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The World War has created a number of most important 
problems which statesmanship will have to solve during 
the coming Peace Congress and afterwards. These may 
conveniently be divided into three classes : Problems of 
foreign policy, such as the delimitation of the national 
frontiers and the creation of an international organisation 
devised to ensure a durable peace ; economic problems, 
such as the re-creation of national prosperity among the 
war-stricken nations, the management and the repayment 
of the gigantic war debt, the improvement of the relations 
between capital and labour, &c. ; problems of internal organi- 
sation, such as the reform of democratic government which, 
during the War, in many instances has proved disappoint- 
ing because of its amateurishness, dilatoriness, improvidence, 
and inefi&ciency. All these problems will be considered in 
the following pages. 

Nothing is permanent in this world except change. The 
great problems of statesmanship can be given only a 
temporary solution. States and nations rise, grow, stand 
still, decline, decay, and ultimately disappear. The civilisa- 
tion and even the languages of the world empires of antiquity 
have vanished. Caesar, when conquering the savage inhabi- 
tants of Britain who were dressed in skins and who orna- 
mented themselves by painting their bodies with woad, 
would have laughed had a native Druid told him that the 
Koman Empire would fall, and that the British savages 
would not only conquer but civilise the larger part of the 
world, and create an Empire far greater than the Eoman, 



vi Preface 

for he looked upon the native Briton as we do upon African 
negroes. The process of national agglomeration and 
dissolution will continue to the end of time. If we look 
into history we find that it takes centuries to settle per- 
manently the territorial conflicts which are apt to arise 
among neighbour States. It took centuries to determine 
definitively the differences between Britain and France, to 
solve the question whether Britain should or should not 
possess territory on the south shore of the English Channel. 
For centuries France and Germany have fought for the 
possession of the borderland, for Alsace-Lorraine, for the 
control of Belgium, Holland, and Switzerland, and for all 
we know they may continue for centuries to fight for these 
objects. For centuries Kussia and Germany have fought 
and intrigued for the possession or the control of Poland, 
the Balkan Peninsula, and Constantinople, and their struggle 
also may be renewed. Between certain nations there exists 
htigation in perpetuity in respect of certain objects which 
are valued by either. The Peace Congress cannot bring 
about a permanent settlement of these great questions, 
for they will continue to trouble mankind. It can at best 
bring about a lasting one. It can give to the world a long 
period, perhaps a century, of peace. 

The roots of nations lie deep in the past. We can 
understand the interests and the policy of States and gauge 
the character, attitude, and probable conduct of nations 
only by studying their history and development, their 
experiences, and their traditions. We can neither fully 
understand, nor hope successfully to solve, the great inter- 
national questions, the great international quarrels, unless 
we are acquainted with their historical genesis and with 
the views and actions of the claimants in the past. Hence, 
in considering the great problems of diplomacy, due weight 
should be given not only to their present aspect and future 
possibilities, but also to their historic development. This 
has been done in the following pages, I have given in 
them a vast number of secret treaties, despatches, and other 

Preface vii 

documents of the highest importance which will not be 
found elsewhere. 

Economic policy should be based not upon theory, but 
upon experience ; not upon fancy, but upon fact. In con- 
sidering the problem of developing the prosperity of Great 
Britain and of the Empire, of paying off the war debt, and 
of improving the lot of the workers, I have availed myself 
of the lessong afforded by England's war with Eepublican and 
Napoleonic France and by the American Civil War. Both 
were proportionately about as costly as the present struggle 
seems hkely to prove. Both were followed not by industrial 
collapse and financial ruin, as was behoved by many at the 
time, but by unprecedented economic development and 
boundless prosperity. I have endeavoured to show that 
the Great War, far from impoverishing Great Britain and 
the British Empire, should greatly enrich them, provided 
a wise economic poHcy in accordance with historical ex- 
perience is pursued. The exhaustive and authoritative 
figures given in support of that contention will be new 
to most readers and should prove of the highest interest 
to financiers, business men, and others. 

Government, rightly considered, is not a pastime, but 
a business. Like every business, it has its rules, which may 
be learned from those who have been most successful in 
the science and art of directing pubhc affairs. National 
organisation and administration, like economic policy, 
should be based, not upon abstract principles, which may 
prove inapplicable, nor upon historic precedents, which 
may be misleading, but upon universal experience. In 
considering the inelBSciency of democratic government 
as revealed by the War and the necessary reform of Great 
Britain's national organisation, I have availed myself of 
the views of the greatest statesmen and administrators 
and the soundest thinkers of all times from Aristotle, 
Isocrates, Thucydides, and Poly bins to Cardinal Kichelieu, 
the elder Pitt, Frederick the Great, Napoleon, Alexander 
Hamilton, and Bismarck. The numerous quotations given 

viii Preface 

should prove of value to all who desire to be acquainted with 
the views of the greatest experts in national organisation. 

The present volume, like my other books, is perhaps 
rather a storehouse of facts than an expression of my own 
views. I hope that, nevertheless, it will prove thoroughly 
readable. It may be of value to statesmen, politicians, 
publicists, and the general public because of the important 
documentary and statistical evidence which it contains. 

The contents of the book are, for the convenience of 
readers, briefly summed up in its first chapter, * The Peace 
Congress and After.' All the other chapters have previously 
appeared in The Nineteenth Century and After. They 
attracted a great deal of attention at the time., and many 
of them were reprinted in extenso not only on the Continent, 
in the British Dominions, and in the United States, but even 
in Japan and China. I have been urged to collect and to 
republish them in book form, and I am allowed to do so by 
the courtesy of Mr. Skilbeck, the editor of The Nineteenth 
Century review, to whom I herewith give my best thanks. 
The original articles have been revised, brought up to 
date, and organically connected, and considerable additions 
have been made to them. 

Although it may seem immodest, I would in conclusion 
say a few words as to my Hterary activity in the past. 
Ever since 1900, when I began my career as a pubhcist, I 
have warned this country of the danger of a war with 
Germany. In all my books and in innumerable articles 
printed in the leading reviews and elsewhere I have urged 
unceasingly the necessity of diplomatic, military, and 
economic preparation, the necessity of abandoning the 
policy of * splendid isolation ' for one of alliances with 
France, Eussia, Japan, and the United States, the necessity 
of strengthening, developing, and organising the Empire 
towards the day of trial, the necessity of strengthening 
the fleet, the necessity of creating a national army, the 
necessity of strengthening the British industries, and espe- 
cially the iron and steel industry, by a pohcy of dehberate 

Preface ix 

development, by a protective tariff, the necessity of vastly 
increasing agricultural production by peasant proprietor- 
ship and various other means, the necessity of developing 
the neglected railway and canal systems of Great Britain, 
the desirabihty of an Anglo-American reunion, &c. I have 
co-operated "with Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, Lord Eoberts, 
and other prominent men. It is a certain satisfaction that 
all the reforms which so many have urged in vain before 
the War seem hkely to be carried out in consequence of it. 
The ways of Providence are wonderful. Iron is tried by 
fire and nations by war. A new and a greater Britain is 
arising. The War may not only make the British Empire 
a reality, but bring about an Anglo-American reunion. 
The War, far from being an unmitigated evil, may prove 
a blessing to the British race. 

Many eminent people have faciHtated my task by their 
assistance, their advice, and their encouragement. I would 
herewith most cordially thank them for their kindness and 


London, June 1917. 











The Peace Congress and Aftee 

The Peoblem of Constantinople 

The Problem of Asla-tio Turkey 

The Problem of Austrla.-Hungary 

The Problem of Poland . 

The German Emperor's Position 

Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

Britain's Coming Industiual Supremacy . 

Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

How America became a Nation in Arms 

An Anglo-American Reunion . 

Analytical Index 









The Allies arrayed against Germany are practically agreed 
on the broad principles which will guide their action at the 
Peace Congress. The differences between them are rather 
apparent than real. The young Russian democracy has 
demanded a settlement * without annexations and without 
indemnities.' That seems a purely negative programme. 
The other Powers have declared themselves in favour of 
a positive policy, which likewise has been summed up in 
two words. They have demanded a peace which is based 
on the principle of ' Restitution and Reparation.* Rightly 
considered, the two demands are identical. Men who have 
thrown over a Government which they detest, who have 
suddenly freed themselves from heavy shackles, naturally 
rejoice, and are apt to form in their joy vast plans which 
spring rather from the heart than from the head. Time is 
needed to awaken such men to the sober realities of this 
workaday world. The heady wine of democracy has had 
the same effect in Russia which it had in France at the 
end of the eighteenth century. The Russian declarations 

1 B 

2 The Peace Congress and After 

remind one of Article VI of the French Revolutionary 
Constitution : 

La nation française renonce à entreprendre aucune 
guerre dans la vue de faire des conquêtes, et n'emploiera 
jamais ses forces contre la liberté d'aucun peuple. 

This ideal resolution was soon forgotten. The French 
revolutionaries embarked upon wars of conquest, the 
solemn declarations notwithstanding. It is to be expected 
that the Russian people will before long awake to the 
realities of the situation. 

All the democracies are fighting for the principle of 
liberty, for the right of nationalities to govern themselves 
in their own way. All are strongly opposed to the principle 
of absolutism, of monarchical tyranny, of race subjection 
and of race exploitation. They are fighting for the freedom 
of the oppressed nationalities. They are pledged to free 
the exploited races and to enable them to organise and to 
govern themselves in their own way. By setting free the 
subject nationalities, the non-German parts of Germany will 
be enabled to rule themselves and to choose their allegiance. 
The territory of Germany will be sHghtly reduced. By 
setting free the subject nationaHties the Austrian and 
Turkish Empires, where the governing race is in a small 
minority, will be dissolved into their component parts. 
However, their dissolution cannot honestly be described as 
partition and be compared with the partitions of Poland. 
No democrat can wish to thrust back the Armenians, 
Czechs, Poles, &c., under their ancient yoke. 

The word * war- indemnity ' has during the last few decades 
changed its meaning. Originally a war-indemnity signified 
adequate compensation for the cost of an unjust war which 
was exacted from the aggressor. It was a bill for damages 
wantonly done. It was unobjectionable from the highest 
moral point of view. Since the time when powerful military 
States have robbed the defeated nations, whom they had 
wantonly attacked, not only of territory upon which they 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 3 

had no claim on racial grounds, but have in addition exacted 
from them outrageous sums of money merely in order to 
make their aggression both territorially and financially 
profitable to themselves, the word * indemnity ' has become 
synonymous with spoliation, and spoHation is detestable. 
The word ' indemnity ' has acquired a bad odour. The Allies, 
Belgium, Serbia, France, Kussia, and the rest, are certainly 
entitled to claim from the Central Powers compensation for 
their gigantic losses caused by a war which was forced upon 
them, but they will scarcely make a profit out of such 
indenmities as they may obtain. The damage done is 
too large. Germany and her Allies are not rich enough ever 
to repay their victims. They can pay no more than a tithe 
of the damage, and they may have to rebuild with their 
own labour what they have destroyed. 

The territorial settlement at the Peace Congress will be 
.effected in accordance with the principle of nationalities. 
Racial and State limits will be made to coincide wherever 
possible. However, there may be certain exceptions to the 
rule. Sometimes various nationalities are inextricably mixed 
in certain districts, and must be disentangled. Besides, 
the smaller States created on a racial basis must be secured 
against an attack from their warlike, powerful, and possibly 
revengeful neighbours, and they must be able to make a 
living ; they must be economically independent. Lastly, 
those nations which caused the War, and which may be 
inclined to renew it, must give guarantees for their good 
behaviour in the future. They cannot be allowed to dominate 
their smaller neighbours strategically or economically, and 
may have to lose certain vantage points. Poland and 
Serbia must have adequate outlets to the sea. To avoid 
racial injustice, men of one race who, for pressing strategical 
or economic reasons may have to be included in another 
nation, should be given the option of rejoining their brothers 
across the frontier and be entitled to adequate compensation 
for disturbance. 

There are a number of instances where friction may arise 

4 The Peace Congress and After 

between several nations through conflicting claims to 
territory based on racial, strategical, or economic grounds. 
Where there is a conflict of claims, a settlement should as 
a rule be effected on the principle that the weaker claim must 
give way to the stronger. This should, of course, not mean 
that the smaller Power should be sacrificed to the greater, 
for the settlement should be based not on might, but on 
justice. Differences may, for instance, arise in arranging 
the claims of Italy and Serbia to certain portions of the 
Adriatic, the future of Macedonia may become a matter of 
contention, &c. Most of these questions are not of first-rate 
importance, and they should easily be settled, although they 
may call for unlimited patience on the part of the assembled 

Among the greatest and most difi&cult problems of the 
Peace Congress are the problem of Constantinople, the 
problem of Asia Minor, the problem of Austria-Hungary, 
the problem of Poland, and the position of the German 
Empire and its Emperor. All these have been considered 
in the present volume. 

Shortly after the revolution the representatives of the 
Eussian democracy have waived Kussia's historic claim to 
the possession of Constantinople on the principle of * No 
Annexation and No Indemnities.' A young democracy is 
guided rather by the heart than by the head. It follows 
easily the generous impulses of the moment. By the time 
the Peace Congress assembles, the Russian people may have 
changed their representatives, and may have changed their 
mind as to Constantinople. It seems doubtful whether the 
desire of acquiring Constantinople was merely based upon 
the ambition of Russia's rulers. Russia's most valuable 
territories lie in the south, for the bleak north produces 
little. The Black Sea and the mighty rivers leading to it 
constitute Russia's principal outlet. The most precious 
part of Russia's foreign trade is the Black Sea trade. It is 
bound to increase indefinitely in value. Rather for economic 
than for strategical reasons Russia requires free access from 

GfTeat Problems of British Statesmanship 5 

the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Russia's historic 
desire for the acquisition of Constantinople was principally 
due to the fact that she found it intolerable that the bulk 
of her trade should be at the mercy of the Turks. At the 
beginning of the War an overwhelming majority of the 
Duma demanded for these reasons the acquisition of the 
Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. The Russian people may 
earher or later change their mind with regard to Constanti- 
nople. That should be remembered by statesmen and 
publicists before and during the Congress. Besides, it is 
difficult to find a satisfactory alternative solution of the 
problem of Constantinople. As the Narrows are of great 
strategical value, they cannot safely be entrusted to a small 
Power, for various Great Powers would endeavour to obtain 
influence over it. The old intrigues for the possession of 
Constantinople would recommence. There remains the 
possibility of neutralising that precious site, of entrusting 
the guardianship to some international body. Neutrals, 
unless they are powerful, may suddenly be attacked by their 
warlike neighbours, and international guarantees do not 
always act as a deterrent. That has been shown in the 
case of Belgium. International control, on the other hand, 
is apt to lead to international intrigue, as was seen in the 
case of Egypt and of Macedonia, and international occu- 
pation is apt to lead to war, as is proved by the example 
of Schleswig-Holstein. As Russia has on strategical and 
economic grounds the strongest claims to Constantinople, 
she will probably, on consideration, alter her mind, and the 
Powers will be wise not to take as permanent Russia's 
recent declarations, which some day she may regret. It would 
be a calamity and a danger to the peace of the world if some 
years hence the Russian people should say that the nations 
took an unfair advantage of Russia's momentary mood 
and deprived them of Constantinople, for which they have 
fought and bled for centuries, at a time when they could have 
had it for the asking. 

The Constantinople position connects the Black Sea and 

6 The Peace Congress and After 

the Mediterranean on the one hand and Europe and Asia 
on the other. It is strategically very important, but it is 
far less important than Asia Minor. Asia Minor connects, 
separates, and dominates the three oldest and most populated 
Continents. It lies across the most direct route from Central 
Europe to Calcutta, Bombay, Canton, and Peking. Asia 
Minor, being surrounded by gigantic mountain ranges, vast 
deserts, and the sea, is a natural fortress of the greatest 
strength, whence Egypt, North Africa, the Caucasus, the 
Kussian Black Sea Provinces, the Mediterranean countries, 
and Persia and India may easily be attacked. Asia Minor 
is at present sparsely populated, but is able to nourish a vast 
number of people. Its wealth in minerals of all kinds may 
be utihsed for military purposes. Its central position, its 
impregnable natural frontiers, and its vast agricultural and 
mineral potentialities might become dangerous to the peace 
of the world. A strong, military Power occupying the 
country might convert it into a gigantic fortress and arsenal, 
and provide it with numerous railways leading towards 
Egypt, the Caucasus, and Persia. A strong military Power 
controlling Asia Minor might strive for the domination of the 
three old continents, and its power for mischief would be 
enhanced by the fact that it would dominate the two issues 
of the Ked Sea, and that it could threaten from its central 
position not only the Suez Canal route, but also the trade of 
the Mediterranean and the sea-route to India by way of the 
Cape. I have very fully considered the problem of Asia 
Minor from every point of view and have made proposals 
for its solution. 

Austria-Hungary has about 55,000,000 inhabitants. 
The Austro- Germans and the Magyars number together 
only about 20,000,000, and they bitterly hate each other. 
By freeing the 35,000,000 Slavs, Koumanians, and Itahans 
from Austrian misrule the State of the Habsburgs would 
be reduced to 20,000,000 people. Germany has controlled 
the policy of Vienna in the past by making use of the 
differences between the Austrians and Magyars. She has 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 7 

ruled Austria with the assistance of Budapest. The loss 
of her Slavs and Latins would increase Austria's dependence 
upon the goodwill of Berlin and of Budapest. Austria 
and Hungary might be forced to attach themselves to the 
German Empire. As a consequence of the War, Germany 
might be far stronger than she has been hitherto. The 
AlHes have pledged themselves to set free the subject 
nationalities of the Dual Monarchy. The Habsburgs, who 
at one time were supreme in Germany, and who gave to the 
Hohenzollems the Brandenburg Electorate and raised them 
to royal rank, have suffered grievously at the hands of their 
former vassals. Brandenburg- Prussia has grown great at 
Austria's cost. Silesia was conquered by Prussia in 1740, 
and the South German States were detached from Austria 
in 1866. Austria has been Germany's tool in bringing about 
the Great War. The senile Francis Joseph scarcely knew 
what he was doing. The Princes of the proud house of 
Habsburg would no doubt Hke to recover their indepen- 
dence. They have no love for Prussia and the Hohen- 
zollems. It seems not inconceivable that as a result of the 
War, Austria should recover her independence, that the 
Habsburg Monarchy should obtain a new lease of hfe. If 
Austria should conclude a separate peace, she would be en- 
titled to compensation for the inevitable loss of her Slavonic 
and Latin citizens, and she might be given Silesia and South 
Germany. By receiving these, Vienna would once more 
rule over 30,000,000 Germans, and the 7,000,000 or 8,000,000 
Magyars would no longer prove unmanageable. A balance 
of power would be created within Germany. Vienna might 
once more dominate Berlin, and if Austria should follow a 
liberal, tolerant, and generous poUcy she might once more 
attract to herself the smaller nations of South-Eastem Europe 
and overshadow Prusso- Germany. A similar situation 
might arise if the War should be fought to the bitter end, 
and if the South German States should revolt against 
Prussia's rule and attach themselves to Austria. 

It remains to be seen whether Austria-Hungary and Ger- 

8 The Peace Congress and After 

many will patiently bear with their rulers if the War which 
they began should lead to disaster and general ruin. 
Possibly both the German and the Austrian peoples may 
revolt, but it seems more Hkely that the Germans will hold 
their Sovereign to account, for the young Austrian Emperor 
was not responsible for the War. Germany has a written 
Constitution according to which the sovereignty of the 
Empire lies not in the hands of the Emperor, but in those 
of all the allied States and their rulers. The Emperor is 
merely the hereditary president of the federation. Accord- 
ing to the Constitution, he is not entitled to declare war 
unless Germany has actually been attacked. For a war of 
aggression the consent of the Federal Council, which officially 
represents all the German States, is required. In embarking 
upon a war of aggression William the Second has violated 
the Constitution. He is not only morally but also legally 
responsible if disaster should overtake his country. A 
German defeat may lead either to the severe limitation of 
the Emperor's power or to the conversion of Germany into 
a republic. We may experience in Germany a revolution 
accompanied by civil war. A special chapter has been 
devoted to the Emperor's position. 

The problem of Poland is particularly important because 
of the vast change which the resuscitation of that State 
would efïect on the map of Europe. An independent 
Polish State of 20,000,000 inhabitants might serve as a 
bufïer-State between Russia and Germany. The lands of 
the Poles possess vast agricultural, industrial, and mineral 
possibilities. The PoHsh territories are more densely popu- 
lated than is France. Within the Polish zone he the largest 
coalfields on the Continent of Europe. Lodz is the Eussian 
Manchester. As Brazil is the land of the Amazon and the 
United States that of the Mississippi, so Poland is the country 
of the Vistula. On that mighty river lie the two Polish 
capitals, Warsaw and Cracow, and innumerable important 
to^Tis. Poland may become politically and economically 
the Belgium of Eastern Europe, it may become a most 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 9 

important industrial country, but this is possible only if 
she has a sufficient outlet for her manufactures and can 
obtain cheaply the necessary imported raw materials, such 
as cotton. Poland's natural harbour is Danzig, on the 
mouth of the Vistula. That town may become the Polish 
Hamburg. If Danzig should once more become Polish, 
East Prussia would be separated from Brandenburg by a 
broad belt of Pohsh territory, as it was in olden times. How- 
ever, if the question should arise whether Brandenburg 
should be separated from the province of East Prussia, or 
whether Poland should be separated from the sea by Danzig 
remaining in Prussian hands, it is probable that the weaker 
claim would have to give way to the stronger. Agricultural 
Eastern Prussia, though separated from Brandenburg, would 
have access to the sea. If Danzig remained in Germany's 
hands Poland would remain cut off from the sea, and the 
State might languish, decline, and decay. 

Many Poles desire that their country should obtain 
complete independence. It seems doubtful whether their 
wishes are wise. In the course of time Poland has grown 
into Eussia and Russia into Poland. Her vast coalfields 
make Poland a natural home of the manufacturing indus- 
tries. A completely independent Poland might find both 
the Russian and the German frontiers closed against her 
productions. Hence it may be best for the Poles to aim 
at a modified form of independence which would guarantee 
to them Russia's miUtary protection in case of need and 
which would leave open to the Pohsh industries the vast 
and most valuable Russian markets. 

The territorial claims of the various nations cannot be 
permanently settled at the Peace Congress, for history knows 
no permanent settlements. The settlement made may come 
up for revision. Unsatisfactory settlements often lead to 
war. Therefore the representatives of the Powers should 
avoid not only injustice, but even the appearance of in- 
justice and of unfairness. The settlement made at the Con- 
gress of Vienna should serve them as a warning example. 

10 The Peace Congress and After 

It led to a series of wars in the course of which the Treaty 
of Vienna was torn to pieces. 

The great international questions [mentioned will not 
be definitively solved at the Peace Congress. They will 
occupy the nations during many ensuing decades. How- 
ever, during the period immediately following the peace the 
problems of foreign policy will probably be overshadowed 
by economic problems and by questions of domestic policy. 
The gigantic War has created huge national debts and has 
destroyed incalculable values. The British War debt 
seems likely to amount to at least £5,000,000,000. It seems 
questionable whether the British people will receive any 
compensation from their opponents, for the devastated 
countries, Belgium, Serbia, Poland, Koumania, France, and 
Russia, have the first claim upon German indemnities. It 
may also happen that Britain's alhes will not be able to 
repay the bulk of the sums advanced to them. The ex- 
perience of the Napoleonic wars, when England financed 
the Alhes, may repeat itself. 

British taxation has been trebled in the course of the 
War, and trebled taxation may continue indefinitely. The 
vast war expenditures incurred may, however, not ruin 
Great Britain. I have shown in two lengthy chapters 
devoted to the economic problems that the War, far from 
impoverishing the country, may greatly enrich it. The 
twenty years' war against RepubHcan and Napoleonic 
France created a gigantic burden of debt. It led to the 
trebling of taxation. The vast increase in taxation stimu- 
lated the latent energies of the nation. I have shown that 
Great Britain's industrial prosperity arose during and after 
the Great War, and was caused chiefly by the vastly increased 
demands of the tax-collector. I have further shown by 
most interesting and important statistics that the American 
workers engaged in manufacturing, mining, transport, agri- 
culture, &c., produce per head about three times as much 
as their EngHsh colleagues because they employ better and 
three times as powerful machinery and possess a better 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 11 

economic organisation, &c. It follows that Great Britain 
can treble her yearly output, her yearly income, and her 
national wealth by Americanising her industries. The 
Américanisation of the British industries has already begun. 
I have shown in the chapter, * Britain's Coming Industrial 
Supremacy,' that in the course of the War production per 
man has approximately doubled. Production per man can 
once more be doubled, and more than doubled, to the great 
benefit of the workers and of the nation as a whole. In- 
creased production must be based upon improved machinery, 
and the better machinery is, the smaller is the exertion of 
the worker. 

America's vast industrial advance, as that of Great 
Britain, was caused by a ruinously expensive war. The 
vastly increased demands of the tax-collector consequent 
upon the Civil War led not only to the greatest improve- 
ment in industrial production, but also to the rapid opening 
up of the West. The British Dominions have advanced 
comparatively slowly in wealth and population because life 
has been too easy for the inhabitants. Men work hard 
only if compelled. The Dominions would be forced to open 
up their gigantic domain with the greatest energy should 
they decide to take over an adequate part of the financial 
burden imposed by the War. The War has been fought 
for the benefit of future generations. It is therefore only 
fair that posterity should help in bearing the burden. 

The War Debt should become an imperial obligation. 
Part of the undeveloped resources of the Empire should be 
assigned to its service and repayment. Part should be paid 
by the present generation. The Americans combine with 
their census of population a census of production and wealth. 
By taking regularly a similar census of production and of 
wealth throughout the British Empire, the abihty of every 
part of the Empire to assist in bearing the financial burden 
caused by the War might most easily and most fairly be 
ascertained. Every five or ten years the financial burden 
might be redistributed in accordance with the changes in 

12 The Peace Congress and After 

wealth and income which have taken place in the mean- 

High taxation in countries of boundless latent resources 
is a vast advantage. It is as necessary to a State which 
desires to advance quickly as adequate ballast is to a ship. 
The Empire is four times as large as the United States. 
Nevertheless the United States are far wealthier than is 
the gigantic British Empire. The wealth of the United 
States is greater than that of the British Empire, not because 
the former has larger natural resources, but because the 
boundless resources of the British Empire have either 
been insufficiently developed or have been completely 
neglected. If the War should bring about the dehberate and 
energetic development of the Empire, and if the Imperial 
domain should become as highly developed as the territory 
of the great KepubHc, the wealth of the British Empire 
should no longer be inferior to that of the United States, 
but should be four times as great. 

Among the internal problems of Great Britain which 
will come up for settlement after the War, the reorganisation 
of the body pohtic will probably occupy the foremost place. 
It has been treated fully in the chapter, ' Democracy and 
the Iron Broom of War.' Democracy has displayed its 
faihngs during the struggle. The great problem consists 
in combining liberty and popular government, which means 
control by the many, with efficiency in administration and 
execution. The jointly responsible Cabinet has proved 
improvident, dilatory, and extremely inefficient. The reform 
introduced by Mr. Lloyd George is only a temporary make- 
shift. The question will have to be settled whether the 
national executive should be in the hands of a single man 
or of an inexpert committee. The views of the greatest 
statesmen of all times favour decidedly a one-man executive. 
The Americans, when establishing their republic, after 
mature consideration and deliberation, chose a one-man 
executive. I beheve Great Britain will be wise in following 
America's example. The reform could most easily be 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 13 

effected by making the Prime Minister solely responsible 
for governmental action, by making the heads of the 
great departments the Prime Minister's subordinates. The 
American Constitution proved its excellence in time of 
danger at the outbreak of the Civil War. In the chapter, 
* How America became a Nation in Arms,' I have shown 
how a one-man executive saved the United States from 
disaster. During the Civil War the United States raised 
a gigantic army and defeated in the course of four years 
the rebellious South. That war destroyed nearly a million 
lives and cost two-thirds of America's national wealth. 
America's Civil War should be to the democracies an in- 
spiration and a warning against unpreparedness. Had the 
United States possessed an army of 30,000 men, the war 
would either not have broken out or it would have been ended 
in a few weeks. Democracy has to pay dearly for its short- 
sightedness and neglect. It is inspiring that an unmiHtary, 
unruly, unorganised, and peaceful people should have been 
able to raise a gigantic and most efficient army. Successful 
improvisation should, however, not blind fus to the danger 
of neglecting miHtary! preparation in time of peace. The 
United States in 1861 and England in 1914 were able to 
create colossal armies ^ because they were given sufficient 
time to organise themselves for war. The greatest latent 
resources and the highest patriotism would prove unavailing 
if in a future war a strong military Power should succeed 
in seizing at its outbreak the indispensable centres (of 
resistance, such as the seats of the iron and steel industry. 

From the British point of view the most important 
results of the War are two. The War should lead to the 
unification of the Empire, and it may possibly lead to the 
reunion of the British race. I have advocated for many 
years an Anglo-American reunion, and I have summed up 
the arguments in favour of such a reunion in the concluding 
chapter of this book. 



As foresight is the essence of statesmanship, it seems oppor- 
tune to consider the greatest and most difficult problems 
with which the future Peace Conference will have to 
deal. This is all the more necessary as some of the questions 
which will have to be settled may cause differences among 
the AlUes, unless the nations and their statesmen have 
previously arrived at some understanding as to the great 
Hnes on which the settlement should take place. Such a 
prehminary agreement had unfortunately not been effected 
when, a hundred years ago, at the Congress of Vienna, 
the entire map of Europe was recast. Owing to the re- 
sulting differences and the return of Napoleon from Elba, 
the diplomats hastily concluded a treaty which left the 
greatest and most dangerous problems badly solved or 
not solved at all. Guided by the principle of legitimacy, 
they considered the claims of the rulers, but disregarded 
those of the nations. At the Congress of Vienna, Germany 
and Italy were cut up, notwithstanding the protests of 
the German and Italian people. It was only natural that 
the work done in haste and under pressure by the 
diplomats at Vienna led to a series of avoidable wars, and 
especially to the Wars of Nationahty of 1859, 1866, and 
1870-71, by which a united Italy and a united Germany 
were evolved. 

The nations and their rulers seem fairly agreed as to 

* The Nineteenth Century and After, March 1915. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 15 

the broad principles on which the map of Europe should 
be reconstructed at a future Congress. In the first place, 
the desires of the various nationahties to be united under a 
Government of their own are to be fulfilled. In the second 
place, territorial rearrangement will be made which will 
strengthen the peaceful nations, which will make unlikely 
a war of revenge, and which will secure the maintenance 
of peace for a very long time. In the third place, the 
nations which have fought and suffered are to receive 
suitable compensation, while those which have merely 
looked on will presumably derive httle or no advantage 
from the general recasting of frontiers. Apparently there 
are only four questions which might lead to serious dis- 
agreement among the Alhes. These are the question of 
Austria-Hungary, the question of Poland, the question 
of Constantinople, and the question of Asia Minor. All 
four questions are closely interwoven. 

Kussia is a Power which is viewed by many Englishmen 
with a good deal of distrust. Many people in this country- 
fear that when Germany and Austria-Hungary have been 
defeated, Kussia will become too powerful. They ask, 
Where will be the counterpoise to Kussia if Germany should 
suffer great territorial losses, and if the Dual Monarchy 
should no longer form a single State, but should become 
dissolved into its component parts in accordance with the 
principle of nationality ? To many Englishmen who have 
watched with concern the constant and apparently irre- 
sistible progress of Russia in Asia, that country is a 
dangerous, aggressive Power. They remember that many 
Russian generals and writers have recommended an 
expedition against India ; that Czar Paul, during his 
short and tragic reign, actually prepared such a venture ; 
that his successor, Alexander the First, also contemplated 
an attack on India by land ; that more than once Russia 
has been at war with Great Britain. However, most of 
those who are thinking of Russia's aggressiveness and her 
former hostility to England are probably unaware that 

16 The Problem of Constantinople 

her hostility was not without cause ; that England, fearing 
that Eussia might become too powerful, endeavoured, at 
the bidding of her enemies, to prevent Eussia's expansion, 
especially in the direction of Constantinople and of the 
Far East ; that at the time of the Crimean War, not Eussia, 
but England, was apparently in the wrong ; that Lord 
Beaconsfield prevented Eussia reaping the fruit of her 
victory after her last war with Turkey ; that, angered by 
England's attitude and incited by Bismarck and his 
successors, Eussia not unnaturally endeavoured to revenge 
herself upon this country in the only part where it seemed 

The problems of Poland, of Austria-Hungary, and of 
Asia Minor, which will be very fully considered in other 
chapters, are perhaps less dangerous to the maintenance 
of good relations among the AUies than is that of Con- 
stantinople. The question of Constantinople has for many 
decades been considered the most dangerous problem in 
Europe. Constantinople is supposed to be a point of 
vital interest not only to Eussia, but to Austria-Hungary, 
France, Italy, and this country as well. As the Turks 
have plunged into the War and have attacked the Allies, 
they have forfeited England's good will and traditional 
protection. The settlement of the problem of Constan- 
tinople can no longer be shelved. Therefore, it seems 
best to consider it frankly, dispassionately, and without 

We have been taught in the past that * the possession 
of Constantinople will decide the fate of the world,' that 
* Constantinople dominates the world,' and that * Eussia's 
possession of that position would be fatal to Great Britain's 
position in India.' In these circumstances it seems necessary 
not only to consider the character of Eussia's foreign poHcy 
and of the Eussian people, but to study the problem of 
Constantinople in the light of history and with special 
reference to Eussia's future. 

Since the time of Napoleon the question of Constanti- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 17 

nople has loomed particularly large, and probably unduly 
large, on the poHtical horizon. Apparently the strategical 
importance of Constantinople is at present generally over- 
estimated, because the last few generations, instead of 
studying critically and without prejudice the real impor- 
tance of that town, have been mesmerised by the pronounce- 
ments of the great Corsican warrior, and have repeated 
his celebrated saying that Constantinople is ' the key of 
the world,' although it is nothing of the kind. 

According to many popular historians, Eussia has 
* always ' tried to wrest India fiom England and to make 
herself mistress of the world by seizing Constantinople. 
From some of the most serious historical books, and even 
from dry diplomatic documents, we learn that Eussia's 
pohcy of seizing with Constantinople the dominion of the 
world was initiated by her greatest ruler, Peter the Great, 
who recommended that poHcy to his successors in his 
celebrated poHtical testament. History, as Napoleon has 
told us, is a fable convenue. Napoleon himself has skilfully 
created a fable convenue around the town of Constantinople, 
and most of the mistaken views as to Eussia's world-con- 
quering aims have been engendered by that great genius 
who has mystified England during a whole century, and 
who has been responsible for a century of misunderstandings 
between England and Eussia. It seems therefore timely 
and necessary to consider Eussia's actions in the direction 
of Constantinople and of India by means of the most 
authoritative documents existing, the vast majority of 
which are not given in English books. They will be new 
to most British readers, and they may help in destroying 
a century-old legend which has served Napoleon's purpose 
of sowing enmity between Eussia and this country. 

The poHtical testament of Peter the Great, which plays 
so great a part in historic and diplomatic Hterature, has, 
as far as I know, not been translated into EngHsh. There 
are several versions of that document. The following pas- 
sages, which are taken from the combined versions given 


18 The Problem of Constantinople 

by Sokolnicki and Le sur, are those which should be of the 
greatest interest to English readers : 

Austria should be induced to assist in driving the Turks 
out of Europe. Under that pretext a standing army should 
be maintained and shipyards be estabhshed on the shores of 
the Black Sea. Constantly progressing, the forces should 
advance towards Constantinople. 

A strict aUiance should be concluded with England. . . . 
Predominance in the Baltic and in the Black Sea should be 
aimed at. That is the most important point. On it depends 
the rapid success of the plan. 

My successors should become convinced of the truth that 
the trade with India is the world trade, and that he who 
possesses that trade is in truth the master of Europe. Con- 
sequently no opportunity for stirring up war with Persia 
and hastening its decay should be lost. Kussia should 
penetrate to the Persian Gulf and endeavour to re-establish 
the ancient trade with the East. 

The influence of rehgion upon the disunited and Greek 
dissenters dwelling in Hungary, Turkey, and Southern 
Poland should be made use of. They should be won over. 
Kussia should become their protector and obtain spiritual 
supremacy over them. . . . 

Soon after opportunities will become precious. Every- 
thing should be prepared in secret for the great coup. In 
the deepest secrecy and the greatest circumspection the 
court of Versailles and then that of Vienna should be 
approached with the object of sharing with them the 
domination of the world. 

In the following paragraphs the author recommends 
that Kussia should bring about a world-war ostensibly 
regarding Turkey, that she should set all the other Great 
Powers by the ears, and while they are engaged in inter- 
necine struggles seize Constantinople, make war upon all 
her opponents, subdue them, and make herself supreme 
throughout the world. 

Peter the Great died in 1725. He greatly enlarged 
the Kussian frontiers, organised, modernised, and Euro- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 19 

peanised the country, and fought hard to give it an outlet 
on the Swedish Baltic, where he created Petrograd. His 
successors, guided by Catherine the Second, endeavoured 
with equal energy to give Eussia a second outlet to the 
sea .in the south, at Turkey's cost, and apparently they 
carried out to the letter the recommendations contained 
in the pohtical testament of Peter the Great. Prophecies 
are usually correct if they are made after the event. The 
famous pohtical testament was apparently written, not 
in Peter the Great's hfetime, but a century after, when 
Russia had succeeded in acquiring the shores of ihe Black 
Sea and had become the leader of the Slav nations belonging 
to the Greek Church. Peter the Great's pohtical testament 
was first published in a book, * De la Pohtique et des Progrès 
de la Puissance Russe,' written by Lesur in 1811, at a time 
when Napoleon had resolved upon a war with Russia. 
It was pubhshed to influence European, and especially 
Enghsh, opinion against that country. According to 
Berkholz (' Napoleon I, Auteur du Testament de Pierre 
le Grand '), Napoleon himself was the author. The abrupt 
telegraphic style of the composition indeed greatly resembles 
that of its putative author. The best informed now 
generally consider the will of Peter the Great to be a forgery. 
Bismarck, who was on the most intimate terms with Czar 
Alexander the Second, described it as * apocryphal ' in 
the fifth chapter of his * Memoirs.' The value of Peter 
the Great's will as a document reveahng the traditional 
policy and traditions of Russia is nil. 

The desire of Peter the Great's successors to conquer 
the Turkish territory to the south of Russia, and to acquire 
for the country an outlet on the Black Sea, was not un- 
natural, for at a time when transport by land was almost 
a physical impossibihty in Russia the country could be 
opened up and developed only by means of her splendid 
natural waterways and of seaports. As Russia's most 
fruitful territories are in the south, access to the Black 
Sea was for her development far more important than an 

20 The Problem of Constantinople 

opening on the Baltic. Besides, to the deeply religious 
Eussians a war with the Turks was, up to the most recent 
times, a Holy War, a kind of crusade. The Empress 
Catherine succeeded in conquering the shores of the Black 
Sea, but failed in conquering Constantinople, which she 
desired to take. With this object in view she proposed 
the partition of Turkey to Austria in the time of Maria 
Theresa and of Joseph the Second. According to her 
historian Castera, she urged the Minister of France to 
advise his Government that France should join Kussia 
for the purpose of partitioning the Turkish Empire. As 
a reward she offered Egypt to France, the conquest of 
which she believed to be easy. 

Catherine's offer of Egypt to France is significant, and 
should be carefully noted. For centuries France, guided 
by a sure instinct of territorial values, had been hankering 
after the possession of Egypt, seeing in that country a 
door to the lands of the Far East and one of the most 
important strategical positions in the world. The great 
historian Sorel wrote in * Bonaparte et Hoche en 1797 ' 
that the possession of Egypt was * le rêve qui, depuis les 
croissades, hante les imaginations françaises.' 

France hungered after Egypt. Her thinkers had 
planned the construction of the Suez Canal a century 
before de Lesseps. After the outbreak of the Kevolution 
her historic ambition seemed likely to be fulfilled. The 
French Kepubhc was at war with England and Eussia. 
England might be attacked in India by way of Egypt, 
and Egypt might, at the same time, be made a base of 
operations for an attack upon Eussia in the Black Sea in 
conjunction with Turkey. While England and Eussia 
were thus being attacked a revolution should be engineered 
in Ireland to complete England's discomfiture. On the 
23rd Germinal of the year VI— that is, on April 12, 1798— 
the Directoire appointed the youthful General Bonaparte 
commander of the Armée d'Orient, and ordered him to take 
Egypt, to cut the Suez Canal, and to secure to the French 

CTi\t sA^(a.C<JU ^ 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 21 

Bepublic the free and exclusive possession of the Ked Sea. 
The aim and object of that expedition, and of the greater 
plan of operations of which it was to be a part, is clearly 
and fully disclosed in a lengthy memorandum on the foreign 
situation, written by Talleyrand, who at the time was the 
French Minister for Foreign Affairs, and placed by him 
before the Directoire on July 10, 1798. We read in that 
most valuable and most interesting document : 

Si Bonaparte s'étabht en Egypte, quand il aura dirigé 
une part de ses forces contre les Anglais dans l'Inde, qui 
empêchera que la flotte française, pénétrant dans la Mer 
Noire et s'unissant à celle des Turcs, aille, pour consoHder 
cette puissance de l'occupation de l'Egypte, l'aider à recon- 
quérir la Crimée qui est pour elle d'un bien autre intérêt 
que cette région Hvrée depuis des siècles aux révoltes des 
beys ? Il n'y aura pas toujours dans la Méditerranée une 
nombreuse flotte anglaise. Attaqués dans l'Inde, menacés 
sur leurs côtes, frappés au cœur de leur puissance par 
l'insurrection de l'Irlande, dont les progrès peuvent d'un 
moment à l'autre désorganiser leur armée navale, ils doivent 
finir par abandonner la station qu'ils auront étabhe au fond 
de la Méditerranée, et dès lors pour que nous soyons bien 
reçus. La destruction de Cherson et de Sébastopol serait à 
la fois la plus juste vengeance de l'acharnement insensé 
des Eusses, et le meilleur moyen de négociation avec les 
Turcs pour en obtenir tout ce qui pourrait consohder notre 
établissement en Afrique. . . . 

L'expédition de Bonaparte, s'il met pied en Egypte, 
assure la destruction de la puissance britannique dans l'Inde. 

Déjà Malte est en notre pouvoir ; ce succès miraculeux 
serait seul un coup terrible pour le commerce de l'Angleterre, 
et quand notre armement n'obtiendrait pas un autre fruit, 
celui-là serait suffisant. Mais des attentes encore plus 
sensibles sont réservées à cette nation, Hvrée à tous les 
déchirements intérieurs qu'elle a si longtemps entretenus 
chez nous. L'insurrection de l'Irlande, cimentée déjà par 
le sang de quelques victimes célèbres, paraît faire des progrès 
remarquables. C'est dans cette contrée que doivent aboutir 
maintenant tous nos efforts. Des armes, des munitions, des 

22 The Problem of Constantinople 

hommes hâtons-nous de les y porter, rendons à l'Angleterre 
les maux qu'elle nous a faits. Qu'une Képublique s'élève à 
côté d'elle pour son instruction ou pour son châtiment. . . . 
Si nous sommes bientôt en mesure de faire ce que j'ai 
indiqué en parlant de la Kussie, au moins d'en annoncer 
l'intention, je ne doute pas que la Porte ne sente le prix 
de ce service et n'associe ses forces aux nôtres pour repousser 
la Eussie loin des bords de la Mer Noire. 

The war programme of the French Directoire against 
England, which included an attack on Egypt, an expedition 
against India, the support of Turkey, the raising of Ireland 
in rebeUion, and war upon British commerce, bears a curious 
resemblance to the comprehensive and world-wide war plans 
of modern Germany. 

Napoleon seized the Government of France and became 
the heir of the grandiose world-embracing policy of the 
Eepublic. He took up the plan which was designed to 
destroy simultaneously the power of England and Kussia 
and to make France all-powerful throughout the world. 
Catherine the Second, the great enemy of the French Kevolu- 
tion, had died in 1796, and had been succeeded by the 
weak, eccentric, violent, and scarcely sane Czar Paul the 
First. During the first years of his reign he also was hostile 
to revolutionary France and had made war upon that 
country, but in 1800 he quarrelled with England. Napoleon 
at once utiHsed the opportunity and persuaded him to 
attack England in Asia in conjunction with France. In 
O'Meara's book, * Napoleon on St. Helena,' we read that 
Napoleon described to his Irish surgeon the invasion planned 
in the time of Paul the First as follows : 

If Paul had lived you would have lost India before now. 
An agreement was made between Paul and myself to invade 
it. I furnished the plan. I was to have sent thirty thousand 
good troops. He was to send a similar number of the best 
Kussian soldiers and forty thousand Cossacks. I was to 
subscribe ten milHons for the purchase of camels and other 
requisites for crossing the desert. The King of Prussia was 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 23 

to have been applied to by both of us to grant a passage for 
my troops through his dominions, which would have been 
immediately granted. I had at the same time made a 
demand to the King of Persia for a passage through his 
country, which would also have been granted, although the 
negotiations were not entirely concluded, but w^ould have 
succeeded, as the Persians were desirous of profiting by it 
themselves. My troops were to have gone to Warsaw, to 
be joined by the Kussians and Cossacks, and to have marched 
from thence to the Caspian Sea, w^here they would have 
either embarked or have proceeded by land, according to 
circumstances. I was beforehand with you in sending an 
Ambassador to Persia to make interest there. Since that 
time your ministers have been imbeciles enough to allow 
the Kussians to get four provinces, which increase their 
territories beyond the mountains. The first year of war 
that you will have with the Kussians they will take India 
from you. 

It will be noticed that Napoleon did not suggest to Kussia 
an advance upon India by way of Constantinople, but by 
way of the Caspian Sea, by a route similar to that which 
she would follow at the present time, when an expedition 
against India would be carried by the railways running 
from the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea towards the north- 
west frontier of India. That is w^orth bearing in mind 
if we wûsh to inquire whether Kussia's occupation of Con- 
stantinople would threaten India. 

Paul the First was assassinated in 1801 before he could 
embark upon his fantastic expedition, and was succeeded 
by his eldest son, Alexander the First. Bom in 1777, 
Alexander came to the throne as a youth of twenty-four. 
He had been educated by the Swiss philosopher Laharpe 
in accordance with the principles of Kousseau. The great 
PoHsh statesman, Prince Adam Czartoryski, an intimate 
friend of his youth and of his maturer age, drew the follow- 
ing portrait of Alexander in his * Memoirs ' : 

Young, candid, inoffensive, thinking only of philan- 
thropy and liberalism, passionately desirous of doing good. 

24 The Problem of Constantinople 

but often incapable of distinguishing it from evil, he had 
seen with equal aversion the wars of Catherine and the 
despotic folUes of Paul, and when he ascended the throne 
he cast aside all the ideas of avidity, astuteness, and grasp- 
ing ambition which were the soul of the old Eussian 
pohcy. Peter's vast projects were ignored for a time, and 
Alexander devoted himself entirely to internal reforms, 
with the serious intention of making his Eussian and other 
subjects as happy as they could be in their present condi- 
tion. Later on he was carried away, almost against his 
will, into the natural current of Eussian pohcy, but at first 
he held entirely aloof from it, and this is the reason why 
he was not really popular in Eussia. 

Alexander was a good man and a great idealist. His 
dearest wish was to free the serfs and to make the people 
happy and prosperous. General Savary, Napoleon's tempo- 
rary Ambassador in Eussia, reported to him on Novem- 
ber 4, 1807, the following words of the Czar : * Je veux 
sortir la nation de cet état de barbarie. Je dis même 
plus, si la civilisation était assez avancée, j'abolirais cet 
esclavage, dût-il m'en coûter la tête.* Alexander the First, 
like the recent occupant of the throne, Nicholas the Second, 
was a warm-hearted ideahst, a lover of mankind, and a 
friend of peace, anxious to elevate Eussia and to introduce 
the necessary reforms. However, Alexander the First, like 
Nicholas the Second, was forced into a great war against 
his will. 

In a number of campaigns Napoleon had subdued the 
Continent, and the French longed for peace. Still Napoleon 
desired to carry out the great policy of the Directoire, to 
destroy the power of England and Eussia and make France 
supreme in the world. But as long as the Continent was 
ready to rise against the French, Napoleon could not safely 
enter upon a lengthy campaign in far-away Eussia. He 
feared Eussia as an opponent as long as Europe was un- 
wilHng to bear his yoke. An aUiance with Eussia would 
have been invaluable to him. By securing Eussia's support 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 25 

he could hope to hold Prussia and Austria in awe and to 
attack, or at least to threaten, England in India. Eussia's 
support could best be secured by promising to her explicitly, 
or at least implicitly, the possession of Constantinople 
and by making her beHeve that she was not interested in 
the fate of the other European States, that their enslave- 
ment by Napoleon was no concern of hers. In December 
1805, while he was at war with Kussia, Napoleon significantly 
said to Prince Dolgoruki, the Czar's aide-de-camp, who had 
been sent to him, according to the Prince's report of the 
23rd of that month, pubhshed by Tatistchelf : 

Que veut -on de moi ? Pourquoi l'empereur Alexandre 
me fait-il la guerre ? Que lui faut-il ? Il n'a qu'à étendre 
les frontières de la Kussie aux dépens de ses voisins, des 
Turcs surtout. Sa querelle avec la France tomberait alors 
d'elle-même. ... La Eussie doit suivre une tout autre 
politique et ne se préoccuper que de ses propres intérêts. 

While, in vague words, Napoleon premised to Alexander 
the First the possession of Turkey, he endeavoured to 
raise the Turks against the Eussians. On June 20, 1806, 
Napoleon dictated, in his characteristic abrupt style, the 
following instruction for the guidance of General Sebastiani, 
the French Ambassador in Turkey, which will be found in 
Driault, ' La Politique Orientale de Napoléon ' ; 

1. Inspirer confiance et sécurité à la Porte, la France ne 
veut que la fortifier. 

2. Triple Alhance de Moi, Porte et Perse contre Eussie 

7. Fermer le Bosphore aux Eusses, fermer tous les ports, 
rendre à la Porte son empire absolu sur la Moldavie et la 

8. Je ne veux point partager ï'Empire de Constantinople, 
voulût-on m*en ofeir les trois quarts, je n'en veux point. 
Je veux raffermir et consohder ce grand empire et m'en 
servir tel quel comme opposition à la Eussie. 

In 1806 Napoleon made war upon Prussia. In October 
of that year the Prussians were totally defeated at Jena 

26 The Problem of Constantinople 

and Auerstadt. The Russians came to their aid, and 
Napoleon feared a lengthy campaign so far from his base. 
On February 7 and 8, 1807, he defeated the Russians at 
Eylau. However, the French suffered such fearful losses 
that Napoleon's position was seriously endangered. Hence 
he urgently desired to make peace with Russia. Relying 
upon the youth, the generous enthusiasm, the warm- 
heartedness, the lack of suspicion, and the inexperience of 
Alexander the First, Napoleon attempted once more to 
convert his enemy into a friend and ally and willing tool. 
With this object in view he caused articles to be pubHshed 
in the papers advocating a reconciHation of Napoleon 
and Alexander in the interests of humanity, and recommend- 
ing joint action by France and Russia against England, 
the enemy of mankind. Napoleon knew how to convey 
indirectly to the Czar numerous messages expressing his 
sorrow at the fearful and needless slaughter, his desire 
for peace, his goodwill for Russia, and his high esteem 
for Russia's youthful ruler. Alexander became interested 
in Napoleon's suggestions, and at last became infatuated 
by him. He had been fascinated by Napoleon's success. 
He was keenly aware of the backwardness of Russia. 
Desiring to advance his country, he wished to learn from 
his great antagonist the art of government and administra- 
tion, for in Napoleon he chiefly admired the organiser. 
On June 14, 1807, Napoleon severely defeated the Russians 
at Friedland, and the Czar, following the advice of his 
generals, asked Napoleon for peace. A few days later the 
celebrated meeting of the two monarchs in a little pavilion 
erected on a raft anchored in the river Niémen took place. 
According to Tatistcheff, the Czar's first words to Napoleon 
were, ' Sire, je hais les Anglais autant que vous,' and 
Napoleon replied, ' En ce cas la paix est faite.' 

On the Niémen, and at the prolonged meeting of the 
monarchs at Tilsit which followed. Napoleon unceasingly 
preached to the Czar the necessity of Franco-Russian 
co-operation in the interests of peace, and the necessity 

(rreat Problems of British Statesmanship 27 

of breaking the naval tyranny of England. He suggested 
to Alexander that he should seize Turkey, spoke of the 
Turks as barbarians, and proposed that the two monarchs, 
after having destroyed the power of England by an attack 
upon India, should share between them the dominion of 
the world. He urged that they should conclude at the 
same time a treaty of peace and a treaty of alHance which 
provided for their co-operation throughout the world. 
Taking advantage of the Czar's easily aroused enthusiasm 
and of his lack of guile, Napoleon dehberately fooled 
Alexander the First and tricked him into an alhance with 
France by which all the advantages fell to Napoleon. How 
the Czar was treated is described as follows in his * Memoirs ' 
by Talleyrand, who drafted the Treaty of Tilsit : 

In the course of the conferences preceding the Treaty of 
Tilsit the Emperor Napoleon often spoke to the Czar Alex- 
ander of Moldavia and Wallachia as provinces destined 
some day to become Russian. Affecting to be carried away 
by some irresistible impulse, and to obey the decrees of 
Providence, he spoke of the division of European Turkey 
as inevitable. He then indicated, as if inspired, the general 
basis of the sharing of that empire, a portion of which was 
to fall to Austria in order to gratify her pride rather than 
her ambition. 

A shrewd mind could easily notice the effect produced 
upon the mind of Alexander by all those fanciful dreams. 
Napoleon watched him attentively and, as soon as he 
noticed that the prospects held out allured the Czar's 
imagination, he informed Alexander that letters from Paris 
necessitated his immediate return and gave orders for the 
treaty to be drafted at once. 

My instructions on the subject of that treaty were that no 
allusion to a partition of the Ottoman Empire should appear 
in it, nor even to the future fate of the two provinces of 
Wallachia and Moldavia. These instructions were strictly 
carried out. Napoleon thus left Tilsit, having made pros- 
pective arrangements which could serve him as he pleased 
for the accomphshment of his other designs. He had not 

28 The Problem of Constantînople 

bound himself at all, whereas, by the prospects he held out, 
he had allured the Czar Alexander and placed him, in rela- 
tion to Turkey, in a doubtful position which might enable 
the Cabinet of the Tuileries to bring forth other preten- 
sions untouched in the treaty. 

According to the Treaty of Tilsit, which was signed 
on July 7, 1807, Napoleon and Alexander were to support 
one another on land and sea with the whole of their armed 
forces. The alHance was defensive and offensive. The 
two nations were to act in common in making war and in 
concluding peace. Kussia was to act as mediator between 
England and France, and to request England to give up 
to France and her AUies all her conquests made since 1805. 
If England should refuse to submit, Kussia was to make 
war upon England. Thus the duties of the Czar under 
the Treaty of Alliance were clearly outHned. The corre- 
sponding advantages, however, were only vaguely hinted 
at. Only the last article, Article 8, treated of Turkey, and 
it was worded as follows : 

Pareillement, si par une suite dos changements qui 
viennent de se faire à Constantinople, la Porte n'acceptait 
pas la médiation de la France, ou si, après qu'elle l'aura 
acceptée, il arrivait que, dans le délai de trois mois après 
l'ouverture des négociations, elles n'eussent pas conduit à 
un résultat satisfaisant, la France fera cause commune avec 
la Kussie contre la Porte Ottomane, et les deux hautes 
parties contractantes s'entendront pour soustraire toutes les 
provinces de l'Empire ottoman en Europe, la ville de Con- 
stantinople et le province de Komélie exceptées, au joug et 
aux vexations des Turcs. 

In return for making war upon England, Alexander 
the First received merely the promise that in certain 
■eventualities France and Kussia would act together against 
Turkey, and that in the event of such joint action they 
would come to an understanding with a view to freeing 
all the European provinces of Turkey from the Turks. 
-However, Constantinople and the Province of Kumelia 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 29 

were to be reserved, and not to be partitioned by the Allies. 
In return for valuable service, Alexander the First received 
merely a vague and worthless promise. 

As, in numerous conversations, Napoleon had promised 
to Alexander all he could desire, and as the Czar impHcitly 
beheved in his new friend, he probably did not look too 
closely into the wording of the one-sided treaty, and left 
Tilsit full of admiration for the Emperor of the French. 
Meanwhile Napoleon began a most cynical game with 
Alexander. Although the Treaty of Tilsit did not provide 
for the partition of Turkey, Napoleon continued using 
the partition of Turkey as a bait with which to secure 
Eussia's support against England. He went even so far 
as to offer her, though only verbally, Constantinople itself. 
On November 7, 1807, Count Tolstoi, the Czar's repre- 
sentative in France, reported to Alexander that Napoleon 
had offered Constantinople to Eussia in the following 
words : 

II (Napoléon) me dit que lui ne voyait aucun avantage 
pour la France au démembrement de l'empire ottoman, qu'il 
ne demandait pas mieux que de garantir son intégrité, qu'il 
le préférait même. . . . Cependent, que si nous tenions 
infiniment à la possession de la Moldavie et de la Valachie, 
il s'y prêterait volontiers et qu'il nous offrait le thalweg 
du Danube, mais que ce serait à condition qu'il put s'en 
dédommager ailleurs. 

E consent même à un plus grand partage de l'empire 
ottoman s'il pouvait entrer dans les plans de la Eussie. Il 
m'autorise à offrir Constantinople, car il m'assure de n'avoir 
contracté aucun engagement avec le gouvernement turc, 
et de n'avoir aucune vue sur cette capitale. . . . Dans la 
troisième supposition qui annoncerait un entier démembre- 
ment de la Turquie européenne, il consent à une extension 
pour la Eussie jusqu'à Constantinople, cette capitale y 
comprise, contre des acquisitions sur lesquelles il ne s'est 
point expliqué. 

Under unspecified circun^stances Napoleon verbally 

30 The Problem of Constantinople 

agreed to Russia's occupying Constantinople in return 
for equally unspecified compensations for France ! 

While, on November 7, 1807, Napoleon professed to 
be completely indifferent to Turkey's fate, and expressed 
his wilHngness to the Russian Ambassador that Russia 
should have Constantinople, he sent five days later, on 
November 12, instructions to M. de Caulaincourt, the 
French Ambassador in Petrograd, in which he frankly 
stated that he desired the maintenance of Turkey's integrity, 
and that he had put the project of partitioning Turkey 
before Alexander solely for the purpose of attaching him 
to France with the bonds of hope. In these most important 
instructions to Caulaincourt we read : 

Cette chute de l'empire ottoman peut être désirée par 
le cabinet de Pétersbourgh : on sait qu'elle est inévitable, 
mais il n'est point de la politique des deux cours impériales 
de l'accélérer ; elles doivent la reculer jusqu'au moment 
où le partage de ces vastes débris pourra se faire d'une 
manière plus avantageuse pour l'une et pour l'autre et où 
elles n'auront pas à craindre qu'une puissance actuellement 
leur ennemie s'en approprie, par la possession de l'Egypte 
et des îles, les plus riches dépouilles. C'est la plus forte 
objection de l'Empereur contre le partage de l'empire 

To these instructions Napoleon added hiijaself the 
following marginal note emphasising his desire to preserve 
the integrity of Turkey : 

Ainsi, le véritable désir de l'Empereur dans ce moment 
est que l'empire ottoman reste dans son intégrité actuelle, 
vivant en paix avec la Russie et la France, ayant pour 
limites le thalweg du Danube plus les places que la Turquie 
a sur ce fleuve. . . . 

The instructions to M. de Caulaincourt then continued 
as follows : 

Telles sont donc, Monsieur, sur ce point important de 
politique, les intentions de l'Empereur. Ce qu'il préférerait 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 31 

à tout serait que les Turcs pussent rester en paisible posses- 
sion de la Valachie et de la Moldavie. . . . 

Et enfin, quoique très éloigné du partage de l'empire 
turc et regardant cette mesure comme funeste, il ne veut 
pas qu'en vous expliquant avec l'Empereur Alexandre et 
son ministre, vous la condamniez d'une manière absolue : 
mais il vous prescrit de représenter avec force les motifs qui 
doivent en faire reculer l'époque. Cet antique projet de 
l'ambition russe est un lien qui peut attacher la Eussie 
à la France et, sous ce point de vue, il faut se garder de 
décourager entièrement ses espérances. 

After informing his Ambassador that the projected 
partition of Turkey was nothing but a piece of deception 
whereby to secure Alexander's support. Napoleon told 
him in the same instructions that the projected Franco- 
Russian expedition against India was a sham, and that ho 
had put it forward only with the object of frightening the 
English into making peace. That most extraordinaiy and 
most significant passage runs as follows : 

On pourra songer à une expédition dans les Indes ; plus 
elle paraît chimérique, plus la tentative qui en serait faite 
(et que ne peuvent la France et la Russie ?) épouvanterait 
les Anglais. La terreur semée dans les Indes Anglaises 
répandrait la confusion à Londres, et certainement quarante 
mille Français auxquels la Porte aurait accordé passage par 
Constantinople, se joignant à quarante mille Russes venus 
par le Caucase, suffiraient pour épouvanter l'Asie et pour 
en faire la conquête. C'est dans de pareilles vues que 
l'Empereur a laissé l'ambassadeur qu'il avait nommé pour 
la Perse se rendre à sa destination. 

Napoleon's saying, * The more fantastic an attempt to 
attack India will be, the more it will frighten the English,' 
is very amusing. There is some reason in his observation. 
England is more easily frightened by bogies than by reali- 
ties, and one of the bogies which has frightened her most 
frequently during many decades is the bogey of Constanti- 
nople which Napoleon set up a century ago. 

32 The Problem of Constantinople 

Being carried away by his enthusiasm and simple 
trustfulness, Alexander the First, remembering and often 
repeating the words w^hich Napoleon had uttered at Tilsit, 
believed that Constantinople was in his grasp. However, 
he and his advisers doubted that the joint expedition 
against India projected by Napoleon was easy to carry 
out. According to Caulaincourt's report of December 31, 
1807, Alexander the First and his minister received with 
some reserve the French proposals relating to that expedi- 
tion. They obviously estimated more correctly the diffi- 
culties which such an undertaking would encounter o-wdng 
to the vast distances and the wildness of the route. They 
did not share the illusions of Paul the First. 

The French Ambassador in Eussia was in constant 
and intimate relations with Alexander the First, and he 
reported his conversations hke an accomphshed shorthand- 
writer. According to a conversation with the Czar, which 
he communicated to Napoleon on January 21, 1808, 
Napoleon himself had admitted at Tilsit the impossibiUty 
of striking at India by a march overland. The Ambas- 
sador reported : 

Alexandre I : L'Empereur (Napoléon) m'en a parlé à 
Tilsit. Je suis entré là-dessus en détail avec lui. H m'a 
paru convaincu comme moi que c'était impossible. 

L'Ambassadeur : Les choses impossibles sont ordinaire- 
ment celles qui réussissent le mieux, parce que ce sont celles 
auxquelles on s'attend le moins. 

Alexandre I : Mais les distances, les subsistances, les 
déserts ? 

L'Ambassadeur : Les troupes de Votre Majesté qui 
sont venues d'Irkoutsk en Autriche ou en Pologne ont fait 
plus de chemin qu'il n'y en a des frontières de son empire 
dans l'Inde. Quant aux subsistances, le biscuit est si sain 
et si portatif qu'on peut en emporter beaucoup avec peu de 
transport. Tout n'est pas désert. 

Alexandre I : Mais par où pensez-vous nos armées 
devraient passer ? 

L'Ambassadeur : Il faudrait préalablement des conven- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 33 

tions avec la Perse et la Turquie. L'Armée française, 
par exemple, en ferait une avec la Porte, puisque Constanti- 
nople est son chemin naturel. Celle de Votre Majesté 
passerait par le Caucase, si on n'avait pas les moyens néces- 
saires pour lui faire traverser la mer Caspienne. 

Alexandre I ; Mon cher général, c'est un bien grand 
projet. Mais que de difficultés, pour ne pas dire plus. 

While in the time of Paul the First the combined 
French and Kussian armies were to march upon India via 
Warsaw and the Caspian Sea, Napoleon now proposed that 
the French army should march via Constantinople. He 
evidently sought for a pretext of occupying and controlling 
that town and the Straits, and with them the Eussian Black 
Sea. Meanwhile he continued playing with Alexander. 
On February 2, 1808, he wrote to his Ambassador in Kussia 
that he was on the point of arranging for an expedition 
to India, combined with the partition of Turkey, that a 
joint army of twenty to twenty-five thousand Kussians, 
eight to ten thousand Austrians, and thirty to forty thousand 
Frenchmen, should be set in motion towards India ; * que 
rien n'est facile comme cette opération ; qu'il est certain 
qu'avant que cette armée soit sur l'Euphrate la terreur 
sera en Angleterre.' On February 6, 1808, Napoleon told 
the Kussian Ambassador, Count Tolstoi, according to 
the report of the latter, * Une fois sur l'Euphrate, rien 
n'empêche d'arriver aux Indes. Ce n'est pas une raison 
pour échouer dans cette entreprise parce qu'Alexandre et 
Tamerlan n'y ont pas réussi. Il s'agit de faire mieux 

While Napoleon was amusing Alexander with vain 
hopes and fantastic proposals, the Czar had begun a very 
costly war with England in accordance with the stipulations 
of the Treaty of Tilsit, Feehng at last that the question of 
Turkey was being treated dilatorily and with the greatest 
vagueness by Napoleon, he pressed for some more definite 
arrangement, and a series of non-official conferences regarding 
that country took place between the French Ambassador 

84 The Problem of Constantinople 

in Eussia and the Eussian Minister for Foreign Affairs. 
Acting upon his secret instructions given above, Caulain- 
court prevaricated and at first refused to consider the 
question of Constantinople because that position was stra- 
tegically too important to be rashly disposed of. Being 
anxious to dispossess the Turks, largely for reasons of 
humanity, Alexander then proposed to make Constantinople 
a free town. According to Caulaincourt's report of March 1, 
1808, the Czar said to the French Ambassador, * Constanti- 
nople est un point important, trop loin de vous et que vous 
regardez peut-être comme trop important pour nous. 
J'ai une idée pour que cela ne fasse pas de difficultés, faisons- 
en une espèce de ville hbre.' 

The question arose what equivalent could be given 
to France if Eussia should take Constantinople. At the 
second conference, which took place on March 2, the Eussian 
Minister of Foreign Affairs suggested that France should 
occupy Egypt, stating, ' La France a toujours désiré l'Egypte. 
Sous le règne de l'impératrice Catherine, elle nous avait 
fait proposer par l'empereur Joseph II de nous laisser aller 
à Constantinople si nous lui laissions prendre l'Egypte.' 
The question of Constantinople itself had to be tackled. 
On March 4 the French Ambassador, speaking, of course, 
without authority, offered Constantinople to Eussia, but 
claimed at the same time the Dardanelles for France. 
In other words, he suggested that although Eussia might 
possibly be allowed to occupy Constantinople, France 
ought to dominate that town by the possession of the 
Dardanelles ! Not unnaturally, the Czar, who was apprised 
of these demands, refused even to consider that suggestion. 

In course of time, the real intentions of Napoleon were 
revealed to Eussia. The Czar recognised that Napoleon 
had fooled him and had used him as a tool. The Alhance 
was followed by a breach between the two monarchs, by 
Napoleon's defeat in 1812, and by his downfall. 

The most important documents quoted in these pages 
show conclusively that the Eussian expeditions against 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 35 

India prepared or discussed in the time of Napoleon were 
inspired not by Paul the First and Alexander the First, 
but by the great Corsican, that Alexander desired to ac- 
quire Constantinople chiefly owing to Napoleon's incitement, 
that the joint Franco-Kussian expedition against India 
was sheer and deliberate humbug to frighten the English. 
In the words of the great historian Vandal, the author of 
the best book on Napoleon and Alexander the First : 

The idea of partitioning Turkey was rather a Napoleonic 
than a Kussian idea. Napoleon rather intended to make a 
demonstration than an attack. He thought that if the 
French troops crossed the Bosphorus, Asia would be tremb- 
hng, and England's position be shaken to its very founda- 
tions ; that in view of the menace she would be wilHng to 
make peace with France. 

The documents given clearly estabUsh that Napoleon 
neither intended to give Constantinople to Kussia, nor to 
attack England in India, that on the contrary he wanted 
Constantinople for France, and that he attached greater 
value to Egypt than to Constantinople. In his instructions 
to Caulaincourt, Napoleon confessed that his plans could 
be carried out only if he ruled the sea, that a premature 
movement on Constantinople would result in England 
occupying Egypt, the most valuable part of the Turkish 
empire. Napoleon might conceivably have given to Kussia 
Constantinople for a time, but he would have done so 
only with the object of involving Kussia in trouble with 
England. According to Villemain, he said : * J'ai voulu 
refouler amicalement la Kussie en Asie ; je lui ai offert 
Constantinople.' Commenting on these words, Vandal 
tells us that, in danghng the bait of Constantinople before 
Kussia, Napoleon merely aimed at involving that country 
in a Hfe-and-death struggle with England. 

Kather by his threats of attacking India in company 
with Kussia overland than by any actual attempt at 
carrying out that mad adventure, did Napoleon create 

36 The Problem of Constantinople 

profound suspicion against Eussia among the English, 
and that suspicion has been the cause of a century of Anglo - 
Kussian suspicion, friction, and misunderstandings. At 
the Congress of Vienna, Lord Castlereagh opposed Eussia's 
acquisition of Poland, fearing that that country might 
become dangerously strong. Eeplying to the expressions 
of the British representative's fears, Alexander sent Lord 
Castlereagh, on November 21, 1814, a most remarkable 
memorandum — the clumsy translation is that given in the 
British Blue Book — ^in which we read : 

Justice established, as an immutable rule for all the 
transactions between the coalesced States, that the advan- 
tages which each of them should be summoned to reap from 
the triumph of the common cause should be in proportion 
to the perseverance of their efforts and to the magnitude of 
the sacrifices. 

The necessity for a pohtical balance in its turn prescribed 
that there should be given to each State a degree of con- 
sistency and of political Conventions in the means wliich 
each of them should possess in itself to cause them to be 

By invariably acting in accordance with the two principles 
which have been just stated the Emperor resolved to enter 
upon the war, to support it alone at its commencement, and 
to carry it on by means of a coahtion up to the single point 
at which the general pacification of Europe might be based 
on the soHd and immovable foundations of the independence 
of States and of the sacred rights of nations. The barrier 
of the Oder once overstepped, Eussia fought only for her 
Allies ; in order to increase the power of Prussia and of 
Austria, to deUver Germany, to save France from the frenzy 
of a despotism of which she alone bore the entire weight after 
her reverses. 

If the Emperor had based his policy upon combinations 
of a private and exclusive interest when the army of Napo- 
leon, collected together, so to speak, at the expense of 
Europe, had found its grave in Eussia, His Majesty could 
have made peace with France ; and without exposing 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 37 

himself to the chances of a war the issue of which was so 
much the more uncertain as it depended on the determina- 
tion of other Cabinets, without imposing fresh sacrifices 
on his people, might have contented himself, on the one 
hand, with the security acquired for his Empire ; and, on 
the other hand, have acquiesced in the conditions which 
Bonaparte, instructed by a sad experience, would have 
been eager to propose to him. But the Emperor, in the 
magnanimous enterprise to which he had applied himself, 
availed himself of the generous enthusiasm of his people 
to second the desires of all the nations of Europe. He 
fought with disinterested views for a cause with which the 
destinies of the human race were connected. Faithful to 
his principles. His Majesty has constantly laboured to favour 
the interests of the Powers which had raUied round the 
common cause, placing his own interests only in the second 
rank. He has lavished his resources in order to render 
their united efforts prosperous under the firm conviction 
that his AlHes, far from finding in a conduct so pure grounds 
for complaint, would be grateful to him for having made 
all private consideration subordinate to the success of an 
enterprise which had the general good for its object. 

The Czar spoke truly. He had fought in 1813 and 1814 
against Napoleon for purely ideal reasons. After Napoleon's 
disastrous defeat in Kussia in 1812 Kussia herself was 
secure against another attack from France. Had she 
followed a purely selfish poHcy, she would have left the 
Western Powers to their fate. While they were weakened 
in their struggle against Napoleon the powerful Eussian 
army might have secured the most far-reaching advantages 
to the country, and it might certainly have taken Constanti- 
nople. In 1813 Alexander obviously joined in the war 
against Napoleon actuated by the wish of giving at last 
a durable peace to Europe. How strongly the Czar was 
inspired by ideal and rehgious motives may be seen from 
the Holy Alliance Treaty which he drew up in his own 
handwriting, and which established that henceforth all 
rulers should be guided in their poHcy solely by th, dictates 

38 The Problem of Constantinople 

of the Christian religion. That little-known document 
was worded as follows : 

In the name of the Most Holy and Indivisible Trviity. 

Their Majesties the Emperor of Austria, the King of 
Prussia, and the Emperor of Kussia having in consequence 
of the great events which have marked the course of the 
three last years in Europe, and especially of the blessings 
which it has pleased Divine Providence to shower down upon 
those States which place their confidence and their hope in it 
alone, acquired the intimate conviction of the necessity of 
setthng the steps to be observed by the Powers in their 
reciprocal relations upon the subhme truths which the 
Holy Eehgion of our Saviour teaches : 

They solemnly declare that the present Act has no other 
object than to publish, in the face of the whole world, their 
fixed resolution, both in the administration of their respec- 
tive States and in their pohtical relations with every other 
Government, to take for their sole guide the precepts of 
that Holy Eehgion, namely, the precepts of Justice, Christian 
Charity, and Peace, which, far from being apphcable only 
to private concerns, must have an immediate influence on 
the councils of princes, and guide all their steps as being 
the only means of consoHdating human institutions and re- 
medying their imperfections. In consequence their Majes- 
ties have agreed to the following Articles : — 

Article 1. Conformably to the words of the Holy Scrip- 
tures, which command all men to consider each other as 
brethren, the Three Contracting Monarchs will remain united 
by the bonds of a true and indissoluble fraternity, and con- 
sidering each other as fellow-countrymen they will, on all 
occasions and in all places, lend each other aid and assist- 
ance and, regarding themselves towards their subjects and 
armies as fathers of famihes, they will lead them, in the 
same spirit of fraternity with which they are animated, 
to protect Religion, Peace, and Justice. 

Article 2. In consequence the sole principle of force, 
whether between the said Governments or between their 
Subjects, shall be that of doing each other reciprocal service, 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 39 

and of testifying by unalterable goodwill the mutual affec- 
tion with which they ought to be animated, to consider 
themselves all as members of one and the same Christian 
nation : the three allied Princes looking on themselves as 
merely delegated by Providence to govern three branches 
of the one family, namely, Austria, Prussia, and Russia, 
thus confessing that the Christian world, of which they and 
their people form a part, has in reahty no other Sovereign 
than EQm to whom alone power really belongs, because in 
Him alone are found all the treasures of love, science, and 
infinite wisdom, that is to say, God, our Divine Saviour, 
the Word of the Most High, the Word of Life. Their 
Majesties consequently recommend to their people, with the 
most tender sohcitude, as the sole means of enjoying that 
Peace which arises from a good conscience, and which alone 
is durable, to strengthen themselves every day more and 
more in the principles and exercise of the duties which the 
Divine Saviour has taught to mankind. 

Article 3. All the Powers who shall choose solemnly to 
avow the sacred principles which have dictated the present 
Act, and shall acknowledge how important it is for the 
happiness of nations, too long agitated, that these truths 
should henceforth exercise over the destinies of mankind 
all the influence which belongs to them, will be received 
with equal ardour and affection into this Holy Alliance. 

After the Peace of Vienna an era of reaction began, and 
the hostiUty shown by the Governments to the people was 
attributed not to Prince Metternich, who was chiefly 
responsible for it, but to the Czar and to the Holy Alhance, 
which was considered to be an instrument of oppression. 
However, the fact that the Holy Alhance was a purely ideal 
compact is attested by Prince Metternich himself in his 
Memoirs. After describing its genesis, Metternich wrote : 

Voilà l'histoire de la Sainte Alliance, qui même dans 
l'esprit prévenu de son auteur, ne devait être qu'une mani- 
festation morale, tandis qu'aux yeux des autres signataires 
de l'acte elle n'avait pas même cette signification ; par 
conséquent elle ne mérite aucune des interprétations que 

40 The Problem of Constantinople 

l'esprit de parti lui a données dans la suite. . . . Ultérieure- 
ment il n'a jamais été question, entre les cabinets, de la 
* Sainte Alliance,' et jamais il n'aurait pu en être question. 
Les partis hostiles aux Souverains ont seuls exploité cet 
acte, et s'en servis comme d'une arme pour calomnier les 
intentions les plus pures de leurs adversaires. La ' Sainte 
Alliance ' n'a pas été fondée pour restreindre les droits des 
peuples ni pour favoriser l'absolutisme et la tyrannie sous 
n'importe quelle forme. Elle fut uniquement l'expression 
des sentiments mystiques de l'Empereur Alexandre et 
l'application des principes du Christianisme à la politique. 

Metternich described Alexander's hberal and generous 
views as * chimerical, revolutionary, and Jacobinic ' in his 
letters to the Austrian Emperor, and in his Memoirs and 
his correspondence he prided himself that he had succeeded 
in regaining the Czar to reaction. Metternich and other 
Austrian and German statesmen strove to keep Kussia 
backward and weak by recommending a policy of repression 
and persecution. Austria and Germany have been largely 
responsible for Russian iUiberahsm and Eussian oppression 
in the past. 

Let us now cast a brief glance at the events which 
brought about the Crimean War. 

During the first half of the nineteenth century Turkey 
was almost continually in a state of the gravest disorder, 
and its downfall seemed to be imminent. Alexander the 
First had died in 1825, and had been succeeded by Nicholas 
the First. BeHeving a catastrophe in Turkey possible, 
he appointed, in 1829, a special committee, consisting of 
the most eminent statesmen, to consider the problem of 
Turkey. According to de Martens, * Recueil des traités 
de la Russie,' Count Nesselrode, the Vice -Chancellor of 
the Empire, stated before that Committee that the preserva- 
tion of Turkey was rather useful than harmful to the true 
interests of Russia, that it was in the interest of the country 
to have for neighbour a weak State such as Turkey. After 
thorough and lengthy discussion, the following resolutions 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 41 

were adopted at a sitting presided over by the Czar 
himself : 

(1) That the advantages of maintaining Turkey in 
Europe are greater than the disadvantages ; 

(2) That consequently the downfall of Turkey would be 
opposed to Eussia*s own interests ; 

(3) That therefore it would be prudent to prevent its 
fall and to take advantage of the opportunity which might 
offer for concluding an honourable peace. However, if the 
last hour of Turkey in Europe should have struck, Kussia 
would be compelled to take the most energetic measures 
in order to prevent the openings leading to the Black Sea 
falHng into the hands of another Great Power. 

During the period preceding the outbreak of the Crimean 
War, Kussia's policy was directed by the principles laid 
down in 1829, and the war itself was obviously due to mis- 
understandings between England and Eussia, and to the 
prevalence of that distrust of Kussia among Enghshmen 
which Napoleon had created in the past. Foreseeing the 
possibility of Turkey's collapse, the Czar desired to provide 
toward such an event in conjunction with England. With 
this object in view, he told the British Ambassador on 
January 9, 1853 : 

The affairs of Turkey are in a very disorganised condi- 
tion ; the country itself seems to be falling to pieces ; the 
fall will be a great misfortune, and it is very important that 
England and Eussia should come to a perfectly good under- 
standing upon these affairs and that neither should take 
any decisive step. 

Tenez ; nous avons sur les bras un homme malade — un 
homme gravement malade ; ce sera, je vous le dis franche- 
ment, un grand malheur si, un de ces jours, il devait nous 
échapper, surtout avant que toutes les dispositions néces- 
saires fussent prises. Mais enfin ce n'est point le moment 
de vous parler de cela. 

Five days later, on January 14, the Czar disclosed his 
intentions more clearly to the British Ambassador. Fearing 

42 The Problem of Constantinople 

that in case of Turkey's downfall England might seize 
Constantinople, and desiring to prevent that event in 
accordance with the principles laid down by the Committee 
of 1829 and given above, he stated : 

Maintenant je désire vous parler en ami et en gentleman ; 
si nous arrivons à nous entendre sur cette affaire, l'Angleterre 
et moi, pour le reste, peu m'importe ; il m'est indifférent 
ce que font ou pensent les autres. Usant donc de franchise, 
je vous dis nettement, que si l'Angleterre songe à s'établir 
un de ces jours à Constantinople, je ne le permettrai pas ; 
je ne vous prête point ces intentions, mais il vaut mieux 
dans ces occasions parler clairement ; de mon côté, je suis 
également disposé de prendre l'engagement de ne pas m'y 
étabhr, en propriétaire, il s'entend, car en dépositaire je ne 
dis pas ; il pourrait se faire que les circonstances me misent 
dans le cas d'occuper Constantinople, si rien ne se trouve 
prévu si l'on doit tout laisser aller au hasard. 

Commenting upon the Czar's confidential statements, 
the Ambassador reported that he was * impressed with the 
belief that ... his Majesty is sincerely desirous of acting 
in harmony with her Majesty's Government.' In a further 
conversation the Czar told the Ambassador on February 21 : 

The Turkish Empire is a thing to be tolerated, not to be 
reconstituted. As to Egypt, I quite understand the impor- 
tance to England of that territory. I can then only see that 
if, in the event of a distribution of the Ottoman succession 
upon the fall of the Empire, you should take possession of 
Egypt, I shall have no objections to offer. I would say the 
same thing of Candia ; that island might suit you, and I do 
not know why it should not become an English possession. 

The intentions of the Czar, though somewhat vaguely 
expressed, were perfectly clear. He wished to bring about 
a peaceful solution of the Turkish problem in case of Turkey's 
downfall. In accordance with the principles laid down 
in 1829, he did not desire to see the Dardanelles in the 
hands of a first-rate Power, and was unwilhng to see England 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 43 

established in Constantinople and dominating the Black 
Sea. He was apparently quite willing that Constantinople 
and the Straits should be held by some small Power instead 
of Turkey, or that the position should be internationalised 
in some form or other in accordance with the ideas expressed 
by his brother in 1808, so long as he could feel reasonably 
secure that no foreign Power would seize the openings 
of the Black Sea and attack Eussia in its most vulnerable 
quarter. If England should meet him in his desire to 
regulate the position of Constantinople in a way which 
would not threaten Russia's security in the Black Sea, 
he was quite wilhng that England should occupy Egypt. 
Possibly the idea that Russia should acquire Constantinople 
was at the back of his mind, but as Egypt was far more 
valuable than Constantinople, he had offered beforehand 
the most ample compensation to this country. Un- 
fortunately, the distrust existing against Russia since the 
time of Napoleon was too deeply rooted. The Czar's 
proposals were treated almost contemptuously. In reply- 
ing to the Czar, the British Government, adverting to the 
sufferings of the Christians hving in Turkey upon which 
Nicholas had dwelt, stated on March 28 : 

. . . The treatment of Christians is not harsh, and the 
toleration exhibited by the Porte towards this portion of its 
subjects might serve as an example to some Governments 
who look with contempt upon Turkey as a barbarous Power. 

Her Majesty's Government beheve that Turkey only 
requires forbearance on the part of its Allies, and a deter- 
mination not to press their claims in a manner humiliat- 
ing to the dignity and independence of the Sultan. 

The English Government, being filled with suspicions, 
did not even make a serious attempt to discover the aims 
and intentions of the Czar. Vaguely dreading Russia, 
England supported Turkey against that country. Thus 
Great Britain has been largely responsible not only for 
the Crimean War and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877, but 

44 The Problem of Constantinople • 

also for the ill-treatment of the Christians and the massacres 
which have taken place throughout Turkey during many- 

What has created England's instinctive fear of Eussia ? 
If we look at the map, if we consider size to be a criterion 
of national strength, then Eussia is immensely powerful. 
However, the Eusso-Turkish War, the Eusso-Japanese 
War, and the present War have shown that we need perhaps 
not have feared Eussia's strength so much as her weakness. 
If Eussia had been stronger, if Eussia's strength had been 
in accordance with the views which until lately were gener- 
ally held here, the present War would not have broken out. 
German soldiers evidently appraised the mihtary power 
of Eussia far more correctly than did British statesmen, 
who are habitually ill-informed on military matters. By 
opposing Eussia in the past, England has worked not for 
her own advantage and for the security of India, but for 
the benefit of Germany and Austria. England's anti- 
Eussian policy and Eussia's anti-British policy were largely 
inspired first from Paris and then from Berlin and Vienna. 
That is plain to all who are acquainted with recent diplo- 
matic history. 

The century-old antagonism between England and 
Eussia has been the work of Napoleon, of Bismarck, and 
of Bismarck's successors. The Eussian danger, Eussia's 
aggressiveness, and Eussia's constant desire to seize India, 
are largely figments of the imagination. Eussia has Httle 
desire to possess India. If she had it she would probably 
be unable to administer it. The late Czar said to Prince 
Hohenlohe on September 6, 1896 : ' Who is to take India 
from the English ? We are not stupid enough to have 
that plan.' It would be as difiScult for Eussia to attack 
India at the present day as it was in the time of the Emperor 
Paul. It is true Eussia has now a couple of railways which 
run up to the Indian frontier, but India also has railways ; 
these will facilitate the concentration of troops at any 
point at which that country may be attacked, and with 

Gi^eat Problems of British Statesmanship 45 

the development of transport by land and sea, and the 
growth of the Empire, the danger of an attack upon India 
by Kussia seems to be growing smaller from year to year. 
In the picturesque language of the late Lord Salisbury, 
England backed the wrong horse in opposing Kussia's 
policy towards Turkey in the past. 

National policy is, as a rule, in accordance with the 
national character. The Kussians are rather dreamers 
than men of action, rather men of quiet thought than 
men of ambition. The heroes of Tolstoy and of other 
great Kussian authors are not men of the Nietzsche type, 
but men of peace, ideaHsts, desiring the best, animated 
by a deep sense of rehgion. The strong ideahst strain 
in the Eussian character has found expression not only 
in the ideahst poHcy followed by Alexander the First and 
Nicholas the Second, but in that of other Kussian Czars as 
well. Kussia has had a Peter the Great, but she has not 
had a Napoleon, and she is not hkely to have one. Those 
who beheve that Russia aims at dominating the world, at 
conquering all Asia, and invading India, are neither 
acquainted with the Kussian character nor with the re- 
sources, the capabiHties, and the needs of the country. 

Kussia is a very large State. It is extremely powerful 
for defence, because it is protected by vast distances, a 
rigorous chmate, and very inferior means of communica- 
tion. The same circumstances which make Kussia 
exceedingly powerful for defence make her very weak 
for a war of aggression. That has been seen in all her 
foreign wars without a single exception. Last, but not 
least, the Kussian people and their rulers have become 
awakened to the necessity of modernising the country. 
A new Kussia has arisen. Kussia has made rapid progress 
during the last two decades, but her progress has perhaps 
been slower than that of other nations. Hence Kussia 
is still very poor and backward. She has some railways, 
but her means of inland transport are totally insufficient. 
She has scarcely any roads, except a few military ones. 

46 The Problem of Constantinople 

France has ten times the mileage of roads possessed by 
Eussia. During the Great War we have frequently heard 
of the absence of roads in Poland and of the impossibility 
of moving troops through a sea of mud. Yet Poland is 
that district of Eussia which is best provided with roads. 

The peasants throughout Eussia use still almost ex- 
clusively wooden ploughs with which only the surface can 
be scratched. By changing their wooden ploughs for iron 
ones they could plough twice as deeply and double their 
harvests, but they are too poor to provide modem agri- 
cultural implements. In many Eussian villages no iron 
implements, not even iron nails, may be seen, and the 
methods of Eussia's agriculture are still those of the Dark 

The manufacturing industries of the country are in 
their infancy. The vast majority of the people can neither 
read nor write, and newspapers exist only in the large 
towns. If we compare the economic and social conditions 
of Eussia with those existing in other countries, it becomes 
clear that the principal need of Eussia is not further 
expansion, but internal development, and in view of the 
poverty of tl^e country the development of the great Eussian 
estate is possible only in time of peace. For her the 
restriction of armaments is more necessary than it is for 
any other Great Power. The principal interest of Eussia 
is peace. That has become clear to every thinking Eussian 
and to the whole Eussian nation. 

When the great Peace Congress assembles the question 
of Constantinople will come up for settlement, and from 
interested quarters we shall be told once more that Constanti- 
nople is * the key of the world.' A glance at the map 
shows that Constantinople is not the key of the world, 
and is not even the key of the Mediterranean, but that it 
is merely the key of the Black Sea. Prince Bismarck 
possessed military ability of the highest kind, and, being 
keenly aware that foreign poHcy and strategy must go 
hand in hand, he kept constantly in touch with Germany's 
leading soldiers. He clearly recognised the fallacy of 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 47 

Napoleon's celebrated epigram. Hence, when a member 
of the Eeichstag, referring to the Eastern Question, spoke 
of the Dardanelles as the key to the dominion of the world, 
Bismarck smilingly rephed, ' If the Dardanelles are the 
key to the dominion of the world it obviously follows that 
up to now the Sultan has dominated the world.' Constanti- 
nople has been possessed by various States, but none of 
them has so far dominated the world. In Bismarck's 
words, Constantinople has disagreed with all the nations 
which have possessed it hitherto. Why that has been 
the case will presently be shown. 

So far Constantinople has not given a great accession 
of strength to the nations which have held it. Far from 
considering Constantinople in the hands of Kussia as a 
source of strength, Bismarck rather saw in it a source of 
weakness and of danger. He wrote in his * Memoirs ' : 
' I beheve that it would be advantageous for Germany if 
the Eussians in one way or another, physically or diplo- 
matically, were to estabhsh themselves at Constantinople 
and had to defend that position.' 

Kussia is almost invulnerable as long as she can defend 
herself with her best weapons, her vast distances, her lack 
of railways and roads, and her rigorous chmate. But the 
same elements become disadvantageous to Kussia's defence 
if a highly vulnerable point near her frontier can be attacked. 
In the Crimean War Kussia almost bled to death because 
of the difficulty of sending troops to the Crimea. Her 
failure in Manchuria arose from the same cause. 

At present Kussia possesses only one point of capital 
importance on the sea, St. Petersburg, which can 
comparatively easily be attacked by an army landed in 
the neighbourhood. If she occupies Constantinople, she 
must be ready to defend it, and a very large number of 
troops will be required to protect the shores of the Sea of 
Marmora and the Straits against an enemy. 

It is not generally known that the Constantinople 
position is not circumscribed but very extensive, and that 
it is not easy to defend it against a mobile and powerful 

48 The Problem of Constantinople 

enemy, especially if it is simultaneously attacked by land 
and sea. The small maps of Turkey are deceptive. It is 
hardly realised that the distance from the entrance of the 
Dardanelles to the exit of the Bosphorus is nearly two 
hundred miles. Strategists are agreed that a Power holding 
Constantinople, the Bosphorus, and the Dardanelles must 
possess territory at least as far inland as the Enos-Midia 
line — that is, the line from the town of Enos opposite the 
island of Samothraki to the town of Midia on the Black 
Sea. A straight line connecting these two towns would 
be 120 miles long, or exactly as long as the distance which 
separates London from Cardiff, Paris from Boulogne, or 
Strasburg from Coblenz. It is clear that a large arm}- and 
extensive fortifications are needed to defend so broad a 
front against a determined attack. In addition, Eussia 
would have to defend the shore of the Gulf of Saros and 
the sea-coast of the peninsula of GaUpoh against a landing. 
This shore-Une extends to about one hundred miles. Lastly, 
she would have to defend the opening of the Dardanelles 
and to prevent an attack upon the Constantinople position 
across the narrows from the Asiatic mainland. 

It would be difficult enough to defend this vulnerable 
and extensive position if it was organically connected with 
Eussia. It will of course be still more difficult to defend 
it in view of the fact that Eoumania and Bulgaria, two 
powerful States, separate Eussia from Constantinople. 
Eussia can reach Constantinople only by sea unless she 
should succeed in incorporating Eoumania and Bulgaria 
in some way or other, or unless the entire north of Asia 
Minor should fall into Eussia's hands, enabhng that country 
to create a land connection between her Caucasian provinces 
and the southern shores of the Sea of Marmora and the 
two Straits. Both events appear unlikely. 

The Constantinople position, if held by Eussia, would 
be detached from that country. The Eussian troops 
garrisoning it would be cut off from the motherland in 
case of war. Hence they would have to be prepared for 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 49 

a sudden attack and to be always strong enough to defend 
the peninsula unaided for a very long time. They would 
have to be provided with gigantic stores of food and of 
ammunition. It is therefore clear that Eussia would 
require a very large permanent garrison for securing the 
integrity of Constantinople. In case of war she would 
undoubtedly require several hundred thousand men for 
that purpose. Possibly she would need as many as 500,000 
men if a determined attack by land and sea was hkely ; 
and herein hes the reason for the opinion of the Commission 
of 1829 that it would be to Eussia's advantage if the status 
quo at Constantinople was not disturbed, if a weak Power 
was in the possession of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. 
There are two points of very great strategical importance 
in the Eastern Mediterranean : the position of Constanti- 
nople and Egypt; and Egypt is undoubtedly by far the 
more important of the two. When in 1797 Napoleon 
reached the Adriatic he was struck by the incomparable 
advantages offered by the position of Egypt, and he ear- 
marked that country for France in case of a partition of 
Turkey. A year later he headed an expedition to Egypt, 
not merely in order to strike at England, but largely, if 
not chiefly, in order to conquer that most important 
strategical position for France. While the Sea of Marmora 
and the Straits are merely the connecting hnks between 
the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, Egypt, especially 
since the construction of the Suez Canal, is the connecting 
hnk of the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, of Europe 
and Asia, of the most populated continents and the busiest 
seas. Hence the Suez Canal route is, and will remain for 
centuries, the most valuable strategical and trade route in 
the world, and it is of course of particular importance to 
the nation which possesses India. Bismarck said to Busch : 

Egypt is as necessary to England as is her daily bread, 
because of the Suez Canal, which is the shortest connection 
between the Eastern and Western halves of the British 

50 The Problem of Constantinople 

Empire. The Suez Canal is like the nerve at the back of 
the neck which connects the spine with the brain. 

Those who believe in Napoleonic epigrams will find 
several remarkable epigrams relating to Egypt. The great 
Corsican said to Montholon, * Si j'étais resté en Egypte, 
je serais à présent empereur d'Orient. . . . L'Orient n'attend 
qu'un homme.' He said to Las Cases, * De l'Egypte j'aurais 
atteint Constantinople et les Indes ; j'eusse changé la 
face du monde.' He dictated to Gourgaud, * Qui est 
maître de l'Egypte l'est de l'Inde.* The last maxim 
should be particularly interesting to Englishmen. How 
great a value Napoleon attached to Egypt will be seen 
from his ' Memoirs ' dictated to Las Cases, Gourgaud, and 
Montholon at St. Helena, and from volumes xxix., xxx., 
and xxxi. of his * Correspondence.' 

If we wish to compare the relative importance of Con- 
stantinople and of the Suez Canal, we need only assume 
that another Power possessed Egypt and Great Britain 
Constantinople. While Constantinople would be useless 
to Great Britain, the occupation of Egypt by a non-British 
Power would jeopardise Britain's position in India and her 
Eastern trade. Napoleon, with his keen eye for strategy, 
told O'Meara : 

Egypt once in possession of the French, farewell India 
to the Enghsh. Turkey must soon fall, and it will be im- 
possible to divide it without allotting some portion to France, 
which will be Egypt. But if you had kept Alexandria, you 
would have prevented the French from obtaining it, and of 
ultimately gaining possession of India, which will certainly 
follow their possession of Egypt. 

In the sailing-ship era the position of Constantinople 
was far more important to England than it is at present. 
Then Kussia, dominating Constantinople, might conceivably 
have sent a large fleet into the Mediterranean and have 
seized Malta, Egypt, and Gibraltar before England could 
have received any news of the saiHng of the Kussian armada. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 51 

With the advent of the electric cable, wireless telegraphy, 
and steam shipping, that danger has disappeared. 

From the Eussian point of view Constantinople is 
valuable partly for ideal, partly for strategical reasons, and 
partly because the Narrows are economically of the highest 
importance to Eussia. Their closure destroys the most 
important part. of Eussia's sea trade. 

The glamour of Constantinople and its incomparable 
position on the Golden Horn has fascinated men since the 
earliest times. Constantinople might become the third 
capital of Eussia, and it would, for historical and religious 
reasons, be a capital worthy of that great Empire. From the 
strategical point of view Eussia desires to possess Constan- 
tinople not for aggression, but for defence, for protecting 
the Black Sea shores. Whether, however, she would be 
wise in accepting Constantinople, even if it were offered 
to her by all Europe, seems somewhat doubtful. It is 
true that Constantinople dominates the Black Sea. At 
the same time Constantinople is dominated by the lands 
of the Balkan Peninsula. In Tallejn-and's words : * Le 
centre de gravité du monde n'est ni sur l'Elbe, ni sur l'Adige, 
il est là-bas aux frontières de l'Europe, sur le Danube.' 
Similarly Marshal Mar mont, Duke of Eagusa, one of 
Napoleon's best generals, said in his * Memoirs ' that 
Wallachia, Macedonia, and Bulgaria were, in his opinion, 
the key of the Orient. He thought that the security of 
Europe was less threatened by Eussia possessing Constan- 
tinople, supposing the Austrians occupied the countries 
at the mouth of the Danube, than if Constantinople was 
held by French and EngHsh troops while the Eussians were 
masters of the lower Danube. The reasoning of Talleyrand 
and Marmont seems faultless. It will probably be con- 
firmed by the British strategists, who ought to be consulted 
by our statesmen on the strategical value of Constantinople. 
A |demonstration of the Balkan States, especially if it 
were backed by their Central European supporters, against 
the 120 miles of the Enos-Midia line would obviously convert 

52 The Problem of Constantinople 

the Constantinople position from a strategical asset into 
a very serious strategical liability. It is true that in the 
event of a Eussian attack upon India, England could no 
longer attack Eussia in the Black Sea in conjunction with 
Turkey. However, as Constantinople is a far more valuable 
point to Eussia than the Crimea or Odessa, and as the 
Balkan States themselves may desire to possess Constan- 
tinople, it is obvious that by occupying it Eussia would 
not increase her power, but would merely expose herself 
to greater dangers than heretofore. 

Various proposals have been made for deahng with 
Constantinople and the Straits after the expulsion of the 
Turks. Some have advocated that Constantinople should 
be given to Eussia, some that the position should be given 
to some small Power, such as Bulgaria, or be divided between 
two or more Powers, one possessing the southern and the 
other the northern shore ; others have recommended that 
that much coveted position should be neutralised in some 
form or other. The importance of Constantinople to 
Eussia lies in this, that it is the door to her house, that he 
who holds Constantinople is able to attack Eussia in the 
Black Sea. Consequently Eussia and Eussia 's principal 
opponents would continue to strive for the possession of 
the Narrows, supposing they had been given to some small 
Power, to several Powers in joint occupation, or had been 
neutralised. The struggle for Constantinople can obviously 
end only when the town is possessed by a first-rate Power. 
That seems the only solution which promises finality, and 
the only Power which has a strong claim upon the possession 
of Constantinople is evidently Eussia. 

Until recently it seemed possible that Constantinople 
would become the capital of one of the Balkan States or 
of a Balkan Confederation. Many years ' ago Mazzini, 
addressing the awakening Balkan nations, admonished 
them ; * Stringetevi in una Confederazione e sia Constan- 
tinopoli la vostra città anfizionica, la città dei vostri poteri 
centrali, aperta a tutti, serva a nessuno.' The internecine 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 53 

war of the Balkan States has destroyed, apparently for 
ever, the possibility that Constantinople will belong to 
the Balkan peoples, and perhaps it is better that it is so. 
Constantinople might have proved as fatal an acquisition 
to the Balkan peoples as it has proved to the Turks, and 
for all we know it may not prove a blessing to Eussia. 

Those who fear that Eussia might become a danger 
to Europe in the future, and who would therefore like to 
see the status quo preserved both in Austria-Hungary and 
at Constantinople — at first sight Austria-Hungary, as at 
present constituted, appears to be an efficient counterpoise 
to Eussia — seem very short-sighted. I think I have shown 
that Eussia 's acquisition of Constantinople, far from in- 
creasing Eussia 's military strength, would greatly increase 
her vulnerabiHty. Hence the possession of Constantinople 
should make Eussia more cautious and more peaceful. 
Similarly, the dissolution of Austria-Hungary into its com- 
ponent parts — an event which at present is contemplated 
with dread by those who fear Eussia's power — would ap- 
parently not increase Eussia 's strength or the strength 
of Slavism, but would more likely be disadvantageous to 
both. The weakness of Austria-Hungary arises from its 
disunion. Owing to its disunion the country is militarily 
and economically weak. If Austria-Hungary should be 
replaced by a number of self-governing States these will 
develop much faster. Some of these States will be Slavonic, 
but it is not likely that they will become Eussia 's tools. 
Liberated nations, as Bismarck has told us, are not grate- 
ful, but exacting. The Balkan nations which Eussia has 
freed from the Tmkish yoke, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and 
Eoumania, have promptly asserted their independence 
from Eussia, and have developed a strong individuahty 
of their own. The Slavonic nationalities of Austria-Hun- 
gary also would probably assert their independence. For 
economic reasons the small and medium-sized nations in 
the Balkan Peninsula and within the limits of present-day 
Austria-Hungary would probably combine, and if they 

54 The Problem of Constantinople 

were threatened from Kussia they would naturally form 
a strong political union. A greater Austria-Hungary, a 
State on a federal basis, would arise in the place of the 
present State, and, strengthened by self-government, the 
power of that confederation would be far greater than 
that possessed by the Dual Monarchy. 

Since the time when these pages were written the Kussian 
autocracy has disappeared and has been replaced by the 
repubhc. Many of the Eussian democratic leaders have 
proclaimed that they are opposed to the autocratic pohcy of 
conquest, that they do not wish to possess Constantinople. 
It remains to be seen whether the new leaders of Eussia 
will abandon the century-old aim of their country. Not 
only the Eussian sovereigns but the Eussian people them- 
selves have for centuries striven to control the Narrows 
which connect the Black Sea with the Mediterranean, 
guided not merely by ambition but by the conviction that 
Eussia required an adequate outlet to the sea for economic 
reasons. The Eussian sovereigns who tried to conquer 
Constantinople followed, therefore, not a personal but a 
national pohcy. When, at the beginning of the War, Eussia's 
war aims were discussed in the Imperial Duma, practically 
all the speakers demanded the acquisition of Constantinople. 
The wealthiest districts of Eussia he in the south. The 
north is largely barren. The productions of Southern 
Eussia go towards the Black Sea by the magnificent Eussian 
rivers and by railways. The War has shown that the Power 
which controls the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles can 
blockade Eussia, can strangulate the economic hfe of the 
country. That is a position which may appear undesirable 
even to the most enthusiastic Eussian democrats and to 
the most convinced anti-annexationists. After all, a great 
nation requires adequate access to the sea. 



The problem of Constantinople has perplexed and dis- 
tressed the world during many centuries. Numerous wars 
have been waged, and innumerable lives have been sacrificed 
by the nations desiring to possess or control that glorious 
city and the wonderful Narrows which separate Europe 
from Asia and which connect the Black Sea and the 
Mediterranean, the East and the West, the Slavonic and 
the Latin- Germanic world. Hitherto it was generally 
beHeved that an attempt to settle the question of Constan- 
tinople would inevitably lead to a world war among the 
claimant States, that their agreement was impossible. 
Hence diplomats thought with dread of the question of 
Constantinople, which seemed insoluble. The Great War 
has broadened men's minds, and has bridged many historic 
differences. It has created new enemies, but it has also 
created new friends, and it appears that the problem of 
Constantinople will peacefully and permanently be settled 
when the Entente Powers have achieved their final victory. 
However, while we may rejoice that the ever-threatening 
problem of Constantinople has at last been ehminated, it 
seems possible that another, a far greater and a far more 
dangerous one, may almost immediately arise in its place. 
The question of Asiatic Turkey is forcing itself to the front, 
and it may convulse the world in a series of devastating 

* The Nineteenth Century and After , June 1916. 

56 Tïie Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

wars unless it be solved together with the other great 
questions which will come up for settlement at the Peace 

Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. Not only 
the map of Europe, but that of the world, will have to be 
re-drawn. The coming settlement will be greater, and 
may be far more difficult, than that made at Vienna a 
hundred years ago. It would therefore not be surprising 
if those of the assembled statesmen who are not sufficiently 
acquainted with the significance, the importance, and the 
danger of the problem of Asiatic Turkey should say, * We 
have our hands full. Let us not touch the question of 
Asiatic Turkey. That is a matter for another generation.' 
That attitude is understandable, but it should not deter 
those statesmen who reaUse the portent and the peril of 
the Turco-Asiatic problem, and the danger of leaving it 
in abeyance, from impressing upon^their less well-informed 
colleagues the necessity of a settlement. 

The question of Asiatic Turkey is undoubtedly a far 
more difficult question than that of Constantinople. Con- 
stantinople and the Straits are, as I have shown, not the 
key to the Dominion of the World, as Napoleon the First 
asserted, but merely the key to the Black Sea. Former 
generations, uncritically repeating Napoleon's celebrated 
dictum, have greatly overrated the strategical importance 
of that wonderful site. The importance and value of 
Asiatic Turkey on the other hand can scarcely be ex- 
aggerated, for it occupies undoubtedly the most important 
strategical position in the world. It forms the nucleus 
and centre of the Old World. It separates, and at the 
same time connects, Europe, Asia, and Africa, three con- 
tinents which are inhabited by approximately nine-tenths 
of the human race. 

If we wish clearly to understand the importance of 
Asiatic Turkey, we must study its position not only from 
the strategical point of view, but also from the rehgio- 
political and from the economic points of view^ 


Great Problems of British Statesmanship 57 

Asiatic Turkey occupies a most commanding position, 
both for war and for trade. A glance at a map shows 
that Asiatic Turkey is the link and the bridge which connects 
Africa with Asia and both with Europe. It occupies a 
position whence three continents may easily be threatened 
and attacked. The strategical importance of a site depends 
obviously not only on its geographical position, but also 
on its mihtary value, on the faciHties which it offers both 
for defence and for attack. Looked at from the defensive 
point of view, Asiatic Turkey forms an enormous natural 
fortress of the greatest strength. The waters of the Black 
Sea, of the Mediterranean, of the Ked Sea, and of the Persian 
Gulf efficiently shelter the larger part of its borders, while 
its land frontiers are equally powerfully protected by 
gigantic waterless deserts and lofty mountain ranges. 
Eange after range of mountains protect Asiatic Turkey 
towards Russia and Persia. The non- Turkish part of 
Arabia is a torrid desert, and one of the least-known and 
least-explored countries in the world. In the south-west 
Asiatic Turkey is protected by the barren waste of the 
Sinai Peninsula, the Suez Canal, and the Sahara. Thus, 
Asiatic Turkey enjoys virtually aU the advantages of an 
island, being surrounded on all sides by the sea and sandy 
and mountainous wastes. 

Asia Minor is the nucleus, the territorial base, and the 
citadel of Asiatic Turkey. High mountain walls rise on 
its Black Sea and Mediterranean shores, and it is sheltered 
towards the south by the mighty Taurus chain of mountains 
which stretches from the Gulf of Alexandretta, opposite 
Cyprus, to the Persian frontier. Thus the Taurus forms 
a wall of defence from 7,000 to 10,000 feet high against 
an enemy advancing upon Asia Minor from the east or 
from the south, from the Red Sea and Sjrria, or from the 
Persian Gulf and Mesopotamia. 

The best defence is the attack. The importance of a 
fortress Hes not so much in its strength for purely passive 
defence as in its usefulness as a base for an attack. An 

58 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

impregnable fortress which cannot serve as a base of attack 
because it lies on an inaccessible mountain or on an out- 
of-the-way island can safely be disregarded by an enemy, 
and is therefore mihtarily worthless. Asiatic Turkey is 
a natural fortress which possesses vast possibihties for 
attack, for it borders upon some of the most valuable and 
most vulnerable positions in the world, and it is able to 
dominate them and to seize them by a surprise attack. In 
the north it can threaten the rich Caucasian Provinces 
of Kussia and their oil-fields with Tiflis, Batum, Baku. 
From its 600 miles of Black Sea coast it can attack the 
rich Russian Black Sea provinces with the Crimea, Odessa, 
Nikolaeff, and Kherson. It can easily strike across the 
narrow Bosphorus at Constantinople. Towards the west 
of Asia Minor, and in easy reach of it, he the beautiful 
Greek and Itahan islands in the iEgean, which until recently 
belonged to Turkey, and Hes Greece itself, which for centuries 
was a Turkish possession. West of Turkish Syria he the 
Suez Canal, Egypt, Erythrea, and the Itahan and French 
Colonies of North Africa. 

A powerful Asiatic Turkey can obviously dominate 
not only the Bosphorus, the Dardanelles, and the Suez 
Canal, but the very narrow entrance of the Red Sea near 
Aden, and that of the Persian Gulf near Muscat as well. 
It must also not be forgotten that only a comparatively 
short distance, a stretch of country under the nominal 
rule of weak and decadent Persia, separates Asiatic Turkey 
from the Indian frontier. It is clear that Asiatic Turkey, 
lying in the centre of the Old World, is at the same time 
a natural fortress of the greatest defensive strength and 
an ideal base for a surprise attack upon Southern Russia, 
Constantinople, the -3Egean Islands, Greece, the Suez 
Canal, Egypt, Persia, Afghanistan, and India. 

Time is money. From year to year international 
trafiBc tends more and more toward the shortest and the 
most direct, the best strategical, routes. Asia Minor Hes 
across one of the greatest lines of world traffic. It hes 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 59 

across the direct line which connects London, Paris, and 
Berhn with Karachi, Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Canton, 
and Shanghai. The enormous mountains of Afghanistan 
and of Tibet and the great Kussian inland seas compel 
the main railway Hnes connecting Europe and Asia which 
undoubtedly will be built in the future to be led via Con- 
stantinople and Asia Minor, and not via Kussia and Southern 
Siberia. Year by year the importance of the land route 
to India and China by way of Asia Minor will therefore 
grow. Year by year the strategical value of the railways 
running through Asia Mnor fi*om Constantinople towards 
Mosul and Baghdad will increase. Asiatic Turkey com- 
mands by its position the shortest, and therefore the best, 
land route to India and China, the route of the future. 
By commanding the Suez Canal and the Narrow Straits 
which lead from the Indian Ocean to the Ked Sea and to 
the Persian Gulf, that country is able to threaten with 
a flank attack the sea route to India and China not merely 
in one but in three places. As the opening of the Persian 
Gulf hes not far from the Indian coast, it is obvious that 
a strong Power holding Asiatic Turkey would be able to 
threaten with its navy not only the Mediterranean route 
to India and the Far East, but the Cape route as well. 

The strategical position of Asiatic Turkey curiously 
resembles that of Switzerland. Being surrounded by 
lofty mountains, vast deserts, and the sea, Natm-e has 
made Asiatic Turkey an impregnable fortress, another 
Switzerland. However, while httle Switzerland dominates 
by its natural strength and strategical position merely 
three European States — Germany, France, and Italy — 
Asiatic Turkey dominates the three most populous, and 
therefore the three most important, continents of the world. 

Asiatic Turkey looks small on the ordinary maps ; 
but it is, as the table on page 60 shows, a very large and 
extremely sparsely populated country. 

Asiatic Turkey is three and a half times as large as 
Germany, and nearly six times as large as the United 


The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

Kingdom. Its population is quite insignificant. Compared 
with Asiatic Turkey even Eussia is a densely populated 
country. Asiatic Turkey is at present almost a desert, 
although it may be made to support a very large popula- 
tion, for it possesses vast possibilities, as will be shown 
further on. The country has certainly room for at least 
a hundred miUion inhabitants. 

Austria-Hungary has become an appendage of Germany, 
and Turkey a German vassal State. During many decades 
patriotic Germans dreamed of creating a Greater Germany, 
reaching not merely from Hamburg to Trieste, but from 
Antwerp to Aden, to Kowoyt anid perhaps to Muscat and 

Square Miles 

Inhabitants at 
Last Census 

Population per 
Square Mile 

Asiatic Turkey 

United Kingdom . 


France .... 

Spain .... 

European Russia. . 





far into Southern Persia. German thinkers were attracted 
towards Asiatic Turkey not only because of its great past 
and its vast economic possibihties, but also because of its 
matchless position at a spot where three continents meet, 
whence three continents may be dominated, whence Eussia 
and the British Empire may most effectively be attacked, 
whence the rule of the world may be won. The present 
War undoubtedly was largely a war for the control of Asia 

In the middle of the last century leading German 
economists and thinkers who exerted a most powerful 
influence upon German statesmanship and upon German 
pubHc opinion, such as Wilhelm Eoscher, Friedrich List, 
Paul de Lagarde, Ferdinand Lassalle, J. K. Eodbertus, 
Karl Eitter, the great Moltke, and others, writing long 
before the unification of Germany, advocated the creation 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 61 

of a Greater Germany embracing all the German and Austro- 
Hungarian States and the acquisition of Asia Minor in 
some form or other, and dreamt of the creation of an organic 
connection between Berlin and Baghdad by including 
the Balkan States in an Austro-German Federation. The 
creation of a Greater Germany, stretching from the North 
Sea to the Bosphorus, and across the Straits to the Persian 
Gulf and the Indian Ocean, was lately advocated unceasingly 
by many Pan-Germans. The acquisition of Asia Minor 
was urged by many eminent writers and men of action, 
such as Hasse, Dehn, Eohrbach, Sprenger, Sachau, Von 
der Goltz, Kârger, Naumann, Schlagintweit, and many 
others. I would give a characteristic example out of 
many. Professor Dr. A. Sprenger, the former director of 
the Mohammedan College of Calcutta, wrote in his book 
* Babylonia the Eichest Land of Antiquity, and the most 
Valuable Field of Colonisation at the Present Time,' 
pubHshed in 1886 : 

The Orient is the only territory of the earth which has 
not yet been seized by the expanding nations. It is the 
most valuable field of colonisation. If Germany does not 
miss its opportunity and seizes it before the Cossacks have 
put their hands upon it, the whole German nation will gain 
by the colonisation of the East. As soon as several hundred 
thousand German soldier-colonists are at work in that 
glorious country the German Emperor can control the fate 
of Western Asia and the peace of all Asia. 

Similar views were expressed by many eminent Germans. 
The Baghdad Kailway was evidently not merely a financial 
enterprise of the Deutsche Bank, undertaken for the develop- 
ment of Asia Minor. Konia, the natural capital of Asiatic 
Turkey, lying on the Baghdad Eailway, is situated almost 
exactly midway between Berlin and Karachi. 
^ Let us imagine the Turkish Government in Asia replaced 
by that of a strong and ambitious mihtary Power. Such 
a Power would develop the country in every way, and would 

62 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

double and treble its population. It would open the 
country in every direction by means of railways. It would 
construct lines capable of carrying a vast amount of traffic 
towards the Eussian, Egyptian, and Persian frontiers, 
and it would continue the latter, * on economic grounds,' 
through Persia towards Baluchistan, towards India. It 
would create a powerful navy and construct strong naval 
bases on the shores of the Black Sea and near the southern 
openings of the Ked Sea and of the Persian Gulf. Having 
done all this, it would be able to throw at the shortest notice 
an immense army either across the Bosphorus into Constan- 
tinople, or across the Suez Canal into Egypt, or across 
Persia into India. A strong European military Power, 
firmly settled in Asiatic Turkey, disposing of 2,000,000 
Turkish-Asiatic soldiers and of a sufficiency of railways 
and of a fleet, could make Constantinople and Egypt almost 
untenable. It could gravely threaten Southern Kussia 
and India and the most important sea-route of the world. 
At the same time, such a Power, if it should become a 
danger, could not easily be dislodged or defeated, because 
the enormous defensive strength of the country would 
make its resistance most formidable. 

If we wish clearly to understand the strategic importance 
of Asiatic Turkey and the dangers with which the world 
might be threatened from that most commanding point, 
we need not draw upon the imagination, but may usefully 
turn towards the history of the past. In the Middle Ages 
a small but exceedingly warUke Power arose within the 
borders of Asiatic Turkey. Using as their base of operations 
that most wonderful position where three continents meet, 
Mohammedan warrior tribes swept north, south, east, and 
west. They rapidly overran and conquered Egypt, Tripoli, 
Tunis, Algeria, Spain, Sicily, and even invaded France 
and Italy. They conquered all the lands around the Black 
Sea, and subjected to themselves Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan, 
and Northern India as far as the Indus and the Syr-Daria, 
the ancient Jaxartes. They crossed the Straits, seized 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 63 

Constantinople, the whole Balkan Peninsula, and Hungary, 
and advanced up to the walls of Vienna. They seized the 
rule of the sea. The word ' admiral,' from ' amir,' the Arabic 
word for ' chief, commander,' the same word as * ameer ' or 
' emir,' reminds us of their former naval pre-eminence. 

The strategical value of Asiatic Turkey is very greatly 
increased by the vast rehgio-poHtical importance of the 
country. Asiatic Turkey contains the holy places of 
Christianity and of Islam. Mecca and Medina exercise 
an infinitely greater influence over Mohammedanism than 
Jerusalem and Bethlehem do over Christianity. Mecca 
and Medina give an enormous power to the nation which 
possesses or controls these towns. Asiatic Turkey is not 
only the religious, but also the physical centre of 
Mohammedanism. From Asiatic Turkey Mohammedanism 
spread in every direction. Starting thence it conquered 
all North Africa down to the tenth degree of northern 
latitude, and expanded eastward as far as Orenburg and 
Omsk in Kussia, and penetrated through Afghanistan as 
far as Delhi and Kashmir in India. The followers of 
Mohammed form a sohd block which stretches from the 
west coast of Morocco and from Sierra Leone across Asia 
Minor deeply into Eussia and Siberia and into India. 

Lying in the centre of the Mohammedan world, Asiatic 
Turkey would be an ideal spot whence to organise and 
to govern a great Mohammedan Federation or Empire. 
Mohammedanism may conceivably have a new lease of 
life. Pan-Islamism need not necessarily remain an idle 
dream. A strong leader and able organiser, possessed 
of the necessary prestige, might make it a reahty. Turkey 
as the guardian of Mecca and Medina, and therefore of 
Islam, has naturally exercised little influence over the 
Islamic world. The Mohammedans throughout the world 
have rejected with scorn the Turks as their leaders, be- 
cause they have incurred the contempt of their brother 
Mohammedans by their moral and material degeneration. 
However, it seems not impossible that a strong military 

64 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

Power controlling the Holy Places might succeed once more 
in controlling all Islam, and might thus be able to utiHse 
the serried ranks of 300,000,000 Mohammedans against 
its enemies. That idea was probably in the German 
Emperor's mind when, on November 8, 1898, speaking 
in the ancient town of Damascus and addressing his 
Mohammedan guests, he emphatically proclaimed : * May 
the Sultan of Turkey, and may the three hundred million 
Mohammedans throughout the world who worship him 
as their Cahph, be assured that the German Emperor will 
be their friend for all time.* Since then the German 
Emperor has assumed the rôle of Protector of Islam. 

Mahomet was a warrior. Islam is a conqueror's creed. 
A strong mihtary Power, controlhng Mecca and Medina, 
might bring about a revival of conquering Mohammedanism, 
and might make Pan-Islamism a dangerous reahty. The 
greatest Mohammedan Powers are the British Empire, 
Eussia, and France. British India alone has 70,000,000 
Mohammedans, all French North Africa is Mohammedan, 
and Eussia has no less than 20,000,000 Mohammedan 
citizens. The religio-political importance of Asia Minor 
is so very great that its control by a strong mihtary Power 
might endanger not only France, Eussia, and the British 
Empire, but the whole world. France, Eussia, and the 
British Empire desire the maintenance of peace, and are 
therefore most strongly interested in preventing a revival 
of a fanatically aggressive Mohammedanism, especially 
if it be directed by a non-Mohammedan Power for non- 
Mohammedan ends. 

The economic importance of Asiatic Turkey is exceed- 
ingly great. Asiatic Turkey is the oldest and by far the 
most important nucleus of Western civilisation. All the 
most glorious seats of ancient power and culture had 
the misfortune of being conquered by Turkish barbarians. 
The wonderful empires of Babylonia, Assyria, Egypt, Phoe- 
nicia, Lydia, Media, Carthage, Persia, Greece, Palestine, and 
the Arab ]_Empire were seized by the followers of Sultan 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 65 

Othman and his successors, and wherever the Turks went 
they created nothing except disorder, ruin, and utter 
desolation. The country which gave rise to the far-famed 
towns of Babylon, Nineveh, Seleucia, Ctesiphon, Opis, 
Artemita, ApoUonia, Corsote, Thapsacus, Baghdad, Ilium, 
Pergamon, Magnesia, Smyrna, Sardes, Susa, Ephesus, 
Tralles, Miletus, Halicarnassus, Antiochia, Laodicea, 
Iconium, Tarsus, Berytus, Sidon, Tyre, Damascus, Palmyra, 
Memphis, Thebes — this country became a wilderness. 
Poverty-stricken villages, or mere heaps of debris, indicate 
the sites of nearly all the greatest and most flourishing 
cities of the Ancient World. 

How great and how general is the desolation of Asiatic 
Turkey, which formerly was one of the most densely 
populated countries of the world, may be seen from the 
following figures : 

Sqaare MUea 


Population per 
Square Mile 

Asia Minor . 

Armenia and Kurdistan 


Syria .... 

Turkish Arabia . 

Total Asiatic Turkey . 







The most densely populated vilayet of Asia Minor is 
that of Trebizond, with 76 people per Square mile. It is 
followed by Ismid with 71, Smyrna with 64, and Brussa 
with 64 people per square mile. How small the population 
is even in the most favoured and most advanced vilayets 
of Asia Minor may be seen by the fact that all Bulgaria 
has a population of 116-4 per square mile, Serbia 144*0, 
and Italy 313-5 per square mile. The cultivated part of 
Egypt had, according to the census of 1907, a population 
of 915 per square mile, but it should now amount to about 
1000 per square mile. 

66 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

How wonderfully countries which have been under the 
withering rule of the Turk may flourish when this rule 
has been abolished may be seen by the example of Greece, 
Bulgaria, Serbia, and Egypt. In 1882, in the year of 
England's intervention, the population of Egypt was, 
according to the census of that year, 6,831,131. At the 
census of 1907 it came to 11,287,359, and by now it should 
amount to about 13,000,000. During the brief span of 
England's occupation the population of Egypt has doubled, 
and its wealth has grown prodigiously. Between 1879 
and 1881, three particularly favourable years, Egypt's 
imports amounted on an average to £7,000,000 per year. 
In 1913 they came to £27,000,000. 

Trade by itself produces but little. The vast wealth 
of ancient Babylonia, Assjnria, Lydia, Media, Persia, 
Phoenicia, and of the glorious Greek towns on the Western 
Coast of Asia Minor was founded on the broad and solid 
basis of agriculture. Asiatic Turkey was in ancient times 
famous for its agricultural wealth. Numerous existing 
ruins show that even the uplands in the interior abounded 
in large and prosperous towns. At present Asia Minor 
has only 10,000,000 inhabitants. From a statement con- 
tained in the * Historia Naturalis * of Pliny, we learn that 
Pompey subjected in the war against Mithridates a popula- 
tion of 12,183,000. If we deduct from that number the 
pirates against whom he fought, the soldiers of Mithridates, 
the inhabitants of Crete, and those of Armenia and the 
Caucasus, together about 3,000,000, and add the inhabitants 
of Western Asia Minor who, according to Beloch, should 
then have numbered from 8,000,000 to 9,000,000, the 
whole of Asia Minor — ^that is, the territories this side of the 
Euphrates — should have contained between 17,000,000 and 
18,000,000 people two thousand years ago. 

Asiatic Turkey has large stretches of good soil and an 
excellent climate. Cereals of every kind, cotton, rice, 
and tobacco flourish. On the lower slopes of the west 
figs, olives, and grapes grow in profusion and in perfection. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 67 

and in the higher altitudes flourish the pine, the fir, the 
cedar, the oak, and the beech. Agriculture, aided by- 
modern methods of production and transportation, should 
be able to nourish an enormous population in that favoured 
land, and should make it once more highly prosperous. 
Besides, Asiatic Turkey is extremely rich in minerals, 
including coal, gold, silver, nickel, mercury, copper, iron, 
and lead, but these resources have so far remained practically 
untouched. Under a good Government Asia Minor may 
once more become an exceedingly wealthy and well-peopled 
country. The possession or the control of Asiatic Turkey 
will produce both power and wealth. A mihtary State 
controlling it would convert its wealth into power. Under 
its direction Asiatic Turkey would not become a second 
Egypt but another military State, and its mineral wealth 
would lead to the establishment of enormous arsenals and 
armanent factories. 

On the Turkish coast there are numerous excellent 
bays and inlets where in olden times flourishing city States 
carried on an active trade. Under the Turkish Govern- 
ment these old harbour works, like the old towns, roads, 
and canals, have been destroyed or have been allowed to 
fall into ruin. In many places good harbours could be 
constructed at moderate expense, and the revival of 
agriculture and the exploitation of the mineral resources 
of the country would once more create a flourishing coast 
trade, would recreate the old Greek settlements. 

Asiatic Turkey is economically very important, not only 
because it is possible to increase enormously its stunted 
power of production, but also because, with the building 
of railways, an enormous passenger and goods traffic may 
be developed on the direct line which connects Central 
Europe with India and China via Asia Minor. The inter- 
course between East and West is rapidly increasing. The 
Suez Canal traffic came in 1870 to 436,609 tons net. In 
1876 it came to 2,096,771 tons, in 1882 to 5,074,808 tons, 
in 1901 to 10,832,840 tons, and in 1912 to 20,275,120 tons 

68 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

net. The geographical position of Asia Minor on the 
shortest trade route connecting the East with the West, 
which enriched Phœnicia, and which made Sidon and Tyre 
the merchants of the Ancient World and the founders of 
a far-flung sea-empire, may greatly enrich its inhabitants. 

The Turks have no gifts either for government or for 
business. Their administration in all its branches is a 
byword for corruption, neglect, disorder, and incompetence, 
and as the Turks display the same quahties, or rather 
defects, in business, their trade is carried on almost entirely 
by foreigners, especially by Western Europeans, Greeks, 
and Armenians. In their vast Asiatic provinces the Turks 
possess, admittedly, one of the richest countries in the 
world, a country which imperatively calls for development. 

Asiatic Turkey is the stronghold of the Turkish race. 
However, only a part of the inhabitants are Turks. In 
Western Asia Minor, and especially in the harbour towns, 
live about 1,500,000 Greeks. Smyi-na is a Greek town. 
In Eastern Asia Minor, near the Kussian frontier, dwell 
about 2,000,000 Armenians. Chiefly in the south there are 
about 10,000,000 Arabs. Besides these there are numerous 
other races — Syrians, Kurds, Circassians, Jews, &c. 

Wherever the Turks rule, they rule by misrule, by 
persecution, by extortion, and by massacre. The Greeks 
in the west, the Armenians in the east, and the Arabs in 
the south sigh for freedom from Turkish oppression. 
Hitherto Europe has been horrified chiefly by Turkish 
misrule in the Balkan Peninsula, the sufferings of which 
have overshadowed the equally scandalous misrule in 
Asiatic Turkey. When the Turks have lost Constantinople 
and have been finally driven out of Europe their singular 
capacity for misgovernment will find full scope in their 
Asiatic provinces. They will become a gigantic Macedonia, 
and the outrageous treatment of the Greeks, Armenians, 
and Arabs will bring about in Asia Minor the same dis- 
orders which hitherto prevailed in the Turkish part of the 
Balkan Peninsula. Here, as in the Balkans, the sufferings 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 69 

of the subject nationalities will arouse among other, and 
especially among the related, nations a desire to interfere 
and to protect the unfortunate peoples against their masters. 
The facts given in these pages allow us, then, to draw 
the following conclusions : 

1. Asiatic Turkey occupies a position of great defensive 
strength and of great potential danger to its neighbours, 
a position which dominates the three old continents. A 
powerful mihtary State, possessing or controlling the 
country, would be able to threaten its neighbours in some 
highly vulnerable quarters. It would be able to convert 
it into an enormous military camp, and it might mobilise 
Islam throughout the world and bring about a gigantic 

2. The great latent wealth of Asiatic Turkey, its match- 
less position for trade and commerce, and the fearful neg- 
lect from which it suffers are bound to arouse among all 
progressive nations a keen desire to open up the country 
by means of railways and harbours, and to exploit its 
precious agricultural and mineral resources. 

3. The presence of subject nationalities — Greeks, Ar- 
menians, Arabs, &c. — ^in Asia Minor, who are likely to suffer 
persecution at the hands of the ruling Turks, is bound 
to bring about a desire for intervention on the part 
of other Powers. In view of the commanding position 
occupied by Asia Minor and the possibihty of some nation 
or other wishing to make use of that country for aggressive 
purposes, the European Powers may as Httle be able to 
act in harmony in endeavouring to create good order in 
Asiatic Turkey as they were in European Turkey. Once 
more philo-Turkish and anti- Turkish Powers may struggle 
for ascendancy. Consequently the same intrigues and 
counter-intrigues, dangerous to the peace of the world, of 
which during four centuries Constantinople was the scene, 
might take place in Konia or wherever the Turks should 
place their new seat of Government. 

Apparently the problem of Asiatic Turkey is insoluble. 

70 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

If we look merely at the world-commanding strategical 
position of Asiatic Turkey and the danger which its occupa- 
tion by a strong, enterprising, and ambitious military Power 
would involve, not merely for its neighbours, but for the 
whole world, the best solution of the problem would seem 
to consist in preserving the integi'ity of Asiatic Turkey under 
unrestricted Ottoman rule. It is obvious that if one military 
nation should occupy part of Asiatic Turkey other nations 
would become alarmed and, fearing that that most valuable 
strategical position should fall entirely under the control 
of that mihtary State which had first encroached upon 
its integrity, the other States interested in Asiatic Turkey 
would naturally endeavour to secure shares also. A general 
scramble for Turkish territory would ensue. Asiatic Tur- 
key would be partitioned. Russia, France, Italy, Greece, 
and Great Britain, and perhaps other nations as well, 
would divide the country among themselves. Its com- 
manding position would generate mutual suspicion among 
the sharing nations. A tension similar to that which 
prevailed among the Balkan States would prevail in Asia 
Minor. Dangerous friction would ensue which might lead 
to a world-war for the control of Asia Minor. The policy 
of partition would obviously be most dangerous to the 
peace of the world. 

The policy of preserving the integrity of Asiatic Turkey 
in its entirety and of abstaining from all interference with 
the Turkish Government would, of course, prevent these 
evils, but unfortunately that policy is not a practicable 
one. As Asiatic Turkey is one of the richest, and at the 
same time one of the most neglected, countries in the world, 
and as it lies right across one of the most necessary and 
most valuable of the world's highways — across the direct 
hne which connects Central Europe with India and China — 
the importance of which is bound to increase from year 
to year, the citizens of various nations would naturally 
seek to develop the country by means of railways, pubHc 
works, &c. History would soon repeat itself. Under the 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 71 

cloak of economic development, important strategical rail- 
ways, threatening one or the other of the States bordering 
on Asiatic Turkey, would be constructed. Thus the eco- 
nomic exploitation of the strategical centre of the world 
by private enterprise would in all probability lead to a 
scramble among the Great Powers for spheres of influence, 
and to an economic partition of Asia Minor which might 
be quite as dangerous as a complete territorial partition. 

If the Powers should desire to make Asiatic Turkey a 
purely Turco-Asiatic buffer State, a No-man's-land as 
far as Europe is concerned, stipulating that both its poHtical 
and economic integrity should be preserved, leaving the 
Turks entirely to themselves and solemnly binding them- 
selves to abstain from both political and economic inter- 
ference in its affairs, the difficulty would by no means be 
overcome. Turkish misgovernment, Armenian, Greek, or 
Arab massacres, or some grave political incident, might 
cause some Power or Powers to interfere. Then inter- 
national intrigues similar to those which formerly took 
place about Constantinople would begin, and they would 
be far more dangerous, because they would concern a 
position which is not merely the key to the Black Sea, 
but which is indeed the key to the dominion of the world. 
Besides, as Asiatic Turkey occupies a most valuable position 
for effecting a flank attack either upon Kussia in the very 
vulnerable south, or upon the British Empire in Egypt 
and Asia, the enemies of Kussia and of Great Britain would 
obviously endeavour to stir up trouble between the two 
countries. They would strive to bring about a struggle 
between Kussia and England for the control of Asiatic 
Turkey. They would probably try once more to recreate 
the army of an independent Turkey and to hurl it at Kussia 
or at Great Britain or simultaneously at both countries. 

Unfortunately it appears that the policy of leaving 
Asiatic Turkey alone would be quite as dangerous as that 
of partitioning it. Therefore a third policy ought to be 

72 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

The strategical position of Asiatic Turkey closely 
resembles, as has been shown, that of Switzerland. Switzer- 
land is a small natural fortress which separates, and domi- 
nates, three important Central European States. Asiatic 
Turkey is a gigantic natural fortress which separates, and 
dominates, the three most populous continents. Switzer- 
land has been neutralised, not for the sake of the Swiss, 
but for the sake of all Europe. The fact that Switzer- 
land was permanently neutralised for the security of Europe 
may be seen from the diplomatic documents signed by the 
Allied Powers a century ago. A Declaration made at the 
Congress at Vienna on March 20, 1815, which will be found 
in Kluber's ' Acten des Wiener Congresses,* stated : 

Les puissances appelées, en exécution du 6^ art. du 
traité de Paris du 30 mai 1814, à régler les affaires de la 
Suisse, ayant reconnu que l'intérêt général demande que 
le corps helvétique jouisse des avantages d'une neutrahté 
permanente . . . déclarent, qu'aussitôt que la diète helvé- 
tique aura accédé, en bonne et due forme, aux articles con- 
tenus dans la présente convention, il sera expédié, au nom 
de toutes les puissances, un acte solennel, pour reconnaître 
et garantir la neutralité permanente de la Suisse dans ses 
nouvelles frontières. 

It will be observed that Switzerland was to be made 
permanently neutral for the * intérêt général.' The * acte 
solennel * above mentioned was signed in Paris on Novem- 
ber 20, 1815, and it stated : 

. . . Les puissances qui ont signé la déclaration de Vienne 
du 20 mars, reconnaissent, d'une manière formelle et authen- 
tique, par le présent acte la neutralité jperjpétuelle de la Suisse, 
et lui garantissent Vinviolahilité de son territoire, circonscrit 
dans ses nouvelles hmites, telles qu'elles sont fixées par le 
congrès de Vienne et la paix de Paris d'aujourd'hui. . . . 

Les puissances signataires de la déclaration du 20 mars 
font connaître, d'une manière authentique, par le présent 
acte, que la neutralité et l'inviolabiUté de la Suisse, ainsi 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 73 

que son indépendance de toute influence étrangère, est 
conforme aux véritables intérêts de la politique européenne. 

It will be noticed that the * acte solennel ' emphasised 
the previous declaration by stating that the permanent 
neutrahty of Switzerland was * conforme aux véritables 
intérêts de la poHtique européenne.' 

It is noteworthy that Kussia has been one of the most 
convinced and one of the most determined champions of 
Swiss neutrality. In the instructions which, on January 
14, 1827, Count Nesselrode, perhaps the greatest Kussian 
diplomat of modern times, sent on behalf of the Cabinet 
to M. de Séverine, the Kussian Minister to the Swiss Con- 
federation,^ we read : 

Par sa position géographique la Suisse est la clef de 
trois grands pays. Par ses lumières et ses mœurs, eUe 
occupe un rang distingué dans la civihsation Européenne. 
Enfin par les actes des Congrès de Vienne et de Paris, elle 
a obtenu la garantie de son organisation présente, de sa 
neutrahté, et de son indépendance. . . . 

Dès que la diplomatie, participant aux améUorations de 
tout genre qui s'opéraient en Europe, eut pour but dans ses 
combinaisons les plus profondes et les plus utiles, d'établir 
entre les diverses puissances un équihbre qui assurât la 
durée de la paix, l'indépendance de la Suisse devint un des 
premiers axiomes de la Politique. Les Traités de West- 
phahe la consacrèrent, et il est facile de prouver, l'histoire 
à la main, qu'elle ne fut jamais violée sans que l'Europe 
n'eût à gémir de guerres et de calamités universelles. 

Lors de la révolution française, la Suisse éprouva forte- 
ment la secousse qui vint ébranler les deux mondes. Son 
territoire fut envahi, des armées le franchirent, et des 
batailles ensanglantèrent un sol que les discordes des états 
avait longtemps respecté. 

Lors de la domination de Buonaparte, la Suisse eut sa 
part du despotisme qui pressait sur le continent. Finale- 
ment apparut l'AUiance avec ses nobles triomphes, et la 

^ The full text may be found in A. 0. Gren ville Murray's Droits et Devoirs 
des Envoyés Diplomatiques. 

74 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

Suisse, qui avait été bouleversée pendant la tourmente 
révolutionnaire, et asservie pendant le régime des conquêtes, 
redevint indépendante et neutre du jour où les droits des 
Nations recouvrèrent leur empire, et où la paix fut le 
vœu du Monarque dont le changement était le salutaire 

Ce fut alors que la Confédération Helvétique occupa la 
pensée de l'Empereur Alexandre de glorieuse mémoire, et 
alors aussi que son indépendance reçut par les actes de 1814 
et 1815 une sanction solennelle, qui compléta et assura le 
rétablissement solide de la tranquillité générale. 

La Suisse est par conséquent, on peut le dire, un des 
points sur lesquels repose l'équilibre de l'Europe, le mode 
d'existence politique dont elle jouit forme un des élémens 
du système conservateur qui a succédé à trente années 
d'orages, et la Russie doit souhaiter que cet état continue 
à ne relever et à ne dépendre d'aucun autre. 

Elle y est intéressée comme puissance, que ses principes 
et le sentiment de son propre bien portent à vouloir la paix. 
Elle en a le droit, comme puissance qui a signé les actes de 
1814 et 1815. 

The irrefutable arguments advanced with such force, 
clearness, and eloquence by Count Nesselrode with regard 
to Switzerland apply obviously still more strongly to the 
closely similar, but far more important, case of Asiatic 

A State which has been permanently neutraUsed by 
international agreement can preserve its neutrality only 
if it is sufi&ciently strong and well governed. If it is weak 
its neutrality may be disregarded, as was that of Belgium. 
If it is badly governed and suffers from internal disorders 
it cannot be strong, and foreign nations will find reasons 
for interfering in its domestic affairs. When, in the course 
of the last century, Switzerland was torn by internal dis- 
sensions, the great guarantors of its permanent neutrahty 
and independence became alarmed. They were anxious 
to intervene, and as they took different sides their inter- 
vention nearly led to a great war. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 75 

If the arguments given so far should, on examination, 
be found to be unchallengeable, it would appear that the 
problem of Asiatic Turkey can be solved only by making 
that country another Switzerland — a strong, independent 
and well-governed neutral buffer State. 

Can Turkey be regenerated and converted into another 
Switzerland ? At first sight the task seems hopeless. The 
experience of centuries certainly supports those who doubt 
it. The Turkish Government, both under the rule of the 
Sultans and under a nominally constitutional régime, 
has proved a continuous cause of oppression and revolt, 
of dissatisfaction and misery, of conspiracy and rebelHon. 
In fact, the Turkish Government, in whatever hands, is, 
and always has been, a public nuisance, a scandal and a 
pubhc danger, a danger not only to Europe, but to the 
Turks themselves. The experience of centuries has shown 
that the Turks cannot govern other peoples, that they 
cannot even govern themselves. This being the case, it 
follows that Turkey requires, for its own security and for 
that of the world, guardians, or a guardian, appointed by 
Europe. Only then can we hope for peace and order, 
happiness and prosperity, in that unfortunate land. 

The problem of appointing European guardians, or a 
guardian, for Asiatic Turkey is comphcated by the fact 
that various European Powers possess strong separate 
interests in that country. Before considering the way in 
which good government might be introduced in a neutrahsed 
Asiatic Turkey we must therefore consider the special 
interests of various nations which, of course, have to be 

Kussia has a twofold interest in that country — a senti- 
mental and a practical one. In the Caucasian Provinces 
of Kussia, close to the Turkish border, dwell about 2,000,000 
Armenians. Their brothers in Turkey have suffered from 
outrageous persecution. The fearful massacres among 
them from 1894 to 1897 are still in everybody's memory. 
Not unnaturally, the Kussian Armenians and the Kussian 

76 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

people themselves desire that the Armenians in Asiatic 
Turkey should be humanely treated. With this object 
in view the Eussian Press has demanded that Turkish 
Armenia should be ceded to Eussia. 

As I have shown in the chapter on * The Future of Con- 
stantinople ' in considering the strategical question, the 
possession of Constantinople would be for Eussia perhaps 
not so much an asset as a liability. Constantinople and 
the Straits cover a very large area. Its defence requires 
a very considerable mihtary force and will by so much 
weaken the strength of the Eussian Army. Furthermore, 
its defence entails considerable difficulty because Eussia 
can reach Constantinople only by sea. As Eoumania 
and Bulgaria separate Eussia from Constantinople on 
the European side of the Black Sea, Eussia can secure 
an organic connection with that town oioly from the Asiatic 
side, by acquiring the whole of the Turkish south coast of 
the Black Sea. It would not be unnatural, and indeed 
quite understandable, if Eussian patriots should wish, or 
at least hope, that Eussia should not only acquire Constan- 
tinople and Turkish Armenia, but that she should in addition 
obtain easy access to that city by a secure overland route. 
A narrow strip of coast would, of course, suffice for con- 
structing a railway from Southern Eussia to the Bosphorus. 
However, as that route would be Hable to be cut by the 
Turks at many points in case of war, an attempt to link 
the Bosphorus to Southern Eussia would probably involve 
Eussia against her will in an attempt to occupy a large 
part, or the whole, of Asia ^Minor, for thus only could the 
safety of the Black Sea coast railway be assured. That 
would be a very large and a very venturesome undertaking 
which might have incalculable consequences to Eussia 
and to the world, for Eussia would create, on a very much 
larger scale, a position similar to that which would arise 
if Germany should seize Switzerland. 

Greece has, on the ground of nationahty, a claim on 
Smyrna, the busiest harbour of Asia Minor, which is 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 77 

practically a Greek town, and on certain coastal districts, 
especially about Smyrna, which are largely inhabited by 
Greeks. Naturally she would Hke, with the strip of coastal 
territory which is primarily Greek, a proportionate sphere 
of the hinterland. 

Italy retains the Island of Khodes, which, by the way, 
is very largely peopled by Greeks, and she is supposed to 
be desirous of obtaining a piece of the mainland from the 
neighbourhood of that island to Syria to the French sphere. 
The sphere claimed on her behalf is rather extensive. It 
contains the excellent harbour of Adalia, in the neighbour- 
hood of which she has secured concessions, and includes 
territories of considerable agricultural and mineral poten- 
tialities where large numbers of Italian emigrants may be 
able to find a home. 

Great Britain has important claims upon Mesopotamia 
and the Persian Gulf, and upon Arabia, as will be shown 
later on. 

France has strong historic and economic claims upon 
Asiatic Turkey, especially upon Syria with the Holy Places 
of Christianity, and upon Cilicia, which adjoins it. Her 
historic claims are so very interesting and important that 
it is worth while to consider them somewhat closely. 

From the earliest ages France has followed a twofold 
policy towards Islam. She has been the most determined 
defender of Christendom against conquering Moham- 
medanism when the latter was a danger to the world. At 
the same time, considering a strong Turkey a necessary 
factor in Europe, she has for centuries endeavoured to 
support that country. France concluded her first alliance 
with Turkey in 1585 and remained Turkey's ally up to 
the Peace of Versailles. Since then her place as Turkey's 
champion has been taken by Germany. 

On October 18, 732, Charles Martel signally defeated 
the all-conquering Arabs near Tours and thus saved Europe 
to Christianity. In the year 800, Charlemagne sent an 
Embassy to the great Arab ruler, Haroun-al-Kashid, the 

78 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

Caliph of Baghdad, the hero of the * Arabian Nights Tales,' 
and received from him the keys of the Holy Sepulchre at 
Jerusalem. Henceforward France became the guardian 
of the Holy Tomb, and the protectress of Christianity 
against Islam. In the Crusades, which were undertaken 
to rescue the Holy Sepulchre from the infidels, France 
played a leading part. Godefroy de Bouillon defeated 
Soliman, besieged and took the Holy City in 1099 and 
was elected King of Jerusalem. Owing to the prominent 
position occupied by the French as leaders of all Christianity, 
European Christians in general became known in the East 
as Franks and are still so called by the people. A Frankish 
Kingdom existed at Jerusalem till 1291. The power of 
Islam grew and King Louis the Ninth, St. Louis, one of 
the greatest Kings of France, spent many years of his life 
in the East, vainly trying to wrest the Holy Land fi'om the 
Moslems. His attitude, and that of ancient France, towards 
the Eastern Christians may be seen from the following 
most interesting letter which he sent on May 21, 1250, from 
Saint- Jean-d 'Acre to * I'emir des Maronites du mont Liban, 
ainsi qu'au patriarche et aux évêques de cette nation ' : 

Notre cœur s'est rempH de joie lorsque nous avons vu 
votre fils Simon, à la tête de vingt-cinq mille hommes, venir 
nous trouver de votre part pour nous apporter l'expression 
de vos sentiments et nous offrir de dons, outre les beaux 
chevaux que vous nous avez envoyés. En vérité la sincère 
amitié que nous avons commencé à ressentir avec tant 
d'ardeur pour les Maronites pendant notre séjour en Chypre 
où ils sont étabHs, s'est encore augmentée. 

Nous sommes persuadés que cette nation, que nous 
trouvons étabhe sous le nom de Saint Maroun, est une partie 
de la nation française, car son amitié pour les Français 
ressemble à l'amitié que les Français se portent entre eux. 
En conséquence il est juste que vous et tous les Maronites 
jouissiez de la protection dont les Français jouissent près 
de nous, et que vous soyez admis dans les emplois comme ils 
le sont euxmêmes. . . . Quant à nous et à ceux qui nous 
succéderont sur le trône de France nous promettons de vous 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 79 

donner, à vous et à votre peuple, protection comme aux 
Français eux-mêmes et de faire constamment ce qui sera 
nécessaire pour votre bonheur. 

Donné près de Saint-Jean-d'Acre, etc. 

Charles the Fifth, the great Habsburg Prince, who 
ruled over Germany, the Netherlands, the Franche Comté, 
Italy, Spain, Portugal, and their colonies, threatened to 
bring all Europe under Austria's sway. King Francis the 
First of France courageously opposed him and concluded 
in 1535 an alliance with Sohman the Magnificent, perhaps 
the greatest ruler of Turkey, who, in 1526, at the Battle of 
Mohacs, had destroyed the Hungarian armies, and who in 
1529 had besieged Vienna. France discovered in Turkey 
a valuable counterpoise, first to the house of Austria and 
later on to Kussia. In 1535, the same year in which she 
concluded the alliance with Turkey, France, who had great 
commercial interests in the East and who was then the 
leading Mediterranean Power, concluded a commercial 
and general treaty with Turkey, the ëo-called Capitulations, 
which were frequently renewed. These Treaties gave to 
France a preferential position within the Turkish dominions 
and made her the protectress of the Christians of aU nation- 
ahties. Ever after it became a fundamental principle of 
French statesmanship to maintain an aUiance with Turkey 
and with Switzerland, because both countries occupied 
very important strategical positions whence the central 
and eastern European Powers might be held in check. 
The celebrated Brantôme, who lived from 1527 till 1614, 
wrote in his * Vie des Grands Capitains François ' : 

J'ouys dire une fois à M. le Connétable [the highest 
dignitary of France] : que les roys de France avoient deux 
alHances et affinitez desquelles ne s'en dévoient jamais 
distraire et despartir pour chose du monde ; l'une celle des 
Suysses, et l'autre celle du grand Turc. 

France had allied herself to the Turks for a threefold 
reason : For protecting the Christians in the East ; for 

80 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

protecting and extending the French trade in the Levant ; 
for creating a counterpoise to the ever-expanding and 
dangerously strong power of the House of Ha bs burg. In 
an exceedingly important Memoir which M. de Noailles, 
the French Ambassador to Turkey, submitted to King 
Charles the Ninth in 1572, the full text of which will be 
found in Testa's * Kecueil des Traités de la Porte Ottomane,* 
we read : 

Sire, les rois, vos prédécesseurs, ont recherché et entre- 
tenu l'intelUgence de Levant pour trois principales causes, 
la première et la plus ancienne était fondée sur leur pitié 
et reUgion, laquelle tendait à deux fins, savoir : à la conserva- 
tion de Jésus- Christ en Jérusalem, avec la sûreté du passage 
tant par terre que par mer des pèlerins qui sont conduits par 
vœux et dévotion à le visiter, et à la protection duquel ils 
ont toujours uniquement recouru aux dits rois pour empêcher 
que les armes des infidèles ne molestassent les terres de 
l'Eghse, qui sont exposées aux surprises et passages de leurs 
armées de mer, étant bien certain que, sans la continuelle 
et dévote assistance que vos prédécesseurs ont fait à l'un 
et à l'autre, il y a longtemps que ledit Saint -Sépulcre fût 
rasé, le temple de sainte Hélène converti en mosquée et toute 
la rehgion romaine détruite et désolée par les invasions 
circasses et turquesses. 

Le second a été pour établir et conserver le trafiBc que vos 
sujets, et singuhèrement ceux de Provence et Languedoc, 
ont de tout temps par de ça, lequel s'est tellement augmenté 
BOUS le règne du feu roi Henri et le vôtre. . . . 

La troisième cause pour laquelle cette inteUigence a été 
entretenu par vos prédécesseurs, et depuis quarante six ans 
étreinte par les feus rois François-le- Grand et Henri, a été 
pour contrepeser l'excessive grandeur de la maison d'Autriche 
qui avait accumulé sous la domination sienne, ou des siens, 
par succession ou usurpation, les meilleures couronnes et 
états de l'Europe hors la France, laquelle depuis ce 
temps-là a toujours été seule au combat, tant pour 
essayer de ravoir le sien que pour aller au-devant do 
l'ambition de Charles- Quint et de Phihppe, son fils, qui 
ont toute leur vie troublé le mond et singuhèrement l'Aile- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 81 

magne, la France et l'Italie, pour parvenir à la tyrannie de 
toute la chrétienté. 

The Capitulations of 1535 were repeatedly amplified, 
especially in 1604 and 1740. The Treaty of 1604, concluded 
in the time of the great King Henri Quatre, is so quaint 
and interesting a document and it throws so strong a hght 
upon the character of Ancient Turkey and upon the unique 
position which France occupied in Europe and the East 
three centuries ago, that it is worth while giving some 
extracts from it according to the text in St. Priest's 
* Mémoires sur l'Ambassade de France en Turquie ' : 

Au nom de Dieu. 

L'Empereur Amat [Ahmad I], fil de l'Empereur Mehemet, 
toujours victorieux, 

Marque de la haute famille des Monarques Otthomans, 
avec la beauté, grandeur et splendeur de laquelle tant de 
pays sont conquis et gouvernez. 

Moy, qui suis, par les infinies grâces du Juste, Grand et 
tout-puissant Créateur et par l'abondance des miracles du 
chef de ses prophètes, Empereur des victorieux Empereurs, 
distributeur des couronnes aux plus grands Princes de la 
terre, serviteur des deux très-sacrées villes, la Mecque et 
Médine, Protecteur et Gouverneur de la Saincte Hierusalem, 
Seigneur de la plus grande partie de l'Europe, Asie et Afrique, 
conquise avec nostre victorieuse espée, et espouvantable 
lance, à sçavoir des païs et royaumes de la Grèce, de Themis- 
war, de Bosnie de Seghevar, et des païs et Eoyaumes de 
l'Asie et de la NatoUe, de Caramanie, d'Egypte, et de tous 
les païs des Parthes, des Curdes, Géorgiens, de la Porte de fer, 
de Tiflis, du Seruan, et du païs du Prince des Tartares, nommé 
Qerim [Crimea], et de la campagne nommée Cipulac, de 
Cypre, de Diarbekr, d'Alep, d'Erzerum, de Damas, de Baby- 
lone demeure des Princes des croyants, de Basera, d'Egypte, 
de l'Arabie heureuse, d'Abes, d'Aden, de Thunis, la Goulette, 
Tripoly, de Barbarie, et de tant d'autres païs, isles, destroits, 
passages, peuples, familles, générations, et de tant de cent 
milUons de victorieux gens de guerre qui reposent sous 
l'obéissance et justice de Moy qui suis l'Empereur Amurat, 

82 The Probleîn of Asiatic Turkey 

fils de l'Empereur Selim, fils de l'Empereur Solyman, fils de 
l'Empereur Selim. Et ce, par la grace de Dieu, Kecours 
des grands Princes du monde, Èefuge des honorables 

Au plus glorieux, magnanime, et grand Seigneur de la 
croyance de Jesus-Christ, esleu [élu] entre les Princes de la 
nation du Messie, Médiateur des différents qui survien- 
nent entre le peuple Chrestien, Seigneur de Grandeur, 
Majesté et Eichesse, glorieuse Guide des plus grands, 
Henry IV, Empereur de France, que la fin de ses jours soit 
heureuse. . . . 

Que les Vénitiens et Anglais en la leur, les Espagnols, 
Portugais, Catalans, Ragousins, Genevois, Napohtains, 
Florentins, et généralement toutes autres nations, telles 
qu'elles soient, puissent Hbrement venir trafiquer par nos 
pays sous l'adveu et seureté de la bannière de France, laquelle 
ils porteront comme leur sauvegarde ; et, de cette façon, 
ils pourront aller et venir trafiquer par les heux de nostre 
Empire, comme ils y sont venus d'ancienneté, obéyssans aux 
Consuls François, qui demeurent et résident en nos havres 
et estapes ; voulons et entendons qu'en usant ainsi, ils 
puissent trafiquer avec leurs vaisseaux et galions sans estre 
inquiétez seulement tant que ledit Empereur de France 
conservera nostre amitié, et ne contreviendra à celle qu'il 
nous a promise. 

Voulons et commandons aussi que les subjects dudit 
Empereur de France et ceux des Princes ses amis aUiez, 
puissent visiter les saincts lieux de Hierusalem sans qu'il 
leur soit mis ou donné aucun empeschement, ny faict 

De plus, pour l'honneur et amitié d'iceluy Empereur, 
nous voulons que les Religieux qui demeurent en Hierusalem 
et servent l'Eglise de Comame [Saint Sépulcre] y puissent 
demeurer, aller et venir sans aucun trouble et empêchement, 
ainsi soient bien receus, protégez, aydez, et secourus en la 
considération susdite. 

Derechef, nous voulons et commandons que les Vénitiens 
et Anglois en cela, et toutes les autres nations aliénées de 
l'amitié de nostre grande Porte, lesquelles n'y tiennent 
Ambassadeur^ voulans trafiquer par nos pays, ajent à y 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 83 

venir sous la bannière et protection de France, sans que 
l'Ambassadeur d'Angleterre, ou autres ayent à les empescher 
sous couleur que cette capitulation a esté insérée dans 
les capitulations données de nos pères après avoir esté 
escrites. . . . 

Et pour autant qu'iceluy Empereur de France, est de 
tous les Koys le plus noble et de la plus haute famille, et le 
plus parfait amy que nos Ayeuls ayent acquis entre lesdits 
Boys et Princes de la créance de Jesus-Christ, comme il 
nous a témoigné par les effets de sa saincte amitié : sous 
ces considérations, nous voulons et commandons que ses 
Ambassadeurs qui résident à nostre heureuse Porte ayent 
la préséance sur l'Ambassadeur d'Espagne et sur ceux des 
Roys et Princes, soit en nostre Divan public ou autres lieux 
où ils se pourront rencontrer. . . . 

Que les Consuls François jouissent de ces mesmes privi- 
lèges où ils résideront, et qu'il leur soit donné la mesme 
préséance sur tous les autres consuls de quelque nation qu'ils 
soient. ... \ 

Nous promettons et jurons par la vérité du grand Tout- 
puissant Dieu, Créateur du ciel et de la terre, et par l'âme de 
mes Ayeuls et Bisayeuls, de ne contrarier, ni contrevenir à ce 
qui est porté par ce Traitté de paix et Capitulation, tant que 
l'Empereur de France sera constant et ferme en la considéra- 
tion de nostre amitié, acceptant dès à présent la sienne, avec 
volonté d'en faire cas et de la chérir, car ainsi est nostre 
intention et promesse impériale. 

Escript environ le 20 may 1604. 

It will be noticed that by the Treaty of 1604 the 
* Empereur de France ' was made the Protector of all the 
Christians in the East, that France was made the guardian 
of the holy places of Christianity, that the other great 
Christian nations, the Venetians, the English, the Spaniards, 
the Portuguese, the Catalans, the citizens of Ragusa, the 
Genoese, the Neapolitans, and the Florentines were allowed 
to travel and trade freely and securely in Turkey — ^under 
the French flag and protected by the Consuls of France. 
At that time France was indeed * la grande nation,' and 

84 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

enjoyed the greatest prestige in the East. According to 
Birch's * Memoirs of Queen EHzabeth,' ' the Turks be- 
lieved for a long time that England was a Province of 

When, at the time of the French Ee volution, nearly all 
Europe made war upon France, France tried once more 
to use Turkey against her enemies. In 1792 Citoyen 
Sémonville, the French Ambassador to Turkey, was given 
instructions by the Convention Nationale to secure Turkey's 
support and 8,000,000 livres were placed at his disposal, 
of which sum 2,000,000 were to be * exclusively used for 
bribing the entourage of the Grand Vizier.' We read in 
that curious document : 

Le nouveau ministre national doit chercher surtout à 
rompre la coalition formée contre la France par Autriche, 
la Prusse et la Russie, et le meilleur moyen d'obtenir ce 
résultat sera de tacher de diviser ces puissances. Il est 
vrai qu'on ne saurait compter sur une assistance directe à ce 
sujet, de la part de la Turquie, mais la Sublime-Porte pour- 
rait être très utile en se mêlant seulement, par exemple, 
des affaires de Pologne, et en tachant de mettre en discorde 
les dites puissances dans ce pays-là. Pour atteindre plus 
facilement ce but, Sémonville pourra disposer de 8,000,000 
de Hvres, dont deux millions doivent être exclusivement 
employés à corrompre les entours du grand vezir et du 
reis-effendi, et à entretenir de bons espions auprès de l'inter- 
nonce d'Autriche et des représentants prussien et russe ; 
car il est très important de s'assurer comment chacun de 
ces ministres représente, à sa cour, les affaires polonaises. 

In 1795 Napoleon Buonaparte, then a young general 
only twenty-six years old, had fallen into disfavour and 
disgrace with the Government. He had been dismissed 
from the army. He Hved in penury and obscurity, and 
was unemployed and practically destitute. In his despair, 
on August 30 of that year, he very humbly offered to the 
Comité de Salut Public his services as an artillery officer 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 85 

for service in Turkey in a little-known letter which was 
worded as follows : 

Dans un temps oil l'impératrice de Russie a resserré les 
liens qui l'unissent à l'Autriche, il est de l'intérêt de la 
France de faire tout ce qui dépend d'elle pour rendre plus 
redoutables les moyens militaires de la Turquie. 

Cette puissance a des miUces nombreuses et braves, mais 
fort ignorantes sur les principes de l'art de guerre. 

La formation et le service de l'artillerie, qui influe si 
puissamment dans notre tactique moderne sur le gain des 
batailles, et presque exclusivement sur la prise et la défense 
des places fortes, est encore dans son enfance en Turquie. 

La Porte, qui l'a senti, a plusieurs fois demandé des 
officiers d'artillerie et du génie ; nous y en avons effective- 
ment quelques-uns dans ce moment-ci, mais ils ne sont ni 
assez nombreux ni assez instruits pour produire un résultat 
de quelque conséquence. 

Le général Buonaparte, qui a acquis quelque réputation 
en commandant l'artillerie de nos armées en différents cir- 
constances, et spécialement au siège de Toulon, s'offre 
pour passer en Turquie avec une mission du gouvernement ; 
il mènera avec lui six ou sept officiers dont chacun aura une 
connaisance particuhère des sciences relatives à l'art de la 

S'il peut dans cette nouvelle carrière, rendre les armées 
turques plus redoutables et perfectionner la défense des 
places fortes de cet empire, il croira avoir rendu un service 
signalé à la patrie, et avoir, à son retour, bien mérité d'elle. 

Had the Comité de Salut Public accepted Napoleon's 
offer, he might have Uved and died unknown to history. 
The world might have been spared some of the greatest 

Although the first French Republic was atheistic and 
anti- Christian, it carefully continued the traditional policy 
of France in the East in its threefold aspect. It strove to 
maintain France's supremacy in the East, desiring to use 
Turkey as a counterpoise to France's enemies, to dominate 
the Near Eastern markets and to maintain its ancient 

86 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

protectorate over the Christians in the East. That may be 
seen from the instructions given to the French Ambassadors. 
In those sent by the First Consul Buonaparte to Ambassador 
Brune on October 18, 1802, we read, for instance : 

1°. L'intention du gouvernement est que l'ambassadeur 
à Constantinople reprenne, par tous les moyens, la supré- 
matie que la France avait depuis deux cents ans dans cette 
capitale. La maison qui est occupée par l'ambassadeur 
est la plus belle. Il doit tenir constamment un rang au dessus 
des ambassadeurs des autres nations, et ne marcher qu'avec 
un grand éclat. Il doit reprendre sous sa protection tous les 
hospices et tous les chrétiens de Syrie et d'Arménie, et spécial- 
ment toutes les caravanes qui visitent les Lieux-Saints, 

2°. Notre commerce doit être protégé sous tous les points 
de vue. Dans l'état de faiblesse où se trouve l'empire otto- 
man, nous ne pouvons pas espérer qu'il fasse une diversion 
en notre faveur contre l'Autriche, il ne nous intéresse donc 
plus sous le rapport du commerce. Le gouvernement ne 
veut souffrir aucune avarie de pachas, et la moindre insulte 
à nos commerçants doit dormer heu à des expHcations fort 
vives, et conduire notre ambassadeur à obtenir une satisfac- 
tion éclatante. On doit accoutumer les pachas et beys des 
différentes provinces à ne regarder désormais notre pavillon 
qu'avec respect et considération. 

3°. Dans toutes les circonstances, on ne doit pas manquer 
de dire et de faire sentir que si la Eussie et l'Autriche ont 
quelque intérêt de locahté à se partager les états du Grand- 
Seigneur, l'intérêt de la France est de maintenir une balance 
entre ces deux grandes puissances. On doit montrer des 
égards à l'ambassadeur de Eussie, mais se servir souvent de 
l'Ambassadeur de Prusse qui est plus sincèrement dans nos 

4°. S'il survient des événements dans les environs de 
Constantinople, offrir sa médiation à la Porte, et, en général, 
saisir toutes les occasions de fixer les yeux de l'empire sur 
l'ambassadeur de France. C'est d'après ce principe que le 
jour de la fête du prophète il n'y a point d'inconvénient à 
illuminer le palais de France selon l'usage orientale, après 
toutefois s'en être expHqué avec la Porte. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 87 

En fixant les yeux du peuple sur l'ambassadeur de France 
avoir soin de ne jamais choquer ses mœurs et ses usages, 
mais faire voir que nous nous estimons les uns les autres. . . . 

It will be noticed that the French Kepubhc and Napoleon 
the First followed in every particular the same policy in 
Turkey which in more recent times was pursued by Prince 
Bismarck and WiUiam the Second. 

In the Middle Ages and in the time of the first Capitula- 
tions, France could easily act as the protectress of 
Christianity, for she was the strongest Power in Europe 
and in the Mediterranean and nearly all important States 
were Eoman Cathohc. Times have changed. The other 
nations no longer trade in the East under the French flag, 
or appeal to the French Consuls when they are in need 
of protection. Besides, with the rise of powerful Protestant 
and Greek Orthodox States and of influential Armenian, 
Coptic and Abyssinian Christian Churches, France can 
no longer act as the protectress of the Holy Sepulchre on 
behalf of all Christendom. She acted in that capacity 
for the last time during the reign of Napoleon the Third. 
It is not generally known that the Crimean War was not 
merely a war for the control of Constantinople, but was in 
the first place a struggle for the key to the Church in 
Bethlehem. Small causes often have great consequences. 

As the question of the Holy Places bears directly upon 
France's claim to Syria, it is worth while looking into the 
genesis of the Crimean War. Beforehand, we must take 
note of the pecuhar position which the various States and 
reHgions occupy at the Holy Sites. A map of the Church 
of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem and of the buildings 
attached to it is as compHcated as a map of the Holy Koman 
Empire. Certain parts of the Church building belong to 
the Latin and Greek Christians in common, while others 
belong exclusively to Latin Christians, Greek Christians, 
Abyssinian Christians, Armenian Christians, Copts, Syrians, 
Eussians, Prussians. Every carpet, picture, lamp, vase 

88 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

has its owner. Of the fifteen lamps in the Angels' Chapel 
in Jerusalem, for instance, five belong to the Greek Church, 
five to the Latin Church, four to the Armenian, and one 
to the Coptic Chm'ch. The greatest jealousy prevails 
among the different Churches and nationahties. The 
displacement of a Greek lamp or vase by a Latin one might 
create a riot. Property of various Churches has been 
displaced, stolen or burned by other Churches and sanguinary 
fights have often occurred within the Holy precincts. Men 
of the same religion, but belonging to different Churches, 
are unfortunately frequently animated by a bhnd and 
passionate zeal, and religious ceremonies performed in 
their presence in an unorthodox manner appear to them 
not merely a sacrilege but a deadly insult which calls for 
blood. To avoid a colUsion, the Turks have devised the 
most minute regulations. Still they have not been able 
to prevent the Churches encroaching upon the rights of 
their rivals. 

During the Napoleonic period, France had taken 
comparatively httle interest in the Holy Land and the 
Greek Church had encroached upon the position of the 
Latins. That encroachment was the direct cause of the 
Crimean War. La 1854, when the war began, the British 
Government pubHshed a Blue Book of 1029 pages, con- 
taining nearly 1200 largely abbreviated documents. If 
their full text had been given the volume would probably 
have exceeded 2000 pages. That pubUcation furnished 
an account of the causes of the war and was significantly 
entitled ' Correspondence respecting the Eights and 
Privileges of the Latin and Greek Churches in Turkey.' 
In that correspondence various Church properties, and 
especially the key to the Church at Bethlehem, played a 
very great part. 

As early as May 20, 1850, Sir Stratford Canning informed 
Lord Palmerston : 

My Lord, — A question Hkely to be attended with much 
discussion and excitement is on the point of being raised 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 89 

between the conflicting interests of the Latin and Greek 
Churches in this country. The immediate point of diffe- 
rence is the right of possession to certain portions of the 
Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. 

General Aupick [the French Ambassador] has assured 
me that the matter in dispute is a mere question of property 
and of express treaty stipulation. But it is difficult to 
separate any such question from poHtical considerations, 
and a struggle of general influence, especially if Eussia, as 
may be expected, should interfere in behalf of the Greek 
Church, will probably grow out of the impending discussion. 

Soon the question of the key to the Bethlehem Church 
came to the front and monopolised the attention of all 
European capitals and Cabinets. On February 9, 1852, 
Aali Pasha wrote to M. de Lavalette : 

La Grotte qui est la Sainte Crèche est aujourd'hui un 
lieu visité par les diverses nations Chrétiennes, et il est 
étabh depuis un très ancient temps qu'une clef de la porte du 
coté du nord de la grande éghse à Bethléem, une clef de la 
porte du coté du midi de cette éghse, et une clef de la porte 
de la grotte susmentionnée, doivent se trouver entre les 
mains des prêtres Latins aussi. En cas donc que ces clefs 
ne se trouvent point en la possession des Latins, il faut qu'on 
leurj^donne une clef de chacune de ces trois portes, pour qu'ils 
les aient comme par le passé. 

The Sultan, as the sovereign and ground landlord, 
was called upon to decide between the quarrelhng Churches, 
and he endeavoured to arrange matters by a Firman which 
was to be pubhcly read. His attempt proved a failure. 
Consul Finn reported to the Earl of Malmesbury on 
October 27, 1852, from Jerusalem : 

Afif Bey invited all the parties concerned to meet him 
in the Church of the Virgin near Gethsemane. There he 
read an Order of the Sultan for permitting the Latins to 
celebrate Mass once a year, but requiring the altar and its 
ornaments to remain undisturbed. No sooner were these 
words uttered than the Latins, who had come to receive 

90 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

their triumph over the Orientals, broke out into loud ex- 
clamations of the impossibiUty of celebrating Mass upon a 
schismatic slab of marble, with a covering of silk and gold 
instead of plain linen, among schismatic vases, and before 
a crucifix which has the feet separated instead of nailed one 
over the other. 

The French Government backed up the Latin, and 
the Kussian Government the Greek, Church. The rehgious 
differences soon assumed a pohtical aspect. Kussia began 
to threaten the Sultan with her army, and France with her 
fleet. Colonel Eose reported on November 20, 1852, to 
the Earl of Malmesbury : 

The Porte's position is most disadvantageous. Against 
all her wishes and interests she has been dragged into a most 
dangerous and difficult dispute between the Great Powers, 
who found their respective claims on contradictory docu- 
ments, which date fiom remote and dark ages. The Porte, 
a Mohammedan Power, is called on to decide a quarrel which 
involves, ostensibly, sectarian Christian rehgious feehngs, 
but which, in reahty, is a vital struggle between France and 
Kussia for pohtical influence, at the Porte's cost in her 

Continuing, he reported that the Sultan had been 
threatened by France with a blockade of the Dardanelles, 
while the Kussian representative had declared that he 
would leave Constantinople unless his demands were ful- 
filled. A few weeks later Colonel Kose informed the Earl 
of Malmesbury : 

The complaints of the Kussian Legation here against the 
Porte in the Jerusalem question are two, an ostensible one 
and an undefined one. The first is that the Firman to the 
Greeks has not been read in Jerusalem in full Council, and 
in the presence of the patriarchs and clergy of all the diffe- 
rent sects. The second one is as to dehvery of the key of the 
great door of the Church at Bethlehem to the Latins. 

The quarrel about the Holy Places, and especially 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 91 

about the celebrated key, became more and more 
acrimonious. On January 28, 1853, Lord John Kussell. 
wrote regretfully from the Foreign Office to Lord Cowley : 

To a Government taking an impartial view of these 
affairs, an attitude so threatening on both sides appears 
very lamentable. We should deeply regret any dispute 
that might lead to a conflict between two of the Great 
Powers of Europe ; but when we reflect that the quarrel is 
for exclusive privileges in a spot near which the Heavenly 
Host proclaimed peace on earth and goodwill towards men 
— when we see rival Churches contending for mastery in 
the very place where Christ died for mankind — ^the thought 
of such a spectacle is melancholy indeed. 

The Latins, backed by France, possessed keys to the 
two side-doors of the Church at Bethleham, but not the 
key of the main entrance, which was in the hands of the 
Greek Church. Failing to receive the key, the French 
Consul resolved to use force and had the main entrance 
broken open by locksmiths. His action led to the following 
protest on the part of Kussia : 

Nous laisserons le Ministère Français juge de la pénible 
sm^prise que nous avons éprouvée en apprenant qu'à son 
retour à Constantinople, après un court séjour en France, 
M. de La valet te avait soulevé de nouveau la question, en 
exigeant de la Porte, en termes peremptoires, et sous menace 
d'une rupture avec la France, la suppression du dernier 
Firman ; l'envoi à Jerusalem d'un Commissaire Turc, avec 
de nouvelles instructions ; la remise au clergé Latin de la clef 
et de la garde de la grande Eghse à Bethléem ; le placement 
sur l'autel de la Grotte de la Nativité d'une étoile aux armes 
de la France, qui s'y trouvait, dit-on, jadis, et qui en avait 
été enlevée ; l'adjonction au Couvent Latin de Jerusalem 
d'une bâtisse attenante à la coupole du Saint Sépulcre ; 
d'autres concessions enfin, qui de loin peuvent paraître des 
minuties, mais qui, sur les Heux, et aux yeux des populations 
indigènes, y compris même les Musulmans, sont autant de 
passe-droits et d'empiétements sur les autres communautés 

92 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

Chrétiennes, autant de motifs de dissensions et de haine 
entre elle et l'EgHse Eomaine, dont on prétend soutenir par 
ces moyens les intérêts. 

Il nous répugne de faire mention ici des scènes scandal- 
euses qui ont déjà eu lieu à Jerusalem par suite de ces mesures, 
auxquelles la Porte a eu la faiblesse de prêter la main, et 
qui ont déjà reçu en partie leur exécution contrairement à 
la teneur du dernier Firman, dont, par une autre contradic- 
tion étrange, on donnait lecture aux autorités locales au 
moment même où l'on chargeait celles-ci d'en violer les 
dispositions principales. 

D'après les derniers rapports que nous avons de la Syrie 
et de Constantinople, les choses en étaient venues à Jerusalem 
à ce point de confusion et de désordre que, tandis qu'un^ 
prélat Catholique, assisté du Consul de France, appelait à 
son aide les serruriers de la ville pour se faire ouvrir la 
grande porte de l'Eglise de Bethléem, bien que l'accès lui 
fut ouvert par deux autres portes latérales, le Patriarche de 
Jerusalem, Cyrille, vieillard vénérable, et généralement 
connu par son esprit concihant et la moderation de son 
caractère, se voyait obUgé de protester par écrit contre ces 
actes de violence, et de partir pour Constantinople, afin 
de porter ses plaintes et celles de sa nation au Sultan. 

On February 9, 1853, Sir G. H. Seymour, the British 
Ambassador in Petrograd, had an important conversation 
with Count Nesselrode, the Eussian Chancellor, regarding 
the Franco-Eussian dispute, and the celebrated key occupied 
once more the place of honour. The British Ambassador 
reported : 

. . . Count Nesselrode observed : * We have no wish 
to demand the restoration of the key of the Bethlehem 
Church.' As it is always desirable to guard against misap- 
prehensions, I ventured to enquire whether, in this case, a 
key meant an instrument for opening a door, only not to be 
employed in closing that door against Christians of other 
sects ; or whether it was simply a key — an emblem. Count 
Nesselrode replied, unhesitatingly, that his meaning was 
that the key was to be used in giving the Latins access to 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 93 

the Church, but not to be used for securing the door against 
Greeks and other Christians. 

At last Kussia sent Turkey an ultimatum regarding the 
Holy Places in the form of proposals which were pressingly 
put forward by Prince Menchikoff, and once more the 
Bethlehem key was a chief object of contention. It made 
its appearance in the first article of that document. Com- 
menting on that ultimatum, Lord Stratford de EedcHfïe, 
formerly Sir Stratford Canning, wrote to the Earl of 
Clarendon : 

All the proposals or demands in question, with two or 
three exceptions, refer to the Greek clergy and Churches in 
Turkey. They amount in substance to the conclusion of a 
Treaty stipulating that Eussia shall enjoy the exclusive 
right of intervening for the effectual protection of all 
members of the Greek Church, and of the interests of the 
Churches themselves ; that the privileges of the four Greek 
patriarchs shall be effectually confirmed, and the patriarchs 
shall hold their preferment for hfe, independently of the 
Porte's approval. 

The Crimean War arose out of a quarrel between the 
Greek and Latin Churches. It was largely caused by the 
fact that Kussia was unwilling to allow France to remain 
any longer the protectress of Christianity in the East. 

The Holy Places have for centuries been in the guardian- 
ship of the Turks, and the Turks, being Mohammedans, 
have been able to act as disinterested, and therefore 
impartial, guardians. Great jealousy prevails between 
Catholics and Protestants, between the Eastern and the 
Western Churches. All the other Churches would keenly 
resent it if France, by the acquisition of Syria, should 
obtain the guardianship of the Holy Places, and even the 
Eoman Catholics belonging to other nations would be 
dissatisfied. Eussia has assumed a leading position in the 
Holy Land. Every year enormous pilgrimages leave 
Eussia for Jerusalem, and on the heights which command 

94 The Prohleyn of Asiatic Turkey 

Jerusalem and Bethlehem the Eussian Church has erected 
huge buildings for its pilgrims which overshadow these 
towns. In 1896 M. Emile Delmas wrote very truly in his 
book * Egypte et Palestine ' : * La Russie qui est partout 
ailleurs notre amie, est, dans le Levant, notre rivale 
persévérante.* France's guardianship of the Holy Places 
would be disliked by other nations and possibly by Russia 
herself. It might involve France in most serious troubles. 
France has strong economic interests in Syria and CiHcia, 
where she has built railways and harbour works, and where 
she possesses numerous schools, clerical establishments, &c. 
Syria and CiHcia possess very great agricultural and mineral 
possibilities. If France wishes to occupy and exploit 
these territories she would probably act wisely in excluding 
the Holy Places, putting these under an international 
guardianship. However, that step would no doubt greatly 
reduce the value of Syria in the eyes of the French people. 
Much of its attraction would be gone. 

The control of the Asiatic shore of the Black Sea would 
be convenient to Russia, supposing she occupied Constanti- 
nople, but it would, as has been shown, scarcely benefit 
her unless she had the hinterland as well. The possession 
of Sjrria would gratify, but would only moderately benefit, 

The control of Mesopotamia and of the Persian Gulf 
and of Arabia seems almost a necessity to the British 
Empire for strategical and economic reasons. Admiral 
Mahan wrote in his book * Retrospect and Prospect ' : 

The control of the Persian Gulf by a foreign State of 
considerable naval potentiahty, a * fleet in being * there, 
based upon a strong military port, would reproduce the 
relations of Cadiz, Gibraltar, and Malta to the Mediterranean. 
It would flank all the routes to the Farther East, to India, 
and to Austraha, the last two actually internal to the 
Empire regarded as a political system ; and, although at 
present Great Britain unquestionably could check such a 
fleet so placed by a division of her own, it might well require 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 95 

a detachment large enough to affect seriously the general 
strength of her naval position. 

A glance at the map confirms Admiral Mahan's state- 
ment. However, the control not only of the Persian Gulf 
but of Mesopotamia also is an important British interest. 
India is strongly protected towards the north and north- 
west by enormous mountains, but can comparatively 
easily be invaded by way of Mesopotamia and Persia, by 
the road taken by Alexander the Great and other conquerors, 
by which, as has been shown above, the railways of the 
future will connect India with Central Europe. Great 
Britain, as India's guardian, is therefore strongly interested 
that that most important Une of approach should not be 
dominated by a great military Power to India's danger. 
Besides, England is on India's behalf strongly interested 
in Mesopotamia for economic reasons. India suffers from 
two evils : from famine and from over-population. Mesopo- 
tamia hes at India's door and can, as will presently be 
shown, produce enormous quantities of food and receive 
many millions of immigrants. As the climate of Mesopo- 
tamia is not very suitable for Europeans, it is only logical 
that over-populated India should be given an outlet upon 
the Euphrates and Tigris. Great Britain has a good claim 
upon the control of Mesopotamia. She has developed 
the trade along its rivers. British archaeologists and 
engineers have explored the country, and British men of 
action have for decades striven to recreate its pros- 
perity. Lastly, EngHshmen have conquered it. 

Mesopotamia has almost unlimited agricultural pos- 
sibiHties. Babylonia and Assyria were the cradle of 
Christian civiHsation and perhaps of mankind. Chapter ii. 
verse 8, of the Book of Genesis tells us : * And the Lord 
God planted a garden eastward in Eden ; and there he 
put the man whom he had formed.' The word * Eden ' 
is the Sumerian word, as Assyriologists have told us, for 
plain. The ancient Babylonians al^o had a myth of a 

96 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

great plain in the centre of which stood the Tree of Know- 
ledge, and they possessed likewise the story of the Flood 
and of the Ark. In Genesis, chapter ii. verse 14, we 
read in the description of Paradise : * And the name of the 
third river is Hiddekel : that is it which goeth toward the 
east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.' 
Assyriologists tell us that the four rivers mentioned in the 
Bible were the Euphrates and Tigris, and two of the huge 
artificial canals which the ancients had constructed. In 
chapter x. of Genesis we are made acquainted with Nimrod, 
Babel, Erech, Accad, Calneh, Nineveh, and other Baby- 
lonian names. Ur on the Euphrates near Babylon was 
the birthplace of Abraham. The ancient Jews placed their 
Paradise in Eden because Eden, the Mesopotamian plain, 
was then the garden of the world. Herodotus, who had 
visited Mesopotamia and the town of Babylon, and who 
wrote about the year 450 b.c., has told us — the translation 
is Eawlinson's : 

But httle rain falls in Assyria, enough, however, to make 
the corn begin to sprout, after which the plant is nourished 
and the ears formed by means of irrigation from the river. 
For the river does not, as in Egypt, overflow the corn-lands 
of its own accord, but is spread over them by the hand, or 
by the help of engines. The whole of Babylonia is, like 
Egypt, intersected with canals. The largest of them all, 
which runs towards the winter sun, and is impassable except 
in boats, is carried from the Euphrates into another stream, 
called the Tigris, the river upon which the town of Nineveh 
formerly stood. 

Of all the countries that we know, there is none which is 
so fruitful in grain. It makes no pretension, indeed, of 
growing the fig, the olive, the vine, or any other tree of the 
kind, but in grain it is so fruitful as to yield commonly two 
hundredfold. The blade of the wheat plant and barley 
plant is often four fingers in breadth. As for the millet and 
the sesame, I shall not say to what height they grow, though 
within my own knowledge, for I am not ignorant that what 
I have already written concerning the fruitfulness of Baby- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 97 

Ionia must seem incredible to those who have never visited 
the country. 

Among the many proofs which I shall bring forward of 
the power and resources of the Babylonians the following is 
of special account. The whole country under the domina- 
tion of the Persians, besides paying a fixed tribute, is par- 
celled out into divisions to supply food to the Great King and 
his Army. Now, out of the twelve months of the year, 
the district of Babylon furnished food during four, the other 
regions of Asia during eight ; by which it appears that 
Assyria, in respect of resources, is one-third the whole of 

Quintus Cur tins, who wrote about 50 b.c., told ub : 

The pasturage between the Tigris and the Euphrates is 
represented as so rich and luxuriant that the inhabitants 
restrain the cattle feeding lest they should die by a surfeit. 
The cause of this fertihty is the humidity circulated through 
the soil by subterranean streams, replenished from the two 

The great fruitfulness of Babylonia was praised by 
many ancient writers, such as Theophrastus, a disciple of 
Aristotle, Berosus, Strabo, Pliny, &c. According to 
Herodotus (III. 91, 92) Babylonia and Susiana paid to 
Darius a tribute of 1300 talents per year, and Egypt of 
only 700. Apparently Mesopotamia was at the time 
almost twice as wealthy as Egypt. According to the 
ancient writers, the fruitfulness of Babylonia exceeded 
that of Egypt. The account of the size of the town of 
Babylon given by Herodotus seems at first sight exaggerated. 
It seems incredible that Babylon should have covered an 
area five times as large as that of Paris. According to the 
account of Herodotus the circumference of the town was 
480 stades, or 56 miles. On the other hand, the circum- 
ference of the town was, according to Strabo, 385 stades ; 
according to Quintus Curtius, 368 stades ; according to 
CHtarchus, 365 stades ; and according to Ctesias, 360 
stades. Four of the estimates given are strangely similar. 

98 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

As Babylon possessed an outer and an inner wall, it is 
assumed by many that Herodotus gave figures for the outer 
and the other writers for the inner line of fortifications. 

Enormous towns testify to the wealth and populousness 
of a country. After Babylon's destruction it became a 
quarry and Seleucia and Ctesiphon were built with the 
stones of that city. The former town had, in the time of 
Pliny, 600,000 inhabitants, and 500,000 when destroyed 
by Cassius in a.d. 165. Ctesiphon, when taken by Severus 
in A.D. 232, must have been approximately as large, for 
it furnished 100,000 prisoners. 

Assyria and Babylonia were the wealthiest countries 
of antiquity, and Mesopotamia was the richest part of the 
great Persian Empire. Persia's wealth was chiefly Baby- 
lonian wealth. In the Middle Ages, Baghdad arose among 
the Babylonian ruins, and between the tenth and eleventh 
centuries it had 2,000,000 inhabitants, 60,000 baths, 80,000 
bazaars, &c. It was the capital of the gigantic Arab Em- 
pire, the wealth of which was founded upon the flourishing 
agriculture of the Babylonian plain. 

In olden times Babylonia was perfectly irrigated. Under 
the Turks, the wonderful system of canals fell into neglect. 
The Babylonian plain became partly a desert and partly 
a swamp. Mesopotamia, which, in olden times, was the 
most densely populated part of the world, is at present the 
most sparsely peopled part of the Turkish Empire, as will 
be seen by reference to the table given in the beginning 
of this chapter. All Mesopotamia has at present only 
2,000,000 inhabitants, or fourteen people per square mile. 

Sir William Willcocks, a very eminent engineer, who 
has surveyed the country and planned a gigantic irrigation 
system, dehvered, on March 25, 1903, before the Khedivial 
Geographical Society at Cairo, a lecture on the irrigation 
of Mesopotamia, in the course of which he stated : 

We have before us the restoration of that ancient land 
whose name was a synonym for abundance, prosperity, and 
grandeur foi many generations. Kecords as old as those of 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 99 

Egypt and as well attested tell of fertile lands and teeming 
populations, mighty kings and warriors, sages and wise 
men, over periods of thousands of years. And over and 
above everything else there is this unfailing record that the 
teeming wealth of this land was the goal of all Eastern 
conquerors and its possession the crown of their conquests. 
The Eastern Power which held this land in old historic 
days held the East. A land such as this is worth resuscitat- 
ing. Once we have apprehended the true cause of its present 
desolate and abandoned condition we are on our way to 
restoring it to its ancient fertiUty. A land which so readily 
responded to ancient science and gave a return which 
sufficed for the maintenance of a Persian Court in all its 
splendour will surely respond to the efforts of modern science 
and return manifold the money and talent spent on its 
regeneration. ... Of all the regions of the earth, no region 
is more favoured by Nature for the production of cereals 
than the lands on the Tigris. Indeed, I have heard our 
former President, Dr. Schweinfurth, say, in this very hall, 
that wheat, in its wild uncultivated state, has its home 
in these semi-arid regions and from here it has been trans- 
ported to every quarter of the globe. Cotton, sugar-cane, 
Indian corn, and all the summer products of Egypt will 
flourish here as on the Nile, while the winter products of 
cereals, leguminous plants, Egyptian clover, opium, and 
tobacco will find themselves at home as they do in Egypt. 
Of the historic gardens of Babylon and Bagdad it is not 
necessary for me to speak. A land whose climate allows 
her to produce such crops in tropical profusion, and whose 
snow-fed rivers permit of perennial irrigation over millions 
of acres, cannot be barren and desolate when the Bagdad 
Eailway is traversing her fields and European capital is 
seeking a remunerative outlet. 

According to the painstaking and conscientious investiga- 
tions of Sir William Willcocks, the irrigable area of Meso- 
potamia is from two to three times as large as that of Egypt. 
It follows that that country should be able to nourish 
from two to three times as many people as Egypt, that 
its population might be increased from 2,000,000 to about 

100 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

30,000,000. Mesopotamia might once more become one 
of the great granaries of the world, and owing to its position 
it ought obviously to become the granary of famine-stricken 
and over-populated India. Mesopotamia might become, 
and ought to become, another, and a greater, Egypt under 
the united efforts of Great Britain and India. Great 
Britain's experience in Egypt and in India in the best 
methods of irrigation should convert the Babylonian waste 
once more into a paradise. 

One of the most important routes, if not the most 
important, of the British Empire is the sea-route from 
England to India and Australia by way of the Suez Canal. 
Admiral Mahan has stated that the control of the Persian 
Gulf is an important British interest because thence a 
flank attack may be made on the sea-route to India and 
China. A glance at the map shows that the control of 
the Ked Sea is at least as important because the Bed Sea 
is merely a prolongation of the Suez Canal. The Red Sea 
and the Persian Gulf are long and narrow inlets from the 
shores of which British shipping can easily be attacked 
by means of mines, submarines, and torpedo boats. It 
is therefore clear that Great Britain is most strongly 
interested in the integrity of the shores both of the Persian 
Gulf and of the Red Sea. Arabia forms the eastern shore 
of the Red Sea and the western shore of the Persian Gulf. 
As Great Britain is vitally interested in the integrity of 
the Persian Gulf and of the Red Sea, she is equally strongly 
interested in the integrity of Arabia. A hostile Power 
controlling Arabia might make both inlets untenable to 
Great Britain and block the Suez Canal somewhere between 
Suez and Aden. Great Britain and India have shown in 
the past that they are strongly interested in the integrity 
both of Southern Persia, which forms the eastern shore of 
the Persian Gulf, and of Arabia. A hostile Power con- 
trolUng Arabia could not only attack British shipping in 
the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, but could attack the 
Suez Canal as well. 

Great Problems of Britishi^iaUàmakfïvi'p\ \ ..loi 

On the eastern shore of the Ked Sea lie the Holy Places 
of Mohammedanism, Mecca, and Medina. AU Moham- 
medans desire that their Holy places should be controlled 
by an independent Mohammedan Power, not by Christian 
States. Great Britain is certain to respect that wish. 

If the 'arguments given in these pages should, after a 
careful scrutiny, be found correct, it would appear that 
the problem of Asiatic Turkey can be solved only by placing 
the country under a European guardianship, and the 
question arises whether several Powers or a single one 
should fill this office. As several Powers possess strong 
interests in Asiatic Turkey, and as the country is of the 
greatest strategical importance, the ideal solution would 
seem to be a joint guardianship exercised by some body 
either on behalf of all Europe or on behalf of the victorious 
Entente Powers. It is questionable, however, whether the 
Powers exercising control over one of the most valuable 
and important territories in the world will be able to act 
in harmony. 

Natura non facit saltum. A guardianship should not 
be imposed upon Turkey by violent measures. It might 
be exercised by means of the strictest financial control. 
A European financial authority might be made to control 
and direct the entire expenditure of Asiatic Turkey, and 
might by purely financial means keep the country in order 
and shape its poHcy and internal development. If we 
look for a precedent we find one in the Caisse de la Dette, 
a Turkish organisation directed by Europeans which has 
managed the Turkish finances with conspicuous honesty 
and abihty without causing serious international friction. 
However, the example of the Caisse de la Dette supplies 
a false analogy. The European nations acted in harmony, 
when represented ;by that body, because the Caisse had no 
pohtical power. That power was exercised by the Sultan 
and his advisers. Hence, the European nations intrigued 
against each other not in the Caisse de la Dette but around 
the Sultan and his Government. If the Caisse de la Dette 

loi: '^ï^elPf<mefr>. of Asiatic Turkey 

should be given control over the Turkish Government its 
harmony would probably come to an end and the European 
Powers would strive to influence the policy of Asiatic Turkey 
by bringing pressure to bear upon the international j&nancial 
commission of supervision. 

A condominium, whenever and wherever tried, has 
proved a failure and a danger. If the European Powers 
should desire to convert Asiatic Turkey into a peaceful and 
prosperous buffer State, into a gigantic Switzerland, by 
means of a European guardianship, the duty of controUing, 
modernising, and developing the country should be left 
to a single and a non-miUtary, and therefore non-aggressive, 
Power acting on behalf of Europe. At first sight it would 
appear that some small and capable State such as Sweden, 
Holland or Belgium might act in that capacity. But there 
are several objections to trusting the guardianship of so 
large and so important a country to a small State. Swedes, 
Dutchmen, and Belgians have little experience in dealing with 
Mohammedans. Belonging to a small State, they would 
not enjoy sufficient prestige with the Turks. Last, but 
not least, there would always be the danger that a small 
State furnishing the guardians of Turkey might be influenced 
in its poUcy by the attitude of a powerful neighbour State 
which thus would be able to influence the guardian of 
Asiatic Turkey to its own advantage. If the European 
Powers should decide to place Turkey under a guardianship, 
a single, a strong, a non-mihtary and therefore non-aggi'es- 
sive Power experienced in managing Mohammedans should 
be selected. The only Power possessing these quahfications 
is Great Britain. Great Britain might convert Asiatic 
Turkey into another, and a greater, Egypt. Outwardly it 
would remain an independent State with Sultan, &c. How- 
ever, an inconspicuous representative of the guardian Power, 
called Adviser or Consul- General, would control the Turkish 
administrative and executive absolutely by controlUng the 
entire finances of the country. 

Asiatic Turkey, hke Egypt, would not need, and should 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 103 

not possess, a real army. A police force and a gendarmerie, 
possibly supported by a few thousand soldiers in case of 
internal troubles, should suffice. The entire energy of 
the Asiatic Turks should be concentrated upon the develop- 
ment of the country. Only then would Turkey cease to 
be a danger to other nations and to itself. 

Great Britain would derive no benefit from its guardian- 
ship, except the benefit of peace. Her activity on behalf 
of Europe would be distinctly unprofitable to herself. 
It is true that the Turks would have to pay salaries to a 
number of British officials — a paltry matter — and that 
Great Britain might possibly provide some of the capital 
needed for developing the country. However, Great 
Britain will, after the War, have no capital to spare for 
exotic enterprises. All her surplus capital will be required 
for developing the Motherland and Empire. Besides, 
she has no superabundance of able administrators available 
for the service of Turkey and of other semi-civilised States. 
Great Britain would see in a guardianship over Turkey 
rather a duty than an advantage. 

li the War, as seems likely, should end in the victory 
of the Entente Powers, France will probably receive Alsace- 
Lorraine and possibly further German territory. Eussia 
will probably obtain considerable territory from Germany 
and Austria-Hungary and may receive Constantinople. 
Great Britain will obtain practically no material com- 
pensation, for the German Colonies can scarcely be con- 
sidered as such. Great Britain has not fought for territory 
but for peace. The neutralisation of Asiatic Turkey appears 
to be the most necessary step for preventing the outbreak 
of another world- war. While Eussia and France demand 
valuable territories as a reward, Great Britain is surely 
entitled to demand stability and peace as a compensation. 
No Englishman has expressed the wish that Great Britain 
should acquire Asiatic Turkey. The aim of the British 
Government and of all Europe should be to enable Turkey 
to govern herself. But in order to be able to govern herself 

104 The Problem of Asiatic Turkey 

Turkey must be taught the art of government, and Great 
Britain might be her teacher. 

It seems necessary for the peace of the world that Asiatic 
Turkey in its entirety should be neutraHsed, and it seems 
likely that its neutraHty can be maintained only if order 
and good government are introduced into the country 
under the auspices of a strong but non-military and unaggres- 
sive State, such as Great Britain, which is not Hkely ever 
to use the unrivalled position occupied by the Turkish 
provinces as a base for attacking the neighbouring Powers 
with a large army. A British guardianship would of course 
not prevent French, Eussian, Italian, and Greek capital 
and labour participating with England in the Government 
and economic development of the country, in accordance 
with the policy laid down by the European Powers in concert 
and executed by Great Britain as their appointed guardian. 
Thus Eussia might develop Armenia, IVance Syria and 
CiUcia, Italy the district of Adalia, and Greece that of 

If, on the other hand, the Powers should not be able 
to agree to a British guardianship, it would become necessary 
to divide Asiatic Turkey into zones of influence. In that 
case, the Turks would probably be restricted to a compara- 
tively narrow territory in the centre of Asia Minor. Being 
cut off from the sea and lacking great natural resources, 
the few million Turks would scarcely be able to retain 
their independence for long. Asiatic Turkey in its totality 
would be partitioned by the Powers. Great Britain would 
probably claim the control, in some form or other, of both 
Mesopotamia and Arabia as her share. However, it seems 
very doubtful whether the partition of Asiatic Turkey 
would prove a final one. It is much to be feared that it 
would lead to a disaster perhaps as great as the present 



The War, as far as the land campaign is concerned, may- 
end in three different ways. It may end in the victory 
of Germany and of Austria-Hungary, it may lead to the 
exhaustion of the land Powers engaged in it, and may thus 
remain undecided, or it may result in the defeat of Germany 
and Austria-Hungary. In each of these three eventualities, 
the question as to the position and future of the Dual 
Monarchy wiU be of the very greatest interest and importance 
not only to all Europe but to the world. 

The War has yielded a twofold surprise to all who are 
interested in military affairs. The Germans have fought far 
better, and the Austrians infinitely worse, than was generally 
expected. At the beginning of the War the Austrian armies 
utterly collapsed. It was expected by the German General 
Staff that their Austrian alHes would be able to hold back 
the Russian hosts from the Austro- German frontiers until 
the Germans had destroyed the French armies, taken Paris, 
and occupied the most valuable portions of France. Instead 
of this, Austria suffered at the hands of Russia the most 
disastrous defeat in her history, a defeat compared with 
which her defeat at Kôniggràtz and France's defeat at Sedan 
appear unimportant. GaHcia, the Bukovina, and part of 
Hungary, districts inhabited by about 10,000,000 people 
and possessed of enormous resources of every kind, with 
Lemberg, the third largest Austrian town, were overrun by 

^ The Nineteenth Century and After, November, 1914. . 

106 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

Eussia, and even the little army of poor and war-exhausted 
Serbia utterly defeated the numerically far stronger Austrian 
forces sent against it. Prince Lichnowsky, referring to 
Austria-Hungary, said, not without reason, to a friend 
shortly before leaving London : * Germany goes to war with 
a corpse hanging round her neck.* 

Owing to the initial collapse of the Austrian army and 
the truly wonderful achievements of the Germans against 
heavy odds — achievements which one could frankly admire, 
had the German soldiers by their brutahty and unspeakable 
crimes not covered the German name with everlasting infamy 
— ^Germany took the conduct of war completely into her 
own hands and Austria became a mere cypher. The Austrian 
army commanders and the Austrian Chief of the General 
Staff were dismissed, and for all practical purposes the 
Austrian army became an adjunct and a subordinate portion 
of the German army. Austria's dependence upon Germany 
was formerly disguised. Berlin did not wish to hurt the 
susceptibilities of Vienna, and allowed the Austrians to 
make a brave show and to pose as a Great Power. To humour 
their vanity, Austrian statesmen were permitted to * lead 
off* when the War for the hegemony in Europe and the 
mastery of the world had been resolved upon in Berhn. 
But the relations between Germany and Austria-Hungary 
will never again resemble those which existed before the War. 
The rulers and people of the Dual Monarchy have become 
aware that they depend upon Germany's good will for their 
very existence. The German people, and especially the 
German officers, refer to beaten and decadent Austria with 
undisguised contempt. Austria's independence is a thing of 
the past. She is at present a German vassal. What will 
be her future ? 

If Germany should be victorious in the War on land, or 
if the campaign should end undecided, Austria-Hungary 
will continue to be a German appendage and for all practical 
purposes a subject State. There may still be an Austrian 
Emperor in Vienna, but he will be a German puppet, not 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 107 

only in all questions of foreign policy, but in domestic, 
administrative, and military matters as well. Germany will 
certainly not relinquish her present control over the Austrian 
army. Macht'politih, the policy of power, will exact pay- 
ment and punishment from Austria's weakness and failure. 
We must, therefore, reckon with the fact that if the War 
should end in a draw, Germany and Austria-Hungary will 
form a single State, possibly even in outward form. It is 
conceivable that Austria-Hungary will have to enter the 
German Federation. At any rate, it seems Ukely that the 
German Emperor will, in case of a drawn war, rule in the 
near future over 120,000,000 people and dispose of an active 
army of 12,000,000 men in case of war ; that Pola, Fiume, 
and Cattaro will be German war harbours in addition to 
Kiel, Wilhelmshaven, and Emden ; that a vigorous policy 
of Germanisation will take place throughout Austria- 
Hungary ; that the Austrian Slavs will gradually become 
Germans ; that the power of Germany will be doubled even 
if she should not be able to retain any of her conquests. If, 
on the other hand, Germany and Austria-Hungary should 
be victorious on land, Germany's predominance would become 
not merely European but world-wide. In that case, she 
would retain in the West all Belgium and a large part of 
Eastern France ; and Holland, wedged into German territory, 
would undoubtedly be compelled to enter the German 
Federation. In the East she would annex Kussian Poland, 
and the formerly German Baltic Provinces of Kussia, 
Li viand, Esthland, and Courland. In addition, Germany 
would very hkely take the French colonies. Austria- 
Hungary would receive a portion of Western Eussia and all 
Serbia, and she would probably punish Italy's desertion by 
once more converting Lombardy and Venetia into Aus- 
trian provinces. For all practical purposes Germany and 
Austria-Hungary would thus be a single State of 150,000,000 
inhabitants, or more. 

As France and Eussia would be crippled for many 
decades, the great German Empire would dominate the 

108 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

Balkan States and Turkey, and these would become German 
protectorates. Stretching from Calais, from Havre, or 
perhaps from Cherbourg, to the vicinity of Petrograd, 
and from the Itahan plain to Constantinople, and to the 
lands beyond the Bosphorus far into Asia, Germany, together 
with her protectorates, would form a gigantic and compact 
State of more than 200,000,000 inhabitants. It would 
control the most valuable strategical positions in Europe 
and on the Mediterranean. It would dispose of unlimited 
armies, unlimited resources, and unlimited wealth. The 
HohenzoUerns would rule a State far larger than the Empire 
of Charlemagne. WiUiam the Second would rule the 
world, for the British Empire and the United States com- 
bined would scarcely be able to resist Germany for long. 
Although in the present war Great Britain should be 
victorious at sea, her ultimate downfall and that of the 
United States would probably be merely a question of 
time. Germany would rule the world, unless the power 
she had gained was wrested from her in a still greater war 
than the present one by the combined Anglo-Saxon, Latin, 
and Slav nations. A subordinate Austria-Hungary, which 
would vastly increase Germany's population and army and 
which, besides, would form a bridge between Germany 
and Constantinople, would evidently play a very important 
part in enabling Germany to recreate the Empire of 
Charlemagne on a vastly increased scale. 

The military weakness of Austria-Hungary and her 
internal divisions may lead to her absorption into Germany 
if the land war should prove indecisive or if it should end 
in a German victory. In either case, Austria-Hungary 
might gradually become a homogeneous, centralised, Prus- 
sianised, and powerful, though dependent, State, a kind 
of Greater Bavaria, and her accession would enormously 
increase Germany's power on land and sea. 

However, it seems unhkely that Germany and Austria- 
Hungary will be victorious, or that the War will end in 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 109 

a draw. In these circumstances it is worth while consider- 
ing closely the future of Austria-Hungary in cage of an 
Austro- German defeat. 

Austria-Hungary is not a modern State but a medieval 
survival. Modern States are erected on the broad basis 
of a common nationality. In modern States, State and 
nation are synonymous terms, and the people feel that 
they constitute a single family in a world of strangers. 
In Austria-Hungary, as in Turkey, the State is not formed 
by a politically organised nation. Austria-Hungary, like 
Turkey, is a country which is inhabited, not by a nation, 
but by a number of nations which have little in common 
and which hate and persecute one another. 

The Habsburg family possesses certain very marked 
hereditary peculiarities. The hanging Habsburg hp and 
the long narrow jaws may be traced back through generation 
after generation as far as the fifteenth century. King 
Alphonso of Spain curiously resembles his great ancestor, 
the Emperor Charles the Fifth, who ruled four centuries 
ago. Certain traits of character of the Habsburg family 
are equally persistent, and among these the spirit of 
acquisitiveness is particularly- marked. The Habsburgs 
have been the most successful family of matrimonial and 
land speculators known to history. While most dynasties 
rosej^ to eminence by- placing themselves Tat J the head of 
great nations and by conducting successful wars of conquest, 
the Alsatian family of the Habsburgs rose from obscurity 
to the greatest power by acquiring territories in all parts 
of the world by judicious purchase, by exchange, and 
especially by highly profitable marriages. Spain and the 
countries of the New World were one of the dowries gathered 
in by the Habsburg princes. Four and a half centuries 
ago the witty Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus wrote 
the distich : 

Bella gérant alii ! Tu felix Austria nube. 
Nam quae Mars aliis dat tibi regna Venus. 

110 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

(Let other nations wage war ! You, happy Austria, marry. 
For Venus will give you those lands which usually Mars 
bestows.) The Austrian Empire is not an Empire in the 
generally accepted sense of the term. It is the result of 
gigantic deals in land, and of equally gigantic matrimonial 
ventures. Since the earliest times the Habsburgs have 
cared for land, not for people. They acquired lands right 
and left, regardless of the nationality of the inhabitants 
whom they got thrown in. Thus the Habsburgs ruled 
at one time or another not only the ten nations which 
constitute Austria-Hungary, but Switzerland, Burgundy, 
Lorraine, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, 
Portugal, North Africa, and the countries of the New World 
as well. Austria-Hungary is the residue of a much larger 
fortuitous collection of States and nations. Kecognising 
that Austria- Hungary is neither a State nor a nation, but 
a collection of States and nations, Austrian rulers speak 
habitually of their peoples, not of their people, and of their 
lands, not of their land. The curious genesis of the Habs- 
burg monarchy, and the fact that the so-called Dual 
Monarchy is in reahty a multiple monarchy, is apparent 
from the title of its ruler, who is called Emperor of Austria, 
ApostoHc King of Hungary, King of Bohemia, Dalmatia, 
Croatia, Slavonia, GaHcia, Lodomiria and Ulyria, King of 
Jerusalem, Archduke of Austria, Grand Duke of Toscana 
and Cracow, Duke of Lorraine, Duke of Salzburg, Styria, 
Carinthia, Carniola, the Bukovina, of Upper and Lower 
Silesia, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla, Prince 
of Transylvania, Margrave of Moravia, Princely Count of 
Tyrol, &c., &c., &c. 

The peoples of Austria-Hungary are organised in 
two self-governing States, Austria and Hungary. These 
are loosely connected by various links, and Bosnia and 
Herzegovina are a joint possession of the two States. 
If, for simplicity's sake, we credit each of «these 
States with one half of the population of Bosnia and 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 111 

Herzegovina, we find that their racial composition is as 
follows : 

Population of 

Population of 

Austria and Half 

Hungary and Half 

of Bosnia and 

of Bosnia and 

Herzegovina in 

Herzegovina in 



Grermans . 



. 10,051,000 



Roumanians . 





. 2,037,000 




. 2,006.000 




. 1,968,000 




. 1,833,000 



Ruthenians . 




Magyars . 




The ten nations enumerated in this table speak ten different 
languages — the Serbians and Croats are one race and differ 
only in religion — ^and each of them has a strongly marked 
character and individuaUty of its own. 

A composite State which is peopled by different races 
can be ruled comparatively easily either on democratic 
or on autocratic lines ; democratically if the different 
races have full self-government, as they have in Switzerland 
and Canada, and autocratically if the ruling race consti- 
tutes the majority of the population. Austria is ruled by 
the Germans and Hungary by the Magyars. The Germans 
of Austria form about one-third of the population. The 
Magyars are apparently about one-half of the population 
of Hungary ; but their number is greatly overstated. In 
their anxiety to Magyarise Hungary and to make a good 
show, they have manipulated the census statistics, as will 
be shown later on. Hungary has in reahty only between 
7,000,000 and 8,000,000 bona fide Magyars. In other words, 
the ruhng race, both in Austria and in Hungary, constitutes 
only a minority. In both halves of the Dual Monarchy 
one-third of the people rule over the remaining two-thirds. 
That is not a healthy state of affairs. 

112 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

Austria and Hungary, like their ally Germany, are 
nominally constitutionally governed limited monarchies 
endowed with representative government and all the usual 
trappings of democracy. In reality Austria-Hungary, 
hke Germany, is an autocracy which is governed by the 
ruler and for the ruler under the observation of certain 
Parliamentary forms. In Austria- Hungary and in Germany 
the Emperor is the State. The Austrian Emperor, like 
the German Emperor, directs the entire machinery of the 
government and administration in accordance with his 
will. Thus in Austria-Hungary, as in Germany, the 
bureaucracy is the State, and the officials are the servants 
of the Emperor- King, who appoints and dismisses them. 
Parliament has no power whatever over the administrative 
apparatus. The people of the Dual Monarchy are ruled 
with the assistance of the Civil Service, the army, the ex- 
ceedingly powerful political police, which spies upon every 
citizen, the law courts, the school, the Church, and the 
Press, and all seven are government institutions controlled 
by the Emperor. Church and Press are no exception to 
the rule. In Germany the Emperor is the official head, 
the Pope, of the Protestant State Church. That perhaps 
accounts for his intimate relations with the Deity. The 
Austrian Church is Koman Cathohc. Its head is nominally 
the Pope, but in reality it is the Emperor. In a decree 
published by the Emperor Leopold the Second' on March 3, 
1782, we read : 

Although the priest's province is the cure of souls, he 
must also be considered as a citizen and as a State official 
engaged in rehgious work, for he can directly and indirectly 
exercise the greatest pohtical influence over the people by 
working upon their feehngs. 

It may sound strange, but it is a fact that in Austria 
the Church is a branch of the bureaucracy. The Press 
of the Dual Monarchy is Government -inspired. Government- 
subsidised, Government-muzzled, and Government-con- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 113 

trolled to a far greater extent than it is in Germany. Every 
Department of State has a Press bureau of its own, and 
enormous sums are spent by the Government upon the 
Austrian Press. The judged of the Dual Monarchy, being 
a part of the Civil Service, possess no real independence. 
That may be seen by their disgraceful partisan behaviour 
in political prosecutions, in which they frequently brow- 
beat, fine, and expel from the court not only the witnesses 
for the defence, but even the defending solicitors. 

Austria-Hungary is governed by absolutism, and 
absolutism can be successfully maintained only if the 
people are weak and ignorant. Endeavouring to keep 
the people in ignorance and subjection, the Austrian rulers 
have habitually favoured the Koman Cathohc Church 
and opposed education. Guided by the principle * Cujus 
regio, ejus et religio,' they have persecuted Protestantism 
in the most savage manner, recognising in it a revolt of 
the people against established authority. Herein Hes the 
reason that, although Protestantism took powerful root 
in the Dual Monarchy in the time of Huss, there are in 
Austria at present only 588,686 Protestants, as compared 
with no fewer than 25,949,627 Eoman CathoUcs. While 
the Austrian people are poor, the Austrian Church is 
exceedingly wealthy and powerful. lUiteracy in Austria- 
Hungary is very great. From the latest issue of the * Hand- 
worterbuch der Staatswissenschaften ' we learn that of 
10,000 recruits only 3 are iUiterate in Germany, 2200 are 
ilhterate in Austria, and 2590 in Hungary. Among the 
oppressed nationahties, for instance, in the Slavonic parts 
of Austria and Hungary, ilHteracy rises to 7000 among 
every 10,000 recruits. While the Austrian Government 
always discouraged knowledge and independence among 
the people, keeping them down by means of the officials, 
the police, and the Church, it endeavoured to prevent 
popular dissatisfaction by encouraging amusement and 
not discouraging vice. The Austrian towns, which might 
become hotbeds of revolution, are the gayest and at the 

114 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

same time the most immoral towns in Europe. In 1910 
of all the children born ahve 18 '25 per cent, were illegitimate 
in Upper Austria, 21-9 in Lower Austria, 23*0 in Styria, 
23*6 in Salzburg, and 35-6 in Carinthia. In Vienna the 
percentage of illegitimate births is on an average about 
forty, according to the ofi&cial statistics. Possibly they 
understate the facts. 

While, for the sake of making their peoples obedient, 
the Austrian rulers forced them by the most savage persecu- 
tion into a religious uniformity, they had no desire to 
weld them together into one nation. The old principle 
of the Habsburg monarchy is ' Divide et impera.* Francis 
the Second, who ruled Austria at the time of the Congress 
of Vienna, said to the French Ambassador : 

My peoples are strangers to each other. That is all the 
better. They do not catch the same poUtical disease at the 
same time. If the fever takes hold of you in France all of 
you catch it. Hungary is kept in order by Italian troops, 
and Italy is kept down by Hungarians. Everybody keeps 
his neighbour in order. My peoples do not understand 
each other, and hate each other. Their antipathies make 
for security and their mutual hatreds for the general peace. 

Absolutism is maintained by fear. Absolute rulers in 
the East and the West habitually distrust their principal 
advisers, fearing that their power may become too great. 
Actuated by fear and distrust, the Austrian rulers have 
usually entrusted the government of the country to 
mediocrities and nonentities, and have treated with 
ingratitude the public servants who had rendered the 
greatest services to their country. If Austria-Hungary 
entered upon a war in which she was absolutely certain of 
victory, her armies were commanded by a member of the 
ruling house, so that the dynasty should receive new glory. 
If she was likely to lose, the command was given to officers 
who were afterwards dismissed and disgraced for their 
incompetence. Generals von Auffenberg, Dankl, and many 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 115 

other leading men have shared the fate of General von 
Benedek, who was defeated at Kôniggrâtz, while Admiral 
Tegethoff was very badly treated by the Government 
because he unexpectedly defeated the far stronger Italian 
fleet at Lissa and was made a hero by the people. Austria's 
stagnation is largely due to the fact that she has usually 
been governed and administered by mediocrities, and that 
her armies have been entrusted to military nonentities 
in time of war. 

Austria-Hungary curiously resembles ancient Spain. 
In both countries we have seen rulers actuated by tyranny, 
treachery, cruelty, and jealousy. After all, the Spanish 
and Austrian dynasties are closely related. Both possess 
the same traditions and the same unbending Court cere- 
monial. Austria-Hungary, like ancient Spain, pursues 
not a national, but a purely'dynastic policy. The people 
are merely pawns, and they are exploited, oppressed, and 
treated with perfidy and ingratitude. The attitude of 
the Austrian rulers towards their subjects will be apparent 
from a few examples out of many. In 1690 the Emperor 
Leopold the First invited 200,000 Serbs to leave their 
country and to settle in Austria. They were to clear the 
Eastern frontier provinces of the Turks and to defend 
them against Ottoman aggression. They were promised 
freedom of rehgion, and their nationality was to be respected. 
During one hundred and sixty years the Serbs and their 
descendants fought Austria's battles against the Turks. 
They fought for Austria in Italy and on the Ehine. Not- 
withstanding Austria's promises, they were deprived of their 
leaders and forcibly denationalised. Their religion was sup- 
pressed, the building of Serbian churches and convents was 
prohibited, and during a century printing in the Serbian 
language was not allowed. The books required for religious 
service had to be copied by hand as late as the nineteenth 
century. The Serbian saints were excluded from the 
calendar, and on the sacred days of their Church Serbs 
were purposely sent to forced labour. These persecutions 

116 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

drove thousands of Serbs from Austria to Eussia and even 
to Turkey, where at least they were allowed to practise 
their reHgion. 

During the struggles of the Serbians with the Turks 
a century ago Austria disregarded their pitiful appeal for 
help, betrayed them to the Tui-ks, and forced them to 
surrender to them by closing against them the Austrian 
frontier, whence alone they could obtain food. During the 
Revolution of 1848 the Roman CathoHc Serbs of Austria, 
the Croatians, loyally aided the Emperor against the 
Hungarian revolutionists, defeated them and reconquered 
Vienna. Yet after the suppression of the Hungarian 
revolution they were handed over to Hungary to be ill- 
used and oppressed. The Roumanians, who also had 
loyally supported their Emperor against the rebelHous 
Magyars, were likewise handed over to their enemies, their 
protests notwithstanding. When the revolution broke out 
in Hungary, the Austrian officers stationed there were 
treated with the greatest duphcity by the Austrian Govern- 
ment. Believing that the Hungarians would succeed in 
making themselves independent, and fearing their hostihty, 
the Austrian Government wished to keep them quiet and 
encouraged the Austrian officers in Hungary to take service 
under the Hungarian Government in order to allay its sus- 
picions. A httle later when, with the help of Russia, Austria 
succeeded in defeating the Hungarian armies, she had many 
of the deluded Austrian officers executed for high treason. 

A king or emperor who rules over a number of different 
nationahties will, for convenience' sake, make one of their 
languages the official language of the Government. The 
Austrian Habsburgs, being German princes, not unnaturally 
made German the official language and handed over to the 
Austro-Germans the government of the Austrian peoples 
and the administration of their lands. German became 
the language of the upper classes, and of literature, for 
until lately only the upper classes in Austria could read 
and could afford to buy newspapers and books. Not 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 117 

very long ago the Magyar, Czech, Polish, Serbian, 
Eoumanian, Kuthenian, Slovenian, and Slovak languages, 
which now have a great and glorious Hterature, were hardly 
more than rude local patois used only by the common 
people. Books in most of these languages did not exi^t. 
The official language of the Magyars was Latin and German. 
The debates of the Hungarian ParUament were conducted 
in a mongrel Latin until a short time ago. 

Joseph the Second, who ruled from 1765 to 1790, was 
an enthusiast and a great admirer of Frederick the Great, 
his contemporary. Animated, perhaps, by a premonition 
of the rise of a great German State outside Austria, he 
endeavoured to Germanise his numerous non- German 
possessions. He strove to Germanise the people of the 
monarchy by forcing upon them a centralised German 
administration and the German language. Acting clumsily 
and high-handedly, he outraged the non- German peoples 
and brought about a revival of their languages. Patriotic 
native philologists began to study the non- German patois 
and to elevate them into a language by purifying them. 
Languages which had apparently died were painfully 
reconstructed out of the debris at hand. PoHsh, Magyar, 
Czech, and other writers created a great and beautiful 
literature in their revived languages. The cultured Magyars 
abandoned Latin and German for Magyar, and the leaders 
of the other nationalities also took to their rediscovered 
national languages. The current of nationalism could 
not be stemmed. The nationalities acquired race conscious- 
ness and race pride. The rapidity with which the non- 
German languages have progressed even during the most 
recent times will be seen from the figures in table on page 
118, which are taken from an official Austrian publication, 
* Statistische Eiickblicke auf Oesterreich,' which was published 
in Vienna in 1913. 

Between 1882 and 1912 the number of papers and 
periodicals of the Czechs increased sevenfold, and those of 
the Poles more than fourfold. In 1882 there were two 

118 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

German papers and periodicals to every single non-German 
one in Austria. In 1912 the number of German and non- 
German papers and periodicals had become nearly equal. 
The huge increase of the Czech papers and periodicals is 
particularly noteworthy. It has been far greater than 
that of the other nationalities, because the reawakened 
nationalism has grown particularly vigorous in Bohemia, 
where formerly it had been most ruthlessly suppressed. 

The nationalities had been murmuring for many years 
against Austrian misrule, and the German-Austrians also 
had become more and more dissatisfied with the reactionary 

Newspapers and Periodicals printed 

in Austria^ 











Total Non- 





































and oppressive methods of government which Metternich 
had introduced after the downfall of Napoleon in 1815. 
The great Ke volution of 1848 shook the monarchy, to its 
very foundations. The German, Italian, and Hungarian 
lands rose in arms. The Emperor and Prince Metternich 
had to flee from Vienna. The revolution was overcome 
with the greatest difficulty and with terrible bloodshed, 
and the reconquered lands were treated with the utmost 
barbarity by the victors. In 1859 the Italians rose once 
more against their Austrian oppressors and, with the help 
of France, wrested Lombardy from them. Still Italy 
remained dissatisfied, for Austria retained Venetia. A 
second war with Italy was Hkely. Since the early sixties, 
and especially since the time when Bismarck had become 
Prussia's Prime Minister, Prussia had begun to arm with 
feverish haste and was doubhng her mihtary forces. Her 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 119 

attitude towards Austria became more and more menacing. 
It was clear to aU Austrians that before long the Monarchy 
might have to fight a war on two fronts. In these circum- 
stances it was, of course, most important that Austria, when 
at war in the south and the north, should not be attacked 
in the rear by the Hungarians under Kossuth's leader- 
ship. A reconcihation between Austria and Hungary was 
urgently required, and Vienna began to move. Austria's 
necessity was Hungary's opportunity. In the third volume 
of Kossuth's memoirs, on page 649, there is a report from 
Budapest dated August 16, 1861, in which we read : 

The Vienna Court will not give way, but is embarking 
upon new and desperate experiments. In the meantime 
the difficulties with which it is faced are constantly increas- 
ing. Its power keeps on diminishing, and at last a moment 
will arrive when it will have to fulfil all that Hungary desires, 
merely in order to save the Habsburg dynasty. 

Kossuth's forecast came true. Before 1866, when 
Prussia and Italy together made war upon Austria, the 
Magyar leaders were promised self-government. Austria 
was defeated by Prussia, but she prepared everything for 
an early war of revenge in which she reckoned upon the 
support of France. To defeat Prussia it was necessary 
to satisfy the wishes of the Magyars and to convert them 
from opponents into staunch and reliable supporters with 
the least delay. In the year following her defeat the 
negotiations between Vienna and Budapest were hastily 
concluded. By the Ausgleich, the compromise, of 1867, 
the monarchy was cut in two. Vienna was to rule Austria 
and Budapest Hungary. The Ausgleich established the 
Dual system. Henceforth there was to be an Empire of 
Austria and a self-governing Kingdom of Hungary. The 
monarchy became a Dual Monarchy. The non-Magyar 
nations in Hungary were handed over to the tender mercies 
of the Magyars, while the Austro- Germans continued to 
rule over the non- German races of Austria. 

120 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

The Magyars had revolted against ahen rule. They had 
claimed self-government in the name of equaUty, hberty, 
and justice. However, as soon as they had obtained self- 
government, they denied to the non-Magyar nations of 
Hungary that hberty, equality, and justice which they had 
claimed for themselves as a natural right. A German 
minority oppressed and persecuted a non-German majority 
in the Austrian half of the monarchy, and a Magyar minority 
introduced worse than Austrian methods of government in 
the Hungarian half. However, the Austrian Germans and 
Hungarian Magyars did not persecute and oppress all the 
other nationalities, but, faithful to the principle * Divide et 
Impera,' endeavoured to weaken them by giving favours 
here and there and setting them against one another. The 
Poles in Gahcia were protected by the Austrians because 
their goodwill would be precious in case of a war with 
Eussia. At the same time, they allowed the Poles to oppress 
the neighbouring Kuthenians, so that the hostility of the 
Kuthenians could be used as a counterpoise if the Poles should 
become too overbearing. Hungary patronised the Serbo- 
Croats for similar reasons. 

The Ausgleich of 1867 divided Austria-Hungary into 
two States, but it did not bring about a final settlement 
between the two leading races. Hungary aimed at full 
equality with Austria, if not at supremacy. Austria, which 
hitherto had been supreme, resisted Hungary's claims and 
endeavoured to keep the control of the foreign policy of the 
Dual Monarchy in her own hands, notwithstanding Hun- 
gary's objections. In numerous matters of national concern, 
Vienna required the consent of Budapest, and every Austrian 
demand was used by the Magyars as a means for extorting 
fresh concessions from their unwiUing partner. Year by 
year the friction between the two countries increased. 
Year by year the feehngs between Austrians and Magyars 
became more bitter. The Hungarians openly threatened 
to make themselves entirely mdependent of Austria, and 
to leave her in the lurch. On many occasions they showed 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 121 

their determination to achieve complete supremacy and make 
Austria a subordinate State. On October 1, 1909, for in- 
stance, the Hungarian Minister, Count Albert Apponyi, 
pubUshed a decree addressed to the educational authorities, 
demanding that in books and maps the words * Austro- 
Hungarian Monarchy ' should everywhere be replaced by 
the words * Hungary and Austria.' Austrians and Magyars, 
Vienna and Budapest, loathe each other. In 1910 Austria- 
Hungary had in round figures 50,000,000 inhabitants. Of 
these about 18,000,000, the Germans in Austria and the 
Magyars in Hungary, form the ruling nations — the 2,000,000 
Germans in Hungary are left out because they are oppressed 
by the Magyars — and these rule over 32,000,000 people, 
the subject nationahties. Now the two ruling nations are 
divided into 10,000,000 Germans and 8,000,000 Magyars 
who hate each other with the fiercest hatred, while they 
themselves are equally bitterly hated by the various 
nationahties which they try to keep down. Hobbes* 
* Bellum omnium contra omnes ' prevails in the Dual 
Monarchy. The Dual Monarchy is a Dual Anarchy, and 
the Anarchy which prevails in the country is largely respon- 
sible for its defeats. A State which is inhabited by ten 
different nations, which persecute and hate one another, 
cannot progress in peace .and cannot offer a united front 
against an enemy in war. 

The inter-racial relations in Austria-Hungary are most 
compHcated. As a full and adequate account would 
require a book, I will briefly deal with the position of 
only the more important nationahties, and especially 
those which are most likely to be directly affected by the 
present War. 

GaHcia is inhabited by Poles and Euthenians. The 
Poles, as has been previously stated, are the ruhng element 
in GaHcia, for they have been allowed by Austria to oppress 
the Euthenians, and they have been given a good deal 
of freedom. On August 5, the Grand Duke Nicholas, 
Commander-in-Chief of the Eussian forces, addressed the 

122 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

following appeal to the Poles in Kussia, Germany, and 
Austria -Hungary : 

Poles, the hour has sounded when the sacred dream of 
your fathers and your forefathers may be realised. A cen- 
tury and a half has passed since the living body of Poland 
was torn in pieces, but the soul of the country is not dead. 
It continues to hve, inspired by the hope that there will 
come for the Pohsh people an hour of resurrection and of 
fraternal reconciliation with Great Kussia. The Eussian 
Army brings you the solemn news of this reconciUation which 
obhterates the frontiers dividing the Pohsh peoples, which 
it unites conjointly under the sceptre of the Eussian Czar. 
Under his sceptre Poland will be governed again, free in 
her rehgion and her language. Eussian autonomy only 
expects from you the same respect for the rights of the 
nationahties to which history has bound you. With open 
heart and brotherly hand Great Eussia advances to meet you. 
She believes that the sword with which Poland struck down 
her enemies at Grilnwald has not yet rusted. From the 
shores of the Pacific to the North Sea the Eussian Armies 
are marching. The dawn of a new hfe is beginning for you, 
and in this glorious dawn is seen the sign of the Cross, the 
symbol of suffering and of the resurrection of peoples. 

During the reign of the late Czar, Eussia 's policy towards 
the Poles was influenced by various currents and cross- 
currents. Many prominent Eussians were more afraid 
of constitutional government, of democracy, and of internal 
troubles than they were of Germany and Austria-Hungary. 
Consequently the pohcy of the Eussian Government towards 
the Poles was hesitating and somewhat contradictory. 
But even during the reign of the late Czar the tendency to 
give to the Poles self-government and freedom became 
constantly stronger. The leaders of the new Eussian 
democracy have completely abandoned the reserve and 
the suspicions with which Polish affairs have hitherto been 
treated. They have whole-heartedly declared themselves 
in favour of giving to the Poles complete independence in 
accordance with the principles of Hberty and nationahty 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 123 

which have animated the revolutionaries in converting 
Eussia into a Kepublic. The outlook for the creation of 
an independent Poland, embracing all the PoHsh-speaking 
people, has never been fairer than it is at present. 

The 5,000,000 Austrian Poles receive preferential treat- 
ment from Austria, and they have little reason to be dis- 
satisfied with their present position Still, if Eussia carries 
out her programme and reconstitutes the ancient State of 
Poland, the Gahcian Poles will scarcely care to be left out. 
Pohsh independence is bound to prove more attractive than 
the privileges which they receive at present from Austria, 
and which may be withdrawn. Besides, the Gahcian Poles 
remember the wrongs which they have suffered at Austria*s 
hands. They remember not only the partition of Poland, 
but also the sanguinary agricultural risings and the fearful 
butcheries which Austria perpetrated in Gahcia in order 
to weaken the Poles, and the infamous extinction of the 
Eepubhc of Cracow in 1846. After the Eevolution of 
1848 the Poles were treated worse than ever. Only after 
her defeat of 1866 did Austria give them greater freedom. 
If the AUies should be victorious, the loss of the Pohsh 
districts of Austria seems inevitable. 

Germans and Austrians have frequently told us that the 
Poles are unfit to govern themselves, that they are unpro- 
gressive, wasteful, unthrifty, dirty, and drunken. These 
arguments as to Poland's unfitness to govern herself can 
best be refuted by the following most remarkable figures : 

Polish Co- 

operative Societies. 




Share Oapital 















These most remarkable figures are taken from Michalski's 

124 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

book, Les Sociétés Coopératives Polonaises (Lemberg, 1914). 
They refer to all Poland, and they show that the co-operative 
movement, the best test of a nation's providence and pro- 
gress, has made enormous strides among the Poles. In the 
short space of twelve years the number of Polish co-operators 
has more than quadrupled, the share capital of the societies 
has increased about sixfold, and the deposits, which repre- 
sent chiefly the savings of poor people, have increased from 
£12,420,057 to no less than £46,970,354. People who dis- 
play such remarkable prudence in their own affairs may be 
entrusted with self-government. 

The 3,500,000 Euthenians who inhabit Southern GaHcia 
and the neighbouring districts of Hungary are part of the 
great Slav family. They are part of the * Little Russians,' 
who dwell in South Russia in the Ukraine. Desiring to 
weaken Russia, Austria-Hungary has lately discovered that 
the Ukrainains are a separate race and possess an ancient 
history and language. The Austrian Government, which 
is not at all desirous to stimulate nationahsm in its own 
borders, has suddenly become a passionate advocate of 
the national and linguistic claims of the Ukrainians. In 
the realm of the Habsburgs the end justifies the means. 
Men who are the enemies of nationahsm in their own country 
have passionately championed the national claims of Albania 
and the Ukraine. Government money has been spent without 
stint in placing the claims of the Albanian and the Ukrainian 
nations before the pubhc of the principal countries, by 
expensive illustrated books, articles, lectures, letters to the 
Press, &c. Besides, Austria has thoughtfully estabhshed 
Ruthenian professorships at the Lemberg University. 
The Austrians have become enthusiastic about the Ukrainian 
nationahty in the hope of producing a split among the 
Russians. According to Government-paid Austrian writers, 
South-western Russia, with Kiev, is Ukrainian, and claims, 
rightly, an individuahty and an independent national exist- 
ence. The Austrian Government has raised the Ukrainian 
question in order to foment troubles in Russia. Its 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship) 125 

attempts are likely to prove unsuccessful. The Euthenians 
and their Eussian neighbours across the frontier, by what- 
ever name they may be called, are one people, and their 
reunion after an Austro-German defeat is inevitable. 

Until 1866 all the non-German nationalities in Austria 
were brutahsed by the ruUng race. Austrian persecution 
was most severely felt and most bitterly resented by that 
highly gifted and energetic Slav race, the unfortunate 
Czechs of Bohemia. The Bohemian Czechs have been ill- 
treated by Austria during many centuries. Johann Huss, 
following in Wychffe's footsteps, introduced the Eeformation 
there about the year 1400, partly as a protest against the 
degradation of the Eoman CathoUc Church, partly, and prob- 
ably chiefly, as a protest against German domination and 
German brutality. Huss died a martyr. The Eeforma- 
tion in Bohemia was suppressed with the greatest savagery, 
and Bohemia was totally devastated. Germans were 
settled among the Czechs, Eoman CathoHc dragoons were 
quartered upon Protestant Bohjmians in order to * convert ' 
them. The Czechs were treated as helots by the Germans 
settled among them up to a very recent date. When the 
Prussian armies invaded Bohemia in 1866 they endeavoured 
to raise the Czechs against the Austrians by addressing to 
them the following proclamation : 

Inhabitants of the Glorious Kingdom of Bohemia I 

In consequence of the war, which has been caused against 
our wishes by the Emperor of Austria, we enter your country, 
not as enemies and conquerors, but full of resjpect for your 
historic and national rights. To the inhabitants, without 
regard of their calling, religion, and nationality, we bring not 
war and destruction, but consideration and friendship. 
Do not beheve, as your enemies will tell you, that we have 
brought about this war through lust of conquest. Austria 
has forced us to fight by threatening to attack us. But 
beheve us that we have not the slightest intention to oppose 
your just desire for independence and for unrestrained national 

126 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

Eemembering the heavy and ahnost unbearable burdens 
which the Government has placed upon you in preparing 
for this war, we shall not impose additional taxes, nor shall 
we ask you to act against your convictions. We shall 
respect and honour particularly your holy rehgion. At 
the same time we shall not tolerate open resistance, and 
must punish severely all treasonable acts. We leave the 
issue of the war confidently to the Lord of Hosts. If our 
just cause should prove victoriou^^ the moment may 'perhajps 
arrive when the national aspirations of the Bohemians and 
Moravians may he fulfilled in tlie same way in which those of 
the Hungarians have been fulfilled^ and then may Providence 
establish their happiness for all time. 

The proclamation is very interesting because it throws 
a strong light not only upon the dissatisfaction existing 
in Bohemia, but also upon Prussian methods of warfare. 

Of the 6,700,000 inhabitants of Bohemia, 4,240,000, 
or about two-thirds, are Czechs and Slovaks, and the 
remaining third are Germans. In the neighbouring land of 
Moravia, which lies to the east of Bohemia, approximately 
the same proportion of Germans and Slavs obtains. Al- 
though the Czechs form the great majority of the inhabitants 
of Bohemia, their language was suppressed until recently. 
German was the ofi&cial language used throughout Bohemia 
in the law courts and elsewhere. German inscriptions were 
to be seen in the Czech villages and towns. To the casual 
visitor, Bohemia seemed to be a German land. Step 
by step the Czechs have ousted the Germans. To-day 
Prague, that old stronghold of Germanism, is a Czech town. 
So great is the hatred between Czechs and Germans that 
there is practically no intercourse between the two nations. 
A German will not enter a Czech restaurant or hotel in 
Prague, nor will a Czech enter a German place of entertain- 
ment. The two nations have separate schools, theatres, 
concert rooms, banks, savings banks, co-operative societies, 
&c. At the German University of Prague there were in 
1910-11 1726 German students and only eighty -six Czechs. 
At the Czech University of Prague there were in the same 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 127 

year 4225 Czechs and only nine Germans. At the German 
Technical High Schools of Prague there were 880 Germans 
and thirty-seven Czechs. At the corresponding Czech estab- 
hshments there were 2686 Czechs and ten Germans. In 
Bohemia the two nationahties follow the policy of segrega- 
tion, because the Czechs absolutely refuse to associate witli 
Germans. A similar policy of non-intercourse is noticeable 
between the Poles and Kuthenians at the Cracow University, 
where there were in 1910-11 2771 Poles and only thirty- 
four Kuthenians. 

By their strength of character and strength of intellect, 
and by their great artistic and scientific achievements, 
the Czechs have become the leading nation among the 
Austrian Slavs. Their intellectual pre-eminence may be 
seen from the extent and from the wonderful progress of 
their Press, regarding which figures have been furnished 
on another page. The Czechs occupy a most important 
position in the Dual Monarchy. Owing to its mines, its 
fruitful soil, and its very highly developed industries, 
Bohemia is the most valuable possession of Austria, and the 
Dual Monarchy would lose it most unwillingly. Besides, 
Bohemia occupies a most valuable strategical position. 
Bohemia, with its surrounding mountain walls, is a strong 
natural fortress, and it lies on the most direct route from 
Berlin to Vieima. At present Bohemia connects Germany 
and Austria, Berlin and Vienna. An independent Bohemia 
would separate the two States and their capitals. An 
independent Bohemia and Moravia would border to the 
east upon an independent Poland. Prussia, which at present 
is in contact with Austria through Silesia and Bohemia, 
would be separated from the German districts of Austria 
by a solid wall of Slavonic nations if Poland, Moravia, and 
Bohemia should become independent States. In that 
case the German parts of Austria would be in contact 
with Germany only by means of Bavaria. That is an 
important fact, the political and strategical bearings of 
which will presently be considered. 

Of the inhabitants of Bohemia and Moravia, two-thirds. 

128 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

as has been said, are Slavs, and one-third are Germans. 
The Germans form a broad fringe along the Austro-German 
frontier. If the future frontiers of Bohemia should be de- 
termined on a racial basis, about one-third of its territory 
should fall to Germany. It might perhaps fall to the 
kingdom of Saxony, upon which it borders, and which then 
would regain some of its former importance, of which it 
was deprived by Prussia exactly a century ago. After 
the War the Southern States of Germany may require 
strengthening against Prussia, so as to create a balance 
of power within Germany. 

As the Czechs have at last conquered for themselves a 
position in which they can freely use their language and de- 
velop their individuality, and as their influence in Austria- 
Hungary, which as yet is not great, is bound to increase, 
they may hesitate to cut the connection with Austria, espe- 
cially as their manufacturing industries depend very largely 
upon the Austrian market lor the sale of their productions. 
The action of Bohemia will probably largely depend upon 
that of the other nationahties. An isolated Bohemia and 
Moravia, being shut off from the sea, would poHtically, 
militarily, and especially economically occupy a very exposed 
and insecure position, unless it could enter into a federation 
with some of its neighbours. 

South of Bohemia He the German districts of Austria. 
These extend in a sohd block from Switzerland and Bavaria 
in the west to a line about thirty miles east of Vienna. 
The southern border of Bohemia forms the northern frontier 
of the German territory of Austria, and the river Drau 
its southern limit. If Bohemia and Moravia should cut 
themselves off from German Austria, the physical connection 
between German Austria and Prussia would be destroyed, 
while direct contact between German Austria and Bavaria 
would be retained. Bavaria and her neighbour Baden 
are the most strongly Eoman CathoHc States of Germany. 
Of their joint population of 9,000,000, about 6,100,000, 
or two-thirds, are Eoman CathoHcs. The easy-going 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 129 

Austrians sympathise far more with the people of Bavaria 
and Baden than with the overbearing Prussians. An 
organic connection of German Austria, Bavaria, and Baden 
would give 20,000,000 inhabitants to German Austria, 
and would correspondingly weaken the power of Prussia 
for mischief. That block of nations might be joined by the 
remaining South German States, Wurtemberg, Saxony, 
and the rest, and thus a fairly even balance of power might 
be produced in Germany. The German race would be 
divided into almost equal halves, different in character, 
religion, and tradition, and possessing different historic 
capitals. They would be extremely powerful for defence, 
but would presumably be less dangerous for an attack. 
By uniting with Bavaria and Baden, Austria would border 
on the Ehine. She would occupy once more a position of 
great political and strategical importance, not only towards 
Russia and the Balkan Peninsula, but also towards France. 
That position should secure the peace of Europe and of 
the world. 

If Austria-Hungary should resolve to conclude a separate 
peace, the State of the Habsburgs might once more become 
the leading State of Germany. The Austrian monarch 
might make it a condition that he should receive compensa- 
tion for the Slavonic and Latin provinces which he is likely 
to lose by being given not only the South German States, 
which until 1866 followed Austria's lead, but also Silesia, 
which was torn from Austria by Frederick the Great. 
Prussia has grown great at Austria's expense. It would 
be only a fit retribution if the process should be reversed, 
and if Vienna should regain its old supremacy. If the 
10,000,000 Austro-Germans were jomed by 25,000,000 or 
30,000,000 South Germans and Silesians, the 10,000,000 
Magyars would no longer be able to cause trouble to the 
Habsburg Emperors. Berlin would no longer be able to 
play out Budapest against Vienna. Austria's greatest 
internal difficulty would disappear, and so would her economic 
troubles. The Dual Monarchy is a poor country because 

130 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

it lacks prosperous manufacturing industries. The wealth 
of Austria-Hungary is supposed to be only one-third of 
that of Germany. By acquiring the South German States 
and Silesia the State of the Habsburgs would both 
poHtically and economically regain its old paramountcy. 
Austria-Himgary would become an almost purely German 
State organised on a federal basis, and if the Habsburgs 
should act tolerantly and liberally towards the neighbour 
States, the Austrian Federation might be joined in course 
of time by some of the secondary States which will arise 
after the present war in the South-east of Europe. 

In the south, Austria possesses two almost purely Italian 
districts : the Itahan Tyrol, with towns such as Trento, 
Eovereto, Ala, Bondo, Borgo, &c., and the western part of 
Istria and a narrow strip of the Adriatic coast with Trieste, 
Pola, Fiume, Capodistria, Zara, Sebenico, Spalato, Kagusa, 
Cattaro, &c. The names of the towns mentioned show 
their Itahan origin. The possession of the Italian Tyrol is a 
matter of vital importance to Italy. The great and wealthy 
plain of Lombardy is protected towards the north by a 
crescent of mountain walls, the Alps. Italy is protected 
by that powerful barrier against invasion from France and 
Switzerland. But by retaining the Italian Tyrol, the 
Trentino, after withdrawing from Italy, and by occupying 
the mountain passes down to the foot of the mountains as 
far as the Lago di Garda, Alistria occupies with her army 
a wide breach in Italy's ramparts. Thus she can easily in- 
vade the country and strike at Verona, Padua, and Venice 
by marching to the east, or at Brescia and Milan by turning 
to the west. While the east coast of Italy is flat and open, 
the opposite coast of the Adriatic, occupied by Austria, is 
studded with an abundance of excellent natural harbours, 
the entrance to which is protected by high mountains 
and by mountainous islands lying in front of it. 

The positions occupied by Austria in the Trentino, 
in Istria, and in Dalmatia threaten Italy's security in the 
north and east, and Italy is all the more reluctant to see 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 131 

them remaining in Austria's hands, as they are largely 
inhabited by ItaHans, who are very badly treated by the 
Austrians. Possibly the disastrous fire at the Monfalcone 
dockyard, which took place soon after the outbreak of the 
Great War, was caused by the resentment of the ill-treated 
Italians who live in Austrian territory. Many of these 
unfortunate people, although born in Austrian territory, 
are not allowed to acquire Austrian citizenship, and not 
infrequently they are expelled without notice from their 
homes without adequate reason. Ever since 1866 the Aus- 
trians have persecuted the Italians dwelling in Austria, 
and have endeavoured to destroy their nationahty by deny- 
ing them schools, colleges, and a university. Apparently 
the Austrians have tried to punish the Italians who have 
remained under their rule for the loss of Lombardy and 

Owing to Austria's foolish policy, Italy has been filled 
with the bitterest hatred against the Austrians. The 
Irredenta ItaHa, Unredeemed Italy, is in the thoughts 
of every patriotic Itahan, and frequent Austrian outrages 
on Itahans living in Austria, on the one hand, and Itahan 
passionate agitation in favour of their brothers who live 
under the Austrian yoke, on the other, keep the wound 
open. Many Italian societies and newspapers have been 
preaching war with Austria for many years. Signor Pelle- 
grini wrote in his important book, * Verso la Guerra ? — 
II dissidio fra I'ltaha e 1' Austria,' pubhshed as long ago 
as 1906 : 

I believe we cannot live any longer under an illusion 
which deceives us. We have lived under the impression that 
the internal difficulties of Austria-Hungary are so great as 
to prevent her from aggressive action towards ourselves and 
from expansion towards the east. We have beheved that 
Austria-Hungary would fall to pieces after the death of 
the present Emperor. These views are erroneous. If the 
political crisis in Austria- Hungary should become more 
acute, and there is reason for doubting this, Austria-Hun- 

132 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

gary's need to expand and to acquire new markets in the 
east will become all the greater. And as long as Italian 
commerce pursues its triumphant course in the east, the 
more are the opposing interests of the two nations hkely 
to bring about the final colhsion. . . . 

We cannot continue a pohcy of vassalage which will 
compromise for all time Italy's future in order to preserve 
the outward form of the Triple AlHance. We must ask 
ourselves : What are our interests ? Are we ready to defend 
them ? What are the conditions of the Itahans who dwell 
on the shore of the Adriatic under foreign domination ? 
What are our interests on the Adriatic compared with those 
of Austria ? What are the wishes of our people, and what 
is Italy's mission in the Balkan Peninsula ? Is it possible 
to avoid a conflict with Austria ? I beheve I have shown 
that Austria-Hungary is at the same time our ally and our 
open enemy against whom we must prepare for war. . . , 
We have to calculate in the future with the fact that the 
Austro- Hungarian Empire, though nominally our ally, is 
our determined enemy in the Balkan Peninsula. 

Many similar views may be found in the writings of 
Enrico Corradini, Sal vat ore Barzilai, Vico Mantegazza, 
Giovanni Bertacchi, Innocenzo Cappa, Eomeo Manzoni, 
Filippo Crispolti, Scipio Sighele, Luigi Villari, and many 
others, in the pubhcations of the * Società Dante AHgheiri,' 
the * Trento Trieste,' the * Giovine Europa,' the * Itahca 
Gens,* and in periodicals such as II Regno, V Italia alV 
Estero, II Tricolore, La Grande Italia, The Austrians 
have replied to the Italian threats with counter-threats. 
The * Oesterreichische Kundschau,' the most important 
Austrian periodical, which is edited by Freiherr von 
Chlumecky, an intimate friend of the late Archduke Francis 
Ferdinand, and Danzer's Armeezeitung, the widely read 
army journal, have pubhshed innumerable articles recom- 
mending an Austrian war with Italy. 

On the walls of the Ducal Palace at Venice may be 
found some marble tablets giving the result of a plebiscite 
taken in the year 1866 in Venetia, They tell us that 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 133 

641,000 of the inhabitants voted for a reunion of Venetia 
with Italy, and only 68 against it. Austria has never known 
how to gain the affection of the people over whom she 
has ruled. She occupied Venetia from 1815 to 1866. In 
fifty-one years she gained among the inhabitants 68 adher- 
ents and 641,000 enemies. If to-day a plebiscite should be 
taken in the ItaHan Tyrol, in Trieste, Pola, and the other 
ItaHan towns on the Dalmatian coast, "the result would 
probably be similar. At one time or another Verona, 
Venice, Milan, Florence, Turin, Naples, Palermo, Lombardy, 
Venetia, Toscana, the southern half of Italy, Sicily, and 
Sardinia — ^in fact, practically all Italy, except the States 
of the Church — were Austrian, but nowhere in Italy will 
a man be found who regrets Austria's departure or who 
speaks of her occupation with affection, or even with esteem. 
In Italy, as elsewhere, Austria has solely been an influence 
for evil. 

Although Trieste, Pola, and Fiume, and part of Istria 
and Dalmatia are inhabited by many Itahans, it is by no 
means certain that these towns and districts will revert 
to Italy after a defeat of Germany and Austria-Hungary. 
Ports and coastal positions are of value because of the 
hinterland which furnishes them with trade. Large inland 
States lying near the coast have the strongest claims upon 
natural outlets towards the ocean. The Italian towns 
on the east coast of the Adriatic are ancient Venetian 
trading stations, and behind and around them hve about 
10,000,000 Serbs in compact masses, the Serbians in Serbia 
proper, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in Dalmatia, 
and the Serbo-Croats in Croatia-Slavonia. The Itahans 
cannot expect that a Greater Serbia will consent to be 
deprived of adequate harbours. Italian and Serbian claims 
will have to be harmonised. 

Serbia does not intend seizing Bosnia and Herzegovina, 
Dalmatia, and Croatia-Slavonia by force ; but if these 
lands are dissatisfied with Austrian rule, and wish to shake 
it off and unite with Serbia, the Serbs will certainly not 

134 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

deny them. The Serbians in Serbia have heen ill-treated 
in the past by Austria, as has been shown in another part 
of this chapter. Ever since the Kusso-Turkish War, Austria- 
Hungary, covetous of Serbia's territory, has endeavoured 
to ruin that country by preventing her gaining an outlet 
to the sea, by controlling her foreign trade overland and 
by arbitrarily interrupting and destroying it by closing 
the frontier against Serbia under mendacious pretexts. 
In 1885 the Austrians brought about war between Serbia 
and Bulgaria for their own ends. They favoured the out- 
break of the first Balkan War, hoping for Serbia's destruction. 
When the AlHes were victorious, Austria-Hungary prevented 
Serbia securing the smallest outlet on the sea, and then 
encouraged Bulgaria to attack that country, hoping that 
the second Balkan War would lead to Serbia's downfall. 
Having suffered so much at Austria's hands in the past, 
the heroic Serbians wish to make themselves secure for the 
future by establishing a Greater Serbia, a State of 10,000,000 
inhabitants, at Austria's cost, and obtaining adequate 
outlets to the sea. Probably they will succeed. Their 
heroism and their sufferings deserve a full reward. 

Of the territory "of Hungary, 105,811 square kilometres 
contain a population of which 77-61 per cent, are Magyars, 
85,026 square kilometres have a population of which only 
25-63 per cent, are Magyars, and 74-32 per cent. non-Magyars. 
Of these, the majority are Slavs. Of the population of 
the remaining territory of 88,650 square kilometres, 25-09 
per cent, are Magyars, while the majority are Koumanians. 
Of the whole of Hungary, four-tenths are essentially Magyar 
territory, three-tenths are essentially Slavonic territory, 
and three-tenths are Eoumanian territory. 

In a table given in the beginning of this article, the 
strength of the Magyars in Hungary was stated to be 
10,051,000, according to the census of 1910. This figure 
is greatly exaggerated. In order to swell their numbers, 
the Magyars have manipulated the census. The citizens 
are asked, in the census forms which they have 'to fill up. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 135 

to state the language which they speak best or hke best. 
In view of the pressure exercised by the ruhng Magyars, 
many non-Magyars profess that they hke Magyar best, 
even if they do not understand the language, and they 
appear as Magyars in the census. Besides, the ruhng 
Magyars have put pressure upon the non-Magyars to 
Magy arise their names. Schoolmasters, post-office officials, 
and railway men in Government services are compelled to 
Magy arise their names. As a further inducement, the cost 
of Magy arising one's name was reduced in 1881 from 10 
crowns to 10 pence. As an aristocratic Magyar name is a 
great advantage in society and in business, men with com- 
mon non-Magyar names have provided themselves for ten- 
pence with the most aristocratic Magyar names. Mr. Seton- 
Watson has told us in his excellent book, ' Kacial Problems 
in Hungary,' that Toldy, the author, was originally called 
Schebel ; Hunfalvy, the ethnologist, Hundsdorfer ; Munkâcsy, 
the painter, Lieb ; Arminius Vâmbéry, Bamberger ; Petofi, 
the poet, Petrovic ; Zsedényi, the pohtician, Pfannschmied ; 
Iranyi, Halbschuh ; Helfy, Heller ; Komlôssy, Kleinkind ; 
Polônyi, Pollatschek, &c. The Magyars have Magyarised 
all non-Hungarian place-names. Ancient Pressburg was 
turned into Pozsony, Hermannstadt into Nagy-Szeben, 
Kirchdrauf into Szepes-Vâralja, &c. 

According to official Hungarian statistics, the Magyars 
are about one-half of the Hungarian population. According 
to the most reliable non-Magyar authorities, they are only 
about one-third, numbering from 7,000,000 to 8,000,000. 
In Hungary, as in Austria, one -third of the population 
rules over the remaining two- thirds. 

On paper Hungary is the most liberal country in the 
world. It has possessed a Parhament and a Constitution 
since the dawn of its history. However, under the cloak 
of hberalism and legality, Hungary exercises the most arbi- 
trary and tyrannous government over the non-Magyars. 

Although Magyars and non-Magyars are on paper equal 
before the law, and are nominally fully represented in the 

136 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

Parliament at Budapest, the representatives in the Hun- 
garian Parhament represent neither the subject national- 
ities nor the masses of the people, but only the Magyar 
oligarchy. This is strikingly proved by the following table, 
which shows the composition of the Hungarian Parha- 
ment during the five last electoral periods : 

Result of TJunfjarian . 


including a 

few NOD- 





































Of the 418 members of the Hungarian Parhament 
about 400 are Magyars. The preponderant number of 
non-Magyars and the numerous Socialists send the remain- 
ing thirteen members. As representation shapes legislation, 
the legislation of Hungary is pro-Magyar and hostile to 
the non-Magyars, to the Socialists, and to the common 
people. Of the men of voting age only about one-fourth 
are given the franchise. As a high property quahfication 
is required, only the well-to-do can vote. The non-Magyars 
of Hungary are poor, partly because the Magyars settled 
in the rich plains whence they drove the non-Magyars, 
partly because in districts where Magyars and non-Magyars 
dwell together, the former have secured for themselves the 
greater part of the wealth and the best land by violence 
and by political pressure. 

The non-Magyars are disfranchised not only by a 
high property qualification, but by deliberate violence and 
trickery. If we look into the electoral statistics we find 
that the more Koumanian a county is, the fewer voters 
does it possess. We find further that the larger a con- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 137 

stituency is, the farther from its centre is placed the solitary- 
polling booth. At election time bridges are often broken 
down or declared unsafe for the passage of vehicles, in 
order to force opposition voters either to walk impossible 
distances, or lose their vote, and with the same object in 
vidw all the horses in the outlying villages are often placed 
under veterinary supervision at the last moment. The 
voting is not secret, but public, and by word of mouth. 
Non-Magyars are thus publicly terrorised into voting 
orally for Magyar members. Thousands of voters are 
disqualified for flimsy reasons by the presiding ' Magyar 
when intending to vote for the opposition candidate. Often 
hundreds and thousands of voters, who have travelled 
all day to the polhng booth, are prevented by large forces 
of military and gendarmes from voting or from entering 
the village where the poll takes place. At election times 
Hungary mobilises her whole army in order to terrorise 
the opposition voters, and if these insist upon their legal 
right of voting, they are frequently attacked by armed 
mobs or shot down by the gendarmes and the military. 
Every Hungarian election is accompanied by bloodshed. 
According to Danzer's Armeezeitung of June 6, 1910, 
Hungary mobihsed for the election of that year 202 battahons 
of infantry, 126 squadrons of cavalry, and in addition had 
Austrian troops sent from Lower Austria, Styria, and 
Moravia to Hungary. The cost of * maintaining order * 
was estimated by the journal named at from 16,000,000 
crowns to 20,000,000 crowns. 

The Magyars monopolise not only Parliament but the 
Civil Service, the law, and the schools as well. Although, 
according to the Law of Nationalities, the State should 
erect schools of all kinds for the non-Magyar races, it has 
never erected a single secondary school where any other 
language but Magyar is used. Instead of this it has 
Magyarised the few existing non-Magyar secondary schools 
and dissolved the rest. Of the thirty-nine intermediate 
schools in the Slovak counties, not a single one provides 

138 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

instruction in the language of the people, and in the districts 
inhabited by Euthenians the same condition prevails. 
Of the eighty-nine secondary schools directly controlled 
by the State none are non-Magyar. 

The ruling Magyars most efïectively prevent the non- 
Magyar people from improving their condition by excluding 
them from the intermediate schools and the universities. 
As the Magyars form nominally one-half, but in reality 
only one -third, of the population, they should furnish at 
best one half of the scholars and students at the intermediate 
schools and universities. 

In reaUty the overwhelming majority^of those who 
attend thé higher educational establishments are Magyars. 
According to the Magyar statistics for the year 1911, 49,482 
pupils attending the classical intermediate schools were 
Magyars, and only 11,131 were non-Magyars. For every 
non-Magyar there were nearly five Magyars. In the non- 
classical intermediate schools there were 2316 non-Magyars 
and 8372 Magyars. In the intermediate schools for girls 
there were only 572 non-Magyars and 5746 Magyars. In 
the training schools for male teachers there were 1021 
non-Magyars and 8856 Magyars. In those for female 
teachers there were 481 non-Magayars and 4386 Magyars. 
In the maternity schools there were 56 non-Magyars and 
448 Magyars. In the music schools there were 2313 non- 
Magyars and 7471 Magyars. In the post and telegraph 
school there were 23 non-Magyars and 255 Magyars. 
As all those who wish to enter into a professional career or 
into Government service must have passed through the 
intermediate schools, the vast preponderance of Magyar 
pupils at these schools effectively prevents large numbers 
of non-Magyars from becoming doctors, lawyers, teachers, 
civil servants, judges, mihtary officers, &c. In 1911 there 
were at all the Hungarian universities 10,653 Magyar 
students and only 1273 non-Magyar students. For every 
non-Magyar student there were eight Magyars. We can, 
therefore, not wonder that Magyars occupy all the best 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 139 

places in Hungary, especially as in making appointments 
Magyars are favoured and non-Magyars discouraged. 

Franz Deâk, one of the greatest Hungarian statesmen, 
said in a speech delivered on January 23, 1872 : 

Every nationahty has a right to demand ways and 
means for the education of its children. If we wish to force 
the children of the nationahties dwelHng in Hungary to 
study in the Magyar language, although they do not know 
it, or know it only slightly, we should make it impossible 
for them to make progress. Parents would in vain spend 
their money upon education, and the children would waste 
their time. If we desire to win over the nationalities, then 
we must not endeavour to Magyarise them at any price. 
We can Magyarise them only if we make them satisfied 
citizens of Hungary who are fond of the life and conditions 
prevaihng in it. 

Notwithstanding the warning of Deâk and of other 
founders of the Hungarian State, the ruhng Magyars have 
endeavoured to force the Magyar language upon the non- 
Magyars by the most tyrannous means. If we look at the 
educational statistics, we find that the non-Magyar schools 
are rapidly decreasing in number and the Magyar schools 
rapidly increasing. In purely non-Magyar districts Magyar 
schools are planted, and in order to force the children to 
learn Magyar from the cradle, compulsory kindergarten 
schools are opened in the non-Magyar districts, where 
children from three to six years old have to attend. 

Notwithstanding the most far-reaching guarantees that 
the character and language of the other nationalities would 
be respected, Magyar is the official language in Hungary. 
All pubhc proclamations and notices are issued in Magyar, 
and the proceedings in the law courts take place in that 
language, even when neither prosecutor nor defendant 
understands it. Roumanian peasants, ignorant of Magyar, 
and hving in purely Roumanian districts, have to employ 
Magyar in their intercourse with the authorities, and if 
they go to law they have to provide themselves with costly 

140 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

and often inefficient translators and interpreters. Local 
government, even in practically purely non-Magyar districts, 
is monopolised by Magyars. The non-Magyars are strangers 
in their own country. 

Numerically the most important non-Magyar race in 
Hungary are the Koumanians. According to the official 
statistics, they number 2,949,000. In reahty their number 
is greater, and close to them hve 275,000 Koumanians 
in the Austrian Bukovina. 

A glance at the map shows that the kingdom of 
Roumania possesses a very awkward shape. It consists of 
two long and narrow strips of land which are joined together 
at a right angle. The land lying in the hollow of that angle 
consists of the Austrian Bukovina and of the Hungarian 
districts of Transylvania and the Banat. Owing to its 
awkward shape, the concentrated Roumanian army can 
defend the national territory only with great difficulty 
against an invader. The acquisition of the Austrian and 
Hungarian territories, inhabited nearly exclusively by 
Roumanians, would fill up the hollow and would convert 
Roumania into a shapely and easily defensible State. 

The Roumanians in the kingdom of Roumania have 
during many years observed with sorrow and indignation 
the pitiful position of their brothers who live under Magyar 
rule, and their leaders have frequently and most emphatic- 
ally warned the Hungarian Government that its anti-Rou- 
manian pohcy might have very serious consequences to 
Hungary. When, in November, 1868, Count Andrassy 
intimated to King, then only Prince, Charles of Roumania 
that Roumania and Hungary should go hand in hand, 
King Charles replied, according to his Memoirs : 

I recognise the advantages of a complete understanding 
between Hungary and Roumania. However, I must make 
this reservation — ^that I can work hand in hand with Hungary 
only when Hungary has changed her pohcy towards the 
Roumanians in Transylvania. I cannot aboHsh the natural 
sympathies which exist between the Roumanians on both 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 141 

sides of the political boundary. I am therefore entitled 
to expect that the Hungarian Government will do every- 
thing that is right and fair in deaUng with the real interests 
of its Koumanian subjects. In expressing this wish I do 
not intend to be guilty of political interference. I lay stress 
upon this point only because it is the principal condition for 
bringing about a good understanding between the two 
countries. Being a constitutional monarch, who owes his 
position to the election of the people, I am obliged to be 
guided by pubHc opinion in as far as that opinion is reason- 
able. An open and sincere pohcy of kindness and goodwill 
on the part of the Hungarian Government towards its non- 
Magyar subjects would most ably support me in a policy 
which I am prepared to enter upon. 

Hungary has disregarded the emphatic and frequent 
warnings of King Charles and of the leading Roumanian 
statesmen and publicists. Austria-Hungary was fooUsh 
enough to persecute her Italian and Roumanian citizens 
after the outbreak of the present War, beheving that the 
taking of hostages and the execution of leaders would 
assure their fidehty. Fidelity cannot be secured by fear. 
If, as appears hkely, Austria-Hungary should break up, 
Roumania will certainly see that the Roumanians on her 
border will be re-united to the motherland. 

The subject nationahties in Austria-Hungary have been 
ruled by misrule, and most of them are profoundly dis- 
satisfied. I have shown in these pages that some of the 
larger nations of the Dual Monarchy are likely to be absorbed 
by their neighbours. GaHcia, with 8,000,000 people, is 
likely to be divided between Russia and Poland ; the 
Roumanian districts, with 4,000,000 inhabitants, should 
fall to Roumania ; the Serbian district, with 6,000,000 
people, may go to the Serbs ; and the Italian district, with 
nearly 1,000,000 inhabitants, may become Italian. Bohemia 
may once more become an independent State. The smaller 
subject nations of Austria-Hungary may be expected to 
follow the example of the greater. Austria-Hungary seems 

142 The Problem of Austria-Hungary 

likely to disintegrate on racial lines. In the South-East 
of Europe may arise a Poland with 20,000,000 inhabitants, 
a Serbia with 10,000,000 inhabitants, a Hungary with 
10,000,000 inhabitants, and an Austria with 10,000,000. 

Many people, fearing the danger of Russia, advocate 
that Austria-Hungary should be preserved in its present 
state so as to act as an efficient counterpoise to the Russian 
colossus. The preservation of the Dual Monarchy is parti- 
cularly strongly urged by those who fear the Pan-Slavonic 
danger, who beUeve that the Slavonic nations in the Balkan 
Peninsula and in Austria-Hungary will amalgamate with 
Russia, that Russia will, through Serbia and Bohemia, stretch 
out its arms as far as the Adriatic and Bavaria. That 
fear seems scarcely justified. The Slavonic nations outside 
Russia have looked to Russia as a deliverer when they were 
oppressed, but these nations have a strongly marked individ- 
uahty of their own, and they have no desire, after having 
painfully acquired their freedom, to be merged into Russia 
and to disappear in that gigantic State. In the spring of 
1908 representatives of the Austrian Slavs attended a 
great Slavonic Congress at Petrograd. Mr. Karel Kramarz, 
a prominent Czech politician, was at the head of the Austrian 
delegation, and he made to the Congress the following 

The Slavonic movement and Slavonic poUcy must be 
based on the principle that all Slavonic nations are equal, 
and their aim must consist not in an endeavour to form all 
Slavs into a single nation, but to develop the individual 
character of each of the Slavonic peoples. The aim of all 
Slavs should be in the first instance to increase their own 
national consciousness and strength, and in the second 
to secure their mutual co-operation for promoting their 
common welfare, ensuring their progress in every way and 
defending themselves against German aggression. 

This declaration is characteristic of the Slavs not only 
in Bohemia but elsewhere. The Bulgarians and Serbians 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 143 

differ greatly, although they are neighbours, and they 
are not likely to amalgamate. Democratic Serbia will 
merge itself neither in Bulgaria nor in Kussia. The Czechs 
also have a nationality and individuahty of which they are 
proud. A number of small and medium-sized Slav States 
are likely to arise in the South-East of Europe. Those 
who desire to re-build Austria-Hungary after its downfall 
are insufficiently acquainted with the difficulty of such 
an undertaking. Besides, they should remember that 
diplomacy can correct, but must not outrage. Nature ; 
that a lasting peace cannot be re-estabUshed in Europe 
by perpetuating Austria's tyranny over her unhappy subject 
nations. After all, Europe's security and peace are more 
important than a mechanical balance of power. We have 
no reason to fear Eussia's aggression. There is no reason 
to believe that she intends to swamp her Western neighbours. 
After the present War, Kussia will be exhausted for decades. 
Her task for the future consists in organising and developing 
her colossal territories, providing them with roads and 
railways, and improving the conditions of the people. 
Besides, if in twenty or thirty years Kussia should embark 
upon a great war of conquest in the West, she would have 
to fight nations which will be much stronger than they are 
at present. The prevention of the actual German danger 
is far more important than the prevention of a highly 
problematical Slav peril of the future. 

Austria-Hungary has outhved her usefulness. She 
has always been a bad master to the unfortunate nations 
who have come under her sway. Since 1307, the year 
when WilUam Tell raised the Swiss in revolution against 
the Habsburgs, the history of Austria is a long history of 
the revolts of their subject nations. Tha dissolution of 
Austria-Hungary is merely the last incident in its recent 
evolution. In 1859 Austria-Hungary lost her supremacy 
over Italy. In 1866 she lost her supremacy over Germany. 
By the present War she will probably lose her supremacy 
over the Slavs. A nation may rule over other nations only 

144 The Problem of Atisiria-Hungary 

if it treats them with justice. Austria has always ruled 
with barbaric methods. The atrocious acts of which Ger- 
many has been guilty in Belgium and France were taught 
by Austria. In her campaign against Serbia she has, as 
usual, taken thousands of hostages among her own peoples 
in order to prevent their rising against the tyranny of 
Vienna, and she has, as usual, made barbarous war upon the 
weak and the helpless. Austria-Hungary is an anachronism 
in a modern world. The Dual Monarchy is, and has 
always been, only a factor for evil. In Germany's crime 
Austria-Hungary has been an accompHce and an accessory 
before the fact. Austria-Hungary has existed during many 
years, not owing to its own strength, but owing to Europe's 
toleration. Austria-Hungary is another Turkey. Her hour 
has struck. The Empire of the Habsburgs in its present 
form is Hkely to disappear. In its place will arise a number 
of independent States possessing a national basis which 
in time may federate for mutual protection. 

The present War has a twofold object. It is a war 
waged to destroy the curse of mihtarism and to free the 
subject nations from their bondage. Many people have 
asked by what name the present War should be known 
to history. It might fittingly be called the War of Libera- 
tion. Small nations, whether they are called Belgium 
and Holland, or Bosnia and Bohemia, are entitled to life 
and liberty. We need not deny the small nations which 
should take the place of Austria-Hungary their inborn 
right to life and prosperity. It is true that small States, 
especially if they have no outlet to the sea, are greatly 
hampered. The future, and especially the economic future, 
probably belongs to the great nations. Still, the small 
nations can survive, and if they cannot survive singly they 
can hve and prosper by voluntary co-operation. The 
small nations which are arising in the Balkan Peninsula 
and in that part of Europe which is now called Austria- 
Hungary, may be expected to conclude arrangements with 
their friends and sympathisers for mutual defence. A 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 145 

great State may arise in South-Eastern Europe. Federalism 
may provide the bond which Habsburg absolutism, 
Habsburg selfishness, and Habsburg tyranny failed 
to create. The provision of an efficient counterpoise to 
Eussia may, and should be, left to Nature and to natural 



A CENTURY ago, at the Congress of Vienna, the question 
of Poland proved extremely difficult to solve. It produced 
dangerous friction among the assembled Powers, and 
threatened to lead to the break-up of the Congress. The 
position became so threatening that, on January 3, 1815, 
Austria, Great Britain, and France felt compelled to con- 
clude a secret separate alliance directed against Prussia 
and Kussia, the alhes of Austria and Great Britain in the 
war against Napoleon. Precautionary troop movements 
began, and war among the Allies might have broken out 
had not, shortly afterwards. Napoleon quitted Elba and 
landed in France. Fear of the great Corsican re-united 
the Powers. 

Because of the great and conflicting interests involved, 
the question of Poland may prove of similar importance 
and difiSculty at the Congress which will conclude the 
present War. Hence, it seems desirable to consider it 
carefully and in good time. The consideration of the 
Pohsh Question seems not only useful but urgent. 

Henry Wheaton, the distinguished American diplomat 
and jurist, wrote in his classical * History of the Law of 
Nations ' : ' The partition of Poland was the most flagrant 
violation of natural justice and International Law which 
has occurred since Europe first emerged from barbarism.' 
In Koch's celebrated * Tableau des Kévolutions de l'Europe,' 
written by a diplomat for the use of diplomats, and pubhshed 

^ The Nineteenth Century and After, January, 1915. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 147 

in 1825, when the partition of Poland was still fresh in men's 
minds, we read : 

The partition of Poland must be considered the fore- 
runner of the total revolution of the whole political system 
of Europe which had been estabhshed three centuries before. 
Hitherto numerous alHances had been formed and many- 
wars had been undertaken with a view to preserving weak 
States against the ambitions of strong ones. Now three 
Great Powers combined to plunder a State which had given 
them no offence. Thus the barriers which had hitherto 
separated right from arbitrary might were destroyed. No 
weak State was any longer secure. The European balance 
of power became the laughing-stock of the new school, and 
serious men began to consider the European equilibrium 
a chimera. Although the Courts of St. Petersburg, Berlin, 
and Vienna were most strongly to blame, those of London 
and Paris were not free from guilt by allowing without pro- 
test the spoliation of Poland to take place. 

The Polish problem is not only a very great and extremely 
interesting problem, but it is unique of its kind. It can be 
understood only by those who are acquainted with the history 
of Poland and of its partitions. Many Englishmen are 
unacquainted with that history. Most beheve that Kussia 
has been the worst enemy of the Poles, that she caused the 
partitions, that Germany and Austria-Hungary were merely 
her accomplices, and that Great Britain has never taken 
a serious interest in Pohsh affairs. 

Polish history, as usually taught, is a tissue of miscon- 
ceptions and of falsehoods. In the following pages it 
will be shown that not Kussia, but Prussia, was chiefly 
responsible for the partitions of Poland and for the subse- 
quent oppression of the Poles, that Kussia and Austria 
were, in their Pohsh pohcy, merely Prussia's tools and dupes, 
and that England, well informed by able and conscientious 
diplomats, has with truly marvellous insight and consistency 
unceasingly recommended the adoption of that hberal 
and enlightened policy towards Poland which seems hkely 

148 TJie Problem of Poland 

to prevail at last. History has wonderfully vindicated 
the wisdom and the far-sightedness of British statesmen 
in their treatment of Polish affairs from the middle of the 
eighteenth century to the present day. A brief résumé 
of the largely secret or unknown inner history of Poland 
and of its partitions is particularly interesting, because it 
throws a most powerful light on the true character and the 
inner workings of Prusso- German, Russian, and Austrian 
diplomacy from the time of Frederick the Great, of the 
Empress Catherine the Second, and of the Empress Maria 
Theresa to that of Bismarck, Bulow, and Bethmann- 
Hollweg. I would add that much of the material given 
in the following pages has never been printed, and has 
been taken from the original documents. 

Frederick the Great wrote in his * Exposé du Gouverne- 
ment Prussien,' his Pohtical Testament, which was addressed 
to his successor : 

One of the first poHtical principles is to endeavour to 
become an ally of that one of one's neighbours who may 
become most dangerous to one's State. For that reason we 
Prussians have an alHance with Russia, and thus we have 
our back free of danger as long as the alhance lasts. 

He wrote in his * Histoire de Mon Temps ' : 

Of all neighbours of Prussia the Russian Empire is the 
most dangerous, both by its power and its geographical 
position, and those who will rule Prussia after me should 
cultivate the friendship of those barbarians because they are 
able to ruin Prussia altogether through the immense number 
of their mounted troops. Besides, one cannot repay them 
for the damage which they may do to us because of the 
poverty of that part of Russia which is nearest to Prussia, 
and through which one has to pass in order to get into the 

These two passages summarise and explain Prussia's 
poHcy towards Russia during the last century and a half, 
and furnish a key to her subtle and devious Pohsh poHcy. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 149 

During the Seven Years' War Eussia had given to 
Prussia the hardest blows. Guided by the considerations 
given above, Frederick the Great was most anxious to make 
peace and to conclude an aUiance with Eussia. He stated 
in his ' Memoirs on the Events following the Peace of 
Hubertusberg of 1763,' referring, Hke Julius Caesar, to 
himself in the third person : 

England's faithlessness (during the Seven Years' War) 
had broken the bonds between Prussia and that country. 
The Anglo -Prussian alliance, which had been founded upon 
mutual interests, was followed by the most hvely hostihty 
and the most serious anger between the two States. King 
Frederick stood alone on the field of battle. No one was 
left to attack him, but at the same time no one was ready to 
take his part. That position of isolation was tolerable as 
long as it was only temporary, but it could not be allowed 
to continue. Soon a change took place. Towards the end 
of the year negotiations were begun with Eussia with a view 
to concluding a defensive aUiance with that country. . . . 

The King of Prussia desired to obtain influence over 
Eussia. . . . 

The power of the Eussians is very great. Prussia still 
suffers from the blows which she had received from them 
during the Seven Years' War. It was obviously not in the 
interest of the Prussian King to contribute to the growth of 
so terrible and so dangerous a Power. Therefore two ways 
were open : Prussia had either to set bounds to Eussia's 
conquests by force, or she had to endeavour to take skilful 
advantage of Eussia's desire for expansion. The latter 
poHcy was the wiser one, and the King neglected nothing in 
order to carry it into effect. 

The desired opportunity of concluding an aUiance with 
Eussia arose owing to the death of the Empress EHzabeth, 
his great opponent, which took place on January 5, 1762. 
Her successor, the foolish and imbecile Peter the Third, 
became a tool in Frederick's hands. He made peace with 
Prussia on May 5, 1762, and five weeks later, on June 8, 

150 The Problem of Poland 

he concluded with Frederick a treaty of alliance to which 
the following secret articles were appended ; 

Articles Secrets : 

. . . Comme l'intérêt de S.M.I, de toutes les Kussies et 
de S.M. le roi de Prusse exige qu'on porte un soin attentif à 
ce que la répubhque de Pologne soit maintenue dans son 
droit de hbre élection, et qu'il ne soit permis ni concédé à 
personne d'en faire un royaume héréditaire, ou bien même 
de s'ériger en prince souverain, LL.MM. l'Empereur de toutes 
les Kussies et le roi de Prusse se sont promis mutuellement 
et se sont engagées de la manière la plus solennelle, à ce que, 
dans tous les cas et dans toutes les circonstances, si quelqu'un 
et qui que ce soit voulait entreprendre de dépouiller la répub- 
lique de Pologne de son droit de libre élection, ou d'en faire 
un royaume héréditaire, ou de s'ériger soi-même en souverain, 
LL.MM. de Kussie et de Prusse ne le permettront pas ; 
mais qu'au contraire elles écarteront, repousseront et met- 
tront à néant de toutes manières et par tous les moyens, des 
projets si injustes et si dangereux aux puissances voisines, 
en se concertant mutuellement, en réunissant leurs forces et 
même en ayant recours aux armes, si les circonstances 
l'exigeaient. De plus, les deux puissances s'uniront pour 
faire tomber le choix sur un Piast, après la mort du roi actuel 
Auguste II, et elles se concerteront sur le choix du candidat 
le plus convenable. 
Articles Séparés : 

. . . S.M.I. de Kussie et S.M. le roi de Prusse, voyant avec 
beaucoup do chagrin la dure oppression dans laquelle vivent, 
depuis bien des années, leurs corehgionnaires de Pologne et 
de Lithuanie, se sont réunies et aUiées pour protéger de leur 
mieux tous les habitants de la Pologne et du grand-duché 
de Lithuanie, qui professent les reUgions grecque, réformée 
et luthérienne, et qui y sont connus sous le nom dissidents, 
et veulent faire tous leurs efforts pour obtenir du roi et de 
la répubhque de Pologne, par des représentations fortes et 
amicales, que ces mêmes dissidents soient réintégrés dans 
leurs privilèges, Hbertés, droits et prérogatives qui" leur 
avaient été accordés et concédés par le passé. 

Exactly a month later, during the night from July 8 

Cheat Problems of British Statesmanship 151 

to 9, Czar Peter was deposed and his wife, Catherine the 
Second, was elevated to the throne. On July 17 Peter 
the Third was assassinated. 

By the Secret Articles quoted, Kussia and Prussia 
pledged themselves to maintain with their whole united 
strength the right of free election in Poland, to prevent the 
establishment of a hereditary PoHsh kingship, to cause 
the election of a * Piast ' suitable to Kussia and Prussia in 
case of the death of the ruHng King, Augustus the Second. 
By the Separate Article given above, Russia and Prussia 
further agreed to protect with all their power the Poles 
belonging to the Russian Orthodox and to the Lutheran 
rehgion who at the time did not enjoy full citizen rights 
in that Roman Catholic State. 

Many years before that treaty of alliance was concluded, 
when Russia was disunited, weak and overrun by Eastern 
hordes, Poland was a powerful State. It had conquered 
large portions of Russia, including the towns of Moscow 
and Kieff. Hence, many Russians saw in Poland their 
hereditary enemy and endeavoured, not uimaturally, to 
keep that country weak and disunited. Poland was a 
repubUc presided over by an elected king. All the power 
was in the hands of a numerous and mostly impecunious 
nobility. The State was weak because of two pecuUar 
institutions — an elected king, who might be either a Pole 
or a stranger, and the Liberum Veto. In consequence 
of the latter the resolutions of the Polish Diet had to be 
unanimous. The Veto of a single man could prevent the 
passage of any measure and cripple the Government. The 
Liberum Veto, possessed by the numerous aristocracy, and 
the election of a king, whose power was jealously circum- 
scribed by the ruling nobility, made anarchy and disorder 
permanent in Poland, and weakened that country to the 
utmost. While patriotic Poles desired to establish the 
strength and security of the State by reforming their Govern- 
ment, by abolishing the Liberum Veto, replacing it by 
majority rule, and by making kingship hereditary, their 

152 The Problem of Poland 

enemies wished to perpetuate Polish anarchy in order to 
take advantage of it. In the Treaty of Constantinople, 
concluded between Turkey and Eussia in 1700, during the 
reign of Peter the Great, we find already an attempt on 
Kussia*s part to perpetuate disorder and anarchy in Poland 
by * guaranteeing ' the preservation of the vicious PoHsh 
constitution. In Article Twelve of that Treaty we read : 

Le czar déclare de la manière la plus formelle qu'il ne 
s'appropriera rien du territoire de la Pologne, et qu'il ne se 
mêlera point du gouvernement de cette Képublique. Et 
comme il importe aux deux empires d'empêcher que la 
souveraineté et la succession héréditaire ne soient point 
attachées à la couronne de Pologne, ils s'unissent à l'effet de 
maintenir les droits, privilèges et constitutions de cet Etat. 
Et au cas que quelque puissance qui que ce soit envoyât 
des troupes en Pologne, ou qu'elle cherchât à y introduire la 
souveraineté et la succession héréditaire, il sera non seule- 
ment permis à chacune des puissances contractantes de 
prendre telles mesures que son propre intérêt lui dictera, 
mais les deux Etats empêcheront, par toutes les voies 
possibles, que la couronne de Pologne n'acquière la souve- 
raineté et la succession héréditaire ; que les droits et constitu- 
tions de la EépubUque ne soient point violés ; et qu'aucun 
démembrement de son territoire ne puisse avoir Ueu. 

Following the policy which Peter the Great had initiated 
with some reason against Poland, Eussia and Prussia agreed 
by the Secret Articles quoted not only to keep Poland 
weak and distracted by preserving the constitutional dis- 
order of that country, and preventing all reform, but they 
further agreed to use all their influence with a view to 
having elected a king suitable to themselves. Besides, 
they agreed to create the most serious difficulties to the 
Eepubhc by protecting the non-Eoman Cathohc Poles. 
In her secret instructions, sent on November 6, 1763, to 
Count Keyserling and Prince Eepnin, her Ambassadors 
in Warsaw, Catharine the Second, acting in conjunction 
with Frederick the Great, gave orders that the gentle 

Great Problems of British Statesmanshi2o 153 

Count Poniatowski, her former favourite and lover, should 
be elected. She placed large funds at the disposal of her 
Ambassadors for the purpose of bribery, and gave directions 
that, if the Poles should oppose Poniatowski's election, 
Kussian troops, acting in conjunction with Prussian soldiers, 
should treat all opponents to the Kusso-Prussian candidate 
as rebels and enemies. We read in that most interesting 
secret document : 

... II est indispensable que nous portions sur le trône 
de Pologne un Piast à notre convenance, utile à nos intérêts 
réels, en un mot un homme qui ne doive son élévation 
qu'à nous seuls. Nous trouvons dans la personne du comte 
Poniatowski, panetier de Lithuanie, toutes les conditions 
nécessaires à notre convenance, et en conséquence nous avons 
résolu de l'élever au trône de Pologne. . . . 

. . . Que si quelqu'un osait s'opposer à cette élection, 
troubler l'ordre public de la répubhque, former des confédéra- 
tions contre un monarque légitimement élu ; alors, sans 
aucune déclaration préalable, nous ordonnerons à nos 
troupes d'envahir en même temps sur tous les points le 
territoire polonais, de regarder nos adversaires comme 
rebelles, perturbateurs, et de détruire par le fer et par le feu 
leurs biens et leurs propriétés. Dans ce cas, nous nous 
concerterons avec le roi de Prusse, et vous, de votre côté, 
vous vous entendrez avec son ministre résident à Varsovie. 

Soon it was whispered that Kussia and Prussia had 
agreed to partition Poland. These rumours were indignantly 
and most emphatically denied by Frederick the Great and 
Catharine the Second. Frederick the Great made on 
January 24, 1764, the following pubUc declaration through 
his Ambassador in Warsaw : 

. . . Les faux bruits qui se sont répandus dans le royaume 
et que les ennemis de la tranquillité publique ne cessent de 
divulguer, que les cours de Prusse et de Kussie voulaient 
profiter des circonstances présentes pour démembrer la 
Pologne ou la Lithuanie, et que le concert de ces deux cours 
tendait uniquement à y faire des acquisitions aux dépens 

154 The Problem of Poland 

de la république ; ces bruits, qui sont aussi dénués de vrai- 
semblance que de fondement, ont porté le soussigné à les 
contredire, non-seulement de bouche, mais aussi par une 
note préalable remise au prince primat. . . . 

... Sa Majesté le roi de Prusse ne travaille et ne travail- 
lera constamment qu'à maintenir les Etats de la république 
en leur entier. S. M. l'impératrice de Kussie ayant le même 
en vue, ce n'est que dans un pareil but que le roi s'est con- 
certé avec elle. 

The statement of the Prussian Ambassador was followed 
by a letter from Frederick the Great himself to the Prince 
Primate of Poland on July 24, in which the King, in sonorous 
Latin phrases, stated that he was most anxious * ut libertates 
et possessiones reipublicae, sartae omnino et intactae 
maneant. Haec est sincera' ! et constans animi nostri 
sententia.' Catharine the Second, with similar unequivocal 
directness, pubhcly declared : 

... Si jamais l'esprit de mensonge a pu inventer une 
fausseté complète, c'est lorsqu'on a audacieusement répandu 
que, dans le dessein que nous avons de favoriser l'élection 
d'un Piast, nous n'avions pour but que de nous faciliter les 
moyens d'envahir, par son secours ou son concours, quelque 
morceau du territoire de la couroime de Pologne ou du 
grand-duché de Lithuanie, pour le démembrer du royaume 
et le mettre sous notre domination par usurpation. Ce 
bruit, si peu fondé et inventé aussi mal à propos, tombe 
de lui-même comme dénué de toute sorte de vraisemblance. 

The British diplomats hesitated to accept these solemn 
declarations. Mr. Thomas Wroughton, the British Am- 
bassador to Poland, reported on June 15, 1763, from 
Dresden to his Government, enclosing the Empress's Declara- 
tion of May 2, 1763 : 

The enclosed declaration of the Empress of Russia ap- 
pears to me to be very rague ; the idea here is that there is 
certainly an understanding between the King of Prussia and 
that Sovereign to divide the major part of the PoHsh Do- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 155 

minions between them. I cannot by any means adopt this 
sentiment, conceiving it to be inconsistent with the interest 
of either of them. The manner in which that unfortunate 
country is treated on both sides shows that they are as much 
absolute masters of it as possible, and that without awaken- 
ing the jealousy of their neighbours. Russia is inattackable 
on that side at present, which she would not be if she appro- 
priated to herself that barrier. I can easily imagine Polish 
Prussia and the town of Dantzig to be tempting objects to 
the King of Prussia, but would even Russia, on whatever 
amicable footing she may be, permit him to make so formid- 
able an acquisition on that side and so dangerous for the 
Baltick Navigation when in the hands of so great a Prince ? 

By bribery and persuasion, and by ruthless intimida- 
tion, supported by the threatening presence of a large 
body of Russian troops brought into the Pohsh capital, 
the Russian and Prussian Ambassadors secured in 1764 
the election of Count Poniatowski to the Polish throne. 
He reigned in the name Stanislaus Augustus. Soon after 
his election the Empress Catharine, supported by Frederick 
the Great, demanded that the dissenters of Poland should 
be given equal rights with the Roman CathoHcs, and these 
demands were backed by force. 

In his * Memoirs ' Frederick the Great described this 
as follows : 

Towards the end of 1765 the Polish Diet came again 
together. The Empress of Russia had declared herself 
Protectress of the Dissenters, part of whom belonged to the 
Greek religion. She demanded that they should be per- 
mitted to exercise their religion freely and to obtain official 
positions on a footing of equality with the other Poles. 
This demand was the cause of all the disturbances and wars 
which soon broke out. The Prussian Ambassador handed 
to the Pohsh Diet a memoir demonstrating that his Master, 
the King of Prussia, could not view with indifference the 
abolition of the Liberum Veto, the introduction of new taxa- 
tion, and the increase of the Polish Army, and the Polish 
Republic acted in accordance with Prussia's representations. 

156 • The Problem of Poland 

The Dissenters were hostile to the ruling Poles. In view 
of the existence of the Liberum Vote, by means of which a 
single dissentient could bring the machinery of ParHament 
and Government to a standstill, the demands made by^ 
Eussia and Prussia could be fulfilled only if the Liberum 
Veto was replaced by majority rule. However, acting 
in accordance with their secret treaty, Russia and Prussia 
opposed that most necessary reform. The demands made 
by Russia and Prussia on behalf of Dissenters were 
particularly unwarrantable if we remember that even 
now Poles cannot obtain * official positions on a footing 
of equality ' either in Prussia or in Russia. However, 
notwithstanding the unreasonableness of the request, 
the new King, w^ho possessed far more patriotism than 
Frederick the Great and Catharine the Second had believed, 
promised to fulfil their demands if he was given sufiBcient 
time. Sir G. Macartney, the British Ambassador in St. 
Petersburg, reported on November 28 (December 7), 1766 : 

The King of Poland five months ago declared to Mr. 
Panin by his Minister that if Russia would act moderately 
he would undertake in this Diet to obtain for the dissidents 
the free exercise of their religion, and in the next he would 
endeavour, nay promise, to render them not only capable 
of Juridicatory Starosties, but of being elected to the Nuncia- 
ture. Unfortunately this proposal did not content the 
Court of Petersburg. She [the Empress] thought it possible 
to obtain everything she demanded, and did not compre- 
hend the difficulty, the impossibility, of persuading a Great 
Assembly [the most august part of which consists of Ecclesi- 
asticks] to grant all at once without hesitation free participa- 
tion of their privileges to a set of men whom they have been 
taught to look upon as equally their spiritual and temporal 
enemies. The King of Prussia by his minister here en- 
deavours by all methods, fer fas et nef as, to irritate this Court 
against the Poles, and as an indiscreet zeal for rehgion has 
never been reckoned among that Monarch's weaknesses, his 
motives are shrewdly suspected to be much deeper than 
they are avowed to be. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 157 

Driven to despair by the threats of armed interference, 
made by the Eussian and Prussian Ambassadors, King 
Stanislaus Augustus appealed on October 5, 1766, to 
Catharine the Second in a most touching private letter, 
which, alluding to their former intimacy and love, ended 
as follows : 

Lorsque vous m'avez recommandé au choix de cette 
nation, vous n'avez assurément pas voulu que je devinsse 
l'objet de ses malédictions ; vous ne comptiez certainement 
pas non plus élever dans ma personne un but aux traits de 
vos armes. Je vous conjure de voir cependant que si tout ce 
que le prince Kepnin m'a annoncé se vérifie, il n'y a pas de 
milieu pour moi : il faut que je m'expose à vos coups, ou 
que je trahisse ma nation et mon devoir. Vous ne m'auriez 
pas voulu roi, si j'étais capable du dernier. La Foudre est 
entre vos mains, mais la lancerez-vous sur la tête innocente 
de celui qui vous est depuis si longtemps le plus tendrement 
et le plus sincèrement attaché ? Madame, De Votre Majesté 
Impériale le bon frère, ami et voisin, 

Stanislas-Auguste, roi. 

The King pleaded in vain. Catharine the Second and 
Frederick the Great were freethinkers. Their championship 
of the rights of the Dissenters was merely a pretext for 
crippHng Poland completely and for interfering in that 
country with a view to partitioning it. Mr. Thomas 
Wroughton, the British Ambassador in Poland, sent on 
October 29, 1766, a despatch to his Government, in which 
we read : 

I had another long conversation with the King, who 
represented to me in the most touching colours the situation 
of his affairs and the manner in which he thinks himself 
and the nation treated. He saw himself, he said, upon the 
brink of the most serious danger ; that he was determined 
to suffer all rather than betray his country, or act like a 
dishonest man ; that Her Imperial Majesty had never pre- 
tended to more than procuring the Protestants the full 
exercise of their religion, and that he had laboured for many 

158 The Problem of Poland 

months past on that plan ; that this sudden and violent 
resolution of the Empress to put them on a level with his 
other subjects convinced him that religion was only a 
pretext, and that she and the King of Prussia, repenting 
of having placed a man on the throne that worked for the 
elevation of his country, were taking measures to overset 
what they themselves had done ; that he awaited the event 
with the utmost tranquillity, conscious of having ever acted 
on the principles of Justice and Patriotism. 

The British Ambassador in Berlin, Sir Andrew Mitchell, 
confirmed in his despatches the views of his colleagues 
in Petersburg and Warsaw as to the ultimate aims of Kussia 
and Prussia in Poland. He wrote, for instance, on 
November 22, 1766 : 

Neither the Empress of Kussia nor the King of Prussia 
would wish to see such an alteration in the constitution of 
Poland as could not fail to render the Kepublick more 
independent, more powerful, and of more weight and 
importance than it has hitherto been in Europe. 

Before the first partition of Poland the Province of 
East Prussia was separated from the rest of the Kingdom 
of Prussia by Polish territory. The present Province of 
West Prussia, with Thorn, Dantzig, and the mighty Kiver 
Vistula, formed then part of Poland. Frederick strove 
to acquire that province, and with this object in view he 
had advocated the partition of Poland with Eussia. How- 
ever, an event occurred which seriously affected the King's 
plans. In 1768 war broke out between Eussia and Turkey. 
It was long drawn out and, to Frederick's dismay, Eussia 
proved victorious. The King strongly desired the existence 
of a powerful Turkey friendly to Prussia, which, in case 
of meed, might afford valuable support to Prussia by 
attacking Eussia in the flank or Austria in the rear. The 
King wrote in his ' Memoirs ' : 

It was in no way in Prussia's interest to see the Ottoman 
Power altogether destroyed. In case of need excellent use 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 159 

could be made of it for causing a diversion either in Hungary 
or in Kussia in the event that Prussia was at war either with 
Austria or with the Muscovite Power. 

Germany's traditional philo-Turkish policy was originated 
not by Bismarck and William the Second, but by Frederick 
the Great. 

During a long time Frederick strove to bring about a 
war between Russia and Austria by teUing the Austrians 
that if Russia should conquer large portions of Turkey 
she would become too powerful, and w^ould become 
dangerous to Austria herself, that Austria should not 
tolerate the Russians crossing the Danube. As his attempts 
at involving these two States in war proved unsuccessful, 
he resolved to divert Russia's attention from the Balkan 
Peninsula to Poland, and for greater security he wished 
to make use of Austria as a tool and a partner in his designs. 
As Maria Theresa, the Austrian Empress, refused to take 
a hand in the partition of Poland, he began to work upon 
her son and successor. Joseph the Second, born in 1741, 
was at the time young, enthusiastic, inexperienced, hasty, 
vain, and he thirsted for glory. He envied Frederick's 
successes. Playing upon his vanity and upon that of 
Prince Kaunitz, the leading Austrian statesman, Frederick 
the Great obtained their support for partitioning Poland. 
After a long but fruitless resistance against her son and 
her principal adviser, Maria Theresa signed, it is said with 
tears in her eyes, on March 4, 1772, the Partition Treaty. 
However, in signing it, she expressed her dissent and dis- 
approval in the following prophetic phrase : 

Placet, puisque tant et de savants persormages veulent 
qu'il en soit ainsi ; mais, longtemps après ma mort, on verra 
ce qui résulte d'avoir ainsi foulé aux pieds tout ce que 
jusqu'à présent on a toujours tenu pour juste et pour 

To preserve the appearance of legitimacy the partitioning 
Powers wished to receive the consent of the Polish Diet to 

160 The Problem of Poland 

their act of spoliation. Frederick the Great describes how 
that consent was obtained. After mentioning that each 
of the partitioning Powers sent an army to Poland to over- 
awe the people, and that Warsaw was occupied by troops, 
he wrote in his * Memoirs ' : 

At first the Poles were obstinate and rejected all proposals. 
The representatives did not come to Warsaw. Having grown 
tired of the long delay, the Court of Vienna proposed to 
appoint a day for the opening of the Diet, threatening that 
in case of the non-appearance of the delegates, the three 
Powers would partition not merely part but the whole of 
the country. If, on the other hand, the cession of the out- 
lying districts was effected by voluntary agreement, the 
foreign troops would be withdrawn from Poland. That 
declaration overcame all difiSculties. The Treaty of Cession 
was signed with Prussia on the 18th of September, and 
Poland was guaranteed the integrity of her remaining 
provinces. . . . The Poles, who are the most easy-going 
and most foolish nation in Europe, thought at first that 
they could safely consent because they would be able to 
destroy the work of the three Powers within a short time. 
They argued thus in the hope that Eussia might be defeated 
by Turkey. 

At the first partition Prussia, Austria, and Russia were, 
according to their treaty concluded with Poland, to take 
certain vast but clearly defined territories from that unhappy 
State. However, by fraud and violence they greatly 
exceeded the stipulated hmits. Frederick the Great tells 
us with his habitual cynical candour : 

The Poles complained loudly that the Austrians and 
Prussians increased their shares without hmit. There was 
some reason for these complaints. The Austrians used a 
very wrong map of Poland on which the names of the rivers 
Sbruze and Podhorze had been exchanged, and making use 
of this pretext enlarged their portion very greatly beyond 
the limits agreed upon by the Treaty of Partition. The 
basis of the Treaty had been that the shares of the three 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 161 

Powers should be equal. As the Austrians had increased 
their share, King Frederick considered himself justified in 
doing Hkewise, and included in Prussia the districts of the 
old and the new Netze. 

Careful study of the * Memoirs ' and of the diplomatic and 
private correspondence of the time shows convincingly that 
Frederick the Great was the moving spirit, and that he 
was responsible for the first partition of Poland, that Eussia 
and Austria were merely his tools and his dupes. He has 
told us in his * Memoirs * that he sent the original plan of 
partition to Petersburg, attributing it to the fertile brain of 
a visionary statesman. Count Lynar. The late Lord 
Salisbury wrote in his valuable essay * Poland,' pubUshed 
in the Quarterly Review in 1863, in which, by the by, he 
treated the claims of the Poles with little justice : 

By a bold inversion of the real degrees of guilt the chief 
blame is laid on Eussia. Prussia is looked upon as a pitiful 
and subordinate accomphce, while Austria is almost absolved 
as an unwilling accessory. . . . 

To Frederick the Great of Prussia belongs the credit of 
having initiated the scheme which was actually carried into 
execution. It is now admitted, even by German historians, 
that the first partition was proposed to Catharine by Prince 
Henry of Prussia on behalf of his brother Frederick, and 
with the full acquiescence of Joseph, Emperor of Germany. 
Frederick had never been troubled with scruples upon the 
subject of territorial acquisition, and he was not hkely to 
commence them in the case of Poland. Spoliation was the 
hereditary tradition of his race. The whole history of the 
kingdom over which he ruled was a history of lawless 
annexation. It was formed of territory filched from other 
races and other Powers, and from no Power so liberally as 
from Poland. 

The fact that Frederick the Great was responsible for 
the first partition of Poland is acknowledged not only by 
leading German historians, but even by the German school- 
books. As an excuse, it is usually stated that necessity 

162 The Problem of Poland 

compelled Frederick to propose that step because the anarchy 
prevaihng m Poland made impossible its continued existence 
as an independent State. However, German writers never 
mention that the Poles themselves earnestly wished to 
reform the State, and that Frederick not only opposed 
that reform but greatly increased disorder by putting his 
own nominee on the Pohsh throne, by causing civil war to 
break out in the country, by raising the Polish Dissenters 
against the Government, by occupying Poland in con- 
junction with Eussia, by interfering with its elections and 
Government, and by bribing and overawing its Legislature 
by armed force. 

The second partition of Poland in 1793 is perhaps even 
more disgraceful to Prussia than was the first, because it 
involved that country and her King in an act of incredible 
treachery. Frederick the Great died in 1786. His successor, 
Frederick WilHam the Second, was a worthless individual, 
and he brought about the second partition by means which 
his uncle would have disdained. Mr. M. S. F. Scholl, a 
German diplomat of standing, described in Koch's classical 
* Tableau des Kévolutions de l'Europe,' which is still much 
used by students of history, and especially by diplomats, 
the infamous way in which Prussia betrayed Poland at the 
time of the second partition in the following words : 

While in France, during the Kevolution, the nation was 
seized by a sudden rage and aboHshed all institutions and 
all law and order, giving itself up to excesses which one would 
have thought to be impossible, another nation in the North 
of Europe, which was plunged in anarchy and oppressed 
by its neighbours, made a noble effort to estabHsh good order 
and to throw off its foreign yoke. 

The Poles had persuaded themselves that they might 
be able to change their vicious Constitution and to give 
renewed strength to the Government of the Pohsh Eepubhc 
during a time when Eussia was occupied with wars against 
Sweden and Turkey. An Extraordinary Diet was convoked 
at Warsaw, and in order to aboHsh the inconvenience of 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 168 

the liherum veto, which required unanimity of votes, it 
adopted the form of a Confederation. The Empress, 
Catharine the Second of Kussia, approached the Pohsh Diet 
and endeavoured to conclude with it an alliance against 
the Turks. Her plan was spoiled by the King of Prussia, 
who, in consequence of arrangements made with England, 
did all in his power to rouse the Poles against the Eussians. 
He encouraged them by offering them his alliance to under- 
take the reformation of their Government which Prussia 
had recently guaranteed. A Committee of the Pohsh Diet 
was instructed to draw up a plan of a Constitution designed 
to regenerate the Repubhc. 

The resolution taken by the Diet was likely to displease 
the Empress of Russia, who considered that step as a formal 
breach of the Treaty between Russia and Poland concluded 
in 1775. As the Poles could foresee that the changes which 
they desired to effect were likely to involve them in differences 
with the Empress of Russia, they ought before all to have 
thought of preparing their defence. However, instead of 
improving their finances and strengthening their army, the 
Diet lost much in discussing the projected new Constitution. 
Prussia's protection, of which they had officially been as- 
sured, made the Poles too confident. The alHance which the 
King of Prussia actually concluded with the Repubhc on 
March 27, 1790, gave them a feehng of absolute security. 
King Stanislaus Augustus hesitated a long time as to the 
attitude which he should adopt. At last he joined that 
party of the Diet which desired to draw Poland out of the 
humihating position in which she had fallen, llie new 
Constitution was proclaimed on May 3, 1791. 

Although that Constitution was not perfect, it was in 
accordance with Poland's conditions. It corrected the vices 
of her ancient laws, and although it was truly Republican 
in spirit, it avoided the exaggerated ideas to which the 
French Revolution had given rise. The throne was made 
hereditary. The absurd liherum veto was abolished. The 
Diet was declared permanent and the legislative body was 
divided into two chambers. The lower one was to discuss 
laws. The upper one, the Senate, presided over by the 
King, was to sanction them and to exercise the veto. The 

164 The Problem of Poland 

executive power was entrusted to the King and a Council 
of Supervision composed of seven responsible Ministers. . . . 

The exertions made by the Poles for ensuring their 
independence aroused Eussia's anger. As soon as the 
Empress of Kussia had concluded peace with Turkey, she 
induced her supporters in Poland to form a separate con- 
federation which aimed at revoking the innovations which 
the Diet of Warsaw had introduced. It strove to bring the 
old Polish constitution once more into force. That con- 
federation was concluded on the 14th of May 1792, at 
Targowice, and the Counts Fehx Potocki, Kzewuski, and 
Branicki were its leaders. 

The Empress of Kussia sent an army into Poland in 
support of the new Confederation, and made war against 
those Poles who were in favour of the new constitution. 
Only then did the Poles seriously think of vigorous counter 
measures. The Diet decreed that the Polish Army should 
be placed on a war footing, and a loan of 33,000,000 florins 
was arranged for. However, when the Prussian Ambassador 
was asked to state what assistance the King, his master, 
would give in accordance with his pledges contained in the 
Treaty of Alliance of 1790 — according to Articles 3 and 4 
he was to furnish the Republic with 18,000 men, and in case 
of need with 30,000 men — he gave an evasive answer which 
threw the patriotic party into despair. 

The refusal of the Polish Diet to sanction a commercial 
proposal by which Poland would have abandoned the towns 
of Danzig and Thorn to Prussia had angered that monarch 
against the Poles, and the Empress of Russia did not find it 
difficult to obtain the Prussian King's consent to another 
partition of the country. The aversion which the sovereigns 
felt against everything which resembled the French Revolu- 
tion, with which, however, the events in Poland, where 
King and nation acted in harmony, had nothing in common 
except appearances, strongly influenced the Berlin Court 
and caused it to break the engagements which it had con- 
tracted with the Republic. 

The Poles understood the danger of their position. 
Their enthusiasm cooled, and the whole Diet was seized 
with a feeling of consternation. Having to rely on their 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 165 

own strength, and being torn by dissensions, the Poles were 
unable to face their Eussian opponents with success. The 
patriotic party was unfortunate in the campaign of 1792. 
After several victories the Kussians advanced upon Warsaw 
and King Stanislaus, who was easily discouraged, joined the 
Confederation of Targowice, denounced the Constitution of 
the 8rd of May, and subscribed on the 25th of August 1792 
to all the conditions which the Empress of Kussia prescribed. 
An armistice was declared, and in consequence of its stipula- 
tions the Polish Army was reduced. In virtue of the Con- 
vention of Petersburg of the 23rd of January 1793, concluded 
between Prussia and Kussia, the Prussian troops entered 
Poland and spread throughout the country, following 
Kussia's example. Proclamations of the Courts of Berlin 
and St. Petersburg were pubhshed, by which these States 
took possession of those districts of the country which their 
troops had occupied. The adoption by Poland of the 
principles of 1789 and the propagation of the democratic 
principles of the French by the Poles were given as reasons 
for the second partition of Poland. . . . 

The partitioning Powers renounced once more all rights 
and claims to the territories of the Republic, and bound 
themselves to recognise, and even to guarantee, if desired, 
the Constitution which the Polish Diet would draw up with 
the free consent of the Polish nation. 

Notwithstanding the reiterated promises of respecting 
the integrity of the much-reduced country, the third partition 
took place in 1795. 

From the very beginning Prussia, Austria, and Russia 
treated Poland as a corpus vile, and cut it up like a cake, 
without any regard to the claims, the rights, and the pro- 
tests of the Poles themselves. Although history only 
mentions three partitions, there were in reality seven. 
There were those of 1772, 1793, and 1795, already referred 
to ; and these were followed by arbitrary redistributions 
of the Polish territories in 1807, 1809, and 1815. In none 
of these were the inhabitants consulted or even considered. 
The Congress of Vienna established the independence of 

166 The Problem of Poland 

Cracow, but Austria-Hungary, asserting that she considered 
herself ' threatened ' by the existence of that tiny State, 
seized it in 1846. 

While Prussia, Austria, and Kussia, considering that 
might was right, had divided Poland amongst themselves, 
regardless of the passionate protests of the inhabitants, 
England had remained a spectator, but not a passive one, 
of the tragedy. She viewed the action of the Allies with 
strong disapproval, but although she gave frank expression 
to her sentiments, she did not actively interfere. After 
all, no English interests were involved in the partition. 
It was not her business to intervene. Besides, she could 
not successfully have opposed single-handed the joint action 
of the three powerful partner States, especially as France, 
under the weak Louis the Fifteenth, held aloof. How- 
ever, EngUsh statesmen refused to consider as valid the 
five partitions which took place before and during the 
Napoleonic era. 

The Treaty of Chaumont of 1814 created the Concert 
of Europe. At the Congress of Vienna of 1815 the frontiers 
of Europe were fixed by general consent. As Prussia, Austria, 
and Russia refused to recreate an independent Poland, 
England's opposition would have broken up the Concert, 
and might have led to further wars. Unable to prevent 
the injustice done to Poland by her opposition, and anxious 
to maintain the unity of the Powers and the peace of the 
world, England consented at last to consider the partition 
of Poland as a fait accom'pli, and formally recognised it, 
especially as the Treaty of Vienna assured the Poles of 
just and fair treatment under representative institutions. 
Article 1 of the Treaty of Vienna stated expressly : 

Les Polonais, sujets respectifs de la Russie, de l'Autriche 
et de la Prusse, obtiendront une représentation et des institu- 
tions nationales réglées d'après le mode d'existence politique 
que chacun des gouvernements auxquels ils appartiennent 
jugera utile et convenable de leur accorder. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 167 

By signing the Treaty of Vienna, England recognised 
not explicitly, but merely implicitly, the partition of Poland, 
and she did so unwillingly and under protest. Lord Castle- 
reagh stated in a Circular Note addressed to Kussia, Prussia, 
and Austria that it had always been England's desire that 
an independent Poland, possessing a dynasty of its own, 
should be established, which, separating Austria, Eussia, 
and Prussia, should act as a buffer State between them ; 
that, failing its creation, the Poles should be reconciled 
to being dominated by foreigners, by just and liberal treat- 
ment which alone would make them satisfied. His Note, 
which is most remarkable for its far-sightedness, wisdom, 
force, and restraint, was worded as follows : 

The Undersigned, His Britannic Majesty's Principal 
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Plenipotentiary 
to the Congress of Vienna, in desiring the present Note 
concerning the affairs of Poland may be entered on the Proto- 
col, has no intention to revive controversy or to impede 
the progress of the arrangements now in contemplation. 
His only object is to avail himself of this occasion of tempe- 
rately recording, by the express orders of his Court, the 
sentiments of the British Government upon a European 
question of the utmost magnitude and influence. 

The Undersigned has had occasion in the course of the 
discussions at Vienna, for reasons that need not now be gone 
into, repeatedly and earnestly to oppose himself, on the 
part of his Court, to the erection of a PoUsh kingdom in 
union with and making a part of the Imperial Crown of 

The desire of his Court to see an independent Power, 
more or less considerable in extent, established in Poland 
under a distinct Dynasty, and as an intermediate State 
between the three great Monarchies, has uniformly been 
avowed, and if the Undersigned has not been directed to 
press such a measure, it has only arisen from a disinclination 
to excite, under all the apparent obstacles to such an arrange- 
ment, expectations which might prove an unavailing source 
of discontent among the Poles. 

168 The Problem of Poland 

The Emperor of Kussia continuing, as it is declared, still 
to adhere to his purpose of erecting that part of the Duchy 
of Warsaw which is to fall under His Imperial Majesty's 
dominion, together with his other Polish provinces, either 
in whole or in part, into a kingdom under the Russian 
sceptre ; and their Austrian and Prussian Majesties, the 
Sovereigns most immediately interested, having ceased to 
oppose themselves to such an arrangement — the Under- 
signed adhering, nevertheless, to all his former representa- 
tions on this subject has only sincerely to hope that none of 
those evils may result from this measure to the tranquillity 
of the North, and to the general equihbrium of Europe, 
which it has been his painful duty to anticipate. But in 
order to obviate as far as possible such consequences, it is of 
essential importance to establish the public tranquillity 
throughout the territories which formerly constituted the 
kingdom of Poland, upon some solid and liberal basis of 
common interest, by applying to all, however various may 
be their political institutions, a congenial and conciliatory 
system of administration. 

Experience has proved that it is not by counteracting all 
their habits and usages as a people that either the happiness 
of the Poles, or the peace of that important portion of 
Europe, can be preserved. A fruitless attempt, too long 
persevered in, by institutions foreign to their manner and 
sentiments to make them forget their existence, and even 
language, as a people, has been sufficiently tried and failed. 
It has only tended to excite a sentiment of discontent and 
self-degradation, and can never operate otherwise than to 
provoke commotion and to awaken them to a recollection of 
past misfortunes. 

The Undersigned, for these reasons, and in cordial 
concurrence with the general sentiments which he has had 
the satisfaction to observe the respective Cabinets enter- 
tained on this subject, ardently desires that the illustrious 
Monarchs to whom the destinies of the Polish nation are 
confided, may be induced, before they depart from Vienna, 
to take an engagement with each other to treat as Poles, 
under whatever form of political institution they may think 
fit to govern them, the portions of that nation that may be 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 169 

placed under their respective sovereignties. The knowledge 
of such a determination will best tend to conciliate the 
general sentiment to their rule, and to do honour to the 
several Sovereigns in the eyes of their Polish subjects. This 
course will consequently afford the surest prospect of their 
living peaceably and contentedly under their respective 
Governments. ... 

This despatch was sent on January 12, 1815, a century 
ago. The warnings were not heeded and the past century 
has been filled with sorrow for the Poles and with risings 
and revolutions, as Lord Castlereagh clearly foretold. 

In their reply, the Kussian, Prussian, and Austrian repre- 
sentatives promised to act in accordance with England's 
views. However, soon after the overthrow of Napoleon, 
reaction set in. The promises made to the peoples at the 
Congress of Vienna, and the claims of the nationaUties, 
were disregarded. Representative government was either 
not estabhshed, or, where estabhshed, was destroyed. 
Under the guidance of Prince Metternich, the evil genius 
of Austria, an era of petty tyranny and of persecution began. 
An example will show how the Poles were treated. On 
May 15, 1815, King Frederick William the Third of Prussia, 
on taking possession of the. Polish territories which fell to 
him under the Treaty of Vienna, addressed the following 
proclamation to the inhabitants : 

Inhabitants of the Kingdom of Poland ! In again taking 
possession of the district of the former dukedom of Warsaw, 
which originally belonged to Prussia, I wish to define your 
position. You also have a Fatherland, and you receive 
proof of my appreciation for your attachment to me. You 
will be incorporated in the Prussian Monarchy, but you 
need not abandon your nationality. You will take part 
in the constitution which I intend granting to my faithful 
subjects, and you will receive a provincial constitution 
similar to that which the other provinces of my State will 
receive. Your religion shall be respected, and the clergy 

170 The Problem of Poland 

will receive an income suitable to its position. Your 
personal rights and property will be protected by the laws 
which will be made with your collaboration. The Polish 
language shall be used side by side with the German language 
in all public transactions and affairs, and every one of you 
shall be able to obtain official positions, honours, and 
dignities according to his ability. 

In 1813, at the beginning of the War of Liberation 
against Napoleon, Frederick William the Third had solemnly 
promised a constitution to the Prussian people. At that 
moment he needed their help. That promise, which was 
received with the greatest enthusiasm, was renewed in the 
document given above and in many others, but it was not 
kept, although the King Hved till 1840. He and his suc- 
cessors treated the Poles with absolute faithlessness. Not 
a single one of the promises made to them in the Proclama- 
tion quoted was observed. During a century Prussia has 
disregarded her pledges of fair and equal treatment. Instead 
the Poles were persecuted and oppressed in Prussia, and 
their persecution in Austria, and especially in Kussia, was 
largely, if not chiefly, due to Prussia's instigation. 

Since the time of Frederick the Great, and in accordance 
with his advice given in the beginning of this chapter, 
Prussian statesmen, distrusting and fearing Kussia, aimed 
at maintaining the most intimate relations with that country, 
for Kussia's support was most valuable, while her hostihty 
was dangerous. Fearing and distrusting Kussia, they 
strove to keep that country weak. Animated by fear and 
distrust, they aimed at possessing themselves of a powerful 
weapon which could be used against the Northern Power 
in case of need. 

These three purposes of Prussian statesmanship could 
best be served by inducing Kussia to pursue in her Polish 
districts a poHcy which exasperated the Poles, which created 
disaffection on her most vulnerable frontier. Kussia was 
an autocracy, and the Poles, remembering their ancient 
Repubhc, have always been democratically incUned. An 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 171 

autocrat is naturally afraid of revolution and conspiracy. 
Taking advantage of these feelings, Prussia succeeded 
during more than a century in influencing and guiding 
Russia's poUcy to her advantage. She unceasingly pointed 
out to the Czar that the three States which brought 
about the partition of Poland were equally interested in 
combating democracy and revolution. The Poles were 
depicted to the Russians as bom revolutionaries and 

Russia had good reason to fear a Polish rising on her 
western, her most vulnerable, frontier, on which dwell 
nearly 12,000,000 Poles. The Poles are exceedingly warlike, 
and Russia has in the past found it extremely difficult to 
suppress their risings. Besides, an invader could always 
hope to raise the Poles against the Czar by promising them 
liberty, as was done by Napoleon the First in 1812. Prussian 
statesmen never tired of pointing out to the Czar that the 
danger of a PoHsh revolution could be overcome only by 
severe repressive measures taken jointly with Prussia. 
Thus Prussia and Russia were to remain partners, being 
jointly interested in the persecution of Poland. Poland's 
unhappiness was to be the cement of the two States. 
For the same reason for which Frederick the Great de- 
sired to preserve disorder in Poland, his successors desired 
to see chronic dissatisfaction prevail in Russia's Western 

Prussia contemplated with fear the possibility of Poland 
receiving her independence. It is clear that the re-creation 
of an independent Poland within the limits of 1772 would 
affect Russia only slightly, but would damage Prussia very 
severely. The Prussian Poles dwell in dense masses in 
Southern Silesia, one of the wealthiest coal and industrial 
centres of Germany, and in the provinces of Posen and 
Western Prussia. If the province of Posen should once 
more become Polish, the distance which separates Berlin 
from the eastern frontier of Germany would be reduced 
to about one half. The capital would be in danger. If 

172 The Problem of Poland 

the province of West Prussia, with the mouth of the 
Vistula and the port of Danzig, should once more become 
Polish, Prussia's position in the province of East Prussia 
would be jeopardised, for Polish territory would once more 
separate it from the rest of the Monarchy. Eussia, on the 
other hand, with her boundless territories, could easily 
bear the loss of her Polish provinces, especially as her capitals 
lie far from the frontier. Prince Biilow stated, not without 
cause, in the Prussian Diet on January 19, 1908 : * The 
Polish question is, as it has ever been, one of the most 
important, nay, the most important, question of Prussia's 

In modem Eussia there have always been absolutist and 
liberal-minded Czars and a reactionary and a progressive 
party. Those who depicted Eussia as a land of pure and 
undiluted absolutism, and her Czars as a race of cruel and 
unenlightened despots, were not acquainted with Eussian 
history. While the reactionary party in Eussia favoured 
the policy of oppressing the nationaUties, the liberal-minded 
were in favour of a wisely limited constitutionalism. They 
desired to give representative institutions to the people and 
some suitable form of self-government to the Poles. 

In 1859 Bismarck became the Prussian Ambassador 
in Petrograd. At that time Eussia was recovering from 
the effects of the Crimean War, and many of the most 
enlightened Eussians had become convinced that her defeat 
was largely due to her backwardness, that her backwardness 
was caused by her unprogressive institutions, that a more 
liberal policy in the widest sense of the word was needed. 
The Czar himself and his principal adviser. Prince 
Gortchakoff, were in favour of Liberalism and of Constitu- 
tionalism. Both desired to give greater freedom to the Poles. 
However, Bismarck, following the policy of Frederick 
the Great, resolutely opposed their policy in Prussia's interest. 
Owing to his persuasiveness and personal magnetism, 
that great statesman obtained the ascendant over the Czar 
and induced^him to pursue a reactionary policy towards 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 173 

the Poles. Lord Cowley, the British Ambassador in Paris," 
reported to Earl Kussell on March 26, 1863 : 

I have had a curious conversation with the Prussian 
Ambassador, and not altogether without importance, as 
showing that the Prussian Government has, if possible, 
greater repugnance to the restoration of Polish independence 
than the Cabinet of St. Petersburg itself. Adverting to the 
well-known desire of the Emperor to accomplish this event, 
Count Goltz said that it was a question of life and death 
to Prussia. ... In the course of this conversation Count 
Goltz said that M. de Bismarck, while Prussian Minister at 
St. Petersburg, had strenuously and successfully opposed 
the few concessions made to Poland by the present Emperor. 

In his * Memoirs ' Prince Bismarck candidly described his 
anti-Polish poUcy in Kussia as follows : 

In the higher circles of Eussian society the influences 
which made for Poland were connected with the now out- 
spoken demand for a constitution. It was felt as a degrada- 
tion that a cultivated people like the Eussians should be 
denied institutions which existed in all European nations, 
and should have no voice in the management of their own 
affairs. The division of opinion on the Polish question 
penetrated the highest military circles. Those Eussians 
who demanded a constitution for themselves pleaded at 
times in excuse for the Poles that they were not governable 
by Eussians, and that as they grew more civilised they 
became entitled to a share in the administration of their 
country. This view was also represented by Prince 

The conflict of opinion was very lively in St. Petersburg 
when I left that capital in April, 1862, and it so continued 
throughout my first year of ofi&ce. I took charge of the 
Foreign Office under the impression that the insurrection 
which had broken out on January 1st, 1863, brought up 
the question not only of the interests of our Eastern provinces, 
but also that wider one, whether the Eussian Cabinet were 
dominated by Polish or anti-Polish proclivities, by an effort 
after Eusso-Polish fraternisation in the anti-German Pan- 

174 The Problem of Poland 

slavist interest or by one for mutual reliance between 
Eussia and Prussia. 

For the German future of Prussia the attitude of Eussia 
was a question of great importance. A philo-Polish Eussian 
policy was calculated to vivify that Eusso -French sympathy 
against which Prussia's effort had been directed since the 
peace of Paris, and indeed on occasion earlier, and an alliance 
(friendly to Poland) between Eussia and France, such as was 
in the air before the Eevolution of July, would have placed 
the Prussia of that day in a difficult position. It was our 
interest to oppose the party in the Eussian Cabinet which 
had Polish procHvities, even when they were the proclivities 
of Alexander II. 

That Eussia herself afforded no security against fraterni- 
sation with Poland I was able to gather from confidential 
intercourse with Gortchakoff and the Czar himself. Czar 
Alexander was at that time not indisposed to withdraw 
from part of Poland, the left bank of the Vistula at any rate — 
so he told me in so many words — while he made unemphatic 
exception of Warsaw, which would always be desirable as a 
garrison town, and belonged strategically to the Vistula 
fortress triangle. Poland, he said, was for Eussia a source 
of unrest and dangerous European complications ; its Eussi- 
fication was forbidden by the difference of religion and the 
insufficient capacity for administration among Eussian 

. . . Our geographical position and the intermixture of 
both nationahties in the Eastern provinces, including Silesia, 
compel us to retard, as far as possible, the opening of the 
PoHsh question, and even in 1863 made it appear advisable 
to do our best not to facilitate, but to obviate, the opening 
of this question by Eussia. It was assumed that Uberal 
concessions, if granted to the Poles, could not be withheld 
from the Eussians ; Eussian constitutionalists were therefore 

Eussia's history has often been most unfavourably 
affected, and the clearly expressed will of the Czar himself 
been totally deflected, by the incompetence of a single 
powerful individual. The Czar Alexander was a kindly, 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 175 

liberal-minded, and broad-minded man, and he was, as 
we have learned from the testimony of Bismarck and Lord 
Cowley, very favourable to the Poles and to their aspirations. 
He intended to give the Poles a full measure of self-govern- 
ment, and he entrusted an eminent Pole, Count Wielopolski, 
an old revolutionary of 1830, with that difi&cult task. 
Wielopolski, though probably well meaning, was tactless, 
rash, and inclined to violence. Some of his measures had 
caused dissatisfaction among the Poles and had led to riots. 
Wielopolski resolved to rid himself of his opponents, who 
were chiefly young hot-headed enthusiasts, by enrolling 
them in the army, and sending them for a long number of 
years to Siberia and the Caucasus. By his orders numerous 
young men, belonging to good families, were to be arrested 
in their beds by soldiers during the night of January 1, 
1863. In the words of Lord Napier, the British Ambassador 
in Petrograd, * the opposition was to be kidnapped.* That 
foolish and arbitrary step led to a widespread revolt and 
a prolonged but hopeless struggle between Polish guerillas 
and Eussian soldiers. Bismarck, who had unceasingly re- 
commended a policy of reaction while he was in Petrograd, 
made the best use of his opportunity, and he did so all 
the more readily as Prince Gortchakoff was a friend not only 
of Poland but also of France. Foreseeing a struggle between 
Prussia and France, Bismarck desired to obtain Eussia's 
goodwill, to create differences between that country and 
France, and to discredit the Francophile Prince Gortchakoff 
with the Czar. Sir A. Buchanan, the British Ambassador 
in Berlin, informed Lord Eussell on March 21, 1863 : 

Prince Hohenzollern, in speaking to me some days ago 
with regret of the foreign policy of the Prussian Government, 
said that one of its principal objects has been the overthrow 
of Prince Gortchakoff, whose wish to promote an alliance 
between France and Eussia is, they believe, the only obstacle 
in the way of re-establishing the relations which existed be- 
tween the three Northern Courts previously to the Crimean 

176 The Problem of Poland 

Bismarck exaggerated to the Czar the scope, character, 
and consequences of the Pohsh revolt to the utmost, and 
while France and England expressed their sympathy with 
the Poles, and reproached Wielopolski for his blundering, 
Bismarck hastened to demonstrate his attachment to 
Eussia and his devotion to the Czar by offering Prussia's 
assistance in combating the revolutionists. On January 
22, 1863, the first sanguinary encounter took place. Ten 
days later, on February 1, General Gustav von Alvensleben 
was despatched by Prussia to the Czar with proposals for 
joint action against the Poles. Sir A. Buchanan, the British 
Ambassador in Berlin, telegraphed on February 12 to 
Earl Kussell : 

Insurrection in Poland extending, and numbers of Kus- 
sian troops said to be insufficient for its suppression. . . . 
Two corps of observation are forming on the frontier, and 
assistance, if required, will be afforded by Prussia. Bis- 
marck says Prussia will never permit the establishment of 
an independent kingdom of Poland. 

Two days later the British Ambassador telegraphed : 

. . . General Alvensleben, who is now in Warsaw, 
having arrived there two days ago from St. Petersburg, has 
concluded a military convention with the Kussian Govern- 
ment, according to which the two Governments will recipro- 
cally afford facihties to each other for the suppression of 
the insurrectionary movements which have lately taken 
place in Poland. . . . 

The Prussian railways are also to be placed at the disposal 
of the Kussian military authorities for the transport of 
troops through Prussian territory from one part of the 
kingdom of Poland to another. The Government further 
contemplate, in case of necessity, to give military assistance 
to the Kussian Government for the suppression of the 
insurrection in the kingdom ; but I am told that no engage- 
ment has yet been entered into with respect to the nature or 
extent of such assistance. In the meanwhile, however, 
four corps of the Prussian Army are concentrating on the 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 177 

frontiers under the command of General Waldersee, whose 
headquarters are at Posen. 

To demonstrate Prussia's zeal for Russia, one third of 
the Prussian Army was placed at Russia's service on the 
Polish frontier, to help in suppressing the rising of a number 
of men armed chiefly with scythes and pistols. 

For reasons given in these pages, Bismarck was alarmed 
by the possibility that the Czar might establish an inde- 
pendent Poland on Prussia's border. Sir A. Buchanan, the 
British Ambassador in Berlin, informed Earl Russell on 
February 14, 1863 : 

M. de Bismarck, in acquainting me a few days ago with 
his intention to take measures in concert with the Russian 
Government to prevent the extension of the insurrectionary 
movements which have lately taken place in Poland, said 
the question was of vital importance to Prussia, as her 
own existence would be seriously compromised by the 
establishment of an independent kingdom of Poland. I 
asked whether he meant to say that if Russia found any 
difficulty in suppressing the insurrection, the Prussian 
Government intended to afford them military assistance ; 
and he not only replied in the affirmative, but added that 
if Russia got tired of the contest and were disposed to with- 
draw from the kingdom — a course which some Russians were 
supposed to think advantageous to her interests — the 
Prussian Government would carry on the war on their own 
account. . . . 

The Emperor William the First, who at the time was 
only King of Prussia, frankly said to the British Ambassador, 
according to his telegram on February 22, 1863 : 

It was equally the duty and the interest of Prussia 
to do everything in her power to prevent the estab- 
lishment of an independent Polish kingdom, for if the 
PoHsh nation could reconstitute themselves as an indepen- 
dent State, the existence of Prussia would be seriously 
menaced, as the first efforts of the new State would be to 

178 The Problem of Poland 

recover Dantzig, and if that attempt succeeded, the fatal 
consequences to Prussia were too evident to require him 
to point them out. 

While Prussia, for purely selfish reasons, advocated a 
policy of persecution and repression towards the Poles, 
which would only increase their resentment to the advantage 
of Russia's enemies. Great Britain, following her traditional 
poHcy of disinterested detachment and wise humanity, 
recommended once more the adoption of a liberal policy 
towards the Poles in accordance with the stipulations of 
the Treaty of Vienna. Earl Russell sent to the British 
Ambassador in Petrograd on March 2, 1863, the following 
most remarkable despatch : 

My Lord, — Her Majesty's Government view with the 
deepest concern the state of things now existing in the 
kingdom of Poland. They see there, on the one side, a 
large mass of the population in open insurrection against 
the Government, and, on the other, a vast military force 
employed in putting that insurrection down. The natural 
and probable result of such a contest must be expected to 
be the success of the military forces. But that success, if 
it is to be achieved by a series of bloody conflicts, must be 
attended by a lamentable effusion of blood, by a deplorable 
sacrifice of life, by widespread desolation, and by impoverish- 
ment and ruin, which it would take a long course of years 
to repair. 

Moreover, the acts of violence and destruction on both 
sides, which are sure to accompany such a struggle, must 
engender mutual hatreds and resentments which will em- 
bitter, for generations to come, the relations between the 
Russian Government and the Polish race. Yet, however 
much Her Majesty's Government might lament the existence 
of such a miserable state of things in a foreign country, 
they would not, perhaps, deem it expedient to give formal 
expression of their sentiments were it not that there are 
peculiarities in the present state of things in Poland which 
take them out of the usual and ordinary condition of such 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 179 

The kingdom of Poland was constituted and placed in 
connection with the Eussian Empire by the Treaty of 1815, 
to which Great Britain was a contracting party. The present 
disastrous state of things is to be traced to the fact that 
Poland is not in the condition in which the stipulations of 
that Treaty require that it should be placed. Neither is 
Poland in the condition in which it was placed by the Emperor 
Alexander I, by whom that Treaty was made. During 
his reign a National Diet sat at Warsaw and the Poles of 
the kingdom of Poland enjoyed privileges fitted to secure 
their pohtical welfare. Since 1832, however, a state of 
uneasiness and discontent has been succeeded from time 
to time by violent commotion and a useless effusion of blood. 
Her Majesty's Government are aware that the immediate 
cause of the present insurrection was the conscription lately 
enforced upon the Polish population ; but that measure 
itself is understood to have been levelled at the deeply- 
rooted discontent prevailing among the Poles in consequence 
of the political condition of the kingdom of Poland. 

The proprietors of land and the middle classes in the 
towns bore that condition with impatience, and if the 
peasantry were not equally disaffected they gave little 
support or strength to the Russian Government. Great 
Britain, therefore, as a party to the Treaty of 1815, and as a 
Power deeply interested in the tranquillity of Europe, deems 
itself entitled to express its opinion upon the events now 
taking place, and is anxious to do so in the most friendly 
spirit towards Russia, and with a sincere desire to promote 
the interest of all the parties concerned. Why should not 
His Imperial Majesty, whose benevolence is generally and 
cheerfully acknowledged, put an end at once to this bloody 
conflict by proclaiming mercifully an immediate and un- 
conditional amnesty to his revolted Polish subjects, and 
at the same time announce his intention to replace without 
delay his kingdom of Poland in possession of the political 
and civil privileges which were granted to it by the Emperor 
Alexander I in execution of the stipulations of the Treaty 
of 1815 ? If this were done a National Diet and a National 
Administration would in all probability content the Poles 
and satisfy European opinion. 

180 The Problem of Poland 

You will read this despatch to Prince Gortchakoff and 
give him a copy of it. 

Earl Kussell's wise suggestions were sympathetically 
received at Petrograd, and on March 31, Czar Alexander 
published in the Journal de St. Pétershourg a manifesto 
in which he stated that he did not desire to hold the Polish 
nation responsible for the rebellion, and promised to intro- 
due a systejn of local self-government in Poland, admonishing 
the rebels to lay down their arms. Unfortunately, they did 
not do so. A prolonged campaign was necessary to 
re-establish order in Poland, and meanwhile the Czar had 
been so much embittered through the agitation of the 
Russian reactionaries and their Prussian friends, and by 
the follies of some of the Polish leaders, that he deprived 
Poland of her constitution. Urged on by the statesmen at 
Berlin, another period of repression began. On February 
23, 1868, Poland was absolutely incorporated with Russia, 
and the use of the Polish language in pubUc places and for 
pubhc purposes was prohibited. 

Ever since, Bismarck and his successors have endeavoured 
to create bad blood between Russia and her Polish citizens, 
being desirous of retaining Russia's support at a time when 
she was drifting towards France. Solely with the object 
of demonstrating to Russia the danger of the Polish agitation 
Bismarck introduced in 1886 his PoHsh Settlement Bill, 
by which, to the exasperation of the Prussian Poles, vast 
territories were bought from Polish landowners and German 
peasants settled on them. When the Conservative party 
wished to oppose that policy in the Prussian Parliament 
as being unpractical, its leader was, according to Professor 
Delbruck's testimony, expressed in his book * Regierung 
und Volkswille,' urged by the Chancellor to vote for the Bill 
because its passage was necessary ' for reasons of foreign 

During a century and a half Russia's Polish policy has 
been made in Germany. During 150 years Russia has perse- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 181 

cuted and outraged the Poles at Prussia's bidding and for 
Prussia's benefit. The confidential diplomatic evidence 
given in these pages makes that point absolutely clear. 

Until recent times Kussia was a very backward nation, 
and, not unnaturally, she endeavoured to learn the arts of 
government and of civiUsation from Germany, her nearest 
neighbour. Unfortunately, Germany did not prove a 
fair and unselfish friend to Kussia. Germany aimed not 
so much at advancing Kussia as at benefiting herself. 
German rulers and statesmen saw in the Kussians good- 
natured savages to be exploited. Impecunious German 
princes and noblemen went to Kussia to make a fortune, 
and poor German princesses married Kussian princes. 
Thus German influence became supreme not only in the 
Kussian Army and Administration, but even within the 
Imperial Family. 

During 150 years German influence was supreme in 
Kussian society. While, during this period, Prussia, and 
afterwards Germany, unceasingly urged Kussia to oppress 
and ill-treat her Poles, England consistently recommended 
Kussia to adopt liberal treatment as being in Kussia's 

One of the first British diplomatic despatches deahng 
with the partition of Poland is that of Mr. Thomas Wrough ton, 
dated June 15, 1763, and given in these pages. In that 
remarkable document the forecast was made that Kussia 
would scarcely consent to a partition of Poland, partly 
because such a partition would strengthen Prussia too 
much, partly because an independent Poland would form 
an efi&cient buffer State between herself and the Western 
Powers. He wrote : * Kussia is inattackable on that side 
at present, which she would not be if she appropriated to 
herself that barrier.' Since then Kussia has more than 
once had occasion to regret that she was the direct neighbour 
of Prussia, and that she had given large Polish districts 
to that country. 

Soon after the begiimiiag of the present War the Grand 

182 The Problem of Poland 

Duke Nicholas, the Commander-in-Chief of the Kussian 
forces, addressed an appeal to the Poles of Kussia, Germany, 
and Austria-Hungary in which he promised them the 
re-creation of a kingdom of Poland, comprising all Poles 
dwelling within Kussia, Austria, and Germany, under 
Kussia's protection. The full text of that remarkable 
manifesto will be found in the chapter * The Problem of 
Austria-Hungary.' The enemies of Kussia have sneeringly 
described that document as a death-bed repentance, and 
have complained that it was not issued by the Czar himself. 
Of course, the Grand Duke acted in the name and on behalf 
of the Czar. That needs no explanation. If the Czar was 
not of the Grand Duke's mind he would of course have 
disavowed him. Besides, Kussia's resolve to give full 
liberty to the Poles was not born from the stress of the War. 
It was formed long ago. However, it was obviously imprac- 
ticable to give full self-government to the Kussian Poles 
without laying the foundation of a Greater Poland. Hence 
such a step on Kussia's part would have met with the most 
determined opposition and hostility in Germany and Austria- 
Hungary, and it would most probably have been treated 
as casus helli. Lord Cowley, the British Ambassador in 
Paris, informed Earl Kussell, on March 26, 1863, * The 
Russian Government could make no concessions of any 
value to the Pohsh Provinces which would not lay the 
foundation of the re-establishment of the kingdom of 
Poland.' Lord Napier, the British Ambassador in Petro- 
grad, informed his Government on April 6, 1863, that * The 
restoration of the PoHsh State on the basis of nationahty 
will assuredly not be effected while the strength of Kussia 
and Germany remains unbroken. During the struggle, 
whatever may be the fate of Poland, the frontier of France 
would be pushed to the Khine.' That remarkable prophecy 
seems likely to come true. 

Formerly there was no Pohsh nation. The Poles consisted 
of 150,000 nobles and of many millions of ill-treated serfs. 
Hard times and misfortune have welded the Poles into a 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 183 

nation. The property-less serfs have become prosperous 
farmers, and the people of the middle and of the upper 
class have become earnest workers. Between 1900 and 
1912 the deposits in the Polish Co-operative Societies have 
increased . from £12,420,057 to £46,970,854. In every 
walk of hfe Poles have achieved most remarkable successes. 
Although education among the Poles, especially among 
those in Kussia and Austria-Hungary, is still extremely 
backward — there are only i^o Polish universities — the 
Poles have created a most wonderful literature. The Polish 
hterature is the richest among the Slavonic hteratures, and it 
need not fear comparison with any of the Western literatures. 
In music and in science also Poles have accomplished great 
things. Among the leading modern writers is Sienkiewicz, 
among the greatest living musicians is Paderewski, among 
the leading living scientists is Madame Curie-Sklodowska. 
Formerly, the Poles were thriftless and incompetent in 
business and agriculture. How wonderfully they have 
changed may be seen from the fact that in the Eastern 
Provinces of Germany they are rapidly ousting the Germans, 
although these receive most powerful support from the 
State. Notwithstanding the enormous purchases of land 
made under the Settlement Acts, by which £35,000,000 
have been devoted to the purchase of Polish land for German 
farmers, the Germans have on balance since the year 1896 
lost 250,000 acres of land to the Poles in the Polish districts. 

The Poles are to a certain extent to blame for their 
misfortunes. In the past they have lacked self-command 
and a sense of proportion. It is noteworthy that during 
the revolution of 1863 PoHsh leaders pubHshed in Paris 
maps of an independent Poland, which comprised large 
and purely Kussian districts with towns such as Kieff, on 
the ground of historical right. Yet Kiefï was the cradle of the 
Kussian Orthodox faith. 

In Western Eussia, in Eastern Prussia, and in Galicia, 
there dwell about 20,000,000 Poles. If the War should 
end, as it is likely to end, in a complete victory of the 

184 The Problem of Poland 

Allies, a powerful independent State of Poland will arise. 
The united Poles will receive full self-government under the 
protection of Kussia. They will be enabled to develop 
their nationality, but it seems scarcely likely that they 
will separate themselves entirely from Kussia. Their 
position will probably resemble that of Quebec in Canada, 
and if the Russians and Poles act wisely they will live as 
harmoniously together as do the French-speaking * habit- 
ants * of Quebec, and the EngUsh-speaking men of the 
other provinces of Canada. Federation should prove a guar- 
antee of freedom and a bond between the two peoples. 

Russia need not fear that Poland will make herself 
entirely independent, and only the most hot-headed and 
short-sighted Poles can wish for complete independence. 
Poland, having developed extremely important manufac- 
turing industries, requires large free markets for their output. 
Her natural market is Russia, for Germany has industrial 
centres of her own. She can expect to have the free use 
of the precious Russian markets only as long as she forms 
part of that great State. At present, a spirit of the heartiest 
goodwill prevails between Russians and Poles. The old 
quarrels and grievances have been forgotten in the common 
struggle. The moment is most auspicious for the resur- 
rection of Poland. 

While Prussia has been guilty of the partition of Poland, 
Russia is largely to blame for the repeated revolts and 
insurrection of her Polish citizens. The late Lord Salisbury, 
who as a staunch Conservative could scarcely be described 
as an admirer of the Poles, and who in his essay ' Poland,' 
printed in 1863, treated their claims rather with contempt 
than with sympathy, wrote in its concluding pages : 

Since 1815 the misgovernment of Poland has not only 
been constant but growing. And with the misgovernment 
the discontent has been growing in at least an equal ratio. 
Yet they ought not to have been a difficult race to rule. 
The very abuses to which they had been for centuries exposed 
should have made the task of satisfying them easy. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 185 

Eussian statesmen might well bear in mind the recom- 
mendations of that great statesman as to the way by which 
Kussia might satisfy her Poles. Lord Salisbury wrote : 

The best that can be hoped for Poland is an improved 
condition under Eussian rule. The conditions which are 
needed to reconcile the Poles to a Eussian Sovereign are 
manifest enough and do not seem very hard to be observed. 
The Poles have not only been oppressed but insulted, and in 
their condition insult is harder to put up with than oppres- 
sion. A nation which is under a foreign yoke is sensitive 
upon the subject of nationality. ... If Eussia would rule 
the Poles in peace she must defer to a sensibility which 
neither coaxing nor severity will cure. All the substance of 
power may be exercised as well through Polish administra- 
tors as through Eussian. The union between the two 
countries may for practical purposes be complete, though 
every legal act and every kind of scholastic instruction be 
couched in the Polish language. 

It would be hazardous, and it would probably be foolish, 
to separate Poland completely from Eussia. Poland has 
grown into Eussia and Eussia into Poland. After all, it can- 
not be expected that Eussia will abandon her principal and 
most promising industrial district with two of her largest 
towns. In politics one should endeavour to achieve only 
the practical. The question therefore arises : How much 
self-government will Eussia grant to Poland ? Will she 
give her a separate legislation, taxation, post ofi&ce, coinage, 
finances, army ? The arrangement of these details may 
prove somewhat difficult. It is to be hoped that during 
the negotiations between Poles and Eussians regarding 
a settlement the Poles will endeavour to be cool and 
reasonable, and that the Eussians will be trusting and 
generous. Happily, a spirit of hearty goodwill is abroad 
in Eussia. 

The greatest grievance of the Polish nation is not that 
it lives under foreign rule, but that it lives under oppression, 
^nd that it has been parcelled out among several States. 

186 The Problem of Poland 

Owing to the partition of Poland, Poles have been taught 
to consider as enemies men of their own nationality living 
across the border, and they have been compelled by their 
rulers to slaughter each other. 

In the Great War more than a million Polish soldiers 
have been engaged against their will in a fratricidal war. 
That terrible fact alone constitutes a most powerful claim 
upon all men's sympathy and generosity. 

Although Eussia has in times past treated the Poles 
far more harshly than has Prussia, and although the Ger- 
man Poles are far more prosperous than are the Eussian, the 
Poles see their principal enemy not in Eussia but in Prussia. 
After all, the Eussian is their brother Slav, and they are 
proud of their big brother. Besides, they recognise that 
Eussia has been misguided by Prussia, and that Prussia 
was largely responsible for Poland's partition and for 
Eussia's anti-Polish policy. The bitterness with which 
the Prussian Poles hate Prussia may be seen from the 
Polish newspapers published in Germany, which, during 
many years, have successfully advocated the policy of boy- 
cotting Germans and everything German, both in business 
and in society. The Dziennik Kujawski of Hohensalza 
wrote on January 18, 1901 : 

To-morrow the kingdom of Prussia celebrates the second 
century of its existence. We cannot manifest our joy, 
because Prussia's power has been erected chiefly upon the 
ruins of ancient Poland. Prussia's history consists of a 
number of conquests made by force and in accordance with 
the old Prussian principle revived by Bismarck, * Might is 
better than right.' Prussia's glory has been bought with 
much blood and tears, and she owes her existence chiefly 
to Poland's destruction. 

In the Gazeta Gdanska of November 24, 1906, published 
in Dantzig, we read : 

The Prussian and the Eussian. — If one asks a Pole 
whether he would rather live under German or under 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 187 

Kussian rule, his reply will be * I would a hundred times 
rather have to do with Eussians than with Germans, and 
the Prussians are the worst of Germans.' Many Poles will 
scarcely be able to tell why they hate the Prussians. Many 
will find their preference illogical. Still it is there. From 
the fullness of the heart speaketh the mouth. After all, the 
worst Kussian is a better fellow than the very best German. 
That feeling lies in our blood. The Kussian is our Slavonic 
brother, and in his heart of hearts every Pole is glad if his 
brother is prospering and when he can tell the world * There 
you see our common Slavonic blood.' The more we hate 
the Prussians, the more we love the Russians. 

The Gazeta Grudzionska, of Graudenz, wrote in March 

Take heed, you Polish women and Polish girls ! Polish 
women and Polish girls are the strongest protectors of our 
nationality. The Poles can be Germanised only when 
Germanism crosses our Polish doorstep, but that will never 
happen, if God so wills it, as long as Polish mothers, Polish 
wives, and Polish maids are found in our houses. They will 
not allow Poland's enemies to enter. For a Polish woman 
it is a disgrace to marry a German or to visit German places 
of amusement or German festivals. As long as the Polish 
wife watches over her husband and takes care that he bears 
himself always and everywhere as a Pole, as long as she 
watches over his home and preserves it as a stronghold of 
Polonism, as long as a Pohsh Cathohc newspaper is kept in 
it, and as long as the Polish mother teaches her children to 
pray to God for our beloved Poland in the Polish language, 
so long Poland's enemies will labour in vain. 

Innumerable similar extracts might easily be given. 

When the peace conditions come up for discussion at 
the Congress which will bring the present War to an end, 
the problem of Poland will be one of the greatest difficulty 
and importance. Austria-Hungary has comparatively little 
interest in retaining her Poles. The Austrian Poles dwell 
in Galicia outside the great rampart of the Carpathian 

188 The Problem of Poland 

mountains, which form the natural frontier of the Dual 
Monarchy towards the north-east. The loss of Galicia, 
with its oilfields and mines may be regrettable to Austria- 
Hungary, but it will not affect her very seriously. To 
Germany, on the other hand, the loss of the Pohsh districts 
will be a fearful blow. The supreme importance which 
Germany attaches to the Polish problem may be seen 
from this, that Bismarck thought it the only question 
which could lead to an open breach between Germany 
and Austria-Hungary. According to Crispi's Memoirs, 
Bismarck said to the Italian statesman on September 17, 

There could be but one cause for a breach in the friend- 
ship that unites Austria and Germany, and that would be 
a disagreement between the two Governments concerning 
Polish policy. ... If a Polish rebellion should break out 
and Austria should lend it her support, we should be obliged 
to assert ourselves. We cannot permit the reconstruction 
of a Catholic kingdom so near at hand. It would be a 
northern France. We have one France to look to already, 
and a second would become the natural ally of the first, 
and we should find ourselves entrapped between two 

The resurrection of Poland would injure us in other 
ways as well. It could not come about without the loss of a 
part of our territory. We cannot possibly relinquish either 
Posen or Dantzig, because the German Empire would remain 
exposed on the Bussian frontier, and we should lose an outlet 
on the Baltic. 

In the event of Germany's defeat a large slice of Poland, 
including the wealthiest parts of Silesia, with gigantic coal 
mines, ironworks, &c., might be taken away from her; 
and if the Poles should recover their ancient province of 
West Prussia, with Dantzig, Prussia's hold upon East 
Prussia, with Koenigsberg, would be threatened. The 
loss of her Polish districts would obviously greatly reduce 
Germany's miUtary strength and economic power. It 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 189 

may therefore be expected that Germany will move heaven 
and earth against the re-creation of the kingdom of Poland, 
and that she will strenuously endeavour to create differences 
between Eussia and her Allies. The statesmen of Europe 
should therefore, in good time, firmly make up their minds 
as to the future of Poland. 



While many people have discussed whether Germany was 
responsible for the War, nobody has inquired whether the 
German Emperor, in declaring war upon Russia and France, 
acted in accordance with the German Constitution, or 
whether he exceeded his powers. 

It is fairly generally assumed that the Emperor was 
entitled to make war upon the two countries — that the 
question of war and peace lay within his discretion. In 
the following pages it will be shown that the Emperor 
exceeded his carefully Hmited powers — that he acted un- 

The question whether the Emperor acted constitutionally 
or unconstitutionally is not merely a professorial but a 
very practical one. British statesmen and rulers enjoy 
a very great latitude because the British Constitution is 
unwritten. They can either find for their action some 
precedent in the past or construct a precedent from the 
past. In case of need they can create a new precedent, 
and the question whether their action was constitutional 
or not is one which may be discussed by experts in con- 
stitutional law, but is incomprehensible for the broad masses 
of the people. In Germany matters are different. All 
citizens are familiar with the written Constitution, with 
which they are made acquainted in the schools. Popular 
editions with explanations can be bought in every book- 
shop for a few pence, while the educated are acquainted 
with the commentaries on the Constitution by Laband, 


Great Problems of British Statesmanship 191 

Arndt, and many other writers. The question whether 
the Emperor, in making war upon Russia and France, acted 
constitutionally or unconstitutionally may in due course 
become a very urgent one. The German people do not 
object to unconstitutional action on the part of their rulers 
if the measures taken prove successful and beneficial. 
That may be seen by the ease with which the Prussian 
Diet passed an Act of Indemnity with regard to Bismarck's 
Government in opposition to the will of Parliament, when 
the victory of 1866 over Austria had proved that the Prussian 
Government had been right in increasing the army very 
considerably against the will of Parliament. Nothing is as 
successful as success. If, however, the present War should 
end in Germany's defeat the German people will not only 
ask whether Germany commenced the War, but whether 
the German Emperor, in declaring war, acted lawfully or 
unlawfully, and he may be held to account. 

The widely held belief that Germany is a highly cen- 
tralised State, that WilHam the Second is the sovereign and 
the practically unlimited ruler of the country is erroneous. 
Germany is a federation . of independent States. The sov- 
ereignty of the empire reposes not in the King of Prussia, 
but in the allied States themselves. The King of Prussia, 
being the most powerful of the German monarchs, is merely 
the hereditary president of the Federation. The best defi- 
nition of the German Empire has, perhaps, been given by 
President Wilson in his book * The State,' in which we read : 

The German Empire is a Federal State composed of 
four kingdoms, seven grand-duchies, four duchies, seven 
principalities, three free cities, and the Imperial domain of 
Alsace-Lorraine, these lands being united in a great ' corpora- 
tion of public law ' under the hereditary Presidency of the 
King of Prussia. Its Emperor is its President, not its 
Monarch. . . . The new Empire bears still, in its constitu- 
tion, distinctest traces of its derivation. It is still a dis- 
tinctly Federal rather than unitary State, and the Emperor 
is still only its constitutional President. As Emperor he 

192 The German Emperor^ s Position 

occupies not an hereditary throne, but only an hereditary 
ofi&ce. Sovereignty does not reside in him, but * in the 
union of German Federal Princes and the free cities.* He is 
the chief ofiScer of a great political corporation. . . . It is a 
fundamental conception of the German constitution that 

* the body of German sovereigns, together with the Senates 
of the three free cities, considered as a unit — ianquam unum 
corjpus — is the repository of Imperial sovereignty.' 

The fact that the German Emperor is not the sovereign 
of the Empire but merely its hereditary President, that 
the Imperial power is possessed by the allied States them- 
selves, is known to almost every German. In the last 
issue of * Meyer's Encyclopedia * we read : 

According to the ImperialJConstitution of the 16th April, 
1871, the German Empire is ' an everlasting confederation ' 
which the German Princes and free towns have concluded 

* for the protection of the territory of the confederation and 
the rights thereof as well as for the promotion of the welfare 
of the German people.' The Imperial power is possessed 
by the Allied States. Their organ is the Federal Council. 
The Presidency of the Confederation belongs to the Prussian 
Crown. The Presidential rights are a Prussian privilege, 
and they are enumerated in the German Constitution. With 
the Presidency of the Confederation is connected the title 
German Emperor, not Emperor of Germany, for the Emperor 
is not sovereign of the Empire. He exercises his powers 

* in the name of the Empire ' or * in the name of the Allied 

If we wish to discover whether the Emperor, in making 
war upon Eussia and France, acted constitutionally or 
unconstitutionally, we should study the text of the German 
Constitution and the commentaries upon that document 
by the most authorised statesmen and professors, and 
especially by the allied sovereigns themselves. The preamble 
of the Constitution states : 

His Majesty the King of Prussia in the name of the North 
German Confederation, His Majesty the King of Bavaria, 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 193 

His Majesty the King of Wurtemberg, His Eoyal Highness 
the Grand Duke of Baden, and His Royal Highness the 
Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, for those parts of 
the Grand Duchy of Hesse which are south of the river 
Maine, conclude an everlasting Confederation for the pro- 
tection of the Territory of the Confederation and the rights 
thereof, as well as for the promotion of the welfare of the 
German people. This Confederation will bear the name 
* German Empire.' 

It should carefully be noted that in the short preamble 
it is explicitly stated that the German Empire was formed 
for the purpose of defence. 

The fourth chapter of the Constitution, which is super- 
scribed * The Presidency,' consists of articles eleven to 
nineteen. The first portion of article eleven reads as follows : 

The Presidency of the Confederation belongs to the 
King of Prussia, who bears the name of German Emperor. 
The Emperor has to represent the Empire internationally, 
to declare war, and to conclude peace in the name of the 
Empire, to enter into aUiances and other treaties with Foreign 
Powers, to accredit and to receive Ambassadors. 

The consent of the Federal Council is necessary for the 
declaration of war in the name of the Empire, unless an 
attack on the territory or the coast of the Confederation 
has taken place. » 

The purely defensive character of the German Empire 
is expressed not only in the short preamble of the con- 
stitution, but also in this most important article eleven, from 
which we learn that the German Emperor may not declare 
war in the name of the Empire * unless an attack on the 
territory or the coast of the Confederation has taken flace' 
that for the declaration of a war of aggression, * the consent 
of the Federal Council is necessary.' The Federal Council 
is not a popular representative body, but a body which 
represents all the individual States themselves. In other 
words, the Constitution stipulates that the German Emperor 

194 The German Emperor'' s Position 

may make war only if Germany has actually been attacked, 
that a war of aggression on Germany's part can be effected 
only by the will of the individual States united in the Federal 

The German Empire is the successor of the North 
German Confederation, which was formed by Prussia, 
Saxony, and various other States after the Prusso-Austrian 
war of 1866. The German Constitution of 1871 is almost 
word for word the same Constitution as that of the North 
German Confederation of 1867. There is only one material 
and important difference between the two Constitutions. 
It consists in the alteration which was made in the most 
important article eleven. That article was worded as 
follows in the Constitution of the North German Con- 
federation of 1867 : 

The Presidency of the Confederation appertains to the 
Crown of Prussia, which, in the exercise thereof, has the right 
of representing the Confederation internationally, of declar- 
ing war and concluding peace, of entering into Alhances and 
other Treaties with Foreign States, of accrediting and receiv- 
ing Ambassadors in the name of the Confederation. 

The King of Prussia, as President of the North German 
Confederation, had the right of * declaring war and con- 
cluding peace.' As no condition was attached, he could 
in the name of the Confederation declare not only a war 
of defence but also a war of attack. That right was Hmited 
four years later, when the Prussian King and German 
Emperor was restricted to declaring war only if * an attack 
on the territory or the coast of the Confederation has taken 
place.' The war-making power of the King of Prussia 
was thus limited by the express wish of the South German 
sovereigns, who did not desire to be dragged into a war 
against their will, who had seen Prussia victorious in three 
consecutive wars, and possibly feared that she might rashly 
embark upon another war which might have a less fortunate 
result than the previous ones. Besides, the South German 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 195 

sovereigns, and especially the King of Bavaria, did not 
wish to subordinate themselves to the King of Prussia. 
They desired that the King of Prussia as Emperor should 
merely be primus inter 'pares and that the fact that he was 
not Emperor of Germany should be expressed even in his 
title. He was merely to be German Emperor. Prince 
Bismarck has told us in his Memoirs that William the 
First objected to that title. He wrote : 

His Majesty raised a fresh difficulty when we were fixing 
the form of the Imperial title, it being his wish to be called 
Emperor of Germany if Emperor it had to be. . . . In the 
final Conference of January 17, 1871, he declined the 
designation of German Emperor, and declared that he would 
be Emperor of Germany or no Emperor at all. ... I 
urged that the title Emperor of Germany involved a sovereign 
claim to the non- Prussian dominions which the Princes were 
not inclined to allow ; that it was suggested in the letter 
from the King of Bavaria that ' the exercise of the Presiden- 
tial rights should be associated with the assumption of the 
title of German Emperor.' 

The Sovereigns of the south, and especially the Bavarian 
King, feared that they might become mere cyphers under 
Prussia's leadership, that their independence would be 
lost, that their individuality would be entirely merged in 
the German Empire. They wished to have their position 
guaranteed not only by the Constitution but also by binding 
promises made by Prince Bismarck on behalf of Prussia. 
On November 27, 1870, Prince Bismarck wrote to King 
Ludwig of Bavaria with regard to the proposed creation 
of a German Empire : 

The title German Emperor signifies that his rights have 
originated from the voluntary concession of the German 
sovereigns and tribes. History teaches that the great 
princely houses of Germany never regarded the existence of 
an Emperor elected by them as derogatory to their high 
position in Europe. 

196 The German Emperor's Position 

In his reply, dated December 2, 1870, King Ludwig 
wrote to Prince Bismarck : 

I hope, and hope with assurance, that Bavaria will in 
the future preserve her independent position, for it is surely- 
consistent with a loyal unreserved Federal policy, and it will 
be safest to obviate a pernicious centralisation. 

Prince Bismarck wrote in answer to the King : 

Your Majesty rightly presumes that I expect no salva- 
tion from centrahsation, that I perceive in that very main- 
tenance of the rights which the Federal Constitution secures 
to individual members of the Federation the form of develop- 
ment best suited to the German spirit, and, at the same time, 
the surest guarantee against the dangers to which law and 
order might be exposed in the free movement of the poli- 
tical life of to-day. The hostile position taken up by the 
Eepublican party throughout Germany in regard to the 
re-estabhshment of the Imperial dignity, through the ini- 
tiative of your Majesty and of the Federal princes, proves 
that it is conducive to promoting the Conservative and 
Monarchical interests. 

The King of Bavaria's fears and doubts regarding the 
position of Prussia were not entirely dispelled by the wording 
of the Constitution and by Bismarck's assurances. Hence 
he wrote to the Imperial Chancellor on July 31, 1874, 
regarding the Federal principle, and in reply Bismarck 
wrote on August 10 : 

Apart from personal guarantees, your Majesty may 
securely reckon on those comprised in the very Constitu- 
tion of the Empire. That Constitution rests on the federal 
basis accorded in the treaties of federation, and it cannot 
be violated without breach of treaty. Therein the Constitu- 
tion of the Empire differs from every national Constitution. 
Your Majesty's rights form an indissoluble part of the 
Constitution of the Empire. They rest on the same secure 
basis of law as all the institutions of the Empire. Germany, 
in the institution of its Federal Council, and Bavaria, in its 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 197 

dignified and intelligent representation on that Council, 
have a firm guarantee against any deterioration or exaggera- 
tion of efforts in the direction of unitarian aspirations. Your 
Majesty will be able to place the fullest confidence in the 
security of the treaty-guarded law of the Constitution, even 
when I no longer have the honour of serving the Empire as 

Not only the King of Bavaria but other sovereigns also 
wished to assert their independence and to guard them- 
selves against being dragged into a war against their will 
by the King of Prussia. They asserted their constitutional 
rights on suitable occasions. For instance on June 7, 1875, 
at the time when it was believed that Bismarck contem- 
plated an attack upon France, von Mittnacht, the Wurtem- 
berg Prime Minister, wrote to Prince Bismarck : 

Germany places the greatest confidence in the diplomatic 
representation of the Empire by the Emperor and in the 
direction of Germany's policy by your Serene Highness. At 
the same time it should be pointed out that for a declaration 
of war in the name of the Empire the consent of the Federal 
Council is required unless the Federal territory is threatened 
with an attack. 

Bismarck essayed to define the position of the Emperor 
and that of the other sovereigns of Germany not only in 
the written Constitution and in confidential letters which 
he exchanged with the sovereigns and statesmen of the 
Southern States, but also in public speeches on the Con- 
stitution. For instance, in his speech in the Eeichstag 
on April 9, 1871, he expressly stated that the sovereignty 
of the Empire was not in the hands of the Emperor, but 
in those of the AUied Governments. He said : 

I believe that the Federal Council has a great future 
because for the first time an attempt has been made by its 
creation to concentrate power in a federal board which 
exercises the sovereignty of the whole Empire although it 
does not deprive the individual States of the benefits of 

198 The German Emperor's Position 

the Monarchical Power or of their ancient republican 
government. The sovereignty of the German Empire does 
not lie in the hands of the Emperor, but in those of the 
alHed Governments as a whole. At the same time it is 
useful if the wisdom, or, if you like, the unwisdom, of twenty- 
five individual governments is brought into the delibera- 
tions of the Federal Council, for thus we obtain a variety 
of views which we have never had within the Government 
of any single State. Prussia is great, but she has been able 
to learn from the small and from the smallest States, and 
these have learned from us. . . . My experience has 
taught me to believe that I have made considerable progress 
in my political education by participating in the delibera- 
tions of the Federal Council owing to the stimulating friction 
provided by twenty-five German Governments, and thus 
I have learned a great deal in addition. Therefore I would 
ask you : Do not touch the Federal Council ! I see in it 
a kind of Palladium of our future. I see in it a great guar- 
antee for Germany's future. 

The Chancellor laid particular stress upon the fact that 
the German Empire was created for defence, that the 
existence of article eleven, quoted in the beginning of this 
chapter, guaranteed Germany against a wanton war of 
aggression. In his speech delivered in the Reichstag on 
November 4, 1871, he stated : 

A strong guarantee for the peacefulness of the new Empire 
lies in this, that the Emperor has renounced the unlimited 
right to declare war which he possessed in his former position 
as King of Prussia. In this renunciation lies a strong guar- 
antee against a wanton war of aggression. . . . The guaran- 
tee lies in this, that according to the constitution the Federal 
Council must consent to a war of aggression. By the right 
given to it by the Constitution the Federal Council cannot 
prevent mobilisation, but it can prevent a declaration of war. 
It cannot prevent preparation for war which the Emperor 
has recognised to be necessary, for the co-operation of the 
Federal Council is only required in the action of declaring 
war unless the war is purely a war of defence which has 
been forced upon Germany by an attack upon its territories. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 199 

In this respect the Federal Council may be compared to an 
enlarged Cabinet. 

It is only fair to add that Bismarck did not disregard 
the possibility of Germany having to act on the aggressive. 
Hence he added : 

As regards the theory of a war of aggression conducted 
by Germany for the purpose of defence which was mentioned 
by a previous speaker, I believe that the attack is often the 
most efficient form of defence. It has been a frequent 
occurrence, and it is very useful for a country, such as 
Germany, which is situated in the centre of Europe and 
which can be attacked from three or four directions. It may 
be necessary to follow the example set by Frederick the Great, 
who, before the Seven Years' War, did not wait until the 
net in which he was to be caught had been thrown over 
his head, but tore it to pieces. I believe that those are in 
error who imagine that the German Empire will quietly wait 
until a powerful opponent or mighty coalition consider 
the moment favourable for an attack. Only an unskilful 
diplomacy could act thus. In such a case it is the duty of 
the Government to select a moment for making war when 
the danger is smallest and when the struggle can be fought 
at the lowest cost to the nation and at the least danger, 
provided, of course, that war is really unavoidable. The 
nation can expect that in such a case the Government will 
take the initiative. 

The fact that Bismarck disapproved of a war of aggression 
such as the present one may be clearly seen from numerous 
important s1?atements of his, some of which I quoted in 
my book, ' The Foundations of Germany ' (Smith, Elder 
& Co., 1916). 

Naturally the professors of Constitutional Law who 
commented upon the Constitution expounded it in accord- 
ance with its plain meaning and with the teachings of Prince 
Bismarck. They taught, up to the outbreak of the present 
War, that the sovereignty of the country was not in the 
hands of the Emperor, but in those of the Allied States, 

200 The German Emperor's Position 

that the Emperor was not the monarch of Germany, but 
merely the President of the Confederation, and that he was 
not entitled to declare a war of offence except with the 
consent of the non-Prussian States. For instance, Professor 
Laband wrote in his most important standard work, * Das 
Staatsrecht des Deutschen Keiches * in four huge volumes, 
of which the fifth edition appeared shortly before the War : 

The foundation of the North German Federation and of 
the German Empire was effected not by the German people 
but by the German States. All actions which brought 
about the creation of the Confederation were actions of 
these States. By entering into the Confederation they 
divested themselves of their sovereignty, but not of their 
individuality, as States. Their individuahty continued 
unbroken and became the foundation of the Federal State. 
It follows that not the individual citizens are the members 
of the Empire, nor that the citizens in the aggregate possess 
the power of the Empire. The members of the Empire are 
the individual States. The German Empire is not an or- 
ganisation composed of milHons of members who constantly 
increase in numbers, but is an association of twenty-five 
members. . . . 

It must be observed that no new legal institution has 
been created by re-estabhshing the Imperial dignity. The 
idea of the presidency of the Confederation has not been 
altered by connecting with it the title Emperor. The 
historical events which led to the resuscitation of the Imperial 
title, the reasons and motives with which the Constitution 
was submitted, the discussion accompanying it, and espe- 
cially Article XI of the Imperial Constitution itself, show with 
indubitable certainty that the Emperor's position is com- 
pletely identical with that of the presidency in the North 
German Federation, and that the Emperor, apart from his 
title and insignia, has no rights except the right of President. 
. . . The Emperor is not sovereign of the Empire. The 
sovereign power rests not with him, but with the German 
allied sovereigns and free towns as a whole. If he acts in 
the name of the Empire, he acts not in his own name but in 
the name of the Empire. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 201 

The facts given in these pages prove conclusively that, 
according to the German Constitution, the Emperor was 
not entitled to declare a war of aggression, that he acted 
unconstitutionally in attacking Eussia and France. The 
question has now to be considered whether, in case the 
War should have an unfortunate end for Germany, the 
Emperor can justify his action by referring to the stipu- 
lations of the Austro- German Treaty of AUiance of 1879. 
It is almost universally believed, even in the best-informed 
diplomatic quarters, that the celebrated Dual Alliance 
Treaty is a defensive and offensive Treaty. That is a grave 
error. The Austro- German Treaty was meant to be, and 
is, a purely defensive instrument. This will be seen from 
its text and from the ofiBcial note introducing it. Both 
the Prefatory Note and the Treaty itself were first pubUshed 
in the Berlin Official Gazette of February 8, 1888, and I 
herewith give the full text of both. The translation was 
made by the Foreign OfiSce and it was published in vol. 
78 of the British and Foreign State Pajpers : 

The Governments of Germany and of the Austro-Hun- 
garian Monarchy have determined upon the publication of 
the Treaty concluded between them on the 7th of October 
1879, in order to put an end to doubts which have been 
entertained in various quarters of its purely defensive 
character, and have been turned to account for various 
ends. The two allied Governments are guided in their 
policy by the endeavour to maintain peace and to guard, as 
far as possible, against its disturbance ; they are convinced 
that by making the contents of their Treaty of Alliance 
generally known they will exclude all possibility of doubt on 
this point, and have therefore resolved to publish it. 

Treaty of Defensive Alliance between Austria-Hungary and 
Germany. Signed at Vienna, October 7, 1879. 

Inasmuch as their Majesties the German Emperor, King 
of Prussia, and the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, 
must consider it their inalienable duty to provide for the 

202 The German Emperor^ s Position 

security of their Empires and the peace of their subjects 
under all circumstances ; 

Inasmuch as the two Sovereigns, as was the case under 
the former existing Treaty, will be enabled by the close 
union of the two Empires to fulfil this duty more easily and 
more efficaciously ; 

Inasmuch as, finally, an intimate co-operation of Germany 
and Austria-Hungary can menace no one, but is rather 
calculated to consolidate the peace of Europe on the terms 
established by the stipulation of Berlin ; 

Their Majesties the German Emperor and the Emperor 
of Austria, King of Hungary, while most solemnly promising 
never to allow their purely defensive Agreement to develop 
an aggressive tendency in any direction, have determined 
to conclude an alliance of peace and mutual defence. 

With this object their Majesties have named as their 
Plenipotentiaries : 

His Majesty the German Emperor, His Majesty's Am- 
bassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Lieutenant- 
General Prince Henry the Seventh of Reuss, &c. ; 

His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, 
His Majesty's Privy Councillor, Minister of the Imperial 
House and for Foreign Affairs, Lieutenant Field-Marshal 
Julius Count Andrassy of Csik-Szeut-Kirâly and Kraszna- 
Haka, &c. ; 

Who have this day at Vieima, after the exchange and 
mutual verification of one another's full powers, agreed as 
follows : 

Art. I. — Should, contrary to their hope, and against the 
loyal desire of the two High Contracting Parties, one of the 
two Empires be attacked by Russia, the High Contracting 
Parties are bound to come to the assistance one of the other 
with the whole war strength of their Empires, and accord- 
ingly only to conclude peace together and upon mutual 

II. — Should one of the High Contracting Parties be at- 
tacked by another Power, the other High Contracting Party 
binds itself hereby, not only not to support the aggressor 
against its high ally, but to observe at least a benevolent 
neutral attitude towards its fellow Contracting Party. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 203 

Should, however, in such a case the attacking Power be 
supported by Kussia, either by an active co-operation or by 
military measures which constitute a menace to the Party 
attacked, then the obligation stipulated in Article I of this 
Treaty, for mutual assistance with the whole fighting force, 
becomes equally operative, and the conduct of the war by 
the two High Contracting Parties shall in this case also be 
in common until the conclusion of a common peace. 

III. — This Treaty shall, in conformity with its peaceful 
character, and to avoid any misinterpretations, be kept 
secret by the two High Contracting Parties, and only be 
communicated to a third Power upon a joint understanding 
between the two Parties, and according to the terms of a 
special Agreement. 

The two High Contracting Parties venture to hope, after 
the sentiments expressed by the Emperor Alexander at the 
meeting at Alexandrowo, that the armaments of Eussia 
will not in reality prove to be menacing to them, and have 
on that account no reason for making a communication ; 
should, however, this hope, contrary to their expectation, 
prove to be erroneous, the two High Contracting Parties 
would consider it their loyal obligation to let the Emperor 
Alexander know, at least confidentially, that they must 
consider an attack on either of them as directed against 

In virtue of which the Plenipotentiaries have signed 
this Treaty and affixed their seals. 

Vienna, October 7, 1879. 

(L.S.) H. VII, P. Eeuss. 
(L.S.) Andrassy. 

It will be noticed that indeed the Austro- German Alliance 
bears a purely pacific and defensive character. The Official 
Note inserted in the Government Gazette, introducing 
it, refers to * its purely defensive character.' If we read 
the Treaty itself we find it stated in its preamble that it 
has been concluded * to consoHdate the peace of Europe,* 
that it is a * purely defensive Agreement,' that it is ' an 
alliance of peace and mutual defence.' The purely defensive 

204 The German Emperor^s Position 

character of the Austro- German Treaty of Alliance cannot 
be denied, nor can it be explained away. Germany was 
under no obligation to come to Austria's aid in a war in 
which that country was the aggressor. It follows that the 
German Emperor cannot justify his attack upon Eussia 
and France by explaining that he was bound by treaty 
to come to Austria's aid. The fact that the Austro- German 
Treaty was a purely defensive one appears not only from 
the Treaty itself but from Prince Bismarck's commentaries 
upon the AlHance. Reference to my book, * The Foundations 
of Germany,' will furnish numerous most emphatic state- 
ments of the Chancellor according to which Germany was 
under no obligation to help Austria, should the latter be 
involved in war with Russia in consequence of Austrian 
aggressive action in the Balkan Peninsula. 

On June 15, 1888, the Emperor Frederick died and 
Wilham the Second ascended the throne. A few days 
later, on June 25 and 27, he addressed the German Imperial 
and the Prussian State Parliament in person, reading to 
these assemblies his speech from the throne. In these 
addresses, which opened his reign, he solenmly promised 
to observe the Constitution and, in accordance with the 
Constitution, not to declare war unless the Empire or its 
Allies should actually be attacked. The Emperor stated in 
his speech to the Reichstag on June 25 : 

The most important tasks of the German Emperors 
consist in securing the Empire politically and mihtarily 
against attacks from without and in watching the execution 
of the Imperial laws within. The foremost Imperial law is 
the German Constitution. It is one of the foremost rights 
and duties of the Emperor to observe and to protect the 
Constitution and the rights granted by it to the two legisla- 
tive bodies of the nation and to every German, and also to 
the sovereign. . . . 

In the domain of foreign policy I am resolved to keep 
peace with all nations to the best of my endeavour. My 
love for the German army and my position towards the 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 205 

military forces will never lead me into temptation to deprive 
the country of the benefits of peace unless war should become 
a necessity, having been forced upon us by an attack upon 
the Empire or upon its Allies. The German Army is in- 
tended to protect our peace, and if peace is broken the 
Army must be able to regain it with honour. It will be 
able to do this with God's help owing to the strength which 
it has received in accordance with the recent military law 
which was unanimously passed. It is far from my heart 
to use the armed strength of the country for wars of aggres- 
sion. Germany neither requires further mihtary glory 
nor conquests, having estabhshed by war her justification to 
exist as a united and independent nation. 

Our alliance with Austria-Hungary is generally known. 
I adhere to it with German fidelity not merely because it has 
been concluded but also because I recognise in this defensive 
alliance the foundation of the European Balance of Power. 

Two days later, on June 27, William the Second, as 
King of Prussia, opened the two Prussian Houses of Parha- 
ment and addressed them in person as follows : 

. . . Since, owing to my father's death, the throne of 
my ancestors has come to me, I have felt the need at the 
beginning of my reign to assemble you around me without 
delay and to give before you a solemn vow and to swear the 
oath prescribed by the Prussian Constitution : 

I vow that I will observe the Constitution of the hingdom 
firmly and inviolably, and that I will rule in accordance with 
the Constitution andjhe Law, So help me God I 

. . . Like King William the First, I will, in accordance 
with my solemn vow, faithfully and conscientiously observe 
the laws and the rights of the popular representation, and 
with equal conscientiousness I will preserve and exercise 
the rights of the crown, as established by the Constitution, 
in order to hand them on in due course to my successor on 
the throne. It is far from me to disturb the confidence of 
the people in the soHdity of our legal conditions by striving 
to increase the rights of the crown. The legal extent of my 
rights, as long as these are not questioned, suffices to secure 

206 The German Emperor'' s Position 

to the State that measure of monarchical influence which 
Prussia requires owing to her historical development, her 
present position and her place in the Empire, and the feelings 
and habits of the people. I am of opinion that our Constitu- 
tion contains a just and useful distribution of powers among 
the various governing factors, and for this reason, not only 
on account of my vow, I shall observe and protect it. 

In the two most important speeches quoted, the Emperor 
solemnly promised to the nation on his ascent to the throne 
' to observe and to protect the Constitution,' not to increase 
his powers * by striving to increase the rights of the crown,* 
and not to declare war * unless war should become a necessity, 
having been forced upon us by an attack upon the Empire 
or upon its AlHes.' It is also worth noting that the Emperor 
described the Austro- German Alliance* as * this defensive 
aUiance, the foundation of the European Balance of Power.' 
Nothing could be more expUcit than the assurances and 
undertakings given in these words. The two speeches, 
though read by the Emperor, embody of course not merely 
the Emperor's views but also those of Prince Bismarck, 
who apparently drafted them in collaboration with the 
Emperor. Bismarck was an excellent judge of character. 
Apparently he hoped to bridle the Emperor's impetuous- 
ness by causing him to declare in the most solemn manner 
that he would observe the Constitution and not make war 
unless Germany should actually be attacked. His hopes 
that the solemn promises of the Emperor would restrain him 
during his reign have been disappointed. 

According to the Constitution, every Imperial Act has 
to be countersigned by the Imperial Chancellor who, by 
countersigning, assumes responsibihty for it. Of course 
the responsibihty of the Imperial Chancellor becomes a 
mere formality without meaning if the Emperor appoints 
to the Chancellorship a man without strength of character 
who readily countersigns the Imperial orders as they are 
given. Soon after his accession to the throne WilHam 
the Second showed that he meant to be his own Chancellor, 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 207 

that he had no use for a Chancellor who possessed ability 
and independence of mind. He dismissed Bismarck 
and has since then appointed pHable men in his stead. 
Bismarck's four successors were without exception men 
of great pHabiUty. Probably Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg 
is the most pliable of them all. To the alarm and concern 
of the old Chancellor, the young Emperor endeavoured to 
govern Germany and to direct the foreign and domestic 
pohcy of the country in accordance with his personal views 
and moods, violating the spirit, if not the wording, of the 
Constitution. Considering himself the Trustee of the 
Empire, Bismarck endeavoured during the years of his retire- 
ment from ofi&ce to create a counterpoise to the dangerous 
impetuousness of the Emperor, who wished to grasp all 
power, by recommending, on numerous occasions, the 
jealous preservation and defence of the Constitution. For 
instance, on August 10, 1891, a year after his dismissal, 
addressing representatives of the University Students of 
Germany, Prince Bismarck stated : 

In order to unite Germany the individual dynasties and 
governments of Germany had to co-operate. All former 
attempts at carrying out the idea of unifying Germany were 
bound to fail because the dynastic forces were under- 
estimated. ... I see the task of the future, mainly, in 
preserving the existing. If I recommend preserving the 
existing, I mean of course that the Imperial edifice should 
be improved and completed. What, then, should be pre- 
served ? I would most urgently recommend you for the 
future to preserve the Imperial Constitution. Lay that to 
your heart. The Constitution is imperfect, but it was the 
best Constitution that could be obtained. Cultivate, then, 
the Constitution. Watch jealously over the Constitution, 
and see that the rights established by the Constitution are 
not diminished. I am not a friend of centralisation. I say 
again : Watch over the Imperial Constitution even if, later 
on in life, it should not please you. Do not advise any 
alteration unless all the States agree to it. That is the first 
condition for the political welfare of the Empire. 

208 The German Emperor's Position 

In July 1892 Prince Bismarck made a speech at Kissingen, 
in which he particularly dwelt on the danger to the nation 
of appointing to the Chancellorship an obedient official, a 
mere Imperial Secretary, and, foreseeing the danger of an 
Imperial absolutism exercised through a pUable Chancellor, 
demanded the creation of a counterpoise to the Emperor. 
He said in the course of that remarkable speech : 

I should have liked to continue the work, but our young 
Emperor will do everything himself. . . . 

The German Reichstag does not fulfil my expectations 
that it would be the centre of national life as I had hoped 
at the time of its creation. If one wishes to strengthen 
the Reichstag one must increase the responsibility of the 
Ministers. The Constitution of Prussia promises a law which 
will make Ministers responsible for their actions. Such a 
law has, however, not been promulgated, and ministerial 
responsibility does not apply to the Empire. Hence anyone 
can become Imperial Chancellor even if he is not qualified 
for that position. Consequently the office of Imperial 
Chancellor may be lowered so that the Chancellor will become 
merely a private secretary, whose responsibiUty is limited 
to doing what he is told without selecting what is useful or 
examining proposals. ... If responsibility was enforced 
by law no one would become Imperial Chancellor unless he 
possessed the necessary quaUfications. . . . 

When I became Minister, the Crown was in difficulties. 
The King was discouraged. His Ministers refused to sup- 
port him. He wished to abdicate. When I saw this I 
strove to strengthen the Crown against Parliament. Per- 
haps I have gone too far in this direction. We require 
a counterpoise. I believe that frank criticism is indispens- 
able for a monarchical government. Otherwise it degene- 
rates into an official absolutism. We require the fresh 
air of public criticism. Germany's constitutional life is 
founded on it. When Parliament becomes powerless, 
becomes merely an instrument of a higher will, we shall 
come back again in due course to the enlightened abso- 
lutism of the past. Theoretically that may be the most 
perfect form of government, a divine form of government. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 209 

However, it is practically unacceptable because of human 

In a speech dehvered August 20, 1893, Prince Bismarck 
stated : 

In our attempts at unification we must not go beyond 
the Constitution. The German Constitution has not only 
demanded vast sacrifices in human lives and in blood. It 
was an exceedingly difficult work to combine the opposing 
interests which had been at variance for centuries. It was 
exceedingly difficult to unite them in such a manner that at 
last all were satisfied or at least contented. The fact that 
the Constitution is touched and shaken fills me with grave 
cares in my old age. 

On June 12, 1890, only a few months after his dismissal. 
Prince Bismarck said, addressing a deputation of Stuttgart 
citizens : 

The dynasties have appeared to me a guarantee of 
Germany's unity. With their assistance the work of unifying 
Germany, which had been begun in battle, was completed. 
... I have never been an advocate of Imperial centralisa- 
tion, and I have made it my task as Imperial Chancellor 
to protect the rights of the individual States against illegiti- 
mate encroachments. 

During the eight years w^hich Bismarck spent in retire- 
ment he frequently urged his countrymen in speech and 
in writing to preserve the German Constitution inviolate, 
not to diminish the rights of the individual States, to create 
a counterpoise to the Emperor's impetuousness and to his 
attempts at governing Germany as if it were a Greater 
Prussia, and not to embark upon an aggressive war, nor 
to support Austria should she come into collision with 
Kussia by an attack in the Balkans, because in that case 
Germany was under no obligation to help Austria and had 
no interest in being involved in a great war over Balkan 

In attacking Kussia and France the German Emperor 

210 The German Emperor'' s Position 

not only violated the Imperial Constitution but he acted 
with an absolute disregard of the maxims of State which 
the creator of Modern Germany had laid down, and he 
cannot even plead that he was compelled to go into war 
because of the Austro-German AUiance. His contravention 
of the German Constitution may possibly in course of time 
assume an exceedingly serious aspect. 

Prince Bismarck stated in his posthumous * Memoirs ' : 
* The Federal Council represents the governing power of 
the joint sovereignty of Germany.* According to the 
German Constitution, * the consent of the Federal Council 
is necessary for the declaration of war in the name of the 
Empire, unless an attack on the territory or the coast of 
the Confederation has taken place.* The Emperor could 
constitutionally and legitimately attack Russia and France 
only after an attack on German territory had actually 
occurred. In order to make an aggression legitimate, a 
foreign attack upon Germany had either to be brought 
about or to be invented. Germany went to war because, 
according to the official version, ' war was forced upon her,* 
because German territory was attacked both by Russia 
and France. On August 4 the German Chancellor, von 
Bcthmann-Hollweg, stated in the Reichstag : 

The Emperor gave orders that the French frontier should 
be respected under all conditions. With one single excep- 
tion that order was strictly obeyed. France, which mobilised 
at the same hour as Germany, declared to us that she would 
withdraw her troops to a distance of 10 kilometres from the 
frontier. But what happened in reality ? Flying machines 
throwing bombs, cavalry patrols and companies of French 
infantry breaking into Alsace-Lorraine ! By acting thus 
France has broken the peace and has actually attacked 
Germany although a state of war had not yet been declared. 

As regards the exception mentioned I have received the 
following report from the Chief of the General Staff : 

' Of the French complaints regarding the violation of 
the frontier only a single one must be admitted. Against 
express orders a patrol of the XIV. Army Corps crossed the 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 211 

frontier on the 2nd of August. Apparently it was com- 
manded by an officer. It seems that they were shot, for 
only one man has returned. However, long before this 
single crossing of the frontier took place French flying 
machines have thrown bombs upon the German railway lines 
as far as the South of Germany, and French troops have 
attacked German troops protecting the frontier at the 
Schlucht Pass. In accordance with orders given the German 
troops have limited themselves entirely to the defensive.* 

This is the report of the General Staff. 

Gentlemen, we are now in a state of necessity, and neces- 
sity knows no law ! Our troops have occupied Luxemburg 
and perhaps have entered upon Belgian territory. 

According to the Report of the Chief of the General 
Staff, von Moltke, the French began the war by attacking 
by means of flying machines, &c. Since August 4, 
when that mendacious statement was read in the German 
Reichstag, it has been repeated innumerable times by 
German officialdom and by leading private men. In the 
German White Book, which was published in English for 
the benefit of Americans, we read : 

A few hours later, at 5 p.m., the mobilisation of the 
entire French army and navy was ordered. On the morning 
of the next day France opened hostilities. 

In the book * Truth about Germany — Facts about the 
War,' which was Hkewise issued for the benefit of Americans 
under the joint supervision of Prince Biilow and many 
other of the best-informed Germans, it is stated : 

Before one German soldier had crossed the German 
frontier a large number of French aeroplanes came flying 
into our country across the neutral territory of Belgium 
and Luxemburg without a word of warning on the part of 
the Belgian Government. At the same time the German 
Government learned that the French were about to enter 
Belgium. Then our Government with great reluctance 
had to decide upon requesting the Belgian Government 
to allow our troops to march through its territory. 

212 The German Emperor^ s Position 

According to the celebrated legal authority, Professor 
Josef Kohler, France attacked Germany not from the air but 
by invasion across the frontier. He wrote in the book ' Die 
Vernichtung der englischen Weltmacht/ pubhshed in 1915 : 

You know that when we offered France neutrality the 
French replied to our offer by sending troops across the 
frontier, violating thus the Law of Nations established by 
the Hague Convention. 

The German Declaration of War upon France stated : 

M. le Président, the German administrative and military 
authorities have estabHshed a certain number of flagrantly 
hostile acts committed on German territory by French mili- 
tary aviators. Several of these have openly violated the 
neutrality of Belgium by flying over the territory of that 
country ; one has attempted to destroy buildings near 
Wesel ; others have been seen in the district of the Eifel ; 
one has thrown bombs on the railway near Carlsruhe and 

I am instructed, and I have the honour, to inform your 
Excellency, that in the presence of these acts of aggression 
the German Empire considers itself in a state of war with 
France in consequence of the acts of this latter Power. . . . 


According to Herr von Below Saleske, the German 
Minister in Brussels, Germany was attacked by France, 
neither by aeroplanes, nor by an ordinary attack across 
the frontier, but by an attack from airships. In an inter- 
view which he asked for at 1.30 a.m. on August 8, 1914, 
Herr von Below Saleske made that statement, according 
to a Memorandum published in the Diplomatic Correspon- 
dence issued by the Belgian Government. The Memorandum 
nms as follows : 

A l'heure et demie de la nuit, le Ministre d*Allemagne a 
demandé à voir le Baron van der Elst. Il lui a dit qu'il 
était chargé par son Gouvernement de nous informer que 
des dirigeables français avaient jeté des bombes et qu'une 
patrouille de cavalerie française, violant le droit des gens, 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 213 

attendu que la guerre n'était pas déclarée, avait traversé 
la frontière. 

Lately the assertion that France began the war upon 
Germany, by an attack either by land or from the air, has 
been less frequently heard. The insistent inquiries made 
by German politicians at the military headquarters in 
Berlin and in South German towns have failed to discover 
the place where, according to the statement of the Chief 
of the General Staff which was read by the German Chan- 
cellor in the Keichstag, * French flying machines have thrown 
bombs upon the German railway lines as far as the South 
of Germany.' When the question of responsibility for 
the War is judicially investigated, it will, perhaps, appear 
who it was that created a colourable pretext for Germany's 
aggression by pretending that France had been the first 
to strike at Germany. It will then appear whether the 
untrue statement of the General Staff was made by order 
of the Emperor, or whether it originated in the General 
Staff itself ; whether the Emperor demanded that a pretext 
should be created, or whether the military leaders, especially 
von Moltke, who were notoriously anxious for war, invented 
the French attack in order to force the Emperor's hands. 
My impression has been for a long time that the latter was 
the case, as I endeavoured to show in an article pubhshed 
in The Nineteenth Century and After} Very likely Herr 
von Jagow and the Imperial Chancellor acted perfectly 
honâ fide when they explained at the critical moment that 
they had been unacquainted with the text of the Austrian 
ultimatum to Serbia. The surmise that the military leaders 
first brought about the diplomatic crisis, and then forced 
the hands of the Emperor and of the Imperial Chancellor 
by inventing a French attack upon Germany, is strengthened 
by the admission of the Secretary of State, von Jagow, and 
of his Under-Secretary, Herr Zimmermann, in their conversa- 
tion with the French Ambassador and the Belgian Minister 

^ * How the Army has ruined Germany,' The Nineteenth Century and 
After, April 1916. 

214 The German Emperor's Position 

in Berlin, that they were powerless, that the control of the 
diplomatic situation was in the hands of the military leaders. 

Future investigation will probably show that the military 
party, by a false report, engineered a deliberate and carefully 
planned violation of the German Constitution, that they 
made the Emperor their tool. However, if the war was 
brought about by the pressure of the military firebrands, 
and by the deliberate concoction of a French attack, the 
Emperor cannot plead irresponsibility for his action. Qui 
facit yer alium facit 'per se. The principal is responsible for 
the actions of his agents. A surgeon cannot plead that he 
is not responsible for a fatal operation, that he acted against 
his conviction, that he was forced into it by the demands of 
his dresser. A lawyer cannot plead immunity because he 
acted against his conviction, owing to the urgent advice 
of his clerk. If the War should end in Germany's defeat, 
the German Emperor may be held responsible by the German 
people and he cannot then shift his responsibility on to the 
military leaders, nor will it suffice if he should explain 
that he had punished the late von Moltke for his intrigue 
by dismissing him at the earhest opportunity. 

The German Constitution is on the one hand a charter 
of popular liberties which grants to the German nation 
certain rights, such as ParHamentary representation with 
a democratic franchise. It is, on the other hand, a pact 
concluded between Prussia and the German States whereby 
their relations are regulated, and whereby Prussia's authority 
and competence as the presiding State of the Confederation 
are carefully determined and limited. The German Con- 
stitution delimits punctiUously the functions and powers 
of the Emperor-President. In accepting the Imperial 
Crown and in promising to observe the Constitution, the 
King of Prussia, as German Emperor, bound himself to 
observe the fundamental regulations of the Empire, which 
were devised not only in the interest of the dynasties 
or of the individual States, apart from Prussia, but in the 
interest of the German nation as a whole. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 215 

The minor States were, according to the Constitution, 
to act as a brake upon a rash and impulsive Prussian King. 
Hence, not only the South Germans but the Prussians also 
are strongly interested in the careful observance of the 
Constitution on the part of the King-Emperor. The 
sovereigns of the minor States are not merely ornamental 
Lords-Lieutenant but are, according to the Constitution, 
partners in the Imperial concern, in which they possess 
a controlling interest if a war of aggression is planned by 
the Emperor. 

The sovereigns of the minor States insisted upon the 
limitation of the Emperor's power, not merely in their 
personal interest or in that of their States, but in that 
of all Germany, of the German nation. Hence, the limita- 
tions demanded by them, restricting the Emperor's powers 
with regard to the declaration of war, were considered 
reasonable by Bismarck and by the old Emperor and by 
his advisers, and they were readily assented to as being in 
the best interest of the nation and of the Emperor himself. 

Kightly considered, the German Constitution is a deed 
of partnership concluded between the King of Prussia 
and the German sovereigns and free towns on the one hand, 
and between the Emperor and the German people on the 
other hand. The Imperial dignity was in 1871, and again 
in 1888, bestowed upon the King of Prussia on conditions. 
William the Second has broken the formal pact between 
himself and his brother sovereigns and between himself 
and the nation, notwithstanding his solemn declarations 
made at the time of his accession, either owing to his wilful- 
ness or owing to his weakness, either because he wished to 
embark upon a war of aggression, or because he allowed 
himself to be forced into such a war, which violates the 
Constitution, by the intrigues of the military party. It 
seems by no means improbable that the German sovereigns 
and people will hold the German Emperor accountable 
should the War end disastrously for Germany. 



Late in 1915, Mr. Montagu stated in the House of Commons 
that the British War expenditure came to £5,000,000 a day, 
that the War was swallowing up half the national income. 
This was evidently a very serious understatement. Five 
million pounds a day is equal to £1,825,000,000 a year. 
According to the * British Census of Production,' published 
in December, 1912, and relating to the year 1907, the national 
income of that year amounted to £2,000,000,000. Even 
the most optimistic statisticians have not seen in that figure 
a very great understatement. It therefore appears that 
the British War expenditure per day was at that time 
approximately equal to the entire national income per day 
in normal times. It need, however, scarcely be pointed out 
that the War, which has taken millions of able-bodied British 
men from the productive occupations, and which has 
diverted the industries from the production of useful 
commodities to that of war material, has very seriously 
diminished the true national income. Besides, with the con- 
stantly increasing numbers of the British Army, and the 
steadily growing financial requirements of the Alhes for 
British loans and subsidies, the daily War expenditure of 
this country has continually kept on increasing. Hence, 
the daily cost of the War may now greatly exceed the whole 
of the national income. 

^ The Nineteenth Century and After, December, 1915. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 217 

The vastness of Great Britain's War expenditure staggers 
the imagination not only of people in general but even that 
of financiers and statisticians. It can be visualised only by 
comparison. The Franco-German War of 1870-71, which 
lasted nine months, cost Germany £60,000,000 ; the Panama 
Canal, the greatest and the most expensive engineering under- 
taking the world has seen, cost the United States in ten 
years £80,000,000 ; the Boer War, which lasted three years, 
cost this country £250,0C0,000. It follows that Great 
Britain has spent on the War, at the comparatively moderate 
rate of £5,000,000 per day, every two weeks almost as much 
as the total cost of the Panama Canal, and that she has spent 
every two months considerably more than she did during the 
whole of the protracted campaign against the Boers. 

The War has so far cost about £3,000,000,000. The 
national capital of Great Britain is usually estimated to 
amount to about £15,000,000,000. As the struggle seems 
likely to continue, it may eventually swallow a sum equal to 
one-third of the British national capital, if not more. Interest 
will have to be paid on the gigantic War debt. Its capital 
must, by purchase, gradually be reduced to manageable 
proportions, and in addition untold millions will be required 
every year for the support of the crippled and incapacitated 
veterans, and for the widows and orphans. Before the War, 
Budgets of £200,000,000 per year seemed monstrous. After 
the War, Budgets of £500,000,000 may seem modest. If we 
now remember that years of hard times followed the rela- 
tively cheap Boer War we can well understand that statesmen 
and business men look with grave anxiety and alarm into 
the future, and at the mountainous debt which Great Britain 
is rapidly piling up, and that they are asking themselves : 
Can this over-taxed country stand the additional financial 
burdens ? Will not the War destroy the British industries 
and trade, drive the country into bankruptcy and ruin, or 
at least permanently impoverish Great Britain ? In the 
following pages an attempt will be made to answer these 

218 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

In endeavouring to solve the great problems confronting 
them the most eminent statesmen and soldiers of all times 
have turned for their information and guidance to the 
experience of the past, to the teachings of history. A hun- 
dred years ago Great Britain concluded her twenty years' 
struggle with Kevolutionary and Napoleonic France, in 
the course of which she spent about £1,100,000,000, a sum 
which greatly exceeded one-third of the national capital of 
the time. What, then, can we learn from Great Britain's 
experience ? How was the Napoleonic War financed ? What 
were the consequences of that gigantic expenditure upon the 
British industries, British trade, and the British finances ? 
Unfortunately, scientific history has been greatly neglected 
in this country. The existing accounts of the Napo- 
leonic struggle are exceedingly unsatisfactory. They con- 
sist partly of pleasantly written popular books designed to 
while away the idle hours of the leisured and the uninformed, 
partly of books written by Party men for Party- political 
purposes in which are exposed the wickedness of the Tories 
or the stupidity of the Whigs, the narrow-mindedness of the 
Protectionists or the recklessness of the Free Traders. It is 
humiliating that an impartial documentary history of the 
Great War and of its economic aspects remains still to be 
written. The past should be a guide to the present. I 
propose in these pages to summarise the economic teachings 
of the Great War by means of most valuable evidence which 
will not be found in any of the histories of that struggle, 
and, fortified by the necessary data, an attempt will be made 
to apply their lesson to the present and to make a forecast 
of Britain's economic future. 

The Great War between France and Great Britain 
began in 1793 and lasted, with two interruptions (1802-03 
and 1814-15) until 1815. It cost this country about 
£1,100,000,000, but as that figure is not in accordance with 
tradition it may be challenged. I will therefore give my 
reasons for using it. 

It is not easy, in analysing national expenditure during a 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 219 

time of war, to state exactly what part of it is peace ex- 
penditure and what is war expenditure. Most writers on 
pubHc finance have stated that the War with France cost 
this nation about £800,000,000. That seems to me to be 
far too low a figure. If we wish to ascertain the cost of a 
war we cannot do so by mechanically adding up all expendi- 
ture which is labelled * War Expenditure,' for much of it 
will appear under civil heads. Therefore, we must endeavour 
to find out, firstly, how much debt was incurred for the war, 
and, secondly, by how much the current national expenditure, 
which is raised by taxation, was increased during the war 
and presumably owing to the war. Let us make this test, 
for it will furnish us with some exceedingly interesting data 
which will be of great value in the course of this investigation. 
Before and during the Great War the British National 
Debt increased, according to McCulloch's * Account of the 
British Empire,' as follows : 

The British 
National Debt 

Annaal Charge 

National Debt in 1776 
Debt incurred during American War, 


Repaid during peace, 1784-93 

Debt at commencement of Great War in 

Debt contracted during the Great War, 

National Debt on 1st February, 1817 . 











It will be noticed that the British National Debt grew 
by £601,500,000 during the Great War. 

Between 1792 and 1815 the national expenditure, the Tax 
Kevenue, and the interest paid on the National Debt in- 
creased, according to the following interesting table, which 
is taken from Porter's * Progress of the Nation,' as follows. 

220 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

It deserves to be studied with care, especially as we shall 
have to revert to it in the course of this chapter. 

National Revenue and Expendilure. 


National Expenditure 

Tax Revenue 

Interest paid on 
National Debt 









































































































tal Tax Revenue, ] 

792-1815: £1,082,( 


In looking over this table it will be noticed that the 
revenue derived from taxes increased from £19,258,814 in 
1792 to £72,210,512 in 1815. Nobody can say with absolute 
certainty how much of this increase was due to the automatic 
expansion of the ordinary peace expenditure, and how much 
to the War. Therefore, we must make an estimate. We 
shall probably be fairly correct if we assume that the national 
expenditure, and with it the tax revenue which should 
provide for it, would, from 1792 to 1816, have gradually 
increased by, let us gay, 60 per cent., that is, from £19,000,000 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 221 

in round figures to £31,000,000, had there been peace. That 
gradual increase over the whole period under review would 
give us an average yearly expenditure of £25,000,000 per 
year, and an equally large tax revenue to balance it. During 
the twenty-four years from 1792 to 1915 the total 
British Tax Eevenue should therefore have amounted to 
£600,000,000, had peace been maintained. As, however, 
the British Tax Eevenue from 1792 to 1815 amounted in 
the aggregate to no less than £1,082,000,000, we may assume 
that of the revenue raised by taxes between 1792 and 1815, 
£482,000,000 were raised owing to the war. Hence, the 
true cost of the Great War should consist of £601,500,000 
raised by loan, and of £482,000,000 raised by taxation, or 
£1,083,500,000 in all. My estimate that the British War 
expenditure in the Great War came to about £1,100,000,000 
should err, if at all, on the side of moderation. Let us now 
endeavour to gauge the significance of the gigantic financial 
effort made by this country by looking at it from the con- 
temporary point of view. 

In 1814 Mr. P. Colquhoun, an eminent writer on eco- 
nomics and statistics, pubKshed his excellent 'Treatise on the 
Wealth, Power, and Resources of the British Empire.' It 
was based on the Treasury statistics. According to him the 
whole private and pubhc property of the nation represented 
a money value of £2,736,640,000. It is noteworthy that 
of that sum £1,200,640,000 was in respect of agricultural 
land alone.' Manufacturing, commerce, and trade, which 
now are the principal wealth-creating resources of the 
country, were evidently of relatively small importance at 
the time. According to his painstaking and conscientious 
investigations, the national income amounted then to 
£430,521,372 per year. Its composition is shown in the 
table on page 222. 

If we accept as correct my estimate that Great Britain's 
expenditure on the war with France amounted to about 
£1,100,000,000, it follows that a century ago Great Britain 
spent on the war a sum about equivalent to the national 

222 BritairCs War Finance and Economic Future 

income of two and a half years, and considerably larger than 
one -third of the entire national capital. If, a century ago. 
Great Britain was able to spend on war more than one-third 
of the national capital, she should certainly be able to make 
proportionately as great a financial sacrifice at the present 
time, when rapidly producing machinery has taken the place 
of slowly producing agriculture, when capital lost or diverted 
by the War can more quickly be replaced. As the national 
capital amounts at least to £15,000,000,000, Great Britain 
should now be able to spend again more than one-third, or 
from £5,000,000,000 to £6,000,000,000, on war. If the 
Empire as a whole should finance the War, that amount 

National Income. £ 

From agriculture .... 

From mines and minerals 

From manufactures 

From inland trade 

From foreign commerce and shipping 

From the coasting trade 

From fisheries, excluding Newfoundland 

From banks .... 

Foreign income .... 










Total 430,521,372 

could easily be doubled. Of course some allowance 
must be made for the fact that whereas a hundred years 
ago British war expenditure was spread over twenty years, 
it will now be spread over a much shorter period. Hence, 
the necessary economic measures, similar to those which 
were taken a century ago, must not be taken dilatorily 
but speedily. 

Before considering the consequences of the nation's 
gigantic expenditure upon its economic position and future, 
let us briefly study the means by which, a century ago. Great 
Britain raised the colossal funds required for the war against 
France, for such an investigation will supply us with some 
very valuable precedents. 

A hundred years ago, as now, the war was paid for 
partly with the proceeds of loans, partly with funds pro- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 223 

vided by taxation. If, as I have endeavoured to show, 
the war cost this country £1,100,000,000, it appears that 
£600,000,000, or three-fifths, were raised by loans and 
£500,000,000, or two-fifths, by taxation. If we now turn 
back to the interesting table of national revenue and expendi- 
ture previously given, it will be seen that taxation was 
enormously increased during the Napoleonic era. Between 
1792 and 1815 it increased from £19,258,814 to £72,210,512, 
or was almost quadrupled, and as the substantial increase 
of taxation only began in 1796, it was almost quadrupled 
in the small space of twenty years ! How great was the 
financial sacrifice made by the nation during the Napoleonic 
wars may be seen by the fact that British taxation was 
generally considered to be * intolerably high ' before the 
war began. It was indeed very high. If we look at the 
table of British National Debt given in the beginning of 
this chapter, it appears that the National Debt had been 
almost exactly doubled by the costly war with the American 
Colonies, France, Spain, and Holland from 1775 to 1784, 
that this country entered the Napoleonic War with the dead 
weight of an enormous war debt • pressing on it. From 
the table of National Kevenue and Expenditure it appears 
furthermore that in 1792 no less than practically one-half 
of the entire national expenditure consisted of interest 
paid on the National Debt, that one-half of the Budgetary 
expenditure in time of peace was, in fact, expenditure caused 
by the previous wars. 

During the Napoleonic War the public burdens were 
vastly increased. Keference to the table of National Ke- 
venue and Expenditure shows that the interest paid per 
year on the National Debt increased from £9,767,333 in 
1792 to no less than £32,938,751 in 1816, growing no less 
than three and a half fold. The British national expendi- 
ture of 1792 was at the time rightly considered to be a very 
heavy one. It was exactly twice as large as in 1775. 
Yet, between 1813 and 1816 Great Britain spent on an 
average per year on interest on the National Debt alone 

224 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

50 per cent, more than the total amount of the British 
national expenditure of 1792, and three times as much as 
the whole national expenditure of 1775. 

We have no reason to complain of the present war taxes. 
Compared with those estabhshed during the Napoleonic 
time they are very light indeed. 

Now let us study the way by which Great Britain raised 
her war taxes during the Great War. 

As the Budgets of a century ago form in their bulky 
original a maze in which the uninitiated are lost, I would 
give a useful analytical digest of the Budget revenue for the 
year 1815, taken from the second volume of Mr. Stephen 
Dowell's valuable * History of Taxation and Taxes in 
England.' Details of the revenue of Great Britain, exclusive 
of Ireland, are shown in the table on page 225. 

The revenue from taxes in Ireland for the year 1815, 
ending January 5, 1816, was, in British currency, equal to 

It will be noticed that a century ago, as now, the direct 
taxes on capital and income and the taxes on luxuries 
such as beer, wine, spirits, sugar, tea, coffee, tobacco, houses, 
coaches, &c., provided the bulk of the revenue. However, 
not only these but everything taxable was taxed. Exports, 
imports, and internal trade, coal and timber, raw materials 
used in the industries and manufactured articles produced 
in Great Britain, all had to pay their share. Sydney Smith, 
the witty Canon of St. Paul's, wrote in an article in The 
Edinburgh Beview in 1820 : 

We can inform Brother Jonathan what are the inevitable 
consequences of being too fond of glory. Taxes upon every 
article which enters into the mouth, or covers the back, or 
is placed under the foot. Taxes upon anything that is 
pleasant to see, hear, feel, smell, or taste. Taxes upon 
warmth, light, and locomotion. Taxes upon everything on 
earth, or under the earth, on everything that comes from 
abroad, or is grown at home. Taxes on the raw material, 
taxes on every fresh value that is added to it by the industry 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 225 


£ES £ £ 

The land tax 

. 1,196,000 

Taxes on houses and establishments 

. 6,500,000 

Income tax . . . . , 

. 14,000,000 

Tax on succession to property 

. 11,297,000 

Property insured . 


Property sold at auction 


Coaches and cabs . . . . 


Tonnage on shipping 



Taxes ox Articles of Consumption. 

Food, Drink, and Tobacco : £ £ 

Salt 1,616,671 

Sugar 2,957.403 

Currants, raisins, pepper, and vinegar . 541,589 

Beer 3,330,044 

Malt 6,044,276 

Hops 222,026 

Drink Licenses 200,000 

Wine 1,900,772 

Spirits . 6,700,000 

Tea 3,691,350 

Coffee 276,700 

Tobacco 2,025,663 


Raw Materials and Customs Duties : 

Coal and slate 915,797 

Timber 1,802,000 

Cotton wool 760,000 

Raw and thrown silk .... 450,000 

Barilla, indigo, potashes, bar iron, and furs 297,000 

Hemp 285,000 

Export duties 364,417 

Various import duties .... 1,188,000 


Taxes on Manufactures : 

Leather 698,342 

Soap 747,759 

Bricks and tiles 269,121 

Glass 424,787 

Candles 354,350 

Paper 476,019 

Printed goods . . . . ' . 388,076 

Newspapers 383,000 

Advertisements . ; . . . 125,000 

Plate 82,151 

Various 132,116 

Stamp Duties. 

Bills and notes 841,000 

Receipts 210,000 

Other instruments 1,692,000 



Grand total £67,730,688 


226 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

of man. Taxes on the sauce which pampers man's appetite, 
and the drug which restores him to health ; on the ermine 
which decorates the judge, and the rope which hangs the 
criminal ; on the poor man's salt and the rich man's spice ; 
on the brass nails of the coffin and the ribbons of the bride ; 
at bed or board, couchant or levant, we must pay. The 
schoolboy whips his taxed top, the beardless youth manages 
his taxed horse with a taxed bridle on a taxed road ; and 
the dying Englishman, pouring his medicine, which has 
paid seven per cent., into a spoon that has paid fifteen per 
cent., flings himself back upon his chintz bed which has 
paid twenty-two per cent, and expires in the arms of an 
apothecary who has paid a licence of One hundred pounds 
for the privilege of putting him to death. His whole 
property is then immediately taxed from two to ten per 
cent. Besides the Probate large fees are demanded for 
burying him in the chancel. His virtues are handed down 
to posterity on taxed marble and he will then be gathered 
to his fathers to be taxed no more. 

The manner by which British taxation was increased in 
the course of the Great War may be gauged by comparing 
the peace Budget of 1792 with that of 1815. The following 
figures give a summary comparison : 

Direct taxes ...... 

Taxes on food, drink and tobacco . 
Taxes on raw materials and customs 
duties ...... 

Taxes on manufactures .... 

Stamp duties ...... 

In 1792 








It will be noticed that the taxes on food, drink, tobacco," 
raw materials, imports, and on manufactures increased 
between 1792 and 1815 from three to four-fold, and that 
the stamp duties were raised at a similar ratio, while the 
direct taxes, that is, the taxes on the income and the pro- 
perty of the well-to-do, and on their establishments, increased 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 227 

almost sevenfold. If we bear in mind that a century ago 
British foreign trade was carried on chiefly with the Con- 
tinent of Europe and the United States, that during many 
years practically the whole Continent was closed by 
Napoleon to British trade, that from 1812 to 1815 Great 
Britain was at war with the United States, that the British 
Colonies were quite unimportant, that in 1800 Canada had 
240,000 and Australia only 6500 inhabitants, that the only 
valuable British Colonies were the West Indies, that in 
consequence of the closing of the principal British markets 
business was extremely bad, that commercial failures were 
very numerous, that several harvests had failed, that bread 
was scarce and very dear, that gold had disappeared, that 
the forced paper currency had rapidly depreciated, so that 
a guinea at one time was worth twenty-seven shillings in 
paper, we can appreciate the economic sufferings of the 
British people and their determination and staying power, 
their civic heroism and their moral fibre. They paid during 
those hard times three and four times as much in taxes as they 
had done during the years preceding the war. As, therefore, 
a hundred years ago, and under far more difficult economic 
circumstances than those which obtain at present, the British 
people were able to bear a burden of taxation from three to 
four times as heavy as that to which they had been 
accustomed, the British people of to-day will also be able to 
pay far more in taxes than they have done hitherto, although 
there will, of course, be grumbling and suffering. Nations, 
and especially nations which hve luxuriously and wastefully, 
have almost an infinite capacity of paying taxes. That 
is one of the lessons of the Great War with France. 

Great Britain habitually makes war lavishly and waste- 
fully. That lies in the national character. Out of the 
forty years from 1775 to 1815 nine years were spent in an 
enormous war with the American Colonies, France, Spain, 
and Holland, and twenty years n a still greater war with 
Eepubhcan and Napoleonic France, and her alKes and 
vassals. During these forty years, as we may see by referring 

228 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

to the little table given in the beginning of this chapter, 
the National Debt and the yearly interest paid on it increased 
about sevenfold. Frederick the Great, Napoleon the 
First, and many other men of eminence, both in England 
and abroad, believed that the enormous British National 
Debt, and the ever-increasing burden of taxation, would 
impoverish and ruin England. Yet, at the end of the 
forty years' war period, England was undoubtedly far 
wealthier than she had been at its beginning. 

After the conclusion of that terrible war period the 
expected collapse of the British industries and of British 
commerce did not take place. On the contrary, all the 
British industries and British commerce expanded in an 
unprecedented manner. It has so frequently been asserted 
by economic and general historians who write history in 
order to prove a case, or to establish a doctrine, who write 
party pamphlets in book form, that England's economic 
expansion was consequent upon, and due to, the introduction 
of Free Trade, that that fallacy has been very widely 
accepted as truth. The abohtion of many of the 
innumerable taxes imposed during the Great War no doubt 
proved a powerful stimulus to certain industries. Still, 
Great Britain's most wonderful progress in trade and 
industry, in banking and shipping, in agriculture and 
mining, took place before Free Trade was introduced. 
It was effected during and shortly after the forty years 
of almost incessant warfare, and was, as I shall endeavour 
to show, chiefly due to these wars and to the burdens which 
they imposed upon the nation. Before endeavouring to 
prove this, it is necessary to show that the greatest economic 
advance of this country took place before 1846, the year 
when Free Trade was introduced. 

The supply of men, as Adam Smith wisely remarked, 
is regulated by the demand for men. In prosperous times, 
when work is plentiful, the people increase rapidly. Between 
1801 and 1841 the British population almost doubled, 
growing from 10,942,646 to 18,720,394. Agriculture and 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 229 

the manufacturing industries flourished. As in 1841, ac- 
cording to Porter's * Progress of the Nation,' only about 
3,000,000 British people hved on imported wheat, it 
obviously follows, as that distinguished statistician pointed 
out, that British agricultural production must have increased 
by 50 per cent, in the meantime. The expansion of British 
agriculture may be seen not only by the large increase 
of the population, which rehed almost exclusively on home- 
grown food, but also by the increasing yield of agricultural 
rent, which, according to McCulloch's * Statistical Account 
of the British Empire,' grew as follows : 

AgricuUural Rent 

1800 . 


1806 . 


1810 . 


1816 . 
1843 . 


Now let us look at the progress of the British manu- 
facturing industries. The following tables are extracted 
from Porter's book, * The Progress of the Nation,' 1851. 
I would add that Mr. Porter was the chief of the Statistical 
Department of the Board of Trade, and the founder of 
the Statistical Society, and he was later on Secretary to 
the Board of Trade. 

As the statistics relating to British industrial produc- 
tion during the first half of the last century are somewhat 
defective, the progress of the British manufacturing 
industries, as a whole, and of British trade, can best be 
gauged from the increase in the populations of the principal 
manufacturing and trading towns. These increased rapidly 
as is shown in a table on page 230. 

It will be noticed that between 1801 and 1841 the 
population of Manchester, Liverpool, and indeed most of 
the towns given, grew threefold and more than three- 
fold. These figures sufiice to show that the British manu- 
facturing industries and British trade expanded at an 
incredible rate of speed before 1846. 

230 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

The textile industry, in its various branches, is the 
greatest British manufacturing industry, and its rise is 
frequently, although erroneously, attributed by many to 

Population of British Towns. 







Manchester and Salford 






Liverpool . 












Leeds . 






Sheffield . 












Bradford . 
























Leicester . 




40,639 60,806 





50,680 1 53,091 





30,911 i 32,629 

Coventry . 




27,298 ' 31,032 

Hudders field 




19,035 : 25,068 

Rochdale . 




18,351 24,272 





15,351 21,242 

Free Trade. Measured by the quantity of raw material 
imported — the best test available — the British textile in- 
dustries, according to Porter, developed as follows : 

Imports of 


Raw Cotton 

Raw Silk 

Raw Wool 





























Between 1801 and 1845 the importation of raw silk 
increased about sevenfold, that of raw wool more than 
tenfold, and that of raw cotton more than thirteen-fold. 

1 Ten years average. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 231 

The British iron production increased, according to 
Porter, as follows : 

British Iron Production. 


258,000 tons. 

581,000 tons. 
1,000,000 tons. 
1,500,000 tons. 
1.700,000 tons. 

Between 1806 and 1845 the British iron production 
increased nearly sevenfold. 

The expansion of all the British manufacturing indus- 
tries was so rapid after 1815 that they speedily acquired 
practically a world monopoly. In 1845 Great Britain was 
indeed, to use Cobden's words, the workshop of the world. 

Modern manufacturing is based on coal. The command- 
ing position which the British industries had obtained 
during and after the Great War can best be gauged by 
Great Britain's production of coal. According to K. C. 
Taylor's valuable * Statistics of Coal,* a bulky handbook 
pubhshed in 1848, the world's production of coal in 1845 
was as follows : 


Production of 
Coal in 1845 

Percentage of 
World's Production 

Great Britain ..... 
Belgium ...... 

United States 






Per Cent. 







In 1845 Great Britain not only produced two-thirds 
of the world's coal and two-thirds of the world's iron, but 
also worked up two-thirds of the world's raw cotton. 

During the war, and during the three decades of peace 
which followed the Congress of Vienna, Great Britain became 
the workshop of the world. The predictions of Napoleon 
and of many statesmen, financiers, and economists, that 

232 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

the enormous National Debt and the huge burden of taxation 
would utterly impoverish Great Britain, were triumphantly 
refuted. In no other period of the nation's history did its 
wealth progress at a more rapid rate. The principal cause 
which led to this marvellous economic development was, 
in my opinion, illogical as it may sound, the great burden 
which forty years of almost incessant warfare had laid upon 
the British people. Men do not love exertion, do not love 
work. They are born idlers who endeavour to enjoy hfe 
without exertion. They will not work hard — there are, 
of course, exceptions — unless compelled. Men, being born 
idle and improvident, live without labour in all chmes where 
a kindly Nature has provided for their wants. Necessity 
is not only the mother of invention, but also the mother of 
labour, of productivity, of thrift, of wealth, of power, and 
of progress, and the greatest civilising influence of all is the 
tax-collector. The tax-collector converted the backward 
and happy-go-lucky British nation into a nation of strenuous 
and intelhgent industrial workers. 

Men hke their comforts and their amusements, and 
they are apt to spend very nearly all they earn. If their 
taxes are suddenly very greatly increased, their first impulse 
is to stint themselves, but as this is a painful process, they 
soon endeavour to provide the money required by the tax- 
collector by harder work, or by more intelhgent exertion. 
During the forty years period of almost incessant war, and 
during the three decades which followed the Peace of Vienna, 
taxes were increased enormously, and as the increased taxes 
could scarcely be provided for by the unpleasant virtue of 
thrift, the people began to exert their ingenuity and strove 
to increase their income by increasing production. At the 
end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth 
century, two periods of greatly increased taxation, British 
genius was applied to money-making, to industry, and to 
invention in an unparalleled manner. Not chance, but the 
constantly and colossally growing demands of the tax-col- 
lector led to the introduction of the steam-engine, of labour- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 233 

saving machinery of every kind, of modern manufacturing, 
of modern commerce and banking, of railways, and of 

The time when taxation was trebled and quadrupled saw 
the rise of inventive geniuses such as Watt, Boulton, Brindley, 
Trevethick, Telford, Brunei, Maudesley, Bramah, Nasmyth, 
George Stephenson, Hargreaves, Arkwright, Crompton, 
Cartwright, Horrocks, Smeaton, Priestly, Dalton, Faraday, 
Davy, Wedgwood, and many others. The resources of the 
country were carefully studied and energetically developed. 
Excellent roads were built to facihtate trafiBc. The activity 
of the Duke of Bridgewater, and of other men, gave to 
England the then best system of inland waterways. The 
Duke of Bedford, Kay, and Coke of Norfolk gave a tre- 
mendous impetus to scientific agriculture. Eowland Hill 
introduced the penny postage. By the perfection of the 
organisation of joint-stock undertakings, the building of 
costly railways, of factories on the largest scale, and the 
evolution of modern banking, were made possible. 

During the end of the eighteenth and the first half of the 
nineteenth century, EngHshmen were the most enterprising 
men in the world. They not only made the principal 
inventions of modern industry, but they were invariably 
the first to exploit the industrial inventions made by other 
nations. Since then, Enghsh enterprise and Enghsh in- 
ventiveness have sadly dechned. Most industrial inven- 
tions and improvements are made nowadays in Germany 
and in the United States, and the most valuable industrial 
inventions and discoveries made by Englishmen are ex- 
ploited not in England, but in Germany and America. The 
British discovery of making dyes from coal-tar led to the 
establishment of an enormous coal-tar dye industry in 
Germany. Although an Englishman invented the valuable 
automatic loom, only a few automatic looms are to be 
found in this country, while hundreds of thousands are 
employed in the United States. Many similar instances 
might be given. 

234 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

During the last fifty years, England has undoubtedly 
grown slack. Many British industries have remained 
stagnant or have dechned, while those in the United States 
and in Germany have mightily expanded. Great Britain 
was the workshop of the world in 1845, but she occupies no 
longer that proud position. What is the cause, or what are 
the causes, of this extraordinary change ? There are many 
causes, but the principal cause is undoubtedly this, that 
when England had become industrially supreme and very 
wealthy, the people were no longer compelled to work hard. 
Having established their position in the world of industry and 
commerce. Englishmen began to take their ease. Self- 
indulgence took the place of industry. Both the employers 
and their workers began to neglect their business at a time 
when necessity compelled the German and American peoples 
to concentrate their entire energy upon the development of 
their commerce and their industries. 

I have endeavoured to show in these pages that the 
wonderful development of the British industries during 
the end of the eighteenth and during the first half of the 
nineteenth century was due not to chance, but to high 
taxation — that not chance, but the pressure of high taxation 
produced the invention of the steam-engine and of labour- 
saving machinery of every kind. It is to be hoped that the 
vastly increased demands of the tax-collector will once more 
stimulate inventiveness and industry in this country to 
the utmost, that necessity will cause EngHshmen to discover 
new avenues which lead to prosperity, that the gigantic cost 
of the present War will be as easily borne as that of the Great 
War a century ago. However, we need not reckon upon the 
discovery of new processes and the invention of new machines. 
Great Britain can easily provide for her financial require- 
ments, however long the War may last, by the simple 
process of Americanising her industries. Great Britain is 
blessed with an excellent climate and a most favourable 
geographical position. She is the only country in the 
world which, owing to the situation of its coalfields, can 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 235 

manufacture practically on the sea-shore, whereas other 
nations are greatly hampered by being compelled to manu- 
facture far inland. Besides, Great Britain possesses a 
gigantic and invaluable undeveloped estate in her vast 
Dominions and Colonies. Great Britain and the British 
Empire have absolutely unhmited resources which are partly 
not exploited at all, and partly quite insufficiently utihsed. 
The greatest resource of every nation is, in Colbert's 
words, the labour of the people. Unfortunately, the labour 
of the British people is very largely wasted. If we compare 
the productivity of labour in this country and in the United 
States, we find, incredible as it may sound, that American 
labour is about three times as efficient as is British labour, 
that one American worker produces approximately as much 
as do three British workers. This assertion can be proved 
by means of the British and the United States censuses 
of production. The British census of production refers to 
the year 1907 and the American census to the year 1909. 
The two years he so near together that one may fairly 
compare the results given. There is, of course, a difficulty 
in comparing the efficiency of British and American labour. 
In the first place the industries in the two countries have not 
always been officially classified in the same manner. There- 
fore many industries, such as the iron industry, cannot be 
compared by means of the census figures. In the second 
place the quahties of American and British produce fre- 
quently differ widely. These considerations have necessarily 
narrowed the range of comparable figures. The following 
table contains statistics relating to some British and 
American industries which may fairly be compared. They 
will show conclusively that in many of the comparable 
industries the American workers produce approximately 
three times as large a quantity of goods as do their Enghsh 
colleagues, and that they succeed in producing three times 
as much, not because they work three times as hard, but 
because, as is also shown in the table, the United States 
use in the identical industries approximately three times 

236 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

as much horse-power per thousand men as does Great 
Britain. The following figures are extracted from a fuller 
table which appeared in an article of mine published in 
The Fortnightly Review for August 1913, to which I would 
refer those who desire further details. They were much 
discussed at the time, but they have hitherto not been 
successfully challenged. 


per Year 

Number of 


power per 

Value of 
tion per 
per Year 

Boots and Shoes : 



United Kingdom 






United States 






Cardboard Boxes : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Cement : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Clothing : 

United Kingdom 






United States 





, 484 

Cocoa, Chocolate, and 

Confectionary : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Cotton Goods : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Clocks and Watches : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Cutlery and Tools : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Firearms and Am- 

munition : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Cloves : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Hats and Caps : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Ch'eat Problems of British Statesmanship 237 


per Year 

Number of 


power per 

Value of 
tion per 
per Year 

Hosiery : 



United Kingdom 






United States 






Leather Tanning and 

Dressing : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Matches : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Paint Colours and 

Varnish : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Paper : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Pens and Pencils : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Printing and Pub- 

lishing : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






Silk : 

United Kingdom 






United States 






The figures given, which have not been selected for the 
purpose of ' making a case,' show irrefutably that the 
British manufacturing industries as a whole are almost 
incredibly inefficient. Wherever we look we find that the 
American worker produces per year approximately three 
times as much as does his British colleague. Even the 
British cotton industry, the premier industry of the country, 
is, both on the spinning and on the weaving side, not pro- 
vided with the best labour-saving machinery, as I pointed 
out very fully in an article in The Nineteenth Century review 
some years ago.^ 

1 ' Will a Tariff Harm Lancashire ? — A Lesson from America,' The 
Nineteenth Century and After, August, 1912. 

238 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

The comparison of production per wage-earner per year 
in England and the United States is based upon wholesale 
prices. It is true that the shop prices of many commodities 
are higher in the United States than in England. However, 
this difference is due very largely to the fact that the 
American retailers require a larger profit because they have 
larger expenses, and because the business of distribution 
is more costly in the United States than here because dis- 
tances are greater. In most cases the wholesale prices of 
comparable commodities are nearly identical in both 
countries. The fact that the American workers produce 
on an average approximately three times as much as their 
British colleagues employed in the same industries can 
therefore not be gainsaid. 

It is, of course, generally known that in many cases 
American workers employ far more perfect machinery 
than do their British colleagues, but it is not generally 
known, and it seems almost unbelievable, that the American 
workers employ, besides better machinery, about three 
times as much power as do the British workers engaged in 
the same trades. If we allow for the fact that the American 
industries possess not only better machines, but in addition 
three times as much power with which to drive them, it 
is obvious that the mechanical efficiency of the American 
industries is considerably more than three times as great 
as that of the corresponding British industries. 

At the time when Great Britain was the workshop of the 
world, McCuUoch wrote in his * Account of the British 
Empire * : * A given number of hands in Great Britain 
perform much more work than is executed by the same 
number of hands almost anywhere else.' That statement, 
which was true in the middle of the last century, is true 
no longer. Unfortunately the British industries have become 
lamentably inefficient, not only in comparison with those 
of the United States, but of Germany and of other countries 
as well. The greatest asset of a State is its man-power. 
Much of the British man-power is wasted. By Americanising 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 239 

the British manufacturing industries we can obviously 
double and treble the national output, and can thus double 
and treble the national income. That has been made 
abundantly clear by my analytical comparison. 

The lamentable inefficiency of British production is 
apparent not only in manufacturing, but in agriculture 
and mining as well. The Coal Tables of 1912, pubhshed 
by the British Board of Trade in March, 1914, contain many 
interesting figures relating to coal production in England 
and abroad. Coal is the bread of the manufacturing indus- 
tries. Its importance to the nation can scarcely be exag- 
gerated. Let us see how British coal production compares 
with coal production elsewhere. 

Tons of Coal Produced per Annum per Person Employed. 



United States 


New Zealand 






























































It will be noticed that the coal production per man per 
year is almost twice as large in AustraHa, New Zealand, 
and Canada as it is in the United Kingdom, and that it is 
almost three times as large in the United States as it is in 
this country. This startUng difference can only partly 
be explained by the fact that in many cases the coal seams 
are thicker in the United States than in Great Britain, 
and are to be found at a lesser depth. This startling dis- 
crepancy in output is largely, if not chiefly, ascribable to 
this, that the British miner, as the British industrial worker, 

^ Strike year. 

240 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

is hostile to improved machinery, and is determinedly 
bent upon limiting output. It is ominous that, whereas 
British coal production per man has steadily been decreasing 
during the last thirty years, American, Austrahan, New 
Zealand, and Canadian coal production per man has been 
steadily increasing. The British miner has unfortunately 
succeeded in more than nullifying the technical improve- 
ments made in coal production which in other countries 
have greatly increased production per man. 

While an increasing coal production per man in America, 
Austraha, and New Zealand has brought about the cheapen- 
ing of coal, or has at least prevented it becoming dearer, 
greatly increased wages notwithstanding, the reduction in 
the British output per man, combined with increased wages, 
has fatally increased the price of British coal. This will 
appear from the figures given in the table on page 241. 

The figures given show that the British coal-miners 
have succeeded in reducing the output of coal per man 
and creating an artificial scarcity. In former years British 
coal was approximately as cheap as American coal, and in 
some years it was cheaper. Of that advantage the manu- 
facturing industries have now been deprived. Of late years, 
owing to increased wages and reduced output, EngUsh 
coal prices have been 60 per cent, higher than American 
coal prices. Hence the British manufacturing industries 
suffer not only from insufficient output due to inefficient 
machinery and insufficient power to drive it, but also from 
unnecessarily high coal prices. McCulloch wrote in his 
* Account of the British Empire *^^: 

Our coal mines have been sometimes called the Black 
Indies, and it is certain that they have conferred a thousand 
times more real advantage on us than we have derived from 
the conquest of the Mogul Empire, or than we should have 
reaped from the Dominion of Mexico and Peru. . . . Our 
coal mines may be regarded as vast magazines of hoarded 
or warehoused power ; and unless some such radical change 
should be made on the steam engine as should very decidedly 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 241 

lessen the quantity of fuel required to keep it in motion, 
or some equally serviceable machine, but moved by different 
means, be introduced, it is not at all likely that any nation 
should come into successful competition with us in those 
departments in which steam engines, or machinery moved 
by steam, may be advantageously employed. 

Average Value of Coal per Ton at the Pifa Mouth. 


United Kingdom 

United States 


New Zealand 

8. d. 

8. d. 

8. d. 

«. d. 


4 10 

6 4i 




4 9| 

6 6i 

9 2 

10 10 


5 Of 



10 11 


6 4i 

5 3^ 

8 11 

11 3 


8 3 

6 2Î 

8 6 




5 3i 

8 9 

11 4 


7 3i 

5 4Î 

7 11 

11 3 


6 9^ 

5 4 

7 5 

11 1 


6 8 

6 1 

6 8 



6 OJ 

4 9i 

6 4 

11 1 


6 lOi 

4 9i 

6 2 

10 10 


5 11 

4 7i 

6 11 



6 4i 

4 5 

6 9 



7 7 

4 8^ 

6 1 



10 9i 

5 3Î 


10 9 


9 4^ 

5 6i 

7 7 



8 2| 

5 8i 

7 9 

10 11 


7 8 

6 7 

7 4 

10 9 


7 2i 

6 10Î 

6 10 

10 9 


6 IH 

6 8 

6 2 

10 7 


7 3i 

5 9è 

6 3 

10 7 



6 IH 

6 10 

10 7 


8 11 

6 111 

7 4J 

10 4i 


8 Of 

5 7i 

7 6i 

10 10* 


8 2i 

5 lOJ 

7 6è 

11 li 


8 1Î 

6 lOf 

7 6è 

10 lOi 


9 Of 

6 1 

7 6i 

10 Hi 

McCulloch, as his contemporary Mr. Cobden, believed 
that England was, and always would remain, the workshop 
of the world because this country had then virtually a 
monopoly in the production of coal. It has been shown 
on another page that this country produced in 1845 twice 
as much coal as did all the other countries of the world 
combined. By making coal artificially scarce and dear, 

242 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

the British miners, who in their fatal policy have been 
supported by short-sighted Governments of either party, 
have taken away from the British industries one of the 
greatest advantages which they possessed and threaten 
to ruin them altogether. 

The masters, the men, and the poHticians have probably 
been equally responsible for the inefficiency of the British 
manufacturing industries and of British mining. British 
employers have come to consider business to be a bore, if 
not a nuisance. During the last few decades they were 
quite satisfied with the condition of their business as long 
as they made an income with httle exertion, and they 
were ready to leave the supervision and direction of their 
affairs to a manager. They took little note of the scientific 
and technical progress made in other countries. They 
looked upon new methods, upon improved organisation, 
upon scientific processes of production, and upon improved 
machinery with indifference, if not with dislike. That 
indifference to progress was particularly noticeable in the 
case of limited liabiHty companies, especially when they 
were controlled by amateur directors, or by men who had 
only a very small stake in the business. Compared with 
the United States, British transport by railway also is 
lamentably behindhand and inefficient, and the result is 
that American railway freights are far lower than British, 
although American railway wages are three times as high 
as are British wages. 

While British masters were opposed to industrial progress 
and to all innovations from conservatism, from indifference, 
or from sheer laziness, their men looked upon improved 
organisation and machinery with positive and undis- 
guised hostility, for they had been taught by their leaders 
that their greatest interest lay in a high wage and in a low 
output, that every increase in output injured the other 
workers and themselves. It seems incredible that such a 
foolish fallacy should have been allowed to restrict and 
stifle the development of the British industries. Unfor- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 243 

tunately the British workers as a whole have been almost as 
hostile to the introduction of modern methods and improved 
machinery as they were in the machine-smashing era a 
century ago. The world is a great co-operative society. 
Men are paid money wages, but as they spend them in 
purchasing goods they are in reahty paid in goods, in food, 
clothes, &c. A man who produces food is paid in clothes, 
and a man who makes clothes has to buy food. If both 
produce * scientifically ' as little as possible they will lack 
food and clothes, whatever their money wages may be. 
If, on the other hand, both produce much there will be 
abundance and prosperity. Production determines wages. 
Small production and high wages are incompatible. High 
production and high wages go hand in hand. In the United 
States wages are from two to three times as high as in this 
country because production per man is from two to three 
times as great ; and as production is from two to three 
times as great, goods are very little dearer in the United 
States than in England, high wages notwithstanding. The 
result is that the very highly paid American workmen 
can purchase with their large wages an abundance of food, 
clothes, &c., and can save large amounts in addition. 

In the lengthy table summarising British and American 
production per worker per year printed on pages 236-237, 
the gross value of the goods produced is given. Of course, 
a worker who converts in a day a piece of leather into a pair 
of boots worth fifteen shillings does not really produce 
fifteen shillings' worth of goods. To arrive at the real value 
of his day's work we must deduct from the value of the 
goods made by him the cost of the raw material and the 
general factory expenses. By deducting these we arrive at 
the net production per worker per week. Details will be 
found in the table on page 244. The figures given are 
based on the Censuses of Production. 

It will be noticed that in the trades enumerated the 
American workers produce per week as a rule from two to 
three times as much, net, as their British colleagues. As 

244 Britain^ s War Finance and Economic Future 

no worker can possibly obtain for his work more than the 
entire value of his work, it is clear that the British worker 
in cardboard boxes, for instance, cannot obtain more 
than £1 per week unless he produces more. This table 
explains why wages were high in America and relatively low 

Net Produce per Worker per Week. 

In the United 

In tlie United 



£8. d. 

£ s. d. 

Boots and shoes . . . 

1 7 4 

3 10 

Cardboard boxes .... 


2 15 10 

Butter and cheese . . 

2 8 1 

8 3 1 

Cement ...... 

2 10 10 

4 17 8 

Clothing ...... 

1 3 11 

4 7 4 

Cocoa, chocolate and confectionery . 

1 12 3 

4 18 5 

Cotton goods ..... 

1 10 5 

2 13 9 

Clocks and watches .... 

1 7 9 

4 3 

Cutlery and tools .... 

1 8 1 

4 1 6 

Dyeing and finishing textiles 

1 18 11 

4 4 3 

Gasworks ..... 

4 1 1 

11 16 7 

Firearms and ammunition 

2 2 8 

4 9 2 


1 11 2 

3 10 9 

Hats and caps .... 

1 6 10 

4 1 10 


1 3 6 

2 2 8 

Leather tanning and dressing . 

2 5 

4 13 1 


1 13 5 

3 2 4 

Brewing and malting 

6 7 3 

19 10 5 


1 13 

7 3 I 

Paint and varnish .... 

3 16 2 

12 9 3 


2 2 8 

5 3 5 

Pens and pencils .... 

1 9 8 

4 5 9 

Printing and publishing . 

3 13 1 

7 16 11 

Railway carriages, &c. 

2 7 4 

4 5 


1 1 2 

3 9 3 

Soap and candles .... 

2 19 8 

11 7 8 

in this country, up to the outbreak of the present War, in the 
course of which British wages have materially increased. 

Unfortunately, the politicians of both parties have very 
largely contributed to the backwardness and stagnation 
which is noticeable in British business. Desiring to obtain 
votes, they have unceasingly flattered both masters and 
men. They have told the employers that Great Britain 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 245 

was the richest country in the world, and that she was 
industrially far ahead of all countries. They have not 
only not prevented the workers reducing their output to 
the utmost, but they have actually encouraged them in 
that suicidal policy by their legislation. Striving after 
popularity, after votes, the politicians have thus encouraged 
idling on the part of both employers and employees, and 
have opposed modern organisation and modem improve- 
ments. While encouraging labour to combine and to restrict 
production, they have opposed the combination of employers 
to increase efficiency. For decades both parties advocated 
Free Trade chiefly because that policy furnished an excellent 
party cry, furnished votes. 

If we wish to ascertain the causes of British industrial 
stagnation and relative decline, it is well to listen to the 
opinion of foreign experts. Let us in this manner consider 
the causes of the relative decline of the British iron industry. 
In 1845 two- thirds of the world's iron was produced by 
Great Britain. German iron production was then quite 
unimportant. At present German iron production is far 
ahead of iron production in this country. According to a 
valuable German technical handbook, * Gemeinfassliche 
Darstellung des Eisenhiittenwesens,' Dusseldorf, 1912, the 
production of iron and steel in Great Britain and Germany 
has developed as follows ; 


Iron Production. 

Steel Production. 

In Germany 

In Great Britain 

In Germany 

In Great Britain 























































246 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

Why has Germany, whose production of h'on and steel 
was formerly insignificant, so rapidly and so completely 
outstripped Great Britain, which possesses the greatest 
natural facilities for producing iron and steel ? The German 
handbook mentioned is pubUshed by the Union of German 
Iron Masters, a purely professional association. It considers 
this question exclusively from a business point of view. It 
significantly states : 

No land on earth is as favourably situated for iron produc- 
tion as is England. Extensive deposits of coal and iron, 
easy and cheap purchase of foreign raw materials, a favour- 
able geographical position for selling its manufactures, 
reinforced by the great economic power of the State, made 
at one time the island kingdom industrially omnipotent 
throughout the world. Now complaints about constantly 
increasing foreign competition become from day to day 
more urgent. These are particularly loud with regard to 
the growing power of the German iron industry. It is under- 
standable that Great Britain finds it unpleasant that Ger- 
many's iron industry should have become so strong. How- 
ever, Germany's success has been achieved by unceasing 
hard work. . . . 

The unexampled growth of the German industry began 
when, on July, 15, 1879, a moderate Protective Tariff was 
introduced. Until then it was impossible for the German 
iron industries to flourish. Foreign competition was too 
strong. . . . 

The German Trade Unions, with their Socialist ideas, are 
opposed to progress. If their aspirations should succeed, 
the German iron industry would be ruined. An attempt 
on the part of the German Trade Unions to increase the 
earnings of the skilled workers by limiting the number of 
apprentices, the imitation of the policy which has been 
followed by the British Trade Unions, would produce a 
scarcity of skilled workers in Germany as it has done in 
England. The British iron industry should be to us Germans 
a warning example. The English Trade Unions with their 
short-sighted championship of labour, with their notorious 
policy of * ca' canny ' (the limitation of output), and with 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 247 

their hostility to technical improvements have seriously 
shaken the powerful position of the British iron trade. 

Most people see in Trade Unions an organisation which 
may become dangerous to the national industries by pro- 
moting strikes. Strikes, however, are of comparatively 
httle danger. They are like a virulent, but intermittent, 
fever. The most pernicious feature of the British Trade 
Unions is their policy of Umiting output, and their hostihty 
to improvements in organisation and machinery. Their 
activity has upon the body economic an influence similar to 
a slow fever which leads, almost imperceptibly, to atrophy, 
to marasmus, and to death. 

The War will be long drawn out. It may cost 
£4,000,000,000, £5,000,000,000, and perhaps more. It may 
swallow up one-third, and perhaps one-half of the national 
capital. It may permanently double, or even more than 
double, taxation. I have endeavoured to show by irre- 
futable evidence that the British manufacturing industries 
and British mining are inefficient, that, by introducing the 
best modem methods, British production and British income 
can be doubled and trebled. Unfortunately, British agri- 
culture is as' inefficient as are the manufacturing industries 
and mining. Space does not permit to show in detail how 
greatly British agricultural production might be increased. 
I have shown in various articles published in The Nineteenth 
Century review^ and elsewhere that, on an agricultural 
area which is only sixty per cent, larger than that of this 
country, Germany produces approximately three times as 
much food of every kind as does this country. British and 
German agriculture are summarily compared in the tables on 
page 248. They are based upon the official statistics. 

As the German area under woods and forests is eleven 
times as large as the British, and as the German woods 
produce far more timber per acre than do the British, the 

* See The Nineteenth Century and After, September, October, and 
December, 1909. 

248 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

German timber production is probably about twenty times 
as large as the British. 

The cultivated area of Germany is 60 piBr cent, larger 
than the British cultivated area. If agriculture were 
equally productive in both countries, Germany should 
produce only 60 per cent, more than does the United 
Kingdom. However, we find that Germany produced 
in 1912 about ten times as much bread-corn as the United 


United Kingdom 


Total area 

Cultivated area .... 
Woods and forests 









Production in 1912. 


United Kingdom 




Wheat and rye .... 






Oats . 



Potatoes . 



Hay . 










Not ascertainable 


Pigs . 



Sheep ..... 



Kingdom, about two-and-a-half times as much barley, 
about three times as much oats, about nine times as much 
potatoes, and about two-and-a-half times as much hay. 
In addition to these comparable crops Germany produced 
about 2,000,000 tons of sugar from nearly 20,000,000 tons 
of beet, and vast quantities of tobacco. 

According to the latest comparable statistics, Germany 
has about twice as much cattle as this country, about two- 
and-a-half times as many milch cows, and about five-and-a- 
half times as many pigs. The United Kingdom is superior 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 249 

to Germany only in sheep, which live largely on derehct 
grass land, and which are of comparatively Httle value, 
five sheep being reckoned equal in value to two pigs. 

Comparison of the figures given shows that on an agri- 
cultural area which is only 60 per cent, larger than that 
of this country, Germany produces approximately three 
times as large a quantity of animal and vegetable food. 
The inferior productiveness of British agriculture is probably 
ascribable to the form of its organisation. German agri- 
culture is based on freehold ownership, British agriculture 
on rent. The sense of property induces German, French, 
and other agriculturists to do their best. Competition 
for freehold farms drives up their price, and the high price 
of land compels Gi3rman and other agriculturists working 
under the freehold system to increase agricultural production 
to the utmost. In Great Britain farmers rent their farms 
at so much a year. The tied-up farms are apt to remain 
unchanged from century to century. Fields remain un- 
altered, and so does cultivation. British farmers follow 
the old routine, and as landowners would make themselves 
unpopular by raising the rent, necessity does not provide 
the stimulus of agricultural progress which the freehold 
system creates in other countries. Largely for psycho- 
logical reasons British agriculture is conservative and 
stagnant. A century ago Arthur Young wrote : * The 
best manure for a field is a high rent.' British landlordism 
is largely responsible for British agricultural stagnation. 
The introduction of the freehold system would raise the 
price of agricultural land and would compel agriculturists 
to double and treble their output. 

If the facts and figures given in these pages are correct — 
I do not think that they can be successfully challenged— 
it follows that Great Britain can easily pay for the War 
by introducing, in all her industries, the best and most 
scientific methods which have been so extraordiuarily suc- 
cessful elsewhere. 

The tax-collector is, as I have stated before, perhaps 

250 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

the most powerful factor of industrial progress. His 
greatly increased demands will compel the employers of 
labour to increase production to the utmost, to replace 
labour-wasting with the best labour-saving machinery, to 
Americanise industry. However, the exertions of the 
employers will prove a failure unless the workers can be 
convinced that they are ruining not only the national 
industries but also themselves by their insane policy of 
antagonising all mechanical improvements and of restricting 
output. The pohticians in power can do much to enable 
employers of all kinds to double and treble production by 
pursuing in economic matters no longer a vote-gaining 
pohcy, but a business poHcy recommended by the ablest 
business men. The expert should replace the amateur 
in shaping and directing national economic pohcy. The 
War might, and ought to, lead not to Great Britain's 
bankruptcy, but to its industrial regeneration. It should 
be followed by a revival of industry similar to that which 
took place after the Great War a century ago. 

The natural resources of the British Empire are un- 
limited. They are far greater than those of the United 
States. Owing to the War and to the stimulus which high 
taxation will provide, a tremendous economic expansion 
should take place both in Great Britain and in the 
Dominions which might place the British Empire 
permanently far ahead of the American Commonwealth. 
However, individual unco-ordinated effort will not bring 
about such a revival. A united national and imperial 
effort under the control of a business Government which 
leads and inspires is needed. If pohticians continue their 
shiftless hand-to-mouth pohcy, if they continue thinking 
mainly of votes and neglecting the permanent interests 
of nation and Empire, the efforts of individuals to recreate 
the British industries and to give to the British Empire 
and to this country a modern economic organisation are 
bound to fail. 

In view of the colossal war expenditure thrift is urgently 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 251 

needed. Unfortunately, the British nation is a very- 
improvident nation. This may be seen from the following 
figures : 

Savings Banks Deposits. 

In the United States 

In Germany 

In the United Kingdom 
























Between 1880 and 1912 the Savings Banks Deposits 
increased in round figures in the United States and in 
Germany by £800,000,000, and in the United Kingdom by 
only £160,000,000, increasing about sixfold in the United 
States, about sevenfold in Germany, and only threefold 
in this country. During the five years from 1907 to 1912 
they increased in round figures in the United States by 
£245,000,000, or 35 per cent. ; in Germany by £240,000,000, 
or 35 per cent. ; and in the United Kingdom by a paltry 
£25,000,000, or 12 per cent. The record of the Savings 
Banks Deposits is particularly humiliating for this country 
if we remember that the German and American workers 
have thousands of miUions in freehold land and houses, 
co-operative societies, &c. 

Of the enormous sums spent upon the War the bulk is 
expended in Great Britain, and goes, with comparatively 
unimportant deductions — the profits made by employers 
and middlemen — ^from the coffers of the well-to-do into 
the pockets of the working masses in the form of wages. 
The Government has exhorted the people repeatedly to 
be thrifty, and it has enforced thrift upon the moneyed 
by very greatly increasing direct taxation. The well-to- 
do are no doubt living more thriftily than they did before 
the War. The working masses are far more prosperous 

252 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

than they have ever been. Wages have risen enormously ; 
but unfortunately the masses save little. They spend 
their vastly increased earnings largely on worthless amuse- 
ments and foolish luxuries. Owing to the wholesale trans- 
ference of capital from the rich to the workers taxation 
should be remodelled.^ It is true that a century ago, in 
the war against France, practically the whole of the increased 
taxation was placed on the shoulders of the opulent. How- 
ever, at that time wages remained low during the war. 
Hence the workers could not contribute much to its costs. 
Now the position is different. Millions which are urgently 
required for defence are wasted recklessly by the masses. 
Universal thrift is needed. The Government should, with- 
out delay, increase thrift among the masses partly by taxing 
worthless amusements, and partly by organising thrift 
among the workers. Here, also, individual attempts 
can achieve Httle. The workers must be taught that they 
should now put by a competence upon which they will 
receive unprecedentedly high interest, especially as great 
and widespread distress may follow the War. Employers 
throughout the country should be prevailed upon by the 
Government to give on the Government's behalf premiums 
for savings. All employers should be requested to induce 
their workers to put as large as possible a portion of their 
increased wages into War stock. Through the employers 
the Government should search out the workers in the 
factories and induce them to put by money week by week 
to their benefit and to that of the nation as a whole. 

On November 2, 1915, Mr. Asquith stated in the House 
of Commons : 

The financial position to-day is serious. The extent to 
which we here in this country are buying goods abroad in 
excess of our exports is more than £30,000,000 per month, 
against an average of about £11,000,000 per month before 
the War ; and at the same time we are making advances to 

^ Many of the reforms advocated in the following pages were introduced 
since their publication in TJie Nineteenth Century review. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 253 

our Allies and to others, which were estimated by my right 
hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget 
speech to amount to a total during the current financial 
year, to say no more of what is to come, to £423,000,000. . . . 
This is a burden which, rich as we are, resourceful as we 
g<re, we cannot go on discharging unless there is on the part 
of the Government, as well as on the part of individuals, 
the most strict and stringent rule of economy, the avoid- 
ance of unnecessary expenditure, the curtailment of charges 
which under normal conditions we should think right and 
necessary, and, if I may use a homely expression, cutting 
our coat according to the cloth with which we have to make 
it. . . . I would once more say with all the emphasis of 
which I am capable, that we cannot sustain the burden 
which this great War has laid upon us unless as indi- 
viduals, as classes, as a community, and as a Government, 
we make and are prepared to make far greater sacrifices 
than we have hitherto done in the direction of retrenchment 
and economy. 

Mr. Asquith thus recommended on November 2, 1915, 
retrenchment and economy in the most emphatic language. 
He informed the nation that thrift and the avoidance of 
unnecessary expenditure was most necessary on the part 
of individuals and the nation as a whole. Yet the nation 
Hves approximately as luxuriously as ever. The well- 
to-do, whose income has been greatly reduced by the War 
and by additional taxation, have curtailed their expenditure 
to some extent, but scarcely sufficiently, while the masses 
of the people spend far more on luxuries than they ever 
did before. Theatres, restaurants, music-halls, picture 
theatres, and pubUc-houses are nightly crowded, and 
working men who are reaping a golden harvest purchase 
for their family gramophones, silk dresses and furs, pianos 
which are often only used for show, &c. Most people 
undoubtedly wish to save, but they spend very freely, 
perhaps not so much from self-indulgence as from mis- 
placed kindness of heart. Men and women hesitate to 
reduce their expenditure on luxuries because such reduction 

254 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

would inflict injury on the providers of luxuries. The 
thousands of millions which will be required for the conduct 
of the War cannot be provided by saving the odd pence. 
They can be found only by the wholesale reduction of 
expenditure on luxuries, by putting the providers of the 
luxuries out of business. An able worker or business man 
can always adjust himself to changed circumstances. 
Dismissed servants will be able to find more useful work 
in shops and factories. Dismissed gardeners can use 
their experience in agriculture to better advantage to the 
nation. Manufacturers of luxuries and their workers, 
and shopkeepers who deal in luxuries, can change the 
character of their trade. It is impossible to carry on 
* business as usual * and to provide the untold miUions 
needed for the War. 

If we compare Great Britain's imports of luxuries 
during the first seven months of 1914 when there was peace, 
with the first seven months of 1915 when she was at war, 
we find the following : 

Importé during Seven Months up to July 






Poultry and game .... 



Tinned sardines 



Grapes . 



Almonds . 



Oranges . 



Cocoa manufactures 






Raisins . 



Fruit preserved in sugar 



Confectionery . 



Ornamental feathers . 



Fresh flowers . 






Cinema films, &c. 



Watches and parts . 



Silk manufactures . 



Glacé kid 



Gloves .... 



Motor cars, and parts 



Great Problems of British Statesmanship 255 

The few items in this list are representative. Space 
does not permit to analyse the imports of luxuries in greater 
detail. Production has been thrown out of gear throughout 
the world. Hence the imports of Great Britain have 
been reduced largely because the exporting nations could 
not export as usual. Many of the luxuries imported into 
Great Britain come from France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, 
Italy, and Turkey. A glance at this list shows that in 
some instances the imports of luxuries have fallen severely, 
perhaps because the exporting countries could not send 
the goods. In other cases the imports of luxuries are as 
large as usual or even larger than usual. The importation 
of almonds, oranges, chocolates, currants, raisins, fruit 
preserved in sugar, greatly increased notwithstanding the 
War, while the imports of manufactured silks, confectionery, 
flowers, watches, and motor cars and parts diminished only 
sUghtly. If the consumption of imported luxuries was 
very much as usual, we may safely estimate that the con- 
sumption of home-made luxuries was also very much as 

Luxurious expenditure cannot easily be checked by 
voluntary effort, but it can easily be diminished by legisla- 
tion. Amusements, especially those of the worthless kind, 
might be taxed, and the importation of foreign luxuries 
can be stopped completely, or almost completely, by 
prohibitive enactments. A short while ago the Govern- 
ment explained in the House of Commons that in blockading 
Germany foreign luxuries were not stopped because their 
importation, while not increasing Germany's military 
strength, weakened and damaged her financial position. 
One of the greatest financial problems for England consists 
in paying for her enormous imports. The most obvious 
step for improving Great Britain's financial position consists 
in ruthlessly cutting off the importation of all imported 
luxuries. The import duties put on motor cars, cine- 
matograph films, &c., are a small step in the right direction. 
Import duties should without delay be put on all imported 

256 Britain's War Finance and Economic Future 

luxuries, and even on those manufactured necessities 
which can be produced in this country. The question of 
fiscal purism, the question of Free Trade and Tariff Eeform, 
questions of party politics and of vote-catching, should 
not be allowed to undermine the financial position of this 
country at a time when it fights for its very life. 

The War is costing Great Britain about £2,000,000,000 
a year. It will probably before long cost considerably 
more. This country will, as I have endeavoured to show, 
be able to make up, and more than make up, for her War 
expenditure, however large it may be, by vastly increasing 
production, by reorganising, by Americanising, her industries. 
But the victory of the Entente Powers obviously depends 
very largely on Britain's financial strength. The immediate 
need of the country is therefore labour and thrift. Strenuous 
labour and careful thrift are required to tide this nation 
over the anxious months of war which will determine 
whether the world will become German or Anglo-Saxon, 
subject or ^ free. 


Britain's coming industrial supremacy ^ 

It seems likely that the War will swallow approximately one- 
half of Great Britain's national wealth. So far it has cost 
this country more than £3,000,000,000. Before it is over 
the British war expenditure may be increased to 
£5,000,000,000 or £6,000,000,000. To that gigantic sum 
will have to be added pensions for incapacitated soldiers, 
war widows, and orphans, and compensation for losses 
caused by the War, which together may require another 
£1,000,000,000. If, finally, we make due allowance for the 
financial value of the precious lives lost it will appear that 
the War will absorb about £7,500,000,000, a sum which is 
approximately equal to one-half of Great Britain's national 

Opinions as to the economic consequences of the War are 
divided. Some assert that the gigantic losses incurred will 
industrially cripple Great Britain and all Europe and that, 
they will greatly strengthen the industrial and financial 
predominance of the United States. They tell us that 
Great Britain will decUne economically and politically, 
and become another Belgium ; that the United States will 
become the leading Anglo-Saxon nation for the same reason 
for which Carthage became the heir to the world empire 
created by Phoenicia, her mother State ; that Washington 
will eventually become the capital of a great Empire ; that 
war-ruined and pauperised Europe will become practically 
an American dependency ; that the world will become 

* The Nineteenth Century and After, October, 1916. 

\ 257 s 

258 Britain's Coming Industrial Supremacy 

American. That view is widely held on the other side of 
the Atlantic, where it is causing lively satisfaction. Other 
people vaguely believe that Great Britain is * the richest 
country in the world/ and that the United Kingdom can 
easily bear the gigantic financial burden which the World 
War has laid upon its shoulders. In considering a great 
economic problem the doctrinaire turns to theory while the 
practical statesman applies to experience for guidance. 
Experience is no doubt the safer guide. Let us then con- 
sider the problem of the economic future from the practical, 
and particularly from the British, point of view. 

The widely held opinion that Great Britain is * the richest 
country in the world * is erroneous. According to the 
* World Almanac and Encyclopedia ' of 1916, the American 
equivalent of ' Whitaker's Almanack,' the national wealth 
of the British Isles, the British Empire, and the United States 
is as follows : 


United Kingdom 17,000,000,000 

British Empire 26,000,000,000 

United States . . . " . . . 37,547,800,000 

From the same source we learn that the insurances in 
force came to £6,281,120,800 in the United States and only 
to £1,174,042,400 in Great Britain. 

According to the American estimate the wealth of the 
United States is considerably more than twice as great as 
that of the United Kingdom, and is nearly 50 per cent, larger 
than that of the British Empire as a whole. As, during 
recent years, American wealth has been growing about 
three times as fast as British wealth, there is apparently 
much reason for believing that, owing to the heavy handicap 
imposed upon the United Kingdom by the War, the United 
States will in future outpace economic Great Britain at a 
faster and more furious rate than ever. 

Let us glance at the foundations of America's vast 

The United States are infinitely richer than Great 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 259 

Britain because they possess a greater population and far 
greater developed natural resources. While Great Britain has 
47,000,000 inhabitants the United States have 105,000,000 
people. In man-power the United States are more than 
twice as strong as the United Kingdom. Only 6 per cent, 
of the inhabitants of the world are Americans, yet among 
the nations of the earth the United States are the largest 
producers of wheat, maize, oats, tobacco, cotton, timber, 
cattle, pigs, coal, petroleum, iron and steel, copper, silver, 
zinc, lead, aluminium, woollen and cotton goods, leather, 
silk, &c. The relatively small number of Americans produce 
one- fifth of the world's wheat, gold and silver, one- fourth of 
the world's zinc, one- third of the world's oats, iron ore, pig 
iron, and lead, two-fifths of the world's steel, coal, and 
tobacco, one-half of the world's aluminium, three-fifths of 
the world's copper, two-thirds of the world's cotton, pe- 
troleum, and maize. * God's own country,' as the Americans 
call it, has indeed been blessed. 

The United States are far ahead of all other nations not 
only in developed and exploited natural resources but also in 
mechanical outfit. The engine-power of the United States 
is vastly superior to that of Great Britain and of the British 
Empire. According to the last British and American 
Censuses of Production the manufacturing industries of 
the United States employ 18,675,376 horse-powers, while 
the British industries employ only 8,083,841. I have shown 
in the previous chapter that per thousand workers the 
American industries employ from two to three times as 
many horse-powers as do the identical British industries. 
An even greater superiority in the employment of labour- 
saving machinery will be found in mining, agriculture, 
inland transport, &c. Besides, the United States have avail- 
able in their water-falls at least 40,000,000 horse-powers, 
of which, in 1908, 5,356,680 horse-powers were developed, 
while the water-powers possessed by the United Kingdom 
are quite insignificant. America's superiority in mechanical 

260 Britain's Coming Industrial Supremacy 

outfit may perhaps best be gauged from the following 
remarkable figures : 

United Kingdom 
British Empire 
All Europe 
United States . 
The World 

Miles of Railway. 


It is noteworthy that the 105,000,000 Americans have 
more miles of railway than the 440,000,000 citizens of the 
British Empire and the 600,000,000 inhabitants of all 
Europe. Several private railway systems, such as the 
Pennsylvania System, the Harriman System, the Gould 
System, and the Moore-Eeid System, have about as many 
miles of railway as has the whole of the United Kingdom, 
while the mileage of the Vanderbilt System is actually 10 
per cent, larger than that of the United Kingdom. Great 
Britain has 780,512 telephones, while the United States 
have no less than 9,552,107 telephones. 

National wealth is either developed or undeveloped, 
either exploited or latent. The statistics as to the wealth 
of nations given refer, of course, only to the former, not to 
the latter, for the latent wealth is not susceptible to statistical 
measurement. America owes her vast wealth not to the 
fact that she has exceptionally great natural resources, 
but to the fact that her natural resources have been exploited 
with the utmost energy. That may be gauged from the 
figures of American engine and water power and from the 
railway and telephone statistics given. Measured by 
undeveloped and unex'ploited resources, by latent wealth, 
the British Empire, Eussia, and perhaps China also, are 
far richer than the United States. The United States, 
including Alaska, Hawaii, and Porto Eico, have an area 
of 3,574,658 square miles, while the British Empire, not 
including the Colonies conquered from Germany, com- 
prises no less than 12,808,994 square miles. Providence has 
distributed its favours fairly evenly. There is no reason 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 261 

for believing that the United States have been given an 
unduly great share of the good things of this world. We 
may therefore conclude that the British Empire, though 
actually much poorer, is potentially much richer than the 
United States. 

In developed and exploited resources the United States 
are undoubtedly far ahead of the British Empire, but in 
undeveloped and unexfloited resources the British Empire 
is undoubtedly far ahead of the United States. It is wrong 
to say that Great Britain is the richest country in the world, 
but it may safely be asserted that, by its extent and natural 
resources, the British Empire, which spreads through all 
climes, possesses the greatest potential national wealth in 
the world. It is therefore obvious that the incomparable 
latent riches of the Empire may be converted into actual 
wealth and power, provided they are vigorously and wisely 

Wealth depends after all not so much on the possession 
of great natural resources as on the action of men. Two 
centuries ago wealthy North America nourished only a 
few thousand roving Indians and a small number of white 
settlers and traders. An Indian, a Chinaman, or a Kafi&r 
who, engaged at his home in agriculture or in manufacturing 
in the literal meaning of the word, produces perhaps a 
shillingsworth of wealth per day, will learn in a few weeks 
to produce thirty or forty shillingsworth of wealth per day 
if transferred to Great Britain or the United States. Land 
and natural resources are limited, but wealth production by 
the employment of the most modern methods is absolutely 
unlimited. In certain industries a single man can produce 
now more wealth than could a thousand men a century 
ago. Yet fifty years hence men may look with the same 
surprise at the automatic loom or the steam-hammer with 
which we look now at the hand-loom and the hand-forge. 

The British Empire resembles the United States in 
many respects. Both extend through all cUmes. Both 
possess vast and thinly populated areas endowed with 

262 Britain's Coming Industrial Supremacy 

the greatest agricultural, sylvan, mineral, industrial, and 
commercial possibilities. In both only a few small patches 
are reserved to the manufacturing industries. In view of 
the resemblance of the United States and the British Empire 
it is clear that Britain may learn much from the example 
set by the Great Republic in the development of its natural 
resources. Moreover, half a century ago the United States 
passed through an experience similar to that through which 
Great Britain and the Empire are passing at present. The 
Civil War of 1861-1865, as I have shown in the chapter 
entitled * How America became a Nation in Arms,' de- 
stroyed about a million lives at a time when the United 
States had less than 85,000,000 white and coloured in- 
habitants, and cost altogether about £2,000,000,000. In 
1860 the national wealth of the United States amounted, 
according to the Census, to only £3,231,923,214. It 
follows that the Civil War cost a sum equivalent to two- 
thirds of America's national wealth. Yet the war did not 
impoverish the country, but, incredible as it may sound, 
greatly enriched it. I shall endeavour to show that the 
Civil War created the impetus which made the United 
States the richest nation in the world, and that the present 
War will vastly benefit the allied nations, and especially 
the British Empire, provided they will profit by the great 
and invaluable lesson furnished by the United States. 

In the tenth volume of the excellent * Life of Abraham 
Lincoln,' written by Messrs. Nicolay and Hay, we read : 
* The expense of the war to the Union (the Northern States) 
over and above the ordinary expenditure was about 
$3,250,000,000 ; to the Confederacy (the Southern States) 
less than half that amount, about $1,500,000,000.' Accord- 
ing to the latest accounts the Civil War pensions, which 
required $164,887,941 in 1915, have hitherto absorbed 
$4,614,643,266, or nearly £1,000,000,000, and the pay- 
ments will go on for many years to come. If we add to 
these gigantic figures the increased local expenditure in 
the United States during the war, the valuable property 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 263 

destroyed in the fighting, and the financial value of almost 
a million lives lost, it will be seen that the war has cost 
the United States vastly more than £2,000,000,000. The 
war absolutely ruined the wealthy cotton, sugar, and tobacco 
industries of the South, pauperised the Southern States, 
led to the destruction of innumerable farms and buildings 
in the war zone, destroyed America's shipping, closed the 
Southern markets to the commerce of the North and 
seriously hampered agriculture throughout the Union 
because millions of able-bodied men were drafted into the 
Army. How disastrously American agriculture was affected 
by the Civil War can best be seen from the Livestock 
Statistics, which give the following picture : 

Farm Animal». 







1860 . 
1867 . 






Owing to the necessity of war agriculture in general 
had to be largely neglected. Discrimination was necessary 
between the essential and non-essential. The vast demand 
for wool for uniforms made necessary an increase in sheep. 
Their number grew during the war by 17,000,000. Other 
animals had to be neglected. Hence the number of cattle 
declined by 5,500,000, horses dechned by 850,000, mules 
by 350,000, and pigs by 9,000,000. While production and 
trade suffered in many directions, national expenditure and 
taxation increased at an unprecedented and almost incredible 
rate. The financial burden caused by the war may be 
summarised in the fewest possible figures as follows : 

National Expenditure 

Cost of Army 

Cost of Navy 







264 Britairûs Corning Industrial Supremacy 


PubUc Debt 

Annual Interest on Debt 





In five short years the national expenditure of the 
United States increased a little more than twenty-fold, 
chiefly owing to the cost of the army, which increased more 
than sixty-fold. During the same period the pubhc debt 
and the interest payable on it grew more than forty-fold. 
To provide for this colossal financial burden the American 
national revenue was increased from $41,476,299 in 1861 
to $112,094,946 in 1863, to $322,031,158 in 1865, and to 
$519,949,564 in 1866. In five years it grew almost thirteen- 
fold. However, notwithstanding the total ruin of the South, 
and the hampering influence of the war in the North, 
the national wealth of the United States grew at a pro- 
digious rate between 1860 and 1870, the Census years. 
According to the Censuses the real and personal estate of 
the Americans compared in the two years as follows : 

National Wealth 


Wealth per Head 

I860 . 
1870 . 





Of the ten years under consideration four years, except 
a few days, were occupied by the devastating war. Yet the 
national wealth of the United States almost doubled during 
the decade, and the wealth per head of population increased 
by almost 60 per cent. This is particularly marvellous in 
view of the fact that large districts of the United States 
were far poorer in 1870 than in 1860, for the enormous 
ravages caused in the South could not quickly be repaired. 
By * great divisions ' the wealth per head was changed. 
This change is shown in the tables on page 265. 

It will be noticed that wealth per head increased at a 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 265 

moderate rate in the North-Central and Western States, 
which are chiefly devoted to agriculture, while it increased 
at an enormous rate in the North Atlantic Division, the 
principal seat of the manufacturing industries and com- 
merce. On the other hand wealth per head dechned disas- 

United States 

N. Atlantic 

N. Central 

S. Atlantic 

I860 .... 
1870 .... 





South Central States 

Western States 





trously in the South Atlantic and the South-Central Divisions, 
the home of the defeated slave-holding States. 

As the comparisons given are perhaps a httle too summary 
it will be worth while to compare the wealth of some of the 
more important States in 1860 and 1870. According to the 
United States Censuses their wealth has changed very 
unequally. Statistics will be found on page 266. 

While during the decade the wealth of the Southern 
States shrunk to one-half and even to one-third notwith- 
standing six years of peace, the wealth of the Northern 
States increased prodigiously. That of Illinois, Massa- 
chusetts, and Pennsylvania grew two-and-a-half-fold, 
that of New York increased three-and-a-half-fold, and 
the wealth of the ' new ' agricultural States in the West 
grew even more quickly. The wealth of Kansas increased 
sixfold, and that of Nebraska nearly eightfold. During 
the decade 1860-1870 the wealth of the manufacturing 
States and of the wheat-growing States of the Far West 
grew at an unprecedented rate. The simultaneous develop- 
ment of industry and agriculture during the decade 1860- 

266 BritairCs Coming Industrial Supremacy 

1870 coincided with, and was chiefly due to, the American 
Civil War. That is recognised by many scientists and writers 
who have studied that period. Mr. E. L. Bogart, in his 
* Economic History of the United States/ wrote : 

The Civil War, by practically cutting off foreign inter- 
course, immensely hastened the growth of domestic indus- 

Southern States. 




Georgia ..... 


Mississippi. .... 
South Carolina .... 



Northern States. 





Connecticut .... 



Illinois . 



Indiana . 






Kansas . 









Missouri . 






New York 









Wisconsin .... 



tries. The industrial revolution thus inaugurated has been 
compared with that in England one hundred years before. 
It certainly marks a turning-point in the economic develop- 
ment of the country as distinct as that in political life and 
more significant in its effects than the earlier industrial 
revolution, introduced in this country fifty years before by 
the restrictive period. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 267 

Another American writer, Katharine Coman, stated in 
her ' Industrial History of the United States ' : 

The war demands, coupled with the protective tariff, 
induced an extraordinary activity in every department of 
business enterprise. Universal buoyancy and unbounded 
confidence in the future rendered it easy to borrow money 
at home and abroad. European capitalists invested readily 
in the United States securities, railroad bonds and mining 
stock, and the resources of the country were exploited as 
never before. 

Theodor Vogelstein wrote in his book * Organisations- 
formen der Eisenindustrie und Textilindustrie in England 
und Amerika ' (Leipzig, 1910) : 

The manufacturing industries of the North came out 
of the war in a splendid condition. The enormous exertions 
made during the struggle, by which more than a milUon of 
the best workers were withdrawn from economic life, pro- 
moted the replacing of human labour by machine labour 
to an unusual extent. The necessity of paying interest 
on the large loans raised abroad naturally stimulated very 
greatly the export trade. On the other hand, imports, 
except of such goods as were required for the army, suffered. 
Lastly, the war brought with it a system of rigid protection, 
of a protection more severe than any American manufacturer 
would have thought possible in his wildest dreams. One of 
the greatest errors which one may encounter over and over 
again, even in scientific publications, is the idea that rigid 
American protectionism was created in 1890. ... It is 
no mere coincidence that 1866, when Congress began to 
abolish internal war taxes, and left unaltered the corre- 
sponding import duties, saw the rise of the first American 

When hostilities began between the North and the South, 
the United States had only a few thousand troops, and were 
utterly unprepared for the gigantic struggle. The vastness 
of the conflict, the employment of millions of soldiers, 
naturally created an enormous demand for weapojis, and 

268 Britain'^ s Coming Industrial Supremacy 

munitions, vehicles, railways, telegraphs, and manufactures 
of every kind. As the American foreign trade was very 
seriously restricted through reasons which will be discussed 
further on, and as the majority of the able-bodied men were 
withdrawn from the economic activities and enrolled in 
the army, a greatly reduced number of workers in field and 
factory had suddenly to provide an immensely increased 
output. The necessity of vastly increasing individual 
production compelled employers to introduce the most 
perfect and the most powerful labour-saving machinery 
available both in agriculture and in industry. Professor 
E. D. Fite wrote in his excellent book * Social and Industrial 
Conditions in the North during the Civil War ' : 

Three things saved the harvest : the increased use of 
labour-saving machinery, the work of women in the fields, 
and the continued influx of new population. 

Up to this time the use of reaping machines had been 
confined almost entirely to some of the large farms of the 
West. . . . Grain was generally sown by hand. These 
processes required the work of many men, so that when the 
able-bodied began to go to war, with large harvests left to 
garner, new methods and new implements were absolutely 
necessary if the crops were to be saved. 

Immediately interest in labour-saving machinery and 
in the relative merits of the different machines became 
widespread, and next to enthusiasm over abounding crops 
in time of war was the most striking characteristic of the 
world of agriculture. . . . The old apathy was gone. The 
war suddenly had popularised methods of cultivation in 
which the agricultural papers had striven in vain for a decade 
to arouse interest. 

The Scientific American of February 12, 1864, stated : 

The total number of mowers manufactured increased 
from 35,000 in 1862 and 40,000 in 1863 to 70,000 in 1864 ; 
estimating the number for 1861 at 20,000, this would make 
the number for the four years 165,000, compared with 85,000 
the number made in the preceding ten or twelve years. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 269 

Owing to the great improvements in agricultural 
machinery, agricultural production increased rapidly, and 
the losses caused by the war were soon made good. I have 
shown in the beginning of this chapter that between 1860 
and 1867 the number of cattle, horses, mules, and pigs de- 
creased very severely owing to the war. Between 1867 
and 1877 the number of farm animals increased rapidly, as 
follows : 

Farm Animals. 













The great improvement in agricultural apphances and 
machinery enabled a few men to do the work of many. 
The steam plough, the seed-casting machine, the reaper, 
the self-binder, and the railway made possible the opening 
and the vigorous exploitation of the rich agricultural plains 
of the West, notwithstanding the scarcity and the dearness 
of labour and the inaccessibihty of the far-away interior. 
But for these machines the enormous agricultural wealth of 
the North American prairies would still be unutiHsed. 

The Civil War gave a powerful stimulus to the develop- 
ment of the American railway system, especially as transport 
by the ^Mississippi was interrupted by the war, for the 
mouth of that mighty river was in the hands of the rebels. 
Professor Fite has told us : 

The Mississippi formerly had been the outlet, carrying the 
grain and other produce to New Orleans, whence it was 
distributed in all directions. After the war closed the river, 
if the railroads had not been in existence, the West would 
have been isolated without a market ; and it was believed 
by some that, rather than lose this, the section would have 
followed its market into secession. . . . 

The new routes of trade to the Atlantic coast were 

270 Britain's Coming Industrial Supremacy 

developed rapidly indeed, thanks to the wonderful increase of 
the crops even more than to the closing of the river. . . . 
The receipts and shipments of the port of Chicago grew 
apace, and were typical of the growth of the new routes 
eastward. Starting in 1838 with a shipment of 78 bushels 
of wheat, and gradually thereafter increasing her shipments, 
but never before 1860 sending out over 10,000,000 bushels 
of wheat and wheat flour, this new city in each year of the 
war shipped on the average 20,000,000 bushels of wheat 
and wheat flour ; her yearly corn exports, in the past never 
above 11,000,000 bushels, now averaged 25,000,000 bushels. 

The closing of the Mississippi route, the abundance of the 
harvests and the vast transport requirements of the Army 
very greatly increased the pressure of railway traffic. It 
could be handled only by greatly increasing the efficiency 
of the railroads. Necessity thus led to the introduction of 
scientific railway management. Hitherto railways had 
been built haphazard by enterprising capitalists. Unre- 
stricted individualism and the desire to hamper competitors 
had led to the introduction of at least eight different gauges, 
which varied from 4 feet 8J inches to 6 feet. The war 
forced the railways to combine and to adopt a single gauge. 

The standardisation of railways was gradually evolved. 
An Imperial railway system was created which found its 
highest expression in the Interstate Commerce Commission 
of 1887. The United States have private railways, but an 
Imperial railway system owing to the supervision and control 
exercised by the Interstate Commerce Commission through- 
out the Union. During the war the weak iron rails, which 
rapidly wore out, vere replaced by heavier iron and especially 
by steel rails. Stations, goods yards, and sidings were 
enlarged. MiHtary and economic pressure made the rapid 
extension of the railway system indispensable. Notwith- 
standing the war the length of the American railways was 
increased from 30,626 miles in 1860 to 36,801 miles in 1866, 
or by 20 per cent. In consequence of the vast increase in 
railway business and of the improvements in handling 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 271 

the traffic which were introduced the American railways 
flourished greatly during the war. The American Railway 
Becord of January 8, 1863, wrote, in reviewing the year 
1862 : 

The year 1862 will ever be remembered in railroading 
as one of the most prosperous that has ever been known. 
The railroads never earned so much in the whole course 
of their existence as they have during this much-dreaded 

The American Railroad Journal of January 2, 1864, 
declared in reviewing the business of the year 1863 : 

The railway system has greatly flourished the past year. 
The Companies have got out of debt or largely diminished 
their indebtedness, their earnings are increasing, their 
dividends have become regular and inviting. The past 
year has been, therefore, the most prosperous ever known 
to American railways. 

Modem war is carried on by weapons and by machines. 
It is fought quite as much in the factory as in the field. The 
Civil War, while greatly promoting the development of 
America's agriculture and of the American railways, had 
not unnaturally the most far-reaching and the most strik- 
ing effects upon the American manufacturing industries. 
Without their help the North could not possibly have won 
the war. Before 1861 the United States manufactured 
little. They imported vast quantities of manufactured 
goods of every kind from Europe, chiefly from Great Britain. 
Therefore, when the war broke out the Americans found that 
they lacked not only weapons and ammunition but wool 
and cloth for uniforms, boots, &c., as well. 

The heavy cost of imported goods, the unfavourable 
position of the American exchange, and the disincHnation 
to buy the commodities needed at an extortionate price 
and a ruinous exchange in Europe made necessary not only 
the rapid creation of war industries but that of general 

272 Britain's Coming Industrial Supremacy 

manufacturing industries as well. The war had totally 
disorganised America's foreign trade. It had stopped the 
exports of cotton, tobacco, and sugar which were produced 
in the revolted South, with which foreign imports were very 
largely paid for. How seriously America's foreign trade 
had been affected thereby may be seen by the fact that 
American exports shrank from $333,576,057 in 1860 to only 
$166,029,303 in 1865. They declined to one-half. During 
the same period imports were reduced from $353,616,119 
to $238,745,580. However, soon after the war the American 
export trade expanded rapidly. 

In view of the total disorganisation of the foreign trade 
and of the foreign exchange the United States were no longer 
able to buy manufactured goods in Europe and to pay for 
them chiefly with cotton, sugar, and tobacco. Necessity 
forced them to become self-supporting as far as possible. 
To encourage the American industries to produce those 
goods which hitherto were imported from abroad the 
American Government took a step comparable to that 
which the British Government took during the present War. 
With the intention of discouraging imports heavy taxes were 
imposed upon imported goods. The change effected in 
America's Fiscal Policy, owing to the stress of war, may be 
seen at a glance by the following table : 


Customs Receipts 

Daties per cent, 
ad valorem 





















It will be noticed that the ad valorem duties were twice 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 273 

as high in 1862 as in 1861, and that they were considerably 
increased in 1865. Since then import duties have on an 
average been only little below 50 per cent, ad valorem on 
dutiable articles. Only during the last few years has the 
duty declined to an average of about 40 per cent. 

Before the Civil War iron and iron ware had been one of 
the principal American imports. The Civil War laid the 
foundations of the gigantic iron and steel industry of the 
United States which is at present by far the largest in the 
world. Professor Fite wrote : 

The progress of manufactures involving the raw materials 
of the mines was marked. Iron was used in all branches of 
manufacturing, and its growing consumption was an indica- 
tion of general industrial progress. ... Of all the flourish- 
ing centres of iron manufacturing Pittsburg was the largest ; 
here in one year six extensive iron mills were erected, and in 
the last year and a half of the war $26,000,000 worth of 
iron and steel were manufactured. 

The report of the American Iron and Steel Association 
of 1871 stated : 

In 1860 205,000 tons of iron rails were made in the 
United States, the largest amount ever made in any one 
year up to that time ; 187,000 tons were made in 1861, 
213,000 tons in 1862, 275,000 tons in 1863, 335,000 tons 
in 1864, and 356,000 tons in 1865. In 1853 importations 
reached 358,000 tons, the highest figure reached in the 
'fifties ; 146,000 tons were imported in 1860, 89,000 tons in 
1861, 10,000 tons in 1862, 20,000 tons in 1863, 146,000 tons 
in 1864, and 63,000 tons in 1865. 

The Civil War was instrumental in creating the gigantic 
American clothing and boot and shoe industries. Professor 
Fite tells us : 

At first uniforms were very scarce ; in the various 
United States garrisons, when the war came, there were 
only enough on hand to accommodate the regular army of 
13,000 men, and but few factories were fitted for making 

274 Britain's Coming Industrial Supremacy 

cloth for military purposes. . . . When the War Depart- 
ment made heavy purchases of army cloth in England and 
France in order to meet the crisis, the almost savage cry arose 
in some quarters : * Patronise home industries.' . . . 

In the succeeding years the woollen factories were able 
to cope with the situation, and no more complaints were 
heard ; the millions of soldiers were clad in products of the 
country's own mills. The annual military consumption 
of wool in the height of the war was 75,000,000 pounds, for 
domestic purposes 138,000,000 pounds more, a total con- 
sumption for all purposes of over 200,000,000 pounds, against 
85,000,000 pounds in times of peace. 

The progress of the woollen factories, most of them 
located in New York and New England, was enormous ; 
every mill was worked to its fullest capacity, many working 
night and day, Sunday included. In all 2000 sets of new 
cards were erected, representing many new mills. As the 
report of the New York Chamber of Commerce said, the 
progress seemed scarcely credible. . . . 

The ready-made clothing industry was as necessary for 
clothing the army as were the sheep farms and the woollen 
mills. . . . The trade thus created did supplant importa- 
tions from the East side of London. By the middle of the 
war the importations ceased, and then the country succeeded 
in clothing its army of over a million men almost entirely 
by native industry, not only furnishing a large percentage 
of the wool for manufacturing all the cloth, but making the 

Much of this success was doubtless due to the sewing 
machine then but recently invented. . . . The manufacture 
of clothing was greatly stimulated. Men's shirts, which 
required fourteen hours and twenty minutes for making 
by hand, by the machine could be made in one hour and 
sixteen minutes. . . . 

The shoe industry likewise benefited by the sewing 
machine ; in fact, was converted by it from a system 
of household manufacture to the modern factory system. 

During the Civil War British cotton thread, which 
hitherto had had practically a monopoly in the United States; 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 275 

was replaced by American cotton thread. In the words of 
Professor Fite : 

Cotton thread continued to be used, with the more or 
less complete substitution of American-made for the English- 
made product, which had been almost the only thread sold 
before the war. Through the influence of the heavy war 
tariff three-fourths of the market came to be supplied 
from home. The advance in the price of * Coats,' which 
finally reached four times its old value, created a chance 
for American manufacturers, which was readily seized upon, 
and a vast new industry sprang up ; the Willimantic 
Company, with a new plant worth $1,000,000, Green 
& Daniels, and other firms appeared. At Newark, New 
Jersey, an English firm built a very large plant to manu- 
facture their product on this side of the tariff wall and thus 
reap its advantages. 

The huge modern meat-packing industry of Chicago also 
was greatly stimulated, if not created, by thé war. Professor 
Fite wrote : 

Progress in hog-packing was centred chiefly in Chicago. 
The industry here had been progressing slowly for almost 
thirty years, when suddenly, as the result of the unusual 
transportation conditions arising out of the closing of the 
Mississippi Eiver, the yearly output rose from 270,000 hogs 
in 1860, the largest number packed in any one year before 
the war, to 900,000. 

Many other industries, too numerous to mention, owed 
their creation, or their powerful expansion, to the war. 

Industrial efficiency and productiveness are increased 
not only by improved labour-saving machinery but by an 
improved organisation as well. Industrial co-operation 
and the division of labour can be carried to the greatest 
perfection only by a concentration of energy and direction, 
by manufacturing on a large scale, by eliminating unnecessary 
and therefore wasteful competition. Owing to the pressure 

276 Britain's Coming Industrial Supremacy 

of the war a powerful tendency towards industrial con- 
solidation arose. Professor Fite has told us : 

As soon as expansion set in it was evident that the 
existing industrial machinery was inadequate to the tasks 
imposed upon it. Industrial enterprises in the past under a 
system of free competition had been very numerous, and 
each had been conducted on a small scale ; there was no 
unity of effort in allied lines and over large areas of territory, 
while in some cases unwise laws had created inequalities. 
This lack of unity needed to be corrected, more harmony 
among common interests introduced, and unequal privileges 
swept away, if business was to be transacted on an increased 
scale. This was the fundamental reason for the sudden and 
pronounced tendency towards consolidation that charac- 
terised the world of capital as soon as the war began, although 
other factors doubtless contributed to the same end, such 
as internal taxes, large fortunes, the progress of inventions, 
peculiar transportation conditions, the tariff, high prices, and 
the assaults of the labouring classes. . . . 

When once started, concentration of manufacturing 
went on swiftly. Soon after the war was over the special 
commissioner of the revenue noted a rapid concentration 
of the business of manufacturing into single vast estab- 
lishments and an utter annihilation of thousands of little 
separate industries, the existence of which was formerly a 
characteristic of the older sections of the country. . . . 

Never in the history of the country up to that time had 
there been such a strong tendency towards united and har- 
monious action on the part of the employing classes, whether 
this resulted in a complete merging of one company into 
another or looser and more temporary organisations to 
consider the subject of prices, internal taxes, the tariff, 
or wages ; never had there been such an incentive to 
consolidation and union. Combination in every hne was 
the tendency of the hour. A determination was growing 
to merge small, isolated units, often hostile to each other, 
into larger and more harmonious groups ; big corporations 
supplanted smaller ones ; things were done on a more exten- 
sive scale than had ever before been attempted. Although 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 277 

the new spirit appeared suddenly, it did its work thoroughly, 
and while it was not carried as far as at the present time, 
it must still be recognised that its advent created a new 
epoch in industrial and commercial life, the foundation for 
all that has come later. There was a definite turning away 
from the independent self-reliant localism and small units 
of the past, a decided right-about toward centralisation. . . . 

Another element entering into the situation was the 
peculiar effects of internal taxes. There was a tax on the 
sales of most industrial products, placed finally at 6 per cent. 
ad valorem, which bore heavily on manufacturers, inas- 
much as most products represented more than one process of 
manufacture. . . . 

The manufacturer with little capital, who could afford 
only a small establishment, was discriminated against in 
favour of the rich man ; if the cotton manufacturer could 
afford not only to spin but also to weave, he escaped one 
tax ; if he could have his own dyeworks, he escaped another 
tax. Such a man, after enlarging his plant, could undersell 
his poor neighbour. Concentration in manufacturing, there- 
fore, came to be the rule, for the more nearly complete and 
comprehensive the plant, the less was the tax. 

During the Civil War the American manufacturing in- 
dustries expanded with almost incredible vigour. Professor 
Fite briefly summed up the principal causes of their expansion 
in the follow^ing words : 

For this progress of manufacturing there were many 
reasons. First, the ordinary needs of the country were 
greater than usual. . . . 

Then the paper money régime was in full swing, and 
money was plenty and prices soaring. There was, too, the 
incentive of the tariff, not a session of Congress passing 
without some raising of these bars to foreigners. Every 
manufacturer, great and small, was conscious of more 
buoyancy and freedom as he realised that under the cloak 
of the supposed needs of revenue with which to wage the 
war he was rapidly dispensing with foreign competition 
with all its attendant risks ; examples of industries benefited 
in this way were sugar, thread, iron, steel rail, and woollen 

278 Britain's Coming Industrial Supremacy 

manufacturing. But greatest of all incentives were Govern- 
ment contracts, which generally have a way of bringing 
higher prices than ordinary sales, and which at this time 
became more and more lucrative as foreigners were effectually 
barred from competition. Fortunate the manufacturer who 
had such contracts, and small the number who did not 
have them. Contemporary opinion plainly inclined to the 
view that a Government contract was the manufacturer's 
greatest opportunity. 

The best and the most imposing picture of the pro- 
gress of the American manufacturing industries during the 
decade in which the Civil War occurred is furnished by 
the dry statistics of the American Censuses of 1860 and 
1870. While Professor Fite in his excellent accoimt describes 
to us the causes, the Censuses merely give the facts. They 
confirm the views expressed by Professor Fite and they 
show the following remarkable and almost unbehevable 
progress during a period of war : 



Manufacturing establishments 

Capital employed 

Hands employed 

Wages paid .... 

Value of products 











Between 1860 and 1870 the number of manufacturing 
establishments increased by 80 per cent, and their capital 
was more than doubled. The number of hands employed 
increased by 55 per cent., and the wages paid to them and 
the value of products turned out increased each by more 
than 100 per cent. That is truly a wonderful record. The 
figures given prove conclusively that the Civil War, not- 
withstanding its destructiveness and huge cost, did not 
ruin the American industries but caused their rise and 

As the table given treats summarily the American 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 279 

industries as a whole, their progress can perhaps more 
correctly be gauged by a more detailed comparison of their 
output according to the Censuses : 

Value of Industrial Production, 

In 1860 

In 1870 



Agricultural implements 



Bricks and tiles . 






Cotton goods 



Indiarubber goods 



Pig iron 



Rolled iron . 



Cast iron 



Forged iron. 






Machinery . 



Nails and tacks . 



Sewing machines . 



Silk manufactures 



Steel . 



Tobacco and snuff 



Tobacco and cigars 



Woollen goods 



Worsted goods . 



Comparison of the figures given shows that between 
1860 and 1870 the production of agricultural implements, 
bricks and tiles, indiarubber goods, pig iron, cast iron, 
machinery, sewing machines, cigars and woollen goods 
increased threefold, that the production of rolled iron and 
forged iron increased fourfold, and that the output of 
steel and worsted goods increased no less than sixfold. 
These figures, which have not been picked in order to make 
a case, but which are all those given in the American Censuses, 
prove that the war enormously benefited the American 
manufacturing industries, that the great struggle between 
the North and the South brought about the rapid expansion 
of American manufacturing which carried the United 
States to the first rank among industrial nations. 

Nations are born in war and die in peace. Peace creates 

280 Britain^ s Coming Industrial Supremacy 

sloth, neglect, intrigue, and dissension. A keen sense of 
danger, on the other hand, is the most powerful unifying 
factor known to history. The hostihty of Austria united 
Switzerland, Hungary, and Italy and is uniting the Southern 
Slavs. The hostility of France united Germany. The 
hostility of England united the quarrelling American 
Colonies and creaeed the United States. The hostihty 
of Germany is welding the British Empire into an indis- 
soluble whole. 

Wars, though disastrous to individuals, often prove a 
blessing to nations. They unite and toughen men. They 
prepare them for the struggle of life both in the mihtary 
and in the economic sphere. 

Success in trade and industry, as in war, depends after 
all not so much on the possession of dead resources as on 
the intelHgence, abiUty, energy, and industry of men. 
Most men are bom idlers. They prefer ease and comfort 
to physical and mental exertion. Hence they dislike and 
oppose change and progress. Necessity is the mother 
not only of ingenuity and of invention but of labour and of 
thrift, and therefore of economic progress and of wealth. 
Herein Hes the reason that the countries most blessed by 
Nature are often the poorest and the least progressive. 
Great Britain's former industrial predominance was founded 
not in peace but in war. It was created, as I have shown 
in the previous chapter, during the period 1775-1815. Of 
these forty years thirty were spent in colossal wars, the 
war with the American Colonies and their European aUies, 
and the gigantic war with RepubUcan and Napoleonic 
France. These wars gave to Great Britain her late pre- 
eminence in commerce and industry. Necessity, especially 
the enormous increase in taxation, made vastly increased 
production indispensable. It led to the introduction of 
the steam engine, of modern industry, of modem commerce, 
of modern agriculture, of modem transport, and of modem 
capitalism. It brought about the industrial revolution. 

Peace and ease have almost unnoticed deprived Great 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 281 

Britain of the foremost industrial position which she had 
obtained during the Great War, and which now is possessed 
by the United States. The present War should not only- 
unite the British Empire but should once more give to the 
British people the foremost position in the economic world, 
provided they make wise and energetic use of their 
opportunities. On the other hand, the United States, far 
from enriching themselves at the cost of the fighting 
nations, far from coining the sweat and blood of the Allies 
into dollars, may, through peace and ease, fall a prey to 
that fatal self-complacency and stagnation from which 
political and industrial Britain has suffered for decades and 
from which she has been saved by the War. Before long 
the Great EepubUc may begin to stagnate and decline 
and become a victim of her undisturbed material prosperity. 
It seems not impossible that, owing to the War, the United 
States will henceforth decline, not only politically but 
economically as well, while Great Britain will once more 
become economically the leading Anglo-Saxon nation. 

Let us now consider the economic effects of the War 
upon Great Britain and upon the Empire as a whole. 

In the chapter on * Britain's War Finance and Economic 
Future,' I showed by means of irrefutable figures, which 
have attracted the attention of the principal technical 
papers and of many eminent industrialists, that the American 
workers in factories, mines, &c., produce per head from 
two to three times as much as their British colleagues 
engaged in the same callings ; that the vastly greater 
output of the American workers is due to the employment 
of far more powerful and far more efficient machinery, better 
organisation, a greater desire for progress on the part of 
the manufacturers, and a comparative absence of a delibe- 
rate limitation of output on the part of the workers. I 
showed that Great Britain could double and treble her 
income and wealth by doubling and trebling her engine- 
power upon the American plan and by improving her 
organisation. I showed that she could easily pay, and 

282 Britain's Coming Industrial Supremacy 

more than pay, for the War by Americanising her industries. 
Since the time when those words were printed ^ the Américan- 
isation of British industry has begun. The pressure of 
necessity has brought about many of the necessary changes. 
The British employers have been awakened to the need 
of progress and reform, and the British Trade Unions 
have abandoned in part their fatal policy of restricting 
output and antagonising improved machinery. 

Before the War the United Kingdom had, in round 
numbers, 18,000,000 male and female workers employed 
in agriculture, industry, commerce, domestic service, &c. 
Since then about 6,000,000 men have joined the Army and 
Navy, while, according to Mr. Montagu's statement made 
in the House of Commons on August 15, 1916, 2,250,000 
men and women are engaged in making mimitions under 
the Ministry of Munitions. If we estimate that, in addition 
to these, 750,000 men and women not under the Ministry 
of Munitions are engaged on war work, it appears that the 
War has reduced the number of British workers by exactly 
one-half. However, the loss in man-power is probably 
not 50 per cent, but about 60 per cent., because the youngest, 
the strongest, and the most efficient workers are either 
in the Army and Navy or engaged on war work. The 
consumption of the country is about as great as it was in 
peace time, for, while private demand for goods is smaller 
here and there, the reduction effected by the economy of 
some is probably counter-balanced by the increased spending 
on the part of the workers, and especially by the enormous 
demands for ordinary goods for the use of the Army and 
Navy. The British exports for the ûrst seven months of 
1916 were, but for £10,000,000, as large as those during 
the corresponding seven peace months of 1914, although, 
allowing for the rise in prices, they were considerably 

It therefore appears that with only one-half of her 
workers Great Britain produces now approximately as 

1 September, 1915. 

Great Problems of British Statesvianship 283 

large a quantity of ordinary goods as she did with all her 
workers before the War. In other words, the output per 
worker has approximately doubled. Necessity has led 
to more intensive and more scientific production, to better 
organisation, to the introduction of the most modem methods 
and of the most perfect machinery, not only in the manu- 
facture of munitions of war, but in ordinary manufacturing 
as well. It has been stated that during the War the United 
Kingdom has imported £200,000,000 worth of American 
machinery. The vast advance made in manufacturing 
will no doubt be of permanent benefit to the nation. The 
new and efficient processes will not be abandoned for the 
old and wasteful ones. Mr. Montagu stated in the House 
of Commons on August 15, when describing the activity of 
the Ministry of Munitions, according to the verbatim report : 

Old-fashioned machinery and slip-shod methods are 
disappearing rapidly under the stress of war, and whatever 
there may have been of contempt for science in this country, 
it does not exist now. There is a new spirit in every depart- 
ment of industry which I feel certain is not destined to dis- 
appear when we are at hberty to divert it from its present 
supreme purpose of beating the Central Powers. When that 
is done, can we not apply to peaceful uses, the form of 
organisation represented by the Ministry of Munitions ? I 
am not thinking so much of the great buildings which con- 
stitute new centres of industry, plaimed with the utmost 
ingenuity so as to economise effort, filled with machines of 
incredible efficiency and exactitude. I wish rather to 
emphasise the extent to which all concerned — and each 
section is vital to our objects — are co-operating to obtain 
the best results from the material in our hands. We have 
the leaders of all the essential industries now working for us 
or co-operating with us in the Ministry. The great unions 
render us constant assistance in the discussion and solution 
of difficulties, whether with our officers or within their own 
body. On technical questions of the most varied character 
we have the advantage of the best expert advice in the 

284 Britain'^ s Coming Industrial Supremacy 

We have in being, now that British industry is organised 
for war, the general staff of British industry. I am sure 
that we should sacrifice much if we did not avail ourselves 
of that staff to consider how far all this moral and material 
energy can be turned to peaceful account. 

Sir W. Essex, a great industrialist, said at the same 
sitting : 

I think the products of this Armageddon are going to 
be real and substantial. I know the price we shall pay for 
it will be enormous, but we shall not begrudge it, or a tithe 
or a hundredth of it, but a great by-product will be that our 
mechanical industry and our chemical industry, and all the 
industries which are touched — and hardly an industry is not 
touched more or less intimately — will have been revivified, 
modernised, and invigorated to an incredible degree, and 
that must of necessity react on the whole industrial work of 
our Empire, and will not only maintain, but enormously 
enhance all the advantages which as a manufacturing nation 
we have hitherto enjoyed. . . . 

These men [the leaders of industry who are co-operating 
with the Ministry of Munitions] are going up and down, week 
in and week out, month in and month out, energising the 
thousands of factories which are under the control of the 
Ministry of Munitions, bringing them up to date in their 
workshop methods, making them acquainted in many cases 
I know with tools, the like of which they had no previous 
knowledge of save by hearsay, bringing them up also to 
new methods, new systems, and organisation until — this 
is the common testimony of many of the proprietors of 
these factories — ' We did not know our business until we 
got linked up with the Minister of Munitions.' You are 
able by this aggregation of the manufacturing industries of 
the country here employed to level up the whole, and that, 
I take it, would be a by-product of incalculable value to 
the industry of this country, and must enormously affect 
it for good and make for our advantage in the future com- 
petition with other races of the world. 

The necessity of war has not only vastly increased the 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 285 

efficiency of the existing industries, but has caused power- 
ful new industries to arise. Vast quantities of chemicals, 
electrical apparatus, glass, optical-ware, machinery, tools, 
&c., which formerly were imported from abroad, are now 
manufactured in this country, especially as import pro- 
hibitions have provided a powerful stimulus. The War 
has greatly promoted technical education and increased 
technical ability, for skilled workers in enormous numbers 
were wanted. Hence hundreds of schools had to be created 
in which unskilled workers were converted into highly 
skilled ones. Inventiveness was stimulated by the neces- 
sity to manufacture numerous articles which hitherto were 
made abroad by secret processes. Last, but not least, 
the War has led to the creation of huge model factories 
for making munitions, compared with which the great Wool- 
wich estabhshment is small and out of date. These giant 
factories will not be pulled down after the conclusion of 
peace, but will, of course, be adapted to the production 
of ordinary goods. Great Britain will undoubtedly follow 
in this the example set by the United States after the Civil 

The War has doubled the manufacturing efficiency not 
only of Great Britain, but of France, Kussia, Italy, and 
Japan as well. When the struggle is over, the United States 
will no longer compete with industrial nations possessed of 
an antiquated outfit whose output per man is exceedingly 
low owing to the use of inefficient and labour-wasting 
machinery and methods. During the War the most impor- 
tant industries of the whole world have become Americanised. 
The United States will henceforth have to compete on equal 
terms in an Americanised world. They may discover that 
the War has destroyed their industrial paramountcy. 

The change effected by the War will be particularly 
striking in the iron and steel industry, the most important 
of all manufacturing industries. Before the struggle the 
United States and Germany dominated the world's iron and 
steel trade, and Britain's position had sunk very low indeed. 

286 Britain's Coming Industrial Supremacy 

as the following figures show, w^hich are taken from the 
* Statesman's Year Book ' : 

Production of Iron 
in 1912 

Production of Steel 
in 1912 

United States .... 
Germany ..... 
United Kingdom .... 









In 1912 the United Kingdom produced only about one- 
half as much iron as Germany, and one-third as much iron 
as the United States. In the same year the United Kingdom 
produced only about one-third as much steel as Germany 
and one-fifth as much steel as the United States. 

Germany's defeat will no doubt lead to the decline of her 
mightiest industry. The bulk of the iron ore employed by 
the German iron industry came before the War from German 
Lorraine, Luxemburg, and the French districts close to the 
German frontier. The principal iron deposits on the Con- 
tinent are dominated by the guns of Metz and Diedenhofen 
on the one hand, and of Verdun and Nancy on the other. 
Germany's desperate attack upon Verdun was probably 
largely due to the wish to deprive France of her steel. 
France's acquisition of Alsace-Lorraine will deprive Ger- 
many of the bulk of her iron ore and make France the 
proprietor of the largest iron deposits in Europe. The iron 
ore in sight in the small Lorraine-Luxemburg district is 
approximately as plentiful and as rich in metal as the iron 
ore of the United States. 

Iron-smelting requires of course vast quantities of coal. 
About a ton and a half of coal is needed for every ton of 
iron ore. Unfortunately France has little coal, and has to 
import vast quantities of coal, although her iron industry is 
at present of comparatively little importance. The output 
of the French coal-mines can apparently not be greatly 
increased. Near the German frontier, but outside Alsace- 
Lorraine, on the Saar River, there are German coal-mines 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 287 

which France might acquire, but these do not yield a satis- 
factory coke for iron- smelting. Hence Germany uses West- 
phalian coal for smelting the iron of Lorraine. Possessing 
the Lorraine ore beds, France would lack coal wherewith to 
smelt it. She would therefore either have to import coal 
from Westphaha or England for exploiting that vast resource, 
or she would have to send a large part of the Lorraine ore 
to Germany or England for smelting. Great Britain and 
France have been partners in war and should be partners 
in peace. They might jointly exploit the vast ore deposits 
mentioned. By co-operating, England and France might 
dominate not only the iron trade of Europe, but perhaps 
that of the world. They might leave far behind them the 
iron industry of the United States 

In consequence of the War the industrial output of the 
United Kingdom, as that of the United States after the Civil 
War, may be doubled and trebled. The United Kingdom, 
like the small industrial area of the United States, will find 
its best and safest market for a vastly increased industrial 
output in the Dominions and Colonies, in its Far West. 
After the Civil War the United States developed their great 
estate with the same energy with which they had conducted 
the war. I have shown in the beginning of this chapter 
that the United States, with their comparatively small 
territory; have almost exactly twice as many miles of rail- 
way as has the whole of the British Empire]with its immense 
territory. Hundreds of thousands of miles of railway are 
required throughout the British Empire. The opening of 
the Dominions and Colonies by means of railways alone 
will give full employment to the vastly enlarged iron and 
steel industries of Great Britain and the Dominions for 
decades to come. The British Dominions have room for 
hundreds of millions of white settlers. After the end of the 
Civil War money had to be made to pay off the war debt. 
To make money, the Far West had to be opened up by means 
of railways and immigrants, for railways and settlement must 
go hand in hand. The numerous immigrants kept fully 

288 Britain's Coming Industrial Supremacy 

employed not only the American iron and steel industry 
which the war had created, but all the American industries 
which had been immensely enlarged during the struggle. 

In territory and in latent resources the British Empire is 
far superior to the United States, but in developed and 
exploited resources, in industrial power, wealth, and white 
population, the Empire is very inferior to the Great Republic. 
Between 1871 and 1911 the population of the United States 
increased by 53,500,000, that of Germany increased by 
25,400,000, while the white population of the British Empire 
grew by only 21,500,000. That comparison is humiUating 
for the British Empire. If the same rate of progress or a 
similar rate should continue to prevail, the British Empire 
would in course of time become a second-rate or a third-rate 

Wealth is power. The British Empire should endeavour 
to be the leading Anglo-Saxon nation, not only in territory, 
but in white population and wealth as well. Hitherto 
the development of the Empire has been restricted by a 
small-minded parochial policy of the component parts, by 
lack of Imperial organisation and co-operation. The great 
Imperial domain can be adequately protected and exploited 
only by the Empire as a whole, by a truly Imperial Govern- 
ment, by Empire-wide co-operation. Immigration and 
emigration, transportation by land and water, the planful 
opening and settlement of the vast empty spaces of the 
Empire, and the question of inter-Imperial trade must be 
settled imperially, not parochially. If that is done, there 
is every reason to believe that in a few decades the British 
Empire will be far ahead of the United States both in white 
population and in wealth. 

It may be argued that the British Dominions and Colonies 
cannot be developed as rapidly as the United States, although 
the resources of the former are greater than those of the 
latter, because the United States are a single country which 
nature has opened up by a number of magnificent rivers. 
That argument is erroneous. The United States are not 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 289 

a State, but a number of States, which jealously defend their 
State rights and which do not readily co-operate. Besides, 
the seas are the Mississippi, the Missouri, and the Hudson 
of the British Empire. They do not separate, but connect 
the different parts. 

In consequence of the Civil War, the United States stan- 
dardised their chaotic railway system, as has been shown. 
They placed it under imperial control, and gradually evolved 
a unified and national system by means of the Inter-State 
Commerce Commission. Cheap transport and freight and 
equitable rates are the best means for opening up the Empire 
rapidly. The Governments of the Empire should learn 
from America's lesson and control transport by land and 
water throughout the Empire. At present private railway 
companies and shipping companies direct, divert, stimulate, 
or restrict the imperial trade according to their convenience, 
or even penalise British and facilitate foreign trade for their 
own benefit. The transport companies by land and sea 
must be taught that the interests of the Empire are more 
important than those of their shareholders. 

An Imperial Government in the full sense of the term 
should investigate and take stock of the Imperial resources, 
for they are unknown. It is nobody's business to study 
and describe the resources of the Empire. No ofi&cial survey 
has even been made of England's coal beds. The resources 
of the Empire are exploited, or wasted, at will by private 
individuals. The mineral resources of the United States 
have been explored and described by the American Geo- 
logical Survey, which has rendered invaluable service, and of 
recent years the Americans have embarked upon the policy 
of preserving their natural resources under the guidance 
of their national Conservation Commission. An Imperial 
stocktaking is necessary. The Empire belongs to the race, 
not to a few capitaUsts. Its exploitation should be guided 
by national and Imperial interests. Yet such guidance 
need not restrict very much the activities of enterprising 

290 Britain^ s Coming Industrial Supremacy 

The British race will scarcely suffice to fill up the vacant 
lands of the Empire. The Dominions will become keen 
competitors with the United States for desirable immigrants. 
Hitherto the bulk of European emigrants have gone to the 
United States, but the British Empire may be able to divert 
the stream. For decades men have gone to the United 
States not only because it was easy to make money in that 
country, but also because the United States were considered 
a home of freedom, the champion of liberty. America's 
prestige as a defender of freedom and liberty has probably 
suffered owing to her attitude during the first two years of 
the War. Men wishing for liberty may henceforth rather 
go to the British Empire than to the United States. The 
planful development of the Imperial domain by the building 
of railways and the cheapening of transport will bring 
hundreds of thousands of desirable emigrants to the British 

The tariff poHcy of Great Britain and the Dominions 
will have the most far-reaching influence upon the economic 
development of the Empire. A common-sense tariff policy 
will further the settlement and exploitation of the Imperial 
estate, while a doctrinaire, a vote-catching, or sectional 
policy will condemn the Empire to stagnation and decline. 
The development of the United States has been helped im- 
mensely by the fact that they form a single market. The 
British Empire, like the United States, is so vast that there 
need be no jealousy among the component States. British 
industry, Hke the industry of Pennsylvania or Illinois, 
cannot provide all the manufactured goods wanted by the 
Empire. There is room for manufacturing centres in all 
parts of the Empire. A narrow spirit of monopoly and 
exclusion or a cosmopolitan fiscal policy advocated by 
doctrinaires would greatly, and perhaps fatally, hamper 
the Empire's development in population and wealth. 

The War, as has been shown at the beginning of this 
chapter, may cost about £7,500,000,000. That is a colossal 
burden, and the British Empire should endeavour to pay off 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 291 

the debt with reasonable speed. The War was waged not 
merely for the benefit of the United Kingdom, but for that 
of the British Empire as a whole. It seems therefore only 
fair that the British Dominions should assume their full 
share of the cost of the War, especially as the assumption 
of their part of the burden should prove highly beneficial 
to them. 

A large increase in taxation throughout the Dominions 
would most powerfully stimulate production. Hitherto the 
development of the Empire has been hindered very seriously 
by the fact that too many emigrants have endeavoured to 
make a living not by production, but by trade and specula- 
tion. Nearly 40 per cent, of the inhabitants of Australia 
live in the five capital towns, while the vast expanses of 
the country remain empty. Nearly 50 per cent, of the 
inhabitants of New South Wales and Victoria live in Sydney 
and Melbourne. Several years ago, when I was in the West 
of Canada, I found that the principal industry consisted in 
gambling in real estate. The Dominions have developed 
so slowly very largely because money was too cheap, taxes 
were too low, and life was too easy. Men could make a 
good living by little work. If Great Britain should, by 
the unwillingness of the Dominions, be forced to take over 
an unduly large share of the war debt, it may be ruinous not 
only to the Mother Country, but to the Empire as a whole, 
especially if the Dominions should practise at the same time 
an exclusive policy towards British manufactures. Happily 
this seems unlikely. 

The War has been waged not only for the present genera- 
tion, but for future generations as well. It seems therefore 
only fair that part of the cost should be borne by future 
generations. It might be thrown in part on the latent and 
undeveloped resources of the Empire, which might be pooled 
for the purpose of repaying the war debt. The other part 
of the cost, to be paid by the present generation,[might^be 
allocated to the various States of the Empire according to 
the number of the people and their wealth per head, so that 

292 BritairCs Coming Industrial Supremacy 

the burden should be borne fairly and equally by all. 
Periodically the allocation might be revised and a redis- 
tribution effected in accordance with changing circum- 

The latent resources of the Empire are boundless. There 
is every reason to believe that the British Empire, if wisely 
governed and administered, will exceed the United States 
in white population and in wealth in a few decades. The 
War will apparently devour a sum equal to about one-half 
of Great Britain's national wealth, but that fact need not 
disturb us. The Civil War cost the United States a sum 
which was equal to about two-thirds their national wealth 
at the time. During the fifty years which have elapsed since 
its conclusion, the wealth of the United States has grown at 
so rapid a rate, largely in consequence of that war, that 
to the present generation the gigantic war cost seems almost 
trifling. The sum of £7,500,000,000, though equal to one- 
half of Great Britain's national wealth, comes only to about 
one- fourth of the Empire's national wealth. In a few decades 
the cost of the World War may appear as small to the citizens 
of the British Empire as that of the Civil War appears now 
to most Americans and that of the Napoleonic War to most 
Englishmen of the present. The war with Napoleon created 
England's economic supremacy. The Civil War created 
the industrial supremacy of the United States. The present 
War should give the industrial supremacy of the world to 
the British Empire. 




Gold is tested by fire and nations by war. The World 
War has glaringly revealed the improvidence, the inefficiency, 
and the wastefulness of the democratically governed States. 
France, though utterly defeated by Germany in 1870-71, 
and frequently threatened by her with war since then, 
especially in 1905 and in 1911, when a German attack seemed 
almost inevitable, was quite unprepared for her ordeal. 
A fortnight before the fatal ultimatum was launched upon 
Serbia, at a moment when the tension was very great, 
and when Germany was possibly hesitating whether she 
should strike or not, Senator Humbert revealed to the 
world in an official report which created an enormous 
sensation throughout Europe, that the French fortresses 
were unable to resist efficiently a modern siege, that the 
French Army lacked heavy guns, ammunition, rifles, and 
uniforms, that France had in stock per soldier only a single 
boot, thirty years old. Belgium separates France from 
Germany. The numerous purely strategical railways which 
Germany had constructed towards the Belgian frontier 
had clearly revealed her hostile intentions towards her 
small neighbour. Belgium, having a population of 8,000,000, 

* The Nineteenth Century and After, February, 1916. 

' Most of the ' proposals ' contained in the following pages were carried 
out by Mr. Lloyd George on his taking over the premiership, eleven months 
after their publication in The Nineteenth Century review. This was probably 
due purely to coincidence, for the reforms introduced in the national organisa- 
tion were logical and necessary. 


294 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

might easily have raised an army of 500,000 or 1,000,000 
men. Such an army, supported by modern fortresses, would 
certainly have caused Germany to respect Belgium's 
neutrality. The test of war found the Belgian fortresses 
and army totally inadequate. Except for her Fleet, Great 
Britain was equally unprepared for the War. She has 
since then raised a huge army, but disappointment and 
failure have been the result of her diplomatic action in 
Turkey and Bulgaria, and of her military efforts at the 
Dardanelles, on the Vardar, in Mesopotamia, and elsewhere. 
Poor and backward Kussia, on the other hand, surprised 
the world by her preparedness, and invaded Eastern Prussia 
and Galicia soon after the opening of hostiUties. 

Comparison of the improvidence, inefficiency, and waste- 
fulness displayed by democratic France, Belgium, and Great 
Britain with the war-readiness and efficiency of the auto- 
cratically governed . States, and especially of Germany, 
has clearly revealed the inferiority of democracy in war- 
fare and in national organisation. It is easy to make 
sweeping generalisations. Many people have proclaimed 
that democracy has proved a failure, that the doom 
of democracy is at hand, that the iron broom of war will 
sweep it into the limbo of forgotten things. England has 
invented modern representative and democratic govern- 
ment. The national organisation of most civiHsed States 
is modelled upon that of this country. Let us then inquire 
whether democracy is indeed a failure, or whether, like 
every institution in this world, it has merely certain 
failings which can be remedied. If it possesses grave but 
remediable defects, let us try to find a cure. England, 
who has evolved representative Government, should be 
the first to deal with its faults and to introduce the necessary 

In the fourth century before Christ Aristotle wrote 
in his book ' Politics ' : * It is not for what is ancient, but 
for what is useful, that men of sense ought to contend ; 
and whatever is distinguished by the former quality cannot 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 295 

be expected to possess much of the latter.' About the 
same time Thucydides stated in his history : ' It is the 
custom of mankind, even where their own country is con- 
cerned, to acquiesce with complacent creduKty in the tradi- 
tions of former ages without subjecting them to the test 
of critical examination.' Flattery and misplaced admira- 
tion are far more dangerous than honest hostihty. The 
British Constitution has suffered more from its friends 
than from its enemies. It has been dealt with in innumer- 
able books, but unfortunately most of these are written 
in a spirit of bUnd and uncritical admiration. Besides, 
practically all who have written on the British Constitu- 
tion treat it as if it were an ancient Gothic cathedral or some 
other venerable relic of the past. They look upon it with 
awe from the point of view of the antiquary, the historian, 
the artist, and true believer. They do not recognise that 
a constitution is in the first place not a work of art, but 
an instrument of government. They describe to us in full 
detail its ancient history, the gradual changes it has under- 
gone, its Gothic intricacies and .irregularities, and its 
present aspects, but they fail as a rule to inquire whether it 
answers its practical purposes. Walter Bagehot, one of 
the very few men who endeavoured to consider it from the 
practical point of view, wrote in his book * The English 
Constitution' : 

The characteristic merit of the English Constitution is 
that its dignified parts are very complicated and somewhat 
imposing, very old and rather venerable ; while its efficient 
part, at least when in great and critical action, is decidedly 
simple and rather modern. We have made, or rather 
stumbled, on a constitution which — though full of every 
species of incidental defect, though of the worst workmanship 
in all out-of-the-way matters of any constitution in the world 
— ^yet has two capital merits : it contains a simple efficient 
part which, on occasion and when wanted, can work more 
simply and easily, and better, than any instrument of govern- 
ment that has yet been tried ; and it contains likewise 

296 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

historical, complex, august, theatrical parts which it has 
inherited from a long past — which take the multitude — 
which guide by an insensible but an onmipotent influence 
the associations of its subjects. Its essence is strong with 
the strength of modern simplicity ; its exterior is august 
with the Gothic grandeur of a more imposing age. 

In view of the experience of the World War, or, indeed, of 
any great war in which this country has been engaged, 
Bagehot's emphatic assertion that the EngUsh Constitution 
' in great and critical action is decidedly simple and rather 
modern,' that * when wanted it can work more simply and 
easily, and better, than any instrument of government 
that has yet been tried,' can only be described as a ludicrous 
travesty and perversion of fact. Unfortunately his view 
is representative of that of most constitutional writers. 

Statesmanship is not an abstract science, not a science 
based upon theory, but an eminently practical science, a 
science which is based on experience. A serious disease 
should not be subjected to empiric treatment. A wise 
physician will carefully diagnose the case submitted to him 
before considering the remedy. Let us then consult some 
of the greatest and wisest statesmen of all times. Their 
opinions, which are based on unrivalled experience, will 
provide us with invaluable guidance, and the importance of 
the views given in the following pages will be greatly en- 
hanced by the fact that most of them will be new to British 

Aristotle, the friend and teacher of Alexander the Great, 
whose book ' Politics ' should be read by every statesman 
and politician, wrote : ' An error in the original structure 
of government often proves ruinous both to republics and 
to aristocracies,' The ancient Greeks had much experience 
of the practical working of democracy. They saw their 
democracies first assailed by the military obligarchy of Sparta 
and then destroyed by the Macedonian autocracy under 
King Philip. Their greatest thinkers believed that their 

Great Problems of British Statesmanshijo 297 

downfall was due not to the chance of war, but to ' a fatal 
error in the original constitution of their government.' They 
believed that democracy was, owing to its very nature, a 
less efficient form of government than monarchy. Aristotle 
wrote in his book ' Politics ' : 

That which is a common concern to all is very generally 
neglected. The energies of man are stimulated by that 
which depends on himself alone, and of which he only is 
to reap the whole profit or glory. In concerns common to 
him with others, he employs with reluctance as much atten- 
tion and activity as his own interest requires. He neglects 
that of which he thinks other men will take care, and as 
other men prove equally negligent, the general interest 
is universally abandoned. Those families are commonly 
the worst served in which the domestics are the most 

Isocrates, one of the greatest Greek orator-statesmen, 
whose works are very Httle known, wrote in his ' Third 
Oration ' : 

Democracies honour those who by delusive eloquence 
govern the multitude, but monarchies those who are most 
capable in managing the affairs of the nation. Monarchies 
surpass democratic governments not only in the ordinary 
routine of administration, but especially in war, for mon- 
archies are more able than are democracies to raise troops, 
to use them to advantage, to arm in secret, to make military 
demonstrations, to win over some neighbours, and to over- 
awe others. 

All are acquainted with the military events which brought 
about the downfall of Athens, the wealthiest and most 
powerful Greek repubhc, whose fleet ruled the sea, but few 
know its hidden causes. In the second century before 
Christ the Greco-Koman Polybius, the most statesman-hke 
historian of antiquity, who was not only a great writer, but 
a diplomat and general as well, and who wrote history from 
the point of view of the statesman, stated that Athens fell 

298 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

because a change in her constitution had deprived her of a 
single head. He wrote : 

Athens, having been raised by the ability of Themistocles 
to the greatest height of power and glory, shortly afterwards 
sank into weakness and disgrace. The cause of this sudden 
change lay in the inappropriate constitution of the Govern- 
ment, for the Athenian State was like a ship without a 

His views are confirmed by Thucydides, a contemporary 
of Pericles, who was an eye-witness of the decline and fall 
of Athens. Writing in the fourth century before Christ, 
he tells us that in the time of Pericles, Athens, though 
a republic in name, was, owing to the great prestige of 
Pericles, a monarchy in fact, and that her greatness declined 
when, after his death, the State became a true democracy 
and a prey to party- political strife. He wrote : 

Pericles, a man of acknowledged worth and ability, whose 
integrity was undoubtedly proof against corruption, kept 
the people in order by gentle management, and was not 
directed by them, but was their principal director. He had 
not wormed himself into power by dubious methods. There- 
fore he was not obliged to soothe and praise their caprices, 
but could oppose and disregard their anger with peculiar 
dignity. Whenever he saw them bent on projects injurious 
or unreasonable, he terrified them so much by the force of 
his eloquence that he made them tremble and desist, and 
when they were disquieted by groundless apprehensions, he 
animated them afresh into brave resolution. The State, 
under him, though called a democracy, was in fact a mon- 
archy. His successors were more on a level with one 
another, and as every one of them aspired to be their 
leader, they were forced to cajole the people, and so to neg- 
lect the concerns of the pubhc. This was the source of 
many grievous errors of statesmanship, as must unavoidably 
be the case in any great community which is possessed of 
large dominions. 

Pericles had introduced the pernicious system of con- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 299 

verting into an object of gain those services rendered to the 
nation which formerly were rendered gratuitously and which 
had been considered a trust and an honour. He died, and 
politicians desirous of power endeavoured to obtain it by 
cajoling, flattering, and bribing the masses, by outbidding and 
by attacking one another. Aristotle has told us in his book, 
' Pontics ' : 

Pericles, by granting fees to the judges and jurymen, 
and converting a matter of duty into an object of gain, still 
further debased the composition, and increased the tyranny, 
of the Athenian tribunals. What Pericles had left imperfect, 
succeeding demagogues supplied. One democratical regula- 
tion followed another, until the government assumed its 
present form, or rather its present deformity. 

Henceforth domestic poHtics monopolised public atten- 
tion in Athens. Politicians anxious for power, for votes, 
filled the ears of the people with promises and with mutual 
denunciations, and in the heat and passion of the faction 
fight the national interests were completely neglected. 
Thucydides informs us : 

Engaged in contests for power, the Athenians did not 
pay sufficient attention to the army abroad and were em- 
broiled in mutual altercations at home. . . . They would 
not have been conquered, had not their own domestic feuds 
at last utterly disabled them from resisting their enemies. 

Men strongly divided with regard to domestic pohtics 
and goaded to passion against one another by their leaders 
will not easily bury their feuds and act in common if united 
action is urgently wanted to preserve the State from destruc- 
tion. Besides men who have become used to hear all sides 
cannot in any case decide quickly. If opinions differ, 
influence necessarily takes the place of reason, and if the 
opposing parties cannot unite on energetic action, a weak, 
and probably foolish, middle course, acceptable to both 
parties will be adopted after infinite procrastination and 
delay. MachiavelH, who, as Secretary of State to the 

300 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

Kepublic of Florence, knew a great deal of the practical 
working of democratic institutions in time of national 
emergency, wrote in his ' Discorsi ' : 

In all matters of difiûculty wherein courage is needed for 
resolving, vacillation will always be met with whenever 
those who have to deliberate and decide are weak. Not less 
mischievous than doubtful resolves are those which are late 
and tardy, especially when they have to be made on behalf 
of a friend. From their lateness they help none, but hurt 
ourselves. Tardy resolves are due sometimes to want of 
spirit or want of strength, or to the perversity of those who 
have to determine. Sometimes they are due to the secret 
desire of pohticians to overthrow their opponents or to 
carry out some selfish purpose of their own. Hence these 
men prevent the forming of a decision, and only thwart 
and' hinder. 

Vacillation, lateness, and tardiness are in MachiavelU's 
opinion the characteristics of divided counsels which are 
habitually found in Governments by discussion — ^in demo- 
cracies. His statement that vacillation and delay are 
particularly harmful if a friendly nation requires support 
is strikingly illustrated by the fatal delay of democratic 
Britain and France in coming to Serbia's aid. 

Frequently during the War the British Government has 
been reproached in innumerable newspaper articles that it 
is always too late both in its diplomatic and in its mihtary 
activities, that statesmen are discussing when they should 
be acting, that they lack initiative, that they are always 
surprised by the enemy, that they are acting only after the 
event, that nothing is done in time. These reproaches 
irresistibly remind one of similar taunts levelled at the 
Athenians by that great statesman and patriot Demos- 
thenes, who, like the late Lord Koberts, tried in vain to 
arouse the misguided and pleasure-loving citizens to a 
sense of the danger which threatened them from an am- 
bitious neighbour King and his powerful national army. 
In his ' First Philippic,' that great orator said : 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 801 

Why, Athenians, are the festivals in honour of Athenae 
and of Dionysus always celebrated at the appointed time — 
festivals which cost more treasure than is usually expended 
upon a whole fleet and attended by larger numbers and 
greater magnificence than any other, event in the world — 
while all your expeditions have been too late, as that to 
Methone, that to Pegasae, and that to Potidaea ? I will 
tell you the reason. Everything relatmg to your amuse- 
ments is carefully studied and ordered beforehand. So 
everyone of you knows long before the event who is to 
conduct the various entertainments, what he is to receive, 
where he is to go, and what he has to do. Nothing is left 
uncertain or undetermined. But in affairs of war and in 
warlike preparations there is no order, no certainty, no 
regulation. Only when events alarm us we appoint our 
Trierarchs. Having done so, we dispute with them, and 
lastly we consider the question of supplies for war. . . . 
It is shameful, Athenians, that we deceive ourselves by allow- 
ing all disagreeable news to be suppressed, that we listen 
only to the pleasing speeches of our leaders, and that we 
thus delude ourselves ; that by putting off everything 
unpleasant, we never move until it is too late ; that we 
refuse to understand that those who would wage war suc- 
cessfully should not follow, but direct, events. 

In the * Fourth PhiHppic ' Demosthenes stated : 

You, Athenians, have never made the necessary disposi- 
tion in your affairs, or armed yourselves, in time, but have 
ever been led by events. Then, when it proves too late to 
act, you lay down your arms. If another incident alarms 
you, your preparations are once more resumed in general 
tumult and confusion. But this is not the way to obtain 
success. . . . When Philip was preparing, you, instead of 
doing the like and making counter-preparations, remained 
listless, and, if anyone spoke a word of warning, shouted 
him down. When you receive news that any place is lost 
or besieged, then you listen and prepare. But the time to 
have heard and consulted was when you declined to listen, 
and the time to act and employ your preparation is now 
when you are hearing me. Such being your habits, you are 

302 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

the only people who adopt this singular course. Other 
nations dehberate before action. You deliberate after 

While King PhiHp was preparing everything for his 
attack upon Athens, the leaders of the Athenian democ- 
racy were fighting one another for votes and influence, for 
place and power. Demosthenes sadly stated in his ' First 
Philippic ' : 

If we sit at home listening to the mutual recriminations 
of our orators we cannot expect the sUghtest success in any 
direction. . . . They may promise and assert and accuse 
this person or that, but to such proceedings we owe the ruin 
of our affairs. 

In his * Oration for the Liberty of the Khodians ' 
we read : 

You, Athenians, must fight a double battle. Like others, 
you have your open enemies, but you have enemies still 
more dangerous and alarming. You have to overcome in 
the first place the opposition of those of your own citizens 
who, in this assembly, are systematically engaged against 
the interests of their own country. And, as they are ever 
strenuous in their opposition to all useful measures, it is no 
wonder that many of our designs are frustrated. 

Athens owed her downfall to her party-political divisions, 
to the fact that she had many heads, but no head, to the 
fact that the Athenians, engaged in an unending struggle 
for power, were taught to place party above country and 
self above the State. Trusting to their democratic orator- 
politicians, who desired to be popular, who desired to please, 
the misguided people delayed preparation and action against 
their enemies until it was too late. 

If we study the history of Athens at its source, it becomes 
clear that that great republic rose to eminence during the 
time when it was a democracy in name but not in fact ; 
that it was a great, efficient, and wisely governed Power as 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 303 

long as it was ruled by an aristocracy and was guided by a 
single man of great ability, such as Aristides, Themistocles, 
Cimon, Pericles ; that it began to decline when it became 
a true democracy, when the controlling power in the State 
fell into the hands of the people, when ambitious or needy 
politicians and adventurers, contending for power, divided 
the nation, corrupted and destroyed the patriotism of the 
people, and taught them to exploit the State and to consider 
it as an institution which existed mainly to administer to 
their wants and their vices, to their love of ease and of self. 
The policy of Athens was bound to be improvident, hasty, 
reckless, and fooHsh when the affairs of State were no longer 
directed by the abiUty of the experienced few or by the 
wisdom of a single eminent man, but by the momentary 
emotions and the shortsightedness of the crowd. 

In Athens public affairs were discussed and decided by 
the people, assembled in their thousands in the market-place. 
It may therefore be objected that the Athenian democracy 
cannot in fairness be compared with modern democracies 
which have evolved highly developed representative institu- 
tions. It may be said that in Great Britain not the people 
nor the elected representatives, but a small and select body, 
the Cabinet, enjoying great latitude for action, discusses 
policy and decides and directs in the greatest secrecy. Let 
us then study the cause of the decline and fall of another 
great commercial, maritime, and colonising republic, of 
Venice. The case of Venice should be particularly interest- 
ing because the Constitution of that State curiously re- 
sembles that of this country as established in the eighteenth 
entury. In fact, it may be said that the British Constitu- 
tion, as we know it now, was modelled upon that of Venice. 

Venice, like Great Britain, did not possess a written 
and fixed Constitution. The Venetians recognised that 
government by a crowd is bound to be a failure. The con- 
trolling power of the State, which at first had been held by 
the Doge and then by representative assemblies, passed into 
the hands of the Council of Ten, which originally had been 

304 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

merely a judicial committee. The Senate of Venice may 
fairly be compared to the British House of Commons, and 
the Council of Ten to the British Cabinet. The Council of 
Ten acted in conjunction with the Senate, and its power was 
practically unlimited. Like the British Cabinet, it carried 
on its work in absolute secrecy. It was not dependent upon 
public opinion. The Doge, the Duke, who had been all- 
powerful at the time when Venice rose from insignificance, 
to greatness, had been deprived of all authority. He was 
a mere figure-head. H^ was, as we are told, * rex in purpura, 
senator in curia, in urbe captivus, extra urbem privatus.' 
The Doge was indeed a captive in a golden cage. He was 
not allowed to open the despatches which were addressed 
to him, as the head of the State, by foreign sovereigns. His 
palace, and even his person, were liable to be searched at 
any moment. In fact, he was a prisoner of the Ten. To 
make his revolt unlikely, only very old and feeble men were 
elected Doge. He was held responsible during his lifetime 
with his liberty and his head, and after his death with his 
estate. Venice was an aristocratic republic. The people 
were powerless. Owing to the absence of anything resem- 
bling popular control or public opinion, the authority of 
the Ten, acting in conjunction with the Senate, was of the 

Although much power was thus concentrated into the 
hands of a small secret Council, Venice declined and decayed. 
Government by councils and committees proved fatal to her. 
In 1677 was published a remarkable book, ' Histoire du 
Gouvernement de Venise.' It was written by Amelot de la 
Houssaye, a diplomat and a keen student of political affairs, 
who during several years was attached to the French 
Embassy in Venice, and who had made a special study of 
that wonderful State. In a chapter * On the Principal 
Causes of the Decline of Venice ' we read : 

The Eepublic of Venice has had the same fate as that of 
Sparta. Both were flourishing as long as they were small. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship S 05 

Both have decKned after extending their territory. Herein 
hes the first cause of the dechne of Venice. Its second cause 
may be found in the slowness of its dehberations. Slow- 
ness of action, it is true, is a fault which is found in all de- 
mocracies, but it is extreme in Venice. Their Senate seems 
to be sometimes asleep. So difficult it is at times to cause 
it to move. 

The Venetians were advised in good time of the prepara- 
tions made by Turkey for invading the Island of Crete. 
Nevertheless, they did not think of preparing their defence, 
as if they had never suffered from the perfidy of the Turks, 
or as if Heaven had assured them that the powerful expe- 
dition prepared by Turkey was not directed against their 
own possessions. Their confidence was founded upon the 
promises of a Turk who had told them that the military 
preparations of the Porte were directed against Malta. 
They were bhnd to their danger, and they refused to heed 
the advice of Sorance, the Venetian ambassador at Con- 
stantinople, who had warned them of their peril and en- 
treated them unceasingly to take precautions. Fearing to 
offend the Turks by showing their suspicion, they did not 
arm, but trusted for their security to their alhance with the 
Turks, which had recently been renewed. Thus their fortress 
of Saint Theodore was taken by surprise and Candia besieged. 
Only then would they believe that the Turks were hostile 
to them. . . . 

The Venetians lost Cyprus in a similar manner. They 
could not make up their mind what to do, although Jerome 
Mane, their admiral, and Pascal Cicogne, their general at 
Candia, urged them not to wait until attacked by the Turks, 
but to fight the Turkish fleet on the sea, and so prevent a 
hostile landing. 

By similar irresolution the Senate lost in the last cen- 
tury the whole of the Venetian territory on the mainland. 
The Venetian government could not make up its mind as 
to the policy to be pursued until the sovereigns united in 
the League of Cambray had invaded the Venetian posses- 
sions. . . . 

The third cause of the disorder in the affairs of Venice 
lies in the fact that the Senate is composed of a large 

306 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

number of members. Hence bad proposals are more likely 
to be adopted than good ones, especially if a bad policy is 
outwardly attractive, and therefore popular, while a wise 
policy seems unpleasant. In Venice, as in ancient Athens, 
wise men may propose, but fools deliberate. The resolu- 
tions are formed by a majority. The votes of fools have as 
much weight as the votes of wise men, and fools are more 
numerous than are men of understanding. 

Lastly, the Venetian Senate is, in time of danger, liable 
to steer a middle course, which is the worst course of all. 
If two different policies are proposed, one brave and daring, 
and the other timorous and cowardly, the Venetians are 
apt to follow a poHcy which is partly brave and partly 
cowardly without inquiring whether it is wise and whether 
it will avert the danger. 

The extracts given from the book of the French diplomat 
make it clear that Venice, in times of great emergency, 
when rapid and decisive action was required, was as short- 
sighted, vacillating, and hesitating as was Athens, that in 
the later centuries of her existence she was never prepared 
for war, and was always forestalled by her enemies, all timely 
warnings notwithstanding. Three centuries ago Turkey 
fooled Venice in exactly the same manner in which she fooled 
Great Britain in 1914 and in which Bulgaria fooled her in 
1915. Over the grave of Venice, as over that of Athens, 
the words ' Too late ' may be inscribed. Venice, like ancient 
Athens in the time of her decline, had many heads but no 
head. Improvidence and irresolution arising from divided 
counsels destroyed both. 

If we survey the history of the world we find that nearly 
all true democracies have been exceedingly short-lived, that 
they have gone the way of Athens. The republics which 
flourished were, like Carthage and like Athens in the time 
of her greatest glory, aristocracies directed by single men of 
genius. The Kepublic of the Netherlands, hke that of 
Venice, was an aristocracy. William the Silent, her Stadt- 
holder, was her Themistocles. He established the power 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 807 

of the Kepublic, and his successors of the House of Orange, 
the Princes Maurice, Frederick Henry, and William the 
Second, maintained it. At that time she ruled the sea, 
colonised the world, dominated the world's trade, and was 
the richest State in Europe. In 1650 the Dutch Eepublic 
changed its Constitution. It abohshed the Stadtholder, 
whose supreme position had aroused the envy of the demo- 
crats. The politicians were established in power. From 
1650 to 1672 the Netherlands were a true Republic. Her 
politicians quarrelled among themselves hke those of Athens 
and Venice. Her counsels were divided, and during the 
twenty-two years of democratic control she experienced 
defeat after defeat and lost her naval supremacy, her world 
trade, and her greatness. The Dutch wealth and power fell 
to England, ruled by one man, by Cromwell. Improvidence 
and irresolution springing from the rule of political com- 
mittees brought about her decHne. 

It is only natural that aristocratic or oligarchial repubhcs 
have shown a greater vitality than democratic ones. Aris- 
tocratic Venice existed during nearly a thousand years. 
The wealth of the wealthy can be preserved only by pru- 
dence, foresight, and timely energy. It may be destroyed 
by a defeat, and it may be preserved or increased by a timely 
victory. Wealthy men are therefore apt to take more pro- 
vident and more statesmanlike views in matters of foreign 
policy than the labouring masses, which live from day to 
day. Besides, the wealthy and the powerful are as a rule 
far better informed on foreign affairs than the poor and the 
ignorant, who may easily be deluded by wily agitators. If 
one set of politicians proposes to the people a wise and 
patriotic, though costly, policy of military preparedness in 
view of possible dangers from without, while another set 
promises them peace, higher wages or a reduced cost of 
living, and disarmament, and holds up the former policy — 
which is supported by the well-informed rich — and its 
supporters to odium, the people will readily vote for a 
policy of unpreparedness and for a reduction of armaments. 

308 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

Before the War the French, Belgian, and British armies 
were starved, and national defence was neglected because 
the workers were told by their leaders that not Germany, 
but domestic capitalism, was their greatest enemy. Before 
the War adequate military preparation was systematically 
opposed in France, Belgium, and Great Britain by politicians 
who pandered to the short-sighted and ill-informed masses. 
The story of Athens in the time of Demosthenes repeated 

The question now arises whether ineflSciency and improvi- 
dence are inseparably connected with democracy, whether 
it is not possible to combine the advantages possessed by 
democracy with the governmental efficiency and foresight 
which are found in highly organised and semi-military States 
such as Germany, whether it is not possible to blend repre- 
sentative government and one-man rule. Before deciding 
whether this is feasible we must inquire into the causes of 
the governmental efficiency which is found in the most 
highly developed monarchical States. 

The efficiency of a nation, as of any commercial or 
industrial undertaking, depends mainly on two factors : its 
organisation and its direction, its Constitution and its 
director or directors. 

If we study the organisation of the most successful 
monarchies of all time, we find two different types. Some 
have been ruled by a prince of the greatest genius who 
governed in person, who was his own Prime Minister, such 
as Peter the Great of Kussia. Some have been ruled by men 
of moderate, or even of small, capacity who have entrusted 
an able Minister with the task of government, such as 
Germany under William the First and Bismarck. It is 
frequently asserted that the combination of a William the 
First and of a Bismarck is unique or almost unique. That 
view is erroneous. A wise king rules, but does not govern. 
Monarchy is a business which is best carried on through a 
manager. The direct rule of the sovereign is dangerous 
for the nation and for himself, even if the monarch is a man 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 309 

of the greatest genius. That may be seen by the example 
of Napoleon the First. For psychological reasons alone 
the highly technical and laborious task of government is as 
a rule far more ably fulfilled by a patient and painstaking 
Minister who lives for his work than by a high-spirited, 
though able, sovereign who necessarily can only devote part 
of his time to the^dry and tedious details of administration. 

The most successful States have been raised to greatness 
not through a great ruler but through a great statesman, 
such as Bismarck, working under a ruler of moderate abihty. 
Civilisation arose in the East. Every Eastern ruler has his 
manager, his Vizier. Moses had his Aaron, Pharaoh his 
Joseph, and Solomon his Asaph. According to the Moham- 
medan tradition, these were the Viziers of Moses, Pharaoh, 
and Solomon. The foundation of the greatness of France 
was laid by the co-operation of the able Henry the Fourth 
and of Sully, his great Minister, and by Kichelieu and 
Mazarin, who governed France in the King's name under the 
rule of the incapable Louis the Thirteenth and during the 
minority of Louis the Fourteenth. These statesmen raised 
France to the greatest glory and made her wealthy and 
powerful. Louis the Fourteenth, though personally highly 
gifted and well supported by great Ministers such as Colbert 
and Louvois, wishing to govern himself, weakened France 
through his impetuousness and pride. As the greatness 
of Germany has been established by Bismarck working under 
the conscientious but moderately gifted William the First, 
and that of France by three all-powerful Ministers, Sully, 
Kichelieu, and Mazarin, so that of Sweden was the work of 
Oxenstierna, who co-operated with the great genius King 
Gustavus Adolphus. His work was destroyed by the 
rashness and pride of Charles the Twelfth as that of Bis- 
marck seems likely to be destroyed by the pride and vanity 
of William the Second. 

Many Enghshmen are interested in the science of legis- 
lation, but only a few in that of national administration and 
organisation, although the latter is infinitely more important 

310 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

than the former. While the hterature deaUng with legis- 
lation and with domestic politics in all its branches is exceed- 
ingly vast, there is not a single book in the English language, 
except perhaps the American Federalist, which deals ade- 
quately and critically with the science of national organisa- 
tion and administration. As the nation-builders of England 
have apparently not recorded their views as to the best form 
of national organisation, we must turn for information to 
the great constructive statesmen of the Continent and of 
the United States. 

Eichelieu, the great orgaijiiser of France, one of the 
wisest statesmen of all time, stated his views on government 
in his little-known * Testament Politique.* It was written 
for the use and guidance of King Louis the Thirteenth, to 
whom it was dedicated, and for that of his successors and of 
the future Ministers of France. In Chapter VIII. * Du 
Conseil du Prince,' which might be translated * On the 
Cabinet,* we read : 

Among statesmen it is a much debated question whether 
it is better that a sovereign should govern the State in 
person, according to his own views, or whether he should be 
largely guided by his Council and do nothing without its 
advice. Either form of government might be advocated in 
bulky volumes. 

The worst government, in my opinion, is one which is 
entirely in the hands of a sovereign who is so incapable, 
and at the same time so presumptuous, that he pays no 
attention whatever to any council. The best government 
of all is one where the mainspring is the will of the sovereign 
who, though capable of deciding for himself, possesses so 
much modesty and judgment that he does nothing unless 
he is supported by good advice, acting on the principle 
that several eyes see more than a single one. . . . 

A highly-gifted ruler is a great treasure to his State, and 
an able council in the fullest sense of the word is no less 
precious. But the co-operation of an able ruler and a good 
council is of inestimable value because on such co-operation 
is founded the happiness of States. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 311 

There are no doubt only few sovereigns who can govern 
their States without assistance, but even if there were many- 
such gifted men they should not endeavour to administer 
it by themselves. . . . 

Many qualities are required in a good minister, and the 
most important are four : ability, faithfulness, courage, and 

The abihty of ministers does not consist in that form of 
self-conceit which is usually found in pedants. Nothing is 
more dangerous for a State than men who endeavour to 
govern it by means of abstract principles drawn from books. 
Such men have completely ruined States because the rules 
of the past cannot always be apphed to the present, for time, 
place, and persons differ. . . . 

In considering the ability of ministers, two facts are of 
particular importance. In the first place, men of the 
greatest natural genius are often more dangerous than useful 
in handling affairs of State unless they have more lead 
than quicksilver in their composition. Many men are fertile 
in good ideas. They abound with original thoughts. How- 
ever, such men are often so changeable in their plans that 
in the evening they have abandoned their intentions of the 
morning. They have so little staying power and logic 
that they change their good plans as readily as their bad 
ones, and never steadily pursue any policy. I may say with 
truth, and I know from experience, that the unsteadiness 
and changeableness of such people is no less dangerous 
in the management of national affairs than the ill-will of 

The second fact which must be borne in mind is that 
nothing can be more dangerous for a State than to give a 
position of great authority to men who have not sufficient 
gifts to guide themselves, but who, nevertheless, believe that 
they have so much ability that they need not be guided by. 
others. Men of that stamp can neither form a good plan for 
themselves nor follow the advice of those who might give 
them good counsel. Hence they commit constantly very 
great mistakes. One of the greatest vices which a public 
man may possess is presumption. Although humihty is not 
required in those whose destiny it is to administer a State, 

312 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

they should possess modesty. Modesty is absolutely neces- 
sary to them, especially as the most capable men are often 
least able to bear with assistance and advice, without which 
even the ablest men are little fit to govern. Men of the 
greatest genius, unless possessed of modesty, are so much 
enamoured with their own ideas that they are apt to condemn 
the proposals of all other people, even if their views are better 
than their own Hence their natural pride and their high 
position are apt to make them altogether unbearable. Even 
the very ablest man must often listen to the advice of men 
whom he believes to be less able. It is prudent for a minister 
to speak little and to listen much, for one can profit from all 
kinds of advice. Good advice is valuable for itself, while 
bad advice confirms the good. . . . 

The leading men must be industrious, as I have stated. 
However it is not necessary that a man directing pubhc 
affairs should be working unceasingly. On the contrary, 
nothing is more harmful for him than unceasing labour. 
The nature of affairs of State makes relaxation necessary, 
and the more important the office is the more necessary is 
relaxation. The physical and mental strength of man is 
limited, and unceasing labour exhausts both in little time. 
It is necessary that those who manage affairs of State should 
make these their principal pre-occupation, and that they 
should devote to them their whole mind, their whole thought, 
and all their strength. Their greatest pleasure should con- 
sist not in their amusement, but in their success. States- 
men directing the affairs of a country should survey the 
whole world in order to be able to foresee the events of the 
future. Then they will be able to take measures against 
the evils which may come, and to carry through those 
measures which are required in the national interest. 

As the number of the physicians is often responsible for 
the death of the patient, even so the number of ministers is 
more often harmful than advantageous to the State. I 
would add that no more than four ministers can be usefully 
employed, and one of these should be invested with superior 
authority. This leading minister should be the mainspring 
of the State. He should be like the sun in the firmament. 
He should be guided only by his intelligence and should guide 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 313 

those around him. I hesitate to put forward this idea, for 
I may appear to be pleading my own cause. Still, I should 
find it easy to prove from Holy Writ, and from authoritative, 
sacred, and profane writers, the necessity of a principal 
minister. Besides, I would say that the confidence with 
which your Majesty has always honoured me during the time 
when I have guided the policy of France was due to your 
own free will. Posterity will find that the authority which 
I have always enjoyed in your councils has been legitimate. 
Therefore, I beheve that I may freely speak upon the subject 
without being suspected of questionable motives. 

The envy which naturally arises among men of equal 
authority, as among States of equal power, is too well known 
to make it necessary that I should prove at length the truth 
of the fact that a single minister should occupy the pre- 
eminent position described above. My experiences have been 
so convincing with regard to this principle that I think I 
should fail in my duty before God did I not state in formal 
terms in this my testament that there is nothing more 
dangerous to a State than to entrust its administration 
and government to a number of men enjoying power and 
authority. A step which one minister desires to undertake is 
liable to be opposed by another, and unless the minister who 
possesses the best idea is at the same time most skilful in 
steering them through, his plans will always be brought to 
nought by an opponent gifted with greater power of persua- 
sion. Each of the opposing ministers will have his followers. 
These will form parties in the State, and thus the strength of 
the country, which ought to be united, will be divided. As 
the sicknesses and death of man are caused by the oppos- 
ing humours of his body, even so the peace of States is dis- 
turbed by the disunion and the conflict of men of equal 
power, who direct the fate of nations, and these dissensions 
are apt to produce evils which at last may bring about the 
downfall of the nation. 

If it is true that monarchical most closely resembles 
divine government by its outward form, if it is true that a 
monarchy is superior to all other forms of government, as 
the greatest sacred and profane writers have told us, one may 
boldly state that the sovereign should entrust the manage- 

314 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

ment of the State to one particular person above all others, 
for he cannot, or, if he could, would not, have his eye con- 
stantly on the chart and on the compass. That stands to 
reason. Exactly as several pilots never direct simultaneously 
the rudder, even so the rudder of the ship of State should 
never be controlled by more than one man at a time. The 
steersman of the ship of State may well receive the advice 
of other men, and he should even ask for it. Still, it is for 
him to examine the advice given, and to direct the course of 
the ship to the right or to the left according to his judg- 
ment, in order to avoid rocks and to steer his course. . . . 
I am well acquainted with the ability, honesty, and courage 
which are required in ministers of State. As the controlling 
minister of whom we have spoken must stand above the 
other ministers in power and authority, so he must be 
superior to them by his personal qualities. Consequently 
the character of the person chosen to direct the State must 
be carefully examined before appointment. 

The sovereign must personally know the man whom he 
entrusts with so great a responsibility. But although the 
leading minister must be appointed by the sovereign, his 
choice should, if possible, find the approval of the public, for 
general approval will increase the minister's abihty to do 
good. It is easy to depict the quahties which a principal 
minister should possess, but it is difficult to find these gifts 
united in any single person. Still, it must be stated that 
the happiness or the misfortune of States depends upon the 
choice made. Hence sovereigns are compelled either to 
undertake themselves the heavy burden of government, or 
to select a man who will so conduct the affairs of the nation 
that their selection is approved of in earth and in Heaven. 

i Kichelieu believed a monarchy to be the best form of 
government. He thought that the best organised monarchy 
was not one which was governed by the monarch in person, 
be he ever so gifted, but one which was governed by an able 
monarch supported by an able Council of Ministers, because 
even a ruler of inferior ability could rule well by entrusting 
the national government to eminent Ministers. He attached 
the greatest value to their ability, experience, and character. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 315 

In Kichelieu's opinion, as in that of Prince Bismarck, the worst 
ministers are brilliant and dazzling men, lacking thorough- 
ness, and men of book-learning and of preconceived notions, 
doctrinaires. Unfortunately, men of these two types easily 
impose upon the masses. Hence they are usually found in 
democratic Cabinets. Kicheheu thought it most important 
that Ministers should possess that quiet modesty which is 
always found in men who thoroughly know theh* business, 
in great experts. He wished that Ministers should devote 
their activities entirely to their office, concentrating all 
their thoughts and ambitions upon their departments. He 
thought that the Council of Ministers should be small ob- 
viously because only a small council can deliberate in secret 
and can decide rapidly. He advised that the Cabinet should 
consist of no more than four men, that one of the four should 
be given authority above the remaining three, and that these 
three Ministers should not be the equals of the principal 
Minister but his assistants, his subordinates. Particular 
attention should be paid to the fact that RicheHeu attached 
the very highest value to the subordination of the Ministers 
to a principal Minister, and that he condenmed emphatically 
a Cabinet of Ministers possessing, at least nominally, equal 
authority such as those who form the British Cabinet. In 
Eichelieu's words : ' There is nothing more dangerous to 
a State than to entrust its administration and government 
to a number of men enjoying equal power and authority.* 
His arguments in favour of concentrating all ministerial 
responsibiUty into the hands of a single presiding and 
directing Minister are unanswerable. Lastly, Eichelieu re- 
commended that the position of principal Minister should be 
entrusted only to a man most eminent both in ability and 
in personal character, and that, if possible, a popular man 
should be chosen. The ideal Prime Minister and his minis- 
terial assistants should not be overburdened with work, 
but should have sufficient leisure to be able to think ahead, 
and to prepare ;£or the future, for otherwise he would be 
worn out with labour, and, being too much occupied with 

316 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

current' affairs, would be surprised by the march of events. 
It will be noticed that government by means of a Cabinet, 
as practised in this country, is in every particular dia- 
metrically opposed to the form of national organisation 
which the great Cardinal described as the most perfect and 
the most efficient. 

Eichelieu lived three centuries ago. Nevertheless, the 
broad principles of efficient government expounded by him 
have not been superseded. Experience has proved their 
worth. Let us now trace the development of modern 
national organisation in the best organised State, in Germany. 

Brandenburg-Prussia has had the rare good fortune of 
having possessed some most highly gifted rulers endowed 
with administrative genius and ability of the highest kind : 
Frederick William the Great Elector, who ruled from 
1640 to 1688, Frederick William the First, who ruled from 
1713 to 1740, and Frederick the Great who ruled from 
1740 to 1786. These three sovereigns, w^ho together ruled 
during no less than 121 years, raised Brandenburg-Prussia 
by their personal labours from insignificance to the rank 
of a prosperous Great Power. They governed the country 
in person, and directed and controlled themselves the whole 
administration. They presided over the ministerial councils, 
heard and weighed the opinions of their counsellors, and 
then decided. They established the tradition that the 
ruler of Prussia is his own Prime Minister, a doctrine to 
which Eichelieu was strongly opposed. Capable rulers 
were followed by lamentably incapable ones. The personal 
misgovernment of Frederick William the Second and 
Frederick William the Third brought about Prussia's decline 
and downfall. 

The Napoleonic War had ended in the triumph of Great 
Britain. At the peace England was richer and more power- 
ful than she was when the war began. Her prestige in 
Europe was unhmited. All nations desired to copy her 
political institutions and her economic policy. The British 
Government was carried on by a Cabinet of jointly 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 317 

responsible Ministers, presided over by a Prime Minister. 
It was, therefore, only natural that Prussia, in reorganising 
the country, created a Cabinet of jointly responsible Ministers 
presided over by a Prime Minister. However, there was 
a profound difference between the two Cabinets. The 
Prussian Prime Minister was to be the King's Manager. 
Bismarck stated on January 24, 1882 : 

In Prussia the King himself governs. The ministers 
may put on paper the orders which the King has given, but 
they do not govern. In the words of the Prussian Constitu- 
tion, * The King alone possesses the power of the executive.' 
Cabinet Ministers are not mentioned in that document. 

The Prussian Ministers are the King's servants, not the 

The great characteristic of Bismarck was his clear critical 
faculty. He refused to believe that a form of government 
or an economic poUcy was best because it existed in England. 
He thought government by means of a jointly responsible 
Cabinet an evil, even if it were directed, or presided over, 
by the King who was able to order the Ministers whom 
he had appointed to do this or that, whether they approved 
or disapproved. He shared Eichelieu's opinion that * there 
is nothing more dangerous to a State than to entrust its 
administration and government to a number of men enjoying 
equal power and authority.' He considered that joint 
responsibility meant irresponsibility, friction, delay, 
inefficiency. Therefore, when he created in 1866 the North 
German Federation, the forerunner of the German Empire, 
he concentrated all power into the hands of a single principal 
Minister, giving him sole responsibility and making the 
other Ministers his subordinates. This organisation was 
later on taken over by the German Empire. The Empire 
has only a single responsible Minister, the Imperial Chan- 
cellor, and the subordination of his ministerial assistants 
has been emphasised in their very title. While Prussia 
has a number of Ministers and a Prime Minister the 

318 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

German Empire has a Chancellor supported by a number of 
' Secretaries of State.' 

As the German Liberals, who loudly advocated Free 
Trade and Cabinet Government * as in England ' for the 
North German Federation and the German Empire, were 
opposed to the absolute supremacy of a single Minister, 
Bismarck had to defend this form of government on 
numerous occasions. He stated, for instance, in the Reichstag 
of the North German Federation, on April 16, 1869 : 

A strong, active, and progressive Government is required. 
Yet it is desired that for every decision several Ministers of 
equal authority should be responsible. It is believed that 
by their appointment all the evils of this world may be 
cured. A man who has been at the head of a Cabinet and who 
has been forced to form decisions on his own responsibility 
is not afraid to act, though he alone is responsible, but he 
shrinks from the necessity of convincing seven people that 
his measures are really the best. That task is more difficult 
than that of governing a State. All members of a Cabinet 
have an honest and firm conviction. The more honest 
and the more capable Ministers are, the more difficult they 
will find it to give way to any other man. Every one of the 
Ministers is surrounded by a number of pugnacious perma- 
nent officials, who also have convictions of their own. In 
any case it is difficult to convince a man. One persuades 
a man occasionally, or gains him over through courtesy, 
but one has to do this seven times. I am firmly convinced, 
and my opinion has been created by practical experience, 
that government by means of a Cabinet, by means of a 
board, is a constitutional error and mistake which every 
State should endeavour to get rid of as soon as possible. 
I would not lend a hand to impose that mistaken institution 
of a Cabinet upon the North German Federation. I believe 
that Prussia would make an immense step forward if she 
would adopt the principle of the North German Federation, 
according to which only a single Minister is responsible. 

Responsibility is possible only in the case of a single 
individual who in his person can be held responsible for his 
action. If the same individual is member of a Cabinet, he 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 319 

may answer that he has been outvoted by his colleagues, or 
he may say that the opposition he experienced made his 
intended measures impracticable, that a bill he intended to 
bring in has been delayed for seven years because seven 
honest men could not agree on its text. Besides, in every 
board discussion the moment arrives at last when the decision 
has to be left to chance, to the toss of a coin. 

He said in the Keichstag on December 1, 1874 : 

What guarantee of moral responsibility have you in the 
case of any institution unless responsibility is borne by 
a single person ? Absolutely none. Who is responsible 
in a Cabinet, consisting of eight or ten independent Ministers, 
none of whom can take an important measure unless the 
majority of his colleagues support it ? Who is responsible 
for the resolutions of a parliamentary majority ? It is 
clear that it cannot be sought for in any individual, because 
in the case of a majority vote everybody is entitled to say 
that he was not in favour of the measure taken, but that 
others were opposed to him. . . . 

I believe that national affairs can be conducted in a 
spirit of unity only if the Government is presided over by a 
man who is able to give orders. I should, of course, raise 
difficulties to myself if I should frivolously or too easily 
make use of that power. On the other hand, the ability 
to give orders is a weapon, the possession of which is known 
to all, and therefore it becomes rarely necessary to use it. 

He stated in the Eeichstag on November 22, 1875 : 

The position of a Prime Minister of Prussia is ungrateful 
because of his powerlessness. One can be i^esponsible only 
for that which one does with one's own free will. A board is 
irresponsible, for later on it is impossible to discover the 
men who formed the majority which passed this or that 
measure. Joint responsibility is a fiction. It may be very 
convenient to leave resolutions to a Cabinet and to say the 
Cabinet has resolved to do this or that. However, if you 
inquire how the resolution was arrived at, every Minister 
will shrug his shoulders and tell a different tale, for if there 
has been failure no one cares to assume responsibility. 

320 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

In his posthumous memoirs, his poUtical testament, 
we read : 

Official decisions do not gain in honesty and moderation 
by being arrived at collectively, for, apart from the fact that, 
in the case of voting by majority, arithmetic and chance 
take the place of logical reasoning, that feeling of personal 
responsibility in which lies the essential guarantee for the 
conscientiousness of the decision is lost directly it comes 
about by means of anonymous majorities. . . . 

The board character of the- Prussian Ministry, with its 
majority votes, daily compels Ministers to compromise and 
surrender to their colleagues. A real responsibihty in high 
pohtics can only be undertaken by one single directing 
Minister, never by a numerous board with majority voting 

Many similar pronouncements of his might easily be 

Bismarck was a keen student of history, and had learned 
its lessons. He was aware that divided counsels had been 
responsible for confusion in policy and administration and 
for the dow^nfall of States since the earliest times ; that 
divided councils had sapped the strength, and destroyed, 
kingdoms and ohgarchies, aristocracies and democracies ; 
that no organisation can be efficient which is nominally 
controlled by many heads — which has no real head but 
at best a figurehead ; that a nation, like an army, or 
like a commercial undertaking, can be successfully and 
responsibly directed and controlled only by one man. 

Kichelieu and Bismarck were the greatest civilian states- 
men of modern times, and Frederick the Great and Napoleon 
the First were the greatest military statesmen. They were 
certainly at least as eminent as organisers and adminisr 
trators as they were as generals. Not unnaturally both 
were in favour of a single and undivided control of the 
national government and administration, and were abso- 
lutely opposed to divided control because the latter 
means no control, but drift, delay, inefficiency, intrigue, 
and disaster. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 321 

Frederick the Great stated in his ' Essai sur les Formes de 
Gouvernement ' of 1777 : 

If a ruler abandons the helm of the ship of State and 
places it into the hands of paid men, of Ministers appointed 
by him, one will steer to the right and another to the left. 
A general plan is no longer followed. Every Minister disap- 
proves of the actions of his predecessor, and makes changes 
even if they are quite unnecessary, wishing to originate a new 
policy which is often harmful. He is succeeded by Ministers 
who also hasten to overthrow the existing institutions in 
order to show their ability. In consequence of the numerous 
innovations made none can take root. Confusion, disorder, 
and all the other vices of a bad administration arise, 
and incapable or worthless officials blame the multitude of 
changes for their shortcomings. 

Men are attached to their own. As the State does not 
belong to the Ministers in power they have no real interest 
in its welfare. Hence the Government is carried on with 
careless indifference, and the result is that the administra- 
tion, the public finances, and the army deteriorate. Thus 
the monarchy becomes an oligarchy. Ministers and generals 
direct affairs in accordance with their fancy. Systematic 
administration disappears. Everyone follows his own 
notions. No link is left which connects the directing 
factors. As all the wheels and springs of the watch serve 
together the single object of measuring time, all the springs 
and wheels of a Government should be so arranged and co- 
ordinated that all the departments of the national adminis- 
tration work together with the single aim of promoting the 
greatest good of the State. That aim should not be lost 
sight of for a single moment. Besides, the individual 
interests of Ministers and generals usually cause them to 
oppose each other. Thus personal differences often prevent 
the carrying through of the most necessary measures. 

National disasters of the greatest magnitude are obviously 
the most searching tests of the value of the national organisa- 
tion. The Seven Years' War was fought chiefly on Prussian 
soil. The country had been overrun by hostile troops, had 

322 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

been utterly devastated, and had in part become abandoned 
by man. Yet, ten years after the war the population, the 
income and the wealth of Prussia were considerably greater 
than at its beginning, as I have shown very fully in another 
book which supplies a mass of documentary information 
on Frederick the Great as an organiser and administrator.^ 
In it will be found copious extracts from the King's writings, 
and especially from his two Political Testaments, which 
have not previously been published in English. 

Now let us see what the administration of Napoleon 
the first can teach us. 

Napoleon the First was an organising genius. His 
military triumphs proved ephemeral, but in the domain 
of national organisation and administration his work has 
endured. Professor Pariset wrote justly in the * Cambridge 
Modern History ' : 

Bonaparte directed the reorganisation of France, and 
never perhaps in history was a work so formidable accom- 
plished so quickly. Order and regularity were established 
in every branch of the administration. The greater part 
of the institutions founded during the Consulate have sur- 
vived to the present day, and it is no exaggeration to state 
that it was Bonaparte who created contemporary France. 

The French Eevolution had destroyed the work of 
eight centuries and had left nothing but ruin and disorder. 
The Treasury was empty. The taxes failed to come in. 
The paper money was greatly depreciated. No loans could 
be raised. The nation had repeatedly become bankrupt. 
The consecutive revolutionary Governments were govern- 
ments of many heads. Although the revolutionary leaders 
were men of the greatest abiUty, divided councils and the 
influence of popular passion had caused them to adopt 
the most insane measures. They had madly destroyed 
the national organisation and the national credit. In 
1796 the louis d'or of twenty-four francs was worth from 

1 The Foundations of Germany, Smith, Elder & Co., 1916. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 323 

6107 francs to 8137 francs in assignats. A pair of boots 
which cost thirty francs in gold cost about 10,000 francs 
in paper. In 1799, at the end of which Napoleon became 
First Consul, the 5 per cent. Eente reached the minimum 
price of seven, yielding thus 71| per cent, to the purchaser. 
Unrestricted self-government had produced administrative 
anarchy throughout the provinces. Edmond Blanc tells us in 
his ' Napoleon I, ses Institutions Civiles et Administratives ' : 

For a long time no money had been available for con- 
structing or repairing roads and bridges, and these had 
fallen into decay. Koads no longer existed. Where they 
had been, the ground was full of holes yards wide and 
deep, in which carts and carriages disappeared. Fourcroy 
reported that in travelling from Tours to Poitiers and to La 
Rochelle, and thence to Nantes, his carriage was broken six 
times, and that eleven times he was compelled to employ 
several teams of oxen for drawing it out of the mire. Carters 
would only proceed in numbers so as to be able to assist one 
another, and would frequently travel across the cultivated 
fields because passage through them was easier than along 
the so-called roads. At night the roads were unusable, and 
carters could often do no more than three or four miles per 

This state of affairs had made transport by road very 
expensive. The internal trade of France came almost to 
an end. Wheat which fetched 18 francs in the market at 
Nantes cost 36 francs at Brest. Hence, scarcity prevailed 
in many departments. During the first years of the Direc- 
toire, out of 85,000 people in Rouen no less than 64,000 had 
to be supplied Vvith bread by public distribution. During 
the Directoire r.nd the first few years of the Consulate the 
problem how to feed the people was the principal preoccupa- 
tion of the Government. France, like modern India, lived 
under the dread of impending famine. 

The canals of France were as neglected as the roads. 
The harbours of Eochefort and Fréjus were filled with mud. 
The vast drainage works of the time of Louis the Fourteenth 
had fallen into ruin, and so had the dykes which protected 
the country against floods. The roads were infested with 

324 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

robbers. The administration of the law had broken down, 
and the prevaiUng insecurity had led to the standstill of 

On December 24, 1799, Napoleon was made First Consul, 
and on the evening of that day he dictated to his friend 
Eoederer a proclamation in which he promised to the people 
not only independence and glory, but also the creation 
of an orderly administration, the re-establishment of the 
national finances, the reform of the laws and the re-creation 
of the prosperity of the utterly impoverished nation. To 
the surprise of the world he carried out that colossal pro- 
gramme within a few years. He created order in the local 
and national government and security of the person and 
of property. Soon the taxes were once more regularly 
paid. Kapidly the laws wore improved and codified. Koads; 
canals, and public works of every kind were constructed. 
A new France arose. The 5 per cent. Eente, which in 
1799 had touched seven, touched 44 in 1800, 68 in 1801, 
and 93-40 in 1807. According to a statement which on 
February 25, 1813, Comte de Montalivet, Napoleon's Minister 
of the Interior, placed before the Corps Législatif, France 
spent, from 1804 to 1813 alone, the following gigantic 
sums on public works : 


Fortresses, arsenals, and barracks . . . 143,669,600 

Roads and highways 277,484,549 

Bridges 30,605,356 

Canals, river regulation, and draining of swamps . 1 22,587,898 

Sea harbours and dykes 117,328,710 

PubUo works in Paris 102,421,187 

Public buildings in the provinces .... 149,108,550 

Imperial residences and Crown properties . . 62,054,583 

Total 1,005,260,433 

Napoleon had an unlimited power for work. His 
Ministers, like those of Eichelieu, Bismarck, and Frederick 
the Great, were his servants. They were independent of 
Parliament. The initiative for legislation and adminis- 
tration was given to the Conseil d'État, a most interesting 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 325 

and most valuable institution which had the same function 
in the State that a powerful General Staff has in an army. 
It contained men of the very highest ability and distinction 
belonging to all parties — red revolutionaries, moderates, 
royalists, exiled and former nobles, administrators, generals, 
admirals, and great lawyers. It possessed five sections for 
Finance, Legislation, War, Navy, Home Affairs. Each 
section discussed and prepared its own measures, and these 
were then submitted to, and discussed by, the whole council. 
The Code Napoléon was thus evolved. Napoleon himself 
took a very active part in these plenary sittings, attending 
often during seven or eight hours and scrutinising every 
proposal. As the Conseil d'État worked behind closed 
doors, no speeches addressed to the electors were made in 
it. Discussion was carried on by brief and telling argument. 
No time was wasted. The result was that innumerable 
vast reforms were brought forward at almost incredible 
speed, and that every Government measure was wise and 
was carefully worked out in all details, embodying not only 
the views of the technical experts but the experience of the 
foremost men of France as well. 

Both Frederick the Great and Napoleon the First by 
concentrating all the administrative power into their own 
hands, were able to repair in a few years unprecedented 
ravages and to convert chaos, poverty, and starvation 
into order, wealth, and plenty. Boards and councils are 
slow-moving and timorous bodies wedded to precedent 
and hampered by obstruction, intrigue, and sheer stupidity. 
No Cabinet of Ministers could have achieved a tithe of 
the national reconstruction and reorganisation accom- 
plished so rapidly by Frederick and Napoleon. 

The greatest statesmen of the New World agree with 
the greatest statesmen of the Old in beheving that the 
national government should be controlled and directed not 
by a Cabinet, not by a number of men of equal authority, 
but by a single individual supported by a council of able 
men of his own choosing, his subordinates. The founders 

326 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

of the United States placed the Executive into the hands 
of a practically irresponsible President who was free to 
appoint his Ministerial subordinates who cannot be forced 
out of office by a parHamentary vote. The American 
President is an elected king possessed of vast power, and in 
time of war he is the actual commander-in-chief of the 
Army and Navy. The greatest American statesmen, the 
makers of the Constitution, entrusted the Executive to a 
single man, beheving that only thus efficiency and true 
responsibihty could be ensured. I have given their views 
very fully in the following chapter, to which I would refer 
those who desire detailed information. Alexander Hamilton, 
the greatest constructive statesman of the United States, 
wrote in the Federalist : 

Wherever two or more persons are engaged in any com- 
mon enterprise or pursuit there is always danger of difference 
of opinion. If it be a public trust or office, in which they are 
clothed with equal dignity and authority, there is peculiar 
danger of personal emulation and even animosity. . . . 
Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no 
agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned 
by those whom they dishke. But if they have been con- 
sulted and have appeared to disapprove, opposition then 
becomes, in their estimation, an indispensable duty of self- 
love. ... No favourable circumstances palliate or atone 
for the disadvantages of dissension in the executive depart- 
ment. Here they are pure and unmixed. There is no point 
at which they cease to operate. They serve to embarrass 
and weaken the execution of the plan or measure to which 
they relate, from the first step to the final conclusion of it. 
They constantly counteract those quaUties in the Executive 
which are the most necessary ingredients in its composition, 
vigour and expedition, and this without any counterbalancing 
good. In the conduct of war, in which the energy of the 
Executive is the bulwark of the national security, everything 
would be to be apprehended from its plurality. . . . 

But one of the weightiest objections to a plurality in the 
Executive is that it tends to conceal faults and destroy 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 327 

responsibility. ... It often becomes impossible, amidst 
mutual accusations, to determine on whom the blame or the 
punishment of a pernicious measure, or a series of pernicious 
measures, ought really to fall. It is shifted from one to 
another with so much dexterity, and under such plausible 
appearances, that the public opinion is left in suspense about 
the real author. ... * I was overruled by my council. 
The council were so divided in their opinions that it was 
impossible to obtain any better resolution on the point.' 
These and similar pretexts are constantly at hand, whether 
true or false. And who is there that will either take the 
trouble or incur the odium of a strict scrutiny into the 
secret springs of the transaction ? 

Alexander Hamilton's views curiously agree with those 
of Prince Bismarck previously given. 

To the readers of these pages it will be clear that the 
greatest statesmen of the European Continent and of the 
United States were absolutely opposed to entrusting the 
control of the national government and administration to a 
Cabinet of jointly responsible Ministers, beheving that 
efficiency was incompatible with that form of government. 
It will be clear to them that the greatest statesmen of modern 
times beheved a body, such as the British Cabinet, a source 
of division, of weakness, and of danger ; that they considered 
that such a body would, owing to its divided councils, create 
disorganisation and confusion ; that joint responsibiHty 
would destroy all real responsibility ; that the control of 
affairs by a number of men would chiefly be productive 
of hesitation, vacillation, and delay, and make secrecy and 
rapid action impossible. 

Those who write or speak about the British Constitution 
habitually treat the control of national affairs by a number 
of jointly responsible directors, who are supposed to act 
unanimously in all matters of importance, as if this arrange- 
ment were a matter of course, as if it had existed since time 
immemorial and had by its very antiquity proved its excel- 
lence. They treat it as if it were the last word and the 

328 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

highest expression of national organisation. In reahty 
the national organisation of Great Britain, which formerly 
was highly centraHsed and extremely efficient, has gradu- 
ally much deteriorated. Let us see what we can learn 
from that most important part of Britain's history which 
is usually not mentioned in the text-books. 

In the olden days Great Britain was governed by powerful 
Kingô with the assistance of a Council. The local adminis- 
tration was entrusted to great noblemen who acted as the 
King's representatives, for a regular civil service with 
salaried officials is a very modern invention. These noble- 
men were paid by being allowed to exploit the land granted 
to them and the people dwelling thereon, and in return 
they had to keep order and to support the King. In course 
of time the power of the noblemen grew at the cost of 
the King, against whom they frequently revolted. Tliey 
considered themselves the nation and dominated Parlia- 
ment, the King's Council, and the King himself, and ruled 
the country. The most powerful noblemen occupied then 
a position not dissimilar to that now held by party leaders 
and, like party leaders, they fought one another for 
supremacy. They ruined the nation by their personal 
feuds. These disorders and abuses, which might have 
ended in England's downfall, were abolished by the energetic 
rulers of the House of Tudor, who reorganised the dis- 
tracted and impoverished country and made it united, rich, 
cultured, and powerful. Professor Marriott tells us in his 
excellent book, * English Pohtical Institutions ' : 

From 1404 to 1437 the King's Council was not merely 
dependent upon Parliament, but was actually nominated 
by them. But the result was a dismal failure. . . . The 
result was that while Parliament was busy in establishing its 
rights against the Crown, the nation was sinking deeper and 
deeper into social anarchy. . . The people, reduced to 
social confusion by the weak and nerveless rule of the Lan- 
castrians, emerged from the Wars of the Koses anxious for the 
repose and discipline secured to them by the New Monarchy. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 329 

For a century the Tudors continued to administer 
the tonic which they had prescribed to the patient suffering 
from disorder and economic anaemia. The evolution 
of the Parhamentary machinery was temporarily arrested, 
but meanwhile the people grew socially and commer- 
cially. Aristocratic turbulence was sternly repressed ; 
extraordinary tribunals were erected to deal with powerful 
offenders ; vagrancy was severely punished ; work was found 
for the unemployed ; trade was encouraged ; the navy was 
organised on a permanent footing ; scientific training in 
seamanship was provided ; excellent secondary schools were 
established — in these and in many other ways the New 
Monarchy, despotic and paternal though it was, brought 
order out of chaos and created a New England. 

Let us now briefly survey how the Fredericks and 
Bismarcks of the Tudor period created this New England. 

About the year 1470, during the reign of King Edward 
the Fourth of the House of York, Sir John Fortescue, the 
Chief Justice of the King's Bench, wrote a most interesting 
and important treatise, * The Governance of England.' 
A particularly remarkable chapter, the fifteenth, deals 
with the Cabinet question, and is entitled * How the King's 
Council may be Chosen and Estabhshed.' In sHghtly 
modernised EngHsh it runs as follows : 

The King's Council was wont to be chosen of great 
princes and of the greatest lords of the land, both spiritual 
and temporal, and also of other men that were in great 
authority and office. Which lords and officers had in their 
hands also many matters of their own to be treated in the 
Council, as had the King. Wherefore, when they came 
together, they were so occupied with their own matters, 
and with the matters of their kin, servants, and tenants, 
that they attended but little, and sometimes not at all, to 
the King's business. 

And also there were but few matters of the King's, but if 
these same matters touched also the said counsellors, their 
cousins, their servants, tenants or such others as they owed 
favour to, what lower man was there sitting in that Council 

330 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

that durst speak against the opinion of any of the great 
lords ? And why might not then men, by means of corrup- 
tion of the servants, counsellors, and of some of the lords, 
move the lords to partiahty, and make them also favourable 
and partial as were the same servants or the parties that so 
moved them ? 

Then could no matter treated in the Council be kept quiet. 
For the Lords oftentimes told their own advisers and ser- 
vants that had sued to them for those matters how they had 
sped in the Council and who was against them. How may 
the King be counselled to refrain giving away his land, or 
giving ofi&cers grants or pensions of abbeys by such great 
lords to other men's servants, since they most desire such 
gifts for themselves and their servants ? 

Which things considered, and also many others which 
shall be showed hereafter, it is thought good that the King 
had a council chosen and established in the form that 
follows, or in some other form like thereto. First that there 
were chosen twelve ecclesiastics and twelve laymen of the 
wisest and best disposed men that can be found in all parts 
of this land, and that they be sworn to counsel the King after 
a form to be devised for their oath. And, in particular, 
that they shall take no fee, no clothing, and no reward from 
any man except from the King as do the justices of the 
King's Bench and of the Common Pleas when they take 
their offices. And that these twenty-four men be permanent 
councillors, but if any fault should be found in them, or if 
the King should desire it by the advice of the majority of 
the Council, he should change any of them. And that every 
year be chosen by the King four lords spiritual and four 
lords temporal to be for that year of the same council, 
exactly as the said twenty-four councillors shall be. 

And that they all have a head or a chief to rule the 
Council, one of the said twenty-four, and chosen by the 
King and holding his office at the King's pleasure, which may 
then be called Caipitalis consiliarius. . . . 

These councillors might continually, and at such hours 
as might be assigned to them, discuss and deliberate upon 
the matters of difficulty that have fallen to the King, and 
upon the policy of the realm, how the going out of money 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 331 

may be restrained, how bullion may be brought into the 
land, how plate, jewels, and money lately taken out of the 
country may be got back again. For all this truly wise 
men will soon find the means. Also how the prices of 
merchandise produced in this country may be maintained 
and increased, and how the prices of merchandise imported 
into England may be lowered. How our navy may be 
maintained and augmented, and upon such other points of 
policy which are of the greatest profit and advantage to this 
country. How also the laws may be amended in such 
things in which they need reform. 

Through the activity of the Council the Parliament will 
be able to do more good in a month by way of amending 
laws than they do now in a year, if the amendments proposed 
be debated and made ripe for their hands by the Council. 

Sir John Fortescue complained that the ' greatest lords ' 
of the King's Council, the Cabinet of the time, attended 
chiefly to their own business and to that of their friends and 
retainers, neglecting that of the King and Nation, that they 
practised a shameless favouritism, did not keep secret the 
affairs of State, and thus made a wise policy and efficient 
administration impossible. He proposed that a new council 
of twenty-four of the wisest and best- disposed men should 
be estabhshed, one-half being laymen, and one-half clerics. 
Before the Keformation the Church represented learning 
and was comparable to the professional classes of the present 
day. Besides Churchmen had learnt the art of organisation, 
of administration and of government through their Church. 
Lastly, as the Church was an international body. Churchmen 
were best acquainted with international affairs. Hence, 
ecclesiastics were the greatest administrators and diplomats 
of the time. The twenty-four councillors were not to be 
* great lords,' corresponding to eminent politicians of the 
present. They were to be chosen on the ground of their 
capacity for business and to be permanently employed. In 
modern language, they were to be permanent officials, 
experts. They were to be reinforced by four lords spiritual. 

332 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

and four lords temporal, corresponding to Members of 
Parliament of the present day, but these were not to be 
permanent members of the Council, for they were to be 
chosen every year. The President of the Council, it is worth 
noting, was to be taken from the permanent official members, 
not from the powerful representatives of the nobility or the 
Church, and he was to act as manager for the King who was 
to be the real head of the Council. Sir John Fortescue 
wished to create a Council which combined the functions of 
the present Cabinet with those of Napoleon's Conseil d'État 
described in these pages, for the Council was to prepare all 
measures which were to be submitted to Parliament making 
them ' ripe for their hands.' 

Sir John's wish to reduce the power usurped by the 
territorial and clerical magnates and to increase that of the 
King, for the Nation's good, and his wish to have the 
national policy and administration controlled by a king, 
supported by the most eminent experts, was soon to be 
fulfilled. In 1485 the wise and energetic Henry the Seventh 
came to the throne. He did not allow the powerful nobility 
to dominate him or his Council. He governed the country 
himself, supported by the ablest men of the land. The 
great Lord Bacon has told us : 

He was of a high mind and loved his own will, and his 
own way ; as one that revered himself, and would reign 
indeed. Had he been a private man he would have been 
termed proud. But in a wise prince it was but keeping of 
distance, which indeed he did towards all ; not admitting 
any near or full approach, either to his power or to his secrets, 
for he was governed by none. . . . 

To his council he did refer much and sat oft in person, 
knowing it to be the way to assist his power and inform his 
judgment. In which respect also he was fairly patient of 
liberty, both of advice and of vote, till himself were declared. 
He kept a straight hand on his nobihty, and chose rather 
to advance clergymen and lawyers which were more ob- 
sequious to him, but had less interest in the people, which 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 333 

made for his absoluteness, but not for his safety. He was 
not afraid of an able man, as Louis the Eleventh was ; but, 
contrariwise, he was served by the ablest men that were 
to be found, without which his affairs could not have pros- 
pered as they did. Neither did he care how cunning they 
were that he did employ, for he thought himself to have the 
master-reach. And as he chose well, so he held them up 
well. . . . 

He was a prince, sad, serious, and full of thoughts and 
secret observations, and full of notes and memorials of his 
own hand, especially touching persons ; as whom to employ, 
whom to reward, whom to inquire of, whom to beware of, 
what were the dependencies, what were the factions, and the 
like ; keeping, as it were, a journal of his thoughts. 

King Henry the Seventh, who had found England 
impoverished and distraught, left to his son, Henry the 
Eighth, a well-ordered and prosperous country and an 
overflowing treasury. 

Henry the Eighth, his son, was only eighteen years old 
when he succeeded his father, and very naturally he was not 
able to govern in person through a Council. The Govern- 
ment was carried on by the King through a Manager, first 
through Cardinal Wolsey, who raised England's prestige 
to the highest point by his foreign policy, and afterwards 
through Thomas Cromwell, who carried through the Refor- 
mation. Henry's rule was of the greatest benefit to the 
country. In Professor Pollard's words : 

Henry the Eighth took the keenest interest from the 
first in learning and in the navy. ... No small part of 
his energies was devoted to the task of expanding the Royal 
authority at the expense of temporal competitors. Wales 
and its marshes were brought into legal union with the rest 
of England, and the Council of the North was set up to bring 
into subjection the extensive jurisdictions of the Northern 
Earls. ... It was of the highest importance that England 
should be saved from rehgious civil war, and it could only 
be saved by a despotic government. It was necessary for 
the future development of England that its governmental 

334 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

system should be centralised and unified, that the authority 
of the monarchy should be more firmly extended over Wales 
and the western and northern borders, and that the still 
existing feudal franchises should be crushed ; and these 
objects were worth the price paid in the methods of the Star 
Chamber and of the Councils of the North and of Wales. 
Henry's work on the navy requires no apology ; without it 
Elizabeth's victory over the Spanish Armada, the liberation 
of the Netherlands, and the development of English Colonies 
would have been impossible ; and of all others the year 
1545 best marks the birth of the English naval power. 
He had a passion for efficiency, and for the greatness of 
England and himself. 

King Honry the Eighth died in 1547, and between that 
year and 1558 the country was under the rule of the child- 
king Edward the Sixth and of Queen Mary, Bloody Mary, 
of painful memory. Under their weak and only nominal 
rule, England was once more torn by party strife, and at 
the advent of Queen Elizabeth in 1558 disorganisation and 
poverty had become great and general. Froude has told 
us in his History : 

On all sides the ancient organisation of the country was 
out of joint. The fortresses from Berwick to Falmouth were 
half in ruins, dismantled, and ungarrisoned. The Tower 
was as empty of arms as the Treasury of money. . . . Bare 
of the very necessaries for self-defence, the Queen found 
herself with a war upon her hands, with Calais lost, the 
French in full possession of Scotland, where they were 
fast transporting an army, and with a rival claimant to her 
crown, whose right, by the letter of the law, was better 
than her own. Her position was summed up in an address 
to the Council as follows : * The Queen poor ; the realm 
exhausted ; the nobihty poor and decayed ; good captains 
and soldiers wanting ; the people out of order ; war with 
France ; the French King bestriding the realm, having one 
foot in Calais and the other in Scotland ; steadfast enemies, 
but no steadfast friends.' The Spanish Ambassador, the 
Conde de Feria, reported shortly after Ehzabeth's accession : 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 335 

* His Majesty had but to resolve, and he might be master of 
the situation. . . . The realm is in such a state that we 
could best negotiate here sword in hand. They have neither 
money, leaders, nor fortresses.' 

The position was truly a desperate one. It seemed 
inevitable that Great Britain would be conquered by France 
and Spain. To the surprise of the world. Queen Elizabeth 
once more created order in the country and made Great 
Britain more powerful, flourishing, and cultured than she 
had ever been in the past. She accomplished that mar- 
vellous feat not through her own genius but through the 
great ability of Lord Burleigh, the Bismarck of the time. 
In Froude's words : The wisdom of Elizabeth was the wisdom 
of her Ministers, and her chief merit lay in allowing her policy 
to be guided by Lord Burleigh. 

The golden age of the Tudors was created by three all- 
powerful Ministers who with heart and soul worked for 
their country. Both Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell 
governed the country during ten consecutive years, and 
Lord Burleigh toiled unceasingly on behalf of his Queen 
during no less than forty years. One-man government 
exercised through a single responsible and all-powerful 
Minister raised impoverished and diminished England to 
the greatest glory. 

With the death of Queen EHzabeth in 1603 the Hne of 
Tudor monarchs came to an end. To England's misfortune 
these able, energetic, wise, and far-seeing rulers were suc- 
ceeded by the weak, headstrong, capricious, and incapable 
Stuarts, who never felt at home in England, James the 
First, Charles the First, Charles the Second, and James 
the Second. They endeavoured to govern through Court 
favourites. They brought the Crown into contempt. They 
were followed by foreigners, by dull and weak monarchs, 
and the prestige of the Crown dechned still further. 
The capable WilHam the Third, a Dutchman, was suc- 
ceeded by Queen Anne, the daughter of James the Second, 
whose husband was a Danish Prince, and at her death, in 

336 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

1714, the Crown was given to George the First, the Elector 
of Hanover, a grandson of a daughter of James the First. 
He was installed by the aristocracy, which desired to keep 
all power in its own hands. George the First, like a Venetian 
Doge, was to be merely a shadow-king, a puppet of those 
who had made him. He felt a stranger in England, he 
never hked the country and the people, he did not know 
EngHsh, he painfully communicated with his Ministers in 
broken and ungrammatical Latin, and he was told by those 
who had installed him that his whole duty consisted in 
wearing his crown, drawing his pay, and saying ditto to 
his Ministers. According to Coxe's * Walpole,' the French 
Ambassador reported to his Government on July 20, 1724, 
when George the First had been King for ten years : 

The King, leaving the internal government entirely to 
Walpole, is more engaged with the German Ministers in 
regulating the affairs of Hanover than occupied with those 
of England. ... He has no predilection for the Enghsh 
nation, and never receives in private any English of either 
sex. ... He rather considers England as a temporary 
possession, to be made the most of while it lasts, than as a 
perpetual inheritance to himself and family. He will have 
no disputes with the Parliament, but commits the entire 
transaction of that business to Walpole, choosing rather 
that the responsibihty should fall on the Minister's head 
than his own. 

As the foreign King did not preside over the Ministerial 
Councils, whose proceedings he could not follow owing 
to his ignorance of Enghsh, the Ministers decided without 
him in his absence. Thus the present form of Cabinet 
government arose. 

George the Second, who had a German consort, felt 
almost as much a stranger in England as did his father. 
He did what he was told by his Ministers, whose omni- 
potence became still more firmly estabhshed. He told Chan- 
cellor Hardwicke * The Ministers are the King in this country.* 
The wives of George the Third, George the Fourth, 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 337 

and William the Fourth also were German Princesses. 
Monarchy and Government drifted apart. England became 
an oligarchy. Her government, as that of Venice, fell into 
the hands of aristocratic factions which dominated ParHa- 
ment, filled all offices with their relatives and friends, 
fought one another for place and power, and divided the 
country against itself. They ruled largely by intrigue and 
corruption and they desired to enjoy power without 

The Cabinet is a Committee of the Privy Council from 
which it has sprung. The Act of Settlement of 1700 provided : 

That from and after the time that the further limitation 
by this Act shall take effect, all matters and things relating 
to the well governing of this kingdom, which are properly 
recognisable in the Privy Council by the laws and customs of 
this realm, shall be transacted there, and all resolutions 
taken thereupon shall be signed by such of the Privy Council 
as shall advise and consent to the same. 

England's new rulers wished to replace the divine right 
of kings by the divine right of party leaders. Personal 
responsibihty was felt by the men in power to be an incon- 
venience. The paragraph quoted was repealed in 1706. 
The fiction of the joint responsibihty of the Cabinet was 
created in order to make the responsibihty of individual 
Ministers unascertainable. The British Cabinet Council, 
Uke the Venetian Council of Ten, its prototype, sits in secret. 
Nothing is transacted in writing. No notes are allowed to 
be taken. No records of the proceedings are kept for the 
information and guidance of future generations. As in 
a conspiracy, no traces are left which might help to attribute 
the responsibihty for decisions arrived at to any individuals 
or enable posterity to discover the reasons why they were 

Committee government through a Cabinet has proved 
as improvident, dilatory, inefficient, and wasteful in England 
as it has in Venice. The British Government was a by- 

338 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

word of inefficiency during the rule of the Georges, except 
in the time of the elder Pitt, the great Lord Chatham. 
Then it suddenly became most efficient because Pitt's 
powerful personality absolutely dominated his nominal 
colleagues. Under his energetic direction England once 
more enjoyed one-man rule. Pitt converted defeat, humilia- 
tion, and disorder into efficiency, order, and victory. 
His ministerial colleagues were his subordinates. Important 
decisions were taken by an inner Cabinet composed of Pitt, 
Holderness, and Newcastle. Basil WiUiams, in his excellent 
* Life of William Pitt,' has briefly and correctly described 
his government as follows : 

Much as he asked from his subordinates, Pitt gave more 
himself. He had trained himself for directing campaigns 
by his military studies, for diplomacy by his industry in 
acquiring a knowledge of French history and standard 
works on treaties and negotiations. . . . Where his own 
knowledge was deficient he was always ready to learn from 
those better informed. . . . His regular system of intelli- 
gence from foreign countries was admirably organised. . . . 
All these advantages — a well-ordered office, his own industry 
and knowledge, good intelligence — ^were subservient to the 
daemonic energy with which he executed his plans. His 
maxim was that nothing was impossible. When an admiral 
came to him with a tale that his task was impossible, ' Sir, 
I walk on impossibihties,' replied Pitt, showing his two 
gouty crutches, and bade him be off to the impossible 
task. ... 

Pitt's Cabinet, on the whole, worked well with him, for 
the members rarely ventured to oppose him. Newcastle 
was cowed and could always be brought to reason by a 
threat of resignation by Pitt ; Holderness was too devoid 
of convictions to give much trouble ; the Lord Keeper 
Henley had not found his feet ; Temple was devoted to his 
brother-in-law, and not yet jealous ; Anson and Ligonier 
were really no more than chiefs of the Navy and Army 
staffs ; Legge was timid ; Halifax, of the Board of Trade, 
was only admitted on sufferance ; Devonshire and Bedford 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 339 

took little part ; Hardwicke was kept in order by Granville, 
who had generally dined and pleased himself with unpalatable 
truths about his colleagues ; and Mansfield, if he ever had 
an opinion to express, was reduced to silence by Pitt's 
withering ' The Chief Justice of England has no opinion to 
give on this matter.' 

Pitt made Cabinet government a success by subordinating 
the Ministers to his imperious will and his vast abiHty, 
by not allowing his so-called colleagues to restrain his 
daemonical energy and his all-embracing genius. 

To those who have studied Enghsh history at its source 
it is clear that Great Britain was most progressive, that 
her government was most efficient, and that her diplomacy 
and army were most ably handled in the time of the Tudors, 
of Cromwell, and of the elder Pitt, when she enjoyed the 
advantages of one-man government. England's experience 
confirms the views of RicheUeu, Bismarck, Frederick the 
Great, Napoleon the First, Alexander Hamilton, and of the 
greatest statesman of antiquity given in these pages. 

Unfortunately the British Cabinet tends to become from 
year to year more unwieldy and more inefficient. A friendly 
and discriminating American critic, Professor Lowell, wrote 
in his classical book, * The Government of England ' : 

The number of members in the Cabinet has varied very 
much at different times, and of late years it has shown a 
marked tendency to increase. . . . The development of 
the parliamentary system has made it necessary for the 
Cabinet to have an ever stronger and stronger hold upon 
the House of Commons ; and, therefore, the different shades 
of feeling in the party that has a majority in that House 
must be more and more fully represented in the Cabinet. 
This alone would tend to increase the number of its members ; 
but far more important still is the fact that a seat in the 
Cabinet has become the ambition of all the prominent men 
in Parhament. Consequently the desire to be included is 
very great, and the disappointment correspondingly acute. 
For these various reasons there is a constant pressure to 

340 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

increase the size of the Cabinet. The result is not without 
its evils. A score of men cannot discuss and agree on a 
policy with the same readiness as a dozen. There is more 
danger of delay when action must be taken. There is a 
greater probability of long discussions that are inconclusive 
or result in a weak compromise. There is, in short, all the 
lack of administrative efficiency which a larger body always 
presents, unless, indeed, that body is virtually guided and 
controlled by a small number of its own members. 

The unwieldiness and inefficiency of British Cabinets 
are still further increased by a very important factor which 
Professor Lowell has not mentioned. The Prime Minister 
and other influential Ministers who wish to control the 
national policy through the Cabinet endeavour to strengthen 
their position by keeping some of the ablest men outside 
the charmed circle and by introducing into it a number of 
nonentities, a bodyguard of their own, which increases 
their influence and voting power and correspondingly 
diminishes the Cabinet's efficiency. This residuum of 
nonentities is naturally sometimes fought for by the leading 
Ministers who wish to secure its support. Lord John Kussell 
significantly wrote to Lord Lansdowne on May 28, 1854 : 
* It seems to me that the presence of many able men in the 
Cabinet tends to discordance of opinion and indecision.' In 
the third volume of Morley's * Gladstone ' we read, * A shght 
ballast of mediocrity in a Government steadies the ship 
and makes for unity.' 

Great Britain is governed by a Cabinet composed of the 
most eminent party leaders and of those of their followers 
whom they wish to have near at hand. The management of 
Army and Navy, the direction of the diplomatic service, 
&c., are political prizes, are * spoils of office.' The highest 
administrative positions have become political perquisites. 
They are given to men not for their administrative quahfica- 
tions, but exclusively on account of their pohtical and social 
influence without any regard to their aptitude. High office 
is often given to poUticians who have had no practical 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 341 

experience whatever in administration, and sometimes to 
men who are utterly unfitted for a Ministerial post. No one 
can faithfully serve several masters. As a pohtician- minister 
has probably a business of his own to attend to and must 
devote much time to party politics in the House of Commons, 
he can attend only perfunctorily to the business of State. 
Naturally, disorder, delay, and stagnation in departmental 
administration is the result. In former ages the national 
Government was mismanaged by Court favourites. Their 
place has been taken by party favourite^. 

The Cabinet is supposed to decide all important questions 
unanimously. The Army, the Navy, the Diplomatic Service, 
the national finances, &c., are nominally directed by a 
single amateur, but in important questions each service is 
directed by the combined wisdom of some twenty amateurs. 
One of these knows a httle of the business in hand, and the 
remaining twenty-one know less. Thus, a party politician, 
who all his Hfe has done nothing except make speeches, 
has suddenly to take over the functions of a general, an 
admiral, a diplomat, an expert on agriculture, an authority 
on shipping and finance, &c., in rapid succession. To do 
this efficiently he must have a greater and more universal 
genius than was vouchsafed to Napoleon the First or to the 
elder Pitt. Jack-of-all-trades are masters of none. Napoleon 
wrote to Berthier on October 24, 1803 : 

L'expérience prouve que le plus grand défaut en admini- 
stration générale est de vouloir faire trop ; cela conduit à 
ne point avoir ce dont on a besoin. 

In former ages when matters were simple, when the 
public services were rudimentary, when a few clerks and a 
door-keeper could handle the business of one of the great 
Government departments, it was perhaps possible for an 
amateur to direct successfully a department of State. Now, 
when the administrative departments have grown to gigantic 
size, and when the Services have become all-embracing and 
highly technical, none but great experts can satisfactorily 

342 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

iiianagG a great department. Aristotle wrote in the fourth 
century before Christ : 

A State requires many assistants and many superin- 
tendents. . . . We observe that the division of labour 
greatly facilitates all pursuits, and that each kind of work 
is best performed when each is allotted to a separate 
workman. To the complicated affairs of Government this 
observation is particularly applicable. 

If a careful division of administrative labour, if Govern- 
ment by speciahsts was recognised to be necessary in the 
tiny Greek City-States 2300 years ago, how much more 
necessary then is expert government in a modern world- 
empire of 400,000,000 inhabitants ? 

Blackstone wrote in the time of Frederick the Great in 
his celebrated * Commentaries * : 

It is perfectly amazing that there should be no other state 
of life, no other occupation, art, or science, in which some 
method of instruction is not looked upon as requisite, except 
only the science of legislation, the noblest and most difficult 
of any. Apprenticeships are held necessary to almost every 
art, commercial or mechanical : a long course of reading 
and study must form the divine, the physician, and the 
practical professor of the laws ; but every man of superior 
fortune thinks himself born a legislator. 

During the last three centuries British national organisa- 
tion has progressively deteriorated. 

Napoleon wrote at St. Helena un mauvais général vaut 
mieux que deux bons. War is a one-man business. The 
greatest generals of all time — lack of space prevents giving 
their opinions in this place — have stated that nothing is 
more dangerous in warfare than to allow mihtary operations 
to be directed by a military council, by a council of experts. 
The great War' was for a long time directed not by a council 
of mihtary experts, but by a council of pohticians, by the 
Cabinet. When Mr. Churchill was reproached for the failure 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 343 

of the Dardanelles Expedition, Mr. Asquith declared in the 
House of Commons that Mr. Churchill was not to blame, that 
it had been approved of * by the Cabinet as a whole,' and 
the House and the country were perfectly satisfied with 
that explanation. No one asked whether that expedition 
had been originated and approved of by the experts ! As 
long as mihtary operations are jointly directed by a body 
of amateurs, disaster is more hkely to be the result than 
success. The British Government, as hitherto constituted, 
is not the organisation of efficiency, but its negation. It 
is an organisation similar to that which caused the down- 
fall of Poland. It is the organisation of disorganisation. 
Amateurs are bound to govern amateurishly, and their 
insufficiency will be particularly marked if they have to 
run an unworkable Government machine and are pitted 
against perfectly organised professionals. 

The assertion that inefficiency is inseparable from 
democracy is not true. Democracy means popular control, 
but popular control need not mean disorganisation. It 
need not mean government by amateurs. A highly suc- 
cessful business may have a number of amateur directors, 
but these will in reality be merely supervisors. The actual 
management and direction will be left to an expert manager. 
Similarly, a jury of twelve good men and true does not 
expound the law, but leaves that technical duty to a single 
expert, the judge. The fact that democracy and the highest 
efficiency are compatible is illustrated by the British police, 
which is at the same time the most democratic, the most 
efficient, and the least corrupt police force in the world. 
However, the London police are directed not by a board 
of politicians, but by a single great expert, who possesses 
vast powers, and who is controlled by politicians to whom 
he is personally responsible. Committees are excellent 
for investigation and dehberation — twenty eyes see more 
than two — but they are totally unsuitable for decisive 
and rapid action, 'especially in the age of railways and 
telegraphs. Only one man can usefully command a ship, 

344 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

conduct an orchestra, manage a business, or direct a State, 
especially in difiQcult times. 

The rules of good organisation are simple and few. 
They demand 

(1) That a single man of the highest directing abihty 
should be in sole control and should be solely responsible. 

(2) That he should be supported by a number of expert 
assistants, and that he should be able to draw either on 
their individual or their combined advice, according to the 
nature of the problem before him. 

(3) That every man should have only one job, and that 
every man should attend only to his own job. 

A commercial business directed jointly by twenty- two 
amateur directors of nominally equal authority, who can 
only act when they are unanimous, would go bankrupt in 
a very short time. A business so incompetently organised 
does no exist. If such an organisation is totally unsuitable 
for a business where, after all, only a sum of money is at 
stake, how much more unsuitable then is it for a nation and 
empire where the existence of 400,000,000 people is at stake ? 
The British Empire has poured out lives and treasure with- 
out stint, and the results achieved so far — the action of 
the Fleet excepted — have been far from encouraging. 
The return for the gigantic sacrifices made has been totally 
inadequate. The strength of Great Britain and of the 
Empire cannot indefinitely be wasted with impunity. The 
organisation of Great Britain cries for immediate reform. 
Continuance of organised disorganisation, of haphazard 
warfare, directed by inexpert committees, may have the 
gravest consequences to this country. 

A democracy has a great advantage over a monarchy 
by being more able to adapt its constitution to changing 
conditions. The wonderful vitahty of Ancient Eome was 
largely due to its adaptabiUty, to the fact that the State 
had an institution, the Dictatorship, by which the Eepublic 
could rapidly be converted into a monarchy in time of 
danger. MachiavelH has told us in his ' Discorsi ' : 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 345 

Among the institutions of Eome, that of the Dictator- 
ship deserves our special admiration. The ordinary institu- 
tions of a Commonwealth work but slowly. No Councillor 
or magistrate has authority to act alone. In most cases 
several must agree, and time is required to reconcile their 
differences. Hesitation is most dangerous in situations 
which do not brook delay. Hence every repubhc ought 
to have some resource upon which it can fall back in time 
of need. When a repubhc is not provided with some such 
safeguard, it will either be ruined by observing its Constitu- 
tional forms, or it will have to violate them. However, in a 
repubhc nothing should be done by irregular methods, for 
though the irregularity may be useful, it would furnish a 
pernicious precedent. Every contingency cannot be fore- 
seen and provided for by law. Hence those republics which 
cannot in a sudden emergency resort to a Dictator or some 
similar authority may in time of danger be ruined. 

The Dictator was originally called Magister yopuli. 
According to Dionysius he was nominated by the Senate 
and approved of by the people. Later on he was appointed 
by the Consuls, the highest civil authorities, whom he 
superseded. He was not a high-handed tyrant but a 
popular leader elected by the representatives of the nation. 
While the Consuls could act only with the co-operation of 
the Senate, the Dictator could act on his own responsibility. 
However, his power was Kmited. He was appointed only 
for six months. He had no power over the Treasury, but 
had to come to the Senate for money. The power of the 
purse remained with the representatives of the nation. 
Kome was repeatedly saved from ruin by a Dictator when 
its Civil Government was unable to deal with the situation. 
We may learn from Rome's example. A Dictator is wanted. 

As the Cabinet in its original shape has proved totally 
unsuitable for conducting a great war, an inner Cabinet of 
six has been evolved. It remains to be seen whether six can 
successfully accomplish the work of direction which, accord- 
ing to the greatest statesmen and the practical experience 
of all time, should be left to a single man. If the committee 

346 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

of six should prove unsatisfactory, the Government should 
frankly declare its inability to deal efficiently with the 
situation and ask ParHament, without delay, for power 
to effect the necessary constitutional changes. The leading 
politicians themselves must surely recognise that they can- 
not successfully direct a war. The simplest way of con- 
centrating control into one hand would obviously consist 
in increasing the authority of the Prime Minister, making 
him solely responsible to ParUament for the conduct of the 
national business in all its branches, making the other 
Ministers distinctly his subordinates and appointing to the 
direction of every Department not poUticians but the best 
experts that can be found. Only the Prime Minister should 
attend ParHament, for ministers cannot at the same time 
attend to Parhament and their Departments. The greatest 
administrative experts would undoubtedly furnish a far 
stronger advisory council to the Prime ^linister than a 
Cabinet of pohticians, however eminent and of whatever 
party. Statesmanship and party poUtics must be kept 
strictly apart. The direction of the nation and the lead- 
ing of the House require totally different quaUfications. 
To enable the Prime Minister to give his undivided atten- 
tion to national affairs the two offices should be separated 
by law. Otherwise national affairs will continue to be sub- 
ordinated to party matters and be perfunctorily attended to 
for lack of time. In addition, an advisory Council modelled 
upon Napoleon's Conseil d'État, as described in these pages 
and foreshadowed by Sir John Fortescue in his * Governance 
of England,' might be created by resuscitating the moribund 
Privy Council. The Privy Council might once m.ore become 
a most valuable institution, a national inteUigence depart- 
ment, for investigating matters, preparing laws, &c. lU 
ranks should be greatly strengthened. At present it includes 
too many pohticians and society leaders and too few experts. 
It should be composed of the ablest men in every branch 
of human knowledge and activity. It is noteworthy that 
at present science is quite unrepresented on that Council. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 347 

Wars are not won by speeches. The province of poli- 
ticians is speech, that of statesmen action. Men of words 
are rarely men of action, and men of action rarely 
men of words. Eicheheu, Cromwell, Frederick, Napoleon, 
Bismarck, were wretched speakers, and most great speakers, 
the elder Pitt excepted, wretched statesmen. To entrust 
the direction of the State to men of words seems as inappro- 
priate as to entrust a valuable racehorse to a plausible 
sporting journahst. It is questionable whether another 
set of amateurs will do better than the present one, for 
the fault Hes chiefly with the system. Government by 
debating society has proved a failure. It should be abolished 
before it is too late. The situation seems to call for three 
reforms : (1) A solely responsible Prime Minister exclu- 
sively engaged with national business ; (2) the replacing of 
poHtician-ministers by the best experts ; (3) the creation of 
an efficient Privy Council to serve as a national inteUigence 

The traditional organisation of Great Britain is an 
anachronism and a danger. Every statesman must be 
convinced of its insufficiency and inaptitude. Happily 
it can easily be modernised and immensely strengthened. 
The advantage of democracy, which means popular control 
over the Government, can easily be combined with an efficient 
and well-ordered administration carried on by experts. 
If the national organisation were reformed in the manner 
indicated. Great Britain would no longer suffer disappoint- 
ment after disappointment in war through inexpert direc- 
tion and divided councils. She would no longer be surprised 
by events. The AlUes would no longer offer a chiefly passive 
resistance to Germany's onslaughts. The War would be 
greatly shortened. Efficiency would be met with efficiency, 
and greater numbers and resources would rapidly prevail. 
England's example of reorganisation would no doubt be 
followed throughout the world. The saying that democracy 
means improvidence, inefficiency, wastefulness, bungUng, 
amateurishness, and delay would cease to be true. Well- 

848 Democracy and the Iron Broom of War 

organised Great Britain would become an example to 
democracy throughout the world. The democratic form of 
government which, in consequence of the War, has lost 
prestige everywhere, would be rehabiUtated and obtain a 
new lease of life. 





On December 10, 1914, Professor C. K. Webster stated 
in his inaugural lecture delivered before the University 
of Liverpool : 

You will look in vain for the books which can teach 
Englishmen the connection of their own country with the 
political life of the Continent during the nineteenth century. 
Such books cannot be improvised on the spur of the moment 
in the midst of a national crisis. . . . Few will dispute 
that the study of our diplomatic history in the past century 
is of real and immediate importance to-day. Yet the work 
has scarcely been begun. There is, for example, as yet no 
adequate record of the part England played in the great 
reconstruction of Europe after the Napoleonic Wars. . . . 
Neither Canning nor Palmerston is known to us, except by 
loose and inadequate records. 

This statement is exceedingly humiliating. It seems 
incredible, but unfortunately it is only too true. While 
the art of vote-catching, called politics, has been assiduously 
studied in all its branches, the science of statesmanship 
in the broadest sense of the word, has been completely 
neglected. The most important of all human sciences is 

1 The Nineteenth Century and After, September, 1915. 

2 The recommendations contained in the following pages have since 
been adopted. 


350 How America became a Nation in Arms 

apparently thought unworthy of study. It is not taught 
at any of the British Universities, and it is disregarded by 
those who strive to obtain place and power by way of the 
ballot-box. Fifty years ago the United States fought 
a gigantic war, in the course of which they became a nation 
in arms. Yet there is in the Enghsh language no adequate 
documentary account of that struggle, from which the 
Anglo-Saxon democracies may derive the most necessary 
and the most salutary lessons for their guidance, lessons 
which should be invaluable to them at the present moment. 
The fact that the United States introduced conscription 
during the Civil War is Scarcely known in England. In a 
lengthy article on conscription in the * Encyclopaedia 
Britannica,' an historical and philosophical account of 
compulsory service in France and Germany is given, but 
the fact that America introduced conscription is not even 
mentioned ! Ninety-nine out of every hundred well-edu- 
cated Enghshmen ignore the means whereby the United 
States raised millions of soldiers at a time when their popu- 
lation was very much smaller than that of the United 
Kingdom is at present. 

The main facts and the principal documents relating 
to the American Civil War are buried deeply in the contem- 
porary journals and in bulky ofiScial publications such as 
the * Official Eecords of the Union and Confederate Armies * 
published by the American Government between 1880 and 
1900, a work which is about five times as large as the 
* Encyclopaedia Britannica,' but which is practically un- 
usable because it is merely an inchoate, incoherent, and 
confusing collection of documents which lacks an index. 
In the following pages an attempt will be made to rescue 
the most important facts and documents from obHvion 
and to deduce from them the principal lessons which they 
supply to the Anglo-Saxon peoples of both hemispheres 
for their encouragement and their guidance in the present 

The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861, at 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 351 

4.30 A.M., when the Southern Army commenced the bom- 
bardment of Fort Sumter, which dominates the mouth of 
Charleston Harbour, and which was garrisoned by Union 
troops. In the Southern States secession and rebelHon 
had been preparing, both secretly and openly, for a long 
time. Yet the United States Government had neglected 
making any preparations for the inevitable struggle. Pre- 
sident Buchanan, who was in office from 1857 to 1861, 
was well-meaning, scrupulously honest, kindly, but weak. 
He was deeply rehgious and philanthropical, and he loved 
peace and his ease. He disMked trouble and wished to 
leave the settlement of the gravest problem of his country 
to the next President. Fearing to precipitate the struggle, 
he made no preparation to meet the crisis, and allowed the 
Southern forts and arsenals to be seized by the secessionists. 
Abraham Lincoln had been elected as his successor. He 
was inaugurated on March 4, 1861, at a moment of the 
severest tension between North and South, only five weeks 
before the cannon began to speak. He was a minority 
President, for the voting at the Presidential contest had 
been as follows : 

For Lincoln (Republican Party) . . . 1,857,610 votes 
For Douglas (Democratic, non-Interventionist, 

Party) 1,366,976 „ 

For Breckinridge (Democratic, pro-Slavery, Party) . 847,953 „ 

For Bell (Constitutional Union Party) . 590,631 „ 

Total .... 4,662,170 votes 

As at the Presidential Election of 1912, the largest American 
party had split in two and had failed to return the President. 
Only 40 per cent, of the people had voted for Lincoln. 
His position was one of unexampled difficulty. He was a 
novice at his office, he had entered it at a moment of the 
gravest danger, he was quite inexperienced in dealing with 
national, as distinguished from local affairs, he represented 
only a minority of the people, and he was surrounded by 
treason and intrigue. On January 1, 1861, the United 
States Army was only 16,402 men strong, and of these 1745 

352 How America became a Nation in Arms 

were absent. These few troops were distributed in small 
parcels all over the gigantic territory of the Union to hold 
the marauding Indians in check. The Navy had been 
scattered over distant seas. The arsenals of the North 
were ill-supplied with arms. Washington, the Federal 
capital, lay on the border between North and South, within 
easy reach of the army which the South had collected 
threateningly close to that city before opening the attack 
on Fort Sumter. Washington lies on the left bank of the 
Potomac. It is dominated by the heights on the right 
bank of that river, and these were in the hands of the insur- 
gents. On April 12, the day when the bombardment of 
Fort Sumter began, the following telegram was sent from 
Montgomery, Alabama, the temporary capital of the 
Southern States, to all parts of the Union : 

An immense crowd serenaded President Davis and 
Secretary [of War] Walker at the Exchange Hotel to-night. 

The former is not well, and did not appear. Secretary 
Walker appeared and declined to make a speech, but in a 
few words of electrical eloquence told the news from Fort 
Sumter, declaring in conclusion that before many hours the 
flag of the Confederacy would float over that fortress. 

No man, he said, could tell where the War this day 
commenced would end, but he would prophesy that the flag 
which now flaunts the breeze here would float over the dome 
of the old Capitol at Washington before the first of May. 
Let them try Southern Chivalry and test the extent of 
Southern resources, and it might float eventually over 
Faneuil Hall [in Boston] itself. 

Immediately on the outbreak of war the railways and 
telegraphs around Washington were cut. The city was 
completely isolated from the outer world. The State of 
Maryland, to the north of the Federal capital, prevented 
a few rapidly mobilised Militia troops from New York and 
Boston reaching the seat of the national Government. 
Washington was denuded of troops and was hastily barricaded 
to protect it and the President against a cowp de main. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 353 

The gallant South had furnished to the State a dispropor- 
tionately large number of able officers and of high officials. 
Local patriotism was exceedingly strong in the Southern 
States. Hence many of the best miUtary and naval officers 
and many of the ablest Civil Servants resigned immediately 
after the outbreak of the Civil War and joined the Southern 
forces, crippling simultaneously the Army, the Navy, and 
the national administration in all its branches. On April 20; 
eight days after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, General 
Kobert E. Lee, who was considered to be the ablest officer 
in the United States Service, and who had been offered the 
active command of the Union Army, resigned his commission 
to the general consternation of the North, and crossed the 
border. Altogether 813 commissioned officers resigned and 
joined the rebellion. According to Moore's * Rebellion 
Record,' the Southern States received from the Regular 
Army the following generals, most of whom resigned their 
commissions between December 20, 1860, the date when the 

State of South Carolina seceded, and January 1, 1862 : 


Generals ......... 8 

Lieutenant-Genorals . . . . . .15 

Major-Grenerala ....... 48 

Brigadier-Generals HI 

The Secretary of War, in his Report of July 1, 1861, 
stated that * but for this startling defection the rebellion 
never could have assumed its formidable proportions.' 

The guns bombarding Fort Sumter had given the signal 
for the collapse of the Government. The position which 
was created by the outbreak of the rebellion was graphically 
described by President Lincoln in his message to Congress of 
May 26, 1862, as follows : 

The insurrection which is yet existing in the United 
States and aims at the overthrow of the Federal Constitution 
and the Union was clandestinely prepared during the winter 
of 1860 and 1861, and assumed an open organisation in the 
form of a treasonable provisional Government at Mont- 
gomery, in Alabama, on the 18th day of February, 1861. 


354 How America became a Nation in Arms 

On the 12th day of April, 1861, the insurgents committed 
the flagrant act of Civil War by the bombardment and the 
capture of Fort Sumter, which cut off the hope of imme- 
diate conciliation. Immediately afterward all the roads and 
avenues to this city were obstructed and the capital was put 
into the condition of a siege. The mails in every direction 
were stopped, and the hnes of telegraph cut off by the insur- 
gents, and military and naval forces which had been called 
out by the Government for the defence of Washington were 
prevented from reaching the city by organised and combined 
treasonable resistance in the State of Maryland. There 
was no adequate and effective organisation for the public 
defence. Congress had indefinitely adjourned. There was 
no time to convene them. It became necessary for me to 
choose whether, using only the existing means, agencies, 
and processes which Congress had provided, I should let 
the Government fall at once into ruin, or whether, availing 
myself of the broader powers conferred by the Constitution 
in cases of insurrection, I would make an effort to save it. . . . 

The leaders of the Secession movement had skilfully 
chosen the most suitable time for action. They believed 
that at the critical moment all would be confusion at Wash- 
ington, that, lacking an adequate army and an experienced 
leader, the Northern States would not dare to act with 
vigour, that the new President would hesitate to adopt a 
course which might lead to civil war, and that, if after all 
war should break out, they would have numerous auxiliaries. 
The Southern States had a monopoly in the production of 
cotton. The leaders of the South believed that the demand 
for cotton in England and France would put a speedy end 
to any blockade of the Southern ports which the United 
States might wish to undertake. They thought that the 
great Democratic Party of the North, which, if united, was 
far stronger than the Eepublican Party which had elected 
Lincoln, would refuse to support the President if he should 
wish to re-take the Southern forts and arsenals by force. 
They believed that the industrial North had degenerated 
and that it would prove an inefficient opponent to the 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 355 

agricultural South where every man knew how to ride and 
how to handle a gun. 

When the South struck its blow for independence there 
certainly was confusion in Washington and throughout the 
States of the North. In describing the condition of the 
country in 1861 the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the 
War reported : ' There was treason in the Executive Man- 
sion, treason in the Cabinet, treason in the Senate and the 
House of Eepresentatives, treason in the Army and Navy, 
treason in every department, bureau and office connected 
with the Government.' The position of affairs was more 
fully described in the First Executive Order in Eelation to 
State Prisoners, which was issued on behalf of the President 
by Mr. Edwin M. Stanton, the Secretary of War, on 
February 14, 1862. He wrote : 

The breaking out of a formidable insurrection, based on a 
conflict of political ideas, being an event without precedent 
in the United States, was necessarily attended by great 
confusion and perplexity of the public mind. Disloyalty, 
before unsuspected, suddenly became bold, and treason 
astonished the world by bringing at once into the field 
military forces superior in numbers to the standing army 
of the United States. 

Every Department of the Government was paralysed by 
treason. Defection appeared in the Senate, in the House of 
Eepresentatives, in the Cabinet, in the Federal Courts ; 
Ministers and Consuls returned from foreign countries to 
enter the insurrectionary councils or land or naval forces ; 
commanding and other officers of the army and in the navy 
betrayed the councils or deserted their posts for commands 
in the insurgent forces. Treason was flagrant in the revenue 
and in the post office service, as well as in the Territorial 
Governments and in the Indian reserves. 

Not only Governors, Judges, Legislators, and Ministerial 
Officers in the States, but even whole States rushed, one after 
another, with apparent unanimity into rebellion. The 
capital was besieged and its connection with all the States 
cut off. 

356 How America became a Nation in Arms 

Even in the portions of the country which were most 
loyal political combinations and secret societies were 
formed furthering the work of disunion, while, from 
motives of disloyalty or cupidity, or from excited passions 
or perverted sympathies, individuals were found furnish- 
ing men, money, and materials of war and supplies to 
the insurgents' military and naval forces. Armies, ships, 
fortifications, navy yards, arsenals, military posts and gar- 
risons, one after another, were betrayed or abandoned to 
the insurgents. 

Congress had not anticipated, and so had not provided 
for, the emergency. The municipal authorities were power- 
less and inactive. The judicial machinery seemed as if it 
had been designed not to sustain the Government, but to 
embarrass and betray it. 

Foreign intervention, openly invited and industriously 
instigated by the abettors of the insurrection, became 
imminent, and has only been prevented by the practice of 
strict and impartial justice with the most perfect moderation 
in our intercourse with nations. . . . 

Extraordinary arrests will hereafter be made under 
the direction of the military authorities alone. 

At the touch of war all the factors of national str^gth, 
the Army, the Navy, and the Civil Administration, had 
broken down. Consternation and confusion were general. 
At the head of affairs was a quaint and old-fashioned country 
attorney from the backwoods, possessed of a homely wit 
and infinite humour, ignorant of national government, 
surrounded by treason and besieged by a mob of clamorous 
ofiSce-seekers who blocked the ante-rooms and the passages 
at the White House, sat on the stairs and overflowed into 
the garden. Congress was not in session. Washington was 
isolated and threatened. It was questionable whether 
the two Houses of the Legislature would be able to meet in 
the Federal Capital. Many people in the North sympathised 
secretly with the South. Few officials could be trusted. 
The position was desperate. Everything had broken down 
except the Constitution. In the hour of the direst need the 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 357 

American Constitution proved a source of the greatest 
strength and it saved the country. 

The American Constitution had been planned not by 
poHticians but by great statesmen and soldiers, by the able 
and energetic men of action who had fought victoriously 
against England. They had wisely, and after mature 
deliberation, concentrated vast powers in the hands of the 
President, and had given him almost despotic powers in a 
time of national danger. President Lincoln unhesitatingly 
made use of these powers. It will appear in the course of 
these pages that the Southern States were defeated not so 
much by President Lincoln and the Northern Armies as 
by the Fathers of the Commonwealth, who in another 
century had prepared for the use of the President a 
powerful weapon which would be ready to his hand in 
the hour of peril. 

Those who wish to understand the foundations of 
American statesmanship as laid down by the American 
nation-builders, should not turn to Lord Bryce's excellent 
volumes but should go to the fountain-head, to the pages of 
The Federalist. The Federalist was pubhshed in a number of 
letters to the Press for the information of the pubhc in 
1787-88, at the time when the American Constitution was 
being painfully evolved by the Convention and was being 
discussed by the pubhc. The authors of The Federalist 
were three of the greatest American statesmen — Alexander 
Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, and the hon's share 
was taken by that great genius, Hamilton. The Federalist 
was, and is still, the ablest and the most authoritative 
exposition of the Constitution. It contains the Arcana 
Beijpuhlicae. It is the American statesman's Bible. It has 
inspired America's leading men to the present day, and 
among them Abraham Lincoln. If we wish to understand 
America's pohcy in the Civil War we shall do well to acquaint 
ourselves at the outset with some of the most important 
views contained in The Federalist, 

The founders of the American KepubHc were democrats 

358 How America became a Nation in Arms 

but not demagogues. They were statesmen who feared the 
rise of demagogues. It is highly significant that we read 
in the very first letter of The Federalist : * History will 
teach us . . . that of those men who have overturned the 
liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their 
career by paying an obsequious court to the people ; com- 
mencing demagogues and ending tyrants.* The Fathers of 
the American Commonwealth were not sentimentahsts but 
statesmen and men of common sense. They did not beUeve 
that an era of universal peace was approaching or was 
possible, that monarchy meant war and democracy meant 
peace, that popular government or * democratic control,* 
as it is now usually called, would bring about the millen- 
nium. In the sixth and seventh letters of The Federalist 
we read : 

. . . Nations in general will make war whenever they 
have a prospect of getting anything by it. . . . 

. . . There are still to be found visionary or designing 
men who stand ready to advocate the paradox of perpetual 
peace between the States though dismembered and alienated 
from each other. The genius of repubhcs (say they) is 
pacific ; the spirit of commerce has a tendency to soften 
the manners of men. . . . 

Have republics in practice been less addicted to war than 
monarchies ? Are not the former administered by men 
as well as the latter ? Are there not aversions, predilec- 
tions, rivalships, and desires of unjust acquisitions that 
affect nations as well as kings ? Are not popular assemblies 
frequently subject to the impulses of rage, resentment, 
jealousy, avarice, and of other irregular and violent pro- 
pensities ? Is it not well known that their determinations 
are often governed by a few individuals in whom they place 
confidence, and are, of course, liable to be tinctured by the 
passions and views of those individuals ? Has commerce 
hitherto done anything more than change the objects of 
war ? Is not the love of wealth as domineering and enter- 
prising a passion as that of power or glory ? Have there 
not been as many wars founded upon commercial motives 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 859 

... as were before occasioned by the cupidity of territory 
or dominion ? 

Believing that the United States were hkely to be in- 
volved in further wars, the founders of the American EepubHc 
wished to strengthen the State by making the President 
powerful and independent, by giving him almost monarchical 
authority in time of peace and by making him a kind of 
Dictator in time of war. The United States Constitution 
states : ' The President shall be Commander-in-Chief of the 
Army and Navy of the United States and of the Mihtia 
of the several States when called into the active service of 
the United States.* In time of danger State rights were to 
disappear, the mihtary independence of the individual 
States was to come to an end. 

Unlike the British Prime Minister, the American Presi- 
dent is free from popular and Parhamentary control. He 
can at any time repudiate a majority of both Houses. He 
can veto any act of Congress even if it is supported by large 
majorities, and he has frequently done so, for he is supposed 
to act solely in the interests of the nation and in accordance 
with his own conscience without regard to party majorities 
and party intrigues. He can place at the head of the Army 
and Navy any man he chooses, or he can command in person 
and no one can question his action. His Cabinet, the 
Secretaries of State, are nominated by him, and they are 
his subordinates. They are the President's, nor the people's, 
servants. They have no seat and no voice in Congress. 
They are supposed to stand, like the President, outside and 
above party, to be servants of the nation as a whole. The 
Ministers, hke the President, cannot be removed by a chance 
majority. The President and his Secretaries of State are not 
BO constantly hampered in their actions by the fear of losing 
popularity and oJB&ce as are British statesmen. The founders 
of the Commonwealth gave to the President a vast and 
truly royal authority because they beheved that a national 
executive could be efficient only if it was strong, and that 

360 How America became a Nation in Arms 

it could be' strong only if it was independent of party ties 
and entrusted to a single man. We read in the thirty- 
seventhpetter of The Federalist^ written by Madison : 

The genius of republican liberty seems to demand on one 
side not only that all power should be derived from the 
people, but that those entrusted with it should be kept in 
dependence on the people by a short duration of their 
appointments ; and that even during this short period the 
trust should be placed not in a few, but in a number of hands. 
Stability, on the contrary, requires that the hands in which 
power is lodged should continue for a length of time the 
same. A frequent change of men will result from a frequent 
return of elections, and a frequent change of measures from a 
frequent change of men, whilst energy in government requires 
not only a certain duration of power, but the execution of it 
by a single hand. 

Hamilton, Jay, Governor Morris, John Adams, and other 
leading men of the time were so much in favour of a strong 
executive that they advocated that American Presidents, 
hke British Judges, should be appointed for life and should 
be removable only by impeachment. 

The doctrine that a Government, to be efficient, requires 
not many heads but a single head, that a one-man Govern- 
ment, a strong Government, is valuable at all times, and 
especially in time of national danger, was more fully 
developed by Hamilton in the seventieth letter of The 
Federalist. He ^vrote : 

. . . Energy in the Executive is a leading character in 
the definition of good government. It is essential to the 
protection of the community against foreign attacks ; it is 
not less essential to the steady administration of the laws ; 
to the protection of property against those irregular and 
high-handed combinations which sometimes interrupt the 
ordinary course of justice ; to the security of liberty against 
the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction, and of 
anarchy. Every man the least conversant in Roman history 
knows how often that repubhc was obliged to take refuge 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 361 

in the absolute power of a single man under the formidable 
title of Dictator. . . . 

There can be no need, however, to multiply arguments 
or examples on this head. A feeble Executive implies a 
feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is 
but another phrase for a bad execution ; and a government 
ill executed, whatever it may be in theory, must be, in prac- 
tice, a bad government. . . . 

The ingredients which constitute energy in the Executive 
are, first, unity ; secondly, duration ; thirdly, an adequate 
provision for its support ; fourthly, competent powers. 

Those politicians and statesmen who have been the most 
celebrated for the soundness of their principles and for the 
justice of their views have declared in favour of a single 
Executive and a numerous legislature. They have, with 
great propriety, considered energy as the most necessary 
qualification of the former, and have regarded this as most 
applicable to power in a single hand ; while they have, with 
equal propriety, considered the latter as best adapted to 
deliberation and wisdom, and best calculated to conciliate 
the confidence of the people and to secure their privileges 
and interests. 

That unity is conducive to energy will not be disputed. 
Decision, activity, secrecy, and despatch will generally 
characterise the proceedings of one man in a much more 
eminent degree £han the proceedings of any great number ; 
and in proportion as the number is increased these qualities 
will be diminished. 

Great Britain is ruled by a Cabinet, by a number of men 
who are nominally equal, and the Prime Minister is their 
President, he is primus inter fares. The British Cabinet 
Ministers take resolutions collectively and they act, at 
least in theory, with unanimity. As they act unanimously, 
there is no individual, but only collective, responsibility 
for Cabinet decisions. Until recently twenty-two Cabinet 
Ministers were collectively responsible for every important 
decision, even if the decision required high expert know- 
ledge which few, if any, of them possessed, or if it con- 
cerned only a single Department — such as the Army or 

362 How America became a Nation in Arms 

Navy — with which twenty Ministers out of twenty-two 
in the Cabinet were quite unacquainted. An anonymous 
author wrote some years ago of the British Cabinet that 
it had many heads but no head, many minds but no mind. 
Government by a crowd is a danger in war time. Hamilton 
clearly foresaw the weakness and danger of governing by 
means of a committee of politicians, especially in time of 
war. His opinion is so interesting, so weighty, and so 
valuable, and it apphes with such force to Cabinet Govern- 
ment as practised in Great Britain up to the present crisis, 
that it is worth while to give it in extenso. He stated in 
the seventieth letter of The Federalist, with regard to 
government by Cabinet, by means of an executive council : 

The experience of other nations will afford little instruc- 
tion on this head. As far, however, as it teaches any- 
thing, it teaches us not to be enamoured of plurality in 
the Executive. . . . 

Wherever two or more persons are engaged in any com- 
mon enterprise or pursuit there is always danger of difference 
of opinion. If it be a public trust or office, in which they are 
clothed with equal dignity and authority, there is peculiar 
danger of personal emulation and even animosity. From 
either, and especially from all these causes, the most bitter 
dissensions are apt to spring. Whenever these happen, they 
lessen the respectability, weaken the authority, and distract 
the plans and operations of those whom they divide. If they 
should unfortunately assail the supreme executive magis- 
tracy of a country, consisting of a plurality of persons, they 
might impede or frustrate the most important measures of 
the government in the most critical emergencies of the 
State. And, what is still worse, they might spUt the com- 
munity into the most violent and irreconcilable factions, 
adhering differently to the different individuals who com- 
posed the magistracy. 

Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had 
no agency in planning it, or because it may have been 
planned by those whom they disHke. But if they have 
been consulted and have appeared to disapprove, opposition 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 863 

then becomes, in their estimation, an indispensable duty of 
self-love. . . . 

Upon the principles of a free government, inconveniences 
from the source just mentioned must necessarily be sub- 
mitted to in the formation of the legislature ; but it is un- 
necessary, and therefore unwise, to introduce them into the 
constituent of the Executive. It is here, too, that they may 
be most pernicious. In the legislature promptitude of 
decision is oftener an evil than a benefit. . . . 

But no favourable circumstances palUate or atone for 
the disadvantages of dissension in the executive depart- 
ment. Here they are pure and unmixed. There is no 
point at which they cease to operate. They serve to em- 
barrass and weaken the execution of the plan or measure 
to which they relate, from the first step to the final conclu- 
sion of it. They constantly counteract those qualities in 
the Executive which are the most necessary ingredients in its 
composition, vigour and expedition, and this without any 
counterbalancing good. In the conduct of war, in which 
the energy of the Executive is the bulwark of the national 
security, everything would be to be apprehended from its 
plurality. . . . 

It must be confessed that these observations apply with 
principal weight to the first case supposed — that is, to a 
plurality of magistrates of equal dignity and authority, a 
scheme, the advocates for which are not likely to form a 
numerous sect ; but they apply, though not with equal, 
yet with considerable, weight, to the project of a council, 
whose concurrence is made constitutionally necessary to 
the operations of the ostensible Executive. 

An artful cabal in that council would be able to distract 
and to enervate the whole system of administration. If no 
such cabal should exist the mere diversity of views and 
opinions would alone be sufficient to tincture the exercise of 
the executive authority with a spirit of habitual feebleness 
and dilatoriness. 

But one of the weightiest objections to a plurality in the 
Executive, and which lies as much against the last as the 
first plan, is that it tends to conceal faults and destroy 
responsibihty. Kesponsibility is of two kinds — to censure, 

864 How America became a Nation in Arms 

and to punishment. The first is the more important of the 
two, especially in an elective ofiSce. Man, in a public trust, 
will much oftener act in such a manner as to render him 
unworthy of being any longer trusted, than in such a manner 
as to make him obnoxious to legal punishment. But the 
multiplication of the Executive adds to the difficulty of 
detection in either case. It often becomes impossible, 
amidst mutual accusations, to determine on whom the blame 
or the punishment of a pernicious measure, or a series of 
pernicious measures, ought really to fall. It is shifted from 
one to another with so much dexterity, and under such 
plausible appearances, that the public opinion is left in 
suspense about the real author. The circumstances which 
may have led to any national miscarriage or misfortune are 
sometimes so complicated that, where there are a number 
of actors, who may have had different degrees and kinds of 
agency, though we may clearly see upon the whole that 
there has been mismanagement, yet it may be impracticable 
to pronounce to whose account the evil which may have 
been incurred is truly chargeable. 

* I was overruled by my council. The council were so 
divided in their opinions that it was impossible to obtain 
any better resolution on the point.' These and similar 
pretexts are constantly at hand, whether true or false. 
And who is there that will either take the trouble or incur the 
odium of a strict scrutiny into the secret springs of the 
transaction ? 

War is a one-man business. To the founders of the 
American Eepublic it seen;ied so essential and so self- 
evident that only a single hand could direct the Army and 
Navy efficiently and * with decision, activity, secrecy and 
despatch ' that they thought that the paragraph of the 
Constitution which made the President Commander-in- 
Chief of both Services was unchallengeable and required 
neither explanation nor defence. That paragraph is curtly 
dismissed by Hamilton in the seventy-fourth letter of The 
Federalist, as follows : 

The President of the United States is to be * Commander- 
in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States and of 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 865 

the Militia of the several States when called into the actual 
service of the United States.' The propriety of this provi- 
sion is so evident in itself, and it is, at the same time, so 
consonant to the precedents of the State constitutions in 
general, that little need be said to explain or enforce it. 
Even those of them which have in other respects coupled 
the chief magistrate with a council have for the most part 
concentrated the miHtary authority in him alone. 

Of all the cares or concerns of government, the direction 
of war most peculiarly demands those qualities which dis- 
tinguish the exercise of power by a single hand. The direc- 
tion of war implies the direction of the common strength, 
and the power of directing and employing the common 
strength forms a usual and essential part in the definition 
of the executive authority. 

War is a one-man business. The maxim that a nation 
at war should be directed by a single man, not by a council, 
which the greatest statesmen and soldiers of all times have 
recognised and which Hamilton and Washington have 
preached, has sunk deeply into the American mind. Pre- 
sident Lincoln illustrated the necessity of unity in the 
direction of national affairs in time of war in his homely and 
inimitable way. He wrote in his Message to Congress 
of December 8, 1861 : 

It has been said that one bad general is better than two 
good ones, and the saying is true if taken to mean no more 
than that an army is better directed by a single mind, 
though inferior, than by two superior ones at variance and 
cross-purposes with each other. 

And the same is true in all joint operations wherein those 
engaged can have none but a common end in view and can 
differ only as to the choice of means. In a storm at sea 
no one on board can wish the ship to sink, and yet not 
infrequently all go down together because too many will 
direct and no single mind can be allowed to control. 

President Lincoln, though a great character and a 
great citizen, can scarcely be called an exceptionally 
great statesman. He certainly was not brilliant. He 

366 How America became a Nation in Arms 

was endowed with homely common sense and was honest, 
unprejudiced, industrious, conscientious, fair-minded, pains- 
taking, patient, warm-hearted, fearless, determined, patriotic, 
a democrat but by no means a demagogue. He was a 
model citizen who quietly and resolutely would do his duty, 
would do his best, and who was not afraid of responsibility 
if an important decision had to be taken. At the outbreak 
of the Civil War, when all the factors supporting the Govern- 
ment's authority had broken down. President Lincoln fell 
back on the Constitution. He rather rehed on its spirit 
as it appears in The Federalist than on its wording, and he 
did not hesitate to strain his powers to the utmost in order 
to save the State. On April 15, immediately after the 
bombardment and fall of Fort Sumter, he called upon the 
governors of the individual States to raise 75,000 men 
of State Militia in proportion to their inhabitants and to 
place them into the service of the United States and under 
his command. These 75,000 men were called upon to serve 
only for three months, not because the President or his 
Cabinet beheved that the War would last only ninety 
days, but because, according to the Act of 1795, the President 
had authority which permitted * the use of the Militia so 
as to be called forth only for thirty days after the com- 
mencement of the then next session of Congress.' 

A musty law circumscribed and hampered the President's 
action but it did not hamper it for long. Very soon it 
became evident that that preliminary measure was totally 
insufficient, that energy and novel measures were required 
to overcome the dangers which threatened the Northern 
States from without and from within. Eelying on the 
spirit of the Constitution and on his duty to defend the 
Union at all costs, President Lincoln, to his eternal honour, 
did not hesitate to make illegal, but not unscrupulous, use 
of dictatorial'Jpowers. On April 27 he directed General 
Scott to suspend the privilege of Habeas Corpus, if necessary, 
in order to be able to deal with treason and with opposition 
in the Northern States. On May 3 he decreed by procla- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 367 

mation that the regular army should be increased by 
22,714, or should be more than doubled, and that 18,000 
seamen should be added to the Navy. At the same time 
he called for forty regiments, composed of 42,034 volunteers, 
to serve during three years. President Lincoln candidly 
explained the necessity for these high-handed and obviously 
illegal measures as follows in his Message to Congress of 
July 4,11861 : 

. . . Kecurring to the action of the Government, it may 
be stated that at first a call was made for 75,000 militia, 
and rapidly following this a proclamation was issued for 
closing the ports of the insurrectionary districts by proceed- 
ings in the nature of blockade. So far all was believed to be 
strictly legal. At this point the insurrectionists announced 
their purpose to enter upon the practice of privateering. 

Other calls were made for volunteers to serve for three 
years, unless sooner discharged, and also for large additions 
to the regular army and navy. These measures, whether 
strictly legal or not, were ventured upon under what ap- 
peared to be a popular demand and a public necessity ; 
trusting then, as now, that Congress would readily ratify 
them. It is believed that nothing has been done beyond 
the constitutional competency of Congress. 

Soon after the first call for militia it was considered a 
duty to authorise the commanding general in proper cases, 
according to his discretion, to suspend the privilege of the 
writ of habeas corpus, or, in other words, to arrest and detain, 
without resort to the ordinary processes and forms of law, 
such individuals as he might deem dangerous to the public 
safety. This authority has purposely been exercised but 
very sparingly. Nevertheless, the legaHty and propriety of 
what has been done under it are questioned, and the atten- 
tion of the country has been called to the proposition that 
one who has sworn to * take care that the laws be faithfully 
executed ' should not himself violate them. Of course, 
some consideration was given to the questions of power and 
propriety before this matter was acted upon. The whole 
of the laws which were required to be faithfully executed 
were being resisted and failing of execution in nearly one- 

368 How America became a Nation in Arms 

third of the States. Must they be allowed to finally fail of 
execution, even had it been perfectly clear that by the use 
of the means necessary to their execution some single law, 
made in such extreme tenderness of the citizen's liberty 
that, practically, it reheves more of the guilty than of the 
innocent, should to a very limited extent be violated ? To 
state the question more directly, are all the laws but one to 
be unexecuted and the government itself go to pieces lest that 
one be violated ? Even in such a case would not the official 
oath be broken if the government should be overthrown 
when it was believed that disregarding the single law would 
tend to preserve it ? But it was not believed that this 
question was presented. It was not believed that any law 
was violated. The provision of the Constitution that * the 
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended 
unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public 
safety may require it,' is equivalent to a provision — is a 
provision — that such privilege may be suspended when, in 
case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety does require 
it. It was decided that we have a case of rebellion, and that 
the public safety does require the qualified suspension of the 
privilege of the writ which was authorised to be made. 
Now it is insisted that Congress, and not the Executive, 
is vested with this power. But the Constitution itself is 
silent as to which or who is to exercise the power ; and as 
the provision was plainly made for a dangerous emergency, it 
cannot be believed the framers of the instrument intended 
that in every case the danger should run its course until 
Congress could be called together, the very assembling of 
which might be prevented, as was intended in this case, by 
the rebellion. 

Democracy loves strength, loves plain speaking, loves 
a man. The President's energetic though high-handed 
and unconstitutional action was enthusiastically approved 
by the people throughout the loyal States, and was later 
on legalised by Congress by means of a resolution. 

At the beginning of the war the Northern States^were 
almost unarmed. The Government had completely neg- 
lected the Army and Navy. In the country was only a 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 369 

scanty supply of arms and ammunition. Under Buchanan's 
presidency an incapable, if not a treacherous, Secretary of 
War, who later on joined the Southern forces, had allowed 
large numbers of arm.s to be removed from arsenals in the 
North to arsenals in the Southern States, where they were 
seized by the Secessionists. For the supply of muskets the 
Government depended chiefly on the Springfield Armoury, 
and upon that at Harper's Ferry. The capacity of the pri- 
vate manufacturers was only a few thousand muskets a 
year, and after the destruction of the arsenal and armoury 
at Harper's Ferry on April 19, 1861, which contained 15,000 
muskets, and which otherwise might have fallen into the 
hands of the Confederates, the resources of the Government 
were seriously diminished. The want of arms limited the 
call of the President on April 15 to 75,000 men, and many 
regiments were detained for a long time in their camps in 
the different States until muskets could be imported from 
Europe. Orders for weapons were hastily sent abroad, and 
many inferior arms were imported at high prices. The 
Springfield Armoury, the capacity of which was only about 
25,000 muskets per year, was rapidly enlarged, and its 
production, assisted by outside machine shops, was brought 
up to about 8000 muskets per month at the end of 1861, and 
to about 15,000 per month shortly afterwards. The United 
States had to pay for their neglect of military preparations 
in the past. Everything had laboriously to be created. 
Meanwhile confusion was general. The Army which had 
been collected was merely a mob of ill-armed men. During 
1861 the State of Indiana, for instance, had raised and sent 
into the field in round numbers 60,000 men, of whom 53,500 
were infantry. The statement shown in the table on 
page 870, taken from * Appleton's Annual Cyclopaedia,' 
shows what arms they received during the year. 

In their need, anything that had a barrel was used to 
arm their troops. The Southern States even fell back upon 
shot-guns and ancient fowling-pieces. Gradually order was 
evolved out of chaos. The inborn energy and talent for 

370 How America became a Nation in Arms 

organisation of the race asserted themselves. The North 
was far superior to the South in population, wealth, 
machinery, and appliances of every kind. In the course of 
time a large, well-organised, and well-equipped army arose. 
At the beginning of 1862 the Southern States were 
threatened with invasion by large armies. A great forward 
movement of the Northern forces was ordered to begin on 
February 22, and rapid progress was being made. Forts 
Henry and Donelson were rapidly captured from the rebels, 
Bowling Green and Columbus had to be evacuated, and 

Muskets avd Rifles. 

Prussian muskets ...... 4,006 

United States rifles 5,290 

Padrci rifles 6,000 

Belgian rifles 957 

New percussion muskets ..... 7,299 

Altered percussion muskets ..... 8,800 

Long-range rifles ....... 600 

Springfield rifles 1,830 

Short Enfields 960 

Long Enfields 13,898 

Saxony rifles 1,000 

Austrian rifles, -54 cal 3,822 

Mississippi rifles, -54 cal. ..... 362 

Nashville surrendered. The entire line of defence formed 
by the Southern States towards the west was swept away, 
and a march by the Northern troops into the heart of the 
South-western States seemed imminent. Consternation 
seized upon the Southern people. The Southern Army of 
1861 was composed chiefly of volunteers who had enhsted 
for twelve months. The voluntary system had yielded 
all it could yield. It became clear that the Southern States 
could not successfully be defended by volunteers against the 
North, that national and compulsory service was needed. 
The Southern Government was aroused to action, and with- 
out hesitation President Jefferson Davis sent a message 
to the Confederate Congress, in which he laid down that it 
was the duty of all citizens to defend the State, and in which 
he demanded the introduction of conscription for all men 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 371 

between eighteen and thirty-five years. This most important 
document was worded as follows : 

To the Senate and House of Befresentatives of the 
Confederate States 

The operation of the various laws now in force for raising 
armies has exhibited the necessity for reform. The frequent 
changes and amendments which have been made have 
rendered the system so complicated as to make it often quite 
difficult to determine what the law really is, and to what 
extent prior amendments are modified by more recent 

There is also embarrassment from conflict between State 
and Confederate legislation. I am happy to assure you of 
the entire harmony of purpose and cordiality of feeling 
which has continued to exist between myself and the 
executives of the several States ; and it is to this cause 
that our success in keeping adequate forces in the field is to 
be attributed. 

These reasons would suffice for inviting your earnest 
attention to the necessity of some simple and general system 
for exercising the power of raising armies which is vested in 
Congress by the Constitution. 

But there is another and more important consideration. 
The vast preparations made by the enemy for a combined 
assault at numerous points on our frontier and seaboard 
have produced results that might have been expected. They 
have animated the people with a spirit of resistance so 
general, so resolute, and so self-sacrificing that it requires 
rather to be regulated than to be stimulated. The right of 
the State to demand and the duty of each citizen to render 
mihtary service need only to be stated to be admitted. It is 
not, however, a wise or judicious policy to place in active 
service that portion of the force of a people which experience 
has shown to be necessary as a reserve. Youths under the 
age of eighteen years require further instruction ; men of 
matured experience are needed for maintaining order and 
good government at home, and in supervising preparations 
for rendering efficient the armies in the field. These two 

372 How America became a Nation in Arms 

classes cgnstitute the proper reserve for home defence, ready- 
to be called out in case of any emergency, and to be kept 
in the field only while the emergency exists. 

But in order to maintain this reserve intact it is neces- 
sary that in a great war like that in which we are now 
engaged all persons of intermediate ages not legally exempt 
for good cause should pay their debt of miUtary service to 
the country, that the burdens should not fall exclusively 
on the ardent and patriotic. I therefore recommend the 
passage of a law declaring that all persons residing within 
the Confederate States between the ages of eighteen and 
thirty-five years, and rightfully subject to military duty, 
shall be held to be in the military service of the Confederate 
States, and that some plain and simple method be adopted 
for their prompt enrolment and organisation, repealing all 
of the legislation heretofore enacted which would conflict 
with the system proposed. 

It will be noticed that President Jefferson Davis demanded 
not only conscription, but practically the total surrender of 
State rights. He wished the confederation of Southern 
States to fight hke a single State, recognising that concen- 
tration increases strength. A Conscription Act was rapidly 
passed on April 16, 1862. 

As conscription for all men from eighteen to thirty-five 
years did not suffice to fill the depleted ranks of the Southern 
Army, it w^as made more rigorous. An order by Brigadior- 
Goneral John H. Winder dated August 1, 1862, stated : 

The obtaining of substitutes through the medium of 
agents is strictly forbidden. When such agents are employed, 
the principal, the substitute, and the agent will be impressed 
into the military service, and the money paid for the sub- 
stitute, and as a reward to the agent, will be confiscated to 
the Government. The offender will also be subjected to 
such other imprisonment as may be imposed by a court 

As desertion from the ranks had weakened the Southern 
Army, the Press appealed to the citizens of tho^ South to 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 373 

assist in the apprehension of deserters and stragglers. All 
men and women in the country were exhorted to * pursue, 
shame and drive back to the ranks those who have deserted 
their colours and their comrades and turned their backs 
upon their country's service.* Still further exertions were 
required to prevent the Northern troops invading the 
Southern States in force. Hence, in September 1862, the 
Confederate Congress passed another Act of Conscription 
which called out for mihtary service all men between the 
ages of thirty-five and forty-five. The most important part 
of this Act was worded as follows : 

An Act to amend an Act entitled *An Act to 'provide further 
for the Public Defence,' approved April 16, 1862. 

The Congress of the Confederate States of America do 
enact That the President be and he is hereby authorised to 
call out and place in the mihtary service of the Confederate 
States for three years, unless the war shall have been sooner 
ended, all white men who are residents of the Confederate 
States between the ages of thirty-five and forty-five years 
at the time the call or calls may be made, and who are not 
at such time or times legally exempted from military service ; 
or such part or parts thereof as, in his judgment, may be 
necessary to the public defence, such call or calls to be made 
under the provisions and according to the terms of the Act 
to which this is an amendment ; and such authority shall 
exist in the President during the present war as to all 
persons who now are or may hereafter become eighteen 
years of age ; and when once enrolled all persons between 
the ages of eighteen and forty-five years shall serve their 
full time. 

Years of fighting reduced the ranks of the Southern 
armies. They could hold their own against the over- 
whelming numbers of the North only by extending the 
age hmit of compulsory mifitary service still further, by 
making conscription still more rigorous. In February 
1864 a general mihtary Act was passed which enrolled all 

374 How America became a Nation in Arms 

white men from seventeen to fifty years in the Army. 
It stated : 

1. That all white men, residents of the Confederate 
States, between the ages of seventeen and fifty shall be 
in the miUtary service of the Confederate States during 
the war. 

2. That all between the ages of eighteen and forty-five 
now in service shall be retained during the present war in 
the same organisations in which they were serving at the 
passage of this Act, unless they are regularly discharged or 
transferred. . . . 

4. That no person shall be reHeved from the operation of 
this Act by reason of having been discharged where no 
disabihty now exists, nor by reason of having furnished a 
substitute ; but no person who has heretofore been exempted 
on account of religious opinions and paid the required tax, 
shall be required to render military service. 

5. That all between seventeen and eighteen years and 
forty-five and fifty years of age shall form a reserve corps, 
not to serve out of the State in which they reside. . . . 

7. That any person of the last-named failing to attend at 
the place of rendezvous within thirty days, as required by 
the President, without a sufficient reason, shall be made to 
serve in the field during the war. 

The American Civil War had begun in April 1861. At 
its commencement the people in the North had believed 
that, owing to their overwhelming superiority in numbers, 
in wealth, and in resources of every kind, they would be able 
to subdue the insurgent States by armies raised on the 
voluntary principle within a reasonable time. However, 
the war dragged on interminably. Enthusiasm for volun- 
teering diminished, men became cool and indifferent. Owing 
to the reduced number of workers wages rose very greatly 
throughout the Union, and men turned rather to the factory 
than to the Army. Week by week the expenditure in blood 
and treasure increased. At last the people in the North 
began to see the necessity of abandoning the voluntary 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 375 

system and of imitating the Southern States by introducing 
compulsory service. It will be of interest to see the way in 
which public opinion veered round. In his Eeport of 
March 17, 1866, the Provost-Marshal- General James B. Fry, 
the head of the great Kecruiting Department of the Northern 
armies, described this change in opinion under the heading 
* Public Eecognition of the Necessity of a General Conscrip- 
tion,' as follows : 

During the latter part of 1862 the necessity for a radical 
change in the method of raising troops in order to prosecute 
the war to a successful issue became more and more apparent. 
The demand for reinforcements from the various armies in 
the field steadily and largely exceeded the current supply 
of men. The old agencies for fiUing the ranks proved more 
and more ineffective. It was evident that the efforts of the 
Government for the suppression of the rebellion would fail 
without resort to the unpopular, but nevertheless truly 
republican, measure of conscription. The national authori- 
ties, no less than the purest and wisest minds in Congress, 
and intelligent and patriotic citizens throughout the country, 
perceived that, besides a more reliable, regular, and abundant 
supply of men, other substantial benefits would be derived 
from the adoption and enforcement of the principle that 
every citizen, not incapacitated by physical or mental 
disability, owes miUtary service to the country in the hour of 
extremity. It would effectually do away with the unjust 
and burdensome disproportion in the number of men 
furnished by different States and localities. • 

But it was not easy to convince the public mind at once 
of the justice and wisdom of conscription. It was a novelty, 
contrary to the traditional military policy of the nation. 
The people had become more accustomed to the enjoyment 
of privileges than to the fulfilment of duties under the 
General Government, and hence beheld the prospect of 
compulsory service in the Army with an unreasonable dread. 
Among the labouring classes especially it produced great 
uneasiness. Fortunately the loyal pohtical leaders and 
Press early realised the urgency of conscription, and by 
judicious agitation gradually reconciled the public to it. 

376 How America became a Nation in Arms 

When the enrolment Act was introduced in Congress in 
the following winter the patriotic people of the North 
were wiUing to see it become a law. 

Early in 1863 the Bill introducing conscription was 
placed before Congress at Washington, and was discussed 
by both Houses. The debates were brief and the speeches 
dehvered are most interesting and enhghtening at the 
present moment, when the principle of conscription is still 
discussed not only in Great Britain but throughout the 
British Empire. Let us hsten to the principal arguments 
in favour of conscription. 

Mr. Dunn, representative of Indiana, urged the necessity 
of conscription in the following words : 

The necessity is upon us to pass a Bill of this character. 
We have many regiments in the field greatly reduced in 
numbers. ... It is due to the gallant men remaining in 
these regiments that their numbers should be promptly 
filled up. This cannot be done by voluntary enhstment, 
on account of the influence of just such speeches as are made 
here and elsewhere denouncing the war ; many make a 
clamour against the war as an excuse for not volunteering. 
Moreover, a draft is the cheapest, fairest, and best mode of 
raising troops. It is to be regretted this mode was not 
adopted at first. Then all would have shared alike in the 
perils and glories of the war. Every family would have 
been represented in the field, and every soldier would have 
had sympathy and support from his friends at home. The 
passage of this Bill will give evidence to the rebels that the 
nation is summoning all its energies to the conflict, and it will 
be proof to foreign nations that we are prepared to meet 
promptly any intermeddling in our domestic strife. The 
Government has a right in war to command the services of 
its citizens, whom it protects in war as well as in peace. 
We, as legislators, must not shrink from the discharge of 
our high responsibihty. 

Mr. Thomas, Kepresentative of Massachusetts, stated : 

For the last six or nine months a whole party — a strong 
party — has deUberately entered into a combination to dis- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 377 

courage, to prevent, and as far as in it lay to prohibit, the 
volunteering of the people of the country as soldiers in our 
army. Members of that party have gone from house to 
house, from town to town, and from city to city urging their 
brethren not to enlist in the armies of the nation, and giving 
them all sorts of reasons for that advice. . . . 

Mr. Speaker, this is a terrible Bill ; terrible in the powers 
it confers upon the executive, terrible in the duty and burden 
it imposes upon the citizen. I meet the suggestion by one 
as obvious and cogent, and that is that the exigency is a 
terrible one and calls for all the powers with which the 
Government is invested. . . . 

The powers of Congress, within the scope of the Constitu- 
tion, are supreme and strike directly to the subject and hold 
him in its firm, its iron grasp. I repeat what at an early day 
I asserted upon this floor, that there is not a human being 
within the territory of the United States, black or white, 
bond or free, whom this Government is not capable of 
taking in its right hand and using for its miHtary service 
whenever the defence of the country requires, and of this 
Congress alone must judge. The question of use is a question 
of policy only. ... It is, in effect, a question to this nation 
of life or death. We hterally have no choice. 

Mr. Wilson, Senator for Massachusetts, said : 

We are now engaged in a gigantic struggle for the pre- 
servation of the life of the nation. ... If we mean to main- 
tain the supremacy of the Constitution and the laws, if we 
mean to preserve the unity of the KepubHc, if we mean 
that America shall live and have a position and name among 
the nations, we must fill the broken and thinned ranks of our 
wasted battahons. 

The issue is now clearly represented to the country for 
the acceptance or rejection of the American people : an 
inglorious peace with a dismembered Union and a broken 
nation, on the one hand, or war fought out until the rebellion 
is crushed beneath its iron heel. Patriotism accepts the 
bloody issues of war, rather than peace purchased with the 
dismemberment of the Kepublic and the death of the nation. 

If we accept peace, disunion, death, then we may speedily 

378 How America became a Nation in Arms 

summon home again our armies ; if we accept war, until the 
flag of the Eepubhc waves over every foot of our united 
country, then we must see to it that the ranks of our armies, 
broken by toil, disease, and death, are filled again with the 
health and vigour of life. To fill the thinned ranks of our 
battalions we must again call upon the people. The im- 
mense numbers already summoned to the field, the scarcity 
and high rewards of labour, press upon all of us the convic- 
tion that the ranks of our wasted regiments cannot be 
filled again by the old system of volunteering. If volunteers 
will not respond to the call of the country, then we must 
resort to the involuntary system. . . . 

Senator MacDougall of California stated : 

I regretted much, when the war was first organised, that 
the conscription rule did not obtain. I went from the ex- 
treme east to the extreme west of the loyal States. I found 
some districts where some bold leaders brought out all the 
young men and sent them or led them to the field. In other 
districts, and they were the most numerous, the people made 
no movement towards the maintenance of the war ; there 
were whole towns and cities, I may say, where no one volun- 
teered to shoulder a musket and no one offered to lead them 
into the service. The whole business has been unequal 
and wrong from the first. The rule of conscription should 
have been the rule to bring out men of all classes and make 
it equal throughout the country. . . . 

Mr. Sargent, Kepresentative of California, said : 

For a want of a general enrolment of the forces of the 
United States and a systematic calling out of those forces, 
we have experienced all the inconveniences of a volunteer 
system, with its enormous expense, ill discipline and irregular 
efforts, and have depended upon spasmodic efforts of the 
people, elated or depressed by the varying fortunes of war 
or the rise or fall of popular favourites in the Army. I 
believe I hazard nothing in saying that we should have lost 
fewer men in the field and from disease and been much 
nearer the end of this destructive war had we earlier availed 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 379 

ourselves of the power conferred by the Constitution and at 
last proposed to be adopted by this Bill. For short and 
irregular efforts no force can be better than a volunteer 
army. With brave and skilful officers and a short and active 
term of service, volunteer troops are highly efficient. But 
when a war is to last for years, as this will have done, how- 
ever soon we may see its termination, it must depend for 
its success upon regular and systematic forces. . . . Such 
filling up is not possible to any degree under the volunteer 
system, as the Government has had occasion to know in 
this war. . . . 

The practical operation of the volunteer system has been 
that the earnest lovers of the country among the people, the 
haters of the rebellion, the noblest and best of our citizens, 
have left their homes to engage in this war to sustain the 
Constitution ; while the enemies of civil hberty, those who 
hate the Government and desire its failure in this struggle, 
have stayed at home to embarrass it by discontent and 
clamour. By this system we have had the loyal States 
drained of those who could be relied upon in all political con- 
tests to sustain the Government ; going forth to fight the 
manly foe in front, the covert foe left behind has opened a 
fire in the rear. Under the garb of democracy, a name that 
has been so defiled and prostituted that it has become synony- 
mous with treason and should henceforth be a byword and 
hissing to the American people, these demagogues in this hall 
and out of it have traduced the Government, misrepresented 
the motives of loyal men. . . . The Bill goes upon the pre- 
sumption that every citizen not incapacitated by physical 
or mental disability owes military service to the country in its 
hour of extremity, and that it is honourable and praise- 
worthy to render such service. 

The views given fairly sum up the opinion held by the 
majority of the American people in the North and by that of 
their representatives at Washington who passed the Conscrip- 
tion Act without undue delay against a rather substantial 
minority. The principal provisions of the Act of March 3, 
1863, establishing compulsory miUtary service and exempt- 
ing certain citizens, furnish so valuable and so interesting 

380 How America became a Nation in Arms 

a precedent to the fighting democracies that it is worth 
while giving them in this place. We read in the Act : 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Bepresentatives 
of the United States of America in Congress assembled : That 
all able-bodied male citizens of the United States, and per- 
sons of foreign birth who shall have declared on oath their 
intention to become citizens under and in pursuance of the 
laws thereof, between the ages of twenty and forty-five years, 
except as hereinafter excepted, are hereby declared to 
constitute the national forces, and shall be liable to perform 
military duty in the service of the United States when called 
out by the President for that purpose. 

Section 2. And be it further enacted : That the following 
persons be and they are hereby excepted and exempt from 
the provisions of this Act, and shall not be hable to mihtary 
duty under the same, to wit : Such as are rejected as physi- 
cally or mentally unfit for the service ; also, first, the Vice- 
President of the United States, the heads of the various 
Executive Departments of the Government, and the Gover- 
nors of the several States. Second, the only son liable to 
military duty of a widow dependent upon his labour for 
support. Third, the only son of aged or infirm parent or 
parents dependent upon his labour for support. Fourth, 
where there are two or more sons of aged or infirm parents 
subject to the draft, the father, or if he be dead the mother, 
may elect which son shall be exempt. Fifth, the only 
brother of children not twelve years old, having neither 
father nor mother dependent upon his labour for support. 
Sixth, the father of motherless children under twelve years 
of age dependent upon his labour for support. Seventh, 
where there are a father and sons in the mihtary service of 
the United States as non-commissioned ofi&cers, musicians, 
or privates, the residue of such family and household, not 
exceeding two, shall be exempt. And no person but such 
as herein excepted shall be exempt. Provided, however, 
that no person who has been convicted of any felony shall 
be enrolled or permitted to serve in said forces. 

In each district a Provost-Marshal, acting under the 
Provost-Marshal- General, an examining surgeon, and a 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 381 

commissioner constituted the Board of Enrolment. The 
enrolHng officers were directed to em'ol all able-bodied per- 
sons within the prescribed ages and to judge of age by the 
best evidence they could obtain. They were required to 
make two classes in their returns, the first of all men between 
twenty and thirty-five years, and the second of all between 
thirty-five and forty-five years. If we wish to learn how 
the Conscription Act worked in the unruly North, where an 
enormous percentage of the population liable to military 
service consisted of immigrant foreigners who often were 
ill- acquainted with the English language, we should turn 
to the Eeport which the Provost-Marshal- General made to 
the Secretary of War on March 17, 1866. We read : 

The Act of Congress creating the office of Provost-Mar- 
shal-General was approved March 3, 1863. I was appointed 
to it March 17, 1863. 

Within a few weeks from that date the network of organi- 
sation adopted under the law was extended over the loyal 
States and the counties and towns of the same, and the 
principal duties of the Bureau [the Provost-Marshal- 
General's], to wit, the arrest of deserters, the enrolment of 
the national forces for draft, and the enlistment of volun- 
teers had been commenced. 

When the Bureau was put in operation the strength of 
the Army was deemed inadequate for offensive operations. 
Nearly 400,000 recruits were required to bring the regiments 
and companies then in service up to the legal and necessary 
standard. Disaster had been succeeded by inactivity, and 
the safety of the country depended on speedy and continued 
reinforcement of the Army. The insufficiency of the system 
of recruitment previously pursued had been demonstrated, 
and the Army was diminishing by the ordinary casualties 
of war, but more rapidly by the expiration of the terms for 
which the troops had engaged to serve. To meet the emer- 
gency a new system of recruitment was inaugurated. The 
General Government, through this Bureau, assumed direct 
control of the business which had heretofore been transacted 
mainly by the State Governments. . . . 

382 How America became a Nation in Arms 

The following is a condensed summary of the results of 
the operations of this Bureau from its organisation to the 
close of the war : 

(1) By means of a full and exact enrolment of all persons 
liable to conscription under the law of March 3, and its 
amendments, a complete exhibit of the military resources 
of the loyal States in men was made, showing an aggregate 
number of 2,254,063 men, not including 1,000,516 soldiers 
actually under arms when hostilities ceased. 

(2) 1,120,621 men were raised at an average cost (on 
account of recruitment exclusive of bounties) of 9*84 dois, 
per man ; while the cost of recruiting the 1,356,593 raised 
prior to the organisation of the Bureau was 34*01 dois, per 
man. A saving of over 70 cents on the dollar in the cost of 
raising troops was thus effected under this Bureau, not- 
withstanding the increase in the price of subsistence, trans- 
portation, rents, &c., during the last two years of the war. 

(3) 76,526 deserters were arrested and returned to the 

The vigilance and energy of the officers of the Bureau in 
this branch of business put an effectual check to the wide- 
spread evil of desertion, which at one time impaired so seri- 
ously the numerical strength and efficiency of the Army. 

(4) The quotas of men furnished by the various parts 
of the country were equalised and a proportionate share of 
miUtary service secured from each, thus removing the very 
serious inequality of recruitment which had arisen during 
the first two years of the war, and which, when the Bureau 
was organised, had become an almost insuperable obstacle 
to further progress in raising troops. . . . 

The introduction of compulsion acted as a powerful 
stimulus to voluntary enhstment throughout the Union,^ 
and, in consequence of this revival of voluntary enlistment, 
the number of men compulsorily enlisted was not as great 
as it might have been, especially as the compulsory system 
was not exploited to the full. Only a comparatively moderate 
number of those who by law were declared to be Hable for 

1 This was due to the fact that the individual States vied with one 
another to fill their quota so as to make compulsion unnecessary. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 883 

military service were called upon to join the Army.^ On 
the other hand, the moral effect of the passing of the Con- 
scription Act was very far-reaching and salutary. The 
Provost-Marshal-General's Report stated : 

The historian who would trace accomplished results to 
their true and genuine causes must assign to the law constitut- 
ing this Bureau a most important place among the agencies 
by which the great work of restoring the national authority 
has been so happily accomplished. The true turning-point 
of the War was reached when the first ' draft wheel ' began 
to revolve, under the provisions of the Act of March 3, 
1863. The general effect of this law throughout the country 
has been highly favourable to loyalty. No one department 
has brought its operations so directly and closely home to 
the people, or has given such a feeUng of security, such a 
confidence in and such assurance of the power of the Govern- 
ment to preserve itself, conquer its enemies, and protect all 
its citizens. Next to the success of its arms, the ability of 
the Government to bring men into the field at its call, and 
the manner in which it has been done by this Bureau in 
the execution of the * enrolment act,* in spite of innum- 
erable and apparently insuperable difficulties, has best de- 
monstrated that power. 

The Conscription Act of 1863 was a most beneficial 
measure, but it had several grave defects. It failed to 
place upon the men liable for military service the duty 
of coming forward without delay. Hence the Government 
had to search them out. The Official Report tells us : 

Instead of endeavouring to search out and hunt up every 
person liable to military service through the agency of a 
vast multitude of petty enrolling officers, upon whose capa- 
city and fidelity it is not possible in all cases to rely, I think 
the Government should impose its supreme demands directly 
upon the people themselves, and require them, under the 
sternest penalties, to report themselves for enrolment. 
If the Government has a right to the military service of 
its citizens in times of public peril, rebellion, and war, it 

384 How America became a Nation in Arms 

has a right to secure such services in the simplest, cheapest, 
and most direct manner. 

Enrolled men whose names had been drawn from the 
wheel for service and who failed to obey the call were liable 
to the extreme penalty, for the Provost-Marshal- General 
published the following opinion of the Solicitor of the War 
Department to all concerned : 

When a person has been drafted in pursuance of the 
Enrolment Act of March 3, 1863, notice of such draft must be 
served within ten days thereafter, by a written or printed 
notice, to be served on him personally, or by leaving a copy 
at his last place of residence, requiring him to appear at 
a designated rendezvous to report for duty. Any person 
failing to report for duty after notice left at. his last place 
of residence or served on him personally without furnishing 
a substitute or paying 300 dois., is pronounced by law to be 
a deserter ; he may be arrested and held for trial by court- 
martial and sentenced to death. If a person, after being 
drafted and before receiving the notice, deserts, it may still 
be served by leaving it at his last place of residence, and if 
he does not appear in accordance with the notice, or furnish 
the substitute, or pay the 300 dois., he will be in law a deser- 
ter, and must be punished accordingly. There is no way or 
manner in which a person once enrolled can escape his public 
duties, when drafted, whether present or absent, whether he 
changes his residence or absconds ; the rights of the United 
States against him are secured, and it is only by performance 
of his duty to the country that he will escape liability to be 
treated as a criminal. 

Deserters were proceeded against with great energy. 
Death sentences for desertion were not infrequent, but 
in many cases they were commuted. Still, from the table 
given later on it appears that 261 soldiers of the Northern 
Army were executed. Among these were a good many 

The Union Government had made the unfortunate 
mistake of allowing men who had been enrolled as liable 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 885 

for military duty and who had afterwards been ' drafted ' 
for service to escape their duties by the undemocratic 
expedient of finding a substitute or of paying $300. That 
provision was naturally much resented by the poorer classes, 
and especially by alien immigrants in the large towns. 
The Opposition made the utmost use of their opportunity, 
denounced the Government, and incited the masses to 
resistance. The Provost-Marshal-General's Report tells 
us that the people were incited against the Government 
* by the machinations of a few disloyal political leaders, 
aided by the treasonable utterances of corrupt and profli- 
gate newspapers . . . by a steady stream of political poison 
and arrant treason.' While the Goyernment was obeyed 
in the country, these incitements led to sanguinary riots 
among the worst alien elements in several towns, especially 
in New York, Boston, and Troy. A large part of New 
York was during several days devastated by the mob, and 
the suppression of the rising cost more than 1000 lives. 
When order had been re-established Mr. Horatio Seymour, 
the Governor of New York, expressed doubt whether con- 
scription was constitutionally permissible, and asked Presi- 
dent Lincoln to obtain a judicial decision on that point. 
The President replied on August 7 : 

. . . We are contending with an enemy who, as I under- 
stand, drives every able-bodied man he can reach into his 
ranks, very much as a butcher drives bullocks into a slaugh- 
ter-pen. No time is wasted, no argument is used. 

This produces an army which will soon turn upon our 
now victorious soldiers already in the field, if they shall not 
be sustained by recruits as they should be. It produces an 
army with a rapidity not to be matched on our side, if we first 
waste time to re-experiment with the voluntary system, 
already deemed by Congress, and palpably in fact, so far 
exhausted as to be inadequate ; and then more time to ob- 
tain a court decision as to whether the law is constitutional 
which requires a part of those not now in the service to 
go to the aid of those who are already in it, and still more 

2 c 

386 How America became a Nation in Arms 

time to determine with absolute certainty that we get those 
who are to go in the precisely legal proportion to those who 
are not to go. 

My purpose is to be in my action just and constitutional, 
and yet practical, in performing the important duty with 
which I am charged — of maintaining the unity and the free 
principles of our common country. 

Shortly afterwards conscription was enforced through- 
out New York with the energetic assistance of Governor 
Seymour, who clearly recognised the pertinence of the Presi- 
dent's arguments. 

Let us now consider the principal facts and figures relat- 
ing to the Civil War. 

It began on April 12, 1861, with the bombardment of 
Fort Sumter ; it ended on April 9, 1865, with the surrender 
of General Lee and his army to General Grant at Appomat- 
tox Court House. Except for three days the war lasted 
exactly four years. The history of the Civil War is at 
the same time inspiring and humiUating. It is inspiring 
because of the patriotism, the heroism, the ability, and the 
resourcefulness which were displayed by both combatants. 
Both showed that it was possible to improvise huge and 
powerful armies. It is deeply humihating because the Civil 
War is a gigantic monument of democratic improvidence 
and of unreadiness, of governmental short-sightedness, 
and of criminal waste, of bungling, and of muddle. The 
North possessed so overwhelming a superiority in population 
and in resources of every kind, and had had so ample a 
warning of the threatening danger long before the trouble 
began, that the war would probably never have broken out 
had the Northern statesmen exercised in time some ordinary 
foresight and caution, as they easily might have done and 
as they ought to have done. If some precautions had been 
taken, and if, nevertheless, the Southern States had revolted, 
their subjection might have been effected wrthin a few 
months at a comparatively trifling expenditure of blood 
and treasure. How crushing the numerical superiority 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 387 

of the North was over the South will be seen from the 
Census figures of 1860, which supply the following picture : 

American Pofulation in 1860. 

Population of Northern and Western States . 22,339,978 

White Population of Southern States . 5,449,463 

Coloured „ „ „ „ . 3,653,880 9,103,343 

Total 31,443,321 

If we compare the total population of the antagonists, 
it appears that the North had twenty-five inhabitants to 
every ten in the South, both white and coloured. However, 
as the Southern negroes did not furnish soldiers during the 
war, we must deduct their number. Thus we find that 
for every ten possible combatants in the South there were 
no fewer than forty in the North. In 1860 the Northern 
States had two-and-a-half times as many inhabitants and 
four times as many men able to bear arms as had the 
Southern States. In addition, the Northern States possessed 
infinitely greater wealth, and infinitely greater resources 
of every kind, than did their opponents. James Ford 
Ehodes, in his excellent * History of the United States from 
the Compromise of 1850,' briefly and correctly compared 
their position as follows ; 

The Union had much greater wealth, was a country of a 
complex civilisation, and boasted of its varied industries ; 
it combined the farm, the shop, and the factory. The 
Confederacy was but a farm, dependent on Europe and on 
the North for everything but bread and meat, and before 
the war for much of those. The North had the money 
market, and could borrow with greater ease than the South. 
It was the iron age. The North had done much to develop 
its wealth of iron, that potent aid of civilisation, that necessity 
of war ; the South had scarcely touched its own mineral 
resources. In nearly every Northern regiment were me- 
chanics of all kinds and men of business training accustomed 
to system, while the Southern army was made up of gentle- 
men and poor whites, splendid fighters of rare courage and 

388 How America became a Nation in Arms 

striking devotion, but as a whole inferior in education and 
in a knowledge of the arts and appliances of modern life 
to the men of the North. The Union had the advantage of 
the regular Army and Navy, of the flag, and of the prestige 
and machinery of the national Government ; the Ministers 
from foreign countries were accredited to the United States ; 
the archives of what had been the common Government 
were also in the possession of the Union. . . . 

From the ofiScial statistics available it appears that 
the wealth of the Union was in 1860 about fifteen times 
as great as that of the Southern States, which were merely 
producers of food and raw materials. In the course of the 
war the economic supremacy of the North increased very 
greatly, for while the manufacturing power of the Northern 
States expanded rapidly, the economic position of the 
Southern States deteriorated continually. Northern warships 
blockaded the coast of the South, and the Southerners 
could neither sell their staple products — especially cotton 
and tobacco — nor import the machines, weapons, and 
manufactures of every kind which they needed. While 
the North was self-supporting and could freely import 
from abroad all it required, the South was thrown on its 
own resources, and before long the people lacked even the 
most essential things. Hence their sufferings were terrible, 
while the people in the North lived in relative comfort 
and affluence. 

The people, both in the South and in the North, made 
a most gigantic mihtary effort. The Secretary of War 
laid before Congress information from which it appeared 
that the Northern States furnished altogether the gigantic 
number of 2,653,062 soldiers. If this colossal aggregate 
is reduced to a three -years' standard, they furnished no 
less than 2,129,041 men. If we compare this figure with 
the total population of the Northern States given above, we 
find that the North sent to the army 10 per cent, of the 
total population. The official figures relating to the mili- 
tary effort of the South are incomplete and not reliable. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 389 

Estimates vary. However, when we draw the average 
of the various estimates it appears that the Southern States 
furnished to the army about one milKon men, or approxi- 
mately 20 per cent, of the white population. 

The war entailed colossal losses in men and money. 
According to the accounts furnished in the Official Kecord 
the war losses of the Northern Army were as follows : 

Losses of Northern Army 





Killed in action 




Of wounds received in action 




Of disease ...... 




Accidental (except drowned) 




Drowned ...... 




Murdered ...... 




Killed after capture .... 




Suicide ...... 




Executed by U.S. military authorities. 




Executed by enemy .... 




Sunstroke. ..... 




Other known causes .... 




Causes not stated .... 
Aggregate . . . . 







Losses of Northern Regular Army 
Grand Aggregate— Regulars and 




Volunteers .... 




These figures are considered by many authorities to be 
an under-statement. Some estimate that the Northern 
States lost approximately 500,000 lives through the war. 
Through death the Northern Armies lost about 20 per 
cent, of their men, and the losses come to about 2 per cent. 
of the whole population. The war losses of the Southern 
States were approximately as great as those of the North. 
Apparently about one-half of the Southern Army died, 
and the deaths caused by the war equal almost 10 per 
cent, of the white population of the South. Altogether 
the American States combined lost between 700,000 and 
1,000,000 lives in four years' warfare. 

390 How America became a Nation in Arms 

The economic losses caused by the war were enormous. 
Estimates vary, but the most reHable one gives the figure 
of 10,000,000,000 dollars, or £2,000,000,000. The war-bill 
of the United States continues, mounting up through the 
payment of pensions which entail at present an expenditure 
of about £30,000,000 a year. The Civil War crippled the 
North financially for many years, but it ruined the South. 
Between 1860 and 1870 the taxable wealth of Virginia 
decreased from 793,249,681 dollars to 327,670,503 dol- 
lars ; that of South Carolina from 548,138,754 dollars to 
166,517,591 dollars; that of Georgia from 645,895,237 
dollars to 214,535,366 dollars, &c. 

Let us consider now the principal lessons of the Civil 

If the American statesmen had exercised merely reason- 
able caution and foresight, the war would probably never 
have occurred. The principal towns of the South He near 
the sea border in spacious bays or up-river. They were 
protected against an attack from the sea by strong forts. 
By adequately garrisoning these forts in time, as General 
Scott, the Head of the Army, had advised President 
Buchanan, the American Government could have dominated 
the rebeUious towns, and could have cut their connection 
with the sea, as had been done with the best success at the 
time of the nullification troubles of 1832. Unfortunately, 
President Buchanan paid no attention to the views of his 
miUtary experts. 

Washington said in his fifth Annual Address : * If we 
desire to avoid insult we must be able to repel it. If we 
desire to secure peace, it must be known that we are at all 
times ready for war.' He and many of the founders of the 
Eepubhc had pointed out in The Federalist and elsewhere 
that it was dangerous for the country to rely merely on 
an untrained militia, and had urged the necessity of main- 
taining an adequate standing army. Unfortunately their 
warnings were not heeded by the short-sighted and unscrupu- 
lous politicians. Had the United States possessed a small 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 391 

standing army ready for war the Southern States would 
scarcely have dared to rise, and had they done so their 
power could easily have been broken. In the opinion of 
many American military experts a standing army of 50,000 
men would have sufficed to end the war in a few months. 
The disregard of the views of the mihtary experts, and the 
criminal levity and recklessness of self-seeking politicians 
cost the United States approximately a million lives and 
£2,000,000,000. They paid dearly for their previous improvi- 
dence and their neglect of mihtary preparations. 

When the bombardment of Fort Sumter began, when 
the army, navy, and the whole administrative and judicial 
apparatus broke down, the dissolution of the Great Kepublic 
seemed inevitable. The Union was saved by a man of 
sterling character but of merely moderate abihty, by a great 
citizen, but scarcely a statesman of the very first rank. 
Abraham Lincoln was animated by an unwavering faith 
in the Union and in the righteousness of its cause. Undis- 
mayed by disaster, he rallied the waverers, encouraged 
the downhearted, and created harmony among the quarrel- 
ling parties. When matters seemed desperate, he mobi- 
lised the country, raised a huge army, and saved the State 
by his exertions. Had a Buchanan or a Johnson been in 
power the Union would undoubtedly have been lost. He 
did not hesitate to exceed his constitutional powers and 
to act as a Dictator when the fate of his country was at stake. 
In Lord Bryce's words, ' Abraham Lincoln wielded more 
authority than any single Enghshman has done since Ohver 
Cromwell.' One-man rule undoubtedly saved the United 

A democratic Government which at any moment may 
be overturned by a hostile majority lives precariously 
by popularity, by votes. Popularity is therefore indispens- 
able to the politicians in power. It is more necessary and 
more precious to them than national security and adminis- 
trative efficiency. The result is that a Government which 
is dependent from hour to hour for its life on the popular 

392 How America became a Nation in Arms 

will and the popular whim must be guided by the momentaiy 
moods and impulses of the ill-informed masses. It must 
pursue a hand-to-mouth policy. Fearing to endanger its 
position by taking the initiative, it will, as a rule, wait for 
a popular demand for action. It will often refuse to act 
with foresight and even with common sense, but will 
readily obey the clamour of the noisiest but least well- 
informed section of the Press and the pubUc. Hence a 
democratic Cabinet cannot act with foresight. It cannot 
unite on necessary, wise, and far-sighted action. On the 
other hand, the disunited ministers, who are merely waiting 
for a popular lead, will readily agree on some useless, foolish, 
or even mischievous measure, provided it is popular, provided 
it is demanded with sufiûcient clamour and insistence by 
the prejudiced, and by those who live by pandering to the 
short-sightedness and to the momentary moods and emotions 
of the masses and act as their spokesmen. 

The founders of the American Commonwealth, like all 
great statesmen, recognised that a Government can act 
with energy, sagacity, foresight, secrecy, and despatch — 
qualities which are indispensable in critical times, and 
especially in war — only if there is absolute unity of purpose, 
if the executive is in the hands of a single man who is 
assisted by eminent experts. In Great Britain a Cabinet 
composed of twenty-two personages was supreme. Of these 
only one man, Lord Kitchener, was a military expert. As, 
according to tradition, the Cabinet forms its decisions unani- 
mously, it is clear that that unwieldy and inexpert body 
could act neither with energy nor with secrecy, neither with 
despatch nor with foresight. It could scarcely act with 
wisdom or with common sense. It is difificult to secure 
agreement among twenty-two men. As an energetic and 
provident poHcy will probably be opposed by the timorous, 
or the short-sighted, a compromise between action and 
inaction, between wisdom and folly, becomes necessary, for 
otherwise the Cabinet will split. Hence a safe common- 
place poHcy, a weak and dilatory, shilly-shally pohcy, a 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 398 

policy of vacillation, of make-believe, and of drift, was 
likely to be adopted. Foresight became impossible. At 
best half- measures were taken, and urgently necessary 
energetic action was delayed until it was too late, until 
disasters, which could no longer be explained away, had 
occurred and had demonstrated even to the dullest and to 
the most obstinate members of the Cabinet the folly of 
their opposition. 

Frederick the Great, Napoleon, Nelson, Moltke, indeed 
all great generals and admirals whose views are known, have 
stated that war is a one-man business, that in war the worst 
possible direction is that of a military council. It is true 
that great commanders have often called councils of war, 
but they have done so only for advice, not for direction. 
If, according to the greatest leaders, it is dangerous to 
entrust the direction of mihtary or naval operations to a 
council of war composed of great experts, how much more 
dangerous then will it be to entrust it to a council of politicians 
unacquainted with war ! Apparently the twenty- two men 
who formed the late Cabinet had the supreme direction not 
only of the country's domestic and administrative policy, 
but that of its armies and fleets as well. Herein lay the 
reason that more than once during the war we have seen 
inadequacy, vacillation, hesitation, improvidence, and 
incompetence ; that belated half-measures and quarter- 
measures have sometimes been taken when immediate 
and energetic action was imperatively called for. Unani- 
mity, energy, foresight, secrecy, and despatch, in one word, 
efficiency, is difficult enough in business jointly transacted 
by twenty-two men belonging to one party. Will it be 
easier to obtain unanimity in Cabinet decision, will the 
Government act with greater wisdom, foresight, energy, 
and rapidity when there is a CoaHtion Cabinet, when one 
half the Ministers belong to one party and the other half 
to the late Opposition ? 

It is, of course, highly desirable that in a time of crisis 
the country should possess a strong national Government, 

394 How America became a Nation in Arms 

a Government representing not a party but the nation as 
a whole. However, as a Cabinet cannot possibly act with 
unanimity, foresight, energy, rapidity, and secrecy, it seems 
indispensable that the Cabinet should entrust the supreme 
direction of affairs to a single strong man supported by a 
small number of expert advisers who are not his equals 
but distinctly hia subordinates. A democracy at war 
requires for its salvation a kind of Dictator, an Abraham 
Lincoln, and British statesmen will do well to ponder over 
the most important views of the founders of the American 
Commonwealth given in the beginning of this chapter. 

Many politicians and numerous organs of the Press 
have urged that the situation calls for a Dictator, and have 
regretted that no man of transcendent ability has come 
forward to whom the Government could be entrusted for the 
duration of the War. It is, however, perhaps unnecessary 
to wait for the advent of a Chatham. Government by a 
single man of moderate, or even of inferior, ability, will prob- 
ably prove far more efiScient than government by twenty- 
two very able men, non-experts, who possess, at least 
theoretically, equal power and authority in directing the 
affairs of the nation. The British Constitution is unwritten, 
is fluid, is adaptable to the necessities of the moment. 
It has been created by gradual evolution, and it lends itself 
easily to the creation of a one-man Government for the 
duration of the War. The Prime Minister need only be 
made solely responsible for the conduct of the Government 
in all its branches during the War. By thus increasing 
the power of the Prime Minister, the Cabinet Ministers 
would be made responsible merely for their departments. 
They would be responsible to the Prime Minister, and he 
to Parliament. Cabinet Ministers could therefore devote 
themselves practically entirely to their administrative 
duties. They would become the Prime Minister's subordin- 
ates. He would assume sole responsibility for important 
decisions. He would consult the Cabinet Ministers, but 
could no longer be hampered in his action by the opposition 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 395 

of one or several of his colleagues. The direction of affairs 
would no longer be in the hands of an unwieldy body, such 
as could not successfully direct any business. The State 
would possess a managing director, as does every business, 
and thus foresight, unity, energy, despatch, and secrecy 
in action might be secured. 

Many Englishmen extol the voluntary system and 
oppose compulsory service because in their opinion compul» 
sion, conscription, is undemocratic. Most of these are quite 
unaware that the greatest, the freest, and the most unruly 
democracy in the world gladly submitted to conscription 
half a century ago, and appear to forget that France and 
Switzerland recognise that the first duty of the citizen 
consists in defending his country. If the United States 
found conscription necessary to prevent the Southern 
States breaking away and forming a government of their 
own, how much more necessary is the abandonment of 
the voluntary system when not merely the integrity but the 
existence of Great Britain and of the Empire is at stake ! 

The American War was unnecessarily protracted because 
the North had never enough troops to crush the rebellion. 
On July 3, 1862, President Lincoln wrote despairingly a 
confidential letter to the Governors of various States worded 
as follows : 

I should not want the half of 300,000 new troops if I 
could have them now. If I had 50,000 additional troops 
here now, I believe I could substantially close the War in 
two weeks. But time is everything, and if I get 50,000 new 
men in a month I shall have lost 20,000 old ones during the 
same month, having gained only 30,000, with the difference 
between old and new troops still against me. The quicker 
you send, the fewer you will have to send. Time is every- 
thing. Please act in view of this. . . . 

While the Southern States armed their whole able-bodied 
population at an early date, the Northern States were late 
in introducing conscription. Besides, conscription was with 

396 How America became a Nation in Arms 

them only a half-measure, as has been shown. They in- 
troduced it only on March 3, 1863, two years after the 
outbreak of the war, and as they failed to arm all available 
men the war dragged on for two whole years after conscrip- 
tion had been introduced. The four-fold superiority in 
able-bodied men and the fifteen-fold superiority in wealth 
would undoubtedly have given to the Northern States a 
rapid and complete victory had they acted with their entire 
national strength at the outset. 

The United Kingdom and the British Empire have made 
enormous efforts, but greater ones will be needed. The 
United States have provided this country with a great and 
inspiring precedent. The Northern States placed 10 per 
cent, and the Southern States 20 per cent, of their entire 
population in the field, as has been shown on another page. 
If Great Britain should follow the example of the Northern 
States she alone should be able to raise 4,500,000 men. 
If she should follow the example of the South she should be 
able to provide 9,000,000 soldiers. The British losses during 
the first years of war have been appalling, but they are small 
if compared with those incurred by the Americans in the 
Civil War. If Great Britain should lose men at the same 
rate as the Northern States, her dead would number about 
1,000,000. At the proportion of the Southern States her 
dead would number about 4,000,000. Great Britain and 
her daughter-States have an opportunity of demonstrating 
to the world that they have as much energy, resourcefulness, 
patriotism, and vitality as the men who laid down their lives 
in the terrible campaign of 1861-65. If the United States 
were ready to make the greatest sacrifices for preserving 
their Union, the United Kingdom and the Dominions shoula 
be wiUing to make sacrifices at least as great for the sake of 
their existence. 

The story of the Civil War provides invaluable lessons 
to this country. It shows that the United States were 
saved by two factors, by one-man government and by 
conscription. It shows that far greater exertions than those 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 397 

made hitherto are wanted by Motherland and Empire — and 
that they can be made. It shows that the sooner con- 
scription is introduced throughout the Empire, the more 
energetically national service is enforced, and the more fully 
the whole manhood of the Empire States is employed in 
the War, the smaller will be its cost in blood and money, and 
the sooner it will be over. At the same time, the Civil 
War furnishes the gravest warnings to the United States. 
It should show them the danger of unpreparedness. The 
European crisis may become their crisis as well. 

At the dedication of the Soldiers' Cemetery in 1863, 
Abraham Lincoln pronounced the following immortal 
words : 

It is for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining 
before us — that from these honoured dead we take increased 
devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full 
measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these 
dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under 
God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government 
of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish 
from the earth. 

These words are known by heart by every American 
schoolboy. They may well serve as a memento and as a 
motto to Englishmen of the present generation and inspire 
them in the heavy task which lies before them. 



On Christmas Eve, 1814, in the old Carthusian Convent in 
the city of Ghent, a peace was signed which brought to an 
end the Anglo-American War of 1812-14, and on Christmas 
Eve, 1914, occurred the one hundredth anniversary of that 
memorable event. To celebrate worthily the Hundred 
Years' Peace between the British nation and the United 
States powerful committees were formed in the United 
States, in Canada, and in this country, and they resolved 
to observe it by religious services and various festivities, 
by purchasing, by popular subscription, Sulgrave Manor, 
Washington's ancestral home in England, by placing a 
statue of George Washington in Westminster Abbey, by 
erecting monumental arches and columns on the United 
States- Canadian boundary, by erecting imposing memorial 
buildings in London, New York, and elsewhere, by creating 
a park at the Niagara Falls and a toll-free International 
Peace Bridge over the Niagara Eiver which separates the 
United States from Canada, and by giving prizes for 
improved text-books on Anglo-American history, designed 
to improve relations between the two countries. Senator 
Burton introduced a Bill in the United States Senate pro- 
viding for the creation of a Peace Celebration Committee, 
and appropriating £1,500,000 to be spent on the celebration 
provided that the nations of the British Empire would 
furnish ' such sum or sums as will equal the amount or 

^ The Nineteenth Century and After y September, 1913^ 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 399 

amounts thus appropriated.' The War has interfered with 
the planned celebration, and perhaps it is for the best. 

The promoters of the movement obviously intended to 
celebrate the Hundred Years' Peace by improving the 
relations between the British and American peoples, and 
they were prepared to spend money lavishly for that purpose. 
But would they have achieved their aim by giving large 
commissions to a number of sculptors, architects, and monu- 
mental masons, who might only have succeeded in producing 
monumental eyesores, and by creating on the Niagara 
frontier a park and a toll-free Peace Bridge ? The Niagara 
is the American Blackpool. It is visited every year by more 
than a million cheap trippers, who are conveyed there at 
a very small price in railway trains which are crowded to 
their utmost capacity. Apart from the two railway bridges 
there is already an excellent passenger bridge over the 
Niagara which people can cross by electric tram for the 
modest sum of ten cents. Did the promoters of the peace 
celebrations seriously believe that they could bridge the gulf 
which until lately unfortunately still divided the British 
and American nations by constructing promiscuously and 
at very large expense a number of imposing and possibly 
unbeautiful stone monuments and a totally unnecessary 
bridge, which would have no practical benefit except that 
of saving the trifling sum of ten cents per head to swarms . 
of hilarious excursionists, who, anxious to see the sights 
on the other side, or to get something to eat, would rush 
across the toll-free bridge without giving a moment's 
thought to its symbolical meaning ? Were not the excellent 
people on the Peace Celebration Committees bent upon 
spending their money and their energy in the wrong 
direction ? 

On Christmas Eve the angels sang * On earth peace, 
goodwill toward men.' The Peace of Ghent was most 
auspiciously signed on Christmas Eve, and the idea of 
celebrating its centenary by taking steps which would 
increase the goodwill between the two great branches of 

400 An Anglo-American Reunion 

the Anglo-Saxon race and secure their peace for all time 
was excellent. However, experience teaches us that peace 
and goodwill between nations cannot be secured by wasting 
money on stone monuments and bridges and that inter- 
national agitation by private committees does little to bring 
nations together. From the invasion by William the 
Conqueror in 1066 to the surrender of Fashoda in 1898 
England and France have passionately hated one another 
and have almost incessantly been at war. Yet to-day 
France and Great Britain are excellent friends. How has 
that marvellous and almost incredible change been brought 
about ? By the Anglo-French Agreement of April 8, 1904, 
concluded between Lord Lansdowne and Monsieur Delcassé, 
which settled all outstanding questions and abolished all 
friction between the two nations, and by the conclusion of 
an understanding whereby the two countries have resolved 
to support one another in case of need. Through the action 
of their leading statesmen, France and Great Britain have 
discovered that they need one another and that they ought, 
in their own interest, to support one another. The long- 
continued efforts of well-meaning individuals in France 
and Great Britain to bring the two countries together proved 
fruitless. It is w^orth noting that France and Great Britain 
had become firm friends long before the great War, although 
many of the text-books used in the French schools still 
described Great Britain as the hereditary enemy of France, 
and although many of the books used in the British schools 
reciprocated the compliment. 

After all, the influence of well-disposed private indi- 
viduals, of bodies such as Chambers of Commerce, and of 
the schools is very much overrated. Nowadays the people 
receive their political education not from schoolmasters 
and social leaders but from the Press. The newspapers 
exercise a far more powerful influence upon public opinion 
than school and society combined. Diplomacy, the actions 
of statesmen, not schoolmasters and social leaders, brought 
France and Great Britain together overnight, and soon the 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 401 

French and British nations unlearnt what they had been 
taught about one another in the schools, and learnt to 
respect and trust one another, and, in case of need, to defend 
one another. 

If statesmanship was able to bring together France and 
Great Britain, two nations of different race, different ideas, 
different habits, different thought, and different speech, 
which have fought one another almost unceasingly during 
nine centuries, it should surely not be impossible to bring 
the United States and Great Britain once more together by 
the conclusion of a second and final peace treaty, by a treaty 
whereby the two great Anglo-Saxon nations might pledge 
themselves to support one another in perpetuity in case 
of a great emergency, by a treaty which would most fitly 
be concluded on the next anniversary of the Treaty of 
Ghent, and which would secure their peace and security 
practically for all time. That would, I venture to assert, 
be its most appropriate celebration. I shall endeavour to 
show the necessity of such a treaty in the following pages, 
but before doing so I think I ought to deal briefly with 
the causes which until recently have kept the two nations 

The fact that Great Britain and the United States have 
been at war has been almost forgotten in this country, but 
it is keenly remembered in America. That is only natural. 
In the course of her long and chequered history Great Britain 
has been at war with many powerful nations, but the United 
States have had only one great foreign war, and, owing to 
their geographical position, they have had hitherto a possible 
enemy only in that nation which is supreme at sea. If 
the American history-books had not contained long and 
highly-coloured accounts of * America's fight for freedom 
against England's tyranny,' and of * America's heroism 
and England's treachery,' they would have made very dull 
and uninspiring reading indeed. 

National patriotism demands to be inflamed by the heroic 
deeds of one's ancestors. The Americans have every reason 

% D 

402 An Anglo-American Reunion 

to be proud of their fight against England, and it is only 
right and proper that they have made the most of it and so 
strengthened their spirit of patriotism and of nationalism. 
However, although all Americans are proud of their victory 
over England, a large and constantly growing number of 
them have begun to recognise that the English nation is 
not a nation of tyrants and of inhuman monsters, that at 
the time of the American Eevolution not all the wrong was 
on the side of England and all the right on that of the 
American Colonists, that the war was caused rather by 
mutual misunderstandings than by the evil dispositions of 
the English Government and the English people, and there- 
fore they feel a little ashamed of the patriotic exuberance 
of some of their countrymen. 

Nations are usually welded together by war. Without 
the Anglo-American war there might have been American 
States, but these would scarcely have formed a firmly knit 
American State and an American nation. Besides, no 
great State, and especially no great democratic State, and 
no great federation of States, has ever been established 
without war. In every family of strong, healthy, and 
high-spirited boys there are fights. However, these do not 
lead to eternal enmity or to a permanent estrangement, 
but to increased mutual respect and to a better understand- 
ing. There have been great fraternal fights in Great Britain, 
Germany, Switzerland, France, and in the United States 
themselves, and it was only natural that there should have 
been such a fight between the United States and Great 
Britain. Lastly, the losses and sufferings which the Anglo- 
American war caused to the Americans have been much 
exaggerated. When I was in the United States I was 
seriously informed by eminent and competent men that the 
yearly celebration of the Fourth of July, the day of the 
Declaration of Independence, when patriotism impels 
Americans to let ofï in the streets fireworks and revolvers, 
had in the course of time claimed a heavier hecatomb of 
life than the Anglo-American war. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 403 

In the American school books Great Britain is usually 
described as the hereditary enemy of the United States. 
It is true that much bitterness against the United States 
prevailed in England long after the conclusion of the Anglo- 
American Peace Treaty. It was only natural that the loss 
of our greatest possession created abiding resentment, 
especially as Americans kept open the sore by numerous 
provocations and by frequent endeavours to damage Great 
Britain and Canada. Of course provocation met with 
counter provocation. However, it should in fairness be 
remembered in the United States that, notwithstanding 
all mutual misunderstandings and disputes which have 
taken place in the past, Great Britain has more than 
once acted as America's good friend. Great Britain has 
preserved the United States more than once from the in- 
tended intervention of European Powers, she has prob- 
ably preserved them from dangerous wars, and she has 
undoubtedly been responsible for the promulgation and 
the defence of the Monroe Doctrine which has estab- 
lished the principle ' America for the Americans.' The 
fact that Great Britain was responsible for the declaration 
of the Monroe Doctrine is so important and is at the same 
time so little known both in Great Britain and in the 
United States that it is worth while to give briefly the 
secret history of that doctrine, which has become the 
fundamental principle and the sheet anchor of America's 
foreign policy. 

After the Napoleonic Wars a reign of reaction began 
on the Continent of Europe. The Holy Alliance strove to 
destroy the democratic governments and institutions which 
the revolutionary period had called into being throughout 
the world, and to introduce a universal despotism. At 
Verona, on November 22, 1822, the Powers which had 
fought against Napoleon signed a secret treaty, to which, 
however, only the names of Metternich (Austria), Chateau- 
briand (France), Bernstorfï (Prussia), and Nesselrode 
(Eussia) were appended, for England refused to be a party. 

404 An Anglo-American Reunion 

The first two Articles of this instrument are of special interest, 
for they read as follows : 

The undersigned, specially authorised to make some 
additions to the treaty of the Holy Alhance, after having 
exchanged their respective credentials, have agreed as 
follows ; 

Article I. The high contracting Powers, being con- 
vinced that the system of represantative government is 
as incompatible with the monarchical principles as the 
maxim of the sovereignty of the people is with the divine 
right, engage mutually, in the most solemn manner, to use 
all their efforts to put an end to the system of representative 
government, in whatever country it may exist in Europe, 
and to prevent its being introduced in those countries where 
it is not yet known. 

Article II. As it cannot be doubted that the liberty of 
the Press is the most powerful means used by the pretended 
supporters of the rights of nations, to the detriment of those 
of Princes, the high contracting parties promise reciprocally 
to adopt all proper measures to suppress it, not only in their 
own States, but also in the rest of Europe. 

In Henderson's * American Diplomatic Questions ' we 
read : 

The Congress adjourned with the understanding that 
France, in the name of the Holy AUies, should send an 
army into Spain * to put an end to the system of repre- 
sentative government ' which w^as struggling for existence 
beyond the Pyrenees. A French army, under the Due 
d'Angoulême, crossed the frontier, and after a feeble 
resistance from the revolutionists restored Ferdinand to a 
despotic throne. The next step of the aUies seemed to be 
reasonably certain — a movement against the South Amercian 

The advisability of taking such a step had already been 
broached at Vienna, and freely discussed at Verona. 
Reports of these contemplated movements in the Americas 
had reached Washington, and had impressed the administra- 
tion with a deep feeling of concern. It was feared that 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 405 

France might demand Cuba as a price for restoring 

. Through its agents the British Government had become 
aware of the danger threatening the United States from the 
Continent of Europe. Mr. Canning, the British Foreign 
Secretary, sought an interview with Mr. Eichard Kush, the 
United States Minister to Great Britain, and Mr. Kush 
repor^'^d the gist of his conversation with Mr. Canning 
immediately to Mr. J. Q. Adams, the Secretary of State at 
Washington. Mr. Kush referred to a note which Mr. 
Canning had previously sent to the British Ambassador in 
Paris. In that note the British Foreign Secretary had 
stated : * As his Britannic Majesty disclaimed all intention 
of appropriating to himself the smallest portion of the late 
Spanish possessions in America, he, Mr. Canning, was 
satisfied that no attempt would be made by France to bring 
any of Spain's possessions under her dominion either by 
conquest or by cession from Spain.' Commenting upon 
this important note Mr. Kush reported to the United States 
Secretary of State : 

By this we are to understand in terms sufficiently 
distinct, that Great Britain would not be passive under such 
an attempt by France, and Mr. Canning, on my having 
referred to this note, asked me what I thought my Govern- 
ment would say to going hand in hand with the British 
Government in the same sentiment ; not, as he added, that 
any concert in action under it could become necessary 
between the two countries, but that the simple fact of our 
being known to hold the same sentiment would, he had no 
doubt, by its moral effect, put down the intention on the 
part of France, admitting that she should ever entertain 
it. . . . Kevertmg to his first idea, he again said that he 
hoped that France would not, should even events in the 
Peninsula be favourable to her, extend her views to South 
America for the purpose of reducing the colonies, nominally, 
perhaps, for Spain, but in effect to subserve ends of her 
own ; but that, in case she should meditate such a poHcy, 

406 An Anglo-American Reunion 

he was satisfied that the knowledge of the United States 
being opposed to it, as well as Great Britain, could not fail 
to have its influence in checking her steps. In this way he 
thought good might be done by prevention, and peaceful 
prospects all around increased. As to the form in which 
such knowledge might be made to reach France, and even 
the other Powers of Europe, he said, in conclusion, that 
that might probably be arranged in a manner that would 
be free from objection. 

On August 20, a few days after this conversation, Mr. 
Canning sent to Mr. Kush a letter marked * Private and 
confidential ' in which he said : 

Before leaving town I am desirous of bringing before you 
in a more distinct, but still in an unoflBcial and confidential 
shape, the question which we shortly discussed the last 
time that I had the pleasure of seeing you. . . . We con- 
ceive the recovery of the American colonies by Spain to 
be hopeless. . . . We aim not at the possession of any 
portion of them ourselves. We could not see any portion 
of them transferred to any other Power with indifference. 
If these opinions and feehngs are, as I firmly believe them 
to be, common to your Government with ours, why should 
we hesitate mutually to confide them to each other and to 
declare them in the face of the world ? 

If there be any European Power which cherishes other 
projects, which looks to a forcible enterprise for reducing 
the colonies to subjugation, on the behalf or in the name of 
Spain, or which meditates the acquisition of any part of 
them to itself, by cession or by conquest, such a declaration 
on the part of your Government and ours would be at once 
the most effectual and the least offensive mode of intimating 
our joint disapprobation of such projects. . . . Nothing 
could be more gratifying to me than to join with you in 
such a work. 

Commenting upon the foregoing letter Mr. Kush reported 
to Mr. Adams on August 23, 1823 : 

. . . The tone of earnestness in Mr. Canning's note, 
and the force of some of his expressions, naturally start the. 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 407 

inference that the British Cabinet cannot be without its 
serious apprehensions that ambitious enterprises are medi- 
tated against the independence of the South American 
States. Whether by France alone I cannot now say on 
any authentic grounds. 

On August 23 Mr. Canning sent to Mr. Kush another 
* Private and confidential ' letter, in which he said : 

I have received notice — but not such notice as imposes 
upon me the necessity of any immediate answer or proceed- 
ing — that as soon as the mihtary objects in Spain çire 
achieved (of which the French expect, how justly I know 
not, a very speedy achievement) a proposal will be made for 
a Congress, or some less formal concert and consultation, 
especially upon the affairs of Spanish America. 

Mr. Adams, the American Secretary of State, communi- 
cated the news which he had received from Mr. Eush to 
the President of the Republic, Mr. Monroe, and President 
Monroe wrote for advice to his eminent predecessors in 
office, Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Madison, two of the surviving 
foimders of the American Republic, who had co-operated 
with George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. 

Mr. Jefferson replied on October 24, 1823 : 

Our first and fundamental maxim should be, never to 
entangle ourselves in the broils of Europe ; our second, 
never to suffer Europe to intermeddle with cis-Atlantic 
affairs. America, North and South, has a set of interests 
distinct from those of Europe, and particularly her own. . . . 
One nation, most of all, could disturb us in this pursuit ; 
she now offers to lead, aid, and accompany us in it. By 
acceding to her proposition we detach her from the bands, 
bring her mighty weight into the scale of free government, 
and emancipate a continent at one stroke, which might 
otherwise Hnger long in doubt and difficulty. Great Britain 
is the nation which can do us the most harm of any one, or 
all, on earth ; and with bar on our side we need not fear the 
whole world. With her, then, we should most sedulously 
cherish a cordial friendship ; and nothing would tend more 

408 An Anglo-American Reunion 

to knit our affections than to be fighting onca more, side 
by side, in the same cause. 

Mr. Madison wrote to Mr. Jeiïerson on November 1; 

With the British power and navy combined with our 
own we have nothing to fear from the rest of the world ; 
and in the great struggle of the epoch between hberty and 
despotism we owe it to ourselves to sustain the former, 
in this hemisphere at least. 

From the sixth volume of the * Memoirs ' of Mr. J. Q, 
Adams, who at the time was the United States Secretary 
of State, we learn that he did not believe that the Holy 
Alliance had any intention of ultimately attacking the 
United States ; but, if they should subdue the Spanish 
provinces, they might recolonise them and partition them 
out among themselves. Eussia might take California, Peru, 
and Chile ; France Mexico, where she had been intriguing 
to get a monarchy under a Prince of the House of Bourbon, 
as well as at Buenos Ayres ; and Great Britain, if she 
could not resist this course of things, would take at least 
the island of Cuba as her share of the scramble. Then 
what would be the situation of the United States—Eng- 
land holding Cuba, and France Mexico ? 

The danger that France, supported by the Powers of 
the Holy Alliance, would interfere on the American Con- 
tinent was great, and this was generally recognised in 
America. In the North American Beview for October, 
1823, we read, for instance : 

If success should favour the allied monarchs, would they 
be satisfied with reforming the Government of Spain ? 
Would not the Spanish colonies, as part of the same Empire, 
then demand their parental attention 9 And might not 
the United States be next considered as deserving their 
kind guardianship ? 

On December 2, 1823, President Monroe published his 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 409 

annual message, which contains the declaration of the 
Monroe Doctrine — one ought really in fairness to call it the 
Canning-Monroe Doctrine — in the following words : 

The occasion has been judged propar for asserting as a 
pnnciple in which tha rights and interasts of the United 
States are involved, that the American continents, by the 
free and independent condition which they have assumed 
and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects 
for future colonisation by any European Powers. . . . We 
owe it, therefore, to candour, and to the amicable relations 
existing between the United States and those Powars, to 
declare that we should consider any attempt on their part 
to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere 
as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing 
colonies or dependencies of any European Power we have 
not interfered and shall not interfere. But with the govern- 
ments who have declared their independence and main- 
tained it, and whose independence we have, on great con- 
sideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could 
not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing 
them, or controlHng in any other manner their destiny by 
any European Power, in any other Hght than as the mani- 
festation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United 

After the reading of President Monroe's famous message 
Mr. Henry Clay, Speaker of the House of Kepresentatives, 
caused the following resolution to be introduced : 

Kesolved by the Senate and House of Kepresentatives 
of the United States of America in Congress assembled. 
That the people of these States would not see, without 
serious inquietude, any forcible intervention by the alHed 
Powers of Europe, in behalf of Spain, to reduce to their 
former subjection those parts of the continent of America 
which have proclaimed and estabhshed for themselves, 
respectively, independent governments, and which have 
been solemnly recognised by the United States. 

Commenting upon the genesis of the Monroe Doctrine 

410 An Anglo-American Reunion 

Mr. Henderson wrote in his book, * American Diplomatic 
Questions ' : 

If England had, after all, joined the allies in their schemes 
it is much to be doubted whether the President's message 
of 1823 would have seriously embarrassed them in the 
ultimate perfection of their Spanish- American plans ; but 
the reaHsation that Great Britain, with her powerful navy, 
endorsed in the main the sentiments of President Monroe 
cast a gloom over the propagandists of divine right, and 
the great South American project was abandoned. 

The American Civil War broke out in the beginning of 
1861. Mexico was at that time in the throes of a revolution, 
and she refused to satisfy her Spanish and French creditors 
and to do justice to Great Britain for having broken into 
the British Legation and carried off £152,000 in sterling 
bonds belonging to British subjects. The British claims 
were substantial and hona-fide. The French and Spanish 
claims were more or less doubtful. Great Britain, France, 
and Spain agreed upon joint action for the protection of 
their interests, and British, French, and Spanish warships 
sailed for Vera Cruz with the avowed intention of taking 
possession of the Custom Houses of two or three Mexican 
ports for the purpose of satisfying the claims of their Govern- 
ments. However, within a few weeks after the arrival of 
these ships, and before the Allies had done much more than 
seize Vera Cruz, the English and Spanish commanders 
became dissatisfied with the adventurous action of the 
French and the English and Spanish forces withdrew in 
April, 1862. While Great Britain and Spain merely sought 
to obtain satisfaction for the claims of their citizens, France, 
taking advantage of the American Civil War, evidently 
intended to violate the Monroe Doctrine and to establish 
herself firmly and permanently on the American Continent 
under the pretext of satisfying some very shadowy demands 
of her subjects upon Mexico. It is a well-known fact that 
it was one of the favourite projects of Napoleon the Third 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 411 

to create on the American Continent a great Latin- American 
State or Confederation controlled by France, a monarchical 
counterpoise to the United States. We can therefore not 
be surprised that the secret instructions which Napoleon 
the Third sent to General Forey, the Commander-in-Chief 
of the French Expedition, contained the following statement 
of France's pohcy : 

If Mexico preserves her independence and maintains 
the integrity of her territory, and if a suitable Government 
bo constituted there with the assistance of France, we shall 
have restored to the Latin race on the other side of the ocean 
its strength and prestige. . . . Mexico thus regenerated 
will always be favourable to France. ... As now our 
miUtary honour is pledged, the exigencies of our policy and 
the interests of our industry and our commerce make it 
our duty to march upon Mexico, to plant there boldly 
our standard, and to estabhsh there a monarchy, if this is 
not incompatible with the national sentiment of the country, 
but at all events a government which promises some stabiUty, 

Taking advantage of the embarrassment of the United 
States, Napoleon the Third endeavoured not only to create 
a powerful monarchy on American soil but to intervene 
in the struggle between the North and the South with the 
object of permanently weakening the United States. In 
Moore's ' Digest of the International Law of the United 
States ' we read : 

On October 30, 1862, Napoleon instructed the French 
ambassadors to Great Britain and Kussia to invite those 
Powers to join France in requesting the beUigerents to 
agree to an armistice of six months, so as to consider some 
plan for bringing the war to an end. . . . Great Britain 
promptly and unquahfiedly dechned the proposition. 

Napoleon's policy was frustrated partly by the mis- 
management of the French Generals, partly, and probably 
chiefly, by the unsympathetic attitude of Great Britain. 
If Great Britain had actively, or merely passively, supported 

412 An Anglo-American Reunion 

Napoleon, the American Civil War might have had a very 
different ending. The great American Eepublic might 
have been divided against itself for all time. 

During the Civil War Great Britain rendered undoubtedly 
very valuable services to the United States. However, 
Great Britain's attitude towards the United States and her 
unflinching opposition to European intervention on the 
American Continent, first by the Holy AlHance and then 
by France, was soon completely forgotten because of the 
unfortunate Alabama occurrence. So great was America's 
anger at the Alabama incident that when, shortly after the 
close of the Civil War, the British Government promoted 
the unification of her Canadian possessions by the creation 
of a single Dominion, violent objections were made in the 
United States that Great Britain's action was in violation 
of the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine, and the United States 
Congress considered a resolution which voiced the uneasi- 
ness of the country at witnessing * such a vast conglomera- 
tion of American States established on the monarchical 
principle in contradiction to the traditionary and constantly 
declared principles of the United States, and endangering 
their most important interests.' Great Britain agreed 
to go to arbitration on the American Alabama claims. 
The United States demanded the colossal sum of 
£9,476,166 13s. éd. for the damage done by that cruiser. 
By an impartial international tribunal they were awarded 
£3,229,166 13s. id. (note the ISs. 4d. !), which was paid to 
them by Great Britain, but even that sum was twice as 
large as it ought to have been, for, after all claims had been 
satisfied, there remained a surplus of £1,600,000 in the 
hands of the United States Government. 

During the Spanish- American War of 1898 all Europe 
was hostile to the United States except Great Britain. 
Before Manila a collilion between the German and the 
American fleets was prevented with difficulty. France and 
other Powers seemed strongly disposed to take Spain's 
part. Once more, joint action by European Fowers against 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 413 

the United States appeared to be impending. Great 
Britain was sounded, but once more she refused to support 
or to countenance European intervention. The Power 
which is supreme at sea once more protected the Monroe 

In 1902 Great Britain was induced by Germany to 
blockade, in company with her, the Venezuelan ports, in 
order to obtain satisfaction for flagrant wrongs done by 
Venezuela to her citizens. However, as British public 
opinion was strongly opposed to co-operation with Germany 
on the American Continent, Great Britain readily con- 
sented to arbitration. 

History, as Napoleon the First has told us, is a fable 
agreed upon, and often it is a tissue of fables. According 
to many of the popular history books used in the United 
States schools Great Britain is a Power which, animated 
by tyranny and selfishness, has always been hostile to the 
United States. In the United States the fact that Great 
Britain was largely responsible for the formulation and the 
proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine, and that she has 
consistently defended that doctrine by placing her fleet 
between the military Powers of Europe and the United 
States, is scarcely ever mentioned, and the fact that Great 
Britain is and always has been as strongly opposed to the 
settlement of one of the great military Powers in the New 
World as are the United States themselves, is practically 
unknown. It is an error to speak of the Monroe Doctrine 
as the leading principle of American policy, for the Monroe 
Doctrine — one ought in justice always to call it the Canning- 
Monroe Doctrine — is also a leading principle of British 
fpreign policy. It is an Anglo-American doctrine. Bis- 
marck once described the Monroe Doctrine as * an inter- 
national impertinence.' Perhaps it is an international 
impertinence. Still, the European Great Powers 'have 
respected it even at a time when the American fleet was 
quite insignificant. Why have they done so ? Because 
they knew that the British fleet would, in case of need, 

414 An Anglo-American Reunion 

protect the United States. Foreign nations have discovered 
that the route to New York and to Washington goes via 
London. But for the British fleet the Powers of Europe 
would long ago have torn the Monroe Doctrine to shreds 
and have established themselves on the American Continent. 

Englishmen, when discussing Anglo-American relations 
with Americans, are apt to adopt an apologetic attitude 
because of the mistakes which their Government and their 
forefathers made in the time of George the Third. That 
attitude of penitence is, I think, uncalled for. Mistakes 
were made on both sides at the time of the American Kevolu- 
tion and afterwards ; fights between blood relations are 
natural and common ; and since the time of the Anglo- 
American Peace Great Britain has powerfully supported 
the United States whenever an opportunity arose, making 
their interests her own. 

The late Professor Seeley's frequently quoted assertion 
that Great Britain has created the British Empire * in a fit 
of absence of mind ' is scarcely correct. Great Britain 
follows neither a policy of absent-mindedness, as Professor 
Seeley has told us, nor a policy of sordid self-interest as her 
adversaries maintain. Great Britain follows a policy not 
of interest but of sentiment. She has consistently striven 
to enlarge her dominions, not in order to exploit them — it 
is very doubtful indeed whether on balance her possessions 
yield a profit to the Motherland — but in the instinctive desire 
of reserving the vast and fruitful territories of the New World 
to the Anglo-Saxon race. She has been actuated not by 
blood-lust nor by lust of conquest but by race-instinct, and 
she has acquired her vast possessions not for herself but 
for the Anglo-Saxon race. Therefore she views not with 
jealousy but with approval America's prosperity and 
America's expansion. Her policy has been racial, senti- 
mental, and, on the whole, possibly unprofitable to her 
citizens. That cannot too frequently be stated. If Great 
Britain's policy were guided by self-interest, envy, perfidious- 
ness, and trade jealousy, as we are so often told, she would 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 415 

have worked for the downfall of the United States, and 
would at the same time have avenged her former defeats 
and ridded herself of a powerful competitor. She has had 
many opportunities to expose the United States to the 
greatest dangers, without any risk to herself, by merely 
allowing the European Powers to attack them, but she has 
steadfastly resisted their temptations to countenance Euro- 
pean aggression. 

The great democratic Kepublic is naturally not beloved 
by the mihtary monarchies of Europe. They see in it a 
great danger and desire its downfall. Hence many Conti- 
nental writers have recommended that a pan-European 
coalition should be formed against the United States. Time 
after time the States of the Continent have endeavoured 
to secure Great Britain's support, or at least her neutrality, 
in order to be arble to encroach upon the Monroe Doctrine 
or to strike at the United States, but they have always failed. 
Great Britain's refusal to countenance European aggression, 
even passively, has sprung from her race instinct, not from 
her fear of losing Canada. In the first place, the United 
States would have had no cause to attack Canada if Great 
Britain merely maintained a strict neutrality in the event 
of a war between the United States and some European 
Power or Powers. Secondly, the United States would not 
find it very easy to conquer the Dominion. Last, and not 
least, it must not be forgotten that, while the Continental 
Powers could never obtain Great Britain's support against 
the United States, Great Britain herself would probably 
very readily have received the support of the Continental 
Powers against the great Eepublic had she gone to war with 
that country. If, for instance. President Cleveland's high- 
handed action regarding Venezuela in 1895 should unhappily 
have led to an American attack upon Canada, Great Britain 
need not have stood alone. That fact should be borne in 
mind by all those on both sides of the Atlantic who believe 
that Great Britain's attitude towards the United States 
has in the past been dictated by her fear of losing Canada. 

416 An Anglo-American Reunion 

An Anglo-Saxon reunion is highly desirable upon ideal 
grounds, and it is equally necessary to the British Empire 
and to the United States for the most potent practical 
reasons. The first instinct of nations, as of individuals, 
is that of self-preservation, and their principal requirements 
are peace and security. At first sight the British Empire 
and the United States appear to be very differently situated. 
The one is a widely scattered island-Empire which is 
extremely vulnerable, being exposed to attacks on many 
sides, while the other is a firmly knitted and homogeneous 
Continental State, difficult to attack and impossible to 
conquer. However, these outward geographical and 
structural differences merely obscure the fact that the 
British Empire and the United States are similar in 
character,, that they have identical interests, that they are 
threatened by the same dangers, that they suffer from the 
same disadvantage of lacking powerful standing armies, 
that both can be attacked only by sea, and therefore depend 
upon their fleet for their security from attack, and that 
consequently both are equally strongly interested that 
neither one of the great miUtary Powers nor a combination 
of military Powers should become supreme at sea. 

Admiral Mahan, the great American naval writer, said, 
in 1890, in the Atlantic MontJily : 

While Great Britain is undoubtedly the most formidable 
of our possible enemies, both by her great navy and by the 
strong positions she holds near our coasts, it must be added 
that a cordial understanding with that country is one of 
the first of our external interests. Both nations doubtless, 
and properly, seek their own advantage ; but both, also, 
are controlled by a sense of law and justice, drawn from the 
same sources, and deep-rootad in their instincts. What- 
ever temporary aberration may occur, a return to mutual 
standards of right will certainly follow. A formal aUiance 
between the two is out of the question, but a cordial recogni- 
tion of the similarity of character and ideas will give birth 
to sympathy, which in turn will facihtate a co-operation 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 417 

beneficial to both ; for if sentimentality is weak, sentiment 
is strong. 

If we look more closely into the circumstances of the 
British Empire and of the United States, we find that they 
are in a very similar position. The United States are no 
longer an invulnerable continental State. Their interests, 
which were formerly purely continental, have become 
world-wide. By the acquisition of Hawaii, the Philippine 
Islands, Porto Eico, Guam, Samoa, the Panama Canal, 
and by their interest in Cuba and many other islands and 
territories which are of great strategical importance to 
them, they also have become a widely scattered and very 
vulnerable Empire, and their vulnerability is all the greater, 
as the United States army and navy are considerably weaker 
than are the British army and navy. The loss of the 
magnificent Pearl Harbour on the island of Oahu, which 
lies midway between the Pacific Coast and Asia, would, 
as is generally recognised in America, be as serious a loss 
to the United States as the loss of Gibraltar would be to 
Great Britain, and the loss of the Panama Canal would 
probably be more serious to them than the simultaneous 
loss of the Mediterranean route and the Cape route to the 
East would be to Great Britain and the British Empire. 

In 1894 Admiral Mahan published in the North Ameri- 
can Eevieiv a paper entitled * Possibihties of an Anglo- 
American Reunion,* in which he said : 

Partners, each, in the great commonwealth of nations 
which share the blessings of European civihsation, Great 
Britain and the United States alone, though in varying 
degrees, are so severed geographically from all existing 
rivals as to be exempt from the burden of great land armies ; 
while at the same time they must depend upon the sea, in 
chief measure, for the intercourse with other members of 
the body of nations upon which national well-being depends. 

To Great Britain and the United States, if they rightly 
estima,te the part they may play in the great drama of human 

2 E 

418 An Anglo-American Reunion 

progress, is entrusted the maritime interest, in the broadest 
sense of the word. 

I am convinced firmly that it would be to the interests 
of Great Britain and of the United States and for the benefit 
of the world that the two nations should act together 
cordially on the seas. 

Admiral Mahan was right. As Great Britain and the 
United States have no enormous standing armies, as they 
are not likely ever to have standing armies capable of 
facing those of the great military States, and as they do 
not desire to become a nation in arms in the continental 
sense, they must perforce control the seas so as to be able 
to keep the huge armies of Europe, and perhaps of Asia 
as well, at arm's length. Let the great military nations 
of Europe share the rule of the land in Europe, but let the 
Anglo-Saxons share between them the rule of their own 
seas in which they are equally vitally interested. Whether 
Great Britain or whether the United States rule the seas 
is, after all, of minor importance. The thing that matters 
is that the seas should be ruled by the peaceful Anglo- 
Saxons and not by a great military nation. 

Providence and the wisdom and energy of its early 
rulers and colonisers have greatly favoured the Anglo-Saxon 
race. A glance at the map shows that practically all the 
most valuable and the most promising territories and 
strategical positions in the world are owned or controlled 
by the Anglo-Saxon nations. To civilised nations the value 
of extensive territories lies chiefly in this, that they afford 
an outlet to their surplus population. The more thinly 
populated territories situated in a temperate zone are, the 
greater is their value to them. 

The policy of powerful nations is guided not by their 
momentary dispositions but by their great and abiding 
interests. Self-preservation is their first instinct and their 
first duty. All the great military nations of the Continent 
of Europe, Russia alone excepted, and China and Japan, 
are greatly over-populated, and are therefore in urgent 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 419 

need of territories in a temperate zone, for, without the 
possibiHty of expansion under the national flag, they are 
bound to stand still and then to decline in relative power 
and influence. The future belongs evidently to those 
countries which possess vast reserves of thinly populated 
territories. How happy, in this respect, is the position of 
the United States and the British Empire will be seen from 
the following table : 

Population at Last Census 

United Kingdom . 

In 1911 

45,216,665 ] 


=372-6 per sq. mile 

Japan . 






„ 1910 




Italy . 

„ 1911 




China Proper 






„ 1910 



= 246-7 


France . 

„ 1911 



= 191-2 



„ 1910 



= 166-6 

Russia in Europe 

. „ 1897 



= 55-2 


British Empire 

. „ 1911 



= 36-8 

United States and 


„ 1910 



= 13-7 

The British Empire and the United States have room for 
hundreds of millions of people. Therefore it is only natural 
that the military Powers, which have a population of 200 
people and 300 people and more per square mile, look with 
longing and envy to the vast, fruitful, highly mineralised 
and thinly populated territories, situated in a temperate 
zone, which are owned and controlled by the Anglo-Saxon 
nations, especially as these hold in addition all the most 
important strategical points which command the approaches 
to their world-wide possessions. 

The Continent of America lies midway between over- 
populated Europe and over-populated Asia. Its east coast 
is coveted by the overcrowded European, and its west 
coast by the overcrowded Asiatic, nations. How thinly 
some of the most desirable parts of the United States are 
populated is seen by comparing the size and the population 
of some of the American States with the size and popula- 
tion of some great empires. The German Empire has a 

420 An Anglo-American Reunion 

territory of 208,770 square miles and a population of 
64,925,993. The single State of Texas is considerably larger, 
for it contains 265,896 square miles. Yet Texas has a 
population of only 3,896,542. Per square mile there are 
14-8 people in Texas and 331*0 in Germany. As Texas 
has a rich soil, an excellent climate, and great natural 
resources, it could probably support a population of 

It has often been asserted by men anxious to make 
mischief that the Japanese are casting covetous eyes upon 
California. They have certainly every reason to envy the 
Americans the possession of that paradisaical country, 
but they are scarcely likely to contemplate seriously its 
acquisition. Still the temptation is there. The Empire 
of Japan contains 147,657 square miles, while California 
contains 158,297 square miles. Japan has 49,582,505 
inhabitants, but California, though it is slightly larger than 
Japan, has only 2,377,549 inhabitants. Per square mile 
there are 335*8 people in Japan but only 15*3 in California. 
The two other American States on the Pacific Coast, Oregon 
and Washington, extend to 165,826 square miles, and 
their population is only 1,814,755. How vast the territories 
of the United States are may be seen from the fact that 
the United States without Alaska are exactly twice as 
large as is the enormous Empire of China, that they are 
fifteen times as large as Germany, and twenty-five times as 
large as the United Kingdom. 

The nations of the world envy the British Empire and 
the United States, not so much for their industries, their 
trade, and their wealth, as for their boundless latent 
resources, which promise to give them the dominion of the 
world, or at least world-wide predominance, if they are 
united. The United States receive perhaps a greater share 
of ill-will than does the British Empire. They are disliked 
owing to their enormous wealth, their ruthless energy, their 
aggressive methods, and especially owing to the Monroe 
Doctrine. On the Continent of Europe it is generally con- 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 421 

sidered, and not without reason, that by that doctrine the 
United States have virtually declared a protectorate over 
the whole of Central and South America, and that they will 
annex these countries when time and opportunity are 

The Monroe Doctrine is an American doctrine, not an 
international one. It is, as Bismarck truly remarked, an 
international impertinence. It can become generally ac- 
cepted and respected only if the United States are strong 
enough to defend it against all comers. Hitherto they have 
been able to leave the defence of the Monroe Doctrine largely 
to Great Britain, as has been shown in the foregoing pages. 
Many thoughtful Americans believe that, in view of the 
insufficiency of their miHtary and naval armaments, the 
Monroe Doctrine «is a provocation to the world at large and 
a danger. A distinguished American military author, 
Mr. Homer Lea, wrote in * The Valor of Ignorance,' a book 
which received the highest praise from President Roosevelt : 

In the history of mankind never before has one nation 
attempted to support* so comprehensive a doctrine as to 
extend its political suzerainty over two continents, com- 
prising one-fourth of the habitable earth and one-half of its 
unexploited wealth, in direct defiance of the whole world 
and without the slightest semblance of military power. 

The Monroe Doctrine is Promethean in conception but 
not so in execution. It was proclaimed in order to avoid 
wars ; now it invites them. 

The Monroe Doctrine, if not supported by naval and 
military power sufficient to enforce its observance by all 
nations, singly and in coalition, becomes a factor more 
provocative of war than any other national policy ever 
attempted in modern or ancient times. 

The maintenance of the Monroe Doctrine requires un- 
doubtedly a fleet strong enough to defend America against 
any Power or any conceivable combination of Powers. It 
can be defended only by irresistible force. In Admiral 
Mahan's words, * There is no inalienable right in any 

422 An Anglo-American Reunion 

community to control the use of a region when it does so to 
the detriment of the world at large.' The maintenance of 
the Monroe Doctrine is not founded on right but on might. 
The Panama Canal will greatly increase the vulnerabiUty 
of the United States. A distinguished United States Govern- 
ment Commission, presided over by Admiral Walker, 
reported : 

The Canal is but one link in a chain of communications 
of which adjacent hnks are the Caribbean Sea on the east 
and the waters of the Pacific, near the Canal's entrance, 
on the west. Unless the integrity of all the links can be 
maintained, the chain will be broken. The Power holding 
any one of the hnks can prevent the enemy from using 
the communication, but can itself use it only when it holds 
them all. The Canal would be a prize of extraordinary 
value ; it would be beyond the reach of reinforcement if 
the enemy controlled the sea. 

The enormous importance of the Canal becomes clear 
by giving the matter a httle thought. If, for instance, in 
a war with the United States, Japan should seize the Panama 
Canal, she could attack the Atlantic coast of the Kepubhc, 
and if Germany should seize it she could attack the United 
States simultaneously on her Atlantic and Pacific coasts. 

Of late all the great mihtary Powers have increased their 
navies with feverish haste. Between 1900 and 1913 the 
naval expenditure of the eight Great Powers has exactly 
doubled, increasing from £87,000,000 to £174,000,000, 
while their mihtary expenditm-e has increased by only 40 
per cent. Germany trebled her naval expenditure from 
£7,900,000 in 1900 to £23,400,000 in 1913, and so did Austria 
and Italy by increasmg thens from £6,400,000 to £18,100,000 
during the same time. The Japanese also have greatly 
increased their fleet. The Great War has been largely a 
maritime war, a war for maritime objects, for sea power 
and colonies. 

Germany and Japan and many other comitries urgently 
require colonies. The fact that Germany requires them is 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 423 

of course known, but it is generally believed that Japan 
has acquired adequate outlets for her surplus population 
in her wars with China and Eussia. That is not the case. 
Her new possessions are very densely populated, and there- 
fore give very little scope to the Japanese. The population 
of Korea is 115*9 per square mile, that of Formosa is 215*6 
per square mile, and that of Kwantung is 341*6 per square 
mile ; while that of Cahfornia is only 15*3, and that of 
Mexico 17*7 per square mile. 

Twenty years ago the German Emperor proclaimed 
* Germany's future lies upon the water.* Not only Germany 
but the other great and over-populated military States of 
Europe and Japan as well have become convinced that 
their future also lies upon the water, that they can secure 
sufficient elbow-room only by wresting adequate territories 
situated in a temperate zone from those nations which, 
fortunately for them, lack large armies. Herein lies the 
reason that the great miUtary States have been creating 
large navies with the utmost speed, and the danger is great 
that some of them should at some time or other combine 
for the purpose of destroying the land monopoly of the 
Anglo-Saxons and of securing for themselves * a place in 
the sun,' as the German Emperor picturesquely called it. 
Besides, the Anglo-Saxon nations are not loved abroad. 
Democracy dislikes militarism and militarism fears, hates, 
and despises democracy. 

For many years American miHtary and naval men have 
been watching Germany and Japan with concern, and have 
been wondering what attitude Great Britain would adopt 
in case the United States should be involved in a war either 
with one of these nations or with both, and what attitude 
the United States should adopt should Great Britain be 
seriously menaced by Germany. Admiral Mahan wrote 
in his book * Naval Strategy,' published in 1911 : 

If Germany should wish to embark her fleet in a 
trans- Atlantic venture, how far will her relations with other 
European States allow her to do so ? 

424 An Anglo-American Reunion 

Should our Pacific coast citizens precipitate us into a 
war, or even into seriously strained relations, with Japan, 
that pressure upon us would add to the force of Germany's 

Where ought Great Britain to stand m case we have 
troubles with Germany ? And where ought we to stand 
in the reverse case ? 

Great Britain does for the moment hold Germany so 
far in check that the German Empire can do no more than 
look after its European interests ; but should a naval 
disaster befall Great Britain, leaving Germany master of 
the naval situation, the world would see again a predominant 
fleet backed by a predominant army, and that in the hands 
not of a State satiated with colonial possessions as Great 
Britain is, but of one whose late entry into world conditions 
leaves hsr without any such possessions at all of any great 
value. Although the colonial ambitions in Germany are 
held in abeyance for th3 moment, the wish cannot but exist 
to expand her territory by foreign acquisitions. 

It is this line of reasoning which shows the power of the 
German navy to be a matter of prime importance to the 
United States. The power to control Germany does not 
exist in Europe except in the British navy. 

Admiral Mahan, the most eminent naval writer of modem 
times, recommended the co-operation of Great Britain and 
the United States, not for ideal reasons, but because he 
believed that Anglo-American co-operation on the seas is 
a necessity. 

Great possessions are to their owners a responsibiHty 
and a danger unless they are adequately guarded. Neither 
the United States nor Great Britain are likely ever to 
possess standing armies that can be pitted against the vast 
military hosts of the Continental Great Powers and of 
Japan, because the spirit of the people is impatient of com- 
pulsion, restraint, and discipline, in time of peace. As it 
takes a long time to improvise armies, they must put their 
trust in their fleets. 

Before the Great War the American fleet was weaker 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 425 

than the German fleet and was inferior to it in organisation, 
in certain types of ships, and in armaments, especially in 
reserve stores of guns and ammunition. The American 
fleet was then on paper about 50 per cent, stronger than the 
Japanese fleet, but it seemed questionable whether the 
American fleet equalled the Japanese fleet in organisation, 
preparedness, and efficiency. 

The British fleet is the strongest in the world. It is 
more powerful than it has ever been, but with the advent 
of the submarine, the influence of maritime power has been 
greatly weakened unless it is overwhelming. 

The great military nations of the world naturally base 
their hopes of expansion at the cost of the Anglo-Saxons — 
as the world is divided they can expand only at the cost of 
the Anglo-Saxons — upon the inadequacy of the Anglo- 
Saxon fleets and the disunion of the two gi*eat Anglo-Saxon 
nations, for they know full well that it would be hopeless 
to challenge Anglo-Saxon supremacy on the seas if Great 
Britain and the United States were firmly united. In 
endeavouring to build up large navies they may in the future 
strain their resources to the utmost, hoping that by combin- 
ing they will be able to overwhelm, or to overawe, either 
Great Britain or the United States. While Great Britain 
and the United States may in the future not be able to defeat 
single-handed any conceivable combination of naval Powers 
which may attack them, they can face the world if they are 
united. Herein lies the necessity for their reunion. Admiral 
Mahan wrote in his book ' Eetrospect and Prospect' : * As the 
w^orld is now balanced, the British Empire is in external 
matters our natural, though not our formal, ally.' 

The race instinct is strong on both sides of the Atlantic. 
In Great Britain and in the United States it is instinctively 
felt that one nation depends for its. security largely upon the 
other, and that neither nation can allow the other to go 
down. The United States and Great Britain are in the same 
boat. Great Britain realises that it would be a calamity 
to see the United States defeated by a great military nation. 

426 An Anglo-American Reunion 

which would probably settle on the American Continent 
and militarise it, and the United States reccgnise that they 
would become the immediate neighbours of the military 
Great Powers of Europe if the British fleet should be de- 
stroyed. So far militarism in its most objectionable form has 
been restricted to the European Continent and to Japan. 
The defeat of the United States or of Great Britain might 
bring about the militarisation of the world. 

The greatest interest of the overcrowded military nations 
of Europe and Asia is expansion. The greatest interest 
of the Anglo-Saxon nations is peace, security, and the 
restriction of armaments. These blessings can scarcely 
be obtained by the federation of the world, dreamt of by 
the late Mr. Stead, or by the federation of Europe, proposed 
by other dreamers, but only by the federation of the Anglo- 
Saxon nations. Experience shows that the world can be at 
peace only if it is controlled by one nation. It will be at 
peace only when the 'pax Eonmna has been replaced by the 
fax Britannica, by the peace of the Anglo-Saxons, when the 
mihtary Great Powers have, owing to the growth of the 
Anglo-Saxon nations, become military small Powers. The 
world must either become Anglo-Saxon or fall a prey to 

The arguments in favour of an Anglo-American Keunion 
are overwhehning. Great Britain and the United States are 
one in language, spirit, and tradition — in short, in all the 
things that count. The argument that they cannot com- 
bine because one is a monarchy and the other is a republic 
is a fallacious one. Both are democracies. They differ 
only in the outer form, but not in the essence and the spirit, 
of their government. Great Britain has an hereditary 
president and the United States have an elected king. 
Eight ly considered, Great Britain is the more democratic 
nation of the two. The King of England has far less power 
than the President of the United States. Besides, the will 
of the people is more likely to prevail in Great Britain than 
in the United States, because Great Britain has an unwritten, 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 427 

flexible, and therefore truly democratic, constitution, while 
the United States have a written, almost unchangeable, 
anxi therefore somewhat antiquated, constitution. King- 
doms and republics may be joined in a single federation. 
The Empire of Germany, for instance, contains three repub- 
lics. Last, but not least, democratic nations combine not 
because their outward forms of government are identical 
but because they are of one race and have the same interests. 
The United States and Great Britain should be united on a 
basis of race solidarity and of the identity of their vital 
interests. The objection that Great Britain is a European 
nation with European interests is contradicted by Professor 
Coolidge, of Harvard University, in his book ' The United 
States as a World Power,' as follows : 

Are we to regard Imperial Britain as a European Power, 
when the greater part of her external interests and difiSculties 
are connected with her situation on other continents ? Are 
not the vast majority of Englishmen more in touch in every 
way with Australians, Canadians, Americans than they 
are with Portuguese, Italians or Austrians of one sort or 
another ? What strictly European interests does England 
represent ? 

Eome was not built in a day. The reunion of the Anglo- 
Saxon nations will take time, but it is bound to take place 
for it is logical and inevitable. The growth of the miUtary 
Powers and the rapid increase of their fleets must auto- 
matically bring about an Anglo-Saxon reunion earlier or 
later. The Hundred Years' Peace would, I think, be most 
appropriately celebrated by the conclusion on its next 
anniversary of a treaty of defence by the two great Anglo- 
Saxon nations, of a treaty which would guarantee to them 
their peace and the secure possession of their territories, 
and which would deprive foreign nations of the temptation 
to attack them singly. Such a step would slacken, or bring 
to a stop, the naval armament race. 

Great Britain extends a fraternal hand to her kinsmen 
across the sea. How completely she has forgotten the revolt 

428 An Anglo-American Reunion 

of her colonies may be seen by the fact that Earl Grey pro- 
posed in 1913 to erect the statue of George Washington in 
Westminster Abbey among England's heroes, and to present 
by public subscription Sulgrave Manor, the ancient family 
home of the Washingtons in England, to the American nation. 
Never in the history of the world has a revolutionary leader 
been more greatly honoured by those against whom he 
took up arms. 

Since the time when these pages were written the Great 
War, which I had foreseen and frequently foretold, has 
broken out, the United States have joined the AUies in 
their fight for freedom and against tyranny, a new chapter 
has been opened in the history of the world. An Anglo- 
American reunion has come within the limits of possibiUty. 
The World War may wipe out completely the memory 
of past misunderstandings and of ancient wrongs. The 
firmest cement between nations is the remembrance of 
dangers borne in common. 

The fathers of the American Eepublic who had cut 
themselves adrift from England, thought that the Great 
Eepublic should pursue a purely American policy. In his 
celebrated Farewell Address of 1796, his poHtical testament, 
Washington laid down the principles of America's foreign 
policy in the following words, which are known to every 
American citizen : 

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations. 
Cultivate peace and harmony with all. Keligion and 
morality enjoin this conduct ; and can it be that good 
policy does not equally enjoin it ? It will be worthy of a 
free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great nation, 
to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example 
of a People always guided by an exalted justice and 
benevolence. . . . 

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, I conjure 
you to believe me, fellow-citizens, the jealousy of a free 
people ought to be constantly awake, since history and 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 429 

experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most 
baneful foes of repubUcan Government. . . . 

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign 
nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have 
with them as little Political connection as possible. So far 
as we have already formed engagements, let them be ful- 
filled with perfect good faith Here let us stop. Europe 
has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a 
very remote, relation. Hence she must be engaged in 
frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially 
foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be 
unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the 
ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary com- 
binations and collisions of her friendships or enmities. 

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables 
us to pursue a different course. . . . Why forego the 
advantages of so peculiar a situation ? Why quit our own 
to stand upon foreign ground ? Why, by interweaving 
our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our 
peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, 
rivalship, interest, humour, or caprice ? 'Tis our true 
policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion 
of the foreign world. 

The policy of isolation and non-interference recom- 
mended by Washington and his contemporaries has had 
to be abandoned. America has become a true World- 
Power. Commenting upon Washington's Farewell Address 
and the necessity of abandoning the traditional policy 
of the United States, I wrote in The Nineteenth Century 
Review in May, 1914, in commenting upon the Mexican 
imbroglio : 

Washington wrote in his Farewell Address, * Europe 
has a set of primary interests which to us have none, or a 
very remote, relation.' That assertion was formerly correct, 
but is so no longer. Nowadays Great Britain is vitally inter- 
ested in American, and the United States are equally vitally 
interested in European, policy. Neither can safely allow 
that the position of the other should become jeopardised. 

430 An Anglo-American Reunion 

Both are vitally interested in the maintenance of the balance 
of power in Europe. Both are vitally interested in seeing 
the military Great Powers of the world divided against 
themselves. If these should combine, or if one of them 
should obtain the supremacy in Europe, it might mean 
the end not only of Great Britain but also of the United 

When Washington wrote, * 'Tis our true policy to steer 
clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign 
world,* the United States could stand alone. At that time 
a combination of military Powers possessed of powerful 
navies was inconceivable. Besides, formerly the United 
States could be attacked by no European nation except 
Great Britain, because all the other nations lacked ships. 
As the United States cannot safely meet single-handed 
a joint attack by the Great Powers, they must endeavour 
to meet a hostile combination by a counter-combination. 
If serious complications should arise out of the Mexican 
War, we must stand shoulder to shoulder with the United 
States, with or without a treaty of alliance. In defending 
the United States against a joint attack of the military 
Great Powers we defend ourselves. Policy should be not 
merely national but should be racial. Accidents have 
divided the two great branches of the Anglo-Saxon race, 
but necessity may again bring them together. Herein 
lies the hope of the future. We may not approve of Mr. 
Wilson's policy, but we must bear in mind that he has 
acted with the best intentions. America's troubles are 
our troubles. We cannot afford to see the United States 
defeated or humiliated. The present moment seems 
eminently favourable not only for offering to the United 
States our unconditional support in case of need, but for 
approaching them with a view to the conclusion of a care- 
fully limited defensive alliance. Such an alliance would be 
the strongest guarantee for the maintenance of the world's 
peace. The Mexican War may have the happiest conse- 
quences upon Anglo-American relations, and it may eventu- 
ally bring about an Anglo-American reunion. 

At the time these lines were written the political horizon 

Great Problems of British Statesmanship 431 

of Europe seemed free from clouds. On the other hand, 
it appeared possible that the Mexican trouble might involve 
the United States in difficulties with some European mihtary 
Power or Powers. It seemed more likely that Great Britain 
might have to come to the aid of the United States than the 
United States to the aid of Great Britain. Providence 
has willed it otherwise, and perhaps it is better so. If, as 
is devoutly to be hoped, the Anglo-American brotherhood 
in arms should lead to the establishment of a great brother- 
hood in peace of all the Enghsh- speaking peoples — to an 
Anglo-American reunion — a great step would have been 
taken in strengthening the cause of freedom and the peace 
of the world. The British Empire and the United States 
combined would not dominate the world. Anglo-Saxondom 
has no desire for such domination. Possessing only small 
standing armies, merely a police force, other States need 
not fear their aggression. On the other hand, the numbers 
of their citizens, the power of their industries which can 
be mobilised for war, and their great wealth, would make 
the combined Anglo-Saxon nations the most powerful factor 
in preserving the peace of the world, while their own peace 
would in all probabiUty be secured by their reunion for 
an indefinite period. Nowhere in the world does the white 
population increase more rapidly than in the United States 
and in the British Dominions. To all who have the welfare 
of the Anglo-Saxon race at heart it must be clear that not 
the least benefit of the Great War would consist in the 
reunion of the two branches of the Anglo-Saxon race, in 
the recreation of the British Empire in its greatest glory. 
The hope to secure the peace of the world by arbitration 
treaties or by some great international organisation such 
as a federation or a great league of nations, may prove an 
illusion. All attempts to ehminate war by mutual agree- 
ment among States have failed since the time when the 
Greek States created their Amphyctionic Council. All 
endeavours to link together the satisfied and the land- 
hungry nations and to combine them for the defence of the 

432 An Anglo-American Reunion 

territorial status quo may prove futile. The peace of the 
world can most easily be maintained not by creating an 
artificial and unnatural partnership between nations of 
different and, perhaps, irreconcilable aims and interests, 
a partnership which will break down at the first opportunity, 
but by creating a permanent partnership between the 
freedom-loving and peace-loving Anglo-Saxon nations 
which in addition have the advantage of belonging to the 
same race, of speaking the same language, of having the 
same ideals, the same laws, and the same traditions. A 
British-American union devised for the protection of their 
possessions against foreign attack should be the most 
powerful instrument imaginable not only for protecting 
the future peace of the Anglo-Saxons but also for protecting 
the peace of the world. 


Note. — The letter ' f ' following a page number signifies * and following 
page ' ; ' ff,' ' and following pages.' 


Adriatic, Position on the ..... 

Agriculture, British and German compared . 
„ Development of, 1800-43 
„ „ Reason of backwardness of 

Alabama Incident ...... 

Alexander I and Lord Castlereagh at Vienna Congresss 
„ and Napoleon I . . . . 

„ Czartoryski on character of 

Alexander II, Policy of, towards Poland 

Alliance, Austro-German, of 1879, Text of 

„ Holy, Activities of, in Spain and New World 
„ „ Treaty and text of . . . 

„ „ „ Additions to, made in Verona 

Alsace-Lorraine, Importance of iron beds in . 

Amelot de la Houssaye on Government of Venice . 

America — See United States. 

Anglo-American Differences, how kept alive 

Anglo-American Reunion, Admiral Mahan on 

Anglo-French Agreement of 1904 .... 

Arabia, Strategical value of 

416 ff 

4, 130 ff 
247 ff 
. 229 
. 249 
. 412 
. 36 f 
. 24 ff 
. 23 f 
. 172 ff 
.201 ff 
.403 ff 
. 36 ff 
.403 f 
304 ff 

401 ff 

423 f, 425 

. 400 

. 94 f 

Aristotle on Democracy and Government 
Army, American — ^ee United States. 
Army, British. See England. 
Asia Minor, Populousness of, in antiquity 

„ „ Strategical and economic significance of 
Asiatic Turkey, Danger of integrity of . 

„ „ Danger of partition of . 

„ „ England should become its guardian 

„ „ England's claims to 

„ „ France's claims to 

„ „ German leaders on value of . 

„ „ Greece's claims to 

„ „ Italy's claims to . 

„ „ Nationalities of . 

„ „ Neutralisation of, desirable, . 

„ „ Position of, resembles that of Switzerland 

„ „ Russia's claims to ... 


294, 296, 297, 299, 342 


. 66 

6, 56 ff 

f, 70 f, 102 


101 ff 


77 ff 

60 ff 

76 f 



101 ff 

72 ff 

75 f 

74 ff. 



Analytical Index 


Asiatic Turkey, Sparse population of .... 60, 65 

„ „ Strategical and economic significance of . . 56 ff 

„ „ Value of, in hands of strong military Power . 57 ff, 61 ff 

Assyria and Babylonia, Ancient prosperity of . . . . 95 ff 

Athens, Causes of decline of . . . . . . . .294 ff 

Ausgleich of 1867 in Austria-Hungary 119 ff 

Austria-Hungary, Ausgleich of 1867 in . . . . . .119 ff 

Characteristic ingratitude of . . 114 f, 116 f 

Church in, is part of the bureaucracy . . .112 

has created Ulcrainian movement . . . 124 f 

Hates and persecutes the Italians . . .130 ff 
Illegitimacy in . . . . . . . 113 f 

Illiteracy in . . . . . . .113 

Ill-treatment of Serbia by, since 1690 . . . 115 f 

is a mediaeval survival . . . . .109 

is and may remain a German vassal . . . 106 ff 
is governed by the maxim Divide et Impera. 112, 114 
may establish a federation after the War . 143 ff 

Nationalities of, enumerated . . . .111 

Position of, 6 ff, 105 ff 

„ Czechs in .... . 125 ff 

„ Italians in ... . .130 ff 

„ Poles in 120 ff 

„ Rumanians in . . . . .140 ff 

„ Ruthenians in . . . 120, 121, 124 

Possibility of acquisition of South German States 

and Silesia by . . . . 6 f, 128 ff 

Press of 112 f, 117 f 

Prince Lichnowsky's opinion of . . . . 106 
Probability of disintegration of . . . . 141 f 

Religions in 113 

Revolution of 1848 in 118 ff 

Suppression of nationalities in . . . .115 ff 
The Emperor is the State in . . . .112 

The problem of 105 ff 

tried to Germanise nationalities under Joseph II 117 
Austro-Gonnan Alliance Treaty of 1879, Text of . . . 201 ff 

Babylonia and Assyria, Ancient prosperity of . . . . 95 ff 

Bacon, Lord, on Cabinet Government 332 f 

Bagehot, on British Constitution 295 f 

Baghdad Railway . . 59, 61 

Balkan States 3, 4, 48, 51, 52, 53 

Bavaria, King of, and German Constitution 195 ff 

Belgium, Unreadiness of, in 1914 293 f 

Benedek, Field-Marshal, ungrateful treatment of . . . .115 

Bismarck, and Anglo-Russian antagonism ..... 44 

Anti-Polish policy of, British diplomats on 173, 175, 176, 177 
„ laid down that German Emperor might not declare war of 

aggression ........ 198 f 

„ on Cabinet Government . . . 317, 318, 319, 320 
„ on his Polish policy 173 f, 188 

Analytical Index 

Bismarck on ingratitude of liberated nations 

„ on Monroe Doctrine ...... 

„ on Political Testament of Peter the Great 
„ on strategical significance of Constantinople . 
„ on „ „ of Egypt and Suez Canal 

„ on the German Constitution and the rights of 
Emperor ...... 195 

„ opposed a war of aggression 

„ successfully opposed Liberalism in Russia 

,, „ „ Russian concessions to the Poles 

Blackstone on democracy and amateurishness 

Bohemia and Moravia, Position of 

Brantôme on Franco-Turkish Alliance 

Buchanan, President, Weakness of 

Budget, British, of 1815, details of 

Budgets, British, of 1792 and 1815 compared 



. 53 
. 413 
. 19 
. 46 f 
. 49 f 


ff, 207 fï 
. 199 
. 172 
.172 ff 
. 342 
.125 ff 
. 79 

351, 391 
.225 ff 
.226 ff 



Cabinet, British, and Act of Settlement 
„ „ Lord John Russell on . 

„ „ Lord Morley on 

„ Government, Alexander Hamilton on 
„ „ Bismarck on 

„ „ Blackstone on 

„ „ Evolution of, in England 

„ „ Frederick the Great on 

„ „ Lord Bacon on . 

„ „ Napoleon I on ? . 

„ ,, Professor Lowell on 

„ „ Richelieu on 

,, Sir John Forescue on 

Weakness of 12 f, 312 ff 
William Pitt and 
Canning, George, and Monroe Doctrine 
Canning, Sir Stratford, and Crimean War 
Capitulations, History of Turkish 
Oastlereagh, Lord, at Congress of Vienna 
Charles, King of Rumania's protest against 

manians in Hungary ........ 140 f 

Civil War — See United States. 

Coal, Prices of, in England and elsewhere compared . . . 241 

„ Production in England, 1806-45 231 

„ „ per man in England and elsewhere compared . 239 ff 

Congress of Peace and After. . . . . . . .Iff 

Conseil d'Etat, Advantages of ...... . 324 f 

Conscription, American — See United States. 

Constantinople, Bismarck on strategical significance of . . . 46 f 

„ Danger of neutralising or of giving it to small Power 4, 52 

„ Exposed position of . . . . . . 47 ff 

„ in Russian hands would require huge garrison . 48 f 

„ is dominated by Balkan Peninsula ... 51 

„ Marmont on strategical significance of . . .51 

„ Mazzini on . . . . . . . .52 

. 337 
. 340 
. 340 
326 f, 360 f, 362 ff 
317, 318, 319, 320 
. 342 
.327 ff 
. 321 
. 332 f 
. 341 
.339 f 
.310 ff 
.329 ff 
ff, 343 ff, 361 ff, 391 ff 
. 338 f 
.405 ff 
88 f, 93 
. 79 ff 
36 f, 167 ff 
ill-treatment of Ru- 


Analytical Index 

Constantinople, Napoleon I and .... 
„ promised to Russia by Napoleon I 

„ Russia's claims to . . . 

„ Talleyrand on strategical value of. 

„ The problem of . 

Constitution, American — See United States. 
„ British, Bagehot on . 

„ „ was modelled on that of Venice 

„ weakness of. . 12 f, 294 ff, 343 
„ German, and Emperor's powers 

Co-operative Societies, Polish, Record of 
Cotton Industry, Development of British, 1801-45 . 
Cracow, Republic of. Extinguished by Austria 
Crimean War, Causes of . . : . . 
Czartoryski, Prince Adam, on Alexander I 
Czechs, Position of, in Austria-Hungary 

„ Prussia appeals to the, against Austria in 1866 


. 16 ff 

. 25 fï 

4 f, 51, 54 

. 51 

4 f, 14 fE 

. 295 f 

303 ff, 336 f 

361 fE, 391 fï 


. 123 f, 183 

. 230 

. 123, 165 f 

. 40 lï, 87 ff 

. 23 

.125 lï 

. 125 f 


Dalmatia 4, 130, 133 

Debt, British National, How to deal with the 10 ff, 249 ff, 287 ff, 291 fï 
„ „ „ Increase of the ..... .218 fE 

Democracy and Government, Alexander Hamilton on 

326 f, 358, 360 f, 362 fE 
Amelot do la Houssaye on . .304 fE 

Aristotle on 294, 296, 297, 299, 342 

Bismarck on . . 317, 318, 319, 320 

Blackstone on .... 342 

Demosthenes on . . . 301 f, 302 
Frederick the Great on . . .321 
Tsocrates on .... . 297 

Lord Bacon on . . . . 332 f 

Machiavelli on . . . . 300, 345 

• Napoleon I on . . . 322 fE, 341 

Professor Lowell on . . . . 339 f 

Polybius on 298 

Richelieu on 310 fE 

Sir John Fortescue on . . .329 fE 

Thucydides on . . . 295, 298, 299 

William Pitt on . . . 338 f 

„ Inadequacy of, in war 293 fE 

Demosthenes on Democratic Government .... 301 f, 302 

Dictatorship, Advantages of 344 fE, 394 f 

„ Machiavelli on, ....... 344 f 


Egypt, Bismarck on strategical value of 

Historic longing of France for possession of 
Napoleon's desire for ... 

Napoleon on strategical value of 
ofiEered by Russia to England in 1853 
Strategical importance of . 

Elizabeth, Government of Queen . 

49 f 
20 fE 
20 fE 

49 f 


20 fE 

334 f 

Analytical Index 437 


Emperor, German — See German Emperor. 

Empire, British, Bismarck on value of Egypt to . . . . 49 f 

„ „ Insignificance of, in 1800 ..... 227 

Possibilities of the . .11 ff, 258 fE, 287 ff, 289 ff 
„ „ should assume part of War Debt . . . 11 f, 291 f 

„ „ Wealth and potentialities of, and of United States 

compared . . . 258 ff, 287 ff, 290 ff 

„ „ why envied by other nations . . , .418 ff 

Engine- power in Great Britain and United States compared . .235 ff 

England, Agricultural development of, 1800-43 .... 229 

Agriculture of, and German agriculture compared . .247 ff 

and Russia at war in time of Napoleon I ... 33 

„ „ Cause of distrust between . . , 15 ff, 44 f 

„ „ in Crimean War . . . . . . 41 ff 

and United States during Venezuela trouble . . . 413 
>, „ „ how estranged ..... 401 f 

„ „ „ England's consistently friendly attitude 

414 ff, 425 ff 
Atlitude of , towards partition of Poland 154 ff, 166 ff, 176 ff, 178 ff 
Claims of, to part of Asiatic Turkey .... 77 

Coal production in 231, 239 ff 

Consistently friendly policy of, towards United States 414 ff, 425 ff 
Economy, Mr. Asquith on necessity of, in . . . 252 f 
Evolution of Cabinet Government in . . . .327 ff 

has put's ued a racial, not a national, policy . 414 ff, 425 ff 
how reconciled with Franco . . ... . . 400 f 

industrial development of 1800-^6 229 ff 

Luxury in, at beginning of the War . . . .253 ff 

Napcleou proposes Indian invasion to strike at . 22 f, 31 ff 
National income of, in 1814 ...... 221 f 

in 1907 216 

Neglect of history in ...... . 349 

Prodttction and engine-power per man in . . .235 ff 

Population, increase of, from 1801-41 .... 228 f 

SaviEgs Banks Deposits in Germany, United States, and in 251 
spent in war against Napoleon one-third of national 

vealth and income . . . . . .221 ff 

Study of statesmanship neglected in ... . 349 f 

supported United States during war against Spain . .412 ff 

supported United States against Holy Alhance . .403 ff 

supported United States against Napoleon III . .410 ff 

Vast increase of production in, during the War . .282 ff 

Vast war programme of Directoire against . . . 20 ff 

Wages in, and in United States compared . . .243 ff 

War finance and economic future of . . . . 216 ff 

Wealth of, and of United States compared . . .258 ff 
Executive — See Cabinet. 
Expenditure, Increase of national, during Napoleonic War . .219 ff 

Federalist, Extiaots from, on Government 326 f, 357 ff, 360 f, 362 ff, 364 f 
Fortescue, Sir John, on Democracy and Cabinet Government . .329 ff 
France — See aUo Napoleon. 

„ and Syria . . . , 87 ff 

Analytical Index 



France, Claims of, to part of Asiatic Turkey . . . 77 ff, 93 f, 104 

Conseil d'État, Advantages of . . . . . . 324 f 

Economic ruin of," at French Revolution . . . .322 fE 

Historic policy of, towards Turkey . . . . . 78 ff 

History of Protectorate over Eastern Christians . . . 78 ff 

how reconciled with England ...... 400 f 

Reorganisation of, by Napoleon I . . . . .322 ff 

should she continue protecting Eastern Christians ? . 87 ff, 93 f 
Franco-Turkish Alliance, History of the . . . . . 78 ff 

Frederick the Great on Cabinet Government . . , . .321 
„ „ Policy of, regarding Poland . . . .148 ff 

„ „ „ towards Austria .... 159 

„ „ „ towards Russia . . . 148 ff, 159 

Turkey . . . . 158 f 

„ ,, Secret Treaty of , with Russia, regarding Poland .149 ff 

„ ,, was moving spirit in partition of Poland . . 161 

Frederick William III broke his promises to the Poles . . .169 f 

Free Trade not responsible for Britain's industrial development .228 ff 


Galicia, Racial position in 130, 121, 124 f 

George I and British Constitution. . . . . , . . 336 

German-Austrian Alliance of 1879, Text of . . . • . .201 ff 

German Emperor has no right to declare aggressive war . j 193 f, 198 ff 

„ „ is not the Emperor of Grcrmany . . j . .195 ff 

„ „ Position of the j . .190 ff 

„ „ Prince Bismarck on rights and power of I . .195 ff 

„ „ was possibly tool of army in declaring war .213 ff 

Germany — See also Prussia, Frederick the Great, Bismarck, &c. 

„ Agriculture of, and British agriculture compared . .247 ff 
„ and Austria-Hungary . . . . . . 6 ff, 105 ff 

„ and Asia Minor . . . . . . \ . . 57 ff 

and United States 4^9 f, 422 f, 424 

„ Bavaria and the Constitution of .... . 195 ff 

„ has been created for defence . . . . . . 193 f 

„ has made Austria-Hungary her vassal . . . . 106 f 

„ Iron industry of, and British iron industry compaied 245 ff, 286 f 
„ „ „ based on Alsace-Lorraine ore beds . . 286 f 

„ is a federation, not a single State 191 ff 

„ Savings Banks Deposits in ..... . 251 

„ Sovereignty of, resides not in Emperor . . . .192 ff 

„ why pretended having been attacked in 1914 . . .210 ff 

„ would dominate Europe after absorption of Austria-Hungary 107 f 

Ghent, Treaty of 398 

Great Britain — See England. 

Greece, Claims of, to part of Asiatic Turkey . . . , . 76 f, 104 

Habsburgs follow a purely dynastic policy 
„ Hereditary peculiarities of 
„ Ingratitude of, towards eminent men 
„ Matrimonial and territorial policy of 
Rise of 

.112 ff 
. 109 
. 114 
. 109 f 
. 109 f 

Analytical Index 



Habsburgs tried to Germanise Austria-Hungary . . . .117 

Hamilton, Alexander, on Cabinet Government . 326 f, 360 f, 362 fi 

Henry VII, Government of 332 f 

Henrf VIII, Government of 332 f 

Hoheilohe, Prince, quoted ........ 44 

Holy Alliance, Activities of, in Spain and the New World . .403 fE 
„ „ Treaty and text of . . . . . . 37 ff 

„ „ „ Additions made to, at Verona . . .403 £E 

Holy Paces of Christianity, Position of 87 ff 

Horse-p)wers in British and American industries compared . .235 ff 

„ Total in Great Britain and United States compared . 259 

Hundrec Years' Peace Celebration 398 ff 

Hungarj — See also Magyars. 

Deâk recommended racial toleration .... 139 

Educational injustice in . 
Trowing ascendancy of, over Austria 
lostility to Austria 
i an oligarchy . . . . 

Msleading racial statistics of . 
Copression of nationalities in . 
„ Rumanians in . 

Pxliamentary institutions of, are a fraud 
Rcial tyranny of . 
Rtzolution of, in 1848 . 

.138 ff 
.120 f 
116, 117, 119 ff 
. 135 
. 134 f 
. 120 f 
.139 ff 
.135 ff 
.134 ff 
.118 ff 


Idleness natral to men ........ 232 

Income, Britsh national, in 1814 ....... 221 f 

Industry, deelopment of British, 1800^6 229 ff 

India, Difficity of invading. . . . . . . . 44 f 

„ Interst of, in Mesopotamia and Persian Gulf . . . 94 ff 

„ Plannd invasion of, by revolutionary France . . . 21 ff 

by Napoleon I . . . . 22 f, 31 ff 

Iron and atel industries, British, German criticism of . . . 246 

Development of British, 1800-46 . .231 

„ „ , „ German, are dependent upon Lorraine ore 

beds 286 f 

„ „ „ in Germany and United Kingdom com- 

pared .... 245 ff, 287 

„ „ „ in United States and United Kingdom . 

compared . . . • .286 

Irredenta ItUa 130 ff 

Islam — See iohammedanism. 

Isocrates onDemocracy and Government . . . . . 297 

Istria -L, 130, 133 

Italians, Posion of, in Austria-Hungary ..... 130 ff 

Italy, Claimiof, to part of Asiatic Turkey .... 77, 104 

„ is hatl by Austria-Hungary . . . . . . 130 ff 

Japan and te United States 

Jefferson, Bsident, and Monroe Doctrine 

Jerusalem— 'ee Holy Places. 

Joseph II, ted to Germanise Austria . 

419 f, 422 f 
. 407 f 

. 117 


Analytical Index 

Kossuth, Louis, Policy of 



Labour, Productivity of, in Great Britain and United States com- 

pared .......... 235 ff 

Lincoln, President, and Civil War 

„ „ Autocratic power of 

„ „ Character of . 

„ „ introduces conscription 

„ „ Lord Bryce on 

„ „ on advantage of one-man 

„ „ on bitter need of troops 

„ „ on New York draft riots 

,, „ Speech on the fallen 

„ „ Suspends Habeas Corpus 

„ „ was elected by a minority 

Lowell, Professor, on Cabinet Government 


351, 353 f, 356,365 ff 
.391 f 
36i f, 391 
.374 ff 
. 391 
. 365 
. 395 
.385 f 
. 397 
. 351 
. 339 


Machiavelli on advantages of Dictatorship 

„ on Democracy and Grovernment . 

Machinery, in Great Britain and United States compared 
Madison, President, and Monroe Doctrine 
Magyars, how distributed in Hungary . 

„ monopolise Civil Service, Parliament, &c. 
„ Racial tyranny of . 
„ Relations between Austrians and 
„ SmaU number of . 
Mahan, Admiral, on Anglo-American reunion 

„ „ on importance of Persian Gulf 

Malta and revolutionary France .... 

Manufacturing industries — See Industries. 
Maria Theresa and partition of Poland . 
Marmont on strategical value of Constantinople 
Mazzini on Constantinople ..... 

Mecca and Medina ...... 

Mesopotamia, England's claims to . . . 

„ Former prosperity of . . . 

„ Possibilities of irrigation in 

Metternich, Prince, on Holy Alliance . 

Mexico, Napoleon Ill's designs on . . . 

Troubles of, in 1861 .... 

Mohammedanism, Position and possibilities of 
Monroe Doctrine, Bismarck on the 

„ Danger of the, to the United States 

„ Genesis of. • 

„ has consistently been defended by England 

„ Homer Lea, on . 

„ how regarded on the Continent . 

„ President Jefferson and 

„ President Madison and 



. 344 f 
. 300 
.235 ff 
. 408 
. 134 f 
.134 ff 

117, 119 ff 
ill, 134 

423 f, 425 
. 94 f 
. 21 

. 159 
. 61 
. 52 
63, 101 
. 94 ff 
. 95 ff 
. 98 ff 
. 39 f 
.410 ff 
. 410 
. 62 ff 
. 413 
.420 ff 
.403 ff 
.413 ff 
. 421 
. 421 
. 407 f 
. 408 

Analytical Index 441 


Monroe Doctrine proposed by England . .... .403 fE 

Text ofj 409 

Munitions, British Ministry of 283 fE 


Napoleon I, Achievements of, as an organiser 

,; advocates invasion of India . . . .22 

„ advocates reconciliation with Russia 

„ :^^and Alexander I conclude Peace and Treaty of Tilsit 
„ fand Alexander I meet on the Niémen 
and Constantinople 


[and Peter the Great's Political Testament . 
desires Russia's alliance against England 
Eastern policy of .... . 

Instructions of, regarding Turkey 
on strategical value of Egypt and Suez Canal 
„ Policy of, regarding Egypt 

„ 'proposes partition of Turkey 

„ proposes that Russia should have Constantinople 

„ tried to dupe Alexander I at Tilsit 

„ wished to push Russia back into Asia 

Napoleon Ill's designs on Mexico in 1861 
National Debt — See Debt, National. 
Nesselrode, Count, and Crimean War .... 
„ „ on neutrality of Switzerland 

„ „ Policy of, regarding Turkey 

New York draft riots 
Nicholas T, Policy of, regarding Turkey 
Nicholas II, quoted . ...... 


.322 ff 
f, 31 ff 
. 26 
. 26 ff 
. 26 
. 16 ff 
. 19 
. 24 ff 
. 25 ff 
. 86 f 
49 f 
. 20 ff 
. 25 ff 
. 25 ff 
. 26 ff 
. 35 
.410 ff 

. 91 ff 
. 73 f 
. 40 
. 385 f 
. 40 ff 
. 44 


O'Meara, quoted 

One-man Executive, Advantage of 
Organisation, Rules of good 
Output, Limitation of, in England 

22 f 50 

308 ff, 344 f, 360 ff 

. 344 

. 246 f, 250 


Palestine — See Holy Places. 

Palmerston, Policy of, towards Turkey . . . . . . 88 ff 

Panama Canal, Vulnerability of ...... . 422 

Panslavism, unjustified fear of ...... . 142 f 

Paul I of Russia and invasion of India . . . . . ,22 f 

Peace Congress, The, and After . . . . . . .Iff 

Peace is responsible for England's industrial backwardness . 234, 280 f 

Pericles, Character of 298, 299 

Persian Gulf, Strategical importance of . . . . 94 f, 100 
Peter the Great, Political Testament of 17 ff 

„ „ proposes partition of Poland .... 162 

Peter III, Secret Polish treaty with Frederick the Great . .149 ff 

Pitt, the Elder, and Cabinet Government 338 f 

Poland and Congress of Vienna . . . . . . .166 ff 

„ Bismarck's policy towards .... 172 ff, 180, 188 


Analytical Index 

.148 fE 

161, 184, 185 

. 159 

.149 fE 


Poland British diplomatic reports on 

154, 156, 157, 173, 175, 176, 177, 178 
„ First partition of, Catherine the Great and . . .152 fE 

„ „ „ „ Frederick the Great and 

„ „ „ „ Lord SaHsbury on 

,, „ „ „ Maria Theresa and 

„ Peter III and 
„ „ „ „ Stanislaus Augustus' appeal to 

the Great 
„ Great past of ..... 

„ independent, value of, as a bufEer State 
„ Partition of, England's remonstrance against 
„ „ „ Henry Wheaton and Koch on. 

„ „ „ Lord Castlereagh's protest against 

„ „ „ Peter the Great and 

proposed in 1700 

166 fE, 

. 36. 




178 fE 

146 f 

167 fE 



„ Prussia's poUcy towards, was part of her Russian poUcy 148 ff, 170 flE 
„ Record of co-operative societies in . . . . 123 f, 183 

„ Recreation of, independent, consequences of, to Russia and 

Germany 171 fE 

„ Rising of, in 1863 175 fE 

„ „ „ „ British diplomatic reports on 

173, 175, 176, 177 
„ „ „ „ Earl Russell's despatch on . . .178 fE 

„ Second partition of ....... .162 fE 

„ should preserve connection with Russia . . 8 f, 183 fE 

* „ The problem of 8 f, 146 fE 

„ Third partition of 165 

„ Weakness of Government of . . . . . . 151 f 

Poles, Denationalisation of, England's attitude towards 166 fE, 178 fE 

„ Grand Duke Nicholas' appeal to . . . . . 121 f 

„ Numbers of ........ . 183 

„ Position of, in Austria-Hungary . . . . . . 120 fE 

„ Prussia's treatment of the ...... 169 f 

„ Russia's poUcy towards the .... 122 ff, 146 fE 

Polybius on Democracy and Government ..... 298 

Prague, National position in . . . . . . . 126 f 

President, American, is Commander-in-Chief of Army and Navy . 364 f 
Power of the ... 326 f, 359 fE, 391 

Privy Council, Advantages of eflScient . . 329 fE, 332, 337, 346 f 

Production, British and American, per worker compared . .235 fE 

„ British, per worker has doubled during War . .282 fE 

Protectorate, French, over Eastern Christians . . . . 78 fE 

Prussia — See also Gtermany. 

„ Appeals to Czechs against Austria in 1866 . . . 125 f 

„ Greatness of, established by three great riders . . .316 

„ Land purchase policy of, in Polish districts . . .183 

Polish policy of 148 fE, 170 ff, 186 f 

„ Polish newspapers on Government of . . . . 186 f 

Reunion, an Anglo-American 
Richelieu, on Cabinet Government 
Rumanians, Ill-treatment of, in Hungary 

13, 398 ff 
.310 ff 
.140 fiE 

Analytical Index 

Russell, Lord John, and Crimean War . 

Russia, and Turkey in Crimean War 

„ Backwardness of ... . 

„ Cause of distrust between England and 

„ Claims of, to Asiatic Turkey 

„ Claims of, to Constantinople 

„ Economic value of Constantinople to 

„ Exploitation of, by Germany . 

„ Frederick the Great's policy towards 

„ Fundamental peacefulness of 

„ Interests of, in Holy Lai.d 

„ offers England Egypt in 1853 . 

„ Polish policy of ... . 

„ „ „ was made in Germany 

Ruthenians in Austria- Hungary . 

40 ff. 



87 if 
. 45 f 
15 ff, 44 f 
75 f, 104 
4 f, 19 f 
4 f, 19 f 
. 181 
.148 ff 
45, 142 f 
. 93 f 
. 42 
.147 ff 
. 180 f 
120, 121, 124 f 

St. Louis, Letter of, to Maronites ..... 

Salisbury, Lord, on Crimean War ..... 

„ „ on Poland ..... 161 

Savings Banks Deposits, in England, Germany, and United States 
Serbia, Ill-treatment of, by Austria, since 1690 

Position of .... 3, 4, 48, 51, 52, 

Serbians, Number of ....... . 

Slavonic Congress of 1908 ....... 

Smith, Sydney, on British taxation ..... 

Spanish-American War, England's attitude during . 

Statesmanship, Study of, neglected in England 

Suez Canal, Bismarck on strategical value of . . . 

„ „ Construction of, ordered by revolutionary France 

„ „ Great increase in traffic of 

„ „ Importance of . 

„ „ Napoleon on strategical value of ... 

Sumter, Bombardment of Fort ...... 

Switzerland, why neutralised at Congress of Vienna 

Sjrria, French claims to ... . • . 


78 f 
. 251 
115 f, 134 
53, 133 f 
. 134 
. 142 
. 412 
. 349 f 
. 49 f 
. 20 
. 67 
. 100 
. 49 f 
. 351 
. 72 ff 
. 87 ff 


Talleyrand, diplomatic activities of . . . . . 21 f, 27 f 

„ on strategical value of Constantinople .... 51 

Taxation, British, in 1792 and 1815 compared . . . .226 ff 

„ in 1815, details of 225 ff 

„ „ Increase of, during Napoleonic War . . .219 ff 

„ „ Sydney Smith on 224 

high, benefit of 10 ff, 232 f 

„ „ reformed British industry . . . .232 ff 

Tax-collector is the greatest civilising factor .... 232 

Telephones in United States and Great Britain compared . . 259 
Thucydides on Democracy and Government . . . 295, 298, 299 

Tilsit, Peace and Treaty of 26 ff 

Trade unions, British, most dangerous feature of ... 247 

Trentino 130 

Trieste 130, 133 


Analytical Index 

Turkey and Russia in Crimean War 
Asiatic — See Asiatic Turkey. 
Frederick the Great's Policy towarda 
History of Capitulations .... 
Napoleon I's instructions regarding . 
Partition of, proposed by Catherine the Great 
„ „ by Napoleon I 


40 ff 

158 f 

79 1Ï 

8G f 


25 ff, 


Ukrainian movement ......... 12-1 f 

United Kingdom — See England. 

United States — See also Lincoln, Monroe Doctrine, Hamilton, &e. 

Advantages of Constitution of . 12 f, 325 fif, 357 flf, 366 ff 
and England,^England has been consistently friendly 

towards former . . 414 ff, 425 ff 

„ „ how kept estranged . . . 414 ff, 

and Germany . ... 419 f, 422 f, 424 

and Japan 420, 423 

Army, desertions from ..... 372, 384 

„ strength of, in 1861 351 f 

Civil War, Confusion during . . . . . 355 f 

Cost of . . ... .262 ff 

could have been avoided . .13, 390 f 

created industrial supremacy of . . 280 f 

defective armaments .... 369 f 

Effect of, upon agriculture . 263, 268, 269 

„ „ fiscal policy . . . 272 

,, „ industrial organisation . 277 

„ Machinery . .268, 275 ff 

• „ „ manufacturing industries 

266 ff, 271 f, 273 ff 
„ „ National Debt and taxa- • 

tion. . . .263f 

„ „ Population and wealth .264 ff 

„ • „ railway development .269 ff 

Habeas Corpus suspended . . .366 ff 

Losses during ..... 389 f 

Number of soldiers raised during . . 388 f 

Outbreak of 350 ff 

President Lincoln's difficulties during .351 ff 

Treason during . . . . . 355 f 

Coal production in Great Britain and, compared .239 ff 

Engine-power „ „ „ .235 ff 

Importance of conservation movement in . . 289 

„ - Geological Survey in . . . 289 

„ Inter-State Commerce Commission in 289 

I^Iilitary achievements of, in Civil War . .13, 349 ff 

„ Unpreparedness of, in Civil War . 13, 351 ff 

Population and wealth of, before Civil War . . 387 f 

Potentialities of British Empire and, compared . 260 

President, Powers of 359 ff 

Production per worker in Great Britain and, com- 
pared 235 ff 

Analytical Index 445 


United States— Reunion with Great Britain . . . . 13, 398 ff 
„ „ Railway mileage in British Empire and, compared . 260 

„ „ Savings Banks Deposits in Great Britain and, com- 

pared ........ 251 

„ „ Situation in, before Civil War 350 ff 

„ „ Supported by England against Holy Alliance . .403 ff 

„ „ „ „ „ Napoleon III . .410 ff 

„ „ „ „ during war with Spain . 412 f 

„ „ Telephones in United Kingdom and, compared . 260 f 

„ „ Total horse-powers in United Kingdom and, com- 

pared ........ 259 

„ „ Wages in Great Britain and, compared . . . 243 f 

„ „ Water-powers in . . . . . . . 259 

„ „ Wealth of, and of British Empire, compared 

258 ff, 287 ff, 290 ff 
„ „ were unified by war with England . . . 412 

„ „ why envied by other nations . . . .418 ff 


Vpndal, Albert, quoted ........ 35 

Venezuela trouble . . . . . . . . .413 

Venice, Causes of decline of . . . . . . . .303 ff 

Venice, Constitution of, resembled that of England . 303 ff, 336 f 

Verona, Congress and Treaty of ...... . 403 f 

Vienna, Congress 9 f, 36 f, 72 f, 106 ff 


Wages in Great Britain and United States compared . . . 243 f 
War, Beneficial effect of, upon industry . 232 ff, 251 ff, 280 ff 

216 ff, 257 

.218 ff 

10 ff, 249 ff, 287 ff, 291 ff 

. 402 

Cost of the Great 
„ „ „ against Napoleon I 

„ Debt, How to deal with the 
„ unifies nations 

Washington, George, on preparedness for war .... 390 

Political Testament of . . . .428 ff 

Wealth, National, of United States and British Empire compared .258 ff 

Willcox, Sir W., on irrigation of Mesopotamia . . . . 98 ff 

William II has violated the German Constitution . . .8, 204 ff 

„ vowed to observe the Constitution . . . .204 ff 

„ was possibly forced by army into War in 1914 . . 213 f 

Workers, British, Production of, has doubled during War . .282 ff 





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