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The European Anarchy   By: (1862-1932)

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By G. Lowes Dickinson



1. INTRODUCTION Europe since the Fifteenth Century Machiavellianism Empire and the Balance of Power

2. THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE AND THE ENTENTE Belgian Dispatches of 1905 14.

3. GREAT BRITAIN The Policy of Great Britain Essentially an Overseas Power

4. FRANCE The Policy of France since 1870 Peace and Imperialism Conflicting Elements

5. RUSSIA The Policy of Russia Especially towards Austria

6. AUSTRIA HUNGARY The Policy of Austria Hungary Especially towards the Balkans

7. GERMANY The Policy of Germany From 1866 to the Decade 1890 1900 A Change

8. OPINION IN GERMANY German "Romanticism" New Ambitions.

9. OPINION ABOUT GERMANY Bourdon Beyens Cambon Summary

10. GERMAN POLICY FROM THE DECADE 1890 1900 Relation to Great Britain The Navy.

11. VAIN ATTEMPTS AT HARMONY Great Britain's Efforts for Arbitration Mutual Suspicion


13. GERMANY AND TURKEY The Bagdad Railway



16. THE LAST YEARS Before the War The Outbreak of War

17. THE RESPONSIBILITY AND THE MORAL The Pursuit of Power and Wealth


19. THE CHANGE NEEDED Change of Outlook and Change of System An International League International Law and Control


1. Introduction .

In the great and tragic history of Europe there is a turning point that marks the defeat of the ideal of a world order and the definite acceptance of international anarchy. That turning point is the emergence of the sovereign State at the end of the fifteenth century. And it is symbolical of all that was to follow that at that point stands, looking down the vista of the centuries, the brilliant and sinister figure of Machiavelli. From that date onwards international policy has meant Machiavellianism. Sometimes the masters of the craft, like Catherine de Medici or Napoleon, have avowed it; sometimes, like Frederick the Great, they have disclaimed it. But always they have practised it. They could not, indeed, practise anything else. For it is as true of an aggregation of States as of an aggregation of individuals that, whatever moral sentiments may prevail, if there is no common law and no common force the best intentions will be defeated by lack of confidence and security. Mutual fear and mutual suspicion, aggression masquerading as defence and defence masquerading as aggression, will be the protagonists in the bloody drama; and there will be, what Hobbes truly asserted to be the essence of such a situation, a chronic state of war, open or veiled. For peace itself will be a latent war; and the more the States arm to prevent a conflict the more certainly will it be provoked, since to one or another it will always seem a better chance to have it now than to have it on worse conditions later. Some one State at any moment may be the immediate offender; but the main and permanent offence is common to all States. It is the anarchy which they are all responsible for perpetuating.

While this anarchy continues the struggle between States will tend to assume a certain stereotyped form. One will endeavour to acquire supremacy over the others for motives at once of security and of domination, the others will combine to defeat it, and history will turn upon the two poles of empire and the balance of power. So it has been in Europe, and so it will continue to be, until either empire is achieved, as once it was achieved by Rome, or a common law and a common authority is established by agreement. In the past empire over Europe has been sought by Spain, by Austria, and by France; and soldiers, politicians, and professors in Germany have sought, and seek, to secure it now for Germany. On the other hand, Great Britain has long stood, as she stands now, for the balance of power. As ambitious, as quarrelsome, and as aggressive as other States, her geographical position has directed her aims overseas rather than toward the Continent of Europe... Continue reading book >>

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