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tria would control the eastern Adriatic coast up to the Greek border. Turkey might lose some outlying districts.
German gains in land, men, and wealth in Europe would be very small, even if the cost of the war was not taken into account. Her colonies would be handed back to her, and in return for the surrender of Belgium and of occupied France she would receive considerable extensions of her possessions in tropical Africa. The addition of some one hundred thousand square miles in tropical Africa would be an important gain to a country like Germany, whose colonial endowment was rather meagre; it would not affect considerably the balance of the world's power.
The cost of such a peace would fall mainly on Russia; a large part of the foreign races which she had oppressed systematically would be freed; her efforts to settle the affairs of the Balkan people in her own selfish interest would be defeated for good. If Turkey ever lost Constantinople, Bulgaria or Greece, which have a racial or historic right to it, would get it. Russia's claim to a warmwater port by the territorial control of a country whose inhabitants are not Russian is a flat negation of the muchvaunted principle of nationality. It is no better than would be a German de mand for the Orkney and Shetland Islands and the Strait of Dover, which bar her from the free sea so long as they are occupied by the British. It would be a useless sacrifice of the principle of nationality, as well as of common sense. For the Mediterranean is quite as much an inland sea as the Black Sea, so long as England holds Egypt and the Strait of Gibraltar. And it is not very likely that the British Government will prove its faith in the principle of nationality by handing back Egypt, Gibraltar, and Malta to their rightful owners.
Russia, no doubt, will feel somewhat sore, but, as none of her own people are taken away from her, she will be able to organize them according to their own wants. She has been the great incubus on European politics for many years. That will be removed for some time to
But she will gather strength as time goes on and, let us hope, use it in a wise way. She will always be a neighbor of Germany and Austria, though Poland as a busier State may intervene. If Poland is successful and continues to live in friendly co-operation with Germany and Austria, the Russian danger will be considerably reduced. But the Polish problem is not easily solved. However well organized an autonomous Poland may be, she cannot ever compromise all Poles within her borders; she will always contain many non-Poles—Ruthenians, Lithuanians, and Jews. It is scarcely fair to expect such an amount of constructive statesmanship from Polish leaders as to avoid all pitfalls. Whatever is going to happen, Germany will be confronted by new problems in the east, the solution of which no victory in battle can assure.
The alliance between Germany and Austria has grown much firmer during the war.
Austria may be weaker than Germany, but she is a big and powerful empire which has shown marvelous vitality. She has her own problems and her own ideas. The majority of her people are not Teutons. Even without important new annexation, the Slavic influence in Austria will grow notwithstanding German and Hungarian resistance.
Austria is not a vassal State of Germany. If the Central Powers had been defeated she might have been shorn of her Slavic provinces and brought into a sort of dependency. As it is, she has been rejuvenated; she will be a faithful partner to Germany in European questions, but she would not sacrifice her manhood for wild plans of German world supremacy, the effects of which would fall on her own people.
France no doubt will be saddened, as she cannot recover Alsace and Lorraine; her losses in men and material have been awful; her military valor is shining more brightly than it ever did.
As to England, she is engaged in the first really costly war that she ever has waged. But, as far as the number of human lives is concerned, she will come off fairly well. Her organization of commerce and finance has been excellent. She would deserve nothing but praise for
the great organization she has evolved, continuation of this practice, until the if it were not for the loquacity of her Alies broke it. The British Navy has statesmen, who have continually prom done a great deal of important subsidiary ised goods which they were unable to work for the Allies; it has closed a deliver.
stretch of about 300 miles, stopping GerShe has shown the world at large that many's approach to the ocean. The chief the weapon on which she chiefly relied, blockading is done by the armies on the
Continent. sea power, is an excellent secondary instrument, incapable of producing decisive This is not due to want of efficiency on results when used against a strong Con the part of the British Navy. It is due tinental power. The combined fleet of to the inherent limitations of sea power, the Allies has cut off the Central Powers which this war has clearly brought out. from most of their overseas trade. This An island country, depending on is not due to the superiority of the Brit power, can greatly annoy a Continental ish fleet. It is partly due to geographic power. It can destroy its direct overseas position. England holds the keys of the trade and interfere with its indirect Mediterranean; England and France con trade, if the neutrals permit it. It cannot trol the Strait of Dover; the only outlet defeat land power except by an alliance for German shipping, not directly under with other land powers. While an island the Allies' guns, is the mouth of the power like England or Japan can be North Sea between Norway and Scot
crushed on the sea, a Continental power land. This opening can be easily pa
can only be broken on land or in her outtrolled by a fleet stationed in Scotland. lying possessions. Measured by the velocity of modern
England is a very dangerous enemy if patrol boats, there is scarcely a greater
allied to some Continental power; isolated distance between the Shetland Islands and she cannot deal a decisive blow. As her the Norwegian coast than the width of empire is insular, she will always be dethe Strait of Gibraltar in the days of
pendent on communications and the sailing vessel. Germany's position liable to collapse when they are cut. She here is somewhat similar to that of can prevent invasion by maintaining a Russia in relation to the strait at Con big army; she cannot strike with that stantinople. Where geography does not army abroad, if no allied or neutral favor British sea power, it has achieved country gives her a chance to land it. nothing. It has not effected a landing
The safety of a Continental power canon German soil; it has not kept the Ger not be destroyed by sea power; her forman flag away from the Baltic.
eign trade may suffer and her foreign Geographical position is but one of the possessions can be kidnapped; only if she causes of the partial success of the allied embarks on an aggressive oveaseas policy blockade. Direct overseas trade in war in foreign lands does she become exposed times is not essential to a country like to decisive blows. Germany. The real success of the block So far as these questions are concerned ade is due to Russia and France. If they the war has undoubtedly diminished Engwere neutral, Germany could draw from land's prestige; she will no longer be the them all the provisions which she might proud arbiter in the world's councils. want. The few overseas goods which Eu But her own strength has not dwindled; rope does not produce would be imported she will be knit more closely with her indirectly via France or Russia. Neither dominions in a “ United Empire” than of these countries could be forced to pre she ever was before. And since she has vent the re-exportation of imported learned the art of military organization goods, as small countries like Holland from the hated Prussian, she will be able and Denmark have been for fear of hav to defend herself against all invasion. If ing their own supplies stopped.
she accepts the principle of the free sea, It was the custom in other wars to get which she herself advocated until lately, such supplies in an indirect way; inter
she will not be exposed to a policy of national law specifically provided for the
By Count Ernst zu Reventlow
Since this article was written Count Reventlow has been forbidden to publish anything without submitting it to the censor. His attack on President Wilson reveals the state of mind underlying the German opposition to American mediation. It also indicates the extent to which the President's motives have been misunderstood in Germany.
N the course of the last few weeks the motives that guide the policy of President Wilson must have
become clearly apparent even to those who had been skeptical up to then. If we look back to the beginning of the great war we see that this Wilson policy has followed an unbroken line from the time when, in the interest of England, American wireless stations were forbidden to transmit German news and news for Germany, to the knocking down of Germany in the submarine question, so characterized by Wilson himself and so joyfully lauded by him. This straight line of policy always is aimed at the same object: To injure and cripple Germany in this war, so as to enrich and strengthen the United States, and, furthermore, to aid the British Empire along every line and with all means in its military operations against Germany.
From month to month in this war the solidarity of the two Anglo-Saxon powers has constantly become more clearly apparent; a solidarity in all matters that affect the German Empire as an opponent, and, consequently, concern its injury and crippling. Beyond this there are naturally many questions where the two Anglo-Saxon powers are opposed to each other and where their paths of interest conflict. These, however, are troubles that can wait until after the war. The war finds them of one mind regarding all the main questions and in league with each other. Besides, in order to make a correct appreciation of persons and things possible, it must be remembered that Wilson in his day was elected with the strong participation of the financial world of Great Britain; erefore, to put it more simply, with English
money. This has been acknowledged in the United States for years, and they justly ascribed the attitude of President Wilson in the Mexican question after his assumption of office to the obligations he had thus incurred.
Unfortunately, we in Germany are still in many instances not free from the delusion that Wilson is an “unworldly scholar,” and we allow ourselves to be deceived through the intrigues of the scholar and man of principles into forgetting he fact that these are only superficialities and that behind them stands a shrewd American, free from illusions, and a convinced partisan of the Anglo-Saxon way of looking at the world. But it is understandable enough that Wilson gladly allows himself to be regarded as an unworldly stickler for principles, for tactically this cannot be anything else than useful to him. As has been said, however, his financial connection with Great Britain must not be forgotten, as well as the fact that in this case the interests of British capital and British policy coincide and that already, as a consequence, the policy of the United States must, without more ado, be completely and sympathetically affected.
Mr. Wilson, shortly after he had publicly lauded the knocking down of Germany, delivered a speech in May before a great meeting of the Peace League, in which he declared that he had resolved, as President of the United States, to take an energetic part in the peace negotiations. The United States, he said, was constantly becoming more interested in an early ending of the war, but when the end of the war was seen at hand, then the United States would have the same interest as the belligerent nations in
shaping the peace that was then to the peace negotiations with the same come. These alone are weighty utter energy as they formerly did with arms, ances. They let the fact be recognized being reinforced by a new enemy who that Wilson wishes to obtain admission would have to be regarded in the peace to the peace negotiations through his in negotiations as much more dangerous fluence as a mediator. Howeve when and serious than if he had been one of the negotiations are begun America's our opponents during the war. rôle as a mediator ceases, and it will It is as regrettable as it is remarkable take part in the negotiations on the same that there are such broad circles in Gerfooting as every one of the belligerent many where this simple truth is not parties—that is, as the representative of recognized. These circles appear to renothing but the interests of the United main rocked to sleep in the illusion that States. It is self-evident that such a Wilson's ambition is merely “ to restore rôle on the part of a State that has peace to the world” and nothing more. taken no active part in the war would There even arose a sort of “storm " in be very unusual. We merely wish to the German Reichstag recently when the draw attention to the main facts in the speaker for one of the parties of the case: First of all, the United States Right rejected Wilson in the role of a wants to institute a general peace con peacemaker and said that the German ference in order then to enter into the people had no confidence in the Presinegotiations upon the same footing as dent. Apparently there are wide circles the belligerents and to throw the entire in Germany in which it is not yet underweight of the United States into the stood that the manner in which peace scales in favor of its interests in every negotiations are begun and the division question that comes up, without being of forces while they are under way conbound in any way, not even by the rôle stitute a very weighty part of the war of mediator; consequently, it will be in itself, a part whose formation and dethe position constantly to exercise its in velopment can bring about the loss of a fluence through threats or through direct mighty part of the gains that have been economic pressure.
made by the sword. From the German point of view the
The manner in which the peace negofirst stumbling block is to be seen in tiations are entered upon is not less imWilson's declared intention to effect portant than the position assumed by an peace at a general conference. We do army or a fleet at the beginning of a not know whether it will come about that battle. These same German circles also way, but it certainly would not be de do not understand that the peace negotiasirable so far as German interests are
tions will have a direct bearing upon the concerned. Therefore, if the United strength of the respective parties, and States is working toward bringing such that consequently the joining in of the a conference into being, as a matter of United States, in view of the tendency course it is working against the interests
of its interests and in consideration of of Germany. Granting further that the its attitude up to the present, would, general peace conference is here and under all circumstances, signify a great that the United States has the position hardship for Germany. there for which Wilson is wishing and In his speech the President drew a working, there can be no doubt-in view sketch of the foundations upon which he of the attitude of the United States dur would like to see a future peace erected. ing this war-that the policy of Wilson The United States wants a permanent would work for Great Britain, France, peace, and Wilson asserts that such a Belgium, Italy, Serbia, and Montenegro peace is only possible if the place of the and against everything that the German present diplomacy is taken by “the prinEmpire imperatively needs for the guar- ciple of public right." In other words, anteeing of its political and economic he wishes to have all questions involving future. Consequently, the conference the honor and life of nations settled by would present the picture of our former international courts. We do not need to enemies, who would fight against us in waste many words over this. As long as
are not angels, and as long as a goddess of justice equipped with all the means of executive power does not act as judge, the idea of an international court of arbitration is not adapted to any important problems of international life. As a matter of course, the leading men of the United States regard the rôle they play toward the European nations as that of the powerful and impartial and as the deciding factor in these negotiations. This consideration alone would be enough to cause a general refusal in Germany. The United States, no matter under what President, has never cealed the fact that it regards all Germany's efforts along international lines, both political and economic, as inadmissible and unfriendly act toward the Anglo-Saxon nations. A strong German navy has always been treated in America as a challenge to England and the United States; Germany's possession of Alsace-Lorraine has never been looked upon as anything but robbery; in short, the modern German Empire and the work of the German people which it needs in order to maintain its life in the world are looked upon in the United States as something disturbing to peace and quietness, as something that ought not to exist.
In outlining his foundations Wilson also comes pretty plainly to the decisive points. He wishes " that every nation have the right to choose the sovereignty under which it shall live," and further that the small States shall have the right to enjoy the same respect, &c., as the big ones. The first point is exactly the same as has been handed out by Asquith, Grey, et al., since the beginning of the war. It is aimed at Belgium, AlsaceLorraine, North Schleswig, Poland, Montenegro, Serbia, &c. The former attempts to extend American influence in Belgium and Poland are now already working in the same direction. About Ireland and India, on the contrary, we have heard nothing so far, and it is significant enough that an honest little pamphlet, which the former American Secretary of State, Bryan, had written about English maladministration in India, was forced to submit during
this war to an order forbidding its exportation. This brochure is not allowed to be sent out of the United States. [Of course this statement is absurd. -Ed. CURRENT HISTORY MAGAZINE.]
Besides, this Wilson foundation stipulates, even if not in so many words, the introduction of democratic constitutions. Here again, therefore, we have the same effort as is being made by Great Britain, which at the bottom proceeds from the desire to see the German power, both at home and abroad, ruined through a democratic régime.
Furthermore, Wilson wants to have the basic principle laid down that, “the world to be free from any breach of the peace,” and the United States would form pari of any imaginable combination that would serve this end. Consequently, Wilson is thinking of some sort of a great international“ peace league," similar to the Holy Alliance of a century ago. It is well known that that Holy Alliance was a high-sounding phrase and a big fraud in which supposedly great men were employed, and which, indeed, finally worked out merely to the advantage of England. The English statesmen did not allow themselves to be deceived by these high-sounding phrases, but made use of them. This would also be the case if the Wilson idea were realized, with the single exception that then both Anglo-Saxon powers would talk, with serious faces, of making the world happy, and in the meantime would make themselves masters of the world. When Wilson, in the same connection, repeatedly says that the United States is not selfish and seeks nothing for itself, this is in sharp contradiction with his prevous utterances to the effect that when the war should come to an end the United States would have the same interest in the forming of peace as the belligerent nations and that also “humanity” is just as much the affair of the United States as it is that of the other powers.
It is possible that the United States does not seek any extension of territory through the war, as it has enough and more than it needs. What it wants is the unrestricted possibility of exploiting its wealth and economic