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was constrained to look elsewhere for mercenary troops. His first application was made to Russia, and his second to Holland. He failed to get troops there, from the one because Catherine the Great could not well spare them, and from the other because the Dutch would not fight against a people struggling for their liberty. The next application was made to various German states, among them Prussia. Now Prussia, under Frederick the Great, had only a few years before risen into prominence as a great military power, and a detachment of its army would have been of great service to George III. But Frederick refused to hire him any troops; probably for three reasons. One doubtless was, that he felt aggrieved at England for what he regarded as her desertion of him in a former war. Another was, that in the unstable equilibrium which then existed among the powers of Europe he did not deem it prudent to separate himself from soldiers whom he might himself need at any time.
The third reason, which has been ascribed to him was that, as he is reported to have said, he was not willing, that his soldiers should fight against people who were seeking their freedom. It is entirely possible and not improbable that he, with his strange, contradictory, enigmatic character, did feel and express that sentiment. That his sympathy with America went any further does not, however, appear. We know that he persistently refused to receive or to have any dealings with the American envoy who was sent to his court, and while he doubtless felt and may have expressed admiration for the military genius of Washington, there is no indication that the story of his sending of a sword to him with the message, “From the Oldest General to the Greatest,” is anything more than a picturesque fiction.
THE HESSIANS Other and minor German princes were more compliant with the wish of George III, and in Hesse and elsewhere thousands of soldiers were procured, who formed the majority of the British army all through that war. These soldiers did not, of course, enter the service voluntarily. They were sold by their rulers, like so many cattle, at so many dollars a head. Nor did their rulers thus sell them because of any anti-American feeling. It was simply a sordid matter of business. Many of the soldiers were reluctant to come hither, and some of them deserted at their first opportunity. Most of those who were taken prisoners preferred at the close of the war to remain here rather than be repatriated, and many of them became excellent American citizens.
It must be remembered, however, that the Germans who fought through that war under the British flag were as a rule characterized by brutality and lack of humanity. Most of the excesses and outrages against non-combatants were committed by them- such as the murder of the wife of Caldwell, the pastor of the church at Springfield, New Jersey, who, because of that atrocity rushed into his church and brought out hymn-books for the patriot troops to use for gun wadding. Indeed, because of the tragic deeds of those days the name “Hessian” has ever since been in this country a synonym for lawlessness and brutality.
STEUBEN AND DE KALB Occasional attempts have been made in recent years to attribute to Germany great helpfulness to the American cause, on account of the services of Steuben and De Kalb. There is no question of the splendid value of their services to the American army, or of their whole-hearted devotion to this country. But they are not to be credited to Germany.
Steuben, for whom no praise could easily be too high, was a Prussian, and was one of the most brilliant of the great Frederick's lieutenants. But he came to this country from France, where he had been living, and at the urging of a Frenchman, the Count St. Germain; and by so doing he incurred the displeasure of the Prussian King to such an extent that at the end of the war he deemed it best not to return to Germany, but to become an American citizen and remain here, which he did. i De Kalb was also a brave and efficient soldier. He was a Bavarian, whose entire military career before coming hither had been in the French army, largely fighting against Prussia, and he came to America as a French officer, in company with Lafayette.
Excepting, therefore, for the accident of their place of birth, America was not indebted to Germany for either of these fine soldiers, but directly and solely to France.
GERMAN IMMIGRATION German immigration to America may be said to have begun in the decade from 1831 to 1840. Before that time it was a negligible quantity, as was all immigration but that from the United Kingdom. Thus in the preceding eleven years, 1820 to 1830, more than 75,000 came hither from the British Isles and only 6,761 from Germany, and fewer than 100,000 from all the world. But in 1831-40 the number from all Europe rose to nearly 500,000. More than half of them were from the United Kingdom, chiefly from Ireland, but no fewer than 152,454 came from Germany. Then in the next decade, the revolutionary era
on the continent, there came nearly 1,600,000, of whom two-thirds were from the United Kingdom and 434,600 from Germany. Finally, in the next decade, that just preceding our Civil War, immigration from Europe totaled nearly 2,500,000, more than half being from the British Isles, and 951,667 from Germany.
Since that time the influx of Germans has not been large; in late years it has been almost nil. But the multitudes of that nationality who came hither before the Civil War have formed with their descendants an important element of the American nation, and have contributed much to our statesmanship, scholarship and business and industrial progress. They have generally been regarded as forming one of the most substantial and valuable elements of the body politic.
GERMAN IMPERIAL UNFRIENDLINESS Because of this great influx of Germans and their generally excellent character, strong ties of sympathy arose between this country and Germany. American sympathy was with Prussia against Austria in 1866, and it was also largely with Germany in 1870. Indeed, it was practically altogether with Germany at first, until after the fall of Louis Napoleon, and even after that it was given to the new German Empire no less than to the French Republic; and thenceforward for many years the relations between the two countries were of the most amiable description. There was a little friction in Samoa, but it caused no ill will toward Germany as a whole.
But in 1898 the German Government suddenly assumed an attitude of decided unfriendliness toward the United States. Just before the declaration of war with Spain, it formed a cabal of the great powers, to seek mediation
of some description. That was a most offensive impertinence, since for two-thirds of a century we had made it clear that we considered our relations with Spain in respect to Cuba as a matter of concern to no other power; but the gentle forbearance and tact of President McKinley passed it over without the sharp rebuke which it really deserved. This course was taken by the President because Germany had persuaded the British Ambassador, under a plausible pretext, to act as the spokesman of the cabal, in order that the odium might fall upon Great Britain and cause bad blood between the United States and that country. The complete failure of the scheme, either to secure mediation and thus let European powers meddle in purely American affairs, or to cause trouble between us and Great Britain, so angered the Kaiser that he presently recalled his luckless Ambassador in disgrace.
SPANISH WAR MEDDLING The Kaiser at that time began to broach the arrogant principle that no important international business should be transacted anywhere in the world without taking him into consultation. His displeasure with the United States therefore waxed hot. The press of Germany, taking its cue from the Wilhelmstrasse, raged against the “Yankee Pigs" more savagely than that of Spain itself. Anticipating our seizure of the Philippines, the Kaiser sought to avert it by himself occupying them first. So he rushed a fleet thither, and great was his wrath to find that Dewey had got there first and had destroyed the Spanish fleet. In his anger he ordered the commander of his fleet to ignore Dewey's authority. He violated international custom and courtesy by sending thither a much stronger fleet than ours, and in having it not only disregard Dewey's