cannons, rifles, ammunition, etc.—the building of inland forts and coast and harbor fortifications, for ready and immediate use in time of war. In this all the nations are alike actively engaged, the United States and Britain as well as those of the European continent, and none of them are likely to be caught amiss in this particular. Cannon and gunpowder eat no food and call for no pay or pension, and once got ready can wait with little loss of efficiency. They may, indeed, become antiquated through new invention and development, and need to be kept up to date in this particular. But otherwise they can be readily kept in store and each nation may with comparative ease maintain itself on a level with others as regards its supply of material of war.

Naval Strength

In one field of war-preparation little of the distinction indicated exists. This is that of ocean warfare, in which rivalry between the great Powers goes on without restriction—at least between the distinctively maritime nations. In this field of effort, the building of gigantic battleships and minor war vessels, Britain has kept itself in advance of all others, as a nation in which the sea is likely to be the chief field of warlike activity. Beginning with a predominance in war ships, it has steadily retained it, adding new and constantly greater war ships to its fleet with a feverish activity, under the idea that here is its true field of warfare. It has sought vigorously to keep itself on a level in this particular with any two of its rivals in sea power. While it has not quite succeeded in this, the United States and Germany pushing it closely, it is well in the lead as compared with any single Power, and to keep this lead it is straining every nerve and fiber of its national capacity.

Resources of Austria-Hungary

Corning now to a statement of the strength and resources of the chief Powers concerned in the present war, Austria-Hungary, as the originator of the outbreak, stands first. It is scarcely necessary to repeat that its severe demands upon Servia, arising from the murder of the Archduke Ferdinand and its refusal to accept Servia's almost complete acceptance of its terms, led to an immediate declaration of war upon the small offending state, the war fever thus started quickly extending from side to side of the continent. Therefore in considering the existing conditions of the various countries involved, those of Austria-Hungary properly come first, the others following in due succession.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Austria-Hungary is a dual kingdom, each partner to the union having its separate national organization and legislative body. While both are under the rule of one monarch, Francis Joseph being at once the Emperor of Austria and the King of Hungary, their union is not a very intimate one. There is large racial distinction between the two countries, and Hungary cherishes a strong feeling of animosity to Austria, the outcome of acts of tyranny and barbarity not far in the past.

The two countries closely approach each other in area, Austria having 115,903 and Hungary 125,039 square miles; making a total of 240,942. The populations also do not vary largely, the total being estimated at about 50,000,000. Of these the Slavs number more than 24,000,000, approaching one half the total, while of Germans there are but 11,500,000, little more than half the Slavic population. The Magyars, or Hungarians, a people of eastern origin, and the main element of Hungarian population, number about 8,750,000. In addition there are several millions of Roumanian and Italic stock, and a considerable number of Jews and Gypsies. The inclusion of this heterogeneous population into one kingdom dates far back in medieval history, and it was not until 1867, as a consequence of a vigorous Hungarian demand, that Austria and Hungary became divided into separate nations, the remnant of their former close union remaining in their being ruled by one monarch, the venerable Francis Joseph, who is still upon the throne. This division quickly followed the war between Prussia and Austria in 1866, and was one of the results of the defeat of Austria in that war.

Austria is a hilly or mountainous country, its plains occupying only about one fifth of the total territory. The most extensive tracts of low or flat land occur in Hungary, Galicia and Slavonia, the great Hungarian plain having an area of 36,000 square miles. Much of this is highly fertile, and Hungary is the great granary of the country. Austria-Hungary is well watered by the Danube and its tributaries and has a small extent of sea-coast on the Adriatic, its principal ports being Trieste, Pola and Fiume. Its railways are about 30,000 miles in length. In consequence of its interior position its largest trade is with Germany, through which empire there is also an extensive transit commerce. Its mountainous character makes it rich in minerals, the chief of these being coal, iron, and salt.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, formerly part of Turkey in Europe, were put under the military occupation and administrative rule of Austria after the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-8, and in 1908 were fully annexed by Austria, an act of spoliation which had its ultimate result in the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in 1914, and may thus be considered the instigating agency in the 1914 war.

The finances of Austria-Hungary may be briefly given. Austria has an annual revenue of $636,909,000; Hungary of $410,068,000; their expenditure equaling these sums. The debt of Austria is stated at $1,433,511,000; of Hungary, $1,257,810,000; and of the joint states at $1,050,000,000. Military service is obligatory on all over twenty years of age who are capable of bearing arms, the total terms of service being twelve years, of which three are passed in the line, seven in the reserve, and two in the Landwehr. The army is estimated to number 390,000 on the peace footing and over 2,000,000 on the war footing. Its navy numbers four modern and nine older battleships, with twelve cruisers and a number of smaller craft.

Resources of Germany

Germany, in the census of 1910, was credited with a population of 64,925,993. This is in great part composed of Teutons, or men of German race, its people being far less heterogeneous than those of Austria, though it includes several millions of Slavs, Lithuanians, Poles and others. It has an area of 208,738 square miles. It is mountainous in the south and center, but in the north there is a wide plain extending to the German Ocean and the Baltic Sea, and forming part of the great watershed which stretches across Europe. Its soil, except in the more rugged and mountainous districts, is prolific, being well watered and bearing abundant crops of the ordinary cereals. Potatoes, hemp and flax are very abundant crops and the sugar beet is extensively cultivated. The forests are of great extent and value, and are carefully conserved to yield a large production without over cutting. Among domestic animals, the cattle, sheep and swine of certain districts have long been famous.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The minerals are numerous and some of them of much value, those of chief importance being coal, iron, zinc, lead and salt. While much attention is given to mining and agriculture, the manufacturing industries are especially important. Linens and other textiles are widely produced and iron manufacture is largely carried on. The Krupp iron works at Essen are of world-wide fame, and the cannon made there are used in the forts of many distant nations.

These are a few only of the large variety of manufactures, a market for which is found in all parts of the world, the commerce of Germany being widely extended. In short, the empire has come into very active rivalry with Great Britain in the development of commerce, and to its progress in this direction it owes much of its flourishing condition. Hamburg is by far the most important seaport, Bremen, Stettin, Danzig and others also being thriving ports. The total length of railway is over 40,000 miles.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The annual revenue of the German Empire is nearly $900,000,000; that of its component states, $1,500,000,000. The debt of the empire is estimated at $1,180,000,000; that of the states at $3,735,000,000. The revenue is derived chiefly from customs duties, excise duties on beet-root sugar, salt, tobacco and malt and contributions from the several states.

Germany is the foster home of modern militarism and is held to have the most complete army system in the world. Every man capable of bearing arms must begin his military training on the 1st of January of the year in which he reaches the age of twenty, and continue it to the end of his forty-second year, unless released from this duty by the competent authorities. either altogether or for times of peace.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Seven years of this time must be spent in the army or fleet; three of them in active service, four in the reserve. Seven more years are passed in the Landwehr, the members of which may be called out only twice for training. The remaining time is passed in the Landsturm, which is called out only in case of invasion of the empire. The total peace strength of the army is given at 870,000; of the reserves at 4,430,000; the total being 5,300,000.

The naval force of Germany is very powerful, though considerably less than that of Great Britain. It comprises 19 of the enormous modern battleships, 7 cruiser battleships, and 20 of older type; 9 first-class and 45 second and third-class cruisers, and numerous smaller warships, including 47 torpedo boats, 141 destroyers and 60 submarines.

Resources of Russia

Russia, the third of the three nations to which the war was most immediately due, is the most extensive consolidated empire in the world, its total area being estimated at 8,647,657 square miles, of which 1,852,524 are in Europe, the remainder in Asia. The population is given at about 160,000,000, of which 130,000,000 are in Europe.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Agriculture is the chief pursuit of this great population, though manufactures are largely developing. The forests, immense in extent, cover forty-two per cent of the area and contain timber in enormous quantities. While a large part of the area is level ground there is much elevated territory, and the mineral wealth is very important. It includes gold, silver, platinum, iron, copper, coal and salt, all of large occurrence. Of the people, over 1,800,000 are employed in manufacture, and the annual value of the commerce amounts to $1,300,000,000. The length of railway is about 50,000 miles.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Russia is heavily in debt, Germany being its largest creditor. The total debt is stated at $4,553,000,000, its revenue $1,674,000,000. The liability to military service covers all able-bodied men between the ages of twenty and forty-two years. Five years must be passed in active service, the remainder in the various reserves. On a peace footing the army is 1,290,000 strong; its war strength is 5,500,000. The territorial service is capable of supplying about 3,000,000 more, making a possible total of 7,500,000. As regards the navy, it was greatly reduced in strength in the war with Japan and has not yet fully recovered. The empire now possesses nine modern battleships, four cruiser battleships, and eight of old type. There are also cruisers and other vessels, including 23 torpedo boats, 105 destroyers, and 48 submarines.

Resources of France

France, the one large Power in Europe in which the people have come to their own and have got rid of the fact of a king, as illustrated in the other continental Powers, the fiction of a king, as illustrated in the British realm—the one, in addition to the mountain realm of Switzerland, in which the people govern themselves through their representatives, has taken up the dogma of militarism in common with its neighbors and constitutes the fourth of the Powers in which this system has been carried to its ultimate.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


France had a startling object lesson in 1870. It had, under Napoleon III, been imitating Prussia in its military establishment, and its government officials coincided with the emperor in the theory that its army was in a splendid state of preparation. Marshal Leboeuf lightly declared that "everything was ready, more than ready, and not a gaiter button missing," and it was with a light-hearted confidence that the Emperor Napoleon declared war against Prussia, the insensate multitude filling Paris with their futile war cry of "On to Berlin."

This is not the place to deal with this subject, but it may be said that France quickly learned that nothing was ready and the nation went down in the most sudden and awful disaster of modern times. A lesson had been taught, one not easy to forget. The Republic succeeded the Empire, and has since been working on the theory that war with its old enemy might at any time become imminent and no negligence in the matter of preparation could be permitted. As a consequence, France went into the war of 1914 in a state of fitness greatly superior to that of 1870, and Germany found France waiting on its border line, alert and able, ready alike for offense or defense.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


What are the natural conditions, the strength and resources, of this great republic? France has an area of 207,054 square miles, almost the same as that of the German Empire. If its numerous colonies be added, its total area is over 4,000,000 square miles. But this vast colonial expanse is of no special advantage to it in a European war. Its population is 39,601,509; if Algeria, its most available colony, be added, it is about 45,000,000, a total 20,000,000 less than the population of Germany.

Its soil is highly fitted for agricultural use, about nine tenths of it being productive and more than half of it under the. plow, the cereals forming the bulk of its products. Its wheat crop is large and oats, rye and barley are also of value, though the raising of the domestic animals is of less importance than in the surrounding countries. The growth of the vine is one of its most important branches of agriculture, and in good years France produces about half of the total wine yield of the world. In mineral wealth it stands at a somewhat low level, its yield of coal, iron, etc., being of minor importance.

France enjoys a large and valuable commerce and active manufacturing industries, products of a more or less artistic character being especially attended to. Of the textile fabrics, those of silk goods are much the most important, this industry employing about 2,000,000 persons and yielding more than a fourth in value of the whole manufactured products of France. Other products are carpets, tapestry, fine muslins, lace and cotton goods. Products of different character are numerous and their value large. The fisheries of France are also of much importance. Its commerce, while large, is very considerably less than that of Great Britain and Germany, France being especially a self-centered country, largely using what it makes.

There is abundant provision for internal trade and travel, there being 30,000 miles of railway, 3,000 miles of canal, and 5,500 miles of navigable rivers. The annual revenue approaches $1,000,000,000, and the public debt in 1914 was at the large total of over $6,200,000,000. This is much the largest debt of any nation in the world, the debt of Russia, which comes next in amount, being about $1,700,000,000 less. It is largely due to the cost of the war of 1870 and the subsequent large payment to Germany. Yet the French people carry it without feeling seriously over-burdened.

Coming now to the French military system, it rivals that of Germany in efficiency. The law requires the compulsory military service of every French citizen who is not unfit for such service. They have to serve in the regular army for three years, in the regular reserves for six years, in the territorial army for six years, and finally in the reserves of this army for ten years. This gives France a peace strength of 720,000 and a total war strength of 4,000,000. The navy is manned partly by conscription, partly by voluntary enlistment, the naval forces comprising about 60,000 officers and men.

The naval strength of the republic embraces 17 modern battle-ships, 25 of older type, 18 first-class, 13 second and third-class cruisers, 173 torpedo boats, 87 destroyers, and 90 submarines. There is another element of modern military strength of growing importance, and sure to be of large use in the war under review. This is that of the airship. In 1914 France stood at the head in this particular, its aeroplanes, built or under construction, numbering 550. Germany had 375, Russia 315, Italy 270, Austria 220, Britain 180 and Belgium 150. In dirigible balloons Germany stood first, with 50. France had 30, Russia 15, Austria 10 and Britain 7. These air-soaring implements of war came into play early in the conflict and Tennyson's vision of "battles in the blue" was realized in attacks of aeroplanes upon dirigibles, with death to the crews of each.

Resources of Great Britain

Great Britain, the remaining party to the five-fold war of great European Powers, is an island country of considerably smaller area than those so far named. Including Ireland it has an area of 121,391 square miles, about equal to that of the American State of New Mexico and not half the size of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Its population, however, surpasses that of France, amounting to 45,221,615. If the outlying dominions of Great Britain be added it becomes one of the leading empires of the world, its colonial dominions being estimated at over 13,000,000 square miles, and the total population of kingdom and colonies at 435,000,000, the greatest population of any country in the world. And Britain differs from France in the fact that much of this outlying population is available for war purposes in case of peril to the liberties of the mother country. At the outbreak of the war of 1914 the loyal Dominion of Canada sprang at once into the field, mobilized its forces, and offered the mother land material aid in men and ships.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The same sense of loyalty doubtless exists in Australia and South Africa and in others of the British oversea dominions, while India could add an important contingent to the army if necessity demanded. As for the immediate kingdom, it is not of high value in agricultural wealth, being at present divided up to a considerable extent into large unproductive estates, and it is quite unable to feed its teeming population, depending for this on its large commerce in food products. Its annual imports amount to about $3,000,000,000, its exports to $2,250,000,000.

Commercially and industrially alike Great Britain stands at the head of all European nations. Its abundant mineral wealth, especially in coal and iron, has stimulated manufactures to the highest degree, while its insular character and numerous seaports have had a similar stimulating effect upon commerce. Its revenue, aside from that of the colonies, amounts to about $920,000,000 annually, and its public debt reaches a total of $3,485,000,000.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The British government depends largely for safety from invasion upon its insular position and its enormously developed navy, and has not felt it necessary to enter upon the frenzy of military preparation which pervades the continental nations. No British citizen is obliged to bear arms except for the defense of his country, but all able-bodied men are liable to militia service, the militia being raised, when required, by ballot. Enlistment among the regulars is either for twelve years' army service, or for seven years' army service and five years' reserve service. The peace strength of the army is estimated at about 255,000 men, the reserves at 475,000; making a total of 730,000.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


It is in its navy that Great Britain's chief warlike strength exists, the naval force being much greater than that of any other nation. It possesses in all 29 modern battleships, many of them of the great dreadnaught and super-dreadnaught type. In addition it has 10 cruiser battleships, and 38 older battleships, most of the latter likely to be of little service for warlike duty. There are also 45 first-class, and 70 second and third-class cruisers, 58 torpedo boats, 212 destroyers and 85 submarines, the whole forming a total naval strength approaching that of any two of the other Powers.

The War Call of Sir James Whitney to all Canadians

"I have been asked to express an opinion upon Canada's duty towards the Empire at this juncture. The momentous crisis we now face makes plain what Canada's course must be. That course is to exert her whole strength and power at once in behalf of our Empire.

"We are part of the Empire in the fullest sense and share in its obligations as well as its privileges. We have enjoyed under British rule the blessings of peace, liberty and protection and now that we have an opportunity of repaying in some measure the heavy debt we owe the Mother Country, we will do so with cheerfulness and courage.

"I know my fellow Canadians too well to doubt that they will respond with enthusiastic loyalty to the appeal. Sir Robert-Borden has all Canada behind him in the steps that must be taken to join in fighting the Empire's battles, because the contest forced upon Great Britain is our contest as much as hers and upon the issue of events depends our national existence.

"Never before in our history has the call of duty and of honor been so clear and imperative and Canada will neither quail nor falter at the last. The British Government has done everything possible to avoid war and has sought peace with an earnestness worthy of responsible statesmen. But a dishonorable peace would prove disastrous to the Empire and we would be unworthy of the blood that runs in our veins if we sought to avoid an inevitable conflict.

"I rejoice at the evidence of Imperial unity displayed on all sides and, as our cause is to preserve liberty and resist an unjust aggression, it will evoke all that is best and noblest in the Canadian character."

Servia and Belgium

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


As regards the remaining nations engaged in the war, Servia, in which the contest began, has an area of 18,782 square miles, a population of 4,000,000, and a standing army of 240,000, a number seemingly very inadequate to face the enormously greater power of Austria-Hungary. But the men had become practically all soldiers, very many of them tried veterans of the recent Balkan War; their country is mountainous and admirably fitted for defensive warfare, and their power of resistance to invasion was quickly shown to be great.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Belgium, the other early seat of the war, is still smaller in area, having but 11,366 square miles. But it is very densely populated, possessing 7,432,784 inhabitants. Its army proved brave and capable, its fortifications modern and well adapted to defense, and small as was its field force it held back the far more numerous German invaders until France and Great Britain had their troops in position for available defense. This small intermediate kingdom therefore played a very important part in the outset of the war.

If one judges by the figures given of the available military strength of the nations involved, the huge host said to have followed Xerxes to the invasion of Greece could easily be far surpassed in modern warfare. The fact is, however, that these huge figures greatly exceed the numbers that could, except in the most extreme exigency, be available for use in the field, and for real active service we should be obliged to greatly reduce these paper estimates. It must be taken into account that the fields and factories of the nations cannot be too greatly denuded of their trained workers. It was a shrewd saying of Napoleon Bonaparte that "An army marches on its stomach," and the important duty of keeping the stomach adequately filled can not be overlooked.

In actual war also there is an enormous exhaustion of military material, which must be constantly replaced, and this in turn demands the services of great numbers of trained artisans. The question of finance also cannot be overlooked. It needs vast sums of money to keep a modern army in the field, this increasing rapidly as the forces grow in numbers, and no national treasure chest is inexhaustible. Tax as they may, the war lords cannot squeeze out of their people more blood than flows in their veins, and exhaustion of the war-chest may prove even more disastrous than exhaustion of the regiments. For these reasons a limit to the size of armies is inevitable and in any great war this limitation must quickly make itself apparent.

Numerical, Units of Standing Armies

In order to inform the reader about the size of the various sub-divisions of foreign armies, a table which gives as accurately as possible the number of men and the composition of such divisions follows:


Army Corps—Its staff, 2 infantry divisions, 2 regiments of field artillery, 3 squadrons of cavalry, a company of pioneers, a bridge tram, field bakeries, telegraph troops, field hospital, etc., one or two batteries of heavy field howitzers or mortars and a machine gun group. Total, 40,000 men. Infantry Division—Two brigades. Total, 12,000 men. Brigade—Two regiments. Total, 6,000 men. Regiment—Three battalions of 4 companies each. Total, 3,000 men. Battalion—Four companies of 250 men each. Total, 1,000 men. Regiment of Field Artillery—Nine batteries of field guns and 3 of field howitzers; 72 pieces. Battery—Six guns. Brigade of Cavalry—Two and occasionally three regiments. Total, 1 600 to 2,400 men. Regiment of Cavalry—Four squadrons of 200 men each. Total, 800 men.


Army Corps—Two infantry divisions, 1 brigade of cavalry, 1 brigade of horse and foot artillery, 1 engineers' battalion, 1 squadron of train. Total, 40,000 men. Infantry Division—Two brigades of infantry, 1 squadron of cavalry, 12 batteries. Total, 12,000 men and 48 guns. Brigade—Two regiments of 3 battalions each. Total, 6,000 men. Regiment—Three battalions of 4 companies each. Total, 3,000 men. Battalion—Four companies of 250 men each. Total 1,000 men. Cavalry Division—Two and sometimes three brigades; 3,200-4,800 men. Brigade of Cavalry—Two regiments of 8 squadrons, with 2 batteries of artillery. Regiment of Cavalry—Four squadrons; 800 men. Squadron of Cavalry—Two hundred men. Battery of Artillery—Six guns.


Brigade of Infantry—Four battalions and administrative and medical units. Total, 4,000 men. Cavalry Brigade—Two regiments of 4 squadrons each. Total, 800 men. Brigade of Artillery—Three batteries, 18 guns; heavy artillery, 12 guns; field howitzers, 2 batteries; horse artillery, 2 batteries. Battery—Six guns. Division—Fifty-four guns, 12 howitzers and 4 heavy field guns; 15.000 combatants.


Army Corps—Thirty-six thousand men. Army Corps with Cavalry Division—Forty thousand men. Cavalry Division—Four thousand men. Battalion of Infantry—Eight hundred men. Squadron of Cavalry—One hundred and twenty-five men. Battery of Artillery—Eight guns.


Army Corps—Two infantry divisions, 1 regiment of field artillery, 1 pioneer battalion, 1 bridging corps. Total, 34,000 men. Infantry Division—Twelve thousand men. Cavalry Division—Four thousand men. Artillery Brigade—Ten battalions, 6 guns each.

Pan-Slavism Versus Pan-Germanism


Pan-slavism against Pan-Germanism was the issue which was launched when the Emperor of all the Russias took up Servia's quarrel with Austria-Hungary. Russia, if she wanted a ground for war, could have found no better one. The popularity of her aggressive big-brother attitude to all the Slavs was quickly attested in St. Petersburg. It had been a long time since war had appealed with the same favor to so large a part of the Czar's people. Slavs there were in plenty to menace the allied German Powers, even if there were not allied French arms, on Germany's other flank, and Britain's naval supremacy to cope with. Slavs in past times had spread over all of eastern Europe, from the Arctic to the Adriatic and the 1Egean Seas. Their continuity was long ago broken into by an intrusion of Magyars, Finns, and Roumanians, leaving a northern Slavic section composed of North Russians, Poles, Czechs, and Slovaks, and a southern section comprising the main body of the Balkan people. For over a thousand years these Slavs have peopled Europe east of the Elbe River. And for centuries they kept the hordes of Cossacks, Turks and barbarians off Europe. Russia in those days was called "the nation of the sword." And over a hundred years ago that sword was drawn for Servia. After 400 years of vassalage to Turkey, the Serbs rebelled in 1804, and then only Russian intervention saved them from defeat. In later wars oppression of the Slavs was a prominent issue.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Russia's Part in the Servian Issue

What rendered the Russian menace so formidable at the opening of the 1914 war was the unusual enthusiasm which was displayed. Ordinarily, the huge population of Russia has been rather apathetic toward the purposes of the Emperor. But in the case of Austria's injustice to Servia the Czar, judging from the demonstrations in St. Petersburg, could reasonably count upon having behind him possibly 100,000,000 Slavs among his subjects. Moscow and Odessa gave similar demonstrations of good feeling, and it seemed as if, in the event of the Czar's assuming command as generalissimo of all the forces, the wave of enthusiasm would sweep over the whole empire. Who knows what is the strength of the Russian bear, once he is roused to sullen fury? In the ten years following the Russo-Japanese War Russia had greatly added to her army and navy, and materially cut down the time required for the mobilization of her forces by eliminating many of the difficulties attendant upon transportation and equipment of troops. Her quiet advances toward becoming a Power to be feared by the most formidable European nation had come to be recognized even if in a vague way.

In considering the potential strength of the armies which Russia, in the course of a long war, might put in the field, it may be pointed out that military service in that empire of more than 160,000,000 people is universal and compulsory. Service under the flag begins at the age of twenty and lasts for twenty-three years. Usually it is proportioned as follows: Three or four years in the active army, fourteen or fifteen in the Zapas, or first reserve, and five years in the Opolchenie, or second reserve. For the Cossacks, those fighters who are a conspicuous element of Russia's military strength, there is hardly a cessation in discipline during their early manhood. Holding their lands by military tenure, they are liable to service for life. Furnishing their own equipment and horses—the Cossack is almost invariably a cavalryman—they pass through three periods of four years each, with diminishing duties, until they wind up in the reserve, which is liable to be called into the field in time of war.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Strength of the Russian Army

Russia's field army consists of three powerful divisions—the army of European Russia, the army of Asia, already referred to, and the army of the Caucasus. The European Russian field army consists of twenty-seven army corps—each corps comprising, at fighting strength, about 36,000 men—and some twenty-odd cavalry divisions, of 4,000 horsemen each. With the field army of the Caucasus and the first and second reserve divisions of the Cossacks, the total would be brought to nearly 1,600,000 men. With the Asiatic army, the grand total, according to the latest figures, would give the Russian armies a fighting strength of 1,850,000 men, of whom it would be practicable to assemble, say, 1,200,000 in a single theater of war. With respect to the armies which could be put in the field in time of urgent demand, there are conflicting estimates. It seems certain that Russia's war strength is more than 5,500,000 men, but, of course, the train service and the artillery for such a force is lacking. Two and three-quarter million men could probably be mustered at one time.

In the event of a prolonged war, in which the tide of affairs should put Russia strictly on the defensive, she would be less easily invaded than any large country of Europe. The very extent of her empire, protected by natural barriers at almost every side save where she touches Northeast Europe, would present almost insuperable difficulties to the invader. Napoleon paid dearly for his fortitude in pushing his columns into Moscow. The only conditions under which a repetition of such a feat is conceivable were not likely to be found during a general European struggle.

The Distribution of the Slavs

To make matters worse for the Austrian or German invader, there are conflicting relations between their own people and the Russians. The Polish provinces, for instance, however unfriendly toward Russia, as one of the dismemberers of the Polish kingdom, are strongly bound in blood and speech to the Russian nation. The Poles and Russians are brother Slavs, and are likely to remember this in any conflict which approaches an issue between Pan-Germanism and Pan-Slavism. The Poles of East Prussia have an ingrained hatred of their German masters and have been embittered by political oppression almost to the point of revolt. Those along Austria's eastern border are little less bitter.

The estimate is made that Europe contains in all about 140,000,000 Slavs, this being the most numerous race on the continent, the Teutons ranking second. While the great bulk of these are natives of Russia, they have penetrated in large numbers to the west and south, and are to be found abundantly in the Balkan region, in the Austrian realm, and in the region of the disintegrated kingdom of Poland.

According to recent authoritative statistics the race question in Austria-Hungary is decidedly complicated and diversified. In the kingdoms and provinces represented in the Reichsrath in Vienna there are nearly 10,000,000 Germans and 18,500,000 non-Germans. Of these nearly 17,500,000 are Slavs. Among these Slavs, the Croats and Serbs number 780,000, chiefly in Dalmatia, while there are in all 660,000 Orthodox and nearly 3,500,000 Greek Uniats.

In Hungary, with its subject kingdoms of Croatia and Slavonia, there are 8,750,000 Magyars, 2,000,000 Germans, and 8,000,000 other non-Magyars. Of these, 3,000,000 are Roumanians and well over 5,000,000 Slavs. The Croats, or Roman Catholic Serbs, number 1,800,000, and their Orthodox brothers are 1,100,000 in number. All told, Hungary has nearly 11,000,000 Roman Catholic subjects, 2,000,000 Greek Uniats, and 3,000,000 Orthodox. In this connection it should be remembered that the Patriarchate of the Orthodox Serb Church has been fixed at Karlowitz, under Hungarian rule, for over two centuries.

In Bosnia there are 434,000 Roman Catholic Croats, 825,000 Orthodox Serbs, and over 600,000 Bosniaks, or Moslem Serbs. Thus it will be seen that the Emperor Francis Joseph rules over more than 24,000,000 Slavs and 3,225,000 Roumanians, of whom nearly 4,500,000 adhere to various Orthodox Churches and 5,400,000 are Uniats. Of this Slav mass 5,000,000 Poles, mostly Roman Catholics, are not particularly susceptible to Pan-Slav propaganda, as that is largely Russian and Orthodox.

Within the boundaries of Germany herself there are over 3,000,000 Slavs, chiefly Poles, the Slavs of Polish descent in all being estimated at 15,000,000. To these must be added the Bulgarians, Serbs and Montenegrins of the Balkan region, constituting about 7,000,000 more.

Origin of Pan-Slavism

The term Pan-Slavism has been given to the agitation carried on by a great party in Russia, its purpose being the union of the Slavic peoples of Europe under Russian rule, as an extensive racial empire. This movement originated about 1830, when the feeling of race relationship in Russia was stirred up by the revolutionary movement in Poland. It gained renewed strength from the Polish revolution of 1863, and still survives as the slogan of an ardent party. The ideals of Pan-Slavism have made their way into the Slavic populations of Bohemia, Silesia, Croatia and Slavonia, where there is dread of the members of the race losing their individuality under the aggressive action of the Austrian, German or Hungarian governments. In 1877–78 Russia entered into war against Turkey as the champion of the Balkan Slavs. A similar movement was that made in 1914, when the independence of the Servian Slavs was threatened by Austria. The immediate steps taken by Russia to mobilize her forces in protection of the Serbs was followed as immediately by a declaration of war on the part of the German emperor and the quick plunging of practically the whole of Europe into a war.

The Czar's Proclamation

In this connection the proclamation made by the Russian Czar to his people on August 3d, possesses much interest, as indicating his Slavic sentiment. The text is as follows:

"By the grace of God we, Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland, etc., to all our faithful subjects make known that Russia, related by faith and blood to the Slav peoples and faithful to her historical traditions, has never regarded their fate with indifference.

"But the fraternal sentiments of the Russian people for the Slavs have been awakened with perfect unanimity and extraordinary force in these last few days, when Austria-Hungary knowingly addressed to Servia claims unacceptable to an independent State.

"Having paid no attention to the pacific and conciliatory reply of the Servian Government and having rejected the benevolent intervention of Russia, Austria-Hungary made haste to proceed to an armed attack and began to bombard Belgrade, an open place.

"Forced by the situation thus created to take necessary measures of precaution, we ordered the army and the navy put on a war footing, at the same time using every endeavor to obtain a peaceful solution. Pourparlers were begun amid friendly relations with Germany and her ally, Austria, for the blood and the property of our subjects were dear to us.

"Contrary to our hopes in our good neighborly relations of long date, and disregarding our assurances that the mobilization measures taken were in pursuance of no object hostile to her, Germany demanded their immediate cessation. Being rebuffed in this demand, Germany suddenly declared war on Russia.

"Today it is not only the protection of a country related to us and unjustly attacked that must be accorded, but we must safeguard the honor, the dignity and the integrity of Russia and her position among the Great Powers. "We believe unshakably that all our faithful subjects will rise with unanimity and devotion for the defense of Russian soil; that internal discord will be forgotten in this threatening hour; that the unity of the Emperor with his people will become still more close and that Russia, rising like one man, will repulse the insolent attack of the enemy.

"With a profound faith in the justice of our work and with a humble hope in omnipotent providence in prayer we call God's blessing on holy Russia and her valiant troops.


Later than this was an appeal made by the Czar to the Poles under his rule, asking for their earnest support in the war arising from the cause above stated, and promising them the boon which the Polish people have long coveted: that of self-government and a practical acknowledgment of their national existence.

The Teutons of Europe

While the Slavs form the great bulk of the inhabitants of eastern Europe, the Teutons, or people of Teutonic race and language, are widely spread in the west and north, including the German-speaking people of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Switzerland, the English-speaking people of the British Islands, the Scandinavian-speaking people of Norway and Sweden, the Flemish-speaking people of Belgium, and practically the whole people of Denmark and Holland. Yet though these are racially related there is no such feeling as a Pan-Teutonic sentiment, combining them into a racial unity. Instead of community and fraternity, a considerable degree of enmity and rivalry exists between the several peoples named, especially between the British and Germans. Pan-Germanism is not Pan-Teutonism in any proper sense, being confined to the several German countries of Europe, and especially to the combination of separate states which constitutes the present German empire. It is the Teuton considered in this minor sense that has set himself against the Slav, as a measure of self-defense against the torrent of Slavism apparently seeking an outlet in all directions.

Prolific as we know the Anglo-Saxons to have once been and as the Germans still appear to be, there are few instances in human history of a natural growth of population like that of the Slavs in recent years. They have grown to outnumber the Germans nearly three to one, and may perhaps do so in the future in a still greater proportion.

This is a scarcely desirable state of affairs in view of the fact that the Slavs as a whole are lower and more primitive in character and condition than the Germans. The cultivated portion of Slavic populations forms a very small proportion in number of the whole, and stands far in advance of the abundant multitude of peasants and artisans, a vast body of people who are ruled chiefly by fear; fear of the State on one side, of the Church on the other.

Intermingling of Races

There has long been an embittered, remorseless, and often bloody struggle for supremacy between the Teuton and the Slav, yet there has been considerable intermingling of the races, many German traders making their way into Russian towns, while multitudes of Slavic laborers have penetrated into German communities. Eastern Prussia has large populations of Slavs, and its Polish subjects in Posen have been persistently non-assimilable. But only within recent times has there arisen a passion to "Russianize" all foreign elements in the one nation and on the other hand to "Germanize" all similar foreign elements in the other. Austria-Hungary is the most remarkable combination of unrelated peoples ever got together to make part of a state, and is especially notable for its many separate groups of Slavs. Bohemia, for instance, has a very large majority of Slavic population, eager to be recognized as such, and there are Slavic populations somewhat indiscriminately scattered throughout the dual-monarchy, especially in Hungary.

These Slavic populations, however, differ widely in religious belief. While largely of the Greek confession of faith, a considerable section of them are Roman Catholics, and many are faithful Mohammedans. This difference in religion plays a major part in their political relations, a greater one than any feeling of nationality and racial unity, and aids greatly in adding to the diversity of condition and sentiment among these mixed populations.

The Nations at War

In the war which sprang so suddenly and startlingly into the field of events in 1914 very little of this sentiment of race animosity appeared. While the German element remained intact in the union of Germany and Austria, there was a strange mingling of races in the other side of the struggle, that of the Slavic Russian, the Teutonic Britain, and the Celtic French. As for Italy, the non-Germanic member of the Triple Alliance, it at first wisely declared itself out of the war, as one in which it was in no sense concerned and under no obligation to enter into from the terms of its alliance. Later events tended to bring it into sympathy with the non-Germanic side, as a result of enmity to Austria. So the conflict became narrowed down to a struggle between Pan-Germanism on the one hand and a variety of unrelated racial elements on the other. It may be that Emperor William had a secret purpose to unite, if possible, all German-speaking peoples under his single sway and that Czar Nicholas had similar views regarding a union of the Slavs, but as they did not Jake the world into their confidence no one can say what plans and ambitions lay hidden in their mental treasure chests. In this connection it is certainly of interest that three of the leaders in this five-fold war were near relatives, the Czar, the Kaiser and the British King being cousins and all of Teutonic blood. This is a result of the inter-marriage of royal families in these later days.

Spread of Teutonic Civilization

We cannot better conclude this chapter than by quoting the following illuminating statement of the character and progress of the Teutonic civilization from the editorial pages of the Philadelphia North American:

"No greater fallacy was ever born of that mother of error, War, than that the present cataclysmic conflict in Europe is between Teutonic and Slavic civilizations. Ardent German patriots, stung to the soul by what appears to be universal sympathy with the forces allied against the two Kaisers, may well be pardoned for a judgment based more on soreness of heart than on historic facts. For those of our fellow-citizens whose roots go deep into the glorious soil of continental Germany we have only a profound tolerance, now that they eagerly seek to rally public opinion in support of the fatherland.

"We say 'continental Germany' because, after all, the empire of William II is only a small part of Germany. It was Hugo, that Frenchman of the encyclopedic mind, who called Germany the 'wellspring of nations.' 'They flow from her as rivers,' said he. 'She receives them as the sea.'

"And it is this very fact which controverts the assertion that this war is a conflict between Teuton and Slav. Such an assertion dismisses France and England as negligibles, or else classifies them as Slavic. Russia will undoubtedly prove to be an important factor in deciding the war. But that she will have a preponderant influence in shaping the future development of European intellect and ideals is unthinkable. Whether Russia be on the winning or the losing side, the effect of this war on her huge, inert bulk must necessarily be for liberalization. On the other hand, a victory for the Kaiser will undoubtedly result in strengthening the hands of autocracy by glorifying despotism in Germany and putting behind it the sentiment of the most efficient nation in the world.

"But, happily, this is not a conflict between Teutonic and Slavic civilizations. For Teutonic civilization is at least as accurately represented among the nations arrayed against the Kaiser as it is in the ideals which he seeks to impress on Europe. European civilization is essentially Teutonic. The hordes that came out of the Black Forest and erected a new social order on the decayed structure of the Roman empire did not keep their ideals between the Rhine and the Danube. Teutonic civilization passed into Gaul with the Franks, the conquering tribes who proudly blazoned their freedom in their name. This they gave to the nation which they built on the substructure of Gallic and Latin blood. Teutonic civilization overflowed northern Italy with the long-bearded warriors whose tribal designation has been corrupted into 'Lombardy.'

"Teutonic civilization crossed the Channel and laid the foundation of England. There it has been preserved in a purer state than in any other part of the globe, except in Scandinavia. The free ideals which England has spread broadcast throughout the world are her heritage from the Saxon freemen who founded a new Germany in Britain, while military despots did violence to German ideals in central Europe.

"There is no civilization worthy the name except Teutonic civilization. It fills Europe and America; it dominates Asia and Africa. Its seat is in London and Paris, and Rome and Brussels, and Copenhagen and Stockholm, and New York and Philadelphia, no less than in Berlin and Vienna. Because we inherit the blood of the Saxons or the Normans or the Franks or the Longobards we are all Germans; but more especially are we Germans because our most priceless heritage is the free ideals of those free men. It is idle, therefore, to talk of prejudice against Germans in this conflict. And it is equally futile to argue that Teutonic civilization is at stake in a war in which the most potent factors on either side are themselves the ripest product of that civilization watered by the most ancient German blood."

A presentation of the views of leading German-Americans will serve at least to show their loyalty to their Fatherland.

Views of German-Americans

As regards the inciting cause of the great conflict, German-American writers have been strongly disposed to consider it an Armageddon of the two great European races, the Slavic and Teutonic, despite the fact that Teutons and Slavs were united against the German nations, while the latter have hosts of Slavic subjects fighting in their cause. These critics appear inclined to set aside these seemingly inevitable results of the race mixture in Europe and the strength of political issues, commercial rivalries, and treaty obligations in dividing the nations of Europe into two great hostile bodies irrespective of the Slavic and Germanic question. But among the critics of the war were those who set aside these conditions as minor in actual importance, and saw looming up behind the apparent issues that of the battle for supremacy between the two great races, that destined to settle the question whether the Slavs or the Teutons were to become the ruling powers in Europe. This is the theory that has been maintained by the German-American writers referred to. Let us quote some of their views.

The president of the German-American Chamber of Commerce, of New York, has said:

"The only Power able to checkmate Russia is Germany, and therefore Germany is fighting the battle of civilization and of progress against reaction. . . . Strike down German military power and German prestige, and nothing but the Czar remains in Europe."

Professor Francke, of Harvard, declared that if Germany lost, "her place would be taken by Russia, which, with her teeming millions and inexhaustible resources, would become the arbiter of Europe."

"It is race treachery," said Dr. Ernst Richard, president of the German-American Peace Society, "for England to fight against Germany and for Russia. . . . The real cause of the war is: Shall Europe be ruled by Asiatics or by Europeans, by Slavs or by Teutons?"

Dr. Hugo Munsterberg, of Harvard, a personal friend of the Kaiser, wrote:

"All German good will for peace was doomed because the issue between the onrushing Slavic world and the German world had grown to an overpowering force. The struggle between the two civilizations was imminent. . . . At last the chance came to strike the long-delayed blow of the Slavic world against the German. Both Slavs and Germans are willing to sacrifice labor and life for the conservation of their national culture and their very existence."

General von Bernhardi, a noted German military leader, wrote three years ago:

"Russia feels herself the leading power of the Slavic races. Pan-Slavism is hard at work. . . . The coming war must be a war for our political and national existence."

In his manifesto to the world, as already given, the Czar proclaimed:

"Russia, related by faith and blood to the Slav peoples, and faithful to her historic traditions, has never regarded their fates with indifference. The fraternal sentiments of the Russian people for the Slavs have been awakened with perfect unanimity and extraordinary force."

The German Emperor took up the issue when he charged the strife to Russia's "insatiable nationalism," and exhorted his subjects to "remember, above all, that you are Germans."

These views are well worth presentation, as coming from men of marked culture and developed powers of thought. It is quite possible that they had come to look upon the possible as the actual. While animosity between Slav and German doubtless had to do with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, and the same animosity may have had some share in Austria's rigid demand upon Servia, apparently framed for the purpose of precipitating a war, the actual war propaganda rapidly spread to embrace other issues not included in this original race incentive.

Europe at the Close of the Eighteenth Century

End of Medievalism and Beginning of Modernism


When, after a weary climb, we find ourselves on the summit of a lofty mountain, and look back from that commanding altitude over the ground we have traversed, what is it that we behold? The minor details of the scenery, many of which seemed large and important to us as we passed, are now lost to view, and we see only the great and imposing features of the landscape, the high elevations, the town-studded valleys, the deep and winding streams, the broad forests. It is the same when, from the Sununu of an age, we gaze backward over the plain of time. The myriad of petty happenings are lost to sight, and we see only the striking events, the critical epochs, the mighty crises through which the world has passed. These are the things that make true history, not the daily doings in the king's palace or the peasant's hut. What we should seek to observe and store up in our memories are the turning points in human events, the great thoughts which have ripened into noble deeds, the hands of might which have pushed the world forward in its career; not the trifling occurrences which signify nothing, the passing actions which have borne no fruit in human affairs. It is with such turning points, such critical periods in modern history, that we are here dealing; not to picture the passing bubbles on the stream of time, but to point out the great ships which have sailed up that stream laden with a noble freight. This is history in its deepest and best aspect, and we have set our camera to photograph only the men who have made and the events which constitute history in the phase here outlined.

The Age of Feudalism

The Medieval Age was the age of feudalism, that remarkable system of government based on military organization which held western Europe captive for centuries. The state was an army, the nobility its captains and generals, the king its commander-in-chief, the people its rank and file. As for the horde of laborers, they were hardly considered at all. They were the hewers of wood and drawers of water for the armed and fighting class, a base, down-trodden, enslaved multitude, destitute of rights and privileges, their only mission in the world to provide food for and pay taxes to their masters.

France, the country in which the feudal system had its birth, was the country in which it had the longest lease of life. There it came down to the verge of the nineteenth century with little relief from its terrible exactions. We see before us in that country the spectacle of a people steeped in misery, crushed by tyranny, robbed of all political rights, and without a voice to make their sufferings known; and of an aristocracy lapped in luxury, proud, vain, insolent, lavish with the people's money, ruthless with the people's blood, and blind to the specter of retribution which was rising higher year by year before their eyes.

Issues of the French Revolution

This era of injustice and oppression reached its climax in the closing years of the eighteenth century, and went down at length in that hideous nightmare of blood and terror known as the French Revolution. Frightful as this was, it was unavoidable. The pride and privilege of the aristocracy had the people by the throat, and only the sword or the guillotine could loosen their hold.

It was the need of money for the spendthrift throne that precipitated the Revolution. For years the indignation of the people had been growing and spreading; for years the authors of the nation had been adding fuel to the flame. The voices of Voltaire, Rousseau and a dozen others had been heard in advocacy of the rights of man, and the people were growing daily more restive under their load. But still the lavish waste of money wrung from the hunger and sweat of the people went on, until the king and his advisers found their coffers empty and were without hope of filling them without a direct appeal to the nation at large.

It was in 1788 that the fatal step was taken. Louis XVI, King of France, called a session of the States-General, the Parliament of the kingdom, which had not met for more than a hundred years. This body was composed of three classes, the representatives of the nobility, of the church, and of the people. In all earlier instances they had been docile to the mandate of the throne, and the monarch, blind to the signs of the times, had no thought but that this assembly would vote him the money he asked for, fix by law a system of taxation for his future supply, and dissolve at his command.

He was ignorant of the temper of the common people. They had gained a voice at last, and were sure to take the opportunity to speak their mind. Their representatives, known as the Third Estate, were made up of bold, earnest, indignant men, who asked for bread and were not to be put off with a crust. They were twice as numerous as the representatives of the nobles and the clergy, and thus held control of the situation. They were ready to support the throne, but refused to vote a penny until the crying evils of the state were reformed. They broke loose from the other two Estates, established in 1789 a separate parliament under the name of the National Assembly, and began that career of revolution which did not cease until it had brought monarchy to an end in France and set all Europe aflame.

The Revolution grew, month by month and day by day. New and more radical laws were passed; moss-grown abuses were swept away in an hour's sitting; the king, who sought to escape, was seized and held as a hostage; and war was boldly declared against Austria and Prussia, which showed a disposition to interfere. In November, 1792, the French army gained a brilliant victory at Jemmapes, in Belgium, which eventually led to the conquest of that kingdom by France. It was the first important event in the career of victory which in the coming years was to make France glorious in the annals of war.

The hostility of the surrounding nations added to the revolutionary fury in France. Armies were marching to the rescue of the king, and the unfortunate monarch was seized, reviled and insulted by the mob, and incarcerated in the prison called the Temple. The queen, Marie Antoinette, daughter of the Emperor of Austria, was likewise haled from the palace to the prison. In the following year, 1793, king and queen alike were taken to the guillotine and their royal heads fell into the fatal basket. The Revolution was consummated, the monarchy was at an end, France had fallen into the hands of the people, and from them it descended into the hands of a ruthless and blood-thirsty mob.

Meanwhile a foreign war was being waged. England had formed a coalition with most of the nations of Europe, and France was threatened by land with the troops of Holland, Prussia, Austria, Spain and Portugal, and by sea with the fleet of Great Britain. The incompetency of her assailants saved her from destruction. Her generals who lost battles were sent to prison or to the guillotine, the whole country rose as one man in defense, and a number of brilliant victories drove her enemies from her borders and gave the armies of France a position beyond the Rhine.

How Napoleon Won Fame

These wars soon brought a great man to the front, Napoleon Bonaparte, a son of Corsica, whose career as a man of recognized ability began in 1794, when, under the orders of the National Convention—the successor of the National Assembly—he quelled the mob in the streets of Paris with loaded cannon and put a final end to the Terror which had so long prevailed. Placed at the head of the French army in Italy, Napoleon quickly astonished the world by a series of the most brilliant victories, defeating the Austrians and the Sardinians wherever he met them, seizing Venice, the city of the lagoon, and forcing almost all Italy to submit to his arms. A republic was established here and a new one in Switzerland, while Belgium and the left bank of the Rhine were held by France.

His wars here at an end, Napoleon's ambition led him to Egypt, inspired by great designs which he failed to realize. In his absence anarchy arose in France. The five Directors, then at the head of the government, had lost all authority, and Napoleon, who had unexpectedly returned, did not hesitate to overthrow them and the Assembly which supported them. A new government, with three Consuls at its head, was formed, Napoleon, as First Consul, holding almost royal power. Thus France stood in 1800, at the end of the eighteenth century.

Conditions in France and Germany

In the remainder of Europe there was nothing to compare with the momentous convulsion which had taken place in France. England had gone through its two revolutions more than a century before, and its people were the freest of any in Europe. Recently it had lost its colonies in America, but it still held in that continent the broad domain of Canada, and was building for itself a new empire in India, while founding colonies in twenty other lands. In commerce and manufactures it entered the nineteenth century as the greatest nation on the earth. The hammer and the loom resounded from end to end of the island, mighty centers of industry arose where cattle had grazed a century before, coal and iron were being torn in great quantities from the depths of the earth, and there seemed everywhere an endless bustle and whirr. The ships of England haunted all seas and visited the most remote ports, laden with the products of her workshops and bringing back raw material for her factories and looms. Wealth accumulated, London became the money market of the world, the riches and prosperity of the island kingdom were growing to be a parable among the nations of the earth.

On the continent of Europe, Prussia, destined in time to become great, had recently emerged from its medieval feebleness, mainly under the powerful hand of Frederick the Great, whose reign extended until 1786, and whose ambition, daring, and military genius made him a fitting predecessor of Napoleon the Great, who so soon succeeded him in the annals of war. Unscrupulous in his aims, this warrior king had torn Silesia from Austria, added to his kingdom a portion of unfortunate Poland, annexed the principality of East Friesland, and lifted Prussia into a leading position among the European states.

Germany, now—with the exception of Austria—a compact empire, was then a series of disconnected states, variously known as kingdoms, principalities, margravates, electorates, and by other titles, the whole forming the so-called Holy Empire, though it was "neither holy nor an empire." It had drifted down in this fashion from the Middle Ages, and the work of consolidation had but just begun, in the conquests of Frederick the Great. A host of petty potentates ruled the land, whose states, aside from Prussia and Austria, were too weak to have a voice in the councils of Europe. Joseph II, the titular emperor of Germany, made an earnest and vigorous effort to combine its elements into a powerful unit; but he signally failed, and died in 1790, a disappointed and embittered man.

Austria and Italy

Austria, then far the most powerful of the German states, was from 1740 to 1780 under the reign of a woman, Maria Theresa, who struggled in vain against her ambitious neighbor, Frederick the Great, his kingdom being extended ruthlessly at the expense of her imperial dominions. Austria remained a great country, however, including Bohemia and Hungary among its domains. It was lord of Lombardy and Venice in Italy, and was destined to play an important but unfortunate part in the coming Napoleonic wars.

The peninsula of Italy, the central seat of the great Roman Empire, was, at the opening of the nineteenth century, as sadly broken up as Germany, a dozen weak states taking the place of the one strong one that the good of the people demanded. The independent cities of the medieval period no longer held sway, and we hear no more of wars between Florence, Genoa, Milan, Pisa and Rome; but the country was still made up of minor states—Lombardy, Venice and Sardinia in the north, Naples in the south, Rome in the center, and various smaller kingdoms and dukedoms between. The peninsula was 'a prey to turmoil and dissension. Germany and France had made it their fighting ground for centuries, Spain had filled the south with her armies, and the country had been miserably torn and rent by these frequent wars and those between state and state, and was in a condition to welcome the coming of Napoleon, whose strong hand for the time promised the blessing of peace and union.

Spain and Poland

Spain, not many centuries before the greatest nation in Europe, and, as such, the greatest nation on the globe, had miserably declined in power and place at the opening of the nineteenth century. Under the emperor Charles I it had been united with Germany, while its colonies embraced two thirds of the great continent of America. Under Philip II it continued powerful in Europe, but with his death its decay set in. Intolerance checked its growth in civilization, the gold brought from America was swept away by more enterprising states, its strength was sapped by a succession of feeble monarchs, and from first place it fell into a low rank among the nations of Europe. It still held its vast colonial area, but this proved a source of weakness rather than of strength, and the people of the colonies, exasperated by injustice and oppression, were ready for the general revolt which was soon to take place. Spain presented the aspect of a great nation ruined by its innate vices, impoverished by official venality and the decline of industry, and fallen into the dry rot of advancing decay.

Of the nations of Europe which had once played a prominent part, one was on the point of being swept from the map. The name of Poland, which formerly stood for a great power, now stands only for a great crime. The misrule of the kings, the turbulence of the nobility, and the enslavement of the people had brought that state into such a condition of decay that it lay like a rotten log amid the Powers of Europe.

The ambitious nations surrounding—Russia, Austria and Prussia—took advantage of its weakness, and in 1772 each of them seized the portion of Poland that bordered on its own territories. In the remainder of the kingdom the influence of Russia grew so great that the Russian ambassador at Warsaw became the real ruler in Poland. A struggle against Russia began in 1792, Kosciusko, a brave soldier who had fought under Washington hl America, being at the head of the patriots. But the weakness of the king tied the hands of the soldiers, the Polish patriots left their native land in despair, and in the following year Prussia and Russia made a further division of the state, Russia seizing a broad territory, 96,000 miles in area, with more than 3,000,000 inhabitants. Prussia received 22,500 square miles, with a population of 1,100,000.

In 1794 a new outbreak began. The patriots returned and a desperate struggle took place. But Poland was doomed. Suvaroff, the greatest of the Russian generals, swept the land with fire and sword. Kosciusko fell wounded, crying, "Poland's end has come," and Warsaw was taken and desolated by its assailants. The patriot was right; the end had come. What remained of Poland was divided up between Austria, Prussia and Russia, and only a name remained.

Russia and Turkey

There are two others of the Powers of Europe of which we must speak, Russia and Turkey. Until the seventeenth century Russia had been a domain of barbarians, weak and disunited, and for a long period the vassal of the savage Mongol conquerors of Asia. Under Peter the Great (1689–1725) it rose into power and prominence, took its place among civilized states, and began that career of conquest and expansion which is still going on. At the end of the eighteenth century it was under the rule of Catharine II, often miscalled Catharine the Great, who died in 1796, just as Napoleon was beginning his career. Her greatness lay in the ability of her generals, who defeated Turkey and conquered the Crimea, and who added the greater part of Poland to her empire. Her strength of mind and decision of character were not shared by her successor, Paul I, and Russia entered the nineteenth century under the weakest sovereign of the Romanoff line.

Turkey, once the terror of Europe, sending its armies into the heart of Austria, was now confined within the boundaries it had long before won, and had begun its long struggle for existence with its powerful neighbor, Russia. At the beginning of the nineteenth century it was still a powerful state, with a wide domain in Europe, and continued to defy the Christians who coveted its territory and sought its overthrow. But the canker-worm of a weak and barbarous government was at its heart, while its cruel treatment of its Christian subjects exasperated the strong Powers of Europe and invited their armed interference.

As regards the world outside of Europe and America, no part of it had yet entered the circle of modern civilization. Africa was an almost unknown continent; Asia was little better known; and the islands of the Eastern seas were still in process of discovery. Japan, which was approaching its period of manumission from barbarism, was still closed to the world, and China lay like a huge and helpless bulk, fast in the fetters of conservatism and blind self-sufficiency.

The Earthquake of Napoleonism

Its Effect on National Conditions
Finally Led to the War of 1914


The first fifteen years of the nineteenth century in Europe yield us the history of a man rather than of a continent. France was the center of Europe; Napoleon, the Corsican, was the center of France. All the affairs of all the nations seemed to gather around this genius of war. He was respected, feared, hated; he had risen with the suddenness of a thundercloud on a clear horizon, and flashed the lightnings of victory in the dazzled eyes of the nations. All the events of the period were concentrated into one great event, and the name of that event was Napoleon. He seemed incarnate war, organized destruction; sword in hand, he dominated the nations, and victory sat on his banners with folded wings. He was, in a full sense, the man of destiny, and Europe was his prey.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Never has there been a more wonderful career. The earlier great conquerors began life at the top; Napoleon began his at the bottom. Alexander was a king; Caesar was an aristocrat of the Roman republic; Napoleon rose from the people, and was not even a native of the land which became the scene of his exploits. Pure force of military genius lifted him from the lowest to the highest place among mankind, and for long and terrible years Europe shuddered at his name and trembled beneath the tread of his marching legions. As for France, he brought it glory, and left it ruin and dismay.

We have briefly epitomized Napoleon's early career, his doings in the Revolution, in Italy, and in Egypt, unto the time that France's worship of his military genius raised him to the rank of First Consul, and gave him in effect the power of a king. No one dared question his word, the army was at his beck and call, the nation lay prostrate at his feet—not in fear but in admiration. Such was the state of affairs in France in the closing year of the eighteenth century. The Revolution was at an end; the Republic existed only as a name; Napoleon was the autocrat of France and the terror of Europe. From this point we resume the story of his career.

The First Consul began his reign with two enemies in the field, England and Austria. Prussia was neutral, and he had won the friendship of Paul, the emperor of Russia, by a shrewd move. While the other nations refused to exchange the Russian prisoners they held, Napoleon sent home 6,000 of these captives, newly clad and armed, under their own leaders, and without demanding ransom. This was enough to win to his side the weak-minded Paul, whose delight in soldiers he well knew.

Napoleon now had but two enemies in arms to deal with. He wrote letters to the king of England and the emperor of Austria, offering peace. The answers were cold and insulting, asking France to take back her Bourbon kings and return to her old boundaries. Nothing remained but war. Napoleon prepared for it with his usual rapidity, secrecy, and keenness of judgment.

The Campaign in Italy

There were two French armies in the field in the spring of 1800, Moreau commanding in Germany, Massena in Italy. Switzerland, which was occupied by the French, divided the armies of the enemy, and Napoleon determined to take advantage of the separation of their forces, and strike an overwhelming blow. He sent word to Moreau and Massena to keep the enemy in check at any cost, and secretly gathered a third army, whose corps were dispersed here and there, while the Powers of Europe were aware only of the army of reserve at Dijon, made up of conscripts and invalids.

Meanwhile the armies in Italy and Germany were doing their best to obey orders. Massena was attacked by the Austrians before he could concentrate his troops, his army was cut in two, and he was forced to fall back upon Genoa, in which city he was 'closely besieged, with a fair prospect of being conquered by starvation if not soon relieved. Moreau was more fortunate. He defeated the Austrians in a series of battles and drove them back on Ulm, where he blockaded them in their camp. All was ready for the great movement which Napoleon had in view.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Twenty centuries before Hannibal had led his army across the great mountain barrier of the Alps, and poured down like an avalanche upon the fertile plains of Italy. The Corsican determined to repeat this brilliant achievement and emulate Hannibal's career. Several passes across the mountains seemed favorable to his purpose, especially those of the St. Bernard, the Simplon and Mont Cenis. Of these the first was the most difficult; but it was much the shorter, and Napoleon determined to lead the main body of his army over this ice-covered mountain pass, despite its dangers and difficulties. The enterprise was one to deter any man less bold than Hannibal or Napoleon, but it was welcome to the hardihood and daring of these men, who rejoiced in the seemingly impossible and spurned faltering at hardships and perils.

The task of the Corsican was greater than that of the Carthaginian. He had cannon to transport, while Hannibal's men carried only swords and spears. But the genius of Napoleon was equal to the task. The cannon were taken from their carriages and placed in the hollowed-out trunks of trees, which could be dragged with ropes over the ice and snow. Mules were used to draw the gun-carriages and the wagon-loads of food and munitions of war. Stores of provisions had been placed at suitable points along the road.

The sudden appearance of the French in Italy was an utter surprise to the Austrians. They descended like a torrent into the valley, seized Ivry, and five days after reaching Italy met and repulsed an Austrian force. The divisions which had crossed by other passes one by one joined Napoleon. Melas, the Austrian commander, was warned of the danger that impended, but refused to credit the seemingly preposterous story. His men were scattered, some besieging Massena in Genoa, some attacking Suchet on the Var. His danger was imminent, for Napoleon, leaving Massena to starve in Genoa, had formed the design of annihilating the Austrian army at one tremendous blow.

The people of Lombardy, weary of the Austrian yoke, and hoping for liberty under the rule of France, received the new-comers with transport, and lent them what aid they could. On June 9th Marshal Lannes met and defeated the Austrians at Montebello, after a hot engagement. "I heard the bones crackle like a hailstorm on the roofs," he said. On the 14th, the two armies met on the plain of Marengo, and one of the most famous of Napoleon's battles began.

The Victory at Marengo

Napoleon was not ready for the coming battle, and was taken by surprise. He had been obliged to break up his army in order to guard all the passages open to the enemy. When he entered, on the 13th, the plain between the Scrivia and the Bormida, near the little village of Marengo, he was ignorant of the movements of the Austrians, and was not expecting the onset of Melas, who, on the following morning, crossed the Bormida by three bridges, and made a fierce assault upon the divisions of Generals Victor and Lannes. Victor was vigorously attacked and driven back, and Marengo was destroyed by the Austrian cannon. Lannes was surrounded by overwhelming numbers, and, fighting furiously, was forced to retreat. In the heat of the battle Bonaparte reached the field with his guard and his staff, and found himself in the thick of the terrific affray and his army virtually beaten.

The retreat continued. It was impossible to check it. The enemy pressed enthusiastically forward. The army was in imminent danger of being cut in two. But Napoleon, with obstinate persistence, kept up the fight, hoping for some change in the perilous situation. Melas, on the contrary—an old man, weary of his labors, and confident in the seeming victory—withdrew to his headquarters at Alessandria, whence he sent off despatches to the effect that the terrible Corsican had at length met defeat.

He did not know his man. Napoleon sent an aide-de-camp in all haste after Desaix, one of his most trusted generals, who had just returned from Egypt, and whose corps he had detached towards Novi. All depended upon his rapid return. Without Desaix the battle was lost. Fortunately the alert general did not wait for the messenger. His ears caught the sound of distant cannon and, scenting danger, he marched back with the utmost speed.

Napoleon met his welcome officer with eyes of joy and hope. "You see the situation," he said, rapidly explaining the state of affairs. "What is to be done?"

"It is a lost battle," Desaix replied. "But there are some hours of daylight yet. We have time to win another."

While he talked with the commander, his regiments had hastily formed, and now presented a threatening front to the Austrians. Their presence gave new spirit to the retreating troops.

"Soldiers and friends," cried Napoleon to them, "remember that it is my custom to sleep upon the field of battle."

Back upon their foes turned the retreating troops, with new animation, and checked the victorious Austrians. Desaix hurried to his men and placed himself at their head.

"Go and tell the First Consul that I am about to charge," he said to an aide. "I need to be supported by cavalry."

A few minutes afterwards as he was leading his troops irresistibly forward, a ball struck him in the breast, inflicting a mortal wound. "I have been too long making war in Africa; the bullets of Europe know me no more," he sadly said. "Conceal my death from the men; it might rob them of spirit."

The soldiers had seen him fall, but, instead of being dispirited, they were filled with rage, and rushed forward furiously to avenge their beloved leader. At the same time Kellermann arrived with his dragoons, impetuously hurled them upon the Austrian cavalry, broke through their columns, and fell upon the grenadiers who were wavering before the troops of Desaix. It was a death-stroke. The cavalry and infantry together swept them back in a disorderly retreat. One whole corps, hopeless of escape, threw down its arms and surrendered. The late victorious army was everywhere in retreat. The Austrians were crowded back upon the Bormida, here blocking the bridges, there flinging themselves into the stream, on all sides flying from the victorious French. The cannon stuck in the muddy stream and were left to the victors. 'When Melas, apprised of the sudden change in the aspect of affairs, hurried back in dismay to the field, the battle was irretrievably lost, and General Zach, his representative in command, was a prisoner in the hands of the French. The field was strewn with thousands of the dead. The slain Desaix and the living Kellermann had turned the Austrian victory into defeat and saved Napoleon.

A few days afterwards, on the 19th, Moreau in Germany won a brilliant victory at Hochstadt, near Blenheim, took 5,000 prisoners and twenty pieces of cannon, and forced from the Austrians an armed truce which left him master of South Germany. A still more momentous armistice was signed by Melas in Italy, by which the Austrians surrendered Piedmont, Lombardy, and all their territory as far as the Mincio, leaving France master of Italy. Melas protested against these severe terms, but Napoleon was immovable.

"I did not begin to make war yesterday," he said. "I know your situation. You are out of provisions, encumbered with the dead, wounded, and sick, and surrounded on all sides. I could exact everything. I ask only what the situation of affairs demands. I have no other terms to offer."

During the night of the 2d and 3d of July, Napoleon re-entered Paris, which he had left less than two months before. Brilliant ovations met him on his route, and all France would have prostrated itself at his feet had he permitted. He came crowned with the kind of glory which is especially dear to the French, that gained on the field of battle.

Moreau Wins Glory at Hohenlinden

Five months afterwards, Austria having refused to make peace without the concurrence of England, and the truce being at an end, another famous victory was added to the list of those which were being inscribed upon the annals of France. On the 3d of December the veterans under Moreau met an Austrian army under the Archduke John, on the plain of Hohenlinden, across which ran the small river Iser.

The Austrians marched through the forest of Hohenlinden, looking for no resistance, and unaware that Moreau's army awaited their exit. As they left the shelter of the trees and debouched upon the plain, they were attacked by the French in force. Two divisions had been despatched to take them in the rear, and Moreau held back his men to give them the necessary time. The snow was falling in great flakes, yet through it his keen eyes saw some signs of confusion in the hostile ranks.

"Richepanse has struck them in the rear," he said, "the time has come to charge."

Ney rushed forward at the head of his troops, driving the enemy in confusion before him. The center_ of the Austrian army was hemmed in between the two forces. Decaen had struck their left wing in the rear and forced it back upon the Inn. Their right was driven into the valley. The day was lost to the Austrians, whose killed and wounded numbered 8,000, while the French had taken 12,000 prisoners and eighty-seven pieces of cannon.

The victorious French advanced, sweeping back all opposition, until Vienna, the Austrian capital, lay before them, only a few leagues away. His staff officers urged Moreau to take possession of the city.

"That would be a fine thing to do, no doubt," he said; "but to my fancy to dictate terms of peace will be a finer thing still."

The Austrians were ready for peace at any price. On Christmas day, 1800, an armistice was signed which delivered to the French the valley of the Danube, the country of the Tyrol, a number of fortresses, and immense magazines of war materials. The war continued in Italy till the end of December, when a truce was signed there and the conflict was at an end.

Napoleon the Idol of France

The events which immediately followed may be briefly summarized. Napoleon's brilliant victories had won him a leading position in France and made him at once the terror of Europe and the admiration of the world. Among the excitable and glory-loving people of France he was fairly worshipped. His word was law, his requests commands, his rank that of a general and consul, his position that of an emperor and autocrat. He had but to speak and the whole nation was ready and eager to obey. The nineteenth century dawned, leaving France at peace with all the countries of Europe except Great Britain, a treaty of peace being concluded with Austria in February, 1801.

So far as Great Britain was concerned the war that still existed had to do solely with the troops which Napoleon had left in Egypt on his hasty return from that country. These hardened veterans proved too much for either the British land forces or the Turkish troops, and a treaty was finally made which stipulated that the French soldiers, 24,000 in number, should be taken back to France in English ships, with their arms and ammunition. On March 27, 1802, the treaty of Amiens was signed, establishing peace between England and France, and for the first time in years France was free from war. Its great general had conquered peace.

A Period of Peace

The days of leisure which now came to the First Consul—the rank at this time held by Napoleon—were by no means days of idleness. His mind throbbed with new ideas and new purposes. There were relics of the insensate fury of the Revolution that needed to be removed, and to these he first applied himself. One of the earliest things he did was to restore the Christian worship in the churches of France, abolishing the Republican festivals which had replaced Christianity with paganism.

But he did not propose to share his authority with the Pope; to establish a new kingship beside his own. He insisted that the Church should yield its old-time supremacy, and become a servant of, instead of an autocrat over, the French state. Another step was to have his term of office extended from ten years, as originally fixed, to life. He established himself in the Tuileries, where lie began to restore the old court customs and etiquette abolished by the Revolution, and made an effort to re-establish the customs and usages of the monarchy. The royal-like customs and elegance established made the First Consul's court resemble that of the deposed monarchy. In truth he had made himself king in everything but in name. However, the new liberties and privileges which the people had won by the Revolution were not interfered with. With these the peasant who had made himself monarch was in full sympathy. Feudalism had been definitely overthrown, and Napoleon's supremacy in the state was a benevolent one that recognized the popular freedom.

The Consul Made Emperor

He was not without enemies—bitter ones, many of them. There were among the old Republicans many shrewd enough to see that the republic they had founded was being undermined by this new popular favorite. Plots were formed, attempts made upon his life, and even Moreau, the victor at Hohenlinden, was accused of being in collusion with the conspirators and was banished from France. Napoleon fought them with a ruthlessness equal to their own. The Duke d'Enghien, a royalist French nobleman, believed by Napoleon to be deeply concerned in the royalist conspiracies, ventured too near the borders of France and was seized and taken to Paris by agents of the First Consul. Here, without form of law or opportunity for defense, he was at once executed. This was an act of lawless power which excited more indignation that anything in Napoleon's career, and one which historians of the present day do not hesitate to characterize as murder.

The culmination of Napoleon's ambition came in 1804, when, like Caesar, the Roman conqueror, he sought the crown as a reward for his victories, and was elected Emperor of the French by an almost unanimous vote. The Pope was obliged to come to Paris at the fiat of the new autocrat and to anoint him as emperor, thus giving the sanction of the Church to his new dignity.

The old insignia of royalty were at once restored, the emperor surrounded himself with a brilliant court, brought back the discarded titles of nobility, and sought to banish every trace of republican simplicity. But the new royalty was not one of the old type. Feudalism was definitely at an end. The world of Europe entered upon its nineteenth-century career with that effete and abominable system banished from France and with few foot-holds elsewhere. The new empire was one founded upon modern lines, one called into existence by the votes of a free people, not resting upon a nation of slaves.

The Code Napoleon

During his brief respite from war Napoleon's activity was great, his statesmanship notable. Great public works, monuments to his glory, were constructed, wide schemes of public improvement were entered upon, and important changes were made in the financial system that provided the great sums needed for these enterprises. The most important of these evidences of intellectual activity was the Code Napoleon, the first organized code of French law and still the basis of jurisprudence in France. This, first promulgated in 1801 as the civil code of France, had its title changed to Code Napoleon in 1804, and as such stands as one of the greatest monuments to the mental capacity of this extraordinary man.

The period of peace ended in 1803, when Great Britain, Napoleon's most persistent foe, again declared war against France. Hitherto the sea had protected his British foes from the force of the great Corsican's arms. But, angered by their persistent enmity, he now determined to play the role of William of Normandy and attack them on their own shores.

A great fleet was gathered, a powerful army got ready, the army numbering 120,000 men with 10,000 horses, the fleet 1,800 gunboats of various types. It was a threatening enterprise and might have been a successful one, under the leadership of Napoleon, but for the shrewd policy of William Pitt, then Prime Minister, who organized a coalition in Europe which gave the emperor a new use for his army.

Campaign of 1805

The Austrians, who had been so often defeated, were again quickly in the field, but they were not quick enough for the alert Napoleon, whose troops were at once set in motion from all quarters towards the Rhine. Early in October, 1805, the French held both banks of the Danube, and were handled so skilfully that the Austrian army under General Mack, an incapable commander, was surrounded in the fortress of Ulm and forced to surrender as prisoners of war; 23,000 soldiers and eighteen generals were held as captives by the victorious French. Another army, sent to Italy, was met and defeated by Marshal Massena. Meanwhile the King of Prussia, whose territory had been crossed by the French without his consent, had joined the coalition against Napoleon, had given free passage to the troops of Sweden and Russia, members of the coalition, and a powerful army was despatched to Austria. The French under Murat had reached and occupied Vienna, forcing the Austrian emperor to flee for safety, and thence advanced into Moravia. Here, on the 1st of December, 1805, the two armies, both concentrated in their fullest strength (92,000 of the allies to 70,000 French) came face to face on the field of Austerlitz, where on the following day was to be fought one of the memorable battles in the history of the world.

Battle of Austerlitz

The Emperor Alexander had joined Francis of Austria, and the two monarchs, with their staff officers, occupied the castle and village of Austerlitz. Their troops hastened to occupy the plateau of Pratzen, which Napoleon had designedly left free. His plans of battle were already fully made. He had, with the intuition of genius, foreseen the probable maneuvers of the enemy, and had left open for them the position which he wished them to occupy. He even announced their movement in a proclamation to his troops.

"The positions that we occupy are formidable," he said, "and while the enemy march to turn my right they will present to me their flank."

This movement to the right was indeed the one that had been decided upon by the allies, with the purpose of cutting off the road to Vienna by isolating numerous corps dispersed in Austria and Styria. It had been shrewdly divined by Napoleon in choosing his ground.

The fact that the 2d of December was the anniversary of the coronation of the emperor filled the French troops with ardor. They celebrated it by making great torches of the straw which formed their beds, and illuminating their camp. Early the next morning the allies began their projected movement. To the joy of Napoleon his prediction was fulfilled: they were advancing towards his right. He felt sure that the victory was in his hands.

He held his own men in readiness while the line of the enemy deployed. The sun was rising, its rays gleaming through a mist, which dispersed as it rose higher. It now poured its brilliant beams across the field, the afterward famous "sun of Austerlitz." The movement of the allies had the effect of partly withdrawing their troops from the plateau of Pratzen. At a signal from the emperor the strongly concentrated center of the French army moved forward in a dense mass, directing their march towards the plateau, which they made all haste to occupy. They had reached the foot of the hill before the rising mist revealed them to the enemy.

The two emperors watched the movement without divining its intent. "See how the French climb the height without staying to reply to our fire,". said Prince Czartoryski, who stood near them.

The emperors were soon to learn why their fire was disdained. Their marching columns, thrown out one after another on the slope, found themselves suddenly checked in their movement, and cut off from the two wings of the army. The allied force had been pierced in its center, which was flung back in disorder, in spite of the efforts of Kutusoff to send it aid. At the same time Davout faced the Russians on the right, and Murat and Lannes attacked the Russian and Austrian squadrons on the left, while Kellermann's light cavalry dispersed the squadrons of the Uhlans.

The Russian guard, checked in its movement, turned towards Pratzen, }n a desperate effort to retrieve the fortune of the day. It was incautiously pursued by a French battalion, which soon found itself isolated and in danger. Napoleon perceived its peril and hastily sent Rapp to its support, with the Mamelukes and the chasseurs of the guard. They rushed forward with energy and quickly drove back the enemy, Prince Repnin remaining a prisoner in their hands.

The day was lost to the allies. Everywhere disorder prevailed and their troops were in retreat. An isolated Russian division threw down its arms and surrendered. Two columns were forced back beyond the marshes. The soldiers rushed in their flight upon the ice of the lake, which the intense cold had made thick enough to bear their weight.

And now a terrible scene was witnessed. War is merciless; death is its aim; the slaughter of an enemy by any means is looked upon as admissible. By Napoleon's order the French cannon were turned upon the lake. Their plunging balls rent and splintered the ice under the feet of the crowd of fugitives. Soon it broke with a crash, and the unhappy soldiers, with shrill cries of despair, sunk to death in the chilling waters beneath, thousands of them perishing. It was a frightful expedient—one that would be deemed a crime in any other code than the merciless one of war.

A portion of the allied army made a perilous retreat along a narrow embankment which separated the two lakes of Melnitz and Falnitz, their exposed causeway swept by the fire of the French batteries. Of the whole army, the corps of Prince Bagration alone withdrew in order of battle.

All that dreadful day the roar of battle had resounded. At its close the victorious French occupied the field; the allied army was pouring back in disordered flight, the dismayed emperors in its midst; thousands of dead covered the fatal field, the groans of thousands of wounded men filled the air. More than 30,000 prisoners, including twenty generals, remained in Napoleon's hands, and with them a hundred and twenty pieces of cannon and forty flags, including the standards of the Imperial Guard of Russia.

The Gains of the Empire

The defeat was a crushing one. Napoleon had won the most famous of his battles. The Emperor Francis, in deep depression, asked for an interview and an armistice. Two days afterward the emperors—the conqueror and the conquered—met, and an armistice was granted. While the negotiations for peace continued Napoleon shrewdly disposed of the hostility of Prussia by offering the state of Hanover to that power and signing a treaty with the king. On December 26th a treaty of peace between France and Austria was signed at Presburg. The Emperor Francis yielded all his remaining possessions in Italy, and also the Tyrol, the Black Forest, and other districts in Germany, which Napoleon presented to his allies, Bavaria, Wurtemberg, and Baden, whose monarchs were still more closely united to Napoleon by marriages between their children and relatives of himself and his wife Josephine. Bavaria and Wurtemberg were made kingdoms, and Baden was raised in rank to a grand-duchy. The three months' war was at an end. Austria had paid dearly for her subserviency to England. Of the several late enemies of France, only two remained in arms, Russia and England. And in the latter Pitt, Napoleon's greatest enemy, died during the next month, leaving the power in the hands of Fox, an admirer of the Corsican. Napoleon was at the summit of his glory and success.

The victory of Austerlitz left Germany in Napoleon's hands, and the remodeling of the map of Europe was one of the greatest that has ever taken place at any one time. Kingdoms were formed and placed under Napoleon's brothers or favorite generals. His changes in the states of Germany were numerous and radical. Those of south and west Germany were organized into the Confederation of the Rhine, under his protection. Many of the small principalities were suppressed and their territories added to the larger states. As to the "Holy Roman Empire," a once powerful organization which had long since sunk into a mere shadow, it finally ceased to exist. The empire of France was extended by these and other changes until it spread over Italy, the Netherlands and the south and west of Germany. Changes so great as this could scarcely be made without exciting bitter opposition. Prussia had been seriously affected by Napoleon's map-making, and in the end its king, Frederick William, became so exasperated that he broke off all communication with France and began to prepare for war.

The Conquest of Prussia

It is by no means impossible that Napoleon had been working for this. It is certain that he was quick to take advantage of it. While the Prussian king was slowly collecting his troops and war material, the veterans of France were already on the march and approaching the borders of Prussia. The hasty levies of Frederick William were no match for the war-hardened French, the Russians failed to come to their aid, and on the 4th of October, 1806, the two armies met at Jena.

The Prussians proved incapable of withstanding the impetuous attack of the French and were soon broken and in panic and flight. Nothing could stop them. Reinforcements coming up, 20,000 in number, were thrown across their path, but in vain, being swept away by the fugitives and pushed back by the triumphant pursuers.

At the same time another battle was in progress near Auerstadt between Marshal Davout and the forces of the Duke of Brunswick. This, too, ended in victory for the French. The king had been with the duke and was borne back by the flying host, the two bodies of fugitives finally coalescing. In that one fatal day Frederick William had lost his army and placed his kingdom in jeopardy. "They can do nothing but gather up the debris," said Napoleon.

It took but a brief period to complete the utter dispersal of the Prussian forces, and on October 27th Napoleon entered in triumph the city of Berlin, the Prussian capital. The whole country was at his mercy, and its chief cities were heavily taxed to meet the expenses of the war, while their treasures of art and science were carried off to enrich the museums and galleries of France. All English merchandise found in ports and warehouses was seized, and a heavy war contribution put upon the state. As Napoleon could not reach the British islands, he now established a continental embargo upon British trade. This war upon commerce, in which Great Britain took part in reprisal, caused great distress, not only in Europe but in America as well, one of its final effects being the American war of 1812.

Invasion of Poland

Napoleon, not content while an enemy remained in arms, with inflexible resolution resolved to make an end of all his adversaries and meet in battle the great empire of the north, which had remained in arms against him since the battle of Austerlitz. The Russian armies then occupied Poland, whose people, burning under the oppression and injustice to which they had been subjected, gladly welcomed Napoleon's specious offers to bring them back their lost liberties, and rose in his aid when he marched his armies into their country.

Here the French, on marching against their foe, found themselves exposed to unlooked-for privations. They had dreamed of abundant stores of food, but discovered that the country they had invaded was, in this wintry season, a desert, a series of frozen solitudes incapable of feeding an army, and holding no reward for them other than that of battle with and victory over the hardy Russians.

Napoleon advanced to Warsaw, the Polish capital. The Russians were entrenched behind the Narew and the Ukra. The French continued to advance. The Russians were beaten and forced back in every battle, several furious encounters took place, and Alexander's army fell back upon the Pregel, intact and powerful still, despite the French successes. The wintry chill and the character of the country seriously interfered with Napoleon's plans, the troops being forced to make their way through thick and rain-soaked forests, and march over desolate and marshy plains. The winter of the north fought against them like a strong army and many of them fell dead without a battle. Warlike movements became almost impossible to the troops of the south, though the hardy northeners, accustomed to the climate, continued their military operations.

Victory at Eylau

By the end of January the Russian army was evidently approaching in force, and immediate action became necessary. The cold increased. The mud was converted into ice. On January 30, 1807, Napoleon left Warsaw and marched in search of the enemy. General Benningsen retreated, avoiding battle, and on the 7th of February entered the small town of Eylau, from which his troops were pushed by the approaching French. He encamped outside the town, the French in and about it, it was evident that a great battle was at hand.

The weather was cold. Snow lay thick upon the ground and still fell in great flakes. A sheet of ice covering some small lakes formed part of the country upon which the armies were encamped, but was thick enough to bear their weight. It was a chill, inhospitable country to which the demon of war had come.

Before daybreak on the 8th Napoleon was in the streets of Eylau, forming his line of battle for the coming engagement. Soon the artillery of both armies opened, and a rain of cannon balls began to decimate the opposing ranks. The Russian fire was concentrated on the town, which was soon in flames. That of the French was directed against a hill which the emperor deemed it important to occupy. The two armies, nearly equal in numbers,—the French having 75,000 to the Russian 70,000—were but a short distance apart, and the slaughter from the fierce cannonade was terrible.

A series of movements on both sides began, Davout marching upon the Russian flank and Augereau upon the center, while the Russians maneuvered as if with a purpose to outflank the French on the left. At this interval an unlooked-for obstacle interfered with the French movements, a snowfall beginning, which grew so dense that the armies lost sight of each other, and vision was restricted to a few feet. In this semi-darkness the French columns lost their way, and wandered about uncertainly. For half an hour the snow continued to fall. When it ceased the French army was in a critical position. Its cohesion was lost; its columns were straggling about and incapable of supporting one another; many of its superior officers were wounded. The Russians, on the contrary, were on the point of executing a vigorous turning movement, with 20,000 infantry, supported by cavalry and artillery.

"Are you going to let me be devoured by these people?" cried Napoleon to Murat, his eagle eye discerning the danger.

He ordered a grand charge of all the cavalry of the army, consisting of eighty squadrons. With Murat at their head, they rushed like an avalanche on the Russian lines, breaking through the infantry and dispersing the cavalry who came to its support. The Russian infantry suffered severely from this charge, its two massive lines being rent asunder, while the third fell back upon a wood in the rear. Finally Davout, whose movement had been hindered by the weather, reached the Russian rear, and in an impetuous charge drove them from the hilly ground which Napoleon wished to occupy.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The battle seemed lost to the Russians. They began a retreat, leaving the ground strewn thickly with their dead and wounded. But at this critical moment a Prussian force, some 8,000 strong, which was being pursued by Marshal Ney, arrived on the field and checked the French advance and the Russian retreat. Benningsen regained sufficient confidence to prepare for final attack, when he was advised of the approach of Ney, who was two or three hours behind the Prussians. At this discouraging news a final retreat was ordered. The French were left masters of the field, though little attempt was made to pursue the menacing columns of the enemy, who withdrew in military array. It was a victory that came near being a defeat, and which, indeed, both sides claimed. Never before had Napoleon been so stubbornly withstood. His success had been bought at a frightful cost, and Konigsberg, the old Prussian capital, the goal of his march, was still covered by the compact columns of the allies. The men were in no condition to pursue. Food was wanting, and they were without shelter from the wintry chill. Ney surveyed the terrible scene with eyes of gloom. "What a massacre," he exclaimed; "and without result!"

So severe was the exhaustion on both sides from this great battle that it was four months before hostilities were resumed. Meanwhile Danzig, which had been strongly besieged, surrendered, and more than 30,000 men were released to reinforce the French army. Negotiations for peace went slowly on, without result, and it was June before hostilities again became imminent.

Eylau, which was now Napoleon's headquarters, presented a very different aspect at this season from that of four months before. Then all was wintry desolation; now the country presented a beautiful scene of green woodland, shining lakes, and attractive villages. The light corps of the army were in motion in various directions, their object being to get between the Russians and their magazines and cut off retreat to Konigsberg. On June 13th Napoleon, with the main body of his army, marched towards Friedland, a town on the River Alle, in the vicinity of Konigsberg, towards which the Russians were moving. Here, crossing the Alle, Benningsen drove from the town a regiment of French hussars which had occupied it, and fell with all his force on the corps of Marshal Lannes, which alone had reached the field.

Lannes held his ground with his usual heroic fortitude, while sending successive messengers for aid to the emperor. Noon had passed when Napoleon and his staff reached the field at full gallop, far in advance of the troops. He surveyed the field with eyes of hope. "It is the 14th of June, the anniversary of Marengo," he said; "it is a lucky day for us."

"Give me only a reinforcement," cried Oudinot, "and we will cast all the Russians into the water."

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


This seemed possible. Benningsen's troops were perilously concentrated within a bend of the river. Some of the French generals advised deferring the battle till the next day, as the hour was late, but Napoleon was too shrewd to let an advantage escape him.

"No," he said, "one does not surprise the enemy twice in such a blunder." He swept with his field-glass the masses of the enemy before him, then seized the arm of Marshal Ney. "You see the Russians and the town of Friedland," he said. "March straight forward; seize the town; take the bridges, whatever it may cost. Do not trouble yourself with what is taking place around you. Leave that to me and the army."

The troops were coming in rapidly, and marching to the places assigned them. The hours moved on. It was half-past five in the afternoon when the cannon sounded the signal of the coming fray. Meanwhile Ney's march upon Friedland had begun. A terrible fire from the Russians swept his ranks as he advanced. Aided by cavalry and artillery, he reached a stream defended by the Russian Imperial Guard. Before those picked troops the French recoiled in temporary disorder; but the division of General Dupont, marching briskly up, broke the Russian guard, and the pursuing French rushed into the town. In a short time it was in flames and the fugitive Russians were cut off from the bridges, which were seized and set on fire.

The Russians made a vigorous effort to recover their lost, ground, General Gortschakoff endeavoring to drive the French from the town, and other corps making repeated attacks on the French center. All their efforts were in vain. The French columns continued to advance. By ten o'clock the battle was at an end. Many of the Russians had been drowned in the stream, and the field was covered with their dead, whose numbers were estimated by the boastful French bulletins at 15,000 or 18,000 men, while they made the improbable claim of having lost no more than 500 dead. Konigsberg, the prize of victory, was quickly occupied by Marshal Soult, and yielded the French a vast quantity of food, and a large store of military supplies which had been sent from England for Russian use. The King of Prussia had lost the whole if his possessions with the exception of the single town of Memel.

Victorious as Napoleon had been, he had found the Russians no contemptible foes. At Eylau he had come nearer defeat than ever before in his career. He, was quite ready, therefore, to listen to overtures of peace, and early in July a notable interview took place between him and the Czar of Russia at Tilsit, on the Niemen, the two emperors meeting on a raft in the center of the stream. What passed between them is not known. Some think that they arranged for a division of Europe between their respective empires, Alexander taking all the east and Napoleon all the west. However that was, the treaty of peace, signed July 8th, was a disastrous one for the defeated Prussian king, who was punished for his temerity in seeking to fight Napoleon alone by the loss of more than half his kingdom, while in addition a heavy war indemnity was laid upon his depleted realms.

He was forced to yield all the countries between the Rhine and the Elbe, to consent to the establishment of a Dukedom of Warsaw, under the supremacy of the king of Saxony, and to the loss of Danzig and the surrounding territory, which were converted into a free state. A new kingdom, named Westphalia, was founded by Napoleon, made up of the territory taken from Prussia and the states of Hesse, Brunswick and South Hanover. His younger brother, Jerome Bonaparte, was made its king. It was a further step in his policy of founding a western empire.

Louisa, the beautiful and charming queen of Frederick William, sought Tilsit, hoping by the seduction of her beauty and grace of address to induce Napoleon to mitigate his harsh terms. But in vain she brought to bear upon him all the resources of her intellect and her attractive charm of manner. He continued cold and obdurate, and she left Tilsit deeply mortified and humiliated.

Campaign of 1809

We shall summarize more briefly what followed. The events, however, were of much interest, and take a prominent part in the annals of the great Napoleonic campaigns. Indignation of the Austrians at the arbitrary acts of the conqueror became in time so intense that, in April, 1809, they again declared war against France, despite the many defeats they had experienced. This war led to an interesting struggle in the Tyrol, the Austrian section of the Alps, in which Andreas Hofer, a valiant leader of the mountaineers, for a time gained freedom from French dominion. But their independence was of short duration, and their courageous leader was taken and remorselessly put to death for daring to seek freedom for his country.

The French campaign in Austria was, as usual, one of great speed—a remarkable rapidity in those days preceding the railway. Yet the Archduke Charles, who led the Austrians, was equally rapid in his movements, and the widely-spread French army soon found itself in imminent risk of being cut in two by the Austrians. This peril Napoleon perceived in reaching the front, and he wrote urging Massena forward.

"Never was there need for more rapidity of movement than now. Activity, activity, speed!" was the burden of his letter.

A brief hesitation robbed the Archduke of the advantage he had gained. The rapidly concentrating French army fell upon his troops, defeated them in a series of engagements, relieved Davout before Ratisbon, captured that town, and forced the Archduke to retreat into Bohemia. This brief but active campaign gave Napoleon, according to his despatch, 50,000 prisoners, a hundred cannon, and a large quantity of other military material. In Italy the French were less successful, meeting with defeat at the hands of Archduke John, commander of the Austrian army in that country. General McDonald, the French commander, took up a defensive position, and on the first of May was gratified to see indications of withdrawal of the enemy.

"Victory in Germany!" he cried. "Now is our time for a forward march."

He was correct, the Archduke John had been recalled in haste to aid his brother Charles in the defense of Vienna, on which the French were advancing in force.

Great Battles around Vienna

The campaign now became a race for the capital of Austria. During its progress several conflicts took place, in each of which the French won. The city was defended by the Archduke Maximilian with an army of over 15,000 men, but he found it expedient to withdraw, and on the 13th the troops of Napoleon occupied the Austrian capital. Meanwhile Charles had concentrated his troops and was marching hastily towards the opposite side of the Danube, whither his brother John was advancing from Italy.

It was important for Napoleon to strike a blow before this junction could be made. He resolved to cross the Danube in the suburbs of the capital itself, and attack the Austrians before they were reinforced. In the vicinity of Vienna the channel of the river is broken by many islets. At the island of Lobau, the point chosen for the attempt, the river is broad and deep, but Lobau is separated from the opposite bank by only a narrow branch, while two smaller islets offered themselves as aids in the construction of bridges, there being four channels, over each of which a bridge was thrown.

The work was a difficult one. The Danube, swollen by the melting snows, imperiled the bridges, erected with difficulty and braced by insufficient cordage. But despite this peril the crossing began, and on May 20th Marshal Massena reached the other side and posted his troops in the two villages of Aspern and Essling, and along a deep ditch that connected them.

As yet only the vanguard of the Austrians had arrived. Other corps soon appeared, and by the afternoon of the 21st the entire army, from 70,000 to 80,000 strong, faced the French, still only half their number, and in a position of extreme peril, for the bridge over the main channel of the river had broken during the night, and the crossing was cut off in its midst.

Napoleon, however, was straining every nerve to repair the bridge, and Massena and Lannes, in command of the advance, fought like men fighting for their lives. The Archduke Charles, the ablest soldier Napoleon had yet encountered, hurled his troops in masses upon Aspern, which covered the bridge to Lobau. Several times it was taken and retaken, but the French held on with a death grip, all the strength of the Austrians seeming insufficient to break the hold of Lannes upon Essling. An advance in force, which nearly cut the communication between the two villages, was checked by an impetuous cavalry charge, and night fell, leaving the situation unchanged.

At dawn of the next day more than 70,000 French had crossed the stream; Marshal Davout's corps, with part of the artillery and most of the ammunition, being still on the right bank. At this critical moment the large bridge, against which the Austrians had sent fireships, boats laden with stone and other floating missiles, broke for the third time, and the engineers of the French army were again forced to the most strenuous and hasty exertions for its repair.

The struggle of the day that had just begun was one of extraordinary valor and obstinacy. Men went down in multitudes; now the Austrians, now the French, were repulsed; the Austrians, impetuously assailed, slowly fell back; and _Lanes was preparing for a vigorous movement designed to pierce their center, when word was brought Napoleon that the great bridge had again yielded to the floating debris, carrying with it a regiment of cuirassiers, and cutting off the supply of ammunition. Lannes was at once ordered to fall back upon the villages, and simultaneously the Austrians made a powerful assault on the French center, which was checked with great difficulty. Five times the charge was renewed, and though the enemy was finally repelled, it became evident that Napoleon, for the first time in his career, had met with a decided check. Night fell at length, and reluctantly he gave the order to retreat. He had lost more than a battle, he had lost the brilliant soldier Lannes, who fell with a mortal wound. Back to the island of Lobau marched the French; Massena, in charge of the rearguard, bringing over the last regiments in safety. More than 40,000 men lay dead and wounded on that fatal field, which remained in Austrian hands. Napoleon, at last, was obliged to acknowledge a repulse, if not a defeat, and the nations of Europe, when the news reached them, held up their heads with renewed hope. It had been proved that the Corsican was not invincible.

Some of Napoleon's generals, deeply disheartened, advised an immediate retreat, but the emperor had no thought of such a movement. It would have brought a thousand disasters in its train. On the contrary, he held the island of Lobau with a strong force, and brought all his resources to bear on the construction of a bridge that would defy the current of the stream. At the same time reinforcements were hurried forward, until by the 1st of July he had around Vienna an army of 150,000 men. The Austrians had probably from 135,000 to 140,000. The archduke had, moreover, strongly fortified the positions of the recent battle, expecting the attack upon them to be resumed.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Victory at Wagram

Napoleon had no such intention. He had selected the heights ranging from Neusiedl to Wagram, strongly occupied by the Austrians, but not fortified, as his point of attack, and on the night of July 4th bridges were thrown from the island of Lobau to the mainland, and the army which had been gathering for several days on the island began its advance. It moved as a whole against the heights of Wagram, occupying Aspern and Essling in its advance.

The great battle began on the succeeding day. It was hotly contested at all points, but attention may be confined to the movement against the plateau of Wagram, which had been entrusted to Marshal Davout. The height was gained after a desperate struggle; the key of the battlefield was held by the French; the Austrians, impetuously assailed at every point, and driven from every point of vantage, began a retreat. The Archduke Charles had anxiously looked for the coming of his brother John, with the army under his command. He waited in vain, the laggard prince failed to appear, and retreat became inevitable. The battle had already lasted ten hours, and the French held all the strong points of the field; but the Austrians withdrew slowly and in battle array, presenting a front that discouraged any effort to pursue. There was nothing resembling a rout.

The Archduke Charles retreated to Bohemia. His forces were dispersed during the march, but he had 70,000 men with him when Napoleon reached his front at Znaim, on the road to Prague, on the 11th of July. Further hostilities were checked by a request for a truce, preliminary to a peace. The battle, already begun, was stopped, and during the night an armistice was signed. The vigor of the Austrian resistance and the doubtful attitude of the other Powers made Napoleon willing enough to treat for terms.

The peace, which was finally signed at Vienna, October 14, 1809, took from Austria 50,000 square miles of territory and 3,000,000 inhabitants, together with a war contribution of $85,000,000, while her army was restricted to 150,000 men. The overthrow of the several outbreaks which had taken place in north Germany, the defeat of a British expedition against Antwerp, and the suppression of the revolt in the Tyrol, ended all organized opposition to Napoleon, who was once more master of the European situation.

The Divorce of Josephine

Raised by this signal success to the summit of his power, lord paramount of western Europe, only one thing remained to trouble the mind of the victorious emperor. His wife, Josephine, was childless; his throne threatened to be left without an heir. Much as he had seemed to love his wife, the companion of his early days, when he was an unknown and unconsidered subaltern, seeking humbly enough for military employment in Paris, yet ambition and the thirst for glory were always the ruling passions in his nature, and had now grown so dominant as to throw love and wifely devotion utterly into the shade. He resolved to set aside his wife and seek a new bride among the princesses of Europe, hoping in this way to leave an heir of his own blood as successor to his imperial throne.

Negotiations were entered into with the courts of Europe to obtain a daughter of one of the proud royal houses as the spouse of the plebeian emperor of France. No maiden of less exalted rank than a princess of the imperial families of Russia or Austria was high enough to meet the ambitious aims of this proud lord of battles, and negotiations were entered into with both, ending in the selection of Maria Louisa, daughter of the Emperor Francis of Austria, who did not venture to refuse a demand for his daughter's hand from the master of half his dominions.

Napoleon was not long in finding a plea for setting aside the wife of his days of poverty and obscurity. A defect in the marriage was alleged, and the transparent farce went on. The divorce of Josephine has awakened the sympathy of a century. It was, indeed, a piteous example of statecraft, and there can be no doubt that Napoleon suffered in his heart while yielding to the dictates of his unbridled ambition. The marriage with Maria Louisa, on the 2d of April, 1810, was conducted with all possible pomp and display, no less than five queens carrying the train of the bride in the august ceremony. The purpose of the marriage did not fail; the next year a son was born to Napoleon. But this imperial youth, who was dignified with the title of King of Rome, was destined to an inglorious life, as an unconsidered tenant of the gilded halls of his imperial grandfather of Austria.

With the defeat and death of Napoleon the Great was destined to end the empire he had so brilliantly built up. It was as well. No man of his name could hope to emulate his career or worthily grasp the scepter he was finally forced to let fall. An unworthy one, sarcastically termed "Napoleon the Little," sought to do so, but proved an example of the ordinary seeking to replace the extraordinary. Of all rulers of men and leaders of armies few if any have equaled Napoleon in genius. Alike as a soldier and as a statesman he proved himself great, and the years that have passed since his death have but increased the world's admiration for his abilities.

Nelson and Wellington, the Champions of Britain

End of the European Reign of Terror


For nearly twenty years went on the stupendous struggle between Napoleon the Great and the Powers of Europe, but in all that time, and among the multitude of men who met the forces of France in battle, only two names emerge which the world cares to remember, those of Horatio Nelson, the most famous of the admirals of England, and Lord Wellington, who alone seemed able to overthrow the greatest military genius of modern times. On land the efforts of Napoleon were seconded by the intrepidity of a galaxy of heroes, Ney, Murat, Moreau, Massena and other men of fame. At sea the story reads differently. That era of stress and strain raised no great admiral in the service of France; her ships were feebly commanded, and the fleet of Great Britain, under the daring Nelson, kept its proud place as mistress of the sea.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The Battle of the Nile

The first proof of this calve before the opening of the century, when Napoleon, led by the ardor of his ambition, landed iii Egypt, with vague hopes of rivaling in the East the far-famed exploits of Alexander the Great. The fleet which bore him thither remained moored in Aboukir Bay, where Nelson, scouring the Mediterranean in quest of it, first came in sight of its serried line of ships on August 1, 1798. One alternative alone dwelt in his courageous soul, that of a heroic death or a glorious victory. "Before this time tomorrow I shall have gained a victory or Westminster Abbey," he said.

In the mighty contest that followed, the French had the advantage in numbers, alike of ships, guns and men. They were drawn up in a strong and compact line of battle, moored in a manner that promised to bid defiance to a force double their own. They lay in an open roadstead, but had every advantage of situation, the British fleet being obliged to attack them in a position carefully chosen for defense. Only the genius of Nelson enabled him to overcome those advantages of the enemy. "If we succeed, what will the world say?" asked Captain Berry, on hearing the admiral's plan of battle. "There is no 'if' in the case," answered the admiral. "That we shall succeed is certain: who may live to tell the story, is a very different question."

The story of the "Battle of the Nile" belongs to the record of eighteenth-century affairs. All we need say here is that it ended in a glorious victory for the English fleet. Of thirteen ships of the line in the French fleet, only two escaped. Of four frigates, one was sunk and one burned. The British loss was 895 men. Of the French, 5,225 perished in the terrible fray. Nelson sprang, in a moment, from the position of a man without fame into that of the naval hero of the world—as Dewey did in as famous a fray almost exactly a century later. Congratulations and honors were showered upon him, the Sultan of Turkey rewarded him with costly presents, valuable testimonials came from other quarters, and his own country honored him with the title of Baron Nelson of the Nile, and settled upon him for life a pension of £2,000.

Nelson at Copenhagen

The first great achievement of Nelson in the following century was the result of a daring resolution of the statesmen of England, in their desperate contest with the Corsican conqueror. By his exploit at the Nile the admiral had very seriously weakened the sea-power of France. But there were Powers then in alliance with France—Russia, Sweden and Denmark—which had formed a confederacy to make England respect their naval rights, and whose combined fleet, if it should come to the aid of France, might prove sufficient to sweep the ships of England from the seas.

The weakest of these Powers, and the one most firmly allied to France, was Denmark, whose fleet, consisting of twenty-three ships of the line and about thirty-one frigates and smaller vessels, lay at Copenhagen. At any moment this powerful fleet might be put at the disposal of Napoleon. This possible danger the British cabinet resolved to avoid. A plan was laid to destroy the fleet of the Danes, and on the 12th of March, 1801, the British fleet sailed with the purpose of putting this resolution into effect.

Nelson, then bearing the rank of vice-admiral, went with the fleet, but only as second in command. To the disgust of the English people, Sir Hyde Parker, a brave and able seaman, but one whose name history has let sink into oblivion, was given chief command—a fact which would have insured the failure of the expedition if Nelson had not set aside precedent, and put glory before duty. Parker, indeed, soon set Nelson chafing by long-drawn-out negotiations, which proved useless, wasted time, and saved the Danes from being taken by surprise. When, on the morning of April 30th, the British fleet at length advanced through the Sound and came in sight of the Danish line of defense, they beheld formidable preparations to meet them.

Eighteen vessels, including full-rigged ships and hulks, were moored in a line nearly a mile and a half in length, flanked to the northward by two artificial islands mounted with sixty-eight heavy cannon and supplied with furnaces for heating shot. Near by lay two large block-ships. Across the harbor's mouth extended a massive chain, and shore batteries commanded the channel. Outside the harbor's mouth were moored two 74-gun ships, a 40-gun frigate and some smaller vessels. In addition to these defenses, which stretched for nearly four miles in length, was the difficulty of the channel, always hazardous from its shoals, and now beaconed with false buoys for the purpose of luring the British ships to destruction.

Defeat of the Danes

With modern defenses—rapid-fire guns and steel-clad batteries—the enterprise would have been hopeless, but the art of defense was then at a far lower level. Nelson, who led the van in the 74-gun ship Elephant, gazed on these preparations with admiration, but with no evidence of doubt as to the result. The British fleet consisted of eighteen line-of-battle ships, with a large number of frigates and other craft, and with this force and his indomitable spirit, he felt confident of breaking these formidable lines.

At ten o'clock on the morning of April 2d the battle began, two of the British ships running aground almost before a gun was fired. At sight of this disaster Nelson instantly changed his plan of sailing, star-boarded his helm, and sailed in, dropping anchor within a cable's length of the Dannebrog, of 62 guns. The other ships followed his example, avoiding the shoals on which the Bellona and Russell had grounded, and taking position at the close quarters of 100 fathoms from the Danish ships.

A terrific cannonade followed, kept up by both sides with unrelenting fury for three hours, and with terrible effect on the contesting ships and their crews. At this juncture took place an event that has made Nelson's name immortal among naval heroes. Admiral Parker, whose flagship lay at a distance from the hot fight, but who heard the incessant and furious fire and saw the grounded ships flying signals of distress, began to fear that Nelson was in serious danger, from which it was his duty to withdraw him. At about one o'clock he reluctantly hoisted a signal for the action to cease.

At this moment Nelson was pacing the quarter-deck of the Elephant, inspired with all the fury of the fight. "It is a warm business," he said to Colonel Stewart, who was on the ship with him; "and any moment may be the last of either of us; but, mark you, I would not for thousands be anywhere else."

As he spoke the flag-lieutenant reported that the signal to cease action was shown on the masthead of the flagship London, and asked if he should report it to the fleet.

"No," was the stern answer; "merely acknowledge it. Is our signal for 'close action' still flying?"

"Yes," replied the officer.

"Then see that you keep it so," said Nelson, the stump of his amputated arm working as it usually did when he was agitated. "Do you know," he asked Colonel Stewart, "the meaning of signal No. 39, shown by Parker's ship?"

"No. What does it mean?"

"To leave off action!" He was silent a moment, then, burst out, "Now damn me if I do!"

Turning to Captain Foley, who stood near him, he said: "Foley, you know I have only one eye; I have a right to be blind sometimes." He raised his telescope, applied it to his blind eye, and said: "I really do not see the signal."

On roared the guns, overhead on the Elephant still streamed the signal for "close action," and still the torrent of British balls rent the Danish ships. In half an hour more the fire of the Danes was fast weakening. In an hour it had nearly ceased. They had suffered frightfully, in ships and lives, and only the continued fire of the shore batteries now kept the contest alive. It was impossible to take possession of the prizes, and Nelson sent a flag of truce ashore with a letter in which he threatened to burn the vessels, with all on board, unless the shore fire was stopped. This threat proved effective, the fire ceased, the great battle was at all end.

At four o'clock Nelson went on board the London, to meet the admiral. He was depressed in spirit, and said: "I have fought contrary to orders, and may be hanged; never mind, let them." There was no danger of this; Parker was not that kind of man. He had raised the signal through fear for Nelson's safety, and now gloried in his success, giving congratulations where his subordinate looked for blame. The Danes had fought bravely and stubbornly, but they had no commander of the spirit and genius of Nelson, and were forced to yield to British pluck and endurance. Until June 13th, Nelson remained in the Baltic, watching the Russian fleet which he might still have to fight. Then came orders for his return home, and word reached him that he had been created Viscount Nelson for his services.

Nelson at Trafalgar

There remains to describe the last and most famous of Nelson's exploits, that in which he put an end to the sea-power of France, by destroying the remainder of her fleet at Trafalgar, and met death at the moment of victory. Four years had passed since the fight at Copenhagen. During much of that time Nelson had kept his fleet on guard off Toulon, impatiently waiting until the enemy should venture from that port of refuge. At length, the combined fleet of France and Spain, now in alliance, escaped his vigilance, and sailed to the West Indies to work havoc in the British colonies. He followed them thither in all haste; and subsequently, on their return to France, he chased them back across the seas, burning with eagerness to bring them to bay.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


On the 19th of October, 1805, the allied fleet put to sea from the harbor of Cadiz, confident that its great strength would enable it to meet any force the British had upon the waves. Admiral De Villeneuve, with thirty-three ships of the line and a considerable number of smaller craft, had orders to force the straits of Gibraltar, land troops at Naples, sweep British cruisers and commerce from the Mediterranean, and then seek the port of Toulon to refit. As it turned out, he never reached the straits, his fleet meeting its fate before it could leave the Atlantic waves. Nelson had reached the coast of Europe again, and was close at hand when the doomed ships of the allies appeared. Two swift ocean scouts saw the movements, and hastened to Lord Nelson with the welcome news that the long-deferred moment was at hand. On the 21st, the British fleet came within view, and the following signal was set on the masthead of the flagship:

"The French and Spaniards are out at last; they outnumber us in ships and guns and men; we are on the eve of the greatest sea-fight in history."

On came the ships, great lumbering craft, strangely unlike the war-vessels of today. Instead of the trim, grim, steel-clad, steam-driven modern battleship, with its revolving turret, and great frowning, breech-loading guns, sending their balls through miles of air, those were bluff-bowed, ungainly hulks, with bellying sides towering like black walls above the sea as if to make the largest mark possible for hostile shot, with a great show of muzzle-loading guns of small range, while overhead rose lofty spars and spreading sails. Ships they were that today would be sent to the bottom in five minutes of fight, but which, mated against others of the same build, were capable of giving a gallant account of themselves.

It was off the shoals of Cape Trafalgar, near the southern extremity of Spain, that the two fleets met, and such a tornado of fire as has rarely been seen upon the ocean waves was poured from their broad and lofty sides. As they came together there floated from the masthead of the Victory, Nelson's flagship, that signal which has become the watchword of the British isles: "England expects that every man will do his duty."

Nelson Wins and Dies

We cannot follow the fortunes of all the vessels in that stupendous fray, the most famous sea-fight in history. It must serve to follow the Victory in her course, in which Nelson eagerly sought to thrust himself into the heart of the fight and dare death in his quest for victory. He was not long in meeting his wish. Soon he found himself in a nest of enemies, eight ships at once pouring their fire upon his devoted vessel, which could not bring a gun to bear in return, the wind having died away and the ship lying almost motionless upon the waves.

Before the Victory was able to fire a shot fifty of her men had fallen killed or wounded, and her canvas was pierced and rent till it looked like a series of fishing nets. But the men stuck to their guns with unyielding tenacity, and at length their opportunity came. A 68-pounder carronade, loaded with a round shot and 500 musket balls, was fired into the cabin windows of the Bucentaure, with such terrible effect as to disable 400 men and 20 guns, and put the ship practically out of the fight.

The Victory next turned upon the Neptune and the Redoubtable, of the enemy's fleet. The Neptune, not liking her looks, kept off, but she collided and locked spars with the Redoubtable, and a terrific fight began. On the opposite side of the Redoubtable came the British ship Temeraire, and opposite it again a second ship of the enemy, the four vessels lying bow to bow, and rending one another's sides with an incessant hail of balls. On the Victory the gunners were ordered to depress their pieces, that the balls should not go through and wound the Temeraire beyond. The muzzles of their cannon fairly touched the enemy's side, and after each shot a bucket of water was dashed into the rent, that they might not set fire to the vessel which they confidently expected to take as a prize.

In the midst of the hot contest came the disaster already spoken of. Brass swivels were mounted in the French ship's tops to sweep with their fire the deck of their foe, and as Nelson and Captain Hardy paced together their poop deck, regardless of danger, the admiral suddenly fell. A ball from one of these guns had reached the noblest mark on the fleet.

"They have (lone for me at last, Hardy," the fallen man said.

"Don't say you are hit!" cried Hardy in dismay. "Yes, my backbone is shot through."

His words were not far from the truth. He never arose from that fatal shot. Yet, dying as he was, his spirit survived.

'I hope none of our ships have struck, Hardy," he feebly asked in a later interval of the fight.

"No, my lord. There is small fear of that."

"I'm a dead man, Hardy, but I'm glad of what you say. Whip them now you've got them. Whip them as they've never been whipped before."

Another hour passed. Hardy came below again to say that fourteen or fifteen of the enemy's ships had struck.

"That's better, though I bargained for twenty," said the dying man. "And now, anchor, Hardy—anchor."

"I suppose, my lord, that Admiral Collingwood will now take the direction of affairs."

"Not while I live," exclaimed Nelson, with a momentary return of energy. "Do you anchor, Hardy."

"Then shall we make the signal, my lord."

"Yes, for if I live, I'll anchor."

That was the end. Five minutes later Horatio Nelson, England's greatest sea champion, was dead. He had won—not "victory and Westminster Abbey"—but victory and a noble resting place in St. Paul's Cathedral.

Collingwood did not anchor, but stood out to sea with the eighteen prizes of the hard-fought fray. In the gale that followed many of the results of victory were lost, four of the ships being retaken, some wrecked on shore, some foundering at sea, only four reaching British waters in Gibraltar Bay. But whatever was lost, Nelson's fame was secure, and the victory at Trafalgar is treasured as one of the most famous triumphs of British arms.

The naval battle at Copenhagen, won by Nelson, was followed, six years later, by a combined land and naval expedition in which Wellington, England's other champion, took part. Again inspired by the fear that Napoleon might use the Danish fleet for his own purposes, the British government, though at peace with Denmark, sent a fleet to Copenhagen, bombarded and captured the city, and seized the Danish ships. A battle took place on land in which Wellington (then Sir Arthur Wellesley) won an easy victory and captured 10,000 men. The whole business was an inglorious one, a dishonorable incident in a struggle in which the defeat of Napoleon stood first, honor second. Among the English themselves some defended it on the plea of policy, some called it piracy and murder.

The Campaign in Portugal

Not long afterwards England prepared to take a serious part on land in the desperate contest with Napoleon, and sent a British force to Portugal, then held by the French army of invasion under Marshal Junot. This force, 10,000 strong, was commanded by Sir Arthur Wellesley, and landed July 30, 1808, at Mondego Bay. He was soon joined by General Spencer from Cadiz, with 13,000 men.

The French, far from home and without support, were seriously alarmed at this invasion, and justly so, for they met with defeat in a sharp battle at Vimeiro, and would probably have been forced to surrender as prisoners of war had not the troops been called off from pursuit by Sir Harry Burrard, who had been sent out to supersede Wellesley in command. The end of it all was a truce, and a convention under whose terms the French troops were permitted to evacuate Portugal with their arms and baggage and return to France. This release of Junot from a situation which precluded escape so disgusted Wellesley that he threw up his command and returned to England. Other troops sent out under Sir John Moore and Sir David Baird met a superior force of French in Spain, and their expedition ended in disaster. Moore was killed while the troops were embarking to return home, and the memory of this affair has been preserved in the famous ode, "The Burial of Sir John Moore," from which we quote: "We buried him darkly at dead of night, The sod with our bayonets turning,

By the glimmering moonbeams' misty light And the lanterns dimly burning."

In April, 1809, Wellesley returned to Portugal, now chief in command, to begin a struggle which was to continue until the fall of Napoleon. There were at that time about 20,000 British soldiers at Lisbon, while the French had in Spain more than 300,000 men, under such generals as Ney, Soult and Victor. The British, indeed, were aided by a large number of natives in arms. But these, though of service as guerillas, were almost useless in regular warfare.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Oporto and Talavera

Wellesley was at Lisbon. Oporto, 170 miles north, was held by Marshal Soult, who had recently taken it. Without delay Wellington marched thither, and drove the French outposts across the river Douro. But in their retreat they burned the bridge of boats across the river, seized every boat they could find, and rested in security, defying their foes to cross. Soult, veteran officer though he was, fancied that he had disposed of Wellesley, and massed his forces on the seacoast side of the town, in which quarter alone he looked for an attack.

He did not know his antagonist. A few skiffs were secured, and a small party of British was sent across the stream. The French attacked them, but they held their ground till some others joined them, and by the time Soult was informed of the danger Wellesley had landed a large force and controlled a good supply of boats. A battle followed in which the French were routed and forced to retreat. But the only road by which their artillery or baggage could be moved had been seized by General Beresford, and was strongly held. In consequence Soult was forced to abandon all his wagons and cannon and make his escape by by-roads into Spain. This signal victory was followed by another on July 27, 1809, when Wellesley, with 20,000 British soldiers and about 40,000 Spanish allies, met a French army of 60,000 men at Talavera in Spain. The battle that succeeded lasted two days. The brunt of it fell upon the British, the Spaniards proving of little use, yet it ended in the defeat of the French, who retired unmolested, the British being too exhausted to pursue.

The tidings of this victory were received with the utmost enthusiasm in England. It was shown by it that British valor could win battles against Napoleon on land as well as on sea. Wellesley received the warmest thanks of the king, and, like Nelson, was rewarded by being raised to the peerage, being given the titles of Baron Douro of Wellesley and Viscount Wellington of Talavera.

The French Driven from Portugal

Men and supplies just then would have served Wellington better than titles. With strong support he could have marched on and taken Madrid. As it was, he felt obliged to retire upon the fortress of Badajoz, near the frontier of Portugal. Spain was swarming with French soldiers, who were gradually collected there until they exceeded 350,000 men. Of these 80,000, under the command of Massena, were sent to act against the British. Before this strong force Wellington found it necessary to draw back, and the frontier fortresses of Almeida and Ciudad Rodrigo were taken by the French. Wellington's first stand was on the heights of Busaco, September, 1810. Here, with 30,000 men, he withstood all the attacks of the French, who in the end were forced to withdraw. Massena then tried to gain the road between Lisbon and Oporto, whereupon Wellington quickly retreated towards Lisbon.

The British general had during the winter been very usefully employed. The road by which Lisbon must be approached passes the village of Torres Vedras, and here two strong lines of earthworks were constructed, some twenty-five miles in length, stretching 133 from the sea to the Tagus, and effectually securing Lisbon against attack. These works had been built with such secrecy and despatch that the French were quite ignorant of their existence, and Massena, marching in confidence upon the Portuguese capital, was amazed and chagrined on finding before him this formidable barrier.

It was strongly defended, and all his efforts to take it proved in vain. He then tried to reduce the British by famine, but in this he was equally baffled, food being poured into Lisbon from the sea. He tried by a feigned retreat to draw the British from their works, but this stratagem failed of effect, and for four months more the armies remained inactive. At length the exhaustion of the country of provisions made necessary a real retreat of the French, and Massena withdrew across the Spanish frontier, halting near Salamanca. Of the proud force with which Napoleon proposed to "drive the British leopards into the sea," more than half had vanished in this luckless campaign.

Wellington in Spain

But though the French army had withdrawn from Portugal, the frontier fortresses were still in French hands, and of these Almeida, near the borders, was the first to be attacked by Wellington's forces. Massena advanced with 50,000 men to its relief, and the two armies met at Fuentes-de-Onoro, May 4, 1811. The French made attacks on the 5th and 6th, but were each time repulsed, and on the 7th Massena retreated, sending orders to the governor of Almeida to destroy the fortifications and leave the place.

Another battle was fought in front of Badajoz of the most sanguinary character, the total loss of the two armies being 15,000 killed and wounded. For a time the British seemed threatened with inevitable defeat, but the fortune of the day was turned into victory by a desperate charge. Subsequently Ciudad Rodrigo was attacked, and was carried by storm, in January, 1812. Wellington then returned to Badajoz, which was also taken by storm, after a desperate combat in which the victors lost 5,000 men, a number exceeding that of the whole French garrison.

Madrid Occupied

These continued successes of the British were seriously out of consonance with the usual exploits of Napoleon's armies. He was furious with his marshals, blaming them severely, and might have taken their place in the struggle with Wellington but that his fatal march to Russia was about to begin. Badajoz taken, Wellington advanced into Spain, and on July 21st encountered the French army under Marmont before the famous old town of Salamanca. The battle, one of the most stubbornly contested in which Wellington had yet been engaged, ended in the repulse of the French, and on August 12th the British army marched into Madrid, the capital of Spain, from which King Joseph Bonaparte had just made his second flight.

Wellington's next effort was a siege of the strong fortress of Burgos. This proved the one failure in his military career, he being obliged to raise the siege after several weeks of effort. In the following year he was strongly reinforced, and with an army numbering nearly 200,000 men he marched on the retreating enemy, meeting them at Vittoria, near the boundary of France and Spain, on June 21, 1813. The French were for the first time in this war in a minority. They were also heavily encumbered with baggage, the spoils of their occupation of Spain. The battle ended in a complete victory for Wellington, who captured 157 cannon and a vast quantity of plunder, including the spoils of Madrid and of the palace of the kings of Spain. The specie, of which a large sum was taken, quickly disappeared among the troops, and failed to reach the treasure chests of the army.

The French were now everywhere on the retreat. Soult, after a vigorous effort to drive the British from the passes of the Pyrenees, withdrew, and Wellington and his army at length stood on the soil of France. A victory over Soult at Nivelle, and a series of successes in the following spring, ended the long Peninsular War, the abdication of Napoleon closing the long and terrible drama of battle. In the whole six years of struggle Wellington had not once been defeated on the battlefield.

His military career had not yet ended. His great day of glory was still to come, that in which he was to meet Napoleon himself on the field of Waterloo and, for the first time in the history of the great Corsican, drive back the latter's army in utter rout.

A year or more had passed since the events just narrated. In June, 1815, Wellington found himself at the head of an army some 100,000 strong, encamped around Brussels, the capital of Belgium. It was a mingled group of British, Dutch, Belgian, Hanoverian, German and other troops, hastily got together, and many of them not safely to be depended upon. Of the British, numbers had never been under fire. Marshal Blucher, with an equal force of Prussian troops, was near at hand; the two forces prepared to meet the rapidly advancing Napoleon.

There followed a defeat of Blucher at Ligny, and an attack on Wellington at Quatre Bras. On the evening of the 17th the army, retreating from Quatre Bras, encamped on the historic field of Waterloo in a drenching rain, that turned the roads into streams, the fields into swamps. All night long the rain came down, the soldiers enduring the flood with what patience they could. In the morning it ceased, fires were kindled and active preparations began for the terrible struggle at hand.

Here ran a shallow valley, bounded by two ridges, the northern of which was occupied by the British, while Napoleon posted his army on its arrival along the southern ridge. On the slope before the British center was the white-walled farm house of La Haye Sainte, and in front of the right wing the chateau of Hougoumont, with its various stout stone buildings. Both of these were occupied by men of Wellington's army, and became leading points in the struggle of the day. It was nine o'clock in the morning before the vanguard of the French army made its appearance on the crest of the southern ridge. By half-past ten 61,000 soldiers—infantry, cavalry and artillery—lay encamped in full sight. About half-past eleven came the first attack of that remarkable day, during which the French waged an aggressive battle, and the British stood on the defensive.

This first attack was directed against Hougoumont, around which there was a desperate contest. At this point the affray went on, in successive waves of attack and repulse, all day long; yet still the British held the buildings, and all the fierce valor of the French failed to gain them a foothold within.

About two o'clock came a second attack, preceded by a frightful cannonade upon the British left and center. Four massive columns, led by Ney, poured steadily forward straight for the ridge, sweeping upon and around the farmstead of La Haye Sainte, but met at every point by the sabres and bayonets of the British lines. Nearly 24,000 men took part in this great movement, the struggle lasting more than an hour before the French staggered back in repulse. Then from the French lines came a stupendous cavalry charge, the massive columns composed of no less than forty squadrons of cuirassiers and dragoons, filling almost all the space between Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte as they poured like a torrent upon the British lines. Torn by artillery, rent by musketry; checked, reformed; charging again, and again driven back; they expended their strength and their lives on the infantry squares that held their ground with the grimmest obstinacy. Once more, now strengthened by the cavalry of the Imperial Guard, they came on to carnage and death, shattering themselves against those unyielding squares, and in the end repulsed with frightful loss.

The day was now well advanced, it being half-past four in the afternoon; the British had been fearfully shaken by the furious efforts of the French; when, emerging from the woods at St. Lambert, appeared the head of a column of fresh troops. Who were they? Blucher's Prussians, or Grouchy's pursuing French? On the answer to this question depended the issue of that terrible day. The question was soon decided; they were the Prussians; no sign appeared of the French; the hearts of the British beat high with hope and those of the French sank low in despair, for these fresh troops could not fail to decide the fate of that mighty field of battle. Soon the final struggle came. Napoleon, driven to desperation, launched his grand reserve corps, the far-famed Imperial Guard, upon his enemies. On they come, with Ney at their head; on them poured a terrible torrent of flame; from a distance the front ranks appeared stationary, but only because they met a death-line as they came, and fell in bleeding rows. Then on them, in a wild charge, rushed the British Foot Guards, took them in flank, and soon all was over. "The Guard dies, but never surrenders," said their commander. Die they did, few of them surviving to take part in that mad flight which swept Napoleon from the field and closed the fatal day of Waterloo. England had won the great victory, now century-old, and Wellington from that day of triumph took rank with the greatest of British heroes.

The Decline and Fall of Napoleon's Empire

Dawn of a New Era in Europe


Ambition, unrestrained by caution, uncontrolled by moderation, has its inevitable end. An empire built upon victory, trusting solely to military genius, prepares for itself the elements of its overthrow. This fact Napoleon was to learn. In the outset of his career he opposed a new art of war to the obsolete one of his enemies, and his path to empire was over the corpses of slaughtered armies and the ruins of fallen kingdoms. But year by year his foes learned his art, in war after war their resistance grew more stringent, each successive victory was won with more difficulty and at greater cost, and finally, at the crossing of the Danube, the energy and genius of Napoleon met their equal, and the standards of France, for the first time under Napoleon's leadership, went back in defeat. It was the tocsin of fate. His career of victory had culminated. From that day its decline began.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The Kings and People of Spain

It is interesting to find that the first effective check to Napoleon's victorious progress came from one of the weaker nations of Europe, a power which the conqueror contemned and thought to move as one of the minor pieces in his game of empire. Spain at that time had reached almost the lowest stage of its decline. Its king was an imbecile; the heir to the throne a weakling; Godoy, the "Prince of the Peace," the monarch's favorite, an ambitious intriguer. Napoleon's armies had invaded Portugal and forced its monarch to embark for Brazil, his American domain. A similar movement was attempted in Spain. This country the base Godoy betrayed to Napoleon, and then, frightened by the consequences of his dishonorable intrigues, sought to escape with the king and court to the Spanish dominions in America. His scheme was prevented by an outbreak of the people of Madrid, and Napoleon, ambitiously designing to add the peninsula to his empire, induced both Charles IV and his son Ferdinand to resign from the throne. He replaced them by his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, who, on June 6, 1808, was named King of Spain.

Hitherto Napoleon had dealt with emperors and kings, whose overthrow carried with it that of their people. In Spain he had a new element, the people itself, to deal with. The very weakness of Spain proved its strength. Deprived of their native monarchs, and given a king not of their own choice, the whole people rose in rebellion and defied Napoleon and his armies. An insurrection broke out in Madrid in which 1,200 French soldiers were slain. Juntas were formed in different cities, which assumed the control of affairs and refused obedience to the new king. From end to end of Spain the people sprang to arms and began a guerilla warfare which the troops of Napoleon sought in vain to quell. The bayonets of the French were able to sustain King Joseph and his court in Madrid, but proved powerless to put down the people. Each city, each district, became a separate center of war, each had to be conquered separately, and the strength of the troops was consumed in petty contests with a people who avoided open warfare and dealt, in surprises and scattered fights, in which victory counted for little and needed to be repeated a thousand times.

French Defeated and Napoleon in Command

The Spanish did more than this. They put an army in the field which was defeated by the French, but they revenged themselves brilliantly at Baylen, in Andalusia, where General Dupont, with a corps 20,000 strong, was surrounded in a position from which there was no escape, and forced to surrender himself and his men as prisoners of war.

This undisciplined people had gained a victory over France which none of the great Powers of Europe could match. The Spaniards were filled with enthusiasm; King Joseph hastily abandoned Madrid; the French armies retreated across the Ebro. Soon encouraging news came from Portugal. The English, hitherto mainly confining themselves to naval warfare and to aiding the enemies of Napoleon with money, had landed an army in that country under Sir Arthur Wellesley (afterwards Lord Wellington) and other generals, which would have captured the entire French army had it not capitulated on the terms of a free passage to France. For the time being the peninsula of Spain and Portugal was free from Napoleon's power.

The humiliating reverse to his arms called Napoleon himself into the field. He marched at the head of an army into Spain, defeated the insurgents wherever met, and reinstated his brother on the throne. The city of Saragossa, which made one of the most heroic defenses known in history, was taken, and the advance of the British armies was checked. And yet, though Spain was widely overrun, the people did not yield. The junta at Cadiz defied the French, the guerillas continued in the field, and the invaders found themselves baffled by an enemy who was felt oftener than seen.

The Austrian war called away the emperor and the bulk of his troops, but after it was over he filled Spain with his veterans, increasing the strength of the army there to 300,000 men, under his ablest generals, Soult, Massena, Ney, Marmont, Macdonald and others. They marched through Spain from end to end, yet, though they held all the salient points, the people refused to submit, but from their mountain fastnesses kept up a petty and annoying war.

The Triumph of Wellington

Massena, in 1811, invaded Portugal, where Wellington with an English army awaited him behind the strong lines of Torres Vedras, which the ever-victorious French sought in vain to carry by assault. Massena was compelled to retreat, and Soult, by whom the emperor replaced him, was no more successful against the shrewd English general. At length Spain won the reward of her patriotic defense. The Russian campaign of 1812 compelled the emperor to deplete his army in that country, and Wellington came to the aid of the patriots, defeated Marmont at Salamanca, entered Madrid, and forced King Joseph once more to flee from his unquiet throne.

For a brief interval he was restored by the French army under Soult and Suchet, but the disasters of the Russian campaign brought the reign of King Joseph to a final end, and forced him to give up the pretence of reigning over a people who were unflinchingly determined to have no king but one of their own choice. The story of the Spanish war ends in 1813, when Wellington defeated the French at Vittoria, pursued them across the Pyrenees, and set foot upon the soil of France.

Napoleon's Fatal Enterprise

While these events were taking place in Spain the power of Napoleon was being shattered to fragments in the north. On the banks of the Niemen, a river that flows between Prussia and Poland, there gathered near the end of June, 1812, an immense army of more than 600,000 men, attended by an enormous multitude of non-combatants, their purpose being the invasion of the empire of Russia. Of this great army, made up of troops from half the nations of Europe, there reappeared six months later on that broad stream about 16,000 armed men, almost all that were left of that stupendous host. The remainder had perished on the desert soil or in the frozen rivers of Russia, few of them surviving as prisoners in Russian hands. Such was the character of the dread catastrophe that broke the power of the mighty conqueror and delivered Europe from his autocratic grasp.

The breach of relations between Napoleon and Alexander was largely due to the arbitrary and high-handed proceedings of the French emperor, who was accustomed to deal with the map of Europe as if it represented his private domain. He offended Alexander by enlarging the duchy of Warsaw—one of his own creations—and deeply incensed him by extending the French empire to the shores of the Baltic, thus robbing of his dominion the Duke of Oldenburg, a near relative of Alexander. On the other hand the Czar declined to submit the commercial interests of his country to the rigor of Napoleon's "continental blockade," and made a new tariff which interfered with the importation of French and favored that of English goods. These acts in which Alexander chose to place his own interests in advance of those of Napoleon were as wormwood to the haughty soul of the latter, and he determined to punish the Russian autocrat as he had done the other monarchs of Europe.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


For a year or two before war was declared Napoleon had been preparing for the greatest struggle of his life, adding to his army by the most rigorous methods of conscription and collecting great magazines of war material, though still professing friendship for Alexander. The latter, however, was not deceived. He prepared, on his part, for the threatened struggle, made peace with the Turks, and formed an alliance with Bernadotte, the crown prince of Sweden, who had good reason to be offended with his former lord and master. Napoleon, on his side, allied himself with Prussia and Austria, and added to his army large contingents of troops from the German states. At length the great conflict was ready to begin between the two autocrats, the Emperors of the East and the West, and Europe resounded with the tread of marching feet.

The Grand Army in Russia

In the closing days of June the grand army crossed the Niemen, its last regiments reaching Russian soil by the opening of July. Napoleon, with the advance, pressed on to Wilna, the capital of Lithuania. On all sides the Poles rose in enthusiastic hope, and joined the ranks of the man whom they looked upon as their deliverer. Onward went the great army, marching with Napoleon's accustomed rapidity, seeking to prevent the concentration of the divided Russian forces, and advancing daily deeper into the dominions of the Czar.

The French emperor had his plans well laid. He proposed to meet the Russians in force on some interior field, win from them one of his accustomed brilliant victories, crush them with his enormous columns, and force the dismayed Czar to sue for peace on his own terms. But plans need two sides for their consummation, and the Russian leaders did not propose to lose the advantage given them by nature. On and on went Napoleon, deeper and deeper into that desolate land, but the great army he was to crush failed to loom up before him, the broad plains still spread onward empty of soldiers, and disquiet began to assail his imperious soul as he found the Russian hosts keeping constantly beyond his reach, luring him ever more deeply into their vast territory. In truth Barclay de Tolly, the Czar's chief in command, had adopted a policy which was sure to prove fatal to Napoleon's purpose, that of persistently avoiding battle and keeping the French in pursuit of a fleeting will-of-the-wisp, while their army wasted away from natural disintegration in that inhospitable clime.

He was correct in his views. Desertion, illness, the death of young recruits who could not endure the hardships of a rapid march in the severe heat of midsummer, began their fatal work. Napoleon's plan of campaign proved a total failure. The Russians would not wait to be defeated, and each day's march opened a wider circle of operations before the advancing host, whom the interminable plain filled with a sense of hopelessness. The heat was overpowering, and men dropped from the ranks as rapidly as though on a field of battle. At Vitebsk the army was inspected, and the emperor was alarmed at the rapid decrease in his forces. Some of the divisions had lost more than a fourth of their men, in every corps the ranks were depleted, and reinforcements already had to be set on the march.

Onward they went, here and there bringing the Russians to bay in a minor engagement, but nowhere meeting them in numbers. Europe waited in vain for tidings of a great battle, and Napoleon began to look upon his proud army with a feeling akin to despair. He was not alone in his eagerness for battle. Some of the high-spirited Russians, among them Prince Bagration, were as eager, but as yet the prudent policy of Barclay de Tolly prevailed, and the armies of Russia kept beyond the reach of their foes.

Smolensk on Fire

On the 14th of August, the army crossed the Dnieper, and marched, now 175,000 strong, upon Smolensk, which was reached on the 16th. This ancient and venerable town was dear to the Russians, and they made their first determined stand in its defense, fighting behind its walls all day of the 17th. Finding that the assault was likely to succeed, they set fire to the town at night and withdrew, leaving to the French a city in flames. The bridge was cut, the Russian army was beyond pursuit on the road to Moscow, nothing had been gained by the struggle but the ruins of a town.

The situation was growing desperate. For two months the army had advanced without a battle of importance, and was now in the heart of Russia, reduced to half its numbers, while the hoped-for victory seemed as far off as ever. And the short summer of the north was nearing its end. The severe winter of that climate would soon begin. Discouragement everywhere prevailed. Efforts were made by Napoleon's marshals to induce him to give up the losing game and retreat, but he was not to be moved from his purpose. Stubborn adherence to his plans was a marked phase of his character. A march on Moscow, the old capital of the empire, he felt sure would bring the Russians to bay. Once within its walls he hoped to dictate terms of peace.

The Fight at Borodino

Napoleon was soon to have the battle for which his soul craved. Barclay's prudent and successful policy was not to the taste of many of the Russian leaders, and the Czar was at length induced to replace him by fiery old Kutusoff, who had commanded the Russians at Austerlitz. A change in the situation was soon apparent. On the 5th of September the French army debouched upon the plain of Borodino, on the road to Moscow, and the emperor saw with joy the Russian army drawn up to dispute the way to the "Holy City" of the Muscovites. The dark columns of troops were strongly intrenched behind a small stream, frowning rows of guns threatened the advancing foe, and hope returned to the emperor's heart. He felt sure that he now had the enemy within his grasp and that victory would turn the situation in his favor.

Battle began early on the 7th, and continued all day long, the Russians defending their ground with unyielding stubbornness, the French attacking their positions with all their old impetuous dash and energy. Murat and Ney were the heroes of the day. Again and again the emperor was implored to send the imperial guard and overwhelm the foe, but he persistently refused. "If there is a second battle tomorrow," he said, "what troops shall I fight it with? It is not when one is eight hundred leagues from home that he risks his last resource."

The guard was not needed. On the following day Kutusoff was obliged to withdraw, leaving no less than 40,000 dead or wounded on the field. Among the killed was the brave Prince Bagration. The retreat was an orderly one. Napoleon found it expedient not to pursue. His own losses aggregated over 30,000, among them an unusual number of generals, of whom ten were killed and thirty-nine wounded. Three days proved a brief time to attend to the burial of the dead and the needs of the wounded. Napoleon named the engagement the Battle of the Moskwa, from the river that crossed the plain, and honored Ney, as the hero of the day, with the title of Prince of Moskwa.

Moscow Occupied by the French

On the 15th the Holy City was reached. A shout of "Moscow! Moscow!" went up from the whole army as they gazed on the gilded cupolas and magnificent buildings of that famous city, brilliantly lit up by the afternoon sun. Twenty miles in circumference, dazzling with the green of its copper domes and its minarets of yellow stone, the towers and walls of the famous Kremlin rising above its palaces and gardens, it seemed like some fabled city of the Arabian Nights. With renewed enthusiasm the troops rushed towards it, while whole regiments of Poles fell on their knees, thanking God for delivering this stronghold of their oppressors into their hands.

It was an empty city into which the French marched; its streets deserted, its dwellings silent. Its busy life had vanished like a morning mist. Kutusoff had marched his army through it and left it to his foes. The inhabitants were gone, with what they could carry of their treasures. The city, like the empire, seemed likely to be a barren conquest, for here, as elsewhere, the policy of retreat, so fatal to Napoleon's hopes, was put into effect. The emperor took up his abode in the Kremlin, within whose ample precincts he found quarters for the whole imperial guard. The remainder of the army was stationed at chosen points about the city. Provisions were abundant, the houses and stores of the city being amply supplied. The army enjoyed a luxury of which it had been long deprived, while Napoleon confidently awaited a triumphant result from his victorious progress.

The Terror of Flame

A terrible disenchantment awaited the invader. Early on the following morning word was brought him that Moscow was on fire. Flames arose from houses that had not been opened. It was evidently a premeditated conflagration. The fire burst out at once in a dozen quarters, and a high wind carried the flames from street to street, from house to house, from church to church. Russians were captured who boasted that they had fired the town under orders and who met death unflinchingly. The governor had left them behind for this fell purpose. The poorer people, many of whom had remained hidden in their huts, now fled in terror, taking with them what cherished possessions they could carry. Soon the city was a seething mass of flames.

The Kremlin did not escape. A tower burst into flames. In vain the imperial guard sought to check the fire. No fire-engines were to be found in the town. Napoleon hastily left the palace and sought shelter outside the city, where for three days the flames ran riot, feeding on ancient palaces and destroying untold treasures. Then the wind sank and rain poured upon the smouldering embers. The great city had become a desolate heap of smoking ruins, into which the soldiers daringly stole back in search of valuables that might have escaped the flames.

This frightful conflagration was not due to the Czar, but to Count Rostoptchin, the governor of Moscow, who was subsequently driven from Russia by the execrations of those he had ruined. But it served as a proclamation to Europe of the implacable resolution of the Muscovites and their determination to resist to the bitter end.

Napoleon's Dread Dilemma

Napoleon, sadly troubled in soul, sent letters to Alexander, suggesting the advisability of peace. Alexander left his letters unanswered. Until October 18th the emperor waited, hoping against hope, willing to grant almost any terms for an opportunity to escape from the fatal trap into which his overweening ambition had led him. No answer came from the Czar. He was inflexible in his determination not to treat with these invaders of his country. In deep dejection Napoleon at length gave the order to retreat—too late, as it was to prove, since the terrible Russian winter was ready to descend upon them in all its frightful strength.

The army that left that ruined city was a sadly depleted one. It had been reduced to 103,000 men. The army followers had also become greatly decreased in numbers, but still formed a host, among them delicate ladies, thinly clad, who gazed with terrified eyes from their traveling carriages upon the dejected troops. Articles of plunder of all kinds were carried by the soldiers, even the wounded in the wagons lying amid the spoil they had gathered. The Kremlin was destroyed by the rear guard, under Napoleon's orders, and over the drear Russian plains the retreat began.

It was no sooner under way than the Russian policy changed. From retreating, they everywhere advanced, seeking to annoy and cut off the enemy, and utterly to destroy the fugitive army if possible. A stand was made at the town of Maloyaroslavetz, where a sanguinary combat took place. The French captured the town, but ten thousand men lay dead or wounded on the field, while Napoleon was forced to abandon his projected line of march, and to take for his return the route he had followed in his advance on Moscow. From the bloody scene of contest the retreat continued, the battlefield of Borodino being crossed, and, by the middle of November, the ruins of Smolensk reached.

Winter in Full Fury

Winter was now upon the French in all its fury. The food brought from Moscow had been exhausted. Famine, frost and fatigue had proved more fatal than the bullets of the enemy. In fourteen days after reaching Moscow the army lost 43,000 men, leaving it only 60,000 strong. On reaching Smolensk it numbered but 42,000, having lost 18,000 more within eight days. The unarmed followers are said to have still numbered 60,000. Worse still, the supply of arms and provisions ordered to be ready at Smolensk was in great part lacking, only rye-flour and rice being found. Starvation threatened to aid the winter cold in the destruction of the feeble remnant of the "Grand Army."

Onward went the despairing host, at every step harassed by the Russians, who followed like wolves on their path. Ney, in command of the rear-guard, was the hero of the retreat. Cut off by the Russians from the main column, and apparently lost beyond hope, he made a wonderful escape by crossing the Dnieper on the ice during the night and rejoining his companions, who had given up the hope of ever seeing him again.

On the 26th the ice-cold river Beresina was reached, destined to be the most terrible point on the whole dreadful march. Two bridges were thrown in all haste across the stream, and most of the men under arms crossed, but 18,000 stragglers fell into the hands of the enemy. How many were trodden to death in the press or were crowded from the bridge into the icy river cannot be told. It is said that when spring thawed the ice 30,000 bodies were found and burned on the banks of the stream. A mere fragment of the great army remained alive. Ney was the last man to cross that frightful stream.

The Remnant of the Grand Army

On the 3d of December Napoleon issued a bulletin which has become famous, telling the anxious nations of Europe that the grand army was annihilated, but the emperor was safe. Two days afterwards he surrendered the command of the army to Murat and set out at all speed for Paris, where his presence was indispensably necessary. On the 13th of December some 16,000 haggard and staggering men, almost too weak to hold the arms to which they still despairingly clung, recrossed the Niemen, which the "Grand Army" had passed in such magnificent strength and with such abounding resources less than six months before. It was the greatest and most astounding disaster in the military history of the world.

This tale of terror may be fitly closed by a dramatic story told by General Mathieu Dumas, who, while sitting at breakfast in Gumbinnen, saw enter a haggard man, with long beard, blackened face, and red and glaring eyes.

"I am here at last," he exclaimed. "Don't you know me?"

"No," said the general. "Who are you?"

"I am the rear-guard of the Grand Army. I have fired the last musket-shot on the bridge of Kowno. I have thrown the last of our arms into the Niemen, and came hither through the woods. I am Marshal Ney."

"This is the beginning of the end," said the shrewd Talleyrand, when Napoleon set out on his Russian campaign. The remark proved true, the disaster in Russia had loosened the grasp of the Corsican on the throat of Europe, and the nations, which hated as much as they feared their ruthless enemy, made active preparations for his overthrow. While he was in France, actively gathering men and materials for a renewed struggle, signs of an implacable hostility began to manifest themselves on all sides in the surrounding states. Belief in the invincibility of Napoleon had vanished, and little fear was entertained of the raw conscripts whom he was forcing into the ranks to replace his slaughtered veterans.

Europe Rises against the Corsican

Prussia was the first to break the bonds of alliance with France, to ally itself with Russia, and to call its people to arms against their oppressor. They responded with the utmost enthusiasm, men of all ranks and all professions hastened to their country's defense, and the noble and the peasant stood side by side as privates in the same regiment. In March, 1813, the French left Berlin, which was immediately occupied by the Russian and Prussian allies. The king of Saxony, however, refused to desert Napoleon, to whom he owed many favors and whose anger he feared; and his realm, in consequence, became the theater of the war.

Across the opposite borders of this kingdom poured the hostile hosts, meeting in battle at Lutzen and Buntzen. Here the French held the field, driving their adversaries across the Oder, but not in the wild dismay seen at Jena. A new spirit had been aroused in the Prussian heart, and they left thousands of their enemies dead upon the field, among whom Napoleon saw with grief his especial friend and favorite Duroc.

A truce followed, which the French emperor utilized in gathering fresh levies. Prince Metternich, the able chancellor of the Austrian empire, sought to make peace, but his demands upon Napoleon were much greater than the proud conqueror was prepared to grant, and he decisively refused to cede the territory held by him as the spoils of war. His refusal brought upon him another powerful foe, Austria allied itself with his enemies, formally declaring war on August 12, 1813, and an active and terrible struggle began.

Napoleon's Last Important Victory

Napoleon's army was rapidly concentrated at Dresden, upon whose works of defense the allied army precipitated itself in a vigorous assault on August 26th. Its strength was wasted against the vigorously-held fortifications of the city, and in the end the gates were flung open and the serried battalions of the Old Guard appeared in battle array. From every gate of the city these tried soldiers poured, and rushed upon the unprepared wings of the hostile host. Before this resistless charge the enemy recoiled, retreating with heavy loss to the heights beyond the city, and leaving Napoleon master of the field.

On the next morning the battle was resumed. The allies, strongly posted, still outnumbered the French, and had abundant reason to expect victory. But Napoleon's eagle eye quickly saw that their left wing lacked the strength of the remainder of the line, and upon this he poured the bulk of his forces, while keeping their center and right actively engaged. The result justified the instinct of his genius, the enemy was driven back in disastrous defeat, and once again a glorious victory was inscribed upon the banners of France—the final one in Napoleon's career of fame.

Yet the fruits of this victory were largely lost in the events of the remainder of the month. On the 26th Blucher brilliantly defeated Marshal Macdonald on the Katzbach, in Silesia; on the 30th General Vandamme, with 10,000 French soldiers, was surrounded and captured at Culm, in Bohemia; and on the 27th Hirschfeld, at Hagelsberg, with a corps of volunteers, defeated Girard. The Prussian-Swedish army similarly won victories on August 25th and September 6th, and a few weeks afterward the Prussian general, Count York, supported by the troops of General Horn, crossed the Elbe in the face of the enemy, and gained a brilliant victory at Wartenburg. Where Napoleon was present victory inclined to his banner. Where he was absent his lieutenants suffered defeat. The struggle was everywhere fierce and desperate, but the end was at hand.

The Last Stand at Leipzig

The rulers of the Rhine Confederation now began to desert Napoleon and all Germany to join against him. The first to secede was Bavaria, which allied itself with Austria and joined its forces to those of the allies. During October the hostile armies concentrated in front of Leipzig, where was to be fought the decisive battle of the war. The struggle promised was the most gigantic one in which Napoleon had ever been engaged. Against his 100,000 men was gathered a host of 300,000 Austrians, Prussians, Russians, and Swedes.

We have not space to describe the multitudinous details of this mighty struggle, which continued with unabated fury for three days, October 16th, 17th, and 18th. It need scarcely be said that the generalship shown by Napoleon in this famous contest lacked nothing of his usual brilliancy, and that he was ably seconded by Ney, Murat, Augereau, and others of his famous generals, yet the overwhelming numbers of the enemy enabled them to defy all the valor of the French and the resources of their great leader, and at evening of the 18th the armies still faced each other in battle array, the fate of the field yet undecided.

Napoleon was in no condition to renew the combat. During the long affray the French had expended no less than 250,000 cannon balls. They had but 16,000 left, which two hours' firing would exhaust. Reluctantly he gave the order to retreat, and all that night the wearied and disheartened troops filed through the gates of Leipzig, leaving a rear-guard in the city, who defended it bravely against the swarming multitude of the foe. A disastrous blunder terminated their stubborn defense. Orders had been left to blow up the bridge across the Elster, but the mine was, by mistake, set off too soon, and the gallant garrison, 12,000 in number, with a multitude of sick and wounded, was forced to surrender as prisoners of war.

The Empire Goes to Pieces

The end was drawing near. Vigorously pursued, the French reached the Rhine by forced marches, defeating with heavy loss the army of Austrians and Bavarians which sought to block their way. The stream was crossed and the French were once more upon their own soil. After years of contest, Germany was finally freed from Napoleon's long-victorious hosts.

Marked results followed. The carefully organized work of Napoleon's policy quickly fell to pieces. The kingdom of Westphalia was dissolved. The elector of Hesse and the dukes of Brunswick and Oldenburg returned to the thrones from which they had been driven. The Confederation of the Rhine ceased to exist, and its states allied themselves with Austria. Denmark, long faithful to France, renounced its alliance in January, 1814. Austria regained possession of Lombardy, the duke of Tuscany returned to his capital, and the Pope, Pius VII, long held captive by Napoleon, went back in triumph to Rome. A few months sufficed to break down the edifice of empire slowly reared through so many years, and almost all Europe outside of France united itself in hostility to its hated foe.

Napoleon was offered peace if he would accept the Rhine as the French frontier, but his old infatuation and trust in his genius prevailed over the dictates of prudence, he treated the offer in his usual double-dealing way, and the allies, convinced that there could be no stable peace while he remained on the throne, decided to cross the Rhine and invade France.

Blucher led his columns across the stream on the first day of 1814, Schwarzenberg marched through Switzerland into France, and Wellington crossed the Pyrenees. Napoleon, like a wolf brought to bay, sought to dispose of his scattered foes before they would unite, and began with Blucher, whom he defeated five times in as many days. The allies, still in dread of their great opponent, once more offered him peace, but his success robbed him of wisdom, he demanded more than they were willing to give, and his enemies, encouraged by a success gained by Blucher, broke off the negotiations and marched on Paris, now bent on the dethronement of their dreaded antagonist.

Napoleon Exiled to Elba

A few words will bring the story of this contest to an end. France was exhausted, its army was incapable of coping with the serried battalions marshaled against it, Paris surrendered before Napoleon could come to its defense, and in the end the emperor, vacillating and in despair, was obliged, on April 7, 1814, to sign an unconditional act of abdication. The Powers of Europe awarded him as a kingdom the diminutive island of Elba, in the Mediterranean, with an annual income of 2,000,000 francs and an army composed of 400 of his famous guard. The next heir to the throne returned as Louis X VIII. France was given back its old frontier of 1492, the foreign armies withdrew from her soil, and the career of the great Corsican seemed at an end.

In spite of their long experience with Napoleon, the event proved that the Powers of Europe knew not all the audacity and mental resources of the man with whom they had to deal. They had made what might have proved a fatal error in giving him an asylum so near the coast of France, whose people, intoxicated with the dream of glory through which he had so long led them, would be sure to respond enthusiastically to an appeal to rally to his support.

The Powers were soon to learn their error. While the Congress of Vienna, convened to restore the old constitution of Europe, was deliberating and disputing, its members were startled by the news that the dethroned emperor was again upon the soil of France, and that Louis XVIII was in full flight for the frontier. Napoleon had landed on March 1, 1815, and set out on his return to Paris, the army and the people rapidly gathering to his support. On the 30th he entered the Tuileries in a blaze of triumph, the citizens, thoroughly dissatisfied with their brief experience of Bourbon rule, going mad with enthusiasm in his welcome.

The Hundred Days

Thus began the famous period of the "Hundred Days." The Powers declared Napoleon to be the "enemy of nations," and armed a half million of men for his final overthrow. The fate of his desperate attempt was soon decided. For the first time he was to meet the British in battle, and in Wellington to encounter the only man who had definitely made head against his legions. A British army was dispatched in all haste to Belgium, Blucher with his Prussians hastened to the same region, and the mighty final struggle was at hand. The unrelenting enemies of the Corsican conqueror, the British islanders, were to be the agents of his overthrow.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The little kingdom of Belgium was the scene of the momentous contest that brought Napoleon's marvelous career to an end. Thither he led his army, largely made up of new conscripts; and thither the English and the Prussians hastened to meet him. On June 16, 1815, the prelude to the great battle took place. Napoleon met Blucher at Ligny and defeated him; then, leaving Grouchy to pursue the Prussians, he turned against his island foes. On the same day Ney encountered the forces of Wellington at Quatre Bras, but failed to drive them back. On the 17th Wellington took a new position at Waterloo, and awaited there his great antagonist.

End of Napoleon's Career

June 18, 1815, was the crucial day in Napoleon's career, the one in which his power was to fall, never to rise again. The stupendous struggle, as Wellington himself described it, was "a battle of giants." Long the result wavered in the balance. All day long the British sustained the desperate assaults of their antagonists. Terrible was the contest, frightful the loss of life. Hour after hour passed, charge after charge was hurled by Napoleon against the British lines, which still closed up over the dead and stood firm; and it seemed as if night would fall with the two armies unflinchingly face to face, neither of them victor in the terrible fray.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The arrival of Blucher with his Prussians turned the scale. To Napoleon's bitter disappointment Grouchy, who should have been close on the heels of the Prussians, failed to appear, and the weary and dejected French were left to face these fresh troops without support. Napoleon's Old Guard in vain flung itself into the gap, and the French nation long repeated in pride the saying attributed to the commander of this famous corps, "The guard dies, but it never surrenders."

In the end the French army broke and fled in disastrous rout, three-fourths of the whole force being left dead, wounded, or prisoners, while all its artillery became the prize of the victors. Napoleon, pale and confused, was led by Soult from the battlefield. It was his last fight. His abdication was demanded, and he resigned the crown in favor of his son. A hopeless and unnerved fugitive, he fled from Paris to Rochefort, hoping to escape to America. But the British fleet held that port, and in despair he went on board a vessel of the fleet, trusting himself to the honor of the British nation. But the statesmen of England had no sympathy with the vanquished adventurer, from whose ambition Europe had suffered so terribly. He was sent as a state prisoner to the island of St. Helena, there to end his days. His final hour of glory came in 1842, when his ashes were brought in pomp to Paris, where they found a final resting-place in the Hotel des Invalides.

The Congress of Vienna

Radical Changes in the Map of Europe


The terrific struggle of the "Hundred Days," which followed Napoleon's return from Elba and preceded his exile to St. Helena, made a serious break in the deliberations of the Congress of Vienna, convened by the victorious Powers for the purpose of recasting the map of Europe, which Napoleon had so sadly transformed, of setting aside the radical work of the French Revolution, and, in a word, of turning back the hands of the clock of time. Twenty-five years of such turmoil and volcanic disturbance as Europe had rarely known were at an end; the ruling powers were secure of their own again; the people, worn out with the long and bitter struggle, welcomed eagerly the return of rest and peace; and the emperors and kings deemed it a suitable time to throw over-board the load of new ideas under which the European "Ship of State" seemed to them likely to founder.


The art of map-making, that of recasting the boundaries of countries and throwing into the waste heap the carefully prepared maps of the past, is one that goes on side by side with that of war, and is put into effect as one of its most common results. In our day the widening of the borders of victorious countries and narrowing of those of defeated nations is one of the chief results of war, and numerous instances of it might be cited. Of recent examples may be named the taking of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine from France and adding them to Germany in 1871, an injury which France still bitterly resents and to retrieve which became the most prominent object of the French people in taking part in the war of 1914. A second instance of considerable interest was that which followed the Balkan War of 1912-13, succeeding which decided changes in the boundaries of the countries involved took place, one of its results being the founding of a new and turbulent nation, that of Albania.

Empire Building

In this work of empire building history presents few instances to compare with that arising from the Napoleonic wars, which led to the boundaries of the empire of France being enormously extended, while the multitude of minor states in Germany were in considerable measure swept out of existence, their relics being used for the building up of fewer and larger states. As we have already seen, the remnant of the once powerful kingdom of Poland was at this time dismembered and divided between the great robber nations surrounding—Austria, Russia and Prussia. It would be difficult to find an example of national brigandage surpassing this in political depravity and indignity, since even the ordinary pretence of warlike retribution was lacking. It is something which the Polish people have never forgotten or forgiven, and efforts to placate them and obtain their earnest aid were made alike by Germany and Russia at the opening of the war of 1914.

We speak of these matters here from the fact that the Congress of Vienna, with which we are now concerned, was convened for the purpose of overthrowing the wholesale map-making of Napoleon and restoring the older condition of affairs so far as appeared possible or desirable. The task of the Congress was far from an easy one. Many of the smaller German States could not be restored to their original owners. Those who had benefited by occupying them were sure to protest effectively against giving them up, and all statesmen of sound judgment could not but perceive that Napoleon had done excellent work in destroying the intricate medieval division of Germany into minor units, much of it the work of robber barons of the past. As for the derelict "Holy Roman Empire," to attempt to restore it would be like lifting a fiction into the attitude of a fact. Such was the character of the problem which lay before the members of the Congress that had been convened to try and overthrow the work done by Napoleon's autocratic will.

Membership of the Congress

The Congress of Vienna, opened in September, 1814, was, in its way, a brilliant gathering. It included, mainly as handsome ornaments, the emperors of Russia and Austria, the kings of Prussia, Denmark, Bavaria and Wurtemberg; and, as its working element, the leading statesmen of Europe, notably the English Castlereagh and Wellington, the French Talleyrand, the Prussian Hardenberg, and the Austrian Metternich. Checked in its deliberations for a time by Napoleon's fierce hundred days' death struggle, it quickly settled down to work again, having before it the vast task of undoing the mighty results of a quarter of a century of revolution. For the French Revolution had broadened into a European revolution, with Napoleon and his armies as its great instruments. The whole continent had been sown thickly with the French ideas of human rights, and a crop of new demands had grown up, not easily to be uprooted.

The exile of Napoleon to Elba had been followed by a treaty at Paris, in which the widely expanded borders of the French empire were forced back within their original limits, France surrendering fifty-eight fortified places still held by its troops, 12,000 pieces of artillery, and a considerable number of warships. After the final Napoleonic downfall at Waterloo a second treaty of Paris had been signed, November 20, 1815, through which France lost still more heavily, more territory was taken, a war indemnity of over 1,000,000,000 francs was exacted, and arrangements were made for five years of foreign occupation.

Reaction The Order of the Day

Reaction was the order of the day in the Vienna Congress. The shaken power of the monarchs was to be restored, the map of Europe to be readjusted, the people to be put back into the submissive condition which they had occupied before that eventful 1789, when the States-General of France began its momentous work of destroying the equilibrium of the world. As for the people of Europe, deeply infected as they were with the new ideas of liberty and the rights of man, which had made their way far beyond the borders of France, they were for the time worn out with strife and turmoil, and settled back supinely to enjoy the welcome era of rest, leaving their fate for the present in the hands of the astute plenipotentiaries who were gathered in their wisdom at Vienna.

These worthy tools of the monarchs had an immense task before them—too large a one, as it proved. It was easy to talk about restoring to the nations the territory they had possessed before Napoleon began his career as a map-maker; but it was not easy to do so except at the cost of new wars. The territories of many of the Powers had been added to by the French emperor, and they were not likely to give up their new possessions without protest, if not war. In Germany the changes, as already stated, had been enormous. Napoleon had found there more than three hundred separate states, some no larger than a small American county, yet each possessed of the paraphernalia of a court and sovereign, a capital, an army and a public debt. And these were feebly combined into the phantasm known as the Holy Roman Empire.

When Napoleon had finished his work this empire had ceased to exist except as a tradition, and the great galaxy of sovereign states was reduced to thirty-nine. These included the great dominions of Austria and Prussia; the smaller states of Bavaria, Saxony, Hanover and Wurtemberg, which Napoleon had raised into kingdoms; and a vastly reduced group of minor states. The work done here it was somewhat dangerous to meddle with. The small potentates of Germany were like so many bulldogs, glaring jealously across their new borders, and ready to fly at one another's throats at any suggestion of a change. The utmost they would yield was to be united into a confederacy called the Bund, with a Diet meeting at Frankfort. But as the delegates to the Diet were given no law-making power, the Bund  became an empty farce.

Brief Summary of Changes

The great Powers took care to regain their lost possessions, or to replace them with an equal amount of territory. Prussia and Austria spread out again to their old size, though they did not cover quite the old ground. Most of their domains in Poland were given up, Prussia getting new territory in West Germany and Austria in Italy. These provinces in Poland were ceded to Alexander of Russia, who added them to his own Polish dominions, and formed a new kingdom of Poland, with himself as king. So in a shadowy way Poland was brought to life again. Britain got for her share in the spoils a number of French and Dutch colonies, including Malta and the Cape Colony in Africa. Thus each of the great Powers repaid itself for its losses.

In Italy a variety of changes were made. The Pope got back the States of the Church; Tuscany was restored to its king; the same was the case with Naples, King Murat, Napoleon's old Marshal, being driven from his throne and put to death. Piedmont, increased by the Republic of Genoa, was restored to the king of Sardinia. Some smaller states were formed, as Parma, Modena and Lucca. Finally Lombardy and Venice, much the richest regions of Italy, were annexed to Austria, which country was made the dominant power in the Italian peninsula.

Louis XVIII, the Bourbon king, brother of Louis XVI, who had reigned while Napoleon was at Elba, came back to the throne of France. The title of Louis XVII had been given to the poor boy, son of Louis XVI, who had died from cruel treatment in the dungeons of the Revolution. In Spain the feeble Ferdinand returned to the throne which he had given up without a protest at the command of Napoleon. Portugal was granted a monarch of its old dynasty. All seemed to have floated back into the old conditions again.

Excesses of the Congress

In fuller review of the work of the Congress, it is a matter well worthy of interest to note that all the excesses with which Napoleon had been reproached were repeated there; the four sovereigns (of Russia, Britain, Prussia and Austria) who had set themselves up as the instruments of Providence against revolutionary France, rearranging the map of Europe to the advantage of their ambition. A veritable market of men was held. The commission entrusted with reapportioning the human flock among the kings, known by the significant name of Valuation Commission, was very much taken up with the demands of Prussia, which claimed an indemnity of three million three hundred thousand souls. They went so far as to discuss the quality of the merchandise, and they did France the honor of acknowledging that a former Frenchman of Aix-la-Chapelle or Cologne was worth more than a Pole; so, to equalize the division, they gave fewer men on the left bank of the Rhine than on the right bank of the Oder. While the four Powers were in accord, there were no ecclesiastical princes, and the free cities were a cheap booty that was divided unscrupulously. At one time this trade in subjects, however, came near leading to the rupture of the coalition. Russia and Prussia had come to an understanding that would give the former the whole of Poland and the latter all of Saxony in exchange for its Polish provinces. "Everyone must find what suits him," the Czar had said. But Britain, Austria and France agreed, in a secret treaty, to make this plan fail, and the French ambassador, Talleyrand, succeeded in saving the king of Saxony; but at the same time he compromised France by proposing to give to Prussia, in exchange for the Saxon provinces which it wanted, those of the Rhine, which it did not want.

Britain had no territorial claim to make on the continent; it had obtained restitution to its royal house of the Electorate of Hanover, along with some additions of territory; but as Hanover was a male fief, a separation was foreseen that took place in 1837. However, it could well remain satisfied with keeping what it had acquired on the sea during its struggle against the Revolution and the Empire—Heligoland, opposite the mouths of the Elbe and the Weser; the protectorate of the Ionian Islands, at the entrance to the Adriatic; Malta, between Sicily and Africa; Santa Lucia and Tabago, in the Antilles; the Seychelles and the Isle of France, in the Indian Ocean; the Dutch colony of the Cape of Good Hope, and the island of Ceylon.

France, while diminished by the increase in power of the four great states, was still a large and important country, and seemed formidable enough for precautions to be taken against it along its frontiers, these having been left open to future invasions. The coalition established as its outposts the following countries: on the north Belgium and Holland, united in a single kingdom under the scepter of the Prince of Orange; on the northeast the Rhenish country, divided between Prussia, which got the largest share, Holland, which obtained Luxembourg and Limbourg, Hesse-Darmstadt and Bavaria, France's old ally, which was put at its doors to become its enemy. Lastly, in the south the re-establishment of Savoy and Piedmont placed Lyons, France's second capital, within two days march of the coalition's armies.

Confederation of the Rhine

The most difficult matter had been the reconstruction of the Confederation of the Rhine, which was turned anew against France under the name of the Germanic Confederation. Long and violent debates in the Congress arose on this subject, the small states making energetic efforts to save their independence. Those who held for German unity, and even Prussia, wished to restore the old empire of Germany. Austria dared not resume the ancient crown of the Hapsburgs, and the kings of Bavaria and Wurtemberg did not mean to let fall from their heads those which Napoleon had placed upon them. Already, when there was question of the spoliation of Saxony, Bavaria had promised thirty thousand men to Talleyrand if France, united with Austria and England, wished to throw Prussia back into Brandenburg and Russia behind the Vistula; and Wurtemberg, Hanover, Baden and Hesse were in accord with this. It was agreed that the empire destroyed in 1806 could not be restored; and when the news of the return from Elba came, the Confederation of the Rhine was formed, a device thus irreverently characterized: "A hut to shelter Germany during the storm was built in great haste, a wretched shelter which the princes themselves destroyed later on." This Confederation was to be composed of thirty-nine states sending deputies to a diet at Frankfort, the perpetual presidency of which would devolve on Austria.

That diet was to consist of two assemblies, the one ordinary, with seventeen votes (that is, one vote for each of the large states, and one also for each of the groups into which the small states had been arranged); and the general assembly, in which each state had a number of votes in proportion to its importance, in all sixty-nine votes. The former would decide current business; the latter was to be convened whenever there was question of the fundamental laws or of the great interests of the federal pact. The Confederates would retain their sovereign independence, their armies, and their diplomatic representation. But the Confederation would also have its own army and fortresses, these to be built out of the indemnity paid by France—Luxembourg, Mayence and Landau, to close against France the approach to the Rhine; Rastadt and Ulm, to keep it at the foot of the Black Forest or in the valley of the Danube.

How the Other Countries Fared

In Switzerland, Geneva and Vaud were enlarged at the expense of France with a part of the Gex country and some communes of Savoy; Valais, Geneva and Neufchatel, added to the nineteen old cantons, formed the Helvetian Confederation, which the Congress placed under the guarantee of perpetual neutrality. In Italy the king of the Two Sicilies and the Pope recovered what they had lost; but Austria again became omnipotent in the peninsula. Mistress of the Milanese and Venetia, it made sure of the right bank of the Po by the privilege of putting a garrison in Piacenza, Ferrara and Coracchio; it had placed an archduke on the throne of Tuscany, stipulated the revertibility to the imperial crown of the duchies of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, ceded for life to the ex-Empress Maria Louisa, and of that of Modena, given to an Austrian prince. In the last place, though he had received Genoa and Savoy, the king of Piedmont, poorly defended by the Ticino frontier, seemed at the mercy of his formidable neighbor. In the north of Europe Sweden, in compensation for Finland taken by Russia, received Norway taken from Denmark, which was to obtain in compensation Swedish Pomerania and Rugen; but Prussia, bitter against that small state, the only one that had remained faithful to France's fortunes, imposed on it the exchange of these countries for Lauenburg. That duchy, like Holstein, was, moreover, but the personal domain of the king, who, with regard to these two German provinces, became a member of the Germanic Confederation, that is, of a state organized against France. Denmark in 1864 and France in 1870 were to feel the effect of these artificial combinations.

Character of the Work Done

The Germanic Confederation seemed well adapted to assuring the peace of the continent by separating three great military states. The mutual jealousies of Austria and Prussia, the distrust of the small states in regard to the large ones, the delays resulting from the complicated play of the Germanic Institutions, forearmed Germany against sudden impulses. Between three countries of rapid action, Russia turning to account ideas of race and religion to the advantage of an age-long policy, Britain obeying the mercantile spirit, and France too prostrate to precipitate revolutions, Germany, the classic land of long negotiations, could interpose a temporizing spirit. By the very nature of its institutions, living on perpetual compromises, the Confederation represented in European affairs the spirit of arrangement, which is that of diplomacy. But, to render effective service to the peace of the world, this Confederation—organized for defense and not for attack, and independent of Berlin as well as of Vienna—should have formed a real Germany, neither French as in the time of Napoleon, nor Prussian as it has been for more than a generation.

The two great Powers meant, on the contrary, to put their strength at the service of their interests. Austria, occupying but a strip of German territory at its border, would remain satisfied with exerting influence at Frankfort. Prussia would want more. As it needed Hanover to unite its Rhenish province with Brandenburg, and as it needed a slice of Poland to connect the Electorate with the countries of the Teutonic order, so it would make itself ever more and more German; it would cause to be said everywhere, in the pulpit and in the press, that it was the hope, the personification of the German party, and one day it would drive Austria out of Germany, another day it would take Frankfort, nay, even the Diet, and it would lead the Germanic Confederation to suicide, becoming its sole legatee. But at this period, 1815, Prussia was far from having a dream of this greatness. It had, as yet, no Bismarck, the man whose hand was to lead it to glory.

The Rights of the People

As for the rights of the people, in these varied changes, what had become of them? Had they been swept away and the old wrongs of the people been brought back? Not quite. The frenzied enthusiasm for liberty and human rights of the past twenty-five years could not go altogether for nothing. The lingering relics of feudalism had vanished, not only from France but from all Europe, and no monarch or congress could bring them back again. In its place the principles of democracy had spread from France far among the peoples of Europe. The principle of class privilege had been destroyed in France, and that of social equality had replaced it. The principle of the liberty of the individual, especially in his religious opinions, and the doctrine of the sovereignty of the people, had been proclaimed. These had still a battle before them. They needed to fight their way. Absolutism and the spirit of feudalism were arrayed against them. But they were too deeply implanted in the minds of the people to be eradicated. They had been carried by the armies of France throughout Europe and deeply planted in a hundred places, and their establishment as actual conditions was the most important part of the political development of the nineteenth century.

Revolution was the one thing that the great Powers of Europe feared and hated; this was the monster against which the Congress of Vienna directed its efforts. The cause of quiet and order, the preservation of the established state of things, the authority of rulers, the subordination of peoples, must be firmly maintained, and revolutionary disturbers must be put down with a strong hand. Such was the political dogma of the Congress. And yet, in spite of its assembled wisdom and the principles it promulgated, the century that followed was especially the century of revolutions, the result being an extraordinary increase in the liberties and prerogatives of the people.

The Holy Alliance and Its Unholy Work

Events Leading to the Monroe Doctrine and the Foreign Policy of the United States


We have not yet told the whole story of the Congress of Vienna. While arranging for a new distribution of power and authority in Europe, it took another seemingly necessary step; that of providing an instrumentality for making its work durable. The plan devised by the Congress for the suppression of revolution by the restless population of Europe, wrought to desperation by the effort of the imperial autocrats to rob them of the liberties which they had for a brief period enjoyed, was the establishment of an association of monarchs which adopted the grandiloquent title of the Holy Alliance. It included Alexander of Russia, Francis of Austria, and Frederick William of Prussia, men whose ideas of holiness embraced the recognition of their august majesties as the deities of a new religion.

Significance of the Name

These devout autocrats proposed to rule in accordance with the precepts of the Bible, to stand by each other in a true fraternity, to govern their subjects like loving parents, and to see that peace, justice, and religion should flourish in their dominions. An ideal scheme it was, but its promulgators soon won the name of hypocrites and the hatred of those whom they were to deal with on the principle of love and brotherhood. Reaction was the watchword, absolute sovereignty the purpose, the eradication of the doctrine of popular sovereignty the sentiment which animated these powerful monarchs; and the Holy Alliance meant practically the determination to unite their forces against democracy and revolution wherever they should show themselves. They may have felt that the existing system was the best of all possible systems and that all who opposed it were enemies of wholesome government.

Their promises had been sufficiently gratifying. Under the inspiration of the Czar Alexander a treaty or compact was signed by the trio of autocrats, in which they proposed to manifest "before the whole world their unalterable determination to adopt as the rule of their conduct, whether in the administration of their respective states or in their political relations with every other government, the precepts of the Christian religion, precepts of justice, of charity and of peace."

In the first article of this compact they pledged themselves to regard one another as "brothers," in the second they agreed "to show one another unalterable good will," regarding themselves as "delegated by Providence to govern three branches of one and the same family, namely, Austria, Prussia and Russia," to form them into a single Christian nation, having as sovereign "Him to whom alone belongs power as a property, because in Him are found all the treasures of love, knowledge and infinite wisdom."

A Dangerous Doctrine

It is rather dangerous for any man or group of men, however abundantly they regard themselves to be filled with the sentiments of fatherly and brotherly love, to undertake to think and act for millions of subjects likely to be affected by very different ideas and aspirations. Such individuals are too apt to imagine that to them belong "the earth and the fulness thereof," that their word is law, their ideas wisdom, their political views the only just and true ones. In consequence, even when moved by the best intentions, they frequently cause more mischief than they can cure. Such was certainly the case with the imperial members of the Holy Alliance. Satisfied in their minds that the existing status of society was the one designed by the Creator of the Universe, they were vigorously bent on maintaining it and putting down with a vigorous hand any one who presumed to hold different views.

A remark made by the Czar Alexander shows luminously how little he was fitted to act as the arbiter of fate to his subjects. "You are ever speaking to me of principles," he said to one of his advisers. "I do not know what they are; what attention do you think I pay to your parchments or your treaties?" Such was the man who proposed to act as the vicegerent of God, and who had just taken a leading part in the dividing up of Europe on new lines, often with sublime indifference to the aspirations of the peoples or the rights of the former or present rulers. Thus Belgium was forcibly attached to Holland, in utter disregard of Belgian public opinion. Italy was in the same arbitrary way handed over to Austria, with equal disregard of public sentiment. So unwise, in fact, proved the autocratic allies that the edifice they thus laboriously built was quickly shaken by the hand of revolt; so rudely indeed that it rapidly began to fall to pieces, and in little over half a century had disappeared.

It was not long before the people began to move. The attempt to re-establish absolute governments shook them out of their sluggish quiet. Revolution lifted its head in the face of the Holy Alliance, its first field being Spain. Ferdinand VII, on returning to his throne, had but one purpose in his weak mind, which was to rule as an autocrat, as his ancestors had done. He swore to govern according to a constitution, and began his reign with a perjury. The patriots had formed a constitution during his absence, and this he set aside and failed to replace by another. On the contrary, he set out to abolish all the reforms made by Napoleon, and to restore the monasteries, to bring back the Inquisition, and to prosecute the patriots. Five years of this reaction made the state of affairs in Spain so intolerable that the liberals refused to submit to it any longer. In 1820 they rose in revolt, and the king, a coward under all his show of bravery, at once gave way and restored the constitution he had set aside.

Revolution in Spain and Naples

The shock given the Holy Alliance by the news from Spain was quickly followed by another coming from Naples. The Bourbon king who had been replaced upon the throne of that country, another Ferdinand, was one of the most despicable men of his not greatly esteemed race. His government, while weak, was harshly oppressive. But it did not need a revolution to frighten this royal dastard. A mere general celebration of the victory of the liberals in Spain was enough, and in his alarm he hastened to give his people a constitution similar to that which the Spaniards had gained.

These awkward affairs sadly disturbed the equanimity of those statesmen who fancied that they had fully restored the divine right of kings, and of the monarchs who held that they were called upon by God to govern their subjects in their own way. Metternich, the Austrian advocate of reaction, hastened to call a new Congress, in 1820, and another in 1821. The question he put to these assemblies was: Should revolution be permitted, or should Europe interfere in Spain and Naples, and pledge herself to uphold everywhere the sacred powers of legitimate monarchs? His old friends of the Holy Alliance backed him up in this suggestion, both Congresses adopted it, a policy of repression of revolutions became the program, and Austria was charged to restore what Metternich called "order" in Naples.

While those at the head of affairs were thus engaged in formulating their views, the demand for liberty and human rights was growing more insistent among the people, secret revolutionary societies were widely formed, and a perilous insurrectionary spirit was evidently abroad. The result was a determination in the minds of the monarchs to proceed against this growing anarchy before it gained too great headway, and to begin by putting down the revolutionists in the two kingdoms in which they had recently triumphed, Spain and Naples.

Work of the Holy Alliance in Italy

There was no evident intention to make a distinction between just grievances and inopportune demands. The revolutions in Greece, Spain, Naples and Turin were represented in a circular note "as being of the same origin and worthy of the same fate." If no measure was taken against the Greeks, it was because Russia was interested in that revolt of its coreligionists, since this would give it allies within the Turkish empire. As for Italy, Austria took it upon herself to destroy there "the false doctrines and criminal associations that have called down upon rebellious peoples the sword of justice."

A numerous army, which was to be followed by one hundred thousand Russians, in case of need, set out from Lombardo-Venetia. At Rieti and Novara Pepe's and Santa Rosa's recruits could not hold out against the veterans of the great wars of the empire, and the Austrians entered Naples, Turin and Messina. Behind them the jails were filled and scaffolds were erected. Austria lent its prisons as well as its soldiers. There were sixteen thousand at one time in the prisons of the two Sicilies, and in 1822 there were also witnessed in the kingdom nine cases of capital punishment for political offenses. In Piedmont all the leaders who could be caught were decapitated—the others were executed in effigy. No insurrection had broken out in the States of the Church, properly so called; yet four hundred persons were imprisoned there, and many were condemned to death, but the Pope commuted the sentence. The notable Piedmontese, Silvio Pellico, has told with the gentleness of a martyr what tortures were added to captivity by that pitiless policy.

The Spanish Revolt Put Down

The Holy Alliance next decided to undertake the same work of repression beyond the Pyrenees. There savage outrages had been perpetrated on both sides. To dispel the suspicions which France had for a moment inspired by its hesitancy regarding Austrian intervention in Italy, Louis XVIII's government asked permission to suppress in Spain agitations that threatened to reach the southern departments of France. England, where irritation was increasing against the pretensions of the Holy Alliance to regulate the affairs of Europe, held aloof, there being much difference of opinion among its statesmen.

The French army commanded by the Duke of Angoulenle entered Spain on April 7, 1823. It had few occasions to fight and encountered serious resistance only at Cadiz, which it besieged. On August 31st it captured by assault the strong position of the Trocadero, and this success brought about the surrender of the city. The army carried its liberal spirit into Spain. Its officers opened the prisons confining men whose crime was the spreading of ideas similar to those of France, and Angouleme sought to prevent acts of violence on the part of a royalist reaction, and to stop arbitrary arrests and executions.

But Ferdinand did not mean that his saviors should impose conditions on him. The military commissions were implacable. Riego, seriously wounded, was carried to the gibbet on a hurdle drawn by an ass; at one and the same place fifty-two companions of a cabecilla were put to death. A counter-revolution was effected at Lisbon as well as at Madrid. There the king declared the constitution abolished and restored absolute power for a few months. Despite the congratulations sent by the secular rulers and the Pope to the honest but not brilliant French prince who had led this easy campaign, the elder branch of the Bourbons failed to gain enough military glory by it to become reconciled with the country. Men saw in that expedition only French soldiers placed at the service of a knavish and cruel king, and the finances of France saddled with an expense of two hundred millions. But small as it was, success inspired the reactionist ministry with a confidence in their plans, which the elections, held under a peculiarly restrictive law, further increased by admitting to the Chamber only nineteen Liberal Deputies.

The Allies Gain Freedom for Greece

Only in two regions did the spirit of revolt triumph during this period of reaction. These were Greece and Spanish America. The historic land of Greece had long been in the hands of a despotism with which even the Holy Alliance was not in sympathy—that of Turkey. Its very name, as a modern country, had almost vanished, and Europe heard with astonishment in 1821 that the descendants of the ancient Greeks had risen against the tyranny under which they had been crushed for centuries.

The struggle was a bitter one. The sultan was atrocious in his cruelties. In the island of Chios alone he brutally murdered 20,000 Greeks. But the spirit of the old Athenians and Spartans was in the people, and they kept on fighting in the face of defeat. For four years this went on, while the Powers of Europe looked on without raising a hand. Some of their people indeed took part, among them Lord Byron, who died in Greece in 1824; but the governments failed to warm up to their duty.

In fact, the governments, even the British, at first condemned the revolt of the Greek patriots. The view of British statesmen was that the struggle for Greek liberty compromised the existence of Turkey, the preservation of which was thought to be essential to the security of the British empire in India. Evidently self-interest weighed heavier than human rights.

"British Liberalism," said Chateaubriand, "wears the liberty cap in Mexico and the turban at Athens." As for the Holy Alliance, it saw in that insurrection only a revolt, and, by a strange application of the doctrine of Divine right, it pretended that its principle of legitimacy had to protect the throne of the head of the Osmanlis. "Do not say Greeks," Nicholas said one day in 1826 in answer to Wellington, who was speaking to him of England's sympathy for them; "do not say Greeks, but insurgents against the Sublime Porte. I will no more protect their revolt than I would wish to see the Porte protect a sedition among my subjects."

Yet a few months later these words were superseded by acts far from being in keeping with them. The reason was that opinion in favor of the Hellenes was becoming irresistible; the whole of Liberal Europe espoused a cause heroically supported for national independence and religion. Sympathy was aroused, even among the conservatives, by the magical name Greece and by the struggle of Christians against Mussulmans; and in France as well as in England the finger of scorn would have been pointed at him who would not applaud the legendary exploits of Niketas, Bozzaris and Canaris, bold chiefs who led their palikars against the thickest ranks of the Janissaries and their fireships into the midst of the hostile squadrons. It had become necessary that the politicians should swim with the current of public opinion. Into it Canning easily drew England. This country, seeing Italy subject to Austrian influence, Spain returned to friendship with France, the Orient agitated by Russia's intrigues or threatened by its arms, was growing uneasy for the security of the shores of the Mediterranean, to which higher commerce was about to return. In that sea it had indeed formidable supports in Gibraltar, Malta and the Ionian Islands; but these were fortresses, not provinces, and it was important for the security of the British interests in the Mediterranean that the rulers of Russia should not gain the mastery at Constantinople as those of Austria had done at Milan, Rome and Naples, and the Bourbon royal family at Madrid.

The diversity of opinion and of interests, with the steady pressure upon national politics of an awakened public demand for Greek liberty, reached a desirable result in 1827, when the three most interested Powers, Great Britain, France and Russia, covenanted to put an end to the war of extermination then proceeding in the Peloponnesus, through the barbarity of Ibrahim Pasha, son of the viceroy of Egypt. The allied squadrons of these three Powers attacked the Ottoman fleet in Navarino Bay on October 20, 1827. When the battle was at an end the Ottoman fleet had ceased to exist. The victory had been an easy one, despite the boasting of the victors. It did not bring to an end the determination of the Turks to put down the insurgent Greeks, the maritime war being followed by one on land. Russia declared war against Turkey April 26, 1828, and France sent 15,000 troops to the Morea to terminate the persistent Greek question, which then threatened to give rise to national complications.

The long struggle of the Greeks for liberty, which they would have been unable to gain without external aid, culminated on the 3d of February,1830, when a protocol of the allied Powers proclaimed their independence. The Porte, unable longer to continue the struggle against its enemies, recognized Greek independence on April 25, 1830, and Greece was added to the states of Europe. A kingdom was established under Prince Otho of Bavaria, whose rule was for a time practically absolute, years passing before a system of constitutional government was gained. Otho held the throne, with steadily growing unpopularity, until 1863, when he was compelled to abdicate, being succeeded by Prince William George of Denmark as King George.

Liberty for Spanish America

The story of the struggle for liberty in Spanish-America, with its gradual attainment during the first quarter of the nineteenth century, does not come within the scope of this work, except as an example of the prevalence of the desire for liberty throughout the civilized world, which in America had replaced the often barbarous rule of Spain with a series of republics, copies of that of the great exemplar of republican government, the United States. Just here, however, is a matter worthy of consideration, as one of the last manifestations of vitality in the Holy Alliance.

Not content with its "fraternal" work on the European continent, the Holy Alliance turned an observing eye on the great continent across the Atlantic, in which there seemed a promising field for its benevolent interposition. Spain had met with severe reverses in America, retaining of its once vast colonial empire on that continent only the two islands of Cuba and Porto Rico. It naturally desired to regain the lost provinces, and King Ferdinand turned for aid to the great anti-liberal alliance, of which France then constituted a fourth member. The members of the alliance viewed the proposition favorably. It promised to add materially to the territory under their system of government, the God-given one, as they maintained, and also to enable each of them to add to its colonial possessions. The King of Spain, small in mental caliber as he was, did not imagine that the benevolence of the Alliance would stretch to the extent of returning all this territory to him. He knew well that they proposed to pay themselves liberally for any service rendered him, and that he would have to be content with the portion they chose to leave him. If they should undertake to pull his chestnuts from the fire they doubtless meant to keep a due share of the fruit.

The Birth of the Monroe Doctrine

This very ingenious scheme did not remain a secret. George Canning, British minister for Foreign Affairs, discovered what was in view and did not approve of it. The British realm at that time had an active trade with the former Spanish colonies and this would be sure to decrease materially in the event of the territory of these colonies falling into the hands of the members of the Holy Alliance. He informed the American government of what was in the wind, and suggested that Britain and the United States should join in checking this proposed action.

It was anything but welcome news to the United States. There was reason to believe that France would claim Cuba for her share of the spoils, thus securing not only a new foothold in America but a rich island very near the United States coast. There was also trouble brewing in the Pacific, where Russia held Alaska and claimed coastal possessions in that locality reaching nearly to San Francisco, and also declared that it had the right to keep the vessels of other nations out of the North Pacific.

It was this state of affairs that gave rise to the famous "Monroe Doctrine," which in this way, therefore, was a direct outgrowth of the formation and purpose of the Holy Alliance. Canning's suggestion that the United States and Great Britain should join hands in dealing with this project did not appeal to President Monroe, who was an advocate of Washington's suggestion to avoid entangling alliances with any European Power. As it was, then, he acted for the United States alone, under the advice of John Quincy Adams, his secretary of state, and Thomas Jefferson, one of America's shrewdest statesmen. The result of their conference was the issue in 1823 of the "Monroe Doctrine," a declaration of policy that has more than once been effectively applied and which still exists in full force.

One of the phrases of this celebrated doctrine—" The American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European Powers"—was specially directed against the colonizing purposes of Russia. Its concluding phrase reads: "With the governments who have declared their independence and maintain it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them or controlling in any other manner their destiny by an European Power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States."

This evidently was intended to warn off nations in general from meddling in American matters. It was effective so far as the Holy Alliance was concerned. Its projects fell dead, and with them the Alliance itself, for from this time forward it ceased to play a part in European politics.

The Revolution of 1830

Its Disintegrating Effect on National Conditions


The work of the Holy Alliance outside of Greece had been measurably complete. Revolution, wherever else in Europe it ventured to show its head, had been ruthlessly put down. But though complete in the countries concerned, it was destined to prove temporary. The blessing of liberty, once enjoyed, could not so easily be taken away.

The people merely bided their time. The good seed sown could not fail to bear fruit in its season. The spirit of revolution was in the air, and any attempt to rob the people of the degree of liberty which they enjoyed was very likely to precipitate a revolt against the tyranny of courts and kings. It came at length in France, that country being the ripest among the nations for revolution. Louis XVIII, an easy, good-natured old soul, of kindly disposition towards the people, passed from life in 1824, and was succeeded by his brother, Count of Artois, as Charles X.

Reaction Under Charles X

The new king had been the head of the ultra-royalist faction, an advocate of despotism and feudalism, and quickly doubled the hate which the people bore him. Louis XVIII had been liberal in his policy, and had given increased privileges to the people. Under Charles reaction set in. A vast sum of money was voted to the nobles to repay their losses during the Revolution. Steps were taken to muzzle the press and gag the universities. This was more than the Chamber of Deputies was willing to do, and it was dissolved. But the tyrant at the head of the government went on, blind to the signs in the air, deaf to the people's voice. If he could not get laws from the Chamber, he would make them himself in the old arbitrary fashion, and on July 26, 1830, he issued, under the advice of his prime minister, four decrees, which limited the list of voters and put an end to the freedom of the press. Practically, the constitution was set aside, the work of the Revolution ignored, and absolutism re-established in France.

"Down with the Bourbons"

King Charles had taken a step too far. He did not know the spirit of the French. In a moment Paris blazed into insurrection. Tumult arose on every side. Workmen and students paraded the streets with enthusiastic cheers for the constitution. But under their voices there were soon heard deeper and more ominous cries. "Down with the ministers!" came the demand. And then, as the throng increased and grew more violent, arose the revolutionary slogan, "Down with the Bourbons!" The infatuated old king was amusing himself in his palace of St. Cloud, and did not discover that the crown was tottering upon his head. He knew that the people of Paris had risen, but looked upon it as a passing ebullition of French temper. He did not awake to the true significance of the movement until he heard that there had been fighting between his troops and the people, that many of the citizens lay dead in the streets, and that the soldiers had been driven from the city, which remained in the hands of the insurrectionists.

Then the old imbecile, who had fondly fancied that the Revolution of 1789 could be set aside by a stroke of his pen, made frantic efforts to lay the demon he had called into life. He hastily canceled the tyrannical decrees. Finding that this would not have the desired effect, he abdicated the throne in favor of his grandson. But all was of no avail. France had had enough of him and his house. His envoys were turned back from the gates of Paris unheard. Remembering the fate of Louis XVI, his unhappy brother Charles X turned his back upon France and hastened to seek a refuge in England.

France has long been the seed bed of revolution. That strenuous and excitable people, who had won liberty by striking for it with all their strength in 1789, were not to let it be torn from their grasp by an aged imbecile. As the effect of the Revolution of 1789 was to stir up all Europe and make itself felt over half the world, the same was the case with the two subsequent revolutions which had their starting point in Paris, those of 1830 and 1848. With the former of these we are here concerned.

It might be supposed that the citizens of Paris, on getting rid of their incapable king, would have decided that they had had sufficient experience of that kind of gentry and have re-established the republic which Napoleon had set aside. But such was not the event. A meeting of prominent citizens was called, and after deliberating on the situation, they decided that Charles X should be deposed and his heirs declared ineligible to the throne, but that another king should be selected to replace him, the crown being offered to Louis Philippe, Duke of Orleans.

Louis Philippe on the Throne

There had been a Louis Philippe concerned in the Revolution of 1789 and its succeeding events, a radical member of the royal house of Bourbon, who joined the revolutionists under the title of Egalité, took part in many of their movements and voted with the revolutionary tribunal for the death of Louis XVI. Yet the fact of his connection with the hated royal family could not be overlooked and in the end he shared the fate of his royal kinsman, having his own head cut off by the guillotine.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


He left a son, who as a young man served in the army of the Revolution and had been one of its leaders in the important victory of Jemmapes. But when the Terror came he hastened from France, which had become a very unsafe place for one of his blood. He had the reputation of being liberal in his views, and was the first man thought of for the vacant crown. When the Chamber of Deputies met in August and offered it to him, he did not hesitate to accept. He swore to observe and reign under the constitution, and took the throne under the title of Louis Philippe, king of the French. Thus speedily and happily ended the second Revolution in France.

But Paris again proved itself the political center of Europe. The deposition of Charles X was like a stone thrown into the seething waters of European politics, and its effects spread far and wide beyond the borders of France. The nations had been bound hand and foot by the Congress of Vienna. The people had writhed uneasily in their fetters, but now in more than one locality they rose in their might to break them, here demanding a greater degree of liberty, there overthrowing the government.

Holland and Belgium Divide

The latter was the case in Belgium. Its people, as already stated, had suffered severely from the work of the Congress of Vienna. Without even a pretence of consulting their wishes, their country had been incorporated with Holland as the kingdom of the Netherlands, the two countries being fused into one under a king of the old Dutch House of Orange. The idea was good enough in itself. It was intended to make a kingdom strong enough to help keep France in order. But an attempt to fuse these two states was like an endeavor to nix oil and water. The people of the two countries had long before drifted apart from each other, and had irreconcilable ideas and interests. Holland was a colonizing and commercial country, Belgium an industrial country; Holland was Protestant, Belgium was Catholic; Holland was Teutonic in blood, Belgium was a mixture of the Teutonic and French, but wholly French in feeling and customs.

The Belgians, therefore, were generally discontented with the act of fusion, and in 1830 they imitated the French by a revolt against King William of Holland. A tumult followed in Brussels, which ended in the Dutch soldiers being driven from the city. King William, finding that the Belgians insisted on independence, decided to bring them back to their allegiance by force of arms. The Powers of Europe now took the matter in hand, and, after some difference of opinion, decided to grant the Belgians the independence they demanded. This was a meddling with his royal authority to which King William did not propose to submit, but when the navy of Great Britain and the army of France approached his borders he changed his mind, and since 1833 Holland and Belgium have gone their own way under separate kings. A limited monarchy, with a suitable constitution, was organized for Belgium by the Powers, and Prince Leopold, of the German house of Saxe-Coburg, was placed upon the throne.

Popular Movements in Germany and Italy

The spirit of revolution also extended into Germany and Italy, but there with smaller results. Neither in Austria nor Prussia did the people stir, but in many of the smaller German states a demand was made for a constitution on liberal lines, and in every instance the princes had to give way. Each of these state gained a representative form of government, the monarchs of Prussia and Austria alone retaining their old despotic power. It was a step towards popular government, but only a step.

In Italy there were many signs of revolutionary feeling; but Austria still dominated that peninsula, and Metternich kept a close watch upon the movements of its people. There was much agitation. The great secret society of the Carbonari sought to combine the patriots of all Italy in a grand stroke for liberty and union, but nothing came from their efforts. In the States of the Church alone the people rose in revolt against their rulers, but they were soon put down by the Austrians, who invaded their territory, dispersed their weak bands, and restored the old tyranny. The hatred of the Italians for the Austrians grew more intense, but their time had not yet come; they sank back in submission and awaited a leader and an opportunity.

There was, however, one country in which the revolution in France called forth a more active response, though, unhappily, only to double the weight of the chains under which its people groaned. This was unfortunate Poland; once a great and proud kingdom, now dismembered and swallowed up by the land-greed of its powerful neighbors. It had been in part restored by Napoleon, in his kingdom of Warsaw, and his work had been in a measure recognized by the Congress of Vienna. The Czar Alexander, kindly in disposition and moved by pity for the unhappy Poles, had re-established their old kingdom, persuading Austria and Prussia to give up the bulk of their Polish territory in return for equal areas elsewhere. He gave Poland a constitution, its own army, and its own administration, making himself its king, but promising to rule as a constitutional monarch.

Poland in Arms

This did not satisfy the Poles. It was not the independence they craved. They could not forget that they had been a great power in Europe when Russia was still the weak and frozen duchy of Muscovy. When the warm-hearted Alexander died and the cold-hearted Nicholas took his place, their discontent grew to dangerous proportions. The news of the outbreak in France was like a firebrand thrown in their midst. In November, 1830, a few young hot-heads sounded the note of revolt, and Warsaw rose in insurrection against the Russians.

For a time they were successful. Constantine, the Czar's brother, governor of Poland, was frightened by the riot, and deserted the capital, leaving the revolutionists in full control. Towards the frontier he hastened, winged by alarm, while the provinces rose in rebellion behind him as he passed. Less than a week had elapsed before the Russian power ceased to exist in Poland, and its people were once more lords of their own land. They set up a provisional government in Warsaw, and prepared to defend themselves against the armies that were sure to come.

What was needed now was unity. A single fixed and resolute purpose, under able and suitable leaders, formed the only conceivable condition of success. But Poland was, of all countries, the least capable of such unity. The landed nobility was full of its old feudal notions; the democracy of the city was inspired by modern sentiments. They could not agree; they quarreled in castle and court, while their hasty levies of troops were marching to meet the Russians in the field. Under such conditions success was a thing beyond hope.

Yet the Poles fought well. Kosciusko, their former hero, would have been proud of their courage and willingness to die for their country. But against the powerful and ably led Russian armies their gallantry was of no avail, and their lack of unity fatal. In May, 1831, they were overwhelmed at Ostrolenka by the Russian hosts. In September a traitor betrayed Warsaw, and the Russian army entered its gates. The revolt was at an end.

Nicholas the Czar decided that these people had been spoiled by kindness and clemency. They should not be spoiled in that way any longer. Under his harsh decrees the Kingdom of Poland vanished. He ordered that it should be made a Russian province, and held by a Russian army of occupation. The very language of the Poles was forbidden to be spoken, and their religion was to be replaced by the Orthodox Russian faith. Those brief months of revolution and independence were fatal to the liberty-loving people. Since then, except during their brief revolt in 1863, they have lain in fetters at the feet of Russia, nothing remaining to them but their patriotic memories and their undying aspiration for freedom and independence. Not until 1914 was any hope of regaining their nationality held out to them, when a later Nicholas offered them an autonomous government as a reward if they would give him their loyal aid in the war then prevailing.

Prosperity In Great Britain

The effects of the revolution in Paris did not confine themselves to the continent of Europe. They crossed the British Channel and made themselves felt in the island kingdom beyond. Before speaking of what took place here a few words on the political and industrial conditions then existing in that country will be of interest.

Great Britain, small as it was, had grown, by the opening of the nineteenth century, to be the leading power in Europe. Its industries, its commerce, its enterprise had expanded enormously. It had become the great workshop and the chief distributor of the world. The raw material of the nations flowed through its ports, the finished products of mankind poured from its looms. London became the great money center of the world, and the industrious and enterprising islanders grew enormously rich, while no equal steps of progress and enterprise showed themselves in any of the nations of the continent.

It was the one power in Europe that persistently defied Napoleon and escaped the fury of his assaults. It has been shown in former chapters what part it took in the Napoleonic wars, how the final fall of the mighty conqueror was due to a British army, and how his career ended in an island prison under British rule.

It cannot be said that the industrial prosperity of Great Britain, while of advantage to her people as a whole, was necessarily so to individuals. While one portion of the nation amassed enormous wealth, the bulk of the people sank into the deepest poverty. The factory system brought with it oppression and misery which it would need a century of industrial. revolt to overcome. The costly wars, the crushing taxation, the oppressive corn-laws, which forbade the importation of foreign corn, the extravagant expenses of the court and salaries of officials, all conspired to depress the people. Manufactures fell into the hands of the few, and a vast number of artisans were forced to live from hand to mouth, and to labor for long hours on pinching wages. Estates were similarly accumulated in the hands of the few, and the small land-owner and trader tended to disappear. Everything was taxed to the utmost it would bear, while government remained blind to the needs and sufferings of the people and made no effort to decrease the prevailing misery.

Thus it came about that the era of Great Britain's greatest prosperity and supremacy as a world-power was the one of greatest industrial oppression and misery at home, a period marked by rebellious uprisings among the people, to be repressed with cruel and bloody severity. It was a period of industrial transition, in which the government flourished and the people suffered, and in which the seeds of revolt and revolution were widely spread on every hand.

An Intolerable Situation

The situation, in fact, had grown intolerable. Parliament continued blind to the condition of the working people. Certainly it showed no indication of alertness to the fact that the political condition had grown desperate. Yet the feeling was widespread that something must be done. If affairs were allowed to go on as they were the people might rise in a revolt that would widen into revolution. A general outbreak seemed at hand. To use the language of the times, the "Red Cock" was crowing in the rural districts. That is, incendiary fires were being kindled in a hundred places. In the centers of manufacture similar signs of discontent appeared. Tumultuous meetings were held, riots broke out, bloody collisions with the troops took place. Daily and hourly the situation was growing more critical. The people were in that state of exasperation that is the preliminary stage of insurrection. The two things especially demanded were, reform in Parliamentary representation and repeal of the Corn-Laws. Just what is meant by the former must be told at some length, as it referred to a condition of affairs which had long been outgrown. Representation of the people, in truth, once a fact, had long since become a fiction, one so far removed from the needs of the times as to have become a subject for ridicule.

Representation in Parliament

The British Parliament, it is scarcely necessary to say, is composed of two bodies, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The former represents the aristocratic element of the nation. In effect, it represents simply its members, since they hold their seats as a privilege of their titles, and have only their own interests to consider, though the interests of their class go with their own. The latter body is supposed to represent the people, but up to the time with which we are concerned it had never fully done so, and did so now much less than ever, since the right to vote for its members was reserved to a few thousands of the rich.

In the year 1830, indeed, the House of Commons had almost ceased to represent the people at all. Its seats were distributed in accordance with a system that had scarcely changed in the least for two hundred years. The idea of distributing the members in accordance with the population was scarcely thought of, and a state of affairs had arisen which was as absurd as it was unjust. For during these two hundred years great changes had taken place in England. What were originally mere villages or open plains had become flourishing commercial or manufacturing cities. Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, and other centers of industry had become seats of great and busy populations. On the other hand, once flourishing towns had decayed, ancient boroughs had become practically extinct. Thus there had been great changes in the distribution of population, but the distribution of seats in Parliament remained the same.

As a result of this state of affairs the great industrial towns, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds, and others, with their hundreds of thousands of people, did not send a single member to Parliament, while places with only a handful of voters were duly represented, and even places with no voters at all sent members to Parliament. Land-holding lords nominated and elected those, generally selecting the younger sons of noble families, and thus a large number of the "representatives of the people" really represented no one but the gentry to whom they owed their places. "Rotten" boroughs these were justly called, but they were retained by the stolid conservatism with which the genuine Briton clings to things and conditions of the past.

Lord Russell's Great Speech

The peculiar state of affairs was picturesquely pointed out by Lord John Russell in a speech in 1831. "A stranger," he said, "who was told that this country is unparalleled in wealth and industry, and more civilized and enlightened than any country was before it—that it is a country which prides itself upon its freedom, and which once in seven years elects representatives from its population to act as the guardians and preservers of that freedom—would be anxious and curious to see how that representation is formed, and how the people choose their representatives.

"Such a person would be very much astonished if he were taken to a ruined mound and told that that mound sent two representatives to Parliament; if he were taken to a stone wall and told that these niches in it sent two representatives to Parliament; if he were taken to a park where no houses were to be seen and told that that park sent two representatives to Parliament. But he would be still more astonished if he were to see large and opulent towns, full of enterprise and industry and intelligence, containing vast magazines of every species of manufacture, and were then told that these towns sent no representatives to Parliament.

"Such a person would be still more astonished if he were taken to Liverpool, where there is a large constituency, and told, 'Here you will have a fine specimen of a popular election.' He would see bribery employed to the greatest extent and in the most unblushing manner; he would see every voter receiving a number of guineas in a bag as the price of his corruption; and after such a spectacle he would be, no doubt, much astonished that a nation whose representatives are thus chosen, could perform the functions of legislation at all, or enjoy respect in any degree."

Effect of the 1830 Revolution

Such was the state of affairs when there came to England the news of the quiet but effective French Revolution of 1830. Its effect was a stern demand for the reform of this mockery miscalled House of Commons, of this lie that claimed to represent the English people. We have not told the whole story of the transparent falsehood. Two years before no man could be a member of Parliament who did not belong to the Church of England. No Dissenter could hold any public office in the kingdom. The multitudes of Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, and other dissenting sects were excluded from any share in the government. The same was the case with the Catholics, few in England, but forming the bulk of the population of Ireland.

This evil, so far as all but the Catholics were concerned, was removed by Act of Parliament in 1828. The struggle for Catholic liberation was conducted in Ireland by Daniel O'Connell, the most eloquent and patriotic of its orators. He was sneered at by Lord Wellington, then prime minister of Great Britain. But when it was seen that all Ireland was backing her orator the Iron Duke gave way, and a Catholic Relief Bill was passed in 1829, giving Catholics the right to hold all but the highest offices of the realm. In 1830, instigated by the revolution in France, the great fight for the reform of Parliamentary representation began.

The question was not a new one. It had been raised by Cromwell, nearly two hundred years before. It had been brought forward a number of times during the eighteenth century. It was revived in 1809 and again in 1821, but public opinion did not come strongly to its support until 1830. George IV, its strong opponent, died in that year; William IV, a king more in its favor, came to the throne; the government of the bitterly conservative Duke of Wellington was defeated and Earl Grey, a Liberal minister, took his place; the time was evidently ripe for reform, and soon the great fight was on.

The people of England looked upon the reform of Parliament as a method of restoring to them their lost liberties, and their feelings were deeply enlisted in the event. When, on the 1st of March, 1831, the bill was brought into the House of Commons, the public interest was intense. For hours eager crowds waited in the streets, and when the doors of the Parliament house were opened every inch of room in the galleries was quickly filled, while for hundreds of others no room was to be had.

The Struggle for Reform

The debate opened with the speech by Lord John Russell from which we have quoted. In the bill offered by him he proposed to disfranchise entirely sixty-two of the rotten boroughs, each of which had less than 2,000 inhabitants; to reduce forty-seven others, with less than 4,000 inhabitants, to one member each; and to distribute the 168 members thus unseated among the populous towns, districts, and counties which either had no members at all, or a number out of all proportion to their population. Also the suffrage was to be extended, the hours for voting shortened, and other reforms adopted.

The bill was debated, pro and con, with all the eloquence then in Parliament. Vigorously as it was presented, the opposing elements were too strong, and its consideration ended in defeat by a majority of eight. Parliament was immediately dissolved by the premier, and an appeal was made to the people. The result showed the strength of the public sentiment, limited as the suffrage then was. The new Parliament contained a large majority of reformers, and when the bill was again presented it was carried by a majority of one hundred and six. On the evening of its passage it was taken by Earl Grey into the House of Lords, where it was eloquently presented by the prime minister and bitterly attacked by Lord Brougham, who declared that it would utterly overwhelm the aristocratic part of the House. His view was that of his fellows, and the Reform Bill was thrown out by a majority of forty-one.

Instantly, on the news of this action of the Lords, the whole country blazed into a state of excitement and disorder only surpassed by that of civil war. The people were bitterly in earnest in their demand for reform, their feelings being wrought up to an intense pitch of excitement. Riots broke out in all sections of the country. London seethed with excitement. The peers were mobbed in the streets and hustled and assaulted wherever seen. They made their way to the House only through a throng howling for reform. Those known to have voted against the bill were in peril of their lives, some being forced to fly over housetops to escape the fury of the people. Angry debates arose in the House of Lords in which even the Bishops took an excited part. The Commons was like a bear-pit, a mass of furiously wrangling opponents. England was shaken to the center by the defeat of the bill, and Parliament reflected the sentiment of the people.

On December 12th Russell presented a third Reform Bill to the House, almost the same in its provisions as those which had been defeated. The debate now was brief, and the result certain. It was felt to be no longer safe to juggle with the people. On the 18th the bill was passed, with a greatly increased majority, now amounting to one hundred and sixty-two. To the Lords again it went, where the Tories, led by Lord Wellington, were in a decided majority against it. It had no chance of passage, unless the king would create enough new peers to outvote the opposition. This King William refused to do, and Earl Grey resigned the ministry, leaving the Tories to bear the brunt of the situation.

How Suffrage was Gained

The result was one barely short of civil war. The people rose in fury, determined upon reform or revolution. Organized unions sprang up in every town. Threats of marching an army upon London were made. Lord Wellington was mobbed in the streets and was in peril of his life. The maddened populace went so far as to curse and stone the king himself, one stone striking him in the forehead. The country was indeed on the verge of insurrection against the government, and unless quick action would be taken it was impossible to foresee the result.

William IV, perhaps with the recent experience of Charles X of France before his eyes, gave way, and promised to create enough new peers to insure the passing of the bill. To escape this unwelcome necessity Wellington and others of the Tories agreed to stay away from Parliament, and the Lords, pocketing their dignity as best they could, passed the bill by a safe majority, and the reform demanded was attained. Similar bills were passed for Scotland and Ireland, and thus was achieved the greatest measure of reform in the history of the British Parliament. It was essentially a revolution, the first great step in the evolution of a truly representative assembly in Great Britain, and its beneficial effect has been seen in the legislation since that time.

We may fitly deal here with some later steps taken in the same direction. In 1867 the subject of the extension of the suffrage became the great issue. The demand for it was strenuous, and the Tories, under Disraeli, their leader, were obliged to bring in a bill for this purpose, one which gave the privilege of voting to millions previously disfranchised, making it almost universal among the commercial and industrial classes. Nearly twenty years later, in 1884, another extension of the suffrage was made, this applying to the agricultural laborers. This ended the great struggle so far as the male element of the population was concerned. Many years were to pass before a great crusade would arise with the purpose of giving the Parliamentary franchise to women as well as to men. This is very actively in progress, with no clear indication as to how it will result. It is pursuing a military method which is as yet not promising of favorable results.

The Corn-Laws Repealed

We must deal more briefly with the second great reform demanded by the people, that for the repeal of the Corn-Laws.

For centuries commerce in grain had been a subject of legislation. In 1361 its exportation from England was forbidden, and in 1463 its importation was prohibited unless the price of wheat was greater than 6s. 3d. per quarter. As time went on changes were made in these laws, but the tariff charges kept up the price of grain until late in the nineteenth century, and added greatly to the miseries of the working classes.

The farming land of England was not held by the common people, but by the aristocracy, who fought bitterly against the repeal of the then existing Corn-Laws, which, by laying a large duty on grain, added materially to their profits. But while the aristocrats were benefited, the workers suffered, the price of the loaf being decidedly raised and their scanty fare correspondingly diminished.

More than once the people rose in riot against these laws, the apostle of the crusade against them being Richard Cobden, one of Britain's greatest orators. He advocated their repeal with a power and influence that in time grew irresistible. He was not affiliated with either of the great parties, but stood apart as an independent Radical, a man with a party of his own, and that party Free Trade. For the crusade against the Corn-Laws widened into one against the whole principle of protection. Backed by the public demand for cheap food, the movement went on, until in 1846 Cobden brought over to his side the government forces under Sir Robert Peel, by whose aid the Corn-Laws were swept away and the ports of England thrown open to the free entrance of food from any part of the world.

With the repeal of the duties on grain the whole system of protection was dropped and in its place was adopted that system of free trade in which Great Britain stands alone among the nations of the world.

Europe in Arms in 1848

Outbreak of Nineteenth Century Democracy


The revolution of 1830 did not bring peace and quiet to France nor to Europe. In France the people grew dissatisfied with their new monarch; in Europe generally they demanded a greater share of liberty. Louis Philippe delayed to extend the suffrage; he used his high position to add to his great riches; he failed to win the hearts of the French, and was widely accused of selfishness and greed. There were risings of legitimists in favor of the Bourbons, while the republican element was opposed to monarchy. No less than eight attempts were made to remove the king by assassination—all of them failures, but they showed the disturbed state of public feeling. Liberty, equality, fraternity became the watchwords of the working classes, socialistic ideas arose and spread, and the industrial element of the various nations became allied in one great body of revolutionists known as the "Internationalists."

Liberty, Equality and Fraternity

In Germany the demand of the people for political rights grew until it reached a crisis. The radical writings of the "Young Germans," the stirring songs of their poets, the bold utterances of the press, the doctrines of the "Friends of Light" among the Protestants and of the "German Catholics" among the Catholics, all went to show that the people were deeply dissatisfied alike with the State and the Church. They were rapidly arousing from their sluggish acceptance of the work of the Congress of Vienna of 1815 and the spirit of liberty was in the air.

The King of Prussia, Frederick William IV, saw danger ahead. He became king in 1840 and lost no time in trying to make his rule popular by reforms. An edict of toleration was issued, the sittings of the courts were opened to the public, and the Estates of the provinces were called to meet in Berlin. In the convening of a Parliament he had given the people a voice. The Estates demanded freedom of the press and of the state with such eloquence and energy that the king dared not resist them. The people had gained a great step in their progress towards liberty.

In Italy also the persistent demands of the people met with an encouraging response. The Pope, Pius IX, extended the freedom of the press, gave a liberal charter to the City of Rome, and began the formation of an Italian confederacy. In Sicily a revolutionary outbreak took place, and the King of Naples was compelled to give his people a constitution and a parliament. His example was followed in Tuscany and Sardinia. The tyrannical Duke of Modena was forced to flee from the vengeance of his people, and the throne of Parma became vacant by the death in 1847 of Maria Louisa, the widow of Napoleon Bonaparte, a woman little loved and less respected.

The Italians were filled with hope by these events. Freedom and the unity of Italy loomed up before their eyes. Only two obstacles stood in their way, the Austrians and the Jesuits, and both of these were bitterly hated. Gioberti, the enemy of the Jesuits, was greeted with cheers, under which might be heard harsh cries of "Death to the Germans."

Such was the state of affairs at the beginning of 1848. The measure of liberty granted the people only whetted their appetite for more, and over all Western Europe rose an ominous murmur, the voice of the people demanding the rights of which they had so long been deprived. In France this demand was growing dangerously insistent; in Paris, the center of European revolution, it threatened an outbreak. Reform banquets were the order of the day in France, and one was arranged for in Paris to signalize the meeting of the Chambers.

Reform Outbreak in Paris

Guizot, the historian, who was then minister of foreign affairs, had deeply offended the liberal party of France by his reactionary policy. The government threw fuel on the fire by forbidding the banquet and taking steps to suppress it by military force. The people were enraged by this false step and began to gather in excited groups. Throngs of them—artisans, students, and tramps—were soon marching through the streets, with shouts of "Reform! Down with Guizot!" The crowds rapidly increased and grew more violent. Those in favor of peace and order were too weak to cope with them; the soldiers were loath to do so; soon barricades were erected and fighting began.

For two days this went on. Then the king, alarmed at the situation, dismissed Guizot and promised reform, and the people, satisfied for the time and proud of their victory, paraded the streets with cheers and songs. All now might have gone well but for a hasty and violent act on the part of the troops. About ten o'clock at night a shouting and torch-bearing throng marched through the Boulevards, singing and waving flags. Reaching the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they halted and called for its illumination. The troops on duty there interfered, and, on an insult to their colonel and the firing of a shot from the mob, they replied with a volley, before which fifty-two of the people fell killed and wounded.

This reckless and sanguinary deed was enough to turn revolt into revolution. The corpses were carried on biers through the streets by the infuriated people, the accompanying torch-bearers shouting: "To arms! they are murdering us!" At midnight the tocsin call rang from the bells of Notre Dame; the barricades, which had been partly removed, were restored; and the next morning, February 24, 1848, Paris was in arms. In the struggle that followed they were quickly victorious, and the capital was in their hands.

A Republic Founded

Louis Philippe followed the example of Charles X, abdicated his throne and fled to England. After the fate of Louis XVI no monarch was willing to wait and face a Paris mob. The kingdom was overthrown, and a republic, the second which France had known, was established, the aged Dupont de l'Eure being chosen president. The poet Lamartine, the socialist Louis Blanc, the statesmen Ledru-Rollin and Arago became members of the Cabinet, and all looked forward to a reign of peace and prosperity. The socialists tried the experiment of establishing national workshops in which artisans were to be employed at the expense of the state, with the idea that this would give work to all.

Yet the expected prosperity did not come. The state was soon deeply in debt, many of the people remained unemployed, and the condition of industry grew worse day by day. The treasury proved incapable of paying the state artisans, and the public workshops were closed. In June the trouble came to a crisis and a new and sanguinary outbreak began, instigated by the hungry and disappointed workmen, and led by the advocates of the "Red Republic," who acted with ferocious brutality. General Brea and the Archbishop of Paris were murdered, and the work of slaughter grew so horrible that the National Assembly, to put an end to it, made General Cavaignac dictator and commissioned him to put down the revolt.

A terrible struggle ensued between the mob and the troops, ending in the suppression of the revolt and the arrest and banishment of many of its ringleaders. Ten or twelve thousand people had been killed. The National Assembly adopted a republican constitution, under which a single legislative chamber and a president to be elected every four years were provided for. The Assembly wished to make General Cavaignac president, but the nation, blinded by their faith in the name of the great conqueror, elected by an almost unanimous vote his nephew, Louis Napoleon, a man who had suffered a long term of imprisonment for his several attempts against the reign of the late king. He had hurried to France on learning of the outbreak, offered himself as a candidate for the Presidency, and the magic of his name served to carry him triumphantly into the office. The revolution, for the time being, was at an end, and France was a republic again.

Revolt in Germany and Austria

The effect of this revolution in France spread far and wide through Europe, where, as stated, the seeds of revolt had been widely sown. Outbreaks occurred in Italy, Poland, Switzerland and Ireland, and in Germany the revolutionary fever burned hot. Baden was the first state to yield to the demands of the people for freedom of the press, a parliament and other reforms, and went so far as to abolish the imposts still remaining from feudal times. The other minor states followed its example. In Saxony, Wurtemberg and other states class abuses were abolished, liberals given prominent positions under government, the suffrage and the legislature reformed, and men of liberal sentiment summoned to discuss the formation of new constitutions.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


But it was in the great despotic states of Germany—Prussia and Austria—that the liberals gained the most complete and important victory, and went farthest in overthrowing autocratic rule and establishing constitutional government. The notable Austrian statesman who had been a leader in the Congress of Vienna and who had suppressed liberalism in Italy, Prince Metternich, was still, after more than thirty years, at the head of affairs in Vienna. He controlled the policy of Austria; his word was law in much of Germany; time had cemented his authority, and he had done more than any other man in Europe in maintaining despotism and building a dam against the rising flood of liberal sentiment.

The Metternich Policy Fails

But the hour of the man who had destroyed the work of Napoleon was at hand. He failed to recognize the spirit of the age or to perceive that liberalism was deeply penetrating Austria. To most of the younger statesmen of Europe the weakness of his policy and the rottenness of his system were growing apparent, and it was evident that they must soon fall before the onslaught of the advocates of freedom.

An incitement was needed, and it came in the news of the Paris revolution. At once a hot excitement broke out everywhere in Austria. From Hungary came a vigorous demand for an independent parliament, reform of the constitution, decrease of taxes, and relief from the burden of the national debt of Austria. From Bohemia, whose rights and privileges had been seriously interfered with in the preceding year, came similar demands. In Vienna itself the popular outcry for increased privileges grew insistent.

The excitement of the people was aggravated by their distrust of the paper money of the realm and by a great depression in commerce and industry. Daily more workmen were thrown out of employment, and soon throngs of the hungry and discontented gathered in the streets. Students, as usual, led away by their boyish love of excitement, were the first to create a disturbance, but others soon joined in, and the affair quickly became serious.

The old system was evidently at an end. The policy of Metternich could restrain the people no longer. Lawlessness became general, excesses were committed by the mob, the dwellings of those whom the populace hated were attacked and plundered, the authorities were resisted with arms, and the danger of an overthrow of the government grew imminent. The press, which had gained freedom of utterance, added to the peril of the situation by its inflammatory appeals to the people, and by its violence checked the progress of the reforms which it demanded. Metternich, by his system of restraint, had kept the people in ignorance of the first principles of political affairs, and the liberties which they now asked for showed them to be unadapted to a liberal government. The old minister, whose system was falling in ruins about him, fled from the country and sought a refuge in England, that haven of political failures.

The Struggle in Vienna, and Berlin

In May, 1848, the emperor, alarmed at the threatening state of affairs, left his capital and withdrew to Innsbruck. The tidings of his withdrawal stirred the people to passion, and the outbreak of mob violence which followed was the fiercest and most dangerous that had yet occurred. Gradually, however, the tumult was appeased, a constitutional assembly was called into being and opened by the Archduke John, and the Emperor Ferdinand re-entered Vienna amid the warm acclamations of the people. The outbreak was at an end. Austria had been converted from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy.

In Berlin the spirit of revolution became as marked as in Vienna. The king resisted the demands of the people, who soon came into conflict with the soldiers, a fierce street fight breaking out and continuing with violence for two weeks. The revolutionists demanded the removal of the troops and the formation of a citizen militia, and the king, alarmed at the dangerous crisis in affairs, at last assented. The troops were accordingly withdrawn, the obnoxious ministry was dismissed, and a citizen-guard was created for the defense of the city. Three days afterwards the king promised to govern as a constitutional monarch, an assembly was elected by universal suffrage, and to it was given the work of preparing a constitution for the Prussian state. Here, as in Austria, the revolutionists had won the day and irresponsible government was at an end.

A Federal Empire in Germany

Elsewhere in Germany radical changes were taking place. King Louis of Bavaria, who had deeply offended his people, resigned in favor of his son. The Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt did the same. Everywhere the liberals were in the ascendant, and were gaining freedom of the press and constitutional government. The formation of Germany into a federal empire was proposed and adopted, and a National Assembly met at Frankfort on May 18, 1848. It included many of the ablest men of Germany. Its principal work was to organize a union under an irresponsible executive, who was to be surrounded by a responsible ministry. The Archduke John of Austria was selected to fill this new but brief imperial position, and made a solemn entry into Frankfort on the 11th of July.

All this was not enough for the ultra-radicals. They determined to found a German republic, and their leaders, Hecker and Struve, called the people to arms. An outbreak took place in Baden, but it was quickly suppressed, and the republican movement came to a speedy end. In the north war broke out between Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein, united duchies with a large German population, which desired to be freed from Danish rule and annexed to Germany, and in consequence called for German aid. But just then the new German Union was in no condition to come to their assistance, and Prussia preferred diplomacy to war, with the result that Denmark came out victorious from the contest. As will be seen in a later chapter, Prussia, under the energetic leadership of Bismarck, came, a number of years afterwards, to the aid of these discontented duchies, and they were finally torn from Danish control.

Italy Strikes for Freedom

While these exciting events were taking place in the north, Italy was swept with a storm of revolution from end to end. Metternich was no longer at hand to keep it in check, and the whole peninsula seethed with revolt. Sicily rejected the rule of the Bourbon king of Naples, chose the Duke of Genoa, son of Charles Albert of Sardinia, for its king, and during a year fought for liberty. This patriotic effort of the Sicilians ended in failure. The Swiss mercenaries of the Neapolitan king captured Syracuse and brought the island into subjection, and the tyrant hastened to abolish the constitution which he had been frightened into granting in his hour of extremity.

In the north of Italy war broke out between Austria and Sardinia. Milan and Venice rose against the Austrians and drove out their garrisons, throughout Lombardy the people raised the standard of independence, and Charles Albert of Sardinia called his people to arms and invaded that country, striving to free it and the neighboring state of Venice from Austrian rule. For a brief season he was successful, pushing the Austrian troops to the frontiers, but the old Marshal Radetzky defeated him at Verona and compelled him to seek safety in flight. The next year he renewed his attempt, but with no better success. Depressed by his failure, he resigned the crown to his son Victor Emmanuel, who made a disadvantageous peace with Austria. Venice held out for several months, but was finally subdued, and Austrian rule was restored in the north.

Meanwhile the pope, Pius IX, offended his people by his unwillingness to aid Sardinia against Austria. He promised to grant a constitutional government and convened an Assembly in Rome, but the democratic people of the state were not content with feeble concessions of this kind. Rossi, prime minister of the state, was assassinated, and the pope, filled with alarm, fled in disguise, leaving the Papal dominion to the revolutionists, who at once proclaimed a republic and confiscated the property of the Church.

Mazzini, the leader of "Young Italy," the ardent revolutionist who had long worked in exile for Italian independence, entered the Eternal City, and with him Garibaldi, long a political refugee in America and a gallant partisan leader in the recent war with Austria. The arrival of these celebrated revolutionists filled the democratic party in Rome with the greatest enthusiasm, and it was resolved to defend the States of the Church to the last extremity, viewing them as the final asylum of Italian liberty.

A French Army Occupies Rome

In this extremity the pope called on France for aid. That country responded by sending an army, which landed at Civita-Vecchia and marched upon and surrounded Rome. The new-comers declared that they came as friends, not as foes; it was not their purpose to overthrow the republic, but to defend the capital from Austria and Naples. The leaders of the insurgents in Rome did not trust their professions and promises and refused them admittance. A fierce struggle followed. The republicans defended themselves stubbornly. For weeks they defied the efforts of General Oudinot and his troops. But in the end they were forced to yield, a conditional submission was made, and the French soldiers occupied the city. Garibaldi, Mazzini, and others of the leaders took to flight, and the old conditions were gradually resumed under the controlling influence of French bayonets. For years afterwards the French held the city as the allies and guard of the pope.

The Hungarian Revolution

The revolutionary spirit, which had given rise to war in Italy, yielded a still more resolute and sanguinary conflict in Hungary, whose people were divided against themselves. The Magyars, the descendants of the old Huns, who demanded governmental institutions of their own, separate from those of Austria, though under the Austrian monarch, were opposed by the Slavonic part of the population, and war began between them. Austrian troops were ordered to the aid of Jellachich, the ruler of the Slavs of Croatia in South Hungary, but their departure was prevented by the democratic people of Vienna, who rose in violent insurrection, induced by their sympathy with the Magyars.

The whole city was quickly in tumult, an attack was made on the arsenals, and the violence became so great that the emperor again took to flight. War in Austria followed. A strong army was sent to subdue the rebellious city, which was stubbornly defended, the students' club being the center of the revolutionary movement. Jellachich led his Croatians to the aid of the emperor's troops, the city was surrounded and besieged, sallies and assaults were of daily occurrence, and for a week and more a bloody conflict continued day and night. Vienna was finally taken by storm, the troops forcing their way into the streets, where shocking scenes of murder and violence took place. On November 21, 1848, Jellachich entered the conquered city, martial law was proclaimed, the houses were searched, the prisons filled with captives, and the leaders of the insurrection put to death.

Kossuth and the Magyars

Shortly afterwards the Emperor Ferdinand abdicated the throne in favor of his youthful nephew, Francis Joseph, who at once dissolved the constitutional assembly and proclaimed a new constitution and a new code of laws. Hungary was still in arms, and offered a vigorous opposition to the Austrians, who now marched to put down the insurrection. They found it no easy task. The fiery eloquence of the orator Kossuth roused the Magyars to a desperate resistance, Polish leaders came to their support, foreign volunteers strengthened their ranks, Gorgey, their chief leader, showed great military skill, and the Austrians were driven out and the fortresses taken. The independence of Hungary was now proclaimed, and a government established under Kossuth as provisional president.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The repulse of the Austrians nerved the young emperor to more strenuous exertions. The aid of Russia was asked, and the insurgent state invaded on three sides, by the Croatians from the south, the Russians from the north, and the Austrians, under the brutal General Haynau, from the west.

The conflict continued for several months, but quarrels between the Hungarian leaders weakened their armies, and in August, 1849, Gorgey, who had been declared dictator, surrendered to the invaders, Kossuth and the other leaders seeking safety in flight. Haynau made himself infamous by his cruel treatment of the Hungarian people, particularly by his use of the lash upon women. His conduct raised such widespread indignation that he was roughly handled by a party of brewers, on his visit to London in 1850.

How the Conflict Ended

With the fall of Hungary the widespread revolutionary movement of 1848 came to an end. The German Union had already disappeared. There were various other disturbances, besides those we have recorded, but finally all the states settled down to peace and quiet. Its results had been great in increasing the political privileges of the people of Western Europe, and with it the reign of despotism in that section of the continent came to an end.

The greatest hero of the war in Hungary was undoubtedly Louis Kossuth, whose name has remained familiar among those of the patriots of his century. From Hungary he made his way to Turkey, where he was imprisoned for two years at Kutaieh, being finally released through the intervention of the governments of Great Britain and the United States. He then visited England, where he was received with enthusiastic popular demonstrations and made several admirable speeches in the English language, of which he had excellent command. In the autumn of 1851 he came to the United States, where he had a flattering reception and spoke on the wrongs of Hungary to enthusiastic audiences in the principal cities.

Russia and the Crimean War

Outcome of Slavic Ambitions in the Near East


Among the most interesting phases of nineteenth-century history is that of the conflict between Russia and Turkey, a struggle for dominion that came down from the preceding centuries, and still seems only temporarily laid aside for final settlement in the years to come. In the eighteenth century the Turks proved quite able to hold their own against all the power of Russia and all the armies of Catharine the Great, and they entered the nineteenth century with their ancient dominion largely intact. But they were declining in strength while Russia was growing, and long before 1900 the empire of the Sultan would have become the prey of the Czar had not the other Powers of Europe come to the rescue. The Czar Nicholas designated the Sultan as the "sick man" of Europe, and such he and his empire had truly become.

Turkey—The "Sick Man" of Europe

The ambitious designs of Russia found abundant warrant in the cruel treatment of the Christian people of Turkey. A number of Christian kingdoms lay under the Sultan's rule, in the south inhabited by Greeks, in the north by Slavs; their people treated always with harshness and tyranny; their every attempt at revolt repressed with savage cruelty. We have seen how the Greeks rebelled against their oppressors in 1821, and, with the aid of Europe, won their freedom in 1829. Stirred by this struggle, Russia declared war against Turkey in 1828, and in the treaty of peace signed at Adrianople in 1829 secured not only the independence of Greece, but a large degree of home rule for the northern principalities of Servia, Moldavia, and Wallachia. Turkey was forced in a measure to loosen her grip on Christian Europe. But the Russians were not satisfied with this. They had got next to nothing for themselves. England and the other Western Powers, fearful of seeing Russia in possession of Constantinople, had forced her to release the fruits of her victory. It was the first step in that jealous watchfulness of England over Constantinople which was to have a more decided outcome in later years. The new-born idea of maintaining the balance of power in Europe stood in Russia's way, the nations of the West viewing in alarm the threatening growth of the great Muscovite Empire.

Oppression of the Christians

The ambitious Czar Nicholas looked upon Turkey as his destined prey, and waited with impatience a sufficient excuse to send his armies again to the Balkan Peninsula, whose mountain barrier formed the great natural bulwark of Turkey in the north. Though the Turkish government at this time avoided direct oppression of its Christian subjects, the fanatical Mohammedans were difficult to restrain, and the robbery and murder of Christians was of common occurrence. A source of hostility at length arose from the question of protecting these ill-treated peoples. By favor of old treaties the Czar claimed a certain right to protect the Christians of the Greek faith. France assumed a similar protectorate over the Roman Catholics of Palestine, but the greater number of Greek Christians in the Holy Land, and the powerful support of the Czar, gave the latter the advantage in the frequent quarrels which arose in Jerusalem between the pilgrims from the East and the West.

Nicholas, instigated by his advantage in this quarter, determined to declare himself the protector of all the Christians in the Turkish Empire, a claim which the Sultan dared not admit if he wished to hold control over his Mohammedan subjects. War was in the air, and England and France, resolute to preserve the "balance of power," in June, 1853, sent their fleets to the Dardanelles as useful lookers-on.

England and France Declare War

The Sultan had already rejected the Russian demand, and Nicholas lost no time in sending an army, led by Prince Gortschakoff, with orders to cross the Pruth and take possession of the Turkish provinces on the Danube. The gauntlet had been thrown down. War was inevitable. The English newspapers demanded of their government a vigorous policy. The old Turkish party in Constantinople was equally urgent in its demand for hostilities. At length, on October 4, 1853, the Sultan declared war against Russia unless the Danubian principalities were at once evacuated. Instead of doing so, Nicholas ordered his generals to invade the Balkan territory, and on the other hand France and England entered into alliance with the Porte and sent their fleets to the Bosporus. Shortly afterwards the Russian Admiral Nakhimof surprised a Turkish squadron in the harbor of Sinope, attacked it, and—though the Turks fought with the greatest courage—the fleet was destroyed and nearly the whole of its crews were slain.

This turned the tide in England and France, which declared war in March, 1854, while Prussia and Austria maintained a waiting attitude. No event of special importance took place early in the war. In April Lord Raglan, with an English army of 20,000 men, landed in Turkey and the siege of the Russian city of Odessa was begun. Meanwhile the Russians, who had crossed the Danube, found it advisable to retreat and withdraw across the Pruth, on a threat of hostilities from Austria and Prussia unless the principalities were evacuated.

The French had met with heavy losses in an advance from Varna, and the British fleet had made an expedition against St. Petersburg, but had been checked before the powerful fortress of Kronstadt. Such was the state of affairs in the summer of 1854, when the allies determined to carry the war into the enemy's territory, attack the maritime city of Sebastopol in the Crimea, and seek to destroy the Russian naval power in the Black Sea.

Invasion of the Crimea

Of the allied armies, 15,000 men had already perished. With the remaining forces, rather more than 50,000 British and French and 6,000 Turks, the fleet set sail in September across the Black Sea, and landed near Eupatoria on the west coast of the Crimean peninsula, on the 4th of September, 1854. Southward from Eupatoria the sea forms a bay, into which, near the ruins of the old town of Inkermann, the little river Tschernaja pours. On its southern side lay the fortified town of Sebastopol, on its northern side strong fortifications were raised for the defense of the anchored fleet of the allies. Farther north the western mountain range is intersected by the river Alma, the heights over which Prince Menshikoff governor of the Crimea, garrisoned with an army of 38,000 men.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Against the latter the allies first directed their attack, and, in spite of the strong position of the Russians on the rocky slopes, Menshikoff was compelled to retreat, owing his escape from entire destruction only to the want of cavalry in the army of the allies. This dearly bought and bloody battle on the Alma gave rise to hopes of a speedy termination of the campaign; but the allies, weakened and wearied by the severe struggle, delayed a further attack, and Menshikoff gained, time to strengthen his garrison, and i o surround Sebastopol with strong fortifications. When the allies approached the town they were soon convinced that any attack on such formidable defenses would be fruitless, and that they must await the arrival of fresh reinforcements and ammunition. The English took up their position on the Bay of Balaklava, and the French to the west, on the Kamiesch.

The Siege of Sebastopol

There now commenced a siege of a kind seldom occurring in the history of the world. The first attempt to storm the city by a united attack of the land army and the fleet showed the resistance to be much more formidable than had been expected by the allies. A portion of the Russian fleet, now useless, was sunk to obstruct entrance to the harbor. Between fifteen and twenty thousand sailors, under Admirals Kornilof, Istornin and Nakhimof, all three of whom were to perish defending the city, reinforced the garrison. The population of the city had been reduced from forty-five thousand to twelve thousand souls. Colonel Todleben, manager of the defense, could thus, with very considerable effective forces and material—the fleet alone had furnished eight hundred guns—ably create a whole system of earthworks which, while improvised, were none the less effective. The siege of Sebastopol was, then, less a siege than the struggle of an army defending its positions against another reduced to attacking them by the usual besieging processes. During the siege there were nearly fifty miles of galleries and trenches dug by the allies.

On the north side, which it had been impossible to invest, the Russians received everything they needed and kept in constant relations with the army, which held the country and sought on several occasions to make the invaders raise the siege. The Anglo-French, giving up the idea of attacking from the north, crossed the Tchernaia to make an assault on Sebastopol from the south. They installed themselves on the Chersonesus plateau, a natural fortress from which they could resist diversions coming from without, and took possession of Kamiesch and Balaklava bays, through which they could secure provisions much more easily than their adversaries, who were reduced to having everything brought by interminable convoys.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Marshal Saint-Arnaud died of cholera on September 27th and was succeeded by the incompetent Canrobert. His colleague, Lord Raglan, an old man of sixty-six and a veteran of the Napoleonic wars, could not make his dignity compensate for his headstrong incapacity.

The siege was destined to absorb for a year the resources of the belligerents. Accordingly the other operations became of minor importance. In the Black Sea, on April 22nd, the allied fleet had bombarded the military port of Odessa, but respected the city and the commercial harbor. The Russians themselves destroyed their posts on the coast near the Caucasus. In the Baltic, after despairing of an attack on Kronstadt, a landing was made on the Aland islands, where an unfinished fortress was seized (August 16th). In 1855 Sveaborg was bombarded. Other not very profitable expeditions were sent to the White Sea and Pacific coast.

Charge of the Light Brigade

In October Menshikoff, reinforced, tried to interrupt the siege by attacking Balaklava. Eight days after the beginning of siege operations the British were surprised in their strong position near Balaklava by General Liprandi, with a considerable Russian force. This engagement was rendered notable by the mad but heroic "Charge of the Light Brigade," which has become famous in song and story. The purpose of this assault on the part of the Russians was to cut the line of communication of the allies, by capturing the redoubts that guarded them, and thus to enforce a retreat by depriving the enemy of supplies.

The day began with a defeat of the Turks and the capture by the Russians of several of the redoubts. Then a great body of Russian cavalry, 3,000 strong, charged upon the Ninety-third Highlanders, who were drawn up in line to receive them. There was comparatively but a handful of these gallant Scotchmen, 550 all told, but they have made themselves famous in history as the invincible "thin, red line."

Sir Colin Campbell, their noble leader, said to them: "Remember, lads, there is no retreat from here. You must die where you stand." "Aye, aye, Sir Colin," shouted the sturdy Highlanders, "we will do just that."

They did not need to. The murderous fire from their "thin, red line" was more than the Russians cared to endure, and they were driven back in disorder.

The British cavalry completed the work of the infantry. On the serried mass of Russian horsemen charged Scarlett's Heavy Brigade, greatly inferior to them in number, but inspired with a spirit and courage that carried its bold horsemen through the Russian columns with such resistless energy that the great body of Muscovite cavalry broke and fled—3,000 completely routed by 800 gallant dragoons.

And now came the unfortunate but world-famous event of the day. It was due to a mistaken order. Lord Raglan, thinking that the Russians intended to carry off the guns captured in the Turkish redoubts, sent an order to the brigade of light cavalry to "advance rapidly to the front and prevent the enemy from carrying off the guns."

Lord Lucan, to whom the command was brought, did not understand it. Apparently, Captain Nolan, who conveyed the order, did not clearly explain its purport.

"Lord Raglan orders that the cavalry shall attack immediately," he said, impatient at Lucan's hesitation.

"Attack, sir; attack what?" asked Lucan.

"There, my lord, is your enemy; there are your guns," said Nolan, with a wave of his hand towards the hostile lines.

The guns he appeared to indicate were those of a Russian battery at the end of the valley, to attack which by an unsupported cavalry charge was sheer madness. Lucan rode to Lord Cardigan, in command of the cavalry, and repeated the order.

"But there is a battery in front of us and guns and riflemen on either flank," said Cardigan.

"I know it," answered Lucan. "But Lord Raglan will have it. We have no choice but to obey."

"The brigade will advance," said Cardigan, without further hesitation.

The Gallant Six Hundred

In a moment more the "gallant six hundred" were in motion—going in the wrong direction, as Captain Nolan is thought to have perceived. At all events he spurred his horse across the front of the brigade, waving his sword as if with the intention to set them right. But no one understood him, and at that instant a fragment of shell struck him and hurled him dead to the earth. There was no further hope of stopping the mad charge.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


On and on went the devoted Light Brigade, their pace increasing at every stride, headed straight for the Russian battery half a league away. As they went fire was opened on them from the guns in flank. Soon they came within range of the guns in front, which also opened a raking fire. They were enveloped in "a zone of fire, and the air was filled with the rush of shot, the bursting of shells, and the moan of bullets, while amidst the infernal din the work of death went on, and men and horses were incessantly clashed to the ground."

But no thought of retreat seems to have entered the minds of those brave dragoons and their gallant leader. Their pace increased; they reached the battery and dashed in among the guns; the gunners were cut clown as they served their pieces. Masses of Russian cavalry standing near were charged and forced hack. The men fought madly in the face of death until the word came to retreat.

Then, emerging from the smoke of the battle, a feeble remnant of the "gallant six hundred" appeared upon the plain, comprising one or two large groups, though the most of them were in scattered parties of two or three. One group of about seventy men cut their way through three squadrons of Russian lancers. Another party of equal strength broke through a second intercepting force. Out of some 647 men in all, 247 were killed and wounded, and nearly all the horses were slain. Lord Cardigan, the first to enter the battery, was one of those who came back alive. The whole affair had occupied no more than twenty minutes. But it was a twenty minutes of which the British nation has ever since been proud, and which Tennyson has made famous by one of the most spirit-stirring of his odes. The French General Bosquet fairly characterized it by his often quoted remark: "C'est inagnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre."  (It is magnificent, but it is not war.)

Tennyson's Famous Poem

Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,

All in the valley of death

Rode the six hundred.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!

Charge for the guns!" he said.

Into the valley of death,

Rode the six hundred.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"

Was there a man dismayed?

Not though the soldiers knew

Some one had blundered:

Theirs not to make reply,

Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do and die;

Into the valley of death,

Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon in front of them,

volleyed and thundered:

Stormed at with shot and shell,

Boldly they rode and well:

Into the jaws of death,

Into the mouth of hell,

Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabres bare,

Flashed as they turned in air,

Sab'ring the gunners there,

Charging an army, while

All the world wondered:

Plunged in the battery smoke,

Right through the line they broke,

Cossack and Russian

Reeled from the sabre-stroke,

Shattered and sundered.

Then they rode back—but not,

Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon behind them,

Volleyed and thundered.

Stormed at with shot and shell,

While horse and hero fell,

They that had fought so well,

Came through the jaws of death,

Back from the mouth of hell,

All that was left of them,

Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?

O, the wild charge they made!

All the world wondered.

Honor the charge they made!

Honor the Light Brigade,

Noble six hundred!

The battle of Balaklava was decided in favor of the allies, and on the 5th of November, when Menshikoff had obtained fresh reinforcements, the murderous battle of Inkermann was fought under the eyes of the two Grand Princes Nicholas and Michael, and after a mighty struggle was won by the allied armies. Fighting in the ranks were two other princely personages, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Napoleon, son of Jerome, former King of Westphalia.

Sebastopol Taken

These battles in the field brought no changes in the state of affairs. The siege of Sebastopol went on through the winter of 1854-55, during which the allied armies suffered the utmost misery and privation, partly the effect of climate, largely the result of fraud and incompetency at home. Sisters of Mercy and self-sacrificing English ladies—chief among them the noble Florence Nightingale—strove to assuage the sufferings brought on the soldiers by cold, hunger, and disease, enemies which proved more fatal than the sword.

In the year 1855 the war was carried on with increased energy. Sardinia joined the allies and sent them an army of 15,000 men. Austria broke with Russia and began preparations for war. And in March the obstinate Czar Nicholas died and his milder son Alexander took his place. Peace was demanded in Russia, yet 25,000 of her sons had fallen and the honor of the nation seemed involved. The war went on, both sides increasing their forces. Month by month the allies more closely invested the besieged city. After the middle of August the assault became almost incessant, cannon balls dropping like an unceasing storm of hail in forts and streets.

On the 5th of September began a terrific bombardment, continuing day and night for three days, and sweeping down more than 5,000 Russians on the ramparts. At length, as the hour of noon struck on September 8th, the attack, of which this play of artillery was the prelude, began, the French assailing the Malakoff, the British the Redan, these being the most formidable of the defensive works of the town. The French assault was successful and Sebastopol became untenable. That night the Russians blew up their remaining forts, sunk their ships of war, and marched out of the town, leaving it as the prize of victory to the allies.

The Treaty of Paris

Britain, Turkey and Piedmont would have liked to continue the war, as they saw in it prospects of gain. The British were already contemplating a decisive expedition against Icronstadt, and Sweden had just signed a treaty with the allies (November 21st). But Napoleon III wanted no more of it. He was driven to this resolution by domestic reasons, and also by the desire to become allied with Russia, in order to satisfy with its aid (as was actually to happen) the Italian Utopias of which he already intimated he had been dreaming. Russia was far from being conquered, but its finances were in a most deplorable condition, and peace was necessary to it. Austria, whose weakness after the Hungarian crisis, and fear of Prussia, where Bismarck was already concocting his plans, had kept neutral, made the way easy for negotiations to be opened.

As regards France and England the negotiations were con-fined to vague promises, and to Russia they proposed the acceptance of guarantees to which the conclusion of peace was subordinate. When the capture of Kars by the Russians (November 27th) had brought a degree of satisfaction to their national pride that made it more easy for them to yield, Austria decided on submitting to them an ultimatum which it knew would be accepted, a course advised also by Prussia.

The terms of peace were agreed upon in the Paris congress (February 25 to March 30, 1856). The independence and integrity of Turkey were declared to be of European interest, and any conflict which should arise between the Ottoman empire and one of the signing Powers was to justify the mediation of the others. The Straits treaty was renewed, the free navigation of the Danube assured, and an international commission entrusted with seeing to the maintenance of the necessary works at its estuary. To Moldavia was to be added a portion of Russian Bessarabia, so that Russia would not touch on the great river. The Russian protectorate over the principalities was abolished. The Aland islands in the Baltic were neutralized. But the chief clause was that relating to the Black Sea, from which the war vessels of all nations were excluded. The Sultan once more proclaimed religious liberty, acknowledged the civil equality of all his subjects, and admitted Christians to military service—promises that were not to be kept.

The Ambition of Louis Napoleon

The Final Overthrow of Napoleonism


The name of Napoleon is a name to conjure with in France. Two generations after the fall of Napoleon the Great the people of that country had practically forgotten the misery he had brought them, and remembered only the glory with which he had crowned the name of France. When, then, a man who has been designated as Napoleon the Little offered himself for their suffrages, they cast their votes almost unanimously in his favor.

Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, to give this personage his full name, was a son of Louis Bonaparte, once king of Holland, and Hortense de Beauharnais, and had been recognized by Napoleon as, after his father, the direct successor to the throne. This he made strenuous efforts to obtain, hoping to dethrone Louis Philippe and install himself in his place. In 1836, with a few followers, he made an attempt to capture Strasbourg. His effort failed and he was arrested and transported to the United States. In 1839 he published a work entitled "Napoleonic Ideas," which was an apology for the ambitious acts of the first Napoleon.

The growing unpopularity of Louis Philippe tempted Louis Napoleon to make a second attempt to invade France. He did it in a rash way almost certain to end in failure. Followed by about fifty men, and bringing with him a tame eagle, which was expected to perch upon his banner as the harbinger of victory, he sailed from England in August, 1840, and landed at Boulogne. This desperate and foolish enterprise proved a complete failure. The soldiers whom the would-be usurper expected to join his standard arrested him, and he was tried for treason by the House of Peers. This time he was not dealt with so leniently as before, but was sentenced to imprisonment for life and was confined in the Castle of Ham. From this fortress he escaped in disguise in May, 1846, and made his way to England.

The revolution of 1848 gave the restless and ambitious adventurer a more promising opportunity. He returned to France, was elected to the National Assembly, and on the adoption of the republican constitution offered himself as a candidate for the presidency of the new republic. And now the magic of the name of Napoleon told. General Cavaignac, his chief competitor, was supported by the solid men of the country, who distrusted the adventurer; but the people rose almost solidly in his support, and he was elected president for four years by 5,562,834 votes, against 1,469,166 for Cavaignac.

The new President of France soon showed his ambition. He became engaged in a contest with the Assembly and aroused the distrust of the Republicans by his autocratic remarks. In 1849 he still further offended the democratic party by sending an army to Rome, which put an end to the republic in that city. He sought to make his cabinet officers the pliant instruments of his will, and thus caused De Tocqueville, the celebrated author, who was minister for foreign affairs, to resign. "We were not the men to serve him on those terms," said De Tocqueville, at a later time.

The new-made president was feeling his way to imperial dignity. He could not forget that his illustrious uncle had made himself emperor, and his ambition instigated him to the same course. A violent controversy arose between him and the Assembly, which body had passed a law restricting universal suffrage, thus reducing the popular support of the president. In June, 1850, it increased his salary at his request, but granted the increase only for one year—an act of distrust which proved a new source of discord.

The "Coup D'etat" of 1851

Louis Napoleon meanwhile was preparing for a daring act. He secretly obtained the support of the army leaders and prepared covertly for the boldest stroke of his life. On the 2d of December, 1851—the anniversary of the establishment of the first empire and of the battle of Austerlitz—he got rid of his opponents by means of the memorable coup d'etat, and seized the supreme power of the state.

The most influential members of the Assembly had been arrested during the preceding night, and when the hour for the session of the House came the men most strongly opposed to the usurper were in prison. Most of them were afterwards exiled, some for life, some for shorter terms. This act of outrage and violation of the plighted faith of the president roused the socialists and republicans to the defense of their threatened liberties, insurrections broke out in Paris, Lyons, and other towns, street barricades were built, and severe fighting took place. But Napoleon had secured the army, and the revolt was suppressed with blood and slaughter. Baudin, one of the deposed deputies, was shot on the barricade in the Faubourg St. Antoine, while waving in his hand the decree of the constitution. He was afterwards honored as a martyr to the cause of republicanism in France.

The usurper had previously sought to gain the approval of the people by liberal and charitable acts, and to win the good will of the civic authorities by numerous progresses through the interior. He now posed as a protector and promoter of national prosperity and the rights of the people, and sought to lay upon the Assembly all the defects of his administration. By these means, which aided to awaken the Napoleonic fervor in the state, he was enabled safely to submit his acts of violence and bloodshed to the approval of the people. The new constitution offered by the president was put to vote, and was adopted by the enormous majority of more than seven million votes. By its terms Louis Napoleon was to be president of France for ten years, with power equal to that of a monarch, and the Parliament was to consist of two bodies, a Senate and a Legislative House, which were given only nominal power.

From President to Emperor

This was as far as Napoleon dared to venture at that time. A year later, on December 1, 1852, having meanwhile firmly cemented his position in the state, he passed from president to emperor, again by a vote of the people, of whom, according to the official report, 7,824,189 cast their votes in his favor. That this report told the truth few or none believed, but it served the usurper's purpose.

Thus ended the second French republic, by an act of usurpation of the basest and most unwarranted character. The partisans of the new emperor were rewarded with the chief offices of the state; the leading republicans languished in prison or in exile for the crime of doing their duty to their constituents; and Armand Marrast, the most zealous champion of the republic, died of a broken heart from the overthrow of all his efforts and aspirations. The honest soldier and earnest patriot, Cavaignac, in a few years followed him to the grave. The cause of liberty in France seemed lost.

The crowning of a new emperor of the Napoleonic family in France naturally filled Europe with apprehensions. But Napoleon III, as he styled himself, was an older man than Napoleon I, and seemingly less likely to be carried away by ambition. His favorite motto, "The Empire is peace," aided to restore quietude, and gradually the nations began to trust in his words: "France wishes for peace; and when France is satisfied the world is quiet."

Warned by one of the errors of his uncle, he avoided seeking a wife in the royal families of Europe, but allied himself with a Spanish lady of noble rank, the young and beautiful Eugenie de Montijo, duchess of Teba. At the same time he proclaimed that, "A sovereign raised to the throne by a new principle should remain faithful to that principle, and in the face of Europe frankly accept the position of a parvenu, which is an honorable title when it is obtained by the public suffrage of a great people. For seventy years all princes' daughters married to rulers of France have been unfortunate; only one, Josephine, was remembered with affection by the French people, and she was not born of a royal house."

The new emperor continued his efforts as president to win the approval of the people by public works. He recognized the necessity of aiding the working classes as far as possible, and protecting them from poverty and wretchedness. During a dearth in 1853 a "baking fund" was organized in Paris, the city contributing funds to enable bread to be sold at a low price. Dams and embankments were built along the rivers to overcome the effects of floods. New streets were opened, bridges built, railways constructed, to increase internal traffic. Splendid buildings were erected for municipal and government purposes. Paris was given a new aspect by pulling down its narrow lanes, and building wide streets and magnificent boulevards—the latter, as was charged, for the purpose of depriving insurrection of its lurking places. The great exhibition of arts and industries in London was followed in 1854 by one in France, the largest and finest seen up to that time. Trade and industry were fostered by a reduction of tariff charges, joint stock companies and credit associations were favored, and in many ways Napoleon III worked wisely and well for the prosperity of France, the growth of its industries, and the improvement of the condition of its people.

The Empire is Peace

But the new emperor, while thus actively engaged in labors of peace, by no means lived up to the spirit of his motto, "The Empire is peace." An empire founded upon the army needs to give employment to that army. A monarchy sustained by the votes of a people athirst for glory needs to do something to appease that thirst. A throne filled by a Napoleon could not safely ignore the "Napoleonic Ideas," and the first of these might be stated as "The Empire is war." And the new emperor was by no means satisfied to pose simply as the "nephew of his uncle." He possessed a large share of the Napoleonic ambition, and hoped by military glory to surround his throne with some of the luster of that of Napoleon the First.

Whatever his private views, it is certain that France under his reign became the most aggressive nation of Europe, and the overweening ambition and self-confidence of the new emperor led him to the same end as his great uncle, that of disaster and overthrow. He was evidently bent on playing a leading part in European politics, showing the world that one worthy to bear the name of Napoleon was on the throne, and this ambition led him to acts that mainly served to demonstrate his incapacity.

The very beginning of Louis Napoleon's career of ambition, as president of the French Republic, was signalized by an act of military aggression, in sending an army to Rome and putting an end to the new Italian republic. These troops were kept there until 1866, and the aspirations of the Italian patriots were held in check until that year. Only when United Italy stood menacingly at the gates of Rome were these foreign troops withdrawn. They had accomplished nothing other than to retard for a time the inevitable union of the Italian states into a single kingdom.

In 1854, Napoleon allied himself with the British and the Turks against Russia, and sent an army to the Crimea, which played an effective part in the great struggle in that peninsula. The troops of France had the honor of rendering Sebastopol untenable, carrying by storm one of its two great fortresses and turning its guns upon the city.

War with Austria

The next act of aggression of the French emperor was against Austria. As the career of conquest of Napoleon I had begun with an attack upon the Austrians in Italy, Napoleon III attempted a similar enterprise, and with equal success. He had long been cautiously preparing in secret for hostilities with Austria, thus to emulate his great uncle, but lacked a satisfactory excuse for declaring war. This came in 1858 from an attempt at assassination. Felice Orsini, a fanatical Italian patriot, incensed at Napoleon from his failing to come to the aid of Italy, launched three explosive bombs against his carriage. The effect was fatal to many of the people in the street, though the intended victim escaped. Orsini won sympathy while in prison by his patriotic sentiments and the steadfastness of his love for his country. "Remember that the Italians shed their blood for Napoleon the Great," he wrote to the emperor. "Liberate my country, and the blessings of twenty-five millions of people will follow you to posterity."

Louis Napoleon had once been a member of a secret political society of Italy; he had taken the oath of initiation; his failure to come to the aid of that country when in power constituted him a traitor to his oath and one doomed to death; the act of Orsini was apparently the work of the society. That he was deeply moved by the attempted assassination is certain, and the result of his combined fear and ambition was soon to be shown by a movement in favor of Italian independence.

On New Year's Day, 1859, while receiving the diplomatic corps at the Tuileries, Napoleon addressed the following significant words to the Austrian ambassador: "I regret that our relations are not so cordial as I could wish, but I beg you to report to the Emperor that my personal sentiments towards him remain unaltered."

Such is the masked way in which diplomats announce an intention of war. The meaning of the threatening words was soon shown, when Victor Emmanuel, shortly afterwards, announced at the opening of the Chambers in Turin that Sardinia could no longer remain indifferent to the cry for help which was rising from all Italy. Ten years had passed since the defeat of the Sardinians by an Austrian army on the plains of Lombardy, and the end for the time of their hopes of a free and united Italy. During that time they had cherished a hope of retribution, and the words of Napoleon and Victor Emmanuel made it evident to them that an alliance had been made with France and that the hour of vengeance was at hand.

Austria was ready for the contest. Her finances, indeed, were in a serious state, but she had a large army in Lombardy. This was increased, Lombardy was declared in a state of siege, and every step was taken to guard against assault from Sardinia. Delay was disadvantageous to Austria, as it would permit her enemies to complete their preparations, and on April 23, 1859, an ultimatum came from Vienna, demanding that Sardinia should put her army on a peace footing or war would ensue.

The Austrians Advance

A refusal came from Turin. Immediately Field-marshal Gyulai received orders to cross the Ticino. Thus, after ten years of peace, the beautiful plains of Northern Italy were once more to endure the ravages of war. This act of Austria was severely criticized by the neutral Powers, which had been seeking to allay the trouble. Napoleon took advantage of it, as an aid to his purposes, and accused Austria of breaking the peace by invading the territory of his ally, the king of Sardinia.

The real fault committed by Austria, under the circumstances, was not in precipitating war, which could not well be avoided in the temper of her antagonists, but in putting, through court favor and privileges of rank, an incapable leader at the head of the army. Old Radetzky, the victor in the last war, was dead, but there were other able leaders who were thrust aside in favor of the Hungarian noble Franz Gyulai, a man without experience as commander-in-chief of an army.

By his uncertain and dilatory movements Gyulai gave the Sardinians time to concentrate an army of 80,000 men around the fortress of Alessandria, and lost all the advantage of being the first in the field. In early May the French army reached Italy, partly by way of the St. Bernard Pass, partly by sea; and Garibaldi, with his mountaineers, took up a position that would enable him to attack the right wing of the Austrians.

Later in the month Napoleon himself appeared, his presence and the name he bore inspiring the soldiers with new valor, while his first order of the day, in which he recalled the glorious deeds which their fathers had done on those plains under his great uncle, roused them to the highest enthusiasm. While assuming the title of commander-in-chief, he was wise enough to leave the conduct of the war to his abler subordinates, MacMahon, Niel, and others.

The Austrian general, having lost the opportunity to attack, was now put on the defensive, in which his incompetence was equally manifested. Being quite ignorant of the position of the foe, he sent Count Stadion, with 12,000 men, on a reconnaissance. An encounter took place at Montebello on May 20th, in which, after a sharp engagement, Stadion was forced to retreat. Gyulai directed his attention to that quarter, leaving Napoleon to march unmolested from Alessandria to the invasion of Lombardy. Gyulai now, aroused by the danger of Milan, began his retreat across the Ticino, which he had so uselessly crossed.

The road to Milan crossed both the Ticino River and the Naviglio Grande, a broad and deep canal a few miles east of the river. Some distance farther on lies the village of Magenta, the seat of the first great battle of the war. Sixty years before, on those Lombard plains, Napoleon the Great had first lost, and then, by a happy chance, won the famous battle of Marengo. The Napoleon now in command was a very different man from the mighty soldier of the year 1800, and the French escaped a disastrous rout only because the Austrians were led by a still worse general. Some one has said that victory comes to the army that makes the fewest blunders. Such seems to have been the case in the battle of Magenta, where military genius was the one thing wanting. The French pushed on, crossed the river without finding a man to dispute the passage—other than a much-surprised customs official—and reached an undefended bridge across the canal. The high road to Milan seemed deserted by the Austrians. But Napoleon's troops were drawn out in a preposterous line, straddling a river and a canal, both difficult to cross, and without any defensive positions to hold against an attack in force. He supposed that the Austrians were stretched out in a similar long line. This was not the case. Gyulai had all the advantages of position, and might have concentrated his army and crushed the advanced corps of the French if he had known his situation and his business. As it was, between ignorance on the one hand and indecision on the other, the battle was fought with about equal forces in the field on either side.

The first contest took place at Buffalora, a village on the canal, where the French encountered the Austrians in force. Here a bloody struggle went on for hours, ending in the capture of the place by the Grenadiers of the Guard, who held on to it afterwards with stubborn courage.

The Battle of Magenta

General MacMahon, in command of the advance, had his orders to march forward, whatever happened, to the church-tower of Magenta, and, in strict obedience to orders, he pushed on, leaving the grenadiers to hold their own as best they could at Buffalora, and heedless of the fact that the reserve troops of the army had not yet begun to cross the river. It was the 5th of June, and the day was well advanced when MacMahon came in contact with the Austrians at Magenta, and the great contest of the day began.

It was a battle in which the commanders on both sides, with the exception of MacMahon, showed lack of military skill and the soldiers on both sides the staunchest courage. The Austrians seemed devoid of plan or system, and their several divisions were beaten in detail by the French. On the other hand, General Camou, in command of the second division of MacMahon's corps, acted as Desaix had done at the battle of Marengo, marched at the sound of the distant cannon. But, unlike Desaix, he moved so deliberately that it took him six hours to make less than five miles. He was a tactician of the old school, imbued with the idea that every march should be made in perfect order.

At half-past four MacMahon, with his uniform in disorder and followed by a few officers of his staff, dashed back to hurry up this deliberate reserve. On the way thither he rode into a body of Austrian sharpshooters. Fortune favored him. Not dreaming of the presence of the French general, they saluted him as one of their own commanders. On his way back he made a second narrow escape from capture by the Uhlans.

The drums now beat the charge, and a determined attack was made by the French, the enemy's main column being taken between two fires. Desperately resisting, it was forced back step by step upon Magenta. Into the town the columns rolled, and the fight became fierce around the church. High in the tower of this edifice stood the Austrian general and his staff, watching the fortunes of the fray; and from this point he caught sight of the four regiments of Camou, advancing as regularly as if on parade. They were not given the chance to fire a shot or receive a scratch, eager as they were to take part in the fight. At sight of them the Austrian general ordered a retreat and the battle was at an end. The French owed their victory largely to General Mellinet and his Grenadiers of the Guard, who held their own like bull-dogs at Buffalora while Camou was advancing with the deliberation of the old military rules.

MacMahon and Mellinet and the French had won the day. Victor Emmanuel and the Sardinians did not reach the ground until after the battle was at an end. For his services on that day of glory for France MacMahon was made Marshal of France and Duke of Magenta.

Possession of Lombardy

The prize of the victory of Magenta was the possession of Lombardy. Gyulai, unable to collect his scattered divisions, gave orders for a general retreat. Milan was evacuated with precipitate haste, and the garrisons were withdrawn from all the towns, leaving them to be occupied by the French and Italians. On the 8th of June Napoleon and Victor Emmanuel rode into Milan side by side, amid the loud acclamations of the people, who looked upon this victory as an assurance of Italian freedom and unity. Meanwhile the Austrians retreated without interruption, not halting until they arrived at the Mincio, where they were protected by the famous Quadrilateral, consisting of the four powerful fortresses of Peschiera, Mantua, Verona, and Leguano, the mainstay of the Austrian power in Italy.

The French and Italians slowly pursued the retreating Austrians, and on the 23d of June bivouacked on both banks of the Chiese River, about fifteen miles west of the Mincio. The Emperor Francis Joseph had recalled the incapable Gyulai, and, in hopes of inspiring his soldiers with new spirit, himself took command. The two emperors, neither of them soldiers, were thus pitted against each other, and Francis Joseph, eager to retrieve the disaster at Magenta, resolved to quit his strong position of defense in the Quadrilateral and assume the offensive.

French Victory at Solferino

At two o'clock in the morning of the 24th the allied French and Italian army resumed its march, Napoleon's orders for the day being based upon the reports of his reconnoitering parties and spies. These led him to believe that, although a strong detachment of the enemy might be encountered west of the Mincio, the main body of the Austrians was awaiting him on the eastern side of the river. But the French intelligence department was badly served. The Austrians had stolen a march upon Napoleon. Undetected by the French scouts, they had recrossed the Mincio, and by nightfall of the 23d their leading columns were occupying the ground on which the French were ordered to bivouac on the evening of the 24th. The intention of the Austrian emperor, now commanding his army in person, had been to push forward rapidly and fall upon the allies before they had completed the passage of the river Chiese. But this scheme, like that of Napoleon, was based on defective information. The allies broke up from their bivouacs many hours before the Austrians expected them to do so, and when the two armies came in contact early in the morning of the 24th of June the Austrians were quite as much taken by surprise as the French.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The Austrian army, superior in numbers to its opponents, was posted in a half-circle between the Mincio and Chiese, with the intention of pressing forward from these points upon a center. But the line was extended too far, and the center was comparatively weak and without reserves. Napoleon, who that morning received complete intelligence of the position of the Austrian army, accordingly directed his chief strength against the enemy's center, which rested upon a height near the village of Solferino.

Here, on the 24th of June, after a murderous conflict, in which the French commanders hurled continually renewed masses against the decisive position, while on the other side the Austrian reinforcements failed through lack of unity of plan and decision of action, the heights were at length won by the French troops in spite of heroic resistance on the part of the Austrian soldiers; the Austrian line of battle being cut through, and the army thus divided into two separate masses. A second attack which Napoleon promptly directed against Cavriano had a similar result; for the commands given by the Austrian generals were confused and had no general and definite aim.

The fate of the battle was already in a great measure decided, when a tremendous storm broke forth that put an end to the combat at most points, and gave the Austrians an opportunity to retire in order. Only Benedek, who had twice beaten back the Sardinians at various points, continued the struggle for some hours longer. On the French side Marshal Niel had pre-eminently distinguished himself by acuteness and bravery. It was a day of bloodshed, on which two great powers had measured their strength against each other for twelve hours. The Austrians had to lament the loss of 13,000 dead and wounded, and left 9,000 prisoners in the enemy's hands; on the side of the French and Sardinians the number of killed and wounded was even greater, for repeated attacks had been made upon well-defended heights, but the number of prisoners was not nearly so great.

Treaty of Peace

The victories in Italy filled the French people with the warmest admiration for their emperor, they thinking, in their enthusiasm, that a true successor of Napoleon the Great had come to bring glory to their arms. Italy also was full of enthusiastic hope, fancying that the freedom and unity of the Italians was at last assured. Both nations were, therefore, bitterly disappointed in learning that the war was at an end, and that a hasty peace had been arranged between the emperors which left the hoped-for work but half achieved.

Napoleon estimated his position better than his people. Despite his victories, his situation was one of danger and difficulty. The army had suffered severely in its brief campaign, and the Austrians were still in possession of the Quadrilateral, a square of powerful fortresses which he might seek in vain to reduce. And a threat of serious trouble had arisen in Germany. The victorious career of a new Napoleon in Italy was alarming. It was not easy to forget the past. The German powers, though they had declined to come to the aid of Austria, were armed and ready, and at any moment might begin a hostile movement upon the Rhine.

Napoleon, wise enough to secure what he had won, without hazarding its loss, arranged a meeting with the Austrian emperor, whom he found quite as ready for peace. The terms of the truce arranged between them were that Austria should abandon Lombardy to the line of the Mincio, almost its eastern boundary, and that Italy should form a confederacy under the presidency of the pope. In the treaty subsequently made only the first of these conditions was maintained, Lombardy passing to the king of Sardinia. He received also the small states of Central Italy, whose tyrants had fled, ceding to Napoleon, as a reward for his assistance, the realm of Savoy and the city and territory of Nice.

Invasion of Mexico

Napoleon III had now reached the summit of his career. In the succeeding years the French were to learn that they had put their faith in a hollow emblem of glory, and he was to lose the prestige he had falsely gained at Magenta and Solferino. His first serious mistake was when he yielded to the voice of ambition, and, taking advantage of the occupation of the Americans in their civil war, sent an army to invade Mexico.

The ostensible purpose of this invasion was to collect a debt which the Mexicans had refused to pay, and Great Britain and Spain were induced to take part in the expedition. But their forces were withdrawn when they found that Napoleon had other purposes in view, and his army was left to fight its battles alone. After some sanguinary engagements, the Mexican army was broken into a series of guerilla bands, incapable of facing his well-drilled troops, and Napoleon proceeded to reorganize Mexico as an empire, placing the Archduke Maximilian of Austria on the throne.

All went well while the people of the United States were fighting for their national union, but when their war was over the ambitious French emperor was soon taught that he had committed a serious error. He was given plainly to understand that the French troops could only be kept in Mexico at the cost of a war with the United States, and he found it convenient to withdraw them early in 1867. They had no sooner gone than the Mexicans were in arms against Maximilian, whose rash acceptance of the advice of the clerical party and determination to remain quickly led to his capture and execution as a usurper. Thus ended in utter failure the most daring effort to ignore the "Monroe Doctrine."

End of Napoleon's Career

The inaction of Napoleon during the wars which Prussia fought with Denmark and Austria gave further blows to his prestige in France, and the opposition to his policy of personal government grew so strong that he felt himself obliged to submit his policy to a vote of the people. He was sustained by a large majority, perhaps obtained by the methods familiar to politicians. Certainly he perceived that his power was sinking. He was obliged to loosen the reins of government at home, in spite of the fact that the yielding of increased liberty to the people would diminish his own control. Finally, finding himself failing in health, confidence and reputation, he yielded to advisers who convinced him that, the only hope for his dynasty lay in a successful war. As a result he undertook the war of 1870 against Prussia. The story of this war will be given in a subsequent chapter. All that need be said here is that it proved the utter incompetence of Napoleon III in military matters, he being completely deceived in the condition of the French army and unwarrantably ignorant of that of the Germans. The conditions were such that victory for France was impossible, France losing its second empire and Napoleon his throne. He died two years later, an exile in England, that place of shelter for the royal refugees of France.

Garibaldi and Italian Unity

Power of Austria Broken


From the time of the fall of the Roman Empire until late in the nineteenth century, a period of some fourteen hundred years, Italy remained disunited, divided up among a series of states, small and large, hostile and peaceful, while its territory was made the battlefield of the surrounding Powers, the helpless prey of Germany, France and Spain. Even the strong hand of Napoleon failed to bring it unity, and after his fall its condition was worse than before, for Austria held most of the north and exerted a controlling power over the remainder of the peninsula, so that the fair form of liberty fled in dismay from its shores.

But the work of Napoleon had inspired the patriots of Italy with a new sentiment, that of union. Before the Napoleonic era the thought of a united Italy scarcely existed, and patriotism meant adherence to Sardinia, Naples, or some other of the many kingdoms and duchies. After that era union became the watch-word of the revolutionists, who felt that the only hope of giving Italy a position of dignity and honor among the nations lay in making it one country under one ruler. The history of the nineteenth century in Italy is the record of the attempt to reach this end, and its successful accomplishment. And on that record the names of two men most prominently appear, Mazzini, the indefatigable conspirator, and Garibaldi, the valorous fighter; to whose names should he added that of the eminent statesman, Count Cavour, and that of the man who reaped the benefit of their patriotic labors, Victor Emmanuel, the first king of united Italy.

The Carbonari

The basis of the revolutionary movements in Italy was the secret political association known as the Carbonari, formed early in the nineteenth century and including members of all classes in its ranks. In 1814 this powerful society projected a revolution in Naples, and in 1820 it was strong enough to invade Naples with an army and force from the king an oath to observe the new constitution which it had prepared. The revolution was put down in the following year by the Austrians, acting as the agents of the "Holy Alliance"—the compact of Austria, Prussia and Russia.

An ordinance was passed condemning any one who should attend a meeting of the Carbonari to capital punishment. But the society continued to exist, despite this severe enactment, and was at the basis of many of the outbreaks that took place in Italy from 1820 onward. Mazzini, Garibaldi, and all the leading patriots were members of this powerful organization, which was daring enough to condemn Napoleon III to death, and almost to succeed in his assassination, for his failure to live up to his obligations as a member of the society.

Mazzini and Garibaldi

Giuseppe Mazzini, a native of Genoa, became a member of the Carbonari in 1830. His activity in revolutionary movements caused him soon after to be proscribed, and in 1831 he sought Marseilles, where he organized a new political society called "Young Italy," whose watchword was "God and the People," and whose basic principle was the union of the several states and kingdoms into one nation, as the only true foundation of Italian liberty. This purpose he avowed in his writings and pursued through exile and adversity with inflexible constancy, and it is largely due to the work of this earnest patriot that Italy today is a single kingdom instead of a medley of separate states. Only in one particular did he fail. His persistent purpose was to establish a republic, not a monarchy.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


While Mazzini was thus working with his pen, his compatriot, Giuseppe Garibaldi, was working as earnestly with his sword. This daring soldier, a native of Nice and reared to a life on the sea, was banished as a revolutionist in 1834, and the succeeding fourteen years of his life were largely spent in South America, in whose wars he played a leading part.

The revolution of 1848 opened Italy to these two patriots, and they hastened to return; Garibaldi to offer his services to Charles Albert of Sardinia, by whom, however, he was treated with coldness and distrust. Mazzini, after founding the Roman republic in 1849, called upon Garibaldi to come to its defense, and the latter displayed the greatest heroism in the contest against the Neapolitan and French invaders. He escaped from Rome on its capture by the French, and, after many desperate conflicts and adventures with the Austrians, was again driven into exile, and in 1850 became a resident of New York. For some time he worked in a manufactory of candles on Staten Island, and afterwards made several voyages on the Pacific.

The war in 1859 of Napoleon III and Victor Emmanuel against the Austrians in Lombardy opened a new and promising channel for the devotion of Garibaldi to his native land. Being appointed major-general and commissioned to raise a volunteer corps, he organized the hardy body of mountaineers called the "Hunters of the Alps," and with them performed prodigies of valor on the plains of Lombardy, winning victories over the Austrians at Varese, Como and other places. In his ranks was his fellow-patriot Mazzini. The success of the French and Sardinians in Lombardy during this war stirred Italy to its center. The grand duke of Tuscany fled to Austria. The duchess of Parma sought refuge in Switzerland. The duke of Modena found shelter in the Austrian camp. Everywhere the brood of tyrants took to flight. Bologna threw off its allegiance to the pope, and proclaimed the king of Sardinia dictator. Several other towns in the States of the Church did the same. In the terms of the truce between Louis Napoleon and Francis Joseph the rulers of these realms were to resume their reigns if the people would permit. But the people would not permit, and these minor states were all annexed to Sardinia, which country was greatly expanded as a result of the war.

Cavour the Statesman

It will not suffice to give all the credit for these revolutionary movements to Mazzini, the organizer, Garibaldi, the soldier, and the ambitious monarchs of France and Sardinia. More important than king and emperor was the eminent statesman, Count Cavour, prime minister of Sardinia from 1852. It is to this able man that the honor of the unification of Italy most fully belongs, though he did not live to see it. He sent a Sardinian army to the assistance of France and England in the Crimea in 1855, and by this act gave his state a standing among the Powers of Europe. He secured liberty of the press and favored toleration in religion and freedom of trade. He rebelled against the dominion of the papacy, and devoted his abilities to the liberation and unity of Italy, undismayed by the angry fulminations from the Vatican. The war of 1859 was his work, and he had the satisfaction of seeing Sardinia increased by the addition of Lombardy, Tuscany, Parma and Modena. A great step had been taken in the work to which he had devoted his life.

The Invasion of Sicily

The next step in the great work was taken by Garibaldi, who now struck at the powerful kingdom of Naples and Sicily in the south. It seemed a difficult task. Francis II, the son and successor of the infamous "King Bomba," had a well-organized army of 150,000 men. But his father's tyranny had filled the land with secret societies, and fortunately at this time the Swiss mercenaries were recalled home, leaving to Francis only his native troops, many of them disloyal at heart to his cause. This was the critical interval which Mazzini and Garibaldi chose for their work.

At the beginning of April, 1860, the signal was given by separate insurrections in Messina and Palermo. These were easily suppressed by the troops in garrison; but though both cities were declared in a state of siege, demonstrations took place by which the revolutionary chiefs excited the public mind. On the 6th of May, Garibaldi started with two steamers from Genoa with about a thousand Italian volunteers, and on the 11th landed near Marsala, on the west coast of Sicily. He proceeded to the mountains, and near Salemi gathered round him the scattered bands of the free corps. By the 14th his army had increased to 4,000 men. He now issued a proclamation, in which he took upon himself the dictatorship of Sicily, in the name of Victor Emmanuel, king of Italy.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


After waging various successful combats under the most difficult circumstances, Garibaldi advanced upon the capital, announcing his arrival by beacon-fires kindled at night. On the 27th he was in front of the Porta Telmina of Palermo, and at once gave the signal for the attack. The people rose in mass, and assisted the operations of the besiegers by barricade-fighting in the streets. In a few hours half the town was in Garibaldi's hands. But now General Lanza, whom the young king had dispatched with strong reinforcements to Sicily, furiously bombarded the insurgent city, so that Palermo was reduced almost to a heap of ruins.

At this juncture, by the intervention of an English admiral, an armistice was concluded, which led to the departure of the Neapolitan troops and war vessels and the surrender of the town to Garibaldi, who thus, with a band of 5,000 badly armed followers, had gained a signal advantage over a regular army of 25,000 men. This event had tremendous consequences, for it showed the utter hollowness of the Neapolitan government, while Garibaldi's fame was everywhere spread abroad. The glowing fancy of the Italians beheld in him the national hero before whom every enemy would bite the dust. This idea seemed to extend even to the Neapolitan court itself, where all was doubt, confusion and dismay. The king hastily summoned a liberal ministry, and offered to restore the constitution of 1848, but the general verdict was, "too late," and his proclamation fell flat on a people who had no trust in Bourbon faith.

The arrival of Garibaldi in Naples was enough to set in blaze all the combustible materials in that state. His appearance there was not long delayed. Six weeks after the surrender of Palermo he marched against Messina. On the 21st of July the fortress of Melazzo was evacuated, and a week afterwards all Messina except the citadel was given up.

Occupation of Naples

Europe was astounded at the remarkable success of Garibaldi's handful of men. On the mainland his good fortune was still more astonishing. He had hardly landed—which he did almost in the face of the Neapolitan fleet—when Reggio was surrendered and its garrison withdrew. His progress through the south of the kingdom was like a triumphal procession. At the end of August he was at Cosenza; on the 5th of September at Eboli, near Salerno. No resistance appeared. His very name seemed to work like magic on the population. The capital had been declared in a state of siege, and on September 6th the king took to flight, retiring, with the 4,000 men still faithful to him, behind the Volturno. The next day Garibaldi, with a few followers, entered Naples, whose populace received him with frantic shouts of welcome.

The remarkable achievements of Garibaldi filled all Italy with overmastering excitement. He had declared that he would proclaim the kingdom of Italy from the heart of its capital city, and nothing less than this would content the people. The position of the pope had become serious. He refused to grant the reforms suggested by the French emperor, and threatened with excommunication any one who should meddle with the domain of the Church. Money was collected from faithful Catholics throughout the world, a summons was issued calling for recruits to the holy army of the pope, and the exiled French General Lamoriciere was given the chief command of the troops, composed of men who had flocked to Rome from many nations. It was hoped that the name of the celebrated French leader would have a favorable influence on the troops of the French garrison of Rome.

The settlement of the perilous situation seemed to rest with Louis Napoleon. If he had let Garibaldi have his way the latter would, no doubt, have quickly ended the temporal sovereignty of the pope and made Rome the capital of Italy. But Napoleon seems to have arranged with Cavour to leave the king of Sardinia free to take possession of Naples, Umbria and the other provinces, provided that Rome and the "patrimony of St. Peter" were left intact.

Victor Emmanuel Takes Command

At the beginning of September two Sardinian army corps, under Fanti and Cialdini, marched to the borders of the states of the Church. Lamoriciere advanced against Cialdini with his motley troops, but was quickly defeated, and on the following day was besieged in the fortress of Ancona. On the 29th he and the garrison surrendered as prisoners of war. On the 9th of October Victor Emmanuel arrived and took command. There was no longer a papal army to oppose him, and the march southward proceeded without a check.

The object of the king in assuming the chief command was to complete the conquest of the kingdom of Naples, in conjunction with Garibaldi. For though Garibaldi had entered the capital in triumph, the progress on the line of the Volturno had been slow; and the expectation that the Neapolitan army would go over to the invaders in a mass had not been realized. The great majority of the troops remained faithful to the flag, so that Garibaldi, although his irregular bands amounted to more than 25,000 men, could not hope to drive away King Francis, or to take the fortresses of Capua and Gaeta, without the help of Sardinia. Against the diplomatic statesman Cavour, who fostered no illusions, and saw the conditions of affairs in its true light, the simple, honest Garibaldi cherished a deep aversion. He could never forgive Cavour for having given up Nice, Garibaldi's native town, to the French. On the other hand, he felt attracted toward the king, who, in his opinion, seemed to be the man raised up by Providence for the liberation of Italy.

Accordingly, when Victor Emmanuel entered Sessa, at the head of his army, Garibaldi was easily induced to place his dictatorial power in the hands of the king, to whom he left the completion of the work of the union of Italy. After greeting Victor Emmanuel with the title of King of Italy, and giving the required resignation of his power, with the words, "Sire, I obey," he entered Naples, riding beside the king; and then, after recommending his companions in arms to his majesty's special favor, he retired to his home on the island of Caprera, refusing to receive a reward, in any shape or form, for his services to the state and its head.

The progress of the Sardinian army compelled Francis to give up the line of the Volturno, and he eventually took refuge, with his best troops, in the fortress of Gaeta. On the maintenance of this fortress hung the fate of the kingdom of Naples. Its defense is the only bright point in the career of the feeble Francis, whose courage was aroused by the heroic resolution of his young wife, the Bavarian Princess Mary. For three months the defense continued. But no European Power came to the aid of the king, disease appeared with scarcity of food and of munitions of war, and the garrison was at length forced to capitulate. The fall of Gaeta was practically the completion of the great work of the unification of Italy. Only Rome and Venice remained to be added to the united kingdom. On February 18, 1861, Victor Emmanuel assembled at Turin the deputies of all the states that acknowledged his supremacy, and in their presence assumed the title of King of Italy, which he was the first to bear. In four months afterwards Count Cavour, to whom this great work was largely due, died. He had lived long enough to see the purpose of his life practically accomplished.

Watchword of the Patriots

Great as had been the change which two years had made, the patriots of Italy were not satisfied. "Free from the Alps to the Adriatic!" was their cry; "Rome and Venice!" became the watch-word of the revolutionists. Mazzini, who had sought to found a republic, was far from content, and the agitation went on. Garibaldi was drawn into it, and made bitter complaint of the treatment his followers had received. In 1862, disheartened at the inaction of the king, he determined to undertake against Rome an expedition like that which he had led against Naples two years before.

In June he sailed from Genoa and landed at Palermo, where he was quickly joined by an enthusiastic party of volunteers. They supposed that the government secretly favored their design, but the king had no idea of fighting against the French troops in Rome and arousing international complications, and he energetically warned all Italians against taking part in revolutionary enterprises.

Garibaldi Marches against Rome

But Garibaldi persisted in his design. When his way was barred by the garrison of Messina he turned aside to Catania, where he embarked with 2,000 volunteers, declaring he would enter Rome as a victor, or perish beneath its walls. He landed at Melito on the 24th of August, and threw himself at once, with his followers, into the Calabrian mountains. But his enterprise was quickly and disastrously ended. General Cialdini despatched a division of the regular army, under Colonel Pallavicino, against the volunteer bands. At Aspromonte, on the 28th of August, the two forces came into collision. A chance shot was followed by several volleys from the regulars. Garibaldi forbade his men to return the fire of their fellow-subjects of the Italian kingdom. He was wounded, and taken prisoner with his followers, a few of whom had been slain in the short combat. A government steamer carried the wounded chief to Varignano, where he was held in a sort of honorable imprisonment, and was compelled to undergo a tedious and painful operation for the healing of his wound. He had at least the consolation that all Europe looked with sympathy and interest upon the unfortunate hero; and a general sense of relief was felt when, restored to health, he was set free, and allowed to return to his rocky island of Caprera.

Victor Emmanuel was seeking to accomplish his end by safer means. The French garrison of Rome was the obstacle in his way, and this was finally removed through a treaty with Louis Napoleon in September, 1864, the emperor agreeing to withdraw his troops during the succeeding two years, in which the pope was to raise an army large enough to defend his dominions. Florence was to replace Turin as the capital of Italy. This arrangement created such disturbances in Turin that the king was forced to leave that city hastily for his new capital. In December, 1866, the last of the French troops departed from Rome, in despite of the efforts of the pope to retain them. By their withdrawal Italy was freed from the presence of foreign soldiers for the first time probably in a thousand years.

In 1866 came an event which reacted favorably for Italy, though her part in it was the reverse of triumphant. This was the war between Prussia and Austria. Italy was in alliance with Prussia, and Victor Emmanuel hastened to lead an army across the Mincio to the invasion of Venetia, the last Austrian province in Italy. Garibaldi at the same time was to invade the Tyrol with his volunteers. The enterprise ended in disaster. The Austrian troops, under the Archduke Albert, encountered the Italians at Custozza and gained a brilliant victory, despite the much greater numbers of the Italians.

Fortunately for Italy, the Austrians had been unsuccessful in the north, and the emperor, with the hope of gaining the alliance of France and breaking the compact between Italy and Prussia, decided to cede Venetia to Louis Napoleon. His purpose failed. All Napoleon did in response was to act as a peacemaker, while the Italian king refused to recede from his alliance. Though the Austrians were retreating from a country which no longer belonged to them, the invasion of Venetia by the Italians continued, and several conflicts with the Austrian army took place.

Battle of Ironclads

But the most memorable event of this brief war occurred on the sea—the greatest battle of ironclad ships in the period between the American Civil War and the Japan-China contest. Both countries concerned had fleets on the Adriatic. Italy was the strongest in naval vessels, possessing ten ironclads and a considerable number of wooden ships. Austria's ironclad fleet was seven in number, plated with thin iron and with no very heavy guns. In addition there was a number of wooden vessels and gunboats. But in command of this fleet was an admiral in whose blood was the iron which was lacking on his ships, Tegetthoff, the Dewey of the Adriatic. Inferior as his ships were, his men were thoroughly drilled in the use of the guns and the evolutions of the ships, and when he sailed it was with the one thought of victory.

Persano, the Italian admiral, as if despising his adversary, engaged in siege of the fortified island of Lissa, near the Dalmatian coast, leaving the Austrians to do what they pleased. What they pleased was to attack him with a fury such as has been rarely seen. Early on July 20, 1866, when the Italians were preparing for a combined assault of the island by land and sea, their movement was checked by the signal displayed on a scouting frigate: "Suspicious-looking ships are in sight." Soon afterwards the Austrian fleet appeared, the ironclads leading, the wooden ships in the rear.

The battle that followed has had no parallel before or since. The whole Austrian fleet was converted into rams. Tegetthoff gave one final order to his captains: "Close with the enemy and ram everything grey." Grey was the color of the Italian ships. The Austrian were painted black, so as to prevent any danger of error.

Fire was opened at two miles distance, the balls being wasted in the waters between the fleets. "Full steam ahead," signaled Tegetthoff. On came the fleets, firing steadily, the balls now beginning to tell. "Ironclads will ram and sink the enemy," signaled Tegetthoff. It was the last order he gave until the battle was won.

Soon the two lines of ironclads closed amid thick clouds of smoke. Tegetthoff, in his flagship, the Ferdinand Max, twice rammed a grey ironclad without effect. Then, out of the smoke, loomed up the tall masts of the Re d'Italia, Persano's flagship in the beginning of the fray. Against this vessel the Ferdinand Max  rushed at full speed, and struck her fairly amidships. Her sides of iron were crushed in by the powerful blow, her tall masts toppled over, and down beneath the waves sank the great ship with her crew of 600 men. The next minute another Italian ship came rushing upon the Austrian, and was only avoided by a quick turn of the helm.

One other great disaster occurred to the Italians. The Palestro  was set on fire, and the pumps were put actively to work to drown the magazine. The crew thought the work had been successfully performed, and that they were getting the fire under control, when there suddenly came a terrible burst of flame attended by a roar that drowned all the din of the battle. It was the death knell of 400 men, for the Palestro  had blown up with all on board.

The great ironclad turret ship and ram of the Italian fleet, the Affondatore, to which Admiral Persano had shifted his flag, far the most powerful vessel in the Adriatic, kept outside of the battle-line, and was of little service in the fray. It was apparently afraid to encounter Tegetthoff's terrible rams. The battle ended with the Austrian fleet, wooden vessels and all, passing practically unharmed through the Italian lines into the harbor of Lissa, leaving death and destruction in their rear. Tegetthoff was the one Austrian who came out of that war with fame. Persano on his return home was put on trial for cowardice and incompetence. He was convicted of the latter and dismissed from the navy in disgrace.

Final Act of Italian Unity

But Italy, though defeated by land and sea, gained a valuable prize from the war, for Napoleon ceded Venetia to the Italian king, and soon afterwards Victor Emmanuel entered Venice in triumph. Thus was completed the second act in the unification of Italy.

The national party, with Garibaldi at its head, still aimed at the possession of Rome, as the historic capital of the peninsula. In 1867 he made a second attempt to capture Rome, but the papal army, strengthened with a new French auxiliary force, defeated his badly armed volunteers, and he was taken prisoner and held captive for a time, after which he was sent back to Caprera. This led to the French army of occupation being returned to Civita Vecchia, where it was kept for several years.

The final act came as a consequence of the Franco-German war of 1870, which rendered necessary the withdrawal of the French troops from Italy. The pope was requested to make a peaceful abdication. As he refused this, the States of the Church were occupied up to the walls of the capital, and a three hours' cannonade of the city sufficed to bring the long strife to an end. Rome became the capital of Italy, and the whole peninsula, for the first time since the fall of the ancient Roman empire, was concentrated into a single nation, under one king.

The Expansion of Germany

Beginnings of Modern World Power


The effort made in 1848 to unify Germany had failed for two reasons—first, because its promoters had not sufficiently clear and precise ideas, and, secondly, because they lacked material strength. Until 1859 reaction against novelties and their advocates dominated in Germany and even Prussia as well as in Austria. The Italian war, as was easily foreseen, and as wary counselors had told Napoleon III, revived the agitation in favor of unity beyond the Rhine. After September 16, 1859, it had its center in the national circle of Frankfort and its manifesto in the proclamation which this issued on September 4, 1860, a proclamation whose terms, though in moderate forms, clearly announced the design of excluding Austria from Germany. It was the object of those favoring unity, but with more decision than in 1848, to place the group of German states under Prussia's imperial direction. The accession of a new king, William I, who was already in advance called William the Conqueror, was likely to bring this project to a successful issue. The future German emperor's predecessor, Frederick William IV, with the same ambition as his brother, had too many prejudices and too much confusion in his mind to be capable of realizing it. Becoming insane towards the close of 1857, he had to leave the government to William, who, officially regent after October 7, 1858, became king on January 2, 1861.

William I of Prussia

The new sovereign was almost sixty-four years old. The son of Frederick William III and Queen Louisa, while yet a child he had witnessed the disasters of his country and his home, and then as a young man had had his first experience of arms towards the close of the Napoleonic wars. Obliged to flee during the revolt of 1848, he had afterwards, by his pro-English attitude at the time of the Crimean war, won the sympathies of the Liberals, who joyfully acclaimed his accession. To lower him to the rank of a party leader was to judge him erroneously. William I was above all a Prussian prince, serious, industrious, and penetrated with a sense of his duties to the state, the first of which, according to the men of his house, has ever been to aggrandize it; and he was also imbued with the idea that the state was essentially incarnate in him.

"I am the first king," he said at his coronation, "to assume power since the throne has been surrounded with modern institutions, but I do not forget that the crown comes from God."

He had none of the higher talents that mark great men, but he possessed the two essential qualities of the head of a state—firmness and judgment. He showed this by the way in which he chose and supported those who built up his greatness, and this merit is rarer than is generally supposed. A soldier above all, he saw that Prussia's ambitions could be realized only with a powerful army.

Advised by Von Moltke, the army's chief of staff after 1858, and Von Roon, the great administrator, who filled the office of minister of war, he changed the organization of 1814, which had become insufficient. Instead of brigades formed in war time, half of men in active service and half of reserves, regiments were now recruited by a three (instead of a two) years' service and reinforced in case of need by the classes of reserves. The Landwehr, divided into two classes (twenty-five to thirty-two years and thirty-two to thirty-nine), was grouped separately. This system gave seven hundred thousand trained soldiers, Prussia having then seventeen million inhabitants. This was more than either France or Austria had. The armament was also superior. Frederick William I had already said that the first result to be obtained in this direction was celerity in firing. This was assured by the invention of the needle gun.

Bismarck's Early Career

Such a transformation entailed heavy expenses. The Prussian Chamber, made up for the most part of Liberals, did not appreciate its utility. Moreover, it was not in favor of increasing the number of officers, because they were recruited from the nobility. After having yielded with bad grace in 1860, the deputies refused the grants in 1861 and 1862. It was at this time that Bismarck was called to the ministry (September 24, 1862). Otto von Bismarck-Schonhausen, born April 1, 1815, belonged by birth to that minor Prussian nobility, rough and realistic, but faithful and disciplined, which has ever been one of the Prussian state's sources of strength. After irregular studies at the University of Gottingen, he had entered the administration, but had not been able to stay in it, and had lived on his rather moderate estates until 1847. The diet of that year, to which he had been elected, brought him into prominence. There he distinguished himself in the Junker (poor country squires) party by his marked contempt for the Liberalism then in vogue and his insolence to the Liberals. Frederick William IV entrusted him with representing Prussia at Frankfort, where he assumed the same attitude towards the Austrians (1851-59).

He was afterward ambassador at St. Petersburg, and had just been sent to Paris in the same capacity when he became prime minister.

His character was a marked one. In it was evident a taste for sarcastic raillery and a sort of frankness, apparently brutal, but really more refined than cruel. His qualities were those of all great politicians, embracing energy, decision and realism; that is, talent for appreciating all things at their effective value and for not letting himself be duped either by appearances, by current theories, or by words. Very unfavorably received by the parliament, he paid little heed to the furious opposition of the deputies, causing to be promulgated by ordinance the budget which they refused him, suppressing hostile newspapers, treating his adversaries with studied insolence, and declaring to them that, if the Chamber had its rights, the king also had his, and that force must settle the matter in such a case. To get rid of these barren struggles, he took advantage of the first incident of foreign politics. The Schleswig-Holstein question furnished him with the desired opportunity.

The Schleswig-Holstein Question

This was the first of the various important questions of international policy in which Bismarck became concerned. The united provinces of Schleswig-Holstein, lying on the northern border of Denmark, had long been notable as a source of continual strife between Germany and Denmark. The majority of the inhabitants of Schleswig were Danes, but those of Holstein were very largely Germans, and the question of their true national affiliation lay open from the time of their original union in 1386. It became insistent after the middle of the nineteenth century.

The treaty of London in 1852 had maintained the union of Holstein with Denmark, but did not put a definite end to the demands of the Germans, who held that it was a constituent part of Germany. The quarrel was renewed in 1855 over a common constitution given by King Frederick VII to all his states. This was abolished in 1858, and afterwards the Danes sought to grant complete autonomy to the duchies of Schleswig and Lauenburg, this movement being with the purpose of making more complete the union of Schleswig with their country. This step, taken in 1863, led to a protest from the German diet.

In all this there was food for an indefinite contest, for, on the one hand, Schleswig did not form a part of the Confederation, but, on the other, certain historical bonds attached it to Holstein, and its population was mixed. The death of Frederick VII (November 15, 1863), who was succeeded by a distant relative, Christian IX, further complicated the quarrel. The duke of Augustenburg claimed the three duchies, though he had previously renounced them. The German diet, on its part, wanted the Danish constitution abolished in Schleswig.

The dream of the petty German states hostile to Prussia, and especially of the Saxon minister, Von Beust, was to strengthen their party by the creating of a new duchy. Bismarck admirably outplayed everybody. He knew that the great Powers were at odds with one another over Poland. He, on the contrary, could count on Russia's friendship and the personal aid of Queen Victoria, whom Prince Albert had completely won over to pro-German ideas. He used England to make Christian IX consent to the occupation of Holstein, which, he said, was in reality an acknowledgment of that king's rights. At this stage, had the Danes yielded to the necessities of the situation and withdrawn from Schleswig under protest, the European Powers would probably have intervened and a congress would have restored Schleswig to the Danish realm. Bismarck prevented this by a cunning stratagem, making the Copenhagen government believe that Great Britain had taken a step hostile to that government. There was no truth in this, but it succeeded in inducing Denmark to remain defiant. As a consequence, on the 1st of February 1864, the combined forces of Prussia and Austria crossed the Eider and invaded the province.

It was a movement to regain to Germany a section held to be non-Danish in population and retained by Denmark against the traditions and the will of its people. Austria, which did not wish to appear less German than Prussia, though the matter did not directly appeal to that country, joined in the movement, being drawn into it by Bismarck's shrewd policy.

It was not the original intention to go beyond the borders of the duchies and invade Denmark, but when Christian IX tried to resist the invasion this was done. The Danewerk and the Schlei were forced, and the Danish army was defeated at Flensburg and driven back into Dueppel, which was taken by assault. A conference of the great Powers, opened at London (April 25th to June 25th), brought about no result. Napoleon III did not refuse to act, but he wanted as a condition that England would promise him something more than its moral support, which it refused to do. Finally Jutland was invaded and conquered, and Von Moltke was already preparing for a landing in Fuenen when Christian IX gave up all the duchies by the Vienna preliminaries (August 1st), confirmed by treaty on October 30th following.

Conquest of the Duchies

The fate of the conquest remained to be decided upon. Bismarck settled it, after a pretence of investigation, by concluding that the rights of King Christian over the duchies were far superior to those of the Duke of Augustenburg, who had a hereditary claim, and that as Prussia and Austria had won them from the king by conquest, they had become the lawful owners. An agreement was made in which Holstein was assigned to Austria and Schleswig to Prussia, and for the time the question seemed settled.

Bismarck's Wider Views

This was far from being the case. Bismarck held views of far more expanded scope. He wanted to exclude Austria from the German confederation, and to do so desired war with that country as the only practical means of gaining his ends. In 1865 he made the significant remark that a single battle in Bohemia would decide everything and that Prussia would win that battle. A remark like this was indicative of the purpose entertained and the events soon to follow.

In such a war, however, it was important to secure the neutrality of France. The alert Prussian statesman had already assured himself of that of Russia. To gain France to his side he held an interview with Napoleon III at Biarritz in October, 1865. The cunning diplomat offered the emperor an alliance with a view to the extension of Prussia and Italy, by means of which France would take Belgium. Napoleon saw very clearly that the offer was chimerical, but he believed that Prussia if fighting alone would be rapidly crushed, and that the alliance of Italy would aid him in protracting the war, thus enabling him to intervene as a peacemaker and to impose a vast rearrangement of territory, the most essential provision of which would be the exchange of Venetia for Silesia. Whatever Napoleon's views, Bismarck saw that he was safe from any interference on the part of France, and returned with the fixed design of driving Austria to the wall.

War Forced on Austria

He found the desired pretext in the Holstein question and the far more serious one of reforming the federal government. On January 24, 1866, he reproached the Austrian government with favoring in Holstein the pretensions of the Duke of Augustenburg. The grievance soon became envenomed by complaints and ulterior measures. In April Bismarck denounced the so-called offensive measures which Austria was taking in Bohemia and which, in short, were only precautionary. Yet at the same time he himself was signing with Italy a treaty, concluded for three months, by virtue of which Victor Emmanuel was to declare war against Austria as soon as Prussia itself had done so.

Bismarck, now invited to lay the Austrian-Prussian dispute before the diet, answered by asking that an assembly elected by universal suffrage be called to discuss the question of federal reform. And when Austria offered to disarm in Bohemia if Prussia would do so on its part, Bismarck demanded, in addition, disarmament in Venetia, a condition he knew to be unacceptable. On May 7, 1866, he declared he would not accept the diet's intervention in the duchies question, and on the 8th ordered the mobilization of the Prussian army.

Napoleon III at this juncture proposed the holding of a congress for settling the duchies question and that of federal reform. Thiers had warned him in vain, in an admirable speech delivered on May 3d, that France had everything to lose by aiding in bringing about the unity of Germany. The emperor obstinately persisted, proposing to tear up those treaties of 1815 which, two years before, he had childishly declared to be no longer in existence. His proposition of a congress, however, failed through the refusal of Austria and the petty states to take pare in it. He next signer( with Austria a secret treaty by which the latter promised to cede Venetia after its first victory and on condition of being indemnified at Prussia's expense. By a strange inconsistency the French emperor proposed at the same time to make Prussia more homogeneous in the north.

Bismarck acted in a far clearer manner than the French emperor. On June 5th, General von Gablenz, the Austrian governor of Holstein, convened the states of that country, Austria declaring that the object of this measure was to enable the federal diet to settle the question. A German force under General Manteuffel at once invaded the duchy and, having far superior forces at his disposal, took possession of it. On the 10th, Prussia asked the different German States to accept a new constitution based on the exclusion of Austria, the election of a parliament by universal suffrage, the creation of a strong federal power and a common army. The diet answered by voting the federal execution against Prussia. Thereupon the Prussian envoy, Savigny, withdrew, declaring that his sovereign ceased to recognize the Confederation.

Events proved how correctly Bismarck had judged in his confidence in Prussia's military strength. The Prussian forces amounted to 330,000 men, who were to be aided in the south by 240,000 Italians. Austria had 335,000 troops and its German allies 146,000. Generally the last named had little zeal.

The Austrian government acted slowly, while its adversary vigorously assumed the offensive. On June 16th, after an unavailing notice, the Prussian troops invaded Saxony and occupied it without resistance, the Saxon army withdrawing to Bohemia. The same was the case in Hesse, whose grand duke was taken prisoner, while his army joined the Bavarians. Still less fortunate was the king of Hanover, who did not even save his army, which, also retreating towards the south, was surrounded and obliged to capitulate at Langensalza (June 29th).

In the south the Prussian General Vogel von Falkenstein, who had but 57,000 men against over a 100,000, took advantage of the fact that his adversaries had separated into two masses, the one at Frankfort and the other at Meiningen, to beat them separately, the Bavarians at Kissingen (July 10th) and the Prince of Hesse, commanding the other army, at Aschaffenburg (July 14th). On the 16th the Prussians entered Frankfort, which they overwhelmed with requisitions and contributions. General Manteuffel, Falkenstein's successor, then drove the federal armies from the line of the Tauber, where they had united, back to Wurzburg. On the 28th an armistice was concluded.

The War in Italy

The Italians had been less successful. Archduke Albert, who commanded in Venetia, had only 70,000 men, but they were Croatian Slavs, that is, Austria's best troops. Confronting him, Victor Emmanuel commanded 124,000 men on the Chiese and Cialdini 80,000 in the neighborhood of Ferrara. They proved unable to act together. Cialdini let himself be kept in check by a mere handful of troops, while the Austrian archduke attacked the Italian royal army at Custozza. Serious errors in tactics and panic in an Italian brigade, which fled before three platoons of lancers that had the audacity to charge it, gave victory to the Austrians. Cialdini had remained behind the Po. Garibaldi, who had undertaken, with 36,000 men, to conquer the Trent region, defended by only 13,000 regulars and 4,000 militia under General von Kuhn, found himself not only repulsed in every attack, but, had it not been for the evacuation of Venetia, his adversary would have pursued him on Italian territory. The important events which took place at sea have been described in the preceding chapter.

Austria's Signal Defeat of Sadowa

It was not on these events that the outcome of the war was to depend, but on the victory or defeat of the chief Austrian army. The forces of the two Powers on the Silesian and Saxon frontier were almost equal; but the Austrian commander-in-chief, Benedek, brave and brilliant as a division leader, proved unequal to his present task. He dallied in Moravia until June 16th, while the Prussians entered Bohemia in two separate masses, one on each side of the Riesen Gebirge. Benedek wavered and blundered. He sent only 60,000 men against 150,000 under Prince Frederick Charles, and they suffered four defeats in as many days (June 26-29th). At the same time he had made the same mistake in regard to the Prince Royal, who won in over half a dozen skirmishes. During the following night, June 29-30th, the second Prussian army reached the Elbe.

Benedek's incapacity was now completely demonstrated. He telegraphed to the emperor to make peace at any cost, and retreated on Olmutz. Then he changed his mind and decided to fight, seeking to throw the blame for his own errors on his subordinates. The battlefield chosen by him was near the village of Sadowa, and here his army, though sadly demoralized, fought with much bravery. The Austrians, whom their general had notified of the imminent battle only in the middle of the night, had fortified the slopes and villages as best they could. At eight in the morning Frederick Charles began the attack by crossing the Bistritz. Benedek's center resisted, but the right and left wings lost ground. At half past eleven the Prussians were losing ground and seemed ready to retreat. At this critical moment the army of the Prince Royal appeared, coming from the north.

The second and sixth Austrian corps, obliged to confront the new troops with a flank march under the fire of the Prussian artillery, could not hold out long, and about three o'clock the strongest Austrian position was lost. It was necessary at any cost to regain it, but all efforts failed against their own entrenchments, defended by the captors with desperate energy. At half past four retreat became necessary. Half of the Austrian army escaped without much difficulty; but the rest, three army corps, driven towards the Elbe by the entire victorious army, would have been annihilated but for the devotedness of the cavalry and the artillerymen. These formed successive fire lines, and continuing to shoot until the muzzles of their guns were reached, saving the infantry from destruction through dint of dying at their posts. Despite this diversion it was a frightful rout, which cost the vanquished 40,000 men and 187 pieces of artillery. The Prussians lost only 10,000 dead and wounded.

The Treaty of Prague

The Austrians tried to fall back on Vienna, but only three corps out of eight reached there, as the Prussian army by a rapid march had forced the others to seek refuge at Presburg. On July 18th the Prussian armies were concentrated on the Russbach. Archduke Albert, recalled from Italy, had taken command of the troops covering Vienna, but the internal condition of the empire, where Hungary was in agitation, was too disquieting for it to be possible, without aid, to continue the war. This aid Napoleon III could and should have furnished. The French army had suffered from the expedition to Mexico. Yet it would have been possible to put a hundred thousand men on foot immediately, and, later on, Bismarck acknowledged that this would have sufficed to change the result. But Napoleon III was ill and swayed between opposing influences. Prince Napoleon, whom he heeded very much, was decidedly in favor of Prussia. Accordingly, no step was taken but an offer of mediation. Then he had the weakness, in spite of his minister, Drouyn de Lhuys, to consent to the annexations which Prussia wished to bring about in northern Germany. He asked, however, that Austria lose only Venetia, but it was precisely Bismarck's will that had, and not without difficulty, persuaded Icing William that he must not, by territorial demands, compromise the alliance which he afterwards realized.

On July 26th the peace preliminaries of Nikolsburg were signed. Austria paid a considerable indemnity, abandoned its former position in Germany, acknowledged the extension of Prussian authority to the line of the Main and the annexations which Prussia would deem it to its purpose to make. The three Danish duchies were likewise abandoned. It was stipulated only that the inhabitants of northern Schleswig should be consulted as to their wish to be restored or not to Denmark, which was never done. The definitive treaty was signed on August 25th at Prague. As for Italy, Francis Joseph had ceded Venetia to Napoleon III, who was to transmit it to Victor Emmanuel, but the Italians protested loudly against the idea of being satisfied with so little. They wanted in addition at least the Trent country. "Have you, then," Bismarck said to them, "lost another battle to claim a province more?" On August 10th the preliminaries of peace were signed on that side. The final treaty, that of Vienna, was concluded on October 3, 1866.

Germany after 1866

Prussia, now master of Germany, annexed Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, Nassau and the city of Frankfort, which increased its population by four and a half millions. The rest of the northern states as far as the Main were to form wider its direction the Confederation of Northern Germany (proclaimed July 1, 1867), with a constitution exactly the same as that of the German empire of today. As for the southern states, they remained independent, but signed military agreements which connected them with Prussia. Napoleon III tried in vain to obtain a compensation for that enormous increase of power. To the first overtures which he made to this end (he wanted the Palatinate) Bismarck answered with a flat refusal and a threat of war. He added, however, that he would consent to an enlargement of France from Belgium, a project which he was afterwards careful to mention as coming from the Paris cabinet.

Bismarck had succeeded in humbling Austria and reducing its importance among the great Powers of Europe, and had expanded Prussia alike on the north and south and made it decisively the ruling nation in Central Europe. As we have seen, it had concluded military agreements with the states of southern Germany. It held them also in another manner, namely, by means of the Zollverein, signed anew on June 4, 1867. But it was as yet far from having brought about a peaceful realization of unity. The southern states, not merely the sovereigns only, but the peoples as well, had always shown little taste for Prussian leadership, and after 1866 this feeling was very visible. It was for that reason that Bismarck had need of a war against France to strengthen his position. Union against the foreigner was the cement with which he hoped to complete political unity. Such a war came near breaking out in 1867 in relation to Luxembourg. Napoleon III keenly desired to have at least that country as compensation for Prussia's aggrandizements, and the king of Holland was disposed to cede his rights for a consideration. But Bismarck, after having secretly approved of the bargain, officially declared his opposition to it. Napoleon, hampered at one and the same time by the Paris Exposition of that year and by the bad condition of his army, was too happy to escape from embarrassment, since it was evident that the Prussians were not willing to evacuate the fortress of Luxembourg, by obtaining with the aid of the other Powers that the little duchy be declared neutral and the walls of its capital destroyed.

In spite of this arrangement, it remained certain to everybody that a conflict would break out in a short time between France and Prussia. We have seen what reasons Bismarck had for the methods pursued by him and those projected. Napoleon III's government, justly censured by opinion for the weakness which it had shown in 1866 and constantly losing its authority, was destined to fall into the first trap its adversary would set for it. What this trap was and the momentous events to which it led will be described in the next chapter.

The Franco-Prussian War

Birth of the German Empire and the French Republic


In 1866 the war between the two great powers of Germany, in which most of the smaller powers were concerned, led to more decided measures, in the absorption by Prussia of the weaker states, the formation of a North German League among the remaining states of the north, and the offensive and defensive alliance with Prussia of the south German states. By the treaty of peace with Austria, that power was excluded from the German League, and Prussia remained the dominant power in Germany. A constitution for the League was adopted in 1867, providing for a Diet, or legislative council of the League, elected by the direct votes of the people, and an army, which was to be under the command of the Prussian king and subject to the military laws of Prussia. Each state in the League bound itself to supply a specified sum for the support of the army.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Here was a union with a backbone—an army and a budget—and Bismarck had done more in the five years of his ministry in forming a united Germany than his predecessors had done in fifty years. But the idea of union and alliance between kindred states was then widely in the air. Such a union had been practically completed in Italy, and Hungary in 1867 regained her ancient rights, which had been taken from her in 1849, being given a separate government, with Francis Joseph, the emperor of Austria, as its king. It was natural that the common blood of the Germans should lead them to a political confederation, and equally natural that Prussia, which so overshadowed the smaller states in strength, should be the leading element in the alliance.

Yet, though Prussia had concluded military agreements with the states of southern Germany and held them also by means of the Zollverein, this was far from bringing about a peaceful realization of unity. The southern states, not merely the sovereigns only, but the peoples, have always had little taste for Prussian leadership, and after 1866 this feeling was very visible. For this reason Bismarck felt it important to instigate a war against France. Union against the foreigner was to complete political unity. This subject has been dealt with in the preceding chapter, and we need here merely to repeat that warlike sentiments were in the air in 1867, in regard to the desire of Napoleon III to add to his empire the little duchy of Luxembourg and Bismarck's opposition to this desire. France was not then in a favorable condition for war, and the matter was finally settled by declaring Luxembourg a neutral state and ordering the walls around its capital to be destroyed.

Causes of Hostile Relations

In spite of this settlement, it remained certain to everybody that a conflict would break out in a short time between France and Prussia. We have seen what reasons Bismarck had for such a war. Napoleon III's government, justly censured by opinion for the weakness which it had shown in 1866, was eager to retrieve the fault it had then committed. Yet the weakness of the administration continued and prevented it from adopting the indispensable military measures that it should have done. The enemies of power were declaiming against standing armies, which they declared useless. The government deputies were afraid to dissatisfy their constituents by aggravating the burdens of the service. Marshal Niel, minister of war, tried indeed to adopt measures with a view to the seemingly inevitable conflict. He caused to be elaborated a plan of campaign, a system of transportation by railway, an arrangement for the chief places of the east to be armed with rifled cannon. But the Chamber grudged him the appropriations for the increase of the army, asking him if "he wished to make France a vast barracks." "Take care," he answered the opposition, "lest you make it a vast cemetery." Accordingly, when the mobile national guard had been created, made up of all the young men who had not been drawn by lot, organization was given to it only on paper, and it was never drilled. Leboeuf, who succeeded Niel in August, 1869, abandoned, moreover, most of his predecessor's plans. He even neglected to do anything towards carrying out on the eastern frontier any of the works of defense already recommended as urgent by the generals of the Restoration.

And thus time passed on until the eventful year 1870. By that year Prussia had completed its work among the North German states and was ready for the issue of hostilities, if this should be necessary. On the other hand, Napoleon, who had found his prestige in France from various causes decreasing, felt obliged in 1870 to depart from his policy of personal rule and give that country a constitutional government. This proposal was submitted to a vote of the people and was sustained by an immense majority. He also took occasion to state that "peace was never more assured than at the present time." This assurance gave satisfaction to the world, yet it was a false one, for war was probably at that moment assured.

Discontent in France

There were alarming signs in France. The opposition to Napoleonism was steadily gaining power. A bad harvest was threatened a serious source of discontent. The parliament was discussing the reversal of the sentence of banishment against the Orleans family.

These indications of a change in public sentiment appeared to call for some act that would aid in restoring the popularity of the emperor. And of all the acts that could be devised a national war seemed the most promising. If the Rhine frontier, which every Frenchman regarded as the natural boundary of the empire, could be regained by the arms of the nation, discontent and opposition would vanish, the name of Napoleon would win back its old prestige, and the reign of Bonapartism would be firmly established.

Acts speak louder than words, and the acts of Napoleon were not in accord with his assurances of peace. Extensive military preparations began, and the forces of the empire were strengthened by land and sea, while great trust was placed in a new weapon, of murderous powers, called the mitrailleuse, the predecessor of the machine gun, and capable of discharging twenty-five balls at once.

Causes of Hostile Relations

On the other hand, there were abundant indications of discontent in Germany, where a variety of parties inveighed against the rapacious policy of Prussia, and where Bismarck had sown a deep crop of hate. It was believed in France that the minor states would not support Prussia in a war. In Austria the defeat of 1866 rankled, and hostilities against Prussia on the part of France seemed certain to win sympathy and support in that composite empire. Colonel Stoffel, the French military envoy at Berlin, declared that Prussia would be found abundantly prepared for a struggle; but his warnings went unheeded in the French Cabinet, and the warlike preparations continued.

Napoleon did not have to go far for an excuse for the war upon which he was resolved. One was prepared for him in that potent source of trouble, the succession to the throne of Spain. In that country there had for years been no end of trouble, revolts, Carlist risings, wars and rumors of wars. The government of Queen Isabella, with its endless intrigues, plots and alternation of despotism and anarchy, and the pronounced immorality of the queen, had become so distasteful to the people that finally, after several years of revolts and armed risings, she was driven from her throne by a revolution, and for a time Spain was without a monarch and was ruled on republican principles.

But this arrangement did not prove satisfactory. The party in opposition looked around for a king, and negotiations began with a distant relative of the Prussian royal family, Leopold of Hohenzollern. Prince Leopold accepted the offer, and informed the king of Prussia of his decision.

The news of this event caused great excitement in Paris, and the Prussian government was advised of the painful feeling to which the incident had given rise. The answer from Berlin that the Prussian government had no concern in the matter, and that Prince Leopold was free to act on his own account, did not allay the excitement. The demand for war grew violent and clamorous, the voices of the feeble opposition in the Chambers were drowned, and the journalists and war partisans were confident of a short and glorious campaign and a triumphant march to Berlin.

The hostile feeling was reduced when King William of Prussia, though he declined to prohibit Prince Leopold from accepting the crown, expressed his concurrence with the decision of the prince when he withdrew his acceptance of the dangerous offer. This decision was regarded as sufficient, even in Paris; but it did not seem to be so in the palace, where an excuse for a declaration of war was ardently desired. The emperor's purpose was enhanced by the influence of the empress, and it was finally declared that the Prussian king had aggrieved France in permitting the prince to become a candidate for the throne without consulting the French Cabinet.

War with Prussia Declared

Satisfaction for this shadowy source of offense was demanded, but King William firmly refused to say any more on the subject and declined to stand in the way of Prince Leopold if he should again accept the offer of the Spanish throne. This refusal was declared to be an offense to the honor and a threat to the safety of France. The war party was so strongly in the ascendant that all opposition was now looked upon as lack of patriotism, and on the 15th of July the Prime Minister Ollivier announced that the reserves were to be called out and the necessary measures taken to secure the honor and security of France. When the declaration of war was hurled against Prussia the whole nation seemed in harmony with it and public opinion appeared for once to have become a unit throughout France.

Rarely in the history of the world has so trivial a cause given rise to such stupendous military and political events as took place in France in a brief interval following this blind leap into hostilities. Instead of a triumphant march to Berlin and the dictation of peace from its palace, France was to find itself in two months' time without an emperor or an army, and in a few months more completely subdued and occupied by foreign troops, while Paris had been made the scene of a terrible siege and a frightful communistic riot, and a republic had succeeded the empire. It was such a series of events as have seldom been compressed within the short interval of half a year.

In truth Napoleon and his advisers were blinded by their hopes to the true state of affairs. The army on which they depended, and which they assumed to be in a high state of efficiency and discipline, was lacking in almost every requisite of an efficient force. The first Napoleon had been his own minister of war. The third Napoleon, when told by his war minister that "not a single button was wanted on a single gaiter," took the words for the fact, and hurled an army without supplies and organization against the most thoroughly organized army the world had ever known. That the French were as brave as the Germans goes without saying; they fought desperately, but from the first confusion reigned in their movements, while military science of the highest kind dominated those of the Germans. Napoleon was equally mistaken as to the state of affairs in Germany. The disunion upon which he counted vanished at the first threat of war. All Germany felt itself threatened and joined hands in defense. The declaration of war was received there with as deep an enthusiasm as in France and excited a fervent eagerness for the struggle. The new popular song, Die Wacht am Rhein  ("The Watch on the Rhine"), spread rapidly from end to end of the country, and indicated the resolution of the German people to defend to the death the frontier stream of their country.

Self-Deception of the French

The French looked for a parade march to Berlin, even fixing the day of their entrance into that city—August 15th, the emperor's birthday. On the contrary, they failed to set their foot on German territory, and soon found themselves engaged in a death struggle with the invaders of their own land. In truth, while the Prussian diplomacy was conducted by Bismarck, the ablest statesman Prussia had ever known, the movements of the army were directed by far the best tactician Europe then possessed, the famous Von Moltke, to whose strategy the rapid success of the war against Austria had been due. In the war with France Von Moltke, though too old to lead the armies in person, was virtually commander-in-chief, and arranged those masterly combinations which overthrew all the power of France in so remarkably brief a period. Under his directions, from the moment war was declared everything worked with clock-like precision. It was said that Von Moltke had only to touch a bell and all went forward. As it was, the Crown Prince Frederick fell upon the French while still unprepared, won the first battle, and steadily held the advantage to the end, the French being beaten by the strategy that kept the Germans in superior strength at all decisive points.

But to return to the events of war. On July 23, 1870, the Emperor Napoleon, after making his wife Eugenie regent of France, set out with his son at the head of the army, full of high hopes of victory and triumph. By the end of July King William had also set out from Berlin to join the armies that were then in rapid motion towards the frontier.

The emperor made his way to Metz, where was stationed his main army, about 200,000 strong, under Marshals Bazaine and Canrobert and General Bourbaki. Further east, under Marshal MacMahon, the hero of Magenta, was the southern army, of about 100,000 men. A third army occupied the camp at Chalons, while a well-manned fleet set sail for the Baltic, to blockade the harbors and assail the coast of Germany. The German army was likewise in three divisions, the first, of 61,000 men, under General Steinmetz; the second, of 206,000 men, under Prince Frederick Charles; and the third, of 180,000 men, under the crown prince and General Blumenthal. The king, commander-in-chief of the whole, was in the center, and with him the general staff under the guidance of the alert Von Moltke. Bismarck and the minister of war Von Roon were also present, and so rapid was the movement of these great forces that in two weeks after the order to march was given 300,000 armed Germans stood in rank along the Rhine.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


First Meeting of the Armies

The two armies first came together on August 2d, near Saarbruck, on the frontier line of the hostile kingdoms. It was the one success of the French, for the Prussians, after a fight in which both sides lost equally, retired in good order. This was proclaimed by the French papers as a brilliant victory, and filled the people with undue hopes of glory. It was the last favorable report, for they were quickly overwhelmed with tidings of defeat and disaster.

Weissenburg, on the borders of Rhenish Bavaria, had been invested by a division of MacMahon's army. On August 4th the right wing of the army of the Crown Prince Frederick attacked and repulsed this investing force after a hot engagement, in which its leader, General Douay, was killed, and the loss on both sides was heavy. Two days later occurred a battle which decided the fate of the whole war, that of Worth-Reideshofen, where the army of the crown prince met that of MacMahon, and after a desperate struggle, which continued for fifteen hours, completely defeated him, with very heavy losses on both sides. MacMahon retreated in haste towards the army at Chalons, while the crown prince took possession of Alsace, and prepared for the reduction of the fortresses on the Rhine, from Strasburg to Belfort. On the same day as that of the battle of Worth, General Steinmetz stormed the heights of Spicheren, and, though at great loss of life, drove Frossard from those heights and back upon Metz.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The occupation of Alsace was followed by that of Lorraine, by the Prussian army under King William, who took possession of Nancy and the country surrounding on August 11th. These two provinces had at one time belonged to Germany, and it was the aim of the Prussians to retain them as the chief anticipated prize of the war. Meanwhile the world looked on in amazement at the extraordinary rapidity of the German success, which, in two weeks after Napoleon left Paris, had brought his power to the verge of overthrow.

The Stronghold of Metz

Towards the Moselle River and the strongly fortified town of Metz, 180 miles northeast of Paris, around which was concentrated the main French force, all the divisions of the German army now advanced, and on the 14th of August they gained a victory at Colombey-Nouilly which drove their opponents back from the open field towards the fortified city.

It was Moltke's opinion that the French proposed to make their stand before this impregnable fortress, and fight there desperately for victory. But, finding less resistance than he expected, he concluded, on the 15th, that Bazaine, in fear of being cooped up within the fortress, meant to march towards Verdun, there to join his forces with those of MacMahon and give battle to the Germans in the plain. The astute tactician at once determined to make every effort to prevent such a concentration of his opponents, and by the evening of the 15th a cavalry division had crossed the Moselle and reached the village of Mars-la-Tour, where it bivouacked for the night. It had seen troops in motion towards Metz, but did not know whether these formed the rear-guard of the French army or its vanguard in its march towards Verdun.

In fact, Bazaine had not yet got away with his army. All the roads from Metz were blocked with heavy baggage, and it was impossible to move so large an army with expedition. The time thus lost by Bazaine was diligently improved by Frederick Charles, and on the morning of the 16th the Brandenburg army corps, one of the best and bravest in the German army, had followed the cavalry and come within sight of the Verdun road. It was quickly perceived that a French force was before them, and some preliminary skirmishing developed the enemy in such strength as to convince the leader of the corps that he had in his front the whole or the greater part of Bazaine's army, and that its escape from Metz had not been achieved.

They were desperate odds with which the brave Brandenburgers had to contend, but they had been sent to hold the French until reinforcements could arrive, and they were determined to resist to the death. For nearly six hours they resisted, with unsurpassed courage, the fierce onslaughts of the' French, though at a cost of life that perilously depleted the gallant corps. Then, about four o'clock in the afternoon, Prince Frederick Charles came up with reinforcements to their support and the desperate contest became more even.

Mars-La-Tour and Gravelotte

Gradually fortune decided in favor of the Germans, and by the time night had come they were practically victorious, the field of Mars-la-Tour, after the day's struggle, remaining in their hands. But they were utterly exhausted, their horses were worn out, and most of their ammunition was spent, and though their impetuous commander forced them to a new attack, it led to a useless loss of life, for their powers of fighting were gone. They had achieved their purpose, that of preventing the escape of Bazaine, though at a fearful loss, amounting to about 16,000 men on each side. "The battle of Vionville [Mars-la-Tour] is without a parallel in military history," said Emperor William, "seeing that a single army corps, about 20,000 men strong, hung on to and repulsed an enemy more than five times as numerous and well equipped. Such was the glorious deed done by the Brandenburgers, and the. Hohenzollerns will never forget the debt they owe to their devotion."

Two days afterwards (August 16th), at Gravelotte, a village somewhat nearer to Metz, the armies, somewhat recovered from the terrible struggle of the 14th, met again, the whole German army being now brought up, so that over 200,000 men faced the 140,000 of the French. It was the great battle of the war. For four hours the two armies stood fighting face to face, without any special result, neither being able to drive back the other. The French held their ground and died. The Prussians dashed upon them and died. Only late in the evening was the right wing of the French army broken, and the victory, which at five o'clock remained uncertain, was decided in favor of the Germans. More than 40,000 men lay dead and wounded upon the field, the terrible harvest of those nine hours of conflict. That night Bazaine withdrew his army behind the fortifications at Metz. His effort to join MacMahon had ended in failure.

It was the fixed purpose of the Prussians to detain him in that stronghold, and thus render practically useless to France its largest army. A siege was to be prosecuted, and an army of 150,000 men was extended around the town. The fortifications were far too strong to be taken by assault, and all depended on a close blockade. On August 31st Bazaine made an effort to break through the German lines, but was repulsed. It became now a question of how long the provisions of the French would hold out.

Napoleon III at Sedan

The French emperor, who had been with Bazaine, had left his army before the battle of Mars-la-Tour, and was now with MacMahon at Chalons. Here lay an army of 125,000 infantry and 12,000 cavalry. On it the Germans were advancing, in doubt as to what movement it would make, whether back towards Paris or towards Metz for the relief of Bazaine. They sought to place themselves in a position to check either. The latter movement was determined on by the French, but was carried out in a dubious and uncertain manner, the time lost giving abundant opportunity to the Germans to learn what was afoot and to prepare to prevent it. As soon as they were aware of MacMahon's intention of proceeding to Metz they made speedy preparations to prevent his relieving Bazaine. By the last days of August the army of the crown prince had reached the right bank of the Aisne, and the fourth division gained possession of the line of the Meuse. On August 30th the French under General de Failly were attacked by the Germans at Beaumont and put to flight with heavy loss. It was evident that the hope of reaching Metz was at an end, and MacMahon, abandoning the attempt, concentrated his army around the frontier fortress of Sedan.

This old town stands on the right bank of the Meuse, in an angle of territory between Luxembourg and Belgium, and is surrounded by meadows, gardens, ravines, ditches and cultivated fields; the castle rising on a cliff-like eminence to the southwest of the place. MacMahon had stopped here to give his weary men a rest, not to fight, but Von Moltke decided, on observing the situation, that Sedan should be the grave-yard of the French army. "The trap is now closed, and the mouse in it," he said, with a chuckle of satisfaction.

Such proved to be the case. On September 1st the Bavarians won the village of Bazeille, after hours of bloody and desperate struggle. During this severe fight Marshal MacMahon was so seriously wounded that he was obliged to surrender the chief command, first to Ducrot, and then to General Wimpffen, a man of recognized bravery and cold calculation.

Fortune soon showed itself in favor of the Germans. To the northwest of the town, the North German troops invested the exits from St. Meuges and Fleigneux, and directed a fearful fire of artillery against the French forces, which, before noon, were so hemmed in the valley that only two insufficient outlets to the south and north remained open. But General Wimpffen hesitated to seize either of these routes, the open way to Illy was soon closed by the Prussian guard corps, and a murderous fire was now directed from all sides upon the French, so that, after a last energetic struggle, they gave up all attempts to force a passage, and in the afternoon beat a retreat towards Sedan. In this small town the whole army of MacMahon was collected by evening, and there prevailed in the streets and houses an unprecedented disorder and confusion, which was still further increased when the German troops from the surrounding heights began to shoot down upon the fortress, and the town took fire in several places.

Surrender of Napoleon's Army

That an end might be put to the prevailing misery, Napoleon now commanded General Wimpffen to capitulate. The flag of truce already waved on the gates of Sedan when Colonel Bronsart appeared, and in the name of the king of Prussia demanded the surrender of the army and fortress. He soon returned to headquarters, accompanied by the French General Reille, who presented to the king a written message from Napoleon: "As I may not die in the midst of my army, I lay my sword in the hands of your majesty." King William accepted it with an expression of sympathy for the hard fate of the emperor and of the French army which had fought so bravely under his own eyes. The conclusion of the treaty of capitulation was placed in the hands of Wimpffen, who, accompanied by General Castelnau, set out for Donchery to negotiate with Moltke and Bismarck. No attempts, however, availed to move Moltke from his stipulation for the surrender of the whole army at discretion; he granted a short respite, but if this expired without surrender, the bombardment of the town was to begin anew.

At six o'clock in the morning the capitulation was signed and was ratified by the king at his headquarters at Vendresse (2d September). Thus the world beheld the incredible spectacle of an army of 83,000 men surrendering themselves and their weapons to the victor, and being carried off as prisoners of war to Germany. Only the officers who gave their written word of honor to take no further part in the present war with Germany were permitted to retain their arms and personal property. Probably the assurance of Napoleon, that he had sought death on the battlefield but had not found it, was literally true; at any rate, the fate of the unhappy man, bowed down as he was both by physical and mental suffering, was so solemn and tragic that there was no room for hypocrisy, and that he had exposed himself to personal danger was admitted on all sides. Accompanied by Count Bismarck, he stopped at a small and mean-looking laborer's inn on the road to Donchery, where, sitting down on a stone seat before the door, with Count Bismarck, he declared that he had not desired the war, but had been driven to it through the force of public opinion; and afterwards the two proceeded to the little castle of Bellevue, near Frenois, to join King William and the crown prince. A telegram to Queen Augusta thus describes the interview: "What an impressive moment was the meeting with Napoleon! He was cast down, but dignified in his bearing. I have granted him Wilhelmshohe, near Cassel, as his residence. Our meeting took place in a little castle before the western glacis of Sedan."

The Emperor a Captive; France a Republic

The locking up of Bazaine in Metz and the capture of MacMahon's army at Sedan were events fatal to France. The struggle continued for months, but it was a fight against hope. The subsequent events of the war consisted of a double siege, that of Metz and that of Paris, with various minor sieges, and a desperate but hopeless effort of France in the field. As for the empire of Napoleon III, it was at an end. The tidings of the terrible catastrophe at Sedan filled the people with a fury that soon became revolutionary. While Jules Favre, the republican deputy, was offering a motion in the Assembly that the emperor had forfeited the crown, and that a provisional government should be established, the people were thronging the streets of Paris with cries of "Deposition! Republic!" On the 4th of September the Assembly had its final meeting. Two of its prominent members, Jules Favre and Gambetta, sustained the motion for deposition of the emperor, and it was carried after a stormy session. They then made their way to the senate-chamber, where, before a thronging audience, they proclaimed a republic and named a government for the national defense. At its head was General Trochu, military commandant at Paris. Favre was made minister of foreign affairs; Gambetta, minister of the interior; and other prominent members of the Assembly filled the remaining cabinet posts. The legislature was dissolved, the Palais de Bourbon was closed, and the Empress Eugenie quitted the Tuileries and made her escape with a few attendants to Belgium, whence she sought a refuge in England. Prince Louis Napoleon made his way to Italy, and the swarm of courtiers scattered in all directions; some faithful followers of the deposed monarch seeking the castle of Wilhelmshohe, where the unhappy Louis Napoleon occupied as a prison the same beautiful palace and park in which his uncle Jerome Bonaparte had once passed six years in a life of pleasure. The second French Empire was at an end; the third French Republic had begun—one that had to pass through many changes and escape many dangers before it would be firmly established.

"Not a foot's breadth of our country nor a stone of our fortresses shall be surrendered," was Jules Favre's defiant proclamation to the invaders, and the remainder of the soldiers in the field were collected in Paris, and strengthened with all available reinforcements. Every person capable of bearing arms was enrolled in the national army, which soon numbered 400,000 men. There was need of haste, for the victors at Sedan were already marching upon the capital, inspired with high hopes from their previous astonishing success. They knew that Paris was strongly fortified, being encircled by powerful lines of defense, but they trusted that hunger would soon bring its garrison to terms. The same result was looked for at Metz, and at Strasbourg, which was also besieged.

Thus began at three main points and several minor ones a military siege the difficulties, dangers, and hardships of which surpassed even those of the winter campaign in the Crimea. Exposed at the fore-posts to the enemy's balls, chained to arduous labor in the trenches and redoubts, and suffering from the effects of bad weather, and insufficient food and clothing, the German soldiers were compelled to undergo great privations and sufferings before the fortifications; while many fell in the frequent skirmishes and sallies, many succumbed to typhus and epidemic disease.

No less painful and distressing was the condition of the besieged. While the garrison soldiers on guard were constantly compelled to face death in nocturnal sallies, or led a pitiable existence in damp huts, having inevitable surrender constantly before their eyes, and disarmament and imprisonment as the reward of all their struggles and exertions, the citizens in the towns, the women and children, were in constant danger of being shivered to atoms by the fearful shells, or of being buried under falling walls and roofs; and the poorer part of the population saw with dismay the gradual diminution of the necessaries of life, and were often compelled to pacify their hunger with the flesh of horses, and disgusting and unwholesome food.

Bismarck Refuses Intervention

The republican government possessed only a usurped power, and none but a freely elected national assembly could decide as to the fate of the French nation. Such an assembly was therefore summoned for the 16th of October. Three members of the government—Cremieux, Fourichon, and Glais-Bizoin—were despatched before the entire blockade of the city had been effected, to Tours, to maintain communication with the provinces. An attempt was also made at the same time to induce the great Powers which had not taken part in the war to organize an intervention, as hitherto only America, Switzerland and Spain had sent official recognition. For this important and delicate mission the old statesman and historian Thiers was selected, and, in spite of his three-and-seventy years, immediately set out on the journey to London, St. Petersburg, Vienna and Florence. Count Bismarck, however, in the name of Prussia, refused any intervention in internal affairs. In two despatches to the ambassadors of foreign courts, the chancellor declared that the war, begun by the Emperor Napoleon, had been approved by the representatives of the nation, and that thus all France was answerable for the result. Germany was obliged, therefore, to demand guarantees which should secure her in future against attack, or, at any rate, render attack more difficult. Thus a cession of territory on the part of France was laid down as the basis of a treaty of peace. The neutral powers were also led to the belief that if they fostered in the French any hope of intervention, peace would only be delayed. The mission of Thiers, therefore, yielded no useful result, while the direct negotiation which Jules Favre conducted with Bismarck proved equally unavailing.

Fall of the Fortresses

Soon the beleaguered fortresses began to fall. On the 23d of September the ancient town of Toul, in Lorraine, was forced to capitulate, after a fearful bombardment; and on the 27th Strasbourg, in danger of the terrible results of a storming, after the havoc of a dreadful artillery fire, hoisted the white flag, and surrendered on the following day. The supposed impregnable fortress of Metz held out little longer. Hunger did what cannon were incapable of doing. The successive sallies made by Bazaine proved unavailing, though, on October 7th, his soldiers fought with desperate energy, and for hours the air was full of the roar of cannon and mitrailleuse and the rattle of musketry. But the Germans withstood the attack unmoved, and the French were forced to withdraw into the town.

Bazaine then sought to negotiate with the German leaders at Versailles, offering to take no part in the war for three months if permitted to withdraw. But Bismarck and Moltke would listen to no terms other than unconditional surrender, and these terms were finally accepted, the besieged army having reached the brink of starvation. It was with horror and despair that France learned, on the 30th of October, that the citadel of Metz, with its fortifications and arms of defense, had been yielded to the Germans, and its army of more than 150,000 men had surrendered as prisoners of war.

This hasty surrender at Metz, a still greater disaster to France than that of Sedan, was not emulated at Paris, which for four months held out against all the efforts of the Germans. On the investment of the great city, King William removed his headquarters to the historic palace of Versailles, setting up his homely camp-bed in the same apartments from which Louis XIV had once issued his despotic edicts and commands. Here Count Bismarck conducted his diplomatic labors and Moltke issued his directions for the siege, which, protracted from week to week and month to month, gradually transformed the beautiful neighborhood, with its prosperous villages, superb country houses, and enchanting parks and gardens, into a scene of sadness and desolation.

Paris is Besieged

In spite of the vigorous efforts made by the commander-in-chief Trochu, both by continuous firing from the forts and by repeated sallies, to prevent Paris from being surrounded, and to force a way through the trenches, his enterprises were rendered fruitless by the watchfulness and strength of the Germans. The blockade was completely accomplished; Paris was surrounded and cut off from the outer world; even the underground telegraphs, through which communication was for a time secretly maintained with the provinces, were by degrees discovered and destroyed. But to the great astonishment of Europe, which looked on with keenly pitched excitement at the mighty struggle, the siege continued for months without any special progress being observable from without or any lessening of resistance from within. On account of the extension of the forts, the Germans were compelled to remain at such a distance that a bombardment of the town at first appeared impossible; a storming of the outer works would, moreover, be attended with such sacrifices that the humane temper of the king revolted from such a proceeding. The guns of greater force and carrying power which were needed from Germany, could only be procured after long delay on account of the broken lines of railway. Probably also there was some hesitation on the German side to expose the beautiful city, regarded by so many as the "metropolis of civilization," to the risk of a bombardment, in which works of art, science, and a historical past would meet destruction. Nevertheless, the declamations of the French at the vandalism of the northern barbarians met with assent and sympathy from most of the foreign Powers.

Determination and courage falsified the calculations at Versailles of a quick cessation of the resistance. The republic offered a far more energetic and determined opposition to the Prussian arms than the empire had done. The government of the national defense still declaimed with stern reiteration: "Not a foot's breadth of our country; not a stone of our fortresses!" and positively rejected all proposals of treaty based on territorial concessions. Faith in the invincibility of the republic was rooted as an indisputable dogma in the hearts of the French people. The victories and the commanding position of France from 1792 to 1799 were regarded as so entirely the necessary result of the Revolution, that a conviction prevailed that the formation of a republic, with a national army for its defense, would have an especial effect on the rest of Europe. Therefore, instead of summoning a constituent Assembly, which, in the opinion of Prussia and the other foreign Powers, would alone be capable of offering security for a lasting peace, it was decided to continue the revolutionary movements, and to follow the same course which, in the years 1792 and 1793, had saved France from the coalition of the European Powers. It was held that a revolutionary dictatorship such as had once been exercised by the Convention and the members of the Committee of Public Safety, must again be revived, and a youthful and hot-blooded leader was alone needed to stir up popular feeling and set it in motion.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


To fill such a part no one was better adapted than the advocate Gambetta, who emulated the career of the leaders of the Revolution, and whose soul glowed with a passionate ardor of patriotism. In order to create for himself a free sphere of action, and to initiate some vigorous measure in place of the well-rounded phrases and eloquent proclamations of his colleagues Trochu and Jules Favre, he quitted the capital in an air-balloon and entered into communication with the Government delegation at Tours, which through him soon obtained a fresh impetus. His next most important task was the liberation of the capital from the besieging German army, and the expulsion of the enemy from the "sacred" soil of France. For this purpose he summoned, with the authority of a minister of war, all persons capable of bearing arms up to forty years of age to take active service, and despatched them into the field; he imposed war-taxes, and terrified the tardy and refractory with threats of punishment. Every force was put in motion; all France was transformed into a great camp.

A popular war was now to take the place of a soldiers' war, and what the soldiers had failed to effect must be accomplished by the people; France must be saved, and the world freed from despotism. To promote this object, the whole of France, with the exception of Paris, was divided into four general governments, the headquarters of the different governors being Lille, Le Mans, Bourges, and Besancon. Two armies, from the Loire and from the Somme, were to march simultaneously towards Paris, and, aided by the sallies of Trochu and his troops, were to drive the enemy from the country. Energetic attacks were now attempted from time to time, in the hope that when the armies of relief arrived from the provinces, it might be possible to effect a coalition; but all these efforts were constantly repulsed after a hot struggle by the besieging German troops. At the same time, during the month of October, the territory between the Oise and the Lower Seine was scoured by reconnoitering troops, under Prince Albrecht, the southeast district was protected by a Wurtemberg detachment through the successful battle near Nogent on the Seine, while a division of the third army advanced towards the south accompanied by two cavalry divisions. A more unfortunate circumstance, however, for the Parisians was the cutting off of all communication with the outer world, for the Germans had destroyed the telegraphs. But even this obstacle was overcome by the inventive genius of the French. By means of pigeon letter-carriers and air-balloons, they were always able to maintain a partial though one-sided and imperfect communication with the provinces, and the aerostatic art was developed and brought to perfection on this occasion in a manner which had never before been considered possible.

Defiant Spirit of the French

The whole of France, and especially the capital, was already in a state of intense excitement when the news of the capitulation of Metz came to add fresh fuel to the flame. Outside the walls Gambetta was using heroic efforts to increase his forces, bringing Bedouin horsemen from Africa and inducing the stern old revolutionist Garibaldi to come to his aid; and Thiers was opening fresh negotiations for a truce. Inside the walls the Red Republic raised the banners of insurrection and attempted to drive the government of national defense from power.

This effort of the dregs of revolution to inaugurate a reign of terror failed, and the provisional government felt so elated with its victory that it determined to continue at the head of affairs and to oppose the calling of a chamber of national representatives. The members proclaimed oblivion for what had passed, broke off the negotiations for a truce begun by Thiers, and demanded a vote of confidence. The indomitable spirit shown by the French people did not, on the other hand, inspire the Germans with a very lenient or conciliatory temper. Bismarck declared in a despatch the reasons why the negotiations had failed: "The incredible demand that we should surrender the fruits of all our efforts during the last two months, and should go back to the conditions which existed at the beginning of the blockade of Paris, only affords fresh proof that in Paris pretexts are sought for refusing the nation the right of election." Thiers mournfully declared the failure of his undertaking, but in Paris the popular voting resulted in a ten-fold majority in favor of the government and the policy of postponement.

After the breaking off of the negotiations, the world anticipated some energetic action towards the besieged city. The efforts of the enemy were, however, principally directed to drawing the iron girdle still tighter, enclosing the giant city more and more closely, and cutting off every means of communication, so that at last a surrender might be brought about by the stern necessity of starvation. That this object would not be accomplished as speedily as at Metz, that the city of pleasure, enjoyment, and luxury would withstand a siege of four months, had never been contemplated for a moment. It is true that, as time went on, all fresh meat disappeared from the market, with the exception of horse-flesh; that white bread, on which Parisians place such value, was replaced by a baked compound of meal and bran; that the stores of dried and salted food began to decline, until at last rats, dogs, cats, and even animals from the zoological gardens were prepared for consumption at restaurants.

Yet, to the amazement of the world, all these miseries, hardships, and sufferings were courageously borne, nocturnal watch was kept, sallies were undertaken, and cold, hunger, and wretchedness of all kinds were endured with an indomitable steadfastness and heroism. The courage of the besieged Parisians was also animated by the hope that the military forces in the provinces would hasten to the aid of the hard-pressed capital, and that therefore an energetic resistance would afford the rest of France sufficient time for rallying all its forces, and at the same time exhibit an elevating example. In the carrying out of this plan, neither Trochu nor Gambetta was wanting in the requisite energy and circumspection. The former organized sallies from time to time, in order to reconnoiter and discover whether the army of relief was on its way from the provinces; the latter exerted all his powers to bring the Loire army up to the Seine. But both erred in undervaluing the German war forces; they did not believe that the hostile army would be able to keep Paris in a state of blockade, and at the same time engage the armies on the south and north, east and west. They had no conception of the hidden, inexhaustible strength of the Prussian army organization—of a nation in arms which could send forth constant reinforcements of battalions and recruits, and fresh bodies of disciplined troops to fill the gaps left in the ranks by the wounded and fallen. There could be no doubt as to the termination of this terrible war, or the final victory of German energy and discipline.

The Struggle Continued

Throughout the last months of the eventful year 1870, the northern part of France, from the Jura to the Channel, from the Belgian frontier to the Loire, presented the aspect of a wide battlefield. Of the troops that had been set free by the capitulation of Metz, a part remained behind in garrison, another division marched northwards in order to invest the provinces of Picardy and Normandy, to restore communication with the sea, and to bar the road to Paris, and a third division joined the second army, whose commander-in-chief, Prince Frederick Charles, set up his headquarters at Troyes. Different detachments were despatched against the northern fortresses, and by degrees Soissons, Verdun, Thionville, Ham, where Napoleon had once been a prisoner, Pfalzburg and Montmedy, all fell into the hands of the Prussians, thus opening to them a free road for the supplies of provisions. The garrison troops were all carried off as prisoners to Germany; the towns—most of them in a miserable condition—fell into the enemy's hands; many houses were mere heaps of ruins and ashes, and the larger part of the inhabitants were suffering severely from poverty, hunger and disease.

The greatest obstacles were encountered in the northern part of Alsace and the mountainous districts of the Vosges and the Jura, where irregular warfare, under Garibaldi and other leaders, developed to a dangerous extent, while the fortress of Langres afforded a safe retreat to the guerilla bands. Lyons and the neighboring town of St. Etienne became hotbeds of excitement, the red flag being raised and a despotism of terror and violence established. Although many divergent elements made up this army of the east, all were united in hatred of the Germans.

Thus, during the cold days of November and December, when General Von Treskow began the siege of the important fortress of Belfort, there burst forth a war around Gray and Dijon marked by the greatest hardships, perils and privations to the invaders. Here the Germans had to contend with an enemy much superior in number, and to defend themselves against continuous firing from houses, cellars, woods and thickets, while the impoverished soil yielded a miserable subsistence, and the broken railroads cut off freedom of communication and of reinforcement.

The whole of the Jura district, intersected by hilly roads as far as the plateau of Langres, where, in the days of Caesar, the Romans and Gauls were wont to measure their strength with each other, formed during November and December the scene of action of numerous encounters which, in conjunction with sallies from the garrison at Belfort, inflicted severe injury on Werder's troops. Dijon had repeatedly to be evacuated; and the nocturnal attack at Chattillon, 20th November, by Garibaldians, when one hundred and twenty Landwehr men and Hussars perished miserably, and seventy horses were lost, affording a striking proof of the dangers to which the German army was exposed in this hostile country; although the revolutionary excesses of the turbulent population of the south diverted to a certain extent the attention of the National Guard, who were compelled to turn their weapons against an internal enemy.

By means of the revolutionary dictatorship of Gambetta the whole French nation was drawn into the struggle, the annihilation of the enemy being represented as a national duty, and the war assuming a steadily more violent character. The indefatigable patriot continued his exertions to increase the army and unite the whole south and west against the enemy, hoping to bring the army of the Loire to such dimensions that it would be able to expel the invaders from the soil of France. But these raw recruits were poorly fitted to cope with the highly disciplined Germans, and their early successes were soon followed by defeat and discouragement, while the hopes entertained by the Paris garrison of succor from the south vanished as news of the steady progress of the Germans was received.

Operations before Paris

During these events the war operations before Paris continued uninterruptedly. Moltke had succeeded, in spite of the difficulties of transport, in procuring an immense quantity of ammunition, and the long-delayed bombardment of Paris was ready to begin. Having stationed with all secrecy twelve batteries with seventy-six guns around Mont Avron, on Christmas-day the firing was directed with such success against the fortified eminences, that even in the second night the French, after great losses, evacuated the important position, the "key of Paris," which was immediately taken possession of by the Saxons. Terror and dismay spread throughout the distracted city when the eastern forts, Rosny, Nogent and Noisy, were stormed amid a tremendous volley of firing. Vainly did Trochu endeavor to rouse the failing courage of the, National Guard; vainly did he assert that the government of the national defense would never consent to the humiliation of a capitulation; his own authority had already waned; the newspapers already accused him of incapacity and treachery, and began to cast every aspersion on the men who had presumptuously seized the government, and yet were not in a position to effect the defense of the capital and the country. After the new year the bombardment of the southern forts began, and the terror in the city daily increased, though the violence of the radical journals kept in check any hint of surrender or negotiation. Yet in spite of fog and snowstorms the bombardment was systematically continued, and with every day the destructive effect of the terrible missiles grew more pronounced.

Trochu was blamed for having undertaken only small sallies, which could have no result. The commander-in-chief ventured no opposition to the party of action. With the consent of the mayors of the twenty arrondissements  of Paris a council of war was held. The threatening famine, the firing of the enemy, and the excitement prevailing among the adherents of the red republic rendered a decisive step necessary. Consequently, on the 19th of January, a great sally was decided on, and the entire armed forces of the capital were summoned to arms. Early in the morning, a body of 100,000 men marched in the direction of Meudon, Sevres and St. Cloud for the decisive conflict. The left wing was commanded by General Vinoy, the right by Ducrot, while Trochu from the watch-tower directed the entire struggle. With great courage Vinoy dashed forward with his column of attack towards the fifth army corps of General Kirchbach, and succeeded in capturing the Montretout entrenchment, through the superior number of his troops, and in holding it for a time. But when Ducrot, delayed by the barricades in the streets, failed to come to his assistance at the appointed time, the attack was driven back after seven hours' fierce fighting by the besieging troops. Having lost 7,000 dead and wounded, the French in the evening beat a retreat, which almost resembled a flight. On the following day Trochu demanded a truce, that the fallen National Guards, whose bodies strewed the battlefield, might be interred. The victors, too, had to render the last rites to many a brave soldier. Thirty-nine officers and six hundred and sixteen soldiers were given in the list of the slain.

Entire confidence had been placed by the Parisians in the great sally. When the defeat, therefore, became known in its full significance, when the number of the fallen was found to be far greater even than had been stated in the first accounts, a dull despair took possession of the famished city, which next broke forth into violent abuse against Trochu, "the traitor." Capitulation now seemed imminent; but as the commander-in-chief had declared that he would never countenance such a disgrace, he resigned his post to Vinoy. Threatened by bombardment from without, terrified within by the pale specter of famine, paralyzed and distracted by the violent dissensions among the people, and without prospect of effective aid from the provinces, what remained to the proud capital but to desist from a conflict the continuation of which only increased the unspeakable misery, without the smallest hope of deliverance? Gradually, therefore, there grew up a resolution to enter into negotiations with the enemy; and it was the minister, Jules Favre, who had been foremost with the cry of "no surrender" four months before, who was now compelled to take the first step to deliver his country from complete ruin. It was probably the bitterest hour in the life of the brave man, who loved France and liberty with such a sincere affection, when he was conducted through the German outposts to his interview with Bismarck at Versailles. He brought the proposal for a convention, on the strength of which the garrison was to be permitted to retire with military honors to a part of France not hitherto invested, on promising to abstain for several months from taking part in the struggle. But such conditions were positively refused at the Prussian headquarters, and a surrender was demanded as at Sedan and Metz. Completely defeated, the minister returned to Paris. At a second meeting on the following day, it was agreed that from the 27th, at twelve o'clock at night, the firing on both sides should be discontinued. This was the preliminary to the conclusion of a three weeks' truce, to await the summons of a National Assembly, with which peace might be negotiated.

Fighting in the South

The war was at an end so far as Paris was concerned. But it continued in the south, where frequent defeat failed to depress Gambetta's indomitable energy, and where new troops constantly replaced those put to rout. Garibaldi, at Dijon, succeeded in doing what the French had not done during the war, in capturing a Prussian banner. But the progress of the Germans soon rendered his position untenable, and, finding his exertions unavailing, he resigned his command and retired to his island of Caprera. Two disasters completed the overthrow of France. Bourbaki's army, 85,000 strong, became shut in, with scanty food and ammunition, among the snow-covered valleys of the Jura, and to save the disgrace of capitulation it took refuge on the neutral soil of Switzerland; and the strong fortress of Belfort, which had been defended with the utmost courage against its besiegers, finally yielded, with the stipulation that the brave garrison should march out with the honors of war. Nothing now stood in the way of an extension of the truce. On the suggestion of Jules Favre, the National Assembly elected a commission of fifteen members, which was to aid the chief of the executive, and his ministers, Picard and Favre, in the negotiations for peace. That cessions of territory and indemnity of war expenses would have to be conceded had long been acknowledged in principle; but protracted and excited discussions took place as to the extent of the former and the amount of the latter, while the demanded entry of the German troops into Paris met with vehement opposition. But Count Bismarck resolutely insisted on the cession of Alsace and German Lorraine, including Metz and Diedenhofen. Only with difficulty were the Germans persuaded to separate Belfort from the rest of Lorraine, and leave it still in the possession of the French. In respect to the expenses of the war, the sum of five milliards of francs ($1,000,000,000) was agreed upon, of which the first milliard was to be paid in the year 1871, and the rest in a stated period. The stipulated entry into Paris also—so bitter to the French national pride—was only partially carried out; the western side only of the city was to be traversed in the march of the Prussian troops, and again evacuated in two days. On the basis of these conditions, the preliminaries of the Peace of Versailles were concluded on the 26th of February between the Imperial Chancellor and Jules Favre. Intense excitement prevailed when the terms of the treaty became known; they were dark days in the annals of French history. But in spite of the opposition of the extreme Republican party, led by Quinet and Victor Hugo, the Assembly recognized by an overpowering majority the necessity for the Peace, and the preliminaries were accepted by 546 to 107 votes. Thus ended the mighty war between France and Germany—a war which has had few equals in the history of the world.

The War at an End

Had King William received no indemnity in cash or territory from France, he must still have felt himself amply repaid for the cost of the brief but sanguinary war, for it brought him a power and prestige with which the astute diplomatist Bismarck had long been seeking to invest his name. Political changes move slowly in times of peace, rapidly in times of war. The whole of Germany, with the exception of Austria, had sent troops to the con-quest of France, and every state, north and south alike, shared in the pride and glory of the result. South and North Germany had marched side by side to the battle-field, every difference of race or creed forgotten, and the honor of the German fatherland the sole watchword. The time seemed to have arrived to close the breach between north and south, and obliterate the line of the Main, which had divided the two sections. North Germany was united under the leadership of Prussia, and the honor in which all alike shared now brought South Germany into line for a similar union.

The first appeal in this direction came from Baden. Later in the year plenipotentiaries sought Versailles from the kingdoms of Bavaria and Wurtemberg and the grand duchies of Baden and Hesse, their purpose being to arrange for and define the conditions of union between the South and the North German states. For weeks this momentous question filled all Germany with excitement and public opinion was in a state of high tension. The scheme of union was by no means universally approved, there being a large party in opposition, but the majority in its favor in Chambers proved sufficient to enable Bismarck to carry out his plan.

Bismarck and the New German Empire

Building the Bulwarks of the Twentieth-Century Nation


Throughout the various events narrated in the two preceding chapters the hand of Bismarck was everywhere visible. He had proved himself a statesman of the highest powers, and these powers were devoted without stint to the aggrandizement of Prussia. As for the surrounding nations and their rights and immunities, these did not count as against his policies. Conscience did not trouble him. The slaughter of thousands of men on the battlefield did not disturb his equanimity. He was unalterably fixed in his purposes, unscrupulous in the means employed, shrewd, keen and far-sighted in his measures, Europe being to him but a great chessboard, on which his hand moved kings, knights, and pawns with mechanical inflexibility. To him the end justified the means, however lacking M. justice or mercy these means might prove.

Denmark was despoiled to extend the territory of Prussia to the north. Austria, Bismarck's unwary accomplice in this act of spoliation, was robbed of its share of the spoils, and drawn into a war in which it met with disastrous defeat, the prestige of Prussia being vastly increased on the field of Sadowa. Subsequently came the great struggle with France, fomented by his wiles and ending in triumph for his policies. So far all had gone well for him, the final outcome of his schemes resulting in the unification of the minor German states into one powerful empire.

Bismarck as a Statesman

It was in the formation of the modern German Empire that the far-sighted plans of Bismarck culminated. King William was a tool in his hands for this purpose, moving as he suggested and doing as he wished. The states of Germany, aside from Austria, had actively participated in the recent war, the steps towards unification which had been taken during the few preceding years having now reached the point in which a complete amalgamation might be effected.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The Holy Roman Empire, which had lasted throughout the medieval period in some phase of strength and power, at times predominant, at times little more than a title, had received its death-blow from the hands of Napoleon and vanished from the historic stage. It was Bismarck's design to restore the German Empire—not the old, moth-eaten fiction of the past, but an entirely new one—and give Prussia the position it had earned, that of the great center of German racial unity. In this project Austria, long at the head of the old empire, was to have no part, the imperial dignity being conferred upon the venerable King William of Prussia, a monarch whose birth dated back to the eighteenth century, and who had lived throughout the Napoleonic wars.

Uniting the German States

Near the close of 1870 Bismarck concluded treaties with the ambassadors of the South German States, in which they agreed to accept the constitution of the North German Union. These treaties were ratified, after some opposition from the "patriots" of the lower house, by the legislatures of the four states involved. The next step in the proceeding was a suggestion from the king of Bavaria to the other princes that the imperial crown of Germany should be offered to King William of Prussia.

When the North German Diet at Berlin had given its consent to the new constitution, a congratulatory address was despatched to the Prussian monarch at Versailles. It announced to the aged hero-king the nation's wish that he should accept the new dignity. He replied to the deputation in solemn audience that he accepted the imperial dignity which the German nation and its princes had offered him. On the 1st of January, 1871, the new constitution was to come into operation.

William I Crowned at Versailles

The solemn assumption of the imperial office did not take place, however, until the 18th of January, the day on which, one hundred and seventy years before, the new emperor's ancestor, Frederick I, had placed the Prussian crown on his head at Konigsberg, and thus laid the basis of the growing greatness of his house. It was an ever-memorable coincidence that, in the superb-mirrored hall of the Versailles palace, where since the days of Richelieu so many plans had been concocted for the humiliation of Germany, King William should now proclaim himself German emperor. After the reading of the imperial proclamation to the German people by Count Bismarck, the Grand Duke led a cheer, in which the whole assembly joined amid the singing of national hymns. Thus the important event had taken place which again summoned the German Empire to life, and made over the imperial crown with renewed splendor to another royal house. Barbarossa's old legend, that the dominion of the empire was, after long tribulation, to pass from the Hohenstaufen to the Hohenzollern, was now fulfilled; the dream long aspired after by German youth had now become a reality and a living fact.

The tidings of the conclusion of peace with France, whose preliminaries were completed at Frankfort on the 10th of May, 1871, filled all Germany with joy, and peace festivals on the most splendid scale extended from end to end of the new empire, in all parts of which an earnest spirit of patriotism was shown, while Germans from all regions of the world sent home expressions of warm sympathy with the new national organization of their fatherland.

A Significant Decade

The decade just completed had been one of remarkable political changes in Europe, unsurpassed in significance during any other period of equal length. The temporal dominion of the pope had vanished and all Italy had been united under the rule of a single king. The empire of France had been overthrown and a republic established in its place, while that country had sunk greatly in prominence among the European states. Austria had been utterly defeated in war, had lost its last hold on Italy and its position of influence among the German states. And all the remaining German lands had united into a great and powerful empire, promising to gain such extraordinary military strength that the surrounding nations looked on in doubt, full of vague fears of trouble from this new and potent power introduced into their midst.

Bismarck, however, showed an earnest desire to maintain international peace and good relations, seeking to win the confidence of foreign governments, while at the same time improving and increasing that military force which had been proved to be so mighty an engine of war.

In the constitution of the new empire two legislative bodies, already possessed by the Confederation of North German States, were provided for—the Bundesrath or Federal Council, whose members are annually appointed by the respective state governments, and the Reichstag or representative body, whose members are elected by universal suffrage for a period of three years, an annual session being required. Germany, therefore, in its present organization, is practically a federal union of states, each with its own powers of internal government, and with a common legislature approximating to our Senate and House of Representatives. But this did not make the German emperor a parliamentary monarch. From the fact that the consent of both assemblies was necessary to change the law, he governed as he pleased and had no other ministerial representative than the high chancellor of the empire, depending solely on the sovereign. After 1870 he was in the empire what he had been previously in Prussia, the essential representative of the country and the supreme head of the military forces.

The remaining incidents of Bismarck's remarkable career may be briefly given. It consisted largely in a struggle with the Catholic Church organization, which had attained to great power in Germany, and was aggressive to an extent that roused the vigorous opposition of the chancellor of the empire, who was not willing to acknowledge any power in Germany other than that of the emperor.

King Frederick William IV, the predecessor of the reigning monarch, had made active efforts to strengthen the Catholic Church in Prussia, its clergy gaining greater privileges in that Protestant state than they possessed in any of the Catholic states. They had established everywhere in North Germany their congregations and monasteries, and by their control of public education seemed in a fair way eventually to make Catholicism supreme in the empire.

The Problem of Church Power

This state of affairs Bismarck set himself energetically to reform. The minister of religious affairs was forced to resign, and his place was taken by Falk, a sagacious statesman, who introduced a new school law, bringing the whole educational system under state control, and carefully regulating the power of the clergy over religious and moral education. This law met with such violent opposition that all the personal influence of Bismarck and Falk were needed to carry it, and it gave such deep offense to the pope that he refused to receive the German ambassador. He declared the Falk law invalid, and the German bishops united in a declaration against the chancellor. Bismarck retorted by a law expelling the Jesuits from the empire.

In 1873 the state of affairs became so embittered that the rights and liberties of the citizens seemed to need protection against a priesthood armed with extensive powers of discipline and excommunication. In consequence Bismarck introduced, and by his eloquence and influence carried, what were known as the May Laws. These required the scientific education of the Catholic clergy, the confirmation of clerical appointments by the state, and the formation of a tribunal to consider and revise the conduct of the bishops.

These enactments precipitated a bitter contest between Church and State, while the pope declared the May Laws null and void and threatened with excommunication all priests who should submit to them. The State retorted by withdrawing its financial support from the Catholic Church and abolishing those clauses of the constitution under which the Church claimed independence of the State. Pope Pius IX died in 1878, and on the election of Leo XIII attempts were made to reconcile the existing differences. The reconciliation was a victory for the Church, since the May Laws ceased to be operative, the church revenues were restored and the control of the clergy over education in considerable measure was regained. New concessions were granted in 1886 and 1887, and Bismarck felt himself beaten in his long conflict with his clerical opponents, who had proved too strong and deeply entrenched for him.

Progress of Socialism

Economic questions became also prominent, the revenues of the empire requiring some change in the system of free trade and the adoption of protective duties, while the railroads were acquired as public property by the various states of the empire. Meanwhile the rapid growth of socialism excited apprehension, which was added to when two attempts were made on the life of the emperor. These were attributed to the socialists, and severe laws for the suppression of socialism were enacted. Bismarck also sought to cut the ground from under the feet of the socialists by an endeavor to improve the condition of the working classes. In 1881 laws were passed compelling employers to insure their workmen in case of sickness or accident, and in 1888 a system of compulsory insurance against death and old age was introduced. None of these measures, however, checked the growth of socialism, which very actively continued.

In 1882 a meeting was arranged by the chancellor between the emperors of Germany, Russia, and Austria, which was looked upon in Europe as a political alliance. In 1878 Russia drifted somewhat apart from Germany, but in the following year an alliance of defense and offense was concluded with Austria, and a similar alliance at a later date with Italy. This, which still continues, is known as the Triple Alliance. In 1877 Bismarck announced his intention to retire, being worn out with the great labors of his position. To this the emperor, who felt that his state rested on the shoulders of the "Iron Chancellor," would not listen, though he gave him indefinite leave of absence.

On March 9, 1888, Emperor William died. He was ninety years of age, having been born in 1797. He was succeeded by his son Frederick, then incurably ill from a cancerous affection of the throat, which carried him to the grave after a reign of ninety-nine days. His oldest son, William, succeeded on June 15, 1888, as William II.

William II and the Resignation of Bismarck

The liberal era which was looked for under Frederick was checked by his untimely death, his son at once returning to the policy of William I and Bismarck. He proved to be far more positive and dictatorial in disposition than his grandfather, with decided and vigorous views of his own, which soon brought him into conflict with the equally positive chancellor. The result was a rupture with Bismarck, and his resignation (a virtual dismissal) from the premiership in 1890. The young emperor proposed to be his own minister and subsequently devoted himself in a large measure to the increase of the army and navy, a policy which brought him into frequent conflicts with the Reichstag, whose rapidly growing socialistic membership was in strong opposition to this development of militarism.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The old statesman, to whom Germany owed so much, was deeply aggrieved by this lack of gratitude on the part of the self-opinionated young emperor, in view of his great services to the state. The wound rankled deeply, though a seeming reconciliation took place. But the political career of the great Bismarck was at an end, and he died on July 30, 1898. It is an interesting coincidence that almost at the same time died the equally great, but markedly different, statesman of England, William Ewart Gladstone. Count Cavour, the third great European statesman of the latter half of the nineteenth century, had completed his work and passed away nearly forty years before.

The career of William II soon became one of much interest and some alarm to the other nations of Europe. His eagerness for the development of the army and navy, and the energy with which he pushed forward its organization and sought to add to its strength, seemed significant of warlike intentions, and there was dread that this energetic young monarch might break the peace of Europe, if only to prove the irresistible strength of the military machine he had formed. But as years went on the apprehensions to which his early career and expressions gave rise were quieted, and the fear that he would plunge Europe into war vanished. The army and navy began to appear rather a costly plaything of the active young man than an engine of destruction, while it tended in considerable measure to the preservation of peace by rendering Germany a power dangerous to go to war with.

The speeches with which the emperor began his reign showed an exaggerated sense of the imperial dignity, though his later career indicated far more judgment and good sense than the early display of overweening self-importance promised, and the views of William II eventually came to command far more respect than they did at first. He showed himself a man of exuberant energy. Despite a permanent weakness of his left arm and a serious affection of the ear, he early became a skilful horseman and an untiring hunter, as well as an enthusiastic yachtsman, and there were few men in the empire more active and enterprising than the Kaiser.

Old Age Insurance

A principal cause of the break between William and Bismarck was the imperial interference with the laws for the suppression of socialism. As already stated, the old chancellor had established a system of compulsory old age insurance, through which workmen and their employers—aided by the state—were obliged to provide for the support of artisans after a certain age. The system seems to have worked satisfactorily, but socialism of a more radical kind grew in the empire far more rapidly than the emperor approved of, and he vigorously, though unsuccessfully, endeavored to prevent its increase. Another of his favorite measures, a religious education bill, he was obliged to withdraw on account of the opposition it excited. On more than one occasion he came into sharp conflict with the Reichstag concerning increased taxation for the army and navy, and a strong party against his autocratic methods sprang up, and forced him more than once to recede from warmly-cherished measures.

Political and Industrial Conditions in Germany

It may be of interest here to say something concerning the organization of the German empire. The constitution of this empire, as adopted April 16, 1871, proposes to "form an eternal union for the protection of the realm and the care of the welfare of the German people," and places the supreme direction of military and political affairs in the King of Prussia, under the title of Deutscher Kaiser (German emperor). The war-making powers of the emperor, however, are restricted, since he is required to obtain the consent of the Bundesrath (the Federal Council) before he can declare war otherwise than for the defense of the realm. His authority as emperor, in fact, is much less than that which he exercises as King of Prussia, since the imperial legislature is independent of him, he having no power of veto over the laws passed by it. His actual military power, however, is practically supreme, as demonstrated in the opening events of the war of 1914.

The legislature, as stated, consists of two bodies, the Bundesrath, representing the states of the union, whose members, 58 in number, are chosen for each session by the several state governments; and the Reichstag, representing the people, whose members, 397 in number, are elected by universal suffrage for periods of five years. The German union, as constituted in 1914, comprised four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, three sovereign cities, and the Reichsland of Alsace-Lorraine; twenty-six separate states in all. It included all the German peoples of Europe with the exception of those of Austria.

The progress of Germany within the modern period has been very great. The population of the states of the empire, 24,831,000 at the end of the Napoleonic wars, had become, a century later, over 64,000,000, having added 40,000,000 to the roll of inhabitants. The country, once divided into an unwieldy multitude of states, often of minute proportions, has become consolidated into the number above named, each of these possessing some degree of importance. These, as combined into a federal union, or empire, have an area of 208,830 square miles, of which Prussia holds the lion's share, its area being 134,605 square miles.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The presidency of the empire belongs to the king of Prussia and is hereditary in his family. Besides the Imperial Parliament, each state has its own special legislature and laws, but railroads regarded as necessary for the defense of Germany or the facilitating of general communications may come under a law of the empire, even against the opposition of the members of the confederation whose territory is traversed. The states have their respective armies, but it is the emperor who disposes of them; he appoints the heads of the contingents, approves the generals, and has the right to establish fortresses over the whole territory of the empire. The wealth of the German empire has grown in a far greater area than its population, it having developed into the most active manufacturing country in Europe. Agriculture has similarly advanced, and one of its chief products, that of the sugar beet, has enormously increased, beet-root sugar being among its chief industrial yields. In addition, Germany has grown to be one of the most active commercial nations of the earth. Thus it has taken a place among the most active productive and commercial countries, its wealth and importance being correspondingly augmented. These particulars are of interest as showing the standing of Germany at the outbreak of the war of 1914 and indicating its degree of ability to bear the fearful strain of so great a war.

Gladstone as an Apostle of Reform

Great Britain Becomes a World Power


It is a fact of much interest, as showing the growth of the human mind, that William Ewart Gladstone, the great advocate of English Liberalism, made his first political speech in vigorous opposition to the Reform Bill of 1831. He was then a student at Oxford University, but this boyish address had such an effect upon his hearers, that Bishop Wordsworth felt sure the speaker would "one day rise to be Prime Minister of England." This prophetic utterance may be mated with another one, by Archdeacon Denison, who said: "I have just heard the best speech I ever heard in my life, by Gladstone, against the Reform Bill. But, mark my words, that man will one day be a Liberal, for he argued against the Bill on liberal grounds."

Both these far-seeing men hit the mark. Gladstone became Prime Minister and the leader of the Liberal Party in England. Yet he had been reared as a Conservative, and for many years he marched under the banner of Conservatism. His political career began in the first Reform Parliament, in January, 1833. Two years afterward he was made an under-secretary in Sir Robert Peel's Cabinet. It was under the same premier that he first became a full member of the cabinet, in 1845, as Secretary of State for the Colonies. He was still a Tory in home politics, but had become a Liberal in his commercial ideas, and was Peel's right-hand man in carrying out his great commercial policy.

The repeal of the Corn-Laws was the work for which his cabinet had been formed, and Gladstone, as the leading free-trader in the Tory ranks, was called to it. As for Cobden, the apostle of free-trade, Gladstone admired him immensely. "I do not know," he said in later years, "that there is in any period a man whose public career and life were nobler or more admirable. Of course, I except Washington. Washington, to my mind, is the purest figure in history." As an advocate of free trade Gladstone first came into connection with another noble figure, that of John Bright, who was to remain associated with him during most of his career. In 1857 he first took rank as one of the great moral forces of modern times. In that year he visited Naples, where he saw the barbarous treatment of political prisoners under the government of the infamous King Bomba, and described them in letters whose indignation was breathed in such tremendous tones that England was stirred to its depths and all Europe awakened. These thrilling epistles gave the cause of Italian freedom an impetus that had much to do with its subsequent success, and gained for Gladstone the warmest veneration of patriotic Italians.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Gladstone and Disraeli

In 1852 he first came into opposition with the man against whom he was to be pitted during the remainder of his career, Benjamin Disraeli, who had made himself a power in Parliament, and in that year became Chancellor of the Exchequer in Lord Derby's Cabinet and leader of the House of Commons. The revenue budget introduced by him showed a sad lack of financial ability, and called forth sharp criticisms, to which he replied in a speech made up of scoffs, gibes and biting sarcasms, so daring and audacious in character as almost to intimidate the House. As he sat down Mr. Gladstone rose and launched forth into an oration which became historic. He gave voice to that indignation which lay suppressed beneath the cowed feeling which for the moment the Chancellor of the Exchequer's performance had left among his hearers. In a few minutes the House was wildly cheering the intrepid champion who had rushed into the breach, and when Mr. Gladstone concluded, having torn to shreds the proposals of the budget, a majority followed him into the division lobby, and Mr. Disraeli found his government beaten by nineteen votes. Such was the first great encounter between the two rivals.

Gladstone's Famous Budget

In the cabinet that followed, headed by Lord Aberdeen, Gladstone succeeded Disraeli as Chancellor of the Exchequer, a position in which he was to make a great mark. In April, 1853, he introduced his first budget, a marvel of ingenious statesmanship, in its highly successful effort to equalize taxation. It remitted various taxes which had pressed hard upon the poor and restricted business, and replaced them by applying the succession duty to real estate, increasing the duty on spirits, and extending the income tax.

Taken altogether, and especially in its expedients to equalize taxation, this first budget of Mr. Gladstone may be justly called the greatest of the century. The speech in which it was introduced and expounded created an extraordinary impression on the House and the country. For the first time in Parliament figures were made as interesting as a fairy tale; the dry bones of statistics were invested with a new and potent life, and it was shown how the yearly balancing of the national accounts might be directed by and made to promote the profoundest and most fruitful principles of statesmanship. With such lucidity and picturesqueness was this financial oratory rolled forth that the dullest intellect could follow with pleasure the complicated scheme; and for five hours the House of Commons sat as if it were under the sway of a magician's wand. When Mr. Gladstone resumed his seat, it was felt that the career of the coalition ministry was assured by the genius that was discovered in its Chancellor of the Exchequer.

It was, indeed, to Gladstone's remarkable oratorical powers that much of his success as a statesman was due. No man of his period was his equal in swaying and convincing his hearers. His rich and musical voice, his varied and animated gestures, his impressive and vigorous delivery, great fluency, and wonderful precision of statement, gave him a power over an audience which few men of the century have enjoyed. His sentences, indeed, were long and involved, growing more so as his years advanced, but their fine choice of words, rich rhetoric, and eloquent delivery carried away all that heard him, as did his deep earnestness and intense conviction of the truth of his utterances.

Meanwhile his Liberalism had been steadily growing, reaching its culmination in 1865, when the Tory University of Oxford, which he had long represented, rejected him as its member, unable longer to swallow his ultra views. The rejection was greeted by him as a compliment. He at once offered himself as a candidate for South Lancashire and in the opening of his speech at Manchester said: "At last, my friends, I am come among you; to use an expression which has become very famous and is not likely to be forgotten, 'I am come among you unmuzzled.'"

Unmuzzled he indeed was, free at last to give the fullest expression to his Liberal faith. In 1866 he became, for the first time in his career, leader of the House of Commons—Lord Russell, the Prime Minister, being in the House of Lords. Many of his friends feared for him in this difficult position; but the event proved that they had no occasion for alarm, he showing himself one of the most successful leaders the House had ever had.

A Suffrage Reform Bill

His first important duty in this position was to introduce the new Suffrage Reform Bill, a measure to extend the franchise in counties and boroughs that would have added about 400,000 voters to the electorate. In the debate that followed Gladstone and Disraeli were again pitted against each other in a grand oratorical contest. Disraeli taunted him with his youthful speech at Oxford against the Reform Bill of 1831. Gladstone retorted by scoring his opponent for clinging to a conservatism which he gloried in having been strong enough to reject. He ended with this stirring prediction:

"You cannot fight against the future. Time is on our side. The great social forces which move onwards in their might and majesty, and which the tumult of our debates does not for a moment impede or disturb, those great social forces are against you: they are marshaled on our side; and the banner which we now carry into this fight, though perhaps at some moment it may droop over our sinking heads, yet it soon again will float in the eye of Heaven, and it will be borne by the firm hands of the united people of the three kingdoms, perhaps not to an easy, but to a certain, and to a not far distant, victory."

He was right in saying that it would not be a distant victory. Disraeli and his party defeated the bill, but the people rose in a vigorous demand for it, ten thousand of them marching past Gladstone's house, singing odes in honor of "the People's William." John Bright, an eloquent orator and strenuous advocate of moral reform and political progress, joined Gladstone in his campaign. Through the force of their eloquence the tide of public opinion rose to such a height that the new Derby-Disraeli ministry was obliged to bring in a bill similar in purpose to that which it had overthrown.

Disraeli's Reform Measure

This Tory bill proved satisfactory to Gladstone in its general features. He had won a great victory in forcing its introduction. But he proposed so many changes in its details—all of them yielded in committee—that a satirical lord remarked that nothing of the original bill remained but its opening word "Whereas." As thus modified, it was more liberal than the measure that had been defeated, and the people gave full credit for it to Gladstone, whom they credited with giving them their right to vote.

The two potent political champions, Gladstone and Disraeli, soon after attained the summit height of British political ambition. In February, 1868, the failing health of Lord Derby forced him to resign the ministry, and Disraeli succeeded him as Prime Minister, thus the "Asian Mystery," as he had been entitled, gained the highest office in the British government. He did not hold this office long. His party was defeated on the question of the disestablishment of the Irish Church, and on December 4th of the same year Gladstone took his place. Thus, after thirty-five years of public life, Gladstone had attained the post in which he was to spend most of his later life.

Bishop Wilberforce, who met him in this hour of triumph, wrote thus of him in his journal: "Gladstone as ever great, earnest and honest; as unlike the tricky Disraeli as possible. He is so delightfully true and the same; just as full of interest in every good thing of every kind."

The period which followed the election of 1868—the period of the Gladstone Administration of 1868–74—has been called "the golden age of Liberalism." It was certainly a period of great reforms. The first, the most heroic, and probably—taking all the results into account—the most completely successful of these, was the disestablishment of the Irish Church.

Irish Church Disestablishment

Any interference with the prerogatives or absoluteness of an established church institution is sure to arouse vigorous opposition. The Disestablishment Bill, introduced on the 1st of March, 1869, was greeted in Ireland with the wildest protests from those interested in the Establishment. One synod, with a large assumption of inspired knowledge, denounced it as "highly offensive to the Almighty God." A martial clergyman offered to "kick the Queen's crown into the Boyne," if she assented to any such measure. Another proposed to fight with the Bible in one hand and the sword in the other.

These wild outbreaks of theological partisanship had no effect on Gladstone, whose speech was one of the greatest marvels amongst his oratorical achievements. His chief opponent declared that, though it lasted three hours, it did not contain a redundant word. The scheme which it unfolded—a scheme which withdrew the temporal establishment of a Church in such a manner that the Church was benefited, not injured, and which lifted from the backs of an oppressed people an intolerable burden—was a triumph of creative genius.

Disraeli's speech in opposition to this measure was referred to by the London Times as "flimsiness relieved by spangles." After a debate in which Mr. Bright made one of his most famous speeches, the bill was carried by a majority of 118. Before this strong manifestation of the popular will the House of Lords, which deeply disliked the bill, felt obliged to give way, and passed it by a majority of seven. ,

An Irish Land Bill

In 1870 Mr. Gladstone introduced his Irish Land Bill, a measure of reform which Parliament had for years refused to grant. By it the tenant was given the right to hold his farm as long as he paid his rent, and received a claim upon the improvement made by himself and his predecessors—a tenant-right which he could sell. This bill was triumphantly carried; and another important Liberal measure, Mr. Forster's Education Bill, became law.

Other liberal measures were passed, but the tide which had set so long in this direction turned at last, the government was defeated in 1873 on a bill for University Education, and in a subsequent election the Liberal party met with defeat. Gladstone at once resigned and was succeeded by Disraeli. Two years later the latter was raised to the peerage by the Queen under the title of the Earl of Beaconsfield. Gladstone was not in the field for honors of this type. He much preferred to inherit the title of a distinguished predecessor, that of "The Great Commoner." During his recess from office he occupied himself in literary labors and as a critical commentator upon the foreign policy of Disraeli, which plunged the country into a Zulu war which Gladstone denounced as "one of the most monstrous and indefensible in our history," and an Afghan war which he described as a national crime.

These and other acts of Tory policy in time brought liberalism again into the forefront, an election held in 1880 resulted in a great Liberal victory, Disraeli (then Lord Beaconsfield) resigned, and Gladstone was once again called to the head of the ministry. In the new administration the foreign policy, the meddling in the concerns of the East, which had held precedence over domestic affairs under the preceding administration, vanished from sight, and the Irish question again became prominent. Ireland had now gained an able leader, Charles Stewart Parnell, founder of the Irish Land League, a trade union of Irish farmers, and its affairs could no longer be consigned to the background.

Gladstone, in assuming control of the new government, was quite unaware of the task before him. When he had completed his work with the Church and the Land bills ten years before, he fondly fancied that the Irish question was definitely settled. The Home Rule movement, which was started in 1870, seemed to him a wild delusion which would die away of itself. In 1884 he said: "I frankly admit that I had had much upon my hands connected with the doings of the Beaconsfield Government in every quarter of the world, and I did not know—no one knew—the severity of the crisis that was already swelling upon the horizon, and that shortly after rushed upon us like a flood."

Desperate State of Ireland

He was not long in discovering the gravity of the situation, of which the House had been warned by Mr. Parnell. The famine had brought its crop of misery, and, while the charitable were seeking to relieve the distress, many of the landlords were turning adrift their tenants for non-payment of rents. The Irish party brought in a Bill for the Suspension of Evictions; which the government replaced by a similar one for Compensation for Disturbance. This was passed with a large majority by the Commons, but was rejected by the Lords, and Ireland was left to face its misery without relief.

The state of Ireland at that moment was too critical to be dealt with in this manner. The rejection of the Compensation for Disturbance Bill was, to the peasantry whom it had been intended to protect, a message of despair, and it was followed by the usual symptom of despair in Ireland, an outbreak of agrarian crime. On the one hand over 17,000 persons were evicted; on the other there was a dreadful crop of murders and outrages. The Land League sought to do what Parliament did not; but in doing so it came in contact with the law. Moreover, the revolution—for revolution it seemed to be—grew too formidable for its control; the utmost it succeeded in doing was in some sense to ride without directing the storm. The first decisive step of Mr. Forster, the chief secretary for Ireland, was to strike a blow at the Land League. In November he ordered the prosecution of Mr. Parnell, Mr. Biggar, and several of the officials of the organization, and before the year was out he announced his intention of introducing a Coercion Bill. This step threw the Irish members under Mr. Parnell and the Liberal Government into relations of definitive antagonism.

The Coercion Bill

Mr. Forster introduced his Coercion Bill on January 24, 1881. It was a formidable measure, which enabled the chief secretary, by signing a warrant, to arrest any man on suspicion of having committed a given offense, and to imprison him without trial at the pleasure of the government. It practically suspended the liberties of Ireland. The Irish members exhausted every resource of parliamentary action in resisting it, and their tactics resulted in several scenes unprecedented in parliamentary history. In order to pass the bill it was necessary to suspend them in a body several times. Mr. Gladstone, with manifest pain, found himself, as leader of the House, the agent by whom this extreme resolve had to be executed.

The Coercion Bill passed, Mr. Gladstone introduced his Land Bill of 1881, which was the measure of conciliation intended to balance the measure of repression. This was really a great and sweeping reform, whose dominant feature was the introduction of the novel and far-reaching principle of the state stepping in between landlord and tenant and fixing the rents. The bill had some defects, as a series of amending acts, which were subsequently passed by both Liberal and Tory governments, proved; but, apart from these, it was on the whole the greatest measure of land reform ever passed for Ireland by the Imperial Parliament.

But Ireland was not yet satisfied. Parnell had no confidence in the good intentions of the government, and took steps to test its honesty, which so angered Mr. Forster that he arrested Mr. Parnell and several other leaders and pronounced the Land League an illegal body. Forster was well-meaning but mistaken. He fancied that by locking up the ring-leaders he could bring quiet to the country. On the contrary, affairs were soon far worse than ever, crime and outrage spreading widely. In despair, Mr. Forster released Parnell and resigned. All now seemed hopeful; coercion had proved a failure; peace and quiet were looked for; when, four days afterward, the whole country was horrified by a terrible crime. The new Secretary for Ireland, Lord Cavendish, and the under-secretary, Mr. Burke, were attacked and hacked to death with knives in Phoenix Park. Everywhere panic and indignation arose. A new Coercion Act was passed without delay. It was vigorously put into effect, and a state of virtual war between England and Ireland again came into existence.

Wars in Africa

Meanwhile Great Britain had been brought back into the tide of foreign affairs. Events were taking place abroad which must here be dealt with briefly. The ambitious Briton, who loves to carry the world on his shoulders, had made the control of the Suez Canal an excuse for meddling with the government of Egypt. The immediate results were a revolution that drove Ismail Pasha from his throne, and a revolt of the people under an ambitious leader named Arabi Pasha, who seized Alexandria and drove out the British, many of whom were killed.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Gladstone, who deprecated war, now found himself with a conflict thrust upon his hands. The British fleet bombarded Alexandria, and the British army occupied it after it had been half reduced to ashes. Soon after General Wolseley defeated Arabi and his army and the insurrection ended. A sequel to this affair was a formidable outbreak in the Soudan, under El Mandi, a Mohammedan fanatic, who captured the city of Khartoum and killed the famous General Gordon. Years passed before Upper Egypt was reconquered, it being recovered only at the close of the century. Since then Egypt has remained under British control.

There were serious troubles also in South Africa. The British of Cape Colony had pushed their way into the Boer settlement of the Transvaal, claiming jurisdiction over it. The valiant Dutch settlers broke into war, and dealt the invaders a signal defeat at Majuba Hill. This was the opening step in a series of occurrences which led to the later Boer war, in which the British, with great loss, conquered the Boers, followed in later years by a practical reconquest of the country by its Boer inhabitants in peaceful ways.

Such were the wars of the Gladstone administration, events of which he did not approve, but into which he was irresistibly drawn. At home the Irish question continued in the forefront. The African wars having weakened the administration, a vigorous assault was made on it by the Irish party in 1885, and it fell. But its demise was a very brief one. After a short experience of a Tory ministry under Lord Salisbury, Parnell's party rallied to Gladstone's side, the new government was defeated, and on February 1, 1886, Gladstone became Prime Minister for the third time.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Home Rule for Ireland

During the brief interval his opinions had suffered a great revolution. He no longer thought that Ireland had all it could justly demand. He returned to power as an advocate of a most radical measure, that of Home Rule for Ireland, a restoration of that separate Parliament which it had lost in 1800. He also had a scheme to buy out the Irish landlords and establish a peasant proprietary by state aid. His new views were revolutionary in character, but he did not hesitate—he never hesitated to do what his conscience told him was right. On April 8, 1886, he introduced to Parliament his Home Rule Bill.

The scene that afternoon was one of the most remarkable in Parliamentary history. Never before was such interest manifested in a debate by either the public or the members of the House. In order to secure their places, members arrived at St. Stephen's at six o'clock in the morning, and spent the day on the premises; and, a thing quite unprecedented, members who could not find places on the benches filled up the floor of the House with rows of chairs. The strangers', diplomats', peers', and ladies' galleries were filled to overflowing. Men begged even to be admitted to the ventilating passages beneath the floor of the chamber that they might in some sense be witnesses of the greatest feat in the lifetime of an illustrious old man of eighty. Around Palace Yard an enormous crowd surged, waiting to give the veteran a welcome as he drove up from Downing Street.

Mr. Gladstone arrived in the House, pale and still panting from the excitement of his reception in the streets. As he sat there the entire Liberal party—with the exception of Lord Hartington, Sir Henry James, Mr. Chamberlain and Sir George Trevelyan—and the Nationalist members, by a spontaneous impulse, sprang to their feet and cheered him again and again. The speech which he delivered was in every way worthy of the occasion. It expounded, with marvelous lucidity and a noble eloquence, a tremendous scheme of constructive legislation—the re-establishment of a legislature in Ireland, but one subordinate to the Imperial Parliament, and hedged round with every safeguard which could protect the unity of the Empire. It took three hours in delivery, and was listened to throughout with the utmost attention on every side of the House. At its close all parties united in a tribute of admiration for the genius which had astonished them with such an exhibition of its powers.

Yet it is one thing to cheer an orator, another thing to vote for a revolution. The bill was defeated—as it was almost sure to be. Mr. Gladstone at once dissolved Parliament and appealed to the country in a new election, with the result that he was decisively defeated. His bold declaration that the contest was one between the classes and the masses turned the aristocracy against him, while he had again roused the bitter hatred of his opponents.

Gladstone, the "Grand Old Man," a title which he had nobly won, returned to power in 1892, after a period of wholesale coercion in Ireland. He was not to remain there long. He brought in a new Home Rule Bill, supported it with much of his old vigor, and had the intense satisfaction of having it passed, with a majority of thirty-four. It was defeated in the House of Lords, and Home Rule still remains the prominent issue in Ireland, which it has divided into two camps, Protestant Ulster being in revolt against the Catholic provinces.

With this great event the public career of the Grand Old Man came to an end. The burden had grown too heavy for his reduced strength. In March, 1894, to the consternation of his party, he announced his intention of retiring from public life. The Queen offered, as she had done once before, to raise him to the peerage as an earl, but he declined the proffer. His own plain name was a title higher than that of any earldom in the kingdom.

On May 19, 1898, William Ewart Gladstone laid down the burden of his life as he had already done that of labor. The noblest figure in legislative life of the nineteenth century had passed away from earth.

The French Republic

Struggles of a New Nation


It has been already told how the capitulation of the French army at Sedan and the captivity of Louis Napoleon were followed in Paris by the overthrow of the empire and the formation of a republic, the third in the history of French political changes. A provisional government was formed, the legislative assembly was dissolved, and all the court paraphernalia of the imperial establishment disappeared. The new government was called in Paris the "Government of Lawyers," most of its members and officials belonging to that profession. At its head was General Trochu, in command of the army in Paris; among its chief members were Jules Favre and Gambetta. While upright in its membership and honorable in its purposes, it was an arbitrary body, formed by a coup d'etat like that by which Napoleon had seized the reins of power, and not destined for a long existence.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The Republic Organized

The news of the fall of Metz and the surrender of Bazaine and his army served as a fresh spark to the inflammable public feeling of France. In Paris the Red Republic raised the banner of insurrection against the government of the national defense and endeavored to revive the spirit of the Commune of 1793. The insurgents marched to the senate-house, demanded the election of a municipal council which should share power with the government, and proceeded to imprison Trochu, Jules Favre, and their associates. This, however, was but a temporary success of the Commune, and the provisional government continued in existence until the end of the war, when a national assembly was elected by the people and the temporary government was set aside. Gambetta, the dictator, "the organizer of defeats," as he was sarcastically entitled, lost his power, and the aged statesman and historian, Louis Thiess, was chosen as chief of the executive department of the new government.

The treaty of peace with Germany, including, as it did, the loss of Alsace and Lorraine and the payment of an indemnity of $1,000,000,000, roused once more the fierce passions of the radicals and the masses of the great cities, who passionately denounced the treaty as due to cowardice and treason. The dethroned emperor added to the excitement by a manifesto, in which he protested against his deposition by the assembly and called for a fresh election. The final incitement to insurrection came when the Assembly decided to hold its sessions at Versailles instead of in Paris, whose unruly populace it feared.

The Commune of Paris

In a moment all the revolutionary elements of the great city were in a blaze. The social democratic "Commune," elected from the central committee of the National Guard, renounced obedience to the government and the National Assembly, and broke into open revolt. An attempt to repress the movement merely added to its violence, and all the riotous populace of Paris sprang to arms. A new war was about to be inaugurated in that city which had just suffered so severely from the guns of the Germans, and around which German troops were still encamped.

The government had neglected to take possession of the cannon on Montmartre; and now, when the troops of the line, instead of firing on the insurrectionists, went over in crowds to their side, the supremacy over Paris fell into the hands of the wildest demagogues. A fearful civil war commenced, and in the same forts which the Germans had shortly before evacuated firing once more resounded; the houses, gardens, and villages around Paris were again surrendered to destruction; the creations of art, industry, and civilization were endangered, and the abodes of wealth and pleasure were transformed into dreary wildernesses.

The wild outbreaks of fanaticism on the part of the Commune recalled the scenes of the revolution of 1789, and in these spring days of 1871 Paris added another leaf to its long history of crime and violence. The insurgents, roused to fury by the efforts of the government to suppress them, murdered two generals, Lecomte and Thomas,, and fired on the unarmed citizens who, as the "friends of order," desired a reconciliation with the authorities at Versailles. They formed a government of their own, extorted loans from wealthy citizens, confiscated the property of religious societies, and seized and held as hostages Archbishop Darboy and many other distinguished clergymen and citizens.

Meanwhile the investing French troops, led by Marshal MacMahon, gradually fought their way through the defenses and into the suburbs of the city, and the speedy surrender of the anarchists in the capital became inevitable. This necessity excited their passions to the most violent extent, and, with the wild fury of savages, they set themselves to do all the damage they could to the historical monuments of Paris. The noble Vendome column, the symbol of the warlike renown of France, was torn down from its pedestal and hurled prostrate into the street. The most historic buildings in the city were set on fire, and either partially or entirely destroyed. Among these were the Tuileries, a portion of the Louvre, the Luxembourg, the Palais Royal, the Elysee, etc.; while several of the imprisoned hostages, foremost among them Darboy, Archbishop of Paris, and the universally respected minister Daguerry, were shot by the infuriated mob. Such crimes excited the Versailles troops to terrible vengeance, when they at last succeeded in repressing the rebellion. They made their way along a bloody course; human life was counted as nothing; the streets were stained with blood and strewn with corpses, and the Seine once more ran red between its banks. When at last the Commune surrendered, the judicial courts at Versailles began their work of retribution. The leaders and participators in the rebellion who could not save themselves by flight were shot by hundreds, confined in fortresses, or transported to the colonies. For more than a year the imprisonments, trials, and executions continued, military courts being established which excited the world for months by their wholesale condemnations to exile and to death. The carnival of anarchy was followed by one of pitiless revenge.

Instability of the Government

The Republican government of France, which had been accepted in an emergency, was far from carrying with it the support of the whole of the Assembly or of the people, and the aged, but active and keen-witted Thiers had to steer through a medley of opposing interests and sentiments. His government was considered, alike by the Monarchists and the Jacobins, as only provisional, and the Bourbons and Napoleonists on the one hand and the advocates of "liberty, equality and fraternity" on the other, intrigued for its overthrow. But the German armies still remained on French soil, pending the payment of the costs of the war; and the astute chief of the executive power possessed moderation enough to pacify the passions of the people, to restrain their hatred of the Germans, which was so boldly exhibited in the streets and in the courts of justice, and to quiet the clamor for a war of revenge.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The position of parties at home was confused and distracted, and a disturbance of the existing order could only lead to anarchy and civil war. Thiers was thus the indispensable man of the moment, and so much was he himself impressed by the consciousness of this fact, that many times, by the threat of resignation, he brought the opposing elements in the Assembly to harmony and compliance.

This occurred even during the siege of Paris, when the forces of the government were in conflict with the Commune. In the Assembly there was shown an inclination to moderate or break through the sharp centralization of the government, and to procure some autonomy for the provinces and towns. When, therefore, a new scheme was discussed, a large part of the Assembly demanded that the mayors should not, as formerly, be appointed by the government, but be elected by the town councils. Only with difficulty was Thiers able to effect a compromise, on the strength of which the government was permitted the right of appointment for all towns numbering over twenty thousand.

In the elections for the councils the Moderate Republicans proved triumphant. With a supple dexterity, Thiers knew how to steer between the Democratic-Republican party and the Monarchists. When Gambetta endeavored to establish a "league of Republican towns," the attempt was forbidden as illegal; and when the decree of banishment against the Bourbon and Orleans princes was set aside, and the latter returned to France, Thiers knew how to postpone the entrance of the Duc d'Aumale and Prince de Joinville, who had been elected deputies, into the Assembly at least until the end of the year.

Thiers Proclaimed President

The brilliant success of the national loan went far to strengthen the position of Thiers. The high offers for a share in this loan, which indicated the inexhaustible wealth of the nation and the solid credit of France abroad, promised a rapid payment of the war indemnity, the consequent evacuation of the country by the German army of occupation, and a restoration of the disturbed finances of the state. The foolish manifesto of the Count de Chambord, who declared that he had only to return with the white banner to be made sovereign of France, brought all practical men to the side of Thiers, and he had, during the last days of August, 1871, the triumph of being proclaimed "President of the French Republic."

The new president aimed, next to the liberation of the garrisoned provinces from the German troops of occupation, at the reorganization of the French army. Yet he could not bring himself to the decision of enforcing in its entirety the principle of general armed service, such as had raised Prussia from a state of depression to one of military regeneration. Universal military service in France was, it is true, adopted in name, and the army was increased to an immense extent, but under such conditions and limitations that the richer and more educated classes could exempt themselves from service in the army; and thus the active forces, as before, consisted of professional soldiers. And when the minister for education, Jules Simon, introduced an educational law based on liberal principles, he experienced on the part of the clergy such violent opposition that the government dropped the measure.

In order to place the army in the condition which Thiers desired, an increase in the military budget was necessary, and consequently an enhancement of the general revenues of the state. For this purpose a return to the tariff system, which had been abolished under the empire, was proposed, but excited so great an opposition in the Assembly that six months passed before it could be carried. The new organization of the army, undertaken with a view of placing France on a level in military strength with her late conqueror, was now eagerly undertaken by the president. An active army, with five years' service, was to be added to a "territorial army," a kind of militia. And so great was the demand on the portion of the nation capable of bearing arms that the new French army exceeded in numbers that of any other nation.

But all the statesmanship of Thiers could not overcome the anarchy in the Assembly, where the forces for monarchy and republicanism were bitterly opposed to each other. Gambetta, in order to rouse public opinion in favor of democracy, made several tours through the country, his extravagance of language giving deep offense to the Monarchists, while the opposed sections of the Assembly grew wider and more violent in their breach.

Punishment of the Unsuccessful Generals

Indisputable as were the valuable services which Thiers had rendered to France, by the foundation of public order and authority, the creation of a regular army, and the restoration of a solid financial system, yet all these services met with no recognition in the face of the party jealousy and political passions prevailing among the people's representatives at Versailles. More and more did the Royalist reaction gain ground, and, aided by the priests and by national hatred and prejudice, endeavor to bring about the destruction of its opponents. Against the Radicals and Liberals, among whom even the Voltairean Thiers was included, superstition and fanaticism were let loose, and against the Bonapartists was directed the terrorism of court-martial.

The French could not rest with the thought that their military supremacy had been broken by the superiority of the Prusso-German arms; their defeats could have proceeded only from the treachery or incapacity of their leaders. To this national prejudice the Government decided to bow, and to offer a sacrifice to the popular passion. And thus the world beheld the lamentable spectacle of the commanders who had surrendered the French fortresses to the enemy being subjected to a trial by court-martial under the presidency of Marshal Baraguay d'Hilliers, and the majority of them, on account of their proved incapacity or weakness, deprived of their military honors, at a moment when all had cause to reproach themselves and endeavor to raise up a new structure on the ruins of the past. Even Ulrich, the once celebrated commander of Strasburg, whose name had been given to a street in Paris, was brought under the censure of the court-martial. But the chief blow fell upon the commander-in-chief of Metz, Marshal Bazaine, to whose "treachery" the whole misfortune of France was attributed. For months he was retained a prisoner at Versailles, while preparations were made for the great court-martial spectacle, which, in the following year, took place under the presidency of the Duc d'Aumale.

MacMahon a Royalist President

The result of the party division in the Assembly was, in May, 1873, a vote of censure on the ministry, which induced them to resign. Their resignation was followed by an offer of resignation on the part of Thiers, who experienced the unexpected slight of having it accepted by the majority of the Assembly, the monarchist MacMahon, Marshal of France and Duke of Magenta, being elected President in his place. Thiers had just performed one of his greatest services to France, by paying off the last installment of the war indemnity and relieving the soil of his country of the hated German troops.

The party now in power at once began to lay plans to carry out their cherished purpose of placing a Legitimist king upon the throne, this honor being offered to the Count de Chambord, grandson of Charles X. He, an old man, unfitted for the thorny seat offered him, and out of all accord with the spirit of the times, put a sudden end to the hopes of his partisans by his medieval conservatism. Their purpose was to establish a constitutional government, under the tri-colored flag of revolutionary France; but the old Bourbon gave them to understand that he would not consent to reign under the Tricolor, but must remain steadfast to the white banner of his ancestors; he had no desire to be "the legitimate king of revolution."

This letter shattered the plans of his supporters. No man with ideas like these would be tolerated on the French throne. There was never to be in France a King Henry V. The Monarchists, in disgust at the failure of their schemes, elected MacMahon president of the republic for a term of seven years, and for the time being the reign of republicanism in France was made secure.

While MacMahon was thus being raised to the pinnacle of honor, his former comrade Bazaine was imprisoned in another part of the palace at Versailles, awaiting trial on the charge of treason for the surrender of Metz. In the trial, in which the whole world took a deep interest, the efforts of the prosecution were directed to prove that the conquest of France was solely due to the treachery of the Bonapartist marshal. Despite all that could be said in his defense, he was found guilty by the court-martial, sentenced to degradation from his rank in the army, and to death.

Bazaine's Sentence and Escape

A letter which Prince Frederick Charles wrote in his favor only added to the wrath of the people, who cried aloud for his execution. But, as though the judges themselves felt a twinge of conscience at the sentence, they at the same time signed a petition for pardon to the president of the republic. MacMahon thereupon commuted the punishment of death into a twenty years' imprisonment, remitted the disgrace of the formalities of a military degradation, without canceling its operation, and appointed as the prisoner's place of confinement the fortress on the island of St. Marguerite, opposite Cannes, known in connection with the "iron mask." Bazaine's wealthy Mexican wife obtained permission to reside near him, with her family and servants, in a pavilion of the sea-fortress. This afforded her an opportunity of bringing about the freedom of her husband in the following year with the aid of her brother. After an adventurous escape, by letting himself down with a rope to a Genoese vessel, Bazaine fled to Holland, and then offered his services to the republican government of Spain.

In 1875 the constitution under which France is now governed was adopted by the republicans. It provides for a legislature of two chambers; one a chamber of deputies elected by the people, the other a senate of 300 members, 75 of whom are elected by the National Assembly and the others by electoral colleges in the departments of France. The two chambers unite to elect a president, who has a term of seven years. He is commander-in-chief of the army, appoints all officers, receives all ambassadors, executes the laws, and appoints the cabinet, which is responsible to the Senate and House of Deputies—thus resembling the cabinet of Great Britain instead of that of the United States.

This constitution was soon ignored by the arbitrary president, who forced the resignation of a cabinet which he could not control, and replaced it by another responsible to himself instead of to the Assembly. His act of autocracy roused a violent opposition. Gambetta moved that the representatives of the people had no confidence in a cabinet which was not free in its actions and not republican in its principles. The sudden death of Thiers, whose last writing was a defense of the republic, stirred the heart of the nation and added to the excitement, which soon reached fever heat. In the election that followed the republicans were in so great a majority over the conservatives that the president was compelled either to resign or to govern according to the constitution. He accepted the latter and appointed a cabinet composed of republicans. But the acts of the legislature, which passed laws to prevent arbitrary action by the executive and to secularize education, so exasperated the old soldier that he finally resigned from his high office.

Gravy, Gambetta and Boulanger

Jules Grevy was elected president in his place, and Gambetta was made president of the House of Deputies. Subsequently he was chosen presiding minister in a cabinet composed wholly of his own creatures. His career in this high office was a brief one. The Chambers refused to support him in his arbitrary measures and he resigned in disgust. Soon after the self-appointed dictator, who had played so prominent a part in the war with Germany, died from a wound whose origin remained a mystery.

The constitution was revised in 1884, the republic now declared permanent and final, and Grevy again elected president. General Boulanger, the minister of war in the new government, succeeded in making himself highly popular, many looking upon him as a coming Napoleon, by whose genius the republic would be overthrown.

In 1887 Grevy resigned, in consequence of a scandal in high circles, and was succeeded by Sadi-Carnot, grandson of a famous general of the first republic. Under the new president two striking events took place. General Boulanger managed to lift himself into great prominence, and gain a powerful following in France. Carried away by self-esteem, he defied his superiors, and when tried and found guilty of the offense, was strong enough in France to overthrow the ministry, to gain re-election to the Chamber of Deputies, and to defeat a second ministry.

But his reputation was declining. It received a serious blow through a duel he fought with a lawyer, in which the soldier was wounded and the lawyer escaped unhurt. The next cabinet was hostile to his intrigues, and he fled to Brussels to escape arrest. Tried by the Senate, sitting as a High Court of Justice, he was found guilty of plotting against the state and sentenced to imprisonment for life. His career soon after ended in suicide and his party disappeared.

The Panama Canal Scandal

The second event spoken of was the Panama Canal affair. De Lesseps, the maker of the Suez Canal, had undertaken to excavate a similar one across the Isthmus of Panama, but the work was managed with such wild extravagance that vast sums were spent and the poor investors widely ruined, while the canal remained a half-dug ditch. At a later date this affair became a great scandal, dishonest bargains in connection with it were abundantly unearthed, bribery was shown to have been common in high places, and France was shaken to its center by the startling exposure. De Lesseps, fortunately for him, escaped imprisonment by death, but others of the leaders in the enterprise were condemned and punished.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


In the succeeding years perils manifold threatened the existence of the French Republic. A moral decline seemed to have sapped the foundations of public virtue, and the new military organization rose to a dangerous height of power, becoming a monster of ambition and iniquity which overshadowed and portended evil to the state. The spirit of anarchy, which had been so strikingly displayed in the excesses of the Parisian Commune, was shown later in various instances of death and destruction by the use of dynamite bombs, exploded in Paris and elsewhere. But its most striking example was in the murder of President Carnot, who was stabbed by an anarchist in the streets of Lyons. This assassination, and the disheartening exposures of dishonesty in the Panama Canal Case trials, stirred the moral sentiment of France to its depths, and made many of the best citizens despair of the permanency of the republic.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Despotism of the Army Leaders

But the most alarming threat came from the army, which had grown in power and prominence until it fairly overtopped the state, while its leaders felt competent to set at defiance the civil authorities. This despotic army was an outgrowth of the Franco-Prussian war. The terrible punishment which the French had received in that war, and in particular the loss of Alsace and Lorraine, filled them with bitter hatred of Germany and a burning desire for revenge. Yet it was evident that their military organization was so imperfect as to leave them helpless before the army of Germany, and the first thing to be done was to place themselves on a level in military strength with their foe. To this President Thiers had earnestly devoted himself, and the work of army organization went on until all France was virtually converted into a great camp, defended by powerful fortresses, and the whole male population of the country were practically made part of the army.

The final result of this was the development of one of the most complete and well-appointed military establishments in Europe. The immediate cause of the reorganization of the army gradually passed away. As time went on the intense feeling against Germany softened and the danger of war decreased. But the army became more and more dominant in France, and, as the century neared its end, the autocratic position of its leaders was revealed by a startling event, which showed vividly to the world the moral decadence of France and the controlling influence and dominating power of the members of the General Staff. This was the celebrated Dreyfus Case, the cause célèbre of the period. At the time concerned it excited the utmost interest, stirring France to its center, and attracting the earnest attention of the world. It aroused indignation as well as interest, and years passed before it lost its hold on public attention. It can be dealt with here only with great brevity.

The Dreyfus Case

Albert Dreyfus, an Alsatian Jew and a captain in the Fourteenth Regiment of Artillery of the French army, detailed for service at the Information Bureau of the Minister of War, was arrested October 15, 1894, on the charge of having sold military secrets to a foreign power. The following letter was said to have been found at the German embassy by a French detective, in what was declared to be the handwriting of Dreyfus:

"Having no news from you I do not know what to do. I send you in the meantime the condition of the forts. I also hand you the principal instructions as to firing. If you desire the rest I shall have them copied. The document is precious. The instructions have been given only to the officers of the General Staff. I leave for the maneuvers."

Previous to the arrest of Dreyfus, the editor of the Libre Parole had been carrying on a violent anti-semitic agitation in his paper. He now raved about the Jews in general, declared Dreyfus guilty of selling army secrets to the Germans, and by his crusade turned public opinion in Paris strongly against the accused.

As a result of this assault and the statement that the letter was in the handwriting of the accused, he was tried before a military court, which sat behind closed doors, kept parts of the indictment from the knowledge of the prisoner and his lawyer, and in other ways manifested a lack of fairness.

As a result of this secret trial the accused was found guilty and condemned to be degraded from his military rank, and by a special act of the Chamber of Deputies was ordered to be imprisoned for life in a penal settlement on Devil's Island, off the coast of French Guiana, a tropical region, desolate and malarious in character. The sentence was executed with the most cruel harshness. During part of his detention Dreyfus was locked in a hut, surrounded by an iron cage, on the island. This was done on the plea of possible attempts at rescue. He was allowed to send and receive only such letters as had been transcribed by one of his guardians.

He denied, and never ceased to deny, his guilt. The letters he wrote to his counsel after the trial and after his disgrace are most pathetic assertions of his innocence, and of the hope that ultimately justice would be done him. His wife and family continued to deny his guilt, and used every influence to get his case reopened.

The whole affair in time excited a strong suspicion that Dreyfus had been used as a scapegoat for some one higher up and had been unjustly condemned, the fact of his being a Jew being used to excite prejudice against him. Many eminent literary men of France advocated the revision of a sentence which did not appeal to the sense of justice of the best element of France.

It was declared that military secrets continued to leak out after Dreyfus's arrest, and that the handwriting of the letter found was closely similar to that of Count Ferdinand Esterhazy, an officer, in the French army, of noble Hungarian descent. This matter was so ventilated that some action became necessary and Esterhazy was tried secretly by court-martial, the trial ending in acquittal.

At this juncture Emile Zola, the celebrated novelist, stepped into the fray as a defender of Dreyfus, writing a notable letter to President Faure, in which he accused the members of the court-martial of acquitting Esterhazy under order of their chiefs, who would not admit that a military court of France could possibly make a mistake.

This letter led to the arrest and trial of Zola and of the editor who published it. Their trials were conducted in a secret manner and they were found guilty and sentenced to a heavy fine and a year's imprisonment. Zola escaped imprisonment by absenting himself from France.

By this time the interest of the whole world was enlisted in the case, the action of the French courts was everywhere condemned, and in the end it was deemed advisable to bring Dreyfus back to France and accord him a new trial. This trial, which lasted from August 7 to September 7, 1899, indicated that he had been convicted on the most flimsy and uncertain evidence, largely conjectural in character, while there was strong evidence in his favor. Yet the judges of the court-martial seemed biased against him, and by a vote of three judges to two, he was again found guilty—"of treason, with extenuating circumstances," as if treason could be extenuated.

The whole affair was a transparent travesty upon justice, and the method by which it was conducted threw into a strong light the faulty character of the French method of trial. The result, indeed, was so flagrantly unsatisfactory that no further punishment was inflicted upon the accused, and in July, 1906, his case was brought before the Court of Appeals, with the result that he was acquitted and restored to his rank in the army.

Church and State

Later events of interest in French history had to do with the status of the Catholic Church in France and with the relations of France, Germany and Spain to Morocco, the latter more than once threatening war. The union of Church and State in France, which had only before been broken during the turbulent period of the Revolution, was definitely abrogated by a law of December 19, 1905, proclaiming the separation of Church and State in that country. By this, and a supplementary act in 1907, the Catholic Church was put on the same footing in the republic as the Protestant and Jewish congregations. The use of church buildings, which had been the property of the State since the Revolution, was granted only under conditions which the Pope refused to accept, and religious liberty made a radical advance in France.

The Morocco Controversy

Meanwhile troubles had arisen on the borders of Algeria between the French army of occupation and the unruly Moroccan tribes beyond the boundary. The efforts of France to abate these disturbances, which found support in the British government, aroused opposition in Germany, which objected to the claim of France to a predominant interest in Morocco. The affair went so far that Emperor William II visited Tangier, had a conference with the representatives of the Sultan, and was reported to have agreed to enforce the integrity of Morocco. The friction that resulted was allayed by a conference of the Powers held at Algeciras, Spain, in 1905, and the trouble was temporarily settled by a series of resolutions establishing a number of reforms in Morocco, the privileged position of France along the Moroccan-Algerian frontier being acknowledged.

Disturbances continued, however, and the murder of a French doctor by the tribesmen in March, 1907, led to the occupation of a Moroccan town by French troops. Later in the year a more serious affair took place at the port of Casablanca, which was raided by insurgent tribesmen and European laborers and others were massacred. A French force landed on August 7th and a desperate fight took place, during which nearly every inhabitant of the town was killed and wounded or had fled, the dead alone numbering thousands.

In 1911 matters in Morocco grew serious, there being severe fighting by Spanish troops in the Spanish concession around Alcazar, while tribal outbreaks against Fez, the Sultan's capital, brought a French military expedition to that point. By this, communication between the capital and the coast was established, the French government undertaking to organize the Sultan's army and carry out certain works of public improvement.

These movements revived the suspicions of Germany and that country took the decisive step of sending a war vessel to Agadir, a southern port of Morocco, with the ostensible purpose of protecting the persons and property of German subjects. This act led to the suspicion in France that Germany meant more than she said and that her real purpose was to gain a permanent hold on Moroccan territory. There was heated talk of war, as there usually is in such cases, but the affair was, in the end, amicably adjusted.

It became known that France wished to secure a free hand in Morocco, outside of the coastal provinces held by Spain, and was willing in return to concede to Germany a considerable amount of territory in French Congo. The agreement finally reached, with the assent of the other Powers, especially Spain, which had a vital interest in the problem, was that France should be given a protectorate over Morocco, and in return should cede to Germany a region in French Congo, in equatorial Africa, of about 230,000 square kilometers, containing a population of from 600,000 to 1,000,000, and adjoining the German district of Kamerun, France retaining certain transit privileges in the region.

Thus ended a source of dispute which had more than once threatened war. It ended greatly to the advantage of France, whose interests in Morocco far outweighed any advantages likely to arise from her holdings in central Africa. Behind all this lay the probability that her influence in and hold upon Morocco would increase until eventually it would develop into a virtual, perhaps an actual, sovereignty over that country.

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 Mandi Rebellion in Egypt—Gordon at Khartoum—Suppression of the Mandi Revolt—Colonization in Asia—The British in India—Colonies in America—Development of Canada—Progress in Canada.

In the era preceding the nineteenth century Spain, France, and Great Britain were the great colonizing Powers, the last named being the latest in the field, but rapidly rising to become the most important.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The active Powers in colonization within the nineteenth century were the great rivals of the preceding period, Great Britain and France, though the former gained decidedly the start, and its colonial empire today surpasses that of any other nation of mankind. It is so enormous, in fact, as to dwarf the parent kingdom, which is related to its colonial dominion, so far as comparative size is concerned, as the small brain of the elephant is related to its great body.

Other Powers, not heard of as colonizers in the past, have since come into this field, though too late to obtain any of the great prizes. These are Germany and Italy, the latter having recently added to its acquisitions by the conquest of Tripoli. But there is a great Power still to name, which in its way stands as a rival to Great Britain, the empire of Russia, whose acquisitions in Asia have grown enormously in extent. These are not colonies in the ordinary sense, but rather results of the expansion of an empire through warlike aggression. Yet they are colonial in the sense of absorbing the excess population of European Russia. The great territory of Siberia was gained by Russia before the nineteenth century, though within recent years the Russian dominion in Asia has greatly increased, and has now become enormous, extending from the Arctic Ocean to the borders of Afghanistan, Persia and the Asiatic empire of Turkey.

Great Britain as a Colonizing Power

With this preliminary review we may proceed to consider the history of colonization within the recent period. And first we must take up the results of the colonial enterprise of Great Britain, as much the most important of the whole. In addition to Hindustan, in which the dominion of Great Britain now extends to Afghanistan and Thibet in the north, the British acquisitions in Asia now include Burmah and the west-coast region of Indo-China, with the Straits Settlements in the Malay peninsula, and the island of Ceylon, acquired in 1802 from Holland.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


In the eastern seas Great Britain possesses another colony of vast dimensions, the continental island of Australia, which, with its area of nearly 3,000,000 square miles, is three-fourths the size of Europe. The first British settlement was made here in 1788, at Port Jackson, the site of the present thriving city of Sydney, and the island was long maintained as a penal settlement, convicts being sent there as late as 1868. It was the discovery of gold in 1851:to which Australia owed its great progress. The incitement of the yellow metal drew the enterprising thither by thousands, until the population of the colony is now more than 4,000,000, and is still growing at a rapid rate. There are other valuable resources besides that of gold. Of its cities, Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, with its suburbs, has more than 500,000 population; Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, 600,000, while there are other cities of rapid growth. Australia is the one important British colony obtained without a war. In its human beings, as in its animals generally, it stood at a low level of development, and it was taken possession of without a protest from the savage inhabitants.

Colonies in the Pacific Region

The same cannot be said of the inhabitants of New Zealand, an important group of islands lying southeast of Australia, which was acquired by Great Britain as a colony in 1840. The Maoris, as the people of these islands call themselves, are of the bold and sturdy Polynesian race, a brave, generous, and warlike people, who have given their new lords and masters no little trouble. A series of wars with the natives began in 1843 and continued until 1869, since which time the colony has enjoyed peace. It can have no more trouble with the Maoris, since there are said to be few more Maoris. They have vanished before the "white man's face." At present this colony is one of the most advanced politically of any region on the face of the earth, so far as attention to the interests of the masses of the people is concerned, and its laws and regulations offer a useful object lesson to the remainder of the world.

In addition to those great island dominions in the Pacific, Great Britain possesses the Fiji Islands, the northern part of Borneo, and a large section of the extensive island of Papua or New Guinea, the remainder of which is held by Holland and Germany. In addition there are various coaling stations on the islands and coasts of Asia. In the Mediterranean its possessions are Gibraltar, Malta and Cyprus, and in America the great colony of Canada, a considerable number of the islands of the West Indies, and the districts of British Honduras and British Guiana.

The history of colonization in two of the continents, Asia and Africa, presents certain features of singularity. Though known from the most ancient times, while America was quite unknown until four centuries ago, the striking fact presents itself that at an early date in the nineteenth century the continents of North and South America had been largely explored from coast to center, while the interior of Asia and Africa remained in great part unknown. This fact in regard to Asia was due to the hostile attitude of its people, which rendered it dangerous for any European traveler to attempt to penetrate its interior. In the case of Africa it was due to the inhospitality of nature, which had placed the most serious obstacles in the way of those who sought to enter it beyond the coast regions. This state of affairs continued until the latter half of the century, within which period there was a remarkable change in the aspect of affairs, both continents being penetrated in all directions and their walls of isolation completely broken down.

Colonization in Africa

Africa is not only now well known, but the exploration of its interior has been followed by political changes of the most revolutionary character. It presented a virgin field for colonization, of which the land-hungry nations of Europe hastened to avail themselves, dividing up the continent between them until, by the end of the century, the partition of Africa was practically complete. It is one of the most remarkable circumstances in history that a well-known continent remained thus so long unexplored to serve in our own days as a new field for the outpouring of the nations. The occupation of Africa by Europeans, indeed, began earlier. The Arabs had held the section north of the Sahara for many centuries, Portugal claimed—but scarcely occupied—large sections east and west, and the Dutch had a thriving settlement in the south. But the exploration and division of the bulk of the continent waited for the nineteenth century, and the greater part of the work of partition took place within the final quarter of that century.

In this work of colonization Great Britain and France stand foremost in energy and success. Today the British possessions and protectorates in Africa embrace 2,132,840 square miles; or, if we add Egypt and the Egyptian Soudan—practically British territory—the area occupied or claimed amounts to 2,446,040 square miles. The claims of France, including a large area of the Sahara desert, are much larger, covering 4,000,000 square miles. Germany lays claim to 930,000; Italy, to 591,000; Portugal, to 800,000; Spain, to 86,600; the Congo Free State, to 500,000; and Turkey to the 363,200 square miles of Egypt. The parts of Africa unoccupied or unclaimed by Europeans are a portion of the Desert of Sahara, which no one wants; Abyssinia, still independent; Morocco, a French protectorate; and Liberia, a state over which rests the shadow of protection of the United States.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


British Colonies in Africa

Of the British colonial possessions in Africa the most important is that in the far south, extending now from Cape Town to Lake Tanganyika, and including an immense area replete with natural resources and capable of sustaining a very large population. This region, originally settled in the Cape Town region by the Dutch, was acquired by the British as a result of an European war. Subsequently the Boers—descendants of the Dutch settlers—made their way north, beyond the British jurisdiction, and founded the new colonies of the Transvaal Republic and the Orange Free State. The British of Cape Town at a later date followed them north, settling Natal, defeating the Zulu blacks and acquiring new territory, and eventually coming into hostile contact with the Boers.

Defeated at first by the latter, a war of conquest broke out in 1899, ending in 1902 with the overthrow of the Boer republics, after a brave and vigorous resistance on their part. Under the ambitious leadership of Cecil Rhodes and others, British dominion in South Africa was extended northward over the protectorates of Rhodesia and Basutoland, reaching, as stated, as far north as Lake Tanganyika and embracing an area of about 1,300,000 square miles. Other British colonial possessions in that continent include the large province of British East Africa, covering 520,000 square miles, a large area in Somaliland and possessions on the west coast of 150,000 square miles area. To these, in a minor sense of possession, should be added Egypt, now extending to British East Africa.

We have mentioned the respective regions held by other European nations in Africa, France surpassing Great Britain in colonial area though not in population. Among the French African possessions are included the great island of Madagascar, lying off the east coast of the continent. Mention should be made here of the extensive and promising Congo Free State, under the suzerainty of Belgium. Covering eight hundred thousand square miles, it comprises the populous and richly agricultural center of Africa, its vast extension of navigable waters yielding communication through its every part.

The occupation of Africa, at least that part of it which became British territory, was not consummated without hostile activities. The most recent of these was the long war between the Boer and British armies, the final success being a costly and not very profitable triumph of the British arms. Of other hostile relations may be mentioned the invasion of Abyssinia by a British army in 1867, the suppression of the revolt of Arabi Pasha in 1879, and the series of events arising from the Mahdist outbreak in 1880.

The Mahdi Rebellion in Egypt

The latter events call for some mention; and need to be preceded by a statement of how Britain became dominant in Egypt. That country had broken loose in large measure from the rule of Turkey during the reign of the able and ambitious Mehemet Ali, who was made viceroy in 1840. In 1876 the independence of Egypt was much increased, and its rulers were given the title of khedive, or king. The powers of the khedives steadily increased, and in 1874–75 Ismail Pasha greatly extended the Egyptian territory, annexing the Soudan as far as Darfur, and finally to the shores of the lately discovered Victoria Nyanza. Egypt thus embraced the valley of the Nile practically to its source, presenting an aspect of immense length and great narrowness.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Soon after, the finances of the country became so involved that they were placed under European control, and the growth of English and French influence led to the revolt of Arabi Pasha. This was repressed by Great Britain, which bombarded Alexandria and defeated the Egyptians, France taking no part. As a result the co-ordinate influence of France ended, and Great Britain was left as the practical ruler of Egypt, which position she still maintains.

In 1880 began an important series of events. A Mohammedan prophet arose in the Soudan, claiming to be the Mandi, a Messiah of the Mussulmans. A large body of devoted believers soon gathered around him, and he set up an independent sultanate in the desert, defeating four Egyptian expeditions sent against him, and capturing El Obeid, the chief city of Kordofan, which he made his capital in 1883.

The effort to subdue the outbreak proved a long and arduous one, and was accomplished only after many years and much loss to the British and Egyptian forces. No time was lost in sending an army against the fanatical Arabs. This was led by an English officer known as Hicks Pasha. He fell into a Mahdist ambush at El Obeid, and after a desperate struggle, lasting three days, his force was almost completely annihilated, Hicks being the last to die. Very few of his men escaped to tell the tale of their defeat.

Other expeditions of Egyptian troops sent against Osman Digna ("Osman the Ugly"), a lieutenant of the Mandi, similarly met with defeat, and the Mahdists invested and besieged the towns of Sinkat and Tokar.

To relieve these towns, Baker Pasha, a daring and able British leader, was sent with a force of 3,650 men. Unfortunately, his troops were mainly Egyptian, and the result of preceding expeditions had inspired these with a more than wholesome fear of the Mahdists. They met a party of the latter, only about 1,200 strong, at a point south of Suakim, on the Red Sea. Instantly the Egyptians broke into a panic of terror and were surrounded and butchered in a frightful slaughter.

"Inside the square," said an eye-witness, "the state of affairs was almost indescribable. Cavalry, infantry, mules, camels, falling baggage and dying men were crushed into a struggling, surging mass. The Egyptians were shrieking madly, hardly attempting to run away, but trying to shelter themselves one behind another." "The conduct of the Egyptians was simply disgraceful," said another officer. "Armed with rifle and bayonet, they allowed themselves to be slaughtered, without an effort at self-defense, by savages inferior to them in numbers and armed only with spears and swords."

Baker and his staff officers, seeing affairs were hopeless, charged the enemy and cut their way through to the shore, but of the total force two-thirds were left dead or wounded on the field. Such was the "massacre" of El Teb, which was followed four days afterwards by the capture of Sinkat and slaughter of its garrison.

To avenge this butchery, General Graham was sent from Cairo with reinforcements of British troops. These advanced upon Osman and defeated him in two engagements, the last a crushing one, in which the British lost only 200 men, while the Arab loss, in killed alone, numbered over 2,000.

Gordon at Khartoum

These events took place in 1884 and in the same year General Charles Gordon—the famous Chinese Gordon—ascended the Nile to Khartoum, to relieve the Egyptian garrison of that city. He failed in this, the Arabs of the Soudan flocking to the standard of the Mandi in such multitudes that Khartoum was cut off from all communication with the north, leaving Gordon and the garrison in a position of dire peril.

It became necessary to send an expedition for their relief, this being led by Lord Wolseley, the hero of the Zulu and Ashanti wars. This advanced in two sections, a desert and a river column. Two furious attacks were made by the Mahdists on the desert troops, both being repulsed with heavy loss. On reaching the river, they proceeded in steamers which Gordon had sent down the Nile to meet them. But there was unavoidable delay, and when the vicinity of Khartoum was reached, on January 28, 1885, it was learned that the town had been taken and Gordon killed two days before. All his men, 4,000 in number, were killed with him.

Suppression of the Mahdi Revolt

After this misfortune the Arabs were left in possession for nearly twelve years, no other expedition being sent until 1896, while it was not until 1898 that the Anglo-Egyptian forces reached the vicinity of Khartoum. They were commanded by General Kitchener, one of the ablest of British soldiers. His men were well drilled and very different in character from those led by Baker Pasha. They met the Arabs at Omdurman, near Khartoum, and gave them a crushing defeat, more than 10,000 of them falling, while the British loss was only about 200. This ended the Arab resistance and the Soudan was restored to Egypt, fourteen years after it had been taken by the Mandi.

Brief mention of the holdings of other nations in Africa must suffice. Germany has large areas in East Africa and Southwest Africa, with smaller holdings elsewhere. The possessions of France extend from Algeria and Tunis southward over the Sahara and the Soudan, with holdings on the east and west coasts. Portugal has large, feebly held districts in the south-central coast region, and Italy holds small districts on the Red Sea and Somaliland and the recently acquired Tripoli. Spain's holdings are on the coast of Morocco and the Sahara.

Colonization in Asia

The colonizing enterprise in Asia within recent years has been confined to Great Britain, France and Russia, which nations have gained large possessions in that great continent. Russia has made its way during several centuries of conquest over Siberia and Central Asia, until its immense possessions have encroached upon Persia and Afghanistan in the south and China in the east. At present, while the dominion of Russia in Europe comprises about 2,000,000 square miles, that in Asia is more than 6,500,000 square miles, the total area of this colossal empire being more than equal in area to the entire continent of North America.

The possessions of other nations in Asia are, aside from small holdings on the Chinese coast, in the south of that continent. Holland has a group of rich islands in the Indian Ocean, Portugal some small holdings, and France a large area in Indo-China, gained by invasion and conquest. This includes Cambodia, Cochin-China and Tonquin, won by hard fighting since 1862.

Great Britain, in addition to the extensive peninsula of India, with the neighboring rich island of Ceylon, has of late years acquired the fertile plains of Burmah, now included in its Empire of India, the whole covering an area of nearly 2,000,000 square miles. Its other Asiatic possessions include Hong Kong, in China; the Straits Settlements and other Malay states; Borneo and Sarawak, and Aden and Socotra, in Arabia.

The British in India

The British control of India began with the founding of commercial settlements early in the seventeenth century. Areas of land were gradually acquired, and rivalry began later between England and France for the control of Indian territory. The power of the British East India Company in India was largely extended by the military operations of the famous Lord Clive, and under Warren Hastings, a later governor of unscrupulous character, received new accessions.

During the nineteenth century many accessions of territory were made, the one threat to British dominion in the peninsula being the great Sepoy rebellion, or Indian Mutiny, which needed all the resources of the Company to overcome. The most important event that succeeded was the taking over the powers of government, so far exercised by the East India Company, and vesting them in the Crown, which assumed full control of the now immense holdings of the Company. Subsequently came the raising of India to the dignity of an empire, and the adding to the title of Queen Victoria the further title of Empress of India. Since that period the establishment of British dominion in India has become almost complete, extending to the Himalayas in the north, and over Baluchistan in the west and Burmah in the east. As a result India, Canada and Australia have become the great trio of semi-continental British colonial possessions, India being far the richest and most populous of them all.

Colonies in America

We have next to deal with the British colonial possessions in America, including the great Dominion of Canada and Newfoundland, and the minor holdings of British Guiana, British Honduras, and the several islands of Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbadoes, the Bahamas and the Bermudas. Of these Canada is the only one that calls for notice here.

Occupying the northern section of the western hemisphere lies Great Britain's most extended colony, the vast Dominion of Canada, which covers an immense area of the earth's surface, surpassing that of the United States, and nearly equal to the whole of Europe. Its population, however, is not in accordance with its dimensions, though of late it is growing rapidly, being now over 7,000,000. The bleak and inhospitable character of much the greater part of its area is likely to debar this region from ever having any other than a scanty nomad population, fur animals being its principal useful product. It is, however, always unsafe to predict. The recent discovery of gold in a part of this region, that traversed by the Klondike River, has brought miners by the thousands to that wintry realm, and it would be very unwise to declare that the remainder of the great northern region contains no treasures for the craving hands of man. So far as the fertile regions of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan are concerned, the recent demonstration of their great availability as wheat-producing territory has added immensely to our conception of the national wealth of Canada, which promises to become one of the great wheat-growing regions of the earth.

First settled by the French in the seventeenth century, this country came under British control in 1763, as a result of the great struggle between the two active colonizing powers for dominion in America. The outcome of this conquest is the fact that Canada, like the other colonies of Great Britain, possesses a large alien population, in this case of French origin.

Development of Canada

At the opening of the nineteenth century the population of Canada was small, and its resources were only slightly developed. Its people did not reach the million mark until about 1840, though after that date the tide of immigration flowed thither with considerable strength and the population grew with some rapidity. In 1791 the original province of Quebec had been divided into Upper and Lower Canada, a political separation which by no means gave satisfaction, but led to severe political conflicts. As a result an act of union took place, the provinces being reunited in 1840.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Upper Canada, at the opening of the eighteenth century, was only slightly developed, the country being a vast forest, without towns, without roads, and practically shut out from the remainder of the world. The sparse population endured much suffering, which, in 1788, deepened into a destructive famine, long remembered as a terrible visitation. But it began to grow with the new century, numbers crossed the Niagara River from the States to the fertile lands beyond, immigrants crossed the waters from Great Britain and France, Toronto was made the capital city, and the population of the province soon rose to 30,000 in number. Lower Canada, however, with its old cities of Quebec and Montreal, and its flourishing settlements along the St. Lawrence River, continued the most populous section of the country, though its people were almost exclusively of French origin. The strength of the British population lay in the upper province.

In time the confederation which existed between the two larger provinces of Canada became unfitted to serve the purposes of the entire colony. The maritime provinces began to discuss the question of local federation, and it was finally proposed to unite all British North America into one general union. This was done in 1867, the British Parliament passing an act which created the "Dominion of Canada." The new confederation included Ontario (Upper Canada), Quebec (Lower Canada), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Four years later Manitoba and British Columbia were included, and Prince Edward's Island in 1874. Since then other additions have been made. A parliament was formed consisting of a Senate of life members chosen by the prime minister and an Assembly elected by the people.

The important questions which have arisen in Canada since the dates above given have had largely to do with its relations to the United States and its people. One of the most troublesome of these was that relating to the productive fisheries on the banks of Newfoundland and the coasts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. For years the problem of the rights of American fishermen in these regions excited controversy. Several partial settlements have been made and in 1877 the sum of $15,000,000 was awarded to Great Britain in payment for the privileges granted to the United States. A treaty was signed in 1888 for the settlement of this vexatious question, and in 1912 a decision of The Hague tribunal decided it to the satisfaction of both parties.

The discovery of gold on the Klondike River in 1896 developed another problem, that of the true boundary between Alaska and Canada. At first, under the belief that the gold region was in Alaska, it brought a rush of American miners to that region. But it was soon found that the mining region was in Canada and the mining laws imposed by the Canadian authorities were bitterly objected to by the American miners. The question of boundary has since been definitely settled and the present boundary line marked out by a scientific commission.

The industrial development of the country within recent years has been great. Agriculturally the development of the fertile wheat fields of the middle west is of the most promising character, while railway progress has been highly encouraging. The building of the Canadian Pacific Railway was a remarkable enterprise at the time of its construction. Recently Canada is approaching a position of rivalry with the United States in this particular, a new transcontinental line, the Grand Trunk Pacific, having been completed in 1914, while the Canadian Northern is rapidly progressing.

Progress in Canada

Railways have spread like a network over the rich agricultural territory along the southern border land of the Dominion, from ocean to ocean, and are now pushing into the deep forest land and rich mineral and agricultural regions of the interior and the northwest, their total length in 1914 approaching 30,000 miles.

These roads have been built largely under different forms of government aid, such as land grants, cash subsidies, loans, the issue of debentures, and the guarantee of bonds of interest.

In manufacturing industry almost every branch of production is to be found, the progressive enterprise of the people of the Dominion being great, and a large proportion of the goods they need being made at home. The best evidence of the enterprise of Canada in manufacture is shown by the fact that she exports many thousand dollars worth of goods annually more than she buys—England being her largest customer and the United States second on the list.

Not only is the outside world largely ignorant of the importance of Canada, but many of her own people fail to realize the greatness of the country they possess. Its area of more than three and one-half millions of square miles—one-sixteenth of the entire land surface of the earth—is great enough to include an immense variety of natural conditions and products. This area constitutes forty per cent of the far extended British empire, while its richness of soil and resources in forest and mineral wealth are as yet almost untouched, and its promise of future yield is immense. The dimensions of the dominion guarantee a great variety of natural attractions. There are vast grass-covered plains, thousands of square miles of untouched forest lands, multitudes of lakes and rivers, great and small, and mountains of the wildest and grandest character, whose natural beauty equals that of the far-famed Alpine peaks. In fact, the Canadian Pacific Railway is becoming a route of pilgrimage for the lovers of the beautiful and sublime, its mountain scenery being unrivaled upon the continent.

In several conditions the people of Canada, while preserving the general features of English society, are much more free and untrammeled. The caste system of Great Britain has gained little footing in this new land, where nearly every farmer is the owner of the soil which he tills, and the people have a feeling of independence unknown to the agricultural population of European countries. There has been great progress also in many social questions. The liquor traffic, for instance, is subject to the local option restriction; religious liberty prevails; education is practically free and unsectarian; the franchise is enjoyed by all citizens; members of the parliament are paid for their services; and though the executive department of the government is under the control of a governor-general appointed by the Crown, the laws of Canada are made by its own statesmen, and a state of practical independence prevails. Recognizing this, and respecting the liberty-loving spirit of the people, Great Britain is chary in interfering with any question of Canadian policy, or in any sense in attempting to limit the freedom of her great transatlantic colony.

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—Preparing for Battle—How the Ships Fought—Perils of the Commanders—Capture of Wei Hai Wei—Europe Invades China—The Boxer Outbreak—Russian Designs in Manchuria—Japan Begins War on Russia—The Armies Meet—Port Arthur Taken—Russian Fleet Defeated—China Becomes a Republic.

Asia, the greatest of the continents and the seat of the earliest civilizations, yields us the most remarkable phenomenon in the history of mankind. In remote ages, while Europe lay plunged in the deepest barbarism, certain sections of Asia were marked by surprising activity in thought and progress. In three far-separated regions—China, India, and Babylonia—and in a fourth on the borders of Asia—Egypt—civilization rose and flourished for ages, while the savage and the barbarian roamed over all other regions of the earth. A still more extraordinary fact is, that during the more recent era, that of European civilization, Asia rested in the most sluggish conservatism, sleeping while Europe and America were actively moving, content with its ancient knowledge while the people of the West were pursuing new knowledge into its most secret lurking places.

And this conservatism seemed an almost immovable one. For a century England has been pouring new thought and new enterprise into India, yet the Hindus cling stubbornly to their remotely ancient beliefs and customs, though they show some signs of a political awakening. For half a century Europe has been hammering upon the gates of China, but not until recently did this sleeping nation show any signs of waking to the fact that the world was moving around it. As regards the other early civilizations—Babylonia and Egypt—they long ago were utterly swamped under the tide of Turkish barbarism and exist only in their ruins. Persia, once a great and flourishing empire, likewise sank under the flood of Arabian and Turkish invasion, and today seems in danger of being swallowed up in the tide of Russian and British ambition. Such was the Asia upon which the nineteenth century dawned, and such it remains in some measure today, though in parts of its vast area modern civilization has gained a firm foothold.

This is especially the case with the island empire of Japan, a nation the people of which are closely allied in race to those of China, yet who have displayed a greater progressiveness and a marked readiness to avail themselves of the resources of modern civilization. The development of Japan has taken place within a brief period. Previous to that time it was as resistant to western influences as China continued until a later date. They were both closed nations, prohibiting the entrance of modern ideas and peoples, proud of their own form of civilization and their own institutions, and sternly resolved to keep out the disturbing influences of the restless West. As a result, they remained locked against the new civilization until after the nineteenth century was well advanced, and China's disposition to avail itself of the results of modern invention was not manifested until the century was near its end.

Warlike Invasion of China

China, with its estimated population of 300,000,000, attained to a considerable measure of civilization at a very remote period, but until very recently made almost no progress during the Christian era, being content to retain its old ideas, methods and institutions, which its people looked upon as far superior to those of the western nations. Great Britain gained a foothold in China as early as the seventeenth century, but the persistent attempt to flood the country with the opium of India, in disregard of the laws of the land, so angered the emperor that he had the opium of the British stores at Canton, worth $20,000,000, seized and destroyed. This led to the "Opium War" of 1840, in which China was defeated and was forced in consequence to accept a much greater degree of intercourse with the world, five ports being made free to the world's commerce and Hong Kong ceded to Great Britain. In 1856 an arbitrary act of the Chinese authorities at Canton, in forcibly boarding a British vessel in the Canton River, led to a new war, in which the French joined the British and the allies gained fresh concessions from China. In 1859 the war was renewed, and Peking was occupied by the British and French forces in 1860, the emperor's summer palace being destroyed.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


These wars had their effect in largely breaking down the Chinese wall of seclusion and opening the empire more fully to foreign trade and intercourse, and also in compelling the emperor to receive foreign ambassadors at his court in Peking. In this the United States was among the most successful of the nations, from the fact that it had always maintained friendly relations with China. In 1876 a short railroad was laid, and in 1877 a telegraph line was established. During the remainder of the century the telegraph service was widely extended, but the building of railroads was strongly opposed by the government, and not until the century had reached its end did the Chinese awaken to the importance of this method of transportation. They did, however, admit steam traffic to their rivers, and purchased some powerful ironclad naval vessels in Europe.

Commodore Perry and His Treaty

The isolation of Japan was maintained longer than that of China, trade with that country being of less importance, and foreign nations knowing and caring less about it. The United States has the credit of breaking down its long and stubborn seclusion and setting in train the remarkably rapid development of the island empire. In 1854 Commodore Perry appeared with an American fleet in the bay of Yeddo, and, by a show of force and a determination not to be rebuffed, he induced the authorities to make a treaty of commercial intercourse with the United States. Other nations quickly demanded similar privileges, and Japan's obstinate resistance to foreign intercourse was at an end.

The result of this was revolutionary in Japan. For centuries the Shogun, Cr Tycoon, the principal military noble, had been dominant in the empire, and the Mikado, the true emperor, relegated to a position of obscurity. But the entrance of foreigners disturbed conditions so greatly—by developing parties for and against seclusion—that the Mikado was enabled to regain his long-lost power, and in 1868 the ancient form of government was restored, the nobles being relegated to their original rank and their semi-feudal system overthrown.

Japan's Rapid Progress

The Japanese quickly began to show a striking activity in the acceptance of the results of western civilization, alike in regard to objects of commerce, inventions, and industries, and to political organization. The latter advanced so rapidly that in 1889 the old despotic government was, by the voluntary act of the emperor, set aside and a limited monarchy established, the country being given a constitution and a legislature, with universal suffrage for all men over twenty-five. This act is of remarkable interest, it being doubtful if history records any similar instance of a monarch decreasing his authority without appeal or pressure from his people. It indicates a liberal spirit that could hardly have been looked for in a nation that had so recently opened its doors. It was, however, probably the result of a previous compact with the nobles who aided the Mikado to regain his throne. Today, Japan differs little from the nations of Europe and America in its institutions and industries, and from being among the most backward, has taken its place among the most advanced nations of the world.

The Japanese army has been organized upon the European system, and armed with the most modern style of weapons, the German method of drill and organization being adopted. Its navy consists of about two hundred war vessels, built in the dock-yards of Europe and America, or captured in its two recent wars, while a number of more powerful ships are in process of building. Railroads have been widely extended; telegraphs run everywhere; education is in an advancing stage of development, embracing an imperial university at Tokio, and institutions in which foreign languages and science are taught; and in a hundred ways Japan is progressing at a rate which is one of the greatest marvels of the twentieth century. This is particularly notable in view of the longer adherence maintained by the neighboring empire of China to its old customs, and the slowness with which it yielded to the influx of new ideas.

Origin of the China-Japan War

As a result of this difference in progress between the two nations we have to describe a remarkable event, one of the most striking evidences that could be given of the practical advantage of modern civilization. Near the end of the century war broke out between China and Japan, and there was shown to the world the singular circumstance of a nation of 40,000,000 people, armed with modern implements of war, attacking a nation of 300,000,000—equally brave, but with its army organized on an ancient system—and defeating it as quickly and completely as Germany defeated France in the Franco-German War. This war, which represents a completely new condition of affairs in the continent of Asia, is of sufficient interest and importance to speak of at some length.

Between China and Japan lay the kingdom of Korea, separated by rivers from the former and by a strait of the ocean from the latter, and claimed as a vassal state by both, yet preserving its independence as a state against the pair. Japan invaded this country at two different periods in the past, but failed to conquer it. China has often invaded it, with the same result. Thus it remained practically independent until near the end of the nineteenth century, when the question of predominance in it became a cause of war between the two rival empires.

Korea long pursued the same policy as China and Japan, locking its ports against foreigners so closely that it became known as the Hermit Nation and the Forbidden Land. But it was forced to give way, like its neighbors. The opening of Korea was due to Japan. In 1876 the Japanese did to this secluded kingdom what Commodore Perry had done to Japan twenty-two years before. They sent a fleet to Seoul, the Korean capital, and by threat of war forced the government to open to trade the port of Fusan. In 1886 Chemulpo was made an open port. Later on the United States sent a fleet there which obtained similar privileges. Soon afterwards most of the nations of Europe were admitted to trade, and the isolation of the Hermit Nation was at an end. Less than ten years had sufficed to break down an isolation which had lasted for centuries. In less than twenty years after—in the year 1899—an electric trolley railway was put in operation in the streets of Seoul—a remarkable evidence of the great change in Korean policy.

The Position of Korea

Korea was no sooner opened to foreign intercourse than China and Japan became rivals for influence in that country—a rivalry in which Japan showed itself the more active. The Koreans became divided into two factions, a progressive one that favored Japan, and a conservative one that favored China. Japanese and Chinese soldiers were landed upon its soil, and the Chinese aided their party, which was in ascendency among the Koreans, to drive out the Japanese troops. War was threatened, but it was averted by a treaty in 1885 under which both nations agreed to withdraw their troops and to send no officers to drill the Korean soldiers.

The war, thus for the time averted, came nine years afterwards, in consequence of an insurrection in Korea. The people of that country were discontented. They were oppressed with taxes and by tyranny, and in 1894 the followers of a new religious sect broke out in open revolt. Their numbers rapidly increased until they were 20,000 strong, and they defeated the government troops, captured a provincial city, and put the capital itself in danger. The Min (or Chinese) faction was then at the head of affairs in the kingdom and called for aid from China, which responded by sending some two thousand troops and a number of war vessels to Korea. Japan, jealous of any such action on the part of China, responded by surrounding Seoul with soldiers, several thousands in number.

Disputes followed. China claimed to be suzerain of Korea and Japan denied it. Both parties refused to withdraw their troops, and the Japanese, finding that the party in power was acting against them, advanced on the capital, drove out the officials, and took possession of the palace and the king. A new government, made up of the party that favored Japan, was organized, and a revolution was accomplished in a day. The new authorities declared that the Chinese were intruders and requested the aid of the Japanese to expel them. War was close at hand.

Li Hung Chang and the Empress

China was at that time under the leadership of a statesman of marked ability, the famous Li Hung Chang, who, from being made viceroy of a province in 1870, had risen to be the prime minister of the empire. At the head of the empire was a woman, the Dowager Empress Tsu Tsi, who had usurped the power of the young emperor and ruled the state. It was to these two people in power that the war was due. The dowager empress, blindly ignorant of the power of the Japanese, decided that these "insolent pigmies" deserved to be chastised. Li, her right-hand man, was of the same opinion. At the last moment, indeed, doubts began to assail his mind, into which came a dim idea that the army and navy of China were not in shape to meet the forces of Japan. But the empress was resolute. Her sixtieth birthday was at hand and she proposed to celebrate it magnificently; and what better decorations could she display than the captured banners of these insolent islanders? So it was decided to present a bold front, and, instead of the troops of China being removed, reinforcements were sent to the force at Asan.

How Japan Began War

There followed a startling event. On July 25th three Japanese men-of-war, cruising in the Yellow Sea, came in sight of a transport loaded with Chinese troops and convoyed by two ships of the Chinese navy. The Japanese admiral did not know of the seizure of Seoul by the land forces, but he took it to be his duty to prevent Chinese troops from reaching Korea, so he at once attacked the warships of the enemy, with such effect that they were quickly put to flight. Then he sent orders to the transport that it should put about and follow his ships.

This the Chinese generals refused to do. They trusted to the fact that they were on a chartered British vessel and that the British flag flew over their heads. The daring Japanese admiral troubled his soul little about this foreign standard, but at once opened fire on the transport, and with such effect that in half an hour it went to the bottom, carrying with it one thousand men. Only about one hundred and seventy escaped.

On the same day that this terrible act took place on the waters of the sea, the Japanese left Seoul en route for Asan. Reaching there, they attacked the Chinese in their entrenchments and drove them out. Three days afterwards, on August 1, 1894, both countries issued declarations of war.

Of the conflict that followed, the most interesting events were those that took place on the waters, the land campaigns being an unbroken series of successes for the well-organized and amply-armed Japanese troops over the medieval army of China, which went to war fan and umbrella in hand, with antiquated weapons and obsolete organization. The principal battle was fought at Ping Yang on September 15th, the Chinese losing 16,000 killed, wounded and captured, while the Japanese loss was trifling. In November the powerful fortress of Port Arthur was attacked by army and fleet, and surrendered after a two days' siege. Then the armies advanced until they were in the vicinity of the Great Wall, with the soil and capital of China not far before them.

The Chinese and Japanese Fleets

With this brief review of the land operations, we must return to the movements of the fleets. Backward as the Chinese were on land, they were not so on the sea. Li Hung Chang, a born progressive, had vainly attempted to introduce railroads into China, but he had been more successful in regard to ships, and had purchased a navy more powerful than that of Japan. The heaviest ships of Japan were cruisers, whose armor consisted of deck and interior lining of steel. The Chinese possessed two powerful battle-ships, with 14-inch iron armor and turrets defended with 12-inch armor, each carrying four 12-inch guns. Both navies had the advantage of European teaching in drill, tactics, and seamanship. The Ting Yuen, the Chinese flagship, had as virtual commander an experienced German officer named Von Hanneken; the Chen Yuen, the other big ironclad, was handled by Commander McGiffen, formerly of the United States navy. Thus commanded, it was expected in Europe that the superior strength of the Chinese ships would ensure them an easy victory over those of Japan. The event showed that this was a decidedly mistaken view.

It was the superior speed and the large number of rapid-fire guns of the Japanese vessels that saved them from defeat. The Chinese guns were mainly heavy Krupps and Armstrongs. They had also some machine guns, but only three quick-firers. The Japanese, on the contrary, had few heavy armor-piercing guns, but were supplied with a large number of quick-firing cannon, capable of pouring out shells in an incessant stream. Admiral Ting and his European officers expected to come at once to close quarters and quickly destroy the thin-armored Japanese craft. But the shrewd Admiral Ito, commander of the fleet of Japan, had no intention of being thus dealt with. The speed of his craft enabled him to keep his distance and to distract the aim of his foes, and he proposed to make the best use of this advantage. Thus equipped, the two fleets came together in the month of September, and an epoch-making battle in the history of the ancient continent of Asia was fought.

The Battle of the Yalu

On the afternoon of Sunday, September 16, 1894, Admiral Ting's fleet, consisting of 11 warships, 4 gunboats, and 6 torpedo boats, anchored off the mouth of the Yalu River. They were there as escorts to some transports, which went up the river to discharge their troops. Admiral Ito had been engaged in the same work farther down the coast, and early on Monday morning came steaming towards the Yalu in search of the enemy. Under him were in all twelve ships, none of them with heavy armor, one of them an armed transport. The swiftest ship in the fleet was the Yoshino, capable of making twenty-three knots, and armed with 44 quick-firing Armstrongs, which would discharge nearly 4,000 pounds weight of shells every minute. The heaviest guns were long 13-inch cannon, of which four ships possessed one each, protected by 12-inch shields of steel. Finally, they had an important advantage over the Chinese in being abundantly supplied with ammunition.

With this formidable fleet, Ito steamed slowly to the north-westward. Early on Monday morning he was off the island of Hai-yun-tao. At 7 A. M. the fleet began steaming north-eastward. It was a fine autumn morning. The sun shone brightly, and there was only just enough of a breeze to ripple the surface of the water. The long line of warships cleaving their way through the blue waters, all bright with white paint, the chrysanthemum of Japan shining like a golden shield on every bow, and the same emblem flying in red and white from every masthead, formed a striking spectacle. Some miles away to port rose the rocky coast and the blue hills of Manchuria, dotted with many an island, and showing here and there a little bay with its fishing villages. On the other side, the waters of the wide Korean Gulf stretched to an unbroken horizon. Towards eleven o'clock the hills at the head of the gulf began to rise. Ito had in his leading ship, the Yoshino, a cruiser that would have made a splendid scout. In any European navy she would have been steaming some miles ahead of her colleagues with, perhaps, another swift ship between her and the fleet to pass on her signals. Ito, however, seems to have done no scouting but to have kept his ships in single line ahead, with a small interval between the van and the main squadron. At half-past eleven smoke was seen far away on the starboard bow, the bearing being east-northeast. It appeared to come from a number of steamers in line, on the horizon. The course was altered and the speed increased. Ito believed that he had the Chinese fleet in front of him. He was right. The smoke was that of Ting's ironclads and cruisers anchored in line, with steam up, outside the mouth of the Yalu.

On Monday morning the Chinese crews had been exercised at their guns, and a little before noon, while the cooks were busy getting dinner ready, the lookout men at several of the mastheads began to call out that they saw the smoke of a large fleet away on the horizon to the southwest. Admiral Ting was as eager for the fight as his opponents. At once he signaled to his fleet to weigh anchor, and a few minutes later ran up the signal to clear for action.

Preparing for Action

A similar signal was made by Admiral Ito half an hour later, as his ships calve in sight of the Chinese line of battle. The actual moment was five minutes past noon, but it was not until three-quarters of an hour later that the fleets had closed sufficiently near for the fight to begin at long range. This three-quarters of an hour was a time of anxious and eager expectation for both Chinese and Japanese. Commander McGiffen of the Chen Yuen has given a striking description of the scene when "the deadly space" between the two fleets was narrowing, and all were watching for the flash and smoke of the first gun. "The twenty-two ships," he says, "trim and fresh-looking in their paint and their bright new bunting, and gay with fluttering signal-flags, presented such a holiday aspect that one found difficulty in realizing that they were not there simply for a friendly meeting. But, looking closer on the Chen Yuen, one could see beneath this gayety, much that was sinister. Dark-skinned men, with queues tightly coiled round their heads, and with arms bared to the elbow, clustered along the decks in groups at the guns, waiting impatiently to kill or be killed. Sand was sprinkled along the decks, and more was kept handy against the time when they might become slippery. In the superstructures, and down out of sight in the bowels of the ship, were men at the shell whips and ammunition hoists and in the torpedo room. Here and there a man lay flat on the deck, with a charge of powder —fifty pounds or more—in his arms, waiting to spring up and pass it on when it should be wanted. The nerves of the men below deck were in extreme tension. On deck one could see the approaching enemy, but below nothing was known, save that any moment might begin the action, and bring in a shell through the side. Once the battle had begun they were all right; but at first the strain was intense. The fleets closed on each other rapidly. My crew was silent. The sub-lieutenant in the military foretop was taking sextant angles and announcing the range, and exhibiting an appropriate small signal-flag. As each range was called, the men at the guns would lower the sight-bars, each gun captain, lanyard in hand, keeping his gun trained on the enemy. Through the ventilators could be heard the beats of the steam pumps; for all the lines of hose were joined up and spouting water, so that, in case of fire, no time need be lost. Every man's nerves were in a state of tension, which was greatly relieved as a huge cloud of white smoke, belching from the Ting Yuen's starboard barbette, opened the ball."

How the Ships Fought

The shot fell a little ahead of the Yoshino, throwing up a tall column of white water. Admiral Ito, in his official report, notes that this first shot was fired at ten minutes to one. The range, as noted on the Chen Yuen, was 5,200 yards, or a little over three and a half miles. The heavy barbette and bow guns of the Chen Yuen and other ships now joined in, but still the Japanese van squadron came on without replying. For five minutes the firing was all on the side of the Chinese. The space between the Japanese van and the hostile line had diminished to 3,000 yards—a little under two miles. The Yoshino, the leading ship, was heading for the center of the Chinese line, but obliquely, so as to pass diagonally along the front of the Chinese right wing. At five minutes to one her powerful battery of quick-firers opened on the Chinese, sending out a storm of shells, most of which fell in the water just ahead of the Ting and Chen Yuen. Their first effect was to deluge the decks, barbettes and bridges of the two ironclads with the geysers of water flung up by their impact with the waves. In a few minutes every man on deck was soaked to the skin. One by one the other ships along the Japanese line opened fire, and then, as the range still diminished, the Chinese machine-guns, Hotchkisses and Nordenfelts added their sharp, growling reports to the deeper chorus of the heavier guns.

The armored barbettes and central citadels of the two Chinese battleships were especially the mark of the Japanese fire. Theoretically they ought to have been pierced again and again, but all the harm they received were some deep dents and grooves in the thick plates. But through the thin-lined hulls of the cruisers the shells crashed like pebbles through glass, the only effect of the metal wall being to explode the shells and scatter their fragments far and wide.

The Chinese admiral had drawn up his ships in a single line, with the large ones in the center and the weaker ones on the wings. Ito's ships came up in column, the Yoshino leading, his purpose being to take advantage of the superior speed of his ships and circle round his adversary. Past the Chinese right wing swept the swift Yoshino, pouring in the shells from her rapid-fire guns on the unprotected vessels there posted, one of which, the Yang Wei, was soon in flames. The ships that followed tore the woodwork of the Chao Yung with their shells, and she likewise burst into flames. The slower vessels of the Japanese fleet lagged behind their speedy leaders, particularly the little Heijei, which fell so far in the rear as to be exposed to the fire of the whole Chinese fleet. In this dilemma its captain displayed a daring spirit. Instead of following his consorts, he dashed straight for the line of the enemy, passing between two of their larger vessels at 500 yards distance. Two torpedoes were launched at him, but missed their mark. But he was made the target of a heavy fire, and came through with his craft in flames. At 2:23 the blazing Chao Yung went to the bottom with all on board.

As a result of the Japanese evolution, their ships finally closed in on the Chinese on both sides and the action reached its most furious phase. The two flag-ships, the Japanese Matsushima and the Chinese Ting Yuen, battered each other with their great guns, the woodwork of the latter being soon in flames, while a heap of ammunition on the Matsushima was exploded by a shell and killed or wounded eighty men. The Chinese flag-ship would probably have been destroyed by the flames but that her consort came to her assistance. By five o'clock the Chinese fleet was in the greatest disorder, several of its ships having been sunk or driven in flames ashore, while others were in flight. The Japanese fire was mainly concentrated on the two large ironclads, which continued the fight, their thick armor resisting the heaviest guns of the enemy.

Perils of the Commanders

Signals and signal halyards had been long since shot away, and all the signalmen killed or wounded; but the two ships conformed to each other's movements, and made a splendid fight of it. Admiral Ting had been insensible for some hours at the outset of the battle. He had stood too close to one of his own big guns on a platform above its muzzle, and had been stunned by the upward and backward concussion of the air; but he had recovered consciousness, and, though wounded by a burst shell, was bravely commanding his ship. Von Hanneken was also wounded in one of the barbettes. The ship was on fire forward, but the hose kept the flames under. The Chen Yuen was almost in the same plight. Her commander, McGiffen, had had several narrow escapes. When at last the lacquered woodwork on her forecastle caught fire, and the men declined to go forward and put it out unless an officer went with them, he led the party. He was stooping down to move something on the forecastle, when a shot passed between his arms and legs, wounding both his wrists. At the same time he was struck down by an explosion near him. When he recovered from the shock he found himself in a terrible position. He was lying wounded on the forecastle, and full in front of him he saw the muzzle of one of the heavy barbette guns come sweeping round, rise, and then sink a little, as the gunners trained it on a Japanese ship, never noticing that he lay just below the line of fire. It was in vain to try to attract their attention. In another minute he would have been caught in the fiery blast. With a great effort he rolled himself over the edge of the forecastle, dropping on some rubbish on the main deck, and hearing the roar of the gun as he fell.

We have given this vivid description of a battle of modern warships, largely taken from Commander McGiffen's narrative, because of the interest it involves. The finish of the story may be briefly stated. The Chinese battleships, though they had suffered little, were both running out of ammunition, and the Japanese appeared to be in trouble of some sort, for about 5.30 P. M. Admiral Ito signaled his ships to withdraw from the action. The Chinese ironclads followed them for some distance and then withdrew. The next morning the Chinese fleet had withdrawn. Despite the resisting power of the ironclads, the Chinese had lost much more heavily in ships and men than the Japanese. But the most remarkable feature of the battle of the Yalu, and one which renders it especially notable, was that it took place between two nations which, had the war broken out forty years earlier, would have done their fighting with fleets of wooden junks and weapons of the past centuries. As an object lesson of the progress of China and Japan in modern ideas it is of the greatest interest.

Capture of Wei Hai Wei

In January, 1895, the Japanese fleet advanced against the strongly fortified stronghold of Wei Hai Wei, on the northern coast of China. Here a force of 25,000 men was landed successfully, and attacked the fort in the rear, quickly capturing its landward defenses. The stronghold was thereupon abandoned by its garrison and occupied by the Japanese. The Chinese fleet lay in the harbor, and surrendered to the Japanese after several ships had been sunk by torpedo boats.

China was now in a perilous position. Its fleet was lost, its coast strongholds of Port Arthur and Wei Hai Wei were held by the enemy, and its capital was threatened from the latter place and by the army north of the Great Wall. A continuation of the war promised to bring about the complete conquest of the Chinese empire, and Li Hung Chang, who had been degraded from his official rank in consequence of the disasters to the army, was now restored to all his honors and sent to Japan to sue for peace. In the treaty obtained China was compelled to acknowledge the independence of Korea, to cede to Japan the island of Formosa and the Pescadores group, and that part of Manchuria occupied by the Japanese army, including Port Arthur, also to pay an indemnity of 300,000,000 taels and open seven new treaty ports. This treaty was not fully carried out. The Russian, British, and French ministers forced Japan, under threat of war, to give up her claim to the Liao-tung peninsula and Port Arthur, which stronghold was soon after obtained, under long lease, by the Russians.

Europe Invades China

The story of China during the few remaining years of the century may be briefly told. The evidence of its weakness yielded by the war with Japan was quickly taken advantage of by the great Powers of Europe, and China was in danger of going to pieces under their attacks, which grew so decided and ominous that rumors of a partition between these Powers of the most ancient and populous empire of the world filled the air.

In 1898 decided steps in this direction were taken. Russia leased from China for ninety-nine years Port Arthur and Talien Wan, and took practical possession of Manchuria, through which a railroad was built connecting with the Trans-Siberian road, while Port Arthur afforded her an ice-free harbor for her Pacific fleet. Great Britain, jealous of this movement on the part of Russia, forced from the unwilling hands of China the port of Wei Hai Wei, and Germany demanded and obtained the cession of a port at Mau Chau, farther down the coast, in retribution for the murder of some missionaries. France, not to be outdone by her neighbors, gained concessions of territory in the south, adjoining her Indo-China possessions, and Italy, last of all, came into the Eastern market with a demand for a share of the nearly defunct empire.

The nations appeared to be settling on China like vultures on a carcass, and ready to tear the antique commonwealth to pieces between them. Within the empire itself revolutionary changes took place, the dowager empress having first deprived the emperor of all power and then enforced his abdication.

Meanwhile one important result came from the war. Li Hung Chang and the other progressive statesmen of the empire, who had long been convinced that the only hope of China lay in its being thrown open to Western science and art, found themselves able to carry out their plans, the conservative opposition having seriously broken down. The result of this was seen in a dozen directions. Railroads, long almost completely forbidden, gained free "right of way," and promised in the near future to traverse the country far and wide. Steamers ploughed their way for a thousand miles up the Yang-tse-Kiang; engineers became busy exploiting the coal and iron mines of the Flowery Kingdom; great factories, equipped with the best modern machinery, sprang up in the foreign settlements; foreign books began to be translated and read; and the empress even went so far as to receive foreign ambassadors in public audience and on a footing of outward equality in the "forbidden city" of Peking, long the sacredly secluded center of an empire locked against the outer world.

The increase of European interference in China, with indications of a possible intention to dismember that ancient empire and divide its fragments among the land-hungry nations of the West, was viewed in China with dread and indignation, the feeling of hostility extending to the work of the missionaries, who were probably viewed by many as agents in the movement of invasion.

The Boxer Outbreak

The hostile sentiment thus developed was indicated early in 1900 by the outbreak of a Chinese secret society known by a name signified in English by the word "Boxers." These ultra-patriots organized an anti-missionary crusade in several provinces of North China in which many missionaries and native Christians were killed. The movement extended from the missionary settlements to include the whole foreign movement in China, and was evidently encouraged by the dowager empress and her advisers.

As a result the outbreak spread to Peking, where Baron von Ketteler, the German minister, was killed, several of the legation buildings were destroyed, and more than two hundred refugees were besieged within the walls of the British legation. The danger to which the ministries and their assistants and families were exposed aroused Europe and America, and as the Chinese government took no steps to allay the outbreak, a relief expedition was organized, in which United States, British, French, German, Russian and Japanese forces took part.

The fleet of the allies bombarded and destroyed the Taku forts, and heavy fighting took place at Tien-tsin, Pie-tsang and Yang-tsun. The military expedition reached Peking and rescued the besieged on August 14, 1906, the empress and her court fleeing from the capital. A peace treaty was signed on September 7, 1901, one of the conditions of which was that China should pay an indemnity of $320,000,000 to the foreign Powers. The share of this allotted to the United States was $24,440,000, but after a portion of this had been paid the United States in 1908 remitted $10,800,000, on the ground that this was in excess over its actual expense. This act of generosity won the earnest gratitude of China.

This event, significant of the latent and active hostilities between the East and the West, was followed by a much greater one in 1904-05, when Japan had the hardihood to engage in war with the great European empire of Russia and the unlooked-for ability and good fortune to defeat its powerful antagonist.

Russian Designs on Manchuria

This contest, which takes its place among the great wars of modern times, must be dealt with briefly here, as it belongs to European history only in the minor sense of a European country being engaged in it. It arose from the encroachments of Russia in the Chinese province of Manchuria and fears on the part of Japan that the scope of Russian designs might include the invasion and conquest of that country.

As already stated, Russia secured a lease of Port Arthur, at the southern extremity of Manchuria, from China in 1896. Subsequently the Siberian Railway was extended southward from Harbin to this place, the harbor was deepened, and building operations were begun at a new town named Dalny, which was to be made Asia's greatest port. The line of the railway was strongly guarded with Russian troops.

These movements of Russia excited suspicion in Great Britain and Japan, which countries so strongly opposed the military occupation by Russia of Chinese territory that in 1901 Russia agreed to withdraw her troops within the following year, to restore the railway to China, and subsequently to give up all occupation of Chinese territory.

Of these agreements only the first was kept, and that only temporarily. In 1903 Japan proposed an agreement with Russia to the effect that both parties should respect the integrity of China and Korea, while the interest of Japan in Korea and that of Russia in Manchuria should be recognized. The refusal of Russia to accept this proposition overcame the patience of Japan, whose rulers saw clearly that Russia had no intention of withdrawing from the country occupied or of hampering her future purposes with agreements. In fact Japan's own independence seemed threatened.

Japan Begins War on Russia

The result was in consonance with the Japanese character. In February, 1904, Japan withdrew her minister from the capital of Russia and three days later, without the formality of a declaration of war, attacked the Russian fleets at Chemulpo and Port Arthur. The result was the sinking of two Russian ships in Chemulpo harbor, and the disabling of a number of vessels at Port Arthur.

Troops were landed at the same time. Seoul, the capital of Korea, was occupied, and an army marched north to Ping-Yang. The first land engagement took place on the Yalu on April 30th, the Japanese forces under General Kuroki attacking and defeating the Russians at that point, and making a rapid advance into Manchuria.

Meanwhile Admiral Togo had been busy at Port Arthur. On April 13th he sent boats in shore to plant mines. Makharov, the Russian admiral, followed these boats out until he found Togo awaiting him with a fleet too strong for him to attack. On his return his flag-ship, the Petropavlovsk, struck one of the mines and went down with her crew of 750 and Makharov himself. The smaller ships reached harbor in bad shape from their experience of Togo's big guns. On August 10th, the Port Harbor fleet was again roughly handled by the Japanese, and some days later a Vladivostock squadron, steaming southward to reinforce the Port Arthur fleet, was met and defeated. This ended the naval warfare for that period, all the ships which Russia had on the Pacific being destroyed or seriously injured.

The Armies Meet

On land the Japanese made successful movements to the north and south. An army under General Oku landed in the Liao-tung peninsula early in May, cut the railway to Port Arthur, and captured Kin-chau, nearly forty miles from that port. There followed a terrible struggle on the heights of Nan-shan, ending in the repulse of the Russian garrison, with a loss of eighty guns. This success gave the Japanese control of Dalny, which formed for them a new base. General Nogi soon after landed with a strong force and took command of the operation against Port Arthur.

The northern army met with similar success, General Kuroki fighting his way to the vicinity of Liao-yang, where he soon had the support of General Nozdu, who had landed an army in May. Oku, marching north from the peninsula, also supported him, the three generals forcing Kuropatkin, the Russian commander-in-chief, back upon his base. Marshal Oyama, a veteran of former wars, was made commander-in-chief of the Japanese armies.

Liao-tung became the seat of one of the greatest battles of the war, lasting seven days, the number of dead and wounded being over 30,000. It ended in the retreat of Kuropatkin's army, who fell back upon the line of defenses covering Mukden, the Manchurian capital. Here he was again attacked by Kuroki, who captured the key of the Russian position on the 1st of September, and held it until reinforcements arrived.

For a month the armies faced each other south of Mukden, the resting spell ending in a general advance of the Russian army, which had been largely reinforced. In the battle that followed the Russians lost heavily, but failed to break the Japanese lines, and after a fortnight of hard fighting both sides desisted from active hostilities, holding their positions with little change.

Port Arthur Taken

Meanwhile Port Arthur had become closely invested. One by one the hills surrounding the harbor were taken by the Japanese, after stubborn resistance. Big siege guns were dragged up and began to batter the town and the ships. On August 16th, General Stoessel, commander at Fort Arthur, having refused to surrender, a grand assault was ordered by Nogi. It proved unsuccessful, while the assailants lost 14,000 men. The bombardment continued, the buildings and ships suffering severely. Finally tunnels were cut through the solid rock and on December 20th the principal stronghold to the east was carried by storm. Other forts were soon taken and on January 2, 1905, the port was surrendered, the Japanese obtaining 40,000 prisoners, 59 forts, about 550 guns, and other munitions. The fleet captured consisted of four damaged battleships, two damaged cruisers and a considerable number of smaller craft.

We left the armies facing each other at Mukden in late September. They remained there until February, 1905, without again coming into contact, and no decisive action took place until March. Kuropatkin's force had meanwhile been largely reinforced, through the difficult aid of the one-tracked Siberian railway, and was now divided into three armies of approximately 150,000 each. Oyama had also received large reinforcements and now had 500,000 men under his command. These consisted of the armies under Kuroki, Nozdu and Oku, and the force of Nogi released by the capture of Port Arthur.

General Grippenburg had command of one of the Russian armies and on January 25th took position on the left bank of the Hun River. Here, in the month following, he lost 10,000 of his men, and then threw up his post, declaring that his chief had not properly supported him. On January 19th, a Japanese advance in force began, attacking with energy and forcing Kuropatkin to withdraw his center and left behind the line of the Hun. Here he fiercely attacked Oku and Nogi, for the time checking their advance. But Bilderling and Linievitch just then fell into difficulties and it became necessary to retreat, leaving Mukden to the enemy.

There were no further engagements of importance between the armies, though they remained face to face for months in a long line south of Harbin. Kuropatkin during this time was relieved from command, Linievitch being appointed to succeed him. The remaining conflict of the war was a naval one, of remarkable character.

Russian Fleet Defeated

Russia, finding its Pacific fleet put out of commission, and quite unable to face the doughty Togo, had despatched a second fleet from the Baltic, comprising nearly forty vessels in all. These made their way through the Suez Canal and Indian Ocean and moved upward through the Chinese and Japanese Seas, finding themselves on May 27, 1905, in the strait of Tsushuma, between Korea and Japan. Hitherto not a hostile vessel had been seen. Togo had held his fleet in ambush, while keeping scouts on the lookout for the coming Russians.

Suddenly the Russians found themselves surrounded by a long line of enemies, which had suddenly appeared in their front. The attack was furious and irresistible; the defense weak and ineffective. Night was at hand, but before it came five Russian warships had gone to the bottom. A torpedo attack was made during the night and the general engagement resumed next morning. When a halt was called, Admiral Togo had sunk, disabled or captured eight battleships, nine cruisers, three coast-defense ships, and a large number of other craft, the great Russian fleet being practically a total loss, while Togo had lost only three torpedo boats and 650 men. The losses in men by the Russians was 4,000 killed, and 7,300 prisoners taken. Altogether it was a naval victory which for completeness has rarely been equaled in history.

Russia, beaten on land and sea, was by this time ready to give up the struggle, and readily accepted President Roosevelt's suggestion to hold a peace convention in the United States. The terms of the treaty were very favorable to Russia, all things considered; but the power of Japan had been strained to the utmost, and that Power felt little inclined to put obstacles in the way. The island of Sakhalin was divided between them, both armies evacuated Manchuria, leaving it to the Chinese, and Port Arthur and Dalny were transferred to Japan.

Yet though Japan received no indemnity and little in the way of material acquisitions of any kind, she came out of the war with a prestige that no one was likely to question, and has since ranked among the great Powers of the world. And she has added considerably to her territory by the annexation of Korea, in which there was no one to question her right.

China Becomes a Republic

While Japan was manifesting this progress in the arts of war, China was making as great a progress in the arts of peace. The building of railroads, telegraphs, modern factories, and other western innovations proceeded apace, modern literature and systems of education were introduced, and the old competitive examinations for office, in the Confucian literature and philosophy, were replaced by examinations in modern science and general knowledge. Yet most surprising of all was the great political revolution which converted an autocratic empire which had existed for four or five thousand years into a modern constitutional republic of advanced type. This is the most surprising political overturn that history anywhere presents.

For many years a spirit of opposition to the Manchu empire had existed and had led more than once to rebellions of great scope. The success of Japan in war was followed in China by a revolutionary movement whose first demand was for a constitutional government, this leading, on September 20, 1907, to an imperial decree outlining a plan for a national assembly. On July 22, 1908, another decree provided for provincial assemblies to serve as a basis for a future parliament. Later the government promised to introduce a parliamentary system within nine years.

The idea of such a government spread rapidly throughout the country, and the demand arose for an immediate parliament. As the government resisted this demand, the revolutionary sentiment grew, and in October, 1911, a rebellious movement took place at Wuchang which rapidly spread, the rebels declaring that the Manchu dynasty must be overthrown.

Soon the movement became so threatening that the emperor issued a decree appealing to the mercy of the people, and abjectly acknowledging that the government had done wrong in many particulars. Yuan Shi-Kai, a prominent revolutionary statesman, was made prime minister and a national assembly convened. It had become too late, however, to check the movement, and at the end of 1911 a new republic was announced at Nanking, under the provisional presidency of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, a student of modern institutions in Europe and America. The abdication of the emperor quickly followed, in February 12, 1912, ending a Manchu dynasty which had held the throne for 267 years. Yuan Shi-Kai was later chosen as president.

This is a very brief account of the radical revolution that took place and we cannot go into the details of what succeeded. It must suffice to say that the republic has since persisted, Yuan Shi-Kai still serving as president. The republic has a parliament of its own; a president and cabinet and all the official furniture of a republican government. There is only needed an education of the people into the principles of free government "of the people, for the people, and by the people" to complete the most remarkable political revolution the world has yet known.

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.

In the southeast of Europe lies a group of minor kingdoms, of little importance in size, but of great importance in the progress of recent events. Their sudden uprising in 1912, their conquest of nearly the whole existing remnant of Turkey in Europe, and the subsequent struggle between them for the spoils of the conquest brought them swiftly into prominence. And they are specially important from the fact that Servia, one of this group of states, was the ostensible—hardly the actual—cause of the great European war of 1914.

These, known as the Balkan States from their being traversed by the Balkan range of mountains, comprise the kingdoms of Roumania, Bulgaria, Servia, Montenegro, and the recent and highly artificial kingdom of Albania. Greece is an outlying member of the group.

The Story of Servia

Of these varied states Servia is of especial interest from its immediate relation to the European contest. Its ancient history, also, possesses much of interest. Minor in extent at present, it was once an extensive empire. Under its monarch, Stephen Dushan (1336—56), it included the whole of Macedonia, Albania, Thessaly, Bulgaria, and Northern Greece, leaving little of the Balkan region beyond its borders. In 1389 its independence ended as a result of the battle of Kossova, it becoming tributary to the conquering empire of the Turks. In another half century it became a province of Turkey in Europe, and so remained for nearly two hundred years.

Its succeeding history may be rapidly summarized. In 1718 Austria won the greater part of it, with its capital Belgrade, from Turkey, but in 1739 it was regained by the Turks. Barbarous treatment of the Christian population of Servia by its half-civilized rulers led to a series of insurrections, ending in 1812 in its independence, by the terms of the Treaty of Bukarest. The Turks won it back in 1813, but in 1815, under its leader, Milosh, its complete independence was attained.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


After the fall of Plevna in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, Servia joined its forces to those of Russia, and by the Treaty of Berlin it obtained an accession of territory and full recognition by the Powers of Europe of its independence. In 1885 a national rising took. place in Eastern Roumelia, a province of Turkey, which led to the Turkish governor being expelled and union with Bulgaria proclaimed. Servia demanded a share of this new acquisition of territory and went to war with Bulgaria, but met with a severe defeat. When, in 1908, Austria annexed the former Turkish provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the people of Servia were highly indignant, these provinces being largely inhabited by people of the Servian race. The exasperation thus caused is of importance, especially as augmented by the agency of Austria in preventing Servia from obtaining a port on the Adriatic after the Balkan war of 1912-13. The seething feeling of enmity thus engendered had its final outcome in the assassination of the Austrian Crown Prince Ferdinand in 1914, and the subsequent invasion of Servia by the armies of Austria.

We have here spoken of the stages by which Servia gradually won its independence from Turkey and its recognition as a full-fledged member of the European family of nations. There are several others of the Balkan group which similarly won independence from Turkey and to the story of which some passing allusion is desirable.

How Greece won its independence has been already told. Another of the group, the diminutive mountain state of Montenegro, much the smallest of them all, has the honor of being the only section of that region of Europe that maintained its independence during the long centuries of Turkish domination. Its mountainous character enabled its hardy inhabitants to hold their own against the Turks in a series of deadly struggles. In 1876–78 its ruler, Prince Nicholas, joined in the war of Servia and Russia against Turkey, the result being that 1,900 square miles were added to its territory by the Treaty of Berlin. In 1910 it was changed from a principality into a kingdom, Prince Nicholas gaining the title of King Nicholas. A second acquisition of territory succeeded the Balkan War of 1913, the adjoining Turkish province of Novibazar being divided between it and Servia.

Turkey in Europe

With this summary of the story of the Balkans we shall proceed to give in more detail its recent history, comprising the wars of 1876–78 and of 1912-13. As for the relations between Turkey and the Balkan peninsula, it is well known how the Asiatic conquerors known as Turks, having subdued Asia Minor, invaded Europe in 1355, overran most of the Balkan country, and attacked and took Constantinople in 1453. Servia, Bosnia, Albania, and Greece were added to the Ottoman Empire, which subdued half of Hungary and received its first check on land before the walls of Vienna in 1529, and on the ocean at the battle of Lepanto in 1571. Vienna was again besieged by the Turks in 1683, and was then saved from capture by Sobieski of Poland and Charles of Lorraine.

This was the end of Turkish advance in Europe. Since that date it has been gradually yielding to European assault, Russia beginning its persistent attacks upon Turkey about the middle of the eighteenth century. At that time Turkey occupied a considerable section of Southern Russia, but by the end of the century much of this had been regained. In 1812 Russia won that part of Moldavia and Bessarabia which lies beyond the Pruth, in 1812 it gained the principal mouth of the Danube, and in 1829 it crossed the Balkans and took Adrianople. The independence of Greece was acknowledged the same year.

The next important event in the history of Turkey in Europe was the Crimean War, the story of which has been told in an earlier chapter. The chief results of it were a weakening of Russian influence in Turkey, the abolition of the Russian protectorate over Moldavia and Wallachia (united in 1861 as the principality of Roumania), and the cession to Turkey of part of Bessarabia.

Turkey also came out of the Crimean War weakened and shorn of territory. But the Turkish idea of government remained unchanged, and in twenty years' time Russia was fairly goaded into another war. In 1875 Bosnia rebelled in consequence of the insufferable oppression of the Turkish tax-collectors. The brave Bosnians maintained themselves so sturdily in their mountain fastnesses that the Turks almost despaired of subduing them, and the Christian subjects of the Sultan in all quarters became so stirred up that a general revolt was threatened.

The Bulgarian Horrors

The Turks undertook to prevent this in their usual fashion. Irregular troops were sent into Christian Bulgaria with orders to kill all they met. It was an order to the Mohammedan taste. The defenseless villages of Bulgaria were entered and their inhabitants slaughtered in cold blood, till thousands of men, women, and children had been slain.

When tidings of these atrocities reached Europe the nations were filled with horror. The Sultan made smooth excuses, and diplomacy sought to settle the affair, but it became evident that a massacre so terrible as this could not be condoned so easily. Disraeli, then prime minister of Great Britain, sought to dispose of these reports as matters for jest; but Gladstone, at that time in retirement, arose in his might, and by his pamphlet on the "Bulgarian Horrors" so aroused public sentiment in England that the government dared not back up Turkey in the coming war. His denunciation rang through England like a trumpet-call. "Let the Turks now carry away their abuses in the only possible manner—by carrying off themselves," he wrote. "Their Zaptiehs and their Mudirs, their Bimbashis and their Yuzbachis, their Kaimakams and their Pashas, one and all, bag and baggage, shall, I hope, clear out from the province they have desolated and profaned."

He followed up this pamphlet by a series of speeches, delivered to great meetings and to the House of Commons, with which for four years he sought, as he expressed it, "night and day to counter-work the purpose of Lord Beaconsfield." He succeeded; England was prevented by his eloquence from joining the Turks in the war; but he excited the fury of the war party to such an extent that at one time it was not safe for him to appear in the streets of London.

Hostilities were soon proclaimed. The Russians, of the same race and religious sect as the Bulgarians, were excited beyond control, and in April, 1877, Alexander II declared war against Turkey. The outrages of the Turks had been so flagrant that no allies came to their aid, while the rottenness of their empire was shown by the rapid advance of the Russian armies. They crossed the Danube in June. In a month later, they had occupied the principal passes of the Balkan mountains and were in position to descend on the broad plain that led to Constantinople. But at this point in their career they met with a serious check. Osman Pasha, the single Turkish commander of ability that the war developed, occupied the town of Plevna with such forces as he could gather, fortified it as strongly as possible, and from its walls defied the Russians.

The Defense of Plevna

The invaders dared not advance and leave this stronghold in their rear. For five months all the power of Russia and the skill of its generals were held in check by this brave man and his followers, until Europe and America alike looked on with admiration at his remarkable defense, in view of which the cause of the war was almost forgotten. The Russian general Krudener was repulsed with the loss of 8,000 men. The daring Skobeleff strove in vain to launch his troops over Osman's walls. At length General Todleben undertook the siege, adopting the slow but safe method of starving out the defenders. Osman Pasha now showed his courage, as he had already shown his endurance. When hunger and disease began to reduce the strength of his men, he resolved on a final desperate effort. At the head of his brave garrison the "Lion of Plevna" sallied from the city, and fought with desperate courage to break through the circle of his foes. He was finally driven back into the city and compelled to surrender.

Osman had won glory, and his fall was the fall of the Turkish cause. The Russians crossed the Balkans, capturing in the Schipka Pass a Turkish army of 30,000 men. Adrianople was taken, and the Turkish line of retreat cut off. The Russians marched to the Bosporus, and the Sultan was compelled to sue for peace to save his capital from falling into the hands of the Christians, as it had fallen into those of the Turks four centuries before.

Russia had won the game for which she had made so long a struggle. The treaty of San Stefano practically decreed the dissolution of the Turkish Empire. But at this juncture the other nations of Europe took part. They were not content to see the balance of power destroyed by Russia becoming master of Constantinople, and England demanded that the treaty should be revised by the European Powers. Russia protested, but Disraeli threatened war, and the Czar gave way.

The Congress of Berlin

The Congress of Berlin, to which the treaty was referred, settled the question in the following manner: Montenegro, Roumania, and Servia were declared independent, and Bulgaria became free, except that it had to pay an annual tribute to the Sultan. The

part of old Bulgaria that lay south of the Balkan Mountains was named Eastern Roumelia and given its own civil government, but was left under the military control of Turkey. Bosnia and Herzegovina were placed under the control of Austria. All that Russia obtained for her victories were some provinces in Asia Minor. Turkey was terribly shorn, and since then her power has been further reduced, for Eastern Roumelia has broken loose from her control and united itself again to Bulgaria.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Another twenty years passed, and Turkey found itself at war again. It was the old story, the oppression of the Christians. This time the trouble began in Armenia, a part of Turkey in Asia, where in 1895 and 1896 terrible massacres took place. Indignation reigned in Europe, but fears of a general war kept the Powers from using force, and the Sultan paid no heed to the reforms he had promised to make.

In 1896 the Christians of the island of Crete broke out in revolt against the oppression and tyranny of Turkish rule. Of all the Powers of Europe little Greece was the only one that came to their aid, and the great nations, still inspired with the fear of a general war, sent their fleet and threatened Greece with blockade unless she would withdraw her troops.

The result was one scarcely expected. Greece was persistent, and gathered a threatening army on the frontier of Turkey, and war broke out in 1897 between the two states. The Turks now, under an able commander, showed much of their ancient valor and intrepidity, crossing the frontier, defeating the Greeks in a rapid series of engagements, and occupying Thessaly, while the Greek army was driven back in a state of utter demoralization. At this juncture, when Greece lay at the mercy of Turkey, as Turkey had lain at that of Russia twenty years before, the Powers, which had refused to aid Greece in her generous but hopeless effort, stepped in to save her from ruin. Turkey was bidden to call a halt, and the Sultan reluctantly stopped the march of his army. He demanded the whole of Thessaly and a large indemnity in money. The former the Powers refused to grant, and reduced the indemnity to a sum within the power of Greece to pay. Thus the affair ended, and such was the status of the Eastern Question until the hatred of the Balkan States again leaped into flame in the memorable Balkan War of 1912.

Hostile Sentiments of the Balkans

As may be seen from what has been said, the sentiment of hostility between the Christian States of the Balkan region and the Mohammedan empire of Turkey was not likely to be easily allayed. The atrocities of persecution which the Christians had suffered at the hands of the Turks were unforgotten and unavenged, and to them was added an ambitious desire to widen their dominions at the expense of Turkey, if possible to drive Turkey completely out of Europe and extend their areas of control to the Mediterranean and the Bosporus. These states consisted of Servia, made an autonomous principality in 1830, an independent principality in 1878, and a kingdom in 1882; Bulgaria, an autonomous principality in 1878, an independent kingdom in 1908; Roumania, an autonomous principality in 1802, an independent principality in 1878, a kingdom in 1881; Montenegro, an independent principality in 1878, a kingdom in 1910; Eastern Roumelia, autonomous in 1878, annexed to Bulgaria in 1885. Adjoining these on the south was Greece, an independent kingdom since 1830. The former provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina had been assigned to Austrian administrative control in 1878, and annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908, an act which added to the feeling of unrest in the Balkan States.

The relations existing between the Balkan States and their neighbors was one of dissatisfaction and hostility which might at any time break into war, this being especially the case with those which bordered directly upon Turkey—Servia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Greece. Roumania, being removed from contact, had less occasion to entertain warlike sentiments.

Incitement to War

A fitting time for this indignation and hostile feeling to break out into war came in 1912, as a result of the invasion and conquest of Tripoli by Italy in 1911-12. This war, settled by a protocol in favor of Italy on October 15, 1912, had caused financial losses and political unrest in Turkey which offered a promising opportunity for the states to carry into effect their long-cherished design. They did not act as a unit, the smallest of them, Montenegro, declaring war on Turkey on October 8th, and Greece, on October 17th. In regard to Servia and Bulgaria, Turkey took the initiative, declaring war on them October 17, 1912.

But acts of war did not wait for a formal declaration. On October 5th, King Peter of Servia thus explained to the National Assembly of that state his reasons for mobilizing his troops:

"I have applied with friendly counsels to Constantinople regarding the misery which the Christian nationalities, including ours, are suffering in Turkey, and it is to be regretted that all this was of no avail. Instead of the expected reforms we were surprised a few days ago by the mobilization of the Turkish army near our frontiers. To this act, by which our safety was endangered, Servia had only one reply. By my decree our army was put into a mobile state.

"Our position is clear. Our duty is to undertake measures insuring our safety. It is our duty, in conformity with other Christian Balkan States, to do everything in our power to insure proper conditions for a real and permanent peace in the Balkans."

The first raid into Turkish territory was made by the Bulgarian bandit Sandansky, who in 1902 had kidnapped Miss Ellen M. Stone, an American missionary, and held her for a ransom of $65,000 to procure funds for his campaign. At the head of a band of 2,500 Bulgarians he crossed the frontier and burned the Turkish block-house at Oschumava, afterwards occupying a strategic position above the Struma River.

Fighting Begins

The Montenegrin army opened the war on October 9th, by attacking a strong Turkish position opposite Podgoritza, Franz Peter, the youngest son of King Nicholas, firing the first shot. Bulgaria, without waiting to declare war, crossed the frontier on October 14th and made a sharp attack on the railway patrols between Sofia and Uskut. Sharp fighting at the same time took place on the Greek frontier, the Greeks capturing Malurica Pass, the chief mountain pass leading from Greece to Turkey on the northern frontier. As regards the reasons impelling Greece to take an active part in the war, it must be remembered that the great majority of Greeks still lived under the Turkish flag, while the twelve islands in the A Bean Sea seized by Italy during its war with Turkey were clamoring to be annexed to Greece instead of being returned to Turkey by the treaty of peace between Italy and Turkey.

Such were the conditions and events existing at the opening of the war. It developed with great rapidity, a number of important battles being fought, in which the Turks were defeated. The military strength of the combined states exceeded that of Turkey, and within a month's time they made rapid advances, the goals sought by them being Constantinople, Adrianople, Salonica and Scutari.

The Advance on Adrianople

The most important of the Balkan movements was that of the Bulgarian army upon Adrianople, the second to Constantinople in importance of Turkish cities. By October 20th the Bulgarian main army had forced the Turks back upon the outward forts of this stronghold, while the left wing threatened the important post of Kirk-Kilisseh, in Thrace, about thirty miles northeast of Adrianople. This place, regarded as "the Key to Adrianople," was taken on the 24th, after a three days' fight, the Turkish forces, said to be 150,000 strong, retiring in disorder.

The Bulgarians continued their advance, fighting over a wide semicircular area before Adrianople, upon which city they gradually closed, taking some of the outer forts and making their bombardment felt within the city itself.

Servian and Greek Victories

While the Bulgarians were making such vigorous advances towards the capital of the Turkish empire, their allies were winning victories in other quarters. Novibazar, capital of the sanjak of the same name, was taken by the Servians on October 23d. Prishtina and other towns and villages of Old Servia were also taken, the victors being received by the citizens with open arms of welcome and other demonstrations of joy. Tobacco and refreshments were pressed upon the soldiers, while the people put all their possessions at the disposal of the military authorities.

The Greeks were also successful, an army under the Crown Prince capturing the town of Monastir, which was garrisoned by a Turkish force estimated at 40,000. The Montenegrin forces were at the same time besieging Scutari, the capture of which they regarded as of high importance as a means of widening the area of their narrow kingdom. Other important towns of Old Servia were taken, including Kumanova, captured on the 25th, Uskab, captured on the 26th, and Istib, 45 miles to the southwest, occupied without opposition on the following day. This place, a very strong natural position in the mountains, was known as the Adrianople of Macedonia.

The Bulgarian Successes

While these movements were taking place in the west, the siege of Adrianople was vigorously pushed. It was completely surrounded by Bulgarian troops by the 29th, and its commander formally summoned to surrender the city. The besiegers, however, had great difficulties to overcome, the country around being inundated by the rivers Maretza and Arda in consequence of heavy rains. These floods at the same time impeded the movements of the Turks.

On October 31st, after another three-day fight, the Bulgarians achieved the great success of the war, defeating a Turkish army of 200,000 men. Only a fortnight had passed since Turkey declared war. The first week of the campaign closed with the dramatic fall of Kirk-Kilesseh, fully revealing for the first time the disorganization, bad morale and inefficient commissariat of the Turkish army. Ten days later that army was defeated and routed, within fifty miles from Constantinople, forcing it to retreat within the capital's line of defenses.

Apparently Nazim Pasha had been completely outmaneuvered by Savoff's generalship. The Bulgarian turning movement along the Black Sea coast appears to have been a feint, which induced the Turkish commander to throw his main army to the eastward, to such effect that the Bulgarian force on this side had the greatest difficulty in holding the Turks in check.

In fact, the Bulgarians gave way, and thus enabled Nazim Pasha to report to Constantinople some success in this direction. In the meantime, however, General Savoff hurled his great strength against the Turks' weakened left wing, which he crushed in at Lule Burgas. The fighting along the whole front, which evidently was of the most stubborn and determined character, was carried on day and night without intermission, and both sides lost heavily.

The final result was to force the Turks within the defensive lines of Tchatalja, the only remaining fortified position protecting Constantinople. These lines lie twenty-five miles to the northwest of the capital.

The seat of war between Bulgaria and Turkey, aside from the continued siege of Adrianople, was by this success transferred to the Tchatalja lines, along which the opposing armies lay stretched during the week succeeding the Lule Burgas victory. Here siege operations were vigorously prosecuted, but the Turks, though weakened by an outbreak of cholera in their ranks, succeeded in maintaining their position.

Steps Toward Peace

Elsewhere victory followed the banners of the allies. On November 8th the important port of Salonica was taken by the Greeks, and on the 18th the Servians captured Monastir, the remaining Turkish stronghold in Macedonia. The fighting here was desperate, lasting three days, the Turkish losses amounting to about 20,000 men. In Albania the Montenegrin siege of Scutari continued, though so far without success.

Turkey had now enough of the war. On November 3d she had asked a mediation of the Powers, but these replied that she must treat directly with the Balkan nations. This caused delay until the end of the month, the protocol of an armistice being approved by the Turkish cabinet on November 30th, and signed by representatives of Turkey, Bulgaria, Servia and Montenegro on December 3d. Greece refused to sign, but at a later date agreed to take part in a conference to meet in London on December 16th.

This peace conference continued in session until January 6, 1913, without reaching any conclusions, Turkey refusing to accept the Balkan demands that she should yield practically the whole of her territory in Europe. At the final session of the conference she renounced her claim to the island of Crete, and promised to rectify her Thracian frontier, but insisted upon the retention of Adrianople. This place, the original capital of the Ottoman Empire in Europe, and containing the splendid mosque of Sultan Selim, was highly esteemed by the Mohammedans, who clung to it as a sacred city.

War seemed likely to be resumed, though the European Powers strongly suggested to Turkey the advisability of yielding on this point, and leaving the question of the fate of the Aegean Islands to the Powers, which promised also to guard Mussulman interests in Adrianople. Finally, on January 22d, the Porte consented to this request of the Powers, a decision which was vigorously resented by the warlike party known as Young Turks.

Demonstrations at once broke out in Constantinople, leading to the overthrow of the cabinet and the murder of Nazim Pasha, former minister of war and commander-in-chief of the Turkish army. He was' succeeded by Enver Bey, the most spirited leader of the Young Turks, who became chief of staff of the army.

On January 30th the Balkan allies denounced their armistice and a renewed war seemed imminent. On the same day the Ottoman government offered a compromise, agreeing to divide Adrianople between the contestants in such a way that they might retain the mosques and the historic monuments. As for the Aegean Islands, they would leave these to the disposition of the Powers.

The War Resumed

To this compromise the Balkan allies refused to agree and on February 3d hostile operations were resumed. The investment of Adrianople had remained intact during the interval, and on the 4th a vigorous bombardment took place, the Turkish response being weak. Forty Servian seven-inch guns had been mounted, their shells falling into the town, part of which again broke into flames. At points the lines of besiegers and besieged were only 200 yards apart. An attempt was made also to capture the peninsula of Gallipoli, which commands the Dardanelles, and thus take the Turkish force in the rear. Fifty thousand Bulgarians had been landed on this coast in November, and the Greek fleet in the Gulf of Saros supported the attack. If successful, there would be nothing to prevent this fleet from passing the straits, defeating the inferior Turkish war vessels and attacking Constantinople from the rear. Fighting in this region continued for several days, the Turkish forces being driven back, but still holding their forts.

Siege of Scutari

In the west the most important operation at this period was that of the Montenegrins, led by King Nicholas in person, against Scutari, an Albanian stronghold which they were eager to possess. Servian artillery aided in the assault, and on February 8th the important outwork on Muselim Hill was taken by an impulsive bayonet charge. The city was not captured, however, until April 23d, when an entire day's ceaseless fighting ended in the yielding of the garrison, the climax of a six-month siege.

An energetic attack had been made by the Bulgarians and Serbs on Adrianople on March 14th, ending in a repulse, and on the 22d another vigorous assault was begun, continuing with terrific fighting for four days. It ended in a surrender of the city on the 26th. The siege had continued for 152 days. Before yielding the Turks blew up the arsenal and set fire to the city at several points. At the same time Tchatalja, which had been actively assailed, fell into the hands of the allies and Constantinople lay open to assault.

Meanwhile the Powers of Europe had again offered their good services to mediate between the warring forces, and a conditional mediation was agreed to by the Balkan allies. Movements towards peace, however, proceeded slowly, the most interesting event of the period being a demand by Austria, backed by Italy, that Montenegro should give up the city of Scutari. Earnest protests were made against this by King Nicholas, but the despatch of an Austrian naval division on April 27th to occupy his ports and march upon Cettinje, his capital, obliged him reluctantly to yield and on May 5th Scutari was given up to Austria, to form part of a projected Albanian kingdom.

Treaty of Peace

Peace between the warring nations was finally concluded on May 30, 1913, the treaty providing that Turkey should cede to her allied foes all territory west of a line drawn from Enos on the Aegean coast to Media on the coast of the Black Sea. This left Adrianople in the hands of the Bulgarians and gave Turkey only a narrow strip of territory west of Constantinople, the meager remnant of her once great holdings upon the continent of Europe. The victors desired to divide the conquered territory upon a plan arranged between them before the war, but the purposes of Austria and Italy were out of agreement with this design and the Powers insisted in forming out of the districts assigned to Servia and Greece a new principality to be named Albania, embracing the region occupied by the unruly Albanian tribes.

This plan gave intense dissatisfaction to the allies. It seemed designed to cut off Servia from an opening upon the Mediterranean, which that inland state ardently desired and Austria strongly opposed. Montenegro was also deprived of the warmly craved city of Scutari, which she had won after so vigorous a strife. Bulgaria also was dissatisfied with this new project and opposed the demands of Servia and Greece for compensation in land for the loss of Albania or for their support of the Bulgarian operations.

War Between the Allies

Thus the result of this creation of a new and needless state out of the conquered territory by the peace-making Powers roused hostilities among the allies which speedily flung them into a new war. Bulgaria refused to yield any of the territory held by it to the Servians and Greeks, and Greece in consequence made a secret league with Servia against Bulgaria.

It was the old story of a fight over the division of the spoils. It is doubtful which of the contestants began hostile operations, but Bulgaria lost no time in marching upon Salonica, held by Greece, and in attacking the Greek and Servian outposts in Macedonia. The plans of General Savoff, who had led the Bulgarians to victory in the late war and who commanded in this new outbreak, in some way fell into the hands of the Greeks and gave them an important advantage. They at once, in junction with the Servians, attacked the Bulgarians and drove them back. From the accounts of the war, probably exaggerated, this struggle was accompanied by revolting barbarities upon the inhabitants of the country invaded, each country accusing the other of shameful indignities.

What would have been the result of the war, if fought out between the original contestants, it is impossible to say, for at this juncture a new Balkan State, which had taken no part in the Turkish war, came into the field. This was Roumania, lying north of Bulgaria and removed from any contact with Turkey. It had had a quarrel with Bulgaria, dating back to 1878, concerning certain territory to which it laid claim. This was a strip of land on the south side of the Danube near its mouth and containing Silistria and some other cities.

The Final Settlement

King Charles of Roumania now took the opportunity to demand this territory, and when his demand was refused by Ferdinand of Bulgaria he marched an army across the Danube and took the Bulgarians, exhausted by their recent struggle, in the rear. No battles were fought. The Roumanian army advanced until within thirty miles of Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, and Ferdinand was obliged to appeal for peace, and in the subsequent treaty yielded to Roumania the tract desired, which served to round out its frontier on the Black Sea.

Another unexpected event took place. While her late foes were struggling in a war of their own, Turkey quietly stepped into the arena, and on July 20th retook possession, without opposition, of Adrianople, Bulgaria's great prize in the late war.

A peace conference was held at Bukarest, capital of Roumania, beginning July 30th, and framing a treaty, signed on August 10th. This provided for the evacuation of Bulgaria by the invading armies, and also for a division of the conquered territory. Bulgaria gained the largest amount of territory, though less than she had claimed. Greece retained the important seaport of Salonica, the possession of which had been hotly disputed, and gained the largest sea front. Montenegro, though deprived of the much-coveted Scutari, was assigned part of northern Albania and the Turkish sanjak of Novibazar, adjoining on the east, considerably increasing her diminutive territory.

Servia had most reason to be dissatisfied with the result, in view of her craving for an opening to the sea. Cut off by Albania on the west, it sought an opening on the south, demanding the city of Kavala, on the Aegean Sea. But to this Greece strongly objected, as that city, one of the great tobacco marts of the world, was inhabited almost wholly by Greeks. Servia, however, extended southward far over its old territory, gaining Uskub, its old capital. And the Powers also agreed that it should have commercial rights on the Mediterranean, through railroad connection with Salonica.

As regards Turkey's shrewd advantage of the opportunity to retake Adrianople, it proved a successful move. The Russian press strongly advocated that the Turks should be ejected, but the jealousy of the Powers prevented any agreement as to who should do this and in the end the Turks remained, with a considerable widening of the tract of land before assigned to them.

In these wars it is estimated that 358,000 persons died, and that the cost of the two wars, to the several nations involved, reached a total of $1,200,000,000. Its general result was almost to complete the work of expelling the Turks from Europe, the territory lost by them being divided up between the several Balkan nations.

Methods in Modem Warfare

Ancient and Modern Weapons—New Types of Weapons—The Ironclad Warship—The Balloon in War—Tennyson's Foresight—Gunning for Airships—The Submarine—Underwater Warfare—The New Type of Battleship—Mobilization—The Waste of War—The End of Autocracy.

One hundred years ago the Battle of Waterloo had just been fought and Napoleon's star had set never to rise again. For years lie had swept Europe with his armies, rending the nations into fragments, and winning world-famous victories with weapons that no one would look for today except in a military museum, weapons antiquated beyond all possible utility on a modern field of battle.

Ancient and Modern Weapons

Every fresh modern war has been fought with new weapons, and during the past century there have been countless inventions for the carrying on of warfare in a more destructive manner, apparently on the philanthropic theory that war should be made so terrible that it must quickly pass away.

But it has happened that as soon as a particularly horrible contrivance was invented and introduced into armies and navies, other inventors immediately set themselves to offset and discount its probable effect. Consequently war not only has not passed away, but we have it with us in more frightful form than ever before. Thus it is that each big war, after being heralded as the world's last conflagration, has proved but the herald of another war, bigger and more death-dealing still.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Since the Civil War in the United States, in which probably more new features in modes of fighting were introduced than in any conflict that had preceded it, there have been immense improvements in arms, in armament and in the general efficiency of both armies and navies. It was the Civil War that brought into being the turreted Monitor, one of the greatest contributions to naval architecture the navies of the world have ever known. While the turrets on the modern battleship are very different in design, in armor and in arrangement from those on the old monitors, they are nothing more than an adaption of the original devices.

The same is the case with the small arms and the field guns of the modern armies, these having been greatly improved since the period of the Civil War. The breech-loading and even the magazine rifle are now in use in every army, while the smallest field piece of today is vastly more efficient than the most powerful gun in use fifty years ago.

The first attempt to use a torpedo boat dates back to the Civil War. A primitive contrivance it was, but it showed a possibility in naval warfare which speedily led to the general building of torpedo boats, and to the invention of the highly efficient White-head torpedo.

The Ironclad Warship

Another lesson in warfare was taught when the ironclad Merrimac and Monitor met and fought for mastery in Hampton Roads. The ironclad vessel was not then a new idea in naval architecture, but its efficiency as a fighting machine was then first demonstrated. Iron for armor soon gave way to thick and tough steel, while each improvement in armor led to a corresponding improvement in guns and projectiles, until now a battle at sea has grown to be a remarkably different affair from the great ocean combats of Nelson's time.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


But development in the art of war has not ceased with the improvement in older types of weapons. New devices, scarcely thought of in former wars, have been introduced. These include the use of the balloon and aeroplane as scouting devices, of the bomb filled with explosives of frightful rending power, and of the submarine naval shark, designed to attack the mighty battleships from under water.

The Balloon in War

Of recent years the balloon has been developed into the dirigible, the flying machine that can be steered and directed. Made effective by Count Zeppelin and others, its possibilities as an aid in war were quickly perceived. Then came the notable invention of the Wright Brothers, and after 1904 the aeroplane quickly expanded into an effective aerial instrument, the probable serviceableness of which in war was evident to all. Here we are tempted to stop and quote the remarkable prediction from Tennyson's "Locksley Hall," the truth of which is now being so strikingly verified:

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


"For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,

Saw the vision of the world and all the wonder that would be;

Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,

Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales;

Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rained a ghastly dew

From the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue;

Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,

With the standards of the peoples plunging through the thunder storm;

Till the war drum throbbed no longer, and the battle flags were furled

In the parliament of man, the federation of the world."

Gunning for Airships

The airship does not float safely in the central blue, aside from attacks by flying foes. Guns pointing upward have been devised to attack the daring aviator from the ground and flying machines can thus be swiftly brought down, like war eagles shot in the sky. Several types of guns for this purpose are in use, some to be employed on warships or fortifications, others, mounted on automobile trucks, for use in the field.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


The Ehrhardt gun, a German weapon, which is designed to be mounted on an auto-truck, weighs nearly 1700 pounds. The car carries 140 rounds of ammunition and the whole equipment in service condition weighs more than six tons. The gun has an extreme range at 45 degrees elevation of 12,029 yards, or more than six miles. The sights are telescopic, a moving object can be followed with ease, and the gun is capable of being fired very rapidly. The British are provided with the Vickers gun, which is mainly intended for naval use, but the military arm is also provided with anti-balloon guns, which have great range and can throw a three-pound shell at any high angle. Some of these guns use incendiary shells, intended to ignite the gas in dirigibles. There is another type that explodes shrapnel. In addition to these, rifle fire is apt to be effective, in case of airships coming within its range.

Jules Vedrines, a well-known French aviator, tells this story of his experience while doing scout duty for the French army:

"Those German gunners surely have tried their best to get me," he wrote. "Each night when I come back to headquarters my machine looks more and more like a sieve because of the numerous bullet holes in the wings.

"I have been keeping tab on the number of new bullet holes in my machine each day, marking each with red chalk, so that I won't include any of the old ones in the next day's count. My best record so far for one day is thirty-seven holes. That shows how close the enemy has come to hitting me. My duties as scout require me to cover various distances each day. The best record so far in one day is 600 miles."

The Submarine

The submarine is another type of war apparatus, one the utility of which remains to be demonstrated. It is of recent origin. At the time of the Spanish-American War there were only five sub-marines in all the navies of the world, and of this number three were in the French navy, one in Italy and one in Portugal. The United States was building its first one, and had not decided what type to select. At the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War Great Britain had nine of the American (Holland) type of submarines and was building twenty more, while France had accumulated thirty-six of various types and of various grades of reported efficiency, while Germany had none. In 1914 there were nearly four hundred vessels of this type in the world's navies, France standing first with 173.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


It was believed that the moral effect of the submarine would be almost as important as its physical effect in dealing with an enemy's warship, but this idea has not been justified. Some persons maintained that fights of submarines with each other might take place, each, like the Kilkenny cats, devouring the other. But the fact is that when submerged the submarine is as blind as the traditional bat. Its crew cannot see any object under water, and is compelled to resort to the use of the periscope, which emerges unostentatiously above the water, in order to see its own course.

It is known that the periscope is the eye of the submarine, and naturally attention has been paid to the best way of destroying this vital part of such boats. Recently, grappling irons have been devised for use from dirigibles, which are expected to drag out the periscope as the dirigible flies above it. Careful plans for torpedoing submarines also have been made, but their effectiveness likewise remains to be demonstrated.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


Submarine builders have naturally held the view that the submerged boat could not be seen. But it has been discovered that from a certain height an observer may trace the course of a submerged submarine with as great accuracy as if it were running on the surface. It is found that the submerged boat can readily be seen from the dirigible and the aeroplane. On the other hand an anti-balloon gun has been devised which can be raised from the submarine when it comes to the surface, and used against the hostile airship.

Underwater Warfare

The submarine is supposed to have its most important field of operation against a fleet of battleships and cruisers besieging a seaport city. These great war-craft, covered above the water-line with thick steel armor, are vulnerable below, and a torpedo discharged from a torpedo boat or an explosive bomb attached to the lower hull by a submarine may send the largest and mightiest ship to the bottom, stung to death from below.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


With this idea in view torpedo boats, destroyers—designed to attack torpedo boats—and submarines have been multiplied in modern navies. Though as yet little harm has been done by this type of vessels, their possibilities are enormous and their latent power renders the bombardment from sea of town or fort a far more perilous operation than of old. Fired at by the great guns of the fort capable of effective work at eight or ten miles distance, exposed to explosive bombs dropped from soaring airships, made a target for the deadly weapon of the torpedo boat, and in constant risk of being stung by the submarine wasp, these great war ships, built at a cost of ten or more millions and peopled by hundreds of mariners, are in constant danger of being sent to the bottom with all on board—a contingency likely to shake the nerves of the steadiest Jack Tar or admiral on board.

A typical submarine has a length of about 150 feet and diameter of 15 feet, with a speed of eleven knots on the surface and five knots when submerged. Some of the more recent have a radius of navigation of 4,500 miles without need of a new supply of stores and fuel. On the surface they are propelled by gasoline engines, but when submerged they use electric motors driven by storage batteries. If the weather should grow too rough they can sink below the waves.

The New Type of Battleship

While the peril of the big ship has thus been increased, the size and fighting capacity of those ships have steadily grown—and at the same time their cost, which is becoming almost prohibitive. Taking the British navy, the leader in this field, the size of battle-ships was yearly augmented until in 1907 the famous Dreadnaught appeared, looked upon at the time as the last word in naval architecture. This great ship was of 17,900 tons displacement and 23,000 horsepower, its armor belt eleven inches thick, its major armament composed of ten twelve-inch guns. There are now twenty British battleships of larger size, some much larger.

On shore a similar increase may be seen in the size and effectiveness of armies and the strength of fortifications. In all the larger nations of Europe except Great Britain the whole able-bodied male population are now obliged to spend several years in the army, and to be ready at a moment's notice to drop all the avocations of peace and march to the front, ready to risk their lives in their country's service or at the command of the autocrat under whom they live.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris



Mobilization is a word with strenuous significance. When it is put into effect every able-bodied man must report without delay for service. His name is on the army lists; if he fails to report he is branded as a deserter. In Germany, the order to mobilize is issued by the Emperor and is immediately sent out by all military and civil authorities, at home or abroad. Every person knows at once what he is required to do. Skeleton regiments are filled out and additional regiments formed. Simultaneously there is a levy of horses. The order reaches into every household; into the factories, the shipyards, the hotels, the farms, river boats, everywhere. Almost instantly the male individuals within the prescribed ages must at once report to the barracks to come under military discipline. Infantry, cavalry and artillery units double and triple at once.

[Illustration] from Europe and the Great War by Charles Morris


This is the first step in mobilization. The second is the transportation and concentration of forces. The railways are seized, the telegraph and telephone systems. Mail, military, aerial and railway services are assigned. The commissary lines are laid and transportation provided for. With marvelous efficiency the full fighting strength, in front and rear, is made ready and coordinated.

The psychological effect of mobilization is tremendous. In every household home-ties are broken. The fields are stripped of men. Industry stops. Artillery rolls through the streets, bands play. An atmosphere of apprehension settles down on the country.

The Waste of War

And the waste of it all; the criminal, unbelievable waste! Consider the vast loss of products that is due, not only to actual war, but to unceasing and universal preparation for war.

It has been stated on the highest authority that during the last decade forty per cent of the total outlay of European states has been absorbed by the armies and navies which, when war arises, seek in every way to destroy as much as they can of the remainder. Commenting on this state of affairs, Count Sergius Witte, the ablest of Russian statesmen and financiers, said in London not long ago:

"Sketch a picture in your mind's eye of all that those sums, if properly spent, could effect for the nations who now waste them on heavy guns, rifles, dreadnaughts, fortresses and barracks. If this money were laid out on improving the material lot of the people, in housing them hygienically, in procuring for them healthier air, medical aid and needful periodical rest, they would live longer and work to better purpose, and enjoy some of the happiness or contentment which at present is the prerogative of the few.

"Again, all the best brain work of the most eminent men is focused on efforts to create new lethal weapons, or to make the old ones more deadly. For one of the arts in which cultured nations have made most progress is warfare. The noblest efforts of the greatest thinkers are wasted on inventions to destroy human life.

"When I call to mind the gold and the work thus dissipated in smoke and sound and compare that picture with this other—villagers with drawn, sallow faces, men and women and dimly conscious children perishing slowly and painfully of hunger—I begin to ask myself whether human culture and the white man who personifies it are not wending toward the abyss."

In "War and Waste" Dr. David Starr Jordan quotes the table of Richet to show the cost of a general European war.

Per day the French statistician figures the war's cost thus:

Feed of men $12,600,000
Feed of horses 1,000,000
Pay (European rates) 4,250,000
Pay of workmen in arsenals and ports 1,000,000
Transportation (sixty miles, ten days) 2,100,000
Transportation of provisions 4,200,000
   Infantry, ten cartridges a day 4,200,000
   Artillery, ten shots per day 1,200,000
   Marine, two shots per day 400,000
Equipment 4,200,000
Ambulances: 500,000 wounded or ill ($1 per day) 500,000
Armature 500,000
Reduction of imports 5,000,000
Help to the poor (20 cents per day to one in ten) 6,800,000
Destruction of towns, etc 2,000,000
Total per day $49,950,000

How many Panama Canals could be built for the cost of a single month of such a war? What would a few months of such a conflict do to mitigate the woes of mankind?

The End of Autocracy

Oscar S. Straus, whom the thousands of Americans stranded in London in 1914 called "The unofficial American Ambassador," sent the following message to the American people:

"What has happened is. less important than the final outcome of it all. In my opinion the great blessing that will result from this titanic world clash will be the obliteration of every monarchy in Europe.

"The reason for this is that the war has not only been not projected by the will of the people but against their will, and the aggressions come from the ambition of the ruling classes, if not the rulers themselves. I do not believe there are any men living who can foresee what this clash of arms between the leading nations of

Europe may lead to, but in the loss of human life, in suffering, in destruction of property, and in economic derangement, it must dwarf into insignificance the cost of the Napoleonic Wars."

Straus is far from being alone in this view. We quote the following editorial utterance:

"Despite the fact that the ambitions of the people and the dynasties are in accord, the effect of the war upon monarchical institutions will be momentous. The spirit of democracy is abroad. It has practically abolished the British House of Lords. It has forced the establishment of a parliament in Russia. It is so active and alert in Germany that the Social Democratic party is the largest and most powerful political organization in the empire. In France it overturned the monarchy nearly half a century ago, and is now so firmly established that only the wildest dreamers ever imagine that republican institutions can be displaced. It is regnant in Portugal and nearly so in Spain.

"A nation in arms, as Germany now is, will not long be content to remain a nation without a ministry responsible to its Parliament. The democratization of German institutions is inevitable after the war, whatever the result. The people, even in Russia, are no longer driven serfs. They think, they reason, and a demonstration of the power of 5,000,000 men on the battlefield will not be lost on the patriots who wish also to demonstrate the power of the same number of millions in deciding at first hand the causes for which they will take up arms. Whether the kings and the emperors remain on their thrones matters little. Great Britain, though it retains the fiction of a monarchy, is as democratic as the United States, and its Parliament responds with greater precision to popular sentiment than the American Congress. The war means the end of autocracy whether the kings remain or not."