France and the Alliances: The Struggle for the Balance of Power

France and the Alliances: The Struggle for the Balance of Power

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France and the Alliances: The Struggle for the Balance of Power

France and the Alliances: The Struggle for the Balance of Power

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Having been requested, in 1908, to deliver, under the auspices of the French Circle of Harvard University, the annual course of lectures there, founded by Mr. James H. Hyde a dozen years ago, I explained in my eight lessons the subject treated of in this book. Although to-day, in its published form, my subject contains developments which would not have been possible in a three weeks' series of lectures, I have modified neither its spirit, nor its plan, nor its conclusions.

Its spirit first. Cultivated Americans, who have in their universities such an admirable instrument of work, are all acquainted with France of the past; her history, her literature, and her art. To show them France of to-day, in presence of Europe and the world, such as she has been shaped, after painful experiences, by thirty-eight years of sustained effort and diplomatic action, is the aim that I have proposed to myself.

The plan resulted from the subject itself. It was through the Russian Alliance that France issued from the isolation in which she had been placed by defeat. It was by her understandings with Great Britain, Italy, and Spain that she subsequently pursued the satisfaction of her interests. It is in presence of the Triple Alliance, dominated by Germany, that she has raised the edifice of her agreements. It is against Germany that she has been compelled to defend and complete it. Such is the woof of this book of contemporary history, which is supplemented by a necessary study of Franco-American relations.

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