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

by Logan Marshall


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

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

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

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

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


Chapter I
All Europe Plunged into War

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter XVII

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

It was on the evening of Friday, July 31st, that this order came.
At once the vessel changed its course. One by one the ship's
lights were put out. The decks which could not be made absolutely
dark were enclosed with canvas. By midnight the ship was as dark
as the sea surrounding. On she went through Saturday and on
Sunday ran into a dense fog. Through this she rushed with
unchecked speed and in utter silence, not a toot coming from her
fog-horn. This was all very well as a measure of secrecy, but it
opened the way to serious danger through a possible collision,
and a committee of passengers was formed to request the captain
to reconsider his action. Just as the committee reached his room
the first blast of the fog-horn was heard, its welcome tone
bringing a sense of security where grave apprehension had

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The wealth of the same nations in round figures is:

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

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


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

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

British army $224,300,000
British navy 224,140,000
German army 183,090,00
German navy 111,300,000
French army 191,431,580
French navy 119,571,400
Russian army 317,800,000
Russian navy 122,500,000
Austrian army 82,300,000
Austrian navy 42,000,000
Total $1,618,432,980

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

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

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

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


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

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

1. An apology by the Servian government in its official journal
for all Pan-Servian propaganda and for the participation of
Servian army officers in it, and warning all Servians in the
future to desist from anti-Austrian demonstrations.

2. That orders to this effect should be issued to the Servian

3. That Servia should dissolve all societies capable of
conducting intrigues against Austria.

4. That Servia should curb the activities of the Servian press in
regard to Austria.

5. That Austrian officials should be permitted to conduct an
inquiry in Servia independent of the Servian government into the
Sarajevo plot.

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


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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

"From these facts there is no escape. Leaving aside all questions
of justice or political expediency, the aggressor throughout has
been Germany. Austria's fury over the assassination of the heir
to the throne was natural. But Servia tendered full reparation.

So keen and conservative an authority as Rear Admiral Mahan
declares that 'the aggressive insolence' of Austria's ultimatum
'and Sevia's concession of all demands except those too
humiliating for national self-respect' show that behind Austria's
assault was the instigation of Berlin. He adds:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Russia is heavily in debt, Germany being its largest creditor.
The total debt is stated at $4,553,000,000, its revenue
$1,674,000,000. The liability to military service covers all
able-bodied men between the ages of twenty and forty-two years.
Five years must be passed in active service, the remainder in the
various reserves. On a peace footing the army is 1,290,000
strong; its war strength is 5,500,000. The territor8al service is
capable of supplying about 3,000,000 more, making a possible
total of 7,500,000. As regards the navy, it was greatly reduced
in strength in the war with Japan and has not yet fully
recovered. The empire now possesses nine modern battleships, four
cruiser battleships, and eight of old type. There are also
cruisers and other vessels, including 23 torpedo boats, 105
destroyers, and 48 submarines.


France, the one large Power in Europe in which the people have
created a republic and have got rid of the FACT of a king, as
illustrated in the other continental Powers, - and in addition to
the mountain realm of Switzerland, in which the people govern
themselves through their representatives, - has taken up the
dogma of militarism in common with its neighbors and constitutes
the fourth of the Powers in which this system has been carried to
its ultimate conclusion of a world-wide war.

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

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

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

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

France enjoys a large and valuable commerce and active
manufacturing industries, products of a more or less artistic
character being especially attended to. Of the textile fabrics,
those of silk goods are much the most important, this industry
employing about 2,000,000 persons and yielding more than a fourth
in value of the whole manufactured products of France. Other

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