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1914 ^ 





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The following articles are reprinted from the Morning 
Post, by the courteous permission of the proprietor. The 
author is peculiarly fitted to speak with knowledge, and 
at the same time with impartiality, on the subject of 
Scandinavian hopes and fears. His articles will prob- 
ably come as a revelation to many even of those English- 
men who have visited Scandinavia. In this country too 
little attention has been paid to Scandinavian politics, 
although the achievements of the Scandinavian countries 
in literature, in sculpture, and in the sciences are better 
known and more admired by Englishmen than Dr. 
Bjorkman is aware. 

H. W. C. D. 


First of all, I must point out that, literally speaking, 
there is no Scandinavia as yet. There is a Scandinavian 
peninsula and a Scandinavian group of nations, but 
nothing that maybe regarded as a political, economical, 
or even geographical entity. It is convenient, of course, 
to have a term that can be applied collectively to the 
three northern kingdoms ; and to the world at large 
such a term has more validity than the nations com- 
prised within it seem willing to admit. At home, in 
the United States, I find it next to impossible to make 
my closest and most intelligent friends remember 
whether, by birth, I am a Swede, a Norwegian, or a 
Dane. When I set them right, they answer commonly : 
' Well, what is the difference anyhow ? ' Scandinavians 
are apt to take offence at an attitude which they regard 
as expressive of nothing but ignorance. To me that 
attitude is a most significant symptom, indicating that 
differences which seem very radical at close quarters 
may seem quite negligible at a distance. And no 
matter how much importance the Scandinavians them- 
selves attach to the divergence of their respective 
natures and interests, an impartial outside observer can 
only conclude that all divergences are outweighed by 
their community of race and culture, their practical 
community of language, their extensive, although far 
from total, community of political position, and their 
steadily increasing community of economic interests. 
In any crisis they find themselves in a position almost 


identical with that of Holland and Belgium, which 
countries, although separated by much greater racial 
distinctions, are constantly made to feel that the inde- 
pendence of one is essential to the independence of the 

All this I grant, and the truth of it is more and more 
being brought home to those whom it principally con- 
cerns. In fact, I hope that one of the good results pro- 
duced by the present upheaval will be to make the 
Scandinavians fix their gaze on what they have in com- 
mon rather than on their differences. But, to under- 
stand the bearing of the great war on their countries, it 
is absolutely necessary to keep in mind that they still 
think and speak and act as Swedes, Norwegians, or 
Danes, and not primarily as Scandinavians. All of 
them are just now seriously agitated by hopes as well 
as fears ; but their hopes and fears are not identical 
except in one point — that they are above all desirous 
of preserving their national integrity and independence. 
To make clear the distinctions modifying that common, 
general desire, I shall consider the three nations separ- 
ately in their relation to the present crisis, as well as to 
the new international situation likely to spring from it. 

Geographically Denmark belongs to the Continent 
rather than to the Scandinavian peninsula. But for 
racial differences it would form a logical part of the 
German Empire. And to Germany the advantages of 
such a union would be tremendous. It would turn the 
Baltic into a German lake, and multiply the chances 
for a bold stroke at England. It would give Germany 
the sailors she so badly needs. At the same time it 
would make it harder than ever for Sweden and Norway 
to maintain a complete independence, even if they were 
never openly attacked. In fact, Denmark would be so 


valuable as a German province that I think its conquest 
would long ago have been made one of the main German 
objectives but for England. Denmark fears Germany, 
of course, and fears her more than any other Power. 
But that fear is mixed with hatred, too — a hatred that 
has lost very little of its intensity by the passing of fifty 
years since the Duchies of Sleswick and Holstein were 
taken by Germany. Racially and linguistically one of 
those provinces, Holstein, had always been German 
and could be rightly claimed by a united Germany. The 
southern part of Sleswick had and has a mixed popu- 
lation, with the German element in ascendancy. Nor- 
thern Sleswick was, and practically is still, as Danish 
as the island of Fiinen. Had Germany been content 
to take Holstein and the German districts of Sleswick, 
the rancour caused by that seizure might not have been of 
long duration . But Germany took the whole of Sleswick ; 
and what has been done during the last fifty years to 
uproot all traces of Danish nationality within that pro- 
vince goes far beyond anything done by the Russians 
in Poland and Finland, or by the Austrians in their 
Slavonic and Italian provinces. And however willing 
Denmark might have been to forget, the sufferings in- 
flicted — and inflicted in vain — on the Danes of Sleswick 
have prevented it from doing so. 

Though Denmark has always been akin to Germany 
in civilization, and though the economical community 
of interest between the two countries has been steadily 
increasing, the prevailing Danish attitude toward Ger- 
mans remains distrustful to the verge of open hostility. 
For a long period of years the political life of Denmark 
was coloured and warped by the struggle between con- 
flicting opinions as to what could and should be done 
to protect the badly exposed capital against the menace 


of German conquest. On the other hand, Denmark has 
been drawn more and more toward England, not only 
because here Denmark has found one of her best markets, 
but because of its keen realization that England more 
than any other Great Power has an interest in protecting 
a country which may be said to hold the only key to the 
Baltic and one of the main keys to the North Sea. The 
events of 1801 and 1807 have grown very vague in 
memory ; and it is probably the Fleet of Great Britain 
which more than anything else has drawn the friendship 
of Denmark. At the same time, Denmark alone among 
the Scandinavian countries has established friendly rela- 
tions with Russia. The original cause was sentiment — 
and the Danes are at once very sentimental and very 
practical — based on the marriage of a Danish Princess 
to the Heir to the Russian Throne. But this friendship 
has acquired more and more of a practical import with 
the growth of Russian hostility toward Germany and 
friendliness toward England. Thus it is not surprising 
that in the present conflict the sympathies of the Danish 
people turn almost exclusively toward the Allied cause. 
But just because of these sympathies, which are not 
unknown in Berlin, the little country to the north, with 
a population of less than three millions, and with open 
shores, that lie almost within gunshot of the German 
coast, has been forced to maintain its neutrality as punc- 
tiliously as did Belgium. I do not think anything but 
a direct invasion of her territory could bring Denmark 
to forget the caution enforced by her dangerous prox- 
imity to the most unscrupulous of the warring Powers. 
That all fears for Denmark's safety are not directed 
southward will probably surprise Englishmen very much. 
But several travellers recently returned from Denmark 
assure me that one of the most harrowing apprehen- 


sions of the Danish people is the possibility of England's 
trying to establish a naval base on Danish ground. 
' Harrowing ' is the word deliberately used, because the 
Danes feel that under such circumstances they would 
be forced to fight beside their natural enemies against 
their natural friends and allies. The time when such 
a fear might have been warranted is long gone by ; and 
just now, when a sense of responsibility on behalf of 
Belgium has so largely caused England's decision to 
take up arms, such a fear is particularly groundless. 
A step of that kind, however advantageous in some ways, 
would in other ways prove all but fatal to the cause of 
the Allies. And this fact ought to be as clear to Den- 
mark as I know it is to England. What, then, can 
make the Danes, against their will and against all 
reason, cling to this fear ? Well, here we have another 
evidence of German ' diplomacy '. False statements 
with regard to England's intentions have no doubt 
been sedulously circulated — and this has been done not 
only in Denmark, but in Norway as well, where fears 
of exactly the same kind have been encountered by 
numerous trustworthy and well-informed travellers. 
Of course, we know that, if Danish distrust of England 
be explicable though unwarranted, such a fear on the 
part of Norway must be held nothing less than ridiculous. 
But it is there, it has to be counted with, and it should 
be dispelled. 

To return to the more deep-lying Danish friendliness 
toward the Allies, this is probably strengthened by 
a realization on the part of Denmark that this may be not 
only its best but its only chance of recovering Sleswick, 
But, as I have already said, the Danes are intensely 
practical in spite of their sentimentality (their practical 
tendency being enforced by a strongly-developed sense 


of humour), and they realize no less clearly that a head- 
long plunge into the whirlpool of war might at the best 
prove a very expensive way of achieving their cherished 
goal. To what extent they entertain any hopes of get- 
ting what they want without fighting for it I do not 
know. But should the Allies prove completely victor- 
ious in the end, as I believe they will, it would, par- 
ticularly on the part of England, be good business, if 
nothing more, to insist on the belated return of the 
Danish part of Sleswick to the country of which it 
forms a natural adjunct. 

Because of her position, sheltered by the Koelen 
mountains on the one side and by the Atlantic on the 
other, with Sweden acting as a buffer toward Russia 
and Denmark toward Germany, Norway remains almost 
unconcerned by the war as long as the two sister nations 
are unaffected and England does not suddenly desert 
a policy that has become expressive of one of Norway's 
main ideals. I do not think much account needs to be 
taken of any Norwegian fears of England, however much 
Germany may strive to foster them. But it is always 
better to meet such fears half-way, and England should 
not deem it beneath her dignity to do so. More than 
immediate defeat or victory is at stake just now. A 
new order of things is likely to emerge from this ordeal 
of fire. And, when this happens, the nature of the new 
order may depend in no little degree on the confidence 
reposed in England by the smaller nations. Such a con- 
fidence takes time to develop, though it may disappear 
in a moment ; and it is more determined by public 
gossip than by the inside knowledge of men in power. 
Norway's fear of being dragged into the fight by one 
of the other two Scandinavian countries is much more 
real and much more significant. But there is a silver 


lining to this cloud. In this case German inability to 
analyse human nature has again frustrated German 
hopes and intrigues. For years the German Emperor 
has done his best to win the heart of Norway, and I fear 
he has long deemed it well won. It is notorious that, 
while the Norwegians were still struggling to rid them- 
selves of the union with Sweden, the Emperor repeatedly 
encouraged them, while at the same time he professed 
the utmost love for the Swedes and his particular good 
friend the aged King Oscar. I have never had any 
fault to find with the desire of the Norwegians to be 
completely independent (which they were not within 
the Union) ; but I know that they were more than 
once on the point of going to war for what could be had 
peacefully, and I suspect that their trust in German 
support may have had something to do with their 

When the dissolution of the Union actually took 
place in 1905, war was averted ; but relations between 
the two nations became badly strained, and remained 
so until not very long ago. As late as last spring several 
Norwegian poets of high standing bewailed in provo- 
cative verses the fact that the fight with Sweden had 
not come off in 1905. And one might have expected 
that a fratricidal war on the Scandinavian peninsula 
would be among the first results of the opportunity 
offered by the general melee on the Continent. But 
instead the Swedes and the Norwegians behaved as if 
they had never had a single misunder standing. They 
arrived quickly at agreements meant to dispose of all 
mutual fear, and to ensure a common as well as mutual 
neutrality in the face of anything and everything but 
the open violation of that neutrality by a third party. 
It might be said that German interest in Sweden had 


exercised pressure on Norway, directly or indirectly. 
But even if such pressure might have averted an im- 
pending crisis, I do not think it could have produced 
an understanding of the scope and completeness actually 
existing. Now just as the wonderful common sense of 
those two peoples — based, I think, on an unusually 
developed power of imagination — had asserted itself in 
1905, so it reasserted itself in this case ; and by their 
action I believe that all possible German hopes of bring- 
ing Sweden into the fray on its own side were effectively 
disposed of. 

But this understanding, so helpful by ridding Sweden 
and Norway of all mutual fear, might under certain 
circumstances involve both of them instead of only one. 
And this is the possibility which, in spite of all reassur- 
ances, keeps the Norwegians from feeling wholly secure. 
There are two quarters from which the danger might 
appear. The Russians might invade Sweden, or at 
least seize a naval base on the island of Gothland. The 
alleged designs of Russia on the northernmost part 
of the Scandinavian peninsula are well known to every- 
body who gives the least attention to international 
politics. I shall return to them later when discussing 
the position of Sweden. For the present I can dismiss 
them as buried under an avalanche of new events and 
opportunities too exciting to permit Russian attention 
to dwell on the distant north. I think this has been 
realized by the Norwegians, and that in so far as Russia 
still figures in their apprehensions it is rather as a tempta- 
tion to Swedish aggressiveness than as a direct aggres- 
sor. And the Swedish attitude toward Russia since 
the beginning of the war has gone far toward dispelling 
the last vestige of this particular fear. It is the hold 
of Germany on Sweden — based on circumstances to be 


related further on — which continues to cause anxiety 
to the Norwegians, in spite of the practically perfect 
guarantee furnished by the understanding between the 
sister nations. And this is just the point where the 
futility of the German intrigues shows itself. In spite 
of the North Cape excursions of the German Emperor, 
in spite of the glowing Pan-Germanism of the late 
Bjornstjerne Bjornson (whose ideas I do not mean to 
belittle by this reference), and in spite of the employ- 
ment of Bjorn Bjornson as the Emperor's principal 
Scandinavian press agent, the Norwegians do not trust 
the Germans very much. Perhaps a reason for this 
anomalous and ungrateful attitude on their part ma 
be furnished by what happened at the time when 
Norway, after the separation from Sweden, was pre- 
paring to start a completely new Government of its 
own. The democratic and republican tendencies of the 
country are too well known to need mention. Yet 
a Monarchical Government was decided on ; and it is 
pretty well understood that this concession was the 
price paid for Germany's acceptance of the new state 
of affairs. 

Be this as it may, the fact remains that the Nor- 
Avegians find it hard to believe that Germany may not 
force Sweden into the fight after all. The silver lining 
to this cloud — though it may not appear as such to 
Englishmen for the time being — is that the Norwegians 
seem to take it for granted they must fight on the same 
side as the Swedes. I think this feeling on their part 
bodes well not only for the future but for the present, 
as it will go far toward quieting the Swedes. The sum 
and substance of all this is that the Norwegians do not 
want to fight anybody, and that they would be particularly 
chagrined at having to fight for Germany against the 


English. Their sympathies are beyond all doubt with 
the Allies. And with England Norway has probably 
more in common than with any other non-Scandinavian 
nation. To England, and to its Fleet, Norway, like 
Denmark, would instinctively look for support in a 
moment of dire need. I insist that promise of such 
support should be given before the fatal moment 
arrives, and that it should be given in the most un- 
equivocal terms. 1 Her independence is what Norway 
cherishes above anything else. An assault on it is the 
one thing she fears. She stands more outside than her 
sister nations, with less to fear and less to gain from 
the events that are now shaking Europe to its founda- 
tions. Her incentive to neutrality is the more potent 
because she has recently entered on a career of indus- 
trial development that promises great things for her 
future. Like Sweden, she is bound to be of tremendous 
importance to England during the rest of this century, 
provided she is permitted to grow in peace and in 
accordance with her own nature. For this reason, if 
for no other, England should spare no effort to dispose 
of whatever fears may be still haunting her. 


Sweden now remains to be considered. I have on 
purpose put Sweden last, because she needs to be dealt 
with at somewhat greater length. Her position is more 
difficult than that of Norway or even of Denmark. 
Her problem is more acute. Her attitude has seemed 
more questionable. The sympathies of Denmark are 
undoubtedly with the Allies, no reservation being made 
against Russia. The sympathies of Norway are in the 

1 The Belgian Grey Book shows that the offer of support has been 
made by England [Ed.]. 


main with England, though Norwegians view Russia 
with some apprehension. The sympathies of Sweden 
are to a large extent with Germany, although this 
implies no animosity toward England, and is coupled 
with a great deal of genuine love for France. The key 
to the situation is that Sweden does not love Germany 
so much as she fears, and for that reason hates, Russia. 
The main features of Sweden's geographical situation 
are in themselves an explanation of the Swedish state 
of mind. Sweden and Norway are joined along four- 
fifths of their entire length, and the Koelen Ridge, which 
screens Norway so effectively, is of little use to Sweden 
in this respect, a difference rising out of the conformation 
of the peninsula. The sound between Sweden and 
Denmark is only a mile and a half wide at one point. 
From Germany to the southern coast of Sweden is only 
a short cruise. The Island of Gothland, on the eastern 
coast of Sweden, projects far into the Baltic, offering 
an equal temptation to Russia and Germany. The 
Aland Islands practically form a bridge from Finland 
to the Swedish coast just north of Stockholm. There 
are a dozen points along the northernmost half of 
Sweden where a landing of troops from Finland could 
be easily effected. And finally, Sweden and Russia 
meet at the head of the Gulf of Bothnia, at a point 
whence a railway starts across the Koelen Mountains 
to an ice-free harbour on the Norwegian coast. And 
the region tapped by that railway contains unlimited 
stores of some of the best iron ores known to the world, 
not to mention other mineral resources and a wonderful 
wealth of timber. 

Let us also recall a few historical data. When 
Sweden lost Finland to Russia in 1809 the two countries 
had been at war for more than two hundred years, 


clashing incessantly, as did England and France up to 
the close of the Napoleonic era. Although the Finns 
have neither race nor language in common with the 
Swedes, Finland had never been a mere colony to 
Sweden. It was an integral part of Sweden, bound to 
her by innumerable ties. And to this day there remains 
in Finland a Swedish-speaking population of about 
250,000. Neither the long, hopeless struggle against 
the unrelenting Russian advance, nor the sense of 
responsibility toward the Finnish people, has ever been 
forgotten by the Swedes. The union with Norway, 
achieved by Bernadotte in 1814, was meant as a com- 
pensation for the loss of Finland. In one sense it was ; 
in another sense it was not. Through many decades 
that union undoubtedly meant Swedish control of 
Norway's military and naval resources, as well as of 
Norway's foreign policy, thus bringing to Sweden added 
power and security. But almost from the first Norway 
was rebellious against an arrangement which palpably 
foiled her aspiration at absolute self-determination. 
Of the details or merits of that long family quarrel we 
shall not have to speak here. Suffice it to say that, 
in spite of all quarrelling — and foolishly, perhaps — 
Sweden clung to the idea of the union as a guarantee 
against any aggression from a third party. And it 
was only when the union broke in 1905 that Sweden 
seemed to become aware of the full extent and signi- 
ficance of the Russian menace. Behind this realization, 
warranted or not, lay undoubtedly a fear that Norway 
might play into the hands of Russia. 

Whether the Russian menace to Sweden has ever 
existed cannot and need not be decided here. The 
probability is that it has been exaggerated by the 
Swedes and under -estimated by the rest of the world. 


The main facts advanced by the Swedes as grounds for 
their apprehensions were the violent Russian attacks on 
Finnish nationalism, the massing of Russian troops in 
Finland, the revelations of Russian espionage within 
Sweden, and the building of railways through Finland 
to the common border in the extreme north — railways 
that could bring no reasonable commercial or industrial 
advantages. The Swedes also saw an increase, rather 
than a decrease, of bitterness in Norway, although the 
separation had been accomplished without bloodshed 
and without the open interference of any third Power. 

That all these factors tended to make the position of 
Sweden precarious in the extreme no one can deny. 
To make matters still worse, the relationship to 
Denmark seemed also to have taken a turn for the 
worse — perhaps because a Danish Prince had accepted 
the Norwegian Throne, and perhaps because of the 
known Danish friendliness toward Russia. At tins 
juncture the Swedes appeared to be seized with a sense 
of utter isolation. But this sense produced no discour- 
agement. Instead, it put them on their mettle and led 
to an outburst of fierce determination to preserve their 
country and their nationality at any cost. Reforms of 
every kind were started or hastened. The whole people 
seemed to undergo a process of rebirth. Physical and 
moral discipline became salient characteristics where 
not long before laxity of every kind had reigned. A 
period of feverish upbuilding followed, and not only 
material but also human resources were subject to this 
process. Nevertheless the Swedes felt compelled to 
look abroad for help. On this point I dare not speak 
with too much assurance, but I believe that the nation 
as a whole would have been most inclined to turn 
westward, and especially toward England, in this search. 


Both because of her large financial interests in Sweden, 
and because of her long-standing trouble with Russia, 
England must at one time have seemed the logical ally 
and protector. Repeatedly I have heard Swedes 
declare : • England can never afford to let Russia get 
a foothold on the Atlantic' Why this natural tendency 
never had a chance to make itself felt will be explained 
further on. 

Another possible ally was Germany, of course, and 
for years a very close friendship had joined the Royal 
House of Sweden to the Hohenzollerns and other 
reigning dynasties. The present Swedish King is 
married to a German Princess, as was his father, and 
one of his sons is named after the Emperor. One of 
the latter 's sons is named after the late King Oscar. 
Symptoms of this kind cannot be overlooked, even in 
these days of constitutional government. And the 
interchange of ideas has always been brisk between 
Sweden and Germany. In this connexion it is not 
without point that for many years no author has pushed 
to the forefront in Sweden without having his works 
promptly translated into German. The same is true 
of Norwegian and Danish works ; and while it need 
not have formed a part of any premeditated campaign 
on the part of Germany, it has nevertheless had its 
inevitable effect — an effect that has been greatly 
enhanced by the contrasting English indifference to all 
but a small part of the Scandinavian literatures. 

Considering all these circumstances, Englishmen 
might well be surprised, not at the extent but at the 
limitation of the pro -German sentiment in Sweden. 
The situation is both curious and entertaining — from 
an English viewpoint. In spite of the known leanings 
of the Royal House, in spite of all overtures from 


'Germany, in spite of military admiration of Prussian 
methods, in spite of the reckless agitation carried on 
by men like Sven Hedin, the Swedes have found it 
extremely hard to become enthusiastic about the 
Germans, whose arrogance, smug self-complacency, and 
unfailing tactlessness are constantly grating on them. 
During the war of 1870-1, for instance, Swedish sym- 
pathies were overwhelmingly with France. For all 
their hatred of official Russia, the Swedes have never 
hated the Russians as individuals. On the other hand, 
the feeling against the individual German has at times 
been so strong that I have heard of German travellers 
in Sweden speaking English or French in order not to 
reveal their nationality. Toward the Prussian military 
spirit and methods the people of Sweden have always 
manifested a profound distrust and dislike. Although 
strongly individualistic, the Swedes are at bottom very 
democratic. What, then, has given Germany the hold 
on Swedish sympathies which undoubtedly it has 
to-day ? The answer is very simple : the rapproche- 
ment between Russia and England. As long as those 
two Powers remained mutually suspicious of each other, 
Sweden felt comparatively secure. The understanding 
between England and France was probably a dis- 
appointment, and the effect of it was augmented by the 
simultaneously increasing hostility between Germany 
and Russia. But it was only the final completion of the 
Triple Entente that was felt as a direct blow — the worst 
one received by Sweden for a long time. For with 
England tied to Russia, not only by diplomatic engage- 
ments but by the exigencies of her own situation, what 
hope could there be for Sweden in a case of Russian 
aggression ? 
If we also bear in mind the dismay caused in German 


circles by the Entente — even though its full value to 
France may never have been realized until after the 
war had broken out — and the incessant activity of 
Germany's intriguing diplomacy, with its established 
policy of international embroilment and its disingenuous 
methods, we can hardly wonder at the attitude of 
Sweden to-day. By their isolation within the Scan- 
dinavian group, by the apparent or real threats of 
Russia, by the combination of English and Russian 
interests, by the intrigues of Germany, and, finally, by 
the violent agitation of a socially influential pro-German 
group at home, the Swedes have simply been driven to 
look upon Germany as their only remaining friend. 

No Englishman who has grasped this combination of 
powerful influences, all of them pressing in the same 
direction, can fail to respect and admire the restraint 
shown by the Swedish people since the beginning of 
the present crisis. No matter what the sympathies of 
individuals or groups may have been, the behaviour 
of the nation as a whole has been scrupulously correct, 
nothing being undertaken in the way of mobilization, 
for instance, but what was absolutely required for the 
protection of Swedish neutrality at an extremely 
critical period. Nor have the Swedes at any time been 
betrayed into any resentment against England. On the 
contrary, I have been told by several Englishmen, who 
have recently passed through Sweden on their way to 
or from Russia, that they were passed the moment their 
nationality became known, while the passports and 
luggage of Germans as well as Russians were carefully 
examined. To be perfectly frank, however, I do not 
know what might have happened if the present war had 
not been preceded by that awakening of the Swedish 
nation already referred to. The Swedes present a 


curious mixture of idealism and practical instincts. 
Both as individuals and as a nation they are seized at 
times by an irresistible passion for adventures, for 
tremendous achievements. The spirit of Charles XII 
is not quite dead in the country. From time to time 
the old dreams of world-power seem to haunt the nation, 
bringing it to a dangerous point of disregard for the 
hard realities of the current hour. 

Perhaps this spirit of adventure will never depart 
entirely from the Swedish character. Perhaps its 
departure would be a distinct loss not only to the Swedes 
but to the world at large. But of late it has turned in 
a new direction, at once safer and more promising. 
The Swedes have begun to see visions of power based 
not on conquest but on internal development. The 
richness of their natural resources, particularly in metals, 
has long been known: Up to a brief time ago there 
seemed small hope of their extensive exploitation, 
because the needed fuel had to be imported. The 
progress of electricity has changed this situation radically . 
Swedish electrical engineers are counted among the best 
in the world to-day. The waterfalls, in which the 
country abounds, can now be put to use. New methods 
of smelting the ore have been devised and are constantly 
being perfected. The ore can be used at home instead 
of being shipped abroad. As I was coming across the 
ocean a few weeks ago I heard an English metallurgist 
remark that men of his profession expect the Swedes 
in less than fifty years to lead the world in steel pro- 

The Swedes have firmly grasped these new possi- 
bilities, in which there is adventure enough to suit their 
ardent souls. To make their new dreams real, they 
need nothing but their own ingenuity, industry, capacity 


for social organization, and — security against inter- 
ruption from without. No nation in the world is more 
passionately devoted to its own independence. This 
has always been true. It is now more true than ever. 
Freedom to pursue their own course within their own 
country is all that the Swedes care for — and the world 
at large, all mankind, will be sure to profit if this desire 
of theirs is not foiled. The Swedes will be neutral until 
forced by open infringement of their neutrality to take 
up arms. They will be friendly with every nation that 
leaves them alone — even Russia. They will be grateful 
for any action on the part of greater Powers tending to 
rid them of the fear of unprovoked aggression that has 
so long been haunting them. They are looking for no 
expansion of their territory. If Finland were offered 
them by the Concert of Powers to-day their answer 
would probably be : ' Finland is- a nation by itself and 
should be subject to no other nation.' If, on the other 
hand, Finland were once more to become an autonomous 
member of a Russian Federation, with all its grievances 
disposed of, I think the Swedes would shed three -fourths 
of the nervousness that has possessed them in recent 
years. They do not fear a practically free Finland, tied 
to Russia by bonds of affection. They do fear a harassed 
and oppressed Finland that may be prepared as a tool 
against themselves. 

There is in these desires of theirs no vestige of the 
impossible. What they ask for is eminently practicable 
and desirable from the viewpoint of every nation wedded 
to democratic principles. And, as the war goes on, 
I think the mood in Sweden may change considerably. 
There, as elsewhere, time is fighting on the side of the 
Allies. In the meantime nothing is wanted on the part 
of England but patience. But, when the time comes 


to make peace, it would be well if England took steps 
to ensure to Sweden as well as to Norway and Denmark 
the neutral independence which to them means life itself. 
The treaty of 1855, making England and France joint 
guarantors of Swedish and Norwegian independence and 
integrity, was abrogated in 1908, because Sweden and 
Norway considered it injurious to their prestige. It 
might, however, be wise if they now accepted some similar 
agreement which should take into account the numerous 
changes that have occurred since the old treaty was 
signed. It would also be well, 1 think, if England could 
depart from her customary policy of proud indifference — 
to the extent of really trying to win the friendships of 
the Scandinavian nations. No one is stronger than he 
who can learn from his enemies. And England has 
much to learn from Germany. Those Scandinavian 
countries possess things that England needs, and will 
need more and more. They belong naturally to the 
Anglo-Saxon group — with Great Britain, the United 
States, and the British Colonies — rather than with 
Germany. So little will be needed to win them : 
nothing but an open declaration of intentions, a firm 
support of principles that have long been dear to the 
English mind, and some genuine interest in the life, 
culture, and aspirations of the three nations that have 
lately brought mankind gifts out of all proportion to 
their own numerical or political importance. 

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Since the outbreak of the great European War, we 
have now and then seen English newspapers express 
the opinion that the Danish public in general does not 
manifest its sympathy with the British cause so clearly 
and openly as — in their opinion — it ought to do ; 
sometimes we even find tokens of suspicion whether 
Danish sympathies do net tend to the other side, and 
whether German claims and German intrigue have 
always on the part of Denmark been met with so decided 
a refusal as they ought to be, according to the duty 
imposed by the professed strict and impartial neutrality 
of the Danish State. 

In seeking to give an opinion on this subject, I must 
begin by pointing out the extreme difficulty of arriving 
at an absolutely impartial and general judgement about 
a matter which is complicated by several different and 
mutually incompatible facts and circumstances. In the 
first place, however, it is absolutely necessary to direct 
the reader's attention to the immense danger and 
difficulties arising from the mere fact of our frontiers 
being immediately adjacent to Germany, and 'especially 
to Prussia. 

It must be very difficult for an Englishman to form 
a clear conception of that peculiar feeling of latent but 
imminent peril impressed upon Danes by the conscious- 
ness of always having the German military power 


immediately outside their doors — this army of millions 
so admirably equipped and prepared for instant action, 
at any time able to invade our country within a few hours ; 
besides this, the German fleet, enormous in comparison 
with ours, manoeuvring near our coasts, and ever and 
anon trespassing on our waters in a way that would 
never be tolerated by Germany, if any foreign Power 
dared to try similar proceedings near her coasts ; and 
added to this the dire experience of the absolutely 
unscrupulous use made of these forces, as soon as their 
masters gain the conviction that ' we must have ' some 
provinces belonging to a neighbouring country, which 
sentence of Count Bismarck, pronounced with reference 
to the Danish duchies, was the sole and real cause of the 
attack on Denmark in 1864. These facts cause a feeling 
of despondency and helplessness which makes many 
Danes regard our existence as depending to a great 
extent upon the doubtful goodwill of Germany, and 
makes them above all fear any utterance or act that 
might in any way be disagreeable to the mighty 

Add to this a sincere admiration of everything really 
great in Germany — German ability, energy, and enter- 
prise, German art and science, German progress and 
development during the last forty or fifty years — and 
the circumstance that many Danes, settled in Germany, 
are strongly influenced by the milieu in which they are 
living, often completely imbued with the German point of 
view, and constantly striving to impress this upon their 
correspondents at home — and it will be intelligible that 
a number of Danes are to be found arguing as follows : 

Notwithstanding our sincere wish to remain on 
equally friendly terms with all our neighbours, and 
notwithstanding the extreme importance of our con- 


nexions and trade with other States — especially with 
England — there is no country whose friendship is so 
indispensable, and whose ill-will is so detrimental, 
to Denmark as Germany. Germany has contributed 
more than any other nation to all our development ; 
as for trade, much of what we export goes to Germany, 
and by far the greatest part of our imports is brought 
in from her ; as for our culture, German art and 
science have given us many impulses, while on the 
other hand Danish artists, authors, and poets have 
found more appreciation in Germany than anywhere 
else. As for political relations, our very independence 
is at the mercy of Germany ; we have learnt in 1864 
that even the guarantee of all the Great Powers could 
not maintain our integrity against the will of Germany ; 
therefore, in view of her tremendous development 
and our fatal decline since that time, nothing remains 
for us but to put all our hope and confidence in the 
justice and magnanimity of that great nation. What- 
ever may be our sympathy or antipathy, we have no 
choice ; the question of self-preservation dictates 
our line of conduct as an inevitable necessity. We 
must do our utmost to satisfy the claims, and avoid 
everything that might tend to awake the suspicion 
and discontent, of our powerful southern neighbour. 

It is very difficult to ascertain how many there are 
who really accept these arguments ; there are others who 
denounce them as below the standard of an independent 
nation's self-respect ; and in spite of all the reasons 
which give weight to them, there are many — in my 
opinion by far the greater part of the Danish nation — 
who argue in quite a different way. I shall now try to 
give a summary of their views, and to make clear the 
foundation on which they rest. 

If we desire to judge clearly, without risk of deceiving 
ourselves as to our real interests and situation, it is 
absolutely necessary to take our departure from a his- 
torical point of view. Looking at the main outlines, it 


appears obvious that this war presents itself to the mind 
as the direct consequence of the wars of 1864, 1866, and 
1870 — the logical continuation (perhaps conclusion) of 
that era of blood and iron begun on January 16, 1864, 
by the Austro -Prussian ultimatum to Denmark, and 
continued unrelentingly to the present day. In this 
ultimatum the two German Powers demanded from 
Denmark the cancelling within two days of the new 
constitution of November 15, 1863, a demand which — 
parliament having been adjourned — could only be ful- 
filled by violating the constitution. There is a striking 
resemblance between some points of this ultimatum 
and of that delivered by Austria to Serbia on July 23, 
1914. The striking feature in both of these pieces of 
diplomacy is the putting forth of claims that are abso- 
lutely irreconcilable with the constitution and other 
laws of the nation concerned, and the absolute refusal 
of sufficient time for having the said laws altered in the 
legal way. 

When Denmark took up the war in 1864, many persons 
expressed the opinion that the inevitable bloodshed was 
' but for a scrap of paper ', and when afterwards the 
Danish Government with more tenacity than prudence 
stuck to the conviction of rescue through the interven- 
tion of England and France, this too was ' but for a scrap 
of paper ', viz. the Treaty of London of May 8, 1852, 
by which the integrity of the Danish Monarchy was 
fixed and guaranteed by the five Great Powers besides 
Sweden -Norway. But in 1864 — contrary to the case 
of Belgium in 1914 — England and France did not 
acknowledge any separate duty to back their guarantee 
by military force when it was infringed by two of the 
other guarantors with the silent consent of the third. 
Denmark, left alone and disappointed, was mutilated 


and Prussia acquired the excellent harbours at Kiel and 
S0nderborg, which in her hand have been first-rate 
means for creating that mighty navy which, according 
to Kaiser Wilhelm's hopes, is to dispute with Britannia 
the ruling of the waves. 

From this it will be understood that it caused no 
surprise whatever in Denmark, when Germany, in spite 
of solemn obligations, invaded the neutral States of 
Luxembourg and Belgium ; we recognized exactly the 
same line of conduct which was carried on against us 
with so much success, and is legalized to the mind of 
every true German by the sentence of Count Bismarck, 
that ' war cancels all treaties '. Therefore we feel 
convinced that the same line of action will be continued 
just as long as the triumphal career of Prussia continues, 
and it is this conviction that deprives some Danes of the 
hope that real independence can possibly be preserved 
by any small neighbour of Prussia. 

It may be noted here, that neither have the German 
cruelties on record from Belgium caused any surprise 
to those who have studied the details of Prussian 
behaviour in Denmark during the war of 1864. It must 
be admitted that — upon the whole — she did not often 
afford cause of complaint ; but it must also be borne in 
mind that circumstances were of a quite different nature 
from what they are during the present war. In the first 
place, the superiority of the armies invading our country 
was so enormous that there was not for a single moment 
a real danger of any decisive defeat ; in the second 
place, they did not meet with the least resistance on 
the part of the peaceful inhabitants, who on the contrary 
received and treated them in a way which soldiers rarely 
experience in an enemy's country. Nevertheless, the 
Prussian army did commit several deeds incompatible 


with civilized warfare, and only attributable to wanton 
cruelty and delight in devastation. It may suffice to 
mention two instances. 

In besieging the position at Dybb0l, which was 
strengthened by some entrenchments, the Prussians, in 
spite of their superiority both in number and armament, 
met with a lengthy and obstinate resistance. About a 
mile and a half behind the position, beyond the sound of 
Als and on the low coast of this island, the small town of 
S0nderborg is situated. It did not take any part in the 
defence, but had some value as shelter for part of the 
troops. One day Prussian shells suddenly began to rain 
down over the town with great violence, continuing with 
some pauses till the whole town was in ruins, and this 
was done without the least notice being given to the 
unhappy inhabitants, of whom a number were wounded 
and killed, although this cruelty could not give the 
assailants any advantage whatever. In another in- 
stance Prussian troops burnt down the village of Assen- 
drup because they had been taken by surprise there, 
although the attack was executed by a small body of the 
Danish regular army, without the villagers having any 
knowledge of it or taking any part whatever in the 

When an army, which even under such circumstances 
cannot withhold from cruelties, is exasperated by meet- 
ing unforeseen resistance, by seeing unexpected dangers 
accumulate, and by feeling the peril of a definite total 
defeat gradually increasing for itself and its country, it 
may well be capable of still worse deeds, such as those 
lately committed by the German army in Belgium. 

Now the war of 1864 is not the only one which has been 
fought between Denmark and Germany or some part of 
it. During the thousand years and more of Denmark's 


existence as a single and independent realm, a multi- 
plicity of connexions may be traced between the two 
nations, numerous wars have been fought, and between 
them long periods of peace and friendly terms have 
existed ; but the presence of this powerful neighbour has 
always continued to be an imminent danger to the small 
country, sometimes bringing it near the verge of anni- 
hilation, yet never succeeding in totally subjugating it. 
However, perilous as the enmity of Germany has been, 
we are taught by our history that its friendship in times 
of peace has been still more pernicious. Its culture, its 
arts, its industry have penetrated Denmark by a thousand 
channels, not only serving to stimulate and fertilize, but 
also to dislodge, scatter, and destroy native industries, 
while numerous adventurers, spreading over the country, 
have to a certain extent expelled the natives from the 
best posts and the most lucrative business, and by intro- 
ducing their own fashions and language have largely 
contributed to the degeneration of our original 
national culture and even to the deterioration of our very 

This peaceful invasion has often created political as 
well as cultural dangers, affording to the native country 
of the immigrants many excellent pretexts for meddling 
with our home affairs. It is a matter of course that in 
proportion as Denmark has been weak and Germany 
powerful, the greater has been the danger caused by 
this interference, and it is highly aggravated by the 
peculiar way in which Germans look upon themselves in 
relation to other nations. A keen sense of patriotism 
and a marked pride in the greatness of his nation are 
innate in every good German, but by a systematic 
training in the schools and throughout life these laudable 
sentiments are overdeveloped to such a degree, that they 


are converted into a disregard for all other nations, com- 
bined with a most repulsive and exaggerated overrating 
of themselves. To many Germans their own nation is 
the only one really at the top of modern culture and 
civilization ; nay, it is God's own select people to whose 
grandeur all other inferior nations ought to contribute. 
All the Slavs are regarded as semi-barbarous people 
lying far behind, while the nations of Latin stock are 
considered as degenerate remnants of a culture from 
past times ; and as for the non-German nations of Gothic 
origin like the Netherlanders and Danes, they are looked 
upon as misled children of the original German race that 
ought to be led back to true Teutonism. 

These opinions are especially professed and propagated 
by a number of organizations, counting among their 
members many distinguished persons in official and 
university circles, some of whom act as editors of periodi- 
cals with numerous readers. Among these, two may be 
mentioned : * 

1 . ' The German Association for North Sles vig 5 
(' Der Deutsche Verein fur das Nordliche Schleswig '), 
with the organ Northern Borderland (Nordmark), has 
been formed with the aim of rooting out completely 
the Danish mother-tongue among the inhabitants of 
Slesvig, and it pursues its aim unrelaxingly and 
unrelentingly with all possible means at its disposal. 

2. ' The Pan-German Language and Literature 
Association ' (' Der Alldeutsche Sprach- und Schrift- 
verein '), with the organ Heimdall, does not at all 
limit its operations to cultural objects, as the name 
would indicate, but aims directly at the enlargement 
of German territory, a fact clearly expressed by the 
following motto, which, written in runes, forms part 
of the heading of the above-named Heimdall : ' From 

1 From Dr. Gudmund Schiitte : Pan-Germanism and Denmark. 


the Skaw to the Adriatic ! From Boulogne to Narva ! 
From Besancon to the Black Sea ! ' 

Although not possessed of any official character, 
these leagues exert a marked influence on the authori- 
ties, often pushing them on to acts of rudeness against 
the Danish population of Slesvig, and sometimes to 
interference with the home affairs of the independent 
Danish State. With Argus eyes they are constantly 
watching every manifestation of Danish life inside as 
well as outside the frontier ; by numerous misunder- 
standings and misinterpretations they find acts of 
hostility against Germany in the most innocent pro- 
ceedings of natural self-defence, and by their denuncia- 
tions they are constantly working to create, and often 
succeeding in creating, suspicion and ill-will against 
Denmark throughout Germany. 

These leagues, however, principally concentrate their 
hatred against a number of Danish associations united 
under the name of the ' Co-operative South- Jutlandish 
Associations' (' Samvirkende S0nderjydske Foreninger '). 
These associations are formed with the object of sup- 
porting Danish subjects of Germany in the preservation 
of their hereditary mother-tongue. It has been officially 
and clearly proved that they are not chargeable with 
any act of hostility against Germany, or any illegal 
proceedings whatever, their activity (besides the issue 
of printed information) consisting in keeping up a con- 
tinuation-school for young people from Slesvig who 
desire to obtain some education beyond that afforded 
by the Prussian primary schools, and further to give 
financial support to these young people during their 
sojourn at this or other schools in Denmark. It may be 
neted that Germany — even officially — employs exactly 
the same procedure to assist Germans in foreign 


countries (including Denmark) in the preservation of 
their language, without meeting with any obstacle 
whatever ; but the thing that is meritorious if Germans 
do it is a great crime in Pan-German eyes if done by 
Danes. In fact, the Pan-Germans have succeeded in 
instigating their authorities to call upon the Danish 
Government to take action against the ' Co-operative 
South- Jutlandish Associations ', asking it to issue a series 
of prohibitions, viz. to forbid officials to be members 
of them or to speak at their meetings, to expel South- 
Jutlanders taking part in the meetings, &c, although 
none of these claims could be complied with without 
infringement of the Danish laws. 

The ' Co-operative South -Jutlandish Associations ' 
publish a monthly review called The South-Jutlander 
(Senderjyden) , bearing as mottoes this declaration 
of the first Danish members of the German Diet, 
Kriiger and Ahlmann : ' We are Danes, we will remain 
Danes, we will be treated as Danes according to Inter- 
national Law,' and this quotation from § 5 of the Treaty 
of Prague, 1866 : ' The inhabitants of the northern 
districts of Slesvig shall be reunited to Denmark, if by 
a free vote they express their wish accordingly.' This 
last motto was the subject of an attack from the Pan- 
Germans through the German minister and the Danish 
Government, but as the latter had no means of compelling 
the associations to cancel their motto, these replied 
that the first condition would be the cancelling from the 
above-named Heimdall of the motto : ' From the Skaw 
to the Adriatic ', . &c. ; after this nothing more was 
heard about the matter. 

Other examples might be quoted, but these will 
suffice to explain the uneasiness and apprehension felt 
by many Danes and the question which is often asked 


with deep anxiety : ; If the present state of Europe 
subjects us to such interference on the part of Germany, 
how much worse will it be, when once victorious she 
has dictated terms of peace to all other Powers, and 
stands as the supreme and uncontrolled Great Power 
above all others, exercising her iron hegemony over all 
the world ? May it not be feared, that even if she 
leaves us the name of independence, it will scarcely be 
more than a mere title without any real value ? ' 

Now, if we wish to ascertain what conditions of moral 
and cultural life such dependence upon Germany offers 
to foreign nations, we need but cast a glimpse at the 
German yoke laid upon the Danes in South-Jutland 
(Slesvig). It has been frequently proved, and occasion- 
ally avowed by the German authorities themselves, 
that there does not exist throughout all the German 
Dominions a single people more cultivated, more quiet, 
and more obedient to the laws than these very Danes. 
But are they treated accordingly ? Have their charac- 
teristics been respected as was promised by the King 
of Prussia in a proclamation of 1864 ? 

In the law-courts the Danish language was abolished 
a few years after the conquest, and all the business is 
conducted in German, a language not understood by 
the population. In the churches, German w T as introduced 
and its use gradually extended whenever a few immi- 
grated Germans, or persons dependent on the authorities, 
could be induced to give the impulse by petitioning 
for it. These proceedings were carried on even in 
congregations where the overwhelming majority of 
the members were Danish, incapable of understanding 
a German sermon, to such an extent that earnest 
people were seized with a keen apprehension of the 
population being alienated from the Church and even 


from the Christian Faith. But the authorities were 
deaf to all complaints ; their true reason was once 
given by a clergyman in an elevated position, who made 
the following reply : ' Certainly, it is a pity ; but even 
if the present generation goes to ruin, what matters, 
if following generations are lifted up into the higher 
sphere of true Teutonism ? ' To be Germanized was 
so great a benefit in his eyes, that it could not be paid 
for too dearly. In many districts the only means by 
which Christian Danes could procure intelligible religious 
instruction was the forming of independent congrega- 
tions and the building of new churches, but these pro- 
ceedings were met by the authorities with all sorts of 
chicanery : every pretext was made use of to prevent 
the population from utilizing their own churches ; the 
first was closed by the police, and legal proceedings 
had to be carried on for three years, before it could be 
opened ; afterwards the use of church bells was forbidden, 
the validity of ministerial acts was denied, &c, &c. 

What, however, violates and hurts the population 
most, is that the German language has been gradually 
introduced in the schools, in such a way that now — 
since. 1888 — [even in purely Danish districts] there are 
only a couple of hours' weekly instruction in religion 
in the Danish mother-tongue ; * it is made impossible 
to establish Danish schools and even to keep Danish 
teachers in the homes ; in this manner the Govern- 
ment does all that it can to root out the language of 
the population. What a goal to set before itself for 
a people that claims to be a Christian people and 
a people of culture ! 2 

Add to this that the use of the Danish language in 
public meetings is prohibited in all districts where both 

1 By Governmental circular of November 29, 1883. 

* From J. Andersen : South Jutland under Prussian Rule. 


languages are spoken, and that this harsh measure will 
be extended in 1928 even to all purely Danish districts. 1 

The way in which Germanization is carried on in the 
schools will be made obvious by the simple fact that 
Danish children are severely punished whenever they 
are heard making use of their own language in the 
playgrounds or on the premises of the schools. 

It would require volumes to describe in detail all 
the forms in which the persecution of everything 
Danish is carried on, including the repression of Danish 
journalism, Danish literature, Danish and even Norwe- 
gian songs, or to enumerate instances of the expulsion 
of Danish (and Norwegian) speakers, artists and 
scientific men, nay even of Danish peasant labourers 
necessary for agricultural purposes — and all this in 
most cases without the slightest cause or even pretext. 
A single example of very recent date may be sufficient 
to illustrate these features of Prussian rule. A young 
Danish peasant was about to marry a young girl in 
South- Jutland, and the couple were to take possession 
of the small property belonging to the parents of the 
bride. But on the very wedding-day German officials 
stepped forth before the wedding ceremony took place, 
and presented an order for the bridegroom to leave the 
country immediately. And this was done in these very 
days when thousands of young Danes from Slesvig are 
faithfully fulfilling their imposed duty, fighting and 
bleeding — many of them giving their lives — for the sake 
of their subduers. 

What above all things contributes to give to these 
German methods of ruling an aspect of menace to all 
those peoples, who either now or in the future are 

1 According to the Association Law (Vereinsgesetz) of April 19, 
1908, § 12. 


endangered by the possibility of German supremacy, is 
the fact of their being carried out with the very best 
conscience — not at all from malevolence or cruelty, but 
in the firm conviction that it all tends to the real and 
true benefit of the population concerned, Germanization 
being the best of all good things. If the people in question 
does not understand this, then it must be compelled to 
do so ; and assuredly the time will come when these 
benefits will be recognized with thankfulness. This 
point of view leaves but little hope of any reform of 

It can only be guessed at, which nations are threatened 
with being blessed with these benefits, but a hint as to 
which they are according to German assumptions may 
be derived from the above-quoted motto of Heimdall. 
Other hints may be found in some maps of Europe 
after the war, which are widely circulated throughout 
Germany, and sometimes exhibited in the windows of 
Danish booksellers. I have here copies of two of them. 
The first bears the title : ' Map of Europe as our enemies 
would like to make it,' and ' as the German Michel is 
going to make it.' On the one side Germany is divided 
between its present enemies, only leaving in the centre 
a little country smaller than Switzerland, while at the 
same time the Danish islands are assigned to England, 
Holland to Belgium, Northern Italy to France, and most 
of Austria -Hungary besides the greater part of the 
Balkan peninsula to Serbia. On the other side Germany 
is represented as comprising Belgium, nearly all France 
and a large part of Poland and Russia, while nearly 
all the visible rest of Russia and the bulk of the Balkan 
peninsula is attributed to Austria-Hungary, Great Britain 
being marked as a German, and Ireland as an Austrian 
colony. It is possible that this map scarcely deserves 


to be taken in good earnest ; nevertheless, it aims at 
stimulating to the utmost point German patriotism 
and presumption, and by its accusation of Germany's 
enemies excites against them the hatred of millions 
of Germans who accept its exaggerations with credulity. 

The other map is a little less exaggerated, leaving on 
the German side a kingdom of Poland as a member of 
the German federation, making Scotland and Ireland 
independent, and generously leaving Cornwall (!) as a 
sort of independent England, while the rest of Old 
England is marked as a ' German Protectorate ' (Deut- 
sches Schutzgebiet). 

If we consider such German aspirations, bearing in 
mind the peculiar appreciation of foreign nations charac- 
teristic to Germans, we must feel convinced that if 
Germany comes forth victorious from the terrible con- 
test, there will be no real and true independence for any 
of her small neighbours in future, whatever may be the 
formal state of independence left to them. The fact is 
that to Germany (as to Austria) there are two degrees 
of independence : one fit for themselves, another for 
their small neighbours ; the latter consisting in these 
being allowed to govern themselves, but only according 
to the will of the big neighbour, who reserves to himself 
the right of meddling with all their affairs, from the 
greatest vital questions to the pettiest details. 

If, on the contrary, Germany is defeated, we cannot 
forget that her enemies have drawn their sword not only 
for their own sake, but quite as much for the indepen- 
dence of the small States and for the validity of those 
solemn treaties that are to be reduced by Germany to 
mere ' scraps of paper ', while on the contrary she herself 
has opened the war under the classical maxim : ' Vae 
victis '. In the history of past times, moreover, we do 


not find any cause whatever for suspicion against Eng- 
land, France, or Russia as harbouring the least inclina- 
tion towards violating our integrity or our independence. 
On the contrary, we often find English voices of some 
consequence expressing deep regret for England having 
suffered the mutilation of Denmark in 1864 ; and as for 
France, she does remember that it was on her initiative 
that § 5, with its promise of some relief, was put into the 
Treaty of Prague. 

Upon the whole, we must rest every hope in the 
victory of the three Entente Powers, and in our inmost 
hearts consider them as fighting in reality for our sake 
quite as much as for their own. 

Every intelligent reader who has studied the points 
of view above developed, and has examined the recorded 
facts with impartiality, will certainly admit that the 
situation of the Danish people is a most difficult one, 
and will understand that the greater part of the people 
found its own thoughts expressed by the following pro- 
clamation, issued by the King and posted up at all street 
corners and on all hoardings on the first of August. 

' In the serious circumstances created for our native 
country by the portentous occurrences of these last days, 
we feel impelled to make the following announcement 
to our people : 

' Never was the sense of responsibility more necessary 
both for individuals and for the nation as a whole. 

' Our country stands in friendly relations with all 
nations. We feel fully assured that the strict and im- 
partial neutrality which has always been maintained as 
the foreign policy of our country, and which will now 
be followed unswervingly, will be respected by all. 

' As this is the view common to the Government and 
to all responsible and prudent men, we rely upon the 


dignity and tranquillity, so indispensable for creating 
confidence in the attitude of our country, not being 
broken by any untimely utterance of feeting, incon- 
siderate demonstration, or similar action. Every one 
now has his responsibility and his duty. . We feel con- 
vinced that the seriousness of this hour will set its stamp 
upon the actions of all Danish men and women. 
1 God save our country.' 

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At the outbreak of this war one often heard the 
question, ' What have we to do with Serbia ? ' and to 
such a question it could until the end of July 1914 with 
a considerable amount of truth have been answered, 
' Nothing.' There is scarcely any race in Europe of 
which most people in England know less than they do 
of the Serbs, and there is no European country with 
which we have had less intercourse. This ignorance is 
not altogether our own fault ; it is the result partly of 
geographical, partly of historical facts which have till 
now contributed to distract our attention from the 
western half of the Balkan peninsula. 

There never has been any vital historical, political, 
commercial, or sentimental reason for England to be 
interested in Serbia, at any rate no reason obvious 
enough to outweigh the difficulties which have until 
now prevented closer acquaintance. But the war has 
changed all that. The Serbians have suddenly become 
our allies. Our old attitude of ignorance and indiffer- 
ence, which even the bravery of the Serbians during 
the two Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 was only able 
to turn into one of qualified approval, is now no longer 
possible, and it is gratifying to notice that the endurance 
and valour of this brave people are now thoroughly 
appreciated in this country. But at the same time it 
is absolutely necessary that more light should now be 
thrown on the race whose ultimate destinies formed the 


pretext for Austria-Hungary to initiate the present war. 
/ Serbia's share in the European crisis which preceded 
the war has been admirably described by Sir Valentine 
Chirol in his pamphlet published by the University 
Press. Our object now is to examine the Serbian 
problem from the historical and ethnographical points 
of view. The Serbian or Southern Slav question was V 
undoubtedly one of the subsidiary causes of the war, 
and it will be one of those most difficult of solution at 
its close ; it is, therefore, important that public opinion 
in England should be better informed on this question 
than it is at present. There is abundant and excellent 
literature on Serbia and the Southern Slavs in English ; 
I need only mention the names of Mr. Seton-Watson, 
Mr. Mijatovic, Mr. Vivian, and Miss Durham. But even 
these have not been able to make their subject really 
familiar to the English public. The reasons why Serbia 
has never been able vitally to interest the English are 
plain enough, and are worth mentioning before going 
any further into the subject. 

The early history of independent Serbia is so remote 
that it cannot thrill us, and seems almost mythical. 
Then throughout the Middle Ages right up to our own 
times, from the end of the fourteenth century to the 
beginning of the nineteenth, the country was an obscure * 
province of the Ottoman Empire. During the national 
revivals which characterized the nineteenth century 
the Serbs fought as bravely for their freedom as any 
other of the oppressed nationalities ; but their past had 
not been sufficiently brilliant to provide a Byron, nor 
their sufferings at the hands of the Turks sufficiently 
notorious to find a Gladstone to champion their cause 
in this country ; in this respect they have always been 
at a disadvantage compared with Greece and Bulgaria, 


while it must be confessed that the more sensational 
episodes in modern Serbian history have been such as to 
estrange rather than to attract our sympathies. 

The reason why we have had so little to do with 
Serbia commercially is that by an extraordinary and 
fatal combination of geographical, historical, and politi- 
cal circumstances, the Serbs have never been able to 
put to any practical use the coast which by rights is 
theirs. This coast, which should have been the means 
of communication between them and other countries, 
has always been dominated by alien and hostile peoples, 
whose interest it has been to use it as a barrier to cut 
off the Serbs from the outside world. 

Again, in the realms of art, music, and literature, the 
Serbs have not produced any masterpieces of a character 
to enforce their nationality on our notice. Serbia had 
a mediaeval and has a modern literature, and the national 
store of folk-music and folk-poetry is inexhaustible ; but 
there is nothing of a kind which makes an immediate 
and urgent appeal to a remote and alien public. Serbian 
art has till now been not universal but merely local. 
The only other way in which Serbia could have become 
better known to England would have been by the 
attraction of tourist-traffic, but here again a great many 
things have militated against this. Distance and the 
difficulty of the language are two great obstacles, but 
there is a far more powerful reason than either of these 
— a very subtle and extremely tragic reason. It is that 
although the present kingdom of Serbia abounds in the 
picturesque, all the sights which are superficially most 
attractive to foreigners are situated in those Serbian 
lands which, although as purely Serb as the country 
round Belgrade, are under alien rule ; in this way 
travellers who have no knowledge of the language, and 


consequently no opportunity of informing themselves 
accurately, visit, let us say, for instance, Dalmatia ; 
knowing that Dalmatia is an Austrian province, but 
ignorant of the fact that the population of Dalmatia is "' 
purely Serb, they give Austria credit not only for the 
hotels, roads, and railways, which is quite right, but 
also for all they see that they admire, which is most 
unfair. Serbia, within its present political boundaries, 
has not enough to attract tourists in large and lucrative 
numbers ; it is neither sufficiently civilized nor sufficiently 
uncivilized to do so. Montenegro is, but then it is tiny, 
and nobody knows that the Montenegrins are Serbs. / 
The first time I was starting for Montenegro a well- 
educated English lady said to me, ' I suppose the 
natives are black ? ' It thus comes about that though 
quite a fair number of English people have at one time 
or another been in Serb lands of some sort, only a few 
of them realize the fact, while the number who have 
spent any time in the kingdom of Serbia is extremely 

The Serbs are one of the Slav family of nations, which * 
occupy the greater part of eastern Europe. 

It is customary to divide the Slav nations into three 
groups, the eastern, western, and the southern. This 
division is based on differences of language. The 
eastern group, to take the largest first, consists of the 
Russians, who in 1900 numbered in Europe and Asia 
altogether about ninety-five millions. 

The large majority of these, about sixty millions, are 
the Russians properly so called, who inhabit the larger 
part of European Russia and parts of Siberia. In 
philological books they are called Great Russians, 
though they do not know themselves by this name. 
In the west of European Russia there are five millions 


or so of so-called White Russians, whose language 
differs very slightly from that of the Great Russians. 

Then in the south of European Russia are the so-called 
Little Russians, whose language differs very consider- 
ably from that of the Great Russians, so much so that 
they maintain it is altogether a distinct language, a 
claim which the Great Russians do not admit. The 
Little Russians number about thirty millions, twenty- 
six of which live in southern Russia and four in 
eastern Galicia. 

The Great Russians never call themselves anything 
but Russians and the Little Russians similarly only 
speak of themselves as Russians. The terms Great 
Russia and Little Russia are merely translations of the 
mediaeval Latin geographical terms Russia major and 
Russia minor, and have never been used in the country 
itself. The Little Russians are sometimes called Little 
Russians by the Great Russians, but the two peoples 
usually refer to each other by rather derogatory nick- 
names and each maintain that they represent the true 
and original Russian stock. The Little Russians who 
inhabit Galicia are also sometimes called Ruthenians, 
because that part of Russia used to be known as Red 
Russia. Those in South Russia are sometimes called 
the people of the Ukraine, which merely means the 

The western group, which is the next largest, includes 
the Poles, who number about seventeen millions, the 
Chekhs or Bohemians, and Slovaks, about nine millions, 
and the dwindling community of Lusatian Wends or 
Serbs in Saxony and Prussia, who to-day number barely 
150,000. Reference to these latter will again be made 

The southern group includes the Bulgarians, who are 


far from being purely Slav in origin or in temperament, 
but speak a purely Slavonic language, and number 
about five millions ; the Slovenes, in the south-western 
corner of Austria, about one and a half million in 
number; and the Serbs or Serbo-Croatians, who total 
between nine and ten millions. 

On looking at an ethnographic map of the Slavonic 
peoples it will be noticed that while the eastern and 
western groups are contiguous, these are separated from 
the southern group by a substantial layer of non- 
Slavonic nationalities, Roumanians, Hungarians, and 
/ /*""It is now generally accepted that the original home of 
' f the Slavonic peoples, or rather the home which for all 
I practical historical purposes may be considered original, 
/ lay to the north of the Carpathians, between the rivers 
Vistula and Dnieper ; probably it included the whole 
upper basins of these two rivers. 
/ Those Slavonic peoples who are now called the Southern 
Slavs must gradually have migrated south, first over the 
Carpathians into the plains of Pannonia and the valley of 
the Danube, and later across the Danube into the Balkan 
peninsula. It is perfectly well known that the Balkan 
peninsula was entered by the Slavs only comparatively 
lately, towards the end of the sixth century, but when 
they crossed the Carpathians, and what happened from 
that time till they crossed the Danube, can only be con- 
J The reason for their original move southwards is 
probably to be found in the irruptions of alien 
hosts to which the whole mass of the Slavonic people 
were subjected from the fourth century onwards. First 
the Goths from the west, then the Huns from the east, 
and finally the Avars, also from Asia, drove great wedges 


into their midst. The last named completely over- 
whelmed and took possession of Pannonia, the modern 
Hungary, in the second half of the sixth century, at the 
same time establishing their dominion over the Slavs 
who were then settled there. 

It was during the first half of the seventh century that 
the Slavs, together with the Avars, began to penetrate 
from Pannonia across the Danube into the Balkan 
peninsula. At that time Byzantium was fully occupied 
with wars against Persia and could spare no energy to 
withstand the inroads from the north ; the Emperor 
was even compelled to pay the invaders tribute. 

In the second half of the seventh century the power 
of the Avars rapidly declined, and the Slavs, having freed * 
themselves from their domination, began to invade the 
peninsula on their own account in ever-increasing 
numbers. They overran the whole peninsula and reached 
the shores of the Aegean ; the Emperor was helpless, and 
was glad to agree to their possession of the territory 
they had occupied if they would undertake to prevent 
further invasions of other barbarians from the north and 
recognize his suzerainty. 

Who were the inhabitants of the northern half of the 
Balkan peninsula whom the Slavonic invaders drove 
southwards and dispossessed is not definitely known, 
but they were probably of the same race as the modern 
Albanians, i.e. Indo-European, but neither Greek nor 

The Slavs who occupied the whole of the northern 
half of the peninsula were not a united people, but a 
loosely-knit congeries of tribes, with nothing in common 
but their language. 

These tribes, however, very early began to group them- 
selves into two main divisions, an eastern and a western, 


The eastern division consisted of those Slavs who 
subsequently came to be known as Bulgarians ; the 
western included the Serbs, the Croatians, and the 

The tribes of the eastern division were originally 
without doubt as purely Slavonic as those of the western, 
but in the second half of the seventh century they were 
invaded by a comparatively small body of people of 
Turkish origin, who came from the banks of the Volga 
and were called Bolgary. These subdued the Slavonic 
peoples settled in the eastern part of the Balkan penin- 
sula and imposed their name on them. Their language, 
however, they lost ; together with it, they themselves 
rapidly became submerged by the people they had 

Nevertheless, the effect of their presence has been 
permanent. The Bulgarians, although technically they * 
are Slavs, have very few of the characteristics of the 
other Slavonic peoples. Besides their Tartar conquerors, 
they absorbed the remnants of many other races which 
had from time to time visited that part of the peninsula 
and left some of their number behind. 

The elements which have gone to make up the Bul- 
garian nation include remains of the original inhabitants 
of Thrace, a largely preponderating mass of Slavs, and 
numbers of other races such as Goths, Huns, Avars, 
Tartars of various kinds, Gipsies, and Turks. 

In contrast to this, the Serbs are a far more purely <</ 
Slavonic people. This is said by no means as a dis- 
paragement to the Bulgarians ; they are an extremely 
brave, patriotic, methodical, industrious, and pertinacious 
people, only, compared with the Serbs, it is generally 
admitted that they are of very much more mixed racial 
origin. This fact is illustrated by their language, 


amongst other things. Although it is a purely Slavonic 
language, and contains probably a no larger number of 
Turkish words than does Serbian, yet in some respects 1 
it has lost its typically Slavonic character and assimi- 
lated certain peculiarly Balkan characteristics, shared 
also by the Roumanian and the Albanian, but not by 
the Serbian language. 

Bulgaria, too, was much more completely subjugated 
by the Turks than the western half of the peninsula. It 
lies nearer Constantinople, and so it was both more im- 
portant for the Turks to obliterate all national feeling 
and at the same time easier for them to do so than in 
the case of their more outlying provinces. A favourite 
and effectual means towards this end on the part of the 
Turks was the planting of numerous Turkish colonies in 
Bulgaria, especially in the eastern part of the country 
and in that part between the lower reaches of the 
Danube and the Black Sea known as the Dobrudsha, 
which now belongs to Roumania. Though these Turkish 
colonies have been much reduced in strength since the 
establishment of Bulgarian independence, in 1878, they 
played during the several centuries of their existence 
a considerable part in the formation of the modern Bul- 
garian nationality. 

So much for the Slavs who settled in the eastern part 
of the Balkan peninsula ; now let us turn to the western 
part, or rather the western part of the northern half of the 

The dividing line between the Bulgarians in the east 
and the Serbs in the west of the Balkan peninsula has 
from the earliest times been the river Timok, which rises 
about half-way between Sofia in Bulgaria and Nish in 

1 Notably in the complete loss of the case-endings and in the 
placing of the definite article after the noun. 




Serbia and flows thence northwards into the Danube. 
This river to-day in its lower reaches forms the political 
boundary between the two kingdoms. 

The whole of the country from the river Timok in the east 
as far west as Istria, bounded on the north by the Danube 
and the Drave, and on the south by the Adriatic, is in- 
habited by the Serb race, which numbers, as has already 
been mentioned, between nine and ten millions. The 
fact that this considerable territory is divided into seven 
different political divisions makes it difficult to remember </ 
that, as regards population, it is homogeneous. People 
look at an ordinary map and see innumerable political 
boundaries which are difficult to grasp and still more 
difficult to memorize ; they usually never stop to think 
who the inhabitants of this territory are, but quickly 
give up the whole thing in despair. But if an ethno- 
graphical map, which takes small account of political 
divisions, is consulted, it can be seen at a glance what/ 
a compact mass the Serb race forms. 

It has been already remarked that the Slav peoples 
who occupied the Balkan peninsula were a vast collection 1/ 
of tribes without organization and without cohesion. 
Their original tribal names have not been preserved. 
They were generally known as Slovene, 1 a word of obscure / 
origin which has provided an inexhaustible feast for 
philologists. The favourite theory amongst scholars 
of Slavonic nationality is that the name is connected 
with a series of words denoting clearness and intelligi-^ 
bility, just as German professors derive the name deutsch 
from an exactly similar source. The idea is, of course, 
the familiar one of emphasizing your own intelligibility 
and that of your fellow countrymen at the expense of 
your less enlightened neighbours. 

1 Singular Slovenin, plural Slovene, 


This name appears in Russia as Slavyane, 1 and in our 
own language as Slav or Slavonic. The group of con- 
sonants si, however, was not tolerated either in Greek 
or in Latin, and so in the former a k or a th and in the 
latter a c was inserted between the s and the I, giving 
the Greek form SMavini 2 and the Latin Sclaveni, 3 with 
the Italian equivalent Schiavoni. The name has had 
a curious history and one naturally distasteful to its 
owners ; numerous captives of war from the Balkan 
peninsula came to be known in Italian as schiavi, and the 
word has passed into French, English, German, and 
Dutch as esclave, slave, SMave, &c. That the name 
Slovene was prevalent amongst the Slavs as a whole, 
and was not merely in local use amongst the Southern 
Slavs, is proved by the fact that it was used by various 
branches of the Slavs of themselves not only in the south, 
but also in the west on the Elbe and in the east on the 

It is curious to notice that the Slavs have never been 
known by this name to their western neighbours of 
Germanic race. From the earliest times the Germans have 
called them Winden or Wenden, as they do in Saxony and 
further south in Styria to this day. This name Slovene 
was used by and was applied to all the Slavonic tribes 
who entered the Balkan peninsula, and is still used of 
themselves and by other Slavs of the Slovenes, the 
westernmost and smallest of the Southern Slav nation- 
alities, who live in Carniola and Istria, in Austria. It 
has been pointed out how those Slavs who settled in the 
eastern part of the peninsula gradually became separated 
from the other Slavs further west and eventually coin- 

1 Singular Slavyanin, plural Slavyanc. 

2 2Kka&T)voi, 2«A.d/3o(, and 20Ad/3oi. 

3 Or Sclaviiii, SclavL 


bined to form the Bulgarian nationality. The reasons 
were partly political and partly ethnographical ; in the 
process they lost completely their Slavonic names and 
changed their Slavonic character. They were originally 
known as Slovene, and came to be called only Bulgarians. 
This loss of the original national name is analogous to 
that which took place in Russia, where the Slavs aban- 
doned their own name and adopted that of their foreign 

The Slavs in the western part of the peninsula were ^ 
also originally known only as Slovene, and until the ninth 
century they were never mentioned by any other name ; 
no doubt they had tribal names, but these have not 
survived. Gradually, however, these tribes would seem , 
to have become consolidated into two main groups, 
identical in kind, but different in name ; these two groups 
are known as the Serbs and the Croat ians, who together 
form the Serbo-Croatian nationality, the people that is 
usually implied when the Southern Slavs are spoken of. 

The names of these two groups of the same people / 
first appear in the ninth century, until which time they 
had been known only as Slovene, in Greek Sklavini, and 
their country only as Sklavinia in Greek and as Sclavenia 
or Sclavonia in Latin. The names Croatian and Serb 
themselves are probably those of two out of the many 
other tribes which either by reason of their size or their 
power attracted into their orbit and overshadowed their 
neighbours of kindred race. The one fact about 
their origin which is clear is that the Serbs composed 
the eastern and the Croatians the western half of 
this nationality, and that this distinction existed from 
the very beginning. 

Before going any further it is necessary to study for 
a moment the history of these names. The Serbs are 


first mentioned by the name Sorabi by a French chronicler 
in the year 822. From that time onwards they are 
spoken of by the Byzantine historians as Serbs. The 
name itself is not without interest, because it is also the 
name of a Slavonic people, now rapidly dwindling in 
numbers, who live in the north of Saxony and in the 
south of the Prussian province of Brandenburg. This 
people, which was once of considerable size and covered 
most of eastern Germany, is known in the mediaeval 
chronicles as Sorabi. They still call themselves Serb and 
their language serbski or sershi, in German Sorbisch, though 
their country is generally called Luzyce, in German 
Lausitz ; in English these Slavs are generally referred to, 
if at all, as Lusatian Wends. 

The Serbs of the Balkan peninsula call themselves 
Sfbi l ; in the Middle Ages an I was often inserted be- 
tween the b and i — Sfbli ; in Byzantine Greek the name 
appears as Served 2 , their country as Servia? The /3 of 
mediaeval and modern Greek is pronounced as v and 
presumably the forms Servia and Servian, which have 
always been used until now in this country, were intro- 
duced from a Greek or Latin source in the Middle Ages, 
The Dutch are the only people besides the Greeks and 
ourselves who call the country Servia and not Serbia. 
The Serbs themselves have always resented our calling 
them Servians, fearing that popular imagination might 
connect the name with the Latin word servus and its* 
derivatives ; this childish etymology was actually 
adopted by mediaeval Latin writers, but needless to say 
is absolutely false. The real derivation of the name, as 
of so many other tribal names, remains obscure. It 

1 Singular Srbin, plural Srbi, the -r vowel is a strongly rolled ur- 
sound, as in the Scots pronunciation of e. g. Burns. 

8 2,tp0oi t Xtpfiioi or 2{pj3\oi. a 2,(p(3ia, ~S,(p(3iKT] or 2e/>/3A/a. 


seemed almost unnecessary to change the name which 
had become established in English usage merely to make 
it conform to that generally used on the Continent and 
by the Serbs themselves, but at the beginning of the 
war the press was officially requested by the Serbian 
Legation to do so, and it has now become the generally 
accepted spelling. 

The Croatians are mentioned by name somewhat ^ 
earlier than the Serbs, soon after 800. The Greeks 
called them Khrovatoi and their country Khrovatia 1 ; 
the Croatians call themselves Hrvati, 2 and their 
country Hrvatsko. The derivation of this name too is 
obscure, but in contrast to that of the Serbs it is to be 
noticed that the name Hrvatin, short form Hrvoje, 
occurs fairly frequently in the early history of the people 
as a personal name of princes and others mentioned in 
Greek chronicles ; it also occurs as a tribal name both in • 
Bohemia and in Galicia. 

Such is briefly the history of the names of the two halves 
of that nationality which as a whole, for want of any- 
thing better, is still called Serbo-Croatian. From the 
ethnographical and linguistic point of view this is one 
people, and this point cannot be too strongly emphasized. 
To the Byzantine historians they were one, 3 and yet 
to-day it would be impossible to call a man of this 
nationality ' a Serb or Croatian ' ; the terms are not 
interchangeable. Still less would it be possible to call 
him a Serbo-Croatian. What is it that makes the vital 
distinction between the two terms, if it is not language ? 

1 Xpaifiaroi, XpcofiaTia. 

2 Singular Hrvat plural Hrvati. 

8 Witness passages such as To twv Xpo&aTwv'iQvos, oris S?) real 2ep$ov$ 
Tivh KaXovai — the Croatians, whom some also call Serbs, and to twv 
%kp$o>v 'idvos, ovs 5% Kal Xpofidras tcaAovoi = the Serbs, who are also 
called Croatians* 


7— ■ 


— ^ < f 







(H v/k 



\b \f 



^y^ * 

h P 




1 p h\ 

C tr / x — 

u v 


^ / c 



"" >^ 


v^'\ 4 -Y 





y "Gjo"' 



) r ' 

G, \^\ 

L ** 



\. r 

/ ^ ? 

> 1 

D~ I 






The Croatians admit that the Serbs are of the same race 
as themselves and speak, with only slight dialectic differ- 
ences, the same language, and yet they insist that they 
are different and maintain their individuality with the 
utmost desperation. The Serbs, on the other hand, 
argue that the Croatians are really not Croatians at all ; 
they say that there are no such people as Croatians, and 
that those who call themselves by that name only do so 
out of perversity, and are degenerate Serbs. Both these 
contentions are exaggerated, although there is a certain 
amount of truth in each. There must have been some 
fundamental difference in the early tribal days, other- 
wise the two names would hardly have survived. As the 
Croatians and Serbs in those early times each attracted 
to themselves the surrounding kindred tribes and as- 
similated them, the difference between the two doubtless 
grew more marked and was still further accentuated by 
the difficult nature of the country in which they had 
made their home, which militated against fusion. The 
mountains and forests impeded communication between 
the various parts of the country and favoured the con- 
tinuance of tribal and dialectic differences and even the 
formation of fresh ones. But even this fact would not 
have sufficed to keep apart the two halves of this people 
and cause the perplexing division which we see to-day. 
The reasons lie far deeper ; they are to be found in differ- 
ences of politics and of religion. 

Already at the end of the fourth century, long before 
the arrival of the Slavs, the boundary between the 
eastern and the western Roman Empire, and between 
the dioceses of Dacia and Italia, ran from north to south, 
from the Danube to the Adriatic, approximately where 
the political boundary between Serbia and Bosnia and 
between Montenegro and Herzegovina runs to-day. 


Later, when Byzantium and Rome strove against each 
other for the conversion of souls and for the acquisition 
of power, the mountainous land of the Croatians and the 
Serbs became the battle-field of the rival missionaries. 
Eventually the two peoples, as far as spiritual matters 
went, turned their backs on each other, the Serbs looking 
eastwards to Constantinople, the Croatians westwards 
to Rome, for salvation. 

This is the main fact to remember in any consideration 
of the Southern Slav problem, by which is usually meant 
the future of the Serbo-Croatian race. It is this differ- 
ence of religion that has kept the two halves of this 
nation apart. It has indeed done far more than that, it 
has made them hostile to each other ; and while it has 
in this way prevented them from developing into a power- 
ful nation, it has at the same time always made it easy 
for their enemies to the north and south of them to 
become strong at their expense. It is no exaggeration 
to say that the power of the Ottoman Empire in Europe 
and the power of Hungary were only made possible by 
the religious division of the Serbo-Croatian race and by 
the weakness of the Serbo-Croatian nationality which 
this division implied. 

The history of this people from the very beginning, 
however, even before the difference in religion made 
itself felt, has had a sort of double character ; the nation 
started life, as it were, on parallel lines, and it yet remains 
to be seen whether the impossible will be achieved and 
the lines made to converge. 

The Croatians occupied the territory between the 
Drave and the Adriatic, stretching to Istria in the west 
and eastwards about half way down" the Dalmatian 
coast ; the Serbs held all the country to the east of this 
as far as the lake of Scutari in the south and the Danube 



iu the north, their eastern neighbours were the Bulgarians 
and their southern the Greeks and the Albanians. 

As regards the geography of this very considerable 
territory several of its features have had immense in- 
fluence on the history of its inhabitants. The first is 
the mountains. Almost the whole of the territory is 
mountainous, and the mountains grow higher and more 
inhospitable as they approach the coast ; but generally 
speaking they are not so formidable in the north as in the 

As a result of this the Croatians in the north-west werex 
earlier able to profit by the possession of the sea coast 
than the Serbs in the south-east. 

The mountains run from north-west to south-east 
generally parallel to the coast ; they are of limestone, 
rocky, barren, and highly impracticable, though to 
modern eyes very magnificent. 

The other most important feature of the geography is 
the rivers. Between the mountains and the sea there 
are scarcely any rivers of any size and none of any com- 
mercial importance. This fact, combined with the 
character of the mountains, has always made communi- 
cation between the interior and the coast extremely 
difficult, but again this applies more to the south than 
the north, where the mountains are less forbidding. 
Practically the whole of the territory inhabited by the 
Serbs and a good deal of that inhabited by the Croatians 
is watered by streams running from these mountains 
northwards, then verging eastwards and eventually 
falling into the Danube. An exception is the Vardar, 
which rises in the heart of Serbia, flows southwards 
through Macedonia, and into the Aegean at Salonika. 
The general effect of the geographical conditions on the 
Croatians and the Serbs during the early period of their 



history was to emphasize the ethnographical difference 
between the two peoples, which originally was infinit- 
esimal ; and this was still further emphasized by the 
difference of religion, which was vital. The Croatians, ^ 
situated in less mountainous country, with easy access 
to the sea, early came into contact with the Italians, 
especially the Venetians, on the one hand and with the 
Hungarians or Magyars on the other. The Croatians 
occupied a territory far smaller in extent than the Serbs 
and developed their political life much earlier. The 
Serbs occupied a very much greater extent of territory, 
but they were cut off from the sea by the mountains and 
from intercourse with their neighbours by their generally 
unfavourable geographical situation. When they did 
begin to extend their influence and come into contact 
with the neighbouring peoples it was towards the north- 
east and south-east that expansion took place. It was 
especially with Constantinople that they came into con- 
tact, and for this of course religion was largely responsible. 

The centre from which the Serbs started to develop 
their state, the political centre of the Serb nation, was 
the district called Rashka, situated where the boundaries 
of Serbia and Montenegro now join, i.e. in the upper 
valleys of the rivers Ibar and Lim ; these two rivers 
are tributaries of the Morava and the Drina respectively, 
and eventually empty their waters into the Danube. 
The town of Ras, in this district, is better known under 
its later name of Novi Bazar (Yeni Pazar, in Turkish, 
which corresponds to the English name Newmarket), 
and the district of Rashka originally corresponded 
approximately to the Turkish Sandjak of that name. 
To the Serbs this has always been known as Old Serbia, 
as they regarded it rightly as the cradle of their state. 

It would be tedious to go closely into the history of 


these early centuries and it would take very long. 
But there are certain important facts which are easih 

The boundary between the Serbs and the Croatians. 
always a fluctuating one, started about half way down 
the Dalmatian coast and went up through the western- 
most part of the country known to us as Bosnia, between 
the rivers Una and Vrbas, which are both tributaries of 
the Save. 

The Croatians, very early in their career, took a step 
which was of the greatest moment for their futuro 
history and separated them politically from the Serbs ^ 
more effectually than anything else could have done. 
In the year 1102, following on the extinction of their 
own national line of rulers, they allowed their country 
to be annexed by Hungary and accepted the rule, with 
the retention of certain national privileges, of the king 
of that country. As a result of this, ever since that 
date Croatia and parts of Dalmatia have formed part ' 
of Hungary, and in 1526 passed under the rule of the 
House of Hapsburg. The Serbs meanwhile had ex- 
tended their influence westwards to the coast and 
northwards to the Save. The coastal region, roughly 
the southern part of Dalmatia, they called Pomorje, 
the northern part of the territory was called Bosna, and 
centred round the valley of the river of that name, 
stretching eastwards as far as the Drina, while Rashka 
included approximately the western half of the modern 
kingdom of Serbia. But it must not be thought that 
at this time the country was united. It was a perfect 
welter of small principalities, all more or less chronically 
at war with their neighbours and with each other. 
What with the Hungarians to the north, the Bulgarians 
on the east, the Greeks to the south and the Venetians 


on the coast, and what with the religious as well as the 
political hatred and jealousy with which all these 
enemies entered the fray, there were very few peaceful 
moments for the Serbs. It was not till the reign of 
Stephen Nemanya, the first ruler who was able to y 
establish any semblance of unity amongst them, that 
the Serbs attained political stability ; this was during 
the second half of the twelfth century. 

In 1219 one of his sons, Sava, arranged with the 
authorities on Mount Athos and in Constantinople for 
the establishment of the self-governing Serbian church, 
which has maintained its independence ever since, in 
spite of all the vicissitudes through which the Serbs 
have passed, and has done much to preserve the spirit of 
nationality through the centuries of Turkish oppression. 

In 1220 Saint Sava, who has become the patron saint 
of the Serb people, crowned his brother Stephen, also 
with the concurrence of Constantinople, as first king of 
Serbia. The history of the rest of this century has 
little of interest to western peoples, but it was marked 
by the gradual growth of the political power of the * 
Serbs and by their gradual unification. 

The most remarkable of the kings of Serbia was 
Stephen Dushan, who reigned from 1331-55. He took 
advantage of the anarchy which crippled Constantinople, 
and of the eclipse of the Bulgarian empire to consolidate * 
his dominions. He extended their boundaries con- 
siderably to the south, and in 1346 was crowned Tsar 
of the Serbs and of the Greeks. This moment, when 
Serbia stretched from the Adriatic to the Aegean, and 
from Bosnia to Thessaly, may be said to be the zenith 
of its power, though it is to be noted that even at this , 
moment Bosnia, Croatia, and the northern half of Bal- 
matia were not included within the frontiers of Serbia. 


In western Europe this ruler is best known for the 
Code of Laws which he promulgated in 1349, to which 
his name has remained attached. After his death, in 
1355, the country again relapsed into anarchy, and in 
1389 fell a prey to the Turks, who had by that time 
already devoured a considerable portion of south- 
eastern Europe. This famous battle, known in Serbian 
as Kosovo polje, in German as das Amselfeld, the battle 
of the Field of Blackbirds, is the turning-point in Serbian 
history. Although they fought with extraordinary 
valour, the Serbs were completely overcome by the ^ 
invaders, and from thenceforth for four centuries Serbia 
was a province of the Ottoman Empire. 

Bosnia, which had for a short time passed under ^ 
Hungarian rule, like Croatia, but had managed to free 
itself, maintained its independence for another century, 
but in 1463 that country, and in 1482 Herzegovina, 
were also conquered by the Turks and became part of 
their empire. After that date the only scrap of indepen- 
dent Serb territory left was the rocky and inhospit- 
able mountain fastness of Montenegro, since Dalmatia ^ 
had passed completely under Venetian control. Monte- 
negro, which is the translation in the Venetian dialect 
of the Serb name Crna Gora, or the Black Mountain, 
managed to preserve a precarious though at the same 
time quite fruitless independence throughout the S 
centuries, never falling completely under Venetian or 
under Turkish dominion. Needless to say, the popula- 
tion of Montenegro is purely Serb and speaks exactly 
the same language as the Serbs of the kingdom of 

A few words must be said about Bosnia, the Alsace- y 
Lorraine of the Balkans. This most beautiful country 
has always been a bone of contention amongst all its 


neighbours and the cause of ceaseless agitation, which * 
has culminated in the present European cataclysm. 

Bosnia is inhabited by Serbs, but its population has 
always included a strong Roman Catholic element, and 
since Roman Catholic is synonymous with Croatian, and 
Serb with Orthodox, the Serbs of the kingdom of 
Serbia and the Croatians each claim the inhabitants as 
belonging to their nationality. As a matter of fact 
Bosnia has always, both in spiritual and political affairs, ^ 
exhibited a tendency to independence. In the eleventh 
and twelfth centuries the Manichaean heresy spread 
from Constantinople through Bulgaria into Serbia and 
found a very warm welcome in Bosnia. In that country 
it was looked on as the only true form of Christianity, 
and the firm hold it took of the population naturally **" 
involved the rulers of the country in difficulties with the 
spiritual authorities both of the western and of the 
eastern Church, who did not favour the reintroduction of 
primitive Christianity. This heresy, which was in the ^/ 
Balkan peninsula known as the Bogumil heresy, hypo- 
thetically after the name of an itinerant priest who 
preached it, was never eradicated in Bosnia, in spite 
of all the wars waged against it, until the arrival of 
the Turks. The Mohammedan religion appealed to the 
peoples of Bosnia as strongly as the Manichaean heresy 
had done, and they became converts by the thousand 
to Islam, a faith to which they have adhered with the 
greatest devotion ever since, and which still claims the 
worship of half a million pure-blooded Serbs. Naturally 
enough this religious independence, or rather religious 
attachment to an alien religion, has militated against 
the growth of that spirit of nationality which was "' 
cultivated on the one hand by the Roman Catholic 
Croatians and on the other by the Orthodox Serbs. 


Of the Christian population of Bosnia at the present 
day by far the larger part is Orthodox and is therefore 
counted Serb. The language spoken throughout Bosnia 
by the members of all three confessions is, with only the 
slightest dialectic variations, the same Serbian as is 
spoken in the kingdom of Serbia. As regards political 
feeling at the present time it may be said that the 
Orthodox favour the Serbs, the Roman Catholics lean 
towards the Croatians, while the Mussulmans remain 

What is true of Bosnia is equally true of Herzegovina, 
which lies between Bosnia and Dalmatia. The same 
conditions apply here, but with this difference, that the 
Serbs of Herzegovina are more keen about their Church 
and their politics than are those of Bosnia. It is from 
the mountains of Herzegovina that originated the risings 
against Ottoman oppression which ultimately liberated 
the Serb lands from the Turks. 

This country was originally called by the Serbs Hum 
or Zahlumie, the Hills, or the Country beyond the Hills, 
and only acquired its name of Herzegovina in 1448 when 
a local prince took to himself the German title of Herzog, 
or Duke, of Saint Sava in honour of the national saint 
and hero whose remains were buried in the monastery 
of Mileshevo in Old Serbia. 

From the end of the fourteenth century to the end of 
the nineteenth century the whole of the Serb people, 
with inconsiderable exceptions, was under Turkish 
domination. When the Turks conquered, they conquered, 
and did their best to extinguish the nationality of the 
peoples they vanquished. Everybody was robbed of his 
property unless he became a convert to Mohammedanism, 
and all class distinctions were swept away. The Serbs 
were allowed to retain their national Church, it is true, 





and this organization was one of the factors which 
throughout these dreary centuries helped to keep the 
flame of nationality alive. At the same time the im- 
portance of the Serbian Church must not be exaggerated. 
The Eastern is the most conservative and the most passive 
of the Churches. It has never done anything to educate 
or improve the lot of its fold. The Southern Slavs are 
not naturally an intensely religious people, and from the t 
point of view of their own interest the Turks were quite 
wise to abolish the political organizations of the Serbs 
and their private property, and allow them to keep their 
Church. In later years the Church has doubtless played 
a political part in the Balkans, but it is rather the people " 
that wishes to use the Church for its own ends, than the 
Church that wishes to do anything for the people. 

The results of the Turkish conquest for the Serb race 
may be briefly summed up as follows. Those who pre- 
ferred their wealth and their social status to their religion 
and their nationality became Mohammedans, which in 
effect meant that they became more Turkish than the 
Turks. This was especially the case in Bosnia, the people 
of which had always shown a somewhat eccentric spirit . 
Those Serbs who could not acquiesce in Turkish domina- 
tion migrated in vast numbers to southern Hungary. 
Here they founded colonies, and to this day there is a 
considerable Serb population in Hungary, which has its 
centre in Novi Sad, on the Danube, known in German as 
Neusatz and in Magyar as Uj-Videk. Of the Serbs who 
did not emigrate and did not go over to Islam, the young 
and more promising males were annually swept off to 
Constantinople to swell the numbers of the New Army, 
the Yeni Cheri, known to us as the Janissaries. The 
more adventurous among those who escaped this fate 
betook themselves to the forests and mountains ; here 


they established a robber organization which both 
harassed the Turks, enabled its members to enjoy an 
exciting and not unprofitable liberty, and also helped 
to keep the spirit of nationality alive. Another factor 
which contributed to the same end was the rise, after 
the catastrophic battle on Kosovo polje in 1389, of a 
whole cycle of epic poems which celebrated the deeds 
of the national heroes in the wars against the Turks 
which had preceded this battle, the episodes of the battle 
itself, and the bravery of those who, as outlaws and 
adventurers, maintained the national reputation for 
bravery even after the wreck of the ship of state. These 
folk-poems are of extraordinary beauty and simplicity, 
and constitute the chief glory of Serbian literature. In 
the absence of all education and the complete stagnation 
of the intellectual life of the people, this immense oral 
literature became for successive generations of Serbs 
a regular school of history. 

Looking back over the first centuries of the history of 
the Serbs and the Croatians, from the end of the ninth to 
the end of the eighteenth century, it is easy to see how it 
was that this race was so little known in western Europe. 
From the very first, the difference in religion between 
the Roman Catholic Croatians in the west and the 
Orthodox Serbs in the east militated against their uniting 
to form a single and compact nation able to command 
the respect of their nearer neighbours and attract the 
attention of those more remote. Both Croatians and 
Serbs, unable to combine together politically, fell all the 
more easily victims to the aggressions of the surrounding 
countries. Croatia in 1102 was absorbed by Hungary 
and the Croatians have ever since been completely over- 
shadowed by the Magyars. Very few people outside 
Au stria -Hungary realize that the Croatians are Slavs 



and speak the same language as the Serbs. Dalmatia „ 
was, until Napoleonic times, under the control of Venice, 
and though in the Middle Ages the republic of Ragusa 
made good its independence and asserted its Slavonic 
character, the civilization of Dalmatia was until the Slav 
revival of the nineteenth century essentially Italian in 

Serbia Proper and Old Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 
as well as Macedonia, were one after the other submerged 
in the Turkish flood and for four centuries were virtually 
unheard of in western Europe. 

The Serb colonies in Hungary could not abuse the 
hospitality shown them in their new home by empha- 
sizing their nationality, while Montenegro, the only place if 
where the flag of Slav nationality was kept flying, was 
so insignificant that everybody- forgot about it except 
Russia, and indeed all its energies were required in the 
mere effort not to succumb. The history of the Serbs iS 
during the nineteenth century is one continuous struggle 
against Turkey in the south and Austria -Hungary in the 
north for the liberation of the people and for the re- 
establishment of some sort of independent national life. 
When we take everything into account it is surprising, 
not that the Serbs have done so little, but that they have 
done so much. Completely isolated from the coast, im- 
poverished by centuries of Turkish extortion, with only 
occasional help from Russia, the renascence of Serbia,/' 
which culminated in the reconquest of Old Serbia and 
the joining up of the frontiers of Serbia and Montenegro 
as a result of the two Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913, is 
really a remarkable achievement. 

Until last year the Serbs and Croatians were living in 
four different states, namely Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey, 
and Austria -Hungary, and were split up into no less than 


seven political divisions, namely, the kingdom of Serbia ; 
the kingdom (formerly the principality) of Montenegro ; 
Macedonia, and the Sandjak of Novi Bazar in Turkey ; 
Dalmatia, which is a province of the Austrian Crown ; 
Croatia and Srem,or Slavonia, provinces of the Hungarian 
Crown ; Banat and Bachka, which are those southern 
portions of Hungary Proper inhabited by the Serbs ; 
and Bosnia and Herzegovina, anomalous provinces 
which since their annexation by Austria -Hungary six 
years ago have stood to the Dual Monarchy politically 
in the same relation as Alsace and Lorraine stand to the 
German Empire. 

Since then, one of these, the Turkish empire, has been jy 
eliminated ; Kosovo Polje was avenged, after 523 years, 
at Kumanovo, the northern part of Macedonia has been 
added to the kingdom of Serbia and the Sandjak of Novi 
Bazar or Old Serbia, the real Balkan home of the Serb 
race, has been divided between Serbia and Montenegro. 

Even thus the Serbs have still to send their parlia- 
mentary representatives to five different legislatures, 
namely, Belgrade, Cetinje, Vienna, Buda-Pesth and Sera- ., 
jevo ; and so it is not surprising that the consummation 
of national unity is a slow and arduous process. Need- 
less to say the^Austrians and the Hungarians have done 
all they possibly could to make the most of the accidental 
political barriers which have split up the Serbs. They y 
have also done their best to foment the discord between 
Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Mohammedan, which 
in itself was quite enough to prevent co-operation be- 
tween the different factions of the Serb people. As long as 
Serbia, both in political and in economic matters, sub- 
mitted to Austrian dictation and was useful to Austria 
in the process of pushing Turkey out of Europe, she was 
flattered ; as soon as Serbia began to grow strong and 


become a focus which could ultimately attract and 
concentrate the scattered elements of the race into one 
powerful whole, she was attacked. 

The principal thing that makes a Serb different from / 
a Croatian is, as has been said, religion ; but religion in 
this case connotes politics. The Southern Slavs are far ^ 
keener about politics than they are about religion ; and 
thus it comes about that Serb means one who looks to 
Belgrade as the ultimate political and intellectual centre 
of the nation, while Croatian means one whose ideal is the 
absorption of the whole Serb race, together with the 
Croatians, in the Roman Catholic Austro -Hungarian 
monarchy. As a rule Serb means Orthodox and Croatian 
means Roman Catholic, but this is not always the case ; 
in Dalmatia there are a large number of Roman Catholics 
who call themselves Serbs, and are therefore anti- 
Austrian. But in general the rule holds good that the 
difference between Croatians and Serbs is not ethno- * 
graphic nor linguistic but religious and political ; they 
are of the same race and speak the same language, the 
only difference being that the Croatians use the Latin 
alphabet and the Serbs the Cyrillic, which is very much 
like the Russian and is founded on Greek ; in course of 1/ 
time, owing to various external influences, the vocabulary 
of the one language has come to be slightly different from 
that of the other, and there have always been slight 
dialectic differences in pronunciation. As regards the 
ultimate solution of the Southern Slav problem, it is safe 
to say that federation in some form or other is the only 
possible one. There is a strong party in Serbia which 
wishes to force all Bosnians, Croatians, and Dalmatians, 
&c, to call themselves Serbs and to bring them directly 
under the political control of Belgrade, and there is an 
equally obstinate section of opinion in Agram, the capital 


of Croatia, which would never consent to such a course. 
Bosnia, always an apple of discord, is divided between 
the two camps. The Orthodox Serbs in Bosnia it is true 
far outnumber the Roman Catholics, but the latter have 
up till now had the advantage of the protection of 
Vienna. The large Mohammedan element in Bosnia * 
makes the problem still more difficult. They are 
probably the only Slavs who regret the gradual retreat 
of the Turks from Europe, and though they are purely 
Serb in origin and in language, neither the Orthodox 
Serbs nor the Roman Catholic Croatians have as yet been 
able to enlist their political sympathies. On the other 
hand there has been a small but steadily growing number 
of people during the last ten years both in Serbia and in 
the Serb lands of the Austro- Hungarian empire who saw 
that the progress of the whole Serb race could only be ^ 
attained by some sort of agreement between the Croatians 
and the Serbs. This agreement it was foreseen would 
entail sacrifices on both sides, it would have to be a com- 
promise. But the sacrifices would be those rather of 
national vanity than of essential principles. The people 
who arrived at these reasonable and desirable views came 
to be known as the Serbo-Croatian coalition and their 
activity was displayed principally in Croatia, where 
a large number of the most prominent professional men 
joined the party. The aim of the coalition was to estab- 
lish the unity of the Serb race, including the Croatians, 
either outside the Austro-Hungarian empire or inside it, 
if no opposition were offered by Vienna and Buda-Pesth. 
Needless to say in both these capitals, not to mention 
the Vatican, the project was looked on with the utmost / 
alarm, and steps were immediately taken to prevent its 
realization. Parliamentary government in Croatia was 
suspended and the activities of the coalition party 


automatically ceased. A dictatorship was established 
in Agram, and for the last few years all the Serb lands of 
Austria - Hungary have been virtually under martial 

The alarm of Vienna was naturally increased when 
Serbia and Montenegro emerged from the two successive 
Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 with an accession instead 
of a diminution both of territory and of power. It was 
understood that Serbia, by doubling as she did both her 
size and population, would so increase in material pros- 
perity as to become a dangerously attractive magnet 
to the Serb elements in the Dual Monarchy. The pros- 
pective union of the different parts of the Serb race 
was one of the causes of the present war, and it is to be 
hoped that it will be one of the first things that will 
be consummated when it is over. 

Oxford : Horace Hart Printer to the University 

No. 59 






Price Twopence net 






In any consideration of the Asiatic attitude towards 
the present conflict Turkey must on no account be lost 
sight of. During the centuries that the Turks have 
maintained a footing in Europe they have never lost 
their Asiatic characteristics. Nor have they altogether 
forgone their Asiatic ambitions any more than they 
have been deprived of their Asiatic possessions. The 
strongest claim of Turkey to the general adherence of 
the Mohammedan world rests on the belief that the 
Sultan of Turkey is, as such, the Khalif, the head of 

It is true that as the only Mohammedan sovereign 
admitted to the comity of European nations, as the last 
representative of that tremendous conquering impulse 
which at one time threatened to subdue the West, 
and as the visible embodiment of the old tradition of 
Mohammedan supremacy, the Sublime Porte expects 
and receives the homage of Mohammedans of every 
country. Nevertheless it is a mistake to suppose that 
the Sultan has always and everywhere been recognized 
as the Khalif. It is essential that the Khalif be an 
Arab of the tribe of Kareish, the tribe of Mohammed 
the prophet. On this point Islam is unchangeable, and 
its doctors agree. The orthodox text-books are unani- 
mous on the point. The Delhi text-book says : ' It is 
a necessary condition that the Khalif be of the Kareish 
tribe.' A former Grand Mufti of Cairo states : ' It is 
the unanimous opinion of the ancient doctors that the 
Khalif must be of the Kareish tribe '. 


The point is interesting historically. When Selim 
conquered Egypt the Khalif ate ceased ipso facto to exist, 
inasmuch as the spiritual and temporal powers thereof, 
hitherto united in one personality, were separated. The 
Sultan seized the temporal and political power, whilst 
the spiritual power was placed in commission with the 
Ulema, represented in Turkey by the Sheikh-ul -Islam. 
That this is recognized in the Ottoman Empire is abun- 
dantly evident from the fact that no act of the Sultan, 
even of a political or administrative character, is valid 
till it has received the sanction of the Sheikh-ul-Islam. 
This is a practical recognition of the fact that the Otto- 
man dynasty, not being of the Kareish (being in fact 
of Central Asian and not of Arab descent at all), cannot 
exercise the spiritual powers of the Khalif ate. The 
Sublime Porte has never had any recognition of its pre- 
tensions to spiritual "supremacy in Arabia, Afghanistan, 
Morocco, Persia, or in India under the Mogul Empire. 

When the ' Young Turk ' revolution was accomplished, 
it is extremely doubtful whether the limited Khalifate 
enjoyed by the ex-Sultan was handed on to his successor. 
At any rate, very few Indian Mohammedans would now 
be prepared to admit that the Khalifate is vested in the 
Ottoman sovereign. 

Nevertheless the intrigues of Prussia in Turkey owe 
their origin to this belief in the Turkish Khalifate and 
its widespread influence. If we may take von Bernhardi 
as in any way authoritative, we find in his book, ' Ger- 
many and the Next War ', continual reference to the 
Pan-Islamic movement, to the supposed intrigues of 
England in Arabia for the creation ' of a new religious 
centre in opposition to the Caliphate '. Turkey is 
regarded as ' the only State which might seriously 
threaten the English position in Egypt by land \ Again : 


* It is our interest to reconcile Italy and Turkey as far 
as we can.' [ Turkey is an essential member of the 
Triple Alliance.' ' Turkey is of paramount importance 
to us. She is our natural ally ; it is emphatically our 
interest to keep in close touch with her.' ' Turkey is 
the only Power which can threaten England's position 
in Egypt, and thus menace the short sea -route and the 
land communications to India. We ought to spare no 
sacrifices to secure this country as an ally for the 
eventualit}^ of a war with England.' ' Pan-Islamism, 
thoroughly roused, should unite with the revolutionary 
elements of Bengal.' 

Accordingly, German effort has for years past been 
directed towards three ends in Turkey. First, to induce 
in the Turks an oblivion of Britain's past championship 
of their cause, particularly at the Berlin Congress, and 
to persuade them that ' Codlin is the friend, not Short '. 
To this end terrible stories are circulated of the miseries 
of Mohammedans under British rule. The occupation 
of Egypt is continually referred to as flouting Turkish 
suzerainty, and the operations in the Soudan consistently 
misrepresented as a deliberate attack on Islam. It must 
be remembered that the Mahdist movement was essen- 
tially heretical, and certainly never had the sanction of 
the Ulema. 

Secondly, the endeavour is to Prussianize Turkey's 
Army, Navy, and Finance. This has been going on 
steadily for years. Von Goltz's training of the Turkish 
army Avas not conspicuously successful, but Turkey is 
still leaning on the Prussian reed for her finance and 
her navy. German money, German munitions, German 
officers and men have been poured into Turkey. The 
Goeben and the Breslau have become units of the Turkish 
fleet. Von Goltz has gone back to Constantinople. The 


Sultan, ' in conformity with the Fetwas ' (!) has called all 
Islam to a Holy War against England, France, and Russia. 

Thirdly, Turkey is being urged to assert the Khalifate, 
to preach Jehad in Egypt, Tripoli, Tunis, Algeria, 
Morocco, and India. This is, of course, primarily to 
embarrass Britain and France, but also to compel Italy's 
active co-operation with the Triple Alliance. Turkey, 
like Austria in the Schleswig-Holstein affair, is to be the 
catspaw of Prussia. Whatever the final result of the 
war, she will share Austria's then fate. She has already 
been in unsuccessful conflict with Russian troops on the 
Caucasus frontier, she has been worsted by an Indian 
expeditionary force in the Persian Gulf and the Euphrates 
Valley, she has advanced troops towards the Egyptian 
border. Forgetful of Bernhardi's astute advice she has 
gone far to embroil herself with Italy. She has ex- 
perienced a foretaste of our naval methods in the sinking 
of the Massmidieh by the British submarine B 1 1 . The 
Aga Khan, leader of Islamic India, has issued a mani- 
festo in which he says : ' The action of Turkey is due 
to the influence of Germany. Having drawn the sword 
in an impious cause, Turkey ceases to be the protector of 
Islam, and consequently all British and Russian Moslems 
have the right to fight against Turkey in the armies of 
the countries of which they are subjects.' 

So far as this country is concerned, interest naturally 
directs itself to Egypt and India. The absence from 
Egypt of Britain's strong man may perhaps tend towards 
the revival of that turbulent intrigue which Lord 
Kitchener's energy, devotion, and tact had so effectually 
quelched, but the situation so far would seem to present 
no alarming features. 

In any case the disquiet in Egypt was never among 
the fellaheen, rapidly waxing prosperous under British 


protection, but among the former instruments of tyranny 
and corruption, uneasy at the loss of their nefarious 
influence and their infamous emoluments, irritated by 
the restraints of the Occupying Power, and appealing 
to the vanished suzerainty of the Porte to support their 
retrograde ambitions and to cloak their sinister designs. 
It is among this class that Prussian intrigue has been 
most active. When I was in Egypt in 1906 these 
intrigues were frequently mentioned in conversation 
with my acquaintances among the trading classes in 
Cairo and Alexandria. This was more particularly the 
case with the domiciled Jews, who owe everything to 
British justice. Surprise was expressed that attention 
was not given by the British authorities to the many 
German, Austrian, and Levantine commercial employes 
who were prominent in the campaign of vilification of 
everything British. Doubtless, however, by this time 
all necessary precautions have been taken. The Khe- 
dive, by accompanying the Sultan to the opening of the 
Turkish Parliament, has definitely thrown in his lot with 
Turkey, or rather with Prussia, since it is due to the long- 
continued Prussian intrigue that Abbas has been con- 
sistently hostile to Britain and its representatives. The 
credulous Khedive was promised an independent king- 
dom if he abetted the Kaiser's designs. The presence 
in Egypt of strong Territorial and Indian contingents, and 
the British command of the sea, have practically rendered 
abortive the Turkish plan of a land advance through the 
Sinai peninsula. The Egyptian army is loyal. Its only 
discontented members are those who are not likely to have 
the privilege of fighting for us. A retired Egyptian officer 
writes in the Arabic paper Al-Mokattam of Cairo : 

I ask you to help me to volunteer as an officer in the 
English army, and I am sure that if my brother officers- 


on the retired list were also permitted to volunteer, 
they would form a large army to fight under your flag 
in recognition of the great services you have rendered 
to our country. 

In India there is not a cloud on the horizon. The 
* revolutionary (!) elements in Bengal ' have indeed united 
with the Mohammedans, but it is to express their honest 
and fervent loyalty to the Empire. The Mohammedans 
everywhere have shown their traditional loyaltj r , and 
indignantly protest that ' The (German) insinuation that 
Mussulmans are likely to prove disloyal is an impudent 
and dastardly libel '. A resolution of the British Mos- 
lems' Association declares : 

Our Holy Faith enjoins upon us to be loyal to 
whatever country under whose protection we reside. 
Recognizing the religious liberty, equity, and justice 
accorded by England to the Mussulmans who dwell 
under its flag, we feel confident that our brethren 
throughout the British Empire will decline to listen 
to the wicked behests of Germany, and refuse to be 
made the tools of a selfish, brutal, and unprincipled 
nation, which disregards treaties, even though signed 
b}^ itself, and has plunged Europe into a bloody strife. 

flinching loyalty to King George, and to assure him that 
all his subjects of the Islamic faith were fully prepared 
and burning with a desire to shed their blood on behalf 
of England side by side with the sons of Islam, natives 
of Algeria, who were already fighting for France '. The 
Moslems • now know Germany to be like Shaitan (the 
Devil) ' ! Prayers for British success are now offered 
in all the mosques throughout India. 

The Prussian idea of our position in India is derived 
from their own psychology. Because the Prussian ideal 


of government is a domination to which weaker races 
must bow, we are pictured as holding India in the same 
way as the Alsatian Reichsland or Polish Prussia is 
held. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We 
do not hold India by the sword, nor could we administer 
it effectively in accordance with the canons of justice 
and tolerance if we did. It is true that we have fought 
in India. We fought against the decadent Mogul power 
at Plassy, against the Marathas at Assaye, against 
mutinous Brahmins and Moslems at Lucknow, Delhi, 
and Cawnpore. But in each case there were men of 
Indian race and Moslem or Hindu religion who fought 
for us. Thus our wars in India have been much less 
of conquest than of administration. In every one of 
them we have had the assistance, the cordial co-operation, 
of our Indian fellow subjects. Those whom we have 
subdued have in very brief space of time become our 
allies and supporters. 

Men soon recognized that with all our faults we were 
in the main honest, and that loyal co-operation with us 
was the shortest road to happiness and prosperity. Even 
with this recognition our task has been a difficult one. 
Without it the attempt to impose peace, to evolve order 
out of chaos, to establish and enhance the prosperity 
of city and district, would have been doomed to igno- 
minious failure. Differences, of course, there have been, 
differences of ideal, of tradition, of habit, of mode of 
expression ; but on the whole the contact between 
Briton and Indian has been one of mutual esteem and 
appreciation. The officer sahib swears by the men of 
his regiment. The men regard him as their father. To 
the Anglo -Indian sportsman there is no one like his old 
shikari. The district officer is full of the many good 
points of his people. This appreciation is well repaid 


by a touching devotion of which numberless instances 
could be given. 

The ineffable Bernhardi, misunderstanding the posi- 
tion in India, says : ' England so far, in accordance 
with the principle of divide et impera, has attempted to 
play off the Mohammedan against the Hindu popula- 
tion.' I cannot do better than refer the reader to the 
Asiatic Review for August. In this Dr. Pollen, the 
Honorary Secretary of the East India Association, gives 
a complete refutation of the ' divide and rule ' theory 
of our Indian administration. 

At the present moment a tremendous wave of enthusi- 
asm is passing through India. It is recognized that 
Britain is fighting the fight of liberty, that she is actuated 
by the same honourable determination as keeps inviolate 
the treaties and agreements between the Government of 
India and the Feudatory States. From the Nizam of 
Hyderabad and the Maharaja of Mysore down to the 
smallest chieftain of Kathiawar or Scinde all the Chiefs 
have poured forth offers of men and money, hospital 
ships and equipment. The regular Indian Army is of 
course silent, but the Chiefs are transported with delight 
at being allowed the privilege of sending their own State 
forces to the Empire's war. Hyderabad, Bhopal, and 
Bahawalpur are Moslem, Mysore and Baroda are Hindu, 
Patiala is Sikh, the independent State of Nepaul is 
mainly Buddhist ; but all are of one faith in this, that 
they believe in the justice of our Empire's cause. The 
Dalai Lama has tendered Tibetan troops, and prayers 
are daily offered in Tibet for the success of our army. 

This manly enthusiasm is not confined to the princes 
and nobles. The lawyers, merchants, bank employes, 
shopkeepers, peasants, and petty traders : all have 
joined in the protestations of loyalty, all have proffered 


their services. The Bengali barristers desire to form 
a volunteer corps in Calcutta. The Parsis, who are 
already permitted to belong to the Poona Volunteer 
Corps, would dearly love to send a contingent to the 
front. The leading Indian citizens have guaranteed 
the freedom from disturbance of their districts during 
the war. Factions are abolished. For the first time in 
history the terms ' cow-slayer ' and ' idolater ' are 
banished from the Indian vocabulary. Tilak, who has 
suffered a long imprisonment for sedition, proclaims an 
admiration for the British adherence to the pledged 
word, and calls on his fellow countrymen, the erstwhile 
turbulent Marathas, to be loyal and support the Govern- 
ment. Su endranath Banerji and Dadabhai Naoroji, 
old champions of the Congress attacks on the Govern- 
ment, have issued similar adjurations. 

Thus we may consider with every confidence that the 
internal peace of India is assured. Externally as long 
as our naval supremacy remains there is absolutely no 
fear of foreign aggression. The turbulent tribes on the 
North-West Frontier may endeavour to make themselves 
objectionable, but they will be very easily dealt with. 
The Amir of Afghanistan has loudly proclaimed his 
neutrality. It would indeed be the unforeseen which 
would require the presence in India just now of any 
large body of our troops. 

The Indian Government, then, has done well in 
yielding to the expressed desire of the peoples of India 
that theirs should be a share in the struggle, theirs the 
privilege to fight side by side with the Briton in Europe 
as they have fought side by side with him in Asia. The 
Indian army has long suffered from a species of injustice, 
having its genesis, it is true, in equity but nevertheless 
galling to the proud Rajput or the martial Sikh. That 


injustice was the idea that Indian troops should as little 
as possible "be employed beyond the limits of the Indian 
Empire. By a sort of concession to Imperial needs we 
garrison Ceylon, Singapore, and Hong Kong with Indian 
troops, but these are insignificant exceptions. Obviously 
we do not wish that an army with the glorious traditions 
of the Indian army should degenerate into a mere band 
of mercenaries, paid by whatever British Dominion — 
now African, now Australian — required its services. On 
the other hand, it is equally obvious that we must not 
saddle the patient Indian taxpayer with the cost of 
defence of other dominions than his own. In the present 
war we are fighting for the whole British Empire and 
all it represents. If we go down, farewell to liberty, 
farewell to all the hopes and aspirations of our Indian 
comrades. Hence, neither of these objections weighs 
now. Whoever bears the actual money cost, the battle 
is as much in defence of India as Britain. As a matter 
of fact, it has now been settled that India bears such 
proportion of the expense as would have been incurred 
if the troops had not left the country, while the magni- 
ficent contribution of £333,000 from the Mysore State 
goes towards the cost of the actual expedition. This 
has the approval of all India. 

The German Ambassador at Washington, referring to 
the subject of native soldiery, is reported to have stated 
that Great Britain and France had no right to condemn 
the Louvain outrage since they were employing coloured 
troops to hinder Germany's mission of culture and 
civilization. Such a statement, if it were made, is 
inexcusable. As to the Indian troops, it was well said 
by Lord Crewe that they were high-souled men of ancient 
civilization. The Rajput of ' Solar ' race traces his 
ancestry back to a date when the Prussians were unheard 


of. The Panjabi has often Greek blood in him. All 
are chivalrous with that unassuming chivalry which 
made Lord Roberts describe our soldiers in South Africa 
as constituting an army of gentlemen. Among the 
princes coming with the force are such typical Indian 
Chiefs as Sir Pertab Singh, the very perfect, stainless 
knight of Indian chivalry ; the Maharaja of Bikanir, 
equally distinguished as an administrator, a courtier, 
a soldier, and a mighty hunter ; the Maharaja of 
Patiala, head of the great Sikh State, and renowned 
sportsman . 

From every point of view the employment of the 
Indian troops is to be commended. It exemplifies to 
the world the unity and majesty of the British Empire. 
It fills the soul of all India with the joy of fulfilled 
aspiration. It is in no sense the calling of a mercenary 
horde to the assistance of our tottering power, but the 
admission of well-tried and proven comrades to the inner 
brotherhood of our militant order. The magnificent pro- 
clamation of the King-Emperor, dignified, gracious, and 
inspired, rang like a trumpet-blast through the mists of 
Prussian falsehood, awaking an echo in every Indian 
heart. That a Biluchi and a Dogra should have been 
the first Indians to gain the V.C. is at once a proof 
of the valour and worth of all the races represented in 
the Indian contingent, and a tribute to the Sovereign's 
gracious foresight in admitting Indian soldiers to the 

To those who know the East and have watched the 
steady growth of Japanese influence in the Western 
Pacific, the Japanese ultimatum gave no occasion for 

In the first place Japan is under treaty obligations 
to this country, which she is perfectly willing, and indeed 


eager, to fulfil. It is provided that there must be no 
disturbance of the peace in Eastern waters without 
Japan coming in as our ally in war as in peace. Since 
Germany is in a state of war with Great Britain, the 
presence of any armed forces of Germany — whether naval 
or military — in the Pacific regions gives very good reason 
for Japanese intervention. To take measures ' to remove 
the causes of all disturbance of peace in the Far East ' 
is not only to act in accordance with the terms of the 
treaty of alliance, but also to safeguard Japanese and 
Chinese interests. Ostensibly ikis unfair that European 
warfare should be waged in Asiatic waters or on Asiatic 
soil. The disturbance to the comity of nations Asiatic 
caused by the presence of forces of the belligerent powers 
on the China coast need not be endured by those nations 
if any one of them is strong enough to enforce her will 
on either of the Powers concerned. It is merely parallel 
to what would happen in similar circumstances on the 
Eastern Pacific or the Atlantic if the United States 
decided to act under their Monroe Doctrine. 

But there is no doubt that Japan had other and more 
personal reasons which urged her to action against Ger- 
man}^. It is to German intervention that Japan, with 
much reason, attributes the snatching of Port Arthur 
out of her victorious grasp after the Chino -Japanese 
war. To Germany is debited the cost in blood and 
treasure of recovering that influence in Manchuria which 
Japan considers to be rightly hers. It is significant that 
the Japanese ultimatum was worded almost precisely 
in the terms of Germany's notice to Japan over Port 

Further, any action taken against Germany is bound 
to be very popular with all classes in Japan. At the 
time of the Boxer troubles the military men noted and 


have not forgotten, the contrast between the British 
and Prussian treatment of Asiatics. Even Japanese 
officers of position were exposed to the boorishness 
which seems inseparable from the Prussian attitude 
towards those considered inferior. At times the friction 
threatened to become serious, and British self-effacement 
in allowing a Prussian officer to be generalissimo of the 
combined forces occasioned surprise and a certain amount 
of adverse comment. The German interference with all 
Japan's schemes of finance has merely inspired the 
sublime Oriental patience of the Japanese, who are 
content to wait till the hour has struck for reprisals. 
That hour has now struck. 

At the present moment the German navy may be 
ruled out as an effective world force. The fall of Tsing- 
Tao and the passing of Kiau-Chau out of German hands, 
followed by the destruction off the Falkland Isles of the 
Kiau-Chau squadron, has afforded a very practical justi- 
fication of Japan's intervention. The Mikado's Govern- 
ment has with true instinct refrained from embarrassing 
us by any designs on Samoa, the Carolines, or New 
Guinea, and has given up to Australasia the islands 
which she had for strategic reasons taken from Germany. 

New Zealand has already annexed German Samoa, 
and Australia has taken New Guinea. A German pied- 
d-terre so near the Australian coast has always been 
a source of disquietude to the island-continent. We 
have perhaps already forgotten that thirty years ago a 
vigorous Queensland Administration did annex Papua, 
but the move was disowned by the British Colonial 
Office, and Australia has ever since lamented that ill- 
judged weakness. 

Japan's action is striking evidence of the world-wide 
-antagonism which Prussian aims and methods have 


aroused. The whole of Asia applauds the Mikado's 
prompt decision. The reception by the Japanese of 
General Barnardiston, lately in command of the British 
Tsing-Tao Force, is proof of the cordial understanding 
existing between us and our Far Eastern Allies. 

(By kind permission of the Empire Review.) 

Oxford : Horace Hart Printer to the University 







Price Twopence net 






Our absorption in the incidents, and our concern over 
the issue, of the tragic drama which is now being enacted 
in Europe tend to lessen our interest in the causes, direct 
and indirect, that brought about the war. And, even 
with the evidence now before us, a complete history 
cannot yet be written. Disclosures have still to be 
made ; and it may well be that fifty years hence memoirs 
of some of the chief personages will see the light, from 
which the world will learn interesting and important 
facts that now lie hid from view. But it is none the 
less incumbent on each and all of us to be able to give, 
according to our lights, a reason for the faith that is in 
us. We have not been suffering, on the British side at 
least, from any megalomania or war fever, nor have we 
acted on unreasoning impulse. With us it is not a case 
of ' my country, right or wrong '. But we are fortunate, 
all the same, in feeling that nothing could have happened 
that was better calculated to bind together so instan- 
taneously and so effectively the somewhat ill-compacted 
fabric of our Empire. Certain negligible incidents in 
South Africa have not marred the picture ; they have 
only set it in a stronger light. Is it possible, then, that 
the unanimity which has inspired our action can leave 
room for anything to be said on the other side ? 

Of course there always is another side. We are quite 
accustomed, in private life, to find two sane, sober, and 
sensible persons differing materially in the view they 

1 Reprinted, by permission, from the (Canadian) University 
Magazine for December 1914. 


take of the same set of facts and phenomena. And when 
children quarrel , we sometimes see them rushing at each 
other so impetuously that both tact and strength are 
needed to pull them away and calm their surging spirits. 
For the time being they have lost their heads. That is 
what has happened to the nations of Europe — in more 
senses than one ! It all came so suddenly that there 
was no time even for a quiet talk. 

Only a few weeks before the outbreak of the war, 
a brilliant celebration was held in the little university 
town of Groningen, in Holland, where many British 
marines and other prisoners are now interned. It was 
a really international gathering, of a kind that will be 
very rare indeed for many years to come. Repre- 
sentatives were gathered together from most of the 
great universities of the world. In their presence, and 
in the hearing also of Queen Wilhelmina, the ' Rector 
Magnificus ' reminded us how his university had been 
founded to take up the work of Louvain and Tournay, 
in the days when, three hundred years ago, the Dutch 
provinces were wrestling with the power of Spain for an 
independent national existence and for liberty of con- 
science. How little did we think, in those piping days 
of peace, that within a few short weeks the neighbouring 
country of Belgium would be overrun by an even more 
ruthless conqueror ; and that the head of a world-famous 
German university, whose hand we clasped in cordial 
friendship, would now be handing out honorary degrees 
to two leading representatives of the Krupp works at 
Essen, in recognition of their diabolical pre-eminence in 
the forging of death-dealing weapons of war ! 

One can never tell, in the life of a nation any more 
than in private life, what would have happened if 
a different course had been pursued. The other side 


holds that, if England had meant war, she should have 
said so at once. One reason for the insensate hatred 
by which we are assailed to-day is that we are alleged 
to have waited craftily, until Germany had become 
embroiled with both France and Russia, before jumping 
in as a make-weight against her. Germany sincerely 
believed that, sooner or later, war with Russia (whom 
she really feared) was inevitable. For a time she seems to 
have hoped that she might have Russia alone to deal with, 
and she looked to England to keep France quiet. It was 
only after France too had accepted her challenge that 
we decided to go in against her, so as to turn the balance. 

This statement of the case is ludicrously at variance 
with the facts, as now ascertained. We know that 
England was certainly not scheming how to get into the 
war, but much rather how to keep out of it. It may 
well be questioned whether, if we had promptly declared 
our solidarity with France and Russia, the war would 
thereby have been prevented. Is it not rather to our 
credit that we hesitated, and that we delayed even to 
the verge of weakness ? What better proof can be given 
that we were free from any actual commitment than 
the fact that, when France first pledged her support to 
Russia, Sir Edward Grey refused to make any promise ? 
No one says now that we ought to have continued to 
stand out, and so have saved our skins. For, though 
one can never speak with certainty of what might have 
been, all the evidence goes to show that, if we had left 
France and Belgium to their fate, the German occupation 
of the coast-line would have been less vigorously disputed 
than it is to-day ; and then England's turn would have 
come next. She did well to spurn the Cyclopean gift 
of a promise that she would be ' eaten last ' ! 

1 have said that there was no unreasoning impulse 


about our intervention. And we did not go in because 
we were ordered to do so by any superior authority. 
This is not for us — as some Americans are too apt to 
believe — a war of Kings, and Emperors, and Cabinets. 
Nor was it through the British Foreign Secretary that 
the final and fateful word was spoken : his formula 
throughout the negotiations was ' subject to the sup- 
port of Parliament '. That is one of the facts which 
Mr. Bernard Shaw seems altogether to have overlooked. 
It was the representatives of the nation, assembled in 
the mother of Parliaments, that voted a war credit 
with practical unanimity ; and their action in what was 
put to them as a matter of duty and honour at once 
received the heartiest possible endorsement, not only of 
their English constituents but also of men of every 
kind of political persuasi *i throughout all our overseas 
Dominions. This is government by democracy ; and 
considering the character of parliamentary representa- 
tion in England, and the system of ministerial responsi- 
bility, not to the individual ruler (as in Germany) but 
to the elected representatives of the people, one may 
assert confidently that our going to war was as much 
a direct act of the British nation as it could have been 
under the most republican constitution. 

The same critics who profess to believe that England 
wanted the war taunt us at the same time with not 
having done more to protect Belgium. The truth is 
that our delay and our obvious military unpreparedness 
furnish in themselves the best of answers. Yet for both 
there are compensations. The impressive spectacle was 
afforded at home of an immediate cessation from all 
domestic strife, with a resulting solidarity which could 
not have been achieved if the Government had taken 
what some would have been certain to attack as a pre- 


mature decision ; while the growth of our military 
efficiency for fighting purposes is guaranteed by the fact 
that the Empire is acting as a unit, in a way that pro- 
mises more for its further organization than another 
twenty-five years of imperialist talk. In fact, if the thing 
had to be, the stage could not be better set than it is, 
even if we had had the whole management in our own 
hands. Hence these (German) tears ! 

The immediate reason for British intervention was 
of course, as everybody knows, the invasion of Belgium. 
Opposition to this sudden move on the part of Germany 
was for England a matter of duty as well as self-interest. 
She could not well have stood aside while the Belgian 
coast-line was passing into the hands of another Power — 
especially one which was showing so little respect for its 
plighted word. That would have given the opportunity 
for ' pointing a pistol straight at England's heart ', as 
the Germans are now trying to do from Antwerp and 
Ostend and Zeebrugge. And there was the further 
motive of preventing, if possible, any would-be com- 
batant from using Belgian soil once more as a battle- 
ground. Some craven -hearted ones have asked if it 
would not have been better, especially in view of the 
immediate sequel, if Belgium had quietly acquiesced in 
the passage of German troops. But what a disservice 
to France, which had made no difficulty whatever about 
renewing its guarantee to respect Belgian neutrality ! 
It would have been like letting a burglar in by a back- 
door. Belgium would thereby have placed herself in 
a state of war with France. And there is the further 
consideration of the obligations of international law, 
which cannot be treated as a ' scrap of paper ' without 
the direst consequences to civilization. It is an ele- 
mentary principle of the law of nations that a neutral 


state is bound to deny a right of passage to a belligerent. 
Here Britain had a clear duty to perform, in the interest 
of international faith and the right of a weaker nation 
to maintain its independence. One's only regret is that 
it did not occur to the King of the Belgians, in appealing 
to England for aid, to appeal at the same time to the 
United States as well ! All neutral nations have an 
interest in preventing the world from being swept back 
into barbarism, with all its attendant phenomena of 
violence and terror, by an open disregard of so much 
as there is of international law. It is only a short year 
since the Lord High Chancellor of England, speaking 
before the American Bar Association on the subject of 
' Higher Nationality ', was sanguine enough to speculate 
on the growth among nations of a habit of looking to 
common ideals ' sufficiently strong to develop a General 
Will, and to make the binding power of these ideals 
a reliable sanction for their obligations to each other '. 
Lord Haldane took the German word Sittlichkeit, or 
' mannerliness ', to illustrate his meaning, defining it as 
the system of habitual or customary conduct, ethical 
rather than legal, which embraces all those obligations 
of the citizens which it is ' bad form ' to disregard. In 
view of what has happened in Belgium, he could not 
make such an address to-day. Germany has revived 
the traditional barbarism that looks to conquest and the 
waging of successful war as the main instrument and aim 
of the highest statesmanship. In place of the Sittlich- 
keit that was to incline nations in ever-increasing 
measure to act towards each other as ' gentlemen ', 
she has substituted Furchtbarkeit — ' f rightfulness ' — the 
word which was deliberately chosen by the German 
Emperor for the purpose of recalling the less shocking 
example of Attila and his horde of Huns. 


But the trouble did not begin in Belgium. We must 
go further back for such an historical survey as may be 
possible within the limits of this paper. 

At the beginning of the chapter immediately preceding 
stands the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand. 
But there were several chapters previous to that ; and 
due weight must be given to the argument of the other 
side when it contends that the murder at Sarajevo was 
only the culmination of a long series of Serbian con- 
spiracies against the Austro -Hungarian monarchy. The 
question is one of predominance in South-Eastern 
Europe, and the change of policy inaugurated by the 
German Emperor, in that as in other directions, is 
strikingly brought home to us when we remember that 
Bismarck would not have been interested. Of the 
Bulgarian affair in 1885 he had said that it was ' not 
worth the bones of a Pomeranian grenadier '. The 
leading motive of the assassination was doubtless resent- 
ment at the way Austria had behaved in the lawless 
annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908. It was 
then that the Emperor William took his stand beside 
his ally ' in shining armour '. Russia had been effectually 
weakened by her experiences in the Japanese War, and 
it must have been a great humiliation to her, in a matter 
where Slavic interests were concerned, to be threatened 
with hostilities by Germany in the event of her attempt- 
ing to take military action against Austria. To Britain 
the whole thing meant very little, ; the ordinary 
Englishman was accustomed to think of the Balkans 
question as lying beyond his sphere of interests, 
and as wholly unintelligible. What we had to com- 
plain of afterwards was the extraordinary character 
of the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia, and the circum- 
stances in which it seems to have boen conceived. 


It is significant, to begin with, that nothing was said 
about it at Vienna to any of the foreign diplomats, 
except the German Ambassador. He knew all about 
the message before it was sent off, and is said to have 
1 endorsed every line of it '. If it had not been formally 
communicated beforehand to the Foreign Secretary at 
Berlin or the Imperial Chancellor, its terms were known 
to the Emperor and to the representatives of the war- 
party, who were engaged in the congenial operation of 
pushing him on to a point from which he could not 
draw back. There is a Prussian ring in the tone of the 
Austrian message, with its headings and sub-headings, 
its prescribed formulae for the Serbian reply, and its 
demand for an answer within forty-eight hours. All 
other competitors for the title of the ' champion -bully 
of Europe ' may withdraw in favour of those who con- 
cocted this uncompromising document ! 

It was really aimed at Russia and the status quo in 
the Balkans ; and the expectation may have been that 
Russia would take it as quietly as she had taken the 
Austrian violation of the Treaty of Berlin six years 
before. Responding to the pressure brought to bear 
upon her, Serbia forwarded a reply in which she sought 
to give satisfaction, asking at the same time for a refer- 
ence, as regarded one of the conditions, to the Inter- 
national Court at The Hague. This was rejected by 
Austria, and her representatives were instructed to leave 
the Serbian capital without delay. The first efforts of 
Russian diplomacy thereafter were directed towards 
securing an extension of the time -limit allowed by 
Austria. This was refused. Thereupon Sir Edward 
Grey made more than one suggestion (July 25 and 26) 
for conference and mediation — Russia undertaking to 
stand aside, and to leave the matter in the hands of 


the four neutral nations, France, Germany, Great 
Britain, and Italy. But the attitude of Germany, 
as declared with a significant element of contradiction 
by her various representatives, was that she agreed 
with her ally in regarding the quarrel as a ' purely 
Austrian concern with which Russia had nothing to do '.* 

Obviously it was here that the European train left 
the rails, and we know now where to place the responsi- 
bility, with all its unspeakable consequences, for refusing 
to accept the Serbian reply even as a basis of negotiation. 
If each and every one of the Powers had been sincerely 
and genuinely interested in the maintenance of peace, 
they could surely have attained their ends at this stage 
by the simple process of getting round a table for 
conference and discussion. The horror of the denouement 
is intensified by the fact, subsequently communicated 
by our representative at Vienna, that some change of 
heart had made Austria willing in the end to reopen 
conversations with Russia on the basis of the Serbian 
reply. But meanwhile there had been mutterings of 
mobilization, and Germany's ultimatum to France and 
to Russia rendered a peaceful settlement impossible. 

Whether it can be proved or not — with the material 
at present available — that the military faction at Berlin 
was working for the war which it had so long gloated 
over in imagination, there can be no doubt that Germany 
must take the blame of having blocked the proposed 
conference. It is said by his apologists that the Emperor 
laboured sincerely to the end — working along a private 
path of his own — in the cause of peace. But it must 
be asked, with all deference, what right he had to any 

1 Contrast the German White Book which says (p. 4) that Germany 
was 'perfectly awaie that a possible warlike attitude of Austria- 
Hungary against Serbia might bring Russia into the field '. 


private path when the peace of Europe was known to 
be trembling in the balance ? This is where we might 
have expected to hear from the various Peace and 
Arbitration Societies, especially on the continent of 
America. With all respect to the obligations of the 
official neutrality so carefully laid down at Washington — 
obligations which individual Americans like ex-President 
Eliot have found it hard to observe — the question 
naturally suggests itself why those who have worked so 
devotedly for peace have not as yet raised their voices, 
no matter how ineffectually, in protest against the 
influences which refused to invoke the concert of Europe 
in the only way by which war might have been avoided. 
By keeping silence they seem to me to have rendered 
much of their previous work ineffective and of no 
account in ' practical politics '. They are in danger of 
effacing themselves. 

It is surely not uncharitable to say that if Germany 
had really wanted war, she could hardly have taken 
a better method of achieving her purpose. Her previous 
record is not such as to inspire confidence. It is unneces- 
sary to refer to her dealings with Denmark in 1864, 
with Austria in 1866, or with France in 1870. There is 
little credit in having kept the peace for forty years if 
it can be shown that you have generally got what you 
wanted by merely rattling your sabre. Germany was 
saved from the crime of a second attack on France in 
1875. Coming nearer our own times, it is now an 
established fact of history that she would have profited 
by our difficulties to intervene in the South African War 
if it had not been for the British Navy. In 1905 she 
imposed her will on France, and brought about the 
resignation of Monsieur Delcasse, just before the Alge- 
ciras Conference. In 1908 the Emperor took his stand 


' in shining armour ' beside his Austrian ally, whom he 
abetted in the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
And in 1911 came the incident of the Panther and 
Agadir, in connexion with which we were told by 
Monsieur Barthou in Montreal that, if France had been 
saved from invasion, she ' owed it solely to the steadfast 
loyalty of her English allies '. To-day Germany is giving 
proof of the thoroughgoing character of her preparations 
for war. Nothing need be said of her navy-building, in 
regard to which the Emperor indited, early in 1908, 
a long letter to the First Lord of the Admiralty which 
was obviously designed to lull him into a false sense 
of security. The German navy was being built purely 
for defensive purposes, and England was making her- 
self ridiculous, in the Kaiser's opinion, by taking any 
account of it ! For these defensive purposes an increased 
expenditure of one million sterling per annum was 
authorized in 1912 for a period of six years. How 
fortunate it is for us that when war broke out the 
British Navy was found ready to concentrate in the 
North Sea, which we shall no longer call by its alternative 
name the ' German Ocean ' ! 

Nor is it necessary to dwell on Germany's activities 
along other lines, such as the construction of strategical 
railways converging on the Dutch and Belgian frontiers, 
the provision of increased facilities for transports at 
ports of embarkation, the building in foreign territory 
of concrete emplacements for heavy siege-guns, the 
amazing volume of war-literature that issued every year 
from her publishing houses, culminating in Bernhardi's 
book, Germany and the Next War, the institution of 
a far-reaching system of espionage by which she sought 
to pry into the naval and military secrets of other 
nations, and read them like an open book. She turned 


a deaf ear, as the Liberal party, under Sir Henry 
Campbell-Bannerman, learned to its cost, to all sug- 
gestions for a reduction of armaments. She showed 
herself no friend to any of the proposals, especially in 
regard to mine-laying and bomb-throwing, by which it 
was sought at the Hague conferences to mitigate in 
advance the actual horrors of war. And Mr. Asquith 
has told us quite recently that when, in 1912, his Cabinet 
thought it wise to approach her with an assurance that 
we would neither make nor join in any unprovoked 
attack upon her, declaring that ' aggression upon Ger- 
many is not the subject, and forms no part, of any 
treaty, understanding, or combination to which Britain 
is now a party, nor will she become a party to anything 
that has such an object ', she had the audacity to turn 
round and ask the British Government to abandon the 
Triple Entente altogether and give her a pledge of 
absolute neutrality should she become engaged in any 
war. She asked us, in fact — as Mr. Asquith put it — to 
give her ' a free hand ' when she should choose her own 
time ' to overbear and dominate the European world ' ! 
And when Mr. Asquith made this disclosure (October 2, 
1914), the North-German Gazette, with true German logic, 
drew the inference that ' the English Government was 
already in 1912 determined under all circumstances to 
take part in a European war on the side of Germany's 


This record is hardly calculated, as has been said 
above, to inspire confidence. It does not predispose us 
to accept without demur the statement made by Pro- 
fessors Haeckel and Eucken, when they complained, 
' Our foes have disturbed us in our peaceful work, 
forcing the war upon us very much against our desire '. 
Poor injured innocents ! We are more inclined to view 


the outbreak of the war in the light of other utterances, 
such as that of von der Goltz, who said that the German 
statesman would show himself a traitor to his country 
who, believing war to be inevitable and being himself 
ready for it, failed to get beforehand with the enemy 
by striking the first blow ; or the notorious Bernhardi, 
who made a more or less secret tour through the United 
States a year or two ago, addressing exclusively German 
societies, and telling them exactly what was going to 
happen and how it was going to be done. Bernhardi 's 
book includes, among many other gems, the following : 
' All which other nations attained in centuries of natural 
development — political union, colonial possessions, naval 
power, international trade — was denied to our nation 
until quite recently. What we now wish to obtain must 
be fought for, against a superior force of hostile interests 
and powers.' And again : ' Let it be the task of our 
diplomacy so to shuffle the cards that we may be attacked 
by France, for then there would be a reasonable prospect 
that Russia for a time would remain neutral. ... If 
we wish to bring about an attack by our opponents, we 
must initiate an active policy which, without attacking 
France, will so prejudice her interests or those of England 
that both these States would feel compelled to attack 
us. Opportunities for such procedure are offered both 
in Africa and in Europe.' At Zabern, for instance, and 
in Morocco ! Surely Professor Gilbert Murray hit the 
mark when he described such programmes as ' the 
schemes of an accomplished burglar expounded with the 
candour of a child '. 

Nietzsche correctly expressed the prevailing German 
point of view when, instead of saying that a good cause 
sanctifies every war, he laid down the maxim that 
a good war justifies and sanctifies every cause ! ' War 


and courage ', he went on to say, ' have done greater 
things than love of your neighbour.' Germany has been 
brought up to believe in war, not as a disagreeable 
necessity but as a high political instrument and a 
supreme test of national character. Imperial security 
for her implies the power of taking the aggressive, with- 
out consideration for the rights of others or her own 
good faith, wherever her interests or her national pride 
may seem to suggest. The latest utterance of Maximilian 
Harden has let the cat out of the bag even in regard 
to this war. ' We willed it ', he says ; ■ we had to will 
it. Our might will create a new law for Europe. It is 
Germany that strikes. When she has conquered new 
domains for her genius, then the priesthoods of all the 
gods will praise the good war. . . . Now that Germany's 
homr has struck she must take her place as the leading 
Power. Any peace which did not win her the first 
position would be no reward for her efforts.' Here we 
have the most recent expression, naked and unashamed, 
of the ' swelled-headedness ' and megalomania which 
have brought our German friends to believe that they 
have a Heaven-sent mission to dominate the whole 
world. The leadership of Europe is what they have 
been after all the time, to begin with. And here the 
overthrow of France and England was a necessary pre- 
liminary. As to France, Bernhardi had shown how, 
after a resistless rush through Belgium, Germany was 
to ' square her account with France and crush her so 
completely that she could never again come across 
our path '. And in the same spirit Treitschke, who 
believed a collision with England to be inevitable, had 
warned his countrymen that the ' settlement with 
England would probably be the longest and the most 
difficult '. It is as a consequence of following the will-o'- 


the-wisp of a German world-wide empire that Germany 
has been brought to the pass in which she stands to-day. 
And when official verification can be secured of the 
various statements which go to prove that the war party 
in Berlin was confidently counting on war long before 
it actually broke out, and had carefully calculated how 
and when it could best profit from the difficulties by 
which other nations, notably England, were known to 
be embarrassed, little or nothing will be required to 
make the story complete. When told, it may even help 
to reconcile the German people themselves to the defeat 
and discomfiture which they so richly deserve. 

But even with our present knowledge of the facts, is 
it not amazing to us that Germany should seek to fasten 
the blame on the other side, when she herself had drawn 
up such an advance programme as that which has just 
been described ? Take England, for instance. Every- 
body knows, or ought to know, that there is no country 
in the world that has a greater interest than England in 
the continued maintenance of peace. She wants nothing 
from anybody — except to be let alone. She certainly 
would not have been likely, on any flimsy pretext, to 
provoke a conflict with her best customer. But the 
Germans insist that she had two motives for going to 
war against them : first, alarm at the rapid growth of 
their navy ; and second, envy and jealousy on account 
of the marvellous expansion of German trade and com- 
merce. No doubt the rivalry in naval armaments, where 
the pace has been set by Germany, has for the last ten 
or twelve years been a tremendous strain on England, 
especially under a Government that would far rather 
have spent the money on something else ; but she was 
doing fairly well in the competition, and with the 
Dominions ranging themselves at her side she would 


soon have had nothing more to fear. As to commercial 
rivalry, can any one imagine Sir Edward Grey sitting 
down at the supreme moment to calculate the volume 
of trade in the Balkans, or who would get the business 
along the line of the Bagdad railway ? No : his loyal and 
devoted efforts were directed exclusively to averting the 
horrors of war from Europe. Th§ fact that Mr. Bernard 
Shaw has recently been saying something different 
should be received everywhere as a new proof of the 
truth of the proposition. England's obvious military 
unpreparedness ought to be the best answer to any 
suggestion that she was planning for war. The argument 
against her is being conducted to a large extent -by 
persons who profess to have a well-founded belief in her 
treachery, her selfishness, her hypocrisy, and, above all, 
her decadence and degeneracy. Here my friends the 
professors have filled an absolutely surprising role. One 
has to remember, however, that degeneracy may over- 
take institutions as well as nations. You would not go to 
the German universities to-day for a free and unfettered 
expression of opinion about matters in which the German 
Government was directly interested. The influence of 
the military autocracy, which has permeated all strata 
of society, has extended itself to the institutions of 
higher learning — yes, and to the churches as well. Many 
of the leading professors are Privy Councillors, and 
cannot always exercise the privilege of independent 
thought. They have followed too literally Treitschke's 
direction to ' be governmental ', and have done much 
to justify Mommsen's fears as to what would happen 
to the German people if militarism were allowed to take 
captive every other element. How can we otherwise 
explain Eucken and Haeckel ? Here are some of their 
findings : ' Undoubtedly the German invasion in Bel- 


gium served England as a welcome pretext to openly 
declare her hostility ; ' and again, ' England's com- 
plaints of the violation of international law are the most 
atrocious hypocrisy and the vilest Pharisaism.' 

To these two I add Ostwald, who appears to have 
had a beatific vision of Germany enthroned in Central 
Europe,, with the other nations grouped around her, and 
as a counterpoise on the American continent the United 
States, with Canada to the north and the Latin republics 
to the south, leaning up against her, as it were, in 
deferential pose. He also seems to approve of a sort 
of ' merger ' or ' combine ' for all small nations, while 
wishing to apply the reverse process in the case of 
Russia. Here are some of Ostwald's utterances : ' The 
further end of destroying the source from which for 
two or three centuries all European strifes have been 
nourished and intensified, namely, the English policy of 
world dominion. ... I assume that the English dominion 
will suffer a downfall similar to that which I have pre- 
dicted for Russia, and that under these circumstances 
Canada would join the United States, the expanded 
republic assuming a certain leadership with reference to 
the South American republics. 

1 The principle of the absolute sovereignty of the indi- 
vidual nations, which in the present European tumult 
has proved itself so inadequate and baneful, must be 
given up and replaced by a system conforming to the 
world's actual conditions, and especially to those political 
and economic relations which determine industrial and 
cultural progress and the common welfare.' 

We had Ostwald's son lecturing for us at McGill 
last winter, when we little dreamed that such were the 
sentiments of his distinguished father. What a collapse 
of all our hopes of international academic solidarity ! 


And the odd thing is that the Germans should profess 
to believe that it is we who have been scheming for 
their downfall ! It is a relatively unimportant incident, 
but as I have mentioned McGill I may place on record 
in these pages the fact that when that university had 
the honour of welcoming, a few years ago, the highest 
lady in the land, these words were used : ' Nowhere is 
there a fuller realization than in our national universities 
of the debt we owe to the country which has sent us 
a daughter so distinguished : and our prayer is that in 
the coming time Britain may march forward along the 
path of progress in none but amiable relations with 
a friendly Germany.' We may have been wrong in our 
forecast of the future, but our sincerity cannot be 
questioned by any of the professors from whom I have 
just quoted. And the sentiment which found sincere 
utterance in Montreal would have been similarly ex- 
pressed in every university centre throughout the 
Empire. Why, then, are we treated as though we had 
been harbouring ill-will and hatred in our hearts ? This 
seems to me to be even more insulting than the sug- 
gestion so constantly made by our German critics, to 
the effect that Britain's day is done, that the sceptre 
she has won by doubtful methods is now falling from 
her nerveless grasp, that the Empire of which we can 
boast to-day ' does not correspond to the vital power 
of Great Britain to defend it ', and that she had better 
prepare to make way for a stronger successor, ready 
and able to take over her business ! Never perhaps in 
all history have we had a better case for the application 
of the old saw, Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat : 
Those whom God wishes to destroy he first deprives of 
reason ! 

What are the lessons which we in Canada should 


draw from the war ? I rejoice that we have shown by 
our acts that we regard it as a Canadian war. It is in 
very truth Avhat the British Blue-books have been 
referring to for years as a ' war in defence of the 
Empire ' — a possibility suddenly converted into a fact. 
There is no use in going back on the past, though 
personally I hope that the type of person will disappear 
from our midst who used to spend all his energies in 
calculating what Canada would do in the (very remote) 
contingency of ' England embarking on a war of which 
the Canadian Parliament could not approve ' . He could 
not get it out of his head that the question he had to 
consider was whether he would ' help the old country ' 
instead of whether he" would or would not fight for his 
life ! For all the time the foe was at our gates. What 
brought the true inwardness of the situation home to 
every one in Canada (except, of course, Mr. Bourassa), 
and to the other overseas Dominions as well, was the 
spectacle of the German Ambassador in London trying 
to bargain with the British Government that, if England 
would only remain neutral, Germany would promise not 
to take any more of the soil of France, but only the 
French colonies. If the French colonies now, why not 
the English next ? It may be hoped that, with further 
progress in the direction of imperial organization — still 
along the line of voluntary co-operation — we shall get 
rid now of the phrase which has so long disfigured the 
official publications of the Imperial Conference : ' Should 
any of the Dominions desire to assist in the defence of 
the Empire at a time of real danger'. That is surely 
a worn-out formula, imposed on a scrupulous home- 
Government by the apathy and half-heartedness of 
colonial statesmen. 

Even a warlike paper such as this must not be allowed 


to close without a word of praise for so doughty an 
antagonist. That the British are good sportsmen is 
proved by their admiration for the exploits of the 
German commander of the Emden. We cannot praise 
other things the Germans have done in the course of 
this war — their spying and lying, their mine-laying, their 
indiscriminate bomb-throwing, their destruction of public 
buildings and artistic treasures, their terrorizing of the 
civil population, their military execution of hostages and 
their brigand-like levy of huge ransoms from the cities 
through which they have passed. In olden times the 
robber-chief would build his castle at the head of some 
narrow defile, so as to take toll of all who went that 
way ; but his modern representative moves his minions 
from one place to another, and presents his bill of 
expenses as he goes ! These are certainly unwelcome 
results of the German love of thoroughness. There is 
much disillusionment in store for the Germans in the 
near future. At present they can see nothing but red. 
And they seem to believe everything they are told — 
which perhaps, after all, is not very much. It is an 
astounding fact that while the British Foreign Office 
has included in its Blue-book, and has spread broadcast 
over the whole world, an official translation of the 
German White-book, giving the German account of the 
origin of the war, its German translation of the British 
White Paper (in which the documents are left to speak 
for themselves) has to be smuggled into Germany. Such 
a state of things cannot long continue. Meanwhile we 
can even afford to admire the spectacle of a great nation 
rallying round its ruler under the inspiration of an over- 
whelming national sentiment. The crowd that attacked 
the British Embassy at Berlin only knew what it had 
been told : its demeanour contrasted unfavourably with 


that of those who gathered outside Buckingham Palace 
at the time of the declaration of war — not jubilant and 
shouting, but calm, quiet, and determined. And the 
so-called ' mercenaries ' whom Britain sent forward into 
the firing-line were and are much better posted in the 
facts of the case than the German conscript, hurried off 
with his identification disk almost before he has had 
time to learn who it is that he is going to fight, and where. 
But Germany has indeed shown a united front, which 
it will maintain till questions begin to be asked and 
answered. Then will come a rude awakening. The 
national conscience cannot be left for ever in the keeping 
of the bureaucracy at Berlin. The German system of 
administration is one of the most efficient, if not the 
most efficient, in the world. In fact I am sometimes 
inclined to think that six months of German rule would 
be a very good thing for many of us — say in the Province 
of Quebec ! But it carries with it a certain suppression 
of individuality which would not find favour with us. 
The average citizen in Germany is over-apt to take his 
views from those whom he looks up to as the authorized 
and accredited representatives of the nation. He has 
too small a voice in the regulation of his own affairs. 
Especially in connexion with such an issue as the one 
under discussion, it is the bureaucracy that does the 
main part of the work in the moulding of public opinion. 
That is why, in spite of all our admiration for German 
thoroughness and efficiency, we need not abase ourselves 
before the German system. We admire their patriotism 
and their utter self -surrender at the call of country. We 
can learn much from their skill in organization, their 
intensity of purpose, their devotion to work, their moral 
earnestness, and their achievements in the field of science 
and art and letters. But on our side we have also some- 


thing to show— some claims to consideration that ought 
to save us from organized misrepresentation and hate. 
The Empire which has come into collision with Germany 
is also the fruit of high moral as well as great practical 
qualities, which have extorted the admiration, if some- 
times also the envy, of the world. We do not recognize 
ourselves when we are told that we are merely a ' robber 
state ', which for centuries has prospered as the ' bully 
of Europe ' — we who have fought and bled for freedom 
since the days of the Great Charter down to Napoleon ! 
Our watchword is Liberty rather than dominion ; and 
self-governing institutions are to us the breath of life. 
We have no sympathy with the methods or ideals of 
absolutism and autocratic government. Within the 
boundaries of our Empire peoples of widely different 
origin, and at various stages of civilization, are free 
to develop themselves spontaneously, and without 
domineering interference, to the highest of which they 
may be capable. We do not understand any of the 
new-fangled jargon about the State being superior to 
ordinary considerations of morality, and about its 
material interests being the one rule that transcends 
even the obligations of conscience. To us good is good, 
and evil is evil, alike for the community and for the 
individuals of whom the community consists. We take 
no part in the worship of mere might, or force, or power, 
and we do not share in the cult which makes war an 
immutable law of humanity. ' The living God will see 
to it ', said Treitschke, ' that war shall always recur as 
a terrible medicine for mankind.' This dictum may 
summarize one aspect of the philosophy of history, but 
when it is applied in the concrete as a justification or 
explanation of the atrocities we are witnessing to-day, 
our souls revolt against it. We want to help to dethrone 


that evil spirit of militarism which, rooted as it is in 
the bad traditions of a ruthless past, has spread its 
baleful influence all over Germany. The world will 
breathe more freely if we can establish an international 
alliance against military despotism, so that never again 
shall it be in the power of a small group of individuals 
to work such havoc with the bodies and souls of men. 
The supreme compensation we shall claim when the day 
of reckoning comes is that there shall be a pause in the 
mad race of armaments. England has tried for this 
before, but now she will speak, let us hope, with the 
voice of united Europe. As Mr. Frederic Harrison has 
put it, in his recent pamphlet on ' The Meaning of the 
War ', 'If the armies of Germany and Austria, of 
Russia and of France, are by international conventions 
and European law reduced to moderate proportions, the 
blood tax will be taken off the nations of the world. 
The peaceful union of a European confederation may 
begin to be a reality, and at last the progress of civiliza- 
tion may advance in security, free from the nightmare 
of perpetual expectation of war.' 

Meanwhile, till that time — the real ' Day ' — arrives, 
we can all with the utmost confidence, each and every 
one among us, repeat as our own the words of the Prime 
Minister of England, when he said : ' I do not believe 
that any nation ever entered into a great controversy — 
and this is one of the greatest history will ever know — 
with a clearer conscience and stronger conviction that 
it is fighting, not for aggression, not for the maintenance 
even of its own selfish interest, but that it is fighting 
in defence of principles the maintenance of which is 
vital to the civilization of the world '. 

Oxford : Horace Hart Printer to the University 







With an Appendix of Original Documents 

including the Authorized English Translation 

of the White Book issued by the 

German Government 







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D Bjorkraan* Edwin 

621 ' Scandinavia & the war