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conquer it. When they do so, it will be permanent. Otherwise they fail.
There are wars like that between Japan and Russia, in which President Roosevelt properly and successfully intervened to bring about a peace that helped the parties to a settlement. The principle at stake and the power and territory were of such a character that a settlement might be made substantially permanent. But the present issue is like that in our Civil War, which was whether the Union was to be preserved and the cancer of slavery was to be cut out. Peace proposals to President Lincoln were quite as numerous as those of to-day, and were moved by quite as high motives. But there was no compromise possible. Either slavery and disunion lost or won. So to-day the great moral object of the war must be achieved or defeated.
An organization of citizens in the United States, known as the League to Enforce Peace, has been active for three years past in promoting its propaganda. There is a similar association in England. In that League are many persons who for years urged the settlement of all international controversies by arbitration or judicial decision. The vortex of death and destruction for the peoples of the world, which the breaking out of the war portended, roused these peace lovers and promoters to devise a plan for avoiding war after this should end. The English plan is more ambitious in providing that if the council of nations so decide they must enforce the judgment or settlement.
Whatever the detailed stipulations of such a league, its operation and success must depend on the obligations of the treaty stipulations. Unless their binding effect is recognized by the nations as a sacred principle, the stipulations of the
league will be “writ in water." The revelations and disclosures of this war will satisfy the members of the league that as long as the present military caste controls the German military and foreign policy, the league is impracticable, and would not be worth the parchment on which its obligations would be recorded. Why have they reached this conclusion? Why, as citizens of the United States, and as citizens of the world anxious to promote peace, do they feel that any proposal of peace in the present situation would defeat permanent world peace and should be opposed by them with all the energy they can command? The answer to this question must be found in the causes of this war and the revelations it has made of Germany's purpose, stripped of confusing pretence and naked for the whole world to see.
Germany was long divided into little states, kingdoms, duchies and other forms of one-man rule. She was the prey of political intrigue and manipulation of other powers. All her well-wishers hoped for and looked forward to her union. The Germans of yore had loved freedom. We Anglo-Saxons were Germans once and our representative system can be traced back to institutions found first in the forests of Germany. In the wars of the first Napoleon, Prussia and other German states were subjected to a great humiliation. But the German youth rebelled, organized themselves into military reserves, and finally contributed much to the defeat of the man whose lust for universal power finds its counterpart in the aim of the Hohenzollerns of to-day. Later, the Holy Alliance, retaining the principle of the divine right of kings, and supporting it in all of Germany, left no opportunity for the free exercise of political power by these liberty-loving German youths. In 1848 democratic revolutions occurred throughout Germany and
in Austria, but they were overcome. Many of the leaders came to the United States and with their followers became our best adopted citizens. When our Civil War came on, their hatred of slavery led them to volunteer for their adopted country, and every battlefield of the war was wet with German blood.
In Germany itself, however, the liberal element was not allowed to work out its hopes. It had looked to a united and liberal Germany with a government based on the representative system. It was not to be. Under the first William with his Prime Minister Bismarck, who came to power in 1862, a definite plan was adopted of perfecting the already well-disciplined Prussian army so that by “ blood and iron " the unity of Germany should be achieved. The whole Prussian nation was made into an army, and it soon became a machine with a power of conquest equaled by no other. The cynical, unscrupulous, but effective, diplomacy of Bismarck first united Prussia with Austria to deprive Denmark of Schleswig-Holstein by force, then secured a quarrel with Austria over the spoils, and deprived her of all influence over the German states by humiliating defeat in the six weeks' war of 1866. After this war, several German states were annexed forcibly to Prussia and offensive and defensive alliances were made with others.
Then in 1870 the occasion was seized, when it was known that France was not prepared, to strike at her. France was beaten, and Alsace and Lorraine were taken from her. The German Empire was established with a Prussian King at its head. France was made to pay an indemnity of one billion dollars, with which the military machine of Germany was strengthened and improved. Then Germany settled down to a period of peace to digest the territory which by these
three wars had been absorbed. Bismarck's purpose in maintaining the superiority of his army was to retain what had been taken by blood and iron, and at the same time by a period of prolonged peace to give to Germany a full opportunity for industrial development and the self-discipline necessary for the highest efficiency.
The marvelous work which the Germans have accomplished in their field of industrial activity is known to all. The prosperity which followed increased the population of Germany and crowded her borders. Bismarck was dismissed by the present Emperor, but his policy of maintaining the highest efficiency of the army was continued. And then, as the success of the German system in the material development of the Empire showed itself and became the admiration of the world, the destiny of Germany grew larger in the eyes of her Emperor and her people, and the blood and iron policy which had been directed first to the achievement of the unity of Germany and then to the defense of the German Empire in the enjoyment of what had been taken in previous wars, expanded into a dream of Germanizing the world. The German people were impregnated with this idea by every method of official instruction. A cult of philosophy to spread the propaganda developed itself in the universities and schools. The principle was that the state could do no wrong, that the state was an entity that must be sustained by force; that everything else must be sacrificed to its strength; that the only sin the state could commit was neglect and failure to maintain its power.
With that dogmatic logic which pleases the German mind, and to which it readily adapts itself, this proposition easily led to the further conclusion that there could be no international morality; that morality and its principles applied
only to individuals, but that when the action of the state was involved, considerations of honor, of the preservation of obligations solemnly made, must yield if the interests of the state required. These were the principles taught by Treitschke in the University of Berlin and maintained by German economic philosophers and by the representative of the military régime in the person of Bernhardi.
Bismarck had been keen enough in his diplomacy to await the opportunity that events presented for seeming to be forced into a war which he had long planned. This was the case with Denmark. This was the case with Austria. This was the case with France. German diplomacy has lost nothing of this characteristic in the present war. Germany did not plan the killing of the Austrian Archduke and his consort; but the minute that that event presented the likelihood of war, Germany accepted it as the opportunity for her to strike down her neighbors, Russia and France, and to enlarge her power. She gladly gave her consent to the ultimatum of Austria to Servia that was sure to bring on war, and then posed as one driven into war by the mobilization of Russia.
She knew that Russia was utterly unprepared. She knew that France was unprepared. She knew that Great Britain was unprepared. She herself was ready to the last cannon and the last reservist. Therefore, when appealed to by Great Britain and by all the other Powers to intervene and prevent Austria from forcing a universal war, Germany declined to act. Not a telegram or communication between Germany and Austria has ever been given to the public to show the slightest effort to induce delay by Austria. While Germany would pose as having acted only as Austria's ally and as unwilling to influence her against her interest and