Excerpt from The Study of the Great War: A Topical Outline, With Extensive Quotations and Reading References
The Study of the Great War I. Fundamental Causes Of The War I. General Factors 1. The constitution of the German Empire permits its foreign policy to be determined by the Emperor alone, who is at the same time, by divine right, King of Prussia the State which possesses an overwhelming territorial, political, and mihtary predominance in the Empire. The Emperor declares war with the consent of the Bundesrat, the assent of the Reichstag not being required. Not even the Bundesrat need be consulted if the war is defensive, and as the Hohenzollerns have always claimed to make defensive warfare it is not surprising that even the unrepresentative Bundesrat was officially informed about the present war three days after the Emperor declared it. (Charles D.Hazen, The Government of Germany, Committee on Public Information publication. See also War Cyclopedia, undfer Autocracy, Kaiserism, Wilham Ii.) 2.Profit derived from war in the past by Prussia (Germany), (a) Through increase of territory (cf. maps). (b)Through indemnities (e.g., from France, 1871). (c)Through increased prestige and influence. Hence justification of the blood and iron policy of Bismarck and his predecessors. War as the national industry of Prussia. The Great Elector laid the foundations of Prussias power by successful and dehberately incurred wars. Frederick the Great followed in the footsteps of his glorious ancestor. None of the wars which he fought had been forced upon him; none of them did he postpone as long as possible. The lessons of history thus confirm the view that wars which have been dehberately provoked by far-seeing statesmen have had the happiest results. (Bernhardi, Germany and the Next War, 1911.) 3.Germany sdemand for a place in the sun. (a) Meaning of the Kaisers phrase( a place in the cun )not clear. It covers vaguely colonies, commerce, and influence in international affairs in proportion to Germanys population, industrial importance, and military power. (b)Obstacles. The German Empire was a late-comer in the family of nations; the best regions for colonization and exploitation, especially in the temperate zones, were already occupied by other Powers.
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