GERMAN WORLD POLICY: MORAL FACTORS
The industrial and commercial transformation of Germany discussed in the previous chapter was obviously of enormous importance in determining the course of her imperial policy; the growth of her commerce and mercantile marine, upon which German industry largely depended, led naturally to a demand for the creation of a navy, the development of colonies, and the extension of political influence which would ensure the control of markets; the economic interests of the Empire must necessarily be taken into consideration by the diplomats of Wilhelmstrasse.
Of equal or greater importance was the moral transformation of Germany: the gradual assumption of a new attitude towards her neighbors and the growth of a new conception of the rôle that Germany ought to play in the world. The importance of this moral transformation it is almost impossible to overstate; for the diplomatic policy of Germany during the past fifteen years has resulted not merely from economic necessity, or what the nation believed to be economic necessity, but also from the frame of mind characteristic of influential Germans. Nor have the fears of other nations been aroused by the economic success of the Empire so much as by the new tone that she assumed in her international relations.
A specific definition of the attitude that was