Handbook of War Facts and Peace Problems
INTERNATIONAL PROBLEMS OF PEACE
AND SKETCHES OF WARRING PEOPLES
A Dictated Peace.---The peace that the American People was determined to have was a peace secured by the unconditional surrender of the Central Powers. Only this kind of peace would make another war improbable if not impossible. A negotiated peace would be a German peace, with a ghastly future staring us in the face when Germany got ready again.
Early Peace Proposals.---Until October, 1918, there had been but little whole-hearted discussion of peace on either side. On the part of the Allies there was a frank discussion of the principles they would insist upon, whenever one of the German peace feelers was put forth,---one of the familiar Peace Offensives. The permanent destruction of Prussian militarism, the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France, the freedom and restoration of Belgium and Serbia, the independence of Poland and other subject nationalities and the expulsion of the Turks from Europe were the main Allied points. But it was recognized that, as long as Germany maintained the position held by her up to the spring of 1918, it was useless to discuss peace terms, though the Allies were disposed to accept the declarations contained in President Wilson's Fourteen Points of January 8, 1918, which except for the freedom of the seas and economic equality, largely corresponded to the terms announced a few days previously by Lloyd George (January 5, 1918), and to those of a year earlier (January 10, 1917) by the Allies.
As for the Central Empires, they kept reiterating monotonously that the war had been forced on them and that they were fighting to preserve the Fatherland; and their peace "feelers" were mainly for their effect on the German people, to give them the feeling that their government was doing everything to obtain peace. They were also aimed at encouraging pacifist propaganda in the Allied countries to undermine the will to resist. These feelers came out whenever there was a lull in German military successes, or contrari-wise after some tremendous German success. It was a peace "camouflage."
When the Allies and the United States began to elaborate the idea of a League of Nations, Germany pretended to adopt it, hoping to dominate such a League, and fearing that she might be left out of it.
The Pope's Proposal.---After the United States came into the war the most notable peace effort was that made by Pope Benedict XV. in his communication to the belligerent nations on August 1, 1917. To it President Wilson replied, August 27, showing how impossible was a return to the status quo ante bellum, (position before the war), to the same conditions that made the present conflict possible, and that no agreement would be possible with those rulers of the Central Powers whose word has been so unblushingly and repeatedly broken that it cannot be accepted as a guarantee of anything durable.
The Central Powers' Proposals in 1918.---On September 12, 1918, Payer, the German Vice-Chancellor, indicated the basis on which Germany would agree to make peace. It was a preposterous basis. They claimed that Germany was the attacked and injured party and so had the right to demand indemnification. On September 15, Austria, after her defeat on the Piave by Italy and in the throes of the increasing. internal troubles among Czechs and Slavs, sent out a vague peace feeler which was curtly rejected by the Allies.
The later stage in the discussion of peace terms came in the midst of the tremendous reverses from which the German armies were suffering in September and October, 1918, and after the defeat of the Turks in Palestine and Syria and the surrender of Bulgaria to the Allies. A new German Chancellor, Prince Max of Baden---thought by some to be a smooth double-faced moderate---was selected by the Kaiser to present a plea for peace. This plea was made, October 5, not to ourselves and the Allies, but to President Wilson alone, agreeing to the President's programme for peace as outlined in his various addresses on and since January 8, 1918, and asking him to invite all the other belligerents to send representatives to a peace conference, and in the meantime to secure an immediate armistice.
President Wilson's Answers.---The President's answer of October 8, took the form mainly of three questions, which led to an exchange of three notes on each side and to the entrusting of the terms of the Armistice to Marshal Foch. President Wilson in his second note insisted on the immediate cessation of the barbarous methods of German warfare on land and sea and in the establishment of a democratic government in Germany, as necessary prerequisites to peace negotiations. He rejected a separate plea for peace by Austria (October 19).
The Armistice.---The armistice terms, agreed to on November 10, allowed the German army to return home, and left Germany, apparently both unrepentent and unable to realize the real magnitude of her disaster. The terms, when accepted, however, made it impossible for Germany to renew hostilities, as her frontier was occupied, her army disbanded, and most of her war material surrendered. The armistice expired December 10, but was renewed for another month. It was again renewed in January, February and March, because little progress in formulating the peace terms had been made.
The President's Journey.---President Wilson's Fourteen Points, as revised by the President himself, having been accepted absolutely by the Central Powers and, with one reservation accepted by the Allies, he decided to go to Europe and take part in the Peace Conference, in order to elucidate and press the adoption of his views, especially in so far as they concerned the League of Nations and the Freedom of the Seas. He sailed December 4 and visited in succession France, England, and Italy, returning to Paris for the preliminaries of the Peace Conference.
Difficult Problems Before the Peace Conference.---Several questions came to the front before the Conference met. (1) The "Freedom of the Seas." Did it mean freedom in time of war as well as in time of peace? England declared categorically that she would not agree to any restriction of her sea power, and in this France concurred. So this stumbling block seemed to vanish. (2) The League of Nations as against the Balance of Power. England and Italy showed themselves more enthusiastic than France over the idea of handing over the destinies of the world to a general League. The French Premier, Clemenceau, declared that he still held to the plan of the Balance of Power. (3) The validity of the secret treaties between the Allies, especially in connection with Italy's claims in the Adriatic where they conflict with the desire of the majority of the population to join the new Jugoslav state. Would England and France feel bound by the secret treaties? Would they do so when this would be contrary to the principle of national self-determination to which they are pledged? (4) Should the Central Powers be admitted on an equal footing to the Peace Conference as well as to the League of Nations at the beginning, or only after repentance and reparation? (5) How should the Allies treat Germany so as to keep her solvent and able to pay what the Peace treaty should stipulate, without enabling her to gather strength for future wars and future industrial supremacy? (6) What attitude should the Allies and the United States take toward Russia, toward the spread of Bolshevism and toward the admission of representatives of Russia, both to the Conference and the League. (7) What should be done to prevent a dangerous spread of German pacific domination in Russia which might develop into a world danger in the near future? (8) What should be done to prevent or stop disagreements and armed collisions in Central Europe---from the Baltic to the Adriatic? (9) How is it possible to reconcile Italy and the Southern Slavs?
League of Nations.---There was a general feeling that to admit Germany at once to the League, if it were formed as part of the work of the Peace Conference, would be like admitting the murderer and the thief to sit on an equality on the same bench with the judge. It was therefore decided that the terms of peace and the future of the world should be determined by a Peace Conference or a League from which the Central Powers are excluded, and whose terms they are bound to accept as a result of unconditional surrender. Then, after Germany's sincerity in accepting and carrying out these terms has shown a change of heart as well as a change of government, from autocratic to democratic, it might be wise and just to admit the Central Powers into the League.
New International Law Code.---In creating a new code of international law for the use of the League, it seemed the general will of the Allies that this code should impose on all nations a standard of right, corresponding to, the standard already applied by law in all countries to private individuals. This would destroy the German claim that the state can do no wrong and that any crime that is to the advantage of the state is not only allowable but obligatory, which claim was the basis of this world catastrophe.
In the second place, it was the sentiment of the Allies that this code should establish the right of the peoples' representatives, to be consulted on every government act that involves them, thus putting an end to secret diplomacy which has been the greatest temptation to statesmen in planning for war.
In the third place it was generally believed that there must be a Permanent International Court appointed by the League, divided into sections with personnel, forms of procedure, and regular sessions.
The Peace Conference.---The proceedings of the Peace Conference in Paris were secret: only brief statements were occasionally made for publication. The Five Great Powers---France, Great Britain, the United States, Italy, and Japan---especially the first three, determined its decisions. The plan of the European Allies was to decide at once on the terms of peace to be imposed on Germany, so that the world could return to normal conditions as soon as possible, famine be alleviated, and industries re-established.
President Wilson's plan was different. He wished to elaborate a plan for the League of Nations, before constructing the peace terms. He persuaded the Peace Conference to adopt this procedure, and returned to the United States with the draft of the Constitution of the League. During his absence of three weeks from Paris, the Peace Conference was able to attend to the intricate problems that must be settled before drafting the peace terms for Germany and before deciding the boundary disputes of the newly-freed races which were becoming so embittered as to threaten to create new wars in Central and Eastern Europe.
Meanwhile famine conditions and industrial unrest were becoming more acute in Germany, Poland, Austria, and the Balkans, and Bolshevist propaganda was taking full advantage of the terrible distress to bring on revolutionary movements. The Bolshevist army, under the leadership of German and Austrian officers, was taking the offensive in every direction, and was being fitted out with German arms, ammunition, and accoutrements. The lack of any clear Russian policy, the invitation to meet Bolsheviki emissaries at Princes' Island, the refusal of the Peace Conference (due largely it is thought to American influence), to take the offensive against Bolshevist Russia, the delay in returning the Polish army in France to Poland, and the neglect of the heroic Czecho-Slovak army in Siberia allowed the Bolsheviki to develop unhampered their campaign to conquer the rest of Europe, beginning in the Baltic, the Ukraine, Galicia, Lithuania, Poland, and Hungary. It seemed as if at any moment the German government might collapse, leaving no official organization able to sign a treaty or her behalf. It seemed to become, toward the end of March a race with anarchy.
To understand the intricacies of the questions to be solved by the Peace Conference it will be necessary to review briefly the condition of each country involved in the peace settlement as it was before the war broke out, and also to consider the changes due to the war, and to the aspirations of the various nations, old and new.
The British Empire.
The British Isles had in 1911 a population of 46,029,249 (England and Wales 36,960,684; Scotland 4,747,167; Ireland 4,381,398). Their area is 121,633 sq. miles. The Indian Empire with its 315,156,396 people is administered almost entirely by British officials. There are over sixty administrative units in the empire scattered over the whole world. Of these the most important are Australia, India, Canada, Egypt, and the Union of South Africa.
The Imperial Parliament, with its House of Lords and its Commons, dates in its general form from the XIV century. The power of the Crown is purely nominal; the government is vested in Parliament to which the Cabinet is responsible. Self-administration of so absolute a character has been granted to all dominions and dependencies except Egypt and India that they are in effect self-governing. The Union of South Africa, constituted in 1909, consists of the self-governing provinces of Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State with a general parliament.
In no part of the Empire was there imperial conscription or universal military training and the volunteer forces were hardly more than sufficient for police duty. England's fleet was the only substantial defense of the Empire.
Effects of the War on the British Empire.---The effects have been two-fold: consolidation and larger freedom from centralized control. The splendid war record and loyalty to England of Canada, Australia, India, and South Africa led to an increased faith in the power and influence of the colonies in the imperial organization. Each Dominion was given a voice at the Peace Conference. Premier Hughes of Australia presented its claims to the possession of the German colonies of the Pacific. The South African Union claimed the greater part of the former German African colonies. The Peace Conference debated merely whether these two Dominions should be given these former German colonies absolutely or as mandatories of the League of Nations. This is the only territorial advantage accruing to the British Empire from the war.
Belgium is an hereditary representative constitutional monarchy. Its constitution was promulgated in 1831 after it had seceded from the Netherlands in 1830 to form an independent state under Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, elected king by the National Congress. The neutrality of the new state was guaranteed by the treaty of London of November 25, 1831, signed by Austria, Russia, France, Great Britain, and Prussia.
The king, senate, and chamber jointly hold legislative power. Some senators (27) are chosen by indirect vote; most (93) are elected directly. The Chamber of Representatives is elected directly by proportional universal suffrage. Belgium has an area a little less than the State of Maryland, and a population of 7,571,387, of which more than half speak only Flemish and less than half only French, while nearly a million speak both languages. The majority are Roman Catholics.
Belgium's claim at the Peace Conference was that she should be given absolute sovereignty and freedom from tutelage, by the abrogation of the Treaty of London by which her neutrality was guaranteed by other powers; that she should be given free access by way of the river Scheldt, to her great port of Antwerp, which is at present reached only across Dutch territory, and should therefore be given such territory or rights as would insure to her the free navigation of the Scheldt in time of war; that she should have her frontier rectified by the return of Dutch Limburg, which she had occupied between 1831 and 1839, and should have that part of the old duchy of Luxemburg which was assigned to Holland in 1831 and is now the independent Grand-Duchy. In fact she asked for what she believed should have rightly been given to her in 1830. She also demanded the return by Germany of all the art objects, cash, machinery, raw material, and manufactured goods (or their equivalent) stolen or destroyed by 'he Germans.
France has an area about twice as great as Colorado, with a pre-war population of 39,000,000, showing an increase of only about one million since 1886. Of this population, about 17,508,940 is urban, and 22,093,318 rural. Education is at a high level. The government has been a democratic Republic ever since the overthrow of the Emperor Napoleon III. in 1870, at the end of the Franco-Prussian war. Paris has 2,888,110 inhabitants (1911) and two other cities---Marseille (550,619) and Lyons (523,796) have over a half million. The president is elected for seven years, by an absolute majority of the Senate and Chamber united in a National Assembly. He selects the Premier who, with his sanction, forms a cabinet which depends on a majority parliamentary support. The Senate is elected indirectly for nine years and the Chamber of Deputies is chosen directly by manhood suffrage, for four years.
France's claims at the Peace Conference fall mainly under three heads: (1) safety on her German frontier; (2) restitution of Alsace-Lorraine; (3) Economic reparation. She considered that her safety could be ensured only by making the Rhine the military, if not the political, boundary between France and Germany, and by forbidding Germany even to fortify the Rhine. Under economic reparation she demanded the use, if not the annexation, of the Saar Basin---a valley in Lorraine---with its valuable coal mines, not only as an equivalent to the coal mines of Lens, destroyed by Germany, but because the Saar region belonged to France before it was taken from her by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. She demanded also Allied supervision of German war factories, and a permanent Allied Military Commission.
Italy is unique in the immensity of its coast line, which is 4,160 miles long, and in the nearness of every city to the sea.
Its area is almost exactly that of Nevada, and supports a population of 36,120,118, of which only about 80,000 are foreigners, and which is rapidly becoming homogeneous. Her manufacturing industries are mostly concentrated in the north, and nearly all the rest of the country is agricultural, even around the cities. The Monarchy is extremely democratic, though the Crown is hereditary and the Senators are appointed for life by the King. Manhood suffrage was established in 1912. The King is Victor Emanuel III. (since 1900), whose wife is the daughter of King Nicholas of Montenegro. Though Rome was taken in 1870 and the temporal power of the Pope abolished, complete unity was not considered as attained because certain Italian regions in the north were still in the hands of Austria. Ever since Italy gained her independence she has waited for the chance to obtain what she considers her right frontier line, of which she feels she was cheated by the treaty with Austria in 1866.
When Italy entered the war she aimed at securing for herself; (1) her unredeemed (irredenta) provinces; (2) enough of the coast line on the east side of the Adriatic to make her own west coast line safe from attack, (3) a protectorate of Albania, (4) a rich colonial field in the islands and on the Greek coast of Asia Minor. This claim is pure imperialism, as the Asia Minor coast and neighboring Dodecanese Islands, if assigned to any one of the Allies according to a referendum vote, would undoubtedly go to Greece. There is practically no Italian population. As for Albania, Italy's claim to the port of Avlona looks to protection of her own coast; otherwise Albania would be practically independent of Italy. A limited element in the cities of the Dalmatian coast is Italian, consisting mainly of descendants of the Venetian settlers of the Middle Ages. But taking the population as a whole, the Italians form about 3%; all the rest are Slavs. The purpose of the Italian claim was to make of the Adriatic an Italian lake by annexing not only the two only important ports---Trieste and Fiume---but also the principal islands. Italy's right to Trieste, if race is considered the dominant factor, is clear, as the majority of the' inhabitants are Italians, even though Austria has brought in a large number of Slavs and German Austrians. Her right to the province of Gorizia, upon the basis of race, is less clear, for while Eastern Friuli and most of the Peninsula of Istria (except its eastern end) with the cities of Trieste, Pola, and Parenzo are predominantly Italian, in all its immediate neighborhood the population is Slav. Italy's desire was to obtain a natural boundary on the northeast, from the Brenner to the Julian Alps, and to eliminate any maritime rivalry on the Adriatic, that would be dangerous to her unprotected eastern coast. The important part of Fiume, considered to be a necessary outlet by the new Jugoslav state, has a population predominently Italian, but with suburbs and surrounding country almost entirely Slav.
The second part of "Unredeemed Italy" (Italia Irredenta) is what is popularly called the "Trentino," from its principal city, Trent, above the central part of north Italy, on the great highway from northern Europe through the Brenner pass and Austria. Here a difficult problem arises. The Trentino proper, which we may call the Italian Tyrol, has a population unquestionably Italian; but the northern part (the southern part of Austrian Tyrol), with the City of Botzen, has a population largely Germanic. Unless this is assigned to Italy, as far as the Brenner pass, however, Italy will always be at the mercy of an enemy descending from the north. In ancient times this pass was always considered the frontier of Italy; and the question before the Peace Conference was whether possession of the mouth of the pass by Italy would be a strong assurance of future peace, so strong as to override the argument of race and self-determination. In the Peace Conference, the tension between Italy and the new Jugoslav State was so extreme as to lead to the fear of war at any moment on account of Italy's occupation of Slav territory which she considered should belong to her.
Former German Empire
The constitution of the German empire has been described in a previous chapter. Its area was about twice that of Colorado, and its population 67,872,000, with a rapid ratio of increase of almost 1.5%. Nearly two-thirds (42 millions) were in Prussia alone. Twenty-five states formed the empire, beside the "Reichsland" (Imperial province) of Alsace-Lorraine. There were four kingdoms: Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, and Wurtemberg; six grand duchies; five duchies; seven principalities; three free towns: Luebeck, Bremen and Hamburg, and the Imperial Province, Alsace-Lorraine.
The revolution at the close of the war by which all the rulers of the German federated states, as well as the emperor, lost their authority, turned Germany into a republic ruled by the party called Majority-Socialists, with a General Assembly meeting at Weimar, elected by universal suffrage. The territorial losses of Germany to be finally settled in the Treaty of Peace, are treated under France, Poland, and Denmark, etc, Revolutionary movements are causing constant change with the inroads of Bolshevism; and the South, especially Bavaria, is splitting away from Prussia.
In the history of the predatory wars of Prussia the vicious attack on Denmark in 1864 by Prussia and Austria is the most despicable. The two Danish border provinces of Schleswig and Holstein were taken over by these powers, but Prussia seized Austria's share in 1866. The population was promised a chance to vote whether or no it wished to be returned to Denmark, but this German promise was broken. The province was absolutely necessary to the Pan-German scheme, because in it was to be the Kiel Canal, key to Germany's sea-power and to her plan for attacking England. The return of part of Schleswig to Denmark and the internationalization of the Kiel Canal would be a partial return to the status of 1864, but the dominant German blood in Southern Schleswig and Holstein entitles them to remain German, if race alone is to be the deciding factor. The Peace Treaty provides for a referendum popular vote in three zones, which shall determine how much territory shall be restored to Denmark.
The Austro-Hungarian monarchy was formed in 1867 as a dual state, consisting of the Empire of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary. Its total pre-war area was about equal to that of Texas, and its pre-war population was 51,215,727.
By the constitution of 1867, the two states Austria and Hungary, were recognized as independent, having separate parliaments, ministries, constitutions and laws. The only things in common were the control of foreign affairs, military and naval affairs, and the finances affecting them. These were administered by a joint Delegation from the upper and lower houses of each parliament. The franchise was so arranged in Hungary as to give the ruling Magyar minority a majority of representatives.
The Slav populations in Carinthia, Carniola, and Dalmatia were restless and ready for independence. So were the Czechs in Bohemia and Moravia. The 17 separate Provincial Diets gave only fictitious autonomy.
The victory of Prussia at Sadowa in 1866 put an end to Austria's claim to be the leading Germanic power, and prepared the way for the forming of the German confederacy and empire as a mere amplification of Prussia. Though Austria sought by concession to the ruling Magyar element to stimulate the loyalty of Hungary, it was the general opinion before the war that the death of the emperor Francis Joseph II. would see the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the realization of the nationalistic ambitions of the Czech and Slav elements, crystallized under the two groups of the Czecho-Slovaks in the north and the Jugoslavs in the south. The inevitable end, in the opinion of the Pan-Germans, would be the absorption of the German sections of the Dual Monarchy by the German empire. To prevent this, it was the plan of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir of Francis Joseph, to turn the empire into a triple instead of a dual monarchy, by giving autonomy and union to the Slavs of both north and south. In this he was opposed, to the death, by the ruling politicians of both Hungary and Austria; and his death precipitated the outbreak of the war before the disruption of Austria could take place. The collapse of Austria at the close of the war was largely due to the obstinate refusal to fight of a large part of the Slav element in the Austrian army.
Five states claim the greater part of the old empire; the Czecho-Slovak Republic; the Jugoslav Confederacy; the Polish Republic; the Ukraine; and Rumania.
The Czecho-Slovak State.
The dramatic and romantic episode of the Czecho-Slovak army in Russia was one of the most amazing events of the war, and one that has appealed to the heart and imagination of the whole Allied world.
They were men who formed part of the Austrian army and who either passed over voluntarily to or were taken prisoners by the Russians. They volunteered to fight with the Russians against the German and Austrian armies; and when the Bolsheviki made their infamous peace with Germany, they obtained permission to cross the whole of Russia and Siberia to embark at Vladivostok so as to fight against the Germans in France. But the plan was changed because the Bolsheviki broke their promise and tried to murder them on their journey and they remained in Russia, mainly in Siberia co-operating with Japanese, English, and American troops.
All the Allies, including the United States, have acknowledged the right of this people to independence under the newly recognized law of nationality.
The main home of the Czechs is Bohemia, but the old kingdom of Bohemia included Moravia and southern Silesia: Slovakia adjoins Moravia to the south-east. It is a territory four times the size of Belgium, with a population of between 12 and 13 millions of whom about 10 millions are Czechs and Slovaks and the rest German. Bohemia was one of the earliest homes of democracy and reform, as was shown by the first Protestant, Hussite rebellion in the fourteenth century. She has been on the verge of rebellion for many years, smarting under Austrian oppression. Since this war began between 30,000 and 60,000 of her civilian inhabitants were barbarously executed by the Austrians. The Czecho-Slovak National Council on November 14, 1915, declared the Hapsburg dynasty deposed from the throne of Bohemia, cancelling the contract which bound the ancient kingdom to Austria. Austria was originally constituted by the voluntary union of the three kingdoms of Bohemia, Hungary, and German Austria. This union being dissolved, the Austrians had no right to treat the Bohemians---that is the Czecho-Slovaks---as traitors, the Bohemian commonwealth being reconstituted.
The new Czecho-Slovak Republic was established after the armistice, with Thomas G. Masaryk as the first President, and its government by universal suffrage will be permanently constituted after the Peace Conference has marked out its boundaries. The main problem is whether it shall include the German parts of Silesia and German Bohemia to the north and what concessions it will make to Poland.
The Jugoslav State.
The name, Jugoslav, is a new term for designating the group of three different peoples, Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, who form the group of southern Slavs (jugo means southern). Of their 14 millions, five were in Serbia and Montenegro, seven and a half in Austria-Hungary, and a million and a half are mostly temporarily in America or the British colonies. In Austria-Hungary they inhabit Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Istria, Carniola, with an overflow in Carinthia, Trieste, and southern Hungary. Roughly speaking the three parts of the nation are grouped as follows: The Slovenes in the west, the Croats in the center, and the Serbs, in the east, the Montenegrins being considered a branch of the Serbs. In the early middle ages there was a Croat state, and also a Serb state that fell in 1389. The Jugoslavs were for centuries in an almost continuous struggle against Germans, Magyars, and Turks, and have fairly earned independence. The new state will include the provinces just mentioned, that is Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Dalmatia, Carniola, with parts of Slavonia and Carinthia.
The people are intensely democratic. Not long after an independent Serbia was started in 1804 by rebellion against Turkey, there began a movement for national freedom among all the southern Slavs, which first culminated in the rebellion of 1848. In 1905 the Serbs and Croats joined in a new political party. It was a tremendous danger to Austro-Hungarian unity and to German expansion, and made the crushing of Serbia and of all the Slav element in the Austrian provinces necessary to the success of German schemes. The repression was cruel, but did not prevent the rapid development of the coalition after the war opened. A Jugoslav Committee was formed in London, May-July, 1915, and Congresses were held in the United States (Chicago, March, 1915, and Pittsburgh, November, 1916).
After the terrible invasions of Serbia in November, 1916, and the transportation of the remnant of the Serbian army to Corfu, came the climax of the movement. On July 20, 1917, the leaders of the Coalition, including representatives of the Serbian government, met at Corfu and issued a Declaration of Jugoslav Independence, with a Charter of Liberties containing thirteen clauses. It declared in favor of a constitutional, democratic, parliamentary monarchy under the Karageorgevich dynasty of Serbia. To this declaration the Montenegrins also adhered. As soon as Austria-Hungary surrendered, a Congress of Jugoslavs was called and Jugoslav unity was proclaimed on November 24, 1918. On December 21, the new Jugoslav state was set up under Prince Regent Alexander, son of King Peter Karageorgevich of Serbia and grandson of King Nicholas of Montenegro. The United States received, on January 8, 1919, a formal notification of the new kingdom through the Serbian legation, and officially recognized it.
One stumbling-block in the way of a harmonious settlement of the boundaries of the proposed new state was partly but only temporarily removed by the so-called Rome Conference in April, 1918, when Italy recognized the Jugoslavs as a nation and appeared to reach an agreement as to a harmonious relation between them and Italy regarding the Adriatic coast line of Dalmatia, Istria, and Albania. The imperialistic group in Italy, however, continued to claim for Italy parts of Dalmatia which are almost entirely inhabited by Slavs, and they intrench themselves behind the secret treaty of London (1915) by which the Allies had agreed to give Italy this territory, in violation of the principle of national self-determination, and on the basis of the old idea of balance of power. In 1918 this party gained control of Italian policy and began insisting upon Italy's right to Fiume, the only good port of the Jugoslav state.
King Peter I of Serbia belongs to the popular Karageorgevich dynasty which gained Serbia's partial freedom from Turkey in the uprising of 1804. Total independence was given in 1878 by the Treaty of Berlin. The constitution of 1903 gives the king executive power and provides for a ministry responsible to both king and an assembly elected by manhood suffrage, and a State Council chosen by both king and assembly. The people are poor but industrious, and there is no pauperism, as every peasant owns land in freehold: nearly all live in the country, and agriculture is the main industry. Mining industries, especially copper and coal, might be developed. The state religion is Greek Orthodox.
Before the Balkan wars (1912-13) Serbia had an area of 18,650 sq. miles with a population of 2,957,207. The territory given her by the Treaty of Bucharest (July 25, 1913) including Monastir, gave her an additional 115,241 sq. miles and brought her population up to 4,615,567.
Serbia has taken the lead. in the organization of the new Jugoslav state, not only through the election of her crown-prince and actual ruler, Alexander, as its first ruler, but because of the numerical superiority of the Serb race in the coalition, the inhabitants of Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Montenegro being pure Serbs.
Montenegro is a small mountain principality, about the size of New Hampshire, which contains a population of 436,789 hardy mountaineers of the Serb branch of Slavs, engaged chiefly in pastoral and agricultural pursuits. Their religion is chiefly .Greek Orthodox. Their government was an hereditary monarchy of democratic and tribal character, with an assembly elected by universal suffrage, and parliamentary government. The country was the first part of the Balkans to be freed from the Turks (1697) by whom it had never been really conquered. It alone continually kept alive the spirit of Serb-Slav independence. The Montenegrin assembly has deposed King Nicholas, who refused to abdicate, and has decreed union with the Jugoslav state.
Bulgaria has a territory about the size of Louisiana, with a population of 5,517,700 of whom about 488,000 are Turks and the rest Bulgars. Their chief industry is agriculture, and their religion Greek Orthodox.
In 1878 the Treaty of Berlin, by which the Great Powers regulated the Balkans, created a principality of Bulgaria as a tributary to the Sultan of Turkey, of which country it had been a part since the end of the fourteenth century. The Turkish atrocities in Bulgaria in 1876 led the powers to make this change. In 1885-6, the adjacent province of Eastern Rumelia joined it. In 1908 Bulgaria declared her complete independence of Turkey, and Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who had been elected in 1887, assumed the title of king.
From September 30, 1912, to May 30, 1913, Bulgaria, together with Greece, Serbia, and Montenegro, fought Turkey in the First Balkan War. On June 29, 1913, Bulgaria, dissatisfied with the territory allotted to her by the Treaty of London, attacked her Allies in the Second Balkan War, but was defeated, Rumania having been added to her enemies. Bulgaria's readiness to join the Central Powers in 1914 was for revenge and with the hope of regaining more than she had lost in the Second Balkan War. Her dream was a Bulgarian Empire extending to Greece and including large parts of Serbia and the city of Constantinople. For this they gladly lent themselves to the Pan-German scheme.
Serbia has already expressed a readiness to forgive, and much will be overlooked for the sake of burying the hatchet in the Balkans. The new Balkan League organized by Venizelos may admit her after probation.
It must be realized that the Bulgarians belong to quite a different branch of the Slav race from the Serbs, and that remembering their great kingdom in the early middle ages, they may well have dreamed with the help of Germany, of taking to themselves the leadership in the Balkans.
The constitutional monarchy of Rumania was formed by the union in 1861 of the two Balkan provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia, which had been for several centuries dependencies of Turkey, with some attempts at control by Russia. The Danube separates it from Bulgaria. Its area was 137,907 sq. miles; its population 7,508,009. The capital, Bucharest, has 345,628 inhabitants. Charles, of the German Hohenzollerns, after being prince since 1866, became king in 1887. Complete independence from Turkey was gained in 1877. There is a senate and house elected not by manhood but by proportional suffrage. The executive power is vested in a council of ministers. The people differ from all their neighbors in being not of Slavic but of Latin descent. A large part of the race are not yet included in the kingdom, but live in Transylvania and Bukovina, as well as in the Dobrudja and Bessarabia.
The oppression of Rumania by Germany, after she had been betrayed by Russia and left unassisted by the other Allies, has been one of the worst episodes of the war. The Treaty of Bucharest was nothing but political enslavement, industrial spoliation, and financial robbery.
Her claims at the Peace Conference were: Dobrudja, which she ceded to Bulgaria in 1917; Bessarabia, which she was obliged to cede to Russia after the Russo-Turkish war; and those parts of Transylvania, Bukovina and the Banat inhabited by people of her own race which belonged to Austria-Hungary. These claims, if granted, will about double her former territory, and give her a strong position in the Balkans, where she has suffered from not belonging to any branch of the dominant Slavs. The delegates of the Rumanian race in Transylvania, Hungary, and the Banat met, December 1, 1918, and declared for Rumanian union. There were delegates, also from Bessarabia and Bukovina.
From the fifteenth century until the insurrection of 1821, Greece was a province of the Turkish Empire. With the help and under the guarantee of Great Britain, France, and Russia, she gained her independence in 1830, and is now a constitutional monarchy, under the constitution of 1864. which provides for a representative chamber, elected by manhood suffrage for four years, and a Council of State.
The population of Greece in 1914 was about 2,765,000 in its old territory of 25,014 sq. miles. But its new territories, acquired through the Balkan wars of 1912-1913, added about 2,101,616 population and 16,919 sq. miles. Her total population, therefore, is about five million, and her present area about that of Tennessee. The people belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, which is the state religion. Education is not advanced. The percentage of illiteracy---total or partial---is over 40 per cent. The country is largely agricultural, but the land is poor and deforestation general. Nearly all holdings are small, in the hands of peasants and small farmers.
The position of Greece in the war was, until its latter part, peculiar and, to the Allies it was disappointing. The sympathies of the Greek people were with the Allies from the beginning. Why then did Greece not line up with them during the first two years of the war? There were three reasons: First, the pro-Germanism of King Constantine; secondly, the diplomatic and military blunders of the Allies; thirdly, the threatening attitude of Bulgaria. These were what caused Greece's neutrality, notwithstanding the Premier Venizelos, the greatest man in Greece, was strongly pro-Ally. When Bulgaria entered the war on the side of Germany; Greece, coerced by King Constantine, broke her treaty of 1913 with Serbia, which bound her to go to Serbia's assistance when attacked. Since the downfall of King Constantine in June, 1917, Greece has been a faithful member of the Allies.
In the peace settlement she laid claim to parts of Greek Macedonia and northern Eperus, to Thrace and Constantinople and to the rich Greek section of the coast of Asia Minor, including Smyrna, where there are over a million Greeks, together with several islands (the Dodecanese, occupied by Italy). In fact she wished to add about two and a half million Greeks to her population. She reached a working agreement with Rumania and the new Jugoslav state which she officially announced as a new Balkan League, even before the meeting of the Peace Conference.
The former Russian Empire had the enormous area of 8,417,118 sq. miles, with a population of 182,182,000, of which European Russia contains 131,796,800, Russian Poland 12,247,600, the Caucasus 13,229,100, Siberia 10,377,900, Central Asia 11,254,100, and Finland 3,277,100. There are 5,070,205 Jews, 3,094,469 Lithuanians, 1,173,096 Armenians, 1,813,717 Germans, 3,502,147 Finns, 13,601,251 Turko-Tartars (Asia), 1,352,535 Georgians, and 1,091,782 other Caucasians. The bulk of the remainder (over 100,000,000) are Slavs, of whom about 65,000,000 are Muscovites or Great Russians, over 30,000,000 Little Russians, and 6,000,000 White Russians in the west. The population consists mainly of peasants, formerly mostly serfs, who form about 85%. About 150,000,000 live in the country, mostly in villages; about 30,000,000 live in cities and towns.
The Czar's autocratic authority, expressing itself in a corrupt and highly organized bureaucracy, had not been fundamentally affected by the various recent attempts at establishing parliamentary and local government either in the general assembly called Duma or in the regional organizations called Zemstvos. Such reforms were attempted in 1904-1906 and 1907 when the first, second and third Dumas met. A counter revolution set in which culminated in 1912, killing all hopes of peaceful reform.
When, in the spring of 1917, the Czar and the whole system of autocratic and bureaucratic government was overturned and replaced by a Democratic administration, the failure of the various reform parties to agree caused a gradual disintegration and anarchy, engineered by Germans through their own agents and through their Bolshevik emissaries---one of Germany's aims was to break up Russia into small states.
Germany succeeded in isolating Great Russia from all the outlying provinces to the north, west, and south, thus cutting her off from the sea. She enforced on her the so-called Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, by which she systematically despoiled Russia. She also engineered the establishment of so-called autonomous administrations in Finland, Esthonia, Livonia, and Courland (all the Baltic seaboard) and in Lithuania, where she contemplated the "election" of a German king. In Poland she set up a local government and tried in vain to raise a Polish army for use under German officers against the Allies. It is said that 30,000 Poles were hung or shot for refusal to serve. To complete the encirclement of Greater Russia, Germany arranged for a separatist government in the southern part of the empire, the Ukraine, where the so-called Little Russians live, and made a treaty with this new state, giving Germany the usual free hand to commandeer grain and all other raw materials, supplies, and, machinery. The Allies and Czecho-Slovaks closed in on Greater Russia on the only other side---the north-east and east.
To those observers who have seen with horror the Bolshevik autocratic tyranny in Greater Russia, with its wholesale massacres and obliteration of every element of civilization, education, and ability, leading to a return to the savage state of the cave-man, it is evident that the world now faces as great a menace, if not a greater one than it faced in German militarism, because the Bolsheviki plan an even more complete world conquest, with more fundamental destruction of society. Also because Germany will not hesitate to ally herself with Bolshevist Russia, secretly or openly, if she aims to renew her Pan-German plan.
Russia today offers the world two big problems: (1) Shall the rest of the world intervene to lift the Bolshevist tyranny, so that the people of Russia shall be free to use universal suffrage as a means for determining their form of government. (2) Shall the rest of the world run the risk of allowing itself to be infected by the Bolshevist propaganda under present conditions of famine, confusion, and distress?
After the Armistice the following nine new national states were organized outside of Russia proper: Poland, Finland, Esthonia, Lettonia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Turkestan. In Russia proper, besides the Central part with about 90 millions, under Bolshevik rule, there were three anti-Bolshevik groups : the Siberian and Omsk government under Kolchak, recognized as supreme by the Archangel government in the north under Tchaikowsky and General Denikine's government in the South.
A strong, independent Poland would be a reparation for the wickedest of the early political crimes of the Hohenzollerns. For centuries, beginning with the eleventh century, Poland was the most highly civilized state of northern Central Europe, more important and more cultivated than either Russia or the neighboring parts of northern Germany. But in the eighteenth century an unfortunate political system, a lack of cohesion between classes, and the vicious plan of electing monarchs of alien blood (French, Swedish, German), led to great internal weakness and dissensions.
Between 1770 and 1772 Frederick the Great of Prussia, having solidified his stealing of Silesia (1763), induced first Austria and then Russia to attack Poland in order to have each of them annex a slice of its territory. The next step in the Hohenzollern nibbling took place when Frederick William of Prussia, having lulled the Poles into security by solemnly swearing to defend them against Russia, treated this promise as a "scrap of paper" and secretly arranged with the Empress Catherine of Russia for a second partition of Poland in 1793, leaving to the Poles less than a third of their original land. When the Poles arose in desperate and at first successful rebellion, Austria, jealous at not having been admitted to the second spoliation, joined in the attack on her in order to get another share of the spoils.
The Congress of Vienna, in 1815, sanctioned this dismemberment of Poland, giving to Russia the lion's share of over 220,000 sq. miles, while Austria had 35,500 sq. miles, and Prussia had 26,000 sq. miles. Poland's spirit, however, has never been broken, either by the efficient and systematic oppression in Prussian Poland, or by the more savage and sanguinary repression in Russian Poland.
Poland's great river, the Vistula, and her original coast line on the Baltic sea, including the great port Danzig, give her good economic possibilities, and if all the lost provinces are reunited in a powerful independent state, it will have a population of about 30,000,000. Such a state would act as the best safeguard against future rivalry or future fusion between Germany and Russia, and would remove an internal sore of the most virulent sort in both these states. There are, however, three very difficult problems: (1) in the north, Lithuania, which was part of the old Polish kingdom, may insist on being an independent state; (2) in the south the Ruthenian-Ukrainians of East Galicia may object to being included in Poland; (3) the port of Danzig at the mouth of the Vistula, so vital to Polish Commerce, is not now properly part of Poland on the basis of nationality. The Peace Treaty effects a compromise settlement by making Danzig a free city, open to the commerce of Poland and partly under her control.
Originally Finland was a grand-duchy of Sweden, but was ceded to Russia in 1809. It is about 700 miles north and south and 400 miles east and west, with about one-third forest land. Its population is 3,277,100, nearly all Lutherans. Though manufactures and lumbering are assuming importance, the principal industry is agriculture on small homestead farms. The inhabitants are nearly all Finns; only about 350,000 are Swedes.
During the breaking-up process in Russia in 1917, Finland, at first with the help of Germany, and later (1918) independently, organized as entirely free from Russia, and planned to remain so under a democratic administration. It has suffered greatly from attacks by Bolshevik troops.
The Three Baltic Provinces.
This is the smallest northern province of Baltic Russia, with a population of half a million and an area a little less than that of New Jersey. Agriculture and extensive live-stock farming are its main industries, with iron and steel manufactures. The native Esthonians or Esths form nearly 90% of the population, which preserves its ancient language and is akin to the Finns though modified by Germans and Russians. It belonged first in part to the Danes and in part to the Prussians (XIII cent.), then entirely to the Prussians (1346); then entirely to the Swedes (1561); who in 1721 ceded it to Russia, of which it has since been an integral part, without special privileges or autonomy.
The Esthonians, in 1918, organized as an independent state, and have since been in continuous struggle against Bolshevik attacks.
The central Baltic province, with an area of 17,574 sq. miles and a population of 1,778,500. It abounds in lakes and rivers and its main industry is agriculture and cattle-raising. The population is more mixed than in Finland or Esthonia: 43.4% Letts; 39.9% Esthonians; 7.6% Germans; 5.4% Russians; 2% Jews; 1.2% Poles. The Germans live in and largely control, the cities. About 80% are Lutheran Protestants. Livonia belonged to Lithuania and consequently to Poland from the middle ages. It was conquered by Sweden in 1660, from which it passed by treaty in 1721 to Russia, to which it has since belonged . The serfs were emancipated in 1819, but no land was given to them: it was retained by the feudal landowners; so no system of small farms grew up as in Finland.
This former Russian province has an area of 10,435 sq. miles and a population of 812,300, engaged mainly in agriculture, cattle-raising, and fishing, with hardly any manufactures but considerable trade. Its capital is Mitau. The inhabitants are mostly Letts who work as farm laborers on the large estates which, as in Livonia, are mainly under German management. Courland was joined in the XVI century to Poland as a separate duchy. It was annexed to Russia in 1795.
Livonia and Courland declared themselves in 1918 a free Lettish state, under the name of Letvia or Lettonia, and in their bitter struggle against the Bolsheviki invasion of 1918-19, they lost their main seaport, Riga.
The Russian governments of Kovno, and parts of Vilna, Grodno, Vitebsk, and part of East Prussia formed what once was Lithuania. During the fourteenth century, its inhabitants fought the Prussian Knights on the one side and the Russians on the other. It was joined to Poland in 1386 in a dual administration, and was united to it in 1501 and 1569. In the partition of Poland (1792-5) it was included in the section taken by Russia and lost its identity.
In its mixed population of Lithuanians, Poles, Russians, and Jews, the former predominate, though a large number of the large landowners are Poles. The Lithuanian race in this territory is variously estimated at between 3,000,000 and 5,000,O0O. The area of Lithuania is approximately that of Kentucky. The Lithuanians have organized a separate administration and a strong nationalistic movement against being incorporated in the new Polish state.
The Ukraine was part of the old kingdom of Poland. In 1667 part of it, including the capital, Kiev, passed to Russia, and became known as Little Russia. The rest was given to Russia at the second partition of Poland in 1793. There are over 30,000,000 Slavs of the Little Russian or Ukrainian type, part of them in Galicia as well as Volhynia. The members of the Galician branch are called Ruthenians. They differ strongly in racial characteristics and languages from the Great Russians to the north. Its largest city is Odessa.
Germany planned and arranged the separation of the Ukraine from Russia before the Brest-Litovsk treaty and has fostered the war which the Ukrainians have been making against the Poles for the possession of Galicia. The Peace Conference includes among its duties the determination of the boundary lines between the Ukraine, Poland, and the Czecho-Slovaks.
Turkey is a despotism of Asiatic origin that held in subjection a mixture of races, and is ruled by a Sultan, whose office is hereditary. The Turks came to Europe in the XIV century, finally taking Constantinople in 1453. The area is a little less than three times that of Texas, with a population of about 22 millions. It has rapidly dwindled during the last hundred years; losing one by one, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Tripoli, and Egypt, which once constituted its enormous African domains; losing also nearly all its Balkan (European) possessions, Rumania, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia. It was left with its capital. Constantinople (1,000,000 inhabitants), with a small territory in Europe up to Adrianople (83,000 inhabitants), with Asia Minor, Armenia, and Kurdistan, Mesopotamia, Syria, and Arabia (on which, however, its hold was loose) .
The Turks themselves live mostly in the interior of Asia Minor and in Constantinople. They, the Arabs, Kurds, and the majority of Syrians, are Mohammedans. The Armenians, Greeks, and some Syrians are Christians. The Turks do not engage in any business or other productive occupations and do practically nothing but mis-administer and live off the industrious part of the populations (Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Syrians). The so-called constitution of 1876 is a dead-letter: the government is a tyranny by a small clique of Turks, who have tried since 1909 to establish a Pan-Turkish or Pan-Turanian despotism over all the elements, even the Arabs. The Allies have pledged themselves to the expulsion of the Turks and to the freeing of all the races they have oppressed.
Turkey is fortunate in grain-producing plains, in the most varied mineral deposits, and in rich oil fields; with numerous seaports and facilities for river navigation and irrigation systems. The people themselves, except the Turks, are industrious and intelligent.
What would happen if the principle of free and self-determining nationalities were applied to Turkey? Aside from the small remnant of Turkey in Europe protecting Constantinople with its mixed population of Turks, Greeks, Jews, and other races, the main districts are: (1) Asia Minor or Anatolia, (2) Kurdistan-Armenia, (3) Mesopotamia, (4) Syria, (5) Arabia. Less than half the population are Turks. There are perhaps 2 1/2 million Greeks, mostly in Constantinople and European Turkey and along the sea-coast of Asia Minor, where in ancient times there were splendid Greek cities rivalling Athens and Sparta. The Armenians before the massacres formed the bulk of the population to the north, in what the Turks call Kurdistan, but we call Turkish Armenia. Mingled with them, in southern Armenia, are the Kurds and the Turks. In all sections of the empire there were about 2,000,000 Armenians. Of the Kurds there are close on two millions. Syria, including Palestine, has about 3,000,000, of whom practically none are Turks and the bulk of Semitic race, either Arabs, Syrians, or Jews.
At the time of the First Balkan War, November-December, 1912, the province of Albania in European Turkey, between Greece, Montenegro, and Macedonia, was proclaimed an independent principality, to be administered by some European prince; and early in 1914 a German prince, Alexander of Wied, backed by an international commission of control, was sent to take possession. But the Albanians, both Mohammedan and Christian, are turbulent ultra-independent mountaineers and the German princeling never held any authority and did not remain long.
During the war the province has been overrun by Austrian and German as well as by Allied troops, especially Italian; and Italy has claimed a protectorate over a small section of it around the port of Avlona. The million or more Albanians are a race by themselves and do not readily mix either with the Serbs or Greeks, both because of strong racial characteristics and of their peculiar clan organization and strong traditions.
Their ability is extraordinary, but they are untamed. Their land is wild, little known, and the most romantic part of the Balkans. A local government was provisionally organized early in 1919.
What was at one time the kingdom of Armenia was parcelled up between three states; the north to Russia, the south to Turkey, and the south-west to Persia. The Armenians are an ancient race, early converts to Christianity, and always tenacious adversaries of the Turks, their conquerors. Before the massacres there were probably nearly two million Armenians in the Turkish Empire, over a million in Russian Armenia, 100,000 in Persia, and about twice as many more scattered in Austria-Hungary, India, and the United States.
In the reconstruction it will be comparatively easy to fix the boundaries of an American [sic!] commonwealth, and the only large non-Armenian element within its borders would be the Mohammedan Kurds.
As many as two million Armenians have survived in Russian, Turkish, and Persian Armenia, and in America and Europe. They should certainly be helped to the utmost by the Allies and the United States to build up an independent state, which will probably be given an outlet on the sea in Cilicia.
The existence of Palestine as a state seems assured. It must be remembered however that it can hardly be an entirely Jewish state as the great majority of the inhabitants are Mohammedan Arabs. It is estimated that before the war Palestine had 720,000 inhabitants, of whom 500,000 (mostly Arabs) were Mohammedans, while 120,000 were Jews and 100,000 were Christians. On the basis of nationality, therefore, it would be logical that Palestine should become part of any Arab state that may be established. But such an outcome is evidently impossible, and Palestine's Jewish population will probably be strengthened in a few years by Jewish immigration. It seems likely that either England or the League of Nations will oversee the beginnings of the new state.
The province of Syria extends north of Palestine and west of Mesopotamia and the desert, with such ports as Beirut, and the wonderful cities of Damascus and Aleppo. The population of less than three millions is mainly of old Syrian Semitic stock with a large infusion of Arab blood, and the country was one that in ancient times enjoyed extraordinary prosperity---a prosperity that might easily return. The natives have always looked to France for protection against Turkish misrule, and France has been their savior ever since the crusades. The Arabs claim the province, but France, if given control, would be more likely to perform the task of bringing prosperity back to Syria and preparing her to stand on her own feet. What all the provinces of the old Turkish Empire need is a development of their extraordinarily rich and varied natural resources by European capital, and modern machinery and business methods.
An Arab Kingdom.
On June 27, 1916, Husayn, Grand Sherif of Mecca, renounced obedience to the Sultan of Turkey and took the title of King of the Hedjaz with its capital in the Holy City of all Islam, Mecca. This was practically establishing an Arab kingdom. Since then the Arab horsemen co-operated with the English army in Palestine under General Allenby and took a big share in surrounding and capturing the Turkish army and freeing both Palestine and Syria. The Turks were driven out of all the cities that the Arabs hold sacred---Mecca, Medina, Bagdad, Jerusalem, and Damascus. The Arabs have always hated and despised the Turks. It was the Turks who destroyed with crude and barbarous hands the wonderful Arab civilization of the middle ages, which was in almost everything superior to the civilization of the same time in Europe.
Now the Arabs dream of a new empire, to include not only all Arabia itself, but on the one side the fertile plains of Mesopotamia as far as Persia, and on the other side a large part of Syria. This would be entirely in harmony with the policy of independent nationalities, because all of Mesopotamia and a large part of Syria are peopled by Arabs. The great Mesopotamian plain of the Tigris and Euphrates, once the Babylonian empire, was then the most fertile region in the world. With the help of the Bagdad railroad with its branches and the great system of irrigation planned by Willcox, it can again become one of the great producing centres of the world. If the Arabs were again to cease their nomadic life, and with the spur of the great possibilities of national freedom to settle in cities and on farms, the matchless East might once more become a leader in art, science, literature, and industry, because the Arab has shown that he is capable of the greatest achievements in every walk in life. But he will need a foster-mother for a while---not politically but industrially and scientifically---before he realizes the dreams of a modern "Thousand and One Nights."---(See London Times, Hist. & Encycl. of the War, Part 200, Aug. 20, 1918.)
Chapter Eight, Illustrative Extracts
Table of Contents