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Germans, and the éblouissement which their highly developed state organisation exercised when contrasted with five centuries of Turkish domination, cannot, there. fore, fully explain the situation. It was the unfortunate tactics of Russia, coupled with the short-sighted passivity of the Western Powers, which most helped to build up the German policy, as the following considerations will tend to show. I should like to say at the outset that there is no intention on my part of denying or minimising the beneficial effects which German penetration carried with it. The process acquired an objectionable character only when it became a policy-a policy inspired by the conception, bluntly expressed by an Austrian historian, that the German public could only benefit by being less neglectful than heretofore in taking cognisance of the circumstances prevailing in the respective Danubian countries, since the Rumanians, like the Hungarians, belong to the“ sub-Germanic"nations.'*
The neighbouring Saxon colonies in Transylvania have at all periods provided a varying number of artisans, merchants, and members of the liberal professions to the Rumanian countries. But few of these remained there, for during the four centuries of Turkish domination conditions were so insecure that often the best thing which could happen to these artisans was to get home again with nothing in return for their services. By the end of the first quarter of the 19th century Turkish domination began to decline in the Rumanian countries; and the greater security and abundance of work and money which prevailed during the Russian occupation (1828–1834) attracted many skilled workmen from across the Carpathians. The moment was scarcely propitious, however, for Germanism. The movement towards economic and political emancipation which, deriving its inspiration from ideas liberated by the French Revolution, set in during the first quarter of the 19th century in the Rumanian countries, ran alongside a strong revival of the Latin spirit under the paramount influence of French civilisation. It is not too much to say that the educated Rumanians of the time
* Jul. Jung, “Römer und Romanen in den Donauländern,' 2nd ed., Innsbruck, 1887, p. 351.
allowed themselves to be called Rumanians only because of the implication in the name of cousinship with the French. Many of the young boyards' went to study in Paris, and afterwards never again made use of their native tongue. Travellers who visited the Danubian principalities about that period state that nowhere outside France was French more spoken than in Bucarest and Jassy. So also Thouvenel (later Foreign Secretary under Napoleon III), who travelled through Wallachia in 1839. He spoke of the great natural wealth of that country, which wars and noxious domination had turned into a desert, and of the opportunities which it offered to enterprising minds. But neither private nor official France lent a sympathetic ear to the traveller's words ; they remained content with hearing that all Rumanians were anxious to greet one in French, or what sometimes passed for French. Similar observations concerning the richness of the country had already been recorded by the British Consul in Bucarest, Wilkinson, in whose opinion the fertility of the soil was such as to provide nourishment for ten times the number of the present population, and leave wherewith to supply other countries besides, if only those countries (the Rumanian] could enjoy the important advantages of a regular government and a wise administration.' *
The counsels of another traveller were to be more successful. In 1835 Moltke, at the time a young captain in a Prussian regiment, was called to Constantinople to organise the Turkish army. On his
On his way down he passed through Wallachia, and he said in his correspondence that hardly a fifth of the arable land was being worked, and that the soil was so rich that it would repay many times over the labour expended upon its cultivation :
· The Germans who migrate across the seas in search of a better situation, would be better advised,' he went on, 'to direct their steps towards the Danubian regions. The journey is shorter and far less expensive, and the reward is certain if only conditions could be made somewhat more secure.'t
* W. Wilkinson, ‘An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia,' London, 1820, pp. 84, 85.
+ Helmuth von Moltke, ‘Briefe über Zustände und Begebenheiten in der Türkei, 1835-1839,' 5th ed., Berlin, 1891, p. 7.
The suggestion was taken up at once by the great economist, List, whose personality secured the attention of his countrymen. List adopts almost textually the remarks of Moltke, and then goes on to say that
‘under the circumstances existing in Turkey it ought not to be impossible for the German states, in alliance with Austria, to exercise such an influence on the improvement of the public condition of these countries, that the German colonist should no longer feel himself repelled from them, especially if the governments themselves would found companies for colonisation, take a share in them, and continually grant them their special protection.' *
In 1839 both the Prussian and the Austrian Governments undertook officially the safeguarding of the interests of the German colony in Bucarest, while in the early forties two German journals were started in that town, though there were no more than two Rumanian papers appearing at the time and the number of German residents was still small. Their number increased during the Magyar revolution of 1848, when many Saxons from Transylvania migrated to Rumania.
Yet another opportunity was given to France to establish her influence firmly in Rumania, when the untiring support of Napoleon III had induced the Paris Conference of 1858 to agree to the general desire of the Rumanians that the two weak principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia should be allowed to unite into a single state. France did nothing to that end, however, and the game was practically lost, when Napoleon III himself privately put forward and supported the candidature of Prince Carol of Hohenzollern, who, on Bismarck's advice, accepted the Rumanian throne in 1866.
A few years later, in October 1871, Bismarck met Austria's Foreign Secretary, Count Beust, at Gastein, and there laid the foundation-stone of the policy of the Drang nach Osten,' rich in evil consequences. Beust mentions in his Memoirs that, having touched upon the eventual dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Bismarck'obligingly remarked that one could not conceive of a Great Power
* Friedrich List, Das Nationale System der politischen Oekonomie,' Stuttgart und Tübingen, 1841, pp. 583-584.
not making its faculty for expansion a vital question.' For the success of the new scheme Rumania became an important factor. The policy was therefore ushered in without delay. Prince Anthony, Prince Carol's father and faithful adviser, Count Andrassy, Austria's new Foreign Secretary, and Bismarck, vied with one another in educating Prince Carol to appreciate the danger of Russian aggression and the advantages of a closer union with Austria and Germany. This was followed in 1872 by a noteworthy, though fortunately unsuccessful, attempt to bring the Rumanian railways under Austrian control, by absorbing the private company owning them into the Oesterreichische Staatseisenbahn-Gesellschaft. As the views of Berlin and Vienna wholly reflected the personal feelings of Prince Carol, their plans met with his active support. That policy was never to the liking of his subjects; and only the Prince's high personal qualities and the neglect of Rumania shown by the other Western powers led to its acceptance as a temporary necessity, until Russia, by annexing Bessarabia as a reward for the military assistance rendered by Rumania in 1878, justified the monarch's attitude. After that time Prince Carol was always able to rely upon the approval of a considerable and enlightened part of Rumanian public opinion for that quasi-alliance with the Central Powers, which never weakened until the Balkan conflicts of 1912-1913.
When Prince Carol ascended the throne, firmly convinced of the superiority of everything German, he set himself the task of implanting German culture in the East.' His first act was to dismiss, notwithstanding a significant vote of regret of the Rumanian chamber, the French military mission which had been entrusted with the organisation of the Rumanian army, replacing it by Prussian instructors. In the same way the French warmaterial was gradually replaced by German, and by-andby the German and Austrian arsenals acquired an undisputed monopoly in Rumania. In 1893 the infantry was equipped with Mannlicher quick-firing rifles, and the cavalry with carbines of the same model; the artillery,
* G. Hanotaux, ‘La Guerre des Balkans et l'Europe,' Paris, 1914, p. 297. Vol. 226.-No. 449.
with Krupp quick-firing guns, cal. 75 mm. About 2,000,0001. worth of orders went to Germany in 1904, when the artillery materiel was largely renewed. A Rumanian military commission was, down to the outbreak of the present war, constantly in residence at Essen for the reception of war materiel.
The railways came next. A German financier, Strousberg, was entrusted early in 1868 with the launching of a company for the construction of railways in Rumania; and subscriptions were invited on the Berlin market. Strousberg and his confederates grossly misused the funds at their disposal and were unable to pay the interest due in January 1871. The bonds were quasiguaranteed by the Rumanian Government; and, to the exasperation of the already justly roused Rumanians, Bismarck, giving way to the pressure of the German bondholders, demanded officially and in imperious terms the immediate payment of the interest due. Moreover, though the Paris Convention had expressly forbidden any Turkish interference in Rumania's internal affairs, Bismarck appealed to the nominal suzerainty which, abhorrent as it was to the Rumanians, Turkey still exercised. Rumania was brought to the brink of bankruptcy; and this and the misfortunes of France made feeling against Germany and everything German run so high, that Prince Carol was on the point of abdicating.
Rumania was badly in need of assistance; and gratitude and economic and political advantages were certain to be accorded to any country whose timely assistance would have given her the means to nip the economic domination of Germany in the bud. France, it is true, had other interests to look after at the time, and may therefore be given the benefit of the doubt as to whether she could have put this new opportunity to good use. But England, who could easily have taken the small risk upon her, and who was free both of French and German competition at the time, had an unexpected opportunity of acquiring a solid footing in the young Rumanian state; and she let the opportunity slip through her fingers. It cannot be said that England was not fully aware of the importance of such an action; the country had recognised the economic importance of the Danubian regions long before. Already in the thirties