« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
from foreign competition, and they enjoyed the advantages of obnoxious to them.. In October 1894 he was dismissed suddenly, being able to purchase colonial goods and manufactured articles without warning, and almost without cause, while the emperor cheaply. Mecklenburg and Hanover, the purely agricultural was on a visit to the Eulenburgs, one of the most influential states, had until their entrance into the Customs Union, followed families of the Prussian nobility. a completely Free Trade policy. The first union of the Agrarian Caprivi's fall, though it was occasioned by a difference between party, which was formed in 1876 under the name of the Society him and Count Eulenburg, and was due to the direct act of the for the Reform of Taxation, did not place protection on their emperor, was rendered easier by the weakness of his
Fall of programme; they laid stress on bimetallism, on the reform of parliamentary position. There was no party on whose
Caprivi internal taxation, especially of the tax on land and buildings, help he could really depend. The Military Bill had and on the reform of the railway tariff, and demanded an increase offended the prejudices of conservative military critics; the in the stamp duties. These last three points were all to some British treaty had alienated the colonial party; the commercial extent attained: About this time, however, the introduction treaties had only been carried by the help of Poles, Radicals and of cheap corn from Russia began to threaten them, and it was Socialists; but it was just these parties who were the most easily in 1879 that, probably to a great extent influenced by Bismarck, offended by the general tendencies of the internal legislation, they are first to be found among those who ask for protection. as shown in the Prussian School Bill. Moreover, the bitter and
After that time there was a great increase in the importation unscrupulous attacks of the Bismarckian press to which Caprivi of food-stuffs from America. The increase of manufactures and was exposed made him unpopular in the country, for the people the rapid growth of the population made the introduction of could not feel at ease so long as they were governed by a minister cheap food from abroad a necessity. In the youth of the empire of whom Bismarck disapproved. There was therefore no prospect the amount of corn grown in Germany was sufficient for the of forming anything like a stable coalition of parties on which he needs of its inhabitants; the amount consumed in 1899 exceeded could depend. the amount produced by about one-quarter of the total. Al The emperor was fortunate in securing as his successor Prince the same time the price, making allowance for the fluctuations Chlodwig von Hohenlohe. Though the new chancellor once owing to bad harvests, steadily decreased, not withstanding the more united with this office that of Prussian minister- Chancellor duty on corn. In twenty years the average price fell from about president, his age, and perhaps also his character, Prince v.
Hohea. 235 to 135 marks the 1000 kilo. There was therefore a constant prevented him from exercising that constant activity
lohe. decrease in the income from land, and this took place at a time and vigilance which his two predecessors had displayed. when the great growth of wealth among the industrial classes had During his administration even the secretary of state for foreign made living more costly. The agriculturists of the north and affairs, Baron Marschall von Bieberstein, and afterwards Count east saw themselves and their class threatened with loss, and von Bülow, became the ordinary spokesman of the government, perhaps ruin; their discontent, which had long been growing, and in the management of other departments the want of a strong broke out into open fire during the discussion of the commercial hand at the head of affairs was often missed. Between the treaties. As these would inevitably bring about a large incrcase emperor, with wiom the final direction of policy rested, and his in the importation of corn from Rumania and Russia, a great subordinates, the chancellor often appeared to evade public agitation was begun in agricultural circles, and the whole in notice. The very first act of the new chancellor brought upon Auence of the Conservative party was opposed to the treaties. him a severe rebuff
. At the opening of the new buildings which This brought about a curious situation, the measures being only had been erected in Berlin for the Reichstag, cheers were called carried by the support of the Centre, the Radicals, and the for the emperor. Some of the Socialist members remained Socialists, against the violent opposition of those classes, especi- seated. It was not clear that their action was deliberate, but ally the landowners in Prussia, who had hitherto been the none the less the chancellor himself came down to ask from the supporters of the government. In order to prevent the com- House permission to bring a charge of lèse-majesté against them, mercial treaty with Russia, a great, agricultural league was a request which was, of course, almost unanimously refused. founded in 1893, the Bund der Landwirte; some 7000 land The Agrarians still maintained their prominent position in owners joined it immediately. Two days later the Peasants' Prussia. They opposed all bills which would appear directly League, or Deutsche Bauernbund, which had been founded in or indirectly to injure agricultural interests They looked with 1885 and included some 44,000 members, chiefly from the suspicion on the naval policy of the emperor, for they disliked smaller proprietors in Pomerania, Posen, Saxony and Thuringia, all that helps industry and commerce. They would only give merged itself in the new league. This afterwards gained very their support to the Navy Bills of 1897 and 1900 in return for great proportions. It became, with the Social Democrats, the large concessions limiting the importation of margarine and most influential society. which had been founded in Germany for American preserved meat, and the removal of the indemnitäts defending the interests of a particular class; it soon numbered Nachweis acted as a kind of bounty on the export of corn. They more than 200,000 members, including landed proprietors of all successfully opposed the construction of the great canal from degrees Under its influence a parliamentary union, the Wirt-Westphalia to the Elbe, on the ground that it would facilitate schaftsvereinigung, was founded to ensure proper consideration the importation of foreign corn. They refused to accept all the for agricultural affairs; it was joined by more than 100 members compromises which Miquel, who was very sympathetic towards of the Reichstag; and the Conservative party fell more and them, suggested, and thereby brought about his retirement in more under the influence of the Agrarians.
May 1901. Having failed to prevent the commercial treaties, Count Kanitz The opposition of the Agrarians was for many reasons peculiarly introduced a motion that the state should have a monopoly of embarrassing. The franchise by which the Prussian parliament all imported corn, and that the price at which it was to be sold is elected gave the Conservatives whom they controlled a preshould be fixed by law. On the first occasion, in 1894, only fifty dominant position. Any alteration of the franchise was, however, members were found to vote for this, but in the next year ninety- out of the question, for that would admit the Socialists. It was, seven supported the introduction of the motion, and it was con- moreover, the tradition of the Prussian court and the Prussian sidered worth while to call together the Prussian council of state government (and it must be remembered that the imperial for a special discussion. The whole agitation was extremely government is inspired by Prussian traditions) that the nobility inconvenient to the government. The violence with which it and peasants were in a peculiar way the support of the crown was conducted, coming, as it did, from the highest circles of the and the state. The old distrust of the towns, of manufacturers Prussian ríobility, appeared almost an 'imitation of Socialist and artisans, still continued. The preservation of a peasant class methods; but the emperor, with his wonted energy, personally was considered necessary in the interests of the army. Besides, rebuked the leaders, and warned them that the opposition of intellectual and social prejudices required a strong Conservative Prussian nobles to their king was a monstrosity. Nevertheloss party. In the south and west of Germany, however, the Con. they were able to overthrow the chancellor, who was specially I servative party was practically non-existent. In these parts,
owing to the changes introduced at the revolution, the nobility, capitalists, and were not even faithful to their own principles. who hold little land, are, comparatively speaking, without in the day of their power they showed themselves as intolerant political importance. In the Catholic districts the Centre had as their opponents had been. They resorted to the help of the become absolutely master, except so far as the Socialists threaten government in order to stamp out the opinions with which they their position. Those of the great industrialists who belonged to disagreed, and the claims of the artisans to practical equality the National Liberals or the Moderate Conservatives did not were rejected by them, as in earlier days the claims of the middle command that influence which men of their class generally hold class had been by the nobles. in Great Britain, because the influence of Social Democracy The Centre alone maintained itself. Obliged by their conbanded together the whole of the working men in a solid phalanx stitution to regard equally the material interests of all classesof irreconcilable opposition, the very first principle of which for they represent rich and poor, peasants and artisans—they was the hostility of classes. The government, therefore, were were the natural support of the government when it attempted compelled to turn for support tothe Centre and the Conservatives, to find a compromise between the clamour of opposing interests. the latter being almost completely under the influence of the old Their own demands were generally limited to the defence of Prussian nobility from the north-east. But every attempt to order and religion, and to some extent coincided with the wishes carry out the policy supported by these parties aroused an of the emperor; but every attempt to introduce legislation in opposition most embarrassing to the government.
accordance with their wishes led to a conflict with the educated The Conservatives distrusted the financial activity which opinion of the country, which was very detrimental to the centred round the Exchanges of Berlin and other towns, and authority of the government. In the state parliaments of Bavaria,
in this they had the sympathy of Agrarians and Baden and Hesse their influence was very great. There was, Exchange
Anti-Semites, as well as of the Centre. The Agrarians moreover, a tendency for local parties to gain in numbers and regula.
believed that the Berlin Exchange was partly re-influence-the Volkspartei in Württemberg, the Anti-Semites
sponsible for the fall of prices in corn; the Anti- | in Hesse, and the Bauernbund (Peasants' League) in Bavaria. Semites laid stress on the fact that many of the financiers were of The last demanded that the peasants should be freed from the Jewish extraction; the Centre feared the moral effects of specula- payment to the state, which represented the purchase price for tion. This opposition was shown in the demand for additional the remission of feudal burdens. It soon lost ground, however, duties on stamps (this was granted by Bismarck), in the opposi- partly owing to personal reasons, and partly because the Centre, tion to the renewal of the Bank Charter, and especially in the in order to maintain their influence among the peasants, adopted new regulations for the Exchange which were carried in 1896. some features of their programme. One clause in this forbade the dealing in “futures" in corn, Another class which, secing itself in danger from the economic and at the same time a special Prussian law required that there changes in society, agitated for special legislation was the small should be representatives of agriculture on the managing com retail traders of the large towns. They demanded mittee of the Exchange. The members of the Exchanges in additional taxation on the vast shops and stores, the Berlin and other towns refused to accept this law. When it growth of which in Berlin, Munich and other towns politik came into effect they withdrew and tried to establish a private seemed to threaten their interests. As the preservation Exchange. This was prevented, and after two years they were of the smaller middle class seerned to be important as a bulwark compelled to submit and the Berlin Bourse was again opened. against Socialism, they won the support of the Conservative and
Political parties now came to represent interests rather than Clerical parties, and laws inspired by them were passed in Bavaria, principles. The government, in order to pass its measures, Württemberg and Prussia. This Mittelstand-Polilik, as it is
was obliged to purchase the votes by class legislation, called, was very characteristic of the attitude of mind which was Political
and it bought those with whom it could make the best produced by the policy of Protection. Every class appealed bargalalog. bargain-these being generally the Centre, as the ablest to the government for special laws to protect itself against the
tacticians, and the Conservatives, as having the highest effects of the econoinic changes which had been brought about social position and being boldest in declaring their demands. by the modern industrial system. Peasants and landlords, No great parliamentary leader took the place of Windthorst, artisans and tradesmen, each formed their own league for the Lasker and Bennigsen; the extra - parliamentary societies, protection of their interests, and all looked to the state as the less responsible and more violent, grew in influence. The Anti- proper guardian of their class interests. Semites gained in numbers, though not in reputation. The After the fall of Caprivi the tendency of the German govern. Conservatives, hoping to win' votes, even adopted an anti- ment to revert to a strong Conservative policy in matters of Semite clause in their programme. The general tendency religion, education, and in the treatment of political among the numerous societies of Christian Socialism, which discussions became very marked. The complete
religious broke up almost as quickly as they appeared, was to drist from alienation of the working classes from Christianity policy. the alliance with the ultra-Conservatives and to adopt the caused much natural concern, combined as it was economic and many of the political doctrines of the Social with that indifference to religion which marks the life of the Democrats. The National-Sozialer Verein defended the union educated classes in the large towns, and especially in Berlin. of Monarchy and Socialism. Meanwhile the extreme spirit of A strong feeling arose that social and political dangers could only nationality was fostered by the All-deutscher Verein, the policy be avoided by an increase in religious life, and the emperor gave of which would quickly involve Germany in war with every the authority of his name to a movement which produced other nation. More than once the feelings to which they gave numerous societies for home mission work, and (at least in Berlin) expression endangered the relations of Germany and Austria- led to the erection of numerous churches. Unfortunately, Hungary. The persecution of the Poles in Prussia naturally this movement was too often connected with political reaction, aroused indignation in Austria, where the Poles had for long been and the working classes were inclined to believe that the growth among the strongest elements on which the government depended; of religion was valued because it afforded an additional support and it was not always easy to prevent the agitation on behalf to the social and political order. The situation was somewhat of the Germans in Bohemia from assuming a dangerous aspect. similar to that which existed during the last years of Frederick
In the disintegration of parties the Liberals suffered most. William IV., when the close association of religion with a ConThe unity of the Conservatives was preserved by social forces servative policy made orthodoxy so distasteful to large sections and the interests of agriculture; the decay of the Liberals was of society. The government, which had not taken warning by the result of universal suffrage. Originally the opponents of the fate of the School Bil, attempted to carry othér measures of the landed interest and the nobility, they were the party of the the same kind. The emperor had returned to Bismarck's policy educated middle class, of the learned, of the officials and finance. of joining social reform with repressive legislation. In a speech They never succeeded in winning the support of the working at Königsberg in November 1894, he summoned the nobles of men. They had identified themselves with the interests of the Prussia 10 support him in the struggle for religion, for morality,
for order, against the parties of Umslurz, or Revolution, and in themselves dangerous and demoralizing, and hence the demand shortly afterwards an amendment of the Criminal Code, com- of the Conservatives that women and young persons should be
monly called the Umslurz-Vorlage, was introduced, forbidden to attend. In Prussia a majority of the Upper House Vorlage.
containing provisions to check attempts to undermine and a very large minority of the Lower House (193 to 206)
the loyalty of the soldiers, and making it a crime voted for an amendment expressly empowering the police to punishable with three years' imprisonment to attack religion, break up meetings in which anarchistic, socialistic or communistic monarchy, marriage, the family or property by abusive expres-doctrines were defended in such a manner as to be dangerous to sions in such a manner as to endanger public peace. The dissocicty; the Saxon Conservatives demanded that women at cussion of this measure occupied most of the session of 1895; least should be forbidden to attend socialistic meelings, and it the bill was amended by the Centre so as to make it even more remained illegal for any one under ewenty-one years of age to be strongly a measure for the defence of religion; and clauses were present at a political meeting. In consequence of the amendintroduced to defend public morality, by forbidding the public ments in the Upper House the Prussian law was lost; and at last, exhibition of pictures or statues, or the sale of writings, which, in 1899, a short imperial law was carried to the effect that “ without being actually obscene, might rudely offend the feeling societies of every kind might enter into union with one of modesty." These Clerical amendments aroused a strong another." This was at once accepted by the chancellor; it was feeling of indignation. It was represented that the freedom of the time when the Navy Bill was coming on, and it was necessary art and literature was being endangered, and the government to win votes. The general feeling of distrust which this prowas obliged to withdraw the bill. The tendency towards a longed controversy aroused was, however, shown by the almost stricter censorship was shown by a proposal which was carried contempluous rejection in 1899 of a Bill to protect artisans through the Prussian parliament for controlling the instruction who were willing to work against intimidation or violence (the given at the universities by the Privatdozenten. Some of the Con- Zuchthous-Vorlage), a vote which was the more significant as servative leaders, especially Baron von Summ, the great manu- it was not so much occasioned by the actual provisions of the facturer (one of Bismarck's chief advisers on industrial matters), bill, but was an expression of the distrust felt for the motives demanded protection against the teaching of some of the pro- by which the government was moved and the reluctance to place fessors with whose economic doctrines they did not agree; any further powers in their hands. pastors who took part in the Christian-Social movement incurred Meanwhile the emperor had set himself the task of doing for the displeasure of the government; and Professor Delbrück the German fleet what his grandfather had done for the army, was summoned before a disciplinary court because, in the The acquisition of Hcligoland enabled a new naval station to be Preussische Jahrbücher, which he edited, he had ventured to established off the mouth of the Elbe; the completion of the criticize the policy of the Prussian government towards the Danes canal from Kiel to the mouth of the Elbe, by enabling ships of in Schleswig. All the discontent and suspicion caused by this war to pass from the Baltic to the North Sea greatly increased the
policy broke out with greater intensity when a fresh strategic strength of the fleet. In 1890 a change in the organizaattempt was made in 1900 to carry thosc clauses tion separated the command of the fleet from the office of secre
of the old Umsturz-Vorlage which dealt with offences tary of state, who was responsible for the representation of the against public morality. The gross immoralities connected with admiralty in the Reichstag, and the emperor was brought into prostitution in Berlin had been disclosed in the case of a murderer more direct connexion with the navy. During the first five called Heinze in 1891; and a bill to strengthen the criminal law years of the reign four line-of-battle ships were added and several on the subject was introduced but not carried. The measure armoured cruisers for the defence of commerce and colonial continued, however, to be discussed, and in 1900 the government interests. With the year 1895 began a period of expansion abroad proposed to incorporate with this bill (which was known as the and grcat naval activity. The note was given in a speech of Lex Heinze) the articles from the Umslurz-Vorlage subjccting the emperor's on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the foundation art and literature to the control of the criminal law and police of the empire, in which he said, " the German empire has become The agitation was renewed with great energy. A Goclle-Vercin a world empire.” The ruling idea of this new Weltwas founded to protect Kultur, which seemed to be in danger. Politik was that Germany could no longer remain In the end the obnoxious clauses were only withdrawn when the merely a continental power; owing to the growth of Socialists used the forms of the House to prevent business from population she depended for subsistence on trade and exports; being transacted. It was the first time that organized obstruction she could not maintain herself amid the rivalry of nations unless had appeared in the Reichstag, and it was part of the irony of the government was able actively to support German traders in the situation that the representatives of art and Icarning owed all parts of the world. The extension of German trade and intheir victory to the Socialists, whom they had so long attacked Nuence has, in fact, been carried out with considerable success. as the great enemies of modern civilization.
There was no prospect of further territory in Equatorial Africa, These were not the only cases in which the influence of the and the hope of bringing about a closer union with the South parties of reaction caused much discontent. There was the African Republic was not fulfilled. On the Pacific, however,
question of the right of combination. In nearly every there were great gains;a long-established plans for obtaining Law of
state there still existed old laws forbidding political a port in China which might serve as a base for the growing combioa
societies to unite with one another. These laws had trade at Tientsin were carried out at the end of 1897; the murder
been passed in the years immediately after the revolu- of two Catholic missionaries was made the pretext for landing tion of 1848, and were quiteout of place under modern conditions. troops in the bay of Kiao-chau; and in amends China The object of them was to prevent a network of societies from granted the lease of some 50 sq. m. of territory, and being formed extending over large districts, and so acquiring also a concession for building railways. The emperor political power. In 1895 the Prussian police used a law of 1850 showed his strong personal interest by sending his as a pretext for dissolving the Socialist organization in Berlin, brother, Prince Henry, in command of a squadron to take as had been done twenty years before. A large majority of the possession of this territory, and the visit of a German prince 10 Reichstag demanded that an imperial law should be passed the emperor of China strongly appealed to the popular imaginarepealing these laws and establishing the right of combination, tion. The emperor's characteristically rhetorical speeches on and they refused to pass the revised Civil Code until the chancellor this occasion-particularly his identification of his brother with promised that this should be done. Instcad of this course being the “mailed fist " of Germany-excited considerable comment. adopted, however, special laws were introduced in most of the 'In 1899, following the Spanish-American War, Germany, purstates, which, especially in Prussia and Saxony, while they gave chased the Caroline, "Pelew and Marianne Islands from Spain; in the right of combination, increased the power of the police to 1899-1900 by agreement with Great Britain and America she forbid assemblies and socicties. It was apparent that large and savour of Britain her protectorate over certain of the Solomon
acquired the two largest of the Samoan islands, renouncing in influential parties still regarded political mectings as something I islands.
Navy BIO, 1900.
In Turkey the government, helped again by the personal interest | of the Jameson Raid, had appeared to identify himself with the of the emperor, who himself visited the sultan at Constantinople, national feeling. When war broke out in 1899 it was obviously gained important concessions for German influence and German impossible to give any efficient help to the Boers, but the governcommerce. The Turkish armies were drilled and commanded ment did not allow ihe moment to pass without using by German officers, and in 1899 a German firm gained an im- it for the very practical purpose of getting another portant concession for building a railway to Baghdad. In Brazil bill through the Reichstag by which the navy was to organized private enterprise established a considerable settle- be nearly doubled. Some difficulties which arose regarding the ment of German emigrants, and though any political power was cxcrcise by the British government of the right of search for for the time impossible, German commerce increased greatly contraband of war were also used to stimulate public feeling. throughout South America.
The Navy Bill was introduced in January 1900. There were Encouraged by the interest which the events in China had some criticisms of detail, but the passing of the bill was only a aroused, a very important project was laid before the Reichstag matter of bargaining. Each party wished in return for its
in November 1897, which would enable Germany to support to get some concessions from the government. The Naval pro- take a higher place among the maritime powers. A Agrarians asked for restrictions on the importation of food; gramme,
completely new procedure was introduced. Instead the Centre for the Lex Heinze and the repeal of the Jesuit law; of simply proposing to build a number of new ships, the Liberals for the right of combination.
( 16 : the bill laid down permanently the number of ships of every The murder of the German ambassador, Baron von Ketteler, kind of which the navy was to consist. They were to be com at Peking in 1900 compelled the government to take a leading pleted by 1904; and the bill also specified how often ships of part in the joint expedition of the powers to China. each class were to be replaced. The plan would establish a A force of over 20,000 men was organized by voluntary
Bülow, lo normal fleet, and the Reichstag, having once assented, would enlistment from among the regular army; and the chancellor. lose all power of controlling the naval budget. The bill was supreme command was obtained by the emperor for null ng ini strongly opposed by the Radicals; the Centre was divided; Count von Waldersce, who had succeeded Moltke as chief of the but the very strong personal influence of the emperor, supported staff. The government was, however, sharply criticized for not by an agitation of the newly-formed Flollenverein (an imitation first consulting the Reichstag in a matter involving the first of the English Navy League), so influenced public opinion that military expedition since the foundation of the empire. It was the opposition broke down. A general election was imminent, desirable in such circumstances that a younger and more vigorous and no party dared to go to the country as the opponents of the statesman than Prince Hohenlohe should be placed at the hcad fleet.
of affairs before the Reichstag met; and on the 17th of October Scarcely had the bill becn carried when a series of events took he resigned, and was succeeded as chancellor by Herr von Bülow, place which still more fully turned public attention to colonial the forcign secretary,
(J. W. HE.; W. A. P.) affairs, and secmed to justify the action of the govern It remains only to sketch the main fcatures of German history Hostility ment. The war between the United States and Spain in later years. In spite of the denunciation by the Social DemoEngland.
showed how necessary an efficient fleet was under cratic leaders of what they stigmatized as a policy
progress, apprehension for the future arising from the new policy of ex. lishing a strong sea power was proved by the rapid tension adopted by the United States. And the brewing of the extension of the Navy League, which in 1904 had already 3595 storm in South Africa, where the Boers were preparing to resist branches. For an increase in the navy there was, indeed, British suzerainty, helped to make the nation regret that their sufficient excuse in the enormous expansion of German over-sca flect was not sufficiently strong to make German sympathies commerce and the consequent growth of the mercantile marine; effective. The government used with great address the bitter the value of foreign trade, which in 1894 was £365,000,000, had irritation against Great Britain which had become one of the risen in 1904 10 (610,000,000, and in the same period the tonnage most deep-seated elements in modern German life. This feeling of German merchant shipping had increased by 234%. In had its origin at first in a natural reaction against the excessive the session of 1901 Admiral von Tirpitz, the minister of marine, admiration for English institutions which distinguished the admitted in answer to a Socialist interpellation that the naval Liberals of an older generation. This reaction was deliberately programme of 1900 would have to be enlarged. In 1903 Count fostered during Bismarck's later years for internal reasons; Bülow declared in the Reichstag that the government was for, as Great Britain was looked upon as the home of parlia- endeavouring to pursue a middle course between the extravamentary government and Free Trade, a less favourable view gant aspirations of the Pan-Germans and the parochial policy might weaken German belief in doctrines and institutions adopted of the Social Democrats, which forgets that in a struggle for life from that country. There also existed in Germany a curious and death Germany's means of communication might be cut off.” compound of jealousy and contempt, natural in a nation the At the same time the emperor presented to the Reichstag a comwhole institutions of which centred round the army and comparative table, drawn up by his own hand, showing the relative pulsory service, for a nation whose institutions were based not on strength of the British and German navies. An inspired article in military, but on parliamentary and legal institutions. It came the Grenzbolen declared the object, of this to be to moderate at about That in the minds of many Germans the whole national once the aggressive attitude of the Pan-Germans towards Great regeneration was regarded as a liberation from British influence. Britain and British alarms at the naval development of Germany. This feeling was deliberately fostered by publicists and historians, This gave a fresh impetus to the naval agitation and counterand was intensified by commercial rivalry, since in the struggle agitation. In 1904 Count Bülow again found it necessary, in for colonial expansion and trade Germans naturally came to look reply to the Socialist leader Bebel, to declare that the German on Great Britain, who held the field, as their rival. The sympathy naval armaments were purely defensive. “I cannot conceive,”
which the cvents of 1896 and 1899 awakened for the he said, " that the idea of an Anglo-German war should be Boers caused all these feelings, which had long been scriously entertained by sensible people in either country.” growing, to break out in a popular agitation more on the 16th of November 1905 a new Navy Bill amplifying the
widespread than any since the foundation of the empire. programme of 1900 was accepted by the Federal Diet. The Navy It was used by the Nationalist parties, in Austria as well as League, encouraged by its success, now redoubled its exertions in Germany, to spread the conception of Pan-Germanism; and demanded that the whole programme should be completed the Boers as Low Germans were regarded as the representatives by 1912 instead of 1917. Bebel denounced this agitation as of Toulonic civilization, and it seemed possible that the con- obviously directed against England; and the government ception might be used to bring about a closer friendship, and even thought it expedient to disavow the action of its too zealous alliance, with Holland. In 1896 the emperor, by despatching allies. A telegram addressed by the emperor William to the a telegram of congratulation to President Kruger after the collapse presidents of the League, Generals Keim and Menges, led to
Pro-Boer move meul,
their resignation; but the effect of this was largely counteracted was now changed. On the 31st of March 1905 the emperor by the presence of Prince Henry of Prussia and the king of William landed at Tangier, and is reported on this occasion to Württemberg at the annual congress of the League at Stuttgart in have used language which in effect amounted to a promise to May, while at the Colonial Congress in the autumn the necessity support the sultan of Morocco in resisting French control. His for a powerful navy was again one of the main themes of dis- visit to the Holy Land and the solemn pilgrimage to Jerusalem cussion. That the government was, in fact, at one with the were, in the same way, a striking coup de théâtre designed to League as to the expediency of pushing on the naval programme strengthen the influence won by Germany in the councils of the was proved by the revelations of the first lord of the admiralty, Ottoman empire, an influence which she had been careful not Mr McKenna, in the debate on the naval estimates in the British to weaken by taking too active a part in the concert of the parliament of 1909. From these it was clear that the German powers engaged in pressing on the question of Macedonian government had for some time past been pressing on its naval reform. armaments with little regard to the ostensible programme, and Meanwhile pressure was being put upon France to admit the that in the matter of the newest types of battleships, Great German claim to a voice in the affairs of North Africa, a claim Britain had to reckon with the fact that, before the date fixed fortified by the mission of Count von Tattenbach, German for the completion of the programme, Germany might establish minister at Lisbon, to Fez for the purpose of securing from the at least an equality.
sherifian government special privileges for Germany. This The same determined spirit which characterized German naval aggressive policy was firmly resisted by M. Delcassé, the French policy was evident also in her relations with the other powers. minister of foreign affairs, and for a while war seemed to be
The suspicions as to the stability of the Triple Alliance inevitable. At Berlin powerful influences, notably that of Herr Foreiga policy.
produced, indeed, for some years a kind of nervous von Holstein—that mysterious omnipotence behind the throne
ness in the attitude of the government, whose deter were working for this end; the crippling of Russia seemed mination to assert for Germany a leading international role too favourable an opportunity to be neglected for crushing the tended to isolate her in Europe. This nervousness was, in 1903 menace of French armaments. That an actual threat of war and 1904, especially evident in the efforts to weaken the Franco-was conveyed to the French government (through the German Russian alliance by the policy of what Bebel denounced as ambassador at Rome, it is said) there can be no doubt. That Germany“ crawling on her stomach before Russia.” Germany war was prevented was due partly to the timidity of French not only backed up Russian policy in the East, and at the out- ministers, partly to the fact that at the last moment Herr von break of the Russo-Japanese War took up towards her an attitude Holstein shrank from the responsibility of pressing his arguments of more than benevolent neutrality, but the cabinets of Berlin to a practical conclusion. The price of peace, however, was the and St Petersburg entered into an agreement under which political resignation of M. Delcassé, who had been prepared to maintain offenders against either government were to be treated as traitors a bold front. Germany had perhaps missed an opportunity for to both. This arrangement, which made the Prussian police putting an end for ever to the rivalry of France; but she had the active allies of the Third Section in the persecution of inflicted a humiliation on her rival, and proved her capacity to
political suspects, created vast indignation among all make her voice heard in the councils of Europe. The proceedings Königs. shades of Liberal opinion in Germany, an indignation of the conference of Algeciras (see Morocco) emphasized the
which culminated with the famous Königsberg trial. restored confidence of Germany in her international position.
This was a prosecution of nine German subjects for It was notably the part played by Austria in supporting the sedition, conspiracy and lèse-majesté against the Russian emperor, German point of view ihroughout at the conference that and for the circulation of books and pamphlets attacking him strengthened the position of Germany in Europe, by drawing and his government. The defendanis were poor smugglers closer the bonds of sympathy between the two empires. How from the Esthonian border marshes, who in the course of their strong this position had become was demonstrated during the ordinary avocations had carried bales of revolutionary tracts crisis that arose after the revolution in Turkey and the annexainto Russia without troubling as to their contents. The trial, tion of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria in October 1908. which took place in July 1904, excited widespread attention. The complete triumph of Baron von Aehrenthal's policy, in the The prosecution was conducted with all the force of the govern- face of the opposition of most of the European powers, was due ment; the defence was undertaken by some of the most brilliant to German support, and Germany suddenly appeared as the Liberal advocates of Germany and developed in effect into an arbiter of the affairs of the European continent (see EUROPE: elaborate indictment, supported by a great weight of first-hand History). German nervousness, which had seen British intrigues evidence, of the iniquities of the Russian régime. The verdict everywhere, and suspected in the beneficent activities of King of the court was a serious rebuff for the government; after a Edward VII. a Machiavellian plan for isolating Germany and preliminary investigation of nine months, and a public trial of a surrounding her with a net of hostile forces, gave way to a spirit fortnight, the major charges against the prisoners were dismissed, of confidence which could afford to laugh at the terror of Germany and six of them were condemned only to short terms of imprison. | whic to judge from the sensational reports of certain popular ment for conspiracy.
British journals, had seized upon Great Britain. The progress of the Russo-Japanese War, however, soon re The great position gained by the German empire in these lieved Germany of all anxiety as to the safety of her eastern years was won in the face of great and increasing internal diff. frontiers, and produced a corresponding change in her attitude. culties. These difficulties were, in the main, the outThe Russian disasters in Manchuria at the beginning of 1905 come of the peculiar constitution of the empire, of laternal were followed by an extraordinary demonstration of the emperor the singular compromise which it represented between William's ideas as to “the world-wide dominion of the Hohen. the traditional medieval polity and the organization zollerns," in a sort of imperial progress in the East, made for the of a modern state, and of the conflicts of ideals and of interests purpose of impressing the Mahommcdan world with the power to which this gave rise; these being complicated by the masterful of Germany. In 1904 the German attitude towards Great personality of the emperor William, and his tendency to confuse Britain had been in the highest degree conciliatory; the Anglo- his position as German emperor by the will of the princes with French agreement as to Egypt was agreed to at Berlin; a visit his position as king of Prussia by the grace of God. of King Edward VII, to Kiel was reciprocated by that of the In general, Germany had passed since the war through a social German squadron to Plymouth; in July. a treaty of arbitration and economic revolution similar to that undergone by Great was signed between the two countries, while in the Reichstag Britain during the earlier half of the 19th century, though on the chancellor declared that, Germany's interests in Morocco a greater scale and at a much accelerated pace. A country being purely commercial, the understanding between France and England as to that country, embodied in the convention of the after the crisis was significantly compared with the same honour
1 The elevation of Count Bülow to the rank of prince immediately 8th of April 1904, did not immediately concern her. This attitude I bestowed on Bismarck at Versailles in 1871.