The Literary Digest History of the World War: Compiled from Original and Contemporary Sources: American, British, French, German, and Others - Vol. 7

The Literary Digest History of the World War: Compiled from Original and Contemporary Sources: American, British, French, German, and Others - Vol. 7

Read FREE!

The Literary Digest History of the World War: Compiled from Original and Contemporary Sources: American, British, French, German, and Others - Vol. 7

The Literary Digest History of the World War: Compiled from Original and Contemporary Sources: American, British, French, German, and Others - Vol. 7

Read FREE!

Excerpt

So long as Austria east her eyes eastward on Saloniki as the goal of her expansion, war between her and Russia had long been some day inevitable, for before reaching a port so far east, the Austrian Teuton had first to crush the Slav, and that meant a battle of great races. Hitherto Austria, in making progress eastward, had been able to avoid actual conflict with Russia, a notable example being her successful annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908. She tried to make a peaceable advance in 1914 through Serbia, but circumstances were not then so favorable. Slavdom, in 1914, was not at the same disadvantage as in 1908; it was now ready to fight if that were necessary; for Austria mere bluffing, even with Germany back of her, would not be enough. Except for Greeks, Turks and a few Teutonic people, the inhabitants of eastern and southeastern Europe, numbering roughly 125 millions, were of Slavonic origin. They held their territories by right of original settlements dating from a time earlier than the coming of Teutonic peoples into Europe. Among them were people we now know as Bulgars, Montenegrins, Serbs, Croats, and Poles, at that time either self-governing themselves, or ruled by other Slavonic peoples. Many Slavs in the course of years had passed under Teutonic domination—for example, in East Prussia, where, besides Teutons, the Kaiser ruled over Poles, Kasubes and Serbs, and in Austria where the Dual Monarch had among his subjects several millions Poles, Czechs, Ruthenians, Serbians, Croats, Slovenicks and Slovaks.

Nevertheless, Slavs have been fervent nationalists, with an intense and unconquerable vitality. Like the Jews, they have maintained national traits distinct and unchanged in . . .

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