THE DIPLOMATIC REVOLUTION
The student of recent diplomacy can find no period of such significance as that extending from 1898 to 1907, for during these years took place the diplomatic revolution which culminated in the Triple Entente, and radically altered the character of the whole international situation. Rarely has there been a time when the course of coming events depended so closely upon the policy of the diplomats in power, and of which we can say with equal confidence that if these statesmen had not been in office, the history of Europe would have been different. Broadly speaking, there are two aspects to this diplomatic revolution. The one is to be found in the new attitude of independence assumed by France. The other lies in the emergence of Great Britain from her magnificent isolation, and the liquidation of her ancient feuds with France and Russia. The result was a combination of Great Britain, France, and Russia in an entente of doubtful solidity, but pregnant with significance and destined to restore the balance that Bismarck destroyed.
The most striking aspect of the change is certainly Great Britain's reversal of policy when she entered into conventions with her traditional foes, so soon after the sharpest of diplomatic encounters. But the new course of British policy would hardly have been possible except for the new spirit that began to inform French diplomacy, and which was personified by Théophile Delcassé, who entered the cabinet as Foreign