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A History of The Nations and Empires Involved and a Study by Logan Marshall

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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.


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
7,0000,000 more.


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 addition 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.


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

"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. Nicholas."

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.


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
(in a very far-away sense), 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 very marked racial and
natural divergence 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
states in the 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.


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


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 take
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 intermarriage of royal families in these
later days.

Chapter VIII. The Ambition of Louis Napoleon

The Final Overthrow of Napoleonism

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

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 sovereign 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 claimant 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 his opponent; 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.


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 President
were in prison. Most of them were afterwards exiled, some for
life, some for shorter terms. This act of outrage and alleged
violation of plighted faith by their ruler 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.

Napoleon 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 stood 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


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, many denied, but it served the President's

Thus ended the second French republic, by an act of usurpation of
the strongest and yet most popular 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

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, dutchess 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.


But the new emperor, while thus actively engaged in labors of
peace 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.

The very beginning of Louis Napoleon's career of ambition, as
president of the French Republic, was signalized by an act of
military force, in sending an army to Rome and putting an end to
the attempted 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 retarded, perhaps, for a time the inevitable union of the
Italian states into a single kingdom; they certainly prevented
the establishment of a republic.

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.


The next act of war-policy by the French emperor was against
Austria. As the career of conquest of Napoleon had begun with an
attack upon the Austrians in Italy, Napoleon III attempted a
similar enterprise, and with equal success. He was said to have
been cautiously preparing 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 while in prison expressed
patriotic sentiments and a loud-voiced 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

Louis Napoleon, it was alleged, 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 Napoleon 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.


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

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
then, 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.


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 Bufflora, 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


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 or 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.


At two o'colck 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 23rd 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.

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.


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 boundry, 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. Hw received also the small states of Central Italy,
whose tyrants had fled, and ceded to Napoleon, as a reward for
his assistance, the realm of Savoy and the city and territory of


Napoleon III had now reached the summit of his career. In
succeeding years the French were to learn that whatever his
ability Napoleon III was not a counterpart of the great Napoleon.
He gradually lost the prestige he had 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
into an empire, placing the Archduke Maximilian of Austria on the

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."


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,
and then loosened somewhat the reins of personal government, 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.


Power of Austria Broken

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

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 battle-field 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 watchword 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 be added that of the eminent statesman, Count Cavour, and
that of the man who shared their statecraft and labors, Victor
Emmanuel, the first king of united Italy.


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
an alleged member of the society.


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.

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 or 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 or 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
power 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.


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 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

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

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 Termina 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.


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


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.


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 watchword
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

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.


But Garibaldi persisted in his design. When his way was barred by
the garrison of Messina he tuned 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 spite 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.


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 navel 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 Nelson 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

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

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.


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

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.


Beginnings of Modern World Power

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

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 readily 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 was issued on September 4, 1860, a
proclamation whose terms, though in moderate form, 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.


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.


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.


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

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 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 Van 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.


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 Augstenburg, 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.


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.


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 part in it.
He next signed 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

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 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 Aschaffenurg (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 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.


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 battle-field 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
intrenchments, 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 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
King 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.


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 under 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.


Birth of the German Empire and the French Republic

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

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.

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.


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.


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.


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 the 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.


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.

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