Fifty Years of Europe, 1870-1919

Fifty Years of Europe, 1870-1919

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Fifty Years of Europe, 1870-1919

Fifty Years of Europe, 1870-1919

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Excerpt

The fifty years that have elapsed since the FrancoPrussian War possess a unity that is quite exceptional among the so-called "periods" of history. They constitute a period of German ascendancy in Europe, a ascendancy acquired by force, maintained by force, an dedicated to the perpetuation and the extension of the rule of force -- that is, to the great principle that might makes right. Within that era are included the rise and the fall of the German Empire, whose history was summarized in a lapidary phrase pronounced by President Poincaré at the opening of the Conference of Paris "It was born in injustice; it has ended in opprobrium."

For the convenience of those who may wish to review this period I have brought together those chapters of my Modern European History which bear upon it, making, however, numerous changes in the narrative, condensing here, amplifying there, transforming and rearranging wherever it has seemed advantageous.

To complete the story I have added a chapter on the Great War, the closing pages of which were written on the day the armistice was accepted and which therefor represent only the incomplete knowledge and the hurried impressions of a mighty moment in history. However, for that very reason, they may have a certain value, at least as a contemporary document.

CHARLES DOWNER HAZEN.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, April 10, 1919.

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