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THE NEW YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND
I. Foundation and Character of the German Empire; II. The Triple
I. Austria Proposes an Attack on Serbia; II. Secret Military Report on
I. Prior Relations of Serbia, Austria and Russia; II. The Serajevo
I. Outline of Events, July 21 to August 5, 1914; II. Proposals for
I. Other States Enter the War; II. World-wide Character of the War;
III. Summary of Reasons for Entering the War.
I. Summary of States at War in 1917; II. American Aims in the War;
Topical Outline of the War
BY SAMUEL B. HARDING, PROFESSOR OF EUROPEAN HISTORY IN INDIANA UNIVERSITY. PREPARED IN CO-OPERATION WITH THE NATIONAL BOARD FOR HISTORICAL SERVICE AND THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC INFORMATION.*
I. FUNDAMENTAL CAUSES OF THE WAR.
I. GENERAL FACTORS.
1. The constitution of the German Empire permits its foreign policy to be determined by the Emperor alone, who is at the same time, by "divine right," King of Prussia-the State which possesses an overwhelming territorial, political, and military predominance in the Empire.
"The Emperor declares war with the consent of the Bundesrat, the assent of the Reichstag not being required. Not even the Bundesrat need be consulted if the war is defensive, and as the Hohenzollerns have always claimed to make defensive warfare it is not surprising that even the unrepresentative Bundesrat was officially informed about the present war three days after the Emperor declared it." (Charles D. Hazen, The Government of Germany; Committee on Public Information publication.) (See War Cyclopedia, under "Autocracy," "Kaiserism," "William II.")
2. Profit derived from war in the past by Prussia (Germany).
(a) Through increase of territory (cf. maps).
(b) Through indemnities (e. g., from France, 1871). (c) Through increased prestige and influence. Hence justification of the "blood and iron" policy of Bismarck, and his predecessors. War as the national industry" of Prussia.
"The Great Elector laid the foundations of Prussia's power by successful and deliberately incurred wars. Frederick the Great followed in the footsteps of his glorious ancestor. . . . None of the wars which he fought had been forced upon him; none of them did he postpone as long as possible. . . . The lessons of history thus confirm the view that wars which have been deliberately provoked by far-seeing statesmen have had the happiest results." (Bernhardi, Germany and the Next War, 1911.)
3. Germany's demand for "a place in the sun."
(a Meaning of the Kaiser's phrase (“a place in the sun") not clear. It covers vaguely colonies, commerce, and influence in international affairs in proportion to Germany's population, industrial importance, and military power.
(b) Obstacles. The German Empire was a latecomer in the family of nations; the best regions for colonization and exploitation, especially in the temperate zones, were already occupied by other Powers.
(c) Examples of the demand. (See Conquest and
Kultur, secs. 6, 10; War Cyclopedia, under “Place in the Sun," "Pan-Germanism,” etc.) "We need colonies, and more colonies, than we have
This outline was prepared with the active aid of the Committee on Public Information (Department of Civic and Educational Co-operation), 10 Jackson Place, Washington, D. C. Frequent reference is made herein to the publications of this committee, which with a few exceptions are distributed free upon application.
already, to give vent to our surplus energies without losing them and to make the motherland economically independent." (Manifesto of the Colonial League.)
"We need a fleet strong enough not only to protect the colonies we now have, but to bring about the acquisition of others." (Manifesto of the Navy League.)
"A progressive nation like ours needs territory, and if this cannot be obtained by peaceful means, it must be obtained by war. It is the object of the Defense Association [Wehrverein] to create this sentiment." (Lieut.-General Wrochem in speech to the Wehrverein in March, 1913.)
"Without doubt this acquisition of new lands will not take place without war. What world power was ever established without bloody struggles?" (Albrecht Wirth, Volkstum und Weltmacht in der Geschichte, 1904. Quoted by Andler, Le Pangermanisme continentale, 1915, p. 308.)
"It is only by relying on our good German sword that we can hope to conquer that place in the sun which rightly belongs to us, and which no one will yield to us voluntarily. . . . Till the world comes to an end, the ultimate decision must rest with the sword." (German Crown Prince, in Introduction to Germany in Arms, 1913.)
4. Biological argument for war.
(a) Darwin's theory of the “struggle for existence"
"War is a biological necessity of the first importance, a regulative element in the life of mankind which cannot be dispensed with, since without it an unhealthy development will follow, which excludes every advancement of the race, and therefore all real civilization. . . . 'To supplant or be supplanted is the essence of life,' says Goethe, and the strong life gains the upper hand. The law of the stronger holds good everywhere. Those forms survive which are able to procure themselves the most favorable conditions of life, and to assert themselves in the universal economy of Nature. The weaker suc
cumb. . . .
"Might gives the right to occupy or to conquer. Might is at once the supreme right, and the dispute
Copyright, 1917, McKinley Publishing Company.