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it must be said, the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." In spite of the fact that wars have taken the physically best in all ages, they have sifted humanity, both physically and intellectually, and have found the best for its leaders. War has brought different races and nations of the earth together—at first to blows; but from blows to truce, to trade, to inter-marriage, and finally to peace.
Considerations of this kind help to bring us to a true view of the nature and function of war. We became conscious of the fact that it is mingled with everything, that it is the subject of the greater part of historical treatment, if we take the human race as a whole; that it has, until very recent times, been the chief occupation or employment of the most conspicuous men of the world's long history; and that, in one form or another, it is the law of nature. With this view, we may study the causes of war intelligently, without prejudice, and be better able in consequence to utilize the knowledge thus gained in applying it to the remedies for war and the "fight for peace." So, the relationship of the causes to the ends of war must never be lost sight of. Also, on the severity of wars, on the degree of their necessity, on the extent to which they go in violating the laws of civilized warfare and outraging the sense of humanity, will depend the opportunity of modifying their character and the probability of an evolution into a world peace. "Civilized" warfare, as practiced by Germany in the present conflict, has become so horrible as to generate one of the most powerful reactionary influences against it. On the other hand, the measure in which wars are inevitable, or have been (and this can be found only by a close study of their causes) will furnish the character and limits of remedial measures.
CLASSIFICATION AND COMMENT
TT is manifestly true that in the present day there are * only two classes of wars that are justifiable, namely, those for defense or self preservation, and those for liberty or freedom from oppression. Yet, the attempt to classify the causes of war, past and present, is difficult, and results are more or less inaccurate and uncertain. For convenience, however, and for the sake of discussion, they may be grouped as follows:
1. Dynastic affairs. (Have ceased to^ie fundamental causes.)
2. Religion. (No longer exists as a leading cause.) 8. Love of a people for war. (Becoming rarer.) 4. Colonial expansion. (Recent, but has lost its attraction, except perhaps for Germany.)
5. Racial predominance—tendency to domination by one race in a composite nation, as in Austria-Hungary. (Still a cause for strife.) w
6. National or race hatred. (Still strong, as in Germany vs. France and vice versa—inherited from the past, with distrust and misunderstanding.) .
7. Growth of nationality—to secure national unity. (Chief cause of most wars in latter part of nineteenth century, and some today.)
8. "Balance of Power," in Europe. (Still a contributing cause.)
9. Imperfection of government—weakness, anarchy, as in Mexico and a few small states in Europe today. (Still a cause and excuse.)
10. Territorial adjustment—tendency to secure natural boundaries.
11. Trade rivalry and commercial motives. (Many of England's petty wars in the past century, also other European countries.)
12. Conquest—ambition of leaders. (Napoleon Bonaparte best modern example.)
13. Great navies and standing armies of Europe—the "armed peace."
14. Suppression of democratic and revolutionary movements of the people, by autocratic governments. (Ever a leading cause, but especially 1820-50.)
15. Desire for political freedom and democracy, national, world-wide, against autocratic governments. (Most recent, and greatest now.)
16. To uphold the principles of international law. (More or less connected with several above.)
We can get some idea of the multiplicity and complexity of the causes of the present war when we note that nearly all of the foregoing causes—all except possibly three—contributed to the conflict. It might be well also to state in passing that this all foreshadows greater problems of readjustment when the fighting ceases and even more complex than the problems of the war, the peace negotiations taking perhaps a longer period than the war itself, for the whole world will be vitally interested and must take part.
One reads in a good many historic works and treatises on peace that wars usually have very trifling causes. This has sometimes been true; and some people think by this means alone to discredit war. Others, on the contrary, are partisans of great causes, and they likewise are sometimes right. Both these tendencies, however, lead to erroneous conclusions, for neither represents the facts of history. So many times the writer has heard men say that the present world war is without cause; from the pulpit, from the lecture platform, from the press—from all ranks of life comes this statement; also, that it is useless, and serving no purpose. If so then the United States has erred and most grievously sinned in going into it. But let us remember that things do not happen in this world without cause, be that cause good or bad. The laws of nature and of God—which are one and the same—teach us that just as sure as there are events, these events have causes and results. Then, just as sure as there are wars, these wars have causes and results. Here again we get back to the fundamental proposition that to understand wars we must become familiar with their causes. The American people would do well today to read less about the details of what is happening, and the continual conjecturing that gets nowhere (leave that to the experts and those whose duty it is to give their attention to it) and devote more time to a study into why the great world tragedy has come. We could then be more useful and ready to do our part when peace finally comes. We are in the war, and are called upon for untold sacrifices. We should know why these things are necessary and what really is at stake. It is no credit to the American people that when this mighty conflict began in 1914, they stood aghast, and in their ignorance of world problems and conditions said: "What are they fighting for over there, anyway?" "I don't believe they themselves know;" "It is only a family quarrel between King George and the Kaiser," etc. We have been too self-contained and selfish, and have not realized how much their problems are ours, how the whole world is one brotherhood, and how close and interdependent all peoples are. At last we are being brought to realize that we must be citizens of the world, not alone of our state or nation, and that as citizens of the world we have obligations no less binding upon us than are those of our country. It is idle to talk of a world peace without an intelligent world understanding. And once again, this goes to show how poor students of history we have been. It is not exaggerating to say that a few farseeing statesmen were
trembling at the prospect of this war, and were trying to tell us the signs of the times, that in 1898, when the Spanish-American war broke out, in 1908-10, when Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina without their consent; in 1912-18, the period of the Balkan wars—we persistently refused to listen, because indeed, we thought we were still living in an age of isolation, and had no concern in the problems of the old world. We have continued to refuse to listen until it has all come home to us, with an outlook that is by no means a reassuring one. We should be given a few facts to disabuse our minds.
For instance, it is not right for teachers and text-books to build up prejudice against England, even though it be done through ignorance, by representing her as the England of George III, when she was an aristocracy, instead of the Britain of today, which in all but name is as much of a democracy as our own. We should know that England alone prevented Germany from going to war with us in 1898. The children should know that England's fleet has a number of times kept us out of war. Moreover, it is not right to teach our youth that our own Revolutionary war was the only nor the first nor the greatest revolution of a people against their oppressors. Justice to the troubled history of France demands that we be brought to see that it was France that saved what democracy there is in Europe, though she may have taken courage from our example a few years before, that it was France who, single-handed, for years fought for liberty against the combined autocratic thrones of Europe (England at that time being one of them), and that a chastened France at last survived even the heartless Napoleon, who would have ruined her, because, recognizing his first service, she was too faithful to him. The youth should likewise know that the Kaiser and the autocratic government of Germany (the same kind of government that England had a hundred years ago) have had designs on the United States—her Monroe Doctrine, her