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Germany and the Next War   By: (1849-1930)

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GERMANY AND THE NEXT WAR

BY GENERAL FRIEDRICH VON BERNHARDI

TRANSLATED BY ALLEN H. POWLES

1912

All the patriotic sections of the German people were greatly excited during the summer and autumn of 1911. The conviction lay heavy on all hearts that in the settlement of the Morocco dispute no mere commercial or colonial question of minor importance was being discussed, but that the honour and future of the German nation were at stake. A deep rift had opened between the feeling of the nation and the diplomatic action of the Government. Public opinion, which was clearly in favour of asserting ourselves, did not understand the dangers of our political position, and the sacrifices which a boldly outlined policy would have demanded. I cannot say whether the nation, which undoubtedly in an overwhelming majority would have gladly obeyed the call to arms, would have been equally ready to bear permanent and heavy burdens of taxation. Haggling about war contributions is as pronounced a characteristic of the German Reichstag in modern Berlin as it was in medieval Regensburg. These conditions have induced me to publish now the following pages, which were partly written some time ago.

Nobody can fail to see that we have reached a crisis in our national and political development. At such times it is necessary to be absolutely clear on three points: the goals to be aimed at, the difficulties to be surmounted, and the sacrifices to be made.

The task I have set myself is to discuss these matters, stripped of all diplomatic disguise, as clearly and convincingly as possible. It is obvious that this can only be done by taking a national point of view.

Our science, our literature, and the warlike achievements of our past, have made me proudly conscious of belonging to a great civilized nation which, in spite of all the weakness and mistakes of bygone days, must, and assuredly will, win a glorious future; and it is out of the fulness of my German heart that I have recorded my convictions. I believe that thus I shall most effectually rouse the national feeling in my readers' hearts, and strengthen the national purpose.

THE AUTHOR.

October, 1911

CONTENTS

PREFACE

INTRODUCTION

Power of the peace idea Causes of the love of peace in Germany German consciousness of strength Lack of definite political aims Perilous situation of Germany and the conditions of successful self assertion Need to test the authority of the peace idea, and to explain the tasks and aims of Germany in the light of history

CHAPTER I THE RIGHT TO MAKE WAR

Pacific ideals and arbitration The biological necessity of war The duty of self assertion The right of conquest The struggle for employment War a moral obligation Beneficent results of war War from the Christian and from the materialist standpoints Arbitration and international law Destructiveness and immorality of peace aspirations Real and Utopian humanity Dangerous results of peace aspirations in Germany The duty of the State

CHAPTER II THE DUTY TO MAKE WAR

Bismarck and the justification of war The duty to fight The teaching of history War only justifiable on adequate grounds The foundations of political morality Political and individual morality The grounds for making war The decision to make war The responsibility of the statesman

CHAPTER III A BRIEF SURVEY OF GERMANY'S HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT

The ways of Providence in history Christianity and the Germans The Empire and the Papacy Breach between the German World Empire and the revived spiritual power Rise of the great States of Europe and political downfall of Germany after the Thirty Years' War Rise of the Prussian State The epoch of the Revolution and the War of Liberation Intellectual supremacy of Germany After the War of Liberation Germany under William I. and Bismarck Change in the conception of the State and the principle of nationality New economic developments... Continue reading book >>




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