Imatges de pÓgina

hatred and envy, as English disasters ceedingly interesting work, “Fréderic in South Africa, has been hailed with II et Marie Thérèse," points out to uproarious satisfaction.

those who desire to understand BisIt is now almost forty years since I marck and the German policy of the first began to follow German politics. present day, to which he has given an The interest which caused me to watch abiding direction, the advisability of the phases of the dramatic and heroic closely studying the life and times of struggle for the reconstruction of Ger- Frederic the Great. The historian many and the closer union of the differ- Treitschke, in one of the most brilliant ent German states became, if possible, of his writings, insists on the same docgreater after the new German Empire trine. Any one who grasps this truth was called into existence. This has al- and acts on it will find the source of ways seemed to me to be the most por- the hostile feeling to England which is tentous political fact of the second half now so wide and deep from one end of of the nineteenth century. For this Germany to the other. It arose in reason I have endea vored to follow the Prussia, in the days of Frederic the movement of German opinion with spe- Great, and it has grown and become cial care, and long and intimate ac- strong with the growth and strength of quaintance with many of the leading Prussia. It originated after the resigstatesmen, men of letters, historians, nation of Lord Chatham, or as he then and trusted national leaders of the Ger- was, Mr. Pitt, in 1761, and the conseman people, has given me some facili- quent abandonment in 1762 of Frederic ties for doing so. I deeply regret to say the Great, during the Seven Years' that ever since I can remember, this War. The treachery of Lord Bute, in opinion has been growing steadily more intriguing with the enemies of Frederic, and more hostile to Great Britain, and then the close ally of England, and it has not become less so by such ar- especially his disgraceful correspondrangements as the cession of Heligo- ence with Choiseul, has not received land, or conventions such as have been from English historians anything like entered into dealing with territories in the attention it deserves. Nevertheless, Africa or places like Samoa. I do not it has had the most abiding results. The desire to criticize these arrangements great king himself never forgave it. in detail. It is not important for my When England afterwards got into seargument that I should do so. I merely rious difficulties, when she had trouble wish to insist upon the fact that not in America, and her position as a great only have they done nothing to promote power was seriously threatened by the the growth of friendly feeling in Ger- Franco-Spanish alliance, he rememmany towards England, but, on the bered it to her cost. He advised his contrary, they have been interpreted countrymen to be always most cautious in the former country as indications of and circumspect in dealing with Eng.. nervousness and weakness on the part land. His brother, Prince Henry, who of the latter. They have tended to pro- differed from him on so many points, duce contempt; and if it is desired to agreed in this, and became the repregain the respect of Germany, it is a sentative of an anti-English policy till matter of prime necessity to make it his death in 1802. After him, Prince quite clear that, for the purpose of Hatzfeld and Field Marshal Kalckmodifying German hostile feeling, Eng. reuth took up the tale. An anti-England is not prepared under any circum- lish party existed in Prussia throughstances to pay blackmail.

out the whole struggle with Napoleon. The present Duc de Broglie, in his ex- During the Congress of Vienna, anti

English ideas found expression in the the goodwill of England whether they bitter sayings of Freiherr von Stein, went to war or not. This language and later on in the writings and letters was never repudiated either by Lord of such distinguished men as Gneise- Granville or Mr. Gladstone. But this nau, Grolman, and Clausewitz, who, in was not all. During the last days of their turn, passed on the tradition of the war the Germans discovered that animosity and distrust of England to French levies opposed to them in the men like Treitschke, Mommsen, Haus- West were armed with weapons from ser, and Bernhardi, to statesmen like English arsenals. The defence of the Bismarck, and soldiers like Moltke and Gladstonian Administration was that Goeben. The settled foreign policy of the weapons were sold to private purPrussia may be clearly seen in the let- chasers, and not to the French Govern. ters of Bismarck during the Crimean ment of the day. This was, no doubt, War. There was at that time a group true, but it was, to say the least, unof men in Berlin, comprising among fortunate that the English authorities others such influential persons as Count did not refrain from selling these weapGoltz, Count Pourtales, Bethman-Hol- ons while the war was raging. I know, weg, and Mathis. This group was in as a matter of fact, that Moltke could favor of an English alliance, and their never be persuaded to the day of his organ in the press, the Preussische death that the administration of which Wochenblatt, published very many ar

Mr. Gladstone was the head, was not ticles in this sense. Bismarck was culpably negligent in the matter, and then Prussian minister to the Bund at wilfully assisted French resistance to Frankfurt, and from thence he wrote the German armies. Bismarck thought to Manteuffel, who was Prime Minister so, too, and from that time he became of Frederic William IV, a number of firmer, if possible, than before in his letters which have been published by anti-English policy. Friction between Poschinger, and are worth very careful the English and German Governments study. They are directed against en- was constantly recurring, and it was tering into an alliance with England, largely owing to the ability, tact, and and urge in the strongest way the pol- influence of the late Lord Ampthill that icy of keeping on intimate terms with very critical complications did not Russia. This policy he always ad- arise, especially after Mr. Gladstone's hered to when he himself became second accession to power in 1880. The Prime Minister. He was confirmed in suspicion with which Bismarck it by the attitude of England in the garded England, particularly during question of the neutrality of the Baltic, the time of Mr. Gladstone's influence, in that of the Elbe Duchies, and still drove him to make friendship with more by her conduct during the Franco- Russia the corner-stone of his system. German War. At the very outset of He adhered to his policy even after he that war, Lord Lyons, the English Am- formed the Triple Alliance, and it was bassador in Paris, was most unfortu- partly in consequence of a secret treaty nate in the language he held to the with Russia, in which the interests of French Government. He assured the his ally, Austria, were, to say the least Duc de Grammont after the withdrawal of it, not carefully considered, and of the candidature of Prince Leopold which he kept secret even from his of Hohenzollern, and when it became own sovereign, that he was driven from clear that the French were about to office. The policy of Bismarck, as retake the initiative in commencing hos- gards Russia and England, with the extilities, that they might always count on ception of the time during which Count


Caprivi was Chancellor of the Empire, the prevailing Anglophobia. But in has been, in the main, adopted by those

Munich every

one knows that the in charge of the affairs of Germany. Neuste Nachrichten takes its tone from The real reason why it is so persistent- the Prussian Legation in the Bavarian ly followed is that German statesmen capital. It is, then, impossible to berealize the necessity and wisdom of lieve that the attitude it assumes of keeping on good terms with Russia, be- truculent hostility to England is discause of her military power and the pleasing to authorities in Berlin. The strategical advantages which the condi- question now arises, what is the meantion of the eastern frontier of Prussia ing of all this underhand action, and would confer upon the Russian army in what does the German Government excase of war. It is the dangers which pect to gain by it? There are various Germany fears a war with Russia motives. One may be discovered in the would entail that make her anxious to history of Prussian relations with Holcultivate Russia's goodwill. If Eng. land. Those who have followed with land, by the adoption of a settled pol- care German political literature, or who icy, would be as dangerous to Germany happen to have been at all intimate as Russia, the whole attitude of Ger- with German politicians, can hardly many would instantly change towards have failed to observe that the idea of her, and the greatest efforts would be obtaining a firm footing on the shores made to secure her friendship.

of the North Sea has been present to It is quite childish to imagine that the minds of political thinkers in Gerpersons in the highest authority in Ger- many for generations. The settlement many are not largely responsible for at the Congress of Vienna, with respect the hostility to England which is shown to the northeast frontier of Holland, throughout the German Empire. We was a bitter disappointment to the all know how Prince Bismarck man- Prussian National Party of that day. aged the Press, and every one moder- Men like Gneisenau and Grolman imately well-informed about German mat- agined that the German cause had ters is perfectly aware that many news- been seriously injured. Blucher was papers in every part of the Empire are thinking of Holland when, after Waterdirectly or indirectly inspired by gov- loo, he proposed the famous toast, ernment. There are prints, moreover, “Mögen die Federn der Diplomaten nicht not published in Germany, which have verderben was das Schwert der Völker mit made themselves remarkable by the grossen Anstrengungen errungen.most preposterous and venomous There is, of course, at present no desire calumnies against England, to whose to make Holland a state of the Gerattacks men in high positions of respon- manic Confederation. But the idea of sibility in the Empire are not strangers. obtaining concessions as regards cusI do not say that the German Foreign toms to be followed as time goes on Office is directly responsible for abuse by a regular Customs Union, and then of the baser sort which is continually ultimately by a Naval Convention, heaped on England. The Frankfurter which would practically destroy the inGeneralanzeiger, which has exposed dependence of Holland, is certainly with much courage the degradation and widely entertained in influential circles mendacity of so large a section of the in Germany. This is one reason why German Press, has shown how the ab- sympathy with the Boers and hostility surd calumnies are invented, which to England is encouraged by persons in prints like the Münchener Neuste Nach- high places. When Holland is brought richten, for instance, publish to flatter within the sphere of German influence


it is hoped that Germany may obtain ing there lies a rankling and implacaa considerable position in the Malay ble hatred toward England. This has Archipelago, and perhaps also at the been the work mainly of newspapers Cape, should England be so fatuous as influenced and guided by Germany. Of not to secure now real and undisputed all French papers the Petit Journal has. supremacy in South Africa. Another far the largest circulation. Every fairobvious reason why the German au- ly-informed man knows how it is inthorities encourage hostility to England fluenced. It receives, perhaps, no di. is the desire to obtain a more powerful rect support from Germany. It is connavy. The Kaiser well understands ducted mainly in the interests of anthe truth of the old French proverb, other power. It suits, however, Ger"Qui mer a terre.” He aspires to do for man policy in that it strives to form an the navy what his grandfather did for anti-English frame of mind. There are the army. But the true reason why an other French papers with a large circuincrease of the navy is supported by lation which are guided by Germany ministers and politicians is to prepare sometimes quite unconsciously to themfor a struggle with England. This has selves in their attacks on England. In been almost openly avowed by Admiral Russia the Petersburger Zeitung, an Tierpitz, who presented the imperial organ believed to be subsidized by the proposals to the Reichstag. The minis- German Foreign Office, has been incesterial statement shows how steadily the sant in its endeavor to provoke hostilconviction is growing that England is ity between England and Russia, and the country which Germany should en- German agents have been careful to deavor to overthrow. And the more represent to Russian statesmen that if ignorant Germans are becoming per- England is friendly to the development suaded that our position in the world is of German interests in Asia Minor it is undeserved, artificial, and cannot be with a view of producing friction be. maintained if seriously threatened. tween the Russian and the German This view has been fostered for many Empires. There is but one method by years past by the most brilliant writers which this policy of Germany can be in essays and articles, and by leading checked; and that is by bringing home journals and periodicals, which, in their to the minds of the Germans that its turn, shape the policy of the cheap consequences may be serious. newspaper, which is the gospel of the It is well that we should realize what village inn.

Germany has to lose in a conflict I have dwelt at this length on Ger- with England. It must be steadily kept man hostility towards England because in view that Germany has become a I conceive that it has a great deal to great industrial nation since the Empire say to the general ill-feeling towards was formed. The development of GerEngland which prevails on the Conti- man shipping has been marvellous. nent.

Her mercantile marine cannot, indeed, The attitude of France has been un- be compared to the English in size, but doubtedly influenced by the manipula- it is now greater than that of France tion by Germany of the French Press. or of the United States. In 1871 the Some years ago the pressing question foreign trade of Germany was about in the mind of almost every Frenchman 250 millions sterling. It is now 500 milwas how Alsace and Lorraine were to lions sterling. Of this 350 millions are be recovered. Now, everything is conveyed by sea. In the event of a changed, and there is no disguising the war with England this sea-borne comfact that at the bottom of French feel- merce would be ruined. Besides this.

there is a further consideration to be under their influence assumed an attiremembered. Between 1882 and 1895 tude of acute hostility to the Chancelthe population of Germany increased lor. Bismarck, partly in consequence from 45,220,000 to 51,770,000. The of personal irritation, and partly perpopulation is increasing at the rate of suaded by leading Liberals, rushed into 800,000 persons a year; and at the next a war not merely with this party, but census the population of the Empire with Catholicism in Germany. The rewill be something like 60,000,000 peo- sult was greatly to strengthen the powple. The emigration from the Empire, er of the Centre. The Particularists, which, a quarter of a century ago, was the ultra-Conservatives in Bavaria, about 200,000 people, fell last year to Baden, and Würtemburg, and Radicals 20,000. The decrease of emigration and at various places all over the country, the positive increase of the population gathered round this party, and took has been also attended by a diminution advantage of ecclesiastical organization of the number of persons who are en- in electioneering struggles, hoping, ungaged in agriculture. Between 1882 and der the cloak of religion, to further 1895 the total number of persons en- their political aims. The present Cengaged in agricultural pursuits fell from tre is 105 in number. It would not be 19,225,000 to 18,501,000. On the other true to say that all these are hostile to hand, the number of persons dependent the existence of the German Empire, on trade with countries beyond the sea and desire its destruction; but some of has increased from 16,000,000 to 20,- them undoubtedly do so, and take no 000,000. In the middle of the seventies pains to conceal their wishes. After Germany exported corn, meal, and the Centre, the most important, though other articles to Scandinavia, Switzer- not the most numerous group of the land, France and England. She now Diet, is the Social Democratic Party. imports all these, and, as Herr v. This party is the outcome of two disBrandt has shown, the most valuable tinct ideas, one represented by Lassalle, portion of German trade is with the the Schweitzer, and the other by Marx, British Empire, and its development is Liebknecht, and Bebel. It was formed at least partly owing to English com- in 1875. One of the most remarkable mercial policy. Such facts surely in- circumstances in the political life of dicate the very dangerous position Germany, and which must give pause which Germany would be in if England to every reflecting man, is the growth chose to make her power felt. Ger- of this party, which is openly hostile to many would have either to give way or the very existence of the Empire. In to risk a war which would produce so the general election of 1878, 437,000 much suffering to large numbers of her votes were cast for it. In the last elecpeople as would surely strengthen the tion 2,125,000 elector's voted for its already formidable elements of disor- candidates, and it secured some fiftyder. What these elements are we may six seats in the Reichstag. The Reicheasily discover by observing the politi- stag is a Chamber of 397 members, and cal groups in the Reichstag. There are if closely looked into it will be found in it no less than fourteen distinct polit- that if we add to tbe members of the ical groups. The largest of these is the Centre, the Social Democrats, the Poles, Centre, or so-called Catholic Party. and Deputies representing other disconThis was formed in the year 1870, tented interests, more than one-half of mainly by men whose motives were the members of the Reichstag are actuated by a personal dislike to Bis- strongly disaffected to the existing inmarck. The party, on its formation, stitutions of the country. Surely a

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