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A General Sketch Of The First Phase Of The European War

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An Excerpt:  "After the great victories of Prussia a generation ago (the spoliation of Denmark
in 1864, the supremacy established over Austria in 1866, the crushing defeat of
France and the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine, with two millions of people in [Pg
51]1870-1), Europe gradually drifted into being an armed camp, the great forces
of which were more or less in equilibrium. Prussia had, for the moment at least,
achieved all that she desired. The French were for quite twenty years ardently
desirous of recovering what they had lost; but Europe would not allow the war to
be renewed, and Prussia, now at the head of a newly constituted German Empire,
made an arrangement with Austria and with Italy to curb the French desire for
recovery. The French, obviously inferior before this triple alliance, gradually
persuaded the Russians to support them; but the Russians would not support the
French in provoking another great war, and with the French themselves the old
feeling gradually deadened. It did not disappear-any incident might have revived
it-but the anxious desire for immediate war when the opportunity should come got
less and less, and at the end of the process, say towards 1904, when a new
generation had grown up in all the countries concerned, there was a sort of
deadlock, every one very heavily armed, the principal antagonists, France and
[Pg 52]Germany, armed to their utmost, but the European States, as a whole,
unwilling to allow any one of them to break the peace."


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