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interfere in Germany's affairs and to disrupt Germany's unity; partly for the sentimental reason that these provinces belonged originally to Germany, that their population was of German stock, and that, even though the sympathies of the people at the time were largely with the French, it was hoped to win them back to Germany, to which they naturally belonged. In this last endeavor, it is admitted, Germany has only partially succeeded; but, if it be remembered that it took over a hundred years and the French Revolution to Gallicize the provinces, Germany has no reason to be ashamed of what she accomplished in forty-three years. jingo press of Paris and London inveighs against the so-called German tyranny in Alsace-Lorraine; but what are the facts? The regrettable Zabern incident, greatly exaggerated as it was by a sensation-loving press, has been absolutely unique during an occupation of more than four decades; compared with what has occurred in Ireland in the way of murders, land riots, evictions, etc., during this period, all the clashes between the authorities and the people in Alsace-Lorraine fade into insignificance. Under a really tyrannical government the people generally emigrate as fast as they can, as they did from Ireland for many years; in Alsace-Lorraine the annexation was immediately followed by an increase in emigration, but this increase ceased in a few years, when the rate of emigration fell below that of the neighboring states. It is true that a good many Alsatians might be found in Paris, but so there might be in Berlin, as everywhere in the world the population. from agricultural and mountain districts has flocked to the large cities. Between 1875 and 1905 the population of the provinces increased from 1,531,000 to 1,814,000, or 18.4 per cent, while during the same period that of France increased by only 6.4 per cent; from 1885 to 1905 the population of the industrial city of Mülhausen increased from 69,759 to 94,488-that is, 35 per cent. The growth in material wealth has been similar; and what the German Government has done in the provinces for education may be inferred from the fact that after the definite annexation of the provinces almost the first thing was the re-establishment of the famous old University of Strassburg, which has since taken its place among the prominent centers of learning in the world, and to which numerous American students have


resorted. Furthermore, Germany has allowed the provinces an amount of autonomy which Ireland even now does not enjoy; for several years their affairs have been administered by a Governor-General appointed by the Emperor, and a Diet elected by universal suffrage; for years many of the civil offices, including some of the highest, have been filled by natives of the provinces, who thus showed their willingness to co-operate with the new government. A large part of the population was content to abide by the results of 1870, and the sentiment was overwhelmingly against another war over the possession of the provinces, from which these would naturally be the worst sufferers. If it had not been for the continuous agitation by the Paris jingo press we should probably have heard little about German tyranny in Alsace, for there was no substantial basis for the assertion.

But France was not content to abide by the decision of 1870, and not only the jingo press, but the most influential public men, with few exceptions, have more or less frankly encouraged the popular demand for another trial of strength with Germany. For this purpose the armaments were carried to an extent in proportion far beyond those of Germany, and in 1912 the time of active compulsory service was raised from two to three years, while at the same time the recruits of the following year were called to the colors, thus practically doubling the army at one stroke. For this same purpose the alliance with Russia was more and more firmly cemented, France lending Russia billions of money to reorganize and vastly increase her army after her defeat by Japan. It was only a question of time when France and Russia would find an opportunity to strike at Germany, and it was an open secret in military and diplomatic circles that such an opportunity would occur in 1914 or 1915, when both French and Russian armaments would be complete.


Germany has long recognized Russia as a most powerful neighbor with whom she had to be on good terms for her own sake. The two nations have not seriously clashed for a hundred and fifty years, for Prussia's participation in Napoleon's campaign of 1812 was compulsory, and the very next year Prussia and Russia fought side by side against Napoleon at Leipzig. Since then Germany has

made every effort, especially in recent years, by commercial sacrifices to retain Russia's good will, and the two nations might be at peace now if it were not for Russia's hostility to Germany's friend and ally, Austria. Russia's ambition for more than a century has been to extend her dominion over the Balkans and to win Constantinople. She might probably have done so long ago had this been in accordance with the designs of England and France. In order to win Constantinople, Russia must first dominate the southern Slavic states, Servia and Bulgaria, and she has for a long time arrogated to herself the part of their patron and protector. That Russia has a prior right to this position Austria does not admit, for she too is a great Slavic power, and her commercial interests demand an open route to the sea and to the Orient as much as Russia's. Indirectly Germany's commercial interests are at stake, for through Austria lies Germany's land route to the Orient, and it is an imperative necessity for her to keep this route open; neither Austria nor Germany can afford to have it blocked by an unfriendly Power. This is so clear that prominent Russian writers have stated in recent years that Russia's way to Constantinople lies through Germany. As it cannot be to England's or France's interest to have Russia in possession of Constantinople, except under conditions to which Russia would never submit, it seems as if the present alliance between these Powers could only serve the immediate purpose of eliminating Germany from European affairs.


Until the Franco-German War the relations between Germany and England were generally friendly. The two nations had never seriously clashed, and on the field of Waterloo the English and Prussian armies fought side by side. The English view of the German people, as it crops out in the literature before 1870, is that of a people given largely to sentimentalism, philosophy, music, and beer-drinking; beyond that, the Germans might be useful in keeping France in check, which England then still regarded as her chief enemy, but otherwise they were a negligible quantity. Germany's inferiority to England in engineering, manufacturing, and commercial enterprise was so great that as late as 1880 water works, gas works, and street railways in many German cities were constructed and run by English engineering

skill and English capital, while the steamships of the two feeble German transatlantic lines were built in England and Scotland. But now a rapid change took place. In 1876 the German Commissioner to the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia reported to his Government as his verdict concerning the products of German industries there exhibited, "Cheap and inferior;" twelve years later, "Made in Germany" had become a badge of excellence for a great variety of industrial products; a few years later again, Germany built ships which for size, swiftness, and comfort surpassed those of the great English transatlantic lines, and which carried German products to all parts of the globe. Then England suddenly recognized Germany as a dangerous competitor for the world's trade, and her feeling toward her changed from friendly condescension to jealousy and hate.

The matter was aggravated when Germany began to strengthen her navy in order to protect her coasts, trade routes, and outlying possessions. Other nations likewise greatly strengthened their navies—the United States, France, Russia, Italy, Japan-but only Germany's efforts in this direction were frowned down by England, although Germany never attempted to build a fleet anywhere near the size of the English fleet, while even if she had done so England's superior geographical position and her dominions and naval bases all over the globe would always have assured her an incomparable advantage over Germany. The reason for this was that England had begun to look upon Germany, of all countries, as her chief rival in trade; and her policy from the time of her own rise as a commercial and maritime power had always been to concentrate all her efforts on the elimination of her foremost commercial rival-a policy which had resulted successively in the destruction of the maritime power of Spain, Holland, and France.

Germany had before her the example of these countries; she remembered the bombardment of Copenhagen, in which the British destroyed the Danish fleet; and she also remembered that when, in 1849, a single warship was built in Germany by popular subscription, Lord Palmerston, then Prime Minister of England, declared that if such a ship dared to show on the high seas the German flag he would order it to be treated as a pirate ship. Under these circumstances modern Germany had to choose between



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Her geographical position, the relative weakness of her navy, and her lack of naval bases and coaling stations made it inconceivable that she could inflict very serious damage upon England's fleet or her world-wide dominion. Nothing is more absurd than the assertion that Germany aimed to rule Europe as France did in the time of Napoleon. The only thing Germany desired was to be treated by the other nations on an equal footing, and not to be constantly shut out by their combinations from newly arising opportunities for expansion and for the extension of her commercial influence-opportunities such as the other nations have seized in recent years time and again. This was not only her right, but a physical necessity in view of her rapidly growing population. She has submitted to many a slight and has suffered one setback after another. If she has struck now, it is because she felt sure that she could not later defend herself against the mighty combination of her opponents with the slightest chance of success. When the Kaiser, in order to preserve the peace of Europe, offered to mediate between Austria and Servia, and Russia nevertheless ordered the mobilization of her giant army, the whole German people realized what was in store for them. Germany was in the position of a man who sees a deadly enemy reach for his pistol, and whose only possible salvation lies in shooting first.

The war could have been avoided if France had foregone her desire for revenge and for the reconquest of Alsace-Lorraine, which she did not need in view of her almost stationary population and her own wealth and that of her extensive colonies. The war could have been avoided if Russia had been content with her vast and undeveloped empire, and had curbed her desire to strike down Austria as an obstacle on her route to Constantinople. The war could have been avoided if England had been more generous to Germany and had allowed her the same share as the other nations in new opportunities for colonization and for extension and protection of commerce. Finally, the war could have been avoided if Germany had been willing to sit back and let these three great Powers divide up Europe, Asia, and Africa between them, and content herself with the crumbs from their table.




The author is an American of Polish descent. He came to America to finish his education after Poland boycotted the Russian schools and universities. He is a Fellow in Political Economy in Columbia University, acted as the agent in Canada of President Taft's Tariff Board, and is now Executive Secretary of the Public Health Board in New York City. In sending this article the author writes: “The International Symposium on the war in Europe published in The Outlook of August 15 prompts me to send to you this article on Poland's hope and position in the present It states the case briefly, but I hope adequately and accurately. Poland is naturally a very important arena of activities in the present war, and on the attitude of the twenty-odd million of her inhabitants much of the success of the warring parties may depend."-THE Editors.



LITTLE over one hundred years ago Poland figured as an item of considerable magnitude in the farreaching military and political calculations of Napoleon. After his fall the representatives of the nations of Europe assembled at the Congress of Vienna could not, for reasons of balance of power, agree to a complete obliteration of the once powerful nation, extending in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries "from sea to sea," from the Baltic to the Black. The shadow of the Corsican once more appearing on the Continent of Europe hastened their final decision. Poland ceased to exist as a free nation, with the exception of the city of Cracow, which was proclaimed an independent republic.

The three nations abutting on Poland, which, by their unholy alliance and a long series of shameless acts of perfidy, treachery, and bad faith, brought about her complete annihilation, agreed at the Congress (1) to retain the fundamental national institutions of the Poles and guarantee them a political representation, and (2) not to restrict by tariffs or special regulations the free commercial intercourse among the Poles of the three sections.

At the end of May, 1815, the Polish eagles were substituted by a coat of arms of the Great Duchy of Posen, a collective name of all the province that fell to Prussia's share. King Friedrich Wilhelm in his manifesto to the people said: "Though incorporated into Prussia, you need not renounce your nationality. You shall preserve your rights under the constitution which I intend to grant to

my loyal subjects, and in addition you will receive, like the other provinces of my kingdom, a separate provincial constitution."

How none of the three Powers kept their agreements and what a woeful succession of events Polish political history of the last hundred years presents is, in a general way, known to all who have even a most cursory knowledge of history. All of the constitutional guarantees were disregarded, all the vestiges of the old republican organizations were trampled under the militaristic foot of the plunderers, systematic and severe economic and social oppression was instituted, and the pernicious work of crushing the language and traditions of the people began. In addition, divide et impera became the internal policy of Austria and Russia. To grow the seed of hatred between the landowner and the peasant, Austria made the former responsible for the taxes and military conscription of the latter. By these indirect as well as direct means she succeeded in bringing about the outrageous slaughter of the landed gentry by the peasants in 1846. To crush the revolution of 1863 Russia, stealing the wind out of the sails of the revolutionaries, emancipated the Polish serfs, and, securing thereby their sympathies, drenched in blood the almost successful attempt of the Poles to free themselves from the most barbarous Russian oppression, which began towards the end of the reign of Alexander I, and which has not ceased for a moment to this day. In the year 1914 A.D. an attempt to teach an illiterate adult to read and write or instruct free of charge a child of poor



parents who cannot afford to pay for instruction is a political crime which is punishable by imprisonment or even exile!

Prussia has been following a ruthless policy of extermination of the Polish nationality, and has been, to her eternal shame, cruelly flogging small children because they prayed in Polish. She has been spending untold millions for the German colonization of provinces which have been since times immemorial the home of the Pole. By inhuman legislation prohibiting a Polish peasant from building a house on acquired land, she has forced him and his family to live in carts and wagons; but, despite all that, she has absolutely failed in making him sell his land, leave the country, and abandon his native tongue. The Prussian colonization policy proved to be an absolute fiasco. It has achieved results contrary to those expected. It has increased the solidarity of the Polish mass, made them cling more tenaciously than ever to everything Polish, to cultivate their land more scrupulously, amass wealth, develop co-operative schemes of rural credit, and to nurture a most exalted devotion to national culture, which, despite all handicaps, has blossomed and developed. There is not a field of artistic or scientific endeavor which lies fallow in Poland. Denied freedom on the political arena, all the energies of a gifted race went into activities that made for art, science, and culture. Musicians, sculptors, painters, scientists, writers, of the highest rank and magnitude are so plentiful in Poland that they cannot find sufficient outlet in their native artificially cramped quarters, and go out in large numbers to serve in Europe's foremost temples of learning and art, and to participate in state administration wherever this is not denied them. Within the last decade or so three Poles were Finance Ministers of Austria.

Austria, once one of the most reactionary powers of Europe, recognized, after her defeat by Prussia in 1866, the imperative need of political reforms, made peace with Hungary, and granted home rule to her component nationalities, among them to Galicia. A new era was started in the Polish provinces of Austria. The Polish national spirit and Polish culture began to flourish. All the schools from the lowest to the highest became Polish, and instruction in the Universities of Cracow and Lemberg as well as in all the high professional schools is carried on exclusively in Polish.


Although the economic development. of Galicia is considerably thwarted by exorbitant taxation and by the policy of the Viennese Government favoring particularly the German provinces of Austria, the Poles of Galicia are pretty well satisfied and are loyal to the dynasty. They value the atmosphere of political freedom much more highly than economic well-being. Moreover, the Hapsburg dynasty is the only one of the three spoils-sharers that has kept faith since 1866, and the only one that the Poles learned to trust.

The present imbroglio in Europe is not a mere accident, an unforeseen and unfortunate result of the blind play of unknown forces. It is but a dramatic expression of the high tension which has existed ever since Russia entered upon her boundless and reckless imperialistic career. Then, the sudden appearance of a great and consolidated German power in the center of Europe, vying with Russia in offensive militaristic despotism, defeating France, and threatening the supremacy of Great Britain, aggravated the tension which was bound to result in an armed conflict. There is no doubt that the real causes of the present war are Russia and Germany, all the others being merely drawn into it by force. Austria would not have precipitated the trouble were she not emboldened by her ally, who has all kinds of Machiavellian designs and imperialistic interests in the Balkans and the Near East, and were she not exasperated by Russia's insolence and her feverish activities among the Slavs of the Balkans and of the Dual Monarchy. The perfidious pan-Slavic or pan-Russian propaganda, with its immense bribes and an elavorate spy system, is reported to be unbearable by those who observe conditions at close range. To preserve her peaceable development and dignity Austria had to act. The Sarajevo outrage, which revealed the complicity of the "inspired" agents of the Servian Government, was but the last drop in a bitter cup. Austria's hand was forced indirectly by Russia, which, being utterly irresponsible and having a tremendous half-starving peasantry and an immense standing army, is a constant danger to peace, rivaled in its formidableness by Germany alone.

As to the Poles, they have repudiated the pan-Slav movement. They know what it aims at, and they do not trust Russia. Long before the present war began, its possibilities were discussed in a lively way in Polish politi

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