Europe and Italy's Acquisition of Libya, 1911-1912

Europe and Italy's Acquisition of Libya, 1911-1912

Europe and Italy's Acquisition of Libya, 1911-1912

Europe and Italy's Acquisition of Libya, 1911-1912

Excerpt

The mediterranean is once more the scene of conflict, and the sound of cannon is again heard in Libya. It is outside the scope of this study to comment on the present struggle. But those who study the Mediterranean region are deeply impressed with the continuity of history, and it is my hope that this research in an earlier period will furnish a background for a better understanding of the present.

This study is largely a diplomatic history of the Turco- Italian War of 1911 and 1912. Since standard military histories of the conflict, including the official Italian version, are readily available, military events are treated in a general and brief way. The war can almost be dismissed by saying that Italy easily captured the important coastal towns and then was unable to advance far into the interior. Such secondary works as appear to be reliable are cited for a brief description of Libya. While several thousand works have appeared on Libya, including a vast amount of Fascist literature, there is no study which is completely satisfactory. The story of Turkish administration and of Italian penetration can only be told in broad outline until Turkey and Italy make their documents available for historical research. Sufficient evidence is now available, however, to describe the European diplomatic activity which resulted from the only European conflict in which a great power participated between 1878 and 1914. No doubt the opening of the Italian and Turkish archives for the period, if such a fortunate event ever comes, will necessitate revision or amplification of certain points in my account. What new collection of documents does not add new light? But the writer believes that such modifications will be minor.

My task has been to deal with one of the last important diplomatic questions prior to 1914 which has been neglected. Except for brief studies by the German historians Kalbskopf, Dietrich, and Meyer, all emphasizing the role of the Central . . .

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