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BASSETT, JOHN SPENCER. The Lost Fruits of Waterloo.......
of American Foreign Policy................
CA SEP 101919)
THE JOURNAL OF RACE DEVELOPMENT Vol. 9
THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND THE WAR By James L. Barton, LL.D., Foreign Secretary, American Board of Foreign Missions; formerly President of
Euphrates College, Harpoot, Turkey
Nearly all of the articles and books written on the subject of the war have dealt with the western front. The Balkan situation and the relation of the Ottoman Empire to the conditions that precipitated this world conflict have been little discussed. On the other hand, there has apparently been a distinct endeavor upon the part of the Central Powers, and especially of Germany, to keep attention fixed upon the western front. The tentative peace propositions that have been issued from Berlin from time to time and the addresses in the Reichstag have dealt with Alsace and Lorraine, Belgium and Poland, with almost no reference to Armenia and Turkey. Even the peace suggestions of the Pope, sent out to the world, made the merest allusion to the eastern area of the conflict but spoke with repeated emphasis upon adjustments that might be made on the western European frontier.
The attention of the reading public has been so repeatedly turned to the western area of the war, and held there by newspaper correspondents and magazine articles, that few are aware of the fact that the real object of the conflict, if not its center, is in the East and not in the West. In saying this, no special emphasis is laid upon the Russian Empire, either at the outset of the war or in its present distracted condition. Though the Central Powers were not primarily attempting to gain control of Russia, they did however wish to reduce Russia in her military strength to such an extent that she would cease to be a menace to the carrying
THE JOURNAL OF RACB DEVELOPMENT, VOL. 9, NO. 1, 1918
out of the ambitious ideas of the Kaiser. It is also apparent from the history of the outbreak of the war that the strike of Germany against Belgium and France, and incidentally against England, was not primarily to conquer and annex those countries to Germany but was to remove them from the ranks of dangerous antagonists in order that Germany's hand might be free to push her deep-laid plan for securing supremacy in the Balkans and across Asia Minor to the Persian Gulf.
For many years Germany's military and political leaders and writers have dwelt upon the importance of Germany's having a field for expansion. Germany's African colonies have proven a disappointment in that they did not furnish an attractive field for German colonization. Even to the outbreak of the war, the number of Germans in her four African colonies was comparatively negligible, while those who had gone to Africa with a view to colonizing and developing German territory there were free to express their disappointment. There was little prospect that Africa would be inhabited by any considerable number of German emigrants eager to establish new homes and to build up a new business there. That being the case, it was evident that other areas suitable to German colonization and easy of approach should be discovered, since it had been accepted as inevitable that Germany must have a field for expansion in order to provide for her excess population and to afford adequate field for her increasing commerce.
In 1905, Prof. Joseph Ludwig Reimer, in A Pan-German Germany, said:
It is precisely our craving for expansion that drives us into the paths of conquest, and in view of which all chatter about peace and humanity can and must remain nothing but chatter.
Prof. Ernst Hasse, in the same year, in The Colonization of the German Folk Territory, said:
All the policy, internal and external, of the empire ought to be subordinated to this governing idea—the Germanization of all the remains of foreign populations within the empire and the procuring for the German people of new territories proportionate to its strength and its needs of expansion.