The Great Powers & Eastern Europe

The Great Powers & Eastern Europe

The Great Powers & Eastern Europe

The Great Powers & Eastern Europe

Excerpt

In history, unlike in drama, the actors need not be identified in advance; they speak for themselves. The scene alone requires definition; however, this can be a most complex and formidable task. Formidable, indeed, here: for the scene of this volume begs an unequivocal definition even by geography. Clever pamphleteers fought and ignorant armies clashed by night to decide where this scene was to belong: to the East; to the West; to the Center; to Europe; to Asia. We deal with a stretch of Europe from the Arctic to the Aegean Seas. Lately thirteen nations existed there. But this is not enough for a description. What is the scene, then? Central Europe; Central-eastern Europe; Eastern Europe; Mid-eastern Europe; Eurasian Europe; South-eastern Europe; Danubian Europe -- these are but the most frequent terms.

European history is conditioned by the sea: we must not let the awful sights of great land migrations, land Powers and land battles obscure our vision. Europe is a peninsula of many peninsulas, full of mountains and bays, virtually a rocky, rugged promontory of Asia, that great land-mass. Greece, Rome, North Italy, Spain, France, the Lowlands, England -- the great areas and focal centers of European history -- were all made, protected, succoured by surrounding . . .

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