The Audacious War
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Title: The Audacious War
Author: Clarence W. Barron
Release Date: April 5, 2006 [eBook #18125]
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE AUDACIOUS WAR***
E-text prepared by Al Haines
THE AUDACIOUS WAR
CLARENCE W. BARRON
Boston and New York
Houghton Mifflin Company
The Riverside Press Cambridge
Copyright, 1914 and 1915, by the Boston News Bureau Company
Copyright, 1915, by Clarence W. Barron
All Rights Reserved
Published February 1915
Suppose 't were done!
The lanyard pulled on every shotted gun;
Into the wheeling death-clutch sent
Each millioned armament,
To grapple there
On land, on sea and under, and in air!
Suppose at last 't were come—
Now, while each bourse and shop and mill is dumb
And arsenals and dockyards hum,—
Now all complete, supreme,
That vast, Satanic dream!—
Each field were trampled, soaked,
Each stream dyed, choked,
Each leaguered city and blockaded port
Made famine's sport;
The empty wave
Made reeling dreadnought's grave;
Cathedral, castle, gallery, smoking fell
'Neath bomb and shell;
In deathlike trance
Lay industry, finance;
Two thousand years'
Bequest, achievement, saving, disappears
In blood and tears,
In widowed woe
That slum and palace equal know,
In civilization's suicide,—
What served thereby, what satisfied?
For justice, freedom, right, what wrought?
Save, after the great cataclysm, perhap
On the world's shaken map
New lines, more near or far,
Binding to king or czar
In festering hate
Some newly vassaled state;
And passion, lust and pride made satiate;
And just a trace
Of lingering smile on Satan's face!
—Boston News Bureau Poet.
This poem has been called the great poem of the war. It was writtenjust preceding the war, and published August 1 by the "Boston NewsBureau." Of it, and its author, Bartholomew P. Griffin, the followingwas written by Rev. Francis G. Peabody: "The English poets, Bridges,Kipling, Austin, and Noyes, have all tried to meet the need and allhave lamentably failed. I am proud not only that an American, but thata Harvard man, should have risen to the occasion."
The Scotch have this proverb: "War brings poverty. Poverty bringspeace. Peace brings prosperity. Prosperity brings pride. And pridebrings war again." Shall the world settle down to the faith that thereis no redemption from an everlasting round of pride, war, poverty,peace, prosperity, pride, and war again?
But it was not primarily to settle, or even study this problem that Icrossed the ocean and the English Channel in winter. As a journalistpublishing the Wall Street Journal, the Boston News Bureau, and thePhiladelphia News Bureau, and directing news-gathering for thebanking and financial communities, I deemed it my duty to ascertain atclose hand the financial factors in this war, and the financial resultstherefrom.
I found myself on the other side, not only in the domain of the financeencircling this war, but unexpectedly in close touch with diplomaticand government circles. The whole of the war, its commercial causes,its financial and military forces, its tremendous human sacrifices, theconflicting principles of government, and the world-wide issuesinvolved, all lay out in clear facts and figures after I had gatheredby day and night from what appeared at first to be a tangled web.
I learned who made this war, and why at this time and for whatpurposes, present and prospective; and from facts that could not be setdown categorically in papers of state. No papers, "white," "gray," or"yellow," could present a picture of the war in its inception and thereasons therefor.
There is no powerful organization over nations to keep the peace ofEurope or of the world, as nations are in organization over states, andstates over cities, to insure peace and justice, without strife orhuman sacrifice.
The immediate causes of this war, and I believe they have not beforebeen presented on this side of the ocean, are connected with commercialtreaties, protective tariffs, and financial progress.
It may be wondered that in our country, which is the home of theprotective tariff system and boasts its great prosperity therefrom,there has been as yet no presentation of the business causes beneaththis war. Our great journalists are trained to find interesting,picturesque, and saleable news features from big events. Details ofwar's atrocities and destructions are to most people of the greatesthuman interest, and rightly so. As a country we have no internationalpolicy, and European politics and policies have never interested us.
Germany is buttressed by tariffs and commercial treaties on every side.Years ago I was told in Europe that the commercial treaties wrestedfrom France in 1871 were of more value to Germany than the billiondollars of indemnity she took as her price to quit Paris. But I didnot realize until I was abroad this winter how European countries hadwarred by tariffs, and that Germany and Russia were preparing for agreat clash at arms over the renewal of commercial and tariff treatieswhich expire within two years, and which had been forced by Germanyupon Russia during the Japanese War.
German "Kultur" means German progress, commercially and financially.German progress is by tariffs and commercial treaties. Her armies, herarms, and her armaments, are to support this "Kultur" and this progress.
I believe I have told the story as it has never been told before. Butthe facts cannot be drawn forth and properly set in review without somepresentation of the spirit of the peoples of the European nations.
If all the nations of Europe were of one language, the spirit, the soulof each in its distinctive characteristics might stand out even moreprominently than to-day.
Then we could see even more clearly the spirit of brotherhood andnationality that stands out resplendent as the soul of France. Weshould see the spirit of empire and of trade, interknit withadministrative justice, as the soul of Great Britain. We should seeGermany an uncouth giant in the center of Europe, viewing all about himwith suspicion, and demanding to know why, as the youngest, sturdiest,best organized, and hardest working European nation, he is not entitledto overseas or world empire.
But few persons on this side have comprehended the relation of thisgreat war to the greatest commercial prizes in the world; the shores ofthe Mediterranean, Asia Minor, with its Bagdad Railroad headed for thePersian Gulf, Mesopotamia with its great oil-fields, undeveloped and asource of power for the recreation of Palestine and all the landsbetween the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, and Asia.
The greatest study for Americans to-day is the spirit of nations asshown in this war, and great lessons for the United States may be foundin the finance, business, patriotism, and justice that stand forth inthe British Empire as never before. She is rolling up a tremendouswar-power within her empire and throughout Europe, encircling theGerman war-power. But she is likewise looking to her own people andher own workers, filling her own factories and every laboring hand tothe full that she may keep her business and profits at home, and withher business and profits and accumulated capital and income prosecutethe greatest war of history.
She is not unmindful in any respect of what the war may send her way.In the breaking-away and the breaking-up of Turkey, she sees a clearfield for Egypt, the realization of the dream of Cecil Rhodes of thedevelopment of the whole of Africa by a Cape to Cairo Railroad, and shesees her own empire and peoples belting the world in power, usefulness,and justice, and with a sweep and scope for enterprise and developmentbeyond all the previous dreams of this generation.
The United States, with hundreds of millions of banking reservesreleased and giving base for a business expansion double any we havehad before, seems suddenly paralyzed in its business activities and,comprehending only that the loaf of bread is a cent higher and a poundof cotton a few cents lower, it is wondering on which side of its breadthe butter is to fall.
Meanwhile, it talks politics, asks if prosperity here is to come duringor after the war; and having little comprehension of the meaning of thenational throbs that on the other side of the globe are pulsating theworld into a new era of light, liberty, and expansion by individuallabor, it refuses to take up its daily home-task and go forward.
In the hope that these pages may be useful to my fellow countrymen ingiving them the facts of this war, its commercial causes, its financialprogress, its sacrifice in humanity,—sacrifice that could not bedemanded but for a greater future,—these papers are taken, ascompleted in my financial publications in this month of February, andplaced before the reading community in book form, as requested inhundreds of personal letters.
They were never conceived or written with any idea of their permanentpreservation. They were prepared for the banking community, whichdemands news-facts and figures discriminatingly presented. The bankerwants the truth; he will make his own argument and reach his ownconclusions.
The reader will readily see that these chapters are day-to-day issuesaiming to present that news from the standpoint of finance. But underall sound finance must be primarily the truth of humanity. They do notclaim to be from beginning to end a harmonious book-presentation of thewar, but it is believed that they contain the essential fundamentalwar-facts; and the aim was to present them in most condensed expression.
They cover the first six months of this most Audacious War. Whether itis to continue for another six months or another sixteen months is notso material as the character of the peace and what is to follow.
No greater problem can be placed before the world than that of how thepeace of nations may be maintained. Having cleared my own mind uponthis subject, I submit it in the final chapter, which naturally followsafter that treating of the lessons for the United States from this war.
Only in an international organization, with power to make decrees ofpeace and enforce them, and with insurance of powers above those of alldissenters, can we find the peace of nations as we have found the peaceof cities. This Audacious War has forced such an alliance as can yieldthis power. Its transfer to the support of an International tribunalcan make and keep the peace of Europe and eventually of the world.
Then may the earth cease to be, in history, that steady round of
Prosperity, Pride, and War.
C. W. Barron.
February 15, 1915.
I. THE WORLD'S GREATEST CONTEST II. TARIFFS AND COMMERCE THE WAR CAUSES III. THE POLITICAL CAUSES OF THE WAR IV. PEACE PROPOSALS V. FRANCE AND THE FRENCH VI. THE POSITION OF FRANCE VII. FRENCH FINANCE VIII. THE BELGIAN SACRIFICE IX. RUSSIA AND THE RUSSIANS X. THE ENGLISH POSITION XI. ENGLISH WAR FORCES XII. ENGLISH WAR FINANCE XIII. GERMAN RESOURCES XIV. IS IT THE PEOPLE'S WAR? XV. THE GERMAN POSITION XVI. THE LESSONS FOR AMERICA XVII. WHAT PEACE SHOULD MEAN
THE AUDACIOUS WAR
THE WORLD'S GREATEST CONTEST
The Censorship—The Warship "Audacious"—Mine or Torpedo?—The Battle
Line—War by Gasolene Motors—The Boys from Canada—The Audacity of it.
The war of 1914 is not only the greatest war in history but thegreatest in the political and economic sciences. Indeed, it is thegreatest war of all the sciences, for it involves all the knownsciences of earth, ocean, and the skies.
To get the military, the political, and especially the financial flavorof this war, to study its probable duration and its financialconsequences, was the object of a trip to England and France from whichthe writer has recently returned.
One can hear "war news" from