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of the European War bassy, overpowered the police force, and began smashing the windows with cobble stones. Sir E. Goschen telephoned to the foreign office for protection, and Von Jagow at once arranged for a larger police force to clear away the mob. The German foreign office regretted the occurrence very much and made a satisfactory apology to Sir E. Goschen. Next morning the British ambassador received his passports and on the following day left for England by way of Holland. War against Germany was declared by Great Britain that same day; the declaration against Austria-Hungary was not made until August 12.32
32 B. W. P., 160; S., 1017.
NOTE:-It will be remembered that Germany had also violated the neutrality of Luxemburg by sending troops to occupy the duchy as early as August 2. The German chancellor contended that “the military measures taken in Luxemburg do not constitute a hostile act against Luxemburg, but are only intended to insure against a possible attack of a French army. Full compensation will be paid to Luxemburg for any damage caused by using the railways which are leased to the empire.” See B. W. P., 129.
Now the perpetual neutrality of Luxemburg had been guaranteed by the powers in 1867, and this act of Germany's was a clear violation of the obligation inherited from Prussia, which was one of the powers signatory to the convention of 1867. England, however, was not willing to regard the invasion of Luxemburg as a casus belli. She contended that the responsibility for the maintenance of the neutrality of Luxemburg was collective and was to be discharged only by the joint action of all the guaranteeing powers.
The case of Belgium, however, was, according to Sir Edward Grey, different from that of Luxemburg. England's obligation to uphold Belgium's neutrality was individual, not collective, and imposed upon her the duty of requiring the observance of the convention of 1839, "without the assistance of the other guaranteeing powers." F. Y. B., 137.
THE VIOLATION OF THE NEUTRALITY OF
In 1814–15, the European powers met in the Congress of Vienna to remake the map of Europe, which had been disarranged by Napoleon. At that time Germany was divided and weak, and France had proved herself aggressive and strong. It was feared that this weakness of Germany would in the future invite the aggression of France, and Europe would thus be thrown again into the turmoil of a general war. To prevent this the powers planned the creation of a strong state between France and Germany by uniting Belgium with Holland.
The union, however, was an unnatural one from the beginning; historic tradition was against it. Except for a short time during the Napoleonic era, the two parts had been separated for more than two centuries and had thus grown apart. Besides, the peoples of the two countries differed from each other in language, race, religion, and economic conditions. It is not surprising, therefore, that friction developed between the northern and southern halves and the Belgians grew more and more tired of the union. The revolution of July, 1830, in France encouraged the Belgian malcontents, and in August, 1830, the Belgians revolted against Holland and demanded a separate government under the Dutch king. These demands were refused and Belgium declared her independence, electing Leopold of Coburg king.
It could hardly be expected that this annulment of the arrangement of 1815 would be countenanced by the great powers, and the Holy Alliance powers were at first in favor of forcing Belgium back into the union with Holland. But the independence of Belgium was favored by the British foreign minister and the new French king, Louis Philippe, who owed his throne to a similar revolution and could not afford to allow the absolute monarchies to thwart the wishes of the Belgian people. France, therefore, declared that if they intervened in favor of the Dutch, she would intervene in favor of the Belgians. Besides, Russia's hands were soon tied by a revolt in Poland, and Prussia and Austria had to keep their eyes on their Polish subjects and eastern boundaries. Consequently, the powers had to consent to the independence of Belgium. The powers held conferences in London and in 1831 agreed to guarantee the perpetual neutrality of Belgium. This agreement was superseded by another treaty signed in 1839, which also guaranteed the perpetual neutrality of Belgium; Prussia, England, France, Austria, and Russia were the parties to this agreement. The neutrality article was as follows:
Belgium, within the limits specified in Articles I, II and IV, shall form an independent and perpetually Neutral State. It shall be bound to observe such Neutrality towards all other states.
The German Empire was not, of course, a signatory to the treaty, as it had not come into existence at this time. However, the obligation as to Belgium's neutrality incurred by Prussia in 1839 was binding on the German Empire in 1914, for it had inherited the treaty obligations of the states out of which it was formed. “In many instances the German Government has claimed the benefits of treaty rights previously enjoyed by the separate states of the Empire." As an example of this, the German foreign office recognized the Prussian-American treaty of 1799 as binding upon the Imperial Government in 1915.2
On August 9, 1870, at the time of the FrancoGerman War, England and Prussia, “being desirous ... of recording in a solemn Act their fixed determination to maintain the Independence and Neutrality of Belgium, as provided in Article VII of the Treaty” of 1839, signed a new treaty, “which, without impairing or invalidating the conditions of the said Quintuple Treaty [treaty of 1839], shall be subsidiary and accessory to it.” This treaty was to last until twelve months after the ratification of a treaty of peace between France and the North German Confederation. It was further agreed that “on the expiration of that time the Independence and Neutrality of Belgium will, so far as the High Contracting Parties are respectively concerned, continue to rest as heretofore on Article 1 of the Quintuple Treaty of the 19th April, 1839.” 3
1 Stowell, 602. 2 Stowell, 385; Jour. (9), 182.
A few German apologists contend that subsequent events had deprived the neutrality provision of the Quintuple Treaty of its binding force and, therefore, it had by 1914 become a dead letter. Publicists are, however, all but unanimous in contending that it was still alive both in spirit as well as in letter.4 It ought to
3 For the main provisions of this treaty see Stowell, 602–3; or for the full treaty, Hertslet's The Map of Europe by Treaty, vol. iv, pp. 1886–88.
4 For the arguments on both sides the reader is referred to the fuller works, as the scope and plan of this volume do not allow of even a résumé of these discussions. For a good, short discussion favorable to the view that the treaty of 1839 was still binding, see Stowell, 382-91. For a more lengthy argument against this view, see Fuehr, The Neutrality of Belgium, 120–176.