The World War and What was Behind It
Louis P. Benezet
Part 4 out of 4
of war against neutral states.
Plots and Threats Against the United States
[Illustration: American Grain Set on Fire by German Agents]
Let us turn now to the second cause for grievance that the United
States had against Germany. At a time when American citizens who
sympathized with Germany were subscribing millions of dollars for the
relief of the German wounded, it is strongly suspected that this was
the very money, which, collected by the German government's own
agents, was being spent in plots involving the destroying of the
property of some American citizens and the death of others. The German
ambassador and his helpers were hiring men to blow up American
factories, to destroy railroad bridges, and to kill Americans who were
making war supplies for the armies of Europe. Factory after factory
was blown up with considerable loss of life. Bombs, with clock work
attachment to explode them at a certain time, were found on ships
sailing for Europe. Money was poured out in great quantities to
influence members of the United States Congress to vote against the
shipment of war supplies to France and England. Revolts paid for by
German money were organized in Mexico and the Islands of the West
Indies. For a long time there had been a series of stories and
newspaper and magazine articles trying to prove to the American people
that Japan was planning to make war on us. The same sort of stories
appeared in Japan, persuading the Japanese that they were in danger of
being attacked by the United States. It now appears that the great
part of these stories were started by the Germans, who hoped to get us
into a war with Japan and profit by the ill will which must follow
between the two countries.
At first, Americans were inclined to think that all of these things
could be traced to German-Americans, whose zeal for their Fatherland
caused them to go too far. But it has been proved beyond a doubt that
all of these acts, which were really acts of war against the United
States, were ordered by the government at Berlin and paid for by
German money, or by American money which had been contributed for the
benefit of the German Red Cross service.
In addition to these facts there were threats against the United
States which could not be ignored. The Kaiser had told our ambassador
at Berlin, Mr. Gerard, that "America had better beware after this war"
for he "would stand no nonsense from her." Admiral Von Tirpitz, the
German Secretary of the Navy, also told Mr. Gerard that Germany needed
the coast of Belgium as a place from which to start her "future war on
England and America."
American statesmen were seriously concerned at threats of this kind,
for they knew that the government in power at Berlin could absolutely
command its people, and by forbidding certain kinds of news and
substituting other things in the German newspapers could make the
German people think anything which the war lords wished them to think.
Thus there was great danger that, having won the war from the Entente
or having stood them off successfully until the fight was declared a
draw, Germany would next attack the United States with the idea of
collecting from this comparatively defenseless and very rich country
the huge indemnity which she had planned to assess upon France and
Russia. With this money and with the breaking down of the Monroe
Doctrine, Germany could set up a great empire in South America which
would make her almost as powerful as she would have been had her first
plans for crushing France and Russia been successful.
You will recall, from your study of United States history, that
President Monroe had warned European governments to keep their hands
off South America, for the United States would act as big brother to
any of the little republics there who might be attacked by a European
foe. Germany in recent years has resented this very vigorously. There
were nearly half a million Germans in the southern part of Brazil.
Uruguay and the Argentine Republic also had large German settlements.
If the Monroe Doctrine were out of the way, Germany hoped that she
would be able to get a footing in these countries in which she had
colonists and gradually to gain control of the entire country. In the
fall of 1917 there was uncovered a plot among the German residents of
certain states in the southern part of Brazil to make this territory a
part of the German Colonial Empire. This discovery, along with the
sinking of Brazilian ships by submarines, drove Brazil into war with
To sum up: The United States entered the war: first, because German
submarines were killing her peaceful citizens and stopping her lawful
trade; second, because paid agents of the German government were
destroying American property in the United States, killing American
citizens, and creating discord in our political life; they were
pretending to be friendly and yet were trying to enlist Japan and
Mexico in war against us; third, for the reason that because of
Germany's threats and her well-known policy in South America there was
grave danger that it would be our turn next if the central powers
should come out of the European war uncrushed.
The American government has made it plain that we are not moved by any
desire for gain for ourselves. We have nothing to win through the war
except the assurance that our nation will be safe. If Germany had a
government which the people controlled, then the United States could
trust promises of that government. But, as President Wilson has
pointed out, no one can trust the present government of Germany, for
it is responsible to no one for what it does. It has torn up sacred
promises, which its Chancellor called "scraps of paper"; it has broken
its word; it has ordered "acts of frightfulness" in the lands which it
has conquered and on the high seas, with the idea of brutally forcing
its will upon enemies and neutral countries alike. It has deceived its
own people, persuading them that they were attacked by France and
Russia, while all the time it was plotting to rule the world through
force of arms.
President Wilson has said that the object of the United States in this
war is "to make the world safe for democracy." This means that a free
people, who have no desire to interfere with any of their neighbors or
to make conquests by force of arms, shall be allowed to live their
lives without preparation for war and without fear that they may be
attacked by a nation with military rulers.
We have seen how France, attacked in 1870 and threatened by Germany in
1875, 1905, of war and 1911 was obliged to match gun for gun and ship
for ship with her warlike neighbor to the east. The dread of an attack
by the military party of Germany hung over France like a shadow
throughout forty-three years of a peace which was only a little better
than war, because of the vast amount of money that had to be spent and
the attention that had to be given to preparation for the war that all
felt would one day come.
When once the German people have a controlling voice in the
government, then, and not till then, can other governments believe the
word of the statesmen at Berlin. But at present the citizens of
Germany have little real power. For, while they can elect members of
the Reichstag, the Reichstag can pass no laws, for above this body is
the national council, whose members are appointed by the Kaiser and
the other kings and grand dukes. The power of declaring war and making
peace lies practically in the hands of the Kaiser alone, and at any
moment he can set aside any of Germany's laws, under the plea that
"military necessity" calls for certain things to be done. In this way,
he has thrown into prison those who dared to speak against the war,
and has either suppressed newspapers or ordered them to print only
what he wished printed; thus the German people have let him do their
thinking for them.
They are a docile people. One of the first words that a German baby is
taught to say is "Kaiser," and all of the schools, which are run by
the government, have taught nothing but respect for the present form
of government, and almost a worship of the Kaiser himself. What it is
hoped that this war will bring about is the freeing of the German
people from their blind obedience to the military power, which for its
own glory and pride has hurled them by the millions to death.
The United States has adopted plans in this war which are very
different from any hitherto used. With the exception of some troops
raised for a few months during the dark days of the War of the
Rebellion, all of our armies have been recruited from men who enlisted
of their own free will. In this great conflict in which we are now
engaged, the government has drawn its soldiers by lot from a list of
all the young men in the country between the ages of twenty-one and
thirty-one. Thus, rich and poor alike are fighting in our ranks.
For the first time in our history our troops have been sent to fight
on another continent. Many persons have felt that we should keep our
young men at home and wait for Germany to cross the Atlantic in order
to attack us. Our statesmen, on the other hand, saw that the peace of
the world was at stake. If Germany, Austria, and Turkey, the three
countries whose people have no voice in the question of peace or war,
come out of this conflict victorious, or even undefeated, the world
will see again the mad race for armaments which resulted in the war of
1914. If, on the other hand, the people of these nations realize that
it is true today, as in the olden times, that those people who take up
the sword shall perish by the sword, they will overthrow their leaders
and agree to disarm and live at peace in future with their neighbors.
The military parties in Austria and Germany wanted war. The only way
by which these people can be convinced is by brute force. When they
realize that they have not gained by war, but have lost, not only a
great deal of their wealth, through the terrific cost of the war, but
the friendship and respect of the whole world, when they realize that
the nations allied against them will push the war relentlessly until
these military chiefs confess that they never want to hear the word
"war" again, then, and only then, will they be ready to throw down
their arms and agree to join a league of the nations whose object
shall be to prevent any future wars.
As long as Germany was victorious and her people thought that they
were going to come out of the conflict with added territory and big
money indemnities, war was popular. But with the flower of their young
men slain, and the prospect of conquest and plunder growing smaller
and smaller with each passing month, the Germans, too, are beginning
to hate the thought of war.
The American army can give the finishing touch to the German downfall
along the western front, and the sooner the Germans realize that they
cannot win from the rapidly growing number of their enemies, the
sooner will come the the end of this greatest tragedy in the civilized
The war lords knew that if the war lasted long enough they must be
defeated and they were striving hard all through the years 1916 and
1917 to make peace while they had possession of enough of the enemy's
lands so that they could show their own people some gain in territory
to pay them back for their terrible sufferings. The German war debt
was so great that the war lords dreaded to face their own people after
the latter realized that they had been deceived as well as defeated.
The government had told them (1) that England, France, and Russia
forced this war upon Germany, (2) that the German armies would win the
war in short order, and (3) that a huge sum of money would be
collected from France, Belgium, and Russia to pay the expenses of the
war. The war lords dreaded to think of the time when their people,
knowing that they themselves will have to bear the fearful burden of
war debt, learned also that the whole tragedy was forced upon the
world by the pride and ambition of their own leaders. By Christmas
1917, the Kaiser was once more hinting that Germany was ready to talk
peace. He was wise, for if peace could have been made then it would
have left Germany absolute mistress of all of middle Europe. Austria,
Bulgaria, and Turkey were more under the control of the Kaiser and his
war lords than were parts of his own empire like Bavaria and Saxony.
In Belgium, Serbia, Poland, Lithuania, Roumania, and northern France
the central powers had over forty millions of people who were
compelled to work for them like slaves. The plunder collected from
these countries ran into billions of dollars. The road to the east,
cut asunder by the results of the second Balkan war (see map),
had been forced open by the rush of the victorious German armies
through Serbia and Roumania. A peace at this time would have been a
German victory. With the drain on the man power of the central powers,
with dissatisfaction growing among their people, with the steady
increase in the armies of the United States, time was fighting on the
side of the allies.
Questions for Review
1. Does the Zimmermann note show that the German government
understood conditions in Mexico and the United States?
2. Why did the Zimmermann note have so strong an effect upon American
3. What were the steps by which the United States was forced into
4. Why did not Holland and Denmark declare war on Germany also?
5. What was the main difference between the English blockade of
Germany and the German submarine war on England?
6. Was the German government responsible for the acts of its agents
in this country?
7. What is the Monroe Doctrine?
8. Why could not the Imperial Government of Germany be trusted?
9. How was this war different for the United States from any previous
10. What was the greatest obstacle to peace?
Europe as it Should Be
Natural boundaries of nations in Europe.--Peoples outside of the
nations with whom they belong.--The mixture of peoples in
Austria-Hungary, and Russia.--The British Isles.--The Balkan
states.--Recent changes in the map.--The wrongs done by mighty nations
upon their weak neighbors bring no happiness.
We have several times shown you, in the course of this little history,
maps drawn by kings and marked off by diplomacy and through bloodshed.
Let us now examine a map of Europe divided according to the race and
language of its various peoples. It often happens that the boundaries
set by nature, like seas, high mountains, and broad rivers, divide one
people from another. It is natural that the people of Italy, for
instance, hemmed in by the Alps to the north and by the water on all
other sides, should grow to be like each other and come to talk a
In the same way, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Greece, Spain, France, Great
Britain, and Switzerland have boundaries largely set by nature. On
this account, it is not surprising that the map of "Europe as it
should be" which unites people of the same blood under the same
government, agrees rather closely in some places with the map of
Europe as it is.
The boundaries of the kingdom of Spain and those of the kingdom of
Portugal fit pretty closely the countries inhabited by Spanish and
There are a few Italians in France, also a few Walloons and Flemish.
Otherwise France is largely a unit. Some of the French people are
found in Switzerland and others in that part of the German Empire
which was taken away from France after the Franco-Prussian war of
The Danes are not all living in Denmark. A great many of them inhabit
the two provinces of Schleswig and Holstein which were torn away from
Denmark by Prussia in 1864. The high mountains of the Scandinavian
peninsula separate the Norwegians from the Swedes about as well as
they divide the countries geographically.
The Hollanders make a nation by themselves, but part of the
northwestern corner of the German Empire is also peopled by Dutch. The
territory around Aix-La-Chapelle, although part of the German Empire,
is inhabited by Walloons, a Celtic people who speak a sort of French.
Belgium, small as it is, contains two different types of population,
the Walloons and the Flemish.
The German Empire does not include all of the Germans. A great many of
these are to be found in Austria proper, Styria (sty'ria), and the
northern Tyrol (ty'rol) (western counties of the Austrian Empire),
as well as in the eastern half of Switzerland and the edges of Bohemia.
Germans are also to be found in parts of Hungary; and in the Baltic
provinces of Russia there are over two million of them.
All of the Italians are not in the kingdom of Italy. The Island of
Corsica, which belongs to France, is inhabited by Italians. The
province of Trentino (tren ti'no) (the southern half of the
Austrian Tyrol) is inhabited almost entirely by Italians, as is also
Istria, which includes the cities of Trieste, Pola, and Fiume. Certain
islands off the coast of Dalmatia are also largely Italian in their
The republic of Switzerland is inhabited by French, Italians, and
Germans. Besides the languages of these three nations, a fourth tongue
is spoken there. In the valleys of the southeastern corner of
Switzerland are found people who talk a corruption of the old Latin,
which they call Romaunsch or Romansh.
Austria-Hungary, as has already been said, is a jumble of languages
and nationalities. This empire includes nearly a million Italians in
its southwestern corner, and three million Roumanians in Transylvania.
It has as its subjects in Bosnia and Herzegovina several million
Serbians. In Slavonia (sla vo'ni a), Croatia (cro a'tia),
and Dalmatia (dal ma tia), it has two or three million Slavs,
who are closely related to the Serbians. In the north, its government
rules over several million Czechs (checks) (Bohemians and
Moravians) who strongly desire to have a country of their own. It
controls also two million Slovaks, cousins of the Czechs, who also
would like their independence. In the county of Carniola (car ni
o'la), there are one and a half million Slovenes, another Slavic
people belonging either by themselves or with their cousins, the
Croatians and Serbs.
The German Empire includes several hundred thousand Frenchmen, who
want to get back under French control, a million or two Danes, who
want once more to belong to Denmark, and several million Poles, who
desire to see their country again united.
[Map: Europe as It Should Be]
Russia rules over a mixture of peoples almost as numerous as those
composing Austria-Hungary. The Russians themselves are not one people.
The Red Russians or Ruthenians are quite different from the people of
Little Russia, and they in turn are different from the people of Great
Russia, to the north. The Baltic provinces are peopled, not by
Russians, but by two million Germans, an equal number of Letts and a
somewhat greater number of Lithuanians. North of Riga are to be found
the Esthonians, cousins of the Finns. North-west of Petrograd lies
Finland, whose people, with the Esthonians, do not belong to the
Indo-European family, and who would dearly love to have a separate
government of their own.
[Illustration: Polish children]
You have already been told in Chapter V that the country of the
English, if limited by race, does not include Wales, Cornwall, or the
north of Scotland, but instead takes in the north-eastern part of
Ireland and the southern half of the former Scottish kingdom.
Turning to the Balkan states, we find our hardest task, for the reason
that peoples of different nationalities are hopelessly mixed and
jumbled. There are Turks and Greeks mixed in with the Roumanians and
Bulgarians in the Dobrudja. Parts of southern Serbia and portions of
Grecian Macedonia are inhabited by people of Bulgarian descent.
Transylvania, with the exception of the two little mixture islands
mentioned before is inhabited by Roumanians. The southern half of the
Austrian province of Bukowina also ought to be part of Roumania, as
should the greater part of the Russian state of Bessarabia. Whereas
Roumania now has a population of 7,000,000, there are between five and
six million of her people who live outside her present boundaries.
The shores and islands of the Aegean Sea should belong to Greece.
Greek people have inhabited them for thousands of years. The Albanians
are a separate people, while Montenegro and Bosnia should be joined to
Turn back to previous maps of Europe in this volume and you will see
that most of the changes that have been made of late years are
bringing boundaries nearer where they should be. You will also note
that wherever there have been recent changes contrary to this plan,
they have always resulted in more bloodshed. The partition of Poland,
the annexation of Schleswig, Alsace, and Lorraine to Germany, the
division of Bulgarian Macedonia between Serbia and Greece, and the
seizure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria are good examples.
Questions for Review
1. What countries of Europe have fairly well-marked natural
2. Who are the Walloons?
3. Who are the Romansh people?
4. To what other people are the Esthonians related?
[Illustration: The price of the war]
The Cost of It All
What war debts mean--The devastation of farms and villages--Diseases
which travel with war--The men picked to die first--The survivors and
their children--The effect on France of Napoleon's wars--What Hannibal
did to Rome--What happened to the Franks--Sweden before and after the
wars of Charles XII--Europe at the close of the Great War
In the meanwhile, all the countries in the war were rapidly rushing
toward bankruptcy. England spent $30,000,000 a day; France, Germany,
and Austria nearly as much apiece. Thus in the course of a year, a
debt of $300 was piled upon every man, woman, and child in the British
kingdom. The average family consists of five persons, so that this
means a debt of $1500 per family for each year that the war lasted.
The income of the average family in Great Britain is less than $500 in
a year, and the amount of money that they can save out of this sum is
very small. Yet the British people are obliged to add this tremendous
debt to the already very large amount that they owe, and will have to
go on paying interest on it for hundreds of years.
In the same fashion, debts piled up for the peoples of France,
Germany, Austria, Russia and all the countries in the war. In spite of
what we have said above of the average income of English families,
Great Britain is rich when compared with Austria and Russia. What is
more, Great Britain is practically unscarred, while on the continent
great tracts of land which used to be well cultivated farms have been
laid waste with reckless abandon. East Prussia, Poland, Lithuania,
Galicia, part of Hungary, Alsace, Serbia, Bosnia, northern France,
south-western Austria-Hungary, and all of Belgium and Roumania, a
territory amounting to one-fifth of the whole of Europe, were scarred
and burned and devastated.
It will be years and years before these countries recover from the
effects of war's invasion. For every man killed on the field of
battle, it is estimated that two people die among the noncombatants.
Children whose fathers are at the front, frail women trying to do the
work of men, aged inhabitants of destroyed villages die by the
thousands from want of food and shelter.
In the trail of war come other evils. People do not have time to look
after their health or even to keep clean. As a result, diseases like
the plagues of olden times, which civilization thought it had killed,
come to life again and destroy whole cities. The dreadful typhus fever
killed off one-fifth of the population of Serbia during the winter of
1914. Cholera raged among the Austrian troops in the fall of the same
year. For every soldier who is killed on the field of battle, three
others die from disease or wounds or lack of proper care.
[Illustration: Rendered Homeless by War]
In time of war, the first men picked are the very flower of the
country, the strong, the athletic, the brave, the very sort of men who
ought to be carefully saved as the fathers of the people to come. As
these are killed or disabled, governments draw on the older men who
are still vigorous and hardy. Then finally they call out the unfit,
the sickly, the weak, the aged, and the young boys. As a general rule,
the members of this last class make up the bulk of the men who survive
the war. They, instead of the strong and healthy, become the fathers
of the next generation of children.
In the days of the Roman republic, 220 years B.C., there stood on the
coast of North Africa a city named Carthage, which, like Rome, owned
lands far and near. Carthage would have been satisfied to "live and
let live," but Rome would not have it so. As a result, the two cities
engaged in three terrible wars which ended in the destruction of
Carthage. But before Carthage was finally blotted off the map, her
great general, Hannibal, dealt Rome a blow which brought her to her
knees, and came very near destroying her completely. Five Roman
armies, averaging 30,000 men apiece, he trapped and slaughtered. The
death of these 150,000 men was a loss from which Rome never recovered.
From this time on, her citizens were made of poorer stuff, and the old
Roman courage and Roman honor and Roman free government began to
The Germanic tribes (the Goths, Franks, Lombards, etc.) who swarmed
into the Roman Empire about the year 400 A.D., although they were
barbarians, nevertheless had many excellent qualities. They were
brave, hardy men and stood for freedom from tyrants. However, they
fought so many wars that they were gradually killed off. Take the
Franks, for example; the three grandsons of Charlemagne, who had
divided up his great empire, fought a disastrous war with one another,
which ended in a great battle that almost wiped out the Frankish
nation. This happened about 840 A.D.
Sweden was once one of the great powers of Europe. However, about 1700
A.D., she had a king named Charles XII, who tried to conquer Russia
and Poland. He was finally defeated at a little town in the southern
part of Russia nearly a thousand miles away from home, and his great
army was wiped out. After his time, Sweden sank to the level of a
second class nation. The bodies of her best men had been strewn on
battlefields reaching from the Gulf of Bothnia to the Black Sea.
[Illustration: Charles XII of Sweden]
For eighty years after the time of Napoleon, the French nation showed
a lower birth rate and produced smaller and weaker men than it had one
hundred years previously. The reason for this is easily found. During
the twenty-three years of terrible fighting which followed the
execution of the king, France left her finest young men dead all over
the face of Europe. They died by the thousands in Spain, in Italy, in
Austria, in Germany, and above all, amidst the snows and ice of
Russia. Only within the last twenty years have the French, through
their new interest in out-of-door sports and athletics, begun once
more to build up a hardy, vigorous race of young men. And now came
this terrible war to set France back where she was one hundred years
Picture Europe at the close of this great war; the flower of her young
manhood gone; the survivors laden with debts which will keep them in
poverty for years to come; trade and agriculture at a standstill; but
worst of all, the feeling of friendship between nations, of world
brotherhood, postponed one hundred years. Hatred of nation for nation
is stronger than ever.
Questions for Review
1. How does a nation at war increase its debts?
2. Why do diseases thrive in war time?
3. What became of the Goths and Franks?
4. Why was the reign of Charles XII disastrous to Sweden?
5. What was the effect of Napoleon's many wars upon the strength of
the French nation?
6. Is war growing more humane?
What Germany Must Learn
The German plot.--What the Czar's prohibition order did.--Where
Germany miscalculated.--Where England and America failed to
understand.--An appeal to force must be answered by force.--Effect of
the Russian revolution.--"It never must happen again."--The league to
enforce peace.--The final lesson.
Before 1914 friends of peace in all countries, but especially in
English speaking lands, had hoped that there would never again be a
real war between civilized nations.
Among the people of the United States and Great Britain it was
unbelievable that any group of responsible rulers would deliberately
plot, in the twentieth century, the enslaving of the world through
military force, as we now know that the war lords of Prussia and
Austria planned it. However, the plot was not only made but was almost
successful. They made, though, a great mistake in the case of England.
They were sure that she would not enter the war. Her turn was to come
later on, after France and Russia had been crushed. The German leaders
were also mistaken in calculating the time that Russia would take to
mobilize her troops. In 1904, at the outbreak of the war against
Japan, the Russian soldiers had become so drunk that it was many weeks
before they could be gotten into any kind of military shape. But at
the outbreak of the great "world-war" the order of the Czar which
stopped the sale of strong drink changed all of Prussia's plans.
Instead of taking two or three months to assemble her army, Russia had
her troops marching in a mighty force through the German province of
East Prussia three weeks after the war had opened. The result was that
the German soldiers had to be sent back from northern France to stop
the victorious march of the Slavs. The battle of the Marne, fought in
the first week of September, 1914, decided the fate of the world. It
hung in the balance long enough to prove that a small addition to the
forces on either side might have made all the difference in the world
in the final outcome. The little British army, which was less than
one-eighth of the force of the Allied side, probably furnished the
factor that defeated the Germans. The presence in the battle of the
German troops who had been withdrawn to stop the Russians, might have
given victory to the invaders.
Germany made a mistake, also, in expecting Italy to join in the attack
on France. Any one of these three factors might have won the war in
short order for the forces of Austria and Germany. With France
crushed, as she might have been, in spite of her heroic resistance,
without the help of the tiny British army, or with the intervention of
Italy on the side of her former allies, it would have been no
difficult task for the combined forces of Germany and Austria to pound
the vast Russian armies into confusion, collect a big indemnity from
both France and Russia, and be back home, as the Kaiser had promised,
before the leaves fell from the trees.
As has been said, the great majority of the citizens in nations where
the people rule, could not believe that in this day and age the rulers
of any civilized country would deliberately plot robbery and piracy on
so grand a scale. They had looked forward to the time when all nations
might disarm and live in peace with their neighbors. In France alone,
of all the western nations, was there any clear idea of the Prussian
plan. France, having learned the temper of the Prussian war lords in
1870, France, burdened by a national debt heaped high by the big
indemnity collected by the Germans in '71, looked in apprehension to
the east and leaped to arms at the first rattling of the Prussian
Germany, up to 1866 renowned chiefly for her poets, musicians, and
thinkers, had since been fed for nearly fifty years upon the doctrine
that military force is the only power in the world worth considering.
Some of the German people still cling to the high ideals of their
ancestors, but the majority had drunk deeply of the wine of conquest
and were intoxicated with the idea that Germany's mission in life was
to conquer all the other nations of the world and rule them for their
own good by German thoroughness and by German efficiency. It may take
many years to stamp this feeling out of the German nation. As they
have worshipped force and appealed to force as the settler of all
questions, so they will listen to reason only after they have been
thoroughly crushed by a superior force. The sufferings brought upon
the German nation by the war have had a great effect in making them
doubt whether, after all, force is a good thing. As long as the people
could be kept enthusiastic through stories of wonderful victories over
the Russians, the Serbians, and then the Roumanians, they were
contented to endure all manner of hardships.
Someone has said that no people are happier than those living in a
despotism, if the right kind of man is the despot. So the German
people, although they were governed strictly by the military rule,
nevertheless, were contented as long as they were prosperous and
victorious in war. With the rumors and fears of defeat, however, they
began to doubt their government. There are indications that sweeping
reforms in the election of representatives in the Reichstag and in the
power of that body itself will take place before long.
The Russian revolution was in some respects a blow to the central
powers. In the first place the fact that Russia had a despot for a
ruler while England, France, and Italy were countries where the people
elected their law makers, made it impossible that there should be the
best of understanding between the allies. Then, again, the various
peoples of Austria-Hungary, while they were not happy under the rule
of the Hapsburg family, were afraid lest, if they became subjects of
the Czar, it would be "jumping from the frying pan into the fire."
They would rather bear the evils of the Austrian rule than risk what
the Czar and the grand dukes might do to them. Turkey, likewise, was
bound to stick to Germany to the end, because of her fear that Russia
would seize Constantinople. When the new government of Russia, then,
announced that they did not desire to annex by force any territory,
but only wished to free the peoples who were in bondage, it removed
the fear of the Turks as far as their capital city was concerned; it
showed the Poles, Ruthenians, and Czechs of Austria that they were in
no danger of being swallowed up in the Russian empire, but that, on
the other hand, the Russians wanted them to be free, like themselves;
it showed the German people how easily a whole nation, when united,
could get rid of its rulers, and encouraged the bold spirits who had
never favored the military rule.
The nations of the Entente, including the United States, are now
united in an effort to stamp out the curse of feudalism in Austria and
in Germany--a curse which has disappeared from all other parts of the
civilized world. They are united to crush the military spirit of
conquest which exists among the war leaders of the Prussians. They are
pledged "to make the world safe for democracy" as President Wilson has
said; to do away with the rule of force. So long as the governments of
Germany, Austria, and Turkey place the military power at all times
above the civil power, so long will it be necessary to police the
world. There must be no repetition of the savage attack of August,
1914. There was a time when many of us believed that some one nation,
by disbanding its army and refusing to build warships, might set an
example of disarming which all the world would finally follow. It now
is plain that there must be a "League to Enforce Peace" as
Ex-President Taft and other American statesmen have declared. The
United States, Great Britain, Russia, France, Italy, Belgium,
Portugal, Serbia, Greece, together with Spain, Holland, Norway,
Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and other nations where the will of
the people is the law, must unite in an alliance which will insist on
arbitration as a means of settling disputes.
In 1870, Great Britain and the United States had a dispute which might
well have led to war. Instead of fighting over it, however, they laid
their trouble before a court of five men, a Swiss, an Italian, a
Brazilian, an Englishman, and an American. This court, by a vote of
four to one, decided against England, and England accepted the
decision as final, although it cost her many millions of dollars.
The League to Enforce Peace must insist that each nation in the world
maintain only a small force of soldiers, to be used as police for its
own affairs, and there must be an international police to settle all
differences between nations and to enforce the orders of the court of
arbitration. In time (no one knows how soon) the people of Germany and
Austria will be freed from the military rule which now has the power
to hurl them into war. When that day arrives and they learn that they
have been led astray by Treitschke and Bernhardi, who preached that
war was a blessing to a nation and that only the powerful nations had
the right to survive, they will know that "Thou shalt not kill" is
just as strong a commandment today as when it first was uttered.
Sometime, nations will learn that other nations have the right to
live, and that no country can wrong another through force of arms
without suffering for it in the end. In a blunted conscience, in the
loss of the sympathy of the rest of the world, in a lessening of the
Christ-spirit of doing good to others, the nation which resorts to
force to gratify its own selfish ends, like the individual, pays the
full penalty for its misdeeds. It, was a great American who said, "The
world is my country and mankind are my brothers."
Questions for Review
1. Why did England and the United States fail to understand Germany?
2. What right would Germany have had to an indemnity?
3. What great change took place in Germany after 1866?
4. Why must the war go on till Germany is crushed?
5. What lesson must Germany learn?
6. Why have the South American republics fought so many wars?
7. Suggest some solution for the problem of war.
8. What is meant by arbitration?
9. What was the greatest mistake of those who planned the war?
10. How did the Russian Revolution help the cause of the Entente?
11. What is the greatest lesson taught by the war?
In this glossary it will be noted that as a general rule the English
pronunciation is given for names that have become at all familiar in
history or geography. Thus the English Cra'cow is given instead of
the Polish Kra'koof or the German Krae'kau.
On the other hand names like Koumanova or Dobrudja must be given as
the natives of these places pronounce them, as there is no recognized
In certain cases where there are several current pronunciations, the
author has been forced to make a selection, arbitrarily. Thus a
seaport in Greece, which has changed hands recently, has no less than
five names. Its Greek name is pronounced Thessalonyi'ki, while
other nations term it variously Saloni'ka, Selanik', So'lon,
Saloni'ki or Salo'nica.
Some sounds, again, it is almost impossible for English speaking
people to reproduce. These are indicated by English syllables which
approximate them as nearly as possible.
Not every proper noun which is used in the text will be found
pronounced in the glossary. It is assumed that such names as Austria,
Bismarck, etc., can hardly be mispronounced.
Aboukir (ae'boe kir)
Aegean (e je'an)
Agadir (a ga dir')
Aix-la-Chapelle (aks lae shapel')
Albania (al ba'ni a)
Algeciras (al je si'ras) or (alje si'ras)
Alsace (al sas')
Andrassy (an dras'sy)
Aragon (a'ra gon)
Armada (aer mae'da)
Armenians (aer me'ni ans)
Arminius (aer min'i us)
Avlona (av lo'na)
Balkan (bal kaen') or (bol'kaen)
Bastille (ba stil')
Bavaria (ba va'ri a)
Bernadotte (ber'na dot)
Bessarabia (bes sa ra'bi a) or (bes sa rae'bi a)
Bismarck-Schoenausen (shen how'zen)
Blenheim (blen'em) or (blen'him)
Bonaparte (bo'na paert)
Bosnia (boz'ni a)
Brandenburg (bran'den burg)
Breton (bre'ton) or (bret'un)
Brusiloff (bru si'loff)
Bukowina (boo ko vi'na)
Bulgaria (bul ga'ri a)
Burgundians (bur'gun'di ans)
Burgundy (bur'gun dy)
Byzantium (by zan'ti um)
Carniola (car ni o'la)
Carpathian (car pa'thi an)
Castile (cas til')
Castlereagh (cas'l ra)
Cavour (ca voor')
Charlemagne (shaer le man')
Chauvinists (sho'vin ists)
Cicero (sis'e ro)
Cincinnatus (sin sin nae'tus)
Constantine (con'stan tin)
Crimea (cri me'a)
Croatia (cro ae'ti a) or (croae'sha)
Dalmatia (dal ma'shi a)
Theophile Delcasse (ta'o fil del ca sae')
Devonshire (dev'on shir)
Disraeli (diz ra'li)
Dobrudja (do brood'ja)
Durazzo (du rat'zoe)
Emmanuel (em man'u el)
Entente Cordiale (an tant'cor dyal')
Enver Bey (en'ver ba')
Epinal (ep'i nal)
Epirus (ep i'rus)
Esthonians (es tho'ni anz)
Etruscans (e trus'canz)
Euphrates (u fra'tez)
Fashoda (fa sho'da)
Fiume (fi u'me)
Galicia (gal i'sha)
Gallipoli (gal i'poli)
Garibaldi (gar i bal'di)
Gerard (jer aerd')
Germanic (jer man'ic)
Gortchakoff (gor'cha kof)
Granada (gra nae'da)
Hannibal (han'ni bl)
Hanover (han'o ver)
Herzegovina (hart'se go vi'na)
Hesse-Darmstadt (hes se daerm'stat)
Hindustan (hin doo staen')
Hohenzollern (ho en tsol'ern)
Illyrians (i lyr'i ans)
Istria (is'tri a)
Janina (ya ni'na)
Jonescu (jo nes'koo)
Kavala (ka vae' la)
Kerensky (ke ren'ski)
Khartoom (kaer toom')
Korea (ko re'a)
Korniloff (kor ni'loff)
Koumanova (koo mae'no va)
Lamar (la maer')
Liege (li ezh')
Lithuania (lith oo a'nia)
Lorraine (lor ran')
Macedonia (ma se do'ni a)
Manchuria (man chu'ri a)
Marathon (mar'a thon)
Marchand (maer shaen')
Maria Theresa (mae ri'ae ter es'ae)
Marlborough (maerl'bo ro)
Marsala (maer sae'la)
Marseillaise (maer sel yaz')
Mazzini (mat si'ni)
Mesopotamia (mes o po ta'mi ae)
Metternich (met'ter nikh)
Milioukoff (mil yoo'koff)
Mirabeau (mir'a bo)
Modena (mo de'na) or (mo'da na)
Mohammedan (mo ham'med an)
Monastir (mo na stir')
Montenegrin (mon te ne'grin)
Montenegro (mon te ne'gro)
Napoleon (na po'le on)
Northumberland (north um'ber land)
Novibazar (no'vi ba zaer')
Ostrogoths (os'tro goths)
Ottoman (ot'to man)
Pomerania (pom er a'ni a)
Pyrenees (pir'en eez)
Rasputin (raes poo'tin)
Romansh (ro mansh')
Roumani (roo mae'ni)
Roumania (roo ma'ni a)
Ruthenian (roo the'ni an)
Sadowa (sae'do va)
Salonika (sa'lo ni'ka)
Sanjak (san jak')
San Stephano (san ste fae'noe)
Sarajevo (sae rae ye'vo)
Sardinia (saer din'i a)
Sarrail (sar ri')
Savoy (sa voy')
Saxony (sax'on y)
Sazanof (sae'zae noff)
Scandinavian (scan di na'vi an)
Scutari (skoo'tae ri)
Serbia (ser'bi a)
Silesia (sil e'sha)
Skipetars (skip'e tarz)
Slavonia (sla vo'ni a)
Slavonic (sla von'ic)
Slovak (slo vaek')
Slovenes (slo venz')
Slovenian (slo ve'ni an)
Sobieski (so bi es'ki)
Styria (sty'ri a)
Syria (syr'i a)
Take (tae ka)
Talleyrand (tal'la ran)
Teutones (tu to'nez)
Teutonic (tu ton'ic)
Thessaly (thes'sa ly)
Transylvania (tran syl va'ni a)
Trentino (tren ti'no)
Trieste (tri est') or (tri es'ta)
Tripoli (trip'o li)
Tuscany (tus'ca ny)
Tzernagorah (tzer nae'go'ra)
Venetia (ven e'sha)
Venizelos (ven i zel'os)
Vercingetorix (ver sin jet'oe riks)
Verdun (var dun')
Von Bernstorff (fon barns'torf)
Von Plehve (fon pla've)
Von Tirpitz (fon tir'pits)
Walloon (wael loon')
Westphalia (west fa'li a)
Wilhelmine (wil'hel min)
Adriatic Sea, question of the control of.
Albania, formation of the kingdom of.
Alexander the Great.
Alliance, the Holy.
Alliance, the Triple.
Alliance, the Dual.
Alliance, the Balkan.
Angles, the, invade Britain.
Arbitration of national disputes.
Armor, value of.
helps to divide Poland;
at war with France;
at war with Sardinia and France;
at war with Prussia and Italy;
refuses to arbitrate Serbian trouble.
Austrians in Italy.
Balance of Power.
Bastille, fall of the.
joined to Holland to form the Netherlands;
guaranteed its freedom by three powers.
Blenheim, battle of (poem).
Blockade of Germany.
part of the Holy Roman Empire;
part of the Hapsburg domains.
Bolsheviki, revolt of the.
Bonaparte, Louis Napoleon.
Brazil declares war on Germany.
freed by Russia;
left partially under the control of Turkey;
with five nations;
plunges into world war;
treacherously orders an attack on Greece and Serbia.
Bulow, Prince von.
Byzantium becomes Constantinople.
Cape to Cairo Railroad.
Catharine II of Russia.
Cavour, Count, prime minister of Sardinia.
Celtic languages, disappearance of.
Charles XII of Sweden.
prince in Crete;
king of Greece.
Contraband of war.
Cracow, Republic of.
defeated by Prussia and Austria;
injured by submarine campaign.
Deutschland, voyages of the.
Divine right of kings.
Dukes vs. Kings.
Duma, the Russian;
asked to form a government.
Elba, Napoleon's return from.
Elector, the Great.
Electors of the Holy Roman Empire.
power of the king of;
troubles of, in 1914.
Entente, the Triple.
Ferdinand of Bulgaria;
enters war on side of Germany and Austria;
Finland annexed to Russia.
conquered by the Swedes.
power of king of;
execution of king of;
Frederick the Great.
German secret agents
set fire to American property and kill Americans;
try to stir up war between the U. S. and Japan;
stir up trouble in Russia.
Germany, the Holy Roman Empire of.
the modern Empire of;
encourages France to declare war on England;
makes friends with Turkey;
policy toward Balkan nations;
attacks France through Belgium.
by the people;
based on the consent of the governed;
limited to the ruling class.
Governments, newness of European.
offers to judge Serbian trouble;
declares war on Germany.
treaty of, with Serbia;
ungenerous to Bulgarians,
desert to Venizelos;
join the Entente.
Hague, court of the.
Hannibal's war against Rome.
Indo-European family of languages.
a battle ground of nations;
becomes a nation;
makes war on Turkey;
declines to support Austria and Germany;
declares war on Austria.
Kent, William, on Mexican intervention.
Kerensky, leader of the Russian government.
Kings, origin of.
Koumanova, battle of.
Language, relationship shown by.
Louis XIV of France.
Lusitania, sinking of the.
Marathon, battle of.
Empress of Austria;
helps to divide Poland.
Marlborough, Duke of.
owed to rulers;
declares war on Austria.
Netherlands, foundation of kingdom of.
Newspapers, control of.
joined to Sweden;
danger from Germany;
vigorously protests submarine warfare.
Novibazar, the Sanjak of.
Paris, siege of.
German offer of;
Allies' terms of;
United States' desire for;
Russo-German conference toward;
German desire for.
attached to the land;
support fighting classes.
Peter the Great.
given largely to Russia;
Preparation for war
origin of kingdom of;
crushed by Napoleon;
dominated by Bismarck.
Reign of Terror.
Roman Empire, beginnings of.
Rome, wars of, with Carthage.
Rothschild, the banking house of.
declares war on Austria;
is crushed between two armies.
relations with Bulgaria;
ignorance of the people of;
controlled by the Bolsheviki.
sent to Salonika;
watching Bulgars and Greeks.
annexed in part to Prussia;
allied to Austria.
Salonika, Spanish Jews in.
Sardinia, kingdom of.
trade with Austria;
relations with Bulgaria;
trouble with Austria;
attacked on three sides.
Sicilies, Kingdom of the Two.
Silesia, seizure of.
Sobieski, John, king of Poland.
drives out "unbelievers,";
becomes a republic.
sink British warships;
sink merchant ships;
sink the Lusitania;
cross the Atlantic;
begin to sink all ships without warning;
sink Norwegian ships.
Sturmer chosen prime minister of Russia.
Sweden, decline of.
Tunis, seized by France.
defended by France and England;
driven back from Vienna;
the young Turks;
tolerance of the young;
bigotry of the young.
Ulster trouble, the.
indignant over the Lusitania;
defends munitions trade in reply to Austria;
receives Deutschland hospitably;
sends the German Ambassador home;
desires nothing but to be safe from attack;
sends an army to Europe.
Venice, Republic of.
prime minister of Greece;
comes from Crete;
opposes King Constantine;
once more prime minister.
Vienna, Congress of.
four causes of;
diseases caused by;
increasing horror of.
Warsaw, Grand-Duchy of.
Waterloo, battle of.
William of Normandy.
patient with Germany;
asks both sides to name their terms;
calls Congress to declare war.
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