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The second was to compel Serbia to withdraw from Novi Bazar in favor of Austria, and thus let herself be separated from Montenegro by an Austrian wedge, and at the same time to compel her to renounce the projected union with Montenegro.
The third was to oppress Montenegro, as a penalty for her aid to Serbia, by taking from her the little sea-coast which she possessed, so as to make the Austrian littoral of Dalmatia extend unbroken down to the quasi-Austrian puppet state of Albania, which was to be ruled by the German Prince of Wied. Thus the whole eastern coast of the Adriatic would have become Austrian.
THE HAND OF GERMANY
In all these designs Austria was backed by Germany. Indeed, it was Germany that imperatively insisted that Austria should inexorably pursue them, particularly the second which we have mentioned, the seizure of the sanjak of Novi Bazar. There was a terrible scene at Vienna when it became known that Count Aerenthal, at the same time that he seized Bosnia and Herzegovina, committed his government to the relinquishment to Turkey of that limited occupation of Novi Bazar which it had exercised since 1878. His idea was, of course, thus to mollify the Turkish Government and minimize its objections and resentment over the theft of the Serb provinces. But the "forward” party at Vienna, and even the venerable Emperor himself, regarded it as a great mistake, which must at some time be rectified. “You should have seized the Serb provinces,” Aerenthal was told, “but at the same time you should have held fast to the sanjak. Remember, it is to him that hath that more shall be given!”
This wrath was largely inspired from Berlin. For just
as Austria wanted to get down to Salonica, so did Germany desire a highway to Constantinople and the East. The German Emperor had visited Constantinople and Palestine. He had secured concessions from the Sultan for railroads in Asia Minor and Mesopotamia. He planned a great German trade route, over German railroads, through Serbia and Thrace to Constantinople, through Asia Minor to Bagdad, and thence down Mesopotamia to the Persian Gulf. Thus Germany would have direct outlets to the Ægean and Mediterranean Seas, and to the Indian Ocean. Germany would thus get into closer touch with her extensive East Indian colonies, and with the province which she had practically wrested from China, and would be in a position to attack the British Empire in India.
THE NORTH SEA FRONTAGE
There was a lust for sea frontage in still another direction. Germany wanted to have a more commanding outlook upon that North Sea which she preferred to call the German Ocean. It was to increase her frontage upon it that Prussia seized Schleswig Holstein, and afterward similarly acquired Hanover. But that was not sufficient. The two Low Countries were in the way. Holland had for years been the object of ardent German wooing, with the hope of inducing her to become a member of the Empire; and that hope was never abandoned down to the outbreak of the war.
But Belgium was still more coveted. That was partly because of that country's greater industrial and commercial importance, her port of Antwerp being the second or third largest in the world, and partly because of her geographical position, commanding the upper approaches to the British Channel and affording a vantage point from
which the English coast itself might be attacked. It was therefore with an eye cast in each direction, toward the East and toward the West, that Germany thrust her ally forward into a position which gave pretext and provocation for war; a war which technically began in that southeastern corner of Europe which had more than once or twice before been the battlefield of the world.
THE BALKAN BATTLEFIELD OF THE WORLD
"The Lumber Room of Europe" - A Land of Many Different Peoples – Its Early Importance as the Battleground between Europe and Asia — Byzantium, or Constantinople — Effects of Its Capture by the Turks — The Ancient Albanians
The Coming of the Bulgars - History of the Serbs and their Empire The Black Mountain — Greece - Roumania - The Ottoman Turks — American Influences in the Balkans The War of 1877 - The Congress of Berlin · Contempt of the Great Powers for the Rights of the Balkan States — The Turkish Revolution — Austria-Hungary's Seizure of the Serb Provinces - The Balkan League
- The Amazing War of the United Balkans Against Turkey - More Meddling by the Great Powers for Selfish Ends Resentment in Serbia - A Step Toward the World War.
THE AVERAGE person probably thinks of the Balkan peninsula in something like the words of Tennyson, as a land "where fragments of forgotten peoples dwelt." Mace donia in particular, which is that part of the region over which the recent Balkan war most directly rose, has long been described by diplomatists and journalists as "the lumber room of Europe.” To change the figure, you may sometimes see at the bend of a swiftly flowing stream a little cove or bay, in which the water is almost motionless, or in which it simply eddies round and round, and into which has been whirled by the passing current all manner of flotsam and jetsam, good and bad, the living and the dead. So it has been with this region of the southern Balkans. Into it have drifted men of every tribe and nation, inextricably mingled together in a slackwater, while the great stream of the world's progress has rushed by almost unheeded and unheeding. And yet that region