Clemenceau, the Man and His Time

By H. M. Hyndman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV
STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS OF CLEMENCEAU

STRIKES and anarchist troubles, however, formidable as they were in the North and in the South, were by no means the only serious difficulties which Clemenceau had to cope with, first as Minister of the Interior and then as Premier. The danger from Germany, as he well knew, was ever present. Anxious as France was to avoid misunderstandings which might easily lead to war, eager as the Radical leader might be to enlarge upon the folly and wickedness of strife between two contiguous civilized peoples, who could do so much for one another, it was always possible for the German Government to put the Republic in such a position that the alternative of humiliation or hostilities must be faced. Less than a year before Clemenceau accepted office, the German Kaiser himself had taken a most provocative step in Morocco, the object of which can now be clearly seen. Germany had no real interests in Morocco worthy of the name. Several years later the German Minister of Foreign Affairs pooh-poohed the idea that Germany, distant from Morocco as she was, with only 200 Germans in the country, and not more than $1,000,000 worth of yearly commerce, all told, with the inhabitants, could be concerned about political matters in that Mohammedan kingdom.

With France the case was very different. Algeria was adjacent to the territories of the Sultan of Morocco, and

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