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ing people (Spain) obliges us to allow an alien Power (Prussia) by placing one of its princes on the throne of Charles V to succeed in upsetting to our disadvantage the present equilibrium of forces in Europe, and|imperil the interests and honor of France. We have the firm hope that eventually it will not be realized. To hinder it, we count both on the wisdom of the German people and on the friendship of the Spanish people. If that should not be so, strong in your support and in that of the nation, we shall know how to fulfill our duty without hesitation and without weakness." 7
The statements of various prominent men on this war are significant and throw light on the different views:
"The war of 1870 was the personal work of Bismark, prepared by Napoleon Ill's personal policy." 8
"The responsibility rests for the most part on one man— Bismarck himself. The nation was not back of such aggressiveness, though, when once committed to war, it could be depended on to carry it through.9 At least, he caused these wars (1866-71) to occur when they did." 10
"The occasion was the purchase of the Belgian railroads by the French Eastern Company in February, 1869. The Belgian government forbade the sale. The French government attriuted this check to Bismark." 11
The proposition made to the Reichstag, Feb. 24, 1870, to admit the Grand Duchy of Baden into the northern Confederation, renewed the agitation against Prussian and German unity.
"The story of the Franco-German dispute is one of national jealousy, carefully fanned for four years by newspaper editors and popular speakers until a spark sufficient to set Western Europe ablaze. This was true alike on the part of Germany and France." 12
'Rose, "The Devel. of the European Nations, 1870-1900," p. 46.
The immediate cause, however, all must agree, was due to Prince Bismarck. The French Minister Daree, who favored peace, was replaced early in 1870 by Gramont, an enemy of Prussia. Napoleon's plan for the invasion of Southern Germany which had been discussed with Archduke of Austria, fell through and peace seemed assured, when Bismarck's publishing of the telegram from King William set everything on fire and caused France to declare war on Prussia.
A note had been addressed from Paris to the Prussian government saying that the coming of Hohenzollern to Spain was regarded by France as a provocation and menace from Prussia and that France could not "suffer the empire of Charles V to be restored." 13 The French minister at Berlin was ordered to press for an immediate renunciation of Prince Leopold's claims. He was informed that the matter was one for Prince Leopold and the Spanish people, but that the King would communicate with Leopold's father on the subject. An explicit order from King William to Prince Leopold was demanded by France; in the meantime, it was announced from Madrid that Leopold had withdrawn his candidature. The matter seemed again settled, but this did not satisfy Napoleon. He demanded that Prussia promise to guarantee that no such attempt in favor of a Hohenzollern should ever again be made. King William absolutely refused to so bind himself. The French ambassador was finally informed that he could not be received by the King.
The telegram published by Bismarck, shortened by him for the purpose, conveying the impression that King William had treated the French ambassador with disrespect, aroused all France. This led immediately to the French declaration of war against Prussia. The telegram cut down was as follows:
"After the news of the renunciation of the hereditary "See Signobos, p. 807-11.
Prince of Hohenzollern had been officially communicated to the Imperial Government of France by the Royal Government of Spain, the French ambassador at Ems further demanded of his Majesty the King that he would authorize him to telegraph to Paris that his Majesty the King bound himself for all future time never again to give his consent if the Hohenzollerns should renew their candidature. His Majesty the King thereupon decided not to receive the French ambassador again, and sent to tell him through the aide-decamp on duty that his Majesty had nothing further to communicate to the ambassador."
The French people could see in this action of Bismarck nothing but the basest insult, notwithstanding that historians who have carefully examined the dispatch and compared it with the original telegram of King William of Prussia have claimed that it was not at all such—that the abbreviated form had not the incendiary language in it that the original had.14 A perusal of the two shows that there is some basis for this claim.1'6 There is no question, however, that Bismarck wanted war, and that the French government were almost as eager. Both the German and French people,
"See Rose, p. 49-50.
"The original telegram is as follows: "His Majesty writes to me: 'Count Benedetti spoke to me on the promenade, in order to demand from me, finally in a very importunate manner, that I should authorize him to telegraph at once that I bound myself for all future time never again to give my consent if the Hohenzollerns should renew their candidature. I refused at last somewhat sternly, as it is neither right nor possible to undertake engagements of this kind a tout jamais.
"'Naturally I told him that I had as yet received no news, and as he was earlier informed about Paris and Madrid than myself he could see clearly that my Government once more had no hand in the matter.' His Majesty has since received a letter from the Prince. His Majesty, having told Count Benedetti that he was awaiting news from the Prince, has decided, with reference to the above demand, upon the representation of Count Eulenburg and myself, not to receive Count Benedetti again, but only to let him be informed through an aide-de-camp: "That his Majesty had now received from the Prince confirmation of the news which Benedetti had already received from Paris, and had nothing further to say to the ambassador.' His Majesty leaves it to your Excellency whether Benedetti's fresh demand and its rejection should not be at once communicated both to our ambassadors and to the press."
on the other hand, shuddered to think of the horrors of such a war between the two great powers.
Prussia's monster crime, however, was not the war,—it was the stealing of the French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine.
THE UNITED STATES
Fundamental and Immediate Causes of Our Conflict with
IN our series "The Causes of War," we have dealt with man's motives for war in the past; the European background of the great conflict just closed; the causes of this war for each of the individual nations involved;—in the meantime showing the nature of recent German diplomacy; the autocratic government and military caste that were responsible, in the Kaiser's dominions, for the universal devastation and bloodshed; and finally, in a general way, with America's reasons for entering the cause of the free nations in the supreme struggle of democracy and right against autocracy and might. Now, in our series of articles on the "Outline and Study of the World War," we shall state our own cause more specifically, and follow up with the study of the military and other events of the war, the preliminary peace problems of the peace conference—all with the view to making this material most available and suitable to the needs of our readers, as they deal with the war and current history.
It is to be hoped that the lively interest in the reading and study of current history which has been stimulated by the war will continue in these equally critical and unsettled times of world reaction and reconstruction, and that the great services of the leading weekly and monthly magazines and periodicals will not be forgotten.
Following is an outline on the United States and her causes